How to Practice Self-Care While Participating in Family Expectations

If the holidays have taken an emotional and physical toll on you in the past, now is the time to start preparing a plan of action so you can practice a new way of being with the holidays.

As we enter this holiday season, there are a few things that are vital to our self-care:

  1. First is the acknowledgement that we truly are worthy of listening to that deep part of ourselves that helps show us how to recognize and meet our own needs, both emotional and physical, during this time. Often we put off meeting our needs because of the fear that we are being selfish. The truth is that taking care of ourselves always puts us in a better place and makes daily life more sustainable, especially during the holidays.
  2. Be present with your needs. Know that the better you are taking care of yourself, the easier it will be to spend time with those you love.
  3. Breath. There is nothing easier and more immediate than breathing to re-center and rejuvenate. Take breaks from family gatherings to reconnect with nature, there is energy and power in nature to rejuvenate yourself.
  4. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise to turn the tide on stress. Keep the focus on yourself in order to stay balanced. Find creative ways to work these three vital components into the days of celebrating. These are the ways to insure enough rejuvenation in order to be able to function better and have a healthy attitude.
  5. Keep the focus on gratitude. The attitude of gratitude changes the energy of any gathering. Gratitude lends a special vitality to everyone and every experience during this time. Find something to focus on that reawakens a sense of gratitude.

There are a few general toxic emotions that can be cleared using the UTUE process during the holidays. Taking a few moments and clearing these emotions will help put the celebration back in your step.

  1. Clear the rules and regulations about putting ourselves last when it is time for family and friends to gather.
  2. Clear unrealistic expectations of the holidays meeting everyone’s needs.
  3. Clear taking the sometimes volatile emotions of the holidays personally.
  4. Clear comparing your family to other families, judgment and a sense of competition. Good old fashion acceptance works magic here.

Let’s look at Mary and how she participated in the holidays five years ago. Mary used to spend tons of time making lists, shopping, and agonizing over the meals as she believed that this year she would be creating a gathering that would be totally “perfect”.  Starting the process, she would always have the highest hopes and goal to finally get it right. And to all appearances, she would, and yet she would end up not feeling satisfied or happy at all.

As time went on, frustrations mounted and nerves would grow thin. She would cut back on sleep, start stress eating just to feel good for a few moments, adding in chocolate and caffeine as a way of getting that extra boost of energy that seemed necessary at the moment. Staying up late to finish that last appetizer, trying to get the house cleaned, and spending extra time in traffic took its toll on Mary’s energy and her attitude.

When the day rolled around, Mary tried to regain that sense of holiday celebration and gratitude. Deep within her though, was a sense of let down. Something was wrong, and worse, she felt like she was “wrong” and she just kept trying harder to make the day happen.

Today Mary has an entirely new approach to the holiday season. She has been able to acknowledge that the old stressful way of preparing for the holidays no longer works for her. She had started clearing with her UTUE teacher, and has been able to clear the rules that she hadn’t questioned around how holidays are supposed to happen. She also has been able to stop trying to make up for all the times she lost her temper during these family gatherings as she cleared old guilt and shame that kept tainting her ability to be in the present moment.

Today she is able to know that seeing to her needs for ample sleep, simple planning, exercise and wholesome foods makes the holidays a lot more manageable and enjoyable for her, and therefore everyone else involved. She is also seeing that her need for the perfect holiday celebration was an obstacle to having a real holiday celebration. Things are much more laid back and simple these holidays at Mary’s home. And they can be at yours too!

Written by Merrilee Town, Certified UTUE Practitioner

By Samantha Gilbert, BA, CHNP

  1. Know true hunger. Teach your body the difference between physical hunger and social or psychological hunger. This takes some time to master, especially when your brother keeps bringing up your old high school boyfriend who wore sweatbands all the time and thought he was Eddie Van Halen in front of your new boyfriend, whom you’ve only been dating for a few months. Meditation and Clearing are amazing tools to have at your disposal during these times. Simply slip away to the bathroom or take a walk outside and ask yourself “what are the feelings that are provoking my anxiety and frustration?” Then clear them or meditate for a moment to see if you are truly physically hungry, or just full of anxiety that is triggering your desire to eat. The answer may surprise you. Trust me, this works.
  2. Eat slowly. Practice keeping your fork down until you have finished your last bite of food and take at least 15 minutes to finish your meal. Many digestive problems can be eliminated by slowing down because your brain needs time to tell your body you are, in fact, full. If you eat slowly and mindfully, conscious of every bite, you’ll probably eat less but enjoy your food more. Think the French Paradox is a load of crap? Think again. Every time I am in France I always lose weight, and I attribute this to the greater positive energy generated in the kitchen and at the dinner table with people I love. Savor what you are eating. Make love to it, and enjoy the process.
  3. Eat to 80% fullness. What does this mean? It means eat until you are just satisfied. Remember points #1 and #2 above and you’ll master this one in no time.
  4. Get active. Just because it’s the holidays and your gym suddenly becomes a ghost town or you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t work up a sweat. Staying active will help keep your mind clear and your metabolism up. It can also help you cope with Aunt Martha’s annoying comments about your new hairdo. Besides, who doesn’t love a nice, long walk after dinner snuggled next to your sweetheart?
  5. Get plenty of sleep. Yes, I know you are in charge of your family’s dessert committee (heck, you probably are the committee), plus you’re not thrilled about seeing your in-laws, but trust me, adequate sleep will do you wonders. Not only does sleep change your hormone balance and ability to recover from stress, but the more sleep you get the leaner you are. The less sleep you get, the fatter, weaker and sicker you’re likely to be. And you definitely don’t need to be dealing with that. Quick tip, turn off your computer and TV at least two hours before hitting the sheets.
  6. Ditch the white stuff. You can still make wonderful desserts without the use of refined sugar. Coconut palm sugar is a great 1 to 1 replacement to white sugar and is loaded with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Other great options include date sugar, maple syrup (grade B and organic), molasses and raw honey (not for infants). Keep in mind that these sweeteners are still sugar and regardless of marketing tactics, are still highly glycemic. Therefore, I recommend keeping them to a minimum.
  7. Enjoy proteins and fats first. I know Aunt Martha will have platefuls of sugary finger foods, and little crystal bowls from the 1960’s scattered throughout the house full of peanut M & M’s to entice you, but trust me, you’ll enjoy Thanksgiving dinner so much more if your blood sugar is on even keel. Instead, go check out the deviled eggs, or better yet, eat a healthy snack before leaving the house such as an apple with a handful of sprouted almonds or a protein shake with coconut oil. Your adrenal glands will thank you.
  8. Eliminate vegetable oils. This really is a biggie. All vegetable oils (canola, soy, corn, safflower, etc.) use solvents, usually hexane, during the extraction process that still remain in the finished product. No amount of refining will remove these harmful substances. So called “heart healthy” canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Don’t buy into industry marketing tactics. These oils are very toxic. Think nut and seeds oils are better? Nope. These oils are so delicate they go rancid very quickly, long before they hit the shelf. Instead, opt for raw coconut oil and raw or organic butter for cooking and baking. Use olive oil sparingly and only after cooking. Click here to read my complete article about oil processing.
  9. Replace white flour with sprouted options. The abuse of grains through today’s present processing methods renders them devoid of nutrients. Sprouting breaks down hard to digest starches and anti-nutrients leaving you with healthier (and tastier) pies, cakes and breads. Check out To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company for more information.
  10. Support your local farmer. In 1992, the USDA approved a rule to permit irradiation of raw, fresh or frozen packaged poultry and produce. Irradiation depletes foods of their valuable vitamin and mineral content. Conventional animals are also subjected to deplorable living conditions, and injected with a wide variety of hormones, antibiotics, and flavor enhancers. In other words, you are throwing your health and money down the toilet. Buying from your local farmer supports healthier animals, a better environment, and better health for you and your family. And I almost forgot, your food will taste better too! How’s that for a Rock Star Thanksgiving? Check out the Organic Consumers Association for more details.

Recently, James Arthur Ray, a famous self-help guru and spiritual leader, was convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people during a sweat lodge ceremony. Click here for the Dateline special.

Is he a real guru who was being blamed for an unfortunate accident like he claims?

I am personally very uncomfortable with him. He says many things that I say as a UTUE Teacher, but there is a MAJOR difference. He talks about energy and we talk about energy. He talks about the great potential within a human being and so do we. He talks about the power of our thoughts and we talk about the power of our thoughts and beliefs.

So what is the difference?

The problem is James Arthur Ray connected with his audience at the level of their ego NOT their authentic self.

Your ego is not the source of inner knowing or what we call a Green Personality. Activities and behaviors that build your ego are not sustainable or lasting. Symbolic gestures where you “act” like you are facing your fears do not really overcome those fears. It is a false belief that when you push yourself and drive yourself you become better. This will give you a temporary high, but it ALWAYS wears off. This is not real change. Developing a Green Personality is the only way to embody real change.

Your ego tricks and lies to you, and covers information from your authentic self about what is in your best interest.  James Arthur Ray pandered to people’s ego. He would ask people to push their limits by having them cut off their hair, walk on hot coals, and ultimately do a sweat lodge ceremony to the max.  Three people died listening to James Arthur Ray, a self professed guru and their own ego.

What is the answer?

When you work with your authentic self and remove the energy of those fears over time it is lasting and sustainable. It is not a quick fix, but has amazing power and clarity because not only do you remove your fears you see yourself more clearly.

Do you need a guru to make change on the inside?  How do you know the real gurus from the phonies? 

At UTUE we say “Be Your Own Guru.” The best guru you could ever have is your own authentic self that comes from having a Green Personality. However, your ego competes with that authentic part of you and the ego voice is typically louder. The ego looks outside itself for validation and is attracted to gurus with a public reputation. UTUE Teachers guide you to that natural place that is the best guru you could ever have. We don’t become the gurus for you, we teach you to let your inner knowing be the guru that is unique to you and knows what is best for you.

UTUE is a non-profit dedicated to helping our students become their own gurus. Not with showy symbolic exercises or dangerous stunts, but by creating lasting, sustainable change.

Rudolph was a reindeer with a unique nose. Some saw his nose as bright red, others said it was shiny, and still others said it glowed. Rudolph, whose uniqueness was very well noted, was very unhappy, because all his life he felt unworthy and self-conscious. He did not fit in with the other reindeer, never being invited to play reindeer games. So Rudolph decided to get some help. He heard that Amanda was the best therapist in all the land, so went to her to ask for help. While she did not have any reindeer groups starting soon, she would help him because he obviously needed help. The first step to helping him was to start with UTUE to better understand his unique story of his life.

First he went to Merrilee, UTUE’s physical body expert, and asked her about his nose… What was going on with this nose of his? Merrilee responded with great heart and compassion, “Rudolph, I like your nose, and I don’t see anything wrong with it”. They identified that he was expressing his unworthiness and self-consciousness, and this was keeping him connected to the trauma in his nose.

Then, when he worked with Connie to uncover his imprint, they saw his natural leadership abilities were knocking on the door, showing that it was natural for him to be out front, leading the pack. The result of this was he started to see how his uniqueness could be viewed in a new way.

Next, when he cleared with Patricia, she said, “Breathe, Rudolph, just breathe, those other reindeer don’t really understand you!” They cleared his unworthiness some more, so he could stand up to those other reindeer, and connected with his power.

When Jason cleared with Rudolph, they were able to see how his Natural Leadership abilities could shine based on his uniqueness as a reindeer. This uniqueness could be developed to become stronger and bolder.

With this new understanding of his story, Rudolph returned to see Amanda. They continued clearing his unworthiness and shame about himself and his nose. He was filled with hope as the snow started to fly, signaling the beginning of the Christmas season.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say:

“Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you lead my sleigh tonight?”

Of course, then all the other reindeer loved him, and included him in all their reindeer games!


rudolph the red nosed reindeer-thumb-250x364

In this Christmas Season, a great gift to yourself is to remember the power of clearing yourself to bring your unique talents forward.

Happy Holidays from everyone at UTUE

What is the body-mind connection? And why is it so important?

It is the natural workings of three inseparable parts of each of us:

  • body (physical, cells, DNA)
  • mind (emotions, thoughts, feelings)
  • spirit (essence, soul, Creator)

These parts are woven together, designed to function as a whole. Relying on this connection on a daily basis, it contains all that we need to experience a fulfilling life, happiness, and great satisfaction from what we achieve. But, as we all know, that body-mind connection is not understood or given credibility by modern society; even now that science is proving the connection is valid, it has been very slow in acceptance and implementation. Most of us limit our understanding and application of the body-mind connection to health and wellness, however, this connection is important for all segments of our life. Cultural norms, traditional teaching methods and our beliefs about optimal human performance all undercut the body-mind connection, constantly encouraging us to treat ourselves like a machine, treat our physical body as a bag of replaceable parts, and teaches us to ignore the communication from the mind and spirit.

What happens when we treat ourselves like we are machines?

When we treat our bodies like machines, with replaceable parts, only needing to be ‘oiled’ to perform, we disconnect from our body-mind connection. We may push ourselves beyond our limits to excel immediately, just to hurt ourselves in the long run.

Why do we treat our bodies like machines?

In the Industrial Revolution as we began to create machines to help us work; adding machines to our life, we changed our definition of power and efficiency, and saw gains in productivity and economic status. So it became attractive to see that if we could also apply these principles to our bodies, seeing them as machines, we would expect to see the same results. If you want to do more research, Frederick Winslow Taylor is known as the father of scientific management. There are many management processes that stem from his philosophies that reduce workers to machines. Science and technology has developed from these roots in the industrial revolution.
The big misconception is that we perform at our best as machines; the truth is this is opposite of what our bodies need to perform optimally. Our greatest performance as humans occurs when we are in alignment with the body-mind connection.
Our cultural norms and beliefs favor machine like behavior and body-mind teaching and development is scoffed at and ridiculed by people and organizations that benefit from the perception of a person as a machine. The more we treat ourselves like machines, the more we prove that we are like machines; this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. But the opposite can be true; the more we learn to be in alignment with the body-mind connection, the more likely we are to perform better and experience greater joy, happiness and fulfillment in life.

Comparisons of machine-like behavior to behavior that stems from the body-mind connection

Machine Like Body-mind Connected
Short term results Long term results
Not sustainable Sustainable
Dull and life less Feeds our soul
Creates depression, burnout and disease Creates good health, happiness and self fulfillment
Ego confidence Real confidence
Willing to bend the rules to win Able to live by a code of ethics
Creates illusions about self Sees self based on reality
Prone to make mistakes and bad judgment Acts with integrity connected to self
Easily manipulated and controlled Solid center and internal knowing
Numb to feelings Self Aware
Connected to power (political) Connected to Essence (soul)  and Creator
Follows external rules and regulations Connected to innate knowing of right and wrong
Superficial Solid

The truth is that no one is a complete machine or is completely connected to the body-mind connection; it is not black and white. In , we all constantly struggle with the tension and conflict between the machine like influences of the external world and the inner yearning of the body-mind connection.

Do you want to live better, perform better, be happier and experience deep meaning in your life?

Activate the body-mind connection. Clearing negative emotions is the most powerful step we can take to restore the body-mind connection. When you engage in UTUE clearings and visualizations, you are doing your part to connect deeper to your body-mind connection.

Ever wonder what Patricia’s experience was growing up as an intuitive?

Find out how intuition and the mind-body connection relate to one another…