My Deep Tissue Massage and Why You Care About It

Have you guys been to those “foot reflexology/ foot massage” places that seem to be popping up everywhere?


I went last night. You can pick how much pressure you want on a scale of 1-10. I picked 10.


I love some good hard thumbs working out the knots. I feel so amazing, refreshed and alive afterwards. I really do feel the benefit of a “deep tissue” massage or deep tissue reflexology or whatever.


But about 20 minutes and at a FULL 10 I noticed I was grimacing, tensing, RESISTING.


I wondered, am I creating more harm, more tension in my body? Is this actually counterproductive? Probably.


Should I tell him to drop to a 5? I could, I guess but “Peter” didn’t speak a lick of english and I really wanted the benefits of the pressure.


So, what if I could just allow the discomfort of the massage and relax? Just let it be really painful but without the lock jaw and secret fist clenching? What if I just breathed?


So this was my practice for the next 40 minutes.


It totally worked. I mostly relaxed. And I left feeling freaking high!


What is even better is that I realized this is one big metaphor on handling emotions.


When a full on 10 of an emotion arises (think shame, anger, anxiety -- you name it negative emotion) I can just breathe and relax and allow knowing that if I do I will feel so alive, refreshed maybe even high on the other end.


Because the other option is to resist the negative emotion and just like in a massage this just leads to more tension, more resistance, more negative emotion. It perpetuates it.


So the practice simply becomes, “Can I just breathe and allow this?”, even though it is painful AND knowing that is so worth it on the other side.

The Worst Thing Ever

I have a fun game for you.


It is called Worst Thing: Best Thing.


My colleague Shira Gill told me about it.


I play it all the time.


This is how you play.


When your brain is telling you that the “thing” in your life is the worst “thing”ever, you then ask it why is this also the best thing.


Here are some of my examples.


Worst Thing: Barely can walk from SI joint pain bc of my pregnant bod.

Best Thing: I am pregnant with a lil miracle!


Worst Thing: Babe is out of town

Best Thing: Get to hang out with my neighbors I normally would not have and make new friends!


Here are some of my colleagues examples:


Worst thing: divorced at 39

Best thing: found the love of my life.


Worst Thing: My father's death

Best Thing: My brother and I have never been closer


So you can do it with big things and small things.


And you win every time ;).


Mandatory Play

I was recently at my daughter's preschool orientation night.


The directors of the school were explaining their philosophy.


One integral part of their philosophy is that play is not separate from work. Play is not separate from learning. Play is not separate from structured lessons.


So it is not like they have recess then learn numbers then play with the water table then clean up the room and then learn shapes.


It is always all play and always all learning.


BUT what I wondered was when does this stop?


This whole everything can be play?


Now that I am adulting, there are things that are play and then there are things that are work.


But what if it was just one thing?


Like what if me writing this blog was play AND work?


Just me asking myself changes the whole entire energy.


My coach always says if it is not fun, it is not worth doing. This doesn’t mean don’t do hard things. This doesn’t mean don’t go crush your goals. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel crappy emotions.


This means how can your reframe your work so that you can integrate fun and play?


It is totally possible.


I can hear some of you.


But what if you have a really shitty boss?


What if you work really long hours?


What if you hate your job?


Still totally possible AND even that much more rewarding.


What if this was just the curriculum for your job? It HAD to be play AND work.


Or whatever your goal is. What if losing the weight had to be fun? Saving for the house had to be playful? Meeting and finding and marrying your husband had to be fun and play?


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The Most Unpopular Blog Ever

I used to do this thing when I actually was NOT on that diet or this cleanse.


I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted pretty much.


Then I would weigh more than I wanted (among other negative side effects).


Then I would hate myself for it.


Then I would read some body positive message somewhere on some feed.


And then I would pretend I loved my body because that is what it said to do.


It never worked.


So then I just felt bad for not being able to love myself at this unwanted weight.


AND what was the worst was there was this undertone that I shouldn’t WANT to lose weight (that was too vain and vapid) and that I should just be able to accept where I was but I couldn’t get myself there.


So it was a lose-lose.


This might be super unpopular but sometimes I wonder if we have swung too far on the pendulum.


Like we overcompensated for all the diets and all the starving ourselves by being like oh just eat what you want, enjoy life, it is okay to be overweight, love your body.


Guys I tried that.


It didn’t work (for me).


It was like hedonism for me. Only offered immediate gratification. I wasn’t really happy or content or fulfilled.


So what if we swung back a little to the place where it is okay to weigh what you want.


I repeat it is okay to want to weigh what you want. (please do not read this as it is okay to have an eating disorder -- that is not what we are talking about here people)


The kicker being that actually getting to the weight and staying there is through deep work on truly loving our bodies from an authentic place vs trying to slap on some mantra that we don’t believe at all.


That is what ultimately worked for me. And now it is a win win.


I weigh what I want AND I love my body.

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How did you lose the weight?

It happens all the time.


My clients get asked how they lost the weight when they are at the gym or at the party or at work.


Of course they do. They look amazing. 


And we all want to know the secret. We are hoping they have something we haven’t tried.


My clients then tell them they cut out sugar and flour (or whatever their very specific protocol is -- they say that).


I tell my clients they are wrong.


This is not why they lost weight.


If this was the reason that they lost the weight then we would all have just read the very first diet book that came out, done it, and we would all look and feel the way we want.


It is never the actual diet that gets the client to their goal.


It is always something deeper. 


It looks different for everyone.


But the nuts and bolts are simple. 


They learn how to reduce their over desire for food. 


They re-regulate their hunger hormones. 


They commit to writing for 2-10 minutes everyday to manage their minds.


They are willing to feel really uncomfortable feelings that the food used to take care of or that they are left with when they decide they don’t really want the muffin from the carb table at work.


I teach them how to do all of this.


And then they go to work on themselves and they do what they literally thought was impossible. It is so freaking cool to watch.


I love my clients.


But let’s be clear, it is never because they don’t eat sugar or flour.

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On Not Being Happy

As many of you know we recently moved from a 700 sq foot apartment to what seems like a McMansion.


And as you may know it was a long time goal of ours to buy a home and have more space.


So Brian and I were talking the other night about this goal now that it has been realized.


We were reflecting on the fact that WE ARE NOT HAPPIER.


What?


Isn’t that the point?


We are taught that WHEN we buy the home or lose the weight or get engaged THEN we will be happy. Then we can relax, then we will find inner peace. Then it will be complete.


Guys, I am on the other side (at least for this goal!) and I want to tell you WE ARE NOT HAPPIER.


Of course, yes, it is super nice not to have to arm wrestle to have space at the sink or to not trip over Luna’s loud annoying toy and then wake Luna or I don’t know not to have to do every single dish by hand.


It is awesome to be able to work from home from my home office. It is the best to be able to sit on our porch swing bed and listen to the birds instead of the neighbors. It is awesome that the kitchen table is actually JUST the kitchen table. We love it.


But, let me be very clear. We are not happier.


How is this possible?


Happiness can never come from out there. It can never come from a house or a dude or a new shiny thing or more money.


Happiness can only and always come from within. From the way we choose to think and interpret and see the world and our circumstances (which is kind of awesome if you think about it because this means then we are fully in control).


But of course our brains will trick us. They will tell us this lie over and over. That when we get this we will finally be happy or whole or complete.


So it’s interesting to look and see where in your life you might be playing the WHEN __________, THEN ______________ Game of Danger.


Tell me.


I'll just have the salad

I was out to dinner with my hubby, Brian and my daughter, Luna the other night.


Brian and I sat down and realized that we weren’t thaaaat hungry and that we both wanted the same exact things.


A salad and the short rib.


Perfect, right?


We will just split it.


But here is the thing, guys. This restaurant was FANCY. This was they type of restaurant where you get COURSES. You are SUPPOSED to DINE.


And this is the type of place where if you don’t order a bunch of food and drinks the waitress could get MAD at you.


At least this was what my brain was telling me.


So I was super scared to just order one salad and one entree to SPLIT.


So here were my options. 


1. Order a bunch of food that we didn’t really want and overspend and probably overeat


2. Order what we want but then give the waitress a whole very unnecessary song and dance -- some of which I would probably just be making up -- about why we weren’t ordering a lot to ensure she still liked us and didn’t judge us and didn’t spit in our food. 


3. Just order what we want and shut up. And most likely feel super uncomfortable.


Oh great. An opportunity to be uncomfortable but authentic and truthful. Efffff.


So of course we had to pick #3.


And of course it was totally fine, yes a little uncomfortable but really no big deal. In fact it was the most freeing thing ever. In my head it opened up so many possibilities. 


It was like more proof I can just ask for what I want and shut up and everything will be fine.


It was like taking myself up on a DARE.


Dare you to just order the soup or not people please or to ask the cute guy out or ask for a raise or whatever comes up for you.


It is way less exhausting.


A Twist on We Can Do Hard Things

I hear from my clients and from my brain some version of “Yeah but, it’s hard” when it comes to a challenge we are facing.


As if this is a legit reason to not move forward. Or to be really freaked out.


I see and hear and preach some version of the bumper sticker sentiment “we can do hard things” all the time.


And this definitely helps.


But what I have been noticing lately is that what is even more powerful is “I can do hard things AND maybe I even WANT the things to be hard.”


It is kind of like a 10k or a really sweaty yoga class or climbing to the top of a mountain or some other physical challenge you are in to.


Isn’t the challenge part of the point? We signed up for it in the first place because it IS hard.


So, I am in the midst of a Facebook Ads course. Kill me now is my knee jerk reaction.


This shit is so effing hard and foriegn and complicated for my brain that when I started the course I practically broke my computer and had an epic temper tantrum that could compete with my almost 2 year olds’ current meltdowns.


And then yesterday (after days and hours of doing this course) some of it started to click. And oh my god. The feeling was sooooo rewarding.


It dawned on me -- oh yeah -- sometimes I want the things to be hard. Because when the things are hard the reward is so much sweeter.


Now if someone could have just told me this mid temper tantrum that would have been great.


Here’s to remembering next time that I in fact want *some* of the things to be hard.


Have the Best Week Ever,

Laura


The Boogie Man!

My husband travels for work sometimes. I used to HATE it because I was afraid of being alone.


I was afraid some dude would come in and get me. I don’t even really know what the dude would do but I was so scared of him.


So I would sleep at friends houses. Or my parents house. Or BEG my friends to come sleep over at my house.


But when Brian started going away for weeks at a time this got really exhausting and I was like oh my god I need to just get over this.


So I would stay by myself. But I never really got unscared.


I would build pillow forts all around me. Check all the closets and the bathtub before I went to bed. I would have just the right amount of white noise on. Sometimes drink too much wine to fall asleep easier. Sneak Luna out of her bed and bring her into my bed so she could “protect” me. HA!


But I was still pretty scared that the dude was gonna get me.


I honestly just thought it was a fact that I was someone who was just scared when her husband when out of town. I literally thought I was just making an observation.


It wasn’t til one of my friends called me out (ps thank you bon bon) on this that I realized that this was a CHOICE!!!


I didn’t have to be scared. I didn’t have to do my silly routines. It was actually possible that I get a good night sleep and be relaxed when my husband traveled.


What I teach all day long is that our thoughts cause our feelings. And so my thought, which by the way all of our thoughts are choices, was “someone is going to come in and get me” which caused me to be super scared.


Ahhh Hah!!! So after really looking at it and journaling and talking it out I realized I really want to be calm and relaxed when my hubster is out of town.


So what could I think that I really believed that could lead to this feeling?


I am super safe. I have done all the things to be safe. The security system is on. The doors are locked. I chose to live in a very safe neighborhood. And you know what if someone comes and gets me -- which is suuuuper unlikely -- I will do my best to protect myself -- and if he gets me, then he gets me and we can deal with the outcome and it will all be okay.


And so that is what I think, by choice, on purpose, and it freaking works!


I am so calm and relaxed I am almost to the point of getting excited for him to go out of town so I get the whole bed to myself. ;)


It is so great to look and see what we are telling ourselves as fact and notice if there is room for a shift, a new choice, a new thought, so we can feel better more.


My clients say things to me all the time like - I am just unorganized, I just have to have the house clean in order to work on my business, I just don’t like my husband, I just don’t have the time -- as if they are facts. They are not. They are choices. Which is the most powerful news ever.


Have the Best Week Ever,

Laura

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First Day of Preschool Dram Dram

My daughter Luna had her first day of preschool yesterday.

At about 11am one of the teachers emailed me.

“Luna is having a fantastic first day. She’s been really interested in books, the light provocations, and watching everyone from the window.

We feel so lucky to have you all as a part of room 4, we love her already! Check out some photos of Luna”

Pretty good update, right?

UMMMMM NOOOO.

That is not what my brain told me.

“What do you mean she was watching everyone from the window? Was she scared? Why wasn’t she playing with them? Was she anxious? Too shy? That is not like her. Something is definitely wrong, I better go pick her up.”

Isn’t that kind of nuts I thought all that?

But this is what our unmanaged brains do. They look for negative. For danger. They interpret perfectly neutral news as negative. They pick out one tiny little phrase in a really positive email and focus only on that.

Thank god I try to manage my brain most of the time. Because yesterday this whole song and dance was just so funny to me. I saw exactly what my brain was up to. Sneaky little thing.

And then moved on.

And then was just so grateful that she was having an awesome first day.

There is so much freedom in not believing everything we think.


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