December 21, 2017

How to Have a Happier & Healthier Winter

Merry Solstice, Beauties! 

Be gentle on yourself today (and always). Today marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and as you settle into this ever-shifting balance of darkness and light, remember how much hope and wisdom emerges when you sit with your sense of quiet, your stillness, your darkness and your Winter.

When living in your Winter, sometimes it means putting your usual Summer and Autumn self-care routines on the shelf.

It means taking a pause and asking yourself what you need to feel good today. 

So, first things first! I want to let you in on a little secret to success around self-care ...

Sometime your lack of self-care is exactly what your self-care routine needs!

If you find yourself self-care "shoulding" all over yourself, it's totally time for a change of routine, or, a seasonal evaluation. 

When you accept you for you - you make room to "do you" REALLY well. 

It is SO much easier to move forward with acceptance than it is to move forward with resistance, right?! 

So, if you're slowing down, exercising a bit less, eating things out of the norm at your fam's holiday extravaganzas ... don't sweat it.

Let go a little. Be with the celebration. Celebration shares a type of nutrition no carrot, blue-green alkaline drink, nor, tofurkey could ever grant you. It's nutrition for the soul, girl. You deserve it. Get it. 

Sooo .... that all said, balance is key here too, yeah? 

Enjoy your celebrations with pleasure. Leave your guilt at the sauna. Eat the things you want to eat (that also don't make you crazy, sick, or, both), and do so without guilt. 

Once your celebrations have come to a calm, you will very likely crave a slow-down, self-care, gently cleansing kind of recharge.

And you'll make that happen too.

One other thing ...

You know that 
feeling of emptiness and exhaustion that can creep up after a whirlwind of celebrations? 

The energy shift can be striking and dramatic, right?

It reminds me of the high contrast we see in the lighting of winter -- the way barren trees cast shadows on the snow, or, how their big black branches pierce through a highlighted sky. 

So taking note of how much winter can really influence our stae of mind and body, I made you a list of 5 ways to keep your winter merry and bright, naturally, of course. 

5 Ways to Keep Your Winter Bright, Naturally. 

1.) Go with the flow. Embrace the pause, explore the depths and darkness winter may bring. While much of society may prompt us to be all about sunshine, lollipops and selfies, it's actually what's inside that counts, right? I mean, come on. We all have days where we feel like crap. the days we protest to not do "X" thing.

We all experience up's and down's around our emotions and energy. What if instead of trying to fight what you are feeling you invite it to curl right up next to you?

What if you treat this experience as if it were as valuable as your vacation at the beach that you did post on Instagram? Because ... it is :)
What if, instead of seeing your waves of energy, your lull in healthy habits or your shift in moods as flaw marks on your state of health ... you feel what you feel, own what you feel, do what feels needed for you and honor your own personal body wisdom.  

2.) Make Warmth an Active Pursuit of Pleasure. Bundle up and light a fire in the backyard with a friend and spiced chai or ginger tea to share. Nourish yourself with a favorite warming meal, such as a bowl of Pho, or, homemade bone broth with ginger. If you are in Lexington, KY, I can't say enough about the Saag Paneer from Mubai Masala. I can't wait to take a walk there in the snow this winter. If you love a great bowl of Pho, Pho BC is crazy good - their coconut turmeric pancake dish is also SO yum. 

3.) Brighten up the day of someone you adore with a real-life bonified stamped and delivered letter. I mean, really. Who *doesn't* love a hand written letter? I have a few pen pals in life. I have to say my favorite letters are the ones where they don't just ask how I am, but, they share funny stories about the mundane (which in fact are never mundane at all)!  

4.) Gratitude ... Give thanks for all that you have. Give thanks for all that you are able to give. Over the past ten years, The Greater Good Science Center of UCLA has been studying the effect of gratitude on our overall happiness and well being. According to their research, the simple practice of a gratitude journal can actually influence your brains chemistry and alter your physical and mental health.

There is no day better than today to start (or revisit!) your journal, eh? Before bed, take some deep breathes and jot down things in which you are especially grateful for that day. Or, if you're looking for some energy in the mornings, a morning gratitude journal can be a stellar mood boost.

5.) Practice Presence: Take time to authentically connect with those you are visiting with. Make them feel heard in a way they never have before.

Take space from the chatter if needed. Be present with all the feelings that surface. Be with them, accept them, breathe, move on when ready.

Share presence with yourself ... enough so that you feel heard (by yourself). Settle in to your skin. No matter how uncomfortable we may get, Winter can illuminate our Hearts and Souls as much as any season. you may as well embrace yourself with warmth, compassion and self-love.

So, sending you a great big hug on this very day!


June 5, 2017

You Are Stronger Than You Think

You are stronger than you think. 

It takes way more effort to pull yourself out of a hole (and hold your proverbial ground) than it takes to hold ground never once riddled with holes.

I'm speaking to those of you who on some days it just hits you: how fucking exhausted you are of processing life's punches.

I get it. It's a fact -- some people do start off with (or continue with) a more peaceful life path, better confidence, or a more supportive life story.

It's normal to every so often, even after tons of self-cultivation, to feel frustrated and some days feel weak enough to break.

The thing is -- so many of us think that in order to move on we have to be strong.

I want to let you in on a little secret.

It's not about gaining strength.

If it was, you wouldn't be worrying about your current trying state of being that is happening where it feels like life is testing your strength.

Think about it...

One way physical strength is gained in the body is though the continuous pushing, tearing apart and rebuilding of muscular tissue. One way our immune system is built is through many little battles won over pathogens early on in our lives. Our minds grow stronger through intense studying and commitment or regular practice of meditation.

The maintenance of strength is about intervals, repetition, stamina  and commitment.

If you commit to strength, you commit to being pushed over and over again.

Life isn't just about strength, it is also about ease.

If you are feeling weak in the midst of a life struggle it's time to realize -- you have been stepping up to a challenge. You have already become stronger by showing up and facing it.

The fact that you are feeling what you feel means that you are willing to face the story that you have been experiencing. or, the story that you continue to tell yourself.

You are already stronger than you think, but, in order to move forward and continue, what you truly need is confidence. 

If you feel like you live a life is a constant uphill battle, yet, never feel like you can move ahead, I urge you to try this:

Stop asking for strength and start asking for confidence. 

With confidence you gain tenacity, with tenacity you gain the next step, and with each step you gain actualization of yourself, your goals, your desires, and your ability to move forward.

For some time, I kept seeing this image in my head of being on a big old ship with heavy anchors that represent stories that we tell ourselves and prevent us from being mobile in life.

We think that in order to move on that we must drag these anchors along with us -- they are the albatrosses around our necks.

This the frame of mind that we take on when we think we need more strength. However, if we want a life of ease and lightness we need to be willing to shift our perspective and allow a space for the lightness to set in.

We need to place our right to well being and freedom before our tragedies and struggles.

For so many years I kept asking for strength in the face of adversity, low self-esteem, depression, self-inflicted abusive relationships, or, extreme fatigue.

I would pray to Higher Power asking for more strength and not feel a change.

Of course I wasn't feeling any changes!

The more I asked for strength, the more I was given scenarios in which to grow stronger -- scenarios that pushed me, broke me down and pulled me apart so that I may rebuild a stronger character.

It wasn't until one night when it dawned on me...maybe instead of strength, I should ask for confidence.

So I did.

I asked for confidence...

I imagined those heavy anchors being cut and left behind...

I acknowledged that I was already strong enough...

And, what happened next was sort of unbelievable.

That image in my mind of the super weighed down and stagnant ship visually began to move forward. The heavy weight of emotions that I could not shake inside began to lift.

After several days of feeling terribly depressed, like magic, I woke up feeling empowered and happier than I had felt in weeks.

In reflection of the old saying, "be careful what you wish for",  I decided to consciously shift my default of asking for "more strength"...and here's why...

If you ask for more strength, you'll be asked to "drop and give me fifty". You'll be asked to break down and build up.  You'll be given heavier anchors to pull...until you are ready to ask for what you really need:

You need to give yourself permission to to cut anchor.

Life does not have to be unfair and full of punches. You are allowed to move forward with ease, confidence, grace, integrity of heart and trust in self.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't process our life stories. I'm not saying that we should simply rely on visualizations to free our hearts and minds.

However, if you've consciously spent a lot of time working towards self-actualization, being a better person, and processing what comes your way, you're doing the best you can.

Yes, sometimes, we fall back into a void of heavy feelings and wonder why life hasn't been easier, which is super valid.

However, if you are ready to let go, you must remember that you alone have access to cut those anchors and personal myths in order to move forward with ease and lightness.

We need to allow ourselves permission to have a shift in perspective. We need to constantly shift our thoughts (our prayers, wishes and mantras) from what we don't want (struggle) to what we do want (ease).

Words and thoughts are magic. They flavor our experience of the world and therefore our reality.

When we consciously change our perspective and wishes -- we consciously allow ourselves and the world around us the setting it needs to manifest lightness and an allowance to let go.

I want to encourage you when you you are feeling down to trust how life does not have to be about building strength becuase you are already enough.

Instead of asking for strength, try asking for confidence. Allow yourself to be, see and feel the beautiful, accomplished Soul that you are.

Allow yourself this shift of perspective and see what kind of manifestation occurs within and around you.

I believe in you.

You are already strong enough.

Now it is your turn to see it and believe it.

Big love and hugs your way,


May 25, 2017

Here it is.

Thanks for the photo, M.B.Snider.

I'm at a point in life I am unsure why I do what I do...yet, everyone tells me that I need to be able to explain this. I'm so far into what I do that I can barely remember why I got started to begin with...

So, here it goes, a skimming of the surface...

There are many stories we could share that consist of non-truths within truths that will always be forever changing and bendable depending on an individual's lifestyle, life experience, perspective, frame of mind, daily mood...

It's mind boggling and creatively paralyzing.

Yet, it's imperative that we hone in order to clearly share what we have to offer.

My big question on a daily basis...Am I living my life purpose? Am I supposed to attempt to offer support, accountability and an honest reflection to individuals who desire change....and *can I* even begin to share something useful?

Yes? I think so?

Honestly, it has been so long since I've actually shared that I don't even know anymore. But, here it is: my possibly futile attempt to share a bit about my story and why I want to serve others. Ideally, others who may relate to this story, these experiences, reflections and insights that I'm willing to share...

Here is a stream of conscious from this morning dabbled with "insights". Whatever that means...I'm sitting at my kitchen table listening to the rain (for reals), drinking too much coffee (I'm sure) and wondering if I'm actually going to publish this (I guess I did)....Shit.

Okay here goes:

When I was 19 years old I woke up from a prophetic dream that is continuing to play itself out to this day.  I said aloud to my guides "I want someone to take care of". I felt like I came from a place that made sure to let me know every ounce of energy it took to deal with me. Like so many others, I felt like a burden, a mistake, an annoying light that people shot at in hopes that it would finally stop shining into their house when it's dark outside.

I woke up that morning feeling guilty for everything I had ever "Taken" from the world around me -- including food, shelter, health care, love...

I thought the only way that I could regain my sense of worth would be to take care of someone as they did me. Low and behold, I met that someone. It's not that they were a realistic and comparative energetic match to who I was, however, they sure did represent how I felt I should be treated. Lesson learned...ready or not, ask and you shall receive.

This individual's character was a grotesque depiction of who I felt I had been...twisted and stretched through a lens Dali would understand. They were a shadow side of the shadow within my subconscious. I nestled in this dynamic of being "taken advantage of", used, talked down to, ignored, abused, lied to and belittled. Of course that wasn't what I deserved, or, what I put out, however it was what I felt I deserved and therefore had welcomed into my life.

In hindsight, I realized this was one of the first times I consciously could experience how we create the world in which we feel we deserve to live in. While we can give and take as if every transaction ends with an zero balance, this does not actually always lead to inner growth.

Neither does always giving while never allowing an opening to receive.

I am beginning to realize how this has been one of my biggest downfalls. It's funny becuase as I write this I recall my intention for this (2017): "to receive". I'm realizing as the year goes on the rest of that intention should read "to receive without feeling that I am indebted to The Universe".

It can be so much easier to give freely than to receive freely, yes?

 Talk about a challenge.

Fast forward 17 years later, through the trenches of my second decade in life... post traumatic stress disorder, functional alcoholism, rape, dropping into the college drop out bucket, depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, major debt, six + car wrecks, betrayal from individuals who "loved me most", bulemia and anorexia followed by years of obesity, zero self-esteem, a hermitage....I tried to go at it all alone for years.  I even left my first love and support system -- making music.

Sometimes I wish that I could pin point what kept me going. If I could say anything, it would be the language of The Universe; the synchronicity that dappled my everyday, the little beautiful things: flowers, insects, birds, the breeze, music, bodies of water, my Spirit Guides, my father's ghost, my vivid dream life, walks in the cemetery (insert random Depeche Mode song here)--- these kept my heart alive.

I believed in magic and the power of prayer (for lack of better word) from a young age (to no particular God/Goddess/Guide that I knew by name, but, continued to converse with none-the-less). This kind of an entity is both soft and strong, a good listener and communicator...and also popular and ignored by many.

I recall being on the top bunk of my childhood bed and making a conscious decision to only pray for others as it felt selfish to pray for me. That eventually changed. I eventually came to understand how when we want change, we must ask for it, believe it, AND be open to it. When we do this, logic-defying, seemingly magical and life-altering experiences can come so easily. Faith becomes Life's never ending currency.

You don't have to believe that an Entity=Higher Power. You just have to have faith in a rhythm, a flow, a dance with all the energies of the world -- the visible and invisible.

Eventually I came to Mary, and as soon as I could afford therapy, I dove right in. The best action of my life, that's for damn sure. Well, that and stubbornly following my heart regarding my day-to-day work.

At the early beginnings of my second decade, when I first hit rock bottom, my intuitive and empathic self found respite in the writings of Carl Jung about dream analysis, psychology and healing from our shadows.

It lead me to the art, music and healing philosophy of  Hildegard Von Bingen and book on how to heal yourself through whole foods and eventually onto my path of becoming an herbalist, health coach and advocate for self-acceptance.

I began my journey of healing myself as best as I could -- through healthy food, understanding unique body types, listening to dreams, honoring intuition, letting go of relationships that no longer served either parties, integrating herbal medicines and making special time to communicate with my Spirit guides and Nature. .

After all, they are the ones who lifted me up during times of trauma and stress from the moment I slipped into this world in.

Also, inner and outer reflection. Lots of this -- we have to assimilate what we take if we want to create and share our gifts and our offerings. That shit is gold

Learning what it meant to be in my body, to love to move my body and finally love AND respect myself, body included, was possibly my biggest hurdle and biggest triumph.

The best decision in my spent hundreds of hours with my amazing support and rock of a therapist -- unwinding my story, picking up lost pieces of self, letting the light shine inward and letting my light shine outward.

But, also, so much gratitude to allowing time and space for yoga, writing, time by Water, sloshing feet in the mud, laying in the sunshine, learning to trust again, laughing, trying to help others laugh, sitting with my depression without feeling like I needed to be someone else, rediscovering sexual intimacy, remembering how to play out loud and speaking up.

Still learning what it means to create something from these shadows; these experiences, moments of clarity, support systems and ultimately, the journey of self-acceptance. They have stretched, broken and reassembled me into a montage of darkness and brightness...a kaleidoscope of colored glass hemmed together by fragile sheets of metal, blood, crystal and bone.

I know. I do love a good drama. But, even more so I love great comedy, divine synchronicity, authenticity, fearlessness compassion and honesty.

I would love to hear from you -- Do any of these experiences ring true to you past or present? If so, let me know. I'm full of stories, resources and foolish wisdom.

Your questions light me up and keep me going <3



April 30, 2016

Mind-Body Balance in the Heart of Spring: Spring Depression, Allergies + Water Retention

While some individuals remain relatively balanced year round, many of us are more sensitive to change. This time in-between Seasons can make you feel very out of balance.

Awareness of such sensitivity to your environmental changes is a huge step towards a healthier and happier Life...

We are not just Living with Nature,
We are a part of Nature.

With Spring, much energy arises from the Earth and within our bodies -- the Sap rises from the Roots and towards the Branches of Trees and Plants so Buds can burst forth.  

Our bodily fluids and energy also begins to rustle and rise within our own bodies.

So, be gentle on yourself this Spring if you are not feeling as Stellar as the Violets, Red Buds and Pear Trees, co-workers or best friends appear to feel....

While some feel the Sparks and JOY of Spring, others feel noticeably heavy and chaotic among the newly found extroversion.

The movement of Spring is upward and outward. Though Spring heralds bouts of warmth, this Season is mainly cold and moist. 

Spring vacillates. On one hand, she blooms, warms, shines Light on and moves a lot of energy. On the other, she provides cold Rains, Dewy Mornings, and cool Nights. 

The fluids in our bodies that have grown cold and comfortably stagnant with the cold, stillness of Winter are now asking to work overtime in their regulation of body temperature and energy management!

All of this commotion can cause stuffy  headaches, sinus pressure, anxiety, red eyes and inflammation of the skin --- or, feelings of heaviness, congestion, Water retention  in the face, stomach, legs, and yes, even Spring depression. 

Spring Depression and Allergies

Spring depression is found in a small population of individuals (only about 5%), however, it is a very real state of being.  

I have come to the conclusion that it may result from a combination of inflammation in response to Pollen, lymphatic stagnation and a manifestation of allergies not only within the Body, but also in the Mind.

I also believe there is a comfort for introverts and highly sensitive people during the quite Winter months. So, when Spring comes around, anxiety and overwhelm can arise. This is a time when Spring colors, happy joggers and sunny days can feel almost like an assault to the psyche! 

Cynical much? I know and speak from personal experience and have met a handful of individuals who have felt the same thing year after year. I mean, who dreads Spring?

At least five percent of the population who suffer from Spring depression, apparently. Oh, and the other one in five people (at least in the US) that suffer from seasonal allergies. That's actually quite a few. 

The good news is, as overwhelming as it can seem, recovery from the roller coaster of seasonal allergies and/or Spring depression is possible.  

You can take steps beyond simply "riding out the Season".

It takes listening to and honoring your Mind-Body. 

It takes your choice to say YES to empowered health.  

And, it takes a little willingness to brew herbal teas, or work with aromatic oils and/or take steps to evaluate environmental factors....

You may be surprised, but, it may not actually be the sprightly Pollen and beautiful Flowers that cause you to have such a strong allergenic response! 

Believe me, I have seen Botanical medicine and simple lifestyle shifts act effectively and with lasting results in many individuals. You may take a little time to figure out exactly what works for your mind-body type. Some results come faster than others and it is so worth the investment of energy and growth. 

A Few Natural Steps Toward Empowered Health...

So, below are a few Plant medicines and Mind-Body practices I have seen work with some individuals.

That shared, please know that we are all very unique in Mind-Body type.

Herbal Medicine is not about finding the perfect herb for a symptom -- it is about finding the right herb for your body type at this point in time. 

I find it really inspiring that Oprah and National Geographic have written about the effectiveness of Herbal Medicine, as well as the importance of working with those professionally trained.

If you try the Herbs and Essential Oils below without relief, don't give up. It simply means they are not the right herbs for you. 

If  you are ready to better understand your body-mind type and the right herbs to match,  I am accepting three new clients for a one-to-one three month deep dive.

Send me an email and I will respond with some questions for you to answer to ensure we may be a great fit.

Herbs and Essential Oils to Calm Chaos + Depression in Spring

Nettles: An Herbal Tonic

Consider integrating a cold tea of Nettles Leaf on a daily basis.You can do do very simply by placing a handful of Nettles Leaf into a quart mason jar and covering with hot Water.

Allow to steep over Night and drink throughout the Day.

Nettles is gently stimulating, drying, slightly warming and a great diuretic. It is also quite nutritious and aid in our bodies elimination of excess uric acid which can lead to Water retention. It is best to begin a Nettles infusion tea in February before Spring allergies begin, however, it is better late than never!

Peppermint Essential Oil: Sinus Relief

Peppermint essential oil, in low dilutions (2--3%) can aid us tremendously when it comes to sinus congestion. Peppermint is an initially cooling and drying lymphatic stimulant. It can aid in our capacity of breath, help us to feel more energized and focused -- simply put, Peppermint is clarifying.

You may even notice it's clarifying Nature when you use Peppermint toothpaste in the Mornings -- a time when sinus congestion can be most noticeable. I suggest using a peppermint inhalers (available here at the office), or, simply smelling it from the essential oil bottle.

Just be cautious to not accidentally hold the bottle too close to your face -- Peppermint can be quite irritating to the skin and should always be diluted in a carrier oil before application.

Believe me when I say, when it come to aromatherapy, less is more!

Mind-Body Energy Management

This is a powerful time to catch up on sleep and re-evaluate your distribution of energy. Though the daylight is changing, consider heading to bed a bit earlier. Ask yourself...

What brings me energy?
What drains my energy?

These two simple questions can welcome a dramatic wind fall of positive change. When we realize how we prefer to spend and save our energy, we gain Power over our Lives!

For example, I know a few things that bring me energy: I need to spend time outside with my feet on the Earth, I  Love to feeding and watching the Birds in our backyard, I need to integrate movement in my daily Practice of Life --- Hence, I've been taking time every day to do at least one of these acts of energizing Nourishment.

What Gives you Energy? What Drains You?

I encourage you to  identify what energizes and nourishes you and commit to integrating these things into your Life. The same goes for what drains you, only, I would like for you to think about how you can phase the items this list out of your Life. Or, at least find a way to make them less draining.

You may be surprised by just how much more energy you have in response to such changes.

I truly hope that the above suggestions are helpful to you or a fellow friend who feels a little chaos in Spring. Yes, these herbal remedies and suggestions may only be the tip of the  Iceberg, however they are one more step along your path of Empowered Health!

For over ten years, like you have found relief from their allergies, anxiety, digestive trouble and sensitivities while working with me.

I believe that with the rise in awareness of Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy and Mind-Body Nutrition, comes a rise self-actualized and healing in individuals on a deeper level than ever!

So, if you know this work is for you, send me an email and I will respond with a few questions for you to answer. If we seem like a good fit, we can talk more about a one-to-one Mind-Body Health coaching deep dive. All I ask of you is to come open to positive transformation and Life changing shifts.

Wishing you a smooth transition this Spring!

Plant Love + Light Hearts, 


April 21, 2016

Confidence, Creativity, Cultivation: Mind - Body Posture and Your Hidden Self

Okay, my first ‪Throwback Thursday ever I think...

Hands down my *favorite* inner child picture left laying about.

It's amazing how as children, we flow along and stand within our bodies so confidently.

Yet, years into Life, many of us begin to hold foreign body patterns and postures -- a reflection of who we perceive we are growing into and how we may feel....Slumped shoulders, tilted pelvises, forward jutting chins, inward pulling bellies, etc.

Just curious, what might it be like for you to look at your childhood pictures and/or videos to see what pieces of your Spirit were so magically captured in time?

What might you be reminded was and is always there if you claim it?

For me in this picture? A little bit of rebel, a lot of walking my own personal path, a Love for time with the Trees and a swing in my gate that simply cracks me up.

I was loving, joyful, and loved to dance. My early designer self cut the crotch out of my skorts because what the heck is a skort good for anyway?

A skirt with flaps is so much more desirable.

Shortly after, my parents banned from using scissors. Not for running with them, but, for re-purposing and re-inventing items....Others may call this destroying, hah.

I guess that's left up to the eyes of the beholder... --- When you Honor YOUR Hearts Desires and Creations you flourish as a creative being, Inspire those around you and make the World a more beautiful, accepting, quirky and diverse place to Thrive in.

Now it's your turn...

What passions and perceptions from your little Self are still Alive and kicking today?

What lights have been dampened that you miss?

What body postures and patterns have you learned over the years?

What would it be like to just try to stand up and walk like you did as a child?

What will you do this weekend that shines Light and reaffirms your unique Gifts?

Your right to happiness?

Your claim for creation?

Get on it!

With Love,