Self Soothe and Be Thankful

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Happy Thanksgiving! Are you shocked that it is already this time of year again? I am – the past few months have quickly flown by. As many of you already know, I chose not to run my Thankfully Me Thanksgiving Challenge this year. It is always a lot of fun to connect and share the experience but this year I decided to honor myself and the work that I am doing by using my time for me and other developments!

Thanksgiving is the introduction to the “Holiday Season” and can be a time of STRESS + ANXIETY. Not only are we taking time off work and spending more time with our kids, we are also meeting with family that triggers us and shopping or preparing food. It is A LOT!

Yes, we are supposed to be grateful and count our blessing on this week – however that can be tough if we don’t acknowledge the other emotions we are experiencing. Which is why I am sharing a list of self-soothing techniques that you can use during periods of stress and excitement.

Children have many tools they use to self-soothe. For instance, my daughter uses a pacifier and sometimes carries around her blankey. She also hears and remember my loving nudges and reassurance. We can see this as regular baby stuff but if we take a deeper look, these are simple methods that provide her with security.

As adults, the same is true. We still need to self-soothe (in a healthy way) and relax ourselves so we can return to feeling safe. Remember stress is simply our body ramping up to protect ourselves. Being an adult, you are always responsible for yourself and that includes taking the time to calm yourself down.

Here are some easy ways to start:

  • PEP- TALK: Turn up the volume on your own inner voice of kindness. You know that voice that you share with others when they are going through tough times. SURPRISE – that voice is for you too. Begin speaking to yourself when you get overwhelmed. Use loving and compassionate language towards yourself.

I have private pep-talks all the time and especially before big family events and busy periods. They go like this, “Orly, you are so sweet and loving. Everything is ok and is going well. You are enough and perfect just as you are. You are safe and you got this.”

 

  • HEALTHY OUTLET: What makes you feel relaxed and safe? I doubt that running around from Trader Joes to Costco this week will soothe you. Whether it is a call with a friend, reading a book, exercising or taking a warm bath – DO IT. Even if it doesn’t seem like you have the time or desire too. This is about taking care of yourself before you surround yourself with other big, important things.

 

  • BREATHE: I know you guys are bored of this one but it really is the quickest and easiest way to self-soothe. You can do it in the bathroom, in your car, in bed ANYWHERE. One of my favorite techniques is counting my breath on the inhale and exhale. This give you some structure – even doing it as little as 3 times is enough to impact your nervous system.

 

Here’s how to do it: Exhale from your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Then hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Repeat 3 times.

 

It is my deepest hope that these easy tools become stables of positive support in your life. I have been using them daily and they have impacted my stress level in amazing ways.

I am wishing you a peaceful and love filled holiday! Now that you are feeling more relaxed remember to give thanks for all the things that you do have and all the ways life is going good – you will find you are more blessed than you realized.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Orly

Are Your Thoughts Holding You Hostage?

A photo by davide ragusa. unsplash.com/photos/4jcFu1byopQ

Do you know we think between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per DAY? That means 35-48 thoughts per minute? That is A LOT of thinking that is constantly going on with or without our awareness of them.

Thinking is a big part of our experience here in our human bodies. Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant” well there is definitely one more – THINKING is another constant!

I know I am not the only one that has been led in circles around my thoughts. Driving myself crazy and unable to sleep at night because of repetitive thinking around fears and creating stories of the future. We all do this and we all believe our thoughts are incredibly true + valuable. We believe our thoughts might save us from so atrocity or may direct us down the path of enlightenment.

I used to believe that the more I meditated and slowed down the quieter my head would become. However, I have learned that meditation didn’t quiet my thoughts rather it reminded me that I am not my thoughts, I am the observer of my thoughts. In other words, it gave me more awareness around the way my system functions. It also supports me in shifting my attention away from the thoughts

but the thoughts are still ALWAYS there.

I believe our thoughts are useful, we wouldn’t have that ability if we didn’t need to use it! But, we have become lost in our thoughts and living in your head means living in ANXIETY + STRESS. The more we live in our heads, the less we are connected to our intuition and wisdom + the less we ENJOY LIFE.

How can you enjoy your dinner or your vacation or time with your kids when you are in your head? The answer is you can’t; the reason being, you are not there. Yes, physically you are there, you’ll even have pictures as evidence but you are not really there because your thoughts have too much control + power over you.

If you want to enjoy life, you’ll have to learn how to work with your thoughts. Here are a few key starting points:

  1. Your thoughts are always there.

This is about acceptance. Rather than resisting your thoughts and trying to stop them or being afraid of them, REALIZE that they are always there, for every human and the only power they can ever have is the POWER you give them.

 

  1. You are not your thoughts.

Remember that you are not your thoughts. You are the one listening to your thoughts. They are a part of you but they are not you. If you can hear them, you can dictate what you will or will not follow. The more aware you become of this separation the easier it will be. Simply notice and remind yourself, “I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS.”

 

  1. Your thoughts are not TRUTH.

We all believe our thoughts are reality. If a friend calls us and shares that they think their boss is mad at them because they didn’t respond to an email. You could easily think of many other reasons why he/she didn’t reply + tell your friend to relax. But if you thought that thought, it would be harder to see that it is not true. We all believe our thoughts are TRUE + THEY ARE NOT. They are not facts, they are just a constant stream of chatter. This is important to recognize. Don’t believe everything you think and don’t take your thoughts too seriously. Take a pause, a deep breath and say to yourself, “hmmm that interesting” then move on.  

  1. The more you scratch, the more it will itch.

Just like a rash, the more attention and focus you give to a negative or scary thought, the more you will keep thinking it. Thoughts are addicting too, they repeat themselves and they get a rise out of you. Begin to notice what thoughts negatively impact you and shift your focus. You can easily introduce a new thought or a thought that makes you feel good. That doesn’t mean the other thought will disappear right away but it will lessen. Choose a replacement thought now. Every time you think about X,Y,Z you will add something like AND I am beautiful or AND I am SAFE + SECURE.

Our thoughts create our unique experience here. Rather than trying to stop or resist your thinking, begin to accept it as a part of this experience. Broaden your perspectives to see things in a new way and shine light on those fears so they can be released. I hope you find these helpful. Please reach out and share more in the comments below. Let me know what you are ready to try in order to live less in your head!

With Love and Light,

Orly

Friending Your Fear

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“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh

The big “F” word grips it’s invisible fingers around our every action and quality of life. If you fear what may happen or are scared to try something new, congratulations, you are human. I know – you never wanted to accept that! : )

On days that I am feeling on top of the world, it seems like nothing can stop me. My confidence radiates and all feels safe. Then there are other days when I am deeply scared of taking action, of making a mistake, of embarrassing myself, and of failing. These days keep me stuck, lonely and frustrated.

On the one hand, I feel safe because I am not facing my fears and on the other hand, I feel ashamed because I know I am capable of living the life of my dreams but I am not.

Can you relate?

Each of us experiences fear, it is a part of this life. Yep, it is not that you are insecure, negative, lazy, not as lucky, not as smart as those other people… or anything else you might be thinking. To feel fear is to feel human. Often stress is a mixed result of not actually facing our fears, not understanding them and believing “stories” we make up in our heads.  So, if we all experience fear in different areas of our lives than why do some people make progress and others stay stuck?

HERE IS THE BIG SECRET

Living fearlessly doesn’t mean living without fear, it means learning to live WITH fear and still going for after your dreams! In other words, getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

People that continuously take action or live the lives of their dreams are not fearless. This simply have a higher tolerance for fear. They have learned to FRIEND THEIR FEARS.

Here are a few ways to make peace with fear:

  1. Accepting Fear

The feelings and experiences of fear that you encounter are here to guide you. They happen NOT because something is wrong with you but because you are having a human journey. In fact, our fears are often leading us in the direction of our dreams. What are you scared of and why? What is this fear teaching you?

  1. Deepen Your Relationship

Our relationship to fear is what matters. If fear is something we are always avoiding, ignoring or pushing away, there is no room to connect with it. Try creating a new relationship with fear. Talk to your fear, act as if it is an old friend that you love deeply but that also drives you crazy. If there can be some love in your new relationship to fear, you will grow by leaps and bounds.  

  1. Learn a New Response

There is a difference between reacting and responding to fear. Response happens with awareness while reaction is an immediate emotional reply. Because we are emotional beings and fear is a part of our experience we tend to react. At times this is unavoidable, however, you can take a step back and learn to respond in new ways. For instance, with love and compassion for yourself and the situation. With a deep breath and short walk around the block.

  1. Shift Gears + Use The Energy

Everything is energy. You are energy. Your emotions and responses are all energy. For example, feeling excited is the same energy as feeling scared but the difference is your judgment and perspective of the feeling. If you are flying to Costa Rica on a surf trip you will be excited AND nervous but your focus is on a positive adventure. Now if you are giving a speech at work you will be nervous AND excited as well, however, your focus may stick to the fear of public speaking. Choose to focus on the exciting part of the fear and then utilize that surging energy by dancing or jogging or jumping up + down.

The great part is that once you are aware of these facts you can transform your experience of fear. We all experience fear in different areas and for different reasons. Begin to make friends with your fear.

Talk to it and listen but don’t let it have the last word!

REMEMBER:  Living fearlessly doesn’t mean living without fear, it means learning to live WITH fear and still going for your dreams!

Love and Light,

Orly Digital Sig 1

The 4 Causes of Stress

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

What is stress anyway…? According to The Integrative Women’s Health Institute where I studied hormonal health. “…stress is defined as a state in which homeostasis is actually threatened or perceived to be so; homeostasis is reestablished by a complex repertoire of behavioral and physiological adaptive responses of the organism.”

Being stressed means your body is ramped up because it believes it needs to protect and defend itself.

This is an incredible system of survival if you are being chased by a lion, however, if your stress is chronic resulting from daily emails, emotional fears, etc. this system can create even more imbalance and stress.

Recently my doctor shared “your body is a symphony, each piece plays a role and each role impacts the outcome of the whole.”

Meaning, stress doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is impacted and multiplied by various causes.

For most of my life, my focus on healing and transforming stress was around mindset. I knew that so much had to do with the constant state of fear I put myself in and felt in my body.  This is an incredibly important part of changing your life experience. However, shining a light on any challenge means to see all parts. By educating yourself, you are empowering yourself!

There are 4 main causes of stress that are constantly at play:

  1. Perceived Stress –The perception that you are not safe. This is a BIG one and I will be sharing more in the future.

The cause could be many things. For instance, facing new and unpredictable changes, feeling a lack of control and believing that harm may arise. If you have ever moved to a new home, welcomed a baby, made a big life transition, watched the news, prepared for an important business meeting, etc. Your mind started to tell your body that things are not safe.

What is really happening is that you are excited and nervous about the future and begin feeling uncomfortable and unsafe because you are not in total control. Your mind and heart are deeply connected. There are constant internal messages being sent throughout your body at all times.

  1. Circadian Disruption – The imbalance of light and dark exposure to the brain.

Over expose to blue light and other fluorescent lights leads to imbalance. That is, light from tv, cell phones, ipads, etc. Our brain begins to perceive perpetual day light. In other words, the brain is confused and doesn’t realize it is light from a device and not from nature. This is why, it is a great idea to get out doors without sunglasses for at least 30 mins a day and turn off your devices by 9pm. You can reset the natural rhythm of day and night.

Another cause is shift work. If you are a nurse or a flight attendant your day time and night time hours are upside down. You are changing the natural system and cycle of your body and day.

  1. Inflammatory Signaling – Inflammation leads to stress and stress leads to more inflammation. Inflammation is the result of a revved up immune system.

Most diseases are a result of some form of inflammation. For example, arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Why is your immune system working so hard? The body is trying to fight off or rid itself infection which is a good thing if it is rare. However, if you are chronically inflamed due to an array of reasons, including poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, an inactive lifestyle, your body can’t handle the imbalance.

  1. Glycemic Dysregulation – The blood sugar roller coaster.

Glucose is the term for sugar in blood. Glucose is regulated by the hormone insulin. After we eat, glucose levels rise and insulin comes in to normalize blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels rise rapidly (a lot of sugar), the body responds by releasing too much insulin which leads to low blood sugar and feelings of exhaustion, moodiness and hunger. This sugar roller coaster ride is a main cause of stress.

I know that is a lot to take in. Remember that you don’t need to feel stressed by any of this. You are simply educating yourself and can make choices as usual. My first tip is to notice what’s happening in your mind and in your body when you become anxious or overwhelmed. That simple, just become aware.

We are not separate from our bodies. Everything is connected and working together to support your highest potential and happiness.

Please share your comments below and feel free to ask questions or connect with me!

Love and Light,

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The Opportunity in the Obstacle

I know, its been a while! First of all – Hi there beautiful soul!

Though I had originally planned to take off 4 months after my daughter Aria was born, I decided to take some additional time to heal, take good care of myself and just be a present mama. As we all know by now, life doesn’t always go according to our perfect plan!

Some of you know that my post-partum experience included a few challenging surprises. I needed to have an emergency D &C surgery about 8 weeks after Aria was born. This led to extra healing both physically, mentally and emotionally. Honestly, it was one of the most traumatic and overwhelming experiences of my life.

During those first few weeks of confusion, overwhelm and “why me” mentality, I received the most beautiful reminder. I was reading Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe Has Your Back (which is on a special sale right now for $.99) and came across a prayer she uses. It was a guiding light for me and I’d love to share it.

“Thank You Universe for helping me see this obstacle as an opportunity, I will step back and let you lead the way.”

As I found myself struggling to surrender to the fact that things didn’t go according to plan and accept that new challenges lay ahead. I realized that on a deeper level, everything happens for a reason- for my own spiritual growth and expansion.

Don’t get me wrong, it sucked, like a MF ; ) I was in pain physically and emotionally which led to some very dark nights. In those moments (we have all had them) there was a sense of disconnection, frustration and deep sadness.

We can’t feel it at the time, but there is also an awakening that comes through feeling your feelings so fully. I didn’t have the usual energy to make sense of everything and so I allowed myself to feel it all without analyzing it and without repressing it or numbing myself. If you trust that you are safe enough to feel it or receive the support needed to something magical happens.

I knew there was nothing I could do but SURRENDER and lean into my belief that though it was painful, it was also an OPPORTUNITY to grow and learn more about myself. It was in shifting my perspective that things began to change. That doesn’t mean it disappeared overnight nor did I get the clear answers I wanted right away. But once I decided to see it as good rather than bad, guidance came my way.

Spiritually, I realized that my own strength, divine connection and worth on a deeper scale. In a sense, I feel that I am more myself now than I have ever been.

My levels of self-care and self-love deepened and I could truly connect with what my intuition was telling me. These terms mean a lot more than taking time to rest or having a candle lit bath.

They showed up as truly putting myself first by honoring where I was at and finding the beat of my own drum. In other words, I cut out a lot of the bullshit that used to keep me stuck. In the past I might have choose the safety of old habits and fears.

They were what I had always known but I knew I was ok, I was safe to feel the fears. As a result, I received peace and discovered a truer path for myself.

Without my faith that everything was happening for a reason and that each challenge is an opportunity for growth I wouldn’t have made it through to this empowered and positive place. I know now, that these challenges were the best thing that ever happened to me because it led to growth and has allowed me to remember who I really am.

I believe many of you can relate to this. No matter where you are at right now and what challenges lay ahead, I want you to know that I love you, you are safe, you are worthy and you will get through it.

If you can accept where you are at and trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be guidance will come your way.

You might learn that every obstacle you encounter is a gift helping you to remember your own strength, capability and worth.

Orly Digital Sig 1

 

 

 

P.S. I found a book that explained what was happening with my hormonal health. It gave me the knowledge about my physical symptoms that I needed to make positive changes. I learned that our diets and stress level impact the natural balance of hormones in our bodies. Millions of American women struggle with thyroid issues which means that imbalance is quickly becoming the norm.

If you have been diagnosed with Hashimotos or any thyroid dysfunction check out this book, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution by Aviva Romm.

 

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