Yogic Principles Help Create Healthy Habits

Melissa’s Rap: A few months ago, we went on a Healthy Habits adventure, learning exactly what steps to take to create healthy, long-lasting habits. Now that you have had a few months to practice, how has the journey been? Have you found the process of creating and maintaining these new habits easy or challenging? What habits did you create that you are still doing now? If you have lapsed on some, how long were you able to stick with it? What do you feel your barriers to success have been? It is important to analyze what worked and what didn’t, so you can learn and grow from the process and gradually get better and better at the process of creating new habits. Today, let’s talk about some yoga (yes, yoga!) concepts that can help you with your healthy habit mission. Continue reading

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Be The Change You Want to see in Yourself

Sarah’s Rap: Everyone has likely heard the oft-used quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I’ve always loved this and try to live by it best I can. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated, I do what I can for the environment, and have a passion for helping others to grow and succeed.

But I’ve also had a personal motto that I try to follow over the years:

No one will make you happy but yourself.

Sticking to this hasn’t always come easy, but whenever I find myself struggling with dissatisfaction, I’ve tried to remind myself of this and use it to motivate me to make a change. This motto means two things to me:

  • Even if I have everything I ever wanted, I may still not be happy unless I let myself. I can receive love, money, security, a family, or whatever I desire, but if I continue to think negative thoughts, don’t take time to appreciate what I have, carry around anger or resentment, never feel good-enough, etc, I won’t truly be happy.
  • If I am unhappy about my circumstances, it is up to me to make changes to get to a desired state. If I am unhappy with my job, I cannot expect someone to read my mind, the perfect job to fall into my lap or some other miracle to occur in which the desired job is attained. Instead I’m much better taking action myself that will help me to reach my goal. In the end, I’ll actually be all the more happier for reaching it, by having taken control and gone after what I need.

The first interpretation is the one I struggle with the most. I’ve actually become quite adept at the second – it actually gets easier the more one does it. I imagine the first does as well, but I’m still working on it.

Over the last seven years of suffering from gut dysbiosis, Leaky Gut, SIBO and other digestive ailments, I’ve subconsciously expanded my motto to also include:

No one will make you healthy but yourself.

Continue reading

Minimize to Maximize

Sarah’s Rap: Thank you Mother Nature! Springtime has FINALLY arrived! This is thedaffodil first time since we moved to the Pacific Northwest 3 years ago that I’ve hoped for the end of chilly weather. I’ve craved sunshine on my face, walks that don’t require winter coats and scarves and the sight of flowers blooming in my garden. Today the sun felt wonderful and the first daffodil in my front beds showed its pretty face. Spring always infuses me with a burst of energy after a season of indoor comforting (lazy) activities like reading, playing board games, snuggling under a fluffy blanket and eating hearty foods. As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m hitting the walking trail! My jeans are feeling the effects of all that winter excess.

In addition to luring me outside, springtime also gives me the energy to purge stuff and downsize. I’m not alone in this desire to have a fresh and tidy house and car. Spring cleaning is so popular that it has its own Wikipedia page! Its a great time to air out our houses and to sort unwanted possessions from our closets and drawers, but those are not the only places that can benefit from a thorough round of tidying. Many parts of our life can benefit from reduction in clutter and rubbish– house, car, office/work area,  eating habits, thinking/mind, habits, relationships, To Do lists and more. Sometimes embracing simplicity and minimization can lead to maximum happiness and enjoyment. So as you embrace springtime in your part of the world, I hope that you can take time to breath in the fresh, crisp air, not only into your lungs, but also into your mind and heart. Lighten your loads, both physically and mentally, and enjoy the freedom that minimalism (or your version of it) can bring.

 

Guest Rap: “Feather Presents” by Jean Williams

When I was little, my grandparents, my mother’s parents, lived in a two-story, white house in Central Village, Connecticut. The house sat right on the street with a railroad track just on the other side. When the trains came, you swore they would go right through the house. I remember that sound. I remember that feeling. As I loved trains, I always thought it a wonderful feeling. The only other good thing I remember from there was my grandmother. My grandparents were French-Canadian, Gagñon. My grandmother was called Mémé. She loved me. I knew she did. She was the only one. I remember one day, I was three or four, playing by the train track, alone. Apparently I disturbed a bee, and was stung on my bare foot. I remember running into the house, crying, and my Mémé scooped me up into her arms and sat in her rocking chair, and rocked with me, holding me close, and comforting me. I felt loved. She died a short time later. They didn’t let me go to her funeral. I never got to say goodbye, and I never felt loved again. Continue reading

Badass Break Time: Let Go or Be Dragged

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Melissa’s Rap: Tell me if this sounds familiar. You decide to do something good for you (or bad for you, we’re not judging here), and you decide to do it every day. Like exercising, or brushing your hair 100 times or drinking a certain amount of water in a day. And life happens. Or you can’t seem to remember to do it. Or you are exhausted and lifting that hairbrush is just. too. much. work. So, then you think…I really suck at exercisehairbrushingdrinkingwater. And then you just beat yourself up for weeks on end until you quit all together. Yup, admit it. You’ve been there. If you are like me, and have ALL THE PLANS to be organized, healthy and a complete badass, but also can’t remember why you walked into a room at least eight times a day and find your frozen peas in the cupboard with your plates, then the above scenario is your life ad nauseum. Continue reading

Making time for healthier habits

make-timeSarah’s Rap: This month Melissa and I have shared some posts on establishing healthy habits. We hope you have been following along! If you’re like me, you may have made some well-intentioned lists of habits to start and steps to get started a little at a time. The one thing I have found though, is that it is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that fitting in these actions on top of all the other things we juggle each day often seems like an insurmountable task. Adding in a workout, for example, on an already packed day can actually make me feel more stressed, rather than less.  Cooking healthy meals rather than eating out takes time too.

Someone told me once that we make time for those things that are important to us. I’ve always thought of that over the years whenever I hear myself say “I don’t have time for X”, and I’d apply it in occasional circumstances to talk myself out of putting something off. But it wasn’t until I consciously started to work on adding more health and wellness activities into my life that I realized I need to take a serious look at my life and start prioritizing.  If you also have the same problem of not making time for the new healthy habits you want to cultivate, read on! Continue reading

Book Review: “Better Than Before”

better-than-before-2Sarah’s Rap: When Melissa and I embarked on our month of posts related to forming and keeping good habits, Melissa recommended this book to me: “Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life” by Gretchen Rubin. At first I wondered how someone could make a whole book about forming habits. Don’t I just commit to making them and try my hardest to stick with it? Well, I trust Melissa’s book reviews as she’s never steered me wrong and I found another of Gretchen’s books  (“The Happiness Project”) packed full of helpful advice, so I gave it a try.

This book is chock full of great research on a variety of topics which impact our abilities to form habits and keep them, including personalities, motivators, scheduling strategies, accountability, monitoring, challenges and more. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in forming new healthy habits. By understanding more about the habit-forming beast, we can more easily tame it! Continue reading

Guest Rap: “Envisioning Your Future” by Kellie Brunner

With the advent of a new year, I’m making a lot of new changes in my life. I’m quitting my job without having another one waiting (scary!), forming a chapter of a national non-profit organization (exciting!), and starting a book club with friends (fun!). This is in addition to juggling my current commitments, activities, and responsibilities. I’m also taking on a challenge to run/walk 1000 miles in the year 2017. For those who don’t math, that’s a tad over 19 miles a week.  This is mostly to make sure I get my butt off the couch and exercise. Challenges are good for me.

With all of this going on, I felt the need to do a vision board. A vision board is a collection of images and inspiring words that represent what you want in your life. How you en”vision” your life, as it were. A vision board can represent your year, month, season, or any other time period you like. For me, once a year is good – I can always add to it, if necessary.  Continue reading

Steps to Creating a Healthy Habit

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Melissa’s Rap: Are you ready to start creating healthy habits? Now that you have had a chance to brainstorm what is important to you and work through some important questions, it is time to start formulating a plan. Today we will review some thorough steps on how to create a healthy habit. Read through the steps and then print out the accompanying documents to start planning your own healthy habits. Let’s get started! Continue reading