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Celebrating Independence with No Poo

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fireworksA friend of mine shared an article with me about the difference between Independence and Freedom. It basically came down to Independence being the idea of not having outside oppression, or not being controlled by something outside of yourself. On the other hand, Freedom was an inside job. Feeling free within yourself to say, do, or feel any way without harsh self censoring. I like the idea of distinguishing between the two and figuring out if I felt restriction in either of these areas. It turns out, like in many other things, I have come a long way but I still have far to go.

One of the ways I am gaining independence is by slowly releasing myself from all of the consumerism around me. I no longer feel like bigger is better or that I need the newest item on the market. I have learned to buy many of the things I need on Craig’s List, at thrift stores, and through community swaps. I also, as many of you know, make cleaning supplies and other products out of common household ingredients. It feels really good to me to not be buying chemically laden products to clean my home or put on my body. One of my mantras is, “You vote with your dollars.” If we stop buying the products that are causing problems, they will stop making them. They will be forced to find other solutions. Why would anyone look for better solutions when they are making millions now?

I’m all about baby steps. I’ve been making my own toothpaste and deodorant for over a year. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer, I make my own bug spray and sunscreen. But I have been hesitant to stop shampooing with commercial shampoo. So, in honor of Independence Day, I took the next step. I joined the “no poo” movement. I’m committing to this for 30 days to see how it goes. If you aren’t familiar with no poo, instead of shampoo and conditioner, you use a baking soda and water solution to wash your scalp and then rinse your hair with an apple cider vinegar and water solution to condition it. This is done with increasingly less frequency until you get to a place where you are only doing this once or twice a week. Some people say there is a transition period of a few weeks where your hair looks terrible as your body adjusts and your scalp begins to produce the right amount of oil. One of the things that really appeals to me is that there is supposed to be considerably less frizziness, which if you have ever seen me, you would understand why I find this appealing. One of the things that concerns me is that I dye my hair (I haven’t gotten to that baby step yet), and there are mixed reviews on how this method works with colored hair. Regardless, I have 29 more days to go. I will let you know how it works for me. I’d love to hear any tips or tricks from those of you who are already doing this.

Hello 2014

perfectHappy New Year! I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions but I like to acknowledge the idea of a fresh start. There is something really freeing and exciting when I think of new beginnings. It feels like once again, anything can happen. In honor of this, I am practicing Sankalpa. Sankalpa is an ancient Ayurvedic practice in which we honor the deeper meaning of our life. So even though I have intentions of losing the 8 pounds that I have gained since Halloween, the practice of Sankalpa asks us to dive deeper with our intentions.

The process is simple but certainly not easy. We need to come from the knowledge that we already are who we need to be to fulfill our life’s purpose or dharma. We only need to peel back layers of resistance and old patterns that are no longer serving us. Like I said, simple but not easy. Ideally we can bring forth a statement or vow that we can call upon to remind us of our true nature and guide our choices.

The first stage is to listen in meditation to your heart’s desire. What is it you truly want? This desire is already present within you. You don’t need to create anything. Next, welcome the desire. Feel it with your whole being. The final stage takes courage. The final step is to take the action required. Think about actions that you can commit to that are consistent with this heartfelt desire. Some of the actions will require a strong warrior spirit mixed with loving compassion. This is already a part of you. Let it out.

Balancing tip-So what about that 8 pounds? This is a perfect time to do a mini home detox. When we cleanse in the winter, we want it to be gentle (especially for those of you who are living in colder regions). My plan is to incorporate some self-care practices into my day for the next few days. This will include skin brushing, oil massages, neti, and daily yoga and meditation. I will be drinking at least 1 green juice and/or smoothie each day. I will be drinking herbal teas and limiting caffeine. I will be taking some cleansing herbs and I will be eating plenty of vegetables, mostly leafy greens. My protein and carbohydrate requirements will come from a classic Indian comfort food called Khichadi. It consists of white Basmati rice and yellow mung dahl beans mixed with Indian spices. It is delicious and I will eat it twice a day. This dish is very easy to digest which will give my digestive system a much-needed break from the holiday chaos. The mung dahl beans are soaking as I write.  I (or my husband) will be making the Khichadi tomorrow. If you are local and would like to try a serving, let me know. The recipe makes a lot and I am happy to share.

Feel free to contact me if you would like try something like this for yourself and have some questions.

What is Ayurveda?

The translation of the word Ayurveda is the science of life. It is the traditional healing system of India. This system is over 5000 years old. Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga. The two systems often work hand-in-hand. An Ayurvedic consultation will help you to understand your own body type and ways in which you can work with your body to preserve and maintain wellness. Digestion is a big focus in Ayurveda. Proper nutrition and the use of herbs can help us to get our digestive system in order. Because food is our fuel, we need to be able to assimilate it properly in order to get the benefits of our diet. I can help you figure out which foods are most beneficial for you and explain how incorporating healing herbs into your diet may support you in moving towards wellness.

In addition to dietary recommendations, an Ayurvedic consultation will include lifestyle suggestions, stress management strategies, and advice on exercise options for your current fitness level. An Ayurvedic practitioner can give advice and support on many levels because it is a system of healing that gives attention to body, mind and spirit. I am happy to be able to offer this not only to local clients but to anyone interested in learning more about how this ancient art can improve their health and well-being. You don’t have to settle for less than vibrant health!

I am giving away a FREE 45 minute Ayurvedic consultation via Skype or phone in exchange for some feedback about detoxing. In my previous post, Free Ayurvedic Consultation, I stated the steps to take in order to be in the running to win the consultation. I noticed that plenty of people were viewing the post but not many were commenting. I am hoping by explaining in some detail about what an Ayurvedic consultation is, we may get some more comments on the post regarding issues with seasonal cleanses. The winner won’t be drawn until the middle of November 2012, so there is still time to get in on it. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. 

Balancing Tip-Pay attention to the words you choose today. Try to find positive ways to say things even if the situation is less than positive. Our words have tremendous power. Choosing our words carefully can have a big impact on how we perceive the world around us. Namaste.

Free Ayurvedic Consultation

I am in the process of creating an easy 3 day seasonal detox for better health with two of my favorite colleagues, Melina Economos and Andrew Saxon. We are scheduled to launch this initial 3 day detox in January at ReFLEX Arts in Sarasota. My contribution to this cleanse is my knowledge and experience in Ayurvedic practices. This seasonal cleanse something I do myself at least twice a year. As a busy working mom, it needs to be something that I can incorporate into my regular life. Although I try to work it around our schedules in such a way that I am able to take a little downtime each day, it is not something I need to go away for or take time off from work. I make sure that I am stocked with the ingredients I need and that some of the meals are prepared ahead of time.

In preparing to present this simple cleanse, I am curious to know what comes to your mind as the biggest obstacle for you to complete a successful detox. Maybe you have done them before and it was terrible because you were hungry or felt sick during the process. Maybe you have never done one before and wouldn’t know what would be appropriate to eat and aren’t sure who to take nutritional advice from. Maybe you think you wouldn’t be able to follow through with the plan if you have a young family. Whatever the case may be, I would like to hear about it.

My friends and I will take this information and create a plan that has solutions to these problems built right into it. I’m sure that no matter what is stopping you from moving toward wellness with a seasonal detox, we can find a manageable formula that will work for your situation.

In return for your input, we are offering a free Ayurvedic consultation to get you started to a random person who provides a comment on this post. This 45 minute consultation will offer you simple ways to incorporate more wellness into your daily life. These tips and techniques will be suited to your own personal needs and your specific body type or dosha. You will need to subscribe to this blog, like this post, and leave a comment about your personal hurdles when in comes to seasonal cleansing. Your location is not a factor for the consultation. This will be available via Skype, i chat, or telephone. A winner will be selected and notified by the middle of November 2012. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

We are super excited about this project and look forward to sharing information and tips with you in the future!

Spring Cleaning

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I love spring! Even though I have been living in Florida for the past couple years, I can feel spring as strong as if I had just spent another winter in the Northeast. The energy in everything seems to be amplified. Colors are brighter, the dogs are friskier, and the smells are intoxicating. As much as I hate to lose the hour sleep this weekend, I really enjoy the extended time of light in the evenings. The warmer weather allows more of us to get outside and connect with nature. This is something we all need.

Many of us practice a “Spring Cleaning” ritual in our homes. Opening windows and blinds to release dirt and grime from the winter while allowing more light to shine in. This is more than the usual cleaning. We do a more detailed job in spring. We let go of items that we no longer use to make room for new things. Some of us may even polish some of our more treasured belongings so that we can see them shine and take pleasure in their beauty.

Along with spring cleaning my house this season, I have decided to spring clean myself. I don’t just mean the seasonal detox/cleanse  that I have been doing at the change of the seasons for the past couple years. I mean clean out the crap that keeps me stuck. I am talking about old beliefs, old thought patterns and habits that no longer serve me. I know I am not alone in needing this occasional “tune-up”. Over the years we have taken on ideas that were either put upon us by society or adopted by us as a defense mechanism. Either way, there comes a time when these ideas become more of a hinderance than a help. Spring is the perfect time to reflect and decide what needs to go out with the dirt and grime of winter. Let’s open ourselves up so that the Light can shine brighter inside as well as outside. Let’s not forget to appreciate and enhance all of the wonderful things we find that are working for us.

So how exactly do we do this? We start by being honest with ourselves and taking note of what is working in our lives and what isn’t. If we find an area that we consistently feel frustration or anxiety, we can be pretty sure we have some work to do there. As with any detox or deep cleanse, there is a period of discomfort while the old is moving out and we see what actually fits and feels right for ourselves. It is a time to be supportive and nurturing of ourselves. Wholesome foods, gentle exercise, periods of meditation, journaling, quiet times in nature are all great practices to help you ease into better thinking. I went to the beach this morning to put my toes in the sand. Realistically, I didn’t have that hour to spare, but knowing everything that is going on inside of me, I felt that I needed it. Because I took the time for myself, my day went much smoother than expected. I felt grounded, supported and ready to take on the tasks at hand.

I’m not sure where this spring cleaning will take me, but I am sure it will lead me closer to peace. I understand that the process of spiritual growth is a process of letting go, over and over. I don’t need anything more than I have to make progress here, but I do need to continue to strip away at what holds me back from becoming my highest potential.

Nutritional tip #7-detox. If you are new to detoxing or aren’t interested in making huge changes right away, start simple. Try to make small changes for 3 days. Eliminate alcohol, sugar, and white flour. Drink extra water. Incorporate more veggies-especially leafy greens. If you feel like you could handle a little more, lose the meat and processed foods. This is a great start and can be done without causing any stress on the body. As stated above, during any detox or cleanse, be gentle and nurturing with yourself.

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