Mindfulness in the Kitchen…key breakthrough to overcoming cooking anxiety

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I must say that one of my greatest challenges in life has been cooking. I mean, I’m really not exaggerating when something one needs to do about 3 times a day, is such a source of grief and discomfort. I literally considered myself as having panic attacks as a single Mom and my little boys would come to me in the afternoon to ask me the INfamous question in our house: What’s for Dinner? Yes, cooking anxiety does exist!

I know I’m not alone, and every year since I started my journey in the health and wellness industry, I have taken baby steps to make adjustments and learn to appreciate the importance of embracing this time of nurturing our bodies with foods that promote healing and restoring. Hence my passion for nutrient dense foods and C2E’s monthly curriculum called Nutrition Intelligence, where we bring a guest coach quarterly to offer a monthly workshop (3rd Wednesday). Nutrient dense foods are loaded with the vitamins, minerals, macro, and micronutrients our bodies need to have thriving energy.

This quarter’s Coach, Woodland Hills neighbor, Maureen Cox, aka Chef Mo, brings such a fresh twist to the art of preparing meals (notice I’m trying to eliminate the word cooking from my vocab;) that I’m kind of starting to look forward to spend some time in my ‘invisible kitchen’ (yes, that’s the look I wanted for my Kitchen when it was remodeled about 14 years ago!). She brings mindfulness to this process of nurturing our bodies, by helping us set an intention, connect with our bodies and trust our instincts. It is a fact that the energy we have affects everything we prepare. Chef Mo makes cooking look like a beautiful dance of grace and love, as she connects with every tool, veggie & fruit just like Snow White resonated with the animals in the forest!! Her knowledge base is huge and makes any question approachable and grounded. So grateful to have her with us this quarter and for the other coaches who have paved the way at C2E for some serious Nutrient Intelligence downloads of passion, knowledge, incredible recipes, tips, and most of all, love for our bodies.

Feel free to join us at C2E’s Villa this Wednesday, May 21st at 7pm, to catch beautiful Chef Mo, give us her superpowers to the world, her superb Mindful Cooking. For more info on this class please go to: http://bit.ly/1k0npfP


SoulCollage, letting our Essence reveal insight & wisdom!

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C2E has a number of Community Events on a monthly basis that bring a collection of tools that, if they resonate with us, will become part of our personal practice of personal self-care in body, mind, and spirit. A personal practice of working through our issues, whether physical, spiritual or mental, is how we can begin to experience true transformation. People tend to be so uplifted, excited, and on fire during a workshop, retreat, or transformational event, but also often falling very quickly into familiar patterns of dysfunction. WHY? Because a personal practice that is consistent is not established. Without this personal practice, that is organic, ever changing, and deeply intimate, there’s always going to be patterns that no longer serve us repeating themselves over and over again in our lives.
Here are a couple of excerpts from C2E Tribe Coaches, Chef MO and Mayra McCullough, to share how they have adopted SoulCollage’s method, our Creative Expression series for this quarter with the beautiful, passionate, and excellent Chantel Zimmerman. Our objective is to inspire you to try new things that might connect with you in ways you can’t even imagine. Open your heart, and allow it to  guide as you feel drawn.
Chef MO’s Experience w/ SoulCollage: (Thank you for sharing Beautiful!)
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I so enjoyed my SoulCollage Card workshop with Chantel Zimmerman. I created 1 card and started 2 more the night of the class, went home after class and finished the other 2. You can see my first three cards in the top row of this montage.
Several days later I felt the inspiration come alive in me to create more. I think I did  8 cards that night, you can see some of those in the middle row, I took the time to sit with these cards for several days just enjoying looking at them , holding them and listening, then spent the next several days writing and cataloging them.
I allowed myself another card session the following week and some of those creations are in the bottom row of the montage.  This process has opened something deep and wide within me that wants to come out play and expand. I would heartily recommend this Soul Collage work to anyone who is curious about accessing their creativity and intuition.
Mayra McCullough’s Experience w/ SoulCollage:
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I was so intrigued by this process where Chantel took us to an intuitive journey of creating images that will speak to US! The concept of having my personalized deck of cards was driving me with excitement and curiosity. I was so eager to see what my soul had to tell me today! It took many of Chantel loving prompts to keep my mind off and my instinct on. Connecting to how your body responds with pure instinct is one of the key lessons for me here. The process was so peaceful, and joyful, specially since I didn’t get to figure anything out, just trust my Essence (or Higher Self) to pick, choose, glue and paste. It would take a couple of chapters to break down the messages these cards have given me, but in summary, they are filled with new messages every time I incorporate them to my daily SOS (Self Optimization Sanctuary) practice. They speak to me about taming the wild, how to achieve clarity, about my ability to live the dream in confidence. They speak to my heart because they come from my heart! So looking forward to finishing my deck of 12 by the end of June!

Come join us at C2E’s Villa tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13, and the following month (Tuesday, June 10th) and explore your soul with this fun, simple, and effective way of practicing connection to our Essence. Please e-mail mayra@coach2edify.org to reserve your spot (price ranges from $30 drop-ins to $15 each if you pre-register a group of 3 (including yourself).

(Disclaimer: Please note that all these images collected are not our own photography or art. This is purely used for self-reflection and demonstrating the principles behind a very profound process of self-discovery. We are grateful for all the artists and images here displayed, and if there is ever an issue to displaying them for ANY reason, just know that you can contact mayra@coach2edify.org and it will be taken care of immediately.)


Coach2Edify: 501(C)(3) for Community Wellness

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As Coach2Edify (C2E) evolves, our concept gains more clarity and structure, and our original mission of creating health and wellness becomes both fulfilled and fulfilling. I’m grateful for the rich tapestry of life benefits we offer our community. We create a culture where self-sufficiency in personal care of body, mind, and spirit is second nature.

C2E is a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to improving community wellness. Our primary purpose is to “edify” others through one-on-one fitness consultations, nutrition coaching, life coaching, and group classes. Why did we choose to organize as a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit?

A benefit of our organization as a 501(C)(3) means that our clients–whether corporate or individual–can write off 50% of the cost of our services. Getting healthy while getting a tax benefit!? That’s a win-win situation.

C2E benefactors are those who purchase training programs. When benefactors invest in themselves through C2E, they are also investing in the community by making a way to offer currency-free training to those who are low in cash flow. This currency-free program is called The C2E Tribe Program. Program participants can receive training using the time bank concept of exchange: for every hour of training received, they give one hour of their time to C2E. This program is offered quarterly to a new group of participants. We are currently receiving applications for the Summer Quarter, and have the capacity for seven participants each quarter.

Creating platforms for Transformational Leaders on the Rise is another C2E mission. Transformational Leaders are those passionate about facilitating transformation in order to overcome crisis, whether physical or spiritual. We call this resonance Supernatural Production. That’s when we tap to that frequency where we feel supported by the universe in all that we do: that place where we are connected to the flow of nature. I feel it personally when I’m very in tune with my meditation practice. Schedules work themselves out, people come to you with exactly what you need, and you seem to find rock star parking everywhere!

Tap into the flow! To learn more about becoming a benefactor, participant or coach at C2E, please feel free to contact C2E President Mayra McCullough, mayra@coach2edify.org.


The OmGym Transformation

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Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 2.57.04 PMFollowing last week’s introduction to the OmGym, we invited our client Shannon to share her OmGym experience with us. Shannon’s honest approach by sharing her fears and reservations are inspiring. We love reading about Shannon’s OmGym transformation, and hope that you will, too.

It sounded so strange: when Mayra McCullough described the OMGym workout to me, using words like “suspended,” “inverted,” and “cocoon,” I had visions of Cirque du Soleil performers in skimpy costumes; their taut, bendy bodies moving in ways I never could. I have no flexibility, and never have. I have never been in shape. I am usually on the brink of war with my body. Occasionally, it decides to break down when it can’t take any more abuse, and I reluctantly give it a break just long enough to get semi-functional again before I go back to pervasive and destructive habits of high stress levels, lack of exercise, and emotional eating.

The OMGym sounded scary. It sounded like it demanded a certain level of lithe physical fitness and balance. It sounded dangerous. It could not be for someone like me: overweight and out of shape.

It’s not like I’ve never worked out, though I was born with some minor physical issues. I’ve had gym memberships. I’ve even had personal trainers who worked me so hard on several occasions that I threw up. It didn’t matter to which gym I belonged; each one had the same stifling atmosphere of judgment, competition, and negativity. I hated going there, so I didn’t. But I paid my monthly membership dues anyway, to maintain some shred of hope that I would find the motivation to get in shape.

“Just try it,” Mayra urged. “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” I could break my neck, I thought to myself, but I agreed to give it a go because, well, she seemed so happy, like she thoroughly enjoyed her workouts.  I’ve never enjoyed exercising, and I didn’t believe I’d enjoy the OMGym either, but I was desperate to change.

Mayra must have sensed my nervousness when I arrived for my private demonstration. She smiled warmly and took me by the hand.  “We’re just going to play,” she reassured me.

And play I did, once I let go of fear of failure.

I swung. I hung upside down. I flew like Superman. I laughed. I did exercises I never knew I could do.  Maybe I didn’t look it, but I felt like one of those beautiful performers from Cirque du Soleil. Graceful. Strong of body, mind, and spirit. There was no failure; there was only support.  And then it hit me: I was enjoying working out.

The OMGym movements are playful and soulful. In some respects, my body had never worked harder. I was sore, but I didn’t hurt. I felt tired, but also rejuvenated.  The entire process made me feel gratitude for my body, and the workout was like a peace offering.  I started to trust my body, and my body responded in kind. My energy level skyrocketed. I couldn’t wait to do it again.

I’ve been playing ever since.

I know that the OmGym sounds strange. And it is, at first. But then it’s magical and wonderful and uplifting. It becomes something else. I became something else. Or maybe I became myself, finally, for the first time.


Introduction to the OmGym

At Coach2Edify, our approach to Three-Dimensional (3D) Fitness fosters whole-being wellness. We champion fitness as well as personal transformation. The effects of 3D Fitness transform the body, mind, and spirit and shift your outlook from ordinary to extraordinary.

As part of developing fitness practices and regimens for our clients, we’re always looking to play. We love developing programs that our clients love—why should fitness be routine, redundant, or anything less than pure fun? That’s why we love the OmGym.

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After I attended certification training for the OmGym in Baltimore, I knew that I had to integrate the suspension system into the Coach2Edify fitness routine. I built a unique space for OmGym training at our Villa and christened it the OmDome.

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So what is the OmGym? Founded with the mission to inspire joy within movement, to offer the most effective, versatile tools for health and fitness, and to create eco-friendly and affordable fitness solutions for all, the OmGym is a versatile suspension training system.

In 2005, OmGym founder Sarah Kellett, ERYT-500, discovered the dynamic art of suspension and realized it to be crucial in her own path of recovery.  She had previously spent years exploring rehabilitation methods after a car accident left her with painful compression injuries and spinal misalignment.

Informed by her extensive background in athletic therapy and yoga, she then implemented and built upon the age-old practice of inversion and traction therapy, which reaches all the way back to ancient Greece and Hippocrates, the “father of medicine.” (Hippocrates may have been influenced by an even older tradition. Indian yogis had been using ropes and vines to assist in their exercises for thousands of years). In the modern era, world-famous yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar popularized the use of rope and fabric slings to help with inversions and a great variety of suspended and supported yoga poses.

Ms. Kellett combined the most effective elements of these traditional ideas and expanded upon on them to catalyze her own rehabilitation program. Her rapid healing soon gave way to an even more amazing development: a pain-free recovery with greater strength, flexibility, and success than she’d dreamed of!

What was the secret?  The use of variable support allowed her to fearlessly integrate new movement strategies. She was able to use gravity as a means of decompressing spinal impingements, while gently expanding her range of motion, deepening her awareness of her own center of gravity, and rebuilding the stabilizing muscle groups essential to optimal recovery and beyond. She used traditional exercises and yoga poses as a departure point, but later integrated many therapeutic and fitness techniques to evolve this practice.

Inspired to share her new ways of healing with her community, Sarah founded OmGym LLC with the enthusiastic commitment to offer the greatest of healing and personal fitness tools worldwide. The OmGym Suspension System is now the most user-friendly, portable, adjustable, versatile, attractive and eco-friendly multi-gym on the planet.

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We offer both OmGym training at our Coach2Edify facilities, and an OmGym package for purchase, delivery, and installation of your own OmGym that includes an introduction and training session with me, Coach2Edify Founder Mayra McCullough. Please contact us for more information, and play your way to Three-Dimensional Fitness!

Read more about the OmGym on their website.


3D Fitness Flows for your Self-Optimization Sanctuary

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Last week, we gave you some tips for creating a space for home self-care by creating your Self-Optimization Sanctuary (S.O.S.). Your sanctuary is a sacred space to foster a daily fitness and well-being regimen.

Here is an example of what my personal S.O.S. exercise flow looks like. Please note that my objective is not to give you a specific set of exercises; but ideas on how to flow with the needs of your own body.

At Coach2Edify, it is our mission to inspire others to create a sustainable and consistent self-care routine that becomes as second nature as brushing one’s teeth in the morning. Activities such as journaling, meditating, and creative expression are also recommended to integrate in your S.O.S. time. For personalized workouts to do at home, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.


Quick Tips to Create Your Home Gym and Self-Optimization Sanctuary

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I love training with my clients on a routine basis, but it’s important that they maintain optimal 3D fitness between our training sessions. The best way to achieve this is to create a Self-Optimization Sanctuary (SOS).

I find that the main obstacle to self-care is lack of time. Driving to the gym, scheduling yoga classes, or rushing to pilates takes time. The best solution to this little problem is to create an SOS gym in your own living space.

Here are some tips on how to create a sacred space that will draw you in and leave you no option but to dive in, care for, and LOVE yourself!

Let’s do a little space make-over here. The Coach2Edify Villa is pictured below.

BEFORE the SOS Makeover

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AFTER the SOS Makeover

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Here are the simple things you’ll need to create your own SOS and gym:

  • Gold’s Gym 6-piece puzzle mat
  • Yoga mat
  • Bolster
  • Yoga blocks
  • Yoga straps
  • Weights
  • Swiss ball

1. Create an altar with things you love to help you set the mood for SOS time. For me, the magic ingredients are music, zesty aromas, sage, and a journal. I also like to add totems or stones that remind me of positive thoughts, memories, and intentions. The little bottle of water pictured reminds me of clarity, focus, and stillness.

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2. Schedule SOS times as if they were sacred appointments with yourself. These appointments will reward you with positive, connected, grounded, and peaceful feelings. Body, mind, and spirit will reward you with the pleasure principle of gratitude to your higher self.

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ENJOY!

At Coach2Edify, our mission is to create a global movement of sanctuaries to establish a culture of personal care. We facilitate SOS consultations at your home, workout programs to help you get started, and weekly support via phone. Next week, I will post 3D Fitness Flows for use in your own Self-Optimization Sanctuary.

SOS CONTEST:

For all those who submit BEFORE and AFTER SOS pictures with your routine of personal self-care by the end of April, you will win a one-on-one training session with me at the Villa!


The OMGym for Strength, Cardiovascular Endurance, and Flexibility

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During Coach2Edify’s first Enchanted Evening almost 3 years ago, my dear college friend from UCLA, Michael Kaliski, encouraged evolutionary human and designer of suspension training system OMGym, Sarah Kellette, to attend our event. Michael Kaliski, I will be eternally grateful for this!

When Sarah came to the event, we felt right at home with one another. When she showed me a postcard with the OMGym contraption, it was love at first sight! One year later, I attended her first OMGym Trainer Certification in Baltimore, Maryland. When she mentioned that I was the first Certified Trainer in Southern California, I knew that it was time to make the move to go independent from my 5-year-plus tenure at Equinox Fitness.

A few months later, we are running 11 classes of semi-private training in 3D Fitness using the OMGym as one of our key tools to activate energy systems. The OMGym has also been a very special way to introduce students to meditation through our signature Cocoon of Light Guided Meditations. These meditations use the OMGym’s womb-like hammock.

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A few quotes from our students using the cocoon: “This is surreal,” “I don’t want to ever leave this place,” and “I’ve never ever felt anything like this before!”

Here are a few videos to show how the OMGym is used for various objectives, such as developing strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. If you own a suspension training device and would like to learn new tricks, please feel free to e-mail me what kind of exercises you need to do in your system, and I’ll post some ideas! The OMGym is the only fitness-oriented suspension system of its kind in the marketplace with a tangible, scientific educational system and certification program administered by inventor Sarah Kellett herself.

OMGym Strength: Mayra shows 2 exercises which target whole body strength development

OMGym Cardiovascular Endurance: Mayra shows simple exercises targeting cardiovascular endurance

OMGym Flexibility: Mayra demonstrates flexibility-focused exercises integrating whole-body fitness and muscle endurance