All posts in Inspiration

Can Thinking About Money Change Your Health?

Can Thinking About Money Change Your Health?

When I talked to a financial advisor a while ago, I expected it to be so straightforward. How much do you make? How much do you save? How much do you spend?

Instead, she asked me to write down what money meant to my family when I was growing up. And how I felt about it in my relationships, and now as a small business owner.

Talk about a hornet’s nest! I had no idea I carried around such ridiculous stress and self-judgement.

I was going through life with the notion that I didn’t deserve things unless I earned them. Including love and friendship.

My thinking went like this: the only way to deserve a new coat, or a night out with my friends, was to be someone better, someone skinnier, nicer, more productive, a better mom. Since there’s no way to quantify those ‘standards’, I rarely thought I deserved what I got. Regardless of where this self-defeating thinking started, it was still dogging me in my 50’s.

Every day, I meet someone who uses this same kind of thinking to deny themselves care that could improve not just their wardrobe or social life, but their whole health.

We tend to apply the same destructive, unhealthy thinking patterns in all areas of our lives. Our attitude of ‘not deserving’ leaks over into our relationships, our diet, even our connection to a higher power. Imagine the havoc that can play on a person’s life. It creates a scarcity scenario that holds us hostage.

Herbs are great, and I’ve seen them do wonders for women’s health. But, physical and emotional health are absolutely connected to how we think about money.

Talking to a professional, whose job it was to understand the ins and outs of money, lightened the load and transformed my attitude.

Become a healthier version of yourself. Ask for financial advice and watch your whole life take a new direction.

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Autumn – No Time For Hangups

Autumn – No Time For Hangups

The other day, a client shared with me that after a very long relationship, she decided it was time to get her own apartment, move out and start taking care of herself. The day she told her partner she was leaving, all the digestive symptoms that had been plaguing her for months of visits quickly cleared up. No more constipation, no more tummy problems. Just like that. She could breathe easily again.

Maybe you’re hanging on to an unhealthy relationship, or maybe it’s a bad habit you can’t shake, like gossiping or nighttime snacking. Sometimes, we just get hung up on what someone said to us 20 or 30 years ago and can’t let it go.

Whatever your hangup, it’s time to hang it up.

The weight of your emotional baggage is a giant burden on your physical health, whether you see it or not. Letting it go means a chance at feeling light and playful again. Smiling and joy are guiltless pleasures that we owe ourselves.

Fall cleansing means letting go and finding fun again

Let go of worries and feel playful and healthy again

I swear, Letting go is one of the hardest lessons to learn in life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes a clear connection between the Lungs – which play a role in expressing grief, releasing the past and detaching from unhealthy patterns and behaviors – and the Large Intestine, where another kind of ‘letting go’ happens.

A healthy and balanced Lung/Large Intestine pair helps you withstand the stresses of respiratory threats like colds and flus, and environmental imbalances like dryness or excess humidity and dampness.

Letting go of unhealthy people, patterns and even poop 🙂 gives you protection from seasonal illnesses.

My client discovered on her own that simply making up her mind to let go helped her physically release, making space for something new.

The season of the Lungs and Large Intestine is Autumn. It’s a great season to start a Fall cleanse.

A seasonal diet and herbs that focus on preparing your lungs, large intestine and lymphatic system for the cold weather, can give you a leg up on immune system challenges.

Two weeks of delicious foods like squash, root vegetables and wild game, and herbs like cleavers, burdock root, stillingia root, poke root, and cascara sagrada bark, provide a lymph, lung, large intestine and deep tissue detox that stimulate and renew your sluggish system.

I tell my clients to get a good massage and indulge themselves in an afternoon nap. Fall is time to really let go of unhappy thoughts and enjoy the shocking blue skies and comfy sweater weather to the fullest.

I can help you approach cleansing with healthy, nourishing foods, herbs, and simple daily practices. Everyone deserves a healthy start to Fall. Email me at info@naturalhealingomaha.com and get started.

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Is Your Brain Cheering You On or Throwing Insults?

Is Your Brain Cheering You On or Throwing Insults?

My life coach says I’m ‘up to big things’ when my mind chatters with self-talk. Until she reframed it like that, my brain was a messed of mixed signals, tangled thoughts, and self-doubt.

Instead of calm, peace, and universally loving thoughts about my life, the chatter would sound like this:

“I can’t do that”

“I’ve had it hard and that’s why I’ll be a failure”

“I’m not smart enough – so-and-so is better at this than me”

“You’re not successful enough to try”

“People will be watching and you might make a mistake”

“You don’t know enough”

“You’re gonna fail”

“Someday you’ll be good enough to do this, but not right now”

“You’re selfish to even try”

“It’s gonna cost too much money”

It’s like I’m trying to talk myself out of success so I’ll have an excuse when things don’t go like I expect. I’ve learned to sit on the floor beside my bed, take a few breaths, and listen to what’s going on between my ears.

This pattern of self-destructive thinking has a hold on all of us some days. The monkey in my head is jumping all over the cage, throwing insults, and trying to push me off my game. She’s on full blast when I’m getting ready to accomplish something I’ve never done before.

I’ve always felt so alone struggling with this. Other people just get up in the morning, make up their minds to do something, and do it. Right? No self-doubt, no ‘poor me’, no excuses.

That’s a lie I tell myself. And it doesn’t serve me. Or you.

The most successful people you know have their own monkey jabbering away when it’s time to face a big task or step out of their comfort zone. Somehow they’ve learned how to tame the monkey and go ahead anyway.

I wrestle with the mind chatter every day. Sometimes the self-doubt wins, sometimes I can turn it around. On good days, I manage to keep calm and focus on where I’m going and what I love – sharing what I know about holistic healing, herbalism, and how it changed my life.

Those other days, journaling, crying, texting a friend – these are my strategies. Sometimes, I write a blog. Not gonna lie, there might be some self-indulgent binge-watching and sugar involved. I breathe, have my pity party, then it passes.

One of the smart choices I’ve made to harness my brain power for good was to hire a life coach. She helped me use the tools I’d been sharpening in yoga and meditation, to tap into the pro-Me power of my brain. Whatever calls to you – therapy, business coaching, a good friendship, spiritual work – all these are good places to turn the negative self-talk to the language of self-love.

How do you handle the self-destructive mind chatter? What’s your strategy to keep your lower self from holding you back? Do you have a retreat in your home or office, or a mantra that helps you cope or get beyond the critic in your brain? I’d love to hear your strategies!

 

 

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7 Coolest Things About a Farmer’s Market

7 Coolest Things About a Farmer’s Market

Why don’t more people shop at farmer’s markets? Heck, why don’t I shop there more often?

The only possible answer is this: habit. I’m just not in the habit of stopping at more than one place for groceries.

The thing is, the food at neighborhood farmer’s markets is so ridiculously cheap and fresh, I almost feel like I’m cheating someone. But really, I’m only cheating myself by not taking advantage of it more often.

Every time I walk into the deep freeze they call a grocery store these days, I wonder why I didn’t start at the market.

White and red radishes for 75 cents a bunch, spinach for $1, huge bundles of turnip and mustard greens for $1 (don’t know what to do with them? Click here for a photo and recipe).

Here’s what I discovered about the farmer’s market:

7 BEST THINGS ABOUT YOUR LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET:

1- You can find a farmer’s market almost every day of the week somewhere in your city.

2- A $20 bill gets you enough veggies and meat protein for two people for at least 3 days.

3- Talk to the guy/girl who grew your food. It’s almost a little humbling to realize how much we depend on these gracious growers.

4- Eat your groceries while you’re still shopping. That’s how we discovered the white radishes are less spicy than the red ones.

5- You find out what’s in season, and discover that seasonal eating is healthier eating. [Here’s a link to a recent blog explaining why]

6- Fresh-picked food (within 1-3 days of market) has SO much more taste/flavor than supermarket food. Hands down.

7- Even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll be entertained. Street musicians, crowds of interesting people and pets, and displays of local crafts make your weekend visit SWEET!

And now, here’s a listing of Omaha area farmer’s markets. Go get some fresh food today!

Bellevue Farmers Market / Flea Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • May 18 – September 14, Washington Park on Franklin Street at West 20th Avenue, Bellevue

Benson Farmers Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 4 – September 28, Military Avenue at Maple Street

Charles Drew Health Center Market – Wednesdays, 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  • July 10 — October 2, 2915 Grant Street

Florence Mill Farmers Market – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • June 2 – September 29, 9102 North 30th Street

Main Street Farmers Market Council Bluffs – Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • May – September, Corner of 9th Avenue and South Main Street, Council Bluffs

Omaha Farmer’s Market in Aksarben Village – Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 5 — October 20, 67th and Center

Omaha Farmer’s Market in the Old Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • May 4 — October 19, 11th & Jackson Streets

Papillion Market Faire – Wednesdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • June 5 – September 18, 1st Street Plaza located off 84th and 1st Street in Downtown Papillion (New Location in 2013!)

Wohlner’s Midweek Market at Midtown Crossing – Wednesdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • May 1 – September 25, Parking garage next to Wohlner’s at 33rd and Dodge

Village Pointe Farmers Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 4 – October 5, 168th & Dodge
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Warmer Foods Help Seniors Regain Strength and Health

Warmer Foods Help Seniors Regain Strength and Health

A client brought his 94-year old mother to me, asking for help with her 4 months of bowel incontinence. It was making her miserable and exhausted, not to mention the discouraging loss of dignity that goes with that sort of thing.

Her doctors had prescribed all sorts of medications, but nothing worked. She was getting weaker every day. In my office, she covered up with her winter coat, looking frail and pale, but I could see the feisty woman she’d once been, underneath the weariness.

I suggested that her nursing staff stop serving her fruit juices, cold fruit, iced tea, and cottage cheese, all of which are known to contribute to loose stools and digestive problems for those with the TCM pattern of Spleen Qi Deficiency.

It’s a clinical term that describes a pattern of disharmony in Traditional Chinese Medicine. People with this pattern have sometimes been weakened by a long period of stress, like an illness (my client had suffered a stroke), or excessive cold, damp foods, or both.

A week later, the client’s son called to say that even before starting the course of herbs I recommended, she was having 50% fewer episodes of incontinence, and felt stronger overall. The staff was surprised at how much warmer foods, soups, and hot teas, improved her quality of life.

Holistic healing isn’t always about taking an herb or supplement. It takes into account everything from lifestyle factors to diet, and even spiritual practices. A minor adjustment like the temperature of your food can make a big difference in the whole you.

Could there be one simple practice that needs a tiny little turn-of-the-dial in your life or the life of someone close to you?

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Inspired – and Embarrassed – by Mom. Will I Ever Grow Up?

Inspired – and Embarrassed – by Mom. Will I Ever Grow Up?

A funny thing happened when I hit the ‘Send’ button one morning. I accidentally told my mom, and about 12 other women friends, that I was glad she didn’t embarrass me in front of them at a mother-daughter event.

And you know what she said in her email reply? “I’m glad I didn’t embarrass you. The thought had crossed my mind.” My mom is a total good sport, but I almost never give her credit for it. I wonder if it occurred to her that I might embarrass HER?

mom inspired career as a professional

I have a not-so-loving relationship with my mother. It’s not her fault. People always tell me how charming and funny and lovely she is. How much they enjoy having her around. But all I see through my judging eyes is someone who struggled with bipolar disease and didn’t pay enough attention to me.

I never stop to remember that she gave birth to 5 children in 7 years, moving with her military husband to at least 5 different bases, with no ‘I’m too tired to cook’ processed food dinners on the days when everyone was sick or crying or snowed in.

It rarely occurs to me that she was an inspiration for my holistic-style career. She insisted on whole wheat bread and a ‘no sugary snacks’ household, when Wonder Bread and Super Sugar Crisp were standard fare in 70’s suburban homes.

I always forget that she was the one who told my sister and I (I guess she assumed it was a given for my brothers) that we could do anything we wanted with our lives, and proved it by doing exactly that. As soon as we kids were all in school, she put her Chemistry and Physics degrees to work in a series of jobs that landed her in a professional engineering career.

That’s the kind of life that would make a grown kid proud of their parent. Even if I stopped right there, it would be plenty of reason to kick myself for missing opportunities to tell her.

We’ve seen Mom flirt with death at least 3 times. None of us kids thought she would live to see 2020.Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 3.35.26 PM

Instead of sending accidental emails about how embarrassing my mom is, I hope to be a good sport and take the high road with her a little more often. That’s how I’ll honor Mom on Mother’s Day.

That little email has me wondering, now, if my own kids feel this way about me. I guess what goes around, comes around.

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How My Guest Blogger Got Her Healthy Groove Back

Cleanse and detox helps kick start new health habits

Healthy cleansing can be the push you need to better health

Today’s guest blog that started as an enthusiastic email from my friend Carolyn, who was tired of being ‘stuck’ in her old patterns. She found a way to break through after a couple weeks of seasonal cleansing. With some light editing of exclamation points, I’ll let her tell the story…

I was recently guided to attend one of Mo’s classes – a Spring cleanse. What a good idea, I thought. Get a little healthier, feel a little better, you know…the usual. Little did I know that this 2-week cleanse would completely change my life – healing my unhealthy patterns at a very deep level – and giving me a renewed sense of self.

The class turned out to be a cooking class, meant to prepare us for this 2-week, nearly vegan life-style. Mo, by showing us the actual “to-dos”, empowered us to go find the healthiest foods we could, and re-engage with our kitchens. And her enthusiasm and commitment to each of us was contagious.

It was tough, but because I’m married to an amazing man who also loves to cook (and who realized quickly that life was simply going to be easier by getting on board with this one). We made our collective way through it. I won’t give the details of everything this diet pushed us through in this blog (but perhaps over a healthy lunch??) but on the other side of 2 weeks….here’s what we are experiencing: my diarrhea  (my companion for the last 20 or so years) is completely gone. We’re both sleeping through the night (rare!). My husband’s snoring….gone. He’s lost 13 pounds, I’ve lost 7, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Seriously, the energy that we are experiencing and the way our new bodies feel has changed us. We can never go back to drinking wine nearly every single night. Miracle of miracles, the desire is gone! Who knew? And who wants a huge chunk of beef in their stomachs now? Not us. Of course, we’re enjoying these things again, but in moderation as opposed to gluttony. We’re the “all in” types….enough said. The way our bodies feel now has actually become our dietary compass, and it’s joyful!

Last but certainly not least, because I’m getting a full night’s sleep, I’m getting up earlier, finding time for breakfast again, and have gotten back into a morning meditation practice – something I haven’t had in my life for years.

We are changed…

Seasonal cleansing is a gentle and safe way to bring about subtle (or in Carolyn’s case, not-so-subtle) change when you’re feeling stuck or stagnant. It could turn out to be just the nudge you needed to break a bad habit and start some new ones. Take cleansing to a holistic new healthy level – schedule a personal visit with me (text 402.965.0097). Email info@naturalhealingomaha.com for more information.

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Are You Too Comfortable With Your Comfort Zone?

Are You Too Comfortable With Your Comfort Zone?

When was the last time you took a new route to work or changed the part in your hair? Did you decide a really long time ago you didn’t like a certain food, like brussel sprouts, so you never, ever tried it again?

It’s easy to to make a habit of behaviors that feel comfortable, flow smoothly, and only require occasional minor adaptation. Routines provide a safe feeling. You know what to expect. You come to identify with the person you see in the mirror.

Granted, there’s something to be said for making a habit of regular dental hygiene, for instance, or driving to work using a route with predictable stoplights and traffic patterns.

Habits allow you to funnel less mental energy into everyday routines. That frees up your mind for creative thoughts, like ‘what’s a seven-letter word for organic fertilizer?’

When you’re in your daily groove, you don’t always notice problems until they’re BIG ones. We follow the same patterns day to day, despite that tiny warning light that says ‘stop and check engine’.

Years ago, I struggled to recover from the depleting drugs and the emotional drain of chemo years ago. It frustrated me that habits which used to comfort me – eating sweet, rich food, drinking coffee to wake up, and blaming other people for my problems – didn’t satisfy me anymore. My habits had formed a roadblock to healing.

Having a health crisis has a way of making you re-examine how you do just about everything. That’s how I discovered the truth about this old maxim – if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

When it comes to health care, we’ve been trained to get results without requiring a change of habits. A pill or surgery gets the depression, the pain, or chronic irritation to stop bothering us. But this approach often masks the real issue, and we end up having to deal with the core problem eventually.

There’s no way around it. Getting genuinely healthy means making permanent CHANGE. And there’s no time like the present to start. My life coach calls these ‘small, sweet steps’.

  1. Start by observing habitual behavior, like midnight snacking, mindless refills of coffee all morning, or even checking and re-checking email, texts, and social media 88 times a day (the national average for smartphone users).
  2. Decide ahead of time what you’ll do when faced with the temptation to snack, fill up your cup, and tap into social media to kill time.
  3. Be specific, then write it down. “I will only check my [insert social media platform] twice a day at [insert actual times].
  4. And then stick to it. Give yourself a week to catch on. And eventually you’ll get un-stuck, lose weight, sleep better, feel less pain, be less stressed out. And happier.

Every now and then, it’s healthy to fluster and confound your brain, shut down the cruise control driving those habits.

Like freshly hiked paths, these brain connections have to be ‘trod on’ over and over until the new behavior/thought is learned and becomes the new routine. That takes some work. It will frustrate and irritate you. It will tempt even the strongest of you to slip back into old patterns.

Without a plan, I always fail at this. I’m a genius at coming up with excuses for unhealthy behavior – the best one is “I don’t really have PROOF that this is a problem for me, so one more [insert behavior] won’t hurt.”

By mapping out my detour, I know where I’m going and what success looks like. At the new destination is a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a more flexible, creative me, with brain connections that lead to crossword answers like ‘compost’ [raise your hand if you got that one 🙂 ].

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I’m a Late-Bloomer to Herbalism – And Just in Time

I’m a Late-Bloomer to Herbalism – And Just in Time
never too late for late bloomer to find herbal medicine

It took this late bloomer a few extra years to grow into herbal medicine.

Some Spring seasons, I get a little fidgety waiting for the daffodils and tulips. Can you blame me? I’ve spent most of my life expecting Nebraska Spring to prove that winter doesn’t last for-EVER.

The thing is, I can totally relate to a season that takes its time showing up. I’ve always been a little late to the party myself. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been hopelessly behind in personal fashion, trendy fads and hairstyles. That didn’t stop me from trying to style my own hair for second-grade picture day.

And for someone who’s always in a hurry, it surprises me as much as anybody that it took me so long to figure out my vocation. For Spring and me, it’s been fits and starts the whole way. One day we’re radiant and hopeful, the next, we’re plunged into gray and gloomy.

I didn’t figure out this herbalist thing until way after 40. By then, my younger sister was already retired, my brothers were well into their careers, and my friends were accomplished teachers, attorneys, dentists, and the types of professionals I was encouraged to be as a kid.

Then, like a fluky Spring snowstorm, the defining moment of my life came along out of nowhere. Instead of losing all hope of finding my calling, treatment and recovery from breast cancer planted the seed for my herbalist roots. Sitting in the chemo room watching the pink stuff draining into my veins, I hit the proverbial rock bottom. I finally gave myself permission to start healing all the wounds that got me there. Like those seeds in Yellowstone, the ones that need an intense fire to germinate, I needed a trial by fire.

It took me a few years to get it all straightened out, but some perennial force has kept me going and growing. I dug up buried emotional and physical pain, pulled it apart and used it as compost for my herbalism work. All those years of pain finally make sense. Healing and recovery were the life experiences I needed to appreciate the suffering my clients carry with them.

Yeah, I took my time, tried on a couple suits that didn’t fit. Raised three kids I’m seriously proud of. It hasn’t been a wasted life by any measure. And now, I get to put it all together with a lifelong curiosity and love of learning, into my work as an herbalist who’s just emerging after a long winter (and some seriously bad hair days).

Winter really doesn’t last forever. Maybe just another week…

 

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Time for Herbalism to Come Out of the Closet

Time for Herbalism to Come Out of the Closet

Everyone’s got that favorite sweatshirt or pair of jeans they keep for weekends at home. The ones you slip on when you wanna feel comfortable and relaxed.

Over time, the color’s faded and the newness has worn off, but you’re not completely at home unless you’ve got that soft, worn fabric against your skin. Do you remember why you stopped wearing those jeans in public?

My guess is that something new and trendy came along and made them look dull in comparison.

Something similar happened to herbalism. The comfort of our grandmothers’ folk healing was replaced by a trendy, shiny thing called modern medicine.

Traditional ways of staying healthy and healing at home were relegated to the back of the closet. Somehow, we convinced ourselves that newer was better. In the process, safe, natural, remarkably simple methods of prevention and natural healing were written off as dated and out of style.

Isn’t it time we put some old-fashioned common sense back into health care? Let’s take a page from fashion by pairing the best of today’s chic new healthcare with classics that stand the test of time.

Herbalism blends well into today’s eclectic cultural sensibilities. It’s more than vintage, thrift-store medicine or trendy ‘folk’ health care. There’s powerful healing in that simple cup of tea your grandmother brewed for you.

What could be more comfortable than remedies that grow in your own back yard, right?

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