The toughest job there is, so they say.
I certainly haven’t held every job in which to qualify or negate that statement, but I am a mother, and damn… this shit is HARD. I am so relieved to be beyond the point of having an infant attached to me whenever I was within his reach and the extreme sleep deprivation that absolutely threatened my sanity, and the status of my NPI number.
But even just tonight as I carried in two backpacks, their preschool aged owners and my own work bag, then proceeded to make dinner and wash the dishes as everything in our household with a mouth, and anywhere between 2 and 4 legs, screeched and whined demands, I kept my composure, breathed deeply and recited some affirmations silently in the Utopia of my mind.
It has taken me almost 6 years of parenthood to time test and prove these affirmations, but they certainly set their roots in the first year. I come back to them time and time again, like when my toddler kicks me in the face and in doing so manages to smear the contents of his diaper up my arm during a well-intentioned clothing change, or on evenings after a crazy day at work, then grocery shopping, and the grande finale of dinner-making climaxes with my eldest screaming how much he hates whatever organic, well balanced and beautiful meal I’ve just labored over and placed on the dinner table, then goes and makes a dinner of PBJ and a Babybel cheese wedge.
Mommy’s Buffet! It’s the best on the block.
But I digress…
Affirmation number one: This time is fleeting.
Sometimes the only measure we have for how fast these lil’ nippers grow is by noticing when their pants become too short, or their bellies peek out from below tees. I know I’M not aging, but they sure are! And just like that, all of a sudden my eldest stopped asking to be rocked and sang to in our chair. I used to hum an Israeli lullaby to him, and rub his little back. He would snuggle and murmur into my ear to sing the song, until he became he became so drowsy his little lips would fall open and out would sneak his delicious deep slumbering snore.
Now he is obsessed ninjas and Jedi’s, and the cuddles are few and far between, and that lullaby doesn’t come to recall as easily as it once did. You better believe I rock and serenade my youngest every chance I get.
Affirmation number two: This too shall pass.
Although seemingly similar, please do not confuse this for #1.
Dig, if you will, a picture …
Your happy family of 4 is traveling to VT in a snowstorm, and the road conditions and delays have put you no where near your destination, but all are needing dinner. The snacks just aren’t gettin’ it any more, and so you decide to stop. Of course, you aim high, as you refuse to eat Subway, give your kids McDonalds, and you just can’t take one more slice of pizza (this week, anyway). Thai food looms ahead on Yelp, and what kid doesn’t like noodles?
Once inside we realize it’s kinda fancy… delicate and ornate Buddhas furnish the place, and there’s table cloths.
Welp, we were committed, and hey, we have just as much right to eat out as anyone else… right??!? Uh huh.
After a few screaming tantrums, multiple attempts on the restaurant’s étagères, numerous glares from our fellow fans of Thai food, and a visit to their ridiculously NOT baby friendly bathroom, we “completed” our meal and made our exit back into the snow tracks. I would like to think that what we left in their garbage was a significant clue to get a trash can with a lid and maybe a pull down changing tray, but more likely resulted in a posted diner age minimum.
Harried, frazzled, and still hungry, we continued our travels to VT. Later that evening once the kids were in bed, David and I shared some belly laughs and rosy cheeked chuckles at what a disaster we had become. BUT, everyone survived, we would never see those people again, and we did what we had to do. It passed.
Number three isn’t an affirmation per se, but it does give you a strong smack of clarity:
Does what I am trying to do, forcing to get done, and getting angry about really matter in the grand scheme of things?
Like, does it really mean my kids will starve if we feast on a dinner solely of watermelon? Does my toddlers ridiculously deficient tooth brushing technique really guarantee that he’ll have wooden teeth by age 42?
Shhh…. the ninjas are sleeping.
Sometimes the kids will insist on repeatedly switching on the light and playing for hours after bedtime until they collapse on one another in pure exhaustion despite the 2 hours of traipsing up and down the stairs, asking, reminding them, screaming at them, and begging them to JUST GO TO SLEEP. And who am I to say that running around without pants on before dinner is kind of fun, for everyone… at least sometimes??
I remember reading a mommy blog years ago where a woman gave some advice on how to handle those horrible times of mommy-rage when stuff just became unbearable. Its a very scary place, and feels awful, but wow- it can come up quick. It’s totally naturally, and yes- some are more seasoned than others in their level of spice, but it happens to us all, She said that she would imagine that someone was watching her at all times, and it allowed her from losing it with her kids when she needed the extra Oomph. That idea has helped me a few times, and it was actually pretty crucial right after I had my 2nd ( and then we moved 5 days later ). Deep down I know that it’s not a properly rooted frame of mind for me, but like I said…whatever works and keeps you from booking a solo one way ticket to Vieques.
Lastly, when I was pregnant with my eldest, I was completing my 1st yoga teacher training, and we studied with the lovely Kundalini teacher Anne Novak. That class inspires me to this day, and in my own prenatal classes that I teach. The mantras and the music of Snatam Kaur Khalsa left me deeply moved, and one particular chant, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, was absolutely instrumental in keeping me rooted in my inherently wise and ever present Inner Guru that is me as a mother. I would chant it over and over when I was pulled in every direction, awake at all hours, tending to and feeding the greatest teachers that I have ever known.
May your teachers give many cuddles, try and test you- but not break you, and reveal your greatest gifts and strengths, time and time again.
With flu season in high gear, and summer drawing near, now is the perfect time to detox your body! A simple detox is the foundation of a long-lasting, healthy, and vibrant life. Not only is it a program specific to improving your inner body, but detoxing is beneficial for the mind and soul as well.
First of all, what is a detox? Detoxing is the process in which you rid your body of the harmful toxins that have built up over a period of time, and in turn, you’ll have a healthier inner & outer body, mind, and soul. Detoxing can help to increase your energy levels and fight fatigue, as well as assist in weight loss and strengthen your immune system!
Here are 8 super~foods that should be making their way into your shopping cart this Spring!
Watercress, Spinach, and Kale are staples to your detox, and can be used in a variety of ways such as smoothies or salads. Aside from the fact that these leafy greens are packed with high-quality nutrients and vitamins, they also aid in lowering cholesterol, restoring energy levels, and help to decrease your chances of developing cancer.
Asparagus is one of the most beneficial super~foods, offering kidney and bladder cleansing support. Asparagus can be oven roasted with a little bit of seasoning, which brings us to our next two super~foods, Garlic and Cayenne Pepper!
Garlic and Cayenne Pepper act as the perfect bridge from tasteless foods to delectable meals! By seasoning your food with Garlic and/or Cayenne Pepper, not only are you aiding in detoxifying your body, but you’re ensuring that your meals taste delicious! The sulfur found in Garlic works specifically to rid your body of toxins, while Cayenne Pepper helps to support weight loss and promote heart health!
Can’t seem to stomach eating raw garlic? Try garlic in pill form, which can be found at most health food stores!
Dried fruit is the perfect alternative to those tempting, yet unhealthy grab-n-go snacks! For example, dice up some dried Peaches and throw it into your morning oats, or snack on dried Apples throughout the day! In moderation, Dried Fruit helps to reduce excess fat and lower cholesterol while aiding in the detoxification process.
Carrots are rich in glutathione which aid in the detoxification of the liver! Additionally, Carrots are loaded with Vitamins A, C, & K! It’s best to consume carrots raw, perhaps with avocado or hummus.
Keep in mind, it’s crucial to eat all of the foods mentioned above, raw, as heating can destroy some of the beneficial properties they contain!
Does a cleanse sound like something you’re needing right about now?
My group guided Spring Cleanse starts April 18th!
I’ve extended the Early Bird pricing of $99.oo, but it ENDS APRIL 15th! Then the price increases to $127.00! Believe me, it’s worth it.
Check out all that is included in this whole foods, pretty-packaged cleanse:
- Spring Cleanse Guide: a step-by-step manual showing you exactly how to detox in a safe and natural way.
- Recipe Guide: packed with over 60 delicious recipes that will improve digestion, decrease inflammation, and keep you feeling satisfied.
- Daily Email Support: just like it sounds, I will email you daily to provide encouragement so you don’t feel alone.
- 2 coaching calls; 1 at our launch, PLUS you will get a 30 minute post- detox strategy session!
- 14-Days of Suggested Meals: this will help you stay on track and take the guesswork out of planning meals during your detox.
- 14-Days At a Glance: a day-by-day overview of your entire detox, with easy-to-follow recipes that make this journey easy as 1-2-3.
- A Shopping List: to make trips to the supermarket super simple, which makes prepping, preparing, and cooking for your detox a breeze.
- Food Diary: this amazing tool will help you keep track of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout the program.
PLUS you get a BONUS 30-Minute Post-Detox Strategy Session with me !
Want to read more, including testimonials? Read on…
Are you feeling sluggish, tired, or stressed? Have the last few months of cold winter days made you gloomy?
Spring isn’t only for cleansing your body, but also for cleansing your mind and soul.
Traditionally, many cultures have adopted the art of cleansing your mind and soul through meditation, especially during the springtime.
Introducing meditation into your life will renew your inner self and bring light to the life you live. Find a mantra (a word or phrase) that resonates with you, an area that is peaceful, and a comfortable seat. Setting a timer for the amount of time you wish to meditate will help to avoid any distractions and interruptions during your session, as well as alleviating any tendency to check the time. Typically, most meditations last approximately 20 minutes, but adjust the time you spend meditating to your specific needs! Don’t NOT meditate for lack of time. I know that 2-5 minutes when I can is very effective in grounding me with focus and clarity when i can breathe calmly and with attention to the moment.
Ideally, you will want to have two mantras. The first, focusing on something you would like to bring forth into your life; the second, focusing on something you would like to transition out of your life. It is crucial to focus on your breathing during meditation, inhaling when thinking about bringing something into your life and exhaling when thinking about letting something go. For example, inhale Light or Love, exhale Anger or Judgement. After choosing your mantras for the day, you are ready to begin your meditation. Repeat your mantras until your timer goes off. To further your reflection, you may journal daily about your meditation.
Studies have shown that morning meditation helps to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote relaxation. Cleansing your soul by releasing those negative feelings in your life while bringing in positivity promotes a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Aside from meditation, waking up at the same time every day ensures you are establishing a routine and helps to eliminate those sluggish feelings incurred from waking up late, or after the sun has risen. Some ancient rituals also recommend splashing water on your face first thing in the morning to wake up, energize and hydrate the skin. Developing a routine that includes meditation will ensure you wake up eager to tackle the day with a positive outlook and vision.
Meditation is an art form that takes time to develop and perfect. Simply focus on your breathing and your mantras and you’re well on your way to a relaxed mind and renewed soul this Spring!
These universal truths had eluded me for many years when I couldn’t see past the dark or get out of my own way. I’ve always struggled with depression and my relationship with alcohol as a soothing remedy began in my teens. Alcohol was abundant in family and social gatherings, and it was a rare occasion that didn’t call for a drink or four.
Despite getting a DUI after a concert when I was 20 I failed to realize the trajectory I was on was abnormal or detrimental.
Fast forward into the future: I am married, my graduate degree obtained, and I was practicing as an advanced practice nurse and had two beautiful children. I practiced yoga lots and loved being outdoors exploring.
But alcohol was full ingrained in my life. I was already requiring a drink or two to ease my nerves in social scenarios, enjoying a road soda en route, but now as a working professional and mother, the demands of it all hit me hard. My only “self-care” became alcohol.
I took to putting beer in my kombucha bottle as I walked the kids to the playground, and drank daily. There were two times of day- coffee time, and time for wine.
I knew I was harming myself, my body was angry with me. I was bloated and weighed 40 pounds more than I do now. As soon as the kids were tucked in bed, I isolated myself on the front porch, smoking and drinking, until my husband nagged me enough to come in an enjoy some television together.
But I was still going to work, teaching my yoga classes, running my household.
What could be wrong??
And then one day I got a long overdue smack upside my head. My oldest son, who was 3 at the time, asked me to have him his toy, which as he pointed out, was sitting right behind my wine glass. It was 11 am. I was drinking wine while hanging out with my kids. And he knew it.
I don’t know how I thought this was going to persist, but I somehow expected to have more time before I would have to hide from him.
I’m HIDING from my kids because I need to drink?? I was terrified and felt like I’d just been drenched with ice water. Later on during naptime I reached out to a fellow yogini who I knew was sober. I came clean with her, and she served up a whopping reality check.
“Don’t wait until you get pulled over with the kids and have DCF take them from you”.
It had happened to her.
Holy shit. In all honesty it was no small miracle that I hadn’t been caught before.
This is not how my life; OUR LIVES would be. I couldn’t be a mom, a health practitioner and yogini, and continue to endanger or trash others or myself. My therapist kept insisting that I needed to quit drinking.
But, I needed to address the inner angst that led me to self-medicate.
I needed to learn how to take care of myself.
I went to AA, and had a sponsor who was incredible. She got me through those first few months of sobriety that were totally scary and so challenging. She was with me when I claimed publicly at a meeting that I was indeed unable to control myself when under the influence of alcohol. I accepted deep down in my heart of hearts that I could never, ever drink again.
But what about all that inner ick that kept that nasty mix tape replaying over and over in my brain?? What about the anxiety and deep sadness that kept me in that protective mental isolation?
Turns out that alcohol really is a depressant (human disclaimer: goes to show you that no matter HOW MUCH YOU READ something, unless you can speak from experience, it doesn’t mean shit) and once you stop flogging your body with that poison, your antidepressant can actually work for you.
I dove deeper into my studies of yoga, and then Ayurveda, and started to deeply know myself in ways that I had suspected, but that my training and common practice as an APRN (nurse practitioner) downplayed.
I studied myself and developed habits, daily practices, and dietary guidelines that are deeply supportive. In doing so, I have cultivated self-love, honor and a most delicious relationship with my maniac kids, and this BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, once in a lifetime LIFE.
My life’s purpose has been unveiled. All the struggle, self-hatred and self-medicating has led me to this Divine purpose: to inspire and support women in connecting with their own deeply beautiful and infinitely wise Authentic Joy.