If there were ever a girl to get me moving and grooving, it’s workout/meditation/spiritual guru, Heather Lilleston. Heather is a force! Her energy and spirit is so positive, welcoming, and infectious. She is an all-around lifestyle coach if you ask me, and wherever she goes she spreads love and good vibes. Heather is best known for the Yoga for Bad People retreats, however if you get her on the dance floor, watch out. Girl’s got moves! Her newest venture is Magic Hour, at the chic, airy, Knockout LA studio space. She teaches a combination of dance, yoga, and meditation that will get your body and mind ready for Summer.Read More
Atop a beautiful mountain in the Pacific Palisades, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a distant view of the Santa Monica Pier, there is a private utopia called Surya Spa. I have never had an experience quite like this. The treatments take you away to another place. Whether it be the 4 hands hot oil massage, or their rejuvenating facials, Surya relaxes you in a way that is unparalleled, and I truly did not want to leave.
It’s the best retreat, particularly for mothers to step away and feel completely refreshed. They have the most incredible food, and prepare a healthy, nutritious lunch, that complements their treatments to perfection. This would be the ultimate mother/daughter getaway, and best present you could ever give a pregnant woman for during pregnancy in preparation for delivery, as well as postpartum to promote healing and boost immunity. Martha, who has studied Transcendental Meditation, and is devoted to the roots of Ayurveda, creates personalized oils for each client, so the experience is always unique. This feature was by far my favorite experience to date, and I hope you all get an opportunity to go try it.Read More
Food shopping changed for me once I had children. Truthfully, the way I thought about food changed altogether when I became Mama. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility to be sure everything I stocked in my home was organic, healthy, and nutritious. You are what you eat, and now I had babies to think of, so meats and fishes became rather scary to me.
It was difficult to source local fish that was fresh, low mercury, and completely all natural. Safe Catch Tuna made my life a lot easier! I feed this to my girls for a snack with lentil chips, or as a sandwich packed in their lunchbox. It is delicious, and I tend to eat it myself most days.Read More
Dr. Mary Stevenson: Phone: 212-263-7019
I think it goes without saying, that I love the sun! I always vacation in warm places, summer is my happiest season, and my body constantly craves vitamin D. That being said, each year I hear of more and more friends having skin damage, and biopsies for cancerous skin cells. Most recently, some people in my family have had to get Mohs surgery. Some of you may be familiar with Mohs, but if not, you need to get educated. We went straight to the expert, Dr. Mary Stevenson to discuss the rising rates of skin cancer, and the importance of being proactive and getting regular skin checks. She was able to take me into NYU hospital and show me slides of skin cancer under the microscope, to see what it actually looks like and how they identify the cells. It is crucial to have a precise, steady hand when performing this surgery, as many cases can be found on the face, and we all need to know the best doctors to visit. Luckily, Dr. Stevenson has had plenty of experience, was trained by the best, and does a great job of hand-holding through the process.Read More
SHAPE HOUSE: ph. 855-567-2346, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I certainly sweat enough at the Tracy Anderson Studio every morning, but a little extra can’t hurt! Everyone has told me about the positive effects of infrared saunas and sweating in general. When we sweat we are allowing toxins to leave our body, creating space for a healthy mind, and improved immunity. The infrared technology used at the Shape House allows you to sweat it out in an hour while laying comfortably, watching your favorite movie in the privacy of your own room. I was nervous at first that I might feel claustrophobic, but it was actually very zen, much like a spa experience. When I walked out of the room my face was glowing, and to my surprise I felt energized. Other benefits of these treatments are weight loss, decreased muscle soreness and deeper sleep! I’ll definitely be adding these visits to my weekly regimen.
TAKE GOOD CARE: website: www.takegoodcarenyc.com, email: email@example.com, instagram: @takegoodcarenyc
More and more, we are becoming health conscious in our homes. The new wave of natural, non-toxic products is upon us, and as a Mama, this has become increasingly important. There are so many products out there between cleaning supplies, toiletries, and makeup, and we need to choose wisely. In the U.S., the FDA standards are shocking, and we need to play a bigger role as a consumer, to read the fine lines on ingredients we are using around our children. Jenna Coviello, founder of Take Good Care, came over to educate me on the topic. Her service helps us cleanse our homes of toxic carcinogens that may have otherwise fooled us with there “all natural and organic” labels. Jenna takes every product in your home and swaps it out for the best non-toxic version of what you are using, to make your home a safer family environment. I learned so much from her, and highly recommend this home cleanse.
FERTILEGIRL: Ph. (917) 603-5526, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Instragram: @fertilegirl
Allison Kasirer is changing the way we converse and communicate about infertility through the launch of her FertileGirl superfood nutrition bars. As women, we need to communicate more and open up about these issues that have become far too common, in an effort to help each other get through these stressful times. Pregnancy has its own struggles, as we all know, but many women these days struggle to even get to that point, and Allison was one of them. Her journey to get pregnant was a difficult one, and she wanted to support women in her same position by working with fertility specialists and nutritionists to formulate these healthy, tasty bars. Her FertileGirl bars are also being used to facilitate lactation after birth, and most importantly, she has been using her site as a forum for women who want to connect and share their experiences, so they know they are not alone. Alli, you are doing great work supporting women, and I love eating your bars, even as an afternoon snack!Read More
JUVA SKIN AND LASER: 60 East 56th street, 2nd floor NYC NY 10022, ph. (212) 688-5882
All of us know that after pregnancy, our bodies need a lot of TLC to get back to normal. Some of us have a harder time than others depending on our delivery experience. I had a particularly difficult time after both of my vaginal deliveries. After my first delivery, I suffered from a urethral prolapse, and after my second, I had retained placenta and needed an emergency DNC, which left me with scar tissue damaging my uterus. Between both of these procedures, my vagina had been through the ringer! Many times I felt a weird pressure, and general feeling of discomfort in that area, and didn’t realize how many great solutions there were. BTL Ultra Femme tightens the vaginal walls to alleviate the discomfort of that pressure sensation. It is a non-invasive procedure, that has no recovery time, and only takes about 10-20 minutes in the doctor's office. This machine is located in several doctors offices, but Marianne Woodly, who I met with, works out of Juva Skin & Laser, she is very detail oriented, and has a lot of experience in this field.Read More
ROBIN BERMAN, MD: email: Robin@RobinBermanMD.com
Upon stepping into Robin Berman’s L.A. office, I immediately felt a sense of calm. I was in a safe zone, an environment that made me feel at ease and ready to talk. I imagine this is what all of Robin’s clients experience while being in her care, and hence why she has been so successful in her field for the past 15 years. Robin, who previously had a private psychiatry practice, used her knowledge and education to help guide parents in her book “Permission to Parent.” She is a “Parent Consultant,” helping others overcome their fears and insecurities on a daily basis, to become less judgmental, less guilty, less critical parents. In a world filled with “hyper parenting,” and an eagerness to be the “perfect parent,” Robin helps dissect where those feelings stem from, and then focuses on simplifying schedules in an effort to be more present with your children. Her mantra is “worry less, enjoy more!” and I’m into it!
As women, particularly mamas, we are all familiar with the pains and challenges our bodies endure both during and after pregnancy. I have suffered with numerous complications related to my deliveries that kept me struggling in my first months of motherhood, and at the time I had nowhere to turn. Between my urethral prolapse and my retained placenta, my hormones and sensations were completely out of whack. Dr. Allison Oswald opened up a clinic in Brentwood that would have saved my day. I want to provide all mothers with this resource to learn about your bodies and find balance. Allison combines her knowledge of the pelvic floor muscles, with physical therapy exercises, and pilates to strengthen and lift the pelvic floor in an effort to bring it back to it’s original place. Allison Oswald is an incredible woman, with a very special, calming, soothing energy, making her the best in this field. Go book an appointment, and thank me later!
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Energetic, Optimistic, Persistent
What inspired you to start a kombucha company?
I discovered my love for holistic and fermented foods, like kombucha, while I was in graduate school for nutrition at Tufts University. Eating fermented foods just made me feel so good and helped me develop my philosophy on health: that it really comes down to what makes you happy. I stuck to that philosophy, but didn’t realize it would be my professional calling until I found myself in corporate America in my late 20’s feeling unfulfilled, but knowing that I wanted to make a more substantial mark on the world. I formed an entrepreneur club with my now-husband, Justin, and best friend, Vanessa and as we sat around, sipping on my home-brewed kombucha trying to come up with the Next Big Thing, we suddenly realized the idea was sitting in front of us all along! A few weeks later we were in the Brentwood Farmer’s Market and Health-Ade was born!
What are your healthy snack tips?
Snacks that have fat protein and carbs satisfy cravings AND hold me off until meal time. I find that snacks that have only carbs in them just don’t do the trick and I’m never satisfied—I want more. A 1/2 avocado with truffle salt is one of my favorites, or I’ll go with cut veggies and hummus, or a piece of cheese with an apple. Sometimes straight Kombucha will do the trick—I find a glass of health-Ade Pom at 3 pm takes me from lunch to dinner with no problem. ;)
How did your son inspire your business?
Well, the business started before I had my son, so he didn’t inspire it, but being a mom has no question made me a better CEO in two ways. First, motherhood is demanding, so I'm forced to delegate work and elevate above it to lead, and direct instead. Not only does more work get done, it’s done at a higher quality. Second, motherhood is so emotional—you love your child like nothing imaginable, so the emotion tied to work becomes a little less important. I used to say Health-Ade was my baby—and it was, but nothing like Hendriks is my baby, of course. This is a good thing for me, because the less emotion I can have when making decisions at work, the more effective they are. Now I can more clearly and decisively make a call for the business and save my emotions for 6pm, when I rush into Hendriks’ arms.
What are your favorite healthy, family-friendly restaurants in LA?
I love Rustic Kitchen by the Santa Monica airport—awesome organic food, plenty of healthy and kid friendly options, and a well priced delicious wine list. I also love True Food Kitchen—never had a bad meal there and Hendriks loves it, too. Pitfire is also a go-to when it’s pizza night! The other day I went to Au Fudge in the Melrose area for the first time and was blown away! Fantastic food, options for kids and a whole supervised indoor play area for the children
What are the steps to starting a major brand like Health-Ade, for those who are moms and looking to start their own company? Please share your advice
Just like becoming a new mom has no rule book, entrepreneurial adventures have no “steps.” I’m sorry to say, but there is no right way to do it. The important thing is that you DO do it. That you believe in yourself. You prioritize the time. And you figure it out, one challenge at a time. You will have to manage your expectations when taking on more responsibility—you can’t do it all. Expect to take some risks and make sacrifices. For example, you might not be able to make dinner during the week anymore, you might need to hire a nanny that can do the shopping and the laundry, and you might have to miss those girls’ nights for a while. But if you’re dedicated and strategic, you can do just about anything (just not everything) you want, AND be a mom.
What are your favorite weekend activities with your son in LA?
Anything with him is my favorite, that’s why I love the weekend. One thing we love to do is hop on a bike and head west along Bollona Creek bike path (we get on by Centinela and Culver). It heads through the Marina, where we stop to skip stones on the water and look at boats, and finish up at the beach, where Justin and I will crack a can of good Rosé or bottle of Health-Ade and watch Hendriks run around in the sand. We usually always get on our bikes as a family on the weekend. I also love going to the Mar Vista farmers market. I find when he picks out the food, he’s more likely to eat it. We also love just chilling at home, since during the week we don’t get to enjoy it as much.
What is a typical family meal in your home?
I used to cook six nights a week. But now the demands of work and motherhood together are too much, and I was losing my mind trying to do it all! Now, I’m so much happier. During the week, I rely on my nanny to make fresh food for Hendriks, and Justin and I order our meals from Klean LA, a delicious, healthy and organic fresh meal delivery service. I love to cook, but this is something I had to give up during the week and save for the weekend. So dinner during the week is done in less than a minute—we heat up some food from the nanny for Hendriks, and Justin and I heat up our healthy and fresh ready to eat meals from Klean LA, and we eat together. I’m not wasting any more than one minute preparing food, and every extra minute at home is spent with Hendriks, which is what I wanted. On the weekend, we have fun cooking. We pick out our favorite recipes and usually get creative. Justin LOVES to grill, so we’re usually grilling some kind of meat or fish. A typical Saturday dinner meal might be grilled salmon marinated with ginger/soy/green onions, my roasted smashed potatoes with dill, and sautéed broccoli loaded with roasted garlic. Hendriks loves to partake in our weekend dinners all the same. We don’t drink during the week much anymore, so the weekend meals are when we enjoy beautiful wine, where I’m not afraid to splurge anymore. After all, if I’m only having one glass—it better be damn good!
Pay it forward and name a few favorite mentors in your industry...
So many females inspire me. Oprah, obvio. But more locally Carbon 38 founder Katie Johnson, Hedley & Bennett founder Ellen Bennett, celebrity fitness trainer Lacey Stone—who literally gets my confidence levels back up to “level full” EVERY time I see her.
How do you spend your “me” time being so busy with your growing business and family?
This is a struggle, but it’s my focus for this year and I’m happy to report it’s going well. I am working out 4-6 days a week, for one. And this was hard for me because I could never find the time. I’ve realized you CAN find the time, as long as you’re willing to get up early and be flexible. I go to a 45 min Flywheel (spin) 3 times a week at 6AM and then use Aaptiv (a workout phone ap for running and at home HIIT exercises) every other day. Aaptiv is perfect for moms because even if you only have 10 minutes, there’s a workout for you! Just commit to every day, go to sleep early, and you can do it. I also give myself a massage every other week, which as long as I plan it out, works. If it’s too hard to get to the spa for this, I get one to come to me after Hendriks is asleep. I LOVE PRIV, a mobile service app that will bring top notch facials, massages, hair styling/makeup, and even workouts to your home or work. Finally, I spend three minutes in the first hour of being awake and three minutes in the last hour of the day meditating and marinating on what I’m grateful for. I have a “I am” statement I read every morning that reminds me of what I want out of life. It centers me. For me, the best part of all of this is it hasn’t cut into my motherhood or work time much at all—it does take extra support from my husband, who has to be home getting Hendriks ready when I’ve gone to spin class, but he’s happy to do it I think because he sees how happy it makes me. Plus I always repay the favor whenever he needs time off.
When I met with Shira, I understood immediately why people gravitate towards her for advice and guidance. She is bright, warm and incredibly easy to talk to. Her new book, The Food Therapist, hits the shelves in a few days, and I have a feeling this will be a best seller. Shira is a nutritionist and dietitian in L.A. She has spent her career breaking her clients' bad eating habits and helping them find healthy relationships with food. When I sat with her, we discussed my own personal struggles with food, as we all have this complicated relationship. She informed me that when I overindulge in a “snack” day, not to stress about it because the stress will make me indulge more, and therefore have an undesired effect. She let me know that it’s important to succumb to our cravings, and be okay with it, and then get back to our healthy habits. I still have a lot to learn so I’m excited for the regimens and recipes in Shira’s book to help me along.
If you are living in L.A., and looking to learn some great recipes to plan family dinners, Pamela Salzman is your chef! Pamela, a beautiful, kind mother of three, works magic in the kitchen, and enjoys sharing her knowledge of nutrition with other women and mothers trying to keep a healthy household. Pamela holds cooking groups in people’s homes throughout L.A., where she teaches recipes from her amazing new book, Kitchen Matters. Pamela uses all natural ingredients in her meals and spreads her ideas of how to make healthy food delicious in each of her classes. Not only does her food taste great, but she dazzled me with her beautiful presentation when we were cooking together. As a mom who knows the importance of making food appealing to the kids, I couldn’t recommend a better person to teach you how to master a healthy home.
THE CULINISTAS: Instagram: @theculinistas, Email: email@example.com, Office: 120 E 13th St, NYC
We all suffer from overindulging during the holiday season. There are so many festivities all revolving around heavy drinking and eating junk food. This can lead to a downward spiral of bad habits that are difficult to change. We all say, “my New Years resolution is to be healthy and get back on track.” That is easier said than done, however we have just the right wellness duo to help you get started. The Culinistas are two lovely ladies who developed an at-home chef and prepared food service that caters to all of your health food needs at an affordable price. They have an array of fabulous chefs on staff that can either come prepare meals for your family weekly or be hired for dinner parties and special events. They have seasonal menus with a number of options to keep every member of the family happy and healthy. Even better, they can alter any dish to accommodate your dietary restrictions and food sensitivities. Happy, healthy New Year to everyone!
I love New York. I have loved this city from the moment I first arrived and as my kids were born in the big apple. The first question asked by my mother, family and friends was, “is NYC a place to raise kids?”
And I would and still say “absolutely yes.”
Being a New Yorker means being exposed to so many different cultures and different languages, different points of view, and ways of living in our world. If we look back in time, New York was a major entry point into the U.S. with people arriving from around the world with their hopes and dreams for a better life. Even today we see the many “sides” of New York and their corresponding ethnic flavors, cuisines and businesses, art and architecture.
Central Park became our garden in the spring and summer and winter playground in fall and winter. As an upper east side family, my kids grew up with great museums and art galleries, wonderful restaurants and shopping. It was and still is an amazing city to live.
Over time, with my kids attending school I began to realize just how stressful life in New York could be. It’s also a city of doing, not being. A restless city of comparison and competition. It becomes so easy to get caught in the machine of “wants and desires”. The machine that promises happiness, but not now, sometime in the future. If only my kids get into the right school and then do well at school and then get into the right next school. The extra classes and activities they need to get on and do well. The holidays, the parties and bar/bat Mitzvah, to which they will or will not get invited, which are now about the size and glamour of the event as the origins and true meaning of this rite of passage are lost in the need to compare and compete. It’s all based on doing and having and more doing and having because one day we will all be happy.
With all these pressures to keep up, we must now add technology to the mix. The iPhones and iPads, the social media networks and the addictive tendencies these evoke in us and our kids. We now live in a city that never sleeps, where we definitely know what we desire and want but have lost sight of what we truly need.
I ask myself why is New York like this. It’s known and loved as a fast city. A city full of exuberance and new ideas. A “big” exciting city, a world class city. All of this is true, but we who live here have to learn to adapt to the new pressures and stresses of living and loving at such a fast pace.
We need to realize that to fully enjoy our city, we may at times need to take a step back unhook and breathe.
We may at times need to take a look at how we allow ourselves and our kids to be high jacked by our wants and desires to fit in, be liked and approved of, at the cost of what we truly need, which is love and connection. We need to share our hopes and dreams from a place of “happiness now” not happiness when I’ve achieved this or when I get that. Try to avoid being driven by fears of not getting or losing what I want or what I have.
At this time of year let’s take a look at ourselves and city with new eyes, with a beginner’s mind and open heart. Let’s breathe into all that’s wonderful and expansive about our city, above and beyond the endless sirens, noise of road works and construction.
Let’s feel into the ever-changing yet constant heart of our city. Let’s all feel into and reimagine what is the Soul of our City and what it means to be a New Yorker today, honoring our past, without the need to be nostalgic for the past, for today soon will be the past.
Let’s really get in touch as a city, with what we need, what really has true value and meaning and celebrate this time of year like only New Yorkers can in a big hearted, big spirited way full of hope and optimism for our future and with the drive, creativity and determination to make this happen.
Most of all, however we celebrate these holidays culturally, let’s teach our kids that they are wonderful just as they are. It’s important our kids do their very best in school and pass tests and achieve academically, but not at the cost of all that makes us truly human and happy and brings real meaning into our lives.
Let’s remember to celebrate our differences with unity, coming together as one in the sharing of our minds, hearts and souls and to be still and be present to the love, hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and our love ones.
New York is still a city where all of our dreams can come true. Take time out over the holidays, for some peace and quiet to reflect and make friends with the ones who dreams. Learn to live, laugh and love and get in touch with what you and your family truly needs to engage with the energy of our city in new ways for a wonderful, healthy and very happy 2018.
NUTRITION BY NATHALIE: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ph. (212) 226-7390
People are always asking me for a great nutritionist since I like to stay fit and healthy. Diet and exercise go hand and hand in the overall goal of health and wellness. I happen to work out at Tracy Anderson with a beautiful, kind, brilliant nutritionist, who launched her practice, Nutrition by Nathalie. She has a background in psychology, which makes her very skilled in her field as she explained to me that one’s relationship with food correlates directly with one’s emotions. Nathalie sees patients one-on-one to help them create a path to a healthy bond with food. She uses cognitive behavioral therapy, food combining, exercise, supplements, cleansing rituals, and stress reduction methods to achieve her patient’s health and wellness goals. Nathalie teaches each patient how to cook and prepare their daily meals in her All Good Eats kitchen, located next to her office, so you get hands-on training on how to start your healthy diet. When I visited the kitchen, Nathalie was kind enough to teach me how to make a few immunity boosting recipes for this winter season. Her bone broth veggie soup, honey garlic broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts and green juices will help you fight off all of those germs and illnesses that the kids bring home from school.
After recent tragic events around the world and in New York City, I am often asked how do I manage to keep centered and focused on my work with so much drama and uncertainty going on? The simple answer, and often with such events, is not so simple at all, Meditation!
Through meditation, I have come to realize that life is indeed made from a series of tragic and magic moments that happen around me and to me, and most I have no control over whatsoever. What I do have control over, is how I respond to such events and use meditation as a tool or process. Meditation has helped me and my children no matter what has happened, and we have been through some very tough times together, to return to love and to maintain our innocence, that is trust in the mystery, magic and possibilities of life and creation.
With any tragic event that we are aware of and they sadly happen so often these days, we all consciously or unconsciously take a deep in breath, out of shock or disbelief, many forget to take the out breath and continue to breathe. Meditation allows us to breathe freely again and re-center.
It is so easy to get caught in the fears of the moment, especially with the speed and immediacy of news and multi-media. For me, meditating is a way to stay centered in being present in the moment despite whatever is happening around me. This practice helped me enormously when I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer.
We cannot avoid the suffering that comes out of loss and death, which we cannot easily explain because it makes no sense to us. We can take care of ourselves and be tender to the fears and anxieties, anger and rage, or shear disbelief in how violent people can be to each other. We are living at a time of inexplicable and unpredictable violent unrest and danger that can happen to any of us at any moment as we go innocently about our daily lives.
Once I mention meditation the next question is oh that’s so difficult or so out there or how do you meditate, or how can I do that when I’m far too busy? I answer simply by saying if you can breathe and relax you can meditate.
Meditation is for me the fastest way to become centered and to be and stay present to what really matters in life and to realize in this moment I am safe and free from harm.
Clearly if I were in the middle of a violent or dangerous event my first instinct or advice to you would not be to meditate. But, I can tell you that meditating over time really helps in moments of high stress or danger to respond with what Buddhists call “ the spontaneity of right action!”
Once alone and safely back at home I believe and experience meditation is the best thing to do to return to my center and feel safe in my surrounding. It gets me out of being hijacked and stuck in my biological, animal and instinctual response to freeze, flee or fight and all the behavioral expressions of these that we experience as humans.
There are many ways to meditate and I would encourage you to explore. For me, these days life is a meditation, but for those who would love to develop a practice to begin to learn the principles and fundamentals of meditation below are some simple suggestions.
Being still and focusing on our breath is the place to start. With breath awareness, we return to the most essential thing human beings need and that is breathing. We can last days without water and some of us weeks without food but no one can last long without breathing.
As I focus on my breath, my body slows down as I control my breathing my body responds immediately and lets go and relaxes. This may take time for some but the investment of time and patients with oneself is well repaid through meditation.
Focusing on our breath we focus on our prana or "life force" and what we focus on expands, be it fears, anger, anxiety, happiness and love.
We all know the feeling of being in the zone and mostly we like or rather love the outcome of anything that comes out of this moment of being in the Zone.
All we do with a calm state of mind we seem to achieve better results more easily with better flow and more success with ease.
To understand the value and importance of a daily meditation practice is powerful for us as parents and for our little ones to benefit from and for the quality of life we all want to get in touch with but stressful events minor or major can distract and derail us from time to time.
Meditation is a great way to take a moment to reflect and to collect oneself to get back on track.
I even teach meditation to my kids who love to sit with me and share such precious moments of stillness, peace and energetic togetherness. It creates real energetic bonding, just try it.
Simply by connecting to your breath consciously will make a huge difference in your life in any situation. There are so many different techniques and kinds of meditation and research shows that meditation improves our quality of actions and decision making in many ways. There are also now many researchers proving that meditation has many health benefits and can improve the speed of recovery from illness and surgery by up to twenty percent.
As we begin by simply focusing on our breath and breathing we relax and begin to experience quieting of our minds. Some minds don't give in to being quiet so easily, so this may take time. I recommend at first to see thoughts as clouds simply moving through the sky. Some thoughts like clouds are light, others can be dark and heavy, but for those of us that have flown we know that above the clouds there are blue skies and in daytime the sun is always shining.
Quieting our minds brings a sense of inner peace a place from where we can begin to accept the world as it is and be free from the need to obsess about why things happen as they do if there is no logical answer or way of knowing. As the serenity prayer explains we begin to accept the things we cannot change and develop a courage to change the things we can. Most importantly, we gain insight to know the difference between the things we can and cannot change or control. Meditation is not about being passive! It is about gaining insights and skillful means to be proactive and not reactive, in responding to events and how we can use our resources and energy wisely to make a real difference in our world as we so choose.
I remind myself with a simple inner ritual to get to my heart center, that you can follow at first and then develop your own when you have experienced the benefits of meditation and gained confidence to explore and be playful. There are no rights or wrongs, just what works for you. Each stage I breathe slowly through until I feel at peace to continue with the next.
“I am breathing freely and I let go of tension in my body with a huge sigh.
My mind is now becoming quiet and I let go of my thoughts as they arise.
I accept the world as it is and not the way I believe it should be
I love and accept myself just as I am.
I love and accept others just as they are.
My Heart is open to expand and receive .
I choose now to be here in bliss as I feel my heart opening and expanding.
I breathe into this expansion and allow anything other than love in this moment to fall away” .... With meditation less is more.
Breath awareness, making the mind still, being open to accept the truth and loving and accepting myself and others as I am and they are, really opens my heart and brings great emotional awareness and healing.
As the Buddha said .... “Look within and be still. Free yourself from fears and attachment and then know the sweet joy of the way!”
FERTILITY TOGETHER: Email: Leyla@fertilitytogether.com, Ph. (201) 638-8618, Instagram: @fertilitytogether
I have so many friends who went through fertility issues. It seems as if it’s more common than not these days, and the process can be very daunting. I’ve heard them discuss all of the hormone shots they need to give themselves daily, the specific dietary restrictions, and the emotional roller coaster they go through hormonally. It is such a tough time for women, and until now I’ve never heard of a company that provides support specific to fertility problems. Leyla Bilali is a registered nurse who has worked at RMA in NYC for many years. She has seen the women who struggle with having so many unanswered questions, and she has found a way to meet their needs. Fertility Together is a concierge consulting service that aims to make life easier for women going through IVF and other hormone treatments. Leyla does home visits and administers all of the shots, helps answer all fertility-related questions at any time of day, and helps guide you in beneficial eating habits. She is a true life saver!
LOVE WELLNESS: email: email@example.com
For whatever reason, we all steer clear of the word vagina. I’m not sure why this discussion is such a faux pas over the years, as it’s a crucial part of the woman’s body, but we are going to try to change that for you. Vaginal hygiene is something Lo Bosworth, creator and founder of Love Wellness, has improved with the help of her gynecologist and homeopathic doctor. She is providing women with an all-natural kit, which includes suppositories, pills, cleansers, and towelettes that cure chronic yeast infections and prevent bacteria from entering the vagina. Many of us, including myself earlier in my life, suffer from chronic urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Whether they come from sex, working out in wet clothing, sitting in wet bathing suits, or our nutritional habits, we are all familiar with the itchy, unpleasant feeling affiliated with yeast. Monistat, Diflucan, Acidophilus and all of the medicines we know to be helpful with these infections are pumping so many chemicals and unnatural substances into our bodies, so let’s all be thankful that Lo has created something healthful for us to use to cleanse our bodies from the inside out.Read More
Our children as babies are born very dependent on us, their parents.
New discoveries in neurobiology and psychology have lead doctors, scientists and psychologists to discover and establish that the healthy bonding with parents in the first two years of a child's life is so important for the healthy development of our children.
Mothers and grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers have always known they have the most important, demanding and beautiful role to play in bringing up a child and now science is confirming to us the importance of loving nurture in the emotional, social and cognitive development of our children. The Beatles got it right with " all you need is love".
The way to develop and grow a strong bond with a baby and young child is not rocket science, it's common sense. We can make it a lot easier if we take time to make ourselves present and available.
It's hugging, gentle touching with skin to skin contact. It's the soft voice of a mother singing and tender smiles at night. It's the eye to eye contact when feeding and giggles during the day. It's the playfulness at bath time. These all may seem simple and obvious, but it is now known these precious moments are building bonds and connections in making your child feel safe and at the same time building emotional strength and resilience.
New science has established that by the age of three our child's brain has reached 90% of its adult capacity. This highlights the need for us to give as much love and affection in these early developmental years as we possibly can. We all want to buy nice baby clothes and toys and decorate a new room, but it is the simple gift of our loving presence that is so important to our young children.
In my practice as an energetic healer I have so many clients coming to me with discomfort that we carefully trace back to early issues with a lack of childhood bonding. I work with many symptoms like anxiety, depression, addiction, perfectionism, feelings of abandonment and even low self-esteem, that can be rooted in the lack of bonding we receive as a child.
We started last week's article on self-acceptance deliberately, for self acceptance opens us up to be fully present and understanding of our own needs which in turn opens us up to be fully present and aware of the needs of others, especially our little ones.
As mothers these days, we have so little time to prepare for motherhood. If we are fortunate, we still have a close and honest relationship with our own mothers, and if we are especially fortunate we also have a close relationship with a grandmother.
Sadly today, very few of us live or feel close to our families and communities of origin so the usual way we would learn as future mothers to mother is limited. It is therefore important not to isolate or try to do it all by yourself alone as we do in big cities. Bonding with a community of other mothers helps for sharing your experience early on and is very important for our own growth as a parent. It is important to share your feelings with others you trust. Some mothers experience mixed feelings in having a child. It's good to share these and not judge yourself at such a time of hormonal imbalances.
Many mothers will at some stage go through the baby blues. This is normal and passes within a few days or weeks. Make sure you are gentle and tender with yourself at this stage. Don't fight it. A simple mantra like " this too shall pass" will remind you this is not forever. For me, it came after forty days with each child when the feelings of euphoria wear off and there is a realization that one's life will never be the same again. Childbirth always has with it many strong feelings and mixed emotions and in most cases these feelings balance out over the first few months. Approximately 15% of woman in the USA will experience some form of postpartum depression or PPD which is more serious and these women should be encouraged to receive help. If left unattended, a mother can really suffer with PPD. So, moms there is no shame in asking for help and no honor in suffering silently.
I mentioned earlier in this article that it is our love and presence that our newborns needs for nourishment on so many different levels and if we have just one child we can often focus and do this well. However even with one child, our husbands or partners will feel the special exclusive bond we all have with a newborn child and we must be aware of this dynamic and make sure we do not drop the bond we have with our partners. Even the most loving partner will react when they see and feel the unconditional open intimate love a mother shares with her new baby . Many wish they too could experience such love and intimacy, so it is important to make time to be with your partner even if it's for a short walk, warm hug or a meal out together. Our children feel safer when they experience and feel the close bond and love with their parents.
Often this can be as simple as including our partner and sharing the love we have so our partner can also give love to our child in their own way and be included. This may seem simple but we as mothers need to be aware of reaching out to partners in small ways even when we will not feel like doing so to stop our partners from feeling dropped or even abandoned.
Keeping bonding and connection with our partners is very important, but what about keeping the bond with our other children? Depending on the age of your other children they will feel the change in connection with their mother in different ways before and most definitely with the arrival and presence of a new child. As a rule it's a good investment of time to include your child or children in the lead up to birth, to talk through the birth itself, sharing the birth experiences you had with them and caring for the new arrival in the family.
As much as possible, make it an inclusive experience that each child feels they have an important special part to play. Use story telling to get your points across and even though you will be tired, make sure you keep track of your other children's reactions and make small adjustments as you go rather than wait for a huge emotional reaction from your other children. One way to help the process, is to remind everyone that we all are different and have unique gifts to share. As with our partners, our children will have mixed feelings about the new arrival. On one hand feelings of love, caring and excitement, and on the other hand, feelings of being displaced or overlooked or not acknowledged or even envy, jealousy and resentment. It's important not to make the feelings of your younger children wrong, but to listen to them and get to understand their fears and vulnerabilities at such a time. We all know having a new baby is so time consuming and there will most likely be times when you are exhausted, but taking time out with your partner and other children will save so much time and heartbreak in the future and will help bring about self-healing with your own childhood experience.
In remembering even when we are stressed out, exhausted, frustrated and tired, we all have available to us the ability to choose love and kindness knowing that this is what makes for a happy bonded child and family. This is an admirable aim and I know through first hand experience, at times we will all fall short of reaching such a goal. At times, this is going to seem or be impossible, but it's so important even when we react from a place other than love we quickly remember to start over again and not to be so hard on ourselves and in such a moment demonstrate self-love, for our kids do what we do, not what we say....