Flotation Philly 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of I visiting

Flotation Philly located in the Fishtown section of Philly. If you know a little about my health history then you know that 3 years ago I suffered a stroke, and that I have declared that this is my year for making huge strides when it comes to my health. I heard about
hTh

is facility from a friend at my yoga studio and it sounded right up my alley. My struggles in my

daily life post stroke are mainly cognitive rather than physical. Which is a blessing and a curse all at the same time! Basically for me too much noise, too many lights, too much chatter, too much of any stimulation going on can trigger me helpless. It’s literally too much for my brain to handle all at once. I think that is one of the reasons I have fallen head over heels in love with meditation. Meditation allows me those quiet, still moments of completely shutting my brain down in order to fully restore myself. 
After navigating my way, by myself ( woo hoo) to Flotation Philly I was greeted by the owner Russ and an incredibly intricate and beautiful mural as you walk in their front doors. From there Russ took me back to my room which contained my evolution float pod, a shower, and a vanity area for me to put myself back together after my experience.  
Russ started this business after first trying out flotation pods for himself and seeing the benefits to him and his body. I admire that. He didn’t start this business because it was the newest fad, or only to make money. You can tell from just one conversation with him just how genuine and caring of a person he is and how much he wants his clients to enjoy and reap the full benefits of flotation therapy. After Russ walked me back to the room he explained everything in a very down to earth, yet professional way- always leaving space for me to answer questions when I had them. He took the time to make sure that I was comfortable with the process and that I understood the reason behind flotation therapy. Sensory deprivation isn’t something only those who have had brain injuries benefit from, it something that many people can benefit from. Russ even made a few suggestions of what to do to get my wiggles out once I was inside of the pod that included stretching, a few yoga poses and then finally finding stillness within my body- this certainly came in handy! 
Once Russ left the room I took a shower- you must shower before entering the pod with shampoo and body wash, which wasn’t difficult because the shower was such a pretty space and all of the toiletries are provided right there for you! Once you shower you are ready to enter the pod.
Upon entering the pod ( which is only 10 inches deep, and filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt) your limbs automatically lift up and stay there on their own. Two words- zero gravity!! I have never felt anything like it. It was completely effortless and completely uplifting! Once you lay back in the pod you have control of the lights and music, as well as shutting the pod completely or leaving it open or any level in between that you are comfortable with ( the top of the pod is on hydraulics). I first started off with both music and lights. After some exploring in different positions and a couple of up dogs ( thanks to Russ’s suggestion) I felt a little calmer and at ease with being in the pod. At that point I turned the music off and shut the lid of the pod- not entirely- but almost completely. The lights in the room are off so there is no outside lights shining into the pod. There’s also a small piece of a pool noodle in each room and for me, with my neck issues, it worked wonders. It is a strange feeling, one that Russ assures me you become more comfortable with the most float sessions you do, to let you neck sink back and support itself. So for me, the pool noodle was very helpful. I even tried it in a couple different positions, the base of my neck, and then rolling it a little higher up to the base of my skull ( this is where I felt most comfortable with the noodle). With the music off I was able to sit in complete silence, and just appreciate and admire the quiet. The calm. The stillness. The nothingness. No to do lists popped in my head, no things I had left undone at home or at work, no thoughts of what I was going to do for dinner, or how much homework my kiddos would be coming home with, not even if I would be able to find my own way home! Seriously- nothing came to mind. I wasn’t even able to string together a single thought. Every time I did my mind would just drop it mid thought. And for me, as a person who generally has a hard time shutting brain off it came very easily.  
Then, I took my float to another level by turning off the lights. So here I was in this pitch black pod in this pitch black room with no light and no noise. Who was I? I was a girl who was living in the moment and taking full advantage of the experience at my fingertips. So there I laid- or floated rather- in complete silence and darkness. My arms and legs extended completely in the pod. For me, this was the most beneficial part of the process. This is where I took the most from my float experience, and I believe this is the fullness that is best experienced from float therapy. My mind took me to some pretty trippy places during this time and this is where my body found complete and true stillness. There was no movement. Not in my fingers, my toes, my arms, or my legs. Complete stillness. Complete weightlessness. Complete calm. I could hear and feel my heartbeat. I’ve felt my heartbeat before, but to be so still that you can hear it at the same time? That’s a whole other level of connection to your mind and body! 
Flotation Philly was an experience unlike any other. I will admit I had my apprehensions and anxieties before heading into my appointment, but Russ made it super easy to leave all of those at the door. For someone who has suffered a brain injury and fights most days keep my sanity in a super busy world this was an extremely beneficial experience, and one that I know I will be back for.  
Interested in trying flotation therapy out for yourself? Use my coupon code LIVELOVEFLOAT for 15% off your next visit by using coupon code Also please note that floats come in 60 and 90 minute sessions, as well as various packages for any number of floats. I experienced the 90 minute session which I felt really allowed time for my body to adjust to the space and be open to all that the float experience had to offer. It really only felt like I was in there for 30 minutes! Happy floating! 

40 Days: Week 4

This weeks theme centered around restoration. Our meditation increased to 20 minutes in the evening and morning, and it also included a 3 day fruit cleanse.  

Our laws were:
Law 7: Relax with what is

Law 8: Remove the rocks

My rock was people pleasing. For me, I wanted to see what possibilities were available when I dropped my need for people pleasing, for acceptance, for my need to be included and liked by all. And what I found was that when I let go of the need to people please and to have everyone like me and to be agreeable I opened the possibility for a life of authenticity. The real, true me. The happy, the light, the joyful me. The unedited me. I experienced genuine carefree happiness and laughter this week. 

The 3 day juice cleanse was interesting. Truthfully I did not enjoy it whatsoever while I was going through it, however I did take a lot from it. For me by the second day my stomach was so sour from all the sweet fruit I wanted to stop- I did have some regular dinner that night- but made sure to hop right back on the wagon the next morning. And completely unexpectedly by the end of the third and final day I felt a huge shift. The fruit cleanse didn’t just make me want to get rid of the toxins inside of my body but it propelled me to take a larger look at my life to see what other toxins I could cleanse from my life. It came to me clear as day. Combining my need to cleanse as much toxicity from my life as possible, along with removing the rock of people pleasing I decided to make the bold move to delete the Facebook app from my phone. Deleting this app not only removed all of the stress and bad feelings I experienced from reading other people’s status’s and getting distracted by their drama, but even more than that it removed my rock of people pleasing. In the couple of days that have passed since I got rid of the app I realized that I was also using FB to engage in people pleasing without even realizing it! I was looking for praise, I was looking for approval, sometimes I was posting something just to post something- just to fill in the gaps. I was measuring my worth by the number of likes, or comments I received. So I deleted it and will only be accessing it from my computer. It may last a week, it may last a month, or it may last a year- who knows. This has also freed me up immensely. The first thing I used to do when I woke up was check FB. On the weekends I would waste 30 minutes, easily, scrolling through my newsfeed, for what? A picture perfect look into someone else’s life? Comparison? Emptiness? Likes? Since deleting the app I have already felt like a weight has been lifted. Rather than constantly being attached to my phone, and carefully monitor and count my notifications I could care less. And that has allowed me to be authentically present in my life. That has allowed me to create space in my life. That has allowed me to welcome the presence of possibility and for me in this season that is what this life is all about! 

   
   

Surrender, from a broken Jesus girl 

2 weeks ago I attended If: Gathering Local. I stepped out of my comfort zone and for 2 days I spent time with women I had never met. Ever. Complete strangers. About 30 of them to be exact. But we all had one thing in common, God. A love for Jesus and His kingdom and His ways. We all met together to attend If:Gathering. The heart of the conference was in Texas, and there was a live stream being broadcast throughout churches, and homes all over THE WORLD! I wanted to attend this conference for a few reasons. The first being that I have always wanted to attend a Christian conference and be surrounded by the love of so many people walking the same path as me. People who aren’t afraid to share their faith, their hearts, and their stories about what God has done and is doing in their lives. This was the closest conference to my home that didn’t require airfare, and overnight hotel stay, or driving 10+ hours in the car. 

Another reason I wanted to go was because I wanted a personal revival to happen within me. A newness. A rebirth. A becoming. And I received exactly that. That weekend I recommitted to Jesus, and God and all of His ways.

Lastly, I went for confirmation. Confirmation that their are others who believe as I believe. Others who struggle just as I struggle. Confirmation that this is the path I am supposed to be on. Confirmation that community does exist. Confirmation that others too are stepping out of their comfort zones. And probably worst of all… Confirmation that He does exist, and that he loves me, he redeem me, and he has laid a path for me. 

Those two days were so moving, and exactly what I needed. I told myself before I got out of my car in the parking lot and headed into that church that I would do whatever, allow whatever, and be whatever I was called to be that weekend. No holding back. I wanted to give God the glory and praise him like I had never praised him before! And so knowing I made that commitment I walked through those doors and into an unknown space with an open mind, an open heart, and open hands. I worshipped harder, I prayed harder, I sang louder, I lifted my hands higher, I shared harder, and I laughed harder than I ever had before. EVER! I met some incredibly amazing women, in person, and via the live stream as well. There were goosebumps the entire weekend. And it certainly reconfirmed everything I was doubting. The fear, the anxiety felt like they had been chipped away just a bit. The pause I have had in my relationship and my faith, and with my God was restored. Restoration. Wholeness. Joy. Satisfaction. Completeness. 

I left that weekend exhausted mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally but OH SO FULL!! Full of passion, full of love, full of new relationships, full of His words, His goodness, his grace, his glory, and best of all I left having a new relationship with God.

So two weeks later what does this all mean? It means my life-almost- looks completely different. I’ve recently read Jennie Allens ANYTHING. And man oh man did that book blow my mind! As much as I enjoyed it, I also struggled a little bit because I also prayed ANYTHING to God, but I wasn’t hearing anything in return. And then about half way through the book I realized that “anything”was Jennies prayer-not mine. So I listened and I prayed and when I felt a shift I knew what my prayer was to be… I surrender. I surrender my life, I surrender my worries, I surrender my fears, I surrender my anxiety, I surrender my shortcomings, I surrender my debt, I surrender my health, my mind, my job, my marriage, my kids, my plans. I SURRENDER IT ALL!! To him. To His kingdom, His ways, His path. I’m letting go. Truly, wholeheartedly letting go. And I’m praising Him. I’m listening to and for him. I am obeying him. I am laying it all down at his feet. 

All of this made me realize I am just a broken Jesus girl who after 31 years has fully realized just how amazing our Lord is. I am just a broken Jesus girl who has decided to let go and let God. I am just a broken Jesus girl who is handing it all over. Every single piece. Here I stand with hands held high … I am just a broken Jesus girl who has recommitted my life and it’s works to God. I am just a broken Jesus girl who cannot wait to see the path God has chosen for me. 
What does your surrender look like?

  

2016-The Year of my Rebirth

2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

How amazing is that verse? And the timing is perfect too!  It’s probably the most cleansing of all verses I have read lately and it speaks to me. In fact I think it is going to be my motto for 2016. The second part of 2015 showed me ( actually most time it felt like it was SCREAMING to me) that I don’t have to be who I’ve always been. If I want to be someone new, who believes in something new and that makes me happy than I am able to be that. That is allowed. I don’t need someone’s permission. This is my life and if it’s going to be the best one then I’ve got to start doing something different.

I’m realizing I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy of self care. People actually love the lives they lead. Say what?! Yes, it’s true and I want me some of dat! {no that’s not a typo!} They feel whole. Satisfaction. Complete. Energized. Uplifted. Supported. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of constantly feeling drained. I want to live in the moment, heck I want to seize the moment… Every single moment of every day. No regrets. No I wish I would haves. None of that. Intentional, authentic, life breathing living is what 2016 is going to be all about. I want to develop deep, meaningful, life breathing relationships. And those which no longer serve me? I want to let those go. I want to enjoy and appreciate all this life has to offer.

I’m hoping to become better assimilated to this lifestyle by reading Brene Browns The Gifts of Imperfections- I’ll let you know how that goes. Part of me is scared to death to even open the first page… The other part of me feels like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. Ever since I was a little girl I remember trying my hardest to cover any imperfections that others may see. Any jagged edges that don’t allow me to fit in. My entire life that is all I have wanted- to fit in. To feel like I have a strong belonging to a supportive and uplifting community. I wanted to create the perfect life. The perfect scenery. The perfect backdrop. Well guess what? 30 years later I am realizing that doesn’t exist. Now that I’m realizing this I feel like it is time for me to figure out how to live with and embrace my imperfections because those imperfections have brought me to where I am and who I have become.

I am realizing…everyone’s path is unique including mine, and that is what makes us so special.

I am realizing…the world would be a pretty boring place if we all had the same stories. Can you imagine? How could we create any connections with others if every single one of us was the same? Sound pretty lame to me.

I am realizing that my community and my people are out there. And when I find them they will accept all of me. I won’t have to hide or cover up or pretend.

These are just a few of the realizations I have come to and want to continue to develop in the coming year. I hope you stick around and join me on this journey!

 

Welcoming in the New!

I have to say New Years is quickly growing to be my most favorite time of the year. Do you feel the same? Or maybe it’s just me getting older… Either way I love the feeling of a new start, which is ironic because I don’t do well with change- go figure. I love the breath of fresh air that comes with the new year. A clean slate. A fresh start. A do-over for all that has gone wrong or undone in the past year. A time for reflection. Quiet. Calm and stillness always come over me. No matter what happened in the past year it doesn’t matter. Because it’s a New year. A New you. A fresh start. A new beginning. It feels like the perfect opportunity to start something new…Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
For me that newness looks like completely turning my life upside down. Taking inventory. Getting rid of the garbage. All things tangible and intangible. Letting go of the good to make room for the great! Making room. Creating space. Letting in the love, light, and most of all joy! Lots of it! 
Oh I will be so thankful to say goodbye and good riddens to 2015. It certainly was a year of hurt, heartache, despair, health scares, and heaviness. With all the bad there was some good. And the good is what got me through. The good is what led me right to where I am. Right here. Right now. Would I have chosen this path? Never in a million years. Pain and heartache is terrible, but from it comes growth. From heart heavy experiences newness is birthed. Right before our eyes. I learned this year that heartache is a part of life. It’s real, and we are all going to experience it at some point. I am beginning to realize this. It’s a terrible thing to walk through, but for me it has made me truly appreciate all that remains. Heartache and pain force us to look back on the wonderful, happy memories we were fortunate enough to experience. These brief moments help to fill in those cracks, sometimes craters, we have experienced. They give way to new found connection and friendships. Authentic connection. Deep life breathing relationships.

  

2016 Here I Come!!

My wish for 2016….
2015 was filled with events that I never imagined happening. This year was filled with incredible life-giving events like finding my love for yoga, creating new friendships, and becoming genuinely present to everything in my life. It was also a year filled with gut wrenching grief over the loss of my uncle.  The man who raised me. 2015 was a year filled with new routines, and schedules for my husband and I, as well as our kids. It has been a year of me finally opening up and sharing about my imperfections and inabilities and in doing that realizing that it is okay to have those imperfections and inabilities. It was a year of realizing that perfection is exhausting! It was a year filled with more heaviness than happiness. It was a year of complete vulnerability and growth. It was a year of digging the deepest I have ever dug to find out who I am, what I stand for, and what I want for my future.  It was a year of authenticity, and integrity. It was a year of finding out that I am worthy. Worthy of happiness, worthy of love, worthy of rest, worthy of not having to do it all, or have it all together. This was the year I discovered meditation and the miraculous changes, for the better, it brought into my life. This was a year with a serious health scare for my husband which really called me out on my way of living, and showed me just how precious our relationship is to me.  It was a year of clearing my mental fog, and discovering what makes me happy. Discovering what fills me up. What brings me joy. And all of this was just skimming the surface. I am so glad to have discovered all of these realizations because I can use them to dig deeper  in 2016.  And after all this year has taught and brought into my life I figured out exactly what my word for 2016 should be, and it couldn’t be any more perfect.

A few years ago I started a New Years tradition by choosing a word for the year ahead, and after taking a few weeks to think about my word for 2016 I tossed around a few options I finally made a decision. It just came to me. It hit me on the head like a ton of bricks.  My decision was sealed, and all doubt I had ceased during the last few days when this word kept popping up in my life in the strangest places. Songs, writings, conversations, yoga practices. Seriously like 1,000 times in just a few days! Which make me SO happy!  I can’t help but believe it was a sign that this was truly meant to be my word for the coming year.
My word for 2016 is JOY. I want to experience joy every single day. I want to experience it in the biggest and the smallest of ways. I want to be fully present to joy.  Authentic, life breathing JOY.  I want to do more of what brings me joy. Yoga, meditation, coffee dates, blogging, reading, family time.  I want to bring others joy. Serving, listening, caring, supporting. I want to feel so much joy that it overflows from my cup and fills the cup of others! Hallelujah!  I want to be filled with so much joy that I become a light. A light that others can see. A light that others can feel.  A light that I am able to share. A light that ignites the light in others. I want to experience joy in all aspects of my life. Whatever I am doing I want to be joyful while doing it. In order to be more intentional and fully submerge my life with JOY in the next year I am going to start a JOY JAR. This joy Jar will contain an event from every.single.day that brings me joy. I am excited that I will be able to look back on 2016 and remember all of the joy that I was lucky enough to experience. All of the joy I was able to share. All of the joy I was able to spread. And you wanna know something even better? I am starting this TODAY!!  I’m not waiting 4 more days to experience the amazingness of joy in my life. I feel joy already in just starting this project so I am committing to this and starting to fill my joy jar today!!

What word would you choose for 2016?

10 things I hope to do differently for ME in 2015

As I reflect back on the past year there are a few things I am looking forward to having a fresh start with in 2015.This is a list for me. This isn’t a list for our family, or for my marriage. It is just a list of what I wish to work on for me this coming year.

So here’s my list of what I hope to do differently for ME in 2015…

1. Disconnect-I have already begun this process to quiet the noise.  For me this has to come in baby steps. From the first days when AIM instant messenger connected I remember sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time and just typing, typing, typing away. Back then that was the only form of online communication that was prevalent. Nowadays it is literally all around us. We have access to it 24/7.  I run this blog, and have a successful skin care business ran mostly online and through social media.   These days I am realizing it is super important to put away the screen, the phone, the device and just be present. To live in the moment.  So for me, this change is all about finding a happy medium {is that even a thing?!} For now I have chosen to “hide” my social media apps on my phone so it is just a little bit harder for me to easily access them, or at the very least look down and see all of the notifications piling up and feeling the tug to check them right.now! Remember…baby steps!

2. Separate work & home– This is probably one of my biggest struggles.  If you aren’t already aware I run a successful skin care side business in addition to my 9-5 job!  For months now I have been wanting to set concrete work hours for this fun side job of mine.  Already having a full time job, and a family at home, I need to keep my sanity intact as much as possible. Having strict, and seperate business hours for my skin care business will allow me the flexibility, and freedom to enjoy all areas of my life to the fullest. Plus, if I am trying to return emails and place orders for clients while wrangling a 4 year old who is in the middle of his melt down the likelihood of error on either end is pretty high! So from here on I want to be full committed to each task I tackle and go at it 100%.

3. House Rules– I’m not sure why it took me so long to implement this idea, but after discussing the idea with “Mr. Mom in the Middle” we have decided that having a set of house rules will be good for our home. Just like our kids have rules for their classroom that they take part in thinking about and coming up with we are going to do the same for our house. We will sit down as a family of 5 and compile everyone’s idea’s on one list. I will then have that list blown up, printed and framed to hang in and around our house. My hope in all of this is to kill the chaos.

4. To give more Grace-to others as well as myself…this my friends is not easy. You know the saying we are our own worst critics? Well say hello to the worlds worst critic with a sprinkle of perfectionist!  After going through this past year I realized that while I need to take care of our house and all that comes with it, and my family I also need to take care of myself.  This is not such an easy pill to swallow for a self sufficient, fully independent momma like me.  I want to extend grace more to those around me as well as myself. I want to have more patience, kindness, understanding, and compassion.   I also want to learn to “let it go” I am the type of person who can and will replay something someone has said to me 50 times in my head. A few months ago someone said to me, “Nobody can make you feel a certain way, only you can let them make you feel a certain way” and I thought to myself how true! Why should I allow someone to rent space in my head and cause so much toxicity? So this my friends is something I am constantly, and on a daily basis, working through and on.

5. To not focus on the numbers-this is something I have focused on for far.too.long! It also has a lot to do with disconnecting. Can I tell you how sick I am of posting something only to go back minutes later and see how many likes it has received? Which then in turn either leaves me filling empty or incredibly fulfilled? Say WHAT?! Since when did others opinions, or time, or likes justify who I am, what I stand for, and what I do. So my hopes in disconnecting from Social Media more frequently are that I will not base my feelings, success, and production on numbers from others.

6. To post reminders of Who I Am. It’s no surprise that I am a Christian women and that I openly talk about it. I feel like there are days where I need to live it more. It’s one thing to talk about something-it is a whole different thing to actually do something about it. Actions speak louder than words.  I am hoping to start this by finding a really great bible study and diving in head first.  Also, I am going to start writing down bible verses that speak to me and handing them on the fridge, leaving them in my purse, the car, etc. These are not to be “showy” or to be used as “proof”, but rather they are for accountability and reminding. Lord knows I need reminding during the day. My hope is that I can avoid those messy mommy/wife moments that happen by stopping, reading, breathing, remembering, and moving on.

7. To begin getting out of debt– notice I didn’t say get out of debt completely. I know it’s just not possible. I know it’s going to be a long, uphill battle. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I also know how worth it it is going to be when I don’t have the weight of this weighing me down- literally! These days so many college students are burdened with student loan debt. I am no different. So I want to put myself on the path that allows me to start paying down my debt as quickly as possible. I am in the process of scheduling an appointment for hubby and I with a financial adviser and I am hoping this along with our zero budget will allow for us to begin a program to start paying down my/our debt.

8. To take better care of my health– shhhh! I will let you all in on a little secret this year…. I am turning 30 this year 😦 This is my year for vitamins, oils, and anything healthy.  Exercise, working out, shakes, whatever it takes to get me feeling my best I am willing to give a try! I am already back into my T25 workouts.  I would love to get into some great meditation/yoga for the soul workouts…if you have any suggestions please let me know!

9. To go to Influence Conference-I know, I know this is a pretty specific one. This is a spiritual conference that for the past 3 years I have only dreamt of going to. Each year I have watched from afar as others have been led by fearless women to their greatest spiritual place. A safe place, a place of growth, a place with no judgement, a place of all consuming and uplifting goodness, a place of community. At this moment, I can’t even wrap my mind around how it would be possible for me, logistically, to even think about going-not to mention the cost. So, for the first time I am going to pray, pray, pray that I somehow, someway make it there.

10. Read more– I have a ton of books saved in my amazon favorites. Books that I hope to one day read. That I plan to read one day. Reading always has been a passion of mine, and much like many other hobbies of mine have fallen to the wayside of life! This is the year I hope to read more books, to unplug from reality, my phone, the laptop, everything and simply immerse myself in literature.

What do you hope to do differently in 2015? I would love to hear!

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