monthly musings – february

“The moon taught me it’s okay to go through phases. The sun taught me to keep rising.” – Unknown

Hi loves! In the interest of sharing a little bit more of those “behind the scenes” aspects of my life, I’m starting a reoccurring blog post called “Monthly Musings.” These posts will provide brief health updates, wellness tips and reference to all things I’m currently loving. I won’t keep you long, so let’s get to it!

notes on healing

I was hoping for a smooth transition into 2019, but January was a rough start. The first few days of the year brought about a severe Lyme flair, but then subsided in time for me to celebrate my Birthday in Florida with some lovely souls. However, I then had my first serious syncope episode in almost 6 months and then experienced my first anxiety attack (which you can read about here). The combination of these episodes led me to see a therapist for the first time in a while in the hope that I can learn how to better process the stress that has been building in my body for months.

February dragged on. My insomnia worsened to the point where I was considering prescription medications – eeek. Towards the end of the month, I started having the strength to go to yoga two or three times a week. Small steps, right? My proudest moment of the month was the last weekend of February in which for the first time in probably a YEAR, I had the energy to stay out past 5pm and genuinely wanted to socialize – I went to a late dinner Friday night (thrilled to learn RPM Italian now has gluten-free pasta options!), saw the Joffrey’s breathtaking performance of Anna Karenina, tagged along to The Booth School of Business’s winter gala with my brother and his girlfriend, and even made it to a restorative yoga class and brunch on Sunday. Folks – all those activities were more than I had done in the past month combined. IT WAS GLORIOUS. I’m optimistic that this is early proof that months of prioritizing diet, sleep, pills and potions pays off!

Two of my favorites - Heart Talk and golden lattes to help reduce inflammation in the body.

Two of my favorites - Heart Talk and golden lattes to help reduce inflammation in the body.

what I’m reading:

Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life by Cleo Wade

This debut book is a beautiful compilation of poetry, mantras, realizations and “kitchen table conversations” that has become one of my favorite mindful reads. Wade invites readers to “treat it less like a book and more like a friend or companion,” so it’s fitting that this little book of heartfelt inspiration was a thoughtful gift from friends when I needed a little pick-me-up.

P.S. Her words, “When we get real and honest and raw about what we go through, we have the power to turn our words into medicine and our experiences into wisdom” inspired me to start the Intuitive Swan!

The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies into Hustles by Molly Conway

An interesting article about an aspect of hustlin’ that’s rarely discussed – how the “cult of busyness” pressures us to monetize the activities that bring us joy.  

I keep the Dodow on my nightstand. You can set it to project a pulsing blue light on the ceiling for 8 or 20 minutes before it automatically turns off.

I keep the Dodow on my nightstand. You can set it to project a pulsing blue light on the ceiling for 8 or 20 minutes before it automatically turns off.

Grit by Angela Duckworth

I’ve always been fascinated by social psychology and this is worth a read because it’s the perfect hybrid of information and inspiration. Lots of factors contribute to success, but Duckworth argues effort is more valuable than talent and skill - in the “equation for success,” effort counts twice. If time is of your essence, check out her TED Talk – Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance.

what I’m lovin’ 

Dodow: a sleep-aid gadget

A pancake-sized device that projects a pulsating ring of blue light on your bedroom ceiling. The idea is that by syncing your breath with the pulsating light, the Dodow helps restore the balance of your autonomic nervous system by stimulating the baroreflex - a physiological mechanism that can be stimulated by slow and regular breathing (think 6 breaths per minute). The objective is to use both the hypnotic power of the variation of the light intensity to help you let go, and the visual focus to occupy your brain with the hope of drifting off to sleep. Check out this review: This Device Helps Me Switch Off and Fall Asleep in Under 10 Minutes.

Disclaimer: While I definitely found this device soothing, my insomnia issues stem more from my body constantly being “on edge” or in “fight mode” rather than my brain on overdrive. However, I would highly recommend this to people who struggle to turn off their minds. My brother Mack and his girlfriend have both tried it and give it a thumbs up!

Foursigmatic’s mushroom golden latte mix

I’ve been sipping on this golden latte mushroom mix, better described as a creamy, earthy swirl of goodness with a (very) subtle turmeric aftertaste. As someone who’s sensitive to caffeine, this velvety mix is a lovely way to start or end my days. Blend up the following:

- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk (Silk is my favorite)
- 1 teaspoon Bulletproof MCT oil
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides
- A dash of cinnamon