My apologies for my silence these past few months.

At the beginning of this year, I wasn’t doing so well: still very fatigued and depressed as I continued to struggle in my recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

But then things changed.

I changed.

Between some extremely effective Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for my numerous traumas (multiple car accidents and a throw from a horse: all within less than a year a few years back) and changing to a much better line of supplements/nutraceuticals, Life started to finally shift in a positive direction. It was such a relief, after years of struggle and feeling like crap, to feel human again! It was the hope I so desperately needed.

I felt restless and was itching to move forward in my healing process, and my Life in general: to break free of the past, these traumas, the struggle, the emotional and physical pains and challenges…

I was ready to embrace the possibility of regaining my health, vitality and happiness.

This isn’t to say I didn’t seek health, vitality and happiness since all of these incidents occurred. Far from! I have sought these out from day one, but there was a part of me that wasn’t “ready” to receive them. I honestly believe I had very important lessons to learn from my struggles, which I can now use to uplift and support you, and my clients, on your own journey.

See, knowing both sides of the coin in a healing process (both the person seeking help, and the one providing it), I understand first-hand how we can end up stuck in a rut, feeling despair, hopeless, depressed, etc. Though our ultimate goal (at least mine, anyway) is to break free from the struggle, there’s a bit of comfort and identity with our “condition” that can be difficult to let go.

This can sound very odd, I know, but people identify with what’s wrong with them. Just listen to people you encounter on a regular basis. How many of them constantly talk about their disease, condition or pain? Yep, I know people like that, such that Susie becomes synonymous with back pain, or Grandpa with his arthritis. Get the idea? Yet so many don’t even realize that they’re doing it, and even if they are aware, won’t make the effort to change and embrace the possibility of knowing life any differently.

Some people are not ready to give up that part of their identity. Why? Maybe because it gives them something to talk about when they don’t have anything else to say to someone. Maybe their story elicits the sympathy and attention they’ve been craving. I’m sure it’s different for everyone.

I realized that I mentioned my TBI A LOT, and that it was almost always brought up in conversation. Not sure why I did this, but I did. There was a part of me that, at first, didn’t want anyone to know, and then later, a part that wanted everyone to know. So when things started to shift in the positive direction that I’d been seeking for so long, I had to do some serious thinking. Who am I NOW, living with a TBI, but also living my life without it being my main focus?

There had to be a new relationship with myself and my “conditions,” such that I honor their existence, but that they no longer get to have all of my attention and energy, like a parasite feeding on my soul.

In my professional practice, I run into skeptics from time to time, who think that the lasting and life-changing results I deliver just aren’t possible. Often this is brought about by societal or personal influence. Maybe an article you read or a doctor once told you that nothing is ever going to change for the better. You’re as good as you’re going to get. End of story.

With a TBI, it’s a very real possibility. Only time will tell which symptoms will improve, let alone IF they will. But what if I decided that I was going to challenge the limiting beliefs I had about what will/would change? What if I decided I am so much more than a person who’s been through multiple eating disorders, multiple traumas, and lives with brain damage? These things have shaped Me and my life, but they are not synonymous with either. I get to define who I am.

Audrey Hepburn once said:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible.’

I'm possible

This is so true, especially when it comes to our own health and happiness.

Are there things that we cannot change? Yes, of course. My legs will never naturally be longer than they are. My eyes will naturally be blue my entire life. Yet we DO have the choice to first accept and embrace certain truths, but then keep challenging the status quo and our own personal limiting beliefs about our situation. Just because someone tells us, “It’s all downhill from here,” or “this is as good as it gets,” doesn’t mean we have to accept or believe it, even if the research and data are behind it.

We always have a choice.

I’ve chosen possibility: possibility to create the life I desire, no matter what anyone else thinks or says.

What will you choose?


Something of which nearly everyone is afraid.

We do our best to avoid failure: in a game, sports, and pretty much every aspect of life.

Everything in our society implies that if we fail, we are worthless. We MUST succeed, particularly financially, to be respected and to prove that we’ve “made it.”

Well, I’m here to tell you and that failure is not necessarily a bad thing, nor something of which to be afraid.


I’ve admitted in previous posts that I’m a recovering perfectionist. Part of that drive is to be “successful” at everything I do. This explains why I gave up so many fun life opportunities, like weekend ski trips, to do extra-credit projects in high school. Yes, I did that, even though I was a straight-A (most of the time) Honors student (okay, so I got a couple B’s in high school….).

When I was working with my functional neurologist after my traumatic brain injury (TBI), I did all kinds of brain-training activities, including physical training (like push-ups while doing math problems: no joke!), and all kinds of therapeutic tasks that would make you think both my neurologist and I were crazy (but they WORK!).

There was one instance where I got so frustrated, to the point of tears, because I failed at a task or brain game.

Here I was, a grown woman, nearly crying because wasn’t “perfect.”

My neurologist said something I will never forget:

“I will make you fail every time. These tasks are designed to make you fail. If you do it well, I’ll just make it harder so that you do fail.”

Basically: get comfortable with failure.

Being the weight lifter that I am, he also made the following point:

When you weight lift, you push your body to failure. That is how you grow and get stronger. If you only lift what you know is easy, you’ll never get stronger.

This made perfect sense to me, and I realized that failure really wasn’t all that bad.

This lesson applies not only to strength training, but even the greatest breakthroughs in science. Think of how many failures Edison went through before finally succeeded at creating the light bulb. Reports say thousands.


The authorized biography by Frank Dyer and T. C. Martin, Edison: His Life and Inventions (the first edition of the book is 1910), quotes Edison’s friend and associate Walter S. Mallory about these experiments:

“This [the research] had been going on more than five months, seven days a week, when I was called down to the laboratory to see him [Edison].  I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters.  I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question.  In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’  Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results!  Why, man, I have gotten lots of results!  I know several thousand things that won’t work!'”

My husband and I are big Mythbusters fans (on Discovery Channel: so sad only a few episodes left!), and one of their most used phrases is, “Failure is always an option!” Yes. Yes it is.

As a business owner, I have failed with various things and ideas, but have overall succeeded in that I continue to do the work I LOVE and change lives in my community. Even if I don’t currently have “success” as determined by my bank account, my success is measured in the number of lives I’ve been a part of changing for the better (the money will come). I have learned LOTS of things that don’t work for me as a practitioner, for that one particular client, or for my own business model.

But from these failures in my TBI treatment, workouts and even in my business, I’ve learned just of what I’m made.

I realized that failing pushes me even more to do my best, but to also accept where I am that day, whether talking about how much weight I can curl, to how math problems I can answer in the form of rain drops moving faster and faster down my computer screen in a brain training game.

If I push too hard and try too hard (which is very possible to do!), then I do not serve my own well-being and risk injury, getting frustrated or angry, or just completely wear myself out. What good is this? It’s not.

When it comes to your idea or definition of failure, get really clear on what “failure” looks like to you, and in what context. If you were to fail, ask yourself, “what then?” Go to the next worst case scenario and, again, ask yourself, “what then?”

When you start to ask yourself this question again and again, you realize that you can face your biggest fears, and see that you can already visualize how you can pull yourself out of your deepest, darkest fears and worst case scenarios. Sure, we don’t want these things to happen, but if we start to face this fear of failure, we can get more comfortable with it so it holds less power over us and see how it forces us to grow, explore new options (ie run a new experiment), and give our best with what we have to work with in that very moment.

It’s a matter of accepting what is (or what isn’t), but not letting it define you. Failure drives us to be our best, try harder, grow, learn, and aim higher.

Without failure, how would we know success? We wouldn’t. Just as we wouldn’t know hot without cold. We need dualities to fully appreciate each.

Am I still afraid of failure? Sure, I’ll be honest. But I’m not nearly as afraid as I once was. I still make little failures all the time: falling out of a yoga pose, trying a technique with a client that doesn’t work for them, saying the wrong thing… But I accept myself as human, and that means making mistakes.

Get well acquainted with failure. This doesn’t mean I wish anything bad for you. Not at all. But just realize that in any failure, you might just make your greatest success.

Be brave, and gentle with yourself. You can do it! Pick yourself back up and keep moving forward, even if it’s just one small step at a time.




Today I’m in a state of reflection.

It’s the two year anniversary since my traumatic brain injury (TBI) (and another trauma that occurred 25 hours later).

One year ago I wrote a post (click here), with thoughts and a poem for releasing trauma. And now it’s another 365 days later…

Though this past year I’ve made some significant improvements, there’s still a long road ahead.

I try to stay really positive in my outlook on life. Our brains are hard-wired for negativity, and we’re surrounded by it everywhere (just turn on the news and you’ll get my point), so it takes extra effort to look for the good in things.

Now, the title I’ve given this post may seem odd, an oxymoron, or just plain make you go, “what?”

“How can trauma be a good thing,” you ask?

Well, here’s how I see it:

They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” right?

I’ve found this to be true in my own life.

Two eating disorders didn’t kill me. Neither did multiple car accidents, a TBI, PTSD, anxiety, nor depression.

They HAVE made me stronger. They’ve made me a better practitioner, and a better human being.

As a friend texted me today, “It’s a life event that will shape you, but not define you.

This struck me to my core. See, it’s easy to start defining or labeling ourselves with our challenges or problems, no matter what they might be: a disease, condition, an event or chronic pain (to name a few).

As I’ve reflected today on all of the lessons I’ve learned, people I’ve met, modalities I’ve tried, and relationships made in the past two years, I see where I’ve faced my own demons, learned to be more gentle and kind to myself, be less uptight, more creative, more patient, more compassionate, let go of limiting beliefs and expectations and go with the flow of each day.

Ultimately, all of my traumas (including my eating disorders: they are traumatic in their own way), have taught me more about myself than anything else could. Trauma, no matter it’s form, DOES shape us. It can help us grow, or make us crumble (and sometimes both!). Yet it doesn’t have to define us.

I get to define myself, not my past, nor my future, and you, too, get to define YOUR Self- not your past, society, your family, or things that have happened in your life.

This is not to say that we sweep all of the shit under the rug: not at all. Even in my positive outlook, which I admit is not 100% of the time, I do not discredit how difficult things have been. I don’t pretend that none of it happened; that there are no repercussions with which I’m still struggling. I don’t know how much of my personality these days is the true ME, or if some of the things I don’t like are a result of brain damage.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what I decide to do with it all, and give myself some slack. I’m not perfect, but I wasn’t before.

I can acknowledge the things that have changed for me in the past two years, but not give up and say that this is how I’m going to be for the rest of my life. Sure, there may be certain things that are permanently changed, and I’ll just have to work with those things as time will tell me what’s what.  It’s a lesson in acceptance versus giving up; acknowledging versus defining.

It’s so easy to ask, “Why ME?”

What if we are asking the wrong question? What if we ask, “Why NOT me?”

It’s controversial, I know, but I’m just throwing it out there.

No matter what trauma you’ve experienced, look back as what purpose it’s served in your life. What have you learned? How have you grown? How has it shaped, yet not defined, who you are today? Write these down!


Don’t discredit the pain, the struggle, nor the triumph in successes, no matter how big or small. They are all a part of you, but are not You.

So take a deep breath. Let go of the things you have let define you, including trauma. Get really clear on who you are, and share that with the world through your purpose, love and passion.

Till next time,

Be healthy, happy, and live in harmony!









“Mindfulness and cheese,” you ask? “Where is she going with this?”

Here’s the connection:

The other morning, shortly after getting up and starting my day, I decided to do something different.

I had had a restful sleep (which for me is a BIG deal, since I’m just starting to sleep well after two years of severe insomnia due to a traumatic brain injury) and my schedule allowed me to take my time waking up and getting out of bed.

Most mornings I turn on my phone right away, checking texts and emails and getting Facebook posts up onto my business page if they haven’t already been scheduled. There are times when I’ve waited to turn on my phone until much later in the morning, but lately it’s been one of the first things I do once I meander into the kitchen.

I made a conscious decision to not turn on my phone quite yet.

Instead, I made breakfast and sat at the kitchen table in silence and took my time to eat my meal. I have a tendency of eating pretty quickly, which I attribute to my first eating disorder (anorexia) when I was in my teens and early 20s. My mentality was, “If I eat quickly, then no one will see me eat.”

Don’t ask me why my younger, unconscious Self thought that this was a good strategy, but I’ve been aware of it for some time now and have caught myself many times wolfing down my food without really tasting or enjoying it. Not only does this habit set me up for poor digestion, but also takes the enjoyment of eating and the sensuality of tastes, textures and aromas of food away from the experience.

This time I ate my eggs and oatmeal slowly, mindfully, and not while scrolling on my phone. I was present. Not to mention that I silently expressed gratitude for having this food to eat.

While sitting there at the table I reflected back to the previous evening, when my husband and I sat down to a light dinner of caprese salad, with basil and tomatoes from our garden, and store-bought fresh mozzarella cheese.


I call myself an “urban homesteader,” because I like to grow and make a lot of food myself. This means we have three vegetable gardens, a greenhouse, bee hives, an apple tree, berry bushes, etc. No, we don’t have much property at all: we just use it. In fact, we live in a community of near 1000 homes!

As an urban homesteader, my husband and I occasionally make our own mozzarella cheese. It’s a fun and pretty simple process. It just takes a little bit of time.

When I thought back to eating our fresh caprese salad the other night, I reflected back on how quickly I ate my share of tomato-basil-cheesy goodness. Though we didn’t make the cheese ourselves this time, I thought, “It takes time and effort to make this cheese and for the tomatoes and basil to grow, and you just scarf them down in minutes without truly enjoying them!”

Busted (even if it was by my own self!).

It was a good reminder for me to slow down, both when I eat, and in my life.

See, I have a tendency to take on too much all at once, which has definitely gotten me into trouble. I’ve learned to scale back, out of necessity, but you and I both can apply this concept to every aspect of our lives.

We’re in a society that runs at max capacity, but often while on empty. We’re not “full” in many aspects:  nutritionally (with actual food, as opposed to food-like-products), spiritually, emotionally, etc. We’re missing out on being present and mindful of our food, our bodies, and our feelings. How can we expect to change any aspect of ourselves, whether that’s getting relief from knee pain or trying to grow spiritually,  if we aren’t even aware of what’s happening within and around us?

A short while later that same morning I went to yoga class, which is a huge part of my life (not just “asana,” or the physical practice, but the greater Yogic tradition). I once again got a lesson in slowing down and mindfulness as I watched another student, whose mat was in front of mine, go through their practice by flinging arms and legs around in each posture.

This lack of control I saw made me want to go up to them and say, “What is going on? Do you realize that you’re not moving with intention, mindfulness or control? See what happens when you slow down.” But it’s not my place when I’m a fellow student (but it will be when I’m the instructor, as a yoga teacher training is in my future!). Instead, I focused even more intently on my own practice and was able to feel so much more than the times when my mind drifts briefly off to other things during class.

Since then, I’ve been more aware of how I’m doing things throughout my day. I’ve slowed down to pay attention to my emotions, my thoughts, what I feel and sense in my body, and yes, to enjoy my food!

The world does not move at this speed, so it takes that much more effort to live mindfully.

It hit me yesterday that I’ve learned far more by BEING and FEELING than I ever have DOING and THINKING.

So let’s try to Be a bit more, and Do a little less. We’ll actually accomplish a whole lot more, and in a more superior, quality way.

meditation being vs doing

It doesn’t mean you have to move at a snail’s pace to live life mindfully. Just start paying more attention when you do things. Hate to break it you, but you can’t actually multi-task, as much as we like to pride ourselves on it. Your brain can only really focus on one thing at a time. So put all that focus into one thing and do it and experience it well and to the fullest. Go deep instead of spreading yourself thin.

Then take the time to savor the cheese!

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’re aware that in 2013 I suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from being thrown by a horse, followed by a car accident (in which I was passenger) 25 hours later.

Recovery for me has been slow, lonely and difficult.

My life truly changed in those 25 hours.

I still struggle with lot of different symptoms, some of which have improved with time and treatment, but others remain and can’t really be explained without numerous additional doctor visits and expensive tests that seem to only open up more questions than answers. Every doctor I’ve seen has a different idea and wants to send me for more tests or studies and put me on expensive supplements (I’m personally reluctant to take pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary).

When I tell my story, I often have to explain the acronym, TBI.

It’s not the most common of acronyms out in the world, unlike OMG and LOL!

Since my TBI, I’ve tried hard not to identify myself by my injury, symptoms and struggles, even though there are times where they consume my life. Recently I’ve worked on accepting how I am today, and each day. Every day is different. Some days are great, others not. Yet I am still doing the best I can: running a business, being a professional, wife, friend, and all the other hats I wear. Sometimes my depression is overwhelming and I just want to hide from the world, but I do my best to pull myself out of it, in part thanks to the great support team in my life, and my stubborn determination that will never seem to let me give up!

Honestly, I’m tired of talking about my TBI and having it be such a huge part of my life these days, but it’s my current reality.

No one gets what it’s like for me, unless they themselves have been through one, or know someone who has (frankly, military families seem to get it very well!). So I decided that I’d put a positive twist on the definition of TBI…

Today my personal translation of the acronym is this :





Allow me to elaborate.


Trust has been a big part of my recovery. Trust in my health care team (which has wavered at times, truthfully), trust in myself and my body, trust in the healing process and trust that somehow, I will be okay (and that I AM okay [enough]).

Trust is difficult, especially when there are no real answers, and no real direction in which to go. I guess it’s also a form of faith that I have, that has undoubtedly been questioned many times over the past couple of years, especially!

As a health professional, I do completely trust my body and that it is doing the best it can with what it has to work with. It is smarter than my brain knows, and is far more resilient than our society credits.

Somehow I know that I will be okay. I will never be exactly the same as before my brain injury, because even the best treatment can’t erase it. I will, however, adapt where I need to and continue pushing forward with determination and hope for better. I’ve learned the value of having compassion towards myself, which I guess is a nice transition into “B:” blessings.


Where do I begin? There are so many. Sometimes, I’ll be honest in writing, I forget about them and get absorbed in self-pity (I have occasional pity parties for myself). But no matter how bad things seem, I’m always reminded of how blessed I truly am. My greatest blessing is my husband, who has and continues to be there for me no matter what. I am blessed with being able to continue doing the work I love, and that I’m doing as well as I am. My colleagues and practitioners from whom I’ve received care and treatment are huge blessings. My friends and family, even if they can’t empathize, do the best the can to support me, especially on my not-so-good days. I’ve developed and deepened relationships, and am particularly grateful for the lessons I’ve learned that not only make me a better person, but a better practitioner, too. The list could go on and on, but these are the staples I always come back to when I start to lose sight of everything positive in my life.


I know that because of what I do professionally, I have a much higher sense of body awareness and intuition than some walking this planet (yet I know there are people with way more than I!). I’ve had to rely on it when my path has no clarity. Since my doctors all come up with different diagnoses and treatment plans, none of which are remotely similar, I’ve really had to ask my body what it needs. Sounds really “woo woo” and New Age to some, I get that, but that’s the world in which I live. There’s actually a lot of science out there about “gut instincts” and such, and I personally believe our bodies can tell us a lot more than we realize, or listen to!

Throughout my healing process I’ve had to make educated yet heart-felt decisions on my course of action. I’m pretty educated when it comes to the body and can have really good discussions with my providers, but ultimately it’s me who decides what I want to do. I literally ask my body (I’ve been taught how to do this, but you really just have to be perceptive to its response and what you feel), and factor that into my decisions, along with all the other scientific data and medical advice. But I will not pursue something if it doesn’t “feel right” to me, and I think that’s important for everyone to do.

From now on when I speak or write about living with a TBI, I’ll think of these things I just mentioned above, instead of instantly gravitating toward the negative connotations of injury.

Even if you’re not living with an traumatic brain injury, see where you can apply the NEW TBI acronym to your own challenges, whatever they are.

Write down your list of the people and things you trust.

Write down your blessings. Post them on your bathroom mirror! Read them every day!

Pay attention to your intuition. Listen to it. Act accordingly.


I sincerely hope this help you in your own challenges!

Until next time!❤

One word is all it takes sometimes to completely change your life.

It’s true. At least for me.

Here’s the word:ahimsa

Don’t recognize it? That’s okay! This is the sanskrit word “ahimsa (ah-heem-sah).”

Yoga is a huge part of my life, and not just putting my foot behind my head, but the greater tradition of it all. Mindfulness, breath, non-attachment, meditation, intention…these are all aspects of yoga that I have incorporated into all aspects of my life in the past few years and will continue to build upon for the remainder of my life.

Ahimsa means both “no harm” and “compassion.”

Of course, it applies to other people and other beings, but it only occurred to me lately that it applies to ourselves, too (duh, but I hadn’t thought of it that way before!).

I recently worked with a client who also has a history of an eating disorder. It was such a pleasure to work with them on their journey toward not only positive physical change, but mental and emotional change, too.

See, this client used to talk about their body as “packaging,” as if it were a separate entity from themselves; an object without feeling. Plastic. A container. They also used to wake up every morning and call themselves “fat,” or “disgusting” or other similar negatively implied words. Not to mention they weighed themselves every day, knowing that the numeric value of their mass in Earth’s gravity (which is all your weight actually measures) would determine their self-worth, and their mood, that day.

One day when the client was in for their session, I invited them to change the way they talk and think about themselves and their body. Instead of using the word, “packaging,” why not refer to their body as such (“my body”) or even “I.” Remember, your body is NOT separate from your mind, unlike our Newtonian medical model has implied for centuries.

My client started doing this, and has even NOT stepped on the scale for SIX consecutive weeks!

This is a HUGE victory and I really made a big deal of it and gave lots of congratulations and encouragement!

I am so very proud of all that this client accomplished in our twelve weeks of working together, and can’t wait to see how they progress in the next few months.

But getting back to ahimsa…

I thought about ahimsa as it pertains to my own life. I thought about how I used to call myself “fat” all the time, even though I wasn’t (and was underweight). I realized not that long ago that I used to do to get a response of “no you’re not!” Intellectually I knew I wasn’t fat, so one day I decided to change how I spoke about myself. I haven’t called myself “fat” in I don’t know how long (possibly a couple of years now). I refer to my heavily muscled legs as “awesome,” because they are! Who cares if my thighs touch? I can kick anyone’s ass with my awesome, strong legs (only in self defense, of course!).

In talking with my client, who is also a yogi (so we could speak the same “language,” if you will), I realized that ahimsa applies not only to our actions towards ourselves, but to our thoughts and how we speak about ourselves, too. Why would be harm ourselves by thinking and saying harmful things about ourselves, our bodies, our very existence?

Why would we starve ourselves, emotionally beat ourselves up if we allowed ourselves to indulge and eat something that we actually enjoyed, or over-exercise and not respecting our body when it needs rest?

I can only speak for myself, but I did it as a coping mechanism. At the time it was the only thing I knew how to control, and I just didn’t know any better. I see that now, and have lightened up on myself. I have compassion for myself, especially in my late teens and early twenties when my anorexia was in full swing, when I was 29 and orthorexic. I didn’t have the awareness or the tools/skills to address the actual problems and challenges in my life.

The past few years I’ve had to learn ahimsa for myself out of force and necessity.

See, in 2012 I had my second eating disorder (orthorexia). In late 2012 I was in a really bad car accident, that took a long time from which to recover and left me with PTSD. Then, in 2013, I got a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from being thrown from a horse, then 25 hours later was in another car accident on the way home from the ER. On top of that, in 2014 I was diagnosed with depression (which is near guaranteed in the first year following a TBI), anxiety, PTSD  and other issues, and now in 2015 my doctors still don’t really know what’s going on with me (they can only guess).

Can’t a girl catch a break? Apparently not. At least not me.

Because of all of these things, I just didn’t have it in my to exercise, practice yoga, or do a lot of the physical activities that were “normal” for me. The energy just wasn’t there, nor was the drive or motivation.

I had to really start respecting my body, appreciating how well it was handling and healing from all of these things, and not push it. Similarly, I had to really change my mindset and use positive words and affirmations when referring to myself and my body. No longer am I “messed up” or “fucked up” but I am so grateful for all that my body and I, in my life, have accomplished while trying to heal and recover from all of these challenges. No, it has not been easy one bit. There have been times where I just don’t want to go on. Really. But I got the support I needed and am driven by my clear purpose in life (and my incredible husband of 9 years).

What if you stop seeing yourself as needing to be “fixed?” You’re not broken.

What if you stopped letting a number on a scale or size of clothing determine your value as a human being?

What if you listened to your body when it was hungry or wanted rest, and allowed yourself to respond to your body with love and compassion?

What if you stopped saying negative things to and about yourself and replaced them with words of love and gratitude?

What do you have to lose from these practices? Nothing.

What do you have to gain from them? Everything.

love yourself3

Even if you’re not a yogi, start practicing the principle of ahimsa. Yes, right now! It will take conscious effort at first, but keep doing it until loving yourself becomes habit.

Try it for a week and comment what you notice and how you feel when you have more positivity than negativity in your life. Remember, your brain is hard-wired for negativity, so it DOES take a little extra effort at first, but feel the sensations in your body when you think something negative, and then something positive about yourself. Notice what it does to your breath. Just notice what you FEEL. Get it touch. Start to make peace with yourself; your whole self.

I look forward to hearing what you notice.

Maybe a different word or phrase will come to you and inspire. Share that, too!

Till next time,


A few months ago I made a mix CD, comprised of women power and inspirational songs. I initially created it for the women in the coaching program I led earlier this year, but I also ended up REALLY liking it and listening to the playlist frequently.

There is a great song by Jessie J. called, “Who You Are” that has become one of the several theme songs to my current life.

In this song, the lyrics, “it’s okay not to be okay” really hit me me, and hard.

As my focus has shifted away from my history with eating disorders (I’m doing really pretty well there, thankfully), to healing and recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that happened back at the end of 2013, and the subsequent PTSD, depression, anxiety and other things that I have yet to find answers for, I have had to let myself be okay with NOT being okay.

See, I was putting every ounce of effort into being “okay” so that no one could tell I was struggling: both with the mental and emotional challenges, as well as a significant drop in energy. I have been SO good at faking that I’m “normal,” that no one would otherwise know unless I took off my metaphorical mask.

I can’t pretend anymore. I’m not okay. Some days are better than others, and I actually feel good, but then the next day I’ll be exhausted and really feeling the depression. I have to take it one day at a time. I have to be okay with cancelling get-togethers, meetings, etc. to take care of myself. The challenging part is to not feel guilty about it, but I’m working on it.

I’ve started to open up more to my friends, family, and even my clients, as I’ve had to cut back a day in my work week, too (I just don’t have the energy). This has actually been really liberating: to be open and honest with what “is” right now, and voicing the support I need, even if it’s just a listening ear. For my friends and family, there is nothing they can “do,” per se, to help me. They cannot “fix” me, in part because I am not broken. I have challenges, but my body (including my brain), is doing the best it can with what is available to it in the moment.

Letting go of who I used to be, and the expectations I place on myself, is essential. I am not the person I was. Getting up at 5:30am to go to yoga or they gym is not happening these days. Instead, it’s up at 8am and making it when I feel up for it. Realizing that I have next-to-no threshold these days: stressful or challenging situations I would have easily been able to handle in the past are now overwhelming; even the small stuff. Canceling things last minute that I had planned even months earlier because I just don’t have the energy to do it. I have always been 100% committed and never used to back out of anything, especially last minute. I have to be okay with saying “no,” and often, when all I used to say is “yes.”

These things are all part of self-care. Though I preach it often to my clients, I am continually learning it first-hand. It’s not selfish, I’m not being rude when I say “no,” I’m not a “flake.” I am still me: dedicated, passionate, compassionate, thoughtful, self-less. The circumstances have changed, and so have my priorities. That’s all.

I often open up books with positive affirmations, opening to a random page each day for something inspiring. Not long ago I found this one (and modified it with the parenthetical note) :

I know and trust that though I have many challenges and unanswered questions right now, they will not last. Even those with a longer life-span (even if there are life-long ones) will fade into the background of my life. My brain will heal to the best of its ability, my body will heal from multiple eating disorders and traumas. I will not go back to being the old me, because that is not who I am today. Rather, I will acknowledge the things I have been through (both challenges and accomplishments), and those things that have not yet happened, and use them to grow, but it’s letting go of the past, realizing the present, and being open to the future that are key.

Whether you’re challenged with negative body image, an eating disorder, PTSD, depression, a TBI, anxiety, a chronic illness, etc. these lessons apply to you, too. Remember that this too shall pass, even if it seems like it never will. Acknowledge it, accept it, but don’t settle for it. There is always opportunity for greatness. I’ve seen this in my practice over and over again, where a doctor has told a client of mine that this is as good as it’s going to get. But lo and behold, they drastically improve! Keep searching, keep aiming higher, and don’t give up, but don’t discredit what you are feeling today. It is all valuable.

So take it one day at a time with me, won’t you? Remember, it’s okay not to be okay, but know that you really ARE okay, and WILL be okay again.

Much love❤

How strong is that little voice inside your head?

You know, that little voice that always tells you, “You’re not ____ enough.”

Fill in the blank with pretty, smart, strong, thin, wealthy…..the list is extensive.

Really think about how you speak to and about yourself, both silently and aloud. This includes your body, your looks, your relationship or work status, or any other aspect of your life. Sometimes we can feel great about one or more aspects of ourselves and our lives, but then we come to “the one” for which we only have negative words, thoughts and behaviors.brain2

I used to be completely guilty of negative self-talk. I used to call myself, especially my legs, “fat,” even though I was underweight with one eating disorder or another. Then, when my hormones got really out of balance, only to be followed by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that really turned my world upside down,  I would say that I and my body are f’d up, screwed up, messed up, or something similar.

One day I made a conscious decision. I was not “fat.” I am f’ing AWESOME! My legs are STRONG (hey, I have leg pressed 585 lbs in my peak!) and they get me everywhere I want to go, even if they are short! I started using this new positive language about myself, and lo and behold, my attitude really changed for the better. I have been happier and am able to help uplift others because I accept myself and my body, as it is, right in this very moment. Even the days when my body is stiff or hurts, I lose my balance in a one-legged yoga posture, or just am tired, I am grateful for the resilience my body has and all that it does for me. I am not separate from it. My body is ME, just as my mind is ME. They both, along with my spirituality, make me the complete, complex human being that I am. Not to mention all my little quirks thrown in there, too!🙂

Problem was, even though I know I’m awesome, I still spoke about my body as being messed up, in regards to my current healing process. Then, only about 6 weeks ago, I decided to change how I spoke to and about myself.

Lying in bed one morning, I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh! No wonder my body is having a hard time. I keep putting it down!” and decided right then and there to no longer talk about my brain or my hormones (or any of my other challenges) as being f’d up, screwed up or messed up. Instead, I now encourage my body and appreciate it for doing what it can, given what it has to work with. I have told it that I’m seeking as much support as I can, and trying to get more answers so I can give it more of what it needs to heal and thrive. The more love and compassion I show toward myself, not only in my thoughts and words, but especially my actions, the more willing my body (including my brain) are going to try to work with me, as opposed to fighting me.

Have you ever yelled in anger at a friend, loved one or co-worker, and then later needed to ask for their help? How willing were they to help you? Not very (usually). Same goes for your body. Talk down or negatively to or about it, and it won’t be so willing to help you out. Why should it, if it’s not appreciated and surrounded by negativity, anger and frustration?

This is your opportunity to make the conscious decision to change, RIGHT NOW, how you speak, think and act toward every aspect of Yourself. Fighting with yourself takes a lot of energy. Why not play on the same team and win the game with ease (with some help from others, as needed, of course!)? Think of it like one of those Chinese finger traps. The more you pull and struggle, the tighter it gets. If you relax, it lets go and you can take your fingers out.

I could go on and on with analogies, but I think you get the point: negative self-talk doesn’t help you in any way.

On my way to a friend’s wedding the other week I found this great little book in an airport shop titled, “Love Who You Are” by M.H. Clark. Every page spoke to me with its positive affirmations. I had to buy it, so I did. When I opened it up today, I came across the following quote:

Love the person you are becoming

This really resonated with me because in life, and in any healing process, we change. We change because we decide to change. Of course, things happen to us that are not in our control, too. But we change, regardless. We must love who we have been, who we are, and who we will become. I am always changing, and so are you. But if you want positive change, you must decide to make the effort for positive change. It’s not just about wishing or willing it. You must be proactive, and it all starts with that voice inside your head.

You ARE ________ (fill in the blank) enough! Just as you are. Love it. Be grateful for it, and then decide to BE enough. That doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t change for the better, but you have to love who you are first to then show the world how f’ing awesome you are, too!

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Until next time….Love your amazing Self!

This past week I had an interesting experience.

On my way home from an appointment, I stopped to walk on a local trail. It was a beautiful spring day and I just wanted to get out and enjoy it a bit before going back to my busy day of professional development training and clients.

One of the ways to access this trail is to park in the neighboring church parking lot, and walk a few feet to the trail. Between the two lies a labyrinth, created and maintained by the church.

Per the church’s website:

Walking a Labyrinth is an ancient form of meditative prayer that involves moving through a series of circular pathways leading to a center.  It can be a metaphor for a spiritual journey or one’s journey through life.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked by this labyrinth and just passed by it without any thought other than, “that’s nice.” This time it was different.

As I got closer, it beckoned me, however a labyrinth does this. No one was around, the sun was shining, and I was curious. After looking at the display board on which directions on how to enter this spiritual maze was posted, I entered.


I had never done a labyrinth before, and it showed! I started, as directed, going clockwise, following the narrow path, lined by rocks and small shrubs. I followed the path until one of these small shrubs blocked the way in front of me. I was like, “What?” and stepped over the shrub and kept going in the same direction. After following the path that sharply turned 90 degrees every so often and had me zig-zagging every few feet, I realized that I was staying on only one side of the labyrinth.

“This isn’t right!” I said to myself. How was I missing an entire half of this maze? It dawned on me that I hadn’t been paying attention and got a very obvious lesson in mindfulness! See, as I started walking and came to that first small hedge blocking my way, I should have seen that this indicated for me to turn and go another direction in order to follow the path. But, being so focused on just going and making it to the center (the goal), I missed out on half of the journey!

Thankfully, I caught this before I made it to the serene center, in which lie a few stone benches on which to sit, pray, meditate, or just take in the beautiful scenery.

After sitting for a few minutes on a bench, I decided to leave the labyrinth as instructed, and go out the opposite direction. This time I was mindful, attentive and didn’t take any short-cuts! I followed the path, which due to its constant change in direction, seemed to take forever to reach the end! The whole experience lasted probably around 15 minutes, but felt much longer.

When I made it out, I walked a few feet to the trail and thought about my labyrinth experience as I strolled. I have always been very goal-oriented, which is a good thing, until I take the short cuts that rob me from the meaningful journey! I got the memo. In my quest for healing from eating disorders, a traumatic brain injury, PTSD from multiple other traumas and other health challenges, I come back to the image of the labyrinth. Even though I so desperately want be DONE dealing with all of these things, there is so much for me to learn along the way, and if I don’t pay attention, I’ll miss out on (potentially a lot of) it!

Healing takes time. It can be tedious. It can be frustrating. It can feel like it is taking FOREVER.

I also believe that we can fully appreciate our health, happiness and the challenges that push us and help us grow, as painful as it may have been in that growth, once we get over the top of the metaphorical mountain and can take in the view (okay, so I like metaphors!).

As a health professional, I recently wrote a blog post on my website, liking the healing process to gardening. The hardest part of growing vegetables and healing alike is the element of time. We want it all now (whether that’s health, money, produce, etc.), and rightfully so. It sucks to be in a place of physical and/or emotional pain. We want out, or at least I do (and so too do my clients)!

But I know that having it all now, including perfect health, isn’t part of my own path on this labyrinth of life. There are sharp turns, narrow paths and barriers, but eventually it opens up to a peaceful inner sanctuary where stillness and clarity live.

Begin to look at your own life as a labyrinth.

What are the things that are on your path, that create the barriers, the obstacles and the constant change in direction that still gets you to the core?

See your own healing process as this spiritual journey, with lessons to be learned, and growth to happen, even if it seems to take forever.

It won’t be forever.

It’ll be on your body’s own time, not yours. So don’t step over the shrubs to try to make to the goal as quickly as possible. You’ll miss out on half of the adventure!

“Sometimes the only option is perseverance”

I saw the above quote on a church sign recently and it got me thinking: or is it the only option?

In the past two years I feel like I have been great at persevering.

Healing my body from multiple traumas and another eating disorder takes a lot of effort, not to mention time.

Somehow I keep going, and going and going. I think I was trying to outlast the Energizer Bunny, but everything I have been through has caught up with me at last and the Bunny has won. I guess I’m more of a tortoise in this metaphor, but a worn out one who just couldn’t make it to the finish line first.

Perseverance means “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement (” And difficulties, obstacles and discouragement I have had, and I know will have again in the constant ups and downs of Life.

To persevere in the face of difficulty commands inner strength, a desire to reach a better and different state and the will to change. Most of the time. That’s right: What if perseverance wasn’t the only or best option, at least not in the way we normally think of it?

Here’s my angle:

If we are striving for better health, a better life, living our purpose, etc. we have to ask ourselves, “Am I persevering in a way that is actually getting me closer to what I want? Or am I persevering by creating my own obstacles, difficulties and discouragement?”

Some of us, myself included, have persevered by staying in a perpetual cycle of destructive beliefs, habits and behaviors (like saying “I’m not [fill in the blank: strong, smart, think, pretty, wealthy] enough), creating our own obstacles and had no idea WE were (or I was) the actual obstacle!

The more I have realized this in my own life, the more I see it in other people. We as humans are SO good, sometimes too good, at holding onto things, particularly the negative. We fear change and feel a sense of safety in the way things are, even if they don’t serve us in a positive way.

I see this kind of perseverance in my clients quite often. I see them wanting pain relief, whether it’s from physical or emotional pain. They want to feel comfortable in their own skin, yet they often are stuck and persevere in the same patterns that don’t get them any closer to their goals: a modern-day Sisyphus, rolling the stone up the hill only to have it roll right back down again.



No one is guiltier of this than me. For years I have placed blame on myself for just about everything that isn’t perfect in my life: from parents divorcing when I was 17 to more recent financial challenges.

I took out these feelings of shame and blame on myself particularly with my eating disorders. Even in recent years I felt like I didn’t “deserve” true happiness or love because I wasn’t “worthy.” I didn’t feel that I had earned these things because some way, somehow, everything was my fault! I had to punish myself to repent, I guess. This was all pretty subconscious, honestly, but boy was I good at it!

Only very recently (ie a few weeks ago) did I realize that I was holding onto these feeling of blame and shame. Here I am persevering by rolling the stone of these emotions up a hill, only to push it back up again. To be honest, I have been very cognitively aware of my need to forgive myself (even if I didn’t “do” anything) and release the blame and shame so I can finally move forward with my life!

A while back I wrote a poem/affirmation on this topic, which I found quite easy. Yet, when I was working with my counselor who does equine facilitated counseling (horses very much act like a mirror to our emotions and can tell us A LOT!) the other week, I discovered that I didn’t know how to forgive myself in my body: to really feel and embody this forgiveness. I am confident that I will learn this lesson very soon and when I am truly ready.

In the meantime, I’m examining how I am persevering and the “why” I am doing certain things, even working out and pushing myself too hard as a business woman (even though I LOVE my work!). The question I ask myself periodically is, “If I were to die tomorrow, would this really matter?” It puts things in perspective, at least for me.

Start to examine where and how you persevere in your life. Is it in a healthy way that propels you forward toward your dreams, goals and purpose? Or are you also a modern day Sisyphus, rolling your stone of whatever emotions you’re storing up the hill again, again and again?

Just some things to think about.

Till next time! Be happy and healthy!