August 30, 2011

Do you love you? All of you?

Seriously, are you in a love affair with yourself?

Lori Race is and she wants to help you get there. She’s on a mission to help you heart your package, heart yourself, and be in a hot, heartfull relationship.

She is a messenger for Love and you’ve simply got to know all about her. She’s a rock star Martha Beck coach, a Victoria, BC-based acupuncturist, mother, and writer. I have had some of my biggest learnings reading her writing and some of my best belly laughs talking with her (Seriously, we could sell tickets to our Skype giggle-fests).

Sneak peek: Lori and I are hard at work on a LOVE-packed collaboration for you (stay tuned), but I couldn’t wait to introduce you to this soul mate of mine – Lori Race embodies absolutely everything about being a Well-Fed Women.


Lori, what are you TRULY hungry for?

OK, I have to start off by saying how much I ADORE this question. There is just simply no way you can answer this question without feeling into your body on a deep level and since connecting with you, Rachel, I find I am asking this question of myself regularly! I love it. What I am truly hungry for currently is REST, CONNECTION and PLAY. On a broader scale in my life, I am hungry for more SPACE and CREATIVITY…mmm so yummy to say that out loud!

What’s a craving that you previously denied that you now happily satisfy? How has this impacted you?

I absolutely used to deny my craving for time spent doing nothing. I used to feel the heavy weight of guilt and shame when I wasn’t doing something I deemed “productive” (ie work or exercise). I now understand that doing nothing can be equally, if not more productive than flitting around from activity to activity in attempt to avoid being still. “Productive” can now mean a wide variety of things for me from simply sitting on a rock by the ocean to reclining on my sofa in front of a bad reality tv show or diligently planning my next big business move. Although I can’t say I honor my body’s request for nothingness 100% of the time, I am certainly much more aware of this craving and far more willing to indulge it without the usual accompanying mental lashing.

Also, after spending many years working in the fitness industry and immersed in militant and restrictive diet mentality, I came to believe that bread was a BIG body conscious no-no. I can’t tell you how often I would either abstain completely from anything resembling a bread product or alternately binge on a full loaf of sourdough, overfilling my belly until it ached with the pain of being bloated with both yeast and shame. I laugh now, thinking about all the horrors I put on poor innocent bread, acting like it was some evil poison that would instantly transform from sandwich to cellulite within moments of ingestion. Dear bread, I’m truly sorry. I now see you for what you are. Just food. No different than other foods, meant to nourish and fuel my body. I’m so glad we mended our relationship as a life inclusive of grilled cheese on sourdough is, to me, a well fed life!

What are you a conduit for? What comes through with ease, meaning, and spark?

Lightness, Laughter and Connection come naturally to me. It is incredibly easy for me to connect with people and to connect with them in a way that allows them to feel extremely comfortable and at ease. When I am working with an Acupuncture patient or a Coaching client, I feel as though a wonderful glowing energy fills me up. I feel truly in my element and on purpose being in service of and inspiring others on their healing journeys.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

I was with my family recently celebrating my mom’s birthday at their oceanfront cabin and we grilled fresh sockeye salmon that had been marinated in maple syrup and brown sugar on the BBQ. Divine.

To get more Lori in your life, check out Heart Your Package, follow her on Twitter @lorirace, or become a fan on Facebook.



August 27, 2011

ArtMind’s Creative

Get quiet enough to hear your own heart beat.

Put clean sheets on the bed.

Drive on an open road.

Girlfriends. Girlfriends. Girlfriends.

Listen to books on tape (Geneen Roth in your ear? Yes please)

Assume child’s pose.

Put a cool or warm compress over your eyes.

Chill out to Spotify’s Evening Acoustic mix

Eat breakfast for dinner.

Eat dinner for breakfast.

Go to the dog park. Make up names and personalities for each pooch.

Take a walk around the block.

Doodle. Frame it. 

Sneak a picnic into a lighthearted movie.

Have a proper bath.

Moisturize with body oil instead of lotion. Touch yourself. 

Ask yourself “What am I TRULY hungry for?” Feast.

Collect your kind of beauty on Pinterest.

Write nice things in dry erase marker on your mirror.

Tell the truth. Share it with someone kind-hearted.  

August 26, 2011

Photo Credit: Karen Walrond

The world is a shaky place these days.  From Arlington, Virginia (my hometown) to Peru to my own little Hayward Fault-centered home – tectonic turbulence abounds.

I’ve been considering how I might react to a natural disaster hitting a place (and people) I care about. Would I donate to The Red Cross? Would I hop a plane and hope to roll my sleeves up? Would I take a stranger in need into my home?

I think more often then not we become paralyzed, unsure of how to help, unsure of our ability to make an impact – even when it comes to places our hearts are tied to.

This is why I was so incredibly moved this week when my dear friend (and talented writer) Tara Austen Weaver announced her new collection of stories Tales from High Mountain. Tara spent part of her life living in Japan and as such has felt a deep pain watching the aftermath of the Tsunami that hit this spring.

After this disaster, she didn’t become paralyzed. She has acted and used what power she had.

She has compiled this stunning collection of stories from her time living in Japan. All proceeds from the sales of Tales from High Mountain go to help the people of Japan who are still recovering.

Tara had been on my short list of women I wanted to interview for this series, but her actions this week bumped her up to the top of the list. When you’re well-fed you have the capacity to give like Tara is giving. When you’re not consumed with keeping yourself small, perfect, or hungry you have double the life force to share with the world. I hope you enjoy reading her wonderful words below and that you can find $3.99 in your pocket for a copy of Tales from High Mountain.


Tara, What are you TRULY hungry for?

I think part of our life is about finding and giving ourselves what we didn’t get while we were growing up, to feed the cravings that were never fed. For me that means creating a healthy, warm, supportive community,
because my childhood was too isolated. A lot of my work with food is more about bringing people together than it is about specific cooking (though I like that too). I want us to gather on picnic blankets, to go berry picking, to talk about life around a dinner table late into the night, to bring each other soup when times are hard. My goal is to create places where people can laugh together, cry together as needed, lean on and support each other. In good times and bad.

I’m also hungry for creative work, to play with colors and patterns and create things of beauty. Some of this I satisfy though photography, but other art forms are waiting 0n the sidelines: pastels, oil paints, collage. If I
am really quiet and listen, that’s what I hear calling.

Another hunger of mine is for letting people close. This is something I fail spectacularly at sometimes. I survived big betrayals growing up, I learned not to trust, to be cynical, to stand alone because you couldn’t rely on other people to be there for you when you needed them. It’s scary for me, but slowly I am chipping away at this: asking for help when I need it, learning to let people be there for me. Baby steps is where I’m at.

I am also hungry for dance. Always.

What’s a craving that you previously denied that you now happily satisfy? How has this impacted you?

This may not be a craving, but I’ve spent years beating myself up. Thinking I should be faster, smarter, better. I saw what I didn’t do, rather than what I did. What I did was never enough—I should have worked harder, accomplished more, started earlier. These days I’m pushing back at this. Maybe I didn’t weed the entire garden in one afternoon, but look at what I did do, appreciate that, be proud of it. I’m tired of seeing myself as not enough. I want to be happy with what I am.

What are you a conduit for? What comes through with ease, meaning, and spark?

Stories, friendship, connection, spontaneous craziness (usually involving sudden road trips or late night swimming), wonder, picnics, deep conversation, adventures, beauty, traditions, kite flying, entrusted secrets, family recipes, favorite books, children’s laughter.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

I was exhausted the day I launched the Japan book project. It had been a long week of late nights getting everything ready. I decided to skip a big (and most likely boisterous) barbecue I had been invited to, but still wanted to mark the occasion. I invited a dear friend and her family over for dinner in the garden, and she brought this amazing cold tomato-basil soup she makes each year when the weather gets hot. It’s thickened with bread and tastes like summer on a spoon. It’s blissful.

We ate the soup and the sun went down and cast shadows on blooming dahlias. Her kids romped through the garden and ran through the wild grasses in the field and laughed. I was with my friend, who feels like family; I had just put this project I’d worked hard on out into the world and people were responding; the evening was filled with slanting yellow light, the smell of dry straw and flowers. It took courage to get to that moment, but suddenly everything felt exactly as it should be.

To learn more about Tales from High Mountain click HERE. To purchase Tales from High Mountain click HERE.

You can get more Tara in your life on her stunning blog Tea & Cookies or by following her on twitter @tara_austen




August 15, 2011

You got room in your heart for one more?

Joy Tanksley is a a coach, educator, body mover-shaker, and all-around maven of moxie. And I adore her.

Joy is someone who, like myself, successfully navigated the rugged climb to self-love, intuitive eating, and body peace. And like me, she has returned to the base of the mountain to guide others on their trek. It gives me such happiness to know that Joy is in the world doing the work she is doing. We need so many more like her. We need more role models. We need more people to illuminate what is possible for us. We need women who are their own woman. We need well-fed women. We need more women like Joy Tanksley.


Joy, what are you TRULY hungry for?

I am bone hungry for trust. I find my mouth watering for it every single day. I crave deeper trust in my body and my own instincts. I want to trust the wisdom of my raw, uncensored emotions. I want to trust that I have everything I need, always. I am hungry for the kind of trust that makes it possible for me to leap. To fall. To fail. To float. To fly.

What’s a craving that you previously denied that you now happily satisfy? How has this impacted you?

One of the most profound cravings I now satisfy on a regular basis is the craving to move my body in the ways it really wants to be moved. I fought against my body for so many years. I dieted. I restricted. I controlled. And I punished my body with movement. I used exercise as a whip.

About three years ago, I simply decided to stop moving my body in ways that didn’t feel absolutely delicious. I changed my focus from pain to pleasure. From deprivation to fulfillment. From work to play. From toning, firming, and shrinking to relaxing, opening, and growing. This was a huge shift for me, because I had been a religious exerciser since childhood. (I actually started my first workout program at age 8.) For so long, I had swallowed whole all the external messages about what we’re supposed to put our bodies through in the pursuit of beauty and health.

So, in an act of great trust, I simply decided to say no to all of it. I opted out.

In doing this, I created the space to really hear and understand what my body was saying all along.

My body loves to move. It wants to move. It needs to move. It also loves to be still. It loves to rest. And it knows exactly what it needs at any given time. It never needs to be forced, coerced, or bribed into movement. I now give my body 100% permission to move in ways that are joyful and pleasurable, and I trust that this choice connects me to authentic beauty and true health in ways I didn’t have access to before. I’ve learned how to wildly delight in my body, and this learning extends far beyond physical movement.

My favorite way to move is (and always has been) dance. I shut off my connection to dance for many years, which left me feeling barren and isolated. It’s not surprising that my choice to move my body in joyful, pleasurable ways brought me right back to dance. Every time I dance, I’m writing a love poem to myself.

What are you a conduit for? What comes through with ease, meaning, and spark?

Laughter. Moxie. Rhythm. Motion. Release. Openings. Curiosity. Sensuality. Beginnings.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Perfect summer watermelon: crisp, cold, honey-sweet heaven.

Joy can be found at and on Twitter @joytanksley.





August 8, 2011

Tastesorangey’s Pillow Land

Several years ago, still in the throws of some pretty disordered eating, I was driving home from work and crying to my therapist on my cell phone (back when cell phone + driving was still legal in California). I knew that that day, like most days, I was going to sooth myself with food when I got home. I knew I was going to do this even though a large part of me didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to because a) it made me physically uncomfortable b) it made me feel so ashamed and most importantly c) it didn’t feed the deeper, true hunger- no matter what or how much I ate.

It was during this driving sob-fest that I first realized what I was hungry for…scratch that…starved for.

I was starving for someone to simply hold me. to be held.

I was starving to be embraced.

I was starving to have a soft place to be.

Through streaming tears, I said to my therapist “If someone, anyone, would just hold me, I wouldn’t eat like this.”

That statement was a crazy, game-changing, holy truth of an awakening.

I couldn’t just whip up a partner who liked to spoon and to be honest, I wasn’t in a place to be a partner with anyone. I didn’t feel I could ask any of my girlfriends to cocoon me either, though I’m sure they would have.

What I could do is start to orient myself towards a relationship of embrace with myself and THIS CHANGED MY LIFE.

I could energetically and emotionally, and (with a little flexibility) physically embrace myself at a time in my life when I needed that almost more than air.

Fast forward to today and I’m on hella solid ground (hella is Oakland slang for ‘very’) and living every day, as best as I can, according to my personal religion of FEEDING MY TRUE HUNGERS. Whether my hunger is for laughter or lollipops, to cry or eat carbs, if it’ll move me closer to myself and to life it gets fed as best I can. And I’ll add that getting to fuel other people’s rocket launch into this way of living through my coaching practice and projects makes life doubly sweet.

You don’t have to be on the verge of a life meltdown, as I was, to want to feed your true hungers, but you do need a little courage. Here are a few good steps to follow if you’re being called in this direction:

1. Have the courage to be present – it’s the only way you can know the difference between a healthy hunger and unhealthy hunger.

2. Have the courage to love unconditionally – it is the only way you can know that you are innately valuable and worthy of being well-fed.

3. Have the courage to look without judgment – it’s the only way you can see and know the hungers you are not aware of.

4. Have the courage to tell the truth to yourself – it’s the only way you can know which hungers you are denying and which you are misplacing.

5. Have the courage to feast on life – it is the only way to be truly well-fed, to be fully alive, and to unfold into your fullest magnificence.

If you’re finding yourself filling up on what doesn’t satisfy (shopping, food, facebook, substances, etc.) and you’re ready to get real about what you really want to be ‘eating’ in life these steps will help to call you forth.

Don’t wait. Eat up.


Related Resource: The Fulfillment Pyramid