Category — Law of Attraction/Self Development
My number one New Year’s resolution is to find harmony in my life between my responsibilities in life and my self care. This is something that I have been learning about for ten years and the truth is I am still learning how to find that perfect balance between the things I need to do and the things I want to do.
When I was younger I didn’t pay much attention to the needs of my body. At one point I had my day scheduled from 6am to 11pm at night with absolutely no down time. Yes, I got a lot accomplished but it wasn’t sustainable. At 22 I had completely burnt myself out and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There were many other factors at play such as poor diet, stress, and suppressed grief but I know that a major part in getting sick was packing my schedule so tight, that there was no room to just breathe and relax.
Now days I no longer have Chronic Fatigue but I still struggle with finding balance between work, play, relationships, household responsibilities, and nurturing my well being. In today’s world I know that I am not alone in this struggle.
I have been exploring how this year can be different and I have come up with three tips I’d like to share with you.
Tips For Finding Balance in Your Life
Tip #1 Alternate Between Structured and Unstructured Activities
I find that alternating structured activities such as work and household responsibilities with non structured or more spontaneous activities such as walking on the beach, meditating, yoga . . .helps energize me through out the day and keeps me balanced.
According to Tony Schwartz from the New York Times,
“THE pioneering sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman gave the name “basic rest activity cycle” to the 90-minute period at night during which we move through the five stages of sleep. A decade later, he reported that we experience a parallel 90-minute cycle in our waking lives.
At night, we move from light to deep sleep and back out. During the day, we oscillate every 90 minutes from higher to lower alertness. In effect, our bodies are asking us for a break every 90 minutes. But we override the signals with coffee, sugar and our stress hormones.”
I find that taking a break from structured activities to non structured activities every ninety minutes helps combat fatigue. So for example, I have been playing with the idea of working for ninety minutes and then taking a 15 minute break where I dance, read for pleasure, take a walk outside, do a quick meditation, or drink a green juice in the sun. You may only have the luxury of taking a nice stretch at your desk, or smelling an invigorating essential oil for a few seconds at work, but whatever you can do to recharge quickly can still help.
Tip#2 Schedule in “Me” Time
Just as we have a work schedule and appointment schedule it is really important to schedule in self care. Self care means to me anything that increases our sense of well being and reduces stress such as yoga, massage, meditation, dance, being out in nature,listening to music . . .(etc.) For each person it is going to be different.
You may be so busy that they only have 5 minutes to yourself. In that case I say make sure to use those 5 minutes to get into the deepest state of relaxation that you can through meditation or some other relaxation technique. If you have a corporate job and the only time you have to yourself is lunch, drink a quick smoothie for lunch and hire a masseuse for a 30 minute rub down.
Why is it so important to schedule “me time” even if you feel like you have absolutely no time to yourself? Because I can tell you from experience as a previous Chronic Fatigue sufferer that burning the candle at both ends is unsustainable and you will eventually burn out! Do all you can to find a way to nurture yourself before you are forced to stop due to stress induced illness.
Tip#3 Pay Attention to Your Bodies’ Rhythms
Pay attention to your bodies’ energy fluctuations. You can do this by observing how you feel at certain times of the day. After paying attention for a few days I noticed how alert I am in the mornings and then I noticed that from 2-4 is when I feel a little tired. My energy picks back up again and then I have focused energy until about 9 at night. I used to force myself to work through my afternoon slump but I was never happy with the work produced so now I schedule easier tasks or take a break during that time. For you, it might be different but paying attention to your peaks and lulls can help you find the most harmonious and productive schedule for you.
So what do you think of my tips? Do you have some tips for living a balanced life? Please share in the comments section.
January 17, 2012 11 Comments
One of the things that has intrigued me about human psychology, is how often times we might know what the right thing to do is, but sometimes we do the opposite. For example, how many of us know that refined sugar is bad for us, fried foods, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes; but we still continue to consume them day after day?
Well you might say, people are addicted to substances such as junk food or nicotine and they can’t help it. I would agree with you, especially in cases of severe addiction, but what about the things we don’t do that are good for us such as exercise, meditation, rest . . .(etc.) It can’t be that we are addicted to not exercising or not meditating, right?
You might say, most people don’t have enough information on the benefits of exercising or eating healthy to make an informed decision. And this might actually be true in some situations, but I have seen too many people go to the raw food expos and the potlucks year after year and I know they have, if anything, an overload of information on the benefits of eating healthfully. Yet, I see them year after year struggle with making healthy choices and positive changes in their lives. Why is this?
And I’m not immune oh no (I wish), I know I should get to bed earlier and exercise more, and not overeat . . .I know the benefits, so why is so hard for me to do the things I know are good for me?
For me personally, I know it is because I don’t make these things a priority. If I made them a priority I would put more energy into making them happen. For example, I recently made it a point to watch a sunset everyday, so I made the extra effort to set an alarm on my phone to remind me. It has worked beautifully and I haven’t missed a sunset since I set the alarm.
This leads me to an observation about human nature. We are easily programmable. This can be a good thing if we are programming ourselves. Like I mentioned earlier, setting an alarm to remind me to watch the sunset everyday has worked like a charm. Setting a routine of preparing healthy food everyday has become a habit I don’t even think about anymore, it has become so ingrained into my life and personality it doesn’t even occur to me to eat junk food . . . but it wasn’t always like that.
Over ten years ago I ate whatever I wanted, which was a combination of Spanish and American Cuisine, and my Mom’s idea of what a healthy diet should look like (think grape nuts cereal, 1% skim milk, chicken with no skin, and a lot of broccoli beef stir frys). I just ate what I was accustomed to eating growing up in my family. I never questioned it, and why would I? Everyone else around me was eating what I was eating and doing fine. Except for, I wasn’t doing fine. I was overweight and had Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Depression . . .
Like I said earlier, humans are easily programmable and this is good if we are programming ourselves, but not always beneficial if we allow society, our families, and our peers to influence all our choices. Many of us are making decisions about our diet and health on auto-pilot without questioning if there is a better way.
It’s like we are trains on a one way track. Do you know how much effort it takes to turn a train around? Quite a bit. Well it’s the same with humans. It takes a lot of effort to change diet and lifestyle habits and most of us will cruise on that one way track until a major event forces us to change direction. We need an impetus big enough to cause us to shut off the auto-pilot and wake up!
For some people, the impetus might be an illness or when someone close to them gets ill. For others, it might be a traumatic event that causes them to realize life is short. It might be that they don’t want to be a burden on their kids or they want to be around for their grand kids. We all have our reasons that inspire us take better care of ourselves!
I’ve observed that most of the time it isn’t just information that shakes up our world. I’ve never had someone write me and tell me that an article or a recipe that I’ve written inspired them to change their diet. It is always 100% of the time “my story” that touched them.
It’s usually something deeply personal that inspires us. Reading a story or meeting someone who has overcame the same obstacles we are going through can sometimes give us enough hope and enough push for us to prioritize getting healthy and reprogram ourselves.
I hope that you are able to take the time to think about the reasons that inspire you to take better care of yourself and if you need some extra inspiration from the stories of actual people that have changed their eating habits for the better I recommend the e-book “What do Raw Fooders Eat?” available again for this week only.
As I mentioned above, putting a face on the “nutritional facts” can be very powerful. And that is what I feel Nomi Shannon has done with her groundbreaking e-book “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?”. Not only do you get the daily recipes from 48 raw foodists, but most importantly, you get their stories. What inspired them to change? And what are the benefits they received from making the extra effort to eat healthfully? This e-book might just be the little boost you need to turn your “train” around:)
Click here to learn more: http://rawgourmet.com/cmd.php?af=1286243 *affiliate link
“What do Raw Fooders Eat?” e-book is available again for this week only Aug 16-23rd (with the 400 dollars worth of bonuses!) due to the many e-mails that were received that expressed disappointment for missing out on the offer. If you were disappointed, I do hope you can take advantage of this offer the 2nd time around!
Click here to learn more: http://rawgourmet.com/cmd.php?af=1286243 *affiliate link
P.S. What is your reason to take better care of yourself? Please comment in the comments section below.
August 16, 2011 20 Comments
Some of you may have already written your new year’s resolutions or perhaps you have been thinking about them. I would like to give you a different perspective on new year’s resolutions and perhaps encourage you to reevaluate the resolutions that you have made. Are they really what you want this year?
I’m asking you to sit with yourself in a quiet place and get in touch with your inner heart. I’m not talking about the heart organ, but a deep place in your being where some say connects you to the infinite and beyond. It is a sacred place to be entered in with great respect and gentleness.
From that place: if you were to ask your heart, right now, what it wants for 2011 what would it say?
What seed is in your heart that longs to bloom?
In our business we sometimes forget to really listen to what our body and soul is telling us. Most of the time, we create our resolutions from a place of ego. Our goals are reflections of what we think we should be like or look like or what we should have achieved. Should Should Should. . . We measure ourselves by outside standards; we compare ourselves to others and secretly compete with them in our minds. How authentic are our goals and how much happiness and fulfillment can they really bring?
For example, many people would like to lose weight this year. Their goal might be to lose x number of pounds by the end of the year. But if they were to ask their heart what it wants, it might say it wants unconditional love and self acceptance. Now loosing weight might very well be a side affect of cultivating feelings of self worth, but loosing x number of pounds is no guarantee that you will feel better about yourself and more self confident. The true goal of any goal is almost always joy and peace, and your heart will lead the way if you listen.
Another resolution might be to make more money this year, but if you asked your heart what it wanted, it might say that it wants an acknowledgment and unshakable faith in the abundance of the universe. The truth is, you could have millions but still live in fear and uncertainty that it could all be taken away at any moment. Which attitude do you think would attract more abundance: rock solid faith in the ability of the universe to provide for all living things, or fear, scarcity, and attachment?
Another goal on your list might be to “go raw”, but if you asked your heart what it wanted it might say that it wants you to slow down and listen to your body and make conscious food choices guided by the deep respect and reverence you have for yourself. This attitude might lead to some raw foods eventually, but can see how much more pleasant the journey could be?
Are you starting to see the difference?
An external ego based goal imposes a structure that you must conform to, an authentic heart based goal allows for growth and expansion based on fundamental universal truths.
Heart based goals feed and nourish your soul. Ego based goals feed your outer image, yet do not promise fulfillment. Heart based goals promise you satisfaction beyond your wildest dreams. After all, your heart will be where your treasure is and vice versa.
What might your heart want to tell you today? Do you have the courage to listen?
May you have the courage to follow the deep calling of your heart!
January 14, 2011 12 Comments
A few weeks ago my friend took me to see a truly inspiring movie called, May I Be Frank, about a man who goes through a Raw Transformation.
Movie Synopsis from The May I Be Frank Website:
May I Be Frank chronicles the transformation of Frank Ferrante’s life. Frank is 54 years old, obese, depressed, and addicted. He stumbles into a local raw, organic and vegan restaurant in San Francisco, Café Gratitude. When Ryland, a server at Café Gratitude asks Frank “What is one thing you want to do before you die?” Frank replies, “I want to fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do”.
Ryland, his brother Cary, and Conor, his best friend, are inspired by the possibility of helping Frank. For the next 42 days, Frank will eat only raw food, practice gratitude, visit local holistic practitioners, and get a weekly colonic. Ryland, Conor, and Cary get to support Frank’s miraculous transformation. Frank gets a new body, a clearer mind, and most importantly, a soaring spirit. May I Be Frank documents the essence of the human condition and what it truly means to fall in love again.
I was deeply inspired by the movie, May I Be Frank, and I decided to write a blog post about what we can learn from Frank Ferrante.
7 Things We Can Learn From Frank Ferrante’s Raw Transformation
1. Transformation Takes Commitment
One of the first scenes in the movie is when Frank signs a contract to eat all raw everyday, get regular colonics, drink 4 ounces of wheatgrass daily, do daily affirmations as well as many other lifestyle changes for 42 days.
Frank shows a strong commitment by being willing to hold himself accountable to making huge changes in his way of living for the next 42 days. Saying that you’re going to complete something and then following through takes a strong commitment.
How about writing a contract with yourself about what changes you would like to make in your life. Exercising everyday for a month, juicing everyday for a week, or saying affirmations everyday in the mirror . . . (etc.) Write a contract for yourself, sign and date it, and then follow through, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Transformation Takes Courage
Frank shows tremendous courage by stepping into the unknown. He doesn’t really have any idea what he is signing up for, he just knows that he wants his life to change. He never had wheatgrass before or a colonic before and at first they seem foreign, almost scary to him, but by the end of 42 days he is an old pro:)
Dysfunction can be comfortable, safe, and familiar. Any change is scary even if it leads to bigger and better things.
Allow yourself to be scared, allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. Remember the Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote, You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
3. Transformation is Messy
Halfway through the movie Frank is bubbling up with old anger which is demonstrated by a bitter fight he has with his ex-wife. He feels hopeless, like he wants to give up on the whole transformation thing, because it seems as if old patterns are remerging and nothing seems to be changing. For me, the best part in the movie was when one of Frank’s coaches reassures him, in his moment of desperation, that the universe is perfect and maybe he had just the perfect interaction in that exact perfect moment that he needed.
Transformation is never smooth. Old ugly patterns will rear their heads. A more accurate interpretation would be that you will become conscious of old patterns that have stopped you in the past so that you can change them.
Don’t expect transformation to be a smooth ride; it’s ugly, emotional, vulnerable, and sometimes you will want to give up. Just know that everyone falls down, the trick is, getting back up.
4. Transformation Takes Authenticity
Frank’s team wouldn’t have been able to help him if he didn’t have the courage to be completely open. Frank risked showing his feelings and in the end, he gained deeper relationships with people that were able to accept him for who he was. He didn’t have to pretend anymore. With Frank’s willingness to be vulnerable he was able to heal some very deep family wounds and strengthen his relationship with his family.
How can you change if you can’t admit that anything is wrong? Transformation takes honesty, not just with the world but more importantly, with yourself. Are you in denial or lying to yourself about how bad things are? Are you afraid of what people might think if they knew the real you? Take that chance, maybe you will give someone the opportunity to love you and accept you more than you ever thought possible.
5. Transformation is From the Inside Out
Even though Frank’s physical transformation is notable, it wouldn’t have been possible if he didn’t work on the inner transformation. Through support and daily affirmations Frank is able to learn to love and accept himself. This new relationship with himself is what helped him to make intelligent food choices.
When embarking on any physical transformation remember that at the core, is learning to love and accept yourself. The more you love and accept yourself the more likely you are to eat a healthy diet that nourishes your body instead of harming it.
What can you do today to love yourself a little more? Can you be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake?, can you believe in yourself a little more?, can you tell yourself you love yourself? Simple acts of love can be the most powerful.
6. Transformation Never Ends
I was lucky enough that I got to speak with Frank and he was very open about his life. He admitted that he had just broken up with his girlfriend and was having a tough time. He said he was a work in progress and that he was still learning how to be authentic.
I loved his message because it is easy to think that transformation has a final destination and the truth is, is that we are always evolving, some would even say eternally. So if transformation is a never ending process, that should take the pressure off a little bit right? Next time we are impatient with our progress we just have to remember that we have an eternity to get it right, or at least a lifetime
7. Transformation Requires a Support Team
I asked Frank what advice he would give to people wanting to transform their lives. And you know what he said? He said that seeking support was the most important thing you could do! Frank was lucky that he had three coaches and we may not be so lucky to have three coaches but we can always go to a raw food potluck, find an accountability partner, or work with a raw food coach such as myself.
I would be happy to support you on your next committed, courageous, authentic, messy, never ending, wonderful, beautiful, delicious raw transformation!
June 25, 2010 3 Comments
Tools for Healing and Self Actualization
AKA: What I’ve been Reading, Watching, and Listening to Lately.
I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the things I’ve been doing. I’ve just recently adopted a Chihuahua Mix puppy from a local dog rescue and that’s occupied a lot of my time. (Hence the break from blogging for a few weeks!)
Can you say awwwwww!
I’ve also been in an inward mode of self healing and self exploration and I wanted to share to with you a few of the tools I’ve been using.
What I’ve Been Watching:
If you are interested in healing, energy medicine, the mind body connection, or if you are ill and would like some inspiration I highly recommend you watch the movie, The Living Matrix. It can be purchased online or you can see if a screening is coming to a town near you.
Many cutting edge leaders in the energy medicine field are interviewed including researchers, scientists, and healers as well as a few testimonies from people who have healed themselves of ailments using some of the techniques featured in the film. To see the complete list of participants in the film please go here: http://thelivingmatrixmovie.com/participants
Some of the techniques mentioned in the movie were NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), NES , Reconnective Healing , and Visualization. For a full list of resources from the movie please go here: http://thelivingmatrixmovie.com/resources
I was inspired by the movie because my passion in life has always been healing. I am in awe of the bodies ability to heal and of the spirit’s ability to transform. I believe that healing isn’t always just about the body. I believe that it first starts with the mind and emotions and illness is just the manifestation of chronic negative thoughts and stagnate emotions. Healing can occur even if a person has no physical symptoms. Healing can be about forgiveness, letting go of grief, or changing a thought pattern. I say this because, just because you are not physically ill does not mean you can’t benefit from watching this movie or trying some of the healing modalities featured. I was so inspired that I actually have found local practitioners in my area and have tried a few of the modalities in the film including NES, Reconnective Healing, and I’m planning to go to a Dream Healer workshop in the Spring. I’ll keep you posted and write more about my experiences with these new healing modalities in the future.
What I’ve Been Reading
I came across this book at Café Gratitude called You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay. The beautiful illustrations caught my eye and as it turns out it’s a classic and Louise Hay is the founder of Hay House Publishing and Hay House Radio.
In the book Louise explains how we are responsible for our own reality and that limiting beliefs are often the cause of illness, especially feelings of unworthiness and self hatred. She outlines how to change your thinking and improve your life with positive affirmations and mental exercises to foster self love and acceptance. The book has been redesigned with beautiful illustrations and it has been a pleasure to read. If you have a friend or family member into self growth, this might be a lovely a gift.
What I’ve Been Listening To:
Both my husband and I have been listening to this wonderful meditation/visualization CD: Journey Into Meditation by
Lisa Guyman. In this C.D. Lisa offers three meditations. The first is a chakra balancing waterfall meditation which is very relaxing and it is most often the one my husband and I listen to before we go to bed. The second meditation/visualization is about accessing information from your guides and higher self, and the third meditation is about visualizing the things that you want to manifest in your life such as vibrant health and financial abundance.
Since listening to the C.D. both my husband and I noticed that we are sleeping better and more deeply and that we are generally calmer during the day. We also notice that in situations that used to frazzle us, we seem unfazed. My husband has told be things like: This is the calmest I’ve ever seen you putting on Thanksgiving, organizing a potluck . . .(etc.) We are so excited about the benefits we’ve found from meditating that we ordered a bunch of other meditation C.D.’s, but we must say that Lisa Guyman’s C.D. is our absolute favorite! Her voice is soothing, the music is not overwhelming, and the visualizations are pleasant.
Here is my affiliate link to the C.D. on Amazon:
Journey Into Meditation
I hope you enjoyed my update and possibly find some of the tools I mentioned helpful. If you like my recommendations, please check out my recommendations page where I give my top picks for books, C.D.’s, and other useful things especially if you are gift shopping!
Don’t forget to nurture yourself this Holiday Season! We could all learn from these two R&R experts!
December 9, 2009 No Comments