As a touted NYC "professional" and "successful" businesswomen who runs three clinics, sees about 50 patients per week, runs her own beauty line and just released her third book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways To Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s, I still manage to thrive in my personal and professional life and, most importantly, practice what I preach to all those who follow my message.
What's my message? When you are in optimal health -- mentally, emotionally, nutritionally and physically -- abundant health, vitality and joy can be yours. Plain and simple, my message is all about balance and prioritizing YOU. It's about loving yourself. If loving yourself and honoring your health are not the No. 1 priorities in your life, then all else is suboptimal.
I am often asked, "How do you do it all?" Honestly, I didn't give it much thought until I started getting that question. When I broke it down for the first time, I realized three really important guiding forces in my life that keep me thriving:
1. I focus on what I love in all that I do. And, I am constantly practicing gratitude.
2. I have a tremendous passion for guiding others towards optimal health.
3. I have self-love.
And, it's this third point, having self-love, that the other two guiding forces stem from. Self-love, by which I mean loving and respecting your health, your hearts desires, your relationship with yourself and your relationship with the world around you, is the key to "doing it all" and maintaining balance. When one has self-love they are guided by their hearts desire more than the social norm; they are in tune with the rhythm of their life and the world around them; they are living in the present moment; they are living from a place of gratitude and appreciation.
I'm sure for most living from a place of self-love sounds much easier said than done and a bit hooey. However, it can be easily implemented into your life in three easy steps:
1. Be present. The most effective way to remain present in your life on a daily basis is to adopt a daily meditation practice. It can be as easy as sitting quietly and breathing for five minutes at some point during your day and taking what I coined in my first book, Chill Out and Get Healthy, a "chill out and check in break," or taking more time and sitting for 20 to 30 minutes twice per day. The beauty of meditation is it doesn't require anything other than you sitting still and breathing. Keep it simple: If co-workers can sneak out for a coffee break, you can sneak a meditation break. Another really useful tool I use in my daily life to keep myself present is to tune in and really notice "where you are," meaning, are you in the meeting you are currently in or truly engaged in the conversation you are currently in or are you thinking about your next meeting or your after work event? When I notice that I am onto the next thing rather than in the present moment, I say quietly to myself, "Aimee, where are you?" and that brings me right back to engaging fully in the present moment.
2. Be kind to yourself. Plain and simple, when you love yourself, you are kind to yourself. When you treat your body like a sacred temple -- mentally, nutritionally and physically -- your health and your life will thrive. The best way to practice this is to again, tune in and be present. Hear the inner dialogue and catch yourself when you are being hard on yourself. In the moment when your berating or criticizing yourself stop, take a deep breath and say it more kindly or better yet just say to yourself, "I love you and you are doing the best you can do." Additionally, when you are making food choices or lifestyle choices ask yourself, is this serving my body -- my temple -- in the best way? Are you eating food for nourishment and fuel or to fill a void? Are you having that second cocktail because you are in a happy place or because you want to numb out? A great way to tune into self love and kindness is to point out to yourself three (or more) things each day that you like about yourself -- for example, "I am good at what I do." Or, "I am helping others." Or "I treat my body well." Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.
3. Practice gratitude each and every day. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to live from a place of self-love. My recommendation is that every day, upon waking, list (in your head or in a notebook or even in a text message to yourself) five things that you are grateful for. They can be super simple or super deep, from: I am grateful for my seven hours of sleep to I am grateful for all the love that surrounds me. Getting into a daily habit of practicing gratitude before you start your day can really shift your mental state from one of mundane and mediocre to one of joy and presence.
You may not currently be in a place of loving your job or having passion for what you do or surrounded by the best relationships but I can assure you if you turn inward and begin a daily practice of self-love, gratitude and present moment awareness your life will begin to shift from a place of just living to a place of joyful thriving. We all deserve to be happy, to thrive and really truly love who we are, where we are and be excited for where we are headed. Take time each day and be present, be kind to yourself and practice gratitude -- you are worth it.