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Archive for June, 2008

“And we’ll celebrate, with three Om’s.”
I start my classes like this these days, and I end them celebrating with three Om’s as well.

I finally understand what the world “celebrate” means. For years, when people would say “You have to celebrate!!” or “Time to celebrate!!” I really had no idea what they were talking about. I had no idea actually how to do that—to “celebrate.”

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“I choose to allow all of my experiences to be peaceful, loving, and joyful.”
-Louise Hay

To avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

It should be easy and flow. It should flow beautifully and easily.

“To be a great champion, you must believe that you are the best. If you’re not, pretend that you are.”
-Muhammad Ali

I am in my power. My prana* flows through my body.
*prana=life force

If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

I release all restrictions and I allow myself to be me.

When I was little, my legs were just my legs. I never thought about them. My arms were just my arms. They helped me hit a tennis ball, to win a match. I never thought about whether they were toned, thin, whether they fit into the “right” size of clothing.

I never thought about food, either. Except for the habitual question: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” food wouldn’t cross my mind, unless the Good Humor ice cream truck was driving down my street in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

How is it that our culture has become so obsessed with food, so hyper-aware of our physical bodies?

Since our body is really just “the home of our spirit,” why do we obsess so about it and what we put into it? And how can we stop?

The dichotomy is astounding: droves of people mindlessly, automatically and obsessively shoveling food into their mouths on a regular basis, not paying attention—not listening to what their bodies are telling them in the form of fatigue, illness, pain, depression, anxiety (“It’s 12:00? Time to eat!!”) Vs. the epidemic of eating disorders or “eating concerns” as we so politically correctly called them at Harvard University, where I worked as a doctoral candidate therapist-in-training.

Most of us have lost our ability to judge real hunger, and to feed it.

A world full of over-processed, non-nutrient dense “food” products has caused our culture to become over-fed and undernourished. People are full–and starving. Starving for real nutrients, real love, and light.

Our bodies are starving for nourishment, as they consume hundreds of pounds of sugar, additives, and chemicals every year, all in the name of “health food.” Have you seen it? We now have “organic junk food,” in shiny, pretty packages that call it “healthy.” “Well, it’s organic!! It must be healthy!!” “I bought it at Wholefoods; it must be good for me.” People want to be healthy and want to feel good, but they are lost.

And it’s no wonder. A culture and government that pushes junk food, meat and dairy products, pharmaceutical consumption and medical procedures doesn’t help.

And if you choose to think and live “outside the box” or cultural programming, you’re labeled “weird.”

Where did it all go wrong?

Bill Cosby once said “I don’t know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

I can’t pinpoint where or how it all went wrong, but I can say how it shifted—“went right” for me.

Four words: yoga and raw food.

With a daily yoga practice and a vegan raw food lifestyle, the mystery is solved, and life is good.

I have a ton of energy, feel happy pretty much all the time, feel and look ten years younger than when I was eating “healthy” cooked foods from health food stores and working out at the gym, need less sleep, have more clarity, focus, and patience, and am a better parent, wife, and teacher.

I am better able to be of service–to my family, my yoga students, my teaching staff, the person on the street who needs help, the world.

Many people ask me: “Is it really that simple?”

Yes, it is.

**For more information on the raw food lifestyle, visit the following websites, check out these suggested books, and stay tuned for more articles from Taylor with hints on how to feel the best ever!!**

Websites:

Books:

  • Living on Live Foods – Alissa Cohen alissacohen.com
  • Eating for Beauty – David wolfe rawfood.com
  • Eating in the Raw – Carol Alt rawfood.com or ecookbooks.com
  • Feeling Good Food – Susie Miller rawfood.com
  • Green for Life – Victoria Boutenko rawfood.com
  • Raw Food Real World – Matthew Kenney ecookbooks.com
  • Rawsome!! – Brigitte Mars rawfood.com
  • The Raw Food Detox Diet – Natalia Rose rawfood.com or ecookbooks.com
  • Your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe.

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    Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:

    I expected motherhood to change me.  How could it not?  Everything was new.  But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together.  It was all at once brutal and gratifying.  I am grateful for all of it.  I have learned who I am and how great my support system is.  I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us.  It’s not just me who is a super mom.  It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family.  Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her.  The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU.  She was a full term baby but a very sick one.  After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched.   She thrived.  And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong.  It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart.  She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed.  I needed to feel again.  Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself.  I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day.  I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was sleepwalking.  I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!).   Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help.  I began to piece myself back together.  It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice.  It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again.  I experienced such joy in finding myself.    I had really missed me!  But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey.  It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected.  It’s often what I need most!  I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad!  Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.