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7 reasons I practice self-care

I was recently at a dinner party and found myself in a corner with a heart surgeon discussing the concept of self-care. Like many in healthcare, she saw self-care as something you “should do” for your physical health (exercise, eat well, get enough sleep), but that’s where it ends. She became curious when I shared that I define self-care as the art of attuning and responding to your needs and desires, moment to moment. You could see the wheels turning as she contemplated my definition.

Pick up an onion and hold it in your palm. For me, self-care would be the outer layer, then a few layers deeper, you’ll find self-acceptance (as you learn to accept yourself warts and all), then self-compassion, and then a few layers beyond that you arrive at the holy grail: self-love. I see self-care as the first doorway we go through to begin to truly accept who we are, and ultimately, to begin to love ourselves.

7 reasons to choose lover over fear

After a sweet early morning Easter meditation yesterday, I left my husband asleep and headed downstairs to see my 13 year-old. Reading on the couch in his pajamas, he looked up and begged me for raspberries and blueberry waffles for breakfast. I was feeling loving and had the time and bandwidth for this, so I said, "Sure." I threw on my clothes, grabbed my purse and headed out the door to the store for fresh fruit reminding him, "Don't forget our agreement, the Easter sweets are not for breakfast--save those for after meals.” (When my kid eats sugar, the whole family pays!) Thirty minutes later, I returned home to find my son lounging around watching cartoons, an empty overturned chai latte cup dripping on the carpet and a ravaged Easter basket.

Why I unplugged on my busiest day ever

Last Monday morning I returned to mountains of work having been off for a week with my family for spring break (when we go on vacation we generally go "off the grid"). In addition to hundreds of emails, phone messages and requests for my time, I received several big, timely work opportunities for consideration. By Tuesday at noon, I was on the verge of overwhelm; even though I was starting my day with my self-care essentials (read more), my mind felt like a three-ring circus on Red bull.

So I did what any sane person would do--I unplugged and went offline all day Wednesday to give my highly analytical, tasking left brain a much needed break. I knew with every cell in my body that the decisions I needed to make would be best considered from a space of openness, creativity, relaxation and stillness. Not from a traffic-jam of never-ending thoughts.

The 10 Powerful Things We Learned From Baltimore Riots In Photos #BaltimoreRiots

This blog post and accompanying photo collage originally appeared in Tech Life Magazine

If you turned on the television and watched the evening news it appears that the entire community of Baltimore looks like a war zone. However, underneath all the Baltimore riots smoke, fires and unrest, there are people within the community who really care, love and want to see their community thrive.

1. We Need To Continue Praying For Baltimore #PrayForBaltimore

2. Students Stand in Solidarity For #PeaceInBaltimore

3. Many Citizens Support & Protect Baltimore Police

4. People in Baltimore Are Angry

5. All Outraged Protesters Are NOT Black

6. Children Give Us Hope

7. Citizens Helped Cleanup Baltimore

8. 200 Morgan State Students Helped Cleanup Baltimore As Well

9. No Caption Needed

Trading Health for Small Conveniences?

Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal” is how journalist Callie Lyons describes a highly fluorinated chemical called C8. When C8 was released into the air and water supply near processing plants in the mid-Ohio Valley, tens of thousands of people became seriously ill, with a range of health problems including cancer, liver malfunction, thyroid disruption, obesity, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and lower birth weight and size. 

The disturbing results of this large-scale inadvertent human study led to the recent phase-out of C8 in the US. However, C8 is being replaced with similar fluorinated chemicals, which are now also building up in the environment, just as C8 did. And studies on health impacts of the replacements are limited. For instance, they don’t test for hormonal effects to which babies and children are most vulnerable.

Gun safety shenanigans in the NC State House

Why? Because North Carolina politicos think moms aren't paying attention

Gun safety shenanigans in the NC State House

North Carolinians agree that not everyone should be able to have a gun—not violent criminals, not domestic abusers, not the dangerously mentally ill. That’s why 90% of us want people to be screened through a background check before they are allowed to buy firearms.

Right now, NC lawmakers are trying to pull a fast one. They think no one is paying attention, so they are trying to ram through a law that dismantles NC’s pistol permit system, which requires anyone who wants to buy a handgun to go through a criminal background check.

Seriously, RAM THROUGH. They suddenly introduced the legislation last week and will vote on it early next week.

Well, this mom is paying attention, and I don't like it one bit.

Join MomsRising in Ann Arbor for a Fun Meet-Up!

Join MomsRising in Ann Arbor, MI for food, fun and some fantastic conversation around local food issues impacting the health of our kids!

When: Saturday, May 16th 2:30-4:30
Where: Workantile-118 S. Main Street Ann Arbor, MI
Who: YOU and moms from the Ann Arbor-area interested in healthy food issues. (Kids are welcome!)

RSVP here: http://action.momsrising.org/signup/GFF_MeetUp_AnnArbor/?source=blog

We will also be making healthy yogurt and fruit popsicles and each mom will get a popsicle mold to take home. So bring your recipes to share! Feel free to bring the kids (there will be a crafts table), and share this invite with friends!  

Grab a few friends and make it a date! You don't want to miss this. RSVP today: http://action.momsrising.org/signup/GFF_MeetUp_AnnArbor/?source=blog

Baltimore, An Opportunity for Healing

 

 

I have just travelled by train back and forth from New York to Washington D.C., passing through the Baltimore train station in each direction. Both times as I listened to the passenger doors opening and closing again, I looked out my window for the signs of social distress I knew was underway. I couldn’t see anything from my vantage point, but that did not mean it wasn’t there.

With physical disease the symptoms that finally appear in the body as the telltale signs of illness create a reflexive and surprising gasp at the undeniable revelation that something is wrong. Yet something has been wrong for some time, growing more unharmonious until finally there is an eruption that can no longer be ignored. That moment is a forceful call to attend to the symptom itself and more importantly the underlying root of disease.

Join #FoodFri to Discuss A Game-Changing Option: Healthy, Balanced Meals to Fuel Students Minds!

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To be equipped for success in the classroom, students need to fuel their minds with healthy, balanced meals each day. The Community Eligibility Provision is a game-changing option that enables high poverty schools to serve nutritious breakfasts and lunches to all students at no cost. Under the provision, school meal applications are eliminated resulting in reduced administrative burden and cost savings for schools. Furthermore, the school culture is transformed allowing all students to enjoy a free, healthy meal without feeling stigmatized.

Now is the time for interested schools to begin evaluating if community eligibility is a good fit.

Join #FoodFri this Friday, May 1st at 1pm ET as we chat with Breakfast for Learning Education Alliance and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and learn more about community eligibility, its benefits and how you can help spread the word so that students can get the nutritious meals they need to succeed in the classroom.

Boost our economy! Tell Congress to Raise the Wage!

Take Action!

Rent. Groceries. Gas for the car. Asthma medicine for your son. New shoes for your ever-growing little girl. It all adds up. And there are only so many ways you can stretch $15,080—the amount a mom working full-time earning the federal minimum wage makes in a year.

**This is why we need YOU to raise your voice in order to raise the wage! Take action TODAY and tell the U.S. Congress to raise the minimum wage to boost our economy and hard-working families. http://action.momsrising.org/sign/12by2020/

A $12/hour raise would make a big difference to our families. 37.7 million workers would benefit from this increase—75% of whom are moms! 37% of African American workers and 40% of Hispanic workers would receive wage increases.

Raising the minimum wage boosts our economy:

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