978-766-8722

addiction

Video

How to Quit Smoking

“How do I quit smoking?” is a question I have received a few times from people. In this video, I share a few tips behind why you may be choosing to smoke as well as 4 tips to help you quit smoking.

Before quitting smoking, I find it important to consider:
1. Why am I smoking? Why have I chosen to smoke?
2. Perhaps you are being asked to develop a relationship with the tobacco plant (not the toxic mimic otherwise known as cigarettes).
3. Are you smoking to connect with yourself or to disconnect?

Perhaps you’re asking, how do I quit smoking?
1. Explore smoking real tobacco – organically or biodynamically grown. Develop a relationship with the real plant. Explore and research indigenous’ cultures use of medicinal tobacco in ceremony.
2. Notice when you are choosing to smoke. Is it the same time each day? Different times? Certain circumstances?
3. What are you feeling when you are choosing to smoke? Are you feeling fear, anxiety, stress, anger, depression, etc? Would you be willing to give yourself permission to feel your feelings?
4. Integrate beneficial and support healthy habits into your day. Eat some raw cacao. Drink a green smoothie. Begin to fill your day, particularly your chosen smoking trigger times, with healthy habits.
5. Bonus: seek out a support network to help keep you on track.


Something Pumpkin this Way Comes

pumpkin, pumpkin latte, pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin pie, headless horseman, sleepy hollow, legend

It’s autumn here in the States and with autumn comes everything pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin costumes, oh and…

pumpkin, pumpkin latte, pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin pie, headless horseman, sleepy hollow, legend

The Headless Horseman from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

If you’re not familiar with the Headless Horseman, check this out:


Here’s a way to over-indulge in pumpkin without turning into a pumpkin yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 3 TB pumpkin puree
  • 16 oz milk/mylk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp bee pollen (if not allergic)
  • 1 heaping tsp reishi
  • 3 scoops Super Meal L.O.V.
  • to taste:
    • real maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima’s or Mrs. Butterworth’s)
    • fresh ginger
    • cinnamon
    • nutmeg
    • clove
    • cayenne pepper for a kick and to keep an internal warmth

Place in blender. Blend. Enjoy!

Let me know how you like it below. If you have any of your own suggestions, I’d love to hear them.


Healing Emotional Eating Workshop

 

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Emotional eating is a normal part of this human experience. We may find ourselves eating junk food, over-eating, under-eating, or obsessed with healthy eating as an attempt to comfort ourselves and/or control parts of ourselves that feel out of control. In this workshop, you will

  • learn how to recognize when you are emotionally eating
  • uncover some of the deeper reasons why you emotionally eat
  • begin the process of balancing yourself from the inside out
  • learn tools and strategies to support and comfort yourself
  • learn how to develop a healthier relationship with yourself and your food

Would you be willing to consider that emotional eating is a symptom of a different issue? Do you chastise yourself when you emotionally eat? In this workshop, you will be supported and invited to dive into your inner world and explore what unresolved wounds may be resurfacing through emotional eating. I invite you to join me in breaking the cycle of physical, mental, and emotional punishment to experience a greater sense of inner freedom and a more profound and supportive relationship between yourself and your food.

When: Sunday, November 23rd 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: 33A Harvard St., Suite 302, Brookline, MA

Cost: $90, $75 if you pre-register by Nov. 18th. Space is limited.

Register here, or contact Amanda at onalimb.org@gmail.com, or 978-766-8722.


Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 3

If you missed Part 1, click here; Part 2, click here. I’ll wait…

I’d show up to each and every class with this desire to connect. I wanted to experience what the teachers were talking about – that physical asana is a means to connect to ones higher Self. But, I never felt it. I’d push and push and push to feel this connection, or I’d fervently pray, but all I felt inside was an empty shell of nothingness. That’s right. NOTHING.

You want to talk about a void? Well, there it was and I was trying to fill it with these false notions of connecting to something greater than myself through yoga. I was trying to fill the void with the deep, dark shadow emotions I was feeling. And, I was trying to fill it with a community that largely doesn’t see you, doesn’t reach out to you unless you are there in class. You see, I realized that a part of me would feel like I would not exist if I didn’t do yoga. So, I filled that void by making sure I would exist by showing up all the time.

I continued down this path until I broke. I broke myself. The container with which I was feeding my toxic shame, the container with which I was stuffing my shadow emotions broke.broken vase

I injured myself. Granted, yes, it was a physical injury, but that has been nothing compared to the immense inner wounding that I did to myself during the “healthy” practice of yoga. I kept practicing for a while anyway. I kept showing up. I still tried to fill the broken vase of my inner world with pain or with the intention that “all you need to do is send that part of yourself love and compassion.”

Bull crap. Sometimes, oftentimes, we need to allow ourselves to feel the pain inside of us, and

Unicorn-Poop-300x225express it. Sometimes we need to experience hating parts of our self so that we may in turn learn to accept our self, or accept the parts of our self which we cannot accept, so we may learn how to love ourselves. Sometimes, we need to step away from the picture and take a look at just how much of our practice is unconsciously filled with sugar coated shit and namaste’s that have become so overused that it now has the equivalent weight of “hello.”

There were so many times after this injury where I would try to continue practicing, but the pain I felt become too intense. Yes, there was a physical pain, but the emotional pain could no longer be held by the broken container within which I stuffed it, so it began to overflow. I stopped practicing yoga a few years ago and began my journey to healing myself. At first, all I wanted to do was yoga. If I wasn’t doing yoga, I wasn’t happy. If I was doing yoga, I wasn’t happy…isn’t that interesting. The last spontaneous class I took, a year ago, to test myself, revealed much.

I learned that the yoga asana I have experienced doesn’t support me, doesn’t support my body, doesn’t support who I AM. I learned that I could no longer listen to themes of a physical practice connecting us to Source. I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid, the alcohol of yoga, the cocaine of yoga. Parts of me experienced anger when asked when I would return to class. I don’t have an answer to that question. At this point in time, returning to a yoga asana practice or class would be akin to a recovering alcoholic having a drink, a recovering cocaine addict a hit.

Why share this with all of you? Perhaps my story will inspire you to look closely at your practice. Perhaps my story will plant the seed of awakening to the parts of yourself who may be in denial about the possibility of addiction through yoga. And, part of me is allowing myself to heal, to more fully accept myself, to more fully love myself, by sharing my story with you.

May I share something else with you? Each and every one of us is already infinitely connected. You don’t need to go out and buy fancy Lululemon pants. You don’t need to drop “namaste” like it’s the hottest thing since sliced bread. You don’t need to stop eating meat because you believe not eating it will increase your vibration and make you more enlightened. I invite you to be. Just be and allow yourself to experience your Self as you are. Here and now.

If none of this has a ring of truth to you, I would invite you to consider watching and experience this funny, not-so-funny, funny video “How to be Ultra-Spiritual” by friend and mentor JP Sears.


Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 2

If you’re just joining us now, please take a moment and read Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 1.

I was one of “those” people. Yes, I wore Lululemon pants. Not because I felt they’d make me a better yogi or grant me enlightenment, but because they fit. And, they lasted several years before wearing out. Maybe I’m in denial about some expensive pair of pants making me feel more spiritual.

Anyway, I was one of those people whom you would see in yoga class at least three times per week. I’d practice at home anywhere from 1-3 hrs. per day. I’d take every single workshop that I could. Part of me would hang on and hope to be included in the “Insider’s Club” so I could be one of the “cool kids” who got to hang out with the crew and chat about…yoga. I wanted to fit in and an unconscious part of me would do anything that I had to in order to feel connected and like I belonged.Outside-looking-in

Very rarely did I leave class with one of those post yoga glows. If I did, it was usually a physiological response resulting from my having moved my body through space and time. Yoga became my means of brutalizing myself. It became my means of beating parts of myself up. It became my means of reaffirming over and over and over again the toxic shame that I would never be enough as I am.

If I couldn’t do a pose, I unconsciously believed there was something wrong with me. If my alignment wasn’t perfect, I unconsciously believed there was something wrong with me. If I didn’t leave with this blissed out look and happy as a clam, feeling so connected to Source that I was flying on the inside, then there was absolutely, positively something wrong with me. I believed I’d never measure up and that’s exactly what my ego wanted. (Little did I know that that’s what it wanted.).

There would be times when parts of me would feel so angry that I could have screamed for days.images-2

There were times when parts of me would feel so sad and I would be hurting so much on the inside, that I could have cried and cried and cried for days on end.images-3

But, yogis are supposed to be calm, and zen-like. They’re not supposed to feel these tornadic waves of emotion. Nope, not allowed. At least, I didn’t believe so. That fit in perfectly with the part of myself that had become very safe and comfortable not feeling and not expressing emotions. Feeling and showing emotions? Geesh. That’s scary business!

If you’re teacher says it’s ok to cry on your mat, is it really ok? Let’s face it, the reality of someone hysterically sobbing next to you, while you’re trying to rest in savasana, isn’t always the most welcome activity. So, what did I do? I stuffed those emotions down inside of me. I knew how I felt – that maybe I would explode. Heck, there were times when you could physically see it! My face, neck, and upper chest would be red as a beet, with a distinct line across my chest showing the energy blockage. I felt on fire.

To make matters worse, I fell into the dangerous trap of intellectualizing my emotions. “I feel like I can’t move forward in my life. I must be experiencing Ganesh energy. I need to find a way around the elephant standing in my path.” Or, “I feel like I’m being broken down and torn apart…Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya…”. Or, “Why can’t I feel boundless love within my heart? Hanuman, help me please.” What?! You want to talk messed up – that was me. I rationalized my emotions. What did that do?

It gave me an out so I could continue to numb myself from experiencing the experience of feeling the intense emotions that I had consciously and unconsciously spent the majority of my life burying. Yoga become a tool, a means, my drug, my drink, to numb myself from the reality of my life. Woah.

Click here for Confessions of a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 3.
Click here for Confessions of a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 1.


Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 1

agoura-power-yoga-studio

You walk into a room, most likely with hardwood floors, soft bright lighting, perhaps some buddhist or zen-like paintings on the wall. Maybe Nag Champa or some other incense is burning. Krishna Das, Wah, or Snatam Kaur may be on in the background. You take note of the myriad of mats laid out across the floor with people vying for “their spot.” You notice the class is largely filled with Lululemon-clad women and a few men. Perhaps they’re stretching themselves out in downward facing dog or chatting with each other about some mystical experience they had and how it relates to a theme from yesterday’s class, or a Hindu god/dess…

images-1Class begins, perhaps with a meditation and centering, maybe with a chant, and almost definitely with three Oms. You are led through a sequence of poses that may or may not build up to a pinnacle pose, depending on which style of yoga you are practicing, or maybe you’re moving your body in a 100°F room to “detox” and become more limber. At the end, class is wrapped up with savasana, followed by the ever popular “namaste.” Maybe, just maybe you’re one of those folks who leaves class all blissed out with this incredible post-yoga glow on your face. After class, you and your yoga family head out to the nearest healthy eatery and continue sharing conversation that inevitably resolves around something having to do with yoga. After all, that’s all there is to life, isn’t there?

I have a confession to share with you. My name is Amanda and I am a recovering asana junkie. Yes, I was a yoga addict. What is an addiction? The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as the following:

“a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic disease, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission…”.

How does that invite you to feel? What are you experiencing in this moment? Are you uncomfortable? Perhaps you are thinking – how can something that is healthy be an addiction? Sure, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, like eating that extra piece of raw cacao and maybe not feeling so hot afterwards, but addicted to yoga? How is that possible?

May I ask you a question? If you’re a “yogi,” are you addicted to yoga, not addicted to yoga, or are you in denial about your addiction to yoga? Hmm…

Click here for Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 2.
Click here for Confessions from a Recovering Asana Junkie – Part 3.