Best Retreat in Portland, Oregon

I had the opportunity to travel to Portland, Oregon in the Spring of 2016.  I went there for a retreat for 5 days with a beautiful community of people.  It was a retreat given by Matt Kahn and Julie Dittmar.  I have been following Julie and Matt for several years now.   They are spiritual teachers whose humor and grace will capture you unwillingly.  I felt totally loved and nurtured the entire time I was there.  Not only by Julie and Matt but everyone at the conference.  My barriers came down whether I liked it or not.  I also felt I was in a safe place to allow my emotions to surface.  Imagine being in the company of 330 or more people!  Knowing that the person sitting next to me was probably going through the same thing I was gave me such relief and comfort.    By day 5 I was lighter, happier, confident and radiant.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  I have been to a lot of retreats and I would say this was one of my favorites.

16587071_10209970342608235_4479487695483079151_o

The retreat was held at the “World Forestry Center” in Portland Oregon.  I was captivated by the beautiful trees which surrounded the center.  It was a hop skip and a jump from where I stayed.  I stayed at the Marriott Center in downtown Portland.   I was surprised of the short distance from the Marriott to the Forestery Center.  I took the Max Light Rail Terminal.  It was less than a 10 minute walk from the Marriott to the terminal.    Food in downtown Portland was delicious and fresh.  I don’t remember the names of the places I ate at but I can reassure you it was delicious.  One of my favorite dishes was a blend of rice, vegetables and sauce ( I wish I remembered the name of this place).  I ate there more than once and I found it soothing on my digestive tract.   The breakfast at the Marriott was good and the staff was very accommodating.  Can it get any better than eating breakfast and viewing Mound Hood.  I found Portland to be very clean and nourishing.  I was surprised of the amount of homeless people.  On my last day I was gifted with meeting several homeless people.  It’s hard to put into words how I felt.  My heart cracked open and I found the 2 men to be very wise souls.  Looks can be deceptive!  If you ever have the opportunity to travel I would highly recommend Portland, Oregon.  There was nothing I did not like about it!

What is Body/Mind Integration?

starts-with-youI truly believe I am beginning to understand the meaning of “Body/Mind” Integration. Being peaceful & grateful is essential in my daily living circumstances.  It has been a gradual process.  Let me explain:

You may ask what got me to this place?  Commitment, letting go of drama, and noticing how I respond to triggers.

Letting go of drama involves allowing life to play out without getting involved in other peoples situations and at the same time being a good listener.  We as human beings “feel” better when we seemingly fix other peoples problems.  I know that I do not want anyone to fix me or tell me what is best.  Letting go of drama also includes letting go of our stories, ie. past hurts, regrets and gossip.  To notice what you are noticing without judgement.

Triggers:  We all get triggered by events and situations.  It’s important to notice when one blames another for a perceived misfortune.  This is what I experience when I have been triggered.  1. Somatic response to a situation, i.e.. gut feeling or feeling heavy.  Most of the time it is a emotional response to a situation such as hurt, anger, sadness, and fear.  Integration occurs when one allows the emotion to surface through completion.  The key is to notice the emotion as best as you can without judgement, and breathe and allow.   Sometimes a memory will “trigger” an emotion. When this happens I immediately try to micromanage it which only creates frustration.  I have also “distracted myself” from feeling. i.e. going to the fridge, stifling it etc.  Most of the time it has nothing to do with what is happening in the moment.

An opening occurs when we allow the emotions to cascade through our bodies.  The more I STOP, SLOW DOWN and BREATHE without judging myself the more grace and ease I feel.  Remember ~ not to take yourself seriously.  Run towards yourself not away from yourself.  Someone once told me being “uncomfortable” is your greatest teacher.  If you feel scared or unsafe do what is necessary.  It can be scary in the beginning especially if your not used to it.  Call a friend, go for a walk.  Triggers are fantastic and it is a gateway to one’s evolution.  So trigger away!

Posted on May 7, 2016 by Anne Lamantia

I Did A 21 Day Cleanse And lost 10 lbs. Here’s What I Learned

I gave up all my vices – Coffee, Alcohol, Gluten, Sugar, Dairy And Meat for 21 days!  I did this because I wanted to lose weight and feel better.  I also needed to eat differently but I did not know where to beIMG_0082-300x200gin.  A friend told me about Dr. Junger’s 21 day cleanse and I decided to give it a go.  I liked the idea that he was a Doctor and had written a cookbook called “Clean Eats” and I was curious to see if I had any food sensitivities.

Not eating after 8 at night I must admit was the hardest part along with omitting coffee and cheese.  I’m usually “not going by the rules” kind of person but I was curious to see what the results would be when I was finished.  Low and behold I was blown away with my experience.

Here’s what I learned:

1.  My Bloating went away.

For as long as I can remember I have always had a bloated stomach.  After 1 week I did not have a bloated stomach and my digestive tract felt cleaner and healthier.  After the 21 Day I re-introduced Gluten back into my diet and I became bloated and “gassy.”   That is proof in the pudding!

2.  At night I felt at ease and slept better.

Having a nursing background I have always known that the body needs rest and nourishment during the sleep cycle and the digestive tract needs a rest from breaking down food.  Having that 12 hour period without food was quiet time for my body and my body was not hyped up from caffeine, sugar or alcohol.  I also felt keeping a clean diet was effective of not having my system raise havoc.  I also woke up feeling like I had a good night’s rest.

3.  I pooped every day!

Need I say more.

4.  I became more conscious of what I put into my mouth!

It  forced me to be attentive to what I was buying and what nutritional value the food had.  You would be amazed what sources of food has protein in it.  It was also important to note how I felt after I ate certain foods.  I felt much lighter overall and my digestive tract did not have to work as hard.

5.  Brain fog went by the wayside.

My thoughts were clearer and I was less anxious.

6.  My mood was brighter and my Central Nervous System was more at ease.

I’m attributing my calmness to no sugar, caffeine and who knows no gluten and dairy.  I remember a week after I came off the cleanse I had a can of ginger ale and instantaneously I felt exhausted and my brain was in a fog.  The first week of the cleanse “I was fit to be tied” and after that I felt more even keeled.

7.  Put me on tract for a “better eating cycle”

I decided that my health was important to me and taking the time to investigate my eating choices was worth it to me.  After 21 days I was more mindful of what I put in my mouth and how my body reacted to the food.  IT was as if I broke an old habit and began a new one.   I was making conscious choices and stayed on an eating schedule.

8.  I became more Confident and looked better.

Doing something for myself and feeling healthier and lighter gave me a boost of confidence.  Friends would ask what have I done differently and wanted information about this cleanse.

9.  I loved my juices, smoothies and food choices!

The receipes are endless with this cleanse.

10.  You don’t need to sign up and do his protocol (unless you find it helpful).  I just got his information off line and did it on my own.

11.  Your worth it!

Proper nutrition is important for your well-being.

12.  Yes, you still can have dessert! 

I love desert  and that has always been the hardest part for me until I started experimenting with other options such as gluten free, whole foods and different replacements for sugar.

13.  When you make conscious choices your life always improves.

 

With love,  Anne

Posted on January 21, 2016 by Anne Lamantia

How To Keep The Heart Open!

Why Do We Close our Hearts?

I can only speak from direct experience.  First I would say that we are not brought up with the tools to keep an open heart.  It is not something my parents taught me or I was taught in school.  I’ve heard many times just open your heart ~ Well what the heck does that mean?   At that point I became curious and I began noticing what I noticed.   I noticed I would nIMG_0155-300x200ot feel my emotions ~ for example my anger, sadness or grief, and I felt ill-equipped.  I began to notice there was this heaviness I accumulated in my body and I believe it was because I did not process my own pain.  As time went on I began to get in touch with my anger, sadness, hurt and fear.  As I began to get in touch with these aspects I began to feel lighter and to my amazement less depressed.   Oh here is another big one for me!  I also noticed when I interacted with others I was too involved with their stories.  Over the last 5 years I have been willing to acknowledge my feelings and as I do I unravel.

How to open your heart!

1.  It has taken a lot of courage and trust to do this.   A willingness to open to life and feel.     It takes time and patience and a willingness to meet life from a brand new platform.  It takes baby steps to put something new into motion.  We all have our patterns so be gentle with the self.

2.  If you have heard of that saying it takes a village to bring up a child I believe there is a lot of truth to that.  Find support, people who are honest and who will empower you.  Don’t take No for an answer.   We are more alike than different.  As mother Theresa says “do good anyways.”

3.  I believe authenticity is vital to our well=being.  It is so easy to get caught in societal roles and responsibility. when we are missing the point of just being ourselves.

4.  Find something in your life to be grateful for.  Make a list everyday.  It takes time to change patterns.

5.  Love on your pets!

6.  Do good for someone in need!

7.  Prioritze yourself.  Spend an hour every day to nuture your spirit.

8.  Walk away from people who drag you down.

9.  If it does not feel good do not do it.  The same goes for food choices.

10.  Get out in nature.

11.  Never go to bed angry.

12.  Do more listening than talking.

13.  Listen to your intuition.

14.  Say I am sorry and as Mother Theresa has said, “forgive them anyway!”

Posted on November 1, 2015 by Anne Lamantia

What to Eat Instead of Meat to get Protein?

I don’t know about you but I am constantly wondering what to eat as a protein substitute for meat.  I used to eat a lot of meat.  Probably 3-4 times a week.  I no longer have an appetite for meat.  I just no longer crave it like I used to.Pistachio-Pesto-crusted-salmon1-0693-300x200

Protein is a necessary building block to our body.  Our cells are constantly dying and re-building and protein helps rebuild and re-energize us.

These are the foods I have found to be a good source of protein other than meat:  Fish, cheese, tofu, beans, yogurt (greek has more protein than other yogurts),  seeds.

https://annelamantia.wordpress.com

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Anne Lamantia

Simple Steps to Healthy Eating

What does eating healthy really mean?  We can go from eating horribly to identifying with our food way to much. Both aspects don’t serve us but don’t beat yourself up for it ~ we all do it!  Lets explore another possibility.  Perhaps it just means being mindful of what you are putting in your mouth…  Here are some helpful and healthful tips:  Take conscious action: 1. Are your eyes bigger than your belly?  2.  Stop and see what foods you naturally gravitate towards even if it does not make sense.  3.  Notice your reaction when you look at foods ie.  if you become nauseous you know the  answer if it feels expansive than you are on track.  4. Notice “emotional eating” – if you don’t know what that means check in with your mood! 5.  Notice how you feel after you eat.  ie.  Are you tired, restless or foggy?

What you can do to change your eating patterns.  1. Take a baby step.  Most change occurs in small steps that add up.  2.  Throw away your diet books and check in with your innate wisdom.. or find a recipe book that meets your needs.  3.  Give yourself a break.  There may be days where you eat like grap and that is okay.  4.  Choose consciously.  5.  Check in with your mood before you eat.  If you are angry you may want to wait.  6. Bring your favorite snacks when you travel or to work where choices can be limited.  7.  Do you feel you have to eat everything on your plate or are you okay when you become full and leave food on your plate?  8.  Is there something else you rather eat or eating what’s in front of you because it is easier?

My hope is that you flourish in health!

Posted on by Anne Lamantia

Simple Steps to Practicing Presence!

1.  Stop, slow down and breathe.

pathocean-300x1992.  Witness your thoughts.

3.  Notice where you are feeling discomfort in the body.  Perhaps it is in the stomach, chest and throat.  If emotion arises, accept and embrace the emotion.  If it is anger feel the anger no matter how outrageous it may feel.  The only way out is through.

4.  If you judge it’s okay.  Notice the judgement without making it wrong.

5.  Pat yourself on the back for allowing yourself the space to be in presence!

https://annelamantia.wordpress.com

Posted on June 24, 2015 by Anne Lamantia

The Power of Letting Go

Are you a person who turns and faces their fears or do you run away, hide or contract?  I am/was one of those individuals who contracts and hides in the face of fear.  Why?  I am not sure other than maybe  I was taught to do this.  It may be that I was afraid to look at my fear as if a ugly monster was going to be uncovered.

A wise person once told me that in the animal kingdom it is their nature to shake off fear.  I thought that this was a good analogy.  It made me look at areas in my life where I am holding onto fear. I realized I was not letting go and trying to control the outcome.  The outcome of the way people are supposed to show up, the outcome of my career, and the list goes on and on.  I was “struggling”  against things instead of allowing. I was exhausted and paralyzed from moving forward. I literally felt crippled.  Realistically I have no control over the outcome anyways.  Everything is unfolding in the way it needs to.  More and more I am moving with the flow of life and I have found this liberating.

How did I get myself to let go and move forward?  By facing my fear head on and allowing myself to feel the feelings associated with it.  This included past events that I found unforgivable, recognizing the voice in my head is not real, and feeling the anger and sadness which I labeled as wrong or bad.  I have learned and still am learning to love these emotions.  As a wise person once told me “Energy is just energy in motion.”

Posted on April 11, 2015 by Anne Lamantia

Does the environment affect our digestive system?

I’ve come to realize that our environment plays such a huge role on my digestive system.  What I mean is I went to the nail salon today and I almost passed out with thTreese smell of the environment and my stomach found it offensive.  I had to leave and get some fresh air.  It made me wonder how often we are bombarded by toxins and don’t even know it.  Taking care of ourselves involves not only being mindful of the foods we ingest, exercise and releasing emotions but environmental hazards as well.  Research has shown that computers and cell phones disrupt our electro-magnetic fields.  We keep a clean body by bathing and I believe we have to keep a clean energy field.  Outside stimuli is the new norm and it is unfortunate.

Take the time to slow down, breathe and relax.  Nourish your system with good foods and find time to nourish your soul, whatever that may be ~ nature, having fun or being creative.

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Anne Lamantia

12 Steps to Authentic Living

First step;  Begin now, not where you were yesterday or the day before or 20 years ago.  It does not matter what went down in your life.  Your perceived wrong doings do not matter.  What matters is you showed up and you are ready to begin!  So let’s begin.

Second step:  Even if you believe you cannot do it, it’s okay because you can.  I believe in you and the divine believes in you and 7.2 million people in this universe believe in you.

Third step:  Take this moment and stop what you are doing.  Slow down, and notice your breathe.  Your breathe is a constant reminder of your infinity.  It is the only thing I know of besides dying that we have no control over.  It happens all on it’s own.  It is amazing to me how miraculous our bodies are.  Our systems know what to do automatically.

Fourth step:  You have everything inside of you right now – in this moment to come into the fullness of who you are.  Yes, you do my friend.   And if something is in the way of you coming into your fullness —- go to the next step.

Fifth step:  If you cannot come into the fullness of who you are, imagine you can.  Jesus said it only takes a mustard seed to accomplish great things. Begin now!

Sixth step:  Get out of your comfort zone.  Be courageous, only you know what it takes to take the next step.  Even if it is a baby step, it’s okay…  Rome was not built in a day.

Seventh step:  Seek Support.  I have found the people who have supported me held me accountable and pointed me in the right direction to find my own truth and accepted me without judgement, were honest with me and empowered me to love and accept myself.

Eighth step:  Take responsibility for your own life.  Let go of should, woulda, coulda.  Look inside for your own answers.  Notice when you are giving your power away to others.  Trust and use your intution.  Follow your heart not your head (that only gets you into trouble).!!!!

Ninth step:  You are your own master, your own guru.  What is it you have been wanting to do but you are not out of fear of hurting others feelings or letting them down.  The only person you can let down is yourself.

Tenth step:  Embrace all of your feelings in any given moment.  Anger, fear, depression, sadness, guilt.  Feel it all.  It is all of the human experience.  A wise friend of mine once told me that unattended anger turns into rage and he also told me if we don’t allow ourselves to emote than it becomes density in the physical.

Eleventh step;  Know that everything is unfolding in your life the way it needs to.  There is no wrong turns, only bumps along the road.

Twelfth step:  Life will get better.  I promise.

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Anne Lamantia