Every January I set intentions and goals for the upcoming year. In recent years, I have been extremely specific about my annual goals and the steps it’ll take for me to accomplish them. I look at them frequently throughout the year to ensure I am on track but each July I take a good, hard and honest look at the goals I set, my progress thus far and if they are still relevant to me and my dreams.
My midyear check-in is about reviewing the following:
where am I at in the process of meeting my goals?
what MUST I do over the next 6 months to reach my goals?
if I have reached a goal, can I level up in that area, if desired?
do my goals still feel attainable, or do they need to shift a bit – make bigger or a bit smaller?
how am I feeling about my progress?
what am I surprised by?
what has been the hardest step(s) towards reaching my goals? How will/have I overcome it?
what is the feeling I want to embody at the end of 2021?
This process can be a motivating wake-up call to maintain the fire I set in January. Sitting here typing this and looking at the goals I set in January, I can celebrate the fact that I have already accomplished a few of them, while simultaneously recognizing that I haven’t dedicated much time to others.
This opportunity of a midyear check-in allows me to shift my focus a bit, if needed and maintain the course.
Did you set goals/intentions at the beginning of the year? If so, how are you doing on progress?
Want support? Reach out, I’m happy to help!
There’s STILL six months in this year! What do you want to achieve by January 2022? And more importantly, what feeling do you want to embody?
When the wind blows, we don’t try to change it; we accept it as it is. We don’t run up to the trees and attempt to hold them down because ultimately that wouldn’t work. The movement of the trees is a bi-product of the wind. When it rains, we don’t try to change it, stop it or alter it. Although some days we may not want it, we don’t push against the sky to make it stop, we simply accept it and adapt.
What if we used this same concept with our emotions? What if when our emotions came up, we didn’t try to change them, suppress them, minimize them or ignore them, we simply accepted and adapted?
What if we accepted them for what they are: energy moving through us.
What if we backed up, allowed space for our emotions so they could move through us instead of become us?
My theory is that when emotions come up for us, it’s a clue. A clue that has the potential to lead us to deeper healing, understanding and awareness.
What if you approached your emotions like you do the wind and the rain – accept them for what they are, shift to a vantage point of observation and adapt, as needed?
I invite you to honor any feelings that arise for you in the coming days, accept what is, while you stand firmly in your truth; stand firmly in the knowing that you are grounded, despite any emotion or feeling that moves through you.
Something to consider: “I am the container for all of my emotions: I allow them in and I allow them out.”
Breath work has made a significant impact on my life, my health, my healing and my spirituality. Sometimes it feels complex to talk about because it feels so different from what I have experienced in the past or from how I have previously lived my life, but it’s part of my life now. Breath work has allowed me to realize that I have everything I need within me. It’s allowed me to realize that when I’m having a really hard time, a really big feeling or a really down day, I have the power within me to re-center, re-align and settle into my essence.
Breath work has helped me re-connect with the essence of who I am. I had a very intense vision during one of my sessions: there I was standing in darkness, holding onto a string that was connected to the black and white way of life I have been living, mostly in regard to my job. Through this session, I thought about my life and the journey I have been on. Through this session, I thought about how I’ve been feeling in my current role as a nurse. And by the end of this session, I realized that holding onto this string attached to the black and white way of life just simply didn’t feel right to me. It felt wrong. It felt heavy. It felt nauseating. It felt like I was trudging through concrete. And then I saw the other string. Attached to this string was the gray way of life. But to me, it wasn’t gray – it was so full of life and color. It felt light, it felt warm, it felt exactly like home. It was in this session that I realized, although most of my life I have felt that I need to climb the latter, or have the cookie-cutter way of life or a job that everyone understands, ultimately that’s not who I am. I am not the black and white way of life, I am the gray way of life, where it’s a bit more obscure, a bit more ambiguous, a little bit different from the mainstream, but exactly right for me.
Breath work has helped me to heal and continues to help me to heal. There is a lot with this concept, but ultimately, I feel we all experience our own level of tragedy, trauma or wounding in our lives. Breath work has allowed me to do the shadow work, to nurture the parts of me that felt neglected, abandoned, hurt, abused or forgotten. Breath work has allowed me to nurture the little girl part of me that still feels that hurt. Breath work has allowed me more compassion, love and grace for who I am today and the traits that I have always deemed as weaknesses.
Breath work has helped me to realize that I have everything I need inside of me to succeed. We are often taught throughout our lives that in order to be happy, in order to be successful, in order to be loved, or in order to be healthy, we must seek something outside of ourselves. Breath work has shown me that I have everything I need to achieve what I want to achieve in this life. Breath work has helped me to stop directing my attention externally for validation and accolades and instead turn my attention onto myself and seek internal validation, love and acknowledgement.
Breath work has helped me to manage my stress, overwhelm and anxiety. Breath work has helped me to identify what I need and then to go after it. Breath work has helped me to re-become the version of me that I let go of, suppressed, ignored, have hated and/or abused. Breath work has helped me to recognize my worth and has helped me to stand strong in defending that worth.
Did you know that you have the power to heal yourself? Yes, you! You have the power within you to heal yourself from stress, anxiety, overwhelm and ailments.
For so long we’ve been shown and told that in order to heal, we must take medication or we must seek something outside of ourselves; when in reality, we have everything we need within us. It comes down to something so simple, so natural and so essential to our existence: our breath.
Take a minute, sit back and recognize how you are currently breathing. Are you breathing into your belly or your chest? Is your breath long and slow? Or short and fast? Are you holding your breath? Is it irregular? Do you breathe in through your nose or your mouth?
Anxiety, stress, or overwhelm is simply energy in our body. If we can learn to regulate our breath, we can learn to regulate and shift from our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
When our bodies are in a constant state of stress our blood is typically acidic due to the increase in CO2 in our body. The increase in the CO2 in our body is due to our poor breathing habits. When our blood is acidic, it is an optimal environment for disease.
Over the next month, I will be writing all about breath work: how it has made a massive impact on my life, overcoming my limiting beliefs and healing my childhood wounds. How it can optimize your health in regard to your immunity, respiratory and cardiovascular health, as well as mental health. How it can have an impact on how you pursue your days; one breath at a time.
That’s right, I am a certified breath work instructor and it’s time to show you the positive impact your breath can have on YOU.
It’s time to start healing ourselves, from the inside out? You in? Let’s go!
When you feel like everything is out of control, what do you take control of? When it comes down to it, we can’t control much of the world, right? We have no control over the weather. We can’t control the other drivers on the road. We can’t control when/if the kids will get sick. We can’t control the pandemic, all the riots or the injustice and inequality that continues to happen. However, there IS a lot to take control of and it starts with YOU. We may not be able to control all the riots, injustice or inequality that’s going on in the world, but we can control how we raise our children and the way in which we fight for what we believe in. We may not be able to control the pandemic, but we can control our perspective.
How do you take control and stand strong when things feel unstable? We have the ability to control our effort and our mindset, so how do you optimize that to feel more stable in this world?
Here are a few things I like to do:
Meal plan and prep – every week Alex and I sit down and figure out what we’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. We write it out so we know exactly what we’re having. This helps us to not only get organized for the week, but to take control of our nutrition and schedule.
Morning routine – every single morning, without fail I am doing my usual morning routine. No matter the day, no matter the time I wake up, I do the same thing every morning to not only start my day for me, but to also ground myself in some familiarity and stability.
Movement – I move my body basically every day. I do this because it is the best way for me to manage and cope with any and all emotions. Some days my movement is a run, other days it’s stretching, weight training, yoga, breath work, hiking or snowboarding.
Gratitude – I practice gratitude every day; this is part of my morning routine. It is also something we do every night at the dinner table, as well. Even if the day felt chaotic, there is always something to be grateful for.
Rest – boy, oh boy is this an important one. Whether it be laying on the couch while the girls are napping, or listening to my body and sleeping in until 0600 instead of 0430, rest is crucial to our mental, emotional and physical health. Without proper sleep, we are quicker to become more irritable, likely to make poor food choices and are putting our bodies under stress.
These little things that have become habits have made a massive impact over the past year when everything else has felt a little off-balance.
What do you do to help yourself feel grounded? Can you add to it?
“I don’t know where to start. I always do this, I start something and then I quit…What’s the point?”
The point is, it CAN be better than this. You CAN be grateful for what you have, and still want more. You CAN have dreams while remaining humble. You can focus on yourself and your health when the world feels unsteady.
5-weeks to get you started. 5-weeks to kick-start your journey.
With a registered nurse and certified health coach offering you support, accountability, education and insight through workbooks and weekly meetings, you have the ability to set yourself up for success towards achieving your goals.
During this 5-week program, you will:
explore and pursue uncharted territory; looking at triggers, limiting beliefs and overcoming these barriers that shield you from connecting with your true self.
identify your goals, implement daily habits, and create a daily routine for success.
identify patterns when it comes to your nutrition and physical activity and implement changes to optimize your health.
Are you ready?
The perfect moment to start is right now. Let’s step on this path towards wellness together.
Have you ever considered coming up with a word that would guide you through a decision, or an entire year? This concept is something I started two years ago and it certainly has set the tone for the past two years.
Throughout 2020, I spent most of the year reminding myself of the word I chose: commit. At the beginning of the year when I dedicated 2020 to the word commit, it meant committing to my dreams, my vision, my needs, my wants, my goals and the plans I had put into place. Commit resembled continuing on a course despite the challenges, poor motivation or mood I was in. Commit meant to adapt, pivot and implement changes as needed with keeping the bigger picture in mind. Despite the year 2020 has been, I sit here feeling humble that I committed myself to the person I want to be, my family, my friends, my business – clients and patients, my goals and dreams.
As I look forward to 2021, the word that will guide me through this year is trust. With this word, I will lean into trusting the process, trusting myself, trusting my emotions, trusting my physical responses to moments and interactions and trusting that wherever I am, is right where I’m meant to be. I am choosing this word for a few reasons. First off, trust does not come easily to me but what I do know is that when when something significant has happened in my life, my intuition knew exactly what I needed to do. I want to foster that trust in my ability to know what’s right and what I need to do. I am choosing the word trustbecause I am at a pivotal point with a few big things and I need to trust that no matter what happens, I will find lessons, growth and strength in myself.
What are your thoughts on identifying one word for 2021? One word as an empowering reminder to continue the pursuit towards your goals and intentions when things get tough. One word you can whisper to yourself when you are faced with a challenging or overwhelming situation or conversation. One word to carry you through challenge and to come out on the other side stronger, more confident and with a sense of pride for sticking with something despite the discomfort it might have caused.
If you want to reach for the best version of yourself, you have to get uncomfortable. You can’t grow in your comfort zone. Lean into the discomfort, whisper that word and find yourself one step closer to your vision.
I’m sure it’s easy for you to identify the bad, the unfortunate, the sad, the heartache, the stress and the anxiety that this year has stirred up. I’m sure it’s easy for you to sit in that space of negativity, because when it comes down to it, this year has been hard, really freakin’ hard. We all have faced our individual challenges and with that being said, the feelings we have felt are universal.
What I want to challenge you to do today, is to step out of the ease of identifying the bad and the hard and to look at the beauty and magical moments that have happened this year. There may not be many, but there are some. If you can hold tightly onto these magical moments as we approach 2021, maybe, at some point you can look back at this year and only remember the beautiful, magical moments that you had.
As part of my morning practice, I write… every single day. As part of my monthly practice, I do a monthly recap on all the good things that came from the previous month, one challenge and then the things I want to accomplish in the next month. This practice has offered me grounding in the fact that although we were locked down, the numbers are rising, and people are dying, in my home, in my world so many special moments happened and are still happening.
These are some of the good moments that came out of this year for me:
My date with Ella in January to ECHO and Al’s French Fries as some 1:1 time before I went back to work after maternity leave.
Hot cocoa dates with my loves – with ALL the whipped cream.
Dates with a bestie to watch the Bachelorette before we both returned to work after maternity leave.
Alex starting a new job!
Before the pandemic hit, I was able to travel alone to Toronto for an amazing, life-changing conference.
Sewing Mr. Fuzz, we made a teddy bear!
SO many movie nights, always with a sweet treat.
Virtual conferences and education!
Reconnecting with loved ones.
Identifying and using my voice – SO much self-discovery this year.
Wine nights via FaceTime with a few of my besties!
Local trip to a Lake House with friends for some amazing days, laughs and needed connection and fun!
Our adventure with chickens – holy smokes – if you haven’t seen my instagram stories about these chickens – it’s pretty funny… check it out!
All the bonfires, s’mores and, as Ella says “s’marshs’mellows”
The smell of fresh cut grass and flowers – especially the lilacs as they start to bloom
Pool “parties” with family and friends.
Ella learning “One Hand in my Pocket” and singing it most days on our car rides (don’t worry, I silenced the one swear word ;-))
A ride with my dad in his power wagon that he fixed up.
Ice cream dates with family.
Camping … always camping. Lake George adventures with my loves!
Boating with my parents.
My Sunday morning walks with a bestie.
Sleeping in and not being so strict on my wake up time.
Yahtzee nights with my love.
Friday afternoon bike rides with a bestie.
Anniversary dinner and hiking Camel’s Hump the next morning with mimosas at the top to celebrate 5 years of marriage.
All the arts and crafts, playdoh playing, swingset swinging, learning to bike ride and do the doggy paddle.
Watching Adalyn take her first steps.
French vanilla coffee.
Weekend breakfast dates with my parents.
Quite mornings on the porch with my journal and the birds while the rest of the family slept.
Country running – the birds, the ever-changing scenery and just me and the dirt road.
Podcasts – thank GOD for podcasts!
Ella hiking up snack mountain! What a trooper!
These are just a few of some very special moments that this year has brought me. Reading through these and writing them down leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, peace and calm. There can still be so much good and so much magic during such an unsettling time.
What are some of the magical moments you’ve had this year? Write them down. Put them somewhere as a daily reminder that although this year has been challenging, it has also been beautiful.
I hope that you consider doing this practice. Sending you a big virtual hug.
I have done significant exploration around this idea of perspective; how to shift my perspective so it serves me and then live a life holding onto this idea that everything that happens, happens for me.
When we received the results of our COVID-19 test results, I managed my fear and anxiety by frequently addressing these questions and ideas:
What do I know to be true?
What can I control?
We would not be given anything we could not handle.
I am right where I am meant to be.
I used these questions and statements as a way to ground myself during quarantine and I continue to use them in the uncertainty of this pandemic, during this season of significant change and during a time that feels chaotic.
After the initial shock of COVID-19, I let go of this perspective of “this is happening to us” and was able to quickly shift into a state of “for whatever reason, this is happening for us.” Now that we are through it, now that we are back to work, daycare and school and even during our time of quarantine, I could and can clearly see why COVID-19 was for us.
During this time together, the two weeks in our home, just the four of us, we shared the most special, sweet and memorable experiences. The extra snuggles, the laughs, the scavenger hunts, the scarecrow making, the paper airplane races, the games, the movies, the arts and crafts, the playing outside mid-day, the swinging on the swings, the going to sleep knowing that we’d all wake up in the morning and get to spend another day together without having to leave. For some, the idea of not being able to leave might feel and sound suffocating, but for me, it was liberating. The idea of not having to rush out the door first thing in the morning, the idea that we could stay a little longer under the fuzzy blanket with Curious George on the TV and the idea that I could drink a hot cup of coffee a bit more slowly were the most comforting thoughts and feelings. In those moments, we were right where we were meant to be – with each other.
I am not discrediting the fact that my family is healthy. I am not discrediting the fact that we are blessed enough to have a home and to have food on the table. I am not discrediting the fact that this tag-line to this email could be triggering for some. If you have lost a loved one to COVID-19, I hold your family and the loss you experienced closely to my heart.
What I want to say is this: even in times of stress, even in times of overwhelm, even in times of fear there is ALWAYS a reason for whatever you are experiencing. It may take years to figure out how a tragic event was for you or how a serious illness was for you, but if you can give yourself space, time, trust and freedom to be open to the idea that this is meant for you, you will be serving yourself and cultivating a life of hope and openness.
Choose to look for the good because you will always find it.
If you are dealing with something hard, if you find yourself ill or unwell, if you are facing change, if you are stuggling with fear and anxiety…ask yourself, how is this situation, feeling and/or challenge for me? It’s okay if you can’t find the answer right now, but I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that you would not be given anything you could not handle and you, my friend, are right where you are meant to be.
COVID-19 Walked Through Our Door and Straight Into Our Home
Throughout this year, my fear and indifference in regard to this virus has vacillated. One day, I think the media has set up such fear mongering and blown everything completely out of proportion; the next day I’m frozen with fear and can’t put down the hand sanitizer. What I will say is this: as soon as I found out we were exposed, the paralyzing fear came crashing in. I thought of all the stories I heard about babies being hospitalized and dying. I thought of all the stories I heard about young men being put on ventilators and suddenly dying; the fear was overwhelming.
Here is a brief review of our experience with COVID-19 – the down and dirty, the truth, the rawness and the reality of what it was really like in this house during quarentine.
On our way to our initial COVID-19, PCR test, I wrote this: “one week after the event and we’re on our way to get COVID-19 tested. This is how I feel:
Angry – for having to do this. For being in this position. For exactly what I didn’t want to happen. For not listening to the voice inside my head.
Frustrated – that this is the world we’re living in.
Negative – I’m assuming we have it, because why wouldn’t we?
Mistrust – whether the results are negative or positive, I don’t trust the system. All the tests that have been retracted, the severity of this damn virus… I don’t trust the system.
Shame – for putting our family in harms way. For the people I’ve been around.
Wrong – I did something wrong and therefore, I am wrong.
Not enough – what I did wasn’t careful enough. As if I didn’t wear the mask properly enough.
Bad – what I did was bad and therefore, I am bad.
Scared – for having it and for giving it to people that are more vulnerable. Scared of the girls getting sick.
Embarrassed – for acting so “recklessly” which is the stupidest thing I think I’ve said, we went to a damn family event – how “reckless” of us!
A statistic – despite following the rules.
Here is how things unfolded: We went to a family event on Saturday 10/10 and that following Friday we found out someone at the event tested positive for COVID-19. We scheduled testing for Saturday; Alex, Ella and I all got tested. The stress, the spiraling thoughts and the fear started to overwhelm me that weekend. Alex developed symptoms on Sunday: congestion and a cough. I had symptoms of a burning chest, dry cough, fatigue, intermittently nauseous and disconnected – all of which could be related to stress. On Monday, we received the results that Ella and Alex were positive and I tested negative. On Tuesday, Adalyn tested positive and on Thursday, after I had my second test, I tested positive. This week was probably one of the hardest weeks I’ve been through. On Monday, I decided that I needed to stand strong in the uncertainty, fear and anger and devise a plan to get our family through this time. So, being someone that thrives on a schedule, I determined that we needed a routine for our weekdays and we needed to have an “activity calendar” for at least one special event / activity per day. Our time in quarantine consisted of fort building decked out with Christmas lights (my favorite!), scavenger hunts, scarecrow making, airplane races, movie nights, pumpkin carving, racetrack building, dancing, a lot of books, arts and crafts and snuggles. In addition to all of these sweet activities, this week has also consisted of some serious breakdowns, I am speaking mostly for myself. Crying, sobbing, withdrawn behavior and overwhelm. It has consisted of juggling work calls, coloring, and working late in the evening after the girls go to bed. It has consisted of poor sleeping patterns with bad dreams. It has consisted of a messy house, dishes in the sink and toys everywhere.
Alex had the following symptoms: cough, congestion, headache, lightheadedness/dizziness, rash, extreme fatigue and brain fog. Ella had the following symptoms: spiked a fever, cough, runny nose, fatigue and some clinginess. Adalyn had the following symptoms: dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue and extreme clinginess and fussiness (lord, help us!) My symptoms: nausea, cough, congestion, fatigue, headaches and back aches.
In case you find yourself in a similar situation, this is how we stayed grounded and healthy:
I continued with my morning routine: gratitude, dreams and daily goal/intention.
We ate whole foods – all the fruits, vegetables, grains and abundance of water. Minimizing refined/processed sugar to optimize our immune systems.
We got outside EVERY DAY.
We moved our bodies EVERY DAY.
Sleep – We tried very hard to get enough sleep which was the most challenging with a 10-month old who was regressing. So we stuck with early bedtimes and would rest during the day as needed.
Supplements of: zinc with elderberry and vitamin D3 (not medical advice)
Having fun – during this stressful time, my most favorite moments were in our fort, with the Christmas lights on playing, coloring and laughing with my loves.
With all of this said, I will also say this: we did nothing wrong; we worked within the parameters of the current state regulations. We are not bad for living our freakin’ lives and celebrating with family.
This virus is here to stay. It is all of our responsibility, when navigating this time to understand ourselves, what we feel comfortable with and what we don’t feel comfortable with. For you, that may mean only being around a handful of people. For others, that may mean not wearing a mask. For others, that may mean living right at the parameters that the state mandates. Ultimately, every time we go to a grocery store, every time we go out to eat, every time we go to the MD office, we are putting ourselves at risk for any and all things – car accident, virus, freak accident etc. It is up to you to determine how you want to live your life and I just hope that we all can give each other a little grace when someone elses’ choices are not in alignment with our own.
Let’s minimize the victimization, judgement and mistrust in peoples decisions, give a little more compassion and grace during a very challenging time, we’re all doing the best that we can.