READING TO EMPOWER THE HEALTHY STYLISH & BEAUTIFUL YOU
Nike. I read Shoedog this summer. Take it with you on vacation this August. It is amazing! There is so much to be gleaned about how to live and create from Phil Knight’s story of the creation of Nike, it’s on my calendar to read the book every year.
Nike almost died many times. Knight comments that he knew if Nike did fail, it wasn’t going to be because they did not take big risks and do everything possible. He was going to do everything to fight to the death. Never did he leave the fate of Nike to the market, circumstances, or other people’s rules.
That’s empowerment in a nutshell. Keep acting. When you hit a dead end, look for options. It doesn’t mean we won’t fail or mess up, but we get to decide what will be.
Empowerment is about not being a victim. A victim gives their power to another. We allow circumstances, beliefs, people, past wrongs to define and limit us. We do not need to blame situations or others for our present state.
You are an amazing, powerful person. With a little action and a shift in mindset, you can create a new reality.
Empowerment is recognizing things can be different. Then doing something to move the needle towards what we want.
What happens when you don’t know what you want, but know what you have isn’t working? The answers are not always evident. I share with you an exercise I do frequently when I’m stuck, not sure what to do next, or have that vague feeling of uncertainty.
Consider the situation or challenge you’re facing. Create three list.
List everything you know.
List everything you don’t know.
List questions you can ask. They can directed to God, a particular person, or just questions you need answers to.
Taking inventory gives us clarity. Writing the question list - at least 50 - forces us to access our imaginations and observe. Also, by formulating the questions we prepare ourselves to see answers, signs, and clues to the next step. When you get the next step, take it. If something, inspires you, explore it more deeply.
Clarity often comes in the process of doing. There are no mistakes - only opportunities to learn. Take them and use them.
Be Unshakeable is about creating the tools to move forward. Finding out how to not be a victim.
Simply put, it clears my vision - providing clarity on what’s happening now and a glimpse of the path before me. I get to heal and release the past, empower the present, and inspire the future.
Readings have the connotation of being something scary where you walk into a dark room that feels a bit witchy with a very strange person there - but it’s not. It’s a conversation with the most intuitive mother ever. She illuminates the past; we talk about my life, relationships, challenges, and future goals.
Before the session, I set an intention and think about the questions I am holding in my heart. Then I stay open. After sessions I feel lighter, brighter, more empowered, with more clarity and direction.
Readings don’t take away our free will. Instead, they are a great source of general guidance for me to keep in alignment with my path and purpose. Readers are able to see glimpses of future events, but the unfolding is completely up to me.
Sessions are like doing a cleanse. A cleanse is a quick, intensive reset that sets us up for training and taking care of ourselves better. A session is like years of therapy and prepares us to better use the coaching, therapy, and self development we already do.
It’s such an important tool.
Happiness is not a place to get to or a goal to achieve. It is a state of the heart and mind which we must continuously cultivate. In that way, happiness is like a garden that we must give attention, water, feed, occasionally clear things away for it to grow.
We have peaks of happy experiences in life, but they are not generally what it means to have a happy life. They are one part of happiness which is the day to day pleasure we take in life.
Taking pleasure in the moment to moment experience of living comes with practice. Essential elements are: gratitude, mindfulness, and allowing yourself to feel the full range of emotion in you. We can support daily happiness by consciously creating pleasurable experiences for yourself.
The second part of happiness is how satisfied you are with life. It means you go beyond what’s okay to what truly lights you up inside. It requires that life evolve as you dreams and goals change. It means constantly reaching outside of your comfort zone so you can grow and experience new things. Here the important concept is to create time to listen to your heart - aka meditation - and do what comes up.
When you find yourself off track find your way back to happy first with gratitude and acceptance. Then send out loving energy out to others and listen to what your heart wants. Know without doubt you have the inner resources to build a happy life for yourself.
I love Kasia. She is the woman who has shaped my teaching more than any other. One of her first lessons was fully inhabiting joy. She didn’t teach it, but I saw it in her. Good news she would yell in joy, raise her arms, and smile the most sincere, childlike expression of joy. Good news via text - she answered me like she was girl tween. I began to experiment - pleasure research as I call it - with joy.
As an emotion it moves up and out. It makes our chest big and full. Our arms and legs want to move, dance, jump. We get the urge to shout out.
What happens to us as adults? How did joy get reduced to a high five, to a happy contained smile? How did it become a simple thumbs up? What stops us? Do we think it’s not “grown up” to be truly joyful? Do we fear being laughed at or that something bad will follow?
We stop up our joy. Robbing ourselves of joy, we rob ourselves of fully feeling alive, celebrating the triumphs - we miss fully feeling every ounce of the moment.
Do some pleasure research with me? Next time you see a happy, joyful kid - study them.
See what joy looks and feels like without “adulting” it. THEN, do the same thing next time something great happens! Just try it once. I guarantee you will feel soooooooooo good!!
When you are in the good feeling - it will delete the negative, it youthens you, and you feel the rush of life which makes this crazy world so worth it.
P.S. To get you in the mood, use this free meditation to pump up your joy!
watermelon, cucumber, & feta salad
Dice equal amounts of cucumber and watermelon. Mix together with crumbled feta to taste.Voila - an awesome summer treat!
Finely dice ripe tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, a clove of garlic, and chives. Mix everything together including the juices from the vegetables with salt and a generous portion of olive oil. Allow to macerate for several hours. Chill and enjoy.
Can meditation help when you're facing a challenge like cancer?
I have a dear friend undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Alternative cancer treatments have been my obsession lately to help support conventional treatments and make them less painful.
Mindfulness meditation, the practice of focusing on the present moment, has helped cancer patients experience less pain, more calm, and increased happiness according to a 2011 study.
Mindfulness also helps the body to heal by helping cancer patients sleep better and feel less stress. By concentrating on compassion and the present moment, meditation is an alternative to the anxiety and worry many people experience.
Through mindfulness, we become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. This allows us to create more space so we can choose to enjoy the present moment and not race towards future what ifs. We can choose more healing thoughts and appreciate what is - positive mindset has been documented over and over as a non-medical key to healing.
Experiencing a health challenge? Try developing a meditation practice. My Learn to Meditate course offers instruction in mindfulness and using meditation to promote calm and relaxation. Also, experience our mindfulness and compassion meditations as well as singing bowl meditation to help you cope with the stress of illness.
I wish all health and healing.
Recently, I've been feeling heavy. It is from all the end of school activities, not eating right by eating on the run, and everyday going until I hit that wall which short circuits my brain and drives me to bed. After my son's middle school graduation, I was talking with a group of moms feeling the exact same way.
So, how to feel light now that summer is here?
1. Schedule in time to do nothing. Create a buffer that allows you to partake in unexpected pleasures like having a latte outdoors with a friend, sitting at the pool with your kids, or reading a magazine. I am putting daily time at our pond club in the late afternoon.
2. Eat more raw foods. Going to the farmers' market inspires good, light summer salads with fruit and raw vegetables which fill you up and are satisfying without making you lethargic in the summer heat.
3. Take life outside. Being outdoors reminds us the world is large and limitless. It inspires and calms. Eat outside, Camp in the backyard with the kids. Swim. Hike. Garden. Bike.
Let me know what you think!
1. Fill half your plate at every meal with vegetables and berries.Powerful antioxidants and synergistic nutrition found in berries and vegetables heal your body by fueling the mitochondria. Strong mitochondria equals strong cells which equals recovery.
2. Take a Coenzyme Q10 supplement daily. It increases energy production in the mitochondria giving you and your body more energy for less fatigue and more healing.
3. Provide your body with high quality protein daily. Protein is necessary for the repair which has to be done throughout the body to curb the symptoms of autoimmunity.
Tell me how it these changes impact you.
Gratitude is the key practice to transform your everyday life. Gratitude is the secret sauce that turns our everyday into something magical. Offering thanks daily is the quickest way to change our mood and perception of our life. Thanksgiving magnifies the good stuff and makes everything else fade into the background.
I cringe as I think of times in my life that have felt dull and constraining. I remember stretches that felt like the laundry cycle of a washing machine: wake up, cook, tidy up, change diapers, run errands, read bedtime stories, rinse and repeat--over and over and over.
Living like that can kill you, both figuratively and spiritually. It is definitely not the space in which relationships grow and expand; new possibilities do not easily present themselves in that place; nor do children feel boundless love coming from their parent. It is not the place of joy, beauty, and connection. But it is an opportunity to remake your life.
The practice of gratitude transforms cleaning up the third spill of the day into something closer to the sacred. Milk spills. Gratitude changes our perspective. The spill is not a burden. We may still be unhappy about it, but frustration dissipates. Thanks for the child drinking the milk. Thanks that we have milk. Thanks that there can be more milk to fill the cup. Thanks that you're there to care for that child. Thanks for the ability to clean it up. Thanks for the cow, and the farmer, and the grocery store. The list is endless.
Any and all events in our lives are elevated by gratitude. The color and energy of joy and happiness are intensified. We more deeply appreciate good when we infuse our experience with gratitude. The people around us feel more appreciated and seen when we express our thanks for them and for what they do.
Transformation happens when we give thanks for the small and big things. Our eyes open to what is happening around us. Our hearts lighten because we connect with the present moment. We become fully present to what is. Gratitude is something we consciously must practice until it becomes as natural to us as breathing.
Join jolie in your journey of gratitude. Meditation is an excellent opportunity to reflect and sink into the good. Also, the Thursday Mom 2 Mom is a great way for mothers to up level their day with little effort. Please share your gratitude practices with us on Facebook and in person.
Exercise began for me as a way to lose weight, get in shape, and relieve stress. It has become for me one of the primary ways I keep my body feeling and looking young. Exercise is a powerful youth serum available -- if you know how to make it. I created Row jolie as a workout and youth serum in one.
The key markers or characteristics of aging are: limited mobility, frailty, muscle loss, loss of bone mass, weight gain, thinning, sagging skin, random aches and pains, and inconsistent energy levels.
Bright, radiant skin, defined muscles, fluidity in movement, flexibility, endurance, energy, an overall good feeling in your body, and quick recovery from illness and/or injury are the signs of vitality.
When I work out, design workouts, and have personal training it is always important that the movements not only do no harm, but assist in keeping my body young and vital. Renewal is the name of the game.
6 ingredients necessary to turn exercise into youth serum
1. It is essential you incorporate full range of motion in some of your weekly exercise. For example, aim for full articulation of your shoulder. You want arm movements which mimic life: arms overhead, pulls and pushes. Think of picking up or playing with a baby - those are the movements: picking the child up, holding the baby and gazing at him, placing him gently in a crib. Push, pull, raise your arms overhead regularly. For the lower body, there is nothing better than lunges and squats. Fully articulate the joint with fluid, controlled movements using body weight or free weights which allow you to build strength while maintaining proper form.
2. Deterioration of balance is a key sign of aging. It affects your stride and ability to recover from being jostled or tripping. Balance is one of things that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Daily exercises that require balancing on one leg and bending over and straightening are a must. Lunges are a great example of balance maintaining exercises as well as one legged squats and burpees.
3. You do not have to jump to build bone density. Closed chain movements build bone density at the same rate as jumping. A closed chain exercise is where the feet are stationary and movement is made by exerting the legs and core. Rowing is an excellent example of closed chain cardio. Weighted squats and pushups are another forms of closed chain exercises which build bone density.
4. Cardio is not only a calorie burner and essential for heart health, but in your youthening routine it provides regeneration at the cellular level. Aging is marked by a decrease in the number of mitochondria in the cells. Aerobic activity, especially interval training, stimulates the production of more mitochondria in the skeletal muscle tissue. More mitochondria equals greater energy, faster recovery, better functioning cells, higher metabolism.
On the contrary, as mitochondria in skeletal muscle cells decrease, the cells become insulin resistant, inefficient, and prone to degenerative disease. This increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, systemic inflammation, and weight gain. All three of those situations are a step toward looking and feeling old.
5. Weight training 2-3 times a week. You look younger with visible, defined muscle. Beyond looks, strong muscle contraction maintains the connective tissue surrounding joints and builds bone density. In addition, strong muscle helps maintain posture, improves sleep, and balances blood sugar.
Also, strength is important to power the activity of life. Getting up, carrying groceries, gardening, caring for children, moving things around, a day out in the country or in town are all powered by your muscles. The stronger your muscles, the less taxing these activities are. In addition, muscles burn a lot of calories making it easier for you to maintain your figure and not experience the dip in metabolism that many say is an inevitable part of aging.
6. Detoxification. Exercise is an important detoxifier. Sweating, deep breathing, increased circulation all detoxify the body. This creates a healthier environment for every cell of the body by preventing the buildup of free radicals which interfere in cellular function. In addition, sweating and increased circulation stimulate the production of skin cells; thereby preventing thinning and sagging. Healthy cells are young cells, young cells equals young body.
I urge you to incorporate each of these six points into your exercise weekly. Over time you will see a difference in your appearance, increase in energy, and the disappearance of random aches and pains. I tell my youthening clients to expect to carve off one year for every month of moving, eating, and living to youthening. Stick with it - the results are amazing!
Sometimes it seems the fog in our brain will not lift. We have been at a deadline or a big project, and find ourselves in the Twilight Zone of thought. Stale ideas that keep coming back. Our creativity vanishes. We get tired of even thinking.
This is when you are in need of brain rest. The brain, like your muscles, needs recovery time to refresh so that it can work creatively and powerfully. Think of it as rebooting your computer -- everything closes, the computer shuts down, rest for a moment, and when it's restarted the glitch you had disappears.
5 Steps to reboot your brain:
Next time you are close to brain fatigue, whip out these tools. In just a day or two, you will find energy, productivity, and inspiration restored.
with love and gratitude,
Yoga is a perfect antidote to a bad day -- disappointment, criticism, and low energy fade away. Next time, aka tomorrow, you need a pick me up, instead of stopping at Starbucks or at the mall for retail therapy, drop into jolie for a yoga class.
Concentrate your mind and body and you will find relief; relief by sourcing your strength and clarity; in that, you find peace and satisfaction through yoga.
How does yoga transform your day?
1. Yoga allows you to connect to your resilience - physical and emotional. Holding a pose will challenge your muscles, as you dig deep to hold a difficult pose you find out you're stronger than you think you are. The focus of holding warrior pose will connect you with your mental and emotional fortitude. Tapping into our strength during yoga is just the push we need to get us mental back in the game after a stressful day.
2. Clarity created by concentrating on a pose: breath, posture, alignment is akin to a moving meditation the concentration creates gaps in which our mind can float. This not only relaxes us, but opens up space for solutions and insights to bubble up.
3. Rest of savasana is integration time. Not only is it integrating the work you have done in your practice that day, but it also allows mental rest to digest the events of the day. This digestion allows you to let go of the waste, and be nourished by the good. It is an effortless letting go. Lay in the pose for deep restoration with no effort.
4. You get a natural high. Craving an escape or an increase in your energy, yoga is the answer accessible to everyone. Yoga causes the release of endorphins to lift your spirits and energy. People leave yoga, as they do meditation, with a radiant, glow from the cascade of joy hormones.
Stop by daily to experience yoga at jolie. We have everything you need, just bring yourself. Check out our new Yoga for the People - pay as you wish and support women's empowerment - all adult classes included. See you soon!
with love and gratitude,
Skin. Skin shows our age. Skin is the barrier between us and the environment. Skin is exposed to heat, cold, dryness, humidity, sun, toxins, pollutants, and irritants constantly.
A fit body and an aged face reads as old, whereas a young face and not so fit body still reads as young. A very inshape friend of mine was horrified to learn this despite efforts to eat well and workout. On the way back from a playdate with other moms of a similar age, her toddler asked her why she was older than the other moms. She asked her daughter jokingly why she thought that. Answer: because her face was older.
Secret to beautiful skin: CARE. The skin on our faces needs more care than our teeth do. No one would skip brushing.
Knowing I am super serious about skin care my friend asked me for suggestions to restore radiance and elasticity. I asked my friend how she cares for her skin. She washes it in the morning and most of the time at night and applies moisturizer. If she's particularly tired and not wearing makeup, she'll skip the night washing.
Here is the problem. The skin on our bodies that is exposed most of the time needs more care than our teeth do. No one would skip brushing.
Routine is the key. ALWAYS - no exceptions - take care of your face morning AND night.
My "I'm really tired or rushed" routine has only three steps, but I never, never, ever skip them.
Night - after makeup is removed:
1. Exfoliate first
That there is the absolute most basic skin care routine that will keep you looking fabulous.
A few pointers,
1. Choose a cleanser that doesn't over dry your skin
2. Exfoliate with a fine exfoliant designed for the face. It can be a chemical exfoliant, like papaya extract or very gentle round physical exfoliant. Try it on your hand first.
3. Moisturize with a cream or oil that contains antioxidants.
4. Sunscreen always and reapply during the day, even in winter. I have a friend dermatologist who refuses to work with anyone on anti-aging that does not commit to sunscreen. If you do anything to try to counter aging, sunscreen is the first step.
If you follow my bare bones protocol, your skin will start looking more radiant in less than a week. It will shock you. For more help, stop by jolie for a chat.
Neuroplasticity is a fancy word to signify the brain's ability to reshape itself - to forge new connections and pathways. When you become fluent in a foreign language, you utilize your neuroplasticity. In a nutshell, the more you think, do, or say something the more you will think, do, or say the same thing. It is the mental corollary to you are what you eat. You are what you think! You are how you move!
A hallmark of aging is the slow down of the formation of new pathways. In times of learning and experiencing new things, new neuro connections are constantly being created. As people age, unfortunately, their curiosity flags and their exploration into new territory is often reeled in. That is a choice which ages you and makes it more difficult for you to learn new material in the future. To remain youthful constantly learn new hobbies, movements, ideas, information.
However, we not only want to learn, but dive in. Although when we do something new, neuro pathways are forged we want them to take hold, the connections to be solidified. The more we repeat the activity, the more those neuropathways strengthen. For success in any activity the key is then regular, repeated action over a long period of time. Yoga is a great venue for learning, practicing, and continuing to have new frontiers of learning to master.
Yoga, in addition, sharpens your ability to listen to your body, heart, and mind opening up more opportunities for you to learn of the universe within you. Over time this directs you in making decisions which are aligned with your goals and truth. Listening helps you in practical areas of life also: to eat and exercise mindfully. You will sense immediately when you have had enough during a meal. No longer will you push yourself too hard in a workout. Learning to listen to your own truth will protect you from needlessly getting suck in decisions you were not aligned with in the first place.
I encourage you to begin a practice of yoga. Jolie offers yoga both during the day and in the evening. We also have kids classes and parent-child classes coming on Saturdays at 10:30.
with love and gratitude,
Do you want to finally do it?
A coach can light the fire underneath you to motivate, guide, and cheer you on to achieving your goal. They are the bridge and sherpa to discover the best version of YOU
Our daily life forces us to skimp on ourselves. We are asked to do more with less rest and sleep. We are constantly exposed to conflicting health reports and eating right can be confusing. Often we are so busy we have little time to focus on ourselves even when we need to.
Wellness coaching is a bridge and a sherpa. A good wellness coach provides support for necessary health changes that a healthcare professional does not have time or information to personally navigate with you. Coaching can bridge that gap helping you transform.
You have a life goal - a mountain to climb. The most reliable way to the top is with a skilled sherpa. I view health and life coaching as being a sherpa guiding people to find their inner compass, helping them find the fastest, most expedient route, and looking out to prevent pitfalls and potential dangers.
Good coaching should:
As a coach, I fulfill many roles for people. I love helping people actually do it. My approach is very personal and creative. Clients who think something won’t work for them are surprised by the solutions and change that happens. This February we are offering coaching packages of 10 sessions for $1000. If you want to explore your goal with us, please email email@example.com. If you are working on something specific we don’t specialize in, we are happy to connect you with someone who does.
with love and gratitude,
The key to losing weight for the last time is not giving up as you take small, continual steps to create a new lifestyle, or habit of living, that feels so good and natural to you that you can't imagine living any other way.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu
Six years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey that transformed my life. I did what statistics said were impossible. I needed to lose a lot of weight after my pregnancy. I gained almost 40 pounds during pregnancy and had gone into it with weight from the previous child. I lost all the weight plus some and have not regained it in the last six years.
There was so much wisdom and insight I gained from the journey. The golden nugget, however, is when you begin to transform your life look only at the improvements you are and have made. I thought to myself that every step, no matter how small, in the right direction was one step farther away from where I started and closer to my goal. I figured that every workout, every ounce lost, every size dropped, every inch smaller, every dessert skipped was a step forward.
There were slip ups. Each time, I thought of when a ball is kicked out of bounds in a soccer game. That doesn’t stop the game. The ball is thrown back in and play begins again. A weight loss goal is the same. It’s a game you are playing till the end. If you get sick and can’t workout, afterward throw the ball back in the field. Pick up where you left off. Continue the journey, don’t throw in the towel.
Small changes and small steps accumulate. After less than a year, all the weight was off. My body was fit and toned. I felt more beautiful, stronger, calmer, kinder, and happier. It was work, but the real work was to keep believing in myself, being my own cheerleader every day. This like most things in life only I could do for myself.
So, as January slips away, don’t lose hope. True, sustainable transformation happens very gradually. The longer it takes, the more time to establish new habits. Then, six years later the weight is still gone and you will find yourself fitter and fitter each year. I love coaching people toward their weight loss goals. Beyond my nutritional training, my own slow journey gave me a richer understanding of how to transform for good. If you are interested in ending the battle, I’d love to help you!!
With love and gratitude,
Workouts do more than burn calories or help you maintain your weight. The right workout rotation can also help you look younger and stay young looking for years
What must you have in your routine to stay looking young and vibrant?
1. Weight Lifting. Post menopause many women experience a loss of muscle mass. This effects not only posture, but your ability to do routine tasks in life like grocery shop, care for children, and manage your home. Research shows that resistance and body weight exercises such as yoga or mat work (such as in the jolie row class) reverses aging on a molecular level.
2. Sprints. Interval sprints are essential for maintaining fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the parts of your muscle that allow you to quickly regain your balance or react quickly. Sprinting, such as we do in the jolie row workout, helps maintain those fibers. This keeps your reaction time fast helping you navigate through unexpected circumstances and avoid fails. As one ages, the ability to quickly respond and recover balance is one of the first signs of aging. Maintaining and strengthen your fast twitch fibers will keep you nimble.
3. Flexibility training. Yoga and stretch maintain flexibility. Limber muscles allow you full ranges of motion and loosen joints as you grow older. In addition, the weigh bearing nature of yoga strengthens at the same time.
with love and gratitude,
MOTIVE TO MEDITATE
When you meditate, you plug into a supercomputer. When I meditate I solve problems, find inspiration for new initiatives, cut through my feelings to find the core truth, let grow of anger and frustration and have the most amazing conversations afterwards. It’s my superpower.
Meditation is more than sitting still and quiet. Many people resist meditation because they think it’s boring or a waste of time. It is easy to believe that time can be used more productively: working, exercising, going out, shopping, or seeing friends. Meditation can seem self indulgent. Time is limited: we expect those other activities will accomplish more in terms of money and relationships.
The benefits of meditation are so multifaceted- it can change your life in many ways. Eight weeks of regular practice will make you happier and more centered, rewire your brain, reduce stress related hormones, improve intuitive skills – that’s the short list. In our busy, complicated lives we don’t realize its importance because meditation does not immediately produce emotional, physical, and mental benefits we can see. Meditation works subtly from the inside out.
Meditation, in many cultures and traditions, is considered the way to live a balanced, harmonious life with others and the planet. Many religions, including Christianity, see meditation as an essential part of life just like eating, working, cultivating relationships. They begin and punctuate the day with meditation understanding that connection to Source or God grounds us and empowers us to work on our life’s purpose.
The more relaxed and calm we are, the more we are receptive to the flow of experiences, information, and solutions in our lives. It allows us to be more aware of our environment and act with more presence of mind.
If you think there is not time to meditate, you are missing a key opportunity that can change your life. When you meditate, you plug into a supercomputer. When I meditate I solve problems, find inspiration for new initiatives, cut through my feelings to find the core truth, let grow of anger and frustration and have the most amazing conversations afterwards. It’s my superpower. Not to mention, my fine lines relax and my energy is more positive.
The most difficult obstacle blocking you from achieving your goals is that you don’t know yourself as well as you think you do. The activity of life distracts us from going inside and asking questions of ourselves. That is why meditation is so vital. It takes you out of the commotion: the awareness created in meditation helps you get in touch with yourself, learn about yourself, and love yourself. The more knowledge you have about yourself, the better you will understand yourself. From there it is easier to decipher why you are here and what your true purpose is. You are an amazing, powerful, creative being, but me telling you that is kind of like your mother telling you you are beautiful. You need to discover yourself beautiful just like you need to uncover your own powerful, amazing, creative self.
There are many types of meditation. At jolie we teach various forms. This allows you to find the types that work best for you. You can learn and refine those and can take them with you into the rest of your life. My favorite guided meditations are visualizations, body scans, and sitting in silence. Using those forms I shed stress and manifest things like crazy.
Here are some tips to get you started: take five minutes in the morning and focus on your breathing. I often do this after hitting snooze on my alarm if I’m sure I won’t fall back asleep otherwise I do it after my shower. It helps to focus on the light of a candle or imagine myself walking across a never ending field. Notice how your body feels, emotions that arise, thoughts that come up. Gradually increase your meditation time as you feel comfortable. Guided meditations at jolie are also a wonderful way to kick start and deepen your practice--it’s akin to having a private trainer for your mind. You move forward finding greater peace within and your own superpowers.
with love and gratitude,
Come on a journey with me this year. I declare my mission to live 2017 differently. I sometimes have a false belief or expectation that causes me to live on this planet as if everything is going to be perfect, but this is a planet of refinement. Refinement means people, myself included, are going to make mistakes; people are going to not do the right thing; not live up to expectations. But, it also means that is okay. Refinement is growth; it's sorting out what's working and what's not; it's letting go when a thought pattern is holding us back or keeping us stuck.
This morning I went for a walk in the woods and then directly to church. Ordinarily, I'd change my clothes, but didn't have time. I was very tempted to keep my coat on during Mass because everyone was dressed up, except for me. My internal guide said no - take it off. It's what I'm working on--accepting what is every moment and not judging myself. Who cares if I have hiking boots and workout clothes on? If they do, why should I care? Plus, it's all in my head, it's my desire to be perfect, to meet expectations. I'm not perfect, I misjudged my time, but I am here where I want to be.
The advantages to living on the planet of refinement are threefold:
1. We get to set any goal we want and work for it. We fall off the diet/workout wagon, we blow up at our partner, we screw up a project: learn from the experience and continue; no time for stewing. 2017 we say no to self doubt, self criticism, and negativity.
2. Mistakes are good. Ben Franklin said, "I haven't failed. I've had 10,000 ideas that didn't work." Thomas Edison said, "Of the 200 light bulbs that didn't work, every failure told me something I was able to incorporate into the next attempt." Carry that perspective into 2017.
3. Focus on you. Our happiness has a ripple effect as well as our energy when we are depleted. When my kids were little, I called 5:00pm the bewitching hour. I'm exhausted, my patience is spent, I'm trying to make dinner; and somehow the kids sense it and chaos ensues. Finally, I started taking a mommy time out around 4:30 and things smoothed out. To meet the challenges on this planet of refinement we must take care of ourselves.
The first leg of this journey of refinement is 100 days of self care. Why self care? Honestly, it's because there is so much I want to do this year and I will get easily burned out if I don't. The less personal reason is how well you take care of yourself is a clear indicator of how positive you feel, your self confidence, and gives you so much energy. When you feel good, you treat others better too.
Yay for 2017! I am full of excitement.
Although I appear extremely calm, I am a totally type A personality. Goals are my thing. The end of the year is really exciting for me. I LOVE reflecting and evaluating and then setting really juicy goals for the year to come. But, my mantra is to know where you want to go, you need to spend a little time evaluating where you are now. I ask myself three questions.
After I answer these question, I share my insights with a friend. Accountability is always a good thing when goal setting. Perhaps you and a friend could do your year end evaluation; then meet for lunch to share and encourage each other. For accountability, here are my answers:
I would love to know about your year. Please share here, on Facebook, or come to Jolie.
With love and gratitude,
Eckhart Tolle's, The Power of Now, focuses us on where our power lies. Our generative ability is in the present moment. The past is gone and the future is a mystery. Where we have influence, where we can change, where we can make a difference is in the moment that exists for us now. The present moment is our touchpoint to ourselves, the Divine, and each other. We experience God from where we are--yesterday's experience no longer exist and what we experience tomorrow will be in the now moment. The same holds true for our relationship with others and the work we do for ourselves.
Deep within us, we know this is true. However, it is a challenge to our will and strength to focus our concentration on the present action. It is easier to put off to tomorrow the work of today. It is easier to dwell on past mistakes, than to act this very moment. But, right now is all we have so procrastination does not serve us. When we say I'll eat clean tomorrow, I'll begin to relax tomorrow, I'll enjoy my partner tomorrow--tomorrow never comes in the way we want it to be. We find ourselves in the same place or even more behind when it comes to neglect of self or others.
Rejuvenation, growth, fun, opportunity is to be enjoyed now. Take a relationship that is strained. Someone does something kind to another. Being in the now means taking the kindness offered in the moment. The now is not recalling all the past failings or speculating that this change will not last. To live whole, we take each gesture, each moment for what it is without putting layers of hurt or expectation on top of it. In this way, we live whole, in the present.
The practice of living in the now is clearly illuminated by Tolle. For those that want to dive in deep, read his book and you will not be disappointed. It is at Jolie, and a book I constantly recommend. A baby step, however, is to begin with mindfulness. Mindfulness can be cultivated in very simple ways. Merely pausing before going through a doorway can bring you into the moment. When speaking with someone look them in the eyes. Practice meditation. Move slowly when possible. All of this will connect mind, body, and spirit to the present moment.
I encourage you to practice on your own and in community with Jolie.
“Letting go is a practice; it is an art” Thich Nhat Hanh
Resistance is the feeling of refusal to go in the direction life is pulling us toward. Resistance is also an invitation to expansion, change, and growth. All living things are either evolving or decaying; there is no status quo in the natural world. We want to be vibrant, pulsating with the force of life. The challenge is to gracefully move through pressures and struggles to the other side: a place of strength, courage, and self confidence.
Breathe, relax, and center. Breathe, relax, and center. This is the mantra for navigating through resistance. Letting go alleviates the struggle. In order to yield in the really difficult places, we must practice releasing in the small areas of our lives. Practice daily. I began this practice by paying attention to my breathing. Trying to get through a plank I refused to breathe. It made it harder. Breathing deeply and going inside got me through. Handling a stressful conversation was easier when I breathed deeply, spoke slowly, kept checking in with my heart and released the outcome.
Working out took on a new meaning. With every movement I practiced breathe, relax, and center. This was my training ground developing muscle memory and a visceral record of releasing. As the relaxation muscle strengthened, I practiced when I felt rushed or under pressure to make a decision. My meditation further helped rewire me so that I could reach a centered state more easily. Eight weeks of meditation verifiably alters your brain connections to promote stress release.
Inhale deeply; exhale and release; hand on heart feel where you are Release is a practice; practice often if not daily at Jolie. Meditate, stretch, rejuvenate--go out and conquer the world :-)
With love and gratitude,
Neglected hands are a telltale sign of age and too much sun exposure. It is important to care for the skin on our hands as our face. Your hands are exposed to more washing, sun, wind, and harsh chemicals than any other part of your body. Here are my tips for keeping your hands in tip top shape.
The subtitle of this book by Karen Karbo is "Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman." It is a wonderful, quick read full of inspiration about a woman who not only shaped fashion, but was outspoken about what she felt a woman was.
One of my favorite quotations from the book is, "The most courageous act is to still think for yourself. Aloud." Coco was not one to be quieted by the opinions or judgements of others--neither should we.
When you are stuck in a situation, decision, or emotional conundrum ask yourself, "What is the next right action?" You will get the next step to take. That step will lead to the next and so on.
Words to Live By
Don't wait for the world to change, change it yourself.
Workshops and Events