For the Smoothie Bowl
If you are like me, you may find it more challenging to stay on track in the summer. I always stay true to what I preach, I do fuel my body with healthy food, I try to listen to my body and eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. That being said summer is a lot more adventurous and a lot less regimented then winter for me (does anyone else feel more disciplined and fit in the winter then the summer?). One of the best ways to eat healthy on the go and in social situations in to prepare a big, beautiful and sharable meal.
Of course I would love to say that everyday I wake up at 4am (Deepak Chopra style) and meditate for 2 hours, ommm'in and humming in perfect rhythm with the universe, but of course it doesn't go that way and lets be honest, I don't really want to wake up at 4am. Although I do think morning meditations are the best (15-30 minutes is just fine), it is just that sometimes it don't happen as planned. Sometimes I have to fit it in at a random place or time. Check out 9 ways that I sneak in my daily meditation no matter what. Remember, you can’t do it wrong, you own your practice. Take a deep breath and gift yourself the present moment.
"My body is busy. My mind is not."
When I heard this quote from one of my favourite spiritual teachers Deepak Chopra, I immediately thought BINGO! That is exactly how I want to be! Chopra travels all over the world as an author, public speaker and spiritual leader, he is a busy man to say the least and I am sure he could feel stressed if he wanted to. Instead, when Oprah asked him how he handles being so busy he explained that while his body is busy traveling around the world, he mind is not busy, in his mind he is always at ease.
This is exactly what I have being working towards all year (remember I declared this the year of next level health and wellness). I love to be physically "busy". Teaching, connecting and coaching brings me joy, happiness, purpose and it is a creative outlet. On the other hand I don't want to feel maxed out, stressed or overwhelmed by my schedule. To go next level in any aspect of life you must gain control of your mind, recognizing chaos is created in our heads and although we can't control what happens in the outside world, we can control how I react and feel about it.
Exercise is so important for that deep Mind-Body Connection.
Exercise is not all about punishing yourself, burning calories and trying to change the way you look. It is a deep connection and respect for the amazing home for your soul..your body.
There was a time where I thought the harder the workout the better. As a young personal trainer I assumed every workout should be hard and killer. That is what people pay for right??? No, not really. People pay for results and you can get great results (if not better results) by working smarter not harder. I know that saying is such a cliche, I actually just cringed, but, it is true. By smarter I mean correct, focused, and effective. Workouts that make you feel good, that make you feel strong and motivated.
How Saying yes to everyone else can mean saying no to yourself: How to get clear about what you really want and Need.
I know I have been talking a lot about mindset, stress reduction and meditation lately, I truly believe it is the most important aspect of health and fitness. There is no true wellness without a healthy, happy mind. Going within yourself will allow you to appreciate and thieve in all ways: physically, mentally, in relationships, in how you see yourself and certainly in how you treat your body.
Most of us have heard the biblical statement "... and the truth will set you free". This statement means different things to different people, but to me it is about standing in your truths and beliefs. It means breaking free from the bondage created by not expressing what you want, believe, know or feel. Maybe it is being a slave to your thoughts, who you secretly think you are or a slave to a lifestyle that does not serve you (be it spiritual or habitual). It is about being trapped.
Do you ever feel like a complete failure because you know what to do...you just don't do it? Well before you go judging and criticizing yourself I want you to know you are not alone. In fact, it makes complete sense. Making new habits or reinstating previous good habits takes time, repetition, dedication, trial and error. We need to strengthen that good old "habit muscle".
A couple of years ago it dawned on me, I had everything I wanted and needed but it didn't matter because I wasn't enjoying it. I was running from one thing to another just counting down the hours until the day was done. Somewhere in my busy schedule I had lost my joy and my happiness. I began to realized this was not a sustainable way to live. I wasn't present, my memory was horrible and I was completely uninspired. I wanted to run away, but I couldn't (I was too busy to run away). I had to STOP.
Looking back now I do have regrets about this time in my life, mainly because there are so many moments I can't remember because I was so busy and stressed. Moments with my small children that I wish I could have appreciated. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and being a sleep deprived mother is a form of torture that I have now escaped (for the moment at least). But, I truly believe stress is the killer of joy and thankfully my misery was a wake up call. It was a call from the universe giving me the opportunity to slow down and be present.
The thing is, I love to achieve (something else to work on perhaps), but I needed to find a way to be busy and be in the moment at the same time. I realized it is not entirely about my schedule, often it is about my state of mind and ability to be in the moment, let go of distractions and live. Truly live.
How can you do this? For me, I knew I needed to slow down in my head. I can still achieve what I need to, I do not need to panic. I do not need to think of what is next. I can move through each hour with ease, flow and appreciation. Accepting my day and schedule as it is and attempt to move through each task with ease. Any challenge is an opportunity to grow, take a deep breath and take on challenges with ease, grace and compassion for myself and others. I totally understand to many this may seem impossible and it might even make you feel defensive (ie: "You don't know what I have to deal with!"). Let me tell you I know that each day in not roses and some days are dark or a complete mess, but my perception of how stressful my day is completely dictates how stressful it actually is. Make sense?
You know the term yo-yo dieter? Well I am a yo-yo meditator. I know all the benefits, I have seen them with my very eyes (or felt them in my very heart I should say), but sometimes I fall off the wagon...hard. I am not saying I get a big zero when it comes to mindfulness practices. I am currently dedicated to my daily affirmations and spiritual reading, but lately the mediation piece is missing and I am making a concrete plan to get back on track with daily meditation. That is why I am sharing my top 6 tips to getting started with you, I love the accountability of putting it out there.
My #1 priority this year was to slow down. Am I getting lazy? Am I slacking off? I asked myself the same question and that's the problem. Since when did slowing down to enjoy the moment mean that you were sucking at life. It is actually the opposite.
I am more productive and ambitious because my focus is on quality of life not quantity. More is not always more and when I focus on what matters, I do things in a thoughtful, creative and "non-frantic" state, the results are better...for everyone.
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