I have been preaching about self-acceptance and healthy boundaries and self-care for a very long time now. Most of the time it’s because of lessons that I learned, and wanted to help others transition through rough patches more easily, if at all possible.
Here’s another one.
I am not immune to the whole vanity thing that affects all of us. And by being a public speaker, I tend to have to look somewhat presentable on stage…or a least better than without makeup in my yoga gear, as most days I coach over the phone or sit behind my keyboard writing in comfy clothes. The thought of having a mouth full of metal brackets while speaking on stage was not a pleasant one. I’m also, like most moms, not one to put spending $6000 on myself ahead of the other expenses for my family–especially my children. But this year, self-care outweighs a little vanity and requires money being spent on me.
After I broke one of my teeth for the 5th time from my crooked bite, and as I was told an implant would also break less than a year after being replaced… I decided to finally get braces. But not before becoming the most informed patient on the planet. Dr. Andrea Stevens Dentistry, my partner at the Ottawa Makeover Project, was instrumental in my decision making by giving me an in depth second opinion on my best course of action.
So now I have an extra little sparkle in my smile for the next three years. And I’m walking my talk by investing in my oral health so that these pearly whites can last me another 43 years.
Have you had to make a large investment of time or money in yourself lately? What was it for? Do you feel that it was worth it on the long run?
Everything I write about and put out in the world comes from lessons I have learned myself. I share my stories in an effort to help others along their path, as so many have helped me. When I talk about putting others’ needs ahead of our own, it’s because I have done it and have fallen on my face before learning a new way.
I grew up with horrible self-esteem issues. I was a people-pleaser, a doormat, and a chronic helper and volunteer looking for a pat on the head to tell me I was good enough and that I mattered. I know what it feels like to think I don’t matter.
It took a huge crisis with my eldest daughter and, through that, coming to the realization that I was losing my health, my sanity, my friends, that the quality of my work suffered, and I that I was neglecting my other three children and my husband to lead me to realize that I matter. A tiny sliver of my spirituality was the thread that I clung to like a lifeline and from which I was able to pull myself back to ME and rebuild my life.
I matter because all of my children need me and look to me as an example of what it is to have self-respect, to be healthy in body and mind, and to be of service and live with purpose. I also matter because I breathe and have a pulse—I don’t need to be anything to anybody to matter.
You matter because you breathe and have a pulse—you don’t need to be anything to anybody to matter. And you matter because you belong to groups of family or friends, you lead by example and you are of service and you have a purpose.
Out of all of this my wellness programs were born. I wanted to offer women a more holistic way to address their wellness and self-care. While the flagship Mind Body Makeover is a deep dive into reclaiming your vibrant health and happiness, I wanted a smaller sampling—a quick taste for those who weren’t yet sure about a deep dive.
The Mini Mind Body Makeover focuses on your mindset change, and how your relationships can affect any change you try to make in your life. Of course I also cover healthy body habits and spirituality too. I confess, I created the Mini Mind Body Makeover specifically because I was tired of trying to lose weight the way that 20 year-olds do and I was tired of being sold on pills and shakes and lifting weights 5 days a week.
It’s mini because it’s only a 30 day commitment to yourself, so if I haven’t yet convinced you that you matter enough to invest six months on you, maybe I can get you to focus on yourself for one month.
If you are ready to say “I MATTER” and turn your life around in just 30 days for only $50… Sign-up here and let’s get started.
This blog is about honesty. If you are looking for pie-in-the-sky, esoteric, law-of attraction positivity, STOP READING.
The internet is aflutter with posts about resolutions, vision boards, and goals and this year being “the year”. This is the year you are going to get fit and lose 40 lbs, this is the year you are going to make 7 figures, this is the year you are going to meet Mr. Right.
This is the YEAR.
Yet, come February 1st when you haven’t lost 40 lbs in a month and the cheesecake is calling your name, you give up. So do I. It’s human nature combined with today’s instant gratification mentality.
Yet, we all get sucked into the high priced weight-loss programs, the VIP business consultant who is going to make us millions, and the matchmaker to the stars. After all, they are thin and rich and have a loving husband, surely they can make that happen for you. If you throw enough money at a problem it goes away, right?
This has me yelling GET REAL!
I don’t care how much money you pay for a weight loss plan and consultant, you won’t drop 40 lbs overnight. In fact, the statistics the diet industry is not sharing with you is that 95% of diets fail, meaning you either don’t lose the weight or you put it back on within a year. Next time you go to pay through the nose for a weight loss program, ask them for their real statistics not just the glowing testimonials with the before and after shots.
As for making that million, I can attest to how difficult it is to start up a business and become a successful entrepreneur. There are way too many business consultants out there promising you the answer to a 7 figure business who are not telling you that in reality 75% of start-ups fail. Many of them are happy to tell you that they made 7 figures last year themselves, but I am more interested in finding out if that was in their first year, third year or fifth year. How many of their own clients made 7 figures and are still in business 2 years later? All of them? Half of them? None of them?
Now, I don’t want to totally discourage everyone from following their dreams, or seeking healthier lifestyles. All of these goals can actually be achieved. I just want you to be clear that most of the time it is through consistency and not an overnight achievement. Yes, we need coaches and consultants to advise us and hold us accountable. Hey I am a coach, I would never say to not use one! But be realistic in what a coach or consultant can do for you in what time frame. Buyer beware. Ask questions about their failures not only their glowing testimonials.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to be in this for the long haul, allow yourself to have the expected setbacks that all human beings face, allow yourself to stumble a little, and then extend your hand for someone to come and motivate you to get back into the game. I am always happy to be that person who walks along your path with you for the long haul, holding you accountable and helping you through the obstacles to a success story of your own defining. And you can be sure that I won’t promise you an overnight success, only genuine lasting results.
If someone took your 16 year old daughter and tortured, scarred and mutilated her body over and over and over again for 3 years, how would you feel? What would you do? Would you be completely enraged? Camped out at the police office until the person doing this to your daughter was arrested? Would you take matters into your own hands and hurt the torturer back?
What do you do when it’s your daughter doing it to herself, and no amount of yelling or loving words makes the mental illness go away, and you are not allowed in the doctor’s office with her anymore, and you can’t force her into treatment. There’s no police officer coming to take the bad guy away.
If someone took a 35 year old mother of two and slowly poisoned her since the age of 13 with all kinds of chemicals that ate away at her spirit, making her think horrible thoughts, making her body writhe in pain to the point where she can’t hold down a decent job or raise her kids the way she always dreamed of raising a family, how much news coverage would this crime get? What do you think would be a prison sentence for someone who poisons someone else for over 20 years?
What do you do when it’s a family member addicted to drugs poisoning themselves, and no amount of yelling or loving words makes the mental illness go away, and you are not allowed in the psychologist’s office to tell the whole story, and you can’t force them into treatment. There’s no police officer coming to take the bad guy away.
Mental illness doesn’t only affect those who suffer day in and day out battling their own demons, it also affects those of us who have to sit back and watch.
In light of Robin William’s death by suicide this year, I was surprised by how little was said about World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2014. We have got to do better than this.
Turning a blind eye doesn’t make it go away. We need more to be done in terms of earlier detection and better treatments, we need to raise awareness in the public and we need health care professionals to take an interest in curing the mental health diseases with as much energy and enthusiasm as cancer and Aids. Let’s make mental health sexy.
What do you do when there is no bad guy to arrest? You take a stand and you help find a way for the good guy to shine again.
Do you have the Day After Turkey Blues? Are you feeling fat and sluggish? Are you in that period of the year now where you are giving up hope of a healthy way of eating because of even more holidays on the horizon? Are you waiting for the New Year to make a resolution?
I always wondered why the diet industry and the media flog weight loss over and over during the coldest months, the darkest months and the most depressing months. Why is January 1st the best time to get healthy? It’s no wonder why you break your resolutions! In the blink of an eye the shelves at Wal-Mart are full with Valentine’s Day a chocolate (which is inevitably by the second week of January after the selloff of Christmas wrapping is done). And then the guilt! Oh the guilt! If ever emotions are found to reside in body parts you can be sure guilt is manufactured in the ovaries.
You may know that I have a health care background in addition to my self-actualization passion. Well, that health care background just can’t ignore the science when it’s staring me in the face. If you ever want to get me going on a long winded rant, ask me about what sugar does on a cellular level in your body.
Why am I so passionate about eliminating sugar?
I had mega monster PMS my whole life. Two years ago I decided to try cutting sugar out of my diet in attempt to stabilize my moods. Coming off sugar has got to be as hard as coming off heroine…I wouldn’t know about the heroine part, but I can tell you it was rough. Then things got a lot better. My moods and my energy levels evened out, but I still had the odd craving especially in times of stress. So one day I was searching the internet for further proof that I had made the right decision (during a craving of course) and I stumbled upon this video. It may be long and it may be in-depth but Dr. Lustig has done an amazing job explaining why our children are getting more and more obese. If you are a mom you owe it to your children to pay attention here.
Eating healthy and exercise are extremely important lessons we need to learn over a lifetime. We cannot expect to miraculously flip a switch on January 1st and suddenly become Jillian Michaels. Remember that the same media that is teaching our daughters to obsess about being thin and to push dieting on us moms in January will also be pushing Godiva and Lindor chocolates on us in February. Don’t be a slave to the media and their fads. Choose to eat healthy one day at a time. Choose to get moving one day at a time. And try, knowing you will mess up, but try to making it a life long journey.
I am recommending my friend Shirley Plant’s 21-Day Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free (GDS-Free) Challenge because I know how hard it was to do this on my own, and you are going to want someone like Shirley supporting you. Don’t wait for January 1st, you are worth getting healthy right now!
Do you know that feeling when you do something so effortlessly that it is second nature? Like if you grew up playing piano but were away at college for a few years and then once you get to sit in front of a keyboard you are suddenly right where you left off?
There once was a time (while I was a single mom, 12 years ago) when I was a serious yoga follower. Vegetarian, Ashram attending, Kirtan chanting, serious yoga follower. I will even admit to being a bit of a yoga snob, looking down my nose at those who thought yoga was meant for physical training. But my devotion to yoga was also a saving grace during an intense period in my life, it facilitated a lot of healing for me.
Then I met a guy, and we got married, and had a couple more kids together. I attended a few yoga classes off and on over the years, but they were more of that athletic kind of yoga I had always dismissed and never really stuck with it. That being said, deep within my heart I still considered myself a devout yogini even if I wasn’t on the mat all that much, and I pinned pictures on my Pinterest Board longing for the day I would get back on that mat.
Do you ever forget what it is that you love to do? Do you ever get so caught up in your day to day life that you forget some of your sweet spots? Like the sight of a leaf through your camera lens, or the feel of your paintbrush caressing the canvas?
Nothing was holding me back from getting back into my yoga practice. I just forgot that I wanted to do it. I knew I loved it, but I didn’t bother making the effort of finding a class that resonated with my yoga values and actually showing up.
So, on Ganesha’s birthday no less, I resumed my yoga practice. My body was a bit less bendy, but my ego also had a lot fewer expectations for perfection than it did 10 years ago. The rhythm of my breath and the routine of the sun salutation became second nature within minutes of getting on the mat. It really did feel like coming home.
The lesson I am trying to convey here is that it’s not too late to get back to what you put aside for the sake of building a career or a family (or both). Your sweet spot is still waiting for you. First, give yourself permission to do something for yourself—without the need that it be productive, or goal oriented, or for someone else’s sake. Then, take the time to creatively fit it into your life, your schedule and your budget. Lastly, show up and take action.
As always these self-care tips can always be found in my weekly newsletter. Feel free to sign-up at the top right of this page.
What is something you have accidentally or purposefully put on ice that you would love to get back to?