Offline Retreat (Momma style)

Hello Lovelies:

I will be offline from December 19th until January 4th. I will complete the year with stillness, calm and restoration. I am intending to reset my body and mind and gain more clarity on my biggest intentions for 2016. I have lots of fun plans but wanting to “be” with them more and go deeper in order to feel what resonates the most on a soul level.

During the next 2 weeks I plan to go at an even slower pace, sleep more, be more mindful, do less reading and writing and more meditating and resting. I’m still following my Brain & Body Optimization Game too. My sole intention is to care for my family and rejuvenate as much as possible. A Momma style staycation. 🙂

I share more about why I’ve chosen to do this in the video below:

Here are the resources that I talked about in the video:

  • Vipassana meditation – 10 day silent meditation. No talking, no writing, no reading. You meditate for 10 hours a day, sleep, walk and eat. That’s it. It’s intense and amazing! I am going to do a super modified version of this. 😉
  • Let’s talk about mold post– I share about how the mold impacted my brain and what I’ve learned.
  • Amen Clinics – We did a brain scan + QEEG with Daniel Amen and he saw some ways I could optimize and heal my brain even more. Love his work!
  • Neurofeedback– I am doing this to help balance out my left and right hemispheres. The QEEG actually showed that my brain is doing pretty well with one spot on the right hemisphere that needs a little bit more love.
  • EMDR therapy – This helps people “heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences”. Daniel Amen noticed some subtle things on my brain scan that could have been from emotional upset. He recommended I do it, so I am doing some sessions.

Alrighty…I am off! Kinda nervous (hehe). But, I also know it’s going to be awesome! 🙂

Happy Holidays and sending big love,

alex_signature_pink

Magical & Miraculous Love List

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

These are a 9 of my favorite experiences from last week:

❤ My son turned 3 years old. What a beautiful journey. He is the light of my life. He inspires me to rise up and be who I am (even more). His birthday is also a celebration of my initiation into motherhood. I was forever changed the day he was born. I gave birth at home in our bedroom and it was one of the best and most powerful days of my life. Motherhood can be such a vital expression of our creativity as mothers (in my humble opinion). In many ways this “art” form is raising me as much as I am raising my child.

I interviewed the late incredibly glorious Gabrielle Roth (creator of 5 rhythms) about 7 years ago and one of the things that stayed with me was how much she said having her son transformed her. While most of her friends were going off to be with gurus, going to mediate in the Himalayas and seeking enlightenment she decided to have a child.  I’ve remembered and thanked her for her wise words over and over the last 3 years.

Motherhood has been one of the biggest spiritual practices of my life. Everything that we need for spiritual awakening and growth happens in the day to day life with a child. If we are willing to see it…it’s all there and we can grow from everything (yes, even the laundry, the crying, the night wakings, the boundary testing, and all the attention and care that is needed to help these little people thrive). This is where we see what we’re made of, we see our cracks that need some extra lovin’, and we embody our power and gifts. Children help us see deeper into who we truly are.

❤ This is one of my favorite miraculous moments ever. So…I’ve been reading Dr. Daniel Amen and loving his brain wisdom. I was talking to my husband on Sunday about wanting to go to one of his clinics to get a SPECT scan so I can see how my brain is functioning.

Monday morning Dr. Amen serendipitously emailed Brian about his revised and updated book: Change Your Brain, Change Your life that will be coming out soon. Long story short, Brian told him about my 2 seizures and mold and we are both going to do scans and do a consultation with him next week.

Whhhhaaaat!?! Totally jazzed and over the moon grateful! He is literally the *perfect* doctor for me to see. He is one of the world’s best in his expertise on brain, mold and thyroid function. I am in awe and definitely did a big happy dance when we booked our appointments! 🙂

❤ Taking a walk one morning with my son and our dog at 6:45 am. Aaaaammmmazing! Beautiful reminder of the simple joys of life. The glorious sun, the fresh crisp morning air, the vibrant trees…life really is a grand adventure. There was such a joy, lightness and freedom that moved through all of us as we played in the early morning radiance. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. — Henry David Thoreau

❤ I also loved this TED talk about Jane McGonigal called: The game that can give you 10 extra years of your life. She found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. She explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life. My take away: It’s all a game. Have fun. Be you. Play full out. Losing is part of the game. Express yourself + be creative. Let yourself be happy!! #boom

Elizabeth Gilbert interviewing Brene Brown on Big Strong Magic!   Sooooo gooood! Elizabeth is the The author of BIG MAGIC and Brene Brown, is the author of RISING STRONG. This talk is about how essential creativity is for healthy, wholehearted living. I listened to it while rebounding and had to stop a few times to take a few deep breaths with tears in my eyes. I *loved* Brene’s book and I am just starting to dive into Big Magic.

❤ I got a few “passionate” dislikes and comments on my video about no longer being vegan. This wasn’t the most magical or miraculous thing (ha) but what I loved about it was my emotional process. I observed as I felt pissed off and then a softening happened and I saw it all with compassion. Compassion for myself and for the people who criticize.

I then decided to watch the video. While watching it I felt proud because I think it’s an important topic. I felt a strong resolve to continue to express my truth even if it goes against everything I believed to be true last year (month, day). I felt the freedom and flexibility that comes from being willing to experiment. “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

❤ Cranialsacral session the other day. I am relatively new to cranialsacral work. My intention was to remove physical and emotional obstacles that may be constricting the flow. I had a profound experience as she was doing her “work”.

Last year at this time our dog was attacked at the beach. In our session the image of our sweet dog dying presented itself. I viscerally felt the fear, the helplessness and sadness gripping in my body. I acknowledged it and I let it be there. Then, something shifted, I felt a release. I realized I didn’t want to hold on to the fear any more.

She died, there is nothing I can do to change that. I can wish it didn’t happen but that won’t bring her back. I then had the realization that I didn’t want to send her off to the light with my worry and helplessness…I wanted to send her off with love. My heart broke open as tears filled my eyes. I had a sweet chat with her and the floodgates of love flowed through me.

This didn’t make all the sadness go away as I went through the whole experience again but what it did do was let me bring more love into my body and soften the fear and smile as I said a goodbye prayer with a heart full of gratitude remembering: Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. — Lao Tzu Thank you sweet Zoey for giving so much. I love you.

❤ This blog. Grateful to have a place to share my stories, passions and life. I do it for the love of it. I do it because I’m called to do it. It’s a sacred space to share my creativity and it makes me smile. It feels good to be back in the game after years of not blogging. There is peace in knowing I am doing what I am here to do. I am honoring my sacred contract with my soul. Sometimes celebrating the magic lies in the simplicity. The simple creations may not seem like that big of a deal but they are. The way we choose to live our life is our greatest art. Zeus

❤ This morning in my meditation practice. I felt really supported and loved. I have an amazing support system. And, I had tears feeling the love and joy. I savored the grateful overflow. My dog must have been feeling it too because he rested in my lap. I felt like I was wrapped in a beautiful blanket of support. #grateful

Magic, Miracles + Love Abound,

alex_signature_pink

Body Shame to Body Love

I had a body love moment when I looked in the mirror last week and I talked about in the video above. I felt a huge wave of gratitude because that wasn’t always the case. Like many woman I’ve worked with body image issues throughout the years.  I shared a bit of my personal story and the 4 practices I believe have helped decrease shameful thoughts/feelings about my body and also help me celebrate the unique beauty in all women!

Ok, I hear a toddler wanting to play by saying: “Put me in.” He’s really into being wrapped up in blankets and then pretending he’s a caterpillar and finding a hole and coming out as a butterfly. So awesome and sweet and one of those times when you smile in awe of how amazing these little people are! 🙂

May we all continue to invite play into our transformation process.

Sending body love,

alex_signature_pink

Destiny Unfolding

There is no need to manipulate the people or circumstances in your life to get what you want or require for the next step in your unfoldment. Your only need is to consciously enter your co-creative relationship with the Universe. Surrender, trust, and open yourself to the intuitive guidance right within you and all around you — and watch your destiny unfold.
Michael Bernard Beckwith

There is vitality and peace in owning our life stories. I’ve done this on a deeper level the last 2 months. I continue to be called to celebrate my unique life. Not the one that I think I “should” be living but the one that is happening right here in this moment.

My destiny is unfolding (now…today) and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to rise up Destiny Unfoldbecause I think it should/could be happening differently. These so called “challenges” are a part of my life’s work….my purpose. This excites me!

One of the big lessons I’m integrating more is seeing my challenges as stepping stones supporting my expansion rather than diminishing my Goddess life. We can either experience stress or growth. I am choosing GROWTH!

Lately, I’ve been keenly aware that I’m swimming in the unknown. Of course everyone is always swimming in the unknown but I’ve felt the ever-changing multifaceted layers of life in a more visceral way. There have been moments of hope, love, inspiration and also fear, fatigue and doubt.

And, now…from where I stand with some distance from the experience I chuckle because it’s the classic heroine’s journey. I’ve clearly been called to an adventure. Sometimes the call doesn’t feel like an adventure when you’re working with something like trauma, a loss or a health issue, but it is.

We can either choose to go on the adventure and trust it’s leading us towards our bliss or resist the call. Part of following our bliss is going into the storm…the dark night of the soul. When we willing go in and be with it all we realize it’s actually invigorating and not as scary as we might’ve thought. This doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine and unicorns. We all have to navigate the dark phases and battle our inner dragons and this takes grit and power.

We will be tested. Will we have the courage and the strength to stay on the path and answer the call?  How can we choose joy as we navigate the terrain of transformation? Can we see it as a rebirth and call back the parts of our essence that may have been disowned?

We go through this cycle over and over throughout our lives. Each time we answer the call, do the work, deconstruct our fears we receive a gift to share with the world. We then, gain more fortitude to share our light because we’ve made the trek into the depths of our soul.

Even through the uncomfortable places I am finding so much to celebrate and honor…my power, resilience and love. The gratitude seems more poignant. Tears of joy and tenderness seem to fall more easily from my eyes. The dark is needed as much as the light. Dark doesn’t mean it’s bad it just means it’s dark. Just as the sun shines light during the day the moon shines in the darkness of the night. Embracing the totality of it all is the way of the Goddess.

Can we trust that it’s all happening as it should? Can we embody this quote from Byron FullSizeRender-1Katie:  Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.

What does it look like to breathe into our heart and know that we are worthy and cared for no matter what? Fully embracing the powerful journey as we move from a caterpillar to butterfly…a snake shedding it’s skin in order to continually grow…to start anew. Can we hold space for ourselves through it all? YES, I know we can! 🙂

I smiled this morning when I woke up and danced while singing: I am exactly where I need be!! Destiny she blesses me. This is the good stuff. This is where the magic and miracles happen. I must honor all phases as I integrate my whole self.

Sending much love to you on your heroine’s (hero’s) journey. May you continue to unfold, blossom and thrive as you rejoice in the fullness of your life!

alex_signature_pink

P.S. Finding Joe is an awesome movie about the hero’s journey if you’re interested. 🙂

Let’s talk about mold

What an adventure the last 6 weeks have been. I am still in major discovery mode (or sleuthing as my hubby calls it).  I am learning a ton and it’s a whole new place of self-discovery, trust, and health that I wasn’t planning on diving into but Life had other plans. 🙂

My MRI with an epilepsy protocol was normal/clear and my EEG was mostly normal showing no epilepsy with one part abnormal but they didn’t really know the cause. In layperson terms it showed that randomly my left hemisphere had slower brain waves and it happened occasionally on the right too.

To keep my sense of humor up I joke that I’m on the way to enlightenment Hahah!  Plato, Socrates, Caroline Myss, Teresa of Avila, and others all have had seizures. Maybe all of my neurons fired at the same time to do a massive re-wire. 😉 Or maybe…it was an environmental toxin.

That is where my research and intuition has lead me: MOLD! Quick Snapshot: I watched Dave Asprey’s movie: MOLDY for free the week it came out. It inspired me to have someone come out and do some testing because I noticed water and a musty smell underneath our kitchen sink. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I kept wiping the water up and had a plumber check it out along with the water filter guy. When the tests came back there were lower levels of aspergillus and penicillin. It didn’t seem like we had a big issue. I know some people have crazy high numbers.

Mold can start growing within a day or two and from what I later found out there was an undetected leak that was causing way more mold to grow. My guess is the leak started around September-ish. If you remember from my last post, I had my first so called “neurological issues or partial seizure as some call them” on October 21st (noted in my journal).

Fast forward to July 30th…My son and my Mom and I are “glamping”. I smelled mold as soon as I walked in but I didn’t think much about it. We were only going to be there for a night. Not a big deal right? Then, my Mom woke up to me having a seizure at 4 am. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Soon as I made some of these connections I called a company to come and remediate our kitchen asap. They started it last week. They thought it would be a simple project, but when they opened it all up they realized it was bigger than anticipated. There was a bunch of mold that was black in a various places (I saw pictures).  It was definitely hiding because you couldn’t see it and when I asked people if they could smell it most said they couldn’t. I must have a more sensitive nose (which might mean that I am more sensitive to mold – around 28% of the population is – according to Asprey).

After they remediated they did a clearance test and it passed but the test showed a trace of stachybotrys (black) mold, that wasn’t there on the initial test. Black mold off gases are the most toxic. Sometimes air/swab testing can miss these mold/mycotoxins. A red flag went up for me even though it was trace levels because it meant that it was hiding back there all this time and probably giving off neurotoxins that are obviously very harmful for the brain.

My hunch is that on a low level (or not so low) I was exposed to the mold the most because I’m in the kitchen a lot throughout the day cooking/cleaning/prepping. I think the last 10 months along with the moldy tent (along with a few other variables) pushed me over the edge and I hit my seizure threshold. And…interestingly, there is a connection with low thyroid/ hormone function and mold.

To quote Dave Asprey (who clearly has optimized his brain and body and doesn’t have the issues he used to have): My history of mold exposure provided an opportunity for me to learn more about biohacking than I originally wanted to. When I began biohacking and had my hormone levels tested, I discovered that I had thyroid, adrenal, testosterone, and estrogen problems. I was even diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a condition which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. In my case, either mold or gluten or both triggered Hashimoto’s, as mold makes your immune system more sensitive to the damaging effects of gluten.

Fascinating! I have been gluten free for the last 7 years but before that I grew up on gluten. In regards to the mold, there have been at least 5 places in the last 15 years that were suspect and 2 from my childhood. Oh, and btw, I might not have Hashimoto’s. My acupuncturist and naturopath say YES! and my functional environment doctor and neurologist say NO! The tests do reveal my thyroid isn’t functionally optimally but I’m currently gonna go with No Hashimoto’s and I will still get regular testing and probably do yearly ultrasounds to ensure I stay within the optimal range.

This whole thing has been an experiment in trusting myself and following my intuition. I’m incredibly blessed to have access to such amazing experts with lots of wisdom and at the end of the day, I am the one who resides in this body. I must trust what resonates and what doesn’t, while remaining opening and willing to learn new things from brilliant people who are clearly masters in their selected domain. But, there are many pieces – mind, body, heart and spirit that are involved. I have the ability to rise up and see the whole picture and integrate, flow and know the right path for me.

What’s next? Our kitchen is still being remediated. I chose to do a more detailed testing before we re-built it to be 100% sure we got all the mold out. We did a few more swab samples and a dust sample (similar to the ERMI test which Ritchie Shoemaker recommends). I also did a mycotoxin test urine test to see what extent my body has detoxed the neurotoxins. My local doc is a functional/integrative doctor with an emphasis on an environmental issues so he will be guiding me on the next part of my mold detoxing protocol which is awesome!

These are some of the resources I found helpful:
Moldy Movie
How your house can make you weak
Surving Mold by Ritche Shoemaker
Tox-Sick by Suzanne Somer

Thank you all so much for the love and light that you’ve shared with me. Know that I’ve been deeply touched and even though I’m not blogging/emailing much these days your words have been a healing balm that has brought tears of connection and love to my eyes. #grateful

I hope this was helpful for you or maybe someone you know.

Virtual hugs, happy healing dances and love! ❤

alex_signature_pink

P.S. The awesome woman who helped me with E for ~10 hours every week for the last 2.5 years moved last month. And, I don’t live close to family, so most of my alone time is dedicated to my blissiplines (nutrition/meditation/exercise/rest/etc.) I will share more as more space opens up. There is still so much more I want to share about the mental/emotional/spiritual healing that is unfolding as well. 🙂

A call for transformation & healing

Imagine you could re-write your life starting today? Is there anything you would change? Who would you be? What would you do? What would you stop doing? How would you interact with the world? How would you choose to feel? How would you create this thing called your life?

This is the process I am in right now. I recently had a wake up call. I was literally shaken up. My body, mind and heart…rocked. I was taking some time off during my moon cycle to be more inwardly focused and then…my Mom came for a visit and then…on July 30th I had two seizures in a 20 hour period with two trips to the ER. Not what I was planning for my time offline.:)

It has been an intense and beautiful 2 1/2 weeks. I am in major discovery mode right now and still integrating. We are blessed to have so many incredible people in our lives. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love and support and been brought to tears daily. My husband and Mom and my son all have been amazing. Amazing!

It’s been a very vulnerable time for me to feel how much I need (and want) help and support. My life isn’t my own. I’ve seen how much it influences the people I love. I’ve seen how much people really do care. I’ve seen the softness in everyone’s hearts. The love is so big and deep.

My uncle is a brain scientist and helped me get an appointment with a brilliant neurologist at UCLA last week. I’ve done a CT scan, MRI, along with blood tests and a physical exam and those were all normal. I did an EEG test on Thursday and will do another more detailed MRI test on Tuesday. We will get those results next week which will hopefully give us more insight into what is going on in my brain.

I was hospitalized for febrile seizures when I was 1 + 3 years old and haven’t had any since. We all have a seizure threshold and because I had them when I was younger I have a lower threshold. I have a bunch of theories about what might have caused them.

I didn’t know it at the time but in October I started having some neurological issues. It started 3 weeks after witnessing our dog being killed by another dog at the beach. I’d have 10-30 seconds episodes every few weeks where I would feel flushed, with a wave of nausea and slight spaciness/dizziness. I just thought it was stress from the trauma. When I told the Docs about it they called them: aurus or dissociations and it’s a sign that something was triggered in the brain.

There are ideas on what might have created the perfect storm: doing a cleanse/reaction to herbs, gut permeability, thyroid + hormones imbalance, mold, trauma – being at the beach for the first time in 10 months after our dog’s death, etc. I’m exploring all facets right now. I will share more as I research and discover more from the diagnostic tests.

The whole process has been fascinating, humbling and opening. I’ve been in awe of the hospital and so grateful for the people who give so generously. My worldview about the medical system has expanded along with my heart.

I’ve had moments of fear (and tears) flow through as we navigate the unknown. I’ve also had waves of inspiration and enthusiasm knowing that this is only taking me to the next phase of my heroine’s journey. I’ve already felt big openings urging me to live an even more authentically awesome life. It’s all here for my good. All of it. No matter what happens.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

I’m already a stronger, more resilient and powerful woman because of this.  I feel the big and subtle shifts happening and the overarching call for transformation. I am feeling called to re-wire my brain and dive deeper into myself. My life is amazing. Absolutely stunningly beautiful! I feel this now more than ever. I also know there are places where I’ve been hiding….places I’ve been limiting my joy, letting fears in, and dimming my sparkle, my dreams and my desires. It’s game time, Sweet Goddess. If you ever needed a reason to fully live out loud…here it is!!

I am listening and I am ready. Let’s do this! ❤

Sending love and heart smiles,

alex_signature_pink

P.S. My main intention is to heal and rest so I won’t be sharing my daily journal anymore (this may change in the future). For now, I will post as I feel called. If you feel inspired to send me some love and prayers I graciously say: “YES! Thank you!!” 🙂 I welcome and rejoice in any and all light, love and healing. #thankyou

Bliss Diary – July 23, 2015

There’s nothing wrong with us. There’s nothing missing in us. Everything is for us and there is nothing against us. Let us remember this together. — Michael Beckwith

Intention/Affirmation: Glow with gratitude ❤

Nutrition:
7:15 morning delight
10:45 4 muffins – same as yesterday
2:00 few slices of watermelon
5:30 big goddess green salad

I didn’t feeling super hungry and was slightly nauseous later in the day. I did an afternoon workout and felt much better.

Movement:
20 minute strength workout + 5 minutes of stretching.
15 minutes of yin yoga before bed

Meditation: 15 minutes + 45 minute napitation

Sleep: 8 hours and 20 minutes. Bed by 9:20 and up at 5:40.

Body Goodness: When I originally looked at my thyroid results I thought I was golden because my thyroid antibodies weren’t in the red (nothing was in the red). But, then checking in with my Doc he said yes, you do have Hashimoto’s. My antibodies were on the lower side — Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody was 32 and Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody was 14. I’ve seen some people with 600-1200 on these. I guess if you have any antibodies that can mean you have Hashimoto’s. I think I’ve slowly been healing in many ways because I’ve been gluten free/dairy free (except some ghee) for almost 9 years while eating an organic whole foods diet with no processed foods. Now I can get laser focused on the next part of the journey. Exciting! 🙂

There are a few things I need to take out in order to do the full Autoimmune Protocol. I’ve gone through spurts of taking each one of these out but not all at the same time:  Eggs, seeds like chia/flax/sunflower/hemp, cacao, stevia, ghee, lentils, some nightshades. I feel like knowing what I am working with now gives me more focus.

I’ve been wondering how many animal products I should eat and if I really needed them (letting go of the belief I’ve had for 9 years that animal products are toxic). But, everything I’ve read and researched has lead me to believe I do need them to heal.

And, I also wonder if aspects of my veganism diet may have contributed to micronutrient deficiency, inflammation and irritated an already leaky gut. Dr. Terry Wahls wrote a great article, Could Vegetarianism increase your risk of autoimmune disease? It’s about being a vegetarian for 15 years and how she completely changed her diet and psychology around eating animal products. This has removed some of my ambivalence about eating meat and I’ve gotta go all in and believe this path is the best one for me, especially working with an autoimmune condition.

Mind/Heart/Spirit Goodness: In my meditation this morning I visualized the blue-butterfly-on-pink-hydrangea-garry-gaythyroid, it looks like a butterfly. A butterfly symbolizes transformation for me. That is why I have a butterfly in the Rock Your Goddess Life logo. I smiled because this is and has been my path: self-expression, creativity, love, transformation. My thyroid and immune system are helping me to live my destiny. It’s not how I thought it “should” look but this is how it’s unfolding. To quote Byron Katie: “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for another lovely day. I am grateful for my gratitude practice. I am grateful for the spaciousness in my life. I am grateful for meditation. I am grateful for all the books, websites and stories people share on how they’ve healed themselves. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for my menstrual cycle. I am grateful for all the simple joys and laughs I experience daily. I am grateful for naps and rest. I am grateful for all the love that surrounds me. ❤

Final thoughts for the day…I started my moon yesterday and in order to honor my cycles I’m going to rest and be offline and shut down my computer until Monday. I will integrate and prepare to start the AIP protocol on Sunday. This weekend I will also focus on the things I’ve written about in the last few posts in regards to healing on the mental/emotional/spiritual level.

Thank you for reading. I am sending you love and appreciation! ❤

alex_signature_pink