Ending the battle with sugar cravings

The other morning, I was craving sugar. In the past, I might have gone into battle with myself over it. You know the battle I'm talking about.. either eat something sugary, and feel bad about it... or don't and feel deprived.

Here's what I did instead... (I made this very impromptu 2 minute video for you!)

Have you been craving sugar? What strategies have you found to help? What do you think of my approach? Please share in the comments!

And... I'd love for you to join me for 30 days of holistic self-care. I'm starting on Tuesday! (participate from anywhere) Learn more here.

What might you do if you didn't have to "earn" it?

The other day, I woke up with a desire for a "cocoon" day - you know, make some tea, curl up in a blanket with a novel... Immediately, I felt guilt creep in, and carried on with my plans -  drop the kids at school, clean the house, work on my upcoming program offerings. I turned on my computer, expecting myself to be productive. I have big plans! I am ambitious! I'll rest only after my to-do list is complete.

...But it didn't work. I couldn't focus. I started craving sugar. And I definitely wasn't productive. As I considered yet another strategy to get myself to work (baking cookies!), I realized I was fighting myself. I took a deep breath. And I let go. I turned off the computer, made some tea, and checked in with my body. She needed a day off!

Photo by Chicky Poo Photography

Photo by Chicky Poo Photography

It didn't matter that I'd recently taken some time off - for a retreat, and then to recover from a cold.

I don't need to earn the ability to nourish myself. Somehow, this is something I forget. Even though I regularly remind my clients and friends of this truth...even though it is a key principle I stand for... I still need a reminder. I still get caught up in old ways of thinking.

Thanks to a lot of deep inner work, coaching, and community, it has become easier and easier to catch myself, and let those thought patterns go.

We Mamas tend to carry around a barrier to our own truth called Motherhood Guilt. The way it shows up varies (no time for self, unreasonable expectations, inability to afford something that would be really nourishing, taking time for self but not enjoying it...), but the source is the same -- the misunderstanding that the best way to contribute to our families is to deny ourselves.

I invite you to consider that the opposite is true. The best way to contribute to those we love is to nourish ourselves. You probably already know this. I invite you to allow this truth in deeper, into your heart so that you live from it, easily and naturally.

I've found that the best way to develop this way of being is to have the right support (including releasing deeply held limiting beliefs through masterful coaching) and accountability (from people who believe in you).

Imagine what you might do if you didn't have to "earn" it?

What is on your heart to do that you hold back from doing? Just last week, I had clients share with me that they would paint, charge for what they currently do for free, travel the world, make videos, be fully present to a child (no doing dishes while halfway listening!), and talk to a partner openly and honestly about desires. These are intelligent, strong women. What holds them back? Only themselves. I am honored to support them in living more of their truth, shedding the motherhood guilt that no longer serves them.

Ready to do the same? Here are two steps to get started...

  1. Take nice, deep breathe. Yup, right now.... and on your next inhale, breathe from your core (or womb). Close your eyes, and take a few breaths from there, tuning into your knowing. It may help to place a hand on your belly. Begin with a simple greeting to your body. "Hello." Ask yourself what you need in this moment. Listen, allowing the answer to come, not from your mind but from your body, through your breath. Be ok with no answer. Try this again later. And tomorrow. And when an answer emerges, take action. Build trust with your inner guide. She is a trustworthy source of wisdom.
  2. Share your experience in the comments below. What would you love to be doing or experiencing? What was it like to tune into your body? You never know who you may inspire by what you share!. And I guarantee that when you share, your experience with be richer, and your odds of taking action increase.

**Bonus step - if you are ready NOW to live more fully - Hop on the phone with me. Gain clarity, ask me anything, learn more about resources to bring ease into your experience. Choose a time on my calendar here.

New Year Exhale (a poem)

The past few weeks have been full of celebration, and internal growth (some of it rather painful). I've taken some time to adjust to the new places my heart is leading me. During this time, I've returned to a long-lost passion... writing poetry.

In honor of the first new moon of this new year, I'm going to do something I've never done before... share a poem with you. I'd love to hear from you if this touches you in any way. (I'd also love to hear about any passions you are returning to this year.) Leave a comment below!

Photo by Grace Marcellino Photography

Photo by Grace Marcellino Photography

New Year Exhale
by Blue Russ

It's the dawn of a New Year
I am reaching, stretching for a New Me
Fantastic dreams laid upon my vision board, bubbling thru my Facebook feed
I inhale deeply... dive in... up early to meditate, clean house, smoothie and salad prepared, an orderly schedule of self-care, family, and chores ...
Promising myself I will no longer fall into those same damn mind traps,
Those old familiar landscapes of my internal life.
But soon I find myself back on familiar shores,
Sullen, angry at the world (but mostly at myself) for lacking the willpower to hold my breath longer in these new waters.

What if, instead, I simply exhaled... bowed to the familiar patterns that have woven into my heart, honoring them for taking such exquisite care to protect me all these years?
What if... I released the idea that I need a New Me, and instead embraced the incredible, perfectly imperfect me that I already am?
What if... in letting go of the internal struggle, I effortlessly released the patterns, and created new ones, based on my current reality, based on what brings out the True Me?
What if... nourishing the True Me became my new familiar landscape, and in so doing I naturally revealed the internal beauty of everyone around me?
What if, even on the difficult, stressful, unrelenting days I knew exactly how to come home... to me?
It's the dawn of a New Year.
I'm choosing to exhale.


4 Simple Ways to Reduce Holiday Overwhelm this Year

Oh, the holidays! A time to celebrate, gather with loved ones and... completely stress out, gain weight, and feel guilty! ...Wait a minute, what? Is there another way or is it inevitable?

I know there's a better way! ...one that does not involve deprivation, one that contributes to your pleasure, and a quality experience for your family.

Check out these 4 tips in this video - you can implement them right away! Please leave a comment below. What tips would you add? What will you try? How did it go when you tried these out? I'd love to hear all about it.

Stressed? Need a Moment? Try this. (7 minutes)

I used to think meditating daily was a nice concept, but something only monks could actually manage to do. Who has time between working, parenting, household chores, and volunteering??  Sure, I meditated occasionally, and enjoyed how I felt afterwards.

And then one week I experimented with taking just a few minutes each morning to sit in stillness. It completely changed my life! I felt more calm, clear and spacious. It felt as though I actually had more time in the day (and the responsibilities of life felt less heavy)!

Now, I take mindful time each and every day, even if it's just 2 deep breaths. Ironically, it is easier to take more time when I'm under less stress, but I need it most when I am experiencing the most stress!

One of my favorite, easy ways to rest and reflect, especially on those stressful days, is to listen to a guided meditation. It's so nice to be guided back to internal peace!

Recently, I was inspired to record a guided meditation to share with you. This meditation came to me, all at once, while I was gazing a Blue Moon.... seriously, I never expected such a thing to happen to me, but the more I allow for stillness, the more I realize that the universe is communicating with me - with all of us - guiding us home.

Please set aside distractions for the next 7 minutes, get comfy, and have a listen. Afterwards, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

PS: If you'd like more experiences like this, join me for an entire weekend in October in Arizona for the Magical Mama Retreat! Learn more here.

3 Ways My Mentor Saved My Life

This video is especially for my colleagues... the healers, coaches, visionaries, and heart-centered entrepreneurs. The world needs you, and finding the right mentor can make all the difference in getting your gifts & offerings out to those who need it! For sure, I would not be living my passion (and making a living doing it!) without my mentor.

Want to learn more about mentorship, or just pick my brain about what resource may be the key to unlock what's next for you? Let's hop on the phone so I can help you move forward!

I've opened up my calendar for 20-minute phone sessions just for YOU and your heart-centered business, now through December 10, 2015. Grab your spot (use the "Mentorship" tab on the left) directly on my calendar here:   www.blue-russ.genbook.com  This is my gift to you!

I can't wait to connect!

Celebrate with Me! (Gift for you)

November is the month of my birth. I used to downplay its importance. I didn't tell anyone about my birthday unless they asked. I didn't want to bother people, be seen as egotistical, or take up too much space. Yet, I've always loved to celebrate other people's birthdays. I like it when they take up space on their special day! Clearly, I had some limiting beliefs about my self-worth.

Now that I hold fewer of those beliefs (though I am still a work in progress), I've embraced my birthday. I tell everyone when it is. I celebrate all month long. I recognize that it is a wonderful opportunity to receive love.

Let the celebration begin!

One of the things that brings me great joy is to offer gifts that genuinely help people. Sooo... this month I'm going to send you a gift every week. My hope is that at least one will improve your life.

The first gift is a little book of holiday recipes - with a healthful twist. It is a collaborative project with my friend and colleague, Carrie Weldy, of Nourished Body and Soul. These are our favorite dishes to cook up for Thanksgiving. They are simple, and delicious. I would love to hear what you try, and how you like it. Leave a comment below and click on the image to download your copy!

I look at this photo every day...

There's a photo I look at every day that inspires me to keep growing, loving, and coaching.

It's a picture of my daughter and me. It reminds me of what pulls me forward...

Blue and daughter overlooking Rim.jpg

...a desire for my daughter to choose her own path without apology... to recognize how capable, strong & beautiful she is... to trust her inner knowing, and follow her bliss.

I have the same desire for every girl & woman on earth.

What holds us back?
All sorts of untruths... unworthiness, guilt, limited time, the idea that motherhood is sacrifice, a distrust of ourselves, body shame, lack of money... I'm sure you could add to this list.

Why do so many of us hold these untruths as core (often subconscious) beliefs?
These beliefs were once wisely chosen. There was a time when they kept us safe by allowing us to belong, or to receive love. For example... when I was a little girl, I learned that making noise and standing out was unsafe. It got me into trouble with the adults I counted on for survival. So, I learned to avoid expressing myself.

It's been a long journey to be here sharing openly with you, trusting that expressing myself is not only safe but a contribution.

This is why I love coaching so much. As a coach, I help my clients...

  • Reveal untruths for what they are
  • Expand the menu of life experience options (no more being stuck!)
  • Do so in a meaningful, lasting way so that it becomes who you are, not who you are trying to be
  • Which ripples out to your family, to your friends, and to your community, giving them permission to be who they are

This is why I continue to expand my skills, and deepen my work with clients.

And... very importantly, this is also why I continue to receive coaching... I cannot help to free my clients from limiting beliefs if I am stuck in them myself.  In order to release them, I need a powerful mirror, and a skilled guide... not to tell me what to do, but to help me navigate for myself.

The truth is, it is impossible to expand horizons with a myopic view of oneself. We Mamas have to begin with ourselves, and light the way for our daughters. And those without daughters can light the way for girls and women around the world.

I would love to hear what untruths you sense you are still holding, and what you'd like to experience instead. Please share in the comments below. You never know who you may be lighting the way for!

PS: If you'd like to join a group of Mamas ready to shed untruths together, get on this list to be the first to get an invitation to an upcoming online experience here.

The Blesssing in the Unraveling

It has been a truly amazing summer - family time, clearing clutter, working with inspiring women, a romantic getaway, reunions with dear friends, a life-changing trip to California...

And, now back to "regular life." The landing has been turbulent... The day after I returned from California, my husband was in a major crash that totaled our car. Our children have been extra emotional ever since (aka lots of temper tantrums!). And then we discovered lice in my son's hair, which lead to a regrettable Google search (regrettable because it was completely overwhelming!). It felt like my life was unraveling...

And yet, even through it all, I feel grateful and blessed. For what?

1. The most important things are going well.

My husband walked away from the crash, and my network of healers stepped up to help him make a speedy recovery from his back injuries. My children are safe and loved. And I faced one of my biggest fears - lice - only to discover it isn't so bad.

2. There is blessing in the unraveling.

My life has changed tremendously in the past few years. On this journey to become more of who I am, I find that as I change, there is a crumbling of the old me that can show up as messy, stressful challenges. There is blessing in this unraveling. Not only because of what's awaiting on the other side, but even within the breakdown, there are important insights and gifts.

For example, one of the blessings of lice was that it caused me to carefully comb through my children's hair. This helped me connect with them, and give them the love and assurance they needed after their father's accident.

I invite you to consider - what are the blessings in your unraveling? Can you see a way in which a new, more true, more powerful you can emerge because of (not in spite) of these challenges? Please leave a comment below!


PS: A wonderful way to bring gratitude and notice the blessings in your life is to join a group of women focusing on nourishing ourselves. Here are two upcoming opportunities to do that!

August 24-30: Gentle Nourishing Cleanse

Hit the reset button, from the comfort of home, with all the resources and support you need to experience success! (pre-sale price ends today!)

November 6-8: Magical Mama Retreat

A full weekend to enjoy workshops, delicious organic food, yoga, and sound healing at the truly magical desert hide-away up north, Arcosanti, PLUS new nature hikes, self-reflection and journaling time, and other exciting adventures in self-discovery.  (Sign up with a friend by August 20, and you'll both get a FREE pass to the Gentle Nourishing Cleanse AND a 60 minute massage!)

Mindful Drinking

I just returned from nearly two weeks on the coast of California. It was one of the best trips of my life...

From witnessing my children experience the ocean for the first time in Santa Monica, to reconnecting with old friends and relatives... to an incredible training with my mentors in San Francisco and journeys to beautiful places with a group of masterful coaches I am honored to call friends... it is a trip I will never forget.

And yet, there was a time I wouldn't have fully enjoyed such a trip. I would've been busy worrying that I hadn't picked the right place to stay, or that I hadn't packed the right supplies (I did forget to pack socks!), or that I wasn't doing enough each day.

Since I made the decision to slow down, follow my heart, and nourish my life, it has become easier to enjoy life experiences. And, thus, I was able to drink in my recent trip more fully than ever before.

Mindful eating has been a key practice for me, and one that I teach about. Over the weekend, I learned about mindful drinking - at a vineyard.

Wine Tasting is about...

  • Looking - at the view, grapes & wine
  • Smelling - the fresh air, and the wine
  • Feeling - the sun & breeze
  • Listening - to the sounds of a vineyard
  • Tasting - allowing the wine flavors to dance on your tongue
  • Connecting - with others who have paused life to have this experience

...and then drinking it all in.

I'm not saying that you have to go drinking at a vineyard to enjoy life. But I invite you to consider... When did you last hit "pause" to do something with all your senses? How can you do so today, even for 5 minutes? Please leave a comment below.


PS: A wonderful way to bring mindfulness into your life is to join a group of women focusing on nourishing ourselves. Here are two upcoming opportunities to do that!

August 24-30: Gentle Nourishing Cleanse

Hit the reset button, from the comfort of home, with all the resources and support you need to experience success! (pre-sale price happening this week!)

November 6-8: Magical Mama Retreat

A full weekend to enjoy workshops, delicious organic food, yoga, and sound healing at the truly magical desert hide-away up north, Arcosanti, PLUS new nature hikes, self-reflection and journaling time, and other exciting adventures in self-discovery.  (Sign up with a friend by August 20, and you'll both get a FREE pass to the Gentle Nourishing Cleanse AND a 60 minute massage!)