5 Natural Remedies For a Painful Menstrual Cycle

 
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Yesterday I was on my moon cycle and was having one of those days where I needed to stay close to the Earth, lay in bed and really allow myself to feel what was happening in my body. 

There was a lot of discomfort, and I realized it was the kind of discomfort I haven't felt in a very long time.

It got me thinking about all the women in the world who experience this kind of pain and discomfort every single month, often for the whole duration of their cycle. 

I know many seek out painkillers and birth control pills just to get through the difficult emotions and physical sensations surrounding their menstrual cycle. 

While I am glad women have these options, I've also been learning more about adverse effects from regular use of over-the-counter painkillers and birth control pills, so I thought I would share some of my natural remedies and discoveries with you in honor of the new moon this week. 

1. Do your best to avoid sugar

I haven't read much research about how sugar relates to our menstrual cycle, but can certainly share from my personal experience on this. 

A few years ago I removed cane sugar from my diet entirely to clear my system of candida and clear my skin (this worked amazingly by the way). 

Then one month when I was on my moon cycle, I was out to dinner, had a beer and unknowingly ate sugar in my salad dressing. That night I woke up with some of the most painful cramps I had had in ages. 

It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, but after being off of sugar again and having another similar experience, I realized it was the sugar. 

This made me also become aware that sugar includes wine, beer, pasta and bread, which all turn into sugar in our system.

But what about when we're craving chocolate?  

Try opting for a dessert sweetened with dates, 100% cacao, or chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar made by my friend Jonas of Firefly Chocolate.

2. Take a warm bath (and bring your crystals)

A warm bath is such a powerful act of self-love for any time of the month, especially when you're on your moontime. I've always loved crystals but only recently discovered my sensitivity to their powerful healing abilities...

Yesterday I was guided to draw a warm bath, and bring my crystals with me. I used clear quartz crystals and placed them over my womb. While listening to my breath I felt a significant shift in the sensations as energy began to move.

3. Practice restorative and yin yoga

Part of what led me to become a restorative and yin yoga teacher was the powerful relief I experienced during my moon cycle after practicing these postures.

Here are a few specific poses that can help alleviate discomfort during the moon cycle:

  • Balasana ~ Child's pose with a bolster
  • Supta virasana ~ knees bent with heels on either side of the hips, thighs together, lay back over a bolster
  • Upavistha Konasana ~ Wide legged forward fold with a bolster in front of you
  • Bending over to one side and then the other while in the wide legged forward fold

While these poses can help get you started, it's always helpful to have a teacher show you the poses to make sure you are set up in them safely.

In honor of the new moon I'll be teaching a restorative moon cycle sequence this week at Westside yoga in Sebastopol with harmonium, singing, and sound bowls. Join me this Friday at 6:45 pm.

4. Use a hot water bottle

Do you remember using a hot water bottle in the nurse's office in elementary school for a stomach ache? 

That was the only time I ever used one until I went to nutrition school and they recommended we use one for all kind of reasons. 

Everything from when we are feeling sad and just want some comfort to providing relief for menstrual cramps. I find the heat is so soothing for my muscles and allows my body to relax more deeply. 

5. Listen to the messages of your womb

Now, if all the tools just aren't working, there is most likely a message your womb is trying to send to you that you haven't caught on to yet. 

Our body uses pain and discomfort as a way to get our attention, and deliver signals and messages that we may not be receiving from the outside world. 

Before I started having all these difficult sensations yesterday, I was actually starting to create a vision board and found myself moving full steam ahead on a particular plan and dream. 

The contractions of my womb were almost immediate.

When I was in the bath, I fully tuned into my womb and asked if there was anything she wanted to show me. 

The answer came: Slow down. Now's not the time for action or even dreaming. Now is the time to be grateful for everything you have. 

Like many of us, I too can get caught up in thinking about "what's next" rather than being in the present moment. The unknown can be uncomfortable, and my mind likes to have a plan.

But as soon as I got the message and allowed myself the physical and mental space to slow down, the physical pain and discomfort immediately dissipated. 

When I find myself in this place of moving forward on a plan before my body and spirit are fully on board, I get pretty clear signals to slow down.

So what could your body be telling you? 

Have you been honoring your relationship to your inner feminine? Is there anywhere you've been pushing or forcing yourself to move too fast? 

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I'd love to hear. 

With love, 
Meredith

 

Simple Pleasures

 
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There was a time when I dreamed of being famous, taking the stage as a speaker, inspiring millions, facing all my fears, starting a revolution...

But lately, that's not my dream.

I've been exploring the question, "What brings me true joy?"

The last few years I've been exploring facets of my own leadership, teaching, and being seen.

It's been transformative, eye-opening and has certainly brought deep soul-growth to my life.

But these days I'm finding pleasure in the most simple moments.

Walks with my cat in the vineyard. Making sushi with my love on a Sunday night. Going to the ocean on a whim to watch the sunset. Remembering the beauty of a flower. Going deep with clients one-on-one.

Slowing way down. 

I'm realizing I'm totally ok with being ordinary. And that actually feels like a huge success.

So today I leave you with a question: Where do you find your true joy? and How could you bring more of THAT into your life today?

I hope you enjoy our new podcast with Rosalie. In the latest episode we explore the meaning behind tantra and how we can use it to experience more joy and pleasure in every moment, whatever life brings our way.

Sending love,

Meredith

 

This One Shift Literally Changed Everything

 
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Is there anything in your life right now that you know in your gut is just no longer working? Something that if you could, you would just Let. It. Go.?

About four years ago there was a time where I taught yoga in 4 different cities over a span of a week. I would be in the car so often, sometimes only to teach a class of one or two students (only earning $5 per student for the hour).

Around the same time I began seeing my first clients as a coach and I would make myself available whenever they were ~ sometimes seeing a client at 9 in the morning, and then again almost 11 hours later that same day.

It was just not sustainable. 

I would feel out of any kind of rhythm and flow. Hustling to try to make it all work. Losing sight of my own self-care practices that were so dear to me.

But I was scared to make a shift. 

Every time I thought about what I could do differently, what I could let go of, what I could change, I would sink into a place of deep fear.

The thoughts went something like this:
But what if no one will want to work with me?
What if I let people down?

I loved the work so much I was willing to do anything to keep doing it. 

But I was exhausted.

Luckily around this time a miracle happened... and a dear friend gifted me a space to go to a retreat that in my heart I just knew I needed to go to...

And in that retreat I experienced the beauty of being uplifted by other women

I experienced what it was like to have other women believe in me and my dreams, even more than I believed in them myself.

It was over that weekend that I got crystal clear about my priorities, my own feminine flow, my natural inner rhythms and asked myself, "If anything was possible, how would I design my life?"

r one of the first times I really gifted myself the SPACE to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

I asked myself:

What do I yearn to give? and how do I wish to live?

That was when I began operating from a place of love rather than fear.

Love for myself, because I knew no one was going to make these shifts but me, and love for others, because I knew if I was taking supreme care of myself I would have so much more to give.

That very week I mapped out and designed my ideal schedule. I gained new clarity on my dreams and visions and I discovered my inner natural rhythms.

I let myself tune into a deeper place of embodiment ~ how I would *LOVE* to really spend my time, my days and how much more I would be capable of when operating from this foundation of self-love.

So.. when it comes to how your days and weeks are looking:

What motivations are you operating from?

How are you making your choices?

What would it look like to shift from a place of fear to love?

Fast forward a few years and...

Life looks a little something like this:

~ Three days a week I am meeting with clients (two or three per day) doing deeply healing work

~ Once a month I teach Yin yoga with live sound healing to a full room of students I deeply care about

~ I set aside 1-3 days for rest and downtime when I know I will be on my moon cycle ~ so I can let go and be connected to nature and come into closer connection with my divine nature

~ I teach EFT with my partner and lead women's circles in person so I have a balance of online/in-person connections 

~ I am interviewing a handful of women for my podcast each month where I am continually inspired and learning new things

~ I have set aside self-care time each morning, and I allow every morning to look a little different

When we take the time to gain clarity about our intentions, we are giving ourselves (and everyone around us) a huge gift.

When we live in alignment with those intentions we create greater ease. And we have so much more to give.

This Friday I am going to be sharing my lifestyle design tools with you in a new free LIVE webinar.

We are going to be putting structures in place for you to create space for your dreams and your ideal schedule while bringing light your natural flow, rhythm and feminine cycles.

And we are going to do it in community. in a sweet, FUN, uplifting space for you to DREAM a little bigger and be supported in those visions. 

Bring your wall calendar, your colored markers, your journal, whatever lights you up and helps you get into your creative zone. 

We'll be meeting at 12 pm PST this Friday, May 4th

Sign Up Here.

I look forward to seeing you there! 
Warmly,
Meredith

 

Why I Didn't Take on New Work This Winter

 

The idea for my Live, Lead, Launch webinar came to me about 6 months ago, but I didn't take action on it.

That's because this winter I was deep in hibernation mode. I had just raised over $10k to publish my book, Just Be and the thought of launching anything or increasing my visibility felt like way too much.

What I really needed was rest. So besides continuing with a few coaching clients, taking small steps forward with my book and teaching a weekly yoga class, rest is what I did.

I gifted myself the time of deep rest and spiritual inquiry.

I took long walks with my cat in the back field. I meditated. I read books. I took naps on my couch.

And to be honest, part of me felt guilty about it. Part of me wondered what was happening to me. Was I losing my creative drive and ambition? Was I becoming a different person? Where was my usual zest for life? I began questioning everything.

I also compared myself to other women making huge strides in their career. I felt left behind. The voices in my head started telling me, "You should be doing more! You should be earning more! You should be serving more!"

In the past, I've listened to those voices, and you know what?

I burned out. I've been in that place where I drove myself to stay up late on the computer night after night and sacrifice my self-care. It was terrible.

I have recently vowed not to push myself like that anymore.

Only within the last few weeks have I felt myself waking up from winter's hibernation. I realize now, I wasn't losing myself.

I was finding myself. The wisdom of my body was guiding me closer to the feminine.

Honoring a feminine way of being and living is cyclical. It goes through phases of contraction and expansion.

Think of a woman giving birth. There are times of intensity, and then there are periods of rest. It's honoring that there is a universal force moving through you, and you have to trust in the process. You can't make it happen any faster than how it is naturally meant to unfold.

So I've been focusing my energy on one project at a time. I consistently ask myself:

Where do I invest my energy to make my highest contribution?

I have more trust in the natural rhythms and cycles of being a woman. I know it's okay if I go through periods of great expansion and periods of deep rest. I trust in the divine timing of when a project is ready to be birthed.

And after many months of incubation, my latest project, Live Lead Launch is ready for you.

If this way of living and being appeals to you, I'll be sharing more about it in my free webinar tomorrow.

Just click here to sign up if you haven't already. We go live tomorrow at 12 pm PDT.

In this webinar you'll learn:

  • How I went from $5/student as a yoga teacher to 5-figure months as an online entrepreneur
  • A system to design successful online courses (as well as mistakes I have made along the way)
  • How to address fears and doubts of becoming a leader and teacher
  • How to embrace a feminine way of being and living to avoid burnout when running a business

Even if you can't make it live, when you click here and sign up you'll be sent the replay while it's available.

And if you've been feeling the call to rise as a feminine leader, I know you probably have a deep calling to birth something into the world...

Today, I invite you to trust that it's happening. My hope is this free webinar will give you the tools you need to take your next steps while honoring the feminine in the process.

With love,

Meredith

 

When Insight Strikes in the Middle of the Night

 
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Image source from @the_soulessence

During my travels over the last month I had a mentor pose a question to me:

“If you only had 5 years left to live, what is the one message you know you need to dedicate yourself to?”

The answer came to me in the middle of the night after waking up from a bad dream.

In the dream I was being faced with a scary situation where I felt like I was losing someone I really loved. I woke up to my heart beating fast and my solar plexus tied up in knots. 

Instinctively, I began listening to my breath and I placed my hands on my body. I welcomed all the sensations and let them wash over and through me.

I watched as the stories of my mind ran wild until eventually, my breath slowed and my heart beat became steady again.

I connected to a feeling of love I have in my heart, a love that over the years I have come to know is always with me.

I sent that love to every cell of my body.

As I lay awake in the middle of the night, I realized I had full power to love and soothe myself in a time of need, holding myself with compassion, the way a mother would hold a child. 

It was in that moment I realized the power self-love has had on my life.

I asked myself:  What if every challenge or difficult situation I am facing is actually an OPPORTUNITY to more deeply love myself? 

I believe we all have the power to love ourselves through any challenge or difficulty in our lives. 

I believe when we tap into the power of self-love, we no longer need to be afraid.  We then have the ability to share our love without fear, to take risks, and to really stand up and share our gifts in the world.

Today I invite you to think about what challenge or difficulty you are currently facing... How could you see this challenge as an opportunity and invitation to even more deeply love yourself? 

I'd be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

With love, 
Meredith

 

How I Married *Myself*

 
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Last month on my birthday in Costa Rica I found myself alone in the ocean performing a ritual of marriage, to myself.  

I had just received a glorious massage and was feeling strong and embodied.  I followed my intuition to submerge myself in the water, and found myself calling in the four directions as my witness, then speaking my vows out loud.  

As soon as I finished speaking, a huge wave washed over me, and it was done.

In the days leading up to this experience, I wrote a blog post for Over the Moon Mag about "How to Marry Yourself," and was happy to have it published last month.   I invite you to check out the article and learn more about my experience below:
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A few weeks ago, my boyfriend woke up from a dream where he was at his own wedding.  I excitedly listened to him recount the details, wondering if I was going to be in it.  “What did my dress look like? Were we on a beach? A church? In a field?” I wondered.

My daydreams were cut short when he said, “There was no bride. I was there, my family was there, but there was no bride.”

I looked at him, disappointed.

He continued, “Then I looked to the priest and I realized I was the priest. I was the groom AND the priest. I was literally, ‘marrying myself.’”

I’ve heard of self-marriage before but had never felt the call to do it myself. But after hearing this dream from my partner, I began to wonder about my own dreams of marriage.

I realized I had placed a lot of energy on waiting for that “perfect magical moment” when my boyfriend would propose to me and all of my problems would disappear. 

I realized I had placed a lot on the idea of marriage, subconsciously carrying the beliefs:

“When I’m married, then I’ll feel safe.”

“When I’m married, then I’ll be able to take bigger risks.”

“When I’m married, then I’ll feel more complete, knowing I’ve lived out this childhood dream.”

But here I found myself writing this article on the beaches of Costa Rica, a few days before my birthday, where I took myself on a self-love adventure.

I thought to myself, “If I can leave the country and treat myself to this kind of trip, why not marry myself too?”

I realized that even if I do get married one day, wouldn’t it be a good idea if my partner and I had already established a firm commitment first to ourselves?

So I sat down and wrote out my vows. 

I found a ring and created a simple ritual to perform on my birthday. 

The whole process came quite intuitively to me, so I thought I’d share the steps I used in case you feel the call to marry yourself as well…

1.  Write your Vows

Take some time to free write about what commitments you want to make to yourself.  They can be broad or specific.  I chose to keep mine very simple as I wanted to remember them easily and reference them often.  They looked a little something like this:

I vow to honor, love and value you.

I vow to help you feel safe, secure and provided for.

I vow to take care of your body with delicious, home cooked meals.

I vow to give you space to rest and play.

I vow to hold you by the hand to face your fears and encourage you every step of the way.

I vow to be present with you and to listen deeply to your needs.

I vow to live in gratitude for all you are and all you bring to my life.

I vow to love you unconditionally and hold space for your emotions.

I vow to experience the beauty and magic of life by your side.

2.  Adorn Yourself

In some cultures, adornment is seen as a spiritual practice.  I know when I take the time to beautify myself, to put on a new outfit, a little tinted lipgloss and a piece of jewelry I save for special occasions, I feel a deep sense of beauty on the inside as well as the outside. The key here is to FEEL beautiful.  Ask yourself what would that entail…

You can also think about if you want to have a special ring or piece of jewelry to symbolize your vows to yourself.  Maybe you bring new meaning to a piece you already have, or find something new to adorn yourself with.  Then whenever you look at it, you can remember the vows you promised to uphold. 

3.  Create a Ritual

Think about what kind of setting you want to be in when you share your vows.  Do you want to be alone?  Or with people who love and support you?   Do you want to be in nature?  Or in another location with special meaning? 

When you find just the right setting, take a few moments to center in.  Close your eyes and feel your breath.  Take a few moments to call in the directions, or any teachers, guides or angels you feel connected to.  If this is all new to you, you may like to call upon the support of a priestess to officiate the ceremony. 

Then, when it’s time, read your vows out loud.  You may feel more comfortable doing this alone, or in a circle of other women to be seen.  Listen to your intuition.

When you’re done, celebrate, and remember you don’t need anyone or anything outside of yourself to be whole.  It’s all already there.  Sometimes all it takes is a little intention and ritual to remember the love you already have inside.

I’d love to hear if you decide to create your own ceremony, so feel free to let me know how it goes in the comments.  <3

 

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You're In A Rut

 

Last week I was on my first coaching call with a woman who had been going through several months of feeling depressed.  "I'm in a rut.  I don't wake up feeling happy like I used to.  I know I'm a happy person, but for some reason, I can't access that feeling right now.  I don't know what to do or where to start,"  she said.

I asked her questions about her life and found out about her stressful 50+ hour per week job, challenges in her relationship, and lack of connection to her body because of how much she was working.  As I listened actively with compassion and acknowledged her for all she had been going through, a lightbulb went off in my mind and I knew the exact next questions to ask her.  

Through my years of coaching women to find their voice, face their fears and manifest a new vision for their life, I have found there are four key areas that we can look at to lead us to greater joy, love and fulfillment.  I have found when I am sharing my gifts, facing my fears, taking care of my body, and creating structures of support around myself, I can't help but feel happy. 

The next time you are going through a rut, or feeling depressed, I invite you to ask these 4 questions:

1. Am I sharing my gifts to the fullest capacity?

It can feel pretty hard to be happy when we know we have strengths and skills that aren't being utilized.  This is why even when my clients are working at full-time jobs and don't plan to leave, I encourage them to find ways to share their natural and innate gifts either through their work or outside of it.  I also support new entrepreneurs who are ready to turn those gifts into their full-time work.  Every time, I have seen when we are finding ways to honor and share our gifts, it leads to a sense of fulfillment, wonder and joy.

2. When was the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone?

I need to consistently step outside my comfort zone in order to feel more alive.  I used to be so afraid to teach yoga, it was one of my biggest fears, but when I jumped in and did it anyway, I felt so full of life and proud of myself.  Now I have to find new ways to challenge myself, so twice a month I show up to a public speaking group where I get to tap into that feeling of nervousness and then feel proud of myself after giving a speech.

Eleanor Roosevelt says, "The very next thing you should be doing is what scares you the most."  So what is something that scares you?  Can you commit to facing that fear, knowing how good it will make you feel?

3. Am I listening to my body's wisdom?

Our bodies are full with wisdom and send us very clear signals when something needs to shift in our lives.  We develop pain, skin problems, or other symptoms when something is not right.  It is our job to listen to those signals instead of pushing them away.

I believe intuition is so important because it guides us closer to our purpose.  When we numb out the wisdom of our bodies, we lose our connection to divine guidance, we forget why we are here, and as a result can easily suffer from depression or feelings of meaninglessness.

However:

When we use our intuition, we are guided to our highest potential as beings and are able to live more meaningful, synchronous and connected lives.

The place to start, is simply taking good care of your body.  Eat well, take time to rest, exercise, do yoga, meditate.  When we are doing the simple acts of self-love and self-care, our body's wisdom will start revealing itself to us and we will know the next steps to take to lead us to greater joy.

4. What kind of support do I need?

I remember recently when I was going through a difficult time, I found myself relying mostly on my partner.  However, it became really difficult when my partner went away for two weeks and I didn't have him to listen to what I was going through. 

I told my friend Kevin about it and he shared a metaphor with me.  “If you’re only relying on one person in your life, it’s like you’re standing on top of a flagpole.  That’s a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere.” 

I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.

He continued, “However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it’s okay if one of them takes a break.  You still have seven other legs to lean on.” 

When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed.  It is so much healthier.

I think it’s really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs.

However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.

So what kind of support could you need through this hard time?  Is it more friendship?  With women? With men?  Or could it be a therapist or coach that would be the best kind of support to you? 

When we are able to set up multiple layers of support around ourselves, no matter what happens, there will always be someone to turn to when you're looking for someone to listen. 

If you don't know where to start when it comes to sharing your gifts, facing your fears, listening to your body's wisdom, I invite you to ask for support.  I would love to connect with you more, hear what you have been going through and see how I may be able to support you, or point you in the right direction.  You're always welcome to contact me personally here.

 

One Life-changing Ingredient for the New Year

 
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There I was, at my favorite restaurant, just having spent two hours in the self-care studio using the steam room, baths and sauna.  Life was good.  There was nothing to complain about.  I had every reason to feel good about my life. Then my mind came in.

I began thinking about the week ahead and all the things I "had to do."  Soon I was quiet and felt a nervous feeling in my belly.  I continued my conversation with my partner, but the feeling persisted.

I finally spoke up about what I was feeling.  "Once I started thinking about my week ahead, I started feeling really nervous and now I can't relax."

Michael asked me more about what I was feeling and I went on to list about 20 reasons why I couldn't relax.

Luckily Michael is an EFT practitioner, a therapy that uses tapping on the body while using affirmations to create new belief systems.   He began tapping with me and I began repeating the affirmation, "I am relaxing now." 

I spoke all the reasons one by one why I "couldn't" relax:

  • "Even though I haven't practiced for my kirtan performance this Wednesday, I am relaxing now"
  • "Even though I have a book submission due this week and I haven't started yet, I am relaxing now." 
  • "Even though the insurance company told me I have to get a new car after my accident, I am relaxing now." ...

I repeated this affirmation or "mantra" over and over while following Michael as he showed me the meridian points of my body.

By the end, I realized even if I am feeling overwhelmed, I can still choose to be relaxed.  

I have control over how I want to feel.

When I began to relax, I looked at my life from a bird's eye view. I remembered everything was going pretty great.  I had to consciously remind myself:

  • I have enough money to pay all my bills and do what I love 
  • I have a nurturing relationship and open communication with my partner
  • I have eight beautiful women signed up for my retreat next May... and the list goes on..

After that conversation, I gave myself permission to relax.  Since then, my life has looked a little like this: 

  • I am allowing myself to be late so I don't need to stress out and rush
  • I am driving extra slow on the roads
  • I am taking the elevator instead of the stairs when I have a lot to carry
  • I am scheduling more massages for myself
  • I am breathing deeply and smiling, even if the line at the post office is going out the door...

This simple ingredient has provided a change in perspective that is affecting my whole life. 

I find myself approaching my business from a place of wholeness and joy knowing there is nothing big at stake, and I am remembering to relax during the times that used to stress me out.

So what is your mantra for this new year?  What affirmation makes you feel grounded and centered?  

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, Meredith

 

 

 

 

Lessons on alone-ness and community

 
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My natural tendency in life is to retreat.  To be by myself.  This has always felt most safe for me.  I savor time alone and find much comfort in it. However, this past month has really asked me to step outside of my comfort zone.  

I chose to spend a lot of time on my own earlier this month and soon learned it wasn't serving me, especially when I had some difficult emotions come up.

When that happens, I often turn to my yoga and meditation practice.  But sometimes yoga and meditation just isn't enough.  

Sometimes I need to be held in community, in friendship, and especially in sisterhood.

I sat on my couch a couple weeks ago with two dear friends and told them about how it was for me having so much time alone while my partner was away for two weeks.

One of my friends Kevin shared, "If you're only relying on one person in your life, it's like you're standing on top of a flagpole.  That's a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere." 

I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.

He continued, "However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it's okay if one of them takes a break.  You still have seven other legs to lean on." 

When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed.  It is so much healthier.

I think it's really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs.

However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.

So this is what I'm working on in my life right now:  becoming the spider.  Creating those levels of support around me so my weight can always be easily distributed.

It hasn't always been easy.  I see it takes being vulnerable.  It takes reaching out even when my tendency is to retreat.  It takes stepping outside of my comfort zone and sharing all of myself. 

Through it all though, I see I need to do this for myself to uphold my vision for Rising Women Leaders.  I am creating layers of support for women to live at their highest potential.  To heal, lead, teach and rise up as their highest selves.  I am creating a safe space for women to lean on each other and feel safe in sharing who they really are. 

Have you ever found yourself swept up and leaning mostly on one person?  Did a time ever come where that person couldn't physically or emotionally be there for you?

What could you do to more evenly distribute support in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments.

There's only one more day to apply for early pricing in the Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat.  The retreat is more than half full with an amazing group of women joining together for 7 days of yoga, self-love, sisterhood and leadership.

I will honor the $200 off pricing for all applications received before midnight today, December 1.

If you are seeking this kind of support and community in your life, I invite you to apply here. 

With love, Meredith

 

 

What You Need to Know About Love & Fear

 
tall trees-self love-fearless-peace-how to face your fears

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance... ~ John Lennon Of all the places in the world, I read this quote pasted on the wall of a port-a-potty at a music and yoga festival in the forests of Oregon.

The quote stayed with me one evening when a friend of mine had an anxiety attack.  She began to feel oversensitive to the lights and sounds of the environment around us and her mind filled with fearful thoughts.

I brought her back to our tent with another friend.  We soothed her, listened to her, gave her pillows and earplugs, and reminded her to breathe.

Soon, she began to feel better.

As we called in grounding, soothing energy for her, we heard a woman outside with a baby.  My friend went outside to see who it was.  It happened to be someone she knew, so we invited her into the tent with us.

She said her name was Love. 

Instead of staying up late on the dance floor, we chose to relax in my tent, three women learning from Love.

We asked Love lots of questions, and when we asked her about her experience giving birth she shared, "It was a constant practice of being present.  As soon as I let my mind wander to the past or worry about the future, there was pain..  But when I was fully present, everything was fine."

I realized this insight also applied to my friend who had the anxiety attack - the anxiety only became worse for her when she immersed herself in worried thoughts about the future.  

However, as soon as she came back to the present, focused on her breath and the loving people around her, she relaxed.

In every moment we have a choice - to choose fear or love.  We can choose to be stuck in the past, worry about the future, or we can be fully present in the moment.

Fear exists in the future.  Love exists in the present. {tweet this}

This is why yoga and meditation has been such a valuable practice for me.  I can now catch my mind when I spiral into worried thoughts, and I naturally come back to my breath and the sensations in my body.  This immediately brings me back into the present moment, and I realize everything is fine.

When you find yourself full with worried thoughts, how do you come back to the present moment?  What helps you remember to choose love over fear?  I'd love to hear what works best for you in the comments below.

I am excited to be back to teaching three weekly yoga classes in Sonoma County this month (details here).  I am also getting ready to travel and teach at Burning Man and Erica Jago's (now full!) EARTH retreat in September...

I'm sure I will return with many fresh insights and stories for you.

Until then, sending love, Meredith

 

It's okay to wait for your ripeness

blackberries-self love-patience-self love-spirtual entrepreneur

It’s the time of year where blackberries are ripening in my backyard, however, many of them are still not ready to come off the vine. Have you ever tried eating a blackberry when it was not quite ripe?  

Even if there's just a little bit of resistance to pull it off, it will be sour.

However, if you are patient, the blackberry ripens and will be so sweet, and so easy to pull off.

I've been taking the wisdom of the blackberry to heart this summer and reminding myself it's okay to slow down and wait for my ripeness.

I've been remembering that the times in my life where I pushed before I was ready, it felt like a struggle.  

If you are willing to be patient, willing to wait for your ripeness, it will be easy.

Where have you been feeling a struggle in your life?  Could it be that you're pushing before your ready?  Maybe it's time to listen to the wisdom of the blackberry, to be in the joy of waiting for your ripeness.

I have lots of projects, ideas and creations in the works now, including a new one-on-one offering  for creative, wild & free women with an entrepreneurial spirit.

I'm excited to share more as these projects come into their ripeness.  Stay tuned for more info coming soon...

With love, gratitude & patience,

Meredith

Romance & Raspberries

 
couple in sunset- self love-raspberries-relationships-romance

I was recently sharing about self-love and self-care in my VISION program when one of the women shared her insight: "Some of the self-care acts you suggested are what I normally do in my day:  cooking, grocery shopping, making the bed, however all I needed to change was my intention.  When I did, these mundane acts became more sensual, pleasurable, and even romantic."

My suggestions were to "Make your bed luxurious, fit for a goddess," "Cook yourself a delicious meal and use your best silverware and place settings to eat it, even if you are alone," and to "Buy yourself a delicious box of raspberries and savor each one, even if the $6 box seems outrageous..."

When you bring romance into your relationship with yourself, you are less dependent on receiving that kind of love and attention from outside of yourself.

When you release the pressure of receiving romance from others, you come into a state of wholeness, and most importantly:

 
Screenshot 2015-07-13 20.29.50
Screenshot 2015-07-13 20.29.50

I believe attracting the kind of love you want in your life begins with treating yourself as your beloved, as you would treat your romantic partner.

Today I invite you to ask:  "How can I be more romantic with myself?"

Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Splurge the 5 or 6 dollars to buy yourself a delicious box of organic raspberries.  Eat them with love and mindfulness, savoring every bite
  • Cook a delicious meal while listening to soft music, then light a candle and eat it with your best plates, glasses and placemats
  • Put your best sheets and pillows on your bed to enjoy a night drinking tea and reading

What are some of your favorite acts of self-love and self-care?  I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Love, Meredith

How I recovered from total heartbreak (new video)

 
women praying-self-love-forgiveness-heartbreak-meditation

Four years ago I experienced a difficult break-up.  At the time, I was given a choice - to hold on to my resentment and anger, or to remember all is impermanent, learn how to let go, forgive and open myself to miracles and true love again.  There I was, alone in my room, tears streaming down my face.  I had just slammed the door on my love and my dear friend because I found out, "He wanted to be with her now."

I had been living in a house with my new friend Sara over the last month in Spain while my love was traveling to teach a retreat abroad.  Sara and I became very close over that time while I waited for my love to return.

I welcomed him, so excited to have him back in my arms.  I also introduced him to my new friend (we were all staying in the same house that week).

Then, over the course of the week, I began to notice Sara and my love spending more and more time together...

Finally, one day in the kitchen, I confronted him.

"What's going on between you and Sara?" I demanded.  There was a pause, and then the words came, the ones I suspected were true, but never wanted to hear..

"I'm not going to lie to you Meredith.  I always told you I was too free for most women.  In all honesty, my energy is moving towards her now." 

I spoke no words.

"NO," I screamed over in my mind.  I tightened my hands into fists, unsure of what to do with myself next, unsure of what to say back to him.

At that moment Sara walked into the room and immediately knew what we were talking about.

I looked at her with rage in my eyes, then left the kitchen, slammed the door behind me, and locked myself in my room.

For a moment, I let myself lose it.  Tears streamed down my face while loud sobs escaped from my broken heart.

But then.... something happened.  Something I had never experienced before in such an angry and distressed state... I began to notice my breath.  All the hours I had spent in meditation in the previous months traveling in India had become an innate part of me.  I was able to react in a completely new way I had never seen in myself before.

And with that breath, I began to notice my sensations, as pure sensations, rather than labeling them as anger, resentment, or heartbreak.

In just a minute, my whole body had changed and I was calm.  I no longer felt like an angry victim.

In that moment, I realized I could not control another being.  I remembered that all was impermanent.  I knew that even though I loved him so deeply, that it was true, he was free, and I couldn't control his needs or desires.

Sara knocked on my door, nervously awaiting my next move.

I turned back to my breath.  I knew I had a choice.  I could continue to breathe, and be the witness to all that was happening in my body and my situation, and I could forgive, or I could get lost, fuming in anger and resentment, and try to make the people who hurt me feel as bad as possible.

Today, I want to share this video with you from my training, #LiveYourVISION because this is one of the most important lessons I have learned and it is a valuable tool I want you to have.

You can hear the rest of the story, and learn the meditation that helped me get through one of the most difficult moments of my life right here.  

 
Screenshot 2015-05-06 11.42.58
Screenshot 2015-05-06 11.42.58

How I Fell in Love with My Meditation Practice

 
meredith rom-Self-love-vision-devotion-over the moon

Over my career as a yoga teacher I have spoken to many women who strive to keep up a home yoga or meditation practice, but quickly give it up when life gets busy. 

I used to constantly struggle with keeping up a morning practice and would feel guilty when I fell off track.  I tried numerous ways to keep up a practice, but had a hard time keeping it up and wondered, “Why is it so hard for me to keep a consistent connection to spirit?”

I know that when I am connected, and do take out that time in the morning to myself, I am so much more present, calm and compassionate throughout my day.  I know that’s when I rely less on others and am more in tune to my inner guide. 

When I connect to the love within myself, I am not constantly searching for it in my relationship or places outside of myself.

I’ve found more than anything else, when I made my meditation practice enjoyable, it became sustainable.

I knew I wasn’t going to wake up every morning to sit quietly and do something I dreaded.  I had to lure myself into my meditation practice.  I had to bring in the romance.

Gabby Bernstein says, “I made spirit my boyfriend.”  When she did that, everything else in her life began to flourish.  When we fall in love with spirit, we begin to attract and manifest what we want and need in our lives easily.

I know how hard it can be to keep up a daily meditation practice, so I wanted to share the top ways that helped me fall in love with spirit and keep my morning practice sustainable…

I learned to:

Shift from Discipline to Devotion

I used to live in a house where my roommates and I practiced silent meditation together for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.  The practice became so disciplined that I began to avoid it altogether.  Even though I willingly created the rules, when I felt constricted, all I wanted to do was break them.

I eventually moved out of the house, and went months with no meditation practice.  My rebellious side wanted to take back control.  After awhile, I began to miss those solitary moments with my breath, but I knew I had to approach my practice in a different way.  I remembered something my yoga teacher had said about developing a home yoga practice, “No one is making you do it.  You’re doing it for yourself.  Think of it as a devotion, rather than a discipline.”

Shifting my perspective and realizing, no one was making my do it, but rather I was showing up in devotion to myself and to spirit changed everything.  I suddenly was able to show up to my meditation pillow, and my mat with ease.

Change it Up

When my practice was the same silent sitting everyday, I got bored and went back into avoidance.  I learned I needed to change it up once in awhile, even if it was a slight change to stay with it.  Some mornings my practice includes yoga, some mornings it is pranayama, and sometimes it is mostly silent meditation.  When I prioritized devotion over the structure, I was able to let go of the guilt and keep coming back to my meditation seat.

Call on an Archetype

I began connecting to archetypes in my meditation after reading Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.  I would imagine a heroine, chief or goddess I felt connected to and began to ask, “Please express yourself through me.”  Over many days of connecting to the powers and attributes of someone I looked up to, I began to embody the qualities myself.

Move and Breathe First

What many people often struggle with when meditating is a “busy mind.”  The Indian guru Osho says you need to get all the garbage out of the mind first before you can get anywhere in silent meditation.  The best ways I have found to “get the garbage out” is to breath and move my body.  That could mean going on a run first, putting on music and dancing or shaking, or doing breath of fire or other kundalini breath work before silently meditating.  When I exert myself first, then sit silently, the experience becomes so still, silent and peaceful.

Bring in the ROMANCE

When I began to think of my morning practice as a devotion, I began to think of all the ways I could make my practice more enjoyable.  I bought an essential oils diffuser to create beautiful aromas of Rose and Geranium into the space.  I sat on a heating pad to feel warm and comfortable, I began my practice with singing, and made my altar a gorgeous representation of my devotion.  Every day I felt so happy waking up to my practice because of how loving and romantic it became.  This is the art of falling in love with yourself.

Connect to a Vision

After learning about the law of attraction, I began to bring manifestation to my morning practice.  I wrote out, in the present tense what I wanted to create in my life and in the world.  I connected to how I wanted to wake up and feel everyday.  I connected to why I wanted what I wanted, and every morning, read this vision out loud.  Every morning then became not only a devotion to myself and to spirit, but a devotion to what I wanted in my life and for the world.

Set a Container (A   begin and end date)

In order to create a new healthy, habit, it helps to choose a set number of days to do your practice for.  Feel free to start small and say something like, “For the next seven days I am going to do this practice.”  Put a reminder in your calendar, an alert on your phone, or a note on your bedside table to stick to it.  Tell yourself, “If resistance comes up, I am going to just sit down and do the practice, only for these seven days.  If I still don’t want to do it after these seven days I don’t have to anymore.”  Chances are, you will be able to keep it going after the set amount of time you create.

I choose to do my practices in forty day increments.  Forty days is historically known as a sacred time period for enacting change.  It can clear old subconscious patterns, set up new positive patterns, and change your life for the better. At the end of every forty day cycle, I celebrate and reflect on what has changed in my life.

Get Others Involved

It helps to know there are other people out there meditating with you.  Try calling up a friend and creating an accountability partner.  I began a whole program based around creating a vision and meditating with other women for forty days because I wanted to create that accountability for myself and others.  The program grew to include women in five continents.  I began to see when I meditate, I am not just meditating for myself, but I am meditating for the visions of women all over the world.

Whether you are just starting a meditation practice, or you’re a seasoned meditator, try these tips when you sit down for your practice to fall in love with your own connection to spirit.

 

 

How I Found My Glow As A Feminine Leader

 
leadership-self love-body love-courage

I was recently thinking back to when I first started teaching yoga.

I went a whole year after my training before I started teaching. I used the excuse, "I don't know enough yet" and I went to find more trainings.

But really, I was afraid of being seen as a teacher or a leader.

I felt insecure, my skin was breaking out and I wasn't eating well. However, I didn't know any better. I was eating lots of sugar, dairy and flour while I travelled India going to meditation retreats and trainings.

When I returned home, the thought of being in front of my friends, let alone a group of students at the front of the room teaching, felt terrifying.

Because I didn't feel good in my body, I didn't have the confidence to stand in front of the room as a teacher. I didn't have the courage to lead.

Luckily around that time, I started learning about nutrition, and how what I was eating was affecting my body. I read the book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods, by Victoria Boutenko and decided to try eating raw foods for a few weeks to cleanse my body of all the toxins I had accumulated from a poor diet.

My acne slowly began to clear up and I discovered an inner and outer glow I hadn't had before.  I saw that

The more you take care of yourself from the inside, the more confidence you have on the outside. {tweet it}

The better I felt in my body, the more courage I had to take risks and lead from my heart.

The last few years I immersed myself into books, programs and school to learn more about nutrition, how to clear my skin, and develop more confidence from the inside out.

Many of my clients have had similar challenges when it comes to sugar cravings, imbalanced hormones, mood swings and cystic acne. I see many women trying to reconnect to the rhythms of their body, but not sure where to start.

I decided it was time for me to share this knowledge. I created a teleclass series, Find Your Glow As A Feminine Leader. to share the steps I used to clear my skin, nutrition tips to balance hormones naturally, sync with your cycle and tap into feminine energy to develop a fearless inner confidence to become a leader and a teacher.

I am overflowing with information on this topic, way more than I could share in a blog post or email, so I created the teleclass series for those of you ready to go deeper and learn more.  If you feel called, sign up here!

Love, Meredith

_____

About the Author:

Meredith Rom empowers women to access self-love and divine feminine wisdom through yoga, coaching, and writing.

 

My secret to staying calm and getting stuff done.

 
postnotes-self love-grounded action-live your vision

Last week I made the time to take a morning off and drive down to Marin to take a yoga class with my friend Tara. Afterwards we were eating lunch and I was telling her about all the things that were on my plate and what I was working on for VISION.  She looked at me and asked, "Meredith, how do you get so much done and still have the time to come meet me for yoga on a weekday??"

I thought about it, and remembered back to the time I was living in New York City and would sometimes spend 8+ hours a day in front of a computer.  I always felt like I was in a rush, behind schedule, and that there was never enough time to get everything done.  I had chronic headaches and jaw tension and began to see the link between spending so much time in front of the computer with my stress levels and the pain in my body.

Today, I work on my business 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday (during a program launch it may be more) and spend between two and four hours at the computer on a workday.  On Mondays I work on the marketing side of my business - writing blog posts and corresponding with administrative tasks, then I see clients in three timeslots over the phone Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That's it.

In my free time I go to yoga classes, I take an hour and a half to make a delicious lunch and on Fridays I meet with girlfriends for tea, yoga, or I go to a cafe to write in my journal or to write the next chapters in my book.

My schedule may seem relaxed, but behind the scenes I am loving up my eight one-on-one clients, having client consultations over the phone and skype, and am putting tons of energy into enrolling my online group program.  I am also an active member of my local toastmasters chapter where I have to prepare 10 speeches over the next few months, I make time to lead workshops and one-day retreats, I create teleclasses, I show up for biweekly meetings with my mastermind group, oh and I teach yoga classes!

Because I am so sensitive to spending too much time on the computer, I know I need to focus in order to make the most of my time and actually get things done.  

Here are a few of my secrets:

I Start My Day With A Run

I've been working to raise up the heat levels in my body (I'm generally very cold) so I have been doing more cardio exercise.  In the last month, 2-3 days a week I will wake up, grab my ipod and go outside for a run.  It takes 30 minutes out of my day, I run down the road outside my house for one mile and run or walk the mile back.  Starting the day with the fresh air and moving my body energizes me for the rest of the day and connects me to my intuition and priorities.

I feel more focused and productive from the start.

I Eat More Protein

Since I started my business I have had to learn how to hustle and feed my body in the best way to provide me with the energy I need.  I remember being in nutrition school and listening to founder Joshua Rosenthall share about how he started his nutrition school.  He ate a macrobiotic diet for most of his life, and then when he was creating his school, he actually started eating more protein and occasional meat at that time.

He was building an empire, and his body needed more protein to push through.  As I have been creating my online program and enrolling for it, I have been feeding my body more protein - sunflower seeds, kale, fish, tempeh, beans, and most recently bone broth.  Having this extra protein in my diet gives me the energy and sustenance to BUILD all I want to create.

I Ask For Support 

Last Monday I sat down with my partner and said, "Michael, for the next two weeks I need your support.

I am going to put EVERYTHING into enrolling for this program, because it is so important to me that these values and teachings reach more women.  

Just for these two weeks, I need more support.  I am not going to be doing the laundry, tidying up the house, making meals or doing the dishes as much as I usually do.  

I need to devote my time and energy into my business right now and I am asking that you step up and support me during this time."  Michael saw how important it was for me to step up for myself, my business and the women who will be joining me in my program, so he gladly said, "Yes, I'm here to help." 

I Take Baths 

Now, more than ever, I see the importance of my own self-care.  I know I can't be telling my clients to go to yoga, take baths, or take time to cook organic homemade meals if I am not doing it myself.

Every time I take a bath or do something loving for myself, I think of the women I teach and know that I am a living example of my teachings.

Every time I take a bath, I feel any stress from the day melt off my body and I sleep more soundly through the night.

I Meditate

Meditation is my time to connect to my WHY.  Why am I doing what I am doing?  Why is it important for me to reach out to these women?  Why is it important for me to create this program?

When I connected to my mission in this life, I realized, "There is no time to waste."

I need to show up for myself, because I care so deeply about teaching women how to step into courage and self-love to honor their bodies and live their passions.  I feel it is so important to join together in sisterhood to gain the strength for us all to elevate the consciousness of the world.

When I remember that, I push through my fears and blocks and get things done.  In VISION I will be teaching my personal meditation practice for manifestation, and we will be supporting each other through 40-days of daily devotion and meditation.

I Follow Time Mastery Tools 

I work with a number of tools including batching and bookending that allow me to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.  I use spreadsheets, I have financial tracking systems in place, and I use an online scheduler.

Being efficient with my time has been KEY to getting things done without wasting time at the computer.

In VISION I will be teaching the tools I use as part of the week on "Grounded Action."  We will be taking our dreams and visions, and actually putting them in the calendar.  We are going to create a roadmap of the entire year ahead.

I Created My Ideal Schedule 

"You are the owner of your time and you choose how to spend it."  When I learned this statement at the Live Free retreat I attended in October, I took the time to sit down and map out everything that needs to happen in my week.  I created my personal and business goals for the year and then I put them into my weekly schedule so I knew my goals and ambitions would have the spaciousness in my schedule to actually happen.

In manifestation, we sometimes think we can just wait for everything to come to us, when in reality we need to take action.

I will be guiding the women in VISION to create their ideal weekly schedule to find the time to "fit it all in."

If you are ready to step up for yourself and be held accountable for making your dreams a reality this year, I invite you to join VISION.

It is time to step up, face your fears and take action towards your dreams.

There are 4.5 days left to enroll, and only a few spots available.  If you are ready to take grounded actions toward your visions, and honor your body and spirit in the process, I highly recommend you join us. 

Deep down you know if this is the right next step for you to take.  Don't waste any time and miss this opportunity, enroll now. 

Love, Meredith

P.S. On Wednesday night I am leading a Storytime Q&A teleclass.  You can ask me ANYTHING - questions about how I run my business, how I make time for it all, questions about VISION, my meditation practice, etc.  I will be sharing a few personal stories of synchronicity and manifestation - how I fell in love, how I found my home, and how I created relationships to take my career to the next level.  You can sign up and submit a question in advance here.  All sign ups will be sent a recording the following day.  See you there!

 
storytime
storytime

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom helps women find the balance between divine feminine and masculine energy to manifest their dreams and live their visions.  She helps women tap into self love and create a life full of magic through her writing, coaching, and yoga retreats.

Self-care as a pathway to self-love

 
self love-body wisdom-personal growth

This week, I'm happy to share a guest post I wrote for The Sacred Plate.    The Sacred plate is an online community to encourage girls and women of all ages to align, support each other and share their individual wisdom to find balance, healing and meaning in the sacredness of their plates.

So many women are at war with their bodies.

And I've been there...in the endless fight against emotions, weight gain, acne, warts, freckles, cellulite, split ends... the list is endless.

"I don't want to feel this right now."

"I hate how I look in this."  

"If only I were... taller/shorter/thinner/curvier..."  You get the idea.

In the past, I turned to food, alcohol, or shopping to calm and distract these thoughts, as so many women do.

"If I eat this ice cream, at least I'll feel better for now and won't have to think about how crappy I really feel about myself"

I had days where I picked out the part of my body I would do anything to change.  It would consume my thoughts.

And then as soon as I could let go of the thoughts about my body, the thoughts turned to my personality:

"Why can't I be more outgoing?  Funnier?  Louder?"

The thoughts all added up to:  There must be something wrong with me.

It's been a long road for me to find a deep level of acceptance and self-love.  What I see now, is that it didn't happen all at once.

It was the little actions I did again and again that led to my own radical self-acceptance.

 

Now I guide other women on that path to find self-love.

However, through my work, I've learned, no matter how much love and encouragement I funnel to my clients, I cannot make my clients love themselves.  That has to come from them.

So where to start?

The first step is awareness.  Ask yourself, "Where are these thoughts coming from?" "Is it the tv shows I'm watching?  Am I surrounding myself with people who talk negatively about themselves?"  "What was my mother like when I was growing up? - was she the kind of woman who gave to everyone but herself?"

Once you have the awareness, you can take action.

Stop buying the magazines or watching the tv shows that always end with a carton of ice cream in your lap.  Listen to inspiring TED talks or Super Soul Sunday instead.  Make new friends in yoga class.  And remind yourself, "I'm not my mother/sister/best friend from highschool/etc..  I can do this differently"  

Then you can create a new reality.

I believe it's impossible to feel stuck and depressed for too long if you are consistently:

  • Eating whole, organic foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking baths
  • Meditating
  • Giving yourself enough time to rest
  • Having meaningful connections and relationships

I started with small, consistent actions of self-care to discover love within and for myself.

Here are some of my favorite self-care techniques I use for myself and suggest to my clients:

1. Take an epsom salt bath

The salts will relax your muscles and draw toxins out of the skin.  You'll come out feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to cozy up with a book or fall asleep.

2. Read affirmations while you're brushing your teeth

I have a poster hanging on my bathroom wall that I read while I'm brushing my teeth, putting body butter on my body, or going to the bathroom.  It is a constant reminder of I AM ETERNAL LOVE.  Or I AM FORGIVEN.  You can find more of my favorite affirmations in my 4-day Self-Care Reset.

3. Drink herbal tea

When I feel a sugar craving, loneliness, or simply want to do something nice for myself, I make a cup of tea.  Try my favorite Tulsi Cinnamon Rose, it is luxurious.

4. Let go of FOMO - the fear of missing out (and go to bed early)

Because sometimes the night at the bar would be no where near as nourishing as staying in, cooking a delicious dinner and falling asleep by 9 pm.

5. Practice yoga and meditation

This is where I learned to be with myself as I am.  I realized, there's nothing wrong with me, and there's nothing I need to change.  I show up to my mat as I am and can let go of self-judgements and negative thoughts.

In the beginning, it will probably not be something you want to do, and that's okay.  If you're coming from a stressful lifestyle or have a lot of negative thoughts rolling around in your head, it will probably feel unfamiliar and maybe downright uncomfortable to take these steps.  You may even do anything to avoid it.

But from my experience, freedom is waiting for you on the other side. When you PUSH THROUGH and make these small actions of self-care a priority, you will no longer be at war with your body.

It is so much harder to be at war with your body when you are consistently and lovingly taking care of it. {tweet it}

After awhile, you may not even be able to live without your self-care routine.

When you are taking loving and consistent steps to take care of your body, you may no longer be able to pull an all nighter.  It may be harder to take on more than you can handle at work.

But it will be easier to say "No thank you" to the cookies your friend offers, because you'll realize, "I just love myself too much to do it." 

And all of these small actions will lead to to waking up one day, looking in the mirror and thinking, "Wow. I genuinely love myself." 

At least that's what happened to me.~

In the comments, I'd love to hear, what small act of self-care will you take today?

With love, Meredith

Is technology a drain in your life? 4 tips to "digitally detox"

 
self love-detox-technology

A few months ago I was visiting New York, sitting in a cafe having a session with one of my clients.  She was sharing how she generally didn't have the time to take baths, read books, or fully unpack and move into her new apartment.  She was having trouble sleeping, woke up late and struggled to have a relaxed breakfast in the morning.

This is not an unusual problem - most of us are rushing out of the house in the morning, and struggle to find the time to read real paper books.

I asked her, "What are some activities you do in the hours after work and before bed?"  The answer included things such as checking her phone, watching youtube videos and shows on the internet.

Many of us don't realize how stimulating computer screens really are...but, have you ever been half asleep on the couch, ready for bed, then check your phone to put on your alarm clock and suddenly half an hour has passed while you are on instagram and you realize you are totally awake again?

I know I've been there.  But I've also realized the value in turning off my devices in order to reclaim more time and space in my life.

Just last weekend I devoted an entire day to a "digital detox".  My partner, Michael, and I turned off our cell phones and computers.  Without our computers or phones to distract us, we rediscovered:

  • The nature surrounding our house
  • Telling stories that we never heard from each other before
  • Singing and writing new songs
  • Cuddling

It was so refreshing to have one whole day to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect to my immediate surroundings.

What would you do if you had a day with no technology?

Would you take out the sketchbook gathering dust in your closet?  Go on that bike ride you've been meaning to go on for ages?  Or what about taking out one of those unused recipe books to cook a delicious new meal?

Here are four tips to "digitally detox' on a daily basis:

1. Get a real alarm clock with soothing nature sounds.  When your phone is your alarm clock, it is the last thing you see before bed and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning.  There is a huge temptation to check your emails, facebook or instagram any time you look at your phone.  So why not avoid the time drain and turn off your phone at a reasonable hour?  I bought an alarm clock a few months ago and now start my day to the sound of running water.  It's been a huge shift in my life to save the energy I would have drained looking at my phone.

2. Install flux on your computer for the occasional night time use.  Download this software to save your eyes when you do have to look at your screen after dark.  It syncs with your location to change the color tone of your computer screen after sunset.  Instead of staring at a glaring white screen, you'll be looking at candlelight tones and avoid overstimulating your eyes.

3. Check email for only 30 minutes twice a day and commit to writing back to the emails you open right away. (instead of constantly checking your phone as new emails come in) This is pretty straightforward.  Set aside time to sit down and check your emails.  Put a timer on to give yourself thirty minutes to be fully present with the emails, write back to each one you open, and then log out to focus on other work.

4. Turn off all devices - computers and cell phones by 8 pm.  (Or at least two hours before you plan to go to bed)  Give your body a break from technology to wind down in the evening.  When you turn off computers and phones, your body will be able to tune to the natural energies surrounding you such as - the sun setting and fall asleep more easily.

When you try these tips, you may notice you suddenly have the time to: 

  • Take a bath
  • Wake up fresh and early and have enough time to make breakfast and eat it at home (as opposed to the car)
  • Clean and organize your home
  • Read books
  • Connect with someone you love
  • Fall asleep easier and sleep through the night.

For more tips, dowunload my 4-Day Self Care Reset.  

Is technology a drain in your life?  What activities would you do that you haven't had the "time" for?  Try these digital detox tips and let me know how they turn out!  I'd love to hear from you in the comments below...

With love, Meredith

______

About the Author:

Meredith Rom empowers women to access self-love and divine feminine wisdom through yoga, coaching, and writing.

 

 

My before & after story (and 10 steps I took to feel great in my body)

 
body wisdom-self love-acne

Today I wanted to share with you about a time in my life I haven't publicly shared about before.  On the internet, it's easy to show off our best selves and not talk about the struggles we have had, but when I think back to why I even became interested in nutrition in the first place, it was because of my own health issues.

My struggles have made me who I am today, so I hope in sharing what I've been through, you too will begin to see that real change is possible.  Any hardships you are experiencing right now are ultimately necessary to take you where you need to be.  I now feel great in my body, however, I did not always feel this way.  I had serious struggles with weight gain, acne, and slow digestion, and at the time it was really hard to love myself.  Now, I am grateful for those struggles, because they have guided me to be where I am today: lean, energized, happy and sharing all of my knowledge to help other people.

It all started three years ago when I traveled to India.  I arrived with a one-way ticket and a six month VISA and was determined to stay as long as I could.  Little did I know, my health would take a toll during my time there.

Chai was literally on every corner and I loved it.  Every day I drank the milky, caffeinated, sweet cup full of sugar, two, three, sometimes even four or five times a day.  I ate buttery, salty restaurant food (and sometimes ashram food depending where I was staying) for breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday, for six months.

I ate ZERO raw food because I was advised by my doctors in the US to avoid all raw greens and vegetables because the water it was washed with might not be safe.

I wore flowy, loose shawls and ali baba pants for six months and had no access to a full-length mirror or a scale, so I didn't even notice when I added an extra 15 pounds to my normal weight.  However, I knew something was wrong because my skin was breaking out with cystic acne and I was tired all the time.  The extra 15 pounds, did not make me feel more womanly, I just felt heavy, lethargic, and constipated.

When I was back in the states, my dermatologist gave me antibiotics to clear my skin, so to add to the whole problem, I wiped out all my friendly intestinal flora bacteria.  It was the third time my dermatologist had me take several weeks worth of antibiotics, and this time, it did not help my skin, but it only made it worse.

On top of it all, I came home to no job, no home (besides my parents), no community, and no boyfriend.  I felt lost.

That was when I started searching.  I thought, there must be something I can do to fix this BESIDES take more pills.   After the antibiotics, my doctor wanted to give me accutane, more antibiotics and birth control pills.  I remember asking him, "Is there anything I can change in how I eat?"  and he replied, "No, that is just a myth that what you eat affects your skin.  You should just stick to the pills."

 

That was when I took my health into my own hands and went to the internet.  Through my research, I learned my skin was breaking out because my liver and intestinal track were congested and my hormones were out of balance.  Taking accutane, antibiotics, or birth control pills would only further mask and worsen the underlying problem.

My research then led me to solutions.  Simple solutions: I need to change how I eat.

I stopped making the doughy parathas and chapathis made from white flour that I learned how to cook in India, and started making green smoothies.  I learned how to cook delicious, healthy meals full of fiber and nutrients, I rebuilt my intestinal flora, I made new friends, discovered my love of teaching yoga, fell in love with my now boyfriend, and in 2013, decided to go to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach.   Within one year, I cleared my skin, optimized my digestion, lost the weight I gained, and finally felt happy.   

So here are the 10 steps I took to get started: 

1. I drank more water 

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.  Drinking more water has been proven to cure all kinds of ailments including headaches, constipation, toxic overload, even stomach ulcers.  Before I do anything else in the morning, I drink an 8 oz glass of water (and sometimes I add fresh squeezed lemon for vitamin C and liver cleansing properties).

It is best to drink water before having caffeine in the morning and to drink one or two glasses of water for every cup of coffee. You should be able to have a bowel movement within half an hour of drinking a glass of water every morning, before drinking caffeine.

2. I balanced my hormones (and added in tons of fibrous whole foods)

My mood was all over the place when I came back from travelling.  The acne I had was hormonal - near the mouth and along the jaw line.  First I cleared my pathways of elimination so extra estrogens in my body could be eliminated by my liver and intestinal track.  Then I learned about what foods to eat during each part of my cycle.  I started eating greens with every meal, brown rice and quinoa and beans.  I switched from butter to coconut oil and supplemented my diet with Omega 3's from fish and cold pressed flax oil.

Learn more about balancing your hormones in my program, Nutrition for Clear Skin and Balanced Hormones.  

3. I made my own sauerkraut and goat milk Kefir for probiotics to rebuild my intestinal flora 

Most probiotic pills don't make it through the acids of the stomach to the intestines.  I started making whole food sources of probiotics like  raw sauerkraut (recipe here) and raw goat milk kefir.  Goat's milk is tolerated by even many who are lactose intolerant because the digestive system of a goat is more similar to a human.  When the kefir grains sit in the goat milk, it makes the proteins even more digestible through the process.  These fresh strains of probiotics healed my intestinal track from years of overusing antibiotics.

4.  I drank warm water and Magnesium calm before bed 

Many Americans are deficient in Magnesium - a key mineral necessary for the body to absorb calcium.  Magnesium also relaxes the muscles, helps you sleep through the night, and loosens the stools to minimize constipation.  "Magnesium Calm" is a white powder and can be found in the supplement aisle of any Whole Foods or health food store.

5. I cut out dairy 

Hormones in milk today are affecting the delicate hormonal balance of many women.  Cow's milk inparticular is very congesting to the human body and can be difficult to digest.  After drinking non organic low fat milk for many years, my body became sensitive to dairy, and it congested my system.  As soon as I stopped drinking cow's milk, my constipation lessened and my skin started clearing.

If you are going to drink milk or eat cheese, eat it to be the way nature intended it to be:  full fat, from healthy animals that graze in the fresh air on green plants.

6. I switched from processed sweets and cane sugar to agave nectar, honey, dates, coconut palm sugar and stevia 

I used to have intense sugar cravings.  Especially any time I felt sad or lonely, I immediately went to sugar to lift me up.  It became a struggle, because my blood sugar levels would spike, then quickly drop, making me more depressed, and have even less energy.  The sugar fed the candida in my system, and with no healthy intestinal flora, I became constipated and gained weight.  When I came back from India, I couldn't quit sugar all at once, so I switched from all cane sugar products to sweeteners with a lower glycemic index such as agave, honey, dates, coconut palm sugar and stevia.

7. I started making green smoothies and switched to a primarily raw foods diet for the first month to kickstart my new eating habits

Green smoothies became my FAVORITE breakfast.  I read all of Victoria Boutenko's books and eventually bought my own vitamix to enjoy the creamy, delicious smoothies.  Green smoothies allowed me to pack in more nutrients in my diet and helped me clear out my digestive track.  Because the green smoothies are made with not just greens, but also fruit, they taste delicious, and my body started craving greens.  My first month determined to improve my health, I ate about 80% raw foods to help my body detoxify and start better long term habits.  If you want to learn more about green smoothies, download my green smoothie handbook with 15 recipes.

8. I made self-care and self-love a daily practice 

It was hard to love myself when I didn't feel good in my body.  I took small steps to start loving myself, because I knew when I loved myself, I would naturally choose the best foods to put in my body.  I started taking salt baths, rubbing my favorite cacao body butter over my whole body, and used affirmations.  It felt uncomfortable at first, but it has become one of my favorite rituals in my life.  My clients receive my favorite self-care gifts to start nourishing and loving their body in my programs.

9.  I found my community 

It was hard to arrive back from six months in India to old friends in New York that went out to bars for fun.  I was hardly interested in staying out late or drinking alcohol, and I was ready to find a community that had a similar interest in health and wellbeing.  When I moved back to California I meditated every day on finding the right friends and the right home, and within three months, founded an intentional community house in Berkeley with six friends.  Everyone loved to cook, knew so much about healthy eating, and wanted to set aside two hours a day for silence and group meditation.  When I surrounded myself with the right environment, I learned from everyone around me and began to thrive.  When I no longer had to eat dinner alone, I stopped using food to fill the hole when I felt lonely.

10. I began a consistent daily spiritual practice 

My spiritual practice has gone through many transformations over the last three years, but it has always been something that keeps me grounded.  It is the time when I can reflect and vision, and come back to what is really important in life.  It connects me back to myself, brings me in touch with my body and emotions, and strengthens my intuition so I know what steps to take next in life.  It makes me feel connected to something larger than myself, and has helped me know my purpose and start living it.

The third chakra: the solar plexus

 
self love-chakra-yoga-solar plexus

Last week I noticed sensitivity in my solar plexus - the space below my chest and above my navel.  It's the place we feel "butterflies" if we are nervous, and sensitivity when this chakra ~ the Manipura ~ is not in balance.

Manipura literally means the seat of our power.  When this chakra is closed, we may have emotions of unworthiness, fear, or disempowerment arise.  If this chakra is too open we may become aggressive or too headstrong.  It is important to find balance in our chakras ~ to calm the emotions and live as our authentic selves.

The demon of the 3rd chakra is shame, and shame keeps us from living our true self desires.  I asked myself, "When were the times in my life when I felt sensitivity in this area?"  I realized it was in times of my life when I felt unworthiness.

I noticed the soreness in my solar plexus when I needed to make a phonecall I was afraid to make.  The fears were intimately connected to my solar plexus and sense of worth.  I brought breath into the space of tightness and realized that in noticing, observing and breathing into the sensations, the sensations subsided, and after I made the call despite my fear, the sensation was totally gone.

By stating affirmations now, I remind myself, "It is safe for me to be powerful,"  "It is safe for me to change my life in positive ways."

The sensations in the solar plexus, and feelings of unworthiness are an invitation to step into the places that may destabilize our power.  However:

The seat of our true power is in the willingness to be with the instability.  It is in the willingness to be with ourselves as we are.  

So the next time you feel those uncomfortable sensations, breathe into it and be willing to sit with them until they pass away.  Remind yourself of your worthiness with affirmations, and let yourself step into your dreams.