Why I Always Recommend Movement

Whether you have been reading Mindful Living for a while or are a new comer, you have seen that I recommend moving, getting outside, and being active a lot. I am, after all, a movement-based therapist providing walking sessions. While I will not go so far as to coin movement a cure-all, I will say that it is incredibly powerful.

Research shows that inactivity is at the root of so many health issues: cardiovascular disease, obesity & weight gain, depression and anxiety. These are serious concerns that are easily remedied with one thing: movement! It could be walking, jogging, running, dancing, skating, swimming, hiking, biking, yoga...the list could quite literally go on and on. 

There has been a cultural shift away from being outside, playing as children, walking from place to place. These things have been replaced with more screen time, increased work hours, and a stress upon filling the hours of the day with more productivity while letting our health take a back seat. 

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Moving Into A Spring Mindset

We have sprung forward as of March 12th with the changing of the clocks and March 20th marks the first official day of the Spring season. Each year without fail I get ridiculously excited for these seasonal changes, Spring especially.

Spring comes with so many positive connotations: renewal, youth, new life, awakening, and transformation. We might not realize how deeply we are effected by these changes or metaphors, but if we look a little deeper we can see how in small ways the seasons affect us all.

The winter season creates shorter days. Less sunlight naturally affects our energy levels. Growing up in Florida I did not have to worry about cold weather. Winters in the Southeast actually had more of an energizing effect than anything else. Being up North now, my energy levels dramatically dip when the time "falls back" and the sun sets at 4:30pm. 

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When the Winter Blues Hit

February is the hardest month of winter for me. It is dreary, bleak, and dark--both literally and figuratively. It is like the Monday's of months. If you live in the North or somewhere with seasonal changes, chances are that you feel this way too. The winter blues do not have to hit so hard when you prepare yourself with mental fuel and perspective.

The changes that we feel in the winter are very real. For most, the days are shorter, the temperature is colder, and the motivation of the New Year has worn off. Without fail, each year I hit a point in February where I have the sudden compulsion to hop on a plane to a tropical island. This year, I am looking at it more clinically.

Whenever anything has a pattern it becomes easier for us to predict and, therefore, to fix. I often hear people tell me that this winter blues pattern occurs every year for them as well, and yet we do not do anything to fix it. It is as if we know we cannot control the weather, so we succumb to the feelings that go along with the season.

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Resolutions Check-In

As January wraps up and February begins, it is time to check in on those New Year's resolutions. It is reasonable to think that if we have not begun working towards the goals that we set by now it is likely there will not be any follow through the rest of the year. I am here to offer a different mindset and propose a perspective shift.

Think back to a few weeks ago when those goals were initially established. At this time your mind was full with thoughts of accomplishing something, feelings of possibility, hopes of change. What I have seen happen with my clients is that they may set their goals a little too aggressively in the beginning of the year. It is good to set aggressive goals, but it is important to think about what needs to happen before you can get off the ground. 

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Not Letting Fear Decide

A large part of what I believe to be my purpose in life is to live with authenticity. To be genuine and real, both for myself and for the people I work with. I find that too often we know our true desires and want to pursue them, but something gets in the way. Whether its fear of judgement, an inability to believe in ourselves, or a fear of change, this thing that holds us back from living our best possible life is real!

Following our incredible farm/European adventure, I am back in NYC and working on growing my practice and developing the life I desire. A large part of me has wanted to share more, put myself out there in ways that feel scary and vulnerable. I made a list of all the things that could happen in 2017 that would be both scary and amazing. I could have easily sat back and let the list become a list of dreams and hopes than an actual plan for my year.

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4 Things We Can Learn From Olympic Athletes

The Olympic games are fascinating to watch. It's when the best of the best come out to show the world all they have been working towards over the course of their lives. There is a huge degree of pride for each country and for each individual athlete. There is also a bit of masochism at watching these people dedicate their lives to something so physical and challenging. 

As I marveled at the talent, I noticed four things we can all learn from these athletes. Sports aside, these are some powerful observations that I believe we could all use in our lives.

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Turning 30 On Your Own Terms

Something big happened in my life recently; a shift of sorts. One decade of my life ended and a new one began. I turned the big 3-0. However, this is not the shift I am referring to. I am talking about the shift in my life that I created when I quit my job and went to live in another country. Contrary to what we have been conditioned to think about this “scary” age, I am embracing it with open arms and dictating my own terms about this new age. Who is with me?

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Giving Yourself Time to Grow

Farming in Italy has been teaching me many lessons about growth, balance, and patience. I have shared lessons about weeding your spaceappreciating what you have to offer, and giving yourself what you need to grow. Today may be the most challenging lesson: time, waiting, and patience.

As a newbie farmer, everything is exciting to me. When I see a plant start to flower I am beyond excited for the vegetable that will soon grow and I start to become impatient. When I am watering the plants I keep thinking how I cannot wait to begin eating what the plants will produce. And then there is a lot of waiting. Plants, like change, work on their own time rather than on ours. I am reminded constantly that sometimes things do not happen on the timeline that I want them to. I am here to remind you of the lesson in this: things take time.

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Tending to Your Plants

So far in the Farm Lessons series, I have discussed getting to the root of things in order to clear space for new growth andembracing your garden for what it is. This week I'll be addressing growth. Most people understand that they cannot just plant a seed and expect it to grow strong, healthy, and be fruitful. They understand that planting requires nourishment, care, tending to, maintenance, etc.

However, it can get a little tricky to understand exactly what your garden needs. To make it easier, I am sharing the four essential steps that I have learned from the farm and how you can use them to “grow” a little more mindfully in accomplishing your goals.

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Accepting Your Unique Garden

Last week I began my Farm Lessons series with some talk about getting to the root of things. Today's analogy comes from a former client who has given me permission to share it with you. We realized after a few weeks of working together that we both loved using analogies for our sessions. This was my green light to go analogy-heavy and help him “get to the root” of the things he wanted to change. When we completed our sessions, he relayed how helpful this was to him. In order to spread the wealth, today is all about taking a look at your garden, accepting it for what it is, and remembering not to fall prey to comparison.

 

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