Rebel with a Cause....Cycling for the Cure

I love road biking, am passionate about  finding a cure for diabetes and supporting the 30,000,000 American diabetics, my 21 year old son Nate among them. Since Nate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2011 I've combined my passion for cycling with my commitment to giving back by becoming the three time #1 fundraiser on the annual Tour de Cure bike ride for the American Diabetes Association.

I experience a sense of exhilaration and freedom riding out on the beautiful country roads we have here in Upstate New York.

My inner rebel is awakened as I grind out a hard uphill climb followed by the exciting rush of a high speed ride down the other side of that hill.

That same inner rebel is at play as I reach out to raise funds for a cause I feel so strongly about. With one million more Americans being diagnosed every year we must confront the diabetes epidemic head on or it threatens to crush our health care system.

This commitment to set a lofty fundraising goal every year, telling  my son's story and expressing my passion for this critical cause enriches my soul.  I get the added bonus of sharing the journey on my bike with many of my closest friends and colleagues.

Finding Strength

I don't share the stories from my past heroin addiction because I want validation for how far I have come. I don't want a pat on the back, and I do not want to be told that I am amazing or that I am lucky. Im not the kind of person who wants attention, in fact im very introverted. The reason im now sharing my story is because so many people are dying from fatally strong drugs. Many families are losing loved ones; parents losing children, siblings losing their brothers and sisters. The truth is that although I have come a long way from where I once was, I can honestly say that there is nothing special about me. The reason that I do share my past is to show others that our personalities, the way we feel, the things we do, even the way in which we think, can all change to be anything that we would like. The truth is that I was not a depressed person, I was feeling depressed. I was not an anxious person, I was feeling anxious. I was not an angry person, I was feeling angry. And I was not an addict, I was struggling with addiction. We all possess the ability to change. This is not philosophy, but science. Our brains are constantly changing, in fact the neurons in your brain are firing in new and lasting ways just as you read this. We are always changing; our world is always changing. The problem is that mentally, we continue to live in the past. We are always reliving old memories, basing our feelings and our current state off past circumstances. When we accept that we are always changing we then gain a position of power. We gain true power, and that is power over ourselves. This process is not instant, which is why so many people give up before they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. No, this process is life long, and it is one of constant subjective inquiry. It is a process where we develop our own moral standing, and we begin to set standards for ourselves, while we begin to shed our expectations of others. It is when we take responsibility for the way our own lives turn out that we become fulfilled. Life rewards the free, and freedom begins with what may be the most difficult part of the process; taking accountability for the things that we have control over. As the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said, "You have power over your mind- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

Living the Truth is Rebellious

On the July 4th holiday I find myself troubled by what seems to be a complete disregard for integrity coming from Washington. Mr. Trump and his enablers don't seem to care about the best interests of our nation or who gets hurt by their lies.

Truth is typicallly thought of as factual, authentic or in accord with reality. We know the opposite of Truth would be falsehood. We are experiencing a period of time in which the Truth has become highly subjective and debatable. I wonder what the value proposition is in lying vs. telling the truth and why do most of us feel comfortable telling "white" lies as opposed to " big" lies?

Integrity has always been a key value in my life. I've told myself for years that I'm a man of my word. Yet if  I'm truly honest, the biggest lies I tell are to myself. The real question for me  is how can I consistently discover my real inner Truth and overcome my tendency towards self deception?

The Truth is an ultimate reality in the spiritual sense and views of it have been debated by the philosophers, theologians and scholars of the world forever. Few of us haven't heard the biblical passage from the New Testament : "the Truth will set you free" (John  8:32).  In this context, ther  are countless writings on Truth in all of the religious scriptures. As a long time spiritual seeker myself, The God of my understanding is the embodiment of Truth, beauty and goodness.

I strive to channel my inner rebel/higher power to grow mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I have come to realize that I have to be vigilant in challenging my ego's tendency to exaggerate, distort and manipulate. For me that is why living the Truth is rebellious.  As a nation  I hope and pray that we can  come to experience a  time of greater  Truth and integrity in the not too distant future


On My Mind Angrily...

I've really had enough listening to the faux debates raging in our Congress over Healthcare. Let's put the consequences of what these people are talking about in perspective.The main/only ambition of the Republican leadership is to free up sufficient funds from Medicaid to give to the wealthiest in our nation, believing that all of our needs and faults can be solved by making these folks even wealthier. The infamous "trickle down" economic benefit to the middle and needy classes, despite not having worked before, is au current (again). Ryan and McConnell have engineered a plan, which accounts for some 17% of our GNP, and are single-handedly ramming it down the throats of their gutless members. The only light at the end of that tunnel will be when the constituents of the poorest states, those with the loudest (but morally weakest) representatives, find themselves without insurance. How in the world does one place party over constituents - moral corruption at its worst. Well, there are consequences to what Congress may enact - for the moment a few Republican members are standing up to leadership and there is a glimmer of light that enough will stand firm. Here are some disturbing facts. 22,000,000 Americans with current health insurance will lose their protection if the bill passes. The most damage will affect our youngest and oldest citizens as they are the most fragile. Maternity care will be unavailable as will neonatal care for the sickest newborns. 5% of citizens over the age of 65 require facility healthcare now. As they age further, 25% of the oldest Americans will be in care facilities. 70% of the 1.3M in facilities currently use Medicaid! The elimination of healthcare will result in needless deaths that will measure in the thousands per year and the hundreds of thousands per decade. That is wholesale slaughter, my friends. If only one person out of 10,000 now insured, loses care and dies, that is 22,000 deaths (22,000,000 x .001) a year or 220,000 per decade, which is four times the number of KIA in Vietnam... For the smug out there, particularly for the supporters of the Republican scheme, here is your future too. Having utilized the services of tax attorneys and CPAs many of you have had your aging parents "spend down" their wealth so that they can make use of government programs, specifically Medicaid. Clever as that may seem, without Medicaid as a safety net, those of your parents who cannot pay their way without the government program, will look to you for support. that is known as being bitten in the ass, eh? Home care costs, on average, are $3600/month (range of $2500-$6500), or $43,200/year. With Alzheimer's, the cost is another $18,000/year, or $61,200/year. Someone has to care for your parents, no? Finally, I hope my venting is wasted and that Republicans with souls and those who hold civilized moral standards, will stand up and be counted as "nays", so the needy and the almost wealthiest can breath easier...

On My Mind…

Two very dangerous words...BREAKING NEWS...Just when we thought that the press had been sufficiently chastised for their flagrant over-reaction to just about everything, we find ourselves back to square one. Arguably, it was press exuberance for "the boy bites dog" stories that stole the election from HRC. That the combination of having a belligerent clown and an "untrustworthy woman" wouldn't be enough for the video press to get off on, they are now doubling down with non-existent recall of what might have brought us to this place. Shortened memories of abetting the hype, following hysterical story-lines, and igniting rumor to flagrant explosion, I thought might have some sobering effect on the Fourth Estate. Not so. The screamers, the ranters, the newbies seeking recognition, and their networks, are colluding once again, albeit competitively, to raise their flags of dubious profundity. I, for one, have chosen to refrain from joining the viewing crowd this time around. It matters little which network one turns to, whether it be FOX or MSNBC, NBC, CBS, or ABC. Remove the the shrillness of "BREAKING NEWS", and each serves up the same information but with their own parochial view. What passes for news today was seen only in county fairs of old. Then, it was the freak shows - "come one, come all, see the bearded lady...see the man with 43 the half man half ape read from from the ancient book of psalms while walking on fire." The hucksters, the ring masters, and their bosses are after the same Another responsibility falls to the "people", to those of us seeking information without slant, data without aggressive perspective, and calmness in tone. Sorry, but the sideshow freaks of today - the Trump cast of misfits and the sorrowfully impotent Democrats, cannot be churned by the barkers by yelling "SEE 'EM, SEE 'EM, the freaks of nature are yours to see...just cough up a buck...don't pay, folks...

Let It Go

I used to take everything very seriously and quite frankly sometimes I still do. Growing up, my mom used to say to me “Meggie, let it go, it doesn’t matter.” Years later, I now know she was right because although I remember her saying let it go, I have no recollection of what she was advising me to let go of because it really didn’t matter in the long run. In the heat of the moment though it is often hard to let it go. One of my favorite yogis had a t-shirt on that said “Transcend the Bullsh*t.” I loved her shirt (and am on the hunt for one for myself!) and transcending the unnecessary is such a great way to consider letting it go. Outshining and rising above are the keys to releasing. Neither of those means pretending something didn’t happen and neither diminishes the importance of what happened. Rather, they require us to keep moving forward in order to shine brightly and be our true selves. So how do we move forward when we take things seriously or are bogged down by the grind?

Here’s what’s working well for me: • Taking a deep breath (or ten deep breaths) to pause and stop the mental spiral • Asking myself will this matter in five minutes, five days, five weeks, five years to put it in perspective • Identifying three specific things I’m grateful for to redirect my focus to what really matters • Walking my dog, meditating and practicing yoga daily to get out of my head When we hold on to what no longer serves us, we’re weighed down. Instead, let’s let go in order to fly and live authentically. Meg Burton Tudman Health Coach | Yoga Instructor

How to End an Unproductive Relationship with a Three-Letter Word

Several days ago I added some new practices to my life as part of my 90-day health plan.  I only have one goal.  To do this for 90 days. That's a big goal for me. I  have never gotten past 30 days doing anything related to health changes. I decided that focusing on diet and food probably wasn't going to cut it.  I needed to go deeper into my heart, mind and soul. So I am journaling.  I have many Christian friends who practice writing or meditating on Bible passages, and it seems to ground them in very beautiful ways.

Don Miguel Ruiz's Little Book of Wisdom: The Essential Teachings by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr is the book I am using for inspiration. Each day I randomly take a passage and then write briefly about it. I have to do it first thing in the morning before my day gets away from me.  I do it at the same time I am filling out a log of what I plan to eat, how I will exercise, how I am feeling and my weight.  It is all part of the PLAN.

You may now be asking some questions:  Why are you doing this?  Why 90 days? Why do you think this will work? Why that book? Why are you weighing yourself each day?

Okay, maybe you are not be asking these questions, but I would be.  Why? Because I am a Why Woman.

I have always believed that if I can find the answer to Why, I can change either myself or someone else.  Too often someone else.

Here's the truth.  Asking Why makes me look backwards, stay in my head, make judgements, question my choices and live in a place of regret.  Most importantly,  it immobilizes me.  I get so caught up in analysis that I am continuously in paralysis.

The thing about my 90-day plan? It actually requires action.  I need to move every day. I need to stay under a certain calorie count.  It requires action based on discipline minus distraction.   (I love distraction!  I wonder Why? Damn it, caught in the Why trap again.)

All these thoughts have come from my passage for today from the Little Book:

People often say, “Tell me why! I want to know why!” ‘’Why” is not important. Something is or is not. You take it or you leave it; and that is it. There are no right or wrong choices, you make them right or you make them wrong. You can create a new dream, by making choices, by making decisions and taking action with awareness.

Boy, that is brutal.  Give up my Why? That may be harder than giving up Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.   But this Ruiz wisdom feels gut right.   And I am not even going to ask myself  Why?  Instead I am going to focus on the How.

I'll keep you posted.

Forgiveness is Rebellious

As I strive to live in a higher state of consciousness, what has come up for me recently is the healing power of forgiveness. I've known for years that resentments of any kind are huge impediments to inner peace.  A new realization about what forgiveness truly is has enabled me to open up to how it works in our lives. To be clear, forgiveness doesn't mean we just "turn the other cheek" or overlook the wrong done to us or what we may have done to ourselves. It's a process in which we take complete responsibility for every aspect of our lives. We see everything and everyone as reflections of ourselves. Coming to this realization takes a willingness to face our victimhood and the courage to transcend the limitation of that mentality.

You may ask why forgiveness is rebellious. Our egos thrive on being victimized and holding on to resentments. Within all of us is an inner guide (rebel) or higher power. Many refer to it as our soul, spirit or God within. Whatever we feel comfortable calling it, I know it exists from personal experience. The process of tuning in to it requires an awareness of the ego's hold on our minds. By becoming more aware, we are rebelling against the ego and the chaos and havoc it so often wreaks.

To live a life of higher consciousness, truth and peace requires a discipline to discern the difference between our ego (lower) mind and our inner guide (higher) mind. I rebel against my ego by actively seeking conscious contact with my higher Self taking regular time for myself in quiet solitude with meditation, contemplation and prayer. To embrace forgiveness is like crossing the bridge from darkness to light, chaos to true peace of mind. We will then find ourselves on the road to a life of true happiness, with a real connection to the wisdom of our inner guide.

*Photo courtesy of Mehosh Photography:

Surrendering to Mother Nature

Several weeks ago we  experienced a massive wind storm that knocked out the power to our homes and workplaces. It was followed a few days later by a major winter snow storm that dumped two feet of snow on most of our area. Businesses and schools were closed for days. People had to scramble to find warm shelter for themselves while awaiting the restoration of their electrical, telephone and cable services. Our usual "always on" lifestyles came to a screeching halt as we had to scramble just to find warm places to sleep. Our phones, tablets and computers couldn't be readily charged   and some of the cable lines were down longer than the power.

While many of my friends and colleagues  complained about this huge inconvenience, I found it a welcome respite, a time to slow down and bask in the silence.

Our lives today are so dependent on our electronics. For many it can even be called an actual addiction. Having to live without light, heat and refrigeration is tough. When we can't charge our devices  and the cable goes out, it can be a huge crisis.  Have we forgotten what it's like to unplug and just be?

When Mother Nature goes on a tear disrupting the  day to day services we take for granted,  the only logical thing to do is surrender. Webster dictionary defines surrender as follows: " to ageee to stop fighting, hiding, resisting etc.because you know you will not win or succeed."

When forces outside our control like the weather disrupt the things we take for granted in our modern lives, we are prone to feel very powerless. While we may rationally know we can't fight the powerful forces of nature or "acts of God" we still resist being in  the experience. I get we have to do what we can to be stay safe when these storms occur. What I've  learned on my path of spiritual discovery is that if you fight you lose, surrender you win.

Rebelling Against Fickle Men

I've been living in the on-line dating world for awhile. Everything about me wants to rebel against this strange way to meet guys and maybe even find romance. But there actually doesn't seem to be too many alternatives. Generally it can be a lot fun.  I like the dating part and meeting new people.  I'm not too nervous because I don't take it too seriously.  But when I do, I seem to get myself into trouble. Why?

Fickle men.

Growing up hippy, I never learned manspeak.  So I actually thought that when a guy says:  "I need some space because of life issues"  he was saying "I need some space because of life issues."  And when he said: "It's not you. It's me."  he meant "It's not you. It's me."

I really truly did not know it meant: "Two days ago I thought I loved you, but guess not. Bye."

Fickle men.

When did it become so difficult to just say: "You are cool.  I am cool.  But the relationship probably isn't.  Let's split and discover new adventures."

Come on,  that can't be all that hard. Why don't guys just say what they mean?  Or maybe they don't know.  Hmmm...

And how can you go from 100% in to 100% out in one breath? Doesn't it take time to get over someone you have shared your body, heart and mind with?

And wouldn't you actually like to be friends with an ex-lover?  I would.

These are men I truly liked or I would not spend time with them.  Romance is cool.  But I really really adore my guy friends.

So why exactly do these splits need to be so clean? Isn't life supposed to be sort of messy?

As you can hear,  I've got way more questions than answers about this whole dating/romance/who knows thing.

Fickle life.

Balance With Reiki

In the busy world, we live in finding balance and relieving stress is what many are striving for. There are many ways to do this and finding what works for your lifestyle is key. One practice I would like to share with you is the old Japanese healing method of Reiki. Reiki is an ancient technique for reducing stress, promoting relaxation and encouraging the body into a balanced and healed state of well-being. Reiki was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900's and it is administered by techniques that have been practiced for hundreds of years. It is a gentle, subtle, yet powerful energy healing art that involves our spiritual level, mind and body. Through a Reiki session our bodies can replenish, repair and remove blockages that can be damaged or distressed. Reiki can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create an effect that is appropriate.

Some of the benefits of Reiki are it soothes the progress of healing; assists with relaxation and stress relief; physical pain and discomfort is reduced; self-awareness is enhanced; it promotes increased energy levels and creativity; the immune system is stimulated and Reiki can also assist children going through emotional issues such as loss of a loved one or parents separating. So, you may be wondering exactly what happens during a Reiki treatment? The Reiki treatment room is quiet and comfortable similar to a massage room. You are fully clothed and the session can either take place with you lying on a massage table or sitting in a chair. There is no actual touching of the body. The healing happens as the Reiki practitioner works around and over your body and the entire session is approximately 1 hour. The session impacts people differently, you may feel warmth around you, some experience a pulsing sensation and others see vivid images. Many are so relaxed they fall asleep. Some sessions can be longer and more intense healing can be done through crystals and Reiki techniques that have been attuned to Reiki Masters.

I am a qualified and internationally registered Lightarian ReikiTM Master with the Lightarian Institute, a Karuna Reiki® Master registered with The International Center for Reiki Training, an Independent Usui Reiki Master, Reiki practitioner and Reiki teacher. I have been practicing and teaching Reiki for over 7 years and am available for in person Reiki sessions in Toronto as well as Distance Reiki treatments for wherever you are located. More information can be found at Rubiena Duarte

Tuning Out the News and Social Media for Sanity

Recently my experience is that of being constantly bombarded by information overload. The world today has become far too over stimulated and the news is all too often unsettling to say the least. The headlines pop up on my iPhone, laptop, iPad  and television. My face is all too often found staring at a screen. Whether it comes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard or the traditional news outlets, it's been a huge challenge to turn off the devices and turn my focus inward.

The very divisive tone and rancor being communicated has served to heighten my anxiety level and I know I'm not alone. The simple solution I've discovered for myself has been to take periodic news and social media "fasts".

Last week I took 4 days off  while I was  enjoying my avocation as a ski instructor for the President's week vacation. Every time I tune out, it's amazing how much more serene I feel. I say this is a simple solution, yet it isn't always easy. It takes discipline and self-control. For many of us, constantly checking our news feeds has practically become an addiction. What

I've also discovered for my peace of mind, is the need to remain detached and respectful in my interactions with family and friends about the current political climate. One of the most famous slogans of the 60's rebellion was "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out".

Back then tuning in was supposed to mean getting in touch with your higher self.  Of course that was way before social media and smart phones. Today I suggest revising the slogan as follows: Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop In.

For this rebel it's a strategy for regaining a semblance of balance and enlightened consciousness in my life. Turn off  your device, tune out the insane toxic information overload and drop in to the silence, your true inner self.

Feeling Very Uncomfortable in My White Skin

Recently, I saw two movies that made me very aware of my skin color -- -- Hidden Figures and I Am Not Your Negro. As an aging woman who cherishes easy access to bathrooms, the sight of the brilliant mathematician in Hidden Figures running in heels across the NASA campus to get to the colored-only bathroom literally made me squirm in my seat. I don't think I ever quite got the fact that skin color could stand in the way of the most basic of bodily functions.

The next week I was watching I Am Not Your Negro.  The audience in the theater was quite mixed. It was an audience that would not have existed 50 short years ago.  Somehow, I had forgotten the incredible separateness of this country and the hate-filled walls that segregation created.  I had forgotten that Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X and Medgar Evers all were murdered before they even turned 40.  I had forgotten the bravery of young African-Americans going to school with white children and adults yelling obscenities and spitting on them.  I had forgotten the bodies hanging from trees and the viciousness and violence.

I walked out of the theater with my head down and tears in my eyes. All I felt was shame,  the shame of being a white person in America. The shame of living in a country where the viciousness and violence against people of color is a daily occurrence.

I was trying to explain this feeling to some people and they said: "You can't be blamed for the people before you.  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  You don't act that way." I think that sentiment does not get me off the hook.

Shame is a powerful emotion.  I want to take this shame and make sure it keeps me sensitized to those around me.  I want this shame to drive my actions so that I fight against what I still believe is a very racist country.  I want this shame to remind me of the promise of liberty for ALL in America, and how fragile and broken that promise is unless I and others of all colors hold it close to our heart. I want this shame to keep me uncomfortable in my very privileged white skin because I need to remember how the only thing that separates me from instant discrimination is less pigment in my skin.

I want this shame to help me be brave.

The Winter of My Discontent

It's February in Western New York State and the skies seem even grayer this year than in winter's past. I find myself talking with friends and colleagues that are experiencing a new type of anxiety and depression. I must admit, I'm extremely uneasy as well. Some of this can still be attributed to the weather and lack of sunshine.  However, I'm feeling that much of the distress has to do with our new president and his radical agenda. I get it, the Trump phenomenon was a rebellion. That's what got so many disenfranchised people so fired up to support and vote for him. He ran against a corrupt establishment promising to "drain the swamp" that he claimed had been running our government for too long.  As someone who typically admires rebellious men and women who act as change agents, I am deeply troubled by this so called "rebel" who is now occupying the White House. The kind of rebel I admire is highly principled, honorable and cares about a cause greater than his or herself. Trump is an unhinged con man, who cares only about himself and his "ratings". Since election day and his stunning upset victory, I have experienced a wide range of emotions. I've felt outraged and terrified for my children's future. I have conversations on a daily basis with many people that can't believe this is happening in the United States of America. In the midst of this very dark time, I see a light emerging on the horizon in the form of a rebellion I haven't seen since my youth, when I actively protested the Viet Nam War. How I plan to participate going forward is in the spirit of two of the greatest rebels of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi and the Reverend Martin Luther King. These spiritual giants affected great change in India and the USA without any violence whatsoever, never firing a single shot! I recently had an awakening and realized I couldn't fight anger with anger . I will be actively involved in resisting the Trump agenda with civility and kindness . My commitment is to do so in the spirit of non-violent love and compassion following the examples of Gandhi and the Reverend King.

The Revolution Against Resolutions

On New Year's Eve, Kelly's 7-year old daughter Audrey asked us: "Are you going to set any New Year's Revolutions?  We found the question very funny! It got me thinking once again all about the value or lack thereof of New Year's resolutions. So I'm proposing a "Resolution Revolution". Every year at this time we feel compelled to commit to change everything in our lives that we think needs changing. We love the concept of a clean slate. Vows are made to lose weight, exercise regularly, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, give up wheat and sugar. We commit to be on time and quit wasting our lives perusing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. The gym is always overcrowded for the first 3 weeks of January.

By February most of the new year's resolution people are gone. We no longer have to wait to use our favorite exercise equipment or get a bike in spin class.

I do believe in the value of setting realistic goals that are accompanied by consistent habits for their execution. Why I rebel  against New Year's resolutions is because for the most part they RARELY work. With totally unrealistic expectations on January 1st, we set ourselves up for failure. New Year's resolutions also tend to affirm how much we tell ourselves we're not good enough the way we are. I am not against self- improvement, we should all strive to do the best we can every day. Lofty resolutions get set at the beginning of every year with expectations that the desired changes will magically occur quickly. What is required is a strong foundation of good habits for the long-term.

I think the chances of successful transformation are far greater when we give up the self loathing and comparing our insides to other people's outsides. Let's move from a place of self-love and acceptance. We will have a much greater chance of developing the necessary habits that can bring about the positive lasting change we desire.

Do You Believe in You?

I love a fresh start, a clean slate. While I think something as small as a deep breath can wipe the slate, the end of the year also represents an opportunity to begin again. If you let it, yearend can be a time to celebrate everything you’ve accomplished, all the ways you’ve grown and all the things you’re inspired to undertake in the new year. As you celebrate and look forward, I invite you to consider your ideal state for 2017. With that ideal state in mind, what will you need to change to get to that state? Whether it’s a goal, a new year’s resolution, a fresh intention, or even a different mantra – give thought to what you’d like to embark on and why it’s important to you. That “why” is critical to stay motivated and to give meaning to your changes.

Change can be hard, we’re creatures of comfort and often the devil we know is more comfortable than the one we don’t. That’s why, come mid-February, many people have conveniently forgotten about their new year’s resolutions. Set yourself up for success this year and if you veer off track, take a breath, wipe the slate clean and start again.

Here are some things I do to keep inspiration strong and my head and heart focused on my intentions:

• Write down your intention and post it in a place (or multiple places) where you’ll see it often • Create an inspiration board with images and words that evoke your goal and how it will feel when you accomplish it (if you don’t have a lot of magazines handy, then Pinterest boards are great for this, take a screenshot of your board and use it as your computer wallpaper) • Get an accountability partner who will support you and who you will be responsible to • Visualize achieving your ideal state, imagine all the ways your life will be different in deep detail • Break your resolution into manageable steps and create a schedule to keep moving forward • Track your progress and celebrate big, as well as small, milestones

Let your next breath signal a fresh start and then take your first step towards your new intention, you’ve got this! Meg Burton Tudman Health Coach | Yoga Teacher

Acceptance is Rebellious

I recently drove to a business conference in New York City with a good friend and colleague. On the ride he told me how hard it is for him to accept the behavior of one of his siblings towards their elderly mother. We got into a  somewhat heated conversation about the whole concept of acceptance. The situation just aggravated him no end. He just couldn't get how first accepting what is with his family could potentially lead to either conscious transformation within him or even the remote possibility of a change in his sibling's behavior. You may think "acceptance" is the antithesis of anything rebellious. What I have learned that nothing can be changed until we accept the reality of what is.  In other words, if we are sick , we can't get well unless we accept the reality of our disease and do what is necessary to get healthy. This is one of the primary principles of the recovery movement. The addict can not recover until he or she accepts the fact that they are addicted.

In truth, rebellion is all about affecting change. Often that change is an internal shift in consciousness that can potentially lead to a societal transformation. First we accept the issue that needs to be addressed and then we go about a strategy to change what can be changed.

Life is unpredictable that we do know. Change is uncomfortable, we often avoid it until it hits us hard over the head. We fight and resist the unavoidable need to make a change instead of accepting the fact we must do it. Truth is it's the resistance that makes the change event so stressful. If we accept the reality of any situation in our lives that must be transformed , we can then go about the process in a calmer state of mind.

Life inevitably will bring us many challenges like a loved one passing away. It's very difficult to embrace the challenges when we are feeling intense sorrow and wishing those things never occurred.  If we make a decision now to embrace acceptance in our lives, we may cope with future crises from a different perspective.

To quote Arthur Rubinstein: "Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings."










Celebrate Kindness to Rebel Against the Craziness

There’s a gif floating around social media these days that says “Sprinkle kindness like confetti.” For some reason, whenever I see that quote I picture a fairy showering kindness all over – an image that always makes me chuckle. In my next life, I want to come back as a Kindness Fairy. Who’s with me?! Until then and during these crazy times it’s more important than ever to be kind – to ourselves and to others – to be frank though sometimes it feels like kindness is really hard. One of my yogis said to me recently “I feel like I can be kind again after yoga class.” This struck me as such an awesome, rebellious and brave statement. It’s hard for many of us to even admit to being unkind, never mind proactively finding means to help us get back to being kind.

Responding with kindness takes practice and it can become a habit just like everything else we do. Like any habit though it takes mindfulness, a willingness to change, and repetition in order to get that kindness confetti to stick. I’ve been experimenting with responding with kindness and I realized that it positively impacts me as much as the people I’m sprinkling. I’m more at peace, I’m happier and I have less stress when I come from a place of kindness.

Here are some things I do to help cultivate kindness:

1. Take a deep breath and then respond rather than immediately reacting 2. Practice yoga to clear my mind and alleviate stress 3. Be mindful of the energy I bring into a space, positive energy is contagious 4. Remember that everyone is doing the best they can and we each operate from our own level of consciousness 5. Smile often, especially if the person I’m looking at is frowning

Let’s rebel, let’s celebrate and let’s sprinkle kindness like confetti! Meg Burton Tudman Health Coach | Yoga Teacher

Living an Intentional Balanced Life is Rebellious

Americans pride  themselves on their hard work ethic often to the detriment of their health, relationships and family lives. How often do we hear, "I'm always working", or "I'm available 24/7?" I work in the commercial real estate industry and am constantly told by many of my colleagues and friends that all they do is work when they're not eating or sleeping. Is it  supposed to be a badge of honor to be a workaholic? I don't think so, in fact I see burnout to be a very serious health and wellness crisis in this country. I am troubled when I hear how an associate doesn't have time to workout, go to their kid's games or performances, or just take some good quality personal time to recharge for fear of missing that big deal.  Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not be a tyrannical master that demands we answer every call, text, e-mail or tweet.

Recently I have read many articles by "human potential experts" that  discourage  multi tasking and constantly checking our phones and e-mail. It actually makes us much less productive.

I am reminded of an old story about two fire wood cutters who were working side by side. One chopped non stop without taking a break all day. The other, took a 15 minute break every hour. At the end of the day the guy who took the breaks had chopped three times as much  wood as his partner did, who couldn't understand how that was possible. Extremely annoyed, he asked "what do you do on all those breaks you take?" His answer......" I sharpen my axe."

This  rebel made a decision many years ago that I would do my best to live a balanced life while working in a business that often discourages that. I  meditate & pray, exercise & play regularly, eat a pretty healthy diet and spend quality fun time with my loved ones and friends.  I call this my rebellion against burnout and ill-health.  Sometimes I fall short but I  have learned where the off buttons are on my phone and computer and turn them off frequently in order to tune in to all the beauty around and within me.






How meditation can be your ultimate rebellion against a compulsive mind

I’ve been a “meditator’ on and off since I was first introduced to yoga and  meditation at a yoga retreat in 1972 at the age of 18. For the last five years , I’ve been meditating relatively consistently on a daily basis. My most recent realization came to me in a morning meditation reflecting on rebellion. What I realized is that mediation is the means by which we rebel against a mighty tyrant that has been running the show for way too long -- our minds.  What do I mean by "our minds?"

Specifically, I am referring to the compulsive ego-driven mind. That voice that constantly chirps away about ourselves. The voice that tells us how we aren’t or don’t have enough, don’t measure up, we’re too fat or thin, don’t have enough money or recognition. We feel unsatisfied, unappreciated and on and on and on

Meditation affords us the break in that non-stop chatter. We can observe our thinking, realize what’s real and what matters.  As we slow down and become quieter,  a calm serenity washes over us. That chatter no longer controls us. We are free to experience a spiritual reality, our higher selves, God within us.

In truth, it is a daily reprieve. The more we sit quietly allowing the peace that surpasses all understanding, the freer we become from the tyranny of the compulsive ego mind.

For this rebel, who  as a young man thought that rebellion meant a life without discipline, I have come to realize that the discipline of sitting quietly for 25-60 minutes a day is a path to ultimate freedom.