Friday, February 26, 2016

Slaying Dragons

Everybody has a personal dragon they battle with every day. Whether it’s a physical disease or your own mind, we all battle something within ourselves. Our dragon can seem so insurmountable and huge that we have given up fighting, or we have been with the dragon for so long that we begin to see that dragon as a part of our identity. I’m writing today to tell you that you are not your dragon, and that it is possible to shrink that dragon down if not slay it completely. You are actually that consciousness behind it all, observing every belief at attitude you choose to have towards that dragon. Notice I said “choose”?

I know it is my choice on how I approach things in life now, but I wasn’t always aware of this fact.  There was a time when I had several huge dragons taking over my life, one of which was named Gluten Intolerance.  (It’s funny how when you name something, you actually give more power to it!)
Anyways, Gluten the big fat dragon had taken over my life. Emotional stress had made it grow to such an enormous size and it was starting to block out the sun.  The fact that I felt trapped into the stress (another illusion) made it grow bigger, and the fact that I had started to plan my meals and my life around it made it grow even bigger. I was miserable because I assumed that I would have to live with this huge dragon for the rest of my life.

At one point, I was so gluten intolerant that if I accidentally ate a single bread crumb it would ruin my short-term memory for an entire week, I would break out in a painful rash (imagine glass shards erupting from the skin) and I won’t even get into the horrors of what it did to my digestive tract. Between not being able to carry on a conversation and living in the bathroom, I became very fearful of this dragon. It was ruining my life!

During one of those incidences of gluten poisoning, I thought to myself, “This is absolute bull s*&%! This is not how I want my live for the rest of my life!” And from then on, I set out to find an answer. My attitude shifted from victim to Joan of Arc that day, and everything was different from then on.
Of course, it helped me greatly that I had found a way to finally eliminate much of the stress from my life, and I had found an absolutely kick-ass tough-loving partner who agreed with the absolute bull s*&% factor.  He saw the dragon in my life for what it was- fully capable of being diminished if I brought forth the warrior within myself.

So I let go of being a victim to this overgrown dragon, and with an open mind, I fought back by researching everything I could about my condition.  I began to realize that it would take just as much energy to bring it down as it had taken to grow this beast.

As it happened, I found a solution: milk kefir.  (If you don’t know what kefir is, imagine a seriously hard-core version of probiotic yogurt.) Milk was scary to me since it was notorious for causing me pain. All the articles I read contradicted by belief that milk was dangerous, but they reassured me that if I put my energy into cultivating the real homemade stuff, I would be able to gradually build up a tolerance and start healing.

I think it was my determination to heal that enabled me to bravely take a leap, and I started with miniscule amounts of this supposedly magical substance. To my amazement, the dragon began to shrink! After a year of putting my energy and self-love into cultivating my homemade kefir, and drinking increasing amounts daily, I was a very different person!

Two years later, I can actually go out to a restaurant to have lunch with my partner and even have a beer!! (Before this eating out was a nightmare!) I just take my enzyme to help with digestion and it feels amazing to be participating in life like a normal person again!

Now, I’m not going to sit here and guarantee that kefir (or anything for that matter) will work for you. What I will say is that no matter what your dragon is, I am convinced that you can shrink that dragon immediately with a 180 degree shift in attitude. If (with an open mind) you make calculated changes in your life, maybe it will shrink some more.  If you maintain that warrior disposition and truly feel your life improving *on every level of your whole being*, maybe, just maybe you will fully succeed in actually slaying that dragon.

This is the meaning of mind over matter, my friends...mind over matter! Tweet: Mind over matter my friends….mind over matter.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Is social media getting you down?

I can tell you that you're not alone because I hear it from people all the time. In fact, I was inspired to write this post after a friend of mine commented that it's so easy to get down on himself when he has spent too much time looking at social media.  It happens when people compare themselves to all the big shiny exciting things other people post about, and it makes you feel like your life is so much less.

So bear with me for a moment: imagine that we are all icebergs. 

You know how an iceberg has the visible part up in the sun, and that the rest of it goes deep under the water, right? Well, imagine that that entire iceberg (the top and bottom) symbolizes everything you have done in your life, and the resulting wisdom and power that comes from that.  (That's a lot of power and wisdom you have there!)

Now imagine that the shiny icy tops in the sun are all the parts that people are proud enough to share. That means that everything below the water is everything else that happens to a person (the good, the bad, the mundane, and the ugly.) Some of these things stay well hidden.

Considering that most people post only exciting stuff about themselves, if you're only looking around at what's about the surface of the water, it's a huge distortion of reality!

When you start comparing your whole self to everyone else's top (shiny-happy) part, it's easy to forget about your own depths, and the fact that everyone has these deeper parts to themselves! The depths of your own stories, your experiences and power become easily devalued and even forgotten about as your looking at everyone's above-the-water parts!

When you add up all the things that have happened in your life: all that you have endured, and that you have achieved --even if the achievement was actually enduring something horrible-- you've got some serious depth to your whole being. (Tweet:) If you've had the strength to get through some very bad stuff, it makes you a serious badass...especially next to those fluffy-bunny-prancing-through-daisy-fields folks up in the sunshine.When look at this this way, you realize that you are brilliant because you survived all that other stuff that makes up your massive iceberg of wisdom and power, and all those experience points make you one badass mofo of wisdom.

With that being said, if you need to take a break from social media for a while, to center yourself and be alone with the depths of your own true power, then let that be a way that you will love yourself deeply today. Remind yourself of everything you've gone through and just how much it all amounts to, and how you can use that power to create positive changes in and around you.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Self-love and self-care are so important for every woman, especially women who have been through difficult circumstances in their life. We are natural givers, but sometimes life depletes us.  It is through loving ourselves that we are able to maintain our power to give. Perhaps you can relate to my story:
My painting: "Self-Love"

Unfortunately, like so many women, I used to be in an abusive marriage.  It was causing me to experience a slow physical and spiritual death.  Self-care was difficult while caring for two small children as well as everything else that was going on.  I experienced depression and all sorts of food and environmental sensitivities for several years.  Mentally, I became so broken that I questioned my life’s purpose and my very existence.  Fortunately, there was a very small and meek part of me that wanted to fight to survive and live to see better days.  I tentatively made a plan to change everything.  When the day came, my greatest act of self-love (and most terrifying experience) was to get out of the abusive marriage I was in, and allow my entire being to begin to heal.

And heal I did!  In time, I became aware of how strong the mind-body-life connection could be, acts of self-love carried me through this new lease on life, and so self-care became my new spiritual practice. It involved immersing myself in Nature and the elements, and creating mental and physical space around myself.  It was about creating routines that served me and removing the ones that didn’t.  Walking in the sun and under trees, dipping my body in natural bodies of water, eating fresh and cultured foods; all became the standards of how I care for myself. In time I experienced an almost complete reversal of all of my physical symptoms!

While I developed my self-love practices, I felt that once meek part of myself getting stronger: my inner warrior woman – and she wanted so much more out of life!  Furthermore, it became apparent that she was there all along and helping me to navigate the difficulties life had thrown at me.  She was my will to survive when things were really rough.  Caring for myself meant caring for this inner warrior, and as I kept her strong, she would carry me onwards towards much greater opportunities in life. My wish is for all women to find that warrior part of themselves, and nurture her to the extent that you become unstoppable!

A map of how I care for myself.
Regarding self-loving acts: do what you can, when you can. Don’t be concerned about being selfish!  You can only offer yourself to the world as much as you lovingly keep yourself well.  The fact is, nobody will ever understand or appreciate you as much as you can. While there are certainly people in your life who lovingly pour their hearts into you, they are not you.  You (yes, and only you!) are your own best lover, cheerleader, and supporter.  When you take good loving care of yourself, you are stepping deeper into your own power.

Another message I would like to pass on from my own struggles is to be forgiving and gentle with yourself.  Life is not perfect, and sometimes our best efforts to love ourselves are smashed by negative people and situations. There were definitely times when I was so consumed by what was going on around me, I forgot the basics of what my mind and body required to be well and so I suffered.

During those inevitable times when you mentally struggle to act lovingly towards yourself, focus on the physical aspects of your health: fresh unprocessed food, clean water, reducing inflammation, sunshine, sleep, exercise.  When you do this, you give your mental wellbeing a boost.  Only you have the power really care for yourself in the ways your heart knows you need, so go ahead and make loving yourself your top priority! <3