Lately, there has been some conflict in my life. I have witnessed the behavior of other people and become upset by their words and actions. In turn, I have seen my own thoughts and behaviors and have realized that I am no better. When one goes through a 12 step program, there comes a time to write out all resentments toward others and in doing this, there is also the great opportunity to look at how we have done the same things in our own lives. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves in this process. I now see more clearly how the very things that have upset me about others are behaviors that I too have within me. It is a humbling realization.
I have found myself lying in bed at night unable to sleep, eyes wide open, feeling stressed. Worried. Angered. I have found myself praying for guidance, inspiration, direction, and upliftment. After the challenges of 2017, I have decided that I have had enough suffering, enough fear, and enough negativity. I’ve been reading two books by Eckhart Tolle and his teachings are profound and deeply meaningful. He says that no matter what situation you are encountering in your life, that it is always neutral and it is only our reaction to the situation that creates our suffering. In his words:
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is.”
As I work on putting these insightful teachings into practice, I find that there is a clearing that occurs. First, I allow myself to sit quietly in a room by myself where I will not be disturbed. I allow the thoughts and feelings to arise, and then I sit with the pain. I pray and ask God to help me to let go of my reaction to what I often mistakenly perceive to be the injustice of what other people have done to me. After I sit with that for a bit, I send love to that person and then do some tapping (also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique). I find that going through this process really helps. As I am doing this, I can literally feel the stress, fear, and negative emotion being lifted from me.
After a short time, I do find that those persistent thoughts of anger, fear, injustice, etc., do come back with a vengeance and it is my responsibility to catch them and tell them NO. If a negative thought enters my mind, am I going to engage with it and feed it so that it can grow or am I going to stop it in it’s tracks? I am the only one who can make this change. And this change will change your life.
It is empowering to go through this process. When we deeply recognize that other peoples actions are not about us, but about them, we can let go of the hurt and anger. When we release the story that we have told ourselves about what is really going on, we are no longer bound by negative emotions and we set ourselves free.
The moment you take responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life. ~Hal Elrod
Each year, the holidays offer a perfect time to gather with loved ones and spend time celebrating the season, enjoying the weather, and of course, eating. It’s like we think have license to overeat, overdrink and overindulge this time of year. Even nature agrees. This is the time to spend more time indoors, pack on some weight and hibernate for the winter. It’s just what we do, right?
Well, what if we did it a little differently this year? Many of us tend to make it all about the food. Each social event is centered around what kind of food will be there? Or, oh I better wait to start being healthier until after this event/vacation/holiday, etc. What if instead of making it all about the food and drinks, we made it more about doing things that are good for us? I’m talking about not giving in to the potential stress of travel, excessive social activities, hustle and bustle and frantic energy and instead, taking time to slow down and watch some Christmas movies, exercising, eating healthy, and maybe even meditating. When we are taking care of ourselves, we feel better. Why not continue the things that make us feel good rather than indulge in the things that ultimately make us feel bad even though they are so good in the moment?
What if we decided to start now and just take baby steps? What if we made Thanksgiving a little cleaner this year? I’m not saying to give up the sweet potato soufflé or the pecan pie, but what I am advocating is to bring in something clean and yummy. When I work with clients, I focus on the method of crowding out, which means that I don’t advise deprivation, because that never seems to work, but we “crowd out” the not so healthy foods in favor of those clean and nourishing foods that make us feel so good. So what are some things you could bring to Thanksgiving that could really make a positive difference?
Just think about it. You might be surprised at the reaction you receive. There may be other people who are straight up grateful that you took some time and effort to bring something clean this year.
Wishing you a beautiful, blessed, and joyful Thanksgiving!
For many years, I was living a life that I knew just wasn’t me. I was emotionally eating, (which for me meant, whatever I wanted), drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and basically numbing myself to avoid feeling. It felt awful, but I didn’t know how to change.
I won’t say it was easy, but it is possible. It took strength and awareness, as well as a willingness to learn how to do things differently. I learned how to see food in a new way, how to actually FEEL my emotions instead of stuffing them down with substances, and how to use healthy tools, such as prayer, deep breathing, quiet time, journaling, and exercise to feel good about myself. I learned that joy is a direct result of positivity and gratitude. I became happy.
I would love to meet you, learn about your journey, and help you to navigate through whatever is holding you back from living a happy, healthy, wholesome life.
To learn more about my services, check out www.liveradiant.com.
Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor
120 E Taylor Street, Griffin, GA 30223
We were gathered at a yoga teacher training when Diane showed up with a delicious, comforting, perfect-for-Fall blend, known as Yogi Tea. One sip and I was already in love. This infusion is made up of ginger, and spices known in Ayurveda to be heating: Cloves, cardamom, pepper and cinnamon. Fall is the perfect time to get cozy and warm under a blanket and sip this yummy tea.
Diane was kind enough to pass on the recipe and I have been making it every week since then. This particular blend is known for leaving you feeling vibrantly healthy and alive, while supporting overall well-being. It can be a little intense and I purposely make it stronger than the recipe calls for, but you will likely feel great during and after consuming a cup.
Last week, I did a 7 day cleanse and this tea really helped with the coffee cravings. I love that you can drink it day or night, because you can make it without caffeine. The recipe below is Yogi Bhajan's original recipe and includes black tea and milk, which I typically leave out.
For each cup:
10 ounces of water (about 1 and 1/3 cups)
3 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
4 whole black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black tea (Optional)
½ cup milk, almond milk, or other dairy substitute (Optional)
2 slices fresh ginger root
Bring water to a boil and add spices. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes, then if desired, add black tea. Let sit for a few minutes, then add the milk and return to a boil. Don’t let it boil over. When it reaches a boil, remove immediately from heat, strain, and sweeten with honey, if desired.
Here is a cooling, refreshing tea that is sure to get your brain firing. Not only does it contain adaptogens and nootropics that relieve stress, it also improves cognitive function, while both calming and energizing a tired mind.
Green Tea: Considered a nootropic. Contains both caffeine and L-theanine, which simultaneously gives energy while having a calming effect
Peppermint: Cooling, improves memory, boosts cognition
Spearmint: Improves memory & cognition
Eucalyptus: A stimulant that removes exhaustion and mental sluggishness. Known to be effective in the treatment of stress and mental disorders. Also a vasodilator (relaxes blood vessels and allows more blood to circulate...more blood to the brain means more brain power
Sage: Beneficial effect on mind, improves memory, concentration and mood
Ginseng: An adaptogenic herb known as a mind tonic and energizer
Gingko Biloba: A memory enhancement herb known for short term and age related memory loss, slow thinking, depression, circulation and is a vasodilator (improves blood flow to the brain)
Gotu Kola: Improves memory/intelligence
Combine 1 tbsp of each of the loose leaf herbs and put in a jar. Mix well. Scoop out 1 tbsp into a French press and pour 1-2 cups of hot water over the herbs. Steep for 20 minutes, then pour over ice, and relish in this “brilliant” experience.
Nootropic: Substances that are cognitive enhancers, improving memory, motivation, and creativity. Examples: L-theanine, caffeine, GABA, 5-htp, acetylcholine, bacopa monnieri
Adaptogen: A healing substance that improves the body’s ability to deal with stress while balancing the adrenal glands. Examples: ginseng, ashwaganda, licorice, holy basil, rhodiola
Herbs can be purchased at www.mountainroseherbs.com.
Today is my Birthday. It has become a tradition of mine to take each New Years Day and each Birthday and spend some time in nature to reflect on what I want the next year to look like. It is a very special time that I take just for me. When I blew out my candles yesterday, my wish was to spend this year being completely present, fully awake, and deeply aware of each moment I am in.
It is not a very popular view in our current society, but this year, I am taking the pressure off. Instead of constant dreaming, creating, analyzing, working, and thinking (which I also love), I am taking some time to simply enjoy and be with what is. To take care of what I have instead of striving for more. Essentially, I am committing to the present moment, not the past or the future. To jump fully and wholeheartedly into THIS moment. Whether I am at the studio teaching a class or at home with my family, talking to a friend or listening to another person, I commit to being HERE NOW. With that comes the ability to listen and be guided by the heart, by God, by our inner voice. What feels RIGHT and GOOD is what I choose to focus on today...and this month...and this year.
My teenage years were spent not doing, but being...in a way that did not serve me. I lived a life of escape through addictions and unhealthy patterns. I did not have the tools at that time to deal with my emotions. My early adult life was characterized by much overdoing, overworking, and overthinking, perhaps to subconsciously make up for my younger years. It then became a form of acceptance. If only I did "this," then people would accept, like, and/or respect me. I found that I was mistakenly seeking the approval of other people, while focusing on goals that didn't really make me happy. It then became a way to somehow secure my future financially and nothing seemed like enough. It became very fear based and eventually morphed into a compulsive behavior of DOING and THINKING. This way of thinking is depleting and exhausting.
When there is a constant striving and reaching for goals in an imbalanced way, it often prevents us from living in the present with appreciation and gratitude for what is. It is such a sacred gift to be awake and aware for EACH moment that we find ourselves in. It is possible to find balance between DOING and BEING. It is possible to be successful in life, but to do so in a way that honors our Higher Self, not just the ego self.
So with no further adieu, here are my Birthday Declarations for the last year that I can say that I am "thirty-something" :
"Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift." Oprah Winfrey
"Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence." Elkhart Tolle
"The next message you need is always right where you are." Ram Dass
"The only time you ever have in which to learn anything, or see anything, or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this moment is all any of us ever gets. You're only here now; you're only alive in this moment." Jon Kabat-Zinn
It brings me HOME
I feel soothed in my spirit
I stop worrying and trying to control everything
I sink into trust and surrender
I realize that ALL IS WELL
My body relaxes and I start to breathe into my stomach instead of holding it in
I feel a huge sense of relief
It carries over into my daily life…I see myself interacting in the world in a much calmer, more centered way
It makes me a happier person
I sleep better
I feel more grounded throughout the day
I look forward to my next meditation
I receive guidance and intuitive ideas when I meditate
I feel it is a time to listen to God rather than to talk to Him
It makes me stop and slow down
I know it’s always there for me
I realize that no matter what is going on around me, it is possible to maintain a calm, peaceful presence
It makes me more aware of everything
I feel like I am waking up to things I missed before
I don’t get so attached to outcomes
I feel more joyful and grateful
Everything gets really quiet
I feel like a human BEING instead of a human DOING
It softens my heart and I feel more compassion
I feel as if I am doing something beautiful for myself and the world
70/30 For the Holidays: Enjoy a 70/30 lifestyle during the holidays. Instead of dieting, this helps us to make a change…a lifestyle change that can lead to long term weight loss. Without using guilt or conditions, this exceptional principle helps us to achieve balance and moderation. It allows us to splurge on our favorite foods while making clean eating the main part of our day and life. So here’s how it works:
70 percent of the time, focus on eating clean good-for-you foods, and 30 percent of the time you have the liberty to indulge as you please. Don't be overly concerned about the math.
Once the holidays are over, move to 80/20.
Change your mindset: See food as fuel. This is a transition that you can make that will make eating a totally different experience. So many of us focus on eating for pleasure…all the time. When we focus on how we are going to feel afterwards, we begin to shift our way of eating. Every meal is no longer about pleasure, but about nourishing our bodies and minds. One way to begin this process is to do a cleanse or detox, which will show you what eating optimally feels like in your body and mind. For now, simply begin to pay attention to how you feel and focus on the foods that make you feel ENERGIZED and CLEAR HEADED after you eat them. If a food makes you feel sluggish and brain foggy, it’s probably a food that should fall into the 20 or 30% category.
Eat Smaller Portions: Don’t feel the need to fill your plate up. Pay attention to portion size and eat to feel energized. If you feel tired and sluggish after eating, look at what you ate and how much. Notice what foods contribute to feeling your best. Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. Serve food from the stove onto plates rather than family-style at the table, which encourages seconds. Eat slowly and chew your food well.
Most importantly, get to know your body. Learn how much food feels good and how much feels like too much. Focus on eating for health and energy.
Fill up on Salads and Veggies: This is one of my top secrets for staying lean. Eat more greens and veggies. Not only will they fill you up, they will provide fiber to keep your digestion efficient, they will also give you a feeling of lightness and energy, as well as keep you trim. There are so many ways to get more greens into our daily diets. Adopt one or more of these methods per day. Here are some ideas.
Exercise Regularly: Even if you find that you are enjoying holiday cookies, cheeses, and cocktails, make the time to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. This will be energizing, relieve holiday stress, keep things moving, and will keep your spirits high. Ask a family member to join you for a walk around the neighborhood when you need a break. It’s also a great opportunity for connection or a moment of restorative solitude.
Learn about my program, "Weight Loss From Within" at the link below:
Establish a Sleep Routine: Get to bed before 10PM and wake up before 6AM. Getting to sleep before 10 allows us to settle in to the time when the deepest sleep occurs (10PM-2AM). Take advantage of this and wake up early and fresh. The early morning is a great time to pray and meditate while things are still quiet.
Eat Clean: Cut out sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol and caffeine for a time, whether that is 3 days, 1 week, or 1 month. This will help to release stored toxins and loosen ama (the sticky waste-product of digestion that builds up in the digestive tract when your digestion is either weak or overloaded with the wrong foods) moving it into the gastro-intestinal tract to eventually be eliminated. Try it for a few days and you’ll be amazed how good you feel!
Exercise Daily: Get out and walk a little every day. Exercise brings more fresh oxygen to our bodies, helping us to feel more energized, and clear.
Drink Lemon Water Upon Waking: Give your body a break by drinking a glass of warm lemon water upon waking and 30 minutes before eating. Doing this daily will flush out your digestive system and give you more energy. In Ayurveda, an alternative natural healing science that originated in India, drinking lemon water each morning is recommended to flush toxins from the body, boost digestion, increase energy, rehydrate the body, and enhance the immune system. Lemons contain 30-50 mg of Vitamin C. They also contain potassium. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning gives the body a chance to absorb these vitamins effectively and can provide a little immune boost.
Slow Down: Discover how slowing down and living a more simple existence can give us more energy to use on the things that we really want to do. Sometimes we can get so busy and bogged down with tasks and to do lists that we can no longer hear our inner voice, which craves health, harmony and balance.
I'm sitting here sipping on some iced Easy Day tea from Mountain Rose Herbs. Whenever I drink this tea, I always feel calmer and that I am indeed having an easy day. It’s definitely the case today, as I spend another afternoon soul searching and dreaming up the most perfect existence. These days, I feel like I am becoming more myself. Giving myself this time to not work, but to sit outside with my coffee, to meditate, to journal, to talk to and be with people, to pray, to just be. This has been exactly what I've needed. It hasn’t always been so easy and I doubt it will always be. The past three years have been full of major transformations, but isn’t it funny as we uncover those layers, we see other areas of our lives that need work?
I like Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability and in reading through one of her books, I stumbled across her definition of authenticity: the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. She says that authenticity is a practice, a conscious choice of how we want to live. It’s how to show up and be real. It’s the choice to let our true selves be seen.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? It’s the actual putting it into practice that gets me. You see, it has come to my attention that I have not been allowing myself to be fully who I am. I have not been completely authentic.
In not being fully authentic, I have allowed my soulful, joyful inner light to be dimmed out of fear of not being accepted. I have not allowed my light to fully shine. I have not accepted this beautiful God given gift out of fear. I have been in fear that if I allow myself to fully show up, that I will be rejected or worse, when in fact, this is the farthest thing from the truth.
When I think back about all of the times in my life that I have allowed myself to fully be me, these are the times when I’ve felt the most loved, supported, respected, and cherished.
This block has been showing up in my work. I have been marketing my nutrition programs from a very clinical weight loss perspective when in fact, the benefits of my programs are actually geared toward guiding people to experience a very deep and profound transformation of the body, mind, emotions, heart and spirit. Instead of calling my program the “6 week weight loss and metabolic tune up program,” I have collaborated with my good friend and life coach, Michelle D’Abundo and changed the name to, “Weight Loss from Within; A transformational 6 week program,” which far better describes my program. And instead of listing out the benefits of the program like this:
· Restores energy while allowing for safe and steady weight loss
· Inspirational program that includes participation in group exercises that are geared toward creative visualization, walking meditations, stress management techniques and more.
· Participants receive support: food, water, exercise, stress solutions, supplements, meditation and pranayama
I’ve decided to move to this:
· Be Inspired: Live an empowered existence and create the life of your dreams
· Discover how to release old patterns of behavior, beliefs and toxic relationships to make space for that which truly serves your highest purpose
· Learn how to eat foods that are energizing while receiving loving support with water, exercise, stress solutions, supplements, meditation and pranayama
I want everything that I do to exemplify who I truly am…and it is now time to be fully me. Soulful. Peaceful. Joyful. Loving. Fully Authentic. I am changing it up... and not allowing fear to stand in my way…fully embracing the gifts of who I am and sharing that with the world.
For years, I’ve had this nagging feeling that there is another kind of existence that is calling out to me. It’s almost like there is a part of me that knows there is another way, a better way of existing. Until recently, it has been obscure and inaccessible, no matter how much I try to access it. All I know is that it feels amazing…it feels really earthy, grounded, and nature filled. It is so full of God and depth and soulfulness and love and connection.
Well, as I step into the magic of my life, my highest purpose, my true calling, I realize that I am manifesting this life now. I feel that this is exactly what I am creating. In fact, it is ME. I merely need to step aside and allow this higher truth to come forth.
This is the truth. I feel it in my heart. I feel God with me as I feel this to be true, to be right...I finally feel that with all that I am. Every cell is humming with this certainty. THIS is what I have been waiting for. Nutrition alone seemed too limiting. Yoga alone seemed too limiting. Ayurveda alone seemed too limiting. What was lacking was SOUL. All of these things have their place, but the SOULFUL component is what is needed here...and I feel so completely complete right now. All of a sudden, there is no sense of urgency to accomplish my programs...there is no fear around money or success...there is just an excitement to CREATE. I am filled with gratitude as I realize that I already AM what I am seeking.
With Infinite Blessings,