Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Dear Friends

As much as I've always admired the insanely fit bodies of Pilates enthusiasts, I was convinced that Pilates wouldn't be for me. Phrases such as 'core strength' and 'so great for your abs!' sounded more painful than promising for my middle-age overflow. My philosophy was more along the lines of 'Life's short; why torture yourself?' Then five months ago I tried a class and today I'm so hooked that I can't imagine life without it! The reason for this shift can be summed up in my new favorite word: 'modifications.' Whether you are quadriplegic or just miserably out of shape, Pilates classes offer modifications specific to your needs to make each exercise doable for YOU.

Pilates hasn't resulted in my having abs of steel (yet!), but I see this principle of modifications playing out in other areas of my life. For instance, when I agreed to go to the beach with my grown daughter this weekend, she commented on all the people she knows who never go (even though we live in San Diego). I told her that perhaps we go more than some because of our 'modifications.' Neither of us has a whole lot of time or unlimited financial resources (yet!), so our particular modification is to not make a big production out of our beach trips. We don't need to load the car with a portable cabana, beach chairs, a fully stocked ice chest, and enough rations to last an entire day. Although it takes 20 minutes to drive there, we're okay with just spending an hour (or even less!) of actual beach time. While there, we're fully there, breathing in the salty air, taking in the sound of the waves and the beauty of the horizon. We always return home feeling refreshed, renewed, and grateful that we took an hour or two out of our day for something that nourishes us so.

Life's pleasures don't always have to be so complicated, and I'm determined to keep this in mind this summer. The next time I decide against an activity or trip because it's too daunting, too expensive, too time-consuming, or too anything, I'm going to consider a modification. How can I make it doable for me? A week at my friends' lake house in Virginia might not be in the cards, but I can take a few extra days after a business trip in nearby Atlanta to go visit these dear friends.

My wish for all of us is that we find a way to make our dreams and adventures doable this summer. Or, like my new commitment to whittle down my waistline, we at least map out a game plan for how we'd like our summer to play out rather than just letting it slide by — again. Life is short, so rather than wait for the perfect time, place, and circumstances, let's find out what works for us and modify!

'Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.' – Bruce Lee

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

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