3 Ways to Infuse Your Days With Magic and Meaning

3 Ways to Infuse Your Days With Magic and Meaning


Feel like you’re just going through the motions lately? Wish your days had a little more wonder … a little more magic and meaning in them? Hey, it’s been a CRAZY few years — I think we all feel that way. And, to help, we have a guest post from Minneapolis-based artist Liv Lane to help us all find a little wonder in the every day.

By Liv Lane

The return to work and workout routines still leaves something missing in the equation. Awe is essential to overall wellness, and after a couple years of testing our patience and endurance, it’s a great time to work the muscles responsible for appreciating the magic and meaning in our lives. A recent study by Lifeway Research shows 57 percent of Americans wonder at least once a month how they can find more meaning and purpose in their lives; a full fifth say they grapple with this question every single day.

The good news is there are ways to instantly start experiencing more joy, connection and purpose – and they’re easier than you might expect! Of course, if you’re experiencing frequent anxiety or depression, professional support is critical. The three tactics below can do wonders for one’s outlook, but they can’t replace professional assessments and tools.

Ready to get started?

1. Start choosing beauty.

After a traumatic birth with my firstborn son 19 years ago, I was blindsided by postnatal PTSD and postpartum depression. Instead of being excited about motherhood, I felt joyless, terrified, and alone. It took lots of therapy and medicine, and a daily practice I call “choosing beauty,” to feel like me again.

One of the unsettling things for me during that time was that I could no longer easily access the angels that I’d heard and seen my whole life. Self-doubt and despair blocked my connection to the Other Side. Then, one day after a therapy session, as things were beginning to feel brighter and better for me, I was sitting at a traffic light and a huge rainbow appeared right over the intersection. I adore rainbows, and it felt like such a sweet sign that I was going to be okay.

That evening, I excitedly told my husband about the rainbow and how magical it felt. I’ll never forget what happened next. Standing in our family room, I suddenly heard the angels’ voices again – just long enough to hear them instruct me to start taking a photo of something beautiful every day for a year and write about it. That’s all I got – but I knew I had to follow that guidance!

I started a blog in 2006 to keep me accountable and carried a camera with me everywhere. I began noticing so much beauty that I’d totally missed before – from a ladybug keeping me company at the gas pump to my son’s toy cars lined up neatly to welcome me home from a business trip. Choosing to find and describe the beauty I found in each day – even on days when I didn’t feel like it – opened my eyes and truly healed my heart. And all these years later, I still lean into that practice frequently.

2. Activate your intuition.

We all have intuition that shows up uniquely for each of us – from suddenly getting a strong feeling about a situation to thinking of an old acquaintance who suddenly calls out of the blue. It is an incredibly powerful tool — an inner compass that can help guide our choices and enhance our faith – when we know how to use it and trust it.

In my new collection of WingTips angelic art & guidance, there’s a set devoted to Finding Magic & Meaning. I transcribed the angels’ guidance for each art print, including one on intuition. For that piece, the angels said, “Your intuition is like a flower. It flourishes when you pay attention to it and ensure it gets enough light.”

I love the reminder that our intuition isn’t just an automatic superpower we can take for granted, but something we must lovingly tend to. For instance, if spotting an interesting object or natural wonder immediately feels like a sign from above – like that rainbow I saw after my therapy session – we get to trust that first inkling and not second-guess ourselves. If we feel inexplicably inspired to reach out to someone or take a different route home, we get to follow those nudges and trust there’s a reason for it.

On the back of the intuition art print, the angels further describe how to enhance this inner wisdom, including this: “Your ‘gut’ is the meeting place of grace, guidance and innate knowing. To access its wisdom, you must climb out of the shadows of your fears, opinions and assumptions, and trust the flashes of information that seem to come out of the blue and instantly feel true.”

The more you do this, the easier it becomes to trust this superpower and let it enrich your life.

3. Tell people about it.

That’s right. As you start choosing beauty each day and trusting your intuition more, tell people about it! We need to normalize talking freely about magic and meaning because it’s totally normal!

According to Pew Research, most Americans mix traditional faith with beliefs in things like psychics, reincarnation and a spiritual energy found in nature (from trees to crystals). In fact, 72 percent of Americans believe in angels – and yet I spent years hiding my relationship with them, worried people would think I was nuts.

The braver I got about sharing the magic and meaning in my life, from blogging about choosing beauty to sharing spiritual experiences with colleagues, I was shocked how many people were hungry to talk about it all. So many people are also hiding their own experiences, gifts and practices; they just needed to know they were not alone in order to start opening up.

Your life holds so much magic and meaning, just waiting to be uncovered. I hope you’ll start inviting it in by choosing beauty, honoring your intuition and shouting it from the rooftops. –Liv Lane

 

Liv Lane has seen and heard angels all her life. But she hid this gift from most as she built a successful communications career, nervous she’d be ostracized for revealing her unique abilities. But by her early 30s, a series of life-changing events convinced her she was meant to share the angels’ light and love to help and inspire others. Today, Liv paints artwork with their guidance and transcribes their wisdom from her studio near Minneapolis. You can find her work at LivLane.com and follow her and the angels on Instagram (@LivLane). 

 

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Your Summer Shape Up 2022 GRAND PRIZE

Your Summer Shape Up 2022 GRAND PRIZE


how to win!

Who will win the Summer Shape Up grand prize?

It could be you! Our Grand Prize Winner for Summer Shape Up will be the babe with the ultimate total body transformation who shows up for herself and Team LSF all 8 weeks of the challenge and shows us all how to be our best, most confident selves!

What’s Included?

Everything you could possibly need to celebrate your transformation and continue that momentum through the rest of the year!

$500 gift card to Amazon Fresh… for making those delicious, nourishing recipes!

$300 swimwear gift card—to show off all of your hard work!

1-year subscription in the LSF App: because you’re going to want to keep up on your workouts after your HUGE transformation!

LSF Plant Protein FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. Stay fueled all fall and winter long!

Prize pack valued over $1,200

How do I win?

  • Take your “before” photos on day 1, so you’ll have some CRAZY transformation stories to share with us at the end! Find all the pro tips here.
  • Create an LSF Instagram account to engage with the #TeamLSF community and help support other amazing women—we’re in it together!
  • Follow @LoveSweatFitness + @TeamLSF on Instagram and make sure you’re tagging us in your daily #LSFRollCall! Don’t forget to use #LSFSummerShapeUp as well.
  • Submit a testimonial video at the end of the challenge so we can hear all about your incredible journey!

Can’t wait to start with you on June 13th!





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Motivational Wallpapers 2022 – Love Sweat Fitness

Motivational Wallpapers 2022 – Love Sweat Fitness


motivational wallpapers

We’re halfway through the 2022 Spring Slim Down fitness challenge and right about now is when you’ve got to dig deep to push it to the end. Committing 8 weeks to daily workouts, healthy eating, and crushing your goals isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it. It takes dedication, drive, and a whole lot of support. Our #TeamLSF community is here to encourage you every step of the way, but these motivational wallpapers can help too!

SSD 2022 Motivational Wallpapers

Anytime you need a little extra little push, these will help get you through.All you have to do is download these wallpapers and save then to your camera roll. Then head to your settings to update your wallpaper and home screen to your favorite motivational wallpapers.

Motivation doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it. It comes in two very specific ways. First, setting small goals and accomplishing them is SUPER motivating. Second, surrounding yourself with people, pictures, words, or anything else that inspires you to work on your goals. Make sure you’re following Katie on instagram and our community page, @TeamLSF to get even more daily inspo.





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YOUR SPRING SLIM DOWN 2022 GRAND PRIZE

YOUR SPRING SLIM DOWN 2022 GRAND PRIZE


how to win!

What’s Included?

Uh, everything you could possibly need to celebrate your transformation and continue that momentum into Summer!

$500 gift card to Amazon Fresh… for making those delicious, nourishing recipes!

$300 Onzie Gift Card: hellloooo new wordrobe!!

1-year subscription in the LSF App: because you’re going to want to keep up on your workouts allll year long!

LSF Plant Protein FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. YES, PLEASE!

Prize pack valued over $1, 250

How do I win? 

Take your “before” photos on day 1, so you’ll have some CRAZY transformation stories to share with us at the end! Find all the pro tips here.

 Follow @LoveSweatFitness + @TeamLSF on Instagram and make sure you’re tagging us in your daily #LSFRollCall! Pssst, don’t forget to use #LSFSpringSlimDown as well!

Our Grand Prize Winner will be the babe with the ultimate transformation who showed us how to slim down and be their best, most confident self.

Can’t wait to start with you on March 14th!





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Why Athletes Need Pilates Mat Training

Why Athletes Need Pilates Mat Training


One of our favorite fitness experts is Sean Vigue (remember the awesome workouts he’s done for us?). And, guess what?! He has a new book out!

pilates for athletes cover

Pilates for Athletes helps everyday people (no matter their sport or activity they love to do) reach their highest physical and mental levels and improve their conditioning, control, endurance, and more — all through Pilates.

Sean Vigue has taught thousands of classes around the world and has appeared in more than 2,000 health and fitness videos. He’s positive, he knows his stuff, and his workouts are FUN. Basically, he’s the best!

And, we’re super pumped that he’s letting us share an excerpt from his new book. Read on for the top 10 reasons why athletes should add Pilates into their training.

reasons athletes need pilates

Top 10 Reasons Why Athletes Need Pilates Mat Training

By Sean Vigue

Pilates mat training is a bodyweight-only, total body conditioning program which features an exhaustive list of core centered exercises, sequenced together to elevate your mind, body, spirit and athletic ability. Only a Pilates (or yoga) mat is needed to participate. No weights. No machines. Just you and the mat.

Strictly speaking, there are not many workout programs that can deliver to an athlete the vast amount of benefits that Pilates mat can. It is a lifelong program for the well-rounded athlete to practice, absorb and enjoy. The benefits are almost too exhausting to list, and there is no end to the ways Pilates elevates your health, fitness, movement, speed, strength, control, balance, endurance, breath control, focus, power and flexibility.

That said, here are 10 of the top reasons why athletes need Pilates Mat Training.

1. Pilates constructs a strong, durable, flexible and balanced core.

Joseph Pilates referred to the core as your “powerhouse” and “girdle of strength”. It is the center and support of your body. The core is the structural foundation that connects the rest of the body together and develops stability, strength, and control. It begins at the base of the pelvic floor and runs upward to the bottom of the diaphragm, and consists of your abdominals, low back and glutes. Technically speaking, the core is made up of the rectus abdominis (the muscle people mean when they think “abs”), transverse abdominis (the deepest of the abdominal muscles which wraps around your sides and spine), erector spinae (a pair of muscles in your lower back), the internal and external obliques (the muscles located on the sides of your abdomen) and the glutes/bottom/butt (the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus).

A weak core leaves the athlete open to injuries, compromised endurance and becoming easily fatigued from failing posture. Pilates core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, glutes and abdomen to work together, leading to improved balance, stability and body control. Every sport from basketball to tennis to throwing darts depends on force radiating from your center (core) outwards into the limbs.

2. Pilates builds a strong, balanced and resilient body.

Athletes of all ages and fitness levels have been incorporating Pilates into their training for improved overall strength, balance and resistance to injury. This is because it is difficult to find a more comprehensive and effective program than a regular Pilates mat practice. Pilates helps athletes improve their everchanging movement patterns with progressive destabilization, meaning the further you journey into your workouts, the more the exercises will work to challenge and force your body to adapt and improve. Once your body adapts you acquire a higher level of skill.

Each exercise is equally balanced on both sides of the body to counteract the imbalances seen in sports such as tennis, golf or baseball, where the dominant side is favored and strengthened while the other side weakens and atrophies. Pilates works to fix muscular imbalances and bring symmetry to the body, bringing with it optimal physical achievement.

3. Pilates improves mobility and ease of movement.

Pilates exercises emphasize healthy, flowing and correct movement. Is your body mobile? How capable are you of moving your body quickly without strain? Are you able to move freely through the day without tightness and discomfort in your body? How well do you move as an athlete? Is your mobility helping or hurting your athletic skill?

How well you move your body through multiple planes of movement determines your athletic success. Pilates training moves your body through every angle and plane of movement while focusing on building strength and flexibility in your core. Having a body which can easily adapt to the unpredictable demands of a sport—quick changes of direction in tennis, explosive speed in hockey, driving to the basket in basketball — will give you a huge edge over your opponents and prolong your career.

4. Pilates improves overall flexibility.

Joseph Pilates once said, “True flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.” For this reason, Pilates doesn’t increase flexibility (defined as the range of motion in a joint or group of joints and moving them through a full range of motion) just based on the popular “hot spots” of the body, such as the hamstrings and low back. Rather, Pilates works through constant flows and movements which stretch, lengthen and expand the whole body.

Where many workouts isolate muscles and compress the body and spine, Pilates does just the opposite: every Pilates exercise is designed to lengthen and expand your body through a myriad of flows and angles. It is flowing, dynamic movement which stretches and strengthens the muscles simultaneously. You will smoothly and gracefully flow from one threshold to the next, moving your body with precision and control through as full a range of motion as possible.

5. Pilates is a great tool for rehabbing your body during injury and fixing problems associated with muscular imbalance.

Pilates mat practice is low impact on the joints, making it the ideal exercise when rehabbing your body and recovering from an injury. You can also structure your Pilates workouts to your individual needs — there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Pilates. You are in control of your training, not the exercises. They exist to serve you and your specific physical, mental and conditioning needs.

6. Pilates mat only uses your bodyweight, so you can train anywhere and anytime.

Efficient and easily adaptable to your current training program, Pilates can fit into the busiest of schedules. No weights, equipment or machines of any kind means you can rely exclusively on the greatest gym you will ever have: your body.

Your workouts can last from 10 to 60 minutes depending on how much strength, flexibility and focus you need at that moment, and you can train every day, mixing up your workouts so you are consistently hitting new areas.

7. Pilates provides an everchanging, never-ending supply of exercises and sequences to keep you constantly challenged.

Athletes needs to be challenged to force their bodies to adapt and improve. Pilates training is a journey of progressive destabilization with every workout. The exercises become more challenging and integrative as you progress, and with each new exercise, you integrate new parts of your body into the movements. Once the exercise becomes too “easy”, we add a movement which forces your body to adapt and improve in real time. No matter what the athlete needs, Pilates can supply it.

8. Pilates builds and reinforces proper posture and alignment.

Having proper body alignment — how the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate and line up with each other — improves your posture and reduces the stress and strain on the spine. Standing, sitting and moving with proper postural alignment will decrease strain on your muscles and ligaments and increase your ability to flow with more efficiency and precision. For athletes, the foundation of control begins with good posture. From this foundation comes the big movements such as jumping, tackling, swinging, throwing, catching and sprinting … but if your body is not aligned correctly, these movements will be compromised and weak.

Good posture, working in tandem with a strong core, helps stabilize the body and support the athlete’s need for speed, power, rotational force and quick changes of direction. Pilates will help reinforce good posture and alignment during every phase of your sport.

9. Pilates improves your ability to breathe.

Too often, we breathe in a shallow method, draining our energy and focus and crippling our posture. Deep Pilates breathing strengthens the core and lifts our bodies into a strong, aligned posture.

Pilates teaches deep lateral thoracic breathing, which draws the breath upward out of the low belly and bring it into the sides and the low back. This style of breathing drenches the lungs and muscles in oxygen and increases your ability to bring in and process the breath with efficiency. It helps you take advantage of every breath cycle, drawing fresh oxygen into the lungs and squeezing every atom of breath out, filling and emptying the lungs with every breath.

Improving your ability to breathe will drastically increase your athletic performance and abilities. Effective breathing requires thoracic mobility, core strength and a pliable diaphragm for pumping the breath in and out of the lungs. An athlete who is utilizing their full breathing potential will experience increased energy, more blood flow, sharper focus, and improvement when facing stressful and unpredictable situations. Pilates also teaches the athlete how to breathe into the movement, which helps the exercises flow smoother through the full range of motion and with more control. Deeper breathing and increased awareness of the breath translates into better form and power with swings, jumps, sprints, changes of directions and throws. Connect your breath with movement and decrease the wear and tear while elevating your ability to move — a win-win-win.

10. Pilates increase your explosive speed and power.

The Pilates combo of deep, expanded breathing, a stronger core, improved flexibility in the entire body, increased strength and efficient movement combine to create a body which can move quicker, faster and with more force behind it. It’s pretty straightforward: the looser and more in control you are of your body, the faster your speed and more functional your strength.

Whether it means moving quicker with more precision when rolling out for a football pass, maneuvering around the defense en route to the goal in hockey, or planting, jumping and spiking the ball in volleyball with explosive power, Pilates provides the tools to do it.

Bottom line: the benefits of Pilates are powerful and transcend all sports. Every breath you take and every move you make enhances your physical and mental performance, combining to create a deep-rooted love of bettering yourself each and every day. In this, Pilates is a constant and dedicated companion. Try it!

Excerpted  from Pilates for Athletes with permission from Hatherleigh Press.

A huge thanks to Sean for letting us share this gem of an excerpt! Be sure to pick up his latest book here! Jenn

 

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Ultimate Home Gym Playlist – Fit Bottomed Girls

Ultimate Home Gym Playlist – Fit Bottomed Girls


Looking for the ultimate home gym playlist?

Oh, FBGs, we have GOT it for you!

home gym

Ever since we created our garage gym (AKA, the Barn Box), I’ve been crafting the perfect home gym playlist. The track list is a little bit funky, a lot 90s, a bit grungy, occasionally hipster, and a whole lot of booty-bopping fun.

With a little more than two hours of high-energy tunes, this playlist pairs well with just about any workout you’re doing — be it heavy weight-lifting, cardio, HIIT … anything! Heck, turn it on and dance your heart out. THAT could be your workout!

Yes, it’s that fun. Turn it up!

Ultimate Home Gym Playlist

Get it here or listen directly below.

Any of those tracks surprise you? What’s on YOUR ultimate home gym playlist? Crank it loud and proud! –Jenn

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