Upcoming Workshop

Next month I’ll be giving a workshop with Marsha Smith, LCSW at Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery.

I’m so excited present my method to use a journal to build self-esteem and self-confidence, and to hear Marsha present her method of dream interpretation! We’re going to have fun while getting empowered to get in touch with our creativity.

You can find more information and buy tickets through Eventbrite here.

A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate
A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate

A Subtle Hint

If you aren’t subscribed to my monthly newsletter yet, you might want to do that. I’m pretty excited about my upcoming August promotion, and I’d hate for any locals to miss out. You can either use the link on my blog, or sign up on my Facebook page (and give me a like while you’re at it).

We now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.

I Did Walk 500 Miles

The 12th week of the 2015 Women Out Walking program just ended and the final walk is this Sunday at the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate.

I had so much fun participating this year, and it inspired me to get out and walk on some cold, gloomy days. In the past 12 weeks I walked over 500 miles, and my step record for a single day was 30,137.

It was great to lead a walk for the public. My favorite part of this was being part of such a great community activity. I definitely plan to do it again in 2016, and I hope more of you will join me.

Logging my steps and seeing how much activity I actually did in a day was what gave me the courage to take a leap and add weights and running back into my routine. Seeing those number proved to me that I wasn’t the frail person I had been treating myself as.

It just goes to show what can happen when you try something new. Thanks, W.O.W!

Stories We Tell (Ourselves)

There’s a distinct possibility that as I type this post, I’m still riding the endorphin high of my first kettlebell class. Tomorrow I might wake up and regret ever being born (this is my number one go-to joke, my parents think it’s hilarious*), but for now I feel unstoppable. I’ve been feeling like that a lot lately; this sense that I am strong and resilient. I’ve been planning to start doing more intense cardio and weight-bearing exercises for a while now, but I was afraid to actually start.

What I realized almost immediately after class today was how many times I have told myself over the past few months that I’m still weak. That I need this or that issue to get better before I start working with weights. Basically, I’ve been telling myself, “I can’t”. For at least a month now I’ve been getting in my own way.

There was absolutely a time when I should not have been doing anything as strenuous as kettlebell or boxing. Heck, there was a time when I needed to be careful not to walk too many miles in a day! I absolutely needed to focus on restorative exercises for an extended period of time. I needed to be gentle with myself and baby myself.

But now I realize that all that restorative self-care has born fruit. I’m doing really well, and I’m ready to shift gears into building strength and endurance. It was taking the initial plunge and signing up for that first class that was the hardest part. I had to trust that I knew myself well enough at this point to know that if I was doing something harmful to myself that I would stop.

It felt so amazing to walk out the studio door this morning, on my wobbly legs, and tell myself how strong I’ve become. To stop that mental narrative of my own physical fragility in its tracks. Today I feel amazing. And tomorrow is my beloved yoga class.

*No they don’t. That’s my number two go-to joke.

Make it Social

One of the biggest pleasures of doing Women Out Walking so far has been the social aspect. Even when I’m alone, it’s so much more fun to walk knowing that I’m participating in something larger.

How can you make some of your exercise into a group activity? Local women can still sign up for W.OW.* For my other readers, there are many ways you can make fitness a social experience.

The simplest way is to start a walking group of your own. Recruit some friends and set up a time to walk together (the more frequent, the better!). You could start a private Facebook group to arrange walks and encourage each other in between. If you’re looking to meet new people, why not set something up on  Meetup?

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could ask your city’s Health and Human Services department to explore doing something like W.O.W. where you are. It’ll take organization, time, and probably some luck, but you have very little to lose.

Fun is such a key component of wellness. We often tend to overlook how important it is to achieving our goals. How likely are you really to stick with an activity if you’re bored or unhappy? If you make it fun you’ll be more likely to stick with it, and I think you’ll be happier overall.

* Speaking of W.O.W. I am leading a group walk this Sunday, May 3rd. We’re meeting in front of Heartwood Center at 9:30 am to carpool over to the North Branch trail where we will walk for approximately 60 minutes. Please come join me if you can! (Note that this event will be canceled if it rains.)


Curt’s Cafe South

By the time this post goes live, I should be in Michigan with my family (and hopefully snuggling with my favorite dog). I wanted to use this week to talk about another local business that is dear to my heart.

When I was a teenager, I had a really hard time. Without going into details, it meant a lot to me when adults told me that they believed in me. Curt’s Café South provides training and encouragement to local at-risk teen mothers, while providing healthy and delicious food for our neighborhood.

The first year is challenging for any new business, and Curt’s Café South could use all our support right now. Please consider coming to this free concert and having some nice dinner while you’re at it. The young women who work at Curt’s are so kind and enthusiastic, let’s give them all the support we can!


Women Out Walking

Isn’t is amazing how much of a difference a weather change can make? Sure, my sinuses have gone bonkers, but otherwise I feel like I’ve woken up from a deep sleep. I guess it’s easy for me to get so caught up in just getting through the winter, I forget how good I can feel when I get enough fresh air.

Speaking of fresh air, I am participating in Evanston’s Women Out Walking program this year. I’ll be a satellite member of the Heartwood team, but I plan to organize a big group walk that is open to all W.O.W participants (more info later). Additionally, I’ll be helping to woman Heartwood’s table at the kick-off event on March 21st. There are going to be weekly classes at Heartwood Center for participants as well. This is a fantastic way to have an adventure on a budget.

It’s only $5.00 to register, let’s welcome spring with fresh air and exercise!

We Love Evanston Day

WeLoveEvanston Day_square

Hey Locals! This Saturday, March 7th, is We Love Evanston Day. Evanston, IL is in 4th place in the World Wildlife Fund’s We Love Cities Competition and Heartwood Center for Body Mind Spirit  is having a special Spring Renewal event featuring some of our practitioners to help get out the vote.

Dr. Kenton Anderson will talk about living with thyroid disease, Gina Griffin-Hill, CHHC, AADP will have a clean eating workshop, and Marsha Smith, LCSW will have a group mindfulness and focusing session. The program runs from 1 pm-4 pm, the suggested donation is $10.00.

I hope some of you can make it out, let’s show WWF why Evanston is number one!

Heartwood Community Night

Heartwood Center’s next Community Night is on Oct. 7th. These nights feature different Heartwood practitioners and teachers donating their services to the community. From 5:30-7:30 pm I will be giving 20-Minute clothed bodywork sessions designed to leave the body feeling relaxed and grounded. There are five other practitioners participating that night, with offerings including: auricular acupuncture, group mindfulness practice, Thai bodywork, group stress busters, and mini health assessments. If you haven’t checked out Heartwood Center yet, this is a great time to come see it!

The suggested donations $10-$30. See Heartwood’s website for a link to RSVP.

Fun at Custer Fair

For those of you in the Evanston area, I’ll be at the Custer Fair on June 21st and 22nd from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm to help promote the new business collaboration I’m part of: Sphere Holistic Sports Medicine. Sphere is a professional collaboration between an M.D., an exercise specialist, an acupuncturist, and massage therapist and MLD therapist (hey, that last one is me!). It’s such an exciting thing to be a part of!

You can find us on Main St, next to the Wine Goddess tent. We’ll have cool tote bags to give out, and we’ll be doing wellness screenings, postural assessment, and mini massages. Please come out and say hi if you can!