Chill Out and Make the World a Better Place


My session began with the staff offering me tea.  I chose the mint tea.  SO GOOD.  Then I sat in the lounge while the workshop was setup.  I checked out some candles, bath products that all smelled like heaven.  I sat in a chair swing for a bit and zoned out before moving myself into the back room with lounge cushions next to a fountain where I listened to the calming sound of flowing water while sipping my mint tea.  When the workshop was ready I went in the room to discover cushions big enough to lie down on and then I had 60 minutes of pure bliss.  Half of the workshop was just the sound of crystal bowls (which if you don't know what those are, I encourage you to check it out) and half a guided meditation.  A whole hour of meditation was a gift I don't often give myself and it was SO worth it.



This was my recent experience at Chill Chicago (check them out here), a local meditation, yoga and massage center in Chicago.  A peaceful environment, but the real reason I went was to help find the peace within.  

Ahh peace.  Something we're always seeking externally that is actually hidden within.  I've been feeling somewhat turbulent, heavy energy lately.. (since the Mercury Retrograde really, if you're into that sort of thing..) and it's been pushing me towards more grounding activities.  More yoga practice.  More meditation.  More deep breaths and slowing down... which isn't easy for me.  The slowing down.  In times of turbulence in the past I never really used to respond this way.  I responded to overwhelming energies pretty mindlessly, not even thinking about it.  Not that I've mastered the art of constantly being at peace, but I'd say this is growth.  



So in this instance I decided to book myself a Crystal Healing Bowl Meditation workshop over at Chill Chicago and I was inspired to share my experience and journey to meditation with all of you.


I'll spare you the details, but have you ever been through a dark or chaotic time in your life?  OF COURSE YOU HAVE.  We all have.  That's life.  There are highs and lows.  Chaos can come from both.  And sometimes we deal with chaos in not-so-healthy ways.  My whole life I had never really thought about dealing with chaotic times in any way whatsoever.  I was kind of just floating around and dealing with things in probably not-so-healthy ways, without really intended to.  Until I discovered meditation.  And I realized I could calm myself in moments of chaos and choose what energy to take on and what to let go.  HOW. FREEING.  Not that it's that easy in a world of chaos to find the quiet... it's a practice you have to make some time and space for.








Luckily, meditation centers, like Chill Chicago, are popping up and we need them more than ever.  Especially in America!  America is a great country, but I think we are behind in that we still "live to work" rather than "work to live."  We are stressed.  And hurried.  WE NEED TO CHILL.  And enjoy life.  Otherwise, what's the point?




Not to mention the physical and mental effects that not chilling out are having on our health.  As a Registered Dietitian, I am passionate about holistic health and I believe healthcare should focus on mind, body and spirit and sometimes I truly believe stress effects us more than even what we eat or if we exercise.  Obviously, I'm saying that with a grain of salt... nutrition and physical activity are hugely important, but we tend to ignore the stress factor.  Physically stress manifests in increasing cortisol in the body leading to holding on to more adipose tissue along with a number of other issues.  Mentally, stress can manifest in depression, anxiety and, in extreme cases, crazy acts of violence.  


The thing is, when you meditate, it causes you to focus on the present moment.  When you focus on the present moment, it tends to interrupt feelings of depression over things that happened in the past and anxiety over what might happen in the future.  It quiets down that mindless chatter our brains make that cause us to be preoccupied on things that are over or things that haven't even and may never actually happen.  Mediation helps the brain quiet the chatter and feel the joy of just simply being. 


In my own experience, I find myself going towards breath and meditation in times of stress or if someone ticks me off.  I mean, not always.  I still swear a lot in traffic.... it's an ongoing practice... :)  But the fact that I think to do that at all is pretty impressive to me! 


The really cool thing is, this isn't just my opinion, but research studies are looking into the benefits of meditation and yoga on mental health issues and finding positive results!  I'm hoping to see the day where meditation becomes a regular part of the school day and becomes part of the norm. It's becoming more main stream and hell, if this is the newest "trend" so be it!  People are already out there complaining about the commercialization of yoga and I'm sure meditation to follow.  I get where they're coming from to a point, BUT if it helps a whole lot of people WHO GIVES A FLYING F.  Commercialize awayyyy as far as I'm concerned.  Again, people just need something to chatter about.  Less talky, more meditatey please.  


And on that note, I think I should take my own advice and wrap it up here.  But if you can find 10 minutes or more in your day to give to yourself, welcome meditation into your life.  And if you have an amazing center near you like Chill Out Chicago, take your lunch break there!  Meditate, lay back for a couple minutes or just get a chair massage!  Notice how the rest of your day after that changes.  And thank me later for your newfound zen. ;-)  


Wishing you all so much love and light and peace.

Stay Wild,







Adventures in TV-land...

If you don't know, now ya know...

And, boy, I’m glad to have that off my chest!  I’m referring to a little documentary I’ll be on airing next Thursday, April 20th, on Lifetime TV network (yikes!).  Yes, I am on this season of Married at First Sight. ::gasp::  I know.  It’s crazy.  It’s nuts.  I’ve somehow managed to keep it quiet for a bit now and I still think it’s crazy!  What can I say.. I told you I like adventures.  Not to mention, I'm a hopeless romantic (hidden in tough-girl skin) and believer in the Universe working things out and letting them fall into place.  So, when this came my way, I figured it was my path for a reason and I rolled with it.  Lawdy, it’s been one wild ride. 

And the ride’s not over.  Coming up is (arguably) the scariest part of the adventure.  The TV part. 

Listen, I’m well aware I signed up for a televised documentary and have known it was coming for a while now.  Does that make it any less unknown or terrifying?  Nope. Not even a little bit.  The build-up has probably made it worse, if anything! 

I’d like to think of myself as an “I don’t care what others think about me” kind of person, but that’s easier said than done.  I expect there will come a lot of judgement and harsh words because that’s just the nature of the beast for anyone on a “reality-esque” show.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of judging people on TV, too.  You better believe my outlook on that has changed substantially since participating in this (and with the help of yoga and practicing non-judgment).  The assumptions and comments on social media have already begun and the show hasn’t even aired! 

My yogi-skills are going to have to kick into high gear here over the next few months.  This will give me a lot of practice in patience, trust, letting go and staying present.  But, I mean... I get it, man.  People like to talk.  And I have a pretty solid sense of humor so I can (and do) laugh at a lot of it. 

Even still, as with all things in life, I know there will be balance.  I’ve already met some AMAZING people on this journey so far and had some AMAZING experiences through it.  Thus far, it has opened my mind and my heart and helped me continue to grow and explore more.   And for any negativity, I hope to be met with supporters and kind hearted folks, as well.  I’ve already seen the well-wishers and supporters and believers in finding love out there in the social media world, too.  High fives to y’all! <3

After all, the documentary part can only show a portion of our journey.  There's only so much air time and it's not going to be possible to show everything, so I hope those watching will keep that in mind before judging too quickly or too harshly. 

Aside from any anxiety I’m working through regarding the TV part, I don’t want it to sound like it’s a total drag!  There’s a ton of fun things I’m super stoked to see on the show!  There’s going to be highs and lows, true to any relationship and true to life.  Heck, I may even dig the TV part of this.  It may be fun… who knows??  It’s just all unknown territory which is scary and exciting.  And that sounds like the perfect combination for an adventure.

So, I’m going to learn to ride the wave and try and have as much fun as I possibly can in an odd situation over the next few months.  Yoga is teaching me to learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and I’d say this situation falls under that category!  I hope you’ll come along with me for the ride and wish me (and all the participants) luck!  Love n’ light, y’all!

Rock ON.


Stay Wild,