What Happened When I Unplugged From Social Media?

Let me start by saying whooo hooo! Unplugging from social media is G L O R I O U S. 

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

For anyone who's missed my announcement... my fiancé and I are having our first baby and decided to take a much needed break from all work as best we could to be together, relax and create a family plan before our little bundle of joy arrives in July. I've been intrigued by the friends I've seen take a month off from social media and decided that this would be the perfect time to take a break as well. Our seven days may not seem like much but it served us both so well. Kauai is a magical place to embrace & explore and really sink in to it's beauty. Now I'd like to pay it forward. 

Have you guys ever unplugged in any kind of way? I've definitely limited use of phone at times and shut things down for a day here and there but since the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.. I've become pretty consistent with posting content I enjoy sharing and don't often miss a day. I find myself most active on Instagram. With my own posting commitment I also spend time looking through feeds of those I follow for all kinds of reasons; motivation, happiness, a good laugh, style, friends & family, education, shopping, world news... it can be an abundant and overwhelming time-suck at times right? 

I would be remiss if I didn't admit; somedays creating a post is far too time consuming. Checking to see who's viewed or liked it happens periodically out of habit and I often catch myself going directly to Instagram when I picked up my phone to make a call, put something in my calendar, send an e-mail and such. It’s apparent how easy this monkey mind subconscious can take over. Is anyone else with me on this?  Now the key is to use these unplugging tactics to sustain new habits.  Limit yourself to be on social media for an allotted time that serves you well but doesn't end up highjacking you of precious time that would be better spent elsewhere. 

My mind is often blown when I see how many followers some individuals and brands have and I wonder will I get there, do I need to, does my brand become better if I do? All logical questions I guess when you are a blogger looking to grow your audience and reach to the masses in an inspiring way... but really how important is this pertaining to what I truly value in my life? I hope we're all questioning this at times. 

My purpose on social media is inspiration and branding; seeking and providing. I hope to connect in a positive way with those that may enjoy a little insight into what's helped me along my journey as an actress, yoga instructor and human who seeks sustaining happiness, acceptance and pleasures in everyday joys. I made a deal with myself when I entered the social media craze that posts should be; kind, fun, inspiring and thoughtful and even a little goofy at times... never straying from my authentic self and integrity. It wasn't a place to rant complaints, judge or be negative. My fiancé, Erik and I hope to instill these same morals as we expand our family. We remain curious and interested in how to be great partners and parents with our digital lives. It's fun to connect with family and friends on this level. In addition, those I follow are aligned with my brand Inspirational Addict and provide intentions that support my mind, body & spirit well. 

What I learned:

  • I am far more present in my surroundings and conversations when I'm not scrolling and posting.
  • There is a sense of contentment that arrives when you let go of needing to share everything or see what others are up to.
  • The voices of comparison and questioning how good or useful my content is dissipated. 
  • You pick up where you leave off. Nothing changes, I never felt as though I was missing out... I loved not caring. 
  • How enjoyable it is to listen intently, talk and feel heard and connect organically to each moment of your day.
  • It feels darn good to simply take a break from it all. Meditating and yoga felt even calmer & more connected to myself.

tips for mindful social media:

  • Ask yourself why you're on social media? Get clear about it.
  • Decide the allotted time you should spend per day and stick to it; brand versus personal fun (if you have a brand)
  • Be authentic to who you are with honesty, integrity and wise intentions in your posts.
  • Create content that you enjoy sharing and the audience that loves you for you will come.
  • With-in your allotted time you've established; like and comment with the things that bring you joy.
  • Take a break from all social media every so often. Schedule power down's and observe how that can help you grow. 
Photo by Erik Almas, Kauai Baby Moon

Photo by Erik Almas, Kauai Baby Moon

This has been a particularly special time in my life. Feeling this baby girl growing in my belly day by day and being with Erik traveling to yet another beautiful place I'd never been. I cherish that we both took time to just be together and get connected to what's most important in life; LOVE and FAMILY. No matter where you are geographically or spiritually you have an opportunity to pause and let go of the chaos that being on social media too much can bring and create a healthier digital life. It will not only help you grow as a person but will deepen your connection to everyone you cross paths with. Delight in that.... it's just lovely.

fun fact:

I'm happy to report amongst the long list of National Day's the www.NationalDayCalendar.com added National Day for Unplugging.  It's the first Friday of March every year as of 2017. 

Thank you guys for popping by, I love hearing from you so if you have comments or questions or tips for me, send them my way! Share your unplugging story back with me... Biggest Hugs! 

xo Andrea

 

YOGA AROUND THE WORLD, READY TO WANDER WITH ME?

Does your yoga practice go with you when you travel? My Instagram feed may give the impression I just stop and do yoga photos in some pretty magical places… but behind the feed there is a commitment to the time I spend on my mat no matter where I am in the world. I often seek out a studio in the city I’m in to take a class and experience something new.  What I continue to connect with over and over again is that uplifted feeling I have after I meditate and create space to practice, stretch & breathe; mindfulness is something you can practice anywhere. When I do land in those magical places, often mesmerized by nature, I find that familiar connection to something divine and indulge in the present moment. It's a feeling I want more of. How about you? 

A piece unknown from a LuLuLemon Special Event with Andrea Marcum

A piece unknown from a LuLuLemon Special Event with Andrea Marcum

I have to pinch myself when I scroll through the photos of places I’ve traveled to in my life. It’s more than just a blessing to get to see parts of the world you’ve not been to. There are experiences that stay with you, teach you new things and expand your heart in ways you never imagined. It evolves my capacity to love and appreciate people and different cultures in a beautiful way. Are you with me on this?

Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions
— Peter Hoeg

Together, my soon-to-be hubby, Erik Almas and I are creating a body of work we hope to publish in a book someday. Our travels provide such diverse landscapes that inspire us to dance between looking for the right place and letting the image find us.  We both are beyond grateful for what adventures can do for our souls.  Embracing the moment is what it's all about. As we take in our surroundings and I float into a yoga posture, my talented man is behind the lens capturing something we both have found to be a special place or eyeopening point in time for us. 

Are you ready to take a trip around the world with me?

Big Sur, California

The sun glistened across the mountain tops. Oceanside serenity washed over wave after wave. The majestic trees of the cavernous forest told stories hundreds of years old. 

Santa Theresa, Costa Rica 

Warmth caresses my skin. The rain falls tenderly. Then blue skies and powder puff clouds swirl into shapes floating by. The sun kisses the moon goodnight and silhouettes emerge from the earth. 

Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS

Every shade of fall illuminates this city. Before it is awakened by sounds of foot traffic and children's laughter, the streets are quiet and the canals whisper your name. Alone but not lonely. Beauty lies at every corner of your eye. Energy incapsulates your being.  

Barcelona, SPAIN

Historical monuments lay forth and draw you in to something old world. Pastel colors waltz together in the skyline. Very early in the morning as the street lamps are still lit and the cobblestone alleyways have been swept clean the ambience is full of hidden surprises revealing themselves moment by moment. 

TRONDHEIM & RØROS, NORWAY

Traveling to Erik's home town of Trondheim, Norway was undeniably special. We had a winter wonderland adventure to Røros and each storybook moment engaged my inner child influencing me to play. 

LONDON, ENGLAND

Leaving no cobblestone un-walked upon, London has the capacity to massage your heart and surprise your instincts. Treasures can be found in the nooks and crannies of the streets lined with history even beyond those familiar landmarks subtly grabbing your attention. Walk everywhere and let the city guide you. 

INDIA: OLD DELHI, NEW DELHI, COCHIN, KOVOLAM, AGRA, VARANASI, SARNATH, JAIPUR

Nothing prepared me for the adventures I had in India. We landed in Delhi and for the next 20 days explored from the North to the South and back to the North by plane, bus, train, boat, rickshaw and tuk-tuk. The people, places, stories & culture filled our senses and cracked us open in ways we’ll always cherish & appreciate. The opposing emotions one faces in India grounds you in finding comfort in your discomforts. 

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA

Between the lush, green rolling hills and acres of vineyards harvesting some of the best grapes for wine making in the world,  Sonoma's quiet charm and easy breezy, kick-back style is a calming escape and adventurers delight. Surrendering in nature and all it's wonder and some dangerously good vino. 

DUBAI, U.A.E.

I'd never felt such warmth & softness in thousands of tiny grains of sand laid like the rippling ocean waves beneath my feet as the red dunes of Dubai. A gracious breeze danced & mesmerized my soul. Soaking up the early morning rays is an exhilarating way to indulge in the sun putting a spectacular glow over the city. 

All photos shot by Erik Almas

Thank you to my generous man who lends his talents in our travels to shoot photos together where we get to create something that has intention and purpose, making our adventures that much more special. My parents always took my brother and I places... even if they weren't far away or exotic they sparked a sense that going places meant exploring and having stories to share was fun. That has carried with me and I relish in every blessed opportunity I get to go somewhere new. May my wanderlust ways inspire yours and visa versa. Go places and do more... you will never be sorry for it. 

I have so much more to share so stay tuned and I hope we all get to say that for the rest of our lives. Where are you off to next? Do you have a great adventure bucket list? I love hearing from you guys, leave comments, ask questions, share your favorite travel spot with me... all is welcome!

XO ANDREA

Happy International Women's Day

Ladies all the ladies... louder now... 

Celebrate International Women's Day today in honor of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women (IWC)! Visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women. With a #BeBoldForChange theme today it's inspiring to know how many tremendous women use their courage & bravery to push for change. We are so blessed to have women in history who started this movement and women of today continue building momentum for doing extraordinary things. 

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google image

I am a proud member of The New Hollywood and as we've expanded and created new branches; The New Hollywood LGBT and The New Hollywood Men... I'm even more proud to be amongst this diverse group of and women and men who are change makers, philanthropist and ambitious humans working as individuals and together to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back. 

Whether you're involved in a group like this or not, YOU too can be grand in your efforts to create awareness about the things you support and believe in. We all have a voice, we all matter. 

Photo by Erik Almas in Jaipur, INDIA

Photo by Erik Almas in Jaipur, INDIA

Traveling continues to open my eyes to diversity, cultural experiences, luxuries, inequality, discouraging rules, uplifting opportunities, etc.. I hope that women everywhere continue to strive to speak up, take a stand and propel forward striving to achieve a better life for themselves everywhere and always. 

Changing the world doesn’t happen all at once. It’s an evolution, a sum of a billion tiny sparks and some of those sparks come from you”
— Katie Couric

XOXO ANDREA

 

OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE YET, A LITTLE ONE IS ON THE WAY

What has been your greatest adventure to date? Has it been visiting a place, a crazy experience, a milestone event or ____________ ? You can fill in the blank.

ADVENTURE:

An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.[1] Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting or participating in extreme sports. The term also broadly refers to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, or other major life undertakings.

Life has certainly been filled with a multitude of great adventures thus far. Each in their own element. Often life changing, empowering, liberating, humbling, powerful...etc. I can't imagine that anything will compare to the adventure of becoming parents! Yes, you heard me correctly. Erik and I are graciously embarking on the adventure of a lifetime as we prepare and step into becoming parents this year.  We feel incredibly blessed and share our excitement with all of you. 

Photo By Mike Byrne

Photo By Mike Byrne

This news completely rocks your life in the best way possible and suddenly every decision you make is now with thoughtful intentions about becoming a family. All of you who've experienced this know what I mean right? With a glorious, deep breath in and out, I look forward to this journey.  Erik and I are over the moon!

As a mamma-to-be in my late 30's there are a lot of varying circumstances that can add worry and fear to what's suppose to be a blissful time. So far yoga, meditation and mindful eating have helped me every step of the way with staying healthy, vibrant, accepting of all the emotions and changes I'm discovering. Having support from an incredible partner, family and friends makes this process even sweeter than I knew it could be. I'm thankful. 

As I continue to share life's greatest inspirations here, this will be another wonderful way I get to connect with you. For you amazing humans out there considering, trying, already experiencing parenthood... I send you oodles of love and light in your adventure and always know this is a shared space of community supporting each other.  I cherish hearing from you guys, comments and tips, fun stories... you name it, they're always welcome here. 

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body
— Elizabeth Stone

XO ANDREA

INSPIRED By My Mom, Who Would You Write Your Letter To?

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to your Mom reminiscing about all the things she did that inspired you?  Or anyone special who played a prominent part in your upbringing? A trip down memory lane with them would make you fill up with gratitude... you know that feeling right?

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This is a free write to my mamma... 

You'd wake up and come in singing 'wake up you sleepy head, it's time to get out of bed', give me sweet kisses, a few pats and usually another soft & kind 'rise and shine'. Wild- Tina Turner hair in the mornings. For work days, nicely dressed and simple make-up. A less is more kind of Mom. Always a minimalist pulled together and beautifully natural looking. I would think, wow my mom is pretty. I remember you eating a half of grapefruit in the mornings and making everything from cereal, to donuts holes, to waffles & french toast for Eric and I. You'd put those blue calcium pills next to my plate and see if I might be up for a glass of milk today... juice always won.  I remember you going to aerobics, drinking tea and water, barely drinking alcohol (maybe a wine cooler)... never over-indulging in anything. I remember you working hard at Kroger, Lincoln Homes Sales and our School Office. You took me to dance, the grocery store and to run errands. I'd get to pick my favorite candy bar if I'd been good as we checked out. You took us to see our Grandmas & Grandpa often. You made me the cutest outfits by hand and encouraged me to learn to sew. You always made dinner, we'd sit together and talk about our days. Eric and I would be little shits and you and dad would threaten us with the chicken paddle that hung on the wall. Even when I'd come home from college and LA you'd still make my favorites; ham and beans with lots of cornbread, chicken and dumplings (extra dumplings), spaghetti with garlic toast. If I wasn't a gluten free pain in the butt, you'd still do it today. You'd let me have a pile of peanut butter with my crispy bacon. Corn curls with honey and my favorite grape & sunkiss orange soda. We had to pick green beans from our garden. We ate what you prepared, a balanced meal and asked permission 'may I please be excused' to get up from the table. I learned how to vacuum and dust to help you and earn allowances. We had to make our beds. A summer of doing the laundry helped me get my trampoline. You and dad traveled and went wonderful places like Portugal, Jamaica, Kentucky and lots of others. You did so many arts and crafts with me. Remember the paper angels we decorated with colored pencils and glitter, they took forever we did so many and set them on the TV stand for the holidays? We played games, we walked outside and rode bikes. We played frisbee, catch and swam, gave tennis a few shots. I tried roller skating, ice skating with your skates you had when you were young. You helped us with school work and projects. You got me a keyboard when I really was excited about piano. I had all those crazy sticker books you let me fill with pages and pages of stickers. Toys I begged for found their way under the Christmas tree. You insisted on using manners; always please, thank you, please be quiet- never shut-up. Endless trips to friends houses for sleepovers, dance class and competitions. Giving up so much of your time to be present for Eric and I with anything we did. You always said 'just do your best and smile' and don't bite your lip or play with your hair.

You took so many pictures of us kids. We did so much together. I got to have a Birthday party every year! Camping, boating, fishing trips, vacations, slumber parties, activities, the zoo, science center, roller skating, movies, shopping, mini golf, six flags and water parks. We had awesome Halloween costumes and school play outfits because of your creativity and talent. We have our special holiday movies; "Miracle on 34th Street" for me and "Scrooge" for Eric. Even tho I was a pickle often about church, I loved Sunday's. Family day, together for church, brunch after and usually something together outside. You read the 'period' book with me and although this was embarrassing at the time I'm thankful you communicated and shared with me what was going to happen to my body as I became a woman. You made Dr. appointments and helped me understand growing up and changes. You visited me in college, Japan and take time to come to LA often. We took a mother/daughter vacation to Cabo and it was awesome. You have hand written me cards dazzled with support and encouragement consistently since I moved out of the house at 18.. I have a keep sake box filled to the brim. I observed you having strength, courage, vulnerability, and joy. You we're quiet and more reserved but not uncommunicative, just never needing to be loud or the center of attention. Always having such grace with the way you spoke, friends you cared for, dancing with Dad, holding me and being the kind of mother that any child would be so blessed to have. This is just a peek at some of the stuff I vividly remember... the things that shaped me, supported me, taught me well and will continue to inspire me to strive to be a woman, wife & mom like you. I'm eternally grateful for all you do for me and our family. Thank you Mom for being you. 

In honor of her Birthday this week... Happy Birthday Mamma! 

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
— Washington Irving

May this encourage you to take stroll into memory lane for a moment and tell the people who helped guide you and shape you, some of the reasons why. What brought a smile to your face and appreciation to your soul. I love the idea of not only giving yourself this opportunity to feel such gratitude but sharing it with those who mean the world to you, perhaps in an old fashion written letter? Lot's of love to you always, comments, questions and shared experiences are always welcome here! I love hearing from you guys.

XO ANDREA

 

Fill Today With LOVE... HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

Happy Valentines Day Everyone! 

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Pinterest

I know this is one of those commercial holidays that depending on how you look at it, may not be your favorite day... I've been there and can pretty much guarantee, we've all been there at one time or another, am I right? Let's see if we can shift our perspective and let go of that feeling.

Today doesn't have to be about celebrating the LOVE you're either In or Not In with someone else but it can be simply about celebrating LOVE.  You can make it a day that feels amazing no matter what your relationship status is.  And ladies I say, if you're waiting on a guy to overly woo you, I would maybe focus on wooing him... for the joy of doing it and not worry about what you get in return. Try it on for size if you never have... see how that feels? 

TIPS ON WOOING HIM

  • Make the dinner reservation at his favorite spot
  • Call for the uber
  • Cook dinner for him
  • Create something personal for him; photo book, memory video
  • Leave a handwritten card; in his lap top, under pillow, on his car seat

TIPS ON WOOING YOU

  • Take your favorite fitness class today
  • Schedule a self love day; mani/pedi, massage, facial
  • Meditate; visualize the love you want to have in your life
  • Plan a dinner with friends
  • Have a cozy PJ night and watch a funny movie
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Pinterest

As I save the best for last... indulge in a sensual desert for the love of LOVE! My personal favorite are dark chocolate or yogurt covered strawberries. They are really fun to make too should you want to give that a go...

Click here  for a recipe from the Food Network I love. I used the stove top versus microwave and organic strawberries. Mine didn't turn out quite this pretty but I am sure equally delicious!

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Pinterest

Have a loving day no matter what! Tell the people in your life your love them, share your joy with people around you. If you have any fun tips you want to add to the mix, leave them in the comments, I love hearing from you guys. All you need is LOVE.

XO ANDREA

BECOME A DARK CHOCOLATE LOVER, WHY YOU ASK?

Hi... do you love chocolate? Or sweets? When you have one sweet treat do you want more and more? Is it hard to cut back on sugar? Let's chat, cause you are not alone!

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Pinterest

Pinterest

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Now I did not put those photos there for you to start salivating over, although I'd agree my mouth is kinda getting watery... which is all good. 

Let me share with you a little vulnerability and how dark chocolate has come to the rescue. Not so many years ago as I cut way back on drinking alcohol, I unintentionally replaced that with a full blown sugar addiction. As I started peeling back some layers it became apparent I had been using both of those things to mask feelings that ultimately I needed to face and work through. So in my quest to heal which began with changing my diet completely and having that calling to jump on my yoga mat regularly, I discovered dark chocolate along the way. Make no misunderstanding, dark chocolate was not my healer to life's issues but it did become a healthy alternative to the overload of processed sugars I used to consume, like in the photos above. 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

I'd like to think of my dark chocolate consumption now as a Daily Joy. Do I still have a cookie, bowl of ice cream or a piece of birthday cake... absolutely, I would never completely deny myself of life's greatest little delights. But that is a once-in-a-while joy not an everyday joy like it once was treading on. Becoming gluten free has been one of the best things for me and due to reactions in my body that immediately tell me processed sugary, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, wheat containing goodies hate me... it's been a blessing to my overall health. 

It was all sort of a process I went through but as I started really nourishing my body with organic food regularly the sugar cravings lessoned. I often was depriving myself of necessary nutrients that would usually keep your blood sugar balanced and by mid-day I'd essentially plummet into hypoglycemia and suddenly my body would scream for something and it was always sugar that I reached for. Makes sense doesn't it? I needed a nutritionists help to figure this all out but once I realized what I was doing to my own health, I had to get into a better routine. No exceptions. 

Dear Body,
I love you, I accept you, I see you. I promise to cherish you all the days of my life
— Unknown
Photo By John Hong

Photo By John Hong

As I disciplined myself, I also acknowledged the joys of balance. I honored that I was not going to cut out sweets completely, that would just be rude to do to myself. As dark chocolate entered my life I started trying different forms of it and cacao percentages. Some days I'd have a square and other days an entire bar but by keeping one in my cabinet regularly it's helped me not have has much over all.  My tastebuds have grown to love it and I feel darn good about consuming it, in moderation. No apologies. 

Buying quality dark chocolate with high cocao content is actually quite nutritious. Besides one of the best reasons; IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, there's a plethora of research out there that will have you swooning over it soon enough. So if you've suffered from the sugar binges like myself,  may I inspire you to put down the processed junk and dive into exploring some dark chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  In combination with nutritious, organic meals you'll be on a path to healthier living– YOU got this!

A few of my favorites:

If I've not convinced you yet check out this great article on Huffington post I found as I wanted to do a little more research for myself... 9 Reasons You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Well this turned out to be another really fun little bit to share with you all. If it resonates with you or you can relate and want to share, leave me a comment or feel free to e-mail me and by all means if you have a treat you'd like to share, hook a sister up!  Just remember every choice we make can be the start of something bigger and wiser for our over all good. I say hail to the dark chocolate and become a lover. 

XO Andrea

 

LOVE IS EVERYWHERE, DO YOU TAKE TIME TO SEE IT?

Hello there, how are you guys today?  

I've recently re-read my blog intro and realized I have a little updating to do! I'm struck by the notion that so much of what brings me joy is taking time to see the little daily doses of love that surround us. Since I didn't have a category titled "Everyday Joys" I was inclined to create one.  I hope this will be a space for weekly posts, simple and true that uplift YOU! That rhymed... a poet and I didn't know it, how fun! 

Ask yourself: Do you take time to see & feel love daily? Do you pause long enough to enjoy the presence of it? What does it look like for you? Can I inspire you to soak it up?

Just a few short weeks ago I found myself in the winter wonderland of Aré, Sweden tucked into a beautiful log cabin with my fiancé, Erik to wrap up 2016 with some wonderful friends. I stroll into the kitchen and catch myself gazing through delicate heart wreath’s hanging in the window and out into the magic of Mother Nature. I smile, I feel peaceful and simply; am reminded that LOVE is everywhere. 

Take time to see it. 

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The common eye only sees the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and sees and reads the heart and soul finding there capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect.
— Mark Twain

Lot's of love to you all and I hope 2017 is bringing you lot's of joyful moments so far. I love hearing from you guys, so drop me a comment or question if you have one... anytime.

XO ANDREA

BATHING YOURSELF IN LOVE...

Who doesn't love to run a hot bath and slip into some bubbles once in a while? This is not just for the ladies, gentlemen... if you've neglected to treat yourself to this form of relaxation, what are you waiting for?  Come one, come all, fill the tub and set up for the mood you're in.  You can create any kind of environment you want here. A hot tea and a good book with the window cracked, let the fresh air blow in. Or how about dimming the lights, fire up a few candles and sip a glass of wine with some calming classical music, maybe you can talk your partner into washing your back?  What if you put on some fun tunes, let the kids grab their water toys and add some extra suds for them to splash around for a bit?  Bath time can be such a lovely way to unwind and settle-in to some self love and create space for that necessary unplugging time.

When a cozy tub presents itself in a lovely hotel room you can bet I will find time to enjoy it... you ready to go to a few of them with me?

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

As all the leaves have been beautifully changing through fall & winter and the cold is sweeping over LA I'm reminded of my time in Amsterdam where we landed at The Dylan for a few days. It's by far one of the cutest, hippest and comfiest places I've stayed. I looked for the seven dwarfs for a moment, the vaulted wood-beam ceilings reminded me of the cottage from "Snow White." Quaint with so much personality and a to-die for deep, ceramic encased tub perched delicately in front the autumn colored trees dancing in the view from the window.  I slipped in with an aroma therapy candle lit, read a few chapters of "Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks" before drifting into a day dream, feeling the crisp air gently brush over my face. Wonderment ensues.

Next tub stop is The Grand Ferdinand Hotel in Vienna, Austria. A sexy stand-alone, white-porcelain, antique claw foot tub. This one claimed my attention with a glass of wine, bubbles and some music.  What a delightful way to warm up after an afternoon in the cold exploring with my man while he was on location shooting. Relaxing ensues.

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Well hello there from down under... we've now arrived at a private island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef exclusively hosting the One&Only Hayman Island Luxury Resort, Australia. This modern soaker complete with glowing ground effects was plenty spacious for two. It blatantly invited us to fill it to the brim,  stretch out and unwind.... so that's exactly what we did. Romance ensues.

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Last stop for this tub tour is The Battery, San Fransisco. Let's face it, I fell in love with this entire bathroom. Another gorgeous, stand-alone acrylic haven accented with the handy caddy for setting your cup of tea and book on. Why haven't I thought of using that before? After rising before the sun to shoot a job in the chilly SF morning temps... I couldn't wait to kick off the heels and return to this space. I pressed play with one of my Deepak Oprah Guided Meditations, set the phone on the caddy and felt my mind and body settle into this delicious present moment.  Mindfulness ensues.

If you guys ever venture to any of these places, I hope you take up my suggestion to find some time to soothe your soul a bit in this fashion. These hotels are all worthy of more then just tub talk but that will be another post! At some point we all need a Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman bath tub moment singing your favorite song, allowing yourself to just feel, embracing the very simple idea of a darn good bath. You deserve it.

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DETOX SOAK: 20 min max

  • Mix up 1 cup of baking soda, 2 cups of epsom salt  (Tree Hut) and 10 drops of some mood enhancing, certified organic, therapeutic essential oils (Doterra). I love wild orange, lemon, peppermint for invigorating and for relaxing I combine lavender & bergamot. 
  • Moisturize yourself after with some organic coconut oil to rehydrate your skin
  • Consult your doctor if you're pregnant before bathing in oils or have any other concerns to your health.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you have any great soaking tips for me, send them my way in comments. Any great hotels with amazing bathtubs you've experienced are welcome to please. Make time for you... you won't regret it, ever. 

XO ANDREA

A NEW YEAR, A CLEAN SLATE... ARE YOU READY?

First of all... Happy New Year you amazing souls!

Isn't the start of a new year the biggest breath of fresh air?  

Whether you are they type of person who outlines your resolutions and goals for the year or someone who takes it in strides choosing one thing you'd like to focus on out of the gate.... do yourself a favor and keep it simple and clear.  I start with identifying what is going to serve myself and my life best and consider what it will take to make the change or changes. I'm fortunate to be part of a women's group ( www.TheNewHollywood.org ) in LA that provides the members with a guide book. It's a wonderful tool if used effectively that can help you create and manifest what you'd like to achieve and see happen in a year. We break it into quarters with points of focus for each that support our twelve goals or aspirations we've outlined. Although it takes time to sit down and do, it allows for more clarity and you simplify how to get there. I accomplish much more in a year since I joined this supportive group and use the book. There's certainly a plethora of ways to bring more joyful peace & motivation into your world and they don't have to be written down or outlined in a book, that is just a process I'm enjoying. I say do what works for you. Maintain the things that are already working and enjoy the possibilities of discovering something new. As we leap into 2017 together with enthusiasm, can I inspire you to fill it with gratitude and intentions in any form that serves you well? 

 
Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, Australia

 
 
Photos snapped by Erik Almas

Photos snapped by Erik Almas

 

My yoga & meditation practices are other incredible tools that have changed my life.  I'm profoundly more gracious and accepting of all the things I don't get done and take time to reflect on all the things that I do, which is a freeing space to be in. The awareness you create with mindful exercises will expand your life whether you had that intention or not. It's pretty great when it surprises you and suddenly you now know what to shift around to make them a priority for yourself. I trust they've been healing my soul and guiding me to a healthy lifestyle from the inside out for years now. It's an ever-evolving journey that thrills me as I jump on my mat over and over again and embrace the challenges of being able to sit quietly with myself. My passion for writing about it and sharing it with students as an instructor comes from what it's done for me. I will always encourage you to find the physical and mindful activities that make your spirit soar, that shake you up and make you feel alive. You will never be sorry for finding a way to incorporate them into your days regularly. Go get'm! 

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Pinterest

I'm wising you all so much love, light and happiness for a beautiful 2017. I love hearing from you guys so don't hesitate to leave a  comment if something you do is working great too, I love the exchange of tips and helpful resources for each other.  I hope Inspirational Addict can continue to be a place you come that lifts you up and makes you smile with our shared vulnerabilities, stories, experiences and adventures of life! I've cherished all the comments and e-mails this year and look forward to the year ahead. 

With Love & Gratitude XO, Andrea

 

 

Happy Holidays With Love & Cheer

Tis the season to feel full of gratitude and love for all your many blessings.... right? 

Snap by Erik Almas

Snap by Erik Almas

It's been a beautiful day full of relaxing, great meals, exchanging of gifts, holiday movie favorites, stories and the comfort of being surrounded by loved one's in my parents cozy home. On this very Merry Christmas Eve I've had the time to sit quietly as I feel the warmth of the fire, the twinkling Christmas tree lights, the smell of peppermint oil being misted into the air and the simplicity of just being present. My heart feels so full. 

I love taking time as the year wraps up to write and reflect . As we all know it's easy to get overwhelmed and complain we don't have enough time to get everything done we'd like to do but can I inspire you to take time to do this one thing?  

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR 2016 GRATITUDES

  • grab a notebook and write 
  • sit quietly and think about them
  • use your notes on your cell phone and plug them in

There is no pressure to make it a lengthy list or take more than 10 to 15 minutes to do this. However, I'm going to ask you to enjoy doing it! Praise your accomplishments no matter how big or small and see them physically written or in your minds-eye and honor yourself for all you do in a year. These are the building blocks of joy that shine light into our souls and help us get clear to see what's next for 2017. You're amazing! 

From my family to your's enjoy the Holidays! Sending you all blessings, cheer and all the joys this time of year brings. 

XO Andrea

 

Inspirational Addict Celebrates One Year... I'm Sharing Tips, let's cheer together?

Awe it's been another Soulful Sunday for me, how about for you guys? Are you ready to rock this week? I feel your smile getting bigger... well keep it up, I need a cheer section because I'm celebrating and I'm bringing you guys with me!

Photo By Erik Almas in Amsterdam

Photo By Erik Almas in Amsterdam

One year of sharing INSPIRATION as a blogger has me super giddy! The blessings of world travels, snapping photos everywhere go and journaling my fingers off is supplying me with a blog library filled to the brim. I’ve experienced joy in writing like I never knew I could and it feels darn good to pay forward the things that help me in life with the hopes to inspire even just one person.  My dedication to writing has improved and I’m thrilled to keep it up! It has not come without challenges, frustrations, mistakes and resistance at times but I've been accepting that as part of the process of learning. The support with Inspirational Addict has been such a gift to my soul. All the partnerships, comments, likes, shares, insights and some incredibly beautiful e-mails have touched my heart in ways you can't imagine. It's exactly the kind of community and connection with all of you I was looking forward to. THANK YOU for sharing pieces of you back with me.  

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible
— Maya Angelou
Photo By Erik Almas in Kovalam, India

Photo By Erik Almas in Kovalam, India

I remember, for years…literally years, writing in journals, “start your blog.” Constantly brainstorming names, subject matter, ideas, lessons, passions and writing a lot, but never doing it. I was researching how to start a blog forever it seemed. So as I celebrate one year, I'm proud to say "I finally did it!!"  It took some helpful resources and hunkering down with a plan to figure out how I'd get the first one published. 

Do you have anything you want to celebrate with me? Of course you do… these are the treasures that we can build more inspiration, love and enthusiasm on! So think of something your proud of AND let’s cheer together! We all have daily wins... big and small, cherish them and use them as building blocks of goodness to take you higher. I know you have aspirations, brilliant ideas and goals you'd like to put energy into, right?  As we close another year it's such a great time to think about 2017. What amazing things are you going to accomplish this upcoming year? These basic tips can help get you going and be applied to anything that you're going to get focused on. 

Tip #1: brainstorm as a free write what you'd like to accomplish

Give yourself some freedom here. Set your timer for 10 minutes and jot down all the things that come to mind you'd like to see in 2017. After your timer goes off, circle one that instinctually feels most important to YOU. Just start with one. You can circle your top 10 later doing the same process for each.   

Tip #2: Outline briefly what it will take to get there

When you can visualize and see it written, you will take those steps to make happen. Let there be as many steps as there needs to be. This will help you get clear on your commitment. 

Tip #3: create accountability for yourself

This is potentially the most powerful part. Whether you grab a buddy and have check-in's or you jot down deadlines for your steps... you must hold court and do your best to be accountable. Remember it's a process lead with positivity and patience if something isn't fully met.  Having a partner, friend or family share this experience is a great way to bond and support one another.  

Several things lead to the extra nudge I needed to launch Inspirational Addict and it all circulated around me taking hours for a few days to sit at a coffee shop with the book "Your Best Year Yet". You've probably heard me mention, The New Hollywood, the women's goals and philanthropy group I joined in 2015 as well that's been an integral part of my growth and dedication. In support of what My Best Year Yet offers, TNH provides a useful guide book that I choose to put in that same effort with and NEWSFLASH; It's going to be available to the public in 2017.  Breaking down the year into quarters and what I'm going to focus on each quarter with my partner is a great way to see accomplishments and not overwhelm yourself. Between the support with this group of incredible women and with Erik, my fiancé and I always communicating about these things, really listening and offering assistance on how to help... I'm feeling like one blessed human whose thriving and being held accountable in a gracious manner.  I see my life unfolding not perfectly and not with every goal I wrote down being checked off but so filled with love and happiness and 90% are things I wrote, visualized, prayed for and kept positive thoughts about. I'm grateful for an incredible year. 

So hop to it over the Holidays... have some fun, create YOUR 2017 in writing, with vision boards, send yourself a long VM recording... whatever works for you! 

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Photo By Erik Almas in Delhi, India 

Photo By Erik Almas in Delhi, India 

Are you an Inspirational Addict too? Lend me your comments on what that means to you if so? I'm excited to have you all continue to be a part of this piece of me that hopes to blossom more and more and see this community of LOVE grow into something really special for us all. 

XO Andrea

Evolving From A Multitasker to A Singletasker... You Ready?

Hello wonderful humans! I'm coming right out to ask... are you constantly tempted to multitask?

According to the Author of The One Thing "Since the 1920’s the word multitasking has existed but it was’t until the 1960’s that it was being used to describe computers, not something the human race did."

A girlfriend calls: “Hi Dre what are you doing?” 

Me: “I’m multitasking a million things like champ, getting stuff done… you?”

I admit it, that’s actually come out of my mouth for years now. I wore that phrase like a badge of honor, truly believing I was efficient in doing many things at once. Thankfully several resources including meditation, yoga and helpful literature have all inspired me to see how ineffective multitasking actually is. I'm challenged continuously and catch myself over and over again having to stop, realize I'm doing it and change my patterns. 

For example; I can memorize lines for an audition as I listen to upbeat music with lyrics, I can be on the phone and attentively listen as I unload groceries, I can read articles and pay bills on line switching from tab to tab while also creating Spotify playlists for my yoga sessions. These are are just a few of the things I thought I could do at the same time and do well. It really wasn't until I began consistently going to yoga that more awareness of myself & distracting habits surfaced and meditation helped me understand how to practice changing it. Get connected to the word practice, I use it a lot and find so much comfort knowing my growth lies in my commitment to practice... EVERYTHING. 

Snap By Erik Almas at the Taj Mahal in Agra, INDIA

Snap By Erik Almas at the Taj Mahal in Agra, INDIA

In the middle of writing an important email you stop and switch tabs to your on-line banking to pay some bills, then you decide to hop up and make a snack then back to the computer, someone texts you and you start engaging and before you know it you’ve just wasted two hours and not completed one thing. This is embarrassingly sometimes my day. I don’t want to pull anyone down here with me… but tell me I’m not alone? 

When I look at my todo list, I know I’m notorious for making long one’s. I even put the lists into categories and it’s still daunting. It's quite aggressive to think I could get it all done in a month let alone a few days. Do you do this too? It’s my attention span that often has to be redirected. How disrupted are you by your own thoughts? It's apparent that distractions surround us constantly and we will drive ourselves nuts if we don’t create a unique, personalized system that releases our ideal of doing several things at once. Let's start there. Deep breath in and out... and release the need. 

We want to actually complete tasks, we want to feel amazing about getting multiple things done... but in order of importance not scrambling them together like your best breakfast omelette, right? So how do we redirect our energy into doing one thing at a time? I love the juggler analogy The One Thing uses, "even a juggler, catches one ball at a time." 

TIP #1: IDENTIFY WHEN YOU'RE MULTITASKING

Catch yourself and pause. Reflect for a beat about it bringing awareness around it. Re-direct your actions into what's most important and follow through on one single task. Then move onto the next. Have a chuckle about it. 

TIP #2: ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT

Challenge yourself to be completely present in doing one thing at a time. Notice how different you feel. Enjoy and appreciate how wonderful it is. 

TIP #3: ENGAGE IN A MEDITATION PRACTICE

For me, this is it. Meditation is what calms the mind and creates a rich connection to the self and your ability to be still. Try 5 minute MOODBOOSTS with me as I talk you through various ways to quiet the mind with the Mindsail App. Sit with your beautiful self and love it. 

Snap by Erik Almas in Sarnath, INDIA

Snap by Erik Almas in Sarnath, INDIA

I have no doubt without yoga and meditations I’d be a total basket case still trying to master the art of multitasking, determined to be the best at it. No matter what your fitness routine or mindful practice is... can I inspire you to capture the essence of slowing down and taking one thing at a time?  With how fast things come at us these days, connecting to your ability to enjoy something moment by moment will enrich your capacity to be present with yourself, the tasks you want to achieve and others who are graced with your presence more and more. I'm with you on this journey, I love the challenge it presents and look forward to doing less with more focus as a singletasker. 

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any great tips about being a better singletasker... send them my way! Let me know if you find any of these tips helpful... share your progress! I'm so proud of all of you. 

BLISSFULLY ENGAGED & INSPIRED

Well, what can I say... I've been dreaming of the day I'd fall in love with the man I felt certain I'd get to grow old with. I've watched Father of the Bride more times than I'll admit, noted the song, When You Say Nothing At All and a few others as potential wedding tunes and looked forward to the day my Dad could walk me down the isle. We all enjoy a good love story don't we? Here is a little piece of mine....

Photo By Tania Soderman

As a woman in my 30's, may I give recognition to an old English phrase from 1892 extolling the virtue of patience, "All things come to those who wait" often used as "Good things come to those who wait" [Wikipedia], both of which I'm fond of and have always found inspiring. I know we can all attest, one's romantic life isn't just rose petals and dreamy moments but I believe when you allow yourself to be open, get clear on who you are and trust the timing of your life— when the good arrives, you are ready and it will light you up and fill you with love and gratitude beyond measure. 

Photo by Tania Soderman

I was pretty certain after a short time, Erik was the one. So aligned as we'd share our hopes and dreams. It became evident we both were excited about getting married, starting a family,  continue to support and challenge each other and look forward to the years of growing wiser and older through it all.  Even after countless conversations, laughs and smiles about looking forward to doing all these things .. nothing prepared me for the emotional moment he surprised me with popping the question, "Andrea Bogart, will you be my wife"? A blubbering and ecstatic "yes of course I'll be your wife" came out of me. 

Our families; my mom and dad, his mom and grandpa, all were in Sonoma for a few days overlapping one another's travels for Thanksgiving and we were so excited to have them meet and visit our Sonoma home. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend together and planned to continue to relax, walk, shop, eat and hang together on Monday.  Our families came up with a few reasons why they couldn't go on our favorite hike with us mid-morning. Not thinking anything of it we took off to quickly do it on our own. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, I was in my usual Aloyoga attire and Erik in sweats... we were off! The hike takes us about 45 minutes usually and sits in the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma Valley. We often stop and take some yoga photos and I force Erik to do some Instagram stories with me and we repeatedly talk about how much we love the variety of what nature showcases on this hike. The sky above is a perfect blue with powdery white clouds, the water is flowing through the creek from all the rain, giant mushrooms are sprouting along the path, I'm snapping photos of clover patches & yellow leaves the size of my face, the sun is glistening upon the dewy ground and red berry trees dazzle against the lush shades of green. My soul is soothed. 

 At the half-way point is an adorable, little pond we always stop at. As we neared it this day, I see an old wooden canoe. Blonde as blonde can be I say, "what the heck is a canoe doing here"? Erik says "come on, let's take it out". I reply with a concerned "honey, we can't just take out someones canoe". I notice a pep in Eriks step and as he spins around with a huge smile on his face. Walking closer, I now recognize it's the vintage canoe we shot a piece for our wine launching Stories By The Glass recently and in it laid one gorgeous white rose.  I'm feeling so many things at once; confusion, oh my gosh what's he doing, overjoyed, emotional, shaky, madly in love, nervous, excited, how did he manage all this... lot's of rapid thoughts. He takes my hands we climb in and paddle out. The water calms, I suddenly feel so at peace looking into the eyes of this amazing man. Loving words are exchanged. A stunning ring is placed on my finger. Tears of joy have filled our eyes. I want to leap into his arms but the wobbly canoe advises otherwise. We laugh and enjoy it.  We're Engaged! 

Photo By Tania Soderman
Photo By Tania Soderman

Photo By Tania Soderman

Photo By Tania Soderman

Glowing with happiness, Erik informs me our wonderful and talented friend Tania Soderman is hiding in the bushes taking photos, along with the three hardworking gentlemen it took to get the canoe there and Howard the canoe owner.  As we got out to finish the hike and they all emerged from the forrest. I was astounded at the help and generosity he had from several friends to pull this off. And now we are to finish the hike and head home to an intimate engagement party that's waiting for us, Erik explains! What!!!? Am I in a romance novel?

I see my family and his, dressed up waiting for us on the patio that's lined with gorgeous roses everywhere. As I hug him again I'm completely flooded with emotions and I spread that joyous, messy cry to our families. Continuing in, there are dozens of white roses showcasing our beautiful home, additional smiles and congratulations from some close friends that have joined and one of our favorite Sonoma restaurants, The Girl And The Fig is catering. It's all so touching and special. I pull myself together with a quick shower and change out of my yoga attire and into something more suitable and enjoy celebrating all together over an incredible meal and champagne toasts! 

This has been one of the most special times of my life. As my loving brother says, "sis, you've found someone that really shows and expresses how much you mean to him and that's awesome". I cherish how blessed I am to have someone like Erik and I will strive to always make him feel that, as always he does me. I've gotten choked up over and over again writing this. His grandpa asked if it felt different now. I think the most exciting difference for me is calling each other fiancé out loud... it's so fun and exciting to hear it and say it. I love it! Not to mention the rush of love we've felt pouring in from all of our friends, families and those supporting the next steps in our journey is incredible. 

Everyone helped so much and played a part and pulling this surprise off and I'm incredibly thankful. A special thank you to Howard, for so graciously gifting us that canoe. It's magnificent & we have such a special connection to now. And Erik... there is a lifetime of love that awaits us and I'm so very happy to share it with you. 

Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star
— E.E. Cummings

I hope love inspires you everyday in some way. Let it guide your heart to wondrous places and share it with the world. Thank you for stopping by and if you have a favorite love quote or song or story you want to share in the comments, please do! I enjoy our little Inspirational Addict community and hope it grows and grows! 

Black Friday Shop Carbon38

Hi there! Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. 

I just wanted to share my extra special discount I get for being an ambassador for Carbon38. They carry tons of great styles and brands you can choose from on-line. Aloyoga and Teeki are a few of my favorites. For a limited time Carbon38 has a pop-up shop on Robertson if you prefer to peruse in store... so hop on over before Jan. 31, 2017! 



AlOYOGA Airbrush Legging

AlOYOGA Airbrush Legging

ALOYOGA Coast Legging

ALOYOGA Coast Legging

Happy Shopping Loves!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING LOVE

From me to you... I'm wishing you all a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude.  I'm incredibly thankful for all of you supporting Inspirational Addict and my life journey. Thank you so very much for sharing your kindness with me. 

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Pinterest

Snap by Erik Almas on our Thanksgiving Day Morning Walk

Snap by Erik Almas on our Thanksgiving Day Morning Walk

Love and Blessings to you and your families! Enjoy the dayl

5 Mindful Tips For Maintaining Your Vibrant Energy This Holiday Season

Hello there, hope you're having a wonderful, Soulful Sunday!  

Photo by Erik Almas in Amsterdam

Photo by Erik Almas in Amsterdam

November and December are often the months that become the most challenging to carve out time for our mindful activities and physical exercise. We are inundated with social gatherings, cooking, travel plans, shopping, wrapping gifts, kids programs, entertaining guests and all the extra holiday prepping.  For many, it's a time of stress and letting go of those mindful choices we've been so diligent with. We can and should allow the holidays to be a time of enjoyment with family and friends but doesn't have to be a time of loosing our health. So let's make a plan for maintaining our vibrant energy this holiday season, are you with me? 

Photo By Erik Almas in Vienna

Photo By Erik Almas in Vienna

Making some commitments to yourself is a great place to start. Decide how you want to feel during the holidays. Set an uplifting, positive intention for yourself and refer to it in those moments of challenge. For example, "I'm thankful for the abundance of love and healthy choices that support me this holiday season". Try these 5 mindful, energizing tips I've found to be helpful.

Tip #1 Hydrate Right: 

Drinking approximately eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day. Proper hydration is beneficial for so many things; glowing skin, digestion, fatigue from dehydration, to name a few. Carry a water bottle with you all day and pay attention to the water you drink. Purified and alkalized can be more replenishing. I also fill up a glass of water before I go to bed and drink it as soon as I wake up, one glass down. Whoop Whoop water is good!

Tip #2 Shop Mindfully For You and Your Family:

You'll reach for healthy snacks and prepare more conscious meals when you have healthy food to choose from. When the cookie jar is out... it's hard for the whole family to keep their paws off. Try having a fruit bowl out instead. In today's market of GMO's and an abundance of sugars put unnecessarily in our food, it's never been more important to read the ingredients. Help you and your family eat healthy and buy organic whenever you can. We the consumer can have a huge impact in the food industry through what we buy and don't buy.  You got this. 

Tip #3 Schedule Your Physical Exercise:

When your calendar reads; go to the store, kids holiday program, dentist appointment... add walk for 30 minutes, stretch my limbs or some physical exercise you know you enjoy to that calendar too. Involve a friend or the family, buddy systems make it even better. Move your body at least 3 days a week. Even more if you are regularly active. Seeing it scheduled in your daily calendar is so helpful. Remember how great you feel after and stay committed. You're awesome.

Tip #4 Delight In Saying No:

The holidays are filled with a lot of offerings which can lead to over-indulging and over-committing. Invitations galore, another glass of wine, desert buffets, spiked eggnog and more. Create some awareness for yourself and try not to be neurotic about it, find the joy in moderation. Say no to the invitations you truly don't mind missing or have time for and use your will-power when the food and drinks are offered repeatedly. You're so gracefully strong!

Tip #5 Get OutDoors: 

There is nothing better than stepping outside to smile at the sun and breathe in some fresh air. No matter where you are, can you be the one who says, "let's go outside, toss the ball around, go for a stroll, play in the leaves, build a snow-man, explore a new area"? Of course you can. You'll also be tapping into that child-like energy that always feels uplifting. Get back into your body with some deep breaths and let nature boost your mood and calm you down all at the same time. How fun are you?

Photo By Erik Almas in Norway

Photo By Erik Almas in Norway

How do you guys feel? I hope some of these tips are things you find manageable and helpful through the holidays. I love hearing from you so reach out anytime. Let me know what's working and what's not, I'm here for you! I wish you a healthy and happy kick-off to the holiday season. 

To enjoy good health, to bring happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him
— Buddha

 

 

 

Let's Make World Kindness Day Everyday

Hi everyone, Happy World Kindness Day! What can you do to consciously add more kindness into your life? This is a win win for all and worthy of thinking about.

I started writing this blog last week not knowing world kindness day was today, Nov. 13th. I love synchronicity. There is no time like the present to be more mindful about kindness. Are you with me?

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You can never go wrong when you think, act & engage from a place of kindness. Do you know people like this? The type that light up rooms with their infectious energy and can turn a dim environment into people laughing and smiling suddenly? We all have the capability of being this type of person. It’s often our stories we tell ourselves, disappointments, insecurities and layers of things that weigh us down throughout life that get in our own way. Kindness is pure and simple. It’s an innate emotion to be shared and felt by all. 

Do you remember your first feeling of kindness? We are so tiny when we learn to smile, wave hello & goodbye, share things, blow kisses, say please, thank you & you're welcome. The manners we are taught as children is where it begins and how we choose to carry that into adulthood is up to us. Kindness creates connection which can have a beautiful rippling affect. How you make others feel says a lot about who you are.  

Let's get our wheels turning:

  1. Think kind thoughts toward yourself
  2. Connect to others with smiles and simple manners during your day
  3. Do a random act of kindness and enjoy the reaction
Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world
— Pema Chodron

HOW AWARE ARE WE?

Hi there lovelies, hope you're having a beautiful Sunday.

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

How aware are we I ask?  

We can be aware of the obvious things for sure; emotions we feel, our responsibilities, the routine of how we move through our days, food we eat, amount of exercise we get, what we tune-in to and tune-out, judgments we make on ourselves, energy we put out into the world… you get the idea. Do you ever wonder if you’re just going through the motions of life missing out on that deeper connection to your self-awareness? And even more importantly, how does your answer make you feel?

A few helpful questions to increase your awareness with the examples I listed above:

  1. Do you push away emotions or invited them in? 
  2. Are you enjoying or dreading your responsibilities?
  3. How present are you as you move through your day?
  4. Do you make food choices that support your health and goals?
  5. Is it important to you that you get daily physical exercise?
  6. What kind of environment are you creating for yourself? 
  7. Are you judging the choices you make with compassion or negative self talk?
  8. Would the people in your environment say you are kind, loving and joyful to be around?
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I truly believe, through our awareness it as just as easy to create wonderful, life changing habits as it is to fall into bad ones. It’s the desire to be aware that will dictate how much you enrich your life and strive for your greatest potential. We all want this don’t we? Take a moment to smile here and thank yourself for the awareness you have and trust that you are only going to expand and grow from here on out! 

Various circumstances and mainly excuses kept me from committing to a yoga practice many years ago and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to meditate. Sit still and be quiet, oh my... I couldn’t do that, that’s just weird unless I’m sleeping… would have been my inner monologue. When I landed in a yoga practice I loved, I began to lean-in to how I could expand my awareness and that uplifted me. Being a witness to the challenges I faced on my mat revealed the same challenges I had in life and I wanted to look at that. Yoga was becoming an emotional experience filled with vulnerability, happiness, resistance, letting go of ego, challenges, peace and a wonderful sense of increased awareness. Not to mention, keeping me in great shape. I fell deeply in love and made it a commitment I knew I had to share with others. 

There are days I’m extremely proud of my progress with being aware, present and connected and there are days I ignore my significant other as I create a social media post while I juggle car keys, grocery bags and getting the mail
— Andrea Bogart
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I love inspiring a mindful lifestyle in general and as a yoga instructor I have a responsibility to my students to encourage them to connect to their awareness.  My hope is that it propels each person to want to live a mindful life filled with happiness. Being an instructor doesn’t make me better, more self-aware or give me super powers but I see it as a beautiful gift that serves my life well and supports my core beliefs in the effort to practice what I share.  

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently
— Anthony Robbins

It's such a pleasure to sit and think and write about things I love and that helped me along the way. If it speaks to you in some way, comment or share something with me.... I love hearing from you guys. Have a blessed day filled with awareness!