Posts in For the Mind
Exercising the Choice of Forgiveness

We’ve all heard the sayings, Forgive and forget and To err is human, to forgive, divine. But what if you feel like you can’t forgive, let alone forget, or you simply don’t know how?

A long time ago in a state far away I was an angsty twenty-something who was carting around a big ole U-Haul full of righteous anger and “woe-is-me” stories. There was no doubt in my mind that I had been dealt a shitty hand and I would share my grievances with anyone who asked (as well as plenty of people who didn’t). I was often rewarded with sympathy, empathy, and pity, which helped keep my stories alive and, well, it also kept me unwittingly stuck on repeat.

Cut to a few years later, the anger/resentment I was schlepping around was getting heavier. I had no idea how to put it down. The damage had been done long ago and the story of it had become part of my identity. If I put it all to rest and changed that story then who would I be?

You could say I was at a crossroads.

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A Guide to Empty Nesting

When your kids are small the idea of dropping them off at college seems practically inconceivable. First, it often feels like you were the one who was just college-aged yourself, and second, can we just get them out of diapers/sleeping in their own beds/enrolled in kindergarten…before we start talking about college for heaven’s sake? But as any parent knows, this roller coaster ride moves fast and picks up speed as it goes. Even though we know that there's an exit ramp in place, it’s still a bit of a gut punch when you say goodbye to your child and drive away. 

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7 Paths to Essential Self-Care

*Note: in honor of International Self-Care Day, here is a new and improved version of an earlier post. 

As a coach I’m always looking for good metaphors to help make sense of things we humans keep tripping over or bumping into. For instance all know that in case of an emergency, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we try and help others. If we can't breathe then we are useless to everyone - including ourselves. Daily living in the 21st century can feel relentless and stressful and often keeps our adrenals running so high that our bodies think they are in an actual, ongoing emergency and that ain’t good. What’s a girl to do? For starters, embrace new ways turning down the stress and amping up the self-care. Self-care is not selfish. It’s the metaphorical oxygen mask. Here are 7 ways you can you can add in more self care, without breaking the bank or even breaking a sweat (mostly).

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The Power of a Morning Ritual

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder it can be a real challenge to get ourselves out of bed in the morning. Our beds are so cozy — especially on grey winter days! It’s much easier to roll over, take your phone off the charger and start scrolling through social media and email, all the while telling yourself that you’re only gonna take a quick look - like, just to feel caught up or only until you feel “more awake.” But then 5 minutes becomes 30 minutes or more and before you know it you’ve fallen into a hole of looking at someone else’s vacation pics, admiring your best friend’s sister’s baby or puppy, checking to see what the weather is like in NYC, vaguely planning a menu for a dinner party you haven’t even scheduled and comparing your mom life/work life/fitness life to pretty much everyone else’s (which, PS, - feels like sh*t). Add that to the stress of checking the latest news headlines, realizing that you have scores of unanswered emails plus mentally reviewing the day’s commitments and suddenly your morning vibe gets fully zapped. You feel rushed and out of alignment that is not at all how you want to start your day.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Lately I've been thinking about what's real and what's perceived. We all know that many of the things we see on social media are chosen or curated to get the ultimate response. And while sometimes we feel inspired, connected or amused, lots of times we get triggered into "compare and despair" and end up feeling like our lives, our bodies and our selves are somehow lacking. We keep scrolling through, trying to shake off the feeling, forgetting that we're seeing only only a part of a story, not the big picture. It's not a whole truth. 

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30+ Ways to Nourish Yourself (that have nothing to do with food)

I’ve developed a real crush on the word “nourish” over the years. Could be that whole “Jewish mother” thing but it feels deeper than that. Yes, there is something about cooking and feeding people that fills me with joy. It's become a part of my inner and outer identity that I cherish. I use the healthiest ingredients and the food I cook is nutritious, delicious and full of love. But nourishment can be about more than just the food we eat. Living a healthy lifestyle involves nourishing all your parts: body, mind and spirit.

I believe it’s important to find things that feel nourishing even if they have little or nothing at all to do with food. The more nourished we feel, the less likely it is that we’ll wander off in search of a quick distraction in the form of food that we’re often not even hungry for in the first place.

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How to Adjust to New Normals

Fact: life is constantly throwing us curveballs. There’s always gonna be something, oftentimes unexpected, that will come along and shake things up in some way. Also fact: The way we choose to deal with the curveballs is entirely up to us. Whether it’s hormonal changes like menopause or adrenal fatigue, emotional changes like a break-up or becoming an empty-nester, or physical changes like a sprained ankle, a bum knee or even an unwanted diagnosis, the more resilient we are, the easier it will be to adjust to new normals - whether they’re temporary or permanent. The more we cultivate resilience the faster we can bounce back from those inevitable curveballs and return to the business of living our lives. I’m not saying you have to like the change, but learning to acknowledge it, grieve or heal as long as is necessary and not allow it completely derail you is part of being resilient.

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Getting Started With Adaptogens

Because I have my ear to the ground on all things wellness related, I often hear about trends that at first may seem kind of "out there" or too good to be true, but often catch on and become media darlings.

Adaptogens totally fit that description.

Like many things that seem "new" in health and wellness, adaptogens have been used for thousands of years by ancient healing practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, you may have heard of things like maca (a hormone-balancing root from the Andes), reishi and chaga mushrooms (both fantastic for immune support and brain function) or ginseng (a fabulous energy booster) and not even known that they were adaptogens.

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How I remembered to trust myself

Hi, I’m Lisa, a long time collector of quotes, song lyrics, good metaphors and positively motivating phrases. I’ve always been that way - even before I became a life coach a few years ago. My old journals are crammed with inspirational snippets beginning at about age 12 up until probably yesterday. Sometimes it’s been a challenge to not fall fully down the life coach cliché rabbit hole and have an entire Instagram account full of feel-good quotes. I can’t help it! I love the positivity of it all. 

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Yoga and me: a love story (part 2)

You may have heard me waxing poetic about yoga lately. That’s because me and yoga got it going on right now. After years of having a very sporadic relationship with yoga  (See “Yoga and Me: a love story (part 1) I decided to give it another concerted effort in the form of a 30-day self challenge this past January and I gotta say, me and yoga are digging each other.

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How to get out of your comfort zone (and why it's important).

Have you ever heard the quote, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone?”  If so, I’m guessing that you probably nodded agreeably, noted that it is indeed true but that you’re too busy to think about changing things up right now. You’ll think more about it tomorrow or after you finish working or driving the carpool or getting through your to-do list or whatever. Well, today is “tomorrow” and I’m going to challenge you to think about it right here. 

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How to Create Habits that stick for the New Year

Happy New Year friends! I hope you all had a delicious and relaxing holiday and that you’re ready to kick off the New Year feeling rejuvenated and ready for action. I absolutely love this time of year because a brand new year feels full of possibility and possibility is the gateway to change. I don’t think of it as “New Year, New Me” because I like the me that I am - I’ve worked hard to become her! That said, change and growth go hand in hand and I’m all about growth. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (which often don’t last through the month), I prefer to approach the idea of change as cleaning out some of the inside clutter.

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9 reasons why you need to take Yourself on a wellness retreat

I am leading my Yes, THIS! Wellness Retreat again in October with my friend and colleague Dr. Louise Rose and I would love for you to join us. It's on the Oregon Coast (so beautiful in the fall!) and it's the PERFECT place to engage in some exquisite self-care.  If you've never taken yourself on a retreat before (and even if you have) I urge you to consider this one

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Wellness is as wellness does

I was recently talking with a group of people about Wellness and it was revealed that several of them did not have a clear understanding of what Wellness was "supposed" to mean. They had many varying opinions. Some seemed to think that Wellness was a vague and over-generalized concept, some felt it was strictly about being in good health and others felt that it referred to how healthy they were or if they exercised and ate a "healthy" diet.I choose to go with The National Wellness Institute's definition of Wellness as "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential."

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How to get un-stuck

We all get stuck sometimes - even us coaches. But for all of us, the ONLY way to get unstuck is by making different choices or choosing a different response to an ongoing situation. 

In other words, making some kind of change is the way to get unstuck.

Change requires accountability and uncovering what's holding us back. It’s usually not just about journaling our intentions, closing our eyes and then manifesting our hearts desire. Knowing what we want and taking steps (even teeny tiny ones) towards it is the only way to make it happen.

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Self-Compassion is Cool

Has this ever happened to you? You're late for an appointment and looking for parking. You end up driving right by a prime spot in front of your destination because there's a car on your tail and you feel bad about abruptly stopping, so you decide to drive around the block and go back for the spot but when you get there someone else has already grabbed it. This happened to me last week and my first reaction was to say to myself (using the unkind voice that lives in my mind), "Lisa, you idiot! You should have taken the spot when you first saw it." But lately I've been training myself to notice that unkind voice and what it's saying so I caught the thought pretty quickly. I consciously switched my inner dialogue and told myself "Lisa, it's OK.  You are not an idiot. I love you." I immediately started to feel better.

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Someday can be now

Last month I got to perform in a local community theater production of Guys and Dolls. Performing in musical theater again had been on my "wish" list for about 25 years and I am so freaking glad that I got to do it! Musical theater was a big part of my identity when I was younger. I was in everything from Bye Bye Birdie to Oliver and I loved singing and performing. Up until my sophomore year at college I was often in plays until I got way too cool and spent all my free time listening to music, dying my hair black, wearing armloads of silver bangle bracelets, going to clubs at 11:00 pm to hear bands and obsessing over cute British bass players- but that's a story for some other blog post…

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Notes on turning 50

A couple of years ago, with the big 5-0 on my horizon, I found myself in a bit of a meltdown. On paper my life was pretty awesome. I was married to a great guy, had 2 healthy, reasonably well-adjusted teenagers, I was living in an old craftsman house in a city that I loved and working from home with hours that I chose myself. I was healthy, had an active social calendar and regular trips to NY & LA. But as I got closer to that big birthday I started feeling lost. 50 sounded so BIG. So old. So middle aged. It was doing my head in.

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Why self-care is more important that ever right now.

No mater what your beliefs are, it's impossible to avoid seeing that this country is in the middle of some crazier than usual bullsh*t. It's really easy to get sucked into a sinkhole of anxiety, frustration and anger, and while sometimes those feelings can ultimately inspire action and change, they need to be balanced with some radical self-care or they will burn you out. 

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5 Alternatives to Freaking Out over the next 4 years

I don't know about you, but I am wrestling with keeping my shit together right now. I'll be going along, managing just fine, and then I will see or hear something that will send me spinning down a rabbit hole and running towards anything that will numb me out, like a bottomless bag of chocolate chips or endless hours of playing Hearts on my phone. I have nothing against chocolate or playing games on my phone but regularly numbing out to avoid reality is not a good long-term plan. So I decided to make a list of things I can do to balance the numbing and the upcoming right-wing agenda.

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