I invite you to join me on this new and exciting journey!
After 31 years in business I have realized that the two most frequent transformational tips I have shared with clients over the years are not my favorite diets, herbs or alternative therapies, but instead two powerful tools –
Embrace the journey each step of the way
Find your personal path of transformation based on your own temperament.
This recently became a very personal message for myself and has resulted in a re-awakening of the Herb’n Home newsletter as well as our mission statement.
Using Instagram posts, Facebook, this blog and the Herb’n Home newsletter I am going to share some of my favorite tips from the past 31 years on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping a positive self-image and creating the healthiest diet for your body type and temperament. I will also be sharing why “embracing the journey each step of the way” is actually the most important part of your transformational journey. I will be doing this by sharing just one “tip” or “inspiration” each day.
Why? Because we are all busy and even reading this blog post is probably taking more time than you have today.
These tips are important for children as well as adults. You can embark on this journey with me as a parent, student, teacher, professional businessperson or anyone else. A healthy self-image and lifestyle can impact your productivity, mood, relationships, ability to learn more information and even your ability to combat challenges that come your way (health or other challenges).
I will be sharing with you WHO I am, WHAT this new series is about, WHERE this journey will happen, WHY I am creating this series now after 31 years, WHEN I started this journey and HOW you can use this information to improve your own health, self-image and relationships.
WHO am I?
I am a naturopath, photographer, teacher, artist, herbalist, mother, daughter, and so many other things. I have been running my own businesses since I was 16-years-old. I started out as a freelance photographer and travelled to The Middle East to work. I lived there for 16 years and during that time I started studying natural healing as a way to work through my own severe allergies and other health issues. I started my own personal health journey in 1986 and started the Herb’n Home newsletter in 1994.
In the same year I started Earthschooling with my baby. The company has grown many times over since those humble beginnings and now includes photography, The Avicenna Institute of Natural Therapies, and a full Earthschooling curriculum that goes from preschool to high school. I spend my days taking photos, writing curriculum, editing curriculum, getting to know customers, helping people, enjoying nature, snuggling cats, taking my beagle for a walk and helping my three adult children on their journey into adult-hood.
HOW will this journey happen?
As I mentioned above, I will be sharing this journey through one personal story/tip posted to Instagram, Facebook and the Herb’n Home newsletter every three days. You can choose which method suits you best to follow this series.
In my daily personal life this journey will be focused on embracing the now each day, discovering my new personal dietary requirements, and making sure to spend time doing things I love for at least an hour each day – kayaking, writing, photography or taking a nature walk. I will be losing weight on this journey but you will be surprised as to why and how. Follow the journey for more about this.
My chosen tool for this journey is Instagram (posts will be re-posted to The Bearth Institute on Facebook and the newsletter) for two reasons – photography is one of my passions in life and Instagram modeling with my kids (and sometimes friends) as the photographers is a super fun way to be creative, embrace my artistic side and have a good time with my kids. One day I will post a photo I have taken and the next post will be a modeling post taken by one of my kids.
WHERE will this journey happen?
Most of these photos will be taken in Iowa. I want to emphasize that you don’t have to travel to exotic locations to have a fun with Instagram modeling and you don’t have to move to transform your life. You can stay at home and “embrace the now” and discover new and exciting things about your home and yourself in the process.
WHAT is this journey all about?
Over the past 31 years I’ve run companies that focus on natural living, education and well-being. However, along the way I have not shared a lot about my own journey. As the years progressed I embraced social media and the growing Internet. However, there was always one aspect of social media I never quite fully embraced – the “personal documentary”
One type of “personal documentary” is the “Life-style Guru” who suggests that if people live like them they will be healthier. In many cases this can be true. However, The BEarth Institute has always been about finding what impacts your well-being personally – not mine – so I never felt like I wanted to influence people by sharing my unique journey.
Another type of “personal documentary” I have seen in social media is the “Before and After Transformation Journey”. However, I feel like so many of these focus on the destination and not the joy and the “beauty in the now” of the actual journey itself. I look at many of the “before” pictures people post and I think, “you are gorgeous, unique and wonderful. Why are you posting this picture as if it is a negative thing?”
Finally, I always felt like I didn’t have enough information to share. I am a scientist at heart so I always felt I was lacking data. As I made healthy lifestyle changes at age 20, 30 and even again at age 40 I thought, “I hope this works” and not “I am sure this is going to work so let’s share.”
So I am starting this series now for three reasons:
1. A recent health scare inspired me.
2. After almost 50 years of life, raising three healthy kids, living a healthy life for decades, dieting successfully twice before and running a few successful businesses, I finally feel like I might have enough data to support this new blog and Instagram project.
3. A new trend in social media I have noticed made me stop and say, “Something needs to be done!” There has been a lot of progress made in embracing diversity in fashion and advertising but a specific demographic of women* which I am part of has been left out. It makes me wonder about other demographics. Have you been left out too? How can you contribute to the inclusion of your demographic?
*My specific demographic at this time is a plus-size woman who is almost 50. At my “ideal medical weight” I am a size 12 but I feel healthiest at a size 14. The fashion and advertising industry has done a lot to embrace plus-size women. But even with the progress made in this category the message is still, “It is only OK to be plus-size if you are also under the age of 30”. The only time you read about a woman age 50 or over in the fashion industry it talks about how great their “bikini body is still great”. This is a typical article for this age group: Marysol Patton, 50, shows off incredible figure on beach: http://dailym.ai/2uDwvrE.
WHY is this journey important?
Teaching ourselves to embrace the now while undergoing a transformation can lead to an easier healthier and longer lasting transformation. It doesn’t matter what your journey is or what transformation you are going towards – this can be true for any transformation. I want you to think about the following things on this journey:
LOVE yourself but still make changes: Unfortunately we are often taught that to change we must first hate what we are. Advertising tells us that if we hate the way the house smells we can transform it with a certain cleanser. Articles in the news tell us that if we hate the way we look we can transform it with a certain brand of make up. But you rarely read an article or an advertisement that says “you can love the way your house smells and still use aromatherapy to transform it” or “you can love the way you look and embrace your natural beauty but still use make up if you want to play dress up and look different.” Sometimes this isn’t even a matter of teaching. As humans we are sometimes very good at adapting and being tolerant and we don’t pursue change until things are “unbearable” or “really bad”. We ignore the early signs that change needs to happen.
Make changes based on love and not fear: Each time you make a change ask yourself, “am I doing this out of love or fear?” If the answer is “fear” then work on transforming that fear into love. For example, I have a client who wanted to lose weight because she feared getting diabetes. This fear was her motivating force and she lived with this fear every day. While it was very motivating it was adding a lot of extra heavy “negative weight” into her life. We talked and she decided to change her new motivation into “I am losing weight because I love playing sports with my friends and my kids and I want to be able to do that more often”. So now, instead of waking up with fear each day she ends each day with an affirmation based on her motivation like, “today I played two innings of baseball instead of one. It was so fun!”
WHY am I sharing this journey now?
I recently went through a traumatic health experience that made me realize I want to do more to get my message out to more people. I want to share my experiences with people in the hopes that perhaps they can help even just one other person. It took me many years to solve some of my “health mysteries”. Perhaps reading some of the tips I post can save you those years of discovery time. Secondly, and just as importantly, I want to encourage people to “embrace each step of the journey”. I don’t see enough people doing this and I know how important it is from 31-years of working with clients, self, friends and family.
So many clients I have worked with have come to me saying, “I am so unhappy. Can you help me change this?” I have always been able to help them using holistic education and suggestions. However, what I also try to do for them beyond that is to help them also be happy now. I have seen people’s lives transform on a very deep level when they can embrace the now and be happy with it as well as follow a path of change. These two things do not have to be opposing.
One example of this type of thinking can be found in my lecture “Becoming a Whole Mother” which talks about embracing and loving each step of motherhood while creating our own “mothering mandala of transformation” . My book, The Temperaments and the Adult-Child Relationship also focuses on embracing the beauty of every temperament while also learning tools for change that can help each temperament live the healthiest life possible.
Finally, the “cherry on top” of this series is personal. I always wanted to be a model when I was younger. Why? I always loved cute clothes and playing dress-up. It wasn’t about being seen as a model (or anything else based on the hard work and reality of that life). It isn’t about supporting surface ideas of beauty. It was (and is) only about the possibility of living a magical life where I could play dress-up every day. One day I could be a princess and the next I could be an exotic creature in another land. Unfortunately, my self-image was very poor so I never pursued my dream. You can see this old photo below. This photo is myself at age 16. Why in the world did I have a poor self-image? The girl in this photo is stunning!
I have two daughters. I certainly don’t want them to fall into this trap of “striving for the perfect image” rather than “embracing the now”. I hope this journey can inspire them too.
So now, at age 49 I am going to embrace that dream. I may not be 16 anymore but at age 49 and size 20 (as you watch my journey this is actually changing) I have a much healthier self-image and am 100 times more confident than I was at age 16. So let the journey begin! Let’s have some fun! Please follow the details of this journey on Facebook at The Bearth Institute, at Instagram thebearthinstitutedotcom.