Many women come to me inquiring about my path of holistic health and sobriety. I strongly believe that every person needs to find their own unique mix when creating any wellness plan, whether that is seeking and maintaining sobriety, weight loss, or implementing the elemental self-care practices of exercise and meditation. If success is desired, then we must utilize alternate channels that draw from a wholistic perspective. While we are blessed with tantamount sources of inspiration and wellness advice, what one woman seeks and finds beneficial, may not be for the woman who stands next to her.
In my early sobriety, I of course sought after the well-known and classic Alcoholics Anonymous, but it was my searches on Google that revealed the far more resonating Women for Sobriety and Yoga of Recovery, that persisted illuminated my broadening avenue in sobriety. I offer them to not only strengthen my own resolve in holistic, women-centered avenues of sobriety, but to pay it forward to those who are like me, but perhaps a few steps behind me on that path.
My studies in Ayurveda have taught me that individuation is a necessary strength, while functional nutrition and integrative medicine schools me in how to further support each woman whom I treat. It’s true, my toolbox is overflowing with the many supportive measures that I use. Including of course diet, meditation, replenishing supplements, amino acids and herbs, my spiritual practices with the Feminine Divine, yoga/asana, mindful movement and dance, and time spent honoring nature, all play key parts.
Each is a unique and necessary element in my life, and although my rituals and regularity are not “perfect”, being that I am a householder and business owner, I am devoted to the practices that hold true health for me on my rainbow spectrum of vitality.
I share these in hope that they will form a brilliant rainbow of your own unique coloration and shape in the New Year!
- Sangha – This Sanskrit word means a devoted community of like-minded seekers. Whether it be a 12 Step or Women for Sobriety meeting, your meditation club, a hiking group, or your Moon Circle sisters, these all serve us, as we serve the group. We find companionship, personal meaning, empathy, strength and support in these groups, in a time where we all too often hide behind devices or desks for fear of judgment and self-comparison. Find your tribe, and let your innate beauty shine!
- Sadhana – Here’s another Sanskrit term for you! Yogi Bhajan says “Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.” In other words, it is your daily spiritual practice. Obviously, this does not provide a specific outline for practice, but going with the idea of forming your own unique rainbow of meaning, you may find great spiritual significance through your yoga and meditation practice, religious observances, pranayama, journaling, and/or prayer, or something else entirely.
- Sustenance – The whole foods variety that is rich in nourishing proteins, fats, and nutrient rich, and minimally processed and sustainably sourced. Keep it simple, sister – and feed thyself in the manner that your divine being requests!
- Sun – and fresh air, and lots of forest bathing! Studies show that just 90 minutes walking in nature decrease rumination, a recurrent factor known in depression, and that “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” another study concluded.
- Supplement – when needed! I used to be pretty hard core about refusing to recommend supplementation as a general rule of thumb. But I know now that the foods grown today provide drastically less calcium, iron, and Vitamins A & C than they did 50 years ago due to modern farming industrial demands, and we are subjected daily to many toxins that our bodies struggle to contend with, and remove. While we do the best we can to reduce our toxic loads through “greening our lives”, we all can benefit from supplements (meaning- TO INTERMITTENTLY SUPPLEMENT) that help boost immunity and offset inflammation – like omega 3’s, a broad spectrum probiotic featuring 20 million of more CFU, and a great daily multivitamin. These are always part of my recommendations for my new patients, and it’s amazing what this power trio can do for those who struggle with depression, anxiety, pain, and more.
I hope you enjoy a beautiful transition into 2018, and find your unique mixture for a truly healthy New Year!