Covid-19 Toolbelt

One of the most powerful things I read recently that really helped me put my 100% belief into my body and my immune system was shared by a dear friend and colleague Dr. Russel Sher, Functional Medicine Doctor, Asheville, NC 

 

“You can boost your Innate Immune Response (which is going to kill the virus when it gets inside of you) using multiple herbs and vitamins. Once your Innate Immune Response kills the infected cells and presents those dead cells to your Adaptive or Acquired Immune Response to create your own antibodies to the coronavirus, this whole thing will be over, and you will have your own antibodies for this virus in the future. The older you get, the weaker your Innate Immune Response becomes. This is why the elderly are the most vulnerable.” Dr Russel Sher

 

So, breathe that in….and how about breathing in that 80,000 people have successfully recovered from the virus! Let’s celebrate that!!!

 

Here are a few questions to reflect on during this time to help you identify if you are feeding love and hope or fear and anxiety? 

 

Are you turning on your phone and plugging into the news or social media in bed, just before bed, or right after you wake up?

 

Are you keeping your phone off for the first hour of your day to nourish your sweet soul and prepare for the bombardment of fear, news, and facts that will come your way? 

 

Are you moving your body every day?

 

Are you noticing your posture at home in your new maybe “makeshift” shared office? You can’t be sad or depressed if you are standing tall and/or sitting upright. 

 

Are you practicing gratitude now more than ever? Blessing your meals and your health? 

 

As always I want to educate and empower you to take the necessary steps you can so you can thrive during this time, just like any other time. Because…you can. There is always a gift and a silver lining.

 

Are you giving yourself a high five? You nailed it communicating in a very stressful conversation, because I know we are all having them right now.

 

Or is fear showing up and you are kicking yourself in the ass with how you just talked to your girlfriend and told her to stay the hell home!? Or perhaps snapped at your parents who don’t see the alarm in running out to the local home depot to get ready for a few projects.

 

What is unfolding for you? How are you showing up right now?

Here’s what you need to know about how the virus spreads: In summary you get the virus from the air and after touching contaminated objects

  • Droplets from a cough or sneeze stay in the air and are contagious for up to 3hrs
  • Droplets landing on hard surfaces like copper are contagious for up to 4hrs
  • Droplets landing on cardboard up to 24 hrs (wipe down all delivery packages and/or use gloves)
  • Droplets landing on plastic, stainless steel up to 3 days (again wipe down any packages and wipe down your own stainless steel everyday)
  • Use gloves going into any store and dispose of on your way out.
  • Wipe down all bags and door handles or anywhere you could have touched between the store and home.
  • Have antibacterial wipes at the entrance of your home, your car and your purse
  • Stay at least 6 ft away from everyone, incubation period is 2-12 days and you may or not show symptoms.

 

Here is my current toolbelt and tips I wanted to share with you:

 

  • Move your body every day. If the sun is out, get Vitamin D, walk your dog, that is legal:) You can also find tons of free online tai chi, yoga, kickboxing, and dance classes. com is offering a 30-day trial of all their livestream classes and they have barre dance, hip hop, strength, cardio, and even stretch classes. I am loving this new tribe I have joined right now.
  • Find a fresh fruit and vegetable delivery service. You can google “fresh fruit and vegetable delivery service or CO-OP near me” and you should get some options. Colorado Springs local COOP, Farm to Fork Colorado is still accepting new members but some places have been overwhelmed. In that case you can explore Farmbox Direct, Sun Basket, or the Green Chef. Ranch foods direct is a local organic farm supplying meat locally in the COS area. You can look locally for a meat supply as well that may perhaps deliver.
  • Boost your immune system. Here are the products I have researched among the professional and highly respected medical doctors and what I am taking:
    • Vit C 1000mg a day (Trace mineral powder power pack!)
    • ZInc up to 30 mg a day (I am taking every other day because you CAN get too much)
    • Elderberry (combined with Vit C and zinc in a lozenge is great!)
    • Curamed (curcamin is high inflammatory so if you have any aches and pains or tend to have inflammation, good time to manage that)
    • Juiceplus: Read the research here on Juiceplus and its effects on respiratory health in elderly, athletes, and smokers!
    • Join Wellevate here, my online dispensary to receive my immune boosting protocol at 20% off and also whatever else you might need.
  • Stock up on packaged goods, frozen meats, and soups at Thrive. They have a 1-2 week delay, but right when you are likely going to need to go to the grocery store you can receive your delivery. We are avoiding all stores as much as possible, including grocery. Even where they are monitoring people. It’s still a large group of people.
  • DO your part. STAY HOME. Medical professionals are risking their lives and the health of their families everyday…the least we can do is stay home to stop the spread:)
  • Meditate, pray, incorporate mudras to support the respiratory system. Write in your gratitude journal day and night. Build resilience in your mind and spirit.
  • Practice your healthy lifestyle;
    • Good sleep hygiene
    • CDC guidelines for good hygiene
    • Move your body daily
    • Meditate and stress and anxiety reducing practices
    • Eat a wholesome diet of fruits and vegetables more than ever

 

*Viruses feed off of sugar and processed foods…ditch them for now:) 

 

Empower yourself with a 5-minute Ratna Prabha Mudra meditation a mantra for clearing congestion from the lungs and sinus passages, activating digestion, and increasing mental clarity. Perfect to support your immune system to overcome the Coronavirus.

 

I would love to hear from you and how your heart and soul are holding up at this time.

Please note all my services are reduced 40%. I will serve anyone that needs support and extend a “Pay what you can” rate for programs and services for the next 60 days.

 

Much Love and healing to you and your family at this time.

 

XO

 

 

Stop Being a Jerk to Yourself!

I am changing the way I feel about my body, the way I talk to this precious temple. Because the truth is, if you want your body to find its ideal shape and size in supporting you on this journey, wherever you are at today, you better talk nice!

 

Let’s check in…

 

Do you talk nice to yourself?

 

“Hi beautiful, as you gaze into the mirror…”

 

or is it…

 

“Holy shizzle, when did you get all those wrinkles, jeez I need to research the latest and greatest products out there to get those back in check!”

 

Ok guilty, that was me all of 2019 as I embraced the many changes of my body that left me completely uncomfortable and feeling less desirable. Wrinkles, hot flashes, and a little more junk in my trunk.

 

But…it was the best year yet!

 

Let’s face it. We all know by now that the old “push through, you got this” and “ignore the stress, unhappy feelings, belly bulging pants, and being an asshole to yourself” method ain’t serving no one and it certainly isn’t serving the body.

 

Loving kindness to your body is actually a new trend.

 

Ok here’s a little science behind it because what do I know right?

 

Masaru Emoto discovered that if thoughts and words are directed at water, the water crystals undergo changes depending upon whether the words or thoughts are positive or negative.

 

Hello? We are 55-75% water! This is profound ya’ll…pay attention to how you are treating yourself and others.

 

Check out this quick YouTube 6 min video to see more on the experiment, it’s fascinating! And it could change the way you talk to yourself…well that’s the hope!

 

Once again it is proven that the way you talk to yourself can be bad for your health.

 

So how do you embark on this journey?

 

Well it’s simple really, treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.

With loving kindness.

 

If that’s hard for you and you would like a few tools…then let’s chat.

 

One of my favorite tools, is Louise Hay’s mirror work which will draw the love right out of you! 21 days to heal your life.

 

I have one space left in my Finally Free program and that’s just a snippet of the work we will do together. This work is transformational and I just can’t wait to share it with you.

 

To be honest, I didn’t realize it would transform my life…but indeed it did.

 

And it can transform your life…all you have to do it show up!

 

Learn more here and use coupon code FINALLYFREESOAR to grab the last spot today and get a whopping 50% off discount!

 

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear your share!

How do you feed the need to feel love and connected?

My experience with my family has been to feel love and connection through card games, wine and spirits, movies, and delicious food at the holiday season. Sound familiar?

 

And now that my family has evolved on so many levels, I am creating new rituals and ways of connecting that are nourishing for me and more fulfilling and in some ways, replacing the ways of numbing out which left me feeling very disconnected.

 

We all have the need to experience a variety of different emotions. Tony Robbins, John Burton, Abraham Maslow, and Paul Sites have studied this work as it has evolved over the years.

 

Understanding the 6 Human Needs will give you the tools to better understand how one might use food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, and even sex (just to name a few) as ways we attempt to meet our emotional needs.

 

We all navigate the world based on these needs and the more you understand this concept the more compassion you have for yourself and those around you.

 

Here are the six human needs:

  • Certainty
  • Uncertainty
  • Significance
  • Love and Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution

 

When we seek to understand ourselves and how we connect, we better understand others. When we apply this concept of human needs psychology, we can become more intuitive with our food and our relationship with our body and discover what it is we really hunger for.

 

The six human needs are in all of us at different points in our lives. Sometimes we need more of one than another. Take note of which ones you value the most and the negative or positive ways that you get those needs met. 

 

Need #1 CERTAINTY: The first need is our need for certainty. 

 

Being able to increase pleasure and avoid pain involves certainty. We all desire this need to be met in different ways in our lives. As a baby, we need to be certain we will eat, sleep, and be held to feel safe. As a teenager, we need to be certain that we will be accepted and belong in a peer group.

 

Some of us may want certainty around what we will have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We want to feel safe and secure and often we resist change because it is unknown and could be uncomfortable. 

 

Lifestyle change can be one of those unknowns, because we don’t know what a healthy life looks like or feels like and if we will be accepted and safe. 

 

Food can make us feel full, safe and grounded. We use it to comfort us when we are lonely, sad, or frustrated. We can avoid our problems with food because we are certain it will relieve our discomfort, at least in the short term.

 

News flash…we all eat emotionally. In some way we feed, soothe, or avoid life with food, or alcohol. Some of us may tend to numb instead of nourish.

 

Need #2 UNCERTAINTY

Our bodies and minds need and require uncertainty and surprise to varying degrees. 

Some people get variety to a small degree by watching suspenseful tv series, while others may seek high risk activities to meet their need for uncertainty and variety in their life.

 

This was quite an Aha for me being the thrill seeker that I am and explains so much for me…and offers awareness and opportunity to meet my need for variety without so much risk, if I choose to:)

 

With food, we can seek variety or even excitement when we are bored. We know that sugar tickles the dopamine center (same center tickled by high risk activities and sex) giving us that hit of pleasure.

 

We can avoid boredom or even procrastinate with food. I know that if I am working on a daunting project that is hard emotionally, I reach for dark chocolate even when I know I am not hungry. It’s like a little hit of pleasure to help get me through the tough experience.

 

Need #3 SIGNIFICANCE

We all have a need to feel significant, unique and important.

 

People that are harsh critics, perfectionists, bullies, are all examples of what we do or become to gain significance. And often we commiserate with each other to gain significance, the quickest way to get significant is to have a problem that can’t be solved.

 

Need #4 LOVE AND CONNECTION

The need for Love and Connection is one of our basic but so important human needs, and one that most of us know and can relate to.

 

Babies need to feel connected to their mothers while teenagers need to connect with their peers and feel loved and connected.

 

Adults seek romantic love and finding a soul mate to feel loved and connected. Women may feel love and connection through a ladies night out with wine, cheese and crackers. Aha! This is one of my favorite ways to connect with my girlfriends!

 

When it comes to food, we use food for love and connection all the time. During the holidays we gather over food. We celebrate weddings with food and even after a funeral, there is more food.

 

Life is plain hard sometimes and we use food and alcohol to feel connected when what we are truly feeling is pitiful, lonely, and sad. Food/alcohol helps us cope either with ourselves or others.

 

Is there anyone that you see over the holidays that you might think “drives you to drink”? There are other nourishing ways to love and connect that I will share.

 

Humans often connect with each other over food and can keep each other stuck and prevent us from evolving and changing for the better.

 

Need #5 GROWTH

We need to grow!

 

When we stop growing, we feel like we are dying and become stagnant. We can grow intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Anything that you want to cherish in your life must be nourished. So, your job, relationships, marriage, your happiness and love all need care and cultivating to grow!

 

Doing something you used to love as a kid, dancing, riding a bike or a horse, painting, singing, or even diving into something new are all ways we can grow. We can also enroll in a training to cultivate growth in our relationships or our work.

 

You can also have negative growth when you become cynical that true change can occur and become a resigned human being, stagnant, and stuck. The level of growth you experience directly affects your level of fulfillment in this world! 

 

For example, if you find yourself thinking, I will never be able to run a marathon, never have and never will. Or I can never lose the post-baby fat, it’s always been there and that’s just how it is. Or I could never give up coffee, I just couldn’t function without it!

 

Need #6 CONTRIBUTION

The need to go beyond your own needs and give to others is the need for contribution.

 

A life is incomplete without the sense of giving back or contributing to a cause. Everyone is special and has divine gifts and has the capacity to contribute in some way.

 

Giving to others may mean giving time to your family and becoming a good parent, writing a book, making a donation, or doing community service.

 

Healthy nourishing whole foods can contribute to the well-being of your body and that is a positive contribution.

 

You can contribute in negative ways when it is destructive to yourself, the planet or others. Eating until you are sick or tempting others to eat or drink in unhealthy ways is negative contribution.

 

You don’t need to do something enormous to give yourself a false sense of significance and it is not required that you save the world, even if you feel compelled to do so.

 

Taking the necessary steps to care for yourself and your health is enough!

 

In this way you can also positively impact others and their well-being as well. 

 

So, this holiday season, where can you find more fulfilling self-nourishing ways to meet your emotional needs?

 

Reaching for a puzzle to connect instead of a movie with a glass of wine, which when I really feel into movies on the couch with a glass of wine, doesn’t feel like connection at all.

 

Although, I would be lying if I said I don’t want to see CATS and the new Star Wars this Christmas. I just won’t be calling that connection time, that’s my unplug and escape reality time, or meeting my need for uncertainty and suspense. Let’s call it what it is!

 

We all contribute in one way or another, the question is, are we doing it positively or negatively? 

 

Some different ways you could self-nourish this holiday season to meet your needs might be:

 

  • Go for a holiday spritzer with a splash of cranberry instead of another cocktail
  • Find a new and interactive game you can play with family or friends
  • Get an Airbnb when you visit family if you need to have your space to do your daily rituals and care for yourself best
  • Take a walk after you eat before reaching for more
  • Tap into intuitive eating and ask yourself if you really want more? Pecan pie, eggnog, serving of mac and cheese, glass of wine
  • If folks dive into a movie and you feel restless, grab your favorite book and nourish yourself in that way

 

The point is…you have options!

 

If you would like to learn more about what you really hunger for in life, check out my new Online Program Finally Free, finding peace with food and your body, a 7-week workshop series. Kicks off Jan 15th, 2020 with only 3 spaces available. 

 

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear your share!

 

Happy Holidays and much love to you!

Raw Cacao vs Dark Chocolate

The number one antioxidant food in the world is Raw Cacao.

 

Please note this is not the same as raw cocoa found in the grocery store which is heat treated and processed like Hershey’s cocoa powder.

 

I was speaking with a client last week and she explained how she had an allergy to chocolate and just couldn’t have it. So, I suggested raw cacao because she also couldn’t have added sugar and if it were me, that would be what I would try. I realized that there may be some confusion around the difference between the two.

 

SO, I am here to shine the light on the difference nutritionally.

 

“Raw Chocolate – the unrefined fruit of the cacao tree, without added sugar, milk or vegetable fat – is nutritionally superior to even the highest quality dark chocolate. This is because it isn’t roasted, but minimally processed at low temperatures” -The Economist

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I promote dark chocolate as it is a fabulous tool for those of us who have struggled with sugar addictions and well…life is just too short to not have dark chocolate.

 

But again, it is a tool. One to help you move away from the junk addicting forms of sugar and into foods with healthier forms of sugar. In other words, moving from cane sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup for example to maple syrup or even raw honey.

 

Truth be known, one big difference between the two is the price. Most of us won’t find raw cacao in your local grocery. The process alone would dictate that the way it is best sold is by those that are experts in that field. Two of my favorite companies are Radiantly Raw here in Colorado Springs, and French Broad Chocolates in Asheville NC.

 

While both chocolates offer plenty of minerals and antioxidants, such as iron and magnesium, they’re unique in nutrients, taste, and ingredients.

 

Here are some quick benefits of Raw Cacao:

 

  1. Rich in Flavonoids: lower blood pressure, protect your heart against toxins, improve your circulation.
  2. Improve your overall health: improve your mood, increases endurance and physical strength, increase energy, and sex drive because of phenylethylamine, the love chemical, and a well-known aphrodisiac. Whoop!
  3. Boost hormone functioning: contains several natural chemical compounds to help improve your concentration, stimulates secretion of endorphins, boosts the bliss hormone anandamide for pleasure.
  4. Suppress appetite…YES! Think…kill sugar cravings for good:)

 

Now let’s look at the difference between dark chocolate and chocolate from raw cacao. There is a reason these little chocolate shops are popping up all over and why they are being touted as a superfood.

 

The big difference is the way these two foods are processed. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder (not the same as cacao powder, see the spelling) are both processed and heat treated.

 

This process will kill the naturally occurring enzymes and nutrients found in raw cacao which is one of the features that makes it a superfood. 

 

Difference between raw cacao and dark chocolate (and raw cocoa): 

 

  1. No added sugars: Dark chocolate usually has added sugars (read the label) and milks so typically not dairy free. Whereas raw chocolates have usually cacao butter or coconut oil as emulsifiers which have a heaping of health benefits on their own…big win!
  2. No milk or dairy, most of the time. Read the label to be sure. Both butter and milk are present in most dark chocolate bars as emulsifiers
  3. More antioxidants: raw cacao has the most magnesium, iron, Vitamin B, and zinc content per serving, out of all foods. Period! These antioxidants are processed out in most dark chocolate products. Raw chocolate even has twice the amount of antioxidants than raw cocoa powder we typically see at the grocery store…because again this is heated.
  4. Caffeine free: dark chocolate is high in caffeine while raw chocolate has no caffeine
  5. Different glycemic index: because dark chocolate has added sugar it has a higher glycemic index than raw chocolate.
  6. No mycotoxins: Mycotoxins is a form of unfriendly fungus found on fermented foods like mushrooms, peanuts, coffee, and even dark chocolate. Raw chocolate prevents mycotoxins thru a special process as the cacao beans are immediately preserved without heating after harvesting. Mycotoxins have been associated with overgrowth of yeast in the gut, sugar cravings, and a weakened immune system.

 

Note…Although cocoa powder is rich in taste and flavor because it has been heated and processed it has lower vitamins and antioxidants than raw cacao powder. Raw cacao powder you will find labeled as a super food at your local health market and is great for smoothies. It has higher nutritional value than dark chocolate, but it is still heat treated and not quite as nutritionally dense as raw chocolate.  

How to buy?

 

Treat yourself to a raw chocolate from a local shop near you and you will taste the difference! This is the best choice. Next best, if you want to put something in your smoothies, enjoy raw cacao powder as it still has more nutritional benefits than dark chocolate. Last but not least…enjoy dark chocolate in moderation and just understand the difference so you can uplevel when you can and moderate when you need to. You can also buy 100% unsweetened chocolate bars for baking at your local grocery store because this is 100% cacao dark chocolate.

 

If you learned a ton here…hop on over and grab my 3 Day Cleanse and get 3 days worth of delicious recipes to help you detox without feeling deprived. It’s my gift to you…enjoy!

 

Love to hear your thoughts! Post here…

 

 

A New Tool for Sleep and Anxiety

After experiencing Yoga Nidra first hand here in Colorado Springs, I decided to explore it more and found out that it is a must-have in anyone’s tool belt as a way to love and accept yourself, release negative thought patterns, and help you become the highest and best version of yourself.

 

Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a great complementary tool for the biofeedback work I offer. Both working on the experiences registered in the mind as grooves (in yoga known as samskaras) that reside on a level deeper than the mind.

 

These experiences become beliefs and habits that may not serve us. Both Biofeedback and Yoga Nidra offer a way to release various long held emotions and negative beliefs about ourselves and the opportunity to create new beliefs as your consciousness travels through one layer to another.

 

It’s a beneficial practice that can increase your ability to concentrate, improve sleep, increase stress resilience, improve brain neuroplasticity, reduce anxiety, and relieve psychosomatic conditions such as hypertension and asthma.

 

Did I get your attention yet?

 

Yes, I did say better sleep and less anxiety, and well…who doesn’t want that?

 

Yoga Nidra is a practice designed to take you to that brief space in time between sleeping and waking first thing in the morning.

 

The good news is that a single hour of yoga nidra can be as restful as 4 hours of sleep.

 

One of the best things about Yoga Nidra is that you can’t do it wrong…so let go of any beliefs about yoga you are carrying.

 

A proven antidote to anxiety, Yoga Nidra has been adopted by veterans, recovering addicts, and average stressed-out people. Source – yogajournal.com

 

Yoga nidra is an ancient yogic practice that typically is done for 35 to 40 minutes at a time.  It is a systematic form of guided relaxation that has a single-pointed awareness that’s becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. This form of guided relaxation rotates your consciousness through different parts of the body.

 

It does not require any physical movements but instead requires you lie in corpse pose (savasana), stay aware, and move your mind freely as you listen to the instructor’s voice.

 

This practice can release long held thoughts and emotions no longer servicing us by bringing deep layers of the conscious experiences as you travel through one layer to another.

“In yoga nidra, we restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function and awaken a seventh sense that allows us to feel no separation, that only sees wholeness, tranquility, and well-being,” says Richard Miller, a San Francisco Bay Area yoga teacher and clinical psychologist who is at the forefront of the movement to teach yoga nidra and to bring it to a wider audience.

 

While many prominent teachers offer classes, CDs, and books on yoga nidra, Miller is responsible for bringing the practice to a remarkable variety of nontraditional settings. He’s helped introduce it on military bases and in veterans’ clinics, homeless shelters, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, hospitals, hospices, chemical dependency centers, and jails. What’s more, thanks to Miller, it’s beginning to get serious scientific attention. Researchers are examining the practice’s potential to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; addicts struggling to get clean; people with depression, cancer, and MS; health care workers; and married couples coping with stress and insomnia.

 

“Most people are trying to change themselves,” Miller says. “Yoga nidra asks them to welcome themselves. That moment of true welcoming is where the profound transformation takes place.” Source: Katherin Griffin – yogajournal.com

 

Learn more here:

Read Richard Miller’s 10 Steps of Yoga Nidra.

Listen to this guided Yoga Nidra audio practice.

See also Breathe to Relax in Restorative Yoga + Meditation

 

I can see this practice becoming very popular for those struggling with anxiety and sleep based on my experience. It’s another avenue to source, our beloved self, and self-love.

 

Being with ourselves without wanting anything to change, including our body, environment, and any other triggers is a practice to surely help us build resiliency in this life.

 

After all, we are living in a multi-tasking, externally focused, and impersonal day and age. Having a practice to help shift our attention inward is something that we can all practice in becoming the best version of ourselves, bringing our gifts and more compassion into this world.

 

If you haven’t tried it yet, find a local class or comment below. It may just change your life.

The Art of Loving Yourself Fiercely

Research shows that we are designed for human connection. Our bodies, minds and hearts were innately created to long for and thrive with this connection. In other words, we are the healthiest version of ourselves when we are connected and feel loved.

 

And as some of us may pine to lose those last few pounds, get that new job, sleep through the night, or in my case, for that loving soulful partner, it takes legwork or perhaps better said, heart work.

 

I had to truly change if I really wanted to manifest a divine romantic relationship…let go of all of my beliefs, particularly the belief that perhaps I was not worthy of a successful career and…a divinely loving and soulful relationship.

 

Change the way I thought about myself, being in a relationship, and how to love myself more fully.

 

I have been looking for a divine romantic relationship all my life.

 

One in which you can be vulnerable, screw up, see your faults, and find a partner to hold space for you to grow as you move through the ups and downs of becoming the best version of you in relationship.

 

Here’s what I have learned when it comes to getting that thing you want more than anything else in the whole world:

 

You can eat right for your body, manage your stress, exercise regularly and practice good sleep hygiene, but there is still one thing missing to give you all the vitality you need and deserve…

 

Love…Yes unconditional love is something we all we need. 

 

People die from broken hearts every day. Of course it shows up in the forms of cancer, diabetes, addiction, and other chronic illness.

 

What I realized after a month of traveling cross country with my beloved partner Joe, meeting his extended family and celebrating love and loss, was that it was blissful and hard all at the same time.

 

So many highs and lows of emotions and different challenges, but I was always held in love. Each new family member I met greeted me with warmth, love, and non-judgment.

 

And Joe, well he held my heart as any man who has dove deep into the depths of his soul would do. He held it with respect, understanding, and unconditional love.

 

Even as my little girl had tantrums when I didn’t get my way and when I felt not good enough!

 

I realized this unconditional love was exactly what I was hoping for…and I do believe when I put my order into the universe for my man, I said “ I want a man I can grow and evolve with”.

 

HA! What was I thinking?

 

It’s like praying for God to bring you patience and then you wonder why you have all of these circumstances that require an exuberant amount of patience.

 

Well duh…naturally I would come upon challenges to help me “grow and evolve”! I cried when I realized this, as I had no idea how hard it would truly be.

 

I had nothing to do but love myself even though I wanted to give myself a swift kick in the ass for asking for such a thing that would be so challenging on my heart.

 

We have returned home. It is no coincidence that I am feeling healed in my physical body and my heart is full in a way I never thought possible.

 

I literally felt it crack open and get bigger (think the Grinch except I am no Grinch) as I got uncomfortable with why my heart was hurting, but clear with my heart and how I could even hold and love myself more.

 

I am celebrating the healing from the vertigo and neck injury from March and leaning into all that I learned on that journey and on the recent road trip across the country.

 

After all, every emotional pain in our body shows up as physical pain. And the pain will remain until we dive deep and explore what our body is trying to tell us.

 

And at the bottom of every emotional pain and physical pain is love. Most of all, love for yourself.

 

Having a tight grip on my independence was doing nothing for my relationship in terms of deepening and growing as I struggled to let someone help and support me through vertigo and chronic neck pain.

 

I also learned that when I was physically restricted and needed help getting out of bed for days, it became clear to me that part of my journey was to accept and receive support and that I actually didn’t have to be superwoman all the time. Actually, I simply couldn’t…

 

I saw what for many years I felt like were qualities of weakness fall by the wayside as I leaned into love and wha-la…healing could start to take place in my body.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that the years of being single and learning the art of loving myself fiercely is what has prepared me for the most divine, loving, fun, and adventurous relationship I could ever call in.

 

And you have been part of this journey for me.

 

Reading my notes, blogs, and holding space for my vision as I have shared them over the years.

 

If you are finding you too need love, share your story with me here.

 

It doesn’t have to come in the form of a romantic relationship, but if that is what you are seeking, don’t think for a second that you are not worthy of it!

 

There are so many forms of connection and love that can fill your cup, and this is an area I must say I had to get real good at for years while I was single. So I am here to share what has worked for me with you.

 

As I slide into fall and into the arms of my beloved man, I am so thrilled to rest easy and know that if I can manifest the man of my dreams, you too can have anything your heart desires.

 

And whatever it is you are seeking, it is seeking you too with fierceness, and when you come to love yourself unconditionally and all parts, you will find each other too.

 

Stay tuned if you are interested in how you too can manifest the partner of your dreams!

 

Love to hear and hold your heart, email me here or post below.

The Difference Between CBD and THC

Over the years, the debate about the usefulness of hemp related plants has always been a hot topic. Today in the new political climate, many countries have been moving to decriminalize these plants and their relatives, and at the center of it all are the two most famous chemicals that come from these plants, CBD and THC. Efforts to silence these movements has resulted in a large amount of misinformation being spread in the public view, so many people have no idea that there is a difference between CBD and THC.

THC 

Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. THC shares many of the attributes of another chemical found in these plants called, CBD. Researchers have long praised THC for its ability to help people to treat loss of appetite, nausea, and various types of pain. The use of THC has been considered controversial because THC delivers some effects that could be considered unwholesome. While still under study, the medical community has made allowances for it to be used as an alternative to other treatments in cancer and AIDS patients.

THC Effects

When people smoke or take THC in a concentrated form, many people have remarked that they generally experience feelings of relaxation, and that they are less prone to feeling various pains. The primary reason that it’s been allowed some use in medicine is because of its ability to help sick people regain their appetite. This has been especially effective for AIDS and cancer patients who have to deal with treatments that may halt their desire to eat entirely. THC is also effective in getting people who suffer from eating disorders to eat.

CBD 

CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. In recent years CBD has been used as an alternative treatment for anxiety, depression, and other disorders that can keep a person from being able to relax. It has even been used to treat animals for stress, and it can help fight gut infections. It can be cooked into food at low temperatures, or it can be taken in tinctures.

CBD Effects 

There aren’t a lot of effects besides its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to reduce that amount of anxiety that people and animals encounter, but more studies are needed to establish exactly how useful it can be in the future. Researchers have remarked that it’s probably best to avoid taking large amounts of CBD when you plan to work or have to operate machinery.

To learn more, join me for my webinar on CBD Wednesday 8/14 at 12:15pm EST.

RSVP here to reserve your space. It is complementary, and if you can’t make it, don’t worry my team will send you the recording.

Unraveling the Stress Response

Time feels so abundant to me now that I have slowed down…pleasure surrounds me.

I am choosing BEING MORE and DOING LESS. Breathing into this new mantra.

I had a loved one share with me last night how his anxiety was through the roof!

And many of us use exercise as a way to de-stress but what if you don’t have time?

Or what if you are not physically able? Then what?

Stress is the precursor to all dis-ease.

I am being shown on my most recent journey to health that stress is actually triggering my vertigo response. SHIZNIT!

We know we always have room to uplevel in our life. Whether it is through a new mantra, cleaner eating, more self-care and self-love, or exercising more.

There is always more we can do in taking our health to the next level. Our bodies can talk.

So in an effort to fully surrender to this known fact, I want to share how to truly activate the parasympathetic nervous system; our rest, digest, and relax system. 

We already know the sympathetic nervous system response, fight or flight, and many of us live there!

It is imperative that you retrain your body in this day and age so it doesn’t forget how to simply relax. Your health and vitality depend on it. 

The good news is it’s available to us all and it can change your life, like it is changing mine.

As I do less, I can hear more…more intuitive hits on where to go and have divine encounters like my recent visit to the health store and the soaking mineral springs spa. Two divine encounters with divine beings that have led me to my healers on my journey.

I am being humbly reminded of all the tools to explore for managing our stress response when our “go-to’s” are on longer in our wheelhouse for healing.

These all support balancing our 7 chakra system

Balancing needs to start in the root chakra, which will support and address addictions, low self esteem, sense of security, fears, and money issues. 

Here are my favorite go-to’s for anxiety, overwhelm and getting back into my body:

Essential lavender oil: This has been such a powerful tool for me this past few months. My anxiety has been through the roof because of vertigo and riding in cars has been the most stressful thing for me! I also use it as a ritual for sleep. I put a drop on the back of my hand and then lick it before going to bed. *Please note it must be high grade and an ingestible essential oil like Young Living or Doterra. (Click here)

Tai Chi: I practice a simple 8-form practice that takes less than 5 minutes a day. I am crafting a new video for my clients now so please email me if you would like to download it when it is released and use it at home! I would love to share…

Get Grounded: Bring energy and balance to your root chakra. Without it, you will be spinning and overwhelmed. Take your shoes off and walk in nature or sit under a tree.

Practice a Mantra: “I am safe, protected, and in my body”. Say this three times as your feet hit the ground first thing in the morning. Simple and effective. I have seen this work for my clients time and time again. Try it for three weeks.

Essential Cedarwood oil: Mentioned over 40 times in the bible and used by the Egyptians and Tibetans for centuries for healing. It brings about mental clarity and focus (yee haw!) and eases anger and tension. Use 2-3 drops on the bottoms of your feet or diffuse in water in an oil diffuser. (Click here)

Wear or Meditate with Stones: Red and Black stones will support balance. Ruby brings about the support of your angels (my favorite necklace is a ruby), balances nutrient insufficiency, depression or mood swings, and fatigue. Obsidian can be grounding especially to just drop in your pocket for the day. Meditate with a stone by rubbing it between your hands generating heat. Then bring the stone to your nose and breath in, as you exhale breath onto the stone. Repeat three times and ask for your guidance and/or support. Here is a great app to give more insight on how different stones can support you.

Take a daily supplement to combat stress on a cellular level: Curcumin from turmeric (Curcuma longa) supports multiple pathways in the body and is a potent free-radical fighter and immune system modulator. By reducing oxidative stress, curcumin is able to help the body resist cellular damage in the brain and in breast, colon, and prostate tissue.* Curcumin research has also shown benefits in supporting healthy blood glucose levels and proper liver function, making this powerful botanical compound a perfect choice.* Source: CURAMED. My daily dose of Curamed (or cooking with Turmeric daily or taking a Turmeric/Curcumin supplement) is the most powerful way to fight inflammation on a daily basis. This is available on my online dispensary…email my team for your personal invitation to join for personal discounted pricing.

A dose of healthy fat: 1-2 tbsp of fat per meal will do. Enjoy avocado, olive oil or olives, coconut oil or butter, nut butter, or grass fed butter. It all counts and it all reduces inflammation in the brain and helps with trillions of cellular functioning.

Trust that everyone, every animal, every being…on your path is here to guide and support you.

You are your best healer and have the divine guidance within! Trust in that and take charge of your health by starting a new daily ritual for managing stress. 

Love to hear your thoughts below…

 

Mind over MRI?

The power of the mind is impressive. Research is building and showing that we can use our mind to change our thoughts and even transform our health.

 

Well friends, it’s time for me to walk my talk and put my trust and faith in the power of the mind and use it as a tool for learning more about my body.

 

Science has even shown us that you can have an impact on someone else hundreds of miles away and their health by using your mind with meditation and prayer. We see these requests for support for our loved ones’ health on Facebook now all the time and it has been practiced for decades.

 

We all have heard the plea or request for prayers and support…it’s because it works!

 

Stress is on the rise and one of the leading causes of dis-ease in this country. Our bodies and minds are taking on countless tasks and there aren’t enough sticky notes to keep track of them all.

 

My clients’ number one complaint is, “I feel overwhelmed!”

 

How often do you find yourself overwhelmed? Is this an emotional state you live or just visit time to time? And how do you manage? I want to know!!

 

My go-to tools to combat overwhelm are meditation, mantra, and mindfulness.

 

Of course, it’s easier said than done. It’s like someone telling you to “let it go” when someone has stamped out your heart and you wonder to yourself…but how?

 

Pondering the impermanence of life in an attempt to make this the best life yet has been my approach to mindfulness. And it hasn’t come without struggle.

 

We all have our stories of triumph and of wallowing in the valley of darkness. And we know that both will come and go so how do we move between the two?

 

Equanimity: The unattached awareness of one’s experiences as a result of perceiving the impermanence of momentary reality. It is a peace of mind and abiding calmness that cannot be shaken by any grade of either fortunate or unfortunate circumstances.

 

And equanimity…builds resilience.

 

Equanimity and resilience are essential in living a healthy and long life.

 

A recent injury in a CPR training at work left me with a locked up neck and back over a month ago. And just as I felt I was almost 100% healed, I woke up with vertigo.

 

Two vertigo episodes left my body with some rigidity, and a total sense of powerlessness. I was powerless in my voice, as I couldn’t yell for help, and in moving my limbs to support me in bringing myself up off the floor.

 

I will note that between the two episodes when I thought again I was almost 100% back to “normal”, I had nightmares that I couldn’t yell for help and more desperate feelings of powerlessness.

 

As I coach my clients when they are wanting to make big changes and create transformation in their lives…I asked myself, “How can I take back my power?”

 

If you resist what is going on in your body, whether it is weight gain, vertigo, insomnia, or any other symptom that can leave you feeling powerless, your body will resist you right back.

 

And the words you use to tell your story and the way you talk to yourself will determine how you move through the symptoms. Bottom line is, your body can talk. It’s our job to listen and support it in coming back into alignment.

 

Our bodies give us feedback all the time! It’s an opportunity to learn how we can better care for this vessel that we have been blessed with while we are here.

 

I found myself in a state of equanimity during my recent vacation to my favorite climbing spot. Now I certainly didn’t get there instantly. I went through the emotional turmoil of debilitating thoughts of why vertigo and why now on a climbing trip that I have soooo been looking forward to? Why spirit, why?

 

And I should share I was upset, but had more compassion for myself and was mindful in how I spoke to myself in a way that I hadn’t been in years. This mindfulness is a practice and another area we do not need to be perfect!

 

As I sat and meditated and listened to what my body wanted me to do, I could hear the silent whispers of what my body was trying to tell me. Slow down Shannon Lee…slow down.

 

So now I take my mindfulness to Colorado Springs Imaging where I will have an MRI and an MRA to look at what could be causing some of the debilitating symptoms I have been experiencing the last 5 weeks.

 

Now I have a whole story around MRI’s and I do recall (silly me, I know better) saying just a few short years ago, “I could never get an MRI, I am too claustrophobic, there is simply no way I could do it!”

 

Yep and then “never say never” bit me in the ass…again.

 

My meditation practice for the last 20 years has not been perfect, and certainly at times not effective, but it’s a practice I have been working on to get better at this thing called life…to build resilience and equanimity.

 

To be ready for whatever life throws our way…

 

I have the awareness to recognize that I have a wee bit of anxiety, ok a lot of anxiety, around being in claustrophobic spaces, and certainly in a tight tube for testing.

 

But I also have the awareness to see that I have created a story around this thing called an MRI. I picked my mother up after she had one and she was so fragile and devastated from it that her story became my story and that’s how “I could never” was born.

 

So I am creating my own story around it now. Letting go of my fears and anxieties around being in a tube, feeling powerless, and what they might find and using it as a tool to get feedback for my body.

 

I am a biofeedback practitioner after all, so surely I can reframe this:).

 

I am going to the imaging center today to look at the machines and get more information. I am also looking at a guided meditation I want to pop in and maybe some new kirtan music for my 45-minute and then 30-minute imaging “sesh”.

 

Yep, that’s right, I said “sesh”. I gotta make this appointment way cooler than my ego perceives it to be.

 

I want to share a few of my favorite tools for starting a mindfulness practice:

 

Calm app: a great tool with bedtime stories in case you have trouble falling asleep, plus guided meditations, and music to help you de-stress and relax. The Calm app is free to download, and you will not incur any charges from downloading it or creating a Calm. Calm is a mindfulness meditation and relaxation app, built to help you feel calm in a natural way that’s in tune with your body’s innate ability to switch from ‘ready for action’ to ‘resting’. There is a 7 day free trial and then it’s $9.99 a month or $58.99 a year.

Headspace: Train Your Way to Happier Days with Headspace. Hundreds of Sessions. Track Your Progress. Use Anywhere, Anytime. Build Healthy Habits. Start Meditating Today. Headspace is a popular meditation app with cute animations, available on both iOS and Android. Most of its content is locked behind the $12.95/month (or $95.88/year) subscription, but you may be able to get what you need from the ten free sessions they offer.

Insight Timer: is an alarm that times your mindfulness practice while simultaneously helping you to use your smartphone as a spiritual link to a worldwide community of meditators using “insight” Insight timer has been downloaded over 300,000 times and has tracked over 4 million meditation sessions. The largest free library of meditations and music tracks on earth. New content added every day with access to over 19000 meditations.

 

So where are you feeling fear? Or resisting the symptoms that your body is giving you?

 

Take time to sit, ask your body questions, and get some answers.

 

I want to validate your frustration as well, along with my own, when we don’t know what’s going on and we struggle to figure out what is going on with our body. But that is where connecting with your own heart and spirit can guide you in a way that will never fail you.

 

Trust that everyone on your path is here to guide and support you.

 

You are your best healer and have the divine guidance within! Trust in that and take charge of your health by starting a mindfulness practice.

 

Ps…for all you recovering perfectionists out there like me….you can’t do it wrong, so what are you waiting for?

Love to hear your thoughts below…

Got Sleep?

I struggled with sleep multiple times in my life; including when my dad and then my mom were sick with cancer. Obviously stress and fear played a great role in my insomnia. Whenever I experience a heavy heart or deep loss, sleep seems to be elusive.

 

Can you relate?

 

Sleep is a divine right for each and every one of us. No one is more special than anyone else and deserves it more. It takes a keen eye to look at your habits and lifestyle and really observe what could be standing in the way of getting good sleep.

 

Be honest with yourself and look at what you can change…and start to make changes.

 

Now, let’s talk about the history of sleep and some hard facts so you understand where you are today and how you rate on good sleep hygiene.

 

Sleep Facts

  • Between 1910-1960 “normal” average sleep duration was 9 hours.
  • Current average is 7 hours.
  • 1/3 of the population sleeps 6 hours or less.
  • 70% of Americans are sleep deprived.
  • Insufficient sleep leads to imbalance between melatonin and growth hormone, leading to stunted growth, repair and slower healing.
  • Sleep deficiency leads to:
    • Performance loss
    • Slow reaction time
    • Impaired memory
    • Decreased motivation
  • Brain uptake of glucose drops as much as 7% with sleep deprivation.
  • One sleepless night can induce insulin resistance in healthy people.

Sleep Deprivation Causes

  • Impairment in the endocrine, cardiovascular and immune systems
  • Glucose tolerance is decreased during sleep debt
  • Sleep deprivation disrupts normal pattern of growth hormone surge during the first 3
    hours of sleep.

 

Sleep Benefits

  • Fortifies your immune system
  • Balances your hormones
  • Boosts your metabolism
  • Increases your physical energy
  • Improves the function of your brain
  • Enhances learning, memory and creativity
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Enhances serotonin
  • Fat burning reduces cortisol and increases leptin (hormone tells your brain when you are full)

 

Research shows that just after 24 hours of sleep deprivation there is an overall reduction of 6% in glucose reaching the brain.

 

You become lethargic and may crave candy, chips, doughnuts and other starchy sugary things when you’re sleep deprived. Your body is trying to compel you to get that glucose back to the brain as soon as possible. Now doesn’t that make sense of your inability to say no at times?


Now let’s talk about Serotonin.
1. Almost 95% of our body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. It is the building block for the sleep hormone melatonin. Serotonin is the hormone that helps you feel good during the day; it’s the happy hormone. These two go hand in hand!
2. Serotonin and the health of your digestion can impact your brain and sleep more powerfully than almost anything.
3. Healthy gut = increased quality of sleep.

 

The Sleep-Weight Connection
1. Less than 7 to 9 hours of sleep can affect the hormones that impact your appetite.

a. Leptin- The hormone that tells you when you’re full.
b. Ghrelin- The hormone that tells you when you’re hungry.
2. If you are struggling to lose weight and you are exercising and eating foods that are not inflammatory, you may want to look at your sleep habits. You just can’t lose weight without proper sleep hygiene.

 

Here’s your takeaway:
Take your sleep just as serious as your fitness, your spirituality, your personal hygiene and your diet. Quality of sleep is as important as any of these other facets of health!

 

Take a peek here at my Good Sleep Hygiene Checklist to see how you rate with your sleep and where you can make some changes to sleep like a queen.

 

Hundreds of my clients have taken charge of their health and gone from restless nights to sleeping like a queen and so can you!

 

If you or someone you know is struggling to get sleep, please reach out for help. Sleep deprivation is not sustainable as your body cannot function, heal, repair, or renew without consistent quality sleep. Email me here for help today.

 

Love to hear your thoughts below…