Breathing is Key!

Since the time you were in your Mother’s belly, breathing is key. Without oxygen your brain, lungs and body would not have developed. Now that you are grown up and have learned a lifetime of skills, habits, and behaviors it can be easy to forget about your breath. Think about it – you breathe even when you are not focused on it. This is a good thing and it allows you to breathe while you sleep, involuntarily. Just like your heart beats, your breath continues.

Stopping to take a breath

However, throughout different times in my life I was reminded just how important it is to not just breathe, but to breathe deeply. If you have ever experienced a panic attack, hyperventilated, or choked on something you know how wonderful it feels to be able to draw air down deep into your lungs. As we go through life we can forget how to breathe deeply. Have you ever heard someone talk about shallow breathing or describe someone as a chest breather? That is when you only allow the top part of your lungs to expand. You probably don’t realize you are doing it but you are doing yourself a big disservice but not breathing fully.

When I have a headache or am working out I have learned to go deep inside myself when it gets hard. What does this mean? I connect with my body, listen and give it what it needs – more oxygen. As much as it is important to breathe in it is just as important to dispel all the stale air. Try it. Next time you are anxious, nervous, working out or stressed take a deep breath in for the count of 4 seconds. If you can, hold it for 7 to 8 seconds then let it out for 4 seconds. Do that 3 times and check in with yourself. How do you feel? Let me know in the comments. When you don’t know what to do, remember that breathing is key! 

Listen to your Body

Listen to your Body

I will be the first person to tell you, “You Can Do This!” I will also be the first person to say if anything doesn’t feel right to STOP immediately. Over the past 10 years when I first found out I was pregnant until now I have found that I have become much more in tune with my being and now fully embrace how important it is to listen to your body. This doesn’t just apply to exercise but eating as well. 

Your Body Speaks to You

I have become a more intuitive eater over the last 8 months. This means listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I’m not talking about giving in to emotional cravings. (That will be another post). That is completely different, and yes, sometimes you need to give yourself permission to do that. What I am talking about is a feeling deep down that you need to eat a certain food. 

I will give you an example. This summer when we were vacationing in Colorado I got a really bad headache as soon as we got off the plane in Denver. I have been there before and know all too well how my body responds to high altitudes. It just doesn’t like it. This comes from living at sea level year round. I had hydrated really well the day before flying and continued to drink lots of water. I even had himalayan salt to help balance my electrolytes. The next day I still had a pounding headache and were planning to go even higher up in the mountains. It was so bad that I asked my husband if he would stop and see if I could get some portable oxygen.

We decided that we would stop for lunch and then go to the sporting goods store in search of oxygen. It was hard for me to admit that I might need it since I am physically fit. On the way to lunch I saw a natural grocery store and wanted to pop in and get a couple specialty items in case I couldn’t find them later. When I walked in the store I saw some bananas and I was drawn to them. The voice inside my head said, “Kerry, what are you doing? You don’t eat bananas!” They usually taste really good but I feel bad in about an hour. I moved on and did my shopping. I headed to the register and there were the bananas – again – calling to me. This time I thought, “maybe the kids will eat some bananas.” Duh! When was I going to listen to my intuition?

Are You Listening to your Body?

Well, I got in the car and they were just calling to me. Sometimes you have to hit me over the head until I listen. With my head still pounding I finally said, “I think I should just eat a banana.” It was like magic. About 30 seconds after I ate the banana my headache completely disappeared. I was shocked but it didn’t surprise me. It just confirmed to me how smart our bodies are and how they know what we need. The trick is learning to listen. Now when something comes up in my body I ask myself, “Where am I now? What do I need?” and I wait for the answer. Do I make mistakes? Yes and I move on and learn from it. Remember that it is much easier to give yourself a tune up than to wait until you break down completely. Be proactive in your approach to your health and mindful of what you eat. 

What about Exercise?

The few times I have been hurt while exercising it was because I ignored the signs my body was giving me. I brushed them aside. Now I know that knot in my muscle won’t just go away on its own. It is my body compensating for a bigger issue. I stop what I am doing, see if I can figure out what is going on. If I can’t I get professional help sooner rather than later when damage has occurred. I hope this helps those of you who are working on your health and fitness or even just getting through life. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments below.

How the Holidays Remind me of Our Wedding Day

For those of you who are married you might recall people telling you as your wedding day approached how fast that day goes by and remember their advice, “to stop and take it all in.” Sound familiar? Well, I feel the same way about the holidays. This is how the holidays remind me of our wedding day.

There is so much preparation, planning, rushing around, checking lists, checking them again. It’s a lot. I wanted everything to go a certain way, had high expectations of greatness while keeping costs within my spending plan (I don’t like the word budget). So much pressure to plan a spectacular event that will be remembered fondly for years to come. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

The only difference between planning our wedding and planning a Christmas for 2 young children is that now I have my husband’s full participation. Sorry but what guy really wants to be truly involved in all the details of planning a wedding? Looking back there are many little things that really don’t matter at the end of the day. The most important part of either event is bringing our friends and family together and spending time with them. Period.

Don’t get me wrong… I could not have pulled our holidays together without my husband. He is a super Dad and works his butt off to make this all work. I really appreciate all of his help and the thought that he puts into the holidays. The difference is that just before Thanksgiving this year I vowed to make me and my family a priority. To really take it all in. OBSERVE, RELAX, ENJOY & have FUN! The hoidays are not quite over so here is my advice to you. Just do it and let me know how it feels.

OBSERVE – be fully present in every moment. Notice what is going on around you like you are making a movie in your mind. Take in the smiles, laughter, tears and hug a lot.

RELAX – take time to lay around in your pajamas and do the dishes later. Just stare at the fire or your tree. Take a nap, snuggle with your kids, your spouse, your dog. Get those huggles in! A huggle is a cross between a hug and a snuggle. You will love it – I promise.

ENJOY – spend time with friends and family. Really stop what you’re doing and go meet someone just to catch up in person. LIsten to your favorite music and dance to it. You get the point.

HAVE FUN – laugh and play with your kids. Get out that board game or card game that you never make time to play. Your kids will remember these moments more than any present you can buy them. Take the long way home to look at the lights in the neighborhood.

Wishing you a Happy New Year full of fun, laughter and joy!

P.S. I don’t think it is a coincidence that holiday bells look like wedding bells.

Who Says You Don’t Need Math in Real Life?

When our daughter and second child was born I decided to create some new family traditions, especially for Christmas which is my favorite holiday. What does this have to do with math in real life? I am getting to that. Be patient – I type slow.

After much thought, the tradition I came up with was to trace the kids’ hands on felt, cut them out, write their names and the year with glitter and glue them on our tree skirt. Simple, right? You can imagine how cute their tiny hands looked that first year. I was very proud of myself for this keepsake tradition and imagined that several years had passed and they were home visiting from college. Of course, they were admiring all of their sweet hand cutouts on the trees skirt and saying what a loving, creative and thoughtful Mother I was?

Well, back to reality and the present, 6 years after I cut out that first handprint…

I recently got out the tree skirt after helping the kids pick out their felt and glitter for this year. Much to my surprise and dismay, I discovered that the tree skirt was missing some handprints. “Oh well, I’ll just fake last year’s,” I thought. But no, we were missing 4 years worth! How could this happen? How was I going to make that many sets of hands for both kids? They would never be the correct size. I started to think of a solution and wondering if I should pour a glass of wine instead. Just kidding. I can do this!

Our kids grow about 2 inches a year according to the pediatrician, or I’m not feeding them properly. So 2 inches a year times 4 years equals 8 inches. If child A is 48 inches tall now that means they were 40 inches 4 years ago. 48 divided by 40 equals 1.2. I know my math isn’t the best but isn’t that 20% growth in 4 years? All I have to do is take 20% divide by 4 to figure out how much bigger to make their hands each year. I did the calculations and got 5%. Common sense tells me that I should think about feeding them more.

My brain tells me to just take this year’s hand and make another one 5% smailler. How exactly am I going to do that? That is easier said than done. If you have a brilliant solution please post it in the comments. For now, I’ve decided to take their handprint from this year and photocopy it at 95%, 90%, 85% and 80%, trace them and cut them out. Whew!

Sometimes it’s tough being such a loving, creative and thoughtful Mom. Haha. Don’t tell my kids! They will never know. They also do not need to know that their father saw the look on my face after cutting out just the paper hands and finished all 3 sets of the felt hands and wrote the years in glitter glue. Moral of the story – stay in school and pay attention in Math class. Better lesson is not to procrastinate. Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate I hope you enjoy this time with your friends and family.

Hands on Christmas tree skirt

My Personal Message from Tony Robbins

 

Good morning, everyone. I just wanted to check in with you and share an experience that I had recently. I recently started meditating about a week or so ago on a daily basis. And I had used meditation before. I have 2 children and when I found out I was pregnant I decided that I didn’t want drugs no matter what. I knew it was going to be a challenge but I wanted to figure out how to have natural childbirth without drugs. So that led me to discover, luckily, Hypnobirthing. So I used hypnosis and meditation for 2 natural childbirths with my children so I didn’t have any drugs. But I have fallen out of the practice of meditating until recently someone encouraged me to meditate and I’ve been hearing the results that they’ve been getting. I just really wanted to pick it up again because I really feel more balanced when I meditate on a regular basis.

I’ve been meditating daily for about a week. So at night before I go to bed I listen to a guided meditation. The other night I listened to my meditation and I woke up in the morning thinking, “Oh, I have to remember this dream.” Now I recently went in December to Date with Destiny which is 6 days and 6 nights pretty much with Tony Robbins. It was a wonderful experience. It was my first experience with Tony Robbins other than seeing him on TV or a little bit on Facebook. But in my dream that I knew I had to remember it was a group setting, there was about 10 of us or so in a house and this is all in my dream so keep that in mind.  We were all in a house. I don’t know if we were living together or working together but we were there for a conference or to learn from Tony. But Tony was there and had an assistant that seemed to be his son or somebody very close to him that was travelling with him. So there was me and 10 others.

There was this one guy that was there in the house that he and I just did not get along in this dream. We just butt heads and brought out the worst in each other. It was just a really bad vibe between us. Tony pulled me aside and he said, “Kerry, this is your opportunity. You really need to work this out. Tomorrow you’re gonna do it. There is a conflict going on, I’m not sure what is going on with you and this guy so you need to work it out. Tomorrow is your day.”

So I went to bed and came back the next day to the house and the guy was there and I am all ready, all fired up and I’m gonna fix this because Tony says I can do it and I’m gonna do it. Well, the guy that you know he and I had been butting heads and just was horrible energy between us was being nice as can be. You know it’s not my fault, how am I going to fix this? I was thinking to myself, “How am I going to fix this,Tony? There is no conflict.” Everything is great, everything is wonderful. He is acting like we are best friends. I am not sure what is going on. Everything is going well. So I didn’t feel comfortable resolving this conflict that now all of a sudden was gone.

Well, next thing I knew I’m walking around the house and Tony Robbins he has his laptop case thrown over his shoulder and his assistant is behind him, and he is headed towards the door. And he’s like, “That’s it!”, so and so or whoever his assistant was, “We’re out of here!!” I said. “Wait, Tony, Wait! I know I haven’t resolved this. I’m trying to figure this out! What’s the issue? I’m trying to figure this out. Am I avoiding the situation?  What’s going on? Have I been avoiding this? Am I ignoring the issue?” and he looked at me and he said, “NO, you’re FEEDING the issue and I’m out of here. I don’t have time for this crap.” And that to me was a very important message.

I woke up and I thought, wow, I have to remember that word feeding. I have to remember, you’re feeding the issue, Kerry.  And it made me think, what am I feeding? What are YOU feeding? You might want to look at that yourself in your life. Are you feeding your fear, which I tend to do. Are you feeding your emotions?, are you feeding your face? Are you? There’s a lot of things that you could be feeding and are you feeding positive things? or negativity? So, really I just wanted to share that message with you because for me I think it was very important and it’s something that I need to look at. Think about what are you feeding and is it something that is going to NOURISH you? Have a great day!