Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What is your inner voice telling you?

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
-Janis Joplin

Beautiful Body Types
Almost all of us have a distorted image of our body, often due to the importance our culture places on outward appearance and the onslaught of media images of airbrushed models and celebrities. On a daily basis, we talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another. Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It would devastate and squelch a child. It affects you similarly, causing stress and emotional pain in your body, which can make improving your health or losing weight even more difficult.

Our culture’s preferred body type shifts every decade or so, but whatever it is, it is usually unattainable without spending enormous amounts of time, energy and money. Think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way? Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.

The body you have right now is incredible! It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains homeostasis and it miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish was different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.

What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like. It would mean celebrating your body rather than punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body rather than depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish just like a child flourishes when treated with care and respect.

Even when I was 100 pounds heavier I thought I'd be happier with myself if I could just lose some weight. I did lose weight, but was still unhappy - that place of bliss wasn't there 4 sizes smaller! Every pound lost I thought I'd be closer to happiness. But the truth is I needed to love myself exactly where I was with the body I had. And when that shift occurs, the weight releases. Losing weight isn't just a body process, it is a mind and soul process.

Are you ready to flourish? Today choose one part of your body to focus on. With your attention and breath send it love and compassion. Do this daily for a week, especially when you catch yourself looking at it in a negative light. Then let me know how sending love and compassion to that area has changed how you feel about yourself and your body as a whole. If you want to love yourself more, this is a good place to begin. Because no one can love you more or give you more love than you give yourself.

Namaste~
Kelly Ann

Monday, August 10, 2009

Relaxation and Exercise



Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest.


Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation. Summer is a unique time of year when we can do both our relaxation and our movement out in nature. Take a nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and meditate or read under a favorite tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a kiddie pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating. Just as much as the body loves to relax, the body loves to move.


Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word "exercise." Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices - it's simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you'll sleep better at night.


Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy to the fullest the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.

Focus Food for August: Water



Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily requirement of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly, and helps our bodies release fat. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily.


In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue. To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. When the first thing that flows through your body each morning is water, it pulls out toxins left over from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having one close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night's sleep.


What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process.


Personally I've been enjoying drops of Lemon and Tangerine, or Grapefruit essential oils in my water. You must be careful! These oils are great for detoxification, but you need to start off slowly. Contact me for more information and the best ways to blend them with water (oil and water don't mix well).


So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy the summer fun!


If you want to know more about Young Living essential oils and how to use them for detox, healing and well-being give me a call today! 203.687.2554 or email me kellyann@aplaceofhealingllc.net

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why diets don't work!


In my journey to release the last 100 pounds I lost, I tried most - if not all diets -you may have heard of. I did lose weight on the latest and greatest diet (notice the first 3 letters? DIE), but most times gained the weight back and sometimes even more! Not only was it damaging to my body, but to my emotions as well.

What is missing in these so called diets is individuality. Not one approach is going to work for everyone. Lifestyle, blood type, heritage, stress level, career, relationship status, and much more are a factor in good health. I found balance in my life and happily have kept off those pesky 100 pounds. When I find myself putting on a couple extra pounds I know its more about what is going on in my life than what I'm putting in my mouth and sometimes they are directly related. Where I am now is a place of awareness ~ what a great place to be!

Do you find yourself stressed out when thinking about what you can and can't eat on the diet? In turn, is food all you're thinking about? The reason diets do not work is because they are not sustainable. Our bodies want balance. Denial and deprivation only lead to devouring what you took out in order to lose weight and then throws your body out of balance. OR when we're depriving ourselves we end up hoarding what we have (IE keeping weight on).

When striving for weight loss or good health know that real change takes time and the key is discovering the right approach that works for YOU. Your body has the answers, you just need a guide to help you find those answers within.

What I've also come to discover in my personal journey and working with my clients is it's not just about what we eat, but what "feeds" us. Ever notice when you're in love, food isn't as important? Do you notice when you get stressed at the office or at home you suddenly need or want a candy bar or chips? What are your triggers and stresses that cause you to eat when you really aren't hungry? Do you have a comfort food you crave when you are feeling down or lonely? Do you have a habit of heading right to the fridge or snack drawer when you walk in the door? It happens to all of us. The key to eliminating these triggers is first realizing it, then getting to the bottom of why you are triggered - all while having compassion for yourself. Love, Friendships, and self-care are just a few ways to "feed" yourself what your body is craving.

Self sabotage is another way of preventing us from long term, sustainable weight loss. For me it seems I get to a level of satisfaction & happiness and inadvertently destroy it. I'd be happy how my clothes fit or my exercise routine is going well, or I land a really great gig and suddenly I'm binging on food and stopping the gym routine. Can you relate to any form of self sabotage?

Our health isn't only about our physical beings, its about our mental and spiritual beings. If there is a part of us that isn't comfortable or in fear another part of us will kick in to protect us. I've observed people put on weight to hide, put space between themselves and their partner, to keep themselves from getting the dream job, to keep themselves from being seen by the opposite sex, to feel safe, to test their partner (will they stay for better or worse?), to keep 'fitting' in with their family or friends OR to not lose weight for fear of losing friends. These are all emotional beliefs we carry around where a part of us believes we are actually protecting ourselves.

As you can see losing weight, gaining health, and bringing balance into your life goes deeper than the bag of chips we're looking for comfort from or the endless hours of exercise and boring salads. The reassuring news is - you can regain balance, attain better health and lose the weight forever by discovering what is keeping you unhealthy and (dare I say it?) fat.

Food it meant to be enjoyed and so is Life! If any or all of this resonates with you and you are ready for long term, sustainable weight loss and better health, without discipline or denial, contact me for an initial consultation. I'd be happy to share with you more about my approach and help you uncover what your body truly desires. Its a journey well worth going on...