Get Naked- Love Your Body

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

― Amy Bloom

Time is highly elastic.  Have you ever asked someone how many hours they work? People on average work 40-65 hours in a week. If they say 75+ hours, they are most likely overestimating and not even realize that they are doing this. We sleep on average 52 hours a week. For me in my current life, there are 168 hours in my week of which I sleep 52 hours, work 65 hours leaving 51 hours for me. Since I am in grad school 40 hours is taken away leaving me 11 hours of my time. Leaving me time to apply my self-care.

Time will stretch to accommodate what we chose to accommodate.  The words “I don’t have time = It is not a priority.”  All of a sudden your water heater broke you would find the seven hours to resolve the problem and all aspects of your life would still work. Proving you could find time to practice your yoga, pilates and to have a walking program. You will accomplish what you prioritize. Is your health a priority? You have goals for your career, relationships, and health. Do you mind your self-care? Is self-care making it on your list? Sit down and take an honest look at your schedule and priorities.

There is nothing rarer, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.

― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Here are five suggestions to look at as they might be thwarting your efforts in reaching the desire of self-care:

1.)    Are you surrounding yourself with martyrs? Take a close look at your circle of co-workers, family, and friends. Are they reaching their self-care goals? Is self-care even on their radar? Or are they taking better care of their jobs, relationships, cars than themselves? Chose to surround yourself with positive, healthy people that are further along the self-care path than yourself so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

2.)    Are you expecting that Rome was built in a day? In the time of expecting immediate gratification,  reality TV shows claiming that it can happen and social media only showing highlight reels of other people’s lives the mind can run away with expectations, judgments, and competition thoughts. Creating a new habit takes time, and there will be moments of irritability, frustration, poor me feelings and guilt for prioritizing your self-care. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing task starts small 10 minutes a day and lead up to a daily practice.

3.)    Do you feel like you don’t deserve self-care? Can I put myself first without being selfish? Feelings of guilt and shame lead to half-hearted attempts and self-sabotage. Self-worth is the issue at heart and, this limiting belief is destructive in your life. If you are feeling frustrated, it is time to seek professional help to make a healthy investment in self-care. The time is now because your health is priceless because without it you cannot accomplish your other desires.

4.)    Are you paying yourself last? Are you trying to fit in your self-care after the to-do-list is done? Is this setting yourself up for success to do your self-care when you are already exhausted? Quality self-care and sitting in front of numbing activities such as TV and Mobile Device are two very different things. Do you think you are spending family time just to find out that everyone is really on an electronic device and not connecting with each other? Try connecting with your self-care be a role model and see if the dynamic of connection changes with your Self and those around you. Schedule some time when you are feeling energetic and can focus on your goal of improving your self-care. You are worth being paid first.

5.)    Are you trying to meet your needs on the sly? You can’t fit your self-care in by not inconveniencing others. Why? Because self-care takes time, money and support to accomplish it. Leave filling silly, guilty and uncomfortable behind and get back the empowerment of your self-care, be a powerful role model for others. Take a stand for your self-care time and put in your planner and your families shared planner, give your family a chance to support you because they do want to see you healthy. In sharing your intention with those that love you, you are creating a robust support system that has the momentum to propel you to reach your goal of health.

The human body is the best work of art.”

― Jess C. Scott

Keeping your self-care on your to-do list is essential, and it is the difference between surviving and thriving.

You were meant to get naked with your time and priorities to RENEW your body, mind, spirit through daily integrative sustainable movement practices and LOVE your body.” Kim Searl

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Meant To Be- Be Satisfied with YOU

As we finish a year and begin to start a year anew, depending on your relationship status with yourself, it might have been a great weekend or it may have been the loneliest, most depressing couple of weeks that you have experienced all year.

When we stop asking, ‘Why Am I alone?’ And start asking, ‘Why am I here?’ Our whole world will change – for the good.” – Michelle Hammond

But there is always chocolate, alcohol, TV, and so on, right! For the Christmas season $409 million was spent on chocolate alone. For Halloween 90 million pounds of chocolate was purchased and for the upcoming Valentines holiday, 58 million pounds of chocolate will be sold. On average $220 billion is spent on alcohol in the United States annually. The average American adult watches 33 hours of TV per week that means that last year you spent 1716 hours in front of the TV. One of my favorite mass chocolate companies is Dove Chocolate. I enjoy reading the messages inside each wrapper. Dove includes these notes as a reminder to us to love and care for ourselves. The cool thing about these words is that they focus on the individual and encourage the person at the moment. No matter where you are in life with your relationships with self or others, if you allow yourself one piece of Dove Chocolate after a meal you can be encouraged by the wrapper. No, Mind Body Balance does not have a stockpile of Dove Chocolate at the studio, but most of us do love chocolate, and it can be used as a reminder to love ourselves and to care for ourselves.

This year we are kicking off our 2017 season with the word RENEW and a theme of “MEANT TO BE.”  Often there is so much tension around self-love and self-care that you can feel the tension.  How often do you take your relationship with self and your health for granted? How often do you focus on the negatives about your body, mind, and relationships? Allow a simple piece of Dove Chocolate to remind us that there is a kind of blessing that comes from being connected relationally with ourselves.

What about you? How has your journey with your self-care and self-love been going for you? What triggers cause you to feel: Sadness, Anger, Anxiousness, and Desperation in relationship to your self-care? I hope that you can lean into Mind Body Balance this year and experience the Mind Body Balance community entirely. Do not allow another year to go by where you feel the crushing feelings of loneliness, weight gain and depression. Instead we hope that you lean in and feel the blessings and life purpose “Dharma” that is a side effect of spending 15% (260 hours/year or 6.5 work weeks) of TV time  with us at Mind Body Balance. (This still leaves you 1500 hours or 29 hours a week for TV- although Kim recommends 10 hours of TV per week-ish, we won’t tell if you don’t).

This year I am struck by the word “RENEW” it means to resume activity after an interruption, to re-establish a relationship or to repeat a statement.  How many of us make a mistake, an act of error and judge ourselves harshly and punish ourselves through a lack of self-care and self-love? If you are doing this, you are also doing this to others. If you are judging others for doing this, they are a mirror to you that you also do this to yourself. It is okay to have a misstep and lapse as you can count on life throwing you some curves, the goal is not to have a relapse. If you don’t love yourself than others cannot love you.  I am not talking about narcissistic behavior I am referring to a regard for your well-being and happiness and that you work on you first so that others have the opportunity to connect with you in a productive and meaningful way. We are wired for love. Mantra or affirmation and chanting are great ways to start this relationship with you anew.

“Just as Mother Nature teaches me about the flow of seasons and that transformation is a natural part of life. I use these seasons as a way to observe whether I am in harmony with these rhythms or if I am in need of establishing new boundaries. When I am in flow through life naturally and effortlessly I am in a valley of change where I have renewed freedom within my spirit and with others.” – Kim Searl

We are currently in winter, and this is the season for reflection, hibernation and planning. Spring is the season for learning, opportunity and progressive thinking. Summer is a season for rewards, celebration and fulfillment. Autumn is a season for survival, mistakes and problems. Understanding the life cycle flow as they are short phrases and transformation is unavoidable, inevitable and yet very manageable is a guide to your personal growth, self-love and self-care.

Here is a mantra to get you started. I will write in Sanskrit and English, pick the language that works best for your belief system.

Atma Hrdaye:

Atma Hrdaye

Hrdayam Mayi

Aham Amrte

Amrtam Anadam Brahmani

My true nature is the heart.

The heart is my true nature.

I am the bliss of the heart.

The heart I am is the everlasting bliss of oneness.

This mantra comes from Rose Kress. It is a chant that comes to the heart from the heart.  Dr. John Douillard once said, “The heart’s true nature is to love for no reason at all.”  Consider chanting this daily for 3 minutes or 108 rounds for 40 days and see if something in your spirit changes. We are familiar with the physical heart which pumps blood to the whole of our body, organs, and brain. The heart maintains our physical life, and at the same time, we refer to our heart as the residence of our emotions both negative and positive this is our emotional heart. I guess you could say we have three hearts: anatomical heart, emotional heart and our innermost heart (hrdaya) or spiritual heart. The heart never changes, it doesn’t have good days or bad days, our previous experiences do not condition it. Our body is our temple, and our innermost heart is the shrine within that temple where the light of our consciousness dwells. This light of consciousness is where we manifest love that is our divine nature. Opening our hearts means to dis-armor ourselves, to uncover our heart. Any suffering we experience is the separation from the love that exists in our heart-of-hearts.

Integrative Sustainable Movement is MEANT TO BE in your life to inspire you to Be Satisfied with YOU!

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Selfie Part 1 – Identity Crisis!

Selfie, Selfie, Selfie Stick, Selfie, Selfie…. A selfie is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media. Selfies are very misleading because you can take a bunch of them and only post the one that you feel the best about… where as a canid shot is a better representation of what a person is really about.  A selfie allows us to be more perfect, sexy or swanky depending on what we are going after.  We see ourselves as one thing and others see us as something completely different because they don’t have our eyes and most of the time we only portray our highlight reel to the world with our appropriate mask on. I’ve done this for years and it is only in the last two years I have started to take the mask off and show vulnerability… which (I have to say) is more freeing and empowering.

I have a daily meditation practice and (I have to admit) without it I’d be even a hotter mess than I am today. I always ask: Please give me the guidance to know the right question to ask. What is it that I need to know today? I usually get a response in the near future as to which direction, question, answer I was looking for… it just took getting quiet and putting it the hands of the “me” and the  universe. My bell has recently been rung and I am in a huge, painful lesson of having my faith challenged and trusting my path… that I’m in the right place at the right time under the right circumstances. I am struggling and wobbling… clinging to hope. I’m sure you have experienced something similar.

Deep down I know there is something greater than me in this universe.  I’ve known this since I was a small child. I recall my first experience at the age of seven while riding my horse Nugget. I know that as an adult I need not see obstacles as obstacles and put up resistance, thinking that I am a bad person. Instead, I need to meet obstacles with grace, know that a tuff growing period is on the horizon and that I have the wisdom available to me if I get quiet (and in the right time and sequence of events) the divine order will be presented to me.

Justification is the action of showing something to be right or reasonable. Think of the grass.  It grows when it wants to grow. We get impatient, but patience is a working process for us. It is a procedure of refining where we must honestly be aware of our own shortcomings. How sick are you in your physical, emotional and spiritual body? A bacterium is horrible and to be honest we will probably die of a bacterial infection because not a lot of research goes into this area because it isn’t profitable. Why isn’t it profitable?  Our bodies and the bacterium adapt and within two years the serum to treat the bacteria is no longer affective? Our negativity… our thoughts… infect us just as bacteria do.  70% of our thoughts are made up, so why do we base our thoughts on fear rather than hope? Our bodies are over 80% water and negativity affects the crystals of that water.  If our cells are swimming around in a swamp of poor choices then how can we expect to be healthy in our physical, emotional and spiritual body? The great thing is that we can leave our past in the past and know that we are becoming aware of the damage we are doing to our “self.”  We can choose to create new patterns. Do you really and truly understand how you are hurting yourself?

An identity crisis is a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society. What makes up your identity?  Well, they are things that make you stand out in a crowd. We usually have a public self and private self. So things like appearance, style, personality would fall under our public self while thoughts, feelings, daydreams, fantasies fall under our private self. Our social identity would include things like kinship, ethnicity, nationality, self-esteem, morality, vicarious elements, respect, praise, affection, power, ability, and performance.  Are you working on your outer house or your inner house? Are you creating your identity by what others think of you, your material objects, etc. this is a vicious circle that we can’t win when we seek our identity by external sources only.

You See:                                              Others See:

Failure                                                 Success

Imperfection                                       Perfection

Coward                                                Champion

Spiritual Wreck                                   Individuality

We are wonderful spiritual beings having a human experience. We are perfect just as we are.  We don’t need to become anything other than what we are, yet we try to become perfect which causes stress and strain.  I am an individual expression of life. Don’t let someone or something dull your sparkle.  You are beautiful and whole. Be curious about life and feed your soul. How are you getting in your way? Selfishness, greed, lack of self-care, worry, fear

My mom taught me to appreciate my food and how to cook. She taught me about having good cookware and that good cookware grows better in time as the pans are seasoned. I kind of had “pan envy” as she made it look so easy, yet now I’ve come to appreciate the art of cooking. Pans need cleaning, seasoning, attention, dedication and they get better over time.  You run out and get a cheap set that is non-stick it isn’t a lot of work and the non-stick just lasts short term because it wears off. Insecurity will stop sticking to you and others perceptions will stop sticking to you when you do your work and grow you.

Meditation daily is a tool that you can use to get out of your way and get into living your soul dharma code… your life path. I cherish my meditation times. Meditation is a time to get quiet, to listen to your inner wisdom so that you can approach your life as an adventure with confidence and trust in your decision.  Let the old you out and the new you be ready to rock. Home is where your identity resides. Have you ever noticed that you are sad to leave your old home, you get settled into your new home and you get an opportunity to go back to the old home and it doesn’t feel like it is your home at all? That is because it isn’t the home that makes you; you make the home.  Your uniqueness makes your space in which to reside. Our inner and outer homes are places of beauty and peace. At little cleaning in your home goes a long way, it is the same when we clean our mind.  One choice to change our thought goes a long way; one choice to be consistent in our integrative sustainable movement discipline changes our health.

Quantum creation by Josh Peck lets us see clearly with love I see in every direction. Get out of your way and get into your plan. Become a priority in your life. Be a voice, not an echo.  Be centered, courageous and adventurous so that you can grow in joy.

“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” Buddha

Are you comfortable with your self-worth? For me, not really but I’m working on it.  I appreciate that I have the opportunity to shift an unhealthy belief to a healthy belief, to let go of an old limitation and pick up a new healthy pattern all because I am worthy of having the life I want. I was born with that worth.  We all were.

Today ask yourself what you need to improve your self-care (walk, Thai energy session, read a book, meditate, play with a dog, yoga, pilates, etc.) and give it to yourself.

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