the magic of noticing

 

in february i went to center space in grand rapids michigan to write for ten days.  i lived with strangers and internet friends for over a week and made art and cooked food and watched the world.  while there, a new friend commented on my tendency to share things i noticed in the natural world, squirrels eating outside the kitchen window for instance.  ever since that comment i have been really examining the way i notice the world.  and of course i related it back to plants, and now i am teaching a workshop this weekend called the magic of noticing.   

so i have been researching noticing, and what happens when we notice the world around us.  the magic of noticing is an opportunity to make time expand.  it is about realizing the present moment and recognizing that we have free will in that moment.  that we can be how we want to be as we are right now.  this is not about accepting the circumstances, it is about realizing where we have agency and making change.  your change may be big, maybe its small but it starts with noticing.  i told you i related this back to plants of course.  houseplants specifically but now even outside is full of small things growing that we can notice.

go outside. notice something alive.

so this free will that we exercise is really powerful and we can harness it and understand it when we use noticing as a tool.  noticing starts pretty small, minutia, but once we get good at noticing we can start to really notice bigger things. noticing is a tool we can use to build connection.  this is not surprising.  but its juicy.  

noticing gives us the power to really feel where we are, in our body, in our surroundings, in our homes, in our work environments,  when we begin to notice how our body feels when we are in a certain place and time we begin to make connections about our body and our feelings in that specific time and space. are you still with me?

connection. what happens when we are in connection with living beings around us? how can we be of service to the living beings we share space with?  this is where the real magic of noticing hits us. it is the moment we realize that we are part of bigger natural systems. when we are able to notice our connection to the natural world, whether we struggle with the time change of daylight savings time, or we crave sweeter richer foods in the fall or we feel as if we will explode in february if there is not a sunny warm day soon. often these moments of recognition are distilling a frustration or a disconnect we have with the universe around us. note that it can feel easier to notice discomfort before comfort, pain is information after all. these moments of noticing, that illuminate our part in the cycles of the earth are invitations to use our free will to make the tiniest shift towards feeling good, or better in your moment. perhaps reconciling the disconnect we have with the earth is what this noticing is best for. i don’t know. but i know that my noticing brings me into the present, brings me the gift of realizing and recognizing how i am connected to the natural world, i am a part of it, no matter how removed from it i feel. i am an animal, the rhythms of the earth affect my existence and noticing brings me deeper connection and understanding of this truth.

a huge component of my research in to noticing has been reciprocity. noticing is about being in relation with the world around you, and fostering deeper connection with your world. when we do this work, we begin to understand the reciprocal nature of our being in relation with other living beings. what we tend to grows, literally and figuratively. what we cultivate and use grows stronger, what we notice blooms.

catching up.

This space has not really caught up with all that has been happening here.  


So i am gonna fill you in quickly.

Basically this blog is a documentation of my identity crisis as a health coach.  


I am coming into my own.  Hello Integration!


There is a slow shift happening here as I dissolve walker whole health.  I am not going anywhere. I am shedding old skins that no longer hold what I am offering.  The phrase because love came to me last year in the desert and I have been realizing how it will take shape and hold my work going forward.  


Really there is nothing changing.  And at the same time everything is constantly changing.


I host group coaching calls every month.  They are pay what you can and a really lovely container to explore how we are and what we need in the midst of our lives as they whir past us.  


I am teaching workshops locally which feels really good.  My hope is to continue teaching here in my community and to also travel and teach in 2019.


I send out a newsletter on the dark and full moons every month. Sometimes it is full of juicy tidbits and advice, other times it’s musings of the season.  It is always from my heart.


I am in the process of creating a seasonal ritual product line.  Small batch botanic tools made by me, to capture the spirit & medicine of the seasons.  It’s a super fun, and really hard process. I cannot wait to share with you. So stay tuned to get the latest updates.  


moving more



Dancing in the kitchen,

Stretching on the floor while i binge watch bbc crime dramas.

My morning walk.

A yin yoga class would be nice.

Tennis lessons.

Walking to the post office.

Dancing in between client calls.

Gardening. But it’s winter right now.

Working out.

Mobility exercises.

Walking to the chiropractor.

Feet up the wall.


This is going to be an ongoing list of ways i can move my body.  Part reminder, part tracker, part accountability partner.


Self Care 101

Pre-S

I’m teaching Self Care 101 at The Alchemist’s Kitchen at Stockton Market on Saturday December 1st, 2018. Workshop starts at 11am and will run for 1.5 hours. Tickets are $25. I hope you join me. It would be great to see you in person!

Now down to business. Self care is pretty popular these days. Whether you’ve just added self care to your to do list, are deeply committed to your self care practice or have never heard of self care this post is sort of an outline of my self care 101 workshop and is bound to give you some juicy new inspiration and understanding of what self care can look and feel like in your life.

We have plenty to do in our lives, we live busy, distracted, exhausting days that blend into weeks and months, years and decades. Often it can feel as if life is living us rather than the other way around. Enter self care. Self care is our understanding, awareness & commitment to ourselves. It is a practice that holds us accountable for our actions and how we treat our selves in the hustle and bustle of our daily experience. Self care is not the same for any two people. Inherent in the concept is that it is defined by your individual needs.

So what are your individual needs?

Common examples of self care displayed in social media and our society at large are often spa related and involve chunks of time and money. Drawing a bath is a great way to relax but it is quite unrealistic for a lot of people, or downright disgusting to others. Self care is not about creating more things on a to do list or spending money. It is about supporting yourself against burn out. It is about making sure you have what you need through out your day so that you don’t feel like a wet towel at bed time. It is about feeling at home in your life and your body.

So how do you self care if you don’t have $120 to spend on a massage?

Intuition. You are an intuitive being. You are your own magic.

There is merit in the saying ‘trust your gut’. That feeling we get in our gut that can guide us towards or away from something, is very powerful. We want to nourish that sensation of inner knowing. Start by listening to yourself, your body, the teeny tiny voice inside that whispers your deepest truth. This listening is process, it is something we continously teach ourselves. It is like a muscle, the more we use it the stronger it gets.

Asking ourselves questions to further understand our lived physical and emotional experiences can illuminate what we need to thrive. When I am trying to define something I like to start by brainstorming what it is not. Whether it is your practice of self care or your lived experience understanding what it isn’t can often teach us what we want it to be.

By examining where we experience frustration, devastation, grief, pain, & resistance we gain information about what it is we need, what is lacking in our life. Knowing what we are ignoring or not focusing on is important for understanding where we need to shift our attention and energy. This does not have to look any certain way. This is completely up to you. It is about the support you need and then figuring out how to get it. Whether it be asking for help, or holding yourself accountable, self care looks any way that feels good and helps you feel more you. This can be applied on both the micro and macro scales.

On the micro scale it can look like getting out of bed or staying in bed despite severe anxiety. Its putting one foot in front of the other towards your next task. On the macro scale it’s living your biggest and best in the world without apology.

We don’t know what we need till we listen. We develop our ability to listen by feeling our bodies in space, in movement, in energy levels. There is information in the way we taste and smell, what we crave, what we avoid and how we sleep. Getting into our bodies provides us with a wealth of information.

Feelings as information:

When we can observe our emotions without judgement, we begin to recognize patterns of behavior. These patterns tell us what we crave in our relationships, with our selves and others. They tell us if we get in our own way, if we walk blindly, or create boundaries we’re not willing to enforce. Maybe we eat our way through our emotions or perhaps we get high to hide our emotions, or maybe we drink our emotions. We do not need to assign morality to these patterns. They have no baring on our worth. Our worth is inherent in our existence.

Our behavior patterns are just raw data. This does not diminish the lived experience it is simply a way of creating space from the experience so it is not consuming, or triggering. The space created by this remove helps eliminate the shame and guilt we feel. By working to remove our moral judgements against ourselves, we begin to trust ourselves, to trust our intuition. Our smallest success’ support and reinforce our understanding and trust of our intuition.

Self care is setting ourselves up for those littlest of success’ however mundane they may be.

The more we give ourselves positive reinforcement, in the form of mundane supportive success’, the stronger our trust will grow in our intuition and therefore our intuition begins to grow and become stronger, leading us closer to our biggest and best lives lived with out apology.

So when developing our self care practices we can apply this process on both the micro and macro levels. For instance I just travelled to my in-laws. Previously I have had a hard time staying gluten free when I visit them. There are not a lot of food choices in their rural West Virginia town. But this past visit I planned and prepared a bag of gluten free options for myself. I asked my partner to support me in staying away from gluten loaded options. She was very helpful and having the food I needed to feel good made the trip so much more enjoyable.

That is self care. Supporting yourself to feel good in your lived experience.

On a macro level it can be applied to nourishing yourself so you have strength and capacity for the collective. Whether supporting a partner, raising a family, building an empire, hosting refugees, marching in protest, or breathing deeply, providing your own care in simple and tender ways is foundational for your calling.

I have introduced you to the idea that self care is setting ourselves up for mundane success. You may be saying that’s all well and good but wtf? How do I figure out what my self care actually feels like? What do I need to be doing every day?

I shared the example of me planning and preparing myself to be gluten free at my in laws. It is as simple and mundane as that. What is the easiest way you can support yourself?

Often it is getting a bit more rest, holding deeper connections, more focused concentration. Because we feel better when we have a bit more room in our lives to breath. To hug ourselves, to eat by candle light instead of in the car. These small tasks, that can seem monumental to shift, give us space to live our lives rather than have our lives live us. And the littlest bit of planning and preparations can go a long way.

For the longest time I have called self care a strategy. People have asked me if that was the word I wanted to use, since it has connotations of conflict, marketing, business and war, but I think that being strategic is about being aware. It is acting with informed intent. It realizing goals and making steps towards them, however small or mighty they may feel. So in recognizing our behavior patterns and spheres of our lives we neglect or ignore we can start to see where we need to support ourselves avoid burn out and unhappiness. If we are always waking up exhausted and which leaves us grumpy with co workers in the morning. Perhaps planning bedtime routine you can stick to would help your relationship with your team mates. Recognizing cause and effect can go a long way. If you have terrible indigestion in the afternoon that keeps you from concentrating on your client meetings, perhaps packing a lunch that sustains your brain and your belly enjoys. Does that mean going to the grocery store? Does that mean learning what foods make you feel good and what foods make you feel gassy and bloated, or tired and cranky?

These questions about your mundane routine are very micro applications to our self care. But often the most accessible solutions are the ones that completely evade us. The more we support our selves to live out our biggest and best expression of ourselves the more we are able to achieve. Because when we live without apology or self deprecation that is when we get to realize our truest expression of self, which is when you are the best for you and yours.

So meditating while your doing the dishes, is the first step to enlightenment. It doesn’t have to be 90 minute yoga classes 16x a week. It has to be the thing that you do. The thing right now that will help you feel better when your head its the pillow tonight. How can you take care of your self?

slowly but surely.

hello there.

it has been awhile since i have posted here. so much has been happening. but i am looking forward to being present here. i took a little bit of a break from posting here and in the time i have been gone i have started writing more for myself, which in turn has inspired me to write more for my business, not just the materials i provide for my clients, but as a creative human in a body.

part of this sustained writing practice has been a very diligent hold on how and when i engage with social media. i started using a post scheduler for my business posts, and have started setting a timer for when i scroll. i don’t open instagram on my phone until after 11am. i have also had some interesting and revealing conversations with my partner about how social media shows up in our relationship.

all of this to say that being aware of how we spend our energy is important. one would think that by 40 we would have some of this figured out, but i am almost 41 and still feel as though i am getting the hang of this life situation slowly but surely.