25 October 2013

food for thought

Red quinoa salad -- yum!

I’ve had requests for articles on food, but I’ve put off writing them because over the years, I’ve realized some truths among all the confusion. Not only this, but I wasn’t really ready to tackle it until recently, as I’ve made some major lifestyle changes (thanks to Tony Robbins, of course).

Without further ado -- here are five discoveries I’ve made about food, nutrition, and the industry.

1. There’s a lot of controversy and contradiction even among experts. Do you eat meat? Drink milk? Like peanut butter? Want to snack? Drink coffee? I’ve heard opposing stances from food/nutrition authorities coming from every angle for each of these things. Which brings me to . . .

2. Every body is different. Ultimately, what works for one body may not work for another. We all have varying sensitivities, from what we like to what we’re allergic to or what weaknesses we have built into our bodies. I know a guy who swears by eating identical meals every single day, and another who essentially fasts all day until dinner, at which point he practically binge-eats. I disagree with both these approaches, but at the same time, I do think a large part of what eating habits work for us is the result of trial and error. Not everyone benefits from cutting out certain types of food from their lifestyles, but for one reason or another, others will swear by it.

3. There are multiple dimensions to every claim you’ll find. In keeping with number one, sometimes you kind of have to weigh the pros and cons to any food choice you make. For instance, there are some authorities who tout coffee in moderation as good for you (because of the antioxidants), and others who shun it as detrimental (for its acidity or for its caffeine). When it comes to these things, I think it’s really up to you and your particular strengths and weaknesses to decide what’s more important.

4. A lot of experts place too much emphasis on weightloss. While most of us would probably love to release a few pounds (I certainly am not immune), unless you are actually obese and it is truly an issue that is hindering your well being -- and thus, is a health issue -- the reason why this bothers me is because calorie counting culture promotes more what you look like than what’s going inside your body and feeding your organs and bloodstream. This is like promoting Oreos because they are vegan. No matter how you look at it (or how the cookie crumbles, if you’re so inclined!), an Oreo is not a health food. I much prefer looking at food from a health perspective as opposed to aiming to have a slimmer physique. Look, eat healthy and exercise, and the excess weight will naturally come off. I speak from very recent experience!

5. You have to do your research on most things. Question EVERYTHING. I’ve found, annoyingly, that the United States food industry has among the most corrupt business practices I’ve ever seen, and you can’t just take someone’s word for it. There are hidden, potentially harmful ingredients in most processed foods, and often even things we’ve been raised to believe are really good for us have skeletons in their closets. So just because it’s organic or “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely risk-free. I’ve built up pretty good intuition on this type of thing over time, and you will too. A good resource I’ve found is Foodbabe’s blog. A word of warning, though, doing research on what you’ve been eating can be very disconcerting. Better to know than not, though, as eating what’s easy comes with a hidden, VERY expensive price tag that usually sneaks up on you after years’ worth of accumulation.

Personally, I think it’s irrational and unrealistic to eat perfectly. There probably is no such thing, so generally speaking I aim for an 80/20 ratio. This way, I never feel deprived of little indulgences, but on the whole, I feel great and I’m nourishing myself properly most of the time.

Some people recommend having “cheat days,” but I dislike this approach for myself because it creates a sort of worshippy mentality when it comes to crappy food. Plus, if you do eat clean regularly, the idea of an entire day of cheating sounds like a nightmare. (Take it from me -- the stomachaches, bloating, feeling like you’re going to vomit is so not worth it.)

All this said, I’m wary of labeling myself any kind of authority on food. There is so much opposing information out there, so much confusion, that a lot of the time I’m not even sure where I stand. (This is very uncomfortable for me, as I usually have very strong stances on any belief I hold.) I’m happy to share what it is I eat in the form of recipes or Instagram (#rehabrevolution) photos, and I’m down with writing some content that I feel will be helpful in educating you on little-known facts about foods a lot of us eat, but I want you to take it with a grain of salt.

Please be the pioneer of your own body’s health. I can’t possibly know what’s best for your body, so take my words as a guide, not as law.

To our healing,

15 October 2013

[repost] rethink pink

I decided to repost this article, originally published on Refinery29, with Felicitys permission. With October now in full swing, I felt called to help her truly spread awareness of the reality of breast cancer rather than just following a trendy and charismatic marketing movement that sweeps the nation once a year. 

It especially resonated with me because I am all too familiar with the alienating nature of surviving what is often considered an older persons malady. . . .


As teenagers, we considered ourselves immortal. This idea carried over into our 20s, and we imagine it will linger the first few years of our 30s. We have genuinely lived as if nothing bad could ever happen to us, because our lives were too great, too important to be interrupted. Though this devil-may-care attitude has been responsible for some of the greatest memories of our lives, it's easy to forget that we are not immune to danger, that we have reached an age where we must learn to take care of ourselves and be mindful of the future of our health. Case in point? Felicity Palma is a 29-year-old woman living with breast cancer.

As a gut reaction, youre pr
obably thinking that Palma is way too young for cancer. After all, havent we assumed that the big C is something that could happen, but only later in life, after we have kids, or become aunts, possibly grandmothers? Certainly not to young, talented photographers living in Brooklyn at the prime of their lives. But sure enough, this unlikelihood is exactly what Palma faced. The problem with being so young and uninsured, is that it takes quite a bit of effort to get any attention. My doctor at the breast center felt the lump, shrugged, and said it was probably a cyst. Even after multiple inconclusive (and mind you, expensive-as-hell) tests, my doctor was still convinced that because I was young, that it just could not possibly have been something to worry about. Though the process was more drawn out than Palma would have hoped, she is still grateful she pushed her doctor for testing until they had answers.

But she certainly wasn
t expecting the diagnosis she received. The doctor came in, sat down, took his glasses off, looked me in the eye, looked back down at his chart, and awkwardly said, So, it's cancer.  We imagine this sort of news isnt something you can really prepare for, and so Palma's reaction seems on point: I just sat there. Numb. Totally unable to react. It took me a couple hours to really absorb it and start crying. In some ways it felt like reality was ripped away from me, and I no longer was a part of the present. All I could think was, What? How? Why? Is it my fault? What did I do wrong? Am I going to lose my breasts? Am I going to lose my hair? Am I going to die? And all the doctor could say was that he couldnt tell me much more, nor do anything else for me. I had to find a surgeon, and I had to somehow get health insurance. Without any health insurance and now facing the burden of an indefinite amount of treatments (and bills), Palma had no choice but to adopt a take-charge attitude against the cancer.

What
s remarkable about Palmas life before her diagnosis is that, in comparison to other cancer stories shes heard, she considers it fairly unremarkable. I feel like all the stories about young adults with cancer are how they were just launching their careers, starting families, etc., whereas I got caught in the middle of an existential crisis. I graduated from NYU with an MA in International Studies about two years ago, and was amped to begin working in womens rights. Despite churning out hundreds of resumes, the best I could do was anything it took to survive — bartending, waiting tables, baby-sitting, tutoring, freelance photography . . . So I kept at it, hoping that somewhere down the line, things would fall into place for me. And then cancer hit, and stopped me in my tracks. Its crazy to think how hardly a year ago, I had a totally different concept of what it meant to survive. Indeed, young New Yorkers consider survival the ability to pay your rent and eat more than packaged noodles every day. Now, Palmas definition of survival consists of just one mission: to be well again.

So, what
s her treatment exactly? On April 22, Palma underwent a lumpectomy, which removed the lump from her breast. On June 5, she froze her eggs. Later that month, Palma began taking Tamoxifen, a synthetic drug used to treat breast cancer, and one that she will have to take for the next 10 years. She also began radiation therapy on July 10, which she is set to complete by August 20. But, with her sessions running five days a week, thats a whopping total of 30 sessions. After her radiation treatment, Palma will begin ovarian suppression (a method of slowing the growth of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer), which will last two to three years. Then shell be kept under close watch for the next 10 years, which means regular check ups every three months, and regular screenings such as mammograms and MRIs. In short, her life has changed entirely. All of a sudden, your days are consumed with constant doctors appointments, procedures, treatments. And when you're not at the hospital, all you can do is think about it. Who wouldnt feel isolated and scared? Positive and inspiring thoughts can certainly be hard to come by. But Ive also found that by allowing myself to feel scared, to feel sad, to feel angry — to just feel whatever it is I need to feel — that I come out of each downward spiral feeling stronger and more inspired.

Felicity-Spencer
PHOTO: COURTESY OF FELICITY PALMA.
Because she is so young, its easy for Palma to feel alienated when it comes to finding a community of women in treatment to whom she can entirely relate. Though she is grateful for the positive attitudes and support of her tech team and the staff who delivers her treatments, Palma faces a different battle than her fellow patients. I am by far the youngest person in the radiation waiting room. Every time I walk in, I look around to see if maybe theres someone else around my age. This has been such an isolating experience, that I feel like I'm constantly seeking some sense of camaraderie and community. But it's always just me, so I try and make the best of it. 

Though she may be the only person in the treatment rooms under the age of 40, she certainly isn't facing her experience alone. Palma
s boyfriend, Spencer, has not only been her means of support, both emotionally and financially, but he, too, must take on a role that is normally reserved for older people — that of a primary caregiver. He has been my rock throughout all of this. Since my family and many of my closest friends live in California, Spencer has taken on much more than I think many caregivers in our age group do. He came with me to every single doctors appointment, helped me through every difficult decision Ive had to make, and hes now working two jobs, just to keep us afloat. This whole experience has been extremely difficult on us as a couple, and there are times when we both break down and arent sure how the hell we got here, nor where the hell were going. But hes been by my side since the beginning, and has been just so unbelievably selfless, kind, and loving. I feel so lucky to have him.

Unsurprisingly, cancer tends to take a toll on Palma
s stay-positive spirit, so we had to wonder: How do you get to a happy place? What's the silver-linings playbook, if you will? Sometimes what can be positive and inspiring one day doesnt always have the same effect another day. The most important thing for me has been feeling supported and loved by my family, community, and medical team. Gardening on my rooftop, yoga, and going to therapy where we practice meditation have all also been super necessary to keeping myself calm and collected. Educating myself on the topic of breast cancer has also been incredibly helpful in feeling confident and empowered. That quote from Sun Tzu has so much meaning to me right now: 'If you know your enemy and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. 

Though Palma may feel her plans for working in womens rights have been put on hold, her experience is an opportunity to educate young women on breast cancer, and how to keep an eye out. Shes also seeking to debunk naive notions about cancer that likely exist among 20-somethings. "Lots of people seem to think that just because active treatment is over, that cancer is over. It doesn't work that way. Once diagnosed, you are always at risk for recurrence. Cancer is a lifelong fight, no matter how bad you got it, and the physical and emotional rollercoaster that it puts you on doesnt just go away in the blink of an eye. We imagine this is especially difficult for younger patients who have to cope with the idea of returning to a normal way of life post-treatment. 

Palma also hopes her story helps to amplify the resources made available to women with breast cancer, both in education and support. 
It's straight-up bull shit that the number of young women being diagnosed has tripled in the last 10 years. Yet, since we are still such a minority of diagnoses (two to three percent of all breast cancer diagnoses are under 30), there are so few resources for us out there. I would go onto blogs or community boards or whatever, and I just couldnt connect to the language that a lot of people use. So much of whats out there is fear-based and can seriously make you go crazy. Im not into that. If all we do is talk about the scary shit, how the hell are we, as a community of breast cancer warriors/survivors/thrivers/whateveryouwannacallus, supposed to get through this? Of course, Palma defaults to the perfect attitude here: humor. Cancer f---ing sucks. But we also want to be able to laugh, and to believe that we can pull through this. Thats where the humor comes in. Youve got to be able to laugh at cancer in its face.

09 September 2013

[spiritseptember] repost: keeping it clean

Image courtesy of justraisethebar.com
Greetings from Texas! I'm in the middle of some really powerful and inspiring leadership training here, so as I mentioned previously, I don't have the time to write. However, this morning when I discovered an oil stain on my Lululemon hot yoga sticky mat (had a bit of a toiletry spill in my luggage), I found this article and thought it could be helpful to any of you out there who also practice yoga. I found this article on myyogalife.com, and it was written by a yoga instructor named Lauren Rudick.
Lauren Rudick is an international yoga instructor based out of Montreal, Canada. She teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, Power flow and yoga for hockey players at workshops and retreats both at home and abroad. Her classes are infused with humor and positivity, helping students build confidence on and off the mat. In her downtime, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, beaching, arts n’ crafting, eating and snuggling her puppy Julius.
My yoga mat is like my second home. I’ve slept on it, cried on it, learned and loved on it. It has been with me in parks, decks, on concrete, to studios, and has even traveled cross-continent with me.  
Just like our homes, keeping your yoga mat pristine for the long haul takes a bit of maintenance and effort. So here’s the big question: How do you clean your yoga mat and how often should you do it?
For hot yoga practitioners, it is a good idea to give your mat a misting with a tea tree oil solution or an organic mat spray after each use, especially if the mat itself doesn’t have built in anti-microbial properties. [Note: Lululemon's The Mat does, in fact, have them. I found this out via this article.]
If your mat has dirty spots on it or an odor, a more thorough cleaning is necessary. For pesky spots, you can use lemon juice and baking soda diluted in water with a terrycloth towel to rub out the stains. Most mats are machine washable, so you can throw it in a cycle by itself with a tad of mild detergent. When my yoga mat gets really dirty, I lay it on the floor of my bathtub, rub it down with a washcloth, and some gentle soap. Then I turn on the showerhead and watch brown water wash down the drain. It always surprises me just how much sludge comes off!
Remember, your bare skin and face are touching your mat during your practice, so it is best to use eco-friendly, skin-friendly, and non-abrasive cleaners. Also of note, is that the soles of your feet and cheeks (both posterior and facial) touch your mat as well. Don’t just keep your mat clean; keep your body clean before stepping even into Tadasana. I always wash my hands and often my feet before practice. I keep baby wipes with me in my mat bag so that I can give my feet a good wipe down when I am on the go. The ritual of cleansing ensures not only that my mat stays cleaner but also that I am not picking up any unwanted germs I’ve collected along the way to my yoga space. 
Having a clean mat makes a yoga practice all the more inviting. Wipe down, wash up, spray on, scrub off and keep bending!

05 September 2013

[spiritseptember] good morning


I wasn’t necessarily planning on posting today, but after such an amazing morning, I just have to.
Image from seekthingsabove.wordpress.com
Yesterday was a lower-energy day. It felt like everyone I knew was particularly struggling by last night, and though I released a number of prayers into the Universe yesterday, I really needed some rest overnight. Slept in till 11am, and while that usually frustrates me because it makes me feel like I’ve robbed myself of my morning (mornings have become sacred for me and I’ll tell you why in a moment), today I awoke with a sense of peace. “Oh well,” I said to myself. “I must have needed the sleep.” (I did.)

So rather than rushing to the bathroom to wash up and start my day, I felt called to take it easy and devote some time to nurture my soul today. I began with my Morning Pages, which is a concept I am eternally grateful to have learned from business mentor Kris Britton: Every day since she coached me over the phone (she lives in Vancouver) in the beginning of August, I get up earlier than usual to devote 15 minutes purely to journaling. 
This is actually my journal, after I had done a goals exercise by Tony Robbins. :)
I LOVE these handmade journals by Poetic Earth!
I get one every summer at Printer's Row Lit Fest.
Rather than this journaling be like what I used to do when I was a teen or young adult rambling on about whatever (and sure, there’s some of that too), I have tweaked the practice to become a spiritual habit, writing a sort of ongoing conversation with God, or the Universe (whatever you want to call it). Every day, I begin this way, and it’s become indispensible to my daily life. It’s different from journaling at night, because at nighttime you become so focused on going to bed that it becomes sort of a chore and so easy to just brush off for “later.”

But to begin the day with a conversation with the divine, I find that I can get off my chest any troubles I have on my mind, set my intentions and goals, and I can ask the Universe for help. I feel like this practice has changed the way I live my life because not only does it set the tone for my day with humility, faith, and honesty, but it has brought in so many blessings. “Ask and you shall receive,” indeed! I’ve become so hooked on the journaling that even in times of stress during the day or afternoon, I’ll add Evening Pages. It helps me release whatever is blocking me, and it’s fascinating to watch anger and frustration turn into a gentler, loving progression. 

Anyway, rather than stopping at the Morning Pages today, I finished my 15 minutes, and played some relaxing music so I could give meditation a try. Meditation has always been one of those “should dos” in my life, but because of my active monkey mind (not a good thing), I’ve always found it nearly impossible. I’ve gotten a lot of advice regarding meditation in the past and I plan to write a post devoted strictly to the practice, but later -- because I only started with five minutes today. (Hey, I was being realistic.)
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After the meditation, I played different relaxing music so I could go back to my bed, get comfortable (not too comfortable), and read Om for the Mom for 30 minutes. The experience of reading this book is interesting because I actually know the author and co-author (officially, editor). As I said previously, the author is the big sister of my best friend Sarah, so reading this book is like getting to know them better. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway, I concluded my reading with one of the breathing exercises included in the book, to take 40 slow, intentional, and deep breaths in and out of my nose.

Breath, by the way, is quite literally a vital component to our bodies and our lives. I’m going to write on that in more depth, again, later.

After this slow morning of just “me time,” I feel SO serene and wonderful. So much so that I rushed over to my laptop as soon as the practice concluded, and began to share this with you.

As much as any or all of this can sound kind of hokey, I want this post to give you permission to try out any spiritual practices and/or morning rituals for yourself. Try it on, reflect, see how it fits. No one has to know, anyway -- what you do during your “me time” and while getting in touch with the divine is only between you and God. I’m only sharing with you because it’s Spirit September and I feel so amazing.

What do you do to start your day? Have you ever tried journaling first thing? Or meditation? Share in the comments below!

To our healing,

04 September 2013

[spirit september] repost: works like a charm


I came across this article in Mind Body Green, and it was so lovely I just had to repost it to share with you.
A bit about the author: Shelly Bullard is a student and teacher of Love. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA#51081) turned Love Coach. She believes romantic relationships are the way in which we spiritually transform. Our most profound growth comes from evolving through issues that arise in relationships, leading us to a deeper sense of joy, connection, and fulfillment in love. Shelly's purpose in life is to guide people through this process.
There are some people who just have it. You know, that thing . . .
They illuminate a room. Eyes follow them. The spotlight naturally and effortlessly is drawn to them.  
What’s their secret? I know, and I’m going to tell you.  
It’s called soul. 
People who embody soul are irresistible. Seriously irresistible. Like, I-can’t-take-my-eyes-off-you irresistible. Uh-huh, it’s that good. 
Soulful individuals are always being pursued. People flock to them. They look good, they feel good; they’ve got that thing
Guess what? You can have that thing, too. In fact, you already have it. You just have to tap in and let it shine. That’s what this article is going to teach you to do. 
Here are four easy steps to embody your soul and light up a room. Get ready to turn some heads. 
1. Center.
The quality of being centered is strong and peaceful, assured and graceful, aligned and free. 
It feels heavenly to be around centered people because these qualities are so desirable to us. They also aren’t the norm. 
We live in a fast-paced, frazzled world, so being a pillar of peace is an oasis in a very dry desert. If you flow with grace and ease, no doubt people will be drawn to flow with you.
So how do you do it? 
Easy. You practice. 
Whether it’s meditation (focus on your breath), mindfulness (focus on the now), or just paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, these practices will lead you to embody a sense of calm and ease. 
People will take note. It’s a slight shift with a big impact. Train yourself to be here now and watch how others respond to your aura of grace.
2. Be grateful. 
The reason gratitude is paramount in attracting others is because it aligns you with a state of abundance. Abundance overflows -- it wants to share. When you’re overflowing with good vibes, others will flock by your side. 
Think about it. How does it feel to be around people who are grateful, people who are happy, free-spirited, and gracious? Pretty nice, right? 
Gratitude overflows. It’s light, joyful, and yummy. When you feel grateful, you become one with this delectable energy; it’s an absolute people magnet! 
Embody your soul by getting your gratitude on. Relish all the beautiful things you encounter during your day, feel it before you go to sleep, and be thankful whenever possible. This practice will greatly increase your personal magnetism, guaranteed. 
3. Live your truth. 
People with that thing have confidence. Not inflated confidence; not narcissism. It’s a deep confidence. Faith.
They know what they want, and they know that they’re going to get it. This type of unwavering conviction is extremely attractive to us because it’s what we all want, too.
We all want to know. We all want to be certain. We all want to believe. Therefore, those who live in this manner are utterly irresistible to us. 
When someone speaks with conviction, we listen. We may not like what they're saying, but we'll listen. Conviction draws a crowd. 
Guess what? You have conviction, too. You may not be aware of it, but you do. It comes in the form of your intuition, your higher self, your truth. 
There's a voice that lives inside you; it’s not in your head, it’s in your heart. When you listen to this voice you'll be guided in the direction you’re supposed to go. And as life unfolds the way you want as a result of listening to this voice, you'll have found your truth. 
There’s nothing more captivating than a person on their path. Listen to what the real you has to say, then follow through. People will always be drawn to you as a result to being true to yourself.
4. LOVE.   
Love. Just love
Love your city. Love your home. Love your food. Love your dreams. Love your people. Love. 
Love the things that are easy to love, and stretch to love the things that aren’t. 
When you love fearlessly, you beam. You’re a light in the storm. You’re a smile in the crowd. You’re a breath of fresh air.
Love is that thing
Involve your heart in all that you do and people won’t be able to take their eyes off you.  
Make a commitment right now to embody your soul -- to be the most irresistible version of you. Center, feel grateful, live your truth and love your heart out, and you will, without a shadow of a doubt, become a magnet to everyone who has the privilege of basking in your light. 
Please leave a comment below to tell us how you plan on embodying your soul today. Remember, we all benefit from your shine.
Great article, right?!
To our healing,


03 September 2013

spirit september


Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day!

My best friend Sarah’s big sister Vanessa recently launched an awesome new book called Om for the Mom, which I began reading Saturday night. I find texts on spirituality that are somewhat separate from religion to be particularly delicious. It isn’t anything against religion -- this is simply true for me; I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I simply don’t resonate with religious dogmas.

I’ve lived my life as a personal exploration and journey guided by fiercely independent experience -- through inspired conversations, reading, and education, I’ve made peace with my ability to have a spiritual existence without having to necessarily take part in a community to do so. If this bothers you somehow, that’s okay. (You may want to take a break from following my September posts, though.) If this is cool with you, I invite you with me on this exploration this month.

Vanessa’s book launch party was an amazing event, kicking off with a packed introductory kundalini yoga class upon a gorgeous, tranquil rooftop terrace overlooking the city. I’m no stranger to yoga, as you know, but I’d never known or experienced kundalini yoga, so it was awesome.

I’ve invited the instructor of that intro class to guest write a post for you in case you, too, are unfamiliar with this sect of yoga -- so stay tuned!

While on my mat that evening, I had a moment of divine inspiration visit me: Spirit September.
Image borrowed from About.com
Don’t roll your eyes! Self-image Month and Food Month lacked desired momentum, but third time’s the charm!

Next weekend, actually, I’ll be heading to the cabins at Haven of Hope in Texas where my jewelry company is based for an exclusive business leadership retreat. While the company is not Christian (let me point out that a company cannot be Christian), it was founded on Biblical principles, so there are certainly Christian undertones at events held by the company. Undertones may be an understatement, actually, as it can be somewhat overt -- but regardless, as I’ve said, I’m pretty misaligned with religion, but I’m totally cool with the principles behind it, which is why I’m fine with this.

However, I do plan to start each day I am at the retreat with yoga and meditation. I can’t promise to fit in blogging time during the retreat (in fact, I’d be surprised if I did), but I will absolutely keep myself accountable via Instagram (if you haven’t been following me there by now, get yourself over there!) and with a post after I return to Chicago.

I have a pass to go to a kundalini class as well, and this month is going to be about supercharging my yoga practice as well as reading. You can anticipate a lot about yoga, kundalini or otherwise, meditation, and inner strength exercises.

If you aren’t familiar with Gabrielle Bernstein, the “spiritual junkie” (she clearly is a kundalini yogini as well), she is awesome. Friends with two of my “faraway mentors” (I have many of these -- most of whom I’ve never even seen in person), Marie Forleo and Mastin Kipp, Gabrielle has been through much unrest in her life before she found her spirituality -- and eventually found herself with Forleo and Kipp on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday! Check out her TED talk:





At the beginning of the year, I grabbed a copy of her new book May Cause Miracles, which is amazing. It’s a 40-day guide, and at that point I hadn’t employed my daily journaling practice (more on that very soon), so I haven’t yet been through the full 40 days with exercises. However, I highly recommend the read, and if you’d like to preface it with an introduction, pick up a copy of Spirit Junkie, too.

Gabby is super-active on Instagram, too.
The most palatable part of her spiritual work is the way that she uses plain English to communicate her philosophies (rather than the confusing way other spiritual texts can read). Some people who are perhaps looking for something more dry and more “expected” have a problem with her casual, “hip” tone, but I think if you like reading what I write, you’ll do fine with what she does.

The reason why I think spirituality is so important to touch upon on the blog is because I truly believe it is the basis of healing from brain injury: Your body no longer responds the same way as it used to, and a lot of pain comes from this experience. Somehow, some way, you must find hope in what seems hopeless, and you have to piece your life back together and not only survive, but thrive, no matter what.

There is no improvement without tapping into that part of yourself that is stronger than your body, the real essence of YOU. As they often say, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience.” Once you learn to derive strength from your spirit rather than from your body -- realizing that you are not your body, or even your brain -- then you will begin to access your real power. It becomes a self-sustaining cycle, and it is thanks to this power that you can bring your healing process to new levels.

Are you as pumped as I am? Follow the blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and hashtag #spiritseptember to stay in the conversation. As always, I invite you to leave your comments and interact with me on any of the above -- as well as e-mail.

How has spirituality played a role in your journey?

To our healing,

01 September 2013

rabbit, rabbit

Background image from wallpapersus.com
The other day, I turned to Anthony and confessed, “I’m feeling disappointed in myself.”

The reason for this, I think, is obvious. I keep setting these blogging goals that I dont meet, and I think this communicates messages to my audience that are simply untrue. Though I post far less often than Ive promised, I am constantly thinking up future post topics, and I still love my purpose behind this blog.

I'm sorry if youve been a loyal follower and youve been disappointed by the inconsistency of my more recent posts. The truth is, I still struggle quite a bit with time mastery. Since mid-July after I went to the UPW, I've managed to turn a lot of things in my life around -- but time management is my final frontier. (Believe me, this comes up constantly, since it affects pretty much every area of your life.)

So to make up for the fact that Food Month consisted of a measly couple articles (kudos to my wonderful guest writers) and some scattered Facebook articles and Instagram photos, I will post the food articles I neglected to write in August this month (like, seriously). The thing is -- and I feel sheepish that I have to remind myself of this since I preach this all the time -- that its not going to happen unless its scheduled in, just like a workout. Im finally getting a hang of the other writing assignments Ive got each week, so now Ill have to wiggle in some Rehab Revolution writing hours into my schedule.

That said, whos looking forward to an amazing September?  I'm excited because its the start of autumn, which I prefer to summer -- the milder temperatures, the beautiful colors, and my favorite fashion season!! Im writing you from beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Anthony and I are spending the holiday weekend with his family. (Theres actually no wifi at the lake house, but I'm determined to publish this on the first!)

Im always rambling on about the importance of enjoying your exercise by incorporating the outdoors and nature, so I'm excited to share with you Anthonys new blog! (Yes, I set it up for him.) Hes quite different from me in writing style and the focus of his blog is really to share his findings out and about -- like bugs. But because Ill be helping him out, I hope it will turn into something enjoyable for bug and the common nature enthusiast alike. Check it out at antortheexplorer.blogspot.com.

To our healing,