Category Archives: Healing

How Can I Serve?

Like everyone, I sometimes see certain aspects of my life very challenging. When I am in a circumstance that I don’t enjoy or feel isn’t necessarily aligned with what I want to be doing I can feel frustrated or even angry. The little kid inside me wants to kick and scream like those days when I didn’t want to go to school or the dentist (no offense to the incredibly valuable dentists out there). The resistance is sometimes a sign that I need to make changes in my life, however often those changes often can’t be made immediately. Patience is required and that can be one of the toughest things to practice in these situations.

In these moments, I have found it helpful to reflect back to something I have heard Wayne Dyer say many times “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Situations are only as bad as our perception is and in actuality, every experience invites us to learn and grow in different ways. I do truly believe in the divinity of every second so even those things that I want to run screaming from are openings to spiritual growth or guidance. As I have come to realize this I have found one particular question really grounds me and brings me back to a place of peace and excitement…

How Can I Serve?

This simple questions encompasses all of who I want to be, a person that supports and loves others and myself. Looking at the any situation, whether I like it or not, and asking this one question often opens up a world of possibility I didn’t see. Taking the focus off my dislike for something and shifting it to the benefit I can bring is not only empowering but also liberating. In looking at the world this way, everything becomes an adventure of kindness. It may be serving myself with a deeper level of love or it may be serving others with an act of kindness; either way is a gentle and fulfilling way to approach everything I do. This does not take away from the steps I need to make to remove the things I know don’t align with me, but it makes patience incredibly easier and I can enjoy the journey of growth instead of the suffering of circumstance.

This has now become my daily practice every morning, simply sending that question out and waiting for life to give me opportunities in response. I encourage you to try this question and see how it supports you on your path. If it isn’t this one, play with other questions that bring you back to who you truly want to be and you will be amazed on the shift this can bring to your life. Please share any questions you come up with below so my other followers can benefit from your wisdom.

With gratitude and service  -April

Change

Essential Oils You Should Own

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I am always on the lookout for healthy ways to manage the natural discomforts we sometimes face as human beings. A huge part of my personal self-care is to ensure I am taking care of myself in the most natural and effective way I can find. Often the answer I am looking for is an essential oil. The reason is simple – they are easy, accessible and they work! From back pain to indigestion, from headaches to stuffy noses, and from bad moods to a minor cut, essential oils have always saved the day in my house.

Below are a few of my favorites that I encourage you to experiment with if you haven’t tried before. I often use in my home as well as in Reiki sessions and clients have seen great benefits. Of course, I am not a doctor so please seek medical advice if necessary. Also, it is important to know that these only have therapeutic benefits and are safe to take internally if you get a great quality, non-fragrance based oil. (I primarily use doTERRA®)

1. Lavender

Probably one of the more common oils, this is a great one to have on hand at all times. Usually know for its calming properties it can be used diffused in the air, in a warm bath or dabbed on the temples to give you instant relaxation. It has helped me more than once calm my nerves before a big presentation.  Did you know that it is also fantastic for the skin? Lavender can really help sooth minor burns, eczema, bug bites and even diaper rash.

Read more…

The Best Diet Around…

Oh diet season… Every year January comes and we are quickly told that we aren’t quite skinny enough when we are inundated with commercials and billboards. While I understand this is heavily due to the amount of New Years resolutions people make around exercising or losing weight, I can’t help but feel a tug in my heart for all the messages breeding insecurity. This becomes compounded by how many people lose their motivation by the end of January and fall back into their old habits leaving a lingering guilt that will get added to each year we don’t lose those “unwanted pounds.”

Breaking this cycle really takes one simple diet trick that is buried deep underneath all the advertising and propaganda. It isn’t going to be publicized well as it doesn’t cost any money and there isn’t anything you need to buy to make it work. Are you truly ready for the only thing that will cause easy and sustainable weight loss?

Here it is… Love yourself.

That is it. Simply work on expanding the love you have for yourself and you will be amazed at the results. Truly loving yourself will cause you to have a deep desire to treat yourself well and take care of your body. You won’t want to eat things that make you feel lethargic or guilty. It is natural for us to want to take extremely good care of anything you love deeply and ensure it gets the best of everything. Expanding your self-love will naturally grow this in the choices you make regarding what you eat, how much exercise you do and what self-talk you allow.

As you grow in love for yourself, often the emotional eating diminished. Making the choices for healthy food is easier and eating bad foods will be a small indulgence versus a way of life. You may also find that if you truly love yourself, you will want to give yourself the best of everything in life so light and healthy foods seem much more appealing. You may want to indulge in a sweet treat but you will want to moderate it because you want to give your body they very best.

In addition to wanting to treat yourself with more love, ultimately you will be happy with yourself the way it is so no diet will every be necessary.  I know this sounds simple but I don’t underestimate the hard work it takes. Along with the insecurities we already feel, we are constantly surrounded by messages of inferiority. Expanding love for yourself requires you to undo all those messages and embrace ones with love. This work, however, is much more effective in achieving a healthy approach to everything in life, including what you eat. It is also much more sustainable than any diet where you restrict things or cause yourself pain. Allow love to be the guiding force and your life, along with your body, will transform.

If you would like more support on expanding your self-love check out these posts

Fall in Love With Yourself Part 1 & Fall in Love With Yourself Part 2

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Fall In Love… With Yourself (Part 2)

If you haven’t yet, please be sure to read Part 1 as this picks up where that one left off.

Exploring who you are is a critical step in learning to love yourself. This selfexercise of self-exploration will open to door to understanding what is stopping you from pure self-love. After you feel like you have a deep and intimate understanding of who you are, work through the below steps to start uncovering the multiple layers of unconditional love.

Be grateful for the flaws – It is important that you are completely honest with yourself and find what aspects that you tend to hide. What things cause you to cringe a little? Where does shame creep up? Once you identify these items, begin to truly accept all aspects of yourself by affirming that your “flaws” are what makes you unique and ultimately perfect. Often, we would easily love others with the same “flaws” and recognizing that helps in finding this love for ourselves. Allow the labels to fade away and just be with the reality of all the beautiful aspects of who you are. Daily, take a moment to be grateful for these “flaws” as they give you an opportunity to experience unconditional love.

Respecting yourself – We tend to treat ourselves with significantly less respect than we do others. Respecting yourself includes speaking to ourselves with kindness as well as requiring others to do the same. Anytime you make a comment about yourself that is negative, even joking, it chips away at your self-esteem and gives fuel to your inner critic. Unfortunately our habits of negative self-talk can run deep and took years to build so it takes time to change. This is one that requires a high level of awareness. Spend a day watching all your thoughts and comments about yourself. Are there themes when you talk about yourself negatively? Many people do when they speak about things like needing to lose weight or a goal they aren’t hitting as quickly as they would like. Ask others to support you in letting you know when you have made a comment about yourself that is negative. Once you see when you tend to bring in negative self-talk, you can begin to catch it and change the dialogue you have about yourself. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, you shouldn’t say it to yourself. Add in a consistent practice of looking in the mirror and telling yourself “I love you”. It may feel odd and funny at first, but it will help grow a habit of positive self-talk while you are eliminating the negative.

Have compassion – We are incredibly hard on ourselves. Our high standards for achievement that we put on ourselves are often impossible. We fill ourselves with “shoulds” and “need to’s” that wreak havoc on our self worth. Cultivating compassion for ourselves, providing understanding and love, will create a feeling of fulfillment that we dream of. Let go of the things that you regret and haven’t forgiven yourself for. You are human and will make mistakes and fail. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, those mistakes and failures are gifts for growth so be grateful for them instead of holding a grudge against yourself. For more support read my post on Tips to Living Self Compassion.

Ultimately, you will never have complete and unconditional love in your life if you don’t have it for yourself. Nothing external will fill that void and you will always have a feeling of discontentment if you are lacking any bit of self-love. You deserve better than that. You deserve complete love and happiness. Start right now, healing any wounds and changing any perceptions that are keeping you for unconditional love.

Fall In Love… With Yourself (Part 1)

Love is an incredibly powerful force. It is something we crave, search for and spend our lives trying to understand. Most of the time when we think of love, however, we tend to focus on loving externally. We love our family, our friends, our significant other and the animals in our lives. We even use the word to describe how we feel about material items or circumstances in our lives. With all the ways we use this word and think about this emotion, we rarely feel comfortable Loveusing it on ourselves. We have created a world where those who love themselves are considered selfish or vain. It is almost egotistical to think that you are “in love” with yourself and we reject this notion. Loving yourself, however, is very different from the labels we put on it and until we look past them, we can never know true love.

The fact is you will never have the potential for a deeper relationship with anyone than you do with yourself. You can’t know every thought or emotion someone else has. We can hide parts of ourselves from others, but we experience every raw thoughts and emotion that arises every moment of our lives. These simple truths lead to the fact that experiencing unconditional love, the deepest kind that accepts all flaws and idiosyncrasies, can truly only start with loving ourselves. Loving who you are is the ultimate lesson in what it means to love without expectations and judgment.

Falling in love with yourself is a beautiful journey that can be filled with awe and freedom. It allows an incredible powerful force of positivity and joy to enter your life, bleeding into every relationship you have. It doesn’t come from believing you are better than others, but recognizing the perfection within yourself.

The best way to begin the journey is to get to know yourself intimately. You cannot fully love yourself if you don’t know yourself. Create a routine around sitting alone and truly exploring who you are. If you were to take away any opinion of others in your life, who are you? What do you like about yourself? What do you not like about yourself? Why? Are there parts of yourself you hide because you are afraid of judgment? What gifts do these personality traits, the “good” and “bad” bring into your life? These questions are only a start. Allow your mind to explore and write down anything that comes up. Shine a light on the things you have been hiding. Really truly look at them and sit with the discomfort they bring you. This exercise of self-exploration will open to door to understanding what is stopping you from giving yourself pure, unconditional love.

In following posts I will be providing more steps on continuing this journey after you begin the self-exploration process. In the meantime, know that you are divinely perfect…

With Immense love and gratitude – April

A Lesson in Acceptance – My Birth Story

Throughout our lives we are often presented with situations that catch us off guard and provide great lessons. While there is truth in the fact that we create our lives and our circumstances through our choices, occasionally things happen in a way that seem beyond our control. These are the moments when we can use our perspective to accept the situation and assess the lessons that are awaiting us. Depending on the emotional attachment to the situation, this can be extremely hard to do but is critical for us to evolve and grow. I recently faced this with the birth of my daughter and believe it is one of the best lessons I have ever had regarding acceptance. I wanted to share with you in hopes that it can help anyone who is trying to accept a situation that has felt outside of their control.

For nine months my husband and I planned and trained to embrace the birth experience as naturally as possible. While I know that this isn’t the “norm” in our society today, it felt very important to me that I controlled the environment and energy that surrounded my daughter’s birth. I wanted to truly feel the whole experience. I planned a home birth with an amazing midwife, hired an extremely supporting doula, took hypnobirthing classes and did daily prenatal yoga. I was blessed with an easy pregnancy and there was no doubt in my mind that this would be a beautiful experience for my daughter.

My contractions started on a Friday night and continued at various intervals until Tuesday morning. Starting Saturday night my supportive team surrounded me as the contractions became closer together and each morning we rested as the contractions slowed down. There were many moments I felt completely relaxed, embracing the experience, and there were other moments that seemed much more challenging. The furthest my contractions were apart throughout the days were 10 minutes leaving my husband and I little sleep. Monday night was the most intense night as contractions ran into each other leaving me confident that there was an end in sight. By Tuesday morning they slowed again. I wasn’t progressing despite the many days of labor. We decided to transfer to the hospital to try an epidural, hoping that it would help my body relax enough to progress. Ironically, I progressed the most on the way to the hospital and arrived there almost ready to deliver. The epidural gave me comfort for about an hour before I began to feel the contractions again.   The hospital staff determined that it was time to start pushing and I proceeded to do so for about 2 hours with no movement. At this point, my beautiful daughter was tired and after her heartbeat started to drop so my husband and I decided that a cesarean section would be the safest option for her. My daughter was born at 1:17 pm on Tuesday completely healthy and happy.

I have replayed those days many times trying to determine what I could have done differently. I have assessed every decision, every feeling and every conversation looking for answers as to what went “wrong”. While we have tried, we can’t really determine what caused the delay in progressing in labor. Theories surround her position or my previous back injury, but we may never know. As I have thought through the experience, I have felt many different emotions. I felt like I owed my daughter more strength, more determination and more love. I had a lot of guilt that I “gave in” to the epidural and thought the problem may be that I couldn’t relax enough for a natural birth. The fact that she didn’t come in the world in the calm loving environment I planned has weighed on me and I have wondered what sort of energetic impacts there will be. When I have spoken with other moms who have had an unplanned cesarean I have seen a common theme of guilt. Depending on the circumstances leading up to the procedure, it seems everyone I have spoken to has wondered what they should have done differently, whether they were planning a natural birth or not.

While I still have moments that make me question our decisions and I am sure I still have a lot of thinking and healing to do, the conclusion I have come to is nothing went “wrong”.  As with everything, the whole experience was divine perfection and filled with many lessons that I continue to uncover. Throughout the days of labor I learned many new things about myself regarding my strength, persistence and love. I learned what I am willing to do to ensure those I love are safe as well as what it takes to ask for help and allow for recovery. I had experienced a deep level of vulnerability, something that I have always struggled with and continue to try to embrace. The connection with my husband has strengthened beyond what I could have imagined and I now have a new respect for his love and courage. We are all stronger and humbled by the experience.

Taking time to look at the situation from the perspective of learning versus understanding has allowed me to truly accept it. I may never understand why things happened exactly as they did, but I can accept the lessons that it provided and be grateful for the experience. Taking this approach with any situation that feels outside of our control allows us to own it in a way that paves the path towards acceptance. It is only when we can truly accept a situation that we can embrace the gift of healing and growth it offers, which is the largest lesson this experience gave me.

With deep gratitude…

I was recently asked if I would try a natural or home birth again and my answer is absolutely. At no point did I feel like me or by baby was at risk and everything was handled to ensure safety was the top priority. I want to thank the below individuals who were amazing support and recommend them for anyone looking .

Midwife – Jennifer Hoeprich at Moxie Midwifery – Jennifer’s support throughout my whole pregnancy was more than I could have asked for. I had 24-hour support with any question and each appointment gave me the opportunity to check in physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her approach made the whole experience of my pregnancy a sacred journey that I will always treasure. Throughout my labor she was a calm support that gave me complete comfort in the safety of my baby and me. The assistant midwives that came were also extremely supportive and made me extremely comfortable. The postpartum support she provides has been a key part of my healing and I am deeply grateful.

Doula – Lanita Ugstad at Empowering Birth Project – Aside from being an incredible prenatal yoga instructor and a great resource for ways to approach birth, Lanita was an incredible source of strength for me throughout the whole experience. Her faith in my ability to handle whatever came gave me such trust and enabled me to push through the tougher times. The many hours she spent with me were filled with unconditional service trying to keep me comfortable and support me emotionally. In addition, her support in my processing the experience has been key in me accepting how the situation unfolded.

Hypnobirthing – Kelsie Thelander at Fearless Mommas – These fantastic classes gave me great insight on what a birth experience could be like and taught me how to really trust in the body’s wisdom. Kelsie continued to be a great resource in releasing fear after the classes and truly demonstrated how much she cares for her students.

Tips to Living Self-Compassion

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up in an environment where we are very loving and kind towards others. My family will quickly help someone in need without hesitation; whether it is providing a hug, a kind gesture or just being available to listen. I learned many aspects of compassion growing up in this environment, however self-compassion was not one of them. While no one encouraged me to be unkind to myself, statements by those around me were filled with self-judgment. I remember hearing friends and family talk about how they have to lose weight and what they shouldn’t be eating.  I heard about who was having a bad hair day or how much someone needed to exercise. These statements were never directed towards each other since that would be unkind, but it was common for people to talk about themselves that way. I joined in, trying to perfect the way I looked specifically when it came to weight; a failed attempt to avoid the suffering I saw around me.

Almost all of us have memories like this that have caused us to have some level of insecurity about something in our lives or personality. It may be how we look, what we do for a living, how intelligent we are or the choices that we make.  As children, we don’t inherently have this self-consciousness, but it is put on us one layer at a time through experiences. We become our own worst critics.  Each mistake becomes a ghost that haunts us, full of shame and reminding us of how easy it is to fail or be unlovable.   These are the things that keep us living a life that makes us feel trapped and unfulfilled.

I have found that this pain is quickly put to a stop with practicing self-compassion. Self-compassion is recognizing the humanity within yourself and being grateful for who you are, especially the “flaws” that make you unique.  It is about being gentle with yourself and not judging yourself for every mistake.   Simple steps can allow us to treat ourselves a little more like we treat others, speaking kind words and forgiving easily for the little stuff.

Here are just some of the ways you can start to integrate self-compassion into your life:

  1. Forgive yourself – Generally we don’t think twice about forgiving others for small mistakes, but any we make are held onto causing unnecessary pain. Start with the small things (they are easier) and really look at the situation entirely. Ask yourself if you would hold that against someone else. Be very honest about the impact and the outcome of the mistake and determine if it is really that important. Then, remind yourself that you are human and these things happen, so it is time to let it go. It can be uncomfortable to bring up the mistakes you have made, but you will be able to slowly release all of these ghosts that are haunting you.
  1. Change your motivation – As a society, we have turned our self-hatred into motivation to change. This can easily be seen in advertisements and billboards. While this may help us get initial results, it never provides lasting happiness whether we are successful with the change or not. If your change is born out of the fact that you love yourself, it will be easier and sustainable. Strive to change things because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself. This simple shift in perception will make the changes exciting and give you more patience. You will start eating better because you truly want to take care of this person you love. You will want to stop procrastinating because you don’t want to put that stress on yourself. Coming from a place of compassion, any self-sabotage gets a light put on it and one by one those behaviors fade away.
  1. Don’t gossip or judge – The more you engage in conversation that is about what people are doing wrong or what isn’t good enough about them, the more you will build your own insecurities. It is natural when we hear people talk about others for us to wonder what they are thinking about us. If others around you are talking poorly about others, simply don’t participate or steer the conversation in another direction. If these statements are coming from you, recognize that judgment of others is usually an indication of what you don’t like about yourself. Take time to reflect on the situation. You will not only grow compassion for others, but you will see where you need some healing or forgiving as well.
  1. Ignore compliments – Putting too much weight on what others think about us, the good or the bad, will feed your insecurities. Self-compassion is about loving yourself regardless of what others think about you. This doesn’t mean you should respond rudely or ignore those being nice to you. It is about ensuring you are not doing things for recognition or acknowledgement. Give yourself the compliment, tell yourself how amazing you are and what a great job you did. These aren’t things that need to come from external sources to be valid.
  1. Give yourself some love – Part of living self-compassion is integrating some good self-care routines. This starts with speaking kindly towards yourself, even if it is in your own head. Don’t allow yourself to think negative things about yourself, quickly countering any that come up with a positive statement such as “I am perfect as I am.” Next, look at the actions you take to show yourself love. Every time we put the care of ourselves at the bottom of our to-do list, we are convincing ourselves that we aren’t as important as those around us. Truly being kind to ourselves means eating well, taking care of our bodies and having some solid relaxation routines. Any little change that calls to you will bring a big shift into your life.

Self Compassion

The Gift of Illness

Throughout life there are some triggers that tend to make the work of being positive and peaceful a lot harder.  Illness tends to be one.  Illnesses leave us not feeling positive and energized so our mind quickly follows.  We tend to feel the pain a little deeper and see the limits that we now have for doing what we want.  It takes over our thoughts, causing us to focus on how we are going to fight it off which inherently makes our body a battleground.  Before we know it we are frustrated, angry and miserable.  Our body is now our enemy, getting in the way of living life and causing us to rely on others, which many of us struggle with.  Dealing with an illness is not an enjoyable experience, but our thoughts tend to make it more difficult.

Although we often struggle to see it in the moment, anytime we are faced with a new illness we are given a great gift.  Our body is our best wellness teacher and it is designed to prevent pain and heal.  When this doesn’t happen, something has gone wrong.  If we are not listening to our body often, checking-in with how we feel and modifying our behavior for optimal health, then we will be more prone to illnesses.  Using these situations as reminders to check-in with how we are treating ourselves can help to avoid the negative perspective we tend to fall into.  Our illness may be a sign that we need to start eating healthier, begin to integrate new vitamins or stop overextending ourselves.  Understanding that this situation is our body’s way of letting us know something isn’t working will allow us to approach healing with a sense of gratitude for the messages we are receiving.

Instead of approaching the process of healing with anger and aggression, using love and compassion can allow us to grow from the experience.  We can love ourselves deeper for redirecting us and begin to heighten our self-care to bring our body back to balance.  Using the same level of care and concern that we would if someone we loved were sick, we can focus on how to best heal and rest instead of resenting the situation.  This simple perspective shift will not only help us maintain an inner peace while sick, but it will also allow our bodies to heal quicker.

We can also learn a great deal about our bodies when we are sick.  Finding which methods of healing work best for our body, understanding the causes of the illness and ways to prevent in the future are all tools that we can use throughout the rest of our life.  Experience is a wonderful teacher and often the most uncomfortable situations make the most impact.  This knowledge can then also be shared with others when they are in similar situations.  This could allow quicker healing of our friends and family or anyone we may come in contact with.

Being open to learning and recognizing the benefits that can come from an illness will make the situation a lot easier and keep it from interrupting your inner peace.  Treating an illness as another experience to love yourself more, respect your body deeper and learn about something new, can help manage the natural negative tendencies we can have.  When keeping a positive perspective, being given the opportunity to heal will allow for a deeper connection to your body and appreciation for the many gifts it brings.

Speak up!

It is so easy to get into a cycle of silence.  Most people, at one time or another, find themselves keeping quiet when they are faced with frustration or hurt.  There are a few people out there who seem to have so much courage that they always speak what is onCourage their minds, and if you are one of them then I applaud you and encourage you to teach others.  If not however, and the majority of us don’t fit into that category, we can sometimes find ourselves mulling over the “I should have said” or “ I really want to say” in our minds and never actually letting those thoughts breathe life.  Sometimes we keep our mouths shut out of love or respect for another person and usually those moments pass without causing us pain.  When we do run into the ongoing battle in our heads it is often in a situation when we are not standing up for ourselves.

Even with the best intention of not causing conflict or frustrating someone else, the act of not stating our feelings and standing up for ourselves can cause us to carry around draining energy and pain.  While many of us would easily stand up to defend another, we can play situations personal to us over and over again in our minds trying to develop enough courage to just say what made us angry, frustrated or hurt.  It may be a spouse, a boss, a sibling or a close friend that hurt you but usually it all feels the same.  Sometimes we recognize it and torture ourselves with our self-disappointment and other times we blame the other person and resent what they did.  In both cases, we allow a divide to grow in the relationship.

While I do not recommend going around and yelling or hurting others, it is important that we develop enough courage and skill to gracefully and lovingly stand up for ourselves.  Keeping someone unaware of the impact of their actions has no benefit to you or them.  Emotions left unaddressed always leaves lingering energy that can build up over time and cause unnecessary pain in your life.

If you are someone who has something they need to say to someone and just can’t find the courage, try these steps:

  1. Try to separate yourself from the emotion in the situation and look at it from a neutral position. If we address things through purely through our emotions we can sometimes speak more hurtfully than necessary. Think about if roles were reversed, how would you want this message to be delivered to you?
  2. Develop your message thoughtfully with clearly explaining the impact they had but doing so from a loving intent.  Talk through it, write it out and replay it until you feel like you are presenting yourself well and keeping hurtful language out of it (sometimes that last part means you will have many revisions J).
  3. Practice with someone.  It could be a friend, family or a spouse but it is important that it is someone who will help from a non-judgmental point of view.  Often those closest to us will not be able to easily do this because they want to defend and protect us.  This can fuel our own anger and cause a larger divide in the relationship we are trying to mend.
  4. Go for it!  If you are truly approaching the situation with both self-love and love for the other person, your intent will be understood and respected.  If it is not, it may not be a healthy relationship for you to keep in your life.

As with most things, practice makes perfect and eventually you will be much better at addressing things in the moment.  Develop a routine of speaking up and standing up for yourself.  Not only will you feel better, but your relationships will grow and strengthen because of it.

Cleanse Your Spirit

Summer is an amazing time of the year.  There is a light and fun energy in the air.  People reconnect with nature, spend time with family and friends and take much needed vacations.  Being outside in the sun, opening the windows in the house and riding with the windows down listening to music bring us excitement.  We tend to smile more, work less and feel a need to connect with those things most important in our life.

With this type of energy floating in the air, it is the perfect time of the year to shake things up and take a look at how to get rid of clutter in your life; mentally, emotionally and physically.  Leveraging this mood that tends to take us over, we can focus on cleansing our spirit and reconnecting with who we are.  This time of year, people sometimes feel the need to clean their house, clean their diet and clean their lives.  A sense of freedom comes with performing a cleaning out and your spirit feels lighter.  Developing a summer ritual to cleanse your spirit allows you to head into the fall feeling renewed and reconnected.

In honor of this great season, below are several ways you can leverage the summer energy to cleanse your spirit and reconnect to who you are.  Depending on what is cluttered in your life, different ones may resonate with you.

Cleanse your diet – Everything we eat takes a toll on our bodies and energy levels.  The heavier we feel, the less energy we will have.  This can lead to spending too much time on the couch versus doing activities that nurture our soul.  Eat light with lots of things that come from to nature.  This is the perfect season to get tons of fresh vegetables and fruits that can become staples in your diet.  Try some new recipes or foods you have never had.  You may even consider doing a detox, fast or cleanse to rid your body of the toxins.

Cleanse your house – If you missed spring-cleaning, now is the time to clean house!  The stuff we accumulate can take a toll on our energy and mind so get rid of anything that isn’t needed or taking up unnecessary space. Do you have clothes you haven’t worn in a year?  Do you have stacks of books that you won’t read again?  Let them go to make space in your life.  It is even more rewarding if you give to others that could benefit from these things.

Get outside – Nature is the very best medicine for stress and feelings of being disconnected.  Unplug and spend some time camping, hiking or swimming in a lake.  Take in all the beauty that surrounds us this time of year.  It will help you feel renewed and re-energized.

Get through that To-Do list – Most people tend to have items that linger on a to-do list too long.  There are many things we need to do that we don’t enjoy doing so they may get put off for days, weeks or even months.  It may be making that dentist appointment, cleaning out the pantry or calling that family member that we just haven’t made time for.  These things take a toll on our mental energy as we are constantly reminding ourselves that this has to get done.  Get it out of the way and then enjoy the feeling of not having to think about it anymore.

Re-evaluate your priorities – Are you spending your time where the most important things are?  Take some time to sit and really think about what matters most to you and if you are honoring those things.  Typically when we feel the unhappiest in our lives, it is because we have lost connection to those things that have the most meaning to us.  Commit to a few small changes that will help make sure you don’t get stuck in that cycle.

I hope you fill every moment with the beauty of this season and completely feel the joy that summer brings!