How to make the most of Libra Season

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Y'ALL I love me some Libra season. And not just because my guy is a Libra (libra sun and moon... the most libra-y libra around!)

This season is a welcome respite from the sometimes intense structures and work-aholic vibes of Virgo Season. Libra, an air sign, adores harmony and balance, and seeks justice in all forms (which we are definitely seeing play out a global scale right now).

Libra also loves LOVE and beauty, and invites us to seek deeper connections and understanding with one another. It's ALL about that balance babe.


Here are some of the best way to work with this energy:

  • Give yourself a makeover. Ruled by the planet Venus, Libra loves to look and feel their best. Invest in some new skin care, get a haircut, update your wardrobe, or just give yourself a DIY pampering day.

  • Reflect on your relationships. Where are things out of balance in your personal, romantic, or work relationships? Ask yourself: Am I truly listening? Can I communicate more effectively and compassionately? Libra is all about finding the common ground with those in our lives so we can more deeply connect with each other.

  • Get in touch with your sensuality and sexuality. Libra loves some good romance, whether it's with a partner or on your own. Allow yourself to really reconnect with your body and your pleasure. Pick up a jade egg practice. Get naked and spend some time adoring your body in the mirror. Take a gorgeous bath with flowers and candles. When you allow yourself to fully embrace your erotic and sexual nature, you allow more abundance from the universe to come into your life (it's all connected babe!)

You are a beautiful cosmic being. Libra season is the time for you to truly step into that energy!

Does this resonate with you? Do these things feel difficult? Comment below and let me know!


P.S.

A new round of 90-Days to Creative Healing is now open for badass babes ready to find alignment, energy, and balance in their wellness and work, and only THREE SPOTS are left for October!

We'll cover:

  • Food and Mood Healing

  • Radical Self-Care for YOUR unique body and lifestyle

  • Magic and Astrology to guide your work and health

  • And how to make all of this fit within your creative projects in a sustainable way (so you stop burning out)

Plus you get some sweet bonuses like:

  • Monthly remote reiki sessions

  • A personalized wellness plan

  • 1:1 support via Voxer (a walkie talkie app!)

This is 100% for you if you are constantly feeling worn-out and exhausted, and struggle to find the ways to keep up with your creative practice/side hustle on top of your day job.



I resisted this shift....

As your resident textbook Capricorn, I definitely struggle with taking a step back and course correcting sometimes.

But after a while, that little nudging inner voice gets too loud for me to ignore and I have to stop myself.

I was really looking forward to running my 4-week Kickass Energy For Creatives program this month. Like jumping out of my skin READY for it.

But the more I talked to you all, the more I realized this isn't what you need right at this exact moment in time.

So many of you all (myself included tbh) have been dealing with really HEAVY energy the past few weeks. I'm hearing over and over that folks are having family and home issues, crap coming up at work, depression/anxiety creeping back in, and an overall feeling of wtf am I doing with my life.

Y'all don't need a bootcamp right now. You need to clear your energy so you can breathe again. So you can focus again. So you can feel optimistic and joyful again.

Join me for a one-time 90-minute online workshop to clear your aura of negative and stagnant energy, so you can start the fall season feeling light, energetic, and productive.

I'll guide you through a clearing ritual, a grounding meditation, and a group reiki healing session to remove blocks and help you connect to your highest self and intuition. And you’ll leave with actionable steps to take to keep your energy field clear and your energy vibrant.


You deserve this babe. I'll see you there!

How to Make the Most of Virgo Season

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After the last few days of fiery Leo season (the epitome of #hotgirlsummer).... Grounding and structured Virgo season is here!

That may sound lame, but I promise you it isn't. Virgo season is that fresh, new, organized, back-to-school "got my new binders and trapper keeper" vibe. It helps us to take stock of our energy levels and well-being, so we can truly root down and make shit happen.

Here are some of the best ways to work with the energy of Virgo season:

  • Get organized. Channel Marie Kondo and ditch the things that no longer bring you joy and that you're no longer using. Make lists of tasks to be completed. Use this time to create space physically and emotionally. Essentially, you are creating the structure you need to allow for more creativity to flow!

  • Turn inward. Leo season wanted us to be out and about, but Virgo reminds us to take the time to reflect on what has been going well, and what maybe needs some course correcting. Schedule out some solo time to day dream, make art, and journal.

  • Check in with your health. How's your energy been lately? How about your diet? Your sleep? Virgo loves to organize our wellness routines so we can be feeling our damn best for the start of the Fall (which is EXACTLY what we'll be doing in Kickass Energy for Creatives this September)

  • Power through the pile. Have a stack of unfinished projects/paperwork to sort through? Now's the time to get that shit DONE and off your plate so you can focus on new exciting ventures in your career, artwork, and personal life.

Virgo still enjoys the loveliness of summer, while also reminding us that as the seasons shift we do too. It's a call to create more balance and organization, so we can continue moving forward towards our goals and dreams.

How to deal with work-week brain fog

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I'm sure you know the feeling. You're at your day job, or working on your own biz/creative projects, and you feel like you CAN. NOT. focus for one more second. Your brain feels disconnected, fuzzy, hot, and overworked, and it feels impossible to get anything else done for the day.

This is totally normal, but it gets super frustrating when you're as busy as I am (and I know you are).

When I notice that this is starting to become a pattern, it's always a reminder for me to check-in with myself and my self-care.

If you're already feeling foggy:

  • Try smelling essential oils to bring back some attention and focus to the present moment. I love using lavender if I'm feeling overwhelmed, and citrus oils if I'm feeling tired.

  • Get outside for 10 minutes and focus on your breathing. I love to sit on a bench, close my eyes, and count my breathing (breathe in for 4, hold for 7, breathe out for 8) to reset the parasympathetic nervous system.

To help prevent future brain fog:

  • Make sleep a damn priority. No more excuses, get yourself to bed early so you can get a full 8 hours. Make sure you're also powering down electronics at least 30 minutes before bed to help your brain really rest and recover.

  • Stop scrolling so much. As much as it feels like a break to scroll instagram for a few minutes (or a few hours...) it's actually keeping your brain quite active and overwhelmed. Be super intentional about your social media time, or consider uninstalling your social apps for a while, I dare you!

As a preventative AND for some help in the moment:

  • Eat lots of fresh produce, especially fruit! Fruit gives us a little hit of sugar in the moment that helps us focus (without the overstimulating effects of a candy bar or another latte), and it has a cooling effect on the body. Long term, that helps us to cool down the brain when we're feeling burnt the fuck out.

Do you experience brain fog during the day? Comment below and tell me about it!

Getting back into Alignment with Reiki

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I've been practicing reiki for over 5 years, but even I have times where I need an energy adjustment.

This past month I've been feeling overwhelmed, stuck, and just kind of blah (helloooooo retrograde/eclipse season). I was struggling to motivate myself and had a really hard time being creative. And to this textbook #capricorn, that feels fucking infuriating.

Luckily, I had registered for a reiki re-attunement a few weeks ago with my good friend Laura, who was looking for some practice while getting her reiki master certification. For those unfamiliar, reiki is an energy healing technique used to help balance the chakras and align your universal life force energy, and practitioners receive an attunement which allows them to channel reiki to other people.

Receiving reiki energy always feels like a wave of calm coming over me. My brain finally slows down for a moment and I'm in this state of not quite awake but not quite asleep either. It's a dreamy in-between, which is where amazing healing can happen.

This time was no different, and getting re-attuned by Laura suddenly opened up the floodgates of all my creative energy. I'm writing again, making things, painting, and I feel like my "stuckness" has lifted. Like I finally have some clarity about my next steps when it comes to my career and my own personal growth.

Take that mercury retrograde.

This is why I LOVE using reiki with my health + life coaching clients, and why I always include a bonus remote reiki session for my 1:1 babes. When we're doing deep emotional and physical healing, it's so nice to have reiki to help move along any energetic blockages in the body, and to help relax and ground ourselves when difficult emotions come to the surface.

It's the ultimate pairing and I'm obsessed with it. It keeps the energy flowing while working through old limiting patterns around food, movement, mental health, and our careers.


Have you been feeling stuck lately? Comment below and let your girl know what’s up!


P.S.

A new round of 90-Days to Creative Healing opens up August 1st for badass babes ready to find alignment, energy, and balance in their wellness and work, and only TWO SPOTS ARE LEFT

We'll cover:

  • Food and Mood Healing

  • Radical Self-Care for YOUR unique body and lifestyle

  • Magic and Astrology to guide your work and health

  • And how to make all of this fit within your creative projects in a sustainable way (so you stop burning out)

Plus you get some sweet bonuses like:

  • A 45-minute remote reiki session

  • A personalized wellness plan

  • 1:1 support via Voxer (a walkie talkie app!)

Only 2 spots left! We start August 1st <3

LEARN MORE!


Make the Most of Retrograde

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Look, I get it.

Some of the general shit that Mercury Retrograde brings up can feel intense and/or terrifying.

Especially this round, with 5 other planets in retrograde sandwiched between two eclipses and just generally being Cancer season (which governs home/family issues).... It can be a lot.

You may be noticing lots of tech issues in the past week, maybe some difficulty in communication (especially with your partner or family), panic about what you're doing with your life, and a tendency to react more emotionally than usual thanks to watery Cancer. All of the situations and challenges that are bubbling to the surface right now are things that must be dealt with and healed if we are ever going to move forward on an individual and global level.

And the more we heal on an individual basis, the more we can work towards healing on a global level, truly.

The thing is, I want to start to look more lovingly at Mercury Rx instead of panicking the three times it pops up every year. It's actually an awesome time to rest, finish up old projects (as opposed to starting new ones), take solo time to chill in nature, and to do the deep reflective work that is essential to our growth in our wellness and careers.

If you've been feeling rough, here's the best way to harness the energy of this chaotic astrological time:

Feel the Feels: When uncomfortable emotions come up, let them REALLY come up to the surface. Feel them fully. Cry. Release. Let yourself really experience the full range of the emotion and experience.

Journal: After you've felt the feelings, grab your journal and answer these three questions.

1. What am I feeling right now?

2. When have I felt this feeling in the past?

3. How am I different now compared to then?


Mercury begs us to challenge old patterns so we can truly break free, and a major way to do that is to first acknowledge that there is a pattern at all. We're all being triggered by past experiences, which one is coming up for you right now?

In a world that constantly shits on artists....

I WANT TO BE YOUR SUPPORT

I've been doing some deep reflection work the past few days, and throughout that shadowy (fucking difficult) stuff I came out asking myself:

"What has been the most helpful support for me as an artist and someone who wants to be of service in the world?"

And yes, the physical health is important. The self-care is key. The alignment in the work and wellness is insanely impactful.

But the biggest and most helpful thing others have done for me is this:

They shared their (similar) fucked up experiences in the non-profit and art world.

And this was SO important because suddenly, I felt like I wasn't the crazy one. I wasn't alone. The gaslighting and manipulation came to light, and now I can't unsee it. For years I thought I just wasn't strong enough. That I couldn't hack it. That I obviously just didn't have what it takes to use my work in a way that could be impactful for other people.

And the art world is really good at convincing us that if we're using our creativity in any place other than a gallery or museum we're not real artists, or we've sold out in some way (as if being compensated for your work is a bad thing lolololololol)

Once it became visible to me and I felt supported by others, I was able to actually empower myself to work within and around these systems... or try to change them... or reject them all together.

Being a creative already comes with it's own baggage of generally not being understood by many. But then to be treated like shit within the systems WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SUPPORTED IN leads to most of us burning out within a few years, unable to continue the work that the world so desperately needs.

Because real talk: I've seen artists, writers, and musicians doing the work of connecting people in meaningful ways, but more on that later.

It was extremely helpful to know that others feel the way I do.

If you've felt this, I got you. I'm here to guide you though those feelings of fraudy-ness, of "what the fuck am I doing?" and "what comes next?"

I'm here to help you feel your best physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and then to do your best damn work in a way that feels relaxed, motivating, and sustainable.

No more of this feast or famine bullshit babe. You deserve stability, and I'm here to help you get it (in 90 Days!).

2019 is your year. Let's do this!

 

A few last minute gift ideas!

I always want to be one of those people that has all the holiday gifts done WAY in advance.

In reality, I’m always scrambling at the last minute (no shame)

So, if you’re still looking for a meaningful gift that will help your loved ones feel their damn best in 2019, might I suggest:

A ticket to the Capricorn New Moon Healing Circle on January 5th. This one-hour live online event includes a powerful guided meditation to reset for the new lunar cycle and new year, a PDF full of ideas for how to work with the current astrology, and an intention setting exercise to help you make the most of 2019. This new moon we’ll be talking all about abundance, money mindset, and clearing old energetic blocks.

A copy of Food For Thought - Food and Mood Journal. This 3-month journal helps you track what is most important - what you ate and how you felt. No counting calories or macros. Food For Thought is a guide to help you tap into your your inner knowing to discover the best diet for you in a fun, down-to-earth sort of way.



A 30-minute 1:1 Tarot/Oracle Reading with Cait. A gift card to a tarot reading is a great option for anyone who could use a little guidance, or for someone who is just interested in the metaphysical and connecting deeper to their intuition and guides. 1:1 sessions begin with a higher self-meditation to help strengthen the effects of the reading.

Sending you love!

Working with the Energy of the New Moon

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I’ve always loved the moon.

Growing up at the ocean you learn to watch the moon and the way it effects the tides and sea levels. Growing up in Jersey, folks love to blame the full moon for crazy drivers (news flash, jersey drivers are crazy 100% of the time).

But really, there’s something to all that. Astrology aside, let’s look at the fact that our bodies are mostly made of water. Consider the moon your connection to your own tides, your own ups and downs in energy, creative thinking, and productivity.

Incase you’re new to the energy of moon phases, here are the basics:

  • New Moon (when the moon is totally dark) - This is the start of a new lunar cycle and a time to set intentions for the month. What do you want to accomplish in the next 4 weeks? How do you want to feel?

  • First Quarter - The time to take action! You’ll be feeing a little extra oomph to get shit done, so take advantage of that.

  • Full Moon - Re-evaluate. What’s going well so far this lunar cycle? What isn’t? What do you need to release in order to keep moving forward?

  • Third Quarter - The lunar cycle is winding back down now. You may notice your energy is a little lower, so this is a great time to turn inward, give gratitude for the lessons you’ve learned, and consider what you’ll want to turn your attention to in the next cycle.

  • Then it’s back to the new moon!

Tracking the moon cycles (along with tracking my menstrual cycle which, incase you were wondering, totally match up!) has helped me to make sense of why one day I feel READY to take on the fucking world and the next I’m questioning everything. It can feel frustrating, but once you realize that this is the energy of the moon cycle, you realize that you can actually harness it to feel and do your best.

The new moon is such an important part of this as it completely sets the tone for the new cycle, especially when you’re setting intentions in a group. Solo rituals are always lovely, but when you’re sitting in circle with others who are making bold declarations about what they want in their lives, the energy is intensified for even more powerful manifestation and action.

Join me for a one-hour online healing ritual for the new moon in Sagittarius this Thursday, Dec 6th 7-8p EST. We’ll be setting goals and intentions for the new cycle, discussing the current astrology (so you can make the most of it) and using tarot, reiki, and meditation to feel your damn best this month!

You’ll also get access to the recording (incase you can’t make it live) and a PDF with guided exercises for the current energy and crystal and rituals to use in your own practice.

 

When Depression Shows Up

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Even though summer is my favorite time of year by a landslide, it still seems like without fail amongst the warm nights and beach days, I have a depressive episode.

Let me be clear. I'm extremely lucky that I'm able to manage my depression without too much intervention. Mine tends to come and go (sometimes it's situational, sometimes it's completely random), but I know so many others who struggle with it chronically, everyday.

And like I said, even though my disposition in the summer is generally a more positive one, I usually have a period of a few weeks where I wake up and feel so awful and so negative, that it's hard to get out of bed and do basic things. Maybe it's Cancer/Leo season bringing up all my emotions. Maybe it's the expansiveness of the summer season, pulling things to the surface that need to be healed. Maybe it's completely arbitrary (as depression often is).

But every time it does happen, I check in with these four things. I thought you might find them helpful too.

  1. Have I been sleeping? Lack of sleep literally affects every part of my life (if you know me personally, you know I have a strict bedtime for that reason). A few restless nights in a row have me feeling ROUGH, so this is always where I start. If I'm having trouble, I add a little magnesium to my diet with a supplement like Natural Calm, and try to add more magnesium-rich foods to my diet like spinach, avocado, and nuts.

  2. How's my diet? Summer to me is party time, which means I get a little more relaxed about following my general paleo-esque meal plan. But I've realized through food and mood journaling that after doing this for many weeks, I can see old symptoms start to flare up, including anxiety, depression, and hormone imbalances.

  3. Is it time to go back to therapy? I've been very upfront about how much I love therapy, and how helpful it has been in helping me find tools to calm my nervous mind. When a depression flare kicks in, it's a reminder for me to check in to see if I should go back to sessions if it's been a while, or if it's time to maybe use a different therapist. I think finding a therapist is like interviewing people for a job opening. If it's not feeling great, then it might be that this particular therapist is not the best fit for you.

  4. Am I leaving space? Just like, blank open space? With nothing scheduled? I know it's hard to do, but damn having an hour or two with NOTHING on your calendar allows for magic to happen in so many ways.

Have you experienced the summer sads? What do you do to support yourself through it?

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Eclipse + Emotional Hangover

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If you're feeling a little rough around the edges, you're not alone. The astrology has been intense this summer, and as we draw to a close of eclipse season (in prideful Leo, nonetheless) we're shifting in not-so-subtle ways. Eclipse season tends to create big changes in our lives, internal and external, which can leave us waking up feeling like we downed a bottle of tequila or got hit by an 18-wheeler the night before. Leo in particular asks us to examine the parts of ourselves we love, and the parts of ourselves we don't love, so we can move more fully into our badass selves. And that shadow work is important, but damn it's hard.

I personally have been experiencing super vivid dreams leaving me confused about my surroundings when I wake up, massive fatigue, big mood swings with lots of old crap coming up to the surface (stuff I thought was long healed) headaches, and lots and lots of brain fog.

I'm also in the middle of some huge changes in my life. In two weeks, I move to a new apartment (one that's walking distance to my day job!). I am feeling a creative resurgence after some major blocks. I'm being called to practice more spell-casting. I'm working on some big projects in my business and at my public service day job. I'm deeply examining the way I show up in my relationships. I am exploring the way I can deconstruct harmful patterns in myself, so I can deconstruct them in the world around me.

And although I'm so happy to be doing this work (I know it all serves my highest good and the good of others), I'm fucking exhausted.

So today I'm here to remind you that this internal and external work we do is vital to our wellbeing, even if it feels shitty in the process. Think of it as an emotional detox. We've been holding onto these negative thoughts and habits and patterns, and as we release them we experience them one more time. Up and out. Up and out. Up and out.

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Get the Fuck over your Guilt

I had to call out of work at my part-time job yesterday because of a lingering gross chest cold, and I felt guilty as hell about it.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I work part-time as a paraprofessional/aide for a student with cognitive impairment at the local high school. It’s a job I REALLY dig, and even on the craziest of days I have a damn good time hanging with these kids and the rest of the staff.

So understandably, I felt a little guilty for not being able to support them yesterday. But really when I think about it, I’ve felt this massive guilt about ANY and ALL jobs I’ve had to call out of, even for a super legitimate reason. Even if I knew they’d be 100% ok without me. Even if it was a crappy high school retail job I really didn’t give a shit about.

This is a topic that has come up in my free support group Radical Self-Care for Badass Babes as well, so I decided to dig a little deeper into my own personal reasons for this uncalled for guilt. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. I am worried I'm letting people down

  2. I care a hell of a lot about what other people think of me

  3. I associate my self-worth with my performance and abilities (at work and otherwise)

And when I can take a step back and look at these statements objectively, I know that they are 100% unfounded, and really, don’t they fucking matter.

You’re not going to be able to help everyone every second of the day.

You’re never going to make everyone happy all the time. Not everyone is going to like you.

Your self worth doesn’t have a damn thing to do with your job, how good you are at it, or any of your abilities.

Next time you’re wondering if you should call out or not, remember that you have to put your needs first in order to serve anyone else. And that it’s totally ok and acceptable to take the time you need to get healthy, whether it’s a physical sick day or a mental health day. And if they’re gonna give you a hard time, they can go fuck themselves - legally, you have to be allowed to take sick days ;)

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What to do when you're panicked (3 steps to get through it)

Ever felt your heart race when you get a stressful work email?  Struggle to get a deep breath when a conflict arises at home?  Experience general panic and anxiety for no identifiable reason?

I totally get you, because I’m right there with you.

Sometimes, I just have panic-y days.  Sometimes it’s because of an external reason.  Sometimes not.  This has just been my reality for as long as I can remember.

And that’s ok.

By managing my nutrition, emotional wellness, and incorporating regular radical self-care into my life, these panic/anxiety attacks happen less often than they used to - but they’re still there.

Next time you’re feeling an anxiety attack, panic attack, or just super overwhelming stress, give these techniques a go:

 

4-7-8 Breath

Breathe in for 4 counts.  Hold for 7 counts.  Breathe out for 8 counts.  Continue this for 4 cycles to help reset the parasympathetic nervous system to get you out of fight or flight mode.  If that’s too much, try breathing in for 4, holding for 4, breathing out for 4.  

Focus on what’s real

Future-tripping so often accompanies panicked feelings, so something that really helps me is to root down into what’s real in THIS moment.  What are the facts at this moment?  Instead of being concerned about the 75 million ways a situation could play out, I ground down in what is factual about the situation in this minute only.

Remember that what you’re feeling is uncomfortable, but it won’t hurt you.

Part of what makes panic so hard is the feeling that you’re going to die. Like literally, it feels like that panic will actually kill you sometimes.  And that only adds MORE panic to the already shitty situation.  I find it really helpful to constantly acknowledge that yes, this feeling is super uncomfortable, but a panic attack will not hurt me.  It totally takes the edge off for me.

 

And above all, take care of yourself as much as you can when you’re in this state.  Ask for help when you need it.  Cry when you need it.  Do what you need to do to support yourself sister <3

Now it’s your turn.  Comment below and tell me what you do to help get yourself through a panic/anxiety attack.

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Why Willpower is Bullshit

I really fucking hate all of those health and wellness professionals/products/companies saying things like:

"You're not losing weight because you don't have the willpower to eat less and workout more."

"You're not healing because you don't have the willpower to give up sugar completely."

"Your skin isn't clearing up because you don't have the willpower to ditch dairy forever."

Fuck. That. Noise.

When it comes to eating a healing diet and getting enough movement, willpower is bullshit.  Large companies will often shift the blame to individuals in this way, just to make sure you feel like shit about yourself so then you'll maybe buy their shake/supplement/program/whatever.

But here's the thing babe.  Our bodies are totally designed this way on purpose!  

We're designed to crave sugar, because in the days of our ancestors, finding a natural form of sugar (berries most likely) was a quick source of energy.  And a quick source of energy could be the difference between life and death that day.

We're designed to eat more than just feeling "satisfied" because there was a 50/50 chance that there would be not food the next day, so we instinctually load up while we can.

We're designed to resist exercise and movement, because unnecessary movement depleted the body and energy levels, making it way harder to do the things we needed to in order to survive.

It's all about survival baby.  And I think it's super important for everyone to know that.

Part of what makes our health and wellness goals so difficult is the constant blame we're putting on ourselves.  We're never good enough.  Never doing enough.  And that negative mindset keeps us even more stuck.

Next time you find yourself resisting going to the gym, or eating more than you planned to, or straying from your healing diet, gently remind yourself of why you have this goal with all of the self-love you can muster.  

Talk to yourself as if you were a 6 year old.  

And remember that you'll NEVER be 100% perfect with any wellness routine.  It's impossible, so stop making yourself crazy about it.

 

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It's OK if you're not OK

It’s ok if you’re not ok.

I’ve heard from loads of friends, clients, and random folks I meet that everyone seems to be dealing with a lot right now.

And whatever that “a lot” is for you, it’s ok if you’re having a rough time with it.

Part of what makes the processing of emotions so difficult is that we’re so quick to judge ourselves for them.  We quickly get the sense that we’re over-reacting.  We tell ourselves to ‘get the fuck over it.’  We’re told to man up (which is fucked up in itself) and move on.

But sometimes, the only way out is through. 

Which means we actually have to feel our feelings, acknowledge them, and release them as best we can.

A few years ago I had an awesome tarot reading, and the medium said something that really stuck with me.  I had been dealing with a difficult emotional issue, and he said:

“You’re being too hard on yourself that this isn’t going the way you thought it would.”

And he was totally right.  I was judging the shit out of myself because everything wasn’t going 100% amazingly all the time, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.  Which was only putting more pressure on myself when I was already in a super emotional state.

Releasing the judgment piece of the equation took a load off, and helped me begin to sift through the rest of the emotions.

Are you having a tough time right now?  This is what I do to begin to heal when I’m struggling:

  • Journal. Journal. Journal. Let it all out on paper. And then, if necessary, burn that shit, rip it up, whatever you need to do.

  • Cry as much and as often as needed.

  • Keep to a regular sleep schedule as best you can. Some folks tend to sleep too much when they are upset, and others sleep too little. Keep to a regular routine, keep the screen time to a minimum the hour before, and relax with some meditation before bed.

  • Go see your friends. Even if you’re not feeling at all social, sometimes the most healing thing can be getting out a bit, hanging out with your besties, and getting your mind off of things for an hour or two.

  • Find a support group. Sometimes, we just need a space to vent, share, and know we’re not alone as we navigate our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

What do you do to support yourself during a difficult emotional time?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Holistic Holiday Survival Guide

Hey there badass babe,

I know the holidays can be tough.  What’s supposed to be a time of relaxation, celebration and joy often turns into a whirlwind of sleeplessness, anxiety, and burn out as we hustle to get through our massive to-do list while making it all look like a page out of Martha Stewart Magazine.

So with all that, how the hell do we keep up with a healing diet?  How do we continue to incorporate self-care when we’re bouncing between family stuff and work craziness and traveling? How do we stay active when all we want to do is sleep?

This is something I’ve been working on for years, and I have some tried and true tips to keep your self feeling fucking fantastic all the way till new years.

1.     Communicate your needs

Look, I know it can be hard to explain you gluten and soy sensitivity to old aunt betty, but just fucking do it.   So many of us don’t continue with our healing diets during the holidays because we don’t want to “cause a fuss” or “make a big deal out of it.”  (I’ve done this so many times)

Get over it.  It’s not a big deal.  And you deserve to feel good and eat foods that will help that happen.

If you think your host will have a hard time accommodating you, always offer to bring a dish so you know there will be something you can eat.  Or, offer to help with the cooking in advance, so you know exactly what’s in each side.  Or, offer to host the damn thing yourself, and then you can eat it all!

2.     Don’t be weird

I already mentioned that it can be hard to explain your healing diet to folks, but it’s way easier if you just act like it’s 100% completely normal (because it is) and not some weirdo choice you’re making.  If you act like your food/lifestyle is weird, then they sure as hell will act like your food/lifestyle is weird.  But, if you’re confident and just tell it like it is, there’s a good chance they’ll just roll with it.

And if they don’t roll with it, don’t be alarmed.  Some people act really fucking stupid for some reason when you tell them you’re eating healthier, or trying to avoid alcohol or whatever.  Like they suddenly feel wildly offended or personally accosted because you’ve realized you feel better when you eat less corn and soy, or when you do yoga every morning.  Don’t give into their bullshit.  Just stand your ground, and let them know that you feel better when you eat/live this way and that’s it.  End of story.

3.     Prep that shit

Honestly, the more you can prep and plan your food ahead of time the better.  I know this isn’t always 100% possible, but do the best you can.  Going to a dinner party?  Bring an appetizer that tastes good AND makes you feel good.  Going out to a restaurant with limited options?  Eat a little something before you go so you’re not starving. 

There’s also something to be said about prepping healthy food for before and after the festivities, so you can have a little fun, and then go right back to your healing diet.

You can also totally plan and prep for stuff like movement, getting enough water, getting good sleep, etc.  Schedule that shit in, and don’t budge on it. 

4.     Don’t make yourself fucking crazy

And probably most importantly, just have fucking fun.  If keeping up with all your wellness routines everyday of the holiday season is making you feel even more stressed out, don’t do it all! (unless you have a serious allergy or sensitivity… obviously do what you gotta do girl). 

The point of a healing diet and lifestyle is to make us feel good, and if it makes you feel more anxious or crazy, you’re doing it wrong.  Let loose and have some fun sister.  The kale will be here when you get back <3

 

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5 Steps to Avoid Burn-Out

How has your fall been so far?

A little (or a lot) hectic? Projects galore? School functions? Halloween parties?

I get it. Once summer is for real over and there's a cool, crisp breeze in the air we get this burst of energy to get some shit done.

Blame it on the "back-to-school" syndrome. Or, the energy of the harvesting season. Whatever floats your boat. But it totally happens.

And that's awesome! It's great to have that push to make some serious moves and make some magic happen.

The problem is that we don't give ourselves a chance to wind down from all that madness. Fall quickly turns into winter, which throws us right into the Holiday Season craziness (if you're in the U.S. that shit starts TODAY, November 1st. Mark my words. Christmas commercials are coming.)

Energetically speaking, winter is the time for us to get quiet, turn inward, and rest. But with Thanksgiving followed quickly by Hanukah/Christmas/NewYears etc, instead of winding down we ramp up even MORE.

It's rough on that beautiful bod of yours.

And no matter what time of year it is, we all have those moments of nearing total and utter exhaustion, fatigue and burn-out.

You know the feeling. Waking up after 8 hours of sleep feeling like you never even shut your damn eyes. Intense cravings for sugar/caffeine. Major irritability. Extreme overwhelm.

It sucks.

So what do you do? Here's my 5 step process when I feel myself getting to that tipping point:

  1. Take a Step Back
    This is maybe the hardest one, but it is easily the most important. Let's be honest. So many of our commitments, deadlines and expectations are put on us by ourselves. We put SO much pressure on ourselves to get everything done in a day. And sometimes, you gotta hustle, I get it. But when you're nearing that burn-out phase, it's time to take a step back, and be ok with knowing that not everything will get done. Focus on what's necessary, and that's it. Give yourself a break on the rest. It'll get done at a later date, and that's 100% ok.

     

  2. Fiercely Protect Your Sleep
    When you're getting burnt-out, your body needs extra rest to recuperate and rebuild. Our best healing happens during deep sleep, but when we're running around trying to get work, xmas shopping, party planning and more all done at once, sometimes we end up staying up later than we should to fit it all in. It seems counter-intuitive, but this is really the time to be getting to bed as early as possible, and sleeping as much as you can. Sleep should be the non-negotiable here. Schedule that shit in if you need to. Get your full 8-9 hours, and ditch the electronics during that time as well (no TV or scrolling your phone till you fall asleep)

     

  3. Up Your Water Intake
    Increasing your water intake is one of the easiest ways to boost your energy levels. Which is great, because then you're less likely to grab an extra Venti-Mocha-Frappachino with a double shot of espresso and whipped cream (i know that's probably not a thing). It also helps your body with that whole healing thing, so win-win.

     

  4. Clean Up Your Diet
    Look, I know this one can be tough when you're stressed to the max. But hear me out. The most you can support your body in a physical way, the better you will feel. You don't have to make yourself crazy about it. Just try to get in some greens, good fats and clean protein. And try to ditch the sugar.

     

  5. Incorporate Some Gentle Movement
    Working out is typically the first thing to go out the window when you're feeling wiped out, and if you're nearing burn-out a high intensity thing may not be your best bet. If you're feeling frazzled, focus on getting some calming, gentle movement in each day. Things like a long walk and restorative yoga go a long way when it comes to nourishing your nervous system and getting you back to feeling your damn best!

     

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You Be You, Girl

My hometown is actually home to the 2nd largest Halloween Parade according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

It’s so big, in fact, that folks who call Toms River, NJ home actually trick-or-treat the day before Halloween.  Because on the 31st, everyone is at the parade.  There would literally be nobody to answer the door when you tried to get your candy.

2016 marks the 78th annual Toms River Halloween Parade (we’ve only missed one year, due to Hurricane Sandy, and the parade route being literally under water), and I’m excited to be able to get to see it after living in Baltimore for the past 10 Halloweens (and being busy with another big Halloween parade that happened there, ironically). 

In high school I was always a part of the Toms River parade, thanks to the yearly mandatory participation of the marching bands/colorguards in the area.  And even though waiting around in a shopping plaza parking lot for hours in the freezing cold waiting for our turn to march was a drag, I always loved actually being a part of it.

Here’s the thing.  The parade has lots of marching bands and performers.  Loads of incredible floats and handmade costumes. And a TON of everyday folks, in their store-bought Party City costumes, marching in the parade. 

And you know what?  They are proud as shit.  They are jazzed out of their fucking minds to be walking down the street with their mass produced dog costume.  Or super hero mask.  Or witch hat.

That’s the thing that I love about it most.

I’m a huge sucker for intricate and detailed handmade costumes/floats/puppets, but I’m an even bigger sucker for having a space where folks feel like they can be a part of the fun stuff, not matter where they fall on the costume-creating spectrum.

Having a space where you can just do you, and folks will cheer you on regardless, is incredible.

I offer up this anecdote as a reminder to just be you.  Even if you feel like you’re not a good enough you yet (spoiler alert: you are good enough right now, period.) just be 100% yourself.

I know sometimes that feels like the most challenging thing in the universe, but just know that there will always be someone to cheer you on.

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Are you having a Healing Crisis?

It’s totally a thing. 

Otherwise known as the Herxheimer Reaction, a healing crisis is the temporary worsening of symptoms before they get better. 

Have you ever tried to curb a caffeine or sugar habit, only to have massive bags under your eyes, major irritability, and a migraine for days?  Then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

What happens is this. Our bodies are constantly detoxing, day in and day out.  That’s what the liver’s damn job is.

But when you’re regularly consuming things that don’t always sit so well in the body (this varies person to person, but things like caffeine, sugar, artificial flavors, booze, crappy food, etc), your system has a hard time detoxing all that on a day-to-day basis.  The liver can’t keep up, and toxins get stored in our tissues.

When we stop consuming the thing that was an issue, the liver has a chance to play catch up  along with all other systems of the body, so we can actually flush all that gunk out.  And understandably, they get a little overwhelmed.

This can also be prompted by bodywork of any kind, including massage, energy healing and deep stretching.  These are all just another way of squeezing out the stuff we no longer need.

So when that shit is on it’s way out, we feel it in the form of headaches, skin issues, break-outs, nausea, joint pain, brain fog, depression, fatigue, insomnia, congestion, and intense emotions for anywhere from 2-8ish days.

Not fun.  I know.

But on the other side of the healing crisis is WAY more energy, clearer skin, even moods, and mental clarity.  And less of a dependency on the thing you were detoxing from.  It can feel almost counterintuitive to keep going when you feel so shitty, but sticking out makes a WORLD of a difference in the long run.

I know it's tough, but sometimes we have to power through it to get to the other side.  Most humans spend a lot of time and energy doing their best to not feel unpleasant feelings (understandably) but sometimes, that's where the deepest healing happens.

Most often we talk about this in a physical sense, but I definitely think that we experience healing crisis’ with emotional healing as well. 

Trauma and stress get stored in our tissues (just like environmental toxins), so when we release them through bodywork, detox, stretching, energy work, or just talking it out, we can experience some intense emotional release on it’s way out of the body.

Or, think about the way that sometimes you have to let an issue really come to the surface in order to do anything about it.  Most of us have experienced that pivotal moment where things become so uncomfortable, we're forced to make change - even if we're terrified.  The moment where shit blows up at work and it gives you the push to quit.  The moment where a conflict with a friend lets you know that the relationship is toxic and you can no longer be a part of it.

Sometimes, you have to hit rock bottom.  Because then you can finally move on up.

And just like with environmental toxins, once you get through the healing crisis for emotional healing you’ll feel way better, and be able to actually release that hurt instead of letting it stay bottled up inside.

(Just as an aside, I very much recommend working with a therapist if you are working to release a lot of stress or trauma… or even if you’re not!  Therapy is awesome!)

What I want you to know is that sometimes, when you’re in the thick of it (no matter what “it” is) things are gonna feel terrible.  And then, they will not feel so terrible.  And if they keep feeling really terrible, don’t be afraid to get the help you need.  Healing is a continuous, lifelong journey, and there will always be ups and downs on the road ahead <3

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'The Daily Try' by Rachel Beckman

When I quit my day job a few years ago to start working from home as a full time artist I was more than a little terrified, and to say that I was overwhelmed would be an egregious understatement. 

Suddenly, I had twenty four hours a day that were unequivocally my own, and while that is a luxury I appreciate, it wasn't always easy. In high school and college, I thrived on being over-scheduled because it meant that every moment was precious; I was pushed and pushed to squeeze my best into whatever time was available to me. I simply didn't have time to wallow in my perfectionism (a fear that a thing won't turn out 'just so' often keeping me from beginning a project in the first place), or put everything on the back burner in favor of sleeping all day in a mild depression. Needless to say, wallowing and sleeping happened a lot in my first year at home. 

 

All the while two things were happening: I both had too much to do (making it hard to focus and prioritize), and nothing to do (which really meant, I couldn't think of anything I felt like doing). And so I sat down to make a list of what would become my Daily Try. 

 

I have a lot of lists- including one for self care that reminds me to do simple things like brush my hair every day, eat breakfast, get dressed, and meditate. Some of these things, like breakfast, are essential, but I try not to beat myself up if I don't get around to a tarot card reading or I don't have the energy for my usual workout. 

 

The Daily Try is similar, but it focuses on my professional endeavors, serving as a spring board for all of the possibilities in my studio on any given day. It's a list of all of the skills and talents I have honed over the years, which means it has a bonus effect of reminding me in a humble brag sort of way of my accomplishments. It says "These are the things you are capable of doing! These are the things that you love! Do them!" I printed it out on card stock and laminated it with packing tape so you know I mean business, but I can also change it any time I want, because it truly is only about me. No comparisons to any one else, nothing about what other people think I should be doing. 

 

And each element on my list is multi-faceted. Drawing and painting lean towards business: I can sell prints and zines of my work for money, but there are plenty of drawings I do just for me. I used to run my business primarily as a weaver, selling home woven textiles online and at local craft fairs; now, weaving is purely a personal pleasure. 'Move' is so vague it can mean any number of things, from dancing as stress relief and remembering to take breaks to the movement of my body spinning wool with a drop spindle. 

The best part about The Daily Try? It's only a suggestion. I can literally do every single thing on my list or absolutely nothing and the world will not end and I will still be a good person. It's true. Though it took me a long time to understand that. 

The list moves around with me. Sometimes it's tucked into my day planner; right now it's propped up against my computer monitor as I write. I don't look at it every day, because sometimes my motivation is through the roof and I don't need any help. But it's always there for me when I need it, like an old friend, whispering something like, "Hey, maybe you want to bind a book today. Maybe not. Spin some yarn? It's your choice."

You can never fail if you just remember to try. 

__

Rachel Beckman is a writer and multi-disciplinary artist from Baltimore, MD. She lives and works at home with her graphic designer husband and her fluffy white dog familiar. 

http://rachelbeckman.com/

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