Where do you source your self-worth? Success and achievement? Physical appearance? Giving to others? Your intuition?
Dana James, MS, CNS, CDN, the Expert in our upcoming call for Living Wholly's “Virtual Speaker Series,” has asked this question of the over three thousand women she has supported as a nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, and cognitive behavioral therapist. She asks this question because she has found a striking trend between a woman’s self-worth and how diligent she is in sticking to her diet and exercise plans. If her perception of her self-worth is out of balance, old behavioral patterns and self-doubt could sabotage her nutritional and fitness efforts.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The integration of Dana’s work with these women, and her extensive research, led her to identify four archetypes that describe most women, and why they struggle in their relationship with food, and their bodies. The four archetypes include Wonder Woman, Nurturer, Femme Fatale, and Ethereal.
We all have a dominant archetype at our core that can bring out the shadow elements in our life and cause us to engage in behaviors such as using alcohol to unwind (Wonder Woman), comfort eating (Nurturer), constantly dieting (Femme Fatale), or numbing ourselves with food (Ethereal). We also have an overlay archetype that can bring out more of our positive qualities.
To help us determine which archetype we fit into, Dana created a simple and fun quiz to provide the answer. I completed the quiz, and while I identified with certain attributes of all four archetypes, I found that my dominant archetype is Ethereal, while my overlay archetype is Wonder Woman.
So what does this mean? In Dana’s words, the Ethereal is, “Feminine, intuitive, expressive and enchanting. You appear to float through life. Your intuition is your guiding compass. You believe in the harmony of the universe and conflict is very distressing for you.”
The innate sensitivity of the Ethereal can often lead to the behavior of numbing emotions with food, alcohol or drugs, if that sensitivity is not understood. Does this feel accurate? Absolutely. Do I consciously have to make different choices? Yes.
Dana has also identified that the Ethereal tends to be low in estrogen, have dry skin and hair, and can experience digestive issues when their creative expression is stifled - all challenges that can be remedied if we identify, and learn to work with, the archetype we’re playing out.
The overlay archetype that I identified with was Wonder Woman. Dana defines Wonder Woman as, “Strong, dignified and resilient. What you set your mind to, you get. You are an overachiever and expect the best from yourself (and others). However, as your self-worth is derived from your achievements, you are vulnerable to criticism and perfectionism.”
The Wonder Woman often prioritizes work over most other areas of her life and uses food as a reward, and alcohol as a de-stressor. Women who fit into this archetype may be at risk for imbalanced adrenals and thyroid issues, and tend to store fat in their stomachs. As Dana says, the Wonder Woman’s challenge is to “learn how to embrace your intuition, femininity and feelings.”
And so begins my journey of deconstructing the shadow side of my archetype, and layering in the positive attributes of the other archetypes, to become a more complete woman.
I’m excited about (and a little intimidated by!) this journey because not only do I get to take a deep dive into my relationship with food and my body, but also have the opportunity to peel back the layers of my self-worth and get to know myself on a profoundly intimate level.
Curious about what archetype you fit in to? Want to discover your strengths, vulnerabilities, subconscious behaviors and your rebalancing tools. Take the archetype quiz to identify what resonates most with you and receive some insight on ways to navigate this path of integration.
LAST CALL for our LIVE Zoom call with Dana James this Wednesday, May 23 at 6.00 pm pst. Dana elaborates on the female archetypes and explores the integration of body and mind, science and psychology, so we can experience profound shifts of living wholly. Register and confirm your spot here.
Many of us put ample effort and determination into improving our diet and exercise plans, yet find ourselves slipping back into old patterns. Why is that? Dana James, MS, CNS, CDN, the Expert in our upcoming call for Living Wholly's “Virtual Speaker Series”, has found that our behavioral patterns and self-doubt often sabotage those best laid plans. In answer to this common struggle, she’s identified 4 common archetypes that color our relationship to food and our bodies, in order to clarify the best path to lasting transformation. Set aside 5 minutes, take the test and discover your archetype here. I found it quite insightful and the results opened my eyes to information that is quite supportive for my journey. Give it a try!
Dana James is a Columbia University educated, triple certified nutritionist who is also trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. She is the founder of Food Coach NYC and LA, and a functional medicine nutrition practitioner that helps correct biochemical and psychological imbalances through nutrition intervention and psychological exploration. Look out for her recently published book titled "The Archetype Diet: Reclaim your Self-Worth and Change the Shape of your Body". We had the opportunity to interview her and thought you would enjoy learning more about her life's work, intentions and ways that she is uplifting the planet. Read on.
Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
Dana James: I’m hoping to radically change the conversation around weight loss. For far too long, the overriding paradigm has been fixated on the physical aspect of weight gain without looking at the why behind our eating behavior or the why behind our biochemical imbalances.
Let’s consider the psychological: Why do you use food as a reward, comfort, distraction, pacifier or grounding tool? It’s not that it simply tastes good! It has to do with where you source your self-worth comes from. Unless you address the why, you’ll fall back to old patterns.
The physical is similar. It’s not just a matter of accepting that your hormones, gut microbiome or metabolism is out of balance - you need to find out why. I explain the why in "The Archetype Diet: Reclaim Your Self-Worth and Change the Shape of Your Body" and do this through the four female archetypes: Wonder Woman, Nurturer, Femme Fatale and Ethereal.
Living Wholly: What inspired you to write your recent book "The Archetype Diet"?
Dana James: I was inspired to write this book because of the emotional pain I saw women enduring because they thought they were stuck in a cycle of weight gain/weight loss, shame and guilt. I wanted to give them hope that there was a solution. But the solution wasn’t a quick and easy fix or a bio-hack - it is a complex understanding of our biology and beliefs. If it was easy to understand our whys, we wouldn’t have an epidemic of women who feel constantly ashamed because they “can’t” stick to their word.
Living Wholly: What two archetypes do you most resonate with?
Dana James: I like them all because a complete woman has cultivated the positive aspects of all four archetypes, but my dominant archetype is the Wonder Woman. The Wonder Woman’s self-worth is based on success and achievement - she’s driven, determined and astute, but if her Wonder Woman traits become too dominant she can disassociate from her feelings, intuition and the sensual pleasures in life. This leaves her feeling as if something is wrong. Food (or alcohol) can become the coping tool.
The solution is to break the belief that her self-worth is based on an external factor, like success. Only then, will her habits and patterns change. Each archetype has a similar journey to break their self-worth matrix.
Living Wholly: By having awareness of the archetypes you most connect with, how does it support you to thrive?
Dana James: Once you identify your archetype, you immediately become conscious of your subconscious drivers. A hint - it’s not willpower but where you source your self-worth from. You’ll also know what hormones dominate your physical body and how to change them with food and supplements. Each archetype has a different way of eating because they have different hormonal influences from their lifestyle and source of self-worth.
Living Wholly: In your experience, what is one of the most common reasons that humans feel disempowered with food and their bodies?
Dana James: People often feel disempowered with food and their bodies because they unconsciously believe that their value as a person is contingent on some factor - success, looks, giving to others or being different. It’s not. Their self-worth exists because they were born. Any belief other than that can cause disempowered with food and the physical body.
Marianne Williamson has a great quote, which I use for the Femme Fatale archetype: “You can’t be comfortable in your skin, if you believe you are your skin.” The Archetype Model shows you how to break this erroneous belief that your value is contingent on some external source.
Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?
Dana James: I’ve deeply immersed myself in Jungian philosophy, Greek mythology and vibrational medicine - these teachers span from Carl Jung to Marion Woodman, Jean Shinoda Bolen MD and Richard Gerber MD. This immersion occurred after I received my Masters in Nutrition and Functional Medicine Training, as I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what happened beyond food and the biochemical - the answer lay in the mind.
Living Wholly: What is one recommendation for those experiencing a challenge/s with their health?
Dana James: Don’t fret. There is a solution. Your body knows how to heal itself - so does the mind.
Living Wholly: What is a daily practice that supports you with attunement, personally and professionally?
Dana James: I want women to develop a jewelry box full of tools they can use depending on the situation. My daily practices change based on what I feel I need. Right now, I’m in the midst of a pre-launch book campaign and I’m more stretched than I like to be. I wasn’t feeling good about myself, I'd gained some weight and my hand was going into the candy bowl.
Once I recognized this, I paused and asked what I needed - it was restoration and resilience. I made the decision to drop wheat and wine. I added a daily green juice. I started meditating twice daily. And I asked for help. My body and mind quickly returned to equilibrium and I feel like myself again.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Dana James: To be completely honest with yourself in all circumstances, asking, “How do I feel and why am I doing what I’m doing?”
Living Wholly: How can people learn more about your book and offerings, and work with you?
Because our relationship with food and our bodies impacts so many facets of our life, it’s an important relationship to regularly observe, evolve, and nurture. We hope you can join us on Wednesday, May 23 at 6.00 pm pst, as Dana elaborates on the female archetypes and explores the integration of body and mind, science and psychology, so we can experience profound whole-being shifts. Register here. We look forward to seeing you on the Zoom.
with love and humility,
The Art of Mothering: To see another, to hold, nurture, care for, nourish, protect, love deeply and elevate.
With Mother’s Day approaching I’ve been exploring the various ways we “Mother”. Many of us mother children, animals, family, friends and special projects. And our hope for all of us is that we are taking the time to mother ourselves.
As a mother to a young child, I experience the more traditional sense of mothering on a daily basis, which has also, created a need to mother myself more steadily. To be able to show up and mother my child with steadfast devotion, an open heart and courage, I must show up for myself in ways that meet my needs and nourish my soul.
So, how is mothering woven into my life?
As an early Mother’s Day gift for myself, I started Elissa Goodman’s 5 day SOUP cleanse yesterday. This cleanse serves up fresh, whole, nutrient dense foods with a healthy balance of fats, proteins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Included is food you will actually chew and drinks that are enjoyable to consume. This is a gentle cleanse, designed to remove processed foods, added sugars, simple carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats from your diet. This program introduces super foods, anti-inflammatory foods, and alkaline foods that support radiant health in many ways.
I mean, who doesn’t want to feel empowered, elevate and feel radiant?
Depending on who or what you’re currently Mothering in your life, I invite you to enjoy the sacredness of the journey. Remember that we can commit to and acknowledge ourselves every day for this role we play for ourselves and others. I see you. I honor your devotion. You are pure magnificence.
Happy Mothering to all of us. May yours be joyful, soulful + deeply nourishing.
with love + gratitude,
p.s. if you are looking for a unique gift for someone that Mothers you, that inspires you as a Mama or for yourself - peruse our online shop for a curated collection of consciously crafted items! LAST DAY TO ORDER GIFTS FROM US TO ARRIVE IN TIME FOR MOTHER'S DAY IS TODAY!!!!! Get in there, take a peek and handle it HERE. We will do the rest.
p.s.s. Learn more ways to Mother yourself on our "Virtual Speaker Series" LIVE call with Dana James, MS, CDN, CNS on Wednesday, May 23 at 6 pm pst. Topic: Find your Female Archetype: Tools for Transformation. Dana is the Founder of Food Coach NYC and LA, a functional medicine nutrition practice that helps correct biochemical and psychological imbalances through nutrition intervention and psychological exploration. Learn more here.
“The highest and noblest work in this life is that of a Mother.”
-Russell M. Nelson
Relationships infuse life with substance and excitement, but they can also be super challenging - because hey, there are few things as triggering as a partner who is pushing all of our buttons. But, we're not as powerless as we may think when it comes to creating an enriching and lasting relationship.
On April 25th we had the honor of hearing from Professional Relationship Coach, Minister, and Creator of Extraordinary Love™, Gabriella Taylor during our Virtual Speaker Series. We enjoyed an engaging time together that was filled with amble ah-ha moments and reflection. While the entire call was transformative, I've pulled out some of the key messages to share with you.
The wild journey of relationship has no destination but is in a constant and dynamic state of ebb and flow. Becoming more aware of how we're navigating this journey can do wonders for filling it with enhanced joy and opportunities for growth.
To learn more about Gabriella Taylor’s 8 week online program “Foundations of Extraordinary Love”, check out the link here. If you're interested, we highly recommend signing up for her Summer session NOW. There is limited space and the program will sell out.
Next up in our Virtual Speaker Series is Dana James, MS, CDN, CNS on Wednesday, May 23. The topic is "Find your Female Archetype". Who doesn't want to know your female archetype? This will explain your relationship to food, why "life" gets in the way, best ways to eat for your body type, and it busts all of those restrictive food myths. This is a true integration of body and mind, science and psychology. Find the answers you've been looking for!!!
Dana James is Columbia University educated, triple certified nutritionist who is also trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. She is the founder of Food Coach NYC and LA, a functional medicine nutrition practitioner that helps correct biochemical and psychological imbalances through nutrition intervention and psychological exploration. Look out for her recently published book titled “The Archetype Diet”. The press is going wild for this content and we are, too!!! You do not want to miss this call.
May you honor the sacredness in each relationship and continue evolving on the journey.
with love and gratitude,
The morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, and for me what I do in the morning impacts how I relate to myself, and the people around me. Although I’m not always able to pull myself out of bed at 5:30 am for sadhana, the mornings I do make it happen are just easier.
My commitment to myself is to engage in at least one of the following practices each morning. This can be super early before everyone wakes or it can be after my daughter heads off to school. When I honor this, I find that I experience a divine presence that follows me through the rest of my day, helping me feel more grounded and connected to my highest Self. Oh, and I’m less likely to jump feet first into an argument! My husband is so tuned in to this need that he’ll recommend I go take an hour for myself if he senses my day is getting off to a rocky start. Self care is key for both of us...and everyone!!!
Hiking and yoga are my go-tos when I need to deepen my connection to the life around me - when I need to remember how sacred it is that we’re all moving through this human experience together.
Hiking often makes me think of one of my favorite African proverbs: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I have no doubt that I need others to travel with me on this epic journey, and yet, it sometimes takes a solo walk for me to remember that. So, if I want to go far, I need my morning practice.
Kundalini Yoga is especially supportive and healing for me in the morning, as the blend of physical and spiritual practices help to increase my vitality and consciousness – it makes me feel alive and unshakable! The dynamic breathing, meditation, and mantras support me to attune and deeply connect. Kundalini has supported me with miraculous shifts and it deeply resonates for me. I also, really enjoy a solid Vinyasa Flow practice. I love to move my body, stretch and sweat. This deeply supports me as I awaken and get quiet while letting my breath move me. Both are significant to my Self Care repertoire.
Another practice that I love is chanting mantras. Walk into our house or my office at any time of the day and you will most likely hear mantra music playing. Neuroscience proves that mantras can rewire the neural pathways and calm the nervous system. Um, yes please. In the modern world we live in, this is highly supportive. One mantra in particular, Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say Sa So Hung, has been deeply meaningful to me since my firstborn came Earth side. For the first six months, we would sing this every morning as a family in our bed. It was such a beautiful and nurturing practice for us. This mantra is a healing meditation used to pray for healing energy for our friends, family, and ourselves. It’s vibration helps me feel more connected to not only my authentic essence, but the essence of the people I’m in relationship with, and how I can best understand and elevate those relationships.
Meditating supports me in significant ways as well. It helps me drop into my body and tune into my intentions for day. Often, how I’m going to relate to myself, and others, throughout the day is woven into my intentions. So sometimes, I’ll contemplate what I want these relations to look like and allow my mind to begin exploring the endless opportunities in these relationships. When I’ve done this practice, how I relate to others shifts, and mainly because I’ve shifted how I’m relating to myself.
These practices, to put it simply, give me a deeper knowing that it’s all divine and perfect. Life just feels lighter and more doable each time I commit to my morning practice. What are your go-to morning practices? Please share with us!
Speaking of practices that support relationships, I’m excited about our upcoming “Virtual Speaker Series” with Gabriella Taylor THIS WEDNESDAY, April 25 at 6 pm pst. She is truly a master in relationships. During this call, we will explore the many layers of relationships. Gabriella will provide insights, tools and support to begin seeing more clearly in all of our relations. We've created a worksheet that just went out to all confirmed participants in service to getting the most value out of this session. There will be time to share your answers and connect directly with Gabriella Taylor. We will have time for Q & A and want to hear from YOU. There is still time to register and get the pre-work done!!! You do not want to miss this. Confirm your spot at the link here.
Take time for you and the practices that support you each day. Your wellbeing supports your radiant health and uplifts the planet.
with love and gratitude,
Relationships are everywhere. We experience them with our spouse, children, colleagues, friends, family and many others. They can be one of the most joyful and profound aspects of the human experience, but, they can also be fraught with challenges and huge question marks. That harmonious, fulfilling, and expansive connection many of us desire often seems to live on the other side of confounding barriers. For me, one of the most helpful ways to begin dissolving these barriers is to explore how I want to show up in my relationships, and what needs to heal or shift in order for me to do that.
So, let’s start exploring...
What if…your relationships catalyzed you into greatness?
What if…you and your partner were a safe space and loving mirror for one another?
What if…an enhanced experience of relationship was available to you and could give you the wings to soar?
Gabriella Taylor, the next speaker in our “Virtual Speaker Series,” is a Professional Relationship Coach, Minister, and Creator of Extraordinary Love™, will guide us through a conversation focused on relationships. She will support us in experiencing the quality of relationships we deeply desire.
In preparation for this special call, Gabriella offered these “what ifs” stem sentences with me that I felt called to share with you...
What if… you pulled your power back into yourself and focused on growing your own sense of empowerment and self-awareness, instead of focusing on what your partner is doing?
Pointing the finger is a pattern I’ve noticed in my personal life, and universally. Placing the blame on someone else is an easy way to escape responsibility in the moment, but ultimately, does little for the health of a relationship. So, instead of taking this easy way out I’m learning to tune inward when I’m triggered by something my husband or any person I am in relationship with and honor that 99.9% of the time it is a mirror for what’s going on inside of me, and a mirror for how I do or do not show up in my life.
In these moments, I’ve begun to ask myself, “What is present? What do I need to feel better?” I then allow myself to feel my emotions and honor what I’m moving through. This process supports me in taking back my power and becoming the master of my experience.
What if… you could get to the heart of the matter and reveal what needs to be revealed, heal what needs to be healed, and open your eyes, mind and heart to a new possibility of love?
This “what if” makes me think about the portion of my interview with Gabriella where she spoke about the importance of developing an awareness of the “Intimacy Model™” we grew up with. This model can be explored by asking ourselves the questions:
What did I see in relationships when I was growing up? What was modeled? How were feelings handled? How was affection handled? How was honest communication handled?
Reflection on my Intimacy Model™ supported me in committing to the truth that everything is in service to my own healing and growth. So, when I am upset in my relationship, I ask myself, “What is the trigger?” I dig deep, go into my inner process, and take care of myself by practicing yoga, going for a walk, meditating, chanting, breathing, calling a conscious + elevated sister for support, reading an inspiring book, or doing something to redirect my focus so I don’t get stuck in my upset. I do whatever it takes to get back into my heart and open to the love that is all around me.
What if… you felt more connected, resourced, and grounded within yourself?
An essential part of my ability to feel more connected, resourced, and grounded is my morning spiritual practice. I wake up at 5:30 AM, meditate, chant, and move my body for an hour. Kundalini yoga is especially supportive and healing for me during this time, and the mantras are grounding as they rewire the neural pathways and help me feel more connected.
What if… I learned more effective communication skills?
Learning to effectively communicate has been a significant part of my healing journey in this life. It has not always been easy for me to express myself and was an area of intensity when I was growing up. In fact, I haven’t felt safe communicating for most of my life. But, with the support of Gabriella Taylor I am learning ways to effectively communicate in all of my relationships.
What if… I released the past?
While there are many schools of thought on releasing the past, I believe that it is key to getting our power back. Part of this process is intentionally feeling the emotions that are repressed deep in the unconscious so they do not unexpectedly surface and trigger imbalance + dis-ease. Kundalini yoga can be a highly effective tool in this journey – the advanced technology of the kriyas, mantras, and meditations are powerful and I utilize them as much as I can.
These ‘what ifs’ allowed me to take a deep dive into my relationships, and enhanced my desire to go even deeper. It also, made me realize how crucial it is to have expert and compassionate guidance as I peel back the layers of the human experience. Whew, we are on a journey my friends. When the path of awakening is chosen, I find it necessary to have greater levels of support.
That being said, I am so excited to share time with all of you and Gabriella Taylor very soon!!! I hope you can join us next Wednesday, April 25th at 6 pm pst as she guides us deeper into this transformative and healing journey. Mark your calendar and register here. See you on the Zoom!
with love + humility,
"What bonds us together is a deep soulful yearning for partnership beyond your wildest dreams. We long for an experience of soulful companionship, to walk side by side with a man/woman, fully at ease and giving of ourselves freely while maintaining an intact sense of self. We recognize that the old model of relationships, where we would literally lose ourselves in love, which is filled with drama, blame and pain, no longer serves us." by Gabriella Taylor
She is a Professional Relationship Coach, Minister and Creator of Extraordinary Love™ Transformational Educational Programs. Gabriella is acutely aware and deeply connected to the journey of awakening. She serves with her heart and walks the talk. She is a Master in relationships. Continue on to learn more about her work and the ways in which she supports the elevation of consciousness on the planet.
Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
Gabriella Taylor: The way I see I am serving the world and contributing my gifts are actually simple.
I’m very committed to my own path. I’m also consistently looking inside myself to see beyond the constraints of whatever my ego identification thinks, and I am seeking to unbind myself from perceived limitation so I can see myself more clearly and release my distorted perceptions. I am committed to calling myself forward and seeing what I am truly made of - which is far greater than this personality and my secret hurts.
One of my biggest contributions, in a way, is to really do my work - to practice it in my own life. This work requires courage and a strong heart to keep looking deeper - to look beyond conditioned identity stances – to look beyond what is possible – to look beyond what I think I’m capable of. I feel that I have to walk my talk, even though I stumble all the time, to do the depth of work I do with others. If someone peeled back the curtain of what happened in my private life, you’d see a very human woman doing her best to apply what she teaches to her own self and life. This all supports me in recognizing that the more I’m able to live in my heart, the more powerful I am. That’s the truest service I can offer.
A gift that I contribute is my recognition that we are amidst a huge transformation on an evolutionary level on the planet, where the concept of feminine power is coming into its own - and not in an "againstness" to the masculine way, we’ve just been out of balance for thousands of years, living in a very masculine society – and now there’s an awakening that’s happening. Women everywhere are standing up to find their voices - to speak their truths - to learn how to take care of themselves. I help walk women through the journey into themselves so they can become powerful leaders in their own lives – so they can become radiant women who have a voice and is used in service to being part of the solution, the overall awakening.
Specifically, I’ve been gifted with an ability to both get into someone’s inner world with them, learn how to begin naming what they see inside, especially the areas that feel limiting, which maybe previously felt hidden and now they can move through these old patterns - often once and for all. When people turn the lights on in themselves so they can see more clearly and can unbind themselves from unwanted patterns, so much more life force is freed up to actually begin creating a life built on authenticity, joy and integrity.
The life I was given early on had a tremendous amount of pain woven into it, yet the ability of my spirit to keep learning how to go beyond what I thought life was, helped me to stretch beyond that. This early period of my life helped me learn how to lift myself up from the inside out. And, after serving in the transformational industry for over 20 years, this has both become my life’s work and calling because I’ve had to learn what it takes to really stand in the principles and practices of living an awakened life, I also thrive in the experiencing of walking others into their own freedom.
Living Wholly: At its essence, what is your intention with your Extraordinary Love™ Program?
Gabriella Taylor: My deepest intention behind my work is for women to reclaim a deep sense of power in themselves and possibility, in relationship to men in particular. To re-define relationship so it serves as a catalyst for each other’s greatness, instead of a repository of blame and disappointment. Together, united in partnership, we are capable of extraordinary things. From here, we are more confident to shine our lights, knowing someone deeply has our back.
Relationships are the way in. All roads are pointing back to restoring a woman into her sense of self – who she truly is - how she was created in the eyes of the divine and how she can be an accurate representation of her highest self. When we’re restored to our truest self then the light we shine as women is amazing. As the Dalai Lama once said - it is the Western women who will save the world.
Living Wholly: What inspired you to focus your coaching practice on relationships?
Gabriella Taylor: I would say it’s more of a calling. I experienced significant sexual abuse in the past. As I grew, something awoke inside of me that knew something more must be available. I began the slow process of repairing my fractured sense of self that had been so damaged. I had no idea how to move beyond incredible fear and ruptured trust, or the sense that I had to change myself to avoid displeasing a man. I had no sense of who I was or how to hold my own. Our defense mechanisms are exquisite how they keep us alive - out of necessity, I became masterful at lying, manipulating, and posturing because that was all I knew and that’s how I kept myself safe. I just knew there was more.
As I discovered for myself what that journey of restoration and healing was, it inspired me to see that I wasn’t the only one suffering in this way. I saw sisters around me everywhere feeling disconnected and disempowered and this is how The Journey of Extraordinary Love™ was born all those years ago.
To find ME under all of that, and to experience the depth of extraordinary love with my Nicholas, has been the most rewarding journey and is why I do what I do. I discovered what worked for me and began walking other women through the process as well, which is why I design and offer transformational educational processes.
Living Wholly: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?
Gabriella Taylor: Releasing the trauma of sexual abuse from my body, energy field, and emotions has been the most difficult. There’s all of these incredible defense systems that our bodies go into to protect us. Therefore, the process to restore a felt-sense of safety, trust, ownership, and autonomy over my body where I felt so broken has been a long road, as well as recognizing how connected this is to my emotional responses and ability to be close to someone else, has been a significant learning opportunity. However, these challenges have been really rewarding. I now have a keen sense and appreciation for the work that goes into assisting women along the delicate path of learning how to share - mind, body, and soul - with a partner, and not lose yourself in the process.
Living Wholly: In your experience, what is one of the most common reasons that humans feel disempowered in relationships?
Gabriella Taylor: One of the most common reasons humans feel disempowered in relationships is that we’ve all been taught to believe “that thing out there” has power over us. We’re conditioned in a world that teaches us that our happiness and permission to be who we are, is all regulated by what the world tells us we need to be. Therefore, where’s our power?
So much of the disempowerment in relationships comes from this collective trance that we don’t have the power inside ourselves. I don’t mean the power that comes from ego-strength. There’s this forgetfulness that we have full capacity to watch where our thinking is going, to resource ourselves emotionally so we don’t spin out, and to learn how to line ourselves up inside so our behaviors reflect the thoughts we’re thinking and the stories we’re telling ourselves. In that, we have so much power.
Living Wholly: What are common ‘blocks’ that can prevent women + men from ‘seeing clearly’ in relationships?
So there’s a lot of confusion around the questions, “What’s it’s like to be me? To have needs? To speak into my needs? To actually meet my needs - and also communicate to others what I need in a way that’s not demanding or people-pleasing” Something I call “spiritual isolation” is when women and men are walking around thinking that because they’re walking a spiritual path they should be totally whole and complete in themselves, self reliant, and not need anyone else. That’s’ unhealthy independence. It is not only possible for us to learn how to speak our needs, and then really take it in when those needs are met, but it’s crucial to shape our culture in a new way that both honors connection and individuality.
Living Wholly: What is one tool that you recommend for those experiencing a challenge/s in a romantic relationship/s?
Gabriella Taylor: I would recommend really taking some time unpeeling and unpacking your intimacy model™ – the programming that went in when you were little. For example, what did you see? What was modeled? How were feelings handled? How was affection handled? How was honest communication handled? How were men and women treated? What were the roles assigned to men and women? How was trust handled?
This is precisely why I designed my 8 week program, Foundations of Extraordinary Love™ - to really unpack the reasons BEHIND your current experiences of dissatisfaction - in order to move through them
People need to look at these messages and look at how that may match up with their current challenges in relationship. Chances are there is a strong correlation. Until we break those cycles, we’ll keep repeating them. The simple nature of seeing it helps adjust the patterning so it doesn’t have as much power over us.
Living Wholly: What is a daily practice that supports you with attunement with your work personally and professionally?
Gabriella Taylor: So much of my practice is what I call coming home inside. It’s like coming back to my own lane – ground zero. In this space I ask, “What’s going on? What I am feeling? What do I need? Is there a truth that needs to be expressed? Is there a boundary that needs to be met?”
I have a very active inner relationship with myself. I have a high level of understanding and connection with that part of myself - with the tenderness of my personality. I also, have an active relationship with the loving presence in my heart. I try to care for that presence and care for my personality from the love of my soul. It’s like I’m ministering to the hurt parts of me, the forgetful parts of me, from the higher parts of me. I’m in an active relationship with myself on a daily basis. This keeps me grounded and integrated in my experience.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Gabriella Taylor: To me, living wholly is truly about doing my best to share my gifts the way God has intended, to fulfill my soul’s calling and to be a light in this world.
Not only is this about looking in the mirror and asking, “Where am I out of alignment? Where is there an opportunity for me to grow my congruency? Where is there an opportunity for me to bring more kindness to my interactions?”, it’s also about standing in what is good about me and sharing that goodness with others. Our ego desperately wants to keep ue separate and living wholly is a call to remember who we truly are at the deepest level.
It’s also, about those moments when I’m not trying so hard to be me, I’m just being me. I experience a sense of softness, kindness, and expansiveness. From that place, it’s easier to look at where I have room for adjustment. It’s a practice in bringing myself into my heart as much as possible.
Living Wholly: How can people learn more about your offerings and work with you?
Spring shift, renewing the morning ritual
Thank Goddess the Spring Equinox has come! Here's to longer days, jasmine blooms, cherry blossoms and al fresco dining. Since this threshold also, marks my birthday each year - I find myself reveling in the opportunity of rebirth during a very symbolic seasonal shift in Nature. It gives me a reason to press the “restart button” and reinvest in myself.
As the days grace us with more light and we begin to dance our way back into the world after hibernation, take it easy on yourself. Although spring season feels very external and focused on being outside, it is important to recirculate our energy inwards as well. This helps us maintain a healthy balance, both expending our energy outwards and redirecting within. With the shift of season comes the adjustment in perspective. One of the most helpful tools for me is having devoted morning rituals that set the tone for the rest of my day. Now everyone has his or her own spice to add to the recipe, but this is the broth to my morning ritual stew.
This sounds simpler than it feels. For me it was about redirecting a pattern of turning over to turn off my alarm and then immediately beginning to scroll through emails. There will be time to do this later. Let yourself have the morning for YOURSELF. Try setting your phone to airplane mode before falling asleep- it keeps the pressure to respond at bay until you consciously decide to step into work mode.
This one pretty much speaks for itself and may seem juvenile. There is nothing more satisfying than walking into a room with the bed made. Instantly, my world feels tidy and organized. Think of it as a present to your not-so-distant-self.
There are a lot of moving variables when you wake up, but there is one thing for certain, your body is thirsty. So pour yourself a glass of room temperature water (room temp water is easier for your digestion and hydrates you more efficiently), ADD LEMON to alkalize first thing, and let your body drink in the benefits. It will give you energy, make you less hungry, AND nourishes your skin. I’d call that a win win win.
On my way to my meditation mat in the morning I always like to heat up a kettle of hot water so I can pour a few cups Chinese Tea during my meditation practice. I have found it helps facilitate grounding into a meditative state. Find a peaceful activity- it can be making a latte, taking a step outside to feel the fresh air, watching the sunrise, saying a prayer, giving thanks, chanting, drawing, journaling, anything! There’s no limit here, find any ritual that you love, and in turn will add depth and joy to your morning meditation practice.
All you need is 5 minutes to drop into your body and tune in. I have found meditating in the morning helps me feel more peaceful and intentional throughout my day. New to meditation? Find a cushion or pillow, sit down and let yourself find stillness, trying to sit with a straight and aligned spine. Start off by trying 5 minutes of Ujjayi breath, by sealing your lips and beginning to breath slowly in and out of your nose. Make a slight constriction in the back of your throat so there is a soft sound of the ocean when you breathe in and out. Try this (or any other breathing exercise) for a week and add more time or change breath techniques when you feel comfortable. For those of you with a regular meditation practice, try implementing a new breathing technique, adding in a kundalini kriya or adjusting time to mix things up a bit.
*Just a simple disclaimer, there is no perfect amount of time to meditate, just do what feels right in your body, this may vary day to day and that’s absolutely perfect. Your body knows what you need.*
There’s no right or wrong way to do it- stretch, go on a walk, go on a run, do some yoga or Qi gong, dance, or anything else you can think of. Let the joy of your body move you!
Is it just me or did mornings just get a heck of a lot better? Happy Spring! Enjoy the light both outside, and within.
Deep bow to all of you.
and the Living Wholly team
p.s. The "Virtual Speaker Series" last week was a huge success! We are honored to feature one of our Experts each month to support you on this journey to radiant health - inside + out. On April 25th, we are excited to share Gabriella Taylor with you. She is a Professional Relationship Coach, Minister, and Creator of Extraordinary Love™.
We invite you to join us for this very special call with Gabriella Taylor, Relationship Coach, Minister and Creator of Extraordinary Love™ transformational education programs.
If you are not experiencing the quality of relationship you desire, there is a reason for it. It's not that you are fated to be alone or that you've passed your prime. It's because something is in the way, blocking your awareness from seeing clearly. This can be any relationship in your life...even the one with yourself!
This one hour call will include a 20 minute talk with Gabriella Taylor. The topic is "Seeing clearly in relationships: Experience the Intimacy + Connection You Desire". There will be 35 minutes of Q & A to follow. You will receive tools to support your ability to see clearly how much power you DO have to transform your relationship story. Imagine experiencing soulful companionship and walking side by side with your partner, feeling held and fully at ease, giving of yourself freely while maintaining an intact sense of self while wholeheartedly receiving the love that is here for you. This call will support you in your next steps so you may experience this for yourself.
We will give away one COMPLIMENTARY one hour session with Gabriella Taylor on the call. We will also, giveaway two items from our featured brand partner. ALL participants will receive a special gift from Gabriella Taylor.
Date: Wednesday, April 25
Time: 6.00 pm pst
Learn more and onfirm your spot today and get this on your calendar. You do not want to miss this. Gabriella is a Master and relationship guide that powerfully leads you on a journey of healing.
Recently, I was asked to write down various topics I wanted to explore. I was prompted to go deep into my love and express all of the areas that I want to know more about. What are the areas that I love undeniably? That sounds like a question that could go many different directions, no? Well, when I began jotting down the topics that I love and want to learn more about, there was one standout. It continues to be the one that I can't deny myself. That one is the connection between the mind and body. In my personal health journey as well as witnessing others time and time again, it is profoundly undeniable. Science has proven time and again that the mind body connection is very real. What we perceive in our mind, absolutely translates into what we experience in our body. Our day to day perceptions, connections with other people, (and with ourselves), what we spend our time focusing on, and how we breathe ALL contribute to who we are today. As these patterns persist, and these habits and ways of being continue, neurological pathways deepen, and we become more of what these connections elicit in our beautiful bods.
We have all been introduced to the myriad of emotions we humans have to draw from and play with. Some we regard as pleasant, or 'good' emotions, and some; not so 'good'. While all of our emotions have appropriate and significant roles in our lives, and deserve to be honored and expressed, let's take a closer look at the way the unfolding of each respective group tends to show up in our brains and bodies.
Emotions such as love, joy, compassion, equanimity, and gratitude are all higher vibrating emotions. They literally vibrate at higher frequencies than feelings of anger or despair. As we embody these emotional states, our bodies correspond chemically. Our brain is telling us that we are feeling good, and in turn releases chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Newer research shows our heart is just as much a part of this conversation, and likewise tells our brain, ''she is feeling REEAAAALLLLY good right now, let's release some happy chemicals,'' and so it does. These chemicals are healing. They allow for the body to shift into self-repair, self-regulation, and eventually back to homeostasis, or our ideal state of being.
Similarly, when we experience emotions on the lower half of the scale, we embody feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, and fear, and our brain and heart chemically determine that it is time to release cortisol, adrenaline, or to lower dopamine levels, etc. These shifts in the endocrine system have been shown to increase inflammation, and disrupt the harmony of our otherwise perfect, adoration-worthy bodies.
So, do we just put on a happy face and sweep our bad feelings under the rug? NO! We allow ourselves to feel what we need to feel. Honor these emotions but don't let them run the show. There is a time and place for everything. Knowing that these chemical conversations are happening inside of us; dictating the health and well-being of our bodies over time, we go to our wellness toolbox.
Yoga, breathe work, exercise, life-affirming activities (solo or with a loved one), meditation, and/or your favorite self care treatment are all effective tools to have on deck. Incorporating these powerful techniques into your daily life are paramount in keeping the upper hand of what takes place in your body mind connection.
The simple act of breathing consciously and deeply, while thinking of something you are grateful for five minutes, changes the conversation within the body and mind. This tells yourself that you are okay, there is no need for fight, fight, or inflammation.
We become more of what we are appreciating, or ruminating on. More of how shallowly or deeply we are breathing. The more we are aware of and in tune with these connections, the more say we have in allowing what takes pace in our mind-body temples.
When life within or around us seems to speed up, or get a little more intense, we breathe deeply and fully, roll out our yoga mat, remember love, turn on your favorite mantras, hand on heart + feed on the ground and say, ''I've got this.''
I share this with you as a reminder. It is all interconnected and affects every part of our lives. Feel those feelings. Honor what's present. And choose the life you are creating. We are powerful beyond our wildest dreams.
and the Living Wholly team
p.s. if you want to explore this more deeply, REGISTER for our Virtual Speaker Series with ELISSA GOODMAN via Zoom. Elissa is offering one session on her for one lucky person. We also, have a gift for every participant on the call.
"Find the root of any health issue and learn how to heal"
We at Living Wholly are always in search of consciously sourced, non toxic, organic, and environmentally-friendly treasures to share with you. We love honing in on the best products to support your journey of radiant health - inside + out. It all impacts our overall health + wellbeing. We must choose the cleanest products to put onto and into our bodies. We resonate with products that uplift and nourish the body, mind, and soul.
Recently, we had the unique opportunity to attend Expo West in Anaheim, California. We dove in to explore and expand our awareness of more brands that are supporting all of us on this path. This exhilarating + informative event exhibited over 3,000 companies, from 120 different countries. The mission of the event was, like ours, to exhibit, promote and educate the population on these innocuous treasures. We experienced a refreshing, vast array of organic and natural foods and beverages, consciously made skin, health, and home care goodies, aroma therapies, and so much more. These companies really went the extra mile to pass the required regulations to ensure the highest of quality and standards.
Here's a couple of our faves...
Enessa's creator Michelle, has been creating delicious and nutritious skin care since she was 16. This gorgeous line is not only organic, pure and effective, but divinely aromatic and mindfully curated. Her Turmeric Charcoal Mask magically enlivens and detoxifies the skin, and her Bergamot Purifying Cleanser (with reishi and burdock) cleanses and nourishes the skin, leaving it smooth as a baby's tuckus! Amazing.
This charming line of essential oil roll-ons is 100% pure, and without proteins. Their oils are carefully and properly diluted with moisturizing carrier oils, and are hand-made, crafted and poured. They are also Made Safe Verified!! They have beautiful lines for babies, (which include baby massage techniques), as well as for kids, and adults! Clean, conscious, and yummy - just the way we like 'em.
Keep your eyes out for these brands! Stay tuned as we add more brands to our e-commerce shop. If you haven't taken a gander at our online shop, please give it a look! We are eager to support you on this journey! Until then, we will continue scouting the globe for the goods.
and the Living Wholly team
p.s. Speaking of scouting and honing in on the best of the best products. Living Wholly has thoughtfully curated experts in health + wellness that embody the knowledge, devotion and integrity to support you with healing and expansion. Each one is specialized in areas that will support you in living a life of radiant health – inside + out. These Experts are at the top of their game and come with decades of experience. Living Wholly vets and trusts these women + men 100%.
We are very excited about the launch of our "Virtual Speaker Series" via Zoom on March 21st...next Wednesday at 6 pm pst!!! We are honored to feature Elissa Goodman, Holistic Nutritionist + Lifestyle Cleanse Expert. The topic is focused on "Finding the root cause of any health issue and learning ways to heal". This 45 minute call will include 20 minutes with Elissa sharing her wisdom and experience with profound healing. This will be followed up with 25 minutes of Q & A just for you to engage. Come with your questions, ready to get inspired and walk away feeling empowered with your health. We have great giveaways for all participants and ONE complimentary session that we will gift to one of you. Confirm your spot ASAP as this virtual gathering is just around the corner. We will see you there!