Tag: challenge

Inspiration: Doing Hard Things

#MondayMantra I can do hard things.

Sometimes, usually when I am trying something new or stretching myself in some kind of way- I forget just how many hard things I’ve already done and that I am on the other side of now.

It’s a powerful thing to be able to pause and briefly look back at just how very fucking far you’ve come. Summon up your inner badass, the one inside you who helped you push through and grow past those old obstacles.

Remind yourself: Yes, Love, YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Once you’ve taken that in, breathe deep and step forward into your new next level.

Go take a long look in your mirror and tell this to that person looking back at you: You are Amazing & You Can Do Hard Things. 💖🦋

#theblessingsbutterfly #empowermentcoach #empowerment #youvegotthis #embraceyourpower #youcandohardthings #nextlevel #believe #believeinyourself

Inspiration: Doing Hard Things

Sometimes, usually when I am trying something new or stretching myself in some kind of way- I forget just how many hard things I’ve already done and am on the other side of now.

It’s a powerful thing to be able to pause and briefly look back at just how very fucking far you’ve come. Summon up your inner badass, the one inside you who helped you push through and grow past those old obstacles.

Remind yourself that, Yes, Love, YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Once you’ve taken that in, breathe deep and step forward into your new next level. You Can Do Hard Things. 💖🦋

#theblessingsbutterfly #empowermentcoach #empowerment #youvegotthis #embraceyourpower #youcandohardthings #nextlevel #believe #believeinyourself

#FridayFeels FLOW

FUN FACT: I’ve worked my whole life on addressing my control-freak tendencies, but for as far as I’ve come in releasing my Kung Fu grip there is always another life lesson for me in the art of letting shit go.

Even though I practice regular “clearing” it is amazing to me how much stuff I still manage to cling to… from trinkets and knick-knacks gathering dust to outdated beliefs that seek to hold me down.

Today, I encourage you to take a step forward with me in releasing, in allowing, in letting go. What is one area of your life where you can Relax and Let Life Flow?

My Plea on International Women’s Day

Today, March 8, is a day celebrated for more than a century now as International Women’s Day. In it’s earliest iteration, it was founded as “International Working Women’s Day” and was actually linked back to the American Socialist Party.  To be crystal clear, I am NOT a Socialist.  But I most definitely am a Woman, and I choose to support, elevate, empower and celebrate women around the world today and every day.
In 2017, I’m astonished that so many women in my own country and around the globe still lack equality and in so many parts of the world, basic human rights. Global politics and policies continue to separate and divide us, and it breaks my heart that so many of my sisters would rather tear each other apart over our differences than stand together to uplift and protect the most vulnerable among us. Instead of engaging in intelligent discussions to seek common ground, too many of us draw uncrossable lines in the social media sand fostered by religious and political divisiveness.  Too many of us take the stance that because we are not personally oppressed, it is foolishness that prompts those who protest another person’s felt struggle. Certainly, it is our right as free-born people to peacefully protest, and I completely respect the choice of those who do… and those who don’t.  Hey Girl, you do you.
But as for me:
As an incredibly privileged American born woman, I’m deeply grateful for the women who came before me and for their protests, marches, and tireless campaigns to educate and fight for the rights I enjoy today. I am clear that while much progress has been made, there is still much work to be done here and around the globe. As long as there remains such unbearable things as gender inequality, patriarchy, misogyny, domestic violence, rape culture, sex trafficking, ritual genital mutilation, child marriage, and honor killings, we must continue to bravely stand up and speak out for the most vulnerable among us.
 
I have been to many countries outside of the US. I’ve worked with many women over the years who don’t enjoy the same rights as I do. Not even close! As a result, I’ve raised funds, rallied and educated people here about many of the horrors women and girls still face daily- because once you’ve seen that kind of pain and oppression, you simply can’t unsee it. My compassion and empathy compels me to do whatever I can, whenever I can.
 
And while I cannot speak for the other women who choose to protest today (or any other day), I can tell you that this is exactly the reason I do proudly count myself among them. I will continue to speak out and stand up on behalf of women and girls globally and dedicate myself to advancing the rights of my sisters here, there, and everywhere. For me, it goes much farther and deeper than the political divisions and power grabs that taint the surface of any one event; it is that we must love every other human to the very best of our ability, and that sometimes means drawing attention to injustice suffered and doing whatever possible to address and correct it. On this, I believe, we surely agree.
Want to join my list of like-minded butterfly souls?

blonde, the blessings butterfly, head shot

#FridayFaves : Tapping, Money, and Mindset Awesomeness with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

Nicole Lewis-Keeber

I’m SUPER STOKED to share about someone who has almost always been a part of my life, but through the magic of Facebook we connected as adults and realized that we have an even deeper bond than just our family ties.  My interview today is with my beautiful, brilliant and amazing cousin, Nicole Lewis-Keeber.  YAY! 

She and I grew up on opposite coasts and only saw each other very sporadically as kids, on the few occasions our family was able to travel from Southern California back to my father’s roots in North Carolina.   Here’s a snapshot of Nicole and the wonderful work she does. Enjoy!


Michelle and Nicole at VenturePOP 2016
Michelle and Nicole at VenturePOP 2016

Nicole is a Money Mindset Master with a background in therapy and life coaching. Using a conversational, engaging, humor-infused approach to complex challenges, Nicole’s talks and coaching programs  guide business owners, coaches, and healers to reveal and release their underlying blocks and barriers to financial abundance, so that they can master their mind, heal their heart, empower their future and make some damn money!

Nicole lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband Jason and three fat, happy cats. It is well known that Nicole loves 80’s music, a good martini and heartfelt snark filled conversations with friends.  

 

The Blessings Butterfly interviews Nicole Lewis-Keeber, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)

TBB: For lack of a better term, what is your “role” now that you’ve started Nicole Lewis-Keeber Coaching?  NL-K: Speaker/Money Mindset Expert/Life Coach/Therapist.

 

Tell me when and how you got started in your current business.  NL-K: I rolled out the red carpet to my coaching business in March of 2015.

 

TBB: What inspired you to begin this Business? NL-K: I worked with my own Life Coach and the approaches she used changed everything for me. I wanted to do what she did and change lives in the way she had changed mine.

 

TBB: What were you doing before this NL-K: After 18 years as a therapist I was feeling a bit burned out, well actually crispy! So I decided that I still wanted to help people but in a different way. I wanted to work with people on their goals and dreams and not their problems and diagnosis.

 

TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will? NL-K: My business and coaching practice has made a difference in a way I had not anticipated. As a money mindset coach I have been helping women who have experienced trauma in their past, reveal and release it’s grip so they can earn more money and be more successful in their business.

 

TBB: What do you love the most about what you do? NL-K: Seeing someone make changes in their life to support their ability to earn more money and feel more confident. I LOVE the “I made more money this month then I have before in my business” emails!

 

Namaste In My Lane

 

TBB: If Current You could go back in time and share a message with You From 5 Years Ago (or 10, or High School- your choice) what advice would you give to yourselfNL-K: I would tell her to take going to the gym serious and to put down the chips. 🙂    I would also tell her that her life is about to change in ways she never imagined and to hold on to her horses! To believe in herself and the possibilities.

 

TBB: What is your favorite daily ritual, and why is it important to you?  NL-K: I use EFT or Tapping as a tool in my tool kit and I use it daily to help me clear negative energy and blocks to allow for abundance and higher vibration. EFT is the practice of tapping on meridian points on the body to shift energy. It can be used to manage stress, deal with trauma and to release stuck energy that is connection to negative emotions.

 

TBB: This is very interesting! Can you tell me more about this? For people who are not familiar with EFT or Tapping, do you have any resources I can direct them to?  NL-K:  Sure! Here’s a link to a Tapping Resource that you may find helpful.

 

TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”NL-K: If you are stuck, triggered, in pain, or feeling “less than” it is because a part of you is sending you a message. Stop, breathe, and ask your inner voice or pain, what it needs to you to know. There is a gift and a message in each struggle, fear and doubt we have. I promise.

 

TBB: Thank you so much! If you’d like to get in touch with Nicole, you can reach out to her via Facebook (she does lots of Facebook Live videos too!), Twitter, or through the contact form on her website.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolelewiskeebercoaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LewisKeeber

Website: http://nicole.lewis-keeber.com/

 

***NEW! Nicole has just launched her signature Transformational Wealth Training program and let me tell you it is JAM-PACKED with wisdom and hands-on skills training! From Nicole: “I have successfully worked with my clients to reveal and release the surprising hidden programing that has been keeping them from making more money, and stepping into their brilliance. I am excited to offer you an opportunity to reveal and release your own money blocks, by using the same techniques that have used to help my one-on-one clients. These techniques are powerful and up until now I have only used them with private clients.”  If you would like more info, I invite you to check out Nicole’s program right here.

 

Nicole Lewis-Keeber
Nicole Lewis-Keeber, LCSW         Nicole Lewis-Keeber Coaching

 

#FridayFaves: Healing Your Trauma Through Meditation, Featuring Rachel John of Soul BEing

butterfly on rocks

Sometimes you come across a person who exudes such compassion, kindness, peacefulness and genuine love for others that it makes you pause and wonder: How did they get to this place? 

Such is the case with my friend Rachel.  She and I connected online through an exercise challenge; she lives in Wales, I am in the US.  The energy and support within this online group was AMAZING. Truly supportive and really beautiful!  The challenge ended, but several (hundred) of us, mostly women, wanted to remain connected so Rachel soon formed a spin-off group that kept the conversations and support going.

I quickly learned that this remarkable woman was spiritually gifted, intuitive, and an expert at meditation.  YES!  That vibe is my jam!

I wanted to learn more, and asked her if she’d be willing to share her story. I had no idea that the pain and trauma of her past was so similar to that of myself and of so many other women.  I am incredibly humbled that she chose to share her very personal journey me, and allow me to share it with you.  If together we can help one more woman find her voice, find her courage, and find comfort- it’s a win.

The Blessings Butterfly interviews: Rachel John

TBB: What’s the name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project?

RJ: The business is Soul BEing, an umbrella for all tools you need to become whole and reactivate your true being. Mindful Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Chakra Balancing / Energy Healing, Akashic Records Readings, Spiritual Development

TBB: What is your role there?

RJ: I am all roles, creator, strategist, manager, accountant

Soul BEing

TBB: What were you doing before this?

RJ: I was a General Manager in a large chain international restaurant running a £1,000,000+ store, Coaching, Training, Marketing, Selling, Mentoring, the list goes on. Before that I had always worked in Sales of the Service industry most notably my time with Virgin Atlantic Airlines as crew.

 

TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will?

RJ: I know, that right now, my Coaching and blend of skills is helping women reclaim their power, voice and independence. It is allowing them to make conscious decisions which positively affect their lives without fear. As Brene Browne would say, “They’re daring greatly” , moving forward in life with courage and love and a new found zest that was absent previously.

I also have a collaboration coming up, which begins November 14th, that I’m very excited about. I’m working with a charitable organisation called Recovery Mummy that helps women suffering from post partum depression and psychosis cope with life after having their babies.

I’ll be running an ongoing Mindfulness Course for parents and children which I know will ease the stress and anxiety the families may be experiencing.

 

TBB: What do you love the most about what you do?

RJ: I love seeing a clients face light up and their joyous reaction when they realize a truth about themselves or they create their own solutions. It’s such a pleasure for me to help people re-discover their own inner power and wisdom and when they suddenly wake up and appreciate their own power and recognize that it was always there to begin with, it’s a wonderful thing to behold.

compassion

TBB:  So what inspired you to start this unique practice? How did you get to this place?

RJ: When I was younger, I was raped.  At the time I told one person who happened to bump into me while I was sobbing in the local train station. I didn’t tell my mother as it was her birthday a few days after and I didn’t want to upset her. I kept it in, squashed it and boxed it up, threw away the key. I became an expert avoider. I was crying inside.

 

A few years later I lost my home, my flat mate had a nervous breakdown, the fledgling company I worked for screwed me over financially, I took them to a tribunal court, I won the case, they didn’t turn up and disappeared, I lost my job and my money. I was destitute.

 

I started again. I always tried to remain positive so when I found a job in my hometown of Cardiff, I returned to live with my Mum. I thought this is my time to reset, save some money and get back to where I was and eventually go back to my adopted town, Brighton.

 

However, the Universe had other plans for me.  I had a beautiful daughter and went from full time to part time, I found a great house and while still getting myself together financially so I could only rent I was overjoyed with our little haven.  I planned on going to University to retrain as a Psychologist, then my new company offered me my own restaurant. I was unsure, my gut was saying no, go to uni but I took the position lured by the money carrot and the promise of security and extra responsibility. Two weeks before I was due to start in my own restaurant I snapped my Achilles’ tendon but I carried on regardless, a second blatant refusal to pay attention to my intuition. It was a stressful place and a difficult transition but I Managed to turn the ailing store around.

 

After only a short couple of years my gut was yelling at me to study again, retrain, go find your niche so I took a long overdue sabbatical to plan my route. While I was off work a male manager took over my store, I had no reason to think that was a problem. One day my area manager contacted me and asked, ‘even though I was off work would I like to go to the annual managers party’, which was a festival style few days in the grounds of the owner of the company’s house. Again I ignored my gut to say no, and agreed after I was persuaded ‘what a great time I’d be missing and all your friends will be there, we’ll miss you’.




On the first night of the festival I was sexually assaulted by the manager who was supposedly looking after my store.  Everybody had been given a one man tent, sleeping bag, blanket, water, and a sign to post outside your tent. I was so exhausted that night I said goodbye to my close friends and left the festival field early to go back to my tent and sleep. I hitched a ride on a tractor with two other women and a guy, walked across our field, took my wellies off, crawled into my tent, zipped up and fell asleep fully clothed.

 

I woke up I don’t know how much later to find a hand down the back of my jeans, inside my pants, this man, this ‘colleague’ in my space. I screamed at him to get out, I was in shock, totally freaked out. The next morning I told one person again, not sure what I was staying. She said he was disgusting, and that was that.

 

I later found out from another colleague that he had lied about the store handover I’d given him, he had failed my store audit, and completely denigrated my character behind my back. Nobody wanted to tell me as they were worried about how I’d react and how it would affect the party. So I was violated in every way.

 

Again I kept quiet.  I moved to a different store, returned to part time hours and to Assistant Manager and started studying Hypnotherapy. I loved the course and boxed up all my past hurt.

 

Unfortunately for me, my General Manager went on maternity leave and the coward that assaulted me was put in her place. At first I coped but bit by bit, he undermined my position by slowly delegating my work until I had nothing of relevance left. He used my part time status as an excuse then tried to have me removed by the area manager by telling him I was unhappy.




After standing in the tiny managers’ office watching these two grown men argue about who had initiated the move, I’d had enough.  I moved restaurant once again to only end up working with his partner. By this time it was too late for me to regain composure. I suffered a panic attack and things went from bad to worse. I became depressed, the following grievance procedure I processed against him in work dragged on and on. The next two years were like a blur as I suffered depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and cried incessantly.




It’s from here that I carried on studying Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindset, my Spiritual development and pulled myself back from the dark edges of life.  I re-found my inner strength and wisdom!  This is why I started my business and this is why I wanted to help women that have suffered without support, not realizing that everything they need is already there inside of them.

stuck

TBB: WOW, Rachel!  You have indeed been through the fire. I am so sorry for the years of pain, struggle and silence that you suffered.  It is easy to see how much of a transformation you have made in your life by finding your voice (and what a powerful example for your daughter too!) 

RJ: Studying Hypnotherapy, practicing and gaining my teaching qualification in Mindfulness and Meditation, counseling, coaching, my Spirituality and my resolve have got me where I am today, two years on. Strong and independent. That’s why I want you to be powerful too.

TBB: Can you tell me about any of your current projects?

RJ: I’m currently working on combining all of my ‘woo woo’ skills with my Mindful Coaching to create a phenomenally powerful and more holistic way to coach. I’ve always tended to look at the whole picture and introduced a little alternative into my coaching but now I’m being guided to totally immerse myself in this work and my clients are loving it.

I’m reading the Akashic Records, (which is a way to connect with your whole timeline or soul line as I like to call it), plus reading a clients Chakras and using these channels as tools to blend together for the fullest picture of the issues the client needs to work through.

They’re having real breakthrough transformations, smashing through old, outdated habits and patterns of thinking and living.

I am currently running a discounted offer for my Akashic Readings to just my group, but would like to extend this to your readers.

It’s an initial taster session at $43, the session incorporates Chakra healing/balancing with the Akashics for a 360 reading into the most important areas of your life. Value for October only, follow on packages are available.

TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”?

RJ: If you’re feeling stuck look for support. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for help, for in vulnerability there is strength. When you take action the universe conspires to assist you wherever it can. You are never alone. Someone somewhere will be in exactly the same position as you. Ask yourself how would you help your friend if they were in the same position as you, then go do it for yourself. Failing that call me 😉

TBB: Fantastic! Thank You! How can people get in touch with you to get help with meditation, counseling, energy healing, etc.?

RJ:  You can find me on Facebook at Soul BEing Meditation or in my Facebook group 28 Mindful Days to Happiness  I’m also on Instagram @racheljohn_soulbeing

TBB: Thank you. You are a strong, beautiful human and I’m honored to share this. Blessings upon blessings, dear one. 💜

RJ: 😊😊🙏🏼 thank you xx

Rachel John Soul BEing
Rachel John, Founder of Soul BEing
BIO ~ Rachel is a qualified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher,  an Holistic Transformation Coach and a skilled Akashic Records Guide who uses Chakra Balancing, Energy Healing and Mediumship to help her clients rediscover their authentic selves.

She is passionate about helping people bring  happiness and balance back into their lives, regain their lost independence, rekindle their creative spark and reignite their zest for life.

Rachel believes that with her compelling combination of practical guidance and spiritual support she guides her clients through an holistic journey of self discovery that ultimately balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves culminating in mindful harmony.

By making the decision to choose LOVE over fear and being brave enough to take inspired action her clients are taking their first steps to a more fulfilled life of understanding.

She is a Life Coach, a Soul Intention Seeker, a Spiritual Catalyst and Pioneer for Empowerment.

~ BECOME WHO YOU WERE BORN TO BE
~ MAKE THE JOURNEY JOYFUL

#FridayFeels Accomplished 

On September 1, I started my 30 Day Challenge which included a 10 minute daily walk, daily gratitude journaling, and eliminating certain foods from my daily diet (no sugar, dairy, grains, or alcohol).  Aside from the total of 5 days of planned travel in which I released my food restrictions (4 in NOLA, 1 in Vegas), I was able to stick to my Challenge in all three areas! I’m feeling pretty accomplished and I have to say, pretty darn proud of myself.

On this final day of my Challenge, here are my observations:

This wasn’t about counting calories or weight loss, but about feeling better in my body.  The weight dropped, honestly, was minimal. Maybe 5 lbs? BUT the fact is that I truly do feel better. Not having pain and inflammation in my joints and bloating in my gut is worth saying “no thanks” to the foods that were hurting me.  Being able to love myself enough to listen to my body, take good care of her, and do what feels best for me really sums up my personal mission of helping women to love the body they are living in.  You can find support and guidance in my program, The Cocoon, if (like me) you are living in a bigger body and want to take some easy steps forward in your health & wellness.

Making time to move my body and get a little sweaty each day is a legit battle.  Oh my gosh, the mind games I played with myself to try and talk myself out of it!  Every. Damn. Day. But I would lovingly make myself do it, and each time I felt great. My body felt better physically, I released any pent up emotions, and cleared my mind for exciting new ideas. I know the struggle is real, friends, but the rewards are there for the taking.  It’s just 10 minutes.  If you are able, get out and walk!  If walking is not something your body allows you to do, spend your 10 minute doing something physical such as modified chair exercises.



Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Corn too. WTF? These two foods, I believe, have been my body’s primary enemies and main sources of inflammation. I read ingredients labels now for everything before putting it in my shopping cart at the grocery store.  Corn syrup, sugar, corn oil, sucrose, cane sugar, cane syrup – if any form of these were on the ingredients label, I didn’t eat it.

I know that I will be A LOT more careful and conscious of what I eat.  For sure, I will be reading ingredient labels moving forward. And yes, sometimes I will indulge a little and have some sweet treats when I’m celebrating with friends and loved ones- but it will not be part of my everyday meals.

Whole foods > Junk foods. Well, duh. Of course they are, but I mean they just realllllllly are so much better.  They look better. They taste better. They provide better & longer-lasting energy.  They are not difficult to prepare.  They inspire culinary creativity.  They do not leave me feeling gross, tired, bloated, blah.  They keep my head clear and mind focused.  They are easy to pronounce.  They are a better value for the money.  Even on nights when I was tired after a long day and didn’t have the stamina to create a fabulous dinner, we could still enjoy no sugar added, uncured smoky bacon & eggs. WINNING.  I’ll be sharing a collection of my favorite recipes from this Challenge, so if you’d like to receive them in your inbox just complete the form below!  (Including this SO TASTY Pot-Roasted Chicken)


I really like a good glass of wine.  During my Challenge, sometimes I craved a sweet dessert, but that craving would pass quickly.  Some mornings I craved a latte, but again, it would pass quickly.  If I really hardcore wanted something sweet and indulgent, I had some Medjool dates or a Frozen Smoothie Pop. As I was getting closer to the end of my 30 days, though, I found I was really looking forward to enjoying a glass of fine wine with dinner.  Maybe I will feel differently after that first glass tomorrow, but I don’t think so.  CHEERS!

That Was Delicious, But Now My Gut Hates Me

kale apple crunch salad

Hello Loves! After a wonderful long weekend in New Orleans eating ALL the delicious things (and more than a few adult beverages) my body is BEGGING me for a detox & reset. As you might know, I am about halfway through my 30 Day Challenge and it is going great!  However, I had planned my trip before planning my Challenge, so I knew that I would release myself from the restrictions over my 4 days in NOLA.

 

My mouth LOVED it.  My gut, eh, not so much. And my brain could use a fog lift as well.  And my joints, ouch, my aching joints.

 

I’m starting back on my Challenge today, and cannot wait to get some fresh, whole foods back in my body for clean fuel. Here’s a few of my favorite Rad Recipes that I will be taking full advantage of: Reset Smoothie, Strawberry Detox Smoothie, Kale-Apple Crunch Salad, and Karen’s Salad with Shrimp & Avocado.  I’ll be eating very Paleo dinners too.

I hope that if you are looking for a diet detox that is actually whole, healthy food and not some crappy powder, you will enjoy these.  Add them in to your routine instead of fast food and enjoy some better-for-you meals that taste great!

 

September 30 Day Challenge: Halfway Point Check-in

the blessings butterfly

Here I am, halfway through my September 30 Day Challenge and I have a few observations to share with you. I’ve broken them down into the three categories of my Challenge: Diet, Exercise, and Gratitude.

DIET CHALLENGE: 30 days without consuming any sugar*, grains, dairy, or alcohol. (*No artificial sweeteners too. I do allow honey in my tea and pure maple syrup in my almond butter)

  • Changing the way I eat is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.
    • I knew I was ready for a change, and I started out with the mindset that this is something I wanted to do. I didn’t feel pressured by anyone. I definitely put more thought now into what I eat, and I set myself up for success.  I keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand in my fridge, as well as raw mixed nuts and dried fruits (no-sugar added figs, raisins, and dates) in my car and by my desk so I can snack between well-planned, easy to prepare meals.  Yes, it makes eating out more difficult, and sometimes I want to order a pizza.  But it’s really not a big deal.  I mean, let’s be honest: there’s a huge difference between “inconvenient” and “impossible” yes? BONUS: I don’t find myself pulling into the nearest drive-thru to fill my belly anymore.
  • Paying attention to “emotional eating” vs “OK I’m hungry” is a powerful tool for loving my body.
    • We eat for many different reasons beyond fueling our bodies.  When something is upsetting to me, I don’t have to “shut up” and stuff myself with food to avoid hard feelings.  Learning how to tune in to these cues and listen to my body has made it easier for me to honor her wishes.  I am actively creating a more loving relationship with the body I live in, and it supports a greater sense of trust and peace.
  • Sugar is EVERYWHERE and it’s annoying as hell!
    • Just try to go shopping and find products that don’t contain sugar in the listed ingredients. It is CRAZY how much of the sweet stuff is hidden in packaged food, meats, soups, condiments, drinks.  I’ve heard it before, but when it came time for me to actually read the labels of everything before I put it in my grocery cart, I was shocked!  If something is marked as “SUGAR FREE!” read the ingredients, because there’s a good chance it’s disguised as cane juice, sucralose, or something weird that takes a science degree to pronounce.
  • Feeling better in my body happened a LOT quicker than I imagined it would.
    • Within just a few days of changing my food intake, I started to notice that I felt pretty good. I didn’t feel bloated. My breasts weren’t tender. My feet had stopped hurting. My knees had stopped hurting. My energy was consistent throughout the day.  Now, 2 weeks in, even my lower back – which has been a source of constant pain for nearly 3 decades- is relaxed and virtually pain free!  I can hardly believe it but it’s true!  One or more of the foods I’ve been avoiding was responsible for creating inflammation in my body. 
  • I definitely feel lighter, though I don’t know that I’ve actually lost any weight.
    • I didn’t go into this Challenge with the goal of losing weight. I don’t believe that losing weight is necessary to make a person happy, to make a person more valuable, or to make a person beautiful. I started this Challenge at 189 lbs, and whether or not I lose any weight at the end of it, I already feel lighter and more comfortable in my body.  That is a win!
  • There is NO PAIN in my joints anymore.
    • No. More. Pain. I suspect this relates to the inflammation leaving my body, and it’s fascinating. If you are a person suffering from chronic joint pain, talk to your nutritionist about developing a diet that reduces inflammation.  I hope this helps you as it has helped me!

This weekend, I am going to “cheat” on the diet part of the Challenge. Actually it is an experiment conveniently timed to coincide with my trip to New Orleans to see which of the foods I’ve taken a break from these past two weeks are responsible for causing me so much discomfort.  I have my suspicions, but it will be very interesting to see what the science proves.

EXERCISE CHALLENGE: 10 minutes of walking daily.  (This can be in addition to any current workout program, or if it’s the only thing you do, do this.)

  • Even though it’s JUST 10 MINUTES, I really had to make time for it.
    • I have learned that if I want something to happen, I have to schedule the time for it. It is literally only 10 minutes, but if I don’t plan for it in my day, it won’t happen. Something else will ALWAYS eat that time. Always.
  • I am much more sedentary than I realized.
    • On the days I work from home, I spend hours in front of my computer.  On the days I have to drive to the office, I spend hours in traffic AND in front of the computer.  I sit to eat my meals. In the evenings after dinner, my sweetheart and I sit together on the couch and watch our favorite shows before going to bed.  I realized that my body is really missing regular physical activity, and even a simple daily walk makes a difference.
  • I really like talking a nice walk around my neighborhood.
    •  Getting out to stretch my legs, breathe fresh air, and feel the sunshine on my face (or enjoy a cool & cloudy mist) is such a pleasant experience. I notice when someone is taking the time to spruce up their yard or do some house repairs.  Sometimes I see other people and we share a smile or a greeting, other times I see nobody.  It feels good and safe and peaceful, and reminds me to be thankful for where I am.
  • My body feels super energized after each walk.
    • My legs tingle in a good way.  I am aware of my breathing. I can feel my heart pumping. I have a light glisten of sweat covering my skin. I feel completely alive, warmed up, and ready for whatever comes next.
  • Taking a walk is great for releasing creative blocks.
    • I have some of the coolest, most fun ideas that pop into my head when I’m out for my walk. I am really enjoying entertaining them and seeing where they lead.  I hope to have some exciting new creative projects to share, as well as some that are just for my own contentment.
  • I feel crappy when I miss a day.
    •  On the days that I don’t schedule a walk in, I feel a noticeable difference in my body.  I feel less clear and focused mentally. I feel stressed, rushed, annoyed and maybe a little anxious. My muscles feel tight, lazy, uncomfortable.  Probably the worst feeling is feeling disappointed with myself for not making the time (JUST 10 MINUTES).  But, instead of scolding myself, I slip on my sneakers and head out the door for a quick walk. Magic!

 

GRATITUDE CHALLENGE:  Record a daily gratitude note specific to each day.  (I use a gorgeous journal to write in. You can take a daily photograph, record a short video, use Facebook live… Be creative!)

  • I am incredibly blessed and have SO MUCH to be grateful for.
    • When I take the time to acknowledge my many, many blessings, it is actually quite a moving and overwhelmingly powerful experience. I can never seem to get through a full list without melting into tears of gratitude!  Much like when I sit in prayer, I simply let it flow and let it be a spiritual experience.
  • It doesn’t have to be fancy or overly detailed.
    • I’m not writing in my gratitude journal with the intention of anyone else reading it. It’s just for me. The writing doesn’t have to be eloquent, the penmanship doesn’t have to be beautiful. I just want to pause and say Thank You for something specific.
  • I love recalling the highlights of each day.
    • By making it a practice of writing down one or two things each day that I am grateful for that day, it is easy to see so much more to be positive about. Thank You. Happy. More Please!
  • Some days are super-basic, and that’s beautiful.
    • Just as some days are filled with adventure and excitement, others are quiet and peaceful and comfortably ordinary. I love those days as much as the wildly exciting ones, because there is blessing in stability.

 

So that’s my progress report for the halfway point of my Challenge. I am gathering some fabulous recipes and will be posting them at the end. I’m looking forward to what happens next, and sharing it all with you, dear lovely reader! 

 

Join me today for my 30 Day Challenge, or tweak it and make it your own.

 

If you just want to do the Diet Challenge, or the Exercise Challenge, or the Gratitude Challenge- go for it! Empower yourself. You can do this!  I totally believe in ME… and I totally believe in YOU! 

 

Enter your info below and let me know if you’re in, and which part(s) of the 30 Day Challenge you’re doing.  I’ll send you weekly encouragement, tips, and virtual high-fives.

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Adulting: Tips for Easing Back in After a Holiday

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Adulting can be so hard sometimes, AMIRITE?  Don’t worry Lovelies, you can do this! Whether you are trying to get yourself out of bed and back to work after a long holiday weekend or perhaps an even longer vacation break, there are a few simple things that you can do right now to make your reintegration to Responsible Adult Life a breeze.

Here are my Top 5 Tips for Easing Back in After a Holiday:

  1. Re-Hydrate!  Top of the list for getting your body back on point. Spending fun times with friends and family almost always revolves around food & drinks. You probably ate a lot more than you normally do and probably ate and/or drank things that you don’t normally indulge in. Good!  Life’s short, it’s OK to splurge and have fun!  Now it’s time to give your body some extra-love by flushing out all of the extra junk from your system.  Drink LOTS of fresh clean water and give yourself a time-out from soda & alcohol for at least a week.
  2. Rest!  Whatever your age, your body needs sleep to recharge and regenerate fresh new cells.  It needs even more after you’ve been partying it up, and more still if you’ve been hopping in and out of different time zones. For your first 2-3 days back after a holiday, give your body the opportunity to readjust by going to bed early, taking 10-15 minute naps during the day, and saying a polite but firm “No thank you” to social engagements.
  3. Move Your Body (Gently)!  Your body will greatly benefit from getting back into a regular exercise routine sooner rather than later.  It’s important here to ease into it instead of going hard your first 2-3 days back to avoid injury and setting yourself back for weeks or more.  Keep your exercises incredibly simple and short for your first 3 days back with 30 minutes or less of walking, yoga, and weightlifting each day. 
  4. Eat Clean!  Don’t make the mistake of trying to starve yourself or otherwise deprive yourself of good food just because you may have gained a few pounds during your holiday.  That kind of punishment is not even remotely healthy for your body, mind, or spirit.  Honey, you earned those pounds (or more likely, ounces) and the good memories with loved ones are totally worth it!  Treat yourself to fresh fruits, veggies, and clean protein, but take a break from fast foods and sugar-packed desserts & baked goods for at least a week.
  5. Share Your Stories!  You had a great time, right? Share your fun stories, recommendations and favorite moments with your family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, or boss if appropriate and let them experience life through your eyes. Savor the great memories you created, and record them in a journal, photo album, or video montage to look back on. 

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If you would like a free 10 minute gentle workout video from my private membership class The Cocoon, leave me your email here: