On rainy days, I try to find fun and creative activities for our family to do! Today we decided to try making our own playdough! It was incredibly easy...I'm talking 10 minutes or less and the end result is pretty awesome!
And as an added BONUS, we decided to add in the scent of our favorite essential oils corresponding to color! So now Audrey has completely safe, non-toxic and aromatherapeutic playdough and I am happy because I know every single ingredient in it!
Here is the Recipe:
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 cup of Salt
1 cup of water
Food Coloring (all natural, plant based if you can find it)
Add all of the ingredients to a medium size saucepan and turn the heat on medium/low. Stir together to mix and add in the color while still liquid as this is the easiest way to distribute. It will come together rather quickly so have the food coloring ready to go. Continue to stir as lumps form, which is totally ok, and eventually the dough will pull together and away from the pan. Lay the dough ball on wax paper and let cool. If adding essential oils, knead in your favorite scents once cool enough.
Things to keep in mind, use only the highest quality oils, we only use doTERRA in our home which you can find HERE and keep the oils kid friendly and mild! Our favorites are Lavender, Geranium, Spearmint, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime and any of the emotional aromatherapy blends!
People often ask, “What are the benefits of Eucalyptus oil?” If you haven’t experienced the tranquil yet refreshing aroma of Eucalyptus, you’ll love what this cleansing, relaxing, and soothing essential oil can do for you.
Need more reasons to use Eucalyptus oil? Keep reading to learn more about this unique oil and why you definitely want to add it to your collection.
Reason 1: Eucalyptus oil promotes relaxation
If you’ve had a long day, full of worry and stressful feelings, Eucalyptus oil is the perfect oil for you. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil can help create a tranquil atmosphere in your home, while also decreasing feelings of tension and promoting relaxation. Eucalyptus oil is frequently used at spas due to its relaxing aroma and properties. No matter what the day throws at you, Eucalyptus oil helps transport you to a calmer, more relaxed state of being.
Reason 2: Eucalyptus oil promotes feelings of clear breathing
Because it contains the chemical component eucalyptol, Eucalyptus oil is useful for creating a cooling vapor when applied to the skin or inhaled. When the seasons change, you can rub a few drops of Eucalyptus on your chest to promote feelings of open airways. You can also diffuse Eucalyptus oil when you want to promote feelings of clear breathing.
Reason 3: Eucalyptus oil can be used as a cleansing agent
When you’re looking for a quick yet powerful way to clean up around the house, Eucalyptus oil is optimal for cleansing surfaces. Combine Eucalyptus with Lemon and Peppermint oil in a spray bottle, and then use the mixture to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom, or other common areas of your home. Not only will the essential oil mixture give you peace of mind concerning the nontoxic cleanliness of your home, but you’ll love the wonderful aroma that lingers after you finish.
Reason 4: Eucalyptus oil can be used in a soothing massage
Not only are the cooling properties of Eucalyptus incredibly useful for promoting feelings of clear breathing, but they also make this oil great for massage. When you want to ease sore muscles, consider combining a few drops of Eucalyptus with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil or an unscented lotion. Gently rub the combination on the problem area and enjoy the cooling, soothing effects of Eucalyptus oil. Not only will this massage feel amazing, but the aroma of Eucalyptus will help to clear the mind and calm feelings of tension and stress.
Reason 5: Eucalyptus oil can help clean and revitalize the skin
With Eucalyptus oil’s powerful cleansing and purifying properties, it’s beneficial for the skin. If your skin feels oily, consider adding a few drops of Eucalyptus to your daily moisturizer or toner to experience the oil’s skin-revitalizing benefits. If you apply a Eucalyptus-infused moisturizer or toner in the morning, you’ll have the added benefit of carrying the uplifting, vitalizing aroma of Eucalyptus with you throughout your day.
Reason 6: Eucalyptus oil can provide support during menstruation
Due to its soothing, calming nature, Eucalyptus is frequently used to provide support during menstruation. Simply massaging Eucalyptus oil into the lower abdomen daily during menstruation can provide the help you need during this time of month.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to use Eucalyptus oil for a better day. To learn more about Eucalyptus oil, click here: What are the benefits of Eucalyptus oil?
In addition to meeting online every week, The OM Collective - Live Your Yoga Sessions will include self-inquiry work and practices. Each week after our meeting, I will send you an email with the following:
* Journal Questions. This is one of my favorite ways to inspire inquiry. By simply sitting down and asking and answering questions of ourselves, we open a doorway to visibly seeing what our thoughts are. So much of my own self-discovery has come out of this practice.
* A Reading/Listening for the week. There are a few books that I am using to inspire this work. I will be sharing them with the group and suggesting some of the readings out of them that are relevant to our work. Oftentimes I also throw a podcast to listen to as well, as this is another beautiful way to generate ideas, creativity and inspiration.
* A weekly meditation. My most foundational practice. Each week you will receive a recorded meditation that will go along with our work that week.
* A weekly Asana practice. I will be combining my One OM at a Time classes with our work and each week, I will have an actual physical practice for you to take the work we are doing in our minds and our hearts, and place it in your physical body. If you are not able to catch the practice LIVE, I will also be emailing it to you!
* Other tidbits of inspiration including an Oil of the Week and suggestions on how to use it and a few extra challenges and exercises along the way, depending on what our work is that week!
All of this will align with the specific Yama or Niyama that we are in the study, observation and work of cultivating.
I strongly encourage you to set up a free 15 minute call with me or send me an email if you have ANY other questions!
Your wholeness is your healing. Don’t let one side of your story be the narrative that defines you. Sure, you are an imperfect human being who struggles to be great at times. But that struggle is equal to the greatness. When we embrace the areas where we are just ok, not great, we offer ourselves the opportunity to work and grow from love. Rather than letting those spaces become the ruling narrative, we can zoom out and understand that being just ok at something is a necessary part of the process. What it actually means is that you are a WHOLE human being, both great and just ok. And where you are just ok only means that you have the honor and pleasure of doing the work to know yourself and create your life in a way that you desire. Your wholeness is your healing because you are not now, nor ever have been broken. You are just a human. Great AND Mediocre and always, whole
This came up a lot in our work creating Rituals last month in The OM Collective. I suspect it will come up again over the course of the next 4 Months when we do the work in the Live Your Yoga Sessions. I hope you will join us, because the more whole human beings means the more we see ourselves in one another, the greatness and the mediocrity and the more we can love it all.
This is our very first full-time school year. There has been a lot that has already come with it and we are only three days in. However, one of the tools that I the MOST thankful for is that we have our oils to help guide us through and lean on this year. We will use them for both our physical and emotional needs this year and I wanted to share some of the ways we will be doing so...
For Physical Health:
Our #1 tools to help support immunity and have a healthy year are by far the OnGuard Oil as well as the OnGuard products.
Every single morning before Audrey heads out the door, we roll her little feet and along her spine with the OnGuard Roller.
Now that we are also coming into a season where more germs are generated, OnGuard will be in our diffuser almost daily. But on top of that, we also use the other OnGuard products so that our system is continually supported by these powerful oils and the benefits they offer. These include the OnGuard Toothpaste, the Hand Soap, Cleaner Concentrate and Laundry Detergent. I also love that these were things that we were using and purchasing anyways, except now instead of the chemicals that can make us sick, we are actually making ourselves even healthier through our daily, necessary actions!
Because sometimes viruses and colds can't be avoided, these are our favorite tools for when we need to support our respiratory health. The Breathe Oil and Vapor Stick. The first goes into our diffusers or even a few drops into the shower steam. I have even boiled some water on the stove, poured it into a bowl and with a towel gently draped over my head, breathed in the steam with a drop of Breathe Oil. It can be quite intense, and I don't recommend it for the little ones, but it works wonders on myself and my husband! The breathe stick is what we use on Audrey, especially at night if she is congested. It goes right on her chest, and often her back and she sleeps like a babe...which is strangely much better than a 4 year old sometimes! There is also a pre-diluted Roller as well as Cough Drops for those old enough to use them!
These are probably some of my favorite tools for keeping Audrey healthy this year. Every single morning after her breakfast she takes a spoonful of IQ mega which is filled will Omega 3's a rich fatty acids for brain health, the a2z chewable vitamin that is filled with B vitamins combined with important nutrients, vitamins A,C, E and botanical extracts. And finally, her favorite, is the PB Assist Jr Probiotic Powder. It includes 5 billion live cells of a unique blend of six different probiotic strains, specifically selected for their benefits among children. You can mix it in water or a smoothie, or as Audrey does, pour the entire contents straight into her mouth right from the packet!
For Emotional Health:
In all honesty, I could list Oil after Oil in terms of emotional health. They ALL have some kind of benefit, but for us, we really go straight to the Kids Collection when we are looking to support some of the less tangible, more felt needs of beginning a new school year. We have been using them long before school, but with a new routine in place, it offers an opportunity to implement them in a new way. Each morning Audrey chooses her oils. Today she decided that she needed Calmer and Steady in fact. She then chooses where to wear them on her body, and this often leads to us "drawing" hearts on each other, either on her hands, her arms or right over her heart. Sometimes it's her belly and feet as well. She then puts her oil(s) of choice in the front pocket of her backpack and knows that they are there throughout the day, should she need them. These six oils in particular are incredible tools for teaching our children how to care for themselves in honest and powerful ways. There is so much that comes with a new school year, and it's equally as important to care for those little minds and hearts as much as their little bodies. We are helping to grow, nurture and inspire a brand new generation and I wholeheartedly believe that teaching our children that what they feel and think matters, we will create an earth shattering change that will be felt for generations to come!
Stay Tuned for some recipes on how to create other tools that will be useful for the school year ahead!
A couple of weeks ago I was getting dressed for the day and really wanted to wear my gold and copper bracelets...but I also wanted to wear my Ganesha necklace which is silver. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I got it in my head that you don’t mix different metals when wearing jewelry. I thought that either you wore gold or you wore silver, but not both and certainly not at the same time. As I was standing in my bedroom trying to decide between the two, an inner voice spoke up and said “wait, WHO made this rule and WHY are you following such an arbitrary belief?”
This post isn’t really about jewelry of course, but the bigger picture that we all go about our daily lives adhering to made up rules and beliefs because at one point we attached ourselves to it as if it is truth. Some of them are big but many of them are so small and seemingly insignificant. However, I wonder if we started to challenge them a little bit what would happen? I know that in this instance I put every single bracelet on that I had, wore my silver Ganesha AND my gold chakra necklace...and it brought me such joy that day and every day since. It’s tiny, but it matters because the smallest amounts of joy add up. And sometimes in order to call joy in, we have to remove the old blocks that keep us stuck in beliefs that no longer serve us.
In so much of the work I do with people, this is the number one thing to be done. Yoga asks us to get into the space of discomfort and notice what our default choices are and then gives us the opportunity to choose differently if it isn’t serving us. Using essential oils means that we are willing to try a new way of caring for ourselves and each other that offers us the opportunity to trust our experience and intuition. Choosing to try coaching means letting go of an old belief that you may not be worthy of spending such time, money and attention on yourself and instead offering yourself some time and space to see yourself clearly so that you may live more awake and aware in your life. All of the above challenges what is "normal" and mainstream in ways that break through beliefs that have most likely just been handed down to us.
Be like Ganesh and remove the obstacles that stand in your way of pure joy in living your life. Do the work to cultivate your inner wisdom and intellect, not what is based on someone else's belief's or one time truths. It happens in the smallest, most minute moments of our day. It happens in the moment we choose to breathe in the yoga pose instead of leave it. It happens in the moment you choose to reach for the bottle of essential oil that you love to smell. It happens in the moment you decide that you are worthy of your own time and attention. It happens in the moment that you put on your bracelets and necklace and smile at yourself in the mirror.
Our next OM Collective sessions will be all about this. Together we will lovingly challenge our beliefs and learn how to harness our intuition. I hope that you will join me, not because I say you should, but because that inner voice is guiding you here. You are worthy of all the joy in the world, in the smallest nooks and crannies of your life. Together let's remove the obstacles that keep it from coming in.
Join The OM Collective. One week left to take advantage of the summer special.
Yesterday, I read an article in the NY Times called “When did Self-Help become Self Care?”. It offered me an interesting perspective, as I have been struggling at times with using the terms “Self-Care” and “Wellness”, while doing it anyways for lack of a better term. A struggle that has also been stirred up after the last week of controversy in the fitness and wellness industry. The article described how Self-Help for so long as been about conquering, whereas Self-Care is about nourishing. It suggested that perhaps this is what Marianne Williamson means when she says it is a “Return to Love” rather than working out of fear. My favorite part of the article however is as follows: “Self-Care is often critically characterized as a market for purchasable experiences like massages, manicures and ‘me time’. But its origins are in a series of loose, secular rituals meant to calm the nervous system, and are informed in part by the work of feminist writers of color, including Audre Lorde and bell hooks, both of whom wrote about caring for one’s self in oppressive conditions. In “A Burst of Light,” Lorde writes, ``''Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”
This is the Self-Care Support that I am interested in providing. There is a reason that I often put Radical before the words Self-Care and Self-Love. I am not interested in creating work that just looks good and is pretty on Instagram. I am interested in being a stand for a revolutionary kind of self-care that serves a higher purpose to the world. I am interested in breaking the chain that self-care and “wellness” is only for those who can afford it in the capitalistic landscape it currently lives in, but for all who wish to take part in it. Those who wish to be radical in their approach for caring for and loving themselves because for so long we have been told that we are not enough or that what is required to help ourselves is to work from fear and hard discipline.
I don't have a lot of answers right now, mainly questions and a longing to learn more and do better. What I know for sure is that I don’t wish to perpetuate the privilege of “wellness” in a way that is destructive, a word that in itself suggests that those of us who get to think about are able to do more than simply survive. I acknowledge my own privilege in being able to have the experiences I have had. And I mean no shame to any of us who are in that position, truly. Let’s really honor it by being grateful for it. And I also fully acknowledge that I too, having chosen this as my work and career MUST make money in order to support myself and my family. There needs to be no shame in that truth either. But I do want to help open the door and conversation around how I can be an advocate for all and for Self-Care that is not self-indulgent, is about self-preservation and is a LOVING act of political and social selfcare (perhaps instead of warfare)...I know I’m not alone.
For reference, article is linked below:
New York Times article "When did Self-Help become Self-Care?"
I remember that it was a beautiful afternoon and we were staying in Cambridge, MA for the week. My husband was in the cast of the national tour of Matilda the Musical and we were just about a year into being on tour. I was also almost a year into being a Mama. My daughter was down for a nap, my husband at his matinee and I had just downed a giant meal of god knows what because I ate it too fast to remember. I was standing over the toilet in the gorgeous bathroom, of the gorgeous house that friends had let us stay in while they were away and I proceeded to stick my fingers down my throat. Not only did I throw everything I had just ate up into the toilet, but I also peed everywhere. Yes, that’s right, peed. Since giving birth a year ago, every time that I would throw up, I would also pee. I first discovered this when I got a terrible stomach bug several months earlier. This was no stomach bug, this was intentional. I knew what was going to happen, but I did it anyway.
So there I was, pee running down my leg onto the beautiful bathroom tile, smelling like vomit and the entire contents of my stomach in the toilet. I stood up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the very same moment that I heard my daughter cry out from the bedroom. In an instant, it hit me...the lengths I was going to, to abuse myself. I looked myself square in the eye in the mirror and asked out loud “What the FUCK am I doing?”. This is not how I wanted to live my life. This is not how I wanted to teach my daughter to live hers. And no matter how quickly I could clean up the floor, wipe down the toilet seat, change my clothes and brush my teeth, I could never actually tell her to love herself because I didn’t, I wasn’t, loving myself. It wouldn’t matter what words I used, what stories I told her of other brave women. I wasn’t actually BEING the example, so why oh why would it matter what I said.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? Why now am I finally sharing this story both publicly (and privately) for the first time? A few days ago after I shared my post on the Nike Mannequins, I was watching my social media feeds light up with comments and shares about the post. Tons of people messaged me privately to say how awesome it was and how much they resonated with it. A few hours after sharing, this memory came rushing back to me, as if it was being delivered purposely in that moment for my own remembering. That day in Cambridge, was the very last day I practiced binging and purging, the very last day I was active in my bulimia. It has been 3 years of working hard to make different choices after 19 years of making that one incredibly destructive choice, over and over and over again. I am sharing it because everything that I wrote in my Nike post is true about being the healthiest I have ever been and to show openly, honestly and vulnerably where I was then to where I am now.
It's also important that I share this for another reason. When my job this past year was scaled back and I knew I was going to have to find other work, there was this incredibly strong pull to create my own business, to go into coaching. In total transparency, I had no idea how I was going to do it, if anyone would sign up or what exactly I was going "coach". But every time I sat with myself, I heard that inner voice say to just begin. I heard the voices of all of my teachers over the years say the same "Begin before you are Ready" and "You are Ready Now". I felt the calling so strongly and I decided to just trust it, I asked very few questions and simply took action. So over the last several weeks I rolled out my business, I consistently put myself out there and I started to get some clients. Then last week, when that moment standing in the Cambridge bathroom came flooding back, I knew. This story and my journey from that moment to right now, is My Why. As a coach, I am asking my students to trust me to hold space for them, for their vulnerability and to let me see them. So, it's important that you see me too. That I be vulnerable and willing to let you hold space for my story too. It's only fair.
The work that I have done these last three years is the work that I am sharing with my clients. It is the work that I continue to do, every single day myself. It is mostly the work of showing up, being willing to be vulnerable, to sit with ourselves and to raise ourselves up each day to our highest self, vibration and inner knowing. Up until that moment three years ago, I was only willing to believe in and see where I was falling short, and that ever circling story of not being enough. Today, I only choose to believe in my own abundance and grace and light and love so that I may be the example for as many people as possible. So that we may all know the most brilliant love that is unconditional self-love and that our time spent here on earth, for however long it may be, is filled to the brim with it. Mostly, it matters to me that I be the example of that for my daughter. So that I don't have to tell her to love herself, it is just known to her because she sees it in practice. And it is a practice, but the more we show up each day and do it, the better we get. Sharing this story, these practices, inspiring others to be in and of their own practices and choosing to believe in their ability to love and heal themselves, that is my work, my calling and my why.
To coach with me, click HERE.
This week is Mental Health week and this month is Mental Health Awareness month. As you know from my previous post, mental health is a big conversation in our household. When my husband went through his struggle with depression, it wasn't just his own mental health that was at stake, but also my own and that of our daughter. This week, I want to share with you some of the ways that I helped myself through that challenging time, and not only survived, but honestly thrived. I am now truly grateful for the struggle of the past year because I learned lessons that shifted how I treat myself, my husband and our life together as a family.
The very first and most potent practice that I put into play was a daily mediation practice. When that overall atmosphere of our home was filled with the energy of sadness and depression, I knew that I had to calibrate my own energy from within. Meditation is a powerful tool that puts us in touch with ourselves so that we may know where we stand in our own minds and hearts. You cannot change what you aren't aware of and so from these sittings with myself, I was able to cultivate awareness around how I was focusing my energy and my thoughts. I discovered the ways that I was really serving myself well and the ways that I was not. Having that information allowed me to create a shift in what I chose to focus on and how I hold my inner space.
When I moved off of my meditation cushion, I began to notice in the daily moments of my life where I was able to be more intentional with what I thought, said and did. This was incredibly helpful because while I had absolutely no control over my husband's mindset and the disease of depression, I was able to take control of my own and this truly created an overall shift in the entire household. As we both got healthier in how we treated ourselves, we were able to raise the energy of our home as individuals, in our marriage and as a family. Creating a regular meditation practice is truly one of the most potent and practical things we can do to expand our consciousness and raise our mental health. When once there was a time that it seemed designated only for yogis and the crunchy granola type (myself included), meditation is now something that more and more people are embracing as a daily self-care tool.
And meditation doesn't have to look the same for everyone. There are literally hundreds of ways that you can meditate and one way that works for someone may be totally different for someone else. With my coaching clients, I record personalized meditations for what they are experiencing and we work together to create a plan to make it a daily practice and habit. Having someone to check in with and offer accountability also gives us the ability to implement the practice efficiently. For me, it was working with my own teachers and mentors that supported me to keep going, even when there were moments when I couldn't see past the fog of my own mind and circumstances. I am grateful to each of them for their wisdom and inspiration and grateful that I now get to pass it on in my own work.
If you would like to set up an initial coaching call to see how we can make my offerings work for you, click HERE.
This weekend, I had the honor of teaching 25 students in Boston, a brand new workshop that I created based on some very personal experience. The workshop is called The Essential Self, and we spent an hour and a half diving into some very powerful self-inquiry work using Essential Oils, Breath work, Yoga, Meditation and Journaling.
Part of the inspiration for the experience came out of one of my favorite quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. The quote goes “It is not with the eyes that one can see rightly, but with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye”. I was reminded of this quote earlier on this year, and it resonated so much that it has been making a rather long appearance on our chalkboard wall in our kitchen. To me, this quote represents the "unseeable self", the one from which we make all decisions; not our physical body, but our emotional heart. It is a constant reminder to me to turn inward for what is really essential in life and that I am the greatest source of all that I create and experience.
The other inspiration for the workshop came out of what has been a very challenging year. Exactly a year ago at this time, my husband experienced a pretty strong anxiety and depression. At the beginning, I had absolutely no idea what to do or how to support him. It was difficult to watch and have absolutely no control over, admittedly. There were many moments when I wanted to be able to snap him out of it, (sometimes by telling him to do so), and there was so much that I wanted to “fix” for him to help make him happier, because I thought I could and I was desperate to make it happen.
I don’t remember the exact moment that I got it, but eventually I had the realization that none of it was mine to fix. And that by consuming myself, my time and energy in trying to “fix” whatever it was that seemed broken, I was going to be wandering aimlessly down a dead end road. I had to do two things: the first, was give up the idea that I had any control or cause over what was happening with him. I remember writing in my journal one night, the words “I surrender”. I knew in that moment that it was exactly what I had to do if we were going to have any hope of surviving. The second thing I had to do was realize he wasn’t broken, nothing was. This was in fact a disease that he was struggling with. The trick of depression is that it’s symptoms mask itself in behaviors that appear to a healthy minded person as something that can just be changed. Especially that of a yogi who believes so strongly in personal power and self motivation, it was incredibly difficult at times not to place judgement on him and what seemed like choices that he could just stop choosing. In that moment, he couldn’t do that and it took me a bit of time, but when I finally realized that, I was able to be there for him with compassion and love rather than judgement, disapproval and anger.
Instead, what I knew was imperative for me, for him and for our daughter, was that I get even stronger in my own self-care practices. This didn’t mean heading to the spa and getting a massage or treating myself to regular manis and pedis. This meant diligent, daily rituals that kept me in check with who I was, and in my healthiest mindset, so that I may be able to hold space for my husband while he was not able to do that. It meant that every single day I was on my meditation cushion before my daughter woke up. It meant that I was on my yoga mat as often as possible. It meant that I was treating my body well with good food, and using essential oils to keep my mind uplifted and feeling well loved. It meant writing in my journal daily, so that I could get out of my head and onto paper what it was I was feeling and cultivate clarity. It did mean the occasional “Treat ‘yo self” moment or weekend away to the beach to give myself some relief with childcare and get some needed space. But mostly it meant being kind and loving to me, the one person in this scenario of which I had one hundred percent control.
One of my biggest realizations that came from these daily practices was how much of an impact, caring for oneself has. As time passed and each day I held strong in my own care, I noticed that my husband was able to breathe a little easier and put focus where he needed it in finding his own care. He sought out therapy, specifically CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, so much of it aligned with my own work the last decade in yoga. He had the time and space to get healthy without the pressure that he had to do it for me or even for our daughter. While of course, we missed our guy and desperately wanted him “back”, we were doing ok because at that time, I was able to hold us up. As I described to someone recently, I was able to live at the vibration that I wanted our entire family to rise to each and every day. And there were days when that just wasn’t possible and that was ok. I was at peace with knowing that we were both doing our work, trying our best and trusting the process. It was scary to be sure, but also incredibly freeing. Our reality was that neither one of us knew exactly how it was all going to turn out, and instead of hustling to “know” we embraced the not knowing and just went one day at a time.
It was hard. I certainly don’t want to downplay that or give all of the credit over to myself and say that my self-care is solely what saved us. But I do want to give it a lot of credit, much more than I believe we tend to as a society who likes to measure success. It is so easy for us to write off how we treat ourselves each day, because we can each probably name five to ten things that we must actually do in the course of a day to make our lives run smoothly, or run at all. The illusion being that if we don’t get A,B and C done or we can’t measure progress, we aren’t doing well.
Self-Care is often not something we can see, at least right away. It cannot be measured and there is no definitive amount or answer to how much is enough or what will work for us. We have to continue to check in and listen to ourselves and feel how we feel, thoughtfully and mindfully. If only there was a bell and whistle that went off when we were fully charged and ready to go. The reality is that there isn't and the knowing of when and what must come from inquiring within, every day.
That is exactly why I am stepping out and advocating for a shift in mindset around how important small daily acts of self-care are. It is not in what we can see, or the things that we do that hold the most essential value to our lives. We first make the decision to do anything from the invisible space of how we feel. When we can consciously connect to that space regularly, we can make decisions about what to do with more clarity and integrity.
We can certainly care for others better when we first are cared for by ourselves. To me, this is no longer negotiable. It is also at the forefront of how our family operates now. Whenever one of us finds that we are drifting away from a strong self-connection, we purposely take time to do what will bring us back. Even our three and a half year old, has tools to help herself calm and find center. My husband too has adapted this mindset for himself, in his own ways. His meditation is often going for a walk in the park or out into the city, listening to music. That was another big key for me, not putting my practices that worked for me, on him. My practices are powerful, but they are powerful for me because they are what I connect to. My aim is to share them with others who also may connect to them, but it is not my job ever, to force them up on anyone, including my husband or my child. So much of our work is in discovering what works for us.
A year later and we are much better partners for each other because of what this last year offered us. I look back now and I am grateful. We were given a gift after 17 years of being together to break everything down to what was essential and now build around that. The depression isn’t always gone, it may never fully go away. He once described it to me like that last scene in A Beautiful Mind. The people that John Nash was seeing didn’t go away, he just learned how to live with them there. And we now have tools that help us navigate it, both individually and as a couple.
In the coming months, I plan on sharing even more around what it is like to be on the other side of depression, to be the space holder for it. And you can guarantee that most of what I have to say and offer will be based on how the one giving care, cares for themselves. Active, daily self-care is as essential as the air we breathe, the money we make and the health of our physical body. There is nothing selfish in the ways of self-care and in so many ways, it is the most essential work for each human being to do.
Check out a brief video of the workshop this weekend below and to connect with me one on one about self-care using yoga, mediation or essential oils, email me: Sara@OneOMatatime.com I am able to be here for you because I am here for myself. It is an honor and a gift.
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!