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  1. Like the intro. Have learned about this simple start of meditating and see how beneficial it is build gratefulness and contentment and to deal with those “voices” in the head that try to convince you that you need something that you actually do not want to do right now or anymore. In terms of addictions this is a really good supplement to help in the daily fight against self-destructive coping behaviours. Thanks for sharing this helpful practice again and doing it in such a mindful way.

    • Thank you Deborah,

      It would’ve been so awesome if someone would tell me about womanhood when I was a kid. I know that most of the kids have sex-ed in school. And nowadays, people are more open to talking about “things.” But, I was raised in a culture and family where we didn’t discuss issues. It’s taking years to undo the bad habits.

      Anna:-)

  2. Keeping up with my levels of iron is always a little challenge for me when I’m on my period, so thank you for this list. I recently started adding almond butter to my diet, and noticed that it contains 4 mg of iron per serving, so that’s been one way of replenishing my iron levels (& adding protein, of course).

    • Hi Barbara,

      Adding iron rich foods change my period! I used to have really bad headaches and joint aches. Almonds are great! I am working on my next blog for the period:-)

      Anna.

  3. oh this sounds awesome! i will do this. i have an upcoming dental appointment this week and this is a perfect time to follow this plan. thank-you for sharing!!!!!!

  4. […] Practice intermittent fasting. It is a great weight-loss tool.  I promise you won’t die if you skip dinner or breakfast! You need to give your body enough time between meals.  So, try to extend the overnight fast as long as you can, by making sure you don’t eat until you are really hungry each morning. […]

  5. Love reading your open, raw and painfully honest journeys- going forward 💜
    We would relate over tea, I’m sure!

  6. Nice article, Anna! When it comes to the theory of 10,000 hours, many don’t realize there’s a difference between learning something and mastering it. Malcolm Gladwell observed the masters of their craft had spent an uncanny amount of time in reaching their high level. When it comes to actually learning something new, it could take as little as 20 hours as highlighted in this wonderful TedTalk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY

  7. You’re so right about who and what to surround yourself with. I started paying closer attention to who and what dragged me down over the course of the past 2 years and have slowly but surely begun to weed out the negative and replace it with the positive.

    • Hi Barbara,

      It sounds great! I like to consider all my “inputs” from people around, to food, books and social media. It is essential what we link ourselves with.

      Thanks for stoping by,
      Anna.

  8. You are so right about needing a positive mindset. The mind is such a powerful tool and can help us achieve great things. I LOVE that fit desk – I had no idea that existed. Now I really want one! How neat would it be to be able to blog while working out – HA! And of course I love seeing Rocky working out, too 🙂 Missy, Buzz & I continue to send you positive vibes on your road to recovery!

  9. I’ve overcome my own fear of running into loose dogs here in our rural NC area by being prepared and carrying tools on me for self-defense purposes, very similar to you. My tools are a loud whistle, vinegar spray, pepper spray, and I now also carry a flashlight/taser combo with me at night time (found on Amazon for 50 bucks).

    While having those tools handy and ready to use is one part of my equation for dog walking, the other one is the peace of mind those tools provide and thus make me feel more confident. I KNOW that I can pepper spray the heck out of a dog if need be, and I KNOW that I can call for help with my whistle should we be attacked by a loose dog or a human perpetrator, for that matter.

    I’ve also overcome my fear of going on longer road trips on my own, accompanied only by my dogs. I was terrified the first time I prepared to debark on a 12 hour road trip. I have since done it several times and am now confident in my ability to pull it off. I think pushing ourselves outside of our respective comfort zones really makes us grow. You are so right that we have to face our fears.

    • Thanks, Barbara! These would be useful tools to add to your toolbox! I don’t typically walk when it is dark. Also, have a whistle.
      Certainly calm and assertive energy on walks is the key.

      Yes, we need to keep facing fears. Still, personally, I need to improve my hand-eye-coordination. I think one part of the problem is that I never played sports or video games as a kid…

      You are my hero!

  10. I enjoyed this so much. Wow, really relate more then I think you know. So many similarities. I held my breath when you spoke of those “bad boys” who became “best friends”. Did the same thing back when I was a teen and sadly, so did my daughter. I just ran away from home at “60”. I don’t what the fuck I’m doing at this time. You see, I left home at 17 to become a mother. I was a housewife, a cook, a cleaner, everything a mom was and is. But my self esteem was so damaged in my formative years and all I’ve known, is being a mommy. IT WAS MY ZONE. So at 60, I suffer from the “empty nest” and really not being able to identify what it means to self care. I have guilt up the ass for shit that i can’t control but feel guilt for. Ex: my 24 year old daughter who yes, is working but still not understanding you don’t wait for your car brakes to go out before you get them fixed and you check your oil to make sure you have some. Or, getting nails done before taking care of bills. I feel like I’m a failure to both kids in different ways. I just want to feel happy again. I lost the feelings. It scares me so much, like dying a slow death. You speak of yoga so much through out your stories. It seems when I think about my experiences with yoga, there isn’t the consistency of quiet “space”. I don’t know how to say, I can’t do this for you right now, I have to do this for me. And yes, I foolishly became dependent financially on my husband and beating myself to death over that to. My mantra was Clarity on my “run away drive”. I to, could write a book. But first, I have to awaken. It breaks me to see my daughter idolizing the new boyfriends Mom, ( she lives close by). She smokes weed and cigarettes and doesn’t help her financially, yet I do and I feel I’m not very respected by her either. My New York chutzpah seems long gone. It was there, but it feels like a long lost part of me. Your writings are closest thing I have right now, to a normal correspondence with another human being that talks from the heart. It’s sacred and special for me.

    • Hi Deb,

      Thanks for your kind words. I love our heart-to-heart:-)

      Hey, it is never too late to run away to have a happy childhood!

      Wow, mother at 17. I can’t even imagine. What a great responsibility?! Sounds like a rough start. But, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger?

      Well, I am at times very irresponsible 41-years young. But, I change my ways over and over.
      I think we all have our own paths. So, is your daughter.

      Your story is definitely a good book story!

      I hope you will find some quiet space to re-discover your beautiful self!

  11. I’m currently separated from my husband and we’ll be getting a divorce this year. We’ve been married for 7 years, and while the first few ones were good ones, things slowly started to go sour in year 5. I finally made the decision last year that I deserve to be happy and want out of this relationship. We will remain friends, but both agree that we no longer work out as lifetime partners.

  12. I’m stoked to hear how much your intuition paid off! Wonderful news about the 90% regeneration of your ACL.
    I have one major story where going against conventional wisdom paid off. It involves my dog Missy, as you know by now 😉 Her cancer diagnosis motivated me to question traditional dry dog food and move on to the much healthier, more species-appropriate option of raw dog food. 2 years after her tumor removal and chemotherapy, she’s never been healthier. It’s truly amazing what a big role the right kind of nutrition plays in health, human or K9, or any species, really!

    • Hi Barbara,

      I went through fear and doubt throughout this whole process. But, I just kept taking actions to make myself better before and after the procedure. After all, our actions are something we have control over. Also, I did visualization meditation daily – not sure if it helped. But, certainly did no harm.

      I am so happy for Missy! Cancer free, healthier and happier pup – WOF!
      You are such an excellent and responsible parent. Not to mention, your experience, helped me to make better choices with Rocky’s diet.
      Of course, nutrition is the key in ours and our K9 friends! Too bad a fewer human and K9 doctors discuss it.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Anna.

      • Yes, it’s a shame that important health information is withheld from the general public as far as the right kind of nutrition is concerned, for humans and dogs/cats alike, only to make money to treat sickness. I’d much rather spend money on preventing sickness in the first place and being able to enjoy life to the fullest.

        I love what you said – we have control over our actions. That is so true. I suppose sometimes we just need the right kind of kick in our behind to trust in our ability to take the right action. Again, I’m excited that you followed through with it!!

  13. Wow Anna what an amazing story and journey!!! A very informative and interesting blog today, it’s amazing what our own bodies can do to repair itself, and with new and remarkable scientific discoveries, the technology is unlimited!!! Thanks for sharing your pain and recovery today! Xo

  14. I think it makes a lot of sense that the image of a bird is used to describe the functioning human body, and I had to chuckle when I saw the picture of the frogs with the toilet paper 😉 I actually pinned it to my “Raw Feeding” board on Pinterest. After all, the same logic can be applied to K9 nutrition as well.

    Have you written some blog posts or done videos on/of breathing exercises? I would find that helpful.

  15. I’ve heard about intermittent fasting but haven’t tried it yet. I’m somewhat scared to be without the energy I need in my job as a dog walker. Is there some kind of energizing drink to consume during the fasting?

    • Hi Barbara,

      Typically when you fast – you just drink water, black coffee (if you must) and teas. I don’t like any energy drinks since most of it is packed with chemicals and sugars.

      I’ve been fasting since June 2016. I started slowly. First, I cut all the snacking. Secondly, I stopped eating dinner. Next, my fast was about 16 to 18 hours (easy since I slept through most of it). Now, ideally, I fast for 16-18 hours between the last meal and my breakfast. I eat two meals a day with weekly 24 hour fasts. I don’t fast during my period.

      Typically, I don’t feel a lack of energy – I do yoga and workout first thing in the morning and then take Rocky for an hour hike – all before “break-fast.”
      However, the last hour or so during 24 hours fast could be a bit challenging.

      I would recommend to start easy and read about it.

      But most importantly, I think is to define why you want to do it?

      Hope it helps,
      Anna.

      • Thank you for explaining it, Anna! I like the slow approach you suggest, and I think starting with 16-18 hour fasts is doable.

        I’m thinking 6 pm to 10 am would be my first goal. I might give it a try in the new year but would probably have to have a coffee after my morning doggie walk. I live for coffee…I drink it with 2% organic milk, half a teaspoon of organic coconut oil, and a little organic cinnamon.

        I’m definitely no fan of energy drinks, I think they taste horrible and there’s no way I’d poison my body with all that crap they contain.

        I heard that fasting is a great way to cleanse one’s body, so that’s what I would be interested in. I already pay attention to what I eat and buy organic food whenever possible, but I’m sure that I could take it up a notch.

        • Hi Barabara,

          I live for coffee!!! But, I like mine black and bitter:-)

          Your plan sounds solid! Remember, there is no right or wrong and you should only do what works for you!
          There are different studies regarding intermittent fasting and fast mimicking diet. From my understanding, it is like a reboot to your system.

          Health starts with awareness. Paying attention to what you eat is the first step towards better health.

          If you have time, you can check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PyyatqJSE
          And this one from one of my favorite people (Ray): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNzZod_d18A

          Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

          Thanks for stopping by,
          Anna.

  16. Wow!!! Amazing read and great insight, finding our ways to our health and happiness is truly a peaceful path for our lives! Thank you once again Anna for sharing what works best for you and inspiring others!!!

  17. Thanks for sharing your story Anna! For me the words “until death do us part” can also mean the death of a relationship and not necessarily actual well you know! If you are unhappy and feel like you need to find yourself or the relationship is just not “alive” anymore after EVERY possibility of trying to salvage it, then it is time to move on! 22 year marriage for me had to end and I found someone who is perfect for me at this time of my life, I have written about this subject a few months back as well! We definitely share some commonality!

  18. Beautiful. I enjoy your writing. I have experienced the things you’ve shared above. I am in a marriage at present. This marriage has lasted 9 years. But I’m not happily married. We both agree it isn’t a happy marriage, however, if I did not bring the subject up, it wouldn’t be brought up. I am the one who speaks up. And that in itself, is part of why this marriage is failing. When a partner depends on you to complete them and be their everything, it can’t work. And as you said Anna, you have to be okay being with you, (yourself), before you can begin to be with another person. I’m not as young as you but I know even now, I must try to find my life. The life I have here is not my life, if that makes any sort of sense. To be fair, there has been heartache by family that has effected my mind. I am not as clear as I know I can be. But I do know, I am not happily married. My husband is not a bad man, at all. He has some serious problems but he has always been willing to “stick it out”. Well, my parents “stuck it out” until i was about twelve years old. While the rest of my siblings were much older, I got stuck with the “sticking it out”. How did that work for them or me? Not very well. The best thing would of been to either get some serious help (counseling for my parents, or for them to split up). My parents loved each other, but they competed with each others egos. My mother had no self esteem for many years with my dad and then she found her voice. That caused a lot of fights. But their real relationship, what made it good and bad, I can’t say. Like any couple, only the two of them know what went wrong. Obviously I heard many of the fights and have ideas from what I heard, but only the couple knows. You bring your parents into your marriage-relationship. At least the first ones. How can you not. You mirror what you’ve learned. Not consciously of course, but you do. It’s only after one, process’s pain, hurt, disappointment etc. that they can begin to have a more mature relationship, the next round. That’s how I see it. To find a “friend first” is absolutely magical and to me, would be the root of a blossoming partnership!

    • Thank you for your comments! It sounds like you know exactly what you need to do and where you stand in your marriage and your life. To me, this is the hardest part.

      When I was married, I thought that there is something wrong with me. And my ex-husband was an excellent person. But being a good man is not enough to make a marriage work, right?
      Luckily, it took me only two years to figure it out.

      You deserve to be happy regardless of how old you are! Life is one fleeting breath.

      I can totally relate to “parents sticking out.” But the truth is: they typically only harm children. At least in my case. My folks might’ve been happy at some point. But, all I remember is endless fights. It was not a happy household.
      Somehow I was able to overcome lots of hardships in my life. Of course, with a fair share of it is self-inflicted.

      So, I really hope you will get on your feet!

      Anna.

  19. Very interesting read and quite informative!!! I don’t practice yoga myself but those who do will find this a great help in their progress!!! Any way we can eliminate toxic patterns in our lives is always a definite right step in a peaceful direction!! Keep up the great writing!!!

  20. I loved reading this! Yoga ruined my life because now I can’t travel anywhere without my yoga mat and it takes up valuable luggage space! 🙂

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