The AGE ISSUE!
Does anyone read fashion magazines anymore? Back in the day, I loved when the latest issue of Vogue or Bazaar was crammed into my mailbox ~ a tiny NYC mailbox that I opened with a little key. And there was always an issue dedicated to aging stylishly. . . and slowly.
February at Wellness Feast was loosely themed around love. Tomorrow is March, and I’ve decided to make it about the thing that’s been on my mind: aging well.
I’m closing in on 53, and as a cancer survivor, I’ve learned not to get too hung up on aging ~ it is in fact a fabulous privilege. But I won’t lie, I’m not always thrilled about it. My body doesn’t always do what I tell it to anymore ~ running is totally out of the question, for example. My kids are growing up so fast, and I find myself longing to hear Sesame Street or Max & Ruby in the background as little feet and voices fill the house. And as Dolly so brilliantly stated in Steel Magnolias, “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it's marchin' across your face.”
But I also feel more relaxed, a bit more capable, somewhat more forgiving of myself and others, and I laugh more. So I hope you’ll join me this month in exploring and celebrating all stages and ages of this wonderful life. Let’s step fully into this moment and fearlessly move forward with love, intention and curiosity. If you're not on the Facebook or Instagram pages yet, head on over there ~ it's a great way to keep in touch more often and share how YOU're leaning into your perfect age.
Here's to the Rising
I received the best compliment the other day from a client. She said, "This is exactly what I needed. Someone who has been through the kinds of things I'm dealing with. You've shown me how to stop being scared." I had tears in my eyes. Listen, every single person you know is going through stuff. Even the ones with the perfect Facebook pages. Life brings us loss, trauma, uninvited change, illness, broken hearts. But we can decide what to do with those experiences . . . because life also brings us second chances, unexplainable miracles, tiny moments of beauty, redemption. I look back at the last 10 years (and especially the last SIX, since my cancer diagnosis), and I feel awestruck. The things I've risen from, the things YOU've risen from. It's miraculous. Don't stop, keep rising!
(And by the way, those bathing suit pics up there? Yes, you can bet I take pretty good care of myself, eat tons of veggies, work out. But one of the many perks of beating breast cancer (including, you know, being ALIVE): new boobs, filled in with fat from my thighs. I'm all about transparency: no, I was not born this way. And if you find yourself in the scary but manageable position of needing breast reconstruction, I know a guy . . . and he's the best. I'm always happy to chat with anyone who's exploring their options. There are LOTS of mixed emotions involved, and there are LOTS of options.)
XOXO ~ Nicole
A Seat at the Table for EVERY Body
'Tis the Season to be PRESENT
Greetings, Wellness Feast Community!
I'm just back from visiting my dad on his 78th birthday! The drive to and from Richmond, Virginia was gorgeous, and I had my 19-year-old son with me, which made it extra special.
Lately, my three teenagers and I have been giddy with thoughts of the holiday season. My husband, ever the steady realist, will say quietly, "Stay in the present, guys." And of course, he's exactly right. That being said, I stand by my special ability to be absolutely mesmerized by the leaves, chunky sweaters and apple cider of fall, while also being super excited for the holidays.
The ability to stay present did not come naturally or easily for me. I needed a couple knocks up 'side the head to start really living in the present moment. I still backslide sometimes, and have to start training those present awareness muscles again. This is something many of my clients choose to work on, and I'm right there experiencing it with them. What a gift. What a present.
I'm happy to share that I am opening a few more spots in my private coaching schedule this fall. If you could use some support adopting healthier lifestyle habits, getting clear on your goals and the steps needed to get there, or simply abiding more in the present moment, I urge you to reach out sooner rather than later for a consultation. The spots fill up fast, especially in January. And as I posted earlier this week, contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wait until January to adopt healthier habits or take action on those dusty resolutions. In fact, fall's harvest, the cooler temperatures, the beauty of autumn days and that "back to school" feeling all provide an inspiring and motivating backdrop for healthy, creative, intentional living. You have one glorious life ~ make it count!
SHARE the FEAST!
Dear Wellness Feast community,
I had hoped to do the Food for Others Tysons 5K and Fun Run like we did pre-COVID (check out our pics from 2019), but I’ll be traveling that weekend. But that’s not stopping us ~ we’ve been lifting weights over here, and I have two strapping teenage boys ~ and a strong teenage girl, come to think of it! So we are collecting donations until the end of September, which we’ll deliver to the FFO warehouses in shifts. Please do not bring fresh/perishable foods from the list above, we will take care of the fruits and vegetables. All other items are up for grabs! Reply to this e-mail if you would like to donate, and I will send you our address. For those of you participating in the Wellness Feast 14-Day Health Reboot, you can bring your donations to the Reboot Retreat on September 17th. And here is the Food for Others Amazon wish list if you don't have time to bring something by. Let’s help our neighbors, y’all! It’s been a tough few years for all of us. #giveback #community #serve
A Balanced Way to Reboot Your Health
The Reboot materials go out a week from today! And let me share a funny story with y’all. Yesterday I pulled up the draft materials on my phone to search for the apple cake recipe. The dangerous combination of my clumsy fingers and lack of reading glasses somehow caused the word “apple” to be deleted everywhere. And it couldn’t be fixed with a click of the “undo” button for some reason. So I got to comb through all 80+ pages looking for all the places where the word apple should appear. Let’s just say it was a lifetime learner moment, as I attempted to turn frustration into meditation. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to “reboot” yourself in a holistic, balanced way. You’ll be well-fed, energized, empowered and excited about the season ahead. Find it HERE.
This Reboot has MORE . . .
I hope you'll join us in September for the next 14-Day Health Reboot. Yes, we'll be upending and rearranging the way we eat, move, rest, etc. ~ all with the goal of forming new and healthier habits, reducing toxins and reconnecting with the way we nourish ourselves. But we're also doing something new this season. It's no accident that the 14 days lead to the Autumnal Equinox: that moment of BALANCE between day and night. Each day on the Reboot, I'll be providing something for you to reflect on . . . all in the theme of BALANCE. Don't miss this opportunity to identify the places in your life that need a little more or a little less. Let's be intentional about moving into the next season. Members, you can RSVP in the Members Area. If you're not a Member yet, you can get the Reboot here (and it comes with a year of Membership). See you soon!
The next STRETCH + FLOW series!
I have exciting news about the Private Stretch + Flow classes.
The class has been a great success: a small group of us moving our bodies under the trees as the sun sets and the birds & frogs provide background music. Guided by Shannon Callahan, our wonderful certified fitness instructor, we've been able to connect with our bodies and each other. I can't tell you how this has changed the rhythm of my week.
Although we'll be celebrating our final session next week, Shannon will be offering the series one more time this spring (she'll take the summer off, but will offer it again in the fall). Here's how it works: If you are interested in hosting the class, find a group of friends to join you, and then reach out to Shannon to schedule a day and work out details. It is free for the host, and the next series is $125 for the other participants (five weekly sessions starting May 23rd, excluding Memorial Day week). Shannon's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Not local? Let Shannon know if you'd like to discuss a virtual option! She has been teaching virtual classes for several years.)
This is a fantastic way to connect with friends, your body and nature, all with a personal trainer right there by your side. I hope to see some of you in class!
Photo by Swiss photographer Emmanuel Keller
Registration is now CLOSED for the new Wellness Feast Stretch & Flow class! This initial six-series class will be on Mondays at 7pm from April 11th through May 16th. It will be a one-hour class, with 45-50 minutes of exercise (a blend of stretch, flow, pilates & yoga) led by certified fitness instructor Shannon Callahan. I'll then wrap us up (and wind us down) with 10-15 minutes of breath work and/or guided meditation. The series is $150 for six classes, plus you'll have access to a private Facebook group and online workouts to access between classes. And our last class will be followed by a special closing celebration. Wouldn't this be an amazing way to start each week this spring? This class is SOLD OUT, but watch this space for future movement and mindfulness opportunities ~ Namaste!