Getting out of the darkness is a process that requires support and vision. Take a listen to learn what it’s like. Please subscribe and share!
Getting out of the darkness is a process that requires support and vision. Take a listen to learn what it’s like. Please subscribe and share!
If you think visualizing your goals is nonsense, ask olympic athletes, people recovering from debilitating injuries, business leaders, and military personnel what they think.
Research shows that the same brain patterns that get activated when doing visualization are activated when the action is occurring, and so, mental practice contributes to bringing what you envision into reality. Athletes, military and many others state that imagery helps them perform better in real life and obtain the results they visualized.
And this is where a vision board comes into the picture (pun intended).
You may be wondering, what is a Vision Board?
A vision board is a powerful tool to rehearse in your mind that which you desire for your future.
Simply described, a vision board is a large piece of cardboard where you paste selected pictures and meaningful words of the items or experiences you would like to manifest or bring into your life for the upcoming year(s).
It looks something like this:
When creating a vision board, you begin by visualizing your goals or what your life would look like if you could have it all. The instructor guides you to connect to the true intention of your desires so you can bring what is in your highest interest into reality.
Vision boards are great for envisioning and focusing on the goals that are important to you. They provide clarity of intention and mental rehearsal. You can create your own vision board or you can participate in a guided workshop to obtain the best results.
If you are interested in attending a Vision Board workshop in San Diego, sign up to our upcoming class here.
Saturday, January 25 2020 at 10am
at La Perla de La Jolla
Have you been feeling out of sorts, perhaps irritable, and less tolerant?
You are not alone.
In the past few weeks I have heard many of my clients, friends, and family members express that they have not been feeling themselves, like something is off.
They expressed feeling more irritable and less tolerant of other people as well as their personal circumstances, and just wanting to stay home in bed.
Has that been your experience lately?
Don’t despair, you are not alone.
With the changes in weather and having shorter sunny days, the body requires a different kind of support.
With cloudy, cold days, comes the instinctual need to hibernate. That means, we tend to stay indoors more often, move less, and eat more.
There is nothing wrong with that, except our internal clock and rhythm gets out of balance because we are not receiving the appropriate cues from the environment (the sun) to adjust to the time change, and we are not delivering the supplements necessary for our body to manage the change in season and therefore affecting our mood.
What you are experiencing may be what is commonly called The Winter Blues.
There are many studies that link Vitamin D (sunlight) deficiency to symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents can sometimes be expressed as irritability.
In addition, lack of exercise can be a detriment to not only your physical health but your mental health, since moderate exercise improves mood by releasing endorphins.
How to combat those winter blues?
Here are some ideas you may want to implement, if you haven’t already:
– Check with your functional medicine doctor which supplements you may be deficient. You may find that all you needed is a natural supplement to improve your mood.
– Spend 5 minutes facing the sun, eyes closed. If it’s a cloudy day, double the amount of exposure. This will help you adjust to the time change and reset your circadian rhythm to improve your sleep and energy.
– Integrate moderate exercise in your routine. Make it non-negotiable. Moderate exercise three days a week minimum will strengthen your health and mood.
– Be mindful of what you eat and be sure to give your body the nutrients it needs.
– Use a Sun Lamp to support you on days you are not able to face the sun.
– Give yourself permission to rest if you are tired, however, if you find yourself sleeping excessively, check with your doctor for any physical issues.
– Work on a fun, creative project that keeps you engaged and motivated.
– Make plans with loved ones so you don’t isolate yourself.
– Bring more light into your life through candles, light-color clothing, or decorations.
– Create a vision board to keep you motivated about your future.
– Do a lot of self-care and pampering. This is a great time for rejuvenation and replenishing.
– Take breaks from social media and comparing yourself to others.
– Go to a retreat or a place to recharge your batteries.
Are there any others you would add to this list?
Let me know in the comments below.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. As with every advice you may receive, first check with your primary care doctor and therapist before implementing any suggestions.
Keep your inner light shinning bright!
Nancy De Andrade, PhD
I’m Dr. Nancy De Andrade and I’d like to share a little bit of the path that led me to embark on this journey of helping others.
When I was 15 years old I wanted desperately to run away from home. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I was miserable and knew that I could no longer live in such toxic environment.
I had it all planned out. I would move in with my best friend’s family, drop out of school and get a job. I imagined how peaceful and happy my life was finally going to be when I moved away. I couldn’t wait!
But then my friend’s mom said I needed to stay home and figure my life out. Ouch.
Even though it was not the answer I wanted to hear, it was the one I needed to hear, because as hard as it was to live at home with my abusive, helicopter parents, I would have missed the most important lessons of my life.
What happened in the following years changed me and showed me the path to my purpose (even though I didn’t know it then).
My oldest sister was like a mother to me. As often as she could, she mentored and guided me, and somehow knew I needed help. At the time, she was enrolled in a training program to facilitate workshops about psychology and personal growth. As luck would have it, the program allowed her bring someone to the workshops for free.
She introduced me to the most transformational workshops on personal growth, self-esteem, communication, personal excellence, meditation, and even retreats! I was exposed to so many valuable experiences that truly changed my life for the better. I became more confident, happier, forgiving, and assertive. Armed with the tools and the thirst for more expansion, I finally moved out at the age of 18.
However, life was harder than I had envisioned, and I hit a wall.
Out in the world of regular interactions, my assertiveness was mistaken by arrogance, I was wronged for being straight-forward, and was called names for speaking my truth. Even family members would say things like: “Who do you think you are?”, “You think you are better than everyone?” “Don’t throw that psycho-babble at me!” and so much more.
It was confusing and hurtful, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy feeling rejected and isolated, so I “conformed to belong”, and adapted to my current environment and culture. I became extra careful with my words so people would not get hurt (or hurt me), I tiptoed around others, I “toned-down” my personality, and became a people pleaser, making sure everyone was happy… everyone except me.
Unknowingly, I became codependent.
It struck me one day, when I was visiting my brother. He frankly pointed out that I was not the same happy person he remembered. He said I looked worried and much too serious. The reality was that I felt unhappy, insecure, anxious, and stuck.
Inspired by this epiphany, (and feeling tired of living depressed and anxious), I set course to learn a more comprehensive and holistic approach to take charge of my mind, body, and spirit. I hired a mentor, attended countless workshops, and even went back to school to complete a PhD in Psychology.
I learned as much as I could about the body-mind connection, codependency, self-esteem, healthy communication, boundaries, spirituality, mindfulness and so much more. I became obsessed with self-awareness and personal growth and applied this knowledge in my years of practicing psychology.
As I implemented what I learned, my life improved. I started my own coaching practice and became more confident about my talents and skills, more assertive in my approach, and more clear in my requests. I learned the right way to set boundaries, the most effective way to speak one’s truth, the most compassionate way to engage with others, and the most loving way to treat one’s self.
I continue to share the specific strategies I find most effective with my clients. They benefit greatly as I provided them with cutting-edge, holistic techniques to improve their body, mind, and spirit. I’m blessed to continue to witness amazing transformations, and see many of my clients go from feeling insecure, depressed, anxious, and taking a passive role in their lives, to feeling confident, empowered, loving, clear and enlightened.
I know my journey doesn’t end here. My purpose is to continue learning and sharing this knowledge with as many people as I can. My aspiration is to make an impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and help them experience a more empowered and authentic life filled with love and confidence.
My journey continues and I would like for you to be a part of it. Would you join me?
We didn’t have enough food growing up.
At least that’s the message I received, “don’t eat it that, save some for tomorrow (or for your siblings)”, my mom would say. But food was not the only thing we didn’t have enough of, we didn’t have enough time also. My dad would declare, “It’s not ok to go out and have fun. Don’t you see that there is plenty of work to do around here?”
We didn’t have enough money either. Our home was furnished with left-over chairs and couches from closed down offices, and my 8 siblings and I wore hand-me-downs, and played with recycled toys. The streets were not safe enough, at home we weren’t at peace either, fighting for attention and significance, my behavior or my grades were not good enough, all around a feeling of not-enoughness.
This not-enoughness later transferred to other areas of my life: not enough time to complete tasks, not enough resources, not enough money (no matter how much I earned), not enough help, not enough schooling, you name it.
Having this belief, created an unconscious yet consistent current of anxiety that quietly ruled my life. Over-preparing for things, planning way ahead of time, solving problems without anyone asking me, clenching my teeth, hyper-awareness of my surroundings, caring too much how others perceived me, doing things perfectly and never making mistakes, saving the food in my fridge for later (and watch it rot), hiding when I didn’t feel like my life was perfect, ruminating unforgivingly when I made a mistake, and so many other behaviors I engaged in to try to keep my sense of significance and control.
Because of this constant need to control my environment and my situation, I became a much more serious person than I ever was. I stopped laughing, having fun, relaxing, and living life. I became a doer, an over-achiever, a control freak. My thoughts and actions revolved around making sure I did everything perfectly so I could to feel enough: If my fridge was full, that meant I had enough, if I studied and mastered one more topic, that meant I was smart enough, if I strived to never make a mistake or work on myself endlessly, that meant I was good enough, if I planned ahead and controlled the timing of everything, that meant I had enough time, if I worried excessively about things…
Writing this brings me to tears.
I have spent years working on healing my wounds, trying to forget my past so I would not be acting from a victim role, working on myself to be better and creating a peaceful life.
Yet there was something I hadn’t realized yet.
I was still operating on a low-grade anxiety.
Anxiety is that sleeping giant that rears its ugly head when we least expect it. I tried to keep it in its cage while it screamed at me in the form of perfectionism, self-criticism, and procrastination.
This anxiety from not enoughness was no just in my mind, it had transferred to the cells in my body, and to my nervous system, and without me knowing, it became a slow burning fire that gradually affected my relationships, my health, my work, my peace of mind, and my life.
I honestly didn’t know I was anxious… until I wasn’t any more.
I hadn’t realized how every action and every thought was ruled by that slow-burning anxiety. I had no idea that this current of distress running through me at all times, shaped my decisions, my actions and my thoughts, until it didn’t anymore.
How screwy is that?
This realization came one day, after researching how the body stores traumas at a cell level. I had previously learned about Epigenetics and how genes can be turned on and off according to environmental influence. For example, people who grew up in the Great Depression era, had an activated gene that produced a strong response to stress, which was then passed down to generations (more about that in another post).
I then learned (and experienced) that very often feelings of anxiety and depression are the result of deficiency in so many substances essential to normal body functioning as well as possible allergic reactions. We walk around beating ourselves up because we are not feeling happy when in reality, we may be just deficient in some vitamin or mineral or consuming poison without knowing it.
Sometimes the answer is much easier than we think.
I began taking a brilliantly developed supplement called Qualia to help me focus on studying for an exam I had to take. I really didn’t expect anything, and being the skeptic that I am, I recorded hour by hour how I felt. The first 30-45 mins I felt nothing differently, then… a wave of calmness overcame my entire body and mind. A deep sense of ease enveloped each one of my cells. Here is a section of what I recorded the first day I started taking these nootropics:
“…the ability to choose to be present with compassion and calmness… That’s huge!… To not be overtaken by anxiety… but to have the choice to be distracted if I wanted to and not a the mercy of my impulses or reactions”.
It became clear to me that I was living constantly anxiously without being conscious of it.
Kind of sad, really.
I have also witnessed many of my clients’ transformation when they change their diet or add supplements to their health routine: their mood improves substantially and they feel more empowered. It is hard to believe but their mood radically changes when they stop consuming a triggering food, or began adding a supplement to their daily intake.
Which supplement to take varies for every person. I can’t prescribe but I can share what worked for me. There is no magic combination that can fix it all. We are unique individuals with unique experiences and our bodies respond in special ways to try to keep us safe. Besides, supplements are what the name implies, an enhancer, a booster to what you are already doing to maintain your health.
My clients have experience amazing results from following an integrative approach and I’d like to share with you some words of advice before you decide to head to the store to buy supplements or decide to restrict certain foods from your diet.
1- Supplements or diets don’t work alone. You need to help yourself first.
Exercise, healthy eating, sunlight, nurturing environment, peaceful inner life, and other forms of self-care are a priority to keep you healthy. Taking supplements alone or restricting food will not work.
2- Go to your primary care physician and have a full check up. Get a blood panel done to check for hormone imbalances, deficiencies, blood sugar, and any other irregularity that could be affecting your mood.
3- Once you find what you may be deficient on, or if you have allergies, ask your physician if it’s ok to take supplements. Some supplements are contraindicated in certain situations, so check first.
4- Consult an expert in functional medicine.
4- Implement techniques that bring awareness of your internal beliefs and activities that induce relaxation. Meditation, journaling, yoga, therapy, and nature, are some examples to help release some of the anxiety and gain tools to cope (and possibly change your gene expression).
5- Be consistent in your routines and taking your supplements. You may not see an immediate effect, so give yourself some time and don’t give up. Your body (and mind) will thank you later.
I’m constantly blown away by the results of applying integrative approaches to wellbeing. It gives me confirmation that the holistic work I’m passionate about is effective and hope that soon more and more people will come to the same realization that the body and the mind are deeply connected and have an amazing capacity to heal and truly experience inner peace -at a cell level.
Looking forward hearing your thoughts.
P.S.: If you are curious which supplement had me walking on cloud nine, it was a nootropic from Neurohacker Collective called Qualia Mind. I am now taking Focus and it’s helping me maintain my energy level, focus, and mood consistent and leveled.
P. P. S.: When you use the code CALM you’ll get 15% Off your order.
Please share your comments below and send this to someone who would benefit from it.
My favorite place to flow is in front of the vast ocean. It reminds me of the abundance we enjoy as humans and it connects me with profound wisdom I cannot find inside the walls of my home. The ocean teaches me to go with the flow. Even with its unpredictable waves and currents, it is a great teacher for acceptance and surrendering.
If you speak to surfers they will tell you the ocean brings them a sense of peace and at the same time excitement. They’ll tell you that the simple act of waiting for the right wave creates a sense of communion with nature, and the embrace of its waters makes them feel like they belong.
How does this relate with going with the flow? Surfers do not go against the current but wait to be taken away by the resistance and flow of the wave. They do not judge a wave when is less than ideal for a ride, they learn to manage it, floating above it or ducking under. They don’t stress about when the next wave will come because they trust another one will come at any moment.
They bask in the silent rocking of this blissful moment.
This surrendering to the moment and being completely present with yourself without judgments or expectations is where you find the flow. It is not forcing the situation to conform to your expectations and desires, but becoming aware of the opportunities that come your way, learning about your innate desires and limitations, and accepting the whole of you with respect and compassion.
Going with the flow is knowing yourself, it’s healing your wounds, and soothing your discomfort. Going with the flow is listening to guidance, the one that speaks inside your being with infinite wisdom. Going with the flow is allowing and trusting that things happen for a reason and to keep your eyes open for the next wave. Going with the flow is hoping, believing, trusting without attachments or judgments. Going with the flow is sitting in stillness and noticing that you can be moved by inspiration or force, you decide. Going with the flow is finding power in releasing. Going with the flow is letting go.
Did you know?
The movement of natural water produces negative ions that improve your mood. Exposure to electronics, fluorescent lights, etc, charges our bodies with too many positive ions which dysregulates our nervous system. Exposure to negative ions found in nature, reestablishes the balance of ions and in addition increases the production of serotonin, a feel-good hormone crucial for the management of anxiety.
Not only being around water is helpful, but safe exposure to sunlight increases the production of Vit D and consequently Melatonin, both important in regulation of sleep and management of depression.
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What is Plant Medicine?
Anne Salazar, RH, AHG is the Lead Practitioner (Registered Clinical Herbalist) at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy with 12 years as a Therapeutic Herbalist, and a background on Western and Chinese herbal medicine.
In this interview, Anne shares her knowledge and wisdom on the healing powers of plant medicine, its common uses, and the spirituality practices when working with herbs.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss my next interview with a gifted soul who will be sharing with us her journey of discovering what lies beneath illness and how changing your thoughts can change your health. Interview coming up on June 28th at 6:30pm.