Toni Kuhn

May 13, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Being a Supportive Friend

Yesterday, my dearest friend told me that her cancer is back. It is back with a vengeance and the situation is not good. She has been battling cancer for many years and this is the first time she said its bad. They took her off of work, which is like taking a life line away from her. She is a fitness instructor and loves to work out. This is a very scary time. She lives about 350 miles away and I feel so helpless. My friend is a devout Christian and has a lot of support from her church. I know they will be there for her along with her friends and family. But they are not me. I wish I could be there everyday holding her hand, making her laugh and doing gentle yoga with her. I know in time, I will be heading up there to be with her.

Today I was searching the web on ways to support my friend and I found this great article on the American Cancer Society website. Here are great tips on how to be a supportive friend during this trying time.  How To Be Friend To Someone With Cancer

Next Saturday is the Relay for Life in Santa Clarita. I am going to be there on stage with my colleagues from Total Women Gym. We will be doing the warm up to kick off the walk. If you can’t join the walk, you can make a donation on line at Relay For Life.

As I sit here closing out this this blog I am reminded that the best way I can support my friend is to live my life. She has always told me to keep living and do things that make me happy. The last thing she wants to be is a burden. So I am going to try my best to live my life, even if it means I do it through the tears that keep spilling over.

Here is the chorus from a new Lady Gaga song that I have been listening to. It is called “The Cure”.

You can listen to the song here.    The Cure

“I’ll fix you with my love
No matter what you know, I’ll
I’ll fix you with my love
And if you say you’re okay
I’m gonna heal you anyway
Promise I’ll always be there
Promise I’ll be the cure (be the cure)”

 

May 5, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Cycle To Support Cancer

I am doing a special 90 minute cycle class at Total Women Gym on Tuesday May 9 at 8 am. This is to raise money for the Relay For Life. I am riding to support my dearest friend Kirsti with her fight. She is a true inspiration and a fierce warrior!
If you can’t join me but want to donate, you can drop a donation of at the gym or go to the Real For Life website.

Relay For Life

Sadly all of know someone who has cancer or has lost the battle. Here is a list of people I know who are still battling cancer. Some are in remission or still battling it, and some have sadly lost the battle.

SURVIVORS:

  • Kirsti Contreras
  • Dave Friedin
  • Jackie Field
  • Sue Ellen Hiatt
  • Barbara Rosen

R.I.P:

  • Ann Sticksel ( my friend Kirsti’s mom)
  • Uncle Dan Ricigilano
  • Richard Brown

Unfortunately, I know more people, but these are the people I am comfortable posting their names.

 

April 30, 2017
by Toni
2 Comments

Afraid To Let Go

Lately, I have been spending a lot of my energy on fear. I am making big changes to my work schedule, and that is not only hard to do, but very scary to me. What if my students get upset? What if I do not like my new schedule? What if I lose clients? What if people get mad at me? ( I could go on and on). The truth about these changes that I have made is that they are for my health. The driving has not only been wearing me down, but it has also affected my shoulder. I have developed bursitis, tendinitis and early arthritis in my left shoulder. I know driving did not cause this, but it does not help it. In my quest to manage the pain, I have to let go of things that do not serve my body. So I gave up my classes on Mondays and now I only drive to SCV for work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I have been doing some deep soul searching and I kept asking myself why this decision took so long and why it was so difficult to make. I discovered that I was holding on to these classes “just in case”. Just in case, I was not making enough money. Just in case my private clients could not change their appointment date. Just in case I changed my mind. Just in case someone got mad at me for not teaching on Mondays. Just in case…..

Here is an article that my friend gave me. It explains the “just in case” dilemma.

From Bemorewithless.com

When we say “I’ll keep this just in case,” what we are really saying is …

“I’m not ready.”

“I’m afraid I’ll need this.”

“I’m afraid to let go.”

“I’m afraid I won’t have enough.”

For those of us decluttering and in search of more peace and simplicity, our problem has never been not having enough. Too much is our issue. Owning more, doing more, spending more and proving to everyone around us that we are more is weighing us down. It’s preventing us from figuring out who we are and how we want to live. It’s stopping us from doing work we love, spending time with people we love and helping those who don’t have enough.

Just in case doesn’t just apply to clutter and things in our homes. What else is going on in your life that you are holding on to out of fear? What are you holding on to because you aren’t ready, or because you are afraid to let go, or afraid you won’t have enough? When I began to let go of my just in case clutter, little pieces of fear went with it and it became easier to let go in other areas of my life.

Admitting that just in case means never allows us to stop procrastinating and invites us to let go and stop living in fear. When we say goodbye to just in case, we can start living and giving in more meaningful ways.

Today I am planning to tackle some of my closets and drawers to declutter my life. Maybe through letting go of things I do not need or use any more, I will feel lighter and more clear headed about my new schedule that starts tomorrow. Perhaps it won’t be so scary.  So what are you saving ‘Just in case’?

Namaste.

April 5, 2017
by Toni
1 Comment

Basic Needs For Happiness- Part 1

This week we began to study the “9 Basic Needs We Have to Meet to Feel Happy and Alive” By Sara MaudeThe first in this series discusses our need for attention. Our need to be seen, recognized and to connect with others is vital to our happiness. In observing my own need for attention, I realized that my husband constantly reaches out to me to show me he sees me and values me. I usually go to sleep before him and every night before bed he comes in to tuck me in and kiss me goodnight. This is his way of giving me attention and taking special care of me. In turn, I feel cherished, loved and important. I do not take this for granted. I know that his gesture is something to be valued. I make sure to take notice of him and give him attention from me. A spontaneous hug during the day is a wonderful way to take notice of someone special in your life.

Everyone needs attention in one or another to feel happy. The key here, is POSITIVE attention. Kinds words, loving gestures and smiles go along way! Additionally, we must give ourselves the same kind of attention. Nurture and nourish ourselves so that we are able give attention and be able to receive it. Put the oxygen mask on yourself and then attend to others. This is as easy as spending a few minutes alone to recharge, take a yoga or fitness class, or meditating. Even just pausing during the day to observe your breath is a wonderful tool to nurture yourself.

Namaste.

The dictionary  defines Attention as:

  1. Notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important. (Awareness, notice, observation, heed, regard, scrutiny, surveillance.
  2. The action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something. (Consideration, contemplation, deliberation, thought, study)

Here is Part one of the article.

1. The need for attention

We need quality attention from the people in our lives. More and more people in the world live alone. Unless your needs are being met elsewhere, a lack of attention can lead to low self-esteem, feelings of loneliness, and a lack of connection.

Join a meet up group, do an evening course, join a fitness group—anything that gets you out there and talking to like-minded people.

P.S. I have posted some new pictures in my gallery. Take a peek! Just click on the “Gallery” icon at the top of the page.

March 29, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Letting Go Part 5

This is the final part of the “10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This Has Set Me Free ” by Sara Fabia. In this lesson we learned to let go of worrying about the future and to let go of pleasing others. Both of these were very profound for me. I took time to observe my thoughts and found that a lot of my suffering is the stories I create about the future and my insatiable need to please everyone. I discovered that I spend way too much time worrying about others peoples opinions, especially when it is about something in the future. My mind spins through endless scenarios  of the “what ifs?” and “what will they think?” that I end up worrying about the future and placing their needs before mine.

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm”- unknown

I have learned a lot about my behavior through these 10 steps. I know that the first steps are awareness and acceptance. From there I just try to stop my spinning thoughts and learn from observing myself. I practice gratitude everyday to keep me in the present moment. Day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath. I remind myself that I must set myself free from this suffering and that I am the only one who can stop these thoughts. I am the only one who has any control of my mind and heart. I am the only one that can truly set me free.

Namaste.

 

 

  1. I’ve let go of worrying about the future.

I accept that there are things in life that I cannot control, no matter how hard I might try. Each time I find myself worrying, I keep telling myself “Time will tell.”

I might not always get what I want, but I know I always get what I need. I trust the flow of life, and choose to believe we live in an intelligent Universe, where everything unfolds perfectly. Sometimes in life, even the time needs time.

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.” ~Byron Katie

 

10.  I’ve let go of pleasing others.

I no longer seek external validation so that I can feel liked or accepted. Worrying about what others think is a waste of time. Other people’s opinion of me is all about them and what they see in me, filtered through their lenses; it has zero to do with me.

I’ve stopped expecting others to give me what I wasn’t giving myself: love, care, and attention. Loving myself as a whole—body, mind, and soul—is not selfish. I keep my cup full of self-love, and I take good care of my needs and my heart’s desires.

I have learned how to make powerful choices for my highest good without worrying about disappointing people. People disappoint themselves by setting expectations for who they want me to be or what they want me to do.

Saying no to things we don’t want to do is a learned practice and a sign of self-care. If it sounds like a “should,” I don’t do it. I go for the things that feel like a want. My wants come from myself, instead of being imposed on me by others. I always choose how I am spending my precious time and with whom. I know my time is my life, and it’s never coming back.

My life is about me and I have the right to make my own choices. Life is to be lived, not existed, and I choose to live it authentically, with no apologies and no regrets.

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

March 22, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Letting Go Part 4

This week we moved on to part 4 of “10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This Has Set Me Free” By Sara Fabia.  Number 7 talked about letting go of competing with others. After reading this and contemplating it, I found that I have been competing with an older version of myself. The younger one, the thinner one, the one without arthritis. This was very profound for me. Why am I chasing my old self? I love my life and where I am at right now. This is something I will need to explore more. Number 8 talked about letting go of chasing happiness. Live every day fully and experience every moment. Don’t wait for the weekend to live. Be grateful for all the good in your life. This is another great reminder that if we continue to rush through our lives, we will miss some of the greatest and happiest moments.

The first step to letting go is awareness. The next is acceptance. Remember you are a different person every day. Start each day with a fresh perspective and let go of yesterday. Live life day by day,  moment to moment, breath by breath.

Namaste.

  1. I’ve let go of competing with others.

I now know that my need to fight is nothing but my ego’s scream for self-validation. I don’t need anyone to lose any game so that I can feel good about myself. I love harmony, collaboration, and win-wins.

I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. I choose to connect with people from a place of love instead of fear, and I believe in abundance. I choose to believe that we live in a supportive Universe, where there is enough of everything and for everyone, including myself.

“Love is cooperation rather than competition.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

  1. I’ve let go of chasing happiness.

I no longer project my happiness into an imaginary future, hoping that someday, when I have that job, that house, that car, that success, I will be happy. I have learned to find happiness in the small pleasures of life, and I embrace the only reality that is, the present moment, with gratitude and much joy.

I stopped waiting for the weekends to feel like living because each day is a gift and every single moment is precious and equally important.

The day I shifted my focus from stressed to blessed, everything changed. I am thankful for everything I am and for everything I have: a healthy body and mind; a loving family; a few genuine, last longing friendships I’ve made over time; and a job I love and believe in.

“I have noticed that the Universe loves gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get.” ~Louise Hay

March 15, 2017
by Toni
1 Comment

Letting Go Part 3

This week we move on to part three of learning to let go of things that restrict our mental freedom. Number 6 has really resonated with me this week. As I started to pay close attention to my thought process I noticed I seem to “create” or “replay” scenarios over and over. Part of this hamster wheel of thoughts is due to my need to please everyone. I tend to blame myself for other people’s feelings or actions and then I start to criticize and harshly judge myself. Sound familiar? As you can see the previous items on the list of the “things to let go” are intertwined and they often initiate each other. But remember, this is a process and the first step is awareness. We all have had these thoughts at one time or another. Just keep trying to be the best version of yourself everyday. Breathe and let go.

Namaste.

5. I’ve let go of judging.

I know that everyone is on their own journey, and my job is to focus on my own. I also know that each time I am judgmental with people, I’m reacting to something that bothers me about myself. If I believe you are mean, it means I can also be mean; how could I see that in you, otherwise?

“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgment gives you the power to change them.” ~Byron Katie

 

6. I’ve let go of making assumptions about what other people feel, want, or think.

I am not them, so there’s no way to know what they’re feeling and thinking.

I stopped making up imaginary scenarios and letting my mind play with me. Each time I find myself disturbed by what people do or say, I know it’s time for a reality check.

From “The Work” of Byron Katie, I’ve learned to examine the thoughts that trouble me and ask myself: “Is that true?” Many of my assumptions likely aren’t. For example, I might assume someone doesn’t like me, when really she’s just having a bad day. Or maybe she’s just shy. Not everyone is the same.

The moment I realize I can’t know what this person thinks, simply because I am not her, my mind gets clear and I am able to meet her with an open heart.

“I found that my unquestioned assumptions were the cause of all war and all peace in my world.” ~Byron Katie

March 8, 2017
by Toni
2 Comments

Letting Go Part 2

This week I continued to read excerpts  from an article “10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This has Set me Free” by Sara Fabia. We discussed letting go of self- criticism and blaming. These portions of the article are at the bottom of this post.

If you are looking to deepen your yoga practice and explore the Niyamas – “right living with our inner minds and thoughts”, check out my schedule of yoga retreats. 2017 Yoga Retreat Schedule.

For more information about my yoga retreats click on the icon at the top of this page.

I hope you enjoy today’s reading and that you have gained some tools to develop your own personal freedom.

Namaste.

 

  1. I’ve let go of self-criticism.

I pay attention to my inner talk; I don’t call myself names, and I treat myself with dignity and respect. I stopped telling myself things I would never tell a good friend. I am enough, whole, and complete.

I have come to understand that in life, we don’t get what we want. We get what we think we deserve. That’s why it’s necessary to believe in ourselves and see ourselves as enough and worthy of the best things life has to offer.

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise Hay

  1. I’ve let go of blaming.

I now know that each time I blame someone else, I am making myself a victim. Blaming others for taking my time, my money, or my love is unfair, because I always choose how much I give and to whom. No one can hurt me or upset me without my conscious (and often unconscious) consent.

Instead, I now take responsibility for the way I feel, act, and think. I am in charge of my actions, and I know my future is the result of my current choices. I am what I believe and whatever I choose to be.

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, it will not change you. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.” ~Wayne Dyer

March 1, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Letting Go Part 1

This week in my yoga classes I read excerpts  from an article “10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This has Set me Free” by Sara Fabia. I read the first 2 things and I got an overwhelming response, so I thought I would share it with you. I will post the next two next week. I hope you enjoy these tips.

Yoga Retreat Update:

I have received a lot of reservations for my yoga retreats. Both May & June are half way filled up. Be sure to reserve your spot early! Here is the June flier. June 10 Yoga Retreat

 

  1. I’ve let go of the need to be perfect.

I am perfectly beautiful and beautifully imperfect, and this is what allows me to be me.

Perfection is an illusion—it doesn’t exist. I stopped stressing myself out trying to be perfect and now I am always aiming for “good enough.” I have learned to embrace my mistakes as much needed opportunities for growth, blessings in disguise that make me wiser. If I fail at anything, it doesn’t mean I’m a failure, because I am not what I do. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We never lose.

“Your best is going to change from moment to moment: it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz 

  1. I’ve let go of the need to be busy all the time.

Being in a rush isn’t a sign of virtue. I have learned to listen to my body, and I no longer feel guilty for doing nothing. I know I sometimes need to recharge the batteries of my body and soul, and I don’t feel like I owe anyone any explanation for doing that.

If I don’t have time for myself, I make it. Watching a good movie, listening to relaxing music, reading a good book, singing, taking a walk to connect with nature—I do whatever makes my heart sing.

“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer 

February 11, 2017
by Toni
1 Comment

Life Is Why

In honor of National Heart Month, I am going to share some facts about heart attacks in women. You see, many women have undiagnosed heart disease because many of their symptoms are not the same as what you see on TV or read about. Women can have what appears to be indigestion or anxiety and it turns out to be heart disease or even a heart attack.  The key to having a  healthy heart is to be educated, reduce stress, exercise, eat healthy and know your family history.

Here is some information from Go Red For Women which is part of the American Heart Association. https://www.goredforwomen.org/

It’s true: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women. Yet, only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.

Take Amy Heinl, for example, an avid marathon runner and fitness devotee. Heart disease was the furthest thing from her mind – until she collapsed during an early-morning workout. A diagnosis of heart disease followed, and it took her completely by surprise.

“I really couldn’t believe this happened to me,” Amy says. “I thought of myself as a healthy person, and I was exercising when it happened. I truly believed I had pulled a muscle.” Which is why her friend called 9-1-1, not Amy.

The truth is, women are less likely to call 9-1-1 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack themselves. It simply doesn’t occur to them to do so. And why would it? The bulk of media attention on the disease is focused on men.

Here are more unsettling facts:

  • Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
  • The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood.
  • While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.

How can I prevent it?

Many things can put you at risk for these problems – one’s you can control, and others that you can’t. But the key takeaway is that with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended.

Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. Here are a few lifestyle changes you should make: