Have you ever experienced that ecstatic spark of inspiration and joy when the vision of what you truly want for your life appears? But then, that inspiration and joy starts fading away as you become consumed by the “how”? Yeah, not so great. But, showing us that there’s another way – a way to hold on to the vibrant energy created by our passion-filled vision – is Donna Bond.
Donna is a professional life and business coach, spiritual advisor and inspirational speaker who graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing. After a personal, painful journey that forced Donna to open her eyes to what she really wanted for her life, she’s made it her life’s work to help others claim the rich, fun, and fulfilling life they are meant to lead.
Donna supports individuals in crafting this happy, joyful existence from the inside out by helping them first discover who they truly are – their authentic self that is a Divine Spiritual Being having a human experience. Through this profound inside out work, Donna helps us awaken our soul’s wisdom, and utilize this infinite intelligence to transform our consciousness and live a life that shines with purpose. We had the honor of interviewing Donna, and learning more about her life-changing offerings. Enjoy exploring...
Living Wholly: How are you serving the world, and contributing your gifts?
Donna Bond: I’m acting in the capacity of a professional life and business coach. I help you be more of you, in everything that I do. I help people clear away their old stories and limiting beliefs, and call forward their inner creator that knows what they’re here to do.
Living Wholly: What was the path that led you to becoming a professional life coach and business coach?
Donna Bond: I woke up when I was at the top of my career as a marketing executive in the hospitality industry, where I had been working for 25 years. I was working for a prestigious company, making a lot of money, and interacting with incredible people - but I was dying inside. For about four years I consciously ignored how unhappy I was, and that manifested in a frozen shoulder. My frozen shoulder was a beautiful metaphor for my life because I knew I was unhappy, but I wasn’t doing anything to move myself out of where I was.
At the time, I was already enrolled in USM and had been in the program for a year. (I went into the program on the advice of a psychic!) It was completely illogical that I would sign up for this master’s program, but there was something pulling me toward it.
My divine guidance finally arrived when I was on a plane reading Ken Atkinson’s book “Finding Your Element.” There were really resonant ideas in the book that caused me to suddenly have complete clarity that, even though I didn’t have a plan, I had to quit my job.
So, I worked as a marketing consultant for about a year and a half before the Universe pulled me into coaching. I had to complete a service project for USM and the initial project I submitted was to coach women on marketing their small business. My request was denied, but I had already committed to coaching Nicola Behrman and kept my word to her. I coached her for 9 months and what happened during those sessions was really miraculous. That’s where I discovered my gift as a coach, and how fulfilling and rewarding this work is on the deepest level.
Living Wholly: What are the primary techniques you use to help your clients transform their consciousness?
Donna Bond: One is allowing spirit to work through me. I am just the channel - I’m just holding space to call forward the higher aspect of the person that I’m working with. When that aspect of ourselves gets called forward, we have a remembrance and a standing forward in what we came here to do. So, I just get out of the way and allow spirit to work through me.
The second thing is working with the principles and practices of spiritual psychology, which is a brilliant technology that can create so much freedom. It is a way for us to transform our consciousness by beginning to see our lives through the soul’s perspective. I help my clients see their life through this spiritual context, and realize that everything that’s happening is a gift, and a perfectly presented opportunity to learn the lessons that our soul took embodiment to learn.
Another technique I utilize is my directness. I have the ability to hold up a mirror for people in a really gentle and compassionate way that assists them in looking at things they might not be able to look at otherwise. I help people look at their blind spots.
Living Wholly: What are three tips for calling forward our innate wisdom?
Donna Bond: Remembering that we are divine spiritual beings having a human experience is a big one. We are first and foremost an energy system, and an essence that is connected to all that is. Our personalities and egos are like our soul’s avatar. We need to remember that we are so much greater than any condition or situation that might be going on around us. I help my clients call forward the creator that we all have within us.
Slowing down is another way to call forward our innate wisdom. We’re often moving too fast. I used to be the busiest person I knew. I was not the person hanging out by the water cooler. I was getting people to get busy. But, life is happening right now - right here in this moment. When we can slow down and become fully present, we stop projecting the future and fragmenting our energy, focus and intention. Our powers of creation are in the moment, and the only way we can come into alignment with that is by slowing down.
Living Wholly: What is a practice that supports you to align one’s head with their heart?
Donna Bond: Clarity. We get caught up in the steps because it’s our human nature, and we believe we have to do it all ourselves. We get caught up in the how, getting lost in all the steps between point A and B. I assist my clients in “hanging up the how” and bringing as much focus and clarity into the “what.” I ask, “What do you really want, and why do you really want it?” The more we can crystallize the experience we are looking to have, the more the Universe will naturally begin organizing itself on our behalf. It will deliver or gently redirect us, if we’re willing to be redirected.
So hang up the how, come into focus with the experience you want to have, and stop chasing the destination. People often believe that they’ll receive everything they’re looking for through the job, relationship, etc., but I help them go deeper than that and name what it is that they’re really seeking.
Living Wholly: What does it mean to transform your life from the inside out?
Donna Bond: One of my favorite principles in spiritual psychology is best described by Drs. Ron & Mary Hulnick who say that, “Outer experience is a reflection of inner experience.” It sounds counter intuitive, but if we can change the way we feel about something on the inside, that will in turn create a different experience on the outside.
For example, a lot of people are chasing love - everyone wants to be with their soul mate. We falsely believe that we will be fulfilled by the love that this relationship will give us. I’m in a storybook relationship, but that wasn’t what filled my void of love - that can only come from the inside.
So, if you want more love, love yourself more. The more we can love, honor and nurture ourselves, the more that will be reflected back to us through the people in our life.
Living Wholly: How does discovering our authentic Self shift how we show up in the world? And, how do we go about discovering that authentic self?
Donna Bond: It goes back to helping you be more of you. We’re all so saddled with belief patterns – there’s an endless amount of channels that are bearing down on us, telling us who we’re supposed to be. Our authentic self is the part of us that knows the truth and has the inner resonance to know what makes us feel expansive and uplifted. When we’re in that space, we’re in our authentic self.
But sometimes we prevent ourselves from being in that space because we’re trying to fit in a box someone told us we’re supposed to fit in. This is a process of defining, discovering and being willing to uncover what is true for you, regardless of what society might say. Coming face to face with that often requires facing our fears, because we have to get out of our comfort zone - we have to find the courage and willingness to be our authentic selves no matter what.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Donna Bond: Loving all the parts of ourselves. That’s not easy to do all the time - to love our shadow side, and messy parts. For me, that’s a big part of living wholly.
Living Wholly: Are there any coaches, books, or classes that support you as a female entrepreneur, coach and conscious human?
Donna Bond: Drs. Ron & Mary Hulnick ,of course. I’m also a big fan of Caroline Myss and Wayne Dyer.
Marie Forleo is a blast and offers great guidance about being a female entrepreneur.
I was recently introduced to the work of Rachel Hollis, who wrote the book “Girl Wash Your Face.” I couldn’t put it down. She has interesting ideas about empowering women and does it so authentically.
Mary Morrissey is also amazing. I studied under her to get some of my early coaching certifications.
I’m a fan of Robert Holden, who leads a mastermind program I’m in. I think he’s the presence of love and has been a big influence in me bringing my emotional intelligence into every aspect of my life. I used to be so mental and only operated with that capacity, thinking everything had to make sense and be smart and logical. I tried to get along in life only using my mental capacity, but I was denying my spiritual and emotional intelligence. With Robert’s support I learned to allow my heart to lead and inform my life.
Living Wholly: What inspired your upcoming retreat “Discovering the Authentic You”? And what can one expect to receive from this experience?
Donna Bond: The content I present over the two and a half days is the compilation of the learning I’ve experienced through my own transformation. This content goes back five years, when I began seeing the pathway to fulfillment. What I present in the retreat are the life mastery tools and mindset shifts that occurred for me, which I present in a way where people can hear and understand them in a classroom like setting, but then engage with each sacred truth in a way that allows them to experience it within themselves. So, with every section of content, there’s an experiential component.
One of the key things about this retreat is that there are only six spots. There are only six spots because this is a really sacred, intimate container that is created for the purposes of deep sharing. When people are witnessed, miracles happen. It’s deeply profound when people can stand up and share their truth.
Living Wholly: How can people learn more about your upcoming retreat and coaching with you?
Donna Bond: Meet Donna Bond LIVE on a 45 minute webinar on Dec 12th AT 7 pm pst.
Details for call are: https://zoom.us/j/252575064
Awaken your desire to provide loving support and attention to the most important person in your life experience...YOU!
Donna will share 3 important distinctions between self-care and self-love. Learn these empowering mindset shifts and get the opportunity to do a comp coaching session with Donna.
On the webinar, Donna will teach for 20 minutes and talk about the retreat for 20 minutes. On the webinar, there will be an opportunity to receive a comp coaching session. By putting down a refundable deposit on the retreat of $500, this gives you a chance to connect more deeply with Donna and decide if you want to spend the weekend with her. If not, you get your money back. Easy peasy.
The retreat is at DiscoverAuthenticYou and runs from February 8-10, 2019. There are only five spots left.
To learn more about a coaching journey with me, I offer complimentary discovery sessions. This session is my opportunity to give somebody an experience with me and decide if we resonate.
We are really feeling the expansion from the retreat offering. All of it is compelling us to go deeper. At Living Wholly, we feel that the beauty of Donna’s work is that it doesn’t only impact the individuals she works with. As she supports her clients in awakening their soul’s knowingness, stepping into their authentic selves, and allowing their purpose and passion to guide them, this vibrant energy trickles out and begins to transform the global consciousness. And, we are aware that the consciousness of our precious world is primed for elevation. By utilizing Donna’s guidance, we can discover the power to be part of this radical shift that is unfolding before our eyes.
*This interview has been edited and condensed.
Language shifts our perception of life’s endless circumstances, and can often be the difference in viewing a certain circumstance as an issue, or an opportunity. I first learned this in 2012 when I was faced with my initial reproductive health opportunity – the precursor to the opportunity I’m currently working through.
When I was told to reframe the circumstances of my health as an opportunity instead of an issue, I thought it was hokey and I resisted. I honestly thought to myself, WTF? Let me be clear, I really resisted. I did not feel like I had been given an opportunity – I was experiencing something that was shifting my entire life, and not in a way that felt good. I felt like everything was in a state of total upheaval. With everything to gain, I began to shift my language, and eventually realized the power of my words.
To get to a place where this language shift worked, I had to take a hard look at my resistance to naming this a “health opportunity.” When I examined where my resistance was coming from - anger, resentment, and disappointment came up. I was mad that this was happening to my body and I wanted to rage – but that didn’t support my health. It was uncomfortable looking at the beliefs and stories attached to these draining emotions. But, once I did my mind finally opened to calling my circumstances a health opportunity, and actually feeling the truth in that. Feeling this truth left me more open to discover that the opportunity in my health circumstances was a call to fully commit to myself - ALL parts of me and to love each one of them.
Now, with my second health opportunity winding its way through my life, I’m allowing myself to again engage in inquiry about what’s going on. What’s the opportunity here? There’s always something. The body holds so much information - it remembers everything on a psychosomatic level – that isn’t necessarily easy to access. Layers can get buried deep in the unconscious. But when we experience a health opportunity it can serve as a messenger, bringing up hidden information and telling us that something is out of balance.
There are so many gifts available when we start relating to the state of our health as a messenger. It’s like a teacher within who is trying to pass us valuable wisdom; we just have to be open and willing to receive – not raging against our circumstances. And for me, it’s not even about the result – it’s not about whether or not this shift in language and perspective will actually eradicate my health circumstances – it’s about but my relationship to my body. When my relationship to my body changes, and I begin to see it as an astonishing vessel, I develop a deep appreciation for it in every moment, which in turn helps me have more presence, and a greater capacity for love with every breath. It’s pretty extraordinary.
Of course, sadness and fear will still come up when my health is not where I’d like it to be– I often feel that – but when I’m focusing on the present moment, I discover a lovely sense of freedom and ability to step out of the sadness and fear – I get to choose how I want to be with myself. Because anything can happen on this wild ride, I don’t want to waste my moments fretting over what could be, I want to figure out how to feel empowered by my health, and all circumstances of my life. A constant recommitment to diving in, feeling the emotions and the willingness to consider positive language shifts is helping.
And you know what? In many ways I feel stronger and more empowered now – in the midst of amble health opportunities – than I’ve ever been. I feel like I’m able to stand tall in my authentic self, own my choices, give myself permission to slow the heck down, and consciously co-create my life. I am showing up differently in every area. My relationship with my husband, my journey as a mother, my role as an entrepreneur and many more – none of it would be in its current state of vibrancy without the changes my health opportunity has offered me.
Because of this health opportunity, and my choice to frame it as such, blessings are showing up on my path. But, beyond what I shared above, there were many additional breadcrumbs that led me to this space. When I or someone I am connected with has an imbalance/dis-ease, there are a few tools that support me to identify the possibilities….
I especially utilized the back of the book where she talks about correlations between specific diseases and conditions, and probable emotional causes. So, I would find my health circumstance, read the probable cause she gave, then sit with it to see if it resonated. If it didn’t resonate I would ask, “What could be the thoughts or emotions in me that created the dis-ease in my body?” I let these thoughts simmer for a while, and something will eventually come up that guides me towards an answer.
Those are my breadcrumbs. What are yours? They might be similar to mine, or totally different. Just start to tune in and allow yourself to listen to the endless, profound wisdom of your body’s messengers. This process isn’t easy, but it’s life changing.
with great humility + gratitude,
P.S. For those who are hearing the call to dissolve their blocks and step more fully into an expansive life of freedom + joy, join us this Wednesday, November 28 at 6 pm pst LIVE via Zoom as we feature Alyssa Nobriga on our Virtual Speaker Series. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Leadership Coach. The topic is "Getting Unstuck: Transform Obstacles + Shift out of Limitation." Register here to confirm your spot. This is a COMPLIMENTARY offering. She is also, giving away one spot to her two day "Success + Soul" retreat in Santa Monica for February 2019. See you on the Zoom!
Today marks day 61 of my journey on the raw/vegan detox program. Who’s counting? Not me, actually. I had to count to write this post. This is the 2nd time that I’ve committed to this lifestyle that allows my body to alkalize + heal most effectively and efficiently. This time around feels more seasoned and since I know how powerful this protocol can be for my body, I stay on this path day by day. After bearing witness to hundreds of people go through this program at the Optimum Health Institute, I have seen it heal stage 4 cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and so many more. Practiced for many centuries around the world, detoxification is the process of cleansing the body to promote healing and longevity. When there is a health issue aka "health opportunity" present, eating a raw/vegan diet partnered with wheatgrass, colonics, meditation, cleansing the lymphatic system, daily relaxation, visualization, and tons of greens - healing naturally occurs.
Without the usual crutches such as caffeine, wine, chocolate, cheese, and other tasty treats I often turn to as coping mechanisms, I certainly feel stripped down. There is one thing that is crystal clear, it provides many opportunities to face my “stuff”… all of it, in a raw (no pun intended), deep and intense way.
When this initially occurred in 2012, I said yes to this full-on lifestyle shift because of a “health opportunity” related to my reproductive system. Initially, I saw this as an issue, something to be dealt with, frustrated by and stressed over. But, after deciding that framing this as an issue would do nothing but pull my attention in a negative direction, I decided to adopt the coined phrase of “health opportunity” that was offered to me at the Optimum Health Institute.
Language changes our perception of everything, and the words cycling through our minds tell our body what to do. So, reframing what my body is moving through as a health opportunity was my first step in moving towards healing.
When I revisited the Optimum Health Institute this September and was reminded of the in depth research and proven results, I committed to a raw vegan, alcohol/dairy/caffeine/gluten/sugar/soy/oil free diet for three months. The primary purpose of this change is to alkalize my body, as disease can’t live in an alkalized environment. That’s a big piece that keeps me going, but I also love how it’s reprogramming my mind. It’s helping me realize that I have the power to commit to something that is honestly, so unbelievably challenging – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s forcing me to see what I’m really made of.
With my vices stripped away I have nowhere to hide when challenging emotions bubble up. I have to face them, feel them, and fully “go there.” It can be terrifying. But, it’s also a highly transformative and healing experience. It’s interesting how the dark and light can live in such close proximity.
I am deeply committed to running this experiment and in the process it is peeling back layers I likely wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. I have no buffer and I have a love-hate relationship with that. It’s demanded that I change my pace. It’s demanded that I slow down. It is requiring that I don’t just talk about slowing down, and only do it occasionally, but fully reset the pace in which I move through life so I have the space to support my whole being in moving through this metamorphosis. It brings up a lot for me in terms of recommitting over and over again. I’m sure plenty of people can relate to this – the desire to quit something that you know you have to do, that you know is the best thing for you, but it’s so hard you sometimes feel like there’s absolutely no way you can keep going. If you’re moving through this, I feel you and have the deepest respect for the fortitude you must have for committing over and over and over again.
This program has also stirred up social struggles, specifically when I’m at restaurants, parties, or in other social situations where non-raw-vegan food and alcohol is being consumed. I often get social anxiety in these situations, where people are drinking and eating what they like - taking the edge off - and I’m not. Because of this, I’ve had to dig deep to connect, and be myself without the inhibition-reducing effects of food + alcohol. I have to stand tall in myself and trust that being me is enough.
I’m learning to be okay with where I’m at right now, and trusting my decision to do this – trusting my decision to stay committed. It’s a really humbling process. It’s given me space to look at situations, people and myself. It’s real. I don’t have much to give to people who I don’t feel connected with, or supported by, or inspired by.
This sense of fragility, and the anxiety and fear it can trigger, is really coming up with the holidays approaching. Part of me wants to run away from the food and drink that is so prevalent this time of year – I want to eliminate all temptation. But, I don’t just have myself to think about; I need to consider my family as well. Because of this, I’m going to need to get creative with my food, finding Instagram accounts or blogs that have recipes that can make this process more fun, delicious and engaging! If you have any that you love, please message me.
Beyond the struggles, there’s true magic in my devotion. For example, the essence of how I feel is extraordinary. My skin feels radiant. I’m more devoted to my intentions with the yoga teacher training I recently began. I wake up every morning to do my sadhana aka personal practice. I’m more committed to evolving as a human. And I’m no longer subjected to the mental fog that creeps in when I eat heavier foods and drink wine.
Another big part of the magic is that I feel more connected with my emotions. As I mentioned earlier, when I have big emotions I have nowhere to go but acceptance. I just have to let them move through me. I can’t stifle them. I can’t hide from them.
I’ve also, learned how to embrace my weaknesses. I’ve been programmed to repress and ignore my weaknesses, but this process has pushed me into a space where I finally feel okay with the fact that there will be plenty of times where I mess up, drop the ball, and am fully confronted with my imperfections. I’m coming to terms with the perfectly imperfect, messy reality of being human!
In addition, I’ve been pushed to question my belief that I’m always supposed to have it all together, and why I can be so mean to myself. I’ve realized how unsustainable this belief, and subsequent self-inflicted cruelty, is and am working to dissolve this by just allowing myself to get stripped down, and doing the work, which primarily consists of sitting with it all. As I do this, I feel my capacity to confront, elevate beyond “my stuff” and then, feel massive expansion.
In our upcoming Virtual Speaker Series on Wednesday, November 28, Alyssa Nobriga goes deep into how our greatest challenges can actually carve the path to the realization of our greatest dreams – I’m really feeling the truth in this.
Now that I am 2/3rds of the way through this experiment/program, I’m wondering, “Is this going to end?” or “Am I committing to a new lifestyle?” I can’t go back to what I was doing, but I know there’s some sort of balance I can find in this. And honestly, I cannot wait until the day where I don’t have to schlep my cooler, filled with raw vegan fare, everywhere I go. I won’t be sad when it’s no longer my constant companion.
For the next month, I know there will be plenty of moments where I’ll cry, and will want to give up, but this health opportunity is calling me forward in a big way. This is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. And this isn’t about me being evolved, or being “better than,” it’s about my health – this is the way for me. This is how I feel empowered with my health and living my most aligned + vital life.
With humility and devotion,
We all have the wisdom, creative wellspring, and courage to pursue our most vibrant goals, but often, there are blocks that cloud our path and make us stuck. The vision of what we want in life may be clear, but the space that lives between us and that vision may feel impossible to cross, as it seems cluttered by these blocks.
Helping us move past these blocks is Alyssa Nobriga, leader in the coaching and consciousness industry, and licensed marriage and family therapist. She obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Mind-Body Psychotherapy from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is currently on faculty at the University of Santa Monica where she holds a second master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, with an emphasis on Consciousness, Health and Healing. She is a graduate of Byron Katie’s School for The Work, is certified as a success coach and has extensive training in Imago Couples Therapy as well as an advanced certification from the Hakomi Institute in mindfulness-based therapeutic practices.
Alyssa has made it her life’s work to support individuals in recognizing, accepting, and moving beyond unconscious blocks. Her simple, effective formula supports us in questioning misguided assumptions about our lives and selves so we can step into a whole, spirited, and fulfilled existence.
One of Alyssa’s gifts is her ability to shift one’s perceptions in such a profound way that we begin to see our challenges as a type of blessing. A shift that, personally, I would love to make. To dive deeper into Alyssa’s transformational messages, we asked her about all of her insights we were eager to learn more about. Continue reading to experience the complete download from Alyssa.
Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
Alyssa Nobriga: I help people create what they want in their life. This often consists of helping to remove unconscious fears and blocks so individuals can gracefully show up for what’s most important and true to them.
Living Wholly: What led you to your work as a Leadership Coach?
Alyssa Nobriga: I’m licensed as a psychotherapist and love that work but I always incorporated more goals into the work since to me a real healing is a change of behavior. I love helping people go to the root of any perceived issue but then, how do they show up to create what they desire as a result is part of what I’m naturally good at and love. Therefore, my work now as a leadership coach blends both soulful and practical work, both transformational and strategic.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Alyssa Nobriga: Knowing the truth of what I am and living in alignment with my heart.
Living Wholly: How can your greatest challenge be the path to what you most want?
Alyssa Nobriga: When we’re not resisting what is - our current reality - we can meet it. Things can really begin to change when we embrace and allow our challenges - this allows us to hear the wisdom inside it.
My experience with life is that it’s intelligent and loving. When we suspend our judgment about what we’re currently going through, and allow it to help wake us up, our life changes. We can see ourselves as a victim of life, or decide to believe that everything is given to us for a reason. We can also choose to manage outside realities so we don’t feel certain ways, OR we can choose to embrace whatever is happening, and stretch our capacity to feel it, and get free. From that space, our actions are clearer, lighter, and more effective. We just need to get out of our own way.
I help people clear their blocks internally, and then create a strategy that utilizes grace, instead of pushing or willpower – I don’t think that’s needed as much in these times. It’s great to have some masculine sources of leadership, but the feminine – the more intuitive, receptive, and graceful – approach is what I think we’re starting to tune into more. So once we move through this fear, and understand what life wants us to understand, we’re able to move on to the next chapter.
Living Wholly: What are three tips for getting unstuck?
Regardless of whether you’re stuck around body image, career, relationship, income level, or anything you’re currently challenged with, you can plug in the formula of awareness, acceptance and a willingness to challenge your assumptions.
Living Wholly: How does life begin to shift when you get unstuck?
Alyssa Nobriga: Life’s a mirror. So when you’re no longer living with your perpetual feelings of being stuck you’re likely feeling more creative insight, intuition, and synchronicity, and having new innovative ideas. I completely agree with the Albert Einstein quote, “You can’t solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
My Living Wholly webinar will cover how to pop out into a different perspective about your blocks, so that you can gain insight and take creative action from there. Once you get clear about the insight, life feels lighter and we’re able to act differently.
Living Wholly: How do we unlock what our challenges are trying to teach us?
Alyssa Nobriga: We often unconsciously think that what we’re doing is helpful, and once we realize it’s not helpful we can be mindful, highlight what our attachment is to the unhelpful action, and then change it. For example, I’m in a situation where I’m remodeling my house. The contractors didn’t communicate well and I had to look at how I was interacting with them. I had to look at why I thought my anger was going to cause them to change. It’s not necessarily anger that’s going to get them to change. But, anger is what’s hurting me. When I saw that anger didn’t have a purpose anymore, I could show up in a more loving way, but with clear boundaries. I could honor my needs in a more creative way by untangling the belief that anger was the most productive approach.
Living Wholly: How do we use fear so it doesn’t use us?
Alyssa Nobriga: Fear in my opinion, is mind based - and about the future. So if it’s mind based, and we’re creating it, we can question the fear and take dominion over the problem-making mind. The mind is a control mechanism to keep us safe, and we’re at a point where most of us have our basic needs taken care of, but our mind is still set up for survival purposes. So for many of us, our minds have shifted from physical survival to psychological survival – egoic survival. So as we stretch the muscle of questioning our fears and mind based interpretations of the present moment, we don’t buy into the fear as easily.
Living Wholly: What are effective ways we can be with our obstacles?
Alyssa Nobriga: An effective strategy is to accept it and ask, “What’s the greater gift in this for me?” This shifts the perspective to something that is more compelling. Ask, “What is my soul seeking to assist me in learning through this?” Another helpful question, that assists in highlighting the attachment to unconscious blocks is, “What is one fear I have of letting this go?” Then, you have to get mindful and listen to your inner wisdom about the question. Finally, you need to question your attachments so you can break free of it.
Living Wholly: What is a daily practice that supports you in residing in intuition, receptivity and grace?
Alyssa Nobriga: I’m always listening… the more I listen the clear that channel is. One specific practice that can help your community is to keep an intuition log to track how you hear your intuition: auditory, sense of knowing, visually, etc. It’s like a dream journal and the more you put attention on it, the stronger it gets. It also helps build your confidence in your intuition and understand which was of knowing are strongest for you.
Living Wholly: How can people find you and what are your current offerings that are open to the public?
I also have two big things coming up. The first is called Successful + Soul Live January 26-27, 2019 after the Women’s March. This will be a time for women to get really clear on their goals for 2019, and move through their blocks. It will be a combination of strategy and soul. Imagine two days of sisterhood, strategy, celebration and transformation.
In addition, I’m doing a Success + Soul Mastermind. This is a program for women to up-level a goal and have the sisterhood to support that. Create the income and impact you know you’re capable of + claim the life you’ve always imagined. This leadership program was created to support brilliant women like you to breakthrough anything getting in the way of you making great money + sharing your gifts with the world at the level you know you’re capable of.
To learn more about Alyssa’s unique way of blending multiple modalities and life experiences, to support people in moving beyond their unconscious blocks in a soulful and practical way, JOIN US on Wednesday, November 28 at 6.00 pm pst for our "Virtual Speaker Series" LIVE via Zoom. With Alyssa’s guidance we can transform obstacles and shift limitations so we can get unstuck and take the quantum leap all of us are so ready for!!! Register here to confirm your spot. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS ONE!!! See you on the Zoom!
with great love + respect,
The term “radiant health” is thrown around quite a bit, but what does it really mean? What does it feel like to nurture the mind, body, and spirit into a space of ideal wellness? I’ve been feeling a deep pull to explore this topic, as this word holds significant weight in my personal health journey as well Living Wholly’s intention to support others on this path. Sometimes, I ask myself - what is radiant health, inside + out, anyway? I am also, curious if others know what that means for them. Let’s explore...
In all honesty, when I consider all of the ways I could begin to shift into radiant health, I never know if it’s possible to actually reach this state of being. It sometimes feels like a double-edged sword to have so many avenues that lead to vitality – so many choices – so much that we want + need to do.
Because of this, the first choice I’m going to make in favor of radiant health is to slow down and give myself permission to explore what creates the most impact and joy. I’m not going to try and do it all. I’m going to gently work through my list of practices, and test out what feels best for me in this moment. I’ll commit to what feels effective, and let the rest go – for now. I’m going to keep it simple, and celebrate myself every time I show up, taking one step at a time towards optimum health.
The holistic approach may seem cliché or cosmic to some people. It is NOT. It is necessary. If you consider the profound connection emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually - you will understand how important it is to acknowledge each piece of the puzzle. It is all interconnected. It just is. Trust me.
Let’s start with Emotional Detox.
What did the person do or say that hurt me?
How did I feel about it and why did it hurt me?
What has holding on to this grievance cost me?
What are the benefits I will receive by forgiving and letting go?
Next up, Physical Health.
The somewhat obvious component of physical health is highly significant to the whole and is generally the piece that most people can tangibly connect with. Therefore, it is easier to commit to with food + exercise. Check out a few highlights that are important to focus on.
Helpful Hint: To be labeled certified organic, crops must be grown without the use of pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge based fertilizers (yuck.) All of these elements can play a significant role in inflammation and dis-ease in the body.
Clearing the Mental space is super crucial in the modern world. It takes commitment to cleanse the subconscious and neutralize the mind daily.
“The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer, “Ask and it is Given: Learning to Manifest your Desires” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer, “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown.
Spiritual connection to a power greater than yourself is profoundly supportive on this journey. In my experience, my relationship to the Divine guides me and provides messages that guide me along this path. I am devoted to experiencing our connection and cultivating a partnership that is co-creative. All in service to returning home within and remembering who I am again and again.
As you consider this list, tune in to what piques your interest and ruminate on other simple shifts you can make that will support you in thriving. In addition, take time to ask yourself how you’re feeling and take some time exploring the answer. Even if we feel pretty good, there’s often an opportunity to feel even better and more at ease – and we deserve to give ourselves the tender loving care to get there.
One thing that’s come up as I explore and dedicate myself to radiant health is the truth that it all serves to create a clearer + more expansive path to contributing radical impact into this world. Check out the recording from last month’s LIVE webinar with Jeff Patterson, Success + Leadership Coach sharing more about unleashing the real you and creating your Big Thing (you know, that vision//dream//expression of purpose). Um, who doesn’t want to do that? Register here and we will send you the link. What an exciting motivator to return to greater balance!
Amongst all of these practices, I surely hope a few resonate for you. Experiment with some or all of them. Let us know what unfolds for you. As we begin walking the path to optimum health, we’ll not only feel better, but unleash our wildest, most thrilling dreams. Let’s go for it!!!
With unwavering love + support,
It makes me feel alive. It gets me up in the morning + I feel purposeful. It brings me closer to God. I get butterflies when I talk about it. It reminds me of why I am here. It’s my “Big Thing”. My good friend, teacher and the upcoming speaker for our Virtual Speaker Series, Jeff Patterson, M.A., P.C.C., Leadership and Success Coach, has helped me realize how moving towards my Big Thing with determination, grit, devotion and faith will unleash the real me. This realization has been a huge part of my journey for 2018. My process involved honing in on what I enjoy doing the most, giving myself permission to slow down and listen, inquiring within on how to serve in the most purposeful and meaningful way, and finding a semblance of balance as I honor what’s important in my life.
After moving through this year of transformation (which is not over yet), I was able to allow the clarity to come through. This Big Thing feels like somewhat of a secret at the moment. So, I am not going to fully reveal it just yet. However, I will tell you that it’s been in the works for many years, decades in fact. After working in high end fashion, event production, brand consulting and wellness, I began to notice the things that I enjoyed and the areas that I thrived. This is actually, how Living Wholly was born. As they say, every step leads you to the place you are right now. Take two, many years later, I am creating events for Living Wholly and multiple private clients. I finally realized that I wanted to have the freedom to create and fulfill my vision of a unique, highly curated, multiple day and immersive experience under the name of Living Wholly. Well, there lies the secret...Take three, I was at Esalen about a month ago lying in the grass hanging over the Pacific Ocean with my eyes closed in a very relaxed, open and receptive state. The download flooded through my entire being. It kept coming. I lie there and the vision felt familiar. However, this included specific details, direction, focus and confirmation. As I lay in the grass, I had a palpable experience of a “download”. It was real and it was clear. I am going to give you a taste of what I am referring to and the full download must come later….For now, this “Big Thing” is called Attune by Living Wholly. This is an exquisite weekend filled with inspirational speakers, unique + immersive experiences, human connection + practical tools to support the journey of greater awakening. All of this will take place at Serenbe, a mystical, urban utopia set amongst acres of preserved forests and meadows with miles of nature trails. Just wait until you experience this soul nurturing location where the quietude soothes and the land nourishes.
I was born and raised in the South, therefore, this part of the United States holds a special place in my heart. After curating + producing multitudes of events in Los Angeles and a few in Aspen, I am ready to serve more people that are ripe, ready and hungry for these resources. I knew that this was one way that I could be of service to a large audience and make a meaningful impact. I also, acknowledged that it would require me to fully step into the wisdom, courage and expression I want to share with others.
In Jeff Patterson’s interview on our blog, he talks about the 5 telltale signs that indicate you are working towards your “Big Thing”. As we are always honing in on what we teach...these things keep coming up in substantial, and sometimes overwhelming, ways. Check these out and see how they resonate for you and possibly your Big Thing...
Yup. Most days, Attune scares the sh*t out of me. Doubts about the event, and my capacity to handle it all, pop up every day - it feels like a lot. The finances. The time. The confirmed participants. The brand partners. The speakers. The collaborative process. A lot. I’m also, scared that I’m going to put so much into this that I burn myself out. I need to keep an eye on that, making sure I stay healthy and committed to sleep, good eating habits, and check myself when I go into high stress mode whilst striving for perfection (which is a significant healing opportunity that I am currently working with).
But, when I take it one step at a time I shift back into calm and clarity to realize that, despite the seemingly endless obstacles, I’m moving closer to this reality. I know that it will happen if I just keep moving forward. Attune has been in my heart for so long – I have to do it. And I will. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when it happens – I suppose it might feel like a mix of bliss, shock, expansion and unfathomable gratitude.
Seeking an investor. Curating and confirming the most aligned speakers. Getting people to show up. How am I going to do this? I have experience with all of this. Yet, it still feels ginormous. I can’t get stuck in the worry that emanates out of these questions – I have to hold steady in my intentions for this gathering and continue taking the little steps that will reveal how it will all come together.
I have to trust. I have take action. I have to follow up. And then I have to let go of what’s not working. Surrender to the journey.
And again, I need to keep showing up for myself during all of this – I am going to sleep by 11pm, I am committed to my morning sadhana, I am following through with the detox program as my body heals, I am doing the inner work, I am devoted to my self care and I am getting quiet, listening and honoring what is coming forward. This IS THE journey.
All of the people surrounding me are integral pieces to the Attune puzzle and have been showing up to support me in many ways. And, my community has been stretching me. For example, a while ago I told a friend that I wasn’t going to do the event - she promptly responded, “No. You’re doing it. This is in your heart. You have to do it. You cannot give up this easily” She was right and she stretched me outside of the limited mind.
Additional support is coming in the form of a yoga teacher training I recently started - I know it will help to elevate and align me. It will accelerate my healing and expedite the growth that I am ready for. And, I might also get a coach to help me stay in my power and stay committed. We’ll see. One step at a time.
Without question. This is true 100%. My deepest fears and unresolved material are showing up all over the place. One of my biggest fears is that people will not show up for me, which is ironic in that I’ve made a career of producing events, and have the dream of producing an epic gathering with 1000+ attendees. During past events I’ve produced, it was almost painful to go through the experience of confirming guests, or having a lull in sign ups. It was intense. But, I’m realizing how crucial it is to let that go and rewire how I perceive this process. It’s a healing opportunity to trust that people will show up for me. And it is quite beautiful to experience a SOLD OUT event packed with radiant humans like 95% of the gatherings we've curated through Living Wholly. I am rewriting that story. I am rewriting the belief around whether or not I’m good enough, or worthy enough, to produce an event as big and impactful as Attune. It’s humbling asking myself if I’m really worthy of that much creativity, expansion, service, joy and success. I’m working my way towards a resounding yes.
A huge component of my transformation and growth is happening now. My health opportunity is calling me forward to clean up and wake up even more. One must be ready to become their best + highest version in order to actualize the Big Thing. The trickiest part might just be allowing myself to receive authentic success - I can’t shut down or block it. I can’t let life choices like staying up late, engaging in negative self talk, surrounding myself with unsupportive people, eating foods that don't serve me and drinking wine – things that I needed to take a break on or drop all together – block me.
I’m being stretched and encouraged to utilize new forms of self-care that facilitate the accomplishment of my Big Thing. Is it scary AF? Y E S!!!! But, I’m also allowing softness to be part of my experience. I don’t have to make rigid shifts. I just need to weave in self-care that brings forward joy, let’s me have fun, feels vibrant instead of dull, and creates a channel for my complex and abundant emotions to move through me.
Easy right? Um, no. But, completely worth it in a profound, expansive and life-altering way. As Jeff Patterson has reminded me, if these elements are showing up, I’m on the right track. And often, the more difficult these elements are, the more effective they’ll be at guiding me towards the realization of my Big Thing.
And how about you? What Big Thing are you summoning the courage to birth? Want to dive in and take the next steps to fully committing to that thing? Want to learn from an Expert that works with clients to create breathtaking results in life and business. From CEO’s to celebrities and world champion athletes to change makers, Jeff helps his clients create a vision for what’s possible and overthrow the tyranny of limiting beliefs that often have people play small. If you’re saying YES inside, we invite you to join us this Wednesday, October 24 at 6 pm pst as we feature Jeff Patterson, M.A., P.C.C., Leadership + Success Coach on the Virtual Speaker Series. This is a FREE offering. We will go LIVE on Zoom for 75 minutes. There will be time to share, ask questions, experience laser coaching with Jeff and engage as a group. We will send you a worksheet 24 hours prior to the webinar to get you into the mindset, all in service to receiving the most value possible from this experience. AND, Jeff will be giving away one 30 minute coaching session with him. Valued at $1500. Trust me, you are worth it and so is your Big Thing. Register to confirm your spot here. See you there!
With humility and gratitude,
p.s. More details on Attune coming at the beginning of January 2019. Be on the look out and join us for this extraordinary experience!!!
What’s your “Big Thing”? Maybe writing a book? Starting a non-profit? Creating your dream company? Writing a screenplay? Producing a large scale event to raise consciousness? Going back to school for a specialized degree? Selling sustainable products that are made with love and intention? Whatever it is, this Big Thing starts with a vision that contributes radical impact into the world. And, it’s possible to achieve, albeit with a little (or a lot of) help.
In our society, it’s easy to fall into the “I can do it myself” trap, thinking that this intense self-sacrifice proves something. But often, all it does is burn us out and prevent us from reaching the mountaintop of our dreams – our Big Thing. So great, we need help, but where do we start?
Meet Jeff Patterson. Jeff is a gifted Success Coach, Author and Professional Speaker deeply committed to supporting those who are ready to fulfill their Big Thing. His intention is to serve humanity in everything he does, which includes helping us move past our blocks and become the people we need to be to change the world. Experience Jeff's invaluable wisdom, vulnerability, awareness and inspiring journey in this intimate interview.
Living Wholly: What inspired you to be a Success Coach?
Jeff Patterson: In any career I’ve been in, you could always find me in a conversation with someone, asking them what “Big Thing” they desired to create. I would immediately see and sense things that were in the way for them (internally) and I could also see how they could get there - quickly.
I remember in 1997, during my 15-year career as a professional actor in Hollywood, people were calling me almost daily to coach them. Some were actors, while others were producers, musicians, athletes and execs. There were days where I was on the phone for more than six hours.
I loved it and did it because I had always done it- since I was a young boy… I would listen and share what I saw and ask questions that resulted in these individuals becoming unstoppable… and creating Big Things.
I didn’t consider it a career because it wasn’t something I was seeking to do- I wasn’t trying to coach. It was just me being me. To me, coaching wasn’t a career- it was a part of me. It was an expression of who I was (and am.) It didn’t take long for some of the people I coached to hit high levels of success and when I saw how valuable our conversations were to them, I began seeing how this could really be a GameChanger for people, and the world.
Living Wholly: What does GameChanger mean?
Jeff Patterson: On one level GameChanger refers to a person or individual who changes the way something is done in an industry, or someone who changes the game of the place they’re playing. For example, the actor Wayne Brady’s Improv abilities changed the game in Hollywood, requiring all actors to have Improv experience.
Another context for the word GameChanger is an action, or something that occurs, that changes how something is done, or a catalyst that changes your life. I love the word because it has multiple meanings.
Living Wholly: What is your zone of genius with your clients?
Jeff Patterson: My zone of genius is coaching GameChangers to radically increase their impact. I help highly impactful leaders who want to change the world to make the necessary shifts to step into that reality and leave their greatest mark on the planet – this often stems from realizing their Big Thing.
Living Wholly: How do you know if you have a Big Thing?
Jeff Patterson: There are five telltale signs that what you’re considering is a Big Thing.
Living Wholly: What 's the most important key to realizing your Big Thing?
Jeff Patterson: The biggest element is building your world around your Big Thing. Committing. Showing up. Deciding and declaring, and then doing it. Oftentimes we try to build our Big Thing around our existing life, fitting it in when there’s time in between responsibilities. What I’ve learned is that committing to my Big Thing, and having everything fill in around my Big Thing, also benefits other areas of life. My committing to my Big Thing helped me become a better husband and father. So going all in is one of the greatest keys to realizing your Big Thing.
Living Wholly: What's one of the biggest traps that keep people from realizing their Big Thing?
Jeff Patterson: One of the biggest traps is the unwillingness to shift who we’re being. How I’m operating my life, how I’m showing up is what I call my Way of Being. And the reason we often don’t have what we want in life is because we’re not being the person necessary to realize that thing that we want.
People often say “I am who I am” – they think their personality is fixed. I have learned through lots of pain in my life that how I show up is just a byproduct of my story. So when you shift your story, you shift how you show up.
Living Wholly: How does going for your Big Thing change the world?
Jeff Patterson: When you change how you show up in the world – how you think about yourself, the way you think about life, the way you think about those around you, the way you think about what you’re doing – you can shift your experience of those things, which can make you feel different. And when you feel different you do things differently, and when you do things differently you change your environment. When you change you, and you change your environment, you evolve. So if you’re willing to shift your way of being and up-level it – to elevate it – you will watch all your strength, resilience, playfulness, and creativity spill over into all areas of your life. And in this way, it’s impossible to not change the world.
Living Wholly: What do you hold as one of your most unique gifts to the world?
Jeff Patterson: When I speak with someone, I can very quickly feel, sense and experience what is occurring in them. I also have the ability to help my client see and create a much bigger vision than they had previously been holding for themselves. The result is a 10x factor that has people going farther than they previously thought possible.
I remember coaching a young man who wanted to be a “working actor.” I challenged him to be more specific and then to expand that vision even more. Through our coaching, he realized that he wanted to become a leading man on a network TV Series. We then began the real work of creating the shifts that would naturally result in that outcome. In less than a year he booked the lead role as Nick Burkhardt on the NBC series Grimm. If you have watched the show, you may know this actor as Dave Giuntoli. Both Dave and the show have gone on to win many awards and it’s been a very successful show for NBC.
Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?
Jeff Patterson: I have been fortunate enough to work with many great teachers such as Michael Bernard Beckwith in Los Angeles, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick at the University of Santa Monica, Byron Katie and Tony Robbins. I have several coaches I’m working with currently and believe that great coaches have coaches. Stephen McGhee was my business coach for many years and he’s one of a kind.
All that being said, my greatest coach has been my Father, Al Patterson. He coached me through some of the most challenging times of my life growing up and his creative and bold encouragement is a big part of who I am today.
Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world?
Jeff Patterson: I am serving the world by using everything I do to serve humanity. In any activity, I ask myself, how could I utilize this activity to make the world a better place. This is my intention, even though I may fall short.
I remember when I was an actor in Hollywood, I would take one day each week and I would get in my car and go where I was intuitively led. I might end up on a street corner in downtown LA, or find myself at a bookstore in Beverly Hills. Invariably I would end up in a conversation and coach the person I was drawn to.
At that time, I believed that as long as I used my gifts for the good of the world, that I would find my way and prosper. So, you could say that I served the world by using my gifts any way I could- all the while having the intention to make a positive difference.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Jeff Patterson: My first thought is that the word “wholly” is very similar to “Holy.” To me, Wholly living means that I treat this life as a sacred endeavor. I don’t necessarily mean that in a religious sense. I mean that I approach my life much like author Gary Zukoff describes as, “A Spiritual being having a human experience.” Living wholly means owning that I am Spirit, mind, body and emotion. I choose to live fully on all fronts of my existence and continually grow into my “greater yet to be.”
Living Wholly: If you could share a mantra from your journey thus far, what would that be?
Jeff Patterson: “Temper on your steel.” As a boy, I could only see my Dad (due to parents divorce) once a month for a weekend. One night when I was five years old and in tears, I told my Dad that it hurt too much and that I didn’t think I could take it anymore. He told me something that changed my life forever. He said, “As tough as this is, this experience is building you toward something special in the future. It is Temper On Your Steel.” No matter what I’ve faced in life, I’ve always chosen to believe that every challenge is a gift and that it’s temper on my steel.
Living Wholly: What are your top 3 suggestions for living a purposeful and fulfilling life?
Jeff Patterson: Have fun right where you are. If you can’t have fun now, what makes you think that you’ll have fun when you have exactly what you think you need? If I find myself in a situation where I'm not enjoying myself - I ask this question, “What could I do to bring more fun into this?” I listen for my intuitive answer. For example, early in my coaching career I was having many conversations with perspective clients over the phone. I was on the phone from 9am till 5pm. I wanted to have more fun because I noticed I was getting too serious. I asked the question, “What could I do to have more fun?” My answer was, “Sing to every person you get on a call with.” I about freaked out when I heard this. “You want me to do what?!” So, I did. It was very uncomfortable but something miraculous happened. First of all, I had great fun. Secondly, many of the people I spoke to were touched by the vulnerability and courage I was demonstrating in singing to them. Some of them had breakthroughs just because of that alone.
Another suggestion is- do what you want to do. If you want to lead people, then find some way to lead. If you want to be a surfer, then surf. So many of us are waiting to be given permission to do and be what we truly want to do and be. Do it now. Be it now. Who says you have to make money at it (in the beginning, if at all?)
One last suggestion is to define your “Big Thing” and go for it. Many of us know what we want to do, but we hide and wait for permission or a guarantee that we can have it. But that day never comes (unless your vision is small.) The people that are most alive are creating something. The greater the endeavor we commit to, the greater the energy and Spirit we summon from within us. Small goals summon small energy. Want to be radically alive? Have a Big Thing and go for it.---------
To learn more about discovering your Big Thing, and following the path that will lead you to that mountaintop, tune in to our LIVE webinar with Jeff Patterson on Wednesday, October 24, 6.00 pm pst for our "Virtual Speaker Series" via Zoom. Jeff is giving away one private 30 minute session with him valued at $1500. With support from Jeff, we can become the person we need to be to fulfill our vision and uplift the world. Register here to confirm your spot. See you on the Zoom!
with great inspiration + gratitude,
The dynamic duo that founded Countertop Foods, Jamie Kantrowitz (left) and Nicole Rice (right). Learn more below.
Figuring out how to create food that is both flavorful and healthy can sometimes feel like the ultimate conundrum. We want our food to nurture our body, but we would also like to give our taste buds a treat and enhance our eating experience. Nicole Rice, Co-Founder of Countertop Foods saw this need and embodied it with the support of her business partner Jamie Kantrowitz. What transpired was the birth of a business that helps people create delicious food with maximum health, in minimum time. Their products re-imagine every day staples like butter, sweetener and seasonings into minimally processed, easy to use, insanely delicious, functional blends that turn the foods you already love into superfoods. We spoke with Nicole to get the inside scoop on the benefits of Countertop, and how to make the most out of these phenomenal products. These divine creations are featured in Goop, Vogue, Instyle, Well + Good, mindbodygreen, and Real Simple.
Living Wholly: How did you and Jenny, the Founder of Living Wholly meet?
Nicole Rice: Jenny and I originally met through her midwife Elizabeth Bachner from GraceFull Birthing. She was looking for postpartum support after her home birth and I worked with her when she was living in Venice.
Living Wholly: What do you remember being significant about this relationship?
Nicole Rice: We talked about so much. We had these deep conversations about spirituality and growth and would process so much. We would cry a lot together. It was a wonderful time of support - I always felt so welcomed and valued by Jenny and Frank. Being a doula means “to serve” and they were so appreciative of that.
Living Wholly: How are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
Nicole Rice: I love to help people on a very basic level. I have a passion for supporting people to understand their body, and their mind-body connection. So, Countertop was developed from a place of wanting to encourage people to get back in the kitchen and cook. Many of us experience a great amount of self-inflicted guilt that can be greatly minimized by making shifts in our daily lives – I think this can especially happen with food, because food is something that so much of our guilt stems from. I eat pretty healthy, but I often make myself feel guilty about my eating habits, even though I don’t have any reason to.
When I began practicing Ayurveda, so much of the guilt flowed out of my life by realizing that I could do little things, like adding some spices to my meal, to change my palate and triggers. I want to help people feel better about the choices they make.
Living Wholly: What inspired the conception of Countertop?
Nicole Rice: I met my business partner, Jamie Kantrowitz, because I was her postpartum doula. So, when we created Countertop it came from a place of wanting to help women make little choices that could help them recover after delivery. It has blossomed from there.
Living Wholly: Can you talk about how Countertop utilizes the functional power of herbs and spices?
Nicole Rice: It has much of the ethos of Ayurveda – the belief that so much starts in the digestive system. So, adding certain spices to a meal can help with this digestion, or help to slow things down if needed. Some people have digestive systems that are just too hot and fast - many people think that’s great, but this could lead to inflammation.
Ayurveda gave me a knowledge of spices that I just fell in love with. The healing properties of these spices – spices that have been around for such a long time – are just incredible. Spices are like nature’s medicine that you can use at every meal.
Living Wholly: Are there any Countertop products you would recommend for new moms?
Nicole Rice: We developed Mother Honey with new moms in mind. Warm drinks, oatmeal, anything that’s warm and rich is really beneficial for new moms. So, put a spoonful of Mother Honey onto oatmeal, into rice pudding – whatever sounds good. It will give you an energy boost.
It’s really lovely as it’s made from raw avocado honey, which is a really grounding honey that we’ve filled with ingredients like turmeric, moringa, cumin, fenugreek, oat straw and coconut oil that all boost breast milk production and nutrient density.
Living Wholly: What are three of your favorite products that you sell? And why?
Nicole Rice: I love Golden Butter – it’s the new cooking oil. I use it as an olive oil replacement. It’s an easy way to add flavor to any meal and is incredibly versatile.
Golden Honey is another of my favorites - I use it as a daily tonic, where I take a spoonful of it to wake up my digestive system. I also add it to oatmeal and toast. In addition, it can be used on the skin as a facemask or salve. For example, I recently cut my leg and after putting Golden Honey on it, the cut scabbed over in two days. It’s one of those products that’s so handy.
We also launched a product called Cocoa Butter that’s a sweet butter. There are so many spices in it - like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean, and more - that can help you feel and look better.
Living Wholly: Why do you think turmeric has become so popular?
Nicole Rice: It is a superstar. It’s beneficial for almost everyone. But, I’m a little dubious of turmeric capsules, because taking high amounts of turmeric for long periods of time isn’t great. Turmeric loves fat and food and wants to be cooked – so it will be absorbed in your body easier when you cook it into food. I will occasionally use it in high doses if I have a lingering cold, but, I don’t think it’s beneficial to take it in large amounts every day - it’s best in small amounts, with food.
Living Wholly: How has using your products impacted your whole-being wellness?
Nicole Rice: I really don’t get sick – especially for someone who works in the start up world, and sometimes works 14-hour days. Countertop products have allowed me to have a good digestive system, and feel good about what goes into my body. I feel like our products help me empower my food by enhancing them with added nutrients. I love the feeling of cooking something and feeling so good about how it tastes and makes me feel.
Being able to work with spices that are put into really nice easy blends is wonderful - everything that goes into our products has meaning. For example, I wouldn’t only put vanilla bean in a blend because it tastes good - I put it in because it promotes serotonin and is a really feel-good spice. And luckily, a lot of the spices that make us feel good also taste great. Cardamom, for example, helps eliminate gas, soothe stomach conditions, and tastes fantastic. The whole body experience – mind, body, and spirit - is positively impacted when you’re working with Countertop products.
Living Wholly: Why do you feel that it’s important to only use pure and minimally processed ingredients?
Nicole Rice: We’re all pretty educated now on the impact of highly processed foods. You can see and feel how the body has to work harder to process them. It’s amazing that we can get through each day with so many processed foods in our system, because the body has to work so hard to maintain homeostasis. For example, say you have a high sugar and high caffeine drink - you don’t think much of it, but your body might go into some form of toxic shock that you don’t even realize.
So, putting less pressure on your system is going to benefit you now, and later in life. And it’s not even really about the immediate results for me. Even though these spices will help you feel lighter and clearer now, I have a goal of being 80 and not being on a ton of medications, or having a fading mind.
Science has proven that more unprocessed food will reduce inflammation and take pressure off the organs. They also, make it easier for the body to eliminate what’s not needed. Eating seasonally and locally is great because the food doesn’t have to be preserved by chemicals. And, it’s empowering to know what’s in your food, and how your body breaks it down.
Living Wholly: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate Countertop products into your life?
Nicole Rice: I love rice. It’s a wonderful grain that’s gotten a bad rap. I believe that white basmati rice is the king of rice. But, you do need some help digesting it. So, I make a golden rice by cooking the rice on my stovetop, or in my rice cooker, and throwing in a tablespoon of golden butter. All of the sudden you have this rice that has an incredible golden color and subtle richness. Golden butter makes every home chef look like a professional. If you cover a chicken in golden butter, and stick it in the oven, it’s so delicious that everyone thinks that you’ve been cooking your whole life.
I also put Cocoa Butter in my coffee. You get this creamy, buttery coffee that’s just delicious. You also get a more sustained level of energy.
Our spice blends also, make life so easy. Throw some of our poultry blend onto potatoes and roast them, and you have these amazing aromas coming out of your oven. These blends make cooking from home look like child’s play.
Living Wholly: What does your typical food and drink routine look like?
Nicole Rice: I start my morning with a cup of tea. I also have a spoonful of golden honey while my kettle is boiling. I then do some meditation and take my dog for a walk, which is followed by toast when I come home. I love Dave’s Killer Bread, either with Golden Butter, avocado and tomato, or almond butter. I also make my own granola with Countertop spice blends.
I then have a coffee on my way to work, and definitely try to get in my two liters of water throughout the day. I notice that in the summer, when I don’t do this, I get a little high strung. The older I get the more important water is.
Lunch is usually on the go. I work in an area of LA that has a lot of taco trucks and a wonderful Indian market, so I’ll often grab lunch from one of these spots.
Dinner is pretty simple at my house. If I don’t go out to catch up with a friend, I usually eat something easy like eggs, or even French toast! I always have some kitchari on hand and will often mix it with veggies for a quick and healthy meal.
Living Wholly: What are three ways people can begin to transform their health?
Nicole Rice: Not eating on the go is a big one. Take some time to acknowledge what you’re eating by putting your phone away and turning off the television. Even if you’re eating takeout, put it on a plate and focus on the person you’re eating with. It’s all about enhancing that mind-body connection, which can help to shift your perspective of food. This connection helps you recognize that you’re fueling your body, instead of just fulfilling cravings.
Water is also super important. We should all be drinking more water - it can help to eliminate headaches and major digestive issues, and can support the health of your organs.
Rest is crucial. I think most people are tired. After being a doula for twelve years I embrace rest in so many ways. Even resting your food for a moment before you eat it, and catching your breath, can be incredibly helpful. We use the excuse “I’m just too busy” all the time, so, I make sure to avoid that excuse by taking time out to take a bath, do a facemask, and listen to my favorite podcast. My doula clients really helped to educate me on self-care.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Nicole Rice: There is something about living in truth, and looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “yup, I am who I am, and I honor every part of me” that is so powerful. Living in the here and now, and loving who I am is crucial. Learning how to live in that truth and love has been a journey, but a great one.
In a world where optimal health can often feel like an impossible state to reach, Countertop is offering products that make the enhancement of our health as easy as mixing some health-potent honey in a cup of tea, sprinkling nutrient-dense spices onto rice and veggies, or spreading mega-nourishing butter on a piece of toast. Yes, please!!!
We’re EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE the launch of Countertop in our online shop. And as an added bonus, the first TEN orders will receive FREE SHIPPING on us! Use promo code: welovecountertop. Click here to explore the wonderland of Countertop products and elevate your whole being. Enjoy the flavors, function and nourishment!
to optimum health,
p.s. want new recipes to inspire you to easily integrate Countertop's medicinal collection of spices, honeys and butters? Click here for a plethora of options.
Who is feeling the change of seasons? Not only when you walk outside and feel the brisk air or the peaking colors of the leaves, but also, the inner shifts that are occurring when we slow down and honor what is truly present within. Nature is incredibly reflective of what’s happening in the inner and outer worlds for many people. Change is happening to most everyone I know. It can be very exciting yet it can also, feel terrifying and awkward. The questions that continue coming up for me are “how do you want to show up, move forward, shift the landscape and how do you want to transform your life to better serve you and the planet?” Now is the time.
Recently, I took a 10 day journey of self care + healing to inspire significant lifestyle changes. Because of a health opportunity, I consciously chose to take this time for myself to get out of the matrix. The journey began with a retreat at Esalen, immediately followed by a week at the Optimum Health Institute. My time at these health oases unleashed seemingly endless opportunities for exquisite awarenesses, synchronicities, connection, cleansing my body and mind, physical + emotional detox and a full reset on every level. I was reminded how powerful we are and the self healing organism that is our human body. I witnessed miraculous testimonials and experienced heroes/heroines taking a stand for their health and shifting diagnoses to utter and complete healing. I slowed everything down and gave myself permission to tune in and honor what feels most aligned for me and my journey.
During this time, I reexamined what slowing down and presence really meant to me especially in the modern world. To me, getting into a space of true presence means I have a revitalized capacity to make inspired choices and changes, as I’m allowing myself to slow down for a long enough period of time to truly listen to what’s calling me. I ask the questions, “Who am I? Why am I here? Am I empowered? What choices do I really feel connected with? What do I really want to create and experience? How can I serve and make a greater impact?” From a place of quietude, I’m able to tap into what feels most aligned and authentically make those self-honoring choices.
I really feel that these insights and my heightened awareness came forward during my time at Esalen and OHI, as they required I step outside of my daily life and routines. I needed a pattern interrupter to have these revelations.
But, when I returned home, I could feel the intentions and commitments moving further away and self sabotage rearing its ugly head. Because I refused to lose what I had gained during this transformational time, I got down to business, and committed to a plan to confidently implement my agreements at home. Once this felt clear, I began to integrate these practices which continue to be the woven web of my upgraded life. Here are a few that you may borrow or decide to implement forever.
Ways of Integrating:
Trust me, this is a journey. Like I say to myself often “progress not perfection”. I have my goal of staying on the detox program for at least 40 days possibly 3 months. I acknowledge my commitment to optimum health, clarity and service. This comes when I am on my purest path devoted to myself and the Divine. As my dear friend and teacher, Jeff Patterson, shared with me, as I get closer to my “Big Thing” and living in greater alignment, I am required to transform and grow. I know this and have experienced epic growth over the years. However, I am reminded again and again. In order to accomplish that big thing, I must be the person that I am required to be to embody that deeper calling and vast vision. I am ready and willing. Are you?
Happy Fall season!
With great love + respect,
My body very often serves as my compass. When I am seeking answers and trying to find the direction towards alignment, in whatever I’m facing in life, my body’s wisdom provides the answer. Our body memory is exquisite and stores every single thing we've ever experienced which feels intricate and daunting at the same time. However, it is true. The body knows. If you are open to having it as you best ally, it will serve you ten fold. For example, I’ve recently been searching for a western doctor that I trust and connect with to give me the allopathic perspective for the health opportunity I’m navigating. I wasn’t having much luck with with the other two doctors that had similar approaches and very little willingness to listen to my needs and desires for my body. I tuned into this and was bummed because I knew these weren't the ones. I knew there was someone aligned out there. A dear friend recommended I see a 3rd doctor which felt excessive but necessary. He came highly recommended by many respected friends. I finally spoke to his assistant and immediately my body was lit up and circulating yes. So, I booked the appointment. The moment I walked into the office my body gave me a clear yes. Everything in the office was visually stunning, but more importantly, my body felt the super high vibes in the space. The staff, nurses and the doctor enhanced this experience, making me feel safe and heard.
In the offices of the other doctors I visited, I had sensed my intuition whispering to my body that I hadn’t found the right fit yet. By listening to my body and trusting myself, I found my way to a fresh medical perspective, and someone that was more aligned with what I was intuitively feeling about my health. The answers I received from him resonated so deeply and I trust him. To bridge the western model and the holistic path has been a tricky journey for me. It has taken great courage, clarity, acceptance, follow through and acknowledgment of MY soul’s unique journey. Both perspectives are valuable and necessary, in my opinion. For me, I need it all to land inside of myself so that I feel a HELL YES not just a “maybe this could work” kinda feeling.
Sensations in our body do an incredible job of guiding us through this journey if we cultivate specific ways to tune in and listen while interpreting those signals. For me, when I feel good in my body when making a decision, I know that I’m being led towards the most aligned choice. When I feel that my body is being pulled towards joy or peace, I do my best to move in that direction. When I am feeling low or dark energy or the situation seems chaotic, I question the experience and the choice. The word that embodies all of this is discernment. It is so crucial that we discern in everything that we do. That we slow down long enough to get quiet and listen to our inner knowing. From there, we can discern every decision...even the food we eat, the music we listen to, the people we work with, friends + family we spend time with, the work we do and the list goes on. It is all interconnected and it either elevates us or drains our energy.
To make it as easy as possible for my body to talk to me in this way, I’ve begun adopting certain practices to ensure I’m able to receive these potent visceral messages.
The “cherry on top” of these practices is my nightly ritual. Every night, I go outside before bed and look up at the stars. I allow myself to connect inside, look up at the stars and the greater Universe. I put my hands on my heart and feel the pulsations of life. During this time, I engage with God and say thank you. This is a time of gratitude for my gifts, all of the blessings of the day and for my family. This is also, a nice time to ask for clarity if there is a specific area that I am seeking support with. I ask one to two specific questions, and then request that the answers be sent in a way that I can interpret - in a way that I will not miss. And then, when I wake up the next morning the answers are often waiting - I write them down before putting my feet on the ground. If I wait, the experience and answers dissipate and they are gone. I have my journey next to my bed with a pen and a flashlight. I write immediately upon awakening. I interpret later. This is where the magic is captured. Give it a whirl! See how it feels and unfolds for you.
It can be easy to get locked into the matrix or drift into the cosmos – to forget about our bodies in favor of connecting with our spirit. But, when we remember that it is all connected - that our Higher Power and Intuition often find the sensations of the body to be the easiest way to communicate with us - our lives might just experience a blissful flow of grace, joy, and trust for this radical, mysterious journey.
with great love and humility,