Love letter to my body

{Image from Your Healthiest You}

{Image from Your Healthiest You}

To my dear body,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all of the years of attack.

I’m sorry for feeding you foods that made you sick.

I’m sorry for all of the hateful and degrading things I’ve said or thought about you.

I’m sorry for punishing you.

I’m sorry for blaming you.

You didn’t deserve any of that. And I’m committing here and now (with the support of Robyn Youkilis) to stop all of the bashing. I’m joining the no body bashing revolution – for you. #NOBOBA

You are strong. You support me while I move through life with ease.  You allow me to find my center on a yoga mat. You look out for me and show me how to nourish myself. You let me take long walks in the sun with Scout and Andrew. You are perfect – today and always.

I promise to honor and love you everyday.

With deep love and gratitude,
Stephanie

Miracles Now interview with Gabrielle Bernstein

I’m thrilled to announce that Miracles Now officially hits the shelves today!  I’ve listened to audio version and can honestly tell you that this book is a life changer.  My beautiful teacher, Gabrielle Bernstein, handpicked her 108 favorite tools and lessons from personal growth, spirituality, and Kundalini yoga to share.  The lessons are practical and the results are radical and immediate.  I’ve already test-driven several of Gabby’s Miracles Now tools and they are the REAL DEAL for managing stress, finding a deeper sense of happiness, and moving through your life with ease.

Miracles Now interview with New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein.

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Share with us your journey and how it led to where you are now.

In my early twenties I ran a nightlife PR firm in NYC. On the outside everything looked great, but on the inside I was a mess. I was seeking happiness, security and self-worth outside of myself. I regularly stayed up till 5 or 6 a.m. partying, and thanks to cocaine I weighed about 98 pounds. My friends had tried an intervention, but it didn’t work. Then, one night, I finally let it go. I wrote in my journal, “I need help. God, Universe, whoever is out there … I surrender.” The next morning, October 2, 2005, I woke up to a loud inner voice that said, “Get clean and you’ll have everything you want.” I knew I had no other choice than to listen.

I am happy it happened the way it did. I found God in my own way. I got clean. My conscious surrender was when I asked for help in my journal. I received an answer right away, and I have been sober since that day. I was desperately looking for happiness, and I was seeking everything good—peace and happiness—outside of myself.

For the past eight years I’ve been on a powerful journey inward, expanding my intuition and shifting my perceptions of the world. Through my own personal journey I have been guided to teach others to do the same.

Tell us about your new book, Miracles Now.

I love this book and I’m so psyched to share it with you. Miracles Now helps readers lessen stress and find peace—FAST! I handpicked 108 techniques to combat our most common problems—from addiction and anxiety to burnout and resentment. The exercises are inspired by some of my greatest spiritual teachings. Throughout the book, I offer up spirit-based principles, meditations and practical tools to help readers bust through blocks to live with more ease. I break down each technique Spirit Junkie style—with meditations, assessment questions and step-by-step guidance—while incorporating lessons from the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga. This book is meant for the busy, stressed person who simply wants to feel better fast.

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I’m going on a comparison detox

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt

It’s time to get real.  Admit it – you are a comparison junkie. It starts off harmlessly enough: the person next to you in yoga class is super fit and is rocking her headstand like nobody’s business and you think “Wow – she is so strong!”  But it doesn’t stop there.  It begins to build and build and comparison morphs into judgement – of others and of yourself: “I wonder how long she’s been practicing yoga.  Why can’t I get into a headstand?  I need to step up my practice.  I bet she takes private lessons.  How does she have so much time for yoga?  I shouldn’t even be in this class; I’m not good enough.”  And boom – you went from celebrating the success and beauty in someone else to crazytown with judgements all around.  We’ve all been there and it takes a lot of work to reset our default button.

“Comparison is an act of violence against the self”. - Iyanla Vanzant

Why do we compare?

One word: ego.  The sole job of our ego is to keep us small, separate, and in fear.  And the best way to do that is with a one-way ticket on the comparison train.  Comparison by definition creates separation.  Either you are better than someone else or someone else is better than you.  It’s not a celebration.  It’s an attack.  We compare because our ego is fighting for its survival and it has a loud voice and a lot of persistence.  We compare because we are afraid.  Afraid of removing our walls and stepping out into the world as our authentic selves.

Doesn’t comparison help us strive to be better?

We compare as a way of trying to make ourselves feel better or even just to feel good enough.  It’s about searching outside of yourself for self-acceptance.  “I’ll have enough money when I can buy clothes like that.”  “I’ll be thin enough when I fit in a size 0 like her.”  “I’ll be successful when I have a job like her.” “I’ll be in love and happy when I am in a relationship like them.”  Happiness and self-acceptance are an inside job.  Comparison will never get you there.

“Personality begins where comparison ends.” – Karl Lagerfeld
I’ll confess – I really struggle with comparison.  I’ve long suffered from the “I’m not good enough” mentality which is a breeding ground for comparison.  And it’s definitely my default.

Growing up I always compared myself to others as a measure of being smart, pretty, thin, or popular enough.  It was always about trying to reach this magical place of enough.  And I never got there.  Because the funny thing about comparison is that there was always something or someone new to compare myself to.  Comparison led me to feel very isolated because it separated me from everyone else.  It was hard for me to form true connections or fully experience my life because I was living full-time in comparison-land.  And I never felt like I was enough.

Over the past few years I have been on a journey to clean up my life from the inside out.  I have looked into the darkest corners of my life in an attempt to bring my stuff to the surface to heal and release it.  This notion of “enough” and my comparison tendencies are central to that work.  I am working to reprogram my default mindset.  And I’ll be honest, I struggle with this daily.  As I shine more light on my life I can see more clearly how comparing myself to others has kept me stuck and prevented me to embracing and sharing my authentic self.  But it’s hard for me not to compare.  I’ll read a post from a blogger about her experience going Paleo and think “I’m not Paleo enough.”  In yoga class everyone else with easily get into a headstand or crow and I will think “They are so much better than I am.  I’m not advanced enough for this class.”  These thoughts prevent me from living MY best life because they disconnect me from what is best for me.  I am on my own path and comparing doesn’t honor that.  It forces me to live someone else’s life.  Comparison dims my light and keeps me hidden.

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These moments of comparison make me feel gross.  I feel depleted, small, and physically uncomfortable in my skin.  It’s this discomfort that shows me that I’m growing.  It’s my inner voice calling me to witness my comparison in the moment and choose another path.

There is no magic pill to take to remove the comparison part of your brain.  It is a practice – a moment to moment willingness to change.  Here are my steps to stop comparison in its tracks:

  • Ask for help by saying “I am willing to see this differently.  Please reinterpret this comparison for me.”  All you need is the slight willingness to release your comparison.
  • Forgive yourself if your comparison led to judgement of self or others.
  • One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my mentor, Gabrielle Bernstein, is that the light I see in others is really the light I see in myself.  Recite this prayer “The light I see in them is a reflection of my inner light.”  This instantly removes the separation and attack.
  • Practice gratitude daily.  Start and end each day by celebrating all that you are grateful for.  The most powerful way to do this is by writing down 3-5 things that you are grateful for first thing in the morning and right before going to bed.  Focusing on all that you have will reframe how you approach your day.  You will be less lightly to default to comparison when you feel grateful for your life.  You can even use this gratitude list tool when you catch yourself comparing – in the moment make a list of what you are grateful for.  You will instantly change your energy.

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I am committed to detoxing from comparison.  I want to feel free, grateful, energized, and fully authentic.  I want to radiate happiness and light.  Comparison doesn’t support these desires.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey.  Look deep within yourself and get honest about how you are comparing yourself to others. Practice the tools I outlined above and be patient and kind with yourself.  Let’s enter a #ComparisonFreeZone!

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Simply Well with Stephanie: Yoga 101

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Have you been too intimidated to take that yoga class at your gym or Y?  Does yoga seem like an expensive habit?  It doesn’t have to be.  In this edition of Simply Well with Stephanie I will translate the Sanskrit and empower you to give yoga a try!
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Spring cleaning for your health and wellness

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Can you feel it?  Flashes of spring.  It’s still light out after work, the sun is shining brighter, and you can see the ground.  Spring is officially here and hopefully mother nature will catch up soon!

The transition to spring is the perfect time to not only clean your closet but to peek into the corners of your health and wellness and dust off the winter cobwebs.  Here are my five tips for a health and wellness spring cleaning.

Get moving

Chances are you weren’t as active as you’d like to be during the winter months – especially if you had freezing cold temperatures and feet and feet of snow like we did in Massachusetts.  It was dark when you got up for work and dark when you got home so the couch and your sweats were probably calling your name.  Even if you were active this winter, spring is a chance to shake things up a bit.  Take long walks outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun and fresh air.  Reinvigorate your fitness routine with the goal of some kind of movement everyday.  Maybe commit to trying a new class (like SoulCycle, Pure Barre, or hot yoga) each month.

Dry brushing

How’s your skin feeling after the longest winter ever?  I’m a huge fan of dry brushing and the spring is the perfect time to start.  Dry brushing is exactly what you think it is: brushing your dry skin.  You use a natural bristle brush with a long handle and brush your skin (starting at your feet) using long sweeping motions toward your heart.  You want to overlap your strokes and work up to your head.  Dry brushing is an ideal way to remove the dead and dry skin cells left from winter and unclog your pores.  I’ve even read that regular dry brushing can help with cellulite by breaking down the trapped toxins and allowing your body to eliminate them.  It stimulates the lymphatic system which helps you detoxify.

Eat more raw foods

If you’re anything like me, you couldn’t handle being within 20 miles of a cold salad since November.  This winter has been all about roasted root vegetables, soups, hot teas, and warming spices like ginger and cayenne.  The mere mention of a salad or green juice got me shivering.  I’m finally ready to add raw foods back into the rotation.  Raw foods are an important part of the wellness way.  Raw foods are overflowing with important nutrients and enzymes that our bodies need.  Start adding something raw to each meal.  I throw in obscene amounts of raw kale or spinach in my morning smoothie, top my scrambled eggs with sprouts (one of the best foods out there!), and shave raw carrots or cucumber (with a vegetable peeler) on top of my dinner.

Clear your mind

Everyday is an opportunity to start fresh, to let go of the shoulds and choose to see things differently.  The end of winter and awakening of spring is the perfect moment to shed your limiting beliefs, fear, and stress and begin anew.  Use this free-writing exercise to clear out the junk and focus on what matters:

  • Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down everything going on it your head.  Your “to-do” items, stresses, shoulds, fears…get it all out on paper.
  • Don’t stop to edit yourself.  Just keep writing until the timer goes off.
  • Once the ten minutes are up, turn to a fresh page and write down how you want to feel and 3 things you can do to support each feeling.  For example, I want to feel energized.  I will nourish my body with whole foods.  I will move everyday.  I will get 8 hours of sleep every night.

Our minds can get clogged with the noise and taking 10 minutes to clear your mind allows you to silence the chaos.  You can use this technique whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck, and uninspired.

Brighten up your space

Our space can have a huge impact on how we feel.  Are you feeling stressed?  Take a look around your space.  Is it cluttered?  Use this time to declutter and jazz up your space.  My nightstand had become a dumping ground for my ever-growing pile of books I want to read, ticket stubs, meditation materials like essential oils and turbans, and notebooks.  It definitely didn’t make me feel calm as I was waking up or settling in for the night.  I removed everything and started fresh.  I added an inspirational print and stacked a few of my favorite books.  Now I feel calm and inspired when I look at my nightstand.  Pick one room or even one area of a room to focus on.  What can you discard?  Can you add some personal touches to create a warm and inviting environment?  Our environment is an important part of our overall health and wellness.

How are you going to focus on your health and wellness this spring?

It’s not too late to check-in with me on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest this month for #marchwellness.  I’ve been posting a new wellness tip daily!

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How to manifest your deepest desires

This post poured out of me on the train home from NYC this weekend.  At first I started writing it as a journal entry but felt called to share it with you.

Today was a miraculous day.  I spent the morning with Gabby Bernstein at the gorgeous ABC Carpet and Home in NYC manifesting miracles and bathing in the Spirit Junkie light.  Gabby hosted a {free} three-hour workshop on manifesting miracles for pre-ordering her latest book, Miracles Now.  (It’s not too late to get access to the {free} recording on this workshop!)

What is manifesting, anyway?  Isn’t that The Secret?

Manifesting isn’t about wanting, it’s about being. – Gabrielle Bernstein

Manifesting happens all the time, with or without your direct knowledge.  Our thoughts and words have the intense power to create.  Negative thoughts attract more negativity.  While positive thoughts have the power to light up the world.

Manifesting is the process of calling in what you desire and then releasing it into the universe.  Sure you can meditate on it, journal about it, pin it to your vision board, and tell your friends about it.  That’s all good stuff.  And that’s part of it.  But the real work is trusting that what is meant to happen will happen exactly how and when it should happen – and not a moment sooner.  When manifesting, pray and meditate on how it will feel to receive what you desire.  But you need to be open to the form.  Your desire might look totally different from what you envisioned.  If you are hyper-focused on the what, you may actually miss it when it is given to you.

Manifesting isn’t greedy or unspiritual.  If your intentions are pure and you’re coming from a place of already having enough, wanting something is clean.  You aren’t looking for the man, the job, the money, or the designer wardrobe to complete you or make you feel like enough.

In my completion I am magnet for what I desire. – Gabrielle Bernstein

I manifested my place in the workshop.  I signed up to attend the in person months ago but then canceled my reservation because I didn’t think I’d make it to New York.  I, soon after, felt like I made the wrong decision but my spot was already filled.  In meditation I envisioned myself in the room, with Gabby on stage, leading us in meditation.  I asked the universe to send me to NYC if I was meant to be there and then let go it.  I felt a sense of peace about it and trusted that if I should be there, I would be.  Late last week I got an email that a space had opened up for me.  Boom.  Thank you, universe!

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety. – A Course in Miracles

Gabby led us through powerful group meditations designed to bust through our blocks, connect us to spirit, and allow the miracles to flow.  Meditation is always powerful for me but my experiences with group meditation during Gabby’s workshops are beyond words.  The collective energy was indescribable.  The images, candles, and spirit junkies in the room created the most beautiful feeling.  One of my favorite moments was taking a light bath which is one of the 108 amazing tools from Miracles Now.

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You can practice this exercise whenever you are feeling low vibe – tired, stressed, pain, jealous, uninspired, or simply out of sorts.  Lie down with your palms facing up.  (You can also practice sitting or even standing with your palms up.)  Picture a massive waterfall made entirely of light pouring over you and breathe deeply.  Picture the light from the waterfall moving into your body on your inhales and through your body on the exhales.  You are now cocooned in the light.  Continue breathing and picturing the light pouring over you for several minutes and you will be completely recharged.  This is a great way to keep yourself in the light and coming from a loving mindset.

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Here’s a peek into my beautiful day:

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Are you ready to manifest miracles NOW?

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Have you heard about manifesting?  Not sure what it’s all about?  Ready for something more in your life?

This Saturday (March 22) the fantastic Gabrielle Bernstein is hosting a {FREE} 3-hour workshop on manifesting miracles that is available through livestream.

Here’s what you can expect:

- Gabby’s top 3 meditations for enhancing your attracting power.
- Her 5 key exercises for manifesting your desires.
- Group guided meditation.
- Group discussion and Q&A.

It’s going to be an amazing event and I’ll be in NYC attending.  (I totally manifested this trip to New York, by the way!)  I’ll be tweeting the quotables throughout the day.

I hope you’ll join me on livestream this Saturday from 10am-1pm EST.  You will also get a copy of the recording, in case you aren’t able to watch live.  All you need to do to gain access to the livestream is preorder Gabby’s new book, Miracles Now.  Trust me…you want this book!

Hope to see you on Saturday!