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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 13

 

Welcome to Week 13 the final week of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger today is Michelle Alva, an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach. Today, she demonstrates 5 quick and easy tips to de-stress and energize ourselves in our daily lives. Watch her video and leave a comment below!


Mary P
Michelle Alva
Michelle Alva Integrative Healing and Wellness 
Michelle, who works as an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach combines her 18 year background as a physical therapist, yoga therapist, belly dance teacher, and energy medicine practitioner to bring a very safe and effective approach to healing and wellness. Michelle bridges the gap between modern science and ancient wisdom approaches. She writes weekly on her blog, and has been published in national publications. She creates inspirational videos on her You Tube Channel, all designed to empower and educate individuals on how to heal, de-stress, love more and energize from the inside out.

 
 
 

Happy Tuesday Summer of Well-Being readers! For those of you with school-age children, congrats on getting them out the door again and off to a new adventure! Our summer blog season is coming to a close. I have to say, though, that focusing on what makes us “well” and exploring new ways to make our well-being a priority brought an exciting spin to my summer. What about you? This week I’ll introduce you to a great friend, and a very funny guy! David Suarez, founder and lead facilitator of Interactive Training Solutions, will share how humor can be just the thing your well-being plan needs. Look for his blog on Thursday.

My family and I just finished up two weekends of hosting a garage sale. Gosh, it’s exhausting! You may be asking, “Why on earth would you have a garage sale during the summer?” Yeah…we kinda asked ourselves the same question, but the benefits certainly outweighed the negatives. It was one of those activities that wasn’t planned, and by a sheer push of energy, took us there.

garage_sale1Perhaps you’ve experienced the same feeling during your Summer of Well-Being? When opening certain drawers, walking into my kids’ rooms, or trying to pull something out of the shed, I felt a heaviness coming my way. That was it! I didn’t think I could take another day of looking at certain messes and just letting it slide…again! We underestimate how these “messes” affect our lives, and when we actually pay attention to how we feel when we experience them, we get it.

In thinking about the well-being of my family, here’s what our garage sale experience taught me.

1. Stuff is energy.
Our “stuff” truly is a reflection of our inner lives. I’ve always been a student of energy, which is why Feng Shui makes sense to me. We don’t have to think of it as some “weird science experiment” we’re conducting, we can simply think of it as clearing the way for new, fresh energy to come into our lives. Now, when I open my shed I smile; when I enter my son’s room I get excited about the new “man” room we’ll be creating for him soon, and when I put my daughter to sleep every night I know she’s resting in a space that will promote creativity and safety, not chaos. I’m breathing so much easier. Old, stuck energy out…new fresh energy in!

2. We choose what things mean.
This was a tough one! Do you hold on to things for a long time because they hold a special meaning? I definitely do. This time, however, I understood that I would keep these things forever if I could, instead of truly creating the open space I needed. At the end of the day, I want my inner world–the things we don’t always see–to truly reflect what I want to create in my physical world. This garage sale truly required all of us to examine how truly important all these “things” were to us. Perhaps they held a stronger meaning 10 years ago, but today they don’t represent who we are or want to be. Finding meaning and defining those things that truly are important to us is a big part of creating a well-led life. I did choose to not let certain things go, but only because what they represented matched one of my current strongly-held values. No negotiating here.

I love this poem about the process of finding meaning:

The past is dead. The future is imaginary. Happiness can only be in the Eternal NOW moment.

This sunset…This smile…This word you are writing…This pain you are feeling…This question you are asking…This omelet you are cooking…

The meaning of life is the tear of joy shed at the sight of the well-cooked omelet.

-Jere Pramuk

3. People need people.

Spend 8 hours outdoors and you’ll connect with more people than you probably want to. However, some of those connections will be special. As a coach I love to make people feel good, it’s in my DNA. So, when a few of our visitors just wanted to talk and share, not shop, that was ok. I got the impression that these individuals really needed some acknowledgment in their lives, no judging, just listening. I also experienced some of my neighbors in a new way. I got to spend time with them and learn more about them. I also very much appreciated their generosity in supporting our sale and offering us cold refreshments! Sometimes we may take for granted the amazing people who surround us (literally!) for most of our lives. They can be an extension of our family.

Our well-being doesn’t have to come from a check-list or rigid plan. It can be present for us in every moment and in every experience. Do you have an example like mine that provided you with some awesome well-being moments? I’d love to hear all about them. Please comment below.

It’s your life, lead it well.

Monique

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 1

Today, Mary P. Trontz helps us focus on the well-being dimension of Moving, and how we can better lead our bodies and our lives from our Core in just a few seconds everyday.


Along with a sound diet, the key to obtaining a lean, toned torso is building a strong core. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders.

When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. When this happens, we are able to generate powerful movements of the extremities.

A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back:
• Reduces Back Pain
• Reduces the Risk for Lower Back Injury
• Improves Posture
• Improves Athletic Performance

Planking is an exercise that engages several muscles and strengthens your core.

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Try to plank at least 30 seconds every day.

There are several plank exercises. Here are just a few to get you started:

Regular or Side Plank — begin with a 30 second hold & increase gradually
Plank Jacks — adds leg workout & cardio
Hip Twists — tap hip side to side to workout your obliques/love handles
Suicide Planksas you advance add shoulders/arm workout (start with 5 per side & increase to 10 gradually)

If you’re holding a standard plank, here is some expert advice, so you get the best results:

• Keep your shoulders square above your wrists
• Tuck your hips under by contracting your abs
• Keep your neck long and relaxed
• Focus on something directly underneath you to keep your spine and neck neutral
• Keep your back flat (your body should be in a straight line)
• Stay up on your toes and keep your heels down, low, or flexed
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Mary P
Mary P. Trontz
Certified Fitness Trainer & Independent Team Beachbody Diamond Coach
Mary P. Trontz is a Certified Fitness Trainer and an Independent Team Beachbody Diamond Coach. She obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Florida. Currently, she spends her time as a bootcamp instructor, personal trainer, fitness coach and nutrition consultant.
Website: www.Beachbodycoach.com/MaryTrontz
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaryFitnessCoach
Email: maryfitnesscoach@yahoo.com

 

 

Thank you, Mary, for sharing this strength-building exercise for our core, in just a few minutes a day! If you’d like to use this platform to help stay accountable to new ways you can improve your well-being, list your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goal below in the comments!

 
 
 

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…Well, young Skywalker, it has EVERYTHING to do with it!

(Yes, I’m a Star Wars fan!)

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.”   – Marianne Williamson

Yeah, I know, talking about “love” especially in professional settings can feel inappropriate or “soft”. But, is it really? What is love? What does it represent to you?

For me, when I think of people I love (including those I work with), I think about how much I respect them, how much I learn from them, and how much I enjoy being around them. Perhaps they lift up my spirits, or give me tough love and show me how to be a better person and leader. What’s so soft about that?

Now, let’s take a look at fear. What does it represent for you? I fear people because their values are opposite to mine, or they represent what I want to become one day and that vision is scary to me! Of course, fear also represents true danger – situations that put me or those I love at risk in some way.

When we talk about the personal choice we have and can make at any moment, if we pay close attention, we can see how ALL OF OUR CHOICES, whether conscious or not are either based in LOVE or FEAR. If you are practicing your awareness then you can begin to make more choices based in love (or similar emotions, like compassion, caring, appreciation, concern, excitement, joy, synergy, etc.)

Doesn’t love feel better than fear? It does. And, I can tell you that in the world of energy, love resonates very high (attracts/expands) and fear resonates very low (repels/breaks down). It’s very simple, when we choose fear we get stuck and stay stuck. There is no growth, no health, no vision, no risk, and lots of worry and stress!

Let’s play with this a bit. Here’s a scenario some of you may be familiar with:

There is one promotion available in your department and it will be offered to someone from within. Several of your colleagues are also interested in the promotion and are going for it. When you hear this, you can feel excited or scared, challenged or angrily competitive. You can think in your mind… “Wow! Can you imagine if I get it? If they see in me what I’m worth and how I can grow and develop in this role?” You can also think…. “Damn that Sally! I knew she would go for this, that B_ _ _h! She can’t get it. I won’t let her!” Do you sense the love and fear in these thoughts? You should be able to because thoughts and emotions are directly linked. You cannot have one without the other. So, I pose this question to you?

If you could make more conscious choices based in loving thoughts rather than fearful thoughts, how much more joy, peace and success would you feel in every moment?

Here’s a simple request… Just take one day to track all of the decisions you make (or avoid!) —large and/or small—and investigate if they are based in love or fear and how you feel.

You can change your choices and you can shift the fearful ones immediately with awareness and practice. Love is one of fear’s worst enemies! Douse your fear with love! I know you will feel better as a result. If you need to do it privately, that’s allowed too! No one needs to know! Now go do it.

Wishing you a life well led!

Monique

 

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Need to bring a little green luck into your work life? There’s no better time than this week to help you find that ever-evading pot of gold!

Feng Shui is one of my favorite topics and areas of study. At its essence, when you are practicing Feng Shui you are bringing your environment into balance and ensuring that the energy around you is flowing and not stagnant or “stuck.”

Feeling stuck at work? This may be a sign that putting into place some meaningful and easy “cures” is needed, helping you get back into the flow of productivity, creativity, and maybe even some new clients, or even a promotion!

Although it may sound light or “out there,” Feng Shui is a respected ancient practice, both in the east and the west. In fact, many businesses (even architects designing new buildings, work spaces or corporate parks) consult with Feng Shui practitioners to create balanced and vibrant work environments. With this practice not only do you see the difference, but you really feel it.

Here are some “green” tips to get that energy and those ideas flowing again. When I think of Ireland, I think of expansive lands, dirt and trees, mountains, four-leaf clovers, and of course, the color green! Here’s the most important tip of all: When you enhance your space, do it with intention. Without focus and meaning, it won’t do a damn thing!

*The color green represents growth and expansion — think of seedlings beginning to sprout. So, one of the best things to do is to bring live plants into your workspace. Not only will they increase the amount of oxygen in your environment (keeping you alert!), but they also represent the growth of things — money, recognition, health, relationships, etc. Place it in the area of your space you want to enhance. You can see a western Feng Shui map, or Bagua, here.

Important: With a western Bagua, you are not using actual compass directions, but you are placing the map at the entrance (door) of your office and/or workspace, with “north” facing directly across from you.

*This idea of growth and expansion can also be enhanced by items or images of things that are tree-like … like paper, bamboo, wood, tall and rectangular-shapes, or pictures of the sun rising or mountains in the spring time with lots of vibrant green grass! If you really have a new idea you want to launch, make sure to place that plant or item in the Creativity quadrant of your office space.

*Bring in that pot of gold! If it’s more money you want to attract, or the feeling of prosperity and abundance, bring in some shiny coins or dollar bills (or pictures of what wealth represents to you) and place it in your Wealth corner. And yes, definitely pictures of four-leaf clovers, or the real thing, if you can get your hands on one!

*Want to feel revitalized? Need to drive up your feeling of health and well-being? How about a comfy green pillow or pashmina? These will do the job, especially in the Health quadrant of your office!

Have fun with these tips! Feel free to share how your enhancements work for you. I’d love to hear from you.

Until then …

May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Namaste … Monique

Sprouting Seeds

March 5, 2014

Birthdaycakeedit1      Happy Birthday To Me!!

Yes, today is my birthday, and I couldn’t be happier sharing my special day with each of you.

Birthdays are a wonderful time of year for each of us to honor who we are, the special gifts we bring to the world, and to reflect upon all of the good in our lives and all the greatness ahead. I could not be more grateful.

If you’ve read my blog posts in the past, you know that I believe everything is energy. As such, I also believe in the energetic cycles of time — what each day, month or year has in store for each of us, uniquely, based on our birth date, as well for all of us as a whole. It just so happens that this time of year, the energy of Pisces helps us to give birth to all of those wonderful seeds we have planted. If you happen to have the urge to pursue an idea or start a project that has been collecting dust on paper or on your mind’s shelf, know that NOW is the time to take action!

Sprouting-Plant

Taking action isn’t easy. But trust that in pushing forward slightly, you are opening a universal door that will support your every move.

Here are 10 easy tips to help you take off. Pick one or two that resonate with you and get going!

  1. Pick a partner. Enlist someone savvy to help you with your idea or work together with you.
  2. Create space in your calendar. Block off 30 minutes three times per week to dedicate to your initiative. Use your lunchtime if necessary.
  3. Use Sunday as your Creative Day. Take a journal or piece of paper, list all of the things that come to your mind that you would like to DO, BE or START. Pick the one that calls to you. Circle it. Then, ID the first three super small steps you can do this week to launch it.
  4. Design your Manifest Monday by creating one small step you will take action on each Monday for one month.
  5. Write your goal on every mirror in your house, car and office. Keep it top of mind.
  6. Schedule reminders each day (via your calendar or smart phone) to get you to take one more step toward completing your project.
  7. Ask your partner to hold you accountable by calling you daily, weekly, etc.
  8. Ask the question: “How will I feel if I don’t take action on this idea?” Does your answer motivate you?
  9. Write a one-page letter to yourself expressing what you will have accomplished by taking on this task. Seal it. Write your deadline date on the outside of it. Don’t open it until that date. Keep the envelope with you at all times.
  10. Find a picture or image that represents your accomplishment. Make it your screensaver on all your smart tools and computer. Visualize daily your successful completion of it.

Speaking of our uniqueness and sprouting seeds, this month I am giving birth to an exciting new workshop that will help you do just this! I can’t wait to work with a group of individuals who truly want to operate from their core talents and design strategies that will help them operate at their very best.

If you’re in Miami, I hope that you will consider joining me at FIU on March 27 for Discover and Develop Your Strengths NOW!
If you’re not in Miami, I also offer this work one-on-one.

I know you have planted seeds!!!

Go water them now and watch them grow!

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Namaste, Monique

Get Loving!

February 20, 2014

running man

As you’ve learned through my last few blog posts, we bring energy into our lives in many ways. The last one I’d like to touch upon this month is moving.

Through observing others, and myself, I can see that movement for some individuals is absolutely essential, so they do it often (usually daily and first thing in the morning). That is empowering, and I celebrate them for being able to make it a consistent priority. For others, moving is more challenging due to our busy lives, and it jumps to the bottom of our to-do list. Oftentimes, because we can’t move the way we ideally want to, we don’t do it all. This is not good, of course, and it becomes an excuse after a while. Are you nodding your head in agreement?

Although I have been a dancer all my life and that is my absolute favorite way to move, it’s not always possible for me to energize myself through dancing. But, I know that I need to get moving, literally, not only for my health, but for the incredible energy and agility that I want to result from it.

For the purpose of simplicity, and the idea of Kaizen (very small changes that bring about lasting change), I’d like to suggest a very simple two-step process to making a positive change toward prioritizing moving:

Change the “M” in MOVE to an “L” to create LOVE!

1. Yes! When we bring movement back up the list, even in very small ways, we are actually making an intentional choice to LOVE ourselves.

That’s step one. Here’s step two:

2. Ask yourself, “How will I choose to LOVE myself today for just 10 minutes?” Small steps, remember?!?!

For me, this looks like stretching in my office, or taking a brisk mindful walk on campus. When I really want to feel the LOVE, I will do about 30 squats, 30 sit-ups and some push ups.

What I’ve noticed for myself is when I can make the time for 10 minutes of movement, I want more of it! In fact, just recently I purchased a video system where you exercise for just 25 minutes a day. I recall my mind chatter telling me, “Really, Monique, can’t you make yourself a priority for just 25 minutes a day?” I enlisted my husband and son to join me (Can you say accountability partners?!?!), and we are all working hard together and loving it! What I’ve also noticed is that we (including my 9-year-old daughter) are all craving a more active lifestyle because of it.

It all started with 10 minutes of LOVE for myself!

If you’re not moving much, I’d LOVE for you to try my simple 2-step technique and report back what changes you’re noticing (mind, body & spirit ones!).

Sharing is caring, and MOVING is LOVING!

It’s your life. Lead it Well.

Namaste, Monique