Sayonara Football Season

Hello Universe,

O.k., first, a big Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for winning SuperBowl 2013. Now, let us get down to the nitty gritty, I permanently checked out and promised to boycott this year’s SuperBowl if the Giant’s did not win, however, aside from  watching Soccer, Tennis, Golf  the NYC Marathon, Football revs up the engines unlike any other sport. However, since it is SuperBowl, the end of an era until the pre-season begins once in about six months, the peer pressure gained momentum as the day started. Therefore, it was only fair to join my friends at Bourbon Street, NYC aside from staying home  to watch the Ravens vs 49’ers battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy.

The game goes well and Beyonce blasts through her performance during the Half-time Show without any wardrobe malfunctions (phew), it is still a sad moment when Football season ends. The energy is great and even though the crowd goes crazy over the temporary “lights off” situation it was a great decision to come out in the frigid cold to celebrate the long journey from the beginning of the season to this moment. As the clock counts down to the last play, patrons, and avid fans erupt in total happiness and some disappointments but just like anything in life, the Ravens gave it their all.

Therefore, the round of applause goes to Bourbon Street, NYC for keeping the peace, providing epic and endless entertainment and reminding us that regardless of whatever team you choose, you can always count on NYC to make any night, awesome.

By: Laura M. Artis.

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Unraveling New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year Universe

I wish everyone an abundance of success and happiness in all you do plus more in 2013. And since this is the new year, I’m sure some of you are scrambling to the last minute (if you have not already done so) to make resolutions and I hope some of you are on your way to achieving them. This blog is quite special and was motivated by the premiere of “Biggest Loser,” and the return of my favorite trainer on the show- Jillian Michaels. I used to be a trainer and that show and all the trainers on there, just motivate the hell out my life.  So, I thought why not pay it forward and offer some ways to become more fit (mentally, physically, and spiritually)  this year and most importantly how to stick to your resolutions.

Personally, resolutions can dive into the deep abyss where they belong as far as I’m concerned because unless you truly commit to make a difference in your life, making broken promises is not a good way to jump-start a new year. So here are a few tips on how to stay focused on your goals in order to manifest them into the real world.

1.Be realistic. O.k. as soon as Jan 1st begins I hope we all have Grand Canyon-sized dreams, however, just know there are baby steps necessary to conquer before we reach the main goal. For example, you want to buy a new car, or house or want to go on a trip for two in Dominican Republic for your friends’ birthday. At the same time reality sets in that your neighbors kids have more money in their piggy banks and you  have less than zero in your bank account because you are swimming in debt; so chances are those desires could remain on the wish list for a while.

2. Start Small. There are two five star, VIP  goals that the majority of people make during the ring of any new year and they are: lose weight and make more money. Be aware both are attainable and unless you win the lotto or get promoted to CEO, CFO and other fancy titles (make more $$) and then use some your winnings and get lipo (lose weight) , those only exist in a perfect world. However, in reality,  you need a full proof plan and tons of perseverance to make them a reality. Start with a daily goal, then move up to weekly, monthly which cliff dives to epic annual goals.

3. Go for it without regrets and cut the cord on excuses and or crutches. This is one of the ultimate tools necessary to make all your wishes come true. After the lists, and the promises that you make with your family members and friends, the only person that matters is YOU. You need to commit, and cut the cord, actually sever all excuses on why you cannot do something. I promise once you stop making excuses and playing the victim of circumstances, life unravels and opens up in such a way that will exceed your wildest expectations.

Additionally, one last thing as you continue to make 2013 your best year yet, stay positive, hopeful and optimistic at all times. Even though things might detour in an unexpected path, keep going, stay focused on the target and go for the jugular. Once again I wish everyone a Happy New Year and much more success in everything you do in life.

By: Laura M. Artis.

Workaholic in training

Hello Universe,

I was working, and when I say this, it does not mean that I am stuck in an office building, subscribing to boredom while counting down the hours until I leave. “Work” refers to the late night engagement dedicated to personal projects that seem to find a megaphone and scream for my attention. If you are a new visitor/follower to this blog, here is a quick update. I recently surrendered to the reality and realized that my destiny in life is to become a writer and much more. I recently finished my second book and instead of seizing the moment to celebrate life with friends, I stayed home to dedicate some time to edit and all the fun stuff that comes with that new sense of reality. Currently, as the clock is kind enough to remind me that it is 3:15 am and though the only plans I have for Sunday are to conquer a six-mile running trail, maybe go to hot yoga in the late afternoon, and continue “working” on personal projects, I realize that  I am super hungry. Here are two options: go to sleep or feed the beast, aka gizmo, aka my stomach.

Since, I do not have epic responsibilities, eating is the best solution. I have  a huge craving for french fries,but lack the patience to donate the time to peel, cut, soak,  season, cook aka fry the potatoes, wait for them to cool down and then eat; I could always go to the local Bar/Restaurant down the road, but I think I missed their kitchen closing time deadline. So, the next best choice is making whole wheat spaghetti and add loads of veggies (thank goodness for those micro-waveable  steam-fresh veggie bags) mixed in with pre-cooked shrimp. P.s. I am a vegetarian who eats seafood (I guess I’m a pescetarian;  awesome right? And, there goes yet another label)  so this is a bit easier than waiting for meat to thaw, season, cook, blah blah blah and then eat.

As the flavors tango in the pan, I am thinking maybe this was a bad idea to eat this late, but I’m past the boiling point with the pasta(literally because that means it means almost ready) so now my taste buds are ignited and all I want to do is dig into this scrumptious short notice creation.  Gizmo( my stomach) performs flips as if it is auditioning for the Olympic gymnastics team. The food lands on a bowl and immediately,  I feel as if I am floating in heaven as I surrender to this food fest at  3:55am. I finish one serving and go for another, after all I am going running in a few hours and for you avid runners out there, you know the rule; carb load is essential  and I will use that as the excuse. I dedicate another hour editing two more sections until the rebel teenage birds start singing their morning anthem then it is time to retire to my sleeping throne; Goodnight Universe

By: Laura

You are a Fitness Junkie because…

You go with your friend to her writing class coincidentally in an office building reaching twenty floors; even though her class is on the fifteenth floor you use the extra two and half hours to channel the inner Dora the Explorer “discovery” skills. Additionally, you decide to do squats between floors.

You wish and throw crystals in the wind hoping your friend gets that promotion at the tallest building downtown.  The excitement is partially for your friend, but you know if she lands the job it comes with a ton of perks including free guest passes to the company gym;  technically that makes you a guest.

When you drive into NYC, you purposely avoid an abundance of  parking garages like the bubonic plague and park twenty-five blocks from your destination. You use the excuse that you want to “sight see” and today of all days you decided to wear high heels. While your friends mock you because they are wiser and brought sneakers or flats with them, you justify by saying, “well my calves could use some work.”

When you deliberately leave the house, work, or venue with less than ample to get to the train. Logically, it does not make sense, but to satisfy the inner athlete you surrender to inducing adrenaline you do this on purpose so it will give you an excuse to run. You arrive at the platform and inside the train, perspiring, and welcome a pat on the back for a job well done.

You indulge in junk food just for the hell of it, however, you have a play date with a friend in Central Park the next day so the walking will balance the excess consumption; and besides you can always blame the cravings on your monthly visitor.

When you are invited to a getaway, the first items in your weekend bag are your running sneakers, and enough workout  attired for the days ahead; after all who needs evening casual wear or other things.

You miss out on the first round of events occurring in the morning because you decided to add an extra three miles to your morning run. Additionally, as you read through missed calls and texts, you remain oblivious and blame other people for their mis-understanding of your active lifestyle.

After a heavy girls night out while your friends babysit their hangover, all you can think  about is the hill around the corner awaiting your conquest. In between the sobering  stages, you utilize the remaining energy before  your short slumber ahead, to set the alarm, and meticulously  arrange your clothes to run in a couple of hours.

The last reason that you are a self titled fitness junkie, is because you feel awesome, accomplished and strong like Super Woman;  if people cannot deal with it, too bad.

By: Laura.

2nd time around

Hello Universe,

Yes, I agree it is a while since we last shared ink posts, however, during that short hiatus, an abundance of events occurred since then. Additionally, the spirit of the Olympics triggered some random yet welcomed inspirations in the professional as well as personal arena. I don’t like to boast or require the necessity to inflate my EGO, however, I’m a very active person. The pleasure principle magnifies when a new physical and or mental accomplishment is checked off the list.  Last year during the month of December of 2011, the decision was quite simple .  I wanted to meet new people, do more different things, and find out what the real definition of what it means to be a well rounded person. Furthermore, I hoped by putting myself out there more it would become another way to indirectly overcome daily challenges.

Hah! Well as always be careful what you wish for;  I composed a list of 2012 things that I wanted to do and while we are in July, the list proudly stands at 1700. Granted, it should be less than that however, something called work and reality momentarily stands in the way. However, one goal that I aspired to complete was to to conquer two extreme rock walls at our indoor rock climbing facility. The first time I went outdoor rock climbing was with a very good friend of mine and her family a few years ago in Joshua Tree National Park. I concluded outdoor rock climbing was similar to indoor ( totally wrong) so we discovered a local place about a year ago offering indoor climbing and indulged.  I did my best with three walls and saved the best and the hardest for last.  The instructor tried to direct and motivate, however, I stopped midway and asked to descend; perhaps due to fatigue, or a deflated spirit. Therefore I vowed as part of this years goal to seek redemption. My friend and her two kids, and I joined forces and made it happen.

As we arrived at the facility, I could not wait to start climbing. After we strapped into our gear I replayed the endless dream of abolishing the so-called nemesis that conquered my pride a year ago. After my friend’s children insisted to go first, it was finally my turn. I scaled the rock, adjusted the emotional turbulence and without thinking twice, I approached the wall. The left foot went first and then followed by the right foot while grabbing on to the accessible grips above my head for leverage. Moments later I reached the halfway point, and for some reason the nagging, doubtful, and fearful static that hindered the destination were on a permanent vacation.

I continued to ascend and the only thing on my mind was to reach the metal beam above my head. Moments later I reached the top. It was a pleasure to proudly wrap my fingers around the metal object, while swimming in a sea of endorphins; a concoction surrounded with rapture, pride, comfort, and a sense of accomplishment. I held on for a short moment before the descend to allow the internal voice to send soft whispers proclaiming ” good job girl.” As I propelled downward I was overwhelmed by the surplus of  of emotions. A year ago, it seems as if I surrendered,  a few months into a new year later I finally dominated this wall among the additional six within the alloted time. Therefore,  I have learned something during this process;  similar to life and its glory.  You should never give up and remember the opportunity for redemption rarely knocks twice, however, if it does take it. Additionally, treat life as if you are practicing for a major event; even though you will not win all the time, just remember there are plenty of lessons in between.

By FreeSpiritInk

Just smile a little

Good Day Universe

I hope everyone is having a great weekend thus far. I wanted to write about something completely different however, due to the events of the day, I think this post is headed towards a different direction.  As I drove heading to the gym during the late afternoon,  I enjoyed subscribing to music that pumped me up and foreshadows the intensity of  the workout.  However, today I noticed something that deserves some spotlight. I try to be aware of my surroundings most of the time, and I could not help but notice some people are quite miserable while driving. Aside from the choir of worry, anxiety, of their current reality in life written on their face it intensified some burning questions; what is the cause of your malfunction.Perhaps they are concerned with other motorists cutting them off, or being involved in a car accident or other things. Therefore, I have provided supporting evidence of why we should try to maintain a good mood. Additionally, there are some questions to target and a few factors on how to troubleshoot your anger.

1. We are in the middle of July and the temperature is well above freezing; therefore the weather is not a factor.

2. Perhaps you need to hit the gym and on rare occasions I am tempted to invite them as an outlet ( I mean they have huge punching bags, so that could work)

3. Ask yourself is life that serious? If you asked me that question, my answer would be no because I realized that someone else somewhere has it worse than me.

4.  Do you crave a hug, kiss, or perhaps someone donating others forms of attention and affection into your life. Additionally, perhaps all you need is someone to ask you about your day, or passively lend their time and some TLC into your life.

5. Alternatively, perhaps you are craving some good old fashion un-interpreted  afternoon delight sessions; it’s ok to be honest  no one is judging you.

The Temporary Solution

In lieu of placing judgment I decided to elect myself to help spread some joy in the interim. Therefore, I started by making funny, silly and awkward facial expressions to break the ice sort of speak. Ok, perhaps this is a bit crazy, unfiltered, random, and plain ol’ ridiculous to some. However, for a single moment in time this can be a temporary distraction and a reason to forget what is ailing you.  Additionally, I started to say “hello” if the windows are open or wave if the they are closed. I do not know how long this plan will continue, but I know that I am not doing it to mock anyone, but to serve as an eccentric way of reminding you of the important small things that make up life.Granted, most people will react differently, however, that is a risk I am willing to take. After all it is fair to say that we all have doubts, fears, insecurities, and or problems that are out of our control; and the only we can control is our reaction. However, we must not forget to laugh at life once in a while and therefore with that friendly warning in mind, if you see a person waving or making goofy faces, just remember it is Ok to smile a little.  Well until we meet once more, find knowledge and light, be yourself and shine bright.

By FreeSpiritInk.

Reality Check!

Image attritbution to genomicron.evolverzone.com

Hello Universe,

This is a post that I found in the archives and by the time I wanted to post it on WP, I was in the midst of making a decision whether or not to demolish my previous site and start a fresh journey and I decided to trash it and here we are once more. Therefore, I never posted until I found a site whose forum was exposing NY subway experiences and voila, that site became its new temporary home aside from my external hard-drive; I understand it’s a bit out dated, but what can you do; happy reading.

Let me paint the picture! My friend and I were walking towards a subway station headed Downtown and just as we approached the entrance, a tall, Amazon-like woman ran past us in a mad dash and a few feet behind was a somewhat overweight middle-aged man chasing after the woman.

The screaming is a combined remix symphony of ” help, police stop her”, “help” (Repeat several times). So, naturally this sparked interest and the adrenaline rush motivated the inner hero to do the right thing and chase after Amazon lady in high heel boots. Ok, here is a little secret, I run long distance (Shush, we can keep this just between us) however, this girl was faster.

Currently, this presents a train like motion of activity; the girl is the leader of this situation, I’m behind her, followed by my friend, and then last but not least is the middle-aged man- sounds fun right? It gets interesting read on. At this point, it is totally game on and this is now becomes a mission. She makes a quick turn, and I am so close to her, that I can taste victory.

Amazon lady totally goes rogue and starts running towards me, stops midway, takes out a sharp object, and points it towards my direction.

Common sense could not have slapped me sooner and reality fast-forwards to the unforeseen and reminds me of the future to-do list that remains un-checked.First, there is a wedding situation on Saturday, future marathons, Olympics, The Brazilian World Cup, and other events in life requiring my attendance; the possibility of having kids and Valentine cards that still have not made their way to the post-office.

Who will get my Buddha statues, my favorite pea coat remains captive at the Cleaners; who will write future blogs including this one and I forgot to press “send” on the email to the cutie on the dating site. Granted, excluding family & friends these are not important things to consider given the current moment, like, I remain clueless for the real reason behind this pursuit. However,  in lieu of getting shanked in the middle of the street and having to explain how a night out ends up on the nightly news, my friend and I decided to call it a night and let someone else or the universal law of karma deal with this matter. Amazon woman kept running, and eventually the middle-aged man gave up. I promise one of these days, I will learn to mind my own beeswax but in the meantime, I tried to be a good Samaritan.

By: Laura M Artis