I am pretty sure I have felt every emotion there is to feel over the course of this past week, while processing everything that came with Hurricane Sandy. We remained safe in our little apartment in Brooklyn. We weren’t directly impacted by her wrath, other than not running 26.2 miles as I thought I would, we were spared destruction… but I still feel connected to the heartache.
The feelings started with relief + joy to have an unexpected day off from work, which then transformed into shock, and disbelief which opened the doors to: sadness, discomfort, gratitude, helplessness, relief, internal conflict, selfishness, guilt, directed, unfocused, faithful, & questioning.
There was a lot to process and I still find myself working through different emotions & thoughts. I wonder what I can do, and I feel ridiculous worrying about being productive and setting myself up for a good week, while others are dealing with massive destruction and figuring out how to put the pieces back together.
This storm brought perspective.
I feel incredibly fortunate & grateful. I will move on, just like everyone will – some maybe quicker than others. I will do what I can to lessen this traumatic event for others and I will go on to set myself up for a great week back at work. So I can connect myself back to my purpose so I can serve and be present to others.Post a comment
I used to start the day by waking up and immediately reaching over for my phone. I would automatically and mindlessly check my email, Facebook, and whatever else.. all within 1 minute of opening my eyes to a brand new day. I began to realize I could start my day in a much more thoughtful way, and now this is what my mornings looks like:
- Wake UP
- Wash up
- Drink water
- Get down on my yoga mat and wake my body with some cat/cows + down dogs + cobras + childs pose
- Sit and breathe for 10 minutes
- Set an intention for the day
Then I am free to check my phone…
In order to feel grounded and ready for my day, I need to take this time to get clear about the day. Lately, I have been meditating for at least 10 minutes before I move on with the rest of my day. And don’t think when I say the word ‘meditate’ I am sitting with an empty mind, completely enlightened, watching my breath… haven’t gotten there yet! My mind normally is a big swirl of thoughts, and I just work on watching them and observing rather than reacting. A definite work in progress. But from that quiet comes my intention that I create for the day.
One of my favorites from this week was:
‘I greet this day with fluidity, moving into the spaces of my day – present and clear.’
How do you get ready for the day?Post a comment
We just moved into our new apartment and I am falling in love with living here. You can’t beat waking up with sunlight streaming into the bedroom, doing yoga and watching the birds bounce around in the trees, and meeting our new neighbor who lives right outside our window. (no joke)
I went on a run in Prospect Park this morning, where I marveled at the trees and all their brilliant colors. Then I stopped at the farmers market for some ingredients for our first meal at home.
I made acorn squash, a kale + apple salad with toasted pecans, with quinoa piled somewhere. It was minimal prep, and super tasty and healthy. Here’s what it looked like:
And here is what I did:
Preheated oven to 450
Cut acorn squash in half, removed seeds, drizzled olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper (or you can make it sweet with brown sugar / maple syrup)
Baked it for an hour
GOT QUINOA READY
KALE + APPLE SALAD:
Tore kale off the stem
Massaged with dressing: combination of olive oil, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, salt & pepper to taste
Toasted chopped pecans
Cut Apple into bite size pieces
Mixed and Viola! Dinner is served.Post a comment
‘Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Clarity is something I search for every day. When I get clear I become efficient, I get things done. You may have experienced moments of clarity where everything seems aligned. It feels magical.
When I am clear I move towards the life of my dreams. When I take the time and space to arrive into my body, into my breath, and into my mind, I am able to create clarity and I find my intention. When I nurture and feed my body the best food that I can, I feel light and aware. We have this body that we use as a vehicle daily, but how often do we take the time to maintain it? Check in with it? Really be in it and feel what is going on?
There are many ways to get back into your body but I have found there is something so powerful about yoga, about its ability to align the body and the mind. As I move my body in a meaningful way, I am able to connect to my breath, which opens up space in the mind and leaves me feeling clear.Post a comment
I want to eat what I want to eat, and that is that. I don’t like diets, or the word RESTRICTION, so I just ate what I wanted to eat. Which was all fine except for the occasions when I found myself wiggling into my pants, or when I looked at a photograph of myself and then asked my husband that loaded question “Do I look fat?” (which normally ended up in me giving him the silent treatment for a few hours.)
Both my body and my mind was in constant fluctuation. I thought I was eating healthy, and I kind of was, but clearly something was stuck. My stagnant diet started to reflect my then stagnant life. I wanted to shake it up a bit. So I spent three months working with my wonderful friend and health coach Alaina Muckell. I started to learn about the power of food. My perspective on what I ate shifted. And instead of
‘I can’t/shouldn’t eat _______’ it became
‘I don’t even want to eat ________’
My 4:00 snack attacks shifted from a cappuccino and a biscotti to an Amazing Green Bowl, with blended kale, spinach, acai, banana, and almond milk. I became obsessed with super foods, in love with Whole Foods, and maybe slightly addicted to reading the ingredients of my food – for better or for worse. I found myself extremely passionate about what I was discovering and I soon realized I wanted to take this to another level. So now I have started my journey to become a holistic health coach, and thrilled about the possibilities.
Although, even with my new relationship with health I still occasionally find myself eating many, many chocolate covered peanuts at the end of the day. But the thing is – that happens less frequently, and I realize the craving is coming from a much deeper place. So maybe one day I will maybe be chocolate covered peanut free, but I doubt it, and I don’t think I’d really want to be.
Post a comment
It’s not often I find a magazine that has rich and meaningful content on nearly EVERY page. So when I stumbled upon Origin Magazine I knew it was something special. With meaningful musings about YOGA. ART. MUSIC. CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE. HUMANITARIANISM. & SUSTAINABILITY, it is jam packed with interesting and inspiring articles. I haven’t even finished this issue yet, but here are some of the gems I have found so far.
“We watch our depths rise to the surface, and if we are sensitive enough, allow that which does not serve us to be released without judgement or disdain.” – KK Ledford
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Energy is like money; once spent, it’s gone. – Will the nutritional return justify the digestive energy expenditure?” – Brendan Brazier
So pick up your copy at Whole Foods and see what you find. :)Post a comment
Some people’s eyes light up when they go shoe shopping, but my eyes light up when I browse through chocolate bars. But not just any collection of chocolate bars. I have left my Hersheys and Nestle for something way better – organic chocolate. With actual cocoa beans as the first ingredient rather than sugar, and with only about five real ingredients rather than ten questionable ones – it makes for a much more satisfying treat.
Today I picked up a 70% dark chocolate that was beautifully packaged by Madecasse Chocolate. It was deliciously smooth, and perfectly paired with almonds. So go ahead and take a stroll among the organic chocolate bars and see what treasures you find – and let me know!Post a comment
I have officially started my journey to become a holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and it is exciting. I have become really passionate about health and wellness and I am looking forward to sharing what I learn along the way. Tonight’s dinner deserved to be shared. I can tell when I make something really good when my husband compliments me profusely throughout the meal. So that means this meal isn’t just healthy but super tasty. I found this recipe on IIN’s Facebook page, it called for kamut, but I used red quinoa instead.
Side for 4, Generous main dish for 2
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 small leek, sliced
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/3 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Get your quinoa or any grain you choose to use ready
- While the quinoa is cooking, place the cubed butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
- When the quinoa is almost done cooking, heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leek and shallots, then season with salt and pepper. Sauté gently for 15 minutes or until golden, but not browned.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add mustard seeds, curry powder, cumin and cayenne, if desired. Cook and stir for one minute to bloom the spices. Add the white wine vinegar and cook for two minutes more.
- Remove from heat and add to the cooked quinoa.
- Stir in the lemon juice, roasted squash and fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper, as desired. Toss well and serve warm or at room temperature.
Take a deep breath and enjoy!Post a comment
my new dance room
Starting new things can be tricky. And starting a new job, at a new school has been challenging to navigate. I have been constantly wondering: Where do I go for what? Who do I ask? How will I make friends (for real)? My mind becomes filled with the general thought of – everything is hard. Everything! Like making friends, getting my room set up, planning my curriculum, finding the right person to talk to, etc, etc. Eventually I started to believe the voices in my head, and I felt super stuck. So I took matters into my own hands, and practiced a method I have been learning thanks to my work with Handel.
I write what I want my life to look like. I filled my mini-intention book with big declarations for my day first thing in the morning.
mini green intention book
So this is what I wrote…
I am an irresistible friend. People are drawn to me because I am a good listener. I make people feel valued and I am interesting. I am a source of energy and light and people gravitate towards me.
The moment I walked into the building Tuesday morning a woman who I have not yet met, came directly up to me and introduced herself. I had meaningful conversations with people I had not yet seen since we returned to school, I had a place to sit at lunch, I was an irresistible friend!
I am a powerful leader. I speak with clarity and grace, and I get what I want and what I need seamlessly. It is easy, I attract things effortlessly.
The Result: The materials that I was missing for my dance room were delivered straight to my room. I found more of my missing materials in a pile on the 7th floor. I ate lunch with my boss and went through my whole laundry list of requests that were received openly. I was a powerhouse of clarity and grace!
I know it is silly, I sometimes can’t help but laugh at myself while I am sitting on the subway telling myself ‘You are an irresistible friend Leah!’. haha. BUT IT WORKS! There is something very powerful that happens when you claim something before it has become real. Chasing out the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. By setting my intention for the day ahead my thoughts and actions are channeled and in alignment with my ultimate vision for who I want to be.Post a comment
I just returned from a 12 day vacation that was filled with the most glorious happenings. I saw bright yellow finches flying around purple flowers, an intricately symmetrical spider web glistening in the sun – with the spider waiting patiently in the center of the web, a shooting star, and luminescent jellyfish on a kayak ride home from dinner. I spent time with family and long lost friends, rode my bike, ran around the island, napped in the hammock, and of course soaked in the sun.
One morning I rode my bike out to an isolated beach to do my morning yoga and I literally laughed out loud with how incredible life has been. Then I remembered a sentence I wrote in my journal – defining my dreams through my work with the Handel Group : “The most magical form of life comes from me and I can’t help but laugh with gratitude.” All of a sudden the words I wrote on a piece of paper a few weeks ago were completely my reality. Crazy!
It is so easy to think and believe that the world comes at you, but really – the world, your world is coming from you. Reality comes from your thoughts, your breath, your food, your interactions, your experiences, your relationship to yourself, to others – it all is coming from YOU. That is some pretty powerful stuff right there, and important to remember your power when you are feeling blocked, frustrated, lost – because that is a natural part of life too. At the same time – when life just simply rocks, acknowledge yourself because you created just that.Post a comment