Do you find yourself stepping into traps? Are they traps you’ve created? I have a habit of doing this sometimes. Speaking of sometimes, in the video I shared with you all – Sometimes, Sometimes I…I found myself about to step into a trap!
If you’re curious what the trap was and how you can begin to develop the awareness to circumnavigate your own traps, have a watch.
What traps do you step into? How do you avoid them?
Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Yes, it appears I said “following” or some weird variation of “falling” a few times. Not sure what that was about, but no doubt there’s a message in there. And, yes, my camera glitched towards the end while recording. <sad face>. The question I’d like to ask is what can you do to provide the space, support, and conscious awareness to increase your sensitivity to self-imposed traps?
Are you willing to admit that you are feeling needy? When you feel needy do you fall into the societal trap of feeling toxic shame for experiencing part of the human condition – neediness? Watch the video to learn more…
What are four things we can do when we are feeling needy?
1. Acknowledge your neediness. Admit to yourself that you are feeling needy.
2. Would you be willing to accept that you are feeling needy? If you are not willing to accept that you are feeling needy, would you be willing to accept that you are not willing to accept your neediness?
3. Breathe. Give yourself permission, space, and support to explore whether or not this need is a need that you are capable of meeting yourself. If it is, I invite you to give yourself what you need. 🙂
4. If you truly cannot meet your need and need external support, then ask for it from a place of acknowledgement and connectedness. The more grounded you are in vulnerably expressing your authentic need, the more likely people will be willing to support you in helping you meet your need.
I wasn’t going to share this video, this poem, with all of you. I am not concerned or afraid about experiencing whatever thoughts, feelings, and opinions you may feel inclined to project my way. I actually really enjoy sharing my raw vulnerability with you!
Upon watching myself on video, I caught myself stepping into a trap of sorts that I have fallen into many times. I’ll share what the trap was in an upcoming video and how I made a conscious decision to very quickly change course and get out of it.
Sometimes I feel more than I can handle.
Sometimes I feel too raw, too real, too vulnerable.
Watch the video for the full poem.
I hope that my sharing my raw vulnerability with you inspires you to get in touch with yourself and to plant yourself in the soil of your belonging. You are not alone on this journey, fellow travelers. Although it may certainly not feel like it at times, it is a blessing to feel everything so deeply, so rawly, so at the heart and core of your beingness.
“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.
Do you find yourself taking yourself seriously all of the time? Do you shame yourself or beat yourself up for making mistakes? Have you considered that one way to take yourself seriously is to not take yourself seriously at all?
Perhaps one of our biggest gifts is that of being able to not take ourselves seriously. Would you be willing to embrace your inner child, your inner clown, your inner joker, and laugh at yourself — with compassion, amusement, and love? All too often, we collectively berate ourselves for making a mistake, for the bloopers. Yet, those mistakes, the bloopers, the times we trip over our own two feet and fall face first in the stinking mud (yes, I have done that), are beautiful opportunities to embrace a different part of ourselves. They are opportunities to learn how to love ourselves as we are — perfectly imperfect — without needing to be “perfect.” They are opportunities for tremendous growth. How often does a seed grow when it is not planted within a dark, nourishing environment? And, they are opportunities to love yourself a little bit, or a lot, more.
Why share my bloopers with all of you? A lot of times, we only show the ideal sides of ourselves, making it appear that we are perfect or have our shizzle together, when in actuality, we’re learning how to navigate upon this planet just as much as all of you are. Watching myself trip over myself and make “mistakes,” while being able to whole-heartedly laugh about it all, provided me with an opportunity to see an aspect of myself that I hadn’t seen as clearly before. Heck, I even fell in love with a part of myself when I watched this.
Next time you find yourself taking yourself seriously, explore your own blooper roll. Laugh with yourself and embrace the lila – the cosmic play – of life here on earth.
Chances are if you are human, you’ve experienced the wonderful pleasure of feeling triggered. Either something someone said or did likely set you off. Perhaps you felt unworthy, sad, angry, unloved. You may have cried, screamed, yelled, gone off and hidden in your wo(man) cave, or all of the above. You may have reacted to the trigger and ripped someone a new one or told them how you really feel…possibly regretting it later. Ouch.
Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? Perhaps you’ve gone so far as to blame the other person for what you are experiencing. Doh. Psst…your feeling triggered has absolutely nothing to do with the person who has triggered you.
If feeling triggered is such a volatile experience, how and why is it beneficial? Read on to discover why I feel grateful when I feel triggered and why I would rather experience a trigger than feel like someone has to walk on their tip-toes around me.
- It shows us that we are human.
If we were never triggered, we’d be robots. We are emotional beings here to soak up this incredibly human experience of being human – part of which is feeling triggered at times.
- It shows us what is unresolved and unhealed within ourselves.
Feeling triggered is an opportunity to look into the mirror of your soul and see what is there in a way that we are unable to without someone else reflecting back our stuff. It’s an opportunity and a gift to be shown where the dark, fertile soil resides so that we may tend to the earth of our heart and plant the nourishing seeds of our souls.
- Intimacy, or into-me-I-see.
Are you craving intimacy? Here is your opportunity to step through the threshold, open up and be intimate with the person who triggered you (as long as you feel safe doing so). It’s also an opportunity to share an incredibly intimate co-versation with the part of yourself that is asking for resolution and healing.
- The art of vulnerability and authenticity.
Would you be willing to share when you feel triggered, vulnerable and raw? Or, are you more likely to put on a stoic mask and hide your triggered self under the rug, in the dark recesses of your closet, or under your bed? There is little more real than being fully present in the moment and authentically sharing from your heart your vulnerable self.
- Projecting or owning your own shizzle.
When you give yourself permission to step back for a moment and witness yourself being yourself, you can see whether you spew projections at others when you feel triggered, whether you internalize your projections, or whether you own your own shizzle. Each of these has its benefits and its pitfalls. The first step is noticing which you tend to do and why.
So, next time you feel triggered, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. I’d be curious to hear how these 5 benefits to feeling triggered help you weather your next storm.
Before beginning a movement program, I find it important to ask why my students want to move their bodies. To me, it’s important to uncover the intention behind their motivation, much like peeling back the curtain to take a peek at the Wizard of Oz.
Once you have discovered your Wizard, your intention, your why behind the why, I invite you to take it one step further.
Add a daily intention to your practice. A daily intention invites you to connect, or disconnect, with how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Admittedly, I’m a huge advocate for using a movement practice as a means to connect.
Wait…isn’t that yoga then? Perhaps. We’ll save that for another post though. 😉
Is there something wrong with choosing movement as a means of disconnecting? There’s nothing wrong with it, but there may be a more integrative approach to disconnecting. Maybe you’ve just had an argument with your girlfriend and want to lift some heavy stuff in order to avoid feeling the hurt and anger you may be experiencing. Perhaps you’re working a job you despise, are feeling stressed out, and want to tune out that emotional stuff that’s right there in front of you. Maybe you find yourself spending your workout flexing in the mirror and showing your physique off as a means of covering up the feeling of feeling not good enough.
Would you be willing to (wo)man up and admit that to yourself? Would you be willing to make a conscious decision to disconnect? What might that look like?
Rather than blindly going in and using movement to disconnect,
- Notice how you feel and acknowledge your emotions.
- Be honest with yourself and your decision to choose to disconnect. For example, “I feel really pissed off right now and I am choosing to go lift some heavy sh&t because I don’t want to feel what I am feeling.”
- Take action and go disconnect. Give yourself permission to numb out. Notice how numbing out can feel darned good sometimes.
- Invite yourself to reconnect and do it. This is the step many don’t take. Oftentimes, people go through Steps 1-3, then go about the day because they feel better never having really given themselves permission to feel or express their emotions. Sooner or later, that choice often comes back to bite people in the arse.
Have you ever experienced a cavity? Ignore it long enough and it becomes quite sore. You see the dentist who happily gives you some novocaine and you’re feeling much better all numbed out. But, the novocaine wears off, you go home, and two days later you’re experiencing even more pain, a fever, and an abscessed tooth because the dentist didn’t address the underlying problem – he merely numbed it for you – and it got infected.
By consciously choosing to disconnect, we are giving ourselves permission to see the work that our inner dentist is or isn’t doing with us. Is your inner dentist asleep on the job? Is he/she consciously choosing to only partially do his/her job? Would you be willing to invite your inner dentist to roll up his/her sleeves and explore what fully doing his/her job – choosing to move with connection – feels like?
If you would like to begin the process of learning how to consciously disconnect or connect through movement, reach out to me in the comments below or send an email to email@example.com.
How do you disarm a ticking time bomb? What is a ticking time bomb?
Have you noticed that when you ask someone how they feel that they tend to respond with “I am happy,” “I am sad,” “I am angry!”? When we use the phrase “I am,” we tend to take on the energetic qualities of that emotion, thus becoming sadness, anger, or fear for example. When we take on the energetics of an emotion, we can become a ticking time bomb. A ticking time bomb tends to be a challenging person to be around, unless you enjoy working with explosives.
What can we do to diffuse a ticking time bomb? Well, first off, we can give that person space to feel whatever they are feeling and express the emotion in whatever way needs expressing (barring harm to self or others). It’s not our “job” to change anyone. We can, however learn how to accept them as they are. That being said, you can work on disarming your own ticking time bomb within yourself by changing your language.
What might that look like? Next time you feel angry, sad, frustrated, fear, etc. rather than say “I am angry…,” see if you can give yourself permission to flip the coin and say “I feel angry.” Notice how that instantly changes the quality of anger within your body. Instead of becoming anger, you are now a witness to your anger – someone who can experience the feeling of the emotion of anger as it flows through you.
Give it a try and let me know how you feel.
Comment below and share with anyone you think may benefit from this simple, yet profound practice.
When was the last time you were really authentic with yourself and called yourself out on your own stuff? When were you willing to look behind the door at whatever dark, stinking stuff you may have stuffed there, and acknowledge it, and embrace it? Have you ever called yourself out on your stuff?
Pardon the vernacular, but it takes a set of cajones to do so. It is a practice for one who is willing to step upon and walk the warrior path.
Last night, I shared an incredible co-versation over dinner. At one point during the meal, I said, “I think a lot of people are addicted to pain.”
The person I was sharing this co-versation with said, “You think a lot of people are addicted to pain? You don’t believe a lot of people are addicted to pain?”
“Yes. No.” Why? A part of me, or several parts of me, in that moment were quite clearly saying “Bullshit. I don’t believe people are addicted to pain.” Why? Here’s where it gets interesting…why does a part of me not believe people are addicted to pain?
In that moment, I realized, part of me does not believe people are addicted to pain because that part of me is addicted to pain — a part of my Self was trying to keep hidden in the dark recesses of my awareness aspects of self that I have yet to embrace that are in pain. Dark, festering pain. And, I called myself out on my stuff right then and there. Over dinner. No holds barred, after a few minutes of meeting someone, I slipped the lip and called myself out.
It’s taken years of practice to get to this point and now, before I’m even aware of what I’m doing, I’m calling myself out on my self-authenticity.
I don’t know what that pain is yet, if I will know what it is, or if it’s even necessary to know what it is, as much as it is to purely allow myself to feel it, to express it, to allow it to flow through me. And that’s okay! One thing is for sure, I will be spending time with that part of myself, compassionately, and with loving kindness.
It can, at first, be terrifying to even think of acknowledging your stuff like that in front of other people, especially someone you practically just met, but it is incredibly freeing. It’s raw. It’s naked and vulnerable. It’s real.
When was the last time you watched the sun rise?
When was the last time you watched the sun set?
When was the last time you spent the day at the beach and laid upon the sand until the stars came out?
And when was the last time you took the time to connect with the ones you love?
When was the last time you told them “I love you”? And when was the last time you looked in the mirror, said “I love you,” to yourself, meant it, and believed it?
When was the last time you chose to make a decision to change your diet, your exercise, your job, your life not because you look in the mirror and tell yourself –
“I’m fat. I hate my body. If only I lost 30 pounds, then I’d be happy. I’ll be so happy when I can quit my job and leave this area…”
…I don’t like you, I don’t love you, and you’re not good enough…
…but chose to instead make a conscious decision to change your diet, your job, your life. To watch the sun rise, to revel in connecting with the people, nature, and experiences that invite you to feel alive, because you love yourself as you are and you love yourself enough to choose to live a life that exemplifies that.
I invite you to choose to make one conscious decision, one action to do for yourself, each and every day that will inspire you to celebrate and enjoy this one wild and precious life. If you’re not sure where to start or how to start, let me know. I’d be honored to help guide you.
You know what I mean, single folks, divorcees, widowers, in-a-non-relationship-relationship women…
The primary day where our existence and our rating on the love meter is determined by some external influence. The day when if we’re not in a loving, giving, accepting, compassionate, understanding, yada yada yada relationship, we tend to stick our heads in the ground, bury our face in the blankets, put on a sappy chick flick and cry our eyes out over the box of chocolates we bought for ourselves – the one day out of the year when we tend to feel the most lonely, worthless, and unlovable.
It’s time for that to change.
Your rating on the love meter has nothing to do with some external influence. It is not defined by how many roses you get, how many boxes of chocolates you receive, or whether or not you’re taken out to some fancy restaurant where you wine and dine on champagne and duck.
It’s time to toss that perception right in the ol’ recycling bin.
Your rating on the love meter has to do with how you love yourself. It’s time to drop the bullshit stories you keep telling yourself as to why you’re not lovable, why you’re not good enough, why you’re not pretty, desirable, etc., etc., and act like you are! Why? Because you are lovable. You are good enough. You are beautiful. You are desirable. You are worthy.
True love begins and ends with you, not someone else.
Wild-hearted one, I invite you to dust off your clothes, dry your eyes, lift your chin and go spoil yourself. Show yourself how much you love YOU this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself to a massage. Buy yourself that heavenly box of artisan dark chocolates and enjoy them, under candlelight, with an amazing glass of organic red wine (or Guinness if you prefer beer). Get dressed up, and take yourself out on a date to the restaurant of your dreams. Order that champagne and duck and treat yourself like the goddess that you are.
Why? I believe in you. I believe you are worth it and I believe you are worth learning how to love every inch and aspect of your wonderful self.
“Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.” ~Courtney A. Walsh
How are you treating yourself this Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear in your comments below, how you are embracing #fiercelove2016 for yourself this year.
Why do we do anything that we do? Why do we move our bodies? Why take care of our health? Why work? Why experience financial abundance? Why enter relationships?
Oftentimes, it boils down to a few things — we want to feel connected, we want to know that we matter, we want to experience freedom, support, and love in all that we do.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being naked, hungry and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” ~Mother Teresa
I understand what it feels like…
…to have nothing. To choose to leave a relationship with no sense of security. To wonder where the next meal is going to come from.
…to feel so overwhelmed with emotional pain that you contemplate hurting yourself. Or, beg for physical pain so you can be distracted from feeling what is inside you.
…to numb yourself from feeling anything. To choose to bury the pain you are feeling so that you can go about your day and do what you must in order to survive.
…to put yourself last. To give until there is nothing left to give. To feel so exhausted and drained and broken that you cry because you no longer have the strength or the energy to open that jar of pickles.
…to experience physical pain. To not be able to roll over. To not be able to do what you love. To be told time and time again that this is something you are going to have to live with.
…to feel incredibly alone. Worthless. Undesirable. Not good enough.
I understand how it feels because I’ve been there.
That woman who left a marriage with two young boys and no means of support, was me. That woman who wondered where the next meal was going to come from, was me.
The woman who contemplated physical harm was me. And, I was the same woman who buried her emotions, who sustained two devastating injuries, and who stands here before you now having made the conscious decision to change —
To live a life of freedom, of infinite support, of love.
A life by design, created and fueled by my passions.
It’s a bit of a secret, and I am going to share it with you.
Learning to love yourself as much as you want to be loved by others.
Stay tuned for the launch of the #fiercelove2016 campaign. I’m so excited to share this with you, and look forward to a select number of people joining me, as I walk beside you on your personal journey towards fierce love.
When you begin to live your life by design, listen to and follow your organic timeline, and build your life, & your business around your passions, you may notice & experience the following:
- People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
- Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
- A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
- Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
- The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
- Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
- Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
- An unwavering commitment to yourself, your passion, your mission. Psst – it’s ok to take care of yourself and to do so beyond what you thought was possible.
- Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
- A zest for life that draws people in and welcomes them to ask and be curious about you…sparking the life force within others by shining your own light.
What are you most passionate about? What would you choose to do if time and money were of no issue? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?
How do we go about surviving the holidays? Are holidays even meant to be survived? Or, are they something that should be enjoyed? Chances are you may be stretching yourself thin — financially, physically, emotionally — by over-committing yourself this holiday season. What does that lead to?
- a run down immune system
- emotional eating
- over eating…
Does this resemble your experience of the holidays? If so, welcome to “Your Brutally Honest, and Somewhat Hedonistic, Holiday Survival Guide.” Without further adieu, here are some tips to help you not only survive the holiday season, but thrive this holiday season.
- Be honest with yourself.
If you’re dreading that visit with Aunt Jane, buying John Doe a gift because he always buys you one and you feel it’s something you have to do, or feel like you have to attend all of the holiday parties you’ve been invited to…Stop. Listen to yourself and what your body-heart-mind is telling you. If you really do not want to visit Aunt Jane, buy John Doe a gift, or attend every holiday party, admit it to yourself.
Now that you’ve sat down and gotten real with yourself, you can make a choice as to what you want to do. What is going to serve you most? What is going to make you happy and healthy? What will allow you to honor your truth? If that means not buying John Doe a gift, don’t buy one. If it means only attending three parties instead of twenty, just attend three. If you really don’t want to visit Aunt Jane, don’t visit her. Might there be backlash from this? Sure, but you can approach it from the perspective of honoring yourself, your time, your health, and your energy. What people think of you has nothing to do with you.
- Be willing to accept your decision.
If you feel the consequences of not visiting Aunt Jane over shadow the benefits of staying home, for example, then I would encourage you to accept it and realize that you have made the conscious decision to visit her. It is your choice. Man up or woman up. When we consciously choose to do, or not do, something, we become accountable for our own actions, the obligatory becomes a decision, and we may become less likely to project resentment and anger towards others.
- Embrace the overindulging.
How many times have you heard people beat themselves up, call themselves fat, disgusting, and other derogatory terms for overindulging on Grandma’s rum-soaked fruit cake, or Ma’s tiramisu, or the roast beast? Probably quite a bit. If you choose to overindulge, embrace it, bless it, enjoy it, and move on. Beating yourself up like Mike Tyson or Conor McGregor is in the boxing ring with you isn’t going to do you any favors. Accept your overindulgence. Enjoy it. Start clean tomorrow.
- Ask for what you really want.
Oftentimes, people are afraid to voice their heart’s desires out of fear of being judged by others around them. If you don’t say what is on your heart-mind, if you don’t express yourself and what it is you want — whether it’s a date night out, a massage, that ring you’ve been eyeing at the jewelers, or something that was made from nature, from the heart — chances are, you’re pretty unlikely to receive it. You may wind up like this poor girl:
Exercise, particularly in the form of working-in, can be a fantastic way to relieve stress, increase energy, and stave off some of those holiday pounds. Find something you enjoy doing and go do it. Taking an hour everyday to get out in nature is a great way to ground yourself. If you’re too busy for an hour in nature, then I’d recommend spending two hours in nature.
All those late nights will catch up with you. Set a limit for yourself, honor your biological circadian rhythm and get thy arse to bed at a reasonable hour. You cannot make-up sleep or get caught up on sleep. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Want to have the energy for those parties? Do you want to remain grounded during your visit with Aunt Jane or calm, cool, and collected whilst all around you are playing parking wars at the nearest mall or Whole Foods? Sleep. Seriously. It will help your ability to remain emotionally centered during emotionally charged times.
- Receive a massage or draw a bath…or both!
Yes, de-stress. It’s vitally important to your sanity and your health. Treat yourself to at least 60 minutes on the table while your highly qualified and exceptionally talented massage therapist works out the stresses of your day. Draw a bath, scent it with your favorite essential oils, add some Epsom salts, close your eyes and allow yourself to drift away.
- Intimately connect with your partner or yourself.
In other words, have sex or make love, practice tantra, with your partner or yourself. Mmhmm. Yep, I went there. We were given bodies to experience all that human life has to offer — including pleasure. Not only does it feel great, it also relieves stress, burns calories, can boost your mood, increase circulation and give you a natural glow, help you fall asleep, and develop a more intimate relationship with yourself and your partner. Psst — it’s also an opportunity to ask for and show your partner what you like or explore yourself and what you like.
Before your panties get all in a wad, herbs can mean many things. Some days, there’s nothing more relaxing than coming home, slipping into your favorite pair of pjs, plopping thy wonderful self upon the couch and enjoying a cup of tea. For immune-fortification effects, add some reishi, chaga, astragalus, or he shou wu to your cuppa or your smoothie. Check out one of my favorite recipes – Winter Wonderland. Likewise, if ganja is up your alley and helps to take the edge off, among numerous other benefits, by all means enjoy.
- Bonus. Drink and spread the holiday cheer.
If drinking water and green smoothies isn’t up your alley, or your friends and family’s alley, then check out this amazing holiday beverage from Meaghan Sinclair, owner and alchemist of Boston-based Booze Epoque.
2 ounces rye
1 ounce Ancho Reyes (ancho chili liqueur)
1 ounce honey syrup (one part honey to one part water)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cut fresh apple
1 slice lemon peel
1 lemon slice
2.5 ounces dry hard cider
Muddle fresh apple, lemon peel, lemon juice and honey syrup in bottom of cocktail shaker. Add rye and Ancho Reyes and shake over ice. Strain into highball glass with fresh ice. Add lemon slice and top with dry hard cider.
1 ounce honey
2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce lemon juice
pinch: cinnamon, cayenne powder, clove, allspice, brown sugar
lemon and apple slice to garnish
Add honey, apple cider, lemon juice, brown sugar and spices to a highball glass, stir together. Add ice. Top with club soda and stir once more. Garnish with lemon and apple slice.
When we’re having a great day and really enjoying ourselves, it’s pretty easy to say that we’re having the best day ever. Have you noticed that?
What happens when less than ideal things happen to us? Maybe we were in a car accident, lost our wallet, dropped the cell phone in the loo…maybe we broke a bone, found out we’re experiencing an illness, or are mourning the loss of a loved one.
Perhaps you’ve realized that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship and you sit there, on your bed, locked in your room, with a bottle of Tylenol next to you, wondering…
“Is this all there is to life?”
Or, perhaps the emotional pain you are feeling is too present, too intense to process and…
…you beg on hands and knees for some sort of physical pain so you don’t have to feel the pain within your heart.
You receive that pain only to spend three years learning how to get out of it, chasing your tail in circles. In that blind, circle-chasing process stumble over your own two feet to discover
in order to let go of the physical pain you’ve been feeling, you have to allow yourself to feel all of the emotional pain you’ve been numbing yourself from and hiding from.
What happens then? Do we say that it’s the best day ever? Probably not. Chances are, we’re more likely to sound like Alexander from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
I get it. I’ve been there. Up there, that woman who sat on her bed, who numbed herself, who begged for physical pain, over 10 years ago, was me. I understand what it’s like to have hit some sort of rock bottom and to wonder if you’ll ever pull yourself out of the hole that you’re in.
Just as a rainbow can light up the darkest of skies, we can choose to light up our own sky. Regardless of what happens to us or what we’re experiencing, we have a choice. We have a choice to choose whether or not we’re going to have the best day ever — regardless of the circumstances that come our way.
You may be sitting there saying that that is absolute cockamamie bullshit. That’s OK. I invite you to hear me out.
I suspect one day, you might reach a point in your life when you’re tired of “having bad days.” Is any day really bad? What defines a bad day? The day itself doesn’t change. The sun rises and sets, the earth rotates on its axis and around the sun, the moon waxes and wanes, the tides rise and fall. So, what’s different other than our perspective about that particular day?
You see, we fall into the carefully designed trap of living a life of comparison. We consciously and subconsciously compare each moment of our day, each experience we have, to all of the other experiences we have experienced and decide — good or bad; the best day ever, or the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Why? Why choose to compare? Why live your present life in the past?
Each and every single moment of every single day we are free to consciously choose what kind of day we are experiencing.
Wouldn’t you like to experience the best day ever, each and every day? Now, I’m not saying that dark, negative, or challenging experiences won’t ever fall your way because they will. It’s inevitable. It’s part of this human experience. However, you can choose how you react to those dark, negative, or challenging experiences. You can choose to flip the coin. You can choose to open the door to a part of yourself that you may not have experienced.
You can choose to reclaim your power rather than victimize yourself by giving your power away to the situation.
Notice the next time you find yourself saying “I’m having a bad day,” or “this is the worst day ever.” Make a conscious decision to flip the coin. Make a conscious decision to open the door behind which a new experience of your Self lies in wait.
I invite you to choose to say “I am having the best day ever.” You may not believe yourself at first. I certainly didn’t. Once I said that a few times to myself though, I experienced the cathartic, cleansing release of tears.
In that moment, I realized that the only thing holding me back from having the best day ever was me — my mindset, my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, and my attitude. You too can choose to shift your perspective.
When you stop comparing this day, this one moment which you have never experienced before, with any other day or any other moment, when you choose to live life like there is no past and no future, and all that exists is right here, right now…you will shift.
If all that exists is this one precious moment, regardless of the experience and the visitor that has landed on the doorstep of your Home, what will you choose?
Over Halloween weekend, I co-taught a retreat for women in Charleston, SC. At the end of the retreat, the hosts and participants were gifted a piece of artwork, from local artist Laura Olsen. Each piece was given without any direction other than that from Source. This was the piece I received:
It sat, wrapped up in its tissue paper covering, until last night — December 1. Why, you may ask is that significant?
The evening turned out to be one of synchronicities, of meeting people I had heard of but never met, of re-meeting a woman I knew 10 years ago, to several people in the group finding out that each and every person there knew at least one other person there. Watching the web of interconnectedness weave its way through the space.
Being highly sensitive and empathic, I tend to feel my emotions and unresolved stories rise to the surface whenever lunar or planetary shifts happen. Out of curiosity, I headed over to Mystic Mamma to see what’s up.
Lena Stevens from The Power Path said that we’re in transition. We’re in transition on all levels of being and in all aspects of being. We’re in mid-flight over a chasm and it’s natural for us to look down, experience fear, and grasp for the known, for the familiar – for our survival mechanism. However, it’s time to let go of the past and trust what is unfolding as we speak. It’s also a time for accepting full responsibility for ourselves, our thoughts, beliefs, actions…
“Business, partnerships and projects will definitely be going through TRANSITION this month. You may be in transition at work or making changes to a project or simply planning to shift the way you do things in your business life.
Allow what is not working to surface even if it means an uncomfortable time of restructuring relationships and priorities.” ~Lena Stevens
Moments after sharing the article with a friend, I received a text from a studio owner who has decided to nix one of my classes because they don’t feel it’s bringing in enough money.
I realize it’s an “industry thing”…studio owners, you are hereby invited to get over your self-induced fears of confrontation and have conversations with your teachers. In person. You know, face-to-face, mano-e-mano. Text message is a horrible way of doing business.
Synchronicity yet again.
What does all of this have to do with butterflies? It’s too cold for them to be out now, so we’re not visited by them. However, the picture to me serves as a visitation from the animal. Oftentimes when I’m visited by an animal, I like to learn about it, what message it’s bringing, what it has to say about what I may be experiencing. I view animals as guides, as teachers, as messengers. As such, I value what their Spirit Nature has to share.
Ina Woolcott of Shamanic Journey, shares with us about the butterfly – a power animal symbol of…
the Soul, Creativity, Freedom, Joy, and Color
Are you following me?
“Native Americans see the butterfly as a symbol of joy. Feeding on the flowers they help pollinate, they further spread beauty.
Butterflies eyes consist of thousands of individual lenses. This gives them the gift of being able to see a single image clearly. They can perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light, suggesting clairvoyant abilities for those with Butterfly as power animal. The antennae of the butterfly has small knobs on each end which are said to aid orientation. If an antennae is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. If butterfly is your ally you need to remain consciously connected to spirit at all times so you may fulfill your goals.
Butterfly is the symbol of change, the soul, creativity, freedom, joy and colour. Their power is transformation, shape shifting and soul evolution. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and always on the move gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment and come in a wide array of colours. Studying these colours can help you uncover butterflies message to you. It reminds us not to take things too seriously and to get up and move. They teach us that growth and transformation does not have to be a traumatic experience. It can be joyous. Butterflies possess the ability to grow and change, leaving the safety of their cocoon to discover a new world in a new form without fear, trusting their untested wings to fly without a doubt in their minds. They work through many important stages to become the beautiful creature they are. Similar to the butterfly, we too are always moving through different stages, each equally as vital. It is no good rushing to a particular stage, nor is it good getting stuck at a stage and becoming stagnant. Butterfly is a potent symbol for those considering, or in the throes of, a big change. Butterfly is also one of the most inspiring symbols of the animal world, knowing precisely the time to leave the comfort and limitation of its cocoon, flying freely into the world. Quite frequently, we are not so certain. The cocoon of our thoughts and fears may be limiting, they are also safe and familiar. We can become afraid of what may be outside of our limiting thoughts and belief systems, trapping us and holding us back from ourselves, from our dreams and desires, from our unlimited potential.
We can learn how to move on, how to grow from and improve a situation by finding out which stage we are at. This may be the egg stage, the beginning – where an idea is born and not yet reality. The larvae stage is when you physically get your idea going, usually involving preparation such as planning. The cocoon stage entails developing your ideas, project or talent. The ultimate stage of transformation is coming out of the chrysalis, the birth of the butterfly. This last stage is about sharing the colours and ecstasy of your creation with the rest of the world. Remember that we are always evolving, growing and that we are always at one of these stages. Figure out which stage you are at, whether you need more time to complete one stage before being ready going on to the next. Be careful not to rush, nor get stuck either.
Not all change feels deliberate, it can be very subtle. Such as losing a job and then circumstances pushing you in to a new direction. There may have been things going on within you, getting you ready for a change subconsciously, that you didn’t even recognise. If you are feeling insecure and unsure of what is going on in your life right now, then look back over what has been going on in your life recently or even long ago. Have you ever wished that you had a different job? Of changing career? Are you able to see that on some level your wishes are coming true? I’m sure you will remember the good old saying ‘be careful what you wish for..’ What you focus on, is sure to manifest.
Butterfly can help you see that exiting the cocoon suddenly opens a new door, that there is power in trust and vulnerability. No more than you does a butterfly know whether it can fly, but it opens its wings in perfect confidence, and discovers that their delicacy allow its graceful flight, its dance in the air. When we understand that transformation can be as natural as breathing, when we take ourselves lightly, when we trust in our own untried wings to support us, we learn the message of Butterfly, life itself is a joyous dance. Dance brings us the sweetness of life.
The four stages of the butterflies growth are parallel to the development of our first forming a thought to manifesting it in the outer world. Understanding that change can be as natural as breathing. We mustn’t be so hard on ourselves, trusting that our own untried wings will bear our weight. This is when we receive the Butterflies gift: life itself is extraordinary and amazing. If Butterfly has found you, take note of the most important issues in your life and see what needs to be changed.
If an eco-system becomes damaged, butterfly is usually first to leave, as they are highly sensitive to the harmony of the earth. If butterfly finds you and is unwell, hurt or caught, this is an indication that you must stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle and natural manner.”
I don’t at all doubt that I was guided to re-open and hang the butterfly picture last night, nor do I doubt that I ran into the women I met last night, or that December is the month of transition, that I looked it up because I was feeling highly sensitive, or that a part of my career is shifting to something better and more wonderful.
We are constantly guided and in constant relationship to ourselves, others, the earth. Are you listening to the messages you are being given?
When was the last time you heard someone going all “Hulk” on some movement modality? My guess is that it may have been today. At least once. Possibly several times.
You’ll die if you do CrossFit.
Yoga is crazy.
Old-school weightlifting is so outdated.
Cardio is horrible.
Climbing is deadly.
Bodyweight training is so boring.
The list goes on and on and on. I heard it today, a few times, while in the gym training this morning. Some of the biggest modality smashers are people in the industry – teachers, personal trainers, etc. I’m guilty of having “Hulked” on a few movement modalities in the past. Now though, rather than trash a modality, I tend to view things differently. How?
One very simple perspective — people are moving.
Period. That’s it. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me which movement modality one picks as long as you move. Everything else largely comes down to opinion. Yes, even with “scientific evidence,” it’s still ultimately your opinion and your thoughts, beliefs, and projections about what is good, not good, crazy, and downright hilarious and outrageous.
If you feel called to prancercise, go for it. Move that body and get your horse-like gait a-going. If your movement of choice for the day is making love with your partner, beautiful. Love dancing in the kitchen with a mop? Crank up those tunes and get your dance on! Choose something you enjoy that will increase your health, well-being, and happiness.
Now, do I believe some modalities are “better” than others? Absolutely. And, that’s just my opinion.
There is no one way. There is no the way. There is only a way.
If you’re not sure where to start on your movement journey, comment below or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you uncover movement that works for you.
Who doesn’t love a little music to dance to accompanied by some killer fig goodies that are too good to not dance about while eating?!
These delectable little figgy balls of chocolate covered heaven hit up both the sweet and savory sides at the same time. Did I mention they’re covered in chocolate? No?
Psst…they’re covered in chocolate!
While I wouldn’t recommend over-indulging, you can definitely allow yourself to indulge. These Getting Figgy with it treats are all organic, all non-GMO, all natural, preservative-free, superfood goodness.
Are you drooling yet? I am.
10 oz of dried Turkish figs
11 oz of dried back mission figs
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
a few pinches of sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan)
dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
5 TB Purium’s organic coconut oil (melted)
4 TB Ojio’s raw cacao powder
1 tsp. lucuma powder
Remove the stems from the figs. Place the figs in a food processor and process until you have a mass of sticky, ooey-gooey, fig newton-like yumminess. Add the curry power, cardamom, and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse to incorporate the spices throughout.
Slightly wet your hands and roll the mixture into approximately 30 balls. You can then roll the balls in the coconut flakes.
To make the chocolate sauce:
Combine the coconut oil, cacao powder, lucuma powder, and remaining 2 pinches of sea salt in a bowl. Gently whisk until well combined.
Dip/roll the fig balls into the chocolate sauce and place on wax or parchment paper. Allow to set in the fridge for approximately 1 hr.
Then, put on some tunes and Get Figgy with it!
PS – You can also change the spices to incorporate what suits your taste buds and mood.
Chances are, if you’ve had more than one relationship, you’ve experienced what it’s like to have your heart broken. Not that our hearts can really break, but the end of a relationship can certainly feel like our heart is breaking. Why is that?
It’s a death of sorts, and a rebirth. It’s a death of what was, of how we perceive our experience of the person we were with. It’s an end to how we know and/or interact with someone on the physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and sometimes, spiritual planes. It’s also a beginning to the next chapter of your life.
Ya, right. I’m sure that’s the last thing you probably want to hear from someone if you’re in the midst of relationship changes or are mourning the loss of the ways in which we experienced another person. I hear you. Stay with me. This post is all about some of the steps towards getting your groove back.
- Feel your emotions.
Are you checking out? Or are you staying present with yourself and this process? Granted, some of you may not have the luxury to take time off from commitments — be it work, or family — to allow yourselves to experience and temporarily wallow in the nourishing mud of your grief and/or anger. I would invite you to give yourself permission to spend some time doing so. Have that really good cry. Scream into your pillow. Take a look at the photos and revisit the memories. Allow yourself to walk down memory lane and feel whatever comes up for you.
Let the rain of your tears, the thunder of your laughter, and the lightning of your anger cleanse and renew you.
You are hereby invited to attend your very own venting party. Pour yourself a cup of tea or cacao, grab an glass of organic IPA or pour yourself a glass of organic wine (I recommend red). Have some delicious raw chocolate on hand. Get some paper and a pen and pull up a chair.In this letter, write whatever you want to say to your former partner — they are not going to read this, so have at it. If you feel angry and want to tell them how you feel, do so. If you feel sad and lost beyond all comprehension, get it out. Put it down on paper. Tap into those emotions. Don’t hold back. Let it all out. This is your opportunity and invitation to spew on paper.
Read it. Enjoy some of that tea, wine, beer, or chocolate. Are you feeling a little better now? Ready for the next step? Set your beverage aside and take a deep breath. This is a biggie.
Go back through that letter. Every time you wrote your former partner’s name or referenced them, cross it out. Write your name in there. Ooh. Ouch. Heavy, yeah? Here’s a little secret…are you listening?
Almost everything we dislike or cannot accept in our partner is a reflection of where we are not accepting, liking, or loving ourselves.
Reread the letter. Allow yourself to feel what you just wrote about yourself. Cry if you need to. Yell if you need to. Allow those emotions to move through you.
Write yourself another letter, this time giving yourself what your heart needs, whatever it is you need most in this moment. Read the letter and allow it to permeate throughout your being. How are you feeling?
Take the letters and ceremoniously burn them. Offer them up to the Universe. Note any words or phrases that do not burn.
- Check your Back.
Seriously. Turn around and look at your back. If you can’t see your back, have an authentic friend who is not afraid to be real with you check it for you. Is there a sign back there that says “KICK ME“?Who put it there? Are you beating yourself up? Playing the blame game? Kicking yourself when you’re already down and out? Mmm. I bet it doesn’t feel very good, does it? Would you like to take sign off?
Yes. Dance. Not only have you been invited to a venting party, you are also invited to a daily get up and dance party.What is your absolute favorite song that you can’t resist dancing to? Each and every morning when you awaken, you are invited to join the dancing brother- and sister-hood of awesome people who choose to start their day with a song in their heart and a beat under their feet. It will change your day.
Play that song every morning and dance. You can dance in your bedroom, in the bathroom, the kitchen, the family room; in your pajamas, in your work clothes, in the nude. Grab a mop or a broom — I won’t tell! Have at it and dance your heart out for those 3-5 min.
- Go on an Adventure.
What makes you happy? What makes you come alive? What makes you want to get out of bed each and every morning? What is it about you that drives you to get up every day?We’re about to take a trip and go on an adventure into discovering what you enjoy, what you love, what lights you up from the inside and invites you to smile from ear to ear and laugh with such abandonment that your belly hurts and tears stream from your eyes. No one can answer what that is but you. It’s there. It may not feel like it, but it is.
If you’re not sure how to do that or where to start, let me know. I’m happy to help.
Bonus: Live a Life of Pleasure.
I’m not necessarily inviting you to explore hedonism. Or, maybe I am, comparatively speaking in a society where the general consensus is that martyrdom is the norm and people tend to have their panties in a wad.
Once you discover what it is you enjoy doing for you, (and does no harm to yourself or society), go out and do it. You want to enjoy a dinner at the fancy restaurant in town? Take yourself out! Want to go away on a vacation? Go ahead and go! Love flowers but don’t feel like buying yourself flowers? No offense, but get over it and go buy yourself some. Put them in a gorgeous vase and enjoy. What’s holding you back?
If you’re curious and ready to get your groove back, you are invited to join me and my dear friend and colleague, Diana Deaver, this Oct. for a 4-day all inclusive luxury retreat where we’ll be diving into the heart of this and much more. You can learn more here.
After sharing conversations with friends, clients, a dear soul sister, and recently stepping into a different level of raw vulnerability myself, I have noticed a few things.
It’s uncomfortable being vulnerable. It can be really uncomfortable and somewhat unsettling opening yourself up, baring your heart and soul to another, acting courageously in the face of fear and shame, and letting go of any control we may have over the outcome of sharing our vulnerable selves.
I have realized that in a society where it is considered taboo to be physically naked and vulnerable, how uncomfortable people are and can be when they are physically naked, despite being able to put on clothes and cover themselves up, that I found myself wondering how then, can we allow ourselves to be emotionally vulnerable? And, what would it take to step into the waters of emotional vulnerability where you will be seen and there is no place to hide?
How can we, when as a society we cover our physicality up with fear and shame, invite ourselves to be emotionally vulnerable? To allow ourselves to bare our vulnerably authentic hearts when, once we do, there are no clothes to put on, there is nothing to hide behind? Once we open up and share what parts of us believe to be the most vulnerable aspects of self, we are there, present, open, incredibly beautiful in this state of raw vulnerability.
With each step I take along this path and with each shared story, shared vulnerability, I’m realizing more and more the depth of heart, the courage, the compassion, the willingness to connect, the willingness to realize within ourselves that we are enough as we are, and we are alive, is nothing short of mind-blowingly awe-inspiring.
I’m incredibly grateful for each and every moment of being witness to others’ vulnerabilities and beautiful openings. And, I’m incredibly grateful for each uncomfortable moment I step into and share my vulnerabilities (there are many). Life is a wild and crazy ride, why not join the party and get naked with your soul.
I highly recommend checking out this TedTalk by Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or 978-766-8722.
It’s coming…can you feel it? The stress of the holidays, the to-do lists, the go-go-go’s.
Why not learn some tools that will help you get through it all a little less frazzled and will help you jump start the New Year?
If you’ve been on the fence and curious about what it is we do here at On A Limb, now’s your chance to stop on by, learn what sets us apart from any other holistic movement and wellness studio in the area, and check us out free of charge!
Join us for a FREE info session THIS Thursday (11/6) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All ages welcome.
- Learn what holistic movement and wellness is
- Participate in a free 1/2 hour movement class
- Learn what it’s like to listen to your body and move it mindfully without counting sets and reps
- Movement therapeutics demonstration
- Learn about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and what it can do to help you
- Learn how to alleviate stress related illnesses such as anxiety and depression
- Learn how to live in the present moment, have better attention, awareness, and focus
- Improve your relationships
- Participate in a free mindful living class
We look forward to seeing you there!
Amanda & Sally
Are you strong? Do you train your body? Train your mind? Explore your inner world? Let me ask again – are you strong? What does it mean to be strong?
Are you one of those people whom everyone looks up to and says “wow, you are so strong! I don’t know how you do what you do.” Are you a caregiver? A mom? A dad? Do you find yourself doing everything on your own and depending primarily on yourself? Do you find it challenging to ask for help? When you cry, if you allow yourself to cry, is it only behind closed doors where no one will see or hear you displaying such a show of emotion? Do you hide your true emotions and feelings behind your smile so that others may continue to see how strong you are in the face of various challenges?
Parts of me have fallen into those very categories for years. I am known as “the strong one” because I held back my emotions, am raising two boys on my own, and opened a studio (what?!). I made sure I would do everything on my own and not become co-dependent on anyone ever again. Parts of me find it challenging to ask for help. And, there are days when I cover up my tears, my anger, my fear, or my frustration with a smile. More often than not, my tears.
Would you be willing to consider that parts of us were led to believe that strong people don’t show emotions, they’re fully self-reliant, they don’t ask for help, they always appear happy and grounded? And, that if you displayed emotions, were co-dependent (as a child), interdependent, or asked for help that there was something wrong with you?
Would you be willing to consider that it takes much more effort to maintain the facade of being “the strong one” than it does to allow yourself to be yourself, to show emotion, to ask for help, to create space for healthy interdependence? It certainly doesn’t feel like it at first. It may even feel like you are breaking down and falling to your knees…becoming “weak.”
What if, in fact, you are allowing yourself to experience a new level of strength? What if by allowing yourself to see and accept those parts of yourself which you were led to believe were weak, needy, or shameful, you are becoming stronger?
Have you experienced the grace and the strength required to admit to ourselves and to others the following:
- I experience strong emotions and I have days that I cry off and on all day.
- Although I’m doing, xyz, parts of me are experiencing fear.
- I need help with…can you help me?
Would you consider that it takes a tremendous amount of strength and surrender to see, acknowledge, and accept those parts of ourselves? And, even more strength and surrender to openly share it with others? May I share with you a secret?
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness that comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.” ~ Rumi
In my opinion, you are not alone. You do not have to do everything alone. We need other people. I do not believe that you have to be “the strong one” in the way you think others want or need you to be strong. Would you be willing to allow yourself to experience the deep surrender and incredible relief that comes from being authentic with yourself and vulnerable with others? Would you be willing to allow yourself to experience the tremendous growing pains from the heart that comes from opening yourself up, much as a flower experiences as it bursts forth from its shell?
Would you consider allowing yourself to experience the experience of being vulnerable, and share the experience that connects us all – that of being human?
Thanks for joining us again. If you missed Part 1, you can view it here.
Without further delay, here are tips 6-10:
6. Go outside and connect with nature.
Have you ever laid upon the earth and noticed how incredible it feels to do so? When was the last time you watched the stars come out at night? The sun rise in the morning? We spend so much time, in general, surrounded by technology in our man made concrete jungle, that we have largely become disconnected from who and what we are. We are human beings, not human doings. Unplug. Go visit the forest, the beach, or the mountains. Kick your shoes off, close your eyes, and allow yourself to connect with the earth. You may notice you breathe more fully. Your stress may decrease significantly. Your mood may brighten, and you may feel more grounded. If you feel so bold and daring as to be called a tree-hugger by your friends, please do hug a tree. If you “listen” carefully, you can “hear” the flow of movement within the tree, “hear” it “speak.” Yes, I hug trees. Part of me feels ashamed to share that with you. Interesting.
Some would argue that this should be first on the list. Without breath, we would not be alive. So, breathing is just a little important.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to receive a deep breath? Can you receive a deep breath? Can you fully exhale? When you inhale, where do you breathe from? What is your belly doing? Are you a chest breather? A mouth breather? A noisy breather? Are you really breathing or do you just think you are breathing? Dysfunctional breathing patterns are a sign that your system, your body, is under stress.
I invite you to lie on your back, place a small sandbag, bag of rice, or herbal hot pack on your abdomen. Which direction does it move when you inhale? It should move up towards the ceiling. Draw your attention to your ribs. Are they expanding laterally? Posteriorly? Can you breath in 360°? I would like to invite you to take a few moments and breathe. Focus on slow, steady, quiet breathing, inhaling through the nose for a count of three, exhaling through the nose for a count of 5-6. You may find yourself experiencing emotions as you relax and let go. Allow yourself to feel them, to experience them, and let them go. Experience what it is like to feel, to receive and to give breath, and to relax.
Perhaps it would be worth exploring tips 6-8 together? Have you ever noticed how noisy our minds can be?! I don’t know about yours, but mind used to wander like crazy (and still does at times)! I would sit in meditation and find my mind wondering about what I had to do, what was going on in my life that was stressing me out, what to cook for dinner…inhale for three, exhale for six. Why can’t I relax? Breathe in, breathe out. Is this over yet? Has it been five minutes? My bum hurts and my feet are falling asleep. There goes my mind again. Monkey brain, monkey brain. Focus on the breath. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Sound familiar? It does get easier.
Meditation has many benefits, including, but not limited to the following:
- reduces stress
- lowers high blood pressure
- decreases tension within the body
- increases serotonin
- increases the immune system’s ability to fight infection
- increases energy
- increases mental clarity
- increases emotional steadiness
There are numerous meditation apps out there. I invite you to try one and incorporate 5-10 minutes of daily meditation into your life. Who knows, it may just carry over into the amazing art of what I consider moving meditation, like what my friend Rusty is doing here:
9. Play and allow your inner child to express his/her unique, creative self.
Now we’re getting serious. When was the last time you played? Really played and had fun and allowed yourself to be wild and carefree? What were some of your favorite things to do as a child? I loved climbing on things, swinging, sitting under this huge blue spruce tree in the backyard and making mud pies, blowing bubbles and running around to pop them…
What would you do right here, right now if no one was watching that would invite your inner child to giggle with sheer delight? What’s stopping you from doing that? I’ll admit, this is a topic that likely has many layers to it and may very well warrant a post of its own.
One of the things my inner child likes to do is write. She also likes to swing, though I get nauseous if I swing for too long. She loved the experience of contradancing, and would probably enjoy contact improve…and, I’m a horrible dancer and haven’t done it in a long time. She likes to climb on things, slide down slides, and be upside down on her hands. She loves to laugh and laugh with you.
What are some things you could do right here, right now that would allow your unique inner child to express him/herself through you? I’d love to hear about it from you. You won’t be judged, even if it means catching frogs or, holding a pumpkin and acting like it’s a microphone. Go for it and have fun!
10. Ask yourself what makes you happy and go do it.
What invites you to feel happy? Only you can answer this. What can you do for yourself to welcome more happiness into your life? Do you feel happy? Do you really feel happy or are you in denial that you are unhappy? I’m curious, what does true happiness mean to you?
This isn’t a fake it until you make it post. I’m inviting you to consider one thing, just one that invites you to feel happy. One thing that invites me to feel happy is taking care of myself and moving my body every day. Another is spending time connecting with people I love and care for. I would like to invite you to spend some time every day doing one thing that invites you to experience happiness.
11. Be curious about yourself.
Have you noticed how certain patterns may reappear in your life? Have you noticed that sometimes you are triggered for no reason whatsoever or that seemingly trivial situations leave you worked up and in a tizzy? Have you wondered about your dreams and what they may be telling you?
Would you consider being curious about yourself? What does that mean? Rather than rationalizing and accepting things at face value, would you consider asking yourself “why”? Would you consider asking yourself “what”? Would you consider asking yourself “is this true,” or “is this for my highest good at this moment in time”? I’ll admit that asking questions often leads to more questions and few answers. However, the answers are sometimes in the questions themselves. By remaining curious about ourselves, we may open ourselves up to a realm of possibility that may not be realized otherwise.
How do you nourish yourself? I would enjoy hearing from you below. Please feel free to share some of the ways you nourish yourself. If you find that you’re not nourishing yourself or don’t know where to start, please shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help guide you.