VidyEssence

2 simple words to bring you more happiness

Posted by in Self-Care

GabMJ

Pace and Space

I have been thinking about writing on this theme for the longest time. More than a year, that I’m actually having those two words wandering in my brain. More than a year, that I’m actually  not giving myself the proper environment to get to think out loud about those words on paper. What I wanted to write about is what I like and miss the most in my life: Pace and Space. Isn’t it ironic?  Welcome to the chronicle of a woman’s journey to find deep heartfelt joy and a meaningful life.

Pace, to me, is  all about slowing down. It is a matter of consciously creating a rhythm that works with who we are and what we value. Honoring who I am is very difficult when it comes to thinking about the use of my time.  I tend to take on projects and say yes, or even worse, sometimes opening my mouth too quickly and offering help..Why?   Because, I perceive that there is an opportunity not to be missed or I feel that  if I am not stepping in, nobody else will. All of these are lies and excuses!   I can also tell it may have something to do with the fact that being distracted is an unconscious plan to avoid facing my real dream as it may hurt if I do not succeed. Self sabotage at its best!

I have been doing this for years without understanding it deeply in my heart until recently. And because human beings need practice, I have relapses and go back to the old days where I would stretch myself thin to do it all. We cannot be everything for everyone. That is a people pleaser mentality. Yes, you could also call it the superwoman syndrome. I also compare this to attempting to be Mother Theresa.  This is too high of a standard to achieve in this life.

So the real questions to ask is Why do we feel the need to be so fast paced? What is so important that we cannot stop? More often than not, the sense of urgency is only in one location: in our head. A lot of what we feel important is just not. Taking the time to stop,  live life, and spend time with people we love is of greater importance than finishing up the to do list that has no end.  Society has pushed us to believe that being an overachiever is a quality worth cultivating. Have you tried overwatering  a seed to make it grow faster?

Space…I see this word as twofold.

The physical environment: Obviously the place where we live and work are what comes to mind at first. Let’s do a quick experience. Stop reading now and lift you eyes off the screen. Look around you. What do you see? Which words would you use to describe your current environment? Is it noisy or calm? Cluttered or in order? What you perceive is a direct reflection of your life. I can tell you that right now my home environment reflects the busyness of my work and the scattered items everywhere are like my mind: racing in all directions without  clear focus of where it needs to be in this very moment. How can we focus if everywhere we look there is a constant  reminder of things we have to do? How can we have a peaceful, relaxed gaze when there is mess all around us? Decluttering  and making time daily to put away what I use is of  great importance to me. Because I work from home, everything is an invitation to be distracted from the important task at hand.

The in between thing space

Well, it seems like I made this mistake for so long and still do it  from time to time.  Stacking activities and appointments back to back like a pile of dirty dishes in the sink is asking for trouble and disaster! Giving ourselves space to breathe in between activities  is NOT a waste of our time. It is quite the opposite.This is what gives us time to:

  • Put things away to their respective locations;
  • Reflect on what just happened or what was said in an important conversation;
  • Pencil that appointment we just took;
  • Finish writing a note from our training or meeting
  • Drink water, go to the bathroom,stretch and take a few deep breaths;
  • Get ready physically, mentally emotionally and even spiritually (read being focused and present) for the next important thing or person in our calendar.


Space on your calendar will inarguably give you a new sense of pace. Pace will help you be more comfortable and happier in your space. They both depend on each other. Once you start implementing one, the other, like a twin, will be there nearby, ready to be embraced by you. Will you open yourself to it?

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PH7.2: Is this the new version of you?

Posted by in Self-Care

As I was researching for this blog post, I was able to access what is described in the Book Think and Grow Rich the creative imagination. As a strike of divine intervention, I was lead onto one link, and then another. The impulse was too strong to ignore it. Following the gut feeling to pursue this search rather than writing asap, I unraveled the  terms I was needing to explain my life’s mission and make some interesting links about our body and Mother Earth. I had never heard of these names or concepts before but this is, to my knowledge and  to this day, what is the closest to what I want to convey to all who are ready to hear it:

Ecological Medecine, as defined on the web site http://www.sehn.org/ :

Ecological Medicine is a new field of inquiry and action to reconcile the care and health of ecosystems, populations, communities, and individuals.

The health of Earth’s ecosystem is the foundation of all health. Human impact in the form of population pressure, resource abuse, economic self-interest, and inappropriate technologies is rapidly degrading the environment. This impact, in turn, is creating new patterns of human and ecosystem poverty and disease. The tension among ecosystem health, public health, and individual health is reaching a breaking point at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century.

EcoHealth, is the second term I found. It  can simply be explained with these two sayings:

Linking ecosystem’s health and human health;

Healthy environment = healthy people.

I always like to observe and find metaphors between the human body and nature  and use nature as a teacher on how to live my life. Let me tell you that  I have never been deceived. In nature you need proper soil to grow your food and nutrients are there to feed the plant what it needs to produce its work of love. Same for our own ecosystem. We have our own flora and the pH is also directly correlated to nature and our ecosystem.

Tip #4 Work on keeping a healthy body pH of 7.2 by decreasing inflammatory foods and beverages.

In nature having a balanced PH is greatly important to protect  wildlife as well as avoiding, in the case of lower ph, the suffocation of the lake or pond.

Ph in our body ecosystem is crucial. It is probably one of the most important elements affecting our health status and bodily functions. Many conditions and diseases have out of range pH levels.

Acidic and alkaline

Most fruits and vegetables, including citrus, make your body alkaline. You need 8 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables to keep your body alkaline. Green leafy vegetables are first on the list. On the other end, meat, dairy, and grains make your body acidic. Some  recommend that our food intake should be 75% alkaline foods.  Meatless monday anyone? This cannot be more apropos as the World Health Organization has released a study this week showing the link between red meat and cancer.

Not only do foods make your body alkaline or acidic. Emotions such as anger, hate, sadness, despair, and loneliness also change your body chemistry to acidic. Happy emotions, such as love, make your body pH alkaline. This is why we must be mindful of everything that goes into our bodies, from our food to our thoughts. This is the part of the environment that I like to specialize in. Creating physical and emotional harmonious environments at  home and at work can do so much to help us take care of ourselves. Isn’t it empowering to know that? I cannot wait to hear from your experience.  Which step or steps will you make to begin rebalancing your ph level?

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Do you have the right (gut) feelings about your girls?

Posted by in Self-Care

The yellow spot on my left breast has changed my life and my perception of what my body should look like. In this society we spend way too much time worrying about our appearance, thanks to marketing and advertising. Marketing used to be a way to listen and understand what the customer wants so then the business world could offer something that will meet his or her needs. Nowadays companies dictate what we are supposed to like and this is not making me happy. I sometimes have to use lots of self talk to avoid the commercial  trap. Who has never used retail as therapy?

Coming back to the breast, I  was shocked at how a little amount of answers I received for my survey.  I am extending a big thank you to  the courageous women out there who filled it out. I guess this survey about breasts was intimidating to some. This shows how well we have been trained to think these subjects are taboo. My objective was to create an inner reflection on something we are not consciously putting a lot of conscious  attention to. Nevertheless, with a handful of answers, it was still easy to see some tangent here. Without being too scientifically precise, this is what the results looked like:

Q1-Let’s be honest here: Do you like your breast as it is?

A1-50% said yes and 50% no.

Q2- Whether you said yes or no please tell us why?

A-2 Yes but or no and they are….too big, too small, too saggy, uneven.  Only one person said that her breast is beautiful.

Q3-When you think about your breasts, what comes to mind? What would be the best word or words to describe them?

A3- Ugly, saggy, feminine, heavy,  small, attractive

Q4-Was it always like this? Has your perception changed overtime?

A4- ⅓ said yes, they used to love them and ⅔ said the perception changed over time.

Q5- If you answered yes, please tell us what made this change of perception.

A5- Breastfeeding, weight gain, gravity.

It seems like getting older and accepting that our body is constantly in a state of transformation are the main factors of dissatisfaction. This is something we can certainly come back to at some point…

Breast health tips

Now I cannot claim to be the one who came up with these tips… Remember on my first article when I mentioned that Renée Russo from the Thermography Center of Sonoma County handed me out this little pink card? Well it has been compiled from their experience and their relationship with  professionals and patients alike. There is so much research on breast cancer prevention and cancer prevention in general that we are not aware of.  It is mind blowing!

TSo as to keep  the suspense for the famous #1 tip, I’ll do a countdown and start with …

Breast Health tip no 5: Make sure your liver, kidneys and GI Tract are in optimum order.

Did you know that these organs directly affect your breast health? Through specific organs and processes, the body is working hard to get rid of toxins. If there is an overload and there is too much to process, the excess toxins will be stored in fat . . . which is what our breast are made of! This is why optimizing the liver kidney and GI tract is so crucial. We need to support these organs so we can be supported from them in getting rid of all the toxins we are exposed to.

This is not an exhaustive list but this group of tree is a great start.

3 ways to act preventatively

  • Eliminate as much as possible all contaminants from your life.

There are three ways in which we intoxicate ourselves: inhalation, ingestion, and absorption. In other words , what you smell, eat and put on your skin are the culprit. This is why I suggest reading labels, removing GMOs from your diet and adding in as much local, organic food as possible.

It is equally important to do  the same thing with all cleaning and personal hygiene products. We will get more into this in future blog posts but keep in mind that, the best way to avoid harmful ingredients is to get as close to what nature solely offers as possible. Anything convenient, prepared for you may also add some toxicity load. DIY and homemade  recipes and projects are an easy way to control the ingredient list and the process involved.

Do not use plastic bottles, or any type of  plastic containers to store or warm food. (I would also discourage cooking or reheating food in a microwave. More on this in a future post.)

  • Process emotional issues as they arise

We tend to forget as we deal with physical issues that among the different aspects of who we are, the physical plane  is only making up for 25% of it all. The emotional, mental and spiritual aspect are part of who we are too! Like in nature all the elements are connected and interdependent.  Hence the need to have our entire being on our  checklist as this is a great way to understand the root causes of our issues.

So as much as we want to eat the right food for good health, it is as important to work on our emotional selves so as not to overload our organs. Otherwise this creates a need for them to work harder. This subject alone could be the object of a series of post on its own. We are just scratching the surface here.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is associated with anger, the kidney with fear and the GI tract to your intuition (got gut feelings anyone?). It makes sense, then that keeping these detoxing organs in optimal health will not only improve your breast health, but your feelings of well-being as well. This is also why it is important to process any emotional issues that arise. Let’s look at this from the perspective of this article

Liver and anger:

Signs  of imbalance could, among others things, show up through breast tenderness. I love to use therapeutic essential oils internally such as lemon and geranium to physically support my liver and a blend of tree and roots to ground me into being at peace with the world.

Kidneys and  fear:

Some signs of imbalance include lowered libido and night sweats, which are often linked to menopause and hormone disorders. These symptoms can also be an early sign of certain cancers. Applying lemongrass essential oils to the kidney area is a great way to support them. In terms of healing the fearful emotions, using Geranium oil, which is the oil of love and trust, might be worth a try. Some other essential oils can also imbue a sense of courage and empowerment.

  • Most people do not know that 80% of their immune system is located in the GI tract. This is a good reason to take care of it. Another thing that many people do not realize either is that the immune system plays an important role in detecting and destroying cancer cells. As mentioned in an article from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website: ‘’According to a scientific theory called cancer immunosurveillance, your immune system can discern malignant cells, and attack tumors with the same weapons it uses to eliminate invading microorganisms. There’s a growing body of evidence that sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system. (Which would be my no 4 on this tip list ) This is why getting seven or more uninterrupted hours of sleep per night can help your immune system function well. Adding probiotics to your healthy regimen is worth it. We need the good bacteria in our gut, that is for sure! There are a plethora of essentialois that can give you the help you need to support your immune system. Let’s talk about this in a near distant post.

As I  finish up here,  I realize I need to go get my seven hours of sleep. I consciously want to walk my talk more and more each day. Do you? I would love to hear about your health story. Please share a comment below on how you succeed or are challenged with your health habits. How about demonstrating love and this article to someone you care about? This might be just what they need today.

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The naked truth about my girls and what can you do about yours? (1 of 6)

Posted by in Self-Care

breasts

‘’Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone’’  Song Lyrics, Yellow Taxi/Paved Paradise, Counting Crows

My ex boyfriend from college wrote  something similar to me when I broke up with him. For some reason, this saying stayed with me. When I think about nature and witness what is going on, as in the song, it breaks my heart. I don’t want us to destroy the planet. It is so magnificent! All the species, living being and elements that are part of this earth have a specific role to play. It is so well orchestrated and intricate that we cannot still fully comprehend how all these pieces work. We can basically say the same thing  about our bodies. I often ponder about the similarities between both and wonder if we are  also destroying our own personal ecology without even realizing it? Why? Is this because we are unconscious? Or maybe lack of presence, knowledge or perseverance? Do we care for what we say we value?

These thoughts came to my mind, when my breast thermography revealed a zone where there was more warmth than what we expect in a healthier breast. Can you locate the biggest yellow spot on the image? Because of this spot, I am  on a six month watch list to pay close attention to my breasts. I was not expecting that, even though I remembered having some nervousness the day of the exam…. I knew I could do better to take care of myself. With the recent news of my mother  recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, this was a lot at once.

I always said I would never get cancer.  So I  wondered…and then got anxious, paralyzed by the thought. This yellow spot could be something else. It may also be  the beginning of a cancer. Why did I need  such a warning to be more serious about my health? I guess I did not listen well enough. I know what I can do better. Without any advice from  a doctor, right off the bat, I knew I needed:

 

  • To stop working late and go to bed when I fall asleep… the first time it happen;
  • Not to take my work so serioulsy as if nothing else matter;
  • To exercise, not to find excuses to validate that I am too busy and don’t have time.

And most importantly…To stop worrying about the yellow spot  and get into action to improve my health.

At the end of my visit, Renee, the co-owner of the Thermography Center of Sonoma County   gave me this pink card titled: Top 5  breast health tips. She  was clear about one thing I remember so vividly:  that if I did not care about doing tip #1 she might as well keep the card. She was so right! This realisation was so intense for me that it changed dramatically my perspective in life and how I handle it. YesI had a light bulb moment like those we hear about, the epiphany.

 

 

As much as I shared with you on the last post that I was not so happy about my breasts, I can tell you  that, now,  as I look at myself  half naked in the mirror, I have a different perception. I can see how what we see depends on the glasses we decide to wear. I have a renewed sense of appreciation for my breasts and how valuable they are in my life. Don’t it always seem to go that we don’t know what we got till it’s gone?

Invitation

This post was about my girls, but it can certainly be about yours…I am not looking for a solo discourse here. I yearn to  share the truth about our lives. What makes me  not go to bed tonight so I can finish to write this this post, even when I  know better? What makes us worry so much that we cannot sleep? What is so wrong with our society that we have to read every single  label before buying something? How can we bring more consciousness and wellness into our lives? How can we change our world, so we can change the world?  It starts with a conversation between you and me and all the men women  out there who wants a better world for their family and loved ones. Please do join the conversation and leave a comment below. Stay tune or better, sign up for my blog post/newsletter so we can be part of a united conversation.

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Beauty and the Breast

Posted by in Self-Care

Have you seen this Dove advertisement  (#choose beautiful) where women need to choose between two doors to get into a building, one that says beautiful and one average? How about this other one when women have a hard time naming one body part they like on themselves but have such an easier time to do the same for their friends? Well, these campaigns on beauty are real eye openers and reminders about how we let society define who we should be and what it really means to be beautiful.

Over time my priorities and perceptions about beauty have changed, thank goodness. There are really some crazy things one can do to feel beautiful. I am glad this phase of my life is over. Still, believe it or not, this subject is not the easiest one for me to write about. It is hard to admit publicly that there are some  of my body parts I am not so comfortable with.

I used to feel more beautiful when I was younger. Of course we all have better and worse days. One way or the other, when seeing my teenage daughter being so young, so beautiful and sometimes  being unsure of her beauty…I just don’t get it. When I look in the mirror, I know time has left its trace on my body. I can also attribute some of these transformations to specific life events, such as being pregnant twice and breastfeeding for months. I remember being the happiest, most beautiful woman, or so it seems to me, during my pregnancies. Why? because then my breasts were full. I felt so attractive. Now it seems like I have less than I used to and gravity is definitely not just a theory. If you are a woman you know what I mean.

  • Because I want to love my body just the way  it is, but do not always;
  • Because I think there are surely other women out there feeling the same;
  • Because it is breast cancer awareness month;
  • Because I do not have Unilever’s advertising budget anyhow…

I decided to create a short survey asking my female friends and community to share with me their thoughts on their breasts. I wonder what words come to mind when they think about their girls? I think  that the less we talk about these things the more they stay taboo. And the more we share, the more likely we are to realize we are not alone. Together we can find ways to change our body perception.

I invite you to be part of this social experience.  Click here to get there. It is only a few questions long, takes less than a few minutes to fill out and this is totally confidential. No answers will be used in conjunction with your name. I will only draw conclusions based on statistics. In order to thank you for your time and inspire you to add some self care in your life, I will enter you for a drawing for one of Beauty Counter’s Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion and doTERRA’s introduction kit (5ml of each: lemon, lavender and peppermint).

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