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Success is a journey, not a destination. And Coaching by G is about being there for you throughout your journey. In this blog, Coach Giulia not only shares fitness training and nutrition tips but motivation and personal stories for inspiration.

MOVEMENT IS AN EXPRESSION OF WELL-BEING

how often have I found where I shouild be going by setting out for somewhere else

 

 

                                                                                                                                                   

The quote above rests on the wall in my studio. I know this intimately.

I moved to Chicago in 2006 for a postdoctoral position in Biochemistry and molecular genetics at UIC. I worked in a prestigious laboratory with the worlds expert in Anitcoagulation. My Doctoral research was examining the interactions of enzymes involved in the coagulation cascade: Blood clotting.

The human body has fascinated me since I can remember. I knew when I was 16 that I would study biochemistry. It took me longer than some people to finally gather the courage to pursue my dreams. I’m still pursuing them and they shift perpetually.

I found it difficult to emerge amongst the overwhelming noise that bombarded my own inner signal. I quit things most people wouldn’t. I went to college on a scholarship to play the violin—I was recruited in 1984. Who the hell even knew I was down in Louisville, Ky making music?

I wanted to play field hockey in college but apparently I was meant to play music. I left college after 2 years—even though I loved my school—I did not understand that I could get a degree in music and not have to be a musician for the rest of my life. I knew what I wanted AND I knew I didn’t want that. I left college.

I had been cooking in a retreat center in the mountains all summer and rafting and watching luna moths as big as my head and making new friends and so I stayed a while until my parents convinced me that I should be productive—so I was shepherded back to Louisville to live with my parents and get a job.

I started cooking in restaurants and then went off to Italy to study cooking in a 5 star hotel in Salsomaggiore Terme near where my father had grown up. I began to gain weight through college and after. While I lived in Italy I rode my bike everywhere and ate clean food. I worked a lot and spent time with family and lost a lot of weight.

This would be a theme in my life: on purpose, lean—off purpose, fat. Until I stopped the cycle.

When I was 24 I lost over 100 pounds and have kept it off for the last 32 years.

Weight loss is a practice—not a diet.

I lost weight by getting clear on exchange. By resuming physical activity that I loved, eating whole foods that I cooked, and quitting toxins.


There have been periods of my life traceable to relationship woes, job changes, and general angst where it was harder—but its always a practice.

Everything we choose is a practice. What does it feel like to eat things you know don’t make you feel good?

For me change came from the constant awareness that I wanted to feel better.

The book Dopamine nation will give you all the science—and the truth is we are getting a fix, like a drug. There is real hormonal chemistry happening…….every pursuit of pleasure (from a physiological perspective) is rewarded with a pain response—Dr Lembke calls them gremlins who hop on the other end of the see saw to re-equilibrate it.

My personal philosophy assumes that everything is emerging as a consequence of both the tension and unity between interacting systems. I believe that mental phenomena are neither separate nor distinct from physical events.

(Thinking and feeling are deeply connected) What is happening IS felt in the body because thought produces form. And the Body keeps the Score, for sure, as Basel Van Der kolk has written so eloquently.

And sages describe a state without suffering and a way to get there. That way is not to by searching for a remedy, a panacea, a magic bullet, or a pill, but to engage in the ongoing process of learning to become more animated and more connected. To become, in essence, more charged with life force.

My intention is to be progressing toward greater integration through the cultivation of my own energy. My practices allow me to NOTICE when I am not in alignment and to come back faster and with greater ease and with some grace for myself for reacting in an old pattern.

I feel better when I choose grace. This is the guiding Principle of my life and work. It feels good to be kind. It feels good to laugh. It feels good to move.

What feels good to you?

Movement as Meditation is not to create states of ecstasy or absorption but to experience being. In meditation, as in movement, there is a quality of both being and of rest. An arousal of your feelings of trust. Trust in what? Finding your home ground. Paying attention to what is happening in your body.

You are not meditating on anything else.

Whatever we do in life we are affected by our mind.

Movement can be a meditation that allows us to

s l o w the speed of thinking. Let go. Tune in.

Practice being conscious of what is going on in your own body.

What goes on with our body is worthy of respect. Self respect as Joan Didion reminds us springs from accepting responsibility for our lives

Feeding irritation by doing something to get rid of it doesn’t help at all. If you relate to it it can be an expression of well-being and of survival.

There is no point in suppressing what comes up.

The very fact that you are capable of experiencing irritation means that your psychological state is refined and sensitive and intelligent.

Movement allows a type of concentrating that is an expression of well-being.

Parker Palmer wrote that he has never seen “Way” open before him but he has seen way close behind him many times and that is how he knows way is open in front of him.

Way closes behind us, just like my back door. Find a way to surrender. Everyone who does anything great follows some version of this path: you get locked out of the life you thought was yours. You find a new way. You walk towards yourself and you keep going on the path…… internally, you already know everything. Your job is remembering 🙏🏻

The oak tree emerges from the acorn and no amount of forcing can produce an oak tree faster.

Our work is to create the conditions for ourselves to bloom and this requires deep listening and experimentation.

There is no substitute for genuine risk. Whatever we have put on hold in our lives is always there waiting.

Sojourner Truth said, “It is the mind that makes the Body”.

As we invite in new possibilities, I invite these questions…

What feels good to you?

What kind of movement makes you feel better and more alive?

If you’re not sure what that is and want to make a commitment to yourself I invite you to watch the video below

 

 

 

 

From my heart to yours,

Center Yourself

Center yourself

When I consider the concept of what and how we feed ourselves the word fitness comes to mind. Fitness is such a fat word, overripe and oozing with judgments. What we feed ourselves might be a story about why we are not fit or a story about how our body is different or how we have some limitation. But, it seems to me that fitness, like addiction, is self defined and truly every single body is different.

As a coach, what I teach is that awareness is the only point of change. If you plug coordinates in your phone to get to a specific location you also need to know where you currently are located in order to draw the map. This is true for any change.

Where am I?
Where would I like to be?

How can I get there?
What am I feeding myself and how?
What do I want to eat, to consume, to digest?

Its not just the food we are eating. It is how we get our food, where we get it, how we eat it, and how it makes us feel.
It’s not just what we are eating, its what we are doing while eating; reading, watching, listening etc…..
It’s not just what we are doing while eating it’s what we are doing and thinking and consuming all the time.

The only thing not fixed is the path from A to B but A and B are fixed points.

I ask everyone the simplest question: What do you really really want?
And, unfortunately, mostly people answer with “well, I will tell you what I don’t want!”

But that is seriously missing the point.
You are focused on what you don’t want. And that is the surest way to get more.
All of the places a person can be marketed to reflect a place within them where exchange is off.
What am I willing to give and to receive?
What is the payoff for consuming toxins—anything from alcohol and drugs to sugar, fast food and fox news (or any news)?
What stirs within—what amount of dopamine hits your reward center? What follows?
The point is, when we can get curious instead of certain we can make some progress?
How do you get in touch with what you are feeling?
Why are you doing what you are doing?
What are some things that you are doing more that you would like to do less?
What are some things you are doing less that you would like to do more?
One of the ways to gain some clarity is through the breath. If you are willing id like to do a type of breath with you today.
Together we can breathe some life into our hopes and dreams today. Collectively we can call on our higher selves and our spirit guides to walk us closer to our higher selves. For me this means opening the channel to allow more flow.
I’d like to share one simple practice I use called alternate nostril breathing.

In today’s video I will walk you through a simple, daily practice to center yourself.

simple daily practice to center yourself

In Ayurveda it’s called

Nadi Shodhana: Alternate Nostril Breathing

The word nadi means “river” or “flow.” Shodhana means “purification.” This practice cleanses and purifies the nadis or channels of the body, and balances the flow of breath through both nostrils, which balances our solar and lunar energies. In western terms, it increases the flow between the right and left hemispheres of the brain through the corpus collosum.It calms, purifies, and strengthens the nervous system. And is best practiced on an empty stomach.

Benefits: relieves insomnia, stress, and anxiety, purifies the channels of the body, calms the nervous system, regulates body temperature.

Precautions: headaches, fever, restlessness, agitation, seizures, blocked nasal passages, cold.

One thing I practice through the breathwork is a way to DO something without doing something. The breathwork I practice and teach is a meditation. The pranayama breath is way of breathing through the mouth only and is a way to bypass the mind and move directly into the body.

There are infinite paths inward and I choose several to deepen my connection to self.

Even in the way I teach movement there is not one way. There is your way. Right now. And Way will shift.

Way opens and closes not unlike our heart center. It seems to me that part of my work on this 3 dimensional plane is to continually seek and find way knowing that like every aspect of self it too will shape shift and disappear and reappear in new ways, as I do.

I am grateful for your commitment to your own growth, and I celebrate you!

From my heart to yours

How The Power of Commitment Will Change Your Life

The Power of Commitment

Watch now and learn how to tap into the power of your commitment.

When I set out on my journey to lose over 100 pounds, I WAS NOT setting out to lose over 100 pounds. I was setting out to find a way to feel better.

I had no goal of losing a certain amount of weight. I just wanted to feel alive in my body again.

My point? If you struggle with feeling better, you’re not alone. 

I am sharing my journey so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

I believed the stories I had about myself.

I didn’t know what forgiveness was and so my life has been a perpetual lesson in letting go and learning how to forgive.  

What does forgiveness have to do with weight loss? Everything.

Whatever the issue is, it is never the root.

In fact, the premise of all my work is that our biography becomes our biology.  

Our biography is an interpretation of our circumstances that we have accepted in a particular way.  We can shift our perception and grow closer to peace.  

A shift in perception is how A Course in Miracles (ACIM) defines a miracle. 

I have been fortunate to experience so many miracles and I want to show you how!

I have had many incarnations in this one lifetime. 

I was an athlete, a musician, a chef, a biochemist, a professor, and now a coach.  

As a coach, I embody all of my previous iterations and I have an opportunity to share more of the lessons I have learned and am still learning.  

Want to now what helped?

The power of commitment 

This changed my life over and over in the most beneficial ways. 

Making a commitment to myself was the beginning of my self-love journey.

An overused adage “it’s the journey not the destination” and it is of no help if you aren’t feeling it.

We are conditioned to believe that the destination is where its at! 

“I just need to lose 30 pounds.” 

“I just want to make senior VP and get a raise and then I will be set!” 

“I want to snatch 100kg and then I will be…….”  WHAT?

You won’t be that thing then because you aren’t letting yourself be that thing now.

We don’t arrive somewhere. 

We inch our way toward what we think will make us happy and along the way we find another path and follow it toward happiness and along the way to that we find another path and follow it, and all the while, if we pay attention, we are either experiencing more happiness or more frustration.  

Both of those experiences can guide us toward our own North Star—in fact no matter what you are doing you ARE on YOUR path. 

The trick is to ask yourself better questions.

On my 51st birthday I felt like maybe I finally had a clear concept of letting go and had the term “AMOR FATI” tattooed on my hand, right where I can see it when I grab a barbell.  

Amor fati is a Latin term meaning to “love your fate”.  Very simply it means love what is, as it is.  Stop trying to change things, people, situations, self…….

Memento mori, Memento vivere —don’t forget you have to die, and don’t forget to live!

Want more clarity about the life that you want? Download the free worksheet below.

Free Download

Remember, the reason you’re here is to learn to know yourself better. 

This journey is about self-love. 

Enjoy the worksheet, couple it with consistent practice and I’ll check back soon!

Sometimes the Blockage is the Way to Acceptance

Yoni blockage

Yoni. What does that even mean, I wondered. 

It is the place from which we are all born.  The sacred place. The source, shakti, the Divine Feminine.  In the literal act of baptism, the baptized pass through a giant yoni and are then said to be born-again.

What comes from birth is more than your life. 

It is a lot of pain.  Sometimes pieces of DNA that you might not want get stuck on you or in you, like Bowen’s disease.  They told me it was genetic.  This was before epigenetic was a buzzword —they told me I didn’t cause it but I probably triggered it, which sounded as much like blame as anything.

I was 24.  I had a precancerous growth on my vulva. What’s a vulva? See yoni.

The precancerous growth started as a virus-HPV, to be exact.  So, perhaps I was born with HPV from my moms yoni, but I didn’t trigger it evidently until I was 24 and deep into the stressors of living against myself.  This was long before I put the pieces together of how smoking and drinking and whatever other horrible things I was doing to my body, mind, and sprit in my youth were killing me. I just ran right smack into it. 

This is life.  This is how it is.  There is no escape.  All the things we do to escape the pain lead us right back into it. 

I teach this now: how to live toward yourself versus against.  I really wish I could just tell you to put down the chips, booze, device, joint, drug, whatever you are using to run away and just sit with it.  There are no weapons that can win the wars we wage against our past, present, or future pains. 

I built my life on avoiding pain. I know this shit inside out. 

I made it another 32 years into this life before the next episode of yoni expressed herself in me. This time growing on and in my uterus—taking up space, blocking exit or entry to my uterus—my creative energy.

I had this growth removed, surgically.  I sent it off to the lab for a biopsy: BENIGN.

The best we can hope for is a benign blockage. But what is growing? What I know to be true is that there is no benign anything.  Biology dictates that everything is either growing or dying.  Everything has a purpose.  Everything is here for a reason.  When I make jokes about why in the world biology thought to create mosquitos, I realize they are to feed the bats and their larva to feed to glorious angels we call dragonflies.  There is purpose everywhere—even if we don’t understand it.  

When I assume this to be true I can see that everything is already perfect, and everything is going from perfect to perfect versus from imperfect to perfect. It shifts my whole experience.  There is so much Grace in acceptance.  I can imagine that my life is emerging.  

I frequently ask myself what it means to accept what is?

Acceptance for me is surrendering to what is. Surrender is not giving up—its giving over.  How does an acorn know to become an oak tree? It simply emerges as itself—it does not perseverate about whether it should be a Ginkgo or a Maple or a Burr Oak, for it is already baked in the recipe of the acorn.  So too, the fertilized egg. What if we imagine some upstream point where the energy chose to be an acorn or a fertilized egg? It is one possibility. For me, it is a recognition that whatever I feel about a given situation does not change the situation. 

I use the example of freight trains: I am driving and then stopped at the railroad crossing—there is nothing to do.  I watch the drivers around me itching to accelerate—trying to find a path through, whipping around the stopped cars, driving into oncoming traffic lanes, anything to avoid the stillness.  I find it the most beautiful experience of being with what is.  No one has changed the fact that there is a train blocking passage. No one has sped up the situation.  But this is not the story they tell themselves—in their mind—they are smarter than the train—they know a way around it. They are making things happen!

This also applies at the grocery store. The line at the check out is long—all the lines are long—your egoic mind wants to imagine that it can calculate a quicker route—first it says—not this line, not the line you are in.  Anything is better than this. 

Malcolm Gladwell published a book—I cannot recall which one—that details that in fact this is false.  There is no faster way.  Someone will argue with this.   The mental space required to edge out your perceived competition in the grocery store checkout line or at the train tracks is not small potatoes.  It occupies your entire experience.  You may have scored the best groceries—the freshest fruit and vegetables, the most beautiful piece of fish, full of life force energy—the ingredients to cook a delicious meal for the absolute love of your life—and all of this will be overshadowed by your need for speed.

What if you waited your turn?  What if while waiting you just observed the insanity around you and discerned that you would rather have peace? What if you waited and dreamt of the meal you will be cooking, the look on your lovers’ face as they experience the cuisine you prepared with love, the ingredients hand picked and perfectly embodying the flavors you intended? That is just one thing you could occupy yourself with as you wait your turn.  Instead, you might leave the grocery store full of anger or impatience and self righteous fury forgetting all about the love with which you had shopped for the food.

We live in a world of me first.  There is an overwhelming sense that we are not supposed to have to wait in line, or for the internet speed, or for a train, or for anything or anyone. What is waiting? You really get to decide at every moment if you are waiting for something or if you are just being, here and now. 

Our ability or inability to get still is linked with every facet of our well being.  There is no way to be well if you are always thinking that you can get ahead—because with that you are never present in the now—and guess what? There is no other time than now.  

I know—there are so many who will argue with that last statement, too.  They say, “well you have to be thinking about your future and processing your past!” Mmmmmmmmm, perhaps integrating your experiences by being fully present in them is more important.  Have you ever tried that?

The essential understanding here is that all of life is experiential.  Until you stop thinking that you know the way to get “there” you are just chasing your tail.  You keep doing the same thing —your mind is on a perennial treadmill and you have no awareness.  The scenery never changes and you don’t even notice it.  You are so attached to knowing what is coming next that you miss everything that is actually happening and you define it as waiting in line—always getting the slowest, dumbest cashier (no judgment there:), getting stopped by the train (as if it were personal—only stopping you—targeted at you, even), but really all you are doing is waiting for your life to begin.

Until you allow consciousness to rise up in your patterns—you are just a puppet on a string of your own egoic mind.  You define every experience as happening to you as opposed to happening for you, or all the things you HAVE to do, instead of all the things you have chosen……..

It’s really simple—but its not easy.  Everything is.  Every single thing you experience is only exactly as YOU define it.  So I remind you to choose again. If you are not enjoying your life, choose again.  If you think you are waiting for some idiot, choose again.  Start to notice how you put yourself at the absolute center of every experience —it’s all about you in your mind.  But if you were to think the cashier thinks it is really all about them you’d be outraged.  

There is no place where one person ends and the other begins. There is no other person out there.  There is only you in there. 

So I am here now with a growth in my uterus.  Does it matter the origin? Does assigning it to my mother or to anything somehow save me? Does assuming I “know” the cause make me have to deal with what is happening differently? I wonder this when people say “x” is happening because “y”.  This is happening because of my mother. I mean, first of all, so what.  Second of all, how in the world does assigning responsibility to another person actually save me? It doesn’t.  I am still here with a growth in my uterus. 

What if I accept 100% responsibility for everything that is happening in my life? What if I assume the “acorn” knows what it is doing.  I respond to what is emerging rather than trying to push it away, trying to not feel what comes up, or even not hate it as though it were invading my pristine body? What if I KNOW that it is supposed to be happening?  What if I just wonder why? What if I wonder how I allowed something to grow and how I participated in its emergence instead of assuming it is wrong? 

Nothing I think or do or say can change what is happening.  

Next time you are in line waiting for anything see if you can notice how your mind assigns your impatience to other people.  It says you are waiting because of someone else. You would rather blame a stranger than recognize what you are projecting out of yourself. Choose again. You can remind yourself that you are choosing to be there.  You can remind yourself to stop centering your attention on roadblocks. Focusing on roadblocks will drain you of your life force energy through distraction. Whatever you are feeling is coming from inside of you.  If you feel anger, rage, impatience, hate, fear, love, joy happiness, peace, grounded—these emotions are in you.  If you say I am mad because……..you are assigning your feelings to other.  But they are your feelings. They are in you.  Events and people and situations only trigger what is already inside of us.  There is no cause.   Re-center your awareness on what you truly desire to experience and choose again.

I choose to see the uterine growth as an opportunity to clear away blocks to my creative power.  This is a chance to next level my awareness of my physical body and the connection between my thoughts and my experiences and my feelings.  This is another chance to gain some clarity on what is emerging.  I can allow it to shift and change as all things do.  I can be with it at every stage of it’s emergence as much as I am able. If I keep wondering it gives me space to allow for what is instead of assigning some meaning to it and then acting on it based on the meaning I have given it.

Its very different to assume that this growth is some horrible vestige of my past, or some bit of DNA from birth (which was really a long time ago, LOL) or some growth trying to zap my life, versus imagining that this is something for me to gain more awareness about my body, my life, my choices, my future. My power lies in my ability to shift my thoughts. 

There is a very clear difference between force and power. Force is linear and finite.  Power is  infinite and non linear.  Power grows with use, force is eliminated with use.  

I choose to tap into the source of infinite power—to allow the field of possibility to be etheric and beyond my puny mind’s ideas and to recognize that forcing anything only makes me tired and brings me down. 

What I am saying is different, but it is not difficult.  What I am saying is shift. 

Conscious Living

Female,Hand,Is,Putting,Last,Piece,Jigsaw,Puzzle,To,Complete

Scott Fitzgerald is famous for his novels and for his letters. In particular, a letter to his daughter, which he penned seven years before he would succumb to alcoholism. This letter resurfaces every year or so as a reminder to parents and children of where we should focus. “Don’t worry about parents,” he wrote. Best advice, in my opinion. Don’t worry about the past, it is gone, or the future, as it has yet to unfold.   (more…)

Ayurvedic Cleanse

Currently, I am engaged in a transformational journey through cleansing.  This is a cleanse led by Debby Andersen. 

 These are her words regarding the cleanse: “In Ayurveda, a daily routine is emphasized as a vehicle for optimal health. This is because a consistent routine supports the nervous system to relax. When the nervous system is relaxed, our digestion improves, our mind is clear, and we feel calm and peaceful. On the other hand, when our nervous system is not relaxed, our digestion is inhibited and our body and mind become anxious and unclear. 

If this seems far-fetched to you, think about how young children react when their eating or sleeping schedule is thrown off: temper tantrums and crying fits. This is what your nervous system does as well—even though as adults we are much better at suppressing these reactions.” (more…)

Waiting for a miracle

Portrait of African American young woman taking off protective medical mask and breathing fresh air, wearing wireless headphones exercising outside in the city during covid epidemic outbreak

It’s Super Bowl Sunday.  I remember when the Super Bowl was in January.  It seems every season is prolonged.  I feel as though spring used to come earlier, too, but perhaps it is because I lived in Louisville, KY (which sits squarely on the Mason-Dixon line), making it neither north nor south, but certainly south of Chicago.  I have been sitting squarely in this winter, waiting for it to pass.  I have awaited the passing of many things the last few years and I refuse to mention any more of them.  You know exactly what I mean.  Now I am just waiting on a miracle.

(more…)

Its 2022 – so what you gonna do?

As the end of another year is upon us, I am considering as I do often, how my life is changing and what I would really like my life to look like.  I encourage everyone to take a personal inventory—not only at year’s end, but at least quarterly.  What we really want can change considerably in the course of three months.  All goals change; they can become more nuanced, they can gather speed, or they can fizzle out.  (more…)

Anger Meditation

zoom meditation

Do you know that feeling when you are looking for something to make you feel better?

I don’t drink or use drugs and I rarely eat sugar; TV generally bores me and I don’t play video games. I read, I like to garden, I work out, I cuddle (play?) with my dogs, I sit in my yard and I write, but sometimes none of my “go-to” activities do the trick. I still need that “something”. (more…)

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