Mindfulness Based Self Esteem

“We are not who we think we are. A lot of the time, we are much, much bigger BUT we have very diminished views of ourselves.” Befriend your body without feeling the need to change it or fix it. Allow yourself to exist in a state of simply “being” without feeling a need to be constantly “doing” something. Learn to become more mindful and aware, rather than filling life with so many mindless actions and limiting beliefs. Jon Kabat-Zinn explains that accepting our bodies as they are isn’t so hard when you recognize how amazing they truly are, and that befriending them can do you a lot of good. This was part of a talk put on by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science...
When Life Doesn't Go According to YOUR Plan

When Life Doesn't Go According to YOUR Plan

I saw this at the coffee shop today and it really spoke to me. It was painted by a group of local artists who have various types of mental illness and are using their art to combat social stigmas they’ve had to live with all their lives. That in itself is inspiring, and I think this message could apply to almost any chronic, long-term illness — and even to just about any life event, such as changing jobs, moving, breakups, etc… To paraphrase: “There was another life that I might have had, but I’m having this life instead.” I’ve spent a lot of time grieving that “other life I might have had” but that time could have been spent making the most of the life I do have, and living it in the best possible way that I can. I love the bright and uplifting colors, the hand-painted letters, and there’s something about the message that just makes me okay with where I am in life. I’m peaceful and accepting of all that has happened, good and bad. It’s very easy to focus on the “What if…?” questions and the negative events that happen to us sometimes. We get caught up in grieving the past, worrying about the future, or even getting caught up in this fantasy idea of how our Dream Life “SHOULD” have been, or how so-and-so has it SO MUCH BETTER than we do (because obviously we know everything there is to know about that person and his or her life). However, in the long term, OF COURSE it’s better to focus on the positive and get a fresh...
Oprah's advice for handling negativity

Oprah's advice for handling negativity

I love Oprah. I really do. But who doesn’t? Anyway… Oprah Winfrey offers the best advice in the history of EVER for how to handle negativity from other people. Oprah’s Advice for Handling Negativity Sometimes you have to (lovingly) divorce your friends and divorce your family members. You must set boundaries by saying, “I will not allow you to treat me this way. When you come to your senses, you can come back into my life.” Healthy Boundaries According to the book Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield MD, healthy boundaries are NOT: Set for us by others Hurtful or harmful Controlling or manipulative Invasive or dominating Rigid and immovable Healthy boundaries ARE: present appropriate clear firm protective flexible receptive determined by us, ourselves How Boundaries Reduce Negativity When you start being the power in your life, pushing for your own well-being and treating yourself with love and respect, you will not allow others to give you anything less. And, fittingly, you will radiate love and respect for others as well. The relationships in your life will work themselves...

Dalai Lama's Meditation on Reducing Anger

The following meditation was shared by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his trip to Louisville, Kentucky last year. It is still relevant for me today, and I hope it will be useful to anyone reading this who might be struggling with anger, conflict and/or forgiveness. His Holiness the Dalai Lama recommends using a meditation on compassion to reduce anger: Meditate on the person you have tension with or anger towards. Meditate on having compassion towards this person. Visualize yourself sending love and happiness to this person. Remember that this person wants the same things from life that you do — to be loved, to be happy, to feel good when things go well, to be free of pain and to be free from suffering. In this way, you are the same. Therefore, you can find a common ground. Allow yourself to feel compassion for thi person. Meditate on that compassion. Send him or her love and happiness, and let go of attachment to the...
Catching My Breath

Catching My Breath

“Our breath is the most precious substance in our lives, and yet we totally take for granted that when we exhale, our next breath will be there.” — Louise L. Hay Today, I’m doing something that could potentially make me very vulnerable. I’m sharing my private journal entries over the last year. This website is the story of how yoga, inspiration, meditation and elimination helped me improve my quality of life after being diagnosed with chronic illness — including a rare immune disorder (hypoimmunoglobulinemia) combined with food allergies and asthma. A little known fact about me that you should probably know right up front: I don’t like being told I can’t do something. I was the kid who used to touch the cactus or put my finger on the hot stove after my mom told me not to. I was the girl who decided to become a runner after doctors told her that her immune system was “too weak” and her lungs were so scarred that she would never be able to run in her life. (FUN FACT: The doctors ended up being wrong….) So you can imagine what went through my mind after this diagnosis. I remember getting my extreme food allergy diagnosis and freaking out. Dairy Corn Nuts Carrots Cucumber Oats Spices Herbs …and even SWEET POTATOES, for the love of all things holy. On top of that, I had environmental allergies that require up to four allergy shots every single week; up to two rounds of antihistamines per day; and up to two rounds of H2 inhibitors per day. Add in all the vitamins and supplements,...