How has your Summer been this year? I hope it has been full of Joy, Peace, and so many happy new memories.I also hope you are finding ways to recharge your energy.Keep reading for my top 10 mantras for beating burnout!
For me, this summer has been full of fun activities and connecting with friends every week. I’ve also been vending at local Psychic Fairs, doing in-person oracle and tarot readings in addition to working with my online clients, enjoying lunch dates with old friends, beach days, county fair, and hosting house guests. I love it!
Listen, I love this Southern California sunshine and long days to hang out on my back patio, take a nature stroll, or work in my garden. Those are some of my key practices for grounding, centering, and clearing my energy.These are non-negotiable for me in order to not veer off into over-commitment and burnout.
Still, even with my non-negotiable self care practices fully in place… I’m tired, y’all.
Like DAMN, let me just take a nap already. Anyone else?
If you can use some leisure time to just BE and not constantly DO, then these next few mantras are perfect. These are the ones I use whenever I’m physically, mentally, or emotionally wiped out.Start with these mantras to get your mindset ready to come back from burnout.Which ones are your favorites? (Mine is the last one, lol)
10 Powerful Mantras for Beating Burnout:
I am allowed to rest for as long as I want and need to
It’s okay for me to pause
It’s okay for me to let someone else handle it today
My body wants to rest, and I am happy to give it rest
I am taking some time just for myself
I will be okay even if I miss out on this experience
There is still plenty for me to enjoy when I am ready
I am happier and feel better when I get enough rest
My friends/family/loved ones understand and support my healing
Whether you can get away for a dreamy 3-week vacation, or if you are able to enjoy a few days (or hours?!) here and there… you deserve a moment to yourself to rest & recharge.
Have you ever wondered why you feel a deeper connection to some seasons, but not others? It may be that the master element for your favorite season is also a master element in your astrological birth chart. To find out what your birth chart contains, get a free report here: Free Astrology Birth Chart Report
Today I want to share the message of Summer & Fire.
The season of Summer & the element of Fire are closely intertwined, energetically balanced and full of activity. This is well-known among Energy Work Practitioners, especially those with training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eastern Yoga, and of course witches, shamans, & pagans.
So… how can understanding and embracing Summer and Fire benefit you? Simply put, it can help you improve your health and access your Joy. Yes, even if the master element of Fire doesn’t rule your Sun sign.
Here are the key characteristics associated with the Fire Element:
Destruction & Transformation
Light & Warmth
Movement & Growth
Knowledge & Wisdom
The season of Summer belongs to and is ruled by the element of Fire. Taking this a step further, it is said that the element of Fire is ruled by the heart! So… what fires you up? What makes you want to get out of the darkness of isolation, and connect with other like-minded souls? Right now, this Summer- this is the time for you to come out and Shine.
Whenever you follow those little lights of Passion, they will inevitably lead you to your Joy. If you’ve been waiting for a sign, Honey this is it. It’s time for you to LIVE!
One of my favorite teachings that the New Moon has to offer is this: You can always start over. I have found this idea that you can always start over to be a powerful mantra that has helped me to evolve and grow.
At the beginning of each lunar cycle, without fail, is the New Moon phase. It typically only lasts for 2-3 days and signals the start of the moon’s orbit around the Earth. In this phase, the moon is barely visible as she becomes perfectly aligned between Earth and the Sun. Over the next 27ish days, our lovely little moon will complete her dance around our planet, showing us a little bit more of her soft, celestial glow with each passing day.
During each New Moon phase, the energy is ideal for creating positive change. This might look like: setting fresh new intentions, crafting spells and sigils, refreshing and blessing sacred spaces & magickal tools, planting something, or making a move. To help move forward and embrace the cycles of change, I have developed the practice of creating powerful mantras or positive affirmations with each New Moon. Here are a few powerful mantras that help me get in the most positive frame of mind:
10 Powerful Mantras for the New Moon
I am aligned with the Divine Spirit and supported by the Universe
My life is unfolding in beautiful ways
I invite and welcome Joy, Love, and Prosperity into my life
My gifts, talents, dreams, and abilities are needed and useful
I am beginning something new and exciting
I believe in myself and am willing to trust my intuition
This New Moon reminds me that I am not afraid to face my Shadow
I am open to receiving all that brings about my highest good
I invite and welcome Peace, Gratitude, and Compassion
I’ve selected my Top 5 favorite crystals that I use personally for my own energy healing and also in my client work. There are so many gorgeous stones to choose from, and I have immense fondness for pretty much all of them. Narrowing it down to only five was a HUGE challenge!
#5- Black Tourmaline is easily in my Top 5 for its wonderfully grounding, protective properties and ability to absorb & transmute negativity (as is true with most black stones). I have a palm stone that has helped me through hundreds of difficult phone calls.
#4- Labradorite is another gorgeous dark stone that is fantastic to hold. When it catches the light, it flashes the most beautiful rainbows! It is incredible for connecting with the spiritual realm and is considered “the stone of transformation and transition.” Big Fan.
#3- Amethyst is just GORGEOUS with all those luscious shades of purple ranging from deep grape kool-aid to soft lavender hues. It is wonderful for supporting all types of healing, and its vibration aligns beautifully to clear the crown chakra (Sahasrara).
#2- Rose Quartz comes in hot at number two on my short list. This stone comes in various shades of pink and is magnificent for supporting Self Love and compassion. I often use this for aura brushing and in self-care work.
#1- Clear Quartz is my BFF of crystals. It is an amplifier that always plays nice with other crystals, and it is so versatile in magickal workings. It promotes feelings of positivity and clarity, and excellent in assisting focus during meditation.
Picture this: It’s a beautiful day in early September 2021 and I am sitting in a salon in Leipzig, Germany. I have just had my hair coloured pink. Dyeing my hair has been a ritual I have been following for the last 6 years. It is my way of showing my true authentic self. Let me explain….
It all began with me watching cartoons at a very young age. I became obsessed with this particular character who magically transformed from a girl to a showgirl. In the process, her hair changed from copper to turquoise or lilac or anything colourful! Little me was in awe! What I didn’t know at the time was how much this transformation would affect my subconscious and that later in life, it would become my business brand!
Just two days after getting married in 2016, I decided to colour my hair in a fun colour…finally! There I was at the salon excitedly asking for my favourite colour. I didn’t know how this was going to look or feel, but I confidently took a leap of faith and went for it. (This wasn’t the first time I took a leap of faith and I have to share that it gets easier every time!)
My hair was turquoise! Oh my gosh. I loved it and I looked like the cartoon character I adored in the 90s. I was filled with this new youthful energy – I felt alive again. To be exact – my inner child became alive again! I hadn’t felt that feeling in a long time. I hadn’t allowed ‘her’ too. I had no idea that colouring my hair would have such a huge impact on me and feel so liberating.
Our honeymoon was in Hong Kong and Bali where I was a hit with locals as I looked like a character from Anime. People stopped me to take photos with me and I loved it. I enjoyed the attention and the smiles I brought to people’s faces. Who knew that hair colour could bring such joy to others too?
Nonetheless, back home after a dream wedding and vacation, the reality of life fell on me like a ton of bricks. I had a teaching meeting lined up soon after the trip and I couldn’t wait to show my colleagues and my boss my new cool hair and wedding ring. See, at the time, I taught drama to kids aged 4 to 15, so having coloured hair was going to work out – or so I thought.
The meeting started with some glances and sighs, but I expected that. I was living in Ireland and Irish culture was quite new to me at the time even though it’s quite similar to the one I was brought up in, back home, in Malta. During the break, the boss asked to speak to me outside in private. I was excited to share my honeymoon experiences with her – she was the only ‘friend’ I had in Ireland at the time. But to my surprise, the conversation revolved around my hair. And not in a positive way! My boss felt that my hair would be a distraction for the students and that it would look unprofessional for her company.
At first I thought she was joking. I nearly sniggered at her comments. But her tone set me straight and I dipped my head in embarrassment. She didn’t like it and wanted it gone, covered, changed, hidden. As long as no one saw it, I could keep it. Otherwise I had to dye it a ‘normal’ colour or, “there would be consequences.”
The free spirited me felt like it had just been locked away into a dungeon and the key thrown away. A heaviness lurked over me. It felt like an imprisonment of sorts. What was I to do?
Financially we weren’t in a situation where I could just stop working. However changing my hair felt like ripping away the last months’ happiness off my chest. My inner child had come out to play and she wasn’t ready to go anywhere, I was torn with this dilemma. It was a very hard decision for me. Brain over heart. Work over fun. Safety over authenticity.
That’s it. Authenticity.
Was I being asked to change who I was to suit a company’s rules? Was I being asked to not show up as my true self, while ironically at the same time I was teaching kids to be who they aspired to be?
I sat with myself for a day. I had little time to make my mind up. In that day I went through all the things I enjoyed doing. All the things that still bring me joy. All the things that make me smile. Give me satisfaction. Light me up inside. That new hair colour had definitely brought this out again but I did love teaching. However in that moment, right there, I felt that that decision was bigger than me. I felt that if I made the wrong decision, I would regret it for the rest of my life. And I am a No Regrets kinda girl.
The Defining Moment
The word AUTHENTIC kept resurfacing. I had been working with kids for over 15 years by then, and I knew that whilst I was with them, I couldn’t deny being myself. Thoughts kept going through my head, “I can’t wear a hat or hide my hair. I can’t show a version of me to them that is not my true authentic self. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to do that!”
I met my boss at a random café I had never been to before. My heart was racing. I had only made one big decision before this so I was quite new to life changing decision making. I was early. I sat with my bottle of still water as I stared outside the window overlooking Cork city centre. There she was. My boss, with her huge smile, making it harder for me to make my call.
Her sprightly manner seemed very jarring to how I felt. She gave the impression that she was sure I was going to stay. It was as if she was certain she had convinced me that I still needed her. Little did she know that she was the one who needed me, but at that point, it was too late. The conversation was very dry. I didn’t want my emotions to take over. I stated the facts and my reasoning and asked her to respect them and not dispute them. She was shocked. She didn’t expect this level of confidence in my turquoise coloured hair self. She nodded her head to show understanding of my point and left.
I did it. I had just said No to being inauthentic. I just said Yes to Me.
My inner child will stay out to play and since then, she has not left.
We all have defining moments in our life, where we get to choose and stay true to our authentic self. Very few are brave enough to take this step. But you don’t need to do it alone. I coach women+ to show their authentic selves. This is the best version of you, it will be you at your happiest and the most aligned version of you. It’s time to step out and shine.
All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.
Angèle Cristina is an Intuitive Empowerment Coach from Malta who helps women+ worldwide find their truth, happiness and magic. Through her coaching work, she helps them find their power, confidence, voice and ultimately their true authentic selves.
Can we please stop using retrogrades as a scapegoat for our discomfort and lack of preparation?
As astrology has become more mainstream over the last few years, there has been growing panic surrounding retrogrades because it seems like it’s a fun thing for media companies to sensationalize for clicks and ad revenue (from my perspective, anyway). Looking at some of the language being used in the last few weeks we see “a reign of retrograde confusion” that’s “coming for your relationships” and so many “survival guides” to get one through.
While astrological retrogrades have had a bad rap for centuries, and they can indeed shake things up, ultimately, we are the ones who are in the driver’s seat for this ride, and it doesn’t need to be a wild one.
What is a retrograde?
A retrograde is when the apparent motion of a planet from the perspective of someone on Earth appears to slow down and even move backwards for a period of time before appearing to move forward again. Here are two of my favorite gifs that show what it would look like if we looked at the same spot in the sky over the course of a few weeks.
As you can see, the apparent motion of Venus and Mars seems to slow down and move backwards.
Astrologically speaking, during this time when the planet appears to be slowing down or moving backwards, the energy of the planet also is said to slow down or be stalled.
This movement was not lost on ancient astronomers and astrologers. Vettius Valens was a Hellenistic astrologer born in 120 AD who wrote “The Anthology” — the longest and most detailed treatise on astrology which has survived from that period (thank you, Wikipedia!).
It is clear from some of his writing that even 2,000 years ago retrogrades were deemed unpleasant:
Even if retrograde energy is here to fuck shit up, we don’t have to let them overtake us. We can accurately predict retrogrades, so much like a hurricane, we can prepare for what is coming. The challenge is that this requires a bit of self-awareness and forethought which is seemingly more of a luxury in this post-capitalist hellscape we call life. The demands of merely surviving in this world don’t often leave everyone with enough time to reflect on the ways we move through and react to it.
Also, retrogrades can affect us in many ways. Most articles about retrogrades are only written based on how they might affect a Sun sign, which is about as much as general audiences know about their birth chart. But the placement of Mercury in one’s chart, as well as house placements come into play, as well. This article was written a couple years ago and does a great job describing the 3 ways to observe a retrograde based on the planets in your own chart. If you don’t have your birth chart, Café Astrology has a great one for free.
If this starts to feel overwhelming, just keep in mind that these are just offerings of different perceptions to observe during a retrograde! Remember: a retrograde is only the perception from our viewpoint, it is not the only source of truth. If we were to view a Venus retrograde looking down on the solar system like in the gif above, we would see Venus continue in her orbit as usual; it would not look like she’s slowing down or moving backwards. So, what we can do for ourselves during these times is seek out new perspectives and ways of thinking about whatever energy the retrograde is supposed to represent. For example, if this Mercury retrograde in Libra was “coming for our relationships,” what perspectives would be best to learn and understand?
Start each retrograde by being curious about at least one aspect and see what you notice!
You could have told me this a few weeks ago…
Both Jupiter and Mercury will go direct in the next few days, Saturn is already direct, so why mention saying any of this now? If I want to prepare, why not say something BEFORE it happens?
I’m glad you asked! This is the perfect time to reflect on what exactly did come up for you. Make some time to journal about the following events and their aspects from this year. You don’t need to through every single one of these, of course. They are just some of the available perspectives to choose from!
This Mercury retrograde in Libra, Sept. 27-Oct. 18, 2021
Think about anything regarding communication, such as how you communicate with others, methods of communication, and so on. Pay extra attention to anything related to your relationships. What went right? What went wrong?
Think about travel and transportation and anything else related.
Think about thinking, mental clarity, and types of thoughts you have been having, again paying extra attention to anything related to relationships.
Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared in your brain, nervous and respiratory systems, and thyroid.
If you have any planets in Libra, look up their aspects and home in on those.
If you have any planets in your seventh house, look up those aspects and home in on those.
Look at the sign Mercury is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too.
Jupiter Retrograde in Pisces, June 20-Oct. 18, 2021
Think about anything regarding growth, healing, prosperity, and fortune that happened in these last few months, especially regarding your emotions, dreams, and creativity.
Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared related to your liver, kidneys, ears, and tongue.
If you have any planets in Pisces, look up their aspects and home in on those.
If you have any planets in your twelfth house, look up those aspects.
Look at the sign Jupiter is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too.
Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius, May 23-Oct. 10, 2021
Think about anything regarding your career, authority figures, stability, and achievements, especially regarding individuality, intellect, compassion, and justice.
Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared related to your skin, hair, teeth, and bones.
If you have any planets in Aquarius, look up their aspects and home in on those.
If you have any planets in your eleventh house, look up those aspects.
Look at the sign Saturn is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too.
The more you pay attention to the different aspects that exist, the more patterns will start to emerge, especially as you do it over time. Then you’ll be able to know exactly which areas of your life you need to pay closer attention to during retrogrades and other astrological events.
Have you ever noticed that some people don’t seem phased by astrological events when others do? These people might be prepared and ready to roll with them, but they might also have aspects in their chart that don’t get shaken up as much at the time. Observing these events and paying attention to the different aspects of your chart can help you learn what you can roll with and what you need to be more prepared for!
The upcoming Venus retrograde
The next planet to go retrograde will be Venus Dec. 19, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022, in Capricorn and will be the perfect time to practice seeking these new perspectives. Here are some things to observe during this time:
Anything regarding beauty, love, unification, and harmony, especially regarding the areas of work, stability, and responsibility. What might benefit from some extra care and attention?
Anything regarding your reproductive system, lower back, throat, or circulatory system. Take extra care of yourself during this time if you have any conditions related to these areas.
If you have any planets in Capricorn, look up their aspects and see what might benefit from some extra care and attention.
If you have any planets in your tenth house, look up those aspects.
Look at the sign Venus is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too.
Being aware of the energies and possibilities at play will help give ourselves more a sense of control as we navigate our days and help us learn even more about the way we work and what makes us tick. Knowing how different energies affect us will also allow us to prepare for ones that are heavier or take advantage of the ones that can propel us further than we’d be able to go on our own.
If you enjoy exercises like this, check out my workbook for 2022! It will include prompts for each Full and New Moon to help you explore your psyche and get to know yourself better. You can find more at BookOfMyShadows.com
Hi there, loves! I’m Kristin and in 2020 I created a business in Kansas City, Missouri called Unravel Your Life. I create & take opportunities that allow me to help people de-clutter their homes & minds, making more space for them to stretch out their arms & be themselves. I do Akashic Record & Tarot readings, and I’m learning Reiki & energy healing. It’s glorious & I’m grateful because my life is rad. I let the Universe guide me on what to do next. I listen, I move forward, one step at a time, with Spirit by my side, receiving messages for myself and for my clients. I feel connected & fulfilled for the first time in my life.
Sounds beautiful & fun & easy breezy, doesn’t it!? Like I just woke up one day and became a magical mystical spiritual goddess. Like I just stepped into energy work & oops, discovered I could hear messages from Spirit for myself and others. Teehee, the fairies made me do it!
NOPE. HARD NOPE. NOOOOOOPE.
It’s been hard af.
I didn’t step into this life, into energy work, gracefully & with poise. It wasn’t an angelic ascension or a miracle enlightenment. It wasn’t perfection incarnate. It wasn’t love & light & laughter. It was so. very. human. And spoiler alert…being a human is gross. And heartbreaking. And messy. And smelly. And imperfect. And hairy. And overwhelming. And it hurts. A lot.
But for me, it was the only way through.
Shiny On The Outside
Because for decades, I had tried everything else. I was a rule follower & I listened to what society told me to do: “Stop crying. Study up. Climb the ladder. Buckle down. Hustle. Work hard. Keep moving. Buy more! Eat this. Lose weight. Improve yourself. Move on. Try harder.” Guess what? It didn’t work. I had a great career. I had a great life. I had everything they said would give me happiness. But I felt unfulfilled, burned out. And the world around me was still a mess.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you saw me, you’d never know that I wasn’t happy. On the outside, I usually looked shiny & excited, and I always looked put together & accomplished & productive. That’s the persona I built my entire life. I was independent & studious & a go-getter. But inside, I was scared a lot. I needed to control all the things to keep the anxiety at bay. I was always moving, always planning, always thinking ahead. Running so fast that time (life) would just fly by me. I kept my mind either racing with distractions or numbed out with alcohol. Never just still. Never just present. Never just fully here. I pushed down anything that was scary or sad or dark or unpleasant or uncomfortable to feel, and leaned hard into safety, security, comfort, control.
In some ways it felt like living a double life. Super fine & dandy on the outside. “All good here! Livin’ the dream! Keepin’ busy!” And then under the surface I often felt…broken. A mess. Like I needed fixing because I did all the things & still wasn’t happy. Still wasn’t satisfied with myself and my life. Still didn’t know what I wanted. Still didn’t feel like I had a purpose. I felt far away from myself & had no idea who I was or wanted to be.
And all that stuff I suppressed, pushed down, ignored, denied? It had nowhere to go. It stayed inside of me because I wouldn’t let it out. It bubbled & boiled & lingered. And so every so often, always in the dark, always in private, I would break down & shatter into a thousand pieces. All the darkness I ignored would spill out & through me, I couldn’t control it any longer. Panic, paralyzation, disorientation. In those moments when I let it all loose, I felt completely batshit crazy. Like I was nuts for feeling so ‘fine’ most of the time (life is good! I have all the things!) and then for being completely blindsided again and again by this deep, dark horrible realization that living as I was, with high functioning anxiety & indecision & fear & control, wasn’t really how I wanted to live.
It was like waking up for a brief moment after being asleep for a really long time. It was like glimpsing reality for a brief moment after living in denial for decades. It was like realizing that I had been floating along, letting the current of busy life just sweep me away, getting farther and farther and farther away from myself. It felt fucking awful. It felt like I was so broken inside, so unfixable, that maybe I should just stop tryin’.
This happened over and over throughout my life, when I least expected it, when I thought everything was good & under control. Until I reached a point in 2016, hyperventilating (again) on the floor of my closet, after 6 MONTHS of debilitating indecision & anxiety over an impending break up, where I just couldn’t do it anymore. This cycle of living in the land of make believe and crashing into reality, over and over. 30 years of curation. 30 years of seeking perfection. 30 years of trying to control everything. I was tired. I was done. I wouldn’t put myself through that again.
Healing From The Inside
So in that moment, I made a vow to stop pretending. To start dealing with my shit instead of burying it inside of me. It was the only thing left I hadn’t tried. The only thing I had always been too scared to do. Facing myself. Turning inwards, instead of out there, to “find myself.” At the age of 31, I stopped pretending that I was “fine” & started wading through the muck of my life. Childhood experiences that made me build super strong armor around my heart & hide who I really was. Beliefs I had about life that were hurting me, not helping me. All the rules & the ‘shoulds’ I had accumulated over decades. For me personally, a big one was feeling all the things I never let myself feel when I was 13 and my mom died. At her funeral, I smiled & played with my cousins & was “totally fine, thanks bye!.” I never grieved. I never processed.
I unearthed everything within me that I had been pretending wasn’t there. I stepped into myself. And it was horrifying stuff. It’s dark in there, in the corners of yourself you’ve never dared to look. I got a therapist. I started digging & exploring within myself. Anything that came up, instead of suppressing it & running in the other direction, I faced it. Wrote about it. Talked about it. Shared about it. Read about it. Cried about it. Laughed about it. Raged about it. I let anything that needed to surface, surface. And I faced it. And it sucked.
But I also realized that it’s everything I came here to do. I’m here to LIVE, not float through life. I’m here to THRIVE, not settle for some mediocre existence. I’m here to be a messy human, not a perfect robot. I’m here to learn & grow & expand. And now I have enough room inside me to do that. Those things that I suppressed actually took up real estate inside of me. They blocked my life force from flowing. They kept ‘me’ hidden & small, when all I’ve ever really wanted is to be seen & valued & loved. They kept my mind spinning. For decades I hemorrhaged my personal power & energy trying to keep them quiet & hidden & secret.
“Finding myself” was not a process of adding new experiences, new skills, new jobs, new knowledge on top of myself. The accumulation actually made it even harder for me to see myself within all that junk. “Finding myself” was a process of removal. Digging deep. Exploring. Rooting around & removing all the junk that others had given to me. Expectations, shoulds, beliefs, stories, lies, inherited traumas from my family & ancestors….stuff that wasn’t really mine. And when I unraveled that mess inside myself, when I made space, all that was left was…me.
And what’s extra wild is that when the noise & clutter were gone, and I could hear myself clearly for the first damn time, I didn’t feel alone & small in a deep dark cave of nothingness. I felt…connected for the first time in my life to something bigger than me.
Where I used to spend so much of my energy curating and improving and perfecting myself, and caring what other people thought of me, and maintaining my image, now my power is free for me to use. The energy has always been there. The connection has always been there. The power has always been there. But I was always too busy racing through life to notice.
Maybe like me, you were told to leave your troubles behind & climb to the highest heights to find happiness. Those stairs lead nowhere. Trust me, I climbed pretty damn high. You are strong enough to feel all the things & to face all of you. Stop climbing. Turn around. And start stepping down into yourself. It will be gross, and heartbreaking, and messy, and smelly, and imperfect, and hairy, and overwhelming, and hard af, and it will hurt. A lot. But for me, it was the only way through.
Kristin Nelson (she/hers) lives in Kansas City, Missouri but keeps little pieces of her heart all over the world in the places she’s lived & loved. In 2019, burnt out by a 12-year fundraising career, she quit to fulfill a dream of leading biking tours in Europe with Backroads. That terrifying leap of faith changed everything, and in 2020 she started working for herself & created Unravel Your Life, LLC. A highly sensitive person (HSP) herself, Kristin understands overwhelm all too well & helps people move through clutter & the daunting home organization projects they dread. She also receives messages for clients from Spirit via the Akashic Records & Tarot, which makes her magic-seeking inner child insanely happy. In her Aquarian, Projector heart of hearts, Kristin really wants to use her privilege & power as a white, cisgendered woman to dismantle the racist & sexist systems running our world & to create a new paradigm of leadership that makes everyone feel like they are truly seen, “gotten”, and treasured.
Whew! Well Loves, this has been an interesting month, hey?
We’re entering the New Moon phase, which is all about rest, introspection, and new beginnings. It has me wondering:
•What does Rest look like for you right now?
•What have you been learning about yourself in the past month?
•What new beginnings are you preparing for?
I’ll start: REST for me has been very much about allowing my body to recover from the first round of chemo. It’s looked like saying “No” or “Not Now” to everything that I can, instead of my usual recovering Type A habit of pushing myself through to the point of collapse. (Hello, that’s not healthy in any circumstance!)
INTROSPECTION has been teaching me some pretty cool things about myself. Qualities like resilience, courage, strength, joyfullness, creativity, and wisdom that I have tended to overlook or diminish for fear of “what people might think” because let’s be honest- being judged sucks, and… it’s going to happen anyway so you might as well be true to yourself.
NEW BEGINNINGS well hot damn, as corny and cheesy as it may sound every day really is a gift. I am grateful for each new day that I wake up alive in this body, and- I still sometimes have to remind myself this throughout the day. Today, for example, if things had gone to plan I would be in Australia for the start of an epic, around-the-world honeymoon with my gorgeous husband. Instead, I am writing from our dining room table for a change of scenery. It’s not quite the same! 😂 And, it’s still pretty fucking great.
Okay, your turn! Tell me what’s what in your world today. I miss you.
Oh, Honey- I have some things to say about this little
#frenemy right here. It’s been a hot minute since I have shared much publicly
about my physical body, and here’s why:
Talking about dieting is capital B BORING
Diet Culture is toxicAF
The number on the scale does not determine (nor can it ever measure) my worth
I know this
to be True. You probably do as well! (And yet…)
It’s why, for the past 4-5 years, I have made it my personal mission to learn how to Love the body I live in, every damn day. Regardless of my clothing size, weigh-in numbers, age, shape, wrinkles, lumps, flab, rolls, freckles, muscles, strength, etc ad nauseum. I’ve been helped tremendously on my body-positive journey by trailblazers like Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn), Amber Karnes (@amberkarnesofficial), Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga) and most recently Tiana Dodson (@onebeautifulyes) who are all amazing and beautiful.
So, I pose
these questions: What if Loving your Whole Self meant loving your entire
body? What would it take for you to Love all your parts and welcome them into
I’m practicing Radical Self Love & normalizing fat bodies, even as I continue to shed some weight & heal what’s hurting inside. I even have been taking a series of rather societally unflattering selfies as part of my whole-self Love medicine and posting them on my Instagram stories. (It feels insanely liberating, btw) I knew that I couldn’t begin to address my health issues without first being willing to really, REALLY Love all of me. Including the parts that weren’t as pretty, the parts that hurt, and the parts that were breaking down.
As of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks since I began a total shift in my relationships with food & exercise. With the help of an interactive app/virtual program I am not just learning about healthier ways to eat and move and less psychologically & emotionally damaging ways to think about those things, but I’m integrating these new habits every damn day that are supporting my whole self. I won’t lie, it’s been some hard word (first week was the worst) but through the effort I am putting in and the support received, I’ve seen and felt some pretty spectacular results, including my first 10+ lbs. shed; increased endurance; a dramatic reduction in pain in my back, knees, and feet; increased strength; no more chest pain or wheezing; no more bloating or food hangovers; fewer mood swings & more sustained energy; improved sleep and almost no more snoring. All of this Love being poured into my body is coming back to me in these very tangible ways, and I am truly grateful. I am excited to see how much more my body and I can do.
More of this story to come, stay tuned!
Getting My Sexy Back
UPDATE: Since writing this entry in August 2019, I have developed a much healthier & more positive relationship with food, eating, exercise, and caring for my body in general. During the course of my program, I shed over 40 lbs.* (at an average of -2 lbs per week) and watched in amazement as my body composition began to change. I felt such pride at being able to go through my daily activities without feeling exhausted, and I have been delighted to have more physical activity, strength, and endurance become a natural part of my life. More incredibly, I have experienced the release of long-held pain in my body, specifically in my feet, knees, back and chest; released long-held beliefs about my worth being tied to my appearance; and released long-held habits of self-destructive thoughts & actions.
By coupling my mindset work with a refreshed self-care plan, I have discovered JOY in moving my body again, and I have developed a kind of confidence, acceptance and deep Love for the body that I have- lumps, bumps, folds, wrinkles, spots, flabby bits and all. How freeing to realize that I don’t need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to feel sexy, beautiful, comfortable in my skin (things I never felt when I was an actual lingerie and bikini model).
It is my sincere hope and belief that I will continue to take good care of myself by using the tools that I’ve learned and keep learning. I have a great support system now to lean on when I need to, and I have empowered myself to be in charge of taking care of my Whole-Self… body, mind, and soul.
*No matter how much I stress that the size of my body is not that important, and no matter how much I believe and teach that you don’t have to lose weight before you can love your body- people are still always fascinated by my weight loss and ask me, “How did you do it?” So here it is: I signed up for Noom. If you would like to try their program for yourself, you can click here to use my affiliate link and get yourself 20% off.
Do you have a more relaxed work schedule during the summer months? It’s a great time to look at your Self-Care routine and treat yourself to something beautiful.
I was so grateful today for the flexibility to go enjoy some “beauty maintenance” (lash fill & mani-pedi!) before joining my sweetheart’s office dinner party tonight.
Self-care is so much deeper than a spa day;it’s really about taking the time to restore what’s on your inside. So, what if you can’t take a day off or even a few hours?
Give yourself 5, 10, 15 or even 30 mindful minutes to do one of these:
think some pleasant thoughts
have a power nap
do some stretching/yoga poses
take a nature walk
write about one thing you’re grateful for
drink some water
just sit quietly
eat something nourishing
Peace and restoration can be had with a quick reset. Set aside those stressful thoughts for a little while to clear your head and give yourself a much-needed break! You’ll come back refreshed and ready to go!