Something To Ponder: What Saying Do You Hate?

I know, I know, hate is a strong word. But the first time I heard this saying from Yoga with Adriene, it caused an emotional reaction in me. I thought, “no, this can’t possibly be true.” It brought on so many sad and angry emotions, I couldn’t get my head around the truth of it.
.
everything is as it shoudl be
.
After a couple years of reflecting, meditating, and praying, I can say I now find great comfort in this same saying. As a Christian, I know my comfort comes from trusting that God does have a plan for each and everyone of us. Our life and situation of events may not be what we want or what we think we deserve, or even what we would think would be kind, but if you look at it as exactly what you need, you’re able to start to suffer well. Suffering well is a whole other topic, more on that later.
.
Every event and opportunity (whether good or unfortunate) allows you to pray for mercy, to find grace, to learn the lessons- so you may become the best version of yourself.
.
I have to admit, I questioned whether I should share this, with all the current events happening (ahem, COVID-19). But if this saying is true for the good things in life, it has to be true for the bad things. 
.
So whatever your life situation is right now, I pray you have some peace that God has your back, and everything is, as it should be. If this saying is hard for you to believe and brings up some terrible feelings, that’s ok. Please know you’re not alone. Reflect, meditate, pray, or just set aside some moments of silence. Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is nothing.
.
If this saying resonates with you, wonderful! If not, that’s ok too. We’re all on our own journey. This is just something that has proven helpful and life changing for me.
.
What quote or saying has been or still is difficult for you to see the truth in?

Living Intentionally in 2020

Hi, I’m Emily, and I like to set New Year’s Resolutions. 🙂
.
I know it may seem totally cliche, but I’m thankful for the very obvious time to pause, reflect, and make decisions to improve your quality of life, do things you’ve always wanted to do, and reduce things you know are toxic to your mind, body, and soul.
.
0020_ Books
.
Usually people give up by mid January or February… It’s March. How’s your intentions going?
.
For 2020, my main focus is to live intentionally. This may look different to different people. But for me, this means being fully present in each moment, intentional with my time and thoughts, and reducing my multi-tasking ability. I know, I know… we’re all SOOO good at multi- tasking… while we may think this… there’s actually evidence to suggest otherwise.
.
So while I may listen to music or a podcast while I drive or do dishes, or watch tv while I fold laundry, I’m really working on fully being present for any and every task I have to complete.
.
A day where I was not intentional enough to not lose my earrings, but intentional enough to know exactly where they were was a great show of balance. Being intentional 100% of the time is difficult. We are programed to kind of go in auto- pilot. But being able to consciously check in with yourself and see if you’re truly experiencing this moment is a great start to living intentionally. And the more you do it, the easier it gets.
.
Now, I’m not going to ask you what your Resolutions are for 2020, but I would sincerely recommend you check in with yourself.
.
  • How was 2019 for you? 
  • What are some things you loved?
  • What are some things you could do without?
  • What are some things you’d like to include or increase in your life?
After reflecting on those questions, decide which area of your life you’d like to focus.
.
  • It may be helpful to start small.
  • Pick one area of focus/ one word/ one intention.
  • Write it down, say it out loud, share with friends and family.
  • Emotionalize with your intention, feel what it would be to have it be so.
  • Be sure you’re thinking about it and feeling it daily.
.
Watch how this “little” area of focus/ one word/ one intention, creates a ripple effect.
It will have the power to change your environment, your life, your community, your world.
.
Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Benefits of Traveling

Oh vacations! While most people love to take vacations, I’m guessing most people also don’t get to travel as much as they’d like. Vacations are amazing for so many reasons. This past week we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to St. Augustine, Florida, and it was absolutely perfect.
.
When you travel, I hope you
  • get to experience something unusual to your everyday life;
  • are able to witness and be a part of another culture;
  • have quality time and wonderful connections with your family, friends, or self- depending on who you’re traveling with;
  • eat amazing food;
  • are able to sleep well, rest often, and move regularly;
  • relax your mind from work and your usual daily life;
  • get an emotional reset;
  • have a lovely spiritual experience.

.

What are some of your favorite things about vacations and traveling!?
.
IMG_8270

St. Augustine, Florida

IMG_8254

St. Augustine Catholic Church

IMG_8266

IMG_8268

St. Augustine Lighthouse

IMG_8469

Castillo de San Marcos

IMG_8529

IMG_8541

Midday

IMG_8354

Sunset

IMG_8556

Post Sunset

IMG_8369

Sunrise

National Time Refund Day

February 29th! Leap year means you have an entire extra day in 2020. What are you going to spend your extra time doing? I sincerely hope you’re able to spend it doing at least one thing that brings you joy!
.
0019_ Books Plant and Salt Lamp Banner
However, I know the reality for many people will be another day doing the daily grind. At least it’s a Saturday so hopefully people feel they can celebrate a little bit. You don’t have to have a crazy party (but if you want to, don’t let me stop you!) but just be aware of the “extra” time, be thankful, and do something fun.
Your time is valuable. As my gal pal Rachel Hollis says, “If it’s not a HELL YES, than it’s a NO!” And no, I’m not gal pals with Rachel Hollis (how cool would it be though!?) but her advice is sound. And this really got me thinking about things I just say yes to because I feel I should. I know throughout the years this has totally been me… a yes girl. But I’m working on being grounding, having clarity, and strengthening my backbone (which my dad has always encouraged his girls to have).
I pray you:
– Know your value
Be thankful for the time you have
– Do at least one thing every day which brings you joy
Happy National Time Refund Day!
.
.
Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Happy National Iowa Day

Happy National Iowa Day! The Hawkeye State. The 29th state to join the United States.
.
.
IMG_7890
.
While many people just think of it as a fly-over state where we make our own clothes, tip cows, and watch corn grow (yes, when I was at a dance competition in Las Vegas some lovely ladies from California actually asked us those questions), Iowa truly has so many amazing qualities and gifts to offer.
.
IMG_7888
.
According to the U.S. News & World Report in 2019, Des Moines, Iowa is the 5th best place to live in America… in America! People, Des Moines is awesome. Des Moines has the feel of a big, little city giving you the best of both worlds. It’s small enough you get around the metro area in about 20-25 minutes but big enough to host a Kate Spade Outlet… Need I say more?
.
.
0009_ Water Works
.
The country side may be flat throughout the central area with some rolling hills and gorgeous plateaus/ rock formations/ valleys (according to The University of Iowa’s Geological Survey this area is referred to as the Paleozoic Plateau) in the northeast side of the state. Growing up we’d travel through Dubuque a couple times a year to get to my grandparent’s house and it was always just so beautiful to drive through. The seasons we experience are dramatic, but that makes it all the more wonderful. I live for the transition of the seasons, there’s nothing like waking up to the sound of birds with the smell of spring in the air after months of a harsh, cold winter. But then I feel the same about the crisp cool air and the changing leaves in the fall. And I don’t care if you hate the snow or cold, there’s something magical when you walk outside for the first time after a snow storm. It’s so quiet and peaceful, even in the middle of a city. The blanket of snow silences the world and it always takes my breath away… and not just because it’s cold.
.
IMG_7891
.
For other Mid-Westerners who may be mislead, the true saying is “Iowa Nice.” We may not smile to every person we run into but we do hold the door open and are kind and polite. While a degree of passive aggressiveness is also an expected undertone. It’s all about balance after all. And that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂
.
.
0011_ Iowa State Fair at Night - Ferris Wheel
.
And I can’t not mention the Iowa State Fair. We didn’t go much growing up but since college I’ve gone mostly every year and there’s just something about it. I mostly go for the people watching, the animals, and the variety of food. It’s a staple for most Iowans in August.
.
.
IMG_7889
.
I’m a born and raised Iowan but I do have perspective- living in Bloomington, MN for three years and traveling a good amount around the states and even one extended stay in China. While all areas of the world have their unique gems to offer, I’m thankful to live in Iowa.
.
.
0010_ Iowa Football During Game
.
I would love to hear the things you love about Iowa!
.
.
* Photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Long Time, No Post

IMG_7825
Hey friends! Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Please insert all of your favorite cliche sayings about time flying by, being busy, etc. etc. 🙂
.
But as a Licensed Acupuncturist I’m learning to appreciate all seasons of life and for the last few years, I felt compelled to draw inward and take time for more internal reflection, meditation, and growing. Now I’m ready to buckle down and start providing you with all my tips and tricks, expertise and recommendations for living your best life.
.
As always, take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t. What works for one person may not work the same for the next person. Life is all about trial and error and in that we find true growth.
.
Happy 2020!
Link

Why I Exercise

164900_448966368526769_80359460_n

This article, Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy, has great information and explains the benefits of exercise. My main motivation to exercise and move includes how I feel afterwards. I may not “work out” every day, more like 3-4 times a week, but if I don’t exercise, I have to at least stretch for 10 minutes or so- otherwise I just feel so tight and constricted- I blame my liver qi stagnation!

My days are usually off to a great start if I jump out of bed and get a good work out in… not gonna lie, most days it’s an, “ok… I can do this,” and a roll out of bed. But I know once I’m up and going I’ll be so glad I did!

While Mayo Clinic explains some benefits of exercising: controlling weight, disease prevention, improving mood and energy, and promoting better sleep, it’s also motivating to have a little more detail of what’s going on in your body simply by moving each day!

Read the article: Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy to find out what YOU are doing for yourself every time you exercise!

Photo Credit: Jenna Niggeler- during our trip to Beijing, China, in 2013!