How to Stop Arguing


Wonder How to Stop Arguing?

I feel like I grew up arguing.

Seriously, I watched orthodox jewish relatives argue about Torah interpretations in synagogue when I was very, very young. And I watched my mother argue with my father and with her friends and relatives.

As an academic, I went into Philosophy. Yes, I picked the major where we got to argue, and many times argue over things that we would never, ever resolve.

So arguing and debating are my default responses to just about anything. And I like to win, which makes me truly obnoxious at times.

The other day on Facebook, my friend Lissa Rankin posted a wonderful quote:

You do not need to attend every argument you are invited to.

And I thought, "What?" But don't I have to attend every argument? And most importantly, don't I have to win (or at least give it my best shot)?

I have been thinking about this over the past few days, and I realize that in the same way that I don't need to attend every party, or go to every meeting, I don't need to attend every argument.

This is a strangely liberating thought.

I realize now how compulsive and automatic arguing has become for me.

I also realize now how annoying that must be for everyone around me. Especially hubby.

How to stop arguing?

The first step is realizing that you just don't have to.

Social Media Basics for Pilates Teachers

Social Media Basics for Pilates Teachers - social media should be an important piece of your marketing and client attraction.

Most Pilates teachers I meet are on social media for personal interest. They have a personal Facebook profile, maybe join Twitter to follow celebrities, and use Instagram or Pinterest to publish selfies and fashion photos.

Now, you may wonder if it is really worth it for a Pilates teacher to have a strong social media presence.

The answer is, a very resounding, "YES!"

I started my social media and web networking while I was living and working on Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. I wanted a way to keep people connected to me and to stay connected to the outside world.

I wanted to entice potential guests with fabulous photos of Pilates on the beach and the gorgeous natural surroundings.

And, I wanted to ensure that, when I decided to leave Parrot Cay and return to the "real world", I would be able to easily prove my worth and have a high-profile job and client list.

Guess what? It worked!

Here are some ideas for how to grow your very own Pilates social media empire. In this post I will cover the big three - Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

I link to my pages on these sites to give you an idea of what I do.

Facebook - we may love to hate Facebook, but it isn't going anywhere.

  • Do not use your personal profile for business, unless you want to share your personal life with clients and have to "friend" every potential interested party.
  • Set up a Business Page for your Pilates practice and make the posts public. When people "like" and "follow" your page they will get your posts in their news feeds.
  • Basically, if you don't have a website or blog yet, your Facebook Page can act as one for the short term.

Twitter - life in 140 characters or less.

  • Use your name or your business name, but have it be recognizable. Add a photo and links to your other profiles.
  • Follow people you know, you like, and those in your pilates niche.
  • Take time to read tweets, Retweet, Favorite, and Reply. Thank people who do this for you. Twitter is about conversation.
  • Make your tweets public. Don't set up roadblocks for your followers!
  • I tend to not like linking my Facebook and Twitter posts. Hashtags work differently on these sites (more on that in another post), so Twitter posts can look silly on Facebook.

Linked In - professional connections

  • Linked In is where you connect with other professionals. It is basically your resumé on the web. Linked In is also full of active professional groups, where you can really connect with other Pilates teachers in your city, country, and the world.

Since being back in NYC I have had several social media connections prove to be quite lucrative.

  • Several Pilates teachers from other countries (Greece, Denmark, Uruguay) have come to NYC on holiday to take sessions with me at Real Pilates.
  • I "met" Form Pilates owner Lindsay Lopez on Twitter, and yesterday I spent an afternoon with her in Union Square, coaching a group of Pilates teachers about how to work overseas and gain high-profile celebrity clients.

Basically, your social media presence will allow people to interact with you and see what you are about before meeting you. In a crowded Pilates market this is crucial.

And if you want to work outside of your home country, your public social media presence will allow potential employers to learn more about you and how you present yourself before they interview you, which should be a good thing.

So, Pilates teachers, if you have been hesitant to put yourself out there professionally on social media, get cracking!


Fitness Marketing - Compassion or Judgement?


Fitness Marketing as it stands is based on judgement. What would Fitness Marketing based on compassion look like?

Like many fitness professionals, I am a member of many groups on Facebook. The most useful this far has been Dax Moy's Fitness Marketing Made Simple.

Recently Dax has been putting out challenges for the members of the group. I haven't really been active lately after dealing with both parents dying in a five week span, as well a major injury, but today I was completely inspired by one of Dax's posts.

At some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, this industry of ours has to grow up and start looking at people through the eyes of compassion rather than judgement.

At some point, this industry has to stop vilifying people who carry fat and making their lives ABOUT becoming thin and instead help people to become happy.

We would all like to think that thin = happy. But in reality, happiness has little to do with your size. I have been a miserable anorexic thin person, and a happier bigger person. My size tends to have little impact on how I feel, except when others judge me because of my size.

I have gained 20 pounds in the last four months. Some days, the only food I can stomach is comfort food. My parents always struggled with weight, so my comfort food is distinctly not healthy. But sometimes my psychological comfort is primary.

It seems ridiculous to me that in the 21st century we can't see that fat gain only makes people unhappy because of the judgement of others. Because of the stories we tell ourselves (because we've heard them from others) are those that say that because someone has more fat than someone else, they are somehow less worthy of happiness in their lives.

Even at my smallest, I am a curvy woman. As a personal trainer and pilates teacher, I have had people judge me immediately. Seriously, one troll on YouTube commented, "Why the fuck would I want to workout with a fat person?" And that is on a video where I am pretty slim!

At some point this industry of ours needs to remember that people aren't fat, they HAVE fat and that fat, just like muscle or bone, can be built up or broken down.

At some point, we need to make the goal of exercise, activity and eating clean about helping people to remember that regardless of weight, size, circumference or bodyfat percentage, their lives have meaning and value.

Of course, part of the problem is/was that I still feel/felt compelled to market based on ability to produce weight loss, fat loss, and tone in my clients. And in general, I am quite good at doing that for other people.

But in reality, my client focus is always on making my clients feel great. If you look at my client testimonials, most of them are about how my clients feel when they work with me. Better, stronger, less pain.

One thing's for sure...

That way we're doing it now isn't working for many.

So at some point we need to stop congratulating ourselves on perpetuating the myth of fatloss and start helping people remember their own value.

And that's all I got to say about that (in my best Forrest Gump Voice).

Moving forward, I will be compassionate with myself. I will love my body as it is, and appreciate how much better it feels and moves as I do more with my body and get stronger.

More importantly, I will approach my clients, readers, and everyone with the same compassion.

Let's get healthy, people! Let's feel better.

Looking better ain't all there is.

DVD Review: Lisa Johnson Modern Pilates & Body Physica: Intense


Two Great New Fitness and Pilates DVDs from Boston-based Pilates Pilates teacher, Lisa Johnson

Social media has been one of the most effective Pilates networking tools I have ever used. In the past I joined professional collectives, forums, and training organizations to meet other trainers, and none brought me as many solid, practical, and talented connections as Twitter. One of my Twitter compatriots, and a fellow blogger of fitness and food, is Lisa Johnson (@lisajohnson), an established (15 years) Pilates and fitness instructor, and owner of Modern Pilates (@modernpilates) in Brookline, MA. When she put out a call for reviews of her new DVDs on Twitter and Facebook, I answered.

Note that even though I teach at a fabulous Pilates studio, and certainly do many of my workouts there, I do on occasion workout at home, and I prefer having an audio and/or video guiding me through. Seriously, after creating other people's exercise programs all day, the last thing I want to think about is my own!

Body Physica: Intense

I'm starting with my favorite of the two, the high intensity interval training segments on Body Physica: Intense. Four short, but really intense, workout routines that combine many variations on body weight exercises and cardio. Lisa's use of a chair as a workout bench is brilliant!

I find Lisa Johnson to be engaging and informative without sounding too cheerleader-like. The exercise routines were safe but challenging, with modifications given. I give this one 5/5 Stars.

Order Body Physica: Intense


Modern Pilates

The older I get, and the longer I teach Pilates, the more I return to the Classical work. While I used to love the latest redesigned Pilates equipment with smooth ball bearings, extra light springs, adjustable ropes, and all kinds of bells and whistles, now I prefer a good old Gratz or Basil reformer with no ball bearings, leather straps, and four heavy springs.

And while I used to do lots of mat warm-ups and such, I now prefer to get right down to business. The concessions I do make to contemporary theories are significant, however. I limit most legs over head movements, such as roll-over and jack-knife, since they become compressive for most people and are completely contra-indicated for osteoporosis, and I will often introduce spine extension earlier than normal in the classical series, since people seem to need more of the back strengthening.

In general, Lisa's style is clear and conversational, with little background chatter. Her two assistants, who demonstrate the beginning and advanced versions of the exercises while Lisa does the pure intermediate, have great form and a clear knowledge of the exercises. I found the introductory comments on neutral pelvis and safe technique to be useful. But for a home video, I had issues with roll-over being taught, instead of something safe, functional, and in the same vein, like bridging.

Lisa comes from the more contemporary side of Pilates, and so her Pilates mat series is slightly different from the classical. Not huge, but doing the Pilates abdominal series (single leg stretch, double leg stretch, scissors, double leg lower/lift, and criss-cross) out of order was disconcerting.

That said, this is a generally safe and effective home Pilates routine. Advanced home exercisers will find this challenging, but it is still approachable for beginners. Just note that if you are expecting the stritctly classical Pilates series, you will not find it here. I give Modern Pilates 4/5 stars.

Order Modern Pilates


Abundance Change Me Prayer by Tosha Silver


Abundance Change Me Prayer

Hex sign abundance

From my friend Tosha Silver, author of Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead

She posted this on Facebook this morning, and I am compelled to share it with you. It is simply beautiful and is something that we can all use.

Abundance Change Me Prayer.

If you feel drawn, let it enter your Being, releasing any old ideas of constriction or limitation and returning Your true essence as expansive, radiant Light.

"Divine Beloved, Change Me into someone who can give with complete ease and abundance, knowing You are the unlimited Source of All.

Let me be an easy open conduit for Your prosperity. Let me trust that all of my own needs are always met in amazing ways and it is safe to give freely as my heart guides me.

And equally, please Change Me into someone who can feel wildly open to receiving. Let me know my own value, beauty and worthiness without question. Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me. Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way.

And protect me dear Lord from those whose hearts may be closed. Let me extend kindness to all who need, feeling compassion and understanding in even the hardest situations.

Change me into One who can fully love, forgive and accept myself... so I may carry your Light without restriction.

Let everything that needs to go, go. Let everything that needs to come, come. I am utterly Your own.

You are Me. I am You. We are One.

All is well.