Healing Journey - Day 18

Thank you for convincing me to go to Paris. I had planned only to spend time in London and Budapest, so my Paris visit was a bit of a whim. And hot damn, was it one of the best decisions EVER. I'm all aglow from that trip, and will be lit for weeks to come.

Leaving was less bitter and more sweet because I brilliantly left my Ispahan macaron to be consumed at the airport. After I had my morning juice, and then ate a tasty gluten-free sammy from Wild and the Moon, I unwrapped my indulgent and equally gluten-free treat, and promptly inhaled it while waiting to board the flight.

I departed sweet, sweet Paris at 3:30 PM and landed in Budapest at 5:30 PM. Immediately, the energy shift was palpable: much more grounded and alllllll about the root chakra energy. Everything is different here: the architecture, language, intonation, money, food, prices, customs, bone structure. I didn't do much when I arrived other than unpack and get dinner, so I am curious to explore and learn more about this culture.

The apartment where I'm staying is AMAZING. It's like if Mister Rogers Neighborhood met Oscar Wilde met Andy Warhol met a 70's porn set. I love every single bit of it. I WISH YOU COULD ALL BE HERE AND SEE IT. 

I will post more pics in the coming days so you can get a taste of this majesty.

The building and everything inside of it are old as all get out, so I busted out my OnGuard spray to neutralize energy, freshen and purify the air, and ward off any unwanted critters, especially in the linens.

As a convenient and synchronistic twist of fate, my Aunt JUST spent 3 months in Budapest. Yelp doesn't exist in this country, so I don't have to be sad--I can get personalized recommendations from her! She sent me to have dinner tonight at Magyar Qtr, which turned out to be a 4-minute walk from my apartment (which is actually more like a house. Who wants to visit?!?!). It was unexpectedly exceptional. I had 2 courses and 3 glasses of wine (I mean, it's the last supper before my cleanse!!!), and it was TWENTY FIVE AMERICAN DOLLARS. This would have easily cost me $75 in Paris. I'm in love already.

Couple all of this with the bright and beautiful full moon, I'd say that my Paris trip is being reborn in Eastern Europe ...

Healing Journey - Day 17

HAAAAAAALLELUJAH. Haaaaaaaaaallelujah. 

Hallelujah. 

Hallelujah. 

Hallllayyyyyylujaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

I woke up at 10:30 AM.

It appears I am finally adjusting to the time change. Gonna kick this day right in the butt!!!

I walked everywhere today in my galaxy pants. If you haven't seen them in person, I'm sorry, you are missing out. I have great pants. 

Today was so much colder than yesterday. It was almost as if mother nature said, don't worry my children, go back to work, you're not missing out on anything. A grand gesture of soothing everyone's FOMO.

After 4 hours of studiously working at The Hood (pictured above) I dropped off my laptop, and proceeded to walk an hour and 15 from my place to the Champs Elysees for ... what else but hot chocolate and pastries. On the way I ducked into Starbucks to use the toilette and people were EATING AND DRINKING COFFEE inside. WHY?!!!!!!!!! WHY would you waste your hard earned money on that crap when YOU ARE IN PARIS?!?!! Starbucks is already dodgy by American standards but in Paris it's just plain criminal. 

Ok, so YES, fine. I did it. I stopped and ate in a chain called Eric Kayser, which is essentially a super upscale Pret A Manger. Whatever. At least I didn't eat at Starbucks.

On top of that, I went to Laduree on the Champs Elysees, and the takeaway line was spilling into the street. Uber touristy but uber worth it. Once inside, I felt like I was transported back to the 1920s. Sadly, I didn't leave myself enough time to dine in, but it's absolutely on my list for my return (ohhhh, HELLZ yeah, I am so coming back).

Even though I was in the vicinity, I didn't get up close and personal with the ET, aside from my romantic Saturday night boat ride. We've had a long distance love affair this entire trip. When I visited last time with my brooding ex bf, we went up to the top of the tower. And it was not memorable. In fact, I'd forgotten I was ever even in the tower until today. The next time I do that, I'd like to rewrite the memory with a happy love. 

Getting anxious that my 40-minute wait for an Ispahan macaroon was going to make me late for my webinar, I called an Uber, as much as I would've loved to walk back (that's a lie, my feet were killing me).

Did the webinar. Loved it. Watch it.

Afterward, I New-York-walked over to a local French bistro before it stopped serving food, and had the divine pleasure of sitting outside under the heat lamps to watch the passersby. The restaurant had no wifi connection, so I was forced to do nothing but be. 

Man, I wish I was French. This lifestyle is bananas. Smoking, eating, drinking, laughing, lounging, and all the while looking manifique. EVERYONE eats steak tartare. It literally looks like it was unwrapped from the plastic wrapping, shaped into a circle, and thrown on the plate. 

I tried to be a badass one night and impress the French bartender by ordering the steak tartare and the strongest wine on the menu. It was pretty gross. Maybe it was just the restaurant I chose, but I couldn't hang with the texture. There must be something to it if the entire city practically lives on this stuff, but I didn't get with the program ... this time.

Note to self: remember not to pack your ego on the way to Budapest. 

I wrestled myself (psychologically) from my seat, even though I want to live here forever, because I need to pack and fly on a plane tomorrow. I feel sad. This was incredible. I am obsessed with French culture, want to learn French, and am already planning a 2-month return. Who's comin with?

Healing Journey - Day 15

I nearly lost my mind today, it was so beautiful in Paris. Everyone else was losing their minds, too. Lines a mile long for gelato, waves of marijuana smoke, screaming children, overstuffed trash bins, blatant sexual tension, in many cases blatant sexual expression. The animals were finally freed from winter's prison, and they took full liberties all throughout La Marais.

As per usual, I woke up in the afternoon--at 1:30 PM to be exact--and I grabbed a juice and avocado tartines at Season. I really had no agenda today, so I could indulge in intuitive exploration.

After a coaching call, I set out for narrow, winding side-streets that reminded me of SoHo in New York, and weaved and jostled my way through seemingly endless crowds of freedom- (and ice cream-) hungry tourists and locals. 

It was exciting to get lost in the city. I mean, I never got actually lost, but I lost my schedule and let go of expectations. I moved forward, completely in the moment and for the sake of the experience, nothing else.

Divine, is the best way to describe it. I cannot image a more perfect day, or more perfect weather.

Aside from indulging in exploration, I also indulged in sweets. Not quite in the healing plan, but that doesn't technically start until Budapest. Paris is a warm-up. And compared to my London trip, I'm doing an amazing job of keeping it healthy. So, I went to 2 of the most renowned sweet spots, and got myself some chocolates from Jacques Genin and macarons from Pierre Herme.

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I walked a TON today. Especially after sweets, I needed to move it. I hoofed it over to Ile Saint Louis, and rested my sugar-infused bones at the Saint Regis, where I nursed a savory cocktail.

Around this time, a friend texted me warning that in no way, shape or form should I leave Paris without going to La Mosquee. That was the 3rd friend to point me in that direction, so I took it as a sign that it should be my next stop. Plus, I was close.

I speed-walked over there since I only had about 90 minutes before I had to be at the Bastille for an evening boat ride on the Seine. I arrived in about 15 minutes from departing the cocktail spot, and I sat in the restaurant at the back. 

First course was a simple mixed green salad, followed by a tagine with olive, lemon and chicken. The highlight of the meal was the mint tea served in intricately adorned glasses. I savored every drop. 

With only 20 minutes to spare before the boat departure, I high-tailed it over the bridge, snagged some shots of the sunset, got lost for a minute, and then finally arrived at the embarcation site.

THE BOAT TRIP WAS STUNNING. Gorgeous views. Relaxing. A lovely way to spend a romantic evening alone.

Healing Journey - Day 14

 

I woke up before noon today!!! Sacrebleu!

Grabbed a juice at Wild and The Moon, and made my way over to the Louvre. I couldn't handle going in, so I watched a bunch of tourists stand on boxes and squeeze the tip of the museum. Then I crossed the Seine and went to the Musee D'Orsay. I've been to the Louvre before but not the MO, so I was excited--also because the line was a 1/3 of the Louvre' length.

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I spent a LONG time in this place. Not in the restaurant but in the art part. I stumbled upon an Art Nouveau section dedicated strictly to furniture, and I became eternally smitten. I took pics of everything because I'm planning to either move, or completely reinvent my space when I get back to LA in May, and I wanted every single style that was showcased. I show none of those pictures here because they are my secret inspiration stash, and you'll just have to come visit me in LA to see how I splash the images all over my apartment instead. Once I extracted myself from this section, I almost left before realizing that the main event was the Kandinsky/Monet exhibit, and I'm so glad I saw it before I split..

Around 5 PM, I lost steam and went in search of calories. I popped into Patisserie Viennois and enjoyed a snack. Before the sun set, I made a loop around Luxembourg Gardens, and then had a gummy-worm-infused cocktail at Le Crocodile. Immediately following, I stopped at 10 Bar for a Sangria. About 30 minutes later, I decided to splurge, on the recommendation of a colleague, and went to KGB for dinner. Sacre BLEUR. So flipping delicious. I still can't believe it was less than 100 euros. Easily, in NYC, it would have been $100-150 with the wine I had. 

I had aspirations of meeting charming Parisians and going dancing, but this Jersey girl is PTFO. 

Healing Journey - Day 13

Ugh. Didn't fall asleep until 4 AM this morning even though I laid my head on my pillow at 12:15 AM. Perhaps because I ate a gluten-free muffin for dinner? My blood sugar was wrecked. Adrenaline was high. And consequently, I woke up at 1:30 PM this afternoon. Reaaaaaally hoping to break the cycle tonight. 

The museum was spectacular. 

I'll admit, I usually get bored and impatient at museums. What kind of artist am I?!? A performance artist. I watch lots of theater. Pictures that don't move make me antsy.

However, in this collection, it was like a play. There were characters, and a plot, and there were even videos and a recording of a ballet. The story began with Olga, Picasso's wife, from whom he separated less than 20 years after their marriage. Their relationship was fascinating - she was Russian and left her country to pursue a career as a ballerina. When she met Picasso, her family was experiencing financial strife, and was suffering pretty intensely. Olga, on the other hand, was enjoying a life of luxury, being that Picasso was a virtual celebrity. She experienced significant guilt due to leaving her family and living the good life, so her fortunate circumstances were perpetually clouded by melancholy. Picasso captures her in the majority of his work--which is incredibly beautiful to me, having a person you love who is also your muse--and he depicts her melancholy with such perfection that I found myself in tears the minute I walked into the first exhibition room.

My eyes and heart devoured each and every work. I felt as if their lives were tangible, and being that I now live in LA, all I could think was, who do I know that can write a screenplay about their relationship?!?!! 

There were photographs and home videos of them and their son Paul, and it made the experience even more mysterious. Who were these people REALLY? What were they thinking? What was Picasso truly attempting to express in these paintings and drawings of his wife, especially once their relationship became strained and he took up with a mistress? The experts have their theories, but I want the truth. The truth that only the actor playing Picasso in the movie of the screenplay that one of you writes can impart. 

This visit changed my opinion of museums. The exhibition itself was a work of art. 

I would have walked through the entire thing all over again, except my stomach was screaming at me, so I went in search of the falafel place recommended to me by two different friends. It did not disappoint. Fresh, authentic, and hit the spot. 

I walked and ate my way over to the Bastille. This did disappoint. I was expecting for breath to be taken away, but the poor monument was being repaired and the construction area was papered with a series of mindless advertisements, so it was not possible to view it in its full glory. I got a good pic of the upper half of it.

As big as Paris looks on a map, it took me less than 20 minutes to walk from the Bastille to my flat - I've walked everywhere in the city so far, no public transpo needed whatsoever. I made a pitstop at home, got the taxes sorted out, took a shower, got dolled up, and went to meet a bunch of strangers for some drinks.

Airbnb has started meet-up events for travelers, which is brilliant. I walked over to the Belleville area, a bit sweaty and nervous, as making small talk is not my forte. But I put my big-girl panties on as I walked through the door of Les Pauiles, ordered a cider, and sat at a table with 2 young ladies. They turned out to be the sweetest Argentinian girls, and they are winning at life because they speak two languages. We chatted in English for over an hour, and it was nice to have a conversation with someone after almost 5 days of just taking to myself. We took the elevator up to the rooftop, snapped some shots of the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur, and then went our separate ways. A very nice Italian lad tried to start up a convo with me, but I was beyond hungry and basically ran away from him. Sorry, Alessandro!

I yelped a place that was still serving food, and walked through the door of their restaurant within 5 minutes of walking out of the first spot. Sat at the bar, asked the bartender for his best recommendations, and savored a meal of salad, tartare, roasted potatoes, and red wine, followed by some creme brûlée. Healing? Perhaps not. But come on, it's PARIS, people.

Seriously, I'm going to bed early tonight. Yell at me if I start texting you right now. 

Healing Journey - Day 12

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CONFESSION.

I was up until 6 AM Paris time this morning finishing my taxes.

Why on Goddess' green Earth do I do this to myself every damn year? 

I started calculating deductions around 10 PM last night after coming up with every reason all throughout the day of why other tasks were a priority. Finally, with a glass of Rose in my blood, I was out of my head enough to just friggin start already. 

Figuring it would only take an hour or 2, I dove into the spreadsheet I downloaded from Mint--which is a pretty sweet itemization program, and FREE. Apparently, I spent a helluva lot of money on my biz last year since it took me EIGHT ALMIGHTY HOURS to categorize and total everything.

Makes sense, though. It was the first year without a steady job. You gotta invest. Fortunately my corporate job afforded me a handsome savings account that I have successfully and proudly drained to launch a life of freedom.

I forced myself up at 12:30 PM so I could at least enjoy part of the day. Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook page looking for recommendations of what to see and do, so I decided to not think about anything, and just follow instructions.

First stop was a kale, celery, apple, cucumber juice--pictured above--from Bob's Juice Bar. I also snagged a gluten-free muffin, not because I really wanted it, but because there was a minimum to use a credit card. However, I broke into it when I got home from my day, and it turned out to be one of the best muffins I've ever had the pleasure of devouring. This is why I have no pic--gone in 60 seconds (or less).

A lovely new Facebook friend outlined today's itinerary. After juicing, I strolled over to Holybelly, and sat at a communal table in the back. It was bright and welcoming, and I caught the tail end of lunch, thankfully--kitchen closes at 2:15 PM on the dot. The food was simple, and glorious. Fluffy and flavorful scrambled eggs, mushrooms sauteed with fresh herbs, crispy hashbrowns, and irresistible crusty bread and butter. I ate some. It was not gluten-free. Pray for me and my poor tummy.  

Fortunately, Peppermint oil and some digestive enzymes with a special anti-gluten enzyme saved the day.

Following lunch, a previously cloudy and chilly day began to warm up, so I wandered over to the Canal St. Martin, and caught a bit of sun.

And as a good follower, I took New-Facebook friend's advice of grabbing a coffee at Ten Belles, right across the canal. Though I must admit, I don't drink coffee, so I got a green tea that was apparently imported directly from Japan ( but aren't they all?). I fell in love with the gluten-free muffins behind the glass case, but I did not buy one because I would eat it and I already bought a chocolate muffin earlier today. I'm supposed to be on a healing journey, and while muffins may heal my emotional heart, it's only momentary. BUT JUST LOOK WHAT I RESISTED.

I had to run home for a voiceover job--ACTING IN PARIS! MY DREAM LIFE IS REAL--and on the way, I popped into Du Pain et des Idees to marvel at the carefully crafted works of glutenous art. Escargot! With chocolate and pistachio! What a cruel, cruel world.

Did the voiceover job, checked off some to-do-list items, hopped on a coaching call, ate the perfect chocolate muffin, and snapped shots of the sunset and the Eiffel Tower all lit up. It's now 10:45 PM here, and I'm clocking out early tonight. Tomorrow is museum day!

VIEW FROM MY ROOM!!!

VIEW FROM MY ROOM!!!

European Healing Journey - Day 11

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The day started late for me. I was up until 3 AM Paris time doing work. I will admit, I am a bit of a workaholic, but I love my job so it doesn't feel like work.

I got up around 11:30 AM and out of the house at 2 PM after doing more work.

I headed back to Wild + The Moon for a juice, and then decided to be in the present, no planning, and wander around the area wherever my instinct led me.

First, I stumbled upon Marche des Enfants Rouges, and it was completely empty. Likely the threat of rain scared the tourists away. It was adorable, and I'll definitely be back over there for some Moroccan food and to buy some flowers.

 

Next, I found myself at the Place de la Republique. Skateboarders and homeless folk swarmed the place, and it felt pretty chaotic. But the monument in the square is breathtaking. I started getting seriously hungry after only having had a juice in 4 hours of waking time, so I went in search of food, and found a cute place called Fringe - the first picture of this post is what I ate there, a simple salad with avocado and fresh, raw veggies.

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Surprise! I went back home to do more work!

After a couple hours, my salad-eating high wore off, and I got crazy hungry again. I took a recommendation from one of my Paris-loving friends, and walked down the street to Nanashi.

Not speaking any French is making me sweat. I get all nervous when someone talks to me, and I can't even remember which is the word for thank you vs. please. I just smile and nod and point and pretend I'm just very shy and quiet. So when I walked into the place, I didn't know what to do or where to go. I sort of hovered by the door pretending I was very interested in the menu, which I had no idea what it said, until someone asked me something in French, to which I did not respond for a good 5 seconds. Eventually, he realized I spoke English, and escorted me to a table in the back. He made a recommendation of what to eat--the salmon bento box--and I ordered a glass of Rose to calm down my nerves and soothe my embarrassment.

The food was flipping fantastic. So fresh, delicately flavored, and exactly what I needed. And everyone was speaking English around me! I'm not a rude American--or at least not the only one! I wish I had more time to go back, but there are too many places to try!!!! BYEEEEEE!

European Healing Journey - Day 10

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Greens GALORE today.

I found the sweetest American-friendly cafe today in my neighborhood called Wild + The Moon.

I planted myself there at 1 PM, and didn't leave until 6 PM. It was calm and peaceful and filled with vibrant plants, and I got into a serious work groove.

Started my day there with a perfectly crafted green juice, followed an hour later by their Matcha Latte veggie milk with only 4 ingredients - Matcha, Almond Milk, Dates and Sea Salt.

Stayed for lunch, and had a DELISH gluten-free foccacia sandwich with avocado and some other tasty ingredients that I did not identify cause I housed the sandwich in like 5 seconds.

After 5 hours there, I needed a change of scenery, so I stopped at a cute spot right next to the apartment building. They had fresh salads (pictured above), and I got so excited about everything I was seeing in their to-go fridge, that I excitedly knocked over one of the salad containers and spilled quinoa ALLLLL over their beautiful restaurant floor. A very unamused restaurant owner was left to sweep up all the tiny grains that scattered over every square inch of the place. I paid for my goods - split the cost of the mess with the cashier - and sheepishly ran away. But, damn, the salad was good.

I didn't get to do much exploring today because Mondays are usually booked solid with webinars and coaching calls, and today was no exception. I spent a good chunk of the day planning for my webinar series, and I'd love for you to watch today's webinar on emotional health!

Thankfully, because I packed in the work today, I'll have more freedom this week to galavant around the city. IT IS FRIGGIN GORGEOUS HERE. Spring has arrived, and the people are out and ready to bask in the glory of good weather.

European Healing Journey - Days 7-9

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The last few days are a blur.

Friday, I spent the morning and early afternoon getting myself together to fly to Europe the next day, all while heading into final planning mode for a major advancement in my business. AND preparing to teach a class later that evening. Needless to say, I was whelmed.

I managed to organize myself by setting alarms in my phone so I wouldn't get lost in time. I would say that method was pretty effective since I checked virtually everything off my list, and left the house in time to catch the intended NJ Transit train to Cranford, where my dear friend Jen A was picking me up. In my haste, however, I forgot that I actually had to BUY a ticket to get on the train. I just ran on, not even once thinking about the ticket situation, so I had to pay a small surcharge when the conductor came by - which ended up being more than the ticket itself. Fortunately, I had some cash on me, which I usually never do. Cash money saves the day.

The class was a blast. The ladies that joined were great sports, very open to learning about essential oils, and we all got sufficiently oiled up. Directly after it ended, I got totally wrapped up in putting in orders since I had only a few hours left in the day to create enough sales to reach my goal. Note to self - do not schedule classes on the last evening of the month. UNLESS, you'd like to have a heart attack in your 30s.

I was up until the wee hours of the morning, checking and double-checking my back office to ensure the numbers added up. And lo and behold around 2 am, I was in celebration mode. I reached my goal, and beyond! Then, of course, I was so hyped up on adrenaline that I couldn't sleep and had to arise somewhat early in the morning to attend an all-day team training. Note to self - do not commit yourself to an all-day team training when you have to fly to Europe later that evening.

Actually though, the training was awesome, and I'm glad I made it. I got to see all my crossline doTERRIANS and celebrate all of their achievements at month-end. Our team freaking rocks, and it enhanced my joy and gratitude for my business.

My sis came to the training with me, and we cut out early to get to the airport so she could meet our bro and his fiance in Philly for a night out. I was happy to get there early and stress-free, and I'm guessing because it was April Fool's Day, I had the whole damn place to myself. I ate at the bar of a "Belgian" restaurant, and met a friendly young gent who is into tiny houses and permaculture. I normally keep my head down and don't make small talk with strangers, but something told me to open up for once in my life. We had a super interesting convo, and now I have a new (Instagram) friend. And visions of tiny houses in my future.

Flight to London was smooth, but I barely slept. The tiny bits of turbulence are enough to skyrocket my adrenaline. I arrived at Heathrow haggard and ripe, and almost had my Deep Blue Rub taken from me by security because it was 10 mL too big of a container to take in carry-on luggage. I almost lost it. No one takes baby's Deep Blue away. Somehow, my stalwart conviction melted their hearts of steel, and I was successful in retaining it, got some desperately-needed green veggies at the Giraffe restaurant, and hopped on my short flight to Paris.

Now, here I am, in a VERY TINY but well-positioned flat in La Marais, with stunning sunset views of the Eiffel Tower. The energy here is in full Spring swing, so although I'm passing out early tonight, I plan to be up early and out with the locals. Bonjour, Paris!

 

European Healing Journey - Day 6

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Feeling pretty proud today. I went to see the magical acupuncturist yesterday, and he warned me that if I didn't drink enough water yesterday, I'd be in serious pain today. Well, I'm pain-free, so I did my job! Proper hydration on the rise.

Today was another rat race of me frantically rushing to get work done in between coaching sessions. I love the coaching, but I have trouble managing time, so I am always far too ambitious about what I think I can accomplish in one day. Like, today, I was convinced I could do laundry, go to the post office, make a PPT, do 2 one-hour coaching sessions, get my taxes done, get ready, and be in Manhattan by 5 pm (it takes 45 minutes to get there from where I'm staying). I woke up at 11 am. Praying this European healing journey gives me the power to create Einstein time.

Once I got to Manhattan, I had THE BEST time catching up with coworkers from when I was a VP of Marketing at PIMCO. I started as a temp, but lived the American Dream by working my way up the corporate ladder. And then quitting to be poor and start a business. But dreams don't grow on trees.

We had Pinot Grigio and truffle fries at a bar in Midtown, and I will not disclose the name of the bar because we had SO much space, and I don't want anyone else to know about this spot. SELFISH and loving it.

A dear friend that I've known since high school met me as my coworkers headed home, and we headed down to the The Nomad Bar on 28th Street. And EVERYONE already knows about this place because it was freaking packed so I can say the name all day long and it doesn't matter.

I ate a burger, and it was glorious. I didn't eat much today because once again I forgot to schedule in a lunch break. I'll get the hang of this eventually.

By 10 pm, I was turning into a pumpkin--and this used to be the time that I was getting ready to go out for the evening, but now my brain is fully formed and I understand consequences. We parted ways, and I journeyed back to Jersey City on the PATH train. 

I'm sufficiently tuckered out, and plan to take my 2nd bath of the day--somehow I managed to fit both of these in among everything else. Priorities.

European Healing Journey - Day 5

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Today, I pre-gamed the healing by seeing an acupuncturist in NYC.

In September, I was in a minor car accident, and I managed to get a sweet case of whiplash. I've seen a smattering of chiropractors and massage therapists, and these therapies certainly help, but I find that after a week or so, the pain creeps back in.

I've been hearing amazing things about this acupuncturist in Flatiron--my friend Robin has basically said he's a damn-near magician--and I figured it was time for me to finally make an appointment.

In advance of our meeting, I filled out a comprehensive set of questions online, and it was refreshing not to have to rush through all that while sitting in the waiting room.

I arrived 10 minutes late due to a voiceover booking that started and ran late, but the office was extremely accommodating, and escorted me straight to the treatment room where I waited just long enough to snap the shot pictured above.

Stephen Cohen, who I'd met before since we are crossline doTERRA team members and dear friends of the aforementioned Robin, spent a good chunk of time reviewing my health history. Based on some of the issues I mentioned with the pain in my neck and menstrual cramping, along with looking at the veins under my tongue, he quickly deduced that I was dehydrated and my blood was not flowing properly. As a result, there's constriction around my neck, and there's not enough blood nourishing my brain. Sounds kinda serious.

Needles come out. 

I get "comfortable" on the table, and I put that word in quotes because I always get a little nervous and twitchy before the needles go in. My nerves are quickly assuaged as he expertly inserts needles into my feet and legs, and deftly feels around pressure points to see how the energy is moving - he can tell the areas that are sensitive and tender in a way that seems psychic.

He then does this crazy but effective technique of twisting the needles into the muscles around my neck and shoulders to help release lactic acid. I am failing to recall the name of this technique, but it was terrifying to hear him describe what he was going to do. It was also intensely painful when he was doing it, but after the initial spasms, I felt a great deal of release and relaxation.

After about an hour or so of needle time, we wrapped up, and he warned me that if I did not drink enough water, I'd have extreme soreness and discomfort the next day. SO, as a good patient, I've been drinking water like it's my job--and it really should be my job considering how my blood's got problems.

If you are a looking for a skilled and knowledgeable acupuncturist in the city, definitely check out Axiom Holistic at KIMA Wellness Center. The Center is gorgeous, and I felt well-taken care of.

I return back to NY from my healing journey in mid-May, so I'm very curious to see what 30 days of bathing in and drinking sulfur water will do for my hydration status. I believe a revisit will be in order.

European Healing Journey - Day 4

I got to sleep in today until 10:30 am ET, so even though that's waayyyyy early morning PT, it felt indulgent.

More meetings and coaching sessions today, but much less of a rat race. I did, however, have breakfast and lunch delivered once again. Postmates is a dream come true, and why didn't anyone master this years ago?! It's basically Kozmo--my late-90's New Yorkers remember this--but just lucrative and reliable.

The office view pictured here is unreal. I've been staring at Manhattan while I strategize about my business. I feel like a full-on LADY BOSS. Wheelin' and dealin' over in Jersay Citay.

I left the apartment today, and of course, I picked THE worst day to do it - cold and seriously rainy. Thank god I had the foresight to purchase an umbrella before I headed East, and I actually remembered to pack it along with my rainboots. ADULTING.

Reason for leaving the apartment? Dinner with my NYU doppelganger. We were so matchy tonight, with our black-rimmed glasses and side-parted dirty blonde hair, that I regret not getting a picture of us just to prove my point. We ate a fancy dinner at a fancy French restaurant in the neighb, and it prepared me for what I am about to experience when I go to actual FRANCE on Sunday. 

Went home. Took a bath in Patchouli, Clary Sage, and Juniper Berry-infused water. Writing this blog. Reading a few chapters from "You are a Badass." Bedding. Night night.

European Healing Journey - Day 3

Today was a m***erf'n doozy. 

You would think that once you're on the path of your dreams that shizz would get easier. It definitely gets harder. Though, I do feel more energized and fulfilled doing these dream things than the non-dream things I did in my previous life. BUT I'm certainly working my German-Irish tush off.

I scheduled myself in back-to-back meetings for 8 HOURS STRAIGHT. I forgot about bathroom breaks and eating food, so I shoved raw cashews into my pie hole while leading mentoring calls. Getting it done anyway I know how.

In the midst of this insanity, I achieved a major milestone.

I started a weekly webinar series that I've been talking about starting FOR MONTHS. Finally, I threw some dates on the calendar, told everyone I knew that I was doing the series, and then I figured out what the heck I was going to do about it after the fact. Dive, and then swim.

Today was the first in the series, and I LOVED it. Despite the fact the my blood sugar was about to seriously crash and I felt dizzy, I was proud of my accomplishment.

If you'd like to watch the recording and learn more about a subject that I hold very near and dear to my heart, follow this link or visit my YouTube channel - Real Urban Wellness. I'd love to hear what you think! I want this series to be the best it can possibly be, so feel free to email me with questions or feedback at amanda@realurbanwellness.com.

Next webinar is Monday, 4/3 at 11 am PT/2 pm ET. Email me to RSVP, and I'll send you the link to join.

European Healing Journey - Days 1-2

I am on a healing journey.

I visited a witch doctor, and I've now heeded her advice to spend a month in Budapest, bathing in the thermal waters in attempt to bust through an energetic shell that has cocooned me since birth.

On the way to Hungary, I'm making a few stops - the first being New York City, my old stomping grounds. That image of the Manhattan skyline is my view for the next week as I slowly adjust to a 3-hour time difference, making the next 6-hour time jump a bit less overwhelming.

Yesterday, Saturday, 3/25/17, I landed at 6:30 am ET in JFK after a red-eye flight, where I was unsuccessful in getting any shut-eye whatsoever. On the plane, I drank the Glenfiddich that came free with my Main Cabin Select upgrade on Virgin America, and watched Office Christmas Party, starring my boo, Kate MacKinnon.  Don't worry, we will be best friends one day.

I spent the day resting and relaxing in my friend's gorgeous Jersey City apartment, hiding from the bitter East Coast cold from which I escaped 3 years ago. I had Postmates deliver all my food for the day - smoothie, kale salad, and a rice bowl - and I watched the 2 most recent episodes of Girls. It was liberating to have left my regular life behind in Los Angeles, and be back near where all the action in Girls actually happens. Made the show-watching that much more lifelike.

Now that I feel more rested today after crashing at 8:30 pm ET last night (yes, that means I PTFO during happy hour PT), I'm finally getting excited for what's about to unfold over the next 2 months.

Today, Sunday, 3/26/17, I indulged in a brunch with $4 bellinis (no, alcohol is not part of the healing, but I'm not in Buda yet!) that was a 4-minute walk from the apartment. Next up is dinner at a restaurant that is a 3-minute walk from the apartment. I shall avoid the weather as much as humanly possible.

Later, I plan to binge-watch Shameless, and feel reassured about how normal I am.

Follow me on instagram @realurbanwellness to stay updated on my daily adventures and track the progress in my health.

Days 23-27 - Cleanse 2017

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In December, during my last trip to NYC, I visited someone I lovingly refer to as my "witch doctor." She is an extremely knowledgeable French woman who is a medical intuitive and naturopath, but also a scientist. And she is gorgeous - long sleek black hair, waifish figure, and an unidentifiable age (either 50-60s or immortal).

Her office is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, so after a long train ride from midtown and a few transfers, there was also a long walk from the subway with two intensely heavy bags in tow. When I arrived, I found myself in front of a somewhat intimidating apartment rowhome protected by a chain-link fence. I called her to let me in, and once she retrieved me, she escorted me to a "waiting room." If I hadn't known two other people who had previously visited her, I think I would have been seriously concerned for my life: the building was eerily quiet with just a few distant voices drifting in from a separate room, the furniture looked like it had not been touched since the 1970s, paint was peeling off the wall, and there was a collection of plastic cat dishes drying in the dish rack by the sink but no cats anywhere in sight. It felt the scenery from an episode of True Detective.

After about 20 minutes of waiting, she escorted me to another room that was more inviting, and had 2 giant tree-plants growing by the window. The moment I sat down on the couch across from her, she asked, "What happened to you at your birth?" Well, from what I learned in developmental psychology, most people don't quite remember the moment of birth. However, I DID know that my mom had a difficult labor, and ultimately, I was pulled out with forceps (and consequently had a cone head for the first few months of life).

Apparently, this had a detrimental impact on my health. When babies are born, the doc relayed, upon their first breath, the immunoglobulin groups formulate in the chest. Mine did not formulate properly, which has resulted in a lifetime weakness in the parasympathetic activity underneath my skin. The soft tissue of my blood vessels is also weak, so my body cannot properly detoxify itself. In horror, she said, "You cannot have wine or cheese without feeling badly. This is a terrible situation!" Being that she is French, I understand her vicarious pain.

As little as I understood about what she was saying (aside from the technicality of her diagnosis, she also had a very thick accent), my mind and body had a huge AHA. This felt like the missing link: the answer to my skin issues, digestion, tinnitus, etc. While I'm able to manage my health through diet and supplementation, if I diverge from the path even one bit, I suffer.

SO, how do I fix this?!?!

She recommended an extremely aggressive approach. And it would primarily involve water.

"Go to Budapest, and bathe in the thermal waters for 2-4 hours per day. Drink sodium water. Go to infrared saunas. Take this detox tea I will make for you. And you may be able to reset the nucleus inside of your cells."

WHOA. My doctor of natural voodoo is telling me to take a trip to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and swim in baths all day?!? I'm IN.

I leave April 1, 2017 for London, and then I will make my way to Budapest for 4 weeks. I will follow this protocol to a T. She said that if I am successful, I will completely transform my health. That I've been living in an energetic shell my entire life, and that resetting my nuclei could create an energetic change so attractive and powerful, that I will be completely irresistible.

Worst case scenario: I take an amazing trip to Europe.

Best case scenario: I return a SUPERHERO.

The 30-day cleanse I started in January has now become a 120-day cleanse. In preparation for the trip, last Wednesday, I started drinking the magical tea she mixed up for me, and I already see a difference in my skin. I'm not exactly sure what's in it, but guessing there's some catnip because when I came home the other night, the plastic bag was on the floor and almost completely ripped to shreds. And little miss kitty was practically foaming at the mouth. 

Cheers to SOMETHING seriously GOOD.

Day 21 + 22 - Cleanse 2017

Celebration has been the theme of the last couple of days.

First, on Thursday, I finally started drinking this detox tea that was whipped up for me back in December by this genius French medical intuitive back. The boiling/straining process seemed complicated so I put it off for two months. How I ever get anything done with this kind of mentality probably seems nothing short of a miracle. But, I trust it was the right timing. I'm learning how to trust my "procrastination" and stop pressuring myself to do things only when I think, or someone else thinks, I should. And the tea was delicious. I think it had catnip in it because I found the ziploc bag of tea half shredded in my cat's sleeping corner. I managed to retrieve it before the $120 worth of herbs was matted into her fur-ridden kitty bed. Success.

Also on Thursday, I led a Self-Love Celebration at my home. Now, I am a SERIOUS introvert. I rarely have friends over, and I cherish my sacred time alone, which is 90% of the time. So the thought of having a celebration at my home instantly makes me feel uncomfortable. But, 2017 is the year of pushing through discomfort to see what's on the other side so I booked the date, invited a bunch of people, and figured out the details later. I'm finding this tactic quite effective. If I pick a date and advertise it to the world, then I have to make good on it. Extreme accountability. Turns out, the celebration was FUN. I had an excuse to do a deep cleaning of my home, which is always refreshing, and then I cultivated as sacred of a space as I could. We had the perfect group of ladies show up, and through a combo of energy clearings, guided meditation, essential oils, tarot readings, and love offerings, we had a beautifully connected and relaxed evening. I want to create more space and time like this.

Finally, on Friday, yesterday, which still feels like Friday since I'm still awake at 12:50 am, I was reminded by Facebook that it was almost exactly a year ago that I left my corporate job of 6 years to pursue a life of fulfillment, freedom, travel, and bliss. At the time, part of me thought that maybe I had lost my mind for wanting to leave - I was a Vice President of Marketing at a financial company, I made a very handsome salary, I had a generous health benefits plan, and a steadily growing 401K. I was living the dream. Only, it was someone else's dream. And a little voice in my head kept telling me that there was more. That this wasn't the path I was meant to take. So after months and months of trying to stifle the voice, I finally gave in and made the call to my wonderful manager (truly, she is what is good about corporate America) that I was leaving. Tears were shed, but my heart was lighter. I knew it was the right choice. And now, the sense of freedom and adventure that I feel will always outweigh a "stable income opportunity."

Time to celebrate.

5 key oils for inspiring love

Essential oils are THE fastest way to affect your mood. When you smell an aroma, within seconds, it passes through the olfactory bulb to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that manages memory and emotions. So what better way to inspire love in our lives than to savor some sweet smells!

1) GERANIUM
This is the oil of love and trust. Used over the heart chakra, it can help open us up to the possibility of deep, unconditional love. Would you like to foster more receptivity to love and human connection in your life? Get all over that Geranium, my friend.

2) BERGAMOT
You would recognize the smell of Bergamot if you've ever enjoyed an Earl Grey tea; Bergamot is a citrus fruit used to give Earl Grey its unique flavor profile. Bergamot is both uplifting and calming, and as the oil of self-acceptance, it's a must-have for assisting us in sharing our inner-selves with our beloveds, or allowing intimacy into our lives.

3) PATCHOULI
To be wholly intimate, we must love and connect with our bodies. Patchouli is the oil of physicality, so it helps us become fully present in our physical bodies, and encourages confidence and strength. It's also well-regarded as a natural aphrodisiac ... no wonder it was THE fragrance of the 60s ...

4) CINNAMON
The oil of sexual harmony, Cinnamon helps to rekindle and rebalance sexual energy where there has been repression or disconnection. It's a spicy one, so I recommend diluting with a carrier oil, like fractionated coconut, before applying topically. 

5) WHISPER
Any time I bust open this oil at a class, the ladies virtually LOSE their minds. It is a blend designed specifically for women as a warming aroma to entice and intrigue the senses. Many of my female friends wear it as their signature scent, which is much better for our hormones than expensive chemical- and preservative-laden perfumes. 

*The only brand I trust is doTERRA. To purchase any of these oils, email me at amanda@realurbanwellness.com for the best pricing options. Want a sample first? Ask, and ye shall receive.

xo,

Amanda