Self Care & Self Love

Happy March, Successfully-Single readers! Thank you so much for your amazing support and encouragement of my blogging journey. Successfully-Single has reached 12 countries, 3 continents, has had 254 visitors, and over 650 views in just two and half months! I appreciate each and every single one of you for joining me, and I hope to continue to inspire you and encourage your feedback!

January and February were some of the most intense months for me on matters of the heart, work, and future planning. You may have noticed I haven’t blogged in many weeks, and it has been weighing on my soul to not only honor my commitment to blog regularly, but also share all of the amazing and challenging things happening in my life. All of my previous posts have been topics and words that have flowed naturally out of my heart and mind, and I’ve been stumbling over what to write about next. Today, it is starting to flow once again!

I am inspired by the quote, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” As I reflect on the most difficult parts of the past two month for me, I am humbled to sit, breathe, and realize this present moment is so important and so easily taken advantage of. I have been so diligent with my New Year’s goal to take care of my body by going to yoga, but I lost sight of the real goal which was an internal change! I am seeing measurable progress in my head stands, poses, stamina, etc, but my obsession in seeing that tangible physical progress has left my mind and spirit in the dust. REGROUP!!! Today, my set intention in class was SELF CARE & SELF LOVE – to truly live each breath and each moment for my spirit and soul. My class was both rejuvenating and filled my heart with love, and now here I am, sharing that with you! After all, as I’ve said in previous posts, if you can’t love and take care of yourself, how can you possibly go out into the world, love others, and make a difference?!

All of the great work, amazing changes, and bright energy we put out into the universe must start from within. It is so easy to get caught up in our busy schedules, the lives of our loved ones, heartaches, drama, etc, that we often forget to take care of ourselves. I challenge you to let go of your responsibilities, worries, to do lists, and obligations for one hour today. Show yourself love. Be grateful for the breath that fills you lungs. Do something truly caring for your soul. And then get back to the crazy. I guarantee it won’t feel as crazy when you return.

Thank you once again for following me on my journey. I hope I have sparked some inspiration in your day and maybe even your lives. As Tony Bennett sang, “The best is yet to come…”

Keep it classy, Woman! 33 and free.

The history of Successfully Single, as stated in my how it started “Birthplace” page, began as a mere idea on single woman stories, and now, relationship status completely aside, it has transformed to what you’re reading now: words, stories & motivations from this place to the next. I love the concept that these are expressions from my life as a “singular sensation” meant to inspire, entertain, and move you… afterall, I am a performer! Today I ask myself this, “How do I walk the line of sexy, sensual, and strong woman without over stepping my ultimate goal of keeping it classy?”

The pure, feminine embrace of womanhood is one of the most beautiful, natural, and exciteable aspects of human sensuality and sexuality. So how do women, and men, today keep it classy, but also indulge in their sexy side? Often, I’ll joke around about being a classy broad who carries herself adorned in pearls, but can drop an f-bomb like my fellow Philadelphia Eagle’s fans. I mean, you can take the girl outta Jersey, but you can’t take the Dirty Dirty outta the girl 😉 (Do people who aren’t from the East coast even relate to that joke?) I kid around, but this is my exact subject matter!

This week I did a boudoir photo shoot for a friend’s new photography site. I had never done a lingerie shoot before and was excited to try something new and out of my comfort zone. The photos, seen below, came out wonderfully! They are creative, fun, provacative and have a varying level of sex appeal. Sex appeal I believe I’ve earned through age, time, and experience, and that exactly is one of the answers to my question. Age and, equally important, maturity is a major factor of keeping it classy.

When I was a competitive figure skater, my mom and coach told me there were somethings you earn with age: experience and the ability to push the envelope. Provocative music lyrics, cuts of costumes, and specific choreographic moves were appropriate or inappropriate not only for my age at the time, but also for the classically conservative sport of figure skating. Know your audience, and know that what you do, how you do it, and what you wear while doing it represents who you are! I believe that is the second answer to my question.

As I navigate through my 33rd year around the sun, I offer you this same question to assess in your own lives, “How do I keep it classy?” I think pure class is becoming a lost art in today’s world, and although the standards of classy are evolving through the ages, how are you keeping class around… or aren’t you…? Enjoy!

Be brave with your life!

This Saturday, February 17th, is mom’s 69th birthday. She is no longer here with us on Earth, and if you’ve been following me on my blog journey, you know that her life and loss has been an great impetus for growth and change in me.

To honor the life of my mom and the relationship we had,  I decided to do something that scares me, something truly out of my comfort zone. Tonight, I spoke about my mom at an open mic in Las Vegas called “The Human Experience.” I often take the mic on a well scripted speech at my day job, but never have I spoke openly and freely to strangers about my mom. This was truly a heart-pounder, a “heart-string” puller, and a tear jerker.

As I said tonight, I truly and honestly hope it inspires you to not only cherish your loved ones more while here on Earth, but to also step out of your comfort zone! and GROW!!!!

 

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Commitment to Love. Commitment to the Heart.

The heart is a wonderful, amazing, resilient organ and the source of all love and light. What an amazing statement. I think it’s mind blowing that this beating organ is the source of life for us, and this pulsating heartbeat is the source of all our energy. The heart has been on my mind a lot lately.  Love has been on my mind day in a day out.

Today I spoke with my brother, Sean, who I love so much. I still look up to him like I did when I was a kid, but as adults, our relationship has become even more important through the hardships we’ve faced together and in our own lives. We’ve seen each other win and lose in love, jobs, and home life, and we lost our mom together so recently as well. Over and over again, we support each other through the tough obstacles life has challenged us with, and at the end of the day, I recognize a real shared strength in our commitment to love in our separate lives. My brother’s commitment to love stems from his wonderful son and his tough resiliency to push through all obstacles to provide a beautiful life for my nephew. It’s such a heart-warming inspiration to see my brother be an amazing parent, and it’s a cherished, special kind of commitment to love that I have yet to feel.

My commitment to love has most recently been focused on my love life. I’ve always been an open heart and a lover of love, and heartache after heartache I still remain a true lover. Lately, I find myself a bit frustrated by always putting myself out there and then suffering the pain of not receiving the same in return. I think there’s a strength in being a love risk taker and wearing your heart on your sleeve, but there is also a lot to learn about protecting your heart as well.  I am working on a good balance between the two without growing callus and cold to the pain involved.

It’s crazy the amount of pressure we put on our hearts- the emotional heart and the organ itself.  My mom’s heart for instance was so full of love for her children, but in the end, it was that exact organ that failed her. Still, I remain committed to love. Still, I remain committed to this organ.

So… Heart! Love! Once again I’m writing about L-O-V-E, and I realize this is part of my commitment to love this year. I offer you my thoughts on matters of the heart as a welcome to identify your commitment to the heart, whether emotional or the organ itself. Listen to the pulse of your heart, and follow your love. After all, your heart beats for you and only you, and you are its voice to the world.

 

The brutal truth: Beauty and its Beast

It’s one thing to ask the universe for amazing things, but it’s another to be truly ready for what you ask for. In my last post I shared two of my goals for the year as I work on a better, stronger me. I think an important element in sharing positive goals is also sharing the hard work, struggles, tears and sweat that go into making them a reality.

I work very hard for the life I have, and I know you do too. One of my big goals is working on an internal transformation which I have started by practicing hot yoga. Wonderful. A beautiful side affect is a transformation externally as well. As a professional dancer, I have always been, and been made, aware of body image, weight, shape, height, how I carry myself, and how I look when I move. It’s a tough business that has nonstop roadblocks and adversities. If you can overcome the negative feedback, the very often no feedback, and your own inner-monologue, YOU ARE ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS. Oh, sooooo easy… In order to face the world and sometimes battle, I know that strength starts with me! Enter New Year’s goal.

Let me share this exert from LA Times writer, David Akert: “Singers, Musicians, Dancers and Actors, are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because Actors, Dancers, Musicians and Singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Actors, Dancers, Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”

The strength to endure always begins with you. Whether it is heartache, profession, bullies, a race, a competition, or the mirror, the value you give yourself sets the tone for all your achievements. Yesterday I worked 8.5 hours at my day job, came home to change, and went to a hot power yoga class. I ridiculed myself for what the scale read, for how I felt, and how I looked. I went to bed guilty for eating dinner. I share this with you because it is one thing to spread positivity, but it is another to share your truth. I am on a beautiful journey with ups and downs. I chose “an internal transformation” as a goal for myself because I need one. I respect the process, but I need to respect myself as well. I feel a bit freer sharing this honesty, and I wish you the honesty to develop something in yourself too.

“If you don’t takes risks, you’ll never drink champagne.”

As February approaches around the corner, the real 2018 work is about to begin!!! What an exciting thought that is to me.  January is always a whirlwind month as post-holiday excitement boils down and we start to sink into the real opportunities of the year. With just a week before the second month arrives, I would like to share with you two goals I have set for myself in hopes it inspires you to take some risks and make real, positive changes in your life!

“Out with the old and in with the new!” I have already begun to experience a great purge in my life, and I have been inspired by Teledipity.com to continue to purge. (I HIGHLY recommend your exploration of Teledipity.com!) I am making MAJOR, UNCOMFORTABLE changes in my life to make way for a BETTER, HAPPIER, STRONGER ME. I am freeing from my life people who no longer serve a positive purpose, bad financial habits, negative energy about myself, old clutter in my house, and in many ways I am shedding the old Shana to make room for the new Shana. I choose to lose these things from my life not because they are easy to shed, but because I know the value of taking big leaps and facing uncomfortable challenges. I am shedding these things to make necessary room for the amazing changes and developments I have asked the universe for. I challenge you to free from your life things that are no longer serving you as well. Try something small at first, and after that, be honest with yourself in order to let something bigger free!

As I start to release these things from my life, I am also focusing on a wonderful internal transformation as well. As the great RuPaul put it, “If you can’t love yourself, how in hell you gonna love someone else?” My internal transformation has begun with a new love of Hot Yoga! I have committed to a new studio, committed to myself, and have made it to my mat at least 4 times a week since January 1st! I started hot yoga last year in Tennessee, and I absolutely fell in love with the sweating, the challenge, the escape, and the peace it brought, even for just an hour. This year I have already expanded on that and find it trickling over into my everyday life. I am more aware of my energy and light, and I see myself better able to serve the people around me. I am finding a healthier balance of depositing into other people’s bank accounts without emptying my own. Hot Yoga! Start with an internal change of your own and see how you can affect the world!

I quote one of my favorite UFC fighters who before the biggest fight of his career said, “If you don’t take risks, you’ll never drink champagne.” Well, I LOVE CHAMPAGNE, and there is nothing better than a well earned glass of bubbly. I truly believe your greatest accomplishments happen outside your comfort zone, and I hope in sharing my goals for the year, I have inspired you to take some amazing risks and make some serious changes in your life.

 

 

 

 

From a heartfelt place…

“To be fearless is to do what scares you, to take a chance, to make a change. To love again. And to get back after you fall. To be fearless is to know your fears, but never let them stop you.” – MantraBand

Almost two years ago I lost my mom from this life. She was the only mom I’ve ever known, though I was born from another woman. My mom was one of my soulmates. She was mine. She was crazy and wonderful and a dreamer and my biggest fan. I think most people feel this way about their beautiful mother. I hope what I share with you reminds you to cherish each fleeting moment with your loved ones while here on Earth.

It is nearly two years I’ve survived without my mom. I say “survived” because I believe the grieving process makes you a warrior, and I say “without her” as she cannot answer the phone when I call. Loss and grief changes you, and not just once. I am continually learning about grief and healing, and after nearly two years, I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes in tears, feeling absolutely pain stricken and alone. I share that with you as an act of bravery- an act of baring my soul to help heal.

I woke up on March 19th, 2016 to multiple missed calls. It was 7am in Las Vegas. I called my sister in law, and she calmly told me my mom had what we thought was a heart attack and was in the hospital. I was assured that everything would be ok, as the doctors expected her to wake from her deep coma-like sleep. I’ll never forget that paralyzing shock. Nothing like this had ever happened to us before.

I flew to New Jersey, and as I walked down the hospital hallway, I remembered my brother’s words on the phone. “She has a lot of wires connected to her, and her head is wrapped in bandages. Don’t be afraid. You may not recognize her,” my big brother prepared me. Terrified, I walked down the hallway, and as soon as I saw her, of course I recognized her. She was my mom- the only mom I’ve ever known. She was mine. She was one of my soulmates.

During that week, we waited patiently for her to wake. We waited patiently for her to come back like the doctors told us she would. I danced for her in her hospital room. I spoke to her about my feelings. We listened to her favorite spiritual and motivational speaker. I held her hand. I took naps on her bed. I held her when it looked like she was in pain. I told her not to be scared. We waited. We prayed.

After a week of that dreamlike, nightmare cloud, my mom’s state had worsened, and the doctors told us she would not recover afterall. My brother told me, legally, my mom had chosen me to be her healthcare power of attorney, and although we would make the call together and never question the decision, the decision on my mom’s life was ultimately mine.

I remember the doctor’s demeanor speaking to both my big brothers. He spoke to them like adults. He spoke to them with medical terms. When he spoke to me, he was speaking to a young, clearly heartbroken, girl. He spoke with less words, less answers, and slightly protective. “I am my mother’s healthcare power of attorney, ” I said to him standing alone in my mom’s room that unforgettable day. “I will be responsible for her. I will be the one to sign the papers.” His eyes saw me differently. No words had ever matured me, broken me, or would ever be spoken out loud from my lips about my mother again.

It took a few more days for my mom to pass. I held her hand, and listened to every breath to the very last sigh that left her body. It was cold that day, and it snowed. It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking, and I’ll never be the same person I was before that day.

I share this extremely personal story out of bravery, out of a need to share, a need to be honest, a need to let it out to the world to help grieve. I had never been so scared in my life, and from that experience, I’ve tried to be braver every day with a mindset to be “fearless”. I have no regrets about my relationship with my mom. There were no words left unspoken. I have never felt more privileged to love someone and also to let someone go. It breaks me down; it lifts me up.

I wear my “Fearless” MantraBand bracelet as a daily reminder to honor the pain, love, and healing that I’m experiencing. I wear it to remind myself to embrace my fears and still dance forward in life. I wear it to remind myself it is ok to not be ok. I wear the word “Fearless” for my mom, and I wear the word “Fearless” for the new and newer mes to come. I hope in sharing my story, you’ve learned a little more about who I am. I hope you’ve learned an ounce of the journey I am on. I especially hope it helps you find your “fearless” in whatever capacity that is for you. ❤

I love you, Mom.

Making my (Caribbean) dreams a reality!

Greetings from the Caribbean! This week I travelled to St Kitts, St Maarten, and San Juan with one of my bosses, Marc Savard! Marc has an amazing Hypnosis show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas celebrating its 11th year on the Strip next month! I joined the show in 2016 as his on stage assistant, and this was my first opportunity to perform on a cruise with Marc! Although, this was my first experience as a guest entertainer, I am no stranger to cruiseship life.

In 2007, I worked for Royal Caribbean for 2 years travelling to over 22 countries as a dancer on board. My career has brought me to even more wonderful places since then, and I’ve achieved so many exciting goals – guest entertainer being one of them!

Here’s a little video I filmed onboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. It’s a little breezy, but I wanted to share with you my first, raw footage attempt at video blogging without refilming. I hope you (can hear and) enjoy!

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Birthday Love & Love!

Today is my 33rd birthday, and I am overwhelmed by the hundreds of texts, calls, Facebook messages, and love! Thank you everyone! I am determined to have a purposeful and amazing year this time around the sun, and I wish the same to all of you!

Many unexpected events have occurred in my life in last 3 weeks that remind me of life’s delicate cycle and the universe’s meaningful plan. I had a trip to the ER, lost a friend suddenly, spent NYE with Bruno Mars and his band, lost my Grandpa’s ring, attended a UFC fight, crashed my car, my Grandpa’s ring was returned to me, I started a full time work schedule, and then came down with a winter cold. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by the perpetual downs, but reminded myself they were interspersed with some very exciting and lucky ups. (Not that the pain of losing a friend can be relieved by a UFC fight, for example, but it was a nice break of events.) These were all reminders of life’s roller coaster in a very short period of time, and each event urged me to wake up, become more aware, and gain some much needed grounding.

So here I am! Awake, aware, and grounded! Hahaha! If only it were that easy!!! Well, as I take in all my birthday love, I know I will always be working on me, but I am so ready to be working on an “us”! I am openly declaring my acceptance and offering of FULL LOVE this year, and I am looking for the one. Love has been the number one topic of discussion between my close friends and I in the last 8 weeks, and as mid-November arrived, I openly declared to them, “I am ready to date! I am looking for love!” The best part about sharing that with them, is they take me seriously with those “here she comes!” grins.

So love! L-O-V-E! Insert movie quotes! Que the Hollywood kisses! Send out the invitaions! *Giggle* Like any declaration, goal, or objective, I have a plan. Clearly nothing I’ve done before has brought me to the relationship I desire, so my plan for finding love is to NOT do almost everything I’ve done before. Seriously! Perhaps I could rephrase that more eloquently or cleverly, but I’ll use Einstein’s words, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

In all of life’s ups and downs, I find myself rushing through everything with a ferocity and passion to be in control. When I lost my mom, I was forced to coast, and I felt like too much was passing by. I am now seeking that perfect speed. Moving forward, I’m determined to proceed at a conscientious speed with the same open heart I’ve always loved with. Whether it be work, play, romance, etc., I’m taking this full-throttle energy and finding a nice first gear. Afterall, 2018 has only just begun, and life will always be a curvy road ahead.

So once again… love! L-O-V-E. I’m ready to learn, I’m ready to try, and I’m ready to be wherever the magic is happening. Thank you again for all of the birthday wishes and joining me on my new blog journey. I look forward to updating you on the wonderful love adventure that I’m manifesting in my life. I hope you are manifesting many wonderful things in your lives in the promise of this great year!

 

 

2018 – Loud and Clear!

Happy 2018! Here’s to new goals, new successes, new loves, and the strength to endure their counterparts.

My new year started with some pretty amazing numerology readings, and they are already happening in my life. The first thing to manifest was a car crash! My reading said, “You are now living in the fast lane and are headed for a few major collisions (both literally and metaphorically).” Thanks for the heads up Teledipity.com! Hahaha.

In the last two years I’ve become more and more interested and intrigued with numerology, astrology, spirituality, and faith. It started late 2015 with just a heightened awareness of a shift in my universe. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the notion that my parents were getting older, and I needed to travel to New Jersey as often as possible to see them. I got to spend post Thanksgiving with my Pop that year and Christmas with my Mom. Christmas was quite magical that year, and I have a wonderful memory of my Mom drinking prosecco in my brother’s kitchen saying, “I’m just so happy!”

My Mom passed suddenly 4 short months after that. Her death was the GREATEST pain and change in my life, but I knew it was only a part of the shift I had recognized in my universe that previous year. That memory of my Mom both comforts and pains me – two very opposite emotions that have served as catalysts for the life I’m manifesting now.

I will come back to all that in the future. For now, I offer these explanations for my deeper spirituality and exploration of the unknown. When devastating events happen in life, many ask, “Why?” So I questioned everything outside my whole being greator than any Earthly reason, above and beyond one word answers like “God”, “because”, “life”, “destiny”, etc, and here I am. Maybe you don’t believe in what I believe. Maybe you know my previous self before these events. Maybe you’ve been on this journey with me the whole way. Or maybe we’ve just met. No matter who you are reading this, I offer my story as a welcome to 2018. I hope you continue to join me, and I wish you the strength to chase my new mantra, FEARLESSNESS, and the tenacity and resilience to fully embrace it. Happy New Year, loves.

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