What the Funk? How to get out of your funk.

For the past two days I’ve been feeling less than. Kinda like shit to be honest. At first I wasn’t sure why because I went down the vortex and started getting all blue and anxious. Everyone has the tendency to get in a funk. It happens, we’re human. Everyone also has the ability to pull themselves out of a funk.

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When this happens to me, there are a few things I do to get out of it. Not dismiss it, just allow it to happen and move on from it in a healing way.

I sit with the experience, then start to unpack it and make sure to be honest with myself.

So recently I got caught in the comparison game. It happens, I’m human.  I went down the vortex – it was a combo of self deprecation, jealousy, and paranoia. Real dark. Went next level and told myself and believed it for a minute that I’m going to be broke, poor, unsuccessful and my coaching and energy healing business isn’t going to thrive. WHOA!?!? What the Funk?!??!!

Feeling like this kinda feels like a hangover! 

I sat with “it” (aka the funk) for a moment and decided it was time to clear it out. Sometimes with this stuff we can be stubborn and hold on to negative thoughts and feelings for a long time. In this case I went to bed in the funk and woke up in the funk. It was time to get out of the funk.  Taking a few deep breathes, I “looked” around at the funk and visualized what it looked like and where it was in my body.  Being able to sit with it, locate it and visualize it helps unpack the funk, which is ultimately someone else’s story.  Then, I asked myself,  to think about what triggered me. Who around me was feeling like they are broke, unsuccessful, and not good enough?  I asked myself if these feelings I was having were these persons? I asked myself if I wanted to hold onto these feelings? Obviously no! Then I gave myself permission to wash those feelings away and let them go, knowing that they aren’t mine. I then told myself what I needed to hear. I call this the nurturing cup of tea moment.

Throughout the day, I try to do nice things for myself. Listening to music, opening the windows, buying flowers, engaging in a hobby, getting outside, sweating a little bit. It keeps the momentum. I also will give myself permission throughout the day to release the energy that is not mine.

The mind is like a computer, it freezes and needs to be restarted. 

So when this happens to you and hopefully it doesn’t, here are some tips to get through the funk:

  1. Be nice to yourself.
  2. Sit with the funk.
  3. Be honest with yourself – admit if you’re feeling jealous or angry, it’s okay, you’ve gotta be honest with yourself. No one is going to hear your inner dialogue.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Know it’s totally temporary and your mind is a generator of information.
  6. Unpack the feelings. Ask yourself if the feeling was familiar? Ask yourself, who were you around that might have been feeling that way? Don’t feel guilty if it’s your spouse, mom, best friend – it’s okay. Everyone has a tendency to pick up other peoples energy without realizing it. It happens. The key is to ID it and wash it away.
  7. Give yourself permission to wash it away.
  8. Ask yourself how you want to feel.
  9. Give yourself that nurturing cup of tea, the pep talk, the caring words.
  10. Do something nice for yourself – a cup of coffee, a walk, a hobby, listening to music.

You’ve got this! It’s going to be okay!!!!

Getting Back into the Meditation Game

I think that “meditation” is having a moment. Kind of like kale and avocado toast had their moments.  The thing with meditating is that it’s been around forever. Millions of people do it daily all over the world. In some places around the globe, I’m sure people meditate more frequently than they have access to bathing (my opinion). You don’t have to be some spiritual guru, yogi or ultra crunchy enlightened being to do it. Any one can do it. You can be liberal, conservative, living in a mansion, living in the projects – you get the point. You really don’t need statues of the Buddha or Ganesh, or an altar, or a special pillow – I think that’s  western consumerism creeping in to the actual practice. Which is fine, but that stuff isn’t needed.

Meditation can be helpful during stressful times. For me it’s been key to navigating through stressful times. I’ve used it during a career change, family illness, stress at work etc.  However, as the stress eases, I’ve noticed the frequency of mediation tapers off. I’ve gone from meditating daily, sometimes twice daily to eventually a few times a week, to once a week to not at all. Sound familiar? The edginess and the stories creep right back in. Yep, we’re human. Meditation is new for a lot of people. It’s not something a lot of us in Western culture were raised with. So we’re learning. We have a beginners mind. Which is one of the core elements to meditating.

Another aspect of meditating is observing without judgement. For me I’ve observed, that I’m coming up with excuses to not meditate — the “oh I’ll do it later,” I’ve started checking social media in the morning, instantly stimulating my mind, rather than waking up, stretching and meditating for 15-20 minutes. Right, we’ve all done this. It’s escapism and distraction. The key is to not judge or beat yourself up. Otherwise, that puts major road blocks in the way of actually get back in the meditation game. Been there done that.

For me, the key has been to find really easy ways to integrate it back into my life. Like using the snooze button as an automatic timer.  My snooze is nine minutes. Those nine minutes are pure uninterrupted deep breaths, noticing the sounds in the morning, my cat purring, dog snoring, checking in with myself, being still — by the time the snooze button goes off, I take a moment to express gratitude for the practice and always know my breath is my anchor. Ironically enough, as much as I want to stay in bed and snuggle with my pets and husband, I feel more awake than hitting the snooze button 3 more times.

So, if you’re trying to get into meditating, have been doing it for a long time and fell off the wagon. Use that phone of yours as a handy tool. Set the timer or use your snooze button when the alarm goes off, sit and breathe for a few minutes. You’ll feel clearer and start to notice you’re becoming more present vs. focusing on other things.

 

WTF Are These? Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Cookies. aka a Dream Come True.

After two margaritas and some tacos I decided it was time to bake cookies.

I’m not down with grains and refined sugar, but I am down with chocolate and peanut butter (best combo ever). I’m also down with brownies and cookies. You see where this is going. I wanted both. So I made cr-ow-nies.

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I trolled the interwebs and found two recipes that fit my vision: didn’t take forever and didn’t call for a ton of ingredients. I was able to add my spin on them and out came these sexi nuggets of pure chocolaty chunky peanut buttery goodness. When I asked my husband to try them, he chewed, went silent and said…whoa WTF. That was a good sign. I’ve also had 3 in less than 12 hours.

If you have nut allergies – look away. These are not for you. I’m sorry. The cookies are a combo of raw cashews, cocoa powder and peanut butter. If you’re full on paleo, omit the peanut butter – tahini could work (although I haven’t tried it). The best part: they take max 30 minutes, start to finish.

I used my Vitamix for these. So you get little chunks of cashews in every bite. When you’re blending, you might need to stop, push the mixture down towards the blades and blend again. Just check the mix to make sure you are good with the consistency. It’s chunky, but raw cashews are pretty soft so they break down. I’m thinking a small food processor can do the job for the wet stuff + cashews. I worked really hard for a C in chemistry, I’m not super precise in measuring things — so you’ll always see a little wiggle room / go with your gut directions.

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These make about 20, 2″cookies, I used a teaspoon. I’m sure if you are super precise you can get 24 out of the batch.

On to the baking!!!!

1 cup raw cashews

1 egg

1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted – get your MCT’s)

2 tablespoons peanut butter (try to avoid peanut butter with palm oil – environmental reasons)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

handful of chocolate chips ( I use Enjoy Life)

To cook:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F, line a baking sheet with a spilat (one of my favorite kitchen things) or parchment paper and a few sprays of olive oil or coconut oil so the cookies won’t stick, add the cashews, egg, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to a blender or food processor – the mix won’t be velvety smooth, blend until kind of smooth, add the cocoa powder, baking soda, blend a little more, add the peanut butter and blend a few seconds longer.  Spoon the cookies onto the baking sheet and top with the chocolate chips (I also stirred some into the mix, but found topping the cookies with the chocolate chips looked better). Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Updating Your Resume + Why it’s Important

A colleague and I recently started a women’s networking group. After searching out ways to network and really coming up with nothing, we took matters into our own hands and created our own group. So far we’ve had two meetings and they’ve been a hit. We’re looking forward to hosting more, which is really exciting. So for our last meeting we discussed why it’s important to keep our resumes and bios updated.

The majority of us at the meeting happened to wrap up annual review season, some members of the group were entrepreneurs and some were creatives. In what ever form your resume is – we decided if you’re working for a company, even if you’re not looking for a job, the best time to update your resume is around review time. Your resume is your selling point, it is meant to highlight your skills and accomplishments. Your annual review is a summary highlighting your skills and accomplishments throughout the year, so it makes sense to copy the information from your review on to your resume, because you’ve already done the work. Who doesn’t like saving time?

For those of you who are self-employed, it’s equally as important to update your bio. As one member of our group pointed out, you may need to submit a bio to attend a conference. What if you don’t have a bio? Or your bio is 5 years old and you need a current one? Obviously you didn’t go into business to write bios, but you’re skill is your money maker. For business owners, take a look at your bio, update it based on any new skills, achievements, awards, or continuing education that may happen over the course of a year.

Creative types have resumes highlighting their technical skills and education, but the proof is in your work. Portfolios are digital and technology is changing, fast. Your artistic talents are your money maker. Before updating that reel, portfolio or deck, make sure the work you add to it gets clearance from your boss or clients — much of creative work is under NDA, or rights are owned by the company. You don’t want to get yourself into legal hot water, so do your research first. And always give credit, where credit is due.

Doing all this is a total pain, right? Ugh! Who want’s to come home after a long day, and update this stuff? No one. The idea is, to chip away at it little by little. Even if it’s a few sentences here and there, or a small edit to your reel. Every little bit helps. Another key take away is making sure you’re in a good head space. It sucks having to update your resume when you’re spent, pissed off and have one foot out the door from a job that you’re ready to leave.

Alternatively, if you’re not big on updates or writing, or have a hard time selling yourself; hire a resume writer. A good one is worth the money and they have a way of using language that can really sell a person. Bio’s, resume’s and reels are ways to show off your talents, your skills and how amazing you are. As one person in our networking group said, “if you’re resume isn’t current, you might be missing out on jobs you’re not even looking for.”

I’ve done a fair amount of recruiting and scanning resumes and there are a few things that stood out to me, which are I think are important to share:

  1. Less is best. That busy header, with the headshot and cool infographics on your resume, takes up valuable real estate on your resume. The infographics are great, but it’s a canned template and the person scanning your resume wants to see your talents.
  2. Presentation is everything, font’s should be in order of priority and don’t use more than 2 fonts and 3 sizes / formats. Otherwise it’s busy.
  3. Larger companies have resume scanners, so submit your resume in Word and make sure there isn’t fancy formatting happening, other wise the scanner won’t pick up your resume.
  4. Proof read, proof read, proof read. Have someone you trust review your resume.
  5. Always, submit a cover letter. Even if it’s a few sentences, which is even better. When you’re reviewing 200+ resumes, a couple of paragraphs get glossed over.
  6. Explain gaps, career changes, job hopping in your cover letter, do it in a few sentences but remember, it’s all in how you spin it.
  7. It’s okay to have a 2-page resume. If you’ve been working at a job for awhile and got promoted through the years, or have some technical experience — it’s fine. If you’re just starting out though, keep it to one page.
  8. Everyone says this: use key words. What are key words?? I’m not really sure, but I’m thinking they are simple words related to what you do.
  9. If you are applying for jobs, make sure to tailor it to the job, you don’t have to spend a ton of time doing this, but your resume and cover letter will stand out. It’s really obvious when a resume hasn’t been tailored.
  10. If you are updating your bio, make sure you have a great headshot to go with it. My bio is obviously lacking one 🙂 Do as I say, not as I do, right?

Breathe, this can be overwhelming, but try to keep it as simple as possible. When all else fails, use the internet for inspiration. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

 

It’s Retrograde Season

Retrograde season is upon us, which means we’re heading into Spring with longer days, more sunshine and warmer weather (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). In the southern hemisphere, it’s time to nest, go inward and appreciate the shorter days. As the planets move into retrograde, take a look around you and become aware of yourself. Being mindful of your actions or reactions is a step towards upgrading your life.

The Universe has always been in a constant state of change as have we — which makes life so special. Think back to where you were in life 10 years ago, what are you still holding on to, what have you let go of? Personal growth goes beyond the material and the tangible accomplishments, it goes beyond the career, the car, the house, the balance in your bank account or value of your stocks. Sure all that stuff is nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting yourself up. However, in order to fully enjoy all that stuff, you must be okay with you. All that stuff does not define you. You the whole wonderful being that you are, goes beyond the material.

Retrograde is a time of self-reflection, of really paying attention to what’s serving you and what’s not serving you. What seems to be working and what doesn’t. Have you given yourself permission to let go of any feelings that are no longer serving you? If not, have you asked yourself how those feelings are serving you?

Banana Matcha Waffles

I’m shamelessly obsessed with waffles. It all started one day in college when I had breakfast in Ocean Beach at a little cafe where they sold bumper stickers saying: “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.” Yes I know. So bad it’s good. Well, waffles might be delicious, crispy, sweet, and buttery — they are certainly not very good for you. I can’t be eating the OG waffles on the reg, I’d like to but let’s be serious here, that’s a ticket to Type 2 Diabetes and a host of other health issues. What’s a girl to do? Well I decided to seek out recipes that do not skimp on flavor but leave out the refined sugar and processed carbs.

So — the latest and greatest are my Banana Matcha Waffles. Using Wedo Banana flour, which is made from green bananas. Not every one has a waffle maker and these make a great pancake too. Clearly I need one in mine and if you’re going to buy one, don’t buy a cheap one, they suck and waffles come out steamed. Been there done that. Gross.

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I’m not really sure if Whole30 would consider this compliant or SWYPO; I don’t think this is SWYPO. When I eat them I’m not like, that was just okay, meh – I eat them and think, I’m never going back to the flour version. This recipe is an adaption of the recipe on the Wedo Banana Flour container, I’ve omitted the sweetner and added the matcha.

This is what you need, serves 4:

1/2 cup Wedo Banana flour

2 tablespoons of Matcha powder

1.5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup Nut Milk (Almond or cashew – I’m sure you can use dairy milk)

3 eggs (we prefer pasture eggs, more spend but those yolks!)

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon (I’ve done both)

2 bananas – sliced.

Ghee, coconut oil, or non-stick spray (I use olive oil) for your frying pan and waffle maker

Time to cook:

Pre-heat you waffle iron or frying pan.

Option 1 – put everything excluding the sliced bananas into a blender and blend until smooth.

Option 2 – put everything excluding the sliced bananas into a bowl and stir until smooth.

Once the mixture is smooth and silky (this is a little thinner than you’re used to) stir the sliced bananas into the mixture, I like to mash them a little bit.

Cook, the pancakes, 60 minutes each side and waffles until ready as indicated on your waffle iron.

Serve with sliced almonds, shredded coconut, cinnamon and ghee or go traditional with maple syrup.

Obviously it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t have matcha, you can omit it.

Enjoy!!!!

 

 

On Grieving

My Aunt Rosemarie took her final breaths on September 16th, 2016 at 8:56 pm, 16 years to the day her husband passed, right as the lunar eclipse was ending on the full moon. It was no coincidence that she transitioned to the after life on that day. As she was transitioning she was surrounded by her daughters, sister, cousin and myself. I rubbed her back, told her we loved her and kissed her as she took her final breaths and danced between this world and the afterlife. There was no other place at that time I wanted to be but there, beside her, with my family. As I write this almost 6 months later, I still tear up and get sad. My heart is broken.

Throughout her life, she was always serving people, she was everyone’s mother, taking care of everyone. Always being a nurturing figure. She taught me a lot. I believe she chose to transition on that day, so her daughters would not have to have two days each year to remember the day they lost their beloved parents.

To say the last few years have been rough is an understatement.

My Aunt’s passing was the biggest blow, watching her gradually fade for 11 months was gut wrenching. Watching my mother unravel as a result this has been heart breaking. Over the last six years, I’ve watched what cancer and addiction can do to people and their families.  It’s fucked up but I have kept on going. I’ve learned to prioritize, where to put my energy. Where not to. And not to beat myself up – I’ve learned to be nicer to myself. To find that self love deep down in the root chakra, my foundation.

I’ve experienced high’s and lows in the last six years. I’ve consoled my family and fought with them. I’ve been to jails, courtrooms, doctors appointments, and hospitals and I’ve been to beaches, temples, waterfalls, and rivers.

I’ve been so stressed out that I wake up with sleep paralysis and I’ve been so depressed that all I could do is cry and not move. I’ve found meditation, my guides, spirituality and awareness. I’ve found that there is no wrong or right way to grieve. I’ve learned there is no timeline, no schedule, it’s a deeply personal journey. For anyone to say other wise, I ask myself if they’ve ever grieved. I’ve seen a lot of anger through the grieving process. Anger is a distraction to fear and sadness. Insomnia, anxiety, depression it’s all part of the process. What’s important is self care. That cup of tea, those five minutes of peace and quiet, the gym, yoga, that hobby that helps you get centered. The manicure, pedicure or comedy show. That deep breath. This is part of being human.

I look at life through a different lens now and find I have a hard time relating to the day to day trials and tribulations. I have a hard time getting caught up with the desire to strive and accomplish to meet the expectations of others or to keep up with the Jones’. I don’t really care too much about being popular, or being in the “in-crowd” at work. I’ve stopped going to happy hours, stopped hanging out with people who make me feel less than, and if I don’t have something in my life I create it. I’ve learned how to meditate, be less judgmental, while being less tolerant of the BS, have an open mind and restrain myself from reacting. I’m not perfect and will still get caught up from time to time but notice when I do. I’ve learned to be more accepting of my parents and appreciate the time I have with them. I’ve learned to let go of the resentment, because I feel it causes dis-ease. I’m learning about boundaries, how not to take things personally and how not to pick up the slack from others. I still get my feelings hurt and feel left out. I’m still human. I’m learning how silence is enjoyable and noticing how I feel stretched on days that I really should put myself first. I’m learning balance and the art of speaking up in a way that’s not abrasive. I’m learning to be happy for other people and not feel resentful because it’s not my time. There is so much more to learn. It’s never to late to learn and it’s never too late to put down what’s no longer working.

Life is bittersweet, but we’re here to show up. We each have our own karmic path. We are all on our own journey.  It’s fucked up at times, but you have to keep going. I think acknowledging that it’s fucked up is part of continuing on the journey. You learn to prioritize, where to put your energy. Where not to. We’re all here to learn something about ourselves and the world. We’re all at different places in our karmic journey.

I’m here, alive, taking a breath, coming up for air and, waiting for the next round.

 

 

Trusting the Process

I’ve been feeling creatively stifled for 2 months.

Earlier in the year, I had a wave of inspiration to write. To capture recipes, stories and insight into living a more balanced, peaceful life.

It stopped – came to a halt. Rather than generating ideas or content, I started to look inward. I started to practice healing techniques, meditation, words of wisdom and recipes on myself. I became less social and savored quiet time. I felt this was right for me and trusted the process – I also felt frustrated. But I asked myself, if that was really my feeling of frustration or someone else’s?

I’ve been programmed to hurry up, to keep generating and I’m being lazy if I stop. I’ve been programmed to not be patient with myself. None of this is true. Yet, as I trust my intuition and inner voice to take some time to embrace life — the outside “noise” pipes up causing me to second guess myself.

I think many others feel this way too.

Part of the process in enjoying life is to stop, absorb it and practice the lessons we learn along the way. It’s important to embrace what we’ve learned and what we’re passionate about. If we’re always doing, moving on to the next best thing, we can’t savor it. So many times, we reach our goal or learn a new thing and we’re on to the next. I really admire people who practice what they’ve learned – there is a sense of calmness and expertise.

If I push myself to be generating content or force myself to learn more, it turns into information overload or a power surge, nothing productive happens and in fact, it becomes counter productive. There is a lack of passion, it’s a half baked idea and it’s obvious. Wheels keep spinning, energy is spent, I exhaust myself and go nowhere.

Looking within helps.

When the feeling of impatience comes up with myself, I note it, pause, start to look with in and unpack the way I feel. I try to identify where that feeling is within my body and visualize it. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and visualize what being kind to myself looks like. Ironically enough, the kinder I am to myself, and more patient I am – the more creative and productive I become.

The take away is, trust the process, look within and be patient. We all have these moments from time to time. It’s part of life. We are human, not machines. 

Do You Really Like Waking Up Grumpy?

cropped-melissa-cover-e1458245750766.jpgDo you find yourself waking up in a bad mood on a daily basis? Are you making excuses such as  – “I’m a night owl” or “I feel better after I take a shower?” Have your housemates, spouse or family commented commented on this? Do you even like waking up every day in a bad mood? Well you’re not alone. It seems with all the stress in our lives, due to more information, striving, paying bills, getting good grades and a million other things, we can get bummed out pretty easily.

There was awhile I was waking up super bummed, day in and day out, after awhile, I was over it. I noticed waking up depressed or in a bad mood really set the stage for the day and didn’t make it any easier. The outside stressors were controlling my life, I didn’t want that. Not to mention, how could I possibly achieve my dreams by starting off the day with a bad attitude? I was painting a negative picture, projecting and that was keeping me further away from my dreams. So, I decided to take some action and turn it around.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to wake up grumpy every single day. Plus — if you become more aware of your morning attitude, those who live with you won’t have to work overtime to work around it. You probably didn’t think about how your bad mood affects the people who interact with you in the morning. It does. The energy projects.

What if – instead of waking up wanting to hide under a rock and mope around like Grumplestilskins – you wake up, keep your eyes closed and breathe in some stillness around you? Just allowed yourself to breathe. Breathe. BREATHE. Then what if you allowed yourself to feel that wonderful calm morning air? And experience the cool, still morning light, then listen to the symphony outside your window of birds chirping or if you live in an urban environment, the buzz of the city? That doesn’t sound so bad. It’s calming and very nurtuing. As you really sense it and allow it to be just as it is, start to think about everything you are grateful for, that bed you’re sleeping in, the covers that are covering you, your pillow, your ability to breathe, the fact that you are able to wake up and experience the day and so on. Say some nice things to yourself. Then, set an intention for the day. What ever you do – DON’T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. Looking at your phone, automatically induces stress hormones. You’re trying to mitigate your stress in this morning routine and stress is the reason you’re waking up in a bad mood.

We’re human and I do not discredit things that come up in life that may cause you to wake up totally bummed out. Especially as we get older, the stressors can get super intense. Trust me — I’m talking from experience here. There are plenty, PLENTY of things that have caused me and cause me to wake up bummed. I sit with it, embrace it, but then I start to focus on gratitude and all the things in my life that are going well.

This is a small way of finding peace and balance in your life. It’s also an opportunity to bring awareness into your life. Think about it, how would you feel if your sig other or housemates were waking up in a foul mood day in and day out? You would dread it. It’s an extra layer no one really wants to deal with in the morning. Spending time with yourself and cultivating a joyful, grateful feeling is a way to minimize the stressful clutter in your life.

 

 

 

Sensational Spirulina Smoothie (vegan)

FullSizeRenderSo everyone is all about “super foods” these days – there is a new discovery each week, which is exciting because we can try some new things and get a little creative.

A year or so ago I discovered spirulina and haven’t looked back. Browsing the intrawebs one day, I read about this magical green stuff and wanted to explore. I was advised to drink this mysterious dark green powder with orange juice, otherwise it would taste like a pond. So into the Vitamix went a tablespoon of spirulina powder and the orange juice. As the juice met the spirulina powder everything turned this vibrant green color. I stopped the blender, nervously poured the mixture into a glass, took a sip and wow! – it was delicious and invigorating.

Fast forward to rushing around the house one morning a couple of months ago and needing something to sustain me until midday –into the Vitamix went a scoop of protein powder, splash of almond milk, some OJ, scoop of spirulina and a spoonful of coconut oil for healthy fats, and some ice cubes. Boom! Easy. Fast. It tasted great. Not to mention it’s full of nutrients.

1 Tbsp of Spirulina Powder

1 Scoop Protein Powder (plant based)

1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tsp Coconut Oil (optional)

1 Cup Ice Cubes (optional)

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient dense foods out there, this super food has a lengthy list of health benefits that you can read up on anywhere on the internet. I personally like Spirulina Manna by HealthForce.