Enjoyment of the moment

 

“WHEN I STAND BEFORE GOD AT THE END OF MY LIFE, I WOULD HOPE THAT I WOULD NOT HAVE A SINGLE BIT OF TALENT AND TIME LEFT, AND COULD SAY THAT I USED EVERYTHING YOU GAVE ME, GOD!”

– Erma Bombeck

 

“I want to be happy in my life!”

 

That’s the most repeated phrase after “I love you”. Happiness is that ONE thing we all chase and long for. The happiness has as many faces as people on this planet.

 

As I sit on my pillow, my hand writes down one of the most beautiful words, which seemed like a cry of my soul. The happy cry, the aha-moment cry, the Eureka cry – the realization cry of what happiness is for me.

Today I share with you that deep, vulnerable and empowering desires!

 

“I truly want to be happy in my life!

I don’t want to do what doesn’t spark me.

The last few weeks of hustling to post the most inspiring words on social media, following all other inspiring coaches and women, comparing myself to others just made me feel very fearful, miserable, unhappy, not present and not appreciative of what I have right now in my life.

I realized that the hustle may not be for me.

The rat race and money chasing may totally be out of my life or happiness definition.

 

It hit me how much I want to organically inspire, motivate, help and be of service to others, just be being the truest version of myself.

 

And, I also want to enjoy life! I truly do.

I want to enjoy time with my partner instead of being stressed about not doing enough.

I want to enjoy the healthy food and have fun with it instead of being miserable and obsessed with my body image.

I want to enjoy the movements of my body, workouts, and dance instead of punishing and hurting my body.

I want to be healthy and fit and go places instead of being overstressed and frozen in the hustle mode.

I want to enjoy the cozy, loving and safe place and home instead of chasing huge and cold villas.

I want to enjoy my garden full of herbs and nature instead of feeling that this is a waste of time.

I want to enjoy doing new things and build memories with my fiancée and friends instead of being a workaholic.

I want to connect with people on a personal level instead of being fake and copy-monkey social media guru.

I want to enjoy small groups meetings and retreats where true connection, magic, love, self-expression, and beautiful transformations happen instead of hiding from the overwhelm of this world.

 

I want to feel happy and proud of myself at the end of the day. I want to know that I did everything in all my abilities to love and be loved. I want to be content knowing that my time was very well spent with all I have. I want to live being appreciative of my life every second.

 

I want to give it a time – a time to listen to myself, a time to hear what the Universe has to say, a time to flow with what it’s meant for me.

I want to focus on my emotions, body, and cycle.

I want to be appreciative of every moment.

I want to express love every day.

I want to be in the flow.

I want to just be, in the present moment

And I want to be patient to be able to see and feel what lights me up. “

 

What does happiness mean to you? ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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Life is love – how Spartan Race changed my life!

On January 2016, after accomplishing my first Spartan Race in SoCal, I said to myself: “I can carry the entire world on my shoulders now!”

And this is how everything started!

 

In November 2015, I got ‘invited’ by my fitness and lifestyle coach to participate in a Spartan Race with her team. I literally had never run longer than 1.5 km and that made me pass out at the finish line. I was a bodybuilder, that girl with huge legs and the massive amount of muscles. There was no way I could do ‘cardio’ longer than 30 minutes and that was limited to Stairmaster. “Nobody will ever make me run” was bouncing in my head. However, under the ‘pressure’ of my very smart coach, I signed up.

That was it. As a perfectionist and a fully committed to my goals athlete, I literally took the entire preparation into my hands and signed up to the local ninja gym to get my rope climb ready. All I wanted to master was rope climb. I knew in the worst case scenario I will end up doing 900 burpees during that Spartan Super run in SoCal Spartan Race in Temecula, CA. So, rope climb and burpees became my obsession for the next two months.

After I finished that race, the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming. I have never felt like that. Not even after receiving my Ph.D. title or placing top three at my bodybuilding competition. The feeling of being able to do anything, including carrying the entire world on my own shoulders, was amazing. I felt high on life and I wanted more of it.

 

The 2016 year ended up with just one Trifecta. I am saying ‘just’ because something managed to stop me from getting more.

As I was preparing myself for the third race in April, and planning to do at least three more that year, I injured my knee. I was in a brace for a few weeks and not capable of doing a single long jump for several months. The discouragement and the feeling of being a personal failure crept in and all I wanted was to give up. However, not having healthy legs didn’t mean I couldn’t practice and train upper body. Wasn’t the upper body actually more important to complete the obstacles at Spartan Race, such as monkey bars, rope climb, twister, multi-rig and so on? So, there I was, in the brace and doing literally hundreds of pull-ups every day.

That entire life experience turned out to be a great lesson to the coach and a personal trainer like me. It not only taught me to look at the injuries through a more humbling lens but more importantly, to see how mental and personal commitments are crucial in perseverance. It motivated me even more to be a role model and show that physical injuries are not the end of the athletic lifestyle. It was a beginning of the journey called ‘how to love yourself through the obstacles that life puts in our way’.

After just five months after my injury, still not being able to fully jump or run, I created the beYOUtiful Team who raced with me (or rather I raced with them) in Breckenridge, CO, in Sprint Spartan Race. My team was extremely happy overrunning their coach, and I knew that I would allow them to do that again and again at any moment. I could see how the race which was changing my life, was changing their lives, too. I could see the happiness on their faces for not only beating their own trainer but accomplishing and completing something they would never think to be possible to do.

 

The path to becoming better was about to get started. I officially became a Spartan SGX coach.

In 2017 other life-changing events happened. I run multiple races and participated in the brutal events called Hurricane Heat. I was so high on life. I never felt more powerful before.

The Hurricane Heat 12 hour in Las Vegas, March 2017 was another one totally shifting my belief system and values in my life. For the first time in my life, I was tested mentally like never before. The past traumas and abuse were nothing compared to what I went through during that night. I learned one major lesson (and many, many more minor lessons), that we can do whatever we put our minds to. There were moments of total numbness in my body, where all I could do was repeating ‘step, step, step’ to myself and keep going. The HH12HR was the biggest challenge of my life, the best life lesson and my proudest moment.

 

In May 2017 something magical happened. At that time, I didn’t know it is going to be magical until after some time. However, the number of coincidental events happening around that race, in Colorado Springs at Fort Carson, was incredible. I had no clue why just a day before my friends left me alone to drive and race two races. I had never raced alone. But I did this time. I ran both of the days and in both cases, I managed to set my own personal records for both distances. In the meantime, I met cool friends and people, among them my future boyfriend. Yeay! That’s what happened!

After the first day, we couldn’t find each other on Instagram. We both knew that we just met someone we might possibly like but who clearly didn’t want to be in touch. It happens, it was just a race and we usually meet a lot of people. However, I knew that the next day he runs again, just 15 minutes earlier than me. I knew that all is in my hands. I ran so fast, that I not only set up another PR but caught up to him almost at the end of the race. I ‘screamed’ at him why didn’t he accept my invitation on Instagram. Surprisingly, he was asking me the same.

 

Who knew that two months later we would be a couple, four months later we would move in together and a year later we will proceed into another phase of our relationship.

One year later, at the same venue, in Colorado Springs at Fort Carson, I took my life fate again into my hands and decided to propose to my boyfriend. I was waiting for him at the finish line, with the medal in my left hand and the Spartan Groove Life silicone ring in my right hand. I was totally aware of the audience around cheering me on and I was even more aware of this what I was about to do.

 

I have never heard of any woman proposing first. Oh well, I do act on things which matter to me. So, I did that time again.

Spartan Race truly changed my life. It showed me what a real feeling of accomplishment is. It brought wonderful friends into my life. It gave me motivation, courage and mental strength to deal with my injuries. It taught me life lessons in the middle of the night. And it brought my fiancé into the life of a woman who went through abuse in past relationships and didn’t truly believe there was someone out there who could love her. Who could love her for being a crazy Spartan Lady. Who could be a crazy Spartan himself.

 

I am so lucky! I am such a happy Spartan Lady!

 

 

 

What does self-discovery mean to you?

[this entire text is an excerpt from my book “The True Identity” which is going to be released this Summer, 2018 – stay tuned here]

I would like to tell you that you are on the journey to the world of yourself every single day. It is a beautiful journey of self-discovery. The journey when you get to see what your true potential, power, strength, and identity is.

 

What does the self-discovery actually mean to you?

Have you thought of it for a minute?

 

Self-discovery to me is the realization of who I am and why I am.

It is the deep feeling of my own value, beauty, and worthiness without questioning it.

It is the moment when external approvals and validations are not needed anymore because all that I need I can give it to myself.

Self-discovery for me is reconnecting with deep roots of my being, with my Inner Child and all that she needs and feels.

It is the magical moment of being present, recognizing my body’s and soul’s desires and acting on them.

It is being in alignment, peace and flow with the nature of my true identity.

 

It sounds deep and very poetical. You may ask, do you truly believe that, Izabela? Is this just a metaphor or a real feeling? Who actually can achieve that state of mind, body, and soul?

 

My answer is clear, yes, I do believe in what I wrote. Moreover, I do believe even more that you truly can accomplish this state, too.

We choose every day what we want to do, how we want to act, and who we want to feel like. You can choose differently every day.

You can choose to feel peaceful, worthy and beautiful. You also can choose to feel tired, unworthy, and not enough.

You can totally go out to the world choosing to be confident and expensive or hide away from your true voice.

You can choose to be playful, joyful and happy that day, or miserable, disappointed and angry.

You can have fun with even the most unbearable task, choosing to act upon your intuition and self-trust, being in flow with your core values, what you want to create and how you want to feel. Or you can choose to drag it over days and weeks, make yourself sick and reject everyone around you, or block any ways to solve the problems by seeing the only negative outcome.

 

I could list the life scenarios like that over and over.

 

We all got the same life, the same time and the same free will and right to choose. It is a powerful tool which you are holding in your hands right now and every moment!

 

It is your choice every single day.

It is your choice to choose differently.

It is your choice to keep discovering yourself every day!

 

Your Mantras:

I can choose differently every day.

I choose happiness, joy, and playfulness.

I choose worthiness.

I chose to be confident and beautiful today.

I choose ____________.

 

[this entire text is an excerpt from my book “The True Identity” which is going to be released this Summer, 2018 – stay tuned here]

 

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

Once upon a time…… – the childhood memories of mine!

*** What made you happy when you were a kid? Find out and do that now. Seriously, go. Now.  ***

 

Someone recently said that whatever you were doing, effortlessly and joyfully, as a kid, that might be the clue to who you really are, who you want to be and what you truly want to do in your life. That could be your true passion!

Finding passion is not an active act of searching for, scrolling down million of pages, stalking others and copying the most successful person. Passion is something what you were born with, what you innately have within you and the only action you need to make now is to tap inside of you, listen and follow it.

But the question many of us have is how to do that?

My first response to that question is by simply giving yourself space and time to silence yourself, listen to that voice within you, feel and see what sparks you up.

 

However, to help you out little more, I would love to share this story with you.

 

As a kid, little Izabelka, I loved sacred moments, space and rituals. My mom told me that praying, going to the church, reading books and chanting them in the little corner in the bedroom, while kneeling and creating a little ritual around it was my thing. I could spend the entire afternoon by simply being with myself and spiritual beings. Whom I was talking or chanting to, nobody knows. What I was feeling and experiencing, nobody knows as well. Not even me. But I definitely loved it.

In meantime, I was a very responsible person of others and myself. I took good care of my younger siblings already at age of 3. I was quiet and peaceful. I was extremely kind and super helpful. I was serving others until I saw their happiness and smile. Because their smile was giving me the smile on my own face.

Since I remember, I lived my life by the saying ‘treat others as you want to be treated, love others as you want to be loved, be kind to others as you want to be kindly perceived, be honest as you want others to be trustworthy.’

I was extremely smart and humble. I was sensing others feelings and was very quickly ready to help them. I was an empath and sympathizer. The hurt, unfairness, and abuse to others were hurting my heart, too.

I loved flowers so much! I loved candles. I had my own altar, too.

 

The more I look at that Little Girl, the more I understand my life passion and purpose now.

There is nothing else more beautiful, magical and enlightening to me than helping others. There is nothing more nurturing than seeing others beautiful souls blooming and expanding. There is nothing more joyful than creating the world changes I want to see at every corner of this planet. There is nothing more aligned with me than being kind and loving to every human being, no matter the circumstances. There is nothing more freeing than loving people just the way they are. Because everyone is good at heart, and I always believed that. I always saw that in everybody’s eyes, no matter how dark they appeared at first.

There is nothing more lighting me up than the true, real, raw, vulnerable, and authentic self. The true identity of all of you. The one we innately have within.

 

This how I discovered who I really want to be, how do I want to live my life and what makes my soul feel at best. The feeling of being aligned with my highest purpose and myself.

 

Who did you want to be when you were a child?

How did that manifest in your adult life?

What did you dream of?

Did you follow your passion?

How does that look like to you now?

How would that look like if you were to follow it?

 

There is something truly magical happening when we tap into the childhood memories and connect with the Inner Child. There are so many answers there. There is the entire guide book there for us, accessible at any time and for free!

 

How do you feel now?

 

I love you, beautiful soul!

I am HERE. I am NOW. I am ME. ❤

 

 

 

 

Nut Butter Breakthrough

Do you live in the reality where you were told that some things in this world are just bad? Do you interact with people who constantly bombard you with judgment and opinions? Do you create your own world around those notions, thoughts, stories and beliefs that you gathered during your life, and that are not necessarily true?

Where am I headed to with those questions? What does that have to do with nut butter?

 

Oh, let me tell you my story.

I have never shared this before.

The entire world believes that being a bodybuilder, looking wonderfully lean and muscular, fit and athletic, is the healthiest thing someone could get involved in. There is no bigger misinterpretation than that. The myth of “healthy” bodybuilding can be easily debunked. I did look awesome, the best ever in my life, that’s true. Have I worked hard? Oh, heck yes, the hardest “job” I have ever done was getting ready for that stage. The limitations, deprivations, rules and what’s good and what’s totally not good or allowed, losing the social life, having no time for anything but gym, are the major “bonuses” to it. Moreover, I consider these even better: insomnia during the night, sleepiness during the day, lack of period, total lack of energy, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and extreme food intolerance.

What I found the most incredible during that time is the way to look at the food and the body. Being at 7% body fat on the stage is an indication of your well-done work, and then gaining 2 pounds is considered not good anymore.

But where did I lose the main character of this story, nut butter? The cheat meal or carbing up by eating pizza, donuts and the crappiest food on this planet, was considered “good” and “beneficial” for your gains. However, eating healthy, full of good nutrients and good fats, nut butter, was the worst thing you could even think of, totally sabotaging your progress. Having this type of “cheat meal” was making me fat, over night actually, and thanks to it I most likely wouldn’t be able to step on the stage.

Do you follow me? Do you see the story behind it? Do you see the misleading beliefs here?

 

Where am I headed with that now?

Here it is. The bodybuilding world doesn’t talk about, but 85% girls start with it because they either have already underlying eating disorders and body image issues, or they end up with that after pursuing that journey. And I was on both sides. Yes, I am a girl who suffered bulimia and anorexia as a teenager, in mid and late 20s, and of course the “exciting” disorder became more dangerous after competitions. Every single pound is an obsession, every single bite of food is making me fat overnight. Every single spoon of that freaking nut butter is sabotaging all my athletic performance. But wait, what if I eat pizza, or donuts – then I should be fine, right?!

 

Do you see where I am getting to?

The messed-up stories and beliefs someone told me during that time, create the person I am now. And if you are me, you hate your body, you binge, then purge and hate yourself even more. And the vicious cycle is never going to end unless you stop yourself, you literally get yourself into the silent place, remove the worldly distractions and ask yourself the major question: what problem, emotions, pain, feelings, or issue am I trying to numb with food or any other addiction?

The root of that addiction was somewhere deep inside of me. Exactly like the root of my love-hate feelings toward a simple food like nut butter. Why was I loving it and hating it just after I ate it? Why was I craving it, even though I wasn’t hungry, so I could purge afterwards? Why was I even buying it, if it was making me so overly fat?? WHY?

Because the root of that was simple: someone told me that this type of food is making me fat. That nut butter will make me weak. That this food will make me perform bad. That thanks to this food I better stop pursuing whatever athletic and sport goals I had. Because I am going to fail…if I keep eating it. I am not exaggerating this story. It is my real, deep and true story.

 

So, if you still reading, listen: dig deep inside of your soul and heart, allow yourself to feel it, to think, to be in the moments with yourself, your memories – even if they are painful. Pain is the best teacher we could ever have in this world.

Use it wisely!

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

 

 

Step by Step… [The Emotional and Mental Memoir from Ultra Beast Spartan Race]

This is not a recap of an Ultra Beast Race. You can read those elsewhere. This is a mental and emotional piece about somebody’s inner world.

This is not a blog with ideas and tips on how to train. It is not about how to eat and prepare for one of the toughest obstacle endurance races. This is an expression of a soul screaming after facing an unknown field of defeat and disqualification.

The “Ultra Beast Spartan Race” is one of the longest obstacle races in the OCR series. What does that mean for an overachieving athlete like me? It means there is going to be a mental challenge. It inevitably leads to the question of “to be or not be” in the game.

 

Weeks before….

In the weeks leading up to that moment, I often found myself overthinking and over-analyzing the upcoming race. Of course, this would be interspersed with moments of calmness, and times of not thinking about the race at all. As a professional athlete, business owner, and life coach, I have learned firsthand how overthinking will never result in anything good. It only leads to fear, stress and demotivation. Overanalyzing is even worse; it creates an overpowering fear of losing control. I am the last one to predict the weather, the course, the obstacles, and most importantly: to predict my own body’s reaction and feelings.

I find it very relaxing to not think about the race at all. Yes, “spacing out” can irritate the ones who love you most. But guess what? I love spacing out. I bask in the moments when I allow the universe to think on my behalf. I love not knowing what the future may hold. I love to be at peace, doing what I do every day: eat healthy, train hard, stretch, rest, and sleep.

 

The night before….

That day before the Ultra Beast was one of the most serene days of my life. All my work was done. I was up to date on updating my clients’ plans. Everything was taken care of. The trip was planned, I had checked the weather. Even the last-minute gels had been purchased and packed. I was ready.

I decided to go on a walk. I was fully present. I looked up at the sky to see the stars, ever grateful for that precious moment! Silence is the best medicine for me before such a race.

Every professional athlete takes time to just sit with their own thoughts.

I shut down all the voices and all the stress.  This is the best anyone can do the night before a big race!

 

On race day….

Morning brought silence. With a carbed-up breakfast and mental focus, I knew what I wanted most in that moment. I thought: There is nothing else but me.

Me, the way I am now. Completely present, two hours before the start. Me, the most athletic, the best prepared, the healthiest person. I can face the unknown. All will be good, because I will take it step by step.

I did everything within my power, right? I am the strongest I could possibly be, right? I prepared every single detail for this race, right? Yes, I did.

Let’s do this!

 

The Race….

Start, slow start…

I relinquished my inner-will to chase the rest of the competitors. I kept repeating: “Pace yourself”. It soon became my mantra for the race.

“When the breathing peaks up, all I do is pace myself.”

Suddenly, I recalled everything I ever read or heard about the importance of breathing. How successful of a tool it is for stress management. Was I stressed? Not particularly, but I was very focused. I wasn’t going to let any breathing struggles get in my way. “You got this” and “keep going” was mentioned frequently by those passing me.

Yes, my legs keep moving step by step. “There is no other way but forward” my mind exclaims. “You got this, beYOUtiful!” I said to myself, as I approached a steep hill.

Step by step. I removed any thoughts about the obstacles that were ahead of me.

“That is the next step, let me focus on the uphill right now.”

I relinquished all care about the future. I knew that all I had to focus on was my next step. I had brief bursts of energy, helping me refocus, recharge.

Suddenly, I was battling an obstacle. My mind went blank. I swiftly reminded myself that I was moving forward. In my mind, “burpee” became synonymous with “obstacle”. I thought: “I will not allow ‘burpees’ to disturb my stubborn Taurus personality.”

Do you remember saying from the movie, “Dori”?

“Just keep swimming.”

Exactly. Keep moving. Keep swimming. Keep running!

 

Suddenly, my body was telling me something….

Was it a pinch in the knee? I tried to decipher the feeling. “Listen knee, we have a second lap to do. We’ve got this. Just cooperate with me and stop fighting, ok?”

As the miles added up, I felt my body in places I wasn’t expecting. I tried to reassure myself. I had never had issues with my ankles and knees before.

“Let me change the way I run. Let’s try to slow down and let refocus on the course. I know my body, all will be fine.”

As I made it through another obstacle, I thought, “That was easy, which means I’m a badass! Even the cold doesn’t bother me as much as others that I am slowly passing. Wow, I prepared really well.”

I had just finished facing the biggest fear of my life. Swimming didn’t kill me physically, but it broke me mentally.

As I plunged in to the icy water, I tried to my best to have a positive mindset. But, unfortunately, the panic attack was stronger.

“That’s ok, it’s in the past. Let’s do burpees and move on. I’ve got a second lap to do and I need to have a serious conversation with my body parts.”

 

Downhill…

I know the difference between pain and discomfort. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance. But this pain was excruciating.

“Knee, please, please don’t do this to me now. Why are you actually hurting? I’ve been so kind to you. I’ve been pacing myself this entire time.”

My pace began to slow.

Still, I moved on, step by step. But I felt it. No, it wasn’t pain. It was fear, creeping in to my thoughts. I had worked so hard on letting my fear go, just days before the race.

“Go away!!!!”

As I pictured my ligaments tearing and visualized tripping and rolling down this hill, my inner self shouted “NO, NO, NO!!!”

But I’m stubborn. The overachiever, the badass, the winner.

 

I had to decide….

The pain became unbearable. Do you know those pain scales in the hospital, with “1” being the best and “10” being the worst? I was at a 9, maybe 10, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so intense that I could barely hold my focus as I limped. A fight between my inner-worlds ensued.

“Didn’t you accomplish 12 hours of the brutal Hurricane Heat event? Do you remember what you were telling yourself there? Yes, so keep repeating: step, step, step, step. Don’t think about giving up. Just: step, step, step, step. Shut up and move on. Step, step, step. This is your dream. Step, step, step. This is your life. Step, step, step.”

I couldn’t take another.

“Please don’t do that to me! Don’t fade, please. I can go, I can move….”

Having to give away your inner power hurts more than any knee ever could. I had to decide to let my partner continue through the race without me. I felt like I let myself down, and I had never envisioned this would happen!

 

Afterwards….   

I felt empty, I felt lost, I felt disempowered. I had lost myself somewhere on the 15-mile mark.

Someone else must have decided to DNF on my behalf. It was not the Izabela I know. She never gives up. She never whines. She never uses pain as an excuse! The Izabela I know lives by the saying: “be comfortable with uncomfortable”. It was someone other than me that decided to quit. I know I could’ve gone on and finished it!

But no, continuing with that pain wouldn’t have been possible.

The Izabela I know is also caring of herself and others. She is supportive. She inspires and motivates herself and other. She might be unstoppable, but she also knows when it’s time to practice self-care. She may have the strength to break ice, but she also knows how to melt ice with self-love. She knows that dreams do come true. They just come true during the right time, at the right place.

 

Everything happens for a reason.

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

….. step by step ……