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Yoni Steam

I want to talk about your sacred lady parts, ladies.

Because your nether region (or yoni, as I like to lovingly refer to it) is a sensitive yet powerful part of your body that deserves love and care. I’m also a strong believer that conversations about yoni health and pleasure with girlfriends are important for building stronger bonds of sisterhood as well as help to inform and expand our awareness around what is possible for our bodies and lives.

The yoni steam (also known as chai-yok in Korean traditions) is the ancient feminine practice of nourishing a woman’s vaginal region with the steam of herbal infusions to cleanse, tone and heal. I’ve started seeing the “v steam” offered at some spas here in the San Francisco Bay Area – an awesome indicator that this practice is coming back and women are desiring to connect themselves to the health and vibrance of their yonis.

The process of exposing your yoni to the healing steam of nourishing medicinal herbs increases circulation in the regions and serves as a detox and cleansing of your system.

The benefits of v steams have been reported to be: easier periods, reduced cramping and period pain, pelvic toning, healing endometriosis, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, constipation, fibroids and even infertility. I have just begun the yoni steam process and have found it to be deeply relaxing after a long day and a practice in helping re-balance my hormones after years of being on hormonal birth control. It is also recommended for helping to heal from birth with postpartum women.

The Ingredients

There are many different herbal infusions that can be used for a yoni steam – many of them carefully handcrafted for specific needs (like painful periods, for example). The blend I have made is for all-around yoni health and preventative care. Rose, chamomile, lavender, and calendula are healing herbs that nourish the skin, while the rosemary is anti-inflammatory and helps to prevent infection.

*If you are interested in a yoni steam for a chronic condition, I recommend you consult a naturopath or herbalist to get the best herb combination for you.

When Do I Steam?

I like to steam the week before I menstruate (usually 3-5 days before), when my energy is starting to feel depleted and my uterus is preparing to shed. I steam in the evening right before going to bed.

Yoni Steam

Yoni Steam

Combine herbs in a basin and pour hot water over it. I heat water in a tea kettle over the stove and pour it over the herbs in a shallow bowl.

Position the bowl of steaming herbs so that you can comfortable sit over them for 20-30 mins. I place a squatty potty over the shallow bowl and wrap a blanket around my bottom half to keep the steam in. I have also heard of women placing a heat-proof bucket in their toilet bowl and sitting over that. You can also purchase a steaming stool just for this purpose.

When steaming, be sure to keep your body warm. That means socks, a sweater, and maybe even a hat. To pass the time, I like to read or do a guided meditation on the calm app. It’s important to relax your nervous system and keep breathing. Once you’ve finished steaming, you can strain the herbs and compost them.

Be sure to get straight to a warm, cozy bed afterwards. You’ll likely be sleepy and want to lay down and the herbs will work their magic while you slumber.

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you can do anything but you cannot do everything

Photo credit: Wendy Yalom

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite phrases was “me do it.”

When getting in an elevator, I wanted to push the button for our floor.
When making pancakes for breakfast, I wanted to crack the eggs and measure out the flour.
When cleaning the house, I wanted to push the vacuum – even when it was too big for my little body.

This may seem like typical toddler behavior, but it sticks out in my mind because, as I grew older, me and my family would use this phrase to bring greater meaning and context to my desire to be a strong, independent woman. One who had the ability to get sh*t done and didn’t need any help.

That “me do it” mentality served me well.

I performed well in school, figured out time management at an early age, had several jobs before the age of 18, have written extensive business plans and financial models in business school, went from earning $30k to $100k in 3 years, and even figured out how to poach an egg {which takes some serious practice, I tell ya}.

I felt like I cracked the code on being a modern, independent woman. One who didn’t let anything get in her way.

Except, this ability to get sh*t done and not needing any help eventually slams you into a wall.

Because, despite how smart and capable you are, you’re still a human.A person in a body that needs sleep, nourishment, down time, and play to functional and thriving.

Realizing this limitation can be super frustrating for an ambitious woman with big dreams and a hunger for more.

I find that many women come to this realization when they start businesses or have a baby (or both!) – this feeling of not being able to do everything, and inwardly shaming themselves for not being superwoman. I felt that way when I was working in my corporate marketing job – consistently getting frustrated with myself for feeling exhausted, sick, and overwhelmed with everything that was on my plate.

And now that I am running a growing business that I care deeply about, those feelings and frustrations were starting to come up for me once more.

I have been a one-woman show (with help from amazing friends every once in a while) for nearly 3 years, and the “me do it” little girl inside of me took pride in being able to steer the ship on her own. But late last year, it became clear to me that it was simply no longer possible for me to do it all without sacrificing my well-being, which wasn’t making much sense since that wouldn’t be me walking my talk of living a present, grounded life.

I believe very much in the quote from Gandhi to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

So a few weeks ago, I added a new member to Team Dabblist!

Her name is Jess, she lives in Vermont (we work together virtually), and she is amazingly supportive in helping me grow The Dabblist into what I envision it to be. Her assistance helps free up my time so I can dabble more and be of service to the women who work with me.

I have also delegated in other areas of my life – from house cleaning to booking hair and car appointments to farm box and meal delivery. And the best part about embracing outsourcing in your life is it isn’t necessarily as expensive as you might imagine it to be. Plus the time and energy you get back makes for a happier, healthier, more productive you. A Cup of Jo just posted a list of the great companies that are making life easier for all of us, and more of them pop up everyday!

What about you?

Are you finding yourself frustrated that you can’t do it all? Is it hard for you to ask for help? Have you recently gotten help and has it totally blown your mind like it did for me?

 

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herbal jello shots

I don’t know about you, but making packaged jello was one of the coolest things when I was a kid.

It felt like magic – mixing the powder into hot water and watching it turn into a jiggly, yummy treat in a matter of hours in the refrigerator.

But since learning about the nasty processed ingredients in those packages, I’ve been missing out on the jello fun as an adult. But all is not lost, because I’ve rediscovered the healing benefits (and fun magic) of using naturally occurring grass-fed gelatin. Gelatin is an amazing ingredient. It helps to rebuild cells all throughout your body – from your gut to your liver to your hair, skin, and nails. Not to mention it’s great for healing poor digestion and hormone imbalances. You can read more about the benefits of grass-fed gelatin here.

And since it’s the season for coughs and sniffles, giving your body access to immune-building nutrients and healing herbs is especially important this time of year.

Enter: Herbal Jello Shots

Taking the fun and health benefits of gelatin and combining it with delicious fruit and vegetable juices plus healing herbs.

I used fresh, unsweetened apple juice combined with cinnamon and fresh ginger, but here are some other possible combinations you can try:

Apple + Carrot Juice with Fresh Ginger

Apple Juice with Fresh Mint

Pomegranate Juice with Fresh Lemon Balm

Orange Juice with Fresh Ginger

Orange + Carrot Juice with Echinacea 

*If you don’t have fresh herbs, you could also brew some tea with the herbs in it (like echinacea, chamomile, or peppermint tea)

Herbal Jello Shots

Heat 3 cups of fruit juice over medium heat and add in your herbs. Simmer for 10 mins, then take off heat. Add the gelatin to the cold fruit juice and stir until dissolved. Then add in the heated juice, mix well, and pour glass pan. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until firm. To serve, cut into 1 inch cubes.

I keep a dish of jello shots in my fridge to snack on throughout the week. It feels like a total treat every time I pop one in my mouth, like an after school snack!

Herbal Jello Shots

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conquering social media addiction

One {of my many} passions is the study and pursuit of productivity.

Not productivity in the sense of doing more in less time just so you can fill your precious waking hours with more things. That is the old paradigm of success and I no longer subscribe to it. I’m talking about deep focus. When you can complete what’s most important so you can fill your hours with other vital components to your life – like naps, dinner parties, dates, massages, and dabbling.

Recently, I have been thinking about social media addiction – particularly Facebook. So many of us waste hundreds, if not thousands of hours a year scrolling through our newsfeeds distracting ourselves from the present moment.

I’m guessing that studies on technology and social media addiction are currently being conducted in universities around the world, and I’ll be interested in seeing their results in the coming years. But, even without official medical diagnosis {yet}, the lure of Facebook can border on unhealthy. I have found that Facebook can have the same emotional triggers that drinking, drugs and food can – a need to numb out.

A recent study reported that the social network’s addictive qualities are linked to low self-esteem and poor body image, particularly in women. So the combination of a need to numb with feelings of comparison against other people’s highlight reel {because, let’s be serious, what we put on Facebook is not 100% real life} creates a confusing, sad spiral that we just can’t get out of sometimes.

When I was bored or stressed at my corporate marketing job, I found myself constantly checking my Facebook feed {literally every 5 minutes} throughout the day.

I remember coming back to my keyboard after a meeting and watching my fingers reach for the F and A button without so much as a thought of what I wanted to do first on my computer. And, thanks to browsing history and password caching, my internet browser would take me to that familiar newsfeed in a flash. It freaked me out, but I felt like I couldn’t stop. And it often triggered feelings of comparison, frustration, and sadness.

Even in the last year, I’ve been noticing when I go to Facebook to numb out. On a road trip with Tim, I would find myself reaching for my phone and clicking on that familiar blue app button whenever there was a lull in conversation. Luckily, I have a man who holds me accountable to what I want and told me to put the dang phone down.

I am not the type of person to quit Facebook.

I get to interact with a lot of you guys on there, and am able to keep up with what’s going on with friends and family all across the world when they post photos of their weddings, babies, and major accomplishments. I love the connection it brings to my life. But what I don’t love is the way I allow Facebook to help me escape from my own amazing life.

Some steps I’ve taken to declare freedom from Facebook (without deleting my profile) are:

– Removing the Facebook app (and groups, pages, and messenger apps) from my phone so it isn’t as easy to log in.

– Signing out every time I leave Facebook so, if I happen to pull up the page, I’d have to manually sign in. This gives my brain enough time to catch up and say “No, thank you! I honor my desire to not numb out on Facebook at this moment” or “Yes, I intentionally would like to log on to Facebook right now because I have something I want to accomplish that requires me to log in.”

– Installing the kill newsfeed app on my Chrome browser, which prevents me from seeing the newsfeed when I log in and says “Don’t get distracted by facebook” which I love.

– I also have friends who have taken “Facebook Sabbaticals” – 1 month away from Facebook to reconnect to themselves and what’s true for them. 

50 things to do instead of Facebook

  1. Read a fiction book outside on a blanket under a tree
  2. Write a gratitude letter to an unsuspecting person
  3. Pour yourself a glass of water and add some fresh herbs or fruit to it
  4. Make a playlist of your favorite dance music (or use spotify’s mood playlists to inspire you)
  5. Take yourself on a walk around your neighborhood for just 15 mins, leaving your phone at home.
  6. Do the dishes and light a candle in your kitchen
  7. Make a cup of tea with your favorite tea cup
  8. Watch your pet sleep (seriously, it’s so heartwarming)
  9. Blast your favorite song and sing it aloud into a hairbrush or stapler (I’m loving this song lately)
  10. Bust out your calendar and plan 2 date nights (with your love or with your girls) in the next month
  11. Buy a small piece of really good quality dark chocolate and eat it very slowly, savoring every nuance of flavor and feeling
  12. Make some art for a wall or corner of your home
  13. Grab the top 3 books you’ve been intending to read and make a beautiful pile of them on your bedside table
  14. Buy a journal and write the first entry
  15. Email a colleague or coworker and tell them what a great job they did on that project last year
  16. Look through catalogs and lookbooks mailed to your house and cut out what inspires you.
  17. Spin a globe (or open an atlas), close your eyes and point your finger on a country, then make a 3 day itinerary of things you would do when you visit
  18. Take a walk outside and make a bouquet of wildflowers and greenery you find
  19. Give yourself a homemade facial
  20. Do 5 jumping jacks followed by a downward dog and finish by laying on your back with your legs up the wall and breathing deeply
  21. Pick 5 things in your space you want to donate
  22. Dust off your bicycle and go for a 20 minute ride
  23. Plan your meals for the following week
  24. Grab a glossy magazine and ready it lazily with a glass of wine or tea
  25. Make your bed (bonus points for changing the sheets and a spritz of homemade linen spray)
  26. Make some homemade cookies for your neighbors. Leave it at their door with a note that says “just because!”
  27. Book a massage or haircut appointment
  28. Set a timer for 15 mins, and make an Etsy favorites list
  29. Go to calm.com
  30. Change the background image on your computer by googling images, Pinterest, or searching national geographic
  31. Call your best friend or record and send her a voice message
  32. Go to the library and check out a book
  33. Try making a green smoothie
  34. Go see a movie by yourself
  35. Make a coconut water face mist
  36. Buy a book in a language you haven’t spoken in years and read it aloud to yourself. I love to read Le Petit Prince :)
  37. Look up a makeup tutorial video online and practice in the mirror
  38. Make a natural air freshener
  39. Clean your makeup brushes
  40. Grab some colored pens and draw a picture
  41. Write a love letter to yourself, stamp and address it, and give it to a friend to mail to you in a month
  42. Buy fresh flowers and arrange them in your workspace or bedroom
  43. Go to a museum or art gallery for the afternoon
  44. Buy yourself a new pair of underwear (bonus points for matching bra)
  45. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds
  46. Grab some sunglasses, sit by yourself on a bench and people watch
  47. Walk down the street and see how many compliments you can give out
  48. Make a beautiful salad with edible flowers on top
  49. Try a guided meditation
  50. Take a nap
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I included garden wine in the cocktail portion of my most recent creative day retreat at my cozy cottage {along with dark chocolate covered strawberries, apples, and almond butter of course}, and was surprised by how delighted the women were with the idea. It’s a total sensory experience.

The concept is simple, but lovely – add herbs to wine.

Garden Wine

I grabbed herbs from my garden – sage, rosemary, lemon balm, purple basil, and lemon verbena. But you could also try lavender, roses, calendula, or thyme.

Add the herbs to the wine {I find that common garden herbs marry well with a crisp, white wine}, either in the wine bottle or in a separate bottle (like these beautiful swing-tops). Reseal the bottle and let it sit a few days before serving chilled.

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