You ARE Worthy of Love

You ARE Worthy of Love

What if you woke up with the snap of my fingers and believed, truly believed, without question, YOU were Worthy of Love?

Pause for a moment and imagine that.

In Karen Casey’s book Worthy of Love, she writes, “There is probably no expression in my life more difficult to feel, develop, offer, accept or maintain, than Love. And I have so desperately wanted to revel in it, certain that if only I “knew” Love, I’d forever be happy, content and serene every moment, never tragedy’s victim.

Karen also says, “Of course, the irony is the harder we look for Love, the more blurred our vision. Only when we become quiet and trust that Love is our birthright do we discover its friendship has enfolded us”.

Karen Casey’s book, Worthy of Love, Meditations on Loving Ourselves and Others was a gift to me I will always treasure. I offer this blog as a gift to you, on Love, and in Love.

What would it feel like to Love yourself unconditionally and be comfortable in your skin with no need to do any number of the things we can come up with to NOT feel our feelings?

  •    Check our email
  •    Grab a snack
  •    Find a project
  •    Phone a friend
  •    Workout

One thing that can be an obstacle to self-love and very self-damaging is Self-Criticism. The inner critic is often experienced as negative thoughts about our behaviors or ourselves. We think being extra hard on ourselves will somehow motivate us to change.

  •    Don’t ask for any help
  •    Struggle with body image
  •    Play the blame game
  •    Don’t forgive, keep punishing
  •    Get down on yourself
  •    Difficult decision making
  •    Comparing ourselves to others
  •    Thinking I’m Never enough
  •    Overanalyzing
  •    Worry/Fear

We work so hard to be more, better, fixed, but perhaps that is the problem, and the simple solution is accepting we don’t need to be fixed.

It is only when we accept ourselves for who and what we are, and no longer require the acceptance and approval of others, we start to achieve our inner sense of peace and security.

Self-Compassion and kindness offer us encouragement, support, and the Love we long for. It aligns us with what we truly want and desire.

  •    Acceptance
  •    Trust
  •    No judging, blaming or criticizing
  •    Forgiveness
  •    Peace of I’m enough
  •    Faith Hope and Love

Both self-criticism and self-compassion are ways we protect ourselves. They can be healthy ways to achieve personal growth; however, self-criticism can also be a barrier to our peace of mind.

Here are 3 Powerful Ways to Promote Self-Love and Awareness

  1. MINDFULNESS-maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts turn inward into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
  1. JOURNALING-a way to explore our emotions, channel our feelings, and explore outcomes. Writing is a vehicle that allows us to slow down and pay attention to everything that is going on in our lives. One beneficial exercise is journaling your self-critical thought paired with a self-compassionate response. Give it a try.
  1. HAVING A MANTRA/S-a mantra is a sacred utterance, a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration. It is believed to have spiritual and psychological power. It is said to be a tool of thought, a way to focus the mind. Just for fun, why not try Mirror Mantra’s with Crayola ® washable makers.

SELF-Acceptance ask much of us, but I promise the journey and reward are worth it

SELF-Compassion and kindness are powerful skills we can lean into more deeply each and every day to support ourselves.

SELF-Love is a process, a practice for all our lives. The goal is to grow in it.

No matter where you are on the journey, the most important thing we can do is to be ourselves, love ourselves, and celebrate our unique and miraculous authenticity. Then, we can contribute to the ripple effect of LOVE throughout this world.

Remember Always, or remind yourself with a quick snap of the fingers,

YOU ARE WORTHY!

YOU ARE A MIRACLE!

YOU ARE AMAZING!

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others,

Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others approval

Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts her.

~Lao Tzu

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Declutter Your Life!

Declutter Your Life!

I’ve been on a bit of a personal quest to find ways to increase my energy and focus this year.  I’ve gotten on a better track with exercising and eating healthier foods.  I’ve started taking yoga classes at least once a week. I’ve tried to be more intentional about scheduling some downtime so I could recharge.  And, I’ve been reading some great books like Micro-Resilience, by Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines.  And then as a follow-up,  hosted a virtual book club to engage with several of you in a conversation about how the book’s numerous strategies could be put into practice in our everyday life.  All of these strategies combined have really served to elevate my personal energy and focus!

Recently,  I spent the better part of a weekend decluttering my home. And, unexpectedly realized that the decluttering process itself also brought with it a huge focus and energy boost for me.  My home isn’t messy but it seems that when I get busy, my house sometimes looks like it could use a little organization love.  And the change of the seasons always feels like an especially good time to figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay in closets and drawers, etc.  As I got more organized, my focus and energy also increased, making me feel happier overall.  Releasing that clutter, even though it was not an overwhelming amount, really brought such a sense of peacefulness to my life.  I am no longer trying to get something done while also being distracted by a pile of paperwork on the side of a desk, wondering what all is in there!  I bet some of you may be able to relate to that feeling of being distracted by uncompleted projects sabotaging the things you really need to focus on right now.

As I decluttered, I thought about how this process of decluttering can be applied to my whole life, not just my physical surroundings.  Perhaps I could “declutter” my thoughts, my words, my relationships, my schedule – you get the idea!   I like to look at my life as as a design project, the same way an interior designer views a renovation project with a client.  And, just as it’s usually not practical to renovate your entire home at one time, it’s also not reasonable to think we could declutter our whole life overnight.  Here are a few observations I made about decluttering my physical surroundings.  I believe that the same thoughts can be applied to decluttering one’s whole life.

Make sure that you are ready to dive into the process so you can give it the time and energy it needs.

Decluttering takes time, but it always feels worth it to me when I see the end result.

Start decluttering with clear intention.

Before I started decluttering in my home, I walked around from room to room and decided where my focus was needed.   I set clear intentions of what I was going to tackle first, and when, and then gave that my full attention to that, even though other areas were also crying out for some help as well.

Be willing to make some tough choices.

I probably have a few things in my home, whether it’s clothing or something else, that probably does not really serve me well any longer. And, yet, year after year, I continue to hold onto it.  Sometimes keeping it is just a habit.  Many of those things, I decided to donate,  so someone else could benefit from them more.

Celebrate the small successes rather than focus on all that still needs to be done.

I told myself I was going to celebrate each small step of progress in each room, rather than allow myself to get distracted or frustrated by the work that still needed to be done.

Put some new practices in place to support the newly organized space.

Once I felt satisfied with the decluttering process, I decided I needed to revise some of my day-to-day habits to ensure that I could keep those areas decluttered with minimal upkeep.

If you are also in the fall clean out mode, perhaps you may want to give some thought to whether there could be areas of your life, other than your physical surroundings, that could benefit from some decluttering.   Here’s to more focus, energy, and the true sense of calm that comes from the process!

Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell.  Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Be Nourished: A Girl’s Guide to Living the Nourished Life

Be Nourished: A Girl’s Guide to Living the Nourished Life

As the kiddos are getting ready to head back to school and summer is coming to a close, I am hearing the words “diet, self-care and balance” from many women.  These words came up often this week during my attendance at several women’s networking events for the Frederick County Chamber “She Week.” As women discussed their desire for balance, taking care of themselves while being mothers and entrepreneurs and living fearlessly through uncertainty, it made me think.  I wondered; how many women are striving for balance and how many are frustrated with trying to achieve it? 

As women, we tend to do everything for everybody.  We pour into our families, careers, community, relationships and other areas of life.  All while often times placing ourselves on the back burner. This ends up leaving us frustrated, depleted, exhausted, sometimes resentful and overwhelmed.  Ladies, can you relate?

So many people think, “I’ll focus on getting my finances in order when I grow myself personally.  When I lose weight or feel confident, I will work on building a relationship.” Well, it’s time we said goodbye to the “I’ll be happy when..” mindset.  It’s time to live the Nourished Life.

That’s not to say that we won’t do parts of life messy and imperfect.  Honestly, I don’t even think that exists. There is no “perfect time, moment or scenario.”  It’s important to take action towards the goals we want to achieve, the dreams we want to fulfill and the desires that we feel burning inside of us.  We want to have a healthy and fulfilling life aligned with nourishing food, movement, relationships, finances, passions, and joys. 

It was through my own struggles and journey that I learned how to live the nourished life for my own bio-individuality.  Something I educate and share with other women whom I work with. When I began to implement what I learned through nutrition school and life, I felt empowered.  I discovered the foods that supported my own unique body and lifestyle. Foods that reduced inflammation and pain, increased my energy, impacted my mood and emotions.  Ladies, you can even increase your sex drive! Not sleeping well? That was me too! Now I sleep well and wake rested and refreshed.

Creating and implementing healthy habits that are designed for your unique, beautiful body not only help increase health and happiness, but it’s also an act of self-care.  I understand that self-care comes in many forms and one may work for you but not for your girlfriends. Maybe you don’t like Epson salt baths or find the gym to be “not your thing.”  Maybe you prefer grabbing a glass of wine with a friend or taking a walk after dinner with your spouse. Whatever you enjoy that fills your cup. Do it and then do it more.

Through my coaching programs and working one on one with clients, I emphasize several areas that support one another in life.  These areas are fuel for life (nourishing foods), movement for life (whatever movement you enjoy), surrounded for life (relationships), fulfilled for life (passion, purpose, spirituality, and joy) and loved for life (self-care and love).  Using a holistic approach, I educate others about how these areas of the “wellness wheel” are connected with one another.

Let’s think about it… 

How many times have you felt lonely, bored, stressed about your job or frustrated with your spouse and you grabbed the ice cream container or cookie jar?  Often our emotions and things that are going on in our world resort to the actions we take (especially with food and other means). I’ve been there and I am sure many of you can relate too! 

Being mindful of how we are feeling and what we are thinking makes a huge difference in how we respond to things.  Not to mention, our gut health is connected to our brain. So, if we are damaging our gut and microbiome, it’s impacting our thoughts, feelings, and actions.  This is another big reason to discover what foods support your own unique body.

As the season changes and summer moves into fall, I encourage you to slow down.  Observe the above areas in your life and how they are connected. Where can you make some changes?  Where are you not feeling fulfilled and nourished?  

Just as the leaves fall from the trees, fall is a season of releasing things that are no longer serving us.  Whether they be habits we need to change, toxicity, unhealthy relationships, fears and doubts, emotional baggage from the past.  Fall is a great time to detox…mind, body, and spirit.

I encourage you to include more self-care to support your body and mind as you naturally move through this beautiful process.  Experiment with things that bring you joy. Get out and try something new. Maybe try a new yoga or cooking class, volunteer, grab some friends and enjoy a picnic at a local winery.  Hold yourself accountable by penciling in your “self-care date” into your cute planner like you would a meeting.  

Consider the areas I shared and see how you can interconnect them.  Discover ways to fill the different areas of your own wellness wheel that work for you and your lifestyle.

Ladies, I say this to all of my clients.  Think about the oxygen mask on an airplane.  Who has to put theirs on first so that you can show up greater to give back and help others?  That’s right..it’s you! So, please take your cute little teapot off of the back burner and start creating or fulfilling your nourished life.  This isn’t a trendy new diet or phase. It’s a lifestyle and one you have to stay committed to.

 

Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

COMPASSION

Kristen Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components–self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

She says self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?

Instead of mercilessly judging or criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings-after all, whoever said you were supposed to be perfect?

Please practice cultivating gentle, loving-kindness towards yourself as a way of being more self-compassionate.

SPACE

 A continuous area of expanse, which is free, available or unoccupied.

There have been times in my life I needed some space. A weekend getaway, walk through the woods, riding in the car playing my favorite tunes or just to being in a room all by myself.

Who remembers the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella 1965 song that went like this…In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be. There is such freedom in that chair.

When was the last time you allowed yourself some space?

GRACE

Is the spiritual freedom that arises from living in harmony with yourself, others, and with the entire world. ~Unknown

A virtue coming from God.

Mercy, pardon, favor, privilege, kindness, courtesy, approval, dignity, temporary exemption, honor, beauty, elegance, harmony, charm and divine love.

My 2019 One Word is Grace. I believe grace allows for our Wholistic heart, body, mind, and spirit to all be in full alignment bringing JOY to the world and all those in it.

What does Grace mean to you?

SELF-CARE

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular, during periods of stress.

I would like to share a blog that I think is well written. I credit Tracie Nichols with these wise words:

Recently I saw a social media post about self-care steps someone was taking after coming through an intense few weeks inviting folks to talk about the way they were taking care of themselves.

Not surprisingly, an impressive list of messages, nature rambles, spiritual experiences and the like followed.

What was surprising to me was the mixed set of reactions I felt when reading them.

There was my usual surge of “go you!” appreciation for people truly caring for themselves. I also felt exhausted and overwhelmed at the thought of trying to attempt any of these truly beautiful self-care practices myself. And then came an ache of aloneness and an alarming pulse of shame. (Shame?)

You see, my life right now is a storm of worry and off the charts stress. There are hard, hard things happening for 2 people I love. 2 people who are inextricably woven into the fabric of my daily life. People for whom I have a foot and a heart in the role of caretaker.

I’ll pause here to let you (deeply kind, so very compassionate and caring folks) no I’m OK. I know you’re all wise in the ways of healing and self-love and I’m not asking you to do the labor of offering advice (with a gentle appreciation for any who had that impulse). I simply offer this snapshot of my life to give you a bit of context So what I’m saying next about self-care makes sense.

Since a lot of my work centers around helping people Cultivate resilience, my aversion reactions to this post gave me this ghostly sense of being an outsider in a space I typically call home.

That pulse of shame? She’s there because “I know this stuff and I should be doing better.” which is hogwash, of course. But As I am sure you know when our resilience is stretched rice paper thin, that’s when our inner monsters stage their coup.

Hello, monsters…  Nope. You don’t get to take over ‘t get to take over…

So right now…

~because it’s all very intense and utterly beyond my control
~because it’s swampy with all the feelings, especially grief
~because my time isn’t my own – or doesn’t feel as if it is
~because the weight of this is bringing me to my knees – sometimes literally
~because massages and painting classes and long walks and silent retreats feel mythical. Unreachable. A climb up Everest in flip flops. 

…my version of self-care looks like

  • Remembering to eat.
  • Breathing a quiet “yes!” when it’s veggies rather than donuts.
  • Wearing the softest, most comfy clothes I own.
  • Embracing unplanned naps.
  • Stopping by a park for 10 minutes between transportation runs, rolling down the windows and breathing. Getting out of the car optional. Walking optional.
  • Wrapping my hands around a warm Cup of tea. Breathing.
  • Letting plans – for my business and life – go dormant for a bit.
  • Holding schedules – for my business and life – gently and loosely.
  • Whispering “I love you. You’ve got this.“ when I catch a glimpse of myself in random reflective surfaces.
  • Kindness and patience when none of these work.
  • Kindness when the patience fails.
  • Retroactive kindness when the kindness fails.

So, here’s my invitation to you this time: take a moment to notice the state of your resilience. And, if it feels nurture nourishing, whisper “I love you. You’ve got this.” when you catch a glimpse of yourself in random reflective surfaces. Saver how that feels. Build yourself a sweet well of self-love to draw on when life gets hard.

HUMOR

The quality of being amusing, comical or funny.

Humor is the gift we give ourselves but one that takes a little bit of work. We must look for the humor in every situation and use it to gain perspective, reduce stress and make others laugh and smile. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

“Spring” Into New Beginnings

“Spring” Into New Beginnings

Spring is finally here and it’s shown in many forms.  The weather is shifting, animals are awakening, the farmers are planting their crops and nature is blooming.  Spring brings so much beauty and joy in many forms.

While in yoga the other day, I connected with several ladies and our discussion shifted to the concept of spring and change.  This year, I keep hearing that so many are resisting change and feeling stuck.  Naturally, our bodies want to change as we leave winter and come into spring.  Yes, we often times get stuck in old habits, fear the unknown and resist this growth.  After leaving class, it made me think more in-depth about this concept.

It’s important to remember that change ultimately begins with us.  We are the main person who can shift our own lives. Change is inevitable but how we show up, the choices we make and our perceptions all play an important role.  As we make choices for change and reflect on who we’ve been and who we want to become, it’s important to do so with self-compassion.  There are a variety of feelings that may come with change, leaving the old and growing into the new.  If you’ve made choices that didn’t serve you well, don’t beat yourself up.  Ask yourself what you can take away from it and how you can grow from it.

Looking at life from a holistic perspective, think about where change can be made in your nutrition, movement, relationships, career (and finances) and spirituality.  Think about areas that may need improvement and implement a plan that works for you.  Consider some habits that may be holding you back.  Reflect on when they began, outcomes that have come from them and what improvements can be made to change them.

Below are some tips that may help as you transition into the spring season.

Nutrition

As we move from winter into spring, our plate will change. In the winter season, we eat hot, heavier root based meals.  We crate hearty stews and soups.  As spring approaches, our body craves lighter, refreshing meals.  Spring focuses on liver health, detoxification and it’s important to add in foods and tools that support the liver.  Some of my favorites are beets, fresh herbs (great for detoxification), carrots and avocados.  Eating with the seasons is very beneficial and it’s much easier to do this time of year with the farmers’ markets.

Relationships

It’s important to reflect on your personal and professional relationships. Unhealthy and toxic relationships play a huge part in our health and goals.  Focus on gratitude, forgiveness and implementing boundaries as needed.  Looking to grow your personal relationship?  What new activities and experiences can you create with others?  The warmer weather provides opportunities for outdoor events and activities.  There is a bounty of possibilities for simple pleasures.  Think about the things that bring you joy and who you want to experience them with.

Your Space

If you find your work and home space to be cluttered, chaotic and overwhelming, this may be a good place to make changes.  “Spring cleaning” can help with de-cluttering space, bring an opportunity for new things, minimize stress and overwhelm and help us feel lighter and leaner.  Spring is a good time to donate things that no longer serve us or things we don’t use.  It’s a good time for deep cleaning.  Open the windows to release old air and bring in freshness.

Movement

Healthy movement is so beneficial to the body and mind. Spring is a good time to get outside and move. Consider the activities that you enjoy.  Movement can be anything from hiking, biking, signing up for a race or trying a new yoga class.  With longer days and lighter evenings, spring offers an opportunity for walks after dinner and quality time with family and friends.

Self Care

As you experience change and implement new things, it’s important to be mindful of your experiences, what you’re thinking and implement compassion and care.  Making time for self-care daily is important for the body and mind.  Self-care doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive.  It can be anything from a relaxing Epsom salt, reading a book, cooking a healthy meal and implementing breathing techniques and tools for alleviating stress.

When we look at the different holistic areas as I mentioned above, we can see how they often go hand in hand.  Taking a hike with your partner brings joy, creates quality time and includes movement and exercise.  Pack a healthy picnic and you’re adding in healthy nutrition.

This is just one example of creating healthy habits, fueling things that nourish your life and help with change.

Begin this new season by focusing on the key areas of your life.  Allow opportunities for change and growth while embracing the uncertainty.  Focus more on love (of yourself and others) over fear and the ego.  Discover new habits for growth, happiness, gratitude, joy, and nourishment.

Let’s get Spring Cleaning!

Today’s author: Kim Wilson is a retired police officer with a huge passion for helping others and working in the community. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Towson University. For more information on Kim and how she is empowering women to live the nourished life, please visit her website.

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

As an Occupational Therapy Professional, one of the many things we do every day is to help people with their activities of daily living. Things like grooming, bathing, and dressing.

In the upcoming BE WASHED Event, as your Evening Coach, I will be helping you in another activity of daily living…the area of your thinking.

Imagine if you will, that voice that sometimes sits on your shoulder. Is it whispering words of TRUTH and LOVE or FEAR and LIES?

We will begin the evening retreat by exploring the book, Girl; Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Here, we will learn to STOP believing the lies about who we are so we can HONOR and become who we were meant to be our true authentic selves.

Have you ever found yourself saying things like “I’ll start that diet tomorrow.” Then several pounds up on the scale you hear yourself repeating those same words weeks later? Me too! I can’t tell you the number of times I have started my diet tomorrow, Monday, or the first of the New Year. Or how about…I’m going to take that spin class at the Y, or I’ll start walking around the block every day from now on.

WELLLLLLLLLLLL Lies, all lies we tell ourselves. We like to talk about all the things we are going to do, learn about the things we are going to do, but somehow, we never get around to DOING all the things we say we are going to do. Ugh! Can anyone out there relate?

Many of us can. The Be Washed event will expose more of the most common lies we tell ourselves and offer new strategies to help us be honest with ourselves about what we are blowing off.

The second half of the event we will be taking a look at the book Change your Mind, and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey. Her book showcases 12 principles that guide us towards LOVE. Who out there doesn’t need more of that?

Thirty years ago Karen Casey wandered into a support group and learned there was only one thing she could change—herself! The result of this change was so profound she dedicated much of her life to teaching others about it.

I, like Karen, believe if we change our minds, our lives WILL follow. I want to use the opportunity I have as an Occupational Therapy Professional and a Coach to help others grow in this area of thought. Let’s face it; it truly is an activity of daily living.

Let’s think better, do better and feel better. What do you say?

Hope to see you there!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.