Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sawdust Festival

To all my friends living in California, the Sawdust Festival starts this weekend November 21st. If you live here … if you’re visiting for the holidays… find your way there.

Go see him.

His name is Joshua. He is a bronze sculptor, an absolute, beautiful soul, and he’s my friend.

When you visit his website have your speakers on. Listen. You’re gonna fall in love with him I promise. And you’re gonna want one of his pieces. All the love he feels for the world is in them. And when it’s on your neck or wrapped around your waist, you can feel it. And because you like the feeling, you always want it on your body… which makes it conform to you even more. The longer you have it the more perfect it becomes.

This is what we need more of in the world. People that see the beauty all around, and not afraid to go deep within themselves to see what they can become. People that have found their passions and live them. You can feel Joshua’s fire in his pieces.

If you can't make the Sawdust, visit his website. Support him. He makes us all better.

I wish you an amazing festival Joshua !

The Sawdust is a great experience. You feel like you’re walking in the trees and I guess you are. You’re outside, the booths are built around the trees and you’re blanketed by leaves and branches overhead. The grounds are thick sawdust, and it feels like a big tree house filled with paintings and photographs, jewelry, glass sculptures, music and waterfalls.

And there’s food! My roommate Sallie is from Texas and recently began introducing California to the Southern fair delicacy – Funnel Cakes! She’s making her debut at the Sawdust! This is the time of year we all cheat anyway so just save a few calories to at least try one if you never have. And if you have, you may wanna give Sallie’s a go. They made the front page in Ventura County.

I won’t get a chance to go home for the holidays so I’ll use the space I was reserving for my mom’s sweet potato pie for one of Sallie’s funnel cakes.

I wish you an amazing festival Sallie !

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Made Me Cry...

Ok, I know, I'm a crybaby anyway but...

I just had to share this...

First, I apologize for the picture being so small. My computer was doing something insane and I couldn't edit the photo. But, in the center of the picture is a father and son. The little one was maybe 9 years old and daddy is teaching him how to surf!

I watched them for a while... dad would help him swim out and get him in good position to catch the next one. As the wave begins to build, dad swims with his arm extended to the back of the board, pushing his son into the surf. Who knows how many times they've done this but in and out they go.

I saw the little one jump on his board, after dad has pushed him off, and catch a long one. He even walked towards the front of his board just to milk out as much as possible. Impressive ! The wave dies and he turns around to look at his dad. It was a well deserved celebration! Even from the beach I can see an excited son and a proud dad. (In this photo he's on his own, about to jump up on his board).

I'm glad I was there... I'm better for seeing and feeling that... A father and son learning from each other. I was witnessing greatness. Whoever that little kid is ... he's a star!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

my sister... Patrice..

Yes, I'm awake at 1:49am...

I have two favorite times of day... now, at 1:50am and 6am...
... they both give me a rush !

...anyhoo, i look into my closet and see these beautiful, recycle bags i bought for Patrice's birthday.

i'm such an awful sister... i'm sorry Patrice...
she's finding out now what i bought her for her birthday and i'm embarrassed to say how late ! it is...

Patrice... they are coming and you will love them...


i see these fabulous bags and they make me think of my sister... Patrice !
...this chick is fabulous all the time. from the moment she wakes up ! she's beautiful... without even trying... she just is.

i look forward to the day when we are celebrating the creation of your own line... of anything beautiful. you have such an incredible eye Patrice. it.. is going to be... STELLAR !
a friend recently used that word and i like it .. it's perfect... thank you joshua...

... i know i don't know that many people, but off all the people i've ever come in close proximity to... my whole life... i don't know anyone AS fabulous as my sister..

you would have to merge them all together .. jackie O.. lena horne... halle berry..
and my sister still wouldn't be second.

She startles you because, 'damn, she's bad', and you want everything SHE's got... then she speaks and you're hit again with, 'ok.. and she's intelligent'.. now, you're helpless..

She's funny.. straightforward.. you love her, you hate her (for half a sec)... and then you love her, always...

She's a girly girl but will give it a try... maybe...

i'm not quite sure why i'm shouting to the world that i love my sister .. but i know i'm blessed to have a sister, and to have a GOOD sister...

Patrice is incredible... She has a talent .. for creating all things beautiful ... you'll meet her soon..

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good News!

On Monday, October 26th I'll be on 'That Morning Show' on E!. If you have the ability to watch, please do and if you like my segment call them, email them, send them a message on FaceBook. If they like me they'll give me a regular spot. If you can't watch, TiVo it!
The show airs 6am -9am. I don't know where my segment will fall just yet. I'll be talking about nutrition, how to work out from home, and tricks to incorporate when you're out with the kids.
Monday, October 26th on E!
Watch it!!

Health Tip #3

Nutrition Is Key... And Easy!

As the oven is pre-heating to 375 degrees, I chop my veggies, season my salmon with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and olive oil. I set it to the side and as the oven continues to heat, I slice 1/2 an avocado and 1/2 a tomato, season both with sea salt, cracked pepper and olive oil.

Oven's ready...

It only takes 10 minutes to cook salmon so around the 5 minute mark I begin to sautee my veggies:
  • A handful of cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • 1/4 small onion
  • A handful of spinach (I throw this in at the last moment just to slightly steam)

Total cook time for everything is 10 minutes.

Cleanup afterwards is minimal; I cover my baking dish with foil so there's no cleanup there; I use one sautee pan for the veggies; one small bowl to hold the tomatoes as I season them; one plate to eat from. Cleanup is fast and easy!

Cooking for a family understandably takes a bit more time but it doesn't have to be more difficult. Look at the picture. That's what I had for dinner last night. What on my plate is unhealthy? Nothing... everything tastes great, is good for me, and I can be sitting down to an incredible meal in 15 minutes or less with a cleanup that's over in 5.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Simple Health Tip #2

I'm constantly telling people how simple and inexpensive it is to stay fit. But for some reason, most want to make it more difficult that it is. Listen to me, please. It... doesn't... take... much! Unless your desire is to grace the stage of a fitness competition or to become an elite athlete, it... doesn't... take... much!

Since most of us simply want to be healthier, I have a simple plan that's easy to build on. We began last week, or I’ll say you should have begun last week with the purchase of your jump rope. Did you get yours? Yes? Good! No? Well, it’s called ‘catch up’ darling because now we’re adding a piece.

Each week I will give you a step. All you have to do is take it. The more you do your part, the more steps you take, the looser the waistline of your pants become.

So you have your jump rope, which is a simple way to get in some great cardio, and now we’re adding our next piece. Do you have a stability ball? Get one… Target…. $20.

Stability balls are perfect for keeping the midsection tight! Because it is a ball it’s a bit unstable and it’s that instability which makes it a perfect tool to get your abs to kick in gear. Your middle, your abs, your core, whatever you want to call it, help keep you balanced and upright. That’s they’re job. When you find yourself on an unstable surface or you’re about to fall, your abs kick in gear in order to bring you back to center. That’s what they do, with no help from you, that’s simply what they do. So if you can train on an unstable surface your abs have to tighten just to keep you upright. Make sense? Good. Now what to do with your ball…

Have a seat on the ball and walk your feet forward allowing the ball to roll underneath you until it’s in the small of your back. Don’t be afraid to fall off you’re only inches from the floor. Fold your arms over your chest and crunch. Breathe out as you crunch. Sound simple? Good ‘cause it kinda is. Don’t worry about a number just crunch until you can’t crunch anymore.

Last week you jumped rope. This week you jump rope and use your new toy to tighten your abs. It looks like this:
Quick jump rope warm-up – 5 minutes
Have a seat on the ball – crunch until you can’t
Now alternate 3 minutes of jump rope with crunches. Give yourself 45 minutes and you’re done.

Incorporate this into your week. 3 days… 45 minutes… Not a lot… Simple…

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Health Tip #1

In your travels this weekend stop by Target and pick up a jump rope. After you pay for it, don’t even bother with a bag. Drop it down inside that gigantic purse of yours or walk out the store with it proudly on display in your hands. And why are you so confidant? Because it’s a freakin’ jump rope and you can do this. Forget what you think you look like and start practicing. All that practice is exercise, exercise that burns calories, and burnt off calories equal looser waistbands.

You can do it in your garage, your backyard, your deck, your driveway. 30 minutes four times a week. That’s it. How much easier you want it? That five minutes it took you to get back in the groove doesn't count.

Commit to 4 days a week and there’s no way something good won’t happen. Tell me about it…

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The universe has an interesting sense of humor.

Today was the day I decided to use the most in-shape chick at the gym as my fire unbeknownst to her. Well, I say she’s unknowing but in all honesty, there’s always a silent competition between people in the gym or those doing any physical work for that matter. We all have egos and there’s nothing wrong with that. We need them, they help us push further. So, just as much as I’m using her to fuel me through, oh I know she’s using me as well. I don’t mean to sound arrogant in any way but I work hard to keep myself healthy and in shape. I appreciate myself for this and so do others. So, whomever she happens to be today, just the mere fact that I know she’s going to push herself to the limit is enough to fuel me through, as long as I can make it through.

I walk in the gym, say my hellos, and head to the rowing machine. Hmm… who’s here today? … God I miss having a personal trainer … who’s helping me get through this today? Then I turn the corner. Please forgive me for sounding corny here, yes, I said corny Briana (my niece who I know is reading this and always makes fun of how I speak), but as soon as I turn the corner, I swear everything pauses. I told you, corny. Anyway, without physically stopping in my tracks, there is a snapshot, that instant moment when I see Simone…

Simone is in amazing shape, she’s nice, and to me she’s beautiful. Simone is a beast in her work. Like, I wanna be her. Each time I see her, I sit back and watch... IMPRESSIVE! So universe, this is what you’re dishing out to me today? Funny. Thanks. No really, I mean it. I know this is about to be an insanely good cardio session. God please just don’t let me suck wind!

She’s getting geared up to step onto the treadmill as I make my way over to my rowing machine. Please let there be one close to her. Yes! I settle into the machine – water, Gatorade, towel, iPod – that’s the load I carry into the gym. I make sure my shoes are tied well; this can never be used as a reason to stop. Though using Simone as my juice I just might need a freakin’ break! I make sure my Wheaties© cap is on snug and put my water and Gatorade at a comfortable reach. I look in Simone’s direction as she’s preparing to get on the treadmill. I’ve seen her do a few treadmill workouts and she always has the incline set on The Himalayas. She’s crazy and I don’t think today will be any different. She looks up, sees me watching her and winks at me. I wink back and now it’s go time! I’m focused on my goal which is to push strong through to the end of the workout because I know I can and Simone is going to make me prove it.

10 minutes in and the warm-up is over. Push a little harder, pull a bit faster, breathe! 28 minutes in… feeling great. 37 minutes… just keep moving because it’s easier than starting over. 44 minutes… at this point I’m assuming she’s going for an hour and that’s only 16 minutes away. I’ll have an hour of solid cardio but I’d also be more than happy to stop right now! CAN’T! Simone is still going and I refuse to stop before her! No more count down, just watch Simone. Her legs are incredible. Arms… shoulders… perfect! She’s dropping her incline. Whew! But she’s still going. Don’t watch the clock Candace, just keep it moving. Incline falls a bit more… keep going. She’s done… I’m done… 1 hour! OMG!!! WTF!! That was serious. Take a breather before standing up, get some electrolytes flowing through my system, much better. As I lift my head Simone is looking at me. She winks again and mouths ‘thank you’. I lift my Gatorade to her, bow my head and reciprocate the thanks.

I knew I wouldn’t be hard pressed to find someone to feed from to get through my workout. But the universe gave me something else entirely… Ms. Simone. Thanks for the sizzle darling!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ahhh... Relief!

I'm going to be completely honest with you ladies... I've been a lazy bum lately and because of this, my back is flaring up, yes, more than usual. Can I blame it on the economy? I mean, it is affecting us all and I'm no different -- I've lost a few clients because of it. And being that I still need to eat, keep my clothes clean, buy my contacts lenses, and pay $3.17 a gallon for gas, I now have a part-time job. Thank you God! But in doing this, my workouts began to fall off, or I began to neglect them I should say. I had legit reasons of course - 'I'm tired'; 'Just 5 more minutes and I'm up'; 'I promised my girlfriend I'd meet her for coffee this morning so I'll get my workout in later, PROMISE!'; and when later comes - 'Oh it's too dark to go for a run now'. Yeah, a complete lazy bum! As a result, my back began to tighten and even the slightest movements made me grimace. OUCH! Not good... no es bueno!

I did continue my stretches though but I can feel weakness in my hips, my back and my groin. Ok ok, so I can’t blame the economy and I know I’ve spiraled in this madness long enough so it’s to the drawing board, time to plan out tomorrow’s workout. There’s no better way to get back into the groove of things than to just jump in – tomorrow I’m doing legs!

I wake up early, not allowing myself to hit snooze, and have a good breakfast. Rested and fueled it’s time to get to work….

Most of you know that I really don’t like going to the gym but I choose to go in this instance because I need some accountability. Everyone at the gym knows I’m a Personal Trainer so I figure it will be impossible for me to go in and be a slouch. Yeah, there’s a bit of ego involved but in this case, the ego gives a nice boost.

I walk in, say my hellos and pick my treadmill – the first one on the corner, the one everyone has to walk by. I plug in the iPod, set my speed at 8.0 mph, and with Madonna exploding in my ears, I go! I imagine people are saying, ‘She just got on that thing. I know she’s not breathing hard already?!’ I suck it up and keep it moving. 10 minutes, an elevated heart rate, and a few sweat beads later, the warm up is done and it’s time to work.

I position myself on the leg press, set my weight, take a deep breath, push, exhale. Again… and again… and again… 20! Shake ‘em out, go again. Presses… Lunges… Lunge Jumps… Squats… Hamstring Curls… Box Jumps… Whew! Now there are a few gentle streams of sweat rolling from the top of my head, down my back, to the waist line of my cotton shorts which soaks it all up. I mentally tell everyone, ‘How you like me now?! Slouch? I don’t think so!’ Three more sets and I can rightfully claim my crown as ‘Queen of the Gym’.

That last set was killer! Breakfast is wearing thin but I don’t stop until the very last hop onto the 18” box. ---- DONE!!!!

I finish my work on the floor and I stretch everything; my butt, my legs, my back. Umm… that’s good stuff. As I’m walking out of the gym, I realize that my back isn’t hurting. I stop, do a kick body scan, no pain.

I’m always saying that it’s keeping my body in shape that helps to alleviate most of my back pain. What, did I forget this? I guess I did for a minute. I was too busy wallowing in the fact that I’d lost clients; money was dissipating and basically ‘whoa is me’. Well, here’s proof positive that I was right and that endorphins are no joke!

Ahh… relief. Relief from the wallowing because in these times, I’m extremely grateful I was able to find a part-time job, and one I actually like, and relief from the weakness I felt overtaking me. I have too much pride to feel feeble for too long.

I think I’ll go to the gym again tomorrow and pick the most in shape, hard-working chick to be my inspiration. I want to use the rowing machine and I have to stay on it as long as she’s working out. If I can do open ocean rowing where the water is constantly pushing me around, I think I handle a stationary machine.

I’ll let you know…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Ok... I'm officially determined to learn how to shimmy!

Last Friday I spent the evening mesmerized by the swirling circles of smoke, rich hued fabrics floating in the air, and snakes wrapped around beautifully shaped women who were proud to express their sensual, feminine selves. If you've ever seen these beautiful, oriental dancers, then you know they're not the ultra-thin, Barbie-doll, fantasy, make believe women. These girls have curves! And the beauty of it is... they love them and they know how to move them! I want that!

So... I did some research to find my class and I think I found the perfect instructor, the only thing is her new sessions don't begin until September. But I have a splendid filler... 'Shimmy' on the Fit TV network. It's a 30 minute show that takes you step by step and then pieces it all together. I love it!

In addition to it being fun, it's also a really great workout and brings your awareness to your whole body. I found the classes to be inexpensive, averaging about $60 for 6-8 sessions, but following along with the show is free... well, you do have to pay your cable or Direct TV bill but no extra fees on top of that.

I love dancing. It's just you and the rhythms and what you feel. I'm so looking forward to learning the 'Shimmy', the hip circles, the hip drops, moving my body like a bandy snake.

I'll be hitting Target this weekend to pick up a hula hoop to practice moving the hips (a suggestion from my girlfriend... good one missy!) All I need now is a bindi, some cymbals and it's 'Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop!'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Have To Give In Order To Receive...

My whole body is tingling! I just had a wonderful physical experience.

I left my house headed to coffee with pen, pad, blackberry, research materials and mind focused on getting some writing done. I've been experiencing a bit of paucity in this area lately, truly by no one's hand other than my own, and the tightness had started to take hold of my right shoulder (this is where I happen to hold my stress).

To be more specific, and this will give you a little homework, my rhomboids, scalpulae, and trapezius become increasingly tighter to the point it actually raises my right shoulder, begins to move down the side of my arm and I develop a headache from hell and no pain medication will release it. Once I remove the stress, and with the help of Matthew, my massage therapist, my shoulder drops, the headache dissipates and Candace moves out of the 'leave me alone' mode. So, being that I'm aware of the issue and I know how to remove it, this morning was dedicated to do just that.

My stress was caused by me and my lack of doing, my lack of writing. So, I'm sitting at my table, scribbling away, feeling authentically good, and a chatterbox walks up and asks if he can sit with me. Obviously he sees me working and focused because he approaches the situation with, 'may I sit with you? I promise I'll be quiet'. Don't misconstrue, he is a nice man, we always chat when we see each other and it's always pleasant. But I wasn't looking for company and I did not desire company. So I say to myself, I'm perfectly comfortable with him sitting here but I will continue to work. He said he would be quiet which means he understands I'm working so, sure, have a sit. We have a quick repartee and I'm back to me. Less than a minute goes by and something is brewing at the table, he needs something, I can sense it. Now my authentically good feeling moves to, 'Geez, what? I don't have anything to give. I don't feel like being nice right now. I'm working. Leave me alone. Why did I open up my space?' I even send a friend a text asking them to call me so I can excuse myself without coming off as a bitch.

He breaks the silence with, 'Can I say something?' 'Sure', I say. He's noticed that I'm reading about nutrition and wants to tell me he just ran across a book, two books actually, on the subject. He includes what I believe is too much backstory, I'm a very to-the-point and matter of fact type. As I'm listening to him 'be quiet', I keep telling myself, with a touch of causticity, 'Candace, simply listen. There's something good for you in his words. You'll learn something. Take it. You need it.' At the end of his chat, I realized that I had just received some good information, two books that I want to read but I noticed that I was begrudgingly making note of them. I had to ask myself, 'How dare you? How dare you be such a bitch when everyday you walk out of your door asking God to send you what you need, asking for help!?' So I told the chatterbox and God, THANK YOU!

Instead of me continuing to call him 'Him' and 'The Chatterbox', his name is Henry and he was brought to me today because he needed my help and I needed to give something. Henry was troubled by a family situation and needed a release. I won't go into detail but after talking with him, the tears in his eyes dried up, his spirit lifted and he had a smile on his face.

An hour has passed and we finish our conversation. I excuse myself because I really do have to get some work done and as I'm getting into my truck, I realize the tightness in my shoulder has significantly diminished. My mind is immediately flooded with the thought of the importance of giving. This is not said with any slice of ego but I have a gift of calmness. I didn't tell myself this. I receive it from others almost on a daily basis so I simply accept it. Henry was hurt and needed clarity. Once I got outside of myself, I was able to give him that, and in return the Universe gave back to me in the form of great information and releasing the grip on my head, neck and shoulder. And as I'm sharing this with you, it's falling away even more.

I want to leave you with something I read last week. It's a promise to yourself but I forgot it for a minute.

Promise yourself...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel there is something inside them.
To be just as enthusiastic about others success as your own.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
Promise yourself to be...
Too large for worry.
Too strong for fear.
Too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Let's Begin...

As I am in the process of following my dream to create a television program that will help YOU discover and unleash your power, I need you to be in the process of developing that wonderful base of fitness. Remember, it's this base that will give you the ability to try anything you desire.

Getting your physical body in good condition is not as daunting as you may think. It doesn't take restricting your diet to air puffs and seaweed, nor does it take expensive gym memberships. What it does take is simply having a bit of fun.

As a Personal Trainer I am about to make a startling confession.... The older I get the less I want to go to the gym! But I refuse to give up my great legs or my six-pack and as they say, 'necessity is the mother of all invention'. So in order for me to keep my body in great shape without going to the gym I've had to find new ways to test and push myself. And it is with these ways that I can help you develop that base and the body you desire without spending a lot of money. So, let's begin...

Ok, we need cardio that breaks a sweat, some serious strength training and flexibility that will keep you moving. How do we get it? Do you take your kids to the park? Well, these playgrounds aren't only good for exhausting your kids so they'll sleep; they become wonderful obstacle courses for us. There are things to climb over, crawl under, and things that move as we try to maneuver around them like cargo nets. Try this plan:

Cardio. Basic jumping jacks – No equipment needed; great for your calves and shoulders; go for at least 3 minutes.

Upper Body. Monkey Bars – They will awaken your entire upper body! They’re perfect for pull ups or be that kid again and go from end to end. If you’re brave enough to try the pull ups do as many as you can and build from there. If you decide to go from end to end, do that walk at least 5 times.

Lower Body. Benches, Steps or any flat platform – Perfect for tightening the butt and legs! Place your foot on the surface and step up. Stay on the same leg for at least 25 reps; I know it burns… do it anyway! Now switch legs.

Total Body. Cargo Net – Make your way up and back down again. This is great for every piece of you plus it’s unstable. Anything that throws you off balance is perfect for your core.

Abs. Back to the monkey bars for leg lifts – Hang on to the bar, tighten your abs and bring your knees toward your chest. Hold for a couple seconds then lower your knees. Try to do this without swinging (the tighter your abs the less you swing). You have at least 20 reps.

There. Five exercises. That’s a good start. Wherever the monkey bars are, begin your cardio on the opposite end of the park – about 100 yards so you incorporate more movement. Here’s the visual:

Start with your cardio. Run to the monkey bars – upper body. Run to the flat surface – lower body. Run to the cargo net – total body. Run back to the monkey bars – abs. Run back to start.

Got it? Good. Do it again… and again… and again. Yes ladies, that equals four. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but it takes work to get what you want and you can knock this out in about 30-45 minutes. Finish it off with at least 15 minutes of stretching and you've put in 45 minutes - 1 hour. That's good work girls! Does it sound like too simple of a plan? Oh, I can make it more intricate and difficult... and I will. But let's start here shall we?

All of the equipment is provided for you (FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE!), and will be there everyday you decide to show up. The only purchase I suggest you make is a pair of gloves. I’m sure you remember that nice fiery feeling you got when you used to play on the monkey bars.

There are a few good things about playing in the park: 1. It’s never crowded so you won’t have to wait on equipment 2. You’re outside! 3. You lose the intimidating factor that a gym can have 4. You’re outside! I know, that’s twice but it has a tremendously positive effect on the psyche

If you don’t live near a park, hit the high school track or your own backyard or your garage or clear a space on your living room floor. Replace the pull ups with pushups and the hanging abs with basic floor crunches. If you don't have space to run that means you have more jumping jacks to incorporate. There’s always an alternate girls all you have to do is pay attention to your surroundings.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Love Saturdays...

...because these are MY days and I dedicate them to paying attention. Saturdays are very quiet for me because I spend them alone, just me, my camera, my legal pad, and my Sharpies.

I'm on a new task today. My girlfriend Elly gave me a beautiful gift for my birthday. Too many times she'd heard me say I wanted to purchase a canvas, some paints and just see what happens. Well, Elly is an artist. Her walls are filled with her artwork and her medium is oil on canvas. Bright, vibrant, moving pieces greet you as you enter every room and her perfect gift to me was a canvas of my own. My only task now is to find something I want to paint and she'll teach me how.

So I'm signing off to go enjoy my Saturday and to find that piece for me. Whether it's a photo I take or a postcard I purchase, I'm really looking forward to our weekends, days or stolen moments of 'Martinis and Art'!

Thank you Elly, for not only giving me the perfect gift but for being a wonderful gift as well.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Go Out On A Limb...

The situation that we are all living in today should spark in us the understanding that possessions, stature and wealth are fleeting. After all of that has been peeled or stripped away, what’s left are the roots, the base, YOU!

Who are you? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that question many times, we all have. But who actually listens for the answer? It’s a question that gets tossed around like the latest trend, having no real significance unless you truly pay attention. Some of us think that if we go down on bended knee, ask the question, then God will miraculously reveal to us the meaning of our lives. Hey, if it happens for you that way, more power to ya! But I have found that it takes immersing me into different experiences to discover who I am. Yes, I ask the questions, ‘Who is Candace?’, ‘What does she like/dislike?’, ‘What is she good at?’ The proverbial, ‘Why am I here?’ But I don’t sit on my doorstep waiting on FedEx to deliver my box of answers. I’ve learned that answers take discovery and discovery is born from experience. Now, I won’t lie to you, this can be the scary part but everything is not going to be a piece of cake ladies. Remember, it’s that same cake that’s adding the inches to your hips, clogging the arteries, and literally stopping you in your tracks. It’s gonna be a little scary sometimes, you may have to break a sweat, and there might be dark, creepy crawlies around. This is when we have to put on our big girl panties and deal with what comes because that’s when the magic happens.

I’ll share a little story with you (you’re gonna get a lot of these if you’re reading my blog and I want you to share yours so please leave comments).

I’ve been in the health & fitness field for a long time now. When I was living in Atlanta, a friend of mine was starting a magazine and asked if I would write a fitness article for her first publication. At the time, all I’d ever written were the dreaded English Lit papers but in support of my friend, and thinking ‘How hard can 500 words be’, I said yes. Ok, so harder than I thought but a total eye opener. I had no desires to be a writer, I wrote the papers in high school and college because I had to, not because I had a love for it. But that one article for my friend turned into three for her publication. A publisher, John Bunch, saw those articles and said to me, ‘These are good and if you can write for someone else like this, then you can write for yourself’. This led to the production of a monthly health & fitness newsletter. I’ll be honest, I still did not embrace the fact that I was discovering a wonderful gift; I didn’t know that I was. I simply wrote what I knew which is a very surface way of seeing things. Then one day, I received an email from a woman who told me my words and stories brought tears to her eyes. Not sad tears, but life changing tears and she wanted me to meet her daughter to give her some encouragement in order to make it through her approaching scoliosis surgery. (By now, you all know my back story). Her email cracked open the portal that I needed to travel through in order to understand my place in this world. She showed me that I had the power to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I received numerous emails and had countless conversations with women telling me how my words sparked something in them to make a change for the better. Being a catalyst is an amazing feeling. I keep a folder of these emails and go through when I need some juice. Eventually, I began writing press releases and various letters for others, which turned into me moving to California because I wrote a treatment for a television show.

Packing up and moving 3000 miles away from family, friends, everything I’ve ever known, brought out the creepy crawlies. But just before I left I received a wonderful gift, a book entitled ‘She’ by Kobi Yamada. It’s a beautiful publication filled with inspiration, fun, color and my absolute favorite page has this statement…

She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly. Celebrate her FAITH.

If you’ve been told you’re good at something, if you think you’re good at something, explore it! Ask questions about it. Go buy a book about it. Don’t have the funds, libraries are still free. Or, just go to Borders or Barnes & Noble, read the book there and put it back on the shelf. If someone is in the same section as you that probably means you have some of the same interests. Go out on a limb, say hello, ask a few questions. Remember, answers come from discovery, discovery comes from experiences. It’s time to adopt the motto, ‘What could it hurt?’

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Path...

One of the most important lessons I've learned in my lifetime is to pay attention. Another lesson, and just as important, is to get to know the people around me.

So, two women are sitting at a bar... just kidding, kinda.

I was sitting at one of my favorite bars, Nick's in Laguna Beach, and there was a woman sitting next to me reading. Remembering that ever important rule 'get to know the people around me', I introduced myself, asked what she was reading and was presented with a wonderful gift, 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron. This is a powerful, powerful book to help you unleash those creative juices.

Every sentence in this book is a lesson, but one in particular told me to 'explore the things that interests me'. How many times had I said to myself, my friends, that I would love to take up photography. Once I read this particular note, I couldn't just keep saying it. Well, I guess I could but I was already having that experience. My whole purpose for reading this book was to UNLEASH HER! I had a camera, all that was left to do was point and shoot. So I did. And I continue to.

These are simply photos of me actively paying attention. I'm fortunate to live near the ocean and when there's low tide, beautiful ecosystems are unveiled, as in the first photograph. The second, is of a wonderful friend sitting in a spectacular garden. What could make a better combination?

It's a great feeling, in addition to an amazing sense of accomplishment to look around my home and know that my walls and shelves are filled with what I see happening around me everyday. I never go anywhere without my camera. I think what comes out is pretty cool. It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks because it's for me. It's my therapy, my learning, my path.

What do you keep telling yourself you'd like to experience?

Get Ready!

I'm in the process of creating an innovative television program that will show you how to keep your body humming along in tip-top condition and you'll do it by having fun! I'm telling you this because I want you to come along with me.

The show is for you, for women. It will open you up to a world of adventure; it will show you how masterfully powerful you really are; it will show you how fitness is synonomous with fun; and oh, how good it is to be a girl! When the show happens, you have to be ready to come along for the ride and that's what this blog is all about. I will show you how to develop a wonderful base of fitness with very little money, if any, that will then alow you to try anything you desire.

What do you desire? What have you always secretely wanted to try but never have for whatever reason? And what are those reasons? Be honest. Is it money? Time? Do you feel you lack the skills?

Well, skills can be developed, time can be found, and by becoming just a bit resourceful, money becomes a much smaller hurdle.

Are you ready? I'll show you how. Stay tuned!