I am on a journey to live a life I love and to fill my life with the things that truly bring me joy... my dream job, loving relationships, financial abundance, a healthy mind and body, and a deep spiritual connection with all that is. I am living consciously to create a life filled with all the things I love.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Becoming a Certified Health Coach

My Health Goal for 2010
It was a strange coincidence or synchronicity that happened to bring me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I had decided that 2010 was the year for me to transform my health and my life. 2010 is the year for me to finally create true work/life balance and live a healthy life without overworking myself. It is the year to take care of me to become my healthiest and happiest self. No excuses.

Healthy Cooking Classes
On this mission, I started looking into cooking classes so that I can create healthy meal plans for myself. What started off as just an idea to cook healthy meals evolved into enrolling in a professional program to become a healthy chef. I had no plans to work as a chef, but the professional program at the Natural Gourmet Institute could be completed in four months. It seemed so doable, so why not? Why not actually get trained to become a gourmet natural chef? I was trying to decide when I wanted to do this program. Possibly in the summer during my summer break, or possibly in the fall when my course load would be much lighter for fashion design. I explored the idea and started really liking the idea that I could not only cook but cook healthy gourmet meals for my family and friends. It's the kind of thing people dream about but don't have time to actually accomplish. It had been in my list of things to do sometime in my life... so why not now?

Institute for Integrative Nutrition
I was pleasantly surprised to see an email come into my inbox that advertised a webinar to learn more about the program. I attended this call and quickly realized that the program I was listening to was not about cooking, but rather a program about holistic nutrition and how to become a holistic health counselor. It was intriguing, but not what I was expecting. It was then that I realized that I am listening to a webinar about a different program. This was not the Natural Gourmet Institute, but instead the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).

As I listened to the webinar, I heard the story of a former student who had come to this school after working as a IT consultant. I was fascinated since this is precisely the same background that I had. She now has her own health coaching business and is happy with what she is doing and can create a flexible schedule around her kids. It sounded eerily similar to what I was looking for.

I went to their website and was greeted by the smiling face of Dr. Weil and Deepak Chopra, two of my favorite teachers. It was as if I was guided here through some unusual circumstances to listen to this webinar. I then realized that this was the nutrition program that I had almost signed up for a few years ago when I was living in Chicago. I decided to postpone it at that time because I was too busy and would have to fly back and forth to attend. There would be time later to attend, I thought. Well, I guess that time is now. I was pretty busy with fashion design school, but I had this strange premonition during my winter break that guided me to make time in my schedule. Make time for what? I didn't know, but I had a strong sense that I needed to make space and time for myself. So, I did, well, kind of. Enough so that I could sleep every night and try to stick to my plan of leading a balanced life.

When something feels right, you just know. And after that webinar and listening to what the program was all about, it felt right. It was in line with all of my values. The program not only talked about nutrition, but took a very holistic approach to health, including relationships, career, and spirituality. Isn't this what everyone wants in life? And maybe this was the way that I can pursue both of my loves...design and health. How would I pay? I wasn't sure, but there's always a way to find a way if you want something. The good news was that many students make back their tuition by the time they graduate since a lot of the homework assignments are to go out and find clients! How exciting. A program that also teaches you how to build a business along with teaching you all the skills you need to know in this field. As you can imagine by now, I did register.

My First Weekend at IIN
After weeks of preparing for the course by doing online and audio warm-up classes and even meeting some people before the first class, I attended my first live all weekend session last weekend. It exceeded my expectations at all levels. Not only was the program informative, inspirational, and innovative, but there was also a palpable energy in the room that I had never experienced before. There is nothing like being in a room full of passionate people whose mission is to make the world a better place. It was like being in a room full of lightworkers or earth angels...inspired people from all walks of life that are passionate about health and wellness. Wow, what energy.

And to make it even more amazing, the speakers were absolutely wonderful and inspiring. I had never been to a talk so inspiring in my life. There was also the most innovative and user friendly cooking demonstration that I had ever seen. I along with all the others and an overwhelming sense that we were in the right place at the right time. And I sure was. I found out later that this was the last live class for the school, and after this year everything was going to be online. You can imagine how happy I was that I followed my intuition to register now and not wait until next year.

I met so many amazing people over this weekend that I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead. I knew there was a reason for me meeting the people that I did, and I know I will meet many more people as time goes on.

Health Coaching
I have officially begun my training to become a health coach and am offering free initial consultations where I sit down with you live or over the phone or skype to conduct a health history. A health history looks at your health and lifestyle and will give you insight into the overall picture of your health and highlight areas you might like to focus on improving. I am not taking any clients at this time, but if you are interested in getting a free health history session with me, you can email me. Or, if you are interested in becoming a health coach yourself, you can also contact me with any questions about the program. I am so happy that I found this program and I have met so many people whose lives have been transformed from it.

Event with the USDA
One more synchronicity that I'd like to mention. I am slowly finding that food and fashion are both related in the area of sustainability. Both food and fiber (for clothes) are grown as crops. The way we farm these crops have significant environmental impacts as well as impacts to our health. The textile industry and has many processes such as dyeing and finishing that often creates contaminated waste water that pollutes our waterways. Creating sustainable practices is a passion of mine. I studied sustainable enterprises as part of my MBA, and am now finding that all of my interests are coming together.

To confirm that I am heading in the right direction, the universe provided me with an opportunity to see others that are working towards the same goals. I found a flyer at my fashion design school about a presentation from the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, USDA, about our food systems. I was interested, but was not sure if this presentation was going to be real, healthy and fresh food, or if it was going to be about our conventional and traditional approaches to food systems. I went anyways because I always want to see what all sides are thinking.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find a packed room of people working in the food industry and the topic of discussion was about improving the nutrition of school lunches. Wow. This is something I am also very passionate about and it was great to see people who in the government who had access to big budgets doing something about this. They were promoting fresh local foods and talking about the Know Your Farmer initiative. There were so many innovative ideas and plans in place that I really felt like this was a huge movement with people from all aspects of the food industries, even outside of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, participating to create a better future for everyone. It was refreshing to see, very eye-opening to hear about all the wonderful programs in place, and truly inspiring to see motivated people that are taking action to do something to participate.

If you're interested in learning more about it, you can visit www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.

Snow Day! And Living a Life of Synchronicities.

During these past couple of weeks I have experienced more synchronicities than I had ever imagined. This word was so foreign to me only a few years ago. I had experienced synchronicities back then too, but doubted them and usually dismissed them as pure chance or "luck," unless the event was really blatantly obvious. This year, these synchronicities have increased and I find that every person I meet, every event that I attend, every flyer and opportunity I see around me are all perfectly orchestrated for my personal development and to support me on my life's mission.

Snow Day
Case in point - This week I had been struggling with a bit of a nagging sore throat that wasn't going away. I knew it was because I had been a bit sleep deprived from trying to finish assignments, work, and make it to extra classes I had signed up for over the weekend. Last night I really, REALLY needed extra rest to recover from lack of sleep and fell asleep at 9pm. I still had a lot of work ahead of me and decided to wake up early to do the work. I woke up at 3am but realized I still needed some sleep. I woke up again at 4am and moved myself from the couch to the bed. Still, I was so groggy that I knew my body was crying out for more rest. One more hour and then I would do some work. Usually my body can handle this type of schedule, but today it was not cooperating. I did some work from 5 - 6:30am and finally succumbed to my body's cry for more rest. At this point, I knew I needed a day of rest and was really hoping for a snow day. It was the only way that I could really recover.

Just in case, at 7:30 I decided to make a pot of coffee to help me push through the day. I would have considered taking a sick day, but the classes I had for today had special field trips scheduled and an exam. It was not a day to miss. The only way I could really get the rest my body needed if classes were canceled altogether. After drinking my cup of coffee (and still feeling groggy) I checked my email to see if the school was closed. Yes it was! I was hoping, but not really thinking that this would actually happen. I have the rest day that I desperately need, thanks to the snow day! I tried to go back to bed, but the coffee kicked in so I am going to use this day to catch up on all my work and nourish my body with healthy food. Oh, and I learned my lesson about sleep. My body can no longer sustain the sleep deprivation that I used to make it undergo. It's time to nurture, nourish, and take care of my health.

Following Our Own Inner Guidance
There are so many synchronicities I have experienced lately that there are too many to mention here, but I would suggest being open and listening to the gentle tug from your heart as you go through life. There is a reason for events, books, places, courses, cravings peaking your interest. Listen to your body and observe the things that get you most excited. The things you discover may not initially make sense, but you are being led step by step to your best life by following that subtle guidance.

For me I waited until the signs became completely obvious before I took my first big step, but I am so glad that I did. Knitting, sewing, and healthy living are the things that constantly call my name. I've taken big steps towards all three even though the combination does not necessarily make sense. I taught myself how to knit after walking into a gorgeous knitting store while living in San Francisco a few years ago, which was the first step. Now I am enrolled in fashion design school, hand knitting classes, and a nutrition school called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. These were never planned. In fact, I had vowed that my days in school were over, but there were other things in store for my future.

All I knew was that my dream was to one day open up a wellness spa. Once I took steps towards becoming a fashion designer, I thought that dream was gone and I had to follow the traditional fashion design route. Now that I am in the field, I am realizing that it is a tough field to make money, and starting at the bottom and working my way up will not be the path for me. I've done that before and I was not happy. There is an alternative and more creative route for me to go that still has not been clearly charted yet, but is becoming clearer every day. Really, this is a path of faith and trust. Trusting that our guidance will take us to where we want to go in the most direct way possible while picking up all the skills, advice, and relationships to get us to where we need to go. This has been my experience.

Dream Big and Take Tiny Steps Every Day
I live by my motto of always dreaming big, and taking tiny steps every single day to move towards my goal(s). The commitment in taking steps towards your goal, no matter how small, builds energy and momentum in the right direction that brings opportunities and synchronicities that could not even be imagined by your conscious mind. Trust that the universe and your own connection to that infinite intelligence knows what you need. Take steps into the unknown while clarifying your vision of what you want in as much detail as possible. Then watch as the opportunities come your way. Your job is to seize them.

These opportunities are very subtle, so you need to be very aware as they come across your path. You may get an email, see a flyer, talk to someone, overhear a conversation, read something in the newspaper, magazine, or a book...you never know the opportunities will come to you, but what you do know is that they will. As you step forward into these opportunities, even more opportunities come your way to help you get where you want to go. You'll look back one day and realize how far you have come and how easy it was just by taking little steps all along the way. And just a reminder -- be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way. The state of gratitude raises your vibration and helps you align with all the goodies of the universe. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I love knitting. Period.

I don't know what it is about knitting, but it soothes my soul. I was having one of those days where I was feeling a little bit... blah. Or maybe more than blah, and needed a pick me up. Back in the day I might have chosen a vice to make me feel better (ice cream was the most frequent choice), but the sweet cravings have long since gone away and was never the thing I really craved to begin with. Back in those days, I'd be left with an empty carton of ice cream, still noticing that I was not feeling better. Since then, I have found more constructive (and productive) ways to lift me up, and to my surprise knitting does the trick.

I don't even have to be knitting. I can just be looking at pictures of potential knitting projects or be at a yarn store picking out yarn. On that particular day I was not feeling my usual happy self, I was walking home and was passing by the library and thought that it might be a great idea for me to see if they had any books for an assignment I needed research for. I stumbled upon the knitting section, my usual detour. 20 minutes of perusing the books and I found the perfect book for me that day. With lots of excitement, I took it to the register and checked it out. I actually don't even need to read the book to make me happy. I think it's just the process of being surrounded by certain subject matter that just really makes me happy. If I am busy and don't have time to actually read the book, I can just look at the cover and feel perfectly content. Happy. Satiated. (Just in case you're curious, the book I borrowed was called The Natural Knitter.)

This is how you know you have stumbled upon a passion. A true passion. You get excited just by reading, learning, or looking at pictures of it. For me, one of my passions is knitting. It just is. I don't know why, but I absolutely love it. I thought it would just be a hobby, but somehow the whole knitting thing brought me all the way to fashion design school. I thought I'd be in love with fashion, but in reality I am just in love with making beautiful things that I can wear. Things that fit beautifully, flatter me, and that have some interesting design to them. That's all. Hmmm, but how does one make a living just by making clothes for themselves?

I guess it would be more glamorous to go the traditional fashion design route, but something tells me that I'm not going that route, and that I'm not that traditional. I'm going to stick to what I know, what I love to do. I'll find the right career choice for me down this path somewhere. For now I am just loving the process of learning new things related to fashion design and hand knitting. It's so much fun now that I have the time thing under control. My schedule is much more balanced now.

I wish I had more time to knit. :) Really. I just want to finish making one sweater or cardigan for myself. This year. It will happen. I'm making a hat right now to match my coat. It's silly how much I love to knit. But, believe me, it is love. I can spend hours in the knitting section at Barnes and Nobles or Borders. I just did a few days ago. I loved it. Oh, and I can spend just as much time at a knitting store. Maybe I should become a sweater designer. I'm slowly trying to clarify what I want for my future. So many things I love to do, so many choices.

If you love knitting too, visit my other blog at www.flowdesignstudio.com. This is where I have my posts about knitting and design. There will be more to come in the future when I have more time to knit and sew. And I WILL have time because I create my future. :)

The next time you're having a blah day, think of me and the joy I found by stumbling upon the knitting section at the library. What brings you joy? Go in that direction and use it to give you a boost of energy whenever you need it. Find more time to dedicate to the activities that really make you happy. Wouldn't it be great to have a life to only do the things that you enjoy doing? Oh, but we can, we can. Decide what that is, set the intention to create your life to fill it with things you love doing, and make time to live in your joy. Peace, love, and happy knitting!
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