4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

mindful

Celebrate Your Heart–February is Heart Month!

We know this: eating well, exercise, and relaxation are integral aspects of optimal heart health. What does that look like for you? How do you bring balance into your daily life to include a satisfying effectiveness in your personal and/or professional environment–as well as the essentials: shopping for and cooking healthful meals, moving your body on a regular basis, and cultivating a routine quieting/self-soothing practice?

Each of us will take care of our physical and emotional hearts in our own way, using our unique perspectives, priorities, and resources to cultivate the balance that will support our heart health. This individuality fits in to the framework of the essentials. Eating well, shopping locally, and avoiding processed foods are topics that are adequately covered in other areas of my website as well as many other external sources; I am inviting you, in this article, to contemplate the opportunities around fitness, quieting, and positivity.

Routine fitness is important. It need not be Olympic effort, it’s the duration of each session and the frequency with which you exercise that is relevant. Choose an activity that is pleasurable, comfortable, and convenient, and one that can be done for (ultimately) 30-minutes non-stop, and 4 – 6 times per week. Individualized exercise programs are determined by current level of fitness and general health considerations.

Your physical heart health is benefitted by eating well and exercising regularly, yet there is a greater value to nurturing your emotional heart health. Studies validate that feelings of joy, contentment, and gratitude are associated with a commitment to being well, which leads to healthful daily life choices. The same studies demonstrate that feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, and resentment are closely linked with unhealthy daily life choices and ultimately, with disease.

That’s powerful medicine—within your thoughts and emotions lays the ability to change your physiology. Experiencing daily joy and gratitude is a practice…and the more often it is invited and its presence acknowledged, the more familiar of a perspective that will become. Within this experience, the physical body responds by decreasing catecholamines (stress hormones), lowering systemic inflammation, softening blood vessel to lower blood pressure, slowing down the heartbeat, and changing brain activity from busy/hectic to quiet/relaxed. That shift in our physiology, related to the positivity of joy and gratitude, creates the pleasant-to-navigate path to optimal health and well-being.

Celebrate your heart: move through the day with mindfulness, sit quietly, express gratitude, share blessings, and honor your physical self with nourishing foods and activities. Because your heart matters!

A guided relaxation…After the Rain

An inspired guided imagery relaxation, created in real time, after my morning walk. Enjoy!


after the rain


I had/have a busy day ahead with some scheduled appointments and a To Do list. As soon as I was outdoors, that all went by the wayside…I was captivated by the crisp, clear morning after the cold winter rains, and I was blessed by giving myself permission to be mindful of the natural beauty around me. Upon my return to home, I could have blasted into my day, but chose instead to create the guided imagery–to share with others–and immediately dropped into my own place of deep quiet and calm in the sitting, creating, and visualization while recording the audio.

Perhaps I will end up working harder, smarter, and with more focus–later today or over the weekend–as my To Do list beckons, but for now, I am in a delicious state of peaceful, calm, and intentional quiet.

May you be blessed with the same…

And P.S. This audio is not “perfect”! There is my breathing, my long ssss sounds, my clicking tongue; not that you will notice! xoxo

Mindful Mastery of Self-Talk

Let Your HeartMatters Journey take you to positive and affirming self-talk.

Notes from Glacier National Park

I have seen more wildflowers today than on perhaps any other day in my life. Reverence is the word I can use to describe my emotional response to the exquisite natural beauty I witnessed today. As I was immersed in the splendor of Glacier, sharing the marvelous scenery with my husband John, I ran out of superlatives to describe my wonder. What a truly mindful experience. Pure sensory stimulation. And what a gift to slow down enough to smell, to feel, to listen, to observe…I wish I could find words to share the quality of the smells in the air, but alas I cannot. Suffice it to say that the freshness, the green-ness, the sweetness, was so raw, so new, it was divine beyond description. The tactile stimulation was also virtually indescribable: warm sun on skin, cool shade bringing goosebumps, gentle breeze ruffling through my hair, cold water on my toes… Oh, the sounds–birdsong the likes of which I have not heard, rushing water, swaying trees, and silent forests–all of it joyful in my ears. And, the visuals: now I am back to the flowers, the meadows, the rivers and lakes, the steep hillsides, Rocky Mountain goats, Bighorn sheep, all living in the incredibly thick forests. How blessed I am to be here, in the midst of the beauty of life.

"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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