In My Daughter’s Eyes

I am Fearless.
I climb the highest peak in the park,
and slide down hands in the air, stark.

I am Kindness.
Believing sharing is caring,
being forgiving and fairing.

I am Love.
Full of infinite hugs and kisses,
worth way more than material riches.

I am Support.
The hand that holds hers,
in times of wonderment or fears.

I am Comfort.
The blanket she cuddles,
sometimes whole hearted, sometimes so subtle.

I am Strength.
I move mountains for her dreams,
in her honor nothing is extreme.

I am Beautiful.
My hair, my clothes,
my grace, my flows;
I am fit to be a real princess.

I am a Teacher.
I hold the answers to the unknown,
maybe even the formula for becoming grown.

I am a Protector.
I know the thoughts before she speaks,
I know the moves before she leaps.

I am Crazy.
Like the Hulk or the Mad Scientist,
ping-ponging between loudest and quietest.

I am a Hero.
I make bad dreams go away,
and save her from spiders that prey.

I am Peace.
I allow calmness and clarity,
embracing her in a light of sincerity.

I am Fun.
Jumping, dancing,
playing, and prancing.

I am Every Mother, every mother is in Me.
Even if I lose faith, I know the truth lies,
in my daughter’s eyes.

FEELING FROZEN? 4 Hip Warmers to thaw you out

Cooler temperatures, holiday planning, vacation getaways, social gatherings while they all sound delightful (well except the cold weather part), they all cause us at some point or another to be tense, stressed, have some mild/severe anxiety. Through the domino affect we feel the same tension in our bodies, which presents as tightness in our hips.

In the colder temperatures we take on a curved position, almost like giving ourselves a hug to keep the heat in. For example, the shivering posture or that tenseness you feel when cold wind rushes through the doorway onto your face and chest.  This time of year enables activities of cuddling on the couch, sitting at dinner parties, driving to welcoming destinations, or shoveling snow, all of which put our hips in the bent position, causing tightness and restriction.

I’ve noticed during this time of year I get a lot of clients with hip and/or knee pain. Well, it’s like the “hip bone is connected to the knee bone” song. Yes it’s a true story! Therefore, if one part of your body is tight the other part will feel it and sometimes even more intensely.

The larger muscles in your upper legs originate at your hip and attach at your knee. For that reason, if you have tight hips you’ll have pain in your knees as well, and sometimes you can even get some back pain, depending on which way your pain radiates.

So, now that you know the cause, what is the cure? Easy enough…STRETCH!
Here are 4 simple stretches to warm up the hip and allow relaxed and free mobility.

1. Hip Flexor Stretch (Anterior Stretch) 
-Make sure you are close to a sofa or chair to hold onto for balance
– Assume a lunge position: the left knee on the floor behind you and the right leg bent in front of you
-Make sure the right knee is directly above the ankle, knee should not be in front of the ankle.
-Take a deep breath and release, keep breathing and relax any part of you that is tense
-You should feel this stretch in the front of your thigh and groin area
-Hold for 20 seconds, repeat 3-5 times, Switch legs

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2. Hip Extensor Stretch (Posterior Stretch)
-Lay on your back, bend the left leg and raise the right leg up, keep the knee straight.
-Hold the leg behind the knee and relax the right leg into your hands.
-Take a deep breath and release, keep breathing and relax any part of you that is tense
-You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh or even behind the knee.
-Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times, Switch legs.

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3. Hip Rotator Stretch (Lateral Stretch)
-Lay on your back, with both knees bent, place the right ankle on the left knee
-Place your hands behind the left knee and pull the knee in towards the chest
-Take a deep breath and release, keep breathing and relax any part of you that is tense
-You should feel the stretch on the right buttock
-Hold for 20seconds and repeat 3-5 times, Switch legs.

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4. Hip Adductor Stretch (Medial Stretch)
-Lay on your back, with soles of feet touching
-Bring the heels of your feet as close to your bottom as possible
-Place your hands on your thighs and give a gentle push towards the floor for a greater stretch
-Take a deep breath and release, keep breathing and relax any part of you that is tense
-You should feel the stretch on the insides of your thighs and groin area
-Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times

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During this time of year, we expect a lot from our bodies and minds. We stay up long hours, we bend and bake, lift and carry, and unfortunately, we don’t always give back and say thank you to ourselves for everything we do. Our bodies give us unconditional support, at times exceeding our expectations, and essentially being our work-horse. If you don’t take a few minutes to say thank you, by taking a break to breathe, stretch and realign, you may run into system overload and ohh, the site of a computer crashing and steam coming out of it…SO take the time.

 

Photo Credit: Rikin Patel

Find Your Purpose, Be A Cause In the Matter

We had an amazing Sunday, where we took our now 6 year old (sniffle..she’s getting too big too fast), out for a marathon of a day in New York City. Although it was her day of “magical fun,” she actually gave me a magical lesson.

Just a little background story, last year on her 5th birthday, I took her on a Mommy & Me trip to India. She had gotten to a point in her life where she would walk into someone’s house and ask “where’s your toy room?” I am such an advocate of giving back and volunteer work, to think my own child was being influenced by a life of luxury; it was a big wake up call for me. So I made the decision to take her to India. For some fun of course, but also to expose her to the culture, the poverty, and hopefully, to humble her and mostly me; to be grateful for what we already have, but also to find a way to give back some more.

That trip changed both our lives forever. She came back and wanted to give back to the poor kids in India, who lived without lights, without homes and most importantly without warm food. We came up with an idea that at her birthday party, instead of favors, we’d make a donation to the Association for India’s Development (AID). She also shared this story with her Kindergarten class and interested many kids in giving back to their communities right here where we live.

This year at dinner, she asked, “if we were young a long time ago, would we be in the school for dark colored people or light colored people.” My husband and I offered our answers, part in shock that we were going to have this profound conversation with our 6 year old. And part proud that the next day was Martin Luther King’s birthday, and this conversation would be in his honor. We said, the dark school.  We explained, both schools were fine to be in, but the main point is the world should not have been divided. The world was divided by people who had darkness in their hearts. She was able to relate the “darkness in their hearts” to the fear that Elsa had in the movie Frozen; A person who was afraid of being herself, and needed to keep everyone separate.

As if this entire conversation wasn’t inspiring enough, my daughter asked, “why is it when we go to India, all the kids and people come to our cars and ask for money?” I explained that they don’t have homes, their parents don’t have money or jobs, so they need to beg and hope they can raise enough money to be able to eat.

We also explained that its not just in India, that today in New York there were people laying on the cold ground because they have no homes, no food, no blankets or coats. She responded with, “How can we help them, I don’t want them to be like that?” I answered her with, “Well you do help; you gave toys, pajamas and coats to the drive at school.”

Then it got better, “A big way to help is to find your purpose, the thing you love doing and feel you were meant to do. And when you find out what it is, you do it, do it with love, hope and happiness, and by doing that, you can help others. For example, Mommy knows that being a physical therapist is my purpose. I help people who are hurting and can’t do what they want to do.  When they get better, they go back to helping people, however they do it, whether they are doctors, singers, or teachers and by doing this we can all make the world better.”

Seems simple enough and yet so many of us don’t know, don’t acknowledge, don’t follow our true purpose in life. I am very grateful to have found mine. I challenge you to find yours and follow it, if not to make this world a better place, then to teach our children to be a cause in the matter; one person at a time.

My Worth

 I’ve allowed someone to yell at me,
-To push me around.
I’ve allowed someone to decide my destiny,
-To label me and put me in a pretty pink box.
I’ve allowed someone to plan my days,
-To keep me busy, unpassionate and bored.
I’ve allowed someone to lie to me,
-To turn my laughter into tears.
I’ve allowed someone to silence my words,
-To put doubt in my truth.
I’ve allowed someone to tell me how to define love,
-To have expectations, conditions and the power of guilt.
I’ve allowed someone to keep me small
-To judge, criticize and lose faith in myself.
I’ve allowed someone to disrespect me
-To put a caste system on love.
I’ve allowed someone to separate my world,
-To keep me down because I was born a girl.
 
I’ve realized that someone…is me.
-Another part of me, but me all the same.
I’ve realized that I’m more than a label,
-I’m Infinite.
I’ve realized I’m great at a lot of things,
-I’m Passionate.
I’ve realized I’m able to heal, motivate and inspire
-I’m the Light.
I’ve realized ….
-I’m Strong, Independent, Happy, Lovable, Truthful, Faithful, Loyal, Funny, Fearless, Fabulous,
And…
That alone allows me the power to determine My Worth.