7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Monday, July 14, 2014


As much as I enjoy working out alone, I've accepted that in order for ME to improve in areas I'm looking to improve, I need to surround myself with people who challenge me to do more. I do not have the desire to compete against others, just myself. I will admit that I've stayed in my comfort zone too long and I am no longer afraid to say that I want to be stronger, faster, and leaner. I want to conquer the fear of clipping into my bike. I want to conquer the fear of 26.2 miles. I want to conquer the fear of lifting heavier. I'm done with making excuses that I said I didn't make. I know that fear is keeping me from MY personal greatness and it is time for me to #GetUncomfortable and #BeGreat.

This is the Facebook status I posted 6 days ago and I must admit, I inspired myself. I posted this because I needed to put it in the universe that I was afraid; that I care (to some degree) what others think. I didn’t want to be that person who is “doing the most” because that’s bad…right? Wrong. Fact, I am setting out to “do the most” why not? I’m not injured, I’m not hurting anyone, I can physically do it, and shoot, let y’all tell it I’m an “inspiration.” That still trips me out, but I’ve learned that I cannot tell anyone what/who should/does inspire them.  

Then it happens, I exhaled and embraced the idea of being great; my great. I felt empowered. I felt strong. I took action. I called a couple of people who expressed interest in helping me learn more about cycling. I’ve signed up for group rides. I exchanged my bike for the one I really wanted (but said I didn’t) and quickly silenced the voice that said “you don’t need that bike.” I had the cleats on my spin shoes adjusted. I purchased clipless pedals (not sure why they are called clipless of you clip in) I CLIPPED into the pedals! I rode that daggone bike. I did not fall. I ventured out to run routes that are a little tougher and secured me an accountability partner. I got UNCOMFORTABLE! I felt proud of myself. I. WAS. GREAT!!! Weak (fear) left me. Strong appeared. I am doing the most…the most for me.

Now, if I can “do the most,” #BeGreat and #GetUncomfortable what is keeping you from your personal greatness? Is it fear? Naysayers? Limitations that you’ve placed on yourself? Whatever the obstacle, acknowledge it. Crush it! #BeGreat.

Peace and Love,


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer time fun! Festivals in Indy!

For more information, visit http://www.indydt.com/summerfestivals.cfm

June 7: Parents and kids alike can find something fun to do at the 15th annual Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival at Military Park. While adults sample local culinary offerings and taste some of the 200 Indiana wines offered, kids can enjoy interactive fun inside the KidZone. Artist booths will be on-site and live performances will take place throughout the day – be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!

June 7: Explore the sights, sounds and tastes of all the different cultures of Asia at the 7th annual Asian Fest taking place at White River State Park and the Indiana State Museum from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Don’t miss the costumes fashion show and various cultural performances at this FREE festival.

June 12: The Christ Church Cathedral Women’s Strawberry Festival returns to Monument Circle to serve an estimated six tons of strawberries and 18,000 homemade shortcakes to the public in support not-for-profit outreach groups. Desserts range from $2 to $6 and are served from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (or until food runs out).

June 13 – 14: Enjoy more than 25 different pastas, Italian meats, desserts and more at a delicious celebration of Italian culture: Italian Street Festival. Be sure not to miss it at the corner of East and Stevens street. Hint: bring your dancing shoes.

June 14: The Circle City Pride Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year at the American Legion Mall. Programming for the festival includes live performances, vendors and more, and is intended for all ages. Admission is a suggested donation of $5.

June 14: Live music, local food, local craft beer and cider, ice cream, raffle prizes and more make the INDIEana Handifcraft Exchange the perfect way to spend a summer day. Vendors include local clothing and jewelry designers, as well as some of Indiana’s favorite names including t-shirt producers United State of Indiana and Lick ice cream. The event runs from noon – 8 p.m.

June 14 –15: More than 270 artists from across the nation gather on the north side of Downtown Indy each summer for the Talbot Street Art Fair, continually ranked as one of the top art fairs in the U.S. The fair is FREE to attend and offers entertainment and exhibits for all ages to enjoy.

June 19: Cookouts in summertime are a must. How about one on Monument Circle? The Marsh Cookout on the Circle takes place during lunchtime as “celebrity cooks” serve Midwest cookout classics, with proceeds helping hundreds of central Indiana Boy Scouts attend Scouting Camp each summer.

June 21: One of Indy’s most popular beer festivals returns for the 19th year to Park Avenue just outside Phoenix Theatre. Brew-Ha-Ha takes place from 3 – 7 p.m. and costs $30 for general admission (purchased in advance) or $10 for designated drivers. In addition to more than 30 local craft breweries on-site, attendees will enjoy live music and food from local vendors.  

June 21: PBS Kids in the Park, hosted by WFYI, will take place at White River State Park from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Celebrities rumored to be on-site: Kids can enjoy “character meet & greets” with  Clifford, Curious George, Maya & Miguel and more. Catch some exciting live entertainment, visit vendor booths and play games.

June 21 – 22: The Eiteljorg Museum’s Indian Market and Festival is one of the Midwest’s largest Indian markets, featuring more than 130 Native artists, food, performances and family fun. Try unique foods including a crowd favorite, Indian tacos. The Festival takes place in Military Park from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is FREE with the purchase of general admission to the Eiteljorg.

July 5: Some of the city’s most unique restaurants come together for a one-day festival on the Canal. The 3rd annual Taste of Indy blends great food with live local music and family-friendly events. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. and includes Asian, Soul, Greek, Mediterranean, Cajun, Hispanic and American food. 

July 10: Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration brings a variety of events Downtown for all ages and interests. Larger events include the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Corporate Luncheon on July 18, Music Heritage Festival concerts July 18 at the Indiana War Memorial and July 19 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the All White Affair July 19. Advance general admission tickets cost $8 or $19.99 for a three-day pass.

July 12: Situated in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis, the Indy Criterium offers cyclists a unique opportunity to race the city streets that they would rarely do otherwise. Families can enjoy BMX stunt shows, yoga in the park, a Sun King beer garden, food truck festival and more.

Aug. 2: The Mass Ave Criterium brings together more than 400 cyclists and 5,000 cycling fans. The course is a chllenging, triangular, 2/3 mile course through the Mass Ave district. Non-cyclists can enjoy the beer garden and live entertainment.

Aug. 8: Thousands of motorcycles of all types will take over the streets of Downtown Indianapolis for Motorcycles on Meridian, coinciding with the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. All ages are invited to check out the unique sights and sounds around Monument Circle, Meridian Street and Georgia Street.

Aug. 14 – 24: IndyFringe Festival is one of the biggest (and most unique) performing arts festivals in Indy, and takes over Mass Ave for an incredible 11 days in the middle of August every year. Nearly 300 performances will be given during the festival ranging from dance, drama, comedy, magic and more.

Aug. 17: Local farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners and food enthusiasts will gather at White River State Park on August 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana, Indiana’s largest farm-to-fork festival. The fourth annual festival will feature tastings of Indiana food, beer, wine and other local refreshments plus live entertainment, discussion panels and cooking demonstrations.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Secret                            

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Many of us grew up hearing that and living in homes that while may have been modest were probably spotless.  Having a kitchen floor that was so clean that one could eat off of it was worn as a badge of pride.

When I was growing up, having and maintaining a clean house was important.  It said that you cared about your family, it said that you had pride in your surroundings and it said that even though you might not have a lot what you did have was well loved and well cared for.  For many of us of a certain age regardless of geography, class, persuasion, etc. – there is a common story about the Saturday cleaning the house routines.  I was surprised as I grew up and went out in the world, how many of my black friends had similar stories about their moms and the Saturday morning house cleaning routine usually with great music on as the soundtrack (I was also shocked to learn that many of my white friends DIDN’T have that experience).

While many of our moms were fantastic housekeepers and house managers, many of us don’t serve in that role today.  Part of it is because we’re busy, part of it may be the abundance of accessible and affordable cleaning services and a little part of it may be that since it was so important to our parents it became another one of those things we put aside solely for that reason to show that we’re different.  Part of it may also be that we didn’t learn to clean.  I don’t mean we didn’t clean – I mean that we didn’t learn how to clean.  I’m a witness.  I’m not a cooker or a cleaner, mainly because I didn’t sit at my mother’s feet to learn those skills.  Now, I do share her love of reading, the theatre and arts because that is a knowledge transfer that she fostered.  Come sit with me and let me tell you about this book I’m reading.  I’m going to pick you up from school early so we can go see a Broadway play or visit a museum.  Very rarely did my mother say, come in here and watch me make this liver and onions.  If/when I did show interest in that kind of stuff she would say “Oh, I’m fine.  Go on out there with your dad and brother and watch football (I know hella lot about football) or go watch the news with your dad.

Maybe since many of our moms had moms or grandmothers or aunts who cleaned people’s homes for a living, there was a little of that my child won’t have to clean anyone’s house.   Save for the Saturday sessions and the keeping your room picked up – there was very little tub scrubbing, window washing that went on a daily basis by most of us – if we admit it.

The curious thing to me now though is the number of my black female contemporaries of a certain age that are paying people to clean their homes and the way we view that.  I started using Molly Maids years ago when we had a 3 bedroom house, two cats, two full time jobs and a kindergartner.  A clean house was important to me but I didn’t have the inclination or time to clean it myself.  I used Molly Maids in quiet – not mentioning it to my friends.  I got outed one day when a girlfriend stopped by and saw the “cleaned by” card on my counter.  We never spoke of it, but I remember thinking that she probably thought I thought I was bougie and too good to clean my own house.  I didn’t and I don’t, but while I had no problems talking about getting my house cleaned with white girlfriends or colleagues there was only a select few of sisters that knew. 
So, imagine how I felt recently when a beautiful friend of mine posted on FB asking for a cleaning service referral – she prefaced her request with “I’m not bougie” and asked her friends for names – many of her friends who were also black women gave her names of services they were using and we all had some clarifier in our response about how we were’nt bougie by having a cleaning service. 
One of her friends – a man – commented on that – he was like why is that being bougie.  It’s a service, you have a need you hire someone to meet that need. No judgment. 
He was right.  I think for many of us especially middle (and not so middle) class, not rich, not ladies who lunch there is a bit of a struggle – at least there is for me.  I’m very grateful for the ladies that come clean my house every two weeks and am slowly looking at that as other stuff that I pay for and assign no judgment to - like gas, utilities, etc.
Part of the beauty of living your life well is assessing what is important, what do you need to spend your time on, what do you want to spend your time on and then doing out.  Where we struggle is trying to live up to other's expectations about us and for us.  So, for me it's my cleaned by somebody else house, for you it might be something else - and that's ok.  The gift is owning our authentic selves, dirty little secrets and all.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Growing Places Indy: Summer Apprenticeship Program! April 4th Deadline!

Get hands-on experience in urban farming, study issues of food access and undertake self-exploration through yoga over the course of nine weeks with the Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program
Visit the Growing Places Indy website for more information!  Also remember to visit the Indy Winter Farmers Market at the City Market! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a Season of Renewal!

We are living in a season of renewal! The Vernal Equinox is quickly approaching on March 20.  For many, it marks the first day of Spring.  It will bring warmer temperatures, the birth of many animal babies, and the budding of flowers and trees.  The energy of renewal will be abuzz in the air, so why not harness some of that energy for a renewal of Self?  This would be a great time to plan to renew or further maintain any of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.

Often we hesitate to attempt renewal in our lives out of fear of failure.  It is okay to try something and simply determine that it’s not for you.  Regroup, keep your renewal goal in mind, and try again.  When we come to the bumps in the road, we must try, try again if at first we don’t succeed.

Interested in renewing your Physical Self?  Try a new workout routine or nutrition plan. Schedule a makeover and toss or refresh your old products and skincare regimen.  Does your Intellectual Wellness need sprucing up?  Enroll in a self paced online course, or finally get to three of those books on your must read list.  Maintain your Social Wellness by calling and catching up with a friend or family member.  Accept an invitation that you might typically decline.  Environmentally, focus on Wellness by planting a windowsill garden, begin a compost bin for a larger garden, or buy local produce.  Look for ways to renew your Occupational, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness also.

Now is the time for renewal!  The energy is all around us.  As dramatic as it sounds, on the Vernal Equinox the Universe will be conspiring to align so that we may renew and grow! Life life well!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To Be Or Not To Be Transformed

As you look forward to what you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year; hopefully in addition to looking forward, you have also spent some time looking back and reviewing some of the things you have done that work and some things that have not worked. I have this interesting habit I started several years ago where every 3 to 6 months I try to stop and take a look at where I am and try to evaluate what I need to change as well as what I’m willing to change. Please note I said willing to change. For I will be the first to admit there have been some things that I have seen about myself that I know I need to improve upon (i.e. exercising, eating better, etc) and like that new sweater, that I didn’t really need but I have bought, I take it out look at and then I very nicely fold it up and put it back in my closet. So, I confess I’m constantly warring with myself to be changed or not to be changed. Yes, I admit there are days when I’m SMH at myself.

Believe you me, I know how easy it is to let myself go through a whole year patting my self on the back for all the good things I have done and feel perfectly comfortable closing the closet on the things I don’t want to deal with. Ironically some of those things I don’t want to deal with so often are at the root of the things causing me frustration about goals I have not reached. Yes, all those little things that are taking up space on the surface may not seem like a big deal, but over time I have discovered when I keep piling stuff in my closet and not cleaning out the stuff I don’t  need I begin to not have room for the things that I do need. So often that is how our personal, physical, spiritual and emotional lives are.

I remember once when I was very young one of my aunts took me on a trip to an amusement park. I was super excited because this was my first trip to a big kids’ amusement park. The second ride we went on was the Merry Go Round. It seemed like so much fun and then I got on the ride and I got sick as dog. My poor stomach and head could not handle that slow ride, going round and round in a circle going no where. I don’t’ think I got on another ride the rest of the day.  I can still remember thinking about how much fun I missed out on all because I couldn’t figure out how to get off that dag on merry-go-round. Why am I sharing that story?  Simple that ride taught me a very important lesson about life and that is sometimes no matter how pretty or safe some things look if all they do is go round and round in a circle and takes you nowhere don’t be surprised if eventually it makes you sick. It has been a long time since I got on my first merry-go-round and I have learned a lot of things since then. One of them is eventually the ride will stop you just have to know when to get off the ride when it does. 

Listen facing and dealing with the things we have tried to ignore or keep buried is never easy but trust me in the long run dealing with them is for the best. Some things in your life are not going to change until you change. So let’s make a pack let’s promise ourselves to take a mental, spiritual and physical check of our closets. Don’t be afraid to clean house. You don’t have to wait to Spring to start your cleaning. Let’s start now, because the sooner we address and clean out those things that cause us clutter, distraction and aggravation the better off we will all be.  

Positive Thought For The Week