Love Your Body

In a time when, “thin is in” it can be easy to justify going to extreme measures to make your body match an ideal that society has created. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt bombarded with images of women who are far thinner than I am – thinner than I’ll ever be. I don’t wish I looked like them, but there was a time when I’d stare at those images; I’d dissect every part of a woman’s body and wonder why mine didn’t look the same. I wondered why my thighs weren’t as thin; why my cheekbones weren’t as prominent; why my stomach wasn’t as flat. It didn’t take very long before I started to cut back on the amount of food I was eating.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I slowly began accepting myself. When I went to college, the acceptance and love for my body grew. I became a Healthy Eating and Living Intern at the Student Center. For “Love Your Body Day” my fellow interns and I ordered shirts that said, “I <3 My Body.” We wore them around campus and observed people’s reactions (most were positive :)). I was happy to be wearing one, because it was true. I wanted to inspire others to love their bodies, too. If you’d given me a shirt like that to wear when I was younger, I don’t know that I would have, because I wouldn’t want people to look at me and think that I actually loved my body. How could I? I was no model. But in college, I did love my body. I truly learned to care for myself. I didn’t diet. I shopped for healthy food. I walked for miles every day. I ran by the lagoon. I danced. I filled myself with love, laughter, and happiness. I was fulfilled.

I cringe when I hear how much women torture themselves to look a certain way. I feel saddened by the amount of pressure many people feel to be thinner, prettier, taller, etc. I wish that we could appreciate our bodies for everything that they do for us – that’s part of how I healed. I thanked my body for taking care of me. Instead of wanting to look a certain way, I just wanted to be healthy. I still feel this way.

I wish that we could spread more love; instead of calling ourselves or others fat, my hope is that we will look at ourselves and others for who we really are; the numbers on the scale, the size of our skirts, the fact that we don’t look like a small percentage of women who are incredibly tall and thin doesn’t define us. There was a time when being thin was everything to me. Now, I think it shocks people that being skinny isn’t my ultimate goal. It’s not even on my list of things that I want. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I love and accept my body, but I genuinely don’t want to stretch myself out to be a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. I love my curves. I am passionate about helping women be healthy and learn to truly love their bodies, too.

Instead of focusing on being a certain weight, I would rather we all strive to be our healthiest, happiest, most radiant selves. When we learn to love ourselves and enjoy life, if we have weight to lose, it will come off because we are feeding ourselves healthy food, and are taking time to be active, as well as to relax, and connect with nature, ourselves, and people who lift us up. To me, that’s what life is about. If you’re on your wellness journey and are struggling to love yourself, accept your body, and heal, I’d love to help. If you have an eating disorder, I can refer you to a specialist who can help. Wherever you are on your health journey, know that there are people who can help. The fact that you’re beautiful won’t change as your weight changes. And, you can learn the tools to take care of yourself, too. You’re worth it. <3

Fall in Love with Yourself First

LoveYourself

I think that if we all spent more time falling in love with ourselves, just as we are, life would be so much sweeter. One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to say positive affirmations, such as: “I am beautiful”; “I am healthy”; “I am radiant and I attract abundance in my life”; “I am loved.” And then we have to trust that these things are true.

I do believe that there is healing, calming, soothing, energizing, power in falling in love with ourselves. I want to wish you the ability to focus your time and energy on all of the fabulous attributes that make you amazing: compassion; generosity; the ability to make people laugh (including yourself!);  optimism; charisma; charm; wit; lightheardedness – all of the things that make you so wonderful and loveable. When you treat yourself with the utmost kindness possible, it will be so much easier to stay madly, deeply, in love with yourself.  You deserve to be loved by you. You are glorious. <3

Meditate with Oprah and Deepak Chopra!

Lilies

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are offering another FREE 21-day meditation! I have absolutely loved all of their 21-day meditations so far, and I am so excited that I can participate in another one. The theme for this meditation is, “Finding Your Flow.” We are on day 4, and so far, the meditation topics have been:

Day 1: Finding Security

Day 2: Finding Happiness

Day 3: Finding Power

Day 4: Finding Love

Oprah starts each meditation with some words of wisdom, and then Deepak Chopra leads us into the meditation. I wish I could meditate with these two amazing people every day! I cannot emphasize enough how much this experience is truly healing. Whether you want to calm your mind, learn how to meditate, unwind, relax, restore your faith in yourself, the world, your body’s natural healing process, this is the way to do it.

Join me on this incredible journey and share your experience with me in the comments below.

P.S.

I met Deepak Chopra at Lyfe Kitchen in Culver City and can’t wait to share that experience with you all soon. Xo

P.P.S.

The gorgeous lily pictured above is from the Motor Avenue Farmers’ Market that I go to on Sundays. I have a table there that is packed with helpful handouts, recipes, and special offers for my Health Coaching services. I picked up the lilies on Sunday and they are so beautiful! Stop by and talk to me, get some flowers, enjoy a relaxing, healthy, peaceful Sunday, and share your meditation stories with me!

Be Grateful!

Waterfall

I’ve noticed that too many times in our lives, we miss all the good things that we have. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting more for ourselves that we forget to appreciate what we do have. I know that we all have goals, plans, dreams, desires, etc., but we also have to live in the present moment. And the present is a special gift to be cherished. I want us to shift our patterns of operating from a place of lack and fear to acting from a place of love and abundance. We are always giving off energy. How amazing would it be to give off an energy of love? Of gratitude? Of warmth? Of constant thanksgiving? Of complete abundance? Think of the people you are attracted to; for me, I am drawn to people who smile; laugh; appreciate the good in their lives; help others; are genuinely kind; trust in God/a higher power/the universe. I like to surround myself with people who lift me up and love me just as I am. I want to be that person for everyone I know.

Wherever you are, if you are alive and breathing, if you are loved by at least one person, then you have much to be thankful for. I want you to take a break from worrying. Write your worries on a piece of paper. Look at them for one minute. And then rip them up. You are done worrying for the day. Now, make a gratitude list. Write, “I am thankful for…” and fill that list with whatever you are truly grateful for – friends, family, health, a warm bed, a roof over your head, comfortable clothing, a hot cup of soup, etc. Then say this affirmation: “We make magic constantly. Pause. Breathe. Notice. Praise. Repeat. You’ve come so, so, so far. Pour a cup of tea and brag to yourself. Truly, you’re a miracle creating the miraculous” – Kris Carr.

As Deepak Chopra and Oprah remind us in their amazing meditations, “I am my deepest desire”  – say this, daily. You are blessed, abundant, radiant, and gorgeous. Go be grateful. Greet strangers with a smile. Hug your loved ones. Dance. Laugh. Sing out loud. Wear red lipstick. Let your hair down. Let the wind touch your face. Be present. You are alive and you have so much to be grateful for. Namaste.

Discover Your Deepest Desire

Star

I recently signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge. I did a 21 day meditation challenge with them not too long ago, so when I saw that they were offering a new one so soon, I was really excited. As you know, I have been meditating more lately and it has worked wonders for me. Wherever you are in your life, even if you are already calm, peaceful, and happy, I encourage you to meditate. I feel that I have discovered more about myself and that I now have a tool that grounds me and quiets the chatter in my mind. I am confident you will uncover amazing things that meditation can do for you, too.

Here is a great quote from day 1 that I wanted to share with you all: “Our deepest, most heartfelt desires are like stars in a constellation…brilliant, twinkling lights that show us the way and create pathways to our true destinies. It is our soul’s mission to connect with, cherish, and realize our desires in order to live our lives to the fullest and make our greatest contributions to the world. In fulfilling our heart-held dreams we flourish, serving ourselves and others from a place of bliss, generosity, and love. Our journey starts at the beginning, in the center, as we go within to listen to our deepest truth.”

Each day, there is a new centering thought for our meditation. Our centering thought for day 1 is: “I am my deepest desire.” We meditated on this thought and you can, too. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and try meditating for 10 minutes today. Share your experience with me and others on this blog and I hope that you will achieve your deepest desire. Namaste.

*Update: Oprah and Deepak Chopra are having another free 21-day meditation challenge! This challenge will start on 4/14/2014. Sign up now – you’ll love it!*

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.

Meditation to Heal Yourself

WaterfallDr. Andrew Weil was one of my favorite teachers when I was in nutrition school and he is still such an inspiration to me. I love how much he knows and teaches about breath techniques, meditation, and living a healthy life. I came across this meditation to heal yourself and thought I would share it with all of you. Remember that your body does have the ability to heal itself. I want you to believe that whatever you are going through, your body wants you to heal. Repeat this affirmation: “My body can and will heal itself.” Enjoy this meditation and I wish you all lots of health and happiness. Namaste.

Is it Time to Take Care of Yourself?

YachtNight

I once saw a hypnotherapist who did a writing analysis for me. She was incredibly shocked to see that I leave virtually no margin on the left side of the paper, but leave a wide margin on the right side of the paper. She explained to me the significance of this: I leave no room for myself, but give others plenty of my time and space. She told me that by indenting a little when I write (on the left side) I will give a message to my subconscious to create boundaries with others.

It’s been years since I saw her and I wish I could say that I’m much better at taking care of myself, but the truth is, I have a hard time saying, “no” to people – especially my loved ones. I cook for my family, offer emotional support, and give so much of my time and energy that I forget that I need to also give that love and attention to myself. If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that I am working on my “me time” – that precious, positive time that I am trying to carve out for myself each and every day.

One of the things that has helped me tremendously these days is meditating. I cannot sing enough praises for how powerful, relaxing, and amazing meditating has been for me. I signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge and it was absolutely amazing! I am hoping that they will offer this challenge again, because it’s such a beautiful way for us to learn more about meditation and turning inward so we can reflect, heal, and relax.

I promised myself that I would get more massages, so it’s on my list of things to do. As much as I would love to say that I am 100% better at creating boundaries with others, I am not there yet. But I am learning to put myself first so that I can recharge and be kinder to myself. Not only will I be more loving to myself, but I will also be an even better friend, sister, lover, daughter, Health Coach, etc. And speaking of being a Health Coach, I always tell my clients to take care of themselves; I talk to my clients about the importance of self-care and taking time to rest and relax so we can fully heal. So, I have been making sure that I work on this for myself as well. I have seen tremendous improvements in my clients who are learning to meditate, breathe deeply, and make that extra effort to take care of themselves. The amount of energy that they have after they do this is truly inspiring and is a testament to the power of doing simple things like taking a bath, reading a book, going for a walk, biking, laughing, etc.

I am honored to be their Health Coach and will continue to spread my message of the importance of quality self-care so that I can hopefully help more people to take care of themselves for a change. If you are one of those people who needs an extra push to put yourself first, I promise I will do my best to help. Your first consultation is free, so what do you have to lose – except say, a few pounds, unwanted stress, headaches, and much more unhealthy stuff that is preventing you from being your best self?

I took the picture above when I was with my friend Jess in Marina del Rey; it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun. If you work with me, I will help  you tap into free and affordable ways that you can relax, de-stress, and be the best, happiest version of yourself. If nothing else, I will help you do at least one kind thing for yourself every day, starting now. As soon as you read this, contact me so we can schedule your first session. Tell me what’s going on in your life. Are you struggling to lose weight? Is your work stressing you out? Do you feel lonely because you’re not in a relationship? Are you in a relationship that you’re not sure is right for you? All of these things impact our health and well-being and we’ll get to everything you have to say. In the meantime, take a deep breath, relax, and create an intention to heal. Promise yourself that you will do more to put yourself first so that you can relax and recharge. Namaste.

My Quest for Self-Care

meandjessboat

I don’t know about you, but life has been pretty busy for me lately. Throughout all of the commitments, studying, and work that I’ve had, I’ve also tried to keep my promise to myself that I will make time to take care of myself. I’ve learned that I have trouble putting myself first and that it’s not helping me to stay healthy. In fact, I was taught to put others first – which is great – and I’m sure you have all been taught the same thing, but to constantly put everyone’s needs before our own can take a serious toll on our health and well-being. Recently, I’ve been reminded of the importance of “me time” – more specifically, carving out time to rest and relax. I’ve promised myself that I will get more massages, stop working earlier in the night, and take at least one day off a week so that I can enjoy myself and my loved ones. While I haven’t gotten around to that massage just yet, I have been doing other simple things to help me keep my promise to myself.

I also decided that in my quest to take better care of myself, I would spend quality time with people who lift me up, support me, and share my goals, passions, and desires. So when my amazing friend Jess (pictured with me above) asked me to attend  an event with her on a yacht in Marina del Rey, I said, “yes!” It was a beautiful event hosted by Yelp, and we had fun talking and admiring the gorgeous ocean, sky, and the rest of our surroundings. There won’t always be events on yachts to attend, but the beach is close to my house and I’ve made it a point to invite others to go with me for a little while after work so we can enjoy the sunset and a relaxing walk.

SantaMonicaBeach

I took this picture last week when I went to the beach in Santa Monica with my boyfriend. We were there for a short while, but we got to see a beautiful sunset and we enjoyed a short walk while we were there. The weather is cooling down fast these days, so I’m trying to soak up as much of the beach as I can (although something tells me I will bundle up and convince my love to keep coming with me even when it’s much cooler – he is from New York, so I know he can handle the colder weather, but I might need to take a blanket or two!).

I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such beauty; I believe this is one of the ways that I create time and space to enjoy myself and nature. After my time on the yacht in the Marina with my friend Jess, I went home, made some tea, and got ready for bed. I’m learning how to set boundaries with others and explain that I need time, both to myself, and to enjoy nature. My hope is that by sharing my experience, I will help you to take care of yourself more – to put yourself first for a change so that your mind and body can heal, relax, and take care of you.

Are you tired of putting yourself last? Do you want to work with a Health Coach who understands how taxing it can be to put everyone’s needs before your own? Start creating ways for you to rest and heal by contacting me for your free initial consultation! Tell me about your days: Are you tired? Overworked? Stressed out? Is it time to take care of you? Work with an experienced Health Coach who will share tips and tools for taking care of your mind, body, and soul. I look forward to speaking with you soon and being a part of  your wellness journey. Namaste.

What is Light Touch Release?

lighttouchrelease

When I moved back to Los Angeles a few years ago, I was looking forward to deepening my yoga practice. I tried several studios and worked with different instructors, but it wasn’t until I took Nikita Gupta’s class that I was convinced I’d found the perfect teacher for me. Nikita understands the connection between mind, body, and soul; yoga with her is not just about movement, it’s about a true understanding of your body – it’s about connecting with yourself and learning how to love and take care of your body. Nikita often reminds us that yoga is a great way to manage stress, curb cravings, increase flexibility, and more. So when Nikita told me that she was offering light touch release, I knew I’d give it a try.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about light touch release, but my trust in Nikita is so great, that I didn’t do too much research. According to Nikita’s website, “Light touch neuro-muscular release is a remarkable modality that directly accesses the nervous system, to elicit healing through body, breath and energy responses.” I tried this for the first time a few weeks ago and I was astounded with the results that I experienced.

Nikita took time to sit with me and go over a few things before our session; she asked me if I had any tension or soreness in my body. She explained to me that during our session she would lightly touch a few areas on my body – just for a split second each time – and then she would release. This practice “addresses acute situations as well as chronic patterns of tension” so that “clients can have a range of experiences post-session, including healing of physical pain, relaxation, more breath, emotional release, clarity, expansion, and greater aliveness.” Indeed, as I lay face down on her table, she lightly touched a few places on my back and neck; she pulled on my feet a couple of times and asked me to turn to the left and to the right. When we were done, she gently reminded me to take my time getting off of the table. Since she had barely touched me, I didn’t think I really needed to be careful. I turned around to get up and realized that I felt entirely different; my body was lighter and I felt as though I’d just received a 2 hour long massage – I was completely relaxed and I understood why she said to take my time getting off of the table – if I moved too quickly I’m sure I would have fallen! I was amazed. I actually burst into laughter and I didn’t open my eyes for at least a couple of minutes. The amount of release that I felt was beautiful. I did not know that a few light touches would create such a response, but I already can’t wait to try it again.

If you are in Los Angeles and are experiencing any soreness, tension, or pain or are in need of some self-care, I highly encourage you to work with Nikita and try light touch release. She is an amazing healer and I am so thankful to her that she offered her incredible service to me. If you are not in Los Angeles, check to see if there is a wellness provider in your area who can provide this service to you.

Are you tired of being stressed out? Is your day-to-day routine wearing you out? Join me for a free initial consultation so we can talk about how to destress and bring joy back into your life – you deserve it!

LightTouch