We’ve Moved!

Sadly I will no longer be posting content to this site, but would love for you to head on over to my website, Wholesome Balanced Wellness, to follow me and to view my most recent articles!

After taking a few months off of writing I am back at it with a vengeance. My most recent post discusses the reasons for my break and what I have learned while I was away. Lots of content on nutrition and health, particularly dealing with digestive issues in a natural way, coming soon!

I will forever be grateful for this site. It was my first and has been so special to me. Thank you so much for following me here and I truly wish for you to join me on my next adventure.

~In love and health~

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8 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

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This week marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. I don’t know about you but this makes me seriously excited. I’m not particularly fond of winter and all its baggage (lack of sunshine, snow, ice, bitter winds, and bone-aching cold, to name a few) so am inwardly cheering at this change in the tides. This girl is ready for some fresh flowers, buds on the trees, and sunshine. Halle-freaking-lujah friends.

Apart from these very welcome changes, I also think of the shift from winter to spring as a great time to bring about positive change. We are emerging from the doldrums of winter with new energy and excitement, burying our coats at the back of the closet and dusting off our sandals. What better time to celebrate this transition than to use that renewed energy towards a goal you’ve been meaning to work towards?

My philosophy about goals and change is fairly straightforward. Whether you are looking to change your diet, be more active, de-stress, or really whatever, keep these rules in mind.

  • Keep it simple. If you have grand plans break it into bite-sized pieces and do them one at a time. For example, if your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight by swimsuit season, maybe try to lose “X” amount of weight by Memorial Day. Putting a number and time limit to a goal makes it more actionable.
  • Make it realistic. And healthy for that matter. Losing 5 pounds in a week is not healthy or realistic, nor is it sustainable. Humans in general like things to happen immediately or within a fairly short amount of time. But it took you awhile to get where you are, so it may take some time to get where you want to be. Personally, I look at my health as a long-term game, with the efforts I put in now paying off in dividends later, similar to how an investment account accrues interest over time (sorry, as an accountant I just had to throw that in there).
  • Find a partner. Whether it is a friend to do it with you or someone to hold you accountable, sharing your journey with someone makes it loads easier, especially when the going gets rough, which is going to happen at least once. Some people even find that sharing their journey on social media inspires them. Find what works for you.
  • Find your “why”. Deep down, why do you want to do this? Do you not feel well? Do you want to feel more confident in your skin? Do you want to fit into that favorite pair of jeans? Determine what is driving you. Write it down. Put it on your mirror and in your kitchen where you can see it every day.
  • Give yourself a break. You are going to have days where you trip up. We are human and we are prone to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel. Instead, dust yourself off and vow to get back to it tomorrow.
  • Don’t make excuses. This may seem a tad harsh, but saying you don’t have enough time to accomplish something is not a valid reason to abandon a goal. We are all busy. You make time for what really matters in your life. So if this goal matters then make time for it, which may mean sacrificing time in some other area. Some of my favorite time savers for healthy eating (if that is your goal) are batch cooking, using my slow cooker, and planning my meals and snacks ahead of time. Speaking of…
  • Plan. If anything can kill a goal it is being unprepared. I see this in my office every afternoon around 3 pm, which is when I head to the kitchen to prep the afternoon snack I’ve brought from home. Usually at this time someone is hungry and is standing in front of the snack machine about to purchase something that isn’t so great from them. Doing that every once in awhile isn’t going to kill you, but regular trips to get snacks like that will do you no favors. Whatever your goal, plan ahead of time and be prepared.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. One of the things I dislike most about social media is that it has created a culture of comparison. We are all on our own unique journey and everyone is different. Just do you. That is all that matters.

I believe that anything can be accomplished if you truly put your mind to it and your heart and soul behind it. It’s not going to be a cakewalk by any means, and there may be days where you feel like an utter failure, but if you keep the end goal in mind and what it will actually feel like when you meet your goal, it makes the journey so worth it.

One of the things I love to do most in this world is to help people work towards their goals, specifically those that are nutrition and fitness related. We all have different hopes and dreams. Being able to accomplish something that puts you closer to those dreams is one of the most amazing feelings. For me, if I can get someone to drink one less soda, eat two more servings of vegetables, or get up and walk for 30 minutes every day I consider it a victory. And every little victory counts when it comes to our long-term health.

So what change do you feel pulled to make? What has been on your mind to do as the seasons change? Whatever it is, I encourage you to get out there and give it a shot. You never know what you may be missing until you give it a try.

Reflections on 2016

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Hello dear friends,

It’s been a little while since I’ve written. So long that I don’t even remember the last time that I was here speaking with you all. To be completely honest, I didn’t know whether I would ever come back. But this blog is a big part of how I work to be my authentic self in the world, so I thought it was important to start writing again, even if my writing isn’t as often or is harder for me to do.

I have taken some time away to hibernate and heal after an enormous upheaval in my personal life that happened at the end of the summer. Now I understand why so many animals hibernate through the winter, resting and healing and conserving their energy through the harsh weather. I have weathered a roller coaster of emotions and tough changes by doing just that (or my version at least). And though I didn’t believe it at the time, I now feel like I am going to be okay.

Just like a bear after a long winter’s nap, I am emerging happier, healthier, and more refreshed. I am ready to slowly come back out into the open. To write again to you all about how I’m feeling and how I work every day to live as natural and authentic a life as I possibly can.

For a while now I felt like I’d gone a little off course. Like a ship that’s pointed slightly in the wrong direction because the compass isn’t calibrated correctly. I have worked to center myself again and get back to the “me” that I want to be in this world by starting with the basics. For me this is quality time alone, sleeping like it’s nobody’s business, yoga, meditation and building a solid spiritual practice, cooking and trying new recipes, journaling and reflecting, and reconnecting with those that mean the most to me in my life with renewed intention.

My passion for health and fitness has been dulled a little by the pain. It is hard for me to come back and write here and I can feel that I still have emotions and feelings to work through. As it has before, I know my writing will help me with that. As always, I will strive to be authentic and real. We’ve all got our own journeys and I’m here to share mine in hopes that it may help you in some way with yours.

I did a reflection exercise recently from my friend D over at Be You and Thrive. It was a great way for me to look back on my year. To think about the highs and lows, what I have learned, what I would do differently, and what I am proud of. Through reflection we can learn what works for us and what doesn’t. What choices we can make going forward to live the lives that we want to live. It also helps us appreciate what we have and live with greater intention. If this is something you think you would like to do, I encourage you to head on over to Be You and Thrive and check it out.

One of the questions in this reflection is what advice I would give to others from what I have learned this past year. I came up with 10 that I wanted to share with you here:

  • Listen to your body, it always know what’s best for you
  • Don’t stay in a relationship just because you are afraid of being alone
  • A good night’s sleep makes all the difference (don’t compromise on your sleep)
  • Taking breaks from technology is really freeing
  • Your worth isn’t determined by how many likes you get on social media
  • Feed your body real food (this isn’t really a new one for me but is so important I had to include)
  • Stand up for what you believe in and don’t be scared to speak your truth
  • Hold you head up high, smile, and look people in the eye
  • Batch cooking on Sundays is the answer to eating healthy during the week
  • Always choose love, no matter what (especially while in traffic)

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday. See you soon in the new year.

 

Photo credit:  Image courtesy of Davide D’Amico on flickr

The Societal Glorification of Being Busy

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Are you the type of person who never feels like you have enough time? Do you feel like you have to rush just to fit it all in? Do you get overwhelmed sometimes just thinking of everything you need to do?

We live in a society that glorifies being busy. Always having something on your plate is seen as a good thing. When someone asks you the question, “How are you doing?”, is you typical go-to answer “Oh, I’ve been so busy!”? I’ll raise my hand and say that this has been my answer many, many times.

Has anyone ever praised you for taking a break and sitting a few rounds out every once in a while? I didn’t think so, which is not okay.

I’m trying to change my habit of automatically responding to questions such as the one I just mentioned and automatically saying that I am busy. I don’t think it’s a respectable answer. If someone asks how I’m doing, I believe I should tell them how I’m doing and what has been going on in my life. Plus, I think that always being busy, whether physically (as in running around everywhere) or mentally (as in a running to-do list in your head), causes stress. Stress that is completely unnecessary and not healthy.

Of course our bodies are equipped to handle stress. Our sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear and our “fight or flight” hormones such as cortisol are released. In an ideal world, the stress is short-lived and after the threat has been diminished, our parasympathetic nervous system takes over, which helps our body “rest and digest” and get back to a balanced, calm state.

But if we are constantly busy and not willing to take the time to give ourselves a break, our body never gets to rest. It is in a constant state of red alert. Over time this can lead to digestive issues (ever noticed that your digestion is a bit wonky during stressful times?), adrenal fatigue, trouble sleeping, and a whole host of other issues. Prolonged chronic stress is like the first domino that can knock a whole bunch of other dominoes down and cause a chain reaction in the body. Not to mention that you will also probably be irritable and not a fun person to be around.

So how can we change all of the busy in our lives? It starts with examining our relationship with time.

Recently I have been doing just that and am focusing on how my thoughts around time impact my life. My main thoughts around time are past-based or future-based. Past-based thoughts are typically regrets about something that I chose to do or did not do. Future-based thoughts are dreams of various paths my life could take and what I should/should not being doing right now to put me on the path that I’d most like to go.

Focusing on past-based and future-based thoughts causes me a lot of stress. I tend to get upset about things from my past and overwhelmed about all of the things that I feel that I need to do to achieve my future vision. But these types of thoughts keep me from truly being present in my life today. And today is what matters. We can only change what we are doing right now.

When past-based thoughts rear their ugly head, I try to remember that the past has happened. It is done and cannot be changed. We can only learn from our experiences and let them guide us on the journey that is life. Our past has shaped us into the people we are today. It is a necessary step to get where we are meant to go in life.

And the future? Well, it’s just the future love and there is nothing you can do about that. Worrying about the future is a waste of time and will only take us away from the present. Believe me, if somebody could predict the future we would have found that out by now.

So now I am working to focus on living my life today and enjoying every moment of it. Making time for work and fun and everything in between. Stepping away from the “busy” paradigm and doing what fulfills me and makes me happy. I believe that if I do that, then the future will unfold just as it’s meant to be.

What is your relationship with time?

Photo credit: Image courtesy of kylesteed on flickr

A Vision for Life

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Do you have a vision for how you want to live your life?  

Are you living each and every day in pursuit of that vision?

I know, I know, pretty heavy questions there.  But they are important because we don’t want to have any regrets in our lives, right?  I’m sure you all are in agreement with me in that you want to live life to the fullest and be the healthiest person that you can be so that you can enjoy said life.

Many people, myself included, tend to avoid hard questions such as those above.  The ones that make you really look at your life and the direction in which it is headed.  We are scared of the answers that we may find.  We are scared that we may want something different than what we currently have.  Scared that we will have no idea how to get where we want to be, or even where to start.  Scared of change, trying something new, going out on a limb, taking a chance.

I will be the first one to admit that I am scared of all of those things.  

But think of it this way…  What would your life be like without a vision?  The words lost and on a small boat in the middle of some fog come to mind.  How would you know which direction to steer to get where you are meant to be?  You wouldn’t.  You’d be on a boat without a paddle.  Yeah, you might make some decisions that move you in the right direction, but in the grand scheme of things, would you really be moving toward that vision? And could you get there sooner if you had something to guide you?

I watched a short video this week at work about how a vision is like an internal compass, constantly guiding you along in the direction you are meant to go in.  Setting goals that are in line with this vision can help to propel you closer to what you desire.  Think of these goals as wind in your sails.  Without them, you wouldn’t really move very fast.

I’ve been contemplating the vision of my life a lot recently.  I’m just touching the surface of it but really want to dive deep and think about the two questions I posed above.  I think they are so important.  I do know a few things…  I know that there are some things in my life that aren’t in line with my vision and I know that I want to be an entrepreneur in the health and wellness field.  But when I think too deeply about these things I don’t even know where to begin to try and tackle them.  I get overwhelmed with all the questions that pop into my Type-A brain.  Fear then rears its ugly head.

I’ve been writing on this blog for a few years now and while I love it, I want to develop this into something more.  I want my passion for holistic health, nutrition and wholesome living to be what I do every day.  Yeah, getting there will not be easy, but also continuing to do what I’m currently doing isn’t going to get me there either.  So time to take some steps…

Here’s what I’m going to do.  First, I’m going to make a vision board.  Get a big piece of posterboard and sift through magazines, cutting out photos that appeal to me and the vision I have for my life.  This includes home, relationships, health, activities, where I live, career.  I’m a visual person, so for me, having it all in front of me in picture form will really help propel me forward.

After this is complete, I’m going to make concrete goals that are in line with my vision. Like I said above, having goals that are in line with your vision or dream will be the wind in your sails.  I’ve been throwing a lot of ideas around in my head of what I want to do with my business, but right now it’s all abstract.  Floating around in my head like a rudderless boat.  I need to pick which ones are best for me and figure out a plan to achieve them.

And those are just goals for my career.  That’s what we talk about most; how we are going to get to the next level, get that raise and become more successful.  But I think life goals are just as important.  What good does a high-paying job do if you are miserable?  To live a balanced life we also need to take into account our home, who we spend our time with, what we do every day and how we take care of ourselves.

Lots to consider, but I am chucking my friends Overwhelmed and Fear at the door and moving forward.  Starting with my vision board and taking it one goal at a time.

What about you?  Are you living a life that is in pursuit of your vision?  Are your goals in line with this vision?  I encourage you to take some time this week to really think about the vision you have for your life.

Happy

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Gonna be a little honest here folks…  I’ve been a bit sad lately.  It’s really hard for me to admit because I have so much to be thankful for in my life.  But it’s the truth.  Somedays my path forward feels so dark and I get a little lost.  

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty positive person, so when I go through these phases, as I have throughout my 31 years on this planet, it crushes me.  I have to work daily (hourly, by the minute…) to not let negativity and fear take over.  It’s exhausting.  Sometimes fear and negativity win, which crushes me again.  It makes me question who I am at my core.

Where do I go from here?  Well, I’m trying to climb my way out of it.  Taking care of my mind, body and soul by writing, doing yoga, eating well and getting enough sleep.  Confiding in those I can talk to about it and reminding myself that I am not alone.  And that I will survive and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; a bright future ahead.

And by looking up quotes on happiness.  Here’s a few, in hopes that they too brighten your day and make you smile.

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” – Mandy Hale

“Just because the process hurts doesn’t mean the results won’t be beautiful.” – Unknown

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

“You really are good enough, pretty enough and strong enough.” – Al Carraway

“It’s a good day for a good day.”

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.” – Harry Potter

“I’m stronger because I had to be, smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I’ve learned.”

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.”

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect.  It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

This blog is about health in all its forms.  Health of the mind, health of the body and health of the soul.  They are all interconnected, you see.  This blog is also a place where I want to be real.  And that means talking about the good and talking about the bad.  We’ve all had those times.  It’s how we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off that matters.

Wishing you peace, love and happiness.  And if you struggle with depression remember that you are never, ever alone.

XOXO

Please visit me on my brand new website, wholesomebalancedwellness.com!

Photo credit:  Image courtesy of Jason Hunter on flickr

Wholesome Balanced Wellness

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Dear Followers,

I am so thankful for you.  Whether you have been a follower of this blog since my first post back in the summer of 2014 or just joined recently, your support has been so important.  It has kept me going through the tough times and inspired me to continue to write from the heart.  I truly hope that my words have helped to improve your life in some way, or at least taught you something new.

Over the past few years I have thought a lot about the message I want to put out in the world.  What I feel like we need to make our lives better and more enjoyable; healthier and happier.  This blog has been a voice for these thoughts and a way for me to play around with my message.  Thank you for reading, listening and encouraging.

At its core, my message focuses on nutrition of the mind, body and soul.  How what we eat has a direct impact on not only our physical health, but our mental and emotional health.  It focuses on whole, real food originating in the earth and finding an ideal way of eating that is right for you.  It also stresses the importance that other aspects of our lives have on our health, such as our relationships, fitness level, quality of sleep, stress level and interaction with nature. 

There are so many fad diets out there, originating from someone else’s success story.  But I want to help others find their own success story.  Become their happiest, healthiest selves and find that inner balance and peace that I like to call Wholesome Balanced Wellness. 

So what is my framework for Wholesome Balanced Wellness?  It all starts with a belief that you will succeed and a strong intention to bring positive change.  Then comes learning about nutrition, fitness, rest and stress.  Next is evaluation of all aspects of your life, from what you eat to how you sleep.  After a thorough evaluation we can experiment with some positive changes.  Through experimentation we can discover what works best for you.  After discovery comes balance, which is putting it all into a sustainable, lifelong practice.

From the beginning it has been important for me to share my story and my journey.  I have shared how my own struggles with health originally got me on this path.  I have shared how I experienced first-hand the power of using food as medicine to heal.  I have shared my struggles with self-love and depression.  I have shared my highs and my lows.  Being as authentic as I can be has been hard but also healing.

I would love for you to continue on this journey with me as I take my business to the next level.  I have a new website, WholesomeBalancedWellness.com, that will soon be replacing this blog.  Please, please head on over to my new site and sign up for my weekly email list.  It is underneath my picture on the homepage in the box labeled “Follow Me!”.  It will be the same content you receive from me weekly now, just sent in a new, more sophisticated way. And don’t worry, if you get sick of me you can opt out at any time.  🙂

I am a yogi and a foodie at heart and have always dreamed big girl dreams.  Now is the time to pursue those dreams and see where this adventure takes me.  I hope to see you along the ride with me.

~Peace, love and dreams~

Picture courtesy of my awesome and amazingly talented sister

Earth Day Facts

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Happy Earth Day everyone!!  Today we celebrate the wonder that is our planet, its biodiversity and its uniqueness.  We owe everything to this planet we live on and I believe strongly in taking care of it so that it lasts for many more generations to come.  

It saddens me when I see people taking advantage of our environment by littering, creating unnecessary waste and not recycling things that can easily be reused.  The earth is not our waste dump.  We share this place with millions of other creatures and we all need to work together to survive and thrive.

We can all make a difference in our everyday lives if we each try to add one thing that is good for the environment into our daily routine.  Whether that is through recycling, composting, picking up trash, walking or biking instead of driving, bringing reusable bags to the grocery, minimizing food waste, shopping local, donating to environmental organizations or supporting green energy.

The key to all of this is awareness.  Awareness that what we do everyday impacts the environment around us, from how long your commute is to work to what you throw into the waste bin when cooking dinner.  Below are some facts for this Earth Day to help increase your awareness and appreciation for the wonderful world that we live in. Please share and spread the love!

  • Since 1996, we’ve recycled and composted more than 2.6 trillion pounds of materials in the U.S.  Today our recycling industry provides more than 476,000 jobs nationwide and generates more than $105 billion in economic activity.
  • According to the EPA, the way we produce, transport, use and dispose of products and food generates 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.  (See my post on food waste here!)
  • If everyone in the U.S. recycled only their plastic water bottles for 1 year (all 42.6 billion of them), that would offset the greenhouse gases generated by 1,065,000 round-trips between London and New York in coach every year. (Better yet, buy a re-usable bottle and ditch the plastic!)
  • The U.S. could create 1.1 million new jobs by recycling 75% of our discards.
  • There are currently over 7 billion people on Earth, all of which rightly aspire to a comfortable standard of living.  If every person on Earth consumed as much stuff as the average U.S. citizen, we would need the equivalent of more than 4 Earths to support us all.
  • Scientists now claim that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70% mid-century if we are to avoid global warming’s worst impacts.
  • In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.
  • More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the U.S. each year, which comes out to about 848 pieces per household.  The production, distribution and disposal of all that junk creates over 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, the equivalent emissions of more than 9.3 million cars.
  • Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%.
  • Half of the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone.
  • 75% of marine fisheries are now overfished or fished to capacity.
  • Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. have been tested for safety.

Become more aware and do your part today on Earth Day and every day.  Together we can make a healthier, happier, safer environment for ourselves and future generations to come.

Peace, love and tree-hugging,

The Yogi~Foodie

Source: Eco-cycle

Photo credit:  CC image Earth courtesy of Kevin Gill on flickr

All We Need Is Love

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Source:  Mimi Lee Printables & More

This Easter weekend is a very special and holy time for many throughout the world.  While this blog is open to anyone, no matter what your faith or views, there are some important things (spirits, feelings) that I associate with Easter that I believe are important for all of us to remember.  These resonate with me even more this year after the heartbreaking destruction that occurred this past week in Brussels and the violence and hate that is sadly becoming commonplace in many parts of the world.

LOVE

One of my favorite bands, The Beatles, once sang “all you need is love, love, love is all you need”.  Love is what makes the world go ‘round.  Love creates and sustains us.  It lifts us up when we are low and keeps us going when the road gets rough.  We all crave love, need love to survive and be healthy human beings.

Hate and anger bring destruction, violence and death.  They breed sadness and hurt and heartbreak.  There is no place for hate in this world.  Fight hate with love.  Spread love and be love, every day.  You may change someone’s life for the better without even knowing it.  You may change the world.

HOPE

Hope is such an important feeling.  The hope that there will be a better tomorrow.  The hope that evil will be overcome.  The hope that love will triumph.  The hope (and belief) that what we are doing today is making our world a safer and better place to live.  You can also call it faith.  

Without hope, we lose an important arrow on the compass of life.  We can get lost, depressed, wonder what the point of life is, even become influenced by those who wish to spread evil in the world.  So look towards the sun, raise your arms up towards the sky, close your eyes and have faith that it will all be okay.

SACRIFICE

It is important sometimes to put others’ needs in front of our own.  Yes, I am all about sticking up for ourselves and there are times when our needs should be front and center.  But there are also times when donating, giving to those less fortunate, volunteering and supporting loved ones is needed.  Required even.  

There are people in this world who don’t have the necessities of life (food, shelter, safety).  They need our help and we should sacrifice a little of the comforts we have when we can.  Sacrifice is a way to express love.  And love is, well, read above.  🙂

GRATITUDE

Though some days it may be hard to see, we all have incredible things in our lives to be thankful for each and every day.  We are alive, we are free and we are loved.  Take a moment to reflect and appreciate the blessings that you have in your life.

It’s scary to think that our lives can change in an instant, but if we remain thankful for what we have in our lives and remember the ways in which we are blessed, we can get through the struggles and overcome the odds.  With gratitude comes perseverance.

We are all one and we are all created equal, no matter what your spiritual beliefs, race, gender, or sexual orientation.  Love your neighbors and support each other.  Fight to break down the walls that divide us.  And don’t lose the hope that there will be a better and safer tomorrow.

Sending love and support on to Brussels and everywhere else there is hate and violence in this world.

The Yogi~Foodie

Slowing Down

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I have always been the type of person who easily absorbs the emotions of others.  If there is a general feeling of anxiety or tension in a room, chances are I will start to feel anxious and tense.  My breath will probably quicken and my shoulders may start to creep up my neck closer to my ears.  All really without me knowing it’s happening.  I have to work hard to keep the energy and spirits of others separate from my own.

Choosing to become an accountant and enter the competitive business world probably doesn’t mesh too well with being an empath…  I imagine that I would feel much more at peace working outside in nature or with art or photography or puppies, but alas, crunching numbers at a desk all day is my profession for the time being.  And I enjoy for the most part these days, now that I have recently found a diamond in the rough accounting job that is pretty low on the stressful environment scale (hallelujah).  Low stress isn’t exactly a word that comes to mind when people think of the public accounting and reporting world, which is where I have worked for most of my career.

I also live in the bustling metropolitan area that is Washington, D.C..  A place with some of the worst traffic in the country, the center of our crazy political climate and where investing in real estate and raising a family is pretty darn expensive.  Around here people walk fast, talk fast, work hard to make it to the top and hate Interstate 66.

If I let it, my empathetic nature, my career, the environment in which I live, as well as my eating, exercise and drinking habits, can all have a significant negative impact my life.  I can easily get caught up in the whirlwind that is life and get carried away.  I too start to walk fast, talk fast, get angry at traffic and crazy drivers on the road, and let small things annoy me.  Without really even thinking about it, I tend to interrupt others in a rush to get out what I have to say instead of sitting back and really listening to their side of the conversation.

I particularly dislike this last one, as I have always prided myself on being a good friend who listens and provides good advice.  Who wants someone who will talk over them and not listen to what they have to say? It upsets me greatly when I find myself acting this way.  I feel like a bad person and often wonder what is wrong with me.

I have noticed all of these negative things coming out in my personality lately, probably building up over a length of time without me consciously knowing what was happening.  They impact my relationships, my everyday mental well being and my health.  And I do not want to live this way.

Life is not a race to be won.  It is an adventure to experience fully every single day.

I need to work hard to stay grounded in myself, enjoy the moment and stay present.  When I remember these things I am calm, feel more at peace, am happier and more positive.  I am a better friend, daughter, girlfriend, sister, and dog mom.  What is the point of rushing when I don’t need to?  Life speeds by fast enough already.  No need to help it along.

Do you find yourself getting caught up in the whirlwind of life sometimes?  If you find yourself nodding in agreement then I know how you feel.  It’s exhausting and not fun to get swept away and to feel out of control.

So what am I doing about it?  Well, it takes conscious effort, ongoing mental reminders and little daily activities.  Mainly I have the mentally remind myself to just slow down.  There is no need to walk so fast.  I don’t need to check that email immediately when my computer or phone dings.  I don’t have to do all of my tasks at work at lightning speed.  Breathe, sit back and listen to what someone is telling me.

I have also started meditating every morning for five minutes when I wake up, followed by reading a passage from a book called Meditations from the Mat, which discusses the path of yoga and includes 365 daily passages about integrating the mindfulness of yoga into everyday life.  It sets a calming and positive tone to my day.  Meditation is something I have been meaning to incorporate into my wellness routine for a long time now.  To make it easier, I leave my yoga bolster and book right next to my bed as a reminder and so that I can easily move from bed to cushion each morning and start my timer.  

Lastly, I am ending my day by reading scripture passages from the Bible.  I keep it short and sweet, but it is a way to close out my day on a positive note.  This is something that is very new for me (as is the Bible that sits on my bedside table), but I am enjoying exploring my faith and learning more about something that hasn’t been a very big part of my life up until fairly recently.

Working to slow myself down and beginning and ending my days with meditation and reflection are helping to ground me.  They remind me of what’s important in life.  That life itself is a gift to be cherished and enjoyed every second of every day, not something to be rushed through, no matter how fast it seems to swirl around you.  I encourage you to find what grounds you and keeps you present in your own life.  Enjoy the moment.  Be thankful for what you have.  Slow and steady wins the race, after all.  🙂

Peace, love and om,

The Yogi~Foodie

CC image courtesy of Tarcio Saraiva on flickr