June 2014 archive

Because You Had a Bad Day

04-alexanderToday I stayed in bed most of the day. I didn’t want to get up and do anything. Lots of life circumstances, including my son being on a trip with his daddy and finishing my work early today, left me feeling kinda worthless and sad. And then I began beating myself up for feeling sad. So…downhill from there.

I think it’s important to talk about self-worth, and be honest about the fact that there are huge chunks of time during which I don’t have any. I hear so often that people are proud of me for my positivity and the way I handle things, and I can honestly say that I am more often than not a positive person. But I have more than enough of my share of the voices in my head that scream, “I’m not enough. I’m not worthy. I’m just a big fake. And everyone knows it.”

I tend to do things all at once. If I’m going to clean the house, I will spend 8 hours cleaning the whole thing all at once. I run all my errands for the whole week in one day. I also experience fast and strong periods of time when my self-esteem tanks. It’s usually triggered by one simple thing and I can almost watch myself from afar spiral down into despair. I’m improving on these experiences; they’re not happening as often or lasting as long. But they still happen, and I still struggle. I can easily spend an entire day in bed wondering why I even concern myself with trying to be a good and productive person because “there’s no point.”
Life probably isn’t meant to be one long Self-Worth Party. It’s natural to have highs and lows. But when I read other people’s blogs or articles about choosing to live a conscious and positive life, I sometimes feel like I’m weird or wrong for not feeling that way ALL of the time. I feel embarrassed that I have these days and I really want someone else to say, “Hey! No sugar-coating, no fixing it, no 5-step plan to un-spiraling a bad day. Some days are just bad. And I have them, too. Get up and try again tomorrow.
I have bad days. I think about giving up on all my dreams, I assume everyone hates me, I figure all this knowledge I have is useless. I usually eat a lot of chips and drink a lot of coffee. I listen to the words, “Never good enough” repeat over and over again in my head. I rarely leave the house.
I also always come out of these bad days thanks to a friend, a funny TV show, or a good night’s sleep. And now that I know I can always come out of them, the experience of a really bad day is not as scary when the crash ensues. Eventually I will be able to get up and keep walking. I will let go of the thing or things that started my crash and refocus on what lifts me up, what brings me joy.
But my point is that I want you to know if you have those days, they’re normal. If they last more than a day or two, you ought to find some help, but having an hour or a day here and there wherein you feel helpless and hopeless happens to all of us. Being a strong, positive, conscientious person doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine and roses. Life WILL come along and smack you in the face (or leg) eventually and you won’t even see it coming. The important thing is remembering these days do end.
Today, an ex-client of mind (who happens to be a really good friend) sent me a note telling me she thinks I’m great. It was that one little comment she made that suddenly began turning my day around for me. I’m so grateful she did that, and it made me want to reach out and do it for someone else because you simply can’t know when someone is sliding down the slip’n’slide of sadness. So in case it’s you, bad days are normal. Feeling zero self-worth for a minute is normal. Sadness is normal. Wanting to wallow around in it is normal. It’s ok. And if you can’t snap yourself out of it, reach out and ask someone to help you. Reach out and ask me to help you.
I will.

Growing Bones

The inside of my knee (the part that hit and demolished the cooler on the way BACK into the boat) has been hurting so much lately. I started feeling a little anxious about it and after my trip to Vegas I decided it would be smartest to just call up the old Dr. Fabulous and see what he had to say.
I already had an appointment scheduled for next week but they moved it to today, so I got my trusty notebook with all my adorable little overdramatic questions written in it and wobbled on in.
He walked into my exam room within moments of me sitting down and said, “So, how’s it feel?”
“My knee hurts,” I replied, knowing he was a man who skips pleasantries which I LOVE!
“Ok. Why?”
“Because I was in a boating accident and broke my femur.”
He didn’t bat an eye.
He manipulated my knee for a few minutes (which hurt like a mother) and without looking up said, “Get her x-rayed. Let’s see.”photo (5)

The X-ray Machine of the Future (I’ll call it) is a flat table in a dark room with a big camera attached to a computer screen. I don’t know how this thing does it, but by the time I was back in my exam room, Dr. Fabulous already had my scans. I looked at them before he returned to my room to explain them. This, if you know me, was a very bad choice. For as I examined my own x-rays with a keen eye and zero experience, I ascertained that I had begun to grow a new bone in the wrong direction and wrong place. Crap, I thought. The bone broth I’ve been drinking is working TOO well and now I’m growing extra leg bones…

Lucky for me, Dr. Fabulous wasn’t too far behind me.
“Looks fine,” he said.
“Fine? What about this big chunk in the middle of nowhere?” (Because I’m a doctor, too.)
“That’s a butterfly fragment.”
“Oh, ok. Great,” I responded. “Sooo….what is that?”
“It’s the way the bone heals. It’ll heal outward and wrap around the break until it looks like a little apple around your bone. It’s fine. It’s doing what it should.”
“Ok,” I said as he grabbed my knee and started pushing on it. “Ow, ow, ow.”
He pushed all around my knee, asking, “Which hurts more, this 1 or this 2.”
“It all hurts the same,” I responded each time.
He sat back and stared at my knee for a long enough time that I started feeling the need to start making casual conversation. “Can you believe Team USA has had the shortest breaks between games in all of the World Cup? Bullshit, right?! They need their rest!”
Finally, after 45 minutes (or somewhere around there) of silence while he stared at my knee, he said, “I don’t think there’s anything we can do.”
“Allllriiiight…” I squinted at him.
“It’s just going to have to heal. We can take the screw in your knee out because I can feel both ends of it, but I don’t think it will help with this part of your knee. That will just take as long as the bone takes to heal.”
“Should I wear an ace bandage or something?”
“If it’ll make you feel better,” he smirked, essentially saying if it warmed the cockles of my heart to wrap it then I should do it, but I should bedazzle the ace bandage first.

All in all, things are headed in the right direction. Another set of x-rays in a month and hopefully we keep moving right along in this direction. Thank you for your prayers, your messages of strength and encouragement. Thank you to the people I’ve known for ages for reaching out, thank you to the people I just met for reaching out, and thank you to the people I don’t even know for sending me notes and virtual high-fives that all start with, “You don’t know me but…” I’m going to begin working out (gently) next week but this time I’m not doing it for me; I’m doing it to show all of you who have held me up (both literally and emotionally) that your time and energy have been worth it.

 

Relax, and Dream Up a Good Life

f1f42cc0-e66a-11e3-8608-5d9ab139dc43_Carrey-paintingI watched Jim Carrey’s commencement speech in full today while I made myself fresh pesto from the garden and I literally stood in the kitchen weeping. I got something in a big way that I’ve never gotten before.

The first line he said that really got me was this: “You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”

I have already done my share of failing at what I don’t want. I spent years fighting for what I don’t want because it felt safe. The second he said it, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Holy shit. I have been skirting the chance to do what I love because I have been afraid that people wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t believe me if I shared my motives, that it wouldn’t be “for the masses.” I have hidden from what people will think of me. And that didn’t make me feel safe. So I always chose safe.

It’s weird how terrified I am to share what I love but I’m going to do it here, publicly, and then I’m going to trust the universe. If I’m going to have a bad year, I get separated, divorced, and lose my job. If I’m going to break my first bone, I’m going to break the hardest one in the human body as well as a few ribs for good measure. I go big or I go home. It’s kinda my thing.

So here it is:

My soul lights up when I share an understanding of a healthy lifestyle with others. I shine when someone wants to hear about WHY moving your body makes a difference to your mind. As someone who has depression and anxiety, I am speaking to you from the experiences I’ve had learning about what the food I put into my body does and how exercise can change my entire chemistry. I get SO jazzed when I can help someone learn that a healthier lifestyle isn’t that hard to achieve and that I will encourage them as they enter a new way of being.

It’s all a little woo-woo, but it’s truth.

But here I’ve been, holding back. I give in and eat a piece of cake or drink a milkshake literally because “everyone is doing it.” I feel too embarrassed to say, “No thank you,” and make a healthier choice because I think everyone will roll their eyes and tell me to live a little. They’ll tell me “gluten is a myth” or “a little sugar won’t hurt” when they may all be true for them but it isn’t true for me. Some people will say those things. And some people will learn by my example.

I can’t please everybody.

Then Jim (we’re on a first-name basis now since the weeping episode) said this: “I am proof that you can ask the universe for what you want. The key is to work towards it while letting go of how it comes to pass.”

Do I want to be a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, a dancer? Yes. I want to be all of those things. Do I want to be a nutritionist, a chef, have my own show on The Food Network? Yes. But there are very specific pieces of paper you must have in order to work in those industries, and you must pay good money to get them despite having more experience and knowledge than many of the people walking around with those pieces of paper. Right now my money has other places to go…but that doesn’t mean I can’t live my dream. I don’t get to choose how the Universe delivers my requests.

“Relax, and dream up a good life,” Jim said. Well, here it is. Here’s my dream for a good life: I want to be a Beachbody Coach for real. Not a hobby coach the way I’ve been in the past. I want to do it because I actually respect Beachbody as a company, I love what they stand for, and I love the way they bring home to millions of people. I don’t want to do it because I want to sell a bunch of products anymore than a yoga instructor wants to sell a bunch of yoga classes. I want to do it because I genuinely love helping people to feel like they’re enough based on their own hard work. I love supporting people in the hard work, teaching them as they go, and loving them through the toughest moments. I love calling people on their shit, opening their eyes to a better way, and making them laugh at really inappropriate times.

In trying to appeal to the masses and not give off the wrong impression, I’ve held back. So here I am world. Here’s the truth about me. I love working out, I love eating right, and I love laughing my ass off while I’m doing it all. Maybe just admitting it out loud is the first step.

Watch Jim Carrey’s entire commencement speech here. It’s hilarious and moving and if you’re in the kitchen making pesto, you might weep.
If you want to work with me to change your life, or if you want to help me inspire others to change theirs, then email me. And if you don’t want to do any of that, then sit at home and eat thin mints on the couch. We can still be friends. I promise.

Now that you know all of this I feel totally naked. It’s time like these I wish I ate more pie…

Choose Love – A Rant

urlI decided to treat myself to a Starbucks refresher today because it was bloody hot and humid in this part of the world. I circled the quaint little shopping plaza near my house searching for a parking space. As I drove, I saw a man holding up a sign.
Ooo! A new business is going in! I thought to myself.
I drove closer and saw he was waving a sign that blatantly disrespected a specific minority of the population, followed by a bible verse (you know, to make up for it). Rage boiled up from my stomach.

I can deal with a LOT of things. Someone cutting me off in traffic, a person I love forgetting my birthday, a guy taking his bad day out on me…but what I CAN’T handle is intolerance. Of any kind. It’s the only thing I’m intolerant toward. (Ba-dum bum.) Because as much as I want to say to an obese person complaining about his or her weight in the grocery store line, “Hey. You could NOT buy those Doritos and try exercising instead…” I just don’t know his or her story. I don’t know what happened to cause him or her so much pain that the weight piled on, or the medical history, or the mental diagnosis. And I know for sure that being an asshole won’t help. So I choose to smile and move on with my day.

But this guy. This guy chose to be an asshole. Which is why I immediately called Bear and suggested he talk me off a ledge before I run the guy over and go to prison. He dutifully encouraged me that doing hard time was not going to be in alignment with my current aspirations, so I breathed and parked instead.

But as I wobbled up to Starbucks, the man was standing directly in front of its all-window entrance holding his disgusting sign of hate. He turned as I began to approach him and almost got a word out before I said, “Your sign isn’t very Christian.”
(I know, I know. Just keep your mouth shut, Erin.)
Then HE said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” For those of you who aren’t Christian, this is a bible verse. I actually laughed out loud.
“Aren’t you the one with the plank in your eye, holding that sign full of hatred?” I asked.
He pointed his finger at me as I continued past him, prepared with his response, and this is what he said (and I kid you not)…
“I have repented.”

I kept walking because lord knows I couldn’t think of ANYTHING without a curse word in it after that. My brain spun like a blender. I cannot imagine being of this Earth and holding such hatred in my heart for anyone. Not even the people I hate. I thought about what “repenting” means, so I looked it up.
re-pent: feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.
What I took from this little exchange was that this man shot first and asked questions later. He said and did things that were not of the light, that were not the way that Jesus would have us do, and he repented afterwards. This to me just doesn’t seem right. Loving the people you don’t understand, don’t agree with, don’t want around you is easy isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s downright impossible, as I felt like it was with this man. I wanted to shout, “Jesus died FOR your sins…not so you COULD sin and then repent later.” But, you love them, you say a prayer for them to yourself if that’s your bag, and then you move on. Because sending out negative energy into the world isn’t how Jesus spread his message. He didn’t stand outside the local bakery with a sign reading, “You’re all going to hell IF…” He led by example. He shared his own stories, his own love, and then he moved along. And so, I led by example. I walked into Starbucks I said to myself, “Universe? Help that man to love himself.”

And AS I walked into Starbucks thinking of all the things I could have said, the entire store clapped. Apparently they’d been forced to stare at him for the 5 minutes prior through the windows (all the tables face the windows) and no one liked staring at hate. “Good for you,” one man said.
“Someone had to say it,” another woman said.
I wobbled up to the counter and the barista (after asking how my leg was because my local Starbucks is AWESOME) said, “I don’t know how he gets away with it.”
“Because no one ever says anything, I’ll bet,” I answered. “Preach love, not hate. If you hate that particular group of people so much, pray for them and love them. From the comfort of your own home.”
My barista smiled and as he did, he pointed. The man was getting into his car and leaving.

Score one for the cripple girl.

This is not a post about religion. I have no vested interest in what particular religion you choose to practice (if any), as long as you choose to do so with love, kindness, and forgiveness. If you want to hold up a sign about love, do it. Kindness signs should be everywhere. And my personal challenge most days, forgiveness, is very nice to remind people about. But if you don’t like someone, their choices, their lifestyle, their skin color…find someone you do like and focus on that instead. Your life will be nicer. And mine will, too.

 

 

So…Vegas Happened

Where do I even begin?

For those of you keeping up, I had a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for the Beachbody Coaching Summit this past weekend. I was invited to tell my story to 500 other coaches, inspiring them that working out isn’t just about looking good naked: it’s about being strong when the unthinkable happens.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and had lunch with some friends who were also attending the conference. We ran around getting our tags and our tickets and our wrist bands and all the things that go along with a conference fit for 9,000 people. I spent most of that evening with my leg up, exhausted from the trip.

photo (4)Speaking of the trip, ever had to travel through an airport using the assistance of Skycaps? It’s embarrassing. I felt horrible for the people tasked with pushing me around, asking if I had to go to the bathroom, if I needed to eat…they were all so lovely and I felt completely inadequate handing them a $5 tip after all they did for me. Also, if you see someone in a wheelchair at an airport, don’t trip over their feet. Don’t drag your bag across their feet. Don’t fall onto their feet because you didn’t think you needed to hold on when the tram started moving you effing idiot. I’M IN A WHEELCHAIR.

Anywho, I was speaking at 11:00am Vegas time Thursday, but I had to arrive with my lovely friends who were charged with my care (including carrying my bags, crutches, and pushing my wheelchair)…their call was 7:00. So I was up…early.

I repeated my speech over and over again in my head while they set up the stage. I paced on crutches speaking out loud but to myself as the crowd began taking their seats. It was a looooot of people. I was a theatre major, but I was still completely intimidated and nervous.

A little background: I’ve been using Beachbody products for 6 years, so I know most of the trainers in the videos we sell. I’ve been working out with them day in and day since I first decided going to the gym sucks. So when I noticed that my name was between “Tony” and “Autumn” on the line-up schedule, I nearly peed my pants when I realized that meant Tony Horton (P90-X) and Autumn Calabrese (The 21 Day Fix). Now add Chalene Johnson (Turbo Fire) and Sagi Kalev (Body Beast) to the list and I was almost hyperventilating. These people are like royalty to me.

When my dear friend Jimmy introduced me to the audience, I hobbled up on stage. As I began my story, I lifted a hand to make a point and quickly realized it was shaking.
Hand back down at my side…check.

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After a while I got into a flow, a rhythm, and I could tell the audience didn’t hate me so I wasn’t afraid to finish strong. In the end, I explained that telling my story was far more valuable to people than trying to sell Beachbody products. And, I’ve actually sold more since telling my story than I ever did before. It was meant to be a story of inspiration followed by a useful business tip. I had a good deal of poise and even confidence by the time we were wrapping up. I did good.

The trouble is that as I finished, Jimmy said, “Since it was The 21 Day Fix you were doing just before the accident, I think it’s only right…”
This is when I gasped, hand over mouth, and bent over at the waist like an ostrich who thought maybe no one would see me. I knew I was going to get to shake Autumn Calabrese’s hand, but I did NOT think she would come on stage with me. But there she was. And there I was, a blithering idiot, unable to make a sentence or even coherent facial expression. She was already crying, which made me want to cry but I was so surprised and unnerved that I lost the ability to produce tears.

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Maybe if I cover my eyes she wont see me…

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Ill just bend over. That makes sense.

photo 1

Nope. Didnt work. She found me.

photo 2

Aaaaand I hugged her for way past what was comfortable for anybody. But seriously, thats her real butt. I know.

She explained to the audience that all those nights she had to work while her son was playing at her feet or the times she was grumpy with him or absent when she didn’t want to be…she said stories like mine were what reminded her why she does what she does.
I believe I stood listening to her eloquent words while drooling down my chin and scratching the inner part of my left knee.

Needless to say, I finished strong.

She went on to tell the rest of her story while I hobbled back to my seat. I believe I sweat through my shirt, through the chair, and onto the rug as adrenaline poured into my body by the liter. It was not was I was expecting at all. It was so much better.

So, long story longer, it was one of the best mornings of my entire life. People stopped me asking to take pictures with me, talking to me about my story, stopping to give me a high five in my wheelchair. I’ve never felt like such a big deal, like such a worthy participant of life outside of giving birth to my son. You just never know what is going to happen in life if you let go and allow the universe to show you what’s next instead of trying to control it all.

The best part, for me, is that I now feel a passion sparked within me to help people get healthy. I love Beachbody products, but I also love cooking and sharing my recipes. I love talking to people about easy ways to get healthy and stay that way. And I love supporting people as they embark on a journey of wellness, inside and out. I’ve started doing just that this month with a private Facebook group and I spent the rest of my time at The Summit in Vegas planning how I could continue doing just that. I’ve got some great ideas to share, so keep on eye on the website and my Facebook/Instagram pages!

Who knows? Maybe breaking my leg is what helped open my eyes to my passion: helping others get healthy. Life is kinda funny.

 

Blog Things are Happening

It’s HERE!!!!!!
Welcome to the new site!

Look how excited I am!!

Look how excited I am!!

This, I hope, will by a site I use for blogging and sharing for a loooooong time to come!!

You’ll notice that the blog you’re used to is here on the home page. This is where you’ll find my daily stories of ridiculousness.
You’ll also see “Mind.” That’s a page to go to if you want to find stuff that’s good for your mind. This may include books I’m reading, quotes, or special yummies I read on the interwebs that I want to share with you.
Then there’s “Body.” Go there for stuff that’s good for your body. I will share information about Beachbody.com (because I am a Coach for them), success stories, and information about my own physical progress! Don’t worry. It’s not salesy. It’s fun. You can read it and never buy anything from Beachbody.com and we will still be friends.
Finally, there’s “Peas.” Go there for peas. And other vegetables. This is where I will share recipes! If you know me, you know I eat VERY cleanly. I love sharing simple, healthy recipes that aren’t hard to make. Eventually I hope to start making videos of the recipes I make for y’all. (If you happen to live in a beautiful mansion and want to let me use your kitchen for videos, I’ll repay you in homemade granola and baked chickens.)

This little website is very bare bones so far because, well, if I waited for every little thing to be ready before I launched it I never would have launched it. If it’s one thing I’ve learned I’m going to #shareanyway. It’s not perfect, but it’s “ready enough” for you to dive in and get an idea for where I want this whole blogging thing to go. I will add more and more elements to the site as I can, or as I find the people to help me do so.

Speaking of people who help me do so…I need to give a HUGE thank you to Ben Hood. He and his gorgeous wife Rebekah were actually my wedding photographers. We kept in touch over the years and when Ben saw that I was getting divorced, he reached out without judgement and sent his condolences. He also made the mistake of telling me that if he could ever do anything for me, I should just ask.
So…I asked.
I asked him to help me get the new website up and running. And he did. He put in hours of work (not to mention some of his own money) to help me get this little dream of mine out there. There would simply be no Exercising Inner Peas if he hadn’t of stepped up. If you know Ben, tell him he’s awesome. Hell, if you know his wife tell her she’s awesome because she is. If you don’t know Ben but you’re looking for the best photographers I’ve come across to date (and I’m not blowing smoke), please check out he and his wife’s company Kallima Photography. They deserve all the love in the world, y’all. I’m so blessed to know them.

 

Here we go! A new blog! A new direction! WhatIf Monsters be damned. Let’s do this!

P.S. Did you start your 21-Days of Pleases and Thank Yous? I did!!!

Two days down!

Two days down!

 

Bone Broth – Please and Thank You

Bone broth is not a new concept to me. When I was strictly following a Paleo Diet (no grains, legumes, or dairy) I read about the benefits of bone broth all the time. It wasn’t until I broke my leg and was researching the best foods to eat to quickly heal a bone that I was reminded why bone broth is like savory nectar from the gods. It’s way more liquid gold than Velveeta ever will be.

*By the way, from now on I’m calling it B.B. because “bone broth” makes me feel more like a tree-hugging hippie every time I type it.

There are a gabillion health benefits to B.B.

1. insanely rich with minerals and nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium
2. full of gelatin (which your body NEEDS for healthy bones)
3. protein (obvi)
4. glycine (an essential amino acid – free-radicals fighter)
5. proline (a non-essential amino acid)
6. hyaluronic acid (build cartilage, protects from osteoporosis)
7. sulfur, potassium, sodium (electrolytcs)
8. boost immune health (it treats and seals the gut where 70% of our immune system lives)
9. and on and on and on…

I decided I would start making B.B. and cooking with it because of the health benefits, it’s insanely cheap (sometimes even free!), and fairly easy to make. But instead of cooking with it…I ended up drinking it. I’m not even kidding, I drink a cup of the stuff a day. I crave it now. It’s so delicious and an excellent morning meal replacement if you’re not a big breakfast eater (and I’m not). Even on hot summer days I love starting off with coffee followed by a mug of warm B.B.

Please don’t stop reading my blog because I drink B.B. It’s weird. I know that it’s weird. At least I KNOW, right?!

You start with plain old marrow bones. You can get these in the meat section of your grocery story, ask a butcher for his/her extras, and even some Whole Foods sell pastured bones in the frozen foods section. Pastured is always best because it means the animal got all the omegas and vitamins/minerals from GRASS, which in turn means the benefits we gain from meat and bones are more readily accessible to our bodies.

These are the beef bones I picked up this week.

These are the beef bones I picked up this week.

Put your bones into a baking dish/pan and let them roast for about 45minutes-1hour at 365 degrees. This ensures delicious flavor.

Once they’re roasted, you can render your B.B. in a pot on the stove or in a Croc Pot. I prefer a Croc Pot because these babies have to simmer for days and the Croc Pot is far more hands-off than a pot on the stove (and also cheaper on energy). Load up your cooking vehicle of choice with the roasted bones and as much water as you can fit.
Now, here’s a very important part: ACID. You must add an acid to the water as it will help the nutrients release from the bones themselves. You can add a few tablespoons of any type of vinegar; I happen to use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. You won’t taste the vinegar in the end so don’t be shy.
Add in anything you want. I just add a little salt and pepper, but you can add leftover raw veggies, herb stems, or spices you like from your cabinet. What’s fun is if you make a new pot of B.B. every week you can constantly play around with your recipe.
Turn your Croc Pot or Stove on high and get those babies boiling. Let them boil a short time (maybe 30 minutes) and then turn them way down to simmer. If your Croc Pot runs hot, let it simmer during the day and turn it off at night, turning it back on (and adding water if need be) first thing in the morning.
It takes about 48 hours to get really rich stock. If you only have 24 that’s fine, but I always start mine on Saturday morning so that by Monday my new batch is ready to go!

Take your bones out of the liquid and notice the buttery centers are falling out. Now, don’t be scared, but that’s bone marrow. It’s a delicacy and it’s also SO good for you. Spread it on toast or crackers for a delicious snack while you jar up your B.B.

See the yummy marrow falling out? That's going on toast later.

See the yummy marrow falling out? That’s going on toast later. Don’t judge me.

I strain my B.B. and fill mason jars and put them in the fridge. The top layer of fat will harden so that when you drink, you can easily remove the fat and mainly consume the broth and flavor itself. I warm mine up in the mornings, but you can also drink it cold. And, of course, you can use it to cook rice or quinoa or any other grains you love. It’s so rich and delicious that it will perk up any dish.

Look how gorgeous the color of the B.B. I made this morning!

Look how gorgeous the color of the B.B. I made this morning!

And you don’t just have to use beef bones, people. You can use poultry or pork bones, and any other “unusable” part like feet or necks. Yes, it sounds disgusting but to me, if you’re going to eat meat then you should be benefiting from the entire animal, not just the “good parts”.

Note – If you’re using organic or pastured bones, eating the fat is not nearly as big of a deal. In fact, a little of it is incredibly healthy. However, if you’re using traditional bones or any kind of poultry bones, I recommend you not drink the fat. (Five points to anyone who heard Rachel from Friends saying, “You were gonna drink the fat!” to Ross after you read that.)

Today, my “thank you” is B.B. I have absolutely seen a difference in my energy levels and my intestinal health. That’s right. My poops are better.

 

Speaking of “thank you”, have you started your 21-Days of Pleases and Thank Yous?

Two days down!

Real Pleases and Thank Yous

url-1I’ve used/created gratitude journals in the past. I think they’re awesome. If nothing else it shifts your brain for a few minutes each day to think past all the crap and focus on something lovely. Get really good at it and you may even find others times during the day to focus on something lovely. Frankly, I’m overly grateful. I find a way to be grateful for every freaking thing that happens to me during the day.
Someone cuts me off in traffic? I’m grateful we didn’t have an accident because clearly that person has an emergency they must attend to immediately.
It rains during the BBQ? I’m grateful everyone gets to cram inside because it means we all get to talk to each other.
I can’t afford the things I want? I’m grateful I know the difference between a want and a need so I can teach my son the grace of acceptance.
And blah, blah, blah…
What I’m not good at is asking the universe for what I want. Instead, I decide to worry. After the s-word hits the fan, I’m excellent at finding something to be grateful for. But while the s-word storm is still swirling, I forget to ask the universe for what I want and instead worry about not getting it. (Then I usually don’t get it and find a way to be grateful for not getting it which makes no freaking sense at all.)
When I DO remember to ask for what I want, I almost always get it in one form or another. I don’t ask in a selfish, snotty way. I just ask for what I want, focus on it, and let it go at the end of the day. I do this in place of worrying and life is much easier.
Long story short, I need a daily reminder to ask for what I want.
Maybe you’re someone who isn’t as gratitude-focused, or maybe you’re someone who needs the reminder to as for what you want. Either way, my new project is meant to make both Pleases and Thanks Yous a fail-safe, daily habit. I created a simple .pdf you can print off and tape next to the coffee pot or on your bedside table, wherever you’re going to see it and fill it out everyday. Click here to download it: 21 Days of Real Pleases and Thank YousYou could also get creative and make your own, which I plan to do this weekend…unless I get busy or lazy or decide to take a nap instead. Then I’m just going to use the one I made for you all. 
The only rule to this little game is that your pleases and thank yous are REAL. Don’t feign gratitude if you’re not really grateful. For example: I am not grateful it rained today. I could find reasons to be grateful for the rain, but it’d be a stretch. However, I can honestly say I AM grateful for the fan in my room (because it’s Hellscape Hot in Florida) and for the Jake and the Neverland Pirates puzzle Abe keep putting together and taking apart in the living room. And I am for REAL wanting abundance from the Universe to pay off these medical bills. That’s REAL! We start Sunday, June 15!!
I hope you decide to join me in asking for what you want and being grateful for what you have. I think there’s major power in both of those things, and I intend to find out just what the universe can deliver if I practice both for 21 days!

So I went to the gynecologist yesterday….

So I went to the gynecologist yesterday…. (Yep. That’s how this blog is starting out.)
What I’m noticing is that the world is not (cannot be, really) made for people with disabilities. I’ll bet when you found out I broke my leg you thought things like, How will she take care of Abe? and She will be so sad she can’t do yoga or work out…I’ll bet none of you gave a single thought to how I was going to get myself up on to the table and into the stirrups for my annual exam at my gynecologist’s office. Well, I’ll tell you…it was awkward. 
Lots of things are awkward now. Getting in and out of public restrooms is awkward. Pushing a grocery cart is awkward. Opening heavy doors is awkward. You really can’t know the amount of places and experiences not meant for people with broken legs until you’ve had one. It makes you miss a LOT of things.
1. I miss holding my son’s hand instead of a crutch when I walk.
2. I miss sleeping on my side.
3. I miss going for a walk after dinner.
4. I miss going to any restaurant in the city without worrying about whether or not my leg will fit in between tightly packed tables or if they have a booth available.
5. I miss climbing up on the kitchen counter to reach the top of the cabinets.
6. I miss walking in sand.
7. I miss sitting on the floor without worrying about who is around to get me back up.
8. I miss the sound my feet made when I trounced up the stairs to grab something last-minute that I just realized I forgot when I was pulling out of the driveway.
9. I miss grabbing something last-minute because I can.
10. I miss weeding the garden.
Obviously you can’t know what you take for granted until your leg isn’t what it used to be. I’m lucky because I will be able to do these things again eventually. Some people can’t, or never could. So it’s probably time that I also begin to acknowledge the things I’m truly grateful for during this experience, too.
1. I’m grateful for people who hold the door open for me.
2. I’m grateful for hand rails next to the potty.
3. I’m grateful for motorized carts in grocery stores.
4. I’m grateful for handicapped placards and parking spaces.
5. I’m grateful for automatic doors.
6. I’m grateful for the option of a wheelchair at the airport.
7. I’m grateful for tall toilets.
8. I’m grateful for shower chairs.
9. I’m grateful for the friends who check on me, wait on me, hold me up.
10. I’m grateful that in tragedy there is more time for stillness.
urlFor all of you who AREN’T interested in doing The 21-Day Fix, I’m also starting another 21-Day project on June 15. I’m calling it 21-Days of Real Pleases and Thank Yous. Join me if you wish. The idea is that for as many things as we wish for, there have to be twice as many we’re grateful for. I want to make it a habit to find the things I’m grateful for just as I made working out a habit. This isn’t meant to be a hippy-dippy woo-woo gratitude exercise wherein you have to find gratitude for flower petals or a candle’s flame (though those things are lovely). This is meant to be real gratitude, like how grateful I am today that I got ice cream last night and there’s still some leftover. It’s also meant to be real, honest wishes, like I want enough money to pay my medical bills. No one needs to sugar coat or be shy about what they want or what they’re truly grateful for. It’s not about who has the most worthy wishes or gratitude. It’s about getting real with your pleases and thank yous.
I’ll post more on this project tomorrow!!

You’re the Only One

photoI started reading the book Siddhartha a few weeks ago. It’s not exactly a breezy read, but it was short and the story was simple (spoiler alert if Siddhartha was on your summer reading list): you can’t seek any of life’s lessons or joys externally. It’s all within you from the start…which is super annoyingly true.
This is a tough concept for me because I’m a seeker. I like to reach outside of myself to improve. I love to read self-help books and follow therapists’ advice because 1+1=2 and if I can just get clear on the first two parts of the equation…But the entire point of Siddhartha is that you simply can’t learn it all from other people or their experiences. You can’t find happiness externally. The “If This, Then That” algorithm only applies to scientific principles. And I, unfortunately, was never good at science.
As life usually likes to do, I have received this same message about 100 different ways since I started reading Siddhartha. Each time I receive it, I learn it a little differently. But, of all places, I heard the country singer Tim McGraw say it in a way that really hit me yesterday watching an interview on Oprah’s channel. (Have I mentioned I love Oprah’s channel lately? Especially after having been exposed to Bear’s non-stop action/adventure/thriller movie marathon recently…) Mr. McGraw said, “You’re the only person that knows.”
I had to take a breath.
He was speaking specifically to addicts, or people who may have a problem with addiction. He didn’t offer any advice for how to quit drinking or when to get help. He simply said, “You’re the only person that knows…” I thought about saying that to Abe someday, knowing that he was about to make some bad choices and telling him, “You’re the only person that knows if this is a good choice or a bad choice.” Sure, I’m going to guide him, but what if I put the onus on him to take responsibility for making these good choices? Then he may not spend near as much of his life seeking answers outside of himself the way I did…
Then my brain whisked me back to a letter my mom wrote to me when I was 17 (and a horrible, terrible child). I don’t remember very much of it except for one part: “If you can look yourself in the eye in the mirror…”
SO CLICHE is what I thought when I read it at 17. But I’m starting to get what she meant, what Tim McGraw meant, what Siddhartha meant…the answers to every question you have are inside. Only you know what the next step is, only you know if you should put down that drink, only you know if you’re a 17-year-old trying to date a 26-year-old guy and lying to everyone about it (that’s completely hypothetical). When I get quiet and ask the questions, I already know the answers. Sometimes the answer is to do nothing, which is the answer I hate the most and the answer I receive the most. Sometimes the answer is to stay put and wait, sometimes it’s fight for it. It IS cliche and I HATE cliches, but I guess they’re cliches for a reason: they’ve been around long enough to become unoriginal thoughts…
Then this morning, my yoga teacher from Hawaii posted this and every last little doubt I had about whether or not all the answers were within me already disappeared. Because you don’t hear the same message this many times without there being some truth to it:
“She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.”

– Ernest Holmesphoto

 So? Let’s let go of all the seeking and the need for answers and the desire to know. Let’s just let go and see what happens if we actually listen to ourselves and follow our own damn journeys.

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