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The Green Goddess

0001JgI recently shared a photo of a green drink I’ve been incorporating into my biology on a daily basis. Many of you asked “what’s in it?”. I’m excited to share with you the incredible recipe that has numerous health benefits, including:

  • building the blood and yin
  • harmonizing the liver
  • lubricating the intestines
  • beautifies the skin
  • reducing heat and moistening dryness
  • aiding digestion
  • anti-parasitic
  • assisting with heavy metal removal
  • immune enhancing activity
  • balancing blood sugar imbalances

Ingredients:
Serves 1. All ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted.

2 granny smith apples
1 avocado
1-2″ piece of ginger
1/3 – 1/2 bunch of red kale
1 c. chopped pineapple
1 TB chlorella powder

Instructions:

  1. Juice the apples, ginger, and kale.
  2. Place in a blender: the juice, avocado, pineapple, and chlorella powder.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy. To aid digestion, assimilation, and absorption, chew the smoothie (or swish it around your mouth a few times) before swallowing.

Video

How to Feel Connected when you Feel Disconnected

Why have we become so disconnected when we’re seemingly more connected than ever? I share my perspective here as well as 4 tips to help you reconnect.


“I can’t sleep!”

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How often do you experience yourself saying, “I can’t sleep!”? If your beauty rest resembles a scene out of the WWF vs Sleeping Beauty, read on for 8 tips to help you turn the tide towards more restorative and restful slumber.

  1. Limit or eliminate caffeine after 1 p.m. If you experience an afternoon slump around 3 p.m., let’s take a look at what you’re eating, your blood sugar levels, and the state of your adrenals.
  2. Try to avoid eating after 8 p.m. When we eat too close to bed-time, our system can be busy digesting rather than winding down for peaceful slumber.
  3. Since exercise tends to increase energy (unless you’re exceeding your body’s ability to adapt), keep the intense workouts to the morning or early afternoon. Practice working-in, meditation, or internal movement arts in the evening to wind down the system.
  4. Unplug by 9 p.m., or one hour before bedtime. Set aside quiet time away from the tele, off of the tablets, iPads, phones, and computer. Allow yourself to be quiet. Read a book, or do some artwork or writing, or work-in.
  5. Keep electronic devices in the bedroom to a minimum, or keep them in a different room if possible. If you cannot keep your cell phone out of your room, try to place it as far away from your bed as possible and set it to airplane mode. This will reduce EMF pollution and aid peaceful slumber.
  6. Check your magnesium levels. The majority of the population is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is known for its relaxing benefits. For additional benefits, check out yesterday’s post on FB about magnesium.
  7. Sleep on the floor if possible. If not, grounding sheets can help. Where to find out more about them? Visit earthing.com.
  8. If all else fails, unplug. Completely. Go outside and spend one week sleeping out in nature. This will help reset your system to its natural rhythms.

Before you know it, you should be sleeping as soundly as the adorable shih-tzu in the photo.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty experiencing a restorative night’s sleep, let me know. I’d be happy to help.


Video

Bee Me Up, Scotty!

bee, bee pollen, vitamin B, Scotty, star trek, cacao, chocolate, raw, raw food, recipe, health, wellness, holistic

bee, bee pollen, vitamin B, Scotty, star trek, cacao, chocolate, raw, raw food, recipe, health, wellness, holisticIn today’s vlog, I share with you one of my favorite superfoods to make – raw cacao!

Check it out below, let me know what you think, and share both the video and recipe with anyone you know who loves chocolate.

Ingredients (all organic and/or raw):

1 c. cacao butter
1 c. cacao powder
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 TB maca powder
2 tsp.  lucuma powder
1 tsp. vanilla powder
Himalayan sea salt
1.5 TB bee pollen
1-2 tsp dried lavender

Steps:
1. Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat.
2. Turn the heat off. Add cacao powder. Stir.
3. Add maple syrup. Stir.
4. Add vanilla powder, maca, lucuma and a pinch or two of sea salt. Stir.
5. Pour mixture into a container or chocolate molds.
6. Sprinkle bee pollen, lavender, and 1 pinch sea salt on top of the chocolate.
7. Place in the fridge to cool and set…the freezer if you really can’t wait. Then, when it’s solid, enjoy!


When?

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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.


It’s *that* Time of Year Again…

You know what I mean, single folks, divorcees, widowers, in-a-non-relationship-relationship women…

Valentine’s Day.

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.

xx, Amanda


I have a bit of a secret…

secret, fierce love, poverty, unworthy, connection, love, freedom, abundance, relationship, hunger, pain, emotions, physical, physical pain, harm, parent, single parent, tears, joy, choose, choice, fiercelove2016

secret, fierce love, poverty, unworthy, connection, love, freedom, abundance, relationship, hunger, pain, emotions, physical, physical pain, harm, parent, single parent, tears, joy, choose, choice, fiercelove2016Why 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.

How?

It’s a bit of a secret, and I am going to share it with you.

Fierce love.

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.


Life By Design

life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

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:life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

  1. People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
  2. Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
  3. A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
  4. Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
  5. The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
  6. Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
  7. Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
  8. 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.
  9. Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
  10. 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?


Your Brutally Honest, and Somewhat Hedonistic, Holiday Survival Guide

holiday, survival, honest, brutal, hedonism, family, eating, christmas

 

holiday, survival, honest, brutal, hedonism, family, eating, christmas

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?

  • exhaustion
  • stress
  • anger
  • resentment
  • a run down immune system
  • emotional eating
  • over eating…

over eating, exhaustion, immune, anger, resentment

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Choose.
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:ask, want, desire, express, speak, truth
  6. Exercise.
    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.
  7. Sleep.
    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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Herbs.
    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.
  11. 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.

Rye Reincarnate
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.

Virgin Version:
1 ounce honey
2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce lemon juice
pinch: cinnamon, cayenne powder, clove, allspice, brown sugar
club soda
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.

Check out more of Booze Epoque on Facebook, Twitter, and IG.


The Best Day Ever

life, live, happy, emotions, consciousness, present, buddhist, past, future

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.

worst, day, horrible, no good, best day, choice, choose, conscious, subconscious, victim, power

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

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.

rainbow, light, sky, emotion, numb, choice

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

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?

sunset, sun rise, sun fall

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

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.

India, door, choice, choose, emotions, day, best, horrible, decision

Image by Lesli Woodruff. Delhi, India. Asa Khan’s tomb.

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.

How?

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.

Morocco, door, choose, decision, best day, worst day, horrible, no good, bed, rock bottom, emotions, today, only day, present, past, future

Image by Lionel Martin. Morocco.

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?

life, live, happy, emotions, consciousness, present, buddhist, past, future

Image by Lionel Martin. Morocco.


Butterflies & Synchronicity

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:

moths, synchronicity, magic, job, yoga, transformation, on a limb, amanda patti, trust, source, universe

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…

CHANGE…

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?


Going “Hulk” on Movement Modalities

Hulk, movement, crossfit, yoga, dance, prancercise, client, opinion, thought, beliefs, projections, happy, healthy, love
Hulk, movement, crossfit, yoga, dance, prancercise, client, opinion, thought, beliefs, projections, happy, healthy, love

Image from geek-news.mtv.com

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.

 


Wrist Considerations in Yoga and Acro Yoga

yoga, acro yoga, wrists, injury, warm up, wrist considerations, mateo daniels, high hand to hand, high h2h

A fair number of people are coming to yoga and acro yoga from non-movement related jobs – ie: desk jobs – where there tends to be little movement in general and mainly repetitive wrist movements. Then, they come to the mat, and the first few poses tend to be downward facing dog, chatarunga, and cobra pose or upward facing dog — all poses that place an immediate demand upon the wrists without any prior warm up.

yoga, acroyoga, down dog, wrist, hands, injury, warm up, health, considerations, amanda patti
In acro yoga, it’s a similar scene except many are going from their jobs to an acro practice where they are interacting with another person (basing or flying), exploring movements that put a fair amount of stress upon the wrists also often with little to no warm up.

What are some potential effects of not warming up?

  • sore wrists
  • inflammation
  • injury
  • tendonitis
  • carpal tunnel like syndrome

yoga, acro yoga, wrists, injury, warm up, wrist considerations, mateo daniels, high hand to hand, high h2hJust check out the awesome h2h (hand to hand) dear friend Mateo Daniel is rocking out at basing here. So tempting to just want to jump into this and play, isn’t it?!

If we look to the majority of circus art classes, any hand balancing class or workshop that’s worth its salt, and/or the careers of people who perform professionally and wish to be able to have some sort of career longevity, a wrist warm up is one of the first things they do. Why is that? Well, chances are a fair number of them have experienced wrist pain and/or injury and would like to do all they can to avoid a repeat occurrence if at all possible. And, quite frankly, having “been there, done that,” your teacher likely wants you to stay healthy, pain and injury-free.

low h2h, hand to hand, acro yoga, yoga, mateo daniel, wrist, wrist warm up, injury, painIf you’re a yogi, acro yogi, hand balancer, mover, massage therapist, car mechanic, plumber…wouldn’t you enjoy having bullet-proof wrists that are strong and supple and pain-free?

I know I would and do. What can be done about it?

The answer is pretty simple. Warm-up. Take care of your wrists. Stretch and strengthen them. (It’s a bit more complex with people who already have injuries and/or pain). How?

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I highly recommend checking out the series of videos below put together by my teacher, Yuri Marmerstein.

This video is by far the most comprehensible hand and wrist sequence I have seen to date. In my opinion, it’s worth its weight in gold. It’s also the wrist warm-up I use prior to each practice session (though I have had a couple of times where I did hop directly into an acro practice without warming up only to have sore wrists for a couple of days afterwards. Doh. Lesson learned.).

If you have any questions or are wondering how to integrate hand and wrist care into your practice, comment below and let me know.


For more info about Mateo Daniel, follow him at The Playful Warrior and PLAY Acro Festival.

For more about Yuri Marmerstein, follow him at Yuri Marmerstein.

 


The Green Monster

The Green Monster is an amazing power-packed smoothie chock full of incredible benefits.

It contains living silica, fulvic acid, and chlorella. Wowee! Living silica helps with joint and connective tissue health. Fulvic acid is an incredible cell food with benefits too numerous to go into detail here today.

What makes the Green Monster so, green?green monster, chlorella, fulvic acid, living silica, banana, smoothie, snogging, swamp thing, antioxidant, joints, connective tissue,

That would be the chlorella, a micro-algae. Some of its benefits include:

  • strengthening our cells against foreign invaders (no, I don’t mean aliens)
  • binding to and removing heavy metals
  • helping to tonify and cleanse the body
  • promoting healthy, natural growth (anti-aging, anyone?)
  • it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties

…and more.

 

The problem — It. Tastes. Like. Algae. What does algae taste like? I’d say it’s a cross between what one would expect from either

chlorella, living silica, green, superfood, swamp thing, creature, black lagoon, algae, cell food, regeneration, detoxification, purium, earth shift, joint health, fulvic acid, smoothie, green monster, chlorella, silica, fulvic acid, algae, superfood, smoothie, health, cellfood, benefits, joint, antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory

Sounds, delish, doesn’t it?

Not unless you like that kind of swamp stench in your mouth. However, there is a way to enjoy and reap the benefits of this potent superfood without feeling like you just snogged the Swamp Thing or the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Yay!

This tastes much more like a mint-chocolate chip smoothie than any foul creature from the bowels of the swamp or toilet. Although, Swamp Thing did do some pretty cool stuff.


Ingredients:

16 oz milk or mylk of your choice
1 banana
1 tsp Living Silica
3 drops Fulvic Zeolite or 10 drops Fulvic Acid
1 tsp Cracked-Cell Chlorella
1 TB cacao nibs
peppermint oil to taste


Sources:
Chlorella image: vitaforce.com
Smelly Swamp Thing: bloodydisgusting.com
Creature from the Black Lagoon: moviesonline.ca
Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford
The Green Foods Bible, David Sandoval

 


Getting Your Groove Back

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Write.
    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.

  3. 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?
  4. Dance.
    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.

  5. 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.


Santa Clause and the Grinch Meet Peter Pan

Have you ever received a gift that really touched your heart? What was it? What it something someone bought you? Made you? Or was it something completely intangible that you cannot hold and can only experience?

“Santa Clause,” a couple of weeks before Christmas, gave me a gift that touched my heart and moved me in such a way that I still cry when I think about that gift. What was the gift?

It wasn’t a toy. It wasn’t clothes or jewelry. It wasn’t anything you can buy in a store, or make with your hands.

The day after sharing a cup of tea, a little movement, a lot of laughter, and some fantastic climbing, backpacking, and hiking stories with a friend, I realized something about myself. I have not been living. Well, not what I would consider living.

You see, in that brief time together, my friend mirrored back to me a part of myself that I had lost. Where did the adventurous, wild-hearted woman go, who spent nearly every weekend hiking in the mountains in NH? Where did that woman who packed up the back of her pickup truck, drove 2 weeks across country at the age of 20, to live in Alaska for over 3 years, backpacking in Denali National Park, working various odd jobs, living in a cabin with one room, a loft, and no running water, go? Where did the woman who later moved back east and spent a few days per week climbing at the local rock gym (my first love of movement), taking private lessons, and openly and authentically chatting with friends about life over a climbing or bouldering problem, go?

Where did she go? And what the heck has she been doing the past 9 years?

I realized that for the last 9 years, I have not lived. In that moment, I found the aspect of that adventurous, wild-hearted woman that I have been missing all this time.

muldrow

Remember the clip from Hook, when the little boy “found” Peter? You don’t? Watch it. I’ll wait.

Where did she go? I pushed her aside, sacrificing that aspect of myself to raise my boys, to finish my degree so I could get a “real job,” (which I didn’t do), to continue my ongoing education in holistic movement and wellness, to open a studio, and the list goes on and on. Of course one can argue that with all that I’ve “done” I have indeed been living. At what cost? Have I really been living? Following my heart?

It’s been a long road home. The process of living an awakening life, vulnerably and authentically connecting with others and myself, being curious, inviting myself to explore the dust bunnies in the dark, hidden corners of my inner closet, and developing a movement practice largely brought me to this moment.

The aspect of “Santa Clause” within my friend gave the aspect of “the Grinch” within me a true gift of Christmas that allowed the aspect of “Peter Pan” within me to find himself.

Would you be willing to consider that you needn’t wait for the holidays to give and receive gifts? We have the ability to give and receive gifts each and every day.

Would you be willing to consider that you don’t need to give anything at all other than the gift of being your authentic self and living your life authentically? What if that is one of the greatest gifts we can give, not only to others, but to ourselves as well?


The Gift of Health

It’s that time of year again. Trying to decide what to give loved ones for the holidays. Feeling your stress levels increase while navigating crowded stores, parking space wars, and the onslaught of more, more, more.

If you’re finding yourself run down, stressed, tired, or anxious, or perhaps losing your cool when the young woman or man in the sports car steals the parking spot you’ve been waiting for from right out under your nose (Fried Green Tomatoes anyone?), why not book yourself a massage or a personal training session and learn how to balance movement and stress-reducing quiet-time?

If you’re not sure what to give your loved ones, why not give them the gift of health? We have gift certificates available, applicable to all of our services here at On A Limb. Whether the person you are thinking of is in need of a massage, is looking to relieve pain and learn how to move more efficiently through our movement therapeutics program, wants to learn skill-based bodyweight training, or take the ultimate leap towards health and well-being via our online or in-person holistic lifestyle and inner coaching option, we’re sure to have something for them.

You can purchase a gift certificate here via PayPal, or contact me directly at onalimb.org@gmail.com.

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Are you Strong?

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?

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Would you consider allowing yourself to experience the experience of being vulnerable, and share the experience that connects us all – that of being human?

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10 Tips to Nourish Yourself – Part 2

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.
IMG_1753Have 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.

7. Breathe.
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.

8. Meditate.
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:
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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!

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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.

Bonus:
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.


10 Tips to Nourish Yourself – Part 1

How are you at taking care of, well, you? Are you caring for yourself as well as you could be or should be? I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I fall short of nourishing myself. After mildly injuring myself last week, I found myself asking myself those questions.

If we have a bit too much go-go and do-do in our lives, then we may find ourselves setting ourselves up for the opportunity for a bit of doodoo to land in our face, our lap, or on the bottom of our shoes. When that happens, life can become rather stinky. To help keep the roses smelling rosy and the air fresh and crisp (Don’t you just love autumn?), to find more balance and nourish yourself, check out these 10 tips:

1. Drink quality water.
A lot of seemingly unconnected symptoms may be connected to dehydration. Drink water and you may find yourself feeling better. A good rule of thumb, and this is just a guideline mind you, everyone has their own unique needs, is to drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water. This is different for those who use kg for bodyweight…in that case it’s closer to a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs, a guideline is to drink 90 ounces water. Again, this is just a rough guideline. You may need more or less depending on your body and its needs. By the way, if it’s not clear, it’s not water, it’s food.

2. Eat quality, wholesome food from healthy plants and animals.
You are what you eat. If you eat diseased animal, you get diseased animal. If you eat diseased plants, you get diseased animal. If you eat pesticide laden food, you get a toxic animal. If you eat crap, well, you get crap. Got it? It’s not necessary to be perfect all the time. Who doesn’t enjoy a treat every now and then? I’d recommend aiming to eat well and healthy 80% of the time.

Three of our favorite nourishing foods (note, foods, not meals) are the following:

Not only are they nourishing from a nutritional standpoint, they are also what I would consider “soul food.”

3. Develop a relationship with your food.
Turn the TV off. Set the computer and iThingys aside. Put the newspaper, magazine, or book down. Disconnect from your disconnections and connect with your food and the people who may be sitting in front of or next to you. You may find yourself chewing your food more thoroughly, tasting what you are eating, getting more full sooner, and maybe, just maybe sharing a conversation. I would invite you to consider chewing your food until it is liquid or nearly so. As Paul Chek says, “Drink your food. Chew your water.”

4. Sleep.
That’s a shocker! Yes, we need sleep. Quality sleep. How well and how long you sleep for you (everyone has their individual needs), will impact your health and well-being. If you’ve been experiencing yourself short of temper, prone to emotional outbursts, facing difficultly thinking clearly, feeling sluggish in the gym…sleep, or lack thereof, may be a contributing factor.

5. Move.
In my opinion, don’t just move. Ask yourself why you are moving your body. What are you moving for? What are you hoping to get out of moving your body? Are you beating yourself up in the gym or doing endless hours of cardio? Are you burning yourself out? Maybe you need to slow down and invite more yin-like movements into your day. High intensity go-go, more, more, harder, harder, and faster, faster isn’t often what our bodies need. They need balance. If your life and job are super stressful, maybe stressing yourself physiologically is pushing you over the edge. Check out these videos by my dear teacher and friend Benny Fergusson of Cohesion Gym for a quick glimpse into this topic. Although I see it far less often, maybe you need to move more. If you’re finding difficultly finding balance, I invite you to reach out to a holistic movement specialist who can guide you to bring balance back into your movement and your life.

Click here for Part 2, after you watch the videos.


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.


Welcome the New Members of the On A Limb Team

We’re excited to introduce you to two new practitioners here at On A Limb! Please join me in welcoming Sally Palmer of Revive Mindfulness, LLC, and Erin Rossi.

Sally Palmer 1Sally comes to us with a background in mindfulness education and training for stress reduction. She has practiced yoga since 2008 and mindfulness meditation since 2010. She completed the Practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at UMass Medical School and has attended retreats at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, MA. Sally plans to continue her studies with UMass Medical School, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society.

This fall, she is offering a 6 week class  – Mindful Living and Stress Reduction, Thursday evenings Oct. 2 – Nov. 6

 

 

 

 

erin natarajasanaErin joins us with a 15 year background in yoga and movement. She studied ballet in her early years and found yoga as a compliment to dance in her late teens. Erin has over 400 hours of teacher training and has studied with many master teachers in a variety of styles.

Erin is grateful for and passionate about these teachings. By finding a balance in the physical body and cultivating a deeper awareness on the mat, Erin’s hope is that you will become more empowered and connected to an inner wisdom and sense of ease that translates into your daily life and interactions – an alchemy of sorts.

We hope you’ll join Erin for her 6 week class – Dynamic Vinyasa on Tuesday afternoons, Sept. 30 – Nov. 4.