Out with the bad and in with the good…baby steps!

To all of you who love white flour, processed foods, meat and dairy and much more, I am attaching a list of good/better foods you can substitute for those you’re so used to eating. This can be easy when you take small steps toward change. I love change, that’s the best way to grow and learn- ways in which you you can’t imagine right now but when they happen, you’ll be forever grateful. You are in charge of yourself, do what you can do, be patient with yourself while you implement these new lifestyles. Slowly but surely, you’ll feel better, healthier, happier. Enjoy!Food Substitutions list

It’s that time again- Spring Cleaning!!

Spring has sprung. Well, sort of. Here in the northeast, it’s been cold, snowy, and quite dreary for most of the winter. It’s now March and we are seeing a glimpse of some warmish weather. It’s all relative; it’s in the 40’s today, clear, crisp, not a cloud in the sky. Still cold but not like it’s been for far too long. Perhaps this may be it for the winter- the snow is all melted and although March is temperamental, we’re hoping for the best. We’re hoping Winter is over. New Yorkers are smiling, sort of. So with all this talk about a change of seasons, it stands to reason that we need to change with it. And by that I mean: clean up, de-clutter, and start fresh in preparation for warm weather. This will mentally, physically, and spiritually liberate you from the chains of Winter, weighed down by all those layers- thermals, turtleneck, sweater, coat, hat, gloves, scarf- I’m exhausted just reliving this on my keyboard! By cleaning up your surroundings, you will find a renewed sense of anticipation, openness, energy, and expansion. This doesn’t have to be hard and in fact, it can be a lot of fun to purge. I’m going to make it easy for you, just some simple rules and guidelines to get the energy flowing in your home:

Clothes: If you haven’t worn it in 2 seasons, get rid of it. Donate to your cause of choice, have a swap party with your friends, or leave it on the sidewalk (Trust me, someone will take it- what is your junk is someone else’s treasure).

Drawers and doors: What is behind them? Have you just jammed stuff in and now only use whatever is closest and easiest to access? For me, I need to tackle the sock drawer and tool box- my 2 least favorite de-cluttering activities but do them I must! Most of this stuff can be trashed, I can almost guarantee it. If you can do the same as you do with your clothes, do it. I’m not a big one to just throw out- I hate adding to the landfill – so I go to FreeCycle.com and advertise it and of course you can always do Craigslist. I’ve sold a lot of stuff this way- some people are flaky but mostly it’s a good way to clean house and make a few bucks.

Clean the windows: This is not my favorite thing to do, but on a nice day, I go to a Zen place mentally and just focus on the task at hand. When it’s done, I’m SO happy!

Wash the slipcovers (if you have them): I did that this morning and now they’re clean, bright, fresh, and tighter around the cushions. I am often deterred by the challenge of pulling and tugging and shifting the freshly washed slip cover just so in order to get it back on the sofa frame that I avoid taking it off. But then I surrender to my resistance knowing my pristine sofa will make me happy.

Move some things around: Literally. Just move some stuff around. One rule of Feng Shui is to move 27 things around in your home to shift the Chi and re-energize your surroundings. Even if it’s just pictures, re-organizing your bookshelf or swapping a chair for another. It’ll help.

Smudge your home: By this I mean get a ‘smudge stick’ (that is really just a dried bundle of sage). You can get it at many alternative natural health stores or go on line to order one. I’ve smudged my home after boyfriend break ups to rid their energy from my home. It’s very helpful.

Remove and clean up piles: This one is pretty basic: Go through your piles of paper and shred, file, trash, recycle and be done with it. I know, I am not wild about this one either but when it’s done, it’ll be like a huge weight has been lifted off of you.

Clean out corners: Get the dust bunnies out and remove the stuff you’ve pushed out of the way and into no-mans land. Just do it.

OK- so if this seems daunting, just take a few deep breaths.  Put some music on that makes you want to dance, tackle one thing at a time, take a break, and then go back to it. You WILL see progress and you WILL see a change in you! Have fun!!!

What lies ahead in 2010 and beyond…?

Well it’s almost another year gone by. It’s really hard to believe how fast it goes. My birthday is soon approaching as well so I guess that makes me yet another year older- the actual year will remain nameless thank you!
It’s funny how we make our new year resolutions; we are always so ready to be done with the old and in with the new year which we think holds so much promise. Especially this year. 2009 was pretty tough. There were many lessons we learned, well let’s hope we did. I know I did and I will continue learning and growing in 2010.
On December 31st of every year going back many years, I sit down to write in my journal. There I reflect on the years’ joys and pains and make some attainable goals for the new year. And not just goals, but I also ask the universe for assistance in my achieving them. Obviously I have to do the work and I’m excited to do so, but the universe in its divine wisdom and guidance is readily available to help. I am always open to what happens because I do believe it all happens for a reason regardless whether or not I know what that is. Actually one of my goals for the year is to start each morning asking the universe to guide me throughout the day and if there is something in particular I need or want, I will get more specific. I have a list of 10 others which I know will challenge me and in turn support my life goals. Just thinking about it gets me excited and nervous (in a good way).
I have learned that being open and letting go of the ‘not knowing’ what the future holds (because how much do we really know anyway) allows me to be more in the moment and appreciate what I have now. So as I blog this to you, I am here, now, not thinking about the past or the future. Even as I plan the future by stating my goals, I am here now doing so (BTW, I’m reading The Power of Now so obviously it has influenced me in this blog).
So as I get ready to close up shop for now, I ask all of you to be present in your life and to allow events to come in and go out knowing that it’s all good!
I wish everyone a wonderful 2010 and may all of your dreams be realized.

A poem by Rumi- A MUST read!

I just love this poem. It hits my heart and soul and allows me to own my flaws without guilt or sadness. We are all human and as human beings, it behooves us to accept ourselves as who we are. Not easy, I know. When I am feeling down or sorry for myself for whatever reason, (at the moment it’s because I’m not doing enough to move forward TODAY and that is really pretty trivial) I read this poem and it lifts my spirits. I now pass it on to you. I hope it resonates with some part of you! Enjoy….

This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whomever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Toxic products and your body- what you shouldn’t do!

Toxin Awareness

The latest research is something to take seriously.! Toxins are playing a role in our health and are particularly being linked to cancers.! In 1900, between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 100 people could expect to have cancer in their lifetime.! In the year 1997, it was 1 in 3 people; and in 2002, it’s 1 in 2 people in America.! The predictions are that by the year 2030, every American can expect to contract cancer in their lifetime! Scary stuff!

[Good Resources at Amazon: Home Safe Home! by Debra Lynn Dadd; What Your Doctor May Not Tell

You About Breast Cancer by Dr. John Lee; Hormone Balance: A Matter of Life & Health by Kris Klitzke]

Prevention and education/awareness are key! I am so into this and want to share it with you  to help educate you about toxic substances that may be in your home or in products you use- not to mention animal testing and ingredients! There are many books and other resources available on this topic and I encourage you to conduct some of your own research.

The Personal Care and Cosmetic Industry cannot be left out of the concern when it comes to toxins. There are ingredients in mainstream cosmetics and personal care that you can avoid. It’s important that you read labels on the products you use/purchase!

Some typical toxic  ingredients are: Mineral Oil, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Wax, Beeswax and something that is called ‘Natural Ingredients’ which is really Tallow ( boiled dead animals taken from the pound). Really horrific and totally unnecessary  stuff!

Our skin is our largest organ so why not do what we can to preserve and respect in. If we can CONTROL this,  then we should. And that’s what I do. I encourage you to do the same. Let’s be healthy together!

8 ways to sleep well!

I was interviewed by my NLP teacher about my sleeping strategy. I never really thought about it as a ‘strategy’; It just came naturally. I love sleep. I love getting into bed after a full day of activity where I  just allow my body to detox and recharge for about 7 hours. Sleep is so important to our health and well being- just think about how you feel when you’re deprived of it. Crankiness, frustration, short temper are all very good possibilities in store for you the next day not to mention lack of focus, creativity and weight gain. I personally need to feel in control and positive during the course of the day so I do what I must to get the job done. I need my sleep. Here’s my strategy:

  1. As soon as I get home (if I’m in for the night and not expecting company), I immediately get into my comfy clothes. For me, those are yoga pants, camisole with shelf bra and long cotton tee shirt- is that too much info? This gets me into relaxation mode.
  2. I wash my face (with my Arbonne products- all vegan, toxic free skin care). I feel clean, fresh and have begun the detox from the day.
  3. I prepare my coffee for the next day  so I don’t have to think about anything in the morning except pressing the ‘brew’ button. Doing this mundane routine clears my head.
  4. Establish when I need to get up and set my mind to getting into bed at the right time so that I have 7 hours of clock time.
  5. I have nice sheets. Freshly washed ones are the best but obviously the likelihood of having that everyday slim to none. But I do like cotton sheets, 400 thread count is good. You  don’t have to spend a lot of money on bedding- I get mine at Target and they are quite nice and work perfectly well.
  6. If I’m not THAT tired but know the witching hour is soon approaching, I will read in bed. I usually last about 15 minutes before my eyes close.
  7. If I don’t feel like reading, I will get under the covers, turn the lights out and think about the day or go to a future event (visualization) that makes me happy.
  8. I take 5 (or more if needed) deep breaths and appreciate the bed. I focus on my breath, not on the stress of the days events.

You can do any and all of these things to help you sleep. Embrace it, enjoy it and good night!

Going with the gut!

I am a gut instinctual person. Actually I think we all are, some of us just choose to either heed the intuitive advise and/or warning and in turn it leads us in the right or wrong direction. If we dismiss it as irrational where there is no logic or proof, then we may very well pay the price for our ‘rational’ behavior. I was thinking about this because I am working with a web designer. I found this person and his company thru a Google search (after looking at many sites) and I just got a good vibe from the site- let’s call him OS. I liked the layout and their portfolio and just the ‘feel’ of it. So I called the number. It rang and rang and no answer. I tried a few times but to no avail, still no answer. So I wrote them a message thru the site but didn’t hear back (Bear in mind, it was Monday morning and people are still adjusting to the day after the weekend so I figured they were just busy and would get back to me at some point soon). Meanwhile I opened up one of the sites in their portfolio which appealed to me (I had been looking at many sites in integrative health to see what was out there). I wanted to see who the web designers were for the sites I liked (noted at the bottom of the 1 page) and in my quest for the ideal amalgam of all of the sites I had seen, I forgot I had opened up the one from OS. So I look at the bottom of that 1st page and I see a designer I will call AD. AD’s site was identical to OS’s site with just minor differences. I thought this was odd (I still didn’t make that connection that it came from the same site). So I called that number which was a different and out of state number and OS answered. Bizarre! OK so he solved the mystery- they are the same company but just hadn’t integrated the sites into one. He had gotten my message and was meaning to get back to me but yes, monday was crazy.
So OS and I spoke- I liked him. It was really that simple. We discussed scope, pricing (half paid now and half paid at launch) , timeline, etc and I agreed to work with him. The check was in the mail that day and I got started on my content etc. as per our discussion. Only until yesterday did I realize I had no documentation on our transaction. He could have taken my money and disappeared (bear in mind we had been in communication almost everyday with back and forth info and he even helped walk me thru getting my domain name set up). But still, I sort of went into semi panic mode and lectured myself on being so trusting. Yet at the same time, I knew all was fine- I would just ask him for the invoice etc for his services which I did yesterday. This morning I got a nice note from him with the invoice along with his request for another day or 2 to send me the 1st draft. My gut is right and I even feel strongly that my site will be absolutely perfect for me – well maybe with a little tweaking:-)
So the moral of this story is ‘ go with your gut but still get documentation’!
When my site is launched, I will let you all know. I’m very very excited!!!