i need you, girlfriend!

A few days ago, I woke up with a stifling headache. I never get headaches. For quiet some time I walked around with this throbbing pain in my head until I was able to unload onto one of my girlfriends something that had been upsetting me for days. After I was able to vent, I realized that this headache had manifested in my body due to the stress of the situation I’d been obsessing about. If I hadn’t been able to feel heard and process what I’d been holding onto all week, the tension in my head most likely would have continued to exasperate.

Life is so hectic and busy that sometimes we’re unaware of how afflicted we are by the stresses of our lives. We are so programmed to ‘keep it together’ and pretend that we don’t experience things to the depth we do at times. It’s only when we have a platform to express our feelings that we understand what is going on within. No one in the world will listen to you and help you through the trenches of life’s murky waters like your girlfriends.

 

Girlfriends are the bread and butter of our sanity. Whether you women realize it or not women need other women. We all need to unleash and feel heard. A true girlfriend will listen to you, be your cheerleader when you need one, tell you to get your sh*t together when you’re out of control, and let you know when you can’t pull off the outfit you’re wearing anymore.

No one understands the mama drama we go through, frustrations with the opposite sex, or trails and tribulations like ‘the girls.’ So if having women in our lives is important why does it often seem so difficult to get together with our friends in a meaningful way? How do we get quality ‘girl time when life is so busy?

Men are usually fine processing their inner world in their cave. Or, maybe they don’t even process. Women, however, need to find outlets to stop the endless chatter in our brains and our girlfriends provide for that outlet in ways that our husband, boyfriends or partners cannot. Most men do not have the mental space to be our sounding boards. They may be listening to our “noise,” but instead of actually hearing us they hear Charlie Brown’s mom—wha wha wha wha wha wha in the background. Yep, that’s exactly what we sound like to them. Am I right ladies? When we talk, our men either ignore us because they can’t deal or they go into Mr. Fix It mode, wanting to solve our problems instead of just listening. They don’t realize what we really need is simply an ear and a little compassion.

Here’s the deal. If we want to have meaningful relationships with our girlfriends we need to make it a priority. We need to schedule it. And then – not flake. I know. It sounds so basic, but it’s not for most people. It’s easy to find a thousand reasons not to make the effort or to allow other things to take precedence. By “scheduling girl time” I don’t mean connecting on your morning jog when you’re racing to catch up with each other or attending a yoga class together.

I mean make time. 

Here are five virtually effortless ways to make your relationship with the women you love in your life a priority

· Girls Nights Out – the perfect way to catch up with those closest to you. Create a special time to get dressed up, feeling beautiful and go out for a night on the town with just the girls is so fun! You need it!

· Meet for lunch or tea – another fantastic way to get girl time. One hour of tea time can often be the remedy you need to catch up.

· Ever heard of Chick Swap? It’s where you take all the clothes you don’t want or wear anymore, gather all your female companions, unload and trade your threads. The clothes may not want in your closet anymore could be exactly what your BFF has been looking for and vice versa!

· Make plans with your girlfriend to attend a book reading or seminar on something uber-inspiring and then discuss afterward at your favorite sushi or raw food restaurant. This is a great evening to share your inspirations.

· Throw a theme party – Nothing brings the girls together like costumes and party favors. Dancing, laughing, having a ball. Sign me up!

Bottom line—-Girlfriends are the air we breathe. They make our lives a thousand times better and anything that makes our lives better is worth investing in and creating time for. As a life practice I am devoted to doing what makes me feel good. Girlfriends are just as important as anything else in life. Sitting for tea or lunch might be too much for most people with jammed packed lives, but where there is a will there is a way. Don’t cheat yourself on girlfriend time. Honor how good it makes you feel to cultivate those relationships and make it a priority. You need it and so does your girlfriend. Give her a call.

all you have to do is practice

Do you want to be the absolute best version of yourself that you can be?

I know I do.

I do it the holistic way—I lay down my yoga mat.

It’s easy to find an excuse not to practice.

You stayed late at work. You have to make dinner. You’re simply tired!

But our practice is our way through which we can better ourselves, and it’s just as important as all the other things on our to-do list. For me, it has become mandatory.

As I find myself flowing from one pose to the next, I’m able to get out of my own way.

When I can get out of my own way, I can tap into a universe which is so much bigger than I am and which allows me to love unconditionally with compassion and without judgment. Yoga is my way of seeing who I am and how I fit into this world, as well as where I want to go and what I have to do to get there.

The best part is you can do this all of this from wherever you are, even comfort of your own home. Whether it’s a deep practice or just a couple of minutes of breathing exercises, lay down your mat and start cultivating your best self. All you have do is practice.

Have I convinced you to get on your mat and  try it?

my interview with Jason Wachob, founder of Mindbodygreen

There was a time not long ago in which I thought I had it all figured out.  My story is perhaps not unlike some of yours.   I aimed for Wonder Woman status and thought I could do it all and be it all.  And I did …

Until, having stopped listening to what my soul was telling me, everything inside me finally said “enough”.

What was wrong with me was that I hadn’t allowed myself to stop moving.  There was no time in my schedule for the slightest pause.  My sympathetic nervous system had gone haywire, and my body was living in a constant state of fight or flight.  The scariest part was that I didn’t know any differently.   I was so used to it that I called it normal.  Thank God our bodies are designed to be smarter than our stubborn minds and force us stop.

My stress caused an illness that became debilitating for months.  I had to clean up my diet, my relationships, my career and my life.

vHayley - toothpaste edited 
I know a lot of you may be familiar with my story about how I found wealth in a happy, healthy life but everyone has their reason for changing their lives.  For some it is an issue with weight or some sort of eating disorder.  For some it may be an injury. For others, it could be a life-changing event that caused them to hit “rock-bottom” and then want to surface again.

I love to hear other people’s stories so today, I’ve invited, Jason Wachob, founder of the fabulous MindBodyGreen.com, to let us know what inspired him to get healthy and turn what could have been a tragedy into a thriving business.

We all have our own personal story about what caused us to focus on health and wellness. What was your own personal journey to health and wellness like? 

Ahh, It’s a long one but here you go: I began to experience lower back pain when in the late 90s while playing basketball at Columbia. I was experiencing back spasms and hamstring issues here and there but it was more annoying than actually debilitating. I think most leg pain or hamstring pain can be traced to the lower back. I stopped playing after I graduated and every once in a while, when I lifted weights, I’d feel a bit of tightness in my hamstring, but nothing too bad.
But then a couple years ago I was running another startup (an organic cookie company), logging over 150,000 miles flying all over the country, while trying to pick up business and raise capital. It was around this time that my back de-railed. The pain was so bad I could barely walk some days without keeling over. The diagnosis was that I had two extruded discs (L-4/L-5, L-5/S-1) that were pressing on my sciatic nerve. Doctor #1 recommended surgery. I didn’t really like the idea of surgery so I sought a second opinion. That second doctor also thought surgery was the best option, but mentioned that yoga would probably serve me well. I opted for yoga and it became very clear to me right away that yoga was an incredible tool for healing. The rest is history :)

How has incorporating yoga into your daily routine and altering your diet changed your life in other aspects?  

I think yoga makes everything better. I always feel less stressed and more relaxed after yoga. And the same can be said when you’re eating food that’s closer to nature and not processed. I think Michael Pollan had it right when he famously said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” When you’re paying attention to your breath and your body, then you can’t help but feel better :)

What inspired you to create MindBodyGreen? 

It became abundantly clear to me that having some sort of spiritual practice, incorporating mindful movement (preferably yoga), eating organic and closer to nature, and getting rid of the toxins in my body and my home — was the solution to health. I began searching for content in these areas and everything I found was either too new agey, angry, or stale. So MindBodyGreen was born – there’s more on my personal story and how MBG came to life HERE.

Why do you think MindBodyGreen has experienced such tremendous growth in the past year? Why do you think more and more people are finally becoming interested in wellness? 

I think we have the best readers, contributors, and team here at MBG. This makes for great content and great community, which share a common goal: inspiring wellness globally.

Also, more people are becoming interested in wellness because the current system is a disease management system that’s broken. The only true health is preventative – and the only true approach is three prong: mindbodygreen :)

What are your top 3 tips for those who are trying to lead a healthier life this year but may feel intimidated by all the information out there?

1. Eat more plants.
2. Walk for at least 20 minutes a day.
3. Try sitting down and breathing for 2 minutes every day.

Well you’ve heard it from an expert. And I could not agree more. Strengthen your body with exercise, nourish your body with a mostly plant-based diet, and evolve your soul with yoga, your relationships, and love.

Thank you Jason.

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