HEAVY METALS CAN WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR BODY!!!

GREAT FOR SALD DRESSINGS!!! TRY THIS RECIPE: 2 cups fresh cilantro. 1 garlic clove. ¼ cup lime juice. 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey. ½ teaspoon ground coriander. ½ teaspoon sea salt. ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Blend in food processor and enjoy 🙂
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Simple and Savory Immunity Boost!

 

cinnamon

We all love the sweet fragrance and taste of cinnamon – it’s nothing short of a delight. Given the current state of the world, “Immunity Boosting” is quite the catch phrase.   That being said I am happy to pay homage to this popular medicinal spice that is used across the globe. Cinnamon is thankfully easy to come by and infusing it in a cup of water creates a super drink that has healing properties.

This wonder spice is packed with antioxidant polyphenols and proanthocyanidins which are what give our immune systems that boost. Not to mention, cinnamon is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal – which all reduce the risk of developing respiratory disorders and other health hazards.

I like to keep it simple and have found the easiest way to extract the goodness from cinnamon is with cinnamon sticks. Add 4 sticks to 2 quarts of water and let them infuse (either covered at room temp or in the fridge) for 2 hours before enjoying!! The water will keep for about 2 days.   A tablespoon of honey is a nice addition too not only for taste, but also for extra antibacterial power.  😘

 

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4 SAVORY, HEALTHY AND EASY RECIPES!

Kale, Peach, and Cabbage Salad 

Salad of wilted kale, peaches, and red cabbage

Full of vitamin C-rich kale, peaches, and red cabbage this salad boosts your collagen.. 

  • 1 bunch kale, preferably dinosaur/lacinato 
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage 
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced 
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, toss together the kale, cabbage, cucumber, and scallions.

Drizzle on the olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper, then massage into the slaw for 1–2 minutes to gently wilt the kale and the cabbage (will aid in ideal digestion and absorption). Taste, adding more salt, pepper, lime, or olive oil as needed. Add the peaches and toss again. 

Super Seed Baked Oatmeal 

A bowl of healthy oatmeal with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries

This baked oatmeal is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, an essential omega-6 fatty acid that helps your body lock in moisture for healthier, more supple skin.

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds 
  • 1/4 cup water  
  • 1 large ripe banana, sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats 
  • 3 TB agave or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons hemp milk (or other nondairy milk)  
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil  
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) 
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds  
  • fresh berries, for serving  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray. 

Whisk together the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl, then set aside to gel. 

Slice the banana and place in a single layer on the bottom of the square pan. 

In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, agave, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add the flax seed mixture, hemp milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil. Stir together, then fold in the pepitas and hemp seeds. 

Gently top the sliced bananas with the oat mixture. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and set. 

To serve, scoop the baked oatmeal into a bowl and top with fresh berries and more hemp milk.  

Yellow Curry Bowls

A bowl of vegeterian yellow curry with chick peas, avocados, and rice

These easy curry bowls are gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, and packed with antioxidant-rich vegetables.  

  • 1 tablespoon oil  
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger 
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes  
  • 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk 
  • 1 cup vegetable broth 
  • 2–3 tablespoons yellow curry paste  
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • Cooked rice, for serving 

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the curry powder, ginger, and red pepper flakes; toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the onion and cook until translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and sweet potatoes, then add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and curry paste. Simmer over medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.  

Stir in the soy sauce and chickpeas. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.  

Stir in the lime juice, season to taste, and serve over cooked rice. 

Ginger Pear Smoothie

A refreshing green smoothie made from pear, ginger, and spinach

Enjoy this simple smoothie for delicious, vitamin-infused hydration.   Serves 4. 

  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves 
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk  
  • 4 medium pears, chopped 
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, grated 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup ice 

Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until creamy and smooth. Divide into glasses and serve. 

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When Feeling Sad

      One of my favorite clients (and dear friend) recently told me she was feeling sad.   I wanted to quickly respond with “I hear ya, life’s tough!”, but having been through many of my own bouts of sadness, I knew that response would get her nowhere. So, in effort to help her and anyone on that boat, I’m creating this post on what I’ve learned about getting through those moments…

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When feeling sad, down and out – like life isn’t going our way nor are we seeing the fruits of our labor.. it’s time to slow down even more and listen.. what is the universe trying to tell us?  Is there a message? Does a shift have to be made or is this just a temporary state of sadness that all we humans feel – a natural part of life. If it’s the former, get quiet and see if you can hear that message. If it’s the latter, keep in mind that it’s the humans who are able to enter into these temporary states with the wisdom that they are just that (temporary) who will thrive in our world. They feel the emotion from head to toe, honor it, accept it, recognize it’s wisdom and then let it the heck go

When you find yourself struggling to ‘stay positive’, don’t force it – as my gal Mia Falco recently reminded me – that is not authentic. But do feed yourself the right people and the right words to shift your perspective. Use time wisely for it is the one precious gift that is fleeting. We need not worry it away. When you’re sinking into that sorrow slow down and perhaps decide to turn down a different road. Learn something, build something, make something for someone else, write a gratitude letter – so many options! Here’s a list, I hope one item intrigues you. There is beauty to be had, always – even when reality does not appear as we had hoped.

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ALTERNATE ROUTES:

LEARN – ANYTHING!:  http://www.coursera.org is a website that offers a plethora of free courses from engineering to languages to plant based cooking.

KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE: In no way am I trying to discount anyone’s feelings or circumstances –but often times a gut check is in order, as cliché as it sounds our situations usually ‘could be worse’. Recently I shared space with a woman who lost her child during birth. As a new mother, I couldn’t imagine anything worse and my heart was heavy for days after hearing her story. It sure tugged the reins of my not ideally preoccupied mind back on the right track of gratitude.

HANG WITH THE RIGHT PEEPS – there are folks out there who just get it, who know how to keep their momentum as they navigate through both the good and bad times of life.   You know the ones whose problems seem to roll off their shoulders – make a list of 5 people in your life who fall into this category and make it a point to speak to them or spend time with them.

CREATE CREATE CREATE!  Write a poem, write a song, pick up an instrument, do something with your hands.  Your mind can either create or worry.  Your choice 😉

GIVE THANKS!  It is so lovely to receive a hand written letter in the mail these days.  Over the past decade, the number of first-class mail items sent through the Postal Service has dropped by more than 50% Not counting holiday cards and invitations, the average American household receives just 10 pieces of personal mail per year. Pick up a pen and physically send your gratitude on a card – I know the recipient will love it.

thanks

 

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The Power of Now Reflections

 

There is nothing like watching a sunset while reading the words you scribbled eons ago in a good book.  There is a plethora of heart wise nuggets in Eckhart’s pages.   These three resonate with what myself, clients and friends are feeling these days..

THE MOST PRECIOUS THING IS THE PRESENT MOMENT

I love how Tolle continually reminds us that really ‘future’ nor ‘past’ exist. Rather, it is memory and anticipation that have merit. We create our identity based on our memories and we receive hope from the future – yet these things are intangible and again, all we truly have is the present moment.. which is why this next point is so key.

WHEREVER YOU GO ENSURE YOU ARE THERE TOTALLY

Take heed of your wandering mind. I know how tempting it is to let one’s mind dance away from the present, to dwell in the past or to play with excitement in the future.   Yet we should be able to loosely grip the mind and steer it right back here to the Now. If this proposes a challenge, then we are being gifted a lesson: Something needs to change about our present, we need to accept something about our present, or we simply need move away from it. Essentially this is taking control of your life. (I would like to add on that I believe there is always room for creativity and using one’s imagination to manifest destiny – that in itself can be a way to ground into your present. For instance, set aside a 5 minute block where you can mediate on a reality you would like to enter.. creating a “present” moment that you would like to experience.)

DON’T COMPLAIN, ADAPT

I feel like I could re-read this 100 times as a friendly reminder to myself that complaining doesn’t fix anything and only keeps me in victim mode. Powerless plus negative – yuck. That is no place to be.

Having participated in many meditation workshops, I’ve learned that it indeed is human tendency to respond in fight or flight mode. We are protecting ourselves. So no matter how mild or intense a situation that doesn’t ‘feel right’ is, our body will want to label it as a threat. Feeling threatened makes one feel like a victim, and once in victim mode we tend towards negativity.  Negativity attracts depression, worry, anxiety and fear. If we can make an internal shift towards positivity we will instead attract a proactive attitude, love, strength and compassion. While it takes practice, ultimately the choice is ours.

BE HERE NOW 

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COBRA POSE – “I RISE JOYFULLY”

BHUJANGASANA:Cobra Pose

MANTRA: “I rise joyfully to meet each new opportunity.”

Benefits:

*Helps you feel relaxed and reduces anxiety *Stabilizes digestion *Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals *Lifts your mood *Tones the arms *Decreases stiffness in low back *Invigorates the heart

Cobra Pose

HOW TO PERFORM COBRA POSE:

  • Lie face-down on the floor with your legs together and your hands palms-down under your shoulders. Rest your forehead on the floor.

  • Inhaling, push off with your hands, and lift your head and chest off the ground, tilting your head back.

  • Hold for two or three deep breaths, and then exhale and slowly come down.

  • Repeat two to five times.

KEY POINTS: Keep legs zippered together as if you have on cobra tail; Keep tailbone tuck to feel a gentle compression of the lumbar spine; Keep feet planted into the ground; Keep chest and heart open; Keep elbows in tight: ENJOY 🙂 

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From Go, go, go to Slow, slow, slow…

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It seems that at least every other client I work with shares that their primary health concern is adrenal fatigue… which we all know by now comes from chronic stress. What’s ironic is that this IS one of the conditions that we have some control over. It really begins with our mindset. In present day society we tend to think “go, go, go”, if we could retrain our brains to focus on “slow, slow, slow” our body and soul would reap a ton of physiological benefits. Better yet, chances are we would get even more done each day without that exhausted feeling. 

So how do we do this? It is simple. Literally say to yourself when you feel like you are running around a mile a minute: “Slow, slow, slow”. Even while getting tasks done, we can mindfully create a slowness within, as opposed to sending our bodies into a state of rushed stress. One of my favorite tools is to use the breath. We have this tool 24/7 and can use it immediately. Taking 3 slow breaths (inhale through the nose for 6 counts, exhale through the mouth for 6 slow counts) makes all the difference if you feel your body moving toward fight or flight mode.

If you need a little extra something to calm the nervous system, add in a neck stretch with your 3 breaths:

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As for those adrenals – here is a fun and easy recipe:

THE ADRENAL COCKTAIL

Chock full of vitamins and minerals, this healthy cocktail will support those stressed out adrenals. There are many variations of the recipe, but the foundational ingredients are the three below:

  • 6 oz. orange juice (fresh squeezed or cold pressed like Evolution brand)  (for Vitamin C)

  • 2 Tbsp. organic raw cream or coconut cream (for potassium)

  •  1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt (for sodium)                                                                                                BLEND AND ENJOY

 

Image result for adrenal cocktail jigsaw

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MASTER YOUR TIME

hourglass tattoo ideas and hourglass meaning

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

-Mark Twain

It seems as though some people get everything done effortlessly while others feel that time constantly eludes them.  The key to successful time management isn’t about working more hours, it’s about making your hours work for you. Once we learn how to prioritize the important things, we use our time more efficiently and are more effective.  We work smarter, not harder.

Some of us are natural organizers and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us choose to play first and then work. Whichever way suits you, it is important to make sure the style is allowing you to live the life you truly want.  Are you organized at work, but feel out of sorts when you get home? Or are you a pro at leisure, but lacking drive at work? Feeling unfulfilled when it comes to life goals and dreams?

Wherever you fall, rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, I would encourage you to recognize that time management is a skill that you can attain and strengthen. Like a muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. Below are a few steps to help you get started.  Pick the two that appeal to you the most and go for it.

Wood 26" Wall Clock Pine Finish/Black - Threshold™ - image 1 of 2

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS

♦ Set aside time  for planning and  organizing frequently

♦ Create  to-­do lists  that are realistic,  not intimidating. Use only  one to-­do list

♦ “Under”schedule  your time: leave  time for the unexpected  and for interruptions. When  you estimate how long something  will take, add on 1/3 of that time.

♦ Schedule your time in  a way that reduces interruptions  which lower your productivity

♦ In the morning, check work email before social email.  Complete one task before checking your social email.

♦ Consider the Art of “Intelligent Neglect”: eliminate trivial tasks

♦ Take the time to Prioritize your to do list.

♦ Know your prime  time: at what time  of day do you work best?  Plan to do your most important work at that time.

♦ If you find yourself saying yes to everything and feel overwhelmed, recognize it is MORE THAN OK to say “NO”!  And try it!

♦ Ask for  help and delegate.  It is helpful to have several friends and co-workers that you can rely on in different areas of your life.  Take the time to create a team of people you can really count on.

♦ Make your ‘to do list’ every evening for the following day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper.  That way you will be able to go to bed with a clear head and wake up prepared, ready to go. Remember, chance favors the prepared mind.  Be sure to leave work with a clean desk.

♦ Acknowledge  yourself daily  for what you have  accomplished. Write down 1 or 2 of these things.

 

WHAT MIGHT BE STOPPING YOU FROM MANAGING YOUR TIME WELL!

Keep in mind these two major roadblocks that impede us from using our time effectively: procrastination and lack of purpose

We usually procrastinate  when a task seems too daunting,  too large, or too complex that we feel  we won’t be able to handle it. Try breaking the larger task in smaller, manageable actions steps, and start with the first one.  Stay focused on just that ONE step until it is complete.

When we aren’t connected to the purpose of task, often it won’t even get started. Recognize whether or not the task is essential to getting done. There are times when a ‘to do’ must get done as a means to an end.  In this case set aside a time (I suggest during a “peak energy” time block) to accomplish the task and allow yourself a small reward upon completion. Commit to seeing the task through.   Other times we may need to have a serious gut check and ask ourselves what our intention is behind getting the current task done. If it is not in alignment with our purpose or greater goals perhaps we need to redirect our time and energy.  Being bored, unengaged or uninspired are red flags. It is OK to pause and ask yourself the important questions. “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something that has meaning to me?” Time management should never feel like a chore, rather it should feel like a tool to hone in on what you value, to get organized and to get closer to living the life you came here for.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.   ~Benjamin Franklin

 

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Mindful Eating

MINDFUL EATING

So often we eat mindlessly. We stuff food in while working on our computer, watching TV, or on the run. The pleasure of eating lies in slowing down and fully experiencing all elements of food. Take some time to explore each of the following during your next meal:

Sight: In many cultures, the aesthetics is just as important as the taste. Take a moment to recognize the art in food.

Smell: Bring the food up to your nose. Without naming the scent, experience smelling the food, then describe what you smell.

Physiological reaction: Now focus on what is going on in your mouth. Begin to notice that saliva happens, even though you haven’t put the food in your mouth. You’re noticing a mind/body phenomenon the senses responding to the anticipation that something’s going to be eaten.

Touch: Now explore how the food feels. Without naming the feeling, just experience touching your food.

Motion and movement:  How is it that your hand actually knows how to get the food to the lips, without going past the face altogether? As you bring the food up to your lips, notice what happens next. The mouth receives the food. Nothing goes into the mouth without it being received. And who or what is doing the receiving? The tongue. Now watch what the tongue does with it. How does it get the food between the teeth? It’s amazing that the tongue is so skilled, such a remarkable muscle that it can actually receive food and then keep it between the teeth.

Taste: After becoming aware of the food in your mouth, start biting into it, very slowly. Then begin to chew. Notice that the tongue decides which side of the mouth it’s going to chew on. Give all your attention to your mouth and take a few bites. Then stop to experience what’s happening. And what’s happening is invariably an explosion of hundreds of words that describe the experience called tasting.

Texture: As you continue to chew, the taste changes. And so does the consistency. At a certain point you will become aware of the texture of the food because the taste has mostly passed. The texture becomes a bit aversive and you may want to swallow it.

Swallowing: Don’t swallow it yet. Stay with the aversion, as well as the impatience and the inborn impulse to swallow. Do not swallow until you detect the impulse to do so. And then observe what is involved in actually getting the food over to the place where it’s going to be swallowed. When you detect the impulse to swallow, follow it down into the stomach, feel your whole body and acknowledge that your body is now exactly one bite heavier.

Breath: Next, after a pause for a moment or two, see if you can taste your breath in a similar way. Bring the same quality of attention that you gave to seeing the food, feeling the food, smelling the food, tasting the food to the breath.

Silence: Then, drop into silence. By this point, you understand something of what meditation is. It’s doing what we do all the time, except we’re doing it with attention: directed, moment-to-moment, non-judgmental attention.

The main thing is to have fun, learn something and understand yourself better.  Here is a check list that will help get you going:

Mindful Eating Checklist

*Make eating an act all by itself.

*Be aware of the types of conversation you are having with others while you eat.

*Do not eat when upset.

*Eat while you are sitting down, this does not mean sitting in a car and driving.

*Check in and see how hungry you are before starting.

*Sit in silence a minute before you begin eating.

*Imagine the food you are going to eat before you eat and see how it feels in your body.

*Do not gulp down your food savor each mouthful and chew well before you swallow.

*Do not eat until you are overly full. Leave some room in your stomach to enhance digestion.

*After you are done notice how the food you just ate is making your body feel.

~BON APPETIT ~

 

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YOUR MIND! OPT TO OBSERVE IT

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How often throughout our busy workday do we genuinely observe where our mind naturally wanders?  Does it take us into a state of fantasy? humor? stress? fear?  More importantly – do we like where we end up..  The beauty of pausing to recognize what emotional state our mind brings us into, is that we might also realize the choice is actually ours, not our minds.  The power of choice when it comes to our thoughts is just as (or perhaps more) important as where we choose to spend our time and with whom.  Once we can harness our minds as a true tool, we can free ourselves of emotional states that do not serve us.  

So today I invite you to take 5 minutes for observation.  Follow your mind, where does it lead you? Do you like what you see?  

NOT HAPPY WITH WHERE YOUR THOUGHTS TOOK YOU?  

Rather than our minds being the boss, we can start to master our own minds.  It is key to listen, get to know your thought tendencies, acknowledge the underlying messages, make peace with your thoughts and retrain where/when needed.  Remember to always maintain an attitude of compassion when approaching thought control, our minds have downloaded years of information from our environment and experiences.

Below are six tips that might help you land in a more desirable place:

TIP 1:  LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND

Our thoughts are just like people, they have a need to be listened to and understood.  Before we can shift our thoughts, we have to listen to and acknowledge them.  Once our minds know we are paying attention to them, they can relax and let us guide them in a different direction.  We might even initially thank our minds for reminding ourselves to not repeat mistakes from our past.

TIP 2: BE AT PEACE

No matter how negative, intense or off the wall you find your thoughts – learn to make peace with them.   If you were trying to avoid a fight with an aggressive person, would you run into their fist when they are  swinging?  Probably not.  Remember that pain usually lies underneath anger.  Once the thoughts simmer, become a detective and try to figure out what your thoughts are truly saying.

TIP 3: THOUGHTS ARE NOTHING BUT THOUGHTS. 

Because we cannot physically see our thoughts, it might be hard to step outside of them.  Hence it’s easy to accept them as they are rather than stop to consider how much they are influenced by our environment, physical state, relationships, what we read and what we see.  We can let ourselves fall prey to our mental habits or take the time to change the unhealthy ones into healthy thinking.  ,

TIP 4:  STOP AND OBSERVE

Meditation is simple – all you need to do is hit the pause button and shift from doer to observer.    Even just 1-5 minutes of mindfulness will go a long way.   What must precede knowledge?  Time.  We must take the time to get to know our minds and what thoughts they tend towards.  It’s just like any relationship – in oder to develop knowledge of and respect for – we must spend time with the other party.   Start checking in with your mind on a daly basis, otherwise it may have you “checking out” of life a bit too much 😉

TIP 5: REWIRE NEGATIVE PATTERNS

Most of us are familiar with the sayings “we are what we repeatedly do” and “we see what we believe”.  Our thinking literally becomes patterned in our brains through specific neural connections.  In essence, our minds can become stuck on autopilot.  Before we can get off of autopilot, we have to acknowledge the negative patterns we are stuck in and how they are biasing our perceptions.   We must refocus our mind on the PRESENT experience rather reacting in ways that belong to our past.

TIP 6:  EMBRACE THE MESSAGE WITH COMPASSION

We cannot change our gut reactions nor the thoughts they bring, but we can change how we react to them.  Some of us may have been taught to believe that negative thoughts are wrong.  Yet in actuality if we judge our feelings, we may be missing the signals they are trying to give us.  Instead of criticizing ourselves, we can support the needs that we may be neglecting.   When we manage our vulnerable thoughts properly we end up in a place of growth that leads to confidence and strength.  Take the time to navigate the difficult feelings while staying grounded in the present and seeing through the right perspective.  Focus on the message underlying the negative emotion, not the emotion itself.

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