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A Meditation for Any Occasion

One of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness is with a body scan meditation. Not only is it a great way to tune into your body but it can also encourage you to notice your thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgement and then allow them to eventually pass as they do. It is also calming to the nervous system which is why I have been known to talk clients through it after a workout, or even beforehand if they are feeling stressed or ungrounded. Try it before bed, first thing in the morning or any time you need to check in. It is literally the LBD (little black dress) of meditations.

"You are the sky. Everything else, it's just the weather." -Pema Chödrön 

"You are the sky. Everything else, it's just the weather." -Pema Chödrön 

Body Scan Meditation 

Lay on your back with your palms facing up or sit tall in a chair with both feet planted on the floor. 

Close your eyes, and start to tune into your breath. Are your breaths deep and satisfying or shallow and quick? 

Take a few more moments simply noticing your breath. Feel free to bring your hands to your stomach or your heart if you are needing a little extra TLC. 

Starting with your right foot, begin to notice the physical sensations of your big toe. Move your way slowly through the other toes, then the arch, the top of the foot, the heel, the calf etc. 

Continue this process throughout your entire body allowing thoughts or feelings to pop up but trying not to let them pull you with them. Just breath and notice. 

You might take note of one side of the body, ie the left hip feeling different than the other side, ie the right hip. 

You might also notice where you may be holding tension, for instance in your jaw. Feel free to let the tension go if you can. 

Finish with the crown of the head, and when you're ready take a moment to notice your entire body as a whole. Sit with that for as long as you like. 

To come out of the meditation start to wiggle your fingers and toes, much like coming out of savasana. Take a few big stretches and gently flutter your eyes open. 

There are plenty of recordings of the body scan online, so feel free to use one of those. That said if you can remember the simple steps you'll find it lovely to do it in silence on your own. Enjoy!





Staying Inspired

I am constantly on a mission to find things that inspire me lest I become stagnant in my life. 

In my mind, health is all about the ways in which we show up for our lives day in and day out. A million tiny decisions which all add up to become essentially who we are and the way we interact with ourselves and the world around us. It is no secret that I take a holistic approach to healthy living, so I consider everything from spending time with loved ones to reading a thrilling novel to eating a big salad acts of self care.

I can only hope you can relate to the experience of swimming in a sea of enjoyment when it comes to your health. Long leisurely walks, fun workouts, colorful food, trips to the farmer's market, good coffee, laughing with friends and delicious sleep, not to mention an episode of Friends (and another, and one more after that). I like to see it as a decadent mix of discipline and luxury - enjoying this body and mind we are given, as well as that of others, including mother earth.

Cheesy or not I'm going to say this: In a time of such overwhelming uncertainty, it is of the utmost importance that we strive to become the best and brightest versions of ourselves. These days I find myself feeling more strongly than ever before about the importance of what I do. I believe that a conscious lifestyle creates a foundation of strength and kindness that is necessary to make the world a better place. 

After doing some work to improve my gut health and bring more plants into my diet I currently find myself swimming in that health sea (not the most romantic sounding term), which inherently makes me more aware of the inspiration that envelopes me. I'm sure the gorgeous weather we've been having here in Boston doesn't hurt either. 

That being said I know myself, and perhaps you can relate: what comes up always comes down so I am making sure to enjoy this moment while also taking in all the wisdom I can to keep me going when it all comes down.

I'm known to send random emails, texts and Facebook messages to various people in my life sharing things that are of interest to me. I thought I'd share them with you as well, in hopes that it brings at least the tiniest glimmer of stimulus into your day!

This is what's been goin' on with me these past few days:

S-Town Podcast: Described as a gothic fairytale, this 7 episode story is odd, tragic, funny and hauntingly beautiful. I may have listened to the whole thing within two days, and plan to listen a second time. 

The Model Health Show: This podcast talks about all things health and fitness and is ideal for both experts and novices alike. The host, Shawn Stevenson is smart, humble and open minded. The latest episode about mental transformation was particularly full of gems and I recommend you put it on first thing tomorrow morning. 

Where to invade next: After many suggestions my husband and I finally watched this documentary and found it nothing short of delightful however disturbing at points. Michael Moore goes into various countries with the intention of learning what could be useful to bring to the US. My favorite section was Germany, where every day they are reminded of their dark history. By first acknowledging, honoring and grieving the darkness they are able to grow into the light and maintain a peaceful society. Beautiful!

Slow fashion: I've found that once you start giving a sh*t about what you put in your body, you start to notice the quality - or lack there of - in other areas of your life. For me it started with the products I use to clean my house and put on my skin, and after happily switching to natural and safe alternatives my interest (and disgust) has now moved to my wardrobe. I realized that I've spent my entire adult life with a perpetually crowded closet yet nothing to wear, and to make matters worse I have no idea under what conditions these clothes were made. I haven't the faintest idea who had to suffer to make something that sits in the back of my drawer, and frankly that feels entirely not ok to me.

It finally dawned on me that this is no way to live; that if I take the same approach to my wardrobe as I do to my food I may actually enjoy getting dressed in something besides fitness apparel while also clearing up unnecessary clutter. All the while supporting companies that actually take human welfare and the environment into account. My first step is to simply stop acquiring more clothing for a while and making due with what I have. In the meantime, here are some resources for you:

  • My good friend Megan from The Mass Minimalist who recently had a similar revelation of her own.
  • finny + dill, an ethical fashion blog I am enchanted to have discovered.
  • The Curated Closet,  a minimalistic fashion blog and book which educates us on finding our personal style and choosing high quality clothing. 

My little family: Have you seen that viral video of the little girl yelling into the mirror about everything she loves in her life? That's me. I love my husband! I love my cats! I love my parents! I love my friends! I love my apartment! I-love-shrimp-cocktails! *Clap*. The list goes on.  

Boston in the Spring: Words can't really do it justice. You'll just have to come and experience it for yourself.