Super Saturday

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This Saturday did not turn out like I wanted it to- and I mean that in a good way! 

Ever have those days when you prepare the night beforehand to wake up early, be super productive, eat cleanly, and put some check marks on that to-do list? 

Yup, that was my Friday night. Everything was going to go smoothly on Saturday.

Yeah right! Fast forward to this morning- Slept in, casually made breakfast, went shopping, cooked a big lunch.

At 4pm I looked at my to-do list, disappointed that I had failed at my “productive day”.

This was my window of opportunity– either see today as a failure or enjoy all the down time I had in the morning and make the most of the evening ahead.

Right away I grabbed my yoga mat and headed out the door. At the front of the yoga class sat Ganesha- remover of obstacles (see pic above). I had been to this class several times, and never really noticed it before. But today, I kept Ganesha in my mind and intentions throughout the class.

I thought about this: so often we are our own worst enemies– our own obstacles to happiness and success. We’re overwhelmed by to-do lists, distracted by all of our demands, and find ourselves spinning in a world we don’t recognize. This definitely does not lead to feelings of success and happiness at the end of the day. 

When we slow down and ask ourselves what we really want or need, the next step often presents itself. For me, it was yoga. Allowing myself to forsake my to-do list and indulge in some self care brought me greater happiness immediately!

And from there, my indulgences just flowed…and eventually led to baking cookies! 

At the end of the day, my to-do list has no check marks, I didn’t eat kale, and I wasn’t too productive. So what?! Sometimes you need to feed the soul and re-evaluate what a successful and productive day really means. Choosing happiness and rejecting negativity can make all the difference- no matter what you did today! 

What window of opportunity did you have to choose the outcome of your day? What would you do differently next time? Share below!

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Happy Sunday!

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Happy Soul Sunday to all of you!

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Rhode Island. But no matter where in the world you are, it’s a beautiful day to reset, renew, and restore for the week ahead.

Who has started Spring Cleaning already? Me too! It’s unbelievable how many material things we accumulate. I moved a year ago and had the opportunity to get rid of all the crap I didn’t need. So I find it astounding that only 1 year later, here I am with the same problem.

The funny part is that when we’re buying all this “stuff” we totally 100% believe that we need this item or really want that thing. But the truth is the need or want are really just masks and lies.

You will always get everything that you need. Sometimes no more than that, but always enough. How do I know that? Well, tell me a time when you didn’t have all that you really needed to survive. Please, do tell me in the comments below if you’ve been through a time like that.

We get stuck in the mask of “I need this” or “if I only had that…I’d be happy. Or “…I’d be fulfilled.” Or “…I’d be [fill in the blank with your core desired feeling].” But these are only lies we tell ourselves.

What we need to be happy will never come from the Apple store or Nordstroms. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But it’s true.

We have to consciously and actively create and pursue happiness in and by way of ourselves. You have to be aware of your life aim. You have to make goals. You have to take chances and move towards your fears. You have to go outside of your comfort zone, and you have to go inside of your heart to find out what you really need.

Today I took to time to nourish my body with exercise, my my mind with organization and cleaning, and my spirit with laughter and friends. This made me so much happier than buying new shoes!

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! Clearly your old methods of trying to obtain happiness and fulfillment aren’t working. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog! 

Make today and every Sunday a place to get rid of what’s not serving you and make space for nourishment, restoration, and something new in your life. Create your best self in the process.

– Brittany

Serious About Change: Dr. McKaila Allcorn

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Meet Dr. McKaila Allcorn. She is just like the rest of us in that she’s a daughter, wife, and has a demanding job.

But she’s different from us in a few ways too. McKaila had the discipline and commitment to significantly change her body, and as a result, improve her life! 

So, what was the last straw McKaila?

“I had trained for 3 months to run a half marathon with some friends. I had been running several times per week and pushed myself during the race, only to find that I had lost 1 pound throughout the whole process! I know there had to be a better way to lose weight and get healthy.”

Like many of us, McKaila wanted better for herself and needed to change her ways. She had been busy in medical school and her residency at Kent Hospital, and let her health become less of a priority. But continuing on this path was a not an option for her if she was going to live the life she wanted and help care for others who are sick as an ER doctor.

So what did you do?

“I am from Oklahoma and had a friend back home that had talked with me about this product called Juice Plus+. So I did my research and found that I was going to have to significantly change my diet if I was going get healthy and lose weight.” Juice Plus+ provides whole food nutrition in a capsule so you can get the fruits and vegetables your body needs to run most effectively. It’s then next best thing to actual fruits and vegetables for a busy lifestyle.

McKaila says she loves this product because they provide nutrition plans and education. This knowledge can empower sustainable change for people’s diets. Additionally, the nutrition plan encourages you to try several different diets, such as gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. That way, you can see what your body responds to, and cater your meal planning from there.  All diets aren’t right for everyone, so find the plan that works for you and get after it!

But it wasn’t just supplements that changed McKaila’s body. Not even close! Real foods and preparation are requirements! McKaila said she would cook several meals on Sundays and package them up so she’d be ready for work, snacks, and any other time that would tempt her away from her goals.

McKaila said she notice a big energy boost after making these changes – along with better skin, and friends who had reported getting off medications because of the positive effect real foods had on them.

So as long as I eat right I’ll have these results?

Wrong again! McKaila said she was also in search for something that would nourish her physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yoga. Several times a week, no excuses. Rain or shine. “If you’re going to make a real lifestyle change, you have to be consistent. It can’t just be when you feel like it.” McKaila is currently training to become a yoga teacher and share with others the positive experience she’s had with yoga and it’s supportive community at Laughing Elephant yoga in East Greenwich.

Any tips for the rest of us? 

“Find your motivation. Mine was my long-term health. I used positive self-talk to get through those tough days.” Time management is very important too. Make sure to make a date with healthy cooking and the gym that you won’t flake out on!

Doctor McKaila mentions that obesity is a risk factor for so many diseases and conditions that are life threatening. So don’t be a victim – get healthy, get active and regain control of your life!

 What are your health and fitness goals for 2014? Will YOU be the next person we feature for Serious About Change?

“Breathe in the…

“Breathe in the future, breathe out the past”

This quote reminds me to be present. In the moment. To let go of the worry and regret that often plague us as we consider our future and lament our past. I’ve read (from many sources) that anxiety is thought to be the result of a conflict when thinking about your future; and depression is the result of conflict when thinking about your past.

As a psychotherapist, I don’t believe that the manifestation of anxiety and depression are so simply. And I don’t believe that just being present will completely resolve those conflicts for people. However, our lack of presence as a society many be correlated to the higher incidences of anxiety and depression than seen in other countries.

So what can we do about it? Everyone experiences thousands of thoughts running through minds daily. Some thoughts come and go quickly. Others stay with us a little bit longer. Others elicit an emotional response which may make us angry, anxious, or sad. What if we were just an observer to our thoughts? All of thoughts. Whether happy or sad. What if we breathed our thought in, paused, and breathed it right out? How might that change our thought trajectories throughout the day. How might it impact the emotions or reactions we would have had? How might it make more room for the present if we were to let go of the anxiety and depression we held on to from the past and the future?

Mediation is an admittedly difficult practice. I struggle every time! It only takes a matter of seconds before I start dreaming of cupcakes and my to-do list. But we can simply remind ourselves to be and observer of our thoughts and push ‘reset’. And then do that again. And again. Until we can gradually lengthen the time in between our ‘resets’. Below is a link to more helpful tips on starting your meditation practice. Tell us how you did in our comments sections below!

http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/meditation/meditation-for-you/get-started-with-meditation

Sending presence your way,

Brittany

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