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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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THE MISSING LINK IN OUR HEALTH CONVERSATION

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THE MISSING LINK IN OUR HEALTH CONVERSATION

"THE MIND AND BODY ARE LIKE PARALLEL UNIVERSES"

DEEPAK CHOPRA

 

There is sure a lot of holiday hoopla in the air.  How are you holding up?


Honestly, for me the holiday season used to come with a hefty dose of stress and a whole lot of pressure in trying to make things picture perfect. I aspired to cook the perfect meals, host the ideal dinner parties, buy the right gifts all the while still providing a magical holiday for my kids – it was a tad overwhelming.  


The past few years I have been trying something different. For exampe, this past holiday weekend I chose to lay super low: to rest, to nourish, to hang with friends and family, to get outside, to avoid full contact shopping and to get plenty of downtime as the holiday season begins. {BTW it was heavenly}

 

As I am sure many of you have experienced, food can be a BIG challenge for many of us during the holiday season. The parties, the family dinners, the travel, and the celebratory feasts have become such a big part of the celebrations. While I love to share food and celebrate around the a festive table with loved ones, I also know it is something we can sculpt to match what it is we are wanting for ourselves on a larger scale. 

 

MY MOTTO THIS YEAR:  
SIMPLE IS THE NEW SMART



... Simple traditions
... Simple (and tasty) whole food meals
... Simple gatherings
... Simple purchases



Amidst it all, we can learn to listen to our bodies and our intuitions and see what feels right. Yes, it takes a little bit of time, gentleness, practice and patience, and is very worth the effort.


So, I wanted to share with you some pretty cool {cutting edge} science today. This research will really help you enhance knowing what your body needs and wants, how you can better listen to your body, heighten your inner awareness and make YOU the priority this holiday season.

 

WHAT IS INTEROCEPTION?


Interoceptive awareness means developing an attentiveness in relation to the sensations arising within our bodies. These bodily signals are worthy of our attention because it is the brain's interpretation of them that determines how we are feeling both mentally and physically. By becoming more aware of these inner sensations, we are able to influence how these signals are interpreted by the body and the actions that would follow.

 

In 1906, the Nobel laureate Charles Scott Sherrington, introduced three terms into medical parlance: “proprioception”, “exteroception”, and “interoception”. Of the three, perhaps proprioception, which is basically the awareness of one’s body in relation to external objects, is the most familiar. (Proprioception is why we don’t constantly walk into walls or get into car accidents.) Exteroception refers to awareness of any stimuli coming at us from the outside (sights, sounds, smells etc.). Interoception is our awareness of what is going on within the boundary of our own skin; it is intra-organismic awareness. (Emerson, 2015)

 

Interoception, defined here as the sense of the physiological condition of the body, is an information pathway used to interpret one’s body from within. Interoception is the process of receiving, accessing and appraising our internal bodily signals. The anatomical pathways for interoception are well-specified, detailing the connections between sensory receptors, spinal cord, brainstem, and brain (Craig, 2002).  

 

Interoception evokes the quality of the relationship between our mind and body.

 

Interoception remains poorly understood within modern science, but recent research is insightful, and provides the missing link to healing our relationship to food and our bodies.

 

How a lack of interception can manifest in multifaceted...

 

Maybe your hunger cues are shut down.  Maybe you don't experience accurate interpretations of hot or cold.  Maybe it is hard for you to read our body's satiation cues. Maybe you are not in touch with your deeper currents of emotion and sensation that could be providing valuable information about a situation or circumstance.

 

Poor interoceptive awareness is often cited as a key quality of eating disorders, yet the precise nature of the deficits and their relationship to eating pathology remains unclear.

 

Research suggests that our greatest moments of personal fulfillment and pleasure are times we spend fully involved and engaged in a situation with our whole selves: be it a physical activity, a sensory experience, or intimacy with another person. If we are disconnected, we are depriving ourselves of some of the greatest sources of happiness.

 

While the research on how to heal our interoceptive awareness is still new, there are many studies, and anecdotes that are leading us in a positive direction with what we can do to make these big shifts.

 

 

HOW CAN YOU HEAL YOUR INTEROCEPTIVE AWARENESS?

 

While Interoceptive awareness means developing a curiosity towards the sensations arising within the body, we can say YES to empowering yourself along the way.  Learning to trust your body, and heighten your inner awareness makes navigating life {and food} much more graceful.

 

Want to trailblaze your own inner path towards interoceptive awareness?  Try these body centered practices that have been part of the Boulder Nutrition methodology for years {and that really work}.

 

Bring a lot of love, healing, and patience to your relationship to your body:

 

If you are like most of us, you have probably had times in your journey of life where your body felt like the enemy.  I get it.  It have been there too.  Feeling disconnected, angry at, checked out, turned off, disgusted by and even in conflict with our bodies is a pretty common phenomenon.

 

You may have experienced this if you struggled with a big health issue, if you have suffered with an eating disorder, if you have chronic stomach aches, or body pain. The truth is, discovering how your body is your biggest ally is like discovering the holy grail.

 

While releasing the negative emotions and associations with your body is a windy road (with possibly a few bumps along the way), as you watch yourself heal, feel stronger, more intuitive, and more connected to yourself, it won't be long until you find the process inspiring and even enchanting.

 

My recommendation:  Slow and steady.  All things come in due time and when creating these new neuro and sensory pathways (literally) we are going to have to be patient.   Celebrate your little victories.  Track the positive changes.  Coddle the process in a gentle and loving bubble and you will start to fall in love with the journey.

 

Create an embodiment practice:

 

There are many simple mind-body practices that support body awareness, emotional wellbeing, and physical vitality – all leading to improved interception and body awareness.  

 

Embodiment, as it turns out, is vital to our health and well-being. It may also be a doorway into higher consciousness through a healthly  interoceptive experience.

 

According to a recent study (Biological Psychiatry, 2016) connecting to the sensations in your body during an embodiment practice such as yoga, offers a powerful gateway to connecting with the junction point between mind and body.  Dr David Creswell’s new study indicates, practicing mindfulness meditation may also increase functional connectivity, or communication, between this ruminating and negative part of the brain, and the part responsible for executive control. 

 

Embodiment practices increase interception, something many of us have experienced in our personal journeys, but that is now being scientifically validated, and encouraged.

 

 

Try the four part check in:

 

I love to teach the 4 part check in on my retreats and to my women's groups.  I use this almost every day as a platform to check in with myself and see what I can do to take care of myself each day. I learned this through some of the teachings of Deepak Chopra (quoted above) and they have proven to be priceless in my process.

 

To start, find a quiet place where there is some solace and serenity.  If this means a quiet place in your house, closing the door to your office or pulling over on the way to work at a near by park. You will have a deeper experience where there is some personal peace, and you only need a few minutes. {yes, I have hid in the bathroom from my kids when I needed a moment of peace}

 


Part One:   How are you feeling in your body?  Describe only the physical sensations, the quality of what is arising on a physical level:  temperature, hunger, tightness, tingly, heavy, achy, the taste on your tongue, the growling in your belly, the tension in your shoulders.  Stay with the physical sensations.  

 

question:  what does your body need to be nourished

 

Part Two:  How are you feeling in your emotions? Describe emotions that are arising in the present moment.  More than one?  That's just fine. Emotions can often arise simultaneously.  Describe them (on paper or in your mind)  

 

 

Question:  What does your heart nEed to be fed with support and joy?

 

 

Part Three:  What is the quality of your thoughts?  Most of us have good days and tough days when it comes to our monkey-mind thoughts. Some days our thoughts are supportive and kind, and other days we are are own worst critic.  

 

 

question:  What does your mind need to be free, clear, supportive and kind?

 

Part Four:  We each have a connection to our higher self, our intuition, and our souls.  There are many names for this aspect of the self, so feel free to insert yours in this process.  Personally, I love this part, as it really challenges some of the more automatic, negative, destructive self talk.

 

 

question:  What does your soul need to be at peace?

 


Consider Forest Bathing:

 

Have you heard of Forest Bathing?  This innovative nature based technique comes from Japan where the research on time in nature (especially for residents of large cities) has a measurable impact on stress levels, happiness, and quality of life.

Forest Bathing was developed in Japan during the 1980s (known as shin-rin yoku) and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.  

Forest bathing literally translates into "taking in the forest".  You don't have to hike, but rather you can literally bask in the natural environment and soak up the atmosphere.

The research on Forest Bathing is mind-blowing and this is a great way to enhance a mind-body connection while also diminishing stress, slowing down, and being in nature.

 

Go to a forest. Walk Slowly.  Breathe.  Open all of your senses.

 

  • Boost immune  function
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Lower stress
  • Improve outlook on life
  • Increase your ability to focus
  • Increase your energy level
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Create a clearer intuition
  • Increase your flow of energy
  • Increased life force
  • Increase overall sense of peace and happiness

 

Slow down and give yourself down time daily:

 

Our culture moves so fast.  It is so common to be going from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we fall into bed at the end of the day.

 

While I know it is hard to prioritize down time and time to move slower amidst our full to-do lists, parenting duties, job requirements and fast paced everything, I really highly recommend you do.

 

Just that little bit of down time each day (electronic free) will do wonders for you body, mind and soul while also creating the space to enhance your interoceptive awareness.  

 

When we are distracted by the endless busyness, it is terribly hard to create a heighten inner awareness, especially if this is a big area of struggle.

 

The best news with all of this is that we CAN heal our interoceptive awareness with implementing just a few of these small changes. I hope your health and healing journey is enhanced by knowing that you too can increase, improve and heal your mind-body connection no matter where you are starting from.  May your journey be insightful, graceful and rich honoring all the wise and dynamic parts of YOU.

 


Spoiler Alert: The new Yoga of Eating SOULFOOD SESSIONS are just around the corner. BIte size nuggets of wisdom from this year's 2018 guest teachers from The Yoga Of Eating online course and community.  I can't tell you how excited I am to share some brilliant insights from some of the country's most innovative health and wellness experts.  

 

P.S.  The Yoga of Eating 2018 is opening for registration soon.  I am over the moon with excitement about our new content, our 2018 guest teachers, and I can hardly wait to shower you with  so much support coming. Stay Tuned...
 

Hello. I am Sue Van Raes, a Nutritional Therapist, Food Psychology Specialist, Nature Lover, and Author.  My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.  You can find out more about me and my work in the world HERE

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I HAVE NEVER TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE...

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I HAVE NEVER TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE...

" YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GREAT START, BUT YOU HAVE TO START TO BE GREAT"

ZIG ZIGLAR


 



Not all that long ago, I used to dread mornings.  



It's true...  



A little flashback:  My first child (who is now 20 years old) did not sleep through the night for almost 4 years, just in time for his younger brother to be born. Tack on a couple more years for my second child, and that equals almost 6 years of sleep deprivation.


 

I used to wake up feeling worse than tired. Many, many mornings were wrought with feeling foggy, depleted, depressed, hopeless and I was not sure how I was going to keep going.  A bowl of instant oatmeal or a banana used to be all I could muster up for breakfast, if anything at all.




On my recent trip to visit family and new babies, I was reminded just how hard mornings (and lack of sleep) can be.




While I have many fond memories of babies and toddlers, I also remember the desperation, overwhelm, and exhaustion like it was yesterday.




I am sure if I knew then what I know now, things (maybe) could have been different, but the truth is, I didn't.  I did the best I could at the time for both me and my sleep challenged babies.




Starting off the day feeling this way for so long really impacted my appreciation for sleep and morning rituals.




As my kids grew older, I was able to reclaim my mornings.  I loved to wake up before my children (because they finally slept) to take some alone time for myself.  From there, this gradually grew into my morning rituals, morning practice, and my making time to take care of ME.  




There are many ways to reclaim, revolutionize and power up our mornings. Quiet time to ourselves, yoga, mediation, long walks in nature, journaling, gratitude practices, and setting an intention for the day, just to name a few.  




One VERY important part for me is fueling my body well in the morning. When I do this, I have the energy and balance to handle the busyness of day-to-day living in this often chaotic world.  





SO TODAY I HAVE A GENTLE REMINDER FOR YOU ...

 





OUR 7 DAY GREEN SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE IS STARTING TUESDAY AND I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO BE THERE.
 


New exciting blends + delicious simple green smoothies to revitalize your mornings just in time for summer.

 


HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL GET:

 

  • 7 days of green smoothie RECIPES delivered to your INBOX each morning.
  • A week long GROCERY LIST to match up with all the green smoothie recipes
  • A loving supportive community to BLEND right along side you.
  • Lots of resources, gentle coaching, and loving support.

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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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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

“An Intention Sychronistically Organizes Its Own Fulfillment.”  ~  Deepak Chopra

 

I know this truth:  Our humanness naturally seeks transformation, healing and personal success, even amidst struggle or strife.

How we define these qualities is what makes us dynamic.

After the bustle of the holidays – the familiar over spending, over eating, and endless holiday to-do list – the new year is known to inspire hope, new beginnings, fresh starts, and a letting go of the past (with all its challenges).

To mark this transition, many of us are known to declare the changes we would like to make.

You start off on the right foot each year:  A new gym membership, a grocery cart full of organic produce to finally make those recipes you found on Pinterest, and a money plan that will knock your knee highs off,

 

but most often something is missing...

 

If you look back at your past resolutions you may see where they lost steam, where the realities of daily life made them tough to achieve, where your inner resistance took over, where you got stuck, where you self-sabotaged, or even gave up.

 

I have done this too.

 

This year, how about shedding your old ways (unless they worked like a charm for you) and try a "set yourself up for success" new beginning.

There is a different way. One that is filled with self respect, gratitude, intention, and potency. One that breathes vitality into your own fulfillment from the inside out, one that acknowledges and honors the challenges past, and one that makes you the master of your own divine destiny.

In Solstice Session #2 you will learn:

  • The SCIENCE behind INTENTION (with a bonus podcast)
  • How your RESISTANCE can be your biggest teacher.
  • A NEW YEARS BONUS: A simple wintery recipe to kick of your 2017

Our culture today is very much dominated by the energy of the masculine. The masculine qualities that we see so prevalently in the world are qualities such as productivity, efficiency, technology, logic, focus and stability.

Most of these qualities dominate our thoughts, our work, and our home life.

We need ALL of them. The masculine qualities have a lot to teach us. And…they tend to work even more effectively in our lives when they are balanced with the feminine.

The feminine is intuitive, fluid, mysterious, receptive, sensual, nurturing, tender, patient, adaptable, and quietly strong.

Each of us has our own personal recipe for the marriage of these two energies – the masculine and feminine. When we find that inner recipe, we tap into a personal power that is ripe for leaning into our dreams, and manifesting our desires.

This year, when contemplating the beginning of a new year, the returning of the light, and the artistry of your vision, consider what it would be like to align your inner world with your outer world.

What if your intentions were infused with intuition, emotion, and wholeheartedness?

What if you took a look at what your really want versus what you think you should want?

What if you considered how you want to feel in your life with the qualities and stepping-stones that would lead you there?

What if you considered your internal goals along side of your external goals?

Could you be a little more gentle, kind, and accepting of who you are and where you are in your life with all your imperfections?

There is no end to the depth and devotion we can have with ourselves. I see it as a life long practice, inquiry, and love affair.

In the podcast below, you will hear about The Yogic Art of Setting Intention and how to embrace the inner and outer, the masculine and feminine, and the gifts from challenges past.

 

Make Resistance Your Teacher

I have learned a lot about my resistance in the past few years.  The times I would rather not follow through.  The tasks that make me uncomfortable, the ways in which I avoid that one to-do on my list, the automatic excuses I use to avoid pushing myself into something new, and most importantly: what happens when I push through to the other side.

In fact, resistance has become an important teacher for me.

It helps me find my edge.  It offers me a new way.  It shows me where I am limiting myself.

 

So I befriended resistance.  

So often we repeat our old behaviors because of fear.  We don’t know what is coming, so our minds choose something with which we are already familiar.

Looking our resistance in the eye can give us a chance to inquire into why it is arising.

  • Fear of failure
  • Vulnerability
  • Shame
  • Avoiding feelings we would rather not feel
  • Engaging in a limiting belief
  • Believing the stories that our minds tell us (not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough)
  • Being uncomfortable with change or something new.

Acknowledging the fear of unfamiliar ways, new beginnings, and the releasing of the old is medicine when looking ahead at a new beginning – such as a new year.  When you loosen your grip on these old ways, a comforting sense of freedom and lightness emerges.  I have found when my resistance arises, simply recognizing her will make the following actions easier.

When you notice your resistance arise, pause, and ask yourself WHY?

On the other side of resistance are qualities such as freedom, expansion, breakthrough, trust, openness, potential, personal power, and love.

The stepping-stones to our dreams begin with slow and steady footholds, inner listening and balance, a strong vision, and daily practice.  Resistance will always show up to challenge our strength and refine our commitment, and when embraced, we will move mountains

 

BONUS

A WARMING WINTER RECIPE FOR YOU

Miso Ginger Veggie Stew

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

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

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

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 us to deep healing from the inside out.

Click here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017

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?

lulu-sue
lulu-sue

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

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 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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#FOODFOREPLAY

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#FOODFOREPLAY

They were 2 and 5 years old. I kissed them each on their rosy cheeks.  As they hopped out of the car, I had a flood of excitement and anxiety wash over me. “I love you mama” they would say as they shut the car door.

The whole weekend was about to be all mine.  What could I possibly do with a whole weekend to myself?  This idea was so open, spacious, free – but somehow wrought with slight panic and fear all at the same time.

At times, this fear would feel slightly paralyzing.  After being solely focused on mothering these two adorable little rascals 24-7, I just wasn’t sure what to do with 'just me' for a whole weekend.

The transition was always tough.  I wanted and needed nothing more than a break and some time for myself, but it took a while for it to settle in and feel okay.

In the beginning, I would head back home, sit, stare, and wait for the uncomfortable to pass.  Sometimes, it would be slow, stagnant and I would wish for it to end.

My emotions felt strong, but my appetite – gone.  Honestly, I could barely muster a bowl of popcorn for dinner.  This post-divorce eating pattern was no bowl of cherries, but rather one that was keeping me tired, depleted, weak, and under-nourished – every other week.

After some serious PTSD, a few dizzy spells, one intense fainting episode, 20 pounds of unhealthy weight loss, and a lot of therapy, I knew something had to change.

I had been reading Bri Maya Twari's book called ThePath of Practice.  In her lineage, cooking and feeding oneself was considered one of the most effective paths to healing.

So... this one particular night instead of falling into an old pattern of barely eating while they were gone, I decided to do something different.

I walked through the Whole Foods store picking out “Sue” food.

 

This was a new thing, and one that seemed to help this awkward moment of transition.

 

I could do this!  Dinner for one.

After a few tries, this new ritual settled in a bit and I began to find myself looking forward to it.  A yummy dinner, some beautiful ambiance, soft candle light, a long bubble bath, and time just for me.

My new practice of sensual eating and self-care was working.  The transitions were getting easier, my time alone – more comfortable, and from time to time, I would even invite some friends over to join me.

 

Sensual eating was saving my soul.

The act of cooking for and feeding myself was soul nourishment – physical healing + self-love.

  Keep reading to learn about #FoodForeplay and find out exactly what I did that created a shift for my health and healing.

 

  • The most essential ways to use sensual eating to heal your relationship to food
  • How to begin your #FoodForeplay practice?
  • Dinner for one to dinner for two...
  • A bonus Aphrodite meditation

 

Sensual Eating

Bringing heightened senses to your mealtime is the perfect place to start.  Just like sipping a full-bodied glass of red wine, or nibbling a gourmet piece of dark chocolate, all of our senses become part of the experience.

When we fine dine, part of the experience is the beauty of the food and how it is presented, plated and served.  We can too brighten up our daily meals this way with simple attention to color, ambiance, and creative expression.

While we cook, we smell the scents of the spices and nuances of flavors merging with our olfactory sense – our oldest sense.  We also are witness to the sounds of the chopping, sizzling, roasting, and blending.

While we eat, we taste each bite, mindfully noticing the merging of all the flavors and textures.

#FoodForeplay is your own personal practice – your own personal recipe for foodie pleasure.  There is no right or wrong way – simply your way, your palate, your preference.

When we enjoy food this way – in a ritualized, mindful setting – a mind-body healing emerges.  When we tap into our pleasure practices at mealtime, the plated pleasures begin to diffuse into other areas of our lives.  When we nurture our whole beings – including all of the senses – we become more satiated. This satiation is not only about our bellies being full, but rather a holistic experience that involves our body, mind, and soul.

 

How To Start

I always say start small, one meal at a time.  Make a date with yourself to begin your #FoodForeplay adventures.  Take yourself to the grocery store without a rush or an agenda.  Meander through the aisles looking for food that intrigues you, food that calls to you, or food that looks like it would be fun for you to cook.

This could involve trying something new – like visiting an old family favorite, checking out a alluring sensual fruit, or gathering some prepared food that sparks your interest. This is ALL about you.

One of my favorite things to do is create a plate of delicacies that are similar to what you would find on a charcuterie plate.  Nothing cooked, no recipe to follow, just a delight for the palate – olives, prosciutto, Humboldt Fog (my favorite cheese), flax crackers, humus, and Spanish almonds.

 

When Dinner for One turns to Dinner for Two

Sensual eating is nothing new.  In fact, food has been a part of foreplay and love making rituals in cultures far and wide since the beginning of time.

Our pleasure starts with us through food, through nature, through laughter, through sensual touch, through scent, and beauty. When we activate our pleasure center, we feel uplifted and we are magnetic to others.

 

When we know how to receive pleasure, we can better give pleasure. 

There is much exploration for us here: When we invite another into our #FoodForeplay an array of things can happen…

  • A sensual meal can simply involve sharing in the invigorating of the senses.
  • A sensual meal can activate our inner pleasure palace and connection with our beloved.
  • A sensual meal can be the co-creation of both partners – a creative and collaborative spark.
  • A sensual meal experience can turn on our erotic, lustful, sensual passion.

Everything cooked for our lover is sensual.  Love and pleasure infused into our cooking are the strongest aphrodisiacs that exist.

As aromas billow from the skillet, and broth bubbles in the soup pot, we linger in the kitchen glancing sweetly into the eyes of each other, with heightened senses, savoring each tantalizing moment.

Women especially, are inclined towards rituals. Lighting candles, arranging beautiful flowers, setting up a sacred space for all of our meal pleasures to take place.  When we slow down and presence ourselves, this #FoodForeplay opportunity can be just the right ingredient to create the erotic and desirous atmosphere to enhance any relationship.

Dinner for 2 can also include cooking together as pieces of lingerie fall to the floor, feeding each other one savory bite at a time, or adding in an array of aphrodisiacs for his and her pleasure to your meal.

You can read my previous article all about the most delicious and delightful aphrodisiacs HERE.

Once your exquisite dinner has been prepared and served, the lingering plated poetry has been relished, the collective artistry can be revealed between two people with a slow, seductive, sensory sensation.

Listen to the Inner Aphrodite Meditation below:

A memoir of the senses

Her breath is like honey spiced with cloves

Her mouth delicious as a ripened mango

To press kisses on her skin is to taste the lotus

The deep cave of her navel hides a store of spices

What pleasure lies beyond, the tongue knows

But cannot speak of it

Kumaradadatta, 12th century

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DIGEST YOUR LIFE. DIGEST YOUR FOOD.

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DIGEST YOUR LIFE. DIGEST YOUR FOOD.

I have a story for you today,

Camilla came into my office complaining of debilitating stomachaches. They had gotten so bad that she was limiting her food choices to a point of pure confusion and overwhelm.

Tears streamed down her cheeks as she explained the strife this pain and confusion was causing her every day.

There were a few notable patterns, but really, nothing that was conclusive. After all the usual tests, elimination diets, and doctor’s visits nothing had been working…

I love helping people heal their digestion. It is one of my specialties. Digestion is the most integral foundation of our health. I love the science of the blood tests, the deep healing and shifts that so often happen when we start eating foods that our unique bodies love.

But all too often there is something missing, something we overlook…

We now know that not only do the building blocks for health and vitality start in the digestive track – the break down, the absorption and the transportation – but most of our seratonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is also produced in the gut (AKA: the second brain).

When your digestion is happy, you are happy – literally.

Many people come to me to improve and strengthen their digestion.Here is the thing, it is often soooo much more complicated than food.

When we consider the complexity of the human body, mind, and spirit, there are a few extra important things to consider.

We are whole beings, with physical, emotional and soul desires, needs, and essentials.

Treating the digestion as if it exists in a little bubble in our bellies is just not enough – we leave out too much of the equation.

Instead, let’s try broadening our experience of our digestion to a body-mind-spirit approach:

This is foundational to the work I teach, but also to the success of integrating all of YOU into your health and happiness.

  • Learn what Digest Your Life actually means
  • Understand the deeper patterns that most of us are repeating without even realizing it.
  • Practice these specific mealtime tips to feel better inside and out.
  • Find out how Camilla solved the issues with her digestion (and beyond).

Learn what your digestion (and health) REALLY wants:

Digest Your Life ~ Digest your Food.

Digest your life:

If you are like most of us, life is pretty intense. Whether it is intensely full, stressful, busy, joyful, sad, or overwhelming, most of us would admit that life keeps rolling at a pretty good pace these days.

A lot can happen in a day. A lot of connections, a lot of errands, a lot of tasks at the office, a lot of kid stuff, a lot of homework, and even a lot of conflict (inner and outer).

It takes an incredible amount of centering and anchoring to not get swept away in all the ups and downs of life.

Amidst this swift daily experience, most of us don’t have time (or desire) to digest everything that has happened. It can feel like too much. It we were to take the lid off of our jar of daily emotion and experience, it might explode. Yikes.

Instead, most of us have elaborate mechanisms to keep that lid on tight, no matter what the pressure is inside the jar.

Many of us hold tension, stress, strife, conflict, and old repressed feelings in our gut.

Did you ever get a stomachache at a stressful family dinner, an unpleasant work meeting or perhaps waiting to take an exam?

When we eat under these daily stressors, we are literally shutting down our physical digestions.

Processing your life helps you to process your food.

A few facts about body-mind-spirit digestion:

The stress hormone – adrenaline – has an elaborate mechanism of shutting down digestion. If you were being chased by a grizzly bear (one of the original purposes of adrenaline) you would not want your energy focused on your digestion. You would want every last ounce of attention and energy tuned into your survival, speed, and heightened awareness.

The problem is that most of us are not being chased by a grizzly bear so-to-speak, but the day-to-day stress of our culture mimics something hormonally similar. Many of us live in an adrenaline state right here in society. Many of us experience our biochemistry as if there really is a big old grizzly out there after us.

Our daily stress shuts down our digestions and creates many issues that cannot be fixed with just food. Stress affects our hunger, absorption, and elimination.

We can’t fix our day-to-day concerns or the fast pace of our society overnight, but we can integrate a few things to help.

Daily Practices To Try:

  1. Feel your feelings, digest your life, and give yourself some downtime.

I know you are too busy for downtime. We all are. Some days I feel too busy to take a shower, but I just know I’ve just gotta make it happen. For me it’s non-negotiable – both the shower and the downtime. Talk to a loved one you trust, write in a journal, or take a walk in the fall leaves after work. Do what you can to create a little space to digest your day.

  1. Create a peaceful environment in which to eat.

It may take longer, you may have to stop for a minute, get out of adrenaline mode, and slow down. Believe me, your body will thank you. When we are in a peaceful state of mind, not only do we enhance our peace of mind, but we also boost your metabolism and your assimilation.

Simply by sitting down, chewing our food more thoroughly, making eating more of a ritual, and slowing down we can do wonders for our stress, and our digestion.

  1. Speak your truth.

What we resist persists. This includes unexpressed emotions, feelings, and communications that are held in our bodies. What if we had the courage to speak up in all areas of our lives – our work, our family, our relationships? Imagine the personal empowerment and freedom we would experience.

Our truth is not about being right, our truth is about being authentic.

When we repress our truth, we hold it somewhere in our bodies. The most common place we hold unspoken truths – our digestion. So often when things go unsaid, we get stomach aches, we stuff our feelings with food, or our digestion shuts down all together. None of these are ideal for a life filled with vitality and joy.

  1. Breathe

The breath is the quickest way to calm down our bodies and minds. When we breathe mindfully (especially through our nose) we engage our parasympathetic nervous system – the calming side of our nervous system.

With just some slow nasal breathing we can get yourself out of fight or flight mode (remember the grizzly bear) and back into an optimal state for inner peace, good digestion, and of course, peace.

Studies have shown that when we slow down our breathing, we literally slow down our brain waves and our bodies and minds become more calm and relaxed.

Try this anytime of day, when you catch yourself in a stressful fight or flight moment, and also practice this at (or before) mealtime.

Slow inhale through the nose, slow exhale through the nose.

Camilla’s Success story:

Okay, let’s get back to Camilla for a moment. After quite a lot of personal investigation, food allergy testing, and experimenting, Camilla realized that yes, a few foods were bothering her system and she was able to eliminate them from her diet for the most part. That helped a little.

What was the most impactful for her was when she started learning to calm her body and mind down during stressful work days, when she was able to speak her truth to her family, friends and co-workers, and when she took the power back for herself in her own life.

She practiced slow and mindful eating (including lots of breathing). She practiced clearing out old repressed feelings and stagnant emotion through journaling, meditation and self-care, and she started putting herself first in her life.

This took some practice and some time, but each time she felt successful, her stomach pain would lessen and she started to get her life back.

Today, Camilla is free of stomachaches – as long as she doesn’t slip back into her old patterns. If this happens, her body instantly tells her, and she is now informed to amend the situation immediately.

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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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.

learnmore

 

 

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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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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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The Power is in the Protein

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The Power is in the Protein

THE POWER IS IN THE PROTEIN

 

I learned this the HAAAARRRRDDD way.

The ‘dream machine’ – I've had it since the 5th grade – would chime, and I would quickly roll over in my bed to push the dream bar (aka the snooze button) so I could fall back into a sleepy slumber for just a few more minutes.

From there, with hair in a high ponytail, Birkenstocks on, and a little lip gloss, out the door I would race.

Leaving NO time on my side, I would run to my early morning genetics class all the away across the UBC campus.  If I was lucky, I would shimmy into the SUB (student union building) to grab a coffee and a banana nut muffin to bring with me to class.

 

It was a blood sugar disaster.

 

By the time I could fin my next snack – somewhere on campus – I would be bonking big time.  

Protein was NOT on my radar, especially in the morning.

We have all been this person – our mornings a little crazy – neglecting how our metabolisms are CRAVING the building blocks for energy and vitality and feeling the impact of mindless choices in feeding our bodies based solely on convenience within our busy schedules.

 

Don't worry, I've got your back

 

For the past few weeks I have been steeped in exploring my own morning rituals getting ready for the Green Smoothie Challenge.

In the designing phase of this summery breakfast bliss, I have also taken some time to put together a guide to help you find the PROTEIN POWER that best suits YOU.

Today, not only do I have a few important keys to kick starting your metabolism each day, but I also crafted a little extra hand holding for you when choosing how to stay masterly in your mornings.

 

The POWER is in the PROTEIN (powder) 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips

 

Increased intake of morning smoothies made with protein powder has become like a trendy love affair for individuals seeking to build lean body muscle mass, increase the feel good health vibe and loose excess weight – especially around the mid-section – while still getting out the door on time.

Not only is this convenient breakfast (or meal) trend working well for people on the go, but when given the best versions of protein powder, morning smoothies can also deliver a ton of nutrient density and energy to our bodies.

If you want to build muscle and burn fat to transform your body, there’s no getting around it, you need to eat more protein. Not only is protein required to repair and rebuild your muscles, but it’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer so you can curb your cravings and find your flow.

As with anything, there is a gigantic range of quality that not only presents confusion and overwhelm, but can also take something good, and turn it awry.

 

 

Check out these 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips to choosing your protein powder wisely.

 

 

1. The Secret is in the Source

The most common question is about WHERE the protein comes from. Before you get drawn into the whole whey, hemp, rice, pea, soy debate – STOP.

There are many great protein sources.

When it comes to protein powder, whey is the most complete protein source, and has the highest protein density.

Whey, when it is organic and un-denatured, is highly absorbable and is optimal for muscle protein synthesis.

Many people have dairy allergies or dairy intolerances. If this is the case for you, or you want a little variety, try some other great options such as hemp, pea or rice protein.

When exploring vegan protein powders, favor those that have been designed with a full amino acid profile – complete proteins – in mind. This helps to build muscle and strengthen your metabolism.

Beware of soy: Research suggests that soy can increase levels of the female sex hormone estrogen (which encourages fat storage), and the plant is often genetically modified to boost crop yields.

 

 

2. Quality Matters

As I mentioned above, not only is the type of protein important, but the quality of that protein as well. When buying any kind of protein powder, be sure to get grass fed, organic, non-GMO, whole food based protein powders that have full amino acid profiles (found in the ingredient list) and are LOW in SUGARS making them low glycemic.

Read the ingredient lists. Many of the available protein powders (including Whey) are chock full of additives, preservatives, sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

Keeping the sugars low will ensure that you are satiated, and you remain in the fat burning zone free from the repercussions of extra toxins, additives and artificial ingredients.

 

 

3. Look at the Macro Nutrients

Macronutrients — carbs-protein-fat — are calorie-containing nutrients that fuel the many functions of the body. A good meal replacement protein powder will have a healthy balance of these. Look for macro-nutrients somewhere in the range of 45%-25%-30%.

While there is no magic ratio that fits everyone, you will likely find that making these changes in your ratios will help you with long term body composition, cravings, energy, mental clarity, sleep and a more balanced mood.

A low-glycemic meal-replacement smoothie that allows for steady blood sugar control and staying fuller between meals is your ticket to both satiation and your super powers.

What I have found is that health seekers all over the planet love to drink morning smoothies because they can easily add a variety superfoods, proteins, good fats, greens, and adaptogens to create a powerful start to the day.

Above all, the key to a great breakfast smoothie really lies in a good balance of protein, along with healthy and nutritious ingredients to create something yummy that you'll look forward to drinking.

Photo Credit:  Chef Bailey Jean Ruskus

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Self Care is the New Healthcare

  The early morning sun peeks through my purple curtains these days with a certain kind of spring morning hue.

 

With the sound of the dawn chorus chirping outside my window, I stir, sensing the break of a new day. The intoxicating fragrances of spring stoke my senses, and the lush green foothills of Boulder are beckoning me to come and play.

 

self-care-tulip

 

For me spring brings busy weeks of parenting teens through final exams, travel planning, family dinners, school performances, creek festivals, memorial day picnics, graduations, work and friends.

 

It’s full, it’s dynamic, and the weeks can fly by faster then ever.

 

Do you make time for everyone else, but you?

 

Self care – the art of listening to our body’s needs and wants from a deep soul knowledge of the self – is simple yet complex.

 

Self care is simple because it is applicable to humans across all times and necessary to our fundamental human needs.

 

Self care is complex because in today’s world, we are most often overwhelmed by getting everything done in our days, to then fall into our beds at the end of the day exhausted.

 

Spring brings fresh energy, possibility and the chance to begin anew. Now is your time to cultivate and create all that you need to THRIVE in your life.

 

You will know you’ve recognized what you need when you feel the flame of excitement, inspiration and passion growing in your heart and maybe you will even feel a sigh of relief.

 

Think of having an afternoon nap, taking a warm bath, having time to read your favorite book, a walk in nature, or sipping tea with a friend in the garden. Self care doesn’t have to take up much time, but even just 5-15 minutes a day will change everything for you.

 

5 things that happen when you practice self care DAILY

 

 

  1. You start to prioritize yourself (halleluiah)

 

Just like any other habit, once you get your self care rolling you gain momentum.

 

For the next week, what would happen if you made it a point to prioritize yourself every day?

 

I know this can sound edgy, especially if you have small children, you do service work, or your friends and family really NEED you.

 

The thing to remember (and this has helped me a lot) is that we aren’t much good when our “CUP” is empty. Try filling up your own cup first, and watch how giving back to your circle of life becomes easier.

 

  1. You feel more energized

 

When we take better care of ourselves, we nourish ourselves better, and this creates a surge of energy in our often tired, overwhelmed, and busy lives.

 

Exercise is energizing. Naps are energizing. Relaxation and down time are energizing. Gardening and nature are energizing. The sky is the limit on how YOUR self care looks.

 

I promise you that dedicating 5-15 minutes a day (or more) to self care will improve your quality of life and your energy throughout the day.

 

  1. You get sick less

 

When we practice self care daily, our immune systems are less taxed, we are more rested, and we attune to what we need to stay healthier.  Your daily self care has a direct impact on your health today, and also  on the future of your health.

Simply Psychology states “When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.”

 

Try thinking of self care as your essential “Vitamin S”

 

  1. Your relationships improve

 

Not only will your relationship to yourself improve, but also, when you are feeling more connected and balanced in yourself, your relationship with others flows more smoothly.

 

We are better listeners, better mothers, better lovers and better friends when we are well resourced, rested, and harmonious with our day-to-day life.

 

If you have a hard time doing it for you, do it for the others in your life 

 

 

  1. You fine tune your intuition

 

The art of listening to yourself gets easier and easier with practice.

 

Your body is always your ally.

 

When we move through life so fast, always trying to take care of everyone else, we loose the connection to our inner voice of intuition and wisdom.

 

Don’t worry –YOU are still there.

 

Tuning into what we need is an important practice for health and well-being – body, mind and spirit.

 

Eventually, this inner voice of wisdom will guide us gracefully to knowing exactly what we need to be in balance. We begin to trust. We take better care of our beautiful selves, and our quality of life escalates to new levels.

 

Self care is an act of SELF-LOVE

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6 Sweet + Sensual Secrets of Spring

   

I've got a few spring secrets for you.

 

We picked an aromatically pleasing purple lilac and carried it with us along the creek path, taking turns inhaling its sweet spring scent all the way through our evening walk.

Walking on my neighborhood creek path is my favorite way to unwind at the end of the day. I find solace in listening to the creek ripple by, and witnessing nature’s articulation as everything comes to life for a long awaited spring.

 

spring-lilac-text

 

 

Something as simple as the sweet scent of a lilac activates the senses, and connects us to the deeper currents of spring.

The 8 limbs of yoga are steeped with teachings and guidance to uplift the heart and mind.

Some of these 8 limbs are very well known amongst the most common yoga practices – for example, the physical practice of ASANA: the practice of the holding yoga postures – whilst others are less trendy and even thought of as the forgotten limbs of yoga.

 

Pratyahara is one of my favorite limbs of the yoga practice.

This particular limb is defined as the practice of refining of the senses.

Pratyahara includes both the discernment of gaining mastery over the senses in the face of distraction, as well as the refinement of the senses through a heightened awareness.

When we refine, heighten, and savor the sensory experience, we become more present – the senses can only be experienced in the present moment – and we heighten our experience of the world around us – more pleasure, more bliss and more embodiment in all the things we do.

I will tell you how this applies directly to our eating, our bodies, and the beauty all around us in

 

 

The 6 Sweet + Sensual secrets of SPRING  

 

You are a pleasure based being. You are designed to feel pleasure, enjoy pleasure, and embody pleasure through your senses. With just a little attention on this and some tips to cleanse your sensory palate, you too can refine your sensory experience and enjoy the ride just a little bit more.

 

  1. Slow down

 

We all know today’s world is fast paced and full. We can’t really change that in the big picture. What we can do each day is gift ourselves the time to slow down. Slow down when we eat, slow down when we walk in nature or slow down when we do our self care practices.

 

Take a deep breath. It sounds simple but something as simple as a few deep breaths allows us to be in the moment, get centered, and relax our minds.

 

 

  1. Cut back on overly sweet or salty foods

 

One major downside of eating highly refined and processed foods is that our palates become less sensitive to the subtle flavors of natural food.

 

Choose foods that are made from nature’s naturally sweet flavors or natural mineral rich salt.

 

When the flavors are varietal and pure, they not only heighten our sense of taste, but they also energetically attune us into more inner balance and harmony.

 

Sweet – Nourishment and love

Salty –   Courage and fearlessness

Bitter – Purification and detoxification

Spicy – Passion and excitement

Sour – Spiritual fire and passion for life

 

 

  1. Engage all of the senses in your eating

 

Watch the chocolate meditation here

 

Bringing all of my senses into my eating is on of my favorite exercises. I filmed this video with the release of my book, Health Wise, in 2014. You can apply the concepts of the Chocolate Meditation to any eating you do.

 

Make your eating more sensual.

 

  1. Do a little screen time cleanse

 

When we spend all of our time looking at our devices, our Facebook page, our Instagram account and the latest HBO series, it becomes less likely we are going to notice the sensory experience of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a purring kitty, or the crackling of a warm fire.

 

Give yourself some screen free, device free, electronic free time each day.

 

  1. Touch yourself (yes, you read that correctly)

 

As we know, there are many ways to touch ourselves. Some are more arousing and sexual then others. What I am talking about here is waking up our bodies to sensual touch.

 

You can practice this with gentle coconut oil self massage. You can practice this with self-pleasuring. You can practice this with warm comforting aromatherapy baths.

 

You choose.

 

  1. Practice Scent Therapy

 

One therapeutic practice to try is to up your sensory experience in your sense of smell.

It is said that the olfactory sense, our sense of smell, is our oldest sense from the viewpoint of evolution.

Our sense of smell creates strong memories with its powerful, swift and precise presence.

Cool fact ** The sense of smell is even more developed in a woman than it is in a man.

Our sense of smell is deeply connected to our sensual relationship to food, to a woman's eroticism, and to our intuition.

Some doctors call this "scent therapy". This can engage new receptors in your nose, improving your sense of smell over time.

Scent therapy infuses your olfactory system with delightful, potent scents, refining your sense of smell while enjoying benefits of the aromas on your entire body, mind and spirit.

Some scents are more therapeutic than others, while others are more pleasure based as well.

Try essential oils, strong smelling flowers or raw foods that when lightly cooked emit a strong aroma – such as garlic, ginger, tumeric.

 

Spring is the most sensual and lush time of the year. We can open the spring nuances more fully as sensual sensory beings through all things food, body, sensuality, and self-love with the activation of our senses - pratyahara.

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Mimosas, Marigolds, and Mothering yourself

  Do you MOTHER yourself ?

The ambrosial scents of spring have been rolling over me like ocean waves this week.

Instant BLISS.

 

marigold-bali

 

With a little (or a lot) of spring fever lighting me up, I decided to park my entire mobile office outside on my back deck. Usually, when I notice any resistance to my usual day-to-day stuff – writing, finances, paperwork – I ask myself the question: "What would it take to inspire me?"

 

This week my answer was SPRING.

 

Not only did my move outside to work uplift my motivation, but it actually had me looking forward to the writing hours I had allotted for myself this week.

 

This is one way I MOTHER myself

 

To really take care of ourselves and tend to ourselves, we have to give ourselves the love we want and deserve first and foremost.

 

Self Love.

 

As we embark on Mothers's Day weekend, this year I invite you to practice MOTHERING yourself.

 

No matter where we are in your lives, what our relationship is like with our mothers, or whether we are a mother, mothering ourselves is the best way to love ourselves this Mothers Day.

 

Mothering ourselves reminds us we are our own best friends, our own fierce protectors, and our own wise teachers.

 

Do you have your own back?

 

Intuitively we know what we need.  It takes a little practice – like strengthening a muscle over time.  The practice is in the PAUSING, being curious, and self inquiry into what we really need and want.

 


 

Here are 4 easy and quick 'MOTHER YOURSELF' questions:

What does your physical body need to be nourished?

What does your heart need to be fed with happiness and joy?

What does your mind need to be free, clear, and inspired?

How can you feed your spirit with peace and calm?


 

If part of mothering yourself requires a little hand holding, don't be afraid to ask.

 

If mothering yourself involves aligning your health from the inside out with the energetics of SPRING, check out my Spring Fever Cleanse Programs below.

 

 You can read ALL about the Spring Fever programs HERE.

 

Here's to all the mothers that have come before us, mothering ourselves, and celebrating the beauty of spring...oh and Mother's day mimosas.

 

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The TRUTH about Transitions

Some transitions are tough,  

I collected all the ingredients for a warming broth, chopped up a yellow onion, grated the aromatic ginger and lemongrass, and turned on the pan to melt the coconut oil.

 

The early morning chill was obvious, and the forecasted rain was daunting and reminding me to get cozy with a warm pot of soup on the stove.

 

(You can find the yummy soup recipe on my Facebook page HERE)

 

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I had yet another pot of soup in me as we are approaching May this week, and warm pots of soup and stew are very much associated with winter for me.

I am the type who likes to put my crock pot away for the summer, not to be seen until the first leaves begin to turn on the trees each fall.

 

Here in Colorado, spring comes in waves. Waves of warm spring - sit on your deck - sunshine, interspersed with yet another winter storm, usually all the way to Mother's day.

 

While I personally may be ready to retire this year's snowy winter and celebrate the warmer days and nights of spring, the transition into spring is a little bit less predictable here in Colorado.

 

I have realized I am not a huge fan of transition 

 

Whether it be saying goodbye to a loved one, moving houses, transitioning home from a big trip, or the change of seasons, transitions can be a bit daunting for many of us.

 

My awareness around my struggle with transitions is nothing new. When the transitions get tough, I have learned to take extra special care of myself, use my daily practices and self reflection, and simply bring the transition into my attention while being extra gentle with myself.

 

If you are craving a strong, healthy and vital spring, let me help you with the transition...

 

This year's Spring Fever Cleanse programs are designed to do just this. Align yourself with the season with food, exercise, daily practices and self care energetics and see how your spring transition can be extra smooth this year.

 

You can read ALL about the Spring Fever programs HERE.

 

Yup, that warm pot of soup last night was just what I needed to curl up with and get cozy as the chilly rain came down.

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