Mama Knows Best

I was legit getting worried that I'd never be able to say this buuuuuuut: Happy Spring, Shrinkstars! Fin-freaking-ally! 

In November, I shared a story about my dad and his trademark "attitude adjustment" and y'all ate that post right up! (Did you miss it? Read it here.) With both her birthday and Mother's Day this week, I thought it was time to give my beautiful mama some extra love:

My mom is an incredible nurse, seamstress, gardener, listener, wife (she and my dad have been together since they were SIXTEEN YEARS OLD!), tears dryer, driving teacher, scrambled egg maker, closet cleaner outer, french braider...I could literally go on for hours. She has given me everything (beginning with, ya know, MY LIFE) and I swear that the gifts she gives me keep rolling in. She gave me a HUGE one just last week.

I was talking with her about some plans she and my dad have for their house. Let me tell you something about the house I grew up in: it is a magical wonderland. It's 125 years old and has servant's stairs and a sleeping porch and cool architecture and a huge front porch and a fish pond and a fountain and a backyard garden oasis with a pool and hot tub. She and my dad are so generous with hosting everything from my high school post-prom sleepover fiesta to my bridal shower to a Fourth of July party the DAY AFTER they hosted MY WEDDING. 

As you can imagine, though, a 125 year old house in Massachusetts is also a lot of work: it has an oil furnace that costs approximately six billion dollars to heat in the winter (my dad's favorite phrase from November-March is "put on another sweater"), the lawn doesn't mow itself, the pool doesn't magically chlorinate in the night, and someone has to shovel. When we were talking about it last week, my mom said that it really needs to get painted, and they need to do some other upkeep and repairs this summer. She mentioned that at some point, she and my dad will downsize to something that is simply less work...and then she dropped this wisdom bomb on me (please imagine this all read in a thick Boston accent):

"But you know what, Liv? Your dad and I will probably never have something like this house again. Yes it's old and a ton of work, but it's so charming. If we do downsize, it will be because we want to, but we probably won't have three porches and a fish pond and a pool and a hot tub and a yard for the dogs and space for all your friends to crash and a fireplace and a hidden staircase....even with all the upkeep, this house is as good as it gets."

Jayne Petzy, the genius. There is so much wisdom and kindness in that mindset it kills me. She can see right through the imperfections and straight into the heart of the perfect NOW.

I've been thinking about that conversation all week, and especially over the weekend. If you're my friend on any social media site, there is surely no way you missed the 23958 pics the Shrink Session family was posting of our photo shoot and opening day at The Movement (more on that later!). We had a Shrink teacher photo shoot, and man, did that bring up some crazy thoughts!

When I got to the studio, I was suddenly flooded with thoughts of not enough-ness. I was like "I forgot to get my eyebrows done. Is my stomach flat enough to wear just a sports bra and leggings? OMG the circles under my eyes are so intense. WHY DO I EAT SO MANY BAGELS??"

And on and on and on...until, like a choir of angels, I heard my Mum's voice saying "this is as good as it gets!"

It was like a record scratched in my head and I was jolted out of Crazytown and into reality. The more that I focused on remembering my mom's words and tapping into the present, the more I could remember the truth: I was in a Manhattan studio with women I love, moving my healthy and strong body. There was an amazing professional photographer to make me look fab and a makeup artist who destroyed those dark circles. It was all so good, and here is a pic to prove it:

Joanie, Maren, Caitlin, Hayley + me - Sweat Therapists at your service!

Nothing brings you into a space of total and pure enjoyment than thinking "whoa, this is as good as it gets!" Think of it this way: every time you stop and think about how good something is, it's like you're throwing a penny into a piggy bank of goodness. The more pennies you throw in, the fuller the bank becomes, until eventually, there is so much goodness in that bank that it explodes in a shower of abundance and opens up a new path to something even BETTER. Every penny is a little prayer of gratitude and you better believe that what you appreciate appreciates.

My mum is so smart, isn't she? It's so simple: if we can open our eyes to see more than every tiny imperfection, this present moment is very, very good. 

I have so much exciting Shrink news to share with you, which is why you'll be hearing from me AGAIN tomorrow! (I know, two emails in 24 hours- trust me when I say that the news is quite literally as good as it freakin' gets! Get your grass skirt ready...). BUT one thing at a time:

Join me for my last month of classes on Wednesdays at Chelsea Studios! I'll be there every Wednesday at 7 PM, ready to sweat and jam with you. I won't be teaching on Wednesdays anymore because our Shrink Mama Erin has a new Wednesday class in the same hood at The Movement (for the love of all that's good, click that link!), so I'll be back with a new day or new location in June. Til then, sign up here. Not in NYC? Check out Shrink digital right here. (An amazing Mother's Day gift, btw!)

I love you and can't wait to see you and I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow!

Aloha (HINT HINT!),

198something + 2013 with the Queen Mother herself.