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Essential oils, body purification and closer connection to the body's needs

Essential oils, body purification and closer connection to the body's needs

Since I came back from my trip to Italy, I've been going through a mini revolution inside. I realized there are some changes I wanted to do for long time but never fully committed to, I've been often in a mental state of "I want to do so many things"

Fear of change

“People won’t take action until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.” Paul Mort This is so incredibly true. This sentence got stuck in my mind since I read it few weeks ago, and I feel it applies in so many situations in life. Whenever you wish to make a change, but the thought of it scares you or feels insuperable, you just put that wish away and forget it for a while. Then it comes back, and you push it away again, trying to justify why you really don't need to make that change, your life is good anyway etc. But inside you already know, soon or later that itchy thought will grow bigger and bigger in you, and you will have to deal with it, eventually. It could be anything, your desire to become healthier, quit smoking, lose weight, take a plane, follow your dream job, moving on from a wrong relationship. I like that in the sentence above, the word "pain" is being used. Pain is a state we all live in our life, on a daily basis. We live to alleviate pain, in a way. We sleep to alleviate the pain of being tired, we eat/drink to alleviate the pain of being hungry/thirsty, we work to alleviate the pain and problems of having no money etc...isn't the absence of pain what we call happiness?

So in a way, a change becomes necessary because it's creating a growing "pain"in our life, as discomfort, dissatisfaction, concern, lower self esteem etc. You realize that dealing with the change will only make your life better eventually, you envision yourself being happier; the change take place in your mind first, then when the mind starts metabolizing this thought, actions - not just words! - should follow.

Also, each one of us has different changes to deal in their life, do not judge what those are, because whatever change it's needed to be done, small or big you think it is, it takes courage, effort, work, dedication, motivation, an open mind.

I'm personally dealing with something I've been trying to avoid for years... and just couple days ago I told myself, no more. I got to the point where I can't escape this change, I tried, it's time to take this barrier down and deal with my fear of... DRIVING! Don't laugh at me, there is nothing that scares me more than driving a car. I'm 29 and never had to drive or own a car, untill now, where leaving in Las Vegas car-less became unbearable to me. I tried before and quit, now I'm motivated to get over with this fear.

So now you know, it doesn't scare me to stretch to the max with my butt on my head, but driving a car terrifies me lol. I'm dealing with it though! It's my time to change :) A fun fact, when I drive I have to wear my Tupac good luck shirt lol

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What scares you that you keep postponing changes towards it?

Self esteem suckers and good energy generators

(Note: I've blogged about this in the past, it's a often reoccurring topic in my head) It took me about 25 years to build up character, personality, self esteem, self respect, recognize what my passion was and what I was meant to do in this life. It took me a lot of struggle, wandering in a haze of confusion, insecurity, indecision. I didn't like those times and I'm glad they're way behind me. I'm not saying I got my life figured completely, but I'm pretty happy of where it's going, what I do, who I am, and I have to thank my parents for how they grow me up and the education I received, some influent people I met during these years, but overall... ME. Yes, thank you ME. Because I trusted my inner voice and followed dreams that looked like utopia for a while. I worked hard to become who I am, it's been a long, difficult but rewarding journey so far, and I usually don't let anyone put me down.

But there are few people that somehow make you feel weak, and can easily tear down that wall of confidence you built in so much time and with so much effort. I call those people "self esteem suckers". These people can be evil without even knowing it. They can be "friends", family members, coworkers... People you might love and they might love you back, but they can hurt you, discourage you, put you down in very subtle ways you might not even recognize. One thing I know though, I try to stay away from these people. I know they don't value my work or what I do the same way I do. They don't intentionally want to hurt you but they do. They can just think what you do is not as important as what they think is important. You get it? If you try to explain and talk them into looking at things your way, they just don't get it. So you stop there and move on without pretending everyone to understand you... It's hard though, because sometime you still have to confront with these people and hope everything goes right... I hate fights and the need to explain all I do, it makes me nervous and uncomfortable, I'm done explaining !

The good energy generators are instead those people who share your passion (or just understand your love for it) and they make you feel comfortable, at ease, with nothing "to hide". They just irradiate good energy and feed your heart with rare, quality support and love. These people are a treasure... Don't ever let them go! They probably feel the same way about you. It's funny how sometimes plain strangers can be the most supportive people, and your family or close friends can be the most hurtful!

So to end this post... You have the CHOICE (most of the times) of who you surround yourself with. Let go people who think less of you or just won't respect your life or your view on things; if you can't because they are part of your family... Stay cool and do what you do regardless. Stay close the ones who value you. Even though in this life we should be self sufficient to some degree ( don't depend on others), having a positive network of people around you is vital.

IMG_4839.JPG "Do what you love, as far as you know you only have this life to live, make the most out of it"

Pole Expo 2014

PHEW! I wanted to write about Pole Expo the moment it ended, but I found the time only tonight. It saddened me that it went by so fast and now everyone left, but I got such a wonderful experience from it. It gets better and better each year. Fawnia Dietrich, the organizer and owner of the Expo (a Pole and Aerial Convention), did such a good job and I'm happy I was part of it for the third consecutive year. About 200 workshops and many free seminars were held in just three days! I taught two workshops (Floating Inversions and Flexibility) and a third one (Floorwork Foundations) in the Main Expo room, here's a picture of it :)

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I met up with old friends like Torwa Joe which I love

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FIYASTARTA!!!

She gave me one of her Vertical Joe's jumpsuits to wear (picture below, they are amazing check their store here)

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I also had the chance to meet new friends and new students from all over the world, seeing some of my Chicago girls from The Brass Ring studio and even my online students that came all the way from my home country Italy, here I'm with them after our group class :)

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My friend and student Vera got me this lovely Bunny too

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we went on a little play at the Wynn before she left!

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I can't wait for the next year. If you like Pole, Aerial (hoop, silks), Acro, Gymnastic, this is an event worth to attend!

Everything starts with a wish

I know few things about life, one is: if you deeply, truly desire something, you will find a way to obtain it. It might take time, detours, efforts, sacrifices, sometimes you will doubt yourself; but if you stick to that desire, PLAN and ACT toward it, it WILL happen. I know this because 1. I've done it in the past 2. I learned it from one of my favorite books, the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It basically teaches you, if you want something from the bottom of your heart and go for it, demonstrating the universe through your actions the direction of your dream, the universe will help you and smooth out the path for you. This just happened to me. After several months of half-struggling in Chicago (The city life didn't fit me, even though I met wonderful people!) and not being sure if we'd have ever made it back to Vegas, we finally DID. Not only that, but we moved into a big, beautiful apartment I fell in love with, a new neighborhood that's practical and close to everything, the weather has been fabulous and not too hot, I got back into training with my coach (today!), I'm going back to teach at Pole Fitness Studio tomorrow and to perform/dance as well. I'm full of a happiness I waited long time to come, and I found an unstoppable energy in me. I will get what I want...because I'm patient, I work towards it incessantly and I believe nothing is impossible. I really think training my body has influenced a LOT my mind too, the way I make plans, act, behave; my outlook on life and goals has structure, just like a training routine :)

I deeply believe your mindset affects a lot the course of  your life, to simplify: "if you think bad, bad will happen, if you think good, good will". So stay positive, know what you want and WORK towards it. Do not freeze in doubts or worries, get up, dress up and GO/DO.

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This sign was on State Street in Chicago, it took me a while to figure it out ;)

Come visit me if you're in Vegas at Pole Fitness Studio Tuesdays and Thursdays, or stretch with me online here.

Will come back with more updates soon! Sofia

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Body-mind sync and living the moment

In different occasions my hubby told me that there is one thing he really likes about me: the ability to deeply connect with the moment. He says whatever I do it looks like I'm very focused and into it. Not just with training, but with simple things as preparing dinner, cleaning, teaching an online class. I wish I was able to be like this all the times, connecting with the present is easy, staying connected is not. We all experience times where we wish we were somewhere else, doing something else... But I truly believe life is such a gift that can't be wasted by not focusing on the present, because the present is really all you have, past you can't have it back and future is not here yet. So I guess when I do something even of little importance, I try to focus on what I'm doing not just moving my body but being present mentally too. I strive to do a good job. I also aim to make my life enjoyable and not a drag, so that living the moment, any moment, is actually pleasant. The times where I'm in a bad mood or distracted or worried then I lose this connection, my mind can't focus and my body just go through the movements, there is a big empty hole between the two. The best connection ever I feel it when I train or teach, my body and mind sync so well, it's exhausting because my whole self is working hard and 100% into it. So really the secret to do a good job in anything is (beside liking what you're doing), being there 100% with your body and mind, become what you're envisioning to be, being present and focused without thinking what's next or things not relevant to what you're doing. We must train our mind as much as we train our body.

That's it for tonight. Ciao!

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Balance and Flexibility in life

As you know in the last couple years I completely changed the way I trained my body, and I won't bore you again on how much I like contortion etc, so don't leave me yet ;) Training my body differently had a huge impact on how I see my life today, how I think, make decisions and behave. I've always used my body as a mean to deal with life, my approach to it has always been a consequence of how I treated my body, what I did with it, and so it's now. I used to not know the actual meaning of BALANCE and FLEXIBILITY, I didn't know the great gifts and freedom those two brings. In life if you don't aim to take care of a variety of aspects (how's your social life, your family, career, relationships, passions) you'll burn yourself out, on one front or the other. You'll be amazing at something (like your job) and sucking at something else (neglecting friends and family, call them when you need etc). I'm not saying you need to have everything perfectly working, that's unrealistic, but you should aim to a balance in your life where you can find satisfaction on many fronts, not just one or two.

Flexibility, that had a tremendous impact in my way of thinking, too. I now consider myself open to changes, I accept the new, let go the old, I'm mentally flexible, I adjust myself to what life brings me. We really have no choice! You can't fight changes, because changes are part of life, and they happen. Some things last a very long time, other don't, and it's ok. The more I get old the more I understand this.

HAPPY EASTER!

EasterBunny

 

Yours,

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The happiness of freedom

Anytime in my life I had a goal, desire or passion for something, and fulfilling that certain dream was up to my own decision and action, I gave all myself. The first time I remember doing it, was for a wrong cause, but at the time I didn't know it. I was 16 and I wanted to be a fashion model. In Italy models are extremely  skinny (seriously, fashion world is sick and I now hate it) Fashion-Model-Health-thumb-375x561-63474

So being a teenager and not knowing any better, I wanted to be like them... to the point where the more bones were showing, the better. I dedicated a whole 3-4 years to that purpose. I left any interest and close person behind, I don't have many memories of that time because my brain was zooming in one only point: being skinny and whatever I had to do in order to become that way. It was the most brutal fight I had within myself, I was fighting hunger everyday, dieting was my sport, losing weight was all that made me happy, really. I expressed my feelings with drawing, I remember drawing a skinny mean Sofia beating up the good pretty Sofia, or the good Sofia trying to escape...

 

I don't even want to spend too much time talking about it, anyway my goal turned into a compulsion and I became victim of it. I lost track and it ate me up, I was trapped. Slowly and painfully I got out of that sickening mentality and found a "healthier" passion (wasn't so healthy as it sounds). I literally fell in love with fitness and weight training, I loved strong, fit bodies and since I was coming from a past of obsessive control, the idea of controlling my body diversely (to be lean and strong) really excited me. I could eat! But extremely controlled still, and everything had to be in a certain way (no oil, no butter, no wheat, no carbs, everything measured etc). I started getting some muscle but still I wasn't getting the point: beating myself up wasn't necessary the best way to reach a goal or fulfill a passion, nor being isolated from the rest of the world because I had to go home and eat my three egg-whites...

So again I learned a lot from that, I got better, ate more, still I was going thru a lot of body-mind conflicts. I couldn't find a balance, I was happy to train, cook, go to the market, study the body, test my limits but deep down I knew something wasn't right. I just didn't know how to live differently anymore. What did it mean "eat whatever you want"? "Train tomorrow relax today/go out with friends/do something different"? I was still drawing, better situations, bad Sofia now was friend with good, fit Sofia. But she was still there...

With many ups and downs, body weight fluctuations, I kept fitness/body building as my steady passion for many years. I really loved weight training and how it made my body look. I competed several times and did fitness modeling.

Image When I found pole dancing, I started to feel the desire to explore a part of me I never knew I had: a sensual, "sexy" side, which was nothing but my woman/feminine side, that side I neglected all my life with my insanely strict diet and training ! So all in a sudden I wanted to nurture that side (surely not thru food). Pole dancing did nurture it, and beside feeling completely awkward and disgraceful at the beginning, I loved it. So at that time I had weight training still my #1 passion, and pole dancing right up the alley. I started drawing pole dancers and heels ;)

 

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I wasn't completely out of my body-mind war, still controlling a lot my food and training, with little to no time for anything else (beside school).

I'm talking about years here... So all I said so far is about a 10 years evolution. Now, this is the last biggest part. While pole dancing my butt off day in and out, I started to grow more and more interest for flexibility. At the beginning I wanted to be more flexible to be better on the pole. But then, about six months after, I lost some of my pole enthusiasm (it turned out I preferred Floorwork) and figured that I would dedicate myself fully to flexibility, and more specifically, contortion!

 

Image Few months into contortion, I realized there was NO WAY I could keep up with weight training, at least the way I used to. So slowly I had to take it out of my life :( Leg training was actually the HARDEST thing to give up to. I LOVED training legs. I loved squats, dead lifts... And I mean, pretty freaking heavy. Wasn't squatting 10lbs just to clarify, more like 130-140lbs. I said bye to my round full butt and opted for a smaller one lol, still trained my body but very differently, whatever was making me stiff was off limits.

But the biggest change I experienced with discovering this new passion (contortion), was that I didn't need to focus so much on my appearance (therefore diet); that draining control on food wasn't necessary anymore. All I had to do was training! And yes eating healthy, but at least not to the point I had to refuse going out for dinner, go to a bar with friends, hang out at a party etc... So I ended up fueling my body better and my mind "flourished", I became more social and relaxed, finally BALANCED. I felt a new way of happy...The happiness of freedom. Freedom to move, go out, eat... Flexibility has a huge meaning to me. So I'm sorry if sometimes I talk about it so much but 1. It's my passion and I give all myself to it 2. It gave me the greatest freedom I ever had

And bad Sofia is no longer in the drawings. It's only good Sofia, and she's very flexible :)

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Stiffness and hormones

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Alert: this is a post about "women's stuff" ;) Sometimes it's scary to think how our reasoning and mood is affected by hormones, it makes me feel like a robot that works on some mysterious chemical reactions. Above all, I wanted to learn a little more about estrogen and progesterone, the two primary sex steroid hormones in the female body, so I did some research to hopefully figure out what connection (if any) exists between muscle stiffness and hormones. It looks like women goes through a lot of hormones fluctuations (drops and rises) especially 1-2 weeks before their menstrual cycle, those cause several symptoms like anger, moodiness, fatigue, hunger, depression... AND joint/muscle stiffness !

It's hard to determine exactly what causes what, but right before a woman's period there is a high concentration of estrogen and progesterone in the blood, that suddenly drop right when the period starts. This drop releases the stiffness and rebalances all the above discomforts.

Here's a more detailed explanation of what happens:

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"The graph shows the normal hormonal fluctuation seen with menstruation.  Day 1 of the cycle correlates with the first day of menstrual bleeding.  The first phase of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase.  Estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest as the uterine lining sheds through menstruation.  The follicular phase lasts 10 – 14 days, or until ovulation occurs.  Just prior to ovulation estrogen and FSH (follicule stimulating hormone) rise, and LH (luteinizing hormone) surges to stimulate the release of an egg from the ovary. The luteal phase begins when ovulation occurs. Progesterone is exclusively released from the developing egg.  Both estrogen and progesterone work in concert together to prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy.  If fertilization does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease causing menstruation to occur." (drlauraruby.com).

So LOW levels of estrogen and progesterone seems to work magic with flexibility, at least in my experience.

Another interesting point this author makes is "estrogen dominance, resulting in changes in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone are the underlying cause of many of the symptoms seen with PMS". So this could solve my question about what causes the stiffness. Or at least I'm getting closer to an answer. I'm sure this can be slightly different from person to person ;)

To show you where I experience the most stiffness: my middle/upper back. They refuse to bend on those pre-cycle days !

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Traveling is food for the soul

On my way back to Chicago, summing up another trip filled with positive energy, sun, friends, training and meditation time to clear my mind about indecisions that were laying still and weighting heavily in my head. I consider myself a "go-getter", I believe in fate but I don't rely my life on it, I think when there is a will there is a way, action planning and hard work are the keys. I like to travel because I find it very stimulating, every trip leaves me with bigger motivation and desire of optimizing my time and life. I hate to waste time or spending it complaining or feeling unhappy. I like to find solutions. Traveling is really food for the soul, like a good book, it's nourishment for the mind. Being from Italy and been traveling since little, made me very interested in different cultures and habits, it got me more open-minded and willing to learn from others lifestyle, like kids at Halloween fill up their bags with the candy they like, I do the same with the things I learn, I put them in my own "experience bag" and with every travel, I do an estimate of where I am with my life, future plans, job, goals, where can I make improvement, what is lacking attention etc. You need to revision and update. Your life is never the same, it changes slowly but constantly, so it's good to take a moment sometimes and look at it objectively and ask yourself, am I happy? What can I do to improve my life? Are the people close to me happy? Do I have direct influence on their life? If so, you have to include them into your decisions and thoughts. So my soul feels full and smiling, like a fat Buddha ;)

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Superficiality vs Real World (Vegas VS Chicago)

What are you looking for when you pick the city where you want to live? Do you even pick, because some people stay in the same place where they were born and never move anywhere, sometimes because they don't know there could be places where actually you'd be happier to live, sometimes because they want to stay close to family and friends (nothing wrong with that). But me, I've always been looking for the perfect place, where I could enjoy almost every day, I really didn't want to think "oh I wish I was ___", I wanted to be already where I wished. So far I can't complain, beside my hometown Milan (Italy) I lived 5 years in Miami, 7 months in Santa Barbara CA, 2 years in Las Vegas and few months in Chicago. Chicago wasn't my first choice but it was a move necessary to do for personal reasons. I had many people telling me how beautiful of a city Chicago is and that it was time for me to relocate to a "real city", less superficial, more metropolitan, historical etc. But I still think that when people talk about places, they don't really know what they mean: they haven't lived my life and always have the tendency to believe the best life happens to be in big, "real world" cities. I disagree. Those are some comparisons I did between Vegas, capital of the "superficiality" and Chicago, one of the main US "real world" cities. Starting with Vegas: Some people call superficiality what I call simplicity. Vegas is a simple city. Smaller than most US cities, divided in 4 chunks (north east, north west, south east, south west), not very trafficky (beside weekends on the strip), based on entertainment and tourism (which is where people get the superficiality from), most famous areas are the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, overall a safe city, 1 season (a hot summer and a cold summer), it's dry and never rains.

Job wise, currently hard to find (especially if you're a guy).

Friends wise, not easy, have to agree, Vegas is a transient city, many people comes and go, I met some weird, crazy ones (Vegas can make you like that), some distant immersed in their world. But I made few strong friendships there, nonetheless.

Summer is extremely hot, but hey... that means pool parties ;) Vegas is perfect for those people who never want to grow up, leave the 'dream life feeling' and don't like conventionality.

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VEEGAAASSS !!!

Chicago is big. I mean very big. Chicago I learn is not only downtown, but all the suburbs surrounding it. It's a lot of distance from place to place, and traffic can be terrible. It's a very rich city tho, a lot to offer: concerts, theatre, museums, good schools, lot of bars, music, nice cafés, definitely more history than Vegas. I see why European people like it. Many good different areas, some bad ones (don't go south!). BUT...Holy crap, the winter. Really, the winter ruins the city. It's very hard for me to enjoy going to a place in Chicago, when it's 0 F outside. And it's so damn long... I heard spring and summer are beautiful, I don't doubt it! But can you enjoy a couple months of warmth without having the thought of winter on your mind ? Winter makes life complicated. More clothes to buy, frozen hands and feet, you get sick more frequently, and the streets are just an obstacle course

Image Are you f***ing kidding me boardwalk?

Job wise, probably more opportunities for both sexes.

Friends wise, well many people know each other from high school and such, relationships are long lasting and stronger I believe, more common ground, habits and culture. Vegas is a madhouse ! People are from everywhere.

What do you think of where you live? What characteristics you find very important to have? I'd love to hear.

 

 

2014 Update!

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Well, it's been quite a while since I've been here, probably my writing is rusty too, but I'm willing to come back, because this blog is special to me, it's like a beautiful memories container, my storybook and online diary. Also I thought I write and post many thoughts on my Facebook page, that get lost down the feeds, so it makes more sense to blog and save those thoughts :) Since my last blog, those are the most meaningful updates from my life up to today:

1. I live, talk and breathe contortion. I invest a lot of my time with flexibility training.

2. I moved to Chicago! And yes, I miss Vegas.

3. I performed a contortion act twice :) one at Pole Expo in Vegas (watch it here) and another one at The Brass Ring in Chicago (here, pretty sexy uh!).

4. At the moment I'm focusing a lot of my time working with my online classes and teaching at two great pole studios in Downtown Chicago. As I get better with my contortion, I'm really considering to perform more often, I'm going make it a part-time job, hopefully.

5. I got back to driving. Ugh, it still terrifies me every time. So I'm still in the process of getting comfortable with it.

6. I'm trying to travel somewhere every few months, either to Vegas to visit my friends and my coach Otgo Waller, which I miss terribly, or Florida, for workshops and the beach (TOO COLD HERE!), or less frequently Italy, to see my family and do more workshops. I love travelling, I think it recharges you and keeps you from sitting back and froze in a routine.

7. About my back, last post I was writing about acupuncture because I was going through some bad muscular pain, but it went away itself! My first year of contortion was pretty painful at times, but it's common when you just begin, your body is not accustomed to the new way of being. I still get sore, but not as bad.

That's it for now, I'll be back soon! Here's a picture from yesterday at the gym

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My Acupuncture experience

I gotta be honest, I was very skeptical walking into this Acupuncture Clinic today. Always been paranoid about needles, fainted couple times while getting blood drawn, I'm not gonna lie, I considered to walk out of the office and go back home lol. But I was very curious to try it, since everyone I talked to about it, was very enthusiastic. Every once in awhile my back muscles tense and get mad at me for stretching them like I do, so for the last year I had couple chiropractor's visits, lots of hot baths, some massages, creams etc. Today I was like: Acupuncture is what I didn't try yet! I had a pleasent experience. I can't say one visit solved it all, but definitely I felt different once I left the office. The side of my back that was in pain was finally relaxing. In Eastern culture, they say acupuncture acts on balancing the body's energy channels, here's the Western view (the one that convinced me the most!)

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"Definition of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

Explanation of How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.

Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system."

My back from today :)

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Reference:

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/How+does+acupuncture+work+

Career vs family... and a reality check

Unfortunately, I'm more and more coming to the realization that there are very few things important in life, that not all friends are true friends and money was just an evil invention. Starting with the money statement: lot of people would do pretty much anything for money, every day I see less and less morals, values and respect. Related to this, friends show their true colors when money is involved. I've seen relationship and friendship breaking up because of money. Bah.

The few things important in life for me are personal achievements, family, love and the few real friends you can luckily find. This past week I spent few days with my mom in Miami and our time together reminded me how pure and strong the mother-daughter bond is. I decided to live so far to follow my dreams and explore the world, but what a price I had to pay, stay away from my family and see them so little. So that made me question priorities, is our career and personal evolution more important than being close to our family?

I had great experiences throughout those years away, but I was surprised by how little friends I made, how little "significant people" I met. Most of my experiences were personal and private, as far as human relationships... Wow that was close to zero. I invested a lot of time and energy with some wrong people who left me empty and hurt. In Italy I had the deepest bonds and when abroad I often felt this big lack. After years of studying and traveling I was full of beautiful places, events, knowledge, experiences, but empty of relationships. So I started questioning why I needed so badly to stay away from my roots and origins... Till I met my hubby that was surely a big turn out in my decisions. I think following dreams and careers is a worthy reason to leave, but it has to be timed and it has to have an evolution (a succession of goals that become increasingly a bigger and more important plan), u can't spend 10 years following a dream, you need to set dates and know that your time is precious and you won't have it back.

I don't regret my decisions but I feel the need to be closer to my family and the people who worth the most to me. So I'm gonna use my time wiser and more efficiently. This is one of the good things I'm learning growing up!

A pic from Miami, stretching on the beach :)

New Project 10 72

You are... who you surround yourself with

I consider myself a "sponge" person, lol. I don't really know how to say it, but by that I mean, I absorb people energy, mood. Sometimes I can get excited, inspired or depressed, unmotivated depending on who's around me. I'm not the kind of person who has a shield around, whatever happen is not touched, affected. Also, when I hang around people without goals or life structure, I feel uncomfortable and out of place. When I talk with people with drive, interests, knowledge, experience, passion for what they do, my heart smiles and all the hopes about the world being a meaningful place shine profusely. I think it's very important to surround yourself with people like you, and also, moving on from people who has not "evolved" or grown up from the past as you did instead. Like those friends that are past their thirties and pretend to live like it's still college time, for example. I'm not telling you to analyze all your friends and get rid of some like you'd do on facebook lol, but consider what is keeping you close to someone in the first place. Work? Hobbies? Childhood? School? The more you grow up the less friends you'll have close to you, make sure those are supportive, valuable, long-lasting friendships. Beside friends, family and spouse (if you have one!) are important as well. Even tho they might not fully understand you at times (why is she doing contortion now??), they still love you. Bottom line: Create around you a positive environment of reciprocal respect, acceptance and support. Don't get carried away by people who doesn't match your ideals, values, lifestyle :)

Keep stretching!

 

Evolution

Just got back from a week in Miami where I got a chance to see my friends and relax, away from busy Vegas. Last weeks have been pretty exciting, my first pole photo shoot came out great and I started to teach pole dancing as substitute and soon will be certified and ready to be a teacher in full. Even tho weight training will always be my first love and passion, I'm looking forward to teach and learn from this new experience. Some pics from the shoot

  

I have been working more intensely on my pole skills and stretching, I really want to advance fast and be more and more flexible, even tho it's hard to combine gym training with pole, the two don't get along well. Weights make you sore and stiff, to be able to do pole work you need to stretch and be nice and fluid... so I kept my three heavy weight sessions (CAN'T stay away from weights too long!) and added double stretching and pole, minimizing cardio to one session a week. Seems to work ;)

I'm also excited because the weather is getting warmer, pools are opening and the upcoming months are the best of the year!  This is me today at Wynn

Lol not my best pic but such a nice day out here :)

So yeah, life is an evolution, some moments we stop and feel stuck, but those moments are the ones that propel us forward later on. I accept the evolution and I bring my body into it as well, as my mind evolve, my body has to follow.

Wish you a good Sunday!

Camaleon

A Camaleon is an animal which changes its color depending on what it's close, if it's a leaf it becomes green, if it's a rock he becomes gray, if it's a tree trunk he becomes brown. When you are said to be like a camaleon, it means you are able to adapt to your environment and surroundings, whatever those are. It refers also to changes and situations, it's your ability to be flexible, to let go previous situations, embracing new ones. I always liked this quality and I think it's determinant to not get stuck nor resist necessary changes to move forward in life. I think too often we are scared of getting out of our comfort zone or challenge ourselves. We all have an idea of how we want our life course to go, what our dreams and goals are, we have a plan or something like that, but so many times we get content with less, or we get distract, we wait, we fear bigger changes and our plan ends up forgotten. It's also true that sometimes life chooses for you, and things might go differently, happen at moments you wouldn't think you're ready for, or just you're forced into plan revision or plan updates. If you can be a camaleon and embrace changes, those you chooses and those you don't, everything runs more smoothly, less stressfully and you'll get where you want to be eventually (a good dose of courage is needed too). I can't tell you how to be a camaleon, but I can say it starts by being open-minded in life and do not think only black or white, consider the diversity and variety of life, all it offers and the more you can get from it, the better.

I recently decided to meditate after a home stretching session, I sat down, closed my eyes and tried to detach myself from reality. I thought about all things that scare me in life, like not knowing the future, not reaching my goals, losing people I love, not knowing what happen after you die. My mantra (what I tell myself and I want to go by) was: go with life, not against it. Do not fear. Be the happiest you can, by being the best you can. Take the most out of this life, age gracefully, be kind. Those 15 moments spent meditating really relaxed me. I wanna be a camaleon and go with life's flow, happily realizing myself and my dreams :)

Eventually things turn out fine

I remember being very little like 6 yo (?) and thinking " how am I gonna lace my shoes when I grow up?" "How am I gonna cut my own nails when my mom doesn't do it for me anymore?". It's funny to think that we always deal with problems which fit our age. Those were problems for me at that time. Then they evolved as I was growing up, something like "how will I be independent and make money?" Or " will I be able to live a "normal" life including dating someone, traveling, going out with friends and not base my life on training and dieting only?". Things like this I had thought about, because I always been very controlling on my life and wanted to solve and know ahead how I would have behaved with things I needed to deal with evetually. What is wonderful about life is that often times the less you obsess about something the easier it is to find a solution. It's similar to when you're sick: you worry about getting better, and the more you worry the slower you are to actually get well. Instead when you just relax and say "oh well, it will go away" soon enough you're not taking any medicine and don't even realize you got well. So I think in life there are times where for sure you gotta make decisions which require some wise thinking and doing, but I learned that you should let life solve things for you as well. I had to learn to "relax"( which doesn't mean being lazy or passive) and go with the flow of life and my heart, which knows a lot about my dreams and hopes, more than my mind, which I think held mostly worries, doubts, insecurities, fears and too much thinking in general.I'm 26 now and a LOT of what I once considered problems are now far behind me, and I'm getting stronger and stronger, the more flexible I am toward life, the less I'm stressed or too controlling, the stronger I get. My life is richer every year!... And a lot has yet to come.

Almost home, landing in about an hour (I was in Miami this weekend :)), can't wait to hug hubby and eat!!! Hope he's in the mood for steak... :P Ciao Ciao