Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #13 – The Secret Whisper Tree

What wishes might you share with the Secret Whisper Tree? What are some of your biggest and boldest dreams? After being asked that question while listening to the interview of Glennon Doyle by Marie Forelo featured in Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11, I’ve been contemplating that quite a bit–especially when it comes to how I spend my time and my overall lifestyle.
Many of us around the world are home bound right now. Many folks also struggle with insomnia or anxiety due to current events. Why not channel some of the monkey mind time into answering, “What is it that I really truly enjoy?” You can make a list. For example, I’m wrapping up Spring Break staycation and one of my favorite things is to linger in the morning and read with zero commitments while sipping tea and eating my Scafuri Bakery cookies for breakfast. Yup, pure decadence. Is that dream too small? Can I live that dream right now? I can make it happen on the weekends.
Of course I have even bigger, bolder dreams of time and space to work on my novels and seeing them on the big screen. I can imagine a world where I have all of the financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and magical supports I need to foster exactly the kind of lifestyle I enjoy. I also love to garden and grow my own food.
Here’s the thing about dreams: you can start to live them inch by inch by embodying the things you enjoy doing. For me, that’s planting vegetables and herbs and then cooking them. Do I have a lot of land or know a lot about gardening? No and no. Am I doing it anyway? Yes. Before my first novel, had I ever completed writing a book? No. Did I plug away at it for ten years while working full-time and raising an amazing human? Yup. The point is: whisper your dreams into that tree and try something–even while at home. If you want to live in France–research the country. Learn the language. Watch movies that take place there. This in-between time can at least partially be turned into a gift.
If you are a front-line worker in the medical field, farming, grocery, public safety, delivery or any other essential role, I say thank you! I realize that you may not have the bandwidth to dream right now, but know that I pray for you and give thanks for you every single day. And I also don’t underestimate the stress for those who have lost their income, so dreaming does not necessarily feel like a practical option. But maybe, just maybe if you let yourself wish a little, maybe there will be an opening for you to try something new or build a new skill or further develop a talent that could lead to a new and better job. Again, I’m not minimizing here, I am just trying to find some light beams to keep us all going.

 

Onward to this week’s resources featuring real talk for navigating these times by Brené, vulnerable and valuable insights from my friend Samaria and fabulous fashion for family dogs from my friend Mona:

  1. Brené Brown on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 myth and Settling the Ball
  2. Mama Fuel: How Can We Make This Moment Meaningful? Samaria Williams on grace & writing your own narrative
  3. Small Business Feature: Flowerchild – In the interests of lifting up creative people and supporting small business owners, check out Flowerchild’s dog jackets below. You can custom order or Mona might just have a design that fits your pup. You can check her out her site or Instagram and send her a DM or email her at mkhashoggi@mac.com

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. *Quick request: I have done this weekly experiment for 3 months now and I’m analyzing whether to keep it weekly or move to monthly. Please let me know if you still want this weekly or if switching to monthly makes more sense. You can comment or shoot me an email that simply says “weekly” or “monthly” at rebeccainspiresnow@gmail.com
  2. Navigating Grief and Joy at the same time: If you or someone you know is struggling, check out my resources page for help.
  3. Dream a little and share your wishes with the Secret Whisper Tree.
  4. Practice taking a nap this week–even if you don’t sleep, rest your body for 10 minutes straight–or even 5.
  5. Take a break from the news for one day. Notice how your mind, heart and body feel. Write 1-3 sentences about what you notice. 
  6. Tell someone that you love them. Remember that I love you.

That’s all for this week! 

Look for the magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!

Flash 60-minute Magical Writing Session Now

Greetings from my magical writing lab,

It’s Thursday, March 26 at 12:30pm PT.

Join me now for 60-90 minutes or whenever you find this to jumpstart your writing today – link below

I’m on Zoom transcribing my novel. I won’t be talking much. If you want focus and company while writing, let’s go.

At the end of the hour, we might chat a bit to share what we got done. That’s totally optional.

Click here to join.

Cucalacas!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #12 – Feed the Love

Greetings to the whole human race,

We’ve come to see each other again, haven’t we? We now deeply know what it is to break bread together side by side. And we are finding new pathways to nourishing community as well as reconnecting to mother nature. This week’s Magical Mondays is themed “Feed the Love” — just the way you feed sourdough starter. Let’s offer hope and take back our individual and collective power by supporting each other. 

Here are resources for this week:

  1. Chapters 2 + 3 Reading in the Woods of my novel The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. As I write the sequel, it is important for me to go back and read my own book to make sure that I don’t confuse even the most minor details. So I figured, why not read it aloud to you? You can view the “live” reading of Chapter 1 here.

  2. Brené Brown’s new podcast Unlocking Us features a wonderful concept: FFTs – trust me and listen. It’s perfect for these times.
  3. Journey into the world of Jackie M. Wood, self-proclaimed messy painter: Jackie and I are in a monthly mastermind together which I co-facilitate. She offers some inspiring and affordable abstract mini art prints here.  I got to follow along with her recent cross-country trip via Instagram as she captured landscapes on her journey. Enjoy the gentle beauty of her work!

  4. Free Wellness Classes and Connections: Check out Creative Live’s Free Health and Wellness Classes here. Or join me every weekday with Ho’omalamalama Brown as she offers a 5-minute morning burst of exercise daily at 6:30am-ish PT to get you going. I don’t always catch them live but I do them when I wake up and it’s just the encouragement I need. You can sign up for more info here and then you’ll get the link to the private Facebook group where she streams every weekday.Then I move into my home yoga practice or have some fun with Tabata

  5. Music – Follow D-Nice and Quest Love on IG or YouTube for some amazing music during this time at home. Check out a glimpse here. Musicians like Nahko have also offered concerts where each view leads to a non-profit donation.
  6. Get Some Yummy + Support Small a Small Business: My favorite Italian Bakery in Chicago is Scafuri Bakery. I am thrilled to let you know that they are still shipping online orders of their amazing cookies and loaves. Get a discount with the code SMILE2020 for the rest of March. Pictured below is the Cuccidati, Pignoli and Chocolate Orange Ricotta Pound Cake Loaf. Say that last one fast three times with your mouth full of cake. I dare ya!
  7. Free Slow Food Live Webinars: Learn to Plant a Seed on Thursday, March 26 at 11am PT/2pm ET by registering here.You can register for the Zero Waste Minestrone webinar on March 27th at the same time here.
  8. Bethany Webster’s 3P Method: She is the world’s leading expert on The Mother Wound, author of the forthcoming book, Discovering the Inner Mother, and wrote a very helpful post called, “The Holy Simplicity of Sitting with Our Pain.” She also recently shared the following approach in her newsletter:

Here is a quick process to help you feel safer and less anxious during this time of uncertainty.

I call it the 3P Method:

Pause, Pivot, Provide tender holding.

1) Pause:

Stop in the moment and notice what is happening for your inner child. You may notice an underlying panicky feeling, a negative inner narrative, or a feeling of being trapped or unsafe.

2) Pivot:

After you pause, turn to the distressed inner child. Here you become the inner mother self, bringing a sincere, loving curiosity to her and what she’s feeling in the moment.

3) Provide tender holding:

How is the little one within you?

I invite you to consciously bring her or him lots of nurturing, reassurance, tenderness and gentle calm.

You can simply say:

“I’m here with you Little One. I can see you’re scared right now, which is natural and normal, given what you’ve been through. I’m here with you to keep you safe. All is well.”

Consider signing up for her newsletter if you like her work. She even offers a free e-book called What is the Mother Wound?

Okey dokey, I have more, but I’ll stop before Monday turns into Tuesday!  Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Leave a note of encouragement outside a neighbor’s door.
  2. Stay hydrated with water and warm liquids.
  3. Try a new class online.
  4. Rest.
  5. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. Assume a well of good intentions as people navigate the new normal for now.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday! There are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11 – #CampFTC

Greetings from #CampFTC,

Looking for some magical distraction? Watch and listen to me read Chapter 1 of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon:

Stay tuned to my Instagram account where I’ll keep you posted on my next chapter reading.

I have a lot of fun resources for you this week and in case you missed last week’s edition, do check out some of the nourishing resources here.

I hope you’ll join me at #CampFTC by using the hashtag to share creative ideas on staying home for those with non-essential jobs, as well as going out into nature for a breath of fresh air. I also want to acknowledge small business owners who are doing what they can to stay in business and to stay careful during this difficult time. If you’re wondering what FTC stands for, it’s Flatten the Curve. You can read Flattening a Pandemic’s Curve: Why Staying Home can Save Lives and this message from concerned physicians to gain a deeper understanding into the importance of our collective choices. These articles are particularly helpful for individuals who are still in denial about the pandemic. We have a chance to significantly slow down the community spread. And if nothing else, this interview with Michael Osterholm, an internationally recognized expert on infectious disease epidemiology will give you the scientific details needed to convince anyone who is doubting the value of social distancing and washing hands as demonstrated in this video.

And most of all here is a List of Personal Things You Can Do to Stay Well.

So let us all know what you are doing with the hashtag #CampFTC — no idea is too small:

  1. Organizing your spice rack
  2. Dance alone in the living room
  3. Dress your cat in fine attire
  4. Cook something you’ve never tried before
  5. Write a poem
  6. Use the telephone to have a live conversation with someone
  7. Sing at the top of your lungs
  8. Hike in nature

Here are this week’s resources:

  1. What’s your one truest dream? This and many more questions are asked in Marie Forleo’s interview of Glennon Doyle Melton regarding her new book, Untamed.

2. Inspiration from Sir Isaac Newton – he was homebound for a similar reason and guess what he did.

3. Armchair exploration – Here’s a link to virtual tours at museums around the world. And here are virtual field trips. And you can enjoy an epic 12-hour mix charting the history of spiritual jazz here.

4. The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker – how can we take the approaches by Parker and apply them to a virtual space? Let’s get creative! You can listen to a wonderful podcast interview with her, titled “Gathering as a Form of Leadership” here and here. Or look on your favorite podcast app and search for the Sounds True podcast to find it.

There’s always more to share, but for now, I invite you to stay close to home, let’s bring our globe back to a level of health and think most about those with compromised immune systems. 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Share the resources in this post.
  2. Create anything.
  3. Sleep and rest as much as possible.
  4. LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH.
  5. Try to stay nourished with nutrient-rich foods.
  6. Practice social distancing (6 feet or more between people), stay home and get out in nature — and wash your hands thoroughly.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday — there are STILL clues everywhere.

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #10 – Eat

Hello Hungry Hungry People,

We are hungry for food, hugs, love, naps and why not be hungry for inspiration? I’m hoping that this week’s edition of Rebecca’s Magical Mondays fills up your hearts, bellies and minds.

I’ve fallen into a big rabbit hole following Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat thanks to an unexpected delightful stop on the way home from the Nahko and Medicine for the People concert at Plenty on Bell in Los Alamos, CA where I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich, perfectly strong iced tea (and I’m picky about that) and THE BEST peanut butter cookies of my entire life — think nutter butter for adults! Photos are below.

And amazing news! You are invited to a monthly mastermind that I’m co-facilitating with Ho’omalalama Brown of WholisticFit.com — our next online gathering is Saturday, March 21st at 11am Pacific Time. (You can calculate your time zone here.) She is an amazing and inspiring multi-passionate entrepreneur who always brings new, creative and practical resources as well as deep roots in Hawaiian culture.

Here’s how it works: a group of entrepreneurs, writers, artists and creatives gather online for 90 minutes. During the first 20 minutes, we state our goals for the session. Then we stay online together and at least start on those goals, then come back for the last 25 minutes and share what we accomplished. We get feedback and ideas from the facilitators and participants if we need help solving for something or advice on next steps. It has been so motivating for me. And get this: you can drop in monthly for only $20. You can click on my PayPal link or Venmo if you would like to join us! It is so energizing to know that I can count on a monthly gathering to kick start me to get that project done–be it transcribing my novel, crafting a production schedule, revisiting and getting clear on my goals or organize my finances.

Here are this week’s resources:

A. Samin Nosrat interviews I love: For simplicity’s sake, I’ve shared links that work no matter your device, but you can find these interviews on your favorite podcast app:

  1. How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
  2. Keep Calm and Cook On with Julia Turshen

These are two of my favorites–but I’ve listened to at least six interviews because I am a complete Salt Fat Acid Heat nerd.

B. Alexis Saloutos of Chakredy is offering a free webinar on March 11 at 11am PT on Energetic Grounding for Collective Anxiety. I like the way Alexis shows up in the world and believe that she will offer helpful approaches to navigating these times.

C.  Booklists at Social Justice Books – A Teaching for Change Project – Explore!

I hope you explore this! I loved learning about all of the American Indians in Children’s Literature books. In case you didn’t know it, since the publication of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon in 2015, I have donated 5% of all net profits to Teaching for Change.

D. Slow Food – Plant a Seed Kit – I thought that if you haven’t already explored Slow Food, you might like to learn more about it. Either way, their plant a seed kit is just the hope some of us need right now. The links provided are for the U.S. but there are Slow Food groups all over the world.

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Cook something delicious! Check out the resources connected to Salt Fat Acid Heat to explore a new approach if you already cook or try something new if you are a novice in the kitchen.
  2. Tell someone about the chance to join our monthly mastermind by sharing this post.
  3. Explore the booklists above — they cover everything from Activism to Gender Identity to Arab Americans to Voting Rights!
  4. Deep breaths this week loveys. Here’s a quick video of me at the beach. And in case you need more ocean sounds, I recorded this 10-minute Ocean Meditation.

And remember, look for magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!

Join me on March 7 for Magic and Moola

Do you still need to get organized for your taxes? Do you have another project hanging over your head?
A huge part of my success (and happiness) is thanks to #smallincrementalsteps in everything I do.


You can join me on Saturday, March 7 at 11am Pacific Time via Zoom and get your stuff done. I will be hanging out for 90 minutes. I will get us grounded, pull cards and then off we go to get our stuff done.


Pay what you can and enjoy that feeling of making progress or completing the thing you keep saying you are going to do.
No recording. Just a live hangout.
Pay via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/RebeccaVillarreal
Or Via Venmo @Rebecca-Villarreal-Author

I hope to see you there!


Next hangout – writing!

And you can be sure this week’s Magical Monday is FULL of inspiring joy!

#mysticathlete #cucalacas #workingwriter

PS: This is my nourished, happy smirk sitting in the sun after completing some major tasks on my list and rewarding myself with a gorgeous break.

Rebecca’s Magical Monday’s #9 – Fly with me

Big news! I learned to fly. They gave me waffle wings. And with those powerful new wings, I’m taking you back in time with some of my most helpful blog posts. Here goes:

1. Shine the Pot: When to Let Go of Friends and Family

2. You are Asking Me to Swallow the Sun…

3. Erasing Big Mistakes, Watering the Seeds, Naming Your Own Matilda

How you can help:

A. Rest

B. Rest

C. Rest

Look for the magic in the everyday — there are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #8 – Chilaquiles

IMG_2992

Hello Beautiful People!

Are you hungry? I hope so because you are getting a hands-on demonstration video on how to make chilaquiles! My husband agreed to share his special recipe from page 12 of my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón. He even gives you tips on picking the best avocados.

Here are the ingredients:

All measurements are approximate based upon the quantity in the demo video.

4 Eggs

Tortilla Chips

Mild Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce (8 oz)

3 chipotle peppers (canned + seeds removed)

salt and pepper

Serve with avocado plus optional cotija cheese + cilantro

I hope you enjoy the video! If you make them, please tag me on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see your photos!

Onward to this week’s resources:

  1. Chef Magic + Human Condition: Award-Winning Chef, Samin Nosrat is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking who experienced another level of fame with her Netflix specialof the same title.  Here’s a beautiful New Yorker interview titled, “I fail almost every day”  that touches upon many aspects of her life, including living in the in-between.
  2. Music: Wash it Away – I stood in the ocean listening to this powerful song. I urge you to give yourself this gift by Nahko + Medicine for the People. I have so many favorite lines. Among them, “Today is a good day for my ego to die.” I am SO EXCITED about seeing him in concert next month!  Also, check out Garden and Slow Down too. And I’ve shared it before, but I’ll share Dragonfly again because it kept me going during one of the most difficult times of my life.

3. On Women: This article titled: Matriarchies are Not Just a Reversal of Patriarchies is a deep analysis of what happens when women rule.

4. Change Your Pants, Change Your Life was the original title of this TEDx talk which is now called “Dressing for Confidence and Joy” — really though, it’s about this idea of inside out congruence. How do your insides match your outsides? It’s touching, funny and practical. Check out Stasia Savasuk’s take on life–it’s delightful.

5. Hair and Identity: I was thrilled to see Christin Brown featured in a recent issue of Forbes. She and her wife own the LunaBella Makeup and Hair salon. I met Chris and her wife Ashley at their other AMAZING business, Pura Luna Women’s Apothecary — which by the way, ships amazing her teas and so much more. They provide a vital home and sense of community to many of us. I’m inspired by their work, their leadership and general bad-a**ery when it comes to being bosses.

What you can do to help:

  1. Share, baby, share this post. People NEED chilaquiles, right?!
  2. Make chilaquiles!
  3. Make a new moon intention — go ahead WISH for something beautiful no matter when you read this.
  4. Let yourself feel the feelings this week. I’m learning more about what’s up energetically and folks keep telling me, it’s Pisces, on top of Pisces, on top of Pisces. And I’m all, “tell me what that means.” And from what I can tell, we take that watery energy and feel the feels. Cry if you need to cry–pay attention to what comes up, experience it and then let go and be cleansed. My riff on all of this. April Elliot Kent of Big Sky Astrology has a great post called, “Pisces New Moon: Surviving Quicksand.” There are many more experts out there like, Dr. M. Ruth McKants, Karen M. Rose, Kari Samuels, Vanessa Couto and Alex Myles.

And remember, find magic in the everyday! There are clues everwhere! For real.

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays # 7 – The Growth Spiral

I’m writing to you from the edge of ecstasy. I have tears streaming down my face from glimpsing the treasure that is life—from the sweet precipice of joy after deep grief—from opening my eyes and looking around at the life I’ve built—and reveling in gratitude for those who have helped me to build it.

I just finished meditating and it is the first time I have ever had this kind of reaction. I have experienced this kind of grace in church before but never on my own like this at home. Maybe I’ve seen some facet of it in nature but today feels somehow different. Thanks to a dear friend reminding me that there’s a free meditation available, I started more intentional morning meditation a few weeks ago. Today the silent chant was:

OM VARUNAM NAMAH

My life is in harmony with cosmic law.

The idea is that you bring your attention back to that phrase when your mind starts to wander. I repeated it silently again and again as my mind wandered to laundry, plans for the day, how much I paid for that Kombucha from The Apiary and then back to OM VARUNAM NAMAH and then gratitude to all of the people who brought me this far…I saw myself tagging so many people on Facebook – my cousins for loving me unconditionally….my dear, dear close friends as family….I know, weird right, that in meditation I’m Facebook tagging…my mentor who has opened me up to so much of my own intuitive power and the list went on and on….and then like a waterfall I fell down into the grief of the worst times of my life and then the joy shot up and out of the waters of despair and I relived that nexus of grace over and over and over. And knowing that God, the Universe, my ancestors, everyone, even the puppy dozing at the foot of my bed, brought me to this moment of grace, gratitude, grief and joy.

Phew…that is the edge I am just stepping down from now. 

And I recorded this video on The Growth Spiral yesterday at the beach. I mention the women in my Walk Inn Beauty Mastermind including wonderful wisdom from Vernita Porter — I hope you enjoy it!

Here are this week’s resources:

  1. Today I started reading The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates — the writing is excellent and the story has me gripped after two chapters. I thought that you might appreciate this brief interview with Trevor Noah.

2. Brand new Brené Brown interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Here’s the link to Tim’s show page which includes links to your favorite podcast platforms and here’s the interview on YouTube:

3. Our Experience of Grief is Unique as Our Fingerprint article by David Kessler. This article addresses the difference between grieving and mourning.

4. Mercury Retrograde now until March 9: Check out Alex Myles’ take on the next three weeks. I also like Vanessa Couto’s approach to re-do, re-think, re-imagine and so much more. You can read her blog post here. You can believe or not in this type of thing. Basically, it’s not a time to be alarmed. It’s a chance to slow down and pay attention, allow things to be cleaned up. Have patience if electronics and technology glitch (tonight several links that I wanted to share were not working so I left them out) and most of all, STOP and notice when miscommunications are happening and step back and away and recognize, most of the time, if you’re digging in your heels…try taking off your shoes. (Ha! I made a Merc Rx funny!)

Here’s how you can help this week:

 

 

  1. If you or someone you know is feeling lonely and needs a lift, consider purchasing the one-hour recording of my Worldwide Virtual Valentine’s Celebration. You’ll get a grounding meditation, poetry readings, laughter, chocolate-tasting, oracle and tarot card pulls and lots of self-love strategies to cope with obstacles. The cost is $14 via Venmo or PayPal and it’s available for download through the end of February. 
  2. Set an alarm on your phone twice a day for three deep belly breaths and do them.
  3. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up.
  4. Laugh as much as possible this week. And try to dance if you can too–even alone at home. 
  5. I’m committed to transcribing 2,000 words each week until the end of February. You can keep up with the sequel to my novel on Instagram.

Remember: Find magic in the everyday! There are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #6 – You’re invited to My Virtual Valentine’s Celebration!

Check out this video invitation!

Love, love, love people! We are ready for this week…I promise you! And you are invited to join me for a virtual Valentine’s Day *lunch*– I want to celebrate with you!

Here’s the plan:

When: Friday, February 14, 10am-11am PT – Recording available too in case you can’t make it live! (Check out the time zone converter to calculate your local time zone.)

Where: Zoom – link + phone number emailed to you upon registration.

What: Virtual Valentine’s Celebration – lunch, tea, dinner or snack depending upon your time zone – there will be a recording that you can watch at your leisure! The basics are: I will ground us, pull oracle cards, do a poetry reading and circle us with some gorgeous love intentions and share some of the ways I keep self-love going in these times.

Why: I want to bring some extra special magic and love to your Valentine’s Day! Check out the video to learn more.

Register: Send $14 payable via Venmo or PayPal – make sure to add your email in the notes section with your payment. You can even gift the experience to a loved one!

And here are some magical Monday resources for the week:

A. Music: Become a Mountain by Dan Deacon is my heart’s song this week. My brother sent it to me and I listened at sunset while walking the dog. I found myself sobbing with joy at the beauty of the world. I love the crescendo at the 2:36 mark. Do yourself a favor and listen.

B. Movement: I love the “Natural Movement” movement! Here’s a recent blog post you might enjoy.  I’m also a fan of Petra Fisher’s Movement Revolution newsletter and Instagram. Check out her blog for some excellent articles. I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter. Her last one featured “9 Paths to Healthy Natural Movement”:

  1. Walk every day – bodies need to walk. Period. It’s the bread and butter. If you don’t have posterior push off, work on walking technique but still walk. In minimal shoes.

  2. Squat every day – Squatting is not optional. If you don’t have a full squat, spend your time on squat prep.

  3. Hang every day – Just like walking and squatting1 Hanging is a key movement nutrient. Use as many shoulder prep exercises and modifications as you need to build strength – these count too.

  4. Transition to minimal shoes – modern shoes mess up your feet and the rest of your body. If you do nothing else do this.

  5. Use less furniture – more movement, no extra time needed. This is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Improve your alignment – how you move matters and how you move all day long matters the most. This is like weight lifting technique for real life.

  7. Mobilize your joints – Mobility makes everything better. You’ll squat, walk and hang better, alignment will be easier, your joints will be stronger, your balance will be better.

  8. Exercise outside the gym – Packing in mini-bouts of exercise and movement will feed your cells the movement they need.

  9. Learn to release tension – Most of us are great at creating tension and terrible at releasing it. That’s super not cool. Releasing is a movement skill and you need it.

C.  Refeeding Symptoms Podcast Episode: Caroline Dooner, author of the F*ck It Diet interviews Anna Sweeney, MS, CEDRD-S, who specializes in eating disorder recovery, Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. She shares her own experience living with chronic illness and navigating wellness culture. This interview is especially poignant if you’ve ever found yourself restricting your food in any way. I raise my hand having tried Weight Watchers, Paleo, Whole 30–you name it. I’ve finally come to the point of eating what my body needs and wants.  I am happy and have tons of extra energy because I’m not spending it obsessing over what’s on my plate. Now clearly you know I still LOVE whole foods and think that eating what comes from the earth is our best bet and still, we can indulge and enjoy–food allergies not withstanding. Refeeding is a concept that’s new to me–it’s our body’s adjustment to trying foods that we cut out previously. You can listen to this episode on Stitcher and iTunes. (And to quote Caroline, “This podcast is exceedingly casual & I spend a good amount of episodes having conversations with my dog. You have been warned.”)

I do hope you’ll join me on February 14th! And if you can’t and you sign up, you’ll get the recording!

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Share this blog post with someone who might want or need company on Valentine’s Day!
  2. Move your body and try one of Petra’s approaches above.
  3. Write yourself a love note. It is simple–pick 1-3 things about you that you love. If this is hard, take a look at yourself as a child (even in your mind’s eye) and remember something delightful–what you played, ate or sang. The note can be a letter, a post-it or even tapped out on your phone. Trust me, this exercise is as comforting as a cup of hot chocolate.

Much love and remember, Find Magic in the everyday, there are clues everywhere!