The holiday season is upon us, with many of our thoughts turning to food. The popular adage “you are what you eat” is literally true, according to new research that claims a person’s diet has a profound influence on their brain function and overall health.
Just as our eating style reflects and affects who we are, I believe how and where we live reflect ‘us’ even more. Our homes are intimate expressions of ourselves. Similar to the correlation between poor diet and disease, living in a toxic environment — in any sense, physical or emotional — also impacts our health in a negative way. Luckily, the opposite is also true. By creating an environment that supports our well-being, health and happiness, our bodies and minds will respond in positive ways.
The holiday season inundates us with recipes galore (as well as stress and temptations to overindulge). To balance that, choose an ingredient (or two, or three!) from my “healthy-self’ holiday recipe below, and treat yourself to a generous helping of grounding — whatever that means to you.
There is a quote that sums up my experience heretofore with yoga better than anything else I’ve ever read. I don’t know from whom or where the quote came, or I would totally give the person mega props and a huge, bear-like, electronic hug. The quote goes a little something like this:
“My yoga practice is no longer the battlefield of a long-waged self-improvement project by an overachieving person. It has become what I always hoped it would be — a place for love and acceptance.”
I think this quote embraces the yoga journey for many of us, because let’s be real here: How many of us started yoga because we wanted a thinner waist and perky yoga butt? How many of us, in the beginning, saw yoga as something we would conquer rather than embrace? How many of us saw someone in Crow Pose and said to ourselves, “I can do that shit.”
Over time, however, as we dove deeper into our practice — no doubt bumbling, grunting and falling along the way — our hardened layers begin to peel away, and we were left with the lingering feeling that yoga is something more than a way for us to gain strength, flexibility and balance. As we emerged from Savasana, time and time again, we began to realize that something else — something besides exercise — is going on here.
Dear Arielle & Brian,
I am 46 years old and am working on manifesting in my life my ideal soulmate. I know others who have found love through dating Web sites, but I’ve chosen to work on the Law of Attraction, which I discovered last year. I’m very clear about what I’m looking for in a woman. My biggest deficit is I’ve yet to experience a romantic relationship in my life. I’ve been working doing the suggested “feelingizations” and creating space. Yet I really don’t know how to start taking action or what I can do to manifest that special woman.
I’m a 43-year-old Romeo. Seriously. At the ripe, sweet age of 43, I’m playing the star-crossed lover in the Shakespeare classic. It was a surprise to me when the director casting this production asked me to play young Romeo. When I stop to think about it, it cracks me up. I mean, this character typically is seen as a horny, brash teenager on the brink of becoming a man and discovering true love.
Ah, true love! It’s a common enough phrase and yet I do believe it’s not actually all that common in our world.
Love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. Unfortunately, I find that women who are most critical of their bodies are missing a degree of self-love. Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and having negative thoughts about certain parts of your body? Do you find yourself saying things like, “If only my thighs were slimmer,” or “I wish my butt wasn’t so flat”?
When I teach my fitness classes, I often invite my students to do some of the exercises with their eyes closed in order to really feel the movement. On a neuromuscular level, training the body while creating positive thoughts and making that positive connection is scientifically proven to be one of the most powerful ways to create and reinforce a positive body image. And, on a non-scientific level, it just feels good!
When is the last time you told a lie? Nothing major, just a little white lie? If you’re anything like me, you lied yesterday about why you were late, or you stretched the truth about the extent to which you read a book, or perhaps you weren’t honest about what you did or didn’t eat. You are not alone. We all do this EVERY DAY.
I’ve spent the past five years in a deep self-inquiry and this is one of the most interesting discoveries I’ve made. It sounds simple but at the most subtle level I’ve started to notice the vibrational quality of these lies when they enter my mind and leave my mouth. It feels much different than when I am moving from a place of love. There is a complete lack of integrity and I find myself out of alignment with my sankalpa, my deepest intention, which is to speak my truth.
Ever felt yourself going through the motions of a yoga pose without focus or purpose? I think most yogis who’ve been practicing for a while have this experience, at least sometimes.
Several years ago, I found myself rushing through the Sun Salutation, praying for the series to end so I could move on to asanas I enjoyed more. I hated the way the pose strained my wrist and left me breathless, and it seemed to take forever to get through five or six of them. But since appreciating whatever you’re doing is a key spiritual teaching, I knew I had to do something to change my perspective.
On Oprah Winfrey’s last show she spoke about the many lessons that she has learned over the past 25 years. One thing she said really stuck in my mind. She said, “You are responsible for your life.” Now, I know that we all know that on some level, but do we really understand what that means?
I have practiced what I call “The Responsibility Factor” for many years, and I want to share with you my process. The moment anything happens in my life that is significant, good or challenging, I pause and ask, “What did I do to create this opportunity to grow”? Usually, when I ask that question, the answer comes quickly and easily. When it doesn’t, I sit down and “stream of consciousness” journal. I put down my fears, doubts, concerns, excitement and enthusiasm. What comes out always makes my heart smile, even if I see that I am on the “pity pot.”
From time to time, we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live fit, live healthy, live green and live happy. Here are this week’s finds.
Health & Wellness
Hula Hooping and Self-Love
Dear Arielle & Brian,
Three months ago, I discovered that my husband of six years has been having a year-long affair with a woman he met on a trip to Phoenix where he often travels for business. He has apologized to me and swears he has broken up with this woman. I feel enraged, betrayed, devastated and heartbroken. I truly believed we were soulmates. Now he wants me to simply forgive and forget. He says he has apologized, and I need to get over it. I still love him, but I no longer trust him, and I don’t know what to do. Is it over?