love 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? 

The Difference Between Selfishness & Self-Love

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This week I had an email exchange with a client of mine that I worked with back in the “old days” when I was just offering nutrition advice and food-as-medicine coaching. She had reached out to send me a little Christmas update on her health and life, but also to see how my travels were going. 

(I LOVE my clients, they are seriously the best). 

In this email she wrote, “How is the theme for your book starting to take shape? I hope that it has something to do with foods, cultures, and/or longevity of life in certain environments.  I would be disappointed in a self-love book though since I have to say that I try to keep myself focused on doing for others. Getting all wrapped up in myself is never good for me.“ 

I’m not sure everyone knows this, but my book is absolutely about self-love practice. I did for awhile think I was going to write a type of cookbook, but as my own healing and thoughts progressed I shifted my perspective. I have consistently experienced that healing isn’t as much about food as it is about our attitude toward life. Having a heavy dose of self-respect and compassion as an aspect of that attitude is the MOST important part of True Healing. 

That being said, I think there is an idea (although I believe this idea is dying out) that self-love and selfishness are the same thing. There could be nothing further from the truth. Through this email exchange, however, I’ve realized I need to address the difference between these two concepts clearly and concisely if I’m going to continue to proselytize Self-Love. 

So here are the definitions of “selfishness” and “Self-Love”, as defined by google. 

Selfishness: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

Self-Love: regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Ok, those give us some idea of the difference, but let me tease them out a bit. 

My belief, is that true Self-Love is a form of Universal Love. It’s tapping into that Love that is bigger and broader than anything we can imagine and allowing ourselves to be a conduit for that Love. I believe that we can never truly serve others unless we live from a place of an overflowing heart. We will never be in a state of overflow if our focus is outwards all the time. All outward energy and no inward energy makes us tends towards people-pleasing, indulging, lack of boundaries, and general disharmony within ourselves. 

Self-Love isn't getting wrapped up in ourselves, our “problems” or our egoic achievements, this is what I would call “selfishness.” Developing Self-Love means developing an unconditional love for ourselves so that we see, each moment, that we are a divine and holy channel for a Bigger Love. 

If we live our lives thinking that we don’t deserve our own Love, we are denying that we are Divine Love and we restrict our ability to channel it. By looking only outward for opportunities to “serve” and denying our opportunity to serve our Highest Self, we constrict the channel within us that brings Divine Love to the world through us

When we run ourselves ragged, and live from a place of lack and overwhelm, we will never be able to feel completely WHOLE and HOLY. I’ve seen it over and over again with my clients and very dramatically in myself, that when we focus on loving ourselves unconditionally, we heal ourselves AND the others around us, without effort. I'm being healed by offering these perspectives into the world, and in this way, my Self-Love, is feeding Bigger Love. 

 

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. 

Why I Want to Be Bigger

I want to be bigger... 

Wait... is that OK to say? 

Women don't generally want to be bigger, do they? 

I have clients almost daily talk about how they wish they were smaller. They don't always say those words exactly, but that's what they mean. They say things like, "I just wish I weighed a little less," or "I just don't feel comfortable when my thighs rub together," or even, "If I could just get back the size I was a year ago, I would be happy." 

When speaking with a client the other day I asked her what she thought of when she heard the word bigger. She immediately answered that it elicits images of fat rolls, jiggling thighs, and flabby bellies. She said it makes her think of feeling oversized in a small airplane seat and the tightness of a pair jeans around her waist. That's all without a qualifier. Just the simple word "bigger." 

There's something wrong with this... 

Having the idea that our current manifested form must be smaller than it is now, is just flat out a waste of time. Your ability to exist, your right to exist, is not affected by the size of your body. You deserve to be here now. You deserve to take up the space you take up, and it this space most definitely doesn't determine your worth. 

Today, I am here to point out how good the word big can be. To me, it's in the ranks of expanding, broadening, accepting, allowing, and even, perfection. 

What if bigger meant we want to love in a bigger way? What if it meant we want to take the bigger stance? What if it meant we want to expand our minds and broaden our hearts? 

I want to live a life that's big.

My life won't shrink in the face of adversity. It will expand around it and enclose it in bigness and in wholeness. 

I want my ears and eyes to open bigger.

I don't want to only see the size of a person or shallowly admire the ripple of their muscles or comment only on the symmetry of their face. I want to hear their warm, soothing laugh and see their sharp mind. 

I want to see the bigger picture.

If I remember to see from this higher place maybe I will see that I'm not so different from them and they're not so different from me. We all have the same spark of life. The same thing keeps all our hearts beating and our lungs breathing. That's the bigger way of looking at it. 

I want my mind to be pushed to its limits; expanded. I want it to get bigger every day.

I want to fill it up to the brim with experiences, lessons, knowledge, and different philosophies. 

I want to have more connection, a tie to a bigger purpose.

I want to express this purpose boldly, fiercely and in a big way. I don't want to feel small, insignificant, trapped and uninspired. 

I want to feel more. I want to usher in the big emotions with grace and dignity.

I am human after all, a manifested, seemingly separate being that chose to come to this time and place on Earth to experience separation, in order to transform. So bring on the longings, the sadnesses, the anger. They are just proof that there is something to be missed beyond the scope of my current, small understanding. 

Next time you say you want to be smaller or imply as much, think about what you're really saying. Think about how the attitude of wanting to shrink actually effects all other areas of your life.

When you are constantly desiring to be smaller, there is a possibility that this feeling is spilling over into other aspects of our lives, and ultimately holding you back from the expansive bigness you are here to experience. 

So what do you think? Do you want to be bigger too? 

 

Podcast Alert! Restrictive Diet, Body Acceptance and Food Anxiety

Instead of writing a blog this week I wanted to encourage all of you to listen to the podcast I did with Noelle Tarr of Coconuts and Kettlebells and Stefanie Ruper of Paleo for Women

On this podcast we answered your questions about body acceptance, food anxiety, and restrictive dieting.

Enjoy!