7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Growing Places Indy: Summer Apprenticeship Program! April 4th Deadline!

Get hands-on experience in urban farming, study issues of food access and undertake self-exploration through yoga over the course of nine weeks with the Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program
Visit the Growing Places Indy website for more information!  Also remember to visit the Indy Winter Farmers Market at the City Market! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a Season of Renewal!

We are living in a season of renewal! The Vernal Equinox is quickly approaching on March 20.  For many, it marks the first day of Spring.  It will bring warmer temperatures, the birth of many animal babies, and the budding of flowers and trees.  The energy of renewal will be abuzz in the air, so why not harness some of that energy for a renewal of Self?  This would be a great time to plan to renew or further maintain any of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.

Often we hesitate to attempt renewal in our lives out of fear of failure.  It is okay to try something and simply determine that it’s not for you.  Regroup, keep your renewal goal in mind, and try again.  When we come to the bumps in the road, we must try, try again if at first we don’t succeed.

Interested in renewing your Physical Self?  Try a new workout routine or nutrition plan. Schedule a makeover and toss or refresh your old products and skincare regimen.  Does your Intellectual Wellness need sprucing up?  Enroll in a self paced online course, or finally get to three of those books on your must read list.  Maintain your Social Wellness by calling and catching up with a friend or family member.  Accept an invitation that you might typically decline.  Environmentally, focus on Wellness by planting a windowsill garden, begin a compost bin for a larger garden, or buy local produce.  Look for ways to renew your Occupational, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness also.

Now is the time for renewal!  The energy is all around us.  As dramatic as it sounds, on the Vernal Equinox the Universe will be conspiring to align so that we may renew and grow! Life life well!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To Be Or Not To Be Transformed

As you look forward to what you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year; hopefully in addition to looking forward, you have also spent some time looking back and reviewing some of the things you have done that work and some things that have not worked. I have this interesting habit I started several years ago where every 3 to 6 months I try to stop and take a look at where I am and try to evaluate what I need to change as well as what I’m willing to change. Please note I said willing to change. For I will be the first to admit there have been some things that I have seen about myself that I know I need to improve upon (i.e. exercising, eating better, etc) and like that new sweater, that I didn’t really need but I have bought, I take it out look at and then I very nicely fold it up and put it back in my closet. So, I confess I’m constantly warring with myself to be changed or not to be changed. Yes, I admit there are days when I’m SMH at myself.

Believe you me, I know how easy it is to let myself go through a whole year patting my self on the back for all the good things I have done and feel perfectly comfortable closing the closet on the things I don’t want to deal with. Ironically some of those things I don’t want to deal with so often are at the root of the things causing me frustration about goals I have not reached. Yes, all those little things that are taking up space on the surface may not seem like a big deal, but over time I have discovered when I keep piling stuff in my closet and not cleaning out the stuff I don’t  need I begin to not have room for the things that I do need. So often that is how our personal, physical, spiritual and emotional lives are.

I remember once when I was very young one of my aunts took me on a trip to an amusement park. I was super excited because this was my first trip to a big kids’ amusement park. The second ride we went on was the Merry Go Round. It seemed like so much fun and then I got on the ride and I got sick as dog. My poor stomach and head could not handle that slow ride, going round and round in a circle going no where. I don’t’ think I got on another ride the rest of the day.  I can still remember thinking about how much fun I missed out on all because I couldn’t figure out how to get off that dag on merry-go-round. Why am I sharing that story?  Simple that ride taught me a very important lesson about life and that is sometimes no matter how pretty or safe some things look if all they do is go round and round in a circle and takes you nowhere don’t be surprised if eventually it makes you sick. It has been a long time since I got on my first merry-go-round and I have learned a lot of things since then. One of them is eventually the ride will stop you just have to know when to get off the ride when it does. 

Listen facing and dealing with the things we have tried to ignore or keep buried is never easy but trust me in the long run dealing with them is for the best. Some things in your life are not going to change until you change. So let’s make a pack let’s promise ourselves to take a mental, spiritual and physical check of our closets. Don’t be afraid to clean house. You don’t have to wait to Spring to start your cleaning. Let’s start now, because the sooner we address and clean out those things that cause us clutter, distraction and aggravation the better off we will all be.  

Positive Thought For The Week

Monday, March 10, 2014

Meatless Monday: What's Springing Up This Season?

Meatless Monday Blog
What's Springing Up This Season?

Well, we've survived a long, cold winter and thankfully, spring is right around the corner!  This is always an exciting time of year, as we watch things begin to grow and turn green again.  It also means a change in what fruits and vegetables are now in season.  As we continue to create delicious recipes this for Meatless Mondays that are chock full of fruits and veggies, it helps to know what produce is in season and is best to put on your shopping list to get the best flavor and value.  This handy list of what's springing up this season should give you a good start!  

  • Artichokes are mainly harvested in the spring when the largest thistles are available. Look for artichokes with tight, compact leaves and fresh-cut stem ends.  To store artichokes, keep them loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Fresh artichokes will last up to a week, but are best the sooner after harvest they are used. Click here for a great artichoke recipe.
  • Fava beans are a Mediterranean favorite available from early spring through summer.  They come in soft green pods that yield tender, sweet, spring-y beans perfect in salads and other spring-time dishes.  Although shelling fava beans can sometimes be a lot of work, yummy recipes like this one make it all worthwhile.
  • New potatoes are freshly harvested young, or small, potatoes that have paper-thin skins and lots of moisture inside.  Their high moisture content helps new potatoes keep their shape when they're cooked, making them ideal for potato salads like this Classic American Potato Salad.
  • Apricots start coming into season towards the end of spring and grow in warmer climates.  Look for plump-looking apricots that feel heavy for their size. They may be yellow or orange or even have a blush of red, but avoid apricots that have any green on them. Fresh apricots are delicious eaten right out of your hand off the pit. You can also halve and grill them, or slice them and serve on ice cream.
  • Peas come into season in the spring and continue in most areas well into summer.  This includes varieties of peas such as snow peas, snap peas, garden peas, etc.  Try this recipe that pairs them with carrots and adds a sweet touch.
  • In many areas, rhubarb is the first fruit of spring.  When buying rhubarb, look for heavy stalks with shiny skin.  Rhubarb's tart fruitiness makes it perfect in sweet and savory dishes, and desserts like this Rhubarb Crisp.
Be sure to follow Meatless Monday Indy on Facebook and Twitter to get more info on spring produce and great recipe ideas to try.  Happy Spring!
 Akilah Webster, CWUW Interim Board of Directors Chair, Meatless Monday Committee Chair

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Are you livng in the Moment?

Okay so this is my first blog.  Am I nervous, nope (whatever, yes).  Oftentimes, I have moments when I am motivated and get inspirational thoughts.  I like to put a time stamp on my thoughts and writings in hopes of allowing myself to "be in the moment" and reflect back when needed.
Here goes.....
When was the last time you were in the moment.  I am not talking about being with that special person while thinking about work, school or the million other things that you need to do.  I ask this simple but complex question because oftentimes (a lot) we are  not "in the moment".  Our minds and sometimes hearts (myself included) are racing with a million things that need to be done.  Are you one of those people (I AM) that find it hard to sleep at night because you cannot seem to turn off your mind.  Yep, that's me.  I find myself tyring to plan the next day, week or even month right before bed. I find I am talking to myself about problems and worries before bed It was not until yesterday (snow day) that I concluded I needed to focus, let go and be in the moment, more often. 
Yesterday, we got (25 inches) of snow (just kidding), so I decided to take my 5 year old outside to play and make a snowman.  Did I really think this would be fun (a little), but I soon discovered that I really had a blast.  It brought back so many childhood memories that I immediately called my sister afterwards and we were able to reminisce.  What fun we had!!  We walked up and down the street in the snow, we made a funny looking snowman, made snow angels (yes, I actually got on the ground) and had a snowball fight.  I am telling you I had a ball.  I had so much real childlike fun that adults do not partake in because we have to many grownup things to do.  I was truly "IN the MOMENT".  Playing in the snow may not be your moment, but what is? Being in the moment means a conscious effort to not think about anything else but what you are doing.
So put that phone down and enjoy life, smell the flowers and be in the moment. 

You are blessed,

Mother, wife, and fearfully and wonderfully made
I am Social Work and Social Work is me. 
Find you passion, and you find your purpose.  What is your purpose?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What is Good Health?

Across the world, people read magazine articles, watch DVD workouts, and talk to friends and doctors to find out one very simple question…What is good health? Good means morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious. And health is the soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment. By definition, good health has both a physical and spiritual counterpart. So if we take this into consideration, do we really have good health? Throughout our lives we have never really been taught the proper way to eat. We all have fooled ourselves into thinking that “less” is better. The less I eat the more weight I will lose and the healthier I will become. You cannot think that you are going to lose any weight by eating less. On the contrary, your body needs additional fuel (more food) to suffice itself when you begin to start living a healthier gym life. By starving the body of its most common routine of nutrients, the muscles inside of the body begin to feed off of the muscle tissue first, then later to the fatty cells, causing the body to go into a starvation mode and begin to store necessary food in the body. One main reason is because the body isn’t used to all of a sudden going from being rejected of what is most common (eating several meals throughout the day) to eating barely enough to survive. In doing so, your brain tells your body that we will not be eating today, so the next time we eat, our body will store that food, because our body is not sure of the next time we will eat. As a result, the body begins to gain weight and not shed the calories from the food that is normally converted and used for energy.

Spiritually, good health resides on your ability to master self, your surroundings, and your ability to control your low desires as well as external and internal impediments that cause sickness and disease. Whatever religion or spiritual life you subscribe to, it plays a vital role in the quality of your overall health. Meditation and relaxation helps to calm and eliminate stress, while prayer and chanting have the same effect. Thoughts are also a major contributor to the spiritual side of good health. Negative thoughts breed negative energy which causes stress and stress weakens the immune system. On the contrary, positivity provides the perfect balance and upswing to your energy levels, which reduces stress and the many health risk that come with it. Not to mention, thoughts become actions and actions becomes habits and habits build character. This is why we start routines, such as going to the gym, and then quickly fall off after a week or so. We failed to get to the habit forming stage. Through our thoughts, we develop the will to win or the will to lose. Our spiritual self has to synergize with our physical self.

Good health has both a spiritual and physical counterpart. Skinny and stressed does not equate to good health. Neither does overweight and happy. The two are synonymous. Your physical life should be a reflection of your spiritual life and they should balance out to provide the perfect formula for a prolonged life full of vitality. Remember that gradualism is the key to mastery and with a will to win, good eating habits, and hard work in the gym, we can keep our body away from sickness or disease. After taking all of this into consideration, we must now ask ourselves, "do I have good health"? Now that we have properly defined what good health is, the next step is the take the necessary steps to improve or make a total transformation.

Ebonye X-Potter is Owner of Kemestrē Body Care, a natural and holistic approach to skincare; also, Founder and Executive Director of Seed To Save, Inc. youth outreach organization in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Best Things in Life are Free

Did you giggle last week when Pharrell said "I wash my face" when someone asked him what he does to stay so young looking?

68 year old Norma Kamali also said that exercise, enjoying life and water, drinking lots of water has been the key to her youthful glow.

Much has been made about both of their revelations.  I'm not sure why.  We know this instinctively.  Water is life.  But yet, sometimes I think when things are abundant and free we tend to overlook them for something that is harder to get and not free.

CWUW spends a great deal of time teaching us, guiding us, listening to us and sharing with us ways to Live Life Well.

I appreciate the message, because while I am as much of product junkie and have been known to follow the latest, shiniest, thing.  The CWUW message resonates because it focuses on our internal resources, not the latest workout craze, but works with us on how to bring more movement into our day.  How to strengthen our relationships with ourselves and each other by meditating, praying, singing, volunteering, chilling.   How to eat better, not a full on  rebuke of everything we know and love, but one Meatless Monday at a time.  No need to go out and buy a bunch of new groceries to start, start by taking away one thing that we usually have.

This winter has been very challenging.  The weather, illness and a host of work and life responsibilities have caused me to derail from my usual path.  I was thinking of a way to quick start - how do I get myself back on track?  Do I go take a high energy (not free) boot camp class?  Do I go book a relaxing (not free) massage? Do I call up the juice store and get a 7 day detox series (not free)?

Nah.  Recharging will mean, eating less and walking more.  Soothing my overworked muscles from hours at my computer doing work will mean more warm baths and epson salts.  Getting rid of all the McDonalds and horrible crap I've been eating while working long hours will mean stop eating all that mess.  Spending money to recharge or jump start is not necessary.  I know what to do and can start it, will start it now.  No appointment, class or delivery needed.   Me and my water bottle have a boot camp dance date with Janet and Luther.

Life Life Well family!

LRC is the married mom of a teenage son loving life and trying to live it well outside of Washington DC.  A native daughter of New Jersey, but a proud long time resident of Indianapolis, you will find her reading, chilling with friends, running and teaching her husband and son how to do the Dougie.