Tag Archives: wellness

Why I can’t remember my age…

With my birthday a few weeks away I am often answering the question “How old are you going to be?” Each time I find myself having to calculate it just as I usually do when I am asked about my age. I find peoples reaction to this very interesting, as many people don’t understand how it is possible for me not to know it immediately. To be honest, I haven’t known my age for a long time and the reason is very simple.

I don’t really care how old I am. 

Age has truly no meaning to me. It doesn’t define me, explain anything about who I am or give any insight into my worth as a person. I also care very little how old others are. In truth, I actually look forward to getting older. Looking at my life now compared to when I was younger, I wouldn’t trade it.

I love the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years. I am more empowered, courageous and confident than I was even last year, let alone ten or more years ago. Too often we look to aging like it is a time bomb, ticking away to our last day. In actuality aging is a beautiful process of growth if we choose to see it that way.

We can have less limits to chasing our dreams as we get older, not more. We generally have more financial stability, more understanding of who we truly are and what we want. We may have more responsibility but we are also much more equipped to handle it. Our relationships and loyalties are richer and more fulfilling. I know so many people shifting careers, starting school or beginning families much later in life than “typical” and each one of them are doing it from a place of excitement and being true to their spirit which is sometimes lacking when we are younger.

The number one concern people tend to mention about age is the perception of our body’s deterioration. I have found that my knowledge on how to take care of my body is stronger than it has ever been, giving me potential of physical perfection that I could never have had before. While my body may have appeared to be thinner, have less grey hair or be less wrinkled when I was younger, I am far healthier now.

I know enough now to listen to my body when it talks to me. When my knees creak, when I am low on energy or when I see my skin looking tired, it is a sign of needing to take better care of myself, not a sign of “getting old.” I am grateful my body yells at me to stretch, eat better, and drink more water in the only language it knows, physical sensation. These things happen to us at any age, we often miss listening to it in our youth so as we age the signs become clearer.  Most physical ailments as we get older are a side affect of choices our younger selves made not some guarantee of body deterioration.

When we are young we look forward to our birthdays and getting older with excitement but somewhere along the way there is a shift when people begin to dread it. It is possible to still have that excitement for your birthday at any age if you chose to see the process as an exciting journey. I still think birthdays are worth celebrating but tying it to an age seems unnecessary to me.  We should celebrate stepping into a new year, not grieving for the past or feeling fear of the future.

Look forward with excitement for the potential it has instead of towards the past with regret and I assure you, you won’t remember your age either!

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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

essential oils and medical flowers herbs

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…

What if?

As I watched my daughter today playing full of joy and carelessness my thoughts drifted to her future. I began to feel protective and full of pain as I considered the various experiences she will most likely have in life. While some of this is inevitable, I couldn’t help but think about what pain could be prevented. The list of judgments and criticisms that I lived through quickly flooded my head as I deeply wished she never feel such things. Then I began to wonder… what if?

What if the world cared more about what she thought then what she wore?

What if the world celebrated her strengths rather than criticize her weaknesses?

What if everyone she encountered treated her with love and kindness?

What if who she is mattered more than how much she weighs?

What if she was given the permission from those around her to be her true self?

What if she never felt the pain of judgment but rather the happiness of acceptance?

What if she learned that it was okay to fail as long as she tried and stayed true to who she was?

What if she felt love free from condition radiating from those around her?

What if her experiences taught her that difference of opinion is what made the world interesting instead of someone always having to be wrong?

What if she was shown by those around her that happiness comes from being who you are instead of how much you own?

What if the world let who she is unfold instead of trying to dictate who she should be?

What if she was taught to be gentle and kind with herself by seeing those around her do the same?

What if the world only contributed to her happiness instead of causing her suffering?

What if everyone wanted all these things for their children?

Wait… we probably do.

Then I thought…

What if we did something about that?

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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I am so excited!

Hello Followers, Friends and Family!

I am very excited to share with you some additions that are coming in my practice!  Some of this has been happening for sometime, but more informally and now I will be adding it in permanently.  As always, the new ventures I pursue come with deep consideration, reflection and inspiration on how I can best serve others.  I hope that you will explore and share with others if you feel called to do so.

Reiki Training – I will now have ongoing classes for those that wish to learn Reiki.  Reiki has been such a gift and stable practice in my life.  I look forward to sharing it with others on a consistent basis.  Details Here! 

Leadership Coaching – In addition to the Personal Coaching I already do, I will be adding an option for coaching specific for leaders.  As many of you know, I have extensive experience leading others.  My heart aches for the leaders out there that are struggling to lead through their soul instead of the perceived expectations we often see in corporations.  I look forward to supporting anyone that would like in being the authentic, genuine and effective leader they crave to be. Details Here!

West Valley Moms Blog – In addition to the blog I have, I will be a contributor for the West Valley Moms Blog with articles focused more specifically on well-being for moms.  This site will have a ton of great tips, crafts, information, etc.

I will continue to offer Reiki and IET services as well as be a resource for those wishing to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I feel to be able to expand my practice and serve you.  Thank you for your love and support!

With Love and Lots of Gratitude – April

A Gift For You!

Dear Followers,Giveaway

This year I have been truly blessed.  As I think about how fortunate I am, I realize that I cannot pursue my dreams and explore so many aspects of healing without the incredible support you give me.  The overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for each of you cannot be easily expressed, but I feel guided to try nonetheless.

With this in mind, I have decided to giveaway free coaching to two individuals, as well as significantly discounted sessions to an additional two.  While this can only reach a few people, I hope that it is a small gesture to show how much I appreciate all my followers and clients.  Please go to the Coaching Giveaway page for details and to enter.

I wish each of you an incredible holiday season as well as a New Year full of endless happiness and your dreams coming true.

Be Well,

April B.

 

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.

True Relaxation

How do you relax?  Do you have a relaxation routine?  Is it with a massage?  Reading books or taking naps?  Maybe it is sitting and watching television every evening?  Perhaps you are one of the many people who don’t feel they have time to relax so this whole line of questioning makes you laugh a little.  The challenge we face in our fast paced world is that we view relaxation as something we have to make time for and essentially it is a luxury.  We don’t necessarily think we have time for it or need it until we are ill or have our bodies twisted up with knots from stress and overuse.

The key thing to realize however is that while all of these activities could be part of your overall self care routine, they don’t create true relaxation.  They are temporary fixes before we get released back into our chaotic life.  While finding time for these things is Breatheimportant to recharge in some ways, true relaxation comes from a state of living in peace.  It is more about the mindset we are living from rather than what activity we are doing.  Our need to create time to relax is a signal that we can use to identify when we have stepped away from living a peaceful life.

In order to achieve such a state of blissful relaxation, we first have to realize that stress isn’t real.  Yup, you heard me.  Stress isn’t real.  It is simply us thinking about the past with regret.  Perhaps we are worried about something in the future.  Sometimes it is because we take on more than we could handle in one moment and don’t give ourselves permission to say no.  Whenever we feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed it is simply because we are not living from a peaceful and calm mindset.  Achieving this takes an awareness of your thoughts and your body.

Here are some simple things you can do to start creating true relaxation in your life:

  • Listen to your mind – We let our thoughts easily wander from the past to the future.  It could be listing out things we need to do or all the things we have done wrong.  It takes a conscious effort to keep our thoughts in the present moment, the only place that really has the potential to be stress-free.  Be aware of your thoughts and lovingly redirect them back to the present moment whenever you can.
  • Listen to your body – Our bodies are amazing teachers.  Muscles tightening up, shoulders hurting or the onset of a headache can all be signs that we have stepped out of a place of peace and we need to get back.  Taking deep breaths whenever you feel these things and bringing yourself back to the present can let stress melt away.  Your body will tell you when you aren’t thinking, eating or treating it right.  You just have to do the work of listening.
  •  Say no – We want to please everyone and do everything.  Sometimes it is a lack of courage, other times it is a fear of guilt but always it leads us to a place where we take on much more than we can really handle.  The stress and guilt about potentially missing commitments can be far worse than the simple act of saying no kindly.
  • Forgive yourself – A lot of stress we carry is from pain we have caused ourselves.  We are our own worst critics and it easily causes stress that keeps us from feeling relaxed and free.  Loving and forgiving yourself are the most critical pieces of living a relaxed and happy life.

Happy relaxing everyone! 🙂

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!