R&R

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” -Maya Angelou

I remember when I first started teaching and was always on the go, my mother would always remind me of the importance of resting, slowing down, taking naps or, at best, just closing my eyes for a few minutes. It was her belief that one got old before their time if they didn’t take/make time to rest and relax. However, I had a difficult time processing this because of the conflicting message that her actions sent my way.

You see, what my mom practiced versus what she preached were two different things. At the time, I couldn’t wrap my head around the irony. I didn’t think my mother knew what she was taking about since she was always doing, on the go and tired. How could she possibly know what she was talking about back then?  With the passing of time, I did in fact learn the importance of self-care (not the easy way), and that is why I am such an advocate for radical self-love, self-care and R&R. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite quotes is, “How beautiful it is to do nothing and rest afterwards.”

Are you sending out mixed messages? Are you saying one thing and yet modeling a different behavior for your children and/or loved ones? Today, more than ever, with all the sensory overload and stimulation, round the clock connectivity, and idol hours being spent in front of electronic devices, we cannot overlook the importance of “making the time to take the time” to unplug and take care of ourselves. No excuses! On top of this throw in the state of our world, planet, the on-the-job demands, raising children, caregiving for our partners, and aging parents. And if that’s not enough, add to that mix the problems and solutions that are required to keep our heads above water. Whew! I don’t know about you, but I am tired just writing about it! We can either let all these things wear us down, beat us up and disempower us, OR we can make the choice to go down a healthier path. The choice is truly ours to make. No one can do it for us. As Maya Angelou used to say, “When we know better, we do better.” 

The activity in my last blog, Who’s in Charge Here, gave you “permission” to do identify the things that your mind, body and soul need in order to function optimally. If your mind, body and soul are out of alignment, you can bet your pretty backside that you are feeling its ill-effects. Remember, dis-ease in the mind, body and soul will manifest into disease. And that is the absolute truth! For starters, look around at the havoc that hovering over our electronic devices is doing to our physical bodies. Take a look at how hunched over and collapsed people are looking these days. Young children and young adults already have signs of severe muscular-skeletal issues caused by their poor posture. Witness the anxiety, anger, frustration, grievances and ill behaviors in and around us. All these things can, and should be nipped in the bud because we do, in fact, know better. As I mentioned in Who’s in Charge Here, we need to take charge and act on it! After all, if you’re not in charge, then who is? No excuses darlings!

While the notion of R&R may conjure up visions of retreat centers, sandy beaches, turquoise waters, spa vacations and all the sensory delights that come along with them, we don’t have to go away to experience the healing effects of good old-fashion rest and relaxation. All we need to do is be still, connect to our body, and listen to what it is trying to tell us. We can have a conversation with our Self, and listen to what our heart is longing for… we must do in the name of self-preservation. What is your mind, body and soul calling out for? Is it calling for more quiet time, less time on social media, a digital detox, early bedtime, a bedtime ritual, a soak in the tub, candles, soft music, time to read, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, healing and nutritious foods, an hour of silence (perhaps more), a massage, energy work, reflexology, a facial, mani/pedi, long walks in nature, time with your tribe….you get the picture, don’t you?

Well, then it is my heartfelt wish that you have started to carve out the time to take care of your beautiful, precious, magical, and divine Self and that you have identified your talents, gifts and uniqueness (if not, check out the blog Exercise the I AM in You). We only get one mind, body and soul in this lifetime. Our physical shell holds the miraculous systems and organs that make us who we are.  Shouldn’t we want to honor that precious temple the best way possible? After all, we are good at helping and serving others; yet, oftentimes we do for others and not for ourselves. Let’s change the narrative and the stories we are telling ourselves and modeling for others. Rest and relaxation MUST be on everyone’s list of “non-negotiables.” And, speaking of non-negotiables, have you identified yours?

I will leave you with a beautiful prayer/meditation from the May You Know Joy deck of meditation cards I purchased while I was at Kripalu.

May You Know Nourishment

May you nourish your mind, your body and your soul daily. They are your divine trinity. Nourish your fibers, your ideas, and your values. Strengthening these will carry you further than you might dream possible. May you treat yourself with kindness and compassion and share your nourishment with whose in need of it. They will come to you and you will both be nourished in the process.

 

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

Who’s in Charge Here?

“I need to take an emotional breath, step back, and remind myself of who’s actually in charge of my own life.” Judith M. Knowlton

 

Greetings darlings! Well, if all goes well, today I will be returning from a much needed and long anticipated visit to Kripalu in Lenox, MA. Staying there always leaves me  feeling so relaxed, renewed, recharged, refreshed and connected to nature ( much needed after all the celebrations that took place in the month of October).

There’s nothing like giving ourselves permission to go out and do the thing(s) that our mind, body and soul are calling us to do. Once again, the key is to acknowledge it, make a plan, and consciously choose to schedule it as a priority. I personally see it as a duty and responsibility we have to our higher self, and we do not need anyone’s approval (other than our own) to do so. It’s self-respect at it’s best! If we aren’t in charge, then who is?

So, I am going to keep today’s post light and fun, especially since some of you may still be catching up / finishing up with the I AM exercise that was part of my blog, Exercising the I AM in You. And, since I believe in total transparency, I also needed to schedule some posts for publication in advance for while I was away.  My intention (as I type this) is to disconnect and do a digital detox while at Kripalu. Digital detoxes are also a much needed thing we can all benefit from every now and again….disconnect to reconnect!

Remember how as kids we always needed to get a permission slip signed for a filed trip or class trip of some kind? Perhaps you are the one signing them now if you have children. Well……here goes……

I invite you to make  your own permission slip for the field trip, activity or pampering you have been needing, the dream you’ve been holding onto, the thoughts you haven’t allowed yourself to voice, or any other activity your heart is telling you it needs. Like one of the pages in the I Am Her book says, “Give yourself permission to live.”

  • Take out a sheet of paper and at the top of it write: I Give Myself Permission To
  • At the very bottom of it, write: Starting This Very Moment
  • You are now ready to list the things you will be giving yourself permission to do

Perhaps this is an activity you would also like to share with your Tribe. It’s always fun to share these types of activities with those girlfriends who support and encourage one another. It’s also a good way to hold yourself, and each other, accountable. Make a night of it, host a pot-luck dinner or a happy hour and gather around the table. Have nice art supplies of all kinds if you really want to make it special. That’s  the event planner in me speaking – a simple idea evolves into an “event” of some sort. One thing I know from experience though is that a fun time will be had by all!

Now go take charge, and enjoy yourself!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

 

Turn Your Light On

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” Marianne Williamson

I think we can agree that at one time or another in our lives we have played small. Perhaps some of us are still playing small. At some point though, we realize that what we are doing is of great disservice to our Self, our Spirit, our Soul. This is one example of how we give our power away. The idea is not to play small, but to turn on our own light for it will allow others to do the same.  In shining our own light, we are lighting and paving the way for others. We are choosing to acknowledge our greatness and inspire, love, serve AND lead from the heart…right from the start. 

Hopefully, you are finishing up Day 7 of the I AM exercise and glowing brighter and brighter with each passing day! Here’s a little inspirational piece from the I Am Her book as well as a  little Compliment Practice you may want to try out.

“She unfurls her wings. She speaks her mind. She is a beautiful parcel of boldness and grace, all wrapped together, brilliant. Shining. The more of her own light she allows to shine, the more others shine too. From high up, she imagines they must look like a constellation.

 

Compliment Practice

Draw a BIG heart and in it write all the nice things people say about you.

 

Shine on darlings, and watch what starts to happen. Oh, and one more thing…Remember to keep loving your EXTRAORDINARY self!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

Who is She?

“Her presence makes the world a better place. Who is she? She is me. She is you.” 

Hello darlings! I know many of you have committed to the activity in my previous blog, Exercising the I AM in You, so I am going to keep the next couple of blogs short. The inspirational pieces I am going to share with you, in the next couple of posts, come from this delightful and precious book by Compendium called I Am Her. It’s actually a beautifully and artistically designed book of quotations, vignettes and questions to inspire all the women in your life.

Who is She?

She is a daughter. She is a best friend. She is a pocketful of light. She is a spark of something good, getting brighter; a dream grown large; the right thing at the right time.

She is a dancer, a singer, a thinker, a truth-teller. A connoisseur of all the things this wide world has to offer. Her spirit is the first thing people notice. Her mind always had a mind of its own. Her heart. though it has sometimes been hurt, bears a strong resemblance to a daffodil; it always flowers again.

So she wakes with anticipation. She finds new hills to climb. And everyone agrees that the very fact of her in the world means there is still so much good to come.

Who is she? She is me. She is you.

Hopefully, you are all enjoying the I AM exercise and unearthing the beauty, talents, gifts and uniqueness that makes you who you are!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

Exercise the I AM in You

“All of us are seeking the same thing. We share the desire to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings….the most valuable gift you can give yourself is the time to nurture the unique spirit that is you.” -Oprah

As children, we are taught to love others and treat them with kindness and compassion; yet, we rarely heard the message that it first starts with us. I don’t know about you, but I feel the most important lesson that should be taught early on in life is to do just that: Love and accept ourself, show up for ourself with loving-kindness, compassion and understanding. Take care of our beautiful soul and nurture it with food for all the senses. The value in this lesson is that we learn to put our Self first, and not in a selfish way, but in a self-preserving way!

Fast forward to when we are in our adult lives, and we will most likely get to the point where we seem to be unraveling, disconnected, lost, not grounded, spiraling, fatigued, anxious, and exhausted from doing, doing, doing and giving, giving, giving. Why? Because we are doing and giving to others. We are “do-ing” instead of “be-ing.” We’ve all heard the adage, “If you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of anyone else.” Why is that so difficult to do? We’ve put ourselves at the bottom of the “to do” list, that’s why!  We should have been at the top of the list all along had we been taught to do so early on in life.

Somewhere along the line, we find ourselves lacking joy, stamina, wonder, love, excitement, creativity and a host of other things. We are quick to see the gifts in others and admire them in ways we seem to have lost the ability to do for ourself. We lose touch with our true essence and the connection to that divine energy that is much greater than us. Where did it go? Well darlings, remember the line from the Wizard of Oz? You’ve had the power all along.” You just mis-placed it, gave it away, ignored it or chose to forget about it all together. There comes a point in your life where you must find it, polish it, step into it and reclaim the divine power and glory that is You. How? Well, a good place to start is to turn inward and start acknowledging your personal gifts and uniqueness. We all have them. We’ve just lost sight of them. Be still and listen!

Look around and take a close look at all the young girls and women of all ages, beautiful women inside and out, who fail to see their beauty, light, uniqueness and gifts because they are so caught up in doing for others or comparing themselves to others. Just think about the behavior that is being modeled for younger generations. It’s certainly not a healthy one. A good way to break this cycle is to first acknowledge the behavior and then consciously “choose” to end this cycle of madness and struggle. Instead of prioritizing your schedule, schedule your priorities (when I heard my lovely friend Christy once say this, I felt a shift occur in my mind). And if you’re not sure of your priorities, a great way to re-claim them is to identify your “non-negotiables.” As I’ve shared before, mine are prayer, yoga, meditation, sleep, water, nutritious foods, exercise (and other self-care practices). Nothing, or no one, comes between me and my non-negotiables. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way! What are the things your mind, body and soul need in order to “show up” for yourself in a healthy, kind, compassionate, mindful and peaceful way? And by the way, leave the guilt at the door when doing so! These are the things that need to be a priority on your schedule. Along with the guilt, leave the prioritizing of the schedule in the past, and start scheduling your priorities!

Another powerfully insightful way to identify and connect with your personal gifts, uniqueness and divine power is a wonderful exercise called I AM. If my memory serves me correctly, I first did it as part of Iyanla Vanzant’s Inner Vision Institute Do the Work series. It “appears” to be a simple task and one you may have doubts about. It may also be one that you struggle with as you try to “come up” with what to write. You see, with each passing day, you will most certainly find yourself delving deeper and deeper, excavating and finding those long-lost gifts you have buried or, perhaps, never even acknowledged.  You do this exercise for 7 consecutive days, and all it requires is a pen and paper (no typing – it must be hand-written).

Directions:

As will all sacred practices / rituals, I suggest you take a moment to perhaps light a candle, clear your space, burn some sage, palo santo or incense. Take a few deep breaths, get comfortable, set an intention and don’t over-think. Approach the activity with an open mind and open heart! Now take a piece of paper (you may want to do this in your journal) and write Day 1 at the top. Then, below that, write I AM. Number your paper from 1-40. You are now ready to say to yourself, “I am……” and write whatever comes up next to each number. Do not judge or over-think – just go with the flow! You will do this for 7 consecutive days. 

Believe me, you will be amazed and in awe of the magnitude of what you have written. It will leave you feeling empowered, strong and in love with You. No one….I will say it again….no one, can give you the most valuable gift of nurturing the unique spirit that is you other than You! In doing so, you will fulfill your highest, truest expression of yourself as a human being, and not a human “do-ing.”

Happy exercising and remember, just do you…. And love who you are!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

Special Wishes for AJ

“And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him” Luke 2:40

Today’s blog is dedicated to a very special little man named Arie Joseph  (AJ). He is my God-daughter’s son who is being baptized today.

In addition to all the prayers, blessings and special wishes that will be showered upon AJ on this day, it is also a very special day for his parents, as is with any rite of passage in a child’s life. On baptism day, parents are up close and personal to the sacrament that brings their child into Christianity. It’s a commitment parents make. It is also a responsibility they have as caretakers of their child’s beautiful mind and soul to instill some sort of belief / faith in them. As a child grows and matures, they may stray from their religion / faith  or maybe even find another one that resonates more for them. Regardless, parents have laid the foundation for spiritual, faith based practices, beliefs, morals and values in hopes of creating a kind, loving, compassionate, wise, responsible and productive citizen of the world.

The experiences of being a first time parent, diapers, dishes, sleep, lack of sleep, food prep, doctor appointments, teething, runny noses, fevers, food allergies, work schedules, child care and other dilemmas (remember- the bigger the child – the bigger the problems) can be daunting and overwhelming. Then throw in how one will discipline the child and the parenting style that both parents may or may not see eye to eye on. Having been in education for 33+ years, I experienced first-hand the chaos, confusion, angst, anxiety, destructive behavior, and struggle that families go through when they are at odds with the basic tenets of how to raise a child. After I ended my career, I came across Dr. Shefali. I don’t recall if I first saw her TED talk or her interview on Super Soul Sunday, but what a game changer she is!

Once you see Dr. Shefali, listen to her, and really hear what she is saying, your life, world and awareness will be forever changed. Had I come across Dr. Shefali’s work sooner, I swear I would have created a parent workshop or parenting classes around her first book, The Conscious Parent. Furthermore, if I ran a private school, this book would be mandated reading for parents and/or caretakers before accepting the child into school. It would also be required reading for the teachers. I am telling you, it’s a book every parent-to-be (or person responsible for raising a child) should read way before they even plan on starting a family (and for anyone working with children). THAT is how POWERFUL Dr. Shefali’s books are! As a matter of fact, I gifted The Conscious Parent to AJ’s parents when I learned they were expecting and also gave my girlfriend Barb (Grandma / Abuela) Dr. Shefali’s other book, The Awakened Family. My darlings, this is definitely a gift that keeps on giving!

If there is anything we have learned by now, is that the “Authoritative” approach to discipline and public shaming does not work. It’s not healthy and is destructive to say the least. Instead of building a child up, enforced disciline and punishment tears the child down – leading to shame, resentment, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, insecurities, hostilities, behavioral issues and other self-sabotaging behaviors…..and yes, it is a form of bullying. One of the things that struck me is how she is able to show us that children are a mirror of our own unresolved issues. In her book, The Awakened Family, Dr. Shefali also shows us how and/or why children’s needs aren’t being met and why they truly feel they are not being “heard” by parents or don’t feel a connection to the parent(s). She poses some profound questions for parents to ask themselves:

  • Where am I as the parent failing to connect with my child?
  • What in the child longs to be recognized, but is being ignored?
  • How can I help mitigate the feelings of inferiority and shame that my child experiences?
  • And most importantly, how am I projecting my own internal shame onto my own child?

In Dr. Shefali’s words, “Unless we begin to turn the spotlight within and ask these difficult questions, our children will live in the legacy of shame that will continue into future generations. And the epidemic of bullying will continue to soar.” Dr. Shefali’s books integrate Eastern and Western philosophies and show us how to parent in an evolutionary and conscious way. She gives us daily skills and tools that are transformational, healing and lead both children and parents to a place of calm, ease and joy. I highly recommend Dr. Shefali’s book to anyone thinking about starting family, just started one, is struggling with the “my way or the highway” style of parenting and/or caretakers responsible for raising children. Her books make an awesome gift for anyone who is being blessed with a new baby in their family. The books are blessings in and of  themselves!

So, on AJ’s special day, I am sending the Diaz-Spencer Families many heartfelt special wishes and blessings and will close with a beautiful prayer from Marianne Williamson’s book, Illuminata – A Return to Prayer.

Dear God, Thank you for the birth of Arie Joseph into the world and into this family.  We offer ourselves this day as caretakers of his spirit and his higher mind. May we fulfill with strength the glory of our role, in AJ’s life and in the lives of his parents, Erica and Doug. May the spirit of this family, from generations past and into the future, burst forth to bless and sustain Arie Joseph. Amen.

Let the celebration begin!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

 

 

 

New Normals & Self Acceptance

“In the midst of difficulty, my curiosity is piqued, and I aim the lance of self-inquiry into the center of my deepest fears. I give myself permission to feel exactly what I feel, to be just as I am, and in that self-acceptance I find the energy, awareness, and a thousand gifts I never guessed were within me all along.” Donna Faulds

I wanted to write this piece as a follow-up to my last blog, The Warrior Goddess in You, because self-acceptance can be very challenging when going through a health challenge and/or the recovery period that follows it. It is very easy to get frustrated with all the things we cannot do, the physical and emotional changes we are undergoing, limitations imposed on us and “unknowns” that sometimes hijack our thoughts.

One thing that is very helpful during this time, is to simply acknowledge that every day is a new day and that you (or the person recovering) will be faced with establishing “new normals” almost daily. I know how it feels to have your wings clipped, be down for the count, and have to rely on others for some of the most basic needs / tasks. It’s not easy, especially if you are extremely independent. Establishing new normals calls for us to shift our perspective, be humble, maintain a sense of humor, and practice acceptance.

Perspective, humility, humor and acceptance are qualities of the mind. Conversely, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity are qualities of the heart. And guess what? These are things that we do have control over. Pause and think about this for a moment. They are also the qualities needed if we want to embrace our “new normal” and still experience joy while doing so.  Don’t get me wrong, a good pity party is called for now and again. We have to cry- and I’m talking ugly, messy crying! Then we  have to put on our big girl panties and forge ahead. Donna Faulds eloquently tells us to go to the center of our deepest fears, to feel and accept. In doing so, we become aware and in tune to our body. This self-inquiry process allows us to appreciate and be grateful for our miraculous body and its gifts – especially its ability to self-regulate and heal. This is powerful as well as empowering!

Time and patience allow us to accept ourselves gracefully and lovingly. We just have to remember that it is a process and one that calls for us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s not a competition, nor is it a race to the finish line. We try our best, but stumble at times, and that’s okay! There comes a point where the qualities of the mind and the heart seamlessly merge and they become our compass (as well as our life preserver during the more challenging times). Before we know it, we find gifts that were within us all along!

Affirmations are a powerful tool when stated with intention. I will leave you with some beautiful ones by Tannaz Chubb:

I am open to receiving the many blessings of healing delivered to me by the power of the Universe.

I trust that all changes and transformations are happening for my highest good and that everything is unfolding perfectly.

I gracefully accept the help of those around me in order to release the weight I have been carrying. I do not need to do this alone.

My body, mind and soul is cleansed and restored with a healing, positive, white light.

I am beautiful and perfect just the way I am, I love and respect my body, and am grateful for all that it has provided me with.

I feel strong. I feel confident in my body and in my mind, and through this strength I embrace myself for all that I am.

I embrace and love all that I am. I show myself compassion and forgive myself for all that I once believed was not good enough. I accept myself. 

 

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

The Warrior Goddess in You

“In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear and hope to despair” Howard Thurman

Within the past two months, I’ve learned of some friends and acquaintances diagnosed with the big “C” and others that underwent major surgery. In addition, yet others are awaiting to have surgery. Whether it’s a diagnosis, some health issue we’ve investigated, or an injury requiring surgery, our mindset is 80-90% of the battle.

It is at this juncture and critical time when we must call upon our inner Warrior Goddess and prepare for yet another journey.  This journey requires us to step into the fire of transformation once again. We must have the strength, courage and hope that our Phoenix will emerge, and we will be even more aligned, aware and connected to the “I AM” of all that we are, and then some. Regardless of previous diagnosis’, injuries or surgeries we may have had in the past, it is important to remember that the health crisis we are facing is different. Why? Because we have a new perspective.

One of my beloved yoga and meditation teachers brought this to light as I was preparing for surgery two years ago. Even if we are facing the same diagnosis or a similar surgery, it has never happened the exact same way before. It is a new time! Even more importantly, my beloved Angela reminded me to NOT bring a verdict based on my past experience. She further went on to encourage me to experience the situation anew and, even though there will be struggle and difficulty, meet it for what it is and not add past perspectives or perceived problems that may or may not come in the future.

I decided to write this blog a while ago when one of my friends called to ask me how I prepared for my last successful surgery, so that she could share it with a friend of hers who was having surgery. Before sharing with you how my Inner Warrior got ready for “game day,” I must tell you that Shiftforwellness.com was started by my friend Jenn as a result of her battle with cancer ten years ago. It’s a wonderful, beautiful and user-friendly site to visit where she shares a plethora of resources and tools that worked and didn’t work for her – before, during and after her surgery. I am a firm believer in not “reinventing the wheel” and tapping into the wisdom and sage advice of others. I love, respect and admire people who put “their stuff”out there in an effort to light and pave the way for others. I believe this in itself is part of our purpose.

So after my conversation with Jenn, I quickly pulled out my journal from a few years ago and made a list. Intuitively, I knew I had to share this information in a blog. As you should know by now, I am BIG on self-care. We must always make a conscious choice to take care of the Goddess in all of us so that she is ready to step up to the plate when needed. First and foremost, I emailed my tribe of friends and informed them of what was going on. Secondly, I started a Self-Care / Self-Nurturing Journal. One of the things I wrote in it was all the responses my friends emailed me. I wanted to have this readily available if and when the going got mentally and emotionally tough. This way, the beautiful, heart-felt words my friends wrote to me would serve to inspire and motivate me during the challenging times that lay ahead (in addition to reminding me how blessed and loved I am). The other thing I used the journal for was to make an entry every single day leading up to the surgery. Mind you, I started it on October 25, 2015 and my surgery was scheduled for the end of January 2016.

Keeping this journal was a way for me to hold myself accountable for the care and nurturing with which I would shower upon my Inner Goddess. Lastly, the other thing I listed in my journal, was all the “tools” I had that I would be able to tap into at any given time. As I previously said, our mindset is critical. Equally critical is knowing that we are held by that higher power – call it God, The Universe, Nature, Spirit, The Divine – whatever resonates for you personally. I am also a firm believer in the power of prayer. Its collective energy is palpable, powerful and at our fingertips at any given moment. Gathering our prayer warriors is one of the most powerfully energetic, uplifting and inspiring things we can do.

In addition to prayer and intention, some of the “tools”  listed in my Self-Care / Self-Nurturing Journal are as follows:

  • Pranayama (breathwork)
  • Aromatherapy oils and diffusor
  • Music and Mantras
  • Meditations (I especially loved Finding Your Flow which was a past one from the Oprah and Deepak Chopra  21 Day Meditation Series)
  • Guided healing meditations and visualizations
  • Inspirational books (like No Mud, No Lotus)
  • Healing Mandalas coloring book
  • Massage
  • Self-massage
  • Yoga (and chair asanas when I would be unable to get down on the floor)
  • Guided sleep meditations
  • Lavender Eye pillow
  • Energy work / Reiki
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical Therapy
  • Proper nutrition, lots of H20 and no sugar or alcohol
  • Journaling
  • Affirmations

My darlings, trust me when I tell you that my inner Warrior Goddess was beyond ready for yet another battle. And boy, did she come out to play! One very important thing we must remember though, is to allow ourself rest. Even if it means not taking calls, responding to texts right away, and setting time aside to listen to voicemails and read emails. It can be extremely overwhelming and fatiguing to say the least. And, the body needs sleep in order to heal. The last thing it needs is added stress and discomfort. The other important thing to remember to do is have certain contacts be the “point person” in charge of groups of friends and family. It is virtually impossible and draining to even “think” you can “handle” it all. Not only is it impossible but extremely stressful if you try to exert control over the entire situation.  Instead of holding on and gripping tightly, choose to let go and be held! This is when we must open ourself to receive!

It is my deepest desire that you are able to utilize any of the information I shared with you. Feel free to pass it on to anyone you feel may benefit from it. We all have the ability to tap into the strength and inner fortitude inside of us. However, some of us have a more difficult time doing so.

Always know you are loved and that a higher power is holding you. Remember, you are powerful beyond measure! Take care of the Warrior Goddess within, always and in all ways!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

One Year = 365 Opportunities

“Every day is a fashion show and the world is the Runway” Coco Chanel

Have you ever stood in front of your closet (a pretty packed closet) and felt baffled as to what to wear? Well, according to my mother, it’s because we have too many choices. Over the years, I really started to believe that for myself despite the constant purging and giving away of clothing I’d find myself doing over and over. I’ve gotten to the point where if I buy an article of clothing, some other piece has to go. However, this doesn’t stop me from still standing in front of the closet though. Let’s be real now, when this happens to us, how many times do we end up reaching for the same thing? How infuriating to say the least!

Well, part of my “approach” to this new year is that I am going to channel my inner Goddess and play dress up every day.  So far, so good. Then again, it’s only been 3 days since my birthday. You see, my entire style and approach to fashion has morphed since I stopped working. I went from stylish power suits in every color, design and texture, dresses, jackets and the highest of heels etc., to yoga and work out clothes, sneakers, fun sandals, furry boots and cowgirl boots (I put my own spin on how I wear and accessorize these items though). The “athleisurewear” industry is making a killing, don’t you agree? They are also making it easier and easier to skip “playing dress up” and opting for yummy, comfy clothing. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with yummy, comfy clothing, but what about all those beautiful “to die for and must have” pants, dresses, skirts, sweaters, blouses, shirts, jackets, wraps and scarves we have invested in? And let’s not forget the shoes, boots, heels, handbags, jewelry, gloves, hats, belts and other accessories we’ve purchased to go with these “to die for and must have” items. Well, I know it’s only been 3 days, but I am making a commitment to myself to dress up – even if it’s to go grocery shopping. Yep, you heard me! I will leave yoga or the gym and, instead of going about my day, I will first stop home, shop my closet and accessorize away! I even have a support system – my friend Maureen and I have recently taken to sending each other pictures of our outfits every day. It’s actually quite fun!

The key to all this is to have a very well organized closet. I don’t know about you, but I love my closets and cabinets to look like a store. Organizing closets thrills me. It brings me joy! Let’s face it, there is nothing uglier and more frustrating than opening a closet and finding a disorganized mess everywhere. In my humble opinion, we should treat our belonging with respect and loving care. Ahhh, the feeling I get when I open a closet or drawers and everything is displayed as if it were a boutique! Talk about chills, thrills and vibrations!

Some of my friends like for me to come over periodically and help them with their closets. In an effort to help one “shop her closet” and stop buying (she’s still buying), we created an actual accessories boutique in one of her spare rooms. I can’t tell you how much fun that was! I wore down Ms. Yvonne and even got her to  put up a small chandelier in the room. That room is now complete with a nice comfy chair, 2 ottomans, a tray for cocktails, tea or coffee and a couple of  motivational / inspirational books. It’s a beautiful space for her to pause, collect her thoughts, sip some tea, look around and admire the beautiful items on display and put together the outfit of the day / evening. Creating sacred spaces is something I thoroughly enjoy doing (more on that topic some other time).

If your overall organization skills need help or your home is in need of major decluttering, then Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is the book for you. It’s fabulous! Trust me, this book takes the art of decluttering, organizing and tidying-up to another level. Marie Kondo gives us very specific and detailed guidelines to follow. And, when it comes to clothing and certain items, unless it “sparks joy” then it has no business being in our possession.

Darlings, we can be fashionable without spending tons of money. In addition to being organized, it only takes a little creativity and imagination or maybe even the help of a good shopping buddy (there’s nothing like a shopping partner in crime). Our sense of style evolves over time and with experience. If we have a fairly good sense of who we are and our self-confidence is in check, then half the battle is won. The other half is to be a master mixologist and play around with pairing things up a little differently. My latest inspiration and style obsession is this woman Shauna. You can check her out on Instagram @ Chicover50.

What we wear or don’t wear and how we carry ourselves speaks volumes! We have 365 days a year to make wise, as well as entertaining, fashion-sense decisions that have the power to lift us up or drag us down. The use of color is also instrumental in determining our moods and the impact it has on others around us. Furthermore, our choice of clothing can inspire and motivate all on their own even before we open our mouthes to speak. So, over the next 362 days, I want to have fun playing dress up. There are so many occasions and opportunities to treat the world as our own Personal Runway, so why not make each day a fashion show? Let’s allow the Goddess in us come out and play more often! Just saying”….wink, wink.

What is inspiring your sense of style these days? Remember, presentation, presentation, presentation…. be your own style icon and accessorize away!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

Goddesses Never Age

“Taking all the right supplements and pills. or getting the right procedure done, isn’t the prescription for anti-aging. Agelessness is all about vitality, the creative force the gives birth to new life.” Dr. Christianne Northrup

Today, I am going to literally take a page out of one of my favorite books, Goddesses Never Age- The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being, by Christianne Northrup. I mean literally take a page…..you see, I spent so many hours and days writing my previous post, On This Day, that I was unable to schedule a few posts in advance. And birthday celebrations have taken up quite a bit of time too…wink, wink. Total transparency here my darlings!

This book is one that I highly recommend. I can’t tell you how many copies I’ve bought over the years and given away to the Goddesses in my life before finally keeping one for myself! As a matter of fact, the inscription I wrote in my own book was, “Finally! A copy for myself (smiley face) The journey to agelessness continues. Bring it on you beautiful Goddess (heart).” The page I am sharing with you today is one on using affirmations. I especially love the ones I am going to share with you. They’ve been a big part of my orthopedic rehabilitation. At some point, I photocopied this particular page from the book, and I keep it folded in one of my prayer books. I like to say them as part of my morning ritual.

Using Affirmations

Affirmations are the strongest when they’re in the present tense and are completely positive. Here are a few you can use – but think about writing some of your own too, based on what you’d like to manifest in your life and what you’re grateful for. Say affirmations with meaning and passion. The emotions behind them, the repetition, are what change our biology over time.

  • I am health, strength, peace, happiness and prosperity. Divine Love, expressing through me, now draws me to all that is needed to make me happy and my life complete.
  • My life is unfolding perfectly in ways that are exciting and uplifting.
  • I love taking care of my body. My body responds beautifully to this loving care. 
  • I am a magnet for wealth, health and true love.
  • When I say yes to myself and my needs, my energy always increases, and I feel wonderful.
  • I awaken each morning feeling the promise of a new day and a new beginning.
  • I love moving my body. I love getting stronger and more flexible every day.
  • I am a divine ageless goddess, and I am dearly loved! 

Dr. Northrup suggests to us that we write down our favorites and say them out loud several times a day. As she noted, we can say them while exercising, while driving to work, when cleaning the sink, or whenever.

I will leave you with an excerpt from the book which, I believe, puts us in Goddess mode.

“Remember this: you have the power to be an ageless goddess and to be a living, breathing embodiment of joyful, ageless living – no matter what has gone before. As the saying goes, ‘What you are seeking is also seeking you.’ So who do you really want to be? Who would you be if your age weren’t a factor? Ask yourself these questions every morning and throughout your day. Make that ageless goddess within you feel at home. Bless her, please her, welcome her. Little by little she will show up more and more until one day soon, you will look in the mirror and see a whole new woman smiling back at you. This is your new chapter, your new life. The best is yet to come. I promise.”

My darlings, if there is one thing I’ve  learned about aging, is that we should never say we are “getting old” for it is a privilege and a gift to be alive! Besides, age is a state of mind. I know 80 year olds that have more energy than people decades younger than them. Me? I may have just turned 59, but my mind tells me I’m 35…wink, wink!

Here’s to you….you beautifully radiant, joyous and ageless goddess of a woman reading this!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC