Being mindful doesn’t mean you always have good days. It means when things are rough, you remember to breathe because you’ve practiced it. And when tears come, you don’t judge them. You just be with your feelings in the moment, notice your thoughts, tell yourself you are not the same as them, and call on wisdom you’ve read or heard or cultivated on your yoga mat. This can still look messy, don’t get me wrong. But as long as there is openness to believing there is something to be gained, even from pain, there is possibility. Even though I got there late, I found inspiration at the Achieving Optimal Health Conference.
Women’s bodies go through lots of transition in a lifetime, and especially during the childbearing years. Women’s Health and Wellness Day, a first-time event in Reston on September 30, aims to support women through these transitions with a unique lineup of workshops by local experts in bodywork, movement, mindfulness and more.
I’ve learned a tremendous amount from every Take Back Your Health Conference held here in the DC area since the event’s inception in 2011. It’s been so rewarding to watch the conference grow, It’s especially exciting that its founder, health coach Robin Shirley, is expecting her first child later in the fall! If you haven’t made it to TBYH before, be sure to catch it this year!
Lyme Disease is a complex topic about which there are many different opinions. Even if you don’t believe anyone you love is currently affected by Lyme, it’s likely someone will be at some point. Join me in learning this summer! Read More
For many of us, holistically-minded parenting started before our babies were even born. I focused a lot of prenatal energy on planning a natural and non-medicated birth, took a Bradley course, hired a doula, planned to encapsulate my placenta, and wrote down birth preferences for my labor and delivery team.
Not much went according to plan. Read More
Cherlyn Jenkins is on a mission to provide tools for all parents to bring energy work into their family home. The owner of Cozywoggle, a coat that is safe to be worn in the car seat, Cherlyn began studying Foot Zone and Reiki in early 2015 and is organizing classes on both healing modalities this summer for parents who want to incorporate them into their family health toolkit.
Every April, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, or ICAN, celebrates Cesarean Awareness Month to bring awareness to its work. ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
The organization’s vision statement is: “A reduction in the cesarean rate driven by women assuming responsibility for their healthcare by making evidence-based, risk appropriate childbirth decisions.” Read the full statement of beliefs on ICAN’s website.
Holistic Moms Network is a cool enough group for local and online support for living holistically, but it’s even more fun when you get to meet people in person from different chapters around the country. The non-profit organization is holding its annual Natural Living Conference on Saturday, October 25 in New Jersey at Montclair State University just outside of New York City.
Okay, it’s not in DC, Maryland or Virginia, but it’s only about four hours away. By car. Last year I got to meet some of the leaders from California chapters. They had to be on a plane for more than four hours!
Breakout sessions include:
- Yoga Basics with Kristen Ambrosi
- Living with Food Allergies with Amy Hull Brown
- Making Healing Tinctures and Infusions with Jessica Cicerone
- Contemporary Homesteading with Jay Gruen
At just $55 for the whole day or $40 for a half, the event is a great deal for all the information it will impart as well as the goodie bag treats and all the other samples you’re likely to find in the exhibit hall. There, parents can learn about wonderful products — food, skin care, and more – and services like Well Amy. One could really spend the entire day in the exhibit hall (and you can do just that for a reduced rate of $20).
The conference is an adult-focused event where babes in arms are welcome. Children may come into the exhibit hall for a reduced price ticket ($10) but need to pay the full rate if they require a seat in the sessions and workshops. The keynote is in the morning and the film screening and Q&A is in the afternoon. Lunch can be purchased separately.
And if you’re looking to make a trip of it, I’m told there is plenty of fall fun to be had in New Jersey, including pumpkin and apple picking. Budding artists might enjoy the Montclair Art Museum, future naturalists will want to explore Brookdale Park and Verona Park, and animal lovers will get a kick out of Turtle Back Zoo. TripBuzz has a list of Things to Do With Kids in Montclair, NJ, and the New Jersey Mommy Poppins site also has a list of 15 Fun Things to do in Montclair, NJ along with plenty of additional ideas for exploring the area and for weekend happenings.
So take the family up with you if you have a partner, friend or family member who can treat the kiddos to some New Jersey (or even New York City) adventures while you learn lots of wellness tips to nourish your family and connect with other like-minded parents.
Holistic Moms Network has over 100 chapters around the country. In the DC area, there are HMN chapters in Arlington/Alexandria, Northern Virginia (Fairfax) and Loudoun County. The Burke/Springfield chapter will be relaunched soon. Anyone can start a chapter, too. There’s an awesome leader meeting on Sunday, October 26, the day after the conference, so if you’ve been thinking about starting a chapter, now might be a great time to see what that’s like!
The first time I learned about Accunect, one of the healing modalities that Centreville mother of four Laura Freix uses in her practice, was at the Everyday Health & Wellness Conference this past February. Laura made what seemed like some funny motions around my head, and I tell you, I felt calmer right away and tremendous through the day and beyond!
Just last week, my children’s doctor told me Accunect would be helpful for me to learn for my children to help them ground and calm.
Two great opportunities are coming up to learn about Accunect. On Thursday, August 21, Laura will be part of a panel at the August evening meeting of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network on the topic of “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health.”
The following Sunday, August 24, Laura will be teaching a self-care workshop in Centreville, Virginia, 11:30-3:30 p.m.
I asked Laura to explain a little bit more about her work, and here’s what she had to share:
“Accunect is a wonderful healing modality that is based on ancient Chinese medicine and modern neuroscience. The beauty lies in its simplicity. In essence, the Accunect system leverages the body’s ability to heal itself by restoring balance. Unlike most energy healing modalities, which are purely intuitive, the Accunect practitioner uses muscle-checking and a Health Map to guide their intuition, which is a more powerful way to refine intuition. By looking for areas in the body/mind that are ready to shift for better balance, the balances are generally powerful and long lasting. Simple tapping is then used to create the shift. Accunect is great for individuals, families and even pets!
Imagine the following real-life scenarios. What would you do…
- if your child was in a state of overwhelm?
- if you sliced your finger almost to the bone?
- if something popped in your shoulder as you grabbed your suitcase on your way to the airport and you can’t move your arm more than about five degrees before a knife-like pain radiates down your tendon?
- if your child came home from practice with a goose egg the size of a tennis ball on her forehead and is leaving for camp the next morning?
- if you have your first-ever colonoscopy scheduled and don’t want to use anesthesia?
- if you are out running and your knee locks up, nearly sending you to the ground?
- if your father had a minor car accident and went into a state of shock?
In all of the above scenarios above, the tools taught in the Accunect SelfCare workshop were used to address the situation without any additional medical intervention. Although that is not always the case, I hope that you now understand why I believe that Accunect® SelfCare is a tool every family should have in their toolbox.
After taking the SelfCare workshop, one mother reported that she has successfully taught her four young children Accunect® SelfCare, empowering the next generation in their own healthcare.
If you want to take it to the next level and learn the system, Accunect Connect is the foundational course. In Connect, you will build on the principles taught in the SelfCare workshop and be able to do full Accunect healing sessions. For me, the gift of Connect is learning to tap into your inner guidance system. As a math major and former senior math analyst with GE Aerospace, I was definitely not in touch with my intuitive brain. Although you are taught to use this in the context of a session, I have found it to be useful in everyday life. Listening to your body and trusting your internal guidance system are wonderful skills to model for your children.
The other gift of this work is empowerment. Everyone leaves the workshop with the ability to do the work immediately; it is that simple. I was able to teach my 10-year old nephew who began doing sessions on his cat (who had recently had a stroke.) The founder’s son is now six, and he receives some of his best balances from his son. Kids are great because they don’t have to “un-learn” anything; it simply becomes part of their world. One girl of nine reported “I don’t know what you do here, but it is like a massage for the mind.”
I originally wanted to learn this work to support my family, but eventually I decided that this work was just too good not to share. I now have my own home business, and a vision for my life after kids, as all but one have left for college and beyond.
My son will call from the university and ask for distance sessions when he feels the need. My daughter has a lot of anxiety and did not like talk-therapy; the psychotherapist recommended medication. With Accunect we are able to address underlying belief systems without her having to verbalize or even consciously know what is bothering her. Another mom did a session on her teenaged daughter, where the belief “People will like me if I am nice,” came up. A great heart-to-heart talk ensued about “who was she if she wasn’t ‘nice’?” and the difference between being nice so people like you versus being authentic. Truly a wonderful tool.
I share in the vision of Future Medicine Today to make Accunect a household name. I hope you will consider attending one of my upcoming SelfCare workshops. You will find the current workshop schedule under the SelfCare tab of my website www.iEmbraceWellness.com
For more information you can refer to the following links:
www.Accunect.com (relatively new; still under development)
Empower yourself; empower your children. Learn Accunect!”
And whenever you do check out a practitioner or a workshop you heard about here, be sure tell them Mindful Healthy Life sent you!
“It’s June, Mommy!” my 3-year-old daughter announced to me last week. “It was May, and now it’s June!” I’m not sure if she learned this from preschool or from her brother, but it was a delight to see her excitement about something new, even if it had no real meaning to her. It’s hard to believe we’re already almost halfway through the month and just over a week away from the longest day of the year.
June means something special for the author of today’s guest post, mom and holistic health coach Marybeth Walsh of My Whole Self. Marybeth is graciously offering a giveaway of a either a one-hour holistic health coaching session (in person in Alexandria or by phone) or participation in her next two-week seasonal detox program like this one she did in April. (Date TBD: probably in the fall). Each is valued at $125; the winner will be able to choose coaching or the detox program. Enter below!
“One Step at a Time in the Path of Life” by Marybeth Walsh
I love the month of June and feel such joy when it arrives. There is an abundance of beauty this month and a feast for the senses. I love the feeling of freedom; the slower pace and promise of more; the colors and scents of flowers, trees, and freshly cut grass; the abundance of ripe, juicy produce; fresh herbs from the garden, and the sounds of kids laughing, free at last.
This year I approach the month of June with mixed feelings. I hit a milestone last June and this year am on the other side, yet life this past year has been full of new challenges. I felt, earlier in my life that by this time, I would have achieved some great measure of wisdom and success. A feeling akin to climbing a steep but beautiful mountain, and finally reaching the top, only to look down from this great height and survey where I’ve been, take a deep breath of accomplishment, and feel peace.
Instead, I was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago and as a result, my life has taken twists and turns I could never have anticipated. Rather than gazing down from the top of the mountain, I feel in many ways I’m starting my climb all over. It reminds me of the game Candy Land, when you hit a slide and get sent back 10 paces.
But I have to say, I’m grateful for all of it: the people who have been in and come into my life, the experiences I’ve had, the knowledge I’ve gained, and the realization that we can always pick ourselves up and start again. I have to say, for every 5 or 10 steps back I take, there has always been new knowledge, friends, inspiration and blessings.
Life is truly a journey, not always straight up, but in a series of peaks and valleys. I think it’s the obstacles and challenges that help us grow and appreciate the goodness in life. What I now know and can share is that we always have a choice, not always with the external situations that hit us, but how we choose to accept them. That being in the present moment, whatever it is, is life. It’s the little things we do each day, our practices, our relationships, and our mindset, that help us navigate the way, guiding us one step at a time.
Here are some of Marybeth’s favorite sites and books for healthy inspiration. Share your favorites in the comments — click the button with the dialogue bubble at right — and get another entry into her giveaway!
Marybeth’s Favorite Websites:
Marbybeth’s Favorite Books:
- The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity by Donna Gates
- Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition) by Paul Pitchford
- The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life
by Sara Avant Stover
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
- The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Shelley Redford Young
- Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science by Dr. Claudia Welch
- Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr
- Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Ester and Jerry Hicks
Please note that the winner of the giveaway can do an in-person consultation or a phone consultation with Marybeth.
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