Have you ever felt like you couldn’t go on?

Have you ever felt totally stuck in your life, trapped by your obligations, and wondering how did I get here?

Sometimes we can find ourselves so committed to climbing the ladder and creating the American Dream that we lose ourselves.

We become more focused on how the outside looks and lose touch with our essence. We’re so busy being do-gooders, or raising kids, or being the most successful entrepreneur, doctor, lawyer, creative, mommy-prenuer, whatever it is, that we become totally disconnected from our core Self.

Around 2006 I realized that the daily grind of living the good life was taking me further from my freedom and self-expression, which led to a growing sense of self-betrayal that plunged me into a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the life I’d worked so hard to create.

The dissatisfaction would come in sudden waves of inexplicable sadness or a longing to be free.

One time I was driving home from work and listening to Keith Urban’s “What About Me.”

         I’m livin’ in a world that won’t stop pullin’ on me

         I’m not complaining but it’s true

         It’s like I owe my time to everyone else

         ‘Cause that’s all I seem to do.

         Sometimes I can’t help thinkin’ what about me

         Some days go by that I don’t even see

         Yeah I’m doing everything right and I can’t break free

         Oh is this the way it’s always gonna be

         What about me?

The song’s lyrics touched my aching soul so acutely and deeply.

I was working so hard as a psychologist in a women’s prison to help other people break free of their inner prison’s and helping LGBT people get marriage equality, yet I felt totally trapped by my life. I didn’t have a moment of freedom. I just wanted to go camping. I wanted to stay in bed on a Sunday and drink coffee in bed and read a book. I wanted things to slow down.

My life was on a super highway and I wanted to meander the backroads. I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, but I didn’t want to be a martyr.

I cared deeply about everything I was doing, but my priorities were ass-backwards. I put other people’s needs and priorities ahead of my own. It was unsustainable.

It led to BURN OUT! And BREAK DOWN!

Two years later, in 2008 I quit my government job. I needed to create my work life in a way that was authentic to me. I’d done my best to create groups and programs to help the women I worked with in the prison and in turn the prison did it’s best to undermine those programs and return the focus to guard duty and human warehousing. It was the way the country was going at the time and I was tired of going against the stream.

I got clear how much more energy and joy I would have when I was going with the flow working for myself allowed me to focus on doing therapeutic and healing work and not be called away to handcuff or pat search someone.

I also decided not to work full-time for any one company so I wouldn’t be forced to do anything that didn’t mesh with my values just to keep a roof over my head. I decided multiple streams of income were safer, and the recession ultimately proved that instinct was on target.

Part-time was fine, but full time allegiance to a company that could ask you to do something unsavory, fire you for being LGBTQ, withhold your paycheck (as they did with the government shut down), or lay you off before Christmas to raise profits. No thank you!

This is another reason why I’m grateful for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because it meant I didn’t have to sell out just to get health care.

So what do you do if you find yourself burnout, stressed out, stuck?

Call a TIME OUT!

You need to pause the action. Obviously, you can’t pause everything, but you have to PAUSE something.

First, you have to make TIME and SPACE for yourself.

Step off the proverbial hamster wheel.

How do you do this?

You’ll need to look at your specific situation.

  • Take a day off! Do you have sick leave or vacation days you can take? If so, TAKE ONE.
  • Schedule a massage, a facial, a spa getaway. Go nurture your body.
  • Turn off all the devices sweet darlin’, even the old Victrola. Now it’s you just you. Close your eyes. Breathe. Keep breathing. Just breathe.
  • Ask for help. For God’s sake stop trying to do everything yourself You can ask God for help. You can ask a friend. Maybe you’re pulling someone else’s weight. Doing your share and theirs. Stop it!
  • Update your resume. If you’re in a crappy job, start updating your resume. This will give you a chance to reconnect with your accomplishments and get you ready if you need to seek new employment.
  • Make a coffee date. Connect with a friend or colleague. We all need connection. People to talk to. Talking can help us figure things out. I’ll talk about therapy and coaching next. Sometimes venting with a friend or connecting with a colleague can help us find the next step. Sometimes they’ll have great ideas or insights we wouldn’t get to on our own. Sometimes they’ll have leads for employment options, babysitters, real estate agents, whatever it is we might need.
  • Get some exercise. Take a walk, take a hike (not off a short pier). Go for a bike ride. Hit the slopes. Do something physical to get out of your head and to your body that’s been filled with stress hormones a chance to expel that crap.
  • Basic Self Care. Get some sleep, make and go to your doctor’s appointments, and eat some healthy food. When was the last time you ate a fresh vegetable?
  • Don’t indulge in addictive substances. A piece of chocolate is fine, but if you’ve started using wine, marijuana, or junkfood as your main method of reward or coping at the end of the day you’re only adding to your troubles. Instead take a hot bath or shower in the evening to wash the weight of the day off of you.
  • Take off Your f***ing Cape! Stop trying to be Wonder Woman or Superman. I’ll be writing more about this later.
  • Get Support! Make an appointment with a therapist or life coach so you have support. You need support! WE all need support. Get some! Especially if you’re in crisis, depressed, overwhelmed, addicted, heartbroken, suicidal, deeply stuck, conflicted, being abused, totally confused.  Don’t’ try to do it all by yourself.
  • Get a copy of my book It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self.  You need some time to start considering your next move. You can’t change everything overnight. However, once you’ve stabilized yourself, you can start taking steps to take back your life and create it in a way that works for you!

Here’s a link to Psychology Today to help you find a therapist. If you’re in crisis and need to talk to someone now the National Suicide Hotline # is 1-800-273-8255.

Baby, I’m Worth It!

Much of what I do as a therapist and life coach is help people find their voice and  connect with their self-love and authenticity.

But often before we can connect with our essential nature we need to clear bramble.

What do I mean by bramble?

The layers of self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, the habit of comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves coming up short, lacking in some important aspect or quality. That my friend is the bramble of our minds!

We need to rid ourselves of the negative habits of mind and mouth.

We need to put an end to self-attack thoughts, repetitive, self-deprecating and disparaging self-talk, repeated apologies for our very existence.

No more dwelling on the negative. Enough of  finding fault with ourselves, which creates a low vibrational reality.

We need to Marie Kondo our minds.

We need to tidy our minds and leave only that which “sparks joy” as she would say. Thoughts, self-talk, outside talk that sparks joy, sparks confidence, and self-love.

We can thank those old negative thought and speech patterns for whatever purpose they served and then clear them out of our mental space, keeping only the good stuff.  And when we find those old thought forms and self-loathing beginning to fill our mental space again, we can sweep them out the door!

What are the positive things you want to affirm for yourself?

What are some loving things you can say to yourself?

What can you acknowledge about yourself?

Keep at it!

If you find yourself listening to negative music turn it off.

Make a positive, self-empowerment play list. A playlist that buoys you up.

Believe me, Baby, you’re worth it!

Need a little boost?

Get a copy of It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self and learn more about how to take back your life.

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January 2019 Upcoming Events

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Finding Freedom LGBTQ Symposium at The Riviera Palm Springs

Saturday January 26th 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Workshop-The Psychological Cost of Not Coming Out to Your Kids: How Hiding Contributes to Addictive and Dysfunctional Behavior.

CEU credits for Psychologists, LCSWs, MFTs and more.

Finding Freedom:LGBTQ Symposium

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Follow Your Inner Compass and Take Back Your Life Workshop

Sunday January 27th 12:30-2:30 PM

$35 includes a signed copy of It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self.

Palm Springs Center for Spiritual Living, Palm Springs, CA

Click here for more info:

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Past Life Group Regression at the Salt Studio Pasadena, CA

Thursday January 31,  7:00 PM

Ever wondered who you were in a previous lifetime?
Do you have memories from previous lifetimes or reoccurring dreams?
Met people you feel like you’ve known before?
Come experience as past life regression!

The Salt Studio 1380 Walnut St. Pasadena, CA

RSVP online or call  (626) 765-6180

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“Don’t just rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic of your life, make lasting changes that matter!”

Out of the Box Podcast Episode #121 

It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self

Comedian Rosie Tran (@FunnyRosie) Interviews author and clinical psychologist, Davina Kotulski (@drkotulski) about her new book “It’s Never Too Late to Be Yourself.” Davina talks about the importance of being your authentic self. By using our inner voice as a compass, we can live a life full of freedom, love, and authenticity!

Listen to Out Of the Box Podcast Now

It’s a Boy!

It’s a boy!!! Two of them!

This weekend, my girlfriend, Diana, and her two boys (7 and 13), moved in with me.

I’m officially a full-time, part-time co-parent.

The first morning after the boys moved in, the little one told me the toilet was “too small.”

Curious to know what he was talking about, I followed him into the bathroom. He explained that he was going #3 and pee shot out between the seat and the bowl.

“What’s number 3?” you might ask, as I did.

Number 3 is when someone of the male persuasion is seated and goes number 1 and number 2 at the same time. It adds up to 3.

I helped the little guy clean up and saw how small the bowl was compared to the one at his mother’s former house. The bowl there was long and narrow. Who knew? Seriously!

We brainstormed some potential solutions and moved on.

I haven’t lived with a guy since my brother, with the brief exception of Vince who lived in the basement of a house I rented with friends in Portland, I know this will be an interesting turn of events in my life.

I’m excited!

And I was delighted the other night to have one sweet little boy wrapped in a blanket on the floor and the other wrapped in a blanket on the loveseat while my girlfriend and I sipped tea on the sofa, Shrek playing on the TV. It was a fine Saturday night.

This turn of events is just a reminder that it’s never too late to create a life that inspires you. It’s never too late to do something new. Be something new.

That’s why I’m offering my once a year 50% off 3 Sessions Coaching Package so you can get a headstart on your 2019 vision! See the details below.

As the old saying goes, if you can dream it you can be it. Though maybe those are actually lyrics from a song in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. “Don’t dream it. Be it!”

Wishing you peace and joy wherever you are and whatever phase of life you’re in. Remember you are loved. If you forget, reach out first and you’ll be reminded.

Sending you an abundance of love this holiday season.

Click here for the special.

3 Session Coaching Package for $299.  Reg. $600

Ends January 1st.

Limit one per person.

Post-Op and Counting My Blessings

One week post-op and I’m happy to report that the growth is benign and has left the building! I’m recovering, but a terrible patient. More than once I’ve needed to be reminded to take it slow. How humbling. The doctor noted that I will have a little scar on my neck where the incision was and apologized for another circular scar I will have where they had to cauterize a vein to stop the bleeding. I told him that in the grand scheme of things a scar was minimal and I was going to count my blessings. It will take time for my chemistry to recalibrate, so I’m doing my best to be patient for that. Overall, the surgery was a success

Several years ago I was writing in a Border’s bookstore (remember those). I got up for a break and wandered to the New Age shelf as I am prone to and a book literally jumped off the shelf. It was called Your Sixth Sense: Unlocking the Power of Your Intuition by Belleruth Naparstek. I picked it up and flipped through the book. And of course I bought it. Heck when a book jumps off the shelf at you and it’s about intuition you’d be crazy not to. I loved the book!

I loved that book so much I was talking with my friend Chloe about it. Chloe’s face lit up when I said the author’s name. “Belleruth Naparstek,” Chloe repeated with a huge grin on her face. “I know that name. I’ve been listening to her surgery meditations.” Chloe explained that she about to have hip surgery and that Bellleruth had these pre-surgery guided imagery meditations that were extremely calming. After the surgery, Chloe said that she felt the meditations helped her stay calm as she went into surgery and heal faster. I was enrolled!

 

Since then I’ve recommended Belleruth Naparstek’s “Successful Surgery” CD to friends, family member and clients. I recommended it to my client who had a brain tumor removed in January. I recommended it to my friend who had fibroids and I recommended it my aunt who had surgery on her neck and an ankle replacement. And thank goodness I did, because she was the one who reminded me about the CDs when I was told I was going to need surgery.

I bought the CD online and began listening immediately after it arrived. It was calming. Her form of self-hypnosis with guided imagery helped me to connect with that calm place inside of myself and it helped create a sense of certainty and confidence to deal with the procedure. It also has some wonderful healing affirmations. It really helped me face the experience with positive anticipation.

Moments before they wheeled me into the OR I listened to the three minute demo on my phone. I’m including a link here for you to listen in case you or a friend might need this in the future.

It instantly put me in a relaxed, receptive state. I was calm and at peace. It also helped that I had a very kind and loving team of professionals at Kaiser from the cashier to the anesthesiologist to the nurses. Kindness is everything! TLC IS medicine. They weren’t rushed or rude.

 

While I am letting go of my disappointment with my primary care physician I’m grateful for the care I’ve since received. I will echo my sentiments of my last e-mail that WE MUST BE ADVOCATES FOR OUR OWN HEALTH. We cannot give away our power. We cannot defer blindly to the profession which seeks to profit from our sickness rather than our health. WE must help ourselves and others whose voices might be ignored or diminished.

Our country would be a stronger, healthier, happier place with a greater respect for human life if we embraced universal health care like our neighbors to the North and like other civilized Western Countries. Our system is antiquated and oppressive. No one should have to pay to live. I think of my friend, Roger, whose brother died in his thirties because he couldn’t afford to go Urgent Care when he was sick. It makes me sick to think about.

After my last post I had Canadian friends and clients contact me and share with me how grateful they are for Canada’s free health care system. They feel proud at how their country has cared for them and their family members. I would like to have that same pride for America. Here’s an article from Health Affairs that shares how our country would benefit if we had Universal Health Care.  I don’t see this as a partisan issue. I see this as an American issue. I see this as a human rights issue.

As a self-employed person, healthcare is a huge expense. I thought I could get away with a Bronze plan last year. Now that I need to meet with an endocrinologist, have monthly lab tests, medication, bone scans, and such I’m going to need to get a better plan. I had the Bronze Plan. I started looking at the Silver Plan. The difference between Kaiser Silver and Gold is $20 a month, but one has a $2500 deductible and one has a $0 deductible. I also read that you might as well get a Gold plan because the cost difference is so minimal compared to what you get.

This is also your public service reminder to renew your coverage before the end of the year and really read the details on those plans. I’m curious to know what you’re paying for healthcare and how you feel about our current system. In 2020 I will likely look outside of Kaiser for other plans.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers and for your kindness and love. I felt it and I appreciate it.

So here’s another gift to you!

Monday I’m doing an interview with Practical Shaman, Renee Baribeau, which will have some great tips for conscious living and will be available to you for free as part of the Winter Solstice online I Am Symposium along with 17 other interviews with amazing women. Click here to register.

And here are some great ideas for holiday gifts that will empower and inspire you and your loved ones!

My award-winning, inspirational novel Behind Barbed Eyes available in

Audiobook on Audible

 
My new spiritual, self-help, book:
It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self
And as always if you’d like to purchase a coaching session or past life regression for yourself or for a gift please contact me directly at Davina@DavinaKotulski.com.
Happy Holidays!

Something was seriously wrong and now I know what!

I was fully crying as I spoke on the phone with my mom.  My day was ruined. I was beside myself. I’d spent hours on the phone being transferred and belittled by Kaiser operators and admins.

After several years of getting nowhere with my primary care doc about my stomach pain and extreme constipation (you may remember the TMI blog), I spoke with my new Latina gynecologist about my issues and she immediately referred me for a colonoscopy. But now here I was pleading with all the gatekeepers for an appointment with a GI doc before the procedure to discuss my issues. They ran me ragged with “no.”

A simple referral to talk to the GI doc that was all I was asking for. With a family history of Crohn’s, IBS, and Celiac it seemed like a reasonable request. But I was getting nowhere. They were just going to do the colonoscopy and tell me the results. My primary care doc’s nurse said they’d get back to me. I contacted my gynecologist for a referral.

A week later they got back to me. The gynecologist’s referral had gone through. As I spoke with the GI doc, we discussed my symptoms and my medications. I also mentioned the supplements I was taking. Peri-menopausal for several years now, I take calcium and some other things to address what I thought were other perimenopausal symptoms: brain fog, sleep disturbance, and memory loss. The GI doc ordered some blood work. That afternoon her office called me. They were referring me to an endocrinologist and wanted me to make the appointment ASAP. I did. I was right, something was very wrong.

I sat on the paper covered hospital examination bed across from the handsome bespectacled black doctor whose name was Dr. Thomas. “You have a condition called primary hyperparathyroidism” he said. “You have a tumor, most likely benign, on your parathyroid gland which causes your body to leach calcium from your bones and dump it into your bloodstream. You’ll need surgery ASAP. You’ve most likely this tumor for a while.”

He explained the effect of the growth on my parathyroid and how it explained all of the strange symptoms I had, including the extreme constipation I’d embarrassingly been struggling with for years to no avail. It also explained the severe brain fog, and the memory loss I’d been trying to cope with. For years I’d felt like my brain was broken and was mourning the loss of my memory and my ability to think clearly.  It seemed like my perimenopausal symptoms were on steroids. I felt both relieved and enraged.

I was so mad at my primary care physician for blowing me off. She’d been dismissive and casual with my concerns, handing me a stupid pamphlet on how to deal with hemmroids which is a wonderful side effect of extreme constipation. I looked at Dr. Thomas and calmly said, “I’m a college educated, professional, English speaking, Caucasian American citizen, and I’m not afraid of challenging authority. If I couldn’t get someone to listen to me, I can’t imagine how someone who does not have all those social privileges gets treated by this system and what kind of subpar healthcare they’re getting. This is an epic fail.”  He calmly nodded his head.

I went home and deleted my primary care doc from my online Kaiser file. I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medication Dr. Thomas prescribed that was supposed to lower the calcium levels in my blood. The guy at the pharmacy gasped as he rang me up. “That will be $500,” he said. “For 30 pills?” I said. He tried to run it again and see if it was a mistake. It wasn’t. “That’s $65 of pills a day,” I calculated, incredulous. Turns out the California Covered Kaiser plan I signed up for which included a few a visits to the doctor and was for relatively healthy people sucked. I’ve since paid $2000 for these pills since it’s taken 8 weeks to schedule the surgery which is $20,000 and scheduled for December 6th.

I realize this is a downer of a blog and very personal, so on the positive side…. which is what I’m trying to focus on, is that after I spend $7, 000 out of my pocket the insurance pays the difference. Car insurance is so much easier to understand and with lower deductible.

It feels important to share this with you because:

  • It’s a reminder that you have to be an active advocate for your health and your healthcare. Don’t let the system make you feel like you’re the problem.

Don’t let the system profit at the expense of your well-being. Don’t let them cut costs by cutting back on referrals while they profit from big pharma by pushing their flu shots. I’ve been offered a flu shot at every turn. They even wheeled into the pharmacy and offered me one while I was waiting in line. I’ve since learned that Kaiser docs are discouraged from making referrals. I bless my gynecologist who listened to me, empathized with me, and referred me for a colonoscopy and to the GI doc.

I can’t even imagine what would happen had she not put in the referral to the GI doc. The colonoscopy would have come back normal and I’d still have extreme constipation, continued bone less, memory issues, kidney pain and brain fog, until things got worse. A friend of mine just shared with me that they discovered her daughter had this same condition after she almost died of complications of a kidney stone.

  • Take the time to read and understand your healthcare plan.

I’m not sure if I would have done better paying a higher premium. It may end up being about the same amount of money. But if I had paid a higher premium, I would have a better plan and could have paid the $7,000 over 12 months, instead of needing to pay it all in 2 months, in addition to my monthly premium payments. So make sure you really understand your healthcare plan as you renew it this month.

Bottom line friends, other countries have socialized medicine—free healthcare. I have a client whose relocated to the UK from the USA and is currently enjoying exceptional free healthcare. I’ll figure out how to pay my $7,000 bill, but for some people $7,000 would break them. And furthermore, is it reasonable for an individual to have to pay $10,000 a year for healthcare and for a plan that skimps on referrals? That was a rhetorical question!

On the positive side, which I also want to focus on is my prognosis.  People with my condition have had positive results with surgery. After they cut out the growth, with the exception of some bone density loss, I should go back to “normal.”  And for that, I am most grateful!

Please hold me in your thoughts and prayers on December 6th and know with me an easy and successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Thank you and remember to follow your inner compass and take back your life!

It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self

I took her arm as we climbed the steps of the Rialto Bridge. She was still getting used to her high heels. It was a beautiful spring evening in Venice, Italy. The warm night air was peppered with a crisp ocean breeze that drifted inland from the Adriatic. The lights from the ristorantes danced on the canals. We sat at a table alongside the Grand Canal, watching the gondoliers beckon tourists to glide across the mirrored water in their shiny black gondolas. She was dressed fashionably in a white blouse, black skirt, tights, and a shimmering pink Venetian scarf.

It was the first time in her life that Patricia had appeared openly as a woman.

It was also the first time she’d packed only women’s clothing for a trip. Having come to Italy to attend my Seduce Your Muse workshop, Patricia was publicly claiming and proclaiming that she was a woman who was ready to set herself free from the man’s body she had spent four decades hiding in. Through our work together, she had found the courage to free herself from society’s norms and her false identity as…

Click here to continue reading

7 tips to help you bring back to wholeness

Feeling scattered and stressed?

7  tips to help you bring back to wholeness.

1. Observe what’s going on around you as if you were watching a drama unfolding on TV. This is a way to get perspective and to respond, not react, to circumstances..

2. Find moments of stillness. Take time to rest, meditate, and simply sit still.

3. Slow down and do less.

4. Set boundaries. Say “no” when you mean “no.” Stop engaging in people pleasing behaviors or trying to do it all.

5. Enjoy simple moments. Instead of seeking spectacle and entertainment, enjoy simple moments of connection, a sunset, a good meal.

6. Breathe. Take slow deep breathes. Feel your feet firmly on the ground.

7. Connect with the natural elements. Light a candle. Go for a walk. Sit by a fountain.

Slow down and be someone who relishes the simple joys, focuses on loving thoughts of yourself and others, and speaks kindly and encouragingly to those you encounter.

Personal Content

Lately, I’ve been so thankful for the people who are willing to share deeply personal content on Youtube.

I don’t mean drama. I don’t mean for attention either. I mean people who are willing to put themselves out there and discuss embarrassing topics so that other people can learn.

Okay, so here goes. I’m in peri-menopause.

That time in a female-bodied person’s life when they experience a cessation of menses and lots of hormonal changes that impact almost every area of their lives.

The cessation of hormones associated with menopause leads to sleep disturbances, horrible night sweats, (not night sweets which could be delicious but also impact other problems), like weight gain. Metabolism slows down. It reeeeeaaaaaaallllllly slows down!

Then there are the hot flashes, constipation, a need to pee frequently (like pregnant women), depression, irritation, vaginal dryness (which also leads to irritation), changes in ability to orgasm (which leads to even more irritation and depression), memory challenges (what was I saying again)….well, you get the drift.

Now instead of watching Netflix or reading a book when I have a moment to myself, I’m watching Youtube videos on dealing with constipation and learning how to do Kegel exercises. Fun times!

When I’m at my best I can laugh at this phase of life.

However, there are times when all these changes, coupled with my eyesight becoming poorer, overwhelm me and I seriously just want to cry and stay in my room where I can privately practice my Kegels.

I don’t know how the generation of women before me kept all of this on the down low. This phase of life sucks. Maybe it wasn’t as bad in the past. I don’t know. All I know, is that I’m grateful that so many people are not keeping these challenges on the down low.

Quite the opposite.

They are posting their solutions to these challenges on Youtube.  

I want to commend these individuals for being brave, bold, audacious in the name of helping others.

While I consider myself all of the above, there are certain topics, like all those above, that I still find embarrassing. These folks courage, gave me the courage to write this blog.

I hope this will also empower you to seek out the answers to the questions you have and to open up discussions. Reach out and share. Let’s not suffer in silence. Let’s empower one another.

One of my favorite videos that followed a video on colon health, was this guy giving advice to newbie gay men on how to care for and groom themselves. This might be offensive to some, but I was really struck by how much care this guy was giving to addressing personal, and perhaps embarrassing, content so these newbies could have a good experience. It was so sweet (and BRAVE!)

Here are some links to some of my favorites which will be especially helpful for the new moms, “women in that phase of life,” and anyone who is feeling a little backed up.

They’re all rated PG.

The More You Know….

12 Things Your Stool Can Tell You About Your Health

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9LTXO00aYY

The adorable Niki Sky in her flannel pajamas walks you through her toilet tricks in 9 Constipation Health Hacks That Really Work!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEMHwH2Kscg

How to do Kegel Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfmWkHSOi7U

Kegel Exercises Made Easy–This one is tailored to new moms who are dealing with incontinence. I just loved how sweet this lady was and how comfortable she was sharing these tips with other moms. Brave, I’m telling you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsFCURytU_8

Get Out of Town!

A few weeks ago I covered the windows of my home with blankets to keep the blazing summer sun out. L.A. in the summer is a concrete jungle and last week it was 112 in Los Angeles.

It got so hot the leaves burned and died on the trees. The ground was covered with dead leaves. It’s times like these I need to get out of town and get back to nature.

Being in nature is healing and helps us get back to our essence. We find ourselves feeling grounded in nature, calmer in nature, and more in touch with out authentic core in nature. Perhaps this is because nature has a timeless element.

Personally, I feel happiest and most alive in nature.

The ocean provides comforting rhythms as the tides roll in and out as they’ve been doing for thousands of years.

Mountain peaks and ancient forests give a sense of something greater than ourselves and the depressing news headlines of the day.

The smell of pine needles and the trickle of water from creeks or the rush of water as it flows down a river can lull us into a sweet peace. Many of us are able to relax and breathe easier in the wilds of nature, than in the controlled chaos of urban environments.

One reason for this is that the air in the mountains, at the beach, or near waterfalls also is filled with negative ions, odorless, tasteless molecules, that according to health writer, Denise Mann, are thought to “produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.” [1] Thus, we can retreat to nature, with its anti-depressant qualities, to sort out what’s really important in our lives and allow ourselves to connect with our untamed hearts.

There are many reasons we feel calmer in natural settings. Nature is beautiful. Natural landscapes are easy on the eyes. The verdant green of the plants and trees, the colorful swatches of flowers, the healing energy in the rocks, and the glistening water makes us feel good. We experience the perfection of the Divine creation which can help us remember our own perfection. We also tend to slow down in nature and begin tapping into our own natural rhythms and pace.

If you’re feeling disconnected from yourself take a minimum of at least thirty minutes in a natural setting, preferably one that has a maximum of nature and a minimum of other people.

If you are in a time of serious soul searching or at a crossroads and need to make some big decisions, spend some significant time in nature. This will allow you to come back to yourself and get clarity on any challenges you are facing and make more grounded decisions.

[1] Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes, Denise Mann, WebMD