F*ck What You Thought Was A Yoga Body

Shocker, another yoga post. Although, I suppose this piece could also be titled “summer body” or “perfect” body.

The truth is I wasted way too many years not attending a yoga class because of the way I thought I had to look before stepping through the doors. I thought I didnt belong because I had love handles and I had been loved myself with good food, which meant I had gained weight.

It was at the most crucial time in my life, when I really could have used yoga the most, that I felt too self-concious to walk through the door.

Also, I want to just stop here and say that I’m not hating on anyone for having a beautiful fit body, all I’m saying is that having one isn’t a prerequisite to attending yoga or even becoming an experienced yogi.

If you want better health that’s amazing. My favourite way to achieve that is holistically, by eating well, moving, and doing something for the mind. Meditation and yoga both have been scientifically proven to help depression, anxiety and mood stability.

If you do or don’t look like an Instagram model theres nothing wrong with that. Social media and society have both told us if we look different there must be something wrong.

Like Elizabeth says in Eat Pray Love “Let me ask you something, in all the years you’ve undressed in front of a man has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever gotten up and walked out? No! Because he doesn’t care, he’s with a naked woman. He just won the lottery.”

Again here, not saying your perception of yourself should be based on what anyone else thinks of you whether they are a man or a woman.

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Back to the yoga. The practice of yoga is for you, for how you feel during and after, for the things it allows you to work through. Yoga is a way of life, a way of love – forgiveness – peace – non-judgement.. and acceptance. Mostly acceptance that we are human.

So with of of our human-ness we must just let go of whatever we thought was the yoga body and come to realize every body is a yoga body.

Don’t let anything stop you from trying something, from seeking inner peace, from practicing self-care. It’s not about flexibility…it’s about the experience.

The only way to transcend suffering is together.

Love,

Carlee.

Remember: You are Loved. You are Worthy. You are Blessed.

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Not Letting Your Anxiety F*ck You Over & Getting The Courage To SPEAK UP!

Anxiety is the unwelcomed and uninvited third wheel in every one of my relationships. It doesn’t matter if I’m with friends, family, my lover or my co-workers, there it is… always making me second guess myself. I have mastered the art of being socially awkward, and I always carry a book in my bag so I can pull it out and hide my face in it, avoiding any possible social interaction.

Anxiety has this weird way of making you think you have all these other problems. Before I was diagnosed with anxiety I didn’t even know it could present itself as physical symptoms. Stomach aches, headaches, shallow breathing, panic attacks that feel like heart attacks, irritability and nit picking, are just a few manifestations of anxiety. Normal chores like grocery shopping become overwhelming; when I get to the cash register my throat begins to feel like I’m choking and I pull my debit card out in advance so I don’t waste the cashier’s time.

Friendships are complicated and life becomes this daily fight for survival against an invisible enemy. Anxiety has a way of making you stay home whenever a friend has asked you out to lunch. Anxiety has single handedly convinced me that I am legitimately dying on numerous occasions, only to realize that it’s my own mind playing tricks on me.

If anxiety were a person it would be the snarky teenage girl who likes to screw with people’s emotions, just because she can. I started thinking about how many times my anxiety had actually screwed me over and how I had let it stop me from trying some really cool things, and potentially meeting some really interesting people. When is enough, enough?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I feel like the more each one of us that suffers from anxiety continues to suffer in silence, standing there feeling like you can’t breath while the cashier asks you if you want a bag, then we will never find the community we so desperately need. My anxiety seems to lessen when I “call the bitch out” for what it is. When I’m able recognize my symptoms as being anxiety and work through it, I feel like I can function. It’s only when I don’t recognize it or choose not too that my symptoms become unbearable, and I find myself in the emergency room telling a nice newly graduated doctor that I’m dying, “I know it”.

Speaking up about anxiety means having no shame in the fact that it’s real and believe it or not a HUGE percentage of everyone around us suffers from some level of it. Once we start actually talking about it without the fear of judgement, we can connect and start to heal, which totally sounds awesome.

Getting the courage to speak up for yourself under any circumstance is tough if you suffer from “the invisible enemy”. Saying the word “No” takes some serious effort. It’s not easy, but standing up for yourself while consumed with anxiety is possible. Chances are there are people out there that will take advantage of the fact that you have a hard time saying no, but think about how good it’s going to feel when they can’t do that anymore.

For all of the times we’ve had our hearts start beating out of our chests over making a phone call, or felt like hiding instead of answer the door…. we’re still strong and beautiful and powerful people. I’m here for you, let’s connect.

Carlee. xoxo 

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LET’S TALK CHAKRAS, the magic little energy centres that live within you (how f*cking cool)

I fell in love with the concept of chakras a few years ago and invested in the Complete Book Of Chakras, a 1005 page book that literally covers everything.

EV-ER-Y-THING. 

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What are chakras you ask?

They are worlds within worlds. (ooooh awwww) They are energy bodies that both absorb and extract energy and emotion.

Whenever I describe energy to anyone I use the example of being with two different types of people. The first is someone who leaves you feeling drained, exhausted and miserable, even if you were in a good mood prior. The second is someone who leaves you feeling energized, upbeat, motivated and happy! This is energy and how easily we can be affected by it.

We mainly talk about 7 chakras, but in fact their are tons of them all over the body.

 

(from the complete book of chakras)

Chakras perfom 3 main functions:

  1. Physical Processing: Many chakras have bodily locations, including an attachement to a nerve plexus and/or an endocrine gland, and all of them manage a certain part of the body. They can also be described as colours and sounds, which are related to the vibratory bands they both operate within and emanate, so they relate to our physical senses as well.
  2. Psychological Processing: Each chakra interacts with–and creates–psychological constructs that affect our well-being. This processing takes place in the realm of beliefs and feelings.
  3. Spiritual Processing: Each chakra contributes to our spiritual well-being and development, adding a layer of consciousness to our maturing sense of self. Every chakra also serves as a channel for specific psychic ability.

Chakras Remember

Chakras not only process energy related to these three roles, but they record or hold related information as well. For instance, a chakra will recieve incoming subtle and physical information about a friend and help your physical body, psychological self, and higher self repsond to this information. Then it will remember, as a mini brain might, what conculsions you drew and how your friend reacted. Because chakras start this role as soon as the body is conceived, they can be seen as memory banks for all aspects of your life.

Chakras Are Energy Transformers

Most of the time we go about the activities of our lives generally unaware that an extraordinary alchemy is taking place within us via the chakras. You see, chakras go a step beyond the exchange of energy. They are actually energy transformers or transducers, which means they can change subtle energy into physical energy and vice versa. Think about that! This means that a chakra could hold the key to blinking a tumor out of your body or turning that wish for a sports car you’ve been harboring into a red porsche.

 

The chakras play a role in how open or closed we are in our mind, bodies and personalities. They play a role in our health and our relationships with others. They truly do have a huge responsiblity within the body!

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The 7 chakras that most people speak of are: 

The Root Chakra

Instinct, survival and sense of security.

The Sacral Chakra 

Emotion, energy and creativity.

The Solar Plexus Chakra 

Mental functioning, power, control and freedom to be yourself.

The Heart Chakra 

Love, balance and compassion.

The Throat Chakra 

Speech and self expression.

The Third-eye Chakra 

Psychic abilities, intuition and imagination.

The Crown Chakra  

Spirituality, connection, knowledge and unity.

 

Through my own journey I have come to learn that by working with the chakras you can heal grief. Once the chakras are balanced and your energy is flowing more freely you will be able to accept what is more easily and feel lighter. Chakra balancing and energy attunment isn’t new but for most people yet it isn’t as widely accepted.

If you sit still in meditation and focus on your third eye chakra you will begin to feel a sensation. The chakras are there within you, helping you, healing you and guiding you.

All the best on your journey, if you’d like to know more or have questions or want to share your own knowledge let’s connect! There will lot’s more spiritual junkie posts to come 🙂

Carlee xoxo 

 

Lovely third eye chakra quotes 27 best Third Eye images on Pinterest

WHAT STARTED IT ALL. AN OPEN TALK ABOUT ALCOHOLISM, RELATIONSHIPS & SELF-CARE.

Hey there beautiful! I am so so SO excited to have you here.

This is a space and community across all platforms – blog, podcast, youtube channel – where we can have open, honest and vulnerable talks about all things self-care.

Here I am to bring you the latest news, interviews, products and perspectives about living a fully self-nurtured life.

This has been what feels like a super long journey for me, even though though I’m only 26. In the spirit of being open, honest and vulnerable this first blog post will share with you the truth behind why I truly love self-care and how it all began.

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I was to put it bluntly… a people pleaser. My entire life from the age of 10 was about how to protect and help the people around me. During highschool the relationships I had were all about how to make my boyfriend happy, there was literally NO thought in my mind about what I wanted or how I was supposed to feel. People pleasing and my desire to “fit in” lead me to start drinking every weekend.

After graduation everyone else went off to college and university but I continued to drink until I had completely ruined my life. I had moved out of my home, treated the people who loved me like sh*t and consumed alcohol from morning until night…or whenever I passed out.

At the age of 18 I entered my first long-term treatment program with the help of my mother (a loving, caretaker type social worker) who convinced me I needed to go. There I had my first glimpse of self-care techniques. Girls all supporting each other in group and applauding when one of us acted with self-love by breaking up with a toxic boyfriend, chose to eat fruit instead of sugar or came clean about our negative thinking. I didn’t know life could be like that.

I left treatment just after my 19th birthday but once again fell into the idea of being “popular, fun and liked”. This lead me to start partying again with my old friends. The feeling of treatment stuck with me though and I started attending AA meetings.

Finally after years of relapse I had enough and decided to enter a short-term treatment program, only this time it was my own choice. At 6 months sober I went to a 28 day program where I learned about vulnerability and unconditional love. Two concepts I had always thought were… well, weaknesses. Turns out they are actually two of the biggest strengths and superpowers we have in our lives.

Today I am 3 years sober BUT the last three years have brought a shit ton of lessons. I’ve had to come to terms with anxiety, depression, mental illness, co-dependency, people pleasing and sugar cravings to name a few.

Thanks to a great councelor, supportive friends and partner I have made it through and can happily say I’m in school for social work. I’ve got a loving partner and two animal companions, Quincy Jones & Alice, and a great job as creator of The Self-Care Enthusiast!  (Which started with Gary Vaynerchuk & the VaynerMedia team gifting me with a copy of Crushing It!…read that story here)

 

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Throughout my journey self-care is my foundation and one of the single most essential things to my own personal happiness.

YES it is challenging and hard and I have a love-hate relationship with self-care. I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t feel worthy of self-care to begin with. It starts off slow and you want to give up…but trust me, the benefits are coming.

SO, that right there is why I created The Self-Care Enthusiast, to document my past and present self-care practice, interview professionals and create a safe community where we could come together on this journey.

 

Welcome! It’s an honor to be here with you. I’ll leave you with one of my most favorite  quotes.

See you in the community or on snapchat,

Carlee. xoxo

 

I know where I’m going and I know the truth. I don’t have to be what you want me to be, I’m free to be what I want.  

Muhammad Ali

SELF-CARE JOURNALING & WHY YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY IT.

Journaling has always been something I avoided, it always represented a blank page waiting for me to spill all my dirty little secrets onto it, filling in all the lines with all of the embarrasing things I’d done.

In truth my self-care journal does have a lot of the embarrasing, shameful and down right terrible things I’ve done but while writing about them I always seem to find a beautiful lesson hidden under all those gross feelings, a lesson I had missed along the way.

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I started journaling after reading the Artist’s way by Julia Cameron, a 12 week journey to higher creativity. She suggested writing 3 pages a day of pure nonsense…anything that came up in your mind. She called them the morning pages.

I didn’t expect much but I gave it a shot.

The first morning it took me an hour to write 3 pages. The second day it took me 45 minutes and the third day it only took me half an hour. I felt lighter, happier, more focused. It was amazing what a half an hour of writing about pure nothing could do. I started by writing mundane things like what I had to do that day, what groceries I was going to buy, what book I was reading.

Then it moved into deeper waters. Soon enough I was writing about what I wanted to do with my life, where I could infuse creativity, the people who had hurt me & the people I myself had hurt. I wrote about family, friends, relationships, work, therapy, addiction, fashion, judgement, jealousy….

My fear of the pages slowly vanished and I was left with a version of myself that I had never met before. Perhaps I had known her once in childhood but to find her again in adulthood was an unexpected blessing. 

Each morning I sit with myself when it is quiet and still, drinking my cofee with almond milk and I journal. I always talk about what happened at work or what hillarious thing Cody (my partner) said and then I’ll write about how I’m feeling…the truth of the matter. Some days I’m great, some days I’m a mess. I’ve come to realize that’s life.

(To prove my point here’s an unflattering, unfiltered, unedited picture of myself in the morning…just for you & yes the bottoms match)

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Writing about where I’m at honestly and then documenting what I’ve done to take care of myself in the last 24 hours has become a ritual. 

It’s a sounding board just for you. It allows you to explore what you like or disklike. It is a safe space for some tough self-love.

Have you ever seen those detox foot baths where the water turns a dark muddy brown by drawing out all of your toxins? Journaling is like that…but for your soul.  

Take the plunge and start journaling about your day, the fight you had with your spouse, the pasta you had for dinner, the moment you found for yourself and how you are honestly feeling in the moment.

There are a few different ways to journal about self-care, the morning pages are a great place to start or you can try bullet journaling (see above). It’s super simple, you just write down your triumphs, fears, memorable moments in bullet points, even incorporating some art if you want to. Get creative with it!

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If you haven’t yet subscribed to the blog now is a great time because you’ll have your own guided self-care journal sent right into your inbox…no excuses!

Carlee xoxo.