check out my interview on the HeartSpace podcast!

A little while back, I got to have a juicy conversation with the sweet, smart, and multi-talented Corinne Dobbas (a dietitian + dating coach) on her podcast, HeartSpace.

The episode with my interview went live today, and it was fun to listen back and remember all the good stuff we got into! We cover a broad range of stuff, from Buffy (yuuuup) to trauma to body+self acceptance. 

Head over to your favorite podcast app and check it out! <3

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.

*let it shine* interview: mara glatzel

mara-glatzel-interview

In today's installment of my *Let it Shine* interview series, I'm talking with intuitive guide and energy healer, Mara Glatzel.

I've been quietly following Mara's blog on and off for several years, and I finally sheepishly reached out to her last week about doing this interview. It's silly that it took me so long to connect with her given my long-time admiration of Mara and her work, but I'm so glad that I did so I can share her story with you!

Here are a few reasons why I love Mara:

  • She is seriously the best of both worlds. While some blog posts about topics like abundance or self-love or authenticity often feel flimsy and superficial to me, Mara gets into these concepts at a REAL and soul-deep level. She weaves words together like a beautiful silver-flecked tapestry, and has the substance to back it up.
  • She talks about the hard shit we often want to avoid but NEED to talk about: such as grieving the loss of your body fantasy.
  • We have some freaky-cool similarities. We're both pisces, combo INFJ/ENFJ, love Outlander, graduated with our masters in clinical social work the same year... uhhh. I'm pretty sure the universe wants us to be friends.

So without further adieu, let's get into the interview! {And a few comments from the peanut gallery (me) in brackets}

Tell us a little about your background: What brought you where you are now in your work, and what's your primary focus?

I started my business as a personal blog in 2008. Over the years, I found that running it and tending to the community gathering in my little corner of the internet was something that brought me so much joy - and also that delicious feeling of showing up in the world as I am. In 2010, I went back to school for social work, thinking that it would be a beautiful fit for me to work towards becoming a therapist. However, at some point during my two year program, it started to not feel like a perfect fit for me. The work that I was doing was compelling and I loved it, but I was also exhausted verging on being completely burnt out.

In early 2012, I made the decision to combine my love for my website, which had grown quite a bit at that point, and my skills as a therapist to create a coaching business where I could also teach classes and run in person retreats for women. This shift filled me with fear, but there was also the resonance of truth. I could feel myself getting closer and closer to what I was put on this planet to do.

Now, as an intuitive guide for women, I facilitate daily conversations about intention, truth, and celebration. At the core of this work is the deep desire help others live well-intentioned lives, which means… more joy, grit, and vibrant imperfection to spare. 

When you think of your "inner light," what does that mean to you, and what role does it play in your life and work?


I think of my inner light as the brilliant and uniquely powerful expression of my spirit. My inner light is at the truth of who I am - and what I have to offer the world around me. So often, this truth is clouded by who we think we "should" be or what we think that we "should" do and we seek to hide our inner light out of fear that we will be seen as different or that people wouldn't accept us if they truly knew us.

I believe that my inner light is the best part of who I am, and that living and sharing from that place of light allows me to best serve the world around me. When I am able to immerse myself in the vulnerability of showing up in the world exactly as I am, that inner light becomes a beacon that allows my right people, my tribe, to find me. When I allow myself to be witnessed in this way, I provide myself with an opportunity to be loved as I am, to belong as I am. {I am in love with your definition of this!} 

What are a few of your rituals or practices that help you stay inspired and connected to yourself and your purpose?

There are moments when I notice myself getting disconnected from myself. I notice that I am scrolling through my social media pages, again and again, wanting to feel like I am a part of something, but feeling more disconnected each time I log on. Or, I might be scattered and anxious, unable to answer the question: "What would I like to do right now?" Whenever I notice myself starting to feel a bit frayed around the edges, I realize that it is a good time for me to unplug completely. I like to do this for a weekend a month, because it allows me an opportunity to be a human first, to recalibrate to my own inner wisdom instead of trying to tune into the noise of the crowd around me.

{A thousand times yes! You describe this feeling so well that I often get when scrolling on my phone or on the computer, and you're right — JUST UNPLUGGING in that moment is the best possible thing I can do.}

I also incorporate the lunar phases into my life as a touching stone and way to organize my relationship with myself. Each New Moon, I set an intention for the moon cycle ahead. This intention is typically the answer to the question: "What do I need right now?" Then, over the course of the moon cycle, I hold that intention in the forefront of my mind by checking in with it each morning. I find that this helps me focus and align my inner compass with my own truth. (It also helps me keep my eyes on my own paper, which I find is something that keeps distractions at bay and helps me remain illuminated by my own inner light.

So often these days, we only get the "highlight reel" of others' lives via Facebook, Instagram, etc. If we could see you at some of your "real life" less-than-perfect or mundane moments, what might we see?


You might see me wallowing in moments of freak out. There might be tears. Or the gurgle of fear-fueled words spilling out faster than I can stop them. You would see the human moments of exhaustion. The nerves that always seem to accompany the vulnerability of allowing yourself to be seen again and again.

The truth is, insecurity and fear don't go away. They show up whenever you find yourself, again, at your upper limit, struggling to soften and surrender into the newness of showing up authentically through transformation or shifts. Though the fear doesn't go away, there is a particular beauty and skill to allowing yourself to be exquisitely human. I don't believe that I have to do anything perfectly. I just want to do it, even if that includes the messiness of sobbing on the bathroom floor or needing a major pep talk to get it done.

{Again, I 100% agree here — there are so many messages out there about being 'fearless' and not having self-doubt, etc. but I just don't see that approach as reality-based.} 

However, I really try to include these moments in my highlight reel. I think there is an amazing amount of permission in showing your flaws and vulnerabilities on social media. There is a power to celebrating the truth that we don't have to be perfect robots in order to make our dreams come true, that it is ok to have your human experience alongside of your achievement. We are human beings and not robots. We can be afraid and ready. For me, it's really important to show up that way as often as possible.

What's one of your favorite breakfasts?

Mmmm. Avocado toast with a sprinkle of sea salt and scrambled eggs. Plus coffee with coconut milk, of course. {Sign me up!} 

And how about lunch/dinner?


I am a huge fan a big salads or veggie stir fry for lunch - and taking a real, live lunch break. My sweetheart is a professional chef, so she usually has dinner covered.{Ummmm, might be just a tad jealous here. ;D} (Although, I have a particular penchant for turkey burgers and roasted sweet potatoes.)

What feeds you spiritually?

Being out in nature. I find that I am nourished by leaving all of my devices behind and getting out in the fresh air. I live in a beautiful seaside community, so I like to find my way to the beach, dive into a pond, or watch the Osprey hunt over the harbor.

What is your favorite way to move your body?


I have a fondness for unstructured movement like a solid walk or an impromptu dance party.

{Love it! I'm just getting interested in the 5Rhythms, and super excited to explore it. I had a solo dance party this morning before work!}

3 items you always have with you (beyond wallet/keys/phone!)


Portland Bee Balm. Harry potter book on tape (on phone). A pen.

What are some of your absolute favorite fictional books, movies, and albums?

I love YA books and fantasy. Also, anything that Madeleine L'Engle. I'm currently reading my way back through the Wrinkle in Time quintet. Each book is just so gorgeously well-written. {Okay, the universe has given me Madeleine L'Engle twice randomly in one day... I think it's time for me to pick them up finally.} 

I adore television shows that feature quippy crime solvers with a romantic potential - Bones, Castle, etc. My favorite movie is Remember the Titans, but I will be won over by just about any football-themed movie. In this moment, I am also pretty into Vance Joy radio on Pandora. {HIS VOICE!!} 

Which podcasts, books, courses, or other resources have had a real impact on your life?

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, Women who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
, The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson, 
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, 
Trauma Stewardship by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky‎ {*adds to Amazon wish list*}

What can you tell us about your offerings and any projects that you're working on? 

Yes! I am getting ready to run my absolute favorite course again this fall, The Deep Exhale. The Deep Exhale is a journey for women who are ready to rest - women who are exhausted physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Women who want to take action and create in their lives without sacrificing their own care. The Deep Exhale teaches women to rewrite what it means to receive their own care and adoration.

This class is for you if you are sitting there thinking: "I don’t have time to rest. I couldn’t possibly (even if I really wanted to). Must be nice to be able to relax. I have too much to do. Everyone is depending on me. I have to hold it all together, all the time. Sounds amazing, but…"

The truth is that you do have time and it is possible to pour more of your own care and more rest into your life in this exact moment. (And I really relish the opportunity to teach you how.)

http://www.maraglatzel.com/exhale/

Mara, thank you so much for taking the time to connect with my amazing readers — I adore you and I know they will, too. Namaste, and I can't wait to see what comes from you next!

***** If you resonated with Mara, I hope you'll check out her upcoming course and read through some of her posts! You also might like my recent post on what to do when you're feeling super overwhelmed — including a free printable that you can keep handy by your desk or on your fridge. 

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.

*let it shine* VIDEO interview: nicole boriski on sustainability & being a better steward of the planet

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I had an idea recently that I wanted to have a post about how we can become better stewards of the planet by making realistic (not overwhelming) changes and continuing to educate ourselves about the most pressing issues we need to know about and take action on. I'm far from an expert in that area, so I decided to interview someone who knows a lot more than me, which was a great opportunity to brush up my own knowledge and share it with you. Enter Nicole: Nicole Boriski is an Assistant Director of the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP), an environmental and outdoor education program set in a breathtaking residential camp on Catalina Island south of Los Angeles. She also happens to be one of my best friends since 5th grade, and one of a handful of people in my life where the conversation is guaranteed to decline into jokes about bodily functions within five minutes — or, should I say, she's both hilarious and humble about her wicked intelligence and wealth of knowledge.

I knew the talk would be good, but I honestly didn't know it was going to be THIS good. Seriously, you guys. Nicole knocks it out of the park in this conversation. It left me with so much to think about, and I know I'm going to be referencing both this video and the resources she shared with me on the call many more times.

(If you're reading this on mobile, you may need to click here to watch the video directly on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/mdUE6UxLHcw

Resources Mentioned in the Interview:

Oh, and here's Nicole and me in 6th grade (on bottom; how about them velvet dresses!), 9th grade (zebra pants, too cool for school... and yes, taken on the same wall as the other pic), and then at my wedding last year. So much love for you, friend. <3

NicoleAndVal

 

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I'm lucky to call Nicole one of my best friends, and this conversation with her has kicked my rear in gear (in a good way, not a guilt trip!) to continue educating myself and taking tangible steps in my life to improve how I'm treating the planet. 

I hope watching has the same impact on you! Would love to hear your thoughts, questions, tips, and more — just leave a comment here or on social media. 

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.

*let it shine* interview: katie dalebout of the wellness wonderland

For the second installment of my "Let it Shine" interview series, I couldn't be more giddy to bring to you podcaster, yogi, life coach, speaker, and queen of The Wellness Wonderland herself, Katie Dalebout! I have been following Katie since last year (primarily through her The Wellness Wonderland Radio podcast -- free at her website or on iTunes), and I'll tell you just a few things I love about her:

  • She is a master curator. Katie knows what her listeners want, and she brings on wonderful guests to deliver the information and inspiration they're seeking.
  • She is unpretentious.Katie finds that perfect balance between being both self-assured and humble. And let me say, that is not easy to come by in the wellness world.
  • Her excitement is contagious. She's not afraid to get real and talk about deep issues, but Katie always keeps her bright light shining. My mood is always lifted when I listen to her show.

So what makes her tick? Let's find out...

Tell us a little about your background: What brought you into the wellness field, and what's your primary focus?

We each have an experience that opens us up to change, and for me, it was my relationship with food. I felt like I wasn't good enough (smart enough, pretty enough, cool enough, etc.), so I thought if I could become thin enough, maybe all those other things would be better — so I did. Through my eating disorder, I realized the happiness I found from being super thin was conditional happiness, and it wasn't sustainable, so I needed to find my happiness in another source.When I recognized that feeling enough was an inside job, it was a relief. Now, I teach other people how to find that state of mind that I call my "Wellness Wonderland."

When you think of your "inner light," what does that mean to you, and what role does it play in your life and work?


My inner light is my guide for everything. It is the leader of my life and my work. I try to remember to constantly check in with my intuition throughout the day and with every decision I make. When I don't follow it or I'm not paying attention to it, I feel off and yucky.

What are a few of your rituals or practices that help you stay inspired and connected to yourself and your purpose?

Journaling. For me, writing is the best way to work through all the voices in my mind and decide which ones I want to listen to and follow. Writing allows me to be authentic with myself so I can be real with others. I don't know how I'm feeling unless I'm writing! Also, yoga, meditation, talking to friends and listening to podcasts keep me in the flow.

So often these days, we only get the "highlight reel" of others' lives via Facebook, Instagram, etc. If we could see you at some of your "real life" less-than-perfect or mundane moments, what might we see?


Amazing question. Well, you would see that it is not always Wellness Wonderland! I get sad and overwhelmed a ton. However, I now have the tools to take me back. I trust that if I'm not feeling productive or inspired today, it's okay, because everything is temporary.

What's one of your favorite breakfasts?

Green Apple and Pumpkin Seed Butter!

And how about lunch/dinner?


A big warm salad with sautéed greens in coconut oil with a ton of spices topped with hemp seeds, dulse, avocado, nutritional yeast, maybe kale chip pieces, and roasted veggies like sweet potatoes.{Sounds delicious! Think I'll have to try one...}

What is your favorite way to move your body?


Walking outside while listening to a good audiobook,  podcast, or talking on the phone. Or better yet — hiking with a friend and having a deep conversation.

3 items you always have with you (beyond wallet/keys/phone!)


A pocket journal, pen, lemon essential oil.

What are some of your absolute favorite fictional books, movies, and albums?

Book: Stargirl. Movie: Serendipity. Album: Jose Gonzalez anything. {Amen, sister}

Which podcasts, books, courses, or other resources have had a real impact on your life?

I like my podcast! {Me, too! Obviously. ;) } Everything by Gabby Bernstein and Isabel Foxen Duke and Elle Griffin including Over The Moon Magazine.

What can you tell us about your offerings and any projects that you're working on? 

I'm obsessed with my coaching program! Seriously, it is my favorite thing in the world.

***** Big thanks and hugs to Katie for interviewing at Waking Up in Wonder!

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.

*let it shine* interview: lauren fowler of mindful meals

Let it Shine - Lauren Fowler
Let it Shine - Lauren Fowler

I am so excited to launch my "Let it Shine" interview series today with the ridiculously awesome Lauren Fowler of Mindful Meals. Lauren is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and in addition to her face-to-face work with clients in Vermont, she does nutrition coaching via Skype/phone with women everywhere who want to improve their relationship with food and their bodies. She also happens to be a kick-ass blogger/writer, and we're currently working on an eBook together that I can't wait to tell you more about in the near future.

Lauren has been a huge inspiration to me as I've committed to my blog over the past 6+ months, and I am grateful to now call her a friend. You can get to know Lauren a little in my interview below, and I highly recommend checking out her blog and newsletter afterwards.

Tell us a little about your background: What brought you into the wellness field, and what's your primary focus?

I grew up having several wonderful experiences of serving others, and I knew I would eventually go down the path of helping others. With the underlying interest in wellness, I chose nursing school. Luckily, I took a nutrition class my first year in and that just clicked for me, so I switched over to nutrition and became a dietitian.

 On the other side, part of my interest in wellness was always this desire to "fix myself." I was always serving others and trying to be the 'good girl,' smart, or other things while neglecting what I really wanted to do.

I started to collect this belief in high school that I wasn't good enough until I lost weight or had that bikini body other girls my age seemed to have. I started to count calories, restrict, and label my food as good or bad. My inner rebel showed up every so often and binged to help my body get the energy it was craving.

In college, I discovered Intuitive Eating, and it completely changed my relationship with food. I learned to listen to my body's cues, and the years since then, I've dived into what it really means to live a life from my heart and intuition on all levels. I now primarily work with women with eating disorders or disordered eating to help them heal their relationships with food, and it's the most fulfilling work I can imagine doing.

When you think of your "inner light," what does that mean to you, and what role does it play in your life and work?


My inner light is my intuition. It's what guides me to live a life aligned with my values and from my heart. I tend to be an indecisive person (don't give me the choice of what movie to watch!), but when I take a moment to ask my heart and intuition what to do and actually listen, I can make a clear decision.In my work with women, I'm helping them heal their relationship with food, but it's really about helping them find deeper connection with themselves. By building a loving relationship with themselves and honoring their needs and desires, their relationship with food shifts as well.

What are a few of your rituals or practices that help you stay inspired and connected to yourself and your purpose?

My magical mornings! I give myself time in the morning to do a short yoga flow, meditate, and usually read or journal for a bit. It starts my day on a positive note and helps me ease into the day. Writing in a journal or on my blog has always been one of the best ways to express myself, so I try to write daily for inspiration and connection.

 Moving my body really helps me stay connected to myself, especially in a yoga class or out in nature.

So often these days, we only get the "highlight reel" of others' lives via Facebook, Instagram, etc. If we could see you at some of your "real life" less-than-perfect or mundane moments, what might we see?


My work-from-home outfits. On days I'm not seeing clients, you can typically find me in yoga pants, a messy bun, and pink slippers. 

While I love cooking and trying new recipes, most of the week I'm not cooking extravagant and Instagram-worthy meals. 

And yes, I eat emotionally sometimes :) It's a totally normal thing to do.I savor red wine and cheese just because I want it, and somedays I'll enjoy chocolate if I'm having a bad day. The point is I don't allow guilt or shame to ruin my experience.

What's one of your favorite breakfasts?

Omelets with lots of veggies and fruit on the side!

And how about lunch/dinner?


I love curries - Mango Coconut Chicken Curry is a favorite.

What is your favorite way to move your body?


Yoga or anything outside in nature - hiking, running, walking. Oh, and dancing!

3 items you always have with you (beyond wallet/keys/phone!)


My new amazonite mala bracelet, tea, compassion

What are some of your absolute favorite fictional books, movies, and albums?

Harry Potter! I remember picking up the new books and reading them for like 3 days straight until it was done. (I'll take this as a reminder to read more fiction!)

I'm not a huge movie person, but I love shows. Some of my favorites are ALIAS (love spy shows!), Orange is the New Black, New Girl, and The Americans.

Which podcasts, books, courses, or other resources have had a real impact on your life?


Intuitive Eating really started me on this path, and I return and re-read that book every so often. Always new pieces of gold to pick up!

 Geneen Roth cracked me open as well, into the spiritual and emotional side of eating. Before that, I tried to look at things through a purely 'logical' perspective. Others I love are Brené Brown's books, the Jess Lively podcast, and Isabel Foxen Duke for a whole new perspective on body image that isn't talked about often.

 Lastly, journaling! Having a space to openly and freely express my thoughts, feelings, and whatever comes up is huge. It's my space to explore things on my journey and on my time.

What can you tell us about your offerings and any projects that you're working on? And how about a few of your favorite Mindful Meals blog posts?

Well, Valerie and I are working on an eBook together that I'd say is pretty amazing so far! 
I also coach women one-on-one on healing their relationship with food, and you can learn more about that here.

Here are a few posts to get to know me as well:The Seven Truths about Weight Loss All Women Must Know The Movement Revolution: 5 Ways to Find Body Love + ConnectionMy Simple Nutrition Philosophy

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.