Episode 27: Chronic Illness and Yoga: What it's like when our bodies don't work the way we want w/ Brittany Zeer

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It’s one thing to develop a well-oiled routine and have the discipline to follow through but what happens if our bodies aren’t cooperating the way we want them to?  It’s excruciating to get through a trip to the grocery store let alone make it to a yoga class where you have to bend yourself in all sorts of shapes.  Each day is a toss-up – maybe you’ll be pain free, maybe you’ll be bed ridden…..or maybe you’ll think it’s a pain free day and then bam! just when you’re about to make it to an important appointment the pain hits and everything’s a write off.  It’s frustrating – how do you plan your day? How do you maintain a yoga practice?  How do you keep up a social life??  This is what life is like for somebody who has a chronic illness.  In this episode, Brittany Zeer is back on the show and we discuss chronic illnesses.  An accident three years ago left her with chronic migraines and now pain management is on her daily agenda.  She sheds light on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, how loved ones can support, pain management tips and how to continue a yoga practice despite the obstacles. 

If you have a chronic illness listen in because you’re not alone!  If you don’t have a chronic illness, listen in anyway because it’s a chance to flex that compassion muscle.  The struggle isn’t always visible and there’s a huge part that we can play in supporting our friends.        

Key Nuggets:

  • If you have a chronic illness, know that you're not alone!  There are communities like Migraine Mantras ready to support one another.  Sometimes sharing your story can help alleviate the pressure, and who knows, your story can end up helping somebody else! 
  • What it's like to have a chronic illness:
    • It's a constant battle for balance.  They want to be able to go out and do regular things like running errands or coffee with friends but sometimes the body just doesn't allow it.

    • There's a great deal of guilt when they have to cancel plans.  Kind understanding can go a long way.   

  • How can you support somebody who has a chronic illness:
    • The best support is just to listen.  You may not be able to offer a solution but that's not always what they're looking for or needing anyway.
    • Just being there is also a great one.  Again, there might not be anything that can be done about the pain but your presence in itself is comforting.
    • Release judgement of what you think person with chronic illness can and can’t do.
    • Don’t be afraid to console in them.  They want to support you as much as you support them!
  • Brittany's rituals for managing pain:
    • Firstly, know when to say no and know that it’s okay to say no.  Listen to your body and don't push yourself too far.
    • Bubble bath with something soothing for muscles like lavender oil and relax.  Warning against peppermint!  Doesn’t feel so great in a bath. 
    • However, peppermint oil is great for around the head to alleviate some pressure if you have a headache or migraine. 
    • Breathe.  Link breath with song in the bathtub or wherever you are.
  • There's a program called Love Your Brain that provides yoga classes especially for those who have a traumatic brain injury

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:                   

Share your story because you deserve to be heard – there is something that you can share.

Also, ask for support and be okay receiving support.    

Links:

If you have any questions for Brittany or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Instagram: @beezee89

Facebook: Brittany Zeer

Blog Posts at Migraine Mantras

Resource:

Love Your Brain – a non profit program specially designed for yoga with brain injuries.

Episode 26: How to Take the Healing Path and Live on Purpose with Nicholas Pepe

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Nicholas Pepe is one inspiring individual who has dedicated himself to doing what I’ve decided to call “heart work”.  Work that is soul centred with the intention to help provide a positive impact on other people’s lives and the world.  In specific, he’s an Energy Healer and Personal Development Coach who specializes in helping women who are ruled by fear, doubt, and “low confidence” learn how to master their emotions so that they can live with Courage, Confidence and Freedom

Nicholas is the author of Courageous Acts of Self-Love, creator of a self-help channel on YouTube, and has been featured on MSNBC as well as several magazines.

In this episode, we have a heart to heart about some provoking life questions such as why is it important to heal?  What’s holding people back from joy?  How do we live our purpose?  Nicholas shares lessons and insights gathered from the work he’s done with clients as well as himself.

Key Nuggets:

  • Healing where you’ve been hurt the most is where you can affect others the most.
  • We’re all healers for our own life.  The external healers that we seek are guides that help bring us back to our own inner power.
  • People are merely skimming the surface of their lives.  In other words, many people live with a lot of unresolved patterns and the same issues keep coming up over and over for them.  Nicholas urges you to be a submarine and go deep into the places that you were hoping to keep stashed away.  Oftentimes we don't even know ourselves at that deep level and that not knowing blocks us from our true selves.
  • Healing can begin as easy as a moment of acknowledgement to yourself.  Nicholas uses the analogy of a stubbed toe - when we hit our toe against something, we hold onto it to soothe it rather than ignoring it.  We should do the same for our internal selves.  For example, if somebody said something to you and it triggered a negative feeling (ex. shame, guilt), acknowledge it rather than stash it away. There’s a part of you who is hurt that needs to be heard
  • Saying “yes” is also a boundary to set. Say yes to yourself, yes to the parts of you that need healing, yes to taking more time for yourself.
  • Most common obstacle that Nicholas sees that is holding people back from true joy is not having felt joy in it’s entirety.  The more things we need to heal, the less we can feel.  It takes energy to repress uncomfortable emotions. It’s like looking at a sunset and not experiencing the full beauty of it.
  • Numb is still a feeling and holds a frequency.
  • Feel your emotions through you body.  Oftentimes we add a label to how we're feeling and rationalize it out with our minds.  That's fine but we're missing the other part, which is how it feels in the body.  When we don't look at the whole, there is a disconnect.
    • We give words feelings.  In essence, feelings don’t require words.  Labeling is a limitation in itself.  The real emotion comes in shades....shades of anger….a ball of feels that can’t be explained in words
  • We all have a purpose but sometimes we forget.  Perhaps we get lost in meeting the expectations of others or the expectations we've set for ourselves.
  • Become aware of how you’re investing your energy.  Is there too much energy invested in too many places? When we don't think about how we are investing our energy, we can end up with not enough energy for ourselves
  • You’re here on purpose, spend your energy on purpose, so that you can live from a place of more purpose
  • The work we do on ourselves ripples out into the world whether we realize it or not.  We are being felt in many ways that we may not be able to see.
  • What’s in your mind isn’t necessarily true.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:                   

Every single thing you do matters.  You need to give more credit to yourself for the amazing things you do each day.  Just you being you is a victory.  You are much bigger than you think you are.

Links and Resources:

If you have any questions for Nicholas or want to learn more, connect with him through:

Website: nicholaspepe.com

Instagram: @ _nicholaspepe

You can get his FREE E-BOOK, Courageous Acts of Self Love at nicholaspepe.com/lp/

Episode 25: Meditation to Reset

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It has been a mad busy month – vacation, a pending move (finally happening this week yay!!)  and hours of planning for my beloved father’s birthday.  I am so grateful for all of these wonderful happenings in my life but also kind of exhausted.  My mind seems to match the erratic positioning of the half-packed boxes in my little apartment.  There's a slight undercurrent of anxiety and even as I type out this plain and simple truth, I find myself on trial with self-judgement.  “There are NO excuses in life.  Pull it together, there is no room for FALTERING.  You are so lucky to have any of this, if you want it you’ll push through, power through, and deliver….and it better be a damn good job”.  And the usual soundtrack plays on, words dripping heavily.  Geeze, this harsh type of motivation is a whole different kind of exhausting.  Why do we need to be so hard on ourselves?  As I ponder this question the saving grace of all my lessons come flooding back to me.  The answer is that you simply don't. My logic mind rejects this idea but I've now developed a new voice that gently says "It's okay to rest".  If it's one thing that I've learned through my study of yoga and interviews with so many amazing souls, it's that all of this is a journey to the heart.  As the brilliant Rumi puts it

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."

It's easy to continue with the familiar obligation to power through.  It's so much harder to stop in the midst of a tornado and find stillness despite the anxiety.  When life demands become overwhelming it's instinctive to descend into the spiral and try to get everything under control.  The only trouble with that is "control" is an illusion and the calculated descent quickly turns into a hard tumble.  I'm not going to lie, there's a part of me that totally rejects what I just said.  It prefers to maintain my old patterns.  It desperately wants to make life look effortlessly perfect (whatever that means).  But I've been down that path before.  Many times.  Self-care falls by the wayside, self-judgement becomes king, and the true self closes.  Another thing that I've learned is that "effortless" is achievable but doesn't look the way you expect it to.  It looks different depending on who you are but it holds the same lightness.  In essence, it's that glow that you see in people who live mostly in joy; and people who live in joy don't speak harsh words against themselves.  That's what I really, truly want.  This is a journey to the heart.  So there.  I will work against the nagging feeling to follow my old habits of continuing to produce even though I feel like a tired zombie.  I will tolerate the thought that if I choose to rest, my world will most probably crumble into a disastrous scenario so bad that I haven't even thought of yet.  And I will take on the challenge to rest hard because I feel a sense of relief just saying this, albeit a bit anxious.  To take a lesson from another brilliant mind

"I have so much to accomplish today so I need to meditate for two hours instead of one".  Ghandi

I'm willing to take a bet that I'm not the only one who has had a crazy few weeks.  That's why for this week, I've written this blog post plus I put together a ten minute meditation.  If you're on the same boat, let's breathe together, reset and re-calibrate.

~ Namaste  

Episode 24: Deepen Your Yoga & Heart Centered Living with Alice Hong

 
 
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Alice Hong is a growth and transformation facilitator that guides others to listen deeply, love fully, and live wholeheartedly.  This travel junkie has her home base in Calgary, Alberta but she holds Yoga Teacher Trainings, Retreats and Women's gatherings all around the world like in Iceland and Bali.  Her ambition sweeps her away toward inspiring projects such as her recent endeavor to help women live more heart centered lives.  Despite the travelling and jam packed schedule, Alice walks with a steady air of centered-ness.  How?  Because she lives by the philosophy of Tantra which is the philosophy that everything weaves together.  A graceful dance of balance and harmony.  In this episode, we talk about the philosophy of Tantra, it's core concepts Shiva and Shakti (masculine/feminine energies) and how to deepen our Yoga practice beyond the poses.  

Key Nuggets:

  • Alice's take on what yoga is: Yoga isn’t necessarily the physical practice.  It’s about learning to be as emotions arise.  It's a is a state of being in the present moment, of being attuned to what’s happening in that moment right now.  When we allow the chatter to fall away, that’s where the magic happens because then all there is presence and presence is love.  So all there is, is love. 
  • The philosophy of Tantra.
    • Tantra means“to loom, or to weave” . It is the philosophy of everything weaving together.  There is no one way.  We can live through the lens and perspective of others. Shiva and Shaktiare at the core of this philosophy. 
      • Shiva: Masculine energy.  Everything is present, the stillness
      • Shakti: Feminine energy. The dance, the movement, the feeling; activating your senses
      • So Tantra is to have awareness (shiva) as we dance (shakti).  Aka. The centered-ness as the world turns.
    • About being in your body and celebrating it.  Sees the body as a beautiful gift that allows us to experience the nectar of life.  
  • Our bodies communicate with us and we communicate back to our bodies.
    • To learn the language of the body, you need to learn as if you’re learning a new language:  First listen and understand the nuances of the body. Only then can you begin to respond. 
    • Incorporate breath, sound and movement to become attuned to the body.
    • We are also communicating to our body.  Depending on what’s going on in our minds, we are also communicating that to our body. (ex. If you keep thinking I’m too weak to do this, the body will respond accordingly). 
  • A yoga practice: The practice itself is life.  It's about becoming present to the moment.  There are many tools to help with this:
    • Asanas – the poses help us work into our physical bodies and shaking off things that no longer serve   
    • Meditation – teaching focus and concentration, letting go and keep coming back to present moment
    • Pranayama – control our breath, our life force. Allowing us to let to and to let in
    • Mantra – using vibrations for resonance
  • If you are searching to deepen your practice, remember that there is no one path.  When you don’t know where to direct your search, try a few different things to see what tool works for you.  Different teachers, a new workshop…   

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  The only person that you need to live with is yourself.  For the rest of your life.  What do you want your inner world to look and feel like?  You’re the only one who has the power to create the space of inner self.

Links:

If you have any questions for Alice or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: alicehong.com

Instagram: @alicehong108

Facebook: Alice Hong

Episode 23: Finding Yoga: Philosophy, Mythology and Mantras

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Amy Thiessen is , among many other things, is a yoga teacher and a musician.  She’s melded her two passions into one beautiful craft.  Her talents are extensive, but her best known music in the yoga community are of mantra and prayer.  She mixes her captivating voice with alluring soundscapes to create space that’s perfect for internal exploration. Like with so many others, it has been (and still is) quite a journey with this Yoga.  There's an exceptional story to be told.  In this episode she shares her story and we talk philosophy, mythology and mantras.  In specific, how philosophies in yoga correlate with modern day psychology, the power of story telling to help us relate to ourselves, and the visceral effects of mantras.  Get those earbuds into your ears and listen in!

Key Nuggets:

  • Amy on life and living: Our lives are a collection of moments.  Each moment is like poking a pencil through a piece of paper.  A little more light is let in with each moment until everything becomes translucent.
  • Project Sundari is a project that Amy started where she uses her music to help people connect their world, pulling all the the pieces of yourself together so that you can just be and be whole. 
  • On Love: based on the Brahmavarta, you don’t need to love the world all at once.  Begin by loving what is easy to love. Love internally.  Begin by loving the parts of you that are easiest to love.  Then love the places where you were wounded.  Compassion toward ourselves allows us practice compassion with others.  It will allow us to see that sometimes other people are wounded too.
  • Change takes time.  The first step is to become aware, then we observe our behavior in this awareness.  Finally, we may choose to change the behavior if we wish.
  • On Mythology: Stories allow us to utilize stories to explain psychological aspects. It's what makes the information rich and relatable.
    • Amy shares with us her favorite story - The birth of Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth & Beauty.  The story depicts how going into the depths of ourselves allows us to uncover a deeper beauty than ever before.  Plug in those earbuds to listen to this captivating story! 
  • A mantra is a mind vehicle.  A place where you can place tour mind so that you can find presence
    • Each sound of the mantra correlates with one of the 50 petals of your bottom Chakras
    • Each mantra has a different resonance so different mantras are used to achieve different desired outcomes
  • How to use mantras:
    • Choose a mantra that will cultivate what you're looking for (ex. grounding, connection, manifestation....)
    • You can sing, chant along or quietly listen to the mantra
    • Can use a mala to help repeat the mantras.  The audacious number is 108.  What does 108 mean?  Well, one variation of the explanation is that 1=the oneness that we are, 0=the circle of life, 8=infinity, the eternal flow of life.
  • Mantras to try:
  • So Hum: "I am that". Inhale “so”, exhale “hum”.  An excellent basic one to begin with
  • Gayatri Mantra: A very popular and beautiful mantra to help you come back into your spirit and come back to listening to self

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

There’s no one big lesson.  There’s no one big thing.  It’s about everyday, every moment, doing the best we can and allowing ourselves to make mistakes and learning to hold ourselves in a way that honors who we are.

Links:

If you have any questions for Amy or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: www.amythiessen.com

Instagram: amythiessenlive

Facebook: facebok.com/amythiessenlive

Episode 22: Hello Paradise! Hello Dreams! How To Achieve Success with Linsey Rankin

What It Took To Start a Yoga Retreat Centre: struggles, accomplishments and lessons learned along the way

 

Una barraca, which means “warrior lady”, is what Linsey Rankin is endearingly called by friends in Colombia.  For the past year, she has worked with a small team to run yoga retreats on a pristine piece of land in Choco.  Her vision affords the opportunity for yoga junkies and tourists alike to experience a part of nature that has barely been touched.   We actually talked to Linsey back in Episode 4, where she shared her big dreams of opening up a haven for yoga retreats in Colombia.  A year later, she’s living life exactly as she envisioned on her vision board.  She spends many days in paradise - beaching, swimming with whales and watching the monkeys go by.  Listen in to hear her story of how she achieved success.  She share her struggles, accomplishments, and lessons learned along the way.

Key Nuggets:

  • Choco, a department of Colombia known as the city of eternal spring, is located on the western coast of Colombia.  That's also where Linsey has started her business for yoga retreats, Prana Pacifico.
  • The most important thing for Linsey to achieve her goal was to have clarity in exactly what she wanted.  To gain clarity, she made a vision board which helped her solidify where she really wanted to be.  For her, that meant going back to Colombia
  • Another important part of success for Linsey was to acknowledge her fear and do it anyway.  There is no perfect time, or absolutely perfect condition.  Rely on your intuition and if it still feels right, do it!
    • We all struggle with fear and doubt; instead of abolishing it, see it as part of the journey
    • Take your fear further and ask “if my fear comes true, what happens next?”  It might end up being a pleasant surprise as you realize that if that one thing goes wrong, it doesn't immediately bring you down to the worst case scenario. 

Ex. "what happens if we get rained out for this outdoor event?" In our head, we jump to "then the event will be a bust and life will completely suck moving forward!"  But really ask yourself "if you get rained out for an outdoor event then what happens next?"  Perhaps you end up going inside, perhaps you postpone the event.  Whatever it is, it doesn't necessarily go straight to failure.

  • Another big thing with success is to keep going.  Don’t give up at the first sign of struggle and remember that it’s not a quick journey. It’s a long term plan, not a short term fix.  Look at the big picture.
  • Even if it’s destiny and meant to be, it can still be hard
  • Simple but great advice: If you need clarity, breathe.
  • * Linsey has put out an invitation for international facilitators who are interested in running a retreat in Choco to contact her!  So if you have a craft in wellness and are interested in Choco, give her a shout with any of the below contacts.

Your Biggest Lesson From Starting Your Business:

Have clarity in where you want to go and what you want to achieve.

Be bold, make decisions that guide you closer to your goals.

Have faith, keep going despite hiccups and obstacles.

Links:

If you have any questions for Linsey or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Facebook: Prana Pacifico Retreats

Instagram: prana.pacifico.retreats_

Website: www.pranapacifico.com

Email: pranapacifico@gmail.com

Episode 21: Excuse Me Hakomi - Help Me Tap Into My Inner Wisdom w/ Martha McCallum

Like many of the great talents out there, Martha McCallum wears several hats.  Titles include master herbalist, yoga instructor, hiking guide and Hakomi Psychotherapist.  She is the artist of her own life and boy has she created a cool one for herself!  As a helicopter hiking guide, she enjoys the best of the Rocky Mountains every single week.  When she's not out in nature, she's helping others live mindfully through Hakomi therapy.  How did this cool lady score such a cool lifestyle?  Well, she let that inner voice guide her, even when it wasn't exactly clear where she was going.  In fact, there was a time where she felt scattered, like she was hopping from one thing to another.  Nonetheless she trusted that inner knowing and followed what felt peaceful, what felt right.  Heeding to the gut-brain (aka. heart, inner wisdom, organic body....take your pick) is the heart of Hakomi therapy.  Listen in to learn about what Hakomi therapy is and how you can use it to tap into your inner wisdom.

Key Nuggets:

  • Stress is harmful and is the root of innumerable physical ailments.  You already knew that though.  So here's the real kicker: Our thoughts alone can trigger our stress reactions (ie. flight or flight)
    • This means that your negative thoughts are harming more than just your mood 
    • Mindfulness can help alleviate your negative thoughts and in turn keep you healthier in mind, body and spirit
  • We aren't granted a line of sight for how our lives will pan out.  That's why you may be teemed with life worries such as "How does it all come together??"   "How do you know??"
    • Well as we learn from this episode (along with many previous episodes), you already know.  It's not exactly provided to you the way that you want to know - like I mean, I Ydon't know if you'll be the next singer/songwriter sensation, and you don't know either.  But your inner knowing will guide you to what your next best move is.  You just need to listen and allow life to unfold for you. 
  • That leads to Hakomi Psychotherapy.  A mind/body tool to help you get deeper into mindful living.
    • It helps you tap into your body's inner wisdom and get good answers from your own body about areas of discomfort or stress.  If these answers are coming from your inner wisdom/gut feeling, it help you replace negative thought patterns with more positive ones.
  • Start by getting to know your inner yes.  Choose what feel most peaceful, most right.  Use it for choosing even the small things like what to eat for breakfast.  It will help you strengthen the gut feeling. 
    • It can also help to remember the times that you just knew you had to do something.  What did that feel like?
  • Our thoughts are getting in the way.  Just like clutter in our car or our offices, we should clear the clutter from our minds.  We can connect to the place where we feel love, peace….once that clutter is gone (ie. Meditation) 
  • A strong meditation practice on the mat will allow you to better calm yourself off the mat when faced with adversity
    •  Ex. Not bursting out in responsive anger
  • Mindfulness is when you are living each moment on purpose
    • Mindfulness exercise that you can do throughout the day: have an experience and observe yourself in your experience at the same time.  If you're stressed, watch the stress happening while it happens
    • Practice tip: just keep coming back to present, rework your negative thoughts to ones that feel good
  • Martha's favorite Einstein quote: “the rational mind is a faithful servant, the intuitive mind is a sacred gift”   

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

You are the artist of your life.  Listen to your inner wisdom and use it for choosing what you do or don’t do.  It will give you directions for the most peaceful, most right path.

Links:

If you have any questions for Martha or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Websites: marthashelihikes.com, feelyourbest.info

Email: Martha@marthahelihikes.com

Episode 20: How Yoga Nidra Works & Sankalpa Guidance with Tanis Fishman

Tanis Fishman is a modern day mystic who has spent her life exploring different levels of consciousness to find deeper meaning in the human experience.  Questions about the meaning of life and a search for something more has been on her mind since she was a toddler.  Over her lifetime, she’s been gifted with two profound experiences that proved this feeling. One being an out of body experience and another an explosion of enlightenment.  In this episode, Tanis shares that part of her journey with us.  She also lends her knowledge about Yoga Nidra, a deep meditation technique that can bring you to a place beyond conscious limitations.

"Nidra", when translated to English means "sleep".  In essence, the practice of Yoga Nidra is that of Yogic Sleep.  Don't get this confused with regular sleep though!  The practice will bring you much different healing powers than regular sleep will.  Tanis explains how Yoga Nidra works as well as the layers of benefits that can help us transform.  We talk about Sankalpas and the best way to use them.   

Key Nuggets:

  • Yoga Nidra Benefits:
    • Conscious relaxation. Relaxing the body, mind and emotions
    • Experience a state of freedom to just be
    • Open up field of experience for everything to be as it is
    • Being consciously present allows you to become aware of where your tensions are and what thoughts are destructive.
    • Access intuitive mind or higher perspective (see things more clearly) as you gain space from those destructive thoughts.
  • Brain States:
    • Beta: Identifying with the conscious mind (where we usually are when we're awake)
      • High Beta: Thoughts rampant, believing thoughts to be true, focus only on reality of life, may cause stress.  
      • Low Beta: Thoughts more mellow, starting to relax
    • Alpha: Transitional brain state between wakefulness and sleep; the moment where you let go of thinking process (thoughts); a space where you are completely just being.  Right before we are identified with dreamer. There’s no time, or space or you.  Brain waves slow, least used brain state when we're awake
  • Everything in the conscious that’s played out in your life (ie. preference, opinions, judgements) has its roots in the subconscious based on your belief systems that's supporting it. We don’t always know what our belief systems are, but we can look at our life to see what’s getting played out to better understand.
  • Our consciousness acts as a filter.  It's harder to change our belief systems in our waking states.  That's why some people do not find affirmations very effective.  They are being filtered out by our conscious mind.
  • When we are in a deep state of meditation, we get access to our subconscious in the Alpha brain state.  Our mind is more malleable. In Yoga Nidra we use Sankalpa. 
  • Sankalpa:
    • Your personal resolution: a conscious direction of your desires and dreams
    • It holds an energy that allows us to change our limiting belief systems
    • A transformative part of the process
  • How to make a sankalpa:
    •   “I AM _____________”
    •  Use present tense as that’s the language of the subconscious
    • State it in the positive
    • Keep it concise and short
    • You need something that comes immediate to you – make it easy for you to recite even in a deep state of relaxation
    • Choose your desired end state, not what you’re going through.
      • Example: “I am healing” will keep you in a state of healing. How would you feel if you were healed?  “I am healthy” “I am at peace” “I feel free” is better.
    • Examples: “I am worthy” “I am deserving of the best life” “I am deserving to fulfill my dreams”.
    • Ensure that it resonates with you.
  • Factors affecting effectiveness of Yoga Nidra:
    • You may have hidden beliefs.  For example, a hidden belief that’s “it’s not possible to change” or “I’m too old to change”.  If a hidden belief is the stronger program that's running then you need to dissolve that before you can install something else.  aka. You have many layers, you may need to shift one belief before you can make another happen.  Another example is that you want to set your Sankalpa to "I am happy", but there’s a belief system underneath the surface where you tell yourself “You don’t deserve to be happy”
    • If you’re not in the hypnogogic state (ie. you fall straight to sleep) then mind won’t be as receptive to the Sankalpa.
      • Antidote: learn to maintain mindfulness in the relaxing brain states (ex. Don’t fall asleep)
    • Belief system not ready to be changed. Our belief systems were created to ultimately keep us safe. If we somehow feel that it's unsafe to shed the belief system then it won't change.
  • How to know when sankalpa has been realized: When you react different, act different, thoughts begin to change.
  • This whole process isn’t like peeling an onion, it’s more like unwinding a tangled web!

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Be surprised about yourself.  To continue to grow, stay open and curious.  Also, where you find yourself passing judgement is where there is misalignment in self.  This simply means that a program (aka. belief system) is out of date and an update (aka. lesson) is on its way.

Links:

If you have any questions for Tanis or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: https://tanisfishman.com/

Facebook: Tanis Fishman

Facebook Page: Out of the Box with Tanis Fishman

Resources:

 

 

Episode 19: Story of Trust, Surrender & Worthiness with Lisa Hillyer

Meet Lisa Hillyer, yoga teacher, life coach and world traveller.  She works with dedicated motive to guide people back to themselves and reconnect to the person that’s always been within.  She lives her life joyously and with deep purpose.  As you would’ve guessed, it took some stumbling to get here.  Also a lot of hard work.  A lot.  There was that time when she moved to Australia and all her dreams came true but she found herself feeling miserable.  She had to do some digging on the inside to figure out what that was all about.  Then there was that time that she went to India and the culture shock kept her in a flurry of confusion and blocked senses.  She was left with little choice but to learn the lesson of surrender and trust.  When you look at the big picture, it was actually the stumbling that helped her find her way; and that’s the story that she’s here to tell.  In this episode, Lisa shares with us how she went from miserably numbing herself to living a life adorned with love, travel and worthiness.

Key Nuggets:

  • The root of yoga is the path of the self through the self
  • A lesson learned from the streets of India is that true joy is intrinsic, irrespective of the external environment
  • Meditation can be your first shift toward freedom from inner torment.  It help disconnect you from your ego and connect you back to your true self, reminding you that everything that you need is within.
  •  Shifting your limiting beliefs: Just because you believed it in the past doesn’t mean you need to move forward with it.  Lisa worked through her limiting beliefs with Yoga Nidra.
  • Antidote to unworthiness is self-care, self-love and connection to self. When you understand your purpose and your truth the unworthiness starts to fade away.
  • Self-love comes when we are willing to look at all parts of ourselves, even the places that seem dark.

One of Your Biggest Lesson So Far:

Path to our truth is: Trust + Surrender

  • Trust that you are exactly where you need to be, that inner knowing.
  • Surrender your control.  The type of control that is gripping and suffocating. 

Your Deepest Truth:

Connecting to self and connecting others to do the same.  When you heal your inner world, you heal yourself and that’s when we heal this planet

Links:

If you have any questions for Lisa or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: http://www.heartsoulhealthwellness.com

Email: lisahillyer@heartsoulhealthwellness.com

 

 

Episode 18: Another Dream, Lived. With Kristy Dhaliwal

People who takes leaps and say yes to what they truly want have good stories to share.  These stories are inspiring, leaving us feeling uplifted and motivated to take on the world.  In this episode, we talk with Kristy Dhaliwal, an amazing gal who has taken leaps to find her path.  She’s a massage therapist, entrepreneur and yoga junkie.  Her path wasn’t always clear though and there was some searching to be had before she found what she loved.  She shares her story of how she found her passion and built a business with it.  She also gives us a couple tips on how to get rid of those annoying knots in our muscles.

Key Nuggets:

  • Trigger points are what we usually call the knots in our muscles.  They form when certain muscles get overworked (ex. sitting at a desk for eight hours).
  • Many people experience shoulder/back pain due to sitting all day long.  To relieve this, stretch out your chest! 
  • To release trigger points try using a tennis ball (squash ball or rubber bouncy ball for more intense release) and placing it right on a trigger point.  Gently put some weight on it until you feel a softening.
  • Doing some yoga before a massage can make the most of your appointment.  The movement helps stretch and warm the muscles up.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Everything happens for a reason.  An oldie but a goodie - keep in your back pocket when faced with challenging times! 

Links:

If you have any questions for Kristy or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: bloomtherapy.ca

Email:  kristy@bloomtherapy.ca 

Facebook: @bloomtherapymassage

Instagram: @bloomtherapymassage

Twitter: @bloom_therapy

Episode 17: Navigating the Rapids of FEAR. A Candid Conversation.

Transitions are never easy even if it’s a change for the better.  And it’s even scarier when we are taking a leap of faith.  But what if we let the FEAR guide us rather than hinder us?  It’s been an interesting journey.  FEAR has become a frequent friend (I didn’t see this coming!) and I’ve been doing a lot of getting to know it better.  And I do…I think.  It sticks its scary face all up in mine but rather than running away, I’ve developed a relationship with it.  Afterall, it still counts as a feeling. And if it’s one thing that I know for sure, our feelings are here to guide us.  This one’s a bit crasser than the others, but it’s still here to shows us something.  When we take that perspective then we can begin to get curious rather than hide.  I recently had such a good conversation with my friend Alison about this.  Being the wonderful soul that she is, she ended up recording it for me to do with it what I will.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to make an episode out of it because it's such an intimate look into my journey.  Oh the FEAR of being SEEN! But here's the thing, it really was a great conversation and I think it might spark something in you too this so with excitement much anticipation, I’ve decided to share my journey with you!

When I took a leap of faith to follow my heart's calling, I thought the leap was going to be the pinnacle of it all.  You know, the hardest part is just getting started right?  What I didn't realize was that while the grass is greener where my soul can breath, it's also completely new terrain that I need to learn to navigate.  For one thing, fear likes to get real snug with me over on this side.  It's like an overprotective mother that would prefer it if I lived in a bubble.  I guess it's needier now than ever since I decided to break out for some fresh air.  It's only been a few months since I took a leap but I've sure learned a whole lot about FEAR.  I had to! Otherwise it would've coerced me back to a place where I'd suffocate.  Here's what I've learned:

  • First off, to give fear some credit, it isn't completely bad.  As a feeling, it really does help us understand ourselves and what's happening around us.  The trick is to understand if the fear comes from the reptilian brain (basic flight or fight system) or if it's resistance from our soul.  Reptilian brain is here to keep us safe.  Perfect if we're trying to avoid running into a bear or if our house is on fire.  Unfortunately it's not high tech enough to decipher between caveman struggles versus 21st century modern people struggles.  It's just trying to keep us alive and out of danger.  So if you want to try something that your brain already perceives as somewhat risky....say giving public speaking a try or starting your own business, your reptilian brain does the same thing as it would if you had run into a bear "STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER! RING THE ALARM!  This man/woman is going to try something that might not go well.  This is madness! RETREAT! RETREAT!"

Our inner caveman is just trying to keep us safe, but our struggles are different than when we had to build our own fires and kill prey with sticks and stones.  That's when we need to look inward and align with our soul calling.  Our innermost selves know the way, we just need to learn to listen.  I'm working on that right now.  I've spent so many years "powering through" and listening to my external environment that I've numbed my ability to hear messages from my innermost self.  Unless it's really obvious ex. I feel like I'm suffocating and my chest is crushing against a ton of bricks, I can't hear it that well. I'm learning though, and know that I'll find my way back.  We all can, it's innate within each and everyone of us.  If you can't hear that well, start small.  Noticing how it feels even with the most benign decisions - oatmeal or eggs for breakfast?  dinner with friends or date night? And then veer towards what feels good.  Open.  Aaaahhh.    

  • Fear is scary.  Our natural instinct is to run away from it.  Shove it deep, deep down or avoid it altogether.  Exactly the opposite needs to be done in order to find relief.  You need to become aware of it, acknowledge it and make friends with it.  Knowing what you're afraid of in the first place gives you a wealth of insight.  It usually unveils a false limiting belief (stories you believe about yourself that's not true but you let it hold you back) or buried hurt that needs healing.  It doesn't end there though, you need to begin to develop a relationship with fear.  What message is it giving you?  What does it mean? Is it true or is it the confused reptilian brain?  How have you negotiated to sit with it if you appreciate it, but definitely don't need it as you forge forward?  For me, when I my inner self is sending me a message to "go get 'em!"  (by feeling open, free, happy, exhilarated and excited) but my reptilian brain floods me with fear, I imagine myself in a car.  I am in the driver's seat, steering the way, and fear (which I've decided is a friendly albeit worrisome lizard) is strapped in beside me.  If it has something to say, I listen, smile and then continue driving.  As they say about our marital spouses "you can't live with them, but you can't live without them".  Strap in. Smile. 
  • Lastly, the secret sauce.  Find your meditation - that thing that drops you into inner peace.  You are so engaged that the buzzing in your mind stops and so does time.  In a way, you fall into nothingness.  Nothingness is absolutely perfect.  Nothing is everything.  As the wise philosopher Lao Tzu says
"We mold clay into a pot,but it is the emptiness inside that makes the vessel useful." 

So find your meditation.  It doesn't have to be meditation.  Yoga, singing, dancing, painting....   Do it often.  It will reconnect you to your innermost knowing.  Then, listen.

I hope you enjoyed the podcast!   What's your relationship with fear?  Meaningful conversations are my jam and invite you to leave your comments below. Namaste.

Episode 16: Mindfulness + Food: How combining them can help you live more fully w/ Sally Powis-Campbell

“To be mindful is to be fully present with whatever we are doing. If you are drinking tea, just drink your tea. Do not drink your worries, your projects, your regrets. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, stop your thinking, and become fully present. In that moment, you become real and the cup of tea becomes real. In this state of true presence and freedom you enjoy simply drinking your tea."
- Thich Nhat Hanh

In a nutshell, Sally Powis-Campbell is a mindful helper for kids and the kid in all of us.  If you want official titles then she’s a psychologist, yoga teacher, meditation guide, food artist, mindful food event curator, writer (book in the works), and competitive trail runner!  Her craft is the marriage of her two biggest passions: mindfulness and food.  Mindfulness is slowing down and focusing.  Taking pause to become aware of all five senses, tuning into your inner and outer world without attachment.  This simple practice gives you the power to live more fully.  Food is pretty straightforward, so we think.  But what’s your relationship with food like?  Not many people consider this.  In fact, it’s kind of difficult to come up with an answer if you’ve never thought about it before.  Good thing Sally’s here!  She teaches us how to create a connection with food so that we can eat mindfully and ultimately, live more fully.  She begins by bringing us through a six minute tea meditation.  It’s one of the most beautiful meditations I’ve ever done and it’s not to be missed.  So come on, grab your cup of tea (or any beverage of choice) and plug in those ear buds!    

Key Nuggets:

  • Slowing down and living mindfully can help us to live more fully.  One practice to incorporate into your life is a mindful tea or coffee meditation.  Becoming aware of all five sense – feel of the cup, color of the tea, the smell, the taste and the sound of the tea as you swallow.  Sally brings us through a six minute tea meditation in the podcast so tune into 6:57 to get right to it.
  • Mindfulness allows us to become aware of what’s in us and around us.  Tapping into our senses, releasing judgement. Let go of the criticism. 
  • Just a 10min -12min meditation per daycan literally change your brain structure.
  •  Creating a connection with your food is one partSome ways to enhance our connection with food, we can:
    • Make sure we know where our food comes from.  If you make sure it’s good food, maybe even locally grown, you learn a story about the food and now you build gratefulness around.
    •  Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness queues  
      •  Ear hunger – the satiation that you get from hearing yourself eat.  If we can’t hear ourselves eat, it impairs our body’s registration of how full we are.  Another reason to turn off the tv   
      • Eye hunger – creating foods that are beautiful to eat.  It helps create pause because you take a moment to soak in the sight of it. 
      • Stomach hunger – sounds straight forward but we are more out of tune than you think! A lot of times we are scarfing down our meals as quickly as possible or we get caught up multitasking while eating.  This is a dangerous route toward mindless eating.  Tuning into our bodies can significantly enhance our food experience.  Here’s a tip on how to do that: before you begin your meal, rate your hunger level between 1-10.  Do this again in the middle of the meal and end of the meal.  Getting an idea of what full really feels like. 
  • Tip: We make over 200 food decisions a day.  Portion out big bags of food into smaller Ziploc bags so they are already pre-proportioned to discourage mindless eating (ex. Finding yourself at the bottom of your bag of chips)
  • Another way to create mindfulness and connection through food is to create a food ritual.  Sally commits herself to a Sunday night family dinner every single Sunday.  There is much fun and excitement in preparing the meal together, baking fresh bread and making time to talk.  Slowing down on Sunday night sets her and her family up for the upcoming week’s success.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Find moments of pause throughout the day and slow down.  That will end up making you more efficient.

Links:

If you have any questions for Sally or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Instagram: @wholistichealthyyc

Email: sally@wholistichealthyyc.com

Website: www.wholistichealthyyc.com   

 

Episode 15: Find Your Intuition with Naomi Parker

This episode is just as multifaceted as the guest itself.  Naomi Parker is based in YYC and is a mom, biologist, yoga teacher, and energy healer.  She takes us through not just one, but two stories and brings us into territories that are unknown to most of us.  Story One. A yoga journey.  Naomi shares how she found yoga and how she eventually ended up becoming a yoga teacher.  The conversation enrichens as she shares her passion about pranayama (breath work) – the importance, benefits and tips on how to do her favorite breathing exercise.  It is here that we begin to sense she’s not an ordinary yoga teacher. This leads to Story Two. The unfolding of an energy healer.  Naomi opens up about how she eventually honed into her gifts in energy healing after casting it aside for three decades.  Keep an open mind as she takes us into the world of the esoteric.  Seriously.  If you think your mind is open, open more!  Topics extend beyond the energetic flows of our bodies and into a world that many of us have probably never heard of before.  If you like to contemplate philosophies of humanity and the meaning of being a human, this episode is for you!  

Key Nuggets:

  • A reminder that the most lucrative yoga session is one where you honor your body and your practice exactly as they are.  True acceptance is key.  No comparison, release of judgement.
  • Naomi is passionate about pranayama (breath work).  In fact she incorporates them into her yoga classes.  On the energetic side, she has one-on-one consultations with clients just to work on their breathing.  Here are her tips:
    • Pranayama, when translated from Sanskrit, means ‘life force’. 
    • Our breath can heal our body, open us up to our intuition, reduce stress, find calm, bring clarity and help understand blockages that might be keeping us from our potential
    • Breathe with intention, deep breaths from your head all the way down to your toes.  You can practice this by opening and closing your day with a breathing exercise.
    • Naomi’s favorite breathing exercise is  Nadi Shodhana or ‘alternate nostril breathing’.  She recommends 6-12 rounds.
      • Begin by taking your right hand and placing your ring finger on your left nostril and thumb on your right nostril.  Index and middle fingers on third eye.
      • Variation #1: Close left nostril with ring finger > inhale through right nostril > plug right nostril with thumb > exhale through left nostril > inhale through left nostril > plug left nostril > exhale through right nostril > Repeat
      • Variation #2: the secular version.  Same starting hand position > plug left nostril > inhale through right > exhale through left nostril > plug left nostril > inhale through right > Repeat.  Makes sure to switch sides once you’ve finished your rounds on one side.
  • Blockages of breath in the body can be physical, mental or spiritual.   
    •  Physical: blockage on a cellular level
    •  Mental: stored pockets of emotion and/or drama
    • Spiritual: blockage on an energetic level.  Ex. Chakras are not working together properly. 
  •  Naomi’s journey with being an energetic healer.  How her knowledge affected the way she saw the world. 
  • Consciousness coaching where a coach helps individuals look at their business in a holistic way.  From hashing out the business concept to identifying blockages.  That means on an energetic level too.  Roadblocks can be limiting beliefs or childhood imprints. Helping one fully understand their soul purpose.
  • Sometimes challenges will repeat themselves until you learn from them.  Shine a light on it and it won't seem so scary.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Love yourself – continue to work on yourself and peel back the layer.  

Everything that you are is perfect

Resources:

o   An article that discusses the card experiment we talked about that shows how our body or gut instinct knows an answer long before our mind or analytical brain is willing to believe.  The Science Behind Intuition, by Psychology Today

o   We also talked about the book I read about past lives: Many Masters, Many Lives by Dr.Brian Weiss

Links:

If you have any questions for Naomi or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Email: elemental.yoga.wellness@gmail.com

Website:  www.elementalwellness.com

Facebook: Elemental Wellness Yoga

 

Episode 14: A Lifelong Learner, A Heart Calling. With Kate Mak

Kate Mak is one of YYC’s favorite yoga teachers. A mover and shaker who pursues tirelessly to create community.  Her classes usually include an eloquent flow, something new and a cheesy joke or two.  She’ll tell you a story about the ancient deities or maybe sing to you while playing the harmonium.  As a student, you just know that you are in good hands.  You can be sure that the space is held, you’ll learn something new and most importantly, you’ll walk out of your practice feel oh so good. So how does a yoga teacher learn to seamlessly incorporate movement, yoga teachings, excitement and laughter to their class so well?  Keep on learning! For real.  Kate has a voracious appetite for learning and never plans to stop.  That’s how she eventually found herself in an NYC ashram. In this episode, Kate shares her story about how she finally heeded to the calling of her heart, transforming from a young neuroscientist who was unsure of her path and into a glowingly happy yoga teacher who travels around the world for a living.  She teaches about the importance of being a lifelong learner and lets us in on her next journey as she makes even bigger waves in the community by creating her very own yoga teacher training.  

Key Nuggets:

  • Kate’s Tips on choosing a yoga teacher training:
    • Start with understanding what kind of a schedule do you’ll need - intensive or broken down over the course of a year?  Some of us have an open schedule but others may need to work around office hours.
    • Ask teachers that you resonate with the most where they took theirs.
    • Understand what kind of yoga styles you want to learn
    • Make sure you feel good!  You should feel excited and happy about your decision.
  • Kate’ tips on how to keep learning as a yoga teacher:
    • Go to workshops
    • Attend festivals
    • Listen to TED Talks and Podcasts
  • There’s always an opportunity to learn.  Sometimes we learn something but don’t fully comprehend the lesson until later…it can even be years later.
  • Your big dream isn’t too big!  If it’s overwhelming, divide it into digestible chunks and build up piece by piece, one step at a time.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Keep learning, there’s always a lesson.  It’s never too late and you’re never too old.

Links:

If you have any questions for Kate or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: www.katewmak.com

Email: on website

Kate's Yoga Teacher Training: www.mynahschoolofyoga.com

Episode 13: One Man's Unfolding with Matthew Keleman

Life is a great unfolding and when we surrender we open ourselves to deep meaning.  Our perspective shifts and we become attuned to the sacredness of being.  Our experiences in this life become keen and insightful.  Perhaps as we place our feet on the Earth we suddenly become aware of how connected we are to nature, more than we’ve ever felt before; or perhaps we look up at the stars and it’s like as if we’re seeing them for the first time, we can gaze upon these gems all night long.  We are humbled at how beautiful life can be.  We learn to embrace that our paths come in many forms and that there is no formula and no “straight” path.  We’re all the same in that we will eventually arrive at the same destination but each individual’s story is unique.  Love, joy, heartbreak, spiritual awakenings…sharing stories of our personal journeys can inspire, build compassion, bring understanding, and ultimately help weave us even closer to this human experience. 

This episode is exactly that as Matthew Keleman, a Calgary based yoga teacher, shares with us about his own unfolding.  We had a deeply meaningful conversation and it was an honor talking to him as he came open with nothing but his authenticity.  A truly beautiful soul – so many layers, so reflective and he frames his experiences in such a poetic manner helping remind us of the eloquence in life if only we let ourselves see it. 

In Matt’s words “To me, yoga as a term is a reference to the story of my slow unfolding and emergence as a being. My coming together of parts in the realization of what we all innately know but have perhaps forgotten. As a practice, yoga is many things. A playground, and science lab, a theatre stage, a hospital bed...a dynamic expression of the self in all of its living glory and connection.”

Key Nuggets:

  • Another quote from Matt as he writes “I've learned about respect. Respect from an empathetic place. People bare their very souls on their yoga mat; sometimes this is repressive and sometimes it is gushing, but regardless of its nature, it is on display when you come to your mat. While my journey has taken me through specific valleys and over specific mountains with very specific viewpoints, I have come to realize that we are all experiencing this same road with a different lens, and although we have tools for absorbing these lessons and we are entitled to share our stories, it is simply respect for the authenticity of what each person is going through that allows the brightest evolution of the species to shine through peacefully.”

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Being yourself because who you are [at the very core] is who you always will be.  It's about trusting that and learning to love yourself.

Links:

 If you have any questions for Matt or want to learn more, connect with him through:

Classes (based in Calgary): Yoga and Beyond and meditations at Modern + Mindful

Instagram: @monkeyogi

Espisode 12: Reiki noun /’reIkI/ (ray-keeey) Oh, there’s healing energy all around us. Well what’s the scoop on that? with Alishia Alibhai

Alishia Alibhai is a Social Psychologist, Reiki Master, and Soul Coach.  She started off entrenched in the academic side of things but also had a deep seated knowledge that there was something more that she could be doing to help people.  Partway through her graduate studies, she found a course for Reiki and eagerly hopped on board.  She opened up her business, Divine Bliss, in 2009 and has been sharing her healing and knowledge since then.  With a PhD in psychology and all three levels of Reiki training, Alishia offers a unique standpoint for understanding the world of energy.  On the one hand her academic background provokes her to seek hard proof and evidence but on the other, her Reiki training has taught her to trust by experience and through the heart, even if you cannot see with your naked eye.  I was so excited to meet her because that’s the world I live in too!   One foot in our tangible earthly world, and one foot ready to take flight to trust in an inner wisdom that cannot be seen.  Alishia was a wonderful sport as I peppered her with all sorts of questions to try to understand this Reiki business.  What is it exactly?  How can it help us? How does it work?...

Okay, before we dive in, a bit more about the topic.  Reiki, pronounced ray-keeey, is a healing practice developed in Japan by a man called Mikao Usui around the 1900s. The concept is for the practitioner to harness already existing healing energy and channel it to the client to promote health of the body, mind and spirit.  Chances are you’ve probably heard of it or at least seen it depicted in some movie or TV show.  It usually plays the part of comedic relief where an eclectic hippy person tries to heal someone by waving their hands around.  It’s funny, yes, but there’s more to it than just a good laugh.  The exchange of energy between people is something we’ve all experienced, so why wouldn’t it make sense that sometimes the energy exchanged can be healing?  This episode is another stone in the path toward understanding all that is connected.  

Key Nuggets:

  •  Benefits of reiki include improved health to body mind and spirit.  Specifically:
    • Increase relaxation and feeling of peace
    • Decrease stress and anxiety
    • Bring clarity to the mind
    • Clear out energy blockages
  •  Hydrate, drink lots of water before a reiki session
  • When you think about feeling energy, think about walking into a room where there was just a heated argument versus a room that’s been blessed or prayed in.  It feels different, you just know.
  • A Reiki Master isn’t necessarily “better” than somebody with just level I or II.  The secret is in how much you practice.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Trusting.  Trust yourself, we all are powerful and have strong intuition to know what’s best for ourselves.  We just need to hone into it.

Links:

If you have any questions for Alishia or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Email: info@divinebliss.ca

Website: http://www.divinebliss.ca/

Episode 11: Upgrade Your Food Game with Malcolm Saunders

Malcom Saunders is the founder and owner of Calgary’s health food joint, the Light Cellar.  With products like reishi mushroom, chaga powder and your choice of cacao nibs, paste or powder, he’s opening up a whole new world of health foods to this city.  The store also has an elixir bar so that you can get your superfood fix as you shop.  In today’s episode we hear about how this world traveller found his passion in food.  Malcolm also gears us up with tips, advice and a new perspective on how to eat. Spoiler alert: it’s more basic than you think. 

But first, a little bit more about Malcolm:  Malcolm Saunders’ mission is to deeply connect people to their food. He has worked in the field of food and nutrition for close to 20 years and is a public speaker and intuitive chef who specializes in sharing the alchemy of superfoods and superherbs. Through his videos, workshops and seminars he has helped thousands of individuals recreate their relationship to food. He has an expertise and passion for creating and teaching others how to make energizing and healing foods, including chocolate, elixirs and ferments. Malcolm’s desire is to inspire others to live and eat from a space that honours the sacredness of all Life, illuminating the power of influence our food choices have on ourselves, other beings, and the planet we live on.

Key Nuggets:

  • If you want to get into superfoods or even just healthier foods in general, think about it as upgrading your food.  Kind of like the boosters that you can choose when you get a smoothie at a juice shop.  It doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul in one swoop.  Perhaps today it’s a tablespoon of hemp seeds in your salad and tomorrow cacao paste for your hot chocolate.
  • To get started with intuitive eating (eating by listening to what your body needs) follow these steps:
  1. Remember and recognize that your body is self -healing and self- guiding to begin with.  For example, you get hungry when you need more nutrients; you get thirsty when you need hydration.  It can be that easy!
  2. Go natural – ditch the processed foods and move toward foods that are fresh and in its most natural form as possible
  3. Tune into your hunger, know what full means to you
  4. Find a teacher – find opportunities to learn whether it be tutorials on websites, talking to an expert at a health food store or finding speaking events to attend
  • A new perspective on food groups - an ancestral food guide based on the 4 kingdoms of life:
    • Plants: abundant, colorful and vibrant.  A basic guide is that each color represents a nutrients (ie. green = chlorophyll, orange = beta carotene)
    • Animals: understanding that all parts of the animal provide nutritional value
    •  Bacteria: like yogurt ,miso, or kim chi. These are living foods and are important because they help free up nutrients that we wouldn’t normally be able to digest
    • Fungi: from single cell yeast (ie. for bread), to white button mushrooms, this group acts as both food and medicine
  •  Malcolm’s recommendation for a top key superfood is the reishi mushroom, which is grounding and supports the cardiovascular system among other benefits.  You can drink it as a tea or take it as a capsule in powder form.
  • Author Terry Willard has written many books on the natural remedies and in specific, the beneficial properties of the reishi mushroom.
  • This absolutely mindblowing episode about the secret life of plants from Rabiolab.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

It matters just as much what you eat as how you eat it.  Be mindful of what has your attention at the dinner table.

Links:

If you have any questions for Malcolm or want to learn more, connect with him through his websites.  Both have free e-courses that can help you learn more:

https://thelightcellar.ca/

and                       

http://malcolmsaunders.com/

Bonus Episode: BALI DREAMS - Recounting the Trip of a Lifetime with Kim Phan and Nat Phung

                (More Pictures Below!)

                (More Pictures Below!)

I travelled to Southeast Asia for the very first time in March 2016 and it easily became one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had.  I spent half of my time in Bali and I’ll never forget the people, culture, luscious flora, and fragrant cuisine. In this episode, I have the pleasure of recounting the discoveries of this beautiful island with my travel mates.  Below you’ll find a photo gallery of the moments we talk about in the podcast (a picture is worth a thousand words!) and a summary of the tips and lessons learned that we shared.  If you’re planning to travel to Bali I hope you gain some helpful tips.  At the very least I hope you enjoy in sharing with these memories!

Our Adventure Course: Ubud – Jimbaran – Seminyak/Kuta – Sanur – Ubud (for the Bali Festival…which we didn’t even have time to talk about during the show!)

Most Awesome Places:

  • Mount Batur sunrise trek – the biggest highlight of my trip.  A four hour hike up 1717meters that starts at 1am so that you can catch the sunrise by the time you reach the top.  The view is breathtaking as you realize that you climbed so high, you are standing above the clouds.  As the sun rises, the whipped cream clouds dissipates and reveals luscious greenery down below.  And as with almost all parts of Bali, the monkeys are around there too!
  • Ayana Resort – a top notch experience, lavishing us in complete luxury.  Cold towels and tea served to us everywhere we went, access to a private beach and personal greetings at events.  It’s a highlight as we are sure we wouldn’t be able to afford this level of service back in North America!  We actually booked the Rimba, which is the more economical version.  It was the perfect choice because the décor was more contemporary than the Ayana plus we still had access to the entire resort including their eleven pools.
  • Kubu Beach – Ayana Resort’s private beach.  One of the most pristine and beautiful beaches we experienced.
  • Kecak dance (pronounced ka – jak) – traditional Balinese dance using the gamelan (looks like a xylophone).  The sound, pitch and movements are actually indescribable as it’s not similar to anything I’ve ever seen before.  I’ve attached a video (link) because I don’t have the words to describe!
  • Sanur – a quaint town perfect for restoring energy during the middle of our trip. 
  • Fresh tropical fruits – don’t be shy try them all!  Snakeskin fruit, rambutan, mangosteen…. They’re all sweet, delicious and pretty mild.  Maybe except for durian which is a bit pungent, but try it anyway!  It’s the freshest from the side of the street.
  • Spas – a huge part of Souteast Asia hospitality.  The services are well done and you can spoil yourself for a fraction of the price that it costs in North America.

Tips:

  • If you plan to do yoga make sure you bring your own yoga mat or a towel to practice on. Balinese actually don’t practice physical yoga so there aren’t many shops that sell yoga mats.
  • Don’t plan a full schedule everyday especially on a long trip.  We were there for two weeks and so happy to have had 2 days to rest at Sanur.  You’ll thank yourself for the R&R time.
  • It’s HOT over there.  Be prepared – I was so happy that I brought a bunch of workout tops as they helped wicked my sweat away.  Remember to stay hydrated often!

Episode 10: Wake up! Listen, Redefine Success and then Find It with Christopher Lawrence

 

From corporate maven to business owner, Christopher Lawrence is a life coach who found his calling after spending fifteen years in a job that he felt empty in.  The transition didn’t come easy – in fact it took many difficult lessons including death and medication to give him the wisdom that he has now.  Knowing the utter importance of doing what you love, Chris now pours his heart into coaching people toward discovering their dream job. 

Join us as we discuss how to define what success really means, the thoughts that hold us back and why it’s important to definitely try.  Chris shows us how to overcome our obstacles with some fresh nuggets of wisdom, including a very generous offer for a free 90 minute personal life coaching session!  Read on to see how to book with the promo code…

Key Nuggets:

  • Money doesn’t bring you happiness but sometimes it seems that somebody has to reach a point of experiencing financial satisfaction first to really understand this. At least that was the case for Chris
  • Where you steer your car is where you’re going to head.  A helpful metaphor for understanding the power of belief
  • There is a village available to support you but you need to make yourself available to them to help you
  • Redefining failure vs. success: We tend to think of success as a one single point to get to and anything short of it is failure, but what if we think of failure as the one single point and success is everything is in between
  • It’s scary to navigate murky waters….but it’s scarier to not have tried.  We are scared and we come up with a lot of “what ifs”.  The antidote question to those are “…and then what?”.  Continue to answer the questions and you’ll see it’s not so bad
  •  Chris’ single most impactful tool for success: Write down your goals.
    • Go deeper and write down why they are so important to achieve, create an emotional attachment
    • Write down the steps needed to achieve this
    • Write down all of the obstacles that can get in the way and come up with ways to overcome each of those obstacles. Remind yourself how resourceful you are and remember that overcoming obstacles is actually part of the momentum
  • Another question to ponder: What problems have you overcome that you’ve been able to find solutions to?  Because that skill is transferrable to your other issues

 

PROMO CODE:

Chris is giving away a free 90 minute session with him, available until the end of the year, December 31st, 2017.  In this session he will set you up with a motivational map, help you get clarity on where you need to go next, identify obstacles currently in your way, and action items for how to get there.  This offer is available to listeners in all locations. 

Go to www.ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca > click on ‘our team’ > look for Christopher Lawrence > Book a 'top 3 motivator' strategy session > enter promo code MONKI2017 under 'coupon'

Resources:

  • Book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – talks about how to set yourself up for success
  • Book: Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton – talks about the science behind power of belief
  • Iyanla Vanzant – The speaker feature on Oprah that said ‘life will jerk you if you don’t take the subtle signs’

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

It’s not going to go the way that you want it to, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t still be amazing.

Links:

If you have any questions for Chris or want to learn more, connect with him through his:

Email: Christopher@ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca

Website: www.ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca

Facebook Page: Change My Life Coaching 

Episode 9: Canna What? Cannabis! The New Kid on the Block in Natural Healing with Julie Nguyen

Canna what?  Cannabis!  Smoke it, eat it, bake it, vape it.  This mighty little plant is well known for its recreational uses but what can it do for us in terms of health benefits?  Join our conversation as Julie Nguyen, GM of Aura Health Studios & Dispensary, explains why cannabis is the rising star of the natural healing industry…

But first a little bit about my good friend Julie!  This amazing gal has always been ingrained in the world of natural healing.  She was introduced to yoga by her mom although she didn’t know what it was called at the time.  Julie’s mom is also an active member of the Buddhist community so Julie was often exposed to meditation at the temple as a little girl.  This exposure set the foundation for Julie to develop a yoga practice as an adult to find balance and decompress body and mind.  A consistent practice was much needed as she spent twelve years working a fast paced career in sales and marketing across multiple industries.  Eventually she found her way to Aura Health Studios where she was able to combine her corporate experience with her affinity for natural healing. 

She was able to bring her vision for a holistic health studio come to life, where a variety of healing modalities can be offered all under one roof.  Currently they have a massage therapist, nutritionist, acupuncturist, and of course medical professionals for cannabis treatments.  Julie is a trailblazer in the industry as Aura’s concept is the first of its kind in Canada.  The store front doesn’t look like what you think either!  It’s bright, pristine and chic, resonating more like your local yoga or spin studio.  Since our topic is about cannabis, that’s what we focused our conversation on and boy, there’s so much knowledge to be had!! Read on to get the key nuggets…. 

Key Nuggets:

  • There are over 25 medical conditions where cannabis can help
  • The cannabinoid profile of the plant determines the effect that it will have on you.  For example, a higher amount of THC will elicit a “high” feeling and a higher amount of CBD will usually result in anti-anxiety a feeling of relaxation.
  • There are a variety of ways to consume cannabis, including topically which usually helps an individual avoid getting a “high” feeling.
  • One of the most unique properties is cannabis is that different strains have their own terpene profile (kind of the aromatherapy profile) which allows the plant to be bred so that they have specific strain ie. One for insomnia, one for creativity...

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Moving to a new city (Vancouver) and having to build a life all over again helped Julie learn the lesson to take down expectations of herself and be more compassionate to herself and to others.  There’s no need to rush the healing process.  To get the best out of people, show empathy in understanding that everyone is dealing with their own issues at any given moment and also show compassion towards them.  These actions will cause people to open up and as you help them through their struggles, oftentimes you will find yourself being healed as well.  There’s no need to rush through the healing process.

Links:

If you have any questions for Julie or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: aurahealthstudio.com

Email: Julie@aurahealth.ca