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The superhero cape gets way more credit than it should.

Here’s why: the cape has become a symbol for perfection. We strive to be perfect mothers, sisters and partners. We want to be perfect friends, colleagues, and bosses. We want to have perfect bodies, skin, and hair.

What I have found is that so many of us put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect. To be a superhero. To be what really is a fictional character to begin with.

Our cape is so tightly fastened, it is choking us. And before we know it, we are living our lives without really experiencing it.

So, let’s ditch that cape and release the weight of the world off your shoulders…so you can start to experience the awesomeness we call LIFE!

 

1. Stop feeling guilty.

Ever feel guilty about missing your child’s soccer game or leaving the office early? When we put up this wall of guilt, it negatively affects our relationships and makes it hard to savor our blessings. Confront situations when you feel guilty, put things in perspective and just plain move on.

 

2. Ditch your superhero cape.

Wearing a superhero cape all the time is exhausting. The urge to do it all yourself is really an addiction to perfection. But, guess what? Doing your best is good enough. Remember: the pursuit of perfection prevents progress. I invite you to begin a new pursuit: the pursuit of perspective.

 

3. Don’t compromise yourself.

When you say “yes” to something you know deep down you wanted to say “no” to, you unnecessarily burden yourself. Sometimes, saying “no” to others means saying “yes” to you. It’s as simple as saying no gracefully, and offering a solution or alternative that better suits you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

4. Accept help.

Did you know that you can’t breathe out without taking a breath in first? In the same way, I invite you to accept help, support and love from those around you. Allowing others to help you frees you up to be the best version of yourself. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of grace. After all, if you want to be a great giver, you need to be a great receiver first.

 

5. Recruit the right people for your life.

Who’s in your army, and who’s hating on it? Take a good look at the people in your life, and identify those individuals that help bring you up, as well as those who just bring you down. Clean house accordingly and surround yourselves with people who love you unconditionally, support you, and lift you up.

 

6. Be grateful.

Practice gratitude! Shift your perspective to be positive and optimistic, to look at what you have instead of what you don’t have. Every morning when you wake up, think of three things you are grateful for. Release the fear of “what if” and be grateful for “what is.”

 

7. Celebrate YOU!

Work hard, celebrate harder! You deserve to celebrate yourself the same way you’d enthusiastically celebrate a friend’s birthday. What’s all this hard work for, anyway? Celebrate with a dance, a high five, dinner or a trip. You don’t need to land a huge client or a big promotion in order to celebrate your awesomeness.

 

How will you take off your super hero cape this summer? What will you commit to?

 


 

Luly B. — Summer of Wellbeing

Speaker  |  Coach  |  Author

Click here to step into my virtual living room and step into your greatness!

www.lulyb.com

 

“You are never not whole. While we may long for it, the great irony is that it is already here in any and every moment, and it is already ours.”
 —John Kabat-Zinn
mindfulness-purpleI just got through reading section two (Sustaining) of Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn, and I have a new favorite verb!

AWARENESSING (verb) – The dynamic process of being aware. It has no end state. Life itself becomes the meditation process.

We take lots of action every day. We shower, brush our teeth, read, drive, eat, exercise, talk, listen, yell, cry, laugh, think, cook, watch TV, etc. We do a lot! How often, though, can we say that we are AWARENESSING? If you happen to be one of those individuals who regularly practices mediation or other forms of mindfulness, perhaps you are raising your hand and saying, “Me!! I do awarenessing!” If you do, celebrate, because you’re really onto something. Something that can and will change your life.

If you don’t practice mindfulness, then consider the two points I’ve honed in on below, as darn good reasons to develop a mindfulness practice.

Optimize Your Wellbeing

As we’ve posted in many blogs during this summer so far and during last year’s Summer of Wellbeing, there are many ways to approach and ignite our wellbeing. Kabat-Zinn suggests that mindfulness is highly applicable for us if we want to optimize our own wellbeing. This means that although we may be partnering with doctors, surgeons, therapists or healers to help us feel better or get out of illness, through mindfulness we are taking responsibility for whatWE can do to create the optimal condition of our mental, emotional and physical functioning of ourselves.

Through this optimization, or as I like to refer to it, owning our power, we begin to understand and live from the perspective that WE ARE ALREADY AND ARE ALWAYS WHOLE, even if we have problems or illnesses. I hope you read this sentence a few times! Take it in. Through moment-by-moment awarenessing we can truly live out this truth. There is nothing to fix in mindfulness. Instead, “We pour energy in the form of attention and awareness into what is already right with us—what is usually taken for granted.” I hope you read this a few times too!

 

See Clearly Again

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of seeing a Tony Robbins clip, where he talks about the three steps we need to take to truly get out of our way and experience an incredibly joyful and powerful life— (1) Success leaves clues! ID those strategies that leave clues of success for you. (2) Change your story! (3) Change your state! I won’t go into the details in this post, other than to elaborate on these stories we tell ourselves, the stories that hold us back from moving forward and LIVING in our power. These stories are false stories. They are tall tales. You want the truth? The truth that we know deeply but are not seeing? Awarenessing will get you there!

“Mindfulness is about awareness—it’s capacity to free us from our own habits of self-diminishment and of ignoring what is most important in our lives.
It creates ‘clear seeing’ – knowing the actuality of things rather than being caught in our misperceptions and misapprehensions of reality.It clears us from our habits of self-disctraction.

Want a way out of your life that’s on auto-pilot, where your thoughts make you believe things that you are not? You and I are so much more—so much bigger than stories we are telling ourselves. We can change both our stories and our state through awarenessing – through mindfulness.

Because I love science and data (it supports my woo-woo tendencies!), I’ll share this from the book as well. It’s just too cool not to share! 

A recent study from the University of Toronto has shown that there are different networks in the brain for different kinds of self-referencing of experience. One network, termed the Narrative Focus (NF), is active when we build a story based on our experience. It involves a great deal of  thinking, often coupled with rumination and worry. A second network, termed the Experiential Focus (EF), is active when we are grounded i what is being experienced in the present moment, when we are every much in the body and in unfolding sensory experience – without all the evaluation of the narrative network.

The study found that people who train in mindfulness showed an increase in activity in the EF network and a decrease in the activity in the NF network. This is one example of how training in mindfulness can actually influence how the brain processes experience – in this case, how you experience your life unfolding and what you tell yourself about it. It is not that the EF is superior to the NF. Both are necessary to live an integrated and balanced life. But when the NF predominates, especially out of awareness, it can very much limitour understanding of our selves and of what might be possible. 

So, via awarenessing – this one action that can really change our lives, we pay attention in new ways. We see new things and feel new things. We tap into our true story, which shall set us free.

I’m all about freedom. Feeling free to be me, to live in my WHOLENESS.

How about you? How can awarenessing set you free?

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Namaste,
Monique

“Do what you love.”

We’re all familiar with this phrase yet few of us really take its advice.   Have you ever used it to convince yourself of a path you must take?  Isn’t it funny that when someone does, everyone else thinks they’re crazy?

Here’s my take on that….

I think we were all born with a purpose and no map.

The purpose is what drives us.  What we love to do and wouldn’t mind doing forever if given the opportunity.

The map we must create ourselves.   It’s created by knowing with full conviction where you need to go and not stopping until you get there.  This map is written as you go or sometimes in sections, tweaking it along the way a little to the North, left or right, etc.

 If I had a penny for every single time someone tells me, “I’m tired but I don’t know why”, I’d be writing this sitting in my 80 foot yacht.   This feeling of being “tired” groggy, or a case of the walking dead, I believe, is just your heart sending signals to your brain that we can’t keep going the wrong way.  It’s your heart saying, “I need to find my purpose, please. “

Your brain’s response is to send the archenemy, Fear.  Brain needs to know you’re ready for anything that comes your way (like those that will think you’re crazy).   You must believe in your heart that Fear is a giant bully, only if you let him.  You must push Fear hard, and drag his ass to the ground.  Once Fear is laying on the ground panting for breath and afraid of you, this is when the brain knows it can’t mess with you.  Put on your walking shoes warrior, you’re ready for that road ahead.  You can handle bad weather, people’s negative comments or any other negative influence that will try darn hard to stop you along the way.  All these are needed in order to test you on how bad you really want it.  Next thing you know, the brain and the heart work together to draft out that map we all want to find.

But remember this: Finding that map will take courage, determination and perseverance. But it’s not life threatening. You’ll just be asked every single day, “How bad do you want it?”  Don’t use finances, family, upbringing, age or even certain situations as an excuse. If you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way.

During the drafting of my life map,  I figured along the way that helping people is what makes me the happiest.  I discovered, this is my main purpose in life.  I actively take courses, attend workshops, read books, and (my favorite) listen to as many podcasts on the subject as I possibly can.  Every chance I get, I work on what I’ve decided to pursue: to help people. I don’t plan on ever stopping.  My goal is to enjoy and to exercise my purpose for as long as I live.  I’m reaping the benefits by just doing this.

So next time you tell yourself or your kids “Do what you love”  say it with conviction.  Doesn’t matter what it is they want to be that day.  Say it and mean it.

Un abrazo!
Ralph

Ralph Quintero — Summer of Wellbeing

Ralph knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a business successful. He’s built and sold multiple businesses, has transacted over $1 billion in sales, and has worked with both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies all over the world. Ralph’s experiences as both an entrepreneur and high-level corporate executive give him a very unique perspective into what is working in the business world and how entrepreneurs can apply these things to grow their businesses. This makes him one of the most sought after experts on the topics of entrepreneurship and business development. He’s a dad, serial entrepreneur and a Happy Someone. You can find him just about anywhere online @RalphQuintero. You can also check out some of his projects at http://www.BaldOneMedia.com & http://www.AppYourBiz.com
mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that provides endless opportunities to cultivate greater intimacy with your own mind
and to tap into and develop your deep interior resources for learning, growing, healing, and potentially for transforming 
your understanding of who you are and how you might live more wisely and with greater wellbeing, meaning and happiness in the world. 

Summer of Wellbeing continues with my reading of Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn. In the book, Kabat-Zinn covers Entering, Sustaining, Deepening, Ripening, and Practicing. He makes it clear that it’s a journey we’re on, but what a lovely picture he paints!

Let’s ENTER, shall we?

A Practice that doesn’t discriminate

There are so many reasons why we should consider “entering” this practice. Let’s begin by understanding that Mindfulness is for everyone and is a universal practice. Kabat-Zinn addresses the idea thought by many that because it is a form of meditation it is only for Buddhists. I really enjoyed what he had to say about this. He shares that, Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It is all about attention and awareness, which are both human capacities innate in all of us. Additionally, he shares that statutes of Buddha as well as other Buddhist objects serve as representations of states of mind rather than of divinity. Buddha himself symbolizes the embodiment of wakefulness—coming into awareness.
 
 

A filter through which to experience everything

As I read on I couldn’t help but to clearly see how through mindfulness our filter by which we see and experience everything changes. Kabat-Zinn tells us that there are two complementary ways to do it: formally and informally. Formally means engaging in making some time every day to practice (with guided meditations). Informally means letting the practice spill over into every aspect of our waking lives in an uncontrived and natural way. In the latter method I can see mindfulness supporting every single dimension of wellbeing: how we love ourselves and grow in intimacy with our own being; how we eat and move; how we think, explore our feelings, and communicate, and how we approach our work and aspects of pleasure and play in our lives.
 
“Ultimately, I see mindfulness as a love affair— with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of your own being, 
with your heart and body and mind, and with the world.” —John Kabat-Zinn
Let’s take wellbeing a bit further.  As you can imagine, and as studies are continually citing, the health benefits of mindfulness are endless. I’ll touch on a few that are highlighted in the book. First, mindfulness has the ability to shift us from our right-sided prefrontal cortex to the left (side) where there is greater emotional balance, and where positive immune system changes are induced. Perhaps years ago this information would not have been so fascinating, but today when we are constantly preaching the benefits of emotional intelligence for everyday effective life leadership, it is pretty awesome! Sticking with our brains, we know that mindfulness activates networks in our cerebral cortex that are involved in direct experiencing of the present moment, and activates less those networks that are involved in generating narratives about one’s experiences. You know…those stories we tell ourselves!! (BAM!) Pretty cool, huh? Finally, as our guest blogger last month shared with us (Janet Altman), mindfulness also thins out the right amygdala, a structure in the limbic system that loves to put us in fight or flight situations. As Janet would suggest, let’s stop running from that charging Buffalo!

Breath is a great beginning

“We drink in the air on each in-breath, giving it back to the world on each out-breath. The last breath is gone and the next one hasn’t come yet. It’s always a matter of THIS ONE.” Kabat-Zinn so beautifully reminds us that although we often don’t realize it, our breathing happens with our without us! We would not be alive without it. Our first breath was our beginning…our entrance into this beautiful world. We can “enter” this practice through focusing on our moment by moment breath. At the beginning it is important to focus on something (like breathing, a sound, or an object). But through sustained practice it grows and develops into the awareness of awareness itself. Focusing on our breath is a great start, and a “radical act of love and sanity” (I’ll add…as Air Supply expressed…in a very hustled and hurried world!).
 
 

Creating a new default baseline

I connected so deeply with this last concept I’ll share with you. In fact, as I took in all Kabat-Zinn had to say about Entering, I couldn’t help but think about a few situations life wanted to challenge me with this last month, which threw me into the black hole of my thoughts. Have you been there? You know, that place where you associate your thoughts with who you are, with who you think you should be, and with who others want you to be? It’s also that place where we feel we have to run at a ridiculous speed to solve everything “now”.  In fact, we don’t even need big universal tests to get us into those ego thoughts, because we usually are already there . This is the difference between doing and being. It is really only through this awareness that Kabat-Zinn speaks of that we can release our thoughts (like a running stream) and our judgments of ourselves and others in every moment.
These thoughts we create become our “default”. Through mindfulness we have the ability to “befriend our thoughts and hold them in gentle awareness.” It’s not about stopping them or changing them, but holding them in a space where they don’t overtake us or “dictate our responses to life no matter what their content and emotional charge. They then can become workable rather than imprisoning.” Kabat-Zinn likens this practice to turbulence. “You can descend beneath the surface thirty or forty feet or so and you’ll find no turbulence at all, just gentle undulation.”

Let’s close with this powerful thought, which helps drive in the importance of creating our new default— BEING of purpose, intention and impact.
 
“Often our lives become so driven that we are moving through our moments to get to better ones at some later point. 
If we are not careful, it is all too easy to fall into becoming more of a human doing than a human being, and forget who is doing all the doing and why. Then our doing can come out of our being and be much more integrated and effective.”

We may feel as though we are doing nothing when we set off to be mindful, but it is truly an exercise in everything!
Thank you for sharing your last few precious moments with me! Take a long, delicious, deep breath, and have a wonderful day.
Namaste,
Monique

compassionate
How many of us would consider a ten day silent meditation as a learning experience? I thought it would be a nice getaway, time to be with me. Never did I imagine that ten days of silence would teach me more than any book or class.

Upon my arrival to the meditation center, I was escorted to the dining area where all students were gathered awaiting the instructions for the next ten days.   There were nineteen women and seven men of different ages gathered around the dining area chatting while anticipating that soon the echo of chatter would fade and the sound of a pin drop would be heard.   Moments later, the manager of the center appears and plays the instructions from a tape recorder–yes, it was pretty antiquated to say the least, but we weren’t at the Apple Headquarters.   The instructions: no talking, no eye contact, no reading, no cell phone, no books, no writing, no exercising, no killing of any insects-including Mosquitos. After the recording finished, the manager said, “From now forward everyone is to honor these noble rules.”

Every morning, we gather in group at 4:30 AM in the main hall for group meditation, and then spending about 12 hours each day learning and practicing the Vipassana meditation technique. The goal is to sharpen your mind, to raise your awareness and to know yourself better.

 

Five Lessons I Learned in Ten Days:

 

1) The moment is yours.

This moment is all you have; what do you want to experience?   Too many times we are living in yesterday or tomorrow and not in the now. We hear it often, but don’t experience it enough-enjoy the now, it’s all you have.

 

2) Pain and Attachment

I have often pondered on the question, what causes pain? Our attachment to things, feelings and people causes a constant state of desire to the attachment. As soon as the “attachment” is taken away, pain sets in. Imagine you lose a watch that is very expensive, you get sad and may even cry at your loss of the watch. Now imagine your colleague has the same watch and it goes missing; this time you don’t cry or get sad. The attachment is to the object and it causes misery. Attachment causes pain.

 

3) Love is yours.

This one lesson is a bit difficult for most to comprehend. No one can actually GIVE you love; it’s yours, always has been and always will be. Others can share their love with you, but never give it to you because love is within you and you already possess it. This in essence proves the notion that you are love.

 

4) Know thyself.

All great sages and religious leaders advise us to know thyself, not just intellectually, emotionally or devotionally, but know reality experientially. Experience directly the reality of our mental/physical phenomenon; this is what helps us be free from suffering.

 

5) Compassion heals.

Over ten days of silence and the most important lesson was on my way back home at the airport. I stopped in the food court and picked up a sandwich. After I ordered my food, there was a change of shift. I observed a fragile and sensitive young man who came to the register taking people’s orders in a genuinely friendly manner. I noticed he would often made mistakes on the register and as soon as he made a mistake, he would get very flustered, so much so that his co-workers didn’t want to be around him and it was quite obvious.   Instantaneously I felt his suffering as if it was my own. As soon as the customers cleared, I approached him and he warmly welcomed me and asked to take my order. I glanced over at his name tag and responded, “No. thank you Jacob. I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you are doing.” Jacob began to cry and reached out for my hand and we cried together. Everyone faces the “universal problem” of suffering, the remedy is also universal…compassion heals. What I saw in Jacob was merely a reflection. Sometimes it’s that simple, people are in need of compassion.

 

We all seek growth; sometimes we seek it externally, yearning for external praise, status or things. But, growth happens from the inside out, contrary to what we have been conditioned to believe.   It is not wrong to try to get rid of the apparent external cause of your suffering. But it is more important to get rid of the internal cause.

 

May you all experience this ultimate truth. May all people be free from misery. May you enjoy real peace, real harmony, and real happiness.

 

Be Happy,

Rula Sater


Rula Slater — Summer of WellbeingRula Sater is a certified coach and Master Neurolinguistic program practitioner. She incorporates meditation and mindfulness in her work with her clients. She primarily works with those in leadership capacity coaching them on breaking down obstacles, understanding how to better communicate and how to reach and utilize their true leadership potential. Additionally, Rula provides leadership training to organizations seeking to create an exceptional leadership workforce. She has been recognized as a Top 40 Trainer Under 40 in North America by Training Magazine. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organization Psychology.

 

Visit me at http://www.rightcoachforlife.com or drop me a line at metamorphosiscoach@gmail.com

This week is my final blog about the book Your Health is in Your Hands, by James D. Jordan. In the video below I talk about how emotions relate to our wellbeing, and I share how I recently discovered a particular emotion that was causing one of my ailments.

buffaloEarlier in my career, it was fashionable to pretend that stress was a good thing. The stress (caused by fear) is what makes us run from a charging buffalo, they said. Stress in the workplace can help us be more efficient and effective, we were told, providing an energy boost that improves focus and productivity. Talking about how stressed and overworked you were was like working crazy hours – a way to be noticed by the boss, and advance in your career.

I never bought it. I have never had to run from a charging buffalo.

Stress is your body’s response to a perceived threat. Cortisol increases, adrenaline increases, and all the blood rushes out of your brain. Your reptilian, dumbed down brain responds – fight or flight. Could this possibly improve your work product, allow you to make good decisions, or contribute to positive results?

Perhaps fight or flight was the best we could do thousands of years ago, but I like to think evolution isn’t over. We can control how we react to challenging situations. Remaining calm under all circumstances is the best way to stay focused on a goal, complete a difficult task, or motivate a team.

How can we remain calm? Practice helps.

One practice that helps to maintain calm is mindfulness. According to Mindful Work, the new book by David Gelles, “…mindfulness is about increasing our awareness of what’s happening in our minds, throughout our bodies, and in the world around us. It is about noticing these things, and also accepting them as they are, rather than making ourselves crazy by wishing things were different.”

It’s about focusing on this moment. Not on yesterday. Not on tomorrow. Not on the email that just showed up.

Mindfulness is cropping up not just in ashrams or meditation centers. Companies big and small are investing in mindfulness training, and promoting the practice of mindfulness.     Our CPA firm, Kaufman Rossin, recently completed a study with  Amishi Jha, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami. The study focused on the effects of mindfulness on attention, productivity and stress levels. Human Resources Director Joy Batteen tells me, “The mindfulness training gave our professionals the tools to pay better attention and increase awareness.  Participants found they experienced less stress during our real crunch time, and felt the benefits in their focus and productivity.”

You know how to breathe, don’t you?

I use breathing techniques to remain calm, and so can you.

In my yoga practice, I have learned the importance of prana, the breath that is our vital life force. Controlling our breathing, a practice called pranayama, is used during the traditional asana practice, the physical postures of yoga. That breath control helps open tight areas of the body, stretch further into new postures, and focus the mind in the moment. Off the yoga mat, I use pranayama all the time – to help me fall asleep, for example.

Kate Holcombe writes, in Yoga Journal: “One of the primary reasons that pranayama techniques that foster a long, smooth exhale … are so beneficial is because, when practiced correctly, they can support the parasympathetic nervous system and activate what is commonly known as the “relaxation response,” reducing stress and its effects on your body and mind. As a result, your resilience in the face of challenge or adversity increases, and your mind becomes more focused and still.”

This isn’t difficult stuff to do, and it’s amazing how much benefit you’ll feel when you try some of these techniques. Here are three I use all the time.

  1. Use long, deep conscious breathing anytime, to calm the mind and body. Sit tall, either on the floor or in your chair. Close your eyes, keep your mouth closed, and inhale deeply and slowly. Exhale deeply and slowly. Try doing this for one minute, then maybe three or five minutes. There’s a great app timer app called i-Qi Timer that lets you choose a gong sound to end your meditation. You can also use long deep breathing as a pause in a difficult conversation, but I recommend keeping your eyes open.
  2. Quiet the mind with ujjayi (you-ja-yee) breathing. This is a long, deep loud breath that many people use during asana practice. Some call it Darth Vader breath. When I use ujjayi I can breathe louder than my thoughts, so any anxiety, worry, or even anger dissipates. Sit tall. Keeping your mouth closed, constrict the back of your throat and breathe in deeply through your nose, making a snoring sound in your throat. Keep our mouth closed and exhale. Breathe in and out, long deep breaths, making the Darth Vader sound. Make it loud enough to drown out the voices in your head. Keep going for ten rounds.
  3. Try segmented breathing to manage your moods. Keeping your mouth closed, breathe in for four counts. Hold the breath in for four counts. Then exhale for four counts. Continue the sequence ten times or more. This specific pattern – four counts in, four counts out – is said to give clarity and alertness. If you’re looking for energizing and uplifting, try four counts in, one count out.

Stress isn’t useful, unless a buffalo is chasing you. And it doesn’t come from the outside. It’s your reaction to your environment. Choose to react calmly.

 


Janet Kyle Altman — Summer of Wellbeing

 

Janet Kyle Altman leads the marketing team at Kaufman Rossin, one of the top CPA firms in the country, and is Vice Chair of The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade. She practices yoga and leadership daily in Miami. You can reach Janet at jaltman@kaufmanrossin.com.

 

 

 

signs that you are toxic

Inevitably there will be times in our lives when we will be toxic. In fact, it’s probably no coincidence that as I write this blog, I, in fact, am toxic. You see, we are human, and during our very human moments we do things like eat too much pizza (because it’s quick and cheap!), speak on our cell phones too much, or expose ourselves to too many chemicals, like household cleaning products. Because I’ve been on this “learning path” for a while now, I’m pretty aware of when things are not working for me. My body screams at me like it’s been doing for the past two weeks. Not a fun time! After quite a healthy run, I’ve been experiencing severe digestive issues, sinus headaches, increased allergies, and painful back aches. YIKES! Right now, I’m TOXIC, and I’m slowly making those shifts I need in order to get back to my optimal state.

 

Do you know when you are toxic? 

As you may know, I’ve been blogging about the book by James Jordan, Your Health is in Your Hands. We’ve covered becoming your own health detective, the importance of nutrients, and this week, we cover the nasty role that toxins play in our health (or lack of health!). There is such a wealth of information in Jim’s book. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the e-book ($6.99 on Amazon) so you can get into the granular, amazing information he provides. Oh, and did I mention this is a quick and easy read? No encyclopedia here! It’s a wonderful reference for everyday folks like you and me. What I hope to do in this post is offer a few simple ways to understand what can make us toxic, and a few simple steps you can take.

 

What’s a Toxin?

Jim defines a toxin as any substance that creates irritating or harmful effects, undermines our health or stresses our biochemistry or organ function. The three primary categories of toxins we get exposed to daily include chemicals, heavy metals and radiation. And, this really caught my attention:

 

Basic Maxim

Your rate of detoxification must exceed your intake of toxins or you will age faster, 

develop chronic illnesses and die prematurely. 

This must be understood if you are serious about taking charge of your health.

 

How do we Detox?

I’ve already highlighted a few of these in my earlier posts, but I’ll list them again, and refer to them as S.H.E.A.D.:  SLEEP, HYDRATE, ELIMINATE, ASSIMILATE & DIGEST.  Not too complicated, right? Get enough sleep (this was a big one when I blogged about Ariana Huffington’s book, Thrive, last summer), drink about 4 oz of water every 30 minutes, eliminate (I’ll say it like a Mommy…. GO POTTY REGULARLY!), get  your nutrients, and support digestion by eating the right foods and getting your nutrients. Here’s a fun fact: We really do need our 8 hours of sleep! Getting our Zzzz’s helps our brains clear away the waste that is responsible for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders! 

 

 

How do we lessen the duration and quantity of toxins we are exposed to? 

My answer? One small step at a time. We are exposed to thousands upon thousands of chemicals daily. Let’s try not to get overwhelmed by this thought, but make a few SMALL and SMART decisions that are within our control. For example, cleaning products. Part of the reason I am experiencing some of the symptoms I have right now may be due to the fact that I had to fire my cleaning lady! As a result, I am doing lots of heavy lifting around the house and making contact with lots of chemicals. One step I intend to take immediately is to purchase natural cleaning products. Other chemicals we often don’t think of, which can suppresses our immune system, poison our nervous system, and can contribute to health issues like cardiovascular disease, and ADD, include: refined sugar, MSG, sulfites (in wine!), all fake sugars, and BPA from plastic bottles! Keep it simple…use non-refined, organic or natural sweeteners, and use BPA-FREE bottles. You don’t have to stop the wine, but consider buying organic, sulfite-free wine. I do!

 

Heavy metals are another source of yuckiness! Most heavy metals come in the form of pollution. They, literally, are heavier versions of lead, mercury, arsenic, and many others. These pollutants get into our foods and can be found in our medications, vaccines, antibiotics, and in dental fillings and crowns! I was not aware of the latter until I had my first consult with Jim. I had so many mercury fillings in my teeth, and that’s one of the first things I did—remove all my mercury (amalgam) fillings. And get this…

 

(According to a study) On average, 81% of the symptoms (many!!) were cured or improved after amalgam removal!!!

 

Because heavy metals can decrease the normal activity of our enzymes to a mere 5%, the result is our compromised health. One of the common health issues many experience today is called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which causes inflammation (the cause of most illnesses today!), pain, and irritation to the immune and nervous system.  Aside from removing our amalgam fillings, a few other simple steps we can take include: doing a heavy metal detox program at least once a year (resources in Jim’s book), take regular clay baths, eat cilantro, chlorella, coconut oil, and medicinal mushrooms, like shiitake! And probably the best simple step….SWEAT (via exercise and sauna), which appears “to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”

 

The last toxin we’ll cover is radiation. One of Jim’s mentors, Michael Coyle, shared with Jim that (non-ionizing) radiation will be the number one environmental factor affecting our health in the 21st Century. Non-ionizing sources of radiation include our cell phones, microwaves, computers, electrical appliances, and more. Excess exposure to these can cause fatigue, headaches, foggy thinking, depression, sleep disturbances, ADD, ADHD, and increased risk of certain types of cancers (brain) for high volume cell phone usage. Now, I’m not any more willing than you (most likely!) to stop using all of my convenient, shiny, productive electronics. But, I can say that I can see the potential affect it is having on me and my son, who now uses a tablet for all his school work. This is the challenge of the future. Some of the simple steps we are taking include: keep our electronics at least one foot away from our bodies (especially during sleep…no phone under your pillow!), limit our microwave use (don’t stare at your food while it cooks!), use our cell speaker phones as often as possible (or a headset), take detox baths often, and get our nutrients (helps to rid us of toxins as I mentioned in my last post).

 

I hope you’re a bit more enlightened, as I am! What I love about Jim’s book is that although it’s very technical in providing all of the science behind what our bodies do and don’t need and the effects on our bodies (potentially very dangerous over time), the solutions truly are very simple. With a bit of dedication and patience (and lots if intention), we really can be smart detectives and change agents for ourselves and those we love.

 

Now, go detox, folks!

It’s your life, lead it well!

 

Namaste,

Mo

In her post below, guest blogger Gladys Diaz addresses women who may be interested in creating greater intimacy in their romantic relationships through embracing their feminine essence, by rockin’ it as successful and independent career women, while at the same time allowing themselves to be loved fully and completely.

First, however, she shares some awesome tips for ANYONE who would like to communicate more effectively to create greater intimacy in any kind of relationship!


https://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=129661873&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&force_embed=vimeo.com&fullscreen=1


Three Steps to Having it ALL in Life and Love!

If there is something I have come to learn as a dating and relationship coach is that there is one fundamental desire held in the heart of each and every human being: The desire to be loved and accepted fully and completely.

In a world where we’re taught that it’s necessary to be independent, self-sufficient, and invincible in order to succeed in our careers and life, in general, it’s also important that we honor our heart’s true desire to love and be loved.

I believe there is nothing more powerful than a woman who embraces her feminine essence and is able to embody both her strength and softness, her power and vulnerability, and what makes her both invincible in her career and simply irresistible in her love life!

Unfortunately, there are some women who believe that they need to choose between having a successful and fulfilling career and being in a loving, intimate relationship.

So what are three steps you can take to ensure that you CAN have it all – the career, the lifestyle, and the love your heart desires?

 

1. Honor your desire to be in a loving relationship.

It’s time to get real with yourself. Yes, you’re strong, successful, and self-made, and none of that changes when you choose to also be loved, desired, and adored! Acknowledging and honoring your desire to share your life with someone is not a sign of weakness, a declaration that you’re unhappy with your life, or a confession to being helpless or “needy” without a partner in your life. It’s simply embracing the desire to share your life – all of it – the happiness, success, and, yes, the sadness and bumps along the road to success – with someone who will stand by, celebrate, and allow you to lean on him or her from time to time. This doesn’t make you weak. It just makes you human!

 

2. Allow your partner to care for and provide for you.

If the hair on the back of your head just stood up, relax! I’m not suggesting that you begin to “dumb down,” act helpless, or pretend you’re incapable of taking care of yourself. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you deserve all of the success and rewards you’ve earned! However, I am inviting you to step into the wonderful pleasure of knowing that even though you can probably do it all on your own, when you’re in a relationship, you don’t have to!

If you’re in a relationship with a man, for example, it’s important to know that, for men there are usually 3 things that are most important when it comes to the woman they love. They need to know they can provide for, protect, and please you. This isn’t about being “macho” or seeing a woman as incompetent or incapable. The need to want to contribute to a woman’s life gives a man a sense of purpose. And that desire doesn’t make him any “needier” than your desire to be loved makes you “needy.” It’s just the way men are wired. So, if the man you’re with wants to pay for the dinner, let him. If he offers to carry your bag, let him. If he says runs to hold the door open for you, let him. And thank him, because feeling appreciated is another one of his top needs!

The point is that part of being in a partnership means allowing the other person to feel as if he or she is able to contribute to and make a difference for you. When you allow someone to do something for you that makes you happy, you are giving that person the gift of knowing that he or she had something to do with the smile on your face!

 

3. Let your partner see your softer side.

While a woman’s confidence is one of her most attractive attributes (second only to her smile), there is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. Being confident sends the message that you love and accept who you are. Being arrogant sends the message, “I don’t need anyone… especially you!

Yes, your partner loves knowing that you were able to close the sale, inspire the room of executives to change their minds, and complete the project you’ve been working on for months. Your partner also loves knowing what your hopes and dreams are, what scares you, and how you feel about him or her (especially, the last one).

Being vulnerable can be scary, because you’re trusting someone with your feelings, dreams, and desires. But being vulnerable is necessary for creating love and intimacy in a relationship and the level of intimacy in a relationship is directly related to the amount of vulnerability you bring to it.

Trust that if you’re with a good person (and the signs will be there all along) your partner will not take advantage of your vulnerability. Instead, knowing that you trust him or her with your heart inspires your partner to want to be there for you, to care for you, and to become an even better person. While the person you choose to love may not always be perfect, trust that he or she will do everything to show you how honored they are to love and be loved by you.

Being strong, successful, and powerful is great. As women, we should be proud of the amazing things we are able to accomplish. But a truly successful life means feeling joy and fulfillment in every area – including your love life. And unlike at work, where we have to prove ourselves and earn our place at the top, the beauty of love is that you don’t have to do anything to deserve or earn it. Simply being you – the essence of who you are – is more than enough! So, embrace your feminine essence and allow yourself the joy and infinite pleasure of loving and being loved every day of your life!

 


Gladys Diaz — Summer of Wellbeing

Gladys Diaz, co-founder of Heart’s Desire International, is a dating and relationship coach, author, and speaker whose mission it is to empower every woman on the planet to experience loving and being loved every day of her life. She and her twin sister, Michelle Roza (also known as “The Love Twins”) specialize in guiding professional women around the world to have successful and prosperous careers and extraordinary loving relationships by removing the hidden barriers blocking them from experiencing love and intimacy in relationships and learning the skills that empower them to be invincible in the workplace and absolutely irresistible in their love lives!

 

For more information about Gladys and Heart’s Desire International, please visit http://www.heartsdesireintl.com.

 

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Do you often look back to those weird home remedies that your parents or grandparents had for every ailment under the sun? I still use some of them and wish I had asked more questions growing up. I want that library, now that I’m open to learning! These were healing products found in nature that were readily available and didn’t require a visit to the doctor or a prescription. They certainly didn’t require any insurance!
With my thoughts on natural remedies I continue our reading of Your Health is in Your Hands, by James D. Jordan. If you didn’t catch part 1, you can find it here. In this blog, I continue with the idea (in the book) that the majority of illnesses we get, or our general “un-healthy” feelings, stem from toxins, stress, and/or nutritional deficiencies. Today I focus on nutrients.
I have delicious memories from my childhood, savoring one of my favorite comfort foods that my grandmother, Amelia, made me— a large bowl of hot “harina”, or cooked cornmeal. I loved putting sugar on mine (FYI—I don’t do this today!!!), but she always made us eat it with a raw egg on top! I enjoyed it, but always thought it was strange. I questioned, “Will the raw egg make me sick?” Well, it never did. Today I know that not only are eggs a great source of protein and omega-3 fats (among other nutrients), but Jim tells us they are one of the best sources (raw) of enzymes that are “required for your body to function properly, because without them you wouldn’t be able to breathe, swallow, drink, eat or digest your food.” COOL, way to go, Abuelita!
Through studies shared in the book, we can reasonably assume that a good amount of our population consistently fails to meet even the minimum intake for many of the key nutrients recommended. There are so many eye-opening reasons why listed in the book, but the one that really caught my eye is the declining nutritional content in our food due to the changing agricultural practices that give more importance to traits (size, pesticides) other than nutrition. One study concluded that “…one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.
 
A key point driven home in this book via study after study and Jim’s own experiences and experiments, makes it clear that one small, yet significant step we can take toward getting all the nutrients we need is to take a high-quality whole-food multivitamin/mineral formula daily because “It is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally from food alone, even if that food is organically grown.Getting all of the key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants we need also protect us from toxins, which simply just make us feel worst, and can negatively impact our health over time. (More on that next week!)
 
Jim provides a nice, brief overview of the common nutrient deficiencies and how to supplement them using real food! It’s really a great resource. But to keep it simple, I want to share with you the 8 small positive changes you can make to get all the nutrients you need, and really be in a place where you are preventing illness and thriving:
  • Center your healthy diet around high-quality (Look for: organic, naturally raised, grass fed, free range, wild caught): 
    • Proteins such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs cooked at low temperatures (225 degrees or below to prevent oxidative damage)
    • Organic fruits and veggies (more nutrient-dense and less toxic!)
    • Fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil and raw nuts and seeds
    • Raw, sprouted and cultured foods (like raw eggs, raw honey & sushi!)
  • Supplement your diet with a high-quality whole food-based multivitamin and mineral formula
  • Take a high-quality pro-biotic daily to support optimal digestion (for nutrient absorption!)
  • Dehydration is a very common deficiency! Drink half your body weight in oz of water daily. View our 2014 guest blog about this here.
  • Assess (through testing or symptoms) any nutrient deficiency which may be contributing to your health issues, and supplement those deficiencies through the above.
I’ll wrap this up by sharing that as a coach I see how many individuals (of all ages) suffer from symptoms like, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and constant movement (hyperactivity). Although I believe that much of this can be attributed to our life styles and careers (What we think we should be and do), Jim also shares that the most common deficiency he sees is that of magnesium, which can cause/aggravate many of these symptoms. If this sounds like you, please consider finding out what your deficiencies may be and begin supplementing what you need. Wonderful natural resources for magnesium deficiencies are green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and halibut! YUM!
I hope this was helpful! Are you already doing a lot of the above? If so, I’m cheering you on with my tall glass of water and ounce of dark chocolate!
Until next week…it’s your life, lead it well.
Namaste,
Monique