Posts tagged holistic
RECIPE: Summer Radish, Walnut and Herb Salad

Living in tune with the cycles of the seasons for me means I honor my body's desires for fresh, light and raw foods during these hot days of summer! My little garden produced a small bounty of radishes and herbs, which were perfect for this gorgeously vibrant salad. Nothing could have been more satisfying on a balmy summer night! 

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 Bunch small radishes, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Handful of sliced chives
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup spinach

How to Make It:

  • Whisk together lemon juice, EVOO and salt and pepper to taste to make the dressing. Set aside.
  • Combine radishes, cucumber, and walnuts in a bowl with 1-2 tbsp dressing and toss to combine.
  • Add crumbled feta and toss gently.
  • Arrange a bed of spinach on each plate and lightly drizzle dressing over the leaves. Top with radish mixture.
  • In bowl combine chives, dill and mint with 1 tbsp dressing. Toss to combine and pile on top of radish mixture.
  • Enjoy!

Serves 2.

Cyclical Living: Summer Notes

Just as I teach clients to sync their lifestyles with their own internal monthly cycles, I also practice and teach syncing with the cycles of the Earth for healthier, more connected, and more meaningful living. Today (June 21st) is the Summer Solstice- the longest day of the year and the first day of Summer! I will be celebrating the occasion by watching the sunrise and the sunset today, reflecting on all the ways I have grown up until this point, and thinking about what I desire to both let go of and to cultivate in my own life.

Because the Sun is our source of energy here on Earth, you may notice the abundance of energy that you feel during Summer months. Summer is marked by the element of Fire and the emotions of joy! Between longer days with more sunshine, warmer temperatures, more time spent outside, and maybe even some vacation time planned, we feel the vibrance of life in full swing. We have gone through the cleansing and awakening of Spring and now we are ready to fully enjoy the abundance of energy we naturally feel during Summer months. Below is your guide for food, movement, self-care and ways of being for living cyclically this Summer.

EAT

LIGHTEN UP Due to the abundance of natural energy we feel during the summer months and the extra heat outside, we crave lighter, fresher, juicier and raw foods during this time of the year. Because so much is in season, it is a wonderful time to experience a variety of colors and flavors or nature. Fruits and veggies cooked on the grill or with lighter cooking methods such as steaming and sautéing will hit the spot.  Also, be sure to HYDRATE to compensate for the extra heat this season. Add in fresh lemon, cucumber or fresh mint for even more refreshment. My favorite snacks during this time include chilled quinoa salad with EVOO, cucumbers and bell peppers and fresh watermelon drizzled with Myer lemon juice.

VEGGIES IN SEASONS Beets, bell peppers, butter lettuce, corn, chayote squash, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, jalapeño peppers, lima beans, okra, peas, radishes, shallots, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes , zucchini.

FRUITS IN SEASON Apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, currants, figs, guava, grapes, lime, honeydew, mangoes, melon, nectarines, plums, peaches, papayas, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon.

MEATS During summer months, we may feel as though we need fewer animal products and fats to feel satiated. Try eating lighter meats such as fish an poultry. Or go meatless for a season and see how you feel! 

GRAINS Lighter grains such as corn, farro, millet, amaranth and quinoa tend to be favored by our bodies in summertime. A little grain goes a long way during the summer months.

MOVE

We can take advantage of the long days and abundant energy of the season to indulge in joyful movement we love, spend more time outdoors and move with friends!

JOY is key here- this is a wonderful time to observe whether the activities you participate in bring you joy, and if not- find something new! We can utilize this peak of vitality to have fun with movement and nourish our souls with our daily practices. Think of those activities you loved to do during the summertime as a child! Playing as we did as children is a great way to connect to our inner joy.

OUTDOORS EXCURSIONS such as hiking, biking, walking, kayaking, swimming, etc. are fun ways to get fresh air and can even be done with friends to scratch our itch for more social activities this time of year. Walking near a body of water and then jumping in when you get nice and toasty is a fun activity to celebrate the cooling properties of water!

HYDRATE it's important to take extra care to hydrate this time of year, especially if you are being active outdoors. Aiming for 64 oz of water per day is a good estimate. Try drinking a glass or two of water first thing in the morning to jumpstart hydration for the day.

BE

INVENTORY + CELEBRATION Summertime is a time when we reap the harvest of the seeds planted in the Spring. As the "peak of the year", it is a chance to take inventory of all the ways we have grown over the past seasons and celebrate where we are. It's a wonderful time to take inventory- what's working? What's not working? The Solstice is a powerful day to set new intentions to carry us through the rest of the year and let go of anything keeping us from moving forward.

GRATITUDE lots of sunlight means higher moods and happiness levels during this time of the year. We are primed to feel more cheerful and grateful when there is more daylight, so using this season to flex our "gratitude" muscle is a great way to turn this into a habit. If you don't already have a gratitude practice, this is a great time to start one- simply writing down 5-10 things you are grateful for each day!

CONNECT TO MASCULINE ENERGY The focus on the Sun this season helps us connect to our empowered masculine qualities. the Sun rules the masculine energy of our planet (the Moon being the feminine). Masculine doesn't mean the male gender- rather, it is that energy that is responsible for taking action, setting boundaries and orienting towards goals. What action do you need to take? Maybe action that you have been putting off or waiting until the "right time"? Now is the time! What boundaries may you need to set with yourself and with others to be in alignment with your Highest Self? What goals are asking to be set? Now is a great time to get our your calendar and begin setting dates and deadlines for projects over the next few months. Connect to the solar plexus chakra (a gorgeous bright yellow color) and explore your own personal power. How do you take action to use your power as a creator? This is great theme to explore throughout the Summer months.

INNER LIGHT reflect on the ways in which you shine your own inner light! When we shine our light we heal ourselves and this world. Connect to what is is that brings you joy and how you can share this with others though your words, thoughts and actions.

Self-Care

WAKE UP WITH THE SUN It feels easier to wake up early this time of year and make the most of our daylight hours. Why not start a new morning routine or re-vamp and existing one to bring more JOY into your life? Think about those things you wish you had more hours in the day to do, and try scheduling them in during the fresh morning hours.

SOAK UP SOME LIGHT Sunlight is crucial for our health and wellbeing. This is a great time of year to start a practice of getting 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day (depending on how fair your skin is). The aim is not to burn- simply to allow your body to soak up precious Vitamin D and regulate circadian rhythms of sleep and waking through sun exposure.

SWEAT Heat is detoxifying! Don't be afraid to sweat. Sweating is our body's natural purification system and a healthy way our gently assist our bodies in detoxing. Be sure to hydrate!

CONNECT TO NATURE with a higher motivation to get outdoors this time of year, it's the perfect opportunity to begin or strengthen your own practice of connecting to nature. Try going on a walk in solitude without any electronics to distract you. Focus on your senses- sight, sounds, smell, touch, taste- and truly soak in the experience of being in nature.

COLD SHOWERS sounds awful, feels awesome! This is a great time of year to experience the many benefits of cold showers- glowing skin, balanced hormones, and total invigoration! Begin by dry brushing your skin and then applying a body oil such as almond, sesame or coconut. Stand in the cold shower (as cold as you can handle) and begin rubbing your skin vigorously starting at the feet and working your way up. You will being to notice you no longer feel cold! Step out of the shower and pat dry, admiring your glow.

Why I Ditched Hormonal Birth Control

It's about time I wrote about this topic, seeing how it's been a decision that's completely changed my life and the lives of many women who are finding this information! I have been honored to teach on this topic and have witnessed a movement happening around the world of women reclaiming the power held in our natural monthly cycles. It is beautiful to watch and to be a part of! Letting go of hormonal birth control and bringing new awareness to my cycle has transformed the way I feel in my body,  has increased my feelings of connection to the rhythms of nature and to my authentic self, and has inspired me to use the power of my feminine energy to be a creator of my life. Yes, it's that transformational!

This story is not to say hormonal birth control is "bad" or "good"- my aim is to bring awareness to a choice that is available to us (that your doctor might not tell you about). I have heard stories from many women that resonate with my own story of feeling completely uneducated and dis-empowered around our hormonal health and our periods. Through my journey I hope to educate, inspire and empower women to make a choice about hormonal birth control that feels right for them. 


When I first was prescribed birth control pills at the age of 16, I wasn't given another choice to help ease the extreme pain of my period. I was told that as long as I took the pills and didn't allow my body to have a cycle, that I wouldn't have to worry about my period interfering with my life ever again. The problem with this approach is that this teaches young women to view their cycles as problematic and a dilemma to be solved rather than a source of sacred empowerment. Birth control put a bandaid over my hormonal imbalances that were at the root of my pain for the next decade of my life. Throughout this time I was completely disconnected from my body and from the power of my feminine energy.

There were occasions during this time of suppressing my natural cycle that I suffered extreme depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts while trying out different pills. These are side effects of artificial hormones that affect thousands of women- and these women believe it is a problem with who they are! More research is emerging linking mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, to hormonal contraception. Unaware that birth control pills might be a source of my own internal disconnection, I continued to take them religiously and went without a cycle for my entire early adulthood.

It wasn't until a few years ago that a co-worker began speaking to me about how she stopped using hormonal birth control and the immense impact this had on her life. She was (and is) one of the most magnetic, magical and feminine women I know and I had always wondered what her "secret" was for being so connected to her femininity. She told me all about ovulation, and how during certain times of the month she feels like she has superpower energy that helps her smash goals at work, push herself during workouts and feel sexy and magnetic in her skin. "I WANT THAT!" was the thought pulsing in my mind and soul. As I began to research the process of ditching brith control, I knew that this was my next step in my own healing journey.

I was amazed to read and discover the information I found about cycle-syncing- using your monthly cycle to align your energy levels with your life- and about unlocking the magic power of the feminine through having a natural cycle. I knew I had stumbled upon a whole new awareness that would change my life. One day I just decided that I was done with birth control and threw it away. I purchased a Daysy fertility monitor to help me track my cycle and began using the WomanCode protocol and herbal remedies to support my body with my lifestyle as she worked hard to bring hormone levels back into balance.

The first few months were transformational- even though it took a year for my period to return, I felt like a fog was lifted. My energy levels skyrocketed, I felt truly sexy and comfortable in my body and I felt like I was discovering a new magnetism that I had felt and experienced from other woman. My skin cleared, bloating and water retention dissipated and I felt a glow of my being that was brand new to me. For the first time ever, I felt like a woman in the full majesty of who I was born to be! I even began to feel more connected to my personal values of natural living as I began to live in sync with my own body and the cycles of the Moon. I even attracted in my soul mate partner during this time!

Cycle-syncing to align my energy levels with my daily life has given me the tools to show up fully in my full feminine power in both my work and in my life. Re-claiming my feminine power through ditching birth control supported me in accessing the wholeness of who I am- both the masculine and the feminine. Getting to know my body throughout each of the four phases of my cycle has brought me new and profound self-awareness that has translated into living more authentically and aligned with my truth! 

I now support women who are ready to claim the sacred and transformational power of their cycles. Cycle-syncing supports hormone healing, self-awareness, self-connection, natural living and is even a tool for showing up as your most aligned self at work, at home, in your relationships and in all facets of your life. If you desire support in your journey of living in sync with your cycle, let's set up a call and discover what is possible for you!

Stay tuned for more cycle-syncing information and resources for your own empowerment!

 

Living in Alignment

What does it mean to live "in alignment"? Alignment is the feeling we experience when we are living in harmony with our souls! We experience alignment when how we show up in the world is in congruence with the truth of who we are and with our mission on this Earth. 

Alignment means we are using our unique strengths, gifts, talents and intrinsic motivation to create, serve and be. When we are living in alignment, time seems to become irrelevant and we are graced with the people, opportunities, learning experiences and resources to move forward in the flow of life.

How do we know when we are in alignment? Simply put, our bodies let us know. After all, our bodies are more than just a collection of tissues, organs and nerves- they are the energetic vessel for our souls! I remember how it feels to be out of alignment in my life- nearly constant feelings of anxiety, depression, self-consciousness, dread or fear of the future, and using behaviors to "numb-out" the nagging feelings I had inside. Looking back, I have to laugh because I can so clearly see how my own body was sending me signals, saying WAKE UP! and PAY ATTENTION!

Once I began to tune into the flow of life and actually align with my JOY-those interests and curiosities that LIT ME UP from the inside- anxiety transformed into excitement. When I began to experience exciting glimpses of my truth, depression faded away. When I began to actually live in authentic alignment with who I truly am, behaviors and opportunities to numb out fell away and I began craving the feeling of being fully alive and fully ME! Allowing myself to be aligned in the flow of life has led me to massive personal growth, healing of health issues and harmful habits, continual spiritual awakening and most importantly- experiencing the joy of simply existing in this human body.

When we say YES to living in alignment with the truth of our souls, we begin to notice how to small synchronicities in our lives are connecting us to an intentional path. We can even look back and reflect on how all of the seemingly random events of our lives have connected the dots to bring us right to THIS MOMENT- the exact, perfect moment you are meant to be in RIGHT NOW.

Our pain and struggles are our teachers and even give us clues on the pain or problems we are uniquely designed to alleviate or help others overcome. When we discover something we are amazing at or love doing, we can listen to the message that it holds  We begin to see the world in a different light- how everything we experience is not done TO us, but is rather FOR us. We begin to see every experience as a lesson and an opportunity for growth, awakening and self-awareness. We begin to wake up every morning excited to see what life has in store for us and for the all the opportunity available in each moment. We begin to embrace the totality of the human experience as a welcome part of our journey- the dark, the light, the heights, the depths and every feeling and emotion in between, because they are all a part of our grand adventure.

WE WE ARE LIVING IN ALIGNMENT WE ARE CLAIMING OUR ROLE AS A CO-CREATOR OF OUR LIVES RATHER THAN A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE.

This is all available to you NOW. And it all starts with saying "YES" to committing to a life of alignment. The moment you say yes with all of your heart and your soul, you will begin to notice the feelings, experiences, synchronicities and intuition that is your internal guidance system and your connection to the vast, expansive energy of the Universe. You will be connected to the guides, teachers, books, information, resources and people who will propel your forward into your mission. You will begin to feel connected to a reality far greater and more vast than what the eye can see or the mind can comprehend. You will begin to clearly see that you are being guided towards a greater purpose! When things get tough, you will still say "YES". When there are challenges, tests, roadblocks and setbacks- you still say "YES", because being in alignment with the truth of your soul feels like the most noble and worthy cause there ever was.

I have outlined three important tools that have supported me in my own journey of alignment and are consistent practices I use to stay centered, awake, mindful and embodied.

CONNECT TO YOUR STRENGTHS Our strengths- the highest, most powerful qualities we possess and the things we feel exceptionally suited to do- are our guideposts to our soul's alignment. Begin to connect your strengths through asking yourself- "What am I good at?". "What do I love doing?'. "When do I feel most connected to myself and others?". "What activities make time irrelevant for me?". You can even asks friends and loved ones to tell you what they think your strengths are! Begin connecting to your strengths and feel yourself blossom with a new appreciation for how you are able to serve on this Earth. You can also do a free Character Strengths assessment here: http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths-Survey

MEDITATION Meditation allows us to transcend the distractions and noise of our lives and tune into the deepest parts of ourselves. Meditation is a tool that can be used with many intentions- to increase concentration and focus, to become more mindful, to reduce anxiety, etc. When I meditate my intention is to connect with the deepest parts of my soul. The other benefits of meditation are still certainly the side effects! But I feel motivated to meditate when I know that this practice is a key to my alignment and allows me to get quiet and still enough to receive guidance and to experience the space of being purely a soul without commentary from the "monkey mind". I simply set a timer for 30 minutes, use an eyeshade, set an intention, lay down and allow myself to melt into the surface below me, releasing all tension from my body. Afterwards, I will journal any messages or insights that came up for me.

BREATHWORK I often use a 3-part pranayama exercise before meditating to quickly bypass the mind and connect deeply with the energetic and emotional body. Breathwork helps us access deeper parts of ourselves, clear emotional blocks and stagnant energy, and access non-ordinary states of consciousness such as those utilized in shamanic journeying. Breathwork has transformed my meditation practice from very "mental" to very "embodied" in nature. The breath goes like this- Through the open mouth, take a breath into the belly, then a breath into the chest, then out through the mouth. Five to ten minutes of active breathing in this way is usually sufficient to drop me into a deeper state of consciousness while I relaxing into mediation.

COMING BACK TO THE BODY During times when I feel "out of alignment", I notice that all my energy is up in my mental space, churning with "what ifs" and trying to maintain a firm control over every aspect of my life. When I notice that my mental chatter is clouding out the connection to my truth, my soul-centered self, I begin to breath into each one of my limbs, starting at my feet. I take a deep breath in, sending the breath down into my feet, then my legs, then my hips, etc. working upwards until I've breathed into every corner of my body. Instant embodiment + soul connection!

AUTOMATIC WRITING One of the barriers to starting a journaling practice for many people is self-judgement of their writing, or overthinking what journaling "should look like". I love automatic writing because it bypasses the brain and goes straight into the subconscious. This practice looks like setting a timer (I do 20 minutes) and just allowing whatever wants to come out to be put onto paper. It absolutely does not have to make sense! I find that my deepest, most enlightening moment of self-awareness happen when I allow the mind to relax and make space for my truth to emerge with no filter. 

I support clients to discover their truth and live in alignment with their soul. If you are ready to say "YES" to living in the flow of life, guided by your truth, let's schedule a session.

 

 

Accessing Your Intuition

Yesterday, while walking outside in the gentle post-rainstorm mist, I came upon a tree bearing flowers of majestic, otherworldly beauty. I had noticed this tree before in passing and each time it seemed to beckoning me to come closer. As I walked up to the tree I noticed there was one flower perfectly within my reach. Over the past couple of weeks I have been studying the art of flower essences- medicine made by imprinting the energetic makeup of a flower into water using sunlight- and knew in this moment, this flower was my medicine.

Gently asking the flower for permission and receiving a positive feeling, I gingerly picked the flower (a Royal Ponciana), said a prayer of gratitude and returned home to meditate with the flower and create a positive mind-space with which to prepare the essence. Upon researching this flower, I learned that this flower's medicine is confidence, clarity of purpose, and supporting laser-focused action to move forward. My heart began to dance with joy- this was MY flower! My intuition moved me to this medicine as a nudge forward in bringing to life all of the ideas and concepts floating in my mind and my notebooks lately.

This story is less about the flower and more about the process of intuitive guidance. In the moment it is easy to think that we just have random urges to do things, but looking back we often notice the dots that connect and lead us to a moment of truth, discovery or clarity. Our intuition is a system of inner guidance located in the consciousness of our bodies. For some, it's a "gut feeling" or a twinge of energy in the heart. For others it's a soft whisper, a "hit" in the sacral chakra or an energetic reading from the environment. Think of a time when you walked into a room and felt intuition about what had just transpired- is the energy tense after a heated discussion? Is it joyful with celebration? Is it awkward as though you are not welcome? That bodily sensation is your intuition speaking through energy.

Intuition is not "one size fits all", which is why science has a difficult time wrapping it's evidence-based head around the concept that we each have our own unique, subjective experience of very real energetic signal. Discovering and connecting to our unique sense of intuitive guidance is a thrilling adventure. The more we begin to tune in, the less random life feels. The more we listen, the more guided and supported we feel on the path to our most authentic self. The quieter we get, the easier it is to sense the messages that emanate from within. The more we trust, the easier it is to care for our physical, emotional and spiritual form. Intuition is both our connection to ourselves and to the greater intelligence of life.

Intuition guides many aspects of our lives if we allow it to: Finding our "medicine" (plants, dance, meditation, art, stillness, tea, friendship, nourishing food...anything that feels healing), navigating relationships, finding our meaning and purpose in life, knowing if a loved one needs help or healing, choosing the right foods for our bodies, living a creative life, perceiving the energy of our surroundings, knowing when to exert energy and when to rest, feeling into making decisions of our "next move"...when we learn to access our intuition in daily life we may begin to notice ourselves "feeling into" life as much as or more than thinking about it! 

In a society that praises the power of the mind and generally ignores the wisdom in the body, re-connecting to this source of intelligence is an empowering act. Balancing the mind, body and spirit brings us into our wholeness, allowing us to access the entirety of who we truly are. Below I have outlined a few tips for getting out of the mind and into the body to deepen your access to your own intuitive guidance for more clarity, health and direction in life!

Exercises for accessing intuition

1. CREATE TIME FOR STILLNESS. One of the simplest ways to begin accessing our intuition is by sitting in stillness and allow whatever thoughts, messages and feelings to arise and float past your awareness. I find some of my best creative ideas and inspiration come during or right after my daily meditation. Set a timer for 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes- whatever feels accessible to you- and simply be still and breathe. When time is up, take a moment to write down any thoughts, ideas, feelings, urges, images or messages that came through during your time of stillness.

2. WALK WITH NO DESTINATION. This practice is easy and fun and allows your intuition to guide you on an adventure. Go out on a walk with no planned route or destination and allow your intuition guide you. Maybe you intuition says "go left" or "keep walking straight" or "go stand under that tree". After your walk, take a few minutes to journal anything that felt significant, enjoyable or interesting about your adventure and the ways your intuition guided you.

3. START AN INTUITION JOURNAL. Begin a journal to write down moments of intuition and the ways these messages were expressed for you. Where in your body did you feel it?  Was it a voice or a sense of "knowing"? Was it in a dream? While walking? Driving? Meditating? What was your intuition trying to tell you? Did you take action or wait it out? Did you trust the feeling or question it? If you followed the feeling, what was the outcome? Getting to know our unique expression of intuition is a powerful way to feel more guided and supported in our choices and our life path. Approach this with a sense of curiosity rather than judgment!

4. CREATE A HABIT OF TUNING INTO THE BODY. It is common to be so conditioned to stay in the mind- this is exhausting to our energy and cuts us off from some of the most important guidance and messages we have access to in the energy of our bodies. These messages can often come in the form of restlessness, contentment, anxiety, discomfort, pain, and other physical sensations such as hunger, cravings, thirst or fatigue. These messages helped our ancient ancestors know to take care of a need, to change their environment or move to a new one, to pay attention to something or to follow the thread of an instinct. To create a habit of listening to and understanding the messages of the body, set an alarm to go off every hour one day a week and check in with yourself during each alarm. What do you need in that moment? Maybe you are content. Maybe you need a healthy snack or a glass of water. Maybe you need to get up and stretch. Maybe you need to explore an uncomfortable emotion. Maybe you need to take a moment for gratitude! Whatever it is, honor the message and trust that whatever comes up is exactly what was needing to be noticed or seen.

An excellent resource for developing many aspects of intuition through clear information, guided exercises and journaling prompts is the book "The Intuitive Way" by Penney Pierce. Whether intuitive living is a new concept for you or you have been exploring this way for many years, there is wisdom there to be gleaned!

Interested in receiving 1-on-1 support for connecting to your intuition and natural intelligence for health and wellbeing? Head over to my Health Coaching Programs to learn more about how I could support your unique journey of health and wholeness. Schedule a free call with me to experience the power of coaching and find out if one of my programs is the perfect solution for you.