Tag: strength

New Moon, New Beginnings

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.

💖🙏🦋

Today instead of starting our around the world honeymoon in Sydney, Australia- I’m bald and writing from our dining room table in Southern California.
Saturday was my wedding day! The day that my hair began falling out by the handful from chemo. Barely enough to hold my veil in place!

Don’t Mistake My Positivity for Weakness

There is great POWER in Positivity. Seeking out the bright side, following the Light, leaning in to hope and holding on during the darkest times is what makes us stronger than our inner critic and any outer bullshit.

💖🦋

Ready to master 4 key practices for creating a more powerfully positive life? My awesome new Power of Positivity Workshop is coming up in just a couple of weeks and I’d love to save a spot for you. I will help you practice Gratitude, Santosha, Affirmation, and Dreamwork.

Click this link to preregister today and score $50 off tuition: www.theblessingsbutterfly.com/power-of-positivity-workshop/

Finding the Light in a Time of Loss

Loss, you are indeed one painful Teacher. Never once have you given me a life lesson that didn’t hurt in greater or lesser degrees and send shock waves to my very core, drawing cleansing tears from deep within my being. Not. Once.

And this, I believe, is something that connects all life on some higher level, though we may fight like hell to avoid experiencing it. It’s not one of the Fun Feelings, but Loss does hold vital lessons for us whenever we are ready to see them- lessons that are only won the hard way. Lessons like strength, perseverance, and resilience and lessons like vulnerability, solidarity and acceptance. We can support one another in times of grief because we know intimately what Loss feels like. We can hold one another up and offer Love and Light and Prayers and Comfort in times of sorrow because we share the bond that only dances with Loss can bring.

I see you, friends who have lost your bestie. I see you, parents who have lost your children, and children who have buried your parents. I see you, lovers who have lost your twin flame. I see your tears when you say goodbye to a beloved pet. I see you, workers who have been laid off, die hard fans when your team lets you down, dream chasers who dream has died, brokenhearted and disappointed when a relationship that once brought sweet joy has turned sour, and I will rally to your side and send you so much Love in your time of pain.

If you are feeling the pain of Loss today, please know that it is okay to grieve, in your own way and in your own time, though it may look messy and uncomfortable. You may not see it while you are in the middle of it, but please trust that on the other side of the pain that is Loss, there is healing.

Focus On What Makes You Happy

focus on what makes you happy

 

What if, each day, you made the conscious choice to focus on what makes you happy? By directing your thoughts, your intentions, your energy towards the positive pursuit of your own happiness, you will create a powerful shift that ignites your spirit and fills your life with Light and Joy! Take the time to get to know YOU by trying new things and becoming a master at the things you already enjoy.

You aren’t pretending that hard things aren’t also part of your world, rather you are building reserves of strength and banking cherished memories that can buoy you on the harder days. Spending even as little as 10 minutes a day doing something you love can make a difference in your outlook and improve your mental health. Let yourself enjoy life despite any challenges that come your way. You deserve to be Happy!

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: 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

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.

the blessings butterfly

Adulting: Tips for Easing Back in After a Holiday

blue hair and a buffalo

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: 

 

Body-Positive Fitness, My Top 5 Tips, & Why I Created The Cocoon

the blessings butterfly - brave

For the past couple of years, I have been wanting- no, longing to- create a series of fitness videos for people living in bigger bodies, with a crazy twist: I don’t want you to lose a bunch of weight (unless that is something YOU want for yourself).  Instead, I wanted to simply love, support, and encourage people just like me to love the body that they are already living in, and provide them with some easy action-steps to help guide them to a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

I had this radical notion that I could begin to deeply, truly LOVE myself exactly as I am instead of constantly feeling shitty about the way I look & thinking that “If I just lose this extra weight, I’ll be happier”.   NOPE!  Life is too short, and I decided that I don’t want to waste any more time trying to get my body to look like it did when I was wearing size single-digit before treating myself like the beautiful, strong, wonderful and valuable woman that I already am. Talk about a game-changer!  It’s what led me to create my very own body-positive holistic health & wellness program for bigger bodies, The Cocoon – Empowered Transformation.

 

 

The truth is, and trust me when I tell you that the bazillion dollar health & fitness industry doesn’t want me to tell you this: You can achieve good health and still live in a plus-size body.  I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t take good care of yourself; no, I’m saying that you don’t have to fit into standards set by the beauty industry in order to be healthy, beautiful, and utterly amazing.  YES!  You can adopt a healthier lifestyle AND you can start loving the body you have right now.   What a crazy concept, hey?  Here are my five top tips to get you started:

 

 

Click here to watch me talk about why I made a body-positive health & wellness program  (contains adult language)

the blessings butterfly
Photo courtesy of Michael Powell Photography

  1. Develop a more positive mindset.  Instead of constantly tearing yourself down, criticizing, and comparing, retrain your brain to shift the focus on to what is good about you, and on what you are doing right.  Find the positive spin.  Speak to yourself with love and kindness daily, and especially in times of great stress and challenge.  Talk to and about yourself as you would your best friend. Believe in yourself!
  2.  Move your body every day.  Be intentional about creating more movement for your body every day.  Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity each and every day.  1, 2 or 3 times a week, add in some fun physical activity for 20, 30, or 60 minutes.  Build up slowly, and try different things to see what you enjoy the most.
  3. Food is not optional, so make it great.  Whether you choose to eat as a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, the food we eat should nourish our bodies and delight our taste buds.  Always opt for organic, non-GMO certified foods whenever possible.  Choose the freshest fruits & veggies you can find.  Cut way back on sugar, but not on healthy fats.  Cook your own meals whenever possible and develop some mad skills!
  4. Hydrate!  There are so many benefits to your body from drinking plenty of water each day. Improved organ function, fresher breath, eliminating toxins, reducing headaches, clearer, more supple skin, and more.  Start with drinking a glass in the morning before you get out of bed and aim to drink 8 more throughout the day.  If you don’t already love the taste of fresh pure water, infuse it with fruit or herbs. Drink up, Buttercup!
  5. Throw out that damn scale.  Seriously, just ditch it.  Don’t be owned by a number whether it is on a scale, a pair of jeans, a bank account or a birthday cake.  You are WAY more valuable than any of those.  In fact, you are priceless. (See Tip #1!)

 

 

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#MondayMantra I Am Not Giving Up!

No life is immune to facing tough experiences and hard days. It’s the stuff that strips away our bullshit and allows us to refocus on what truly matters: Love. Kindness. Caring. Strength of Character. Honesty. Compassion. Trust.

It’s okay to acknowledge that some days are harder than others, and if you are having a particularly hard day it’s okay to be gentle with yourself.

Whatever hard things you are facing today, my friend, please don’t give up. Reassess, yes. Regroup, yes. Relax & Recharge, yes!  But never, ever give up on yourself.  Reach out and know that your tribe is ready to support you and help you through the rough patches, but you must not give up.  Dig deeper, find your strength because you’re not finished yet dear one!

Today’s Mantra: Some days are harder than others but I am not giving up. I am not giving up!