Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dear Myself...

Every day is a new beginning. And maybe today, there is something very important happening in your life that requires special attention. If you had a good friend who was about to embark on some kind of journey - whether with career, family, or another aspect of life - you would greet him/her with encouraging words perhaps over the phone or via email/text/Facebook. So why not do the same for yourself? It's time to be our own best friend. Follow this letter template, and write yourself an encouraging letter. After you write it, read it out loud. You will feel positive, empowered, and ready to take on whatever may come your way!

Dear -Name-,

I am proud of you because ___________. It was a brilliant idea when you decided to ___________. You will rock the -insert next life event- , because you are able, enthusiastic, and __________. Today is going to be a great day, because _______. Enjoy everything it has to offer. Be yourself, and don't let anyone drag you down. You are strong because you_________. And if you need anything at all, you can always reach out to me.

Love you!


We would love to hear how you filled in the blanks!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Weight of Words

Words have amazing weight. They can be used to tear down, break, hurt (sticks and stones may break bones, but words DO hurt me). They can also be used to lift up, inspire, strike hope and motivate.

Words are like mental food that we feed on. So just as important as it is to eat food that nourishes our bodies, it is important to use words that help not harm us.
That means not telling yourself or others that you are stupid, not worth others' time, ugly, unmotivated, lazy, poor, or fat.

It means using words like grace, hope, inspiration, love, beautiful, strong.

This week be mindful of words that can weigh you down. Memories or thoughts that bring a heavy weight to your heart. Try to replace some of them with words that lighten your load-that make you feel light, free, and inspired.

What is a word you could get rid of in your life?

Friday, November 25, 2011

One Size Doesn't Fit All

So wear the life that fits YOU!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, set your table without a side of guilt. On a holiday that focuses mostly on food, it's especially easy to feel pressured to restrict yourself, which we all know leads to bad behavior and guilty feelings. But you really don't have to go into this holiday with a set of rules and restrictions for yourself. You can actually take care of yourself AND indulge at the same time!

Photo Source

Ditch the Guilt this Thanksgiving with these simple tips:

1. Eat Breakfast! Many people make the mistake of "saving calories" for the main event on Thanskgiving by skipping breakfast. But if you do this, you'll show up to the party absolutely starving and the need to eat will be urgent! Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner the way you always would, and your choices will be the ones that make you happiest.

2. Get Moving! The exercise will leave you feeling energized and full of mood-enhancing endorphins which will fuel great conversation with your loved ones and keep you feeling good all day. And it's a holiday, so treat yourself to your favorite activity to work up a Thanksgiving morning sweat.

3. Enjoy Yourself! Eat healthfully and thankfully, and enjoy an array of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy. But most importantly, don't hold out on the dessert! Thanksgiving is truly a day to give thanks to yourself. Take a look at the dessert table, decide what your all-time, cannot-live-without favorite is, and be happy about your choice. Savor each bite, and enjoy a very Guiltless Thanksgiving.

How will you celebrate Guiltlessly on Thursday?

Guiltless Gives Thanks:

We are thankful for YOU. Our readers and our dear friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eating Meditation

Everyday we eat. Sometimes we think about it. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we savor, sometimes we tune it all out in front of the TV or computer. Like breathing or walking, this is an activity that can be brought to a new level by a simple meditation. As a holiday that centers around food, as well as family & friends, approaches, I thought today would be a great day to share a simple eating meditation. Pick one of your next meals, probably one you eat alone for your first try, and see what new feelings and clarity comes through!
  • To start eating meditation, place your food in front of you and sit quietly.
  • Reflect on the source of the food and recite any simple prayer of gratitude that comes naturally. It can be as simple as "I am thankful for this meal in front of me." Then be still for a few moments.
  • Look carefully at the food. Be aware of your body and feelings of hunger, how your feel about putting this particular food into your body at this moment.
  • Notice the smell of the food and any pleasant feeling associated with it.
  • Initially chew more slowly than usual. Notice the burst of flavor that comes after you take the first bite. Keep chewing slowly. What happens to the taste sensations as you keep chewing?
  • Be aware of the intention to swallow the food. Also, notice if there is an intention to take more food even though you might still have some in your mouth.
  • Notice if you feel hurried and try not to even load your fork or chopsticks until you are done swallowing the last bite.
  • Stay aware of the taste and what happens to it as you keep chewing. You can label the sensations as salty, sweet, sour, hot, and so on.
  • Also, notice if there is any difference in the intensity of the taste depending upon whether you are breathing in or breathing out. You don't have to remember all that, mainly remember 1) chew well, 2) taste, 3) notice swallowing 4) and remember to Pause 5) and Breathe for a moment before the next bite. Continue with this same mindful attention to everything you eat until you come to the end.
  • As you near the end, pay attention to the signals from your stomach and your tongue & eyes as you approach the point of being full. Notice how these signals can be at odds with each other. Stomach may say you are full while the tongue and eyes want more.
  • Finally, after your last bite, slide your plate a few inches away and just sit very still for 5 to 10 minutes. Notice your breath going in and out your nostrils. Feel the energy or subtle vibrations in your stomach, head, arms or hands. Now you should be able to really feel how that food makes you feel short term.
Take in any emotions, learn from them, and carry on with your day. Happy eating!

Have you ever done an eating meditation?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Taoism- Perfectly Imperfect

Thank you, Lana Daniels, for writing to us and submitting this guest post. We cherish our readers, and we are so thankful for the contribution.

“True perfection seems imperfect,

yet it is perfectly itself.”

-Tao Te Ching

“Every flaw, every virtue, every vice and everything beautiful is meant to be just the way it is. WE ARE IN FACT PERFECT. WE ARE PERFECTLY OURSELVES.”

-Lana Daniels

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Find Freedom in Food

In a world with a media landscape saturated with messages that attempt to define "sexy" by one's weight, it's no wonder I often hear people blaming food for their perceived shortcomings.

Everyone has an idea of what the "magic food" or the "one thing to avoid" is when it comes to achieving their ideal body. Making responsible decisions when choosing one's meal is certainly an essential part to maintaining a healthy body, but food is not the enemy nor the cure. It's the friend that helps guide you along the way. And at risk of sounding like another talking head, I will say this: The key to feeling your best, to looking your best, and to performing your best is all about the confidence you have in your own abilities.

There is freedom in the relationship you have with food, and it exists in the relationship you have with yourself. Food replenishes you, gets your blood flowing, feeds your brain the brilliant ideas you have every day. It gives you the strength to breath, to move, to love. It gives you life.

Setting realistic goals while truly believing in yourself will make your life-long journey toward health much more enjoyable! Don't beat yourself up on the days when you need a nap or perhaps want to indulge in your favorite treat. And celebrate the times when you choose nutrient-rich foods. These are experiences of life. The body and mind are your tools to fully experience everything life has to offer. You deserve to love them both, come rain or come shine.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Risk curiousity, wonder and spontaneous delight!

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
-E.E. Cummings

What is possible once you believe in yourself? Anything I say! Because today I am comfortable in my own skin, and believe in my abilities I can take risks and let the full experience of life wash over me. Because letting yourself fully experience life can feel like a risk if you are unsure in your own abilities.
So be fearless. And go for it. Trust yourself. Risk curiosity, wonder and spontaneous delight!

How will you be fearless today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am a Tree

When I was 14-years-old, my mother took me into her yoga studio and showed me how to do tree pose (Vriksha-asana). Ever since, my understanding of the pose changes and grows every year - much like a tree.

My first idea of tree pose was that it was one of the easiest positions in yoga. Standing on one leg with my arms in the air? Sure, no biggie.

But lately, I've realized that tree pose is in fact one of the most difficult positions there is, because it challenges us to be a tree: extending our bodies up toward the sky as high as we can yet keeping our feet firmly on the floor- feeling both light as a feather and rooted into the ground simultaneously. Tree pose asks you to channel the energy of a tree - the spirit, the strength and sturdiness of it's bark and roots and the carefree, fragile beauty of it's leaves.

When I am in tree pose, I feel strong, centered - like no matter what comes my way, I am so sturdy that nothing will chop me down. But it also reminds me that I am vulnerable to my environment.

Starting now, my goal is to be a tree even when I'm off my mat. Because a tree stands through the wind, the rain, the storms that fall down hard on it's branches and leaves, and yet, when the storm is over, the tree remains. Maybe a branch or two is broken, and maybe some leaves have fallen to the ground, but it is alive and it's still just as beautiful as it was before.

This weekend, spend a little time in tree pose and see what you find.

Other than staying fit, why do you exercise? What type of physical activity causes you to be introspective?

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Confidence: Work It!


How are you going to flex your confidence muscle today?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guiltless Recommends: Daily Muse

Being a twenty-something I feel like I soak up advice like a sponge. Everyone has opinions and wise words, and I bathe in it, taking what I need, discarding what I don't. I stumbled upon the website Daily Muse this weekend and love it's mission: to bring ambitious Gen Y woman, smart, practical, and inspirational advice career and life advice, from women who have been there. Who have had big, crazy dreams—and achieved them. Who saw the glass ceiling—and crushed it. An amazing line-up of role models contributes their two cents and there is plenty we can all take away. For example:
  • Joyce Kulhawik Arts & Entertainment Critic: "This I tell myself now, to love and have faith in ourselves; this is the source of our energy, our joy, and our real power—and will lead us to speak in our true voices to the world." “Love Yourself—Powerfully
Want more style, beauty, money career, and life guidance? Definitely check out Daily Muse!

What is your muse today?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take Care

I recently stumbled upon a workshop that looks pretty interesting, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share.

Mass General Hospital offers a program called "Taking Care of Ourselves - A Wellness Program for Women." This is a four week program that offers women the tools to cope with daily stress and take the time to care for themselves.

If you've been feeling stressed lately or perhaps you're having a hard time coping with something that has recently happened in your life, this might be a good course to look into. The sessions are one hour long and are offered at lunch time during the week, which may not be convenient for all, in which case, maybe these few reminders will help a little:

1. Take a deep breath and stay calm. No matter how hectic things may seem, there is always time to inhale and exhale.

2. Schedule in time for yourself. If you feel like you're living religiously by the book - your PLANNER, that is - literally schedule some "me-time" in. That way, you're not cheating your schedule!

3. Learn how to say "no." No matter how fun those extra social plans may seem, it's sometimes best to let your friends know that you'll miss them, but you have plans that day. (Those plans being turning off your phone, parking yourself on the couch and indulging in a stupid romantic comedy.)

Be well, stay stress-free, and enjoy the day.