Category Archives for "self care"

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

I hope it’s YOU.

Yep.

You.

You know that feeling when your schedule is too busy and you feel like you’re running all over the place and there’s no time for yourself?

Guess what?

The only person who has control over the busy-ness of your schedule is….yep…YOU!

So, whataya say? Are you willing to make yourself a priority? It really isn’t that hard, it just takes a little planning. If you haven’t already, how about trying one of these today:

  • 10 minute walk by yourself
  • mindfully make a cup of tea and enjoy it while simply noticing the beauty around you
  • make a gratitude list – thoughtfully write down 3-5 things you are truly grateful for

These things are so simple, but can absolutely change the trajectory of your whole day!

Have you seen Kung Fu Panda? It’s amazing to me the life lessons that you can learn in a cartoon movie! In the movie, the wise teacher is a turtle named Oogway. In a critical moment of the movie, one of the cahracters, Shifu tells Oogway that he has “very bad news!”

Shifu: Master! I have… it’s very bad news!
Oogway: Ah, Shifu. There is just news. There is no good or bad.

I love this moment in the movie! I recall it often when I want to jump to conclusions and immediately assign the label of “good” or “bad” to a situation. How can I truly know if something is good or bad? Some things that I thought were just awful in the moment have turned out to be the biggest blessings of my life, while other situations that seemed grand at the outset have nearly sunk me in the end. When we receive news, let’s pause for a moment and realize that it is only news. It is not good news or bad news. We have the choice of how we will respond.

It’s most important to take care of ourselves.

Even in the middle of an intense situation, we can choose to care for ourselves. I have seen this in action and it is POWERFUL! Even when the situations of  life are not what you had hoped or planned, and it seems like “very bad news,” we can make the conscious choice to take care of ourselves and make that care our top priority of the day. We all “know” it’s true, but we simply MUST take care of ourselves if we are to take care of anyone else.

So, Dragonfly, please share. What will you do to take care of YOU today?

What to do when. . .Tips for nurturing

I know it’s happened to you. And it happened to me just last week. Let me take you there:

The week has been kinda busy, but not too bad. I am heading out for a yoga training, and truly excited to be going. I gather all my stuff and a good friend arrives to take me to the airport. As we open the door to take my luggage out, my dog Finley, who is typically very well-behaved, decides this is the best possible time to run out the front door! Seriously?!?! She’s off like a shot and we can’t find her anywhere. We walk down the street, we drive around the neighborhood. No dog. And it’s time to go! I can’t spend anymore time looking for her, so I call my husband who’s at work and THANKFULLY someone has already found her and just called him to let him know. Whew. We make it to the airport in time and I get on my flight. I arrive at my connecting airport, have a fantastic dinner and get on flight number two. Once I arrive at my destination, I get my rental car. I can’t locate my phone charger right away, so I opt to use the car GPS instead. This creates the first snafu (that I’m aware of). The darn thing doesn’t work very well and I end up getting lost three times. Ugh. It’s late and I need to get to bed! I (finally) arrive at my hotel. As is my common practice, I get all my materials ready before calling it a night only to realize that I have left MULTIPLE items on one flight or the other! Including my phone charger (brand new, of course) and other items that I could really use this weekend. Sigh. I won’t bore you with the rest of the weekend, but suffice it to say that this first evening on the way to my hotel was only the TIP of the iceberg!

So what did I do? How did I survive the craziness (mostly caused by myself)? It took all my efforts and, honestly, it has taken me a few days to recover. I took out all the stops and went immediately into nurturing mode!

If you have felt this way, and wondered what to do, perhaps some of these ideas will help as you develop a nurturing environment:

  • Snuggle on the couch with a soft blanket.
  • Use a grounding essential oil. I love Balance Blend from doTERRA, but any of the woody or resin-y oils work really well here. White Fir, Frankincense, Sandalwood, etc.
  • Take a bath with Epsom Salts and/or add your essential oil.
  • Eat heavier, soothing, unctuous foods. Think soups, root veggies, etc. Earthy foods!
  • Rest when you can. Even a 10 minute rest can work wonders.
  • Allow more than enough time between appointments. Hurrying will only make things worse!
  • Give yourself the same grace and compassion you would give your child or best friend. Sometimes we are simply too hard on ourselves and our expectations are too high.
  • Stay away from those cravings! Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol – all those things will exacerbate the issue. Show yourself love with real food and nurturing care. Drink plenty of water.
  • Meditate. Maybe a few times a day! If this is new or you have a hard time with it, I highly recommend getting a Meditation App on your phone. There are so many to choose from. A few of my favorites: Headspace, Mindful, Calm, Meditation Studio.
  • Carry a favorite crystal or wear a favorite piece of jewelry. Sentimental things can really help us feel nurturing through yogacalm, connected and relaxed. Grounding stones include: Bloodstone, Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Black Tourmaline, Black Kyanite, Garnet, Tiger’s Eye.
  • Use a mantra or affirmation. The most important aspect of a mantra of affirmation is that you state what you WANT, not what you don’t want! So, instead of, “I am getting over being so tired all the time,” it would be much more effective to say, “I am giving my body the rest it needs and enjoying the energy I have!”
  • Get a massage or have some energy work done. Is there anything more nurturing than this?
  • Go to yoga class! For releasing stress and regaining focus I recommend a Gentle or Restorative Class. There are plenty of other days to do Power Yoga. This time is for ultimate care!

I know this list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully you found at least one tool you can use to help you get over “one of those days!” It has taken concentrated effort, but I am definitely on the mend and I am feeling very nurtured by my steps towards this level of loving care.

I’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to care for yourself in the middle of a crazy day, week, or time of life? We have all discovered ways to work through difficult times. Let’s share them together!

7 tips to start your day with love!

On Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the OM Wisdom Summit 2016! In that interview I talk about Absolute Lifestyle Revolution and many ways you can find true transformation in your life today! (Watch the replay!)

In the interview I also discuss several ways to start your morning off with love. But before I get ahead of myself – have you ever had a morning like this…

The alarm goes off. Your first thought is not, “Good morning, bright and beautiful world!” but something closer to, “Seriously? I can’t do it. I’m EXHAUSTED.” You roll over and grab your phone and start scrolling through Facebook with bleary eyes. After you get “caught up” on what’s happening, you stumble out of bed and start rushing to get ready. So many things to do and not nearly enough time! Maybe you forgot to get the stuff for the kids’ lunches at the store, or you left your own lunchbox at the office. Argh. Now you’re behind and need to squeeze in a stop at the grocery to grab something quick and easy. Or not. Is it really THAT bad to eat out of the vending machine? Again? In your rush out of the kitchen, you grab your coffee mug and head out the door. You set it in top of the car while you throw your stuff in (like always), and then it tips over and you now have coffee all over the clothes you have to wear for your first meeting or appointment of the day. Sigh. Why does this ALWAYS happen???

Why DOES this always happen? start your day with loveThat’s a great question. It can be hard to chase down the exact cause sometimes, but regardless of what got you here, I have some great tips to start the morning a whole different way. With love. And peace. And calm.

Doesn’t that sounds good? I know I like to mornings that start with intention and peace.

Check out my great tips for starting YOUR morning off with love.

The secrets to the universe – revealed!

A couple of years ago I took my first Ayurveda training and felt like it revealed the secrets to the universe! Now I realize that this is quite a statement, but all the same, I think it’s true.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning…

Ayurveda is the sister science to Yoga and brings balance to our bodies using diet, herbs and yoga. After having completed my Yoga Teacher Training through YogaFit Training Systems, I wanted to start exploring the “squishy” parts of yoga. I didn’t even really know what that meant, exactly. I just knew how much I loved what I had learned and experienced with yoga and thought if there was more to learn, then I wanted to learn it! So, the first training that caught my eye was Ayurveda I.

Well about an hour into the training, I was so blown away by the intro, that I wanted to stop right there and just let it soak in! I felt like the overview about the three aspects of each of our own constitutions had unlocked the secrets of life. Having someone explain how my body constitution also gave insight into my behavioral aspects and tendencies, and those of my family was life-changing! I finally understood why I act the way I do sometimes, and why my husband and kids act the way they do sometimes and how that ties so directly into our body-types and our diet. Lifelong secrets revealed!

But wait! There’s more!

The information just kept coming and I learned so many things about how my daily care routine can set my day up for success (sign up to hear my upcoming interview with Renee Li on the OM Wisdom Summit on this very topic here). I learned about how it’s not just a clean diet that best serves our bodies, but how even among whole foods, there are some that are better than others at balancing each of our constitutions.

And I learned even more about breath.

Have you ever thought about how breathing is 50% work and 50% relaxation?

I know that’s a big obvious, but really, THINK about that!

I believe that so many of life’s lessons can be learned from the breath. We can discover how we respond to stress, we can relieve stress. We can breathe shallow or deep. We can hold our breath or hyper-ventilate. We can breathe on purpose or let it happen passively.

But when I REALLY thought about how breath is 50/50 on the work and relaxation, I was so inspired I wrote a poem. It’s called Ode to the Breath.

Ode to the Breath

Breathe in, breathe out
All in equal time.
Take it, take it off the mat,
And watch it make life rhyme.

Yes, I KNOW. It’s SUPER cheesy. But I gotta tell ya, this breath revelation was revolutionary for me! Here’s what was so magical about it for me – I realized that if our most basic building block of life, the breath, needed as much rest as it needed work, then why did I think I was any different?

Why did I think I could work more than half the day and only rest a little? How was that ever gonna work out? Well I have a little secret –

It wasn’t.

Ever.

Gonna work out.

And so, that’s where I started. With the breath.

From there it just kept branching out. I started to look at my morning routine and what was working and what wasn’t. I started to incorporate things that created an environment for beautiful starts to my day. And then I started looking at my evening routine. What I found there was that the simplest things (foot massage, evening meditation, cup of tea) helped me transition from a busy day into a relaxed state for sleep. It turns out that the “secrets” aren’t so secretive after all!

Do I knock it out the park and do these things every single day without failing. No way. But I do them more often than I don’t. AND, when I’m feeling out of sorts, the first thing I do is check my routines. If I’ve fallen off the wagon of practices that I KNOW work for me, then that’s where I start to put it all back together. Tools in the toolbox are the ticket to climbing out of overwhelm for me. Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 10.56.36 AM

If you’re intrigued by all this and would like to learn some more of the secrets that have revolutionized my life, watch my interview with Renee from the OM Wisdom Summit where I unpack a great morning routine and discuss several other tools to find your calm in the middle of a random Tuesday. Enjoy!

“Take 10” and take care of yourself

Whatcha been doin’ lately? Have you been running around like crazy trying to get everything done? Sacrificing your own needs to take care of people around you? Yep. Me too. Sometimes we just need to pull back and take 10 – like a 10 minute break to get it back together!

So, earlier this week I decided to re-group a bit and revitalize my daily routines that nourish my mind, body and soul. Even the great routines can start to feel tired if we keep on doing the same ol’ thing without keeping it fresh, right? So, here’s a few of the things I changed up.

Meditation

I like to use a mantra or positive affirmation when I meditate. When I evaluated, I realized that I have gotten into a habit of just repeating it without REALLY paying attention to what it means. So, I purposed to pay attention and consider my affirmation with each repetition. AMAZING the difference this one simply step can make! Ready to meditate? Check this one out – I made it for you!

Morning Routine

There are a few things I like to do to take care of myself each morning, you know, besides brushing my teeth and applying deodorant! Lately, I’ve been kinda lazy about my routine though. I really like to begin the morning with my tongue-scraper, and then move on to dry-brushing before my shower and then finish up with applying sesame oil to moisturize. I ran out of oil a couple weeks ago and hadn’t replaced it. I was using regular lotion, which is fine, I guess, but something about using the oil makes me feel like I am really taking care of myself, so I got a new bottle for myself. It’s so great!

Daily Breaks – aka Take 10!

It’s true – sometimes I waste time scrolling through FaceBook when I could be taking a nice break from screen time and general busy-ness. I know I’m not alone here. So, this week, I reminded myself to put my phone down when I realized I was using it to fill up mind-space. It’s amazing how much more beautiful real life is than keeping your head in cyber-world! If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a screen break, I highly recommend it!

The Art of Extreme Self-Care, Cheryl RichardsonThe Art of Extreme Self-Care

While completing my yearly workbooks from Leonie Dawson, I came across Leonie’s recommendation to read The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson. It’s great! Some of the things I already do, and some I have decided to try. If you are looking for some ways to bring more love from yourself into your life, this is a great read!

What I’ve realized over the years is that taking care of myself isn’t hard. It’s just that it takes some thought and planning and an intention to follow-through with it. If you’d like to hear more about this, catch my interview with Renee Li on the OM Wisdom Summit 2016. It’s coming up in just a couple weeks. Click here to see the full schedule of interviews. There are several wonderful speakers this year! Here are some things you can expect:

OM Wisdom SummitDevelop stronger intuition to access peace and clarity
Power up your body with healthy aging and preventative care
Adopt healthy habits that offer you perfect health
Clear blocks to create full color transformation
Utilize Crystal Magic for well-being
Align with your Greater purpose for fulfillment
Awaken your inner Healer

So, tell me, what is your favorite way to “take 10” and take care of yourself?

How will you respond to the restless winds of transformation?

Do you feel it? That restlessness that comes with the transformation of the seasons. Perhaps your schedule changes a bit, or daylight saving time throws your off for a few days. You may become nostalgic or feel fancy-free. At the very least, your wardrobe is probably turning to some warmer options. Who else loves sweater weather???

Change is in the air and I don’t know about you, but I can feel it in every aspect of my life.

One thing I have noticed for myself is that autumn is the time when I am most likely to engage inner transformation. Just like the way the leaves begin to show their true colors, I sense mine emerging with cooling temps. I usually enroll in a course, or adopt a new practice, or journal more frequently.

Do you have special transformation activities that you save for the fall?

What is it that you embrace during this time when the earth embraces such deep transformation? Do you clean the garage? Look up new recipes to try? Get all crafty? Find a hiking group? Make s’mores by the fire?

Whatever you choose – Does it soothe your soul? Does it rearrange your inner closets? Does it change you?

Would you like to purposefully embrace something this year that has the potential to transform you on the deepest level? You know, that level where we talk to ourselves.

Yes.

You DO talk to yourself.

We all do.

But what exactly do you say to yourself?

If you would like to transform that inner dialogue from hateful to helpful or from depressing to inspiring, you are so in luck right now!

I have been consolidating all I have learned over the past couple of decades about transforming inner dialogue into a 5-week course that will guide you through the process of changing your inner voices from down-right mean, into the encouraging, loving voices we all wish to hear.

Are you interested in this course? Let me know!

What if you could change that?

Change is in the air! Can you feel it? Some places are starting to cool off (or so I hear…it’s still pretty hot here in the desert!), football games are on TV, all those cute posts of decorated pumpkins are all over Pinterest, and I’ve seen lots of people on Facebook talking about doing a fall cleanse (myself included).

Something about the change in seasons stirs us to action. We want to clean the garage, wear different clothes, cook different food, get a new haircut, etc. We are motivated to DO SOMETHING!

Would you like to make some changes on the inside too?

Wouldn’t it be nice to change some of that negative self-talk into colorful, beautiful, loving self-talk?

Well, Dragonflies, I have something that I made just for you.

Iridescent Love Mini Course!

This mini-course is free and just for you!I am so excited to share it with you!

In this course you will receive a few tips and tools for changing your mind-chatter from negative, boring or just plain mean, into something encouraging, loving and over-the-top awesome!

Check it out and let me know what you think. Pass it along to your friends, too – we can all use a little boost sometimes!

What’s your schedule like?

What’s your schedule like?

I ask this question at least once a week when trying to schedule a phone call or meeting. It’s a nuts-and-bolts sort of question. It helps get things done and establishes a routine that (hopefully) makes things run like a well-oiled machine.

Schedules are great. We can set them up, and then they just keep going. It’s super easy to get comfortable with the way things are. We establish our routine. We have our friends. We shop at our favorite grocery store. We go to our favorite class at the gym. And it all works.

Until it doesn’t.

And when we realize it’s not working anymore, we have a choice. We can shrug our shoulders and just keep on, keepin’ on OR we can make some changes.

I recently realized that something needed to change in my life. Last year after I quit my job, one of my biggest desires was to not have such a strict schedule. I had lived on a VERY tight schedule for several years and I was exhausted. So, after I quit my job, I decided to let things be more free-form. I let each day unfold as it wanted to.

I scheduled as little as possible.

Then somewhere in the last few weeks, I realized that this way of moving through my days and weeks wasn’t really working for me anymore. I was starting to feel adrift and directionless. Even though that space and freedom was exactly what I needed this time last year, it’s wasn’t working anymore.

In my wandering and wondering, I was scrolling through social media. As you do. But this time, it was exactly what I needed! I came across something in Instagram posted by my long-time friend and mentor, Ron Martoia (@ronmartoia, wildlybetter.com) that quickly and simply put it together for me.

rhythms and rituals

 

 

Rhythms and Rituals are
containers for
Patterns and Practices.

What are your “Rs” & “Ps”?

#wildlybetter

 

That’s it! That’s what’s been missing! In my effort to give myself some space and freedom, I had thrown the baby out with the bathwater! I had thrown out even the great parts of having a routine. I was still meditating and reading and writing and taking care of myself and all those things that are important to me, but because I had let go of the rhythms of my life, I ended up feeling like a blob with no form.

Because I was.

So, I spent some time listing out what is important to me and then I sat down with my calendar and decided when to do each of those things. I also put relaxation and reflection time in the schedule. This is super important for me right now. Otherwise, I will let something take that place and it won’t happen. I will find something else to do:  something urgent, or something fun, or possibly even something mundane.

The first week of my new rhythm and rituals felt so. . .liberating! Isn’t that interesting? I had been all anti-schedule in fear of feeling trapped. But when I re-established a rhythm to life, everything inside that had been feeling all out-of-sorts calmed down. I knew what I was doing and when I was doing it and

I could breathe again.

So, Dragonfly – I’d like to encourage you to spend some time with your schedule and see if there are any changes that you would enjoy and find rewarding. Is your schedule working for you? If not, why not? Spend some time with that one and figure out what would work for you.

Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear about your transformed rhythms and rituals!

The joy of tidying up?

So when was the last time you took a day off work to have the experience of a lifetime…um…tidying up the garage? Yeah, I’ve never done that either. And while I do like for things to be all tidy, I don’t particularly enjoy spending the day going through piles of stuff and choosing what stays and what goes. However, I LOVE the result! To look at my freshly-organized closet or desk or garage and feel that sense of lightness and satisfaction of work well-done is such a great feeling. I feel like clearing the stuff out of my home creates more room in me. I may be crazy, but I don’t think so (well at least not on this issue!).

I have recently realized that when I am feeling heavy and weighed down, a pretty simple way to lighten my outlook is to tidy up an area of my home that has been neglected. Have you ever done this? In a way, I have actually come to see this as an act of self-care.

I have heard and seen a couple things on this recently that I really like to make the job easier.

There are a couple guys called The Minimalists who talk a lot about simplifying. My favorite piece of their advice is the 20-20 rule. If you find something you haven’t used in awhile and you can replace it for less than $20 in less than $20 minutes, get rid of it! Obviously there are a few exceptions, but this works most of the time. Yay!

Another one I just saw was this great little video posted by the Today Show where they highlight The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

This simple trick will change the way you tidy up your house – and your life – forever. The gem in this book is in getting rid of anything that no longer brings you joy. Thank it for its service, and send it on its way! I LOVE that!

So now it’s your turn!

Why not spend 30 minutes or two hours clearing some space in your house and in your life? After you’re done, I’d love to hear about your experience! How did you feel after it was done? Did you find some space in your mind along with the space in your home?

I have PTSD from being….tickled…

Yep. That’s right. PTSD from being tickled.

Perhaps it would be best to tell the back-story on this one!

When I was a little girl, I think maybe around 4-6, I was over at my aunt’s house. It was around the holidays (as best I can remember) and I was playing with all my cousins. I was the youngest in the room and also one of only two girls in a sea of boy cousins. We were all having a great time when one of my cousins picked me up to fly me like an airplane. I thought that was AWESOME! So, there I was in the air and pretending to be Wonderwoman, when my cousin thought it would be fun to tickle me. And it was fun! For a little while, anyway. But then it got to be overwhelming and I wanted down. I started yelling at him to put me down. But I was also still laughing, because how can you not laugh when someone is tickling you, right? So, he didn’t realize how serious I was. I started to panic because I couldn’t do anything to escape the (now) awful tickling! I couldn’t hit or kick or run. My body had one defense left to get me out of the situation. It was not pretty, and this is not for the squeamish…I vomited. All over my cousin. Eww.

It did work, though. He put me down on short order!

But ever since then, when someone tickles me, it isn’t funny. I get downright ANGRY. The “I can’t think about anything except for how much I want to hit this person” kind of angry. In fact, I have a really hard time not punching the guilty party! If you know me, you will recognize how out of character this is for me. I would feel bad for hitting a punching bag under normal circumstances.

YogaFit WarriorsThis entire event came up for me at a yoga conference where I was attending a training on how to use yoga to help resolve PTSD and move it through and out of the body. It was fascinating. The YogaFit for Warriors program addresses PTSD, but it also gives us tools to work through all kinds of trauma. I have come back from this training a changed person and a better yoga teacher/trainer.

When I realized during this training how I am STILL carrying this incident with me and how deeply it STILL affects me, I realized something else so much more important. I realized on the tiniest of scales how deep and awful PTSD from war or abuse or severe accidents can be. This realization deeply moves me to do what I can to support the healing process for others. I know how much transformation I experienced in just one weekend of training, so I can only imagine how transformational regular classes could be to work out those deep-seated traumas.

These things are kind of funny, aren’t they? I went to this training wanting to learn how to help other people and I ended up finding transformation first. I guess that’s how it works though, huh? My instructor Shaye said it beautifully,

“We can only help others to the degree we are willing to do the work ourselves.”

Thank you Shaye, for sharing your countless hours of work. I am forever changed for the better, and I know a host of others are, too.