Viewing entries tagged
intention

LET'S MAKE IT SUN-SATIONAL

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LET'S MAKE IT SUN-SATIONAL

 

"EVERY SUMMER HAS IT'S OWN STORY"

 

Are you ready for 3 months of BBQ's, fresh garden salads, summery adventures and pool time?  


For me... a wholehearted YES!!! 🙋‍♀️


Memorial Day weekend is the kick-off to summer for many of us. One of the beauties I love about this time of year is the simplicity of the food we can eat. Summery meals are often lighter, fresher and more colorful as well as easier to prepare. Picking a fresh salad from the garden or exploring the local farmer’s market to find seasonal produce can inspire a simple and ‘localicious’ meal to share with loved ones.
 

If you want to stay ahead of the game this holiday weekend (and not feel lethargic and icky come Tuesday) check out some of our favorite tips and treats..

 

 

1.  Prioritize Your Preparation:

Having what we need and want in our kitchens, to feel aligned with our eating, is what I consider the secret to success. When we are surrounded by food we are avoiding, we get into a battle with our will power and our cravings.  

Research now shows that creating healthy habits and positive automatic behaviors will lead us to much better results.  On any given day our will power can be anywhere from a 0-10 in strength –depending on our sleep, stress, hormones, and self-care. Our will power changes day-to-day – not the best thing to rely on. 

What works much better is being surrounded by what we want, and getting into regular routines and rhythms that support our choices.  This way, we can rely less on will power and more on our daily routines.

 


2.   Substitute Smart:  

Feeling deprived is not going to be sustainable for most of us. Enjoying our food and our lives is something that is born from deep within our human consciousness.  Rather than making unattainable goals for ourselves, why not try smart substituting?  

Guilt free comfort food is what we call it! Between Amazon.com, health food stores like Whole Foods, and Google, it is not hard to find substitutions for our cooking, baking, and summer time festivities that are still tasty and delicious (Pinterest is my favorite for this purpose).

Check out some of our favorite guilt free comfort food recipes HERE.


3. Watch Your Whites: 

White sugar, white flour, white rice and all those high-glycemic ingredients that sneak into so many foods will reek havoc on our blood sugar, our digestive tracts and send us into a moody madhouse. 

Rather, try eating a more whole food based diet, (including those smart substitutions), use more natural sweeteners, add lots of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.

Enjoy the full flavors of natural food.


4. Get Outside: 

There is nothing like getting outside and moving our bodies in the sunshine to helps us get a clear perspective, increase our feel good neurotransmitters, and help us embody our health.  

I consider movement and nature one of our primary foods. When our primary foods (all the other ways we nourish ourselves, along with our eating) are happening, we are surely to make better food choices.  The good feeds the good.

Give yourself some fun in the sun this holiday weekend. Take a walk in the woods or get out and dance to your favorite summertime outdoor music at your local Memorial Day festivities. 

(I will be enjoying some great music down at The Boulder Creek Festival).


5. Make Pleasure Your Practice: 

Most of you know I have your and my pleasure in mind and I surely don't want you to miss out on any of the holiday goodies, so try finding your middle ground in the process. 

In my opinion, restriction is never the answer, but knowing your limit, how YOU best stay in balance, and what you want for yourself (crystal clear) should help to inform your choices.

Take things slow. Bring mindfulness and intention to your eating. Make peace with your plate.

 


 

What are your tried and true tips?  Tell us in the comments below…

Happy Memorial Day!!

 

 

 

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FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

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FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

She walked into my office one day (a little flustered I might add) with her bathroom scale in her hand.  "Take it!" she exclaimed.  "If I have to look at this scale one more time, I may literally go crazy."

Tears of sadness began to stream down her cheeks.  I noticed frustration competing for a close second, as she clenched her jaw.

"I have realized that my happiness is co-dependant on this stupid scale!"

...I kept that scale in my office for close to a year.

The New Year is still fresh – a clean slate, a fresh blanket of snow, a new leaf, a new beginning, a reset, a restart.

Hope, optimism, dreams, plans, and goal setting happen with new beginnings. 

Many of us are in the process of contemplating what we want our year to look and feel like.

Research shows that the most common aspects of ourselves that we choose for our New Year's resolutions, goals, and intentions are:

  • Weight loss
  • Healthier eating
  • More exercise
  • Stress management
  • Better overall health

(i.e. It's my busiest month, and the gym was packed today).

If you have ever made your day dependent on the number on the scale ....

If you have ever walked by the shop window and glanced over to look at your reflection - mortified...

If you have ever pulled out your skinny jeans, tried them on knowing they were going to be too tight, changed into your baggy sweat pants, canceled your plans and binge watched Netflix...

If you have ever examined your naked body in the mirror – looking for love handles, muffin tops, or cellulite...

If you have ever turned down sex because of ANY or ALL of the above...

Then today's Solstice Session is especially for you.  Grab your warm cup of tea, get cozy (it's super snowy here in Colorado) and let's chat...

In Today's Solstice Session you will learn:

  • The truth about feelings
  • Why adding(+) is better that subtracting (-)
  • AAANNDD... little winter FARE to pamper your palate

First of all, you are not alone. “Feeling FAT” is a common thing to say, experience, and hear.

Something I have noticed: It doesn’t matter how big or small a person is, they still may very well experience “Feeling FAT”.

 

How often does a phrase like this run through your mind?

This “feeling” can leave us overwhelmed and stuck with icky, unlovable, worthless, depressed, unmotivated, thoughts about ourselves.

One big breakthrough I have witnessed is when we realize that “FAT” is not a feeling. If you experience “feeling FAT” then see if you can dig deeper into what is really going on…

What are you really feeling?

  • Scared
  • Anxious
  • Lonely
  • Hopeless
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Shameful
  • Frustrated

When we “feel FAT” we are almost always covering up a true emotion that is more complicated, overwhelming, or uncomfortable.

What can you do?

  1. What you are REALLY feeling? Name the feeling. Give yourself space to feel it.
  2. Trace the feeling back to the original trigger, incident, or event that may have started the feeling.
  3. Work with your thoughts and judgments around experiencing the feeling.
  4. Be gentle with yourself. You are a “feeling” being. There is no escaping it. You will continue to experience a wide range of feelings in your life, no matter what. The more comfortable and aware you become with these feelings, the better.
  5. Trust that you are stronger than you think, and that with a little practice, you can handle feeling feelings you have.

 

How does adding and subtracting relate to feeling FAT?

I know this may seem like a strange metaphor, but it is one that I have used for years for my own life as well as in my work.

Think about it for a minute…

Most often when we think of changing something, making an improvement, getting healthier, loving our bodies more, or creating transformation in our lives, we think of what we are doing wrong.

It is easy to bring our critical eye to the moment, compare ourselves to others, and wish we were just more perfect.

Most of us tell ourselves to STOP doing a certain behavior: to STOP eating so much candy, to STOP worrying about things so much, to STOP over eating, over spending, over giving, over extending, and even over judging.

Many years ago, I sat with one of my mentors on a cold and snowy winter day just like today.

She was in her mid-seventies, and steeped with a lifetime of self-study. I was thrilled to hear some of her wisdom.

She spoke this one particular message that has stuck with me for years – and has become integral in my personal and professional work:

 

“We don’t need to take things away, but rather add the right things and what we don’t need will naturally fall away.”

 

When we take things away, we naturally feel deprived. We need immense will power (which oscillates from one day to the next) to keep this up.

This could be food, money, a certain behavior, or even a person.

Have you ever tried this?

In my personal experience, and in what I have witnessed in my clients for the past 15 years is that our will power tends to run out, our old patterns creep back in, the pendulum swings from deprivation to indulgence, and we end up right back where we started.

When we add the right things into our lives consistently, they start to become automatic – we start to feel good – and our tired old patterns become more and more illuminated.

 

The good stuff begins to out weigh the rest, and we are less inclined to regress.

 

Take it up a notch. What if you added a lot of really good stuff?

Let’s say you are trying to quit eating so much white sugar this year – a very popular New Years resolution.

You start by adding in whole foods, adding in natural and yummy deserts full of the sweet flavor but also full of nutrients, self-love and balance, you add in some green juice here and there, you add in regularly moving your body daily, and also add in more adventures, more connection and more restoration…

Eventually that white sugar starts too taste waaaayyy to sweet.

Your palate becomes more sensitive and those sugary binges start to taste and feel bad to your body. You find yourself more satisfied with a natural sweet flavor, and the sweetness of life you have created all around you.

You may dabble in a bite of sugar here and there, but all the good stuff you are doing minimizes your old desire for so much sugar and YOU tap into a personal power that you thought was almost impossible to cultivate.

What are you going to ADD into 2017?

 

On that note here is one of my favorite naturally sweet recipes for you today. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Click Here to Get the Recipe

 

 

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

 

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If 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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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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#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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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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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

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In today’s Summer Solace Series#2:

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

We are taught to think rather than feel.

 

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

 

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

 

 

Where Do You Numb?

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

How Do You HONE Your Intuition?

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Listen to today's Story Time Sit Down HERE

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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Healthy Happy Habits

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My summer mornings are savored.

 

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

 

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

 

Hmmm...

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Summer Solace Series#1

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

 

summersolace-peach

 

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

 

Today you will learn:

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

What are your tired old habits?

 

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

 

Try this:

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

 

 

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

 

 

Listen to our first Storytime Sit Down HERE 

 

 

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

Stay tuned...

 


 

 

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sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

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

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

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

learnmore

 

 


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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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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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5 Ways to TUNE In

   

This past weekend, as I prepared to send my youngest son off on a plane to Mexico for a spring break vacation with his friend’s family, I noticed I had this anxiousness and tightness in my body.

 

I wasn’t thinking about it much, but when I finally got home after a busy Monday at the office, I had to sit for a minute and ask: What is this feeling about?

 

It is his first international trip without me, and even though I consciously felt so excited for him, somewhere inside I was having a hard time letting go.

 

 

If you find it a challenge to control your thoughts and feelings some days, you are not alone.

 

5ways-to-tune-in

 

 

These types of feelings, thoughts, or body messages offer us a lot of information when we pay attention. The problem is, often we don’t. Our days are busy, bustling, and full of to-dos that can easily disconnect us from our true inner experience – body, mind and spirit.

 

When we ignore our inner selves, we learn behaviors to repress the more intense thoughts and feelings. This often leads us down the road to numbing, checking out, over eating, and often self-medicating in a variety of ways.

 

When we practice TUNING IN, we can actually give ourselves the space to feel what is occurring, give it time to make sense and tend to ourselves in the ways we need in order to free ourselves from the common pattern of repressing our truest nature.

 

Connecting with ourselves more deeply helps us to connect with others more deeply.

 

Understanding ourselves – our wisdom and our intuition – helps us to honor the same in another.

 

Thoughts have information

 

Feelings have information

 

Bodies have information

 

We need a language to understand the insights that come through our body, mind and spirit. This is the language that gives us permission to listen to our subtle bodies, and then take action based on our highest good.

 

Cultivating a relationship with our WHOLE self is the best relationship on which we could ever spend our energy.

 

Our true self is our path to happiness, harmony, peace and deep understanding of our fullest selves.

 

 

5 ways to TUNE IN

 

 

 

  1. Find Stillness

 

As you know, our minds can get quite cluttered, full, and busy. We spend so much time exploring and experiencing our outer world, our work world, our family world, that we are rarely called to get to know the universe within us.

 

Can you sit with yourself without any distractions? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been quite some time. Find a quiet space to sit, pause, and breathe. What does it feel like to slow down, and find stillness? If you are uncomfortable, you are in the right place.

 

Practicing slowing down and finding stillness is often foreign to us, therefore we need some practice to feel more familiar and comfortable. Eventually stillness can become like an inner anchor that we can count on.

 

 

  1. Become A Witness

 

Living in this super busy world creates stress and overwhelm for almost everyone. It is not our fault. The ways we have lived through struggle, hardship, heartbreak, loneliness, or overwhelm are part of who we are, and the ways we have gotten stronger are assets gained from the past, that are applicable in the present moment. It is just taking time to witness them. No judgment, no shame, no blame. Our inner dialogue can give us information about the current state of our being.

 

What stories, phrases, and negative thoughts do you repeat to yourself constantly?

 

Where do you feel it in your body?

 

How do you want to treat yourself ?

 

It is a rich practice to become the witness to which internal conversations come up often.

 

  1. Name the Inner Experience

 

When we identify what we are experiencing, we give our inner landscape a voice and a space to move through us freely. Use a word that describes what you are experiencing. Do you feel afraid? Angry? Treated unfairly? Scared? Lonely? Bored? Give the feeling a name. Come up with a word that describes the current experience, positive or negative.

 

  1. Create Spaciousness

 

For centuries, many traditions, many teachings, many cultures far and wide have referred to creating spaciousness regarding the mind-body connection. Allowing our inner experience to move through us freely gives us a feeling of lightness and freedom.

 

Breathing is powerful and an effective vehicle to create spaciousness. Even just one conscious breath brings some spaciousness to the inner body. Following the breath with your attention is a simple, effective and easy practice to fit into even the busiest of days. You can do it while driving, while at work, or while in the midst of just about anything.

 

Simply pause and breathe.

 

 

 

  1. Ask a question

 

Once you identify what is occurring in your subtle inner bodies, you can then begin the process of self-care, spaciousness, and honoring what is.

 

Beginning with a question helps to initiate the process of taking care, tending to, and nurturing you.

 

Try these:

  • What is my hearts desire?
  • What do I really want?
  • How can I love and accept myself today?
  • What do I need to be nurtured?

 

 

 

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Are you a SOUL-FOOD junkie?

   

She would set the table the day before all the holiday dinners, pull out the special white with silver trim china from the cabinet in the corner, and dust off the silverware.

 

I would help her slip the cloth napkins into the shiny silver rings and place them in the middle of each plate.

 

For me, family dinners began with a lot of intention, planning, and prepping of sacred space.  My sweet mother loved the sacredness from start to finish – and she still does.

 

I realized just a few years ago how integral these family rituals were for me.

 

Not only have they offered me an evolution of my own food and family rituals, but they have come from a long lineage of women in my family who continued to create and evolve the traditions – each molding them into a unique expression of their souls.

 

Soul-shine-bali-food-pic

 

Often, ritual is a way the soul craves connection, presence and sweetness.  Ritual has been expressed in so many realms throughout time to fulfill this part of our soul’s desire.

 

Many of these rituals show up in our sharing of food, holiday traditions, and birthdays, with family and friends.

 

A study published in the Journal of Psychological Science showed that those who participated in ritual during, or before a meal had an enhanced experience and enjoyed the meal more because of the greater involvement and presence throughout the meal.

 

“Embrace the soulful place inside of you that gives you your color, your character, your personality, and your zest for life.”  Marc David

 

Rituals have been considered a healing practice for centuries in many different cultures.  Today, I offer you the opportunity to explore the rituals in the realm of food and your eating so you can find your SOULFULNESS and SATIATION to your delight.

 

5 Steps to Soulful Satiation

  1. Start with Intention

 

We can bring intention, love, consciousness and awareness to our food practices just as if they were a divine body prayer, a deep connection to your beloved self or even another platform in which to practice consciousness in our lives.

 

Bri Maya, author of The Path of Practice, is best known for her healing practices around eating. Bri Maya came from ancient India where the women who were cooking, and preparing food, brought so much intention and prayer along side of eating.

Women would roast grains, grind masalas, and sift beans while chanting and praying into their food.

It was said that these prayers and this consciousness around food and sustenance greatly impacted the way in which the food could heal our bodies and how we can find even deeper soul nourishment in our eating.

 

  1. Create the Space

 

Just like my mom did before special dinners, you can find YOUR way to making your eating happen in a sacred space.

 

Finding your sacred space to eat is like applying awareness and intention to all aspects of our lives. We can begin with positive clear thoughts, a healthy whole food plate, and an inviting space to cook, eat and at the same time, feed our souls.

When you close your eyes and imagine creating sacred space, clearing space or bringing a love and attention to an aspect of your eating that needs some attention, where does your intuition take you. Where does your eating need a little more detail, clearing, or cleansing.         Is your refrigerator full of expired condiments? Is your kitchen table cluttered with paperwork? Or is your eating environment inviting, comforting and calm?

 

 

  1. Feed Your Body As Your Temple

 

By holding the highest most supportive thoughts about ourselve in the forefront of our minds, we can surely imagine how the nutrient density, source, and specifics of your food and eating can fuel your body. It’s just like you were worshipping her with all her beauty, energy, and life force.

 

For us to truly live our purpose, and do our work in the world, we have to be well taken care of by ourselves. We are worth the extra money, time, and energy it takes to fuel ourselves with love and sustenance so that we have the energy to give back in our circles of life.

 

 

  1. Meet Mindfulness

 

Giving yourself the permission to SLOW down and SIT down is big. It is necessary. It is important.

Slowing down can feel awkward, scary, uncomfortable, or even too quiet, but it is something to test out and practice. As we get more familiar with this kind of eating, it gets easier. Put on some good music, create a peaceful ambiance, and love yourself through your mealtime and really experience and savor your EATING.

 

 

 

  1. Grace and Gratitude

 

The more gratitude we experience the more our gratitude grows.

 

“As gratitude is cultivated, we experience an increase in our happiness and joy”

 

This is very good news not only for your inner experience, your thoughts, and your positivity, but also…

 

…when we engage the relaxed side of our nervous system, we are able to assimilate, absorb, and digest our food so much more effectively.

 

Through gratitude, we accept the good in all, including our plates.

 

 


Care for a little Bali MAGIC?

We are just one month away.  Come join us and give yourself a break to reset, rejuvenate, and relax while experiencing the MAGIC of BALI.

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

 

 

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5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

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5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

 

 

I was exhausted. 

 

 

Life had handed us some big challenges.  I had to discover a whole new kind of parenting, that I was not ready for (or so I thought). All I could do is keep on holding the space and taking care of everyone, but truthfully, I really had little left for myself.

 

 

 

It’s not that I wasn’t doing what I could with self-care each day – evening baths, shutting myself in my room with a good book, of course spending time with close girlfriends – but I knew what I was going through was intense, and I was needed – my 100% was needed.  

 

 

 

Last summer (June 2013), my son lost his best friend in a Boulder tragedy – one that made the front page of the newspaper multiple times, and one that left us all completely traumatized, broken hearted and lost.  

 

 

 

We have had a lot of support, a lot of time at home, and a lot of time to go through the various stages of grieving in a sacred and loving way.  At times, the personal needs of our families get even more all-consuming and full.  Nearly eight months later, we are just beginning to come up for air.  

 

 

 

It happens this way sometimes in life. Often, parenting, working, school, living, and taking care of everything that needs to happen for our lives to run somewhat smoothly can be very overwhelming - especially amidst particularly challenging times.

 

 

 

 

I knew my time (Sue time) was coming. I could see it on the horizon, and it helped get me through. It did...

 

 time i needed to breath, restore, pause, and reflect on one of the toughest years of my life.

 

 

 

I looked over my packing list multiple times this particular morning. I checked that I had my passport probably seven or eight times (a habit I have), made sure I had a couple important things in my carry on bag – journal, headphones, novel, essential oil, snacks, and of course my tooth brush (I like to brush on long flights).

 

 

I got all of my travel goodies to the front porch just in time for my ride to the airport.

 

 

 

Each year I take a group of women to somewhere exotic for a pilgrimage of deep relaxation, personal inquiry, space, rejuvenation, connection and time to unwind.  

 

 

 

If you are like most of these women, you might understand their overwhelm in the business of the day-to-day.  I sure do. Tired, stressed, burnt out.  This seems to be one of the big reasons women decide to come along on our annual retreat. With all we hold in our lives, it is so therapeutic to take a break, reset, assess, and give ourselves some time just for us.

 

 

 

We make excuses, avoid change, get stuck in our outdated habits, and resist putting ourselves first, but is that really how you want to live?

 

 

 

This week I am going to share with you some very specific health benefits that happen when we give ourselves a break. They are important to know about, part of an important conversation for women, and something most of us could work on, as we are often the last ones on our own priority list.

 

 

 

5 Science Based Reasons Why You Should Take a Break

 

 

 

1.. Sleep more deeply

For most of us who are holding a lot in our days, it is a challenge to “let it all go” at night.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 48% of Americans report a sleep disorder (most commonly, insomnia) and women are 1.3 times more likely to report a sleep disorder than men. The biggest contributors to sleep issues are stress, anxiety, depression or poor sleep habits. 

When we take a break, we retrain our sleep cycles and studies show these new habits most often continue even after we return home.

I recently learned from a master teacher that the best way to release stress, trauma, and pent up emotions in our nervous system is to rest.  It sounds so simple, and yet many of us find it so hard to make the time to rest.

 

2. Gain perspective

Underneath a lot of our suffering are our outdated old habits, the way we sabotage our happiness, and the age-old way that women forget to take care of themselves.

Our inner voice that tells us to listen, to slow down, to nap, to take some downtime – most often get overridden with turbo gear, muscling through, and our fast paced world.

Something has to change.

I spent years silencing that voice. Then one day, that voice said, "I can't do this anymore."

The pain of staying the same became greater than the pain of change and I dove into spending time on giving myself a break and creating downtime.   It was time to break out of old patterns and into a life where I felt free, connected and could become my own priority.

 

 

3. Lower your body mass index

Yes, it’s true. The stress hormone, cortisol, does no good for your waistline. High cortisol levels lead to higher insulin levels. Both of these sneaky hormones store body fat when they are out of balance.

When you give yourself time to slow down, rest, and release your stress and overwhelm, you biochemically tell your body to release excess weight around your mid-section.

Not only is this pleasing to most women, but it also creates a healthier body composition for the long term.

 

 

4. Balance your hormones.

According to the Chopra Institute, doing fifteen minutes of deep belly breathing twice daily has been shown in several clinical trials to increase balance of the female hormones, as well as improve a woman’s sense of well-being. 

Learning a mind-quieting technique such as meditation or yoga, will help decrease stress hormones and allow the body to function more efficiently.

Imagine how much time you have to breathe deeply, meditate, and rejuvenate on vacation or retreat.

 

 

5. Improve your longevity

"It is important to engage in multiple leisure activities, both as a way to enjoy life more, but also to potentially have a benefit on increasing long-term health and decreasing long-term stress" University of Pittsburgh's Mind-Body Center.

Your long-term health will thank you.

Understanding that stress, fatigue, and burnout are responsible for most degenerative disease, often helps us to take our prescription for peacefulness a little more seriously.

 

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3 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU

  Last night I spent Boulder's snowy evening with the CU women's group called FEEDING FEARLESSNESS.  These amazing young women are dedicated to healing their relationship to food and body with their whole hearts.

 

As the falling Colorado snow flakes began to cover the roof tops and tree tops around time, our heart opening conversation led us to our vulnerability and our depths.

 

One aspect of our conversation determined how, almost always, these unique struggles many women experience come from bigger root issues that are unresolved, overwhelming or scary to feel.

 

Most of us don't like discomfort.

Loneliness, guilt, heartbreak, shame, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger and sometimes even joy can feel like too much for us to hold.

 

unnamed-3

 

 

This week I want to share with you 3 ways to say I LOVE YOU (to yourself) so that you can cultivate more SELF LOVE and SELF CARE while expanding your ability to feel and accept all that you are.

 

1.  Equanimity:  Often referred to as being in balance, there is actually a little more to the true definition of equanimity.

The fullest expression of the word includes the ability to be at peace and remain calm in the face of uncertainty or a difficult situation.

The human psyche doesn't normally like uncertainty or difficulty.  This is a practice where, over time, we can build our fortitude.

Start with baby steps, start where you are, and remember...

 

This too shall pass

2.  Compassion:  Being self-compassionate means that whether you win or lose, or surpass your sky-high goals, you still extend the same kindness and sympathy toward yourself, just like you would a good friend or a child.

 



Compassion towards the self is a deep breath, a self-care practice, or a positive affirmation that fills up your self love cup.

 
 

How you speak to yourself changes everything.  Embrace your imperfect self.

3.  Acceptance:  According to the work of Byron Katie, learning to LOVE WHAT IS, is about dismantling our current state with the exercise of revealing how our deepest beliefs are often based in misunderstandings with ourselves.

It takes courage to face reality without telling ourselves a story that things should be different. Ultimately, it means living in a state of love — a lot more of the time.

Be sure to check out the 3 offerings I have for you below,  so you can continue to build your SELF LOVE and your PLEASURE POWER this month.

 

 


 

The FREE #7 DAY SELF LOVE CHALLENGE starts Monday!

Join the #7 day Self-Love Challenge: Online FREE Course We begin February 8th. Have a love affair with yourself.

Through daily efforts learn to forgive yourself, put yourself first, recognize your strengths and do something you love each and every day!

Self-love-challenge-sue


Eat Clean ~ Talk Dirty Online Workshop February 12th!

The Power of Pleasure Explore your relationship with food, pleasure and SEX. With Sue Van Raes, Costen Aytes and Leslie Jones.

Eat Clean Talk Dirty


Care for a little Bali MAGIC?

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

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

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10 Consciousness and Kitchen Quickies

  With the warm Colorado sun warming me through window at Boulder’s local tea shop – Pekoe Sip House –  I sit this morning, (with my Mate Latte)  and start to clear off my emails from the past month.

 

My email is, as usual, overflowing with my favorite writers and bloggers, and today, almost all themed with the new beginnings of 2016.

 

The New Year is always full of so many opportunities to renew.

 

Whether you are a goal setter, a resolution lover, or one who strives to live with intention each day, we are bombarded with hundreds of ways to create a fresh start, even if we are half way through January.

 

Social media, emails, articles and advertisements are rolling in with a brilliant range of options.

 

So today, I decided to offer you a perfectly FREE and favorite way of mine to remember #healthisourgreatestwealth.

 

Center of Health Quote

 

In the spirit of supporting you in your health goals for the year, whatever they may be, I want to share with you my top 10 ways to setting up your sacred space, the center of your health, with just a little more mindfulness.

 

I have found after working for over 12 years in the field of mind-body health and nutrition, that there are a few  “set yourself up for success” gems that I want to be sure you know about.

 

"The CENTER of your HEALTH is in your CONSCIOUSNESS and in your KITCHEN"

 

Creating sacred space for yourself crafts the energy to expand our visions into in reality.

A sacred space brings forth a container for your coming year of self-care, nourishment and vitality.

Creating a sacred space for our lives and our health can be two fold:

 

  • Living in alignment with our true nature, and our body’s most authentic needs.

 

  • Keeping our thoughts about ourselves supportive, loving, and kind.

 

My top 10 ways to create sacred space for vibrant life and health:

 

1.  Eat nourishing whole food that is free from processed sugars, additives, preservatives, and refined ingredients.

2.  Create mealtime rituals that give you the time  to sit down and enjoy a peaceful meal.

3.  Craft a positive affirmation about your body.

4.  Take some time each day to nurture yourself.  Try asking the question: “What can I do to nurture myself today?".

5.  Sit peacefully and reflect each morning on how to customize your day to match your health goals, your energy and your to-do list.

6.  Listen to your body – it is always your ally.

7.  Drop the guilt - I know this one is tough, but living wrought with guilt is even tougher.

8.  Give yourself down time each day, leading up to and including a good night sleep.

9.  Give yourself permission for pleasure. (all kinds of pleasure)

10.  Make YOU your #1 in 2016.

 

 


Join us for a MAGICAL week in BALI this spring.

EPY-Bali-2016

 

 

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A BRAND NEW Year

  After sleeping in and slumbering around for the 5th morning in a row, I was reflecting on how I had barely checked my email all week.

I have enjoyed some of these darkest (and coldest) nights so far by cooking yummy winter meals, snuggling up by the fireplace, sharing in heartwarming conversation and reflection of the past year, and visiting with friends and loved ones.

These dark wintery nights around the holidays are a time I gift myself this slow and peaceful pace.

Long winter walks and snowshoes under the blue bird sky, personal reflection, and this slow revealing of what my visions are for the coming New Year feel like an appropriate focus.

This week's Dark Night Delicacy (week #3) is coming to you from my pajama palace, where much creativity and care has been born.

From my restful slumber, much clarity and cuddled-up contemplation emerges in this week's dark night delights.

Dark Night Delicacy #3 is HERE for you
Want PEACE?  Live PEACE
.

The Dark Night Delicacies are my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery-wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

Want Peace?  Live Peace.

 

Each year around the New Year many of us contemplate what we are striving for in our lives, how we want to achieve certain goals, amend bad behaviors with resolutions, and turn over a new leaf.  It is natural for the mind to crave a fresh start.  The gyms get busier, diets or cleanses become all the rage, and often we focus on the bad habits that we hope to no longer do.

This year when you are contemplating what it is you are wanting, I invite you to join me in the remembering that in creating our NEW YEAR as we wish for it to be does not come from self criticism, chance, or something outside of you.

This year as we contemplate what it is we are yearning for in our hearts and minds, try to imagine how we can align both our thoughts and our actions with this desire.

If you are wanting PEACE, begin by focussing on your thoughts being more peaceful.  See if you can find more peace in your actions, in your way of relating to others and in your way of loving yourself.

If you want more prosperity, try practicing abundant thoughts, giving more to others, and finding gratitude for what you have.

If you want more happiness, keep choosing unconditional happiness that is not based only on certain circumstances lining up just right, but rather seeing happiness and joy in how you think and how you move through the world.  Try spreading more happiness in your interactions with others. 

 

Wintery Wise Recipes

 

Roasted Spagetti Squash with Wild Mushrooms, Savory Chicken and Kale

spaghettisquash-mushroom

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, roasted

2 TBS olive oil

6 large gloves of garlic, minced

3 cups baby portabello mushrooms, chopped small

2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped

1 or 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into strips

4 cups dino kale leaves, packed

¼ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:

Roast the spaghetti squash and set aside for later use.

In a medium-sized skillet, add the oil and heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms have browned.

Add the chicken strips, and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chopped kale. Cook 3-5minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Add the lemon zest, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.

Strip the spaghetti squash into spaghetti strands and place in a medium-sized serving bowl.

Add the chicken/mushroom/kale mixture and toss together.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan and enjoy.

 

New Years YOGA Pose

anahatasana-guide

 

Open your heart and free your mind this New Year.

 

  • Anahatasana (heart chakra pose) is a nice opening for the upper and middle back
  • Release tension in your neck and shoulders
  • Softens your heart.

 

Find your way into Anahatasana

  • On your hands and knees, walk your hands forward, allowing your heart to drop toward the floor. Keep your hips right above your knees. If possible, keep your hands shoulder width apart.  Bring either your chin or forehead to the floor and breath into both the front and back of your heart.

 


 

Sign Up for the Eat.Pray.Yoga 2016 online Course and Community Right HERE

We begin January 18th, 2016.Become a VIP early bird and sign up before January 1st.  You will receive these delightful extras to explore until our circle of women meets officially on January 18th.

Set your SANKALPA:  A virtual intention setting workshop with Sue for the New Year (January 1st, 2016). Join me for this special bonus 1 hour virtual workshop where I will share with you some of the most potent and powerful yogic practices around setting clear and precise intentions for your upcoming year.

       

Sync up with the seasons: with the Winter-Wise Whole food purification program.  With each season come unique currents and energetic rhythms that we can specifically tap into with our eating and our self-care.

Health Wise:  A hard (and signed) copy of my most recent book to offer you just a few more supportive strategies for a healthy, happy and whole living.

Eat.Pray.Yoga BALI 2016:  Take an additional $200 dollars off of our magical women's week in Bali this spring. Check out all of the details HERE.

EARLY access to Module 1:  Right off the bat, you can log in to the first Module of Eat.Pray.Yoga.  Early access is only offered to the VIP early registrants.

 

If you missed any of the previous Dark Night Delicacies, you can check them out HERE.

 

 

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Begin your Descent

  The Tugboats crashing upon the waves as they crossed through the city was the perfect backdrop for a festive dinner out in the city of Williamstead, on the island of Curacao.

 

This particular night was even more significant for the townspeople (and lucky for us) as it was the night (December 1st) when Williamstead lit their holiday lights on the floating bridge that so beautifully lit up the water with its colorful reflections.

 

Dark nights and winter holidays are celebrated worldwide.

 

Sun kissed after a glorious Caribbean vacation with my sweetie, we are returning home to embrace the dark nights before us, and the holiday festivities to be had.

 

When the dark nights come each year, I have finally begun to look forward to my personal descent into the darkness. What I used to consider cold, stressful and tender has now become a time I cherish each year.

 

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

 

Some would say this descent is known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld. Others see it as the most potent nights to pray. Many share insights on 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.

 

For the next 5 weeks the Dark Night Delicacies are designed to share with you some of my most favorite winter recipes, rituals, and ways to reset and replenish.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1 is here for you.

Solace and Self Care

 

darknightdelicacies

 

 

  • Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
  • Three ways to begin your own dark night descent embracing winters wisdom.
  • How to restore your life force and your energy easily.

 

This is my holiday treat for you this year. A candle lit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1

 

 

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.

 

I hear about it all the time from my clients, my friends, and my family. The most common complaints we all know: 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.

 

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 The Dark Night Delicacies are for. Little winter weekly wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own winter warrioress.

 

Spend some quiet time each day.

 

This commitment to yourself  is simple yet totally profound. Quiet time does not involve the TV or computer. It does involve a long cozy walks in nature, a warm ritual bath, a quiet place to meditate or journal, or your favorite juicy novel and a bowl of sumptuous organic popcorn.

or...

Join us this weekend: The annual Women’s Winter Wanderlust Day Retreat right in downtown Boulder CO.  

Come and join us as we retreat for a day nourishing ourselves, indulging in a women’s circle of intention, connection, and practice as we find our clarity, grace and power within - at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place.

winterwanderlust 

 

 

REJUVENATE

 

Our mats and our practice can act as a perfect reflection for the inner witness. It is helpful to come to your mat with a specific intention that will customize your practice. Allow your focus to turn inward with every breath tuning into the subtle body and the inner observer. Listen for intuition, insight, physical cues, and sensation that are rich with information and winter’s wisdom.

 

Pose of the week

Malasana

 

malasana-guide

 

 

 

Malasana has a descending and grounding quality and is a good pose to practice whenever you need to foster a focus of inner listening and serenity. Try B position: reach your palms back behind you, palms to the mat, with your upper arms in between your legs. Drop your chin to your chest and focus your breath on your back body. As you turn your gaze inward and calm your nervous system, begin to listen inward to the messages of intuition that come through your awareness.

 

 

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.

 

Soups and stews

Root vegetables

Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)

Miso and seaweed

Garlic and ginger

 

 Thai Carrot Soup

carrot-thai-soup

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb carrots (approx 4 cups)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups veggie stock + 2 cups water
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp chili sauce or sriracha
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Coconut oil to sauté

Heat in a large pot over medium heat

Dice onion, garlic and carrot. Saute veggies with coconut oil. Add veggie stock and water. Season the pot with salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 min or until veggies are soft.

Transfer to blender, or use submersion blender. Add almond butter and chili paste/sriracha and blend until smooth. Sitr in coconut milk. Optional – add a smidge of honey.

 

 

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Successful Seasonal Immunity

The other night, I was walking down Pearl street here in downtown Boulder after a yummy birthday dinner  for my son (Happy Birthday Ari!!), and I found myself shivery cold as we walked back to our car. This week the weather really shifted here in Colorado.  There has been gusting wind, snow, and some super chilly nights.

I have heard of many lingering coughs, flus, and cold season symptoms sneaking up as we make the transition to colder days, and darker nights.

 

The seasonal transition towards winter is surely before us (if you are in the northern hemisphere that is) and with that comes a big shift for the body and our delicate (yet resilient) immune systems.

 

Synching up with the season is a safe status to secure.

 

With the holidays right around the corner AND the weather changing, a little extra self care could be just what you need to stay strong, vital and in good shape for the weeks to come.

 

We have the remarkable capability to heal ourselves. The winter dry climate presents us many challenges in keeping our immune system strong, therefore is important to make choices in the way of health to give ourselves the chance to thrive through every season especially winter.

 

The body is a wise immunity warrior.

 

Building our immunity or Protective Qi, wards off either diseases from viruses and weather influences. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, protective qi is derived from essential substances in food and inhaled air quality.

 

Here are a few tips for a successful immune system as the seasons change.

 

  1. Synch UP: Take the time to prepare whole foods seasonal foods, rich in all the essential nutrients to give yourself a strong foundation that will benefit you for every season.

 

Highly refined foods lack most minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and much of the protein required for proper immune function. Avoid refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, pasteurized dairy products, white sugar, and meats containing nitrates and replace with seasonal whole foods high in protein, natural fat, that are perfectly matched for the season’s health challenges.  

 

Stick to a diet high in whole foods such as organic veggies and fruits, natural meats and fish, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Eating in tune with the seasons will naturally tune your body to the seasonal challenges and strengthen accordingly.

 

  1. Oil Up: Omega-3 oils are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega three oils in the form of either DHA/EPA, which are available in cold- water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine; or alpha-linoliec acid, which is the fatty acid found in certain plants, such as flax seed, pumpkin seed, soy bean products and walnuts. They are some of the “good” fat that is necessary for healthy development and immunity. For many, a nutritional supplement may be the best option. Not only do we need omega-3 three oils, but also the essential vitamins and mineral for their absorption. Fresh vegetables, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds come rich in these vitamins B6, A, E as well as minerals magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

 

A Study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AUG 2002) recommends the use of Omega-3 oils therapeutically for activating immune response. . EFA’s also give the added insulation that keeps the tissues moist, the nervous system strong and the body full of energy and insulation.

 

  1. Herb UP: Another study published spring of 2004 in the Journal of Internal Medical Research indicating black Elderberry extract (sambucus nigra L.) reduces flu symptoms and shortens the duration by more than 50%. Due to the challenge of the increasing flu risk in that we have experienced nation wide, this may be one of the keys to staying healthy through the winter.

 

  1. Tune UP: The benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs are priceless when it comes to building immunity. They have the incredible ability to be adaptogenic, which will either tonify or strengthen the system. They treat the individual not just the symptom and have a very efficacious quality that works quickly and effectively.

 

This is similar with other ancient medicines such as homeopathic medicine and ayurvedic medicine. Find out who your local practitioners are and lean on them during these times when our immune systems are challenged.

 

 

  1. Warm UP: Lastly, remember the harsh weather conditions are a challenge to the system. The Chinese believe that all the major pathogens enter the body born on wind. The line of points across the back of the neck is the weak spot known as the wind gate. Covering this area in times of harsh weather, such as wind and cold will help to prevent illness. Wearing turtlenecks, scarves and many warm layers made of natural fibers is not just and old wives tale. “Dress for the season not the day” is a well-known approach to keeping your body warm, and strong.

 

We have at our fingertips so many of nature’s gifts that work well in our bodies to protect, and strengthen.

Nature’s pharmacy and menu is endless.

Connecting back to the basics, the simplicity, and the wisdom that our own planet has to offer is truly a beautiful path to overall health, vitality, and immunity.

Keep cozy and stay healthy.

 


 

 

 

 

EPY-Bali-2016

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Feeding Fearlessness

  Some inspiration for you today:

 

Over the past few months I have been a busy bee restructuring a lot of my business so I can better serve you.

 

This process has led me to finding new partnerships and collaborations that feed MY inspiration, match my mission, and better fuel my TRIBE mentality. It has left me feeling so powerful and uplifted.

 

tribes

 

This past month in particular, I have really been diving into this idea of collaboration, cooperation and win-win type relationships that can create an energy and support system like never before.

 

You see, I am a gal who has leaned towards (over) independence, always doing things all by myself.   My asking for help felt like a burden.

 

WHOA was I wrong...

 

What I am realizing is that most of my life I have forged ahead without the TRIBE mentality.

 

Having spent a lot of time on this lately (personally and professionally). I am realizing that not only can we be more supported in collaborations and cooperative efforts, we can also be more powerful in our own lives.

 

My mantra lately has been ..."Lean In"

 

Thanks to my awesome business coach, this month I have hired an assistant (go Ashley!) a new (bookkeeper (thank you Bettsee), and kindled some amazing partnerships with awesome organizations such as LuLulemon, Isagenix, and Radiance Power Yoga.

 

(p.s.  This has also been very good for my relationship.)

 

Today with that in mind, I am going to share with you a very special collaboration I am working on because this one really pulls at my heart strings, fires me up, and leaves me so excited and energized at the powerful work people are doing in the world.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is just that.  

 

This week I chatted over tea with one of the founders of Feeding Fearlessness, Kaitlin Mulligan.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is a student run support group at CU that aims to both provide a safe space for open conversation regarding eating disorders and body image, as well as help educate the surrounding community about the prevalence of these problems.

 

These women are extremely passionate about personal transformation, the TRIBE mentality, and women finding their power with eating and body!

 

Last week they were on the front page of the Daily Camera!

Here is all the details:

Feeding Fearlessness is open to both men and women, and isn’t exclusive to just those struggling with defined “eating disorders,” but to anyone who may be struggling with food, weight, body image, etc.

FF holds weekly support meetings, where members are encouraged but not required to share a bit about their successes and setbacks.

FF maintains an atmosphere of positivity, as we are all striving to achieve better health and happiness.

Feeding Fearlessness also participates in fundraising events, such as walks for the National Eating Disorder Association, and helps to raise awareness throughout Boulder by participating in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and the like.

Unhealthy relationships with food, weight, and exercise are often overlooked, especially in the Boulder Colorado community, and we aim to bring more attention to these relationships, and support each other in bettering them.

You can find them on Facebook HERE, email the leaders HERE, and read the exciting article from the Daily Camera HERE.

 

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Rachael Quirke, left, and Kaitlin Mulligan, have started a new club at the University of Colorado that focuses on eating disorders. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

 

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me ...

 

Stay tuned over the next few months, and I will share with you some stories of other amazing TRIBES that may also stoke your inner passions. I am so excited.

 


Join Us This Spring in BALI

EPY-Bali-2016

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Mystical Magical Mornings

   

Waking up this week in the darkness of the late fall mornings, I have had a few moments where it feels just too dark to get out of my cozy bed.  That little bit of full moon light peaking through my bamboo shades hasn't been enough to wake me up before my 6:30 alarm.

 

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I have been rolling over and pulling my big purple comforter over my head to hide, not quite ready to get up in the darkness.

 

When I finally gather my energy, I creep downstairs to make my morning tea - and see if my teen has stirred yet in time for high school - I have been so lucky to watch the full moon still shining bright as the sun comes up, lighting a burning fiery red in the sky that turns glorious pinks, purples and oranges.

 

When my warm tea is steeped and ready, I head up to my sacred space, the one I call home for these early mornings.

 

The mornings are magical to me.

 

For years I have said that getting up before my kids and taking some space for myself, has been my secret to parenting.

 

My morning routine is my favorite part of my day.  I guard it fiercely, I revel in it, and I watch it transform with what I am going through, what the season is doing and how I am connecting with my INNER world.

 

Having time for just ME before I start my day is (what I think of as) essential.  At times I have only been able to squeeze out 5-15 minutes before getting both kids up and out the door to school.

 

Lately, I have had more time.  My kids are getting older, and this is the FIRST time in 18 years that I don't have to drive across town to drop them off at school.

 

In many yogic traditions the 2 1/2 hours before and up to sunrise are known to be the most potent time to connect to the higher realms.

 

This time is known as the Amrit Vela, or the time of day when the veil is the thinnest to the Divine.  Anything you do during this early morning time is considered to be 40x more powerful.

 

I have some special morning magic secrets to share with you this week + a free recording for you.  AAANNND…I would love to hear how your morning magic metamorphosizes your life.

 

 

MORNING MEDITATION

 

There are many, many styles and traditions around how to meditate. I appreciate and honor each of them. Some are very simple and some much more elaborate.

 

For the sake of reaching out to all of you, I am going to tell you about a very simple style of meditation that anyone can try at any level of experience, and that is not related to any particular lineage.

 

SoHum meditation

 

 

If you want to check out a recorded audio version sample of this meditation, you can listen HERE. This is a recording from my online program.

 

 

MORNING PAGES (journaling)

 

I adopted the morning pages practice back in the late 90’s when I first go to Boulder, from Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way Morning pages are the practice of writing for approximately 10-20 minutes, stream of consciousness, first thing in the morning.

 

There is no way to do morning pages wrong. Morning pages are designed to be a way to cleanse our minds (conscious and subconscious) just like we would take a shower to cleanse our bodies first thing in the morning.

 

There is no need to worry about structure, grammar, or how it would read back to you at a later date. Morning pages are like a chance to purge whatever is on your mind. Be sure to not over think it, just get it out, on paper and feel yourself lighten in the process.

 

 

CONSULT YOUR ORACLES

 

Often in the early mornings, either before or after I meditate or journal, I consult my oracles – AKA my Tarot deck.

 

I have carried around one of my favorite Tarot decks since the days of backpacking though Central America in my early 20’s. I acquired this particular deck on the beaches of Guatemala in 1993. Since then I have gathered some other oracle type decks and I play with each of them regularly.

 

Each morning I pull a card and receive a divine message to work with for the day. This helps me to tap into some intentions, some personal inquiry, and some mystical insights that keep things interesting and inspiring. At times I will expand my readings to longer more multi card spreads with more time and ritual involved, especially on certain holidays, solstices, full moons, birthdays etc.

 

I always appreciate the little (or big) messages I receive this way.

 

 

MEDITATIVE WALKING

 

One of my favorite morning practices is to take my warm cup of tea, bundle up (depending on the time of year) and take a silent walk on the creek path next to my house. The early morning sun is so special, the outdoors is so peaceful, and the movement through the often brisk air, is a good way to wake up my senses.

 

If taking a walk is part of my morning practice I will usually stay quiet, inward, and focused on my breath, intention, and connection to nature.

 

I love to hike with my kids, friends or my sweetie, but I do reserve this sacred magical morning time just for me.

 

 

Now it’s your turn…

What mystical magical morning practice speaks to you?

If you have your own, I would love to hear about it so I can give it a try.

You can share you favorites and your morning intentions in the comments below.

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When you listen to her WHISPER...

Divine Feminine, Shakti, Goddess, Inner Voice, Intuition, Woman's Wisdom, Truth, Subtle Body... call her what you will.

 

We all have her voice inside, guiding us.  I find her often on my meditation cushion, in my journal, or on my long daily hikes up my favorite mountain.

 

whenyoulistentoherwhisper

 

When we ignore her, things tend to go awry.

 

If we ignore HER for too long, tune her out, or override the whisper carelessly, overtime the inner scream builds up, gets uncomfortable and even explosive.

 

Sometimes it comes in the form of exhaustion, sometimes overwhelm, sometimes heart ache.

 

Often, we totally SHUT DOWN, get out of balance, and feel FAR away from who we want to be.

 

Emotional eating, self-medicating and barely coping can and does happen.

 

Checking out of our lives, our relationships, and our purpose, becomes routine.

 

Are you with me?

 

Even if we don't like what we hear her whispering she doesn't seem to care.

 

Sometimes, we need to do the unspeakable:  take a nap, have a hard conversation with our partner, friend or family member, SLOW DOWN, go inward, …or maybe even take the day OFF.

 

This week, I lay in my purple bed resting, and fighting with myself.  Can I give myself permission to stay here, feel into, and honor myself in the darkness?

 

OR ELSE.... or else what?

 

To be truly FREE and living in a way that creates harmony with the universe - inner and outer - there is work to be done.  The most important job we will ever have.

 

There is listening to be heard.  There is honoring to be held.

 

Your inner quest is unique, delicate, and personal but I am sure we have a few things in common. Let's explore how the roots of our suffering are also the doorway to the temple of our hearts.

 

Whisper Wisdom #1

Accept

 

The feminine can be fluid, free, accepting, and unconditionally loving in all her beauty. She can also be self critical, shameful, and stubborn.

 

When we are able to truly BE where we are, accepting HOW we feel, there is an opportunity to both SIT in the present moment and LOVE what is.

 

Stress is when we oppose what is happening in the present moment, and wish it were different.

“Loving what is” (from the work of Byron Katie) is the first step to accepting the current situation exactly how it is, and seeing life as our teacher.

 

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance”

 

Whisper Wisdom #2

Devotion

 

Taking care, nurturing, and tending to your inner world is an essential part of freeing the feminine into power and grace. Devotion to your inner whisper is devotion to your truest self and most authentic needs.

 

When the whisper says “I’m tired”…rest.

When the whisper says “I need to cry” …let the tears flow.

When the whisper says “I am goddess” …adorn her.

When the whisper says “ I am stuck” …grant her movement.

 

“Love is a constant devotion, not a passing emotion”

 

Whisper Wisdom #3

Allow

 

Giving yourself permission to expand into your fullest expression is a priceless gift. Being who you ARE is your divine right. Your uniqueness is your most cherished offering.

 

With every expansion there is the beauty and the pleasure, along with the shadow and the fear. They all deserve a voice.

 

Can you sit in the uncomfortable? Can you feel into your darkness? In the darkness we often find our richest gems and jewels for growth.

 

 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”

~Maya Angelou

 

Whisper Wisdom #4

Gratitude

 

Often in the uncomfortable, the disappointment and the fear, there is a rich and colorful teacher. We may avoid, turn away or resist her, but most often we are called in deeper to listen.

 

When we allow her exploration – listening to the whisper - we are most often graced with the wisdom and gifts of our heart’s deepest challenges.

 

In my darkest hours (of which I have had many) I have been blessed with a deeper love for myself, creative explosions, powerful truths, or a rawness that has built my inner Queendom into a palace I now can embody and embrace for her beauty more than ever.

 

The trick is to find the transformation, the silver lining, the life lesson that leaves us awe-struck in our inner strength and resilience.

 

Many of the common female archetypes express a similar female inner discovery. As we see in the stories of Persephone, Inanna, Lilith and Kali, they dive into the darkness of the feminine psyche, only to be stripped down of all knowing and all comfort, baring the darkness and holding the fear, to then find the jewels of their own nature. Each in the name of divine love and the shedding the old outdated self.

 

I am grateful for my soul gifts, my personal evolutions, and my most heart opening moments that have changed me forever.  What are yours?

 

“Gratitude opens the door, the door to the power, the wisdom and the creativity of the universe”

~ Deepak Chopra

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Sync up with the SEASON

I sat in bed Sunday morning drinking tea, reading, and savoring the coziness of my down comforter.  

I made soup.

 

I took a long walk in the woods to see the brilliant trees changing to vibrant oranges and reds.

 

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I adore AUTUMN.

 

You may feel the desire to pull inwards and reflect, rest, and restore a bit more as well.

 

You may have noticed that urge for more warming fall foods to nourish your body as well.

 

Now that another fall season is upon us, you may feel ready to let go, forgive, and heal as you watch the leaves fall to the ground yet again.

 

All of these intuitive knowings are exactly why SYNCHING up with the SEASON is a brilliant practice.  When we SYNC up with nature we also maximize our MOJO.

 

Our life force lights up.

 

Each season in Traditional Chinese Medicine is linked to a specific energy, organ, color, sense and element.

 

Fall is the season of downward and inward energy, lungs and large intestine, letting go of sadness and grief, the metal element, our sense of smell, and the color white.

 

As we descend this fall, we have the opportunity to both let go and purify physically and energetically for the rest of the season to bring us more vibrant health and radiance.

 

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

 

Here are my favorite 5 HEALTH HABITS to SYNC up with the SEASON to make a magnificent impact on your health, harmony and happiness.

Warm

 

Keep you lungs and chest warm (and the rest of your body). You can try:

 

Warming foods: Foods that are slow cooked, root veggies that carry the downward and inward energy such as ginger, onion, leak, garlic and beats.

Herbal Teas: Many herbal teas are good for their lung support, immunity and warming qualities. (ginger, nettles, cinnamon spice, chai, osha root, spiced mate, or mullein)

Essential oils:  Oils are great to use during the fall season. You can difuse the oils, use topically, or even in your cooking: Frankinsence, vitiver, cedarwood, sage, fennel, or oregano oil

Wear Warm clothing: To insulate and nourish the lungs we must be warm. Even if the weather is warmer than an average fall day, stay attentive to the season, the cooler nights, and the need to take deep care with warming up the core.  Your immune system will thank you.

 

 

Breathe

 

As I mentioned, fall is known as the season associated with the lungs in Chinese medicine. It is often a time when children come home from school with upper respiratory coughs and weakness as the weather changes. It is important to strengthen the lungs in the fall. This can be done in a variety of ways but here are a few of my favorites:

Make sure you and your family exercise regularly. Pump the lungs often so they are strong and cleansed with rigorous life-giving breath.

 

Many foods in the fall are known to support the lungs. Root vegetables such as onions, leeks, and ginger are supportive to the lungs. Fruits such as apples and pears care for the lung tissue as well. Eating with the season is the perfect way to maintain healthy lungs.

 

 

Detox

 

The season of fall is the perfect time to gently detoxify and cleanse our bodies, our homes and our minds.

We all come across toxicity each day in our foods, in our environment, and with our daily stresses.

When we cleanse our body, you strengthen your immune system for a healthier fall and winter season.  (Check out the Fall seasonal SYNC up here)

 

When we cleanse our homes and our environment by cleaning with natural cleaners, letting go of old clutter and creating a sacred space in our home, we have the perfect place to rest and restore as the season often pulls us to spending more time at home resting and restoring.

 

When we cleanse our minds through meditation and mindfulness practices, we create a healthier and more calm relationship to daily stressors that can throw us off balance. We deepen our connection to ourselves, and we stay more centered in our lives.

 

 

Ground

 

As you watch the leaves falling from the trees and becoming the earth‘s nutrients for next year’s planting, it becomes obvious that fall has an energy that flows downward and inward (as opposed the upward and outward energetics in the spring). What are the aspects of your life that ground you? Make a list and practice these grounding activities regularly in the fall.

 

It is a nice time to take long walks in the colorful forest and feel the leaves crunching under your feet. Consider collecting nuts, pinecones and fall treasures for an altar or a fairy garden with your children. These small autumn rituals and habits help us harmonize ourselves with autumn. It is natural to sleep more, rest more and begin to turn inward towards introspection and healing.

 

 

Gratitude

 

Lush sunflowers, tucked in with the plump orange pumpkins, are an abundance to celebrate. The colors, foods and celebrations of fall are profuse. Feel gratitude for the beauty of the harvest. Set a seasonal outdoor table rich with a cornucopia of color and nature’s gifts to warm the heart for any celebration. Share a gratitude blessing before your meals, as it promotes health and happiness.

Light a bonfire to take away the chill of the evening and join in a circle of friends celebrating fall in its glory.

Take it in! The abundance is around you and within you. Your only job is to notice and appreciate its radiance.  Remember all you need exists within. You are the strength, you are the love.


Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

 Check out the FALL COZY Seasonal Sync up (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin on your own, just let me know, we have you covered.


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