Happy New Year! May your 2024 be filled with joy, excellent health and adventure!
In this newsletter
- Article: Health at Every Age and Size
- Interview with Nicole Levy
- Foodwise Recipe: Stuffed
- Programs beginning this month
- Weekly Sessions
January is the month for starting over with a positive mindset, personal growth, and getting organized.
Does it start with great fanfare about your health being a priority for a few weeks, go off for a while and then back again six months later? Hey, that roller coaster of new year’s resolutions we know by now is a marketing fad and this “on-again and off again” thinking is just who we are!
Article: Health at Every Age and Size is a way to envision your health where you are now without feeling guilty that you must be something different.
There are so many social expectations that come into play to “be better” that challenges your internal messaging that you need to change. It can apply to your biological state, your genetics, hormones, mental health, family history, the people in your life, workplace issues, the type of foods you eat, your activity level, stress or just living life the way you want to. It’s endless!
Acceptance, self-compassion, non-judgement are a kinder approach to acknowledging your health pathway which can have many trails. In the mindfulness tradition, these are practices for cultivating positive attitudes, relationships and experiences from Buddhist qualities. Experiencing these qualities helps with managing stress, focus, decision making and healing.
When in situations of stress, a pathway can trigger an automatic stress reaction that became an habituated patterns of behaviour or thinking which you’ve learned from childhood or picked up along the way to cope in the moment. Overtime, it emerges into a negative effect on the body and mind such as pain, trauma, anxiety or illness.
Mindfulness presents different options for how to be in relationship with the reactive experiences particularly with stress. Getting to know your automatic reactions of what is arising when sitting in stillness, you can observe them from a different lens and envision new options of how to respond rather than get caught in the automatic stress response that results in frustration, compulsive behaviour, depression or physical/mental pain.
Rather than force yourself to go above and beyond your efforts to “be better” or apply superficial practices of control or discipline, balance your effort with ”ease” which is a big part of the practice of mindfulness.
Pema Chodron, a beloved Buddhist teacher, wrote in her book When Things Fall Apart, , “For most of us most of the time, our emotional reactivity obscures our natural intelligence. But if we become motivated to start contemplating the approach of seeing pain and discomfort as opportunities for healing… our intuitive intelligence actually will get stronger than our emotional reactivity. If we take those opportunities for healing, the momentum of the intelligence will gradually start to outweigh the momentum of the reactivity.”
Taking the time to observe your stress reactions from your own experiences within a mindfulness practice, can deepen your understanding of how the same patterns show up in your everyday life. From this perspective, you can better appreciate the fluctuations of your health at every age and size with “ease” versus effort.
So, where is the health for you?
Find out more about Heal to Health, A mindful Practice to Cope with Stress or Feed the Brain, A Mindful Eating Approach that begins this month (see below). Also, Come to our weekly meditation sessions in the Practice Together series.
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE LEVY: Registered Psychotherapist & Art Therapist Mindful Healing Journey
Nicole Levy is a wonderful person to talk to or get your hands dirty with art therapy. I have invited Nicole to be a resource for clients in my wellness practice. Please spend a moment to listen to our conversation how she applies mindfulness in psychotherapy and applies art therapy in her practice.
FOODWISE RECIPE: Stuffed….
I love sharing a nutritious food idea to enhance your food experience. I’m renaming this section Foodwise. Holistic nutrition is my passion and there are so many ways to feed yourself with nutritious foods that support the body and mind.
This month’s recipe is stuffing foods in delicious vegetables. There are squashes, zucchinis, mushrooms, tomatoes, or eggplant to name a few that are excellent foods to stuff with vegetables and/or plant-based or animal proteins. I also like to create stuffing’s to put in wraps, tortillas, Vietnamese rice paper or nori sheets. You can be creative with leftovers or using ripening vegetables.
Try this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Mushrooms, Wild Rice and Pine Nuts. This is a vegetarian version and you can add in ground turkey or lamb with vegetables too.
Get the recipe here and Enjoy!
If you are wish to know more about how the mind and body work together around food, inquire about the mindful eating program Feed The Brain: A mindful eating approach to nourish the body, heart, and mind or join us on the last Monday of the month for Eating Mindfully Together.
Programs in 2024
Heal to Health: A mindful practice to cope with stress. The next session will begin week of January 22nd, 2024. (Date and time to be confirmed by group).
Transform your stress into strength! Start your own mindfulness practice and embody calm and movement with ease in your life. Based on the Jon-Kabat Zinn, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) that has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.
- Seven different meditation practices
- The philosophy of mindfulness and Buddhist practices
- How stress reactivity and response tap into your nervous system creating dis-ease
- How to find relaxation and calm within yourself in a daily practice.
Find out Find out more about the HEAL TO HEALTH eight-week program.
- Sliding Scale Fee $127 – $267
- Contact Rani at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Read more about the Heal to Health Program here
Feed the Brain: A mindful eating approach to nourish the body, mind and heart explores your daily relationship to eating and changing the dialogue between the body and mind.
Begins in February, 2024 (Date and time to be confirmed by group).
In this course you will learn how to:
- Discover a deeper mind-body relationship.
- Learn tools of integrating a mindful eating program into your lifestyle
- Gain a language independent of a diet culture.
- Feel a positive body image with self esteem to advance your personal goals.
- Registration requires four people minimum.
- Sliding Scale Fee: $127 – $267
- Contact Rani at email@example.com if you are interested.
Practice Together Series
Join us as we PRACTICE TOGETHER in gentle movement and mediation on Tuesdays at 6 pm, Wednesdays at 10:30 am and Thursdays at 9am.
Access the calendars here:
- Mindful Tuesdays at 6 pm,
- Wake-Up Wednesdays at 10:30 am
- Thursdays, Somatic Movement for Healing at 9am
We Practice Together, qigong and somatic movement on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first 20 minutes and a meditation for 20 minutes. Followed by an open discussion if you wish to share.
Thursdays is a 50-minute somatic movement session to improve your functionality (from injury, stress or overuse) and posture. Movement is gentle and slow. It helps to release tension in the body and reduce pain. Find out more about somatic movement here
We meet virtually on zoom so you can join us from wherever you are!
Eating Mindfully Together next session is January 29, 2024 at 7:30
TOPIC: Health At Every Size,: accepting your limitations. When eating and stress become synonymous, food becomes less about refueling and more about relieving anxiety.
Join MINDFUL EATING JOURNEY MEMBERSHIP and get the best deal for $15/month. Receive mindful eating tips, recipes and a personal consultation to guide you on your mindful eating journey.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s newsletter. If there are topics you’d like me to cover, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or let’s chat if you’d like a wellness consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!
My best in Health,