heal yourself

5 Self-Care Practices That Are Working For Me Right Now

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I've been feeling pretty dang good, so good that I thought I would share my nonnegotiable self-care practices that are working for me right now, because I feel like I'm on to something... ; ) 


1. Drinking warm lemon water with a pinch of sea salt right when I wake up


This is an oldie, but a goodie.

It is my go-to advice. If you're a client of mine, I know you've heard this. If you're a friend of mine, I know you've heard this. If you're anyone that has ever stood near me, you've probably hear this... 

Here's why... 
There are four pillars of physical health in my mind: 

  1. Hydration 
  2. Sleep 
  3. nutritious food 
  4. Stress management 

We live in the real world though and it’s not very likely that you’re going to be able to do all of these perfectly all of them time. 

But when we have these four pillars in mind we can make sure we focus on what we can, when one isn't doable. 

This means, that when I know I’m going to be extra stressed or not going to be able to get as much sleep as I know would be best for me, I’ll up the hydration and I’ll up the nutritious food. Or when I’m traveling and I know I won’t be able to eat as well as normal, I’ll make sure I’m doing my stress management and drinking lots of water. 


Starting your day off with a large glass of water is one way to make sure you’re always getting a head start on the hydration. If you do the added lemon (I do the juice from half a lemon) then it helps with detox as well as kick starts your digestion. If you do the warm water, it just makes it a little easier for your body to absorb. Drink the water before coffee and you’re golden. 


2. Writing down 3 things I’m grateful for every day


Gratitude is literally the antidote to almost everything. 

If we can bring ourselves back to gratitude for what we have, we keep our vibe high and our minds focused on all the good things in our lives. If you read my stuff, you know that I’m all for accepting and loving those “negative” emotions, but dwelling on the bad in your life never made anyone feel good. 

Gratitude sets you free. 

Makes you feel good. 

Even in the most trying situations. 


I have a special little notebook I carry around with me and every morning I start my day by writing down 3 things I’m grateful for. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as, “I am grateful for my pillow,” and other days it’s bigger, “I’m grateful for my purpose.” 

The other awesome side effect of actually writing them down and making a habit of writing them down, is that throughout your day you’re looking for things to be grateful for and this keeps your thoughts and mind expecting the best. 
You’re asking yourself throughout the day, “What can I be grateful for today?”

Magic. 



3. Dancing every evening. (hey! Dancing DEFINITELY counts as self-care) 


This is something that is relatively new and seems kind of comical to actually have on my “to do” list. But here’s why I made it a nonnegotiable. 

First off, we all need more fun and play in our lives and dancing is freaking fun for me. It ALWAYS cheers me up. 

The second reason for my new dancing obsession is that I found I was getting really stuck in my head all day. All our professional work these days is very mental, cerebral, and that can make us disregard our bodies which leads to feelings of distraction, spacey-ness, feelings of disconnection and a decrease in our ability to be aroused and have sexual desire.


Dancing gives me that playful feeling and allows me to connect back into my body, allowing me to be more sexual, sensual and experience more pleasure. All good things! 



4. Check-Ins on the New Moon and on the Full Moon


I love the idea of cycles. 

We are cyclical beings. Especially as women. 

We need to remember that there is a time for planning; a time for resting and recuperating; and a time for doing.

 Our society tends to be very productivity and “doing” oriented and it’s not serving us well. People are stressed out, experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety, dis-ease. 

Connecting into our cyclical nature allows us to connect back in to nature, cycles, and gives us permission and regular intervals to reevaluate and take inventory and tap into what we need. 

The new moon ritual or check in is based around planting new seeds and intentions for the moon cycle to come. It’s a time for setting goals, getting clear about what I want, and how I am going to get it. 

The full moon ritual or check in is based around evaluation and shedding what doesn’t serve. It’s a time to be honest with ourselves about what is and isn’t working and create the space to allow what is not working to fall away and make space for something new. 

These new moon and full moon “rituals” typically are just an hour or so in the evening of the day of new moon and the day of the full moon.

It goes like this: My husband and I gather, put on some nice relaxing music, light a candle and a bundle of sage, and go through our check-in worksheets (linked below). 

We simply discuss and share what we wrote. Nothing more than that. 

This has also had a great unexpected side effect of providing time for my husband and I to connect on the state of our relationship and communicate on deeper levels than we’re normally prompted to do in every day life.

Life can get so “go, go, go” that a month can easily go by without us checking in with our families and our loved ones. These rituals have allowed us to carve out that time to check in with ourselves and each other. Priceless. 

Download my New Moon and Full Moon Ritual worksheets here


5. Using Essential Oils throughout the day


So essential oils are becoming a deep, deep love of mine, and you'll definitely be hearing a lot more about them. 

They have the ability to change your mood in an instant. They have the ability to change the entire feel of a room. 


I’ve started using them throughout my day in so many ways and they’ve literally changed so much about how I experience frustration, exhaustion, food cravings, mediation, sickness.. the list goes on. 

To keep it as brief as possible, here’s my typical daily essential oils routine: 

  • wake up, put water in the diffuser with wild orange and peppermint (hello bright shiny morning vibes!) 
  • during my morning meditation practice I’ll use rose, jasmine, or frankincense to ground me and clear my chakras. 
  • Apply the hormone balancing Clary Calm blend to my lower abdomen to keep hormones balanced and healthy throughout stressful days. 
  • Use passion blend throughout the workday when I’m feeling uninspired or sluggish. 
  • Diffuse balance, serenity, citrus bliss, elevation blend (all sorts! I can’t really say exactly what I use) throughout the day in my office to keep me feeling like I’m in a spa… ; ) 
  • Use on guard when I’m sick, imortelle on my face for anti-aging benefits, rosemary in my shampoo, deep blue with sore muscles, breathe when I do yoga.. Ok this is just crazy, but you get the point. It’s ALL THE TIME.
  • 30 min before bed I always start the bedroom diffuser with something relaxing like lavender and cedar wood or roman chamomile. 


**Interested in getting some medicinal grade essential oils? I am an essential oils educator and wellness advocate with doTERRA essential oils and would love to chat with you about how to use oils to address areas of your life where you need some self-care. Email me at revolutionaryhelpdesk@gmail.com to schedule a phone call. 

Ok, so those are 5 self-care practices that are working for me right now...

Now let me know, what's working for you? 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

How to Love Yourself When You Don't Deserve It

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This is something that I don't really want to share, but I am sharing it anyway because I think it's of utmost importance for me to be real. For me to be honest, even about things that make me look like I don't have it together (secret: I don't! Never have.)

I've also been thinking along the lines the Rumi quote, "Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." And Danielle LaPorte's quote, "Risk being very, very misunderstood." 

I don't want for people to see my dark side. I don't want people to think I've done wrong. It's not safe. It's not reputable.

But... 

I think it's important that people see the way that life brings me to my knees (because we're probably on our knees together) as well as to see how (when we choose to see it that way) Life hands us opportunities over and over again to bring love where there was no love before, sometimes in the most painful ways. 

I'm hoping some will relate to this and find some comfort, and that's why it's worth being vulnerable, open and honest. 

As I wrote this it also felt so incredibly healing for me. Like a weight being lifted. So I also write and share this for me. Because I don't want to cover up. I don't want to lie. I want my inner world to line up with my outer world even if that means destroying my reputation a little bit. 

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it could look like complete destruction." - Cynthia Occelli 

I messed up pretty bad recently. 

It hurt people. People I know and people I don't know. 

It made me look like a phony. It made me look like I don't stand strong in what I preach. 

It feels awful. 

There are parts of me that want to crawl into a hole. 

This isn't the first time something like this has happened in my life. I've lied. I've cheated. I've hurt people. 

Sometimes we do things that our higher selves would never, ever do.

Now, the question is always: why?

Why do we do things we know are wrong?

Why would we semi-knowingly do something we know has the potential to hurt a person/people?

In the case of my recent experience, I did it because I didn't take the time to stop and feel. Looking back on it, it was really an act of desperation. I got caught up in the deluded story of egoic ambition, 'lack' of time and just straight up carelessness. It felt wrong the whole time but I couldn't be bothered to notice that feeling. I had stuff that needed to get done! So I got it done. 

When we ignore our gut instincts, don't pay attention to the subtle clues, and fall into unconscious patterns we're bound to do things that don't align with our soul. 

I want to be clear about something: I am not a bad person. I am very, very committed to my work and my journey. I may have done many things in my life I am not proud of, but my heart is pure and it longs for belonging and love. I may be confused about how to get those things at times, and my ego may do things that seem obviously wrong to the rational observer, but I know it is all done with the intention of getting love and belonging. 

I believe the same is true for everyone on this planet.

As the Way of Mastery says: "Self-honesty is the greatest act of love." And I am only being honest with myself. 

I preach compassion and forgiveness but what happens when I'm the one who so desperately needs compassion and forgiveness? What about when I want so badly for the person I hurt to see my true heart and how sorry I am, but I hurt them so they're not interested? Guilt. Guilt happens. Overwhelming-gut-wrenching-heart-breaking guilt. 

Now, guilt can be constructive. It can give us a feeling in the moment that lets us know to never do that thing we just did again. When we've done wrong, we need to be aware of it. 

But, as Danielle LaPorte says, "If you can muster some tenderness for yourself when you think you’re at your worst—at precisely the time when you think you deserve criticism or punishment––then you’re on the way to stable self-esteem."

If you did something wrong, own it. Apologize. Do what you can to make amends. In this particular situation, I took complete responsibility. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing what I could to fix it. I expressed deep regret. I felt that guilt in the moment. And, I can honestly say it's changed me. I feel grateful for and humbled by the experience.  

Feeling the constructive guilt in the moment teaches our psyche not to do that again. But, we can't follow the story of the guilt ('I'm a bad person', 'I don't deserve love', etc) just FEEL the guilt. Is it a tightness in my chest? A gut punch? Notice the feeling. Make note of it, allow it. 

If we lie, cheat, steal, break promises, commitments, act like an asshole, it's so easy for us to fall into the self-loathing hole or we could get super defensive because we want to make excuses to make it hurt less or we could try to numb ourselves to the pain of it all with various distractions: eating, drinking, obsessing about the situation and how it could have gone differently. But this does nothing for us and nothing for the person/people we may have hurt or affected with our bad behavior. It just breaks us down. 

I'm so tempted to berate myself, feel sorry for myself, be totally depressed in a marinade of shame, and, honestly, I've given in to this a bit. 

But.... I can feel the part of me knows that this lesson will serve me. This part of me prays my suffering will be of service to the world in some way. And this part is getting stronger and stronger with each screw-up. And that's where the gratitude for a painful situation comes from. From knowing that each time I mess up, I get to bring love to a place where there has not been love before, and therefore increase the love in my life. 

"Immediate compassion for your missteps gives you the strength to take the next best step." - Danielle LaPorte

This part of me knew that I shouldn't have lied about the thing I lied about, but it also, in the background, knew that although this lesson would be painful, it would clear space for something better to take root. As Glennon Doyle Melton says, "First the pain, then the rising." This thing had to play out so that I can be where I am now, writing this piece and pouring love into a part of me that wasn't loved before. 

This experience solidifies my commitment to only doing what feels right, even if what feels right doesn't make sense in the "real" world. This experience makes so clear the ridiculousness of egoic ambition and acting out of a need for external praise. 

Sometimes the gunk, the darkness, the kept-underneath-the-rug must come to the surface to be healed. And that can look awful, messy, and a whole lot like your fault. But, it must come into the Light for it be let go. 

Whatever I did or have done, it is forgivable, but I am the only one who has to do the forgiving, other peoples' forgiveness is their own journey, which can be the hardest part of all. 

So into the Light with it all. To get through this, I'll give myself heaping doses of tenderness when I can, and when I can't, I'll pray that my suffering is of service. (Danielle LaPorte again!) 

To anyone out there struggling to forgive themselves for something they did, I'm with you. But I want you to know, no matter what it is: You have a pure heart. You can get through this and learn the lesson and become stronger for it. You are loved. You are loving. You are lovable, forever.