You are at a smorgasbord plate in hand. You circle the offerings taking a little bit this and a little of that. You return to your seat with a plate full of yummy possibilities. What do you eat first?
The food that most excites you.
Now take a piece a paper. Draw a circle. This is your plate. It represents a period of time - a day or a week. Within the circle write down all the things you have to do. Take a look at it. Now do the thing you want to do most in the circle. When you finish that, do the next thing you want to do most. Continue like this.
Also, on your smorgasbord plate, sometimes you select things and only eat half of them before tasting something else. Or, perhaps, you decide something on the plate isn’t really for you - you leave it on the plate.
Now allow yourself to move through your circle like that plate. Some things you will complete, others you will do part of and then switch to a different activity; some you will realize are not for you.
I call this feminine list making. You have structure, but fluidity within the structure. I’ve been using this method and it amazes me how productive I am with it AND how much I enjoy my days.
The circle feels good as a gentle boundary that I can expand and contract as I feel. The choice aspect allows we to move through the list based on what is exciting me most at the moment. By doing the thing that would give me the most joy at the moment, I use positive motivation to get things done, and build up energy throughout the day as opposed to leaking energy into "eating my frog first."
With the freedom and fluidly to move in and out of tasks based on my joy, I get a lot done in a day.
My circle has helped me to enjoy the rush and the activities. It feels more like water moving as opposed to digging myself out of a mountain of work. I highly recommend it!!
For those with questions of how to use this in a work or school environment, for items that have a deadline or that I must produce for others, I note it, but continue to move within those expectations to where my joy is. And everything gets done, faster than you’d imagine.
If you notice that a particular item is repeatedly left in the circle, it means it is something you don’t want to eat just like when you leave food on your smorgasbord plate. That’s okay. It’s time to let that item go or get creative. The smorgasbord analogy is good here. What are all the options for dealing with something that isn’t appetizing to you?
Here is my technique for unblock beliefs that are keeping me stuck or hampering my progress. It is very simple, always works, and requires little effort from you. All that is necessary is a willingness to release beliefs which are impeding your progress, repetition when necessary, pen, and paper.
The Release Technique
I write down the belief or beliefs that I am holding which are not helping me move positively. This I do anywhere. I keep it as simple as I can. I write whatever comes to mind no matter how irrelevant or unimportant it seems.
A belief is simply an idea. An idea someone crafted because it worked for them. It made sense to the creator of the idea. In some cases the idea is enshrined as a cultural norm, familial expectation, social attitude, or the rule of a particular group. But, in its essence, it is simply an idea.
An idea that worked for someone else in their particular situation does not mean it works for you. Even an idea that worked for you, may not continuing working for you. So instead of seeing a belief or idea as a rock which is unchangeable, think of it more as water: it can shift and change. Beliefs are fluid.
I then look at each idea and I cross it out. Crossing it out signals to my consciousness that I don’t need that idea anymore. For stubborn beliefs, sometimes I have to keep writing them down and keep crossing them out until I feel the belief loosening and drifting away.
My father had told me many things I couldn’t do. They were all beliefs from his perspective and experience, crafted to protect me and him too. Many simply stopped working for me - he is quite old fashioned. So, I crossed them out. I have done many of his "you can'ts."
This is a way to open yourself that doesn’t require a lot of work because it shifts you internally. As your thoughts about yourself and what's possible changes, your actions change. Your energy changes, and it opens up more space for you to grow.
In my practice, I work on energetic changes because they are the ones that help you grow with grace and as much ease as possible. By changing in this way, the path to your goals is smoother and attainable.
My first truly clinical use of food was to cure my 6 year old son of gluten intolerance and IBS. I put him on the GAPs diet for 6 months. A diet based on bone broth and slow reintroduction of normal eating. Nathanael went from debilitating stomach aches and diarrhea after wheat and almost every meal to being able to eat whatever he wants. The results have persisted to this very moment.
A client recently asked me about how to heal their gut. Bone broth is amazing at knitting the lining of the intestine back together. You will see a noticeable difference with just a 1 day broth cleanse.
The medicinal broth accelerates healing and maintains a healthy gut through a combination of food, herbs, and roots known to heal and support the intestinal lining and improve gut impermeability. The broth is made from organic chicken bones, a lot of therapeutic mushrooms, vegetables, and 20 different organic roots and herbs to nourish the digestive system.
The gut and its microbes are your source of health. When you have a leaky gut, molecules are allowed to cross into the blood which cause inflammation and autoimmune responses. A healthy gut does not allow those molecules to leak into the rest of the body.
As the broth restores the lining of the gut, it provides an environment in which the good microbes can flourish. Good microbes = good mood, high metabolism, better brain function, and less disease.
Along with the medicinal broth we created the Medicinal Cleanse. A 5 day cleanse targeted at healing your digestion and deeply detoxing the body. It includes only foods and herbs known to heal the gut, liver, inflammation, and the skin. It excludes nightshades, fruit, grains, dairy, nuts, and meat. While nourishing you deeply, you will find the food amazingly delicious and satisfying.
To get the broth or cleanse and to learn more look here. You can also email me to see how the medicinal line can help you in your particular situation.
P.S. The broth contains many mushrooms for their anti-cancer properties for added benefit.
Hunger can be a scary sensation. By scary I mean unfamiliar. Just like in other areas of life, when something is unfamiliar to us we can perceive it as scary or something that needs immediate correction or escape. Hunger is something you can sit with for a bit. Through it we learn, most things can be sat with longer than we think.
It is useful to meditate on that idea because much of our stuffing of emotions and food is literally an attempt to not experience the discomfort of sitting with our emotions. Yet, only by allowing the discomfort to wash over us do we get the opportunity to digest and understand what our emotions are telling us. And, by pushing them away, we miss seeing the beautiful wave as feelings come and go.
With hunger, by giving ourselves food at the first hunger pang we don't get to know if the hunger is temporary, a proxy for something else, or passing. Not knowing the source leads to overeating and missing the opportunity to know ourselves more deeply.
However, if you look at the scary hunger pangs, situations, or emotions as simply something unfamiliar, they become things you can get look at and explore. You can practice being with the feeling to find out what is underneath it. By exploring our hunger, we learn what we really need. By exploring our emotions, we discover what they are telling us.
Hunger is a great opportunity for self growth in many areas. The next time you are hungry accept the invitation of observe and explore yourself, then eat.
with love + light,
We are constantly birthing. Birthing is creating. It could be a profession, an education, yourself, a relationship, a service, a home, a garden, whatever you are creating, you are birthing.
Birthing consists of three stages: conception of the idea, the gestation, and the emergence into reality. Each has its process. I use the word process intentionally to underscore that in manifesting a desire it is an intentional unfolding as opposed to forced action.
To manifest a desire, or birth it, you essentially want to expand into some area of experience. First to do so, you allow yourself the space. In the body, the uterus is set aside as the space. If you want to create something big, you have to make space for it - mental, physical, and time.
Physical space is sometimes needed. If you want to begin painting, but every space of your house is occupied. The making space could be clearing out the garage or guest room.
Mental space is cultivated within meditation, journaling, and learning. Visualizations are perfect for this.
As we nurture our desire we give attention to it. Attention can be looking for others who have achieved what we want. Seeing is believing. Seeing another’s success signals to you, you can get there too, especially if this person has a story similar to yours.
Attention can be baby steps to find out more or experience part of what you want. If you want to go back to grad school, that could be taking one class or going to a lecture series.
As we nurture the desire, it grows and will require more space to develop. As the desire grows, it slowly becomes more real to us as we start to see it beginning to manifest. In this stage, the inertia of the desire carries energy which will make it easier to create the space for it. It’s as if the desire gets ignited and the original fanning has created a strong fire.
From here just like pregnancy, we continue to give more attention and space to our creation so that it naturally unfolds. Yet, unlike pregnancy, there is no due date. We can create in ease when we allow the process to take its course.
If there is something you wish to birth for yourself, be patient with the process, look for people as examples who are farther along the journey, and begin to take steps to experience parts of your desire now.
The most primary relationship we have is with ourselves. As a mother, my health, calm, and patience comes from how I nurture or mother myself. Actually, rather or not you are a mother, mothering or nurturing yourself is essential. It is the only way to cultivate the soil of your life so you are healthy, vibrant, and feel alive.
Mother's Day gives opportunity to reflect on motherhood and to introduce Aphrodite Project. Birthing and pregnancy is very dear to my heart: I spent 14 years of my life bearing children, I experienced happily water birth, hospital birth, and home birth. Each was fantastic, monumental, and taught me about myself.
But, what I did not realize then, and know now, is how very lucky I was in having one healthy pregnancy and birth after another.
Aphrodite Project provides women support in pregnancy and postpartum that is desperately needed. The United States is in a health crisis that few are aware of or speak of: the rate of pregnancy related death is rising in the U.S. while decreasing 44% in the rest of the world although we spend more on healthcare. We are at the bottom of the list when compared to other developed countries.
Many studies are now being conducted to find out why. The general agreement in the research is echoed in a Harvard University study which asserts that the main contributing factor is the chronic stress women live under which weakens the entire body making pregnancy an extraordinary challenging environment for maternal wellness.
So by dissolving stress and building wellness within the body, your chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth dramatically increases. The practices we focus on at jolie are also the recommendations for creating better maternal outcomes. Aphrodite Project takes these practices and adapts them to pregnancy to help women create better results for themselves.
My request to you is to take a look at aphroditeprojectbirth.com. Even if you are not in that stage, you will find useful tools. But even more, please join me in connecting childbearing women with the site. It is a growing treasure trove of support.
Words to Live By
Don't wait for the world to change, change it yourself.