I am relieved with the arrival of summer. All of this gorgeousness is refreshing and life-giving. I recently cashed in on some long saved flight miles to meet up with my parents in France. Not so shabby I know--! It was a lot of time with planes/trains and time in transit for a very short, whirlwind of a visit, catching the end of rainy, chilly spring and savoring what I call "the moments in between".
"I’m a grown woman, and I don’t know how to eat. As I sit here writing this, I’m trying to resist the urge to get up and buy the giant coconut cream doughnut calling my name from the bakery case at the other end of the coffee shop."
Can you relate? Most of us can. It can feel so confusing. So overwhelming. So frustrating as we try to manage, navigate and decipher the conflicting messages of our minds, bodies and emotions in relation to "how to best nourish ourselves". Our environment impacts us, and some of the things we learned early on -- later we come to see we need to unlearn....
The experience that Elizabeth went through wasn't just impactful for her but for many people I know and work with, including myself. I understand the challenges associated with emotional eating, feeling run down and grabbing for anything to pick me up, feeling lonely and stuck in what seemed like an endless cycle that I wanted out of. And I ALSO know that satisfying and pleasurable results are absolutely possible - I am committed to this. Witnessing someone go through so much transformation is always a little mind-blowing.
Learning how to properly nourish and befriend our bodies can be a battle that all of us go through at one time or another, and it changes as we change. Some of us go through this profoundly early in life and outgrow, heal and recover as part of our life story. Some of us realize it's happening as adults. We can't do this life alone - that's for sure. I loved being able to help Elizabeth through this process. Like many of us she is on a continuum and there is more......Releasing our outdated and harmful relationship with food (and other things in our lives) leaves us with freedom and energy that are hard to imagine until you go through it. One must go through this with guidance, support and care with someone who truly gets it from the inside out and the outside in.
You can read Elizabeth's full article on her experience here. Are you looking for some support? Do you want to discover how to take real-deal care of yourself (and in turn those you love)?
Believe it or not, I recently returned from my second trip to Japan this year. WOW. Epic travels. I told someone that trips like that are a universe all to themselves. Quite different in almost every way than the last one, though equally as beautiful, challenging, surprising and fascinating. I always learn so much through my travels about my own health and also how I can be of greater service to others.
ONE of the ways I find I can be of greater service to myself and my community has to do with managing sleep routine. I've certainly noticed the things that don't feel great when I am out of sync with getting good sleep. It's no wonder, even just one sleep-deprived night can impact your stress hormones (like cortisol) levels for days.
This sometimes means I feel hungrier, gain weight, feel more anxious and am left with increased inflammation. I can sometimes fall into emotional eating to boost my energy and mood. These are not great cycles to get caught in for any of us.
To help with my sleep routine I put together breath work exercises to unwind at the end of the day. As a bonus, it ALSO has an impact on my skin! Last month I shared with you all about a group I was a part of to help others learn ways to "feel good in the skin you're living in" and breath work is a piece of that. All this to say that breath work is one tool that has many benefits. (I love things like that!)
I wanted to share these benefits with others, SO I made a video of some simple yet impactful breathing exercises that I highly recommend trying out for yourself. These exercises can also be really helpful in managing any pain you might be experiencing (both emotionally and/or physically-- I have used them a lot for both and especially now as I am nursing an injury that is really putting me to the test.) I hope the video is a helpful for you. Let me know! And cheers to better sleep and all else!
April is the first month where it fully feels like spring - in all it's fickle ways. Flowers are poking out and it slowly feels a little like a heavy burden has been lifted after a long winter. Do you feel that way? I also know it's a time when we begin feeling like we want to 'lighten up' as we seasonally transition.
What heavy burden needs to be lifted from you this spring? Is it an emotional load, a challenging relationship, over-eating, physical pain that just won't go away? Maybe just the feeling of day-to-day life feeling flat? If you still need to shake off the last of the winter blues and start blooming with all of your potential this spring, take a cue from the flowers.
Spend Time Outside
Get outside and get moving. I mean just breathe outside! The Earth is waking up, the ground below is slowly thawing, rejuvenated and ready - let some of that energy pass on to you. Literally place your hands on the ground and touch it, make contact with the dirt! Take a long walk, or sit on your balcony at night and enjoy the longer days. Just get out there and get some sun in your face even when the air is still cool.
Time To Rest
Many flowers close in once the sun sets; this allows them to stay protected, conserves and revitalizes their energy, and ensures that they're ready to bloom bright and early the next morning. If you need to lighten your load a bit, try living this way. Meditation can be a simple five or ten minutes using an app to lead you. Make a commitment to go to sleep earlier, and allow your body to reset its energy for the next day.
As you may know, I traveled to Japan recently, and it was a diverse and fascinating experience. I am happy to share even a few chunks with you!
One reason I love traveling abroad is because it obviously allows me to experience other cultures firsthand and step out of my comfort zone.
Japanese culture is beautiful, while being both wild and controlled all at the same time. It is steeped in ancient artful traditions, yet also embracing new fads, fashions, and technologies.
I really appreciate how Japanese culture is expressed artistically and aesthetically through various mediums. Food of course is one of those mediums, and it's just gorgeous what they create - brilliant actually. The same goes for the way they use paper folding (more than just origami!), and also the art of the environment - like feng shui, but called 'fusui' in Japan. Or there is the art of pottery that looks different depending on the region. Then, of course, there is the spiritual and medicinal parts of Japanese culture which of course I love, and the therapeutic art of the 'onsen' - an old ritual of the bath house and hot springs - divine!! (Each one of these could have its own newsletter, this is only a mention because I believe all of these connect with the various aspects of holistic health and wellness, so certainly worth mentioning).
Japanese culture takes real honor and pleasure in the art of things, and they have been studying these practices for thousands of years. It leaves me asking - how can we take pleasure in these in our lives more, and as an act of self care and presence. I'm curious what that means to you!
Making mundane tasks an art form can be extremely beautiful and peaceful. It requires a calm focus.... actions that are intentional rather than random, and there is so much to be learned through that present intentionality!
I hope you are in some way or another finding ways to love yourself more compassionately, fully, and graciously.
I know this is not always so easy to do especially in moments when we feel we have failed or don't like some part of what the mirror tells us. What a twisted game that can be, right? Oh don't I know it.
In 2018, I took a long trek to Japan.
I was fortunate to take this richly fulfilling trip though it also actually took a much harder toll on my health than I had anticipated. I have traveled my whole life and it's something that I have always made a priority and which I gain so much from each time. This time what I gained in terms of my physical health was navigating some real deal food allergies which I am now recovering from. I usually can manage these pretty well with when I travel. This time was very different. Some of you might be able to relate! I am allergic to wheat and have a difficult time with soy and let me tell you those are the two MAIN ingredients in EVERYTHING in Japanese cooking. I didn't realize just how prevalent it was even though I read and did research before leaving it still was really tough for me and I was exposed WAY more than ever.
I talk with my clients frequently about navigating nutrition, minimizing or avoiding gluten, dairy and sometimes corn and soy too. It can be tricky to do here in the US at times but in Japan it was a whole other ball park and at many times there was nothing I could do about it. I am really so grateful for this diverse and extraordinary adventure while at the same time--not feeling good physically-- still getting over the jet lag and also very swollen and inflamed from the over exposure to things I am allergic to. Not so pretty let me tell you. And I am learning, once again, to be patient with myself and with the set backs in life that we all have sometimes. Se la vie!
Comfort zone pushing goals
One of my "comfort zone pushing goals" in 2018, aside from foreign travel, was to create (one minute) videos, because it's something I'd been petrified of. I had hoped that by doing it I could be of greater service in the world and also shift some things in myself in the process. It is a process indeed-- most things in life that matter seem to be, and patience, acceptance and letting go are certainly some helpful pieces, just like that with our health struggles as I just mentioned above-- PATIENCE and care, true self care.
I started an experiment/challenge with my good friend Mary. She kept encouraging me to make these videos about the things we talk about and more! It was time to stop letting my fear rule me so much. So the "Simply Fabulous VideoChallenge" began on January 1st, and went from the original 14 days to the whole month. I would choose something in-the-present-moment to focus on which somehow related to simple ways to feel good. Holistic health tips, speaking your truth, and making your life a little more "Simply Fabulous" we all can use more of I'm sure. These videos are all a minute or less and are a source for things like setting intentions, quick mood-boosting recipes, and expanding your comfort zone.
The videos can be found on my YouTube channel here.
I'm so grateful for the opportunities that stepping out of my comfort zone has given me - traveling, learning how other cultures view holistic health, and getting to engage more with my clients!
Here's to loving ourselves more fully, and doing things that scare us!