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Inspiration

Inspiration. “A person, place, experience etc., that makes someone want to do or create something. – Merriam Webster

Inspired. I love that feeling. I feel most alive when I am feeling inspired to do, say, create something. And I’ve been really trying to stand on that place in my life, interactions, business more often. Because it makes it come from a very authentic and enthusiastic place – and to work from that place just FEELS GOOD.

This month I’ll be sharing some of the things, quotes, art and people that help me to feel inspired. In addition, I would be incredibly grateful if you shared with me WHAT INSPIRES YOU? You can IM me through my Facebook page or respond to this blogpost with two questions in mind:
1) What inspires you?
2) Your favorite quote, book, picture that you get inspired by reading or looking at.

I’d like to start by sharing about someone who inspires me with each interaction. Her name is Conie and she does a couple of things that inspire me regularly.
*She comes from a place of love – she exudes love.
*She is a creative – an ACTIVE creative. Conie tills the soil of her creativity in her music, dance and artwork.
*She is a hugger. I am a hugger. When we see each other, we hug.

Why do these things inspire me?

Well first, Conie reminds me to lead with love. That if you come from this beautiful and vulnerable space, you are open to receive some fantastic gifts AND you are bestowing those gifts to others.

Second, creativity, I am learning is a garden you need to TILL. Just like exercise and wellness. You have to dig deep and till your creative soil. I had a reiki session a couple of years ago with my friend Anne and she told me that I needed to nurture my creative side, my feminine side. It was the truth. It took me several years, but I am swimming in the lake of my creativity and it is filling me in a way that I had almost forgotten. And I believe that this is helping me on my wellness journey because it is balancing me. Conie LIVES her creative. She posts her artwork on her Facebook page – and I just love it’s power, color and movement. And she sings and leads our 9:00 service at church – so her voice? Like an angel. And she can sit down and play a complicated piano piece, with no practice….I’ve seen it.

And third, the hugging. This kind of leads me back to the leading with love thing – but it’s more than a smile or eye contact…it’s actively exchanging your energy with someone. It’s opening yourself up physically, mentally, emotionally to give and receive physical energy from another. And Conie doesn’t ever seem afraid to share that with people. Anyhow – this inspires me to keep my walls down; to look for an opportunity to connect with others; to be open.

Here’s an example of Conie’s artwork. I’m going to be featuring it with some of my favorite quotes this month on the Turino Fitness Facebook page. I love her artwork. It’s bold and expresses a lot of feeling.
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I asked Conie what inspires her art. This is what she said, “My visual creations are inspired by music and the movement of my emotions. In listening to music the rhythm, melody, harmonies and overall sound inspire the line impulses on the page. The same with emotions; I sense the energy of the emotions and give it visual space to express itself. This has helped me understand myself. I started drawing-coloring as a break from using words in my journal and just to play with color without an agenda or judgment. Another great benefit is seeing the confidence of the art itself; it makes its statement and invites you to interpret it for your own self-knowledge. This is one of the gifts of this drawing-coloring practice for me: becoming more myself, more confident of myself, and strengthening my sense of value and self-worth.”

Here she is:) I love this picture.
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Thanks Conie for sharing your art with the world. And thanks for inspiring me (and now…others!!)

Peace.Love.Joy.

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Self Love Month – Hypnosis

Tell me – how has your Self Love Month been going?  Have you treated yourself to some kindness and care?  I hope so.  It’s so easy in the hub-bub of everyday life to neglect to give ourselves even the smallest kindnesses.  We forget.  We get lost in the shuffle.  And all of a sudden, three months have passed by and you have neglected taking care of your beautiful self.

This month, we have featured some amazing healers that I work with at Tula Yoga & Wellness in Saint Paul, MN.  Why?  Because they are so special and loving and I wanted to share them with you.  Wherever you are, seek out some of the modalities that we featured here and treat yourself.

This week, I am focusing my loving eye on Stacy Dunn.  Besides being an incredible massage therapist (her myofascial work makes my body sing), Stacy is a hypnotherapist.  She is the first to say that her work isn’t aversion therapy nor will she make you cluck like a chicken (unless you’d like that I suppose.)  But what she DOES do is help with stress, choosing healthy eats, avoiding things that harm you like smoking and alcohol, and choosing calm. This is Stacy

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Stacy worked with a group of my clients to help with mindful eating and choosing healthy foods in healthy portions.  And it was wonderful.  What I love about Stacy is that it is all about Self Love.  She creates a beautiful situation in your mind that you WANT to uphold and attain.  She helps you to realize that the calm and centered feeling you feel when working with her, is attainable and maintainable in your life.

Here’s what she has to say:

Sarah:  What is hypnosis?

Stacy:  Hypnosis is a deeply absorbed state of focused relaxation.   This state of absorption is one that you achieve everyday.  If you’ve ever driven somewhere and wondered how you got there, you have experienced this state.  Hypnosis is the ability of your unconscious mind to convince or unconvince yourself of anything.

Sarah:  Are people in control of themselves during the session?

Stacy:  You are completely in control during a session.  You will not do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn’t otherwise do.  Unlike the unfortunate “stage show”image of hypnosis, sessions are very peaceful.

Sarah:  Can anyone be hypnotized?

Stacy:  Everyone can be hypnotized, if they are willing.  Like most things, practice can improve your self-hypnosis skills.

Sarah:  What is a session like?

Stacy:  Sessions use comfortable zero gravity chairs.  The beginning of each session is a gentle, peaceful guided relaxation to help you achieve a calm and relaxed state.  Once in this state, suggestions, metaphors, and images area all used to help you achieve your personal goals.

Sarah:  Who can benefit?

Stacy:  Everyone can benefit.  Hypnosis has been clinically documented to relieve stress which can contribute to most medical conditions.  For example, in a study on teeth grinding, which is significantly related to stress, 100% of participants experienced reduced grinding as shown on EMGs.  A study on hot flashes showed almost ¾ of participants reduced their hot flashes.  Hypnosis can help you unconvince yourself of harmful beliefs and convince you of beliefs that help you.  I focus on easy relaxation skills that can be used in everyday life as a part of every session and using self-kindness as a gateway to achieving your personal goals.  These skills can have a broad positive effect on many areas of your life.

Sarah:  Why did hypnosis call to you as a healing modality?

Stacy:  I became interested in hypnosis after I brought my daughter for 3 sessions.  She responded easily and painlessly.  I felt that hypnosis was a skill that is so painless, helpful and strengthening that it was underutilized.  Several years later, I decided to attend a training and really found my niche when I started incorporating self-kindness as a gateway for all behavior changes.

My personal experience with hypnosis.  I went to Stacy because I was irritated that I used wine as a crutch in awkward family and social situations.  I felt that I wanted to not have ANY crutches and be able to be peaceful and centered and at ease in all situations…even ones that make me feel really uncomfortable.  So – I went to Stacy.  And we recorded the session and I did the work and listened at home to the sessions for 30 days, as she recommended.  Result?  Frankly, I know it’s crazy – but I’m not really interested in drinking anymore.  It doesn’t feel like something I really want or need to do.  I can’t figure out the ‘why’ of doing it…so I just…don’t.

Think on it – if there is something pulling you off of your center, or if you have never even FOUND your center, or if you lose your temper, or if you eat for comfort, or if you wish you could make a different choice in various situations…consider it.  It was incredibly peaceful and I really just could listen to Stacy all day – I think she should have her own Pandora station.  You can schedule with her by clicking here (for MASSAGE TOO!)

Much peace to you on your journey.

S

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Self Love – Muscle Activation Techniqe

How’s your Self Love Month going?  I just got back from a romantic weekend and made sure to do something that always fills me up…look at art.  We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago…heaven.  Just incredible.

Well, part of self love and self care is…health.  And for me, part of keeping myself durable and ‘in the game’ is visiting with my friend Amber who is a Muscle Activation Technique specialist.

When something goes awry in my external physical body (not my digestion or inside stuff) she is one of my first calls.  She’s helped some things that have chronically bugged me – my neck from an old injury, my shoulder from an old injury.

To be clear – and I tell everyone who I refer to Amber, MAT doesn’t tickle.  Sometimes there is bruising.  It can be painful…in a good way because the results have been, for me, worth it!!  Here is the lovely Amber – who is able to smile, tell engaging stories, and distract you while causing you discomfort.

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Some background – here’s some FAQ’s about Muscle Activation Techniques:

Ok let’s get to it.

Sarah:  In a nutshell and in your own words, what is MAT?

Amber:  Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) is a revolutionary approach to the assessment and correction of muscular imbalances in the body (which can cause joint and muscle pain). It’s a straightforward, non-invasive technique providing tools to evaluate an individual’s ability to produce muscle contraction and “jumpstart” the muscle to function with maximum efficiency.

Sarah:  Why did it call to you as a healing modality?

Amber:   I discovered MAT at a fitness conference and was drawn to it within the first 5 min of the lecture! After researching MAT, I signed up. I’ve been treating clients for 8 years now and am so grateful for being able to have this tool, as I see how it impacts so many people in such a positive way!! Such a rewarding career!

Sarah:  How does it help people?

Amber:  It helps many to continue or get back to a lifestyle they enjoy. Many suffer from aches/pains/injuries/unknowns and get frustrated because it limits how they are living their lives. MAT helps peoples bodies work like they are meant to work and a lot of times this helps to reduce or eliminate the pain.

Sarah:  What can people expect when they come?

Amber:  When people first come to see me we go through a full history to see what’s all going on and what their goals are regarding MAT. I then assess the body with range of motion tests. Next I test and treat individual muscles, opening the ranges and continue on from there.

Sarah:  Why would you tell someone to try it?

Amber:  Many people think they just have to deal with some level of pain, they’ve tried everything else or many throw it into the “aging” category. You don’t have to live with pain.  There are also others that want to take their fitness level to the next level.  It’s a newer technique and is helping everyone from elite athletes to the elderly to rehabilitation patients.

Sarah:  Do you have to be ‘hurt’ to see you?

Amber:  MAT can work for anyone, even people who don’t have any “issues”. It’s an amazing tool that helps your body work and function how it’s supposed to so you can feel great and do what you want to.

Amber doesn’t know this, but one of the most fun things is connecting with other people who have been treated by her.  We need to start a support group or a Facebook page.  We compare stories, “Has she done anything in your feet?”  “AAAHH!  Yes!  Feet are the worst!”  It’s like we’ve survived something together.  I had a client who called me and said, “IT DOESN’T TICKLE!?!  THAT WAS HOW YOU PREPARED ME FOR AMBER??”  Haha!  Hoo boy.  Good stuff.

But then, you notice that you have full range of motion in your shoulder again.  Or that you can actually see over your shoulder without having to turn your whole body.  Or that…whatever…doesn’t hurt anymore.

Check her out.  http://www.tulayogawellness.com/ or at http://www.aviditymat.com/

Much peace, love and joy to you!

Sarah

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Self Love – SourcePoint Therapy

I am FEELING this self-love month.  All month I’ve been seeking out small ways to shower a little care on my beautiful self.  I’ve even.made.appointments.  Crazy.  I’ve even taken myself on a 24 hour retreat.  Crazy.  How about you?

Today is my very first SourcePoint appointment with the radiant Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan.  Elizabeth is one of my favorite colleagues.  When we’re in the same space together, there is much laughter.  We try not to look at each other during meetings…here she is:

selfloveelizabeth

So Elizabeth is a wonderful yoga instructor, but she is also a SourcePoint practitioner.  Let me start this by telling a very brief story – around one year ago, I developed this weird tumor thing on my neck.  As a former smoker, I was trying to fend off the idea that I had throat cancer until the doctor could confirm or deny (it was not…yay.)  But UNTIL then, I had this pretty awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.  One day, I went to Tula for something or another and pretty much bumped into Elizabeth.  She asked how I was, and for some reason I overrode my Midwest inclination to say, “fine” and told her the truth.  I was scared witless.  Elizabeth, took me in her hands – one hand at my back I think and the other on my throat.  She was utterly calm and confident.  And she … calmed me.  And the thing on my neck SHRUNK – it came back, but IT SHRANK DOWN TO A MARBLE SIZE.  That my friends is some POWERFUL stuff.  So, let’s learn about it:

What’s SourcePoint?

Elizabeth:  SourcePoint Therapy is simple but profound healing modality that is based on the principle that there is a blueprint for human health, the information of order, balance, harmony, and flow, that we are born into and connected to, by removing primary blockages that occur from living in the world, our health is better able to flow with ease throughout our whole body. In short, SourcePoint Therapy is a remembering of wellness or simply put of hope.

Do you have to be ‘hurt’ or ‘ill’ to see you?

Elizabeth:  Absolutely not, it is a modality that supports you in sickness and in health. What I love about this modality is that it acknowledges the symptoms, but it really is rooted in health and bringing health back to the person, always returning you toward greater and greater health and wholeness.

How does it help people?

Elizabeth:  It makes people feel better, a sense of overall wellness and health, ease, and hope. SourcePoint Therapy’s nature and orientation is health, and health from a SP perspective brings in the qualities of order, balance, harmony and flow.  SP removes the blockages and returns the flow of health to the person. SP is based on the intention and connection to health for the human body and grounding the human being in their highest potential.

Why did it call to you as a healing modality?

Elizabeth:  I love its simplicity and its effectiveness, and how I never know what I will be doing until the person shows up and we talk and they get on the table. It really is a modality that as the practitioner you need to be present for moment by moment listening to the other person’s body and system and responding in kind how to bring it back into greater harmony and attunement with health.

Why would you tell someone to try it?

Elizabeth:  Anyone who wants to feel better and root themselves in health. Also people come to me to heal and get support for a physical injury, on-going stress, mental or emotional imbalances, pregnancy support or postpartum support, chronic health conditions, you want support in resolving, to name a few. I love working with all ages…and have the pleasure to work with babies and kids as well as adults.

What can people expect when they come?

Elizabeth:  We will talk for a few moments before getting on the massage table. On the table you are fully clothes and face up. Many sink into that alert but asleep healing state, and leave feeling a sense of completion. The work continues after you leave as your body continues to self-heal.

Want more information?  Check out the SourcePoint website:

After my appointment today, and throughout the rest of this afternoon, I have felt an absolute feeling of wellness and feeling ‘right’ and good.  Of feeling like everything’s ticking along in my body.  It was different than reiki – Elizabeth puts her hands on areas that need to get energy moved through.  But similar in that she’s working with your body’s energy to get it aligned with the ‘blueprint’ of optimum health that she outlined.

You can find Elizabeth at Tula Yoga and Wellness Center.  Much peace and health to you this day and every day.

Peace. Love. Joy,

Sarah

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Self Love – Thai Yoga Massage

February is SELF LOVE month in Turino Fitness land.  This is the month to be your own Valentine.  To seek out ways to treat yourself kindly and shower your beautiful self with care.

This month – we’ll be highlighting a few of the amazing people that offer self-care where I work – Tula Yoga and Wellness.  Why?  Because I have availed myself of their services and they.are.amazing.  If you’re not from around here, seek out practitioners of some of the modalities that you’ll be reading about this month.

First up?

THAI YOGA MASSAGE

This is Gudrun Carroll Brooks

selflovegudrun

Gudrun is my colleague at Tula and is passionate about educating and spreading the word about the benefits of Thai Yoga Massage.  You can check out her video here.

This morning – I had a tough workout.  My body felt crickity and ‘old’.  I was tiiiiiired and stiff.  On a whim, I texted Gudrun about getting in for my very first Thai Yoga Massage…she texted me back and 1 ½ hours after my workout, I was IN.

What is Thai Yoga Massage?  I had no idea.  It had the word massage in it so…yay!  And pretty much, that was all I knew.  Here’s what Gudrun says:

“Thai yoga massage is based on something called “Metta” which means “loving kindness”.  When the practitioner sets this intention for the recipient, it comes through in the massage and can be extremely powerful.  Metta, in addition to customizing the postures and touch for each person encourages healing.  It is wonderful.”

How does Thai Yoga Massage help people?   

“There are so many ways that this type of massage helps people.  There are the physical ways, like increasing circulation and blood-flow, stretching the body and muscles, increasing joint mobility and releasing stagnant energy.  In addition, it is calming, nurturing and relaxing, decreasing stress and balancing the body physically and energetically.”

What can people expect when they come?  

“People can expect a comprehensive, full-body treatment that is customized to their needs and wants. This type of massage is different for each person and is always based on the individual.  I take into account their body type, physical abilities or limitations and desired pressure, which can range from soft and gentile to strong and deep.  They will be in good hands and free to relax!”

Why would you tell someone to try it?   

“Because it feels so great and has so many benefits – more than traditional modalities.  And because it is performed clothed.  I think for this reason alone, it serves more people more comfortably.”

My experience is this – it’s different than a massage because she’s manipulating your body and moving it into wonderful positions in addition to massage.  She’s incredibly strong and I just melted into her hands.  You’re on a mat on the floor.  You keep your clothes on.  She had told me I might get chilly and to keep on my sweatshirt even.  Truth.  When I go again, I’ll be wearing my big fluffy socks.  The touch isn’t deep or sharp.  It’s long and smooth.  I never felt like she was putting an elbow into something or like I wanted to gasp in pain.  It was more like she was stretching my muscles FOR ME.

My favorite parts:

*That you can just let your body turn to jello and let her do her thing.  She doesn’t need you to lift your leg etc. she does it for you.

*My feet are in love with Gudrun.  And ask anyone who is close to me, I’m not a feet girl.  I don’t like people touching my feet.  They are VERY.TICKLISH.  Not with Gudrun.

*My hips are more open.  If you listen closely, you can hear them singing harmony.  Serious.

*She has this lavender oil that she uses on her wrists so that you can smell it above your face as she rubs your face at the end.   Afterwards, you feel delicious.  But the beauty was as the day went on, I felt really stretchy.  Heaven.

I’m going to sound like a broken record this month, but you are so worth some self-love.  Take a minute and land on a little something today that reminds you to take sweet care of yourself.  Besides my Thai Yoga Massage today, I showered.  Woohoo!

Much peace, love, joy.

Sarah

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February is Self Love Month (aka Be Your Own Valentine)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about being a new mom and trying to figure out how to carve some space out for exercise. (See “You’re Worth It” here.)  It reminded me of a time that carving out ANY TIME for self-care seemed impossible.

Truth be told – in some ways, I’m no better than I was when I had very little children.  Sometimes, I don’t practice what I preach.

I got to thinking about Self Love.  And making some time to do things that show our insides that we really love ourselves.  And I found myself lacking in some areas.  And I’m a little embarrassed by them.

For me, shaving right now is not really a priority.

Lotion?  I need lotion.  But do I take the time to put it on?  No.

Daily Face regimen?  Um.  No.

Regular haircut?  Ack.  No.

Now you add in – special treats like MASSAGE, or BODYWORK, or EPSOM SALT BATHS, or CUPS OF TEA AND BOOKS FOR PLEASURE…things I really like.  And I’m not just lacking, I’m DEFICIENT.  Why?  Why don’t I make some space for this stuff when it makes me feel so damn good?

Well – there’s a list:

*Time – yup, I don’t make the time.

*Appointments annoy me because they take so much time.

*I forget my needs.

*I forget what fills my well.

*Too expensive.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

What?

I AM NOT PRACTICING WHAT I PREACH!!!!!

What about you?  Do you honor your self-care and shower yourself with self-love?  If so, HOW!?  And if you don’t, WHY NOT?!

For the month of February, I’m going to go on an adventure.  Will you join me?  Let’s throw out the list of excuses – because excuses suck and stop you from doing what you might really need.  Excuses stop you from filling your well. Let’s seek out opportunities to shower ourselves with self-love.  Why?  I am repeating myself until we get it, “Because you’re worth it.”  Because IT’S worth it.  It’s so worth it to walk out of whatever appointment and feel shiny and full up.  To feel relaxed and stretchy.  To feel calm and centered.

It’s worth it.  You’re worth it.

Up first?  Thai Yoga Massage.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Peace, Love, Joy and SELF LOVE!

S

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You’re Worth It.

Once upon a time, my kids were little – 2 years old and newborn little.  Around the time I had the first one, I immersed myself in trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL I WAS DOING.  I didn’t know anything about being a mother, let alone being a ‘good’ mother and the learning curve was STEEP and there was no manual.

When you’re in that situation, you get a bit mmmmmyopic about what you’re doing.  Because it’s survival mode for you AND this wee one/s that are in your care.

Everything else, for me anyhow, got swept aside.  Everything.  Else.

I wished I could have been like those other mothers who appeared to be able to do it all – work, be great wives, be great friends, work out (?), and LOOK GOOD while meeting the needs of their babies (some moms even had their hair done and lipstick on…how did they DO THAT?)  I was not one of those women.

Frankly, I could barely remember to brush my teeth, shave my legs, and…shower even. 121-2125_IMGMe…probably unshowered and preggers.

Around the time I was pregnant with my second child, I went to a mom/kid class.  The teacher asked the class, “What do you do for yourself?”  I had to get up and leave the room.  Because for two years I hadn’t done anything for myself.  It was upsetting for me.  Where was Sarah in this whole parenting thing?  Where did she go?  Who was she?  Who was she now?

Anybody else feel like this?

I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know how or where to start.  I just knew that I needed a little something – not much, just a little something – for my own beautiful self.  And after my second baby came and my head came up a little, I chose running.

Just so you know…I was not a long-distance runner.  Ever.  Sprinter, yes.  Distance, no.  Super hard and uncomfortable and I was often looked at with concern chugging down the street.  (Honestly…this probably still happens…haha!)

My sweet husband would come home and I’d have my running shoes on and hand the babies over and yell, “PEACE OUT!” on my way out the door.  I even hired a babysitter once a week, so I could go for a run and then treat myself to an iced tea.

All little steps toward reclaiming a little part of myself that I had lost.

It doesn’t have to be babies.  It can be lots of things – work, relationships, busy-ness that cause us to forget our beautiful selves.  Or, maybe we were never taught to pay attention to our needs or how to give ourselves the gift of self-care.

You’re worth it.

You are so damn worth it.

You are worthy.

Self-care comes in a lot of different forms.  What makes you feel good?  What makes your well get full/er?  What can you offer yourself that reminds you of yourself and how IMPORTANT you are to your world?  That reminds you that you need care!?

Whatever it is.  Please, do it.  Because you are worth it.

*Cup of tea, good book.

*Walk.

*Fresh air.

*Exercise.

*Time with friends.

*Time with partner.

*Massage.

*Facial.

*Really.Nice.Lotion.

*Bubble baths.

*Meditation.

*Leisurely perusing a book store.

Whatever it is.  Carve out a little space for yourself and make it happen.  And then, pay attention to how good it feels to treat yourself nicely and give yourself what you need.  Why?

Because you’re worth it.

Peace, Love, Joy.  :)  Sarah

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