Filters, perceptions and adulating -- oh my!

"Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more then likely reflect your outcomes." -Sonya Teclai

Adulting can be really confusing sometimes. It's this sweet mix of pain and heartache and surrender, joy and growth.

Growing up I thought stepping into the adult world meant life got easier. I use to look on at all the grown ups in my life and think, "Man, I can't wait to be an adult too. Life looks way more fun when you are older."

I had high hopes, big dreams and lofty aspiration as a kid. I was going to set the world on fire with my badass adutingness (That is a word in my adult world) and I could hardly wait to get there. Being an adult is what dreams were made of, right?  

Okay, so insert scratching record player and every head turning in my direction as if I just stepped into the room wearing nothing but a velvet fedora and a bright pink sash that say, "Look at me! Look at me! I'm a mother fing gangsta!" Stranger things have happened. 

Life, as an adult, is interesting to say the least. Some view it as the most amazing part of the human experience, full of incredible opportunities, exchanges, experiences and so on. Others are practically hammering the nails in their own coffin as they slowly let the days pass them by, loathing every minute,  just waiting for it all to be over. 

The only difference? Filters, perceptions and perspective. 

Right after my divorce I was living with my brother and sister-in-law back in my home town of Issaquah, Washington and my adorably sweet and ridiculously intuitive and smart nephew would often as me out of what felt like out of nowhere, "TT, when am I going to be an adult?" It was always said as if he was missing out on some kind of awesome toy that comes once you enter adulthood. I'm serious, we'd be in the middle of watching a movie or playing with his toys and he'd just pause, look up at me and ask, "TT, when am I going to be and adult?

I always took a long, deep breath, remembering what it felt like to be a kid longing to grow up fast. I'd looked at him, smile and say, "Oh buddy, you have plenty of time to be an adult. Just be happy and have fun being a kid. You'll have plenty of time to adult"

He'd always look back at me with a questioning stare as if I was hiding some big, crazy something from him like, the Easter Bunny was in fact, really a Turtle. Sometimes you can't win with kids. Sometimes kids are way more intuitive then we give them credit for. 

I often wondered how I could persuade him into slowing down a bit and just enjoy being a kid. How, if he was't careful, before he knew it he'd be thirty-six years old, looking back on his life wondering how it went by so fast. I want to tell him that there are some really beautiful things about the naivety of being a kid and you can never go back to that time in your life and so try and drag it out as long as possible.

Sometimes, when he'd ask me, "TT, when AM I going to be an adult?" these words would momentarily flash before me: 

Bud, adulting is scary business. Really friggin' scary. You see, there are all these expectations and responsibilities and one wrong move and you can completely screw everything up. Or at least it feels that way most of the time.  

And the choices. All the friggin' choices. God, are there A LOT of decisions to make. Like, seriously man. I mean, I work way better with multiple choice questions so why can't life work that way too? Just give me a few choices, I'll work my process of elimination and viola, I'll know exactly what to do and life will feel very easy. Instead, life feels like you are constantly writing a twenty-five page abstract essay on a time limit of about five minutes. Cause that's basically how fast life goes by when you reach adulthood bud. 

You think picking out a new toy is overwhelming sweet boy? Well, just wait until you have to pick out a whole friggin' life in a world that is constantly changing full of other adults who are trying to make similar choices. It can feel dark and scary and like there are storms brewing from every directions. 

Then there are experiences that happen that are just out of your control. Heartbreak, betrayal, lies, death, illness, losing jobs, falling in love, falling out of love, realizing the person you are with just can't love you back. Mommy and daddy aren't around twenty-four seven to put a bandaid on your broken heart or hold you when you are scared of the lions under the bed. And sometimes you lie in bed at night and just cry because it all just feels like too much and all you want to do is go back to a time when your biggest worry was how the hell you are going to hide the fact that you spilt milk on the couch from your mom and dad and you come up with the brilliant idea that you'll just simply let the dog lick it up and you are proud of yourself. 

Life works it's way so deep into your cells that you start to feel yourself become jaded and rough. You are constantly in a tug-a-war, an internal battle of staying soft and open verses becoming hard and crusty with every major life experience. 

Then there are these things called responsibilities. If you aren't careful they wills start to weigh you down like a one hundred pound weight that you are required to carry around every day, all day. All a result of some choice you made in the past. Another wrong turn you took when you were merely just trying to make, what you thought, was the best decision at the time. 

Oh, and whoa, I almost forgot, people are mean. And scary. I mean, not all of them, but there are a lot of them that are because most of them are just as scared and tired as you are and they are merely taking their frustrations and fears out on you. Their shoulders are just as heavy from the weight of their own stories. 

And don't get me started on failed dreams. All those things you wanted to do, all those places you wanted to go, the wild, crazy adventures you thought you'd experience on a regular basis, a lot of them probably won't come true and you'll be left feeling disappointed, depressed and wondering if this is really what life is supposed to be about. So, buddy, there is plenty of time to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Just stay a kid as long as you friggin' can, okay? 

I'd come to after a minute, shaking off the remnants of my own fears and instead, I'd smile, take a deep breath and say, "Buddy, you have plenty of time to be an adult. Just try and enjoy being a kid as long as you can, okay?" And he'd give me a confused look as if I just told him the Easter Bunny was, in fact, a Turtle. 

And then others times, quieter, peaceful, more self-reflective and grow-inspired times, I'd look at him and think: 

Buddy, if you can, try to stay young as long as possible but pay attention now because you will learn a lot about yourself, who you are, what you want to do, your gifts to the world. If you start to listen closely now, you'll learn that the voice inside of you is actually the truth. Its like an internal compass, helping you navigate your way through life. Its the way, the truth, and the light. Unfortunately, a lot of us stop listening to it as we get older and let other things guide us.

Adulting is amazing bud. It comes with freedoms you don't have as a kid like being able to make decisions for yourself. There are choices that you GET to make as an adult that mommy and daddy make for you as a kid. You GET to choose what you want to do and who you want to be. Isn't that exciting?   

And this bud, this is very important to remember so listen closely sweet boy; life does not happen TO you but FOR you. It's easy bud, to become a victim of life's circumstances. Believe me, your TT has perfected that. We can become jaded and fearful, afraid to get hurt again, to put yourself out there once more, to be seen, especially for an introverts like us. But just keep going. Keep breaking down walls or better yet, fight hard to never put them up to begin with. No matter how afraid you are just remember that life isn't about staying trapped in a protective bubble. Life is about stepping out of your comfort zone and finding the courage to keep going, despite the disappointments, the set back, the fears, the heartache, the pain and the betrayal.

All of it is for your growth as you move through life as an adult. I'll be honest, it doesn't always feel good. Some of it is heavy stuff and almost all of it is the result of a filter or perception we've taken on, sometimes a long time ago. But you want to know one of the coolest things about being an adult? You GET to change that if you want. You have all the freedom in the world to rewrite whatever story you'e been telling yourself. 

So bud, the hard moments are really the defining moments. They don't always make sense. You may end up going through the same experience many times, that too is intended for your growth. You see, until we learn what we need to learn, until we decide to change, life does that to you. It keeps bringing you the same people (just different faces) the same experience, and the same situation, until you decide to rewrite your story, to go down a different path, and to find the courage to react differently. 

Life can be extremely mesmerizing too bud. It can suck you in like when you stand barefoot on the beach, starring down as your feet sinking into the coolness of the sand. Or like when you stand at the shoreline as the waves lap over your feet and you stare out into the endless ocean horizon and feel so full of possibility. Or maybe like when you feel captivated by the crackling embers of the amber and yellow light from a campfire. Adulting has so many moments like that too. 

Buddy, being an adult is awesome. But so is the simplicity of being a kid. Your only job right now is to have fun and be open to new things. To explore and learn, to make mistakes and learn from them. Try not to carry those mistakes with you because if you aren't careful, they will start to feel really heavy and weigh you down later on in life. Learn from them, then brush them off and let them go. Don't let them become part of your story, don't let the cloud your filters and shape your perceptions. 

There will be seasons of pain and sadness. It will come and go, ebb and flow without any warning. If you can, accept that and ride the wave of feelings that come with it knowing that, as grandma always tells me, "This too will eventually pass and you will feel joy and happiness once again. Just give it time."  

And yes, there will be seasons of joy bud and man does this feel good. It kind of feels like every day for you now, as a kid. You wake up so excited for what the day will bring. You jump out of bed, take a big stretch and wonder what amazing thing you will experience today. You know that feeling bud, when we put on our rain boots and go on a walk and jump in puddle after puddle and we laugh and laugh until our bellies ache and are cheeks hurt from that incredible feeling we feel? Those days feel a lot like that. 

Life is a mix of those seasons little man, but always remember this; without the storms and the rain, there wouldn't be any puddles to jump in. 

Then I'd give him a smile and say, "See bud, there is a lot of great things about being an adult, but if you can, enjoy the experience of being a kid." And he'd still look back at me with his confused and questioning stare as if I told him the Easter Bunny was in fact, a Turtle.   

So which one is the truth? Which filter do you walk around with? The first? The second? A mix of both? I don't know. That isn't for me to decide for you. But I hope you think long and hard about the way you view life, the world around you and realize that perception is everything. And it's okay if sometimes you see the world as both because we all have good days and bad days, joyful seasons and sad ones. We would never fully appreciate the happiness that comes from the good times if we hadn't experience the bad ones. 

And it is ridiculously important to remember this one very things;  our filters create our present reality but what we see isn't always the truth. Sometimes we have to take a deep breath, step back and try to look at each situation, each experience, each person from a different perspective, a different angle, a different lens. We have to remember that life isn't happening TO us but FOR our greatest growth as human beings. 

Our filters and perceptions may not actually be the truth and the reality is, we should all smile at the fact that the Easter Bunny very well may in fact, be a Turtle to someone. 

 

My Wellness Bag of Tricks

Happiness is a choice

I get asked a lot about what my health and wellness routine looks like so today's post was inspired from all the questions I get. My routine, or rituals as I call them, have been learned through trial and error over the years and I imagine that they will continue to evolve as I learn more about what works for my life, feeds my heart and soul and makes me feel nourished and nurtured on a deeper level.First and foremost, I believe that health and wellness looks a little different for everyone, mainly because no two people are the same and everyone has different needs to feel healthy, happy and well-balanced. Nourishment and nurturing comes in all shapes and sizes.

Below are a few of my needs and maybe some of them will resonate with you or spark a curiosity.

All in all, just keep trying new things, seek out support and as always, know that I am here to help guide love you as you embark on your journey into a well nourished and nurtured life. 

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1. Eat more greens and limit animal products like dairy. 

I read a study recently that discussed the number one food lacking in most American's diets and it turns out it those glorious greens you hear so much about. There are so many magical ways to get more greens into your diet.

I hear a lot from people that they are so tired of eating salads and I'm here to tell you that there are SO many other ways to add more greens to your diet. Check out this Pinterest board I have created for you dedicated to all those Glorious Greens. This board is full of amazing, delicious and easy recipes to add to your weekly meal planning.  I'll continue to add to it so make sure you like me on Pinterest, would you?

Savoury Soul - Glorious Greens
Savoury Soul - Glorious Greens

There is also a lot of confusion regarding dairy consumption. Is it good for you or bad?  If I don't have dairy in my diet where will I get my calcium? Well loves, good news! There are actually so many other beneficial ways to get calcium into your diet such as eating more of those dark leafy glorious greens. Plus, dairy is highly acidic. When our bodies are in an acidic state it is like a breeding ground for disease and illness.

One of the best articles I've read about why you should ditch dairy is from the ever wonderful Kris Carr found here. She also lists a ton of other calcium-rich alternatives. Check it out!

2. Drink your greens

aloha
aloha

Another powerful and easy way to add more greens to your diet is to drink them. When I can't get to my juicer I often bring powdered greens with me and add them to my water bottle. They are a great way to alkaline your body and get additional nutrients. I've tried many brands and am loving these from Aloha. All organic ingredients with a lot of nutritional value.

They offer everyone a free trial period. You can try them for yourself here.

3. Sweat it out

A great way to detox our bodies is through sweating. Whether you do this through exercise or my latest love, Far Infrared Sauna, it's an important part of cleansing your body on a regular basis.

I posted this picture on Instagram awhile back. Do you follow me yet? 

There are many benefits of using Far Infrared Sauna but just to share a few with you here:

+ Detoxes the body by about 17% more than a normal sauna + Helps heals aches and pains + Pulls out inflammation + Increased relaxation + Purification + Improves skin + Relieves joint pain and stiffness + Increases your metabolism

You just slip inside, close the door for 30 minutes and sweat your tushes off. I usually bring a book or close my eyes and relax.

4. What you put on your skin

For a long time I was mostly concerned only with what I put in my body. I'd eat only organic foods however, what we put on our bodies is just as important. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and absorbs whatever you put on it directly into your bloodstream and into your cells.

Over the last year and a half I have slowly transitioned out of using toxic and chemical laden products and found a few products that I really love that are aligned with what I am looking for.

My nonnegotiable's are:

+ Organic + Cruelty free/animal byproduct free + Safe for the environment using limited resources

Transition can feel a little overwhelming at first so I suggest that you start slow. I went through all my makeup and threw away anything I didn't use anymore and everything that was toxic. I invested in a few essentials at first and have slowly added to them. I don't wear much makeup to begin with but I mean,  it's always fun to have a hot red lipstick in the mix.

I also found a skin care line I really love. It's not too expensive and adheres to my non-negotiable. It's called Acure Organics and can be found at most health food stores and online.

I also use Dr. Bronner's  for body and face wash. I love their peppermint. It smells so fresh and clean.

And last, Instead of lotion, I slather my body with organic coconut oil. I still have a ginger mix I got on my trip to Panama two years ago otherwise, I just use the same stuff I cook with except I keep a different jar in my bathroom.

5. Find some stillness

"Quieting the monkey mind." I love this expression because it rings true for me.

amanda-39
amanda-39

For years I use to tell myself (and others) that I just couldn't meditate. I couldn't get my mind to find any stillness. In many ways I feel like meditation found me though. It got to a point where my own pain and suffering where becoming unbearable and I had to figure out another way. Sitting in stillness has added so many benefits to my life but mostly, it's given me access to what has been true all along and it's allowing me to tap into my inner guide, my number one, my true essence.

6. Get with gratitude

Going through life with a glass half empty attitude is exhausting. It drains you and leaves very little room to appreciate all the amazing things that you do have in your life. I know because this was me for years. Sure, there will be days when you feel blah and like you have no idea how you'll muster up the energy to feel grateful but believe me, the more we practice it, the more it becomes a constant fixture in our lives. And, the more it's in our lives the more we invite in the good stuff.

The best thing I ever did was invest in a gratitude journal. Most mornings I wake up, meditate for 15 minutes and then sit down to journal away what came up during meditation or what I'm feeling/working through at the moment. I also combine my gratitude list. It's been a powerful addition to my life. 

amanda-14
amanda-14

7. Continue to find ways to grow as a human being

I think that personal growth is one of the most self-empowering things we can do for ourselves. However, I think one of the biggest misconceptions about growth is that eventually we will arrive. I mean, yes, there are some people who obtain enlightenment but for the most part, it's an ongoing journey for all of us. It takes practice and consistent attention mixed with a good dose of gratitude and just getting out there and living your life.

Tapping into your spirit and inner guide and learn to trust yourself, even when what you are doing may feel scary, is one of the best ways to continue to grow into your life.

Other incredible ways to continue to grow:

+ Journal regularly + Read...a lot (I'll post some of my favorite growth books) + Meditate + Hire a Coach (you can learn how to work with me here)

Take ownership of your life and make it a commitment but whatever you do, don't stop living your life.

Reflections of My Sugar Habits + Savoury Kale and Onion Waffles

I am on day three of no sugar and so far, things are going great! I think a big part of this has to do with the fact that I don't eat a ton of sugar as it is, but I definitely sneak in more then I am aware of. Last night after a taco salad dinner I was craving something sweet pretty fiercely but I drank some lemon water and it subsided pretty quickly. Yay!I also gently reminded myself why I was doing this. It's not about deprivation or losing weight, it's about doing something kind for myself and my body. It's about feeling healthy and free of any addictive feelings associated with the sweet stuff. It's about better sleep and observing my body and what it needs from me. 

I've always been drawn to sweet over savory and it may have to do with the amount of sugary foods we ate as children. This is not me placing any blame whats so ever towards my parents. I know they did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. And hey, it was the 80's, the era of quick, fast, convent and everything from a box. Can you say hello Hamburger Helper!

I remember fondly going to this adorable little candy store, Sweet Additions, with my mom and brothers and picking out all my favorite treats. It's a memory I hold dear to me however, I think the amount of sugar I ate as a kid is unbelievable now and was probably what left me with my sweet addiction today. However, the memories I will forever hold dear because it was something special that we did with my mom. It was "our" place and I love her for creating something like that for us. 

Today those kinds of sweets just aren't part of my diet. What is however, as I mentioned in this post, are the natural, whole foods variations. Since I am sugar-free for a month I am trying to come up with some creative breakfast, lunch and dinner idea. Most of my breakfasts can be on the sweet side so I'm using Pinterest anything else to gain some inspiration.

I came up with this variation of waffle because it totally satisfies what I'm craving. I think you could eat this one for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Please meet my Savoury Kale and Onion Waffles. They are dreamy...

Savory Waffles 2
Savory Waffles 2

Savoury Kale and Onion WafflesMakes 2 waffles

What you'll need // Waffle Maker * 4 eggs * 2 tbsp coconut flour * 4 tbsp full-fat coconut milk * 1 tbsp coconut oil (for waffle maker) * 2 cups kale (chopped into small bits) * 1 small white or sweet onion * Micro greens for topping * Red Pepper Cashew Cream (recipe below)

How to make // 1. Begin by whisking the eggs in a medium bowl. Add in the coconut flour and full-fat coconut milk and combine thoroughly. 2. In a pan, saute onions until translucent and add kale. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. You don't want to add the hot mixture to the egg mixture as it may begin to cook the eggs. At this time, turn on your waffle maker and allow for it to heat up. 3. Once kale and onion mixture has cooled, add to egg mixture and combine. Use about 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil on the waffle maker and using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the mixture and place in the center of the waffle maker, close lid and allow to cook. (make sure you know how to use your waffle maker :) ) 4. When waffle is ready, place on plate and top with micro greens and red pepper cashew cream (recipe below)5. Enjoy!

Red Pepper Cashew Cream

What you'll need //* 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour up to overnight* 1 tsp rice vinegar* 3/4-1 cup water* 1 small lemon* Pinch of sea salt* Jar of roasted red pepper or I used a jar of roasted red peppers, eggplant and garlic tapenade mixture I found at Trader Joe's. 

How to make // (make this ahead of time)1. Place soaked cashews in blender and begin by adding 1/2 cup water, adding more as necessary. You don't want to add too much because it become too liquified and not creamy. Blend until smooth. 2. Add the rice vinegar, sea salt, and lemon juice and continue to blend for a few seconds. Last, add in the roasted red peppers or the tapenade and combine for about 45 more seconds or until well combined, smooth and creamy. 3. Place in some kind of storage container and store in fridge for up to a 5 days. I always have some kind of cashew cream made and ready in the fridge. 

Savory Waffles
Savory Waffles
Savoury Waffle 3

Carrot Cake Power Balls

Carrot Cake Power Balls

I have this deep love of anything carrot cake which is interesting because I actually don't like cake! Never have, not even as a kid. I know, what kid doesn't like cake? However, put an ice-cream cake in front of me and I was all over it! Every birthday my mom would go to Baskin Robbins and order me whatever flavor was my favorite that year, mint chocolate chip, vanilla, neapolitan (I think I'm the only person I know that liked this flavor) and even bubble gum!

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