Be Still to Be Strong: Awakening the Body from Within

As I lay there on my back, sweat drying on the back of my neck, gently cradled by the give of my mat, five simple words washed over me, triggering a moment of ineffable release…

“Awaken yourself from within first.”

I’m no stranger to a few tears in savasana. Moving muscles, honing mental focus, and getting lost in the rise and fall of breath have an uncanny ability to remove blockages, both physical and emotional. From time to time this release opens the flood gates, others it simply lets drips seep out one by one. Today was more of the latter for me, but my goodness did it feel good to crack.

No one ever told me I had to be strong while healing from my accident, but I resolved to stay positive, look at the glass half full, and find the proverbial silver lining. I’m not saying it was wrong to push myself in this way, but it was at times exhausting. I knew at some visceral level that if I let myself crumble emotionally while my body was broken against its will, I might slip down a darker path than if I steeled myself in certain ways. Fear of falling kept me from facing the true trauma of my experience. Part of me knew I would have to face the more emotional impact of the accident once my body started to mend, but it still surprised me when it began to surface.

For the past few weeks I’ve been tiptoeing back into my yoga practice: I’ve used more props than ever before (see below); I’ve gotten creative with hand placement and foot positions to allow for better balance; I’ve come to child’s pose when others have come into handstand; and I’ve even worked up the courage to leave my splint at home despite the fear that others won’t know I’m still healing and think I’m just being lazy (hello, ego!).

Every week that goes by I am physically stronger, but at times more mentally and emotionally frustrated. An agitation shakes and stirs inside me fueled by impatience and expectation. Why am I not yet back to where I was before? When will this pose or that pose be within reach? Where did my stamina go? While all the answers to these questions are clear to my most rational self, in the moment these questions gnaw and nag at my inner fabric.

Here’s the thing—that inner struggle is the exact reason why I love yoga so much, so much that I became a teacher. Yoga illuminates the limits, boundaries, and blockages we all wrestle with. It sheds light on them and allows you the time and space to truly see, acknowledge, and slowly and steadily ease through them. It’s not an fast process, and you cannot rush it. The more you force yourself towards resolution or change, the harder it becomes to achieve.

When that single tear found its way through the crack in the walls I’d thrown up, rolled its way down into the well of my ear, and drew a smile across my face I knew my struggle with this trauma had begun in earnest. My gratitude for this beginning is unbounded. I know that as I start to reconnect with my inner self, awakening from within first, I will have the unique and rare opportunity to reignite my spark with yoga. I get to rediscover the magic of connecting breath to movement. I get to realize anew that stillness creates inner and outer strength. And I get to watch as my body invites me back in, little by little as it becomes ready.

As I lay there on my back, in tranquility and stillness, only then could I notice that when you are still there are no boundaries and no limits to what is possible, only potential.

T-8 Weeks to Race Day

I am strong. I am healthy. I am fit. But I am NOT a runner. At least that’s what I’ve always told myself.

I’ve never really loved running in the way that I love yoga, Pilates, HIIT workouts, and hiking, etc. I have several fun flings with the sport, but they’ve never lasted more than a few months. So when a dear friend asked me this fall if I’d sign up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with her pavement pounding group, what else could I say but YES!

Life is all about challenges. As a wise man once said, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. And to quote another really wise man, be the change you want to see in the world.

I often motivate myself using mantras about embracing challenge and change in my yoga practice, but with running I’ve always thrown up my white flag as soon as I start huffing and puffing. No more! I grabbed this bull by the horns back in October and I’m about to ride it all the way to the finish line in April. Thus far training has been a huge physical, mental and scheduling challenge, but I’m making progress. I’m very excited to see my stride, stamina and strength improve week over week.

This weekend’s long run (which I plan to knock out after teaching a couple of classes this morning) is sure to be a challenge with a hill or two thrown in, but I know I can do it. And hell, life’s too damn short not to try!

Half Marathon Training

Since I’m a beginner, I’ve been doing my homework and thought I’d share some of the best resources for running nutrition and race training I’ve come across. You can find moar of these resources on



Though I’m not following it to a T (or any letter of the alphabet for that matter), I wanted to share what I think is a great 16-week (3 1/2-4 month) training schedule for beginning runners courtesy of Before you use this baby, here are a few things the author wanted you to know (and I concur are all important and helpful notes!):

  • SS (Strength train and stretch): Do your own routine or take a yoga class
  • CT (Cross train): Do cardio other than running such as biking, swimming, or a cardio class
  • Rest: You don’t have to skip out on exercise entirely. Take a walk, do some stretches or use a foam roller your hardworking legs.
Week 1 2 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 30-min CT 2 miles or
30-min CT
Rest 2 miles Rest
Week 2 2 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 30-min CT 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 3 miles Rest
Week 3 3 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 3.5 miles Rest
Week 4 3 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 4 miles Rest
Week 5 3 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 4.5 miles Rest
Week 6 3.5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 4.5 miles Rest
Week 7 3.5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2.5 miles or
25-min CT
Rest 5K race
(or 5 miles)
Week 8 4 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 2.5 miles or
25-min CT
Rest 5 miles Rest
Week 9 4 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3 miles or
30-min CT
Rest 6 miles Rest
Week 10 4 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3 miles or
30-min CT
Rest 10K race
(or 7 miles)
Week 11 5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3.5 miles or
35-min CT
Rest 8 miles Rest
Week 12 5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3.5 miles or
35-min CT
Rest 10 miles Rest
Week 13 5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 4 miles or
40-min CT
Rest 11 miles Rest
Week 14 5 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3 miles or
20-min CT
Rest 12 miles Rest
Week 15 4 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 60-min CT 3 miles or
30-min CT
Rest 8 miles Rest
Week 16 3 miles and
20-min SS
30-min SS 2 miles or
20-min CT
Rest Rest Race Day!
13.1 miles

According to this schedule, my Week 9 starts today so the 5.5 mile run I have planned is right on track–hopefully I can bust out 6-7 miles next weekend!

Are you training for a half marathon? If so, I’d love to hear about your training regimen and any tips or tricks you might have in the reply field below!

Get the MOARfit for iPhone App

In just 3 easy steps, download MOARfit to your home screen for one-click access to my advice on optimal nutrition, yoga, functional fitness, and overall mind/body wellness. Grab your iPhone and follow along with the directions below.

STEP 1: Go to in your browser (typically Safari for iPhones) and click on the arrow icon at the bottom center of your screen.

image (1)

STEP 2: Click on the “Add to Home Screen” icon with my Roaring Down Dog Lion logo.


STEP 3: Voilà! You now have MOARfit on your home screen for easy, one-click access to moves + meals + motivation.

image (2)

As always, thanks for getting your moves + meals + motivation with MOARfit!

Unleash Your Beast with Budokon® Yoga

I was first introduced to Budokon® Yoga back in the fall while in the early stages of my yoga teacher training program. One of my favorite teachers infused our normal sun salutations with a technique called the “rolling wave” and I was absolutely entranced by the graceful movement. I can be a complete klutz (some might say spaz) in my everyday life but when I practice Budokon® Yoga I feel like a prima ballerina. Long and lean, soft and strong.

Budokon® is all about circular transitions. You never stop as you progress from one posture to another. This constant movement means you have to be connected to your core and shoulder girdle (the muscles across your upper back and in between your shoulder blades) at all times. To practice the primary series is to be fully engaged in the muscular body, completely focused mentally and emotionally, and wholly committed to your breath work. For all you skeptics out there, believe me when I tell you I have never been stronger in my entire life.

Captivated by this movement art, I decided several months ago to pursue a Budokon® Yoga teaching certification immediately following my Vinyasa Power Yoga teacher training. Last weekend I traveled to the Utopian community of Doylestown in Bucks County, PA for a weekend of intensive training with an incredible family of yogis and martial artists. During our training I learned that in Japanese Bu means warrior, Do means way, and Kon means spirit. Thus, Budokon® literally means “the way of the warrior spirit.” This style of yoga does make you feel like an Amazon and/or ninja. Fierce and sneaky. It is also the most meditative yoga style I have experienced to date. The spinal rolling and circular transitions require complete presence. It is easy to get lost in the movement and walk out of a class feeling like you’ve just participated in a long meditation–except that your abs, glutes and shoulders will be screaming.

Color Crow prep

All classes begin with the “rolling wave”, which fires up your core and shoulder girdle and teaches your body how to smoothly transition from downward facing dog into countless other asanas without dragging your feet across the mat. It then progresses through several twisting, rolling, and balancing sections until reaching its climax: the animals. Above you can see me in preparation for a “leaping leopard,” where you spring from a deep squat turning 180 degrees around mid-air and landing back in your squat. This powerful plyometric move is just the beginning of a string of dynamic jumping feats of strength and agility. Believe you me, the animal section in no joke. If you don’t think yoga is aerobic or cardiovascular, think again. You will be panting like a panther after you make it through this section for the first few times, no exceptions no matter how fit you think you are.

I am proud to say that I survived the 10-hour training days in one piece minus a severely bruised toe, and that was from nailing my foot on the metal leg of a locker room bench–like I said before, I’m a klutz. I can’t wait to begin sharing this beautiful, strength-building practice with my students in DC. Speaking of (shamelesplug!), I will be teaching a Budokon® Flow class at STROGA every Sunday at noon beginning June 2nd. Come ride the rolling wave with me this summer and get stronger than you’ve ever been before!

Taking My Seat as a Yoga Teacher

I recently taught my first beginner’s yoga class and had the honor of being two students’ very first teacher. When I surveyed the class for first-timers and their two hands meekly rose into the air, I felt an immense simultaneous reaction of joy and responsibility. Throughout my certification journey, my mentor would come back time and again to the importance of “taking your seat” as a teacher and “holding the space” for your students. As a yoga teacher, I owe it to everyone who comes to one of my classes to show up and be present. This is never more important than when you are teaching those that are new to the practice.

It is such a rush to guide someone through their first Sun As and Bs, or watch them as they begin to understand how the power of their breath is all they need to go deeper into a posture. As I watched these two students throughout the class, I was elated and inspired to see the movement begin to make sense in their bodies. With my subtle hands-on adjustments and carefully chosen words, they quickly made the practice their own. The true reward was when one of my first-timers came up and gave me a huge hug at the end of class, thanking me for her introduction to the practice. I’m a complete sap so I nearly cried, but kept it together (holding the space) and simply radiated gratitude for her kind words.

While teaching new students definitely evokes an uplifting, I-love-what-I-do feeling, it can also be very intimidating. Yoga has been such a huge part of my life for the past decade that I want to ensure I do everything in my power to make it approachable for people. The last thing I would want is for someone to walk out of my class saying, “yoga was not for me.” I truly believe that yoga – in its many forms – is good for everybody and I want people to keep coming back and see how it can help them.

It is this simultaneous joy and responsibility that drives me to be better every day for my students. After all, they are trusting me with their bodies and, to a certain degree, overall well-being. I take this trust very seriously and feel oh-so lucky that I get to share something that incomparably nourishes me physically, mentally and emotionally with others.

Below are a few of the beautiful photos that my dear friend Leo Matsuo recently snapped of me on the National Mall, featuring hand-painted clothes by the lovely and talented Ashley Ann Bennett. At the time, I was so focused on my Fallen Angel that I didn’t notice the little girl watching me. I love these images because they serve as a reminder that being a teacher means…

Fallen Angel 1

…it is my job to challenge and inspire people to find their edge…

Fallen Angel 2

…it is my job to encourage people to find opening in places where walls are holding them back from their full potential, both as a yogi and a human being…

Fallen Angel 3

…and it is my job to remember that students are trusting in you as their teacher to serve as an example and leader for how to practice yoga with personal integrity, self-kindness (aka listening to your body) and a sense of adventure!

MOARyoga Moves: Tripod Headstand

VIDEO HOW-TO: Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) to Tripod Headstand (Sirsasana II)

[wpvideo vt0E8RK4]

A note of caution: before attempting this, make sure you are practicing with an experienced teacher that you trust. This is an advanced move, involving lots of core strength and proper alignment to avoid injuring the neck. Don’t let the ego cloud your judgement here yogis.


  1.  Stand facing the long edge of your mat. Step or hop your feet 3 to 4 1/2 feet apart (play around to see what feels comfortable in your body). Look down and make sure your inner arches are parallel with feet ever-so-slightly pigeon-toed. Lift through the inner arches by drawing up from the inner ankles to the groin, and press the outer edges of your feet firmly into the mat. Engage your quads by lifting the knee caps. Place your hands on your hips, inhale deeply and lift your chest, spreading your collarbone wide.
  2. Exhale and fold forward from the hip crease, keeping your back flat and spine long. With your chest about parallel to the floor, bring your hands to the mat, fingertips in line with your toes.
  3. Breath deeply and with each exhalation, bend your elbows and lower your torso and head until you come into your full forward bend. Make sure don’t lose that flat back and long spine. If it’s in your practice, rest the crown of your head on the floor.
  4. Press your palms firmly into the floor. If you have the flexibility to get your head to the mat, walk your hands back until your forearms are perpendicular to the floor and your upper arms parallel – creating a shelf with your arms. Make sure your arms are parallel to each other and widen the shoulder blades across the back.
  5. Now for some levitation! Again, moving from Prasarita Padottanasana to Tripod Headstand is a very advanced move. Do not just flail and fly into this.
  6. Draw in through your core, pulling belly button to spine and knitting your ribs together to engage the transverse abdominals. Shift your weight  forward into the balls of your feet, until your hips come over and slightly past your ankles. You will begin to take some of your weight into the arms and crown of your head.
  7. Engage your legs, pulling up through your groin and firing up the quads and inner and outer thighs. Using the power of your legs and strength of your core slowly pull legs up and over head, moving from an inverted wide-legged straddle to full tripod headstand. Spark your toes and keep your legs and abs engaged – this will help you find lightness and draw up and away from the neck and head. Hold for a few deeps breaths.
  8. To come out, reverse your ascent and slowly lower legs into a wide-legged straddle then gently set them down on the mat (I like to focus on keeping my hips shifted forward on the descent because it keeps my core engaged and gives me the control I need to move slowly).
  9. Now you’re back in prasarita padottanasana. Finish the move by lifting your head off the floor and coming into a flat-back position with your torso parallel to the mat – your arms will straighten but keep your palms and/or fingertips on the mat. With an inhalation, lift your hands to your hips, pull your tail bone down toward the floor, and raise the torso up.

You did it! That was some serious core work and involves a somewhat-scary weight shift. Playing around with the first five steps until you can comfortably get into a full forward fold. Once you’ve got that down, then go for it – but make sure that for your first few attempts you have an experienced yoga teacher or yogi friend nearby to make sure you got in and out of the asana properly.

My Top 5 Green Smoothie Recipes

It’s officially Cherry Blossom season here in the District, which means spring (real spring, not teaser spring) is just around the corner! To honor the onset of my favorite time of year in DC, I thought I’d share 5 of my favorite “Greenie”recipes. My Greenies are healthy vegan  smoothies that bring together fruit, dark leafy greens, plant-based protein and nutritional superfoods in one tasty and satisfying blend. At under 400 calories for 16oz of smoothie (that’s two full glasses!), all of these recipes are are great way to start your day. They’re also packed with dietary fiber (thanks to the flaxseed and chia seeds in there) and protein to keep you full and focused. Best of all, they have anywhere from 3 to 5 servings of fruits and veggies so by the end of breakfast you’ll have either met or surpassed your recommended daily intake. Now, that’s no excuse to eat junk for the rest of the day, but it is mighty nice to know that you’re giving your body much of what it needs for optimal function from the get-go. Also, studies show that if you start your day with a healthy breakfast you’re less likely to be obese, more likely to have good/stable blood glucose levels (and consequently more energy and less moodiness), and less likely to be hungry later in the day.

If you’re not a fan of almond milk substitute your favorite unsweetened rice, hemp, soy, coconut or skim milk, or try fat-free plain Greek, soy or coconut yogurt in lieu of almond milk yogurt. Coconut water is another good liquid to swap, just beware of its sugar content. Several brands really jack that up. My favorites are Blue Monkey, C2O, and–la crème de la crème–100% Raw Coconut Water.



(1) Banana-Berry Breakfast Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen whole strawberries
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

287 calories, 14g of dietary fiber, and 10g protein per serving.

(2) Blueberry-Kale Protein Greenie:

312 calories, 22g of dietary fiber, and 27g of protein per serving.

(3) Blueberry-Beet Power Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 medium beets (boiled)
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbs hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed

319 calories, 21g of dietary fiber, and 25g of protein per serving.

(4) Pineapple-Mango Vitamin-C Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

341 calories, 13g of dietary fiber, and 10g of protein per serving.

(5) Dark Cherry Goji Greenie:

381 calories, 21g of dietary fiber, and 25g of protein per serving.

Sea Change in Spring

The first days of spring are upon us–though you wouldn’t know it living here in fickle weather Washington, DC. Be that as it may, spring conjures up the promise of renewal, growth and optimism. For me, the winter-to-spring transition is almost always accompanied by a perceptible upswing in mood, outlook and, most important of all, energy. 2013 is no different. In fact, I’d venture to say that this spring brings with it more than just a modest internal shift but instead a genuine sea-change in my life and future.

Big statement.

The term sea-change refers to a gradual transformation through which the form is retained but the substance is replaced. For all my Shakespeare nerds out there, the expression is taken from a song in The Tempest: “Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change, into something rich and strange.” From the outside I look very similar to how I did 8 months ago, save for the rhomboids I never knew I had and a greater dedication to getting pedicures. However, in the same period of time I have undergone a mighty profound metamorphosis.

In August 2012, I set out on an 8-month path to becoming a certified yoga teacher. This past Sunday, I was handed the most important piece of paper in my life: my RYT-200 hour level Power Vinyasa Yoga teaching certificate. Now there’s a mouthful. I can literally hear my parents wincing all the way from Massachusetts as they read that my yoga certification has surpassed my GWU degree in International Development Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, and a Fulbright in terms of lifetime significance. Mom, Dad: I love you and I’m sorry. Thank goodness they’re genetically programmed to love me unconditionally.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand, Split Leg Variation with wall)

I have gotten to do many amazing things in my life. From living in France and Senegal to tackling the icy slopes of Cotopaxi in Ecuador and 14,000+ foot peaks in Colorado, I have ventured far and high in my first 26 years. These experiences were life-changing and pretty darn cool to boot, but they’ve got nothing on this journey I’m on.

All of the support I’ve received throughout the course of this training from my yogi peers, teachers and mentors, as well as my friends and family has been so crucial. I cannot begin to express my gratitude. This path has been one of the most challenging in all my life but it is also this path that has equipped me with the tools needed to ride the waves of life with grace–both the glorious crests and the hidden undertows.

The first steps of this journey (and man oh man is this just the start!) have left me strong, resilient, and more mindful than I was before. I still have my work cut out in terms of navigating the baggage the practice of self-awareness inevitably unearths, but I know that process will only make me a better teacher and healer for my students–and lighter!

What comes next is the unknown. Beautiful opportunity and frightening instability all rolled up in one. Gaze fixed forward, I’m surrendering with enthusiasm, embracing the invisible path ahead.

On the note of surrender, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite Rumi poems. Though intended for the summer-to-fall transition, his final words in “A Necessary Autumn Inside Each” are ones I intend to carry with me into the nascent days of spring as I embark on my untold destiny:

Very little grows on jagged

rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up
where you are. You’ve been

stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.


Yoga Playtime at Venice Beach

To any of you who read my blog on the regular, more posts are on the way. I finish my Yoga Teacher Training this weekend (hooray!) and have just concluded a two-month whirlwind of work travel that took me from Tanzania to Texas to Southern California. Needless to say, I’ve been a little behind on a lot of things. But hey, this crazy beautiful life gets busy from time to time. All the more reason to breath, move, and play!

Nothing beats playing with some yoga asanas at the beach with your family. Okay, so maybe had it been a sunny day it would’ve been a little better.

Slow It Down, Take a Bubble Bath

Sometimes I feel like I’m always on the go. Whether I’m jetting all over the place for my day job or making moves to get my yoga career off the ground, my days are jammed from the minute my eyes flutter open to the moment I turn down the sheets at night. My commitments blur the line between work and personal time and weekends have been desecrated, no longer prioritizing socializing with friends and R&R.

Like a lot of 20-somethings, this go go lifestyle is self-inflicted. True, I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to what I set out to accomplish in any given day, week or month, but I love being busy. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m vibrating after my third cup of coffee and hustling from the yoga studio to meet up with a friend I almost never get to see and back home to get a unit of my nutrition studies done before catching a flight out of Dulles for five days of meetings. Inhale. Exhale. Yes, all the yoga I do helps lower my stress levels but that too takes time and my asana practice can be more (physically) draining some days than I’d like to admit.

The truth is, this pace is stressful and is taking its toll. Spread yourself too thin and you’ll inevitably hit a wall. I hit mini walls all the time. Usually it’s just a few hours of being utterly knackered, feeling overwhelmed, and involuntarily surrendering to tears of fatigue as they flow across my temples in reclining half pigeon. Yep, that happens on a somewhat regular basis. And, you know what, I embrace it as my release and my body’s way of sending self-kindness with the message slow it down.

Here’s the thing: it’s hard to slow down without feeling like I’ve dropped the ball. I don’t sleep in on weekends or go spend an afternoon at the museum because I feel like I am wasting precious time when I could be devising a new recipe for my blog or working on a new killer ab sequence for an upcoming yoga class. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. In fact, I’d say the majority of my peers share my fear of losing momentum or missing an opportunity to advance our careers or beings. We’re all driven, ambitious, and slightly insane.

While goals and dreams take hard work, long hours, and persistence in the face of adversity, I know I will not succeed if I don’t give myself a break from time to time. Burn out is no joke kids. And news flash, not one of us is invincible. The key is to know where your edge is and cut back before you’re tumbling ass backwards into a total breakdown. Been there, done that and it ain’t pretty. As it turns out I’m an ugly crier…

So before you end up a hot mess, here’s my prescription: take a bubble bath. Seriously, if you haven’t taken one in a while they’re mind-blowing. Or do whatever it is that will make you slow it down for at least one hour once a week. The key is to unplug and unwind. I like taking an Epsom salt bath because it forces me to put down my cell and computer (water & technology don’t mix), while simultaneously giving my weary muscles a rare chance to rest and recoup. For you it might mean slowly sipping a beer while sitting on your front stoop people watching. Or, maybe you go for a run or a long bike ride. Whatever it is, let me make a suggestion: no technology. Technology takes us out of the present moment, inhibits our awareness, and distracts us from listening to what our body and mind truly need.

We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time. Believe me, we’ll be better as a human race if we work to eliminate some of the stress and chaos that gets us all wound so tight. And I’m telling you, here and now, it’s okay to drop the ball. Because guess what? You will pick it right back up, just with renewed energy and resolve that only comes from sending yourself a little loving kindness.