A Shift of Perspective

Everything is interconnected. The more you explore and observe yourself in new places, situations, amongst new social circles ect. You begin to uncover parts of yourself you had no idea existed. Or in my case, I feel like I've started to remember my true "WHY" for doing the things that I do.

Let me start the story of where I'm currently at. After creating blog posts and weekly email posts for my online community I took an unintended break. Life got really really busy and I chose to put my attention on other things. 

This break allowed me to walk outside the lines of what was becoming my habituated life pattern and allowed me to re-examine from afar what's going on in all fronts of my life, including this business.

My blog posts were feeling stale, and like repeated information that's everywhere on the internet. While they hold valuable information, they are only one small piece of the reason I care so much about living a healthy life. 

So here goes my "why" and it is best explained in this quote by Martha Graham;

"There is a vitality, a life fore, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and THERE IS ONLY ONE OF YOU IN ALL TIME. This expression is unique, AND IF YOU BLOCK IT, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. KEEP THE CHANNEL OPEN.  - Martha Graham

Beautiful isn't it?

Imagine a world where we learned to value each human being as whole, perfect and complete because there would only be ONE OF THEM IN ALL TIME. Would you change the way you treated yourself if this became your mantra?

Keeping the Channel Open:

This is my ultimate "Why". Why do we want to eat clean, exercise and meditate? Why do we want to keep our physique and our minds top notch? My reason is to keep the channel open. Allowing universal inspiration to fill my heart and guide my actions. This is, for me, the only thing that matters. 

Yes, my ego rises to the surface of my mind, desiring a smaller waistline or "thigh gap". But that's minuscule to the intention of keeping the channel, my vessel open and ready to be in the world full out. To be healthy and present enough to not just go through the motions of my life but engage deeply with the outside world. To find joy in all things, even the tinniest thing, taking no time or action for granted. 

How would your life change if you cared for your body and mind with the intention of making space for universal guidance?

How would your diet change with the intention of fueling yourself to take divine actions in the world?

How would your work out change with the intention of keeping your body not just fit but healthy on all fronts? Would you allow more time to stretch, or perhaps connect with your each and every movement? Would you approach your sweat session with gratitude for a healthy, working body rather than for the 300 calorie burn?

Would you take moments of silence to breath deep? Would you turn off the T.V. and go for a walk? Would you head to bed a little early to allow your body time to relax, the nervous system time to calm, the mind to slow down?

Would you say "no" to toxic things, situations and people? Would you take time off when you're sick despite wanting to power through?

Would your approach to life change?

I know mine would. And so would my approach to business. 

This is why I'll be taking the rest of the summer off, to truly connect with my "why". 

I hope you'll take a few moments to value the extraordinary, wonderful, unique being you are. A moment to reflect on your actions and how they would change to start to support your divine spirit functioning in physical form.

With a heart full of love and gratitude. I leave you to reflect...

Key Concept #6: Quit the Sugar Sweetheart

Oh my gosh, sugar. Where to begin?

Sugar is known to not only make you fat, but also causes heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, acne, infertility and impotence. It feeds cancer cells, candida and increases inflammation in the body.  There's no way around it, it's terrible for you!

The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar and about 146 pounds of flour a year. Yikes! Our kids are consuming about 34 teaspoons of sugar everyday leaving one out of 4 teenagers pre or fully diabetic. 

Like a drug, it's not easy, but it is best to quit cold turkey. Science has proven sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine! Have you experienced that? Starting with one scoop of ice cream, that led to one more, and another and just one more bite till the carton was completely empty. 

Not only are we talking sweet treats here. Flour (even whole wheat flour) is converted to sugar once it enters the body. Bread can cause the same spikes in blood sugar as your favorite chocolate bar. 

A little leeway....

There are some good sources of sugar out there however aka fruit, natures candy. In the coaching world I read a lot of debates about eating root vegetables or super sweet fruits like bananas which have a higher glycemic index than other natural sources. My personal opinion on this one is if you've cut out the refined garbage do whatever you want with that banana!

Ready to eliminate the sugar? Here are a few helpful steps!

Clean Out Your Pantry. An addict brain will go searching for sugars in the middle of the night so get rid of all your sugary and processed snack foods. If you can't get the family on board, ask them to indulge in their fixes outside of the home. It's important to set your environment up for your success.

Eat Protein With Every Meal. Protein is going to fill you up and keep you satiated for longer. 

Stay Hydrated. Often times dehydration can make us think we're hungrier than we are.

Find an account-bil-a-buddy: Take the oath to cleanse yourself of sugar with a friend that can support you along the way. Someone you can complain with, laugh with, dine with... you get it.

Remember: The first few days may be torturous. Your body may feel weird and out of whack. Stick with it, once you're through this hurdle you'll come out the other side feeling amazing and energized.

For more info check out these two leaders in the battle against sugar:

Doctor Mark Hyman, The Blood Sugar Solution http://drhyman.com

Sarah Wilson, I Quit Sugar https://iquitsugar.com

 

7 Ways to Re-Set Your Endocrine System Into Perfect Hormone-y

So often we use our physical appearance to assess our health.

Nothing wrong with that.

The outside absolutely reflects what's going on inside.

 

So, what is going on inside?

This week I'm exploring the Endocrine system. In case you haven’t studied physiology since high school, lets quickly review what the endocrine system is and why it’s important.

The endocrine system is made up of a series of glands that produce and send hormones which act as chemical messengers into the blood stream.  Some hormones act on certain organs accelerating and or inhibiting reactions in the body. Other hormones react on all tissues of the body and can be linked to metabolism and growth as well as other functions.

While our bodies are machines and can adapt and withstand so much, our hormonal system is highly sensitive and can be disrupted by many a thing. According to Alicia Vitti, hormone balancing Goddess In 30 days we will come in to contact with more hormone disrupting chemicals than our grandparents did in their lifetime! Here’s just a few things that can throw off precious balance in the body….

  1. The BPA found in plastics
  2. Chemicals found in deodorants, skin products and nail polish
  3. Household Cleaning Products
  4. Flame retardants used on Furniture
  5. Stimulants like caffeine, sugar, processed foods and starch

Lets Look At Some Symptoms of an out of whack system:
1. Mood Swings
2. For Women Heavy, painful or irregular periods
3. In Men and Women a low sex drive
4. Not being able to sleep at night
5. Late night undeniable cravings for salts and sweets
6.Chronic acne
7. Memory Fog
8. Tummy issues
9. Constant Fatigue

Not to worry, there are steps you can take RIGHT NOW to start to rebalance yourself! Here are some things to consider going forward as you discover a new found awareness of your endocrine system.

1. Clean up your diet! Leaving behind processed, sugary and starchy foods in place of whole and nutritious foods is the first thing you can do to re-set your body. 

2. Replace refined vegetable oils with uncooked virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil has many benefits such as:

  • Balances thyroid function by promoting conversion of cholesterol to the building block of hormone production Pregnenolone.
  • Contains Multi-chain Triglycerides (MCT) which help you maintain a healthy weight by increasing metabolism and energy levels. 
  • You can also replace most of your bath products with this Super Silky and Hydrating Oil.

3. Add dose of magnesium!

  • Assists you in converting RNA to DNA, the building blocks of life.
  • Helps the digestive tract absorb proteins and fats
  • Precursor to the production of Serotonin aka happy juice

4. Change over your cleaning products and toiletries to the "All Natural" equivalent. Look for bath products Paraban free, deodorants with out aluminium and all natural toothpaste free of fluoride.

5. Lighten up on the caffeine intake. Constantly caffeinating up can cause your adrenal system to go bonkers. If you're a coffee-addict (like me) slowly lower your caffeine intake and then eventually cut it out or replace it with much more beneficial green tea.

6. Get enough sleep. Aim for 8 hours... no really, do it. Give your body plenty of time to repair and rejuvenate.

7. Restructure your work out to a hormone happy one. We all LOVE a good sweat and a challenging workout. Believe it or not, that high intensity sweat sesh can actually cause you to produce stress hormones. Light cardio and strength training is recommended for hormone  health. If you do love yourhigh intensity work out routine, allow yourself time after to stretch, calm and re-set the body before you run off to your busy day.

 

This One Thing Will Change Your Life For the Better!

 

I used to be miserable. Despite my natural ability to put on a happy face and god given bubbly personality, I was constantly in a battle with myself. I was a slave to my spiraling thoughts of inadequacy and self judgment. I would allow these thoughts to consume me. I was always trying to think my way out of perceived problems that only time and actions could resolve. The world felt noisy. I felt trapped. Life was turbulent.

So what happened?

Meditation.

Yup. That’s it. 

I know… you hear about meditation ALL the time. And for a lot of us meditation goes on the “I know its good for me, I just don’t do it” list. Well, let me light a little fire under your seat and remind you the amazing benefits you get from sitting still for just a lil bit of time each day.

 

What happens when you Meditate


Cool. So your in.

What I’d like to offer you is how I created a practice that actually stuck and the one surprise benefit I found from my practice.

All right, so for years I heard to meditate first thing in the morning and right before bed at night. In yoga teacher training I learned numerous ways to meditate with props, using different breath patterns , etc. This all felt very forced to me, rigid, regimented and just plain wrong. So, I scrapped it. Well, not all of it. I decided no matter what I would sit still for 5 min everyday and just be with my breath. No judgements. 

Here’s what happened…

I naturally started to put a practice together that looked like the ones I so rigidly tried to create before. The difference was I was creating my practice based on what I felt would support me rather than following someone else’s step by step. I’m on my journey, not theirs, as you are on yours, not mine. As time went on I created a beautiful space, formed rituals like lighting a candle, making herbal tea, writing in my journal and then sitting peacefully for 5 minutes before bed. All of a sudden my meditation time became something I looked forward to. 

But that’s not the end of the story.

Life happened and things changed as in life they’re guaranteed to do. I moved out of my apartment and decided to travel on. I no longer had my space or schedule but I did have my commitment to sitting for just 5 min a day. I’m telling you this because it’s easy to make excuses to not do something because of time or an unexpected situation. The beauty about meditation is that you can do it anywhere. Once you’ve made the commitment you just do it, no matter what!This leads me to my exciting discovery.

Drum Roll Please ……

Meditation has become my accounta-bil-a-buddy. I know that for at least 5 min a day I have to sit with myself and the person I’ve decided to be. In a world full of twists, turns, change, good behavior, questionable reactionary behavior, there I show up everyday. I come to my comfortable upright seat and there I am, with me. The me that chose to go for a run, or skip yoga, or drink too much wine. There she is. Because I take this time everyday I also am acutely aware of things that are working in my life and the things its time to let go of. 

This is insanely important to you and your growth. So many clients come to coaches and trainers looking for accountability, and yes we offer this. But we’re only with you a few hours a week. When you learn to hold yourself accountable, that’s when real change starts ti happen. You no longer need an outside source for help, but are now tapped into the infinite strength you have with in!

So I’m not going to give you a step by step, how to or follow along guided meditation. What I am going to encourage you to do is COMMIT whole heartedly to sit with yourself for just 5 minutes a day without expectation or judgement. Follow your breath, observe your mind and just be.

Her Final Breath

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I’m at Denver International Airport on a 3 hour layover between New York and Portland, Oregon where I will be attending my Grandmother’s funeral. Surrounded with family as she peacefully passed to places unknown Grandma Kern as I called her lived a wonderful, vibrant and long life. When she made the decision to go into hospice care we knew that her story was coming to an end. This kept my huge Italian family on edge as we watched someone we loved and cared so much about come to terms with life’s promise of impermanence.

 

In yoga and any other mind-body practice we always come back to the breath. The breath calms us, brings us to the present, helps us to quiet the mind and focus on what is. It’s precious, yet so often ignored. On that rainy Saturday when she would leave this physical world, I was in a yoga class. The teacher brought us back from Savasana “start to wiggle your fingers and toes…..  take your arms over head and take a great big inhale”….. and the sensation of that breath brought me to her. Brought my being to her current state where a breath that I forget about 80% of my day (at best) all of a sudden means everything… means LIFE….. or not……

Her passing reminds me to live the life I’m in now. To come into this moment, to stay calm and see the beauty of life from a peaceful place. To remember my breath is valuable and each day is precious.

Grandma Kern was uniquely herself, vivacious and loving. While her physical presence is no longer here her essence will always live in my heart.

Live from your heart, your essence is your legacy.

10 ways to create health in your life no planking or green juice required!

I love personal development. And I can’t get enough of listening to the expert’s big “AHA” moments. However, what I’ve come to realize are that these momentary miraculous discoveries are actually the collection of a lot of work and countless trial and error and experience. Rarely do these moments feel vast and energized like the “AHA” would lead you to believe but they are a subtle shift that brings a clear perspective. The way I’d imagine a person with a slight visual impairment feels when they put on their glasses. It’s not a huge dramatic event, just a small adjustment that makes a world of difference.

I say this, because as I share these insights that completely changed the way I implement health into my life, I want to remind you this is not an action plan. You will not read this today and be changed. You will have broadened your mind, introduced yourself to new concepts that if digested and absorbed will eventually make an external difference. The world does not act in lists and plans. While preparing and being organized are a great principals that improve productivity, there is malleability in life that needs to be considered. Take this list as a part of your journey to clarity and “AHA” and let me know what you think in the comment box below.

  1. Diet and exercise bring the external to the internal. They are the actions we take when we respect ourselves and our place in the world.
  2. Health should not just be looked at as ones weight. Health involves many things including: purpose, relationships, spirituality, your mental state as well as your physical health.
  3. When you stop looking for a result and decide to start taking care of yourself because you value who you are, your motivation changes massively and actions become effortless.
  4. Meditation… That is all.
  5. Get clear on your values. What do you want this precious life to consist of, then ask yourself “why?” 
  6. We will never be perfect. There is always a choice that you’ve made that could have been better. You could have worked harder, ordered the salad, done one more push up, in hindsight it’s easy to judge. Start feeling GOOD ENOUGH. Start feeling grateful for the opportunity to try and try again.
  7. ACTIVELY work to achieve your dreams. Dreams are just thoughts until you take actionable steps to make them happen. Do this and the way you treat yourself will change dramatically? Of course you’ll eat right and exercise, you’ve got things your soul needs to get done and can’t be tired and lethargic for.
  8. SHOW UP #EVERYDAMNDAY I used to give myself F*&% it days. Not intentionally, but I was just lax about it. I’m tired, I’ll just go tomorrow. NO! You have to show up! Even if you’re tired, busy, PMS-ing. Work through it. And try as hard as you can, not to judge it and get angry or frustrated. Observe, acknowledge and move on.
  9. Build your community. Surrounding yourself with people that share your values holds remarkable impact. Connect with a person or people that are wanting the same things as you, be it to loose a few pounds or run that marathon. Hang out with people who make you feel good and who you can communicate authentically with.
  10. Do YOU! Make your own rules. Be your own boss. When you start to take care of your body and still yourself long enough to connect with your inner guide (see #4) You will intuitively know what jives with you and what doesn’t. To end where we started… too many people try to follow plans and rules. This does not work because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but life follows no plans and no rules. 

My best advice is to get connected with yourself, your values and your inner guide. Find joy and gratitude in all that you do and make sure you’re pursuing the life you want with actionable steps consistently.