Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

The Key to Living in Feminine Balance: Embracing the Ebb and the Flow

MoonPhasesPhoto Source.

Life ebbs and flows, like the tides, the seasons, the phases of the moon. Intuitively, I think we all understand this on one level, but for some reason when it comes time to embrace the ebbs in our own lives it’s a totally different story. There is an expectation of flow, of forward movement, action and progress, at all times. In our businesses, bodies, and relationships. As a culture, we tend to be more uncomfortable with the ebb: those times when we must pull back, retreat and rest. This has resulted in us pushing forward when we should procrastinate, when something in our intuition and our gut is telling us to take our foot off the gas pedal for a little bit. Our fixation on the flow and avoidance of the ebb is causing excess stress, adrenal fatigue and burnout on a grand scale.

December was definitely an ebb-phase for me. The momentum I had been building in my business slowed. In regards to creativity, I didn’t feel like producing anything. I was physically tired and my usual desire to exercise had waned as well. Mostly, I stayed home, snuggled up with my dog and read. I read a lot. I was absorbent like a sea sponge, soaking up words, ideas, and energy.

I have been living and breathing all things feminine over the last six months, and one thing I have learned is that the feminine is cyclical. If I listen to myself, instead of some external force, there will inevitably be times where I need to slow down. Those times might be a few hours per day, a couple of days per month, or even an entire month in the year! Though I understood that, and even though I knew rest would help prepare my body, soul and spirit for all the changes that 2015 will bring, those little voices of guilt and doubt managed to creep in regardless. I should be working right now. Why am I so unmotivated? Am I depressed? Maybe I am not cut out for this.

This is the first time in my life that I have worked for myself, which means that no one can set the pace for my life or my business, except me. This is an incredibly freeing and yet utterly terrifying notion! It’s a constant dance between pushing and trusting, doing the work and then accepting that everything will unfold as it should (even if it’s grossly different from how you imagined it), between masculine and feminine, yin and yang.

Since I had the luxury, I decided to wait it out and not listen to the voices of fear and culture at large. I knew that the slow part would pass eventually, as it always does. I sat and became one with my discomfort, looking at it with curiosity and distance. I continued to devour books, meditate, do yoga, and spend time just enjoying life with family and friends. Of course, my business was still on my mind, but I allowed myself to stop striving for it so much. I allowed it to take a backseat. I gently pulled over to the slow lane and sat back to enjoy the ride.

Come January, it was as if the sky breathed fresh new air and energy straight into my lungs. The cozy darkness of December was replaced with the bright sunshine of possibility. Of course, it wasn’t the weather that changed; it was my perception that had.

I once again feel ready to go out into the world. I am excited for new creative projects. I feel endlessly grateful to be the artist of my own life.

And I know that if I hadn’t taken the majority of December to slow down and listen, to veg out and binge on Netflix, to read inspiring books, I wouldn’t be in this place right now. I would still feel frazzled and scared. 2014 would have flowed seamlessly into 2015 with nothing in my life reflecting the importance of this shift. It would be like inhaling without exhaling. Eventually, I would burst.

At some point, we all have those times when our bodies signal us that it is time to slow down. Where our desires point us inward. Maybe for you it happens in February or September, or it might be a single day this month. But whenever it does, I urge you to take the time and listen. Trust that the inspiration and outward flow that you are seeking will come back, if you allow yourself to recede and rest. For there would be no tides, or seasons, or phases of the moon if there wasn’t an ebb to dance with our flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Playboy Paintings to Women’s Workshops: How My Inner Wild Woman Has Been Trying to Find Me

I have been searching for my inner wild woman for years without even knowing it. I felt her presence within me, but it was always fleeting and fuzzy, and each time I went looking for her I would come up empty-handed. Only recently did I realize that I was looking for her in all the wrong places…

In college, I was an art major and one of my favorite subjects was the female nude. I always felt there was something beautiful, magnetic, and magical about a woman’s body, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly. A few years ago I did a series of paintings of Playboy models. I was never really happy with them because they always felt cold, calculated, and flat. A mentor of mine looked at them and asked, “Where are you in these?” and I had no answer for him. I was completely disconnected from them. Now when I look back at the notes I was taking during that time period, I realize I was beginning to the plant the seeds that would become my business and my passion. I was scratching at the surface of finding my true feminine.

These are a few pictures of my Playboy paintings and a few excerpts from my notebook at the time:

“How do the playboy paintings read? Background is abstract expressionist, male art, very cerebral. Figure is flat. One-dimensional. Very objectified body, only a torso, no head.”

Basically, my goal was to criticize the male perspective of female sexuality by only showing the body and not the head of the model. The head was where I believed the “real woman” lived, so by decapitating her I was further removing her individuation and personhood. Now I realize the irony is that as the artist I was living only in my head, my logic, my masculine way of thinking, and was totally disconnected from my own body and thereby my femininity. Also, I was trying to criticize the male depiction of female sexuality by using the male depiction of female sexuality! But it was the only way I knew how…

Somewhere inside there was a voice that said there is another way, but I was unable to hear her clearly at the time:

“The Playboy models are a palatable and watered down version of female sexuality. Clinical in their execution. Fake posing, lighting, etc. Real sensuality is the entire essence of a woman. Flowing, mysterious, it is one with the earth. Instead it has been pinned down into this rigid, masculine presentation. Because that is how it is controlled and therefore accepted.”

I said female sensuality is “one with the earth”! Years ago! While I have changed a lot in the last few years, I clearly haven’t changed that much! After completing the Playboy series, or tiring of them rather, I moved away from the female form in my art entirely. But the whispers of the wild woman continued to haunt me elsewhere.

As you might be able to tell, I am a very “heady” person by nature. I loved school. I love learning and theory and abstract ideas. That’s what drew me to art (pun intended). The ideas. The discussion. So therefore, I pursued my wild feminine in the only way I knew how: through my intellect. I read books like Women Who Run with the Wolves and I would get so excited about the ideas that I could talk about them for days to anyone who would listen (to those who did and continue to do so, I am ever thankful). But I didn’t know how to implement them in my own life. I just couldn’t think or reason my way there.

This is why starting feminine movement and pole dancing was so instrumental for my journey. I have covered that in multiple articles, like here and here, so I won’t go into the details now, but the biggest takeaway for me was that I would have to access my inner feminine through my body not my head. This was a radical shift for me! It’s an ongoing process and it hasn’t been easy, but slowly and surely I have been able to get out of my head and into the wisdom of my body.

I also realized that I was taking this search much too seriously, as I have a tendency to do. The wild feminine doesn’t like when shit gets too serious. That’s when everything is analyzed and over-analyzed and super masculine. She likes fun. Play. Pleasure. And I must say, I think I can get on board with that.

The Benefits of Making Rules and Breaking Rules

In one of my business mastermind groups last week the founder asked, “What is one thing you could be doing on a daily basis to be more productive?” I thought about it for a while, and though I felt slightly sheepish saying it, the number one thing that came to mind was getting up and getting dressed for my day.

I love being comfortable. Whenever I have been out and about, sporting some tight jeans or a new dress, immediately when set foot in my home I tear that off and out come the t-shirt and comfy pants (aka pajamas or yoga pants). This is totally a family trait. When it comes to being at home, we are function over fashion all the way.

See the issue is that I work from home, which meant that unless I had outside meetings, I was living in my comfy pants. That’s all fine and dandy, but I never felt like I was “at work”. I would find myself doing the dishes or cleaning out my drawers in the middle of the day under the guise of productivity.

To change that, I took on the challenge in my mastermind group. I promised to get up no later than 6:30am, get dressed and ready for my day everyday for a week.

The results? I succeeded! And it felt great. I actually started waking up earlier than 6:30, having breakfast with my husband before he left for work, and generally felt more productive. Setting the initial rule/goal really helped me to kick my ass into gear on something that I had known I should do for a while, but had been procrastinating on. Having other people there to hold me accountable was also super helpful.

Cut to Wednesday morning. I followed my protocol of getting up early, showering, getting dressed, putting on makeup. I dropped my husband off at work, and then took my dog to the vet. When I got home, I just longed to put my pajama pants back on. I wanted to sit on the floor and my jeans felt so constrictive.

Feeling like a high schooler cutting class, I slipped into my fuzzy, plaid pajama pants. I sat on the floor. I meditated. I danced around the living room like a crazy fool singing “Anaconda” and laughing at myself. I felt invigorated. I felt alive.

There’s the rub. I realized that rules and goals I set for myself, just like to-do lists, are there to help support me. I am their creator, not their slave. They should feel good, and when they don’t, I have the power and the control to break them.

It’s like you are a bird, and the rules you create for yourself are your cage. The cage can help you to feel safe and secure, and provide you with boundaries and habits to make you into a more productive person. But when you create this cage, always make sure that you leave the door open. So when those boundaries, like my jeans, occasionally feel too constrictive, you are free to fly out for a little while.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Makes 2 large servings

Prep time 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rolled gluten-free oats

1 cup water

1 cup milk or your favorite milk alternative

1 granny smith apple, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tsp. cinnamon + extra to sprinkle on top

cardamom

grass-fed butter

DIRECTIONS

Combine the water, milk, apple chunks, cinnamon and cardamom in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the oats and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 10-20 minutes. I typically go for 15 minutes but it depends on how you like your oatmeal. If you prefer it more runny, cook for 10 minutes. If you like it more solid, cook for closer to 20. Serve with a dollop of butter and an extra sprinkling of cinnamon. Delish!

 

 

Are You Saving Your Sexy?

I am a saver by nature, which pretty much means that I am amazing at delaying gratification. When I was a kid I would skip the soda and popcorn at the movies, and pocket the extra dollar or two. Between that and a little babysitting money, my mom found a giant wad of cash in my drawer when I was 13 or 14 equaling almost $500! Needless to say, she had some questions for me. It was also funny to see how different my best friend and I were when it came to new clothes. She would wear her new thing immediately, allowing it to bring her instant joy, whereas I would leave it in the closet for a few days, or even weeks, saving it for some special moment. Finally I would wear it, love it, and the spell would be broken.

Many of us do similar acts of “saving” in all areas of our lives. We don’t take the vacation because we are saving for a house. We save that decadent dessert for our birthday, the one day of the year where we can splurge wherever we would like to. We save the nice bottle of wine for our anniversary, or the nice towels for when company comes over. This thinking permeates our culture and is heralded as being “responsible”. We delay our joy to get our work done because then, and only then, do we feel worthy of it. I also find that many of us have a deep-seated fear of pleasure. Pleasure can’t be trusted. Feeling good is selfish. If I let pleasure rule the day I would sit on my ass drinking champagne and eating chocolate till the cows come home. Or at least that’s the belief.

So what the heck does all this have to do with feeling sexy? Well for many of us women, feeling sexy is the equivalent of feeling pleasure (and I am not just talking about sexual pleasure here, although that’s part of it. Pleasure could be getting a manicure or enjoying an afternoon cappuccino in the sun). It’s a fleeting feeling that can be won with hard work and enjoyed intermittently for special occasions. But the thing is, if you don’t feel sexy in your daily life it’s going to be much harder to turn on that feeling when you want to, like when you have a special date night planned. When you let that inner fire cool into mere embers it’s much harder to spark it up again!

With that, sexy is a state of mind that needs to be consistently cultivated. The more you feed it, the more it grows. We need to sprinkle little sexy seeds all over our lives every freakin’ day! This means we gotta stop saving up our sexy. There is always more sexy to go around. You don’t need to have an extra stash for a rainy day. Feel free to spend your sexy daily with wild abandon!! Practically speaking, this means:

  • Don’t wait for a special occasion to wear that sexy lingerie. Wear it on a Tuesday night while making dinner. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking a decadent 3-course meal for you and your honey bun or some scrambled eggs for yourself. You are wearing the lingerie for your own pleasure, not for anyone else’s.
  • Buy bras and panties that make you feel sexy and wear them. Like always. I used to save my “sexy” panties for date nights. But then I realized that when I wore them, I would start to feel sexier regardless of what I was doing. They were my little secret that put an extra swagger in my step. Once again, do things that make you feel sexy for your own sake! It doesn’t matter if anyone sees the sexy panties because you will know that you are wearing them!
  • Turn your bathroom into a sanctuary. Light candles, turn on music, and take a bath with rose petals and essential oils. Really bathe in your goddess-ness.
  • Flash the grocery store checkout guy your sauciest, flirty smile and then walk away knowing that you are one sexy mofo.

These are just a few examples. You know better than anyone what makes you feel sexy. Start doing more of those things. Do them on a daily basis if possible. And most importantly, do them for yourself, because they make you feel good inside. Pleasing others will be a happy side effect when you learn to please yourself.

I would love to hear from you! How do you sprinkle sexy seeds on your life, or how do you plan to start?

 

For National Love Your Body Day, The Story of How I Stopped Hating Mine

BodyLove1

I have started writing this article at least ten times, stopped, started over. Maybe that’s because it’s hard for me to capture in words the war I waged against my body for so many years of my life. Or perhaps it is because I am simply delaying publishing something so personal and raw. It’s terrifying to feel exposed and vulnerable, telling a story that most of my close friends have never even heard, but since today is National Body Love Day I feel like it is the right time. So here is my story:

My relationship with my body was a tenuous one for most of my teenage and adult life. When I was 16, a sophomore in high school, I made the drill team (which is basically a dance team that performs at school sporting events). I had never felt so grossly out of place. I was the nerdy kid who liked art and being silly amongst a sea of popular girls that I felt I had nothing in common with. It’s a rather cliché high school story in fact.

Unable to deal with not fitting in and feeling different I began to systematically starve myself. Calling it like it is, I became anorexic and at my lowest weight clocked in at about 80 pounds. I hated the way that I looked, hated every inch of my body.

My eating disorder was a physical manifestation of how I felt on the inside – small, different, freakish. It didn’t have anything to do with me feeling fat. I never felt fat. It was a punishment for simply being me.

My weight bounced back when I went to college and ever since then photographs from my later high school years have been the literal skeletons in my proverbial closet. I was terrified that one of my new friends would see them or find out my dirty little secret. What would they think? I was ashamed and disgusted with myself. How could I have let that happen? At it’s core, I was afraid that there must have been something wrong with me and if I admitted to anyone, including myself, what had happened I would be immediately transported back to that person.

Now I look at those photographs with compassion for that little girl. I realize that I was just a kid trying to deal with all the bullshit that teenage girls have to deal with, and I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge and tools of how to do that. I am no longer afraid of people seeing or knowing my past because I own it now. It’s a huge part of my story, who I was, who I have become, and what fuels my purpose in this world.

I have done a lot of soul searching over the last couple of years. Coaching others on a road to self-love has forced me to take some long, hard looks at myself and my own patterns. And I realized something. My self-punishment didn’t end when my eating disorder did. It simply changed shapes.

Suddenly I saw a clear thread throughout my life. Whenever I didn’t feel that I was good enough, when I didn’t measure up to the monstrously large expectation that I had of myself, I would end up punishing my body. When I felt awkward and out of place in high school, I starved myself. When I didn’t know how to deal with my introversion in college, I drank to the point of blacking out.

It’s amazing how life keeps giving you the same lesson until you have actually learned it. In my quest to live a more natural life, I went off the birth control pill a few years ago. My hormones, which had been tightly controlled for over a decade, didn’t know how to bounce back and I developed some adult acne. Once again, I was plagued by that old hatred for my body. I was trying so hard to do everything right and this is how my body repaid me!! I felt betrayed.

I would look in the mirror and cry, feeling ashamed to go out in public without makeup on. My diet must not be clean enough, I reasoned. I scrubbed my face with dozens of different cleansers and crèmes. I cut out gluten, then dairy, then sugar. I tried going vegetarian, then vegan. Nothing seemed to help.

Underneath all of these behaviors – the violent ones towards my body and even those that were disguised as healthy – was the consistent belief that in some way I wasn’t enough. And that inner belief kept manifesting itself in some outer fashion. Seeing that clearly for the first time in my life was a huge turning point for me. I stopped striving so much. I began to let go of perfectionism. I would look at my actions and behaviors and question what the motivation behind them was. If it was yet another version of “I’m not good enough”, I knew that probably wasn’t the best decision and direction to go in. I started saying nice things to myself and became grateful for this one amazing body that I have been given.

Do I love myself unconditionally all the time? I wish! It’s a journey, an ongoing learning, or un-learning, process, but it has been the most beautiful and rewarding journey of my life.

So why am I telling you this soul-baring story now? First, this is a story that I have been yearning to share for years and it feels so good to have it out in the open. Second, if you are going through, or have ever gone through, a “dark night of the soul” (however that may manifest in your life), know that there is light on the other side. Once you get through it, it has the power to mold you into the person that you were meant to be.

And finally, if there is one thing that I have learned from my journey and that I hope I can impart on you, it is this: you will never get where you want to go by hating where you are right now. This is true of your body and your life. I realized the more I focused negative energy on the parts of my body I wanted to “improve” the worse things became, both physically and emotionally. When I sent love and gratitude to my body, things began to shift in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.

So today, in honor of Love Your Body Day, send gloriously loving thoughts to the cellulite on your thighs, that little tummy pooch you have tried so hard to get rid of, that monstrous pimple that suddenly appeared on your chin, and all the other dark corners that you are ashamed of and trying to hide. They need your light more than anything. You will be amazed at how everything can change by shifting your mindset from one of hating your body to loving it, just as it is. You are perfect. You are enough.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

INGREDIENTS

½ cup rolled gluten-free oats

¾ cup almond milk

1 tbsp. almond butter

1 tsp. chia seeds

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 dates, chopped

¼ cup chopped Granny Smith apple

OatsUnmixedSide

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in the jar except the apple. Stir vigorously. You may even want to put the lid on the jar and shake it like a Taylor Swift video. Or a polaroid picture. Stir in the apples at the very end. Pop that sucker in the fridge overnight and it will be waiting for you in the morning.

 

 

A Feminine Guide to Preventing Burnout

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a plethora of driven, ambitious, and super smart women. Many have demanding full-time jobs while starting their own businesses on the side, getting their masters degrees or taking extra classes, juggling families, striving to eat healthy and workout to stay in tip top shape. Our schedules are a fine balancing act, calendars filled to the brim, and the art of doing nothing seems like a distant middle school memory.

Women of my generation are not settling. We want the career, but not just the one that makes decent money. We want work that adds meaning to our lives and monetarily reflects our value. Physically and mentally we hold ourselves to high standards. We try to eat local and organic when we can. We go to crossfit, spin, yoga, and dance to keep our bodies in shape. We read self-help book after self-help book wanting to be better than we were yesterday. These are but a few of the reasons I think the Dalai Lama said, “The world will be changed by the Western woman”.

But it’s easy to get caught up in this striving for the perfect life and to be the perfect female specimen. That quickly gets EXHAUSTING and leads to burnout. Perfection doesn’t exist and constantly grasping for it leaves us in this mindset of never having enough and never being enough. When my face started breaking out after I went off the pill, and after trying every crème and potion under the sun, I decided that clearly my diet was to blame. Partially that was true, but I saw every new blemish as a sign that I wasn’t doing well enough, wasn’t eating clean enough. Every morning I would start my day by looking in the mirror for confirmation that I wasn’t good enough. It was really sad, it stressed me out, and made the situation so much worse!

In order to really enact change in our own lives and in the world we have start by changing within, making time and being kind to ourselves. If you feel like one of those hamsters in the wheel running to keep up with your own life, afraid to let any of the balls drop, these suggestions are for you, sister.

1. Stop being so damn productive

Think back to junior high. I remember spending hot and sticky summer afternoons floating around in the pool reading RL Stine. Making smoothies. Staging fashion shows with my friends. Giggling until our eyes watered and our bellies hurt. That was medicine to my soul, and it still is when I make time for it.

Now I often find myself wanting to fill all my waking hours doing something productive and I know from talking to other women that I am not alone. We forget the importance and necessity of just having fun. Do something everyday for no other purpose than because you enjoy it. Read a good fiction book. Watch a mindless TV show. Have a glass of wine with your girlfriends and don’t talk about work. It’s invigorating and inspiring, and will allow you to come back to all your obligations with new energy.

GoodForYourSoul

2. Allow yourself to let things go

We have all these balls in the air simultaneously, and there is so much pressure to not let a single one drop. Ask yourself today, what can I let go of? What can I take off my plate? What can I cross off the list, not because I completed it, but because I just don’t want to do it anymore? It’s not failure; it’s self-preservation. Try it. Take a look at your never-ending to do list, pick one item and say, “Screw it, I don’t want to do this anymore”. It is so freeing!! It helps you to remember that you are in control of your own life and are not a slave to your to-do list.

Skip out on the networking event you were supposed to attend to stay at home, take a bath, and have a glass of cabernet. Quit the book club that you dread going to every month. Or if you don’t like the book that your book club is reading, just don’t finish it! Which brings me to…

3. Sometimes being bad feels so good

Yes, I am telling you to be bad. I mean, not go rob a bank bad or anything. Ideally try to stay within the confines of the law if at all possible!

Close your eyes and think of one thing you secretly want to do that gives you those butterflies in the pit of your stomach. Something that makes you say, “oh that would be fun, but I really shouldn’t…it’s so bad”. Maybe it’s taking a shot of tequila or buying that expensive, super sexy dress that you don’t have an occasion to wear. Perhaps you want to skinny dip in your apartment complex pool during after hours or just yell a dirty word really loudly public. We all have our thing, no judgments here. Think of how it would feel to just do it. Would it make you feel alive? Wild? Unpredictable? Our lives tend to be routine out of necessity and occasionally we need to break free. It’s like an electric shock straight to your soul!

4. Stop improving yourself, and realize that you are simply becoming

I love that quote about the only person you should be better than is who you were yesterday. I am all for self-improvement and personal growth. I am a holistic health coach for cryin’ out loud…I love this schnizz!

BUT, the problem is that this constant bettering of ourselves makes it seem like we must be lacking in the here and now. In reality, each one of us is already complete, whole, and totally awesome. I know these two things can be hard to reconcile. You may ask, “If I am a whole and perfect being right now, how can there still be room to better myself?”

So instead of thinking of it as “self-improvement” think of it more as self-becoming. It’s less about changing who you are as a person, and more about stripping you down into a more authentic and true version of yourself that already exists. It’s like an artichoke. The inner and outer work we do with ourselves is slowly peeling away the outer leaves so we can get to the heart that is lying in wait within. That wonderfully delicious heart is there from the beginning, but we have to shed those outer leaves – be it societal pressure, the limiting voices in your head, or any other bullshit – in order to access it.

5. Focus on the journey, not the destination.

“Are we there yet?” Much like the quintessential kid on a road trip, many of us work so hard and just want to be at our end goal already.

SeenMyDescent

In the wise words of Danielle LaPorte, “The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.” If accomplishing your goal will make you feel radiant and free, but how you are going about achieving that goal makes you feel frustrated and hemmed in, something isn’t jiving! It’s easy to get lost in the mode of sacrificing everything now so that we can have what we want later. There is no time to take a vacation. See friends. Visit family. Take a breather. I have work to do! We wait for that day when our life will finally open up and there will be time for all those enjoyments we have been putting on the backburner.

But I am sad to tell you, that day will never come. Our lives won’t suddenly open up as if by magic; we are responsible for creating that opening right here, right now. Life throws us unexpected curveballs all the time and we never know what tomorrow will bring. Allow yourself to enjoy today. Appreciate where you are in your own journey. Be okay with things taking the time that things need to take. Figure out ways to enjoy the process. If the process feels plain awful, then maybe it’s your goal that needs to be rethought.

We all so badly want to create the life and world that we desire. In reality, all of these suggestions center on the idea that taking care of, respecting, and loving yourself is crucial. It’s like the oxygen mask on the airplane. You must feed your own soul first before you can help others or do anything else to better the situation. It all starts with you and it all starts within.

 

Pumpkin Almond Breakfast Cookies

INGREDIENTS

½ cup canned organic pumpkin

½ cup crunchy almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup almond meal

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

¼ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ cup raw pecans, roughly chopped

1 tbsp. shredded coconut (no sugar added)

Pre-Baked

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, stirring until well mixed. Stir in all dry ingredients except the raw pecans and coconut, and mix thoroughly. Add in the pecans and shredded coconut at the end and mix until just combined.

Spoon batter onto the parchment paper. This recipe will make roughly 12 cookies. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool entirely and store in the fridge.

 

So You Had a Bad Day…

Now you may believe that my life is sunshine and rainbows 365 days of the year based upon my pictures of healthy food and lovely inspirational quotes that I share with you. And I agree that my life is pretty darn great and I certainly love it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the occasional bad day. A few weeks ago, I got so frustrated that my digestive woes returned unwarranted that I was on the verge of tears. A couple days ago I got irrationally angry that the photo uploader wasn’t working on my website.

It happens to all of us. I try to be mindful and take everything in stride, but some days it just doesn’t work so well. And you know what? That’s okay too. Social media and many of the new holistically-minded articles would like you to believe that it’s entirely possible to be super happy and upbeat 100% of the time. You control your thoughts. Live in the moment. Practice gratitude. Affirmations. It’s everywhere and for the most part it’s great. There is a happiness revolution taking place!

But as with everything in life, there is a darker side to it as well. Depression rates are skyrocketing. People are setting unrealistic expectations on what a happy life looks like based upon somebody else’s staged Instagram feed. And because any negative emotions can be uncomfortable, it can be easy to suppress them or explain them away. Tell yourself you are being irrational. You must just be PMSing.

I believe we need to honor our emotions. The good and the bad. They are simply a part of life and a key cornerstone for growth. Here’s the deal: the trick is to not be afraid to feel, while also not letting negative thoughts spiral out of control. This sounds great, but can sometimes be difficult to implement. One bad thought can easily lead to another and another until you are crying in the corner certain that you are destined to die alone and your starving dog will be forced to eat you for food. Okay that went to a dark place, but you catch my drift.

Next time you feel less than great, or start having any negative thoughts that you know aren’t productive, allow yourself to sit with that feeling for 90 seconds. Explore the feeling. Where did it come from? Where do you feel it in your body? Does it have a color, shape, or texture?

Then after the 90 seconds have passed, say to yourself, “I may feel this way now, but I want to feel ____ (fill in the blank)” and begin to take small steps to achieve that desired feeling. I got this idea from Danielle LaPorte, and I love it. It’s honest, but still moves you in the right direction. Simply stating how you want to feel can have a very powerful effect because it will help you realize that going down that dark path won’t get you to where you want to go. I have also found that exercise is a great way for me to bounce out of a bad mood. Punch it out. Run it out. Dance it out. Exorciiiiiiiise the demons. (Sorry I grew up in the 90s).

GiveUpMargarita