Workout Can Help You Work “It” Out

What is “It”? That special something, that pizzazz that makes a person unique and interesting. Some of us never remember having “It”. We even resent and sometimes bully people who have “It”.

What I learned is that “It”, never goes away but sometimes you hide it, ignore it (or are ignorant of it). Sometimes you even hate It and seek actively to destroy it. If that isn’t working for you any more, you can always work “It” out.

Derby Dolls Fresh Meat 2007

I started to work It out when I joined the Derby Dolls in 2007 and skated with fresh meat. It was the first time in my life I was affiliated with a team sport. It was also my first time seeing women work as a team and enjoy competition without cattiness.

Regardless of how great roller derby is, I could not commit the time necessary to continue. However, I didn’t want to lose what I had gained. I was stronger physically and mentally. I felt more alive. I slept better at night and didn’t hate my life when I woke up in the morning.

One of the reasons my “It” has remained in hiding is because there is a part of me that insists, “I Can’t Do It!” In fact, recently, I said these exact words to my coach when he wanted me to do a Turkish Get-Up with a 50 lb. dumbbell.

He insisted it was not about the heaviness of the dumbbell but about focus, form and technique, which I have. With some prodding, I did lift the 50 lbs. But a part of me still insists, “I can’t do It…again!”

I think my coach was trying the make the point even more clearly when he did a Turkish Get-Up with a barbell weighing a total of 95 lbs. If you’ve never seen a Turkish Get-Up, or, if you’ve only seen one with a dumbbells or kettle bell, you gotta check out this video.

Is there a part of you that is holding back because you believe you can’t do It?

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Sexy Surrender

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In Honor of Momacita: An Angel in the Darkness

Momacita had a warmth about her. You could see it in her smile and you could feel it emanating out of her very being. Her hugs were as good as gold and her laughter was contagious. Standing near Momacita, it seemed as if everything was safe; everything was going to be okay. Her faith could move mountains.

She had faith in me and for that I am forever grateful.

I fled to her house. It was after dark. I had to get there. I had to get away. The only items I could take were those I could carry as I rode away on my beach cruiser. My Walkman and cassette tapes were on the list of necessities. I didn’t call and ask permission. I just showed up.

Was I crying? Visibly upset? Or, was I relived?

The time I spent living in Momacita’s presence were absolutely days of relief and restoration. Yet, I was not at a spa.

I was a teenager and Momacita was a single mom with 3 daughters, 2 of them teenagers. We lived in a HUD subsidized, 2 bedroom, sparsely furnished apartment. It was the 80’s and people were feeling the pinch of Reganomics. Momacita was not able to work due to disability.

I remember the day began with the smell of beans cooking on the stove. I can see Momacita now, in her night gown, stirring a pot of beans. She would season them so that it seemed like you were eating a special grandma stew. I promise, it had healing properties, thanks to Momacita’s special touch.

The food came from the food bank. I remember a certain day of the week she would get a bag of beans, a bag of rice and a block of “Reagan” cheese (American). After I moved into my own apartment, I went and got these same items for myself once or twice. It was better than nothing.

Because at the time, I could not even think about going back home. I would rather sleep in my car, and I did.

Once I settled down a bit, I had a series of waitress gigs including Bob’s Big Boy and Norm’s and I lived in apartments with roommates. It could have been dismal but it was blissful in a sense. Maybe not so much at the time as it is now, reflecting back on the 30+ years of life that have passed since then and the many times when Momacita’s love and faith intervened in my life, turning me away from destruction and toward rejuvenation and healing.

I was learning to live a life free from fear and violence. I was learning what it was like to live principles versus just preaching them in public.

If it weren’t for women like Momacita, who knows where I’d be.

It was easy to say yes when the family asked me to speak at the memorial. I wanted to share the story of Momacita’s love with all in attendance. I believe she deserves public recognition and I hope the story inspires others to know what a difference love and acceptance can make in someone’s life.

On October 31, 2014 this loving woman, who touched the live’s of many made her transition. She was a living example of the saying, “one person can make a difference” and an example of someone who cares for people, regardless of their race or biological family ties. She proved it doesn’t require lots of money to make a mighty difference. A little love can go a long way.

When I feel like giving up, or I think I don’t have anything to give, I remember this. I think of all the people who did little things here and there to help me out, to lift me up. I try to be aware of the fact that my meanness or kindness could be a turning point in someone’s life whether I realize it or not.

Here’s to Momacita, an angel in the darkness. God bless her and the many women like her who provide a safe haven for lost souls and who help parent and redirect youth who come from broken homes.

Come visit us on the fourth Friday of the month to read the continuation of the story. Subscribe to the blog to receive daily words and music to help you stay galvanized.

Story is Editable

Understanding Codependency, Shame and Self-Sabotage with Sheri Zampelli

Children who grow up in harsh, critical, unloving environments with unavailable parents tend to adopt patterns for dealing with people that are self-destructive in nature. These patterns make it nearly impossible for a person to have a loving, honest, authentic, peaceful relationship with their mate.

These patterns also impact work relationships and even relationships on a sports team or volunteer team. It is possible to identify the self-destructive patterns and to break them. Doing so often requires honesty, open-mindedness and willingness and a hefty dose of acceptance for what is. Because not a single one of us can change the past.

Join Sheri Zampelli, Author of From Sabotage to Success: How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior and Reach Your True Potential
in a 16-week class at Long Beach City College. Tuesday mornings from 9-noon, class number 32377. Go to to enroll.

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Value Your Contribution and Give More

Value your contribution

Part of the suicidal sentiment is: “What’s the point, I’m worthless, I’ll never amount to anything.” Each of these statements is false and irrational but emotional turmoil, pain and weakness makes it seem true.

Just think for a moment if you stopped doing everything. You stood still or laid still and didn’t move or talk or even make a face. Within a period of time, someone will come to you and want something from you. Someone will wonder why you’re not at work or not at school. People will have conversations and put pieces together about the last time they saw you and what you said. Regardless of how isolated your life feels the truth is, you are providing value to others simply by your existence and involvement.

If you learned that valuing your contribution is selfish, drop that idea now or change your definition of selfish to acknowledge that you must take care of yourself in order to be in the proper condition to help others. We are of help to others when we can use our strength to pull them up and out of their misery. If we are miserable along with others we will simply keep each other down. This is not a service and if you are staying down out of fear you are selfish. You are cloaking a gift that others need and because of your selfishness, they can’t access your offering.

I’m galvanized when it comes to this topic because I’ve been involved in groups of people for my entire life and some of these groups are considered cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witness fellowship. I was a child and interacted with many elders in the congregation. I overheard plenty of conversations. Enough to know that no person, regardless of their stature is above the social ills of addiction, poverty, mental illness and sexual assault.

I served as a counselor for many years and now I’m a college instructor in my 14th year of teaching. After hearing the nitty gritty details of thousands of people’s stories and reading the research I know that millions of Americans had difficulty in earlier years of life. Not everyone handles those difficulties the same as they get older but what I’ve noticed is that the people who berate themselves get worse and the people who find a way to value their story get better. The people who “get better” make better choices, are kinder to people, want to serve. The people who get worse want everyone to suffer right along with them. They will even go so far as to drag someone down and seek and exercise vengeance.

So, my request to you is that you learn your values and you will honor them. I want you to value yourself. Do it for you, do it for your family. I have a free Values Clarification download over at to help you get started.

Stress Management: Groups and Music Achieve Results

Stress ManagementStress management has a lot to do with the ability to release and transform strong emotions. It is normal for people to have periods where they become angry, even rageful. People get sick, they get tired and sometimes it’s harder to maintain an even keel than others. When those moments arise and the blood begins to boil, we need solutions that are self-honoring not self-destructive. Many times violent outbursts, whether verbal or physical do relieve stress for the moment but when the tempers settle down all that’s left is a mess and many times everyone is farther away from resolution than they were in the beginning.

If you need some strategies for stress management consider taking a class with Sheri Zampelli at Long Beach City College titled HS45-Stress Management for Case Managers. In the class we learn about how thoughts can create anxiety and depression. We learn better methods of communicating with ourselves and others. Music is used throughout the class for stress reduction. Students create support groups as a way to continue working on stress management until it becomes an automatic habit.

The best way to learn something is to experience it which is why this group is hands on and interactive. A portion of class time will include lectures about how your thoughts contribute to anxiety and depression. The class time will also include participating in and leading a stress management group. This class is especially for human services students who will be working in a very stressful environment with difficult people and situations.

All throughout the semester we use music for relaxation and stress reduction. Toward the end of the semester we get into student presentations and students demonstrate what they know about stress reduction. Many find that creative, self-expressive outlets are natural stress reducers. They write songs, play instruments, dance and sing. They write poems and paint and we are lucky enough to experience it all as a group and learn from it.

Can’t make it to Long Beach City College? Stay posted as some of these classes will be available on-line in the future. For more information, subscribe to Sheri Zampelli’s Newsletter.

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The Music Never Stopped

I know that I have one thing in common with you. I went through a period of time when I was lost. I may still be in it. But the older I get and the more I reflect on my life, the more I know that sound and music have both been pivotal in the development of my belief systems and attitudes. Music and the underground culture in Los Angeles exposed me to aspects of the city and the music industry that changed the way I thought about art, music, power, people and self-expression.

Crass Hat, Zed Badges. DJ GAL-VanIZed

So much happened along the way, so many faces I looked at, sets of eyes I locked with. Places we went together and what we saw and did when we were there. Sometimes a big blur. Always music. My life has it’s own soundtrack, as does your life. I was able to get a grasp of the movie of my life by making a Pinterest page as a hobby. I could not deny that music and going to gigs changed my philosophy about culture, style and life. Not necessarily for the better all the time but irrefutable nonetheless.

The boards I chose for my Pinterest page were things I’m interested in or just like to look at. I felt like I was making my own magazine with all the pictures I want to see, things I like, things that inspire me. So my boards include Music, Roller Derby, Galvanized Style, Bottle Cap Magnets and more. Come check it out :

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