What is it during the holidays, in particular, that wipes out our energy? Most recently I was walking along the beach and thought of ways to nurture myself during this time. I thought of something and then realized that it only partially refreshed me. In other words, it refreshes me mentally, but not physically or spiritually.
So, I started thinking of the things I really like to do that hits all three touchpoints. Just the thought of taking action on these loving self-energy boosters brought a smile to my heart.
So, I would love to share a few of the ones that came up for me that morning and feel free to use them, or add your own. The more important thing is to remember to identify those loving self-nurturing things that hit all three touchpoints for you…mind, body and spirit!
Choose something that nurtures all three touchpoints for maximum energy and delight
For me, it’s dancing…in the living room, taking a Zumba class, a dance class.
Body: movement that allows for inhibited movement
Mind: thoughts are only on the steps, away from anything else going on in my life
Spirit: music and movement is a ‘high” for me.
Walking along the ocean, a creek, lake or pond – doing it for sheer enjoyment.
Body: My body breathes in lovely air quality and I remember to take deep breaths
Mind: Looking at water which to me is beautiful and peaceful bring my mind into a peaceful state. I’m also very present not to worry during this time.
Spirit: Once again, the negative ions of the ocean is refreshing and since our bodies comprise of mostly water, our internal and external spirits are in sync.
Ruth Klein is one of the most creative Integrative Brand Strategists and Productivity Coaches for Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Authors and Professionals today. She is the president of the award-winning firm, Expert Celebrity™ Branding, a results-oriented performance strategic branding and marketing firm. Ruth helps experts, authors & entrepreneurs to become Expert Celebrities™ through the process of writing, launching & marketing their books & businesses.
For more information about Ruth, visit www.ruthklein.com
Bone broth has been all the rage these days but it is more than just a trend! Bone broth is the old way that our grandparents used to make soup. The bones from dinner were thrown in water with any vegetable ends and simmered on the stove for hours. While many have thought this a lost art, it has had a revival because we have learned that bone broth is one of the most
healing foods around.
The reason bone broth is so beneficial for the gut is because it contains substances like gelatin, collagen and glutamine that support and heal the gut lining.
Fall is the perfect time to put this gut healing tool into our everyday diet by adding it to soups. If you do not want to make your own bone broth, you can get bone broth pre-made at your local grocery stores but be sure to always get organic. We like the brands Pacific, Bonifide or Epic. You can use bone broth in any recipe as a replacement for any chicken or beef broth or stock or try the recipe below.
Want to learn more about gut health and how bone broth can help your gut? Visit us at Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine.
Classic Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Detoxinista.com
1 tablespoon coconut oil , ghee or grass fed butter
1 yellow onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves , minced
1 pound organic boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large carrots , chopped (about 1 cup)
3 celery stalks , chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2-3 teaspoons fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of bone broth (chicken or beef) from organic bones
- In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and gently sauté the onion, garlic, and chicken for about 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and the chicken is starting to lose its pink color.
- Add in the carrots, celery and green beans, thyme, 2 teaspoons of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 4 cups of bone broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let the soup simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Dr. Susan Sklar is a nationally recognized Harvard-trained physician and a fierce health detective who believes that you can age gracefully and feel great while doing so. She believes that that hormonal and other biochemical deficiencies cause humans to age and decline in ways that are not necessary or inevitable. She utilizes the cutting edge science of functional medicine to support the body to heal itself through the restoration of hormones, proper nutrition, lifestyle and appropriate supplementation. After more than 25 years of experience as an OB-GYN, Dr. Sklar started the Sklar Center in 2007 as a response to the unmet needs of men and women who are looking for answers to the questions of how to feel good in midlife and maintain optimum health long term. She is certified in the Bredesen Protocol for slowing and reversing cognitive decline. Dr. Bredesen’s protocol is the most well-known approach for successfully tackling the problem of dementia. She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California. To Learn more about Dr. Sklar, go to Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine.
I’ve lost myself at least 100 times. It didn’t happen overnight, it never does.
In my relationship, it started with little things. I started cooking—and eating—what my partner liked, even though I preferred other foods. My partner didn’t like symphony, so I didn’t renew my season tickets. By themselves, these are not big things—but combined with all the other ways I gave to others in my life, it’s no wonder I felt like I didn’t know myself anymore.
Maybe you can relate?
Maybe you’ve given slivers, or even chunks, of yourself up to:
- Raising kids—yours, his/hers, the neighborhoods
- Caring for aging parents—no one is ready for the role reversal thing
- Being an employee—“sure I can take on an extra project—again”
- Or maybe you’re the boss (the buck stops…) or a volunteer (you always say yes and they know it) or a BFF (you’re the dependable one!)
And so it happens, little by little you stop doing what you like to do, stop making time for self-care, put the pause button on your dreams. And you almost forget who you are. Yet in the quiet times you remember. You see something, hear something, smell something that pokes you. “I used to love to…” you hear yourself say.
Or you find a photograph of yourself, run across an award you won, stumble onto a note someone wrote you. And you notice your chest aches a little. That ache—that’s your heart talking to you. It’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. You’re still in there, still able, still willing. You just need to remember how. How to say no, of course. But more importantly, how to say yes. Say yes to your heart, and to the things you want for your life. Say yes to this being your time to thrive.
Take the first step: See it to believe it. Making a shift starts with a vision. It begins with you imagining, and then believing in, and then manifesting what you want for your next chapter in life.
So how do you do that?
First, you pause, if just for a moment. And if you can be a little patient, pretty soon it starts to happen. You begin remember who you were, once upon a time. You reconnect to the little girl in you. The one who hasn’t yet decided (or been told) that she’s not smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough to ask for—and get—what she wants for herself. Who hasn’t yet fallen into the habit of putting everyone else’s needs first.
Because before you were a spouse, parent, colleague, boss, caretaker, volunteer … you had a grand vision for your life. And it’s a pretty safe bet that over the years you’ve traded at least parts of that vision in. Some of your trades were upgrades and others were compromises. Some you made consciously, others happened when you weren’t looking, and sadly, some may have even been stolen.
If you just nodded, maybe it’s time for you to have a midlife awakening. Reconnecting to your vision: a guided journey. Are you even the slightest bit curious about what’s still possible? Do you want to know what part of those dreams are still alive in you? If so, there’s good news. I have a hack to help you find out. It involves your childhood photos. If you can, get out your old yearbooks, photo albums, and scrapbooks. If now doesn’t work, print or bookmark this for later and then make an appointment with yourself. Just you. This is a solo journey. Start sifting through your photographs. Take your time.
As you go through the images, look into your own eyes. What were you thinking about your future then? What did you want to be when you grew up? What made you happy? Did you have a favorite summer job? Were there hobbies you got lost in, instruments you loved to play? Parts of the world you longed to see? Really look at that girl in the photos. Allow her heart to join with yours. Wrap your arms around her and pull her close. Simply ask. Pick a favorite photo of yourself from the pile. Take a long look.
Now, close your eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose and let go with a long slow exhale through your mouth. Do it a second time…inhale in, and exhale….and for good measure take a final deep breath in, deeply into your belly, and a long slow release of anything that could get in your way. With your eyes still closed, place your right hand over your heart.
Sit there a moment before you raise your left hand and place that on top of your right. Another deep breath might feel good right now so, go ahead. And now, with all the compassion you have given so freely to others all these many years, ask your heart this one sacred question:
What, dear heart, do you want?
Wait for a moment for an answer. It won’t take long.
Open your eyes.
Don’t should all over yourself.
The question “What do you want?” is the starting point for all of what really matters. Because there are no shoulds in that question. There was no qualifier about being practical. No talk about what’s it cost or who will take care of your parents or the grandkids. Just what do you want?
When I asked myself the question, I had a one-word answer. The word was teach. I wanted to be a teacher when I was a young girl, but instead, I followed the money and went into business. Then, at 53, when I realized I still wanted to teach, I became a coach. In the process, I discovered my bliss. It felt like coming home. It can be that simple if you let it. The message from your heart may not be career oriented. Your word might be freedom or travel or animals or God. When your heart whispers a message in your ear, she wants you to hear it.
So, how about it? What if you made a quick trip to revisit your earlier dreams and see if there are any worth resurrecting? If you’re reading this, it’s not too late.
I can help you with one more step…
I want to gift you with a tool I call my “Wild Cards.” The Wild Cards serve as prompts to help you initiate a discussion with yourself. Use the cards for meditation, for journaling or in any other self-reflective process you like. When you direct your attention inwards, you begin to receive answers, and new possibilities begin to appear.
Sheree Clark is a Midlife Courage Coach, TV show host, inspiring speaker, and accomplished author. Sheree has written and presented on topics ranging from creating your life vision to overcoming career burnout. She appears in a weekly segment on KCWI channel 23, while maintaining a busy practice called Fork in the Road, where she coaches clients one-on-one and in groups on attaining creating an authentically fulfilling life.
To learn more about Sheree, go to www.fork-road.com
Take a moment to imagine one of those vintage windup monkeys: You know, the ones with the yellow-and-red-striped outfits, bulging eyes, and creepy smiles on their faces. Turn the key, let it go, and the monkey goes nuts, making screeching sounds with those brass cymbals.
Now, imagine that you’re the windup monkey. Well, your body is. And your mind is the key, winding itself again and again with every experience, thought, and emotion. Each time you wind the key, the tension in the mind and the body builds. You can feel the resistance growing tighter and tighter—and you know there are only so many times you can keep turning the key until the spring snaps. So you wind it just enough, then let it go and watch the monkey do its thing.
Unfortunately, at times, when we’re too wound up, we also screech, showing our teeth, and feel like we’re banging our head against the wall. The term “monkey mind” has never felt so fitting, huh?
Why we could all use a “daily unwind” breath routine.
Needless to say, our minds are busy—maybe busier than ever, with technology keeping us plugged in to the office and at home 24/7. As obvious as it sounds, a “daily unwind”—a release of all the tension that builds up in our heads throughout the day—is a must. Just like you brush your teeth every day, think of it as a nonnegotiable. Taking a daily unwind can be as simple as tuning in to your breathing. Think of the breath as the “off switch” for the mind, shifting the nervous system from high alert to rest-and-rejuvenation mode.
Do a few neck and shoulder rolls, and then give one of these mind-clearing breath techniques a try:
1. Mind-shift breath.
This type of breath immediately clears the mind and re-energizes the nervous system. It calls on us to breathe in a little more air than we typically would. Inhale through your nose, pause when you reach lung capacity, and then take a couple of more tiny sips of air and hold for a moment. Release by exhaling fully through the nose. Repeat two to three times.
2. Active acceptance breath.
If you’re feeling stressed about something going on at work or at home, chances are that negative energy is wasting a lot of your mental power. Fighting to keep something at bay takes far more energy than just letting it go. Think of your breath as a tool to help you open the dam and release that toxic negativity.
Whenever you’re feeling the physical or emotional effects of stress—tightness in the chest, shallow breathing, racing thoughts—take a long, deep breath and hold for a moment. Then, exhale fully with the sound hmmmmm. Repeat three to five times, and follow it up with the mind-shift breath three to five times.
3. Flowing-water breath.
For this practice, sit comfortably near any body of flowing water. If you can get to an ocean or river, awesome! If not, an indoor fountain, or even a video of running water, would work too. The sights and sounds of flowing water can soothe the mind, connect us to nature, and flush out lingering pain. Just sit and gaze at the movement of the water, simultaneously listening to its sound. Give it time, and you might find that your mind begins to follow the flow of the water as your thoughts, emotions, and mental activity begins to drain out of you.
4. Looking-glass breath.
This relaxation exercise can be done anywhere. All you have to do is to look at something without really looking at it. Choose a point in front of you, then soften your focus like you’re looking past or through an object. As you do, begin to notice your field of vision opening up as you become aware of other things in your environment—the sounds, smells, and physical sensations all around you. Do this for a couple of minutes, and then close your eyes and notice how your mind has slowed down.
I hope these exercises help you become more naturally and effortlessly present, mindful, calm, and alive. Monkey mind, be gone!
Originally published in MindBodyGreen
Rajshree Patel is a mind and meditation expert and international self-awareness coach, teacher, and speaker. Through her unique blend of intuition, humor, and ancient techniques, Patel has guided government leaders, families, Oscar-winning filmmakers, Fortune 500 executives, and individuals from all walks of life in understanding how the mind works, how to let go of stress, and how to be more resilient and fulfilled in their personal and professional lives. She has given talks and led programs at organizations including Amazon, Microsoft, Lyft, Salesforce, NBC Universal, IBM, LinkedIn, Gap, The World Bank, Shell Oil, Morgan Stanley, Harvard University, IIT, and more. To learn more about Rajshree, visit www.rajshreepatel.com
Isn’t it time to release mind clutter or limiting beliefs and behaviors that are no longer serving you? Let’s make room for new empowering beliefs and goals that will help you live a more joyful life.
Deepak Chopra suggests that we ask ourselves each day these three questions about how we are living our lives:
- Is if fun?
- Is it easy?
- Am I getting results
Often when we are experiencing a lot of pain and challenges, it’s the Universe’s way of getting our attention. The Law of Intention states that we are actually creating our experiences and manifesting our reality through our thoughts and actions.
The challenges and chaos of daily life sometimes make us forget about the powerful spiritual Laws of the Universe that provide us the keys to creating a life we truly want. Daily practices or special rituals that give us time to clear our head and our energy can be very powerful in helping us access these spiritual forces that are available to each of us.
Please make some time for this simple Releasing and Receiving Exercise to clear any mind clutter by creating space for what you really want. Follow these steps, and you will notice a shift in your energy, joy and ease.
- Go to a quiet place where you can focus. Take 3 deep breaths and slowly tune out everything that is going on around you.
- Take out a piece of paper and at the top of the paper write, “I AM RELEASING.”
- Create a handwritten list of what you want to release in your life. These are beliefs, experiences, or behaviors that are no longer serving you. You can include any negative thoughts like fear, doubt, worry, scarcity, or relationships. Close your eyes and allow experiences or actions that still haunt you with feelings of resentment, embarrassment, or regret. Since you cannot change the past, you must simply let these things go once and for all. Write them all down.
- Put the energy of these experiences or beliefs in this piece of paper. Take your time.
- When you are finished, you will need to destroy the list. I suggest that you actually burn the paper in a fire ceremony, but please be careful. If burning the paper is not an option, you can also shred it, but the paper must be destroyed. Do not keep the list.
- As you do this, take a deep breath and release the energy that was associated with these beliefs.
- Create a new handwritten list of the things that you want to bring into your life.
- At the top of this new piece of paper write, I AM RECEIVING.
- Write each of these new statements as “I am” statements. For example: “I am bringing more, joy, love and ease into my life.” Write as if these things are already happening.
- Think about who you want to be? How do you want to feel? How do you want to respond to the moment? What do you want more of?
- Put this new list where you can see it. Take a moment to focus on this list every day. Really feel the intention you are sending out to the Universe.
- Write about the miracles and new positive experiences in your Gratitude Journal. Focus on the new joy and abundance that is flowing into your life every day. Notice what is truly important.
This exercise is so simple yet so powerful.
If you do this exercise, please let me know about your experience. You can post your experience below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you!
Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business. She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts.
To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.
When I was in my 40s, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I healed it in one month without chemo, surgery, or radiation. But that’s because I knew where it had come from, why it was there, and what it was there to teach me. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning. (more…)