Transitioning off this Platform ~ Follow Me!

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I am transitioning off of this WordPress blog to focus on guest posting (and creating a new site!) The best way to still receive my best new writings on health + happiness is to subscribe to my newsletter, which I send out about 2x/month. I’ll share ALL of my published writings on my newsletter.

BONUS: When you sign up for my newsletter, right now you’ll automatically receive a free copy of my new Get Healthy! guided meditation, if you choose. It’s something I’ve been working on and refining for a while now and I’m proud to share it with you, in service of your highest healing.

In terms of subscribing to my newsletter, I’m not sure how to include a link in this post, but you can go to my site here and subscribe in the box on the left!

Love,

Mollie

 

What do you do when life gets crazy?

I was losing my mind a little bit.

Turns out that transforming and re-creating my business from a clinical Ayurveda practice to a virtual coaching practice, as I have been doing this summer, involves a lot of sub-projects. Mostly centered around the creation of my new website. I thought it’d be ready to launch weeks ago but, as I said, lots of sub-projects.

I also saw this website/new business creation as an opportunity to do everything “right “ that I did “wrong” the first time around. (Because it’s my second time doing something, by damn I’d better NAIL IT.)

I caught myself standing in the kitchen nibbling leftover pasta out of the pot instead of sitting and eating a proper meal, and even eating in the car on two occasions – things I simply do not do, because I end up feeling unsatisfied and ungrounded, and either overeating or undereating, because I’m disconnected from my body wisdom. That provided a real wakeup call. Okay Mollie, time to recommit to your health. This is getting out of hand.

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I was soothed and nourished by the same exact same practices I suggest to clients: Daily gentle exercise and meditation – even if it’s a short meditation, and cooking some simple, good food like crock pot beans, rice, and sauteed vegetables. Yesterday I made vegetable beef soup from scratch, and this morning I’m proud to say I baked chicken, butternut squash and zucchini with rosemary for Cait’s lunch and dinner. (Patting myself on the back right now.)  

 

Another thing that is helping me a lot is if I finish my computer work and put my laptop to bed with a “Thank you for your hard work today” a little before I technically need to finish up, so I have a few minutes of transition time before the next phase of my day, whether that’s supper at home, or a social event. I was noticing that if I worked until the last possible minute, I was frazzled and not present for those around me. By allowing that transition time, I preserve my sense of…not being crazy. I also notice if anything needs to be done around the house and generally have time to do it, so I’m not living in chaos and feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.

I know I’m not the only one who has these struggles. Nearly everyone I know has a lot on their plates. The deal is: If you don’t take care of your health during the crazy times, you have to be the cleanup crew later – and it’s way harder and more work then. So often I hear people say, “I’ll take care of myself once I finish this,’ or “I’m just going to get through this and then I can think about eating healthy and sleeping.”

But that time never comes, not really, because you just keep repeating the pattern. Really, the time is now, in the thick of everything. Do it now.

You deserve good food, good rest, and fun. You DON’T have to earn these things.

I hope this note finds you at the perfect time. Share it with any loved ones who need to give themselves a break, and send me any email if this sparks something for you. I’d love to hear about it.

Stay tuned for the new website. It’s coming, at some point. In the meantime, I AM seeing clients. What I have been doing is a first visit in clients’ homes if they are local to the Bay Area, and then follow-up visits virtually, and it’s been really sweet. People like staying at home! So feel free to reach out if you are seeking support with your health in your own transitions, or in the crazy times you may find yourself in. I don’t want to waste your time or money, so we can schedule a phone call to see if working together now is a right fit. 

As always, no judgement, all love.

Wishing you peace, love, and ease as you ride the waves of life,

Mollie

The Missing Piece

Having tea with friends the other day, I shared that I felt like I’d been hammering away at the same challenge for too long. Every week or so, I would have a new breakthrough about it, which felt real and good, and I would see progress, but the basic situation still hadn’t changed that much. I wasn’t gaining momentum.

One friend responded, very kindly but directly: So you’ve been attacking this problem with everything you’ve got? You’ve been taking it on as a challenge? I get it because I do that too. But at a certain point, you have to just sit back (She relaxed back in her chair and spread her arms) and RECEIVE it.

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This is true for anything, any problem. For the woman who wants to get pregnant. For the woman who wants to find the love of her life and settle down. For the woman who is trying to heal her skin from acne. For the money to show up. For the Dream Job to show up.

Two things are needed: Action and Receptivity. You have to ask for what you want and often take some actions to get it.

Then you have to sit back and let it come to you.

Stop trying so hard and hammering away at it. Let it come to you. This is the missing piece.

Feel the softening in your heart and

 

Let

It

Come.

 

It’s easier to see this when it’s someone else’s problem, not your own. I needed a friend to hold up the mirror for me. Maybe that was my weekly breakthrough and maybe it was the Big Breakthrough. I can’t know yet, and at the moment I really don’t care because I feel greater ease and trust. I feel lighter. I feel aligned.

Is there a situation you have been trying desperately to fix and getting nowhere?

What does receptivity feel like to you?

Sit with it and let me know what you come up with. Email me. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Love and health and letting life unfold,

Mollie

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I was recently honored as a featured practitioner and interviewed for an online journal called Basmati.com. If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re pretty great. Interesting and substantive articles on wellness, yoga, etc. The interview turned out rather personal. In it, I share:

-What I fear and how deal with my fear

-What I’m passionate about

-A fantastic story of a client’s healing journey

-And what I find REALLY works to create healing

 

Read the interview here

http://basmati.com/contributor/mollie-moorhead

Sex and Marriage: I wax philosophical on my 8th anniversary

By Mollie Moorhead, CAS, CMT

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This month, my partner Cait and I have been together for eight years (!)

I appreciate her so much and couldn’t ask for a more loving, fun, like-minded, supportive companion to walk this road with. Since we’ve been together, we both graduated from school, built our careers, we’ve traveled together and separately, read 40+ books aloud together (including the Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series), we’ve fought and cried, and enjoyed amazing food and wine. We’ve each had one parent die in a hospital bed as we held their hand. We’ve gained and lost weight, had health problems and injuries, wondered if our relationship would make it through some difficult times, and of course, we’ve had lots and lots of wonderful, soothing, exciting, fun, relaxing, adventurous, homey and well, ordinary times together.

When Cait and I met at a spin-the-bottle party at a music festival, I didn’t think this was where things were headed. Recently, I saw a wedding card at a store that read:

“Congratulations! For the One night stand that worked out!”

I laughed out loud, really … my life.

I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned about relationships. Because, there are some pretty screwy ideas about marriage and long-term relationships I see a lot of, and they adversely impact the health and happiness of so many people! For starters,

You say, “I love ___, but I’m not IN LOVE anymore”or

“The magic is gone.” … and then you split up as a result, or shut down and give up even while staying together.

I don’t want to minimize your suffering, since each relationship is so unique. So it is with all the love in my heart that I call “Bullshit.”

And also, yeah, duh. Big fat duh.  

If “in love” means your partner appears to have a mystical glow about them, you have butterflies in your stomach, googley eyes, and sex-in-the-foyer-cuz you didn’t make it to the bedroom, well, yes that tends to slow down. Or disappear entirely for months at a time, maybe even years.

And that’s part of the ebb and flow, the warp and weft, of marriage. It’s not about being “in love” or “not in love.” That two-dimensional notion does not serve us one bit. It’s how you work with the ebb and flow that counts, and makes all the difference between happy and unhappy.

So ask yourself in the ebb, do you become complacent or do you rise to the challenge?

If you struggle with shutting your work brain off (like me), if you tend to make romance, sex, and/or FUN your last priority (like, you wait until 11:00 pm to try and make it happen), or if you haven’t bought nice underwear or sheets in years, and the sex-romance-sparkle in your relationships is lacking, perhaps these are things to seriously reconsider and re-work.

Maybe you find that you criticize or nag your partner? Have you lost faith in them? Are you forgetting to notice and appreciate the little things?

I invite you to take a hard look at yourself and your own habits. It isn’t fun or pretty, but the results are worth it. Empower yourself by remembering that you are the engineer of your own experience.

Here’s a tip: Regardless of how great or not great your partner appears, you must love them for the messy human they actually are, not who you think they could be.

There is a cultural myth that sex ought to be spontaneous, when sex is, in reality, almost never spontaneous. This is especially true in the beginning. Think back to all the hours spent fantasizing and planning for the great sex you were going to have with your new flame. That is not spontaneity, sweetie.

There is a warped idea that the desire for sex ought be present before beginning the dance leading up to sex. This is simply not going always to be the case if you have been together for a while. But get this: If you carve out the time together for sexy times, you CAN build up the sexy energy together, starting at zero. Ask what your partner would like to feel or experience and ask yourself the same. Try some little made-up games. It’s okay to feel awkward or feel shy to start; that’s good news – it means you are growing and learning. There is always more to explore, and the natural changes of body and mind over time can be welcome challenges, instead of difficult obstacles.

Besides, that kind of passion we feel in the beginning isn’t love, anyway. It’s hormones. Biochemical. And that slows down. It must slow down – if it didn’t we would just keel over and die of exhaustion!

Annnnd for clarity, I am not saying all married people should always stay together forever. That’s a crazy idea. Of course sometimes people must part ways. I am writing to you if you are on the fence, or if you have some of these misconceptions about marriage rolling around in your brain that you’ll just bring to your next relationship and repeat the whole pattern… again and again. Sound familiar?

A truth: You will go to hell and back together multiple times if your marriage is to last any length of time

I had no idea the intensity of this truth until I experienced it first-hand. Cait and I have such a harmonious relationship over all – but humans are messy. One human alone is a messy, emotional whirlwind – you get two creating a life together, and it’s also bound to be messy.

Much of marriage is, you know, pleasant and fun and good, or we would never attempt to marry at all, but difficulties are inevitable. And I mean REAL difficulties: Dishonesty, lying by omission, resentment built up unconsciously, petty hurts built up to a breaking point, evenings spent alone waiting up, infidelity or it’s open-relationship equivalent, and rule-breaking are not intruders on marriage. These are not enemies of marriage. These seemingly unwelcome guests ARE marriage.

I know that many people would argue this point vehemently, or draw the line in a different place than I do (“I would leave my husband if he cheated on me.”) and yet, I stand firm. The fact is that many people DO cheat at some point (statistics vary as to the exact percentage), so yes, this is part of marriage. This being human isn’t simple, isn’t cut and dry or black and white – it is terribly complex, and people do all sorts of nutty things and make all sorts of mistakes.

In marriage, we laugh and cry, and if we are wise, we learn a lot – deep, deep humility, among other things. We stand in the fire together, bare our hearts, admit our failings, and share our deepest and darkest parts of ourselves. We do ceremony together. Pray together. We take time apart to let the dust settle.

All these things we do for love, not out of fear – of divorce, or change, or loneliness, but out of love – real, embodied love, not adolescent idealized love that doesn’t allow for mistakes and shortcomings. We witness and allow each other to grow and develop, and that is what it means to be a living, breathing, learning human, in relationship.

In health, love, and warm wishes,

Mollie

Reclaim a Sacred Time: Painless Periods, 4 Secrets + 2 Recipes

by Mollie Moorhead, CAS, CMTred-1430773_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

It came to my attention recently that there aren’t any classical Ayurvedic writings on treating menopause.(1) There is a lot written about women’s health, but that is absent.

This would seem to indicate that in ancient India, women en masse were not having any difficulty with menopause – they were just ceasing to bleed. Fast forward a few thousand years to this time and place: This is not the case at all! According to Johns Hopkins, 75%(!) of perimenopausal women experience hot flashes, one of the most common and uncomfortable perimenopausal symptoms.(2)

Is it nutrition, lifestyle, or perhaps the presence of hormone-disrupting toxins in the world and our food supply today that accounts for this difference? (All of the above, perhaps…)  In any case, it’s striking, isn’t it? It makes one stop and think. It has me thinking about how we as women care for ourselves during our menstrual cycles.

From the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, said very well:

Women who have […] menstrual symptoms regularly are more likely to experience menopausal symptoms when they reach the age when their cycle begins to end or stops altogether. The reason is simple: their bodies are out of balance and their energy has declined. The good news is women can learn to rebalance their bodies and increase their energy.(3)

It’s a pet project of mine, to care for myself well when I am bleeding – because I’ve had so many damn problems with my period and my reproductive organs, more by far than any other body part or system. And I’ve learned a TON in the process, and it’s all gotten better and better. So I’d like to share four healing life practices with you, which really are a bit secret; hardly anyone seems to know them.

If you have an actual pathology (severe cramps, endometriosis, HPV, cysts, et cetera) you would do well to get some personalized support – a custom herbal formula at the very least, and ideally someone to create a treatment plan with you to get you back into balance – there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. But the healing life practices I share below are good for all women, all womb-bearers, and will help you on your journey to balancing your cycles and setting the stage for an easier menopause. The following four practices come out of Ayurveda, but are mirrored in every single ancient culture and medicine system I know of:

1. Rest

I mean, really rest. NO strenuous exercise during the first few days of your cycle. No running, jumping, dancing, yoga inversions (where the energy flow of the body is reversed, like handstand or downward dog), or pranayama.

Why? A few reasons. Something to consider first of all: The uterus is 2x it’s usual size and weight at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Any movement places extra strain on the already few and hard-working ligaments which hold the uterus in place. The uterus has to be able to expand and contract as needed, so it is relatively free to move inside the body. This is great, except…it makes the uterus quite vulnerable to displacement. What is the significance of a somewhat displaced uterus? Well, pain, for starters. It hurts! Energy and blood flow become constricted and blocked, leading to cramping.

In Ayurveda, we see the menses as a time for a woman to turn inward and rejuvenate herself, not keep go-go-going. Traditionally menstruating women didn’t even cook for the family – it was her turn to be cooked for and cared for! Far from an outdated cleanliness taboo, this is all about respect and rejuvenation. This is a time for a woman to rest, meditate, dream, read something enjoyable, write, and do creative projects – as long as they aren’t strenuous – and consider taking gentle walks if exercise is desired. Put your phone away for a while. Get a little bored. It’s excellent to get bored sometimes.

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2. Abstain from Sex

This is also nearly-universal across cultures. Once again, this is about respect and rejuvenation – and I would add, also about guarding and maintaining a rich and fertile separate self in our relationship with our partner or lovers. What sex means to you, is arguably a personal matter. The focus here, as I understand it, is on keeping the energy of the body flowing down and out, and on resting deeply. In my mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean zero sexual contact, but it definitely means to take it easy. (Not the time for what a friend of mine calls “Wild monkey sex” – save that for later!)

3. Eat lightly – Let Your Body Cleanse

This is somewhat intuitive, right? Many women do this already, especially if they are bloated or in pain. The menses is a monthly cleanse. It just happens; all we have to do is support it. Now, by cleansing, I do not mean one of those modern exercises in blood sugar instability which are also called “cleanses”. As I said, the cleanse is happening already, but in terms of diet, I mean: Eat hot grain porridge with ghee and spices, hot brothy soups, kitcheree or congee – or my favorite supper for when I’m just a bit hungry and feeling cozy: A cup of hot milk (always full fat, ideally from grass-fed cattle) with ghee, cinnamon, and turmeric. Some honey added after it cools a bit. (Milk is, by the way, a complete meal, not a beverage.)  Avoid: Sugar (sigh), alcohol, processed foods, and especially avoid overeating. Eat real, warm, cooked, traditional foods per your digestive capacity. Yum.

4. Enjoy a Ritual Bath and Spa Day after your Period

At the end of your period, it’s obviously time for some ritual bathing. Women have always done this! You can DIY or go to a spa, or a mix of the two. In addition to simply washing yourself thoroughly (no harsh chemicals, please), consider getting a massage, a scrub, and having a nice soak in some hot water. You can also do any other grooming you need to do for yourself anyway on this day – make a real production out of it.

Take the time and money to really give yourself some love, fill up your bucket, and feel like a freakin’ beautiful goddess. This helps you really show up in the world and helps you take better care of others in turn.

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Two Scrub Recipes for You to Try

I don’t measure anything and you don’t need to either

Salt Scrub:

I learned this from my friend Eva a couple years ago. It will make your skin GLOW.

-Salt

-Oil of your choice – sesame, olive, jojoba all work fine

-Some drops of essential oil – lavender, rose, ylang-ylang are nice

Mix together in a dish so it is heavy on oil and moderate on salt. Get in the tub without water, and scrub yourself head to toe, so the skin gets pink. Scrub light on the face and neck, or just skip altogether. Everywhere else, really go for it. Wash off with warm water, minimal or no soap. (Use common sense – do not do this on irritated skin or open sores, obviously.)

Oatmeal Bath:

I got this from Judith Berger’s fantastic book Herbal Rituals. It is excellent for dry, red, or irritated skin. Can help alleviate itching, especially from eczema.

-Rolled oats, dry

-Old washcloth

-Rubber band

You can see where this is going. Put some oats in an old washcloth and secure with a rubberband to make a sachet. Take it to the bath or shower with you and get it nice and wet. A syrupy, mucilaginous, oat-y liquid will begin to ooze out of it. Use this to scrub your skin. It is incredibly soothing, and great for delicate skin, especially great for the face.

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“To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one already feels thirsty” ~ The NEI JING (the seminal Chinese medicine text)

In other words, Let’s take good care of ourselves now so we don’t have to pay the price later.

This goes way beyond some abstraction of stocking up on health like a squirrel burying nuts: It is about feeling good – really, deeply GOOD – nourished, tuned-in, and rested, NOW. That is, indeed, how you know you are on the right track.

Don’t run yourself ragged hoping to go to Heaven and collect your reward – it doesn’t work that way. The ends ARE the means. Do these four practices in addition to any medical support you need, and though it takes time to reverse deeper imbalances, your cycles will start to feel more enjoyable and easy very quickly, as you reclaim this sacred time.

 

Notes:

1: My friend and mentor Eden Tosch (www.edenayurveda.com, she also practices in Oakland) mentioned this to me – I really didn’t know. I am not a Vedic scholar by any means, so I learn these things from her all the time.

2: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org – lots of info about what the medical establishment has to say on menopause

3: http://www.tcmworld.org/programs/womens-health/menopause – Chinese Medical perspective on menopause and its potential challenges

 

Big announcement: I’m moving!

Yes, it’s true. I was born in Nebraska and lived there until I was 23. Well, I’ve been away for seven years, and I’m ready to return with my partner, Cait.

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I love Oakland.

I love the Bay.

I adore my people here.

 I love the bizarre flowering succulents everywhere that look like they came from outer space. I love the bougainvillea and endless jasmine. I love the creative, innovative spirit here. I love the drumming, dancing, arts and culture. The incredible variety of healing arts. The farmer’s markets. It’s undeniably wonderful, and lovable.

But it was always supposed to be temporary for me.

I long for the windswept plains and open skies, the seasonal thunderstorms and snow, the gorgeous, warm summer nights. I miss the low-rolling hills, crisscrossed by creeks and cottonwood trees and the vast star-studded night sky. I miss the S_P_A_C_E that I remember as home. Where I come from.

I find myself very blessed that my Massachusetts-born, acupuncturist partner wants to move to Nebraska with me, to live on some land with chickens and a big garden, and start Nebraska’s first community acupuncture clinic while I do my Ayurveda thing, in a big farm house.

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(Two photos from my friend’s farm in Raymond, Nebraska, near where we intend to relocate. photo credit: Tyne Muggy )

How will this affect you?

The Basics….

Well, we move next spring, but September I am giving up my work studio, (A.K.A my beloved home away from home.) Since I opened in 2013 there has been SO much love here at 431 30th St: laughter and tears, profound breakthroughs, and total joy witnessing clients get healthier and happier within these walls. But, it’s time to say goodbye to this physical space, so starting in September, I will be shifting to exclusively seeing Ayurvedic Health Coaching clients remotely.

I want to focus on that. In my heart it feels right. And coaching remotely allows me to follow my calling to help people all over, not just in the Bay, or just in Nebraska!

Ayurvedic Health Coaching:

I’m still available to my existing clients, and will be taking on a limited number of new clients over the year! This is my passion– I love it and I’m good at it. So we’ll do it over the phone or Skype.

I specialize in long-term health problems you are ready to be done with, especially relating to relationships with food and skin conditions. You want to feel and look great in body and life. I get it.

**I have some special offerings coming up so stay tuned.**

Massage:

Sica will be moving to a new studio in Berkeley where you can (and should) go see her. She offers Ayurvedic lymphatic massage (abhyanga) as well as deep tissue and sports massage. People flock to her to help heal from injuries new or old, unwind chronic muscle tension; stimulate the flow of lymph and RELAAAAAAX. Get your massage on with Sica!You can e-mail her at sicabajada@gmail.com.

Gift Certificates: If you have a gift certificate for a massage with me, use it. Email or call me to schedule, and come in before I leave the studio the last week of August!

New Website, New Name

Launching in September. You’ll be the first to know about it.

I’m creating some special free gifts for you too, which I’m really excited about. I think you’ll love it!

I’m honored you’re a part of the journey, and through my transition I’ll be welcoming those ready to take the steps to transition to healthier, happier lives. Contact me for more info!

Love always,

Mollie

My Cat Is Always Right

If you are working and your friend comes to call, or your wife or husband asks if you’d like to have a cup of tea with them, you must do it.  

I’m paraphrasing this advice from a spiritual book I read a decade ago. In the book, the author warned, if you choose not to take a break, all the work that follows will be forced and hollow, and will not bear fruit.

This was mind-bending for me. Not only because I’m a Capricorn, but because our society recites, “Focus, focus, focus,” “Work hard and don’t be lazy,” “Productivity is the most important thing,” Et cetera.

I can’t say I fully understood that bit of advice at the time, but it made an impression and intrigued me. I tested it out, again and again, both ways- taking a break when asked and refusing to take a break when asked. After about a decade of experimentation, I now have some insights: Taking breaks to have tea with friends and family does more than relax and rejuvenate me, it actually strengthens my relationships…Which are pretty damn important.

For the last ten years, the “friend” who gets me to take a break the most often is actually not a human, but my cat Beatrice.

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It used to piss me off, and sometimes it still does. If Beatrice wants to play, or cuddle, lie in the sun together, or be groomed, – she cries, ruffles papers, bangs cupboard doors, and lays her 12lbs of furry chub on top of my book or keyboard. (You know what I’m talking about here, cat lovers.) If none of these tactics work, she pads over to me and bites my arm. HARD. And not once but repeatedly until she gets what she wants – my attention.

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I used to think “I don’t want to take another break now, I just took one. I’m in a good flow here.” But because she is such an impossible pain in the ass, I cave and take the break. And this time, it’s like, The Real Break. A real break takes me out of my head. It refreshes me to run around, dangling a string as she tears after me. It enlivens me to put on oven mitts and roughhouse with her. It’s hilarious to watch her practice her “killing bite” on the oven mitts and go nuts over… a string.

It’s not so different with dogs. They need to be walked and run. They need to go pee and play fetch. Dogs keep their people healthy and happy when sharing in those daily activities.

Relationships with humans are arguably more complex. The breaks you can take with the human friends and family in your life may also depend on your living and working situations. But trust me, your cat or dog is always right if it says it’s break time.

In any case, I invite you to do as I did – experiment with suspending judgments you may have about productivity, focus and getting stuff done. (We have some really funny ideas about all that in this world.) The joy of taking a break with your animal friend is often enough, in and of itself, but the collateral benefits are immeasurable.

Let the friendships in your life support you in whatever you are doing, whether you’re cleaning the house, studying for school, bookkeeping, or planning your next business venture. The play and fun, the movement, love and affection you engage in will give new life to your projects, leading to a more animated, re-vivified and authentic experience of being alive.

Big love,

Mollie*Moon Rabbit Ayurveda

Headaches, Humility + Healing

The concoction she gave me to drink was delicious, and I cried more – hot tears softly streaming down my face as I began to feel myself relax into being cared for.

Personal story about what it’s like to be a healer in need of healing, coming up. Maybe you can relate:

I used to get headaches every day, so I empathize with all headache sufferers everywhere. Mine came as a result of head trauma from falling off my bike. Thankfully, I was able to heal from the headaches very well. But then a few weeks ago, they gave me a repeat performance: A blinding, nauseating, doozy of a headache like I hadn’t had in four years. It was the worst!

This is what happened: It was my first day at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium. I drank water all day, but hydration could hardly stand up to the extreme heat in Laytonville, my period, and a late lunch (a headache trigger for many – without food, there is nothing to anchor the belly fire, so it can rise up and settle in the head). It was the perfect storm.

The headache/storm was building for hours, but I just didn’t think it would go there – I hadn’t had a significant headache in years. Then, suddenly, it was happening – a blinding headache I’d say was an 8 of 10 on the pain scale.

I had a work shift in the kitchen, so I took a few minutes to sit still in the shade. I drank water, massaged my neck, and attempted to give myself a pranic healing treatment (really difficult when you feel that bad). In the past when I’d had particularly intense headaches, I was near my acupuncturist partner. She had always been able to needle me and bring an intense headache down to nothing in less than an hour, as long as I remained resting. But she was at home in Oakland, and I was at the symposium, 3 hours away!

So, like a nut-job-workaholic, I worked in a kitchen for four hours. At 11:00 when my shift ended, I staggered to my tent, hoping to sleep it off. But my head hurt so bad that I didn’t sleep much! At sunrise, I stumbled to the first aid tent hoping someone would be there to help me…

There I found a sweet, older woman in flowing robes who sat me down while she mixed up a special herbal brew. As I waited, little tears started to trickle down my face. The concoction she gave me to drink was delicious, though I have no idea what was in it, and I cried more – hot tears softly streaming down my face as I began to feel myself relax into being cared for.

I lay in the “sick bay”- a cot curtained by sarongs and quilts to make a private space. Here, she told me if I didn’t feel better in 20 minutes, she would give me another dose, and then another, because with an acute condition, that’s what you need to do: hit it hard. As I rested, I listened to the soft, steady drumbeat being played for a morning yoga class happening next door, and I felt like a little child.

I never went to the school nurse as a kid, and now I wonder if it was like this. No wonder some kids went to the nurse as often as they could finagle it. Clearly the nurse’s office was a safe place to be cared for.

And though I didn’t feel physically better yet, my spirit felt as though it was filling up.

Later, a different woman about my own age came to check on me. She brought another dose of the same potion – I ended up having five doses that day. With an oil that smelled of frankincense, she rubbed my neck and did acupressure for me. Bless her.

I cried more, even though my head was beginning to feel better. The sweetness was overwhelming.

Here, these total strangers were treating me with so much love and care, like their own children, when ordinarily I would be their peer! (Tears are coming to my eyes now, as I write this.)

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anywhere near this vulnerable and so well cared for by people I’d never even met!

Bit-by-bit, my headache dissipated as I lay there resting in the hippie “sick bay,” and eventually, I went on to have a lovely day.

I don’t know if I could have rid myself of that headache alone, without people to care for me and such powerful plant allies. In my experience, bad headaches can stick around for days if they go untreated, and unfortunately I’ve never found any over-the-counter pain medications helpful.

This was a powerful reminder of how we all take turns giving and receiving. We all take turns being the patient. And we are all deeply humbled when sick or in pain. Such deep humility to need support and nurturance from others so badly…

I’m sharing this story today because there are times when we all need help and healing from each other. Family, friends, community, even strangers have the ability to assist us when we ask.

So now I’m curious about your experience. Was there a time you felt deep vulnerability… and found you were held and nurtured by someone until you didn’t need it any more?

If so, I’d love to hear about it, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Love Always,

Mollie * Moon Rabbit Ayurveda 

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Summer Lovin’

I’ve been having a lot of fun enjoying this glorious spring, and I hope you have too.  Did you know it’s essential to our health to spend time out-of-doors – to play and have fun?

Summer Wellness

Summer is the time of year that people generally feel the healthiest, so if that is true for you too – enjoy it! Soak it up and soak it in.

While I’d like to remind you to continue your healthy eating and self-care – indeed, this is the time of year when it is good to eat more salads, fruits, and lighter fare, I’d also like to invite you to take liberties, to be easy and flexible. Go have fun! It’s totally okay when you forget to take your vitamins because you were playing frisbee on the beach all day. And after you’ve been swimming in the river for hours, enjoy the potato chips and beer your friend offers you if that sounds yummy. This is a time of light, so let yourself enjoy it!

Bless it all and give thanks!

Lots of love,

Mollie * Moon Rabbit Ayurveda


P.S.
I’ve got a couple of quick things I would like to share:

A few months ago, I hired help for Moon Rabbit Ayurveda behind the scenes.

I’d love for you to meet her: 

Photo on 2-27-15 at 11.41 AM

Alla, Admin Goddess!

 I also hired a copy editor extraordinaire, but she’s shy 😉

I feel extremely supported by, and blessed to have these ladies on board!

I promoted my business teacher Selena this past month, too! Since I’ve embraced the importance of ‘being grounded in practicalities as we reach for the stars,’ and learning about business from Selena has been a big part of this, it’s been a huge honor to spread the love by sharing this phenomenal resource!

If you were interested in Selena and her course, but it didn’t align for you to take the course this year, she normally offers it every year in June, so you can keep it in mind for 2017. =)  And, If you have unanswered questions about the course, don’t hesitate to email me and ask – I’m happy to talk with you!

For the next year you can expect the usual 2 (or so) Moon Rabbit blogposts a month all about health and happiness. Cheers!

 

 

Air Travel: How to Stay Happy, Healthy, and Centered at 35,000 Feet

As I sat oiling my feet at 3:00 a.m. the other morning, getting ready for my airport shuttle pick up, I had the sleepy thought, “Holy cow, I should write a blog post about how to stay grounded during travel.” It comes up a lot in my 1:1 work, but I haven’t written about it until now. For many people, air travel really throws them off course in their healthy habits and diet, and they experience  poor sleep, poor digestion and dry skin during and after. Mood can suffer as well – temporary anxiety, overwhelm, fear and stress, and generally feeling yucky are very common, even for a few days after a long flight. That sucks – travel ought to be fun, and even – dare I say – relaxing? I travel all over to see family and friends and do fun things, and I have been on a life-long health kick, SO: Here is my Master List of how to remain healthy, happy, and centered during air travel.

LIFESTYLE PRACTICES

Self-massage with oil before/during/after your trip. Even just feet and lower legs helps a lot. (Wear socks you can get oily). Warm up the oil bottle in a pan of hot water first if you are chilled or in a cold place. This practice is very grounding, warming, and soothing to the nerves. The morning of my trip, I love to oil my feet and give thanks, in advance, for my trip going so smoothly and easily. I imagine my connections being easy and that I get good rest. Somehow that all seems so natural and easy while I’m oiling my feet!

Meditate on the plane. You can download guided meditations and listen to them on your ipod or phone. It makes the time pass so swiftly and pleasantly and provides much-needed mental rest. I also like to have a good supply of spiritual/inspirational music and audiobooks to listen to.

Be warm and comfy. This might sound like a no-brainer, but I often see folks on airplanes who are dressed so inappropriately – bare skin, tight, high-waisted pants, no socks, no scarf – I mean, what is that about?! Airplanes are freezing cold and you are going to be sitting for hours, so plan accordingly. I personally favor nice stretch pants with warm layers (always with a hat – cold air blowing on the head is not good- hello, stuffy sinuses! ). Also, comfy doesn’t have to mean dumpy or scruffy at all, you can look nice and still be comfortable!

Do some movement. At the airport or even back by the lavatory on long flights, circle your joints (ankles, knees, etc.) and stretch out your back to prevent swelling and soreness. This sounds obvious, but I don’t see a lot of people doing it. For long layovers, find an out of the way place and bust out some sun salutations. Do a full yoga practice if you like! I’ve done this more times than I can count – at airports, train stations, and bus stations, and I have never once been harassed, asked to stop, or bothered in any way. And, wow, I feel so much better physically and mentally as a result. Even if you enjoy sitting still for long periods of time (some people do), your body will thank you if you do some sort of movement periodically.

I’ve given up entirely on red-eyes, and on doing any real work while flying. Red eyes got their colloquial name for a reason, and for me, the potential savings of $50 is in no way worth the discomfort. As for working while on the plane or at the airport, maybe some people love to do that, I do not know, but I know for me, it feels arduous and exhausting. It feels like, “Okay Mollie, just honor the fact that right now, you are transitioning from one place to another, and just do things that ease the transition, don’t ‘multi-task.’”

FOOD AND DRINK

Breakfast before your morning flight: Bring plain, unsweetened oatmeal packets and some dates in your “personal item”. Then, go to the post-security coffee bar and ask for a half-full cup of hot water. (They look at you weird but it’s okay.) Add your own oatmeal packet and dates. Use the cinnamon and cream they provide and, voila – a nourishing, healthy breakfast, better than what you can buy there. If I’m really on top of it, I also bring a small jar of ghee and add a spoonful of that to the oatmeal. It must be under 3 ounces, so scoop your ghee into a tiny jar and away you go.

Drink spice tea on the plane (I really like Yogi Tea Ginger or Classic India Spice) to support digestion and circulation. It is much more delicious and infinitely healthier than any iced soda or crappy beer you can get on an airplane.

Bring your own lunch. This is a life-changer! A tupperware with homemade stir-fry and quinoa, or a chicken leg with well-seasoned, steamed veggies, will be better than anything you can buy at the airport, guaranteed. A piece of fruit from home for a snack, or even a treat from a bakery at home, is also generally better than any you can buy at the airport. (Why IS airport food so bad?! I don’t know, but it is.) And, if you are a chocolate lover, just be real and bring yourself your favorite high-quality dark chocolate bar to enjoy. So much more satisfying!

Avoid grazing. You are not a cow or other sort of ruminant. Humans are designed to eat meals (2-4 a day) and grazing, even on “healthy” foods, is one of the fastest ways to screw up your digestion and feel like crap. If you have been in that habit your whole life, then it is your baseline and you don’t have a frame of reference for how good it feels to eat meals. So, if it calls to you, experiment with limiting your grazing and committing to proper meals that truly satisfy you – see how you feel, and see what, if any, challenges come up. And feel free to reach out to me for help, helping people with this stuff is what I do!

When you arrive at your destination, favor warm, cooked, easy-to-digest foods like soups, stews, stir-fries, and soupy curries with rice. All the better if they contain root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots. Avoid dry, cold, raw foods, like crackers, salads, dry fruit, and most snack foods, as well as heavy, difficult-to-digest foods like hard cheeses, yogurt, and nuts. Your gut will do a happy dance and thank you! A note on bread: For some, fresh bread is always fine, but sometimes it can have a drying effect on the body. If you are constipated or your skin and mucous membranes are dry, avoid bread and other dry foods until that passes.


On Self-forgiveness and chilling the f*** out:

Especially during travel, sometimes you forget your lunch, or have strange cravings in strange places, and end up eating a bag of Nutter Butter Bites or one of those ubiquitous sugary coffee milkshakes which go by various names. These things happen. Never apologize, never justify, never allow yourself even an ounce of guilt because of your food choices. NO ONE eats “perfectly” all the time, and the body is resilient. Drink your spice tea and carry on.

Endeavor to enjoy and bless whatever you eat, and know that tomorrow is a new day.

Airplanes are modern-day machines, but as a friend recently pointed out to me, their design is based on the bodies of birds. The metal that they are mostly constructed of comes from the Earth. So, I’m not sure if there is anything “unnatural” about flying in planes, really. I do like to bring beautiful, earthly things with me when I fly, though. It just feels good: Crystals and other hippie stuff, lucky jewelry, essential oils, and lovely music on my ipod.

Have a blessed Spring.

Warm wishes,

Mollie * Moon Rabbit Ayurveda

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Ayurvedic Health Coaching * Massage

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