Don’t let anything dull your sparkle: manage your mojo with a mantra

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My mojo is missing, my mood is meh and I can’t put my finger on it. When I told that to one of my sisters recently, she said: “Turn it over to the Lord. Be your sparkly self again.” This requires daily, oftentimes minute-by-minute, discipline. Yet I’m the first to admit that I frequently allow circumstances beyond my control—the mess in the world, others’ actions and reactions—to dictate my disposition. To rub me the wrong way. To dull my sparkle. But what if we were to adopt a mantra when we’re tempted to pull up an easy chair and accept mediocrity versus excellence? Or pessimism rather than optimism? Perhaps now is the time to recommit to memory the prayer of sorts I devised when I first began the practice of Bikram yoga (see “Waiting for better days”). Because I am strong, I am healthy and I am happy. And I refuse to remain stuck in a rut. Stay tuned for mojo updates.

What’s your mojo mantra?

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Body shaming comes in all shapes and sizes

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Body shaming


The other day, a couple of (well-meaning) people thought it was okay to comment about my weight on Facebook. If I were heavier, I think it would be un-PC to call me out on it. But I weigh in on the smaller side with a lean BMI. The biggest (no pun intended) thing to note, however, is that my weight is nobody’s business, except my physician’s. What is important is that body shaming is inappropriate toward any size or shape. A few years ago, I wrote an article for In With Skin magazine—titled “Body Image Can Shape Well-Being”—about the ways people close to us may influence our feelings toward our bodies, either positively or negatively, plus tips on how to develop a healthy body image. And as someone who has lived in the shadows of an eating disorder for decades, I speak from experience. It’s okay to express concern (privately, rather than on social media). But remember: words create a lasting impression.

How’s your body image?

Image courtesy of Aleksa D at

Balancing it out

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Balancing it out

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Life is a constant give and take where many of us strive for balance as we navigate our individual journeys. Some might be led by an all-or-nothing mentality, others with moderation as their guide. Personally, I’m on a mission to better balance my overall well-being. While Bikram yoga has been my go-to safe place to nurture my physical and emotional health, as well as share in a sense of community among other yogis, I’ve recently begun exploring additional ways to bring cohesiveness to my everyday life. This may look like time carved out to enjoy a new hobby, practice self-love over a glass of wine and a good book or find solace in prayer or corporate worship. Just like one food cannot provide the nourishment we need to maintain healthy, fruitful lives, we cannot expect to sustain our zest for life if we invest 100 percent of our energies into a single endeavor. It’s about sometimes taking the scenic route.

What different ways do you balance it out?

Two weeks to a new, improved you

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14 days to a new you

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

I’m obsessed with and all its glowing tips on how to be happier, discover your life’s purpose and eat healthier, as well as my recent fixation: how to change your life in 14 days. Admittedly, I’m in a season of pure apathy. But I’m told it’s possible to see noticeable change in two weeks with five easy steps. In my next few posts, I’ll share the hows and offer examples of each. On Nov. 1, I’ll begin the process and journal my progress. I’ve completed the first step: 1) evaluate your life on a scale of 1-10; be specific about how you want to feel in two weeks (an 8 or higher is the suggested intention). Here’s a sampling from my notebook:

A) Vocational
1) Career/writing: 4 (lazy, unmotivated), 8 (plans in place, motivated)
B) Relational
1) Parental: 5 (uninvolved), 8 (involved, dates planned)
C) Health
1) Fitness: 5 (poor body image, unmotivated), 9 (re-energized, improved image)

What’s one thing you’d like to change in two weeks?

You are what you eat


[Image credit: zole4]

A while back I posted a status update on Facebook: If you are what you eat, then I’m a Hershey’s chocolate kiss.  Although written in jest, it’s true the fuel we take in not only affects the inside of our bodies, but it shows on the outside.  Clear skin, shiny hair and overall good health are strong indicators of good nutrition.  Add to that a regular fitness plan, and you’ve got the right idea.  Coming from somebody who’s struggled with an eating disorder and psychological issues revolving around food, as well as dealing with an ornery digestive system, I know how hard it can be to make healthy choices when we’re bombarded with so many unhealthy ones.  The closer to the earth our food choices originate, however, the better they are for our bodies.  So the candy corn I abstained from last week was a good move.  But chocolate contains antioxidants, so I’m not giving that up as easily.

If you are what you eat, what are you?