Category Archives: Uncategorized

2014!

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Hello 2014!  I’ve made some decisions about this blog, possibly temporary changes, that I wanted to tell you all.  As much as I really enjoy blogging, I’ve decided that I’d really like to put 100% of my writing efforts towards picture books.

I’m going to continue choosing resolutions each month, but it’s just likely I won’t blog about them unless I absolutely must.  🙂

Speaking of, did anyone catch our new blog theme song on Saturday Night Live?

November & December

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Oh, friends.  I’ve been composing these really beautiful blog posts in my head about my body/body awareness/body image/self confidence/my daughter/my son/loving myself/mom pressures/my daughter’s school unit “My Body Is Amazing”/admiring other women/Princess Kate/princess culture/everything and truthfully, I know it’s just not going to happen at the quality I’d like it to be.  After four years of reading my blog, you’re probably not surprised!

November (month of eating and feasting) + resolution to appreciate body = interesting

The first week of November I would catch myself daily/hourly/constantly saying the cruelest things to my body. But what to do? I decided that like any relationship with anything, I needed to put in the time changing the dialogue.  So, every day (usually when I’m getting dressed), I started telling my body wonderful things.  Has it erased years (decades…) of poor self-talk? No, of course not but a step in the right direction.

I went to this wonderful parenting talk with Carrie Contey in November and one of the take-aways was “what you appreciate, appreciates.”  Naturally, this related to my body-love resolution and it relates to my December resolution.  I’ve been taking her holiday challenge.  It’s been great in re-focusing me, giving me designated ways to connect to myself and my family during this holiday time.

Wishing you the best this holiday season, friends.  Love to you and your amazing bodies!

Photos & My Amazing Body

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(Did anyone think that there would be photos of my body based on my title? Just feeling a little silly this morning…)

It sounded like a strange resolution, perhaps even vain, but I’m so happy that I took more photos of myself this month. I should have mentioned that I was inspired by this post and another post (that I can’t locate) about a daughter’s unsuccessful search for a photo of her late mother to display at the funeral.  My own mother shared a story about her grandmother who would lean out of every photo taken of her.  Unfortunately, she was still captured in the frame and thus, there are numerous photos of her awkwardly leaning sideways.

This won’t be my story.  I won’t pretend that I don’t take advantage of the delete function on my camera when a photo is unflattering but I’m more comfortable than ever with the images of me: fancy or without make-up, just-the-right-weight or a bit puffy, tired or energized.  It’s me, enjoying all of the blessings of my life.

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This month, I’m going to continue this long, long journey of self-acceptance.  I love how an increasing amount of people embrace a practice of gratitude during November and my expression of gratitude this month will focus on my body.  Our bodies deserve a bit of recognition, yes?

Finally, I can’t mention gratitude without sending it back to you.  I appreciate you each taking the time to read what I write.  It fills my heart more than you’ll ever know.

Doodles!

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Doodling, what a fun resolution! I really hopes this one sticks.

Did you hear about Monday’s Yosemite National Park Google Doodle?  Oh, the irony.

Friends, if you decide to doodle, please doodle with caution.  I giggle every time I see this news reporter’s drawing.

I am my family’s photographer and rarely am documented at events.  My resolution this month is to take a photo of myself every day.  I’m not going to use the word “selfies,” because it makes me think of other things.  😉

Strange…

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So, yes, I’ve been wanting to update my blog, but I didn’t expect for WordPress (or my Mac, or my children on the iPad?) to update it for me!  I apologize for the last post that might have appeared a bit cryptic.  Or perhaps I was sleep-blogging last night?

I’m still skimming the Engine 2 Diet book but I saw this quote from Jeff Novick, MS, RD and thought this might be a better summary than something I could create:
“Just to clarify… the term “plant-based” diet is not necessarily a diet that is 100% free of animal products but a diet where the majority of the calories in it comes from plants. If it is 100% plants, which many of us follow &/or recommend, then it might be called a plant exclusive, pure plant, pure vegetarian, vegan, etc., diet. In addition, when we are discussing the diets recommended by Dr Esselstyn, Dr McDougall, Dr Goldhamer, myself, etc., etc., which have been documented to reverse, CVD, HTN, DB, Met Synd, etc., it is also a diet that is lower in fat & also low in, or free of, added SOS (Salt/sodium, Oil/fat & Sugar/sweeteners).”  (I’m following Jeff Novick on Facebook- great information, BTW.)

We made these Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas twice and even my picky four year old ate them!   I also enjoyed my own breakfast steel oats creation (morning grain blend and blueberries).  I also made a rustic vegetable soup.  I thought it was delicious but my family was so-so on it.   If anyone wants the recipe to add to their “Yucky Family Recipe Cookbook.”  I’m happy to share it! Ha!

I have really been wanting to dive into some more creative projects and thought I’d start the book The Artist’s Way.  It’s not the right time for it though; I need to really devote myself to this.  Instead, (and I’m pretty excited about this…) I’m going to spend the rest of the month doodling every day.  I could tell you why I want to doodle every day as this month’s resolution or you could watch this awesome 6 minute Ted Talk.

Gosh, just saying the word “doodle” out loud is a treat.  Did you giggle a little bit?  (You’re welcome.)

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Jeff Novick, MS, RD
Just to clarify… the term “plant-based” diet is not necessarily a diet that is 100% free of animal products but a diet where the majority of the calories in it comes from plants. If it is 100% plants, which many of us follow &/or recommend, then it might be called a plant exclusive, pure plant, pure vegetarian, vegan, etc., diet. In addition, when we are discussing the diets recommended by Dr Esselstyn, Dr McDougall, Dr Goldhamer, myself, etc., etc., which have been documented to reverse, CVD, HTN, DB, Met Synd, etc., it is also a diet that is lower in fat & also low in, or free of, added SOS (Salt/sodium, Oil/fat & Sugar/sweeteners).

June & July…& August!

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Oh, where has this summer gone?

I enjoyed the 5 Tibetan Rites but they didn’t replace my favorite way to greet the day: sun salutations. It did inspire me to create my own routine of 5 favorite bedtime poses: bow, pigeon, reclining twist, shoulderstand, and savasana.
My intention for July was to read every day for at least a half hour. I savored some summer reading time for the first half of the month.  Then, I downloaded the Candy Crush app. The rest of July was spent battling my “addiction” but also doing a little bit of reading.
I’ve been wanting to learn more about the Engine 2/plant-based way of eating.  I’m not ready to fully commit (even though I know it would be so good for me!) but I’m planning to eat one meal each week that’s based on the Engine 2 plan.  If you all have any resources or recipes to share, please do so!

Hope you all are enjoying the summer, doing whatever makes you feel happy.

Daring Greatly Part 2

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(Just pretend I published this post two months ago also, ok?)

A few months ago, I watched the movie We Bought A Zoo and I loved Matt Damon’s line “just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”  I think that’s absolutely true and I kept thinking of it while reading Daring Greatly.  (It’s a sweet, feel-good movie too.)

In January, I had the coolest thing happen. My favorite band, Guster, had a concert in this little church and they were taking requests. I was feeling uncharacteristically bold (I just needed to be brave for 20 seconds, right?) and so I stood up and shot my hand in the air.  They called on me and I requested my all-time favorite song, Window (my ringtone for years…). Their response? They had prearranged that the person who requested that particular song would be serenaded. Here’s the result caught on camera– it was intimate, incredible and taught me that it pays to be brave.

Ways That I Was Daring Greatly In April:
1. I flew to Chicago. There were great rewards (friends, relaxation, uninterrupted sleep, shopping!) ahead of me and it was a fantastic weekend but I hate flying.
2. I spotted Neil Patrick Harris at the airport and was about to just watch him, awkwardly, when I decided to dare greatly. I subtly walked up to him and told him I thought he was wonderful and asked for a side hug (to which he replied “Side hugs are the best!”).
3. I did the “metal” class at my current yoga studio- I had heard it was one of the most challenging class they offered. I tried it, I sweated my arse off, I survived! I’ll go again!
4. I participated in the Diva Dash, a 5k run with obstacles. Most of it was just plain fun but some of the obstacles (especially the ones involving heights or balance) were really challenging.

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5. I tried Anti-Gravity Yoga (twice!). It was fun, relaxing, tough, and a little scary. It’s awesome to come out of a class feeling relaxed and powerful. My favorite daring poses were the vampire (pictured below; here’s a video link in German too), star (hanging upside down with fabric just around your tush, arms and legs outstretched) and swoosh (flying through the air, just supported at your hips.  It was less yoga to me, more pilates or gymnastics.  Hanging upside down is a strange balance of relaxation and panic.  Funny thing, I met another blogger, Terri. Check out her great post about anti-gravity yoga!

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6. I colored my hair blue. It’s just a little section and one would probably never notice unless I point it out, but it is blue. Next time, I will be even bolder.
7. The above, I now realize, are all in the physical realm, which as a fairly sensitive, fearful, uncoordinated person is challenging. It’s tough to dare greatly emotionally or verbally too. As trite as it sounds, there were several gatherings that I’ve been to with old or new friends that I’ve felt even more inspired to be me. Unapologetically me. That’s still challenging, I’m a people pleaser (which sometimes feels like the real me, and other times feels less authentic.)

Thanks for supporting me in my journey.  I hope we can all be brave, even for just 20 seconds, daring greatly in every aspect of our lives.

Daring Greatly In April Part 1

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(Let’s pretend I wrote this two months ago, alright?)

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I’ve had a little person on my shoulder since April telling me to dare greatly. Try it! Say the hard thing! Be you! Be Brave! Speak your truth! Listen! Maybe it’s Brene Brown? Maybe it’s my authentic self? Whoever she is, I like her and hope she keeps encouraging me.

I highly recommend reading Daring Greatly, unless you’re someone who already lives every moment comfortable in vulnerability, takes risks and loves fully. If you’re that person, please write a book (or mentor me or guest blog here or…).  If I had the time, I could probably write for days on this subject and about this book.  I’d love to model brave and daring experiences for my kids.  I’d love to be as open as possible to what the world is offering me.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“Vulnerability is a birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity…If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path…I define vulnerabiltiy as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”

It reminds me of my first panic attack. I was listening to someone playing the piano, it moved me, the person playing made eye contact with me.  Now I have the words to say that I felt broken open with vulnerability at that time.

I learned about Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher at University of Texas, studying compassion. If you’re interested you can take her self-compassion inventory. Maybe her book will be a future focus of this blog?

I had been using a post-it note as a bookmark while reading Daring Greatly and about 100 pages in, I grabbed an bookmark that was from an old O magazine and kept reading. As I placed my bookmark, I did a double-take to carefully read the quote on it: “Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries” -Theodore Roethke.  A mystery, indeed.  Love that message! I’m listening and feeling open and vulnerable to whatever is next.

Since starting this book, we have witnessed the Boston marathon, the explosion in West and the tornado in Moore. This Daring Greatly quote seemed very timely. “After doing this work for the past twelve years and watching scarcity ride roughshod over our families, organizations, and communities, I’d say one thing we have in common is that we’re sick of being afraid. We want to dare greatly. We’re tired of the national conversation centering on “what should we fear?” and “who should we blame?” We all want to be brave.” I’d like to honor heroes that were daring greatly during these events and the victims/family/loved ones that are meeting new challenges every day.

May Meditations & June Tibetan Rites

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I hope you all had a chance to check out Deva Premal and Miten’s meditations. I really enjoyed listening to the beautiful chants and hearing information about what the words meant. I did find my “monkey mind” distracted by thoughts of what Deva and Miten’s relationship must be like. Do they argue? If so, what would they argue about? I’m sure they’re normal people but they seem to be operating in a much more spiritual realm than any couple I know.

I’m excited about my June resolution. I’m going to do the 5 Tibetan Rites each day. If you’re curious or want to join me, you can watch Dr. Oz demonstrate them. I’m going to start with five of each exercise this first week and add five each week. Namaste!