Valentina Rose Marin County Yoga Blog
Blog, Life

Five Ways to Live a Drama-Free Life

Do you know that peaceful feeling you get from being around someone who is calm and isn’t bothered by a thing? Who doesn’t sweat the small stuff?

I love me some drama-free people. People who don’t take themselves too seriously, stay calm, don’t freak out, who speak less, reflect more, and use some good ol’ common sense. If you know what I’m taking about, You have experienced the drama free-zone.

“So how do I become a drama-free person you ask?”

Well first, you  have to understand what drama is. If you are overreacting, getting agitated at everything and talking about it way too much then and you’re caught in the drama zone. If people around you are doing the same and you happen to be on the other end, listening, having to intervene  and even participating actively, you have also made it to the drama zone.  And generally speaking you feel yourself getting tense, anxious, bothered and resentful? Only to realize that the whole situation is pointless and could have easily been avoided??  That’s drama right there.

Drama can be caused by ourselves directly or by people we choose to let into our lives.

And now ask yourself: Are you going to fuel that surge of drama, or are you going to let it plummet onto its death bed?

if you choose the second, or at lest know deep inside yourself that it was the right answer, you are ready for this blog post.

Here are some basic tips on how to live a drama free life, rather filled with quality time, solid  people, self worth,  peace of mind and zen-like sleep.

Valentina Rose Marin County Yoga Blog
Photo Credit: David Yaugo

1. Don’t gossip

For as much as discussing other people’s lives can be gratifying in the short term, you know you always feel crappy after you said it. And it didn’t do any good. Actually you might have just spread a rumor. And it’s going to be twisted, taken out of context, and before you know it you’re talking sh** about someone you actually consider a friend.

Instead, when you hold back the “Oh my gosh you know what so-and-so did???!!” you are going to feel so much better about yourself, so much more mature and yes, even superior, because you are not lowering yourself to the standards of someone who needs to talk about others to enrich their own lives.

2. Don’t make it a big deal

It’s the half-empty or half full glass attitude. It you tell yourself it’s not a big deal, it won’t be. But if you make a big fuss, then I guarantee you it will be. For example, today you got a parking ticket. Yes, it could potentially be enough to put you in a bad mood and start an avalanche of negative self-predicament. Which in turn will give you license to say you had “a bad day” and lick your wounds in sorrow at home.  Instead, just say, “It’s not  a big deal, it’s only a parking ticket” and  pay it right away (or contest it 😉  and move on, drama free. After all, it could have ben worse! Remember: you have the power to DECIDE that that parking ticket isn’t ruining your day. You just won’t let it, because it’s mind over matter situation.

Valentina Rose Yoga Blog MArin County
Photo Credit: David Yaugo

3. Be reliable

As far as I’ve known, reliability never causes drama. Flakiness on the other hand does because it’s direspecuful and causes misunderstandings. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who can never commit to making plans.  (many of those in California by the way) “Let’s play it by ear..I might see you there, but not sure yet, let’s talk as that date gets closer and see how we feel, let’s go with the flow”

What flow? I’m busy, so are you, and unless we actually make plans we’re never going to get together, and I will eventually stop making time for you. So commit, be bold once in a while and pencil me into your calendar please. The friend who is never available to hang out except for when it’s convenient for them is lousy, so you owe it to yourself to get that person out of your life STAT.

Keep in mind that friendship is based on mutual efforts which include values such as reliability. If someone can’t be reliable enough to make time for you and stick to the plans then they are not your friend but are bound to bring a whole lotta dramaaaaa.

4. Tell it like it is

When you are faking it, everyone knows it. And eventually someone is going to call you out on it and it’s going to lead to a whole lot of drama. Don’t pretend you like my dress if you don’t. Just be smart and don’t say anything, or work up a little personality to say it in funny way that will make me not care. If something bothers you, say something right away. I know it’s hard, but the longer you wait, the more complicated it will become. And when issues aren’t discussed resentment builds and someone will blow up. So talk it out. Say it with a smile if you can. Do it kindly. You will feel so much lighter afterwards.

5. Avoid drama people

And lastly, you could be sitting here reading this post and thinking :”I’m good, I don’t do any of this stuff! I am a totally drama free person! But but….there is such a thing as not being drama yourself but making the fatal mistake of letting drama people into your life. (been there, done that) Which, you guessed it, causes more unnecessary drama.

You know that friend of yours who is permanently jobless, still crying over her ex who treated her like shit, and emotionally unstable, somewhat mysterious about parts of her life, but at the time kind of needy? She screams drama! And guess what? Drama attracts more drama. So you will invevitably be dragged into it. Because some people thrive in drama. But you hopefully don’t.

So stay away.  Don’t let them crash at your house. Don’t lend them stuff with the assumption that one day they will return the favor. Don’t listen to them for hours on the phone late at night while you should be going to sleep instead. Don’t even bother. Some people just don’t get it, will never fully appreciate it and one day, when you need something from them, they won’t show up for the occasion. Because if they were sensible people in the first place they would know better than rely on someone else so heavily.  

It’s always better to be alone and drama free than to hang around a bunch of drama queens.


Hope this helps! Go on and live your drama free life!

Do you have any other advice on living drama free?

I am very interested.

Drop me a line!

Blog, The Interview Series

Interview With Shanti Tilling: Sweat Play Live Founder

Have you ever met someone who completely inspires you to want to be like them? I first met Shanti seven years ago at the Bay Club. From the instant I took her kickboxing class I was blown away by her confidence, her skills and her overall badassery.

She’s insanely fit, gorgeous, and a super talented instructor. She now lives the dream life splitting her time between Mexico and the U.S. and leading successful action packed  retreats that include mountain biking, beach bootcamps, surfing, yoga and end with an exotic margarita at the end of the day.

Check her out!

Shanti Tilling Sweating, Playing and Living it up in Nayarit Mexico from Darrin Polischuk on Vimeo.


Shanti Tilling


Punta de Mita (9 months), Park City Utah (3 months)


Fitness Trainer, Fitness Retreat Leader

Favorite Book

Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Favorite Movie

Love Actually

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Who doesn’t want to fly! Any migrating bird. I would love to be able to cover great distances.. maybe it is the traveler in me. 🙂


Do you have a guilty pleasure you can share?

I have a major sweet tooth – Pie (my favorite), cake, brownies, caramel apples, and gelato… My husband, Mack,  is a gelatiere, so gelato is a food group in our house.

Vegan Banana Pineapple Coconut muffins
Vegan Banana Pineapple Coconut muffins that Shanti made

You are an avid world traveler. What’s your favorite place you’ve travelled to and why?

This is a tuffy… Thailand for the people, culture, and food (and $3 thai massages), but the Daintree Rain Forest in Australia was fascinating for the plants and different wildlife. Diving up there on the Great Barrier Reef was incredible too.

We went to Ladahk, India this summer for the Kalachakra – it is the highest initiation ceremony for buddhist monks (we are not Buddhist monks). It was 7 days of meditation and chanting led by the Dalai Lama. 200,000 beautiful people all gathered to embody compassion and love, surrounded by the majestic Himalayas. WOW.


What sparked your transition from Bay Area,California to part-time Mexico and now Utah?

Honestly, moving to Mexico was a surprise Christmas present from Mack. We were in Bali for the holidays (which I thought was my actual xmas present) and he gives me a card. At the bottom was a Mexican address.

I thought it was another trip – woohoo! He said he had rented us a place in Punta de Mita the following month and was hoping I would want to try living down here! I had a 10 second “oh shit” moment and then got SUPER EXCITED!

We had always talked about living in another country and he knew I loved Punta de Mita because I had already been leading fitness retreats here for 3 years at that time. People thought we were crazy. I gave up all of my personal training clients (some of which I had for over 13 years) and all of my classes, I figured we could always move back to Marin if it didn’t work out.

But we are still here 3 years later! We go to Park City, Utah for the summers to escape the heat and humidity, and also to get our mountain biking fix.

Shanti and her husband Mack

This is a bit more of a practical question, but I always wonder- how have you adjusted to your various transitions in dealing with new communities, new housing, all your belongings?

We meet people through our interests – fitness, surfing, and road and mountain biking. Both communities are very outdoorsy, which in my opinion attracts cool, easy going, down to earth people.

We pack and move a lot. That is not the fun part, but I think it is so worth it. We have downsized quite a bit. I have Mexico clothes and a few bags of Park City clothes …more jeans, jackets, boots, etc. We do not buy nearly as much “stuff” as we used to.

Here in Mexico, especially, you see how little people live with. I keep a give-away bag in the corner of my bedroom, and am constantly adding to it. And, I have a new policy that if I buy an article of clothing, I have to give up two.

What has been your favorite aspect of creating and managing your company Sweat Play Live?

I literally created SPL after looking for a retreat to do all of my favorite things, but could not find one. So every day of my retreat is my favorite day! I LOVE getting people outside and sharing new experiences with them.

When people do things they never thought they were strong enough to – like stand up on a surf board, or climb to a high peak – and you see this new confidence and light in their eyes… that is just the best feeling in the world for me.

Shanti leading a beach group class in Sayulita, Mexico
Shanti leading a beach group class in Sayulita, Mexico

You juggle a lot- fitness, yoga and mountain biking retreats, daily classes, private do you find balance between all those things in your life? Do you have any tips on how to stay productive while still maintaining time for your personal life and relax?

Finding balance is a day to day process. I used to be the trainer who taught 3 classes a day, trained 3 clients and then went for a 2-hour mtn bike ride followed by yoga. I am definitely more balanced since moving down to Mexico.

My husband and I both work from home, so we see each other quite a bit. Since we both enjoy cycling and surfing, we are able to do those together.

I generally like to get my own workouts in early, then have the luxury of planning my computer work and clients around our outdoor adventures. I also started a regular meditation practice this year. Only 10-15minutes most days a week.

After dealing with some pretty serious health issues 10 years ago, I decided to put myself first. I make my marriage, health, and personal time a priority. I keep a written weekly schedule, and scheduling work, meetings, workouts, dates, relax time, etc. keeps my life more balanced. I can open up my organizer and see my whole (balanced) week laid out in front of me.


What is your most vivid memory of any race you’ve competed in?

Fun question! Mountain bike racing, especially stage racing, is incredibly physically demanding and brings up crazy emotions. When we raced TransPortugal I was sick before we even started and got heat stroke the first day – I pulled out after 6 hours of riding. They let me continue “racing” the week and on the last day (day 8), after literally riding across the country, I was 5 miles from the finish when the ocean came into view. I was so physically and emotionally drained that I started sobbing.

I had spent hours and hours everyday with only my thoughts – I learned during that race that I used mountain bike racing as my way to feel that I was “good enough. I couldn’t be a “good, strong” human being without that title of mountain bike racer. I still love mountain biking and have raced since then, but now because I want to, not because I “need” to.

Shanti MTBiking with her husband
Shanti MTBiking with her husband

What is the most challenging experience you’ve had in​ your​
​athletic career? ​

I would say it would be how I started my fitness career teaching Taebo, back in 1997. I was actually painfully shy – like, not-look-you-in-the-eye shy. I moved up to Marin to help my boyfriend open up a Tae Kwon Do studio.. his Grand Master was great friends with Billy Blanks (Taebo creator) and I was going to be teaching the first classes in SF Bay Area.

I had never taught anything and had only taken my first Taebo class months before. I trained for hours and hours everyday learning proper technique and putting together that first class. The day I had to teach, I threw up twice and when I got in front of the class to demonstrate the punches and kicks, my arms and legs were literally shaking out of control.

I wanted to cry. BUT, instead of crying, I raised my voice (to cover up it cracking) and just totally faked it. Spiritual people would call that “Acting as if.” I called it, faking it – and faking it worked. I threw up before every class (2 classes a day) for 6 months. That’s what it took for me to become comfortable teaching, and now over 10,000 fitness classes later, I still can get nervous. That was such a huge learning experience for me. I still try to do things that scare me everyday, because that is how I have grown and will continue to grow throughout my life.


Tell me about your personal​ exercise ​practice. How often do you practice, for how long, where?​

I currently teach beach bootcamps, boxing, and my own athletic flow class, Move Your Asana, that I co-created with my friend Heather McKenzie. Here in Mexico, I ride outside only once a week and get on my spin bike 2 times a week. I have picked up the surfing bug, so we are chasing waves 2-5 times a week depending on the swell.

In Park City, it is all about mountain biking. Almost everyday. I also go to the gym and box on the heavy bags, take kickboxing, and go to yoga twice a week. I love mixing it up – that is how I keep my body feeling balanced.


Check out Shanti’s retreats and more info about her HERE

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