Tag Archives: nature

same but different

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I like to get feedback from my clients.  Yesterday, I found this waiting in my inbox.  I have the best clients in the whole wide world.  I currently have a couple open slots for distance coaching (Skype!).  Together, we can have the same results as far as your satisfaction but totally different because you are a different person with your own unique life.  

“Thursday 1:00 pm.  Every week for 3 months, I would rush to my computer for my precious Coaching appointment.  This week, instead, I’m having lunch : carrot soup cooked with homemade broth, coconut milk and cultured butter,  plantain chips, cooked in palm oil and no chemicals added, and trying cod liver.  I am also admiring the beautiful yellow flower that blossomed this morning in my room, close to my bed.

It started in my backyard.  We were seating on a colorful warm blanket, on the grass.  I was asked to briefly connect with my 5 senses.  Then, we moved to skype appointments to shorten the distance.

My feedback: Life changing and down-to-earth. Health and Connection.  Empowering, personalized, logical.  Really Nourishing Freedom !!!

I come from 20 more years of therapy, coaching and personal development workshops.  Anorexia, anxiety, depression, burn-outs, workaholism, perfectionism, control, isolation….are all in my resume.  And all the professionals that I had paid before had told me that the real remedy is to “practice self-love, connect with my inner child and take care of my self”.  Okay, I always responded.  But in my head the question remained “HOW do I f….g do  that” ?

It is so concrete, simple and natural!!!! Sleep well, eat well, have fun, breathe, relax, spend time with people that you love or that you can have fun with, spend time outside close to trees, water, the sky and the sun.  Yes, that is Self-Love-inner-child-care.  Taking care of my physical body, of my real needs as an animal-human-being.

And that answer to me IS life changing.  Nobody had taught me that before Nourishing Freedom.  And nobody had taught me the concepts of Freedom, Connection and Power in a way that I could understand and experience.

So, I learned the abc’s of sleep.  Quantity and quality.  Then, to eat for nourishment and pleasure.  To know what my body likes and doesn’t.  Sugar makes me tired and depressed, gluten or corn make be bloated, red clover flowers ease my PMS symptoms, broth-soup comforts and nourishes me.   We, focussed on specific herbs and tools to heal the symptoms of chronic stress and to break free from stressful lifestyle habits.  I went from workaholism to working part-time as an aerobic teacher in outside parks.  Gettingg paid to have Fun! Nature! and more time with my kids !

My kids ? The greatest bonus of it all.  Their health was transformed throughout my nourishing freedom journey.  They went from candy eaters to loving eggs, bacon, meat, soups, vegetables, almond butter.  As a result, these cranky-pale kids turned into joyful, energetic thick-colored-skin children.

The greatest transformation for me ? Besides my eating habits which do change EVERYTHING (my thoughts, my mood, how I love my kids) was  discovering my connection with nature and the deep impact on myself.   Walking barefoot in the wild, spending even 20 minutes lying on the grass or working along the river, feeling safe in the middle of nowhere in the mountains …is for me ABUNDANCE.  The real gift of being alive.

Am I now a 24-hour happy and perfect person? NO. Do I now everything about health ? NO. Is the sexual abused part of me healed forever? NO.  I am still this “special-needs-kid” who will always need to take care of herself and make choices to avoid certain uncomfortable symptoms and stay healthy.  I will still go through the gray clouds of life, the storms, rains, earthquakes, ….as well as the sunny days and full moon nights.   The difference lies in the sensation of freedom, connection and power.  Having the tools to take care of my REAL self = my body.  Being able to enjoy this variety of experiences.

Concretely, I am still focussing on decreasing anxiety, building a solid community, playing and nourishing myself every day.  But, now I have enough knowledge to continue the journey by myself.  Some wisdom to choose what I read, to stop believing most of the things people say and to instead trust everything my body says.

I also know that I can contact my favorite inspired Health and Lifestyle Coach if I need to.”  -Larissa G.

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dis-connect

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I’ve been working today on preparing a new workshop that I’m really excited about.  It’s working title is “Why Diet’s Don’t Work”.  The thematic thread that runs through my work is “Connection”.  That word is easily interchanged with the word “health” to me as I find them to be quite synonymous.

I have a little preview of the five connections that diets (and other unfortunate societal impositions) shatter.

1. Personal:  When we diet, we learn, through the often painful practices of starvation and denial, to ignore our selves.  The flowing dialogue between our organs, our cells, our thought processes, our muscles gets dammed up.  The true democracy of the body, where every voice is heard and of equal importance is dismantled.  It is replaced with an externalized dictatorial voice that barks out all of the “shoulds” and “should nots” with no capacity for listening.

2. Traditional: When we diet, we cut ourselves off from the universal human tradition of deep nourishment.  We generally forgo the instinctive desire for satiety that humans have been fulfilling since we have been human (and even before) and instead eat food products that claim to “boost metabolism” and “melt fat”.  How foreign to the tradition of nourishment these reasons to eat are!

3. Cultural: The cultural aspects of eating that center around feasts, festivals, or great-grandma’s squirrel stew are the specifics of the universal traditions.  The difference in spices, the particular vegetable that gets fermented, the culturally designated favorite part of the animal (Where I grew up, the large knobby gelatinous glob of pork fat swimming in the tomato gravy was the ultimate prize!), these are the things that create an identity.  When we give these things up to munch on lettuce or to stir two scoops of meal replacement shake into some water, we isolate ourselves from our greater familial group.

4. Inter-personal: Closely related to our cultural aspects of eating are the interpersonal relationships that we shatter when we diet.  Allergies aside, it is difficult to maintain connection with others when we won’t share meals. Our fear of counting calories or fat grams overrides the joy we can co-create with another person by letting them cook for us or vice versa.  This is the quickest way to sever our connection to people from other cultures.  All cultures have certain things in common.  A love of meat or other animal products, treasuring fat, fermenting something or other and sharing a meal as a way to build relationship.

5. Natural:  The deep division from nature and her rhythms that dieting creates are often the most damaging and least noticed.  Most diets are proscriptive and ignore seasonal availability, the particular needs of our organism and the ecosystem as a whole.  The beauty of eating in way that takes all of these into consideration is elegant and delicious.  And, of course, it creates health.

The path to health is all about weaving threads of connection.

 

 

part tres

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“There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom.”

                                                    -Friedrich Nietzsche

Health is simple.  It isn’t necessarily easy in this society that we’ve created with a completely different intention in mind.  Everything from the clothes that we wear to the chairs we sit in are counter to health.

But, we all have bodies.  Each on of us has one.  I know…in the politically correct culture that no longer allows for sweeping generalizations about people groups, this is the one that is still true.  We all have bodies.  And, each one is amazing.  Each one wants to be healthy, as healthy as it can possibly be.

If you are human, you already have what it takes to be healthy:

1. You are curious.

2. You are a problem-solver.

3. You love to play.

4. You crave connection.

5. You thrive on good sleep and generous doses of sunlight.

6. You are a contributing force to the workings of the world.

7. You love to do things.

8.  You love to do nothing.

9. You crave fat and protein.

10. You are happier surrounded by beauty than not.

11. You can hardly help moving to the music.

12. You need a certain amount of stimulation to react to things.

13. You have a body.

This list may, hopefully, look a little different than other “what you need to be healthy” lists you’ve seen.  I grant you that it is not the “all your answers to your burning questions” list that you may have seen, either.  But, that doesn’t make it any less true.  Health lies in how you use the things that are innate in accordance with the needs of your species and beyond.  Your personal health is so tangled in the health of everything around you in ongoing dialogue that it becomes a gift you give to the world.

One thing you may not already have but could be a great present to yourself would be:

14. A great coach.

I would love to hear about what excites you and frightens you in your quest for health as a human being.

Wisdom and Rebellion

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“Life in all its fullness is Mother Nature obeyed.”

                  -Weston A. Price

I’m not big on obedience.  I never have been.  The worst reason to do something is always because someone in authority tells me I have to.  It always makes me bristle.  Suffice it to say that I wasn’t an easy kid.

The society I grew up in in the Caribbean, like nearly all other societies, had some clear guidelines that everyone adhered to in an effort to assure their place in it.  Girls wore their hair long, took ballet classes, wore just the right “feminine” things, spoke quietly, dieted, and did their nails at the salon once a week.

The year that I was twelve, I discovered Billy Idol.  I’m still unclear how, but his poster was suddenly on my wall, my hair was shortened, spiked and bleached and there were deep grooves in the vinyl.  I learned to lift my fist in the air and snarl into the mirror.  I never investigated the lyrics to Rebel Yell and still haven’t in case google shatters the story that I’ve created in my own head about it.  All I knew was that things were far more significant somehow if done with a rebel yell. (More, more, more…..rebellion?  My adult brain has easily captured that there may be something else that she’s crying out for, but I will not cave to facts!)

Wisdom is knowing when to follow the rules.  If I want to cross the border into Canada with my dog, then I have to prove that his rabies vaccine is up to date.  (This example only seems random.)  If I want to be healthy, happy, beautiful, and free, I have to do whatever nature says.  That is a lovely paradox.  To be free is to follow nature’s guidelines.

It is the only accurate measuring stick against we can evaluate and assess anything.  It is the only true one that we’ve ever had, ever.

It’s not always easy to be obedient to nature.  I mean, really, have you had german chocolate cake?  (One summer, at my aunt’s house, we had a five gallon drum of german chocolate cake ice cream in the basement freezer.  My uncle shut that freezer with a padlock and kept the key with him at all times.  He doled out a scoop per person per day to ensure that it would last the whole summer.)

As in all the most delightful things, there is a paradox to which I can still raise a black leather and silver studded fist in the air.  Obedience to nature is the ultimate yell of rebellion towards society.  I really love that.  (Picture me snarling as I say that.)