2018 Intentions: Self-Love and No Food Shaming

First post of 2018, whuddup my friends?!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! The holidays for me were just what I needed, and to be honest, I was a little bummed at how fast they flew by. All of the sudden January was here, and I started working full-time for just one company again (instead of stringing together multiple sources of income- some people can do it, others like me get too overwhelmed!).

Like a few of you know, I went full-time for a wonderful company, Mikey’s, and I’m loving every minute of it. I love that I’m being treated like an adult, that I get to create and be responsible for my own projects, my own initiatives. I love that Mikey and the team trust me and know that I can do a good job. I love that I get to work from home instead of sit at an office desk (sorry, but the office life is very much not for me). I love that I get to content create and flex my pun machine a little extra per day. Most of all, I love that I get yet another outlet to connect with all of you and spread some love and light through this fantastic company. The people are what makes a brand, I feel, and these guys are legit.

So that makes for a quick update on all that’s been going on with me! I’m trying to keep up with the bloggity blog, Instagram, family/friends, and starting my prerequisites at the end of the month. Let me tell you, new routines are bound to come with hiccups, and I’m experiencing a few every day, but that comes with the package, right? I trust that I’ll find my new routine and that I’ll love it.

. . .

Which brings me to what I really wanted to write about today: intentions. I know, I know, everyone and their mother has talked about this already, but it’s never too late to set your intentions.  I always feel like the new year is such a beautiful time to do it. You get to reflect on how much you’ve grown over the last year, what you liked, what you didn’t, and how you want to proceed into the next year. How is that a bad thing? 2017 was a lot of change, a lot of moving parts that involved letting go and adding on. 2018 will be a good year. It will be a year to settle into those changes and make space for roots.

Many don’t like making resolutions anymore, and some still do but don’t know how to succeed. I personally love January 1st now, but I didn’t always. In past years, many of my resolutions were weight-loss focused. As I’m writing this, I actually remember the night of January 1, 2008 so specifically because that was the night that told myself I would finally lose weight, which was actually the start of my battle with anorexia…but that’s not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to talk about how I’m not setting my intentions for weight loss. How instead, I’m setting my intentions for a slew of personal goals that have no benchmarks or end prizes. They’re just tools to get me to love me from the inside.

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The main one I want to talk about for this post (because anything else would be considered a novel at this point haha!) is:

Self-love

Not self-care, self-love. I think self-care is a wonderful practice, but to be honest, I never really took to it. Many of the “self-care” techniques always felt too external to me. I’m doing things to the outside that are supposed to affect me on the inside, but for me, my inner voice was just too loud.

I’d take a bubble bath, but my mind would be criticizing my body, my stupid second toe that’s slightly longer than my big toe, or how I should be doing something productive and I don’t deserve to just be sitting here. Or I’d say turning on Netflix and watching a show was self-care, but then I’d also whip out my phone and not even get to zone out during the episode (which wouldn’t have helped me anyways) because I was too busy zoning out on my phone.

So for self-love, I’m turning inwards. As Dr. Joe Dispenza, our thoughts shape our reality. You can have the most perfect life on the outside, but if your thoughts are self-deprecating and negative, your life is going to feel like a living hell. And my head can definitely feel like a personal hell.

I am in the process of finding my favorite affirmations, writing them on stickies, and sticking them around the apartment. I also chose to write five things that I love about myself- both external and internal- that I stuck to my mirror. Every time I see this note, I have to look myself in the eye and repeat it out loud. It feels really damn hard and I absolutely hate it at times, but I also love it because I know I’m breaking down barriers. I’m breaking down walls that have been up for 23 years, walls that had no business being up in the first place.

Another way that I’m practicing self-love is no food shaming. This is actually an intention all on its own, but I really feel it’s necessary to share today.

I’m never one to food shame someone else (you can see my rant on my saved stories on Instagram) because, like those walls that were up, I have no business doing so. I don’t know your personal story, I’m not your doctor, nor your dietitian, nor your therapist, so I have no right telling you that doing Whole30 is wrong or going paleo is a sin or cutting out sugar is disordered. I stay in my lane, just like I would never want any one to pick on how I eat. But for some reason, that stupid little E.D. voice stuck around in my head and has been the hardest thing to beat out of all of this. In 2017, I felt guilty a lot of the time for eating what I did. Sometimes I would feel guilty that maybe I didn’t eat enough and people will judge me or call me restrictive, and other times I felt guilty for eating too much, as if someone would think I was a pig or glutinous or unhealthy.

I should not have felt guilty in any scenario of eating ever. No meal, no snack, no bite of food should have ever been accompanied by guilt, and yet there were many moments I can recall that were.

So in 2018, I will not under any circumstances food shame myself. I will treat myself like I treat others: with the utmost respect and love. Before 2017, I never, ever, in my history of living nourished my body like I do today. Why should I feel guilty about that? I love eating whole foods. I love filling my plate with beautiful micronutrients that make me feel the most alive I’ve ever felt. I also love listening to my body. I love eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full. I love having the ability to take seconds if I want to because the first round wasn’t enough or that dish that Jared’s mom made was just so dang good, I need another helping! I love also respecting when I’m full, satisfied, and comfortable, and don’t want another bite. I love respecting myself enough not to worry that someone else thinks I’m eating too little or too much. I don’t owe anyone anything.

Yes, I will slip up- I’m human. But knowing that I have these guidelines and goals in mind, knowing that there’s a beautiful feeling of contentment and pure happiness when I relinquish these past fears and criticisms makes me all the more excited to pursue these intentions and make sure that I stick to them.

What I want most to come out of this blog in the coming year is love. Love for you, the reader, love for others in the world, and love for myself. I want this to be a place of love, acceptance, abundance, and safety. Know that I will never judge you, and I’m so excited not to judge myself. I love each person that comes here and shares his or her light, and I hope to spread my own.

So here’s to a beautiful 2018! We’re in this together, friends.

 

The Start Of Fall And Life Updates

Happy First (Official) Day of Fall, everyone!

I feel like it’s already been fall for a few weeks now (thanks, social media, for starting that trend), but since it’s my favorite season, I thought I’d give it the recognition that it truly deserves!

Today’s post is more of a checking-in rambling of where I am. Something about the seasons changing always gets me reflecting on what’s going on in my life. From the end of winter, to spring, to summer, to fall, each season in 2017 has brought about a lot of change. It’s crazy to think that just nine months ago, I was sitting at a desk-job that had me counting down the minutes until I could leave, waking up Monday wishing it was Friday, and feeling utterly and completely not me.

That’s not to say corporate is bad. It’s just not my bag, baby (if you guess what that is a reference to, you are my new favorite human).

I saved up my money, left my desk job (sorry, Big Pharma, we are never getting back together), and for the first time in my life, I just focused on me and figuring out who I am (at least as a 20-something year old), what I really want to do with my life, and how I can feel my best. I discovered meditation and was introduced to a whole new realm of spirituality. I was painting again, writing what I wanted to write, and building friendships that were based in trust, honesty, and love. No conditions.

When I first left my job to work for myself, I really thought I had only saved up enough money to last me until the start of summer. I thought that I’d take a few weeks off as a mental vacation. I’d paint and go to therapy more. I’d just come up for a quick breath of air, and then I’d return to corporate life.

You’ve probably heard me talk a lot about the Universe, and for a good reason. Before meditation, I believed that this was just how the world works, that I had no control and that life just happened to me. But as I put more and more faith into the Universe, it showed me something: that it always had and always will have my back. As the beginning of summer approached, I realized I still didn’t want to go back to corporate life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work. On the contrary, I wanted to make a huge and positive contribution to the community- both small and large. I wanted to better the world in some way. But I wasn’t going to do it by earning money for the sake of earning money.

So somehow, and I’m really not sure how, but my savings just kept finding ways to extend itself. I’d all of the sudden get a tax return or sell a painting out of nowhere. It bought me time to really figure out what I really wanted to do.

And in that time, I found myself. Or part of myself at least. I don’t think you ever have it all figured out, and with each new stage of life, you change. P.S. for all of your new college grads out there, you ain’t seen nothing yet (trust me, it’ll be good).

I’ve realized that my passion is driving me towards helping people. I want to bring light and positivity into this world. That’s why I paint and that’s why I blog. But I want to take it a step further.

In February, I’ll be going back to school to get my certification to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, or an NTP. After scavenging all of my sources (a.k.a. the internet, my dietician, nutrition friends, and the like), the NTP program seemed to most align with my goals: to help people see that food is healing for our own bodies, our communities, and the greater world.

Now, I’m not saying I have it all figured out. Believe me, I’m the farthest from knowing the answers. But I feel a lot more comfortable in the unknown. I still want to paint and spread light through the canvas (I sound so pretentious right now, but when you’re talking about the Universe, it’s all light and love here, friends), but I also want to have a voice in the wellness world, have some credibility behind what I say (unfortunately the years I’ve spent in a dietician’s office for anorexia didn’t count as schooling), and show people that this food thing doesn’t have to be all that difficult. I’m not sure how to make it all mesh, but I know one way or another, it’s going to all work out.

I’m sure someone with more street cred has said this before, but you don’t have to have a destination to begin the journey.

You just have to trust the process. Know that you’ll find a way to make it work. Whatever you love, whatever you’re passionate about, whatever lights your soul on fire (as my beautiful friend, Jordan, would say), there is always a way.

For those of you that want to know how I make it work, I’m juggling a few roles right now that I’m more than psyched to be in. I’m helping out with social media for some of my favorite brands, I’m playing around with videography for a friend’s recipe videos, I’m babysitting, I’m painting, and I’m doing my foodie thing over here. Each of these roles brings me joy everyday, a joy that is good and pure and satisfying.

Yes, it’s less conventional, but it works for me. I’m not saying for everyone to just up and quit your jobs (especially if you have a family- I totally get it’s a lot easier to do this when there’s less responsibility). But there are ways to make it work for you. Everyone is one his or her own journey. Respect that.

So for me, I’m just going to do my thing and keep on spreading the love. That’s all we really need to be doing anyways, ya know? This world could use a little more of it too.

That brings me to my final point…have you noticed the new hashtag? #iyamlove. Good, right? Just a little something Jared and I brainstormed last weekend 😉 It combines my serious love for sweet potatoes with the mission I want to keep sharing: that we are all love, and the sooner we realize that, the better our lives will be! Love and kindness go a long way, peeps. And thank goodness it’s fall because sweet potatoes are very much in season! 😉

Have a beautiful start to fall, everyone J I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Much love as always,

Britt

 

 

 

Tapping (and no, not the dance)

Let’s talk about tapping.

No, I’m not talking about the dance (though if anyone has any class recommendations, hit me up!). I’m talking about Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT for short.

I’m no stranger to therapy, and to be honest, I thought I had seen it all when it came to self-help. After all, I’ve seen a talk therapist for over a decade now to deal with OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder, and I’ve tried art therapy, meditation, and yoga (meditation and yoga are the ones that stuck!). But when my therapist mentioned Tapping to me about a year ago, I sort of brushed it off. I thought that where I was then was the best it would ever get, so I didn’t really buy into it. We briefly talked about it and then went back to our normal sessions.

Fast forward to this past spring, I was introduced to Daniel Sonntag at a meditation event. We spent the entire day learning about how meditation works and techniques to help you connect to the Universe. Daniel taught a section of the workshop on how to use EFT, or Tapping, to heal both physical and emotional wounds. I thought it was really cool, but the day after the workshop, it had once again slipped my mind.

Going into summer, Jared and I signed up for a meditation class that dove deeper into each of the key points we touched upon during the one-day event. One of the bonuses of signing up? Daniel taught a group session of Tapping! Leading up to the day, I was really excited; I wanted to learn more about EFT and see if it really could be beneficial.

Then we get an email from our meditation teacher, Sage. She wanted to know if anyone would volunteer to be the person that Daniel would lead through the Tapping. What possessed me to email Sage back that I would volunteer is beyond me. I felt like it was a Hunger Games moment (cue the I volunteer as tribute! memes of Jennifer Lawrence looking particularly haggard…no offense, J.Law). One second, I’m reading Sage’s email and then the next, I was pressing send, which moments later cued the anxiety.

I don’t like being the center of attention. In fact, I hate it. But for some reason, my subconscious decided this was what I needed. I needed to experience Tapping first hand to see if this was for real.

Well, let me tell you, it is. Leading up to the session, I was racked with anxiety. I kept going back and forth in my head, debating about whether I should just text Sage and say I was sick (or, you know, actually be honest and say that I no longer wanted to do it). But I held to my commitment.

After starting the group Skype session (Daniel does the Tapping sessions on Skype if you’re not located in Massachusetts!), Daniel asked if there was anything in particular I wanted to work on and how I was feeling. I immediately said I had no idea what to work on, and right now I’m just a ball of anxiety and hate having everyone listen to me.

And so we began by tapping away the anxiety. Gentle taps with the pads of my right fingertips against the side of my left palm. I feel anxious. I hate being center stage. But right here and right now, I’m okay. We moved to tapping on my cheekbones, my forehead, my chin, underneath my arms, and at the top of my head, inhaling deeply, and then exhaling it all out.

Cycles of this movement were repeated, each time diving deeper into what was behind the anxiety. With each new round, I felt looser and more at ease, comfortable and open. This was repeated for an hour or so, but I could have gone on longer. Answers to why I despised having attention on me started to surface, and the anxiety actually being in the spotlight started to dissipate. I had to go further.

A month after first working with Daniel in that group session, I reached out to him to do a private. Jared had already started working with him, and to say that I saw changes in Jared from just one session would be an understatement. I won’t go into what Jared’s session uncovered for him, but it was incredible to see the changes from an outsider’s perspective. There was a new light to him, and a new sense of compassion. Jared has always been extraordinarily compassionate and kindhearted, but now he has a love without fear. This extends to his family, his friends, acquaintances, strangers, me, and most importantly, Jared.

However, seeing these changes in Jared made me feel pressure to have the same level of experience. Which made me even more hesitant to sign up. I’m not going to be as successful at Tapping, so why even try? I kept putting it off, letting it slip my mind again, until one day (thankfully), Jared said just email Daniel and set up a time (one of the benefits of us living together is that he doesn’t let me get away with anything! Accountability is a blessing, my friends!).

Well, when I commit to something, I commit to it. I go full force in and don’t come up for air. So I scheduled my first session with Daniel, and as the anxiety built up again, I resisted pulling back.

After a brief 30-minute call before the actual session so that he could get to know me better and what I wanted to work on, we began. Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though I have all of this guilt and I feel it in my chest, right here and right now, in this loving space, I am okay. We repeated mantras with every cycle of tapping, unlocked new emotions that were hidden beneath the conscious mind, and started to slowly excavate the old feelings that were holding me back.

How I see Tapping is much like Linkin Park’s song, “Bleed it out.” I bleed it out. We let go of the emotions we feel on the surface. I dig it deeper. Once we are free from those emotions, we can uncover what evoked them in the first place. Then I throw it away. We can rewire our brains to let go of these negative beliefs, emotions, and feelings and repave a more positive, lighter, and more loving way.

I left my first session feeling alive. Like I just broke out of jail and was finally free, or at least running towards the light. Tapping allowed me to hang my conscious mind’s coat on the hanger and sit with myself beneath the surface. You’d be surprised what you’ll dig up when you’re down there too. Any pain you’re holding on to, physical or emotional, any anger, fear, anxiety, we all know it and we could all stand to let a bit of it go.

Obviously not everything is solved in the first and only session. There’s a lot more work to do, but I feel like I got a pretty good start on my first round. I’m excited to see where it goes!

If you’d like to learn more about Tapping, I’d suggest starting here.

If you’re ready to start working, I can’t recommend Daniel enough. This was in no way a sponsored post, I genuinely just think that the work he is doing needs to be spread and accessible to everyone. I want to help spread the word. Daniel is incredibly sweet, brilliant, and one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He is also very intuitive and empathetic. I don’t trust people easily, but he was different.

Feel free to reach out to him through his website or directly through email: danielwsonntag@gmail.com. Daniel does both Skype and in-person sessions (I can attest to the Skype sessions, they are powerful!). Please also feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about my experience or if you would like an introduction!

With love always,

Britt

June In Review

Oh, hey, kids! It’s Friday!

Anddddd the last day of June for 2017. How did this month go by so fast? I normally don’t do this, but for some reason, when I woke up last Sunday, I quickly realized it was the last week of the month and was reminded of the intentions I had set on June 1st.

To say this month has been one of extreme growth is an understatement. I have never felt more myself and am beyond grateful to have come this far. I started off the month with a small set of goals and intentions for how I wanted to live in this moment of time.

Be present and enjoy the ones you’re with.

Paint like crazy.

Write just as much.

Spend time with friends.

Meditate daily.

Live in gratitude for where you are right now in your life.

Okay, so these seem a little bit bigger than “small” intentions, but I was surprised that not only did I keep to these goals, but I also challenged myself to go beyond them. Some of them I did not reach just yet, and that’s okay. I have made great strides towards those goals, and I’m more than okay. In fact, the fear that used to dominate my thoughts is now just a pesky voice that pops up to say hello now and then.

This past month, I realized that as good as it is to set goals, you have to work with the Universe, not against it. You can plan all you want, but if it’s not through love, you’re resisting the Universe. You have to live in love and gratitude, rather than fear and anxiety. Yes, I did things that brought out some very uncomfortable things from my past and pushed me beyond my safe place. But in doing so, I was able to grow into the Britt I was meant to be rather than one who lives within the bounds of my past and society’s expectations. Keep in mind, I’m still growing. But I’m liking who I’m growing to be a lot more than I did six months ago.

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This past month, not only did I get to spend time with people whose friendships mean the world to me (looking at you, Emilie, Sarah, and Sky), but I also made amazing new friends (oh hey, Sarah, Mich, and Shara)- something I had forgotten how to do since my freshman year of college. I attended events in which I had to walk up to people and say, “Hey, I’m Britt, what’s your name?” gearing up for the awkward handshake and small talk. The old voice in my head would come up whispering, Ugh, you’re so weird, Brittany, why did you say that? They probably think you’re a freak, why do you even do this stuff?

But somewhere deep down, I found the strength to push that voice aside and embrace the moment fully. I am here, I am proud of who I am, and I love myself. Coming from someone who has spent the last 22 years of her life telling herself how unworthy she is, annoying, a burden, etc., this was pretty monumental. I haven’t felt comfortable making new friends in years, and now I find myself so excited to meet people from this wonderful community and beyond, as well as nurture the friendships I’ve made from years prior. I finally feel that I’m a good person and I deserve to have friends that mirror those same values.

It took a while to get there. Meditation has played a big role in that, though. I started my meditation practice officially in April, but since the beginning of this month, it really has shifted to be a daily practice. Now, I need my time sitting in the field just as much as I need to pound the pavement on a run. Both are therapeutic, but in different respects. Both are forms of self-love, but present themselves in unique ways.

This month, I’ve really connected with the Universe. I’ve shifted how I view my reality from fear and self-doubt and judgment to excitement and love and joy. Not only is it much easier and feels so much better to live from this state, but it also helps to actually manifest what you want in your life. When you send out vibrations of happiness, gratitude, and love, you open yourself up to receive those same vibrations. But to do so, I had to let go of the stories I used to tell myself. I had to own up to the negativity that I was still holding onto and honor that this was a process.

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That was most notable in the art that I created this month. For years, I had a specific idea of who I was as an artist. I was precise, diligent, and could render a scene immaculately on paper or canvas. Over these past few months, I’ve been working with my teacher to break those conceptions and to own my voice as a painter. My teacher once told me that in her opinion (and I agree with this), God already made the world we live in perfect. Why try to recreate that? So I started to paint with emotion. While I’m still sticking with landscapes and figures, I’m working more from memory and how I feel when I’m there.

I’d be lying if I said this was easy. Letting go of a story you’ve told yourself since birth is pretty damn hard. It must be precise. No, it doesn’t look like that. You’re so not talented, why do you even try? Where are you going with this? But in painting through the difficult moments, the moments of uncertainty, unfamiliarity, and unease, I trusted the Universe and myself that I would find my way on the canvas, and I did. It’s just like when I go for a run. There are miles that just feel like hell and then all of the sudden- poof– I hit that runner’s high and I’m golden. Okay, now I’m making it sound easy, but once you get the hang of it, I really do think it is!

And so, with all of these changes, both external and internal, I need to honor what I’ve done and sit in gratitude for where I am. I’ve let go of friendships that were no longer serving me and opened myself up to the ones I want to nurture and the new ones to come. I don’t sit in the negative anymore, but rather shift my mindset to what feels good. I now feel confident in myself as a person when I’m doing what I love. And I’m not ashamed of who I am anymore.

So I welcome July with gratitude and excitement as to what’s to come. I want to solidify all that I’ve worked to change this past month and enjoy where I am.

Let’s make July another good one. Summer, I’m ready for ya.

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To Detox Or Not To Detox?

So I was working on another post for today, but as the No Sugar Detox week is concluding, I wanted to air my perspective, whether or not people read it.

There’s been a lot of hype about it, good and bad. To be honest, I’ve struggled back and forth between sides, but I didn’t realize at first that you don’t need to really choose a side.

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For those of you who don’t know about this trend, mindbodygreen hosted a sugar detox this week, and encouraged people to join in by eliminating all added sugars (even the “unprocessed” ones, such as maple syrup, honey, etc.), as well as limiting one’s fruit intake. I actually believe it’s good to not eat sugar unless it comes from fruit, and have done a few sugar detoxes before to show my support of the trend.

Well, this trend has caused polarization in both directions. Some jumped right on the bandwagon and axed sugar completely from their diets. Others rebelled, demanding answers as to why we should be telling someone how to eat or demonizing foods.

I’m going to be honest. I was waffling between both camps. However, by choosing a side, I felt as though I was completely invalidating the other side. I never want to close myself off to another’s perspective. No one person is completely right. No one person is completely wrong.

There’s an area of grey.

I decided to abstain from the sugar detox, but I did not jump into polar opposite group either. See, I do believe that sugar is bad for me personally. This is just my opinion, and in no way do I have any authority to tell someone what’s right or wrong for his or her body. I stay away from sugar because I struggled with severe depression, debilitating anxiety, and (annoying AF at times) OCD. Doctors were pushing me drug after drug, trying to alleviate my symptoms, when in fact it just augmented them (and added a whole slew of other symptoms, i.e. constant thirst, severe withdrawal side effects if I missed a dose, weight gain, inflammation, a never-ending tiredness no matter how much I slept).

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Long story short, I made the decision to ditch meds (*NOT* something I recommend until you have a doctor that can talk you through the process or determines that it is best for you), and took a solid look at my diet. While I was already gluten-free because of an allergy, I used to eat tons of processed sugar substitutes (lookin’ atchu, sugar alcohols, Splenda, really any sugar I consumed in those days), and relied on caffeine like no other so I cut those things out of my diet for 30 days.

A month later, I was literally a new person. My mood was stable, my OCD symptoms were lessening, my anxiety wasn’t as heightened, and I felt so happy and hopeful for once in a really long time.

So for me, depression was a symptom of my sugar consumption, and my OCD and anxiety were made way worse because of it as well. Now, I only stick to sugars that come from fruits and occasionally use maple syrup or honey as a sweetener (but I really don’t ever feel the need to sweeten things because now even a little bit is too sweet for me!). For me, cutting sugar has helped me tremendously in my journey to being the most authentic “Britt” that I can be, among other things.

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That being said, I don’t want to ever push my beliefs on anyone, be it for or against a certain type of food, way of eating, way of living, etc. I can only offer up what works for me, and if I can inspire someone else in a positive way, that’s wonderful. I think that’s great for the people that are cutting out sugar if it’s right for them, and it’s totally fine if they’re not. I don’t think it would be right of me to ever judge someone for how they eat because I truly believe that nutrition is as personal as a thumbprint. Not everything works for everyone, and that’s the beautiful part of being human.

My issue is not with the promotion of doing a mass sugar detox. My issue is with the reactions to the sugar detox, both for and against. In my eyes, the sugar detox was never meant to make someone feel bad if they consume sugar, and it also never deserved the criticism that it received, stating that it was trying to vilify a food. In my eyes, the sugar detox served as a support system for people who want to try not eating sugar to see how it affects them personally because, let’s be honest, sugar is addictive. There are studies.

And it’s hard to quit something alone. So in that sense, I totally commend anyone who is offering support to others to get through the five days sans the sweet stuff. But it should never come with the caveat of shaming someone else for not cutting out sugar. Just like some people who do eat sugar shame those who participated in the detox.

We’re all one community. We should be supporting each other, not tearing one another down. I don’t judge someone for eating gluten, and I hope people don’t judge me for not. I also don’t judge people who are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, dairy-free, etc., because who am I to tell someone how to live? If it’s good for my own body (regardless of whether or not it is for someone else), I’m going to do it, and if it’s not, then I won’t. Simple as that.

Plus, does it honestly feel good to spread hate? Does it feel good to bring someone else down because you feel criticized? No, it doesn’t. It makes you feel even worse. So why not inquire as to why someone does or doesn’t do something? Why not try to understand where that person is coming from? Why not respect and celebrate someone if they’re doing what’s best for them personally?

I don’t know about you, but that feels so much better to me. And it’s also the easier route! I’m sorry for the longwinded spiel, and if you got through this, seriously you are a rock star! I’ll just leave it at this: if you did the sugar detox and loved how you felt afterwards, that’s AMAZING. If you did it and noticed nothing, that’s AMAZING because you now have more information about your body! If you didn’t do it at all, that’s AMAZING too! You do you, Booboo!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Let’s spread some love and positive vibes!

 

Meditation Mondays

So truth be told, I’m actually pretty new to meditation. In fact, I’ve only been “sitting in the field” (yes, ze quantum field) for about two months. That being said, I can tell you that the person I was two months ago is an entirely different gal than the one writing this post right now.

Two months ago, I was on the ground crying, paint splattered around me, and a worried Jared by my side trying to calm me down. It had been a hot minute (RE: half a year) since I painted, and I felt completely and utterly empty. Art was something that encompassed every fiber of my being, and yet here I was neglecting it. I felt lost, confused, frustrated, and without a purpose. But that was when the magic happened.

What in the moment felt like a serendipitous rediscovery of meditation and mindfulness was in actuality the Universe and God stepping in and saying, “Yo, Britt, we gotta get you on a course redirection, my friend. You’ve done your way longggg enough. Time to reroute!” Long story short, I soon found myself listening with Jared to the recordings of Dr. Joe Dispenza as he discussed all things meditation, manifestation, mindfulness, and woo-wooness translated into science, all while we cooked dinner each night.

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Jared dove right in, but I must admit, I was still a little hesitant. After all, I had spent an entire (short) lifetime telling myself over and over that I would never be able to sit still, that meditation just wasn’t for me (this is still partly true…it’s a work in progress). As someone who faces OCD thoughts, I strongly believed that the only way to silence my mind was by running. I would try meditation every now and again, but would leave in frustration after just listening to racing thoughts for five minutes.

When I was in a 200-hour yoga teacher training a few years ago (I had to stop in the middle of the training…but that’s another story!), I remember our instructor, Gina, telling us about her meditation retreat in India. The first day of the retreat, they had told everyone to go off into the forest and sit there for six hours. SIX. HOURS. I remember thinking how in the hell does anyone sit alone with their thoughts for a quarter of a day? I could barely stand being in my own head for five minutes!

But that’s when I realized, and both Dr. Joe and Jen Sincero (exquisite author and life-changer) state, that meditation is an expression of self-love.

Ohhhhhhhhh.

Turns out, I didn’t really love myself until recently. Or at least, now I’m working towards self-love. The fact that I can’t stand to be alone with my thoughts while sitting still says it all (which is weird because I’m the world’s biggest introvert). I had to be moving because that was a distraction. When I’m alone, I’m never just alone with myself. I’m reading a book, I’m cooking, I’m doing some pointless activity that fully consumes my attention so that I don’t have to focus on what’s actually happening.

But after listening to Dr. Joe, reading Jen’s incredible book, You Are A Badass, and seeing where my life was heading (a.k.a. sad desk job that I hated), I decided I didn’t have anything to lose.

So I started small. Five minutes at a time. I just focused on breath. That’s it. Just breathing for five minutes. My lovely friend, Sage (you’ll probably hear about her a lot on this blog), gave me a few crystals to get me started too, the most important one at the time being the Rose Quartz (a.k.a. the love rock). I sat down every morning with that giant rock pressed to my heart chakra and just breathed.

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But soon, I found the five minutes were flying by, and when the sound bowl would go off, I didn’t want to leave. So I increased my meditation to 10 minutes. Then 15. Then 20. As I increased my time meditating, I realized I could actually set an intention during this time. I started to really focus on love, for myself, for Jared, for my family, for everyone. Then gratefulness. How amazing it is that we each have these beautiful lives to do whatever it is that we want with them, no matter how they started. Then I started focusing on gratefulness for what hasn’t even happened yet, but that I know will come my way. But as active as this meditation seems, I feel completely still. I just am.

I know, right?! Me. Britt. The girl who used to be called “jimmy legs” because I couldn’t stop moving. Sitting still. Being in the moment. Feeling the moment. LOVING myself. God, I love myself. And not in a narcissistic way! No, just the opposite. I love myself enough to take care of my body, do things that awaken my soul, be with people who make me feel alive. That allows me to be my best self so that I can be the best Britt for others.

Meditation has allowed me to be a better Britt. It has allowed me to love myself and realize I am worthy of doing something I love and living the life that I dream about.

So to everyone who made it through this lengthy post: thank you from the bottom of my heart. You guys are the real rockstars. I want to know though: what has meditation given you? How has it changed your life?

Happy Monday, friends 🙂