Spring has finally sprung where I live. The trees are starting to sprout leaves again and buds every color of the rainbow are unfolding. Tulip bulbs are reaching up from the ground towards the sunshine. Every year I am always amazed by how all of the greenery takes me by surprise, like I’ve forgotten what it all looks like during the long, bare winter. Even rainy April days like today help to wash away the old and bring in the new. As a matter of fact, I just got stuck in a ridiculous thunderstorm and got soaked to the bone. It was beautiful and refreshing and made me want to laugh and dance (I actually did laugh. A lot.).
During this time of year we are shedding our winter skin and emerging from the cold darkness. Or at least I feel like I am. This winter seemed particularly cold and dark for me. I think it was a combination of the cold, blustery weather that never seemed to end, the long days at work (that also never seemed to end) and some personal emotions I was wrestling with. But Spring has given me hope and through yoga, meditation and a clean eating (my basic recipe back to happy), I have found my way back again. Horrah! New beginnings indeed! I feel lighter, stronger and happier than I have been in a good long while. And this Spring feels special for some reason. Like something new and wonderful is going to grow and come into my life.
To celebrate the change of season I always like to do a big clean. Of my living space, my dressers, my closets. Everything gets scrubbed and scrutinized. And those things that don’t serve me anymore are found a new home. To me, getting rid of the old is such a good way to embrace the new. Energetically it helps me to open up to the possibilities that await ahead of me (something new and wonderful perhaps??). How do you celebrate the change in season?
Speaking of change, a big part of my life over the past year is coming to a close. This week I will finish up my schoolwork at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and take my final test. It is so hard to believe that my time at this amazing school is almost over. Funny how some days seem to go by so slowly, yet when you look back, time seems to have flown by. So much has happened over the last 12 months. With the help of IIN, I have met some amazing and inspiring people, learned so much about health and nutrition and started my own holistic health coaching practice. I am one step closer to my dreams and so much further along than I possibly could have imagined.
I am also more in tune with what I want and much better at honoring what my body needs. For a long time I didn’t listen to her. I would put my head down, do what needed to be done and just kept on going. No wonder I felt lost and disconnected with my life... I always wanted to fit in with everyone else (who doesn’t on some level?), so I always struggled with eating the way I knew was best for me in social settings (dinners, parties, you name it). I would see all of these enticing, not so healthy foods and just give in, completely ignoring what my body was telling me she wanted (i.e. move over body, my mind really wants some Doritos). Boy would my body protest afterwards. And like a domino, my mind would get in on the action and I would start to feel negative, guilty and depressed in addition to sick, bloated and nauseous. Great combo huh? Not so much.
My mind and my stomach have developed a strong bond over the years and what I eat impacts me emotionally as well as physically. It’s not a bond I am so happy about and I’ve tried to fight it for years, which has only led to tears, fluctuating weight and disappointment. This habit I developed of eating like this in social situations started to have negative consequences in my life. I started to dread these events and make excuses not to attend. Do anything to avoid putting my body (and mind) through the wringer once again. But who wants to live this way? It is not fun and totally unsustainable in the long run. Plus, it is not healthy to live such a lonely life.
So how did IIN positively impact this little habit of mine and help me turn it around? The school has a concept called “Fitting Out.” It’s all about excepting who you are and living a life that is truly aligned with your soul, even if it means that you may be a little bit different than the average bear. When you live a life this way (and this includes what and how you eat), your soul will shine through. You will be happy and healthy to your core. And those people who you previously tried to “fit in” with? They will notice and want a sip of whatever kool-aid you’re drinking. Sounds pretty awesome right?
These days I embrace Fitting Out. I bring my own food to company happy hours and if someone asks what I’m eating, I will gladly tell them. And if they ask why? I will gladly tell them that too. It is compliment when someone comments on how much I love my veggies. I have gone completely health nerdy. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. This is me, kale and all. And I’m sticking around for a while, so you better get used to it. Time to go dancing in the rain… :)
~Peace, love and living your truth~