After I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease; an autoimmune disorder that causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones, I went a journey that turned me onto natural health and healing, the idea of food as medicine, and listening to my body instead of ignoring it. Along the way, I picked up some wellness practices for taking care of myself that I use every day so that I can be the best me (parent, yoga teacher and intuitive counselor) I can be.
Here are my favorite daily rituals for feeling good and living well:
When I wake in the morning I take a few moments to think of everything I’m thankful for and connect to my breath before I hop out of bed to shower.
When I’m going through my morning routine and ablutions, I like to use natural beauty products on my precious bod.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG): “The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, and they do. Consequently, some common cosmetic ingredients turn up in people’s bodies. Among them: industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene.”
If that made you squirm in your chair, you are not alone! I seek out natural products everywhere I can; some of my favorites include Arbonne, Young Living Essential oils and The Heritage Store. My general rule of thumb is that I try to ensure that the products are safe enough that I could eat them – that’s essentially what your skin does as it absorbs everything you put on it. I also choose natural household cleaning products – one of my favorites is “Thieves” Household cleaner from Young Living.
Once I’m fresh and clean I’m ready to fuel up for the day. Before I eat anything though – I have a cup of hot lemon water. Starting the day with warm lemon water will help rev up your digestion, hydrate your tissues, gives you a little immune boost, and make your skin healthier.
HYDRATE & FUEL UP
Water is fuel for your entire body – it helps you think clearly and feel good. An ounce or half ounce of water for each pound of body weight daily is my guideline.
Power up with good eats. I choose to feed my body organic, delicious, nutrient dense real food. I generally aim for simple and whole – if it grows I eat it. If it does not grow I tend to use moderation or avoid eating it.
I find that a morning smoothie or green juice gives me a lot of energy. If I have limited time I reach for an apple or banana with almond butter to get me going in the morning.
I incorporate key supplements and remedies that I learned about from my team of docs that helped my body to heal from illness. They are tailored to my particular needs and are supported by solid science to support my health and well being.
CONNECT WITH NATURE
I put my bare feet on the Earth every day for about 5 minutes (or more). The technique is called “earthing” and I have found that it makes me feel better to connect with the energy of the planet after being removed from it by walking around in shoes and driving or computing all day. I may also have a conversation with and hug my favorite tree… but that’s optional.
If I have more time I love swimming in the ocean and hiking. The benefits of contact with the earth’s energy is now well documented.
Which leads me to my next favorite thing to do every day – BREATHING! There’s nothing like a lungful of fresh air! Connecting deeply to our breath is one of the most important things we can do every day.
Check out the air quality in your home. Turns out that indoor air can often contain more toxins and chemicals than outdoor air. Everything from mattresses to pots/pans to kids PJs can contain harmful chemicals in indoor air.
Some of my favorite remedies for cleaner air are house plants, bamboo charcoal, himalayan salt lamps, and natural beeswax candles.
As a rule, I try to avoid or completely eliminate toxins and negativity – pharmaceuticals, processed foods, harsh chemicals and unnecessary stressors like: reality/gossip TV, the nightly network news, most social media comments sections, and people who love to dump their negative thoughts and emotions all over others.
Move that glorious container daily! It’s really true that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, I love taking walks, hikes, swimming and dancing. (So what if I’m not really Beyonce and I’m in my undies, in my bedroom alone?) The point is – find something you love doing that challenges you, be it yoga, pole dancing, hiking, parkour, horse-back riding, archery… and the list goes on.
I fill my days with at least one thing that brings me joy and makes me smile or laugh, as many hugs as I can get, and lots of “input” – I try to learn something new each day. As a seeker, it’s my quest to be better than I was yesterday and grow always. I strive to be a positive force for good, to give back and to enjoy my friends and my family daily. Our time on this big blue marble is short, make it as happy as you can by making room in your life for the good stuff.
REST. RESTORE. REFRESH.
What goes up, must come down; such is the nature of our bodies. We’ve gotta get adequate rest and give our bodies time to reset. In addition to a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night, I incorporate yin and restorative yoga, epsom salt baths, and comedy. A good belly laugh is healing tool I use frequently.
Before lights out every night I go over my day and think about what I’m most grateful for. I’ve even been caught writing these things out in a gratitude journal. Gratitude is the magnetic force that can bring what we dearly want into our physical realities. When life gets you down, go there – there’s always something to be grateful for, no matter how small.
After gratitude time, I affirm that I will sleep soundly, ready to awake in the morning refreshed and looking forward to the new day. I love this quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life… for me, and I’m feeling good.”