Check-in Monday, October 24, 2016

This last week was a blur and again, these check-ins are helpful for me because it helps me to pause and reflect on last week and get ready for this week. I would love to take the time this week to share last week's learnings to you in hopes that it will encourage you to look at last week and see what you might want to do more of and what you might want to do less of. Additionally, I will take a look at what I want to get out of this coming week as each week brings us new challenges and opportunities for each of us. 

This post has a few pictures from this weekend's adventure in California, where I flew into San Francisco and met my husband to celebrate our anniversary! Today the pictures remind me of the good times and the simple beauty of life. The picture out of the airplane looked like a blanket of clouds; it is always so breathtaking to see the world from the view in a plane.  

Last week's reflections

  • I know that sleep was a BIG focus and intention for me. Guess what? it was the WORST week for sleep for me. A part of it was that my week was full, but then another part was that my energy was scattered with life and planning a weekend away. Also, I didn't make sleep a priority and sometimes felt like I was rebelling when I wouldn't go to bed. It was as though I forgot how shitty I feel when I don't sleep and the negative impact on ALL of my life. For me, I am wondering if setting weekly intentions that specific, such as, I will sleep eight hours a night, is less than ideal for me? I am wondering if less rules and more going off of "how is this going to make me feel?" will drive me to actually change. I am honestly not sure what it might take for me to make changes, but I do know I will keep sharing this sleep one to you because it is a big challenge on my journey. In fact, I am up past ten right now typing because I am a bit wired from being on California time. Bottom line, I am sure I will sleep more this week without even trying. :) 
  • I was challenged big time from on faith and anxiety. On Friday I took my very first flight alone and rented a car, alone. I met my husband out in wine country for our anniversary. Until I was waiting for the plane it hadn't dawned on me that it was my first time alone for either of these adventures, but it definitely helped me gain power in my abilities and faith in me. The short version of the story is that there was a maintenance issue with the toilet on the plane and my imagination got the best of me. I simply felt worried and so much more. However, with the support of my coach and hubby I realized I could channel my faith and find that place of peace right away through my breath, visualization and meditation. It was a pretty profound experience for me and one that I would love to share in more detail in a future post. Bottom line: we all hold within us that internal power to stay steady and filled with faith so that we may enjoy life and trust the process. And on top of that, because it was so new and out of the ordinary I felt like a badass mama living and loving! 
  • I had an awesome weekend in Sonoma, California, celebrating my wedding anniversary with my handsome husband (11 years)! Like I mentioned above, I met him out there because he was out there for work and it was a leap of courage for me to be independent. For some this might seem laughable, but for me it was a moment of being brave so that I could create experiences, connection and memories with the love of my life. I am so proud and so happy to have gone and am home again with my beautiful family. I am blessed beyond belief and feel excited and renewed to be back. And I always feel so free and happy in wine country. It is a place to me that feels like home and that I simply LOVE to spend time in. It also helps that our best pals are out there and that makes it even better! Thank you again wine country for an amazing time!
  • I forgot about my daily intention and "I Am" statements until I looked back at last week's post. These can be oh so lovely and I will remember to weave these in, especially on the days that I feel off or crabby. They are so good at redirecting me and keeping me grounded. But this past week it was just too much.

This week's intention

As mentioned above, I am not so sure how well I do when I drill down too specifically regarding what I want to do in my week. Having specific goals actually seem to back fire for me and my recent experience. Thus, this week I am going to take a different approach. I want to keep it simple by creating one over-arching theme for the week with an understanding of how it will generally impact the big rocks in my life. I will see how this works this week and for sure will let you know!

This week's intention: I plan to make choices this week all around choosing things that make me feel good. I am not getting specific on the glasses of water or hours of sleep. However, I am going to use this as my guide. What is going to make me FEEL GOOD?

I would imagine this is going to include more sleep, daily meditation, exercises more laughter and vegetables. And perhaps an espresso (but not five). Additionally, I think getting organized in my house and business will help keep me grounded in what next. And finally, I am trying to attempt to get ahead of the holiday season with a plan and scheduling in experiences, deciding the budget, and the calendar for the rest of 2016. My hope that if I have holiday plan and get ahead it will create time in our life to take care of me and my family to actually enjoy the days. When it gets darker we should do less and if I can get ahead of it maybe I will begin to see and feel the magic of togetherness, faith and generosity. I often try the theme of "No-vember" to attempt to create more self care, but it doesn't typically come out a success. That is why I am going to try to schedule things in advance so that I know when I have to say no because it is too much. And just maybe this might shift the way it feels to us all. Who knows how that will all shake out, but I have decided to be grateful for the positive outcome of this change from getting ahead of it. Feel grateful before it happens right? And getting ahead for the holidays to me feels very similar to a successful day in the life of kids--you know the days you are ahead of it all (dinner made early, birthday present bought a week before the party, homework turned in early, etc.)? Those are fun days, and while not always ideal, they definitely free up the days for a lot more fun and present moments.

So my friends, this week is a new week and that always feels good. I am going to try less hard by just being me and using my intuition and knowing of what feel's good as my guide. What are you going to do this week that is going to support you? Do you need to keep on truck'in or do you need to shake things up? Only YOU know the answer.

Have an amazing week.

In love, light and gratitude,


p.s. Happy Birthday Mom - you are a light in my life and I love you more than you will know! XO 

Wine country, you healed me again

Just two weekends ago I was drinking expensive wine and eating delicious freshly cooked food. It was an amazing weekend surrounded by beautiful scenery, awesome people, and with the love of my life. Being away from "real life" helped me to connect with a part of myself that I forget. As I have briefly shared I have had challenges with disordered eating on and off for years (8th grade to be specific). Each time it seems to come on is typically during a time of change, whether it be something that is going on in my life (for example when I had a baby or when I got laid off from my job) or something as simple as the season changing or the holidays. All things 'change' are a trigger for me, and now that I have had time to reflect and be curious over the years I am learning a lot! 

Prior to our trip to Sonoma I was feeling some of the "food stuff" (for lack of a better way to explain it) come up. I was thinking so much about what I ate and the amount and is it the right food and will I feel okay? The thoughts were frequent and consumed a lot of my thinking—is it what I am eating or when I am eating or how much caffeine I am having that is making my clothes continue to feel tight? What is the deal? Was I worried about looking a particular way or to feel good and even sexy since I would be around my hubby? I wasn't sure, but what I can tell you is that it was a bit of a challenge prior to leaving and I had to keep telling myself one moment and day at a time. 

Today I am curious as I think about our trip to wine country. It was a unique opportunity to go to different events where everything was provided for us—food, drink, and transportation. I didn't have to think about food as much as I do when I am feeding my kiddos constantly (and when it is my job to decide, buy and cook food for the family). I did notice that one big worry that sometimes comes up when we aren't at home is, "will I get enough to eat." This almost sounds silly because of the abundance of food I have access too in reality, but in recent years my food sensitivities have provided it difficult to find something to eat in social settings. It has been a challenge for me and I think a part of why I have a bit of social apprehension. When you aren't sure if you will have food you can eat sometimes you don't even want to go out and you have one more thing to think about. Should I eat or should I pack something or will there be food? And often times I just try not to care, but it is a real variable in social situations and cannot be overlooked.

In fact, last year when I went on the same trip to Sonoma, I was so afraid that they wouldn't have food that I could eat that I packed a lot of food in my suitcase. I had brown rice tortillas and peanut butter and bars and seeds and more. It was a bit excessive. However, after last year's trip I healed in a unique way with my eating-disorder issues. I realized that I would have enough to eat and that trying to have a very restrictive diet was just TOO MUCH for me. And in fact, being restricted was and still can be a huge trigger for me. 

To continue on last year's healing for a moment, I came back from the last year's trip realizing how free and able I was to be present with my body and food; I actually enjoyed food again and it was fun. Unfortunately, and fortunately shortly after our trip I completed a food sensitivities test called the LEAP MRT Food Sensitivities test; the diet required me to eat a very restrictive diet. The main focus of the diet was to eliminate foods that I reacted to in order to create healing in my gut. The theory of this test and the reintroduction protocol is that it isn't the food that is causing you to react to the food; rather, it is the state of your gut that matters. Thus, if you eliminate these foods for a while and then strategically reintroduce them you have time to heal and the end result: eat more foods and feel good! I was all about it when I received my initial results and was very dedicated until the holidays rolled around. Once the holidays hit and I had been going strong for weeks it got SO HARD. In short it was a mind F, and I kept feeling like a failure. Each time I would retry to strategically introduce a food I would fail or not be perfect, I would feel so much shame. My nutritionist worked closely with me and basically pulled me from the protocol sometime in January or early February. The message that she helped me understand was I had done enough healing and worrying so much about the process of "testing" foods was actually causing me more harm than the actual food. I was shocked and concerned and worried. How is stopping now a good idea?

Stopping in the middle of the process of the food sensitivity test was a challenge for me emotionally and mentally. Had I failed? Am I not as determined as I think I am to get something accomplished? Over time I realized I had to let go of my own critique of how it went. I was not a failure and I actually did great for a while. To give you a little insight, for a good 6-8 weeks I ate mainly cucumber, avocado, buckwheat, brown rice, turkey, cumin, salt and mango. It was a pretty limited list, especially in the vegetable department. 

As I fast forward to right now I ask myself this: did doing the LEAP MRT diet help me heal? I would absolutely say yes. For example, I would get incredibly sick if I would eat oatmeal or an almond a year ago. Now, if I eat a little bit I am okay and my stomach doesn't blow up. Also, the summer of 2015 I couldn't eat a salad without getting very sick and the summer before that everything I ate needed to be either cooked or blended. It was awesome to have your food blended or cooked in the heat of the summer (or maybe not so much). And you wonder why I felt restricted, angry, confused and more. The good news is that this summer (2016) I ate salads without getting sick and it was glorious! It isn't perfect, but each day I am learning more and more. This gut healing is a journey and isn't ever going to be perfect. So I will lean into that  and try to do my best regarding what I need each week. 

Reflecting on these eating issues brings me back to the recent weekend away in wine country. This time I knew there would be food that I could eat and I had a lot better trust and lack of worry that I would actually have food to eat. This freedom and trust led to a heightened awareness of the present moment. I was not thinking about what next for food or if I was eating enough of the right food. I was enjoying each moment that I was presented with. I was also reminded that what feeds me isn't food, but rather being connected—when I am connected to others it is strongly correlated to when I thrive and do well. I absolutely LOVED being with people in an environment where I could be 100% me. I was in a group of people that knew nothing about me. Thus, there weren't any pre-conceived ideas about what I am, what I stand for or anything. And that was amazing. I felt grounded in me. I was confident, present, and so grateful for this space away. In fact, I had no idea at the time how much of an impact being away and in this situation would be for my healing heart. I also think it is important to note, my stomach was a bit off because of the unique food I was eating, but I made it through and having the experience was healing to all of me, my mind body and soul.

When I got home I felt a huge sense of sadness. And yes, it might be the amazing wine or being with my sexy husband that I was missing, but when I look beyond the expensive wine and experience I know in all of my heart these things:

1. CONNECTION is a huge part of my happiness, and truly all of us humans walking this earth. Of course we all need varying degrees of connection and different things work for different people 

2. Not having to think about food is HUGE! As a mama and the chef of the family, sometimes that is all I am thinking about. It feels like there isn't an hour that goes by where I am not planning the next meal. Additionally, I SUCK at meal planning. And I mean really bad. I used to be good at meal planning when it was just the two of us, but with kids and picky eaters I just seem to feel off. If I make something they will like, it is lacking the vegetables that I like and if it is something I would eat, I need to have something in addition that they would eat. You get my point. 

3. Space. Having space for real life was healing. Sometimes being away makes you appreciate all that you have. And for me, spending time with the love of my life helped me realize why I am doing this crazy family-life with him. At the foundation of it all, LOVE!

How are things now that I am back? Well, to say the least, the first week I felt a bit tired and spacey. I was a little scattered with a few things that I am starting in my own work, not to mention we have a lot of fall-calendar fun happening that is keeping us busy. Despite all of this I am trying to fill up my heart with gratitude, faith and love. And most of all I want to keep it all going with curiosity surrounding each of my moments and days.

Yes, the eating stuff seems to be like a light switch. When I am home and back in charge of everything my eating issues are close by, sometimes closer than I would like. I wonder if I need to organize my house differently or why it keeps coming back. But I know deep in my heart that it is because eating issues and thought patterns and even behaviors are what I know. And I also know that CHANGE is hard. When we resit to change we are afraid of hurting and being in pain. This is a lesson I have learned in yoga, and in particular with my studies with Rod Stryker. And because of all of this, when I heal it feels amazing because I am free and feel more like myself than every. However, I think there is something deep inside that knows that change will be hard and is scared and so much more. Thus, I must carry on. I must share this now because maybe, just maybe I will inspire myself and others to keep showing up. To know that your dark side is there to teach you and that you can keep making more and more choices that will align with you and you can and will thrive. I know I can create new patterns that change the old patterns and I know I can and will continue to feel better and heal. 

That is it my friends. I do not have any amazing conclusions from this trip except that I know that I can heal even more. I feel called to share even more and I feel called to keep showing up to my life. There is a lot going on in the world right now, but what we what we can control are the choices we make and how we react to it.

In love, light and so much gratitude,