Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

Soulful Sunday with Mastin Kipp in Chicago

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I am so excited to be heading to Chicago today to see one of my favorite gurus, Mastin Kipp, author of The Daily Love.


I will be doing Kundalini Yoga and Heart Therapy with Mastin and his friend Tommy Rosen and lots of other Mastin followers. You can read all about it here.

I can’t wait for this amazing experience tonight. And I’ll be back tomorrow with a BIG announcement. So be sure and meet me here about mid-day tomorrow for my news.

Happy Sunday Y’all!


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Keeping Promises to Yourself

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Hi Everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend like I did and if you are a mom…Happy belated Mother’s Day. I spent some precious time with my daughter this weekend planting flowers on the patio and getting our outdoor spaces up to snuff. And then we spent almost every other waking (and a few sleeping) moments outside enjoying our handiwork from our loungers under the umbrella, in the hammock, or dining in our outdoor dining space. Our garden is really a place where my whole family replenishes so we are grateful for this time of year and the chance to be outdoors.

And while I was out “digging in the dirt” and reviving some of my house plants from their long winter’s nap indoors, I had an epiphany. I realized that the years that my houseplants aren’t thriving from their winter experience, neither am I. What I mean is this: if I am too busy to care for my plants (some of them almost 20 years old) then I am also too busy to take care of me.

And although I have gotten healthy over the last two years, it is still a really slippery slope when I get off-track of caring for myself so that I can care for everyone else during the really busy periods in my life. And caring for myself doesn’t mean just staying slim. Through the last 3 VERY busy months, I’ve been pretty much in control of my weight, but not my health. So now my diet is full of junk again, even though it may not be over my calorie count. And my back, hamstrings, and hips are a disaster from falling off my yoga regime. And my stress level has been high again because I haven’t been doing my cardio regularly to get all those toxic thoughts and energy out. In other words, I wasn’t keeping my promises to my houseplants or to myself.

Which reminds me of a great idea that was mentioned in a recent business conference I went to. The speaker said something profound. He said, “What would happen in your life if you just kept all the promises you made to yourself?” WOW!! Did you hear that? “If you just kept all the promises you made to YOURSELF.” Not to other people which we tend to be more accountable to, but if we only changed one thing and did what we told ourselves we were going to do.

This is HUGE, people!!!! We spend years creating our own self-doubt and insecurities and then top it off with poor health, bad backs, and diseases because we do not keep promises to ourselves. And we lose trust and faith in our abilities to accomplish things because we no longer believe our own thoughts, because we are constantly NOT doing what we tell ourselves we are going to. LIGHTBULB!!!!

I think changing this one habit this year could actually make you become the person you want to be. And I think becoming extremely careful with what we say we want to do, if we really have no intention of doing it, which is the all-important second important part of this equation.

So to start you and I both off on a great note this Monday, let’s do this together. Let’s make a list of all the things that we keep telling ourselves we are going to do. Then let’s pick three of them and actually keep our promises. And for now, let’s let all the others go. It takes baby steps to make a new habit, but I think if we can start having faith in ourselves again, and can see that we REALLY can do what we say, that our whole lives will start to change.

Are you game? Join me today. What are your 3 promises you will start keeping right now? Leave me a comment if you are willing. I think if we put it out to the Universe it’s not only keeping a promise to ourselves, it’s keeping a promise to each other.

Here are my three:

1. Keep my yoga practice at least 3 times a week NO MATTER WHAT!

2. Be true to a healthy, not just low calorie diet, even when I am busy.

3. Put my “Tobi Time” in the schedule for relaxing and replenishing first and sticking to it with no exceptions, even when I have more work to do than I can possibly accomplish that week.

Now tell me…What are your three promises? Tell me and write them down and post them at your desk, on your mirror and everywhere else they can help you keep your promises.

I am excited to walk this path with you.


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Gratitude for Yin and Zen

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As I continue on my gratitude journey this week, I am thankful for one of the people who has been helping me slow down and BREATHE. To stop the madness in my life and start living a life that is inspiring and fulfilling. Yes, today I am grateful for one of the women that has been a big part of my path to health and wellness: my yoga teacher, Stacey.

I have been a yogi (yogini) for several years but was always falling off the wagon because I just “didn’t have time” or work would get in the way. I’d even be all set to go to yoga class and even remembered to bring my change of clothes with me to the office and I would still find a reason (excuse) not to show up.

That all changed this year when I started going to a new yoga studio that is so close to my home and so convenient that I could no longer make excuses. And the REAL reason that I started attending regularly is what it began doing for my life.

You see, Stacey teaches Yin Yoga. It’s this amazing concept that stretches the connective tissue in your body. Yin Yoga is about holding poses for a long time (which sometimes feels like forever) but eventually feels SO GOOD it’s like you’ve had a massage, or better!

Yin Yoga isn’t about burning a bunch of calories, it’s about feeling good and aging well. It’s  about no lower back pain from sitting in front of a computer blogging for hours on end, or standing on tile floors all day picking out design selections. If you are looking for your cardio workout, this probably isn’t your yoga. But if you are willing to commit an hour to a healthy body and a healthy mind, this this is the yoga for you.

Yin Yoga is so much about the mind, it is almost like meditation. Holding a pose for 5 minutes (or 8 or 20!) in pain, albeit one of those “good hurts”, isn’t easy. So there is a lot of that “Mind over Matter” work that has to be done in Yin.

But I can tell you combining Yin with my weight loss through healthy eating, cardio, and weight lifting is the perfect combination for me. Those tight hamstrings from running and  squats are stretched right out after an hour with Stacey.

And the thing I love most about Stacey is that she is a bit of an irreverent Yogini. So sure, the “real” Yin Yogis practice in absolute silence for meditative reasons…Not Stacey! We listen to the Melody Gardot Pandora Station (did I tell you we are kindred spirits? 🙂 )!

So today I say a prayer of gratitude for Yin Yoga, my Zen state of living, and my yoga teacher Stacey. And my staff and family, I assure you, are saying that same prayer. I have become so happy and relaxed and “Zen” that people don’t recognize me. Yoga plays a big role in that shift. In fact those closest to me refer to the “old Tobi” and the “new Tobi” and that’s not meaning my dress size.  It means I no longer lose my temper or get stressed out on a daily basis. Things seem to “roll” off me now like never before.  Part of that shift comes with age I know (yes, I turned 40 this year too), but more of it comes with practicing healthy living, and for me Yin was and IS the help I needed to live healthy and love life.

If you haven’t tried yoga I highly recommend it. And Yin Yoga might be just what you need. Stacey and I (both formerly self-professed Type A personalities verging on emotional break-down from trying to balance work and family) became different people because of it.

And if you are becoming advanced at Self Care like I am, you might even try Restorative and Yin Yoga together. I have become SO indulgent in my self-care that each Sunday night I go to Yoga for 2 hours!! Yes, I said TWO HOURS!!  Yin and Restorative back to back, while my little one and my hubby have a Daddy-Daughter date, is the best thing I do for myself all week. And for that I am grateful to Judy, the amazing restorative teacher at MeridiYIN’z.

And up next for me–I’m trying the Monday Night Meditation Class at Stacey’s MeridiYIN’z Yoga Studio. Wow…I’m going to be so calm and enlightened, my staff and family may think I’ve had a lobotomy, oh wait! They already think so. 🙂


If you are interested in following my path to Wellness and Self-Care paired with Designing a Business and a Life you love and you missed my FREE mastermind Telecall yesterday, just send us an email to so that we can send a recording of the telecall and We would love you to hear it and consider joining us for a year of self-care and self-sales in 2013!

Stay tuned for more blogs this week about 2 other women that have helped me get healthy. You won’t want to miss the lessons they have taught me!


p. s. Start your path to self care and wellness TODAY. You deserve it and you DO have time!

p. p. s. And if you want some Daily Inspiration with a Yoga twist to it (pun intended :), check out my friend Denese’s site. Denese and I met a couple of years ago when she came to my Blog Camp and she has been doing AMAZING things with her Health Consulting Business ever since. I LOVE getting her newsletter and you might want to sign up for it too!

Day 7 of Things I Love:Yoga

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Yoga has changed my life! I can’t believe I waited so long to discover it’s healing powers! I have been practicing for just over a year and I can’t remember my life without it! For high-strung, workaholic, entrepreneurs like me, it is a saving grace!!

In my next house, I plan to have a yoga studio! Just a place for me to go and find peace and calmness every morning and every night! This room that my friend Garry designed for the Arkansas Symphony Designer House in 2005 is just the sort of space I am dreaming about! And ironically today is Garry’s birthday! So Happy Birthday Garry and thanks for creating inspiring spaces for me to dream about!

If you haven’t discovered yoga yet I have to ask…”what are you waiting for?” Now I’m off to yoga, See you tomorrow!


Day #7 of Things I LOVE is YOGA!!

An Attitude of Gratitude

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!! Partly because I get the pleasure of going to the home of my Aunt and Uncle, who have a beautiful home and who spare no energy in preparing a beautiful table (see above) and amazing meal for us to enjoy together.  Here are more photos of the amazing home!

 Or maybe the reason I love Thanksgiving so much is because we have the added excitement of our annual family golf tournament each thanksgiving morning complete with a HUGE (I’m talking PGA size) and very official looking trophy with each of  the winning team members names engraved on it year-after-year.  And keep in mind that many of these team members have never played golf before and this is their once-a-year effort at the sport! Here are a few photos from a couple of years ago taken by our good friend Michael Baxley.  It was unseasonably hot that year.

Here is my cousin David William with my nephew Hudson looking on.

And my brother, Lang.

My dad (and Hudson again).

And cousin Elizabeth, now on the golf team at SMU! Go Mustangs!

 And if food and golf were not enticing enough, we also have a fabulous wine tasting paired with gourmet hor-d’ouevres before dinner.  And each year we discover some fantastic new varietals! One of my favorite reds, a Pinot Noir by Kosta Browne, was a discovery from last year’s thanksgiving tasting.

But the real reason  that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, is that thanksgiving, for me,  is a day of love and fellowship with the people that I care for the most in the world. It is not diluted with getting wrapped up in things like buying gifts or spending a lot of money.  Now don’t get me wrong…I love a good occasion for gifts and spending money and Christmas happens to be my second favorite holiday for many, many reasons, but there is just something about a holiday that is totally focused on counting the many blessings that we each have in our lives!!  And I never even really thought about the fact that America was the first country to have a holiday based solely on being thankful until I heard it said that way in so many words while watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special last night with my daughter. But that even reminds me of one of my many gifts…living in this great country of ours!!

Every single day, I think how amazingly grateful I am for all of the wonderful things in my life!!  The list is so long that you would not even believe it, but it starts with my husband, daughter, parents, family, friends, and runs the gamut through my successful company and all the amazing things that are on the horizon in 2009 for my business, including a new book and a product line for a national manufacturer. 

These things are what make me get out of bed each day. And belive me, I really am aware of how fortunate I am!!! And I am such a beliver in having an attitude of gratitude! I write thank you notes everyday…literally! And if I can’t think of anything to be especially thankful for that day, then I thank someone for just being a part of my life and for making it just a little bit more pleasant than the day before! My staff practices this gratitude discipline every day too!!  And just the act itself makes their lives a little brighter each day because it forces them to focus on the good in life as opposed to getting bogged down in negative thoughts and emotions.  And the most fun part is that we all get the pleasure on a regular basis of getting a “thank-you for our thank-you”! And let me tell you from experience there is no better feeling than that! To hear from a customer service rep who is in tears because in all of 20 years in this industry, they have never been written a thank you note and that we changed their entire attitude about an often thankless job” is a gift that gets us all through a few more demanding days at the office.  I highly recommend this practice!! It certainly will touch your soul and lift your spirits just like another of my favorite disciplines, yoga.

And speaking of yoga…during this season of thanksgiving, one group of people that I am especially grateful for is my amazing staff!! They make me look good everyday.  And talk about giving me 150% percent…these people are so dedicated and they really believe in the vision that I have for my company! You cannot buy that kind of dedication and loyalty.  They are employees who act like owners and there is little that I can do to repay this sort of committment to me and my firm!!  But as a little token of my gratitude in honor of this Thanksgiving week, I had the pleasure of inviting my yoga teacher, Holly, to my office yesterday to give us a “private” group lesson.  And we had it right there in the design office!!! We moved the meeting table and turned out the lights except for a couple of low wattage lamps, we lit candles and turned on my “yoga” music, and we turned the ringers off on the phones, and for just one hour…we focused entirely on ourselves!! We focused on releasing all the tension and stress associated with being a “care-giver” for 40 wonderful clients, and we turned all of our energies inward! And let me say, it was one of the best experiences of my life!! Talk about girl bonding!! Not a word was said by any of us as we listened to the soothing instruction by Holly’s oh-so-calm tone, but no words were necessary!! There was so much unspoken gratitude that could be felt in the room.  Gratitude for the opportunity to take this well-needed break, gratitude for Holly and her knowledge of the practice, gratitude for such an amazing place to work, with amazing co-workers and amazing clients! There was gratitude for this holiday season, and our families, and our friends! Gratitude for our bodies and our health. Gratitude for life and all the blessings it brings and for the challenges too!

So just in case I did not verbalize it, even though my gestures may have gone without saying, I want everyone to know that I am totally thankful for my staff!!  They are a group of 8 amazing women that certainly add to the joys of my life everyday!

And I am also thankful for my Wonderful Family, Friends and Clients and to all you faithful readers of my blog and for the exciting things I will be able to share with you in 2009!! Happy Thanksgiving! And may you experience an Attitude of Gratitude this holiday season and into the New Year! Believe me, your life will never be the same!!