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Holistic Living

I think I told you before that I have been going to meditation on Monday nights at a Buddhist center. I have come to find this to be one of my favorite activities throughout the week. I am always eager to hear the topic of the day and excited to listen to whichever teacher speaks. The teacher tonight was the founder of Against the Stream, Noah Levine, and was my favorite so far. The theme was not so specific, but more general in asking why we meditate and what we can expect. It is an always welcome reminder to me not to stop meditating – to keep practicing every day. The reason that we all meditate is to help us cope, deal and detach from suffering. Most people are brought to this practice to lessen pain. For me, it has truly helped lessen a discomfort in life. It has given me a tool that gets me through in a smoother and more peaceful way. These reminders might seem redundant and simple, but they are usually the best ones. Just keep on keeping on with whatever you do to make yourself better. It’s subtle, but it’s working. Trust that.

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(Image found here)

The past couple of Monday nights, I have started to go to a Buddhist meditation center.  Every week they have a different teacher and topic that we discuss after mediation.

This week, there was a Buddhist monk who spoke. She was a really powerful teacher and there are a couple of things that I have thought about since:

The first is that your quality of life is a result of where you put your attention. 

She also told us that the mind repeats 3 patterns:

  • There is something wrong – with me, with you, with the world, etc.
  • There is not enough – money, friendship, kindness, time, energy, etc
  • I need to be doing something – the dishes, becoming famous, make more money, etc

There have been a couple times this week where I have become aware of these patterns. I have also noticed how I seek out things that continue this pattern.

It’s definitely something worth being mindful of.

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(image via here)

There’s a bit of a TMI factor to today’s post but yesterday I watched the video below, “Is The Birth Control Pill Destroying Your Health,” and felt it was worth sharing. I was on birth control pills for several years in my twenties. They never caused me any trouble, that is until I stopped taking them. Without my knowledge my doctor had switched my prescription to a generic brand. I wasn’t aware of the change until I went to pick up it up at the pharmacy. I wasn’t happy about the change and was equally frustrated with the pharmacist who told me it wasn’t a big deal, that they were exactly the same ingredients but this one was $10 cheaper. I’d always considered myself lucky not to have had the various negative side affects birth control medications can cause and would have rather paid the extra $10 to stick with what worked. Nonetheless, I backed down and started the generic pack. Shortly thereafter I broke out in the worst acne along my jaw-line that I’d ever had in my life. I put two and two together, and as I wasn’t in a relationship at that time, decided to go off the pill all together.

The following months were some of the hardest in my life. A deep depression had come over me and I didn’t know why. Sure there were plenty of external life circumstances I think contributed but I also had a vague, nagging sense that it also had to do with going off the pill. I tried to little avail to do online research to support my theory but mostly only found a few similar stories buried deep in online forums. This video (via Healthy Crush) finally provided me a clear answer as to what was likely going on in my body. It’s also chock full of other details related to hormones, birth control pills and other contraception, should you be in the market for such info.

Is The Birth Control Pill Destroying Your Health? from Jenny Sansouci on Vimeo.

I recently took a hormone test to see if I could get any leads on my headaches – but in turn I found out that I have adrenal fatigue. I am pretty sure it is something that most of us have just not everyone is getting tested for it.

Since I got the results back, I have started an adrenal protocol and been trying to take it easy.

Some treatments other than the supplements are:

  • Sleep/rest and nap more often
  • Eat a whole foods based diet
  • Knock out that caffeine addiction
  • Eat within the first hour I am awake and have a light snack before bed.
  • Oh, and laughing a lot.

Let’s be honest, this is not a very daunting set of tasks. I will say however that taking it easy, resting and admitting how freaking tired I am has proven to be challenging. I am trying my best.

If you think you might have adrenal fatigue or want more information on it, check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s site.

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(Image found here)

Albert has taken to training me in the mornings at our new gym, Box ‘n Burn. There is nothing like waking up at 7am, rushing to a boxing gym and working out. Sure, I have been to gyms before. In fact, I can’t stand them. I usually walk into a gym and feel no motivation or inspiration whatsoever. However, this gym is blasting music and people, dripping in sweat, punch things. It feels like you have no other option but to give it 110%.

Here is what I have had on repeat in my brain after hearing it bright and early and pumping some iron:

selflove

I have been thinking a lot about women and their bodies this week. It first started with me and my own body and then trickled down to my friends, my mother and then the world.

Why is it that women are so hard on themselves and their bodies?

I can honestly say that this has been my life’s struggle to not only love my body, but really just to accept it.

As I was talking to my friends the other day, we all acknowledged that we have tried extreme diets to either gain or loose weight, and still never felt whole.

What happened to us along the way that we believe that we are not good enough?

More importantly, what is the answer?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know that it starts with talking about it.

The more I talk about it with my friends and family, the more I realize that I am not feeling anything different than any other woman. That is comforting, but also alarming.

I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on practicing self love and acceptance.

You are beautiful.

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Photo found here

Ten ways I can be the change I want to see in the world:

1) Engage the people I come into contact with throughout the day.

2) Put my phone aside while I talk to them.

3) Eat lunch outside/away from my desk.

4) Find more ways to use the things I already have – stop buying and seeking new ones.

5) Talk to & feed myself with the same way I would a child.

6) Accept help from others.

7) Live below my means.

8) Pray/meditate/connect to whatever It is.

9) Identify and engage in my community(-ies).

10) Exercise.

(photo via here)

The ability to practice anywhere is one of the best things about yoga.  Though I don’t have a lot of space, I’m definitely a fan of the home yoga practice.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s is something very powerful about being led by a great teacher and practicing as part of a group but having the option to practice at home can’t be beat.  Personally, I still like to listen to a yoga class podcast when I practice at home (my favorite podcasts here); it keeps me from loosing focus and skipping poses I don’t love.  I look forward to the day when I have as beautiful a yoga space as the one pictured above but in the meantime my home practice necessities consist only of:

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat (the best yoga mat, in my opinion.  no slip, no slide!) | Mexican Yoga Blanket | The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | Bose Mobile Speaker
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Juan Genovés – Conjetura, 2007

Safe to say I find myself lost on the internet pretty much every day.  Currently, as I write this post I have 17 tabs open in my browser.  I spend a lot of time, on a very regular basis, getting lost in a web of thoughts, searches and entertainment.  I find things I want to explore further (or go back to), abandon the page I’m on and tab to the next.  Yet when Farrell asked me to name something fun I’d found on the internet last week, I could not think of anything!  Actually, it was only in my attempt to think of/find something that I came across the Humans of New York post I ended up using.  I’m really realizing how unfocused and unproductive this time is, to say nothing of the fact that just this morning I was reading about how the content we consume each day imprints itself onto our subconscious.  So, I am working on approaching the internet with purpose & sharpening my focus.  Setting tasks and sticking to them!

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