Flower Essences For Empaths

IMG_0426.JPG

 


Last weekend, I ran errands in Soho, which can be a CRAZY experience in New York City with TONS of people. By the end of my excursion, I was feeling drained, impatient and ready for a three-hour nap. 



I'm an empath. You might be one, too if you feel exhausted by lots of people or if you easily pick up on the vibes of those around you. 



I've written about tips for empaths and sensitive people before. It's one of my favorite topics! But today I'm talking about the one resource I ALWAYS come back to: 



Flower essences. 



Flower essences are a natural remedy that help you feel more calm and grounded. I've used them for six years and they've never let me down. I also use them in my therapy practice



So instead of crawling into bed like I wanted to last weekend, I took some flower essences. The result? I instantly felt recharged and was in a WAY better mood. 



And I want YOU to have the info you need to feel calm and centered. 

 

 

Here are the specific flower essences I recommend if you're a sensitive person or empath. I've included the links for purchasing on Amazon -  simply click on each essence in yellow and read the descriptions to see which one resonates.

 

 

Flower Essences For Empaths / Sensitive People: 

Golden Yarrowprotects your energy so you don't feel worn out by your environment i.e. crowds and high traffic areas


Pink Yarrowassists with healthy boundaries; alleviates emotions absorbed from other people; helpful if you "take on" other people's problems


Water Violet -indicated if you isolate or keep to yourself when feeling drained or misunderstood; helps you connect more easily to others while still maintaining a sense of self 


Hornbeam - helps with chronic exhaustion and difficulties getting out of bed in the morning 


Mimulus - addresses specific fears i.e fear of crowds, heights, flying, speaking in public, etc. 


Love Lies Bleeding - helps you develop more compassion for the world when you're feeling internal pain 


Impatiens - helps you feel more relaxed and patient



Each flower essence can be taken by itself or mixed with others in a small bottle. Two drops under your tongue four times a day is usually effective, but you can take them more frequently for stressful periods. 



In addition to taking flower essences, make sure you're getting quality sleep, drinking water, eating healthy foods and pacing your activities in a way that feels good for your soul. In other words, take care of your energy in a loving way :) 



Remember - when you take care of yourself, you show up with more presence and love to give the world. 



Keep your heart open. Honor your sensitivity. 



From my heart to yours, 


 

Devon

 

 

p.s. Are you a sensitive person? Do you know someone who is? Either way, I want to hear from you! How do you stay calm and grounded? Leave a comment below! 

 

 

 

How to Make Your Fall Laid-Back

iStock-476084894 (1).jpg

I was a super busy kid. I danced competitively (think Dance Moms), played on sports teams, studied, played outside, attended birthday parties and studied some more.

 

But in the summer - when the dance competitions came to a halt - I'd do my absolute FAVORITE thing...

 

Read. 

 

I loved curling up in the corner of the young adult section at the local library. I got my hands on everything from Sweet Valley High to Goosebumps to The Babysitter's Club. 

 

I'd spend HOURS there and then head home with a fresh stack of books. I still remember the plastic on the covers and how heavy my arms felt as I lugged the latest editions back to my mom's car. 

 

I didn't have to GO, GO, GO as much as I did during the school year. During the summer I could just unwind and not feel guilty about it. 

 

Flash forward to me as an adult - I never take enough time to TOTALLY decompress  - even during the summer. 

 

I always feel guilty if I try to take a break. 

 

I "should" be enrolling in a new business course. I "need" to be working on my blog. I'm not yet "at a point" in my life where I can relax like this!

 

But this past summer, I decided to pay homage to the little girl within me who needed a time out.  I decided to go back to doing the thing that brought me joy AND signaled that I could trust the process of relaxation. 

 

I read my face off. 

 

I read trashy beach reads, fiction, self-help, biographies - anything I could get my hands on. I even bought a kindle (which made me feel very hip, before realizing everyone's been using them since 2009, but I'm a late adopter. And I'm fine with that). 

 

To be honest, I was kind of scared to take FREE TIME to read - I could be attending workshops, listening to podcasts (I just discovered those, too!), learning to cook, cleaning out my closet, organizing my email inbox - you get the point. 

 

I had a million and one "very productive" things to do.

 

But I read my face off anyway.

 

And now that it's fall, I'm realizing I'm actually ready for the change in seasons for once in my adult life. I'm recharged BECAUSE I prioritized decompressing.

 

Who would've thought? 

 

And it's not just the ACT of reading. It's about carving out for time for myself and remembering that I don't always have to be striving and doing. 

 

Why is it easier to make time for relaxing during summer? 

 

So as we transition to fall, the holidays (I just saw someone post that we only have 8 Fridays until Thanksgiving!) it's more important now than ever before that you do the things that make you feel calm and nourished.

 

Bike rides? Picnics? Swimming? Long runs? Staring out your window with your feet up a wall? Laying on the floor with your cat or dog? Journaling? Drinking copious amounts of tea?

 

Easing into the morning instead of rushing out the door? Listening to juicy podcasts? Yoga? Reading self-help books? Farmers market? Strolls in the park?

 

Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to get rid of the stuff you save for "vacation-mode." Commit to at least one thing this week that feels like a mini-vacation...even if it's only for 10 minutes.

 

Make your fall as laid-back as possible in between the moments of traveling, spending time with family, and the upcoming holidays. 

 

You'll feel grounded, relaxed and inspired....with a LOT more to give :)

 

Now I want to hear from YOU! What recharges your soul? Leave a comment below and let's keep each other accountable.  You can also email me at devon@devonmcleod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

The Golden Girls Got This Wrong: Therapy Myth-Busting

 

Have you ever watched a TV show with a really WEIRD therapist? 

 

 

I certainly have. 

 

 

The 1950s era Mad Men show when Betty sees a psychoanalyst comes to mind. Betty sits on a couch while the therapist says absolutely NOTHING throughout the session. I think halfway through she even lights up a cigarette. 

 

 

And I also think about my all-time favorite show The Golden Girls and how all THREE women went to see a therapist to help them with their roommate problems.

 

 

Did Blanche end up hitting on the therapist? I can't remember. The episode ended up being more funny than a realistic depiction of what happens in a therapist's office. 

 

 

Because of all the media portrayals out there about therapy, today I'm busting one of the most POPULAR myths I see: 

 

 

Therapy Myth: Therapy is SELF-INDULGENT

 

 

Have you ever heard someone say that therapy is for people who have a TON of time on their hands? Or that therapy is for people who wants to stay stuck in their problems? 

 

 

Me, too!

 

 

I'm BUSTING that myth today because therapy is definitely NOT self-indulgent and it's NOT always like what you see in the movies or on TV. 

 

 

You don't have to go into a therapist's office and talk OVER AND OVER again about your problems on a road to nowhere.

 

 

And it's NOT for people who are just looking for someone to tell them how great they are and to stroke their egos. 

 

 

Therapy provides an opportunity for DEEP SOUL WORK, where you can change the way you respond when you feel anxious, sad or angry....you can clarify the goals you want for your career and relationships....and you get to decide the type of person YOU want to be. 

 

 

So therapy is the OPPOSITE of self-indulgent, namely because it provides the opportunity for you to show up more fully in all of your relationships. 

 

 

You can be a better wife, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, employee, you name it. 

 

 

So sing it with me now...

 

 

Therapy is an investment in YOURSELF and it provides the opportunity to improve all of your relationships...including the one with yourself. 

 

 

Now I of course, want to hear from YOU! Do you think the myth about therapy being self-indulgent still exists? Or do you think people are opening their eyes more to the power of self-help and healing?

 

 

And maybe it's not just with therapy - maybe with seeing a minister, attending workshops, whatever it is YOU do to work on yourself. Write your perspective in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

 

 

Also, if you want these blog posts sent directly to your inbox, enter your email in the box below so you don't miss a post! 

 

 

 

 

 

A Radically Simpler Way to Talk to Your Friends

iStock-609031952.jpg

Last weekend I took a drive out to the beach with my best friend Stephanie. 

 

She just had a beautiful baby girl a few months ago and we spent the car ride talking, laughing and shooting the breeze. 

 

Somewhere along the way - in between our third time listening to Despacito - I drew a blank when Stephanie started a new topic...

 

She began talking about her experience being a new mom - her fears, excitement, intense joy and the big questions: Breastfeeding? Sleep Patterns? Growth Spurts? Tummy Time?

 

What the heck are these things?! I didn't know what to say. 

 

Full disclosure - I don't know a lot about babies. My brother and I are pretty close in age. I never really babysat. You could say I'm clueless. 

 

So when Stephanie talked about the tough stuff, I nodded my head and imagined what it was like to be her. 

 

To be honest, during the conversation I kind of freaked out. I thought I might never have the same closeness with Stephanie as I had before - I mean our lives are so DIFFERENT now - how could I possibly *get* what she's going through? 

 

After a few minutes of me listening she said, "I just want to thank YOU because I feel like you're really with me on this journey." 

 

I thought to myself, "What?!" 

 

I looked at her like she had three heads and said, "But I'm not really *doing* anything. I have no idea what to say about babies." 

 

She then said, "The thing you're doing is just BEING there...And that's what I really need."

 

I let her comments sink in as I kept my eyes on the road and thought of friendship, relationships and the way people's lives change.

 

Sometimes we make the mistake of distancing ourselves, giving canned answers or something worse - avoiding the people we love - out of fear of not saying the "RIGHT" thing. 

 

But, we don't have to know *exactly* what someone is going through to be a good friend. 

 

You don't have to say the "perfect thing."

 

You can just show up, listen and let them know you're there. 

 

You can relate to your best friend's fear - your sister's self doubt - your brother's excitement - your mom's frustration  - whatever it is, you can just show up, ask questions and be there. 

 

"How are you feeling?" 

 

"What's that been like for you?" 

 

"Tell me everything." 

 

You can even disagree with some of their choices. 

 

Stephanie and I spent the remainder of the ride talking. I didn't feel like I had to have the perfect response to everything. 

 

I felt closer to my friend. 

 

And I was probably a much BETTER friend because I'd let go of perfectionism.

 

Transitions happen and you're not ALWAYS going to be on the same page with someone at the same time. 

 

Just showing up with an open heart is enough. 

 

And who knows? You may even learn a thing or two about something you don't know - even tummy time :) 

 

Here's to showing up. 

 

I'd love to hear from YOU! What's ONE thing YOU can do to let your friend, colleague, family member, boyfriend or girlfriend know you're THERE? 

 

Commit to at least one thing and write in the comments below! 

 

Enjoy a Comparison-Free Life


Full disclosure - I used to compare my life to everyone else's. 


Or more specifically - I'd compare my life to someone who had THAT THING I wanted - whether it was a relationship, career, wardrobe choices, etc. 


It's simply NOT a good idea. 


But I assume you know this and would definitely agree :) 


Something clicked for me a few years ago when it came to dropping the whole "compare and despair" game. And I'm so grateful it did. 


Today I'm sharing my tips for letting go of comparison. When you use these tips, you'll feel more relaxed and at peace with how things are unfolding in YOUR life.

 

Tip #1 Keep the Focus On Yourself

Are you jealous of your friends' exotic vacations? Or maybe you really want to have a career like your colleague who seems to get promoted every 6 months? Put the focus back on YOU. Ask yourself, "Where in my life do I want to be going to adventurous places?" and "When can I put myself up for a promotion?"

And most importantly - forgive and let yourself off the hook for those kind of comparing thoughts. You're human! 

 

Tip#2 Let Things Unfold

Sometimes we don't know WHY things are happening the way they are. It can be SUPER frustrating, especially if it feels like we're falling *behind.* But we have to trust that things are working out the way they're meant to.

The universe can seem like a mystery in terms of timing and things falling into place. Trust that everything is part of the plan. 

 

Tip #3 Talk About It 

Don't keep your thoughts to yourself! I've tried it and it's NOT helpful. Talk to a friend or therapist. You'll be surprised by the relief you feel when you put it all out there in a safe place.

As acclaimed social worker and researcher Brene Brown says, "Shame can't survive empathy." Get those thoughts out to someone you trust!

 

Now it's your turn! Do you ever find yourself getting into comparison-mode? What do YOU do to stay centered and keep the focus on yourself? Write in the comments below or email me at devon@devonmcleod.com. I love hearing from you!

 

 

 

My Trip To Scotland

 

Two weeks ago, I went to the Scottish Highlands. Our guide Martine was a Scottish born woman whose captivating accent and warm demeanor provided the perfect backdrop for the journey. 

 

As we careened through the windy roads, she told stories of the Highlands, the epic clan wars and how the movie Braveheart, while certainly entertaining, changed more than a few historical events. 

 

Everywhere I looked, I was enveloped by deep greenery. The land had an intoxicating effect. I was at a loss for words. I felt relaxed and as if I was floating. 

 

I didn't want to blink - I thought I might miss something. 

 

As I digested the scenery, Martine elaborated on the characteristics of the Scottish people: 

 


"A Scottish man will tell you he loves you by simply nodding his head. He doesn't have to use his words. He's loyal and reserved." 
 

Touched by her words, I thought of my strong, stoic Scottish grandparents. And the way my uncle jokingly proclaimed at my cousin's wedding, "We're Scottish. We don't hug."

 

Martine continued: 

 

"Yes, the Scottish are fiercely loyal and reserved, but once you get them talking and into their hearts...you discover a deep well of emotions." 

 

As I sat in the passenger seat, her words washed over me. I thought of how I prefer quiet to chatter and while I'm not always effusive, I love fully. 

 

I oftentimes feel like this part of me is misunderstood....like my exterior doesn't always match my intentions and heart. 

 

She turned to her left, appraising my energy and said, "Yep, you're Scottish." 

 

My defenses melted. I didn't have to explain who I was. I felt like myself and I felt like I belonged. 

 

Healing occurs when the very things that we think make us WEIRD or different are reflected back to us with unbridled ACCEPTANCE. 

 

I'm not "different" or "lacking."

 

I'm Scottish. 

 

I am who I am and I felt like in that moment, I belonged.

 

It's easy to build up narratives of the ways we're "different" or not good enough.  

 

But when you do the things that bring you joy and hang out with the people who truly *see* you...you feel worthy. 

 

Feeling worthy and accepted isn't some self-help/personal growth catch phrase. When you feel like you can be yourself, connections and relationships deepen. 

 

You may risk certain people not liking you, but you'll attract and grow with the people who do. 

 

After my trip to Scotland, I feel a lot more relaxed about who I am. Who knew that a trip across the pond and a tour of the Highlands would give me permission to be more accepting of myself?

 

And you don't have to go to Scotland or another country to feel accepted and understood. 

 

People and places carry energy. Find what resonates. Seek out the people who get you. But most importantly, let yourself be seen and vulnerable. 

 

Sometimes we just need people to reflect back that we're perfectly normal - beautiful even - being exactly who we are. 

 

Now I want to hear YOUR perspective. How do you connect with people who get you? Is there a PLACE you go where you feel more like yourself? The beach, mountains, your hometown? Write in the comments below or email me directly at devon@devonmcleod.com. I love hearing from you!

 

 

 

3 Tips Every Sensitive Person Needs

Ever since I can remember, I've loved being alone and while I also love people, I recharge during periods of solitude. I'm an empath.



You may be one too if you're exhausted by large group gatherings or you feel drained after too much activity. Living as an empath is totally doable with a little self-love, boundary setting and creativity. 

 

 

Today I'm sharing a VIDEO with my 3 tips for THRIVING as an empath and sensitive person. 


 

3 Tips for Thriving as an Empath:

 

1) Accept Who You Are

Don't try to be anyone but yourself. For years, I tried hanging out in large crowds and keeping a go-go-go mentality. It was exhausting and I ended up not being fully present with family and friends. Accept who you are and honor the beauty in your individuality. 

 

2) Communicate Clearly

Be honest with loved ones. Say, "I need a 10 minute walk by myself to recharge. I'll feel more myself when I come back!" People will respect your authenticity. 

 

3) Get Your Tool Kit Ready

Water. Personal Space. Headphones. Essential Oils. Get 3 things you *KNOW* will bring you back to a place of serenity and calm. For more ideas on tools for a sensitive person head over to my previous post on living life as an empath. 

 

 

Now I want to hear from YOU!  I love talking about the ways we're different and how we can better understand each other as people. Do you know someone who is sensitive? Do you need alone time to decompress and feel like yourself again? Share in the comments below! 

 

Let's Talk Spiritual Grocery Shopping

 

I went to Trader Joe's in New York City the Friday before Fourth of July. 

 

The place was nuts - a line out the door with an anxious energy of "Let's buy as much as we can and then get the heck out of here." 

 

A woman aggressively bumped into me with her shopping cart. Startled, I turned around, expecting her to apologize for the fender bender in the dairy section. 

 

Instead, she moved down the aisle with NO APOLOGY. 

 

My instinct was to think, "This woman is rude, self-centered and completely unaware she has to behave like a polite member of society."  

 

But, I tried something different. 

 

Full disclosure - I had just finished the book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. 

 

The author Debbie Ford talks about how the very things that annoy us are usually the things we need to focus on ourselves. 

 

If we're really upset about someone who seems greedy, we may need to focus on our own desire for wealth. If we're irritated by someone's self-righteousness, we may need to focus on our own determination to be right all the time. 

 

Debbie Ford writes that we can't truly embrace our whole selves until we embrace the things from which we run and hide. In the spiritual community, this aspect of ourselves is commonly referred to as our shadow.

 

Back to the woman at Trader Joe's - I decided to use her as a catalyst for understanding my strong reaction. 

 

Why was she pushing my buttons? 

 

I thought of a time I was so flustered and impatient that I wasn't fully aware of my surroundings and maybe I was even a little...rude. 

 

Let's see - there was the time things got tense with a cab driver. We had different "views" on which route was the fastest during rush hour.  

 

Or how about that time I felt irritated on hold with customer service while setting up cable - 20 minutes is my breaking point.  

 

Oh! And that time in airport security when they opened up a new line after I had been standing in the LONGEST line on the planet for nearly an hour. 

 

I wasn't necessarily pushing people at the grocery store, but I definitely had the capacity to be rushed, impatient and maybe even a little rude. 

 

But to be honest, I was still a little skeptical. Who wants to think about their flaws all the time? 

 

Wouldn't putting attention on my imperfections make me feel badly? 

 

So I tried it for a week: 

 

  • When I was irritated with someone's messiness, I remembered the time I let the dishes pile up.

 

  • When I was bothered by someone's rage, I remembered a time I felt so passionately about something that I would've done nearly anything to be heard. 

 

  • When I was angered by someone's sense of entitlement, I remembered a time that I, too, felt like I really deserved something

 

I thought that putting the focus on myself would make me feel guilty, but instead I noticed a softening in my heart toward all people, including myself. 

 

I had compassion for people having a rough day and I felt more connected to people I probably would have judged.  

 

I started to see how, as Debbie Ford writes: 

 

"When you understand that you contain everything you see in others, your entire world will alter...When we reclaim these disowned aspects of ourselves, we open the door to the universe within. When we make peace with ourselves we spontaneously make peace with the world." 

 

I slowly released the idea of separation and ego. It started to feel like we were all in this thing called life together. 

 

It turned out to be a pragmatic approach to owning your shadow, connecting with others and softening how you view the world.

 

The next time you're feeling annoyed by someone or something, ask yourself, "Where in my life have I exhibited that same quality?" 

 

If you're skeptical, then start small.

 

Notice your reactions to people at the grocery store, post office or DMV. Who you do instinctively want to judge? Who gets under your skin? 

 

WARNING: This exercise is in NO WAY intended as a tool for beating yourself up or amplifying your flaws.  Don't judge yourself. Look at each thought as an opportunity to get closer to knowing yourself and releasing your ego a little bit at a time.

 

You may be surprised by what you notice. Root your discoveries in the idea that whatever we try to deny about ourselves takes up a LOT of energy. 

 

And we can use that energy to be comfortable in our skin and more accepting of people who, on the surface, *look* different from us. 

 

Think about family members you don't see eye-to-eye with or that one colleague who rubs you the wrong way. Wouldn't it be great to approach your relationships with a little more softness? 

 

The purpose of understanding ourselves after all - darkness, flaws and imperfect reactions included - is to come to an even deeper level of acceptance of ourselves and others.  

 

Check out the full book. It was published in 1998 and Debbie has been on Oprah and featured on her Super Soul Sunday series. The book offers practical tools for releasing your ego as well as a comprehensive approach to looking at your flaws and even LOVING them. 

 

And if you need me, I'll be shopping at Trader Joe's on a Sunday night...just so I can have the growth opportunity of really getting to know myself. 

 

Wish me luck. 

 

Best wishes and deep breaths, 

 

Devon 

 

 

Now I want to hear from YOU. What helps you stay calm when frustrated with other people at the grocery store or just in LIFE? Write in the comments below!

 

How Nature Can Help You Chill Out

 

I called spiritual teacher Joseph Aldo, Ph.D on a Sunday afternoon after getting his number from a close friend. I was going through a particularly stressful time in my life and needed guidance on what to do. I'd spent weeks second guessing decisions and experiencing high levels of stress, so I figured a session with him couldn't possibly hurt.

 

I'll share more details about this session later, but for now I'll tell you that he gave me a little bottle that could fit comfortably in my hand and my purse. 

 

The bottle was a personalized blend of flower essences. 

 

I took two drops under my tongue four times a day. 

 

I started to feel a little better over the next few days and A LOT better over the next week. 

 

"I'm now officially the type of person who believes in flower essences," I thought to myself. 

 

Little did I know I'd grow to love flower essences and carry them with me wherever I went for the next several years. 

 

So what the heck are they? 

 

Flower essences are an energetic remedy created by placing specific flowers at the height of their bloom in water and stabilizing them using high-proof alcohol.  

 

Today, I'm focusing on how flower essences can help with something you or someone you know may be dealing with: Anxiety

 

I've taken flower essences for the past 6 years and they've helped me feel more calm, centered and appreciative of the moment. 

 

Here are some of my favorite flower essences for anxiety: 

 

Crab Apple

If you feel like everything has to be perfect, then Crab Apple can help. You can take it if you're preoccupied with your hair, skin and body looking just right all the time (side note - this isn't possible, so cut yourself a break!) or if you're the type who needs to clean your apartment all the time to feel sane. 

 

White Chestnut

White chestnut helps racing thoughts. If you second guess yourself over a date, a relationship, or any kind of decision, then White Chestnut is for you: "Did I send that last email? Did I sound okay in that meeting?" It's especially helpful if you have a hard time falling asleep and can't turn your brain off. 

 

Larch

Larch helps with confidence. If you're nervous about an upcoming presentation or big event, it'll set your mind at ease with the thought that you can handle anything that comes your way. I take Larch whenever I have to speak in front of large groups of people.

 

Mimulus

Mimulus is for specific fears like flying, heights or small spaces.  You can also take it if you're afraid of certain relationship dynamics, like rejection or not finding the right person for you. Mimulus helps you live courageously. 

 

Impatiens

If you tap your foot while waiting in line or feel irritated when you're on hold, Impatiens helps you feel relaxed. I've taken it when traveling through airports and during apartments moves (because furniture always takes longer than expected and I have a predisposition to wanting things done yesterday). 

 

While anxiety should be looked at holistically (diet, sleep, emotional factors) flower essences are a natural support to add to your tool kit if you're meditating, seeing a therapist or using your own self-care tools to feel your best. 

 

Anxiety isn't a "negative" feeling that should be immediately eradicated from your being. Every feeling you have is worthy and valid and oftentimes, those feelings are here to guide us toward what we need to grow. 

 

Flower essences simply provide a support to access the deeper wisdom that rests below the daily struggles and anxieties you may experience. 

 

It's also important to remember that you're never alone when you go through darker times. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I share a struggle and the person I'm confiding in replies with, "Me too." 

 

If you know someone who experiences anxiety on any level, then you know how painful it can be to witness their struggle. If you experience anxiety yourself, then you know what it's like to feel like you're stuck and not living to your full potential. 

 

Forward this post to a friend who may need the reminder they're not alone.

 

I offer personalized flower essence sessions for $149 for a 30-minute session (in-person or over the phone). Your first session comes with a FREE personalized bottle. Email me at devon@devonmcleod.com to book an appointment or to ask me any questions!

 

I also want to hear from YOU! Share your tips in the comments below. How do you cope with anxiety? What helps you stay centered? 

 

Read what people are saying about flower essences: 

 

Testimonials

 

"When Devon first gave me flower essences, I was feeling very angry and upset. She said,  "Take these." Within 10 minutes, I felt relieved of my anger and a sense of calm. Ever since, I've used flower essences on a regular basis to work through my emotions so I don't feel too "crazy." I recommend flower essences to anyone looking to work through their emotions." 

- Sales Associate, New York City 

 

 

"Devon is a wonderful person and gifted therapist with very positive and warm energy. She gave me a personalized bottle of flower essences to try. I must say, I was very skeptical at first. I've been taking them for two weeks and I definitely noticed increased energy, more productivity, positive thinking and overall less stress. I would definitely recommend trying this natural remedy that devon makes with love and care."  

- Anastasia, Aesthetician, New York City 

 

 

"I was struggling with sleep, confidence, anxiety and just an overall sense of despair. Devon really listened and thoroughly explained how and when to take the essences. The beauty of this approach is that it addresses a number of issues that are specific to the individual. After taking these flower essences, I noticed an immediate difference. I was battling insomnia for weeks and this helped to take the edge off. When waking up in the middle of the night, I would take a few drops to calm me down. I also feel more relaxed, which is something I often struggle with. I'm glad that I've finally found something that doesn't make me groggy and plus, it's natural!! I would highly recommend flower essences for those who feel they need to improve how they are feeling. I'm so grateful for Devon!"

- Director of Account Management Sales, New York City 

 

 

More Info On Flower Essences: 

 

Can You Take Flower Essences While Taking Medication?

Yes

Flower essences can be used as a support with medication. 

 

Can You Take Flower Essences While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Yes. 

Each flower essence is made with a small amount of high-proof alcohol. If you're pregnant or have any alcohol sensitivities, personalized blends can be made with organic vinegar. 

 

Are flower essences the same as essential oils? 

No. 

Flower essences emphasize the energetic qualities of different flowers, while essential oils focus on physical properties like smell. Flower essences have no scent and you typically take them under your tongue, versus placing them on your skin. 

 

How long does each bottle last? 

Each bottle lasts approximately three weeks if you take 2 drops under your tongue 4 times a day. The amount you take and how long it lasts may vary depending on whether you're going through a more stressful period and need more support. 

 

Why You Should Absolutely Trust Your Intuition

A few years ago I felt a strong pull to work at a spa in New York City. I tried to distract myself from the thought because it didn't "make sense": 

 

I should get another job!

This job has nothing to do with my Social Work degree! 

 

And yet, in my quietest moments, when I was in nature, washing dishes, or after exercising, I felt relaxed and at peace every time I pictured myself working at this spa. 

 

I sat for a couple weeks grappling with whether to take the job or ignore my intuition completely. 

 

Thankfully, I listened to my gut, took the job and ended up meeting people who are my most trusted and valued friends to this day. 

 

I also received invaluable personal and professional lessons: I learned the art of running a business, the value of customer service and what it means to truly care about the people you serve.

 

During this time, things flowed and I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be. 

 

All because I listened to my intuition. 

 

In fact, I could (and probably will!) write a blog just about the rich spiritual and personal lessons I gained from saying YES to my inner wisdom - taking the job was a pivotal point in my personal and professional growth.  

 

Have you ever gotten a hunch to do something?

 

Maybe you get an inkling to call a certain person or travel to a certain place. Perhaps you feel stuck at your job and have an urge to switch things up.

 

Your intuition is ALWAYS there. We just get so caught up in overthinking, binge watching shows (guilty) and feeling disconnected that we lose sight of our inner wisdom. 

 

Sometimes I think about what might have happened if I hadn't followed my gut. Staying strictly in your intellect and thoughts can be all too easy to do. Thankfully you can access your intuition at any time.

 

Here's how to let go of over thinking and connect to your wisdom: 

 

  • Meditate - Check out Headspace, Kundalini Yoga, guided meditations or simply close your eyes for 3 minutes and breathe. Quiet your thoughts.  

 

  • Take a hiatus - Instead of sitting at your desk and thinking over and over again about the same problem, tell yourself you're going to take a break from thinking about it for a whole day. I always come up with the best solutions after a breather. 

 

  • Put your thoughts out there - Ask a question related to what you're struggling with right before you go to bed. That way, your unconscious has time to process what you're going through while getting some shut-eye. 

 

  • Play some funky music  - Play something that gets your creative juices flowing. For me, it's Deva Premal's mantra music. As opposed to my regular Spotify stuff, the mantras work on me in a deep way. The next thing I know, I'm more relaxed and open. 

 

  • Find your happy place - You probably have a place where you instantly feel relaxed. Maybe it's the beach, mountains, running outside, biking, exercising, etc. Go to these places and do these activities more frequently.

 

Resist the urge to chase your intuition. I'm going to go on that bike ride so I can feel intuitive! 

 

Let the moments come to you and resist trying to figure things out. I got the feeling to work at the spa when I was sitting quietly in my apartment one day.

 

Your most profound moments will likely come when you're not thinking about it. 

 

In terms of action, you don't always have to act immediately. Thankfully I've collected enough experience over the years to know if I sit too long, I end up frustrated and stagnant. You'll find your rhythm. 

 

You may come up against resistance from loved ones, coworkers or even yourself when you follow your intuition.

 

Your intuition may tell you to quit a job, move states or start doing something completely new. People may look at you with weird head tilts and a pained expression in their eye like, "Oh, you're doing thatttt." (I've totally gotten this response). 

 

Each time you take a step in the direction of trusting your intuition, you strengthen it and send a signal to yourself and the universe that you're receptive to listening. 

 

You're also sending a much needed signal to yourself to not care what people think (that was the biggest lesson I got from trusting my gut). 

 

By quieting your mind, you'll feel like life is less of a struggle and more of a beautiful unraveling of experiences designed to give you everything you need.

 

My hope is that you'll continue living a life where you drop all the "shoulds." I should spend time with this person, I should be happy at this job, etc.

 

You'll start to find a knack for listening to your heart, your gut, whatever you want to call it. Imagine how you'll feel when you do the things your soul wants to do. 

 

This quote from Deepak Chopra perfectly sums up the beauty of following your intuition: 

 

"We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic, and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul." 

 

Wishing you a soulful journey, 

 

Devon

 

***

 

How do you connect to your gut feelings and intuition? Write in the comments below or email devon@devonmcleod.com. I love hearing from you!

 

The Will Ferrell Guide To Life

 

A couple weeks ago I was working on a Friday afternoon and decided to do what so many of us do....check Facebook. 

 

Instead of scrolling through my feed and seeing what my friends were up to - I saw a live video of Will Ferrell giving the commencement speech at my alma mater - The University of Southern California. 

 

Will Ferrell holds a special place in my heart because he was a permanent fixture at USC back when I attended during the school's football "glory days." Oh, and he was in Old School, but I digress...

 

I was immediately captivated by his speech as he talked about his early days of comedy and how a certain professor at USC inspired him to keep trying to make people laugh. 

 

I thought back to my graduation day. 

 

My mind raced to the 22-year old girl who was scared and excited about the future, which included moving to New York City and teaching 2nd grade through Teach for America. 

 

I then thought about my freshman year of college when I heavily doubted myself, stressed about every paper and had a heavy case of imposter syndrome a.k.a "I'm not smart enough to be here." 

 

"If only I knew then what I know now," I thought to myself. 

 

I wouldn't have studied so hard (my nickname in the dorms was "Library"). 

 

I would have believed in myself. 

 

I wouldn't have worn tube tops. 

 

The classic question "What would you tell your younger self?" definitely applies. There's always wisdom that comes in time. 

 

But I actually wondered what my younger self would say if she met the woman I am now. 

 

My younger self would probably be impressed by my courage, strength and even the way I've handled life's so called mistakes and mishaps. 

 

My life certainly hasn't turned out *exactly* as I planned. Thank goodness. But part of the ride is getting to learn about myself through the twists and turns. 

 

I bet you have something you've gone through, something you didn't expect to happen and while you may have stumbled through it, you came out stronger on the other side. 

 

I want you to try something:

 

Picture yourself 10 years ago -  what were you worried about and what were you feeling? What were your hopes and fears?

 

Now picture your younger self meeting the person you are now. What would she say? What would she want to know? Would she be impressed and proud?

 

It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and get caught up in feeling like we haven't accomplished everything we've wanted. 

 

But I'm guessing your younger self would be impressed by the way you've handled what life has thrown at you, even if things haven't turned out exactly as planned.

 

To deepen this exercise, take out a piece of paper or write an email to yourself with at least 3 things your younger self would be impressed by. 

 

Here's what I came up with: 

 

1) Moving to New York City  

 

2) Learning about myself through break-ups and heartaches

 

3) Believing in myself even when I felt scared

 

Maybe you don't give yourself enough credit and maybe you lose perspective from time to time. It's bound to happen when we focus on setting goals, achieving things and moving forward. 

 

There's real power that comes from appreciating how you've grown. 

 

FYI, Will shared that his biggest accomplishment is his marriage of 16 years to his wife Viveca and his beautiful three children. 

 

You get to decide your factors for success and happiness.

 

Thank you to Will Ferrell for the beautiful reminder. And Fight On :) 

 

*******

What are the three things your younger self would be impressed by? Get specific and remember what you were like 10 years ago. Write in the comments below and share this post with a friend who may need a perspective shift!

 

Letting Go of Perfection

I'm a recovering perfectionist and my desire for things to be "just right" would drive me (and everyone around me) crazy. Growing up, l forced my parents to drill me with spelling words after I already knew them cold. I was terrified of getting one wrong. 

 

Something surprising happened a few weeks into fourth grade - I misspelled my first word. When I held the test in my hands I was shocked. How could I have missed one?! But instead of feeling upset, I vividly remember tension melting away from my shoulders as I realized I no longer had to be perfect.  

 

Sure I'm not stressed about spelling tests these days, but sometimes perfectionism can creep up in other areas. Maybe we stop ourselves from bringing an idea to a boss or moving forward with something out of our comfort zone.  Maybe we don't say something to a friend or significant other out of fear they'll judge or disagree. 

 

The fear of not being perfect can run deep. Just last week I received less than stellar feedback on something and I may have shed a tear or two (hey, I'm sensitive!). 

 

My instinct was to curl up in a ball and not move forward. "If I can't be perfect, I don't even want to try!" I said to myself. I have compassion for the part of me that has that initial thought, but those sort of statements keep us stuck. 

 

Whenever you notice a thought creep in like, "I should've done better," repeat the following: "I tried my best. I'm human. I don't have to be perfect." You can even place one hand on your chest to reinforce the message. 

 

You can also remember a time you thought you "royally" messed up - maybe it was a botched presentation, forgetting something at work or sending a wrong email. In the moment, you might have thought it was the worst thing that could happen. Looking back, you probably won't think the instance was THAT big of a deal. Perspective and time can be incredibly healing. 

 

Ultimately, we're all connected by our hopes, desires and fears. Whatever pain or frustration you've experienced, it's likely someone has felt the same. Your co-worker, friend, partner or boss have probably all at one point questioned themselves. We can reframe our mistakes and missteps as an opportunity to connect with everyone else. 

 

That's the beauty in being human.

 

Imperfectly yours, 

 

Devon 

 

What do you do when you're afraid of failing, messing up or not being perfect? Any tips for getting over your fears? Share your wisdom in the comments below! 

 

I used to ignore this feeling...until I understood its gift

 

As a sensitive person, I feel all emotions pretty intensely. If I'm excited, I feel like my heart is leaping out of my chest and if I'm sad, I feel like my body weighs a ton. However, the feeling that's been most difficult for me to experience and work with is anger. Understandably, I'd sometimes rather ignore this "unpleasant" feeling. But all of our emotions - even anger - are here to teach us something.

 

One of the best explanations I've received around this topic comes from Karla McLaren's book The Language of Emotions. She talks about anger as a protective force because right under anger are usually secondary feelings like sadness, fear or even grief. 

 

Anger can actually help us establish clear boundaries and serve as a wake-up call for the ways in which we're acting like a doormat or not being clear in our needs. For example, I used to say "yes" to everything, before promptly feeling angry and resentful of everything I had so "pleasantly" agreed upon.

 

If I had paid close attention to my physical and emotional cues - tension in my body and a heaviness in my breath - then I would've known that my anger was serving as wake-up call to honor my time and worth. In some situations (not all) anger can even be a sign of self-love. You love yourself enough to feel angry and set a boundary AND you love yourself enough to know what is and isn't okay.

 

The next time you're feeling angry or frustrated, open up a journal and write at the top, "What is my anger trying to say?" It may sound strange, but I've found a solid 20 minutes of freehand journaling uncovers relationship patterns and dynamics we may not be aware of on a daily basis. 

 

The last time I did this, I discovered where in my life I was giving my power away. In other words, I discovered where I was placing too much attention on other people's actions to feel safe and happy. Only I can make myself feel those things. Underneath my anger was the true lesson - letting go. 

 

In an age of distraction, our brains may tell us to ignore our feelings and to binge-watch the next show instead. And yet, when we're able to stay still, get curious and work with our emotions, we may just find the hidden treasure - that our emotions are here to guide and teach us about relationships, boundaries, ourselves and so much more.

 

Stay real. Stay open. 

 

All my best,

 

Devon 

 

*****

Do you ever feel angry and wish you could get to the bottom of what was really bothering you? Have you tried anything that helps? Working out, journaling, talking to a friend? Write in the comments below and feel free to share!

 

Want more? Sign-up below to receive free tips and inspiration delivered directly to your inbox!

 

 

 

Yes, I *finally* Tried a Meditation App

I've always been one to lightly dabble in meditation. I'll go through a two-week period where I meditate once (even twice!) a day. My mind instantly feels at ease and I'm more patient with everyone around me. Thinking to myself how much better I feel, I do the only logical thing...I stop immediately. 

 

My brain wants instant gratification. If I take a barre class, I want to know I'm getting stronger and will be able to hold a forearm plank longer the next class. If I wean off sugar, I want to experience a boost in my energy and a better mood by lunch. 

 

Alas, with meditation it's all about the long game. So instead of trucking along with my every-so-often practice, I decided to commit to Headspace, an app that gives you guided meditations from a library you can customize according to your goals. Some of the popular picks include patience, relationships, sleep, etc. 

 

As I set off on my "Headspace Journey," I was immediately wooed by Andy (the former Buddhist monk who walks you through the whole thing) and his soothing voice. I did five straight days of ten-minute meditations...then I skipped a day and felt like a terrible meditator. Getting back on the horse, I did seven straight days of meditation. 

 

The app logs your minutes and allows you to unlock different "levels" after completing a foundation course. Writing this makes me want to roll my eyes - how "millennial" of me to be into an online app for meditation. For the record, I consider myself a solid member of the "Oregon Trail" generation. 

 

But I love Headspace, namely because it offered me structure and appealed to the part of me that needs to be held accountable daily. 

 

After seven days in a row, I got to choose my own package. I went with "patience" because of .....you know, life. Moments into the twenty-minute meditation, I could hear my commitment-phobic brain going haywire: "Why didn't you pick the 10-minute version?! You're such an overachiever." 

 

But I sat with my eyes closed for twenty minutes. I inhaled deeply and counted my breaths. My mind wandered and I brought it back. I breathed and then I wondered what time it was. And then I breathed some more and my body relaxed. Finally, I felt like I was floating in water. 

 

In fact, by the end of the twenty minutes, I felt a slight turning up of my lips - not a full on smile, but a sign of relaxation and peace for where I was in the moment. 

 

And that's the piece that appeals to me the most - the idea that all I have to do is breathe and close my eyes and accept myself exactly as I am - even if my thoughts race and even if I'm feeling time ticking slowly by. 

 

While I may not feel like I achieved a zen-like state every session or that I'm living up to my meditation goals, I know that I'm making a commitment to myself every time I sit down and close my eyes.  

 

So whether it's three minutes, five minutes or an hour, what's most important is taking the time out of your day to simply breathe and connect. 

 

Do you have any meditation tips you want to share? Any apps or techniques you've tried? Write in the comments below!  You never know who you might touch with your experiences!  

 

Wishing you moments of peace throughout your day. 

 

Namaste, 

 

Devon

 

p.s. Huge thank you to my friend Jesse Barton who consistently inspires me with tons of wellness ideas - including Head Space. Head over to mindbodygreen to read her article on how meditation taught her about power and compassion! 

 

 

Want more? Sign up to receive free tips and inspiration delivered directly to your inbox! 

 

How My Feisty Dog Taught Me Acceptance

                     Patton the Scottish Terrier

                     Patton the Scottish Terrier

 

Not long after returning from Paris, I entered my apartment, excited to rest and unwind after traveling over the weekend.  As I looked across the room, I saw what I feared - the brand new Picasso book I bought on the trip was completely destroyed. My eyes didn't wander long until they found the primary suspect - a Scottish terrier sitting in the corner, looking not the least bit ashamed. My eyes widened, my fists clenched and my throat tightened. This little dog was turning out to be A LOT different than the golden retriever I had growing up. 

 

No, he wasn't interested in pleasing us and yes, he had his own "ideas" about the rules and regulations of the home. Sure, he sat on command when treats were involved, but for the most part, my Scottish terrier did what he wanted, when he wanted. 

 

I like the companionship of dogs and their warm, cuddly nature (cue Meet The Parents "an emotionally shallow animal" scene). However, Patton wanted his space and as such, he'd come over for light petting on his terms. As luck would have it, Patton was more like a cat than a dog. 

 

Just when I was at my wit's end, wondering if Patton really loved me (he didn't slobber me with kisses! How was I to know for sure?) something happened.

 

One day I was feeling particularly sad. Seemingly out of nowhere, all fifteen pounds of Scottish terrier strutted up to my bed. Initially, I thought he'd sit reclusively on the ground with enough distance to feel comfortable. Instead, he jumped up and rested his body gently on my shins. I felt him breathe as he closed his eyes and slept. His body soothed my sadness as I closed my eyes to rest. When I finally woke from my nap, I felt a warmth in my chest and like I had finally gotten the message: he wasn't wagging his tail effusively, but he was showing love and affection his way.

 

Since that day, I've stopped comparing him to other dogs. Instead, I smile when he goes to a corner of the room to get personal space and I laugh when he demonstrates his signature stubbornness. In short, I've stopped trying to make him anything other than what he IS. A powerful reminder to let people (and dogs!) be who they are. 

 

Once I let go, my dog unexpectedly taught me acceptance. Instead of wishing my family and friends act a certain way, I'm learning to breathe and allow them to just BE. For example, instead of wishing my friend texts me back faster, I'll accept she's more of a "get on the phone" type-person. Instead of getting annoyed with travel companions, I'll accept that not everyone likes to get to the airport four hours early like me (thanks, Dad!) Maybe I'll even accept my brother gifting me vanilla scented candles for Christmas...every...single...year. 

 

I'll carry this treasure into my relationships with family, friends, co-workers and strangers alike. Letting everyone be who they are and cultivating acceptance and appreciation for quirks, personalities and differences. The more I let people be who they are, the more I can appreciate every moment of our interactions. I even have a hunch that the more I let go and appreciate those around me, the more I'll accept myself....and that acceptance is the most beautiful kind. 

 

I'm not perfect, but I have my Scottish terrier to thank for teaching me the value of love, acceptance and the right to a little personal space. 

 

 

*******

Have you ever wished someone or something was different? What helped you let go and appreciate things as they are? Are some situations harder to accept than others? Write in the comments below and feel free to share this post with a friend! 

 

 

Want more? Sign up below to receive posts directly to your inbox!

 

How I Got My Flower Fix

 

Sometime in my late 20s, I became the type of person who saw healers, tried acupuncture and began to believe in the mind-body connection. Initially, I didn't want to be viewed as "out there" by my family and friends. I was raised in a traditional household where we went to the doctor when we were sick and took Tylenol every time we had a headache. 

Surprisingly, no one balked at my holistic approach to living. In fact, my family grew interested in the natural cold remedies I brought home and the mantra music playing from my childhood bedroom...That is until I introduced something else that made them temporarily question my sanity: 

Flower essences.

Unlike traditional medicine, flower essences work on an energetic level to address all aspects of our spiritual and emotional health. You can take flower essences for anxiety, depression, increased confidence, help getting over a break-up and much more. They come in liquid form and you can take them under your tongue, in a glass of water or in a bath. While certain flower essences are sold at Whole Foods and other health food stores, they're still not super popular. My ultimate wish is for flower essences to become as common as acupuncture, yoga and green juice. 

Here are some of my favorite flower essences for whatever life throws your way: 

 

Impatiens: for patience

I'm naturally an impatient person and sometimes (all the time) I wish I wasn't wired this way. I meditate and breathe deeply, but sometimes I still rush around for no reason. Impatiens is a flower essence to take when you want to feel, well....more patient. I use it when traveling (hello airport security lines) and I always feel more calm when someone is taking off their shoes and organizing their belongings slowly in front of me. Before I know it, I'm more relaxed, indicated by my shoulders dropping away from my ears and a soft smile spreading across my face. 

 

Walnut: for life transitions

If there's one thing that's constant in life - it's change. We move apartments, change jobs and embark on new experiences.  Walnut can be used for everything from the birth of child to letting go of an old pattern (i.e giving up smoking or cutting back on caffeine). Walnut releases our clinginess to the past while making way for what's to come. 

 

Larch: for confidence

Larch has a special place in my heart because I take it ALL THE TIME.  Larch is for confidence, standing up for yourself and setting boundaries. Any people-pleasers out there? Larch is for you. 

 

Oak: for self-care

I love the show This is Us. One of the main characters, Randall Pearson, has a classic "oak personality." On a recent episode (spoiler alert) he broke down and couldn't move after exerting all his energy trying to be perfect.  People who need Oak usually appear strong and capable while striving toward perfection, but at the cost of their own health. For those with a Type-A personality, Oak helps you slow down and practice self-care. 

 

Mimulus: for fear

Mimulus is indicated when you're feeling scared. In fact, I took it right before posting this blog. "What if it's not good enough?" I said to myself two minutes before I hit the publish button. Fear is a tricky beast and oftentimes our thoughts get in the way of maximizing our potential. Mimulus calms our fear-based thoughts so we can move forward with ease. 

 

I'm happy to report my family now fully embraces my love for flower essences and in fact, they put it right up there with my love for yoga and meditation. Sometimes all we have to do is take the leap – we might just be surprised by the sweet acceptance waiting on the other side.

 

***

 

Have you ever tried a wellness approach you thought your friends and family wouldn't get behind? What was it and did you ever share? Write in the comments below! For more info on flower essences, contact me directly!

 

Sign up to receive posts delivered directly to your inbox:

 

 
Click here to read what people are saying about flower essences. 
 
 
***Flower essences come in a small 1 oz. bottle with dropper. Each bottle contains about five or six essences depending on your personalized blend.  Flower essences are created by placing specific flowers at the height of bloom in water and stabilizing them using a high-proof alcohol. The resulting brews are imprinted with unique floral energies.***

My Trip to Paris

 

Last week I flew to Paris and while I loved the sights, sounds and historical streets, something surprised me more than the beauty of the city. 

 

People had patience. 

 

One morning while standing in line at a cafe, I tried my best to communicate in French. I mixed up what I meant to order and had a hard time figuring out the correct change. To my surprise, an enormous line formed behind me. 

 

"Ahh! An obvious American moment where all the chic French people will roll their eyes and speak in French to each other about my incompetence."

 

After a few seconds of anxiety, I realized no one displayed any acknowledgment of my ordering snafu. Everyone looked relaxed and happy, even if that meant waiting a few extra minutes for their croissants. 

 

My initial response is to always place high value on businesses and situations that make life seemingly easier: "That food came so quickly" or "I'm so grateful for food delivery like Seamless." My personal favorite, "Yes! I chose the right line through airport security...I'm moving so FAST!" 

 

Perhaps the French people I encountered were just having a good day or maybe the universe was sending me a much needed lesson to put my "rush, rush, rush" mentality behind me and show more compassion for people who aren't moving at lightning speed. Patience can be one of those qualities that really pays it forward to others. 

 

As much as my brain would argue otherwise, life isn't an efficiency contest. My weekend in Paris reminded me that slower can be better and less efficiency can be an opportunity to let go even more. Take the fast with the slow and look for the space in between because it could be teaching you something important...at least it was for me. 

 

Every day this week I'll be doing my best to move slowly and look for the lessons in the waiting. I'll simply wait for the train instead of wondering how long until it arrives and I'll take big breaths when someone walks slowly in front of me - a challenge for this efficient-minded individual (I live in New York City!) but something worth doing. Progress, not perfection is the name of the game and I'm grateful for the Parisian reminder to slow down, take a sip of my espresso and simply enjoy. 

 

How do you stay patient when you're running errands or eating out? Any mindfulness tips you want to share? Write in the comments section and share your wisdom. 

 

Sign up below to receive posts delivered directly to your inbox!

 

 

How To Open Your Heart

Sometimes it's hard for me to let go and drop into the most sacred and all-knowing part of myself....my heart. But whenever I do, I come to decisions easily, I'm guided by my intuition and I have more patience with myself and others. 

My perspective gets crystal clear and I'm instinctively aware of what matters most. Issues that bothered me seem like distant memories and I'm in awe of everything and everyone. I always want to capture this feeling and hold on to it forever. 

Occasionally, I lose my footing. I become impatient. I'm more critical. I check my phone way too much. I'm moving fast, but with less efficiency because I'm forcing things and leading with my intellect alone. 

Here's how you can shift your perspective back to your heart at any time: 

 

1) Spend Time in Nature

When we spend time in nature, we immediately connect with a feeling of expansiveness. Flowers know when to bloom, leaves know when to fall and when we spend time around that kind of wisdom, we remember that we're also living in perfect timing. Spend time in nature and feel grounded, calm and ready to meet the world with a renewed sense of patience and love. 

 

2) Connect with a loved one IN PERSON

There's texting rapid-fire style with friends and then there's meeting in person and really asking people how they're doing. I'm super guilty of not making enough time to get together with people and just "be." Remember in high school and college when you'd just hang with people for hours talking about anything and everything? Bring a little bit of that energy back to your next conversation or lunch date. Less rush, more savoring. 

 

3) Release Separation

We can be so focused on "finding our tribe" and connecting with like-minded beings that we forget the beauty in noticing similarities. The next time you're in line for coffee or navigating a crowded store, look into a person's eyes and see something that's the same in yourself. Instead of judging someone for running through a store, remember a time you were feeling stressed and send the person some love. This practice helps take away any illusion of separation. 

 

4) Slow Down and Practice Self-Care

My natural tendency is to move through the world at lightning speed. That's all well and good until I burn out, get tired and become impatient with everyone in my life. To stay heart-centered, we have to tend to our bodies. Some of my favorite ways to get connected are through acupuncture, reflexology and deep tissue massage. I usually end up moving more slowly and methodically; less in a rush, more okay with the now and kinder to everyone around me.  

 

5) Laugh or Cry...Whatever Feels Right

Our bodies have infinite wisdom and know exactly what to do in certain moments. The other day I really needed to laugh, so I watched a funny movie. Tension in my shoulders dissipated as I cackled to myself. Sometimes I need to cry, so I'lll turn on a movie that'll get the tears flowing. We're meant to feel a range of feelings. It's the beauty of being human. Let yourself feel. 

I came across this quote from one of my favorite animated films of all time (that always makes me cry!) Initially I didn't want to share it because my brain thought it might be silly. But I'm leading with my heart, so here it goes: 

 

"Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen carefully." - Littlefoot's mother, Land Before Time

 

From my heart to yours...Happy Valentine's Day, 

 

Devon

 

 

What helps you stay heart-centered? Write in the comments below and feel free to share this post with a friend! 

 

.

Tips for Winter Living

Winter in New York City can be brutal. I'm from sunny Southern California and even after 10 years on the East Coast, I still find myself needing a little extra support when the days are gray and the temperatures drop. 

Instead of complaining about the weather and counting down until spring, I've learned to embrace the time to go inward and curl up with a comfy blanket and cup of tea. 

Here are my 5 favorite tools for thriving during the winter months. And if you live somewhere like California or Florida, you can still benefit because even a subtle shift in the weather can affect our systems! Or maybe all you warm weather dwellers can simply forward these tips along to someone in need. 

 

1) Light Therapy 

I'm late to the game when it comes to purchasing what I lovingly refer to as my "happy light," but let's just say I noticed an immediate shift in my energy. Sometimes the sun doesn't peek out through the clouds and it's been great to start my day with a bright light staring back at me. I'll drink my coffee with it about 12 inches away from my head. Warning - do NOT stare at this thing straight on. Think peripheral vision. I noticed my energy was higher when it came to working and writing and I was dragging my feet less when it came to going outside. Placebo? Maybe. But, I'm choosing to believe that this light is giving me the added boost in my energy to power through February and March. 

 

2) Essential Oils

I'm a sensitive person, so thankfully various aromas can work pretty easily on my system. If I'm having a hard time getting to bed, I'll place some lavender under my feet and if I'm in a funk, I'll place some Elevation from DoTerra on my wrists. Sometimes it's the little things that give you the added shift to make it through the day. 

 

3) Shea Butter

What did I do before shea butter? Looking back, I arrived in NYC with measly lotions and creams compared to what I really needed to fight the elements of the city. A little bit of this mixed with your regular lotion and you're good to go. I even place a little on my face, which freaks out my friends with oily prone skin, but I promise it's worth it. 

 

4) Good Feng Shui

I've worked with amazing Feng Shui expert Laura Cerrano, who you should all check out. She's bicoastal and offers remote consultations. The impact your home has on your mood can be pretty alarming. My favorite tip from her is to make sure your "relationship corner" in your room has warm/hot colors like red and purple and that objects are in twos. For example, you'll want two candles, a picture of two palm trees, etc. That way, whether you're with a partner or not, you're reinforcing the energy of feeling supported by your current (or future!) mate. We can spend more time in our homes during colder months, so having a supportive environment is key. 

 

5) Danielle LaPorte's Daily Planner

I'm having a love affair with Danielle LaPorte's daily planner. Instead of focusing on mundane "tasks" and "to-do's," you focus on how you want to FEEL and everything flows from there. My core feeling this year is FUN. If you've known me at any point in my life, you'll recognize that this is a warranted goal because I've had the tendency to be serious since I was in pre-K. Whatever feeling or concept you want more of in 2017, you can streamline your actions based on that feeling. 

Now if you need me, I'll be having a dance party in the kitchen with my dog. 

Here's to self-care and more fun :) 

***

How do you survive the colder temps? Any life hacks you want to share? Leave your comments below and feel free to share this post with a friend!

 

Want more? Sign up below to receive tips delivered directly to your inbox.