I appreciate you all taking the time to read and follow my blog. Truly, I am grateful. I wanted to pass along my mid-month newsletter….I typically only write one per month, but there is just too many good things to wait. Enjoy!
I was reading this morning and came across a quote that really describes my state of being these days….and that is gratitude. “…sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of the climb, we lose sight of being grateful that we have a mountain to climb…” And that is EXACTLY where I have been the last few weeks. The recovery from this surgery has not been easy, but I am reminded on those really hard days of a sweet lady who I am fortunate to share Yoga with. When I asked her one day how she was doing, her response was, “My body is reminding me that I am alive….and that means I am grateful”. Although I still have quite a mountain ahead of me, I am grateful that I have the ability (with lots of support) to go climb it. I am thankful I am determined, capable and very focused on staying present with what today offers me, whether it is pain or relief.
With that, I am also so excited to share that this past week I became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist by passing a rigorous exam. One of the blessings of surgery is that I had time to study as well as my focus being on my body, I was not too overly stressed if I passed or not. Boom!
I wanted to share also for those who aren’t on followers on social media that I just completed a great project with an organization called Unmasking Brain Injury. Through a month long process of identifying emotions and often trapped feelings, to was an honor to work with 30 individuals living with brain injuries to complete a really intimate and challenging display of the impact of their injury on their life. Check out the pictures below to see just a snippet of their work. I am so proud of who they are.
Finally, I wanted to pass along an amazing special if you have been watching me with essential oils and wonder how they might fit into your own healthy lifestyle. I use essential oils for everything from pain support, help with sleep, reducing the toxic load in my home by cleaning naturally and many, many emotional benefits. If you are skeptical, I challenge you to give me 30 minutes of your time, a book to borrow and some samples to try. If you are inspired and ready, lets get together and get you started. This month there are several starter kits 20% off! You will get your oils, a year-long wholesale pricing membership (like costco ) and mentoring with me. With this membership there is no requirement to purchase monthly or sell–just the same discount as me! Plus, when you get these amazing oils in your home, I will arm you a in-depth resource book to empower your knowledge, as well as other goodies to get you on your way.
Also as of this week, I am returning to LifeTime fitness to teach Yoga and Pilates AND I have a few spots open in my home studio for private or small group classes.
Here’s to health and happiness,
20% off select enrollment kits
Unmasking Brain Injury
Happy Monday! It’s Monday Mindfulness—before you get super busy, take a few minutes for yourself.
I think one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves is to pause, and inquire within. For me, the words I need to hear are: I see you. I believe it is our most human need—to be seen.
What words do you need to hear?
About twelve years ago I woke up and said to myself, “I am done being fat”. I had lived with extra weight since my first pregnancy when I was eighteen years old. Within just four years of my first kiddo, I had three little babies and a bunch of added pounds. I was fully investing in being a momma and unfortunately at that time I had no idea that not investing in myself was actually a disservice to them.
Carrying the extra weight also meant that I was clearly eating foods that were not the healthiest and I was doing no exercise or self-care at all. I had every excuse in the world as to why I was unable to lose weight; healthy food costs so much, I don’t have time, I am too busy, I can’t afford a gym, etc.
Clearly my mind, body and spirit were so disconnected. I was lost.
The day that I woke up and decided that I was done was in the month of March where spring was just beginning. When I think back of that time, I realize that I too was in a rebirthing or awakening from a dark and long slumber. I was beginning the journey of my own form of blossoming.
My plan consisted of many things but the foundation of it all began not with the outer or my physical body, but instead it started with cleaning up my inner world. My thoughts.
My first course of action was that I chose to wake up one hour earlier each morning and start my day with quiet, contemplative reading. I journaled every single morning. My journal entries at that time were not a recount of my day or diary-like at all, instead I wrote affirmative statements such as “I am worth it”. I also wrote down all that I was grateful for in the present, and all that I was grateful for that was coming to me. It was something like this: “I am grateful for the food I have chosen to eat. I am grateful for my healthy body”. The quiet and contemplative time was like a drink of cold water on a hot day; refreshing, awakening and invigorating.
The time spent still and quiet each morning began to stoke my inner fire of mindfulness. As I became more aware of my thoughts and was purposeful for those sixty minutes, I began to train my brain to be more aware of my thoughts throughout the day. I began to notice when my thoughts would shift to lack or negativity and I would immediately pause to reframe them to something that was positive, and true. I found that many times I was attaching myself to a made up story or a future based fear. For example, when my thoughts were something like, “I am so heavy….I am a pig…..I can’t afford that…..I wouldn’t look good in that…..I am broke…..I am a mess”, I would stop and tell myself that all of that was a story and the truth was/is “I am worth it….I have plenty of money….I am beautiful….I am amazing….”
Once I began to remove the heavy and sludge-filled thoughts that were literally weighing me down, I became more deliberate in my actions. Through the act of being mindful, I interrupted the patterns that were contributing to my extra weight and replaced those actions with healthier ones:
- My walking shoes were placed on the steps that went from my garage to my house and every day when I came home from work and before ANYTHING, I slipped on my shoes and walked 40 minutes.
- The dog’s leash was set out and every morning–rain or shine–I walked my dogs 40 minutes before work. I slept less but as I moved more, my body was less fatigued and required less sleep that ended up actually being more restorative.
- The kids snacks were put in the cabinet above the fridge so it literally took a step stool to get to them. The extra work allowed time for me to really think about how much I wanted/needed cheetos.
- Instead of going straight to the kitchen when I got done walking, I went straight to the bathtub. Not only did this give me a self-care ritual, it interrupted a pattern of snacking before dinner. By the time I got out of my bath, it was time to cook and I eliminated extra calories in mindless snacking.
- I used small salad plates for every meal which tricked my brain into thinking I was eating more.
- I taught the kids how to wash and load their own dishes because I was eating thousands of calories in leftover chicken nuggets and fries after I just ate my dinner.
- I invested in measuring cups and a food scale. I did this deliberately for a short time so that I would be more intentional with my choices.
- I logged EVERY single calorie that passed through my lips. I did this for two and a half years! Eventually that was an obsession that I had to let go of because it was getting in the way of joy and pleasure with food, but for the time, I needed to learn just how much food I was over-eating. Portions and extra wasted calories were out of control.
- I started to love who I was. I became passionate about ME. I was investing in myself and the results were astounding. I was happier, my relationships improved and my life began to be incredibly vibrant.
When asked how I did it, my answer is this: I woke up. I opened my eyes to my life and I said yes to me. I cleaned up my inner world of thoughts and as a result my actions became more deliberate. I began to see my self-worth and choose to love myself by honoring my thoughts and actions. You see, it was not a crazy diet that was restrictive or extreme and I wasn’t killing myself at the gym (although that did come later and had its own set of deep lessons). I just woke up and put intent into my life.
The teaching that I always return to is really so simple: align your thoughts with your actions and your life will change.
How many times have you thought that something for your health is “too expensive”…..consider looking at areas of your budget that you might be able to replace health with. The fast food for a homemade pot of soup (I guarantee cheaper, packed with flavor and at least two meals), the $5.00 coffee for making your own (using amazing and health benefiting essential oils), the weekend shopping trips for an afternoon of DIY natural skin care products?
Trust me when I say I not only used to weigh 100 pounds more, but I was a toxic mess who also was in financial debt, tired all the time, ate crappy food, used toxic cleaners, didn’t honor my body AT ALL… I overcame it all with mindfulness—choices on where I was investing and I began investing in myself, rather than what I thought was important.
You can too! I would love to walk the path of health with you!