eat your way happy

 I've been enjoying some of the youtube videos from Fully Raw Kristina lately.  I don't necessarily endorse eating an extreme raw food diet (personally, if I try to get all my protein from vegetarian or vegan sources, I feel very weak).

But finding ways to include more and more vegetables and fruits in your daily diet will reduce your cravings for dead junk food, and you'll be amazed how quickly it will improve your mood.

Here's a great video from Fully Raw Kristina, with her top suggestions for stress relief and emotional health -- and her top 10 foods to get there.  Don't be scared by Kristina's ravenous expression and what looks like a decadent dessert on the screen shot.  It's a yummy smoothie!  (Healthy, though high in calories, as smoothies always tend to be.) One of the wonderful things about fruits and vegetables is their gorgeous colors and shapes, and how just looking at them can make you feel happy.  Check it out:

And, a few of my own tips:

  • Be brave, and try a 7-day challenge to avoid your personal top 3 junk foods that calm you only for the few seconds it takes to eat them, and then make you feel even more sluggish and lifeless.
  • Try replacing your major offenders with some of Kristina's picks from the video (lots more in the video above, but here are 5 of her top 10 foods for stress relief):
  1. Greens and salads.  (Yes, really.  Come on, have you actually tried this?)
  2. Bananas.  (Kristina says that they alleviate depression.  I say that even though bananas are a higher-calorie fruit, a banana has fewer calories than a soda or candy bar and is more filling.)
  3. Crunchy veggies.  (Kristina says these give you something to gnaw on in place of crunchy, overly salty snacks.  I say -- those salty snacks make you feel bloated and edgy!  Remember, they only feel good while you're scarfing them down, and then, you feel just yuck.)
  4. Watermelon or other hydrating juicy fruits.  (Kristina says that juicy fruits, and especially watermelon, help to restore your body when feeling exhausted.)
  5. Cucumber or zucchini slices spritzed with lemon juice.  (Cooling, hydrating, and relaxing.  Kristina links to a video to make a yummy-looking zucchini pasta.  I say:  Just the scent of cucumber is so relaxing.  Put a couple of slices -- without the lemon juice -- on your eyes, too, and say ahhhhhh.)

I have my own youtube channel with videos from some of my favorite luminaries and their techniques that I've used and are great for your divorce-recovery toolkit -- but beware, there's a lot of yoga and other concepts here that some of you may find pretty woo-woo.  Hey, it can't hurt to try! 

Find my channel here

.

UPDATE 5.7.15:  Yesterday Kristina posted this poem/motivational talk about getting through dark times by choosing to be happy.  It seems to be a response to haters, and I think it's especially appropriate for my divorcees.  Watch and feel uplifted (and remember, it's not about eating a raw diet, it's about making choices that support

you

):

dealing with the breakdown before the breakthrough

There's one thing I can almost count on when working with new clients.  It's the breakdown before the breakthrough.

Please don't worry.  It's not the clients who break down!  It's that just as they start making exciting changes in their lives and start feeling hopeful and wonderful, things outside their control start going wrong.

Now, really, these things would be going wrong anyway, but my clients wouldn't have noticed this because they'd still be moving in the same direction as everything that was getting in their way.

But, now that she's discovering who she is, what she wants, and getting excited about life, there can be a big contrast between the path she's creating and where everything else seems to be. 

Suddenly, the car needs repairs, a parent starts getting noisy and nosy ("concerned"), children start having emotional issues ("don't have a life, just keep serving my needs"), and there can even be unexpected stresses at work, which my client wouldn't have noticed as anything different, if she were just slogging through her old reality.

The unspoken (okay, sometimes loudly spoken) message from family and friends, or even inanimate objects in her life is:  Stop it.  Stop it right this instant, and start being the person you used to be.  
The person who cleaned up after us, who sacrificed herself to keep the disfunctional family status quo humming along, the person who did all kinds of unpaid and unacknowledged services at work . . . .  You get the idea.  Maybe you've experienced this.

Before feeling like crying and deciding that there's no use in even trying to live out your dreams, please believe me that there's a reason for sayings like "It's always darkest before the dawn."

Keep moving in the direction of your dreams.  Really.

Do you really want to give in to the pressure and keep living the kind of life you've had so far?  Is grey really the color you want the rest of your life to be?

What's happening right now is just the breakdown before the breakthrough.  It doesn't last long unless you let it.  While some near and dear people may never be on your side, if you stay on course, the people who truly care about you will come to accept the changes.  In fact, a year from now, they'll probably say that they were the ones who gave you the new ideas in the first place!

You may have to reduce contact and involvement with the naysayers, and yes, your parents or a beloved relative may be among the people who keep insisting that you "change back."  It's okay.  You're not in charge of what other people want from you.  But, you can change your expectations of what you want and expect from them. 

Stop expecting them to be supportive.  Yes, I know this is tough, but very, very often, the people you believed would most be on your side are the ones who aren't.  And the kindnesses of near strangers are what carry you on.  So, reach out to people who will become your chosen family (if not your family by birth).

If you're going through a crisis of breakdown before the breakthrough, here are a couple of meditations I like to recommend.  Both are less than six minutes in length, so you can listen to them even during a bathroom break at work : ) .  Sometimes we don't have 10 or 20 minutes for a healing moment!

To calm yourself in times of anxiety and panic: 



And to connect to your higher self for guidance:


If you try these, will you comment and let me know what you think?

I'm sending you love as you hang in there and remain true to what you most desire -- in balance with your current responsibilities and those you love.

8 Secrets to Wake Up Feeling Great

What are the toughest times of day for you as you begin life post-divorce?

Most of my clients say that the worst times in each day are often bedtime and first thing in the morning.

Because morning is so crucial to having a successful and happy day, I wanted to share some of my strategies for getting out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face.

These are some of the real-life habits I developed back when I felt my life was over, and I was engulfed in grief and remorse 24/7.  For me, mornings were actually worse than evenings because I found that I had the greatest number of negative thoughts as I lay in bed in those first waking moments before arising.

Maybe you feel the same.

Want to feel happy and hopeful every morning rather than full of dread?  You can, and all it takes is about 30 minutes of preparation, one time only.

So, here are the questions you're going to ask yourself to prepare for creating a happy morning.  Can you list at least 3 responses to each of the questions below?  Five responses or more are even better!

The questions:

1.  What do you like best about mornings (even if you're not a morning person)?

2.  What activity do you super love love love that you're hardly ever able to fit into your day (maybe you just wish you could read a fascinating book for a few minutes)?

3.  What completely new at-home activity have you been meaning to try for years, but never got around to it (a craft, a recipe, a beauty treatment, bonsai, explore your feminine sexuality . . . )?

4.  What totally silly physical activity are you way too depressed to even think about doing right now, but some part of you smiles to think of how crazy it would be to jump out of bed in the morning and do it?  (Think jumping around with earphones while listening to your favorite high school party song -- on one hand, no way, you feel way too awful to do that, but you've been feeling awful for so long that you're ready to try any fool thing in order to feel better.)

Okay.  Have you answered the four questions above?  You now have a little list of items for each of the four questions.  Now, you are ready to create a magical start to your day that will powerfully shift those dreadful morning mental and emotional states.

Just one more pre-planning step:  Circle all of the possible activities that take 15 minutes or fewer to perform.  Or, see how you could break some of those activities into baby steps, and fit something fun into about 15 minutes.

Preparation:  

1.  For your first try at this, decide to set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you usually do.  (Get to bed a little bit early if necessary.  It's really worth a try!)

2.  Set your alarm to a favorite, uplifting song, and not a buzz-tone from your alarm clock or phone.  Make the song something that has a lot of girl-power to it.  (And definitely nothing that reminds you, in any way, of your ex-husband, or any ex for that matter!)  Are you thinking, "I have *no* idea what kind of music I'd like to wake up to"?  Check out this girl power playlist from Pop Sugar (that has many of my own favorites).

3.  On your nightstand, or next to your pillow, scribble a little note of your wake-up activity for the following day.  (You pick two responses from the four questions above.  For example, if you love to see the sunrise, then check out tomorrow's sunrise time, rise five minutes before sunrise, go outside, and see it.  Or, if the sunrise is not visible from your house, pull up one of my favorite sunrise videos on your phone.)

4.  Just choose two things from any of the four questions above and have them ready to go.  If you're going to dance it out for three minutes, have your song cued up.  If you're going to read a few pages of a book you've been dying to dive into, have the book in bed with you.  If you're going to try that relaxing facial mask, throw the ingredients together the night before.  Here are some great recipes.  

Make it a gift to yourself to have whatever it is prepared the night before.

You'll feel as if someone is really taking care of you.  And, it's true.  That person is you!  Keep it simple, but know that preparing your tomorrow is a key way to love yourself up!

And, it's morning:

5.  Alarm goes off (with cool, inspiring song).  Do the first activity on your note-to-self next to your bed.  Do it, even though for the first 30 to 60 seconds you are groaning, your eyes are rolling, and you do. not. feel. like. it.

6.  Check in with yourself.  How do you feel?  If you feel great, then ignore activity #2 and move ahead with your day.  Yay!  If you're still feeling like a very sad grumpasaurus, move on to activity #2.  Yes, I know, you still may not feel like doing it at all.  But it's just 15 minutes more (or maybe fewer).  By the time you finish that one, there's a 99% chance that you are set up for a happier day.  Don't you want to find out if that promise is true?  Then try activity #2 on your note-to-self.

7.  If you do this for a week, swapping out various activities from your list, you'll find out which ones really make you feel wonderful.  Keep those on your "magic mornings" list, but also add new stuff you'd like to try to your list.  And, please let me know how it goes!

Mwah!

.8.  Bonus goofiness.  I dare you to try this one:  Before you get out of bed, pretend you're a beautiful, powerful, in-demand diva (because, you are, but you might not know it yet).  Say aloud five times, "I am a goddess, and I now create my day!"  If this sounds totally preposterous, at least you'll laugh before your feet hit the floor.

8 Must-Haves for Every Dynamic Divorcee's Recovery Toolkit

When you're slogging your way through every single day, unsure whether life will ever get better, it really helps to inject a little fun and whimsy into the process.

With that in mind, I offer you my version of divorce recovery first aid: 

8 Must-Haves for Every Dynamic Divorcee's Toolkit.

We have all five senses covered here -- and the sixth sense is even in here, too : ) .

Including all of your senses in your toolkit helps to stop your mind from playing it's endless loop of gloom and doom.

Put together this toolkit today.  Especially essential when you don't have enough love and support around you.  And, these days, who does?

8.   You might be wishing for a security blanket right now -- I did.  Here's the adult version that works so well for me:  A favorite, comforting light-weight scarf, keeping you cozy and protected, like one of these from World Market (and, bonus, some cute ways to tie them, here).

It will pick up the scent of whatever yummy fragrance you wear (more about that below), and will start to give you a soothing, relaxed and happy vibe every time you wear it.  That vibe is cumulative, so wear it often, have it on you when you attend happy, uplifting events, and it will start to remind you of the good times and the good people in your life.  (A new scarf is best.  Don't choose one that has memories associated with your ex!)

7.   A talisman that centers you whenever you hold it in your hand.  Sometimes the nicest one is the one that you pick up during a long walk.  But, if you have a local rock shop or metaphysical store, you can see which crystals or gemstones feel the best in your hand.  You don't have to research the meanings of the various gemstones.  Just choose one that feels good in your hand and makes you feel the kind of energy you need most, whether it's peace, contentment, fire, self-love, or confidence.

A practice that I like is to hold the stone in my hand every morning and intend my wish for that day.  Then, right before bedtime, I hold the stone in my hand and release everything that happened, both good and bad, into my stone for safekeeping so I can sleep peacefully.

6. Get a Pinterest account to make a virtual vision board of where you want your life to be . . . next week, next month, next year.  This is so much fun!  You can make your board visible or private, as you choose.  This is the *perfect* tool for women who have worked themselves to the bone for so long, and sacrificed so much for others that they no longer even know what they like, what they desire, or who they are.  Just visit Pinterest and start clicking.

I also think it's nice to print out some key images that really motivate you, buy a 4 x 6 purse-sized photo album (I use this one, for under $5, where one of your vision-board images can be visible on the cover) and keep your little album with you to motivate you during the day.  There's something about having images you can touch!

5. A natural, grounding scent that helps you to feel calm, positive, powerful, and relaxed.  

I love the Relax synergy blend from Plant Therapy, containing lavender, marjoram, patchouli, mandarin, geranium, and chamomile -- starts at just $8.95 US for a 10ml bottle. This scent is both relaxing and energizing at the same time, and works great in a diffuser so that your home or workplace can be filled with this gentle, but recovery-supporting scent.  Works great at bedtime!

 

4. Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay.  I have such a love of this card deck that I can't even tell you.  Through all my darkest hours, it just wouldn't leave me alone.  I bought this deck during the early days when I had just separated from my husband after finding out about his secret life with another woman.  I really didn't know whether I was living or dead.  Since then, it seems that every time I forget about this wonderful, adorable set of cards, someone gives me another of the same deck!  So, seven years later, I now have three of them : ) .

This is a must-have set of 64 whimsical, brightly colored cards that reorient your thoughts toward the positive and the possible.  I use them as an oracle:  I ask a question and get clarity and a plan of action by drawing one card.  Always uplifting.  Do this rather than cast your fate to tarot cards, which can leave you feeling more depressed than when you started.  Less than $13, ladies.

3. Kundalini yoga DVDs by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh.  You don't even have to leave home for the gym, and most of Brett's DVDs allow you to create your own workout (even if you only have 5 or 10 minutes) from among the various segments on each DVD by using their matrix feature.   This is more than just exercise.  Flows are created to cause specific effects (stress relief, increase in energy, relaxation) and there's even a Kundalini Yoga Quick Fixes DVD that treats a host of different issues, with a series of poses/flows that each take only a few minutes.  Total lifesaver, and you feel great after just a brief practice.

2.  An uplifting (yet not preachy or saccharine) weekly podcast.  Here's my favorite that I've listened to for years -- with a unique take on manifesting.  It's called Flowdreaming, and you can access ten of creator Summer McStravick's top podcasts here.  You can also subscribe via iTunes.

1. A go-to blog (like this one) that you can count on for a weekly infusion of attitude adjustment.  And, it really helps if the person behind the blog is available to coach you one-on-one through some of those rock-and-a-hard-place spots.  If you're interested in one-to-one work with me (you can be anywhere on Earth as long as we have English as a common language), you'll find more about that here.