A Mindful Mantra confession – I freaking love chicken wings. They are a crispy, juicy, delicious silverware-free finger food. Buffalo, garlic, bbq, jerk…you name it, I’m into it. The thing I’m not into is the deep-fried aspect of chicken wings. My body does not like fried food. Within 30 minutes or so of eating fried food my body feels nauseous, lethargic, bloated, and down-right unhappy. This was the delicious chicken wing dilemma that I faced….that was until I baked these tasty Spicy Garlic Chicken Wings in my oven on what I can only imagine was the hottest day of summer. Despite the overwhelming heat in my kitchen, it was so worth it. I’m officially trading fried chicken wings for baked wings. Are you with me? Continue reading →
You’ve probably noticed that it’s been a bit quiet here on A Mindful Mantra for the last week or so. I have taken some much needed self-care and personal development time. In late spring I was offered a full scholarship to participate in a 5 day Eat Breath Thrive training with Chelsea Roff at the Omega Institute. Free yoga, free food, free camping, free workshops – it didn’t take much to convince me to say, “Yes!”
Eat Breathe Thrive is a nonprofit organization that uses yoga, mindfulness, and other practices to support those struggling with negative body image and disordered eating. I chose to attend this retreat for two reasons – 1) As someone who struggled with disordered eating and negative body image for nearly a decade, I felt ready to re-explore that dark time in my life to reassess where I am at now. 2) As a Yoga Instructor and soon-to-be Health Coach, I am looking to develop programs and workshops for those dealing with these struggles that I know all too well.
The retreat served an amazing purpose for me, other than much needed rest and relaxation. This retreat reaffirmed that I am in fact at such an amazing place with my history of negative body image and disordered eating. Those five days in the woods of New York allowed me to revisit my past and make amends. The confident, strong, radiant Brandy you see today visited the insecure, anxiety-ridden, Brandy of the past. I gave myself permission to fully experience all the joy and bliss in my life at this moment. Continue reading →
When someone mentions chicken patties, we often think of the spongy, lukewarm patties that were served alone on white bread buns in our high school cafeterias. No one was excited for chicken patty day, am I right?
Well, the days of floppy, unhealthy chicken patties are over! These vegetarian chicken patties are made from amaranth (a hearty whole grain), oats, citrus, and fresh mint. You don’t even have to be vegetarian to appreciate the deliciousness of these chik-n patties. Continue reading →
Every so often I get the overwhelming urge to share exact excerpts from my journal with all of you. I tend to write about upbeat, inspirational topics that talk about pursuing your happiness and living the life beyond your wildest dreams. The truth is, though, that this isn’t always easy. I, too, struggle with taking risks and following my heart. I have doubts. I have fears. I have a quiet little voice in my head that says I just need to grow up and get a real job. I know it’s hard to believe, but check out this journal entry I wrote back in January…
“I’m afraid. I want to live the life beyond my wildest dreams – inspire others, teach yoga, write books – but I’m afraid. I have doubts. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to support myself financially. I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay off my student loans. I’m afraid that I will go further in debt. So, I apply for, and work at, jobs that pay well, have some flexibility, but are not where my passion lies. I bounce from job to job, desk to desk forcing myself to adapt to a work life that doesn’t fit my desires. I perpetuate the cycle. I do what I think I should do. I’m playing it safe. I’m ignoring my heart. And, I’m envious of my friends who have taken risks, liberated themselves, and are living the life beyond their wildest dreams. Then my brain reads all of this and thinks, “You’re being unrealistic. Go back to your desk job and stick it out.”
There are times when these thoughts become deafening. For days, sometimes weeks, I live in a sea of overwhelming doubt. It’s okay to have doubts and fears. We all have them, even those of us who use the words “bliss”, “inspiration”, and wildest dreams” on a daily basis. Dreaming big isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, and that’s okay. Once we recognize that doubts will arise, we can develop a plan of action for when they become overwhelming. When I find myself struggling beneath a mountain of fear and doubt I return to my ultimate wellness vision. I dream about it, I write about it, and then I choose to live it.
The very next page in my journal after the above excerpt went something like this…
“How do I want to feel in my body and in my heart? Free, liberated, inspired, passionate, radiant, strong, proud, full, whole, generous, stable, secure, loved, pure, natural, clean, sexy, empowered, brave, spontaneous, playful, calm, joyful, fit, comfortable, soothed, adventurous…Adventure. Radiant. Feisty. Passion. Leave 9-5pm job, become a health coach, teach more yoga, write a book. How does my body feel/What does it say about this decision? I feel soft – at ease – like I was always meant to do this. I feel thankful that I put myself out there and took a risk. I feel a bit surprised that money/finances didn’t come up in my vision. I feel healthy, supported, and balanced.”
To create your own wellness vision, simply set aside some time to think about your dream state of wellness. Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel in my body and in my heart?” Write down everything that comes up. Next ask yourself, “What are some ways that I can create these feelings in my body and in my heart?” Write it all down. Lastly, ask yourself, “How does my body feel/What does it say about these decisions?” And, you guessed it, write it all down.
Keep your ultimate wellness vision in a safe place and come back to it every time the fears and doubts creep in. Creating your ultimate wellness vision is a great tool to set aside fear and doubts to continue living your dreams. It brings us back to all the reasons why we’ve chosen to dream big. When we get real about how we want to feel, suddenly it all makes sense.
So, tell those fears and doubts to hit the road!
Photo Credit: Phill Landry, Unknown Arts
We all have dreams and goals, but they so often seem to elude us. We fall asleep at night and dream of them. We write about them in our journals. We close our eyes and feel the bliss of our dream life. Yet, somehow we’re still not there. What the eff?!
Over the last few years I have discovered the secret to living our dream lives. It was an arduous journey, but it all makes so much sense. In the last 6 months I have been serving as the test subject for my dream life theory, and I’ve got to say it’s been an amazing ride.
In January, just after the start of another new year, I got real about my Core Desired Feelingswith Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. Establishing these Core Desired Feelings allows me to set intentions for the year – intentions that feel good deep down in my soul. These aren’t resolutions or yearly unmet hopes of losing weight and exercising more. These are words and feelings that make me feel so insanely good that I need to spend a whole year pursuing them.