Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gratitude can help you exercise more??

And, I might go so far to say, eat better too?? Talk about the Law of Attraction - I've been thinking and breathing Project Positivity and gratitude projects and this surfaces out of my old email archives from I love synchronicity!

And feel-good food... (don't miss the recipe below!)

Researchers have been investigating the mental and physical effects of gratitude practices. Check this out: A study at UC Davis randomly assigned participants into three groups. All were tasked to keep a weekly journal.

Group 1: briefly describe five things you were grateful for that had occurred in the past week.

Group 2: record five daily hassles from the previous week that displeased you.

Group 3: list five events or circumstances that affected you (not told whether to focus positive or negative).

Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25% happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

While I can't promise miracles within your experience of Project Positivity, I do know that when we create space and give energy and attention to the things we want, they start showing up. I can assure you that every day you look through a positive lens, you will see and feel positive things. You will discover how rich and fascinating and awesome your every day life already is.

Here we go: I took a wrong turn on my way back from a hike today and this is what I got... oh yes ;)

After a day of Project Positivity outreach and excitement, I made myself this afternoon power snack... whips up in just a few minutes!

Spiced Chocolate Dip + Apples

1/2 avocado
2 soft dates (I had soaked mine)
2 Tbsp raw cacao
lots of shaking of the cinnamon shaker (1 tsp?)

about 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
sprinkle cayenne
1/2 tsp maca (optional)
splashes (maybe 1/2 cup or more) fresh almond milk ... added and blended until it reached the consistency I liked.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is it Realistic to Always Be Positive?

I was asked this week about Project Positivity:
Is it realistic to always be positive?
Wouldn't that be totally fake?

Yes, it would be. I spent a lot of my life feeling like I had to put on my happy face and pretend like I was great and fine and peachy. I grew up under the roof of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Project Positivity is not about pretending everything is peachy and wonderful when it isn't. It is about acknowledging BOTH the good and the bad. It is about increasing your capacity to FEEL. Check it out:

At this point in my life, I do usually find myself in a "glass half full" kind of mindset, and I've been admired for my positive, upbeat attitude most of my life. But when that's not a genuine expression of how I was actually feeling inside, it was completely draining. My inner cynic just LOVED to feed on that. "Yeah, sure, everything's just GRAND. If they only knew what it's like when you're home alone at night stuffing yourself with almond butter." The happy mask would bring me further down.

Notice, though, that when we allow ourselves to get present and put our "gratitude goggles", we can see different aspects of our life. We can genuinely tune into and experience good feelings, even as we acknowledge that no, everything is not perfect or ideal or going how I want it to.

Here's how I allow myself to FEEL more. I ask myself:
1. How am I feeling right now?
2. How do I want to feel?

These are simple questions, but powerful. The first helps you to get present to how you are feeling right here right now. If we don't allow ourselves to feel the emotions and feelings inside of us, they give us tension headaches and stiff necks. The second question is about taking responsibilty for how you feel - responding to where you are in a proactive way.

This is one of the most powerful tools I've come across for getting me focused in the direction I want to go. I want to acknowledge when I'm feeling funky and uninspired. But do I want to wallow in it? No, I want to feel free and unburdened and exicted! Then I go and find something that creates or ignites that feeling within me.

If you liked this post and found it intriguing, THIS is what you'll be getting more of in Project Positivity! It is essentially a guided photography gratitude practice.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Why I Unsubscribed

Time to spring clean my inbox!

Here's why I just unsubscribed from half of the email lists I am on:

1. Overwhelm. Too much is too much. I asked myself: How many emails do I want to be reading per day? How much time do I want to spend reading emails? Do I actually read these emails? Is this valuable or just clutter?

2. Anxiety. Yes, I admit, I can't help but compare myself to others sometimes. And sometimes I feel like I should be doing/eating/thinking about what everyone else is. Do these emails exacerbate my sense of "I should be doing more"? Do they make me feel bad about myself or my choices? Do they increase my sense of pressure?

So that's what I don't want... What DO I want?

3. Inspiration. Empowerment. Selective Choice. Everything we see and read has an impact on our mindset and what we deem as normal and possible. (Did you try this mind game yet?) Be selective. It's your right, just as you can choose to turn off or mute the TV when ads come one. How do you want to feel when you check your inbox? I asked myself: Do I want to be reading fear-based emails about "Don't Do/Eat this?" or diseases and obscure nutrient deficiencies? Do these emails inspire me to action? Do they feed and expand the mindset I want to be cultivating?

If what you're reading isn't feeding, stretching or inspiring your BodyMindSoul 100%, UNSUBSCRIBE and find something that does.

They say: The world is your oyster.

I say: The internet is a wormhole. (Jump into one that feels really good.) 

If you're looking for something positive and inspiring and feel-good to subscribe to - try feeding your BodyMindSoul with Project Positivity, my newest venture!

What IS Project Positivity? I am SO excited to share it with you! Head on over and watch my video!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Do You Feel In Control??

Something I've noticed rearing it's head in my life in the last few weeks has been my desire to be IN CONTROL. If you're on my email list (and if you're not, join here!), you already heard me say most of this - but make sure you check out the list I'm revealing below!

My desire to be (or to appear, at the very least) in control shows up everywhere... and of course I only seem to notice it when I'm not feeling it. When I'm in traffic, when the train is late, when it rains, when someone doesn't email me back, when I can't stop eating chocolate, when I'm having a wild hair day...

Sound at all familiar? A lot of the women I talk to say they are most stressed out when their life feels out of their control. It's the slippery slope problem. It's the crashing computer. It's your friend's/kid's/client's/partner's reaction. It's the vortex that sucks you in. I'll bet you can think of an example.

I like to reframe being in control as taking charge. When I really get honest about it, I like the feeling of "in-charge" better than "in-control" a whole lot better. As I was writing this, I made a list that I couldn't just keep on paper. I was surprised by how different these two things actually are and the different feelings they bring up in me. Can you relate?

Being "in charge" allows space for things to unfold and for me to be flexible, to adapt and meet situations and people where they are. I can be in charge of the party without having to stress about controlling every aspect of the food, parking, seating and socializing... in other words, I can let my Perfectionist (the sister of Control) off the hook.

The reality is that we can't control very much. But we CAN choose to be in charge of our actions and responses - our thoughts and feelings - about what happens. We can decide what meaning we make about it.

At the core of my work, I talk to women about being in-charge of their food choices: stocking their pantry, getting comfortable in the kitchen, keeping healthy snacks on hand, getting clear about which foods give them energy and which drain them, deciding what to eat based on how they know they want to feel. This being in-charge involves taking responsibility, controlling the controllable, and then letting go of the outcome. Yes, surrender.

Sometimes we burn the rice, sometimes we eat a food that upsets our stomach, sometimes we eat too much when we go out with friends. If we were trying to be in-control, these situations would mean that we had failed, we screwed up. Being in-charge means we can accept that it's not perfect, that we're working on figuring it out. We can take these situations as feedback, as learning experiences.

...Ahh, and that feels a lot better...

Would you add anything to those lists? What does the difference between "in control" and "in charge" feel like to you?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Change Your Mind to Change Your Body

I was reading my daily dose of Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender this morning and came across a story called  "The Pupil as Teacher."

During the Q&A after a talk, a young woman in the audience said, "Sue, I don't think it is wise for you to be so hard on yourself. Each time you say something critical about yourself you are making that message to yourself more real."

I started thinking... how many times a day does some little voice creep into the back of my head and say something like "well, there you go again" or "what were you thinking?" or "that was so stupid"... You might have noticed I've been taking note of these little voices more often... they're totally fascinating!

Problem is, we DO make those little criticisms more real every time we say them.

Try this Mind Game: Say these two statements out loud to yourself. Act them out as if you really mean it:

#1: I am unattractive and stupid. I'll never look and feel the way I want because I have no self-control. I don't like the way I look and I don't know how to change that.

Take a moment to notice how you're feeling, mentally and physically.

#2: I am a kind, caring, beautiful individual who is capable of creating anything I want in my life. I love my body and am learning to take excellent care of it. I deserve the best.

Now notice how you're feeling, mentally and physically. Big difference, isn't it?

Approaching the critical voices with curiosity and fascination is one way that I shift my focus. We have to be aware of what we're thinking about in the first place if we want to be intentional about being more positive.

Creating positive power statements, affirmations or mantras is another way to practice a more happy, healthy mindset. Make beautiful signs. Put them in your home and your car, set them as your computer or phone backgrounds.

Here's the juicy bonus sauce:
When we're feeling more positive, grounded, and kind with ourselves, guess what happens? Healthy choices become easy and compelling because they feed that positive message about who you are. I deserve that expensive awesome salad because I deserve to feel good. I'm aware that I'm full, satisfied, and feeling good, so I'm going to take the rest to go. Our mind feels lighter, we're more confident, our body releases extra weight all by itself, our energy skyrockets.

Change your mind about how you want to think about yourself, and your body will reflect those changes. Win-win.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ever Dream Big... and then start to Doubt?

I had this dream that was the most blatant metaphor and answer to the question that had been simmering in the back of my mind all week. It was so big I had to share!

The more I thought about it, the clearer and clearer it became what it was I really wanted and needed to do...

So I got online and bought myself a ticket to the retreat after filming this!

Our brains are amazing with those metaphors, aren't they? The hotel was luxurious beyond what I deemed I was worthy of, the beautiful ornate clothes were too big for my timid, playing-small self. It was when I donned a very simple orange dress (one of my power colors, by the way) and decided that my outside apparel really didn't determine my worth, was when I could just walk into the room and let myself be enough. That was when I felt confident, calm and like I belonged.

And so I AM going to Tara Marino's Elegant Femme Integration experience - and my intention now and moving forward into that experience is to live in that place of grounded personal authority, self-love and self-worth. I am in-charge of my life and I am going to show up and do it!

I know I cannot control what will happen when I am there (all of the unknowns!), but I do know that I can choose to be in-charge of how I allow myself to show up.