Lessons Coated in Laughter (and Sugar) (and Tears)

Birthdays.  Some love them, some hate them.  I like to use my birthday as an excuse to get the girls together, and that’s just what we did.   Sadly though, this beautiful birthday celebration night left me filled with remorse.

Birthdays have a way of bringing things to the surface that have been detectable previous. The blunt force of a Birthday, another year gone by, causes us to focus in, open our hearts, and truly see them.

I had the joy of celebrating my 37th birthday with an evening of tasty eats, but even more importantly, with a room full of amazing women.  We laughed, got to know one another (better), and told stories new and old.  At the end of the evening, as the cake was being served (my first cake ever with lime green dumbbells on it 💚💪), each gal at the table took a turn sharing how we met, a favorite memory they have with me, and their hopes for me in the year ahead.  This was a part of the evening I will not forget.  Even if I don’t remember the exact words spoken, I will remember how full my heart felt & how much love my spirit was receiving. (My body wasn’t complaining about the cake either.  😜)  

As the last friends shared and the rustling of jackets began, the paying of bills, and sweet hugs goodbye, I started to feel sad inside.  Not because I wanted to keep on partying that very night (I did have to wake up early to train a client so staying up late wasn’t my goal.). But had I realized, in a few short hours, and with a little time spent planning, I was blessed, really blessed, by the time spent socializing.  

Socializing had become an unwelcome thing in my book.   I was on mission to do other things and relate with people in other ways, and I didn’t place a priority on socializing.  It felt boring to me.  Unnecessary.   Sorry, don’t have time.  It was on this evening I not only realized I need to get back to being more social, but I grieved time lost.  My heart felt heavy, eyes weepy as I got into my car, loaded with gifts, flowers, and cake.  I gave thanks my friends hadn’t given up on me.  

Deciding to give your life to a cause, making yourself available to others, does look different for everyone and I think we can go through seasons.  Perhaps I was meant to be less social this past year so I could pour into the mentor-type roles I had, my small group relationships, among other relationships I’ve been called to develop recently?  Maybe so.  Yet still, my birthday dinner night showed me it doesn’t have to be all or none.  Time “just for fun” is not a waste.    And I need it.  

In contrast to the sad tears shed as I headed home from the festivities, full of gratitude for each and every women and their acts of kindness, the following day brought a different realization.  

As I opened all of my gifts and cards the very next day, I was thankful, excited, smiling, sending thank you text messages, and hit in the head with the remembrance of this time last year.   The day after my 36th bday.  Opening gifts.   Make that NOT opening gifts.  I let a table full of beautiful gifts sit and sit and sit for almost a full week before I opened them because they overwhelmed me.  I didn’t feel I deserved them.   I knew once I opened them I’d have thank you’s to write.  Truly, the bottom line is, I wasn’t ready to receive the love these women were showing me.  I felt it.  I felt guilt where they meant for me to feel joy, pain where pleasure was supposed to reside.   

I ended my 35th year praying for my heart to be able to receive healthy love.  I’m excited to say I have grown in that area and even started opening my gifts the moment people gave them to me, when appropriate.  And now I end my 36th year praying for wisdom to know when I need to let go of the agenda, let my hair down, and for have some fun with friends!  (I’d say I’m off to a good start since I spent the afternoon yesterday hiking sand dunes and walking the beach with a group of girlfriends.  And was it ever glorious! 

   Life is a journey.    Present over perfect.    Learn along the way.    B Present 

WHY B PRESENT STUDIO?

“Remember your WHY. Why are you here today?”

Listen in on a typical barre class at B Present Studio. You’ll hear the pulsating beat of the music, and the huffing and puffing of your mat neighbors between sets of planks and pushups. Maybe you’ll hear some grumbling or choice words aimed at the instructor as she cheerfully chirps “Pulse, pulse, pulse!” and “Last eight!” (this is almost always a lie).

But listen harder and you’ll pick up on what sets B Present apart and makes it a truly special place: a steady hum of phrases like this, inspiring us to push farther than we thought we could go.

Why are you here today?

It’s a good question. Why bother with exercise? There are only so many hours in the day, and there are plenty of other things that you could do with that time.

For most of us, the motivation at least begins with some sort of physical, appearance-centric goal. Who doesn’t want to look great in their wedding dress, in a bikini, or in a pair of shorts? It’s not that these aren’t worthwhile goals. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a cute butt! But our physical aesthetic makes up just a tiny piece in the big, beautiful mosaic of who we are and what gives our lives meaning. Can we build our entire mindset upon that, and draw all of our motivation from that one tiny piece?

When we do that, our mental approach to exercise starts to look a little like a Jenga tower balancing precariously on a single block. It becomes harder and harder as time goes by to balance more blocks on top of that wobbly foundation. And then—a setback. A piece of cheesecake, perhaps. This isn’t part of the plan!, you scold yourself. Now everything is ruined! My thighs are now cheesecake and my butt is cheesecake and EVERYTHING IS CHEESECAKE. ALLLLL IS LOOOOSSSSSTTTTTT. Down goes the Jenga tower.

This is where the real magic of B Present happens. When you walk in already feeling like you’ve failed, and doubting whether this is worth the effort, there’s that question again.

Why are you here today?

You are here because you are more than your butt.

You are here because how this makes your body feel is more important than how it makes your body look.

You are here because today you held that plank for ten seconds longer than you did yesterday, and that makes you feel strong and powerful.

You are here because bless their little hearts, you need to get away from your kids for an hour—and you’re a better mother for the rest of the day because of it.

You are here because whether you know it or not, you are inspiring someone else right now.

You are here because this makes you a better employee, a better spouse, a better friend, and a nicer person.

You are here because even though you aren’t perfect, you’re worth this.

Each of your whys is another block in your foundation, and will steady you when you start to wobble. So why B Present Studio? Because, quite simply, they care about all of your whys—and all of the whys you have yet to discover.

Sign Up Today!  Class Schedule

~Written by Guest Blogger (Wife, Momma, & Barre Beauty) Carly Squadroni

CHOCOLATE & BERRY ENERGY BITES

Who’s not looking for a QUICK & EASY, NUTRIENT-DENSE SNACK?!?  Whether pre or post workout, a fun treat for the kids..this will hit the spot!  I adapted a Shakeology recipe to create the chocolately part of this cute kabob.  I personally found the chocolate energy balls to B too dense for me to eat plain.  The flavor was good, the texture great, and I knew the ingredients were what I wanted to put in my body, something was just off.  That’s when I decided to tear a little piece of the energy ball off and pair with a fresh blackberry-YUM!!!  Then I eyed the red raspberries and figured, might as well make a sandwich!  ;-)  And that’s how the CHOCOLATE & BERRY ENERGY BITES came to B!  NOTE: They do look pretty with the big chocolate ball at bottom, then blackberry, and raspberry on top.  However, I quite preferred the size and flavor of sandwiching the smaller chocolate bite between the berries.  As you wish though!  To each his own!  

 

CHOCOLATE ENERGY BALLS:                                    Image

(Makes ~15 servings, 1 ball each)

Total Time: 15 mins

1.5 scoops CHOCOLATE SHAKEOLOGY  

(You can purchase Shakeology through the following link)   http://www.shakeology.com/bpresent 

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup all-natural almond butter

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Combine Shakeology, almond flour, and oats in a medium bowl; mix well.  Add almond butter and almond milk; mix well with rubber spatula or clean hands until it forms a thick batter.  Roll mixture into your choice of size balls.  

Garnish with blackberries, red raspberries, YOUR FAV berries!!  I didn’t have blueberries or strawberries the day I made these, but that would B tasty too, I bet!  

I hope you enjoy this healthy snack!  Image

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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Looking for something sweet to eat that won’t leave you feeling cruddy?!?  These HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, with main ingredient of ALMOND FLOUR, gives them a more delicate flavor and chewy texture.  They’re fairly quick and easy to make, too!  

Ingredients:

  •  1 ¾ almond flour
  • ¼ cup vanilla honey or (¼ honey + 1 tsp vanilla)
  • ¾ cup  dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (softened)
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

(I always double, triple, or quadruple the recipe so I have plenty to share with friends. :-)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in one bowl (except chocolate chips).
  4. Add in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop out 1 tablespoon cookie dough with a spoon and place on the prepared cookie sheet.  Press down slightly to flatten the cookie.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookie should just be a little golden brown on the bottom. Do not over cook!
  7. Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet (or else they will be too soft to pick up). These cookies should stay soft when cool.
  8. Eat with a smile! Yum!

*Store leftovers in a container for 1 week or the fridge for a few weeks.

(recipe adapted from www.mommypotamus.com)