Categories
Body Healing

Top 3 Adaptogens For Better Sleep



Ask any health or wellness Guru, sleep is VITAL for a healthy, vibrant life. I have received a lot of feedback and questions from a previous post about How To Navigate Stress. Many people are currently looking for more holistic and natural ways to help navigate stress and find a healthier solution for deeper sleep, and believe it or not, adaptogens can help. It’s important to remember not ALL adaptogens are the same. And it’s equally important to note that not all people metabolize and digest these herbs the same. These intelligent plants, herbs and roots have been around for hundreds of years and have been used for medicinal healing.


What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a class of plants and herbs that are thought to fight stress and bring balance and harmony to the body. Sounds amazing right? The concept of “adaptogens” comes from a Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Selye. In his early work, Hans Selye broke down the human stress response into three phases: Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion.

Imagine this: Many of us work and hustle and grind until we hit a wall of bricks and we call that exhaustion or burn out. At this point, we may be experiencing acute insomnia, having issues getting a deep, restful sleep, or even consistently waking up at the same time in the middle of the night. Based upon Hans Selye’s 3 levels of stress responses, it’s safe to say once our body/mind hits “resistance”, that’s our cue to look inwardly and figure out how to fix that. There’s NO reason for us to reach burn-out mode to finally start giving our bodies and soul the love and care it’s been screaming out for.


Can Adaptogens Make You Tired?

Adaptogens won’t necessarily give you a drowsy affect to sleep – but many will have immediate responses to lowering your stress levels, targeting areas of your body where there might be some over compensation or over-working, and helps bring that stress down. This in turn allows for your body to get into a deeper and more restful sleep. Equally, adaptogens are also able to simultaneously elevate your energy if that is lacking.


Eleuthero

Eleuthero is also referred to as Siberian Ginseng. Eleuthero is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for muscle spasms, lowering blood pressure, cognitive function, joint pain, insomnia, and fatigue. In Germany, its use is approved for chronic fatigue syndrome, impaired concentration, and convalescing after illness.

Dose: 2-3 grams per day of the dried root.

Caution: As with Asian ginseng, Eleuthero is generally safe. But occasionally it has been associated with agitation, palpitations or insomnia in patients with cardiovascular disorders. If you have high blood pressure, your blood pressure should be monitored when taking it.


Holy Basil

Holy Basil is also referred to as, Tulsi. Holy Basil has been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic Medicine. In regards to sleep, it’s helpful to know that holy basil is overall very calming and gives the body and overall sense of relaxation and wellbeing.

Dose: The appropriate dose of holy basil depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. The easiest way to incorporate Holy Basil into your routine is to enjoy some tea and follow the instructions on the package.

Caution: Holy basil might lower blood sugar levels. This might interfere with controlling blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes may need to adjust dosing for insulin or antidiabetes drugs. Holy basil might slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it could increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using holy basil at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Cordyceps

Cordyceps are a fungal spore (mushroom) that grows native to China and is all around the Tibetan area. Cordyceps have been described in ancient Chinese and Traditional Tibetan medicine books for hundreds of years. This potent mushroom has been said to improve people’s energy, sleep habits, digestion, stamina, libido and endurance. Be VERY CAREFUL to read the ingredients of any supplement that promotes or advertises cordyceps. Wild, Natural sources of cordyceps come with a heavy price tag (about $20,000 USD / Kilo). If a Cordyceps supplement is claiming to be Cordyceps sinensis and it is made in China, it is almost certainly Cordyceps Cs-4.

Dose: Dosing supported by quality data is unavailable and there is not enough scientific studies to promote a specific dosage. Many herbal supplements on the market contain varying undefined levels of this product.

Caution: Cordyceps is generally considered safe. However, mild GI discomfort, including diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea, has been reported in clinical studies.


Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.


Sources:
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/acm.2009.0226
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jo01044a536?src=recsys
https://examine.com/supplements/cordyceps/

  • Koh JH, Kim JM, Chang UJ, Suh HJ. Hypocholesterolemic effect of hot-water extract from mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003;26(1):84-87. 12520179
  • Ji DB, Ye J, Li CL, Wang YH, Zhao J, Cai SQ. Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract. Phytother Res. 2009;23(1):116-122.18803231


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Activated Lifestyle Healing

5 Types of CBD

CBD is everywhere. It’s about damn time. With the Cannabis Boom that we’re currently in, many companies are popping up overnight with CBD-infused elixirs, oils, gummies… You get the idea. But with SO many amazing products to choose from, it can seem a little intimidating when you look at the label and see, “Nano-enhanced CBD Hemp Oil” or what the heck is Full-Spectrum CBD ? No worries, I got you.


What Is CBD ?

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s Endo-cannabinoid System in ways that researchers are still learning and understanding. CBD stands for cannabidiol and does NOT contain any psychoactive properties. Basically, you won’t get stoned when using CBD. There is much evidence and many scientific studies looking at the connection with CBD and working in conjunction with symptoms such as dizziness, pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even used for seizures, opioid addiction, arthritis, epilepsy, PTSD among many others.


What Type of CBD is right for me?

It’s important to note that we are all comprised of different genetic backgrounds, experience different triumphs and traumas, and metabolize at different rates. Understanding which CBD product is right for you is a kind invitation to understanding and listening to your body a little more effectively and frequently. In my personal experience, feeding my Endocannabinoid system daily is an effective way for me to heal and thrive, as well as practice cultivating an appreciation of preventative wellness. Let me clearly define the 5 different types of CBD.


Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-Spectrum CBD is a cannabis-derived compound that comes from the whole plant that contains CBD and a handful of other phytocannabinoids. Some of these phytocannabinoids include THC, CBN, THCA, CBC, and the newly popular CBG.


Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-Spectrum CBD contains all phytocannabinoids in the plant but does not contain any detectable amount of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is a fantastic choice for those who can’t have any trace of THC is their system, whether it be due to legal purposes, passing a drug test, etc.,


CBD Isolate

Some oil companies and beverage companies now advertise CBD Isolate. This means it contains only the CBD isolate, which is a purified CBD molecule. The key difference here is that it does not contain other phytocannabinoids like full or broad spectrum.


Nano CBD

Nano CBD is a compound where the molecules of CBD are shrunken down and turned into a water-based form. With this particular process, it allows the CBD to pass through skin and blood stream barrier much more easily and quickly than any oil-based form. This is a great option for those in chronic pain needing fast relief.


Hemp Seed Oil / Hemp Oil

Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from hemp seeds. It does not contain CBD or any phytocannabinoids. There are many companies out there that claim their product provides the best form of CBD but if you see the word “Hemp” on the packaging, by law there product should not contain CBD unless stated in ingredients or packaging.

Although there is still a long way to go to understanding the intricacies of the endocannabinoid system and how our bodies interact with the different components of the cannabis plant, it is clear that CBD may be an effective way to help heal any dis-ease or ailment you may be experiencing. Always remember to do your research, use this as your medicine with an open mind and expansive heart.


Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.


References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00502/full
  • https://www.medicaljane.com/2014/05/29/finding-the-optimal-therapeutic-ratio-of-thc-and-cbd/
Categories
Activated Lifestyle podcast

5 Dimensions of Self Care

The term, “self care” has been thrown around a lot on social media lately. The 5 dimensions of self care cover a full spectrum of Mind, Body, Spirt. To fully dive deep into the waters of self care, let’s clearly define the definitions of Self Care.

*Podcast notes for the 5 Dimensions of Self Care can be found at the end of this post.


What Is Self Care?

Self Care can be defined as: “Activities and practices we engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance our well-being”.


For some people, maybe you’re a little lost on what that specifically means. Maybe you have a full understanding of this term but you don’t know where to start. For some who are prone to or experience acute or chronic anxiety- maybe self care is a goal of yours to start practicing but you just start feeling paralysis by analysis. Wherever you are on the spectrum, I think a great way to start this out is to first identify the 5 Dimensions of Self Care and from there we can talk about different tips and suggestions to incorporate into your lifestyle. The 5 Dimensions of Self Care include:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Spiritual and
  • Emotional aspects


Incorporating activities from each dimension into your life means you’ll be nourishing every aspect into your daily routines and ultimately getting better at practicing Self-Care. Also, when you’re looking to begin cultivating a spiritual practice or live more in tune and intuitively, balance is so important. To be fair, balance is super important in life, in general.


Self Care has been very “instagram-ized” (probably not a word, but it’s all good) and has been glorified and mistaken as pampering. Don’t get me wrong, pampering can fall into Self Care. However, it would be a huge disservice to our growth and our well being if we primarily focused on epsom salt baths and bath bombs, getting our nails done and facials as JUST the one aspect of Self Care.


Physical Self Care

Starting at the physical level of self care, this is going to primarily involve your fitness, eating and sleep habits. This area also includes how you manage stress, your dental and medical health as well as overall sexual health. I understand that all of those categories sound like a lot to manage and focus on all at once. No need to worry or stress! I like to write down a list of categories that fall into the physical realm of Self Care and think about which area I have been neglecting lately. I don’t worry about making sure I’m doing 15 things at once to incorporate self care into my routine, I just focus on the one area that has been neglected and throughout that week I find small ways to honor my physical self care. Physical self-care can often overlap with mental self-care because how you view yourself will reflect through how you take care of yourself physically.


Integrating the Physical Dimension of Self Care

The physical dimension of self-care encompasses safety, health, nutrition, movement, physical touch, and sexual needs. When you practice activities for your physical well-being, you can increase your energy levels and boost your self-esteem. Some components you can do as a daily practice to integrate the physical dimension of self care include:

  • Eating nourishing, high vibrational foods and drinking nourishing tonics and elixirs
  • Dancing or practicing yoga, Qi-gong, Tai chi, or pranic breathing
  • Taking a long, relaxing Epsom salt or magnesium flake bath
  • Take a nap or get some extra sleep
  • Schedule a dental or medical check up
  • Exploring tantric touch or sacred masturbation / Orgasm magic

If that sounds a little woo-woo for you or maybe you’re feeling a strong resistance to hearing that, I would highly suggest and invite you to do a little research and dig a little deeper into those subjects if it calls you. It’s an extremely healing and beautiful practice that works with your energy, touch, breathing, and intention. 


Intellectual Self Care

Intellectual self care involves your personal growth, the continuous pursuit for learning and education, engaging in new ideas and belief systems, practicing mindfulness and creating an overall positive mindset for yourself.


If you think way back to the age of the Renassiance, with Leonardo DiVinci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Carravagio- these men were constantly in the pursuit of knowledge and all aspects of art and innovation. This was about a 300 year period where there was this heightened sense of pursuit of knowledge, art, science, innovation and music. And I believe right now we’re slowly waking up to a second wave of this pursuit for not only innovative knowledge and looking towards the future, but also looking back at our ancestors, and finding the magic within spirituality, plant medicine, alchemy, and incorporating that into our modern lives.

One thing I would highly suggest that doesn’t cost you anything, it doesn’t take up too much time to devote to, is addressing your inner “thinker”. The mind knows no bounds, and your intellect is bordered only by your drive to seek and learn. I know somewhere I read like, “A healthy mind is the foundation for a healthy “self” and personally, I couldn’t agree more. 


Integrating the Intellectual Dimension of Self Care

The desire to learn new concepts and expand your knowledge contributes positively to your overall well-being. Mental self-care is about finding the balance between stimulating your mind and giving your mind a break. In my own personal experience, all this can help with creativity, innovation, and continual learning. Some ways to integrate this dimension of self care include:


Social Dimension of Self Care

Social Self care is the 3rddimension of self care and this involves having a supportive network of people you can turn to when you need uplifting, guidance, or someone to talk to.


Whether it’s your circle of sisters, your tribe, your squad- whoever that is for you, it’s critically important to cultivate these lasting relationships. Regardless of whether you’re an introvert and prefer a small, intimate dinner or an extrovert who thrives on large crowds, we all enjoy human interaction. We as human beings are social by default and as such, we crave, thrive and seek comfort in a solid social network. Social connections help create a sense of belonging and acceptance, so whether you’re the life of the party or prefer to have a Netflix marathon with a small handful of friends, finding that connection with “your people” and cultivating those relationships – going beyond a surface level is very important. 


Integrating the Social Dimension of Self Care

The health of our relationships with others plays a significant role in our overall well-being and happiness. As humans, we are social creatures and need to be around other humans. Some ways to integrate this dimension of social self care could be:

  • Meeting up with friends for coffee, tea, or a lunch break
  • Engage with family members, neighbors or people in your community
  • Reaching out to someone in need
  • Organizing a gathering or dinner party/potluck


Spiritual Dimension of Self Care

The 4thdimension I’m going to discuss is spiritual self care. There are SO many ways to define spirituality because it means different things to different people. Getting in touch with your spiritual side doesn’t mean you have to start going to Sunday mass every week or book a flight to India and volunteer at an ashram. I mean you can if you want- but when I talk about spirituality as self care, I’m focusing on cultivating a sense of peace, self-love and purpose, not only within yourself but within the earth and the universe that is all around you. Spiritual self care involves the beliefs and values that help guide your life. Finding your own understanding and practice of spirituality can be of great benefit to your life, as it helps you gain perspective and comfort, enables you to focus on the bigger picture, understand more of the why, disconnect from the modern world and detangle yourself from a love of material possessions.


A spiritual practice will help nourish your soul, seek better understanding and explore different dimensions of the spiritual realm for those who gravitate towards that. Spirituality for me is something that not only is crucial for me to acknowledge and incorporate in my daily practice 


Integrating the Spiritual Dimension of Self Care

Spiritual self-care is focused on giving greater meaning or purpose in your life that extends beyond our physical form.This is ultimately about connecting with the deepest level of your soul and your inner wisdom so you can begin to live in alignment with your purpose in the world. If this language isn’t something that aligns with you, look at this dimension of self care helping to guide you to the most authentic, abundant and joy-fueled expression of you. Some examples of this dimension of self care includes:

  • Meditation
  • Writing down your dreams every morning and reflection
  • Spend time alone in nature
  • Develop a regular yoga, tai chi or qi-gong practice
  • Take a kundalini Yoga class
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or organization


Emotional Dimension of Self Care

Emotional self-care involves awareness of your feelings and emotions, dealing with stress POSITIVELY, and cultivating a sense of compassion, kindness, and love for ourselves and others. Emotional Intelligence is so important and is a big factor for those who may be looking into the self-discovery and self realization realm. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Take a moment and ask yourself, how is your emotional strength? Do you cave under pressure or can you face things head-on with a smile and a clear head? By focussing on your emotional self-care, you can build resilience, lessen stress and anxiety, and cultivate an overall feeling of being capable and successful.


Once you allow your inner happiness to blossom, and start spending quality time for and with yourself, you’ll start to see that self-love becomes  a priority, not an obligation or burden. You will then start to attract the right attention. Your friends, significant others, and family can never supplement this feeling because it comes from deep within your soul. Your sense of self-worth will radiate out and will allow you to prioritize in a way that will form honest, healthy, and genuine lasting relationships. 

To be honest, I feel like there needs to be a huge paradigm shift when it comes to self care and the stigma or shameful feeling that typically arrives soon after we make that conscious decision to do things just for ourselves. Society makes us feel like when we have downtime, we should be spending it on work, creating more work, creating content, or helping someone with their work. We have created a culture that idolizes “being busy”. 


Integrating the Emotional Dimension of Self Care

Emotional self-care is so essential to our health, well being and happiness. When we face difficult and challenging emotions it’s super easy to want to numb out the pain, disconnect, run away, and turn to our vice of choice and forget about the issue altogether. When we allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum of our emotions, we build up the internal strength and resilience we need to face the next challenge that comes along. Some ways to integrate a practice of emotional self care include:


Creating healthy boundaries 
self-care means that saying ‘no’ is sometimes necessary and creating healthy boundaries for what we allow. You are not a asshole for changing your mind – you are human and have every right to make the best decisions for you.


Practicing gratitude
what we focus on expands so taking time each day to write down or think about what is going well in your life and what you have to be grateful for is an instant way to shift your mood. 


Practicing Forgiveness
Forgiveness isn’t always easy, especially when we feel betrayed, or when people project their issues on to us, or we find ourselves in a tornado of someones aggression, insecurities, or just plain insensitivity. Ultimately, forgiveness is especially challenging because it’s hard to let go of what’s happened. 


Positive Self – Talk 
How we talk to ourselves matters! We need to fuel ourselves with positive self-talk that lifts us up and creates alignment with the future vision we have for our lives. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overthinking and believing every thought we think, but the reality is that just because we think something it doesn’t mean it’s true. What we say matters, as well as our thoughts. Words are like prayers that manifest into our reality. Imagine – we are composed of 60-70% of water. The frequency and vibrations of our words affect us not only on a mental scale but on a physiological scale as well.

For example, in Dr. Emoto’s water experiment, he exposed water in glasses to different words, pictures, or music and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. Other scientific studies have done similar experiments with plants. The results show that the elements exposed to negative words, images and sounds had a more chaotic composition vs. the elements that were exposed to positive words.


Self Care Isn’t Selfish

Lastly I want to finish with a common misconception people have when it comes to self care- Self Care isn’t selfish!! As I mentioned before, we need to dismantle the stigma of feeling guilty for taking care of ourselves on all dimensions.

Categories
Healing Mind

Cannabis Strains That Help With Anxiety

Anxiety and stress happens to us all on a certain degree. We are all complex beings with different backgrounds, beliefs, upbringings, and come with different variables of traumas and triumphs. For many people, cannabis is used as an ally for healing and rejuvenation. For others, they may be stuck to particular belief systems or already know that cannabis tends to provoke more anxiety rather than help ease it. All of those instances are perfectly ok. For those who want to look for holistic and compassionate forms for healing with cannabis, this article is for you.


On my previous post about navigating stress, Hannah talks about different forms of holistic and healthy ways to maneuver through stressful situations. Many people turn to cannabis as they seek out a plant form to help ease their anxiety. For me personally, I have been navigating through my therapy and PTSD, along with medicating holistically with cannabis, medicinal mushrooms, and several other forms of plant medicine. I’ve worked with prayer, meditation, medication and amazing therapists. Through this journey I have been able to successfully navigate through my emotions and day to day life.


What Is Anxiety?

Fear, stress, and anxiety are “normal feelings and experiences” that affect us all. However, once these feelings become more and more intense or seem to linger longer than normal, it may be time to look into finding some solutions to help ease your anxiety. Knowing the difference between normal feelings of anxiety and an anxiety disorder requiring medical attention can help a person identify and treat the condition.


Dr. Ethan Russo, who is the author of the book, Cannabinoids as Therapeutics , notes the potential effects of cannabis to ease anxiety and depression. In his book, Dr. Ethan Russo mentioned the healing properties of the cannabis plant that was used all the way back in 1500 B.C in India. The Chinese have used the cannabis plant to help with mental illnesses and pain management for hundreds of years. There are several forms of healing that this plant can offer due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant.


It’s important to note that cannabis affects us all differently. Over the course of the past few years as medical marijuana has become more readily available to patients, anxiety has been one of the top three reasons why patients seek out this medicine. Although there are plenty of studies on the medical use for cannabis, there still is not enough scientific evidence to prove that specific strains can ease specific ailments. Within the components of the cannabis plant, there are several hundred healing properties, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Within every strain of cannabis there are also several different components that make every strain unique and different. Below are my top three favorite strains I personally use that help with my anxiety.


Cannatonic

Cannatonic is a strain that’s great for those who are THC – sensitive. This cannabis strain typically has a higher percentage of CBD than THC which can aid in many healing properties. Cannatonic tends to also boast high levels of the terpene myrcene, which contributes to this strain’s deeply relaxing attributes. People that use cannatonic to help ease anxiety note that they feel a great sense of relaxation with happy and uplifted feelings. This strain has been noted to deeply enhance the mood. Increased optimism and feelings of positivity, tied together with boosts of energy have been noted as some of the effects from this strain, which makes it very desirable to help with anxiety.


Granddaddy Purple

Grand Daddy Purple has been noted to help with stress and anxiety. This strain helps ease you into a peaceful mindset while urging your body to release stress and tension. Like most heavy indica strains, Granddaddy Purple is typically suggested for consumers looking to combat pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms. When consuming Granddaddy Purple, many patients note the blissful, relaxed body high.


Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a fairly easily-accessible strain you can find in almost any dispensary. This is one of the most popular indica-dominant cannabis strains. A sense of happiness and well-being also accompanies this effect. Many people notice the ultra relaxing and drowsy affects of this strain which is important to note that you do not make plans after consuming Northern Lights. Some users also use it to increase focus and creativity. This specific strain is used to help alleviate pain, help with acute and chronic insomnia, loss of appetite and anxiety.


Cannabis is a plant which has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. For those who are looking to help ease their anxiety in a holistic and natural form and incorporate plants as their medicine, these particular strains of cannabis may be the right strains for you. As with any plant used as medicine, be sure to listen to your body. You may find it helpful to experiment with different strains with variable concentrations and ratios until you find a strain that produces the effects you’re seeking.


Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.


Categories
Activate Healing

Cannabis Consciousness

Cannabis has had a horrible PR Agent for centuries. For as long as the cannabis plant has been used recreationally as well as for healing purposes, there has always been some force larger than itself that has deemed cannabis unsafe and unsavory. For centuries, all over the world, cannabis has been used for healing modalities, hemp used to make ropes, clothing and paper materials. When it comes to medicine, cannabis has been used to treat an array of diseases and ailments that had a reach as great as China, India, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, and several Middle Eastern Countries.

Cannabis Consciousness is a term that came to me during an evening of one of my favorite new explorations of the healing modalities of this plant: Bend + Blaze. I sat down and rolled out my yoga mat and began stretching and moving while take moments in between child’s pose to light up a joint, relax, really feel the music, actually be conscious of my breath through the flow of ever movement and asana. For once I felt the openness and freedom from yoga and stretching, but also felt aligned, grounded, present. In that moment – although as trivial as it may sound to an experienced yogi – I truly understood the power this plant has, and the medicine it is able to provide not only on a mental and physical level, but within our spirit bodies and consciousness.

cannabis-consciousness


Working with Cannabis for Healing

Cannabis is a complex plant with over 400 chemical compounds of which more than 80+ of them are cannabinoid compounds. There are several studies over the past three years alone that have shown the healing properties of the cannabis plant. For many who understand the basic concept of disease, thanks to science we know that most chronic diseases are formed in extremely “acidic” and “inflammatory” environments. Both CBD and THC have been studied with results showing decrease in inflammation after consumption. Although there have been many tests and studies that have shown the healing properties of the cannabis plant, the two major cannabinoids (CBD and THC) were discovered just over fifty years ago. In 1963, the second cannabinoid that was isolated and studied was CBD.

Just like we have an Endocrine System which is a chemical messenger system consisting of hormones within the body, we also have an Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid System is basically cannabis-like substances that naturally occur inside our bodies. In 1992, the Endocannabinoid System was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus. In Scientific terms, this is a fairly new system that has been tested and studied.

Cannabis has been shown for hundreds of years to aid in healing on all dimensions of the self from the mental, emotional, and spiritual / soul levels. Currently, there are many studies being done to find the healing properties and ailments cannabis provides.


Treatment Possibilities

Many believe that medical cannabis or medical marijuana has the ability to cure and control several different diseases such as cancer. Researchers found that marijuana could slow down Alzheimer’s disease and it could also help people with diabetes. Here are a few possible treatments that cannabis provides.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Neurological, neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, and psychiatric illnesses
  • Chronic Pain Conditions
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • HIV
  • Bone Deficiencies
  • Acute AND Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Auto-Immune Diseases
  • PTSD


Everlasting Words

Currently, the divide on cannabis seems to be the same divide we have for different political parties or whether eating a high carb high fat diet is better than a vegan, plant based diet is better for you. When speaking about Cannabis Consciousness, I always urge people to look beyond the criminalizing and fear-based opinions that are projected in the media and government. Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science communicator in astronomy and other forms of natural sciences. in 1969, he wrote in his essay, “Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds”.

This statement holds so true. When we use cannabis consciously, ethically, responsibly, and honor the plant for its divine wisdom and medicine it has to offer, everything begins to shift. I want to emphasize, for me and my own personal experience and use for cannabis medically, it has worked on so many levels for me. However, I walked into this journey working with this medicine with an open heart and open mind. For those who work with this plant for it’s healing properties and medicine- this is what Cannabis Consciousness is about. It’s for all my brothers and sisters who are looking to plants as their medicine and allies. By returning back to our ancestral roots, we look for healing solutions rather than covering wounds with temporary, pharmaceutical bandages. May you be well. May you heal. May you find peace and joy in the process and with this medicine.


Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

Categories
Activate

Seasons of Our Life

WTF, how is it already March? I seriously felt like there was a glitch in my system when I opened my phone this morning to see it was actually March 1st. Are we seriously almost ready to bring in Spring?? I feel like New Years Eve just passed… One thing I have been saying over and over lately is how we are cyclical beings- meaning we are not linear. It’s important when trying to create a life of balance and harmony to live with the seasons and see how they correlate with different “seasons” in our life.


Seasons of the Year

Many of us understand the principles of the yearly cycles and seasons; we have Spring (March – May 31st), Summer (June – August 31st), Fall (September – November 31st), and Winter (December – February 28th). As the seasons change, certain flowers begin to bloom, different vegetables and fruits thrive, the weather changes. Mother nature has mastered the ebb and flow of our seasonal cycles. All of these changes in nature mark the passing of the calendar year. No matter where you live in the world, attributes of the seasons may vary by location, but there are still broad definitions that many can relate to.


Seasons of Our Life


This is something I mention often in The Activated Living Podcast. When I mention the seasons of our lives, I am focusing on two things here: Your own personal development and where you currently are at in that particular point in your life, and the 4 major life cycles that we experiences with our time on Earth. Understanding how I grew with life’s changes and cycles was a huge eye-opener for me in terms of how I express myself in this reality. Change in life is inevitable, just like the seasons and change in weather. Some of the big questions I asked myself were, “How do I usually deal with change?” “Do I typically find myself resisting change, or embracing it?” Each season in our lives brings forth valuable information and lessons that we learn about ourselves on a core level.


The Season of Spring

Planting Seeds, Seeking Knowledge, Forming New Habits

The season of Spring is built upon a foundation of new habits and skills, the quest for gaining new insights and knowledge, and a deeper level of understanding ourselves and those around us. In the spring, seeds take root and vegetation begins to grow. Spring is a fantastic time to capitalize on dynamic thinking, learning opportunities, empowering new habits and collaborations. The energy that is coming forward with Spring typically invites excitement, anticipation, deep levels of self-understanding and purpose. In a sense, you could say this is a time when you may be resurrecting and revitalizing parts of your inner psyche, healing emotional wounds, and moving forward with a big project. Take a moment to consider previous “Spring Seasons” in your life and how it transformed your personality, habits, and life.


The Season of Summer

Inspiration, Passion, Desires, Relaxing, Celebration

Summer isn’t just about pool-days, tanning, and sipping on delicious superfood-smoothies, but it’s also a time for self-reward, relaxation, celebration, and personal fulfillment. This in turn typically inspires deeper understanding of our consciousness, boosts of confidence, and inspires passion. The season of Summer in your life is where everything you have been working toward during spring is now part of your life experience and reality. All of the new habits, developed skills, knowledge acquired, and all that hard work you put into achieving your goals has paid off. For those who are creatives and entrepreneurs, it may seem like this day will never come. But once the season of Summer comes- it’s time to start basking in the glory of everything you have created and accomplished.


The Season of Fall

Hesitation, Lack of Actions, Comfort Zone

Our life cycles come and go as the seasons do, however many empaths may feel a stronger connection to their “Fall/ Autumn Season”. As the days get shorter and darker, so does the energies that a “Fall Season” may have on our life’s path and journey. Some energy that tends to be very prevalent during the fall season is pessimism, hesitation, lack of action, second-guessing, un-realistic thinking, and becoming more of a prisoner to our comfort zones. The Fall Season usually brings forth problems, mistakes and difficult life transitions. It often unearths feelings and hurried emotions of disappointment, stress and frustration. For those experiencing their Saturn Return- it may seem like you’re in a never ending cycle of Fall and Winter. But trust me- there is always a light at the end of a dark road. Consider how your Fall Seasons have shaped and transformed your personality and built your character. What valuable lessons have you learned from the fall seasons of your life?


The Season of Winter

Fear, Guilt, Grief, Emotional Unrest, Hibernation, Planning

Winter. A time for reflection and hibernation. During the fall and winter  times is when trees send their roots deeper into the soil, regenerating for the spring to come forth. The winter seasons is usually the toughest for many people. Questions arise such as, “Why is this happening to me?”, “Why am I feeling so tired?” “Am I depressed?” “When is this all going to be over??”.
Typically when we ask these questions there tends to be painful lessons attached to them. It’s difficult. It can be painful. Feelings of regret, fear, grief, and emotional unrest may come to the surface during this Winter Season. These feelings and experiences are here to shape us and adapt to understanding these are transformational times in our lives where we transition from one way or thinking or expressing ourselves into another. You are in a significant transition period of your life. Deep self-reflection and planning is exactly what you need to get your life back on track. It’s time now to think realistically and thoughtfully about the foundations you must build to move your life forward.


Key Points to Remember

We’re ALL cyclical beings. We may not experience these cycles in any chronological order. But I guarantee you, we all experience every cycle in some form or capacity during our time here on Earth. Over the course of a lifetime it may seem like you experience more Winter than Summer, or vice versa. And that’s perfectly ok. We all have individual lessons and karma we bring into this lifetime to manage, sort through, and hopefully raise above (that’s the goal, isn’t it?). The seasons of our life change abruptly and learning how to successfully navigate these oceans may take a lifetime to master. Hopefully these insights can ease you through whichever season you’re experiencing in your life.

Categories
Activate

Versatile Blogger Award

What a great Monday it’s been so far! I woke up from a beautiful night of pampering myself and listening to the rain. I had some notifications this morning that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the amazing and sweet Chevy from Chevy Takes the Mic. Super gracias chica! Over the past year I have taken a more serious step into writing about subjects that not only are important to me, but also look at several different modalities of health, holist living, and wellness. In that same light, I have been engaging with other bloggers on twitter, instagram and other social media handles. The diversity and talent I’ve see from so many bloggers who look at blogging as their career or even part time bloggers who write just to write- it’s challenged me to dig deep and create great content along all my social media platforms. I’m constantly inspired!


7 Facts About Me

I have written personal testimonies about my experience from leaving an abusive relationship, as well as my personal experience running health and wellness retreats in Mexico, however I’ve never written any “About Me” posts. So whether you have been watching the evolution of Activated Living blog space or you’re new to my little corner of the internet, Welcome! Sit back. Get comfy. And here are 7 random facts about me.

  1. I speak 5 languages; English, Spanish (conversational), Turkish (Conversational), Russian (Beginning), and learning Italian
  2. I’ve studied several forms of dance from jazz, tap, ballet (intermediate), african dance, hip hop, modern and contemporary over the span of 20 years
  3. I started The Activated Living Podcast where I discuss several modalities of health + Wellness
  4. In 2016 I was diagnosed with several different auto-immune diseases and I took my health into my own hands looking to create a holistic way for healing- however I was experiencing symptoms since I was 8-9 years old
  5. I dropped out of Art School for a fantastic opportunity in Los Angeles as a Photo Studio Manager for the entertainment and music industry
  6. I’m NOT vegan (yet), but I live a plant-based lifestyle with small occasions when I enjoy fresh caught fish or free range chicken (and I’m definitely not dogmatic about mine or anyone else’s food choices)
  7. I have traveled to 16 different countries in my lifetime so far


Versatile Blogger Award Nominees

  1. Life As Diana – http://www.lifeasdiana.com/
  2. The Balanced Blonde – https://www.thebalancedblonde.com
  3. Another Station, Another Mile – https://anotherstationanothermile.com
  4. Jade Marie – http://jademarie.co.uk
  5. The Cozy Stylist – https://cozystylist.com
  6. Sarah Eliza – http://www.saraheliza.co.uk/
  7. Cub Kit – https://cubkit.co.uk/
  8. Sugi Says – https://sugisays.com
  9. Joy Celau Official – http://www.joycelauofficial.com
  10. Forever the Wanderer – http://www.foreverthewanderer.ie
  11. Kabuki Rune – http://kabukirune.com/
  12. Soph Hearts –https://sophhearts.com
  13. Charlotte Nichole – http://charlotte-nichole.com/
  14. Luxury Blush – https://luxuryblush.co.uk
  15. Mischievous Words by Marta – https://mischievouswordsbymartaazra.wordpress.com


Versatile Blogger Award Rules

1. Say thank you to the person that nominated you.
2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
3. List seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominated 15 other bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. 


xoxox
Amanda

Categories
Healing podcast

Podcast Ep. 3 – Adaptogens

The third episode of The Activated Living Podcast is here and it’s all about adaptogens and simple ways to integrate adaptogens into your daily routine. Adaptogens have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years and have been known in several eastern cultures to help ease and eliminate many diseases and symptomatic conditions. Throughout the episode I talk about major tips on specific adaptogens and how I personally integrate certain adaptogenic herbs into my life.


Check out previous Podcast Episodes

For those who are new, or haven’t taken a look around Activated Living in a while, you can listen to this podcast, and check out previous episodes over at the Podcast Page. You can also listen and download on iTunes, Spotify, and Youtube. If you’re listening on iTunes, please feel free to leave a rating and review + let me know of any other topics you’d like to hear me discuss in the future. Be sure to scroll down and check out the show notes below!

Activated Living Podcast Episode 3- Adaptogens Show Notes

1:10 – Disclaimer
3:08 – What are adaptogens?
3:38 – HPE Axis (wtf is that?!)
4:50 – EVERYTHING is connected
5:00 – We all are affected by stress
5:30 – Stress + the digital world + entrepreneurs and content creators
9:26 – Adaptogens are NOT a cure-all bandaid
12:20 – Holy Basil (Tulsi) Adaptogens
14:05 – Maca Adaptogens
18:00 – Reishi Adaptogens
19:45 – Reishi + Cancer treatment study http://bit.ly/2TgSIYO 21:30 – Reishi + Auto-immune diseases
23:40 – Ashwagandha Adaptogens
25:37 – The homeostasis state
27:50 – Ashwagandha + nightshades + AIP (Auto-immune protocol)
29:00 – Schizandra Adaptogens
34:20 – Schizandra and endometriosis


Herbs + Products Mentioned in This Podcast..


There are affiliate links within this post. As an affiliate, I receive a small percentage of certain items purchased. These small commissions earned help keep Activated Living ad-free. Please see affiliate page and privacy policy for full details.

Categories
Healing Mind

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders that we all experience at some point in our life. For some, chronic anxiety is extremely common and is something they may experience on a daily or weekly basis. Currently, many people are looking for natural remedies to help ease stress and anxiety. Herbs are an excellent, natural source, full of healing medicine and power. Here are 3 herbal remedies for anxiety.


Why Are Herbs Important?

Before there were pharmaceuticals and big health corporations, our ancestors and those who came before us relied on plants and herbal remedies to ease any ailment. Herbs, plants and spices are packed with nutrition (as long as it comes from a good source), as well as antioxidants that can add therapeutic values to the food we eat. In many cultures, herbal medicine is still highly practiced and respected today. Herbal medicine involves the medicinal use of plants to treat disease and enhance general health and overall wellbeing. On a cellular level – herbs are important to our health as components for regeneration, rejuvenation, and creating balance if there are disturbances within the body.


Valerian

Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis) is a potent root to use to help aid in sleep disorders and anxiety. This perineal plant is known by other names as well such as: garden heliotrope, Valerianae radix, and Phu. The best way to consume Valerian root is through teas. Relaxation and calmness are promoted within the system due to Valerenic acid found in the root. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) binds with the valerenic acid and can ease you into a calm and relaxed state. The Valepotriates are also responsible for gently effecting the central nervous system. What makes this plant so medicinal and magical is it has the ability to act as a sedative for agitated patients, while stimulates someone who is suffering from fatigue. Studies suggest that valerian root may help address generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The main symptoms include anxious behaviors and may aid in alleviating anxiety caused by stressful situations.

Cautions
Use only as prescribed by your herbalist, naturopath, or qualified practitioner. Valerian has been noted to cause some people headaches, muscular spasms, and heart palpitation. Try to avoid large doses and prolonged use. Do not take valerian root if you’ll be driving or operating heavy machinery, as it can affect your thinking and reaction abilities. Avoid taking valerian root with alcohol as it can induce drowsiness. Those who experience liver-related problems should avoid valerian root.

Valerian Root should not be mixed with or used in conjunction with Kava, St. John’s Wort, Melatonin, Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Halcion, Barbiturates or central nervous system (CNS) depressants like phenobarbital (Luminal), morphine and propofol (Diprivan).

I absolutely love sipping on Valerian tea to ease any anxiety I may be feeling. My favorite, USDA organic tea from Buddha Teas can be ordered here.


Motherwort

Motherwort has an origin throughout Europe. This herb is especially aligned with women’s health which can aid in menstruation, labor and post-birth. It is also known to help ease anxiety. There are several forms to ingest Motherwort. There are tinctures available in almost any health food store, you can drink the tea up to three times a day, or you can simply infuse the dried cut up herbs. Motherwort also aids in nourishing the emotional heart too. Indicated for grief, anger and upset, this plant is said to give the heart of a lion – calm yet strong. For people who suffer from panic attacks, there have been several studies that found a decrease in anxiety in patients who took Motherwort regularly, especially before they felt a panic attack arise. Studies have shown that Motherwort also is an excellent aid in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.


Cautions
Use only as prescribed by your herbalist, naturopath, or qualified practitioner. Motherwort is not recommended for those who take anticoagulants and or blood thinners such as: aspirin, garlic, willow bark, vitamin E in supplement form. Do not ingest if you are someone with clotting a disorder. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not use Motherwort since it can lead to uterine contractions and cause miscarriage. Motherwort is also a natural sedative. You should not take it with sedative medications or sleeping pills.

Whenever I’m traveling I always make sure to bring my Motherwort tincture from HawaiiPharm. It’s the perfect size. Typically I do 10 drops 3x a day when my body feels like it’s needing the calming medicinal effects of Motherwort.


Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has been said to help ease anxiety and stress. This herb is in the mint family and is fairly common to find in any health food store or farmer’s market. Studies in the past suggest that a compound found in lemon balm (Rosmarinic acid) may produce anti-anxiety effects by increasing the availability of GABA (a signaling chemical) in the brain. When you combine Lemon Balm with Valerian root, the two herbs have an extremely relaxing and calming affect on the body and has been said to induce sleep for those who suffer from insomnia. Lemon balm also aids in enhancing cognitive function, aids in relieving menstrual cramps, strengthen the immune system and may help alleviate digestive issues. As an herbal tea, lemon balm tea does not contain caffeine. This may explain why it may be beneficial for calming upset nerves and relax and sooth any anxiety or disruptions within the body.


Cautions
Use only as prescribed by your herbalist, naturopath, or qualified practitioner. Lemon balm may cause sedation. The herb could possibly interact and disturb the system if mixed with other supplements and medications, such as sedatives, thyroid medication, chemotherapy (like tamoxifen and irinotecan), warfarin, glaucoma medication, and drugs that affect serotonin and GABA. Do not mix lemon balm while drinking alcohol. It isn’t recommended to take lemon balm in high dosages or long term. If you’re undergoing a surgical procedure, do not drink lemon balm tea two weeks before it, because the tea’s sedative nature may negatively interact with the anesthesia.

You can find Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm Tea  in almost every grocery store (Vons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, Safeway, Albertsons..etc.,) or you can buy it online through Amazon here. BONUS –One of my absolute favorite teas came from my dear friend when she came back from the UK and visited me in Mexico. Clipper’s Snore & Peace Tea blend of Lemon Balm, Lavender and Chamomile is LIFE. I love mixing in some steamed coconut milk or almond milk and sipping on this after a long day.


When looking for natural ways to heal and ease any ailment or discomfort you may be experiencing, it’s always important to do your research and find what works well for you, your body, and your symptoms.



Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.


There are affiliate links within this post. As an affiliate, I receive a small percentage of certain items purchased. These small commissions earned help keep Activated Living ad-free. Please see affiliate page and privacy policy for full details.

Categories
Healing

Walking Away from Abusive Relationships

I’m going to start this off by mentioning this blog post will potentially be filled with triggers. For those who are currently seeking help to leave an abusive relationship, call your local authorities or find a hotline to speak to a representative/ advocate at https://www.thehotline.org

I’ve tried so many times to make a vlog or make a serious video. I’ve written and re-written over 100 times and there’s just never been a good way to just segue way into this subject. The unsettling truth is 1 out of 3 young adults in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. 1 out of 4 women in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. There are so many crazy-sad and scary statistics about domestic violence in relationships and abuse from partners in both teenagers and adults. And unfortunately, I am someone who has experienced several forms of abuse from multiple partners throughout my young adult life all the way up to April of 2018.


What Makes Me Qualified to Talk About Abuse?

I won’t go into a laundry list of my traumas or situations I had put myself in the past. I won’t go into extreme details at this point because it’s something I’m still working on and healing. But I guess in the span of 15 years I somehow became an expert in dating and almost marrying abusive men. I’ve experienced the entire spectrum of emotional abuse, physical / violent abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse and even stalking.


For a long time, I felt more comfortable thinking the world was just a cold, dark place. I thought maybe I had done something extremely horrible in my childhood or past lives to “deserve” this kind of treatment. Little did I know my lack of values, my lack of understanding of my self worth, and little emotional intelligence along with identifying as an empath or just highly sensitive person was just a deadly cocktail that invited these men to prey upon me and take advantage of me.


How Do You Know if You’re in an Abusive Relationship?

If you’re reading this, or googling other articles to find “tell tale signs” that you may be in an abusive relationship, you probably are in one. This was one of the biggest “ah-ha” moments for me. I was sitting across from my therapist, tears rolling down my face after I had just linked previous abusive relationships together dating back to early adolescence, and finding some toxic family connections woven in there. My therapist stopped me momentarily and asked, “In the past, did you ever have a suspicion the abuse was actually abuse before it escalated?”. I kind of paused, not knowing how to respond. “Have you ever found yourself googling, ‘signs and symptoms’ of abusive relationships?”. To answer that questions – at some points I was looking at articles 2 or 4 times a day. I was SO focused to find the ONE thing in those articles that would point me towards another direction. If I found one piece of information that may not have aligned with my experience- it was as if that was enough validation for me to sweep it all under the rug. I was the queen of excuses for all of my partners.  Oh, it’s just cultural differences. He had a horrible childhood. His parents abandoned him when he was 5. He doesn’t know how to act on his emotions so he just blows up sometimes. He’s stressed because of work. He’s stressed because he isn’t working. He hasn’t slept or eaten well in a long time. He’s just worried about money, he isn’t usually like this all the time. Trust me- I had an excuse for EVERYTHING


In abusive relationships – it takes two to tango. And I know some people who may still be playing the “victim” role may not agree or want to read these words- but both people participate in the abusive relationship. For me, I felt like I had gone through hell and back so many times. I wore my scars and my armor covering my heart like a badge of honor. I thought, “I’ve learned SO many spiritual principles and tools, I have so much good, loving intentions, I can help this person”. That was strike one for me right there. It was not my JOB to help this person. Especially if this person didn’t WANT my help. Strike two was then I would go into play this role of caregiver/ wounded maiden. I’d over give. I’d be pouring from an empty cup. I’d receive some form of abuse and then just keep GIVING, as if THIS time it would be different. This time he won’t cheat. This time he won’t lie. This time he won’t get upset out of nowhere and blow up. Strike 3 was allowing the abuse to continue and keeping my mouth shut.


When to Walk Away

This is different for everyone. Thankfully for me, I was already in therapy when the abuse began and I could see it escalating. My fiancé and I were in couples therapy and he admitted the abuse which I felt was a good first step- he wanted to change and he wanted to get help. Therapy seemed like the best solution. However, after several attempts to go together or to encourage my fiancé to go to his solo sessions, it felt like I was pulling teeth. I ended up going by myself every week. I was doing my inner emotional work and saw how things just kept getting worse and worse until one morning after a big fight there was a knife to my face and my fiancé had grabbed my hand and yanked my engagement ring off my finger. In hindsight, there were so many times I knew I should have left, but I never did. I wanted to fight for this person, for this hope of a loving relationship. For me- knowing when to leave was a completely different story than when I had to courage and love for myself to leave.

With the help of several friends where I was living in Mexico and communicating vaguely to family members and friends back in the US, I figured out where to place my things, who would take care of my dogs for the time being, and got a plane ticket to return home and leave everything behind. It was the hardest thing because every time I thought I had the strength to move on or more forward, like clock work I’d receive a text message with paragraph long apologies, or voice messages… but this was the pattern I was used to and finally for the first time I had to just erase and block everything from this person to be able to escape from their toxic behavior and lies and abuse.

It’s SO easy for someone to say, “You need to walk away” when they’re giving advice. But it’s one of the most difficult things I had to do in my adult life. It seems like such an easy and simple solution. And I’ll go more into the scientific nature of abuse and trauma bonding in later posts. But for now- simply knowing when to leave and actually leaving it all behind are very different things. Here are a few things I would suggest that have helped me in the past when I realized it was time to walk away:

  • Contacting a women’s or men’s abuse shelter and asking to speak with a counselor about your situation
  • Going into regular therapy or speaking with a psychologist about your situation and getting the proper mental health you need to recover from an abusive relationship
  • Speaking with a trusted friend or person who you know holds no judgement for you and be honest about your situation and interactions with your partner
  • Find a safe place where you can stay/ someone can watch your pets/ someone can store your things as you safely transition out of the abusive environment
  • Always have a stash of cash hidden some place where only you know about in case you need to leave suddenly or unexpectedly
  • Take time out of your day (Every day) and make a mental list of 3 things that you’re currently doing/ making/ creating/ experiencing in your life that you’re fully loving
  • After making that mental note, think about 1 thing that you love about yourself


I’m fully aware that the above list has a lot of things there that may be huge privileges for some and may not be available to others. I was able to financially support myself while paying for my therapy in Mexico because the price was significantly lower than it is in southern California. I went from 2-3 sessions a week when my depression and anxiety and PTSD was at it’s worse, and once a week after, then it was once every two weeks. If I tried to do that in the U.S and tried to work an extra part time job just to pay for my therapy I know my mental stability and emotional capacity would be at it’s tipping point.


The last two points are super important, especially if finding a shelter or therapy isn’t within your means. In abusive relationships, it’s so easy to lose yourself. I lost myself in this person. I lost my desires, my spark for life, my connection to my spiritual body and so much more. By making a mental list every day of 3 things that I was currently doing in my life that I absolutely loved, as well as thinking about things that I love about myself gave me so much more gratitude and space to remember who I am as a person.

Disclaimer:

Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist or psychologist.  You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.



Categories
Soul

5 Spiritual Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me

For the past 10 years my dog, Gus Gus has been there for me through thick and thin. He’s been there for all the fun adventures and road trips. He has been to different countries with me and lived in Mexico with me for 4 years. And through it all, with every break through, break down, break-up and challenge- he’s been right by my side. I learned so much about the true meaning of companionship, among other things, while walking this journey with Gus Gus by my side. Here are 5 spiritual life lessons my dog has taught me during our time together.


Practice Mindfulness – Living Fully in the Moment
One thing I’ve noticed in our 10 year time together so far is that Gus Gus never worries about the future- he is always in the present moment. For me, I’m always future tripping. It was how I was raised – to always look ahead and think (and most of the time, worry) about the future. Over the years I’ve seen how this way of thinking has held me back. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities and just simple, fun experiences due to the fact I was too busy obsessing over the future. At any given moment throughout my day I can turn around and see Gus Gus is just completely satisfied with the toys he’s playing with, or the snack he’s chewing on. Now, I understand that dogs do not have to worry about the intrinsic and mundane issues we worry about such as bills being paid, arguments that linger, etc., However, for example, if I took Gus to the dog park and he got into a little rumble with another dog, sure he’d be shaken a bit afterwards. I guarantee you he wouldn’t be laying on my bed for the rest of the day, going over in his head the fight that just took place, mulling over who’s fault it was or who started it. On the contrary. Gus Gus simply lives in every moment that he experiences.


Practicing Gratitude
Every morning without fail at 7am Gus Gus wakes me up, jumping on my side of the bed to wake me up, excited, happy, licking my face and ready to start the day. It’s a brand new day. It doesn’t matter what happened the day before- this little guy just wakes up and is amped up to be spending the day together. If there are days where I have a meeting, a gig, or just spending the afternoon with some friends, I’m ALWAYS greeted with as much enthusiasm if I was gone for 30 minutes or 3 hours. Gus Gus isn’t concerned about time, and doesn’t hold a grudge if I come home a little bit later than expected. He is just so happy, and filled with gratitude- which makes me feel grateful to come home to such a happy dog.

gus gus sleeping on a couch
gus gus outside our home


Food Should Always Be Celebrated
After moving to Mexico, I realized that the tropical climate was affecting Gus Gus more than we had predicted. His skin was getting itchy and flakey, his appetite was changing, his water intake was different than when we lived in California. There was so many big changes for him. I started speaking to holistic vets that encouraged me to look into finding a more balanced and natural diet for him. His world changed drastically and to this day he still loved bone broth, his veggies, spirulina, turmeric, blueberries, cottage cheese and white meat. Of course, no matter WHAT is in his food dish, generally Gus Gus is super happy to eat it. As I was spending more and more time in the kitchen preparing both our meals, I slowly changed my own relationship with food. For a long time I had a huge love/hate relationship with the food I ate. This relationship ran deep and goes into my eating disorder I had during high school. I never looked at food as nourishing. I never celebrated the food I ate. I never felt gratitude when creating a healthy meal. I was always filled with anxiety, stupid worries, and insecurities. Once I began meal prepping for the two of us, I found joy in the kitchen. I found a new way to be creative. Now, whenever I’m making a meal – I find reasons to be joyful and celebrate the nourishing food we’re about to eat.


Understanding Unconditional Love
As I’ve mentioned in previous lessons I have learned, independent if my day was good or bad, Gus Gus doesn’t care. He’s ALWAYS there to greet me with love and excitement. He doesn’t hold grudges. He doesn’t keep score. He’s just always there for me, no matter what. Always full of love to give.

In this human experience, we often like to keep score. We create complex scoreboards in relationships, friendships, work relationships, family connections and other interactions. A scoreboard mindset is based on the foundation of fear and often leads to resentment. By having a scoreboard mindset it makes it nearly impossible for love to flourish, let alone understand the meaning of what unconditional love is. Unconditional Love means that you love fully and with an open heart. One important lesson I’ve learned if that YOU must treat yourself with unconditional love before you can truly give it to someone else. Gus Gus has taught me over the years that after every huge mistake, regression or issue I find myself in, he’s not there to remind me how I messed up in the past, or how I didn’t do the right thing, he’s just by my side, ready to cuddle and love me and just be the all time awesome dog that he is.


Principals of Patience + Faith
Patience is the ability to wait without worry or complaint. When I first got Gus Gus, he was a tiny little puppy, and I lived in San Francisco in a 3 floor walk up in an apartment that didn’t allow any pets. As I went through the long nights of his feeding schedule, to the low-key stealth potty training (imagine training this dog to tell me when he needs to go by sitting at the door, putting him into one of my messenger bags, running down the stairs, going through the basement/storage area and taking him to the alley to relieve himself.. sometimes 5 times a day) It was a long 2 weeks- but I learned that I had to be patient with the learning / training process.

Most recently, when I came back from Mexico this last April, it was such a chaotic time I didn’t have the funds or time to get Gus approved to come back to the states with me. I had several friends watch him and I knew he was in good hands, however somehow Gus got bit by a tick and eventually ended up getting Lyme disease. The disease didn’t really flare up until after he came back to California with me a few months later. It was a very stressful Summer. And although I had one of the best vets, he kept telling me this whole process is going to just take a lot of time for him to fully heal. There was a point when I didn’t think he was going to make it, honestly. I could see the disease affecting his motor skills, he was lethargic. I just had to stay positive, stay patient, and give him his medicines at the precise time throughout the day. After 3 weeks I saw a big change in his demeanor. It was tough on me emotionally and mentally. But one thing that I will always remember is how every time I stared down at his scruffy little face, his eyes were never sad, he never seemed uncomfortable. I just felt a huge sense of relaxed energy from him. Almost as if he was telepathically trying to tell me, “It’s gonna be ok. Just give me time”.


As I write this, I’m currently in my bed, with Gus Gus snuggled at the base of my feet. He’s always been a great foot-warmer. I’ve realized that throughout my 10 years together with this little scruff ball, I have learned SO many lessons. But one thing that is always in the back of my mind, is that one day, Gus Gus is going to leave this world and hopefully his puppy spirit will be having a blast somewhere- wherever dog spirits go after they leave their companions. So I suppose the ultimate spiritual life lesson I’ll be learning during our relationship together is letting go. At some point, our furry four legged friends move on. And all we have left are the memories, the pictures, toys, and ashes. Every day I make it a point to give Gus Gus tons of kisses on his little tummy, place our foreheads together and thank him for being one of the best Gurus I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I thank him for all the lessons he teaches me. I thank him for his unconditional love. And I also thank his spirit for choosing me to be the one who takes care of him.

Categories
Mind podcast

Podcast Episode 2- Navigating Stress

The second episode of The Activated Living Podcast is here and today it’s all about stress and simple ways to help navigate stressful situations and managing anxiety and stress. No one is immune to stress. Stress effects all of us in one form or another. Throughout the episode I talk about major tips to help you navigate your stress in the three main categories of Mind Body and Soul.

Podcast Episode 2- Navigating Stress

Navigating Stress Podcast Show Notes:

1:32 – Stress is your body reaction to a harmful situation, whether or not it is truly harmful. 

1:50 – The physiological symptoms of stress

5:00 – Other people’s beliefs that were adopted as my own – more stress
5:45 – Scarcity mindset Navigating Stress via The Mind
8:32 – Deep Breathing + Meditation
8:45 – I said I wouldn’t quote anything but here’s a scientific article about the benefits of deep breathing >> http://bit.ly/2Ae5Arp
10:16 – Driving mindfully
12:54 – Learn to say, “No”, more often
14:37 – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) OR therapy in general

Navigating Stress via The Body
18:32 – Getting good and consistent amounts of sleep
21:33 – My recent panic attack that I believe was triggered from my stress which led to acute insomnia
24:50 – APA (American Psychological Association) Study I’m referring to can be found here >> http://bit.ly/2RfDplQ25:37

Physical stress response within the body
27:00 – Chronic stress affects your sleep
28:05 – Exercising to navigate stress
29:59 – Eliminating coffee and highly caffeinated drinks to help with stress 30:49 – Scientific article on Caffeine and the stress response on a physiological scale >> http://bit.ly/2QOIJx6

Navigating Stress via The Soul
34:05 – Self Care
35:56 – Self Care – your needs are important !
40:04 – Self Care Tips when you don’t have a ton of money
41:06 – Self Care Magnesium Flake Bath