My Life Shift: “From Body Loather to Body Warrior”

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Friends,

I am super excited to be a Contributing Author in the third book of the 365 book series! This #1 bestselling book is entitled “365 Life Shifts:Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything” and in it, over 250 authors share their personal story of how one moment or situation changed, or “shifted” their life. My submission is called “From Body Loather to Body Warrior” and I talk about my story of almost getting a tummy tuck and learning to love my body, after two c-sections. What I love about the book is that each story is so different, yet we can all feel inspired reading each one.

Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck (their Bios are below), are the creators and editors of the amaing book series and I am so grateful for their vision and the opportunity this provides! Below I have shared a Q and A interview that you can read to learn all about this book as well as how to purchase it.  Enjoy!

For those who are meeting you two for the first time, please tell us more about yourselves and your journey.

First of all, we’d like to say just how grateful we are to have connected with you! We love connecting with people who are also looking for a deeper, more soulful experience of life. It’s a pleasure to be sharing this journey with so many others who are listening to – and following – their souls’ whispers in such loving ways. Welcome! 🙂 We’re a happily married couple who live on the Oregon coast with our three cats. We work together from home – writing spiritual books and blogs, creating personal-growth ecourses, connecting with soulful communities, and enjoying our lives together. We also love walking on the beach, singing, watching Abraham-Hicks DVDs, and playing backgammon. Life hasn’t always been so soulful, loving, or fun for us, though. We’ve both had our share of dead-end jobs (many of which involved cubicles), unsatisfying relationships, and periods of spiritual skepticism and dissatisfaction. But we always felt that there was something more – something deeper, more meaningful, and more loving. A big part of our life-puzzle was completed when we met, but in some ways our journey was just beginning. Shortly after we got married in 2004, we decided to quit our jobs and start a handmade gift company. To be honest, our initial motivation was to be together as much as possible! But over the years, we found that our business also enabled us to inspire, to connect deeply with others, and to share our own souls in creative ways. This began in small ways, such as adding original affirmations and writing prompts to our handmade journals, which led to the Soulful Journals series. The positive response to these books inspired us to do even more soulful writing – which we’ve continued through our blogs, ecourses, communities, and now our collaborative book series

Can you tell us about this book?

We’d love to! This is the third book in the 365 Book Series. This book is called 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything, and that’s exactly what it contains: one true-life story for each day of the year (from over 250 contributing authors) of such life-changing moments – experiences that inspired, uplifted, shook us to our core, got us back on track (or onto a new track altogether), and led us toward our true selves. These stories cover a wide range of topics – including finding the strength to go down a new path, to say yes or no to a relationship, to bravely live authentically, to receive from beyond, and everyday moments that were infused with extraordinary soulfulness that shifted the author’s life. All of the stories are intended to uplift, inspire, and remind you of just how magical and far reaching a life shift can truly be.

What exactly do you mean by “life shift”?

Every so often, we have an experience that alters the course of our lives and changes who we are forever. Sometimes these moments fill us with rapture and flood us with insight. Other times they are blessings in disguise that don’t reveal their treasure until years later. However they show up, these moments can inspire us to live richer, deeper, and more authentically soulful lives. One of the things we love about this book is that it shows hundreds of ways that shifts can occur in our lives – from the big moments to the small. Here are just a few examples of the life shifts that you’ll find inside this powerful and inspiring book:

 discovering why we’re here and sharing it with others

 leaving a relationship/job/location that no longer felt right and opening up to new possibilities

 healing from illness

 a-ha moments  receiving signs from the universe and messages from beyond

 reconnecting with our inner strength and speaking our truth

While the experiences themselves vary greatly, each of these moments transformed the authors and helped them shift in a positive way. These true-life stories (one page each – for quick inspiration!) were written with love and infused with the intention that you’ll be able to discover the beauty in your own life shifts, too.

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone who loves reading inspiring, true-life stories that help awaken their own inner fire and help them see their own life through each author’s words. It’s for anyone who: yearns for a deeper experience of life.  wants to be uplifted and amazed.  loves hearing inspiring true stories that renew your faith in the goodness of the world.  wants to laugh, cry, get goosebumps, and feel a sense of reverence, awe, and wonder.  is ready to love and be loved, to give and to receive, and to stay open to the magic that’s all around and within each one of us.

Where can people go to learn more about this book?

To learn more about 365 Life Shifts – and to purchase copies – please visit www.365lifeshifts.com. For a limited time, everyone who orders the book will receive our bonus gift package, which includes over 70  soulful gifts (meditations, ebooks, ecourses, and more) – all contributed by the authors!

(My personal bonus is a recorded Yoga Nidra session on body acceptance! Head to the website to learn how to download your free bonus sessions, after ordering the book! Limited time only.) Please SHARE THIS with your friends! 


 

About Jodi and Dan:

Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck are a husband-and-wife team who loves living soulfully and joyfully. Since 2005, they’ve been living their dream of writing books and creating products that inspire others to connect with their soul and live fully and passionately. Jodi has a BA in English/Technical Editing and Sociology, and Dan has a BA in Religious Studies and an MFA in Creative Writing. Together, they have over 30 years of experience with editing and publishing and have sold over 35,000 books. They have written 20 books, 10 ecourses, and over 1,000 blog posts/articles. Jodi is an award-winning blogger at http://www.jodichapman.com and the creator of Soul Clarity Cards. Dan is the author of the personal-growth blog http://www.halfwayupthemountain.com. They are the co-creators of the Soulful Journals Series (www.soulfuljournals.com), the 365 Book Series (www.365bookseries.com), and a number of soulful online communities and ecourses. They live on the Oregon coast with their sweet cats. They enjoy hanging out at the beach and working, creating, and playing together.

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p.s.- My new website is www.kelliemcgarry.com  (this blog is linked to it). Check it out! I am now offering private and group yoga Nidra sessions (also, virtual!), and Reiki sessions. Namaste. 🙂

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Step OUT of the Beauty Box!

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Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” Deepak Chopra

I’m sure most, if not all of you have heard or read quotes on getting rid of our box.  Throwing away expectations from society, breaking the status quo, expanding our belief system, trusting our intuition and expanding our consciousness versus shrinking into a mold; these are all ways to get rid of our box.

We get rid of a box when we break free from perfectionism.  When we start our own business. When we challenge the institution.  I know I opened up a whole new world when my husband and I left the institutional church and the pastoral ministry all in one.  We let go of the religious box and expanded our spiritual awareness.

What about the BEAUTY box?  What does that mean?

Do you feel that the only answer is to keep dieting just because it’s all that you know?  Do you measure your worth by whether or not you feel sexy?

Studies show that 90% of women hate their body.  NOT a surprise.  We are constantly being bombarded with unrealistic images from the media and the standards just keep getting more and more ridiculous.   Not only that, but it seems almost the norm to get plastic surgery to “fix” perceived “flaws”.  But that does not get to the root of the issue- which is letting GO of impossible standards and learning to LOVE AND ACCEPT ourselves.  We need to get rid of the box that says that this is how it is and always was, therefore, I need to stay in my comfortable spot and follow the herd of shame-filled dieters and depressed disordered eaters.   Staying in the Beauty Box gets us absolutely NOWHERE.

I am living proof that there is a wonderful, passionate LIFE outside of this box.   I know letting go of our story, of our identity on why we need to do this or that to feel good about ourselves, can be SCARY AS HELL.   As a person who had an eating disorder, saying “good-bye” to “ED” is like cutting off a part of ourselves because for a while, it’s all that we know.  It’s who we are.  It’s comfortable in our box…. OR IS IT, REALLY?

It’s not fun to be constantly comparing ourselves, to eat food that is horrible in the name of healthy eating, to bombard our mind a hundred times a day with thoughts of “I’m too fat. I”m not good enough.  I am not sexy enough.”  It’s EXHAUSTING and not what life is meant to be like for us.

If we at least take that first step OUT of the box, we will begin to see that the Universe WANTS us to be joyful and confident and successful.  However,  those feelings do not come from staying in the box.

So to sum up, what are some ways that we stay in

our own BEAUTY BOX?

  • January comes and we feel obligated to start a new diet or cleanse in the name of weight loss (and because everyone else is doing it)
  • We think that plastic surgery is the answer to fixing our “flaws”.
  • We make our health goals based on what other people say we should do vs. our own intuition
  • We eat food that we don’t like (think fat-free) in the name of health.
  • We exercise, not to feel good, but to burn off what we ate.
  • We make a number on a scale part of our worth as an individual.
  • We base our wardrobe not on our own personality and style, but either on the latest celebrity fashion OR on what hides certain parts of our body that we don’t like.
  • We have fallen into the trap of assuming that fat people are ugly, lazy, dumb and unhealthy.
  • We think that sexy means a flat ab, nice round butt, huge boobs (or even a boob job) and stick pole legs.
  • We spend more time comparing than we do loving.
  • We feel that declaring that “I Am Beautiful” is self-centered.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  These are all LIES that we bought into and they are keeping us confined to our box.

So are you ready to step out of your box?  TAKE A DEEP BREATH.  And know it just takes that ONE step.. that ONE  positive thought to reframe  your mindset and that ONE encouraging word of support to get you started on a journey of SELF-LOVE!

If YOU struggle with letting go of the box and want to learn HOW to reframe your mind and LOVE YOURSELF MORE, please consider joining my *new* online group program called Beautiful Freedom! Please visit this link for more information!

To RADICAL , “box- free living”

Kellie

Certified Holistic Health Coach

“Body Love Specialist”

Releasing Our Balloon- 5 Ways to Let Go

I have a vivid memory of when I was a child and my brother and I were holding balloons outside.  Suddenly, I accidentally let go of my balloon and it floated up into the sky.  I cried and cried as my mom reassured me that it was just a balloon- it would be okay.  Of course, as a kid, it takes awhile to get over something that we lost, especially if we felt attached to it.

Fast forward to  a time when my own child had a Birthday Party and we had a ton of balloons left over.  I encouraged some of the kids to let their balloon fly into the sky. Surprisingly, they were super excited to do this as they did not feel attached to the balloons at all.  We joyfully released the rainbow of colored balloons and waved good-bye as they got smaller and smaller into the clouds (side note: I don’t think I would do that now, as I realize the environmental ramifications).

What were the differences between these two scenarios?  I was attached to my balloon; my child’s friends were not.

There are many times in life where we realize that it’s time to let go of our balloon.  We are holding onto deep anger and bitterness, or fear or jealousy.   We may hold onto a negative memory, afraid that if we release the memory that it never happened.  What we hold onto becomes our identity so we keep that string tied tightly around out wrist, for fear that letting go will bring us into a whole,  new, scary world. A world of greater transparency; of freedom that we are not prepared for.

Over time, we may notice that our balloon is getting heavier and heavier.  It weighs us down so much that our thinking gets cloudy, we lose sleep, we do not put ourselves first.  We trudge through life saying “if only I had enough will power”.   “If only I could lose weight”.  “If only I could find greater peace and happiness.”  All the while not realizing that we are unwillingly holding ourselves back.

Today, I looked out my window and to my pleasant surprise, noticed a hot air balloon.  I quickly called my kids to the patio door to watch it.  Then, I noticed a few more, and took a picture of one of the balloons.   As I enjoyed the sight, I recalled the sense of freedom that “letting go of our balloon” brings.

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I know this is the time of year where we get ready to make our “New Year’s Resolutions”.   For some of us, the word resolution is like a curse word.  We have tried many years in the past to meet our goals and we miss the mark.   I personally think that resolutions are fine– at the very least, it helps to realize what we would like to see change in the coming year.  However, for most of us, before any transformation can take place, we need to learn to release what is holding us down.  Maybe something happened in our past and it’s keeping us from accepting our body or finding enjoyment in food.  Perhaps deep anger is causing you to use food for comfort (it’s okay to eat for comfort, however many of us struggle with feeling out of control with food).

What can we do as we prepare for the New Year?

Here are a few things to try:

1. Meditate:  There are different kinds of meditation– some where we quiet our mind and focus on our breath or a specific mantra, and others where we are guided into our thoughts and certain imagery.      You can find guided meditations online.  As you meditate, think about what no longer serves you, then imagine you are holding a balloon and  letting it go.  As you do that, imagine yourself feeling much lighter and free.

2.  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “Tapping”):  I just barely started getting into this and I love it.  It’s very powerful.  You Tap on certain points of your body making statements about how you feel and how you accept yourself.  It’s a great way to unblock pent up emotions. To learn more about it,  I recommend this website.

3. Journal:  If you enjoy writing, take a few minutes in the morning to jot down all of your emotions– good and bad.  Don’t be afraid to write down anything that comes to mind and do not feel guilty about your emotions.   On one piece of paper, list those negative emotions that pop up ( For example: “I hate how my family member treated me. ” ” I feel guilty about how I treated someone.”  ” I feel sad that this person is no longer here with me.”)  Think about what you can change and what you cannot.  Then, rip up the piece of paper (or burn it in a camp fire).

4.  Affirmations–  We can release our past and replace our burdens with an affirmation such as “I am completely loved just the way I am.”  or ” I find peace in the here and now.  My past does not define me.”  (this is also done as part of EFT)

5.  Prayer— all of these areas listed above can be done in the spirit of prayer, if you are connected to God/Spirit (whoever you call your Higher Power).

I hope you all have very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! 

Do you have anything to add to this list?  If so, please share in the comments!

p.s.– I am hosting a Vision Board Workshop, for those who live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ area!!  During this time, we we will talk about our goals, and releasing what no longer serves us.  And of course, we will make our own Vision Board together!  Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 4-6 p.m.  at Scottsdale Skin Rejuvenation.  Cost is $10 per person.  Email me at healthcoachkellie@gmail.com  to RSVP!

To your peace and joy,

Health Coach Kellie

www.nourishedandnew.com

Waking up from the dead

Have you ever seen  the show LOST?  If you are a LOSTIE like I am, you are my new BFF. 🙂  I LOVE that show.

For those of you who watched the show, you will remember the episodes where different “survivors” had to continually push a button every 180 minutes because they thought they were “saving the Island” (thus, saving their life).   Some thought it was their destiny. Others could care less but did it because they felt obligated.  But were they really “living”?

I don’t know about you but in real life, pushing a button every 180 minutes would get old really fast. I”m sure I would fall asleep on the job, although maybe not, if my life depended on it.

How many of us though, when we think about it, are just going through the motions of life?  Maybe we are stuck on accomplishing one thing because we feel that our life depends on it?   And has this one thing become your identity?  For example, do you have a label such as  Chauffer Mom , or the Smart Student, or the Fun Loving Geek?  (my husband fits this category 😉   Labels are neither good nor bad.  They just are.  It’s how they effect our life that make a difference.

For example, growing up I felt like I was The Shy One , and I hated it. I later became The Goody Two-Shoes or The Pastors’ Kid. In college I was The Anorexic (and then Bulimic).  Before my kids entered school, I was The Half-Asleep Zombie (aka Stay At Home Mom).  I am now a Certified Holistic Health Coach and while I love the title, I do not want a label to define who I am.

I realized that I  get so caught up in having a certain persona that if I feel like I am not meeting that expectation, that I am a failure.  If I have not found the one thing that makes me really feel alive, then I am just going through the motions like a robot.  I love how Mark Nepo puts it:  (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t be a noun- be a verb. ”  In other words, define yourself not by a label but  by your passions- and it does not have to be anything earth shattering.  Sometimes what makes us come alive is just a peace or stillness in our heart.

Sadly, for many years, I feel like I missed out on LIVING because I was stuck on something I was trying to accomplish or trying to fix. 

I have hated my body for as long as I can remember, which resulted in an eating disorder in college.  Yet, after having kids, my body image worsened. 

I was missing out on life because all I could think about was getting a flat stomach.  I was obsessed with exercise (though not as bad as during college).  I missed out on social functions for fear that someone would think I was too fat, I missed out on intimate times with my husband because I didn’t feel sexy enough.   I missed out on pool parties because I was afraid to wear a swim suit.

All I could think about was how I hated my stomach and how I wanted a Tummy Tuck.

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Until one day, I woke up from the “dead”.  I found my passion. 

But what is interesting to me now looking back, is that if someone asks me what makes me come alive, I”m not sure if simply saying “health coach”  is the right answer.  Of course, I love my job- but that’s a noun- not a verb, as Mark Nepo puts it.

What makes me come alive is:

seeing a woman’s eyes light up when she has an “aha” moment

encouraging women to love their body even when they are feeling fat

inspiring others to find their passion in life

discovering the creative part in me that I feel like I had lost

trying to dance with my kids, or listening to music, or singing with my family

spending time near the water, or the mountains, or at least gazing at the sunset or the stars

spending time in stillness and finding clarity

Spending my days exercising or eating healthy for the sake of looking a certain way for me, is not really LIVING.  Yes, it’s taking care of myself, but to what extent?  If all I can think about is how I hate my body,  then my life is shrinking instead of growing with passion.  If I say to myself, “If only I will be skinnier then I will enjoy my life”, then I am not fully living in the HERE and NOW and enjoying each moment.

I want to wake up to a life full of possibilities and awakenings.  I want to be open to change and to grow in my love for other people.  I do not want to spend my days fixated on having the figure of a size zero model.

Life slips by sooo fast. I cannot believe that my kids are already in 3rd and 4th grade.  I want to spend each waking moment with the attitude that life is a CELEBRATION –we  all need to WAKE UP TO THE PARTY and gift ourselves with the best possible gift—-a gift that I know FOR SURE is our duty to open each and every day and that which truly makes us feel alive– that is the gift of SELF-ACCEPTANCE.

What is it that makes YOU feel alive?  Share in the comments! 🙂

Kellie

www.nourishedandnew.com

Spirituality Can Improve Your Health

For the last couple of weeks, I have been blogging about the different types of Primary Food- that which feeds us that is NOT the food that we eat.

We talked about Physical Activity, Career and Relationships.  Today, we talk about the last component, which is Spirituality. 

I must confess that I was a little nervous about writing about this last Primary Food of Spirituality because it tends to be a sensitive topic for some people. 

It is a very vulnerable topic.  I believe when it comes to spiritual things, no two person is at the same exact point on their path in life.  We all have so many different experiences in life that have led us to our spiritual beliefs.  

That said, let me first clarify what spirituality is NOT.  It is not following a rigid set of rules- i.e- religion.   Depending on how you grew up, you may have a negative view of religion.  Maybe you felt forced to perform certain duties or to be someone you are not.  Maybe it turned you off from anything remotely religious.  You may have a negative view of God.  Maybe you believe that God doesn’t love you or that you are not good enough.  This negative view can greatly affect a person’s outlook on life. If they do not find any kind of meaning to their life, outside of performing strict religious rules, or pleasing God, they may give up on themselves and on life.  

Here is a challenge:  google the meaning of spirituality.  You will come up with a thousand different answers. Why is this?  Because we are all so different, spirituality can mean different things to different people.  Here are some key definitions that I found.

According to Wiki-pedia:

1.Spirituality is the concept of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.

And here is another definition:
2.“The definition of spirituality is that which relates to or affects the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
http://www.livingwordsofwisdom.com/definition-of-spirituality.html 

The word spirituality comes from the word “spirit.”  In it’s most basic sense, the term means anything that we cannot see or feel with our senses, or anything that is outside the physical and material realm.  

Joshua Rosenthal, the director of my school, IIN, likes to say: “We are spiritual beings in a material world.”

 
 


So how does being spiritual relate to health and wellness?  

1. It creates meaning in our life.  
We are all here for a purpose.  Weather or not you believe that our purpose has already  been set in stone, we instinctively know that there is more to this life than eating, sleeping and playing.  We are more than just people who drag ourselves to work every day, or moms who spend most of the time chauffeuring our children.  When we have meaning to our life, we naturally want to live the best life possible.  We will begin to look outside of ourselves, to how we can help others.  As we focus on others, we naturally reduce stress, increase happiness and feel more grateful. 

2.  It helps to reduce vanity.  
So many women are obsessed with their body size and shape.  Eating disorders are everywhere.  I should know– I struggled with anorexia and bulimia in college and have struggled with body image issues for as long as I can remember.  However, what really brought me through this journey was knowing my value and my worth.  Knowing that I was worth more than a number on the scale, opened my eyes to the fact that being healthy was better than being skinny. I rarely admit this to anyone, but here goes– I was *this close* to getting a tummy tuck.  I was obsessed with my stomach (all the loose skin from having babies).   However, after a series of events happened (including being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia), it really opened my eyes to the fact that I am a spiritual being and should not be focusing so much on my selfish desires. (by the way, instead I used the money to enroll at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition which was one of the best decisions I have made!)  I started thinking about how God created us perfectly in His eyes and our job is to take care of His creation.  

Eventually, I found a good, healthy balance where I actually desired to eat a good amount of healthy foods. (don’t get me wrong- I still eat too many gluten free pretzels!)  I want to look and feel my best– but not to be a perfect size zero, or to gain acceptance— but so that I can truly thrive and enjoy  the life that I have been given. It also helps me to look outside of myself and focus on  how my health affects others.  Being truly nourished in mind, body, and soul, helps me to be the best mom and wife I can be. When I am  feeling great, and at peace,  I am able to operate out of a place of joy as opposed to a place of lack and guilt. 

3.  It helps to reduce stress and pain.
Studies show that  patients who are spiritual have a better outlook on life, reduced stress, and reduced chronic pain.  This is in large part, due to the many spiritual practices that they engage in, weather it be prayer, meditation (in all forms), or just spending time with others who are positive and supportive.  I know, I have found meditation to be very beneficial. Studies show that 10-20 minutes of meditation twice a day leads to decreased metabolism, decreased heart rate, decreased respiratory rate, and slower brain waves.  
Stress is naturally connected to our health and how we feel, physically.  I rarely suffer from Fibromyalgia pain anymore (largely due to eliminating gluten) but when I do, it is normally related to some kind of stress.  However, if I focus on relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, prayer, or meditation, it helps take my mind off the pain and slowly helps to reduce it. 
When we realize that everything is connected, we naturally tend to focus on our thoughts as well.  Every action starts with a thought.  If we focus on how much we hate ourselves and hate life, our actions will reflect that.  We will sabotage our weight loss with binging on foods to numb us, or we will go the opposite direction and become obsessed with diets and exercise, which can also be a form of punishment. Knowing that we are spiritual beings enables us to look outside of ourselves and focus our thoughts on positive things such as our blessings in life and we find contentment. 

 


Now, let’s bring this all around to what I do as a health coach. 

 I support women to find a loving relationship with the food on their plates and the bodies they live in.  

Do you think it would be easy for someone to lose weight if they hate life and feel unfulfilled? 

How about if they are stressed and inward focused?

What if they don’t think they have any purpose in life?  Do you think that person would see the point in enjoying their food and their body? 

These are just a few reasons why I think it is soo important to start a conversation around Spirituality. Don’t worry – I don’t beat people over the head with the Bible.  🙂  But, I do help you sort through your life and help you find what gives you true meaning in life.  You are sooo worth it.

Repeat that.  “I am SO WORTH IT!”

xoxo
Kellie 
www.nourishedandnew.com