Add In the Good Stuff

When you look for ways to make positive changes, why not add in the good stuff? It feels less like a sacrifice AND it feels great to do something that’s good for you.

Imagine you drink 6 cups of coffee a day. The first cup is delicious and soothing but by the sixth cup you feel jittery with an upset stomach. You want to cut down but it’s hard to make the change. Add in a cup of water (it can even be hot water) and see how that goes. Yes, you may still drink 6 cups of coffee but you’ve added something good. After a week you could add another cup of water OR try to replace one cup of coffee with water. Continue to slowly add good stuff to replace the bad stuff. 

Need more exercise? A short walk, maybe up a flight of stairs, could be an easy addition. Try a few sit ups first thing in the morning. Start with ten then increase when it feels right. Do a few gentle stretches at your desk. Small things make a difference.

Go to bed 5 minutes early or get up 5 minutes early. Limit your screen time and begin to lower the limit each week. Read 2 pages of a book. Compliment someone. Enjoy a few minutes of uninterrupted quiet time once a day. Smile.

Make the change easy and the change will be easier to make.

Namaste,

Melissa

How Was the Weekend?

Last week you started something. You had a few days to get into a rhythm with whatever you started and then it was Friday. Were you able to continue even if your schedule changed? Did you lose momentum? Did you invite someone to share with you?

You can assess how it went and change things up if necessary. It has to work for you or it won’t work for you. Don’t beat yourself up for falling. Pull yourself up and do something now. And if you kept up the rhythm over the weekend then pat yourself on the back. Celebrate a little.

 Change comes in small steps repeated over time. Don’t stop. You’ve got this.

Namaste,

Melissa

It’s Friday!

It’s day 3 of doing small things to make changes in your life. We know that to see things change we have to do a small thing every day. You can repeat the small thing you did yesterday. You can add another element to the small thing. Some days you have to reassess the small thing. You have to figure out what works for you and what needs tweaked. For example, let’s say your small thing was to write things down that you love about your job. After a few days you come to realize you aren’t very fulfilled in your job. Now your small thing is to explore ways to make your current job better or explore new opportunities. Change is fluid. There’s no one path or set of steps. It’s different for everyone and it can be different every day. Remember – do something every day.

Which brings us to the weekend. No, you can’t take the weekend off. The weekend is a great time to invite someone to do something small with you. When you share something small with others it gains in strength. No explanation is necessary, simply enjoy.

If you stumble this weekend, don’t sweat it. But don’t stay down either. Get back up and try again.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Did You Start

Yesterday I asked you to start. How did it go? It was easier than you thought, right? We use “I don’t know where to start” as a reason to do nothing. The reality is that even the smallest of actions is a start. A series of small actions will eventually be a big deal. You have to keep going.

Today look at the small thing you did yesterday and ask yourself how you can build on that. Make it another small step. If you drank a glass of water yesterday, try to drink two (or even one and half) today. If you made a list of 3 things you’d like to change in your life choose one of them and list 3 things you could do to make that happen. If you delayed a purchase ask yourself if you can survive without it for another day. Think of the money you would save.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.  You can’t change your life with one step or in one day. But if you never start you’ll never change anything. If you give up after one day you’ll never change anything. Small things, everyday, starting now.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Start Today

Why not start today? I know, I know…it’s not Monday, it’s not the first of the month, it’s not the first of the year. You’re busy. You don’t feel prepared. You need to think it through. You need a plan. It’s too hard.

What if you start anyway?

Today, pick one thing and do it. Make it easy. Start small. No pressure.

  • Drink an extra (or a first) glass of water
  • Take a walk, short or long
  • Delay a purchase – you can buy it tomorrow if you still have to have it
  • Doodle for a few minutes
  • Go to bed when you know you should
  • Get rid of one unhealthy food item from your kitchen
  • Make a list of 3 things you’d like to change in your life
  • Make a list of 3 things you’d like to try
  • Make a list of 3 things that make you good at your job
  • Start writing your new resume – even if all you get down is your name and contact info
  • Sing and dance along to your favorite song
  • Take a technology break, 30 minutes would be a good start
  • Eat a vegetable that isn’t fried
  • Be grateful and tell someone what you’re grateful for
  • Smile

Yes it’s hard to start but waiting doesn’t make it any easier. Do something today.

 

Find and Maintain Wellness

Much of my professional work is about helping others find and maintain wellness in their lives. That means different things for different people. Personally, I find that taking charge of my own health and wellness is empowering. A holistic approach ensures nothing is overlooked and moves me toward balance.

Ask yourself what wellness means to you. Is it not catching a cold every winter? Is it taking fewer medications? Maybe wellness is taking the time to eat better and exercise. Or do you feel “well” when your stress level is low and joy in your life is high? Wellness can apply to your physical and mental health, your relationships, your job, and your spiritual life. The healthiest person among us might feel lonely and isolated and therefore, not well.

Once you have a definition of wellness and an idea of how or where you lack wellness in your life, there are many ways to bring yourself back into balance. For me and my clients, yoga plays a major role. The movement, breath, and meditation help us feel present in our body and minds. The practices help us clear our minds and focus. With clarity we can decide what works for us and what we need to let go of to achieve wellness.

Nutrition also plays a huge part. What and how we eat nourishes our bodies. Physical wellness is most affected by diet and movement. Often when you supplement the orders of your physician with a whole foods diet you improve the effectiveness of your treatment plan. You are what you eat is a true statement!

There are so many other ways to find and maintain wellness. Time spent in nature or with family and friends will feed the soul. Volunteering or participation in a hobby can make you feel complete. The use of essential oils, mantra, prayer, crystals, massage, reiki…all these things help us get and stay in balance. Right now salt rooms, forest bathing, and flotation tanks are all the rage – and they work too! Explore all different roads to find the options that work best for you.

To me, wellness means feeling whole. To feel whole I use a holistic approach to address body, mind, spirit, and environment. As a holistic guide I honor that each of my clients is different and seek ways that resonate with them and support them on their journey. Then we work together help them achieve the wellness they seek.

What does wellness mean to you?

Namaste,

Melissa, Holistic Guide

 

Why A Home Practice?

Mudra lightThe first answer that pops into my mind is – why not? It’s unrealistic to think you’ll always make it to the yoga studio or fitness center. Life happens after all! There may be travel, sick family members, or jobs that get in your way. Having a go-to home practice is the perfect fix.

Home practice can be approached several ways. DVD’s, YouTube, and the internet can provide a  variety of classes and different teachers. There are classes out there for beginners to advanced in a variety of yoga styles. It may take a minute to figure out your personal preferences but once you’ve got it dialed in it’s an easy way to practice from home or on the road.

Books and yoga decks are another option. These options provide pictures and alternatives like easier/harder variations, use of props, etc. They allow you to create a practice that works for you and goes at your speed. (I’ve heard complaints that videos sometimes move too fast.)

Another great option is to create your own home practice. All you need is some information and guidance and you can create a well-rounded home practice specifically for you. It’s important to include a variety of poses from different categories. Then add in a few things you love and a few things you struggle to enjoy. To help you get started I’ll offer two chances for you to learn how to create a practice. Those dates are June 12 at 2:00pm and June 28 at 6:00pm. You can register here.

If you can’t attend either of those times I’m happy to create a flow for you. Contact me directly to arrange that.

A home practice deepens what you experience in class. It provides the opportunity to practice discipline. It keeps you excited about learning more about yourself and about yoga. Home practice is the foundation we build the rest of our journey around. Once you begin a home practice you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

 

Embrace Something New

You’ve likely seen my newsletter about closing the yoga studio. If you haven’t, you can read it here. While change can be hard for all of us, everyone has been supportive. I’m blessed with the best clients in the world. Thank you.

As we move toward July 31st I want to share some of what I have planned. Expect to see several of these updates in the next 60 days because, like most change, this is a process. I’m hard at work developing programs and re-organizing my world. There is plenty of work to do, decisions to make, and change to embrace.

As a holistic guide I’ll work with you to achieve your goals. Those goals could be physical but could go beyond the physical to the emotional or spiritual. You may want to quiet your mind and meditate more. You may choose to explore better nutrition. Perhaps you’d like to see how essential oils or reiki could enhance your daily life. Your journey to a better you can be fun and educational and I can support you on your path. There are so many holistic modalities to explore and I have the knowledge to help you choose the right ones for you.

I envision working with couples or families to make healthy lifestyle changes. I want to teach meditation to more people. I want to share the deeper aspects of yoga with small groups. And I’m not waiting until July 31st to start. There are two opportunities to delve into the spiritual side of yoga coming in May and June. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and  Yamas and Niyamas: A Deeper Look are book based study groups designed to make you think about the choices you make every day. It’s powerful stuff and you’ll be amazed at the changes you see from simply looking deeper. You can sign up for either of these class here.images

Stay tuned for more information as we move toward July 31st. If you have questions or suggestions please reach out to me. I’m here to serve.

Namaste,

Melissa

Cedarwood

Cedarwood has been around since biblical times (it gets a mention in Leviticus 14.4 and 14.6). The Egyptians used it for embalming the dead. In Tibet it was used for medicinal purposes. My favorite use was by the North American Indians. They used it in their spiritual practices. It became a symbol of protection for the earth. It’s said that at night animals would lie under cedar wood trees for the protection and rejuvenation the trees would bring them. Cool stuff!

It’s an antiseptic and antifungal oil and is considered a diuretic. Cedarwood has purifying and sedative properties. It’s perfect for conditions of the nervous and respiratory systems. Here are some other ideas for using cedarwood:

  • Improve skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis
  • Improve cellulite
  • Prevent hair loss, dandruff
  • Relieve the symptoms of UTI
  • Water retention
  • Relieve the symptoms of bronchitis, cough, congestion
  • Help with nervous Tension, anxiety, ADHD
  • Anger
  • Pineal gland and ajna (third eye) chakra opening

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I love to diffuse cedarwood and find it mixes well with rosemary (memory), bergamot (anxiety), and clary sage (hormone balance), among others. Lavender and cedarwood in the diffuser at bedtime is a relaxing combination.This oil can be diluted and applied to the location needed. Add a drop to a dollop of shampoo for hair and scalp issues. Add to moisturizer to help with skin conditions and a drop in the mascara tube to grow eyelashes. Apply to the ajna chakra during spiritual practices.

How do you use cedarwood?

Namaste.

Melissa

This post reflects my own experiences with cedarwood.  It is NOT intended to be medical advice. I am NOT a healthcare professional. I’m simply sharing some of the ways I’ve used cedarwood to enhance my personal wellness. Please see your physician for help in treating any of the ailments discussed here.

 

The Number Four

In numerology the number four builds. That is to say,  what the number one conceives, the number two plans, and the number three envisions – the number four brings all this into form. It helps the idea take shape and sets the foundation.

When the four shows up you can be sure there will be order. Success comes through determination, practicality, and concentration. Without the  number four the world would be chaotic with plenty of great ideas floating around but not much getting done. Four applies the qualities of management and methodology to all undertakings to bring things together.

A lover of detail, it brings high standards, honesty, and courage to all it does. The four thrives with rules and loves tradition. Four can be a somewhat serious number. It’s a hard worker and sure to get things done, even if it takes more than one try.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the number four is stability. Think of someone who is always there for you in your life. Someone unwavering and steadfast. That person likely has fours in their chart somewhere.images

We all need a bit of the number four in our lives. If you want to find out how it shows up for you, contact me for a reading.

Namaste,

Melissa