Happy 2018 !
I am currently working on my 2017 reflection post which will be up soon, but, in the meantime I am super excited to share with you that I have been selected to be a Self Care Ambassador! 2017 was an amazing journey and I am hoping through this opportunity I will be able to share some of the things that took my healing from two autoimmune conditions to the next level. I will be working to create a community where individuals encourage and empower each other to focus on their own journey to the best health possible. Over the next few months, I will be posting mini challenges on Instagram, Instagram stories, Facebook, and my blog. These challenges will be super easy and I know they will fill your life with so much joy. I hope you will follow along and share your experience both with me and others. The more we share the more we grow and learn.
To join the challenge and track your progress, go to healthstorylines.com and set up a free account. Health Storylines has 40,000 users! Joining will allow you to participate in mini health challenges with like minded people. These challenges will allow us to support each other and our journey to self-care and healing while having a ton of fun. There is nothing more motivating than joining a community of people who are passionate about helping each other practice self-care. Therefore, when Health Storylines reached out to me about becoming an Ambassador I had to say yes!
If you have been following my blog for a while you know that I had a long struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Chronic Iritis. It may have taken me years to realize it but my health struggle was my greatest teacher. I whole heartily believe that when we are presented with a struggle in our lives whether health or something else it is happening For Us NOT To Us. Meaning, there is a deeper reason. You must look inward and realize your body is sending you signals that something is not right. When you honor the struggle, you will find yourself on the other end shining bright. I promise!
Nutrition has been a huge part of my journey but it was not until working with a mind body healing coach who also struggled with Ankylosing Spondylitis that I truly healed. I consider myself in complete remission from both conditions! Sometimes it is hard to believe but I couldn’t believe it to be truer. I do not even associate myself with these diseases anymore. I am here, I am healthy, I am thriving and I could not be more excited about what the future holds.
Through my experience and own personal learning I now believe nutrition is only one part of the total health puzzle. Until I worked with my coach and continued studying over the last year I did not truly understand what the mind-body connection was. In simple terms our thoughts, beliefs, attitude, and feelings can either positively or negatively affect or biology and result in a thriving healthy body or a stressed, diseased prone body. The mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination. So, when we are thinking about what happened yesterday or stressing about tomorrow our body has a biological response just as if what we are thinking is truly happening to us in that moment. Alternatively, the environment we give our physical bodies such as diet and exercise can affect our mental state in either a positive or a negative way. Our minds and bodies are intertwined to a degree that is often overlooked. By working on our mind (thoughts, beliefs, mindset etc) we can begin the process of healing.
Over the next 4 weeks I will be sharing a mini challenge that you can do anywhere and at any time. The key is you must do it daily. The challenges will be easy and I promise you the pay off will be huge if you stick with them.
Challenge One: Daily Gratitude
Gratitude in simple terms is being thankful. Thankful for things big and small. I went to the Bulletproof Conference this last Fall and every key note speaker started their presentation sharing their greatest bio-hack for health and I am not kidding when I say every single one of them brought up gratitude and how it is the single most important thing we can do to not only have better health but to make everything in our lives better too. I used to think of my autoimmune conditions as something negative. Now I am thankful for them because they have brought SO MUCH to my life. I cannot even tell you how thankful I am for what I went through. It sounds crazy but being thankful for life’s negatives and our hardest moments can bring so much to our lives. I would not change a thing about these past 11 years. Nothing! I am thankful for my autoimmune diseases and the amazing things they have taught me and brought to my life.
Gratitude may already be a part of your life however, I think the key is to establish an actual practice. When you schedule it on your calendar or start your day with it your practice becomes a habit and overtime it becomes ingrained deeper into your life and your everyday moments. Starting my day with gratitude sets the tone for the entire day. It gives me energy, it gives me purpose and it makes me realize the blessings in my life.
My gratitude practice is simple and it can be for you too. My alarm goes off in the morning and before I get out of bed I run through my list of things I am thankful for. Three things that are always on my list are the following. 1. I am thankful that I woke up, am alive and have another amazing day to do amazing things. 2. I am thankful for my health and my strong body and all that it can do. 3. I am thankful for my son H, my husband and family. Once you start listing the things you are thankful for it’s hard to stop because the more things you are thankful for the more things you will find to be thankful for. The more gratitude we show the more the things that used to bring us down actually lift us up and help us to become happier and lead more full-filled lives.
And, for all you parents out there teaching your kids as early as possible to recognize what they are thankful for is so important. H and I share at least one thing at bedtime from the day that we are thankful for. It is so special to share with your children and have them share with you.
Ready, Set, Go…. Challenge Time
The first step is to set up your free account on healthstorylines.com.
Challenge One Instructions:
1. Each day schedule 5-15 min or how ever long you want to think about and what you are thankful for. Record these things in Health Story Lines in the Journal section.
2. Take 1 additional min to read your list from the previous day.
3. At the end of the week read all days.
4. If you feel comfortable and want to share your list post a screen shot on your Instagram, Instagram Stories or Facebook and hashtag #wholelovelylifegratitude so we can engage with each other’s posts. And, if you are ok with it (I will get your permission before sharing) I will repost on my Instagram Stories so you reach even more people. Seeing what others are thankful for impacts our lives too. Let’s inspire each other!
At the end of the week I would love for you to share what you thought of this challenge in the comments. Happy first week of 2018! Let’s make it an amazing year.
If you need any help using the Health Story Lines app check out this amazing video!