Living with Lightness

Holistic Health Coaching ~ Nourishing Yourself Inside & Out

Attention

How do you feel when you read a negative news story or are having coffee with a friend that is being pessimistic?  Usually these types of scenarios create negative energy or feelings for the person in the situation and that energy or feeling is likely to stay with you throughout the day and you will likely pass it onto others.

As with the opposite situation is if you surround yourself with positive things and like minded optimistic people you will feel enriched and light and spread positive energy and feelings to those around you.

This is a principal I have learned through yoga and meditation to put your attention towards things you want to cultivate more of in your life.  Evaluate what you are putting your energy into and if it is not serving you refocus and put your energy into the things you want.  Time is precious, put your attention on what makes you thrive!

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Resources

Yoga is the union of body, mind and spirit. ~ The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Book

Last night I completed my 31st class of the 30 day yoga challenge I was doing.  I really enjoyed practicing yoga almost every day (there were 3 days I was on travel and one day I planned not being able to go based on schedule so did six days of double classes).  I didn’t know how my body would react to being on the mat almost every day as I have been dealing with tendentious in my left shoulder and a tight left knee cap but I am happy to say that both actually feel much better!  It was fun to explore a variety of classes and teachers.  What really made several of my classes special was seeing a friend in the sea of yogis.  There is just something special about sharing that energy with a friend.

I was inspired by parents that brought their 9 year old daughter to a stretch class the other night and think it is such a special life long gift they are passing onto her.  If I would have only known about yoga that young I would have probably had a different outlook on my body image growing up.  I just ordered a kids and teen yoga DVD so when I go to North Dakota for Thanksgiving I can share the gift of yoga with my nieces and nephews.

If you practice yoga I encourage you to share this experience with someone you care about.  If you haven’t tried yoga it is a gift you should give to yourself.  Here is an offer from the Chopra Center for a free DVD with only the cost of shipping you might want to consider.

Another great resource the Chopra Center is offering is a free 21-day daily guided meditation program you might want to explore for yourself.

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Roots

With all the news on the “Superstorm” on the East coast my yoga teacher today talked about how trees can survive these threatening storms if they have deep roots.  This is something we can think about in our own lives.  How deep are our roots, are we grounded and can we weather the storms of life?

Think about what grounds you.  Think about releasing things in life that aren’t serving you so you can build a stronger foundation for yourself.  Nourish your roots so when the clouds of life roll in you know you can persevere and see the sun shine through after the storm passes.

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Plan

I have traveled for most of my career.  Most of my colleagues complain that they are unable to stay healthy as they don’t eat well and don’t exercise while they are on the road.  Fortunately through taking time to plan ahead and pack accordingly I have maintained my adult weight over the past 12 years.  When I travel for business or pleasure I pack healthy snacks and clothes and shoes to exercise in.  After you get in the routine of these habits it doesn’t feel like extra work at all and just part of what you do.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

See below for a picture of snacks I am taking along for an upcoming personal trip.  I try to bring things with me instead of buying marked up energy bars and nuts at the airport.  If my flight is around a meal time I like to factor in a little extra time to stop at a health food store and get some to-go ideas from the deli so I can have a nutritious meal on the plane, if not I can have some of my snacks such as: kale chips, energy bars, nuts, unsweetened dried fruit and smoothie powder in blender bottle (add water you get on the flight).  For my outbound flights I try to bring along fresh fruit and veggies from home or a health food store.

These are practices you can put in action even if you are not traveling but know you have a busy day ahead.  With a little planning you can incorporate holistic health into your busy lifestyle.

Things to consider with a busy day or travel schedule:

  • Drink water
  • Pack healthy snacks (you can usually find a lunch box cooler with ice in my car)
  • When cooking meals make extra and carve out portions to use for future lunches or dinners
  • Pack workout clothes and shoes (can always keep an extra set in the car)
  • Meditate on the plane or in the car if you are waiting for your child to get done with an after school activity
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Empowerment

Have you ever tried something new and felt that burst of empowerment and growth of your confidence?

Many years ago I was helping a girlfriend paint her living room.  She made a comment that growing up she always wanted her dad to show her how to do things as she wanted to be able to do things for herself or for others and not have to rely on another for everything.  That always stuck with me so I try to take on new things myself as it makes me learn new things and makes me feel empowered.

Through life I have surrounded myself with empowered women and their confidence is infectious and when I am faced with a new challenge I can use them as examples of how they would approach a new situation.

This week I have been sleuthing a vacuum cleaner issue and giggle at myself for how good it feels when I figure out what needs to be fixed instead of just bringing it to a vacuum repair shop.

Build your own empowerment by doing something that usually intimidates you or that you would ask someone else to do for you.  You being empowered will not only benefit you but you will be a great role model for others around you.

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Breakfast

I love mornings and enjoy having breakfast in order to kick the day off by fueling my body and mind so I can approach the day with physical and mental energy.

Breakfast literally means to break your fast.

I know many people are not in the habit of having breakfast but often hear once they implement this ritual into their daily routine that they feel so much more energetic and that their blood sugar is more stable throughout the day.

If breakfast is part of your regular routine evaluate if what you are eating to start your day is vitalizing you or making you feel sluggish and consider making some tweaks.  Here is a link to my personal website with breakfast fuel ideas to consider.

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Compassion

Compassion is a two way street.  Most people are good about having compassion towards others but don’t give that same compassion back to themselves.

Practicing yoga has taught me to be more compassionate towards myself.  The practice awakens you to see just what amazing things the body does such as movement, balance and breath.  Lately in class the teachers have been closing the class with mentioning to say thanks to your body for what it has allowed you to do today.

If you are still working through accepting the body you have been gifted with just try to thank it for getting you through each day.  If you haven’t tried yoga consider trying a class.  Most studios such as the one I go to offer up to a free week to new students.

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Fear

It is normal when you are experiencing change or a shift in life to feel fear.  The body and mind’s general response to fear is to move away from it but sometimes we need to trust to move towards the fear and embrace the challenge ahead.

If you are working on making a step towards improving your holistic lifestyle you might feel afraid.  Acknowledge the fear and it will lose some of its power.  Ask yourself “what is the worst thing that can happen” by making certain changes.

With time the fear will decrease and it will be replaced with excitement for the new things that lie ahead and you will be proud that you faced that fear.

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Numbers

I am big on numbers.  I like to track everything.

I was focused for so long on weight and what the number on the scale said but have learned over time I am more than a number.

This was reiterated this week with a video that went viral focusing on just this concept.  I have attached the link to the video and encourage you to watch it if you haven’t done so already.  I applaud Jennifer Livingston for recognizing she is more than a number.

Take a moment to think about all the things that make you, you.  What if today was your last day here.  Does that xlbs that you are focused on really matter in the grand scheme of life?  Would your loved ones include your weight and clothing size when they are writing your obituary?  Of course not, they will be reflecting on all the traits of the person you were and that they loved.  The last thing on their mind would be what you weighed or what size you wore.  You owe yourself that same love and kindness.  Don’t sum up your worth based on a number on a scale, clothing size or someone’s unasked for opinion.

“We can all grow, no matter our history.  We can all recognize our brilliance.  Recognizing beauty, as it turns out, is a choice.  You can see it the way the world hands it to you, or you can see it the way you want to see it.” ~ Rosie Molinary

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Well

The word well used as an adjective can mean healthy and used as a noun can mean a spring or source.

During yoga yesterday the teacher mentioned our personal well.  How do you fill up your personal well?  Do you ever let it go dry by not taking care of your own personal needs?

I recently finished the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and he talks about a similar concept of have your love tank full.

This week tap into your personal well and love tank and take a reading and if the levels aren’t high enough find something or make a change to what might be depleting them and start to fill them up again.

I’d love to hear from you on what you are doing to keep your personal well or love tank replenished and free flowing!

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