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"Now sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. When you find that you’re down well, just look around. You’ve still got a body, good legs and fine feet. Get your head in the right place and HEY YOU’RE COMPLETE!” The Great American Jackalope from Pixar’s Boundin'

When my kids were little we watched quite a few Disney and Pixar movies. We loved the Pixar “shorts”. But, I’ll never forget the Pixar short movie called Boundin’. The thing about most children’s movies is that there’s always something in there for the adults. Though my kids were quite young they would watch the movie, jumping up and down on the bed as they watched the “jackalope”, and the sheep bouncing along the road, merrily chanting the sing-a-long songs. I loved the positive message that was woven into this short film. Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down. This is a lesson that we learn repeatedly throughout life, isn’t it?

Slowly over the last ten months during the pandemic I have put on roughly six pounds. I know how I did it and why. I’ve been aware of my pants getting tighter around the waist. But I’ve been stuck in this place like an unsuspecting hiker that has fallen into quicksand for a few months now. Why? Shame. As a woman, body shame is ubiquitous in our society and something that we fall prey to even knowing this. My mom used to make fun of my full booty as a teenager, a time when we are MOST aware of our body and trying our utmost to live up to that ideal! She had a code name for my butt that she would use with her friend as I walked by. So body shame is still triggering for me and can trip me up from time to time. Even as a health coach. We know because we know. Not because we know better.

We have all handled this global pandemic differently. Some have flourished as they’ve had more time freed up due to not having to commute to work, thus creating a better work/life balance. Others have found it difficult to manage kids and their spouse or significant other being under foot every day. Last year was a very hard year for many important reasons. And as the meme circulating the web reminded us several times- we are NOT all in the same boat! We are NOT walking in each other's shoes. We are very complex beings. And life is very complicated.

Self-care is no different. Sometimes it’s our sleep habits that get hijacked, or our exercise routine. It is extremely easy to fall off of healthy eating habits, because life. Life is constantly changing, and yes, sometimes throwing us unexpected curveballs! This is a given. We must learn to bound and rebound.

“It’s vitally important to help each other. No, we can’t walk in each other’s shoes, but we can walk side-by-side and support each other.” Michele Sullivan

We ALL need support and positive reminders because the inevitable setback will occur. Rachel is my self-care sidekick. I also enlist the help of other friends to go on walks and hikes with me, to share healthy recipes and I follow positive social media accounts and other coaches to keep my mindset positive on a daily basis.

Next week our newest self-care challenge will begin on February 1st. Of course with Valentine’s Day being February 14th we often associate the month of February with love. We’d like to remind you (and us) that we must FIRST love OURSELVES.

Therefore, our February Self-Love Challenge will focus on loving ourselves through strengthening the practice of The Four Seeds of Self-Care. Because we know being consistent with these self-care practices helps us to thrive in all areas of our lives. When I take care of myself I can catch sneaky thoughts of self-doubt that undermine my mental health. I can also be there for anyone else in my family that is experiencing the same thing. I can show up more fully for friends or my community when I take care of myself. When WE feel better, we do better.

We invite you to join us each day in February to share your successes, struggles, and strategies that work for you! Maybe you will even connect with someone new to become your self-care sidekick! We want to hear from you. What questions do you have about self-care? What is a setback that you are working on? And send us your self-care selfies so we can celebrate each small step along the way!

If you are ready for a deeper dive into the obstacles that are getting in your way and want to develop a long term wellness vision we invite you to sign up for our Self-Centered Women’s group beginning on Sunday, January 31st. On this year-long journey Rachel and I will walk side-by-side with you as you develop a vision for your wellness and create goals to bring your vision to fruition.

Gauging our happiness in multiple areas in our lives also helps to point us in the direction of change. Very often we are so disconnected from what we want because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves in stillness to even know what we are feeling, or why! We’ve got to learn to spend time with our feelings as uncomfortable as they sometimes are so that we can ascertain what we believe, and why we believe it!

Self-care is not about striving for perfection. Or pretending things are “fine” when they are not! We can’t always share our personal struggles, nor should we, but we should have allies that we can turn to to listen to us, so that we can acknowledge our hurts rather than push them away. What I love about our group is that we get confirmation that we are not alone. As we get vulnerable and share our story we see that others are struggling with the same things we are. We learn to connect on a deeper level and encourage each other in the process.

Whatever you are ready for- we are here for you. We are ready to walk side-by-side and support you. It is our complete honor and passion!

With Love and Gratitude,

Kinda and Rachel

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