Freedom From Frenzy

In 2001, I was a first year, first grade DC public school teacher. I had 16 students in my class. No textbooks, no pencils, no makers, no paper. 5 days into my first year, 9/11 happened. Our school was down the street from The US Capital. Our school building shook all day from the planes overhead. The sirens, the energy, the noise in and around NE DC. I stayed in my classroom with the 6 year olds, until the last one was picked up after 4pm that day. I drove home on empty streets, quite happy to be alive. Shocked, mostly. Crying.

Later that school year, I developed a horrible pain in my hip/glute that was relentless. This pain left me confused about my body. And my body was something I almost NEVER thought about. I lived in my head, my very capable, highly educated, well traveled mind which had led me ( or so I thought) out of every bad situation I managed to get myself into and had given me EVERYTHING I had ever wanted. Ivy League Grad School, a great boyfriend, a full and impressive resume…My brain had encouraged me to push and force and do more and join everything. My brain loved being so busy. I felt very comfortable with busy. My mind chattered and chattered repeating thoughts, pulling my attention there there and everywhere. My favorite word was YES! I became ANGRY with my body for slowing me down. I had NO time for this pain.

I made a phone call to the local studio.

“I heard yoga is good for people with injuries. I have excruciating pain in my hip and my leg. I am 22. I have to exercise. I don’t stretch. I don’t want ANYTHING spiritual. I just want a workout. Do you have that?”

“Yes.” she responded.

“Come to Devon on Monday night. Beginning Ashtanga. Let me know what you think.”

And from that moment.. when I stepped into the yoga center. The SLOW, STEADY process of paying attention to my thoughts, my life, my mind, my choices.. started to unfold.

My life, a series of accomplishments and successes & wins were all part of this “illusion’ of enough-ness. An illusion that I am FINE and that I was strong enough to power through it all- that I could achieve “just as much as anyone else” even though I thought MY story was so sad.

But, it’s just not true. You see, before yoga- I thought it was JUST ME who was in pain. I thought it was JUST ME who had a traumatic childhood- and I was so wrapped up in proving myself to the world- that I lost ANY connection I had to my body, looking back I think b/c there was so much pain there. SO much right under the surface.  So much my body was holding on and since I would not sit down and feel it- I became more tightly wound. I took on more jobs, roles, responsibility as we do..

16 years later…

Somewhere along the way, I made the commitment to live a joyful life.  Ironically,  I feel the most joy in daily life when I accept and embrace of all the human emotions ( even anger and shame and fear and sadness)

Somewhere along the way, I took my seeking heart and began to share with others the teachings, as I learned them. You guys, read this! Oh man, you have to listen to this!  And it’s sort of all I have ever wanted to do…

I found teachers and books and leaders and retreats that took me by the hand and whispered, “YOU TOO! You can have this. You can feel good- No, wait BETTER THAN GOOD! You can feel ALIVE AND AWAKE not only in your mind, but in your body too.”

I began to feel the WHOLENESS that that has always, always been here.  By integrating the emotions and experiences in my life with energy and mind body practices, I was slowly able to sleep better, improve ALL my relationships, leave jobs or careers or projects when the time was right.  Was I really able to tap into my “intuition” this esoteric thing I had always read about but never knew could be real?

In order for me to radically change my mental and physical health it was going to take more than just yoga. And over the years when the time was right, one thing led to another, led to another….

Eventually, I began to experiment with food and become a Health Coach and a few years later learn more about Ayurveda..

And then I noticed, yep, this too helps.

Eventually, I met a teacher who taught me to meditate.

Yep, this too helps. New things began to happen in my body, in my heart, in my mind. Is that forgiveness? Is that pure love? Did someone say compassion?  Until meditation, I’m not really sure I had ever felt these for myself ( let alone others!)

And then  intentional journaling, morning pages, writing and painting and taking SUPER DUPER good care of my body with baths and gentle yoga and oils and foot rubs.

And now, this. A deep, profound trust for my life and about my life- no matter what the road ahead brings.

We are all perfectly imperfect. I accept myself for who I am. I know that when I take REALLY good care of myself, my life feels MUCH better. It feels more joyful and I feel at ease with whatever pops up. I’m not as controlling about my time, or my life or my expectations.

I stick the basics and I keep it simple- When I limit TV and get plenty of sleep, I’m more creative, playful, energized and I make better choices. When I eat simple, healthy food I am able to move my body and be strong and my back does not ache when I meditate. When I spend more time in nature than on the couch, I feel connected. When I show up for myself & keep my commitments, I learn to trust and befriend myself.

I’m not “somewhere” that you can attain or not attain.  I just am very curious about what works well for me, at this stage, in this season and there is NO WAY I could have done it alone. Meaning, we do this together. This exploration- this deep dive. We say- NOW is the time to wake up to my life. What choices ARE working for me, what choices ARE draining me? Am I living ONLY in my head? DO I need to take it down a notch? Do I have chronic pain or fatigue or need a ton of pills to sleep or wake? We were never meant to do this alone- remember when the aunties and the sisters and the mamas all lived near one another and cooked together and folded laundry together and raised the babies together? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

I created Thrive as the playground for these wellness habits. A place to explore and try things on and see how they feel and keep asking, how does this feel?

What would your life look, feel, be like in 16 years? in 10 years? in 6 months if you experimented  with more of what (truly)  feels good and less of what drains you?

In Thrive we explore…..

Planning/Mapping-  The how & why it’s SO important for all the other self care practices. And how to love doing it.

Night- What are our evening rituals and routines to help us sleep better. Why are so many of us so exhausted?

Morning- Set the tone for your day ( your life?) Be inspired to FINALLY make getting up early part of who you are.

Move– Variety, enJOYment and consistency!

Stillness- Why practice stillness/ meditation and what are the ways to formally and informally develop this habit.

Nourish- There are so many ways to FEED our souls and ourselves. What are you putting in your sacred vessel?

Journal- This goes beyond the “dear diary” We learn about money love journals, scripting  ( law of attraction) and morning pages.

Service– Why service and giving to others is of UTMOST importance to our well being.

Mindset– What are the stories we tell? How do we get in our own way?

Creativity- Our lives are creative. How we dress, eat, play, move, sing, dance- how can we embrace our inner creatives and give them a little love?

Wealth- Alright, yep- $$ is totally part of Thriving. How we make it, what we do with it, how we hide it or throw it away and WHY? Reveal your $$ habits- the good, the bad and the ugly!

Does this feel like a lot to you? Don’t worry- you get lifetime access to explore these topics AND once you start to dive in to 1 area the others TRULY do fall into place. They happen more naturally once we start to pay attention to how they are related.

If you are scared, I think that’s great. It means something is calling you. You are ready.

Let your self love be your self care.

Ready to Thrive? 

It’s almost here…

I am 3 days away from leaving my home, my bed, and my life for over 6 weeks.

On Friday, we pack up and head north for a summer of family and adventures. I will mostly be single parenting as my hubby will be staying in DC.

Since May, I have been planning and making a list of the things I NEED TO DO in order to keep my cool, stay mentally and physically healthy (please note, not making lists of things I need to pack for the kids!)  while care taking and trying to enJOY myself as well. You see, it’s not ALL about them!

So let me give you some of my  insider tips on how to take good care of yourself this summer while traveling, for when schedules are crazy and for when mama needs a break!!

  1. Plan, plan, plan- look AHEAD to what YOU need for the summer. Have a crazy week with family coming and kids home? Great, try to take out everything else from your schedule.  And plan to clean and move your body and drink lots of water the week BEFORE they come so that you are READY and feeling in flow when they arrive. Partner going to be away for the week? NO PROBLEM- line up childcare NOW for the time they are gone so that YOU still get the time YOU need to feel good in your body.  EXTRA CREDIT!! Start thinking about Fall now to0- here is the question I use when thinking to the season ahead.. how do I want to feel? What are my values and priorities for my family and life this fall; what needs to go and what can stay? I often put reminders in my calendar for the year ahead so that I can remember what last year felt like and if I need to make any changes.
  2. What makes mama happy?  What do YOU need in your daily life to help you feel good? Hint- my list includes essential oils, candles,  WATER, and a journal. As long as I have these things around me I know I can drop into my body and breathe deeply and support myself when tough things come up or when I want to experience a bit more joy and awareness in my daily life.  So since I’m leaving for a while I have a bag of my goodies all packed up and ready to take with me. This year I am bringing my twinkle lights so that I can set up a little meditation space at my grandmother’s house to sit this summer.  This will allow me to feel cozy and like home.
  3. HYDRATE. I know, I know- this is so simple. BUT if you REALLY, TRULY got enough water so many things would flow better in your body and in your life. Most of us are de-hydrated which leaves us feeling BLAH (low energy, bad skin, slow digestion, and feeling stagnant in our lives, etc).  In fact, we also know (research says!) that we tend to make poor decisions in other areas of our health when we don’t drink enough water (multiple cups of coffee, anyone?).  So for the summer I am committing to making sure I drink enough water while I am away.  I find it SO MUCH easier at home where I just refill all day!   I bought a new great water bottle at a discount store that will do well in the summer sun during my travels.  I don’t like to use plastic water bottles and just realized we have so many from Spring events! I don’t want to use plastic when the car gets hot, etc).

 

PS. Here is a call link for this topic— taking care of yourself this summer! I share all my best tips and practices. Listen and enjoy! Oh and come back to it when you need a reminder this summer.

PPS. REGISTER TODAY for THRIVE- the online wellness course that will SUPPORT YOU ALL SUMMER so you can truly be awake and engaged in your life. Registration ends FRIDAY!

What does it mean to THRIVE? 

IMG_1094

What does it mean to THRIVE?

For me, it means this: the picture above. Thriving means smiling, loving, FEELING the world, hearing my friends and family, being ALIVE, being real, seeking truth, playing and holding hands. Thriving is embracing what is.

I experienced all of this on the night I was closing the studio. A night that I never pictured COULD happen. A place I loved so much CLOSING?!?!  This night brought me to tears and to laughter. My mouth hurt the next day from smiling so much, my eyes hurt from crying. What a glorious, beautiful evening.

What got me through it all?  All of the conflicting emotions and the ups and downs? My well being practices.  These are the ways to keep your life in check, in flow and truly manageable EVEN when your entire world around you is changing, EVEN when things are hard- especially when things are hard.

Here’s what happened:  as I started going through the process of closing the studio, I tightened up on some regular practices that I KNEW I would need to get me through an emotionally and financially difficult time. I became very grounded and rooted in these practices as a way to truly process the BIG emotions I was having. And these practices, while having been in my life for years now became MORE POWERFUL than ever. And this is what I want for YOU.

As soon as I got over the studio closing and embarking on new projects, I broke my foot. I had to check in with all the Thrive Principles again!  This was another experience that COULD have  been miserable, but my THRIVE foundation has taught me how to gracefully handle ALL the things that life brings to me.  Thrive principles teach me how to sit with fear and anger, how to nourish myself when things get hard, AND how to prioritize my own health and well being so that  I feel healthy and clear about where I am in ALL the areas of my life. Honestly, this feels like an invaluable gift to my life and also to those around me!  I want to share this gift with you.

Choose Joy. Find Ease. Keep it Simple.

Thrive is all of this. Thriving is a WAY OF LIFE. A WAY TO BE where you feel empowered and in your body. Where your connection to yourself DEEPENS and even when tough things come your way- you navigate them with strength and grace. People have asked me for years what do you do? How do you do it? And so, Thrive is kind of a pulling back of the curtains, showing you, and giving you all the tools and resources I use (books, articles, podcasts, journaling prompts, recipes, and more). It’s a behind the scenes where I get up close and personal as a way to inspire you, to support you, to give you ideas and to establish a way for you to see THAT YOU CAN HAVE/ BE/ DO this all too! It’s already inside of you- it’s already part of who you are, as a human, as a woman. So let’s uncover it all together… you deserve this!

Thrivers use SIMPLE AND EASY well being practices to engage in their lives. That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing promised to you or for you. The group support and engagement and process is ALL UP TO YOU.  YOU take the reigns for your life, you learn HOW to engage in these practices and overcome problems and challenges and mindsets that are LIMITING YOU from THRIVING.

You see, because if I want it more than you- it won’t happen. The Thrive course is for people who KNOW IT IS TIME to figure out a way to be healthy EVEN when life is full and busy and distracted and confusing. Or for people who want to establish evidence /science-based practice for health and living well in ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE.  It’s all connected- how we spend our money, eat our food, move our body, treat our children, envision our lives, and the thoughts we think.. . these are the things that make up our days and our lives.

We all have self-limiting thoughts or perceived obstacles and once we start to SMASH them… WOW! We realize, “Hmm this is not so hard! Learning how to care for myself can be FUN and interesting and the benefits to all areas of my life are TRULY limitless.”

Limitless possibility. That is what YOU TRULY are.  All of us are limitless.

Want in? Sign up here.  Registration ends Friday, 6/17.

Here’s what one Thriver wrote:

“We all know we need to eat less and move more, but I was looking for a more comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle. Thrive is a course that focuses on all aspects of wellness – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Over the eight weeks, I learned the importance of establishing healthy routines in every area of my life and that these routines become habits over time, which then become automatic. All of Pleasance’s research-based advice is invaluable, and includes strategies for establishing healthy bedtime and morning rituals, which enable better patterns of exercise and mindful eating. I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed and benefited from the week on meditation. Never having explored a meditation practice previously, I couldn’t have imagined the mental clarity and calm that comes from just 5-10 minutes of stillness in my day.”- AB

Another Thriver shares her experience here.  Listen now.

PS. We ran this class in the Spring and you know what- THEY ARE ALL TAKING THE COURSE AGAIN THIS SUMMER! I give my THRIVERS lifetime access and they are all coming back to take it again! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?

IMG_3774

ThriveSpring

AGH! I am so excited that this is happening.

A WHOLE 8 weeks to study and learn and be together, to gather in the name of wellness, lil omm style.

I can’t wait to share with you all over 8 weeks, habits, tips, health, recipes and simple strategies to help you ease into Spring.

8 weeks to try on new habits, talk about old ones and move through barriers..TOGETHER.

I started dreaming of this as I was writing my book, Delight. And now I can feel the time has come to be able to go deeper with our community, help support women to find true nourishment for their lives, in sustainable ways.

I am so grateful for this work, for this opportunity to serve and share. Come join me.

DO THIS FOR YOU. YOU DESERVE TO FEEL GREAT.

You can find more information here.

Please note, there are only 4 spaces in the live option as I want to make sure to give these ladies lots and lots of love and attention.

PS love this testimonial from my mom who has been working with my for the past 2 months!

“I asked Pleasance to please help me to start eating healthy, and to stop eating sugar, in any form or product. And she did. And life is different today. I feel good not guilty. Energetic and excited about what goes in my body. I see food as fuel for the exercise I have always enjoyed. Walking and yoga. It was life changing. ?

 And here’s the difference; In my mind, before I started this plan of eating, I didn’t have a “no” button in my brain. I justified all the sugar I was eating as, “well life is short, and I should enjoy everything I can”. And I did. And the more I ate sugar, the more I craved sugar. And then I would eat it and feel shameful for eating it. A really difficult cycle.

 So now, my “no” button has returned. When I see sugary treats at work, or at the store, my first reaction is “no”. Automatic. And that gives me the few seconds it takes to remember what my body needs and wants, not what my brain is saying. That few very brief seconds is all I need to remember what Pleasance has shared with me, about motivation, inspiration, and daily tips on what, when, and how to eat. The weight around my stomach is starting to get smaller, which is the biggest problem with sugar addiction. And also the major cause of heart attacks. i am not a victim of the scale, I simply go by the way my body feels, and how clothes (don’t) fit anymore. Also my coworkers have started to notice. That is excellent. ” Cathy Muir