Gabrielle Kassel is a New York based writer who has a deep affinity for weight-lifting, living mindfully, and the em-dash.
It feels like just yesterday I moved my tassel to the right and thought, “Now What?”. To call graduation the most anticlimactic moment of my life would be a bold understatement. But for a time displayed cinematically as a beautiful experience ripe with appreciation, gratitude, nostalgia, and power, in reality is (also) deeply replete with anxiety, the unknown, and nervous anticipation.
We may be hesitant to admit it, but our morning habits help define part (and reveal part) of our personalities. Whether we’re waking up at 5am to catch up on emailings, applying face masks with the sun rise, or hitting snooze one too many times and rushing to the subway, what we do in the morning is, for better or worse, quite telling. Think about it… the person who meditates every morning is probably the same person who drinks Kombucha instead of coffee, has nailed the art of the matcha almond-milk latte, and loves gramming about the benefits of yoga for the digestive tract. Meanwhile, the serial snoozer (the one who ignores her alarm until she’s got less than 15 minutes to shower, pick out an outfit for the day, and brew coffee in a to-go cup, and find her keys before heading out the door in a frenzy) is likely the same person who just never seems to have enough time or energy for her hefty to-do list.
I hit the gym in just a sports bra for the first time… and didn’t hate it. I know, I know. It’s ironic really, I’ll gladly post flex-pics in the ladies locker room post-sweat in just a sports bra and leggings, or will remove my shirt for an after-CrossFit photo-shoot. But there's something about a 50+ year old man grunting in your direction in the weight-room while he hammers out some bicep curls with bad form that can feel a little, well, unnerving… if you’ve ever been the only girl in the weight room, you know what I’m talking about.
The dictionary defines mantra as: A word or formula chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer. I define mantra as a kick in the butt, that push that lifts you up that hill when you’re at your last breath, the fight that gets you up out of bed on a cold morning, or phrase that helps you stay calm when stress or anxiety threaten to take hold.
I have so many self-help books lining my shelves (and stacked on my nightstand), I could build myself a cozy cottage out of the paper and bindings and live in it happily ever after.
As I set out to make my life in New York the happiest that it could be, I decided to become what can only be described as “a student of hygge”. After a month of studying hygge, I am by no means a master, but I have incorporated some of my learnings into my everyday practices. Here, I bring you the tips and tricks to your life hygge every day.
As Winter transitioned into Spring, I made the conscious effort to Spring Clean my life by focusing a new and higher level of energy towards a whole-body, whole-mind, whole-soul healthy lifestyle. Some of the things I did to cleanse my life were a return to the patterns and routines that I used to use to find happiness, however, others required becoming a student and being open to new practices. Here, I share the 6 things I have implemented over the last four weeks to increase the joy in my everyday life
Self-love became a buzz-word in 2016 and is holding strong in 2017; we’re throwing it around the way shots are thrown back at parties, and yet many of us don’t even know what it means.
While my friend’s glowing recommendation of CrossFit could not convince my stubborn, happy-with-weightlifting-alone self to try it, watching a workout could.
Is the equation as simple as more exercise= more sex? Sort of. But there’s a scientific reason for it.
I take the train from New Haven to Grande Central Station, for what I hope will be the last time I have to make the four-hour commute for a New York City interview. I plug my earphones against my ears, lounge back-flat against the bulky Patagonia luggage, and spend the next two hours lulled against the trains rhythm, brain reeling overtime. Tomorrow I have an interview with my dream company for my dream entry-level job.
I began a fitness Instagram with the opening of the 2016 New Year. Two to three times I each day I photos in varying yellow lights flexing when the locker-room empties, I show off my sweat-slicked skin and blood-pumped veins, I model the tangled nest of salted hair floating on top of my head, I share the workout I just completed, and perhaps craft poetic line about my day and the way the that hard work made me feel.
The series of interactions, conversations, and connections that occurred at the gym yesterday after I sent my text-response, have forced me to rethink the gym from a “Me Space”, a time to revel in my introverted ways, into a possible way to share and enjoy the presence and company of others. These series of interactions confirmed how energizing connecting with strangers can be for me.
31 bodies take the pitch. 15 dressed in red and black. 15 dressed in an alternate color. The ref calls the captains from each team forward. A coin toss takes place and the ball is kicked. The 80 minute game begins. The pitch is lined with coaches, players warming up and ready to join the chaos of the game, nervous parents, and fans.