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Embracing the dark

Our programmed minds work fast. A lot of things are coming at us, so we do need these trigger fast default values that we place on things. Helps us to process and deal with the world. We can have defaults that work for us and that hold us back. I believe our default value of “bad” for the adjective “dark” doesn’t serve us well. Light and Dark The darkside Anger as being dark The dark wolf (or black) The Dark Side of the Force ??? Black magic (they totally jacked up the word “black” with that one) The Dark Knight ??? Black cats Nightmare (night didn’t do anything bad ...) Black hearted Disney’s Hercules depicts Hell as dark (The Underworld) I could totally go on a tangent on how we thing the light is GOOD and the absence of light is bad, but Newton would beg to different and maybe some of the scientist and yogi’s too. Some think that the process of things (in a BIG picture) requires the cycling through light and dark (expansion and contraction) (sun to black hole ...) blah blah blah. Back to my point ... which is ... I think we do ourselves a big fat disservice when we default to anything with the adjective “black” or “dark” instantly gets a “bad” wrap. For all of my life, I have been scared of the dark. Not like .... “scared” but more like “fight or flight” heart rate is now “160 thank you and panic is ensuing”. Like PTSD. Hahahaha. You all are gonna start to like I need a straight jacket. An example of how I use to live with this ... I use to live in a house that the washer and dryer were in the basement (one of the quad level houses with 1/2 a basement with scary creepy steps ...). The basement light was a bulb with a string on it, the basement wasn’t finished, etc. So when I would be climbing (crawling) up the stairs with my laundry, if I was going to adult well and turnoff the light, I would have to exit in the dark. I would have a mini panic. Each and every time. My smart brain would say “Bk, you’re stupid. You KNOW there is nothing in this basement that would hurt you.” And the badass voice would say, “you could probably kick their ass even if they were here ;) ). Anyway, one of the voices would be “you are not safe”. That one is a hard one to deal with (or silence). In my coaching and life experience, we don’t heal (silence some voices) but having an underlying thought that it’s “bad”. When I tore up my right AC joint, that shoulder didn’t get better until I stopped calling it my “bad shoulder”. It lots lots better when I called it “bambino”. I tell people now .... “don’t slap the baby”. This goes for either dealing with hurt hamstrings, plantar fasciitis ... or the soft spots of the heart. It. Is. All. Energy. All of it. More of the point BK .... So the thought of doing night diving in Ecuador was sort of an interesting one. I’m pretty fearless and if there is a “reasonable amount of danger” involved ... I’m in. I guess I like living on the edge. I’m usually well prepared and what not tho. ;) I have an adventurer’s heart, which in this case just about completely won over my fear of not being able to see what’s around me. To lay in a bit of backstory ... not to beat it like a dead horse, but .... I have copious amounts of glorious stories from my childhood that explain why the heck I’m a touch cray cray. This is a good one. I might have been taken to see Psycho when I was ... way to young, 8 maybe. When Norman got the part about whacking his mom over the head with a shovel ... I finally ran out of the theater and sat (by myself) by the doors until the movie was done. What makes this super funny .... in a really ironic (perhaps f’ed up) way .... years later I had to visit my dad in Iowa for a month during the summer. He lived in this house ... that no joke ... looked EXACTLY like the Bates’ house. Ancient, creaky, 200 years old .... fill of dusty antiques, secret passage ways between rooms .... I shit you not. Hahahaha. I type this and what to laugh my ass off and cry at the same time. I stayed in the north room for years, which had the attic door, which lead to the attic, which housed a big ass colony of bats. Let your mind wonder for a bit. This house was the bomb really. It had a spiral back stair case and and and ... lovely. I finally got to stay in a better room that was a bit less .... anyway. I ended up 40 completely scared of the dark. **Back to night scuba diving** .... So the adventure voice was fully in charge until I was sitting on the edge of the boat to **fall backwards** into the “**not filled with light**” ocean in the “**no sun to be seen**” sky. But I know how to tell the scared one “shhh” it’s ok. Really. And that generally works anymore. As an aside. In the yoga world, we teach that back bends in general are filled with “fear” from not being able to see what’s coming next. hahaha. So this flipping over the side of a boat definitely pushed me WAY outside my comfort zone for a moment. “BK, what the f are you doing???” “Do we really have to do this?” I know exactly where these voices come from and that gives me power to shush the voices enough to get through until the adventure’s voice is loudest again. Or the warrior’s voice ... that ones pretty loud too. (as well as working towards those parts of me not needing to express themselves so much. Healing the soft parts.) Flipping off a perfectly good boat in the “unlight” .... I won’t lie. I sort of messed up the flipping business a little bit and ended up doing a somersault in the “can’t see shit” cold water. (Yeah yeah. It’s the ocean. Cold. I had a lot of neoprene on too. Add that in for those that know). And this is what the voices had to say. 1. Nice job BK! You are going to drown because you screwed that shit up and you can’t use your flashlight right now because you have no idea which way is up and you FOR SURE can’t blind anyone use your light wrong and being a jerk face. 75% 2. BK. STFU and figure out which way is up. 23% 3. HOLY F ME. Scared. This was just a feeling, but it’s intense. (The kind that you pee. Lizard freaking brain). 3% Looks like the snarky voice won out on that. And can apparently get shit done. ;) Once I got myself righted and my light on. All was good. GREAT actually. Like maybe voices said “F$ck YEAH!” This is way cool!!! It was surprising very serene, peaceful. There was something about without the constant site of those I was diving with ... I felt totally at peace with the ocean. I was INVESTIGATING. So cool. Our guide took us to a shallow cave where we saw and chilled with a sea turtle that was sleeping. I was at peace. And stupid excited to be experience this beautiful piece of the earth. Super glad that I didn’t let legitimate fear and issues stop me from experiencing that moment.     That’s the point?!     There are beautiful things in the darkness. The dark places aren’t necessarily “bad”. That dark wolf is a needed part of being badass. That’s your warrior. You don’t/won’t heal your soft spots saying they are broken or bad. Don’t let anyone tell you different. (ps.  I'm not afraid of the dark anymore.)

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6 signs that you’re BURNT OUT

[box] There are a number of very LEGITIMATE reasons why we can feel ABSOLUTELY DONE.  Stress, life events, illness and the list goes on and on.  Here are some small signs that you need to take action to improve your health and energy levels. [/box]

1. You forget what in the world you were doing almost immediately.  Drawing blanks.

Did you know that when you are under stress, the stress hormones actually counteract your abilities to recall from your memory.  It's a brain thing.  Add in maybe not sleeping well. "During sleep, your brain replays whatever you learned that day and moves it into long-term storage."  ~Sandra Ackermann, PhD (University of Zurich). Meaning if you are sleeping and have been stressed out all day, this process just doesn't happen.

2. Your cuts take longer to heal

We are talking about a little cut or maybe something bigger.  The healing process includes producing collagen, forming blood clots and recruiting cells to protect against germs.  However, when you are stressed, your body has higher levels of chemicals called glucocorticoids, which suppress your immune system.  Think about it like this, when you are stressed, your body thinks it needs to fight or run, not spend energy worrying about healing.  So this makes your little ouchies heal more slowly, giving you a small sign that you are stressed out and your adrenals are in hyperdrive.

3. Ladies ... your cramps are AWFUL

Stress can make your period late.  And awful.  This is because the hypothalamus, the regulatory center of the brain, senses that your body is RUNNING ON EMPTY, and so delays the release of the egg.  I mean, really, why release an egg if you're not going to be able to support a pregnancy? Or you feel super frazzled during "that week".  Studies have shown that women feel way more frazzled and out of control, due to the adrenals not being able to produce hormones in balance, so you FEEL CRAZY.

4. Your digestion is a MESS

Reflux.  Constipation.  IBS.  blah blah blah.  Stress can alter gut secretions and slow or speed up digestion cause lots of issues.  The good bacteria in your gut takes a hit.  Everything gets off balance.  Why do we care.  Nutrient absorption.  You really need to be using what you're eating.  Your immune system is mainly in your gut.  You're gut is your second brain.  Imagine how you would be doing if your brain was filled with crap.  or empty.  or chronically inflamed.  All due to stress.

5. Scratch scratch scratch

Did you know that the skin's nerve endings release chemical signals called neuropeptides that communicate to the brain "something is wrong" in response to trauma or other stimuli.  This is a form of inflammation that can leave you super itchy.

6. Your dreams are wacky

People you are sleep deprived (quantity and/or quality) can have crazy dreams.  The super smart people really aren't sure why.  They think that maybe it's related to your brain prioritizing REM sleep, the most restorative stage, but also where dreams occur.  Also, the fragmentation of the REM cycle can cause you to remember more and for you to pop in and out of REM, instead of the cycle we are designed to go through. [divider style="double" top="20" bottom="20"] CONCLUSION: Look for the little signs.  Knowing that "stress" is a real thing, not just a word to be thrown around.  And it causes real issues in the body.  Left unchecked in the early stages, you get bigger issues.  Fertility issues.  Depression. Big Digestion Issues.  Fibromyalgia.  Other autoimmune issues.  etc. etc. etc. These energy / stress issues don't have to get you. And it's not a realistic idea "let's cut out the stress. It's not the external stress that's killing us. It's what we do with it. So fixing these issues MUST be done on a multi-level approach. Heal whats going on. Crowd good stuff in. Work on dealing with life in a more positive and productive way. WANT TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THIS WITH ME? LET'S DO A FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION! [button color="blue" size="big" link="/health-discovery-form/" icon="" target="false"]Get Started Now[/button]

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What you THINK and Your ADRENAL HEALTH (energy, hormones, sleep)

Last night I had a minor life "episode". I call them that, just a thing that gets me to thinking, nothing serious. You know, those little life "episodes" with family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. (life is messy, if you aren't having these .... are you breathing?)

Lately I've been spending a bit of time thinking and asking myself "why". Why did I react that way or think that thought. Not in judgement, more in curiosity.

If you're like me and life hasn't always been a bed of roses, some times we get emotional torrets. Habitual emotional responses. Like a computer, we get wired up into patterns. Like a computer, we can rewire it. Code it different. To do different. Thus the asking. And let's be honest, figuring out what's your stuff and what's not can be super fun. NOT. It can drive you bat shit crazy.

Thus the need to meditate - have the ability to think/feel/know clearly when you ask yourself an inner question.

So in last nights "episode", I was asking myself questions. And this morning my inner rockstar said these things to me. The pink stickies. journal-stickieI love stickies. I talk to myself all the time through the stickies. They help me stay focused on what's TRUTH. One last thought...I worked with a coach once that said...you have two wolves in ya. They battle each other. The white (pure one - the one that's WHOLE AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND IS NOW) wolf is being devoured by the dark one. The lies that we believe. Such as we aren't enough. Let's face it, say if you were abused when you were a child...the lie of being "not good enough" would be a strong dark wolf, that over powers the white one. So in asking the questions. Seeing that this internal battle is there. For one. Gives us power. Because the endless battle is GREATLY STRESSFUL. And leads to other battles. More stress. And this tires us out. And runs us down. This inner stress causes the adrenal glands to work overtime. They get RUN DOWN! They don't work well. They get "fatigued". They get "exhausted". They "SHRINK". For good. Side thought: so imagine, if you are that child...starting out with this "stuff" going on. You get to 40 or whatever and you've been living with adrenal gland deficiency ALL YOUR LIFE... You saw the list on adrenal gland stresses. A lot of... emotional stuff. Be curious about your thoughts. Know that they don't have to control you. Know that they are incredibly powerful. Ask why why why until you know "oh, that's it." Write it down in your journal. On a stickie.

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Are you tired of…being tired, PMS, restless sleep, not having enough energy to do what you want?

Read no more if you...

  • Have all the energy in the world
  • Don't struggle with hormones and PMS
  • You don't know what a "busy mind" is
  • Wake up feeling like a FRESH DAISY
  • You don't know what it's like to live feeling OVERWHELMED (all the time)
  • Don't crave carbs
If you are still reading, lets get right down to it. We live in a society of GO GO GO.  Do MORE.  Have MORE. Being BUSY is the norm.  If it's not working, then work harder. And if you are reading this...you are probably a lot like me. Athlete. Looking for PRs. Parent. Striving to provide better. As a person, always looking to see what you can take on, looking to see JUST HOW AWESOME YOU CAN BE! Nothing wrong with any of that! Here is where we get into trouble: Most of us are driven people. Type A. The movers and shakers. out-of-order-tiredSo our person type leads us to run harder, faster and not give up. The price to pay for that, for a life time of living like that, is issues within adrenal health. Those babies are glands on the kidneys that are crazy important. Yes, everything is important. But these gems aren't getting any publicity. If you go into the docs office and complain about PMS they certainly aren't going to educate you on how the adrenal produce progesterone, which levels out estrogen, which helps that week of PMS not be a FLIPPIN' CATASTROPHE. Hey guys, HORMONES ARE FOR YOU TOO! The adrenal glads produce testosterone. And you can be deficient too. So maybe low energy. The adrenal glands work hand in hand with the thyroid. You really can't help one without looking at the other. There are varying degrees of adrenal issues. And various things to do for them. A lot of them are super awesome in that nurturing the adrenals is fairly easy and little negative side affects. The catch. YES THERE IS A CATCH. Depending on where you are at with your adrenals, it might take quite a while to build them back. It's not a quite fix. 6 months to a year if you're lucky. But you want to go down that road, because here's the SCARY PART, the little issues...they pile up. PMS, Infertility. Female issues. Hysterectomy. Depression. Chronic Anxiety. Heart palpitations and other BIG BAD issues with the heart, like A FIB. The list will go on and on. Because these adrenal glands affect important hormones that affect everything. So... Here are some classic symptoms:
  • You're not eating breakfast because you chow down on carbs in the pm
  • You're intake of carbs and quick energy in the am is OFF THE CHARTS
  • You feel awesome at night, have lots of energy (aka you aren't winding down)
  • You can't shut off the mind, you don't stay asleep, you are taking sleep aides
  • You wake up feeling NOT RESTED
  • You have PMS (no, ladies, this isn't normal)
  • You're libido is in the tank
  • You struggle with low blood sugar or low blood pressure
  • Allergies, asthma, frequent illness, unexplained heart pains/palpitations
Ok. Thats the IN YOUR FACE, do you need to address this chat. Be on the look out for the following...
  • PART 2 on this topic
  • Information the the 30 Day KICKSTART to A NEW BEGINNING program. This is going to be a group activity that I will be hosting. Three levels to join...FREE, Level 1, and Level 2. We get started soon. This is going to be a very private thing. So if you are serious and wanting to commit, contact me. I'm going to be here throwing a lot of stuff at you, so you can use this next 30 days to develop and GET YOUR OWN PLAN in place. Email me if you want to join.

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Say GOODBYE to HEARTBURN with clean eating!

Do any of you have heartburn?

Boy oh boy, I do with certain foods.  Hamburger buns interestingly enough! Through the years as my diet has evolved and gotten better, my digestion has become very efficient. However as I age, I do notice that I tend to get pretty good heartburn every now and then with certain foods. Did you know that antacids & proton pump inhibitors (PHPs) actually damage your belly? They suppress your natural stomach acid, inhibiting your ability to digest food. This can lead to gastroparesis, overall slow digestion, nausea, and malabsorption of vitamins and minerals, especially zinc and the B vitamins. I have a very personal experience with this, as when my youngest son was born he had severe colic, silent GERD.  HOLY COW!  I think we almost died.  What I felt then, that the medicine wasn't making anything better and much worse in fact, I have not figured out why.  O M G!!! In a nutshell, your digestive system needs to be a beautifully acidic environment. The acidic levels of the stomach kill potentially harmful pathogens and bacteria – even the kind that lead to bacterial overgrowth and Candida! Generally the medicines that are given are really only meant to cover put the symptoms, like discomfort in the throat. They do not address the issue and can make them worse. Antacids also lead to more serious conditions, like stomach cancer, chronic hepatitis, depression, anemia, and even anxiety. The Real Cause of GERD If you ask the average Joe on the street what causes acid reflux, you’ll likely get the answer, “too much stomach acid!” Contrary to popular belief (and the media!) this is wrong. Acid Reflux & GERD are actually caused by to little tummy acid and something called intra-abdominal pressure – which is basically stomach bloating that causes the acid to be pushed into your esophagus & upper tummy. And what causes the bloating? Low digestive acid & poor carbohydrate absorption. See the chart below by Dr. Kresser for the process in a nutshell. Reclaiming Your Stomach So, here’s what you can do to heal your stomach and stop acid reflux from happening in the first place. [tie_list type="checklist"]
  • Adopt a healthy grain-free diet, mostly talking about wheat. You can most certainly eat cleaner grains like quinoa and couscous. Treat your belly right with a diet high in plant foods and rich in healthy animal foods like pastured meat, whole dairy, and eggs.
  • Drink bone broth. Repair your damaged gut lining with the collagen-rich broth made from bones.
  • Take an HCI supplement. Betaine Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) promotes healthy gastric acidity, digestion of proteins, and nutrient absorption. This supplement is especially handy if you're transitioning from a vegetarian diet to one containing animal foods. This stuff has been saving my husband's belly – which was feeling rather sluggish and "basic" after transitioning from a SAD to grain-free lifestyle. Take one (650mg) before every meal, and increase the dosage as needed. Feel the power of strong belly acid!
  • Replenish your own gut flora by take probiotics.
  • Drink up the morning elixir made of ACV. Lots of recipes out there; the clean eating program goes over this one in depth.
  • Chill with yoga and breathing. Stress can have a bit impact on your gut.
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What we need is more L O V E

It's been said many time. Countless times.

All we need is more love.

To heal our nation. To heal the Earth. To raise healthy children. To stop war. To stop gun violence. To stop bullying. To treat each other equally. It sounds really easy. SIMPLE. And it is. Unless... We find ourselves lacking in love for ourselves. As the saying goes..."You are what you eat." Or "You are what you think." Well, there are a ton of us with hurts and wounds that have painted our lives, colored our ability to honestly, truthfully and completely love ourselves. We instead think... I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy of love. I don't deserve more. Maybe we lived with years of criticism. Maybe we were not encouraged to be ourselves. Maybe the colored lives of our parents affected our own. Maybe awful stuff happened and you're doing the best that you can. Maybe the mistakes you've made have talked you into believing lies. Maybe the relationships you've had haven't been all that healthy and have colored your beliefs. Well, guess what? It can be different. Today. Tomorrow. Right now.

NEWS FLASH: YOU ARE FREAKING AWESOME.

You know how I know?! Because I said so. Because that's what I believe in. Everyone is created in beauty. For beauty. For love. To make life crazy awesome. To do something meaningful.

There exists a strong, whole and vibrant part of ourselves, deep down, that has never been marred, hurt or torn.

A complete part that is aching to sing and shine.

If you're needing to reset and just find more of your own MOJO, try these three simple things.
  • Stop trying to be perfect.
    Stop criticizing yourself for being less than perfect.  Hey what I see in you is perfectness.   Always do your best, but not reaching perfection is not failure.  Don't let anyone's expectations of you put any pressure on you. Remember that no matter what, you will always be perfect just the way you are, flaws and all.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
    Everyone on this earth is unique. We all have different gifts. When you compare yourself to others, it makes you feel bad about yourself. When you compare yourself to others for what they have, whether it is a car, a house, a mate, children, money, good height, a good physique or intelligence, or a job, it makes you feel low self esteem, lose your confidence, and perhaps depressed, envious or jealous.

    A way to stop comparing yourself to others is by focusing on your own strength. Get to know yourself, and discover what your greatest gift is that you are meant to share with the world.

    Another great way is by practicing gratitude. Be happy for what you have. Really be grateful about everything that you have; people in your life, job, relationships, material, etc. Gratitude keeps your heart open to love.
  • Be who you really are.
    In order to love yourself, you have to stop loving the person you wish you were and love the person you actually are instead. We can try and pretend to be someone that we're not, but in the end that only hurts us and the facade can't stay up forever. Just be the person that you are and learn to love yourself just like that.

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