Nurse Knows Best

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First and foremost, my mother is an outstanding mother but in very, very close second, she’s a spectacular nurse. I have so many memories of being at church, a theatre performance or driving in the car and before I can even process what’s happening, my mother is on the ground, calmly and courageously attending to someone in need. It always blows me away because in those moments, my mother is no longer my mother, she’s a superhero.

Last weekend, two of my roommates and I drove out to Sauvie Island, which is frequented by many bikers for its proximity to Portland and beautiful scenery. On the way there, we came across two bikers who had gotten into an accident and without hesitating, burst into action. We assessed their wounds and quickly realized the girl needed more attention so I grabbed my first aid kit and we got to work. While simultaneously speaking calmly to a girl who was about to throw up on me and cleaning bleeding, torn flesh, I realized I was able to do this because of my mother, the nurse.

I recently asked my mother why she likes being a nurse: ” I get to be a problem solver and help individuals. I have to know what patients aren’t saying and ask the right questions…Sometimes I have to see without seeing.”

Thanks for teaching me how to be a problem solver and see without seeing, Mom.  I love you.

Seeking Sacred Space: Part 2

In my post Sacred Space: Part 1, I discussed the importance of seeking out new territory and how reveling it can be. Carving out time to be mindful and self-aware is often easier said then done but you don’t have to go far to go in.

I grew up Catholic and as an altar girl, I was able to touch and be near the objects the priest would use during mass. A brass goblet filled with wine or hosts resting in a crystal tray, the scent of candle wax, and ringing the bells…These particular objects were sacred and although I’m no longer Catholic, the importance of being near an altar has remained.

altar cropAs far back as I can remember I’ve collected objects that hold a lot of meaning and I’ve always felt the need to display them, to remind me of the spiritual moment or experience I had upon their discovery. My altar changes with every new move or major life event and mementos are added or shed depending upon what I’m trying to invoke or seek at that time.

Sara AltarAltars can also be arranged at work to promote a sense of purpose or set any other intention you may have. My roommate, Sara, has an altar dedicated to her fashion business, Sara Bergman Apparel. “My altar is on an East facing wall because that’s where the Visionary is on the Medicine Wheel. The Visionary sees things before they exist, which is part of the creative process. There are also parts of my Grandmother’s sewing machine and something I sewed when I was a kid, which gives me a sense of the history of my work. The Phoenix represents resilience and the ability to try again when something doesn’t work the first time.”

Sacred spaces give you the opportunity to reflect and set your truest intentions. By creating an altar, you’re reminding yourself of what you’re seeking. Whether you’re meditating, practicing yoga or simply pausing for a moment near by, having a home or office altar is a wonderful way to reconnect with your deepest self.

Gearing Up the Garden!

My roommate, Sara, and I love, love, love our garden but there’s a HUGE weed problem so we spent some time photo(17)trying to tackle the issue before it starts. This year we decided to purchase lots of weed cover and mulch, which will hopefully keep the weeds at bay. One of my favorite neighborhood spots for picking up supplies is the Portland Nursery. Not only do they have an incredible selection of indoor and outdoor plants, seeds, veggie starts, and flowers, they also offer affordable classes!photo(16)

Have you been out in the garden yet? What projects have you been working on?

Wellness Works

Most people spend at least 40 hours of their week at work (if not more), eat lunch at their desk, and use their down time to check work emails. It’s more important than ever to have wellness in the workplace and a great article from the New York Times highlights this. It points out the benefits (health, job performance, and productivity) of taking time away at work and away from work.
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Here are a few workplace wellness ideas to help you and your coworkers get started:

  • Get in touch with your HR department and see what kind of budget they have for workplace wellness activities. Then, team up with at least one other coworker and brainstorm wellness ideas to present to your CEO. Once you have their buy-in, you’re on your way!
  • Wellness breakfasts are a great way to start the day and bring your team together. Offer healthy granola, yogurt, blueberries, oj, and you’ll have a happy staff!
  • Take walking meetings outside or around the building. Getting up and away from your desk gets the blood and brain flowing!

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  • Can you have dogs in your office? If yes, bring them in! They’re life savers on stressful days.

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  • Office yoga is a fantastic way to get moving in the middle of the day and it can be done at your desk!
  • Also, Inc.com has helpful articles and resources for employees interested in starting wellness programs.

What does wellness look like at your workplace? I’d love to hear from you!

Vital Vitamins

Vitamins and supplements…where do you begin?! There are aisles upon aisles devoted to vitamins so finding the right combination can be daunting. Here’s a laundry list of what I take to help you get started:

Daily

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  • Omega 3 fish oil – Brain, vision and heart health
  • B Complex – Increases energy, nerve function, and so much more!
  • Vitamin D3 – Bone growth and density, improves immune system (2,000 IU/day)
  • Probiotics – Aids digestion (refrigerated, at least 20 billion cu/day)
  • Multivitamin – I purchase a mid-level brand

Excellent extras

  • Vitamin C – Immune support. Emergen-C’s work well because you can take them anywhere. Lemon-Lime Lite is the way to go if you want less sugar
  • Echinacea and Goldenseal – Immune support,  anti-inflammatory, and reduces congestion
  • Magnelevueres – Calms the nervous system, aid insomnia and anxiety. When I use one of these I feel like I’ve had a glass of wine and fall right to sleep
  • Melatonin – Aids with sleep but may cause sleep disturbance if overused so use wisely!

What daily vitamins do you take? Is your list similar to mine?

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Tranquility Mudra

Mudras are yoga in your hands. They engage and unlock areas within our mind and body, allowing us to make new observations about ourselves and find solutions for issues we’re dealing with. Plus, mudras can be practiced anytime and anywhere: at work, sitting in traffic, at the doctors office, and while practicing asanas. The Tranquility … Continue reading

High 5 for Health

Water, sleep, exercise, vegetables, and breathing. Whenever I increase any of these things, I feel better. Simple truth!

It’s kind of amazing….out of everything I do, these yield the highest reward. Here are a few ways to keep them in mind:

  • Water – I carry a water bottle with me everywhere. It’s not very big so it fits in lots of bags for easy travel.
  • Sleep – When I actually get the amount of sleep I need, I feel AMAZING. Don’t listen to me, listen to Harvard.
  • Exercise – It’s so important to find the type of exercise that works for you. I like to hike, ride my bike, dance, do yoga and water aerobics (yes, I’m an old lady). Exercise combats lots of heath conditions, improves mood, energy, sleep, and even, your sex life. Yippie!330_29552876594_3708_namy, carley, leah
  • Vegetables – I’ve found that eating a salad everyday is a good place to start. Pick up bulk organic spring mix at your local grocery store, toss in some cherry tomatoes, kidney beans, avocado and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and you’re a happy camper! A hearty vegetable soup is always a great idea, too. photo(12)
  • Breathing – 3D breathing is the way to go. Our ribs can expand! Our back moves when we inhale! Breath from your belly, baby!

There are so many ways to take care of yourself but I hope these 5 will give you a good place to start!

Sphinx Pose…At the Sphinx!

sphinxI recently went to visit my boyfriend who’s been studying
Arabic in Cairo, Egypt and I couldn’t pass up this photo opportunity!

It was such a bizarre and incredible experience to do this pose next to the ancient site it’s named after. Wow!

Where has your yoga practice taken you?