6 Healthy Habits to Help Ease Your Way into Fall

Fall is coming– are you doing what you can to ease one of the most challenging seasonal transitions for your body?
In addition to the cooler temperatures in the forecast this week, you may notice you’re feeling more tired than usual as the days shorten and our internal clocks shift.  Perhaps your allergies are starting to flare up causing all sorts of disruptions.  So many of us get sick when the seasons change, and this is partially because we haven’t adequately planned ahead to sync our lifestyle to meet the new season.  This includes changing our movement practices, the foods we eat, and even our daily habits and rituals.
To help with your transition, I share with you…
6 Ways to Help Ease Your Way Into Fall:
1. Rest when you are tired. If you push through, over schedule, or over caffeinate you will really mess with your immune system. To function optimally, your immune system needs lots of rest and digest time.  Refer back to my Plan to Thrive DIY Retreat where I teach you how to create your model calendar.
2. Hydrate. Keep drinking your water!  In fact, make it warm and add a little lemon or lime (fresh or essential oil) to keep digestion moving.
3. Oils! Revolutionize your approach to health and wellness with therapeutic-grade essential oils.  DoTerra oils and supplements are a big part of my family’s wellness plan.
To learn more about ordering oils to address wellness goals for you and your family- email me or you can also buy here. 
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Remember you can diffuse oils, apply them to the soles of feet  largest pores in the body), behind ears, on wrists or heart center.  You can also ingest 1 drop in water (this is where I highly encourage you to use a trusted brand like DoTerra).
Some ideas for Oils:
– take your ON GUARD beadlets drop daily AND you can also break one open in your hand to use as sanitizer on the go.
– Use eucalyptusin your diffuser or bath.
– Apply 1 drop of oreganoon the soles of your feet or in your waterif you feel a cold coming on (this oil is considered a hotoil so it will burn your lips if you use too much!  You can dilute hot oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil)
– Drop some Melaleuca  (tee tree oil) in your bath water or rub on your feet for daily immune support.
– Diffuse lavender, lemon, and peppermint in the kitchen and bedrooms for allergies.  You can also put 1 drop of each in your water.
– Use Balance, Serenity or Vetiver for Rest by diffusing or putting on soles of feet or even directly on your pillow.
Want to learn more about oils?  The focus of my next Yoga & Aromatherapy workshop at Washington Yoga Center is Surrender and Receive, which I find to be so seasonally appropriate!  I also host a monthly Healthy Happy Hour where we explore oils and connect over our love for healthy living in my kitchen!
4. Practice. Vata (season is coming)!  It’s windy, which can be super unsettling especially for people who feel anxious or “live in their heads”. During this season it’s particularly important to start and end each day with grounded practices to help support your connection to nature and the changing of the season.
Here’s a breathing practice I love!  Make it extra special by adding some oils I mention above!
Binded Breathing Practice
Binded Breathing Practice
5. Warm foods for comfort, support, nutrition and digestion.  For breakfast, try some oatmeal with any combination of flax, cinnamon, chia, almond milk, maple syrup.  And for lunch or dinner, soups and stews make a great choice.  Again, your immune system will need your help to have a smooth transition to fall, so take care in what you eat, especially during seasonal transitions.
6. Disclaimer: okay, this might be a little “woo-woo” for some of you but for others- I think you will LOVE this morning affirmation practice.  Wake up in the morning (if possible before anyone else)and lay in your bed or on the floor.  Bring one hand to the heart and one hand to the belly. Breathe.
After a few rounds ask yourself, “What do I need today? What is my body calling for? What is my heart seeking?” and always remind yourself, “You are loved. You are supported. You have all you need.”
You might even add the affirmation, “I trust my body, my mind, and my heart to guide me today. I am whole.  I will move into the day with spacious generosity of spirit and love.”
Try it! Let me know what you think/feel.
Additionally, if you want a copy of the Welcome Fall worksheet I use (it’s super short & simple) just e-mail me and I’ll send it over to you.
Stay tuned for next week’s Wake Up Wednesday edition where I share mind-body practices based on energetic strength, balance, trust, creativity, and self-love.
P.S. Want to truly nourish your body, mind, and spirit?  Surrender to Fall at our Mom’s Up Retreat in the beautiful Virginia countryside.  Registration ends 10/10. The retreat was just featured on MindfulHealthyLife!

Salt Baths

“Help! I have some physical pain that keeps surfacing. I have possible emotional stagnation or congestion. I can’t figure out how to get unstuck. How can I help myself, save money & get some relief?” 

A super easy way to give yourself some ultra self care when you need it is to grab some pure epsom salt and add some natural oils. 

This summer I used Salt Baths to help with a variety of issues thay came up like… stress, emotional confusion, lower back pain, and slow digestion. 

Salt baths are great not only  to help releive aches and pains from daily life but are also to help process emotions, isn’t that awesome?!?

I blended oils as needed depending on what was coming up for me.

Ylang Ylang for emotions and healing.

Frankincense for spiritual connection. 

Deep Blue & Aroma Touch for physical tightness&soreness.

Balance for grounding.

Serenity for peace and relaxation.

Want to learn more about using oils everday?  want to learn more about Daily Self Care?

email me pleasance@lilomm.com

♥️♥️♥️enjoy!  

What does it mean to THRIVE? 

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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?!?!?

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Find Balance Feel Joy Blog Tour

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My friend Alex asked me to participate in this blog tour and my answer was ” HELL YES!” I love having Alex in my life as we share so many interests and are raising are kids in the same neighborhood, co- teaching together and just generally support one another in the work we do to support families through the good and the bad.

And this topic means SO MUCH TO ME.

As someone who formerly struggled with overwhelm and the “crazy-busy” syndrome I am passionate about spreading the self care, mama love message to all who are ready to make the changes. It all starts with us.

Without guilt, without fear, without despair.

We can build lives that matter for ourselves, for our own joy and on our own terms.

You have permission.

The Find Balance Feel Joy Blog Tour was born to provide an honest look at what goes into “having it all” or “getting it right” as a modern mother today.

My journey begins and ends with yoga.  Yoga has led me to interesting cool places in my heart and on the map. Yoga teachers and teachings have given me strength, courage and confidence to FULLY EMBRACE my own me, my own way, my own heart.

Slow, quiet practice filled with breath and movement linked to soul- now THAT can change your life.

This journey of study, contemplation, reflection and movement is a powerful combination. It led me HOME to my true self, to my own way of being that encouraged  me to switch careers, take risks and LOVE my children in ways I did not even know possible.

But, all b/c I began to put myself at the top of the list. Listening to my own heart and soul.

Carving out time for creativity, rest and quiet. saying NO to the schedules and parties and needs and desires of others, in order to put my family TRULY first.

You can do your own thing, find your own way… but it takes a bit of practice.

Self awareness, self knowledge is the path to freedom. A path to joy and living WHOLE in a world that so often wants to break you down.  You see, there is a deeper place within- that lives- that wants to be heard. But we have to slow down enough to hear her.

Welcome to sacred ordinary life. A life in which dishes and laundry still have to be done alongside a deep respect for our home, our families and our lives. It looks like  candles in the kitchen, relaxing music playing while cooking dinner or bringing other rituals and routines into our lives and SHARING them with our children. It looks like having enough space and peace in our own heart to deal with the chaos around.

It looks like getting the help we need at home and at work, in order to truly discover who we are , and where our own joy lies.  This is where

Approaching ALL the moments with a sense of wonder and curiosity – even to the little things. This approach ( to our yoga practice and to our life) can profoundly shift the mindset… the choices we make, the space we hold. And helps us to see the thought patterns that are not serving us.. the ones we need to let go of.

Intentionally place yoga mats, meditation pillows and other reminders in your home so that you can practice together as a family OR so that you have a place to go to when you need it! ( I sometimes go to my mat RIGHT before they get home from school to give myself some nourishment right before the dinner/ bedtime rush) and then I find myself so much more patient and loving and interested when they walk in the door.

Read inspiring books or listen to podcasts about yoga, meditation, mindfulness and creating joy.

I always try to find women who are doing what I want to do and asking- WHAT DO YOU READ? What are your routines? What can I learn from you?  I KNOW there are mentors and supporters out there- so I seek them out- and ask lots of questions so I can learn how to do this whole mama/ life/ work/ balance thing. This also helps me discern for my own life what works and what doesn’t.. and clarify my own values and mission ( which I am constantly refining)

Glance at your life ( ZOOM OUT) and see what parts are causing stress. Is there anything you can DO about it?  if not, what other things need to be released in order to make time for YOU while you continue to have uncontrollable stress? let’s have a healthy relationship with our stress- not trying to FIGHT it or get rid of it- but more realizing it’s apart of our modern life.

Challenge Homework! Spend a day with yourself. Plan it now. Put on the calendar. Carve out the time to take yourself out on a date. Reflect and get quiet. meditate and stretch. journal and create or just be. no tv, no phone, no netflix.

Dear mama, it’s all so real this life thing….so intense, so emotional, so transitional and the only thing we can truly, truly control is our own breath right at this moment. Our own glance, gaze, word, thought or action.

With a grateful heart,

P.

About Alex

Alex launched In Essence Coaching, LLC in 2011 after training with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Professional Coach. She is an active member of the International Coaching Federation, committed to upholding a high level of coaching standard.

Prior to this, Alexandra dedicated 18 years of her professional career to social change as an international development researcher and practitioner. She got her BA in Environmental Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and her MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the U.K. She’s lived and worked in Africa, Europe, South and North America, and speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

In Essence Coaching, LLC is Alexandra’s private coaching practice dedicated to helping mothers suffering from stress, to find balance, joy and self-empowerment.  She hosts a free Clear Mind | Present Mama Challengefor busy mothers suffering from overwhelm, offers on-line Calm Mom Coaching Circles to mothers everywhere, and works one-on-one with a small group of women through her Mama inJOY Mentorship Program.

Alexandra loves her coaching projects second only to her three mischievous and vivacious children and her loving (ever patient) husband who now (after three international moves!!) live, love and laugh together in Washington D.C.

 

Don’t miss the Mom’s Up Retreat this fall co-hosted by Alex and myself in Meadowkirk, Virginia (just 1 hour away from DC). Learn more about the retreat, accommodation packages, and more.

 

Week of Wellness

Lately I have been using a number of tools to keep my movement and well being practices consistent.

I am not a big gym fan these days b/c of scheduling and options and time commitment… although I have learned to LOVE to workout- so I found this Crunch Live Site, which has a variety of workouts and times. I can always find something that meets my needs! It’s cheap too at only $10 a month.  Also, because I love dance music- I put my own dance mixes on while I play the videos, makes it way more fun.

When I want to do more of a yoga thing…. I turn to Erich Schiffmann’s website where I listen to teachings and meditate and practice Freedom Style Yoga with him.

Because my schedule changes daily I just try to pick something from my well being list daily to include and make my day to day a bit more interesting and meaningful. I also highly prioritize these items- which means I pick something off this list rather than checking email, watching news or shows.

I also like to create these big charts on Sundays or Mondays to remind myself throughout the week what I love to do that is truly in line with my deepest values and joys. When I get stressed or tired, I tend to say things like ” I never get time alone or I never get time to exercise” and these charts help remind me that I DO have time, I DO take care of myself and to not be so hard on myself! My chart options can change based on what my current goals/ aspirations are for my actual day to day life. This all depends on what projects I am working on, what my

My favorite local thing to do is go to Spinning classes at Zengo Cycle at 6am 2-3x a week. I DON’T like to go more than that b/c it makes my hips sore. As I get older I realize how much I need to diversify my movement in order for it to be sustainable. And I know I hear from many students who have various aches and pains but keep doing the same movement program…. I have to move my body in ALL KINDS OF WAYS throughout the week- and not get stuck on 1 thing, in order to feel awesome. I love the music they play at Zengo and I love to support a local studio, rather than a large chain.

Since it was so cold over the past week, I have been doing my self massage with high quality almond oil at night before bed ( instead of in the morning). It’s been SUCH a perfect way to end the day before I put my legs up the side of my bed and relax before I actually go to sleep around 9-10pm.

I also try to remind myself that I can do and get a lot from 15-20 minutes of something RATHER than the 60-90 minutes that I WISH I had..

Hope this helps inspire you to find creative, fun, unique ways to move into wellness!

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crazy curls & moving forward

A few short years ago, I was in a bad place. a dark tunnel filled with so much stress. I was moving the studio to a new location (being asked to leave our original location), living with a very challenging pregnancy & pregnancy depression, watching my bff confront cancer and layer on top of that some marriage hiccups & financial stress.

I did a pretty good job of hiding it .. or so I thought.

A few months after Milo was born, we re- opened lil omm in Tenley, my bff was healthy again, I started communicating with my hubby better and I felt like things were really looking up.

And this is when I started losing my hair… in huge clumps, bald spots everywhere.I have written and spoken about this in the past.. ..it was weird bc I was trying to hide it from everyone ( I am not good at hiding or feeling like i cant express myself 100% authentically. all the time ) I could not stop thinking “how does a health and wellness teacher LOOSE her hair from stress?” I felt ashamed and scared. I would pause when people would ask how I was.. ” I’m okay. I would say.. just a lot going on.”

I was also a bit heartbroken. I thought we were “in the clear” that life had calmed down a bit .

Milo was born healthy, our vibrant community had a yoga home again and my best friend was healthy again! so much to be grateful for! and yet, my body was on a delay. I tried to meditate on this, to sit quietly offering myself peace and healing. I poured lavender on my scalp and slept with it on my pillow. I had good days where I counted my blessings and reminded myself it was only hair.. and I had TERRIBLE tearful screaming nights where I beat myself up mentally for not being strong and for hiding so much pain and I watched a lot of tv to pass time until it grew back. I said no to a bunch of social events and parties. I was scared to swim. When my hair was wet you could see all the bald spots. For an entire spring and summer I did not even get in the pool with the kids.

I believe my hair loss was related to the previous year’s stress in my life. I was so scared of falling apart when things were bad and even more terrified to break down when I thought I had gotten my shit together.

Fast forward to the 6 rounds of steroid shots in my head.. my hair SLOWLY started coming back. It has now been almost 2 years and all the new hair is CRAZY curly.

Its hilarious. I am learning how to take care of it, learning how quick it dreads if I don’t brush it- and I learned you are not supposed to brush it!

But I think what strikes me the most is that as the curly grows wild I can see that time in my life over my shoulder now.
that time has passed. that no matter what …. I keep changing. That I am still ALIVE & STRONG and that this might be the happiest I have ever been in my life.

scary to say aloud.

Its like when I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the curls I stop and think about how far I have come- emotionally-
personally and with my life. I say to myself- WOW- you have been through a lot. This has been a pretty vibrant and interesting 35 years- whats next??

I just want to be clear to the world that I don’t take 1 day for granted. I don’t ever forget all the work and tears and loneliness that dominated my life for plenty of years.. that now that I feel free I will always follow my heart. I will always keep creating new ideas- new ventures- new friends- new practices.

I am in love with life. even the sad parts. even the tough moments. even the heartbreak and the pain. and especially all the beautiful people who are in my life.

I want to spread the possibility of joy. I want to thank all the writers, yoga & meditation teachers, creators, artists and visionaries who inspire me to keep up my good work. I feel connected to them all for sharing stories, opening hearts and putting it all out on the table .

i don’t want to miss a thing.

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