Last weekend I took a last minute trip down to Portland from Seattle. A friend of mine from college just moved there and I was due for a little getaway exploration. The months of January and February have been full to the brim for me with work, and other personal life engagements. I knew I was reaching a point where I just needed to be away from the possibility of working, because truly, with my work I never really “leave the office” or “log off”. I have to make that a distinct and intentional choice and during busier periods that is increasingly harder to do especially since I love everything that I do!
So getting away just came at an opportune time. I needed the time to reconnect with my friend but also to just be. I needed to feel the sideways rain drizzling on my face as we walked along Cannon Beach. I needed to be immersed in the joy of seeing the haystacks for the first time. I needed to relish in the glory of a spectacular rainbow, being in the right place at the right time. To let me mind solely focus on how to get across the water canals that made sand pools along the beach and to contemplate how these giant haystacks are created out in the water. I needed to let my spirit be free and not thinking of anything outside of BEING.
The other week was a bit of a train wreck for me. It seemed like everything was fighting against me. One minute I’d be really on in the universal groove and then wham the next thing I knew I was flat on my ass.
One day I spent an hour walking around the city in the rain thinking I must have forgotten where I’d parked my car. I mean surely I must have forgotten, only to find out it had been towed. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I mean, I’ve never even been pulled over for speeding before.
There nothing quite like chocolate and raspberries when it comes to a dessert. Am I right? I’ve gotten to the point where sweets really aren’t a huge part of my life, but having something that satisfies that craving once and a while is so nice! That’s why I love this four ingredient fudge.
I’ve been making this “fudge” forever now but never posted it. It’s one of those “it’s so simple you don’t need a recipe” kind of recipes. But then again that’s pretty much how I cook across the board. You’ll know this is especially if you have my ebook Mind & Body Balancing.
In the past decade affirmations have become more mainstream. The use of words or phrases to help change your mental outlook has gained a lot of public notice and support in helping people. Truthfully, affirmations are ancient traditions. Spoken word therapy has been around for centuries and it’s helped people and communities across the globe. They can be traced back to ancient eastern religions, and indigenous tribes. Widely known, mantras are phrases, poems or sayings chanted over and over again during meditation. The word “mantra” Sanskrit and is translated to read “that which protects (tra) the mind (man).” They have been used for spiritual connection to the self and the divine. In so many ways they have been used to free one’s mind of all other thoughts.
Most recently you can find people touting the benefits of affirmations on wellness sites like Well + Good, Mind Body Green and from leaders in the New Age movement like Gabby Bernstein and Deepak Chopra. This wave of self-help ideology has created a movement and momentum behind using therapies such as affirmations in channeling and changing your thought process.
I’d say that my way of coming to affirmations was fairly nontraditional as I wasn’t necessarily seeking a more spiritual connection to the Universe, God, the Divine, whatever you choose to call it. My introduction to their power was during a time of deep desire for physical healing of my body.
After living with an autoimmune disease for over a decade I have experienced both living well, and not so well during that time. I’ve had periods of flares, years of remission and years of soul-growth and healing. Each of your personal experiences in living well with a chronic illness will have parallels to mine and yet also be different. There are a few key factors to living well with an autoimmune disease that have profound impacts on daily life. They are spiritual, mental and physical aspects that when all working together help me to live the best life possible.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. As I continue to dive deeper into my relationship with myself, with my personal yoga practice and healthy living this has been coming up a lot for me recently. And even more so with the clients I see. So often, people ask me what is the best type of exercise to get the body they want, the results they desire, or the energy they’re craving. I am discouraged by this questions a lot. Why? I don’t actually have the answer. Or at least, I thought I didn’t. But now, I’ve decided the answer is reclaiming exercise for every body.
The source of my frustration comes from the societal expectation that we have to move our body only because we want it to look a certain way, instead of actually enjoying the way it moves. Believe me, I have been guilty of this plenty. Which is why I feel comfortable calling some bullshit on it.
I remember sitting across from him, he’d been holding my gaze for a while now, neither of us saying anything as I’d been crying. Finally, I said, “I feel like I have done everything in my power to move on from this.” My therapist then looked at me intently and said “It’s usually when we are resisting something that it continues to appear for us.” Shocked and infuriated I just sat there. I couldn’t believe he’d dare say I was resisting anything. I’d been working through this for nearly a year and had made so many changes. Since the day I walked in his room we’d been talking about this relationship and I’d been working diligently on focusing my attention, embracing my feelings, and allowing myself to deal with whatever emotion may arise. “I’ve done anything but resist this whole process,” I told him, “If I was I would have never come to see you in the first place.”
I rarely get to see the stars at night. Having been living in Seattle now for a year and a half, it’s mostly grey days and hazy nights. Sometimes I am spoiled by the moon glowing through my living room window, but with the light pollution from the city the stars are amiss on a daily basis.
Yesterday I took a late flight out of Dallas on my way back from seeing my family in Florida and Alabama for the Holidays. The sky was crisp and clear as a pane of glass. I could look down to the speckle lit earth below or up to the twinkling dots lighting the sky. It was in this moment I realized what a rare treat they are. And being slightly closer, albeit still millions of light-years away they seemed more magnificent than times before.
I’ve had a lot of these pauses of appreciation for the smallest of details, the most minute of moments in this past year. It can often feel like these are insignificant, but I can tell you honestly they are what got me through.
There have been several occasions on my blog where I have fully disclosed my lack of talent in the baking department (ahem, the pie from hell!) Well, the truth is, that’s still true. Though, prior to leading a grain-free lifestyle though there were a handful of baked goods that I had mastered. I mean MASTERED! One of them, was Christmas Cake, which you can now eat grain-free too! The other, oatmeal raisin cookies. One of my weak-in-the-knees kind of foods. My idea has been to try to recreate the foods I had mastered in traditional baking, in a grain-free way. Which is how I now give you, n’oatmeal raisin cookies!
I am ecstatic about these cookies for SO many reasons! The first being they are grain-free which hence the name, you can gather there are no oats in these! BUT there are also no eggs, yep, that’s right!! For all my vegan friends or those of you with egg intolerance/allergies, these are my gift to you!
I’ve gone through so many phases in my life when it comes to beauty-care and makeup. When I was younger, and first getting into makeup it was a challenge. I had pretty much grown up ‘wild and free’ as an avid lover of dirt, nature and playing outside into my teens. So when I first approached wearing makeup let’s say that I didn’t know what I was doing. At that time I had no consept or need for “better beauty” soto speak. To my fortune, I had an older sister to look up to and watch, but my step-mom also worked as an Estee Lauder consultant. I remember watching her as a little girl, being in awe of her makeup and she’d often do it for us while we played dress up for my Dad.
When it came to the real deal however, I’ll never forget the first time I wore makeup out in public. I was visiting my Dad and we had taken a short family trip to the beach about an hour or so from where he lived. I asked my step-mom if she’d do my makeup before we went out to dinner. I know she was a bit hesitant, likely at the reaction of my Dad to his 13 year old daughter wearing makeup, but she obliged. She hardly put anything on me. I have the fortune of looking like I have a soft pink blush and eye-shadow on at all times. But she added a little bit of neutral tones, some mascara and some lip gloss. When I walked out to see everyone I thought my Dad would have a conniption. No, he did not like that his little girl was growing up, not in the slightest.
And over the years since then, I went through periods where I’d wear makeup and then I wouldn’t really. I waned in and out until I got to college, which is probably when I more seriously started wanting to have products that worked really well. Then I came to realize that I actually don’t need nor do I want to wear a lot of makeup, but I need to take care of my skin, and that means getting rid of all the toxic chemical laden products I had been using.