Making Space for Mindfulness

Last week I had the honor of speaking on a panel of health and wellness experts at the @vitalproteins headquarters. During the discussion, Darrell Jones of Chill Chicago stated, “Meditation is about cultivating a relationship with yourself. One that is generous, compassionate and allowing.” I couldn’t agree more.

However, even in our activities of self care we tend to be hard on ourselves...we judge the frequency, "I do it too little, I do it too much." We judge the quality of our engagement, "I did, I didn't do it right." Meditation is no different...time and time again I hear, "I tried it, I'm not good at it, so I stopped."

In practicing meditation, like many things, we tend to over complicate the process. Mindfulness simply means paying attention on purpose without judgement. Examples include hearing your own breath and feeling the sensation of the rise and fall of your chest or belly, observing all the color and detail of a painting without thinking it’s good, bad, right, or wrong.

The mind, like a puppy dog, without training, can cause an awful mess. However, with loving attention, time, and training, the puppy dog and the mind become our best friend.

Our training, our practice needn't be more than 5 minutes a day, and as I heard Darrel suggest, needn’t be more than taking one or two conscious breaths. By committing to a few simple practice sessions a day, by attaching the awareness of non-judgemental observation to a ritual or routine that you already have in place, like washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, you’ll begin to carve out the space more easily than you may initially think.

When we commit to a mindfulness practice, to seeing ourselves and the world that surrounds us as it is rather than how it should or could be, we cultivate an ability to see, with clear eyes and an open heart, how beautiful the present moment can truly be.



Super Smoothie Breakfast Bowl

When you can’t decide if it’s gonna be a matcha, smoothie or a yogurt & granola kind of morning and with indecision, decide to combine all three...voila the super smoothie breakfast bowl is born!

Pictured here are some of my very favorite things. The vibrant green is a matcha smoothie bowl base with @vitalproteins beauty greens and spirulina. Scroll on down the page to find the full recipe posted here. The velvety white section is @kitehillfoods dairy free almond yogurt and it is to die for (if you haven’t tried it, it’s a must). And finally, I topped it all off with @kitchfix grain free granola aka the reason I stopped making my good, a staple in my kitchen these days.

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Helping Hands

Yesterday morning I drove myself to the ER. After I awoke from an extremely fitful night of sleep, I found I could not swallow, it was hard to breathe. "Is it the infection in my throat?" I asked myself, "Or is it an anaphylactic response to the antibiotic?", something I'm prone to having. In that moment I could feel the adrenaline rising, I had a choice, freak the hell out or use my yoga. Honestly, I think I did a bit of both.

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Be Still Experiment: Room for 1

Room #1 at the Adobe Inn, the "expensive room" by the maitre d's standards, the longest running Inn and Restaurant in Ridgeway, Colorado.  A gem with a window into my heart.  I've stayed here with a dear friend and on that night our relationship was rocked to it's core, never recovering, never quite the same.  I've stayed here with a lover, an adventurous voyager, his vibrance, his darkness eventually taking him to his grave.  I said goodbye here to a boyfriend who when we reunited he became my fiance, my husband, and my ex. 

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Be Still Experiment: Dis-ease

Dis-ease is a physical sensation that originates from the gut, an unpleasant vibration, a tension, almost twisting, butterfly wings fluttering, the emotion that resonates is shame.  A dull, low-level nausea coincides with the sensation and increases or decreases with intensity in relation to the thoughts that I have come to call the shoulds, the spoasdas, and the coulds; the voices from past experiences, from others, from within, that distort the softer more subtle ones of truth, intuition, the gut, the self.

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The light needs the dark to shine

I find no coincidence in the fact that on this heavy, seemingly dark day, one of Chicago’s Public Schools opened its doors to me, making room, offering space for the establishment of a skill set, the skill set I believe we need.  On a day when my soul needs a hug, I was moved to tears as a team of parents, a loving principal, said yes to investing in social and emotional wellness programming for our children.

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Healing turmeric smoothie

After what feels like two straight weeks of late nights watching post season baseball, go Cubs go, I woke up this morning and decided to get creative with turmeric, a lovely orange root with anti-inflammatory effects.  What manifested was not only beautiful to look at but was delicious and energizing too.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Welcome: Create Space

We all need a space for our voice, for an expression of our creativity.  A place to be ourselves, to tap into our truth.  However to make space, we have to make room, clear out, clean out, and separate ourselves from our junk, something we don't often like to do.

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