Creating “Right Relationship”

We are surrounded by relationships.  Our partner, our parents, our friends, our family, even “Paul” who works at the gas station.  All are part of a community web that we create.  We are constantly forming new relationships, managing the ones we have, and sometimes letting go of the ones that are no longer serving us.  Relationships can carry us through many emotions.  Many, many emotions.

So what is the right relationship?IMG_4086

Last Saturday, I attended my first sweat lodge.  Never having experienced one before, I was amazed by each element that created this night.  I followed the movements of others and listened closely as we repeated mantras and prayers that have been passed down over many, many generations.

The sweat lodge was referred to as the womb, a sacred place of magic, spirit and birth.  Envision a dome shaped wood frame covered in heavy blankets; such thick-layered blankets that all of the light from the outside was shut out, and all of the heat was kept in.  And all of us (about twenty) healed and released in this heat.

There were many words spoken that night, words of intention, gratitude, healing, love, spirit, but there were a few words that stuck with me long after I had left that magical place.  “Be in right relationship”.

When I first heard this said that night, I thought of the people who are in my life, the ones who have been in my life for a long time and the ones who I am just getting to know.  I thought about how grateful I am for these relationships and for all that they provide me with.

When I heard “get into right relationship”, I thought about some of the changes that I want to make in my own life, resentments that I want to let go of and judgments that are not serving a positive purpose.

“When you put love into any relationship, there is no room for anything else.  There is no room for hate, for judgements, for war.”

Whoa.  This was the answer to how I would release these judgments and resentments that were only causing harm.  By putting love into any situation, there is no room for anything but love.  Of course, putting this into practice can be extremely challenging at times, but with love, all can be healed.  At times of great frustration or fear, this is the perfect thought to come back to.

“Get into right relationship with yourself”.

After all of this time sitting here and thinking about everyone in my life, I had totally forgotten about myself.  How do I talk to myself each day?  How am I treating myself?  Am I putting love into every encounter with my own existence?  How is my relationship with ME?  How can one have a healthy relationship with someone else while living an un-loving relationship with the self?  This was something that needed to go up on the vision board (and it did).  I need this reminder.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the struggles with others, with events, with daily stressors, that we forget to create and practice love for ourselves; our own body, mind and spirit.

Since last Saturday night, these words have been playing like a record in my head.  “Get in right relationship”

What does this mean for you?  What relationships in your life need tending to?

In my opinion, this work is never complete, but by practicing daily with small steps, you can teach yourself to put love into all aspects of life.  What will you do today?

with extra love,

Amanda

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The Power of Accountability

The morning is such a beautiful time; we open our eyes to a new day, show gratitude for all that surrounds us, and move forward with love and good intentions (I mean, that’s the ideal plan, right?).  We all know that life can sometimes get in the way of our well being, so it is extremely important to make time for the things that deeply nourish you, making all of the other “stuff” (stress, work, bills, time) more manageable.

For me, I knew that I needed a better spiritual practice in the morning.  I have had the hot lemon water and green smoothie thing down for well over a year, but there was something missing.  I wanted (needed) to take some time in the morning to do things that made me feel fulfilled, happy.

I am a firm believer in “how you live your mornings is how you live your day”, so for the past 7 weeks, I have developed and practiced a morning routine.  I gave myself some options, and I made a promise that I would do my best to practice at least 2 of these things at the start of every day.

You may remember the post I shared when I was just starting this adventure… So here is how my calendar looks now:

calendar completed

I have to say, I am really proud of myself.

Yes, there are a few blank days, and yes, some mornings I only did one of the practices, but why focus on that?  That is why it’s called a practice, right?  Because we are practicing it, working on integrating it into our life.  It’s not always going to look perfect, and it definitely isn’t always going to feel perfect, but we make the time anyway because we know that it is benefitting us on a deeper level.

Over these past 47 days, I have again learned the power of accountability.  Some mornings, it was a real struggle for me to sit and meditate for 10 minutes when all I wanted to do was get on the computer, turn on some music and check my email… But then I would think of today, the day that I would be sharing a picture of my calendar with you, and that was my motivation.  And of course after my 10 minutes of meditation (or whichever practice I decided on that morning) I felt wonderful, and was so grateful that I took the time for myself.

So thank you for keeping me accountable.

Accountability is one of the strongest ingredients in successful health coaching, and I share it with you because I want to motivate you to commit to something you have been thinking about, something that makes your insides sparkle.  Hang a homemade calendar on your wall to keep track of your progress, find a friend that has something he/she wants to commit to as well and do it together, write about it on your blog, share it with someone you love and ask them to check in with you every day about it… Find something that works for you and do it!  And don’t be scared of error, embrace it, learn from it.IMG_4008

Moving forward, I am feeling more confident and stable in my morning routine.  I now know that in order to feel grounded and balanced in my day, I need to take some time in the morning to journal, practice yoga, meditate, read, stretch, or post a inspirational quote.  I may even make another calendar to help.

I would love to hear the ways you have, or are planning to, keep yourself accountable, and what it is that you want to add more of to your life.

with love and gratitude,

Amanda

Learning to Read Ingredient Labels

Shopping at the grocery store can sometimes be a stressful event.  When you are changing around your diet and learning to choose different, healthier, foods, it can get confusing as to which product to choose.  A tip that I looove, suggested by Michael Pollan, is to stay on the perimeter of the grocery store.  This is where you will find most of your whole foods, leaving the overly processed stuff towards the center of the store.

Choosing foods without labels is ideal because they are usually the foods that have been picked out of the ground and placed on the shelves.  But we all know that sometimes there isn’t time for preparation of those bright leafy greens and gorgeous avocados when we are on the go.  Below are 10 tips that have helped me navigate the world of misleading labels and harmful ingredients, and are a good starting place for shopping in your local grocery store.

ingredients

(Avoid products with a list similar to this)

1. How long is the ingredient list?  Longer ingredient lists are usually a quick way to identify a more processed food, and they usually contain items that you are unable to pronounce and have never heard of before.  Stick with a shorter list of ingredients with items that you recognize.

2. What are the first 3 ingredients?  The first 3 ingredients listed make up the majority of the product, and therefore are what you are primarily eating.  For example, if you are purchasing strawberry jelly, you would want the first ingredient to be strawberries, not sugar.

3. Is sugar on that list?  There are many ways that producers like to hide artificial sweeteners in your foods, and there are many names for sugar. Learn what they are so you are able to identify them. They include sucrose, fructose, glucose solids, barley malt, corn syrup solids, dehydrated cane juice, cane juice, refiner’s syrup, maltodextrin, caramel, fruit juice, dextrose, and many others. Also, check if there is more than one source of sweetener. Many producers use more than one to avoid listing a sweetener in their top 3 ingredients. 4-5 grams of sugar is equivalent to a level teaspoon.

4. Look for the word “whole”.  This word should appear in the first or second ingredient, whether it is whole wheat, rye, oats, or another grain. This ensures that you are getting the grain in whole form rather than over-processed and stripped of all its nutritional value. Whole grains should provide at least 3g of fiber per serving, possibly more.

5. High fructose corn syrup.  Whether this ingredient is as harmful as everyone says it is (there have been studies to support both sides), it’s presence is still a great indicator of a highly processed food, one that you probably want to stay away from.

(a safe ingredient list... Food Is Life ezekiel bread)

(a safe ingredient list… Food Is Life ezekiel bread)

6. Healthier sweeteners.  Honey, maple syrup, stevia, blackstrap molasses, unrefined coconut palm sugar, and date sugar are among some of the healthier options for household and product sweeteners.

7. Avoid artificial colors and flavors.  These are chemicals and are linked to a slew of behavior and health problems.  It may also be listed as  “(color) dye # (number).”

8. Watch out for trans fats.  No amounts of trans fats are considered safe. This processed ingredient is associated with raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Foods can call themselves “trans-fat free” even if they contain up to half a gram of trans fats per serving. Look on the ingredients list. If a food contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, it contains trans fats.

9. Can you pronounce all of the ingredients?  If great grandmother didn’t have these ingredients in her kitchen to bake/cook with, why should they be in your food?

10. Most importantly, know that everyday can’t be perfect.  This is a guide to help you navigate the crazy world of packaged foods.  Trying your best is a step in the right direction. When you use these guidelines most of the time, you will be doing wonderful things for you and your loved ones, and you will be teaching your body to enjoy healthier foods.

 

I hope that some of these tips can help you in your shopping experience.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

with love and healthy choices,

Amanda

A New Year with New Beginnings

Feeling very excited about the new year and all that it has in store, I peeked in my new daily meditation book at January 1st to preview what I would be practicing this coming Tuesday morning:

“Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced and appreciated.  Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear and hope.”

Beginning a new year, we begin to take an inventory of the past year, good and bad, lessons we learned, pain we may of experienced, and we move forward with new intentions, new perspectives, and all sorts of new goals.  I love this time of year.  As a health coach, I live for these kinds of moments; moving forward, making positive changes, and working towards a more fulfilling life.  Motivation is huge come January 1st, and I want to encourage that motivation…

From now until January 15th I will be offering some SERIOUS DISCOUNTS on my health coaching programs, up to 50% off!!  I want to support you during your new transitions while working towards your new years resolutions, and what better way to do that then to offer my services at a discounted rate.

Want to find out more?  Start by scheduling a FREE 30 minute health consultation to talk about your personal goals and to find out which program would be the perfect fit for you!  I will only be taking on a small number of clients at this discounted rate, so message me today to find out more and to set up your health consultation.

craftedwellnessheart

Wishing you a fridge full of greens, an abundance of healthy recipes, and lots of laughter in your new year.  Thank you for your continuous support.

with love and new beginnings,

Amanda

Setting Morning Intentions

How you live your morning is how you live your day.

Read that again, just to make sure you have fully absorbed it.

Got it?  Ok… So, how do you live your mornings?

During the night, our bodies cleanse, detox and repair, doing all of the work to keep us healthy, happy, and functioning properly.  After hours of not eating or drinking, we wake up thirsty and hungry.  So, after working all night, it is only right to give the body the best fuel we can offer.

a super green smoothie

My morning routine consists of a tall glass of water, some hot water with lemon and cayenne (continues the detoxing), and a green smoothie or juice when the hunger pangs begin.  This routine ensures that I am hydrated, properly cleaned out, and that I am offering my body nutritious fuel.  It also helps to set the tone for the rest of my day, encouraging me to choose healthy and nutritious foods.

This kind of routine, or some variation of it, is one that I recommend to all of my clients, and I have seen dramatic changes in many lives with these simple suggestions.  I know that a new routine always starts out as work because it is a change in our usual patterns, but with time, when you begin to feel better, a routine like this becomes just as normal as brushing your teeth or taking your dog for a walk.

After about a year of practice at this, I am confident to say that I have fully commited to this routine.  For me, that water and green smoothie complete my morning, and I tend to feel a bit off balance when I am not able to incorporate them.

In this belief, that how you live your mornings is how you live your day, I have always focused on the fuel, the foods that you are ingesting in the morning, but what about a spiritual practice?  If your mornings are filled with stress and anxiety, you can drink all of the green smoothies you want, but that stress is going to overflow into the many aspects of your day.  And we all know what stress does to the body, right?  It’s not a pretty thing, and we don’t deserve it.

In celebration of admitting my morning routine not really being a routine anymore (yay to green smoothies!), I have decided to commit to a new routine with a more spiritual focus.

I know that when I take time to meditate in the morning, I feel better all day long.  I know that journaling helps me to sort through my worries, my stress and my emotional pains.  I know that yoga and stretching help me to release tension and help to get me into the present moment.  I know that reading and learning helps me to grow as a student, as a teacher.  I know that reading and posting inspirational quotes is an enjoyable way to share some of what I learn daily.  So, if I know that these things nourish me, why aren’t I doing them on a consistent basis?  Well, I’m not sure.  Maybe for the same reasons that I didn’t begin drinking green smoothies every single day as soon as I learned all of their health benefits. But, I feel ready to commit to my spiritual health, which is why I am sharing this post with you.  I am ready to take time every morning to get present, get grounded, get passionate, and feel grateful for all that surrounds me at each moment.

I loved Jackie’s idea of making a calendar to stay on track with her meditation, so I decided to make one myself, as a visual commitment to look at every day.  Every morning, I will do AT LEAST 2 of these things that nourish me.  I invite you to do the same.my sacred mornings calendar

Do you have practices that you feel nourished by but you are having trouble weaving them into your everyday life?  Maybe you have never tried some of the things I mentioned but feel intrigued to find balance and nourishment in new ways?  Either way, I invite you to join me in committing to something, anything, that you deserve every morning.

If you do decide to join me on this, I would love to know what you are committing to.  Let me know in the comments below or feel free to message me on Facebook if you prefer to share privately.

with love and a commitment to health,

Amanda

A Shift In Perspective

Have you ever heard certain words strung together, words that fit together so perfectly that when you hear them, you experience a shift in consciousness?  One simple sentence that can change the way that you feel?  And possibly even the way that you will face each day going forward?  Well, I had a moment just like this in my yoga class this morning.  A few simple words that were strung together so perfectly, I felt them ignite my inner spirit.

Theresa referred to it as “flipping the emotion”, a way to change your perspective in any given moment.

“If you are uncomfortable with something, find something about it that makes you comfortable”. 

A little reminder at a gas station.. yoga is a way of living, and it is everywhere.

A little reminder at a gas station.. yoga is a way of living, and it is everywhere.

Whoa.

It all made sense.  At any given moment, I am in control of how I feel.  It is up to me.  And it is up to you, too.  This stuff is good, like, really good.

When I asked her about it after class, she explained that in any given moment, you have the ability to bring yourself out of discomfort by a simple shift in interpretation.  How you are internalizing a situation will effect how you feel in it, and by taking a step back and shifting your position, you gain the ability to see the beauty in everything.

“It doesn’t need to be a big shift, but just enough to change your perspective”.

The real magic in this thought process is the possibility to re-train our bodies to live this way.  Imagine if we all were able to take a step back and find the comfort, beauty and love in everyday living?  This magical stuff is right in front of us everyday, but sometimes we get so caught up in “the destination” that we forget to enjoy the ride getting there.  Find comfort in knowing that when we are uncomfortable, we are growing.

Where will you find comfort in uncomfortable situations?  Will it be your breath?  Your interpretation? Your knowing that the universe has placed you exactly where you are supposed to be?  Beginning to find comfort in everything that we do will open us up to a more passionate way of living and growing.

I hope that these words have touched you like they have touched me.  If so, hang them on your wall (I know I did).  Post them on fbook.  Tweet them.  We could all use a little reminder from time to time.

If you are in the Orlando area, I would highly suggest stopping by College Park Yoga and taking a class.  It is a beautiful place overflowing with love and gratitude.

with love and finding comfort,

Amanda

An Excuse For Simplicity

As I drove around my neighborhood yesterday afternoon assessing the previous nights hurricane damages, I could not help but think about all of the cities, homes and front yards in so many states that have been littered with broken branches, heavy tree trunks and other debris.  Being without power and cell service, I wasn’t able to hear the news, but I could only imagine the devastation that others were experiencing.  My sympathy was with those that were affected by this storm in any way, and still is.

For me, this hurricane caused some “speed bumps” in the road; Tim and I lost power on Monday afternoon, we were confined to our driveway and the few streets around our apartment by fallen trees and power lines, and judging by the mess of telephone poles, trees and electrical wires in the street in front of our place, we will most likely not be regaining power anytime soon.  At the same time, we were blessed with the safety that our home provided, the company of each other and our pup, and the opportunity to get creative about how we would spend our time without the internet, television, or electricity.

An excuse to bring out my stash of candles always excites me, so I had the house prepared for candle light way before the sun went down.  There is something so soothing about surrounding yourself with such soft light; it makes me feel like I am living a life of simplicity.  I used that feeling over the next few days and dove into thoughts and ideas of how I would spend my time, simply.

Writing.  I wrote in journal form, I wrote in exercise form, and I wrote in lists.  For me, writing in any form provides instant comfort.  I love seeing thoughts, feelings and even “to-dos” written out on a page.  This experience of writing by candlelight made me realize that I don’t make enough time for this in my life, something I really love to do.

This feeling continued on.  I read, something else I love to do but don’t make enough time for.  I read healing words from Caroline Myss and inspiring stories from Bernie Sigel.  Surrounded by quiet and low light, these powerful books brought me into a space of love and gratitude, of power and motivation.  I realized that bringing these kinds of words into my life on a daily basis would provide me with a feeling that I don’t get from a TV show or from reading a blog post.  The authenticity of sitting with a book is one that cannot be matched.

I took a walk, and have taken many since.  Having a connection with nature is something I feel very strongly about and I make a constant effort to include it in my daily life, but to walk around and witness the changes in my usual surroundings after a storm such as this can modify your view.  To witness the power that Mother Nature has over us seems to put our existence in perspective, and the respect that we should show her constantly is magnified at a time like this.  She is a mighty force.

The connections that I have felt with my loved ones over these past few days have been a beautiful reminder of the support and love that I have in my life.  It is amazing where a conversation can drift off to without the sounds of music, TV or any of our other electronic distractions.  Sometimes we can take these relationships for granted, and during this time I have realized the strong beautiful people that I hold in my life and the gratitude that I need to show them everyday.

I can continue on about how I chose to spend my days living in this simplicity but that is not my reason for writing this.  My purpose for sharing with you the last few days of my life and my “ah-ha” moments is in hopes of igniting emotions in you, new realizations or thoughts that may have come to you in this time of disconnect.  Maybe we can all take something from this and continue with it even when our power, televisions, internet, phones, computers, and daily living comes back into play.  Is there anything that you will hold on to?

With love and simple, wonderful things,

Amanda

Keep Healthy Eating Affordable; Wise Words from Andrea Beaman

A common complaint that I hear as a health coach is that eating healthy is too expensive.  Organic produce is often a pricier purchase; hormone and antibiotic free meat is usually double the cost of the conventional option; eggs from the local farmers market cost a few more dollars then those that can be purchased at the grocery store.

The thing is, I get it.  I know that it can sometimes be frustrating to pay more for something that you know you can get for less.  However, we have to begin to view what we eat differently then the way we view a hot sale at our favorite boutique.  Food is our medicine; it is what makes up our body, and good quality whole foods equal good health.  Plus, there are many options for getting good quality food at a cheaper price then you may see in your local health food store.

This past weekend, I got to hear many opinions and thoughts on this topic at IINLIVE, a health and wellness conference organized by The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the amazing school that I attended to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach.  A large group of students came together in NYC to hear some of the worlds most respected leaders in health and wellness.  It was magical!

Role models such as John Douillard, Mark Bittman, Andrea BeamanDaniel Ahem, and Bernie Siegel shared their passion about health, the environment, treating the body with love, and the importance of eating nutritious foods.   Although each speaker approached the stage with information personal to their experience and area of expertise, there was a common theme; we need to feed our bodies whole, nutritious foods, treat our bodies with lots of love, and utilize self-care techniques.

So how do we get people to eat healthy when they want to save money?

Andrea Beaman gave some great tips on how to save money while eating for your health.  She suggests:

-Join a CSA.  A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for you to purchase local, seasonal foods directly from your farmer.  A typical CSA will have an annual rate (for example, $500 for 6 months), and then deliver a fresh box of fruits and veggies right to your door once a week!  You get to eat super fresh, nutritious produce, learn about new veggies and ways to cook them, become more connected to your food by meeting your farmer and visiting the farm on which it is grown, and saving the money that all of this produce would cost in the grocery store. Can’t beat that!!  Find a CSA in your area here.

Beautiful colors at a local farmers market.

-Ditch supplements and eat real food.  As Andrea explained, people have become too dependent on supplements for the nutrients and vitamins available in foods. By ditching the $30 multi-vitamins and eating more leafy greens, veggies and fruits, we can save money while improving our health.  Our bodies absorb nutrition from a natural source way more efficiently then a pill created in a lab.

-Cut back on eating out.  On average, Americans eat out about 4-5 times per week, sometimes more, and this adds up!  The money that we spend at restaurants could instead be put towards purchasing organic, more nutritious foods for our home.

-Cook at home.  We all know that organic produce is more expensive, but remember, this is the fuel we are using to promote health and heal our bodies.  Do you really want to use that red pepper from around the world that has been doused with chemicals and picked before it was ripe?  Explore your local farmers markets and see what’s out there.  Local produce is usually more affordable than the organic options we see in our health food stores, and this gives us a chance to connect with our food.  When we cook at home, we have the opportunity to infuse our food with love.

Baskets of garden grown goodies.

-Grow your food.  All you need is a small piece of yard or some pots, sunshine and water, and you can grow your own fruits, veggies and spices right in your own home.  This is a wonderful way to learn about your food, connect with it on on a much deeper level, and enjoy it without feeling guilty about spending your money on store prices.

-Purchase the whole animal.  Purchasing an entire cow (or half of a cow) is a great way to purchase quality, grass-fed beef at a reasonable rate.  It also gives you the opportunity to meet your farmer, ask questions about how the animal was raised, what it was fed, and how it was treated.  Talk to your local meat vendor at the farmers market to find out what’s available, or try Local Harvest, Eat Wild, or American Grassfed to find a farmer near you.  Nervous about having too much beef?  Find some friends or a family to go in on the investment with you.

Remember, in the words of Andrea Beaman, “ You are worth every single dollar that you put into your body”.

with love and nutritious living,

Amanda

Mark Bittman on Eating More Plants

This past Sunday I was honored to attend The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Live Conference, which was held in NYC, as part of the blogger team. It was a day of inspiration and a reminder of what a strong and vibrant community Integrative Nutrition has and creates. To be in a room with like-minded people who have the same goal: to help people live healthier lives, is incredibly powerful. I’ve been to a few live conferences and each one brings new motivation, inspiration, curiosity and admiration.

At this conference, I had the pleasure of seeing Mark Bittman speak. Mark is an award-winning food writer and author. He writes ‘The Minimalist’ column in the New York Times and is well-known for his cookbook How to Cook Everything. He shared a lot of important and valuable information, along with some shocking statistics such as:

  • In a 12 ounce soda there are 9 teaspoons of sugar!
  • As a nation, 7% of our calories are from soda.
  • We eat 8-9 billion animals per year (if you strung them all together it would go to the moon and back!).
  • Only 10% of our calories come from unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
  • Only 1 in 4 meals contain an unprocessed vegetable.

    Mark Bittman

While these statistics are important in understanding some of the current problems we face as a nation regarding our food choices,  it also leaves the question, what should I do? What’s the best way for me to eat? Mark shared his personal story which helped to illustrate how on an individual level we do have control of our health based on what we choose to eat.  There was a time when Mark was suffering from sleep apnea, knee problems, high cholesterol and an overall need to lose weight. When the doctor told him that there was one thing he could do to help himself, Mark got nervous. The doctor told him ‘become a vegan’ …not exactly music to a food writers ears. But Mark decided that he would put his own twist on it; he would be a vegan until 6pm every day and after 6pm it was up to him to decided what he wanted, and there were no regulations. Guess what? Not long after sticking to this plan Mark lost 35 pounds, his cholesterol went down, his sleep apnea went away, and his knees were no longer a problem. He found a way to eat more plants that worked for him; this was crucial in his healing. He didn’t feel deprived or angry about what he was eating because it was on his terms. And in the end since he felt better eating this way he’s stuck with it. Important to note is that the vegan foods he ate weren’t fritos or soda, they were whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. He mentioned that some of his friends did other things such as; vegan all week but not on the weekends, only eat meat 4 times a month or 4 times a week.  They met themselves where they were and started from there, which helps to make a goal successful.

As a health coach, I work with clients and help them determine what the small changes are that they can start making to reach their health goals. It’s a gradual process and doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. Remember, little changes are more likely to stick and will add up over time!

Change the proportion of the things in your diet. Eat more plants. See how you feel. 🙂

with love and plant-eating,

Jackie

Take Your Shoes Off

With everything going on in our everyday lives, it can be pretty easy to get disconnected; disconnected from ourselves, our loved ones, our emotions, our inner wisdom, and especially, our mother nature.  These days, we have the world at our fingertips (literally), and we can easily forget to look elsewhere for the answers.

I see this a lot in my health coaching practice.  With the non-stop, never-ending information on the newest dieting trends and healthiest foods of the week, people forget to look to the ones who know what is best for their bodies, themselves.

We need to reconnect.  At times, we need to disconnect.  Spending time outdoors, with the source of our existence, is a wonderful way to take a break from the bombardment of new information and status updates, and get back in touch with us.

It is recommended that we spend time outdoors everyday, and in order to connect to the rhythms of the earth, we need to take our shoes off.  Being barefoot outdoors is a very grounding experience, one that allows us to connect to the pulses and movements of the earth.

Taking some time to connect.

When we re-connect, we open up to the possibilities of listening to the earth, which allows us to better listen to ourselves.  We are the geniuses behind our own existence, and owning up to that can be the easiest way to heal your mind, body and soul.  We all know at least 3 things that we should be doing, but aren’t.  But what if we allowed ourselves to bask in that goodness?  What would really happen if we allowed ourselves to be happy?  Healthy?  Loving?  Free?

I know that it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but taking this first step, just by spending some time outside and taking your shoes off, is a wonderful place to start.  Dedicate just 10 minutes a day, maybe only a few days a week, to sit under the blue sky, rub your feet in the green, crisp grass, and reconnect.  Allow yourself to open up to the beauty that surrounds you each and every day, beauty that we too often forget to recognize.

From there, begin to trust that you know best for you.  The universe has supplied you with the knowledge and “gut feeling” that you need.  Of course, we can all benefit from some spiritual guidance and nutritional information, but at the root of it all, we know what works for us and what doesn’t.  We know what makes us fulfilled and what makes us feel used.  By spending some time admiring the outdoors, you will learn to admire yourself, and your own wisdom.  And there is nothing more beautiful than that!

with love and bare feet,

Amanda