Seriously, I am exhausted on multiple levels. Adrenal exhaustion combined with lack of sleep from a hormone imbalance and Smiley (dog) stress have left me depleted. Depleted enough to not blog for a few weeks :).
Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion
To address the adrenal fatigue and exhaustion I have upped my intake of Vitamin C, Bs, and Magnesium. I am also taking Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health, which contains adaptagenic herbs such as rhodiola and holy basil.
For exercise I am doing mellow Pilates, walking, and some light kettlebell work. Anything too taxing takes a while to recover from.
We also made major changes to my bio-identical hormone replacement, taking away some estradiol and all the testosterone, while increasing progesterone, estriol, and DHEA. I am already sleeping better and require fewer naps and less caffeine.
And Smiley is in a good treatment for her bladder incontinence, which is caused by a progression in her kidney disease. Lots of medication and an in-house doggie diaper later, and she (therefore we) is (are) doing better. Thank the universe for Healthy Paws Pet Insurance! They deal with every claim within 3 days and we are reimbursed within a week.
Additionally, I had some acupuncture, a facial, and we are going on holiday to Mystic, CT. The best part about the trip? No driving! We are taking the train and staying at the Hilton by the Aquarium and the Olde Mystic Village, which is only a mile from the Seaport but also has an hourly shuttle to town and the Seaport.
Smiley gets a holiday too, as she gets to board with her friends at The Wagging Tail.
And at least I will have few slow weeks in August to recover more before my schedule goes back to normal (increases 25-30%) in the fall.
That said, if you would like some time with me, August is a great time to get some hours with me that are not normally available. Hit me up!
Book Review: Listen, Till You Disappear by Martin Kettelhut, PhD
Rating – 5/5 Stars
Martin Kettelhut’s Listen…Till You Disappear is an extremely practical, step-by-step guide to uncovering your limiting thoughts and beliefs, reconciling your past, connecting with others, and crafting your very own awesome future.
Martin Kettelhut, PhD
Spoiler alert – I went to graduate school with Martin Kettelhut at Temple University. We were very, very close until the later 90s, when we lost touch.
Then in the way of social media, he showed up one day on my LinkedIn “People You May Know” list. Like me, Dr. Kettelhut chose a path outside of academia. To date, he is an extremely successful executive coach who has co-founded two companies. His focus today is on listening as the key to innovation. Check out his website – Listening is the Key.
Mindfulness and Listening
Dr. Kettelhut focuses on meditation, on internal listening and journaling, as a key to self-understanding and success. He draws from many traditions, including Western Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy, and Yoga to create a very simple, yet highly sophisticated approach to mindfulness and success.
Basically, you refine and deepen your internal listening, which helps refine and deepen your external listening, which helps refine and deepen your communication skills. This then leads to more clarity around what you really want and how to get it.
Getting through the noise in our heads and in the world, getting past our own internal voices and the competing advice we get from outside, is not so easy. Dr. Kettelhut doesn’t pretend that it is, which is refreshing. But he does promise that if we are willing to put in some effort, we will have a better life.
Listen…Till You Disappear is a practical guide. In the course of the book there are 32 exercises that are aptly named, “Listen Exercises”. They start simply, with basic mindfulness meditation,
Simply notice all of the thought and feelings moving around inside of you. …Stay in the mode of observing these thoughts and sensations, rather than becoming involved with them, until you witness them subsiding and are left in deep peace with yourself.
There are very practical exercises, like de-cluttering your calendar, and more complex exercises that involve recognizing and releasing expectations and finding allies among friends.
Every exercise is journaled. Towards the end of the book, you refine prior answers based on new information and continue to refine your beliefs, expectations, and agreements.
The Techné of Listening – Do the Work
Basically, this is a workbook. Listen…Till You Disappear is about the techné of listening, the work. You can read the book without doing the work, but that would be silly and short-sighted.
Finally, we have a guide to meditation that speaks to the Western analytical mind. Martin Kettelhut pulls together many meditative traditions along with some contemporary neuroscience and personal stories from his own life and his clients’ lives, to prove that this works.
Even if you only do a third of these exercises, you will benefit. But I say, trust Dr. Kettelhut’s knowledge and experience. And trust me.
Do this work and your life will transform for the better!
“Listen…Till You Disappear” By Dr. Martin Kettelhut ISBN: 9781483422565 Paperback: $25.00 Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu
It’s a great feeling to get up every morning, ready to tackle your workout and anything else the day has to throw at you. Unfortunately, that bright, bushy tailed sensation doesn’t come to everybody and it doesn’t always last — workout ruts are serious challenges to fitness for most people. But how do you know you’re in a workout rut, and more importantly, what can you do to get out of the dangerous cycle?
Workout Ruts Happen
When you’re first working out, you’re excited to be making big changes in your life — but as you go through your routine day after day it can get taxing. You may soon find yourself bored, exhausted or simply poorly matched to the exercises you’re doing. Don’t kick yourself, it’s a common problem, that’s why it’s so important to know the signs of fitness burnout, of workout rut. If you notice yourself doing any of these things, it may be time to mix it up:
Constantly watching the clock.
If your eye is always on the clock, you’re not focusing on your workout. Not only does this mean you’re not putting your all into your routine, it also means you’re pretty bored with what little you are doing.
Hitting a plateau.
Eventually, you’ll need to shake up your workout to get the results you want. Your body is an incredible machine that will eventually get used to the activities you’re throwing at it — even if you’re not bored, your body is telling you that you are in a workout rut and need to try something new.
Are you suddenly too busy to make it to the gym, take a walk down the street or spend time on your home equipment? You’re burning out big time — and don’t try to pretend that doing half a workout is a sign of anything otherwise.
Your workout shouldn’t feel like a bubble bath, but it shouldn’t leave you so sore that you can’t lift your arms, either. If you’re pushing it hard because you think you should or working out every day, your body’s not going to let you keep going.
How to Get Out of the Workout Rut
Many people throw themselves into their fitness routine enthusiastically, but neglect to make a real plan. They go to the gym, hit the same machines every day and never give themselves a break — it’s a recipe for failure. But it’s ok, you can revive your workout with these tips:
Plan for breaks.
You cannot work out seven days a week — you have to give your body time to recover. Start with working out every few days or every other day, then gradually work your way up to your goal number of workouts each week.
Mix it up.
Doing the same routine or hitting the same machine every day is enough to drive anybody out of their mind with boredom. Mix up your routine by balancing cardio and strength training, or join a fitness class for even more versatility. When working out is fun, you’ll not watch the clock or make excuses to not be there.
Take it easy.
A workout shouldn’t cause your body damage — don’t push for the sake of pushing. Instead, build your body up gradually by making your workouts only slightly more difficult each time and limiting them to about 45 minutes.
If your workout rut is more about time than energy, you should consider a home gym. Machines like the Nordic Track treadmill can help you with your cardio, and when coupled with dumbbells, allow you to create a full body workout from the comfort of your own home. Treadmills are too much for some people, but you can also read up on today’s best ellipticals at Fitness Equipment Source.
Hubby has new Mizuno running shoes from Millet Sports UK. Great shoes and great service!
I am contacted relatively often by companies who would like to me review their stuff. What kind of stuff? All kinds – books, movies, booking services, shoes, sneakers, cosmetics, clothing, supplements – seriously, just about everything.
Generally I am so busy that I do not do reviews for product only. I save my energy for paying gigs that include product! But every once in a while the people who contact me are so lovely, and the products so great, that I relent.
The PR folks at Millet Sports UK contacted me a while ago to see if I would review their site, shoes, and international service. They agreed to ship some new runners for hubby, who chose the new Mizuno Wave Kazan, a trail running shoe with lots of stability and cushion, but with enough mid-foot and ankle mobility to accommodate different running surfaces.
Mind you, they have such a huge selection of running shoes for men that this was not an easy choice! I ordered using his US size. International shipping took about two weeks, and we had the Mizuno Wave Kazan shoes in hand.
Hubby LOVES them! The trail stability features help him navigate the cobblestones and construction areas of lower Manhattan with ease. He says they are well-cushioned for street wear with good stability and mobility for running and walking on different surfaces. Exactly as promised!
Any concerns I had about international shipping, sizing, or customer service were not at all necessary. Millet Sports handled my request seamlessly. Plus, in the UK Millet Sports offers free mainland shipping with an huge selection of shoes, as well as other sporting goods equipment.
Somehow, everyone I know suffers from some kind of digestive upset. We eat hard to digest foods like meats and fiber, we take medications that affect our digestion, and many of us suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, which also affect digestion.
Digestive enzymes literally help to break food down, making it easier to digest fully. They are also known to help reduce inflammation, and therefore pain.
The LiviaOne Enzyme Blend contains Papian and Chymopapian from Green Papaya (before it ripens), along with Bromelain from Pineapple core.
Then they mix in a Super Greens Power Blendwhich is rich in copper, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, enzymes and chlorophyll; the superfood Hippophae Ramnoids– also known as sea-buckthorn – one of the best source of Omega 7, along with 3, 6, & 9; and Probiotics – Bacillus family – 12,500 Billion CFUs per serving of good bacteria. These probiotics promote healthy microflora and has shown favorable results in fighting inflammation, urinary tract infections and ulcers.
Just 1/8 t. (one scoop) in 16 oz. of water per day gives you all this!
I didn’t see as much effect from this as from the other products, but there are probiotics in all of them, enzymes in all of them, and I eat lots of greens and sea greens to start with. I also found that the powder didn’t absorb into water as well as I would have liked, leaving some grit always.
LiviaOne BLACKmp Living Powder
Fulvic and humic acids are soil based and full of minerals that help us to digest our food and utilize nutrients more efficiently. We used to get more of them from produce, but now our soil is pretty much depleted of minerals.
Blackmp Living Powder is a unique powder supplement infused with Fulvic and Humic minerals as well as SBO (Bacillus Soil Based Organism) probiotics, both OMRI Organic Certified.
This is a completely alkaline product that you add to water. You don’t even have to shake it – the minerals bind with and infuse the water, which is cool to watch. The powder is tasteless, except for a slight mineral taste which doesn’t bother me.
I LOVE this powder. This just makes me feel better quickly in terms of energy, endurance, and digestion. I try to drink it daily, but especially on days where I am working out as it really seems to help my endurance.
Just one scoop in 16 oz. water.
LiviaOne Athlete Protein Blend w/ Enzymes and Probiotics
I have always used protein powder in my morning smoothies, and have a hard time finding non-whey and non-soy, unsweetened protein powders. I typically used unsweetened egg white powder, ordered from Amazon.
And then I tried LiviaOne Athlete Protein Blend w/ Enzymes and Probiotics. This is a super-concentrated pea and hemp protein blend, enriched with enzymes and probiotics – 5 grams of protein per 1 t. serving (which is equivalent to 1.5 T of powdered egg whites, what I used before).
The ingredients are awesome! Pea Protein Isolate, Hemp protein, Sprouted Chia, Green Papaya, Bromelain, Glutamine, Rhodiola & Bacillus Probiotics – all good and all useful.
It is tasteless, blends easily, and gives me added energy and better digestion!
Since I only use one scoop per day, the 30 day size lasted me close to 45 days – a bargain!
We stayed connected ever since, and I have even written guest posts for her blog. I have always appreciated her snarky, yet positive attitude towards life. And over the past year, as I have gotten busier, I have come to appreciate her “what you can, when you can” approach to fitness, health, and just about everything.
She calls it #wycwyc (pronounced wick-wick). And the #wycwyc tag is already very active on social media. A community of women doing what they can when they can, and feeling better for it. A Google search produced over 6000 results, and you can buy #wycwyc merchandise at the online store.
Carla and her friend Roni Noone, also a mom and blogger with a fabulous weight loss story, have finally written a clear and concise guide to life, health, and happiness for all of us busy women, What You Can When You Can – Healthy Living On Your Own Terms.
They sent me a free pre-publication draft to read and review. I couldn’t wait to read it!
As a MindMAP Coach, I steer very clear of any coaching or self-help materials that use radical change, threats, and judgements to motivate people. All that does is cause us to feel overwhelmed and panic, which sends us into fight, flight, or freeze mode, none of which allow us to learn and truly transform.
Even as a Pilates teacher and trainer, I meet my clients where they are on any given day, not where they “should” be. Instead of giving them more stuff to read and do, I try to simplify things.
And that is exactly what Carla and Roni do in this book!
What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms promotes small, easy, flexible shifts that will help you add activity, healthy food, and fun to your days without crazy stress. With chapter headings like, “Accept Perfect is Never Coming,” “Stop Musturbating,” and “Even If You Can, Don’t!” What you Can When You Can gives us ways to approach life without judgement and guilt.
It is an easy, quick read (I read it in an evening) that is packed full of useful tidbits. Follow even a small fraction of their advice and I can guarantee you will be feeling better. Each chapter ends with a #wycwyc activity to help build a community of support.
As a newly certified MindMap Coach, I am all too aware of the effect fear has on the human brain. Fear puts us back into our reptilian and old mammalian brains, looking for comfort and safety. We become “irrational” because we are not able to access our frontal lobes, where our creativity and forward thinking live.
A: When I was writing Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself I kept coming across loads of scientific data proving that fear was not only an uncomfortable emotion that keeps us from living up to our full potential; it’s also a significant risk factor for heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, chronic pain disorders, inflammatory disorders, even the common cold. In fact, fear may be a greater risk factor for your health than what you eat, how much you exercise, or any of your bad habits. But when was the last time your doctor wrote a prescription that said, “Get a handle on your fear”?
I also had a post-publishing epiphany in the wake of the success of Mind Over Medicine. I realized that it’s all well and good to teach the 6 Steps to Healing Yourself, to invite people to do the deep transformational work that makes the body ripe for miracles and facilitates “spontaneous” remissions. But even if people are intuitive enough to tune into what their bodies need in order to heal, and even if they’re wise enough to write The Prescription for themselves, way too often, fear gets in the way. You may know what needs to change in your life, but if you’re not courageous enough to act upon your inner guidance, you’re likely to stay sick—and stuck. That’s when I realized (with a gulp) that I needed to write a book about fear and courage.
Q: We live in such a fear-based culture, but so many people are in denial of how fear is running their lives? Why is that?
A: Most people in our culture are riddled with fear, and it’s running the show in our lives, taking the wheel in most of our decision-making. But the funny thing is, we don’t even know it. This is partly because, in our culture, we tend to dress up “fear” in the more socially acceptable clothes of “stress.” And stress— well, hell— stress is practically a badge of success in our culture! We’ve been taught to think that fear is for sissies. We see it as a weakness, something we should hide from others and deal with alone in dark nights of the soul. But fear is not something that should elicit shame or stay hidden. Now more than ever, our fears need to shamelessly take center stage so we can let fear illuminate everything that is in need of healing in our lives and finally be free. Physical therapist Val Zajicek says PAIN means Pay Attention Inside Now. I think fear is like pain. It’s an emotional and physical signal alerting to you to Pay Attention Inside Now. Rather than running away from it, we need to examine it and let it heal us.
Q: So what is The Fear Cure?
A: The book title is kind of a misnomer because it implies that fear is something we should cure, like Ebola or cancer. But really it’s all about letting fear cure YOU. Fear can be your friend. When you’re getting chased by a tiger, fear is there to save your life. But most of the time, our fears aren’t survival-related fears. The dangers exist only in our imagination. So The Fear Cure is all about letting fear point the finger at everything in need of healing in your life.
The Fear Cureis about coming into right relationship with uncertainty. At the root of most fears lies a fear of uncertainty. So coming into right relationship with fear is all about coming into right relationship with uncertainty. The tendency to avoid uncertainty is rampant in our culture. Uncertainty is flat out un-American. If we’re honest with ourselves, avoiding uncertainty is the goal of 90% of our choices. The search for certainty is an addiction, and it’s deeply related to the pursuit of comfort. We’ve been programmed since childhood to believe that if you’re successful, you have comforts—big homes, good food, nice cars, a big nest egg for retirement. But what if we’ve been sold a booby prize? What if living a meaningful, fulfilling life is about recognizing that there is something beyond comfort and certainty? What if uncertainty is actually a gateway to possibility, and if we avoid it, we avoid something precious?
When we make peace with uncertainty, we realize that when we don’t know what the future holds, anything could happen. An angel could appear. A relationship you long ago gave up on could be healed. The cancer could be cured. A miracle might happen. Fear could disappear in one exhale. When we cling to certainty, we limit ourselves, but if we’re willing to venture bravely into an uncertain future, the doorway to mystery, wonder, and awe flings open. What lies on the other side of the doorway invites you to explore. When you don’t know what you’ll find, you might be surprised to find that the uncertain is even more wonderful than that which seems certain. Whatever might come next is an exciting adventure once you’re no longer afraid of that which you don’t know.
Q: Letting fear cure you can be hard work. Why should we bother?
A: Because on the other side of this journey lies FREEDOM. Not just happiness, which can feel kind of conditional, but real freedom. When fear no longer runs your life, when you’ve allowed Something Larger to run you, when love and soul-based courage are making your choices instead, your joy is no longer conditional on getting what your ego wants. You only want what the Divine wants for you, and you’re no longer attached to getting what you want, which means you’re no longer afraid of what is uncertain—in fact, the uncertain is almost seductive. You’re also not afraid of what you might lose, because you’re willing to lose it if that’s what is in alignment with your soul curriculum. When you’re no longer afraid of uncertainty or loss, a whole new world opens up to you, and life becomes quite magical, even miraculous.
Q: You sound like you’re speaking from personal experience. Can you tell us what you’ve learned from your own journey with fear?
A: Oh my. I just wrote a whole book about the miracles and magic I’ve experienced on this journey. It’s kind of a hybrid—a spiritual self-help book dressed up as a memoir—called The Anatomy Of A Calling, and it will be published by Rodale Press in December, 2015. I’ll tell you just one of many examples that demonstrates what is possible when you’re no longer letting fear run your life.
Back in 2012, during one of many periods of spiritual intensity (I call them the “quickenings,”) I could sense that some sort of spiritual guidance was trying to come through me, but I wasn’t getting the message. This is often my sign that it’s time to get quiet and make space for guidance to come through. So I took two days off and went to Esalen Institute. The minute I got in the car, I started getting messages from my spirit guide Sebastian. (I know. I know. This is where the doctor in me starts to realize I’m sounding like a loon.) Anyway, when I got to Esalen, Sebastian told me to sit down at my computer and take dictation in order to draft up an email. So I did. I wrote down word for word what I was told, all the while wondering if I was making all this up, even though it didn’t feel like it was coming from my own brain. The email was titled “Calling all visionary physicians.”
I was like, “Okay, so what’s this for? Am I supposed to send out this email?” Sebastian said, “Await further instructions.” Great, I thought, shaking my head. I’m supposed to channel some email to doctors but then do nothing about it.
A week later, I was telling this story to Martha Beck, with whom I was teaching a program called Find Your Calling (you can listen to our free Find Your Calling call here). Martha asked if I would read her the email Sebastian had dictated, and when I did, she started excitedly telling me that I was supposed to bring a group of doctors to her ranch, that we would do equine therapy with them and run a “Heal The Healers” program together. She started spouting off dates and hotel details, telling me she could already see the doctors at her ranch as if they were already there. I was on the other end of the phone crying, in shock and awe and gratitude.
That’s how the Whole Health Medicine Institute was born. We’re now in our third year of training doctors and other health care providers about how to be true healers amidst a system that doesn’t easily support their callings to pure service. I had been dancing around my purpose, confused about how or if I should be involved in medicine at all. And Martha had been questioning why she had bought this crazy horse ranch when she didn’t even own horses. I never would have had the courage to start a school if the guidance hadn’t been so obvious and Martha hadn’t promised to help me. It all felt so purposeful and I felt so loved. It was just one of many miracles that guided me, once I started trusting something other than my fear to help me make my decisions.
Q: Do you have one final tool people can use to help them free themselves from fear?
A: Sure. It helps to learn how to discern between “true fear” and “false fear.” There are true fears meant to elicit protective action, and there are false fears meant to alert us to Pay Attention Inside Now. True fears are a call to action and should not be ignored, while false fears exist only in our imagination and are best used as fuel for personal and spiritual growth. But we won’t be free in life if false fears are ruling our decisions.
Once we can discern the difference, we can let true fears protect us in the way they’re meant to, while we learn to let false fears transform us—without ruling our decision-making. Sometimes true fear shows up as a “fight-or-flight” stress response when you’re in danger, as a signal that says, “RUN!” But sometimes it shows up more subtly—as intuition. So how can you tell whether a scary thought is intuition or a false fear you’re better off ignoring? The Fear Curehas lots of tools to help you discern the difference. But one way to tell is that intuition tends to feel very calm. It doesn’t feel like a panicky, paranoid thought. It’s simply a grounded, inner knowing that says, “Don’t leave your child with this babysitter.” You can tell the difference by paying attention to how your body responds when you get sensitive enough to read the cues. Once you do, your body compass can guide your safe, wise decision-making, and this gives you the courage to say yes or no, based on true, trustworthy guidance, rather than fear.
For more free tools to help you come into right relationship with fear, you can download the Prescription for Courage Kit at TheFearCureBook.com.