I'm a little slow in posting the second installment in the Virtual Coaching Series, but in the meantime, enjoy this great podcast from Women's Wellness Radio, featuring guest Dr. Aumatma Shah, ND. This podcast titled " A Natural Approach to Fertility" gives wonderful perspective and insight into how we can nourish our fertility from the ground up, building a strong foundation in wellness and addressing infertility issues holistically. Enjoy!
One of the beautiful things about health coaching is that each session allows us to take time out of our busy lives to dedicate a space to our wellbeing. For some, this may be the only time that they really allow themselves to connect with how they are feeling, where their path is taking them, and what is or isn’t working in their life (what may be adding or detracting from their wellbeing).
I often ask my clients to start their session with some deep breathing. In our hectic lifestyles we can end up holding our breath throughout the day, stomach tightened, creating a cascade of tension throughout the body. I can’t tell you how often (when I set my awareness to my breathing), I realize that I’m holding my stomach in such a tight way, not fully allowing breath to come in; it’s almost as if I’m bracing myself for something. It’s easy for this to become a habitual way of being, especially when we are experiencing stressful situations.
So for the next few moments, as you read the rest of this post, breathe deeply into your diaphragm. Feel the breath enter your body, releasing the tension that is there. Allow yourself this time to connect with how you are feeling, noticing any tension or discomfort if it is present, and thanking your body for all it does for you.
This first session is dedicated to finding your voice. Remember that this series can be applied to any situation, but I will be focusing on the infertility journey.
Voicing your journey is important. Infertility can be a very difficult thing to discuss with anyone, even those closest to us. Often, we don’t allow ourselves to spend much time in this space because it can be painful. But having a place and time to voice our own experiences, however messy, creates an opening for healing.
So here are some questions to help you begin to get in touch with your own voice:
How do you feel that the experience of infertility has impacted you?
What aspects of your infertility journey concern you the most at this time?
If you had to take one step towards making a change that would impact your journey, what would it be?
Do you have all the information and resources you need to move forward?
So, spend some time on these questions. Allow yourself a reflective time-out. Make a cup of tea, breath deeply and create your own sacred healing space.
Peace and blessings to you. See you in Session 2!
I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to send me your experiences and insight!.
I know there is a lot of mystery surrounding the process and benefits of health coaching. Health coaching as a profession is relatively new and is currently undergoing much transformation to standardize itself. While there are many types of health coaches, all who may specialize in particular areas of health, I consider myself to be more of a generalist with a holistic bent. My particular training is unique in that it addresses health from a whole body perspective, meaning that we believe health and wellbeing are a reflection of every area of life, including nutrition, rest, exercise, spirituality, community, relationships, profession & purpose, and physical environment. We could identify other areas to add, but I think you get the idea. We empower the individual to be mindful of their health in order to visualize and plan for a life of vitality, and elicit the help of practitioners that provide healing from conventional and complementary health professions. This means drawing upon the wisdom of not only western (allopathic) medicine, but the healing traditions of Functional Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Botanical Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Massage Therapy and Reiki to name a few. There are beautiful, beneficial healing practices available to us when we become familiar with that they are and how we can utilize them.
So, I’ve decided to start a virtual coaching series, with a bent towards those experiencing infertility, to provide insight into how the coaching process works. I will focus on infertility because that’s where my journey began and I know there are a lot of women out there who could benefit from the coaching process. While personally working with a coach on your particular health issues is most beneficial, I hope that this series provides you with an understanding of the integrative approach to your health and that you learn something useful for your own journey!
Check back soon for the first in our Series
STRESS! It's unavoidable and comes with the territory of being human. Yet, there are many ways of dealing with the small and large stressors in our lives. I don't know about you, but I"m always open to learning new ways of easing the challenges in my life. One technique that I recently learned more about is called Emotional Freedom Technique. It really is fascinating and worth adding to your "toolbox". Check out this great podcast from "Women's Wellness Radio" featuring Dr. Linda Wilson, Hope you enjoy!
When I first began my journey supporting women with infertility, I wanted to create a resource where they could learn about holistic approaches to supporting their health and in turn address the infertility that they were experiencing. I have for some time strongly believed that health stems from a fully nourished body, mind and spirit. But this can be a challenging perspective to fully grasp. We live in culture that approaches health from a symptom management model. It is more likely that we never get to the root cause of our symptoms, and continually find ourselves up against those things that bring us out of balance and affect our overall wellness.
Infertility is a symptom.
Our bodies crave balance. When all aspects of health, from a physical, emotional and spiritual level are working in tandem, beautiful wellness is the result. We feel good, are happier and more at peace and can face life’s challenges with greater ease. When things are not in balance, symptoms appear to let us know that something isn’t working and needs our attention. Paying attention to those symptoms and understanding health from this perspective is a gift you can give yourself.
The shift comes in what we do next.
So, if infertility is a symptom, how do we get to the root cause? We start with ourselves, we get to know our bodies, we assess how our life is supporting us, and we find practitioners who can support our journey to a more holistic, nourished life. We begin to understand what wellness means for us.
What I really want you to know about this shift is that it’s not a quick symptom fix. But, I can promise you that the insight, skills and support that you learn will serve you the rest of your life. Infertility can be your opening to greater wellness if you allow it.
And so, a shift is taking place in my own practice that has been calling me for some time. While I will continue to support the unique needs of women experiencing infertility, I will be opening up my practice to focus on holistic women’s health. By focusing on health at the foundational level, understanding root cause and understanding the dance between the body, mind and spirit, optimal wellness is possible for all of us. We create a platform from which to build the lives we so desire.
So, look to this blog to bring you closer to those practices, practitioners and tidbits of info that support women’s health in a holistic, supportive way. In doing so, I hope to make it easier for you to make the shift to greater wellness.
This past year I reconnected with an old love of mine: dance. I have throughout my adulthood taken classes here and there, trying to quell that sense of needing to move my body and to connect to music, but hadn’t been able to make anything stick. I tried ballet again hoping to reignite that passion from youth, but somehow the discipline and structure of it didn’t speak to me as an adult. So, I put that desire on the backburner, unsure of what to do with it. Yet, the need to move and connect would frequently remind me that it still existed, coming in and out of focus, sometimes making me feel physically “itchy” when I heard a beautiful song and could imagine myself moving to it. It was an unexpressed need that my body was reminding me of, gently trying to get my attention for many years.
Then, I ran across NIA. The founders of NIA explain the practice in this way: “Nia tones your mind and tunes your body. Each workout brings mindfulness to your dance movement experience leaving you energized, mentally clear, and emotionally balanced.” Nia combines dance arts, martial arts and healing arts to heal the body, mind and spirit. It is truly a whole-body practice, and is right up my alley. From the first class I was hooked and finally felt a sense of arriving; no more searching for a dance outlet, I found it. No more dreaming of what it would be like to dance again, now I’m actually doing it.
In my first class of the new year, we danced a routine to the song, Grateful: A Lovesong to the World. It doesn’t seem to be on itunes, but you can download it for free from the link below. It’s a beautiful, inspirational song. It’s also a reminder that through our struggles and challenges, we can find something to be grateful for. Whether it’s rediscovering a long lost passion, or seeing the beauty in the simple moments of our day, I hope you begin this year finding something to feel grateful for. Oh, and I hope it makes you want to get up and dance!
The concept of letting go has been present in my life recently. Letting go of what I thought or wished would be. Letting go of timing, direction and outcome. As the trees let go of their leaves this beautiful season, they make way for renewal, so that once again new life can be created in the spring. Theirs is a cycle that is constant and predictable and there is comfort in that. Knowing that one can count on the seasons to mark life as it passes each year somehow feels reassuring. This constant predictable cycle however is not present in the infertility journey. But oh, wouldn’t we like it to be!
Yes, this infertility journey is full of moments of letting go; letting go of the plans we make, paths we thought we’d walk, dreams we envisioned. Our journeys can veer us far off of a course that we predicted we would take, and many times force us to move blindly forward into unchartered territory, uncertain and unsure of the direction we are heading.
When we learn to let go of what we thought would be though, we make room for what actually is and the possibilities that accompany that space of acceptance. When we let go of how we think things should be, look, sound, smell, taste, we might just find a bit of peace that we so well deserve. We just might create space for new ways of moving through our journeys.
In this season of transition, what aspects of your journey do you need to let go of? What may be possible for you in that space of acceptance?
This is just a quick post to point out a few new links that I've added here under "Helpful Links". These are a few of my favorite integrative health physicians that I follow (conventionally trained M.D.'s who also blend the philosophy and science of integrative health practices to address health concerns.) Check out their sites below. They are a wonderful gateway to adopting an integrative approach to your health and wellbeing!
As I was out driving this morning, it struck me how quickly the leaves are changing here- green turning to red, orange and yellow. If you are lucky enough to live in a climate where this change occurs, you are either celebrating the peak of this transition, anticipating the beginning, or mourning the end. A week ago, this change wasn’t as noticeable here, but if you pay attention you can see the transition almost on a daily basis. It is the most beautiful season (in my opinion), but it is so darn quick. In the past few years, I have tried to make a point to make sure I pay attention to this change, to notice it, savor it, before the drab browns of late fall/early winter surround me.
This short-lived seasonal transition can be a reminder to be mindful of the now, to pay attention to the beauty in our lives. How often are we too busy or too deep in thought about future possibilities or past events that we miss what is happening around us? How often do we stress over shortcomings of our current life only to overlook the moments that bring us joy and wonder? Yes, these moments may seem quick, or few and far between depending on where you are in life, but I’m sure they are there if you pay close attention.
This season, wherever you are, take a moment and notice any beautiful changes that are taking place in your surroundings or within yourself. Give yourself permission to acknowledge them, however small or fleeting. Let them nourish your being.
Oh, and if you are so blessed, don’t forget to bask in the beauty of that brilliant golden maple tree!
There is a certain peace that comes with the welcoming of fall. It’s hard to explain, but the older I get the more I am aware of its presence. Daylight is shortening, the growing season is coming to an end, and the active, outward energy of spring and summer starts to move inward. As much as I love all of the opportunities that warmer weather brings, I feel more and more that fall welcomes space to breathe and a chance to step back, wind down and prepare for rest.
I think it is a good reminder that as nature is preparing for rest and renewal, we may also do the same. As you move into this season of transition, how will you allow the slowing down of life to nurture you?
Welcome to my blog! This is a space to cultivate ideas, share resources and provide information about creating whole-body wellness for women.