You Are Perfect!

You are already perfect. No doubt about it.
Take a few moments to appreciate the cool-ness of you.

This month, let’s abandon obsessing over what other people think. Let’s clean house. Let’s nourish ourselves.

At a recent dinner with friends, I listened to intelligent, accomplished people moan and groan about how much skinnier they wanted to be. How they wanted to quit their lame job. How their boss/ partner/ child doesn’t appreciate them. How judged they felt. How empty. How much more they wanted. I found myself chiming in to the pity party.

We all want to feel loved. Appreciated. Respected.
And it starts with learning to love, appreciate, and respect yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Start with something concrete like your nutrition. Instead of depriving yourself of calories or food groups, figure out what you need to nourish your body to get through all the things you do in a day. Chart your day. Look at all of those amazing things you hope to accomplish. Now, make a list of what you need to fuel your body so you can perform all the tasks effectively. What do you need to nourish your body? Veggies, complex carbs, lean protein = fuel that makes your body feel great. I guarantee that you won’t be writing down big macs or candy bars.

Focus on nourishment. Then, if you are reaching for the non-nourishing chocolate chip cookies, understand that there is an emotional or psychological component to that desire. You are bored/ sad/ stressed. Figure out what you need to nourish yourself emotionally or mentally. Some things take time to change, so you may need to eat the chocolate. But put yourself on the path to feeling mentally and emotionally well-fueled. Make a list of all the things that make you feel good. Then, “feed” yourself well. Be emotionally fat and happy.

Realize your perfection.



Happy Birthday, MAFF Hawaii!

“Leap and the net will appear.”

Four years ago, I took a leap of faith and opened the doors of Martial Arts Family Fitness- Hawaii.  I was excited one moment and terrified the next, thrilled to be following one of my dreams, and scared that Cade and I would be homeless.

Four years later, I wouldn’t change anything.  The seeds have been planted and the dojo is now ready to bloom.  As a mom, I’ve had the pleasure of watching my little boy grow up on the mat, reciting the tenets of our school with pride.

Cade and Koa

Cade and Koa warming up for our first belt promotion in 2007

It has also been my pleasure to watch the dojo take on a life of its own.  We have truly become a family.  Students may move and leave the dojo, but they know that they will always be part of the MAFF ohana.

I must also gratefully acknowledge my wonderful MAFF Team.  Some have moved on, but they are with us in spirit.  Thank you Grace, Emily, Tara, Brian, Anjali, Linnelle, Ben, and Kim.

I find that as I take more leaps of faith and commit myself to our MAFF mission, the stronger and vaster the net becomes. We have already succeeded.

Happy Birthday, MAFF Hawaii.  Yay, us!

Our first belt promotion in May 2007...

Becoming a Black Belt

“A Black Belt is just a White Belt that never gave up.”

Becoming a Black Belt is milestone is one’s career as a martial artist and in one’s life. That piece of black cloth represents years of dedication, hard work, and perseverance. It is also a moment of great reflection. What have I learned? Where am I on my path? Where do I go from here?

On March 5, we have five outstanding students testing for their 1st Dan: Kimiko Yerick, Ben Dooley, Roy Sugiyama, Barbara Petrus, and Ray Chun. I am very proud of their efforts and individual progress. As we approach the moment of their test together, I, too, am reflecting.

Through our journey, I have learned that a good sensei must be a good student first. I am humbled by the commitment and dedication of you, my students. Your success becomes my success, your challenges become my challenges, and your pride in your accomplishments becomes my pride. I learn from you everyday. It is an honor to be part of your daily lives.

Where do we go from here?

Receiving your Black Belt is the first step on an endlessly fulfilling, contiuously challenging journey. Will you make mistakes? Yes! Will you still fall down? Of course. But a Black Belt knows that it is all part of the game. Just ki-ai loudly and get up with grace and style.

I am delighted and excited to take the next steps with you.

Milestones and Serendipity

2010 was an amazing year. There was drama, intrigue, challenge, love, laughter, grief… you name it. And it all somehow seemed magnified and larger than life.

The dojo turned 3, my son turned 10, I became a 20 year martial artist, I directed and/or performed in 7 productions, I earned my 3rd dan, I got my 4th tattoo, I was reunited with my master 3 times, and I met 1 kickboxing legend. I was pushed to my emotional and physical limits on the mat and in my personal life.  What a year.

I am so grateful to have such wonderful students who are committed to health and happiness. You inspire me to do more, say more, live more. Now, as 2011 begins, I feel a sweet optimism. Everything happens as it should– believe in serendipity and be brave enough to walk the path.

I’ll cheer you on every step of the way.

Bill Superfoot Wallace and Me

The Wall of Change

Small changes lead to growth, and growth leads to transformation.

Sometimes all you need to do is set a small goal to get yourself out of a rut. This September, over 60 students at our dojo have taken on our September challenge. The challenge was to set a goal, practice that goal every day for the 30 days of September, and be the change. Students posted their goals and motivation on our “Wall of Change.” The collective, positive energy is amazing.