The Power of Our Words

The Power of Our Words
I sat there nervously twirling my hair, my thoughts trying to convince me I shouldn't.

"What are you thinking, hon? Are you thinking you shouldn't do it even though you told me a few minutes ago how excited you were?"

I nodded at my husband and sighed.

Two days later: I just took a big leap of faith this weekend. And I know that it was a decision I was supposed to make, but there were a few moments when I wasn't so sure. Yesterday, I applied and got accepted for something really cool, which I'll share more about as time goes on. But I had a lot of limiting beliefs & second-guessing myself.

I wanted to share with you some wisdom from my husband that also it really helped me clarify the thoughts that were racing through my head as I was trying to decide about doing this, taking this big step. The power of Should is what we tell ourselves, especially when our mind is racing. We have so many thoughts that go through our head each day. We tell ourselves so many different things throughout the day. And honestly, we are the ones who speak to ourselves the most out of anybody, anyone, even our, our close family and friends. We talk to ourselves more than anybody else talks to us. And sometimes we tell ourselves a lot of unhelpful things: "I should or should not think this, I should have done this, I should not have done that, I really should go do this, but I don't feel like it."

Does that sound familiar to anybody else? We tell ourselves so many different things throughout the day. And oftentimes we kind of guilt ourselves into doing things. We say, "Oh, I really should do the laundry, or I really should go do dishes," implying, "I don't want to go do that. But I should, because I it's just my duty, right rather than an obligation instead of something that I actually want to do."

I realized that instead of saying "I should do this," I am choosing to focus more now on "I want to do this, I am doing this, I will do this, I or I will not do this," rather than using the word 'should' so much. Because 'should' just puts my mind in a mindset or a frame of guilt and shaming myself. And that's not necessary. I don't need that, any you don't either!

How can you choose to think and speak to yourself differently today about habits you desire to change or mistakes you have made? How can I support you in that?

One of the ladies I am coaching asked me to send her spontaneous texts that say something like, "I choose to eat _____ today. Remember how amazing you feel when you _____?" To help reminder of 1) what she wants to do, 2) how she wants to feel when she does it, and 3) the way she wants to speak to herself.

Or maybe you just need direction first and practical steps to take on your journey. My TMJ Strong course, if you're dealing with those issues, may be the perfect fit to give you step-by-step applicable action items to get you moving rather than sitting in analysis paralysis.

If you need a little kick in the pants or gentle nudge and coaching is for you, reply or reach out with the words "I choose" to get 50% off your first session. I'm here to help you!

Choose your language; it's more powerful than you think.

How Can I Get Rid of Anxiety

How can I get rid of anxiety?

This is a question I asked myself a LOT when I was hardcore struggling. I mean, I felt like I was powerless over the thoughts and feelings running through my mind and body, and it was very difficult. For a long time, I couldn't believe I had any control over it -- I thought I was just at the mercy of it.

But I realized later how wrong that was... how it didn't at ALL fit into my beliefs.

I believe personally that God lives within me, that I have His power and strength and love residing in my heart and mind and soul and spirit. If that's true (which if you don't believe that's true, replace it with love or the universe or something else... what fits your framework, just hear what I'm saying).

If God lives within me, I 1000% have His power to take control of thoughts and feelings within me. I'm fallible and will make mistakes being human too, but I CAN reclaim that power of God in me through the strength of the Holy Spirit -- "not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind."

Here's one way you can do that, one antidote for fear, anxiety, and worry. Be filled with courage.


How to Cut Caffeine & Sugar So That You Feel Alive & Thrive

How to Cut Caffeine & Sugar So That You Feel Alive & Thrive
Do you wake up in the morning feeling energized and alive? If you answer “no” to that, you’re not alone. SO many people are leading busy lives during the day and not getting enough restful sleep at night, and feel like they are dragging during the day. I know I was a few years ago.



If you are stressed-out and sleep-deprived, it is likely that you are turning to refined sugars and caffeine to get through the day. The problem is not your morning cup of coffee or enjoying the taste... the problem is when the resulting blood sugar crash leads to an afternoon coffee or sugar craving and then another, and another, and another...

Once the cycle has started, it’s very difficult to achieve a state of balance until it's broken. When the body’s natural energy rhythms are off, these issues can pop up: raging food cravings, weakened immune system, increased inflammation in the body, weight issues, difficulty with restful sleep, and more.

In order to proactively care for your body, soul, and mind, it is important to break the cycle. Some people can quit caffeine and sugar cold turkey. Most people struggle with that, though. Since sugar and caffeine are addictive, withdrawals are common, usually in the form of headaches and fatigue. Gradually reduce the amount you’re consuming AND find a replacement that will truly fuel your body's need for energy. Often we also become attached to the routine, so it is important to find something else that can be just as emotionally satisfying. I have LOTS of great healthful fuel ideas in 
Abundant Life Community.

It's not that you have to go the rest of your life without birthday cake or an occasional cappuccino. These foods are meant to be enjoyed in very occasional moderation. If daily indulgences begin to take their toll on energy levels, take simple steps to regain control and reconnect with feeling naturally alert and energized all day long. It's 100% doable!! But it starts with belief, mindset, and practical action steps. Having a cheerleader can be SO beneficial along the way, too. I'm starting a natural energy challenge mid-April if you would like practical steps, a mentor to walk you through it, and the determination to complete what you start! Contact me if you're interested, and I'll ask you a few basic questions to ensure that this challenge is right for you.

5 Ways to Actively Detoxify and Gently Cleanse

5 Ways to Actively Detoxify and Gently Cleanse
Detoxing and cleansing are super important for our body to optimally function, especially right now. To learn more about why detoxing and cleansing is important, check out my other post here.

But now that you know why it's important...

5 Ways to Actively Detoxify and Gently Cleanse

1. Drink LOTS of Water -- Learn more about why water is so important!

2. Lower (or Eliminate!) Processed Sugar Intake
       Processed sugar, when consumed in excess as most modern foods/diets do, can affect our health negatively in several ways. It can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of several potential diseases. Reduce consumption of sugar, table salt, processed foods, and junk foods to help the body lower inflammation and detoxify.

3. Add Antioxidants to Your Diet
       Antioxidants protect our cells against free radicals. Unhealthy habits including smoking, following a modern processed food diet, drinking too much alcohol, exposure to pollutants such as toxic ingredients found in personal care products and household cleaners, and more can lead to the accumulation of free radicals in the body. To fight these, we can add foods loaded with antioxidants to our diet daily like wolfberries, grapes, onion, garlic, mango, spinach, capsicum, and certain herbal teas. Some have a much higher content than others, so if you're looking for the highest antioxidant content in foods, check out my favorites list below.

      My top 5 favorite foods and teas high in antioxidants:
          -- Wolfberries, specifically a certain kind from China: learn more about my favorite kind.
          -- Detoxify Tea (includes tumeric and other herbs that help our body cleanse)
         -- Increasing fiber in your diet -- I specifically like a supplement called ICP for occasional help with increasing fiber in my diet and helping scrub that colon wall (you can purchase it here, though not everyone benefits from the same thing. Schedule a wellness consult with me to get more info or shoot me an email).
         -- High-quality garlic and other foods high in antioxidants. Always choose organic/locally grown, when you can, and go out of your way to prioritize that. Why? Learn more about it from my dad who has an 8-acre organic vegetable farm near Rochester, MN.
        -- Moringa, a superfood high in antioxidants. I like adding it to smoothies. :)



5. Do a specific cleanse/reset of the digestive system.
   I am actually newer to this concept (it's something I'm still learning about!) but I am going to be doing a cleanse (no food, just a homemade lemon juice mix for 10 days!) described in this book after the Thanksgiving holiday before Christmas so my body and digestive system/colon can reset.
   Some of the supplies/ingredients needed:
      -- Maple Syrup (someone else doing this cleanse specifically recommended getting this kind, perhaps it says in the book why, but I haven't read the book yet!)
      -- A caffeine free laxative tea like this one
     -- Fine ground REAL sea salt (this one non-iodized!)
     -- Ground Cayenne Pepper 
     -- Organic Lemons
     -- A juicer is HIGHLY recommended!
  If you're interested in joining me, get the materials above and let me know you're doing it! There's a few other tips I've learned from others doing it that can be super helpful, and I can pass along to you. I'll add you to a group I'm in all about cleansing in this way to have support and accountability together.

People I know who have done this cleanse have reported:
1: Lowered Inflammation
2: Have more energy
3: Better sleep
4: Clarity of mind
5: Positive outlook
6: Greater flexibility
7: Weight loss
8: Freedom from addiction
9: Increased strength
10: Swelling and pain
11: Hair loss regrowth
12: Skin improvement
13: Allergies reduced
And simply just feel better.

Sounds good to me!!

So there you have it. Some simple ways to help the body detox and be at our best. Feeling stuck, or need additional tools to get you moving in the right direction? I have additional simple detoxing strategies from the ones listed here. Or maybe you just need some accountability and encouragement! Come join a group of like-minded people who want to do this wellness thing naturally, and encourage one another to stay the course.

My Top 5 Current Favorite Growth Books

My Top 5 Current Favorite Growth Books
I have GROWN so much in the past year -- physically stronger and truly healthy (nope, I wasn't really that physically healthy before, though to most in our culture I would have looked it), emotionally more stable and empowered, mentally fitter and challenged, relationally in connecting with others, and more grounded in who I am and my God-given purpose.

Much of this growth has been through being challenged by mentors in relationship (a HUGE perk of our wellness team. I would have never met these amazing people who encourage and spur me on were it not for this journey over the past 3 years!), but a lot of my own growth has been having the space in life to READ again. Of course I read and was reading the Bible, but I used to read a ton during high school, both personal development books but also fiction. College left me with only time to read assigned textbooks and such, and after college I found myself super overwhelmed figuring out my career and reading got put on the back burner.

One blessing from this pandemic season has been getting back to reading! It's been so healthy and transformative for me. So without further ado, my top 5 recommendations for personal development and growth:

1. Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf -- Mindset and emotions work. SO powerful. She talks about retraining our brains, as our brains are a muscle and SUPER adaptable just like other muscles and parts of our bodies. I gift this book to people who join my Empowering Emotions/Managing Mindset Challenge (contact me for more info!).

2. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell -- I've learned a lot about the skill and art of relating to people recently from this book. It really IS something we can get better at and learn how to do (it's not just something some people are born good at and others aren't). I'm in a Tuesday morning book club right now going through this one and LOVING it!

3. Sensing the Rhythm by Mandy Harvey (70% off on Amazon as I write this!!) -- A memoir type book following Mandy's story of losing her hearing but still going on to be a singer/songwriter, her spiritual and growth-driven perspective isn't just inspiring, but motivating. I see SO much of my own story in hers (my journey through TMJD to the other side and the unexpected blessings from pain).

4. The Superior Ningxia Wolfberry by Hugo Rodier -- I just HAD to learn more about why I am feeling so much better and my body is doing so much better now than I was a couple years ago. This little book was a goldmine. And if you'd like to start this wellness journey with me and join our natural wellness community, I'm happy to give you this one for free. Ask me for more details if you're interested.

5. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron -- This book started our (my and Gabe's) journey to understanding ourselves better, so much better, in the context of relationships with others and with God. We are SO grateful for reading this book first, but also being able to dive deeper in learning about ourselves through some amazing friends/mentors. If you're interested in learning more about yourself via the Enneagram or coaching opportunities with my friend Kristi, you can check it out here.



There you have it! What are your favorite books that have led to growth and personal development?




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Why Drinking Water is So Important for TMJ/Joint Issues

Why Drinking Water is So Important for TMJ/Joint Issues
Staying hydrated is VERY important, especially as someone who used to struggle with joint issues AND is a singer for 7+ hours every day. The amount of water each person needs is going to depend on that person and how physically active they are in a given day. I get a few miles of exercise just jumping around my classroom every day! And I also do 2+ miles of walking with the dog daily. Do some experimenting with how much water works best for you. Some people may function better with more water than usual, and it may help reduce issues!, while for others it only causes the inconvenience of more frequent trips to the bathroom.
For me, my voice has to stay hydrated to perform at optimal levels. I already knew that from how much training I had as a singer during college. But did you know that the WHOLE BODY is like that? I kind of did, but not as much as once I started looking up WHY dehydration is such a problem, especially if you're experiencing discomfort.
Your body needs water to function and without sufficient water your body struggles to perform all its necessary tasks, like flushing toxins from the system and lubricating your cells. Believe it or not, there is actually some evidence that supports increasing water decreases some symptoms.
Many health experts have recommended a diet high in antioxidants (remember my red drink? If not, contact me and I'll tell you about my antioxidant hack) as well as drinking fresh water as being great ways to manage inflammation and pain. Water is recommended because it can flush toxins and other irritants out of our systems, decreasing the inflammatory response.
When there is a scarcity of water in the body, cartilage loses its sponginess. Drinking more water may not treat the underlying cause, but it can help keep your joints healthy. Proper hydration can improve the production of synovial fluid, reduce the inflammation, and maintain the shock absorbing properties of cartilage.
Throughout the day, the discs in our backs lose water and need to rehydrate. Drinking water to adequately replenish the discs with the amount water needed to work properly can reduce the likelihood of developing back issues.
It is well documented that water dehydration can lead to the development of headaches. Some observational studies indicate that water dehydration, in addition to impairing concentration and increasing irritability, can serve as a trigger for migraines and other forms of headaches. In those with a water deprivation-induced headache, ingestion of water provided relief from headache in most individuals within 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Our immune system also requires water to work at optimum levels.
As you can see, water is really important! I know some people don't like drinking plain water (which is why they drink other things that contain harmful additives in them). I actually like adding a natural electrolyte squirt (you can find here) to flavor my water and change it up. 🙂 If you do add any GRAS essential oils to your water (which I also recommend!), just make sure you use a glass or metal water bottle. I really like this one personally. And make sure your oils are therapeutic grade and the purest! We definitely would not want to introduce more toxins to your body by using oils that are not pure.

____________________________________________________________________________

So now that you know how helpful staying hydrated is, keep at it! If you need encouragement or accountability to stay on track, I have the perfect opportunity for you; reach out to learn more about it!

Struggling with TMJ issues? I did too. (Yes, that is a past tense verb! I've been pain-free for almost 3 years now and grateful every single day for it.) There are so many things that can exacerbate it, but that also means there are so many natural options at your fingertips for addressing those issues and finding relief. One quick example? Hormones can cause issues with joints. I know more than I'd ever care to know now about TMJ and joint issues, and my goal now is just to bless as many people as I can with what I learned. If I can help others experience less pain or less years of pain than I did, this journey will have been WORTH it to me.

Do Something That Scares You

Do Something That Scares You
Do Something Every Day (or at Least Every Week!) That Scares You

I HATE talking on the phone... so much. I have always disliked it, even as a kid.

I don't always know how the person will be when they receive my call. Will they be busy? At work? Happy? Sleepy? Will they want to talk to me? Will they see my name or number and dread it?

I can't see their face to read body language like in a video call or face-to-face. At least with a text, I can write and re-write and add emojis... and with a voice clip or voice text, I can redo it before sending it, unlike leaving a voicemail!

Maybe this feeling is also from past experiences calling home for students from school. I tried to make just as many positive calls as I made calls to discuss behaviors that needed addressing, but I still always felt like families dreaded to see the school's number calling.

Maybe it's because most phone calls I make are for other things I dread, like dr visits or dentist appointments.

Regardless of why....

I have chosen a big mindset shift surrounding making phone calls this week.

Instead of fear... I'm choosing love.
Instead of worry... I'm choosing confidence.
Instead of the "what ifs"... I'm choosing to look forward to talking to the person I'm calling.
Instead of focusing on me... I'm focusing on who I'm calling.
Instead of worrying what to say... I'm making a note of what to say if I have something to tell them (so I don't forget) but otherwise focusing on asking questions.
Instead of waiting all day to make the calls I dreaded... I'm calling earlier and getting on with my day.
Instead of assuming I'm bothering someone... I'm assuming someone will look forward to hearing from me.

Doesn't that FEEL different? It sure does to me!

And I'm choosing to call multiple people per week now, just to say hi and connect, and practice getting EXCITED about calling people on the phone instead of dreading talking on the phone.

In this season when we can't connect in person as much or at all, how much would a phone call mean to someone, just to say 'hi' and check on them? A LOT.

I've already had one great phone conversation this week. And that bolsters my confidence and anticipation for the next phone calls I make! If I have your number, get ready to see my name ringing on your phone! :)

What is something that scares YOU that you can work on and work through and overcome so that you can grow, serve others, and impact the world around you for good?

How can I support you in that growth? I'd love to be a cheerleader for you, and you can do the same for me. I have been building a community that supports one another and builds one another up on this kind of journey, specifically conquering those fears and limiting beliefs surrounding growth goals that hold us back. You can learn more about the community here and reach out to me to learn more about how you can join us for our next challenge coming up! Sending you love (and a phone call)! <3

Enneagram -- My Thoughts as a Type Four

Enneagram Type 4 wing 3
(graphic credit to @justmyenneatype)
I never would have thought a few years ago that I would resonate so much with type 4. As I learn more about each type, I think, 'How am I a 4? Really? 4s are SO emotive.'
I grew up thinking that emotions were too big and too much for me and for others. Somehow I got the message that if I felt sad or frustrated or extremely passionate, that wasn't necessarily a good thing. My big feelings often turned people off. I often felt like I came across as "too much" to other people. So I shut them down (at least the ones I deemed unhelpful by others' standards), and I toned down the big emotions that were more "acceptable."
I'm learning now, that's really not helpful.
If someone doesn't like me for who I really am... then why am I trying to change to fit their ever-changing expectation of who I'm supposed to be?
How does that help the people I desire to serve well?
What does that show children -- that we shouldn't be who God has made us to be? That God made us somehow "wrong" and we have to change to fit others' molded expectations? That depending who we are around we ourselves have to change?
How does that give me the energy and drive to do my jobs well?
It doesn't.
I am learning to embrace who God has truly made me to be, to serve others from who I am at my core, to share my story with others in hopes that those who need it will hear it, to be God's light to others by being who I truly am, not a facade of someone I think I'm supposed to be.
I am embracing and leaning into my type 4-ness, big-imagination tendencies, my feelings and ability to empathize, my ability to relate and cheer someone on through something I've already been through... and learning to harness this for good and growth rather than use my big imagination to worry.
The people who need to hear my story will hear it and feel connected and loved and served... exactly my desire. ❤
And the people who don't? Oh well! Maybe it will mean a less close relationship or distancing of sorts. Maybe it will change nothing and we'll still be good friends! Maybe it will improve some relationships! But are any of those really truly bad things? If someone cannot accept me for who I actually am -- bumps and bruises, successes and failures, feelings and big thoughts and dreams, growth and mistakes, desires to change or stay the same and all -- how close are they REALLY? How much am I really caring for others if I'm not fully myself?
Just some thoughts. Love you guys! REALLY. I mean that.

Normal

Normal

Normal.

What is normal?

A mindset. Normal for everyone is a bit different.

Does everyone else get up in the morning and immediately let the pup outside? No, but that's my normal.

Does everyone else spend 1-2 hours per day talking with people about wellness goals, in service to others, to help them fulfill their dreams of feeling well preventatively? No, but it's my normal.

Does everyone eat fresh cucumbers for lunch during the summer, grow 5 kinds of mint while gardening organically, and drink chocolate or orange mint tea in the winter? No, but it's my normal.

Did everyone go to a private K-12 school growing up? No, but that's my normal.

Does everyone sing 5-8 hrs per day for FUN and get to pass that joy and skill on to adults and kids alike? No, but it's my joyful normal.

Does everyone sleep 7-8 hours per night? For most, that's a sad no, but it's my normal now! It definitely didn't used to be.

Does everyone go to church every Sunday? No, but that's my normal.

Does everyone work for themselves as their own "boss"? No, but it's becoming my normal.

Does everyone eat Einkorn instead of modern grain? No, but it's becoming our normal.

Does everyone play strategy board games often the way Gabe & I do? No, but we enjoy it, and it's our normal.

Does everyone believe the same things about God or humanity? No, but we each have a normal.

Our normal is governed by our underlying beliefs and mindset. Our normal is fundamentally governed by what we believe about ourselves -- who we are, what we say to ourselves.

Do you tell yourself:
I am anxious.
I am tired.
I am broke.
I am hurt.
I am in pain.
I am stuck.
I am stressed.
I am broken.
I am a sinner.
I am hopeless.
I am incapable of _______ (something that hasn't happened yet that you are dreaming of).

I have to work this job.
I have to marry this person.
I have to live here.

OR, do you tell yourself:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am at peace.
I am serving others.
I am connected in community.
I am made new.
I am growing.
I am a sharer of my talents and knowledge.
I am healed.
I am a saint who sometimes still sins.
I am hope-filled.
I am already _________ (fill in the blank with a goal that God sees as done, but to me is "not yet").

I can change my mind.
I can develop new preferences.
I can be authentically ME.

How can you move towards a new normal, if you're telling yourself the former things? How can I help you on the journey of saying the latter things to yourself?

Love you, dear friends. 🥰

Why Hormones May Affect TMJ Issues And How to Support the Body's Natural Hormones

The body is super complex, with many different systems working together but also performing separate functions. Your musculoskeletal system, which includes your joints and your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), can be affected by many factors, including gut health, immune system function, mental/emotional health, inflammation in the body, and hormones.

Hormones are constantly at work in your body and can even play a role in certain illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). And, conditions like this can make TMJ issues worse.

The Possible Link Between Hormones and Joint Issues

Although arthritis seems unrelated to hormones, medical research says they may be very related, especially when it comes to RA. Unlike osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system begins attacking healthy cells instead of foreign invaders. And for women, the experiences of RA are closely correlated with hormonal changes that occur during menstrual cycles, perimenopause, and menopause. Although there is still much more to learn about these things, some studies have found:

The hormones estrogen and progesterone appear to protect against some issues when they are at their highest levels.
Women report less discomfort during the latter part of the menstrual cycle, when estrogen and progesterone levels are at their peak. (So if we can support the body in balancing/maintaining levels, this could be a way to support the body in optimal function.)

Pregnant women are far less likely to develop issues or experience flare-ups. Estrogen and progesterone levels soar during pregnancy.

Onset seems to peak for women between the ages of 45 and 49. This is commonly a period of hormonal decline before menopause begins, known as perimenopause.

Women are two to four times more likely to develop joint issues than men, so it’s possible that the hormone fluctuations trigger the onset of the condition in some people, and the hormonal changes that occur throughout life can either protect against symptoms or make them worse. Other factors, such as genetics, environment, diet, smoking, and alcohol use may also increase a person’s risk of having discomfort, but the hormonal link perhaps may explain why issues appear to come and go at certain times for women.

What This Means for TMJD

Knowing that women’s hormones can affect joints in general, we can assume that for some women, hormones may also affect their temporomandibular joint (TMD). This is because the TMJ is a joint like other joints in the body, so the same things can affect it as well. For women who experience discomfort, it can help them understand why their symptoms may get worse at specific times of the month or certain times in their lives.

If you’re having joint issues, it may be important to see your doctor to get testing, but there are also many things you can do to support your body on your own. I share about
my own experience with TMJ issues and addressing them naturally so that people can see that there are options, and naturopaths may be also able to assist in this.

There IS hope for those who struggle with these things -- you CAN feel empowered to support hormones naturally from home; if you'd like support along the way, I am more than happy to walk alongside you and be a cheerleader on your journey. I would have wished that for myself a few years ago, so I'd be honored to be that for you. This does not need to be fearful or lonely. There's community and hope and abundance for you, dear friend.
 
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