Why the "why meeeee?" doesn't serve YOU

Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to have "bad luck." Shitty stuff happens repeatedly - for seemingly no reason at all. You find out about it from them, because they are usually so quick to point out all the negative stuff happening in their lives. 

I have a friend, a lovely person, who recently took her surfboard to the face and broke her nose. As if that wasn't bad enough, her nose had only just healed from the last surfing accident, when she broke her nose the first time. And in between, while moving houses, the corner of a giant mirror came crashing down onto her ankle, slicing it open. "Why does this stuff keep happening to meeeeee?" She wailed. Yet the question seemed rhetorical, because she never really slowed down enough to receive the answer. 

I have an ex, who always expected the worst from people. Looking at her past, it was easy to see why. She had been let down by some of the people who were supposed to be there no matter what, from a young age. Her distrust of people grew over the years. Her belief that everyone in her life was going to eventually let her down always came true, yet she couldn't see that she was at the centre of this. Instead of slowing down, digging in deep and asking herself tough questions about why these patterns kept repeating themselves, she charged forth with her deeply held belief centered around the question, "why is the world against me?"

These are two extreme examples that get at a similar point. Shitty stuff happens in life. Sometimes we get hit over the head with a surfboard (or something else), sometimes we are the victims of random and senseless crimes, sometimes loved ones let us down, sometimes we get fired, broken up with, defrauded, diseased... and we get stuck thinking, "why the F is this happening to me? why meeeeee?"

Sometimes the “why” will be clear, sometimes not. The important thing to remember is that it’s not so much about what happens to you, but how you decide to respond. Because you do have a choice. You cannot control what happens around you, but you can control how you deal with it. And you can take comfort knowing that you always have control over YOU.

A lot of women come to me because they feel a lack of control. A lack of control over their drinking, their weight, their relationships, their habits. In our first conversations I often see a tendency to externalize a lot. Blaming external circumstances or people for their unhappy state. "Well if my boyfriend would just..." or "It's cause I'm in the city that I..." or "once I lose the weight I'll feel..." or "If it wasn't so busy and stressful at work I would..." The thing is, we can externalize our lives away until we die, because there will ALWAYS be something else outside of ourselves. It is only when we stop looking outside ourselves and shifting blame that we can finally gain control, and create lasting change.

This topic in particularly relevant to me right now because I am experiencing huge health challenges. I will write in more detail soon, however right now since I am very much "in it" I need to respect my own process in terms of finding my own peace with the why. I say finding peace because I may never understand exactly "why" something happens but I will need to accept it and be at peace with it.

The key to finding peace with the sometimes unanswerable why involves a huge amount of trust in the divine plan for us, and a willingness to learn. I've had a number of "whys" thrown at me in the last few weeks of being in and out of hospitals. "But you are so healthy, why is this happening to YOU?" is a common one. Yes, those questions have been circling around my restless brain away well. "Why me, why now?" I'm the healthiest I've ever been, I've worked so hard to heal and to let go of what doesn't serve me, I've just recently launched the online portion of my business.

Despite the temptation to get stuck here, I try to quickly shift my perspective by remembering these 5 thing I’ve come to know are true:

  1. The universe never gives me more than I can handle

  2. There is a divine plan and in that I trust

  3. It's not what I'm given, it's how I chose to deal with it

  4. Some of life's greatest lessons come as mysterious surprises and/or some of our greatest challenges

  5. It's all research

The last one was given to me by a dear friend, who is an art therapist and coach. Years ago, she help me approach everything with curiosity, knowing that the answer may or may not reveal itself soon or ever... the importance lies in the investigation.

I’d say, “What the F?? I really messed up.” or “This is so shitty, why did this happen”

And she’d say, “It’s AAAALLL research. That’s what we’re doing here in life, research.”

This means reframing the victimized "why meeeeee?" into something more along the lines of "This is interesting..." or "I wonder about the timing" or "What a curious thing..." or "Oh life, what's up with this surprising turn of events?" or “This is really painful and awful and I can’t really see beyond the pain right now, but I hope that one day I’ll be able to accept this and grow from it.”

The brain uses repetition to learn, searching for patterns and consistency as a way to make sense of the world around us. If we stay stuck in the hapless victim role, we reinforce to ourselves that we are powerless victims. Energetically, and in keeping with the Universal Law of Attraction, if you keep sending that message out, it's what will come back at you. Ie, If you keep repeating to yourself and others that you are always a victim, the Universe will keep handing it to you... “So you wanna be a victim? Well here you go, victim.”

If you reframe, and shift your perspective to one of curiosity, it is possible to stop externalizing and start becoming more empowered. And as brilliant coach Liz Dialto writes, “Reframing allows us to find blessings and perspective in all situations.”

So what in your life requires a reframe? Does any of this resonate with you? How can you shift from “bad luck” or being a victim, to an empowered life researcher? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! :)


Bye bye alcohol, hello alkaline - nutrition for healing from alcohol overuse.

I was watching a show called Drugs Inc recently. A well intentioned police officer was going to visit a group of women who were incarcerated due to prescription drug-related convictions. The women themselves were users, and he was conducting informal recovery meetings in jail.

He showed up with a bag full of cookies, chocolate and sodas as offerings for the inmates, before settling in to lead the meeting.

Now, this man's intentions were good. He was trying to help these women get their lives back on track and these treats were certainly greeted with a lot of enthusiasm by the women he was visiting. It struck me how misguided and misinformed most people are when it comes to the connection between nutrition, detox from alcohol and drugs, and healing.

All too often, we look for quick fixes, replacing one substance with another so we don't have to deal with deeper pain.

Full disclosure here - when I started going to 12-step meetings, I felt incomplete without a cup of coffee in hand. Often, I ate something sweet before the meeting too - but if I didn't, I knew that without a doubt there would be something on hand once I got into "the rooms."

I actually felt stronger - more able to face the potentially difficult and emotional topics that might come up -  if I was slightly high on caffeine and sugar. Reflecting back, there are a few layers to this. First, I was replacing one substance with another, stuck in perpetual cycles of chasing the 'lows' with food or caffeine-related highs. Second, I wasn't ready to be completely with myself - needing an emotional crutch to keep me from feeling too deeply.

These two topics are deep - and there's no way I do them both justice in one blog post. So today I'll write about the physical relationship between nutrition and healing from alcohol, which is usually the first we need to attend to anyways, and next week I'll dive deeper into the emotional connection between nutrition/food and healing from alcohol.

There is A LOT to learn about when it comes to nutrition for healing from alcohol - my goal here is to get you started with the basics. I should also say, the info here is just as relevant to detoxing from sugar, because alcohol and sugar essentially do the same thing in your body.

This approach is important whether you are simply recovering from a "big night out," taking a break for awhile, doing a cleanse or detox, or deciding to eliminate alcohol for good. One very important caveat though - if you are dependant on alcohol - ie, you can't get through a day without alcohol without experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, it is very important that you consult with your doctor for medical assistance.

The first important step to heal from alcohol (or sugar) overuse is to return your body to a more alkaline state, rather than the "acidic" state that most of us are living in these days. How do you know if you are overly acidic? If you suffer from any kind of inflammatory disease, if you have an addiction or dependency, if you crave sugar, if you have low energy (fatigue or tiredness), if you eat meat and dairy products and fatty, fried and/or cooked foods and drink alcohol... you are likely acidic.

Since one of the first symptoms of being overly acidic is low energy... it's really important to get out of this state to aid in our healing. Why? Because if we don't, we're much more likely to keep reaching for what we think might get us feeling better (even temporarily) be it sugar, alcohol, snack foods, etc.

The absolute fastest way to restore the bodies natural ph balance is to overload on alkalizing foods (in addition to limiting the acidic foods listed above). The biggest and easiest category of alkalizing foods is... green foods!! Preferably consumed first thing in the morning, when you body is thirsting for goodness and ready to absorb every last mineral and vitamin you send its way.

This is why, when working with my clients, one of the first steps I recommend is a healthy morning ritual, focused on alkalizing the body. Here are a few easy steps to take:

  1. Start with a glass of water and lemon juice, or water and organic apple cider vinegar, both of which immediately are put to work balancing the ph in your body.

  2. Next up, green juice! This is a veggie based juice - ie NOT SWEET, and loaded up with cucumber, celery and leafy greens, all chock full of nutrients, and, you guessed it - super alkalizing... (check out my favourite recipe below - I drink this daily)

  3. Superfood smoothies. Now, I realize it's not everyone's fav thing to be drinking sour and "earthy" drinks first thing in the morning, nor will this satisfy your cravings right away or fill you up. Superfoods are alkalizing and combined in a delicious smoothie, can give you flavour and fulfillment. Superfoods are essentially calorie sparse and nutrient dense, meaning you get a lot of nutrition without making your body work hard to get it (and foods that make your body work hard to digest cause, yup - acidity). Superfood smoothie ingredients can include chia, raw cacao, gogi berries, blueberries and other berries, avocado, coconut water and young coconut meat, ground flax, maca, kale and/or spinach, spirulina and almond milk.

    Then for later in the day:

  4. Eat nutrient dense root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, carrots and beetroot. These vegetables help ground your energy during the potential high and lows you might be experiencing while healing from alcohol. Juicing beetroot (great with carrot and apple added it) also helps deliver methyl to the liver, which helps detoxify and heal.

  5. Add more salads and veggies and healthy fats (nuts and avocado) whenever possible. Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand for when cravings happen.

  6. Take supplements. Milk thistle and garlic help the liver detox. L-glutamine (an amino acid) powder can be to smoothies or taken in pill form. L-glutamine has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and help to reduce alcohol and sugar cravings.

  7. REST!! Super important. Have you noticed that when you are tired or stressed out, you are more likely to reach for comfort foods or succumb to cravings? It is always important to give your body enough rest, and especially important when there is some serious healing going on. Treat yourself gently. Lavish self-love and self-care, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.

I'd love to know if this information is useful to you - so please let me know in the comments. It's also always great to share recipes - what's your favourite green juice or superfood smoothies? Questions? Let me know!

To your health and healing,

xoxo

Here's my recipe for my daily morning green juice:

Makes about 32 ounces

2 cucumbers (peeled if not organic)

4-5 celery

handful kale, spinach, collard greens, romaine or other dark leafy green

1/2 cup cilantro or parsley

1 apple

1 broccoli stalk

1 inch piece of ginger (optional)


Taking a stand for yourself, even when it's scary.

This week I had 5 distinct conversations that all ended up revolving around the same theme: The challenge that many women have taking stand, investing in themselves and their own health.

I often speak with women who are clear they want to make changes. They KNOW they NEED to. They’ve tried before, and end up falling back into the same patterns. They are at their wits end. The risk of thing staying the same, unchanging, is becoming too great - something’s gotta give.

Yet when it comes to making the commitment (which is often a financial investment) they balk. Stall. Panic even. Why is it scary? Because when we take a drastic step, like making a significant investment, it makes it real… suddenly we’re not just talking about “hopefully doing something maybe someday.”

We’re talking about taking action TODAY.

It’s amazing to me how much we prioritize other things, people, purchases, STUFF, over our own health.

I’ve also noticed a very close tie to between women who struggle to control their drinking, and women who struggle to control their finances.

When I was talking to my coach about this phenomenon, and feeling sad because I was speaking with women whom I really believe wanted to change but couldn’t come up with the $$, she had these words of wisdom for me: “They are over extended with their money in the SAME way they overextend their body's limits around alcohol.”

And it’s true. Some of my clients, though finances may have been 3rd or 4th priority when they started working with me, are now seeing massive improvements in their ability to manage their money. Making empowered decisions around your health + taking consistent action towards your goals + honouring and prioritizing yourself and your well-being = a ripple effect of positive outcomes.

Let me tell you a personal story. About 9 months ago I took a huge risk. I signed on to work with a coach whose rates would result in monthly payments way higher than anything I had ever paid for before. I was terrified, and at the same time, exhilarated. What made me do it? I had a dream, a vision, of what I wanted to put out into the world. I knew I had important work to do, specifically for women who struggle with alcohol. Yet the idea of putting myself out there, revealing my own struggles, while at the same time figuring out how to run an online business, kinda scared the shit out of me. I felt totally overwhelmed.

After one conversation with her, I knew that she “got me.” She had a background in health coaching and really understood my unique approach to working around these issues. She was an expert in online business and marketing. She believed in me and my message and I knew she would be rooting for me.

There were days during the development on my business that I felt so overwhelmed I almost couldn’t get out of bed. There were days when the idea of sharing my story so publicly made me feel sick and like I wanted to crawl back into a hole forever. Yet the commitment I’d made to my coach, and most importantly, the investment I had made in myself, kept me going… and I am forever grateful I took that risk.

When we take a risk by taking a stand for ourselves, we signal to the Universe that we mean business. The universe listens, and starts aligning in our favour.

Taking a stand for yourself does not have to involve an outright financial investment. It could mean taking a stand in a relationship, at work, with your family or any number of things.

I’ll give you another example.

One of the conversations I had this week was with a woman who contacted me because she had all but lost faith in herself. She felt anxious, stressed out, out of control and was beginning to “hate herself.” The risk of not taking action was huge, like she might completely fall apart, though she felt like she had tried everything before and wasn’t hopeful that anything would be different. But she was reaching out - which signified to me that there was a glimmer of hope.

We talked about the #1 step she could take, right now, to change things. It was hard for her to think of something… again, that hopelessness was a powerful force. Her financial situation felt like a huge barrier and burden for her, something stopping her from being able to take action on her health in the way that she needed to.

Several days later, I received an email from her. She said she had thought about the question some more, and she realized that the #1 thing she needed to do was to have more faith in herself.

Not only that, she was going to raise her rates for the first time in years, even though it scared her to ask for more money (as a small business owner whose clients are largely her friends and acquaintances). Her husband, beginning to take her seriously, had also gone to the bank, and taken a drastic step for them to get their finances in order.

As I read this I jumped out of my chair, grinning, doing a happy dance. I know this woman is signaling to the Universe that she means it. She’s serious about making changes, and she’s taking action. I couldn’t contain my excitement because I know with all my heart and soul that more good things are coming her way.

I sat down to read the rest of her email and was so moved to read this: Talking with you has started a positive shift and I feel good about it, so thank you Caitlin. You truly are devoted to your work and your clients.

And this, my friends, is what makes all the risks I’ve taken worth it. I’m the healthiest I have ever been in my life,  I get to do amazing work in the world and support other women be their happiest, healthiest selves.

So how are you going to take a stand for yourself, today? Small or huge, what scary step can you take to start creating a shift for yourself. I would love it you could share in the comments. Chances are, your step will inspires others as well!

Have faith in yourself. You deserve it. You are worth it!

xoxo

ps. If you are ready to take a stand for yourself right now, but are not sure what steps to take, take a stand by signing up for one of my complimentary discovery sessions (click here). You deserve it!


Sleep vs stress… I needed to reread this!!

I wrote this post for my newsletter a few weeks ago, when my computer crapped out on me just before my launch.

Today, I receive some news that is potentially a lot more challenging and difficult to deal with than a computer malfunction. I will be sharing more soon, as I’m still not entirely sure how everything will unfold.

What I do know is that Friday is B-day (Blog day!) for me, yet by the time I was finally able to be in front of my computer again, my thoughts were swirling with what ifs and I was unable to focus. Nothing really seemed as important as the news I’d just received, yet my commitment to this work and my budding blog is so strong that I started feeling anxious that I wasn’t producing content. I was also physically exhausted, yet too wound up to sleep.

I realized, again (!!) that I needed this reminder, and instead of pushing through (that “chin up, and soldier on” mentality still runs strong in me sometimes) I needed to practice radical self-care.

I’ve also read that that lunar eclipse is stirring up a lot of intense energy and emotions in some people. I’m hoping this re-post will be timely…

So here it is!!

A few weeks ago…

On Monday morning I was reclining in the hammock in my office, writing the beginnings of this blog post with pen and paper.

 With the imminent launch of my online biz and a long-ass to do list, this might seems an unlikely place to be sitting at the start of what was supposed to be a super busy week. In fact, only a few days earlier, I had posted this message on Facebook: if it weren’t for the need to eat, dance/exercise/teach my classes, sleep and spend QT with family and loved ones, i don’t think i would leave my computer…

The truth of the matter was that I was becoming more than a little obsessed. In fact, the day before (Sunday), I almost had a total meltdown.

I was feeling torn between spending time with my brothers who were in town visiting (and whom I rarely get to see) and all of my “should dos” for my business. I almost cancelled taking them to a plant nursery (which was one of my brother´s must-dos for his visit and something I KNEW would be really good for me). I told my partner I couldn´t go to the beach with him, something that we always did on Sundays, our one day to spend the whole day together. Then feeling panicky about not spending enough time with him, I renegged, and planned my afternoon to look like this: 1 hour at the beach, 1 hour filming vlog, 2 hours editing and working on my website, dinner with family, then several more hours of computer time.

Well, my computer (and The Universe, God, my Higher Power, etc) had other plans for me.

My hard drive had crashed. Total system shutdown. My google search on the symptoms wasn´t hopeful.

My brain wanted to meltdown, freakout, crawl into a hole and re-emerge with my computer magically working again. Yet my body felt different. My heart rate stayed steady, my breathing even.

I took a few deep breathes and set my intentions. I was going to release control, trust the timing, and love myself through this.

I sent messages to a few friends who knew about computers, and arranged to see them in the morning.

 After my dad and brother started in with catastrophizing comments, I asked for their loving support, without the dire predictions.

I anointed myself with my support and rescue blends of essential oils, as well as a special rose quartz infused heart-protecting blend.

At the grocery store, I walked past the bottles of wine (and yes, I was very tempted to reach out and grab a least one) and picked out the nicest chocolate I could find.

We had our family dinner as planned, and I actually sat through and enjoyed the entire movie.

I asked my family, my partner´s family and a close group of women friends to pray for me, and that my computer could be backed up and fixed without too much time or money.

I went to my partner´s house, and made an aromatic, calming blend of tea.

We prayed together.

I asked him to give me a sensual massage, and then we made love.

And I slept, a deeply soothing sweet sleep.

I woke up on Monday pretty clear on the message I was receiving: I had been getting way ahead of myself, and I needed to slow down. I wasn´t walking my talk, I wasn´t even practicing the same level of self-care that I recommended to my clients. To the contrary, I was actually being quite hard on myself, by pushing to accomplish too much, too fast.

It wasn´t just self care I was missing, it was self-love, compassion, and kindness.

THANK YOU!! Got the message, LOUD AND CLEAR!!

By giving myself permission to limitless self care and love on Sunday night, I was IMMEDIATELY rewarded by a beautiful, restful sleep and more presence, clarity and calm the next day.

What will you do the next time you realize you are pushing yourself too hard, letting stress creep up on you, or when life throws you a curve ball? It may seem counter-intuitive, but try this. Do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what *think* you should been doing!

Slow down, take a nap, remove something from your schedule, and then heap on more self care, support, and love than you thought was possible. If you run out of ideas, enlist your family, your partner or your friends. You´ll be setting a good example for them too!

 As my father says, it´s not what happens in life, it´s how you deal with it…

I`ve already outlined a number of things that worked for me this week.

To recap:

– set clear boundaries and ask for what you need in terms of support

– lavish yourself with self-love

– give yourself permission to slow down

– create nurturing bedtime routines to ensure great sleep

What are your favourite self-care tips ? How do you make sure you are practicing self-love as well as self-care?

I´m looking forward to hearing from you! Make sure to take some extra time off for yourself this long weekend, lavish in self-love!

xoxo