Its been a while since I've written and I believe it has been exactly for its intended purpose. As I spend some time reflecting on my next steps, I find the universe sending me little signals along the way. From heartbreak to gratitude, from abundance to just enough, from letting go to letting be, from action to pause, from intention to surrender, from purpose to just being, from plan to unplanned. So much of what has happened in my life is bringing me to this exact place of unknowing and uncertainty. The one thing that I can hold onto is the NOW and in each moment I am finding more and more of exactly what I need from tears to joy.
A few days ago I woke up in the morning and for once, I actually remembered a dream I had. I rarely remember dreams and for many years, those I did remember where not good ones. So this one was a pleasure to remember and made me think a bit beyond the actual dream. In my dream, I received an unexpected box in the mail and upon opening it, I saw these stickers and labels for a business I once owned from 2006 - 2012. A business I lived with passion for and unwavering commitment to serving those who showed up every day. It was called Stroller Strides, and here were these unexpected marketing materials in this box that I had no idea why I received or what to do with it. But in my dream and even awake it certainly makes me feel good as I reminisce looking back at those times in my life.
A few months ago, I set myself on a journey of self exploration and sitting with some of the unexpected events that occurred that truly reminded me of how impermanent this world is and how easily we can become derailed by a very critical moment in time. Its no surprise, but the moments that are beyond my control have the greatest impact and become the greatest gifts too. I have become someone who turns to the NOW to find comfort. I no longer seek only what makes me happy, but also to relish and simmer in what makes me most unhappy and most uncomfortable. To stay with the discomfort I feel when someone has a mirror for me to see thru. To be grateful for those who have caused me to feel pain and worthlessness. Showing me how easy it is to give someone else your power, even when they are not in your presence. To feel so diminished yet somewhere inside you, you know there is more to still discover, is truly a gift. Without this tearing of ourselves, we are unable to truly discover the genuine work that goes into nurturing the NOW.
So what compelled me to write today you may ask? Today was one of the rare days I asked for a sign. As the universe would have it, I received it and it was something in the mail today. I simply thought it was a purchase I made that was already on its way. I have been so excited to get (the Mala beads I ordered online) so I didn't even bother to look at the packaging info i.e. sender and just tore open the padded envelope. There it was, something I was completely not expecting, yet certainly intended for ME! AHA...it was a sign, well actually a book! The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. And even tho I next looked at the mailing label and noticed it was for my neighbor, I knew I had to read this book! I recognized it from Maya's childhood years. It immediately put a smile on my face.
I took a deep breath and turned to the first page and read each word out loud as if I was reading it to the child within me. It instantly set tears in my eyes as I felt these words speak to me. The book shares the path of a caterpillar's journey to becoming a butterfly, but more then that it showed me how after all the effort that seemed to have been setbacks and even pointless at times, I was still hungry for more and that there was a very good reason for it! "He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and...he was a beautiful butterfly!"
Raising independent children isn't about making them do something they think they cant. It's about showing them how they can and giving them the confidence to experience it slowly. Kids will continue to want more independence when they believe in themselves. Our goals are to give them the proper tools and guidance. It's dangerous to just assume they are ready for all forms of independence bc their friends might be. You decide which ones are important and take one at a time so a solid foundation of goals and expectations are laid out. #parenting #lifeskills
Do you feel empowered to live your life from your heart? It is where our love lives and grows, it is where our truth can ignite our purpose, it is where our passion for life propels us forward. When it gets hard and when it gets too uncomfortable is when it is most important to listen in, take note, and surround yourself with those who will want you to speak and live from your heart. Your heart is not wasting your time, it is trying to empower you.
So excited to be working on this mini recipe book project this summer. Stay tuned on how to get your FREE e-copy!
By: Tiffany Carrasquillo
" When you're worried and you can sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessing."
White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney...I love that scene. I'm fortunate to have watched it a thousand times. That song really helps bring me back to grace when I've fallen from it.
Admit it, we all fall from time to time. No matter how much we know or what we believe or how hard we try...we can fall.
I often think about the great ones from Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, and Mahatma Gandhi, to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and every other person who faced great obstacles and broke through them by helping others.
Here we are in our daily lives facing obstacles. Some are not so bad. It just seems that way in our perspective. Yet, other times the obstacles are real threats and that's when we really have to dig deep down and find out what we are made of. Sometimes it's easy to know on the surface what it is you have to do, but deep down how do you find the "how to do it"?
The answer is simple but not easy. Such is nature and life itself. Everything in existence craves balance. From the infinite universe, to this very planet, to the tinest particles like atoms...everything needs balance. Why would an atom explode, or a hurricane begin, or an earthquake happen? What is the purpose of life and death? The answer is simply balance. When out of balance chaos begins in order to restore that balance. It's kind of an abstract and matter of fact way of thinking about it but I assure you it makes sense.
So, what are the things you feel when you are out of balance? Anger, frustration, WORRY...all products of fear. What do you do when you're out of balance? Well you are no different than the world you exist in. You can explode in a rage or outburst. You can even implode, holding it all in until your health deteriorates. Believe it or not you are craving balance.
Now, what can you do to restore balance without exploding or imploding? Maybe you can show mother nature something by leading by example. ..try this...
1. Take a breathe. Take in all the good air you can muster. Here's the sneaky part...Exhale all the garbage you are holding onto inside.
2. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Focus on the great things you have in this very moment. Anything you can say thank you for, even if it is just that you noticed a beautiful tree, appreciate it. Look for the blessings. Seek and ye shall find.
3. Give something, anything. If all you can give is a smile then you go out there and give all the smiles you can to anyone and everyone you can. You never know who's day you'll make. I guarantee your smile will be someone else's step 2 from this list.
4. Play songs that uplift your spirit. No matter how horrible we feel you know that when a sweet sound touches those ears you're forced to do step 3 and smile. Warning...this one may make you want to move or sing...whoa!!! Imagine that..giving the gift of song and dance to someone and you BOTH get to enjoy it. WOW what a world.
Ok look, pity parties are the worst. Yea it's okay to need one once and a while but don't stay too long. The company there is miserable. Sometimes you just have to sing that tune, give a smile, give thanks, and breathe through it. Before you know it someone will be writing a blog and putting your name in it under inspiring people who triumphed. Heck, write one about yourself. You deserve it.
"When my bank roll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all, and I fall asleep counting my blessings."
After a long day of teaching a full days worth of LIFiTmoms & LIFiTkids fitness classes, I got a call from my mom saying, she was going to help me out and pick up my daughter from school and then come over. I quickly realized, I have nothing already made for dinner and needed to prepare something for a few people who were coming over. It was one of our very first hot days and after a whole winter long indoor board-making pinterest adventure, I was itching to break into my BBQ and get my creative flow going. It was just before memorial day and I knew all my 21dayfix challenger clients would also be up against some of the BBQ survival challenges we all face. What do I eat at a BBQ and what can I bring? So I put myself to the test. I broke out my skewers, grabbed all my fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats, carbs, threw them on the counter and was on my way to making a FULL MEAL and a side kick glass of wine to assist!
All set to go...
lots of fun, clean options to eat...check
I wasn't too worried about the prep work, cause I knew my daughter might enjoy sliding those cubed up fruits and veggies onto the stick and the best part...NO CLEAN UP! I turned on the gas and became a grilling mama on a mission. In just 30-45 minutes...dinner was served. I knew it was a hit, when everyone was trying to figure out which skewer to grab first and the silence that took over once everyone started picking, chewing and or just diving in and pulling them apart. Here is what I used for my super fast, fun, skewer happy BBQ party. I even had left overs for the next day!
Veggies: zucchini, bell peppers, portabella mushrooms
Fruit: pineapple, peaches, plums
Carbs: corn, sweet potato, white potato
Fats: Avocado, Hummus
Oils: Olive oil, coconut oil
Enjoy, have fun and same me some left overs! For those who would like more information about our next BEACH, BBQ and BUNS challenge, please RSVP here and I will contact you with more details.
Here's my BBQ sabotage survival guide: Its time to spend more time having fun outside and lots of our moms are in need for clean eating tips & #21dayfix friendly BBQ success.
1) Bring you're own favorite snacks, dish, or veggies to share and help others see how clean eating can be delicious too. (i.e. asian coleslaw is always a hit)
2) Plate your food yourself with all the healthier options first, and then decide if the non-clean foods are worth it. You may also plan ahead knowing you've got a BBQ and replace your "yellow" or reward for this event.
3) Check out my pinterest board ideas. There are lots of skewer options and you can easily incorporate almost all the colors/ food groups (i.e. zucchini, pineapple, chicken/beef/seafood/tofu/seitan, sweet potato, Avocado, oil & seasoning =G, P, R, Y, B, O, spoon)
4) Bring a bottle of water and make it fun to drink (infuse with watermelon, fruit or an extract you like)
5) Drink your Shakeology prior to the BBQ so you don't feel starved or have your typical BBQ cravings for the snacks and chips that you'll often be surrounded by.
6) EAT - Use a small plate & know your plated portions and start to eye ball how much of each you should plate. Don't make yourself a target by not eating. People always notice the person at a BBQ not eating anything at all.
7) DON'T PILE ON THE FOOD just because everyone is or you think you'll feed your kids from the same plate. Make your kids a separate plate!
8) Help to clean up, so that the food doesn't stare you in the face the whole time.
9) Don't talk about how you're on a meal plan and don't use the word DIET, cause this is a lifestyle eating plan! This is a time to enjoy your family and friends and help them see that you are not focused on what you can not do, but what you are doing! DO TALK ABOUT your commitment to changing your eating habits and creating a cleaner lifestyle! You will help someone around you learn something new and that is a beautiful gift to share!
10) HAVE FUN! Enjoy your time and if that includes alcohol...CHEERS! Know your limits, drink a cup of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. This will help you keep away from snacking and also prevent you from drinking too much alcohol. Always BE SAFE and enjoy your time.
Enjoy the fun BBQ season and thanks for reading! Would love your ideas and comments too.
I was getting kinda bored with my meals so I decided to do the pinterest browse and stumbled on this awesome chunky portabella veggie burgers from The kitchen Whisperer, which I said...YUMMERS, I gotta try this but with my own flaired style!
3 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed
2 cups organic canned Red Kidney beans (you can use black beans too)
2 cups minced broccoli, fresh
1 cup minced cauliflower, fresh
1/2 cup red onion, minced
egg replacement mixture = 3 eggs
1/2 cup quinoa (I always have some already made in the fridge)
1/2 cup whole wheat matzoh meal (or bread crumbs of choice)
seasonings - cumin, curry, paprika, turmeric, ginger (add a steak seasoning if you prefer)
2 tbl minced garlic
3/4 cup of Daiya jack cheese, minced
*I didn't, but the original recipe called for Montreal steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce
1. large bowl mash up half the beans
2. add all veggies and rest of the beans and seasoning
3. mix until coated
4. add egg replacement, Daiya cheese and matzoh meal
5. scoop mixture into palms, press firmly together to make burgers. they need extra pressure to keep them solid.
6. Heat up coconut oil in skillet and cook each side until brown.
You can serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce. Enjoy!
How we take care of ourselves is a direct correlation to how much we can give of ourselves. Just because we are caregivers to others does not mean we are at our full potential to be caring best for them. What I mean is we must operate and care for our ourselves in the most optimal way possible in order to maximize how much we can give of ourselves to others. For example picture yourself as a Maserati. if you leave that Maserati in a garage (ie no exercise) and give it the least optimal fuel (ie nutrition).... are you really able to maximize that amazing machines potential? If our kids & loved ones are our passengers...Are you caring for your machine to live your fullest potential each day? Where can you give more to YOU?
Nothing is Impossible!