Journey to the Life You Love

How to get Motivated by Positive Influencers

There are many different ways to become motivated and inspired and yet many of us stay stuck and are hopeless.

I recently attended Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. I knew of several musicians I wanted to hear and also discovered some new bands. One in particular stood out to me. Her name was Lauren Sanderson. Her music is catchy, but her lyrics are incredibly inspiring. She talks and sings openly about overcoming anxiety which so many of us can relate to. Lauren offered to meet her fans next to the stage after the concert. I can say after spending just a few minutes with her ( and yes I was one of the oldest fans lol) she is absolutely so beautiful inside and out. One of the things that makes Lauren so inspiring is her authenticity.

Lauren laughed when I asked her to try a yoga pose with me. So much fun to connect with like minded people!

Lauren laughed when I asked her to try a yoga pose with me. So much fun to connect with like minded people!

Why do we look to influencers on social media?
We look to those with huge followings because they know their purpose and they know how to connect with us and energize us! Lauren Sanderson knew her purpose at a young age despite overcoming huge challenges like telling her family she is gay. Soon after high school graduation, and after sharing you tube videos, she began speaking. She received countless letters from desperate teens thanking her for sharing her story. She gave an amazing TEDx Talk, titled, For God’s Sake Just Love Them, where she inspired parents to tell their kids they love them, they are proud of them, and to validate their kids. She went on to say, if you have messed up its ok. It is ok to tell them NOW. Did you receive this kind of family support growing up? Fortunately, I did, but most people I talk to did not. I was struggling in my marriage and my ex finally shared with me that his parents had never told him they were proud of him and up until his college graduation he did not recall them telling him they loved him. I have similar stories with many other friends and I can tell you it affects our relationships vastly. Lauren went on to spread her positive messages through music in order to make a bigger impact.


Accept What’s in Your Past but Focus on the Future and Where You Want to Go.

No matter how you were raised take your life in your own hands. We all have a certain level of anxiety and we all have bad days. It’s ok to be confused, lost and down, just don’t stay there. You do not have to settle for a job, you do not have to tolerate being talked to negatively, and you are never alone. Allow yourself to feel every emotion that arises and then sit with it. See if you can observe how you can improve that feeling. Listen to inspiring lyrics or watch a You Tube video by a positive influencer, like Jay Shetty. Most of all have the courage to be YOU. Live authentically and if you do not feel accepted keep looking for your tribe. There are many kind, accepting, compassionate people to connect with. If you feel lost or stuck try looking at the situation from a different perspective. If you do not know your purpose just try to do things you love and are passionate about and consider trying new things and meeting new people. 


I can tell you that at 43 years old I have had times in my life where I felt lost and even trapped. I wanted to give up, but deep down I always had hope that better days were coming. My very greatest desire and my fear were interwoven. I wanted to find true love, you know, the kind you see in movies. But I feared losing that person and being alone. I married young and enjoyed many years with my ex and we created two beautiful children, but I always knew he was not my one, my person. I had to let go of my fear of being alone to achieve my dream of true love. It is not an easy garden to till and no one is perfect. You have to constantly pull the weeds, fertilize and nourish the garden of love. But, I can tell you without any doubts or regrets the love that I have in my life now is most beautiful and worth every bit of effort and vulnerability. I finally feel accepted and understood. So, while I do not advocate divorce or running away from any commitment, I do believe we all deserve to be accepted, heard, understood, and loved. 

Your life partner should always have your back and you will shine with that person.

Your life partner should always have your back and you will shine with that person.


”Happiness is not a Destination, It Comes & Goes” ~ Lyrics from Lauren Sanderson’s, Oceans

So observe the voice in your head and question the self talk. Ask yourself who you are. I am not Libby Shively McAvoy, thats just my name. I am not just a mom, a daughter, or a sister. I am not just a yoga instructor. I am a courageous, inspired woman, I am enough, I am still growing, I am healthy, I am love. I would urge you to reach out to me. Get a piece of paper and write me about whats going on in your life. Let’s connect. Direct message me on fb or instagram. I am not here to give advice. I want to listen and I want you to know you are being heard. You deserve to be happy.

Dream Really Really Big,

Libby

P.S. If you enjoyed this blog please click the heart and share it with friends and family. I sincerely hope to hear from every single one of you either in snail mail or direct message. You can also comment below. I will be announcing stress less workshops soon so please stay tuned.

Stress Effects and How to Mindfully Cope

How Stress Impacts Our Lives And How To Grow in Awareness to Prevent Major Illness

Stress is the cause of 90% of our doctors visits. I was blown away by this statistic. Let’s face it we cannot avoid stress in life, but what we can do is create awareness of what triggers us, learn to practice the pause before responding, and use coping techniques to calm ourselves down. There are two types of stress; good and bad. Good stress is called eustress and is responsible for the butterflies we feel in a new relationship, as well as the stress we feel to finish something on time. A “bad” stress, however, is far more common and if we do not learn how to cope with it, it can cause major health problems.

My very own daughter featured here studying for finals Freshman year at U.K. She is on a pre vet track and academics are extremely stressful, in addition to all the other changes college students face. The best thing we can do to help them is let them know we are there for them even from a distance and to teach them coping skills to help them achieve their dreams.

My very own daughter featured here studying for finals Freshman year at U.K. She is on a pre vet track and academics are extremely stressful, in addition to all the other changes college students face. The best thing we can do to help them is let them know we are there for them even from a distance and to teach them coping skills to help them achieve their dreams.

Common Causes of Stress: 

  • Being bullied

  • Overworking

  • Losing a job

  • Marriage/ relationship problems

  • Recent break up or divorce

  • Difficulty in school

  • Family struggles

  • Overloaded schedule

  • Moving

  • Financial struggles


When stress causes emotional harm over a prolonged period we refer to it as chronic stress. Chronic stress causes a spike in blood pressure along with many other serious health conditions. 


Physical Symptoms Manifested by Stress:

  • Headaches * the number one cause of all headaches is stress or tension

  • Fatigue

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Muscular pain

  • Asthma

  • Digestive issues

  • Change in sex drive

  • Raised blood pressure

  • Overeating/obesity


When you read these lists notice if you relate. We are beautifully designed to grow and heal ourselves. Every decision we make can lead to health problems OR can lead us to a state of wellness. It is not a linear journey that we are on. Some days may be healthier than others, and thats OK. The key to mastering our health is to grow our awareness. Be aware of signs that your body is overtaxed. If you experience panic attacks, depression or anxiety, or find yourself numbing out (binge watching Netflix, over drinking, smoking), it’s important to learn how to manage your stress before your stress hormones inflict more damage. The body and mind are so interconnected that a simple shift in perception can alleviate your stress. We can use The Law of Attraction and know that if we think positively our bodies will produce positive outcomes. 

Often we turn to alcohol, overeating, and other harmful behaviors to numb the stress, but it is important to pull the bandaid off so to speak and find and treat the underlying causes of stress.

Often we turn to alcohol, overeating, and other harmful behaviors to numb the stress, but it is important to pull the bandaid off so to speak and find and treat the underlying causes of stress.

Tools to Help You Reduce Stress:

  • Exercise

  • Breathing techniques

  • Healthy eating

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Social support

  • Working with a Wellness Coach or Therapist

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

A professional Wellness Coach can help you tremendously in reducing stress and also help you achieve your goals and dreams. The old saying, “easier said than done” is so very true. Change is not easy, but its worth it. YOU, my friends, are worth it. Many of our health problems are not only preventable, they are also reversible. So rather than popping pills, which only mask the underlying causes of illness, let’s fix the root causes of our stress. As a wellness coach I can help you look at what is working and what is not working for you, examine your personal strengths and weaknesses, and together we will create an action plan to overcome the obstacles that cause stress and anxiety so that you can live the happy and healthy life that you so deserve. Getting started is easy. We can meet in person or simply have a telephone or Skype meeting once a month. Message me when you are ready to get started, but do not wait. Now is the time. You will thank yourself six months down the road when you are living a better life.

Stress Less, Enjoy More,

Libby

P.S.  Thank you for your patience while I was away. I have spent the time on both self improvement and continued education. I hope you will utilize the skills that I have to offer. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out through the contact form on my site ( or just click the green link). I look forward to providing you with regular weekly blogs.

How to Maintain Sanity During the Holiday Calamity

Tips to reduce stress especially during the holidays.  

 

Simple Yoga Stretches to Relieve Low Back Pain

The Growing Epidemic of Back Pain

At some point in your life, if not already, you will most likely suffer from low back pain. If you have, or currently do suffer, from back pain you know how painful and at times even debilitating it is. According to Mayo Clinic, “Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.” Many factors contribute to this growing problem including sedentary lifestyles, poor core strength, tight hips & shoulders, and obesity. Back pain is most commonly treated with opioids, which as you know, are very addictive and can then lead to the addiction of other drugs such as heroine when the prescription runs out.

We can prevent back pain, in many cases, by increasing low impact exercises, building core strength, increasing flexibility, maintaining a healthy diet and controlling our weight, and avoiding smoking.

Causes of Low Back Pain

In some cases you should consult a doctor. Low back pain could be muscular strain, degenerative or slipped disc, compressed nerves, or sometimes is even a sign of internal organ problems such as a kidney infection. Doctors will often order an x-ray or MRI to check for signs of a more serious issue. However, if it is muscular strain there are quite a few simple yoga stretches that can offer great relief without turning to prescription drugs. Our body is designed to heal itself, we just need to help it along at times.

Everything I offer you in my blogs is based on personal experience. Lately I have been having pretty consistent back pain that comes and goes based on my activity level. One day, several months ago, it hurt so bad that Chris had to literally lift me out of bed. He took me to the hospital and we both had hoped for x-rays to find out what was causing the pain. No avail, the doctor was certain my pain was muscular because she could press on my spine and I felt relief rather than increased pain. She suggested yoga which I chuckled about since I practice daily. I asked if I should avoid any postures like twisting and she said no. I then started going for regular massage therapy. Turns out the massage therapist helped me more than the doctor, shocker right?! She said in so many words I have a tight ass lol. But, in all seriousness it made total sense. My piriformis muscle in my glutes were extremely tight. I knew right away what stretches I needed, I just would not have known that my low back pain was caused by my buttocks muscles. So, I hope that if you are experiencing back pain these postures and stretches will help!

Simple Yoga Postures & Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

 

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TADASANA, OR MOUNTAIN POSE:

  • Practice equal standing (with big toes together and heels slightly apart or you can have feet hip width apart), distributing the weight evenly between both feet as well as evenly through all four corners of each foot.

  • place your hands tohether at heart center OR turn your palms forward drawing the finger tips toward the earth

  • Root down and grow the crown of your head high toward the sky, engaging your uddiyana bandha (pull in core) and drawing up the moola bandha ( similar to a keegle exercise)

The beauty of this pose is that it can be practiced anywhere at anytime. Try it in line for the grocery or really any time you are standing. The benefits of this pose include increased awareness, improved posture, iproves arches in feet, and increases stability.

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ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA, OR DOWNWARD FACING DOG:

  • From plank position lift your hips up and back working to get the heels toward the floor

  • spread fingers wide and press into all ten fingers, pads, and palms

  • engage your core, relieving the spine, and preventing you from caving through your chest, creating an inverted V. Relax your neck and take 3-5 breaths.

As you strengthen core muscles you are also improving flexibility through the hips and shoulders. This posture truly works the entire body. If you practice Ashtanga Yoga you know that most down dogs are followed by upward dogs which move the spine in the opposite direction. Normally keeping this balance is good, however upward facing dog is hard on people with low back pain, soI recommend doing a pushup and skipping up dog. Also important to note this stretch can be modified and preformed my placing your hands shoulder width apart onto the back of a chair or even a wall. Walk your feet back until arms are straight. Stretch your hips back toward the wall behind you. Stay here 3-5 breaths.

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NAVASANA, OR BOAT POSE:

  • Sit back on your tailbone lifting toes to eye level. Feel free to hold the backs of legs for added support as you continue to build core strength, other wise reach fingers toward toes.

  • leen upper body back rounding shoulders up and back, elongate the spine, keep shins parallel to earth

  • If you feel strong you may straighten the legs or perhaps lean torso back further and begin to lower legs toward earth

Strengthening the core protects our back. this pose also improves posture.

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PARSVA UPAVISTA KONASANA, OR SEATED WIDE LEGGED STRETCH:

  • Inhale, sit tall and exhale right shoulder to right thigh, gazing upward

  • Extend left arm over left ear and reach out through your finger tips

  • feel the long side body stretch as your ribs expand, loosening the “cage” that holds our heart

This stretch lengthens and strengthens the spine and back muscles, improves spinal alignment, and improves posture. It also opens the hips, groin, and pelvis and increases blood flow to these areas.

 

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THREAD THE NEEDLE:

  • Laying flat on back, bend knees with soles of feet on ground

  • Cross left foot over right knee and raise right toes to eye level (parallel to ground)

  • Thread arms around right thigh and gently pull thigh toward chest and using core to push low back into earth. Hold 3-5 breaths and then switch legs.

This pose feels highly therapeutic to my low back. It stretches the hips which reduces stiffness in both the hips and low back. This is a milder version of pigeon pose.

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SUPTA MATSYENDRASANA, OR TWO KNEE RECLINED SPINAL TWIST:

  • Laying flat on your bend knees

  • Lift hips and rotate both legs to the far right. If this is too much pressure on knees or hips support the legs with a pillow or rolled blanket

  • Take arms out to your side in a “T” or place in “bank robber” position. Turn head to your left. Stay 3-5 breaths and repeat on the opposite side.

This pose stretches the upper and middle spine. It alleviates stiffness and low back pain. If you have furry friends they will offer assists ;)

Staying Mobile

If you sit at a desk the majority of the day for work or school try a few of the above stretches periodically. Change positions often and get outside for a short walk any time opportunity allows. Movement not only benefits the body, but it connects the body with the mind allowing us to become more mindful. If you are active at work and need to lift heavy items lift from the legs to protect your back. These stretches will also benefit you. If you found this article helpful please scroll down under the tags and click the heart on the left to give some love and let me know if I am doing a good job delivering helpful information.

With Health & Gratitude,

Libby

P. S. Have you seen our new logo? If not visit our home page on the website! The yin yang symbolizes balance and reflection. The lotus flower represents our growth up through the muck and mire and into the light where we bloom. Green is the symbol of growth, abundance, harmony, and nature. While you are on the website please sign up for the newsletter. Stay tuned for next Monday’s blog on Stress Relief During the Holiday Season.