Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What are you EATING??? ...and we're not talkin' about food!

Did you know that what you put on your skin, goes in? Research shows that we absorb 60% of products applied topically whether natural or chemical. These ingredients pass through the skin directly into our bloodstream. Companies are not required by law to disclose all of their ingredients on the label. These companies also do not have to prove that chemicals are safe before putting them into cleaning or body care products. The chemical industry as a whole is unregulated. In 2010, the President's Cancer Panel Report showed that there are over 80,000 chemicals commercially used in manufactured cleaning products. (both household cleaners and cosmetic products) The FDA has little control over these companies and relies upon the companies themselves to voluntarily recall a product and/or to report injuries from their use. So basically the companies have a choice on whether to do this or not. So, all this to say..we need to take responsibility for what we put on our skin. Things we clean our house with, things we wash our hands with, what we use for moisturizer, sunscreen, perfumes, etc...These chemicals being used are now being recognized as endocrine disruptors causing various health problems. One known ingredient often used in your household is triclosan. This is found in dishwashing liquids, hand soaps, and toothpaste. It is an antibacterial pesticide that commonly leads to decreased thyroid function and is restricted as a cosmetic ingredient in both Canada and Japan. Another common ingredient you'll find are paraben preservatives. They are compounds that are used in cosmetic products to increase shelf life. They can be a fragrance agent and a preservative. The issue with parabens is that in the body they mimic estrogen, known as xenoestrogens. They also act as endocrine disruptors and some people even link them to cases of breast cancers. It is the number 1 on the top 5 of the dirty dozen carcinogen list. This is only 2 of the many chemical ingredients used today. Just as we look at the lables on our foods, we need to be diligent about reading labels on our other products as well. 

My bestie and I catching some rays, slathered in coconut oil. This is the owner of Oregano Rose. 

Now for the GOOD NEWS!!!!!! Many people are aware of this issue nowadays and there are plenty of companies making safe household products and cosmetics. You can often find soaps and lotions even at your local farmer's market which is also a great way to support your community. Natural grocers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, GreenLife,etc...carry many options to choose from. And..if you are feeling creative, there are even recipes to make your own safe and natural products.

One of  my favorite companies is called Living Libations. They are based in Canada and grow many of their own herbs and even process some of the essential oils. They offer natural beauty care and amazing natural dentistry products along with a plethora of information on why and how to use their products. Another company for body care is called Primal Life Organics. This was created by a nurse on a mission to care for herself and family naturally. These are just two options of the many out there. 

If you are local, here in Little Rock, Arkansas you can visit the Green Corner Store for some locally made options as well. 

A personal story now...I skipped out on my 6 month cleaning visits for about 2 years at the dentist. When I went back this year my hygeinest was surprised at the lack of tartar or any issues with my teeth. Floss, and homemade tooth powder by Oregano Rose in Oregon. : )

If you want to work with me on your healthy holistic lifestyle plan, email me at

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tidbits For Your Tuesday

I just wanted to take a minute and share something that's been a game changer for me lately. The subject is Receiving. There is an abundance of focus on receiving more money, more energy, more time in our society. The practice of gratitude is wonderful for grounding in the here and now, and how abundant our lives are and I have my ways of doing this. Recently though, one particular practice has knocked my socks off and really brought in some energy and love and just full on joy for life!! It was suggested to write down a few things at night that you received during that day. Not just income, but anything that was, you know, nice...joyful, enjoyable, whatever. I started doing this every night. I write down the good things I'm experiencing in my work as a Holistic Lifestyle Coach and working with Keith because I feel totally blessed to be doing this and I write down some things just about my life in general. This practice wasn't necessarily challenging to begin but it has become so fulfilling to do! Even on nights when it is just time to get to bed and I realized I haven't done it yet, I take even a minute to write one or two things down. It's made me realize how much there is to be thankful for. This world and this life are really confusing sometimes. Scary. Things happen that are unexplainable, unacceptable so much so that the mind can't even make it all make sense. I think we run around surviving, keeping up with the Jones's, trying to pay attention to our families, working, doing this and that......It's all good..what else would we do?? But....there's so much being missed sometimes. At least by me. I will only speak for me here. I read a book when I was 19 called The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and it was the first book that changed a good way..cellularly. If we take the time to take things in, really receive this life and all that is happening, it is magical.

The other day Keith and I witnessed a mama cat helping her baby cross the road. She would get way ahead of the kitten and then turn around and wait...then go back to her and pick her up with her mouth and carry her a bit, then let her walk again...until finally she just grabbed her and got her across the street. It was so fun to watch. It took us all of about..oh 5 minutes, to be still together and watch it play out. I told Keith....these things are happening all over the place....across the world and the universe! Small scale to large scale. Caterpillars turning into butterflies, babies being grown in women's bodies......storms brewing, sunshine making things grow...I mean I know that this may not make everyone just sit down in AWE but it does me. What magical creatures we are and nature and love and, it just breaks me open sometimes.

Not to take away from working towards our goals in all the other areas mentioned, and going for our dreams in life....that is all part of it too!! I just wanted to remind myself and others that there is so much to receive here in this life. Like they say, "what you pay attention to grows". I am so glad I started this evening practice. Maybe you will enjoy it to??

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

UPDATE and Real Life Thoughts, Feelings, and ..things..

Here we are..last September at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fl. Would not have ever guessed I would be at a place like this. This is what happens when you take action in faith, even in the presence of fear.  We humans tend to get afraid of the unknown. It's unknown because we've not been there, done that, or been exposed to it yet. We know how to do where we're at and where we've been. Even if we don't like it, we do it because we know it and it's safe. The issue with this is, we are ever evolving creatures. We crave expansion and if we do not grow, we die. Maybe not leaving the earth dying...but the passion for life dies. A sense of settling, kind of giving up...thinking maybe it wasn't really meant to be afterall and I really should just be ok with the way things are. And..gratefulness and gratitude for what is, is essential. That doesn't mean we aren't allowed to explore anymore.

The world is big. There's a lot out there. Not everyone has the same dreams. We have dreams for a purpose...we just don't know what it could possibly be so we talk ourselves out of it based on REALITY. Dreams vs. Reality.

We wrote a while back and talked about how we had decided to explore moving. From the time we met, 13 yrs. ago now, we have talked about moving. We both get really excited about the idea of going somewhere new and seeing what it's all about. Meeting new people, having a new experience, and being a changed person as a result of new-ness, adventure and exploration..of a place and of ourselves. Not everyone has this same pull. Others have different desires. What we know for sure is that this has been ours. What we also know is that we want to know we had courage and we gave life our best efforts, no matter the results. So.....we have taken steps towards this event. We have had a realtor to the house who is a long time friend of ours and that feels good. Someone who knows you, has grown up with you and knows life is full of experiences that make us rich in our soul because of what they bring out in us. We have had contractors here to do some bits of work so the house is ready to sell. We have reached out and made contacts and we have a plan to visit Florida next month and find out more when we get there. We've also had opportunities pop up out of the blue in the opposite direction we had in mind on the west coast!! Whoa!! We remain open and we take steps. We go through excitement then bouts of fear. We're human. This is a big step. I have all kinds of thoughts and ideas and desires both in pursuit of this and in recoiling and questioning it all. There have been times when the mere thought of selling our house and uprooting into a brand new experience literally brings a wave of nausea. That fire you feel when you're about to do something big. These feelings could easily make me think that we must be doing something wrong or else I wouldn't feel afraid. But, that is not true. Even in the midst of the changing tides of feelings that come up around this, we can and we do still take steps.

We are not doing this because life isn't good. LIFE is REALLY good!! It's so full and rich with lessons and depth it can be overwhelming at times. I have moved around quite a bit. Maybe not like a child that grows up in a military home but I made some moves. I started my life in Texas, moved to Washington State, and all through high school went back and forth a few times. Moved to Colorado then moved here to Arkansas. Keith and I actually moved to Asheville, NC for a short time several years ago. After a few moves, moving wasn't a big deal. You want to go somewhere?? Go. It's never felt this big before. Living here in a state that I did not feel connected to has taught me so much. It has been major schooling on connecting to me. That, ladies and gentlemen, has not been easy. Getting to know myself (and still doing this all the time), the good, the bad and the ugly..the pretty, the fun and the miserable...not always a fun experience. But...I have a level of self love and acceptance more than ever before. Actually, I just didn't even know I didn't have that before. Not feeling like where you live is home, will make you find home inside yourself...if you so choose.

I look forward to this adventure with Keith. What else is possible??? : )

This happened on our drive back home. That is me in the ocean. Those of you that know me....I don't know...I felt moved. I do not usually swim in the ocean. I watched the movie Piranah as a child and I don't swim in the ocean. : ) I like to see what's swimming around me. I'll get in and play near the shore but that's about it. When we arrived here, something came over me. It was so beautiful and I HAD to get in the water! I almost couldn't believe it myself. And yes, still near the shore but more free than ever before. I didn't want to get out. I still have no words for how it felt. Maybe it was similar to facing a fear and growing past your limits. I had this feeling when we got in the car to come home that I knew I would go for it. I knew I had to live my life in a way where if fear was the only reason I wouldn't do something....then that was no reason not to. This is applying to something I feel I would like to experience and fear being the only thing stopping me. Not simply saying no to an experience that doesn't feel right.

Stay tuned as we venture forth! We will be as surprised as you! : )

Tuesday, March 31, 2015



Here's how it goes....

For the next 7 days the challenge is to catch yourself in a repetitive negative thought pattern, speaking or acting pattern. Then, shift it. Interrupt your pattern. Do something different.  Ask yourself a question...what is my solution here? How can I create something more enjoyable here? What can I do to initiate the change I wish to experience?

We all have records that play in our minds and we follow our minds with our actions without even knowing we are doing it sometimes. Before you go to bed at night, sit down for 5-10 minutes and think about the next day.....What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to feel?  How do you want to nourish yourself and move your body? How do you wish to relate to people? to yourself? What do you want your energy/vitality to be like? Get some good answers going and let it be expansive!!! I will be doing this with you guys so you are not alone. We are the ones that have the experience of our life. We get to choose what we do with it. The rest of the how we choose to respond and manage.

Where have you been seeking change? It starts in your thoughts and beliefs..comes out in your words and actions. Let's focus on some things this week and see just how much more positive energy and vitality you can create! And remember......when you do do a massive service to the world! There is the ripple effect.....every person you come in contact with, you have an effect on. How do you want that to be??? : )

Ok......see you on the other side!! Comment here or on facebook to share and collaborate. We all need our tribe.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Anniversary Weekend at the Cabin

All I can say is ...we RELAXED. As soon as we walked in the door of our oh so generous friends' cabin, we both let out an AAAHHHH...this is nice. Begin..unwind. I think it's important to note that I didn't have to try to unwind, like I might try to meditate, or try to relax and focus when I'm at home in my daily life..No, this was completely different. It has happened before and I've been paying attention. It happened here. Something beyond my mind, my trying......just let go. This is what I pay attention to, to listen to my inner guidance. Where I relax, where I tense up, where I feel free and expressive, where I feel held back....I say where and what I mean by that is where, when, around whom, etc. When it is beyond ME...I pay serious attention.

Right before we came here, I had been stressing myself out. Some things have been happening and changing in my/our life and I had let it go too long. I know this about myself...I need to get out of town and go somewhere quiet to rejuvenate..but don't we all just get too busy! We're supposed to be being productive and successful and achieving all of the time..ALWAYS ON. Doesn't work for me. I remembered this over the weekend.

My body relaxed, and let go. Ongoing muscular tension relaxed, I slept really well, my mind calmed down and in all of that, I was able to understand some things a bit more clearly. I was able to receive clarity and some answers. During the time I was there, I knew that if I could just maintain this sense of inner calm that I could actually work more productively and more in alignment with myself. That is what I am currently working with.

At home.....we're IN IT. Everything that has to be done, emails, text, work, name it. Minus the down time to harness peace and clarity = recipe for destruction. I have been able so far to remember and trust what became clear over the weekend and rely on that to help me manage myself better. And I know more than ever that getting out of town, in nature and quiet is ESSENTIAL to my well being.

We all need different things that rejuvenate and refuel us. Help us go into the parasympathetic nervous system and out of sympathetic, or fight/flight response. The important thing is to know what it is you need and give yourself that gift.

It works for Keith and I both to be in NATURE and QUIET, so that is a bonus for us as a couple. We do different things in other areas, but to unwind, we take the same medicine. It was very healing. We read, walked outside with Lady, talked about what we loved about each other (I know, maybe silly, but we liked it), had a fire was simply divine.

My experience with listening to myself keeps evolving. But here are some things that have been very helpful for me that maybe will help you understand your signals as well.

One thing that happens for me is that I get pictures in my mind. They aren't things I "think up", or conjure, or try to visualize, they just appear like I am looking at something but it is above where my eyes actually are, it's literally a screen in my mind. I actually love it when this happens because it's such a reminder to me that we are all given guidance. I simply utilize the knowledge of the picture to the best of my ability. For example.....a couple of years ago I kept getting this picture of me in a beach house, I had on a specific color green tank top, my hair was pulled back and I was really happy, glowing and healthy. Now, when this started to come in, it was so refreshing as I had struggled with my health in the past. The way that I used this is every day when I would shower and get ready, I would just tap in to that visual and how it made me feel. I would get ready for my day with that picture and how it made me feel. This may be a little woo woo for some, but this is what I did. Not too long after this was happening, I ended up meeting a woman who lives in Florida and she became my coach and a friend. Keith and I had several trips to Florida is the next almost 2 years and I had drastic changes in my life and health.  And then this happened.....a photo...of what I had seen, but it was in my house. After spending time in Florida and around the beach and having some breakthroughs....the picture I had been seeing.
My best friend and I live 2,000 miles away from each other. We take selfies and send them to each other to connect, be silly or whatever. When I saw this, it was the first realization I had that I had been given guidance, followed it and came to have fruition of things I had been working on. This was a big deal to me.

Another thing that happens for me is that I get very strong feelings in my body. Tension in my neck, nausea, comes in different forms but whatever form it comes, it's strong and doesn't go away until I act on whatever it is I'm getting a message about. This is not my favorite way of listening to myself as it is uncomfortable. But, I have also noticed that the things I've had to take action on during these times, is usually pretty uncomfortable and I don't want to do it. So, if it were just a nudge or pretty picture suggestion to myself...I may not do it. It's my way of getting my own attention.

Another thing that happens is that I just simply hear myself. I have immediate answers, Yes, or UH-No...or I don't like this, or this isn't where I need to be. This is the one that I am still learning to act faster on as one of my patterns is to question myself. It's getting better. But still an area that needs work.

In situations such as the cabin, or when we've gone to Florida and spent time at the beach....I simply unwind without any conscious effort. It's like magic. And it's necessary for me to stop, let things clear out, and be open to receive clarity and new guidance again.

These are all ways in which I have learned to listen to myself. The cabin was a good reminder of the importance of caring for ourselves so we can stay tuned in and connected.

What form does your guidance take?

Monday, March 9, 2015

10 years to Chaturanga! Chatu--WhaT?!

What the heck is a Chaturanga?? Well, it is the yoga "push-up". If you practice yoga, you know this and if you don't, you may not even know how to pronounce it..but you're probably trying right now. tee-hee. : ) I wanted to write about this because of my personal journey with this one pose. I hope to share with you a broader view of what all is possible with just one single movement.

I have written before about my journey with my health and I have touched on pieces of the whole picture here and there. I do believe in a holistic way of living and being and this one pose alone showed me a whole lot about that. I guess we are to learn first what we may teach later. As I have been on my journey of health and wellness, I have discovered that there is a WHOLE picture and sometimes we are only focused on one piece. The issue with this is that it can create frustration when this one piece won't budge. With the understanding that "everything affects everything", you can participate in creating a healthy lifestyle in all areas and let them all come together in their due time.

Now, back to the pose. I went to my very first yoga classes when I lived in Colorado, in 2000. That was my beginning. I remember vividly what felt like some sort of twisted way of being with my body and my teacher saying, 'now just reach back and grab...."whatever. I couldn't move. The words she spoke, I heard, but they hadn't yet found their way from my brain, through the twists and turns my body was not used to being in. The mind/body connection was just beginning.

Once I moved to Little Rock I began going to a local studio with truly amazing teachers. I feel grateful that I had the teaching/training that I had in my beginning. I was starting to do things I had only read about and seen pictures of. I also found this interesting connection between what I was learning and doing in yoga and what was happening in my life. Amazing. Well, there was this one movement that looked so easy and so ..I don't know..Strong...and I could not, for the life of me, do it. This Chaturanga thing. People who could do this just flowed through it like it was no big deal. I wanted to do this.

This particular movement utilizes your whole body but predominately arms, shoulders, and core. I got to where I could do it in proper alignment staying on my knees. Which is where you start, and stay until you create the strength for the full pose. It felt good once I knew I was in proper form, even if I was still on my knees. I had no idea it would take me so long to work into this full pose and I had no idea what all it would take for this to happen.

Rewind to when I first moved here and felt like a fish out of water. Out of place, and ultimately I was scared. My body went into a fight/flight response within a year of my being here and my digestive system shut down. What does that mean? Well, to be blunt, one day I just didn't go to the bathroom like normal. I was locked in and it wasn't going anywhere! This was the beginning of my actual physical body symptoms and my health. So, here's the correlation..this pose takes tremendous core strength and this is precisely where my body was showing symptoms. I did not know at that time what "core" really meant and what all could be affecting it. I did know, however, that when I attempted to do this pose, I would collapse in my lower back and belly.

Before things got better, and stronger, they got worse. I thought learning about nutrition and moving my body would yield me these results I was after. After several years, and a complete physical breaking down, discovering celiac disease and hypothyroidism, I was so frustrated. How could this be happening? I went through a stage where I hated to do yoga, because I hated what was happening in my body. I had even lost some strength and capabilities of things I could do for a while. Did I go through this gracefully? Probably not. I didn't know what was happening and eventually I just felt completely disillusioned by it all. It wasn't just my physical body, it was this overall sense that something about me just wasn't in alignment.

Fast forward to 2013 when I finally began to have some major breakthroughs. Yes, 2013. I guess that is more than 10 years but anyways...I went on a major self inquiry and overhaul. I began following my intuitive nudgings again, I began speaking more honestly and breaking down my people pleasing tendencies, I began setting healthy boundaries..and then...I began to, you know, poo again. Yes, my system was waking up, my symptoms were clearing, and my thyroid was stabilizing (speaking more honeslty, throat chakra) and then and only then did this chaturanga thing finally happen! wow!!!

I share this story as something to offer you if you have something in your life that just won't seem to budge. Be it a yoga pose, an olympic lift. a relationship, a career upgrade...could be anything. I had to do the work, I had to do the best I could do in the moment, while having a vision, while not giving up but also letting go.......It was a rich, rich experience, and life continues to be . You hear and see suggestions about "stepping into your power, being who you are, etc.." I feel through this journey I am getting a taste of what those statements mean.

So, when or if you find yourself stuck somewhere, or you are witness to someone else, remember, you/we/I don't always know what all is going on. Be gentle, be loving, be willing to explore and expand.  Finally making it to being able to do this Chaturanga, for me, was so much more than the pose, I just didn't know that going in to it. : )

Friday, March 6, 2015

Important Step That Many Forget

What if I told you that you are neglecting the one very thing that could allow you to live the life you always wanted? What if I said that we are brought up to believe that this aspect is greedy, selfish, or being too egotistical? I am talking about the fact that you have to take care of yourself.  Sounds simple, I know, but chances are you are reading this saying in the back of your head, I do... But, do you really? I mean think about it.............  The fact is this step is the bedrock of making yourself better, feeling the best you possibly can, and making lasting change.  This MUST be a priority.  I am proposing you be a bit selfish, you take care of you 1st, and carve out time for yourself in that busy schedule you keep each and every day. 

Self-Care is the foundation for improving one's physical, mental, spiritual, emotional health.  You neglect this, you feel it, it may even hurt, and it's hard to even feel fulfilled in life. 
Please understand that this is not me pointing a finger at you and condemning you, I'm trying to drive the message that deep down we all know:  You truly can't take care of another person unless you can effectively take care of yourself.  Sure, you can get by, but what you may be doing is distracting yourself from the things you truly should be doing for yourself. 

How does this happen? Well, we live extremely busy lives, always trying to keep up, do it all, care for those around us, not wanting to let anyone down and in this process- We come last.........

The reality is here in the US that there are entirely too many unhealthy people (overweight, sleep-deprived, over-stressed, and dehydrated).  Again, I'm not pointing a finger, and God knows I have my flaws with things to work on, but the statistics show that frankly, as a whole, we Americans just don't take great care of ourselves.  I'm not ok with this and believe why one of my passions in life is working with people to improve their overall Health and Wellness.
Bottom-Line, It's up to YOU.  People like me and Jami, we can help, and we love to, but we put the plan in place and you work the plan.  That's the KEY... You have to have a routine, a plan, a template you can default to and have on autopilot each and everyday. 

Here's some General Guidelines we use for ourselves and with Clients:

1]  Work quality sleep into your schedule, 6 to 8 hours.  This may be a challenge for some, but you may have to get creative with naps even.  You cannot skimp on this, lack of sleep will catch up with you.  Neurologically, you will not be the best you could be.

2]  When you eat, eat until you are full.  For most this means smaller portions.  Please don't be a calorie-counter, eat sensibly, listen to your body, and make sure you are working plenty of quality green veggies in your diet.  Nutrition is all about balance each and every meal (protein, carb, and good fat). 

3]  Exercise at least 3 times a week.  Move your body some way some how... We have written about the numerous benefits of moving in other blog posts.... Bottom-line, if you aren't using muscle tissue you lose it, especially as we progress in age.  If you live a sedentary life, you probably have imbalance in your muscle and joints which will lead to many of the common injury, aches, and pains that a lot of people experience and some even view as the price of old age.  I don't get that; you can do something about that.

4]  Develop a form of Meditation or Quiet-time in your day.  It can be 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even an hour.  Studies have proven this will lessen daily stresses and hopefully increase happiness. 
Sit in the quietness comfortably, and develop this practice that will help slow things down for you a bit.  It's truly healing.

5]  Drink more Water throughout the day.  Water is cleansing and even gives you energy.  Dehydration brings with it many side-effects like fatigue, headaches, and even kidney problems.  Drink at least 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces each day.  If you're active, drink you bodyweight in ounces each day (for me, that's anywhere from 80 to 160 ounces of water daily).  Sorry, water in soda, coffee, and tea doesn't count here.

6]  This is a HUGE ONE.....  Please pay attention....  stop being so Critical of Yourself.
Fact is that we are our biggest critic.  We are tougher on ourselves than anyone else.  Cut yourself some slack, take it easy, and take a step back.  Realize all the great things you have done.  See how valuable you are.  Remember to celebrate your accomplishments.  Usually we blow past things we accomplish to see what's next.  Slow down, celebrate, and Love yourself with a Self-Five!

7]  Check in with yourself throughout the day.  Look at your emotions and how you feel about the things that go on in your life.  Let your guard down a bit if you have to, pull the armor down and see what you care about or even what angers or disappoints you.  This is a call for you to feel what's happening in that brain and heart of yours....Let's LIVE and not get trapped in the mundane habit of sometimes functioning as a damn robot.  Feel, Live, Love and Thrive!

These are some helpful guidelines that I hope will give you a template on how to attack your day and take care of your most precious commodity, YOU.

As always, we are here to help.