"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.
How to start getting everything you want. My Top 3 tips and resources for manifesting your best life possible.
I don't mean to brag but I am still moving full force towards my New Year's Resolution. 2018 is all about minding my mind and manifesting the best most loving, energetic life possible.
Last year I totally dropped the ball on this goal. I set the same goal/intention as this year, but I did not have the will, the plan or the systems in place to follow through, not surprisingly I did not succeed. Classic "fail to plan, plan to fail" scenario. Maybe it wasn't the right time and although 2017 did bring some amazing things, I could have enjoyed and accomplished more with a rock solid mindfulness practice. I know 2018 needs to be about riding the waves with a strong and unshakable mindset.
One of my favourites ways to take care of myself and my family is through healthy whole food meals. After making this commitment years ago, it has become such habit now that it actually feels easy. But... being prepared is key, otherwise we get stressed out (or is that just me?)
January is finally over and you may find that you need to dig a little deeper (or a lot deeper) to stay motivated when it comes to exercising and staying on track. Cold days can make you want to curl up in bed wearing fleecy pyjamas, covered in toasty blankets with a big cup of camomile tea (with a splash of cashew milk for me please). Ahhh that sounds nice.
And it is nice.. for a couple days, but if you are like me, a few too many days of inactivity can make you feel tired and sloth like. Getting in daily activity despite the chilly weather is important for your physical and mental health. How can you get motivated??? MUSIC. I find nothing more motivating then an awesome playlist or a juicy podcast.
As a group fitness instructor I tend to think classes are the best motivation, but I know not everyone is a class person and with crazy winter weather it isn't always possible to make it into the gym. So next time there is a snow day pull out these playlist and get moving.
You do not have to be a vegan or vegetarian to benefit from eating a more plant based diet. In fact many people these days are mixing a plant based diet with high quality animal proteins. Study after study has proved the power of plant foods. Eating whole foods from the earth (aka lots of fruits and vegetables) is scientifically proven to help prevent a variety of chronic diseases and conditions. Plants provide high amounts of fibre and potassium which can prevent heart disease and regulate blood pressure. Also, removing processed carbohydrates and replacing them with plant based carbohydrates/whole food sources help prevent and reduce the risks of diabetes, obesity and more.
Follow my personal fitness, nutrition and personal journeys and explorations.