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Our bodies need this.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

Because it’s the beginning of a new year, we’re all in the same boat.

You might be wondering: What boat is that?

We’re all in the boat where we’re visually assaulted by ads telling us one message. This message can be subtle, and it is very toxic for us. It looks like this: Join the gym for $1 this month! It looks like the ads on Instagram that told me four times today to set resolutions.

Do you know what the not-so-subtle message is? 

There’s something wrong with you. 

When you resolve to do better, you’ll fix what’s wrong with you (too fat? too poor? too alone?), and then, you’ll be happy.

You know that is all just marketing, right? The promise that happiness lies in the fulfillment of a New Year’s resolution has never delivered. Think of every year in the past – if one of those attempts had succeeded, you wouldn’t be here, right now. It’s a marketing strategy, and it works becuase it plays on our deep fears about our own inadequacy, of not being good enough.

It’s time to take our power back. Especially right now, at the beginning of a New Year.

Especially when it comes to our bodies.

Especially because there is nothing wrong with you.

To want to feel good in our own skin is valid. To feel tired of obsessing over food is very legitimate. But for someone else to tell us how we should look? That is very not cool.

Because we all know how to eat healthy foods and move more, so selling us something that helps us to try harder isn’t useful. Our willpower is not the problem. The problem is that the food is not the problem.

A food-based solution like a new diet, to a problem that looks like a food problem, but isn’t a food problem at all, gets us nowhere. Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Thinking differently or better about food is trying to solve our problems with the same food-focused thinking that created them.

Instead of going down this way, this year, it’s time to elevate.

To solve a problem, we have to know what it is, first. If the weight struggle and the eating-obsessions have nothing to do with food, then we have to find out what the problem causing our compulsion really is.

Because, there’s a cause, and there’s a solution. And we’re capable of finding both.

We’re either going up, or we’re going down.

I for one am going up. I’m going to elevate.

 For about three months, I’ve been waist-deep in the concept of sovereignty. 

Sovereignty is kind of like healthy boundaries, good communication, and the right-to-exist, all in one, glorious bundle.

When it comes to our bodies, sovereignty means that our bodies are our own kingdoms, and no one else’s. What I do, or don’t do, with my body is none of your concern.

Sovereignty is not, off with your head! power, like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Sovereignty is: you don’t get to imply that I should want to look differently than I do – but it’s okay if I do want that. I’m responsible for the condition of my body, and how and what I feed myself is none of your business.

This body is my body.

This is my kingdom.

And I am sovereign.

To be sovereign, we get rid of opinions, projections, expectations and assumptions about our bodies that are not ours.

And then, we embrace (and find) the opinions, desires, wishes, hopes and dreams that are ours.

And from there (and only from there) do we set our intentions, our resolutions, for 2017, for ourselves.

To elevate, we learn to practice sovereignty.

We learn to reject the messages from the media about what we should look like.

We find a new beginning with our bodies for ourselves, where we learn how to listen, communicate, respond, and support. We elevate. And from that place we find true health. We find true love. We find freedom.

A Change Is Going To Come

Posted by | Miscellaneous | No Comments

Hi there,

Sitting here on the eve of a new year, I can’t help but feel grateful that I’m sitting here, at all. Really, it is a miracle.

Today, I’ve been reading Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s biography. He starts at his birth and walks us through his life and right up to the gilded steps of his mega-success in the music world. To us, it seems a foregone conclusion that he should be the rock god that he is. But as I read the play-by-play of his life’s story, nothing seems certain. Nothing predicts the success that he will experience, other than his personal dedication to the music, and his fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that are the steps that carry him to the rock-and-roll hall of fame.

He’s just a person, like the rest of us. He walked steps like we’re all walking steps, each day. We’re all standing on one of our own steps, right now, leading up to wherever we’re headed, too, just like Bruce Springsteen.

Isn’t that amazing? That we’re here, that we don’t know where we’re going, but that we are in fact going somewhere? And that it could be somewhere amazing if we dedicate ourselves, and embrace the fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that find us, too.

As we step into 2017, a new year, let’s find gratitude that we ‘ve been given another year to be with the people and animals that we love, another year to dedicate ourselves to the fire in our bones, and another year to embrace the change that is going to come.

The change that is already here.

Sending love and gratitude,

The Anti-To-Do List

Posted by | Immediate Relief, Stories | 4 Comments

Have you ever been to a Korean bathhouse?

Until recently, I’d never been to one, either. But a friend raved about this place, a Korean bathhouse, saying that she always spends at least five hours, every time she goes there. She said the experience was very unique and incredibly rejuvenating. Plus, they serve amazing ramen.

I like spas and I’m always up for a new adventure, and who doesn’t love an authentic ramen bowl during the cold weather, so I blocked off a couple hours one day, and took the plunge, (literally). Read More

Four Steps to a Happy Life

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

For most of my life, when I heard phrases like “self-love” and “body love,” I shuddered and rolled my eyes.

Right after I started my business, I traveled to an entrepreneurial workshop in Portland, Oregon. The leader announced she would begin an afternoon session with a twenty-minute meditation. “Meditation” was pretty fringe-ey, back then. I didn’t know a single person in New York who meditated.

This meditation, the woman explained, involved listening to love songs.

She instructed us to close our eyes, and imagine that these love songs were from us, to our businesses.

My reaction = vomit.

Let me get this straight: I’m “meditating” – whatever that is – while I send love songs to my business?? 

My eye-roll echoed around the world. I almost permanently lost my eyeballs into the back of my head.

But, I decided to give it a go, anyway. Why? Read More

Food Sobriety

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief | 2 Comments

There’s a beautiful tradition in the lineage of yoga known as the Yoga of Speech.

The Yoga of Speech provides us with a guide to know when to speak, how to speak, and when not to speak.

When the message we have to deliver fails any of the three prongs in the Yoga of Speech, then we don’t deliver the message. We remain silent.

The three-prong test for the Yoga of Speech is:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?

So, for example, if I’m going to tell you that, I love your yeast rolls, but really they taste too sour to me, and I ask myself the first question:is it true?

The answer is, no, so I hold my tongue.

We only speak when what we are about to say is true, kind and necessary to do so.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a practice that taught us when to eat, how to eat, and what to eat?

Well, there is. Read More

How To Be Here.

Posted by | Baby, Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, On Career Change | 2 Comments

We are so uncomfortable in our own skin, that we don’t even know that we are uncomfortable in our own skin.

Speaking of skin, I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I have majorly struggled with my baby’s super-sensitive skin.

(More on our own discomfort in a second. This story is relevant – promise.)

First, it was the cradle cap (which is really just eczema) in month-one of my daughter’s life on this planet. Then, she developed dry skin on the back of her arms during month-two of being here. And, starting in month-three and up until today, which is roughly month-twenty-three, she’s had near-constant diaper rash.

I’ve gotten rid of this diaper rash at least fifty times through various concoctions.

It always comes back within one week.

She’s even leaving diapers behind and wearing underwear these days. Yet, the diaper rash somehow is only getting worse.

The war against diaper rash goes on with no end in sight.

Until, today. Read More

How to Speak So They Listen.

Posted by | Miscellaneous | No Comments

Maybe I’m the only one, but these big political debates have me focused on good (and poor) communication.

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump positioned across from each other feels more like the set-up for a political cartoon in The New Yorker than two people trying to have a conversation in real life. They are both, in their own ways, so very unlike any two presidential candidates that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. And they communicate very, very differently.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to enter into the world of politics with this blog post.

I bring these candidates and the debates up as an example of how to speak so that the people we’re speaking to actually listen.

Whether you’re a parent looking to communicate well to your children or a teacher hoping to better reach your students – or, a politician addressing the masses – how we say what we need to say almost entirely determines whether or not we are heard. Read More

Three Magic Words To Solve Everything.

Posted by | Miscellaneous | No Comments

I am finding that so many of our problems are really “problems.” (Problems in air-quotes… are you with me on this?)

What I mean is, our problems are only problems because we are making things that are not problems into problems, when really, there are three words that fix everything.

Three magic words.

Like, today. I had a meeting with Amelie’s teacher to discuss her first month of school. This meeting required that I find a sitter for Amelie. My sitter let me know she was running late. So, I pushed the teacher meeting back. Then, the sitter was fifteen minutes early. So, I was early for the teacher meeting. The teacher was now running late for the pushed-back meeting time. Which made me twenty minutes late to get my hair done.

On the one hand, I had a slew of problems. My sitter was early when she said she’d be late (annoyance). I moved a meeting which didn’t need moving (hassle). I was late to a hair appointment that I should’ve been early to (guilt).

On the other hand, there were no problems. Someone showed up to play with Amelie (connection). I showed up to spend time with Amelie’s teacher (deepening relationship). Then I showed up for a hair cut (self-care).

On that first hand, I’m stressed out and angry at the sitter and teacher, and feel guilty for keeping my hairstylist waiting.

On that second hand, I’m moving through my life. Interacting with people. Getting stuff done and building relationships and taking care of myself.

The difference between the first hand and the second hand are those three magic words that fix everything: I don’t know.

I don’t know means that I don’t have control. I don’t have the answers. I can’t make people show up on time, or show up late, or any of it.

When everything that does not happen the way that I have planned for it to happen, I feel out of control. That stresses me out. In reality, I am out of control even when things go according to my plan, it’s just that I maintain the illusion of control because the results match my expectations. But when I lean into what’s true no matter wha the results are, that I don’t know, then I’m telling myself the truth:

I don’t know how my day will go.

I don’t know when the sitter will get here.

I don’t know how much traffic there will be between here and home.

I don’t know how anything in my day will go.

I’m just a player in life on this rock spinning around a sun and I have no idea how the details will play out.

The three most powerful words in the English language are I don’t know.

Not having the answers, not having it all together, and not having the illusion that I get to be in control of this messy, cluster of interactions and memories that are my life is where our true power begins.

That’s where my heads at, today: I really, and truly, do not know.

And it feels great.

Sending love,

Don’t Hold On To Me.

Posted by | Baby, Miscellaneous, Motherhood, Stories | No Comments

In life, we have graduations and we have divorces. And both break our hearts.

A graduation is a natural ending. When we allow the season of a life to play itself out, and then we exit. Like when a child is ready to go to school, and we allow her to. She graduates from being at home.

A divorce happens when we’ve clung to far too long. When we don’t want to move on with our lives, no matter the signs that it’s time to do so. Like when a child is crying out for independence and we keep her close.

My guess is you’ve experienced both. Here’s what that looks like.
Read More

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