Happy Healthy and Fit

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happiness Heals Hearts: Manifesting Mt. Kilimanjaro

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.

Proverbs 17:22

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope this letter finds you wonderful and well. I am excited and grateful to share a short story of manifestation and an amazing opportunity that I have been invited to be a part of.

On September 26, I was reading Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com. A true pioneer of change, Tony is leading a revolution of corporate culture globally. He built a company from zero to over $1 Billion and recently merged with Amazon.com. He is a student and teacher of happiness. As many of you may know from my own blog, www.iamhappyhealthyandfit.com, I am a big believer in delivering Happiness. In his book, he refers to hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Instantly, I knew my next adventure. When I began to do the research, I learned that it was much more than a day hike. It is going to take 7 days. The summit is 19,298 feet. Even, as a 3rd degree black belt martial artist, I am confident, this will be the greatest challenge to date. Knowing the intensity, I knew in my heart that I needed to do this for a greater cause.

That greater cause fell into my lap almost instantly. My friend Cammy is involved with a team from Scottsdale Bible Church that raises money to build classrooms for the children in the villages of Mairowa and Kondoa in Tanzania, Africa. It is through education and peaceful efforts that we can continue to elevate the consciousness of our planet and dissipate hate while unifying through love.

Due to the nature of the economy and the intensity of the hike, the team is short of funds. I believe in my heart that I can make a difference and I am daring to do it. Although, I admit, I am not affiliated with the church, I just did a training hike with 4 of the other women, who will be going on this all women expedition and realized that we are all the same. I will be the 7th person and have agreed to raise $5000 in the next 2 weeks. It is all tax deductible.

I am also swallowing my pride and asking for help with some of my personal expenses. I have calculated about $1500 for gear and shots. The shots and prescriptions alone are estimated to be between $500-$600 alone. This contribution would be totally from your heart to mine and I would be happy to let you know where the money went. I need everything from boots, backs pack, sleeping bag, cold weather gear, etc.

The challenge is that I must raise the funds by November 22, 2010. It's just 2 weeks away! I recognize that this is short notice and we are all in different places in our lives. However, if you know anyone that may be interested in being a part of this life and world changing experience, I would be eternally grateful for your support. Like Tony Hsieh, I believe our efforts have the power to deliver happiness globally.

Our team will be leaving on February 2, 2011 and summiting on February 12, 2011.

Checks toward the $5000 can be made out to Scottsdale Bible Church and are tax deductible, in the memo put Tanzania 527-11, Randi Smith.

Checks toward the $1500 can be made out to Randi Smith and signed with Love.

Thank you for your consideration and at the very least, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

With Love and Gratitude,



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Non-Attachment: Practice of Letting Go

He who has no attachment can really love others.
~ The Bhagavad Gita

Yoga mats are like underwear. Some things just aren't intended for sharing.

Tonight I had a magical moment when I finally got a glimpse of the idea of non-attachment and letting go. The idea has been gestating somewhere between 7 and 14 years. I love yoga and I love to observe others experiencing yoga. Mostly, I find amusement in attachment to spots in the room. People everywhere get upset about where their mat is placed and it is common knowledge that you never touch anyone else's mat.

My introduction to yoga in 1997 began an incredible journey that has become an incredible journey that continues to be an incredible journey, both on and off the mat.

In 2003, I enrolled in the official Yoga Alliance teacher training program along with 76 other aspiring yoga teachers. We all crammed into the room with our mats, notebooks, copy of The Bhagavad Gita and a pen. There was a nervous energy as everyone sized each other up: checking out clothing, bodies and arm balances. No one was prepared for what happened next.

Our teachers at the time were Martin and Jordan Kirk. After introducing themselves and creating a small presence in the room, they insisted that we create a circle. Carefully everyone stepped in between mats and came to the edge of the room and there we were a circle of 77 eager beavers. They broke into the circle and created a beginning and end to a yoga train that was about to leave the tracks.

"Follow the leader," said Martin. Then we proceeded to do the absolute sacrilegious thing and walked, skipped, pranced and hopped around the room until each one of us had stepped our bare feet on everyone else's mat.

Get over yourself and get over your mat. Teaching yoga is much more than flexibility and poses. We were learning Yama, one of the eight limbs: non-attachment.

Seven years later, I appreciate the game of follow the leader. After accidentally, leaving my yoga mat at the studio yesterday, I assumed I would find it tonight, where I left it. Much to my surprise, I found it tossed in the bin with all the other mats, still dripping with someone else's sweat. Mostly, I am grateful that they practiced asteya and didn't steal it. I laughed to myself. Consciously, I realized that I didn't have one negative emotion about the experience. I was right in middle of truly experiencing non-attachment. Then I went on to have the best class ever.

You can see by the picture that downward facing dog can be done anywhere, but real yoga happens off the mat. Real yoga has nothing to do with fancy poses. Real yoga is about being Happy, Healthy and Fit. Real yoga is about connecting your own mind, body and spirit so you can connect to and share with others. Real yoga is living with non-attachment. Real yoga is about spreading endless love. Practice letting go and taste Freedom!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Be One: Honor Your Light

I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”

- Chief Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux, 1877

"I can tell by the way your eyes light up," is my mother's answer to seeing through me. In her presence, I am transparent. She sees all the way into my soul.

By the time I was 16, I had already moved away from home. In a lot of ways this strengthened my bond with my mother. We would spend our rare quality time having lunch and going shopping. My mother was never overly generous while growing up and we just weren't big shoppers. Once I moved out, things changed. Occasionally, and for no apparent reason, she would not hesitate to spend $200 on a pair of shoes, $350 on an outfit or $150 on a pair of jeans. Other times, she would simply sit in my dressing room and say, "Are you going to get that for yourself?"

To the blind eye, it would appear that there was no real rhyme or reason to her generosity or lack thereof. At one point, I thought that maybe she felt guilty for making me buy all my own clothes in high school and college, but that my mother does not move in guilt.

The truth is, my Mom can see my soul. She would pay any amount of money to watch me light up. Those few times I would slip something on and feel like the most beautiful, brilliant, confident person on earth, my Mom wanted me to have it. She wanted to know that even if she was across the country, I could slip on whatever it was, just like Superman puts on his cape, and feel totally aligned in spirit and protected from whatever may come my way. It was never about the clothes. It was always about the feeling.

When it came to boys, my mother always wanted to meet them. She never cared what they looked like, she would just insist on seeing what their eyes looked like when they looked at me. She wanted to know that they could see my Light.

My mother can look into my eyes and see love, fear, sadness and excitement. She can see my Light. When she cannot see me, she calls and listens with her heart and hears the Light.

Somedays we shine brighter than others. Inside each one of us is Light. We don't need clothes, shoes or boys to bring it out, but tapping into those moments when you felt like a superhero will remind you what it feels like to be in a place of Love and Light, to be in alignment to be in-spirit. Open your heart and let endless Love and Light shine and reflect. We are One. Namaste