Flu Survival Guide

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Hello,
I hope this finds you healthy, happy, and enjoying your new year in the way that’s best for you.

However, if you’ve started your new year with this flu that seems to be everywhere, trust me you’re not alone. In fact I’m writing to you from under my covers as I’m finally starting to feel a bit better after being down for the count with this thing since December 26th.

I thought that I would share what has helped me muddle through this crazy flu in case you know someone who has it or in case you have it or get it.
(I hope you don’t have it or get it.)

The first thing that became a big problem for me was that I completely underestimated the intensity of this thing and I treated it like a regular cold or bug….big mistake.

So even if you are perfectly healthy, you may want to increase any immune boosters that you like to use and make your home a nice and clean space to help keep this at bay.

All the regular stuff that you do to help your body move out the yuck factor like drinking lots of water, hot herbal teas, and rest apply here however… they all need to be super sized.

I know there are a variety of experiences that people are having including but not limited to:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Brain Fog
  • Body Aches
  • Sinus Pressure
  • Ear Aches
  • Congestion
  • Sore Throat
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Extreme Exhaustion/Lethargy
  • Extreme Skin Sensitivity and Pain

I had all of the above and one of the things that surprised me the most was how freezing cold I was and that I needed to sleep nearly around the clock.
I was wearing a snow hat in the house with the heater on plus lots of layers and blankets….yeah, not cute and not fun at all. Once I felt warm, it helped me to rest and sleep so finding your own personal warmth barometer can make a big difference in helping your body feel supported.

The other big thing was surrendering to the fact that my body was going to be down for a while and that trying to “get things done” was completely futile.
Try not to push against your body; it will just make you more exhausted and possibly extend your self care time.

I’ve included some things below that helped me feel better during this crazy flu, I hope that some of these might help you or a loved one too.
I also included a super easy gentle soup recipe that helped me sooo much.

(I am not affiliated with any of the companies or products below, these are just the things that have helped me. I hope that they may help you or a loved one too.)

If a loved one asks if you need anything from the store, say yes.
I kept saying no to offers from people because I thought I had everything I needed but once I finally said yes I realized I didn’t have what I needed.

If you don’t have any family or friends who live near you, you can probably get almost everything from Amazon. I wish I would’ve thought of that weeks ago….but the brain fog is real.

  • Lots of Super Soft Tissue:
    Even if you don’t usually buy the lotion tissue, your face and nose will thank you.
  • Neti Pot and Neti Pot Salt:
    You can find these at health food stores; if they don’t have the salt just use Plain table salt Without Iodine. (No sea Salt)
  • Humidifier:
    This will help to soothe your sinuses, skin, and help you to breathe easier.
  • Throat Coat Tea:
    Helps with sore throat plus has herbs to help increase your immune system.
  • Natural Calm Magnesium Drink:
    This is really soothing, helped with the body aches and tastes very gentle. I was afraid that it would taste bitter or leave a bad after taste in my mouth but it didn’t.
  • Wellness Formula:
    This has lots of vitamins and herbs to help your body increase immunity.
  • Marshmallow Root:
    If you experience the intense stomach pain like I did, you may want to try this. It lifted the stomach pains away gently and kept them away so that I could sleep.
  • Now Solutions Nasal Mist:
    This is a hydrating mist to help with sinus pressure and post nasal drip. I usually don’t like to use these because they burn, create medicine head, and taste awful but this one is great and didn’t do any of those things to me. It feels really gentle and has no taste, yay!
  • Therazinc Elderberry Lozenges:
    These help with sore throat too but they also have elderberry in them which helps to increase immunity. They taste good and don’t make your whole mouth feel numb like some of the other lozenges out there. They are a bit chalky though because they are compressed and not hard like a candy.
  • H2O:
    Lots and lots of water and if you can handle Apple Cider Vinegar, adding a Tablespoon into your water bottle can help to reduce inflammation in your body and help increase immunity.
  • Epsom Salt Baths:
    A warm bath with Epsom salt and Baking Soda can help to ease the body aches and body pain while also increasing your magnesium, supporting your body in fighting off the ick. If you are experiencing cold sweats, the Baking Soda can help to reduce that experience for you.

If you have anything to help your body feel soothed and comforted, such as:

  • Super Soft Jammies/Clothing
  • Warm Socks/Slippers
  • Foot Massager
  • Spoonk Mat/Acupressure Mat
  • Hot Tub or Jetted Bath Tub
  • Heating Pad
  • Essential Oils
  • Or Something Else

Use them because anything that can help move out the aches and pains will help you feel so much better.

Overall, just rest and try to take it really easy on yourself; let people help you if possible and don’t try to force yourself to be better before you really are better.

Super Easy Soup Recipe:

  • 2 Large Leeks
  • ½ Medium Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
  • 2 Quarts Vegetable Broth (Or any Broth You Prefer)
  • 1 Quart of Water
  • 3 Chopped Celery Ribs
  • 1 Large Potato Chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot Chopped
  • ¾ Cup of dried yellow or green peas
  • ¼ Cup of rice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Organic Brown Rice Miso Paste
  • 2 Lemon Wedges per person
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Add Cilantro on top if you choose

Cook:

  • Bring Vegetable Broth, Water, Leeks, Onion, and Garlic to a Boil
  • Add peas and cook for 30 Minutes
  • Then Add Celery, Potato, and Rice; cook for additional 15 Minutes
  • 5 Minutes Before Serving Add Miso
  • Squeeze Lemon juice on top of soup after poured into bowl (without seeds)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Add Cilantro on top if you choose

I’m sending you lots of healing and cozy energy from my little corner of the world,
Kristy~ xoxo

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Make 2018 Your Year to Shine

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Happy New Year and welcome to 2018!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy beginning to this new year.

With 2018 officially here, there are so many opportunities and experiences available to you. This really is a fresh start and a new beginning and my hope for you this year is that you give yourself permission to dream big and to be honest about what it is that you really want to experience this year.

It’s okay to admit it to yourself, in fact when you do it helps to clarify what actions steps need to be taken in order to move closer to the vision you have for yourself. If this thought feels a bit overwhelming, it’s okay just take a breath in through your nose and out through your mouth….good.

The truth is that when you feel guided to move toward something new and away from something else, it’s because you’re being divinely guided. It’s because it’s the right shift or change for you, allowing you to organically move toward the next chapter of your life. The new year is a powerful time to get clear on what you want the next 12 months to look like and feel like for you.

However, one of the things that tends to happen at this time of year, is that we feel excited about the prospect of a new year and all that it holds but we also feel the holiday let down too.

Holiday let down is a real thing and it can show up in lots of different ways.

Sometimes it can feel like:

  • Exhaustion
  • Burn Out
  • Overindulgence  
  • A Need for Quiet or Sleep
  • Even Feelings of Sadness that the holiday season is over

This is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t excited about the new year or your plans for your new year.

Sometimes people confuse the holiday let down with a sentiment about how their new year will unfold and it’s just not true.

It’s really important to take some time to gently move out of the holiday season in the ways that are right for you so that you can be ready to move into your new year’s plans on your own time table.

Use this in-between time to your advantage right now.
Give yourself permission to slow down and to get really clear on what you would like to focus on this year.

Taking the time to think, feel, and really dive deep into what you want for yourself during 2018 is really important. Think of this time as laying the groundwork for your new year, it’s a great investment in your new year and in yourself.

Sometimes, we feel pushed to go, go, go right out of the gate as soon as the calendar changes to January; but that can sometimes add extra pressure to your plate of things that you’re experiencing and moving through.

During this window of in between time, take some time to really figure out what you want to do this year.

  • Set up some clear goals and intentions
  • Get out your brand new planner, sparkly markers, stickers etc.
  • Power up your new scheduling software
  • Make that new Vision Board
  • Enjoy this planning phase

You may find that this planning phase allows you to increase excitement, joy, and enthusiasm for your new year while also helping you to work with your natural body rhythms at the same time.

This can help get you all synched up so you make the most of your 2018
by knowing what you want, planning for your goals and intentions to be realized, but also maintaining those plans all year long.

This is a brand new year and a fresh start; you can make this year your best year yet. Breathe, let go, and give yourself permission to be honest about what you really want to experience this year. Try not to focus on how things unfolded last year or any year prior to this year. Instead, focus on what you want, and what you’ll need to do to get there.

  • You do have what it takes.
  • You are enough.
  • Your dreams and the calling of your heart are there for a reason.
  • The reason is that it’s what’s right for you.
  • Please give yourself permission to go for it this year!
  • Yes, You’re Worth it!

With deepest gratitude and new year blessings,
Kristy~
xoxo

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Check in with Astrology and the Angels for the Capricorn Cycle

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Elizabeth Pendleton joins me to discuss all things Astrology and Angels as we greet the Cardinal Earth energy coming in with Capricorn. I'm going to share the angel messages that have come through for us and Elizabeth will give us the 411 about what is happening in the stars. Find out how this Capricorn energy will work with the other Astrological Events happening this month and how you can work with these energies too. 
Connect with Elizabeth 

Check in with Astrology and the Angels for the Sagittarius Cycle

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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kristyayala/2017/11/15/check-in-with-astrology-and-the-angels-for-the-sagittarius-cycle

Elizabeth Pendleton joins me to discuss all things Astrology and Angels as we greet the Mutable Fire energy coming in with Sagittarius. I'm going to share the angel messages that have come through for us and Elizabeth will give us the 411 about what is happening in the stars. Find out how this Sag energy will work with the other Astrological Events happening this month and how you can work with these energies too. 

Are You Sun Sensitive?

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Are you Sun Sensitive?

We’re all impacted by the sun since we need Full Spectrum Sunlight plus it’s Vitamin D to help us live, work, and feel like our most optimal self.
However, some of us (me included) are what is referred to as Sun Sensitive because we actually need More Full Spectrum Sunlight than most people in order to feel healthy, strong, and like ourselves.

During Daylight Savings time when the days are shorter, and the nights are longer sun sensitive people often experience physical, mental, and emotional symptoms due to the reduced full spectrum light. In many places, during the day it’s also dark and cloudy outside so there is much less full spectrum lighting. So this creates a double whammy for sun sensitive people since they can’t bank enough sunlight each day. With many dark days and long nights in a row, the impact on highly sensitive people can show up quickly and last through early spring. This experience is called Season Affective Disorder.

There are varying degrees or symptoms of this disorder but highly sensitive people often experience many if not all symptoms. There’s a lot of information about this readily available online so if you feel you’re being impacted by SAD please research some more information.

I’ve included some basic information below along with some things that I personally have found helpful since I’ve been experiencing acute SAD for 20 years.

Common Symptoms People with Season Affective Disorder Experience

  • Sadness
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of Energy
  • Lack of Inspiration, Excitement, or Joy
  • Depression
  • Desire to Withdraw from Activities
  • Extreme Emotions; similar to an Emotional Roller Coaster
  • Body Aches
  • Increased Skin Sensitivity
  • Low Grade Fever
  • Head Fogginess
  • Sinus Pressure
  • Trouble Focusing
  • Feeling Like You’re Moving in Slow Motion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Clumsiness
  • Spatial Issues/Walking into doors or bumping into things
  • Bruising Easily
  • Sleep Issues/Insomnia
  • Always Tired/Needing a Nap/Never Feel Replenished upon Waking
  • Decreased Immune System
  • Prolonged Sickness that lingers keeping you from feeling completely well until the Sun Returns in the Spring
  • Skin Discoloration/green and or dark circles or undertone
  • Weight Gain/Particularly around lower tummy, hips, and bum
  • Intense Carbohydrate Cravings/Breads, Alcohol, and Desserts

Why Does This Happen?
Full Spectrum Sunlight feeds our Serotonin Levels in the brain.
Serotonin is one of the things responsible for helping us to feel good, balanced, and like our true selves. We need Serotonin and can only bank it one day at a time. The number one way we bank Serotonin is by being exposed to full spectrum sunlight. We aren’t able to keep a savings account to make withdrawals on dark days unfortunately which is why highly sensitive people experience SAD symptoms.

The body and brain are so intelligent that they know when they’re low on Serotonin and will send intense signals to you to increase your Serotonin right away. It tries to keep us balanced with what we need at all times.

One of the things that spikes Serotonin is Carbohydrates which is why people crave Carbs when they don’t have enough Full Spectrum Sunlight.
Unfortunately, Carbohydrates only spike Serotonin for a small segment of time and then Your Serotonin Levels Drop Further Then They Were Before.

  • Carbs Rob the Body of Serotonin after Spiking it Temporarily

This creates a tough cycle as you can imagine.

But, there are things you can do to increase your Serotonin levels that will actually replenish you instead of robbing you. (Yay!)

Another Important thing to know about this Serotonin issue is that you need it to create Melatonin in the brain which supports good sleeping health and habits.
So if you aren’t getting enough Full Spectrum Sunlight then you aren’t producing enough Serotonin or Melatonin which impacts you when you’re Awake and when you’re Asleep.

This information alone provides a lot of insight into the importance of getting outside daily, doesn’t it?

Being indoors under artificial light for the majority of the day is not great for our overall health.

While there is no replacement for Mother Nature there are some ways to help reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and help make the winter more manageable.  

Ways to Reduce or Manage SAD Symptoms:

The Number 1 way to reverse your symptoms is to spend time in direct sunlight to bank sun and to increase your Serotonin levels. If you can take a trip to a sunny place, you’ll notice a huge difference in the way that you feel and your symptoms will shift pretty quickly.

  • If you can’t take a vacation; the following things can help you reduce or manage your SAD symptoms:

Increase Full Spectrum Lighting:
You can find full spectrum lightbulbs and light boxes online and in some big box stores.
These make a huge difference. I keep my light box on my bathroom counter and turn it on when I get ready for work and I’ve noticed a big difference in the way that I feel. There are a lot of options available online. 

Increase Chlorophyll:
Drinking green drinks is analogous to drinking sunlight which helps to boost your energy without creating the crash that you get from drinking caffeine. Green drinks can also help to reduce dark under eye circles and dull looking skin.

Exercise:
Even 5 minutes of exercise can increase the feel good chemicals in your brain and body including Serotonin and can increase your energy and mood levels.
The compounding issue that can happen with exercise is that if you have low energy you may not feel like exercising. 5 minutes makes a huge difference and you’ll feel much better. You can do 5 minutes. Even a walk around the block will have a positive impact on the way you feel. Try to get 5 minutes (or more) a day.

Supplement:
Talk to your primary care physician first; but many people find that taking high quality D3, B6, and B12 vitamins can help reduce their symptoms. Your primary care professional can test you to see if you’re low in these areas and can recommend a good plan for you.

Acupuncture:
Acupuncturists can support your body during this time and have treatments for people who are impacted by SAD. I’ve personally used acupuncture to help me with my SAD symptoms and have found it to be a very helpful treatment.

Stay Warm:
Spa’s, Sauna’s, Steam Rooms, and Hot Baths can help to reduce any aches you may be feeling from the cold. These warm treatments which increase your core body temperature can help reduce the experience of skin sensitivity and can elevate your mood.

Soft Clothing:
Increased skin sensitivity is a common experience, wear soft and gentle clothing and use soft and gentle bedding. Avoid wearing anything that picks, scratches, or feels uncomfortable in any way. You may find that your own clothes that you can wear when there’s more sunlight can’t be worn during this time.
You aren’t imagining this, your skin is just that much more sensitive.

Fresh Air:
It’s easy to stay inside when it’s cold and dark, but getting clean air in your home and getting outside helps to clear away a lot of the heavy or stagnant energy within and around you. Even if you have to bundle up before you open the windows for a few minutes, it’s okay just do it.

Don’t Push:
Don’t try to force yourself to do more, to plan more, or to be at more places that you need to.
Be very selective about how you spend your time, say no to anything extraneous and save your energy for the things that you really want to do or have to do.

Tell People What You Need:
You might be the only person in your family or friend group who experiences SAD.
Communicate with your loved ones about what you’re experiencing so they understand that you aren’t being “lazy, negative, or just not trying hard enough.”

People who don’t experience this may say things like:

  • “You just need to get up, get going, and push through this, it’s all in your head. Have a better attitude about this and it will all go away.”
  • “You’re responsible for the way you’re feeling, focus on the positive.”
  • "You just need to do what I do; I do ________ and I'm fine; you aren't trying hard enough, you're just making yourself worse by lying around all the time."

These kinds of platitudes aren’t supportive nor are the true since this is a chemical brain and body issue.

While the power of positive thinking, intentions, and actions is real, measurable, and documented in behavioral psychological journals, it doesn’t fully apply here.

It’s important to inform your loved ones about SAD and also let them know how any comments like the one’s above make you feel so they can have more information and better ways to support you.

Drink More Water:
Hydration helps with keeping energy levels high and washes away toxins that could be hanging out in your body.

Go At Your Own Pace:
Your body rhythms might be different from your loved ones; and different from yours when there’s more full spectrum light. It’s important to go at your own pace and let people know what you need.

The truth is that you probably won’t be able to do as many things as you’re used to doing during brighter times of the year. Pushing yourself or forcing yourself to do things could decrease your immune system further and leave you sick.
Hold healthy boundaries, listen to your body, and go at your own pace.
Get comfortable saying no.

Nap:
Even if you aren’t a napper, if you feel like you need a nap, give yourself permission to take one. Your body does need more rest at this time.

Increase Color and Life:
Bring flowers into your home and or office to literally brighten up your space and mood. While this one might not seem like it would help, it really does.

You can add color to your clothing to help uplift your energy as well.
Color therapy is a real thing, and by adding color in small but significant ways, you can uplift your energy and mood. Soft scarves, colorful jewelry, and shoes can make an impact in the way you feel.

Overall, just be really good to yourself during this time; try different methods to see what works for you. Everybody is different and it’s important to find what works best for you.

I’m wishing you a gentle and easy low light season.
With Love,
Kristy~

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Gratitude, Grace, and Gumption

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The holiday season is officially upon us and here in the states we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving which is a time to share a meal, give thanks, and enjoy time with loved ones. Even if you don’t do a big Thanksgiving meal, or you’re away from loved ones this year, or you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where you live, this is a great time to do some reflecting on your year as we get ready to wind down 2017.
 
While this time of year brings a lot of activities to everyone’s plates in addition to everything else they have going on; one thing that tends to be placed onto the back burner is a teeny bit of time for yourself. Not just time to get things checked off your list, or to run errands, but actual time to go over or catalog your year.
 
I find that by this time of the year, it feels like the autumn has breezed by and the focus may already be leaning toward the end of the year which can create a little bit of extra stress or tension. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone, breathe. You’re also not the one person who doesn’t have it all together either; and it’s okay to let that pressure or belief go. Just breathe.
 
This is a great time to be honest with yourself about what’s really important to you and the way you want to celebrate the holiday season. You can choose to do the things that feel uplifting and fun while releasing some of the things that aren’t really you’re cup of tea. It’s healthy and more than okay to say no to some activities that come your way this season; and choose to do things that support, honor, and uplift you and your loved ones. This includes saying no to invitations that create any stress, tension, or even trauma for you. You aren’t obligated to attend an activity that isn’t a fit for you and feeling guided to say no is the only “reason” that’s required.
 
Taking some time to choose how you would like to celebrate and mark this time can be helpful as you’ll have a clear focus moving into the month and the holiday season. It will be easier to feel and know which activities honor your vision or goal for you and which ones don’t.
 
This is also a great time to look back over your year to get some perspective on all that you’ve accomplished and the things that have changed since the beginning of the year.

  • When we focus on gratitude, we usually focus on an outward component such as I’m so grateful for _____________.


This is a powerful and important way of experiencing gratitude.
 
Another important and powerful way includes looking at the things, people, and projects that you’ve had a hand in supporting this year.
 
It may not seem like your daily contributions have a big impact on others or the world around you, but they do.

  • You make a difference in your world.

 
To Particpate in this Gratitude + Grace Technique:

  • Create a quick list of things that come to mind from this year where you’ve been a support person for someone.
  •  Find a quiet place in your home or office and turn off notifications on your devices
  • Have a notebook and something to write with
  • (Maybe a glass of water and some Kleenex)
  • Then, close your eyes and visualize/remember the situation.  
    Allow yourself to focus on your heart; then ask to feel the gratitude within that situation and feel it as it moves into your heart.

 
Sometimes this exercise creates an emotional response when you tap into the love and gratitude that was present for you in any particular situation.
You may want to write down any thoughts, feelings, words, or memories that come through for you during this experience.
 

  • Sometimes, the other person will give you a message or tell you how they were impacted by your help.
  • Sometimes, situations or people that you’ve forgotten will show up as you begin this process and they will add themselves to your list so to speak.

 
I recommend writing down everything that comes through so you can review it later. This exercise creates a lot of emotion and heart healing and sometimes it seems like you’ll remember everything perfectly even days after the experience but I find that it becomes less prescient similar to a dream state; so having it down on paper can be really supportive.
 
As we get older, we tend to have less and less people who tell us that we’re doing a good job or that they’re proud of us. This is especially true if you’re an entrepreneur. So taking a little time this month to go over the experiences, interactions, and shifts that you’ve been part of this year can be very heart opening for you. Give yourself permission to feel the grace and gratitude for yourself that others felt when interacting with you this year. This is in no way an indulgent or self centered exercise but rather one that focuses on self love.
 
This activity of cataloging your year doesn’t have to take a long time to do; 10 minutes can open a huge wave of gratitude, grace, and love. You may even think of some situations, or people that you had previously forgotten.
 

  • This is a powerful way to honor yourself and the people that you’ve connected with this year.

 
True gratitude is a heart emotion; you can feel it inside of your heart.
When we focus on our heart whether it’s to give or receive love in any of its forms, we can feel it.
Love is healing, always.
 
This season, take some time to practice self love and try this Gratitude + Grace Technique. Allow this to help you navigate the way you’d like to celebrate your holiday season. You’ll know right away when you focus on your heart the way you’re being led to spend your holidays. Give yourself permission to use your natural Gumption to guide your way and place your boundaries around the things, people, and opportunities that bring you joy, happiness, love, and peace.

I'd love to hear how this technique worked for you.
I'm wishing you a wonderful month and a very happy Thanksgiving to you if you're celebrating this year!

With Gratitude, Grace, and Love,
Kristy~

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Check in with Astrology and Angels for the Scorpio Cycle

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 Elizabeth Pendleton joins me to discuss all things Astrology and Angels. We're talking about the Fixed Water sign of Scorpio. We'll discuss how this energy can support you in moving forward and how it will work with the other Astrological energies. As always we will be sharing messages from the Angels as well as specific Astrological aspects during this show so you can maximize this new cycle. 
Connect with Elizabeth

Why Letting Go Leads to More

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So here we are at, October already. This time of year always makes me think about where the summer went and how the end of the year is coming into sight. One of the great things about this month is that the Autumn season gets anchored during this time. It really starts to feel like fall, look like fall, and even smell like fall.

All the sights and sounds of the month have a palpable impact on the way that we feel on the inside.

  • Maybe you experience positive memories or continue meaningful traditions during this month that feel supportive for you.
  • Maybe you enjoy the physical shift of spending more time indoors as the days become shorter and the nights become longer.
  • Maybe you enjoy the streamlining that happens in preparation for the cooler weather.
  • Maybe you love pulling out sweaters, scarves, and other cooler weather clothing.
  • Maybe you enjoy all of the above and more.

Like you, I’m highly sensitive and am deeply impacted by each seasonal shift.

One of the things that really speaks to me during October is the letting go and clearing away that happens all around us.

  • We can watch the leaves pulling their resources within which gives them that gorgeous color before they drop their leaves for their winter rest.
  • The air becomes more crisp, cool, and wet; clearing away stagnant or old heavy air leftover from summer.
  • Daylight becomes shorter and the color of the light is almost golden.
  • Gardens and back yards begin to be put to bed and winterized.

The Gardens, that’s the one that gets me every year.
I recently put my gardens to bed and cut back, trimmed, and cleared away excess foliage in my back yard.  At the beginning of the project I always find myself feeling sad to be clearing everything away; it happens every year. Afterward, I always think, wow, that looks so much better and feels so much lighter. You’d think that after all of these years I wouldn’t have to go through the sadness part but I still do.

I find this to be such a great example of the abundance we receive this month by clearing away the old, the unnecessary, and the excess so we can enjoy what’s most important.

This clearing away energy that’s happening right now allows us to release anything extraneous so we can truly enjoy the settling in for the new season.
It almost seems counter-intuitive but mother nature knows that this organic shift allows us to open up to abundance and comfort as we clear away what’s come full circle for us.

Maybe for you, it’s:

  • Holding a Garage Sale
  • Donating Items from your closet
  • Doing a Deep Clean on Your Home
  • Finishing Up Remaining Projects

or anything else you feel called to do this month so you can enjoy the slow down of October while you invest in the things that are meaningful for you.

This season is all about:

  • Rest
  • Quiet
  • Comfort
  • Turning Inward
  • Coziness
  • Spending Time in Ways that Nurture You

I find that this month begins a deep nurturing for us on a core level if we allow ourselves to move with the energy of the season. By letting go we gain more of the experiences that feed our soul.

This doesn’t have to be hard or one more thing on your to do list, all you have to do is honor the calling that you have within you right now.

What is one thing that you feel guided to release so you can settle into October?
It’s usually the first thing that comes to mind.

Great; even getting that one thing moving will support you all month long in creating more time for the things, people, and experiences that are meaningful for you.
You’ll feel a huge relief as you clear this item or activity from your list.
You’ll also find that it’s easier to settle in for a restful and comforting season.

I’m wishing you a gentle and supportive October.
Go at your own pace this month and enjoy the palpable shift that’s happening all around us throughout, October.
With love,
Kristy~

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First Day of Fall: Shift, Soften, Soothe

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Happy First Day of fall, 

Ahh a brand new season, a fresh start, and a time of shifting to an energy of comfort, calm, and coziness.

Even if it’s still warm in your neck of the woods like mine, the first day of fall brings with it a promise that cooler days are on their way and that crisp evenings are right around the corner.

What does this new season make you think about?

  • Pumpkin spice latte’s
  • Flannel Jammies
  • Movie Nights at Home
  • Apple Picking
  • The Leaves Changing Color
  • Comforting Foods and Hot Cider
  • Knitting or Stitching Projects
  • Reading a Real Book by the Fire

No matter what this season means to you, this is a brand new start and an opportunity for you to enjoy this new season in the way that is right for you. As the days become shorter and the weather becomes cooler, it’s natural to turn inward and to do some personal reflection.

Take a little time this weekend to think about what you would like to experience this fall and make a commitment to yourself to move toward the things that are meaningful for you. Honoring one or two things that are important to you can make all the difference in how you experience your new season.

As schedules become more and more packed with to do lists, taking some time to get clear on what you feel guided to do allows you to make your goals or intentions a reality for you. Investing a little bit of time into scheduling what you want your season to look like will allow you to enjoy it more deeply.

Don’t put off what you want to experience this fall until next year.
Make the most of this season, now, right where you are.
This is your season and your life, give yourself permission to invest in the life that is meaningful for you.

Love,
Kristy~

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Harnessing the Energy of Autumn…How to Make the Most of this Month

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Happy September!

Every year I think I’m going to be ready to greet the very first “Ber” month and somehow it sneaks up on me every time. Does that ever happen to you?
I know that technically it’s still summer for a few more weeks but it definitely feels like the carefree summer vibe is quickly transitioning into the calm, quiet, and cooler weather of Autumn. (I’m ready for the cooler weather, as I’m writing this it’s currently 107F at my house.)
 
There is definitely a magical thing that happens at this time of year; maybe you’re feeling it too. Even with the waning days of summer there is a palpable shift supporting us in taking a look at what we want to experience, accomplish, and enjoy as we move into the final months of 2017. I personally find the back to school excitement to be a huge part of this shift that happens every year. Even if you aren’t a student or you don’t have a student living at home with you, the energy is everywhere you look.

The great news is that we can ride that wave and allow it to help us plan, schedule, and take action on some things that have been on the 2017 to do list.
 
Do you have a few things that have been on your to do list this year that still feel meaningful to you?

  • Are you still longing to move forward on something really special to you that you added to your vision board in January?
  • Are there things that you really want to enjoy this month as we get closer to the sounds, tastes, and colors of Autumn?
  • Maybe you want to finally go apple picking, do some canning, or host a garden party before it gets too cold.
  • Maybe you want to take some time to do some nesting in your home or office to make it feel more cozy.

 
Whatever your heart is leaning toward this month, you still have time to invest in the things that are important to you even though we’re rounding the corner on the last lap of the year.

There’s still time to invest in your goals and dreams while also enjoying the tastes and the rhythm of this new season.
 
One of the biggest things that I hear from clients at this time of year is how they feel it’s too late to do any work on side projects because the year is almost over. They feel a bit overwhelmed and feel like they might as well wait until next year to begin working on their list. However, there’s still 4 months left of 2017 which means that you can make positive change on the things that are important to you while also enjoying the season.
 
It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
 

The big shift here comes back to this back to school energy that’s happening.
If you walk into any big box store, you’ll see isles of notebooks, planners, pens, and more all focused on getting organized, new beginnings, and on making strides in learning new things and accomplishing new goals. You may want to take a little trip over to that section and get a few things to inspire and motivate you so you can maximize this month and the rest of the year.

Grab some goodies, including a physical planner. I really believe in the power of physically writing down what you want to do and when you’re going to take action toward your goals. (There’s lots of research supporting the power of physically writing things down rather than texting yourself or using scheduling apps.)
 
While we move into a time where there’s pumpkin spice everything and apple cider everything, give yourself permission to ride this new burst of energy and focus on how you want to spend September and your transition into the “Ber” months.

Make this your month and your season; you can do it and you deserve to enjoy your life.
 
With love and gratitude,
Kristy~

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Your power is in simplicity, how to shift into this new "season of simple" with ease and grace.

I love this time of year because there’s such a mix of things happening for most of us. We’re still smack dab in the middle of summer here in the northern hemisphere which means the slow down of summer is still upon us; we may still have a little more travel to look forward to, and there’s a hint of back to school happening. I love it, I love all of it.

One of the big takeaways that I get when I travel is that simplicity is powerful.
I think this is something that on a core level we know and experience in our lives but while away from home; this truth becomes even more pronounced.

Have you noticed this while you’ve been traveling or enjoying day trips this summer?

Sometimes getting away from all of the stuff whether that’s physical or figurative stuff helps to make everything clear. I just got back from another off the grid vacation where I have no wifi or cell service. Talk about getting an opportunity to disconnect from the noise and stuff of daily life. But, even without taking a break from technology like that you can still feel your mind and body begin to unwind, relax, and release the stress you may not even realize that you’ve been holding onto while traveling.

Sometimes, we have so many things going on that it can make life feel overwhelming, exhausting, and challenging. When things are streamlined, lighter, or more simple, it seems to open up a door to calm, clarity, and consciousness.

Does that mean you need to live alone without wifi or things around you?
No, of course not.

What this does mean, however is that you can use the power of simplicity to bring the clarity or ease of being away back to your day to day life. If you tune into the feeling of a place or experience that you had while on vacation, what stands out to you the most?

  • Is it the feeling of relaxation, play, or downtime?
  • Is it the sights, smells, or experiences you had?

The great news is that you can integrate these feelings or experiences at home and this is the perfect time to do it.

Right now, while we’re still in the place of summer which is all about rest and fun, you can take a little time to clear away the things, situations, or ways of living that don’t feel like a match to you anymore.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this either; don’t overthink it. Most people know right away what things contribute to their tension or stress. Taking a few minutes to walk around your home and notice how you feel about each space will give you all the information you need about what is ready to leave.

Ask yourself:

  • Does this space feel good to me?
  • Does this match the vision I have for myself and or the way that I want to feel?
  • Am I using this?
  • Is it time to let this go?
  • Do I need support in moving things around in my home to make this a space which rises up to greet me?
  • Does someone need to move out of my home?

You’ll easily and effortlessly feel, see, hear, or know the answer to these questions.
Then, as soon as possible get that stuff out of your home or make the necessary arrangements for support to make the changes that you’re being guided to make. Donate, recycle, or host a garage sale to move the stuff out of your home. You may want to ask a friend or loved one to help you rearrange things if you feel that you could use some help in this area.

You’ll notice that once your environment is lighter and cleared of clutter that you feel lighter and clearer too.

You know that old adage that less is more? It’s really true and what I find is that when your space is clear, you have more time to enjoy your life, the people you love, and make more progress on the projects and or work that is meaningful to you. You also open up to your higher self and your spiritual connection more easily too.

Focusing on integrating an easy or gentle feeling into your home will help you to feel that vacation experience while you’re in between trips. Maybe bring in a candle that reminds you of the salty sea air of the beach, or a picture of a favorite place to help anchor in the feeling you get when you’re away. This will also support you in transitioning from the long slow days of summer into the back to school season.

Even if you aren’t a student or don’t have a student in your home, that back to school energy impacts all of us. Simplicity is a powerful way to prepare for the change in seasons. You’ll be able to move into any season or situation with ease and grace because you’ve created a vacation state of mind right in the heart of your own home.

Enjoy this summer state of mind and take a little time to make some shifts around you so you can enjoy this feeling all year long.

Love,
Kristy~

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July, the perfect time to capitalize on play, pause, and parties...why slowing down = to big results.

July is one of my favorite times of year because it just feels like the theme of this month is about rest and relaxation…it seems to be baked in to the whole month. The days seem to slow down and there’s an overall feeling that taking time for fun is not only important but rather a high priority.

Isn’t it funny how we have connections to fun and certain times or months of the year? Most children are out of school this month, and there’s trips, travel, and special things being added into the calendar.

Have you ever noticed that when you take time to slow down you actually get more done? It’s one of the many paradoxes of life isn’t it? It’s the opposite of what we tell ourselves on most days, yet when we experience this slow down we also expand time. I also find that by taking time to do something fun and out of the ordinary from my day to day schedule, I feel more like myself, I have more energy, and I often think of ideas or answers to problems that I’ve been trying to figure out.

Maybe you’ve seen this same thing in your own life or while watching a fussy child get a break. After a little nap, play time, or fun activity there’s a palpable shift that happens and things seem to get back into alignment again. Being as busy as we are at this time in our human experience, we have to make a conscious effort to carve out fun time here and there on a regular basis to keep things moving forward. Every little bit adds up over time. But, sometimes there’s some extra support that we receive to shift our focus onto the power of play, pause, and parties and July just happens to be one of those times. Even if you aren’t a teacher on holiday for the summer and you have little one’s home during the day, allowing yourself to lean into the energy of July will allow you to reap the benefits of this beautiful slow down happening this month.

As you give yourself permission to surrender to the slow down, you’ll experience some great side effects like:

  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Fun
  • Rest
  • Relaxation
  • Inspiration
  • Ideas
  • Energy
  • And more…

You don’t have to plan a big vacation or allow your responsibilities to go by the wayside to enjoy the slow down this month. You can still enjoy the benefits of this respite and maintain your to do lists by shifting into that child-like space within you. (No matter what birthday you may be celebrating this year, your childlike joy and spark is always with you.)

  • So, try something new this month; it can be something as seemingly small as finally stopping at the new café, ice cream parlor, or shop you’ve been saying you’re going to get to all year.
  • Fall in love with your community all over again by taking yourself to do some of the local favorites that you only do when you have guests visiting you.
  • Go to a movie in the middle of the day or host a movie night in your back yard with your favorite friends + snacks.
  • Take a day trip to a place close by and play tourist.
  • Ride your bike, go for a swim, make homemade popsicles, catch lightning bugs, and tell stories by the fire pit while sipping lemonade.

Make little things the big things this month and watch how your days become infused with more moments of joy and fun. You’ll see that your days feel longer and that you can still get all your chores and responsibilities checked off your list. You may even open the door to that place within you where you reconnect to the magic of life all over again.

Fun, joy, rest and relaxation are important parts of our lives, equally important to all of the other things that we seem to get done each day. However, these are the things that tend to get placed onto the back burner of life for lots of reasons. When we get out of balance with how we’re spending our time, we can begin to feel worn down, burned out, or just plain off. The great news is that simple shifts allow us to refill, renew, and rejuvenate. The lovely month of July seems to be giving us an extra special dose of support in this important endeavor.

So, as you welcome this new month, take a little time to think about some of the things that you’ve been wanting to do, places you’ve been meaning to go, and people you’ve been meaning to visit. Then, give yourself permission to go for it. Schedule some play time into your schedule this month; invite people over for that garden party, lace up your sneakers, and enjoy this month in the way that feels right for you. I have a feeling you’ll find yourself refreshed and inspired….and ready to take on what comes next for you.

I’m wishing you a wonderful July and I hope that it’s filled with things that bring a smile to your face and happiness to your heart.

With love,
Kristy~

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How to Move Through a Heat Wave When You Can't Open the Windows

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There’s a huge heat wave moving through my little corner of the world and it may be moving to your town too. I wanted to share some tips on how to handle this heat when you can’t go outside.

It’s been 110-112 degrees Fahrenheit nearly every day for 2 weeks and it’s still going…so needless to say I’ve had lots of chances to practice the following tips. I haven’t been able to open any windows or go outside because it hasn’t cooled down enough during this time. Hopefully it won’t be this hot for you, but if it is I hope these tips will help you!

Keep It Dark:
Keeping the heat from coming through your windows will help to keep your home cool. It’s a little weird to have everything so dark during the day, but it will save you in trying to play catch up with the greenhouse effect that happens if you keep your shades open during intense heat.

Hydrate Your Home:
If you are running your air conditioning for long periods of time, it will dry out all the air in your home. It will also dry you out, your skin, your sinuses, and everything in your home…including your furnishings. It’s important to hydrate your home so you don’t end up sick, itchy, or have damaged moldings, mantels, and furniture in addition to all the heat.

There a couple of easy ways to hydrate your home:

  • Humidifier: Using a cool mist humidifier can help to add moisture back into your home without adding heat to the room at the same time. Depending on the size and reach of your humidifier you may need to have more than one to moisturize your entire home.
  • Simmer Pots: This works great to add moisture to your kitchen and surrounding areas, especially if your home has an open concept. However, it does require turning on your stove top which will add additional heat to your home. If you do this early in the morning, it may not add too much additional heat and you can use this method to clean the air in your home too. (See below for more details on cleaning the air in your home.)


Clean The Air:
If it’s too hot to open the windows and you’re breathing recirculated air all day for several days in a row, you’re going to want to clean the air in your home to help remove bacteria, toxins, and pollutants.

Here are a few easy ways to keep the air in your home clean:

  • Simmer Pots: By placing herbs, sliced citrus, and spices into a stock pot filled with water and simmering over low heat, you can clean and moisturize the air in your home. This will increase heat in the home, so doing this early in the morning will be your best bet if possible.

I like to use:
1 large fresh lemon, sliced
1 large piece of fresh rosemary
3-5 pieces of fresh lavender
5-7 pieces of dried whole cloves

  • Essential Oils: If you don’t have any fresh herbs or citrus to make a simmer pot but you have essential oils, use those to clean and refresh the air in your home. You can use the simmer pot method if you don’t have your own essential oil diffuser. If you have a diffuser, set it up and let it work its magic.

Here’s some great essential oils to clean and purify the air in your home:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot


Bring Plants Into Your Home:
Plants not only clean and purify the air in your home they also pump oxygen back into your home at the same time. Win-Win! One of the big issues with extreme heat is that there’s not fresh oxygen coming into the home because it’s too hot to open the windows even in the early morning hours. But…plants to the rescue because these beauties do double duty to make you feel and breathe better.

Here’s a few great options you may want to bring into your home:

  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber Plant
  • Ficus
  • Golden Pothos
  • Heart Leaf Philodendron
  • Aloe Vera

Stay Hydrated:
Increase your water intake and try to eat and drink hydrating foods like:

  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Smoothies  
  • Green juices that include Celery and Lemon

Make sure that your furry children have lots of fresh water too, they are also feeling the intensity of the heat wave.

If you can, leave some water outside for the furry and feathered friends who may also need some extra reprieve during the heat.

Exercise:
Being inside for too long isn’t natural and can lead to edginess, short tempers, and a low grade anxiety that runs under the surface of the skin. Exercise can help to move these feelings out of the way so you can feel more like yourself again. Try to get your workout in at home to help to decrease stress but also to mitigate some of the cabin fever you may be experiencing from being in doors for so long.

Self Care:
Try to do things that help you feel calm, comforted, and supported.

  • Movie marathons
  • Binge watching a new series
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Investing time in your creative projects


I hope these tips help to make your heat wave experience a little more bearable.

Sending you love from my hot, hot, hot corner of the world,
Kristy~


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Reaching the Halfway Point: Progress Over Perfection

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Hi guys,
June often conjures up thoughts about hot summer days, swimming, and maybe even an iced cold lemonade. June also marks the halfway point of the year which can lead to thoughts about where the time went, how much we’ve accomplished thus far and how to get ahead of the next 6 months. This is a natural feeling and it’s often combined with a change in schedules due to school being out and upcoming trips or vacations which can lead to feelings of pressure or even stress.

If you’ve been feeling like you haven’t made as much progress on your list of goals or intentions so far this year, take a breath. It’s okay; in fact this is a great time to pull out your list of intentions for the year and dig your vision board out of your closet and give them another look. You may notice that there are some things on your list that aren’t as prescient for you anymore and you may feel guided to let them go. There may be some things that really stand out to you as being important and you still feel very connected to working on them this year. You may find some things that are somewhere in between and you aren’t really ready to let them go or begin working on them, and that’s okay too.

While the first 6 months of the year may have seemed to move really quickly, there’s still plenty of time to take actionable steps toward the goals, intentions, and passion projects you have on your list and in your heart for this year. It’s not too late to begin making movement in the direction of your dreams. The trick is getting clear on what you really want to do and then to break up your goal into small steps so that you begin gaining traction.

One of the things that I find becomes challenging for people is that they feel overwhelmed by the goals they have for themselves. When they try moving forward they aren’t sure where to begin so they don’t take any action. This can become like a catch 22 where someone knows what they want to do but aren’t exactly sure how to do everything or where to start. Then the person decides that they’ll wait until they have more information which keeps them from moving forward; leading them to feel stuck, sad, and frustrated.

Here are my top tips to get going on your goals and maximize the next 6 months of the year.

Identify What You Really Want to Do:
Look at your list and get crystal clear on what you want to accomplish in the next 6 months.
You may choose one or two large goals or several smaller goals.
Get clear on what you’re letting go and cross it off your list.
(You can add it to a future list if you feel guided.)

Access Support and Additional Information:
If you need additional information or support to move forward, research people or services under your umbrella of interest to seek out the help you need.

Start Where You’re Standing:
You don’t have to have everything figured out at the beginning of a project; and it’s important to begin right where you are, even if you don’t feel ready. As you begin taking action, even seemingly small action you’ll begin to gain momentum, excitement, and enthusiasm which will help move you closer to your goal. Small steps every day really do lead to big change over time.

Give yourself permission to go for it this month and begin today.
You still have half the year to move closer to the goals that you set for yourself in January and you’re worth it. I know you can do it! I'm sending you lots of support as you move toward your goals this month and I look forward to working with you.

Love, Kristy~

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My Top Tips to Reduce Stress

Okay so here I am celebrating my 9 year anniversary and over the years I’ve been asked lots of questions. Some of them more often than others so I want to share my answer to one of my most asked questions.

It’s a question about stress…maybe you can relate.
The question more or less goes something like this. “I’m so busy all the time and don’t know how to manage the stress of trying to keep everything together. How do you deal with stress since you spend so much time helping people. Do you have any tips for someone like me?”

I agree that we are busier than ever before which creates a compounding effect when it comes to stress. We can actually feel pressure around us due to deadlines, daily routines, and the unexpected life curve ball. But, we can also experience a feeling of tension and stress on the inside too. I find this to be especially true for highly sensitive people. It can sometimes feel like you can’t catch a break because there’s external and internal stress happening a lot of the day. Plus stress can have a cumulative effect on us, where if we aren’t managing it consistently it can begin to build up and overflow.

So, finding ways to manage stress are a great investment of your time.
This is one of those things where there is no one way or right way to do this, it’s more about finding the ways that are right for you. I’ve included my top 6 ways to reduce stress in my life; hopefully they will give you some inspiration about ways to reduce stress in your life too.

1. Meal Prepping:
I started meal prepping in 2004 when I was still commuting a minimum of 1000 miles a week. (yeah, I know, lots of car time.) I continue to meal prep every Sunday because it adds so much time to the rest of my week. This is a game changer for me because I know that there’s lots of food ready to be put together and I can do it really quickly.

I meal prep a lot of food because we primarily eat at home as opposed to eating out during the week. I invest about 5 hours into meal prepping on Sunday but it completely pays itself back the rest of the week. I create snacks and to go packs for myself and my husband so we have food to take to work. At dinner time, I can make an entire meal in under 20 minutes because all of the chopping, slicing, peeling and spiralizing is already done.

Even spending 30-45 minutes chopping and washing veggies that you’re going to use that week will make your life a lot easier. Do what’s right for you and your lifestyle.

2. Sweat
Yeah, this one doesn’t sound very glamorous because it isn’t but it really works. I know you’ve heard the research about exercise reducing stress and increasing all the feel good chemicals and hormones in the brain and body; and it’s really true. Like yours, my schedule is really busy so I like to get up early which allows me to get 15 to 20 minutes of exercise in first thing. Not only do I feel better it helps me to increase my energy for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I’ll also get a walk in after work too but I usually do my workout in the morning. If you’re not a morning person, find a time that’s a fit for your natural rhythm. Honestly there are some days that I can only get a mini workout in, like 7 minutes but I feel so much better afterwards. Whatever you can get in, it’s worth it.

3. Water
Drinking water helps to move out the old toxins from stress and replenishes the body. I walk around with a water bottle because it helps me to remember to drink my water. (If I don’t have it with me I can completely forget to drink water for several hours.) I feel more calm and balanced when I drink water throughout the day and I notice that my stress level is easier to manage.

If you take your body weight and divide it in half, you will have the amount of water in ounces that is generally recommended. So if you weigh 120 pounds, you would generally want to drink 60 ounces of water each day.

4. Get Outside
I find that if I’m inside too long my body feels overwhelmed and I feel frustrated. Being outside is something that I really love and I can literally feel the stress dropping off of me when I go for a walk or just sit in my backyard garden.
For me it’s not so much what I’m doing as long as I’m outside.

5. Passion Projects
I love to make things, read books, and watch movies. When I take too much time away from these things it really shows up in the way that I feel. I usually carry around what I call a purse project which is just a small knitting project that I can work on for a couple minutes here or there. For me, working on a project even for a few minutes really helps me to decompress. When I have larger pockets of time, I like to work on bigger projects, or read a physical book, or watch a favorite movie.
(Hello Harry Potter Weekend)

6. Salt Bath
This is one of my go to things especially if I’ve had a particularly tough day. I love a good hot bath with some Epsom salt, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, and a little bit of Lavender Essential Oil. This really helps me to slow down and to clear away the day. It almost feels like a reset for the day and it helps me to relax so I can sleep more soundly that night.

I hope my stress busting methods will give you some ideas of ways that you can add some self care and balance into your life. Try not to overthink this, just try some different things and see what really works for you. If something works, great; if not, no biggie just move on to the next thing.  
Love,
Kristy~

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Why Fun, Joy, and Celebrating Up-Levels Everything in Your World

Happy May Day!
Do you remember celebrating May Day when you were a kid? I remember making May Day baskets in school and learning about the tradition of leaving flowers and notes for loved ones and friends on May 1st.  When I think about it, I love that this month starts with flowers, cards, and joy because that is the whole energy and theme for this month.

There’s so much celebration energy happening right now and May tends to be the time when people begin to feel guided to get out more, host dinner parties, and catch up with friends. May is also the time when University students are graduating and there’s a buzz that begins floating through the air reminding people to have more fun. You may be feeling it already too.

Fun is one of those things that’s completely natural to us, in fact it’s hard wired inside of us because it’s something we’re supposed to experience on a regular basis. However… I’ve found that as an adult it can become one of the things that gets set onto the back burner when there’s lots of other things to get done.

There’s this belief system that shows up, for me it shows up in the form of a list. It says things like, as soon as you’re finished with all of the important responsibilities on this list, your fun time will move up the list and then you can reward yourself by doing something that you enjoy. That seems like a logical way to do things; unfortunately it usually doesn’t work out that way. In fact, what usually happens is that once one thing is crossed off the list, it auto refills with something else that feels equally urgent and the fun time never really seems to move up the list.

Have you experienced this list phenomenon in your life too?

If this goes on too long it can feel like you’re chasing your list all the time and waiting for some elusive perfect timing where you’ll be able to finally do something for yourself. Sometimes this can lead to feelings of overwhelm, burnout, or even lethargy.

So… what to do?

The answer to changing this feeling of perpetual catch up will sound like putting the cart before the horse, but it really works.

The secret is celebrating, laughing, playing, and having fun.

I know…it doesn’t seem like it could be that simple and you may even feel guided to say yeah, but I have this situation ___________________ and it prevents me from making time for fun.

The truth is that we’re meant to celebrate, it’s a part of who we are and when we stifle this part of ourselves, things can get jammed up leaving us feeling like some of the sparkle of life has fizzled out.
You don’t have to spend a lot of hours celebrating but it’s really a huge win win for you when you invest in any amount of celebration. You see, joy opens the gateways to things in life.

  • If things feel heavy or bogged down at work, pushing harder won’t clear that feeling from you.
  • If you are having a hard time sleeping, or you feel like no matter what you do you just can’t catch up? Pushing harder won’t clear that for you.
  • If you feel disconnected from yourself and feel like each day is the same; pushing harder won’t clear that for you.

What will clear things up, is investing in your overall happiness, health, and life satisfaction by having some fun and investing in some celebration and joy.
Joy is such a light, bright, and fun energy to experience.

Think about something that makes you fill yourself up with joy.
It’s an instant mood elevator.

When we invest in joy by playing, or truly celebrating our life, our contributions, and our successes we up level everything within our world. Truly. This is the game changer. As you invest in joy, the other stuff that feels heavy or blocked in your life begins to move again and things begin to feel lighter and smoother. Things begin to work again which creates more joy. You’ll find that you begin to get more done and enjoy more overall balance and happiness at the same time. Win win.

Most people had at least one person in their life who encouraged them as children. Maybe a special teacher, great parent, or mentor was in your corner supporting you in some way. As adults, there can be fewer of these people in our lives so we need to learn how to celebrate ourselves for where we are right now, today, just for being us. We have to learn how to be our own great support system and encourage ourselves regularly.  

Because life is constantly changing and in forward motion, it can be really easy to focus on all the tasks and things on your to do list. As they get finished, you may make a small mental note about it being done and then quickly move onto the next thing. Giving yourself permission to actually take a step back and acknowledge and appreciate all that you’re doing is really important.

Recognition and celebration are important, in fact they’re as important as hitting the ground running everyday but many people overlook that part of their life for lots of reasons. This month, as the energy is focused on fun, play, and celebrations; see if you can find some ways to build a little playtime into your schedule. I promise you, you’re worth it.

When you take some time to do something just for you, not multitasking by doing chores or running errands, you’ll notice that you feel lighter and that you feel happier. You’ll also notice that things go smoother for you the more that you build this joy into your schedule.

This month when you’re sitting down and looking over your calendar and making your to do lists, schedule in some time to celebrate you. Think about the things that you do and imagine that you’re a dear friend or a loved one. How would you celebrate them for all that they’re doing? Now, do the same thing for yourself. Say the same things you would say to someone else, to yourself and go big in honoring yourself this month. You deserve it and you are worth it.

Wishing you a wonderful May!
All my love,
Kristy~

Speaking of celebrations, this month marks my 9 year anniversary of owning my own business and my 10 year anniversary of leaving my university psychology professor job. These past 9 years have been filled with so many amazing people and experiences and I want to thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my world. Thank you for supporting me in doing what I love every day!

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How to cultivate new growth and move through change...more easily

Are you feeling an increase in your energy and excitement?
Are you feeling the itch to start new things in your life right now?
If so, you’re right on target for this burst of new energy that’s happening this month. Even though we celebrate the new year in January with our Gregorian calendar; the traditional new year begins with the Spring season. In the Northern Hemisphere you can see signs of Spring everywhere you look.

This awakening that’s happening within the natural world is happening within each of us right now too. You may notice that all of a sudden you feel ready to take on some of the projects or plans that you’ve had sitting on the back burner for a while. You may feel guided to muck out your closets, garage, or shed. This time of year there is a deep call for lightening your load so you can spring forward more easily and effortlessly.

This time of year often brings with it big changes too.
Maybe you’re moving, looking to shift something in your work life, or feel like you’re releasing things, people, and situations which are no longer a fit for you.

No matter how this surge of new energy is impacting you and your life right now; taking time to increase your self care is important. Making sure that you’re taking care of yourself as you dig into new projects or “house keeping” issues within your life allows you to move through these changes more smoothly. Like the old adage of the ripple effect from one stone thrown into a still pool of water; so too does change impact all areas of our lives.

Change is good, sometimes it feels fun and exciting and other times it can be downright challenging; but no matter what, you have to take care of yourself during the shifts and changes that are happening for you.

This self care recipe doesn’t have to take a ton of time or become one more thing that’s added onto your long list of things to do. It can be fashioned any way that works with you and your lifestyle.

The only component that must be included is regular use.

It’s great to understand the importance of self care, boundaries, and down time; however it’s even more important to put those actions into practice.

Here’s a little recipe or way to think about moving through big changes:

Self Care + Putting Yourself First = Smoother Change and Transition

Let’s look at Self Care:
This can be anything that feels comforting, nurturing, and supportive of you.
It can be something that takes 10 minutes or less like:

  • Enjoying a cup of tea
  • Listening to music
  • Going for a Walk
  • Riding your Bike
  • Meditation
  • Chatting with a Friend or Loved One
  • Reading
  • Digging in the Garden
  • Working on a passion project

Now let’s look at Putting Yourself First:
This one can be challenging for people sometimes because they may feel uncomfortable with putting their needs before ______________.

Just like when you’re flying and the flight attendant instructs you to place your own oxygen mask on before helping your child or someone sitting next to you; it’s imperative to take care of yourself first.
(If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help anyone else.)

This one can be especially challenging for highly sensitive individuals who spend a majority of their time helping others both personally and professionally.

But

When you can take good care of yourself first, things begin to smooth out and change can happen in a more gentle and organic way. If you don’t take good care of yourself, things can exacerbate and additional issues can sometimes show up. Plus, taking care of yourself is a powerful message to the people in your world whether it’s children, friends, colleagues, or extended family.

Here are some ways to Put Your Needs First:

  • Turning off your phone and alerts for 10-20 minutes while you work on something important to you
  • Saying no to demands on your time that feel draining, hurtful, or out of balance with your values.
  • Arranging your schedule and lifestyle to match your goals, dreams and values for yourself and your family.
  • Knowing that it’s okay to say Yes to things that feel like a fit for you and No to things that aren’t a fit for you any longer.
  • Holding a healthy boundary when it needs to be held.
  • Trying something new that interests you.
  • Spending quality time with people who uplift and resonate with you
  • Working on your life purpose in ways that resonate for you
  • Having fun

So, as you’re moving through this exciting time of new beginnings, ask yourself how you can increase self care + putting your needs first as a way to support yourself in moving forward.

This is the perfect time to give yourself permission to move forward with your ideas, plans, goals, and passion projects. Don’t hold yourself back from what you know you’re being guided to do right now. Add in a little TLC and extra support for yourself where you need it. No matter how busy your schedule gets, and I totally get how busy you are, I promise you that there’s room for you to take good care of you.
Yes, you're worth it!
Love, Kristy~ xoxo

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Why Increasing Water Leads to Increased Intuition

People ask me for tips on increasing their intuition all the time. One of my favorite ways to open up those intuitive pathways is by increasing water. I think this one goes under the radar for people sometimes; maybe it’s because it seems so simple that it gets overlooked, but it’s one of my favorite go to ways to fire up the intuitive muscles. There’s several ways to increase water and they all work wonderfully but I suggest using all of them. You may not be able to do all of them all the time but you can mix up the ways you increase water based on what’s right for you and your lifestyle. I’ve included some ways below but please feel free to create your own recipe for increased water in your own life.

Drink More Water:

This one tends to be the most overlooked tip for increasing intuition.
Many people overestimate how much water they’re drinking in a day. Water helps the brain and the body work efficiently and we are interdependent on water to maintain our health and life.
Without drinking water, we can’t live very long. Dehydration contributes to a long list of issues and one of those includes challenges with thinking and focusing. When you’re dehydrated it’s also more challenging to connect with your spiritual gifts and intuition.

Water also helps to move toxins out of the body; allowing the body to physically be more clear, light, and receptive. When the body is weighed down or polluted, the intuitive channels can become cloudy and weighed down too. It’s similar to being in really bad traffic on the freeway because there is an issue up ahead. Everyone and everything becomes impacted by that issue which slows everything down and doesn’t allow for things to move along as smoothly as they should.

Some people count tea and fruit juices as water consumption and add it to their daily amount of water. I’ve found that drinking water and hitting the amount that’s right for your body is a game changer in opening up and increasing your intuition.

If you divide your body weight in half and drink that amount in ounces, you will be drinking the *suggested amount of water for your body.
(If you weigh 120 pounds, you would drink 60 ounces of water each day to reach your daily suggested amount. This measurement may vary depending on your particular situation, please check with your health care professional about what’s right for you.)

Feel free to enjoy other beverages along with your daily water but drinking water in its natural state without tea added to it etc. is the big game changer. It’s fine to infuse your water with cucumber, lemon, or other fruits and veggies that you like. Just avoid counting caffeine and sugar spikes as your daily water intake.

Out of Sight Out of Mind:

If you’re like me and forget to drink water unless it’s right next to you, don’t worry. You can still get your water in for the day, but you’ll have to carry it around with you. The great news is that there’s lots of water bottles on the market now, there’s one for everyone. Go get one that you like or dig yours out from the back of your cupboard and fill it first thing in the morning and carry it around with you. It will make it so much easier to remember to drink your water and you’ll notice that you’ll remember to refill it once it gets low.

Listen to Water:

The sound of water is very calming, clearing, and helps the body to release and relax. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you’re at the beach, lake, or even near a water fountain you begin to let go and feel more relaxed. Some people can physically feel tension or pain reducing when they hear the sound of water.

When we reduce or remove stress we can more easily access our intuition and messages from our angels, guides, and departed loved ones. Whether you have a water fountain in your home or office, live near a large body of water, or you listen to water sounds on a music file; you can increase your intuition by spending time listening to the sounds of water.

Take a Dip:

Getting into water is a quick and effective way to clear away the noise of the world and to calm the mind and the body. Just like listening to water helps the mind, body, and spirit to release and relax; getting into water does the same thing but it’s even more powerful. Swimming in a large body of water, soaking in a bath, and even taking a shower can help to open up your intuition. Many people report coming up with ideas, inspiration, and solutions when they’re in water; maybe you’ve experienced the same thing. I’ve received a lot of intuitive messages and downloads while in and under water and know a lot of intuitive folks who talk about the clarity they receive from being in and under water. All water supports increased intuition but I’ve found that getting into salt water has a super charging effect on the connection and clarity. Any way that you can get into water, including your swimming pool, hot tub, or bath tub will help you to continue to open up and nurture your intuitive muscles.

I hope you’ll enjoy finding ways to increase your connection with water and enjoy opening up your intuition at the same time.

Kristy~

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How to Beat the Winter Blues and Hit the Ground Running

Here we are greeting March, can you believe it? I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling like I could use a little R & R. This time each year, I feel that there’s an adjustment that happens during this last push of winter. Even though we celebrate January 1st as the official first day of the new year and begin our plans and projections, it’s still winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is a time of rest, slowing down, and replenishing before the burst of energy that comes with springtime.
 
I’ve found that the hustle and bustle of the new year combined with the dark and gloomy winter weather can leave me feeling tired and a little sluggish. This seems to make things feel a bit more challenging and to take more energy than they should. Have you noticed that you’re experiencing some push pull things happening for you?
 
One day you feel great, and then the next day it seems like it takes so much more energy to get through your list?
Or maybe one night you sleep great and feel refreshed in the morning, but the next night not so much?
 
If you’re experiencing this, you’re not alone.
 
This last cycle before spring officially arrives is a great time for a reboot and a restructuring. So, instead of the lists and goal setting that comes with the beginning of the year. This reset is more about slowing down and honoring the need that your body has to store up extra energy. When you notice that one foot forward one foot back flux in your energy it’s because your body is still in a bit of winter mode.

The more that we can let go of the extraneous stuff the easier it will be to move with this ebb and flow energy. Saying no to things that don’t feel like a fit, that feel heavy or draining, and reducing jarring sounds and harsh lighting can help you get the most from this reboot and restructuring.
 
There may be some things that were on your lists for the new year that aren’t as important to you now as they were on January first. Give yourself permission to restructure your priorities while making rest high on your list right now.

When the burst of energy shifts for springtime, you’ll feel more ready to hit the ground running if you give yourself this time to restore and replenish. This doesn’t mean you have to tune out from your life, you can refill your well by doing simple shifts that add up quickly.

Some key words for this cycle include:
slow, gentle, calm, and soothing.

Saying Yes to things like:

Going for a walk
Listening to music
Slowly drinking a cup of tea
Reading a book
Watching a movie
Snuggling up in front of a fire place
Or anything that feels soothing and restorative to you is a wonderful way to support yourself during this reboot.
 
If you’re feeling a little bit off due to several dark days on top of this need for a slow down, you may be sun sensitive. I’m very sensitive to a lack of sunlight and this definitely compounds the one foot forward one foot back energy that’s happening at this time.

I’ve included some of my favorite ways to help fight the winter blues as we round out this last bit of the dark until the light returns in the spring. Even though the spring is right around the corner, this last push of winter can support us if we allow ourselves to move with the rhythm happening right now.
 
Drink more water:
Hydration helps with keeping energy levels high and washes away toxins that could be hanging out in your body.

Increase full spectrum lighting:
You can find full spectrum lightbulbs and light boxes online and in some big box stores. (These make a huge difference. I keep my lightbox on my bathroom counter and turn it on when I get ready for work and I’ve noticed a big difference in the way that I feel.)

Increase chlorophyll:
Drinking green drinks is analogous to drinking sunlight which helps to boost your energy without creating the crash that you get from drinking caffeine. Green drinks can also help to reduce dark under eye circles and dull looking skin.

Music:
Listening to upbeat music can help you lift your energy and the energy of your home and office.

Exercise:
Even 5 minutes of exercise can increase the feel good chemicals in your brain and body and can increase your energy and mood levels.
The compounding issue that can happen with exercise is that if you have low energy you may not feel like exercising. 5 minutes makes a huge difference and you’ll feel much better. You can do 5 minutes.

Stay Warm:
Spa’s, Sauna’s, Steam Rooms, and Hot Baths can help to reduce any aches you may be feeling from the cold. These warm treatments can also help reduce the experience of skin sensitivity.

Soft Clothing:
Increased skin sensitivity is a common experience, wear soft and gentle clothing and use soft and gentle bedding.

Fresh Air:
It’s easy to stay inside when it’s cold and dark, but getting clear air in your home and getting outside helps to clear away a lot of the heavy or stagnant energy within and around you.

Go Slow:
Go at your own pace and make time for regular rest, sleep, and quiet time.

Nap:
Even if you aren’t a napper, this is a time that your body needs more rest and napping is a supportive way to honor this need.

Don’t Push:
Don’t try to force yourself to do more, to plan more, or to be at more places that you need to. This is a time for rest and your body knows what it needs.

Go With Your Flow:
Your body rhythms might be different from your loved ones; it’s okay to go at your own pace. Let people know what you need.
 
As we round out this restful and replenishing cycle I hope you’ll find your own groove. This is a powerful time to reconnect with your own pace, needs, and personal self care.
 
With love,
Kristy~
 
P.S. Let me know how you’re honoring yourself during this reboot by leaving a message on the blog.

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How to Turn February Into 28 Days of Self Care: Why Prioritizing Self Care is as Equally Important as Goal Setting for the New Year.

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As we move into the second month of the year, it can be easy to feel like your schedule and daily demands are leading your day, already.
January tends to be a time where we focus on planning, preparations, and intentions for the new year. This is a worthwhile investment of time and if fostered and nurtured throughout the year leads to positive change and forward motion. However, many people don’t include planning for self care, respite, and slow down when creating projections for the new year.
 
Many people find that planning for self care and self nurturing don’t even cross their minds when creating yearly projections. This isn’t a judgement but rather a snapshot of the way we look at our lives. We focus more easily on goals, expansion, streamlining, up leveling and the like. I find that many people have to retrain themselves in how to practice true self care and the “b” word “balance.” If you feel like you could raise your hand to be part of this group, don’t worry, you’re among friends.
 
One of the reasons that scheduling and planning for self care as part of your yearly projections is so important is because without it, your dreams and goals won’t be as stable and supported. When we leave out this important piece of the structural support system, things tend to get more challenging throughout the year.
 
People tell me all the time that they want to have more balance, joy, happiness, and fulfillment in their lives. When I ask them what they do to nurture down time, rest, and personal passions; most of the time I hear crickets. Even during “down time” most people report spending time on their devices. This completely negates the downtime and can actually lead to increased anxiety, tension, and stress.
 
So, with so much stuff to do, and things to pay attention to, how do you begin to shift your schedule to include time for yourself, daily?
 
Well, there’s not one universal answer here, but the first step is understanding that this is not a luxury, vanity, or a waste of time.
 
This is an investment in your overall health and well being as well as an investment in maintaining and achieving all of your goals for 2017. 
Outward energy toward your goals and inward energy invested in your self care work hand in hand as partners in supporting you.
 
We know that it takes 21 days to form a new healthy habit.
Like all new things there’s a little bit of a learning curve. So, you may find it a little bit uncomfortable or awkward as you begin to make self care part of your daily routine. However, the more you do it, the easier and more enjoyable it will become.
 
This doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money.
Taking 5 to 10 minutes a day can give you what you need to maintain balance. (Yep, 5 minutes.)
 
This self care time doesn’t include things like:

  • Doing chores
  • Running Errands
  • Answering Emails, Phone Calls, or Text Messages
  • Scrolling through Social Media Feeds (No, this isn’t self care or down time)

 
Self Care does include things like:

  • Making yourself a cup of tea and drinking it while being fully present
  • Going for a walk
  • Riding your bike
  • Gardening
  • Reading a book (Reading a physical book is best so your brain is not overly activated with blue light from a device.)
  • Listening to records
  • Journaling
  • Watching a movie while being fully present (with no other devices on or around you.)
  • Making something
  • Coloring
  • Breathing (This is a powerful self care technique that people forget to do when they’re stressed out. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth 3-5 times. This is great to do at work when you need a quick reboot.)

 
Or anything else that feeds your soul and keeps you in the present moment.
 
Avoid using technology so you can have your full attention present on what you’re doing. You’ll notice that the tension, stress, and distraction energy begins to loosen and fall away from you as you invest in your self care schedule.
 
Each day you’ll experience a positive effect as you nurture your self care plan. You’ll also benefit from a lasting effect; it’s like having a savings account that you add to each day as you make an investment in yourself.
 
Each day it becomes easier and easier to tap into that relaxation and restorative space. By making this practice equally as important as your other goals, you create a shift in your life where the things that have been draining you in the past become less prescient and you experience more joy and happiness. You’ll also find that the things that are no longer a fit for your life organically begin to fall away. You’ll start to create a life that feels more aligned with you and you’ll enjoy your life more.
 
This month only has 28 days.
That means you can commit to making self care a new healthy and sustainable habit in your life by honoring yourself each day throughout February.
 
This month is thought of as the month of love.
You recommitting to your own happiness, balance, and well being is the greatest gift of love you can give to yourself. (and your dreams and to the people within your world.)
 
Why not take this month to commit to fostering a new healthy habit of self care during the month of February.
 
By the end of this month, the shortest month of the year you’ll be able to continue your new healthy habit all year long. You may find that this was the key in the lock to making a huge shift in the way you experience your day to day life.
 
You’re worth it.
You can do it.
Simply give yourself permission to go forward and honor your self care every day for the next 28 days.
 
Please drop me a line on the blog to let me know how you’re going to practice your self care this month.
 
With love,
Kristy~
 

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