Friday, December 18, 2015

Celebrate the Roadblocks

Someone I love dearly just received feedback on her functional diagnostic test results. Her clinician said her results were the “highest I’ve ever seen.” In other words, off the chart, and not in a good way.

I told her she has two choices. She can beat herself up or she can celebrate!

There is no judgment here. Just face the facts, if you are not 100% satisfied with where you are, then no worries. Carpe Diem, seize today, to change the roadmap.

You choose how to react. Recognize that you can either lament, “What’s wrong with me?”  OR you can celebrate the body’s natural ability to heal from within and recognize what’s right with you!

What is your body trying to lovingly tell you? Recognize that your signs and symptoms are the body’s only way to communicate with you.  The test results are merely a signal to change course.

If you are stubborn like me, or a type A Washingtonian that has been bred to “power on” and ignore these messages, then you might have to have more serious wakeup calls before it sinks in.  (Yes, I know this all too well!) I used to have migraines every Christmas Eve after doing all the shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning.  Now I’m learning to delegate and to lower my expectations of perfection.

Are you overwhelmed? Are you trying to do too much? What can you do to alleviate the stress you are feeling in your mind, body and spirit?

If you suffer from chronic dis-ease or malaise then try something new.  Take personal responsibility and make a commitment to the most important person in your life…YOU!

Here are a few suggestions:
  1.  Recognize that there are many healing opportunities every day.  For instance:
    • Address nutritional deficiencies and discover what diet is the right one for you. (Hint, forget the many marketing myths.)
    • Commit to resolving sleep issues.
    • Identify the right exercise program for you for optimal healing.
    • Explore different ways to breathe and
    • Learn how to plan, shop and cook for yourself.  
  2. Ask yourself what you can do each day that is yummy, nourishing and delicious. What life affirming choices can you make each day?
  3. Find someone who can help you uncover hidden stressors, work with you to co-create a custom plan for your own roadmap, and help you when you stray off the beaten path.

Enjoy the holiday season and let me know if you are interested in joining me in an online Kick Start Program to support you.

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker, retired RN, Certified Health Coach and Yoga Teacher. Her book, Savvy Secrets: Eat,Think & Thrive; Seven Steps to Optimal Health, is a self health book to enable healing from within. Her goal is to inspire wellness and to help others look and feel their best at any age. Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement, the International Health Coach Association, and the Wellness Inspired Network. She is the mother of four adult children, soon to be Grandmother, and believes that optimal health should not be a secret! When she is not coaching, speaking and writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance at every opportunity.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cultivating Joy.

Relationships are a dance…
We need good balance to move gracefully through life, in our relationships with our self and with each other.

Yoga is an experiential tool kit to help you find balance. The Yoga philosophies give us a guidepost to help navigate the dance floor with ease and grace.  They allow us to cultivate conscious change and a wholesome relationship with self and others.

One of my favorite movies is Eat, Pray, Love. 

Why was this such a popular and powerful chick flick? It demonstrates the importance of the four basic aims in life described in the yogic philosophy. 

How do we cultivate joy and feel whole and complete without going on a journey across the globe? There are four basic aims and desires that we strive to accomplish in this dance called life. According to ancient texts these aims are called Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa.

Dharma is our personal responsibility and obligations. As a mother, wife, employee and employer I have many obligations to fulfill. There is also responsibility toward the common good of society and as stewards of our environment. Through daily choice and practice we find meaning and purpose in life. 

Artha represents our material needs; food, shelter, clothing and anything necessary to fulfill our dharma. 

Kama is our sexual attraction necessary for human survival, and fulfillment of pleasure through all of our senses.

Moksa is the ultimate freedom and joy experienced when you are one with your higher power or with source.

Our challenge is to find balance in all four areas of our life, especially this time of year with so many expectations. It’s also a good time for reflection.  Are we having real meaningful family conversations or are we just going through the motions? Are we giving from hearts and desire or is it just something else we need to check off the “to do” list? 

When we are congruent and balanced with our four basic desires, then life flows effortlessly.  Then you are living and working in “the zone.”

When you are all artha (money oriented) and no dharma (family) or kama (all work and no play), there is incongruence and discord in the home…and stress.

So this holiday season, how can you pay attention to all four desires and aims in life?  Can you make conscious decisions to:
  1. Meet responsibilities to loved ones and family,
  2. Experience joy and pleasure,
  3. Earn money for food, clothing and basic needs, and
  4. Take time for gratitude, prayer and the quiet moments, to really nurture your soul and connection to a higher power?

Isn’t that what Christmas, Hanukkah and all spiritual and religious holiday are about?

Let’s celebrate all of this!

Here is a picture of my pregnant daughter and I posing before the White House Christmas tree, celebrating family (dharma) and life’s pleasures (kama). How are you balancing your desires this season?

Carpe Diem!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shhhhh! Savvy Secret’s to Survive Holiday Stress

In my book, Savvy Secrets I explain the nervous system, particularly the autonomic nervous system which basically acts like a light switch.  We are in either one or two states, “fight or flight” or rest and (and digest) repair. Why is this important?  Because we cannot meet any of our health goals if we are constantly in the ON switch for Fight or Flight. 

Rather than give you an anatomy and physiology lesson, suffice it to say that most of us are in overdrive stimulating our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) responsible for fight or flight and need some support in stimulating the para sympathetic nervous system (PNS) in order to rest, digest, repair, rejuvenate and even to procreate.  Having trouble getting pregnant? Have high blood pressure? A serious chronic illness? Want to know the secret to slow down aging? Read on please…

Here’s seven success tips on how to stimulate the PNS:

#1 BREATHE…Just Breathe.  Deeply into the lower belly with a longer exhale.  Put your hand on you lower belly and breath into the chest, the side rib cage and then into the lower belly to the count of 4. Hold your breath for the count of five and then slowly exhale to the count of 7.  Repeat 4 times.  You can do this in the car, on a plane or at your desk.  Do this before meals then think of something you are grateful for.  You are now ready to assimilate and digest your food.

#2 BREATHE. Place your right thumb over your right nostril to block the breath there and inhale and exhale through the left nostril.  Do this for 5 -10 minutes in bed before sleep and sleep like a baby

#3 While deep breathing, scan your entire body starting with the feet. Tense and release the muscles so that every muscle relaxes. Notice where you are holding your tension. Better yet, do this to music and dance your tension away. (Let me know if you want to attend my next yoga dance workshop).

#4 Be conscious of your thoughts. Recognize the fear that keeps you stuck, Notice the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that fill your brain. Practice re-framing them. Concentrate on what you want and where you want to go instead.

#5 Be conscious of what you eat. Food can stimulate your SNS or PNS. Food can give you lasting energy or artificial stimulation that will leave you tired and wired.  Nicknamed “The energizer bunny,” I can definitely help you here. Write down everything you consume for 3 days. Simply doing this will improve your health.
#6 Discover your hidden stressors. If you are in metabolic chaos, you may benefit from additional functional tests to uncover hidden stressors. Some of us can eat all the right food, exercise and still have hidden toxins and internal imbalances that need correction. Contact me after the new year when I’ve completed my certification in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, if you are interested in more information.

#7 Do have fun! Find an exercise that is joyful. Some yoga practices stimulate an already overactive SNS and some stimulate the PNS. Many include an opportunity for both. Explore and discover the right program for you that takes in to account your physical limitations as well as your health goals. Try laughter yoga, yin yoga, or dance yoga. Be sure to find one that you enjoy or you will not stick with it.  

Most important is to give yourself the gift of health every day.  Prioritize YOU, become the leader of your life and everything else will flow more smoothly. Rediscover your health by relaxing and having fun.

Carpe Diem, seize the day.  Learning to live in the moment means not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.  Consistently practice these seven steps to make the most of each day.