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Relax! And Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Blog, Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Manifesting, Personal Development, Stress Reduction | 2 comments

Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Do you ever wonder how some people seem to came up with amazing ideas, businesses or products? “How did he/she think of that idea, and then implement it?  Why didn’t I think of that (and DO it)?”

And, at the same time, have you ever noticed that when you really need to come up with an idea or solution, you just can’t? When you desperately need an answer, when you’re trying oh-so-hard to figure out something – a blog title, the perfect product to sell, a solution to a problem – your brain won’t act on demand?

Why is that?

 
Well, for all of the above, it’s the same reason. It’s why we can’t find an outfit we like for a party this weekend or tailored black pants for a presentation tomorrow, and yet can find 5 outfits and 5 pairs of black pants we love any other time, when we don’t really need them.

It’s why goals and dream boards don’t work if we continually fixate on them, rather than giving them room to breathe.

It’s why it’s hard to find a solution in an argument if we continually keep talking in circles, rather than taking a break for a few hours.

When the pressure is on and we’re tense, solutions can’t flow to us – we’re too wound up and impenetrable for an idea to come through.  It’s as if we have a force field around us – keeping out good ideas.  In contrast, when we’re relaxed, doing or thinking about something else, when we don’t need that cocktail dress or black pants and when we’re not fixated on the problem or desire, the solution simply “pops” into our mind.

I have found that love and being in a relaxed, non-resistant state (see my video) is the answer for almost everything – from extremes such as major life challenges, to minor things like the title of a blog (which I’m stuck on right now :)  And this same concept of non-resistance and putting the body into a relaxed state, is also how the best ideas can come in.

3 Ways Get Revolutionary Ideas To Magically Flow to You

 
Here are my favorite ways to get my creative juices flowing.  All 3 things “shut down” the thinking brain and involve a repetitive motion that quietens the conscious mind.  We think we need our thinking brain/conscious mind to find a solution, when in fact, it’s the exact opposite. We need to turn it off…and relax.

1.  Go For a Run or Jog

IMG_0209 (1)

…or any exercise that doesn’t require thinking and allows you to “space out”.  Interesting, team sports, a tennis game or even a dance class don’t work as well for this exercise, because your brain is actively involved during each of those.

So why does running/ jogging work?  Firstly, you usually start to feel really good about 10-15 min into the run when the endorphins start kicking in.  When you feel good (why I’m such a believer in doing what makes us happy as it quickly raises our vibration), you’re naturally in a relaxed / non-resistant state and everything flows better, including incoming ideas.

Secondly, the repetitive motion of running shuts down the thinking mind and allows the subconscious mind to start providing answers. It’s as if the conscious mind has to be sent to the back of the room so the subconscious mind can have room to dance freely at the front of the room.

At least 50% of my best ideas have come in while I’m running – ideas for my business, new products, programs, solutions to challenges, team building / leadership ideas.  So…of course I make sure I run at least once a week :))  It helps keeps me fit, healthy (part of my 3:2:1:1 exercise philosophy – 3 cardio, 2 weights, 1 mind-body-spirit, 1 day off), and feeling mentally and emotionally clear – which of course helps in all aspects of life as well.

Important:  You don’t have to run very fast – I only run between 30-40 min, 1-2 times per week, with music, and have a steady, but not super fast pace. Start with only 20 min if you’re new or just restarting exercise.

Action Steps:

  • Schedule a 30-40 min run or walk this week, in your calendar.  Block it out right now in your calendar and commit to trying it for 3 weeks in a row – especially if you’ve never done this before.
  • Run, jog (or walk) quickly enough to get the endorphins going and notice what magical ideas come in.  And how great you feel after, and how well your day – business and life.

Tip:  Yoga also works.  The poses help quieten our mind, we RELAX (non-resistant state) and then ideas can come in.

2.  Wash the Dishes or Take a Shower

Something we all do everyday – at least the shower part, if not dishes ?  Again, it’s the repetitive motion (washing dishes or ourselves), but also the repetitive SOUND and feeling of water that quiets the mind and puts us almost into a slightly trance/hypnotic state (you can wash dishes and get in and out of a shower on auto-pilot and have everything done without even “thinking” about it).

This is again when the best ideas can come in b/c we’re doing something that doesn’t require thinking or effort-ing.  With less effort-ing (important concept for life), our brain literally relaxes, we relax and ideas can flow in more easily.

Less Effort-ing + More Relaxing = Magical Ideas

(click to tweet it!)

Action Steps:

  • Don’t overthink this one.  Just shower or hand wash dishes as normal.
  • Let your mind wander as it wants, without forcing any ideas.
  • Simply notice what ideas come in and be curious. That’s all that is needed. Wait, Watch. Wonder.

3. Lay Down

Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Ahhh…my other favorite ?  I’ve found this especially valuable for women b/c it relaxes our pelvis + womb – our center of power, creation and life-force.  I image this would work just as well for men though too – as it’s also your center of power, creation and life-force.

I use this not only for ideas, but for anytime I’m feeling stuck, stressed or upset…tired, frustrated…really for everything :)   It is one of the quickest ways to relax the body (putting us into a non-resistant state) – I can feel the tension drain from my body in 30 seconds.  It’s extremely effective and one of the easiest things we can do in any given day – both for health AND ideas.

Action Steps:

  • Try laying down on your bed, or floor, for 2-5 min (that’s all it takes) at least once a day – to get used to this habit.  Again, notice, be curious.  Wait, Watch, Wonder.
  • Use this super easy practice anytime you feel any negative emotion – stress, tiredness, overwhelm, stickiness…don’t let it’s simplicity fool you – it’s one of the most powerful exercises I’ve come across. Interestingly, the most simple things are usually the most effective.

Now What?

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.35.04 PM

When the idea comes in, you MUST ACT on it right away.  This is the most important thing. Most people never act on it – they wait a couple of days and then the energy is gone, they over think it and find all the potential challenges, they tell someone else, who shoots their idea down…and of course they then never do it.

When inspiration comes in, especially anything that makes you feel excited, expansive and energized, you HAVE to act on it right away. You must take at least one tiny little step towards it, that day.  It’s divine inspiration – and if you don’t act on it, the universe will find someone one else to flow the beautiful idea to and through.

Regard any hunch, intuition, or idea that gets your blood pumping as being absolutely precious.  Tony Robbins says, “Never leave the scene of an idea without taking action” which gives a practical twist to a spiritual concept.

Action Steps:

  • Write down any ideas that have come to you this week.
  • Notice especially the ones that make you feel energized, buzzy, excited and expansive.
  • For those, take an action step towards them that same day, and at least 5 days a week until you bring it into reality.

What about you?  How do your best ideas come in? Do you have any questions on the tips above? What do you do to make sure you take at least 1 action step towards them so that your great idea becomes a reality?

Comment here – I love to hear and anything you share or ask will help our whole community!

Eek – our Dance, Life Design + Breathwork Retreat in Thailand, June 2016 is only 2.5 months away! Read about all the details here.

Create A Life You Love Retreat 2017 – we’re pretty sure we’ll be having in Tulum, Mexico!  Get on the list here to be the first to know of our NEW destination and first dibs on registering.  This one will sell out quick!

Til our next blog…

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall
 

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Dance To Create A Life You Love

Posted on Nov 13, 2015 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting | 2 comments

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 6.27.44 PM

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Create A Life You Love™ is all about intentional life design and co-creating with the universe in the areas of:

  • Purpose
  • Health + Wellness
  • Career / Business + Money
  • Passions + Creativity
  • Relationships
  • Personal Development
  • Lifestyle + Adventure
  • Spirituality

So what’s Dance got to do with intentional life design??

Well, one of the keys to manifesting — in addition to clarity + action — is being in a state of non-resistance / love, so that YOU are not the one blocking the flow of what you want.

So that YOU are not the obstacle.

Quick Review: Intention + Attention + No Tension* (i.e. Clarity + Action + Non-resistance/Love) = Easeful Manifesting.  For my video that more thoroughly explains The Power of Non-Resistance/ Love, click here.

What are some of the easiest ways to get into a state of Non-Resistance/Love?Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.02.25 PM

Feeling Joy.  Being Happy.  Feeling Alive.  And besides some of my other favorite ways of feeling joy right now (gratitude, loving connection and petting CATS :)) dance is one of the quickest ways to get happy. And to feel utterly amazing about yourself, life and everyone around you – which just helps everything work.

That’s why Create A Life You Love™ has Dance at the core – because Dance has the ability to shift our state so quickly AND to increase the speed of manifesting.

3 Ways Dance Increases the Speed of Manifesting

1. Dance Instantly Raises Your Vibration

Moving your body, breathing more fully, dancing to great music, connecting with others on the dance floor – there is almost nothing that can shift you so quickly, into an open-hearted, happy state. When you hear a song you love on the radio or grocery store or dance class, your body can’t help but want to move – it puts a smile on your face and through every cell. One of the best ways to shift a bad mood, is simply to dance – you just can’t feel negative when you hear a song like this and let your body get up and dance to it.

Try it right now. Click here and see if you just want to get up and dance :)

2. Dance Connects You To Your Essence

“To Dance is to be out of yourself.  Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.” ~Agnes De Mille

The closer we can get to our essence – who we really are – the more authentic, real and self-expressed we feel. And when we do anything from our essence, from the center of who we really are, the universe responds. It wants us be fully ourselves. And it feels so good when we allow ourselves to really be who are we — and to be seen for who we really are.

It’s no mistake that I met my partner at Ecstatic Dance. It’s no mistake that that 80% of my clients and coaches have come from my dance classes or have been a connection from someone who came to my dance classes, workshops or retreats.

Our true essence – the most joyful, open to possibility in life, powerful, sensual, embodied, vibrant, loving and connective part of us – comes out in dance. This helps you feel GREAT in the moment, but you also literally become a magnet for what you want in relationships, business and life – because energetically you are being the most real and true you.

3. Dance Helps You Stop Trying To Be Perfect

Of course, there are beautiful kinds of dance that require exactness, such ballet and performing. However for this example, I’mScreen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.15.23 PM
referring to dances that anyone can do and that really encourage you to let go and move from your heart instead of your head: SexyFit™ Dance, Free Dance, Zumba, Ecstatic Dance, NIA, Brazilian Zouk and just madly dancing in your living room :) They’re not about perfection. They’re about how it FEELS rather than how it LOOKS. They’re about having fun, expressing yourself, letting go and feeling connected to your dance partner.

And this has a direct impact on how we live our lives.

Why is this important? Our life improves 1000x’s over when we stop caring what people think. When we stop putting more value on how we look to others, rather than how we feel to ourselves. When we stop living how others think we should live our lives. If this is all dance did for anyone, it would be enough.

Dancing from your heart helps you forget about looking good and instead focuses you on just having fun in and with your own body. Ironically, this makes you an even better dancer. I bring free dance into every dance session I teach as it’s the quickest way to face your fears, lose your inhibitions and find your own essence and style. It’s often the hardest thing for people to do in a dance class initially, and then their favorite part of the class.

And in the same way, manifestation requires that you let go. Yes, you get very clear on what you want and take action, but skillful manifestation requires not being attached to HOW it looks or HOW it comes to you.

Skillful manifesting also puts priority on feeling good along the journey. “The journey has to feel like the destination you want” ~ Abraham Hicks. The is exactly the feeling you experience when you let go and enjoy dancing – specifically when you’re not focused on perfection or “looking good”.

Dance has been one of the most important things in my life for:

1. Feeling joy now + raising my vibration
2. Feeling self-expressed, in my essence and who I truly am
3. Letting go of the idea that I need to be perfect to be loved, respected or valued
4. Focusing on having fun and enjoying the moment/journey
5. Learning that how I FEEL is much more important than how it LOOKS
6. Meeting my partner :)
7. Growing my business, client base and brand
8. Living my life for me, not for other people
9. Feeling the Fear & Doing It Anyways
10. Creating + Living A Life I Love

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Dance teaches us so many lessons about life and manifesting – and those lessons naturally becomes part of our being. Your muscle memory gets stronger every time you dance, you have more fun, are more relaxed, more yourself – and you’ve done it all through something that is pleasureful, embodied and something we’ve done since the beginning of time.

Intentionally creating and living a life we love is one of the most important things we can do. And Dance makes it 100x’s more easy and enjoyable.

Over to you – I would LOVE to hear from you.  Your comments always inspire me and help others:

  • Why do YOU dance?
  • What has dance done for you? How has it helped you in your life?
  • Are you inspired to take a dance class after reading this? Why, What Kind and By When?

PS We’re headed to Australia for 3 months of studying Brazilian Zouk with 2 teachers I’ve wanted to learn with for ages. I’m so, so excited about this as it’s been on my CALYL – Do The Crazy Thing List for 2 years!  Then we’ll be back in Bali in March and I’ll be teaching SexyFit™ Dance + Brazilian Zouk and of course always, Create A Life You Love™. Then we’re off to Thailand for our Activating Grace – A Dance, Sound Healing, Breathwork + Life Coaching Retreat in June.

I hope to dance with you somewhere in the world in the next 6 months!

See you in the comments below

*The original “Intention + Attention + No Tension” phrase comes from one of my favorite books, The Passion Test, by Janet Attwood.

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall
 
 

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Upcoming Event: 1 Day Tao Retreat For Women

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development | 0 comments

I am heading to Belgium soon and am so excited to invite you to this special day that my gifted and close friend Kathleen and I will be offering while I am there!

Kathleen and I will be joining our passions and skills together in a workshop to help women live, love and work from their center, without losing themselves in our ever-busy and increasingly frenetic and demanding world. All of the exciting details are below:

1 Day Tao Retreat for WomenCarmen Dance
Beauty & feminine strength from the inside out

How can you be both successful + powerfully feminine and stay connected to your truth and your own rhythm? How can you achieve what you want in life and still feel balanced and nourished at the same time?

It starts with a desire to live your life in balance and beauty.

It starts with a longing and and a deep knowing that you CAN live your life in a different way.

It takes practice.

And it evolves magically when we come together in a nurturing space to learn, share, embody and integrate.

During this 1 day event, you will be treated to ancient healing Tao exercises, dance and powerful life design to help you reconnect with your core feeling of the feminine, your abundant energy, your life force, your joy, and happiness.

I will be sharing my two passions: Dance + Create A Life You Love | Dance & Intentional Life Design. In addition to vibrant and nourishing dance (that will affect all aspects of your life), I’ll be doing sessions on how to have a clear vision for your life, how to be powerfully feminine and how to embody a magically and powerful strong-soft energy to reach your goals.

Meet KathleenKathleen Z

Kathleen is one of the most impactful and gifted bodyworkers I have ever worked with – worldwide. Not only is she one of my dear, dear friends, but I respect and value her skills. I have wanted to collaborate with her for over year, after experiencing her gifts first-hand when I was Belgium last year.

With Kathleen’s work and experience as a Tao Instructor and Bodywork Practitioner, she will guide you to a beautiful place in you, through body awakening exercises including healing sounds, ovarian breath, breast massage and meditations.

Beauty, sensuality, wisdom & inner strength from the inside out, is a state of being we love to share with you.

Here are the details:

When:
Friday 2nd of October 2015
9:30 AM till 6:00 PM.

Where: Borgloon, Belgium Kathleen’s private practice studio

Investment: $140 USD or 120 €.

Registration is now open but is truly limited in space as we are using Kathleen’s private practice studio.

You can register by emailing: kathleen.zwakhoven@telenet.be
Or calling: 0032/(0)478246155

Lots of love and hope to see you in Belgium!

Carmen Marshall

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The State Of Non-Resistance + The Power Of Love

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 14 comments

state-of-non-resistance
 

Hello Beautiful Friends!

 
Thank you so much for all of your comments in last week’s video on my blog and YouTube (watch: “How To Shake A Bad Mood”).

When we are in stressful or frustrating situations, we tend to become really resistant to EVERYTHING in life. Thus, making manifesting, creating, and living the life we want to seem like it’s not working or that it’s more difficult than it should be. So, we need to consciously practice being in a state of non-resistance. And then take it one step further, and be in a loving state.

This week’s video blog is really an explanation in response to all of those questions into 1 solution or strategy to try. It’s a little longer this week, but really worth your time (I hope!).
 

How do you know if you are in a resistant state?

1. If things aren’t flowing
2. If you’re irritable, tense, mad at different people
3. If you’re not happy

Today, I’m talking to you about my personal experiences and ways I’ve put this strategy into practice, and then, what happens when you do. It’s truly amazing because when we are able to shift inside – shift our mood, vibration, and energy – magic happens.

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Life Coaching Meets the Wellness Industry

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Personal Development | 2 comments

 

Want to learn the principles & practices every successful Wellness or Fitness Professional knows & uses?  Ever wished you could spend in-depth, intimate time with Wellness Professionals who walk their talk and have hugely successful health empires, to learn how they really did it?

2 Days Left to Register!  

This 4-pack tele-course, beautifully spread over a month for integration and implementation, is designed to get you up close and personal with three health professionals who are at the top of their game.  Each call will explore their “secrets” and processes for building a successful and congruent wellness empire.  Whether you’re a health coach, wellness practitioner, Zumba® teacher and/or growing a USANA business, these calls will help you BE and DO what it takes to have a rockin’ business.

And…with my discount code (CM104PACK), the 4 week program is ONLY $90, which brings it down to ONLY $22.50 per tele-seminar!  Pretty cool huh? Yoga studios in the OC charge that for a 1 hour class alone – so it’s an amazing price.  Each tele-seminar will get you into the HEAD of each woman and give you a chance to ask questions.  ANd…you’ll eave  each call with integration exercises to get you into ACTION.

I’ll be the guest speaker on Week 3.   Each call builds to the next, but don’t worry at all if you can’t be on all the calls.  Your registration (BEFORE the series starts) includes the recordings to listen to for a month…which I highly recommend doing.  Play the calls at least once again as you’ll pick up new principles and practices from each expert when you “re-listen”.

All the details: 

Life Coaching Meets The Fitness and Health Industry

If you are a fitness or health professional, you are on the front lines of the health revolution. Thank you. The world is literally dying for this breakthrough in self care and empowerment and you are leading the way. At Handel, we teach leaders to get the job done through developing and fulfilling their own heartfelt dreams. We also teach you how to bust through your own excuses and show others how to do the same. Harnessing the power of your body, mind and spirit, there is nothing you can’t do.

This 4-week teleseminar series is designed to teach you how to be the successful and inspiring fitness or health professional you desire to be. There are certain principles and practices every successful fitness or health professional knows and uses. You’ll be hearing from the best so you have every tool you need. President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, Laurie Gerber (and recent MTV True Life coach) will be joined by a group of experts: Patricia Moreno, Stephanie Levinson and Carmen Marshall to rock your world.

Four weeks starting Wednesday, June 6
2-3pm ET (11-12pm PT, 12-1 MT)
Led by: Laurie Gerber with special guests Carmen, Patricia and Stephanie.
Price: $100.00

SAVE $10 WITH PROMO CODE: CM104PACK

REGISTER HERE: http://www.handelgroup.com/events/life-coaching-meets-the-fitness-and-health-industry

Only 2 Days left!  You will want to register NOW, so that you receive your homework questions to “pre-frame” the course. Also, HG does not accept registrations after the first call starts – so make sure to register BEFORE.
 
“Hear” you soon!  I’m looking forward to answering your questions and helping you have the successful, vibrant and inspiring business and lifestyle that you want.
 
And this time I’ll be calling in from Maui!
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Surviving the Holiday Season – Part 1

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition | 1 comment

    The Holiday Season can bring up feelings of both excitement and dread as we think about how we’re going to navigate the next month. So… what if this year was different than any other year – what if you not only survived December 2011, but THRIVED? What if it was easier and FUN to be healthy this year? Here is Part 1 of my best tips that I’ve been using with clients and personally for years…stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

  1. Have A Plan: For each event, create a “wellness plan” that works for you.  For example, what are you going to eat before a party to minimize cravings, what new healthy recipe are you going to bring to your friend’s house, how are you going to work out during the holidays at your parents or in laws house?  And remember, just maintaining your weight during the holiday season is wonderful, you don’t have to lose weight.  I actually recommend to my clients to NOT add extra stress to themselves by trying to lose weight during the holidays.  Instead, just focus on maintaining your weight, staying healthy and feeling great during the season.
  2. Keep Consistent: When we are busy/stressed, our health habits are even MORE important.  For example, during the holidays, I am even more vigilant about taking my Multi-Vitamins & Fish Oil* morning and night, stabilizing my blood sugar first thing in the morning with my breakfast smoothie*, using nutrition bars* for snacks to keep my energy high and cravings at bay.  I know I need high-quality vitamins & minerals, anti-oxidants and good nutrition even more during this season.  I also continue to eat low-glycemically and eat lots of greens and raw foods – everything I do on a day to day basis, however, I am even more vigilant with my health habits during the holiday season.
  3. *Of course, my personal choice for these are the USANA MyHealthPak, Fish Oil, Nutrimeal Shakes and Nutrition Bars that I’ve using and recommending to my clients for over 12 years. Visit your USANA shopping cart or contact your USANA Representative today to purchase USANA products at wholesale prices.

  4. Schedule Your Exercise: When we exercise, we feel better, so you’ll be less likely to use food to “feel good”.  And if you do over-eat, exercise is the best way to detox the body quickly and move everything through and out of your system.  Schedule “appointments” with yourself in your calendar during the holiday season. What if…for the whole month of December, you exercised at least 5 days a week for at least 30 min, no matter what?  How would how you FEEL on Jan 1st after doing that?  Who could you enroll to do this with you?
  5. Do Double Duty: Use your healthy habits as a way to connect with family and friends.  Call a friend before a party and decide to be “health buddies” for that outing.  Make your Mom (& Dad) a healthy smoothie Christmas morning.  Gather your whole family to go for a walk after your holiday dinner, or do a Zumba video together – which will make everyone laugh hysterically.
  6. Nix the All or Nothing Mentality: When we overindulge, a common response is to keep going…because we’ve already “ruined it”. Remember that just because you ate that piece of cake, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat the entire dessert table. One meal/desert doesn’t make you gain weight, it’s what you do the day after and the day after that…so by getting back on track the next day, you’ll be absolutely fine.  Don’t beat yourself up, just ask yourself the next morning, “What would a healthy person eat and drink today?  What would they do to feel GREAT?”  Then DO it.  BE a healthy person.  Then you’ll BE healthy.  Little actions add up.
  7. Fill the Void: Offer to bring healthy appetizers to parties and family get-togethers. Foods that are harvested in the fall are packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants (i.e. pumpkin, squash, apples, sweet potatoes) and there are so many yummy low-glycemic recipes out there, you won’t even miss your old favorites!  Check out Elizabeth Rider’s NEW Vegetarian, Low-Glycemic, Gluten Free Kindle Cookbook coming out THIS Wednesday.  It’s only  $9.99 – you can’t beat that price for the wealth of recipes you will have  – and they’re all completely SexyFit™ compliant of course!

And to get help you reach your 2012 Health Goals, my next SexyFit Nutrition Program is coming up soon! Here’s all the info:

New Year SexyFit™ Nutrition Program

Getting You Healthy, Happy and Vibrant in 30 Days!

Sunday, January 15 – Monday, Feb 13th (Prep Week starts Jan 7th)

  • Registration Opens Wednesday, December 14th and Ends Tuesday, January 3rd at midnight
  • All Participants with receive their login details on Saturday, Jan 7th to start with Goal Setting and Prep Week content.  The full 30-Day Program starts Sunday, January 15th with our evening prep call, and the 5 Day RESET Cleanse will start on Monday, January 16th.
  • Read the 30-Day Program Details here
  • Space is Limited, so mark your calendars now for registration opening on Dec 14th!

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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The Power of Dance, Joy and What Moves YOU!

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 in Exercise & Fitness, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care | 3 comments

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

This commercial was shot at the Liverpool Street Subway Station in London on Jan 15, 2009.  Only the dancers knew what was happening; the general public didn’t have a clue what was about to unfold.  This YouTube video had over 2 million hits in 15 days!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM

When you watch this video, notice what moves you or makes you smile.  Is it the men in suits busting out in dance? The joy on the faces of both the dancers and the general public?  The group of people having fun and doing something spontaneous?  Is it the sense of connection among seemingly random people? (We’re all connected).

I have personally found that what moves, touches, or inspires us is usually what we need to create MORE of in our life. Articulate what you loved about this video in one sentence.  Then ask yourself, how can you do one thing TODAY to create that in your life.  How could you do it tomorrow? How could you do it the next day? Connecting to what moves us on a daily basis helps bring meaning, purpose and fulfillment into each day.

For me, dance is one the things that moves me the most and is the reason why I don’t let one day go by with out dancing at least once – even if it’s just in my living room. What is it for you? What puts a smile on your face? This is your life NOW… not next year, not tomorrow. When you do something that moves, touches, or inspires you at least once a day you’ll not only change your vibration in the present moment, but you’ll also naturally start attracting more of what you love into your life.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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You Are NOT Your Weight!

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition | 1 comment

“Living Well” is all about getting into your best shape, having stable energy levels, and feeling GREAT.  However, getting there is a journey (even arriving there can still be a journey!)  And one thing that can derail you, is stepping on the scale too frequently.

I send the following “The Scale – Friend or Foe” article by Dr. Strand out to all my clients at least once a year because it is SO important, especially for women.  By focusing on wellness and everyday healthy choices – the weight will come off.  It has taken us YEARS to get our body/health to where it is today, so allow time for the Live Well Healthy for Life Program*, be gentle with yourself, and never let the scale, or your hair :-), determine your happiness on any given day.

Be Happy…Be Vibrant,

————————

“The Scale – Friend or Foe?”
By Dr. Ray Strand

I know all about scales.  I have a beautiful one sitting in my medical office and I guarantee most women would rather have their blood drawn than to step onto it!  Even though we hate them so much, we’ve come to accept them as a necessary evil.  The scale will determine whether we’re a success or failure. The scale will hold us accountable. The scale tells all.

Almost every weight loss program centers its reason for being on the results you are going to get when you step onto that scale. The power of their program is based on losing weight.  After all, these are “weight loss” programs and you are paying dearly for exactly that.  Most people will do anything and apparently pay just about any price to lose weight.  For the $30 billion spent each year, the proof and effectiveness of these programs has to be evident when you step onto the scale-right?  Wrong.  The greatest foe for anyone who is trying to get thinner is the very thing that so logically seems to be the barometer of success-the scale. Why?

Your body weight is made up of many different factors that are reflected when you step onto that scale. Water content, muscle content, fat content, and even what you happen to have eaten the night before makes up what is known as “weight.” In fact, several fad diets play on the notion that total body weight is paramount and that decreasing weight on a scale is the ultimate goal.

Can you recall a time when you were on a diet and you stepped on a scale only to shout with jubilation at the fact that you had lost two, three, or maybe even four pounds that week?  If not, I’m sure it has happened to someone you know.  Everyone clapped and cheered. You were elated.  The weight loss program was working and finally you have found the answer.  Your attitude and desire took a major leap forward during the next week and maybe even the next month.  You stayed with the diet faithfully.

You may have even had the experience where you step on the scale week after week and were amazed at the amount of weight lost. You were on your way and maybe you had lost 12 to 15 pounds already and only had 25 more to go.

But then it happened. You stepped onto the scale after being absolutely perfect that week and you actually gained weight!  Shock and fear overwhelmed you.  Of course, you gave that little wry smile to everyone in your group as the instructor encouraged you to do a better job sticking with your diet the next week.  However, as you went back to your chair the only thought on your mind is that you couldn’t have done a better job if your life depended on it.  You played by the book, measuring, running, and eating weird tasteless combinations during the entire past week.

There is a very powerful principle that has never quite been understood by the weight loss industry: when you use the scale as a tool to motivate your clientele, it only works as long as people are losing the amount of weight they believe they should be losing.  If they either do not lose as much weight as they feel they should, or horror….actually GAIN weight, this trusted tool of the weight loss program backfires and soon becomes the greatest hindrance against success.  Dieters feel betrayed and their trusted friend, the scale; becomes the foe.  Then they simply give up and go back to their old eating habits.  It cannot be trusted.

So how is the scale used in the Healthy for Life Program?* Primarily, I have discouraged anyone stepping on the scale during the program.  However, I find it necessary for people to weigh themselves at the beginning and the end of the program in order to determine their Body Mass Index (BMI).  This is a very important measurement in the eyes of the medical community and is the tool used to determine many of our health care decisions.  You will again be asked to take some basic measurements at the end of this program and one of these will be your weight.  However, you must realize a few things before you step on to a scale.   You have been involved in developing healthy lifestyles that simply have a side effect of weight loss-if you need to lose weight.  However, those patients who have insulin resistance will find themselves in different stages or severity of this health problem.

Many patients who have not developed full-blown metabolic syndrome will usually totally reverse this problem within the first 12 weeks of this program. However, many of my patients have had insulin resistance for years and may just beginning to improve their disease after 12 weeks into this program, especially those who are already diabetic.  These patients may have not lost much weight at all; however, may just now be starting to release fat.  This is why the maintenance program is so critical for everyone.  The beauty of this program is the fact that you have been trying to develop healthy lifestyles that will last a lifetime.  The first 12 weeks are merely the time it takes most people to truly understand the health concepts surrounding the Healthy and Lean for Life Program.  The Maintenance Program (2 years) is essential in allowing you to firmly establish these lifestyles.

Many of you are thrilled with the fact that your clothing is looser or that you have gone down a dress size or two.  Men may be excited by the fact that they need to cinch up their belt a notch or two.  However, most of us have an ideal weight in the back of our mind that we should weigh before we have truly arrived.  It may have taken us 10 to 15 years to put all of our excess weight on but we want to be at our ideal weight after 2 to 3 months of being on any program.

I would encourage you to think differently about your weight or the scale. I would like everyone on the Healthy for Life Program* to not be possessed by your weight or the scale.   Don’t have an actual weight that you are trying to achieve.  Instead, have a goal to be developing healthy lifestyles and feeling more energetic, more fit, and free to enjoy healthy, delicious food.  Be encouraged if you are able to physically do things like taking a major hike or brisk walk. Enjoy the thrill of not being addicted to carbohydrates.

Have you ever had the experience of looking at an old picture album and commenting to yourself how thin and fit you use to look?  Then you recall the fact that back then you really thought you were actually overweight.  Isn’t in funny how our mind works.  You would probably give anything to look and feel that good again. Well, it is happening on the Healthy for Life Program*.  However, it is not going to happen overnight.  Since it took you several years to get in the shape you are in, it is going to take a year or two to get back to the old you. Simply begin to project how you will feel and look in a year on this program. It is exciting and worth the trip.  Your body will love you for it.

*Contact your local Live Well Coach for more information on the Live Well Healthy for Life Program, 5 Day RESET, Healthy Weight loss and/or Healthy Maintenance.

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Creating Time to Exercise

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Self-Care | 0 comments

We all know that exercise is extremely important to our long term health, mental outlook, energy levels and weight management. However, it can be one of the first things to go when we become busy, travel or that we have never made time for in the first place because….(fill in the blank) :-)

Like any good health habit, it’s what we do consistently, and especially when we’re the “busiest”, that has the most impact on our wellness.

So, what can you do to make exercise a fun part of your life – no matter what is going on in your life?

  1. Do something that you LOVE. If you detest running, for goodness sake, don’t run! :-)   Dancing, rollerblading, Pilates, bike riding, etc. all count as exercise.  In addition, try new exercise formats so you don’t get bored.  Exercise should be always be FUN, not tedious. 

     

  2. You don’t have to be a “gym rat” to get results from exercising. Five times per week for 30 min provides great health benefits.  If you’re new to exercise, start off with 3 days per week at 30 min…and gradually increase frequency, duration and intensity.  Slowly build.Fit, active adults – 6 times per week for 60 min.  Always take 1 day off per week – this is absolutely crucial as this is how the body repairs itself and gets stronger. 

  3. Mix it up. Variety is key for the body, mind and soul.  My “rule” for exercise variety is 3 Cardio, 2 Weights and 1 Mind/Body per week.  Women – weight training is so important for bone health, metabolism and weight management. Weights help keep you toned, fit and lean. If you are new to weights – start with a class, DVD or hire a personal trainer for 6 sessions at a gym (they aren’t as expensive as you may think and will “de-mystify” weights and help you with correct form).Below are some ideas for Cardio, Weights and Mind/Body Fitness.  Adjust for how many times a week you are exercising.
    • cardio classes – walking/running, kickboxing, swimming, aerobics, dance, ZUMBA :-), roller blading, etc.
    • 1-2 Weight Training – classes, gym, videos
    • 1 Mind-Body-Spirit Class for stretching/flexibility, etc. – choose from yoga, Pilates, etc.
    • 1 Day off


  4. Schedule your workout time and make it non-negotiable. Put the “oxygen mask” on yourself first – your family, business/job and friends will benefit from your new found energy, immune system and outlook on life :-)  Decide when you like exercising and when you are most likely to go. For example, I love exercising in the morning (my energy/motivation is at it’s highest then).  I also know if I don’t exercise in the am, I won’t do it later on in the day because I get “busy” AND don’t seem to  have the same energy/motivation to go.  After deciding what is best for your body, “schedule” at least 5 times per week (3 if you’re new, 6 if you’re fit) in your calendar every Sunday night for the following week.  Treat your “appointment” like a wonderful restaurant reservation that took you months to make :-) 

  5. Set yourself up to succeed. Have your gym bag ready, clothes inside, water bottle filled etc.  For example, I usually go to the gym or teach a class around 9am.  If I am rushing around in the morning, I end up out the door without something I need, or worse, I’m late.  So, knowing my personality, I now get my gym bag ready the night before, water bottle filled – so I’m out the door when I need to be, with no excuses, on time and with everything I need :-) 

  6. Make working out something you look forward to. Have great music on your iPod.  If you’re bored of your gym routine or running – get new music!  Wear gym outfits (www.lululemon.com is my favorite) that you LOVE, are excited to wear and make you feel good when you’re exercising.  Your body is what you will live in for years and years – enjoy it, love it, celebrate it :-) 

  7. Subscribe to a fitness magazine for inspiration, new ideas, health recipes, playlists, fitness clothing suggestions etc. My two favorites are Shape and Oxygen.  For $14 per year, they so incredibly worth it. 

  8. Get an exercise buddy. Research shows that we are more likely to exercise with a friend – it keeps us accountable, is more fun and builds friendships. 

  9. Set little goals and rewards (non food) for going to the gym (or exercising) 5 times per week…(or whatever your goal is).  Reward yourself for little things – every little step counts. 

  10. Don’t let more than 2 days go by without exercising. I don’t know where I heard that idea, but it is one of the best concepts I have used throughout the years. I started exercising to “aerobics videos” in the 80’s (scary thought – remember those brightly colored leotards?) when I was 14 and since then, it became my “rule” for myself.  It helps because you never get out of the rhythm of exercising and often when we don’t feel like exercising, it’s when we need to the most. Movement SHIFTS everything, and quickly – moods, emotions, an over indulgent night of food/wine :-)… and you end up feeling great. 

  11. Maintain your routine when it is the hardest as this is when you will get the most benefit. When we travel, visit friends/family, or are really busy – it’s even more important to exercise and eat well (take your USANA vits and shakes/bars even more regularly).  When our normal routine is interrupted, endeavor to keep as many good habits going as possible.  For example, when traveling, I usually run (20 min only sometimes) because I can do it anywhere/anytime and very quickly.  Or, I lift weights if there is a gym where I am staying.   I know this “routine” helps keep me balanced and centered – and everything else works better.  Other options – walk with a family member after dinner when visiting, swim in the hotel pool, travel with yoga/Pilates DVD’s.  Shorten your exercise time if need be, but keep the routine going.
  12.  

Have a great week and your body will thank you for moving!  As NIA’s (a beautiful dance modality I used to teach before Zumba®) tagline says, through movement we find health!

Be Happy… Be Vibrant…
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Take a Nature Break!

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 2 comments

“Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.”
– Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio


What a great quote.  One of my personal goals this summer is to take a nature break every day – no matter how busy I “think” I am.   I’m going to get outside in the sun and soak in natural vitamin D, walk barefoot in the sand, breathe lots of fresh air and use the earth, sky, water and green plants as a grounding and restorative force.

Sun, fresh air and nature have the ability to nourish us our body at a deep level – and yet “the easiest thing to do, is the easiest thing not to do” (one of my favorite quotes by Jim Rohn).

Of course, there are so many excuses that can prevent us from not getting outside at least once a day…I’m too busy, it’s raining, I’m tired etc.  I remember one of my excuses during a glorious Denver summer a couple of years ago, “I need to get the Live Well website up”.  And before I (and Liz Rider, my co-conspirator for the Live Well Website) knew it, the summer was gone.

After that experience of seeing a whole season fly by, I promised myself I would appreciate every summer forward…and luxuriate in the outdoors at least once a day.  As Thoreau says, “Nature is a tonic for the soul.

What are some ways that you can easily get outside every day?

  1. Lunch breaks – sit outside. Make it a goal that every lunch hour possible you sit outside with a friend – to enjoy sunshine and great conversation. 

     

  2. Take a 10 min break during the day to get outside – 10 min can make all the difference, and like meditation, will actually give you MORE time throughout the day. 

  3. Go for a walk after dinner with a family member or friend. 

  4. Look for chances to get outside – restaurant patios, waiting for your car to be washed, etc. 

  5. Go to a park and sit on the grass. Actually connecting with the earth is very grounding for the body.  Consciously appreciate the sky, sun, earth, air and green plants. 

  6. Go somewhere where there is water – a stream, a lake, a river.  Many cities have a river running through them, or streams in a park –  so there are many places that you can enjoy the healing and meditative sound of water.
  7.  

Okay – I’m going outside right now…this summer, Laguna Beach is calling… :-)
Be Happy… Be Vibrant…
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