New Year’s Workshop Was a Success!

MewiththeWomenWorkshop

On January 30th I hosted a New Year’s workshop at One Roof in Venice Beach. I am so pleased to share that the workshop was a success! I wanted to provide women with the time and space that they needed to relax, reflect, set an intention for the way that they want to live their lives, and come up with a plan to reach each and every one of their goals.

We spent the day talking about what we want our lives to look like and we tapped into our heart’s deepest desires. We wrote in our journals, created plans for our goals, made vision boards to help our dreams become a reality, meditated, ate delicious plant-based foods, and took part in an interactive talk that I lead. It was incredibly touching to see so many women come together, open up about their fears and desires, bond, support one another, and know that they are not alone in their joys and frustrations.

I am excited to share that I will definitely be putting together more workshops in the future, so please stay tuned!

WomenCreatingVisionBoards2

It turned out to be a nice morning/afternoon, so we decided to sit outside. Here are the women creating vision boards.

JoAnnandMonicaVisionBoards

Like the retreat that I hosted in October, we ended up having lots of mother/daughter duos at the workshop! Here are JoAnn and Monica, sharing their vision boards. JoAnn is working on finding balance in her life and making more time for herself. Monica recently got married – congratulations, Monica! She and her husband Ted would like to start a family soon and they are thinking that Monica should try to get pregnant by the end of the year. Because of this, Monica wants to eat healthier and stay active so she can be in the best shape of her life when she gets pregnant and so that she can also pass on good eating/living habits to her future child(ren). I can’t wait to learn more, Monica!

LynneAnneVisionBoard

Lynne-Anne created a great vision board that covers the four main aspects of her life. In each corner of her vision board are the letters “LOVE” because everything she does is surrounded by love. I love this, Lynne-Anne!

LynneAnneRuthVisionBoards

Here is Lynne-Anne with her mom, Ruth. Ruth is retired and wanting to enjoy her life and play more. She has an adorable cat that cuddles with her, so you’ll notice the two kitties on her vision board :).

GwennaVisionBoard

Gwenna created four vision boards! She’d like to do things fully so she is working on giving everything that she does 100% of her effort. She wants to see things through to the end. She is also working on getting fit and eating healthily. I can’t wait for updates on your health journey, Gwenna!

ElizabethVisionBoard

Elizabeth created two vision boards :).

NicoleVisionBoard

Nicole has been wanting to go on a cruise to Alaska with her husband so you’ll notice that she has a picture of a cruise on the top left corner of her vision board. She also wants to be authentic; she has a top-level position at her company where she is not only the youngest employee, but she’s also the only woman and the only minority. Though she is required to dress professionally and “be polished” at work, with her hair straightened, she sees her true self as rocking an afro, smiling, and wearing a dashiki, which she does on weekends :).

VirginiaVisionBoard

You may have noticed Virginia from my last retreat – I love Virginia! She has such a warm, fun energy and she’s always open to attending these workshops and tapping into her true self. As a mom, daughter, and teacher, she is working on saying “no” more often so that she can say “yes” to herself. It’s taking some time, but I am so proud of her for finally prioritizing self-care!

PamVisionBoard

Pam is retired and loving life! She is traveling and taking the time to enjoy herself and her family. There may be something else that she wants to pursue in life, so with some encouragement from her daughter Nicole, we’ll see what life has in store for Pam!

MewiththeWomenWorkshop2

Here I am with the lovely women who attended this special workshop. It was a beautiful day and I truly enjoyed my time with them. Thank you, ladies!

WomenwithVisionBoards

Here are the women with their vision boards. Great job, ladies!

GettingReadytoMeditateWorkshopThe women are getting ready to meditate!

MeMeditating

Lynne-Anne took a picture of me preparing the women for our meditation. I had no idea she was taking pictures!

MeTeachingatWorkshop2

We went over the mantra before we meditated.

MeTeachingWorkshop3

Getting ready to meditate!

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I always love spending time with women and helping them reach their goals and live a life filled with love, abundance, and self-care. Please join me for my next workshop!

What’s Your Story?

Writing

Before I was a Health Coach, I worked at Memoirs Ink where I helped people write their memoirs. At Memoirs Ink we also ran two personal essay contests a year. Since it was my job to encourage others to write and share their stories with others, I did the same. Amidst all the things that I had going on, writing stories about my life and sharing them with others was a grounding, healing, and all-around amazing experience.

I’ve always loved writing. When I was younger, I kept a journal. I wrote frequently. When I was in the 4th grade, I remember sitting at my desk and writing; we had a visitor one day and as my teacher, Mrs. Cohen, passed by my desk, she turned to the visitor and said, “she’s going to be a writer you know.” I don’t take these words lightly. It would be a dream come true for me to be able to write and share my work with others. No matter what else I have going on in my life, I still write.

When I was in college, I had originally planned on attending medical school, but ultimately decided that there were other paths I wanted to take instead. I missed writing. I took an English class and fell in love. I continued with my science studies, and even though I enjoyed my biology and chemistry classes, I couldn’t fool myself: my happiness rested in Shakespearean sonnets; in Christina Rossetti’s poetry; in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales; in the smell of the old novels and memoirs in the library. Without these great works and my brilliant professors, my life was missing colors, spark, and a passion for writing and reading that I’ve had inside of me for as long as I can remember. I needed to pursue all that I loved – not just the courses that my parents thought were valuable. And sure enough, when I came home and said I wanted to be an English major, my dad threatened to stop paying for my tuition. I became an English major anyway.

When I graduated from college, my parents told me that if I pursued a career in writing, I’d never make any money. But I kept writing anyway. Eventually, I became an editor, but I wasn’t doing the sort of work I wanted to. By that time, I had changed my diet and lifestyle and wanted to share all that I learned about the healing power of food with everyone I knew. I went to nutrition school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where Marilena Minucci was one of my teachers. One day she asked, “Did you know that one of the most powerful drivers of human behavior is a person’s story?” She continued, “as humans, we are natural storytellers – just go to the movies, or read a book, or watch TV. We love to express ourselves through our stories.” At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned that it’s not just the food on our plates that feeds us. It’s also our relationships, careers, exercise, and spirituality. It may seem odd that one of my teachers decided to speak about the power of sharing our stories, but it made sense to me. And for someone who loves to read, write, and learn about nutrition, it was perfect for me.

And I couldn’t agree with her more. I often feel like if I don’t write, something in my life is missing. If I feel cranky, it’s usually because I have so much to share, but I haven’t taken the time to write it down. When we are trying to be healthier, we have to dig deep and find what’s missing in our lives. There are many things we have to ask ourselves, in order to truly heal. Are we expressing ourselves creatively? Do we have an emotional support system? When was the last time we laughed? Do we forgive easily? Are we exercising? Do we love our career? When it comes to our health and well-being, everything is connected. If we’re stressed out at work, we might break out. If our romantic relationship is not fulfilling, we might binge on sweets. When we learn that everything in our lives affects our health, we can find outlets that serve us in beautiful, positive ways. For me, writing is as soothing as meditating, but not everyone values his/her story.

Through working at Memoirs Ink, I learned that many people think that no one will read their stories. Or they believe that no one can relate to their experiences. Or that they’ve got nothing valuable to say. But I say to you, write anyway. Share your story anyway. Ask yourself: where would we be if all the great authors, poets, musicians, and screenwriters kept their talents bundled up inside of themselves? How would we unwind with amazing television and movies if no actor believed enough in himself/herself to pursue an acting career? What concerts would we attend if every musician crawled in a ball because the odds were stacked so high against him/her? Don’t let your inner critic stop you from doing what it is you are meant to do in this lifetime.

So, grab a pen and paper, and write. Let your story unfold, page by page, and share it with the world. You have a duty to share your precious gifts with the world, because the world is a better place when we share our talents. If you have a story burning inside of you, write it. If you love to make people laugh, do it. I support you. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, I believe in you. I see the value in your work. Heal yourself from the inside out, one word at a time.

Can Creativity Make You Healthier?

HappyWoman

Expressing your creativity may just be the health answer you’ve been looking for. Whether you are a dancer, singer, painter, poet, writer, drummer, guitar player, or pianist, taking time to be creative can make you healthier. Since there are plenty of ways to be creative, including blogging, gardening, making collages, acting, etc. find something you love that allows you to relax and be creative and do it! You will be amazed at how your mind and body will start to heal.

I often feel best when I write. For me, there are so many benefits to writing: I express how I truly feel, I tap into that part of me that makes me feel so happy, and I feel like I am telling my story. When I don’t write, the opposite happens. I become stressed, unhappy, and even anxious. If there’s one thing I can tell you with all sincerity is that you have to let that creative part of you shine so you can nurture yourself: mind, body, and spirit. There are no wrong answers with being creative – just do what you love!

I have been reading Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine where she lists several benefits to expressing yourself creativily. On page 114, she writes, “Health benefits of creative expression include improved sleep, better overall health, fewer doctor visits, less use of medication, and fewer vision problems. Creativity decreases symptoms of distress and improves quality of life for women with cancer; it strengthens positive feelings, alleviates distress, and helps clarify existential and spiritual issues; it lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, reduces anxiety, and improves mood, social functioning, and self-esteem.” She confirms what I have been feeling all along, which is that we must value our creativity and take time to nourish that part of ourselves. With so much credit being given to doctors, lawyers, and engineers, we often forget how important it is for us to tap into our inner artist, writer, musician, etc. and let that part of us out so we can heal and be happy. (By the way, I think artists, musicians, and writers are an invaluable part of our society! I owe so much to the brilliant authors and actors who make me laugh and to the singers who move me with their incredible voices. To all the amazing creative minds who encourage me to tune everything out and just write, I’ll always be grateful.)

I like to give my clients a journal. They can use this to write gratitude lists, keep track of how certain foods make them feel, and write about anything they want. I give them journals because I feel that my clients are on a journey and this is a great time for them to write about how they feel: their hopes, dreams, desires – I want them to know that they can all come true and that they should be proud of themselves for working with a Health Coach who believes in them. I always remind them that they can and should also do what they love and tap into that creative part of themselves. In this way, I watch them heal, relax, and release some of the stress that they carry around. You would be amazed how much of a weight is lifted when we sing, knit, dance, paint, write, etc. – the world suddenly becomes a better place and that stress, anxiety, and depression we may have been feeling finally melts away.

Dr. Lissa Rankin goes on to write, “The health benefits of creativity are incredible – that’s just how creative expression affects the individual! Creativity also affects your work life, your relationships, your sexuality, your spirituality, and your mental health […] Even seemingly unrelated benefits may arise as the result of expressing yourself creativity, such as improved fertility” (p. 115-116). I always feel that we all have a story to tell; a book inside of us or maybe even a short story that needs to be written and shared. Whatever is burning inside of you, let it out. The cost of keeping it inside could be your health. The benefit? Your mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical freedom – the start of finally being healthy and happy. Unlock your creativity. Pick up a pen, paint brush, or instrument and sing the song of your heart.

Is it time for you to work with a Health Coach? Prioritize your health and happiness and work with me! Schedule your free initial consultation and start living the life of your dreams. You will have my undivided attention as well as a unique, personal program that is customized for your needs. You’d be surprised how fun and freeing it can be to finally let yourself heal. Read more about my approach to wellness and health coaching here. Whatever you do, nourish yourself. Namaste.