Self-Care Archives - Stephanie Dawn

How I became an organic freak

By | business, health, holistic living, organic, postpartum, Self-Care, superfoods | No Comments

rainbowfood2Some 25 years ago, I was sitting in a bustling cafe in Santa Cruz, California, enjoying my morning coffee and a muffin. I had just moved there from my hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. I had left a life of theater and rain in Vancouver. My goals were few at that time in my life: I wanted to live in the sunshine, learn to surf, and ride my bike to work. A lovely looking man smiling brightly sidled up beside me and asked if the seat beside me was taken. It was the only seat left in the cafe. We began chatting, his name was Will, and I learned that he was an organic citrus farmer in town to sell his organic oranges. The tiny town of Santa Cruz and beyond in Aptos and Capitola, had about 7 natural food stores that he sold his fruit to. I was taken by this unusual man and his unusual work. He also traded stocks on the stock market, which he was doing that day in the cafe. He seemed happy and successful. We began dating. He introduced me to yoga, vegan living and the world of organic and natural foods. I was smitten. With all of it. Soon I moved to live with him at his Hawkeye Organic Ranch where he farmed predominantly oranges and grapefruit in the Coachella Valley in a tiny town called Mecca. So began my education into organic living and farming. I was immersed wholly and completely into this land of fruits and nuts!

Around Will’s farm, we were surrounded by conventional farms that used toxic chemical pesticides, including large farming operations like Dole. I would go on a morning run and inhale the pesticides in the air from the early morning aerial spraying. This just seemed insane to me. How could an organic farm be surrounded by all these conventional farms and still be organic? We began to farm in the San Gorgonio Mountain Range north of Will’s farm far from all the industrial conventional farms. Apples and various vegetables. After three years, Will and I parted and I moved to Los Angeles, but my love of organic living never waned. Twenty five years ago there were no organic foods sold in Trader Joes and Ralph’s. I would add my suggestion weekly in TJs suggestion box and I would talk to grocers in the standard grocery stores to please buy from organic farmers. I began to write a book called the Organic Revolution. I never finished that book, but I realize now, that book could still be written, for while we have made great strides in this country where organic foods and farming are concerned, the multinational corporations such as Monsanto have placed a great threat to small farmers everywhere, in the US and beyond.

My family thought I was nuts. I have preached organic living to them all the years since. I still do. I am now raising my two boys to understand the difference between organic and non-organic foods, so they can make informed decisions about what they are putting into their bodies away from home.

Fast forward to August 4th, 2016. I am sitting in a convention hall at the Gaylord Hotel in Orlando, Florida, listening to author, organic farmer and green foods visionary Dave Sandoval talk about a business deal he recently secured with 60 farmers in Thailand, who oversee 200 farms, to turn their brown and Jasmine rice farms organic, and how he went up against Monsanto to secure the business for his three year old company, Purium. I sat there, one woman in a room of about 1000, imagining what was possible when the company grew to be six years old, and then ten years old. What would the environmental and economic impact be as this company grew? I was smitten. Again. And so the organic revolution continues.

In addition to having lost almost 30 pounds of postpartum (10 years postpartum!) weight enjoying daily non-GMO organic superfoods, I have also ended my 25 year daily coffee habit, I have regained the energy I once had some 15 years ago before I gave birth to my boys and I am watching my skin, hair and nails grow and glow.

I have aligned with this company wholeheartedly to help pregnant, nursing and postpartum mothers and others to drop weight, to regain their optimal health and support them in creating health (and wealth!) in their lives and their families and communities. I was honored to rank Diamond with the company on October 31st and I have just returned from celebrating at their Diamond Trip this weekend where I toured their Long Beach facility, learned a great deal more about the products, and enjoyed time spent with fellow Diamonds who traveled to be together from around the world. To me, this is more than offering non-GMO, organic superfoods products to my friends, colleagues and community, this is an extension of my birth into organic living some 25 years ago. This is a movement, the US food movement, which impacts every country around the world, as Purium farms with partner farmers all over the world. Their products ship to Canada, the EU and soon Australia. If you are excited by what I am sharing with you here and want to transform your health or your experience of wealth in your life and pull in a second stream of income, please reach out to me by commenting here or send me a message via Facebook. I am committed to the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual transformation of human life on earth and my work with Purium is a big part of that. Learn more at www.mypurium.com/radiantdawn. (Be sure to reach out to me if you want to enroll, so I can ensure you receive up 30% off of the products). I am here to support you in creating a life that lights you up. To your health!

Got economic empowerment?

By | business, health, holistic living, Self-Care, Uncategorized | No Comments

9521173-pile-of-gold-coins-in-the-shape-of-heart-isolated-on-white_25_1415648270-300x300Recently I was speaking with my coach about my life, my business, what I have achieved and where I am desiring to go. Coaches are good for that. They offer heaps of reflection and sacred mirroring and I love mine dearly. I was sharing with her about how important I feel economic empowerment is for women in our current age, and the parallels that I am also passionate about in regards to empowerment for women and birth. I was looking at my coaching business and was considering specifically the women I work with. This was all juxtaposed with an issue I was processing around a wealthy individual in my life. I was disturbed by those who have so much, who are seemingly just wealthy for the sake of being wealthy, owning many cars and homes, going on many trips, and not doing a whole heck of a lot of good with it every day. Or enough good, in my not so humble opinion. I was in judgement big time. I thought they could/should/ought to be doing more. Then we circled back to laser in on economic empowerment. And she asked me “Is this person economically empowered?” I was stopped. I had to answer honestly, and as I define it, I had to admit that, no, they weren’t economically empowered. This was a revelation to me. All of a sudden, I stopped judging them, stopped comparing myself to them and could just bless them for who they are, and give thanks for what I had created in my life. I do feel economically empowered. I have created a business and a life that really works for me. I work about four to five hours a day and spend the rest of my time with my kids and husband, doing yoga, reading, walking on the beach. I have consciously created business hours that serve me and my family. Self-care is enormously important and I carve time out for it regularly. I also make time for girlfriends regularly and I love my solitude.

Here’s six tips for creating economic empowerment in your spiritual entrepreneurial life:

  1. Value yourself and charge what you are worth I have done so much work around this. Once upon a time I was a very broke actress, activist and artist. I really didn’t care about money, I just followed my heart, worked my butt off doing odd jobs and trusted Life to look after me. I thought I was free, but really, I was just broke. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun back then allowing the creative spirit to take me wherever I wanted to go, but I was not of woman of any kind of means. It is so important to do the inner work around your own wealth consciousness, prosperity and money. Get really good at having money conversations. Clean up your credit, hire an accountant. Do what you must to honor your financial life. Pray about it. Find a friend or colleague to help with this, or hey, hire a coach!
  2. Create business hours (including text and email) that work for you The time was when I saw clients at all hours of the day and week. It was crazy! When my first business mentors offered that I create business hours, I worried “Would people come?”. Of course they did and I now have solid boundaries about when I am and am not working seeing clients. Win, win, win, for me, for my clients, for my family.
  3. Carve self-care into your week and weekend Being a workaholic is so old paradigm. If we are going to balance out the world and raise the energy of the divine feminine to the degree that we must in order for our world order to be restored, we must honor our body’s needs, our spirit’s needs, our heart’s needs, our family’s needs and our communities needs. It all matters. But make making time for you a priority and then you will willingly, wholeheartedly have all the love, time and attention for the people and projects that really matter so you can give from the well that is overflowing, not the well that is dry.
  4. Find a mastermind I have always said that when women circle up, great things happen and the same is true in business. With all of the moving parts of having an online or in person business and all the hats you must wear, leaning into those who are in the same boat can help so much. You can bounce your ideas off them, ask for resources, get troubleshooting support in hiring staff, implementing systems and much much more. Give yourself the gift of a group of women/people who are seeking to uplift their lives and their businesses and yes, their economic empowerment so you can be a major player in the expansion and evolution of planet earth.
  5. Write down your business and financial goals This is so important. The Universe can’t give us what we are wishy washy about. As my coach Kendra Thornbury says, “Decision is the point of creation.” So gain clarity about what you are seeking to energize, write it down, share it with the women/people in your mastermind or a cherished colleague. As you have intended and decided that something is going to happen, and work steadily in it’s direction, it will manifest. We live in a creative Universe and we are just that powerful. When we align our thoughts and emotions with action, magic and miracles happen.
  6. Create an altar Place your business goals and anything else you want to energize for your life and business. Place sacred objects that have meaning to you and offer your goals to Spirit.

Here’s to your economic empowerment. We lift as we climb. Goddess bless you as you love into creation all that you desire.

Can a 51 year old lose 20 pounds of postpartum weight 12 years later?

By | health, holistic living, organic, postpartum, Self-Care, superfoods, Uncategorized | No Comments

IMG_1295Last October, a client contacted me and shared that she had just completed a 10 day cleanse, had great results and shared a video with me on Facebook. The video revealed that the company is dedicated to offering organic superfoods for weight loss and radiant health. I was immediately sold. It was just a matter of determining when I would be able to start, as my life, of late has been incredibly scheduled and I knew it would take planning. Finally, I ordered the products, did the 10 day cleanse, lost about 7 pounds and then promptly went on vacation. Not the best way to keep the weight off and support what I had begun on the cleanse! I kept on with several of the products that are the foundation of the cleanse and was determined to do the cleanse again.

Fast forward to this past Spring. I ordered the products for the cleanse again, did the mental preparations for a strong experience, and I ended it on Mother’s Day. I lost about 11 pounds. This time, after the cleanse, I had a plan. I also hired a health coach. I was resolved to keep the weight off and continue losing. A little over 4 weeks later I had lost 22 pounds and 14.5 inches. I was astounded. These pounds had hung on for 12 years! I just didn’t know how I was going to lose them. I knew I needed a system and I knew that Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers was not it. This cleanse was originally created for stars who wanted to drop weight right before all the big awards shows. Living in Los Angeles, and being married to an actor, I got it. The pressure is real. But I rejected my own internal pressures for 12 long years, choosing to focus on raising my kids and building my business, and seriously, nurturing a long time love affair with chocolate and sugar.

Something shifted when I turned 50. I was at the tail end of experiencing a Candida overgrowth and I was on a very strict diet to eliminate it. I had been making poor food choices after the death of my Dad. I just didn’t care. Cookies, pizza, you name it. But with the onset of my 50th birthday, I made a decision: to be the healthiest I could be for the next 50 years while living on planet earth.

So, as I write, I am in the final month of a three month commitment of clean and healthy eating using these products. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, a little protein, no coffee, no alcohol, minimal grains and absolutely no sugar. I would like to lose another 5 pounds to be back down to my pre-baby weight. Finally. So the weight loss continues and my commitment to my health is greater than ever.

Through this time of transformation I am experiencing an up-leveling of my experience of greater self-love, as I continue to nourish myself. I have fallen in love with these products and have no intention of stopping any time soon. I know that my daily diet alone isn’t fortifying me the way that it must, in order for me to be the best I can be, and my family is enjoying them as well. Just like any mom, getting my boys to eat vegetables regularly is a big deal. Knowing that they are eating organic superfoods on the daily really makes me happy.

If you are struggling to lose postpartum weight or any weight for that matter, I am beginning another cleanse in August and would love to invite you to join me here. Also, if we aren’t friends on Facebook, please friend me here. If I can do this, you too can have your own health transformation, no matter how long you have been desiring to lose the weight.

8 Self-Love Practices that Changed My Life

By | Self-Care, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Me and Frank Stella at the Whitney

Me and Frank Stella at the Whitney

Long before I met my husband and created a family, I was engaged in a deep spiritual inquiry that had me releasing the untruths that were keeping me locked in a cycle of self-hate and I aligned with the spiritual truths of my divine true nature that supported my living a life of joy, peace, and love.

How did I do this? Well, it took years to be honest. I received many months of spiritual counsel, cried many tears that represented the falling away of those beliefs that didn’t serve me and practiced acts of self-love that made me feel good, that helped me to foster a relationship with myself that became my new normal. The days of negative self-talk became mindfully put to rest as I began to download ways of living and caring for myself that exalted who I am as a divine being.

Herewith, I share with you 8 self-love practices that changed my life:

Prayer. When I first heard the practitioners at my spiritual home of Agape pray their affirmative prayer, I felt I was swept up into a powerful swirl of light and love and I can recall thinking “I want to pray like that!”. Then I began to work with the Hereditary Chiefs of the Nuxalk Nation from British Columbia to help them save their old growth forests and home. These men prayed before everything they did and I thought “I want to live and pray like that!” So over time I received many many prayers that supported me in releasing what wasn’t true that I had fallen into agreement with. This allowed me to vibrationally resonate with the spiritual truth of my being and then live from that. Completely transformational! What I learned is that whatever I speak with feeling is my prayer, so why not consciously pray on things that uplift my soul and energize the world I am seeking to create? A prayer can be as simple as an “I” statement affirmation that affirms the spiritual truth: “I am Love” or it can be a much longer spiritual mind treatment that creates powerful healing within the neural pathways of your brain and therefore changes your lived reality.

Buying myself fresh flowers. What once seemed a great extravagance became a weekly ritual for me. Why? Because I LOVE flowers and decided that I would have them in my home weekly to enhance and beautify my modest little Venice home. Beauty is very important to me and bringing fresh flowers into my home, sometimes scented, like lilies and sometimes not, just made me feel good! Of course now my husband knows this about me and he brings me fresh flowers weekly when he sees they are beginning to wilt.

Hydrotherapy. While I was studying to become an Agape practitioner in 2000 and 2001, there was a lot of reading about God happening and I would draw myself a nice hot bubble bath and read for about an hour. This time of solitude would feed me tremendously, cost nothing and supported my spiritual walk of self-love and self-acceptance so gorgeously. To this day I lock myself away in the bathroom from all my men, throw in some epsom salts and bubbles and languor in the water for as long as I want. I also take myself to my local Korean spa here in Los Angeles almost monthly now and enjoy hours of away time in the baths and lay reading on the heated Jade floor. Bliss!

Meditation. While I am not a daily meditator I do sit when I am called to sit to quiet my mind and open to the nothingness that comes with allowing myself to become conscious of the breath and let the mind become still. I also enjoy yoga nidra meditation at night to send myself off to sleep.

Taking myself to the beach. The beach is my happy place here in Los Angeles. At the beach I can look out at the waves and tap into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and feel the smallness of anything that may be bothering me or creating any kind of stress in my life. It puts it all in perspective. I love the sea and will sometimes see dolphins and even whales!

Art Dates. Before having children I painted with oils. Before that I painted with acrylics, practiced collage and various other crafting and art forms, a true child of the 70s! Recently I went to the Whitney Museum in New York City and felt like a kid in a candy shop. My soul was filled with the whimsy of Alexander Caulder’s Circus, Georgia O’Keefe and I was particularly taken with the Whitney’s collection of Frank Stella. It was heaven! My current commitment to my artist self is to manifest an office outside of my home that I can also paint in. Ah creating once again! I can’t wait.

Taking myself to the movies. I love the cinema! For many years as a teen I thought I would be a Hollywood actress, reading all the wonderful biographies of so many female greats: Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and others. I acted in high school, in my twenties in Vancouver, and worked for several years in the field upon arriving to Los Angeles. Taking myself to the movies without feeling the need to go with anyone felt like a great act of self-love when I was single. It made me happy and supported me in feeling like I didn’t need a date to have fun!

Dancing.I love to dance and love nothing more than to absolutely lose myself in music while dancing. From dancing in my living room as girl in front of the “mirror” of our large living room to discos in the 80s to Grateful Dead concerts in the 90s to ecstatic dance events here in California to dance parties in my living room with my boys, dancing takes me into the moment and allows my spirit to soar like nothing else. I danced with my babies in my arms when they were small and we turn Pandora on in our living room now and have dance parties all the time.
I even follow a woman on Periscope now who does dance parties! This is very necessary for a woman who sits coaching and writing most of the day!

No matter how you celebrate this weekend, may it be infused with heaps of self-love!

Big love,
Stephanie

Healing Trauma for Birthkeepers in the Age of the Spiritual Birth Crisis

By | Birth Trauma, Self-Care | No Comments

If you are a birth professional, you uphold the highest tenets of birth practices, including a deep sense of integrity for evidence-based care, as well as mother-centric and baby-centric pregnancy and labor, delivery, and postnatal care. You strive to promote peace throughout the entire period of gestation through infancy. You know that the environment a mother experiences for her pregnancy and birth are highly influential for not only the mother, but for her baby, her partner, and her relationships. Breastfeeding, postnatal health, intimacy, and much more all follow cues from the birth environment.

Is it any wonder that you carry a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders?

Even in your “average”, smooth births, you recognize how much of yourself you give. You are a giver. But you walk through many fields to attend births. The landscape varies from birth to birth.

You help support a mother’s (or a family’s) vision for her birth, helping her form and develop her birthing plan. When the birth experience veers from the plan, the resulting dynamic typically becomes quite tense, and you need to pull your inner resources to help inform, reassure, and soothe your mothering client. This can be taxing if you have been supporting her for many sleepless hours during her labor, and it can be emotionally draining as well.

When working in a difficult birthing environment, things can (and often do) stray from the peaceful realm that you and your mothering clients have envisioned, planned for, researched, strived for. Midwives and doulas take on a great deal of added pressure when they have to contend with non-evidence based interventions.

Birth is a dynamic event, and can change course for various reasons. This can cause added stress to the mother-to-be and her partner, not to mention her baby. Intervention rates soar in our modern birth facilities, which heightens the adrenaline response, which thwarts the natural course of birth. In addition to providing a calm and peaceful environment and assisting a mother with managing all of the sensations throughout her labor, you now become a diplomat, an advocate, perhaps a gentle activist.

On a “smooth delivery day”, you have likely given up hours, possibly days, of time on-call. Lovingly, you have shelved your task list, or have found a way to squish it into a tiny window of time, molded around nature’s schedule.You take hours and days away from your loved ones. Maybe even from your own babies.

You are a goddess-serving warrior.

How do you maintain your own self-care and balance with all of these criteria factoring into your job description?

Our modern-day birthkeepers, especially doulas, are on the front lines of the modern birth terrain. It is not for the faint of heart. You are warriors. You stand in to hold the space when a mother should be left in peace to focus inwardly during her transitional phases. You speak up when a mother is vulnerable and her energies should not be engaged in contentious dialogue with abrupt birthing staff about policy versus personal needs.

How many of the births you attend play out in peace and joy? How many births find you gritting your teeth and doing double time as a patient advocate on top of a mother’s labor support person? As the Cesarean rate sits at a steady 33% national average (that’s 1 in 3 births on average, varying by state), and violent interventions are now coming to light in the media, are you at all surprised by the high burnout rate of birth professionals? Are you exhausted?

How do you prepare mentally/emotionally/spiritually to attend a birth?

When you come home from a birth, are you available to your families, or do you need time and space to decompress, to process what just occurred?

How do you clear those energies from a birth? Even the beautiful births are a wide open energetic space. All of the psychic energies from mother to partner to birth staff and medical staff meld together, and it leaves an imprint.

If you prepare placentas as part of your work, how do you keep your own energies separated from those subtle energies?

As a healer, I work with women to heal traumatic cellular memory – that’s how our life’s experiences get “stuck in our cells” as we perpetuate mental-emotional-physical responses through reliving the memory of the event. I work closely with mothers who have experienced birth trauma, and who have experienced physical and emotional postpartum challenges. I help to guide women from a “locked in” state of grief, emotional or mental paralysis, and anger, moving to a safe place of acknowledgement, deep self-acceptance, self-love, and empowerment.

Everybody deserves this status. And we all encounter experiences in some form or another, in varying degrees of intensity, which can weaken our foundation or press our buttons, causing anything from fatigue to anxiety to burnout.

When I work with you in healing space, we work through several different forms of modalities (I liken this to an artist using mixed media). I offer active listening to you, and we discuss patterns which arise for you which serve as triggers for suffering or perpetuating challenges. Once we illuminate these triggers, we safely and gently transmute those energies in healing space. We may employ energy healing, yoga and meditation techniques, journaling, affirmations, or homeopathy.

Would you like to learn methods to consciously prepare your personal energy field as part of your birth work? And how to self-clear your energy after you have completed a birthkeeping assignment (including a day of doulaing, or handling a placenta)? How to recalibrate yourself so that you are reinforced and therefore less susceptible to fatigue and burnout?

Consider joining me at the Sacred Birthkeepers Retreatmarnie_04, hosted by Stephanie Dawn, and filled with deep self-nurturing and recalibrating offerings including bodywork, yoga, delicious and healthy specially prepared meals, and sacred circle. I will be facilitating a group healing circle to address the spiritual needs of birthworkers within this circle.

Ready to find out more? Join us for a tele-gathering on May 20 at 8:00 Eastern/5:00 Pacific time and get your travel plans in order to join us this July!

To our highest healing and success!

Through Dragonfly Holistic, Marnie McKnight Favell works with women who are healing from trauma, abuse, and disorders. She specializes in serving women who are healing from birth trauma and postpartum issues so that they can be fully present for their children and partners as well as themselves, and to find freedom for their subsequent pregnancies. Marnie works locally in her Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck offices in New York State, as well as nationally and internationally via Skype sessions. Find out more at www.dragonflyholistic.com.