Saturday, January 14, 2012


Main Entry: in·spire
Pronunciation: \in-ˈspī(-ə)r\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): in·spired; in·spir·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inspirer, from Latin inspirare, from in- + spirare to breathe
Date: 14th century
transitive verb
1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on c : to spur on : impel, motivate d : affect
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
3 a : to communicate to an agent supernaturally b : to draw forth or bring out
4 : inhale 1
5 a : bring about, occasion b : incite
6 : to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another
intransitive verb
: inhale
— in·spir·er noun

It is my goal to inspire and motivate my clients, my friends, and also my family. They also inspire me greatly. Each one, in different ways.

Many months ago while setting goals for Rossi; a wonderful and active 67 year old woman that I am fortunate to train, she expressed the desire to be able to do a pull-up one day.

That zeroed in and placed a limiting belief of my own in the limelight. "I have a weak upper body and will never be able to do push-ups or pull-ups."

Rossi had no such belief and set a lofty goal. That, in turn, inspired me to act and alter that limiting belief.

Fast forward to today and no longer do I have a weak upper body. I can do pull-ups. I can do push-ups. Not only can I do them, I do them well and frequently.

I have shared Rossi's inspiring goal with other people that I train and have in turn inspired them as well.

We are all connected. Set your sights high. It is contagious.

-Nicola Byrne

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Enjoy While You Can

Today I congratulated my sister on closing on her first home. This should have been a joyous and momentous day for her. I know that I was so thrilled I could hardly contain myself! However, she was so worried about the future she had not yet paused to be happy or thankful or to just enjoy the moment. It was all just massive worry and she worked herself into having a huge headache as a result.

My words to her were to take it one day at a time and be happy now. To not be so far into the future that it was scary.

In return she said she was afraid to be happy for fear it would be taken away.

My mind churned that up a bit and spit out ... then enjoy it while you can.

Ultimately everything is temporary. Even our lives. The simple point of being mindful of now and grateful for now is for that very reason. Now truly is all we have, tomorrow is promised to no one.

Appreciate every little thing today. Every big thing today. Even a green light when driving. The small things surround us, there is simply so much to appreciate.

To miss anything because it may not be there tomorrow is to waste the present. Then you really have nothing.

I need a reminder from time to time as well.

-Nicola Byrne

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Wednesday's are busy for me. They are also a fun day because all my wonderful people that come in for training make me smile or laugh out loud. It is a fast paced day and it is over before I know it.

The highlight of yesterday was a late lunch. One of my most favorite people dropped off a bag for me before her training session and in it was two little cooler packs, a small container of her delicious chicken salad with dried cherries and pecans and cranberries, and utensils wrapped in a napkin with a bow wrapped around them. So so so sweet!

Perfect timing. Perfectly thoughtful and caring. I had a little picnic in between training sessions.

It is so ironic to me to remember that when I moved to Vegas I was warned to not trust anyone, that I would only meet people who were going to stab me in the back, that I would get road rage, and that I would not make any friends. It seemed odd to me then, because people are the same everywhere. Vegas is not Mars, people are not different here, and I have met and made friends with genuinely giving, caring, interesting, wonderful and fun people. I feel fortunate to know the people I do and to have the friends I have out here. And back East too!

"Money might make you wealthy, but friends makes you rich."

I am blessed.
-Nicola Byrne

"The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man's success in life."
- Edward Everett Hale

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grateful for Green Lights and my Favorite Parking Spots

I am learning to see more occasions for gratitude in my day than I have ever been aware of in the past. And to express it.

This is a sign of increased mindfulness of the present moment. No longer do I drive to work and arrive without remembering the trip. Today I had so many green lights it was uncanny. Each one I said a "thank you Universe I'll take some more" for and continued along to the next one and said it again.

Every single day when I pull off my block and get a view of Red Rock and the sunshine that lights it up like a priceless piece of art I can only think one thing.

I love my life and I am grateful for it. It may not be perfect but it is perfect for me.

-Nicola Byrne

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

Monday, January 9, 2012

A manicure, a pedicure, a massage and a should/shouldn't complex

Friday night I made time to go for a manicure and a pedicure. Saturday I had a massage which was arranged for me by a close friend who personal trains with me.

All week I looked forward to the pampering and down-time. This is certainly not a norm for me and for the past few years it wasn't even a once in a while indulgence.

Driving to my appointment Friday night I witnessed a negative thought process brewing and felt my mood change. I tried to head that off at the pass, so to speak, however the appointment itself didn't go smoothly at times (poor Lana was having a very rough night and was overbooked).

The negative thoughts all stemmed from using the word should. Should. Shouldn't. Every time I see myself use those words I realize I am passing judgement on something. A negative judgement no less. Actually it doesn't stem from the word should so much as from me judging myself as selfish and undeserving of giving to myself or receiving from friends. Hmm.

I shouldn't spend money on myself. I should be saving money. I should be working more. I should be doing something more useful with my time instead of sitting on my fanny being pampered.

Basically it means I still have some work to do when it comes to loving myself. I would never, in a million years, ever pass such a judgment on another human being and find fault with them having a Mani and Pedi once or twice a month. I judge myself too harshly, too often, and it is time to be a bit kinder.

Last month I had a massage. This month I had a massage. Physically my neck and back are a bit of a train wreck. Like the rest of the world I carry my stress there and have enough knots to secure a fleet of boats. After both massages I felt physically better yet mentally worse, I felt guilty. Who am I to deserve this gift from my friend? The first time I felt guilty I did not really understand why. This weekend, on the heels of the should-ing incident, I understood. I am really comfortable DOING for others and struggle with and against anyone doing for me.

My friend Bobbi Jo is like that as well. I see it so clearly in her and just noticed in myself. Do you see that in yourself too?

It is time to start treating myself like a valued and appreciated friend. It is probably high time anyone reading this does the same with themselves, as well.

I work hard and deserve a little pampering a couple of times a month. To replace the word should with want in my vocabulary will suit me well, and it probably will do the same for anyone else who chooses to do the same.

I want to appreciate me, just as I am.
-Nicola Byrne

Loving yourself allows you to see the beauty in others. It opens your senses to the brilliance of divine light, to the sweetness of your own life experience and to the power of your focused incarnation. Loving yourself allows your consciousness to assume the shape of love, which makes you at once loving and lovable. But most of us are very stingy with the love we offer ourselves.
-Rebbie Straubing

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Being Prepared

It is January and working at a gym means there is a certain insanity that this time of year brings. All those wonderfully good intentioned New Year resolutioners descend in force. The gym is packed. Equipment has a line three people deep waiting for it. Towels are all over the place. Parking? What parking? Every January I go through a phase of being unable to find my car because all my normal spots are taken.

I knew today was going to be a very full day, I had seven sessions back to back at one point. That meant making sure I was prepared. It was either that or run around like a chicken without a head and feel frazzled or hunker down and get ready. I prefer to feel ready and prepared. I put in a couple of hours the day before to plan my day from start to finish. Food. Water. Exercise. Every single program written out ahead. A trip home to let the dogs out. Food and water for the four legged creatures too. A folder for my new client with highlighted fields for information I need and a checklist so I did not miss a thing.

That made all the difference in the world. I had a day that was long and busy. I also had a day that was fun, engaging, challenging, and rewarding. It pays to plan ahead. A little time before leads to a far better time during.

I even found my car on the first try ...

Really thankful for post-it's and highlighters today!
-Nicola Byrne

I love it when a plan comes together.
-Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith (The A-Team)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Om Mani Padme Hum

One of my favorite stories shared with me in yoga class pertains to the Tibetan Buddhist Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. I reread it from time to time for a smile and for a reminder.

The True Sound of Truth

An old story speaks about a similar problem. A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried. 

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up. 

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself -- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified! 

"What's wrong?" asked the hermit. 

"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!" 

"Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?" 

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit. 

"It's so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies." Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

"Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?" 

"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced. 

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island. 

The four words of this simple mantra are said to contain ALL the teachings of the Buddha and yet it cannot be translated into an exact phrase. If it contains so much in so few words I imagine that is why there is no simple translation. It has a beautiful sound though and a very lyrical flow to it.

It is interesting what I wake up thinking about on some days.

-Nicola Byrne

All happiness comes from the desire for others to be happy. 
All misery comes from the desire for oneself to be happy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year?

I understand the concept of the new year and although it takes me a few days or weeks sometimes to actually get the date right, I really don't feel like anything changes beyond that. There is no burning need to make resolutions and make huge changes.

That wasn't always the case, in the past I made resolutions and like the majority of humanity, did not keep them.

Instead now I make adjustments on a daily basis. Life is like driving a bus, I make adjustments in how I steer it and stay on course. Not so much focused on a particular destination, instead I focus on enjoying my life and being grateful for everything. A green light driving to work. A parking spot that I favor. The special people I encounter every day. Conversations with friends. Reading a good book. How happy my dog and cat are to see me, any time of day or night.

Those are easy to be thankful for. It takes a little more determination to be thankful for the things that don't go "right" or "according to plan". To see past the initial knee jerk assumption of failure; to look for and appreciate the lesson hidden there as well. There have been a few of those this year, and I have learned a lot about myself, my decisions, my strengths and my weaknesses.

If I find myself going off course and worrying about something or spinning my wheels thinking about things I have no control over, I steer myself back to what I have to be grateful for or repeat one of my two reliable mantras. Affirmations.

"I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy."

"Every day, in every way, I am getting better, better and even better."

I've seen it said that a belief is simply a thought you think over and over. Therefore, I can recreate my beliefs as I see fit. Why should I believe I'm a klutz when I can just as easily believe that I am coordinated? Personally I prefer having the belief I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. It covers everything I want to be, feel, and experience.

-Nicola Byrne

You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can't have it.

-Dr. Robert Anthony