Embracing Wisdom

Life, food, wellness and love

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Monday Mindfulness 

Good Morning and Happy Monday! 

It is my greatest belief that pausing to check in with yourself and become aware is our greatest tool in then knowing what we need or to recognize all that is good.

Pause. Take a breathe. Listen. 


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A simple reminder of peace. A knowing that there must be an acknowledgment of the mud in order to witness the blossom. 

For myself I am realizing again that life is a balance of  evolving and being still with what is. 

When pain strikes, pausing to feel that I am alive. When joy comes, taking it all in as beautiful light. When worry takes over, coming back to the present breath. 

Ponder the idea of blossoming from the mud in your life, and taking part in being present when life show up. 

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About 15 years ago, I began to listen to my intuition and to what my soul was calling me to do. I knew I was here to do great things, as we all are. 

It is my belief that we are all here to serve and make a difference in some capacity. Sometimes we get caught up in the thinking that it has to be something grand or famous, but the truth is even the simplest of lives can be the most impactful.  It isn’t about being seen, but rather meek in your actions to create a world that is more peaceful and more full of compassion and unity. 

When I began to get the nudges to look deep inside, I did so without an intention of a return. So often our culture teaches that you give to get. I was certain I was not going to fall into that. Instead, I listen to my gut and lived in a way that served my highest food with zero attachments to an outcome. 

Eventually, I was able to leave my day job (and a dysfunctional relationship) and now I do what I am called to do, and that is share yoga and wellness with people who are living with a disability. I specialize in brain injuries and seniors but I enjoy all types of people and my client base includes a spectrum of abilities and interests. 

My services include adaptive yoga, wellness coaching, essential oil education and level 1 healing touch.  Each day I head off to work I realize that this isn’t work, it is soul. 

Have you found your calling? If  you are still seeking, stop thinking so much and instead try a few of these ideas: 

  • Ask yourself this–“I am best when I am ________”. Be truthful. 
  • Journal about the things that bring you joy. They may be subtle like children laughing, making sure neighbors are taken care of, cooking, nature, laughter, etc. 
  • What are you passionate about and where do you speak up? Sometimes those “triggers” lead you toward something. 
  • Start to identify your everyday actions and interests that could lead you to a life of meaning. Cooking, sharing success with others, natural living, yoga, teaching others a skill, and more. 
  • Practice gratitude.  Just you being you is a worthy adventure. Celebrate who you are by identifying things about yourself you are grateful for. 
  • Stop comparing yourself. Your life journey is yours and yours alone. Remember that when we fall face down, that is often when we come up even stronger. Wipe off your dust and keep at it. 

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Spirit Shows Up

The way that spirit shows up always astounds me–especially when I am willing to listen and notice. The last few months spirit has been giving me almost daily gifts that remind me of my intention for a life of happiness and that I am completely taken care of.  Here is a just a few of the amazing things that have showed up:

1. My very best friend arrives for a random and unexpected visit during the one of the hardest years of my life.  A week of laughter and girl time.

2.  My massage therapist sensed the vulnerability and the fragile state of my emotions and told me she needed to take it easy on my body.

3. A colleague gave me a book titled ‘Happy Yoga’.

4. I watched in awe as a calf was born during one of my morning walks.

5. The theme of a Yoga class I recently took was ‘Surrender’ and I allowed myself to crack.  A good cry on the mat is always so good for the soul.

6. A client referred me to an artist who lead me to my inner abilities to paint and express.

7. A friend asked if I would be willing to partner with her in a wellness business.

8. In the rarest of moments, my mom sent me an email saying—you have the most beautiful “inside” of anyone I know….don’t let anyone change that or who you are….

9. A therapy session where inner truth was discovered.

10. Daily email messages that deliver words of hope, happiness and worth.

How does spirit show up for you?  Do you notice the gifts that give you the chance to stop and see the goodness i your life?

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Creating a Morning Ritual

Creating a morning ritual can be as detailed as your personality prefers to the simplicity of adding one thing to your already existing routine.  For example, if you are one who loves a challenge or thrives on being accountable then creating a morning ritual can be an experience that fuels your fire.  On the other hand, if adding one more task seemed insurmountable then consider tacking on a simple daily mantra to your post-teeth brushing regime.

Why do we need a daily ritual?

1. Rituals grounds us.  Being creatures of habit and rhythm it nourishing our souls to have consistent and almost automatic routines or habits that require minimal thinking. By having a set list of patterns that we address each day we are more inclined to feel less disconnected and more in tune to our start of day.  For some of us it is coffee and the morning news and for others it is a workout or time to reflect.  Whatever your choice is, know that rituals truly do tether you and they help to create a grounded sense of self which in turn helps us be more productive and happy individual.

2. Rituals help us to overcome some of those not-so-mindful hangups that keep us stuck. Consider this scenario: waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual to set aside time to make a healthy lunch, eat a protein packed breakfast and meditate.  This looks way different from rushing out the door grabbing a Pop Tart from the kids uneaten breakfast, hoping that you have a granola bar in your desk and haggling with your family to move faster. One misstep leads to another and the result is often an underfed and overly emotional person. Find what kind of things would nurture you and create a sacred time to do it.  If eating better is something you want to achieve, then your ritual might be prepping the days food.  If being more mindful is your goal then meditation should be as important as brushing your teeth.

3. Rituals help us see that we can overcome challenges. There is nothing quite like the empowerment that comes when you realize that you can.  By allowing yourself the space to work on what you desire and carving out the time each and every day to make those things happen, it is likely that you will see and feel success.  There is nothing like making a choice and then in a short time seeing how easy it really is.

Some ideas for rituals include:

  • meditation
  • journaling
  • affirmations
  • walking
  • prepping your food for the day
  • reviewing your calendar
  • reading a meaningful passage
  • connecting with your partner and/or kids
  • completing the daily crossword
  • steeping tea or brewing coffee
  • prayer
  • a simple yoga practice

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Old members vs. new members

Forgive me in advance. It is rare that I rant.

Each year I experience the same end-of-year, not-so-cool energy from people who I overhear in the gym.  Teaching Yoga and Pilates at two health clubs, I hear it over and over each year. Old members complaining about new members. The perceived entitled people making comments about the courageous people attempting to figure out this healthy way of life thing.  Just last week I heard someone say “the January people need to know its a lifestyle not a resolution”.

Now wait one second, did they never have a first day?  C’mon people….the only way to change the world is to live as an example.

Be kind.  Be helpful.  Be genuine.  Lose the judgment. Help someone rather than evaluate. Find acceptance.

Perhaps they need to start within.

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Sticking with your lifestyle

With the holiday/food fests that are around the corner it is time to make a plan so that when January rolls around you are not starting all over with lifestyle and eating habits.  It is all about making choices and sticking to what you know will be best for your body and as a result your happy factor will stay elevated as you move through the season.

Six ways to stick with your lifestyle:

  1. Plan ahead.  Eat a light meal at home before heading out to the cocktail party.  Make a plan to avoid the foods at the table that you know you will suffer from hours after eating. Stick to a commitment of eating foods that are the least processed and made of ingredients that are least likely to contain things your body does not like.
  2. Make time to exercise. Say no to the television and hit the gym. Take a quick walk at your lunch hour. Set your alarm juts fifteen minutes earlier and roll out your yoga mat. Not only does exercise help with the happy factor endorphins, we know that exercise will also keep the extra calories off your thighs.
  3. Choose.  What we ingest is really choice.  I am never held down and force-fed chocolate, and you probably are not either. Choose vegetables over stuffing, fruit over pie, sparkling water over cheap wine. Save the delicious foods and good wine for one special event.  It is not going to set you back if you indulge… so indulge once, maybe twice.
  4. Hydrate. Water is your best friend.  Start your morning out with a cup of warm water and lemon, drink water throughout the day and have a big glass before you hit your bed. Not only will water help to keep you hydrated but it will also help you to eat less and will help your body flush out that glass of good wine you are indulging in.
  5. Sleep. This time of year we might stay up past our normal bed time to entertain guests or to attend parties.  Be sure to make up for the lost sleep by grabbing a nap when you can, sleeping in when you can, and honoring the bedtime that has proven to work well for you.  There is nothing wrong with making an appearance and then leaving early to keep you healthy.  Sleep is so important to our health, don’t cheat yourself.
  6. Be grateful. A happy heart makes for a happy person. Take time each and every day to list three things you are grateful for.  Authentic things that go beyond your family, your job, your friends, and your home.  Dig deep.  Acknowledge the kindness of others, the interactions, the silence, the colors that surround you, the challenges.  Being grateful keeps your perspectives open and real.