MEDITATING, ACCEPTING, MANIFESTING—WHO'S IN?

Hello hello, is this thing still on? It's been a beat... how are you guys all doing out there? Thank you for stopping by today. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, water or whatever you fancy and let's get to it.

Wellness, Inspirational Addict Writer, Yoga Instructor, Sonoma Mama, World Traveler Wife with Erik Almas Photographer

Do you practice meditating, accepting and manifesting? What kind of energy you are putting out into the universe? Are you attached to outcomes constantly? Questioning, worrying and shaking your crystal ball trying to predict situations before they happen? Does this clutter up your happiness?

When you get still, can you release your resistance with accepting things as they are and move into a more mindful place? These are important questions I ask myself, not just once but consistently and especially during challenging moments. Let’s start manifesting from this opened awareness.

I have been on a bit of an unintentional hiatus from writing recently. Practicing acceptance was high on my list these past few months as I got derailed from my usual track.  I had to excuse myself while I was shooting a movie that wrapped the first week of June and from there rolled right into having tons of family and friends arrive in our hometown of Sonoma to celebrate our wedding which launched us to enjoying our baby girls first birthday! Yes you heard it… I am now a happily married woman to the most incredible man, Erik Almås and together, with great joy, we survived our first year of parenthood!

With an eager desire to get back into my groove, I jumped at the opportunity to join Deepak and Oprah for another 21 Day Meditation experience, “Energy of Attraction” that started July 23rd.  I hope you loved it as much as I did if you just finished doing it too. Boy has it been an energetic game changer for me lately.

Often the smallest shifts can make big differences and encourage us to graciously accept things as they are a little easier. Who loves a good reminder to check-in with yourself when you have a lot happening and you feel your attitude slipping into glass half empty mode? Take a deep breath and SMILE… we just created some awareness together.  

Life is incredible and I am surrounded by love and support so it's frustrating to sense my negativity internally and then give it more weight by vocalizing to anyone who is forced to listen. Do you ever annoy yourself in this way? I’m confident I’m not alone here because we are human. The good news is our awareness can propel us into a place of transformation. By quieting our minds and settling into some stillness we can release what’s not serving us with clarity and nurture what is, again and again. Let’s take some steps in the right direction.

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TIPS FOR MEDITATION

  • Where do you go to get quiet, connect with yourself and breathe? It can be a yoga class for me or early morning as I wake up and sometimes as I wind down for bed. It’s anywhere I can pause for 10-20 minutes and use a mantra or phrase to repeat internally and meditate. Challenge yourself to create a consistent form of meditation that speaks to you.
  • Try not to forcefully push the negative or limiting thoughts away but see them and say “hi there, I hear you” and as gently as a fluffy cloud passing by in the sky, release them. If using a visual of your choice helps, do it. I love putting them in a balloon that I release or feel a gentle breeze lift them off me and carry them away. Get creative and change it up.
  • Honor yourself with compassion as distractions and rumblings in your mind most likely find their way back in. Consider the importance of observing your thoughts to be far more effective than emptying your mind out. Make sense? Continue to repeat the process of deeply breathing accompanied by your choice of mantra, visualization or simply focusing on your breathe with non-judgmental acceptance.
  • Clarity will start to arrive no matter what form of meditation you create for yourself. The pause from your daily schedule is what will significantly affect your ability to connect to acceptance more gracefully and consistently. Present state of awareness is what we’re going for whether for you; that’s on a hike, in a gym or sitting somewhere quietly. Rejuvenating the mind is how we can let go of the overwhelming feelings and pressures that can get in our way of being calm on a regular basis.
  • Pay attention and notice how this calm state influences your reactive mind and your responses to the situations that might ordinarily get you really flustered. We all want to be as happy as we can be right? So if there’s a way to use our minds to assist in our moment to moment well being, I ask why wouldn't we all want to do what it takes to slow down the chatter in the mind we are inundated with from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep?
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms
— Thich That Hanh

May I inspire you to check out the various styles of mediation at The Secrets Of Yoga for a wonderful and brief breakdown of each to explore.  

Additional Resources I Love

  • I will always be grateful for the Deepak and Oprah Free 21-Day Experiences they offer as it was the source that jump started my commitment several years ago and benefits my life greatly. I love the guided aspect and having an intention and mantra provided. I often re-listen to the opening talk for inspiration in teaching my yoga classes and at night to fall asleep peacefully. Going to the online library and choosing one for a family member or friend makes a great gift too! And it’s Deepak and Oprah, come-on:)
  • I’m a fan of Light Watkins who has a great book on Meditation titled, “Bliss More”, a TED Ex talk and fun interview on Mindbodygreen’s podcast. He is such a delightful human.
  • Mindsail is an emotional well-being App that I was honored to do the VOICE for the moodboosts component which you can access prior to subscribing. Two of my wonderful yoga clients developed this self-help vault giving you unique insights and tools to make better choices and live a happier more fulfilling life. 
  • I also have done an online course with Ziva Meditation as I deeply related to Emily Fletcher’s lifestyle which lead her to study and create ZivaMind. With mindfulness, meditation and manifesting being the structure, students get the tools to be at the top of their personal and professional game.

Yoga and meditation are incredible practices that have changed my life. They have looked a little different since I've become a new mom but I've not lost site of their importance or my commitment. 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 (but that intention is a good one). 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 a certified 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!  

Happiness Blogger, Wellness Influencer, Healthy Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Inspirational Addict, Yoga Instructor, Traveler Wife and Erik Almas Photography

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience with me and continuing to support Inspirational Addict. I look forward to writing and sharing so much and hope this was my kick back into consistency. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome here. Have a beautiful weekend! 

XOXO ANDREA

Curious About Drinking Out Of A Copper Water Bottle?

How much do we LOVE drinking water? I hope you're having a great week and staying hydrated with clean & safe drinking water.  If you aren’t aware of the many benefits there are to increasing your water intake let me list a few to get you thinking….

  • Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Flushes Out Toxins
  • Improves Skin Complexion
  • Maintains Regularity
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Natural Headache Remedy
  • Prevents Cramps & Sprains

So many great reasons right? Now let me get you thinking about how one type of bottle can naturally alkalize your drinking water and provide more health benefits by the vessel it’s in. Have you guys ever heard of a “copper water bottle?” I’ve been drinking out of one now for over a month and love it. The copper water bottle by Copperh2o is my Wellness Wednesday feature this week because they are doing great things I want to support! You can never smile too big about things you love!

Health and Wellness Writer, Sonoma Mama, Yoga Instructor, Actress Andrea Bogart photographed with copperh2o by Erik Almas

I’m on-the-go A LOT and I always like to have a bottle of water with me to remind myself to drink throughout out the day. Habitually, I have been guilty of buying plastic alkalized water bottles for the past several years. It’s expensive and don’t even get me started about the amount of plastic that is polluting our oceans and creating major problems for our sacred Mother Earth. I’ve been conscious about this for awhile and I switched to glass water bottles as much as possible but now I have an even better solution! Please take a moment to hop on over to the COPPER WATER BOTTLE and snag some wonderful information about the benefits of drinking out of a 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper vessel. Don’t miss their Good Karma program noting that 15% of their profit goest to several non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

Photo from Copperh2o

Photo from Copperh2o

my honest review

Not only am I stoked about the taste of water from this copper bottle, the gorgeous look, the no spill cap, easy to clean, benefits I'm receiving and good karma touch— I'm probably most excited that I'm reusing it regularly and no longer buying plastic bottles for my excessive intake of water! While I can't yet physically tell a difference from drinking out of my copper vessel as far as all it's benefits... I'm delighted to be a test case!  

Use the discount code ANDREA for 10% off your bottle.

Follow @copperh2o and hashtag #copperh2o #InspirationalAddict with your new bottle for us— I’d love to feature you! If you have already tried a copper water bottle, I'd love to hear your thoughts too. Thanks again for stopping by and catching some of my wellness Wednesday vibes. Have a wonderful rest of the week gang. 

XO ANDREA

Mama Joy's Filling My Cup

Hello lovelies... are you parenting too? 

Mini heart explosions, staring the day away observing their every move, nuzzling so hard it brings you to tears, feeling a kind of deep love that's hard to put into words? It’s so true, all of it... and it brings such joy to my life— having a baby.

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It’s not possible to quantify how much happiness bringing another human life into this world gives a parent. Let’s just agree it’s absolutely the best thing ever! Suddenly you're home with this amazing being and you feel the desperation to do things as if there is a set guide book on how to be the best parent raising the greatest kid on earth— anyone else feel that? Take some deep breaths, tune-in to your courage, faith and trust your intuition. You will feel so connected with your tiny babe and in my experience... you will not be lead astray. You're a brilliant team. You are YOUR team, no one else's. 

Of course, we will call friends, ask our own mother's and lean into resources for guidance, especially if you're a first time parent. In my quest to find answers to questions during my pregnancy and once our little bunny entered the world, I came across one too many articles that frankly scared the bejeezus out of me. I wasn’t intending to stumble upon so many; “what they don’t tell you” kind of stories about vaginas, fatigue and more. No offense, I’m an open book and I like some insight as much as the next one, but I really wanted and needed to focus on all the good and encourage my powerful mind and body to keep manifesting the greatest experience of a lifetime. 

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So for all of you; mamas, soon-to-be, hoping to be or praying for a miracle. YOU are incredible. I REPEAT, trust in this perfect journey and your undeniable intuition. Mama joys are an everyday occurrence and as easy as it can be to slip into negative thought patterns of doubt, worry and even failure... I PRACTICE catching myself, shifting perspective and choosing trust, courage and joy. We are six months into parenthood and a good portion of it feels like I’m getting to re-live being a child. Parents, do you feel me? Here's some fun things to try if you're just getting your feet wet. 

FUN and FUNNY (me not the baby)

  • Early to bed, early to rise… passing out mid meal, with a bit of drool. 
  • Making mouth noises ranging from fart sounds to motorboats.  
  • Singing songs like you know the melody and lyrics but just make up your own, terribly cute isn't it?
  • Performing giggly goo’s and monkey moves as if that is strong choice to get your babe to laugh. It is though, am I wrong?
  • Challenging your character voices during story time to see if your baby recognizes the changes... the looks I get from our girl are priceless. 

These are just a few of the ways in which we get to visit our playful minds again, all for the sake of getting the love and attention from our little explorer looking to discover new things. 

HONOR

  • The ability to pull yourself out of a deep slumber at lightening speed to feed and or nurture your babe back to sleep. And then yourself.
  • Becoming Octamom or dad, yes a parent with multiplying, helpful appendages where suddenly even your toes, feet & elbows become more useful than you thought was humanly possible. 
  • Your partner or whatever kind of system you have raising your child. We are all imperfect and feel it so verbal validation and giving our loving support as consistently as changing diapers is a major WIN on all accounts for everyone.  

It's incredibly important to applaud yourself often and wrap your parenting team up in compassion. We are responsible for a new life and it's not easy... honor all that you are doing.   

DELIGHT

  • The milestone changes that happen so quickly, from smiling while they sleep, giggling out loud, roll over, get teeth, hug you and taste food for the first time, to name a few.  
  • The connection you create between your tribe... the bond is incredible. It's indescribable and will cause your heart to swell repeatedly. 
  • The poops, especially the explosive one's that travel beyond the diaper and can cause a 15 min time-out at any part of your day. Just lean into a fun pew-wee potty song and it will be over fast. You just must delight in this. 

Sometimes we get so busy we miss what's happening right in front of us. The number of times I get delightfully sidetracked from perhaps what I was intending to do to see our girl play with a toy independently, explore a new space, sleep like an angel... or whatever it may be, is worthy of reminding myself to be present. 

LOVE

  • Speak it, show it, be it. I don't believe a baby can be over loved in any capacity. Smother away, I say... a million kisses a day.
  • Relish in the love you receive, embrace it fully and let it guide you like a light through the questionable, worry-some times. 
  • LOVE yourself for all the choices you make, the things you learn and grow from as a parent and for braving what some would consider being the most challenging thing a human can experience— raising a happy, healthy, kind child. AMEN

My heart was set on writing a blog about a few of the extraordinary pieces of parenthood that make us smile. The LOVE we give and receive is simply perfection. You can't go wrong with loving your babe. The joys of being a parent are steadfast. Growing abundantly daily. Remind yourself of these very things when difficult moments arrive. And there will be difficult moments. If any of you parents who have far more experience than me have some fun stories to share back... I'm ALL ears! Thank you so so much for popping by. Happy parenting! 

My mother’s gifts of courage to me were both large and small. The latter are woven so subtly into the fabric of my psyche that I can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin.
— Maya Angelou— Mom & Me Quotes

xo Andrea

My Younger Self Would Have Greatly Benefited From Mindfulness, How About Your's?

Is there an activity in your life today you would have greatly benefited from in your adolescences? What are some of the most essential things you'd share with your younger self in today's world?

For me that is answer is YES. Especially now that I'm a mom, it's got me thinking about my youth and how I can raise this little person to be a strong, compassionate and loving human.  A desire commonly shared in parenting, I have no doubt.  

If I knew how much yoga and meditation would have impacted my life for the better, you bet I would I have grabbed on to the practices sooner. I didn't get committed to either until my 30's. I was incredibly dedicated to being a dancer and tumbler as a young girl. With that came discipline, hard work, developing a passion, busy schedules, tons of joy... and let's not leave out anxiety, nervousness, failure and thoughts about never being good enough. Although these things help shape us at a young age, isn't it equally important to learn how to cope, manage and understand the more difficult emotions we encounter? It would be incredible to see more effort focused on acquiring self-help tools and practices and less on dramatic labels and prescriptions in my book. There is so much going on in the world today. We are more and more inundated with information coming at us, sharing our lives in a fantastical social-media manner, stripped of the simple things and horrified by devastation time and time again. Mindful practices continue to bring me back to gratitude and compassion and that always provides a shift into something great. 

While I am thankful for great parents who did a tremendous job guiding me, not everyone grows up with such direction and support. And even if you do, sometimes outside sources, pressures and the circles you fall into can have a negative impact. I know yoga and meditation would have only strengthen my mind, body and spirit connection, complimenting my active and competitive lifestyle all through my youth. We only have so much time for our extra circular activities outside school when we are younger, which is why I find it inspiring to see more and more school systems implementing yoga into their curriculum. It's truly more than just a physical practice when guided by skilled, trained, passionate instructors. Children are beginning to learn yoga and mindful practices in pre-school now. Some schools are using meditation during detention and evolving the mindset of troubled kids. Not to mention companies like Google, Apple, Time Warner, YAHOO and AOL offering meditation and wellness programs on-site for employees. How amazing is that? If we are continuously seeing the scientific benefits of mediation, yoga and mindful practices significantly making a difference in the work place, I sure hope we unite as a society and encourage more of this for our youth. The same goes for nutrition, but that's another blog. 

I share my enthusiasm for these things because of the exponential growth and transformation I've experienced from consistently practicing them for years. I am a mom now, I have a responsibility and desire to be a great one who's full of vitality. Helping our baby-girl see how important wellness is; mind, body and spirit is a gift I simply want to pay forward and educate her with early on. I believe that proper nutrition, the power in breath work, regular stretching and being able to sit with ourselves quietly, are a key elements that will encourage awareness of our health, continuous growth and expansion with-in. I'm excited to be a part of a wellness shift I feel happening in the U.S. and pray we as individuals care enough about our wellbeing and that of our families, we learn as much as we can so we can make wise choices.

Sonoma Mom Inspirational Addict Blogger and wellness influencer Andrea Bogart with Daughter and Erik Almas Photography

If any of you are curious about meditation there are wonderful apps out there you can get started with. I personally love Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21Day Meditation Experiences they offer several times a year for free. The next one, Making Every Moment Matter starts Oct. 30th if you want to join me? 

As a fun exercise, try writing a letter to your younger self sharing the lessons that have impacted you the most so far. This can be incredibly therapeutic and give you some clarity about what you really appreciate and serves you well today.

If you have great resources you love, share them with me. I'm all about creating community and helpful tips for one another! Have a beautiful week. 

XO ANDREA 

 

How To Challenge Yourself Mind, Body & Spirit With Get My Body Back (GMBB5)

Hello amazing humans! I'm inspired to share the official Invitation to the GET MY BODY BACK 5 Elective by "The New Hollywood" (TNH) starting September 12th through December 11th! This is my third year participating and second year supporting you as one of the expert leaders. I’m motivated knowing I’ll get to encourage you along the way, just as I need you encouraging me.

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Do you wish you got more sleep, spent less time on your phone, drank more water, started a meditation practice, took walks frequently, ate healthier meals, carved out space just for you or engaged in more mindful activities with friends or loved ones... to suggest a few? HERE IS YOUR YOUR CHANCE, WITH A COMMUNITY SUPPORTING YOU! We all learn from accountably. Receiving and giving support with my TNH Members has changed my life for the better. There's a drive to continue to grow and pay that energy forward in a variety of ways. For #GMBB5 we put our money where our mouths are, involving a beautiful charity aspect. Ready to be truthful with yourself? You get your money back if you successfully complete your challenge and if not… it goes to a charity. It’s a win win in our book but we absolutely want to see you succeed in your challenge. Choose something, anything, big or small that you believe will create a healthier, happier lifestyle for YOU– let's do this!

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

Listen, I’m a new mama as of July and as a daily yoga practitioner, taking a break to let my body heal has been difficult and now that I’m cleared to get back at it, things hurt more than usual… which tells me how important it is to keep moving and stretching as we safely can. Not to take away from how valuable it is to listen to your body and rest as well. It’s been more important for me to relish in baby time and I have appreciated the break. Bonding with her is just the best. My life style has shifted so much recently, this years participation will be a new sort of challenge for me. As a member and leader with the TNH elective I will commit to 10 minutes alternating booty & core work daily and I will post an Inspirational Addict blog every Sunday to warm your soul on your journey! I’m excited to get my body back into shape post-baby and writing for my blog is such a passion and super challenging with a newborn, so I love the idea of committing to these things. Often we set goals that are just too much, too unrealistic and fail and then beat ourselves up about it. So take a beat to think about what will serve you well in this challenge mind, body & spirit, don't over do it, and get excited about committing to what you choose. That is how, together, we will create changes... hopefully some that stick with us long after our 90 days. 

Click the link below for complete details and join us for the challenge. The “I want to sign up” button is waiting for you there.

http://www.thenewhollywood.org/getmybodyback5.html

The New Hollywood Women’s Goal Group Inc. is a philanthropic women’s goal group and 501c3 non-profit. TNH wants to inspire everyone to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back! The four pillars of our organization are: goals, support, education and charity. Join our movement, on line community and quarterly newsletter by signing our pledge page
— The New Hollywood

Thank you guys for visiting me here. I love sharing things that I hope we can connect on and keep each other inspired about life. Sending you all lot's of love and laughs always. If you have any questions or comments... share away! I love hearing from you.

XOXO ANDREA

Happy Fourth Of July America

Happy Fourth Of July Everyone!

As we celebrate America's Independence today with family and friends... let LOVE soar from our hearts to the hearts of all beings everywhere! 

Pinterest 

Pinterest 

This photo reminded me of going to the St. Louis VP Fair when I was younger. We loved seeing the air show and the incredible fireworks as night fell illuminating the river and reflection of the Arch. Isn't is fun to reflect upon all the Fourth Of July celebrations you've shared over the years? Whether it be traditions with family or various groups of friends cooking out and enjoying the energy that fills the day? The activities, conversations and memories that you take with you each year are a blessing. So seize the day, remember those who continue to serve for us to live in the land of the free and brave and let's pay that gratitude forward with courage and love. 

The essence of America—that which really unites us—is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea—and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going
— Condoleezza Rice
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

Beaming out my happiest 4th vibes to all of you... with ice cream in hand, per usual these days! Big hugs and help me count down to Baby Almas being born- We are so excited to meet our little girl and thank you all for the fun support we continue to receive. Go enjoy some fireworks tonight!

XO ANDREA

HELLO LITTLE PERSON GROWING IN MY BELLY

Hello to all my lovelies who've experienced the joy of having a blossoming bundle of joy grow inside your belly. How truly magical is that feeling?

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I often find myself just staring at my tummy waiting for any sort of movement that instantly makes me giggle and shockingly gasp like it's the first time, every time. It triggers a love fest with my belly that I simply cherish right now. Somedays I'm in disbelief that I'm going to be a mom and a wife and that there really is a tiny human inside there growing everyday. And as things have progressed, I catch a glimpse of my newly shaped profile looking like I've swallowed a watermelon, feel her fighting for space to stretch her tiny limbs and I relish in happiness again and again. She's just waiting to bless us with her presence and say "hello world, I am here." Gush right?  

A grand adventure is about to begin
— Winnie the Pooh

It seems to be quite common that many women in their last trimester have made those decisions with their partners to see how many things they can do at once with the hopes to be settled before the baby arrival day. Anyone else move, change jobs, get married or perhaps did all three during your nine months of preparing for mommy hood and can relate to this? I'm bearing witness to it not just being a cliche the pregnancy books write about but I genuinely feel my body and mind begging for everything to slow down. Widely referred to as the "nesting" period. I'm listening loud and clear now and getting settled is wonderful and something I truly am grateful for.  I hope the same for any of you.

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I've delighted in my yoga practice and have continued to teach as much as I can for the calming aspect it brings to my soul regularly. It's lovely to know I'm getting a gift from my classes and private clients as we share in something that remarkably benefits my mind, body & spirit during this process. I give major props to all the women out there juggling whatever various tasks, jobs & activities you may be involved in during pregnancy– you are truly women of strength and courage. 

Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom
— Harriette Hartigan

Sending so much love and blessings out there to all the women embarking on a dream of being a mama, those whom are and those currently preparing... may we give each other support & inspiration always. Let's make magic. 

xo Andrea