Friday, June 25

Are You Living your 'Genius'?

"If everyone were clothed in integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless."

- Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

After all the surprises and revelations, with Julia Gillard replacing Mr Rudd as the new Australian PM, it was interesting for me to reflect on a conversation that Liz and I were having over a coffee, about Integrity.

Some years back, before I had Philomena, I was seeing Peter Barr-Thomson,(his website is called Ingenius People), a life/success coach and master NLP practicioner, and a beautiful person who I am proud to call a friend. I had consultations with him for about 6-12 months and it really helped me clarify where I was at in life; what I really wanted; and how to sift through all the confusion I had created in my life, by pursuing goals and dreams which I thought would come about through the acquisition of 'money'. In the end, Peter helped me to see that what I really wanted, had been in front of me all along. It was so simple, but I had complicated my life and filled it with 'stuff'. The busier I became in its' pursuit, the further away I got from what I truly wanted.

What I loved about Peter's approach and take on life and people, and something he really believes in so strongly, is that if we live a life in which we live our 'Genius', then our lives are so much happier and richer.

He helped me to see that I had already lived my genius, but I hadn't realised it! That period was when I had my own martial arts club and business. The time between then and now became a pursuit of finding out how I could once again recapture that same feeling and satisfaction. I've come to the realisation only recently, that I can never really recapture that period, but I can look at why and how I was living my genius. I think though, only Peter can really explain this. This is an excerpt from Peter's chapter out of a book called Secrets of Great Success Coaches Exposed...

"What is Individual Genius?

Individual genius is, without question, the real driving force in us all. When discovered and lived, it has the potential to bring technicolour to every moment, clarify to what we really want and don't want, ease and flow to everything we choose to do, and a confidence to every situation we're in. We tend to think that genius is confined to the chosen elite. Every bit of research I have undertaken shows the Einsteins, da Vincis, Edisions, Hawkings, and Curies all have the following characteristics:

They are passionate about what they do - think about the passion of a Pablo Picasso as he paints, a Martin Luther King Jr as he speaks, a Jimmy Hendrix as he plays. Ever felt that passion for something? (Whether you followed through with it or not isn't relevant right now).

They are doggedly persistent and willing to make mistakes - Edison took over 10,000 experiments to get the tungsten light bulb right and over 50,000 attemps to perfect the power cell battery. Einstein said, 'I'm not any smarter, I just stay with the problem longer'. Ever stuck at something because you really wanted it?

They make up stories to create, explain or justify their world - Einstein, when working with this theory of relativity, made up a story where he got on an imaginary light beam, travelled around the universe and ended up back where he started. This imaginary journey ended up being integral in his hypothese E=mc2. Ever made up a story in your life (this includes fantasies, lies, and metaphors) to explain things?

They love to break a few rules - following on from the Einstein story, not one scientist of the time supported his theory because it was breaking all the rules that kept them safe in the world they had so comfortably built. Ever broken a rule or two in your life (speeding, being late for work, skipping to the end of a book)?

They can be vague, ambiguous and absent-minded - all the great geniuses were known for being preoccupied with their ventures and were not necessarily good with non-essential details. Ever lost your keys, wallet or mind?

They love to act like children and have fun - Edison designed the phonograph from an idea he had while creating a talking doll as a present for his niece. And look what that led to - records, CD's, DVD's. Do you like to have fun and be childlike?

Everyone I have ever met does most, if not all, of the above in some areas of their lives. The challenge is to find one (or two) areas where you really want to do all of the above at the same time. So, did you answer 'yes' to the above questions: Well, you may just be a dormant genius, or possibly you are already living it and just not acknowledging it.

How does someone go about finding his or her real individual genius?

In my experience, the following steps are essential on the journey to discovering and living your individual genius:

1. Believe it is possible - yep, it's as simple as that. If we truly begin to believe we are a genius (even if we fake it 'til we make it) anything is possible. So, begin right now! Say to yourself, 'Maybe I am a genius!' Did it hurt? Did it change anything? Once we express the possibility through verbalising it, the real work (or fun) begins.

2. Clarify exactly what it is - to work this out we created a formula that truly uncovers the absolute essence of your genius. Like Einstein, we decided to keep our formula as simple as possible. Where Einstein had E=mc2, we have G=p5(TM): Genius = passion, potential, purpose, persistence, plan

  • Passion - what you love to be or do.
  • Potential - what you are good at or could be good at (also consider what others say you are good at or compliment you on).
  • Purpose - the reason and meaning behind your motivation and beyond yourself (even if isn't Earth-shattering).
  • Persistence - who you are and what you value and believe will support your quest, no matter what the chllanges and pitfalls are.
  • Plan - the well thought-out and structured map that will guide and focus you to your genius and success.

3. Take consistent, disciplined action toward goals that truly reflects your genius - for example, one of my geniuses (under the above criteria) is coaching. The goal I have here is to continually strive to be the best coach I can be, reflected in the specific outcome of consistently working with 20 individuals in my chosen market and achieving above 95 per cent satisfaction rate with those clients.

4. Review your goals regularly - ensure that they are still valid and relevant.

5. STOP and celebrate your successes - all of them! You deserve it!

A note of caution: what I have just described is all great in theory, but the only way to achieve true success is to be brave and break through all the barriers that have held you stuck for 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years.

Frankly, this requires external support and encouragement. Hell, if you could have done it by yourself you probably wouldn't be reading this book. Be brave - ask for help. Pride is a truly insidious creature that feasts on our biggest fears. Maybe it's time to starve it!

Once people have discovered their real genius what should they do?

Live it!"

So what does that have to with integrity?

Part of my 'unravelling' process during my coaching with Peter, was to look at my core values, and what was the most important one for me. Every person is different, and it's a matter of working out what yours is, so that you know from what perspective or stance you view the world. Your core value is instrinsic to how you approach life and is an important step to determining how to live your genius. Integrity was, and is my core value.

The value of that single discovery, led me to realise how much pressure I was placing on others around me to be 'perfect'. Unless those who I dealt with had a high level of integrity, I found that I judged them without really understanding their personal lives, and their individual challenges and journeys. I was painting everyone with the same brush, and holding everyone up to my own high ideals. In the end, I was constantly disappointed, and I was very unhappy for awhile and very stressed and confused.

So with this discovery, Peter helped me to look at people from a different perspective and try to imagine myself in their shoes and how different the shoes of each individual. Who am I to judge someone for how they see the world and respond accordingly, when I don't know what their world nor their journey has been, or currently is? That doesn't mean I no longer judge, but I'm getting better at stopping and asking myself what they could be going through or have been through in their lives. Then...only then, I become more compassionate to people's plights.

This epiphany helped me to relax, and take a step back. And as far as integrity long as I live my life with integrity, then I can be happy in that knowledge. And as far as the integrity of others...well, I still think that leading by example is the only way to influence others. And as far as the character of others, that is their journey and their responsibility, not mine.

So...come on...if you're not living your genius, then what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 22

Wk 24...Next Six Months - Rebuilding from the Glutes, Up

Weigh-in this week... 62.3kg. Last week I was at my highest since completing my IBO programs at 62.4kgs! It was a great wake up call. It's amazing how it seems to creep up on you (time and weight), and how easy it is to become complacent. It's a good reminder to always be vigilant.

So lesson learnt.

I think my struggles of the last six months are officially over, and I am looking forward to getting back to the fitness level I enjoyed only 6 months ago now. I didn't realise how much fitness and strength I'd lost in that period until I returned to the gym and tried out my IBO programs. There are some exercises I'm not strong enough at the moment to even contemplate, especially involving my core muscles. But that's to be expected and will be part of my focus over the next 6 months. And as far as frequency and intensity, it will take me about 3 months I reckon to build up to anything near what I was doing 12 months ago.

But I'm up for the challenge and glad to be back at the gym. I finally pulled my finger out and made the decision again. No dilly-dallying and making extra is an extra...10g over is an extra....1 rice cake over is an extra! The only thing that works for me and helps me form a strong resolve is to sit down and plan everything in detail. From my training programs - days, splits, frequency, etc to my nutrition plans. Everything needs to be recorded and exacted as I've put on paper. Food measured, weighed and recorded. Training type, duration, intensity, etc all recorded. Weight and measurements taken and recorded to be compared to. I just don't get the results and am not as focused unless I do this. That's just me. It gets me super-focused. So now it's time to get serious!

My training program isn't set in stone yet, as to what exercises I'm doing. I'm just doing a basic 3 day split at present with weights plus cardio, as per my previous Ideal Bodies Online programs, with some alterations as my upper traps are giving me hell at the moment, so no lifting or movements above the head this week, until they settle. The main thing was to just get back into a regular and consistent program. Frequency is important at the moment. I was training 5-6 days consistently last year. I'm aiming for about 5 days training. However, the intensity and length of sessions and weight, of course, won't be the same. It will take a little while to build up to the same intensity. Though I'm hoping that it won't take me as long as when I started my program to regain lost ground.

The above picture is of Meriza DeGuzman. I rediscovered her, thanks to Ann-Maree, one of my FB friends. I didn't realise that the photo below, which I've used in previous posts, was the same Meriza. She looks so different with short hair.

I'm including her photos because overall, like Pauline Nordin, I love Meriza's physique, especially her quads. I draw upon photos of fit chicks as part of my inspiration.

Anyway, I've got to go. Life has been hectic as I've been working an extra day for the army, and it's amazing how one day can make a huge difference to your life, trying to fit everything in. So my blogs have been shorter (yeah...I heard your sigh of relief). Don't worry, only another couple of weeks and I'll have my Wednesdays back again!

Thursday I meet with Liz to revise glute activation and start work on rebuilding my form and technique from the ground up (or the glutes up!), and going over my squat and deadlift.
So I'm really looking forward to that session, so I can begin some serious weight work. I've never done any real lifting before, and my first real taste was through
Crossfit, and I have to tell you...I really love it! So I'm looking forward to doing more of it and expanding on the little I know to get me stronger. measurements real quick! Haven't done a comparison yet, but it's a bit ouchy where my waist, hip and thigh measurements are concerned.
  • Shoulder-2-shoulder - 99cm
  • Chest - 88 cm
  • Biceps - 28cm
  • Waist - 77cm
  • Hips - 93 cms...ouch!
  • Thighs - 57cm
  • Above Knee - 43cm
  • Calves - 33cm

Current weight: 62.3kg's. Goal weight by end August: 57kg

Have a great week all! Train hard! ;)

Monday, June 14

Wk 23...Buns of Steel

"Don't give up.
Sometimes you don't get it right the first time.
But keep going, keep chasing your dreams
because the journey
is just as important as the destination."

- John Maclean

Last week's change.

Tomorrow's weigh-in I envisage to be more, with more than a few days away celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary. I didn't eat alot of junk food, but it's amazing when eating out, how much menu's are heavily carb-laden. Very little protein and even less vegetables. So I was happy to be home eating normally, and my digestive system is thanking me for it too. I did indulge in an Almond Magnum and was later disappointed that the taste wasn't as orgasmic as I had been dreaming of.

The change of scenery and total lack of planning (by choice) was good for me. It always seems to help me put things in perspective. GYM!
Clear Mountain Lodge has just been refurbished and completely updated, and a gym, day spa, and bath/spa was advertised on the site and to our chagrin when we arrived, had not yet been completed. We had a bit of a chuckle retelling our story of disappointment to the maitre d' on the first night, and to our delight, the manager came back in minutes later with a key to an upgraded room with a spa. And the room was better overall, so we were happy! Though...still no gym!

As I was saying...having the time to rest and contemplate the year so far, really helped firm my resolve. I've set myself another goal visually, and as per last year and the start of this year, Pauline Nordin is still my pin-up girl for 2010. I just can't seem to get past body!

What can I say...I want those BUNS OF STEEL!

I'm quite happy with my upper body, but the lower body between my thighs and abs is still a bug-bear, especially my butt and upper legs. I look at my current situation where I need to strengthen and activate the glutes as an opportunity to really focus on this area. I'd like more shape to my derierre, as Pauline calls it. Firm, tight and shapely...that's what I want!

I've got a long way to go and the goal is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because there's lots of work to achieve a nice butt. But I'm up for the challenge and looking forward to the journey.

I've been doing cardio and glute activation exercises as per prescribed by the lovely Liz, with some positive results. RPM was suggested. Did I tell you...I hate RPM! But ya know...I tried it last week for the second time, and I was pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoyed it and reached that pre-puke feeling, so I was happy. And I have to say, the right instructor makes all the difference.

So I'm hoping soon that I can get started again on some weight training. I haven't done any for about 2-3 weeks now, and I am missing it big time! I'm itching to get back and start pumping some iron again on a regular basis, especially those glutes! :P

Last weekend we had an Ideal Bodies Online lunch at Southbank. Sue was up from down south, and it was good to see her again, as well as some members of the IBO team, and Kazanne, who is a lovely IBO client. Everyone looked great and it was nice to find out what everyone is up to. Exciting times ahead for Sue, who is expecting and still looking fabulous, as well as Liesl who has started training for her first body building comp this year!

That's about it. I will update Recipes in Richness with our anniversay break, when I get a chance. Anyway...I'm feeling great! I am soooooo ready for the next stage of my journey and feeling so excited to really get into a regular program very soon. Had a good day at the gym on the X-trainer and exercises, and dreaming about having buns of steel! That fire in the belly is starting to gain momentum!

Tuesday, June 1

Week 22...It's Been 10 Years!

Next week on the 10th June, I will be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary with my husband, Anthony.

All together, this year we'll be celebrating 14 years since we first started seeing each other. The second photo from the top is us on one of our dates at a function at the Hilton Hotel, as it was called back then. Anthony was a barman there. In that photo he is 20yrs and I'm 27yrs old. He looks about

We didn't have a huge, grand wedding, though we had about 100 guests. It was a very cold June night back in 2000, and it started to drizzle at the church. By the time our reception was in full swing, it was pouring and cold. We had the reception at my mum and dad's place out the back patio, as well as a marquee. Dad forgot to hire the burner thing-a-me-jigs, and I still haven't forgiven him for that. One good thing that came of it, was that we all had to huddle to keep warm, and because of that everyone mingled and there was alot of genuine conversation, which isn't always possible at a wedding.

My mother and aunts cooked for the wedding, and there was no shortage of food. My mother is part chinese, and was raised by her sister (who passed many years ago), who was a chef in her earlier days and so mum learnt from her, and we've been the lucky recipient of chinese home-cooking for all of our lives.

Next week we're off for a whole 3 nights and 4 days to celebrate our anniversary. We're going to be staying at Clear Mountain Lodge, which isn't far away, but I want to explore the northern part of Brisbane, especially around the mountains and ranges. Anthony offered for me to do a 1 day adventure tour, to do some abseiling and bushwalking. Twelve months I would have jumped at the chance, but with my injury at present, I don't want to risk anything. Maybe I'll put it down for next year's anniversary! Though, some light bushwalking we'll probably get around to doing, as Anthony isn't really into nature.

I'll be doing a post on my other blog, Recipes in Richness, at some stage about my hubby. It'll be a bit of a tribute to him. He doesn't get alot of mention on this blog, but truth be known, he's my rock. I'm still amazed at how lucky I struck it in a man. He is truly an amazing, beautiful person. Anthony is a wonderful husband and father...kind, generous,thoughtful, loving, and most of all...patient...he never raises his voice in anger, and never speaks unkindly! You'd have to be patient to put up with me. He has always put my goals and dreams first, even behind his. Though he would admit, he's happy to lead a quiet, uneventful life. As long as he can go to the gym, watch his sport, have time with his few, good friends, and spend time with Philomena, he's happy.

I remember we used to write a lot of letters to each other over the years. I have them in shoe boxes and I can't remember how many we wrote. There are over 150 letters...which reminds me, I'll have to go back and read them again.

What I love about writing letters is that they are a great form of communication, especially at the most difficult and emotional times. It allows you to say what you want to say without pressure from the other person. It allows you to have more clarity, and best of all, it allows the other person the time to think and respond, rather than react in the heat of the moment when you're disagreeing.

We still write each other letters, though not as many these days. Anthony wrote me a lovely, short letter last week, telling me he was looking forward to our anniversary get-away. He mentioned how he was thrilled at the 'new me' (which is the old me), since doing the IBO programs. He talked of how difficult it was at first to accept the time I was taking for myself to transform my body, but that after awhile, when he saw how I was changed and happier, and my old, confident self again, he was elated. And of course, he said, that he was excited about how I looked...hee..hee... Anthony ended the letter by encouraging me to take on the next part of my end the current struggle with injury and take this opportunity to get back on top and reset my goals, and move toward them with the same zest and energy I had only last year, and he was looking forward to the outcome! How lovely is that?'s still another week away, but I thought I'd just get it out there, out of the way, as I don't know how much time I'll have to blog next week.

As of today...June 1st, I'm embarking on a renewed journey. I'm back on track nutrition-wise. Exercise will take a month or so to really come together and work out a solid plan, but I've started back right at the start. I saw Liz on Saturday, who is qualified in exercise physiology, to help me with some activiation exercises, mainly glutes. She has some similary problems, mainly in relation to hip/pelvis stability. Liz is one of the many friends I've made in blogland, and through the community that is blogland. It's amazing isn't it, how some friendships you form, can benefit you in ways you never really envisage, and make you the richer in the process?

I basically need to strip back my movements and re-learn how to use my muscles, and then build up the exercises gradually and start activating the correct muscles. At the moment, my hips are taking over, so my glutes are being left for dust. I also have to look at activating my lower traps, rather than my upper traps, which are currently doing all the work. And as always, my deeper abs need alot of work. So I have alot of work to do, but I'm hopeful I can make progress in a short period of time, and begin the real work and start training with some intensity again. I'd like to be as strong as I was, this time last year.

So today I weighed-in at 61.4kg. My goal is to be at 57kg's by the end of July. It's only 4.4kg, but it seems like 40kgs to move. Admittedly, I've been a little spasmodic with my nutrition. And the fact I haven't trained with any type of intensity for awhile hasn't helped. So I should see some initial loss, just through getting back on track nutrtion-wise. Meanwhile, I will be looking to up the cardio, until I can start getting into some serious weights again. No running, and doing cardio which encourages more glute activation, rather than hip. At this stage also, I'll probably have to look at doing pre-conditioning workouts, because it's been a while since I've done any consistent weights work.

Anyway...that's the plan. I'm excited again, and confident I'll be on my way to achieving my benchmark of Sexy Bitch by the end of the year...6 months...what can I achieve in 6 months? A SHITLOAD! :P

Have a great week all you wonderful people! :)

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