Easing into peace. 6 tips to use right now!

Easing into Peace.  6 tips to use right now.The world is a stressful, hectic place.  You get up early and run around.  You look for your keys, the lost shoe, the lunch you hurriedly packed or your microwave meal because you gave up, and then you fly out the door.  Did you remember to kiss the kids?  Lock the door?  When is the meeting?  What do you have first thing on your plate?  Are you running late?  Hurry.  Hurry.  Hurry.  Get to the next moment as quickly as you can.  Then the next.  Then wish for lunch.  And wish for the meeting, the boring meeting, to be over.  Then wish you were home.  Then do it all again the next day.

Just typing this out made me stressed to be honest.  I remember that my days consisted of being miserable at work, not with the ones I loved, the kids, but the way I had to go about it.  The lack of “mental aloneness” I had.  The way that each and every moment was a carefully orchestrated dance between being “fappy”, << another of my made up words, and being “real”.  How could I live my life and do this when my heart wasn’t in it anymore?  How could I create more peace in my life?

As I talked to a friend of mine yesterday, I realized that this is still going on in the world today.  Maybe you love your job, but maybe you don’t.  Either way, you might not be creating opportunities for peace in your daily life.  I gave a talk today about that and you are welcome to >> watch my video, << but it all comes down to these 6 points.

6 tips to use daily to ease into peace:

  1. Have some go-to music!!  On my video chat, I mentioned that I like to play Native American Flute Music.  It calms my soul like a balm and it wraps around me like a thick fur as I start to feel the music.  I immediately feel at home and at peace within my body as that music plays.  It is how I start most of my yoga classes for that very reason.  I don’t know if my soul is recognizing some deep pull, but I don’t question it.  I just let it flow over my like water and relax into the moment.  The present moment.
  2. Center yourself daily.  When I ask people if they have dropped into their body lately, I usually get funny looks.  Where are they spending their time?  In their heads.  The mind chatter is unreal…or the digital chatter.  Either way, new people in my classes are not present…at first.  All it takes is one class with me (usually) and I can tell the next time how they are ready to do the work on the inside.  A friend recently came to one of my classes and she said “Aimee, I didn’t want to come out tonight because I was so stressed, and so tired from work, but I knew I needed it.  I am so glad I came out and did your class as I feel so much better.”  Sometimes the work is hard, and that’s okay.  But you will feel better once you start.
  3. Candles, salt lamps and water features…oh my!  If you work in an office that allows you to spruce up your desk, what are you waiting for?  Have some things you can turn on that are visible reminders of staying present in this moment, and teach you to relax.  Check these out as they come in different themes!!  Super cute gift idea.

4. The sense of smell…aromatherapy, can be beneficial to bringing your mood to a balanced state.  I have a >> necklace like this << that I use on my desk.  But it is up to you how much you want to have around you.  If you have the space, I also like >> this set that comes complete << with everything you need.  Many people have tried to convince me to use certain kinds, but I look for the ones that say 100% essential oils and I read up on them.  I have used many different types, and you will find your favorites as well.
5. Yoga, yoga, and chair yoga at your desk.  I can’t really put this in perspective as I think people around me forget how I couldn’t really function in my day-to-day life in 2013.  If you go back and read my archives on the side >> and jump to any year from 2011-2014, you will read a different me.  When I started yoga, I couldn’t even hold down dog as it hurt my wrists way too much.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to make a recovery from joint pain, fibromyalgia, autoimmune and more.  But I did.  Use the search under any of those tags and you can read how bad off I was.  I took my knowledge of yoga for pain and arthritis and I put it to good use in my >> Head|Heart|Health Club, << which currently is a great deal at only $9.99 a month.  I put my heart and soul into my lessons for my members and include over 8 yoga poses that are broken down for beginners.  I would love to have you try it out and see what you think.
6. Meditation and calming mudras.  Meditation can be anything to be honest.  Try>> this one I recorded live, << and yes, I know it looks like I go through a snow storm during part of it, but seriously, you can hear me and it’s a new word I created yet again.  It is a coffee “graditation” and it helps me remember what a blessing it is to even have coffee and hot water.  Just sit quietly at your desk and repeat a mantra, or healing phrase, as needed like “I am in the present moment.” and breathe deeply for a round of 3.  It can be that simple.  Bring your hands to heart center and use prayer hands or Anjali mudra to just offer yourself that time of peace and tranquility your mind craves.

Want a bit more?  Check out:

 

Finding the Light in Dark Times.

Find the lightI feel your need this week my friends and I am going to bring you as much light as I can right now.  Over the years, I have faced illness, betrayal by a friend, difficult work environments (to say the least), having literally $5 left in my account, car break downs and various other “disasters” that cost me literally thousands of dollars when I didn’t have it to my name, and that time I couldn’t move at all and considered what the point of life was if you were going to be in pain 24/7 and living as if you were dead.  << Yes.  That was me.

What is the one thing that I held on to during those times?   The thought that life had a purpose for me….that I was being tested and measured…and that I really was going to come out on the other side of this stronger than before.

I had faith that there was a plan.  Did I know the plan?  Hell no.  I was apparently going to be the last to know.  But I sensed there was something greater than me at work and through me, things were going to change.

How I found the Light:

  1. I began my new morning ritual with gratitude.  I can not even began to describe the pain level to you at this moment.  It was beyond my skin feeling like it was on fire (it prickled and burned even when no one was touching me), my bones ached to the very core, and I couldn’t sleep at all.  There was no position to sleep in that didn’t bring me more pain.  My gut was distended from autoimmune, and my brain never stopped registering a pain response.  What did I have to be thankful for?  Lots.  LOTS.  So I started there.   Thank you for this new day.  Then I would put one foot over the bed and as the pain flared through my hip, I would step down and utter thanks to the heavens.  I continued this daily…no matter what.
  2. I began to focus on what I had….not what was missing.  <<< This was huge.  I worked my mind to abundance thinking, which was new to me.  I will never forget the day someone used that word.  As in my cup runneth over.  I am full of bountiful blessings.  You see this person who said that to me, made incredible amounts of money.  I literally had like $5 because I had to leave my job, teaching, due to my pain level and autoimmune responses being off the chart.  So I began to think about what I had.  I would list it in my head.  Then I would think about what I could do with the “gifts” I had.  And I gave as much as I could to others.
  3. I stayed as present as possible.  This was the opposite of what me, fantasy world living girl, wanted to do.  I wanted to escape in my head or in my books, where things were easy.   I started paying attention to little things.  Leaves.  Sunlight filtering in.  Tucking my kids in.  My husband’s strong hug when he was just as scared as I was.  Coffee.  The warmth of the cup.  My parents.  Knowing that I could call them, but trying not to cry if things were bad.  Just simply putting one foot in front of the other until that was all I could do.  And lastly, the day that I found the breath.  Through yoga.  I learned how to stay present through the haze of pain in yoga.
  4. I learned how to fall apart…better.  There are tantrums.  There are crying spells.  And then there are “why me” moments.  The silent, soul racking sobs that make you think your entire world is ending and you can’t control what is happening.  The truth is, you can’t control what is happening and you never could.  Not even when things were great.  So this is no different.  I learned to get through those moments and then say to myself “snap out of it” <<< Yes.  I imagined Cher slapping me.  Then I would say what tiny thing CAN I control right now?  usually it was getting out of my damn pajamas and struggling to take a shower.  When that was over, I would feel better and I would see what reserve energy I had left to go to the store.  If I manged those two small things, I felt better.  I could have tea and then write.  This is all in the early days of this blog, but the moments were there when I learned how to “life” better.  I learned to lean into it.
  5. I could control who I was around.  If I had to look at pitying eyes one more time I was going to slap someone.  And if anyone said that it happened for a reason I wanted to stab them.  << Note, no one was actually harmed.  I did however, cut some people off instead.  Anger was a huge part of who I was.  At that time.  And yoga helped me learn to control that to the best of my ability.  I started being around people who could lift me up and meet me where I was that day.  If I didn’t have those people, I searched for them.  I made my own world.  And I didn’t regret the choices I had to make when people were not able to support me.  When people were too busy condemning or judging how I got through this, they went into the boundary holding area Most of them never came back from that area.  The ones who did admitted they were sorry…and a few more later went through difficult experiences and admitted they had no idea until they too were tested.
  6. I created my own feelings of happiness and peace.  I prayed, I read, I meditated, I did the yoga, but it was entirely up to me to be the one to move forward.  No one could do that for me.  I was given the ability to be stronger than my problems, and no one else could turn that key.  No one except for me.  I didn’t wait for a doctor to magically cure me as there was no cure for my incurable diseases…but I also didn’t settle for that answer.  I made my own way.
  7. I used my lessons to teach others.   You can ask my yoga brothers and sisters.  I couldn’t hold myself up in downdog for more than a few seconds when I first started Yoga Teacher Training.  How was I going to get through 200 hours?  Scorpio hard-headed power activate.  I learn to use the word “modify” in a sentence.  It meant for me to do what I could with the pose and use props, blankets, blocks and take a child’s pose as needed.  I finished my 200 hours and went on to take yoga for arthritis and pain.  I then combined every single lesson I had ever learned last year, at this very time, and take some money I had saved and invest in my business to help others.  I launched the 30 Days of Gratitude Group, which then became the foundation for my Head|Heart|Health Club.  I learned how to help others through their own “pain”, whether it was mental or physical, and take one day at a time. 

Need more help?  Use the search bar on the right and type in the word you are looking for.  Want to watch my videos?  << Go there.

These 5 Signs Scream Drink More Water!

My youngest daughter recently started running cross-country.  A cross over from soccer as she loved her coach and he coaches girls soccer in the spring, and cross-country in the fall.  She’s been doing an amazing job, until the one race she was in agonizing pain.  I knew that she was running last after being at a meet all morning, but what did I miss?

It suddenly hit me that no one, herself included, remembered to remind the kids to stay hydrated for the last race.  Then, volunteering to march alongside the band for the oldest daughter in a recent parade, a mom told me of a boy cramping and almost passing out during the last parade.  You guys.  What do I always say (to my kids to be embarrassing)?  Hydrate with some high quality H2O!! Yes.  I use The Waterboy.

So now that we have covered this, grab some water right now and read the rest of this.

5 Signs That Your Body Needs More Water:

  1. You actually feel dry.  Dry mouth, dry eyeballs, or dry skin.  Right.  Like you’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…or something like that.  Sugary drinks are like adding some crack to your brain and are not going to hydrate.  I do not make these facts up.  I just write them in a more interesting way than others.  If you are experiencing itchy eyes and don’t normally have allergies, go for some water.
  2. You feel like you are 80 years old at age 30.  I might be the exception to this because I started to feel old at 23, but really, if you are experiencing joint pain, I learned about this really cool thing called synovial fluid, and hey.  It needs some love.  Sugary stuff is inflammatory to joints.  Chances are you have heard this.  Water is not.  It helps nutrients move through your blood therefore getting to your joints, and not only that, your body’s cartilage is composed of nearly 80% water.  Hmm.  What if it’s not getting any?  Where is it taking nutrients from?  Think about it.
  3. Fatigue like you can’t explain to the average person.  When I was in chronic fatigue, my body had to work twice as hard.  I don’t try to think back on those days of 24/7 pain for like 5 years, but I do know that I wasn’t doing the correct things.  No doctor ever addressed this.  Seriously.  Water brings oxygen into your body.  No one, not one doctor, said you know, mild dehydration causes the blood to thicken.  I started noticing when I went for phlebotomies that my blood was really thick at certain times (not trying to gross you out, but it was part of my life for over 19 years to watch my blood go into a bag, and technically, I still have to keep an eye on it).  I was always so out of it before, and during the nurses would say drink, drink, drink.  One smart nurse finally hooked me up to an IV.  Duh.  That felt better. I didn’t know that my body was sucking the oxygen out from wherever it could find it, thus creating this sort of mini-storm of fatigue, mood swings, and basically quicksand feeling.
  4. You might suffer digestive problems.  Let’s talk about our colons.  They need some acknowledgement for all the shit they put up with.  << I couldn’t resist, but really.  I would be embarrassed about this, but that ship sailed years ago when my friend was diagnosed with colon cancer and had zero history and the only warning was she thought it might have been hemorrhoids.  I know I sound like my college biology teacher, and I can still hear her today, but she would yell to the class your ermmm feces says lots about your health.  Again, if this saves a life, I don’t mind saying stay hydrated and take note of any issues and see a doctor as needed.  Don’t be embarrassed about this as life is too short.
  5. Your headaches are increasing.  A very noticeable sign all the way down to your young child who is in sports.  A theory is that the dehydration feeling causes pressure in your brain to change.  Drink 2-3 cups of water immediately as that helps (in theory) to level out the fluid levels around your spinal cord.  I believe this to be true as I get enormous pressure and, I notice when I urinate that it is not the right color.  Ack!!  Those two go hand in hand.  Dark pee, headaches, drink more water.  Sorry not sorry.  Trying to be helpful and embarrassing at the same time.

The bottom line is, why don’t we talk about this with our health professionals?  Are we too embarrassed to mention these signs?  Our body is showing us in the only way it can that it is of dire importance that we notice the signs and signals it is giving us.  Liked this?  Here are 5 Steps to Being Healthier Today to continue on in this theme.  Just use the search button on the right hand side or the top tab “health” for more.  Want my newsletter?  That’s over there too.

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The Steps I took to Change my Life

 

Sometimes, my mind starts to wander and I think back to the year that my skin was on fire night and day.  I have tried very hard to block those memories out, so maybe you have no idea why this blog is called “The Burned Hand”.  I remember getting the incurable disease and thinking that my life was completely over at just 23 years old.  I feel like Ygritte whispering that I know nothing at that age.  And I didn’t.

I think back to the years that I had my children, and knew that I was so extremely fatigued it wasn’t normal and that I was not “bouncing back” from childbirth.  Then the second blood test and the news I had one more incurable disease, okay.  Not shocking, I already knew.  And more phlebotomies yearly would be needed.

I think back to the year my career as a teacher really started taking off and I was known as Mrs. Happy.  I had finally done it!  I changed my outlook on life and working with invisible diseases wasn’t going to stop me.  And then I started getting violently ill after eating.  I couldn’t look at food.  I looked pregnant all the time and my stomach was distended.  I started having severe allergy attacks, and I had vertigo for 3 weeks.  I spiraled down into a place of pain.  No one could touch my skin again, only this time was worse.  The base of my neck to the sitting bone was on fire.  I felt every single vertebrae as if it was on fire and begging to be put out like a living, breathing thing.

My shoulder went out.  My hip went out.  I couldn’t walk and I took a leave of absence from teaching, for presumably, a year.  I told everyone that, but I knew I was never going back.  I knew.  I actually thought that I was going to stay in that place of pain for a very long time, if not forever. 

I was diagnosed then with an autoimmune disease (just barely they said) and “fibromyalgia” due to the 18 points of pain that were in my body.  Didn’t I want to take pain meds for the rest of my life?  No.  No, I didn’t because I already had one disease that could mess with my liver and I wasn’t going to chance this.  It was at this point, that I realized I was screwed.  I had two options.  Get better or become something I didn’t recognize anymore…wait!  I already was.

The post will continue, but you can open these in new tabs if you are interested for later:

So life beats you down folks.  It does.  And it will over and over again if you let it.  What you do after this is up to you.  So here’s the point in my story that I don’t share much, but I was sitting on the couch in those early years, which yes, I wrote through the pain in 2013, but it barely scratched the surface, anyway, and I knew that I had a choice to make.  Get up and live.  Other people surely had as many diseases as I did, okay, I didn’t know anyone at the time, but surely they existed.  So I would live and change my life for them and show them that it could really be done.  I could do it.

One more test would come back in this puzzle that explained that on a purely cellular level I was not processing things correctly, but at that point, I didn’t care anymore.  I already knew I was different, and I was going to move forward.  So here comes the point where I tell you the steps I took.

The Steps I took To Change My Life:

  1. I decided I was going to change.  <<< This is the biggest one that you have to learn.  No one, and I do mean no one, can force you to change.  Period.  If you are waiting for your sign and this post is speaking to you, please write down on your calendar “Day I decided to change and live my life.”  <<<  Seriously.  You’ve got this.
  2. Stop making excuses and lying to yourself.  I will get out of the house tomorrow.  I will join the gym in a few months.  I will try yoga next month.  I will eat better after the “holidays”.  I will…yup.  Said them all.  Been there done that.  I made a plan, and then I stuck to it.  I called it 4 Weeks to Wellness and when each week was over, I would start back again.  Slowly and surely repeating the things I needed to change.  Fitness, I had to move.  Nutrition, I learned what was causing all that pain, balance, what was that anyway? and finally, self-care which was really lacking.
  3. I learned to be thankful for what I already had.  This one was hard.  Not that I wasn’t thankful, but I was so angry.  I was mad at the universe for giving me this life…never really thinking I had that much control over it all, but I was so very wrong.  I was wrong.  I woke up and started a gratitude practice even in my darkest hours.  I couldn’t sleep, but I would roll over and pull myself off.  I would not think of the pain, if it came in I shut it down with these words “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”  I almost crawled to the bathroom with my eyes shut tight and said I will not insert the F word, think about this F word pain.  When i opened them on my bathroom mirror was the mantra “I am healing”.  Then I would say that to myself every single day.  Also, side note, my girls started to use dry-erase marker like I taught them and left mama messages to read on the mirror.  I was living for them and my husband and I was going to succeed.
  4. I started back to yoga.  I am thankful that someone took the lead in this and initiated my Yoga Teacher Training.  Can you imagine hardly being to move and going to yoga?  I almost said no a thousand times.  I almost quit a thousand times.  I would soak in the tub and almost cry out from pain at doing it, but I would not give up.  I would walk slowly and I would do the best I could, but I would finish that damn training.  I would and I did in June of 2015.  I went on to become certified as well in yoga for arthritis and pain.
  5. I started helping others.  I already had my FB page, but it just wasn’t enough.  How could I connect with others who could change their lives just by thinking about it, writing about it through my new journal therapy, starting a gratitude practice, and with sheer grit, take control of their heads, hearts and health?  I took some money and invested in a platform to build an online community.  I called it the Head|Heart|Health Club and I was going to make it work.  In January of 2017, I opened my doors to everyone who might want help, and I haven’t really looked back.

So if you are new here to the blog, welcome.  I really wanted you to know who I was before, who I am now, and what I am hoping to accomplish for the future of healing yourself.  I know you can do it.  Please stay in touch with me here <<< and get my monthly updates by newsletter if you’d like.  ~Aimee

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It didn’t go as planned…the story of life.

It didn't go as plannedIt didn’t go as planned…what truly ever does?

Do you remember your first day of school?  I don’t really.  I just have a recollection that I was in a dress with a tin lunchbox and it was Mickey Mouse.  I think I picked it out because I watched The Mickey Mouse Club, but I could be wrong and it was all they had.  It’s doubtful I had a plan that first day other than go to school, learn/play, and apparently throw a tantrum over being forced to nap <<< that has since changed.  I will throw a tantrum over not having enough sleep.

I went through school not really having a plan as I wasn’t aware I needed one until I got to high school and was told to pick out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  THE REST of my LIFE?  I was 15 years old.  I wanted to throw on my mix tapes, and listen to some singles of Heavy D and the Boyz, sing along to my Sir Mix-a-lot Swass tape and eat Taco Bell and drive my doo-doo brown car.  I really didn’t have a plan.  I went to soccer practice and got out my frustrations about teenage bitchy girls and how they could be so gossipy and wrong about things, and where did I fit in with this crazy universe.

So when I got to college and finally thought I had things figured out because, by the way, I was one of those kids who didn’t like homework and tests and refused to actually take the SAT, yup, shocking, I went to a 2 year community college where it actually clicked that I needed to work my butt off…and so I graduated Summa Cum Laude…but only because I wanted to.  No one could make me.  <<< and that’s the thing.  You have to decide for yourself what you are going to do and what is worth working for.

So if you don’t know my story by now, just as I was getting my stuff together to be a teacher, I worked really hard at the 4 year college I transferred to, I started to feel awful.  Like physically beat down.  I would sleep more during the day…and have to take later classes.  My skin started acting funny, and the rest is history which you can read here, then continue here.  << Note, if you want to keep reading those, hit the next button at the bottom of the post.  So by 2010, I had been diagnosed with around 7 invisible diseases.  But the thing is this, was that the plan all along?  I actually believe it was so if you didn’t see me speak on this during my Live chat, here it is.  <<<

I have been through more than most and less than others.  I have changed my “plans” to suit those pitfalls and I have tried to hang on for dear life when things get too crazy.  I honestly have to believe this was meant for my highest good.

So my friends, if your life sentence really is “it didn’t go as planned” I want you to think long and hard about whether it really did…because if you ask me, it did.  It was up to me how I navigated those changes to my path, and it is truly up to you how you navigate yours.  Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ~Ferris Bueller

If you enjoyed this message, I would love to have you read more about my group coaching here for times such as these.  When life doesn’t go as planned…just click the “I need support” button.  Thank you my friends.

7 Ways Starting a Daily Journal Practice Will Change Your Life

7 Ways Starting a Daily Journal Practice Will Change Your Life

I’ll never forget the night I sat down and decided that there was much more to keeping a journal than 30 days of Gratitude.  Don’t get me wrong, that is absolutely what started my goal of journaling for an entire year.  In 30 days, I saw more progress in my outside world than I had in a long time.  Starting a daily journal practice absolutely will change your life…if you commit to getting to know your subconscious mind. 

The thoughts.

There was a chasm, a freaking chasm, between who I wanted to be and what my thoughts were telling me.  I was not living up to my full potential and the 18 years of living with invisible diseases had worn away the once shiny coat I saw of life.  It was dull and bitter.  This wasn’t what I saw my life looking like, I would think through the hazy fog of pain.  Why bother getting out of my pajamas?  My subconscious would tease me.  Get under these blankets and rest.  You deserve it.  You have 7 invisible diseases.  No one blames you for sitting here.  You are just trying to survive.  And that’s when it hit me.

The goal.

I wanted to live, not merely survive.  I wanted to change my thoughts, my world and help others like me.  I wanted to be an inspiration to my children and I wanted my husband to stop feeling so helpless about the physical pain I was in.  I wanted my dad to stop looking at me like he broke me by passing on the genes that made me different.  And one night, it all came to me on how to help others with this.

7 Ways Starting a Daily Journal Practice Will Change Your Life:

  1. Journaling clears your head.  As you begin the “getting ready for bed” routine, your brain has probably been on some sort of tech.  Your brain still thinks it’s play time actually, so it’s time to start clearing our heads, and start putting our brains to bed so to speak.  It is time to reduce the scattered thoughts that so much information available to us at one time (the internet) provides us.  As we get ready for bed, it is time to increase our focus on a few specific things and start to recharge.  We are now providing the bridge between our subconscious and our conscious waking thoughts.  So much information can just flow if we let go!
  2. Your intentions become more clear.  A few weeks ago, you would have thought I asked people to throw away their phones.  I simply suggested getting an old-fashioned alarm clock and stop relying so much on your phones to wake you up in the morning.  I merely pointed out that the tone with which you start your day stays with you (and that link is even a few years old, it is much greater now as it points out in the study).  So if you take 5-10 minutes to think about what your wrote the night before, and how to utilize the first 10 minutes of waking up as pure visualization, gratitude practice, and goal setting, you will start to see tiny changes in your productivity during the day.  New opportunities will arise.
  3. Abundance in your life will increase by your ability to be very specific with what you want.  Last year, I paid off a very high credit card bill because I wrote about my monthly goals every single month until that thing was paid off.  I was not in a good place financially at the time due to me leaving work to have my “sabbatical” of healing.  This is a true story.  I was driving a mini-van that was falling apart, and I knew that I wanted a new vehicle.  The funds came in for me to pay off the credit card bills, and have money left-over to get the vehicle without worry or fear.  I also renewed my passport and traveled overseas where I had been invited to speak at a conference.  It was exactly what I had written out.  I was specific on some things I wanted to get done and each month as I started a new month, I would plan out that month’s goals.  I got very clear and things changed.
  4. How do you want to feel each day?  Why is it so frustrating that as we live our lives, we focus so much on what we DON’T want to attract??  Why is it that we don’t ever take a minute to connect to how we actually want to feel?  To live?  What do we really want to experience on a daily basis?  I am by no means saying that there aren’t wonderful people out there who can help you figure this out in therapy, but I was spending my co-pay ($25 a visit at the time…now up to $30), trying to get “unstuck” from the depression caused by the diseases when I finally had the Epiphany that if I wrote just a little bit each day on how I wanted to feel, and what I wanted to create, that I could make more progress through the mental jungle in my head than the lady sitting there listening to me could.  I was holding back what I told her anyway (note, you can also use this in addition to, so just letting you know. There are many ways to use journaling).
  5. Gratitude starts to increase as you notice the good in your life.  Do you ever think that someone in your life could use more thoughts of gratitude?  I did too.  But trying to change another person is like changing a light bulb using the Force (unless you truly are a Jedi and I am mistaken).  You can mentally torture yourself about this other situation that you can’t change, or you can start focusing on the good you already have in your life.  As we think about the good in our lives, and we seriously raise our vibration to one of thankfulness and gratitude, things start to take on a whole new perspective.  Trust me, I know.  I will never forget the day I got to stock up my refrigerator with good food because surprisingly, gluten-free items are way more expensive than things with gluten…as well as things that don’t have additives.   I was so very thankful that I lived in a time when I could find the food I needed without getting sick.
  6. Comparison starts to melt away.  I was once friend with someone who always wanted what other people had.  Nothing in life made her happy.  At all.  This kind of stuff melts away as you focus on your monthly goals, your monthly intentions, your happiness and what you have.  Who cares what person x “appears” to have?  Truth bomb.  They are faking it too sister.  Yup.  Marriage might be rocky, job might be stressful, and they never have time to just breathe.  Don’t focus on their fappiness.  <<< My word for Fake-happy I made up one day.  That’s another story before the healing process…read later if you are there.
  7. Journaling gets you closer to self.  Head is where your thoughts are and they are things you really don’t want others to know.  Heart is actually where your self lives.  The two don’t always agree.  In fact, they often argue.  Your head is like “Let’s be practical with this money.”  Your heart is like “Oh my gosh.  I need a pick-me-up today.  Going to shop.”  This is just my example as I couldn’t put 2 thoughts together the other day as it was a bad news day for 2 friends, so I listened to my heart and stopped working and left the house.  AS I let go of that fear though, and learn to write about it, I actually visualize things working out.  Not just for me, but for others in my life as well.  Self is my essence and I know that it distinguishes me from others.  In this instance, I am not talking about the ego.  I am talking about who I was before I let all the labels of disease try to take over that essence.  For me personally, I had to find my way back there and that journey will look different for each and every one of you, but whether you write two lines on a page, draw art therapy photos under quotes, bullet journal, or just jot down monthly goals and intentions, you can find your way back.  Trust the process.

For more information on what came to me one night while I was journaling, see this link on my Mindful Coaching.  If you want some guidance on this process, with no strings attached, you can leave at anytime, click on the word support on that page and find me in my closed group.  The Head|Heart|Health Club would love to see you this month!

Who are you choosing to be?

How Creating Self-Compassion Opens the Door to Healing

Self-compassion

Whew.  Some weeks are harder than others.  After coming off of my recent MCL knee injury, I was made to rest for approximately 6 weeks.  I had to learn things all over again that I worked really hard to teach myself when my body was so wracked with pain I could barely move.

How did I create self-compassion for myself and how did it allow me to actually heal in a more complete way?

I was working not to trigger those thoughts of pain, and in those first days, it was a struggle to practice everything I teach my group to do…which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  I learned now that I have those skills in mindfulness, which I previously did NOT have in my tool box, that I can get through the pain much easier. 

In our society, we are taught that bashing ourselves is not only okay, but it gets people’s attention.  Unfortunately, research has proven that this leads to consequences in the thought processes that actually perpetuate anxiety, depression, and of course lowered self-esteem.

Wait.  Where’s the good news?   Psychologist and author Kristin Neff, has said that cultivating self-compassion really centers around three things: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.  I had actually been practicing all three in my journal therapy and wasn’t even aware that it had been “studied” and researched.  I just knew intuitively that I had a knack for getting to the root of the problem thus helping others to heal as well.

Strategies for Creating More Self-Compassion

If you are working through emotional triggers and trauma, this part is a must do in your self-care routine.  I will kick your butt if you try that lame excuse of not having enough time.  Wake up at least 5 minutes earlier, put your sticky note on the calendar to journal and/or try one new thing a day for 30 days, etc.  Most people who tell others that they don’t have enough time are really saying Hey, I hear ya.  Taking care of myself right now isn’t a priority. 

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~H. Jackson Brown

Just saying.  ^^^

Now that some of you are pissed at me for telling the truth, let’s move on to the strategies.  By the way, if you don’t know who is writing this, read this link later. <<< You might be less inclined to be mad at me.  I have been there.

  1. Acceptance is key.  Thus the truth-telling.  I used every excuse in the book, blamed whatever I could, but the truth was, I needed to learn to love myself pain and all.  I needed to accept that I might not ever be well, and that my friends, was a bitch.   That was the other part of me that I denied.
  2. Dig deep.  Somewhere, deep inside of me, was the part that was hardest to make peace with.  It was the me before all this happened.  You know what, she didn’t ask for this.  Okay.  Got that.  But how would she feel knowing that I was staying stuck in my pain?  She’d be pretty pissed at me.  It is time to make peace with the old me, and become who I was supposed to be.
  3. Watch how the language changes.  I remember my dad.  Sigh.  He is still alive, don’t worry, but it was the way he dealt with this situation (bless his heart).  As someone who is highly sensitive to others emotions, I could feel his sadness.  He felt so sorry for me.  NOT helpful.  It was not his fault you see, but still not helpful.  As part of the parents who both gave me the hereditary condition, they both, in some small way, felt responsible.  Okay, so it is important to recognize who is around you when you speak to yourself as well.  You might be so programmed by your parents or others that you continue this woe is me…I am not worthy…I am so __________.  Insert your negative perception of yourself.
  4. Get out of your head!!  I am now great at this, but I was NOT for many years.  As a matter of fact, I have been practicing this now for 3 years and it has really changed my world.  In yoga, I mention this frequently as I teach my class this one thing.  Drop back into your body.  That sounds easy to do, but let’s try it right now.  Touch your scalp.  Feel your hair follicles come alive as you give yourself a scalp massage.  Touch the top of your ears, all the way down to your ear lobes.  Close your eyes.  Breathe deeply for a full round of three.  Say “I am worthy.” With each breath feel the worthiness come into your being.  Now open your eyes.  You have just soothed your parasympathetic nervous system.  Ta-dahhhh (you basically help the fight or flight response calm down).

Whew.  I don’t know about you, but I feel better just exploring how these tips really helped me change my life.  In creating my journal therapy content each month, there is so much more that goes into it.  I created a group where people like me could heal in a supportive environment and work through this “stuff” that truly gets in the way of our healing.  Never before had I ever, in 18 years, found a group that was working on healing the Head|Heart|Health of the matter.  Quite simply, I created what brought me back to life.

I hope this has helped you today and if you want to be included on my newsletter, the sign up is on the side of the blog.  Feel free to use the social sharing buttons if this article resonated with you!

She believed

 

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Facing Our Demons…and Kicking Ass.

Super cool photo of your demons.

This was not going to be the original title, but it needed to be said.  How often have you actually named your demon?  I am not talking about a freaky version of Rumpelstiltskin where a tiny man dances around the fire saying his name loudly in a song that your hand-maiden can hear in order to destroy him…way to go Rumple, nope.  Not that kind of naming.  No.  This kind is actually way worse.

The scariest quest I ever completed was the journey into my deepest darkest fears.  The time that I sat on the couch and knew that without hope, of which I had very little, and faith, of which I still had a small amount left, that if I lost those two things, I would not be able to come out on the other side of this…maybe ever.  Let me be real about it.  It was not suicide, it was immense and total desperation.  It was depression that at such a young age, disease starting trying to destroy my body.

Now with disease comes an entire army of demons.  The likes of which normal people might face one at a time.  However, with me, it was the Battle of the 5 Armies and I wasn’t sure if the Elves were going to fight for me…or not.  << see that scary part in the beginning if you love Tolkien like I do, but stay for the battle.  It’s only a minute but it illustrates my point perfectly.

So the orcs, my demons, I had to name.  I was afraid of living a life of pain, and I knew it.  All of a sudden the Elves catapulted over the humans to fight the impending doom.  In reality, that didn’t happen.  I had to rise up and make a plan.  A plan that I knew would not bring me instant gratification, and a plan that I knew was going to be hard.  Like throwing the ring into Mount Doom hard.  So what did I do?

I got still.  And I said a prayer.

You can meditate, talk to your higher power, write about it, but speak it into existence.  Ask for it.  Seriously.  Men fighting battles always say a battle cry to rally the troops.  We’ve seen that time and time again.  RALLY your TROOPS. 

I made a plan.

Let’s say that you are dealing with anxiety.  When does it happen?  What are your triggers?  Do you know what causes you to spiral into that head space where all the voices are going off at once?  Write it down.  Use a focus word or mantra like this “I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.  I am safe.  I am whole.  I am not afraid. I am in control of my thoughts.”

I realized that I could control my thoughts.

This was a huge part of healing.  As I started to take back control of my Head, everything else started falling into place.  Did this process happen overnight?  No.  But I had a great and powerful plan of journaling my way back to what I truly wanted to feel like, and it was working.

I got really clear on my inner most desires, feelings, and what I did NOT want in my life.

It’s amazing how boundaries work.  One day, after a particularly amazing Yoga session, a “friend” called me to vent yet again.  Only this time, everything that was wrong in her life somehow became my fault because I suggested that I could help her no more and that perhaps therapy was needed.  Never heard from her again.  I was not important enough when I wanted to do fun things like go to yoga, or go out and enjoy dinner without hearing the same exact story.  Every. Single.  Time.  I was ready to grow and change and move forward.  She, and a few others like her, were not.

I made self-care first, not second, to ANY excuses.

This one is also powerful because if you make a commitment to your health and well-being, honor it or one day, quite frankly, you might not be here.  Too many people were flipping out, stressed out, and over the profession I was in.  They always stayed late, and got there early.  They said they couldn’t make yoga because of a “work” thing.  Or it was raining.  Or they were tired.  <<< pick your poison.  Excuses are a type of demon that want you to fail, so my friends, put up the good fight.  Send in Legolas and do the work here. 

I hope this helps you see that growth, in any form, is not an overnight process.  I recently pissed off a person as I mentioned that it was up to them, and no one else, to make their own happiness.  That is where the light comes in my friends.  You can fight these demons and win.  I believe in you.

Dedicated to my warriors in the Head|Heart|Health Club.  There is always room for you!

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You Can Get Through This.

Dear readers,

Do you ever feel like you could use the easy button in life?  Yes!!  YES!  So do I.  Alas, it has not fallen out of the sky to land anywhere near me as of yet.  I feel like I have always done things the hard way…or at least I used to.  The crazy thing is that it took me so many years to realize I just had to tweak a few things in my life to refocus my thoughts and actually get through the bad times.

I will never forget feeling like I was at the end of my rope, and the knot was slipping.  It’s a terrible place to be.

Head

Have you ever noticed the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the more it comes up in your life?  I have.  Trying to control the thoughts then makes way for anxiety and feelings of helplessness.  Sometimes, it just takes talking to a friend or someone on the outside of the entire situation to make things feel better.  We push down our own intuition and just keep obsessing.

I realized I had to get my head under control first in order to move forward in life.  I had to be the one to take back control of my thoughts…and not let them run from I am okay, to the end of the world is coming.

I started a small group after I saw massive results with my own style of coaching.  I started helping people in my home town, and started journaling to help others in my circle get clarity on what was actually causing them to be stuck in their thoughts.

Heart

Later on, as my work continued with clients trying to lose weight, I realized they were not addressing their own inner worth.  I felt like they were so focused on losing weight, or trying to overcome this obstacle, that they forgot who they were.  They had been mom, or caregiver, friend, or family member, but had turned off their own heart centered thoughts.  I started giving “worthiness” pep talks to some of my clients…addressing the physical or mental pain associated with these feelings.  I realized that people suffering from fibromyalgia actually had forgotten what it feels like to live.  I started thinking about how it feels to actually get up and get dressed for the day and how little things can turn your whole world around.

What if we left love notes to ourselves to make us feel better?  Would it work?  Yes, yes it would.  I was living proof that positive affirmations were helping me get through my days again and get back to me.  REAL me.  Not sick me.  Not flare-up me.  Not the me who I didn’t recognize anymore in the mirror.  From the plan I formed to heal myself, came my heart aspect to my coaching.  Because I was in dire need of learning to love me again.  All of me.

Health

Lastly, one of the most difficult transformations to get through was my health transformation.  This was the Mac Daddy of the whole thing.  In order to complete my physical, mental and spiritual transformation, I had to change the way I ate, the way I lived, the excuses I made, and the way I did ermmmmmm NOT like to think of exercise.  At the time, moving hurt.  So honestly, if my very skin hurt, my bones ached deep down to the core, and the thought of actually leaving the house to go somewhere where normal people were exercising like they actually liked it, well let’s just say it was too much for me.  I wished I had a coach years before this…years.  I could have improved so much earlier, but there was nothing like it for me out there.  Nothing but pain, misery and more negativity.  I had to be the change I wanted to see in my health care and damn if I was going to keep doing the same thing and producing the same results…because that’s what my doctors were doing…and Einstein had a saying for them:  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

After researching, speaking to others Globally, presenting wellness workshops, and private coaching others, I am honored to be able to present to you my online coaching club full of new material each month!   Please join me in the Head|Heart|Health Club as we launch a new way to take back our lives.   ^^ See the tab at the top or click the linked word to learn more.

For the price of 2 cups of coffee.  The coolest thing is…I added a donate more feature so I can give a few away each month.  Feel free to check it out.

5 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Life

There are many times we get in our own way.  Each of us has our own stories to tell and our own problems; however does that make it any easier to deal with in the moment?

Finances, frustration at your job, feeling powerless over losing weight, blaming yourself for not going to the gym, replaying that argument over and over, procrastinating and then agonizing at last-minute woes…the list goes on and on.  Truly.  Think for just a second at something you need help with in your life right now.  Now think to yourself, how have I tried to solve this problem lately?  And how have I made it worse?

No blame.   No judgment.  Just be honest with yourself right now.  Take a deep breath.  Have you made a plan to help yourself out of this situation or are you stuck in a loop?  Chances are, you are mid-loop right this very minute.  I was once there as well.  Note, if you suffer from health issues, here is my note about the time I was stuck.  << you can circle back around to this. 

As I found my way out of my loop, I would like to help you make your way out as well.  But I can only be your guide.  I know that you have thought to yourself at least once before that you might be your own worst enemy, so let’s get you to be your own best advocate for change.

5 Ways to Stop the Sabotage:

  1. Identify the habit and the trigger that causes it to continue.  Do you have a behavior you are trying to change?  Mine was dropping the need for sugar, gluten and inflammatory foods as well as not putting yoga on the back burner.  If I woke up and it was cold, I had a habit of shutting down because I knew that cold made my joints hurt.  If I had a bad day, I wanted cookies.  None of this was serving the new me.  I was trapped in the pattern of “comfort food” which did NOT comfort.  Where did it come from?  The women in my family cooked and used food as a way to help themselves.  Only it never actually helped.  NOT a single person had ever used exercise, getting outside or doing something different to heal.  Hmm.
  2. After you have found your why, work on your HOW!  I knew why I did this.  It was evident that I had surrounded myself with people who literally loved to complain and not change a damn thing.  Excuses were the preferred method of “change”.  If you take an inventory around you, who do you spend most of your time with?   That might need to change.  If you answered yourself, that still might need to change.  But tread carefully.  The energy of others truly has the power to propel you forward or drag you down.  I let go of people who didn’t have the capacity to change.
  3. Create the boundaries you need right now.  Finances.  What are you spending your money on?  What is a non-negotiable in that area?  Food.  What are you eating like currently?  What can you change?  What can you let go of?  People.  Who lifts you up?  Who drags you down?  What things can be put on your list of keep, and what can put on your list of I need some boundaries over here <<< like pronto!  Refer to linked word later to help you with boundaries.  Get paper and pen or your journal and write this down.  It is not enough to say it out loud.
  4. Keep goals in front of you…on your planner or calendar.  One way to get to the gym or yoga is to put it in front of you.  Make a date.  Schedule the event.  Enact change in your life.  Get serious about this.  Put a list on your fridge if you want to plan out meals, and clear away what you don’t need.  Be purposeful in your thoughts and deeds.
  5. Stay in the present!  Lastly, if you made a mistake yesterday, please, please let it go.  As I read once, if you get a flat tire, you fix it.  You don’t slash the other four.  So don’t say to yourself, damn.  That cupcake jumped in my mouth.  I might as well eat one daily now.  I will start over next week.  Cheat days do not work…seriously.  They turn into cheat weeks, which turn into cheat months.  You get my drift because you have done this.  Journal it out.  Let it go.  Stay in the present.  Make a I forgive myself list nightly and wake up to your affirmation of “I will have a great day today.”  Then proceed to act as if the best news ever will be heard today.  You can do this.  I believe in you because I was once where you are.

For more about me, click on the linked word About Me.

Always check out the linked words for more information:)

 

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