Costa Rica Week 1: Dancing in the Rain

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Costa Rica – the land of green landscape, volcanos, beautiful beaches, world-class waves and “Pura Vida” or the pure life.

I arrived last Tuesday ready to embrace everything Costa Rica had to offer and begin another Iron Gypsy adventure.

One of the things on my list was “Latin dancing.” I love to dance; however, one of my limiting beliefs is that when a partner is added — all of sudden I go from a free spirit with a little bit of rhythm to an awkward teenager dancing with a boy at the junior high dance for the first time.

Either way, my idea of dancing and what the universe delivered must have gotten lost in translation – but the experience was very similar in that I once again felt like an awkward teenager.

Stick with me, and let me explain.

The arrival

I arrived on a rainy night after dark. It’s rainy season and since Costa Rica is close to the equator, it gets dark by about 6 pm and light by 6 am year-round.

I had arranged for a trustworthy tour company to transport me the 90 minute drive from San Jose to Jaco. As a single female traveler, I do not mess around with public transport when I arrive in a new place at night. NOT WORTH SAVING A BUCK!

Everything went smoothly. He showed me around the small city of Jaco, took me to the local grocery store (Costa Rica’s version of Wal-Mart), translated the check-in conversation with the guards at the complex and helped me get all of my bags up to my condo in the pouring rain. He was a genuinely kind soul, and I felt very fortunate.

When I woke up the next day, I literally had to pinch myself. I was in Costa Rica! EEEEEK! I’ve wanted to travel here for so long! A couple of of years ago, I looked into surf camps here. But since I am now living this “nomadic gypsy lifestyle,” why not try Costa Rica for a little longer? Combine surfing and scenery with a city that has highspeed Wifi and the comforts of home – like a coffee pot and a gym with a squat rack.  Therefore, I decided to rent a place in Jaco for two months.

My first outing was nice. I saw the beach, checked out the city seeing all of the American options like Subway and KFC tucked in next to the Costa Rican “sodas.”

I checked into a local gym where there were a few others who appeared to be “non-local” but the majority were speaking Spanish and looked very “at home.” I immediately felt disconnected from people and embarassed that I do not speak fluent Spanish.  Yes, I’ve traveled to many countries where I did not speak the language. Spanish is different. I  wish that I had more command of the language than the few words I’ve managed to hold onto from senior year of high school.

Connection is HUGE for me…And this made me very uncomfortable and ashamed.

Then the rain came…

This time of the year, it’s typical for rain to set in during the afternoon. Sometimes it rains all day. So I committed that I would enjoy the mornings while the sun was out – walking the beach to get to the gym, handling any other errands on my way home and possibly hitting the beach early in the day – allowing me to focus on work in the afternoons when the rain set in.

This was the routine for most of last week. I  felt a shift – adapting to a new energy, a new routine, a new culture, a different climate, a language barrier, etc. I usually do feel a shift and a time of transition when I come to a new place; however, during my previous travels I was in each location for such a short time it felt much different. It was much less “permanent.” If the vibe was off – not to worry. I would be in a new location in a week or less.

Then the weekend set in. The shift in energy became more intense.

I woke up on Saturday to rain — and Sunday as well. Plans to go surfing were cancelled due to rain.

As I spent those days alone in my place besides the rainy trips to the gym, my mind began to fixate on everything that was wrong with this situation – AND BEYOND THAT — everything that is wrong with ME.

My body.

My business.

My personality.

The place.

My inner dialogue was ugly!

So what the “f” happened? How did this positive “Iron Gypsy” completely fall off everything she talks about daily? Everything she stands for? Everything she coaches? Everything she’s worked so hard to change in herself?

Learning to dance

At this moment, I don’t know exactly where all of these bullshit stories came from or why I suddenly became overwhelmed with them – but I do know there is a reason that is bigger than what I can comprehend today.

I know reading this, at least half of you will have an extremely negative response, and I don’t blame you. Looking back at it, I’m ashamed – embarrassed – that I thought this way.

I am completely aware that I was in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, living my dream of helping people live healthier, happier lives, steps away from the beach in a great condo — and I was finding everything wrong with this place, me and life in general.

#firstworldproblems

Yup. I agree. Part of me believes it’s despicable and embarrassing.

So why am I sharing this? Why is someone so dedicated to “self-love” sharing a post about how she spent her first five days in one of the most beautiful countries in the world beating herself up and questioning everything about her life?

Because…It needs to be shared.

Yes, I’m ashamed. Yes, I’m embarrassed. Yes, I’m quite surprised by what came over me, but at the same time – I hear the voice of my soul saying:

“You’re human.”

Often times we hold ourselves and others to a God-like standard. I catch myself thinking that because I have “done the work,” and have learned the lesson once before that I am never allowed a moment of what feels like going backwards. I expect perfection and a journey forward with no bumps. I judge myself for being HUMAN — when that’s what we are  created to be.

If we were capable of being representations of God, living in a state of perfection at every moment – would we be here? I honestly don’t know. What I do believe is that we are here to learn. And sometimes it takes us “falling off our pedestal” – the one we mentally put ourselves on and the ones that we place others on — to be reminded of the bigger picture. We’re here to learn, and we are created to be HUMAN not GOD.

We have God in us – absolutely. When we work with our Creator, we are capable of anything and everything. However, that doesn’t always unfold the way WE want it to. The lessons and the rainy days and the “awkward” dances are there to teach us something. I believe the Creator’s job is not to make us believe we are perfect in every moment, but to help us see that we are perfect in every moment because of our imperfection.

So…now can you relate?

How many times have all of us been in a similar position – where we feel sorry for ourselves, get all “woe is me” – yet we know how blessed we are? And then we beat ourselves up for  having those stupid thoughts, and we feel even worse about ourselves.

Ring any bells?

Yes, this can happen whether the situation is a gypsy living in Costa Rica, someone with a beautiful family or famous athlete or performer making millions of dollars a year.

Our location and circumstances do not always dictate how “happy” and sane our thoughts are.

One thing is certain, this was not a setback, but a moment of growth. The fact that I was able to dip so low and pull myself out of it (with a little help from a great mentor) is a victory in my book!

So what do I believe really happened here? What is the lesson? And what did I do to pull myself out of this?

 CLIFFHANGER!

Watch for next weeks’ blog post where I will share what I did to get back to me and how my “dancing” skills and rhythm are getting better every day here in Costa Rica.

But…know this. EVERY IRON GYPSY STORY WILL HAVE A HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

No need to worry mom and dad — or all my beautiful family members, Tribe members and friends throughout the world. I am in LOVE with this place and rhythm I have found here! I mean that!

Since these days are behind me everything looks different – I MEAN EVERYTHING! It even smells different! It’s beautiful and everything I hoped it would be! It wasn’t the location. IT WAS ME!

Most importantly, I am growing throughout this experience and that my friends, is why I am here! I am living my true purpose every day.

The smile you see in the photos – it’s real. When it’s not real, you will know. Also, know this. Even on the days when I don’t feel like smiling, deep down, I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

I’m trusting the process, enjoying the journey, writing my own story and learning to dance – even in the rain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Health and Fitness Mistakes and Iron Gypsy’s Secrets to Success

PREFER TO WATCH THE VIDEO VERSION? Click here! 

MISTAKE #1: All or nothing.

This is the number one challenge that so many of us deal with. We start with great intentions. We start ‘ON FIRE’ ready to make a change once and for all. The minute we “fall off,” we immediately throw in the towel. Or we don’t start at all because we are waiting for the perfect time.

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Progress, not perfection. 

Three of my favorite phrases when it comes to health and fitness — or life — are:

  • “Enjoy the journey.”
  • “Progress, not perfection.
  • Choices babe.”

Whatever you do, it’s not worth it if you’re miserable every second of the process. So, we in the “Iron Gypsy Tribe” like to think of it as  the 1 percent rule or 90/10! We strive for 1 percent improvement each day. 90 percent of the time, we are “on point” with our health. 10 percent of the time we choose to indulge just a little. It all comes down to conscious choices, not perfection — choosing what is best for us in each moment.

MISTAKE #2 – Less is best.

One of the biggest mistakes I see with nutrition is believing that eating less is the key to weight loss. We don’t have to starve to see results. Sipping shakes, eating diet food or counting macros is not the way to long-lasting health and happiness.

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Choosing healthy, natural, nutrient dense, real food. 

Fuel your body with adequate amounts of the RIGHT foods and improve metabolism by making health a priority!  In the Iron Gypsy programs, you’ll learn how to choose the right foods and portion sizes to fuel your body improving metabolism, digestion, gym performance, concentration, energy and your overall outlook on life! No weighing foods, tracking or macro counting!

MISTAKE #3: More is better.

One of the biggest mistakes I see – and I made this one forever – is that more cardio, more reps, more weight, more training sessions is better. The answer is NOT ALWAYS! If you cannot do the movements properly – with intention – you will not see results and you will expose yourself to injury. Overdoing the cardio is also a mistake I made for so long. It just doesn’t work!

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Train with intention. 

You’ll learn how to perform movements in a way that will get you results without injury and spending your life at the gym. Clients LOVE this style of training for the way it makes them feel – and look! The best part is, it doesn’t require heavy weights or fancy workouts. To start, you can train at home with a set of dumbbells! You’ll learn to strength train in a way that is fun and effective and add cardio, yoga and mobility work WITH INTENTION!

MISTAKE #4: Short-term syndrome.

Just about every health and fitness program can work – for a while! But does it really make you healthier and happier long-term?

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Put your health and happiness first. 

Make your goal about your health and how you feel on the inside. With the Iron Gypsy program, our goal is longevity – health and happiness long-term! We build a LIFESTYLE that make you LOOK AND FEEL GOOD and that you’ll want to maintain over time.

MISTAKE #5: One size fits all. 

The same nutrition and the same training strategy is not going to work for everyone. Not only because of various body types but because of different phases of life, different lifestyles and more. Also, many clients of “non-negotiables.” For example…When I first started my health and fitness journey, I didn’t want to give up my red wine and sushi nights! And I was traveling for work several nights each month.

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Learn to listen to your body and your own intuition. 

I’ll guide you on how to listen to your body and will provide the education and building blocks to  help you make the right decisions for you. This is not a cookie-cutter, drill sergeant approach. We work as a team to build a lifestyle you enjoy.

MISTAKE #5: Going at it alone.

For so many years, I struggled. I tried everything I could find in magazines, went to group exercise classes and bought at-home workout DVDs. But I never once went to a personal trainer. I thought that was for the rich people.

For one, that’s a very limiting mindset! Number two, there is so much misleading information out there it’s impossible to make sense or stay on top of all of it.

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS:  Find a coach and a “tribe!”

Invest in a coach who inspires and educates you — someone who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk! Someone who knows their stuff and can help you get results much more quickly than going at it alone. Find a group – a tribe of people you enjoy – who lift you up! Whether it’s Iron Gypsy or another group or coach, I believe this is CRITICAL to success.

MISTAKE #7: A one-dimensional approach.

Tackling ONLY fitness, ONLY nutrition or ONLY mindset or spirituality won’t work long-term and will lead to a life and a body that is out of balance. We can create an amazing body, but if we’re not right on the inside, the results won’t stick or may not come at all. For me, I managed to get the results but I still wasn’t whole on the inside resulting in an unfillable void in my soul.

IRON GYPSY’S KEY TO SUCCESS: A true mind, body and spirit approach.

I believe this is the biggest differentiating factor for Iron Gypsy. This program is not only about looking good (you will get amazing results) — but feeling healthy and happy. IT’S ABOUT LEARNING WHO YOU ARE AT YOUR CORE AND LIVING FROM THE SOUL.

I’ve built Iron Gypsy on hours of research, dozens of classes and travels around the world! It combines what I’ve learned through yoga, meditation,  self-development courses, Precision Nutrition, Poliquin certification, training with top body builders and so much more. My content is always expanding as I continue to work on my personal growth. This is not only my work – but the sharing of my personal journey and what I believe is my current mission in this lifetime.

Whether you decide to make your health and fitness journey with Iron Gypsy or another way, I urge you to make now the time that you stop settling for less than what you deserve – for less than who you truly are. If I can help, please contact me at kesleytweed@gmail.com.

My next Iron Gypsy Journey pre-program activities kick off this weekend! Executive coaching is now available for professionals, entrepreneurs and other BUSY PEOPLE who want accountability and personalized coaching. Spaces will be limited. Contact me for details!

Forgiveness and Unconditional Love

Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Iron Gypsy blog. 

As you know, it’s been quite some time since my last post. I have been focusing on giving my all to my Iron Gypsy Coaching clients, attending additional courses (including Tony Robbins Business Mastery, Tony Robbins Leadership Academy and Reiki Level I and II certification), continuing with my own spiritual and health journey and growing other social media platforms including the Iron Gypsy YouTube channel.

All the while, I’ve been beating myself up for neglecting my passion project — the Iron Gypsy blog. 

So today, I made a decision. No longer will the fear of imperfection get in the way of progress. No longer will the fear of not being perfect get in the way of sharing the Iron Gypsy mission. No longer will I continue to beat myself up for what I’m NOT doing with the Iron Gypsy blog.

I will focus on WHAT I CAN DO! 

So, from here on out, you will see more stories! Some of the stories will be content that was shared through other social media platforms. Some will be snippets of content that I’m sharing with the Iron Gypsy Tribe (aka my coaching clients). Some will be raw, nearly unedited original content or a melding of content from various sources.

It will be imperfect. But it will be content that I feel passionate about sharing. This will also allow me to continue to reach those not on other social media platforms, while at the same time continue to place emphasis on my current projects and my future (other) passion project — a book! 

To kick things off, I want to share some content originally developed for Instagram that really captures the moment and essence of this decision. 

Next week, I leave for Costa Rica, so stay tuned for that. Additionally, I will be sharing random thoughts that have come up over the last couple of months since my last post. One thing is for certain when it comes to the future of Iron Gypsy — it will be a real, beautifully raw and wild ride!

Stay with me, friends! Love and light to you all! 

xoxo,

Kesley (aka Iron Gypsy) 

“Forgive yourself.”

This was what came to me in meditation this morning when I completed the assignment given to me by my reiki and spiritual teacher.

“Forgive myself for what?”

All the places I should be, other than where I am. All the things I should be doing, other than what I am doing. All the things I didn’t do. All the people I didn’t help. All the things I am not.

I find myself focusing on and beating myself up for all I am “NOT” instead of finding peace in the present and WHAT IS.

Why do I deserve this forgiveness?

We all do. We are all human. We were born to be perfectly imperfect.

If we cannot love and forgive ourselves, how can we find that same forgiveness for others? At our core, we are all the same — HUMAN.

So as I continue to reflect on the topic of unconditional love…this is where I am today.

To love we must forgive. And forgiveness and love starts in YOU.

 

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