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THE ANTIDOTE TO YOUR SELF SUFFICIENCY SYNDROME

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THE ANTIDOTE TO YOUR SELF SUFFICIENCY SYNDROME

"BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN IS A TRIBE OF OTHER SUCCESSFUL WOMEN WHO HAVE HER BACK." 
 


Do you have a weekly to-do list?

I have a gargantuan appreciation for mine: it forges my path for the week; it keeps me focussed; it holds me accountable.

So when something on my to-do list isn't getting done, I have a few questions I like to ask myself:


Am I procrastinating?

Am I resistant to something?

Am I uninspired?

Is the timing not right?



So, when I told my mastermind group that I wanted to create a new program during our final meeting of 2017, I was expecting things move along as they usually would.  

With the new year ahead, I felt inspired. 

However, for a reason unbeknownst to me, the months kept passing and this program was not getting it's weekly check off my to-do list and I could not figure out what was holding me back.

A couple months later, my business coach and I sat at my kitchen table over a cup of yerba mate and some spring tulips. She had come over to interview me for her podcast on women entrepreneurs and motherhood.

During the recording she asked: "Aren't you about to launch a new program?".  Although I still felt somewhat wobbly on when, I quickly responded with a definitive "YES! Yes I am." 

This was my faith it till you make it moment.

Finally, this summer I hunkered down for a 15 hour plane ride home from Bali. Somewhere between Guam and Hawaii, whilst the plane was dark and sleepy, it came to me––a new (and improved) version of this program.

Sometimes, we have to trust the process. 

Last week I wrote to you about an epidemic I call "Self Sufficiency Syndrome" (Read part 1 here: Are You Part Of The Epedemic?), and today I am thrilled to be fulfilling this personal and professional mission in announcing The Antidote To YOUR Self Sufficiency Syndrome:

 

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LOTUS LEADERSHIP
A YEAR-LONG HOLISTIC LEADERSHIP MENTORING PROGRAM
 

I created my business, Boulder Nutrition, over 15 years ago from the ground up. Since then I have grown a successful and sustainable business and I have lead over 20 local and international retreats. I am excited to share what I have learned in holistic business and leadership with you!


Lotus Leadership is a soulful, empowered, nourishing and supportive approach to business, leadership, aligned action and self-care.


Through our private coaching and masterminding Lotus Leadershipwill offer you a road map that guides you to rise in your leadership and create a sustainable business and life you are passionate about. Through this program you will learn to:
 

  • Develop and focus your attention and energy on the mission of your business and leadership.

 

  • Create a healthy rhythm, map your goals and navigate your time and energy sustainably.

 

  • Align your core values with your business and leadership.  

 

  • Elevate yourself and others to rise in full potential.

 

...and so much more!

 

{BONUS: The first 10 women to join will also receive access to The Yoga Of Eating Online Program f ($597 value) and a discount to one of my international retreats ($200 value).}


 

   


You don't have to do this alone. I am thrilled to share this journey with you.


With love...

 







Photo :: Om Light Photography

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ARE YOU PART OF THE EPIDEMIC?

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ARE YOU PART OF THE EPIDEMIC?

"ONE WOMAN CAN CHANGE ANYTHING. MANY WOMEN CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING."
 


I have a Q for you to A...

 

Do you ever feel like you do it all yourself?


Whether it be running your household, taking care of your kids, managing your business or taking care of everybody else but yourself (or all of the above), you are likely part of a major epedemic..


I call it self sufficiency syndrome (SSS).


The reason I want to talk to you about this is simple: I too, am in full SSS recovery and oh boy, it's a doozy. 


For manyH E L P is a four letter word.

 

You know you have SSS if:

 

  • You have a hard time asking for help
  • You would rather do everything yourself so that it gets done "right"
  • You are an inherent people pleaser to your core
  • You chronically find yourself exhausted with too much on your plate



While you may be thinking "I can't always control my life circumstances," what I want to tell you today is that what you can control is how you respond to them.


You can do anything, if you stop trying to do everything.


Asking for help, delegating and leaning in to support and trust have been a challenging yet monumental practice for me in my personal and professional life. As with any of my deep internal work, I have learned so much about myself in the process


I have also felt uncomfortable, tentative and extremely vulnerable.


Don't get me wrong, self-sufficiency can be a blessing––but not when we are left burnt out, fried, overwhelmed and exhausted.


Gathering support, in whatever form we need, is an important ingredient for our health and our happiness.  


So today, I want to introduce you to some of the pinacle support in my life: the wonderful, innovative, smart and savvy women, who have joined forces with me, so that I can stop trying to do everything by myself


...because I have learned, it takes a tribe.


You may have seen them if you follow me on Instagram, as they have been doing some fun and informative #instatakeovers. You may have met them if you have joined (or will be joining) me on any of my local or international retreats. You may have even tried out one of their recipe creations from the Boulder Nutrition recipe page.


Either way, each of these three women have become an integral part of my business and I am incredibly grateful for the work we are creating together. 

 

MEET THE BOULDER NUTRITION TEAM:

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Alana Quattro :: Retreat Assistant

Alana is a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a yoga instructor and natural baker.  Alana's passion lies in the combination of yoga and nutrition to help women heal negative body image and disordered eating. She brings a bright light and loving heart to many of our retreats.  
(@alanarenewellness)

 

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Kristine Mahan :: Assistant Program Coordinator

Kristine is in school for her Master Nutrition Therapist degree in Denver. She’s an advocate for functional health care and believes that your whole history is part of your health story. In practice, she wants to specialize in gut health while teaching others the importance of agricultural sustainability and how to properly prepare food for optimal nutrition.
(@kristinemahan)


 

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Olivia Hagen :: Recipe Manager

Olivia is a science student at CU, with a passion for healthy food and movement, on the path to her masters degree in Holistic Nutrition. She comes from a huge family of foodies and loves to create and test the Boulder Nutrition recipes
(@mama_alis_cookin)




Back to you!

 

If you want to create a healthy and happy life, you need support too. 



Here are a few questions for you to ponder:
 

...Where do you feel supported in your life?

...Where are you overwhelmed, exhausted or feeling alone?

...What is one baby step you can take this week to build your tribe?



I would love to hear your responses. Scroll down to comment section and join the conversation.
 

 

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Photo :: Om Light Photography

 

 

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THE ONE THING ALL WOMEN HAVE IN COMMON

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THE ONE THING ALL WOMEN HAVE IN COMMON

FIND WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING AND CREATE YOUR OWN MUSIC


MAC ANDERSON



In the spirit of Mother's Day weekend I have a question for you:  When was the last time you were exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out or totally fried?

(Raise your hand if it was just the other day!)

I talk to women (and men) everyday who feel like they are simply juggling too many things, doing too much, or trying to please too many people. Somedays, I too am one of those women. 

It's an epidemic of our time.

Most women (and men) have a very hard time carving out time for themselves: for downtime, for rest, for passion and play.

Mother's Day is a very interesting day for many of us. Some of us feel celebratory, some of us feel alone, some of us have lost our mothers, some of us have always wanted to become a mother. Some of us have lost a child. 

While I could write to you about all the gestures you could fashion for your mother this year, or all the recipes you could prepare for Mother's Day brunch, I feel I would be glossing over the pain, grief and even exhaustion that many of us feel.

Here's what I am more curious about this year:
 

 

HOW DO YOU 'MOTHER' YOURSELF THROUGH IT ALL?

 

While most of us (whether we are mothers or not) tend to take care of everyone else first – our families, our pets, our jobs, our friends – are you willing to dedicate some time just for YOU this Mother's Day (even if it feels uncomfortable and a tad selfish)?

... If you experience something challenging around Mother's Day, this is especially for you.
 

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF?
 


Mothering ourselves can look like many, many things:

Taking a personal day
Saying "NO"
Taking long walks to smell the spring flowers
Getting body work done
Going on a retreat (Join Us HERE)
Napping
Getting your nails done
Asking for help
Forest bathing
Making your favorite food
Getting your house cleaned
Taking long aromatherapy baths
Buying fresh spring flowers for yourself
Drinking tea in a garden
Buying a new outfit
Going out on a girl's night
Creating art
Journaling
Meditation
Listening to your heart


...the list goes on.


Take a moment.  Contemplate.  Ask your heart and soul.  



WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOURSELF THIS MOTHER'S DAY? (DON'T BE SHY)
 


Just for fun I thought I would include my most favorite mother yourself meditation. This piece has touched me so deeply and brought me to tears over and over again these past 20 years or so.  Today, I am excited to share it with you! (click below to listen)

With warmest spring wishes for you and yours...

 


Photo by @the_sunkissed_kitchen

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HOMEMADE COCONUT {SOAKED} GRANOLA

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HOMEMADE COCONUT {SOAKED} GRANOLA

HOMEMADE COCONUT (SOAKED) GRANOLA

 

With the first signs of fall, I am immediately drawn into my kitchen.  Roasting is one of the cooking styles I often associate with the weather changing and first signs of autumn.  

 

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This particular recipe is just delicious with late summer peaches and strawberries on top, or even the early signs of apple season.

 

Why soaked?  When we soak our grains and nuts, it breaks down the enzyme inhibitors that tend to make digestion a bit more work on the body (great if you are healing your digestion) and in this particular recipe, the oats are soaked in a mix of yogurt and coconut oil which also begins the fermentation of the grain, adding in the potent probiotics that aid in digestion, boost the nutrient density of our food and build immunity for the coming season change.

 

The nuts in this particular recipe are also soaked and roasted (play with which nuts you want to include), which is optional but well worth the effort.  You can find out how to soak and roast your nuts HERE.

 

The extra little bit of sea salt mixed with the sweet flavors of raw honey and cinnamon are such a favorite combination of mine. I hope you enjoy this yummy recipe as much as I do.  

 

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Try it with any variety of milk, or yogurt, or just as an on the go snack.

 

 

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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

 

 

“Spice your food with love,
and it pleases every palate”
-Plautus

 

“In my family, we always say ‘the spicier the better.’ That’s why we included two of our favorite ingredients in today’s green smoothie. While by now you know we are chocolate lovers, and that there are many medicinal and pleasure based qualities to chocolate, try kicking it up with yet another superfood – cayenne pepper.

 

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My son Elijah used to work for an organic farm where every fall they would harvest their cayenne peppers. One of Elijah’s jobs was to grind the dried peppers down to make them into the spice many of us know and love.  

 

Elijah would come home after long days at the farm working in greenhouse, grinding cayenne pepper, feeling better than ever. He would tell me his sinuses never felt clearer, and he thought of this process as a cleanse for his whole body and mind.  

 

We still have his homegrown cayenne pepper in our spice cupboard, and every time I use it I think of how elevated he felt as he ground it up for our cooking.”        

 

Health Fact: Cayenne pepper has many many health benefits, along with making a lot of foods taste yummy.

 

One of our favorites is how cayenne pepper (capsicum) boosts our metabolism and invigorates our energy. Cayenne pepper also boosts immunity, especially in the lungs and sinuses, making it a great remedy for the common colds and flus.

 

Cayenne is wonderfully detoxifying, good for circulation, and as my dear dad says: “cleans the blood.” Cayenne pepper can be used as a digestive support, including alleviating gas, bloating, and indigestion.



 

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CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

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CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

with Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing

 

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This beautiful dish is a sneak peek into some of the nourishing meals we'll be serving at The Yoga of Eating Retreat this weekend!  It's a fresh, crunchy combination of romaine lettuce, yellow peppers, jicama, and radishes, topped with toasted chipotle pepitas, cilantro, scallions and a creamy avocado dressing.  So good - and so good for you. 

 

 

Fall is upon us! And with it comes amazing seasonal produce, like peppers, radishes, and tomatoes.  

 

 

Peppers are a colorful way to spice up any dish. This recipe uses yellow bell peppers for a pop of color and sweetness.  They're also a great source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, to support your immune system going into the colder weather.

 

 

Radishes add a different kind of kick, with a refreshing and crisp spiciness to them.  They're full of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been found to specifically support the cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation.  Radishes are also a great detox food, as they help purify the blood and eliminate toxins. 

 

 

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We can't forget about the tomatoes this time of year.  These bright orange cherry tomatoes are the perfect sweet addition to this recipe.  Lycopene is a special antioxidant in tomatoes that benefits the eyes and heart while reducing the risk of cancer and orange tomatoes may actually contain more of this nutrient than red ones.

 

 

The Yoga of Eating Retreat is about connecting the gap between your food, mind, body, and spirit.  Meals like this Chopped Fiesta Salad help us do just that.  Get the recipe below and enjoy the rise of fall!

 

 

Recipe and Photos from Ailsa Cowell at Food to Feel Good

 

 

 

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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

"FALL IN LOVE WITH TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF"

 

The trees on my neighborhood street are utterly glowing with the reds and oranges of fall. I often find myself staring out the window or walking through the neighborhood, watching the leaves fall one by one.  

 


Nature's glow is similar to the inner glow that I feel at this time of year. The warming colors of orange, gold and crimson feel somewhat therapeutic.

 



For me, it's the little moments of presence and gratitude that makes the season of Fall so majestic. 



So today, in the spirit of the changing seasons and the majesty of watching nature let go, I thought we could take a little stroll together through the fall leaves, looking at some of the important qualities of the changing season that can lend themselves to our strength, vitality and nourishment.  



In this week's episode of SATIATE {my new podcast}, you will find some supportive and inspiring tips to bring with you as you stroll through the fall leaves towards your health and happiness:
 

  • Learn the energetic qualities of Fall

 

  • Listen to some recommendations around how to best nourish yourself at this time of year.

 

  • Deepen you understanding of Fall's complimentary organ: how to take the best care for immunity, strength and optimal health.

 

  • Check out some of my favorite self-care and nourishment practices for this season.

 


 




AND/OR


 



Interested in more?  Our upcoming retreat, EAT. BREATHE. NOURISH. in Nosara, Costa Rica (November 8-15th) is a deep dive into the wisdom of our bodies, our authentic relationships to food, health, happiness, and how to fine-tune this relationship with baby steps, practice, gentleness and growth. We have a few spots left.  View all the details HERE.


I hope these reflections help you on your quest, and if you have any comments, thoughts, questions, or anything to add, feel free to reply.  I love hearing from you. 

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

"THE AUTHENTIC SELF IS THE SOUL MADE VISIBLE"

SARAH BREATHNACH

 


For me, fall is a beckoning to nourish, tend to myself, turn inward, and let go. Following the currents of nature in all her forms has always been one of my most supportive guidance systems.


The seasons and cyclical rhythms of nature help me in governing how I move through my life, my eating, and my daily practice. Nothing feels more wise, whole and informative to me.  
 

Shifting our relationship to food and our bodies is a windy road, one where we can find ourselves lost, with no cell phone reception.


There were many times in my life when I was very confused about my eating.


One that stands out was circa 2001. Ironically, I was immersed in my masters program, studying nutrition – a typical time to get confused. The majority of my studies took place during what I referred to as my nap time empire, back in the day when naps still existed in my house.


I remember a very specific moment while sitting at my desk, Ari tucked away for a nap and Elijah down the street at pre-school: As I eagerly leafed through yet another nutrition book on my required reading list, I noticed that this very book contradicted the previous one.  


After sitting in this new confusion for a while, thinking to myself: "Which one am I going to pick? What will I suggest to my soon to be clients? How do I stand by one way, when there are so many?"


Weeks passed while I was stuck on this crux and it meant everything to me. Eventually, a truth struck me in one grand AHA moment:  "I don't have to choose.  Everyone has their own needs, wants and desires. There is no one way. My job is to support folks to find their way."


I know it may sound overly simplified now and I will admit those were some very sleep deprived days for me, but today I continually see this epidemic happening all around me.  


I sit in my office day after day with folks who are utterly confused. Many are choosing an eating style based on what their spouse, best friend, favorite magazine or yoga teacher is talking about. 

 


Yes, sometimes it works... but sometimes it really doesn't.  




Eating and nourishing ourselves has become one of the most complicated and confusing things we do in today's world – especially when we add in our busy, fast-paced lifestyles and the one way is the way approach that so much of the modern media is implying. 


Often we are left with guilt or hunger or exhaustion or just plain hopelessness.


I am sure, if you are like most of us, you have tried a few different things in your foodie life, as have I.  


So today, I thought we could shed some light on things that I find to be helpful in this conversation.


Here is a glance at some of the realizations I have had along the way, through my own insight, but also through observing hundreds of eaters with every kind of history under the sun, in my private practice, Boulder Nutrition.

 

These touchstones are reminders here because they are setting the table for our personal artistry of living (and eating) a soulful and pleasurable life, with our authenticity forging a new path.

 

 

Implementing authentic eating as practice is a healing tool for our health, our body image and our pleasure possibilities.

 

Living this way may look very different for each of us, as we are each totally unique and individuated in our expression of authenticity in our lives and in our eating. There is no exact formula for this genuine expression, but rather a gentle honoring in how it manifests and is embodied in each of us.  We may have to clear some cultural and social beliefs about how we think we should be, to then make space for how we truly arewith our authenticity and primal wisdom leading the way.

 

Soulful Superfood #1:

The Why's

When we flow with our natural rhythm, we create personal freedom.

 

The more we feel into the elemental cycles around us, present for all life forms on the planet, the more we can ride the waves and rhythms in ourselves. This knowing is embedded in our true nature, our cellular DNA and our innate animal wisdom.

 

Our authentic rhythms are like a current of knowledge that is already within us. We can tap in at any time.  When we allow ourselves to flow with our natural currents, we begin to see our rhythms as a gift, as spiritual freedom and as our truest nature.

 

For example, as women, our female cycles are our road map to our own empowerment and to the sacred feminine. Each of the four seasons is reflected in the bodily cycles (moon cycle) we experience each month. By tuning into our cycles of body and earth, we are able to watch the shape shifting of our energy, our sensuality, our cravings, and our pleasures and tend to them with care and devotion.

 

Within our primal and animal feminine intelligence, when we return with reverence to the natural cycles of body and earth as our primary guidance system, over time we can soothe and remedy our lives – including our moon cycle and our monthly hormonal balance our eating, and our personal care.

 

We don't have to pick one eating style or commit to one way. We can flow, groove and evolve our eating to match the other aspects of our lives.  Our eating can become fluid, freeing, and attuned with our bodies, minds and souls.

 

As we become more balanced and authentic in our eating, our renewed relationship to food and our bodies will cultivate a higher inner awareness.  We will begin to trust our (wise) cravings and make choices that are strengthening, comforting and health promoting.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #2:

The How's

I know this approach works for me personally because it feels like a great big exhale in my body.

 

As I mentioned, we all have to find our way.  I can only truly speak from my own personal experience on this one, even though I have heard many many testimonials from my clients and my online community.  

 

So when we talk about how this has worked for me, it feels like it is not even a choice at this point. My emotions surely play a big role in my appetite, my blood sugar screams loudly when not attended to, my hormones have some pretty specific requests and my creativity and inspiration in creating food, eating food, sharing food, and teaching about food are being downloaded on a daily basis.  

 

So, when I sit and breakdown how to practice authentic eating step by step, here is what comes:

 

Find a method that supports your mind-body connection

One of the most valuable tools we can hone as an eater is our mind-body connection. Building this connection is a healing tool for both our body confidence and our creating interoceptive awareness.  Our mind-body connection increases both our sensitivity to sensorial experiences in the body as well as the perception of these signals.  

There are many ways to fine-tune our mind-body connections.  Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Incorporate downtime for reflection and rest (electronic free) each day.
  • Spend some time in nature each week.
  • Practice an awareness art such as yoga, meditation, reflective journalling, tai chi, or forest bathing,
  • Create a consistent morning ritual, intention practice or gratitude practice. (even if you only have 5 min)

 

HONOR YOUR PHYSICAL HUNGER

There is a big difference between our physical hunger and our emotional hunger.  Our emotions don't have a stomach, so they can never be truly hungry or truly be satiated.  When we take a moment to check in with our body's physical hunger cues we often get a more authentic answer.  This takes a little practice.  

Stop.  Pause. Take a deep breath.  Place your hand on your stomach.  

Ask the question:  "What are you hungry for?"

If the answer has nothing to do with food (i.e.  you need a hug, a good cry, or a nap) give yourself permission to listen.

 

Slow down + LEARN WHAT FEELING SATIATED MEANS FOR YOU

Feeling full vs feeling satiated are two very different things.  In fact, the most common reason for overeating is due to not being satiated.  When were are eating out of balance for our unique bodies and our unique metabolisms, it is very hard to feel satiated.  

Satiation occurs when we are meeting our physical needs for protein, fat, and carbs, as well as taking the time and space to eat slowly and mindfully.  

{A recent study showed when eating in front of the TV, humans are known to eat up to 50% more food per meal. }

We can't navigate our hunger and satiation cues when we are distracted, checked out, or rushed.

Satiation can also mean personal fulfillment.  When we are more satiated in our daily lives, our relationships, our jobs, and our free time, we will find a more easeful relationship with our eating.

 

learn your Metabolic Type

How you feel after a cup of really strong coffee, or a sugary treat may be very different than me. How you feel after a grass fed piece of steak or a yummy bowl of vegan lentil soup might be very different than your sister.

We all have such unique body chemistries, sensitivities, likes or dislikes, histories, hormonal balances/imbalances and metabolisms that with any investigation it would only make sense that food will react in our bodies in different ways.

We can fine-tune our diets to match our unique bodies, our goals for our health, and how we want to optimize our personal metabolism and energy. 

Metabolic typing is the very complete and science based system that I use to learn how to customize nutritional needs for the individual.  This information gives us a "recipe" for how to fuel our unique body chemistries – to feel more satiated, energized, and nourished.

 

RESPECT YOUR BODY

Food is often used as a way to punish or reward ourselves (or both).  We tell ourselves we "deserve" it, when in reality the act of binging on potato chips leaves us feeling worse than when we started.  We find ourselves eating our emotions, stuffing our feelings with food, or numbing ourselves and our suffering with sugar.  

Respecting out bodies with our eating involves feeding ourselves in a way that leaves us energized, uplifted, inspired, satiated, and loved.  

 

TAP INTO THE CYCLES OF NATURE

The cycles of nature act as a wonderful backdrop for eating.  Each season is fresh with it's customized goodies, it's flavors, and it's energetics.  Within the seasons, nature goes through everything on the spectrum – from full bloom to death and decay. These are the pulsations of life.

According to Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, each season comes with a unique energetic quality, nourishment, complimentary organ, emotion and action. Synchronizing with each season’s expression is like medicine for the body, mind and soul.  

Your authenticity lies in your primal animal being which is and always has been nature.  

 

practice: The way out is always in

Take inventory and care of your inner landscape. Rather than avoiding a situation, a feeling, or a truth (which often turns into acting out in our eating) allow the space, time, and reality of the situation to move through you completely. The uncomfortable feelings will pass. Strong feelings are intimidating and even scary at times, but they also have a habit of sticking around until we face them.

We are a culture that often looks outside of ourselves for the answers. While I am a firm believer in getting the support I need, I have also found that even asking two different friends, therapists, or sisters for the same advice can lead with two very different suggestions (even opposites). Include asking yourself for advice. You know the answers. Only you know what is best for you and what aligns with you.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #3:

Reflections from the Yoga of Eating Retreat

 

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Here is a beautiful interpretation of how our authentic eating and living can really impact our health and overall life experience through the eyes of one of our Yoga of Eating retreaters. This (spontaneous) share is so beautiful and appreciated.

"On our retreat, women come from all over the country, varying in age by about 40 years. Everyone had unique reasons for coming, but despite all our different backgrounds and current life affairs, we all had some a similar goal. We all wanted to find a way to relax and find balance in our relationship with food and our bodies, by allowing ourselves this time away from everything else.
It’s sad to recognize that most of us feel pretty inadequate much of the time. There are so many demands that just pile up and up and up….it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit lost. The thing that really hit me during our talks was that we are all dealing with this same, deep burden in different ways. For some of us it’s eating disorders, for others, it’s over-working to the point of depression and exhaustion. Some of us might be able to function in the day-to-day just fine, but there is a lingering feeling that something is missing.
Taking a deeper look at our authentic feelings and how they relate to our eating patterns is totally eye-opening. We might choose to stuff ourselves with food due to a struggle with communication, by using our mouths to push everything down, instead of getting feelings out. We may use food as a shield, to hide from the world under extra weight. We may crave certain types of foods for comfort or as a distraction because we don’t know how to sit with an uncomfortable emotion.
The great news is that acknowledging these unhealthy habits is the first step towards turning them around. Being in a group of women sharing their hearts like this really makes you realize you’re not alone – we all have our shit. We all have issues. It’s how you decide to handle them that matters and nothing is set in stone.
At one point during the weekend Sue brought up the idea of flavors and how they relate to feelings or emotions. For example, spicy foods can evoke warmth and passion, and we often turn to sweet foods for comfort and love. This hit me like a lightning bolt. I realized that some days I feel like I’m giving the world 110%, I’m trying my very best to be loving and kind, but I don’t feel like the world is giving that back to me. Days like this really stress me out and get me down, and I find myself looking for comfort in sweets.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth in general and I don’t need to feel a bit blue to get a hankering. But, after really thinking about this concept for a while it makes sense that those cravings become much stronger on the days I’m in need of a little extra comfort.
Ailsa Cowell
Food to Feel Good
 

 


 

Join us for our next immersion illuminating the self-care, yogic, and food-centric aspects of the feminine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WE ARE HITTIN' THE ROAD...

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WE ARE HITTIN' THE ROAD...

"GO WHERE YOU FEEL THE MOST ALIVE" 


 

I grew up road tripping in a Country Squire Ford Station Wagon.



My father, still king of the road at almost 80 years old, loved going on family adventures on the open Canandian roads.  My parents would put down the back seats, fill the 'very back' of the wagon with pillows and blankets and off we would drive, with Willie Nelson playing on the 8-track. (I know, I just dated myself)



I used to love my turn in the front seat, with the best view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the freedom and adventure I felt as I stared (for hours) at the open road ahead.




When I look back now, especially at photos like the one I shared above (obviously I am the one on the left), I see where I still carry this early part of childhood in my DNA.  




Travelling, adventuring, and exploring many parts of the world (not limited to road trips) is still a big part of my life and my passion.  




So when the inspiration came to take Boulder Nutrition on the road, it felt like a resounding YES and perfect timing!!!  




A lot of things have changed in my life over the past few years:
 

  • Elijah, my older son moved out on his own.
  • My business has become almost 50% online and still growing.
  • I have begun leading retreats SOLO most of the time, which was a new and scary endeavor.
  • I have been able to, and loved to travel both with my amazing partner and often times, all of our kids.
  • My Boulder Nutrition Retreat schedule is full of exciting upcoming trips to beautiful places.
  • I feel ready and thrilled to spread Boulder Nutrition love to a further reach.




My life is always my teacher and the biggest inspiration for my writing and my work. 
 




Traveling and teaching on a larger scale has been a big dream of mine for many years.  So, I have been planning some travel and adventure while I share my work around the country (and world) and I am thrilled that Ari (my son) will be joining me most of the time. While I couldn't be more excited about the 'open road', I am also intent on savoring these last couple of years with him still at home–my high schooler who loves to road trip with me.



Soooooo, I wanted to let you know we will be heading out on the road (or occasionally by plane) to share my work and my message with as many folks as I can and to share some great adventures together. I will still be working in my beloved North Boulder office most weeks, but fitting in our travel schedule on weekends with the occasional longer stints.
 



Will I see you?  
 



Check out locations and dates below and let's talk about meeting up.  If your home town is not on the list, feel free to join me on one of the amazing Boulder Nutrition Retreats coming up – I would love to hang with you!!

Want to see what we are up to?  You can check us out on instagram for daily stories and updates (along with lots of free resources and recipes):

 

 

Click the icon below to follow our road trip on Instagram here:


Be sure to peruse all the details for this fall's exciting Boulder Nutrition Road Trip and Retreat schedule (local and international options available).  



PS. If you want to host me in your town, let me know!!


 


 

Take a well deserved break, share in the sisterhood, thrive through the practices of yoga, meditation, inspired living, experiential cooking, personal transformation, healing foods and self-care.


**Limited space in each workshop and retreat. Be sure to message me if you are interested. Spaces sold on a first come first serve basis.

 

" When going away is the first step towards coming home..."

 



 

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

I love to indulge on special occasions like many of us do.

Last week was my birthday, and a friend brought me some chocolate cupcakes that sat around for a few days. They were AMAZING.

I was also treated to a few lovely meals at some of Boulder's best restaurants - it was delightful!

I am definitely a foodie at heart and I was upping my pleasure meter all week long - I feel great about it.

The problem most of us struggle with isn't the special occasions, but rather our daily habits often followed by the horrible self-sabotaging + icky thoughts that follow suit.

Anything from that bowl of jolly ranchers that we walk past all day at the office, to too many cookies after dinner, to those extras that we find ourselves munching on when we are a bit tired, overwhelmed, sad or stressed.

These OH so common moments can add up to a lot when we get real with ourselves, and even worse - they often fill our thoughts with guilt and shame for days to come.  Navigating our desires can drive many of us a little crazy at times.

Nothing can match the fiery energy in our bodies that is created by pure desire.  Desire is one of the strongest forces in the universe – food and beyond.  Desire is the pure creativity, drive, passion, and pure life force pulsing through each of us.

While desire can help us stay grounded and focused on where we put our attention, it can also create illusion, lead us astray, and create more emptiness than when we started. Though the promise of fulfilling a desire always promises some kind of delight, it can also complicate and produce other areas of conflict in our lives.

We reach into the cookie jar time and time again, knowing that this temporary gratification will later leave us feeling tired, guilty and off balance.  

We indulge in that shopping spree that is truly not in our budget, to then suffer later with buyer’s remorse and feelings of regret.

We order that extra drink at dinner, and wake up the next morning tired and lethargic.

Desire seems like a good idea, but it also can feel hard to navigate and trust.

There is a different way.

When we align our inner world with our outer world, our inner self with the ways we move through our days, and the feelings we are seeking with how we choose to spend our time and energy, we attune with what I call ouraligned desire.

Aligned desire is an artful expression of who we are, our wholeheartedness, and our unique body-mind connection and purpose with what we are manifesting in the world.  When the inner and outer expressions of ourselves are in balance, we move through life with more ease and satisfaction.

Aligned desire will serve the highest good (for ourselves and others). We have to be discerning and refine ourselves. We have to look closely at our automatic behaviors and habits. We have to develop the capacity and awareness to make conscious choices when a desire arises.

Does a particular desire serve the highest part of ourselves, or are we simply, mindlessly perpetuating some habit that actually shadows our being?

Aligned desire breathes vitality into our own fulfillment from the inside out.  Aligned desire acknowledges and honors the challenges past while energizing us and making us the master of our own destiny.

When used wisely, aligned desire is ‘superfood’ for our souls.

 

Solstice Session #5: Make Peace with Your Plate

(Join me LIVE)

In this LIVE Solstice Session you will learn the solutions to these common foodie fears:

  • Foodie fear#1:  If you listen to your body, she will lead you down the wrong path, your desires are complicated and you cannot trust them.
  • Foodie fear #2:  There is so much to do.  You don’t have time for self-care, feeding yourself well, making you your #1, feeding yourself well is impossible.
  • Foodie fear #3:  You can’t even remember that last time you were able to love your body, especially around your eating, you feel hopeless.

 

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

This is our last week where I have been sharing with you therich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions. (you can access the previous Solstice Sessions HERE)These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we embrace the darkest nights of the year together, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work,THE YOGA OF EATING 2017that begins January 30th.  (registration is open).

Check out the details below.THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month course and community to heal your relationship to food and your body.Webegin January 30th, 2017.

 


 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer, and a way to work with me personally, while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

 

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If this is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide you to deep healing from the inside out.

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 


 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

 

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering withLululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store – 29th St Mall Boulder CO All the details HERE

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND...

During January, in all 5 classes, we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.


 

About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

I have been in deep reflection for the past 3 weeks.  Today marks the end of my visioning process that happens yearly for me between the winter solstice and my birthday.  

It feels particularly auspicious to write to you today – a full moon, my 45th birthday, and a time when my gratitude for my readership and for my business is something I feel so deeply.

The past three weeks  for me have included:

  • Acknowledging my successes and challenges of 2016
  • Visioning and dreaming of what is to come
  • Looking at some deeper, inner currents that I would love to explore
  • Setting my new goals and intentions for 2017 from the inside out
  • Getting very excited about my upcoming projects, retreats, travels, and creativity

It’s a dynamic process that has come with both the groovy feelings of inspiration and success, along with seeing where I still want to make certain changes, break though old patterns, and dig a little deeper to find what’s underneath it all.

We all have habits and patterns that we would like to change.  The New Year often brings these into the light, to shine some awareness on where we would like to make improvements, take better care of ourselves, work smarter not harder, and live healthy vibrant lives.

The problem is, change is incredibly hard.

So often we are fixed upon changing our ways – our eating, our exercise, our spending, our over extending, our people pleasing, and our lives in many ways, big and small.

As we see from the broken New Year's resolution phenomenon, people rarely change these patterns. 

It has been found that only 8% even make it past mid-January with attempting new ways before they give up completely.

This New Year's phenomenon is most often because we are simply looking at the behavior - the behavior that is a reaction or response to something deeper.  Our automatic behaviors are so often coping skills for our old, original, core wounding.

Feeling the pain, sadness, anger, disappointment, let down, abandonment, or inadequacy of our core wounding is often very uncomfortable.

  • What is underneath your overeating?
  • What is underneath your over spending?
  • What is underneath your sugar addiction?
  • What is underneath your reclusing?
  • What is underneath your drinking too much?
  • What is underneath your self-sabotaging?

The New Year comes, and we look at all of these behaviors, and think…something has to change.

The problem is, there is so much underneath  these behaviors that we are most often missing.

When we address the core issue (which takes a little bit of investigating), we are able to begin healing that wound.  These core wounds are usually pretty old, deep, and complex.

Core wounds are almost always a bit tender, raw and uncomfortable and most of us go to extremes to avoid feeling uncomfortable. 

Solstice Session #4: How to Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

 

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

  • How to identify the core wound that is leading you to these unwanted behaviors
  • What to do when you find it (for real)
  • How to get really comfortable being uncomfortable
  • + Some super specific ways to get support

When the wind was howling through Boulder Sunday night, I restlessly laid in bed, but just could not fall asleep.  I had spent a good part of the day journalling, asking, and inquiring into my own personal blocks.  Not only was I steeped in my own inner dialogue that was revealing some truths about where I get stuck, but my house was literally shaking in the wind.

The whole night felt pretty surreal.

While my sleep was not happening, and my mind was doing a bit of looping around one particular area where I often get stuck, there was something that was also occurring along side what felt was a hard night...

Something I did earlier that day – a question I asked myself, a reflection I had seen, some history of both my adult life and childhood – offered something back to me.

I touched the wound.  The real deep one.  This is often called our sacred wound, or our core wound.  We all have one.  This is the 'thing' we are desperately trying to cover up and cope with through some of our automatic behaviors and habits.  Covering it up may seem to work for a while, but it makes changing those old behaviors and habit almost impossible.

What I want to share with you today is both how I was able to uncover some of this wounding within myself, and then, how to manage it.

In this process, you may see your challenges and your hindrances. Ironically, they will become your portholes into your creating a harmonious and inclusive relationship with yourself. You will get stronger, more embodied, more connected to who you are – and all of this will lead you positively to your own unique breakthrough around what you are wanting to work on this year.

 

Step One: Identify the Behavior

What is the behavior you are wanting to change?  Have you ever tried to change it before?  Once we identify what we are working on, we can begin the excavation process.

Here are some common behaviors I have seen my clients (and myself) trying to change:

  • Over eating
  • Eating to fast
  • Binging
  • Eating too much sugar
  • Drinking to much alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Not being prepared
  • Being overly busy
  • Feeling lazy and unmotivated
  • Feeling alone
  • Extreme hibernating
  • Retail therapy
  • Over spending
  • Continually being in unhealthy relationships
  • Negative body self talk
  • Overindulging in any behavior

 

Step Two:  Look Underneath

What is underneath this behavior?

Take a deep breath.  Give yourself some sacred space.  Feeling our feelings and exploring our inner landscape requires a little time and space.  Try not to rush this.

This is actually not meant to be a 'thinking' exercise, but rather an intuitive exercise in connecting with your deepest self.  Most often, the first thought around what is underneath your behavior (the one you want to change), is the best one to start with.

Feel into your sensory body.  Notice what happens when you explore your sacred wound.  Shortness of breath, tightness, panic, love, compassion, warmth, openness.

Some of us suffer big traumas early in life that change us forever. Some have happy childhoods but are wounded nonetheless. Core wounds tend to be things like a sense of not being enough, being unlovable, not having enough, feeling alone, or unworthy. No matter what your core wound may be, you can guarantee that your wound influences who you are and how you behave.

 

Step 3:  Allow Yourself to be Uncomfortable

It goes against our human nature – we almost always move away from the uncomfortableness of life.  Many of us have elaborate ways to ensure that we keep anything uncomfortable very far away (such as those annoying habits and behaviors we seem unable to stop)

What I really want you to know is that allowing yourself to feel the uncomfortableness of your sacred wound, is likely the most healing action you can do for yourself.

This is truly the most important of resolutions, intentions, or New Year's goals you could give yourself, while it is also the most effective way to change those old outdated behaviors that continue to haunt you year after year.

When you are safe and snug in your home, you have the space set aside for yourself, and you are ready to really make a shift in a big way this year, dig into your most courageous self, get fearless, stay strong and centered, and give yourself full permission for the next little while to feel into the uncomfortable.

 

Step 4:  Accept

While it may be hard to be fully free ourselves of our sacred wound forever, we can surely begin to understand how our behaviors can either hinder or support our healing.

Once we are able to recognize where our negative patterns and habits may be originating, we can begin to navigate around them more effectively.

Once we are willing to be uncomfortable and we become more familiar with our sacred wound, we won't need to cover it up so desperately.  Instead, we will be more willing to get to know it – all her peaks and valleys and all her history.  Your sacred wound contains a blueprint of some deepest parts of you.  Can you tend to yourself with gentleness and care?

This process of acceptance will allow you to be at peace with your inner world as you hone your behaviors and habits in your outer world.

 

Step 5:  Lean In

We thrive with support.  With the right type of support, the rate of acceleration towards our intentions is more than tenfold.

Transformations happen quicker.  Breakthroughs occur more often.  Follow through is fierce and fabulous… and our resistance recedes (phew).  We do well with accountability, conversation, depth with another, sharing, connection, and seeing the commonalities that we all have.

 

What kind of support do you have?  

If you are looking for support around changing some of your behaviors and habits (especially around your health), looking into your own sacred wound, and making this year a breakthrough year, I have a couple of ways to help.

Click HERE to find out.  Your support system awaits you.

 

 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017: the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer, and a way to work with me personally, while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If that is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide you to deep healing from the inside out.

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering with Lululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store – 29th St Mall Boulder CO All the details HERE

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND...

During January, in all 5 classes, we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

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A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

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A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

 The temperature outside has fluctuated to a chilly low in Colorado this week.  I have often been bundled up with blankets by the fire, drinking hot tea and relaxing.  My brisk wintery walks have been invigorating, and my warm soothing baths have been the perfect anecdote for getting cozy.

The winter is definitely upon us.

Both the winter and summer solstice have been my favorite days since I was just a young child.  In northern Canada, where I grew up in my early years, the solstices (winter and summer) were pretty extreme.

The dark nights of winter were very dark, cold and long, and the light days of summer made the days seem to go on forever.  For me, there was an obvious magic to nature and her cycles, even back then.

So today, on one of my most favorite days of the year, I decided to OPEN registration a little early for THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 as well as bring to you my wintery gift – THE SOLSTICE SESSIONS.

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you the FREE rich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions.  These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we descend into the darkest nights of the year, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work, THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 that begins this January. (registration is open).  I hope you enjoy some of this free content, as much as I love creating it for you.

Because… what I used to consider a cold, stressful and tender time of year has now become a time I cherish.

When I say descend, what I mean is my descent into my inner world - through all her peaks and valleys – where the darkest nights of the year have become a great teacher and chaperon to my own insight and wisdom.

Some would say this descent has been known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld.  Others see it as the most potent nights to pray or connect to our higher selves. Often we hone how to vision with clarity and precision for the upcoming New Year.

The dark nights expand to cultures worldwide with unique and diverse wintery wisdoms and rituals.

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

  • Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
  • Some short and sweet solstice rituals begin your own dark night descent – embracing winters wisdoms.
  • How to restore your life force and your energy with my most favorite winter warming smoothie.

Have you been busy bustling and hustling to get ready for your holidays? Amidst all of the gift buying, holiday parties and decorating things can get pretty zany out there.

The most common complaints we all know during the holidays: tired, drained, doing too much, over extended, and trying to please everyone else.

This is the # 1 challenge women face each holiday season.

The energetics of winter remind us to hunker down, slow down, and restore our prana (life force). We benefit from cooking our food slow and long, finding coziness and warmth together in our families and communities, while warming our hearts with connection to ourselves and others we love. Follow these three R’s for some simple reminders and reflections.

RESTORE

This year, turn over a new “snow flake” and give to yourself first. You will have plenty more to give to those you love when you do.

How you might ask?

That is exactly what Solstice Sessions are for. Little winter wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own VIP.

Try these daily practices to stay centered and calm:

  • Create some daily down time – just for you.
  • Go bed a little earlier – winter is a time for rest and restoration.
  • Reflect with your inner self – journal, meditate, listen inward
  • Take warm soothing baths – these will relax you, boost your immune system and help you sleep
  • Bundle up and get outside – the crisp winter days bring energy and vitality
  • Order your gifts online – avoid those lines and the holiday bustle
  • Say NO more often – save your YES's for the important stuff
  • Keep things simple in your celebrations – simple is the new smart

RITUALIZE

The winter solstice is the perfect time to begin a reflection practice for the years end. The darkest night in many cultures has symbolized the new year and returning of the light.  Often winter solstice rituals include candle light, fires and warming foods.

Take some time to look back on your year and enjoy contemplating all the things you have been through (easy or tough), and the life lessons learned in the process, the intentions actualized, and finally bridge some ideas as to where you are heading for the new year to come. (more on the years beginning ritual to come soon)

  • Release the old with reverence
  • Celebrate the small successes and the little things that matter most
  • Relish in the magic of synchronicities, the power of intentions and the opportunities that have come your way.
  • Let go of judgement and self-criticism (pretty please)
  • Most of all…Count your blessings – big and small

Here some ways create a winter solstice ritual moment:

  • Light candles or lanterns and savor the darkness as you take some time in silence to hold your year in a magical embrace.
  • Release the old with a fire ritual – burning a list of the aspects of your year you would like to release or let go of. Be gentle with yourself. Use a fireplace, a fire pit, or even hold the burning paper and flush it.
  • Spend some time writing in your journal reflecting on the past year, who you were when the year began last January, and what you have learned about yourself and life since then.

REPLENISH

Winter eating entails preparing seasonal whole foods that can be stored, canned, or kept for the colder days of winter. Emphasize warming foods that stimulate digestion, circulation, and immunity.  Share food with loved ones, focus on the pleasure of eating and the coming together of love and light.

Here are some good winter foods to explore:

  • Warming soups and stews
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)
  • Miso and seaweed
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

Try this wintery warming smoothie to nourish your body, mind and soul.

smoothie-gingerbread

Recipe by Chef Bailey Ruskus

This is my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year and some tasters from the The Yoga of Eating 2017Online Course and Community that begins this January – check out all the details below.

The Yoga of Eating 2017: the most in depth and detailed body of work I offer, a way to work with me personally while feeling the support of others on a similar path … to transform your relationship to food and your body.

Many of you have daydreamed of life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness. If that is the case, The Yoga of Eating is just right for you.

This 6 month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age old practices that guide us to deep healing from the inside out.

Click Here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017 … and how this year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

 

This past Saturday morning, I sat up in my adorable little yurt, just as the sun was rising over the Sangre De Cristo mountains.  I reached for my cozy slippers (I had brought them with me) and meandered over to the community kitchen to pour myself some hot tea.

 

As I walked back, the steam was rising off of my tea cup on this particularly chilly fall mountain morning. I quickly snuggled back into bed, still in full view of the sunrise, to contemplate the day, our retreat schedule and our group intentions.

 

HONESTLY, I DIDN'T WANT THAT MOMENT TO END.

 

Last weekend, I took an incredibly beautiful journey through the Colorado mountains, to our Fall Full Moon women’s retreat.

 

The early morning mountain sunrises were amazing, not to mention the warm soothing hot springs, a brilliant harvest full moon, and delicious fall-inspired food. With a deep inquiry into our personal limiting beliefs and old outdated ways around health and happiness, it was magical.

 

I feel lucky to have been immersed in feeling the beauty of the seasonal shift. (see photos below)

 

With the changing golden leaves and the fall afternoon light that seems to hit the aspen trees just right, nature displayed quite a presentation – hello Autumn.

 

EACH SEASON IS STEEPED WITH ITS OWN ENERGETIC IMPRINT AND GUIDANCE FOR LIVING WISELY FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

 

As the leaves were falling to the ground in their bright orange and reds, there was an innate sense of letting go that I was able to acknowledge.  The gravity of Autumn is a metaphor for both our relationship to self and our relationship to nature.

 

Aligning ourselves inside and out with what is occurring around us in nature is a beautiful way to begin the radiant transition into a new season – Autumn.

 

Autumn is the time of transformation between the growth of summer and the dormancy of winter. Things are winding down, and once the harvest is complete, there is an opportunity to follow the inward flow into self-inquiry and inner listening – ground into the wisdom of the body and mind, compost and let go of what is now longer serving us.

 

Preparing for a strong and vital experience during the change of seasons can come with many inspirations inner and outer. Often, in the fall we talk of letting go, descending into the underworld, and a pulsation of contraction that guides us to listen deeper.

 

WHAT CAN YOU LET GO OF THIS FALL?

 

Letting go can be a little awkward and uncomfortable.  Whether it is letting go of an outdated habit, a tired old negative thought, a bunch of old clothes that are cluttering up your closet, or a limiting belief about yourself, prepare yourself for some feelings.

 

Nothing supports this better than slowing down and savoring some extra sweet self-care, and the space to be in the peace of nature.

 

"IF YOU LET GO A LITTLE, YOU WILL HAVE A LITTLE PEACE.  IF YOU LET GO A LOT, YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF PEACE."

~AJAHN CHAH

 

Since it is the time of year that the season tells us to let go so I wrote you a few nuggets to help you along.

 

  1. Align with your WHY

What are you up to these days?

What are your priorities in your life?

What are you seeking?

 

These, and many other questions like these, will help you to reveal the truth of your WHY.

When you are clear with your WHY and the big picture of what you are seeking, you are then able to shed all of those things that do not align with your life.

 

This could be a habit that doesn't support you, an old pair of jeans that remind you of your past, or even an old pattern you have with eating that feels obsolete.

 

This could also be something internal, like a thought or an internal dialogue pattern that does not evoke momentum towards your priorities and your WHY.

 

Once you align with your WHY, and your true vision of heart, it is a lot easier to let go of the things that do not serve you.

 

You still might notice that letting go conjures up some emotional response for you, a little pulling on your heartstrings, or feeling as though you're not sure who you would be without your old ways.

 

Most would agree, it is worth a bit of feeling uncomfortable, awkward, or even a little bit vulnerable, so that you can clear away those old templates that no longer serve you.

 

Recently, for me personally, it seems to be that I am working with my internal thoughts that are keeping me small, as well as the clearing out old belongings that no longer feel energetically aligned – mostly from my closet. Clearing out my old thoughts (at least working on it) and old clutter creates a nice lightness in my body and mind.

 

Old traits and old treasures carry energy. How we think, how we eat, how we practice our daily self-care, how we dress, how we create a sacred space in our homes and lives, and those with whom we surround ourselves are some good places to start.

 

2. Release your Resistance

Here’s what I also know about letting go: The most terrifying part is just before you loosen your grip. Once you let go, momentum will take over and you will feel lighter and more free than ever before.

When we hang on, it is our resistance.  Resistance is tricky, sneaky, and loves to keep us stuck.

 

What we need is to build momentum, and the ease will come.  In the meantime, notice where you are procrastinating, covering up feelings, or numbing yourself.

 

So often we hang on to something or some of our ways because of fear.  We don’t know what is coming, so our minds choose something with which we are already familiar.

 

Old, outdated inner and outer qualities can weigh us down. They can make us feel heavy and stuck, lethargic and hopeless, and simply block the full expression of our hearts and our WHY.

 

Acknowledging the fear of unfamiliar ways, new beginnings, and the releasing of the old is medicine during a letting go process.  If you feel it, you can heal it. When you loosen your grip on these old ways, a comforting sense of freedom and lightness emerges.

 

3. Transfigure, Transform and Thrive

Just like the leaves falling to the ground composting and fertilizing the earth for next year's bounty and bloom when we let go of things that do not serve us, they too compost into a bigger and brighter space for the new to come in and bloom.

 

This process of downward decomposition into the earth that we witness both inside and out is one that is familiar to the nature of our bodies since the beginning of time.

 

So often, we think of ourselves as observers or witnesses to nature's beauty and energetics, when really, we feel the same energetic pulls as all of nature because truthfully, we are nature.

 

The gravity of fall is a specific type of energy that calls us to let go, release the old and reveal the new bigger and better parts of ourselves.  It is exciting.  A journey into the depths of your soul's intentions and purposeful life.

 

We are always growing and changing.  Nothing in life stays the same.  Enjoy the process this fall as you synch up with the beauty and sweetness of the season.

 

Here are some photos from our magical retreat weekend:

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You Will Leave Feeling Better Than When You Came

  She arrived about 20 minutes after our first yoga session started on Friday evening.

 

Surrounded with a sacred circle of women, a beautiful goddess yoga room, majestic Colorado mountains, and the hint of fall in the air, she tiptoed in quietly to join the circle, moved into child’s pose and began to settle in.

 

I slowly walked over amidst teaching my class, sat down beside her and started to slowly rub her back.  Tears began to stream.  Big full exhales followed.

 

“Thank you,” she whispered.  “This is exactly what I have been needing.”

 

I had personally reached out to her quite a few times to remind her of our upcoming women’s retreat weekend.  I was so glad I did.

 

Apparently she needed a little nudge.

Even though we know what is best for ourselves, know what we love, how to treat ourselves and what feels good, we so often succumb to our resistance.

 

Our minds love to point out the reasons why we can’t, why we shouldn’t or why our resistance is logical.

 

Repeatedly, our resistance takes the form of fears and doubts that prevent us from taking the steps towards what we really want.  They are complicated, sneaky and tenacious.

 

We have our go-to excuses, stories, limitations, fears, and self-doubts that know exactly how to do their jobs – keep us stuck. 

 

I want you to live a life you love.

 

I want that for you, for me, and for all of us.

 

I want lives where our desires, our intentions, our diligence and our self-care are greater than our resistance to them.

 

When this is occurring, we manifest our dreams.  When it is not, we most often stay stuck.

 

So let’s chat ...

 

What is holding you back?

 

In just one week from today I will be heading out of town to explore the wild feminine, enjoy the harvest full moon and eclipse, and to rest and restore on our fall women's full moon retreat weekend.

 

With the time and space to reconnect with ourselves, tap into the transition of the season and create an eagle-eye view on life and things – we can reset.

 

There are endless gifts of being on retreat...

 

  • time and space to listen inward and feel. 

 

  •  time to be outside and connect the energetics of nature and the season. 

 

  • the ability to gain clear and concise perspective on our lives. 

 

  • But most importantly, we have a chance to remember who we are, what we want, and what we need to thrive.

 

Maybe this little nudge will help you overcome your resistance << Test First Name >>.

 

Maybe this little reminder will create an opening for you to imagine yourself fully embodying your health and happiness.

 

Are you feeling the call?

 

If so, come share in the journey with us next weekend.

 

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.

 

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

 

Come and watch the LIVE Q and A that I did earlier this week with my special guest, Helen Knight, and just hit reply if you have any questions.

 

 

We have just 3 spots left.  Is one of them for you?

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

Please join me in this intimate and restoring upcoming women's circle that will support you in creating a happy and healthy life you love.

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Lean In

   

"Lean In"

 

A close friend of mine once said this to me as we were sitting by the pool having a heart-to-heart.

 

As the warm sun shone down on my face, I cocked my head.  Hmm.  ‘Very uncomfortable.’ I thought.  It was uncomfortable, but also an opportunity for me to dig deeper.

 

Why did I resist leaning in so much?

  The answer was straight up.  Leaning in was just plain hard for me. I had a lot of stories wrapped up in doing things on my own - the hard way. I used to choose independence, hard work, doing things on my own – a more masculine approach to life and business.

 

I am not exactly sure where this came from, but my hunch is a combination of my competitive gymnastics background, my resistance to fully embracing my feminine nature, and the need to prove I was strong, bold, fearless and fine doing things all on my own.

 

It used to work.  I found some personal power and strength living life this way…until I got really tired, pretty overwhelmed, and a little lonely.

 

It expired.

 

This ‘solo’ way of living also started to feel exhausting and I noticed so many of my friends and family were creating a supportive and team oriented focus at home and in business.

 

How did I miss this?

 

Slowly but surely, I began to practice leaning in.

 

What I mean by this is I began creating various kinds of support systems in many areas of my life, or leaning in to the ones that were already there.

 

A supportive partner. 

A business coach. 

A mastermind group. 

A strong circle of women I call my sisters (my biological sister included). 

Two amazing young men (my sons) who always have my back.

Supportive parents.

A couple's group. 

A therapist. 

A psychic. 

An assistant. 

A couple of kick-ass interns. 

 

My team (personal and professional) is growing fast and it feels amazing.

Summer Solace Series #5: Lean In

lean-in

 

In Today’s Summer Solace Series #5 Lean In:

  • Learn the most important facts about support, accountability, and love.
  • Deepen into why we make more progress towards health and happiness with a sacred circle holding the space for us.
  • Read the myth buster about your so-called 'biggest obstacle'

 

I have learned that for me to become my best self, I need some support, some reflection and some accountability.

 

I lead circles of women all over the world.  These international retreats, women’s programs, and online courses support dynamic and empowering results for the participants, myself included. (read about some of them HERE)

 

Women (and men) thrive with support.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is that with the support of a sacred circle of women, the rate of acceleration towards our intentions is more than tenfold.

 

Transformations happen quicker.  Breakthroughs occur more often.  Follow through is fierce and fabulous... and our resistance recedes (phew).

 

What if you too, realized that your obstacles in reaching your highest potential or your greatest happiness and even your best self were not caused by your own shortcomings or lack of personal work or vision, but rather that you just need to lean in more.

 

What if your best self could emerge more gracefully with a sacred circle of women holding the space for you, believing in you, and keeping you accountable?

 

We know the strongest healing power on the planet is the healing power of sisterhood – women tending to each other with love and attention.   What if you knew you could:

  • Improve your relationship to your life and your health through customized practices that nourish you from the inside out.
  • Overcome personal obstacles by developing an intimate partnership with your mind and body.
  • Live empowered in the way you create your vision and find your personal freedom.

 

Welcome to your Journey to FREEDOM You can create a life steeped with inner listening, intuition, and living for your highest good.

 

You can replace those old ways of being that are totally outdated in your life, and no longer serve you in who you want to be today.

 

You can sculpt your life, your schedule, your eating and your self-care practices to match exactly what you are intending for yourself.

 

You can put yourself first in your life, restore your life force and have more to give back.

 

Come join our intimate sacred circles of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life that is about coming back home to your best self.

 

Here are 2 opportunities for you.

 

 

 

What is YOUR story about support, receiving and leaning in?

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

 

The Summer Solace Series is my late summer offering for you to explore your own true nature with respect to health, happiness and inner peace.   My intention with the Summer Solace Series is to make our journey of the feminine feel a little smoother, a lot more whole, while staying deeply connected to ourselves, as women.

During the late summer weeks, I will be sharing some of the gems from my work with women in the groups I lead all over the world.  I will share with you some ways where we can begin to create a loving and female approach to our eating, and our bodies with tastes of some of the myths and archytypes I work with that provide a little extra support.

As we transition into the last part of summer, we energetically prepare for a transition into a new school year, another autumn season, and a time to begin a new pulse that works well for what we are intending for ourselves.

I have also created the Summer Solace Series to share with you some samples and nuggets from my upcoming women’s circles that are beginning in September (one live full moon weekend retreat, and one virtual women’s focus group) with tastes of some of the most potent themes and practices.

Just like the sweetness of a ripe August peach, The Summer Solace Series is my late summer treat for you.  A harvest filled path into the last weeks of summer, a taste of the Sisterhood Circles Focus Group and Full Moon Women’s Retreat weekend that begin this September as well as some summer savoring secrets that will keep you satiated.

Please join me in these intimate restoring and practical upcoming women's circles that will support you in creating a happy and healthy life you love.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Yoga of Eating ~ Full Moon Weekend Retreat Joyful Journey Hotsprings September 16th-18th Just A Few Spots Left

 

theyogaofeating1

Explore the female relationship to food, body and soul through daily practice, ritual and a sacred circle of women.  Reconnect and restore your mind and heart in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 

 


 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

The Health Wise SISTERHOOD CIRCLE is an intimate sacred circle of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life to love.

sisterhoodcircles

 

4 great bonuses if you register by September 18th:

 

bonus-fall

Claim you seat sister...your freedom awaits you.

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

Sue-blue-2014

I'm a Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Don't Know What's Coming

  Early one morning, just a few years ago, I was busily getting my boys out the door to summer camp – cleaning up after breakfast and coercing them into the car (not an easy feat). 

 

Most mornings I would keep my phone turned off while trying to get out the door – less distraction = more harmony.

 

At the final drop off moment, I had a new voicemail pop up on my phone.  If it was any other day, I may not have made time to listen to this new message until much later, but this particular day was different.

 

As I swiped open my phone, typed in my password, and headed over to the voicemail icon where I heard something I was surely not expecting.

 

“Hello Sue, this is People Magazine calling.  We would like to set up a time to talk with you.  We are interested in featuring Boulder Nutrition in our next issue.” 

 

 

Pause.  Replay. Pause.  Replay.  Pause.  Replay.

 

Now, I will admit, People magazine had never been one of my personal picks as far as magazines go.  I was more of a Yoga Journal, Oprah Magazine or Natural Health kind of gal.

 

All of those thoughts swooshed away pretty quickly and I kept hitting replay over and over.

 

 

This particular opportunity came to me literally out of left field. 

 

 

It turns out, they featured my business and one of my client’s stories in an article about Boulder, Colorado.  It was so amazing to have the experience, the credibility and the opportunity.  Boulder Nutrition got a ton of exposure and Sandra Bullock was on the cover – for real.   I see how many of you are each day and I see my own habits and patterns as well. I see us all trying to live our dreams, craft our best health, change our tired old habits and live into our inherent happiness with a love, passion, and courage.

 

But something is often missing.

 

So often, I see us placing personal limits on what we think we are capable of doing.  We repeatedly create restrictions on our success.  We tell ourselves we are not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, determined enough, creative enough, pretty enough or skinny enough.

 

 

And most of all, we believe the stories we tell ourselves.

 

 

These stories, beliefs, and personal limitations are often very intertwined with our health, happiness and inner harmony.  

 

We see them reveal themselves in our eating, in how we think of and care for our bodies, and in the way we show up in our life each day.

Last year, when I was on my annual retreat, it was early one morning with my pen in one hand and my journal in the other that this came through:

 

 

We don’t know what’s coming.

 

 

It may seem obvious but our minds most often disagree.  We make a plan, a to-do list and have clear intentions.  We do manifestation rituals, pray, meditate, chant, mastermind, too and work harder and harder.

 

But we often forget the most important step of all…

 

 

Summer Solace Series #4:  We Don’t Know What’s Coming ~ Change Thoughts, Change Your Life

we-dont-know-whats-coming

 

In Today’s Summer Solace Series #4:

 

  • Learn the most important part of creating our success and happiness that we so often overlook.
  • Master how to use this new approach as a way to live from the empowered feminine + design a life steeped in health and happiness.
  • Illuminate how to open to possibility without living in a fantasy.

 

The lesson I learned the day People Magazine called me was impactful in many ways. I was happily reminded that opportunities and breakthoughs can show up anywhere and any time.

 

What I see myself doing in practice day-to-day is reminding myself that this, and many other things like this, is actually possible.

 

 

We All Do It

 

Change happens from the inside out. Our health is complex. We often think health is about what we eat, or how much we weigh, or what our exercise regiment is at the time.

 

In truth, our health also includes our beliefs about ourselves, our personal limitations and our internal dialogue – and which parts of each of these we decide to listen to and believe.

 

Our blood work, our daily eating habits and our supplement programs, are all very important. Don’t get me wrong, but what can really create the breakthrough we are seeking, is getting out of our own inner resistance, and rewiring the thoughts that we can’t do something different. Only then can we start re-writing our stories and seeing the possibility for change and transformation.

 

What Should We Do?

 

I am not going to tell you that changing our thoughts and our limiting beliefs is easy. In fact, it may be a complicated process for many of you. It has been for me.

 

Working with our internal dialogue, stories and personal limitations is a journey, not a finite process with a clear end point. We need to be patient, loving, and kind with ourselves as we practice this process.

 

Here are a few ways to get started:

 

Who wrote the script?

Name and identify both the recurring thought/story/belief in its true nature, along with where it originated. Family lineage, teachers, religion, or an old message that you picked up on. Each one has it’s own history. This practice increases our personal awareness and provides a deeper understanding of what is, with more opportunity for making a change.

 

When you hear your negative inner dialogue, do something to change it.

There are many well-known ways to do this. Recently a client told me she  would shout “STOP” when these old stories popped up.  Here are some recommendations that have worked for me, and many of my clients:

 

  •  Create a positive affirmation to replace the thought. Keep in it simple and in the positive.

 

  •  Get up and do something different – get a glass of water, put on some good music, take a break, take a walk.

 

  •  Create a gratitude or appreciation practice. The energy of gratitude works very quickly. Gratitude is strong and powerful moving us in a positive direction.

 

  • Make time for quiet, downtime, and inner listening. Sometimes we do not even realize that there is an internal dialogue happening, we just feel the effects of it in our physical and emotional body. We have listened for so long to this repetitive tape in our minds, that we hardly notice it repeating over and over. When we slow down, we have the chance to hear it for what it is.

 

  • Practice Right Speech: The way we talk can either strengthen or weaken our limiting thoughts and beliefs. Carefully choose your words to amplify the direction you wish to go. Example: If the thought is “I hate my body.” Saying things such as “I am working on a positive relationship to my body” can help steer you in a positive direction.

 

 

DOn't Forget To Celebrate Your Successes (big or small).

Making progress in a positive direction with our inner world is important to acknowledge, even if you are still not all the way to where you want to be. We are often so hard on ourselves.  Be careful, kind, and celebrate the successes big and small along the way.

Acknowledge yourself for spending time and energy on YOU.


The Yoga of Eating ~ Full Moon Weekend Retreat Joyful Journey Hotsprings September 16th-18th

Explore the female relationship to food, body and soul through daily practice, ritual and a sacred circle of women.  Reconnect and restore your mind and heart in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.  

 

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 


The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

The Health Wise SISTERHOOD CIRCLE is an intimate sacred circle of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life to love.

You can explore your YES to a commitment that will transform your life in extraordinary ways.

You can live your most empowered life around health and happiness through these POTENT strategies, living rituals and daily practices revealed in the intimacy of this circle of sisters.

You can create a life steeped with inner listening, intuition, and living for your highest good.

You can sculpt your life, your schedule, your eating and your self care practices to match exactly what you are intending for yourself.

You can put yourself first in your life, restore your life force and have more to give back.

Claim you seat sister...your freedom awaits you.


About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

 

 

 

 

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Fiercely Feminine

   

It happens,

 

It was a late summer evening just a couple of weeks ago when I was reflecting on my particularly emotional day.

It was one of those days when I had to take a good look at myself.  One of those days where I didn’t like what I was seeing.  I felt icky and emotionally exhausted by the residue of feelings left over as the day grew close to an end.

 

In an attempt to explain my inner strife to Jason, I found myself apologizing for my tears, for my pain and the instability that I had been feeling all day long.

 

He said something to me that no one has ever said to me before:

 

 

“You know Sue, you could allow yourself to get messier and I would still love you.”

 

 

It may sound simple to you, but I had lived most of my early life keeping my feminine messiness at bay.  The emotions, the inner angst, the feelings that would sometimes well up inside – I was good at attempting to pull it together to keep going.

 

While that has turned out to be virtually impossible and unsuccessful, I used to live by my own belief that there was very little room in my life for anything messy.  I raised two boys as a single parent, and I often felt that if I let myself get messy, things would fall apart for me and for them.

 

Now, in more recent years I have lifted this restrictive belief in my life somewhat, but not without a tentative, shy and unsure approach – especially in my relationship.

 

One of the obstacles I see in women all the time when we are struggling with food, body, self-love, and overall health are these very elaborate coping skills to keep the messiness and emotional chaos of the feminine at bay.

 

 

Most of us have received the message that these messy feminine aspects of ourselves are not welcome.

 

We stuff the unwelcome feelings with anything we can find that works.  These coping skills can often create their own cascade of health issues, imbalances, and challenges, including the relationship we have to food and our bodies.

 

The next day I shared this significant conversation with a close friend, someone who also is known to ‘keep it all together’ and she also sighed in relief.  “Wow Sue, that even makes me feel more at peace.”

 

I am now sharing this with you because your relationship to your feminine may be one of the reasons you get out of balance, self-medicate, overeat, under eat, deprive yourself of self-love and self-respect.

 

This may be the very root of some of the behaviors you have been trying to change for years.

 

 

Because this wild and fierce part of ourselves is also our greatest power.

This may be an opportunity for you to change your relationship to your authentic self with a more loving approach to who you truly are in each moment.

 

There may be a lot of questions about exactly what I mean and how this has shown up in your life.  To begin, let’s peal back the layers one little bit at a time.

 

 

Summer Solace Series #3:  Fiercely Feminine

fiercelyfeminine

 

 

In today’s Summer Solace Series #3:

 

  • Explore the nature of the feminine in relationship to food and body including some insights on what is often called ‘our shadow side’.
  • Learn the first steps to take to unleash your wild feminine in all her forms  – including the messiness (without a big mess to clean up later)
  • Listen to an ancient myth that speaks directly to your feminine power, shadow, messiness, and unhinged wild wisdom so that you can live authentically and fearlessly from your female power – recorded live from my spring retreat in Bali.

 

Just to clarify, when I speak of the feminine, I am speaking of our feminine nature. We all have a balance of the feminine and masculine within ourselves. (men included) Our feminine sides are gentle, fluid, receptive, emotional, intuitive, and mysterious, where as our masculine sides are direct, focused, practical, diligent and protective.

 

We need both the feminine and masculine to survive. Unfortunately, our current cultural paradigms are steeped pretty heavily in the masculine giving us the messages that we should stuff our feminine side more and live predominantly from our masculine sides

 

This presents a big challenge for many of us, as we have had to develop elaborate coping skills to live in a masculine dominant world.

 

Food and the Feminine

 

As you can imagine, this inner conflict can present a difficult understanding of our relationship to eating and our bodies. As women, our cravings change with the moon cycle, our emotions dictate our appetites, and our inner rhythms are not static when it comes to nourishing our bodies with both food and self-care.

 

There are distinct times when we need more rest and introspection and other times when we feel social and active.

 

What are we to do?

 

Developing a deeper sense of our selves with our intuition and body’s wisdom is a good place to start. (Read last week’s Summer Solace Series #2 about Honing your Intuition HERE)

 

 

When we are wrought with beliefs that make our feminine rhythm ‘wrong’, it is hard to flow with our feminine. Many of the ways we have been taught may start to feel outdated and ineffective in this exploration. We may need to question our belief systems and expectations in ourselves carefully, so that first and foremost, we can give ourselves permission to flow with our feminine.

 

 

Our relationship to our feminine nature is directly reflected in our relationship to food and our bodies. If we tend to ignore our feminine rhythm in our lives, we are likely to avoid our feminine rhythm in our eating. If we have made a lot of static rules and restrictions for ourselves in our way of life, we likely will have made similar static rules and restrictions in our eating.

 

 

What I have learned is that I have to listen to my body, and drop the stories that say she is wrong. I have to drop my restrictions, my tight reigns, and begin to soften into acceptance and love for what is, and what is occurring in the moment. I have to honor the rhythms of my monthly cycle, the seasons, and my emotional experiences – eating with more love and acceptance of the fluid, always changing the nature of the feminine.

 

 

Unleash Your Wild-ish Side

 

 

When I was 25 years old, I was part of a personal transformation group in Prescott Arizona. Each week, as I was witnessed by my group, I would dig into my personal truths.

 

The very first group I ever attended was themed “Feel your Feelings”.

 

Don’t we all feel our feelings?

 

As it turns out, most of us mask our feelings. We stuff, repress, override, and doubt our feelings. We numb, we make ourselves busy, and we neglect creating the space we need to feel.

 

Hence, the wild feminine is endangered.

 

Unleashing the wild feminine comes when we give ourselves permission to feel, such as feeling the pain of life, the ecstasy of love, the anticipation of a new experience, and the fear of failing.

 

~ Rather than the shadow side of the feminine, let’s call her the underworld of the feminine.

 

~ Rather than imagining wild as an out of control and crazy woman, let’s imagine wild as living in tune with nature, a natural life, freedom, with healthy and integrous boundaries.

 

As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says: “A woman’s issues of the soul cannot be treated by carving her into a more acceptable form but instead the goal must be the retrieval of the woman’s beauteous and natural psychic form.”

 

When we gift ourselves with the permission to be living from our wildish nature, we are able to step into the intuitive, wise, expressive, clear, glowing, instinctive truth that each of us are.

 

Here are some great ways to start:

 

  • Look at your beliefs about what it means to live in your wild feminine?
  • Give yourself permission to feel your feelings as they arise, free from judgment.
  • Examine where you are in resistance to your true feminine underworld. (aka those so called negative emotions)
  • Take baby steps with a lot of appreciation, acknowledgement and gratitude for how far you have come and each successful moment.
  • Celebrate all parts of yourself (even the perceived messy, chaotic, unpredictable nature of the feminine)
  • Own it sister

 

Listen HERE to today's story time sit down and enjoy the LIVE recording all the way from this years Bali women's Health + Yoga Retreat.

 

 

All we have to work with here sisters is our own attitude towards ourselves, towards our bodies, our health and our happiness.

We do not achieve this by giving up our authentic expression, or by forsaking the joy of our beauteous bodies and minds.

We do this through a deep honoring of our own true nature, self-acceptance, self-love and inner wisdom.

 

We do this through living life with fervor, creativity and freedom.

 


 

 

 

 

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sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

Create a powerful vision, commit to your intentions, happiness, and freedom,  while surrounding yourself extraordinary women.

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles are for women seeking vibrant and inspired living. Find your personal recipe for health and vitality.

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

learnmore

 

 


Colorado-retreat-text

theyogaofeating1

A Women’s Full Moon Weekend Retreat

With Sue Van Raes and Special Guests

September 16-18th

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.  Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

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Your Body Never Lies

   

I would sit in her office week after week. We would talk about my current situation ­– AKA my divorce, my challenges with single parenting, and the habits and patterns that brought me to this point.

 

Some days it wasn’t much fun to see this reflection, but I kept going back. I knew I had to go through the fire (so to speak) so I could see how I could begin to do things differently moving forward.

 

My therapist was a wise and nurturing woman. She would speak many truths and point out many observations during our sessions. Some were harder to hear than others. Taking ownership and seeing my habits and patterns came with many daunting moments, feelings of wanting to crawl out of my skin, and big openings for which I am eternally grateful.

 

One thing I always appreciated was her ability to turn me back towards myself.

 

“Your body never lies Sue, your body never lies.” she would say.

 

This particular piece of wisdom stuck with me. I had become pretty good at overriding the wisdom of my body and intuition. I did it to cope, I did it to get through the day, and I did it as a personal survival skill.

 

Most of us have ignored, numbed, or turned away from our own wisdom at certain points in our lives. Our cultural paradigms are not structured in a way to promote the strengthening and listening to our female intuition. Sometimes, avoiding this part of our feminine can feel like our only choice. Feeling into our sensitivity is one of our greatest gifts and yet can feel like a big heavy cloak of burden.

 

Living from this wildish part of the feminine allows us to live in our body’s adjoining instinct, integrity, sensation, love and certainty of self.

 

Summer Solace Series: #2 
Your Body Never Lies + A Story Time Sit Down Audio Session

bubbles-text

 

In today’s Summer Solace Series#2:

 

  • Learn to recognize what you do or have done to numb your body’s wisdom (intuition)
  • How to take the first steps in fine-tuning and honing your intuition as a positive tool in your life.
  • Listen to this week’s story time sit down in a archytypical myth that addresses the feminine power of intuition and its lineage though time and feminine history.

 

 

Our intuition, our bodies, our inner voice is something all of us have. For many of us, we have tuned it out over time, because what it was saying was too much, or it would create too many ripples, or lead us to big life changes that we were scared of facing. It may have even been the wildness in us that was not welcome.

 

Although, female intuition is a gift, many of us have been encouraged to disregard her.

 

We are taught to think rather than feel.

 

Our intuition goes beyond our thinking and includes our body's, our heart's, and our soul's deep knowing.

 

We all have intuition but I refer to this as the female intuition because it is more heightened from the aspect of our feminine receptive nature (man or woman).

 

 

Where Do You Numb?

 

We tend to pile on the layers of numbing so we can simply keep going in our daily life. We numb with all the usual things – food, alcohol, TV, business, sex, drugs – you know the story.

 

 

If we did not numb ourselves, we would have to FEEL more. Feeling more can be uncomfortable.

 

When we don’t like our gut feelings, when they are not welcome, discouraged or shunned, we develop a multitude of patterns and habits to drive them underground. We keep them at bay, and our wild, true nature becomes meager, ghostly and desolate.

 

As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says: “When we engage and live from our true, wild and intuitive nature, we are like a starry night, gazing at the world through a thousand eyes. We carry stories, dreams, words, songs and symbols for both a vehicle and a destination.”

 

Where can you find her? Where can you feel her? Where does she live?

 

Seeing where and how we numb is a bit of an awakening that comes with the willingness to be a little uncomfortable, a bit messy, an opportunity and the courage to acknowledge a habit or a pattern that is outdated (read last weeks summer solace #1 series here about breaking old habits), and to find the power and grace in our body’s inherent knowing.

 

 

How Do You HONE Your Intuition?

 

 

Your intuition is like a muscle that gets a bit weaker without practice. Intuition and body wisdom are never gone. In fact, they are always there, even when we ignore them. When we acknowledge how and where we are numbing, we can begin to listen again.

 

Intuition becomes available to us when we listen to our hearts, when we pay attention to our body’s somatic expressions, and when we follow the prompts of our wisdom. We must first become receptive to our intuition to begin to strengthen her.

 

We must learn to respect our hunches, notions and impulses. With this practice, we witness our emotions and feelings flowing through us free from judgment and guilt.

 

The way our bodies (all in our own unique way) speak to us is a tool that we can use to navigate our lives, our decisions, our eating, and our happiness.

 

All to often, we look outward to the world around us for our cues and guidelines when the answers lie within.

 

When we stop questioning and trust, when we stop overriding and check in, and when we practice cultivating this inner gift, we can notice the grace of moving in life with an intuitive body knowing that it can become our biggest strength.

 

Here are some of my favorite ways to practice honing our intuition:

 

  • Clear your mind – create some space each day to slow down and listen.
  • Do a body check in – scan your body for information through your senses. Pay attention to tightness, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches and other recurring sensations.
  • Pay attention to your dreams – they are the window into your subconscious mind and intuitive wisdom.
  • Spend time in nature – it is rich with intuition and grounding for the heart and mind.
  • Ask questions – Get specifics, be proactive, and simply ask your intuition (aka higher self) for information.
  • Drop the judgment – Instead of criticizing or repressing, get curious.
  • Take small steps and practice often.

 

Always remember that in the heart of the feminine nature lies a strong wise and powerful intuitive nature. If you listen she won’t steer you wrong.

 

Get comfy, settle in, be gentle with yourself, and listen to today’s story time sit down session below.

 

Listen to today's Story Time Sit Down HERE

The Summer Solace Series is here for you to lean into.

 

This is my late summer offering for you to explore your own true nature with respect to health, happiness and inner peace.   My intention with the Summer Solace Series is to make our journey of the feminine feel a little smoother, a lot more whole, while staying deeply connected to ourselves, as women.

 

 

During the late summer weeks, I will be sharing some of the gems from my work with women in the groups I lead all over the world.  I will share with you some ways where we can begin to create a loving and female approach to our eating, and our bodies, with tastes of some of the myths and archetypes I work with that provide a little extra support.

 

As we transition into the last part of summer, we energetically prepare for a transition into a new school year, another autumn season, and a time to begin a new pulse that works well for what we are intending for ourselves.

 

I have also created the Summer Solace Series to share with you some samples and nuggets from my upcoming women’s circles that are beginning in September (one live full moon weekend retreat, and one virtual women’s focus group) with tastes of some of the most potent themes and practices.

 

 

Just like the sweetness of a ripe August peach, The Summer Solace Series is my late summer treat for you.  A harvest filled path into the last weeks of summer, a taste of the Sisterhood Circles Focus Group and Full Moon Women’s Retreat weekend that begin this September as well as some summer savoring secrets that will keep you satiated.

 

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Healthy Happy Habits

  I roll over a few times beneath my cotton sheets.  The morning sun is warming my bedroom through the airy bamboo shades.  I slumber downstairs, make my morning brew and saunter outside to wake up slowly under the willow tree with the sweet morning hummingbirds.

 

On warm summer mornings, I am savor my time to wake up slowly.  Each morning a little creatively different, but most ending with more clarity and peace in how I want to sculpt my day.

 

In one hand some warm bulletproof coffee or tea, in the other a pen and journal.  The waft of my Balinese insense drifting through the backyard air, and the sweet feeling of having the time to just BE.

 

I love to move my morning practice outside in the summer.  To sit in meditation with just peaks of sun shining on my shoulders, and the beauty of life all around me.

 

My summer mornings are savored.

 

Living from a place of intention is a habit I have been cultivating in myself for many years.  While it is surely not fool proof, as life has its way of sweeping though the day with its own set of agendas, these morning rituals help to set me up for success – whatever the day may bring.

 

Recently, when I was asked what I thought women (and men) struggle with the most when it comes to health, well-being, food and body – I had to sit and think for a while.

 

Hmmm...

 

Sometimes it is overwhelm and confusion, sometimes self-sabotage or negative beliefs about ourselves, sometimes a lack of understanding around how to feed our bodies or and souls, but I would have to say the number one challenge we all share is all wrapped up in changing old habits.

 

In fact, changing habits can be the very obstacle for many women that seem impossible to overcome. 

For the next 6 weeks, I will be sharing some of the gems from my work with women in the groups I lead all over the world.  I will share with you some ways we can begin to create a loving and female approach to our eating, and our bodies with tastes of some of the myths and archytypes I work with that provide a little extra support.

 

The Summer Solace Series is here for you to lean into.

 

This is my late summer offering for you to explore your own true nature with respect to health, happiness and inner peace.   My intention with the Summer Solace Series is to make our journey of the feminine feel a little smoother, a lot more whole, while staying deeply connected to ourselves as women.

 

As we transition into the last part of summer, we energetically prepare for a transition into a new school year, another autumn season, and a time to begin a new pulse that works well for what we are intending for ourselves.

 

I have also created the Summer Solace Series to share with you some samples and nuggets from my upcoming women’s circles that are beginning in September (one live full moon weekend retreat, and one virtual women’s focus group) with tastes of some of the most potent themes and practices.  

So, without further ado, welcome to the Summer Solace Series... Today, we are taking the first step in changing tired old habits.  These are the habits that keep you stuck.  These are the habits that you don’t like to talk about. These are the habits that move you in the opposite direction from where you want to be. These are the habits that often feel almost impossible to break.  We all have them, so get comfy.

 

Summer Solace Series#1

Healthy Happy Habits + A Storytime Sit Down Audio Session with Me

 

summersolace-peach

 

Today we are exploring the first step to changing old habits, so that the new habits of the heart can become part of a supportive and conscious path to living.

 

Today you will learn:

 

  • The first step to releasing your tired old habits
  • The most common mistakes we make when trying to make a change.
  • How to use myth and ritual to support you in honing your habits. (including an audio storytelling sit down that I crafted for you)

 

 

The first step to releasing your tired old habits + a Storytime Sit Down with Me:

 

Habits are hard to break. I have some I am diligently working on myself. From my eating, my sleeping and my stress management, to how I monitor my finances, my negative thoughts and my self-care. We create them by patterning ourselves in such a way that they become automatic.

 

In the beginning, all of our habits served a purpose. Often born from an early age, a challenging time, or a learned automatic behavior that we developed to cope or deal with a certain situation.

 

From the moment you get out of bed each day – your daily breakfast, morning rituals, workplace interactions, the texts you send to your loved ones, to the way you drive home – you are engaging in multitudes of habits and patterns.

 

Most of these habits are serving you well, allowing you to handle the challenging co-worker, the multitudes of stress before an exam, or the baby up crying all night – you are on automatic more than you realize.

 

Our minds don’t often discern between the good and the bad habits when operating on automatic. We just keep doing, keep going, and keep trying to manage our lives.

 

The thing is, a tired old habit is one that did its job back when it was first being created. It may have helped you cope with a broken family, a stressful childhood, or a bully at school. A tired old habit may also have saved you from feeling out of control, feeling unloved or feeling stressed out.

 

Tired old habits once served an important purpose. Now, can you discern when they have become outdated?

 

We spend a lot of time looking at where we went wrong, how we got stuck, why we can’t do something different. Self criticism, shame and fear are often the co-pilots of wanting to make a change

 

What if we looked that tired old habit right in the eyes and said “Thank You”?

 

“Thank you for serving me well dear friend. Thanks for protecting me, helping me cope, and giving me options for getting though the tough times. I appreciate you. I honor you. And now… I am completely done with you.   You serve me no longer and I send you on your way.”

 

When we can see these old habits in their true form, full history, and even a little bubble of appreciation for how they have sustained us, we can release them more gracefully.

 

  • Mindless eating can be a way to comfort yourself when you’re feeling down.
  • Retail shopping online for hours might be a way you avoid interacting with your expired relationship.
  • Drinking too much may be the only way you know how to be social with a certain group of friends.

 

 

If you want to break the habit, you have to come to grips with whatever function the bad habit was serving.

 

What are your tired old habits?

 

Identifying the habit, and the history of the habit is the first step to making a change.

 

Try this:

  1. Name the tired old habit you are looking to transform.
  2. Unravel the history behind the habit, when it started, why it served you, and when it expired.
  3. Be gentle with yourself as you appreciate the value the habit served and the acknowledgement of its time to be released.
  4. Drop the guilt, shed the shame.

 

 

Join me and listen to today’s feature Summer Solace storytime sit down.   Explore the profound metaphors found in myths, storytelling and archetypes that gently guide us home to our strength and embodied feminine grace.

 

 

Listen to our first Storytime Sit Down HERE 

 

 

Just like the sweetness of ripe August peach, The Summer Solace Series is my late summer treat for you.  A harvest filled path into the last weeks of summer, a taste of the Sisterhood Circles Focus Group and Full Moon Women's Retreat weekend that begins this September and some summer savoring secrets that will keep you satiated.

Stay tuned...

 


 

 

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sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

Create a powerful vision, commit to your intentions, happiness, and freedom,  while surrounding yourself extraordinary women.

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles are for women seeking vibrant and inspired living. Find your personal recipe for health and vitality.

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

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Colorado-retreat-text

theyogaofeating1

A Women's Full Moon Weekend Retreat

With Sue Van Raes and Special Guests

September 16-18th

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.  Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

learnmore

 

 

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Meet your SABOTEUR...

   

You made your summertime plans – more exercise, more fun, and LESS junk food.

 

You started strong.  

 

The block parties kicked off, the travel plans kicked in and before you knew it, you were eating what felt like a lot of 7-layer dip.

 

Starting to feel the fatigue of staying up past your bed time too many nights in a row, guilt from what has now felt like an overindulgent vacation, and at a loss for the last time you made it to your women's hiking group - you wake up one morning wondering what happened.

 

Most of us can remember sabotaging our success, our health goals or our self-care plans.

 

It's a common problem.  

We ask ourselves why we are stuck, why we can't seem to follow through, and why we continue to live as a person we don't want to be.

 

Breaking old patterns, releasing our self-saboteur, and beginning anew is key in creating a life we love.

 

If you are struggling with consistency, follow through; much less a rocking summer plan then today’s 'skinny' is for you...

 

saboteur

 

3 reasons why your Self Saboteur has all the power and how to make a change

(+ A guided meditation to boot)

 

We often find ourselves loosing sight of being the person we want to be, feeling stuck, and not sure what to do about it.

 

Our obstacles seem to grow into our demons, and our true potential succumbs to taking a back seat.

 

Old, ineffective thought patterns and beliefs – the very things that have blocked you up to this point – will stand out loud and clear as you start to befriend your inner success queen, and finally give her back the drivers seat.

 

Here are the 3 most common self-sabotaging patterns I see around food, body, and health and what to DO about it.

 

 

  1. Are you afraid of Failure?

 

A fear of failure or inadequacy can often turn us away from moving forward. The challenge is too much. It’s as if, once we reveal what we really want for ourselves, we have a sacred contract with ourselves to fulfill it.

 

Wow, that’s a big commitment.

 

Maybe it is safer to stay stuck.

 

Naming our goals/intentions/personal commitments, but then not feeling able to follow through is hard to swallow. All of these fears are totally real.

 

Try this: Ask yourself who has the power – you or your fears? Try naming your fears. Once they are named, recognized and befriended, they become more powerless.  

 

 

  1. Are YOU addicted to your suffering?

 

One common way we sabotage our own success is related to the addictions most of us have to our negative thoughts and beliefs, and to our own suffering.

 

For many of us, sitting in our own suffering is a pattern that has formed and become a habitual way we move through life. We are more comfortable with our suffering because it is all we know.

 

Where do you embellish your own suffering?

 

What do you get out of it?

 

In some twisted way, we all get something out of complaining, being depressed, or playing the victim.

 

Maybe we get more attention, maybe we get to be lazy, or maybe we are simply used to feeling this way, so this state has become the place we feel most comfortable.

 

Try this: Inquire into your own patterns with suffering, and take a closer look.  Answer the question honestly – what do you get from your suffering? These old patterns may have started in your childhood, in a relationship, or even in a hard phase of your life. There are many opportunities for these patterns to have become habits, but just as many opportunities to change them with love and awareness.

 

  1. Do you CHECK OUT?

 

Self-soothing is a high priority in our self-care, but checking OUT is a different thing – it means shutting down, turning a blind eye, or avoiding feeling or experiencing the strong emotions that we may be afraid of (including happiness).

 

If the pattern of checking OUT is a big one for you, taking gradual steps to checking IN is important.

 

We need reflection, accountability, structure, and support to create a new pattern.

 

We need to practice.

 

We need an intuitive relationship with ourselves first.

 

Try this: Sit with the uncomfortable. Feel. Listen inward. Crack yourself open. Love ALL of you. The way OUT is always IN.

 

What this means for our relationship with food, health and body is that if we begin to see the discomfort as merely our brain breaking down old neural pathways and creating new ones and then we can welcome this uncomfortable new way as a sign of progress. We can release the inner voice of the self-saboteur if we know what we are listening for, and learning to recognize when SHE is running the show.

To practice, today’s guided meditation will take you deeper inward towards reclaiming your power and releasing your saboteur once and for all.

 

LISTEN TO THE MEDITATION HERE

 


 

 

The Yoga of Eating ~ Full Moon Weekend Retreat Joyful Journey Hotsprings September 16th-18th

 

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

Reserve Your Queendom 

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