When Self Care Takes a Backseat

Sometimes, we go a month, or two or three where literally anything goes in the realms of self care because we are pouring all of our energy into a realm of our life that we deem more important at that given time: work, family, creativity, etc.  We forget that self care actually is the fuel and foundation for literally every other area of our life.

It’s during these times where we get to experience the dis-ease that results when we abandon self care – the burnout, the depletion, the fatigue, the creative blocks. We come to truly cherish and crave self care for the way it nourishes our soul so that we can show up strong, creative, and loving. Things like meditation and yoga feel less like tedious to-do’s and more like a gift, a luxury. AND, then we get to course correct. To come into congruency and alignment with our integrity. Wipe the slate clean and recommit to a path that honors our Truth, values, and intentions.

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Are You Struggling to Get Clear On Your Intention?

You know you need a vision, right?  But right now you just feel confused and lacking the clarity to move forward.  Even the next baby step feels uncertain, and you’re left either stuck in inaction or spinning your wheels in aimless action.

The majority of systems for transformation begin with getting clear on your vision for your body, for your life, for your business, for your relationship, or for whatever area you are trying to manifest in.  And then from that vision, we create a clear intention.

Unfortunately, too many of us are trying to create a vision from the mind, rather than generating a vision from feeling into the desires and yearnings in our body.  And we keep bumping into the limitations of the mind- stuck in a small box of our own making.  

When we create a vision from the mind, it’s often influenced by external ideas of what we should be doing, what would look good, or what seems logical.  And often when we create from this place, we may ultimately end up realizing that we aren’t actually aligned with that which we have created.  We end up feeling disappointed, unfulfilled, lost, and exhausted.  When we haven’t dropped into the body and surrendered to being first, then our goals and intentions tend to come from a place of needing to achieve in order to prove our worthiness to both ourselves and others.

The old masculine paradigm for success begins with having a goal, and creating a step-by-step plan to make it happen.  But what happens when there’s no clear path to that which we desire?  Say, manifesting a loving and passionate relationship, or creating work in the world that’s fully aligned with one’s soul calling, or even creating an offering that will impact the world in a meaningful way.  Many times we can feel these yearnings- these possibilities-even before our mind can conceive of what it exactly looks like or how to make it happen.

While the masculine model for manifesting and “making shit happen” begins with the mind, women initiate powerful manifestation processes from the wisdom and power of the body.  As women, our power in manifesting requires us to be deeply connected, fully inhabiting, and in strong communication and relatedness with body wisdom.  From this place we can really feel into our desires, our yearnings and generate a vision and a guiding intention.

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Lessons From a Spider

Today, I began my day bright and early with a brisk walk to my neighborhood yoga studio to begin the day with a little heart and hip opening.  We began the yoga class by setting an intention. The teacher spoke about the vibration that we are creating in our lives and how important it is to be mindful about what and who we surround ourselves with.  I set my intention to focus my experience on the immense love, gratitude, abundance, and bliss that is available to me.  In order to fill my life with these positive vibrations, I would need to kick fear to the curb, choosing higher vibration thoughts instead.  I closed my eyes, brought my hands to hearts center and placed the seed of intention between my palms.

I gently opened my eyes gazing at my mat, and there between my two feet was a SPIDER. EEK!  Truth be told, I’m not very zen in my relationship with spiders and at home might consider taking a shoe to it, but here, in this space that practices the yogic principle of Ahimsa, or nonviolence, I could do no such thing.  So I watched it and laughed at the irony of the situation.  The universe has a hilarious sense of humor when we pay attention.   Here was the universe, “Saying, you think you’re ready to cast fear aside and choose love and peace instead?  Show me.”

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A Vulnerable Story About Hitting Rock Bottom & Finding My Purpose

I was called to step into leadership from a young age. As captain of my soccer and cross-country teams, I always loved exploring how to inspire and empower others to their greatest potential.  When my dad passed away when I was 17, however, I pulled back into a cocoon of safety and isolation. In an attempt to experience control over my life, I pushed away friends and community and fell deep into the grip of an eating disorder.  The more out of alignment I became with my life purpose and my potential, the more my health deteriorated.  I struggled with PCOS, adrenal fatigue, severe anxiety and depression and medicated myself into a numb state of apathy and acquiescence.  Without trust in the basic goodness of life, my strategy was to simply survive, control, and do my best to protect myself against uncertainty.

I was at home from college one weekend, alone in my mom’s home and in the darkest depths of my eating disorder.  I became incredibly aware that I no longer wanted to live.  Not like this.  I knew in that moment that something had to change.

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An Interview On Archetypes, The Divine Feminine & Sparking the Light of Joy Within

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Carmela Garone, who I had the pleasure of speaking with for her Unleash Your Joy Now Summit.  

Topics Discussed:

My initiation into the healing arts

Blocks to joy - Upper Limits, Disconnection from the Body, Limiting Beliefs & Stories (2:30) 

How to begin shifting your reality by tapping into archetypal energies (5:00)

How the collective and cultural ideas of the collective shape our experience (9:10)

What happens when we don't fit into the idea of what others think we should be (10:45)

The cost of not showing up as who you really are (11:50)

The Masculine and the Feminine Energies and how they show up in our life & work (15:15)

Conducting a coaching business from the feminine perspective (18:30)

Embodiment practices to get back into the body to feel into what is authentic and true for you (20:00)

What it means to lead with joy (23:00)

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Why Self Care and Nourishment are the Keys for Client Attraction in Your Soul-Aligned Business

There are so many invisible and unseen and subtle factors that have an undeniable influence on our ability to attract success and abundance with ease.

One pattern that I see time and time again, is when myself and my clients take the time and space to truly nourish and replenish themselves, they experience business breakthroughs without the burnout, incessant striving, and push and force.

Why is this?

I’ve identified 6 invisible factors that powerfully shape our ability to manifest – all profoundly impacted by self-care and nourishment

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The Sneaky Thief of Fulfilling Work, Vitality & Joy

The tireless and fruitless pursuit for perfection is a pattern that shows up in every area of life from business to relationships to health.  And if I was to pinpoint the top factor that holds my clients back from truly leading in the world in the way that sets their heart on fire, it’s perfection.

The search for the perfect business, perfect relationship, perfect body, perfect diet, perfect marketing strategy, perfect morning routine, the perfect YOU NAME IT, is an illusory and dead-end pattern that always, always, always leads to a feeling of failure, unworthiness, and “not quite good enough”.  Perfectionism is a major root of stuckness and stagnation.  And, if we don’t pay attention, we’ll put perfection so high up on a pedestal that the quest will begin to rob us of our vitality and joy, leading only to apathy, depression, exhaustion, and burnout.

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What I Learned From My Experiences With Depression, Fatigue & Overeating

I learned the powerful lesson of balancing lunar and solar energies for internal harmony, enduring vitality, and health in my own life after years of repeating the same pattern. Each spring, I would come alive with energy and life force. I would exploit this new found energy by enhancing it with stimulants like coffee, while overexerting and extending myself and nourishing myself less. After a summer of sunshine, tons of physical activity, extroversion, multitasking, meal skipping, skimping on sleep, lots of coffee, and a pace too rapid to maintain, I would crash at the first signs of fall. I learned firsthand that what goes up must come down.   Yet for years I resisted this realization and would survive through the fall and winter months just awaiting the new breath of spring. Instead of being a beautifully introspective time, fall and winter became a battlefield of depression, fatigue, and overeating. I was depleting my lunar reserves during the summer months without any attention to meditation, rest, and silence. Then I would respond to the experience of feeling totally exhausted and depleted by overeating or self soothing with too much TV.

I was doing my best to try and self medicate or self soothe, but the quick fixes I was reaching for weren’t addressing the deep depletion of lunar or feminine energy that had been created during the warmer months.

I wasn’t aware that what I really needed was to boost and replenish this lunar energy so that I could experience wellbeing and success without burnout.

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How To Revolutionize Your Life One Month at a Time

I love Spring.  The trees are fully adorned with leaves once again and the foliage is lush and vibrant.  The somatic winter sense of lingering loss is swept away by the freshness of possibility and the promise of new beginnings.

In light of this flurry of new energy, on a beautiful hike through the woods, my friend and I launched into an exciting conversation about the biochemical and emotional underpinnings of habitual behavior and lasting change.  I had just watched a quick clip on YouTube about the biochemistry of change.  Marie Forleo and Todd Herman spoke about how the breaking of old habits or the creation of a new practice floods the bloodstream with dopamine and serotonin.  Our cells are used to the stress hormone, cortisol, instead, and they crave what they are accustomed to.  The cells that replicate crave dopamine and serotonin rather than cortisol.  The cells vibrate in order to shake up their receptor sites to accommodate the influx of these new chemicals.  It can feel uncomfortable, depending on the story we attach to this sensation.  We can either persevere and quickly find ourselves upleveling, or we can self sabotage at this moment.  This is the most important moment, as Todd Herman says, to relax into the process of change.

My friend then shared about how she had been shown a Ted talk that week at work about cultivating a practice for 30 days.  How about cultivating new practices not “to make yourself better, “ to fix yourself,” or “for self improvement,” but rather as a way to keep yourself fresh, exciting, and interesting… because if we aren’t growing we’re dying, right?

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A Four Step Process for Overcoming Ruts and Reaching Your Goals

Several years ago I had the opportunity to take a year and travel around South America.  While living there, I was deeply drawn to the summits and rough terrain of the Andes.  I sought out mountaineering trips in Patagonia and then, upon traveling north, set out to summit Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits of the world. I had chosen a trip that traversed the Guanacos Valley route, a lesser-travelled route to the summit.  Unlike the normal route, it was relatively untouched and much longer, taking about 19 days.

Reaching to 22,837 ft, this mountain was a sure to teach me a lesson or two on the art of perseverance, mental fortitude, and emotional endurance.  What I didn’t realize was that it would also teach me the art of surrendering to the journey.

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How to Cultivate a Daily Meditation Practice & Why it's Worth Your Time

You know those moments when you hear a song or see a movie and it wakes up some deeply stored cellular memory within you?

This happened to me the other day. I was watching the movie Enough Said and the main character was saying goodbye to her daughter as she boarded the flight to head off to college. Before I even realized it my eyes flooded with tears, and I started sobbing with this immense sense of grief.

About 13 years ago, I left for college in San Diego, 2,000 miles away from home, when my Dad was in the final month of his life. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer 3 months earlier. For the first month of school, I was in denial, unsure of how to fully assimilate my experience as it was happening.

A month later I came back for his funeral. I was admittedly anesthetized from compulsively overeating sticky buns that morning, and honestly remember very little. Bits and pieces.

What I remember with clarity was the moment I said goodbye to my mom that day in the Milwaukee Airport. My dad now gone, our family home and much loved land being sold to the highest bidder, and my mom doing her best to keep it all together after losing the love of her life. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest.

This moment was the final piece that left me feeling without stability, support, or sense of home. I say final piece because the physical experience of losing my home and family as I knew it was secondary to a longer process of abandoning my body and my heart.

And so this overwhelmingly uncomfortable experience of “homesickness” began. For years this was the only word that accurately portrayed my emotional experience. What I realized was that this feeling of being homesick was there whether I was travelling alone in South America or back in Cedarburg, Wisconsin celebrating Thanksgiving with my mom and brothers.

The feeling eased with time and the more I grew into myself as an adult. Being in the mountains and in nature always felt like home. And then I found meditation.

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Why Resolutions Fail

We often embrace new beginnings (new month, new year, new moons) by making well-meaning intentions to practice better self care. However many of us have goal trauma - a result of abandoning our intentions one two many times before seeing them through to fruition. 

Behind the resolution making and the resolution breaking lies one thing: a deeper desire to experience more joy, love, and abundance.

Yet it’s not uncommon to lose sight of this in the rigidity and striving or in the guilt induced states of self incrimination after the resolution has been broken.

Why, so often, are we successful and capable in so many areas of our life when we seem to flounder in following through on the promises we make to ourselves around health and happiness?

Many psychologists believe that when we were around the age of 6 to 8 years old, we developed a subconscious belief about life that informed how much love, abundance, and joy we believed we were worthy of or capable of experiencing.

Over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the ways in which I close myself off to the flow of love, positivity, and abundance.  This can look different for everyone:

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Are You Struggling With This Common Imbalance?

For men and women alike, its so important to integrate qualities of the feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) in a balanced and harmonious way for optimal health and well being.  Several years ago, I noticed that I was living my life in a way that felt like I was always running uphill.  In the wake of my my dad's death, I sought control and an artificial sense of strength in rigidity.  I approached everything with an intensity that was unyielding and masculine (yang) in its nature.  Aggressive, competitive, forceful, adventurous, and self reliant.  I worked out excessively and intensely, followed strict diets with rigid rules and calorie counting, spent a year on my own traveling in South America, and searched out experiences like month long mountaineering expeditions on 23,000 feet summits to reach my greatest limits in enduring discomfort.  I felt disembodied, struggled with anxiety, depression, and hormonal imbalances.

Towards the end of my travels, I sought out respite in a small farm and yoga community outside of Cordoba, Argentina.  After a couple of weeks, the owners, Pepe and Lilliana, began speaking with me about cultivating and embracing qualities of the feminine (yin) more in order to create healing.  The feminine, or yin, is receptive, intuitive, nurturing, sensitive, warm, gentle, and yielding.  But it is also stormy, unpredictable, and emotional.  Embodying these qualities would mean giving up my false sense of control, which seemed unlikely at the time.

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How to Nourish Yourself for Mental Clarity, Stable Energy & Creative Flow

As ambitious women, it's essential that we make the time to nourish ourselves. Unfortunately too many of us end up knee deep in creative projects, neglecting the act of nourishment that keeps our energy grounded and our mind clear.  

I've never been one for meal planning.  I like the freedom of choice and spontaneous creativity at meal times.  So the keys for me are smart shopping, easeful meal templates, and sous-chef Sundays!

Smart Shopping

I strongly believe that healthy eating begins with smart grocery shopping.  If your fridge is empty and your fruit bowl is gathering dust, then it can be easy to head to your neighborhood bar for a burger or order in pizza on a whim.

My recommendation is to stock your kitchen with a plethora of live foods (fresh vegetables and fruits), healthy fats, and high quality proteins so that every meal is a formula for optimal energy, mood, appetite regulation, and weight.

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Are Your Emotions Running the Show? Learn how to Reclaim Your Personal Power and Live Your Life Intentionall

For many years, I related to my body and my life like a controlling tyrant. I was always pushing myself intensely and without compassion. I was driven by an insatiable quest for perfection, and in the process, I only ended up feeling more and more inadequate, and more and more exhausted. Eventually I burnt out. And then I saw what it was like to live on the other side of the spectrum. Ruled by emotional states, always searching for the easiest, safest, and most comfortable route. Neither experience was empowering, and the feeling of freedom and flow continued to elude me. I wasn’t driven by vision in either experience but by fear.

So, naturally, I’m endlessly passionate about helping other women find this sweet spot where intention and embodiment meet. And a crucial part of that awakening is learning how to start listening to the body without being controlled by the emotional experience.

Learning to manage emotions and thoughts is a requirement for personal and spiritual evolution.

We, as a collective here in the Western world are fortunate enough to live in a time of great choice, but many of us are making choices based on feeling states rather than based on what is actually in alignment and integrity with our vision, our desires. We are ultimately allowing our thoughts and emotions to run our lives.

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Why Discipline is Actually the Key to Freedom

So why do we need discipline at all? For many of you this might seem like a very obvious answer but for others, discipline may strike you as being this rigid and militaristic construct that keeps us locked into the striving and grasping way of living life. But discipline can lead to the very ease that you are yearning for.

Discipline actually makes manifestation and creation possible in our lives. Manifestation and creation light us up and give our life meaning. Limitation is what creates the container for upward growth. When we live from a place of ease and comfort all of the time, we are ruled by the limits of the mind. We need to strike a balance between effort and surrender. Evolution happens when we are outside of our comfort zone. We can’t transform while simultaneously clinging to safe patterns and habits that give us a false sense of security. We have to shake things up and do things a little bit differently in order to experience different results.

If we push ourselves so hard that our body and mind rebel, we end up taking two steps backward. But when we push ourselves just enough for progressive and gradual expansion of the heart, body, and mind, magic happens and we enter into a new frontier of possibility.

So limitation and boundaries, actually lead to greater freedom when the disciplines that we create allow for the spaciousness for flow and surrender in the present moment.

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Detoxify Your Mind: A 6-Step Process to Transform Toxic Beliefs

“Every thought we think, every belief we hold, every interpretation we make of what we perceive, leads to every emotion and action we take.” Henry Grayson, PhD.

So many clients that I coach are working diligently to minimize nutritional and environmental toxins in their lives, yet they have paid little attention to clearing away the clouds that dim their inner radiance – the toxic thoughts, stories, words, and perceptions.

Right now, in this moment, you are everything that you need to be and so much more than you can imagine. Unfortunately, our thoughts and perceptions often keep us from seeing this truth. Negative thoughts and stories are powerful self-chosen stressors. And you know the story with stressors of any kind. They halt weight loss efforts by increasing insulin and cortisol and deregulating the appetite, digestion, and assimilation.

Our thoughts are the information and vibration that literally feed every cell of our being from our liver cells to our skin cells. We become what we believe. So, clearing our minds of the negative thoughts is no less important than a healthy diet in overall weight loss, health, and happiness. In this blog I will introduce a series of powerful mind-shifts that have the potential to truly change your life if you allow them to.

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Get Unstuck So You Can Deepen Into Aliveness

A few weeks ago I headed west to celebrate my brothers marriage. It was a magical weekend, immersed in the mountains of Montana with family and friends all alive with love and joy. I felt nourished on a level that I haven’t in many, many years. I felt a sense of belonging and rootedness again in the company of my mom and brothers in the Montana Sunshine. And I felt my Dad alive and present in the mountain breeze, in the laughter, and in the loving words and big tears of gratitude shared in his memory.

Since returning back to the South, I’ve felt like I’m desperately trying to find my way back home in the darkness. At first I threw myself into work, catching up on everything that I had fallen behind on while I was away. After too many late nights, I came down with the flu spending the last 7 days lying horizontal. Each day I was sick with the flu, I would wake with the best of intentions, I’d get on my yoga mat, I’d identify what needed to be done, and then… nausea and immense fatigue would get the best of me. I feel my physical energy returning, but this mental haze hangs heavy. From this state of fatigue and haziness, I kept identifying with a story in my head about being "stuck.” But the truth was, I wasn’t actually stuck, I just wasn’t allowing myself to take the pause, surrender, and rest. And from this place moving into action was challenging because my body still needed the rest I wasn’t allowing for.

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