My Self Worth is not Measured in Weight

self worth not weight

We are on week 2 of women’s health month – new moon, new topic.  For this week I wanted to address common symptoms that women come in with in regards to physicality and outward appearance – skin, hair and weight.

Once again I’ll reiterate that there seems to be themes attached to astrological shifts.  The week before the new or full moon I’ll have patients come in with the same complaint or “theme”.  The past week has been all about self worth, boundaries, and hypersensitivity about physical appearance.  The new moon on Tuesday was in the sign of stable and stubborn Taurus – all about security, finances, physicality, and stability in life.  It’s during those times of stability that we become more attune to what is disresonant in our life.  When our outside doesn’t match our inside, in the most simplistic terms, we feel disresonance, and are called to change in someway.

When women come in wanting to address weight loss, the reason behind it is usually the same – “I don’t like the way I look”.  It’s the same statement for young girls that come in with acne “I don’t like the way I look”, “I want to be pretty”, “I feel like others are judging and making fun of me”, “I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin”. Skin – skin is the key word.  Skin is your outward protective layer – it’s your armour, it’s your boundary between the outside and the inside world.  If you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, of course you are going to reject it metaphysically and it will begin to break down or burst out to create a fragile yet rigid protective physical layer.  Hence, we need to address the uncomfortablity, the rejection of your physical self, the reason you are trying to hide from the outside world behind a protective shell.  If you don’t address the person inside the shell, the shell (or skin, or protective barrier) will not change.

It’s interesting how such a physical symptom, as weight or acne, has such a mental emotional theme.  That’s the reason weight loss programs may not be sustainable – if you don’t address the reason why the person has difficulty with weight you don’t “fix” the weight problem.   If you feel you are only worthy if you lose weight then the weight loss is not sustainable.  Your weight is not the health problem, it’s the symptom.  Finding the multifactorial causes of it is the key to sustainable weight loss (or gain).  Physical causes can be thyroid dysfunction, fatty liver, nutritional issues, cortisol excess, insulin insensitivity, heavy metal accumulation, etc.  Mental-emotional causes typically involve self confidence, self esteem and self worth.  Is it the weight gain that creates lower confidence or lower confidence that leads to weight gain?  It truly is a cycle and flux of both. Where does this line of thinking come from?  Do we inherit familially that we need to “look good” in order to be accept?  Were we criticized for our physical appearance by our peers or family, negatively affecting our confidence?  Is it the media influence with the constant bombardment of beauty and weight loss ads of linking thin and blemish free with beautiful? In the midst of this media multiverse it’s our family member’s (typically mother figure) job to diffuse this disillusioned message and help their children discern what is true and what is fake, to see the beauty in their personality and skills.  Yet if the mother figure believes herself that she is only worth her physicality, how could she teach her children any differently?

Everyone’s journey may be different but the destiny is the same – we have linked self confidence and self acceptance with our outer beauty.  In this mindset, if we confine to social norms we will be accepted and loved.  Unconditional love comes from within.  Your confidence shines through outwardly and this is your true beauty.  Confidence is the best thing you can wear.  When you are confident, truly confident and love who you are, it shines through and illuminates your physical beauty.  You don’t need an outer protective layer because no one person can hurt you with their words or opinions because you know they aren’t true and don’t resonant with how you feel, or know, about your self and your true worth.  Confidence is your protective cloak and it grows with unconditional love.  When it comes to health confidence is at the core of every issue. Hence, the way for weight loss to be sustainable is if you are confident and love yourself regardless of your size as then you are able to let go of the weight because you don’t need it as a protective layer or a superficial barrier for your fragile self worth.  It is imprudent to release emotions tied to the weight in order to release the weight itself – YOU ARE NOT WORTH YOUR WEIGHT.  Weight gain is a sign that the body is unbalanced, and to treat the weight we have to treat the entire self.  By “treat” yourself  that means “treating” yourself with acts of self care that prove to your energetic self you are worthy of love and care.  Finding love for who you are and not how you look.  Creating congruency between the outer skin and the inner self.  You are worthy, you are deserving.  Your self worth is not measured in weight, it’s measured in love.

See your beauty everyone – inside and out 🙂

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What’s “Normal”? Debunking Common Menses Myths

Image result for menses myths

Who knew prepping for women’s health month would be such a learning journey!  Wanting to address some commonly shared menstruation myths in pop culture, I decided to google “menstruation myths” to see what’s out there.  I was flabbergasted.  Sometimes I feel like I grew up in a shinny bubble protected by the world’s ideas, as I had no idea that “period shaming” was actually a thing.  My search turned about issues like women being seen as “unclean” in religious terms when menstruating, as to feel guilty or shame that they had their period.  Also mention to keep from talking about your period to men because it would make them uncomfortable (honestly people sometimes are uncomfortable when it comes to menstruation, I get it, but it doesn’t mean to avoid and suppress it…. that doesn’t mean the discomfort goes away, it just validates the shame and guilt women feel in expressing what is naturally occurring in their bodies… seriously the amount of issues we could resolve with just communication and good ol’ respect for each other… ugh… but I digress).

Repeat after me all women (and men) – A period is a natural occurring beautiful thing.  It’s something to celebrate, not shame.  No more shaming people for something that is part of who they are.  Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t make it wrong.

Okay… so back to menses myths! We all know the common ones – don’t exercise when you menstruate, don’t have spicy food, stay away bears… all the classics!  I wanted to discuss the medical incongruent misnomers more.  Growing up my entire female lineage had difficult heavy periods resulting in miscarriages and hysterectomies.  I remember being told, in a matter-of-fact way as a child, that I was “doomed” to suffer in pain and would have nothing but horrible periods my entire life.  I didn’t believe it because intuitively I knew that I was not dealt a “genetic sentence”.  Genetics aren’t everything.  The majority of your genes aren’t activated and need many environmental cues to become activated (one of them being mindset).  Thankful as a teen I knew that this wasn’t my “fate”.  Yet many young women are told a similar story, thinking their only reprieve from period pain is the birth control pill or removing the organ indefinitely (a hysterectomy).  It’s not.  It’s a sign that something is imbalanced and to explore further.  You can correct imbalances with foods, herbs, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, exercise, etc.  There are so, so, so many options and natural treatments out there.

Below are the 5 most common menses myths I hear in practice:

It’s normal to be in pain – NO

My period doesn’t come for months and is heavy but I’m sure it’s fine – NO.  Please have blood work done to determine your hormone levels.

I have heavy periods and my only choice is a hysterectomy – HELL NO.  However, if you hemorrhage constantly and it is negatively affecting your everyday living and has for years then this may be an option.

The birth control pill will solve all my problems – NO, it’ll suppress them.  Your symptoms will come back after taking the pill (as a contraceptive that’s a different story).

Is this stuff you learn in health class or from your family?  No.  Hence I’m trying my best to shed some light and common falsehoods when it comes to women’s health.  Your period can be affected by stress, by environment, by genetics, by low iron, by food sensitivities, by autoimmune disease, by thyroid dysfunction, by toxic overload, and so much more.  Hence all those things, and more, need to be addressed when assessing overall health.  It’s important to understand what is “normal”, what isn’t, and how we can treat it so it can balance and normalize.  The first step in health is “awareness”.  Let’s talk more about our menstrual cycles.  They are nothing to be ashamed of.  They are natural and something to be respected and grateful towards.  Let’s teach our young women that they don’t need to suffer in silence.  To be aware of themselves, their health, and that this knowledge is empowering.  The more empowered they are the more confident they become, as a healthy self esteem is the best treatment for any ailment.

Happy communicating everyone – debunk these menses myths.  Knowledge is empower.

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Bringing Beauty Back for Women’s Health Month

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It’s officially May! Amongst all the “It’s gonna be May” NSYNC memes today, I wanted to point out my favourite part about May – Women’s Health Month! May has Mother’s Day so naturally is going to be female-focused.  There’s a lot going on in the cultural and social environment regarding genderism, feminism, and equality.  It’s become a more polarized society which has created a defensive, and sometimes destructive, disresonance.  This energy takes us away from the constructive energy of celebrating who we are and the beauty that resides within.  Interesting enough “beauty” has somehow become a bad word.  Women reject the word “beauty” thinking being beautiful will make them only be viewed as a physical object.  Beauty is not purely physical.  It’s a feeling, an emotion, a descriptive adjective used to depict love and joy.  Beauty is seeing a sibling give their ice-cream to their other sibling because they dropped it.  Beauty is watching a flower grow and blossom.  Beauty is smiling at a stranger and not expecting anything in return.  It’s connecting to yourself and communicating your amazing to the world.  “Physical” beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  True beauty is in the mind’s eye of the perceiver.  You see it, you feel it, you embrace it, and it inspires you to emit your own beauty.  A woman, a man, a child, all humans and living things are beautiful.  When they see and radiate their own beauty – that is the most magical (and beautiful) moment.

Now back to Women’s Health.  Many women’s health “conditions” consist of menstrual issues, weight issues, skin and aging, or fertility issues.  The energy behind these issues are a metaphysical rejection of femininity, or not feeling “enough”.  Of course there are physical implications – hormonal imbalance, stress and cortisol exhaustion, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmunity, environmental sensitivities, etc.  Irregular or heavy menses are common in women, but it’s not normal – it’s a sign of hormonal imbalance. As women we don’t talk a lot about our menstrual cycles, because there is embarrassment or shame attached.  I remember being in 7th grade and there was this huge uproar amongst the class.  Guys were freaking out, pointing, jumping on chairs, acting crazy.  I thought it was a mouse or some sort of grotesque creature.  Then upon looking closer at the floor I was able to make out their object of induced chaos – an unused menstrual pad.  They were freaking out over a pad!  Sighing (insert “face palm” emoji here), I picked up the pad, shook my head, and put it in the garbage.  This reaction is a common one.  The disappointing fact is that men, well some men, are much older yet having the same “grossed out” reaction.

When I ask women details about their menstrual cycle they become embarrassed as they’ve never truly analyzed nor discussed it before.  Yet information about the menstrual cycle, the length, the quality, the consistency, or any PMS-like symptoms are important in determining what hormones are imbalanced and how.

Having a regular menstrual cycle is a blessing bestowed upon us.  It’s something we should embrace and celebrate (fact* an irregular menstrual cycle is the most common sign of fertility issues and is the first thing we aim to correct with Naturopathic treatment).  I remember being in Catholic School and being outraged, even as a child, when I heard the story of Adam and Eve, and that’s Eve’s punishment for wanting to have knowledge was a painful menses every month.  Seriously!  Period shame is rampant in our stories, our culture, and our society (I’m sure there are many other examples but that was the first one that came to mind).  When the menstruation “leaves” us and we enter menopause, that’s a different stage in life to embrace our identity and beauty.  Being a woman (whether you are biologically a woman or identify with being female) is a beautiful thing – it’s time to embrace our femininity and embrace our beauty!

Ask yourself:

What do I like about being a woman?  What does it mean to be a woman?

What does beauty mean to me?  Am I beautiful?  Do I see my beauty?

Do you use the same words to describe a “woman” as you do to describe “beautiful”?

When I think beauty I think strength, love, compassion, creativity, resilience, care, joy and laughter.  Beauty bewilders me and it inspires me.  As do teaching and treating women’s health.  A beautiful harmonious combination between who I am and the job that I love.  In future posts this month I’ll talk more about women’s health conditions and the physical and metaphysical reasons contributing to them.  It’s going be a beautiful month.

Happy May Everyone!

 

Note – Beautiful painting taken from Bridgit 2015

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What I’ve Learned in the Past 5 Years of Practice

On April 12th 2013 I officially got my Naturopathic Doctor license.  I was elated and excited to start working in the “real world” after my 10+ year academic career.  It’s been a journey of learning, and I’ve cultivated many skills and strengths along the way.  Below are the 5 things I’ve learned in practice that I’d like to share:

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  1. Everyday you are learning and teaching

You never stop learning. Ever.  If you did, then either you’ve lost passion for your craft or you’ve hit an egotistical wall where you believe you know absolutely everything (both are problematic).  I learn from everywhere – including my patients.  I’m an open book and my books are always open!  To be engaged in a practice you have to actually practice what you teach!  In medical school I remember ever new thing we learned (whether it was a diet, a supplement, or my favourite hydrotherapy) we tried.  And discussed after.  We were excited to be engaged in the medical treatments and that excitement should not fade, even when you are no longer a student (that’s called passion!). Wanting to learn about your career field is a good check to see if you are in the right field.  You are probably thinking “but I’m an Accountant, what books am I going to read about that?”  There are many! Get your Freak Economics on!

If you are always learning then you are always teaching.  Doctor means teacher and I greatly believe in and am grateful for that responsibility.  It’s our job to explain what’s going on physically, emotionally, and spiritually and how that relates to how a person is feeling.  One way to test if you’ve learned something is if you can teach it.  If you have difficulty teaching something you may not completely comprehend it (or you may have difficulty communicating it or relating to your student).  Being able to communicate information in a way which people understand is a big part of health.  If people can’t understand how they’ve gotten unwell, they’ll have difficulty in understanding, or believing, that they can get well.  

2. The first step to health is self awareness

You can’t address what you don’t acknowledge.  Sounds Dr. Phil”ish”, but it’s completely true.  If a person doesn’t want to help themselves, or refuses to look at them self honestly and humbly, then they will create a subconscious block to healing.  As a society we’ve learned that if we avoid something then it goes away.  That’s not how life works.  If you avoid it then it goes further down and lies hidden, not absent, and comes up as other symptoms.  Symptoms are a sign that the mind-body is screaming out to be acknowledged and taken care of.  Being aware of our health issues and taking responsibility for them is the first step to heal, because then you begin to believe that you have the power to heal.

3. Everyone has the ability to heal

Everyone and everything has the ability to hea;.  The amount of time and effort required is dependant on the individual.  Healing also can be uncomfortable, but the discomfort will pass with time and in hindsight be beneficial.  In biology we learned the ability of organs to regenerate their tissue, skin to recycle, and even the simple cell has the ability to divide and differentiate.  Neurons in the brain have been shown to take over the role of surrounding neurons that have been damaged or rendered dysfunctional.  The body and mind can adapt.  It can change and grow dependent on it’s environment.  When we change our environment (ie what we eat and how we think), we change gene transcription and our physiology.  Hence, we have the innate and amazing ability to heal.

4. Simplicity is key

Think about fixing a light bulb in the ceiling – would you stand on a rickety wooden ladder to do it?  Not at all.  You need a solid foundation to properly hold you.  The same goes with your health.  If one, or more, of you health fundamentals are lacking, then it makes you more susceptible to health problems.  These fundamentals are: food, water, rest, air, and love.  I relate them to the elements, love being the ether or effervescent magically elusive fifth element that cannot be quantitatively measured.  Many diseases are rooted in trauma, resulting from lack of self love or self esteem.  If will feel we aren’t worthy of love (or nourishment, or life, or acknowledgement, the list goes on…. ask a person what love means to them and that’s what they need in life or lacked growing up) then our vitality diminishes, making us more prone to physical and emotional injury.  These health elements must be addressed first and always.  If someone is lacking energy – ask where their energy is going?  Is it being drained, not hydrated (water), not restored (sleep), they are low in iron or nutrients (food), poor circulation or nerve cells are hyperactive (air) or they give their energy away to everyone else (love).  We look for a more complex answer because we think it must be complicated.  Think simple and treat with pure and whole concepts.

5. The mind and body are interconnected and intertwined in health. 

A mental issue may be a physical issue and physical issues may cause mental emotional issues.  For example, depression can be due to a lack of thyroid hormone, and constantly sacrificing yourself for others can cause hypothyroidism.  Mind you it’s not that simple of a cause-effect, but they can contribute.  We exist as complex weave of physical and metaphysical forces – hence our symptoms cannot be addressed in isolation.  That’s one of the core concepts that I love about Naturopathic Medicine – everything is connected.  As Naturopaths we ask about everything.  And many times I’ll hear… “well this may not be related…..”… it is! If you are experiencing it, then it’s related!  If you create one effect it will cause a ripple effect in the entire body.  Hence why drinking more water may alleviate headaches in one and constipation in another.  Simple intervention may have dramatic effects in many different ways.  It’s all connected and it all matters.

I could write a book on all the things I’ve learned in the past 5 years…..and things I didn’t read in my books or learn in my classes.  It’s been cultivated from experience and being active and engaged in practice.  Some days I wish people could hear what I hear in my walls (not that they will because patient confidentiality of course!), because then they would realize how normal their health concerns are.  We hide our pain and sufferings so well that people believe we are well… and eventually we too begin to believe our own compensations.   It’s ok to not be “ok” and to communicate that with others.  Connecting and being heard is part of being human, and another beginning piece in improving our health.  And even if we believe everything is going great and don’t need help with our health, it’s important to continue to do health check ins to foster that self awareness and encourage personal growth.  Our health is a journey is which we get to learn and grow.  

 

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The Almighty Egg

Happy Easter! Easter is a wonderful time of year.  It’s the beginning of spring – the energy of renewal, birth and beginnings.  Usually around Easter time there is a media bombardment of eggs – coloured eggs, speckled eggs, confetti filled eggs, cream filled eggs – every edible and plastic glitter egg you can think of.  In the spirit of birth and beginnings, the egg is the perfect symbol.  It represents purity, strength, protection, and unlimited potential. The egg can be anything or it can be nothing (empty).  Also it’s the prefix to a plethora of puns – egg-acxtly!

As a food source – the egg is close to perfect.  It can be made in a multitude of ways either simply or complexly.  In baking and cooking it’s an integral ingredient, providing the “glue” binding the individual constituents into one solid item or “dough”.  Eggs are one of the only foods that contain all essential amino – the building blocks for our body’s proteins.  Eggs may get a bad rap sometimes because they contain cholesterol, yet cholesterol is necessary for making hormones and repairing blood vessels.  When it’s ingested in excess then it can be an issue, as can most things.

Metaphysically the egg has powerful properties.  It’s fragile and can crack easily, yet in the proper position you can balance a book on a geometric array of eggs.  Cracks can appear in the shell yet the pliable skin underneath keeps the egg together despite of the cracks.  Analogous to a metaphor, you can have cracks on the surface yet still remain together and untouched at your core.  Many metaphors are made about the strength yet fragility of the shell.  Hard on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.  A hard shell develops to the protect the defenseless valuable center.  Calcium carbonate, a commonly used homeopathic derived from egg shell, has a personality trait of a overly sensitive and emotional person whom overcompensates with a tough impermeable attitude as an unhealthy defense mechanism.

Eggshell is ironically not impermeable, even though it may appear to be so.  Eggs can be dyed, holding the colour in their shell, and water can penetrate the egg to boil or cook the inside.  Hence, the shell is porous and penetrable, along with being strong and protective.  The same is true with someone using a tough and armoured exterior – they are soft on the inside and things do penetrate through, affecting their internal composure and emotional self.  Comments do not bounce off of them and the hurtful words they speak are more indicative of how they feel about themselves.  Retorting with hurt back is not a defense.  Treat them with compassion as a way to display how they should be treating themselves – with positivity and love.  Love is always the retort, as it is the answer and treatment for hurt and pain.  Comfort and compassion.

Medically the egg is integral in hormone balancing and fertility.  Eggs contain the potential for life – a complete set of our chromosomal genetic makeup.  Women are born with their eggs – this potential to create a new life (which can produce a strong longing in those with a “mother” instinct).  If the egg itself is dysfunctional and doesn’t properly divide then it affects hormone secretion and balance, affecting the entire individual’s mood and physicality.  Infertility is now a common occurrence in our North American society.  The prime reason an egg does not implant into the uterus after fertilization is due to chromosomal abnormalities – the egg quality is not optimal and the egg has the autonomic intelligence to terminate itself if it’s not adequate for surviving.  Even in the simplest form the egg has complex capabilities.

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The above image is incredibly fitting for this blog post.  Not only does it show the beauty of eggs, it also displays the importance of the nest in supporting and nourishing the egg.  The same is true for fertility – egg health is just as important as the health of the environment that supports it.  That could be the physical health of the woman and her uterine lining, her mental-emotional health and stress levels, and/or how she feels supported in the world and her social support network.  All factors are important in ensuring the egg will flourish in life.

The egg can be anything.  In it’s simplest biochemical microscopic form it provides nutritional building blocks, amino acids, that are essential for life.  In it’s most complex macroscopic form it has the ability to fertilize and grow into a human life.  Hence, the egg is a perfect symbol for birth and beginnings.

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Let it Go and Grow

“I feel stuck”.

This is a common complaint I hear often in practice.  My patient population is primarily women whom are stretching themselves thin, giving everything to everyone but themselves.  They are students, they are mothers, they are workers, and they are tired.  Mentally tired, physically tired, emotionally tired, and unsure where to start.  When we give all of our energy to others and keep none for ourselves, we feel “stuck”.  Then we lack the energy to do the things we love, the things that give us energy and purpose and a sense of identity, further lowering our  mood and energy.   Yesterday was International Women’s Day and there was a beautiful communal celebration of woman globally.  Women were celebrated for their strength, their sacrifice, their creativity, their caring, their beauty and their courage.  What wasn’t mentioned was the need for self care.  Women are naturally empathetically primed to take care of everyone but themselves, yet they deserve the care the most.

So how to we get out of being “stuck”.  If you were stuck in mud what would you do? You’d move!  Many times we feel stuck because we aren’t having the moment in life that we want/need.  This makes us feel stagnant and lethargic.  We need movement.  In all aspects of our life.  To move through mental-emotional “stuckness”, we employ therapeutic physical treatment.  My preferred way to do that is to do a detoxification plan.  Now not all detox plans are made equal, and not all people detox the same way or are in the right state to detox.  It’s recommended that before you embark on a detox you should consult a professional (such as a Naturopathic Doctor).  Attached is a quick outline for how to get in the “detox mindset”, a pre detox plan to help those feeling stressed and stuck.  In order to be in the right mindset to detox, we need to able to let go, declutter, embrace change, and accept being raw and vulnerable.  When we detox we need to break in order to build.  We need those building blocks free to use them in creating some new and improved.  Look at a seed – the sprout needs to break out of the protected casing of the seed in order to grow and evolve.  The cracks allow for growth and change, moving through the inevitable stuck.

That’s how I’m celebrating my March break – I’m giving my body a vacation and doing a detox plan.  Hope everyone has great plans this week – enjoy your breaking 😉

let it go and grow

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The DeRozan DeBate

Today’s post is inspired by an article I read in the Star regarding Demar DeRozan’s and the conversation I had with a family member after it.  I am a huge Raptor fan, since 1995 (yes, I’m aging me), and DeRozan is one of my favourite players.  Not only because he is a fantastic offensive player, but he presents himself with such calm, poise, and professionalism which I greatly admire in an athlete.  I was surprised to hear that he suffered from depression, as noted in a self proclaimed tweet during the all-star game (yes, it was a verbatim song lyric but the article that ensued explained more).  I don’t know him personally, and was suprised by and proud of his admission.

Cut to this morning retelling and paraphrasing the article to a family member.  Mind you they are incredibly supportive and understanding, just not of mental health being an actual medical condition.  We had a discussion, close to disagreement, of how athletes should just “shut up and play” and there was no reason for him to disclose his mental state, as he was “looking for attention”.

This is a conversation we have had before and recently.   It was during the olympics. I like to watch the back stories, the trials and tribulations, and being emotionally invested in the athlete.  They can’t stand it. They turn it off and say that they are just trying to gain sympathy.  See the pattern? Their excuse is that they come from an “old world” point of view when “men were men” and didn’t express their feelings.  They were stronger back then.  Or more suppressed in my opinion.  My theory is that this person just doesn’t like being uncomfortable and that emotions make them uncomfortable so they scoff at people expressing emotions instead as a defense mechanism. Or may be it’s a “superhero effect” where there is this idolized opinion of athletes being superhuman and indispensable and any crack in that illusion would cause a crack in the perception of idolizer.  Goes hand in hand with the previous – if the strong superhuman athlete shows emotions or any vulnerability then the illusion of being emotionless becomes challenged and then the person has to face emotions.

Back to the kitchen table and coffee convo.  This month has been one of self discovery, restoration, self care and really pure and utter compassion (see the compassion challenge, which has been a game changer for me).  Rather than react with retaliation to these infuriating statements, I decided to sit in uncomfortablility myself and put on my compassion goggles.  This was their opinion for a reason.  It’s hard for us to be logical or unbiased when there is emotion attached to our opinion.  Any challenge of that opinion challenges reality.  That may be this person’s opinion because that is what they had experienced.  When someone acts so strongly against something, it’s because they don’t want to address the reasoning behind it and no logic, regardless of how many studies and books you throw, literally, at them, will change or sway them.  It’s better to understand than understate.  Also, yes people can use mental health statements (like “I’m depressed” or “no one likes me”) to gain sympathy.  But that’s part of the mental health disorder!  If someone is happy, healthy and content, they don’t look for sympathy to “feel better”.  Looking for sympathy can be part of people’s not so coping mechanisms (which attracts enablers that just feed this disordered delusion and disable the person from taking responsibility for their own health).

So in conclusion, on article and one conversation with my family member gave me a lot of insight into compassion and mental health.  It’s healthy for people (even athletes!) to express their emotions and communicate with others – that’s what makes them human.  It’s also ok to feel uncomfortable with emotion or situations.  Rather than run from it, ask yourself why it is you are uncomfortable and perhaps you will learn some lessons toward your own health and growth.   And lastly mental health is real, it’s intertwined into physical health, and it’s a lot more complicated than a simple tweet.   Notice how 1 tweet can elicit multiple different insights and opinions?  It’s the same with 1 action interpreted by multiple different minds.  They create thoughts and feelings unrelated to the actual action because it’s been twisted by their delusioned reality.  That is a very true fact in relation to mental health disorders.  You may not understand it but you don’t need to in order to be compassionate to those that experience it.

Hope everyone had a healthy happy Februaruy and thanks for reading 🙂

 

 

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The Compassion Challenge

Happy Super Soul Sunday!

In order to embrace February, which historically has never been my favourite month, I decided create a self love soul driven challenge to make the month more enjoyable.  February is heart month in everyway – it’s heart disease awareness month, it’s Valentines, it’s even a “2” month (the number of relationships, also 2018 is a “2” year – so double 2!).  It’s a month to focus on relationships – with the world, with others, and with yourself.

As I started to think about self love and self worth, one word strongly came to mind – COMPASSION.  It’s a beautiful concept that embodies love, kindness, awareness and empathy.  In order to be compassionate, we need to be aware of the environment around us and the people in it.  We need to be present and focused in the present.  It’s being kind without expecting anything in return, including the need for acknowledgement of being kind. To evoke compassion we need to let go of the traumas and people that hurt us, and see them with empathy rather than contempt.  It comes with gratitude, appreciation, and an optimistic excitement that everything is possible and everyone is love.

I’ve create a workbook, “The Compassion Challenge“, for others to use and share in order to evoke and embrace the positive vibes of compassion.  The first week is about release past traumas and embracing your true self (you need to connect with yourself first before you can completely connect with others) and the second week is about restoration (we have to practice compassion for ourselves, which is self care, so we are our best selves when helping others).  Read it, work through it, share it, embrace it.

Sending you all healthy happy compassionate vibes for this month of self love and appreciation!!!!

ND embrace

 

 

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Once in a Blue Moon

Image result for blue moon fairy

Tomorrow, well tonight, is going to be an interesting triad of events – it’s a blue moon, a blood moon, and a lunar eclipse.  I wish here in Ontario we could see it, but we are definitely feeling it!  Full moons create a greater “pull” on earth – so those affected by EMFs or barometric/gravitational pressure are most physically and/or emotionally affected.  I woke up this morning in a gluten-like foggy stupor.  Nothing else was different in my environment, so I’m attributing it to the moon!

When I first heard about this moon I had one distinct image come into my head – the scene in Pinocchio where the blue fairy comes down and magically grants animated life to the wooden puppet.  Does that mean this is a wishing moon?  Who knows.  The optimistic in me would like to believe that is so and I’ll be setting intentions today to achieve (and the rational side of my brain will turn them into goals I’ll be accountable for throughout the month).   Perhaps it has a different meaning where those once oblivious will become awaken by this moon (analogous to the young puppet).  Mind you that’s just my perception – if it becomes reality then that’s yet to be determined.

That’s the interesting thing about reality – it is created by your perception of the environment around you.  Hence why everyone’s reality, or retelling of a situation, is slightly different, or skewed through a personal filter cultivated by previous experiences and biases.  If I believe it’s a wishing moon, then subconscious I will create an environment where my wishes become more tangible due to my change in perception, or reality.  Ironically the opposite is true as well – if we believe something negative then we increase the probability of creating it – it’s titled a self-fulfilling prophecy (quite a lot of evidence based papers on this, it’s a fun read).  Even if you don’t belief the moon can affect you, you can believe in the power of belief so if someone says that the moon affects them than there is some truth in it as they believe it to be so.

A common symptom felt during “full moon times”, aside from the typical headaches, fatigue and insomnia, is anxiety.  Anxiety is on the rise in our society, especially in the younger population.  It relates to the concept of resilience – which is our ability to critique changes in our environment and determine whether they are stressors or not.  We are constantly bombarded by external stimuli, whether physical or metaphysical, and become overwhelmed physically and emotionally.  Our bodies are unable to process what is important and what isn’t, so it has a default response of perceiving everything as a stressor.  Hence the over stressed, all-or-none, and dramatically personalities adopted by our youth.  When you are already frazzled or on edge (think of a night of no sleep – how hyperreactive and moody are you the day after?) any change in your environment, whether conscious or unconscious, puts you over the edge and you have an anxious, or sometimes panic, response.  Add in the fact that you don’t understand why you are anxious and that creates more anxiety.  The unknown is incredibly anxiety provoking.

With this knowledge, or insight, what can we do to reduce this anxious response?  Think of a live wire – when we need to discharge energy we need to ground.  Go to your basics to improve your resiliency. During times when you know the environment is going to be temperamental, or times you know it’s going to be stressed, try to get adequate food/water/sleep (you can’t control the environment, but you can control those!).  If you feel anxious, go through objective reasons why – did I eat, sleep, drink water, have a stressful day, etc. If you are more of a sensitive or empath (and if you are you know that you are) anxiety is common occurrence.  It may not have a reason why or a stressor causing it, but it always passes.  It’s uncomfortable, definitely, put it does pass.  The best thing you can do is support yourself through it.

Have a healthy happy blue blood super moon everyone!

(photo taken from iamthequeenoflight.com – how beautiful it is????)

 

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New Year Intentions and Reflections

2018

Happy last day of 2017!  It’s been an interesting year and everyone seems to be brimming with excitement and hope about the oncoming 2018 year.  A new year means new goals.  Some spend today scrounging for last minute new year eve plans and other spend it planning out their new year.  Goals are easy to make, and they are easy to break.  The challenge is maintain the motivation to complete and succeed at our goals year long.  To achieve this we need to: ignite an intent, find our theme, prepare for barriers, and track and act.

The number one documented reason for not accomplishing our goal is lack of motivation.  Completing a CBT course recently I learned that the most detrimental symptom of depression is apathy.  The way you counteract that lack of motivation is to just do the activity or goal you set out.  Even if you don’t want to.  By being active you natural raise your endorphin and mood elevating neurotransmitters which decreases the depressive mood.  With the new year we think this is a perfect time for a new start and endless opportunities.  Any setbacks we encounter negatively affects our thinking and through an “all or none” filter we abandon the goals due to our inability to achieve it instantly.  Imagine if every day was a new year day.  Imagine the unlimited and infinite possibilities we could create for ourselves.  Hence why I’m coining 2018 as the infinity year (the “8” is a rotated infinity sign so it works!).  Infinite possibilities, infinite change, and endless opportunities.

The amazing aspect about the infinity symbol is that it goes on endlessly, yet it has a wave-like property of going up and going down. That’s what life is – you go up, you go down, but it averages into a balance.  Think of conservation of energy principles – all energy is a combination of potential and kinetic energy.  Stop and start.  Push and pull.  Up and down.  Or simply think of a basketball player taking a foul shot – they need to plant their feet and center their balance before they take the shot.  If they don’t, their aim is affected and they have a higher probability of missing their shot.  You have to set than shoot.  Before we leap we have to plant our feet.

Before coming up with your new years goals (or resolutions), reflect on the past year.  What was your theme?  What did you achieve? And if you didn’t, what were your barriers to success? Then you can create your intent for the new year.  What is your theme, or what do you want to focus on (pick a noun – like business, self, family, health, joy, etc.)?  From your intention you then can create some smaller SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) to help you achieve your theme.  Lastly track and act – track your progress of actual action towards your goal.

For example: The goal of “being healthy”.

What does “being healthy” mean?  What does it look and feel like?  Is your picture of healthy attainable and realistic?  Perhaps you mean to have more energy, or wake up refreshed, or doing things you use to enjoy.  Pick  2-3 smaller goals related to your theme – then act and track.  What are some barriers you may encounter?  Perhaps no time, no energy, or no motivation.  How will you conquer these barriers? Here is a Weekly GOal tracking document to help!

That’s my last blog post for the year!  Have a healthy and happy holiday season and wishing you an amazing infinity year for 2018!!!!

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