In Our Own Hands

photo credit: www.blogs.discovermagazine.comWomen; we’re doers. Bottom line. We do it all, or at least we try. By nature we’re the jugglers with sharp multi-tasking skills, the tight rope walkers with great balance and the lion tamers with great problem solving abilities in the circus of life. Most of us choose to take life into our own hands, and the stronger and gentler those hands become, the more lasting effect we have on those around us.

A few days ago I was on my hands and knees in the garden waging war against some deep-rooted weeds that were threatening my sweet pea plants (oh the joys of organic gardening). Sometimes I like to garden without gloves and get the dirt between my fingers and under my nails. Yes, it makes for a longer clean up, but I love the texture of the earth and the feel of the soil that grows my family’s food. My 2-year-old son, Turner was busy in the next planter over happily digging in the dirt and looking for earthworms. In just an instance, as often is the case with toddlers, he went from happily jibber jabbering to himself to full on tears and crying as he had poked his little hand on a snapped root. As he hastily made his way over to me, I could see that my dirt covered, achy hands were needed for their most important job – nurturer.

In the quickest moment, as I took my little boy’s dirt covered hands in my own dirt covered hands, my hands went from fierce garden warriors to tender blankets of comfort and assurance. And just as quick as Turner’s tears came, they were subsided and gone under the touch of my  hands. As I sat there on my knees and watched Turner return to his garden play, I happened to glance down at my hands as they lay on my lap; chapped, red, swollen, cold, but still capable of giving so much comfort, warmth and love. I laughed at myself as I thought, Well now, is it possible to learn a metaphorical life lesson from my own hands?

The answer is an unequivocal, yes! Women, not just mothers, juggle a myriad of tasks, responsibilities and emotions, leaving their hands literally and figuratively full – full of choices, desires, obstacles and a deep seeded ability and want to complete and accomplish our visions. We see what we have to do, and we do it – it’s done! The vision can become so clear that we strategize the path and we go, with hands and hearts full.

I know that it may sound a bit silly, but our strength and grace is literally demonstrated to us daily through our hands. Hands that clean, hands that cook, hands that brush across a cheek, hands that hold, hands that pick up, hands that put together, hands that play – they are us! In our hands holds the lovely person that we are, yet they also hold the growth we hope to achieve.

Chances are your hands are already holding that growth; whether it be hands that are holding a new book to learn from, hands that are planting their first tomato plant, or hands that are busily preparing a new, healthy recipe to share with loved ones. If our hearts are the creator of dreams and desires and our minds are the strategists of visions, then our hands are the physical gatekeepers of achievement; grasping, touching, holding, opening and giving with the strength and softness that defines a woman with clarity, assertion and grace. It’s in our own hands.

Leah Stewart is the co-founder and owner of LiveLife Productions, a production company dedicated to creating high quality, educational and fun Pilates DVDs and natural living programming for women. In 2011, Leah released her first postnatal Pilates DVD, Pilates for New Mothers and her second DVD, Pilates for Everyday Busy Mothers, is currently in production and will be released early 2013. Leah shares free videos through a weekly email which includes raw food recipes, Pilates exercise breakdowns and Q & A videos on Pilates and natural living. Leah resides in Costa Mesa, Calfornia with her husband, Jason, 2-year-old son, Turner and Miniature Schnauzer, Diesel. As a family, they enjoy hiking, spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals and tending to their vegetable garden. To watch Leah’s videos and to learn more about natural living through her blog or to just say hi, please visit leah

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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

2 thoughts on “In Our Own Hands

    • Thanks Ellie! My sweet friend Leah wrote this guest post. But it was very inspirational and spoke to the heart. Women and mothers take on the world and it’s so great to know that we get repaid by the simple and sweet things in life.

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