My friend and mentor, Lisa Kaplin, posted this poem from Jeff Foster on her blog recently. It’s powerfully inspiring, and describes beautifully the consciousness to which I aspire, and that I wish for all living beings.
I ran from fear
so fear controlled me.
Until I learned to hold fear
like a newborn.
Listen to it,
but not give in.
but not worship it.
Fear could not stop me
I walked with courage
into the storm.
I still have fear,
but it does not have me.
Once, I was ashamed of who I was. I invited shame into my heart. I let it burn. It told me, "I am only trying to protect your vulnerability." I thanked shame dearly, and stepped into life anyway, unashamed, with shame as a lover.
Once, I had great sadness buried deep inside. I invited it to come out and play. I wept oceans. My tear ducts ran dry. And I found joy right there. Right at the core of my sorrow. It was heartbreak that taught me how to love.
Once, I had anxiety. A mind that wouldn't stop. Thoughts that wouldn't be silent. So I stopped trying to silence them. And I dropped out of the mind, and into the Earth. Into the mud. Where I was held strong like a tree, unshakeable, safe.
Once, anger burned in the depths. I called anger into the light of myself. I felt its shocking power. I let my heart pound and my blood boil. Listened to it, finally. And it screamed, "Respect yourself fiercely now!" "Speak your truth with passion!" "Say no when you mean no!" "Walk your path with courage!" "Let no one speak for you!" Anger became an honest friend. A truthful guide. A beautiful wild child.
Once, loneliness cut deep. I tried to distract and numb myself. Ran to people and places and things. Even pretended I was "happy." But soon I could not run anymore. And I tumbled into the heart of loneliness. And I died and was reborn into an exquisite solitude and stillness that connected me to all things. So I was not lonely, but alone with All Life. My heart One with all other hearts.
I ran from difficult feelings.
Now, they are my advisors,
and they all have a home in me,
and they all belong
and have dignity.
I am sensitive, soft, fragile,
my arms wrapped around
all my inner children.
And in my sensitivity, power.
In my fragility,
an unshakeable presence.
In the depths of my wounds,
in what I had named “darkness,”
I found a blazing Light
that guides me now in battle.
I became a warrior
when I turned towards myself.
And started listening.
Today would have been my grandmother’s one hundred eleventh birthday. She’s been gone since the late nineties, and I still miss her, but I never focus on her being gone. I always think how blessed I was to have her wonderful energy in my life.
Life is full of challenges that demand our time and energy. Sometimes they grab our attention so hard that for awhile that challenge is all we can think about. In our minds, we slow time and chew our options. The subject constantly pops up uninvited. We may lie awake at night turning it over and over. When it slips out of mind, we almost reach to bring it back because we miss the familiar vibration.
I want us to learn to savor every blessing, every success, every step achieved toward our goal, every tiny triumph with the same single-minded focus that we use to worry!
The things that we look at, and think about are the things life brings us.
When we focus on hardship or challenge, Life brings us hardships and challenges. When we focus on what we love and enjoy, Life brings us love and enjoyment. I want us to celebrate everything we love, and get infinitely MORE to love.
I want us to stop and smell the fucking roses!
I feel like roses are literally an invitation from Life to slow down enough to enjoy what’s right in front of us. Not all roses have scent anymore since they have been bred for beauty, so when we find a scented rose, it’s a moment to enjoy. Let’s stop and enjoy it!
We’re always in such a hurry to rush into the next challenge that we often forget to celebrate finding a solution for the previous challenge. We can get so focused on the larger puzzle that we fail to give ourselves credit for all the pieces we’ve already fit neatly into place.
If we have a goal to take a fabulous vacation, I invite us to enjoy thinking about it every chance we get! We want to enjoy exploring the area with Google image searches. We want to research fun places to stay, and activities we might enjoy and imagine ourselves being there. We want to savor the trip long before it begins!
Equally, we can savor the trip long after it ends. The moments that brought the greatest joy can be brought back to enjoy and appreciate until the day we die, if we invite them in to lift our hearts and delight us again. We want to milk those special moments for all the pleasure, all the upliftment we can get.
If we have a goal to drop some excess weight, I invite us to celebrate every step in that direction. Make a different choice for breakfast? Do a happy dance! Stick to our food plan for the day? Celebrate! Did we slow down to be present with our meals? That’s a HUGE win! Woo hoo!
Why wait to celebrate once the whole goal is reached, when we have the opportunity to create MORE success by acknowledging and celebrating every decision in service of that goal? When we applaud every step we make in that direction, Life brings us more success to applaud.
When we slow down to appreciate the roses, we get more roses.
In what ways do you celebrate success? What milestones are you ready to celebrate?
I read an article somewhere about 40 years ago that explained that people who expected bad luck on Friday the 13th often found bad luck, while those who did not expect bad luck rarely find that Friday unlucky. I decided then and there the I would not expect bad luck on Friday the 13th. I took it one step further when I decided to dub Friday the 13th my own personal lucky day. Since then I have had many happy encounters on Friday the 13th, in fact my first child was conceived on Friday the 13th.
Around that same time I also read an article that explained that symmetry was one of the markers for beauty in human faces. The more symmetrical the face, the more attractive other humans find it. In fact currently Wikipedia says “Facial symmetry has been found to increase ratings of attractiveness in human faces. More symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive in both males and females, but facial symmetry plays a larger role in judgments of attractiveness concerning female faces.”
I agreed with the concept when they trotted out photos of beautiful celebrities and started measuring and comparing the two sides of their face. Symmetry is wonderful indeed. Nature is symmetrical in many beautiful ways. Symmetrical lines of architecture always draw my camera’s lens.
When I woke with Bell’s Palsy, that long-ago article was the first thing that came to my mind. My next thought was, “I’m no longer beautiful,” because my face was completely asymmetrical.
My smile opened many doors to me in the first fifty years of my life. It was difficult to imagine my life could ever be the same or that people would ever see me the same magical, privileged way I had been seen when I had my symmetrical beauty.
I mistakenly believed that my value, my worth, was intrinsically tied to my physical beauty. Once I began working with my amazing energy coach, I began to see that my worth was intrinsic. My value had nothing to do with my smile. My beauty emanates from my core vibration, not my face. This shift in perspective improved my life in more ways than I can say.
It must be my lucky day! After all these years it finally occurred to me that if I can just decide that Friday the Thirteenth is lucky for me, then I can just decide that asymmetry is beautiful.
What thoughts/beliefs/perspectives are you currently holding onto that do not serve you? In what ways is that thought/belief/perspective limiting you?
There is no one right answer that fits every body. There is no food plan that is perfect for every human, no exercise prescription that suits every life, no one plan that will create the a healthy body/life for every person. That’s why we can’t just read a book, follow all the guidelines, and create our body in whatever image we deem perfection. If there were one right way to transform our body, that “way” would have been discovered and marketed for zillions.
There are billions of dollars being made annually by diet systems, workout plans, and nutritional supplements, but have you noticed how different they all are? Some say eat large amounts of protein, some dictate no protein at all. Other diets are non-fat, while still others include healthy fats at every meal. Some are effective for some people. All of them claim to be the magic bean – the one system that works miracles.
While it’s true that many of these methods may be effective for some – at least short term – how do we know which one works for us?
If you feel confused or frustrated around this topic, it’s with good reason!
What should I eat? What exercise should I do?
These questions have been documented and debated to death for decades. It’s no wonder so many people are confused about what works and what is hype!
So how do we do what is best for our health and our body? If I have a goal to transform my body in some way, what is the best approach for me?
There is only one authority on your body and your health: YOUR Body.
If we ask the body what it needs and then listen, our body will clearly tell us what is beneficial and nourishing, and what is not.
This is a super simple technique, but it requires slowing down and being present. In our fast-paced society where time is in short supply, we rarely do that. But if you are telling me that some kind of transformation is your goal, slowing down and being present will allow you to find your way. YOUR way, the way that most benefits you.
The path to the healthy body you desire will not be found in books, but in slowing down and really listening to what your body says. This takes practice, and patience, and time.
Elimination Diet –
The elimination diet is one of the BEST ways to help people find out what is, or is not, working for their health and their body. An elimination diet is NOT a diet meant to sustain us for life. It is meant to be used over a few weeks to discover which foods we eat regularly are not serving our health.
The main thing I want to tell you is that NOTHING IS FOREVER. Many people won’t try the elimination diet because they fear they will find out they are allergic to a food they love, and will have to give it up forever.
Nothing is forever. This is just an experiment to see how different foods nourish or deplete the body. Even if you discover that you are allergic to something, you don’t have to give it up! That’s a choice you get to make. We make better choices when we are informed, so this is simply a way to gather information.
Think of the elimination diet as a playful experiment to uncover valuable treasure. In this case, the treasure is information that allows us to make choices to improve our health and transform our body. There are myriad reasons one may wish to undertake a playful experiment with the elimination diet. Many kinds of digestive complaints are eradicated with an elimination diet. Many people release all kinds of other issues including skin problems, headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sleep issues, low energy, brain fog, and more! Many people accept these issues as a normal part of life, when they may actually be caused by something we are eating regularly. If you suffer with any of these, wouldn’t it be AWESOME to be able to stop the suffering?
The elimination diet is a very simple basic experiment that anyone can try without paying a dime. Since it’s not profitable, we don’t hear about it. It doesn’t have an advertising budget. The elimination diet provides specific answers right for YOU. Then, armed with body wisdom, you get to choose.
I will briefly discuss each step below, but I attach a PDF HERE from the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine that explains the details fully.
Explore which foods enhance your life, and which foods are depleting your energy.
Step 1 – Planning • Decide which foods to avoid, which to include. Ask yourself a few key questions: – What foods do I eat most often? – What foods do I crave? – What foods do I eat to “feel better”? – What foods would I have trouble giving up? – What foods have I noticed symptoms of irritation when I eat them? (Runny nose, burning sinus, upset digestion, low energy, headache, etc.) • Make a list of the foods from your answers above, and any from the list below that your health care practitioner advises: Foods problematic for many people: Dairy Gluten Soy Corn Eggs Peanuts Tree nuts Citrus Shellfish
The list you just made is your list of foods to avoid for 2 weeks. • Now make a list of foods you CAN include!
Step 2 – Avoiding Enjoy eating from the “Eat this” list. Avoid foods on your “avoid this” list • For 2 weeks, avoid the foods that may be causing issues. Many people notice health symptoms improve in the first few days.
Step 3 – Challenging • If your symptoms have not improved in two weeks, stop the diet and talk with your health care practitioner about whether or not to try it again with a different combination of foods.
• If your symptoms improve, start “challenging” your body with the eliminated foods, one food group at a time. As you do this, keep a written record of your symptoms.
To challenge your body, add a new food group every three days. It takes three days to be sure that your symptoms have time to come back if they are going to.
Step 4 – Choosing • Based on your results, choose which foods you want to continue eating, which foods to let go, and which foods you want to eat in smaller amounts.
If you would like further guidance in creating a sustainable way of eating, and a happy relationship with food and body, please, schedule a free 30-minute chat HERE to see if I’m the right Mind Body Eating Coach for you!
Over my nearly 20 years as a massage therapist, I’ve seen hundreds of clients over nearly five thousand office hours. I’ve seen every shape and size of body, but the one thing I’ve seen that every single body has in common is that it is truly a miracle, without doubt. You may have forgotten that your body is a miracle, and if that’s true for you, you are in the majority, because most of us have.
We forget about breathing because we don’t have to think about it. Our miraculous lungs do that for us. We do not have to think about making our heart beat, so it’s easy to take it for granted and forget that our entire form is a miracle. When a baby is born – our children and grandchildren – we glimpse the miracle of human life, we may even remember that we are also miracles. But days, weeks, months, years later we simply don’t think about it because we don’t have to.
Our miracle bodies often take enormous abuse and neglect before breaking down. They support us 24/7 without ever stopping – even while we sleep – until they stop for good, then our Soul/Spirit/Energy moves on without the body. The true essence of Who We Are moves on, and leaves the body like an astronaut stepping out of her spacesuit.
Our spacesuit supports life, so it’s worth taking care! We care for all kinds of things; plants, kids, cars, pets. If you own a home, you take care of it. The body is no different! It is the home for the physical experience of your eternal being. Our body is supposed to be loved and nourished in return for all it gives us. Our physical body is meant to be enjoyed while we are in it, and it’s so much easier to enjoy when it’s feeling great.
It’s super easy to fall out of the habit of self-care!
I’ve been fascinated for years by something I have observed as both a massage therapist and a life/health coach. I have observed that any time humans feel short on time or money, we let go of the things that serve us best to make space for the “have-tos” in life. We focus on finances and chase work hours at the expense of our health. We take care of parents or children, and let go of our own spiritual and physical needs. Most of us assume that at some point things will calm down and we’ll get back to the yoga class or the spiritual practice when we have more time.
I invite you to celebrate your spacesuit NOW! That miracle you’re wearing has been with you, supported you, given you life 24/7 since you arrived here. I invite you to celebrate that amazing feat, that miraculous performance, that steadfast support, in whatever way feels satisfying to you!
Honor the temple that houses your eternal spirit in ways that elevate your spirit!
The following is a short/incomplete list of little daily acts that honor/celebrate/nourish the body.
Brush & floss teeth. Wash hair. Moisturize skin. Eat slowly. Choose foods that nourish YOU (different for everyone.) Be present when you eat. Rest. (Two ten minute relaxation periods a day do wonders.) Hydrate. Soak in the tub. Move in ways that feel good. Make love. Focus on breathing. Get a massage/facial/mani-pedi. Walk barefoot in the grass or sand. Ask the body what it wants and LISTEN to what it’s saying. (MORE on this in my next post!)
Make a list of ways you are already celebrating your body. Congratulate yourself for all the things you already do. That’s awesome! Look at the list above and pick one or two that sound really great to you. Add them to your schedule and try them out.
Most of us know that when we look good, we tend to feel good. But are you aware that the opposite is also true?
When we feel good, we look good.
Think about a time when you felt really great about yourself. How much more comfortable were you in your own skin? How powerful and confident did you feel? When we feel accomplished, triumphant, successful, truly loved, filled with purpose – of course we look better. Our body chemistry is completely different than when we feel confused, failed, unloved, directionless, or under attack.
It is common in this world, I have noticed, for people who are reaching for a weight-loss goal to try to reach that goal by forcing, harassing, restricting, stressing, pushing, and hating themselves.
It is also common to decide that the body is not right by societal standards, so it must not be liked, in fact it must be hated. We feel we must hate the body into submission, hate our eating issues for making us fat, hate food for being so fattening and delicious at the same time, hate our appetite, flog ourselves at the gym until we finally reach a weight where we will feel better about ourselves, or just give up entirely and eat for solace because we are so damned imperfect.
If any of this resonates for you, you’re not alone!
Somehow this crazy world has conditioned us (brainwashed us through media propaganda, and advertising campaigns designed to sell a magic fix for bodies that are not right by societal standards) to believe that we must hate ourselves until we reach their standards. To which I feel compelled to reply:
Fuck. Their. Fucking. Standards.
I invite you to join me in saying, “Fuck their standards.”
If they don’t like my body, FUCK them. Because you know what I decided to do? I decided to approve of my body right now. I decided that their standards are fucking stupid, and they do not appeal to me, so they do not apply to me because I am the authority on what is fucking beautiful in my life.
Why? Cause it’s my life.
Their judgements only count if I give them validity and I just revoked their right to decide anything for me. I choose to decide for myself. I invite each of you to step into your own power and decide for your self what is beautiful in your life, because who the fuck are THEY anyway? Who are they to judge ME unworthy?
I am a child of God, a conduit of Divine love and light, and I will not dim my light to allow them to feel comfortable in my presence!
They want me to feel diminished, unworthy, and powerless so that they can grow rich and feel better about themselves. Fuck that! And while we’re at it, fuck the collective ‘them’ who believes they are anyone’s authority on what is good and right and beautiful.
If we feel more beautiful when we are feeling truly loved, then what POWER we wield when we choose to truly love ourselves as we are, without waiting for the approval of others.
I choose to feel my true divinity flowing through me. I choose to feel confident and powerful. And every time I feel the Divine Truth of Who I am, I look fucking amazing.
What is stopping you from feeling good about you NOW?
What baby steps can you take toward loving yourself more now?
What kind of example do you want to set for your children and grandchildren?
Each time you become aware that negative self-talk arises, what can you say to remind yourself to move gently back in the direction of self-love?
Source energy flows to us, and is meant to flow through us, and back into our world. If we resist the flow, the energy becomes stuck and gets heavy, weighing down our physical form. Recently my journal wondered, “What if gravity is an accumulation of stagnant energy? What if our resistance to ‘go with the flow’ is what weighs us down, and holds us back from fulfilling our purpose in life?”
We all know older people who seem more affected by gravity than their younger counterparts. They don’t lift their limbs as high, and they move more slowly, as if their body is heavier. They even get shorter, drawn closer to the earth. Then there are octogenarians who seem less affected by gravity, and are lively, vibrant, full of energy, and active until their last breath. In my observation the second set often have very positive, relaxed attitudes, and seem more accepting, and willing to go with the flow than the less flexible individuals in the first set.
Let it go!
Energy wants to flow. When we flow energy we feel alive and vibrant. When we resist the energy, it feels like gravity pulls harder against us. Our energy becomes depressed and we may feel stuck.
Have you ever had a really BIG worry that became suddenly resolved? Do you remember the feeling of lightness that came over you with that solution? I know what a huge relief I feel when I am able to let go of thoughts that don’t feel good. It’s as if we release the energy we have been resisting in the same way a damn suddenly releases water it has been resisting. Imagine how much less stress the damn wall suddenly feels! Or how about when we finally let ourselves break down and cry over something for which we have been holding back tears?
We always feel lighter once we let go. Imagine the buoyancy then – the relief that comes – when we set down all of the resistance we have accumulated over a lifetime!
I’m talking about the transition we call death as being a buoyant experience. The transition from our physical body back into non-physical, pure, positive energy must be the most buoyant feeling! Buoyant like a beach ball rocketing to the surface when we finally release it from under water.
That is what Death is – a releasing of all the weighted worry of this world, to instantly ascend into worthiness, joy, and unconditional love. Our Ascension from physical form to non-physical formlessness is powerful and instant, like a cork exiting a champagne bottle.
We let go, and we ascend.
There Is No Death. We are eternal beings. We are One energy. We are connected always to Source.
When we feel as if we are separated from Source we feel pain, so our purpose becomes to find ways to release resistance, and ascend back toward our Source (unconditional Love). We actually come here to practice that ascension, that return to Love.
We LIKE the way it feels when we release, relax, and return to the flow of unconditional Love. Each time we release our resistance to something, we bounce back toward our Source. Life is a process of moving away from, and back toward Source energy, and our emotions are a gauge to show us where we are in relation to that energy of unconditional love.
We do not die.
That simple thought releases a lot of resistance for a lot of people. Life does not end, we simply ascend. We ascend to pure positive energy, and then later we decide to come back into human form for one reason. We like the way it feels to ascend from a state of resisting the flow of life force energy, into a state of freely flowing life force energy.
So if you feel heavy, like something is weighing you down, play with letting that shit go!
Play with letting go just to see what it feels like. How much do you feel yourself rise back toward the Love at our core? We are here to enjoy ascension, so play with it and have fun!
Are we practicing being light or heavy? How much are we practicing going with the flow? How much are we practicing ascension? How much are we resisting life force? How can we lean more toward unconditional Love? What is it you are ready to release right now? What is it you are ready to be ready to release?
Emotions are energy in motion. Human beings are energy flowers. In this context, flower means one who flows energy (flow-er), but I love the image of us as energy flowers!
In simplest terms, emotions indicate which direction we are flowing our energy: toward Source, or away from Source. The frequency of Source energy is unconditional love. Source energy (unconditional love) is at the core of every human, emanating from us, and calling to us.
Our emotions tell us if we are moving toward, or away from, that unconditional love! Pretty cool, right?
When we experience high-vibe emotions like joy, love, passion, or appreciation, we feel great! These emotions resonate with our natural frequency, feel happy in our body, and may cause a lightness in our heart and mind. We sometimes describe it as feeling like all is right in our world.
Unconditional love resonates with humans because that’s what we are! Source is unconditional love, and we are made of Source energy, so of course high-vibe emotions feel right and familiar.
When we experience low-vibe emotions like insecurity, unworthiness, depression, powerlessness or toxic-shame, we kinda feel like shit, right?
The reason these emotions feel crappy in our body is because they do NOT resonate with the unconditional love at our core. Low-vibe emotions feel discordant, jagged, heavy, and uncomfortable because they are a completely different frequency than the Source energy at our core.
When we find ourselves experiencing shitty feeling emotions, it only ever means one thing: we are thinking in a way that Source would NEVER think. We are thinking unloving thoughts about ourselves or others. Source energy does NOT see us (or anyone) as unworthy, unloveable, or powerless. Not ever.
Source sees us in every moment as the lovable, worthy, all-powerful, joyful beings that we are!
So Source stands at our core KNOWING the truth of who we are, flowing through us and feeling amazing. When we are loving ourselves, we feel great because we are in vibrational alignment with our soul. When we are doubting ourselves, or thinking hateful thoughts, it feels OFF, because it is out of alignment with the truth of who we are.
Sometimes when we experience heavier vibrations, we get stuck. When we think enough thoughts that feel unworthy, unlovable, and powerless, we can begin to believe that we are unworthy, unlovable, and powerless, instead of understanding that these are simply signposts showing us that we are thinking thoughts that are moving us away from our true vibration.
So when we feel crappy, NOTHING has gone wrong! It does NOT mean that we are crappy, or have failed in any way. It does not mean we are stuck here and will always feel crappy. It’s simply a sign that we are, in that moment, flowing energy away from the alignment that feels good.
Once we recognize the signs – physical sensations we feel in our body – we can choose to pivot back toward unconditional love. Then we can move toward alignment with our natural frequency again where we feel great.
Our emotions are signposts. They show us where we are going by feeling happy or crappy. Then we get to choose to keep going, or course-correct. Doesn’t it sound FUN to practice better feeling, high-vibe emotions that align us with love, joy, abundance, health, and vibrant energy?!
What signs are your emotions giving you? How do you feel about that? How much do you like the emotional direction you are traveling? How quickly are you able to pivot when you want to? This takes practice, so let’s be gentle with ourselves while learning this new skill!
If you want to learn more about identifying and following your own emotional signposts, or learn how to shift emotional direction, coaching can help.
To find out if I am the right coach for you, click HERE, then check “chat with Cyndi” and click “continue” to schedule a date/time that work for you. It’s free, and you’ll walk away with at least one action to move you in any direction you want to go!