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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Resolution or Revolution

Resolution |ˌrezəˈloō sh ən|nouna firm decision to do or not to do something :
Revolution |ˌrevəˈloō sh ən|nouna dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people's ideas about it :

It's that time of the year when we all feel it... The exciting potential of anything being possible, whether it be in the realm of our career life, relationships or physical being. Resolutions are great, but too often we make unrealistic promises that may be hard to hold onto... And once broken- are gone for good.

If you are serious about making changes that will last, start with 'Resolutions' and take baby steps that you know you can handle. Resolutions are great for creating small changes over time that lead to bigger leaps in time. For example, maybe you are ready to eat less red meat in your diet. You can make a resolution to only eat red meat twice a month and replace those meals where you would eat red meat, with a healthier option like fish or chicken- or even a plate of steamed veggies! Or maybe you are ready to start taking two of your favorite workout classes a week, instead of one. Schedule it into your calendar and circle the dates. Make a resolution to commit yourself to your new workout regime.

Perhaps in others areas of life, you know your'e ready for a 'Revolution', And feel ready to step it up- so go ahead and challenge yourself. Dream big, summon up your courage and take that leap of faith. An example of a revolutionary act may be to give notice at your current job because you know you are worth more/deserve more pay/need to be challenged to grow more in your line of work. Giving notice that you will be leaving your current job in two weeks will surely step up your momentum to get 'out there' and create a new form of income- maybe one you've only ever dreamt of! Another form of self revolution  may include moving to a new state or country- or finally leaving the boyfriend/girlfriend you know you should have left two years ago.

Here is an easy written exercise to help you decipher what is truly important to you as you ring in 2014.. Hooray!!! get out your journal or a piece of paper and write out the following lists/questions and answer them honestly, and with as much gusto and creativity as you can- a.k.a- dream BIG!

1. Work: Am I ready for a Resolution or a Revolution?
(a)Am I happy in my work environment?
(b)Am I happy with my work peers?
(c) Do I feel the income I receive from my job reflects my skills, talents, efforts and the time i put in each week?
(d) Is there room for growth or promotion at my current job?
(e) does my current job challenge me to stretch outside of my comfort zone, or can I do it with my eyes closed, and perhaps- asleep..haha!
(f)What would I rather be doing on a day to day basis if I didn't have to work at the job I currently have? (Go crazy, this is the part where you get to dream BIG!)

2. Body: Am I ready for a Resolution or a Revolution?
(a) Am I happy in my body?
(b) Is there a health issue that I need to address, but have been ignoring?
(c) Do I have a regular exercise routine?
(d) Do I appreciate my body on a regular basis, or do I refer to it as a separate entity that I'd rather not have to deal with?
(e) Is there a class or fitness program I have been wanting to start to take my workout in a new direction, but have been waiting for the New Year to do so?
(f) What two areas of my body am I ready to commit to loving more, and targeting in my workouts?

3. Relationships: Am I ready for a Resolution or a Revolution?
(a) Am I happy in my current romantic relationship?
If you are not in a romantic relationship currently;
(a) Am I happy in my closest friendship? If friendships are all good:
(a) Is there a specific family relationship that needs tending to?
(b) What needs to change in this relationship- if anything?
(c) How can I be more loving to myself within this relationship?
(d) How can I reflect more love to my significant other/friend/family member in this relationship?
(e) What new, healthy, and creative ways can we spend time together?
(f) Do I need to forgive this person? Or Do I need to ask them for forgiveness?

4. Diet: Am I ready for a Resolution or a Revolution?
(a) How do I describe my daily diet?
-Very Healthy
-Mostly Healthy
-I eat fast food more than twice a week.
-I never eat fresh foods or vegetables.
-I know I should eat better but just can't change my habits.
(b) Do I have health problems related to my daily diet?
(c)What needs to change, in order to relive my health problems?
(d) Are fresh vegetables a part of my daily diet?
(e) Do I find myself constipated often?
(f) Does the food I eat give me energy, or tend to drain my energy? (Soda and caffeine do not count!)

May you enjoy a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous, Love-Filled 2014!
Love and Light,
Tuesday May

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Paradigm Shift- Holding onto Healthy Patterns

paradigm |ˈparəˌdīm|nouna typical example or pattern of something; a model 
shift | sh ift
     - change the emphasisdirectionor focus of

    Holding onto Healthy Patterns
    You are in a flow of working-out regularly and making changes in your daily diet.. You feel better than ever! You expand your reserves of energy and have more of it. You are exercising not only your body, but more will-power with the choices you make. Your body happily glows a healthy shine from being regularly oxygenated, nourished, rested and hydrated. Your waistline synches-in and perhaps you begin to feel better about how you feel in your body and clothes. Things have changed. You are changing via the changes you are making in your life. You have created a new pattern to live by. Welcome to the paradigm shift. 'Usual patterns' that include the way you used to do things has changed. And you are changing as a product of it. You love the way you feel, you love the way you look!!.......

    And then... dun dun dunnnn!!- You spend the Holiday with your family or a certain click of friends, and all of your healthy habits that require so much of your thoughtful energy and power to sustain- end up going out the window- but they don't have to.

    Family & Friends
    Often this is where habits begin. Maybe you come from a family tradition/family paradigm that includes eating a lot when you are all together. Your family keeps telling you to eat and fills your plate with food. You have worked so hard to grow your new body, but just can't help to do as in Rome when around them. 

    Or it could be a certain circle of friends you spend time with. You have given up smoking, but when you see them- you end up smoking with them again. You know what I mean-there are many guises to how this works; it could be drinking, talking negatively, gossiping- or doing drugs you swore you'd not do again. I'm not talking about having fun in good company, and having a couple more glasses of wine- or treating yourself to an extra slice of pie on Thanksgiving. No, what I'm talking about is the fine line of holding space for your new paradigm (the new set of patterns you are embedding into your body and mind- that help you to feel good and empowered) while in the midst of the old ones that still exist, like when around family or a certain click of friends.

    Around  two years ago I had finished a very long fast. See posts from my blog Confessions of a Spiritual Apprentice:  Shaman's Fast- Part One & Shaman's Fast- Part Two . When visiting my family around the Holidays, they all insisted I eat more to make up for it and would say- "Go on and eat, you've lost so much weight..." Now, I didn't fast to loose weight, I fasted to release addiction to certain paradigms in my life. I fasted to help me break through old destructive patterns. The fasting lead to a huge paradigm shift in my life. My will became stronger, my emotional fortitude and mental clarity had enlisted an abundance of positive patterning that includes a new awareness of what self love means. It means not gorging on food until I feel disgusted with myself. It means not drinking senselessly, especially when in bad know what I mean- right? Okay- I'm gonna take it you do. It even meant letting go of some 'friends' that don't emit the same sensibilities that match the paradigm I have shifted into.

    Though I had lost weight when fasting, my focus when re-entering life outside of the fast was more about making conscious choices, than fitting into a skinny pair of jeans. It was hard for my family to acclimate and shift into the new paradigm I was living. It was as if I was speaking a different language.They had to adjust so they could relate to the new me. It was the first time I experienced a true Paradigm Shift. I was able to say 'no thank you', when faced with tempting possibilities. 

    What I'm saying is you can do this! Once I actually realized I could in fact Love my body and maybe even feel Beautiful in it- it took several years of making conscious changes mind & body- especially in the face of temptation. Over and over I spiraled- and then two years ago all of the positive work I had done really clicked in. It clicked into my consciousness; my mind- but also every cell in my body! Feeling good about myself, and truly desiring to sustain healthy change in my mind and body have become my motivations. Slipping back into old destructive patterns, has less and less room for possibility. The more I exercise choices that match the new paradigm where I feel greater self love, the easier it is to stay there. You can do it too! Give yourself permission to make healthy choices, no matter who or what surrounds you. It may even mean excusing yourself from certain company- and that is ok.

    Involve your Family this Holiday Season 
    Instead of giving into hanging out like a couch potato over the holidays... Encourage your family to join you for a walk after the Holiday dinner, or even as a regular family activity. Even if it's cold out and you have to get bundled up, everyone will feel so much better for it. T.V can be fun, but after hours, it can become isolating with no conversation. during a walk, there is room for chatting, catching up, and having some fun in the snow, or 'chilly' sunshine if in Los Angeles! Bring your favorite Zumba music and get every body up for a dance party after you've digested.

    Visiting Family this Winter - No Gym in sight? - Be Prepared!
    When visiting family abroad, we can often blame the lack of a gym for letting our good habits slip. Be prepared by bringing your yoga mat/running shoes or jump rope/resistance band, and do some mini work outs during your stay.Take the stairs as often as you can and walk more- out in the fresh air. If you can't do your usual hour or two at the gym two-three times a week, perform twenty (or more) minutes of mini workouts each day that include getting your metabolism up with some cardio. It can be as simple as jumping around to your favorite song- and working your favorite body parts. Or maybe a yoga session. 

    This Holiday Season stick to the new positive patterns you've been creating, mind and body. Make positive choices that ensure your happiness, mind and body. Practice your favorite exercises, maybe invite your friends and family to exercise with you! 

    Lets work out together: Visit my videos on youtube <3

    Tuesday May

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Vegetarian on Gelatin!

Close to twenty eight years of vegetarianism and I am faced with a meaty proposition.
Do I begin including gelatin into my daily diet? Searching for antidotes to thin hair and slack skin, while dreaming of an easy healing solution to maintaining strong cartilage, and healthy bones - I came across some research on gelatin.

At first grossed out by the notion of putting cow and/or pig; bones, hooves, and other 'cartilagy' parts into my body, I read more and realized it might be worth a shot. After a car accident,  x-rays showed the beginning of bone spurs in places I never imagined. The Doc also enlightened me of the beginnings to osteoporosis within certain vertebrae. What?? I am way too young for all of this stuff, right? I exercise, practice yoga, and eat a healthy vegetarian diet. I make sure I get enough protein, well maybe- most of the time... and, well isn't that enough?

Looking back, my finger nails chipped often and my skin required more 'work' to maintain it's healthy glow. According to research I found, gelatin would strengthen my bones (this includes growing stronger nails), stimulate more hair growth, and create cartilage, while healing bone issues too. It all seemed like a miracle- if I could get over the whole ingesting animal parts thing.

Fearing I would contract mad cow disease upon taking store brand quality gelatin-I did research. After all, what I put in my body absorbs into every cell of my being. If I am going to eat an animal, I want to know it was organically fed and free of pesky pesticides, anitbiotics and growth hormones. What went into the cow or pig would eventually go into me. If you are a happy meat eater, you may want to consider stewing up some organic broth soup to gain the benefits of gelatin. See link below.

After months of inner debate, and meditating on it (haha, yes it's true!) -I decided to try it and watch my body's reaction. I was afraid my body would reject it after being a vegetarian for so many years.
I found a pig gelatin from Germany that is certified organic. Europe has very high standards for the feeding, caring and keeping of animals that are to be used as food, this includes those parts left oevr used to make gelatin. So finding a Euro based source made me feel trusting enough to try it.

What is gelatin?
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle, flavorless solid substance, derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Wikipedia

A slow shift to taking gelatin was the course for me. At first I took one capsule every other day, to make sure my body didn't have an odd reaction. I continued researching and found gelatin is high in important proteins my diet may have been missing with my limited diet. I started taking gelatin capsules with my Rawfusion protein drink after working out. It is easy to plateau when you work out a lot; see my post Fear is Exactly Where I Need to Be. Changing things up not only in your physical workouts, but in your diet is important too. For tips on shifting your diet, see my post; What to Eat When Working Out.

After four months of taking four gelatin capsules with my protein shake four-five times a week,
I have noticed a marked difference in my body's ability to heal and restore itself after working out, with a quicker turn around for recovery time. Issues of pain in my back, neck and spine from the car accident are disappearing and are almost gone.  I know this is a combination of chiropractic adjustments along with a mindful re-acclimation into working out again, but my back literally feels stronger now! Along with these benefits, I am noticing a new kind of sleek muscle definition in my body that is quiet exciting to experience after so many years of feeling over weight and bulky. On top of all of these benefits, my hair is growing more rapidly and looks healthier and thicker, my nails are stronger, my teeth are receiving much needed restoration and my body's over all energy levels are heightened!

Photograph taken by Clare Celeste Boersch of Gold Coyote Design

Read my post entitled Chunky Juicy Inner Thighs, here I talk about slack skin. After loosing and gaining a lot of weight, over and over again, my skin lost a certain elasticity. While it has only been four months in, and a low dosage of gelatin for me so far- (the gelatin bottle directions urge 3 capsules three times a day, I am not there yet!) My skin has begun to find a new taught-ness that while only slight, after living in this body for  forty-one years and knowing every angle and loose portion of skin that resides, it is exciting to begin feeling and seeing results that allow my body to find 'the firm foundation' I know is my personal underlying blueprint of a happy and healthy body.

I encourage you to do your own research and feel out if gelatin is something right for you, especially if you are mostly vegetarian and have a lifestyle that encompasses a lot of physical activity, whether dancing, movement, weight lifting or yoga..

Here are some links I enjoyed-
Gelatin, Stress and Longevity
Why Broth is Beautiful

Tuesday May

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

You Are a Self Fulfulling Prophesy

Are you unhappy because you talk too much about how unhappy you are? (this is not a trick question) Are you unmotivated because you affirm how lazy and tired you are all the time? Do you feel overweight, unhappy in your body-shape, or unhealthy in general- because you are on autopilot of repeating the story about how you just CAN'T do anything to change?

On the phone with a dear friend and she tells me her story- "Yeah, you know, I'm 20 or so pounds overweight. Don't feel so good in my clothes, but can't find the motivation to exercise.. I mean, I just can't. By the time I brush my teeth and get downstairs in the morning... I just end up eating a bag of chips- and thats what happens every time."

A relative who performs very little physical exercise told me she fixed her bicycle, with the intention to exercise regularly. She bought a cycling helmet, cycling shorts and a water bottle, but at the end of the day could not get on the bike. Her story went like this; "It's too cold to cycle in the morning. It's too hot in the afternoon. Once I've eaten lunch, I am too full to exercise. My foot started hurting, so I don't think I should exercise. Now I don' fit into the cycling shorts I bought, so I'm not as excited to cycle."
I remember taking a Yoga Inversion Workshop in 2003, where the focus was on headstand practice.  In the past I would coyly exit class for the restroom to hide whenever my teacher would propose such craziness. But once I became a yoga teacher, I knew I had to conquer my fears and go into the ring of fire- so to speak. The teacher I received my certification with told me it wasn't as important for me to be able to 'do' a headstand, as much as it was for me to guide my students safely through it. This allowed me to feel confident teaching the pose, even if I couldn't perform it quite yet.

After teaching yoga for a year, I wanted to hone in and face my fears. I thought I was afraid to go upside down because I was sure I would fail, or crack my neck, or look stupid, besides the fact I dove into the shallow end of a pool, bumped my head and got a concussion when I was a kid. What I came to realize at the workshop was; I had some deep seated fears to work out in my mind and body. The real fear being- I was really afraid of dredging up feelings of abandonment, and of not feeling supported as a child. How does this connect with headstand you ask? Well, for me, each time I went up into headstand, I wanted someone to be there to catch me if I fell- and would have to relive the feelings of no-one being there for me... like when I was a kid. There was so much hurt inside of me, I didn't want to relive it. I had to come to terms with the fears of my inner child. The fears I felt went deeper than worrying about looking stupid.

During headstand- my most dreaded pose at the time, the workshop teacher came over and guided me through the 'set-up'. Scared, I came out of the pose before getting into it- stating my story (what I repeated often when it came to confronting this pose). I said; "Theres no point, I'm never gonna get up into a headstand.. and if I do, I will loose my balance, fall over and hurt someone, or hurt myself. I need someone there to support me." He became quiet and with a straight face said; "Know you are a self fulfilling prophesy." My eyes widened, my ego felt hurt, and I wanted to walk out. Just then he continued "But that can change, if you change your story." Whoaaa!!! He blew my mind. From that day on, I realized in order to allow a new experience into my yoga practice, I had to change my mind- literally- my words had to create a reality where a new possibility could emerge. It also became apparent that learning to welcome the changes I proposed for my body was important too.

 It's deep. I encourage you to go down the rabbit hole of your own resistance, and you may just find a dark corner awaiting a spring cleaning and purging of the past so it may be filled with light, love and a new means of expression.

Over the years, I learned how to perform a headstand with confidence - and that meant I had to get over all my self loathing about it. I also had to get over feeling like no-one was there for me as a child and learn to love myself in the NOW, instead of walking wounded from the PAST. It meant I had to applaud myself at overcoming a long held fear- and applaud others too. It meant I had to be successful and shine. Are you afraid of being successful? Fearful of meeting the childhood you, and all the fear and hurt within that part of you? Are you resistant to feeling what true self confidence feels like? Can you humbly exude power in new ways that make you feel good, happy and strong in your body, mind and life?

Our words limit us, or liberate us. They create the stories we believe about our lives. Our stories create the blueprint we either expand or contract through. What is your current story regarding your body/physical health/exercise routine? Do you hear yourself saying; "My body just does not want to get up and move. I have no motivation to be healthy. You see- here I am on the couch procrastinating again. I hate my body. I don't have enough money to get better/be well." Or, do you say " I'm gonna do my best to meet some new goals, like do some yoga every week, or walk a mile a couple times a week- or just love myself a little more. Yeah, I'm gonna stop buying chips so they are not a distraction from starting my workout routine at home."

What is your current story regarding your work situation? Do you hear yourself saying " I am so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities and possibilities that are here/that await me." Or "I can't stand the people I work with, they annoy me to death. I hate my job, it sucks. I will never get a good job. People my age never get hired anymore."

What is your current story regarding your current relationship? Do you hear yourself saying; "I knew I would end up being betrayed again.. See I told you so- I knew it. I'll never find someone special. I am so insecure." Or, "I am so ready for a new experience in my next relationship. One I feel loved and respected in. Yes- that is what will happen. I expect the best- and deserve it!"

We state our story and have a lot of past experiences to back up the theory's of self too, saying "You see- I told you so".... Why do we limit ourselves? It's not necessarily because we are lazy, procrastinators, or our foot hurts. It's because when we change one thing, it affects everything else- and it is linked to the past, overcoming it- healing it and making peace with it. Can you allow yourself to succeed in new and exciting ways? Why not consider shifting the story of limitation, laziness and illness - into beauty, strength and empowerment? Can you be and feel empowered by your words, by your story?

Maybe we are in a situation in life, by which if changed would mean a lot of other things in our life would have to change, including how much love we allow in and we give out. Bottom line is this is all about self love. It's not about doing the perfect headstand, loosing twenty pounds or wining a cycling marathon. It's about choosing love over fear. What if fear is what kept us anchored to the past, while love catapulted us into an amazing future of possibilities?

Changing your mind, and changing your story-  requires letting go of the old story of self, specifically the parts that are afraid, inhibit your growth and personal power. The new you is cool, is patient and will let the old you take them back to the even older you (the child you) so that you can prove why (the now) you are so afraid to allow change to occur. It is here you will understand what is seeking healing and closure. Ultimately, if you let it- the new you can take the old you by the hand and show you some amazing stuff about yourself. Yes they will take you outside your comfort zone and show you how to trust the new words and ways you speak over your life- if you let them.. And your life will forever be changed.

What is your story for today?.. Let me know in the comment section below!

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013