My Favorite Mindful Gifts

The joys of the holidays are bustling with shopping, entertaining, being merry and you're wondering what is something mindful I can give this year? I'm hear to help– I take great pleasure in paying forward things I love, so may I suggest a few from Andrea's Favorite Things

Inspirational Addict Wellness Influencer Sonoma Mom Yoga Instructor Andrea Bogart and Erik Almas Photographer Travel In Norway

Seeking motivation and daily affirmations for setting intentions became increasingly prominent for me as I found great books like “Journey To The Heart.” The beautifully written, short stories that fill the pages of a 365 day enlightening experience is one I know I will do again in this lifetime. It’s not only a heartwarming cozy cup of goodness, the messages often propelled a focus point for me to pay forward with yoga clients and supported my soul searching quest to live my greatest-good. I felt more connected to myself and a deeper sense of compassion toward the world in which we live after a year spent dedicated to this read. 

 
                   Daily Affirmation Book

                   Daily Affirmation Book

 

 

I'm newly experimenting with Moleskins Smart Notebook as I love handwriting things down but for blogging I am always wishing some of those ideas and journal entries would magically appear in my notes or documents on my digital devices– and this does that. Tip; make sure to hold the pen correctly. I'm kind of a journal junky... ton's of creative inspiration and clarity come from writing regularly. Have fun doing it and take note what it does for you. 

 
               Moleskin Digital Notebook

               Moleskin Digital Notebook

 

I get asked quite a lot about the yoga mat I use. I spend a lot of time on it as a practitioner and instructor so a good mat is important to me. Whether you are practicing regularly or once in a while the Manduka PROLite is the one I refer the most. I have tried several yoga mats and some I like for certain reasons better than others but this mat is the overall win for me. It had me at non-toxic and sustainable engineering but lightweight, high-density cushion, and emission free manufacturing are all more perks of this fabulous mat. A lifetime guarantee certainly doesn't hurt either. You're also essentially encouraging yoga too which in my book is one of the best gifts ever!

 
            Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat

            Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat

 

The Giving Keys has been one of my favorite companies founded by my beautiful friend, Caitlin Crosby for years. With every purchase, you create employment opportunities for people transitioning out of homelessness, how cool is that? I was gifted my first key, BELIEVE by Caitlin and since then have acquired several more and love sharing this mindful brand. Rocking an empowering word for you and then paying a word forward to someone else in a cleverly cool way adds a mindful touch. Have fun exploring as they keep expanding. Journals just launched too!

 
                         The Giving Keys

                         The Giving Keys

 

As I gain tremendous curiosity about what we put into our bodies; what we put ON our bodies with lotions, make-up and a multitude of products is also of great concern. We have isles of products to choose from with an overly saturated market of toxic ingredients in them. I have been using cleaner products for years but as safer brands emerge, I'd love to give Beautycounter my heart, want to join me? I'm making new friends in Sonoma and the loveliest of women have recommended I explore the line catching my vibe. Jenna Maze, is a wonderful rep helping me sample before purchasing for myself and my babygirl. Check it out, read the story, peruse the Never List and try somethings out. The struggle sometimes is finding the safe stuff to look as good as the toxic stuff... Beauty Counter is hitting a home-run there for me. There is so much to choose from and amazing gift sets for great prices! And with a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, I'm certainly a proud advocate. Click the photo to start shopping!

                 Beautycounter Products

                 Beautycounter Products

I could keep going but there's no need to overdue it, I'm attempting to more of a minimilist! Click the photos for the direct links. Have fun checking things out should they interest you or be the perfect gift for the special people in your life. If you have any questions or comments you can always leave them here. Happy Holidays and in the spirit of giving... may you all be wrapped up with blessings and love through this wonderful time of year. Thank you for stopping by!

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!

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

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

 

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?

IMG_3489.JPG

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

Inspired To Finish The Year Out Strong?

Happy Monday! Are you inspired to finish the year strong & healthy? Last call to join the 4th annual “Get My Body Back” by @TNHWomen. As one of your leaders watch for some INSPIRATION every Sunday right here, to soothe your sassy soul! 

Together, we're going to create more awareness and propel forward... MIND BODY & SPIRIT.

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

You're ready, push through that resistance! Shout it out, write it down, share it with a friend, comment here, I'd love it... what's one thing you want to change in your life that you know you'll benefit from? 

When you get honest with yourself, accept where you are and believe in your undeniable courage & strength to grow... You WILL be a better YOU! 

You're UN-STOP-A-BULL... Yes, you see how I did that? I hope you're smiling, let's have some fun. 

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

Connecting With Yourself

Can you take a moment each day to connect to your energy source? Can you let it ground you, center you and create space for that connection to carry throughout your day? YOU CAN. We always have choices to connect with our awareness and use this connection to challenge ourselves in situations that take place all day long. This awareness creates change. It allows you to feel into a response rather than quickly react. Be brave with your ability to expand and grow!

Ask yourself, what is one thing you do every morning as you wake up and start your day? With-in these actions, can you fold-in a mindful act that connects you to yourself? 

As I sit myself up and turn the alarm off, before my feet hit the floor I take three rounds of deep inhales and exhales, each round includes an internal "thank you for..." (takes less than a one minute). Does it happen every morning you ask? No, is the answer but it happens more often than not and that's better than when I never did it at all.  May I inspire you to start thinking? 

Great pockets of space I've found for me are: 

  • Brushing my teeth, sometimes I do squats. Yes I do:)
  • Taking a shower, say at least three gratitudes. (my man gave me that one)
  • Driving, take my deep breaths and internal thank you's, if I missed it as I woke up.
  • Putting on make up, I listen to something inspiring, my new jam is Becoming Wise podcast by Krista Tippett (short ones)
  • Washing dishes, as much as I dislike doing this I'm finding podcasts to listen to or simply enjoying the calm, the quiet. 

Important reminder: You are not me, you are you, get creative with where this can work for you and your schedule and the life you currently have. You got this!

We can always create space we just have to put our thinking caps on and bring some awareness to it. I'm starting to challenge myself to find more little pockets of time in a busy day where I can enfold something mindful. It's also been encouraging to slow down as well. Do you feel too busy, too overwhelmed, too chaotic to even think of what you'd do? I certainly have days like this so creating the patterns is what has helped me most. I know that when I wake up I'm going to take those deep breaths, I'm going to say some thank you's and jot down gratitude's and going to feel more connected to myself with these choices.  You can do this too. Start with anything, just start. 

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you. A joy
— Rumi

Have a beautiful day connecting!  If you have any tips that are working well for you please do share! If you need more ideas let me know, I'm happy to make suggestions for you. Thank you for popping by!

Happy Memorial Day

Expand your heart and send out love and gratitude as we honor all of our leading men and women who have fought for our country and lost their lives in battle. We celebrate your bravery, courage and for the unwavering support you've given the U.S.. May our love and prayers give healing to the victims family's. 

IMG_8730.jpg

In case you didn't know....

"Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War.

Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.

The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. When Memorial Day became a federal holiday, it was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. Since many companies close for the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is three days long for most people. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season that lasts until the first Monday in September, which is Labor Day." For more about Memorial Day and other Public Holidays see PublicHolidays.US

I'm so happy to see how yoga and meditation has become a healing practice for many of our veterans needing forms of rehabilitation and support. If you have any interest in volunteering your services or donating, check out a few companies doing tremendous work below and click the link for more information on how you can get involved. 

Give Back Yoga Foundation

What are your Memorial Day plans? BBQ, travel, relax, family, friends... whatever you decide, enjoy your long weekend and be safe! Thanks again, as always for stopping by Inspirational Addict. 

More Issues Than VOGUE? Admit It, It's All Good

Do you ever feel like you've got more issues than VOGUE? Me too, admit it, it's all good.... let's have a smile about it.

I saw this and had to snag it from Pinterest. Why? Because there are days I feel like this. No matter how much self care I do, how happy I feel, how healthy I am... there are days I can still create a laundry list of things that are just crappy feeling. Are you with me on this? The important thing here is to recognize this behavior. It doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't have these emotions or lists, good gracious we're human. However, I will encourage you to invite them in and make friends with them. You most likely will be laughing at yourself in a few moments or at the very least be leaning into an opportunity to shift your perspective about them all. 

           "I'm not a model moment"

           "I'm not a model moment"

Example of my internal dialogue: 

Ugh, oh boy, I'm so tired. I look like hell. I'm over caffeinating myself... that's probably why you're bloated and your skin is bad. Wow, is that another gross sun spot? Hmmm, maybe I'll have another cappuccino. Shoot, I have to hurry.

Flipping this inner dialogue around: 

Deep breath in and exhale out. Well hello there 5AM rise and shiner. You are vibrant for being up this early. I'm going to have less caffeine today so let's start with a big water to hydrate my awesome skin.  A green juice will get me going and glowing. I am grateful for this day. Meditation here I come!

So now I've made friends with my thoughts. The negative internal dialogue can habitually be depleting of joy and happy thoughts. It's work you guys. I keep reminding myself of this. Getting into healthy habits and positive self talk is a process. If you've ever trained for anything at all you understand the dedication it takes to achieve results. Whether you have or not, can I inspire you to train yourself to start living a more joyous life? What if you treated yourself the way you'd treat a friend you want to show love and support toward.  Does that help? When I thought of it like that, it helped me. Filling ourselves with compassion is not always easy but it's certainly better to work on it than settle for being mean and unkind, which doesn't do any good. The issues we often think we have are emotions we give more weight to by fixating on them rather bringing a consciousness to what it is we'd like to change, see differently or with courage... accept.  Society shows us this as well. We all can fall victim to thinking more likes, followers, subscribers or being noticed in any form will make us a better person. This is where we "check ourselves before we wreck ourselves," (thank you ICE CUBE for the variation of lyrics I borrowed) Your authenticity, kindness and creativity you cultivate will connect with and be seen by those who appreciate the light in you. The issues you think you have will blur into the backdrop as clarity arises in the foreground! Believing is seeing. 

I challenge you to four daily rituals you can incorporate to any part of your day:

  • Say something positive to yourself when you look in the mirror.
  • Make eye contact and send a smile to someone in passing. 
  • Jot down three things you're grateful for. (I use a gratitude app I love)
  • Do something physical that makes you feel alive and uplifted for at least 10min.
                        Thank you  Sue Fitzmaurice  for this little gem reminder

                        Thank you Sue Fitzmaurice for this little gem reminder

To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
— E. E. Cummings

Do you have any issues you're questioning, feeling troubled by or giving more weight to than necessary? Remember you're not alone. I invite you share anything here if you'd like? Big hugs and thanks for popping by. 

 

 

When Your Work is Your Passion

Are you a passionate freelancer?  Me too!

Hi there gang, I am an actress, a yoga instructor and blogger and life has gotten a lot sweeter since I've created a lifestyle where my passions are also my work.  

I learned a long time ago as I dove into being an actress that I had to have other jobs, activities and skills that kept me doing and not just waiting for the next thing to happen.  When I was younger, I thought if I booked one commercial or one guest- on a show I was good for awhile and kept watching my bank account rise and fall.  I am a doer at heart and let me tell you, the journey it's been having had so many different jobs along the way is enough to create one crazy coffee table book we'd all get some laughter out of.  It has also beautifully paved the way for me to be able to thrive with excitement about working steadily doing things I love.

On set with the cast of  THE   ODD COUPLE  as Olivia

On set with the cast of THE ODD COUPLE as Olivia

Blogging for Inspirational Addict

Blogging for Inspirational Addict

Teaching rooftop yoga at  RECREATION CAFE

Teaching rooftop yoga at RECREATION CAFE

I continue to be inspired to help connect people for various reasons and I've always appreciated when others do this for me.  So as I thank my lovely & talented girl, Lindsay Grubs for the introduction to the company tispr, I'd like to keep the train moving and share them with you as well!  TISPR is the mobile services marketplace to connect, collaborate and work. TALENTED, INDEPENDENT and SKILLED PERSONS =TISPR. 

As I met with one of the founding members, Florence Driessens, and listened to what the company was all about, I was intrigued.  This awesome team coordinated a fun interview allowing me to share not only the services I provide but tips, my journey and overall, how my passions became my work.  I set up a day to offer a free mindful flow class inviting clients and friends into the Rise-Movement Studio and tispr filmed footage of me teaching.  My date with tispr was a great one and I'm inspired to connect more freelancers to them!

Check out the short and sweet footage tispr put together for me below. Thank you team member Graham, for doing a terrific job. 

The lifestyle I've created for myself is always under construction. It comes with a lot of dedication and hard work balancing everything out.  It's not always balanced, it's not always in sync but if you can embrace those things and the process, I believe you will continue to land right where you need to be.  As you go through life pay attention to things you love, you enjoy, you feel connected to and if there is passion too, lean into it and explore learning more and more and it may just become a way for you to make a living and enjoy your work a lot more. 

Nearly 54 million Americans are now doing freelance work, according to a new study conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Upwork. When I saw this I thought holy moly that's a lot! Who are the amazing souls that will continue become the dedicated educators our youth needs, the geniuses who will cure diseases and tech wizards who will fix our devices we rely on so heavily, if this many people are now freelancers? Ok, deep breath... let that go, fear not, I trust we will always have those individuals who aspire to be all those things and more and the freelance community will continue to grow and prosper and help in awesome ways too.

From  The Happiness Advantage by Sean Achor    click link for his TED talk

From The Happiness Advantage by Sean Achor  click link for his TED talk

If you have any questions for me, ask away.... or have anything you'd like to share, I love hearing from you! If this read speaks to you like it, share it.... please feel free to keep the pay it forward train moving. THANK YOU gang!  

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
— Joseph Campbell, American Mythologist, Writer, and Lecturer