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Silver is the new blonde

I turned 50 this year, went through menopause, grew out my silver mane, became a grandmother and joined the Pole Pressure Dance Troupe.

The half-century mark snuck up on me. Busy raising my son, owning and operating my gym, and living my ups and downs, I woke up one day and realized I had gained 20 pounds in the last 7 years. ‘How did this happen?’ I asked myself. Being a lifetime fitness enthusiast and owner of a health and fitness business it seemed out of character to find myself overweight or should I say, ‘over FAT!’

Looking back I can see where it all started. When I turned 43, I was peri-menopausal.

Hot flashes, no sleep, and all I wanted to do was eat potato chips and drink beer. I was emotional and stressed out! I was going through a separation, my teenage son was acting out, and my life was not what I expected it be. I moved to the suburbs and added an hour-long commute to my already packed day that meant more sitting and more stress.

For years, clients and students have told me about getting stuck in ruts. I realized that was exactly what was happening to me – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It was time to re-center and use the Native American Medicine Wheel to change my life.

My intention for 2012-2013 or “The Rainbow Bridge” as Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of The Last Ghost Dance, calls it has been to focus on the Native American Medicine Wheel to balance my life. The Native American Medicine Wheel represents the horizon line and is divided into the four cardinal directions: North, East, South and West. It is then subdivided into four more directions: North/East, South/East, South/West and North/West. The center of the wheel represents the self and one’s connection to the sacred circle, or circle of life. In India this “sacred circle” is known as a Mandala.

Circles are found in nature as in the rings of a still lake when you drop a pebble into it, the rings of a tree trunk that tell its age, the movement of a hurricane or whirlpool, the shape of the Sun, moon and planets, and the cycles of time and seasons. My roots are not just silver – they are grounded in my Native American ancestry and my yoga practice. Both cultures emphasize balance and harmony, and influence my life.

In The Last Ghost Dance, Brooke encourages all of us women to take responsibility to heal Mother Earth. To heal the world we live in we need to first heal the body we live in. To do this we must take a good hard look at our lives, past and present, take steps to heal the wounds, and transform our inner landscape. We must let go of the people, things, and thoughts that weigh us down, be in the now and intentionally create a new vision for our life. Then we can move courageously forward.

One thing I discovered on my inner journey was remembering how much I loved music and dance. It was my love for Jane Fonda and Jazzercise when I was 16 that got me on my path to becoming a fitness professional. Through the years, movies and dance sparked my interest and my creativity. I