When Winter Comes ~

Posted by LaRonda on January 6th, 2017

When winter comes, it is not unusual to find yourself wanting to sleep more, eat more and hunker down inside by the fire. Wintertime is a period when we take shelter from the frosty conditions outdoors. Winter is the season for hibernation; a time in which we honor our bodies and acknowledge our connection to nature by taking a cue from the shorter days, and reducing our activities to conserve our energy.

“During summer, a higher level of productivity is required for home and work. When days are long, our energy levels and metabolism are amped up, but in winter, we produce hormones that make us sleepy, giving us time to restore body, mind and soul.” ~ Health & Wellness Coach, Melissa Tabb

Nevertheless, humans have a tendency to work against this natural cycle. As we force ourselves to operate at summer levels all year round, it is not surprising that many people struggle with depression this time of year. Approximately half a million of Americans suffer from the wintertime blues, so it’s likely that you know someone who struggles with this season, or that you also might be a sufferer.

I remember nearly a decade ago, when I was working in a high level management position, I barreled along at high speed, year round! I was over-scheduled, over-worked and juggling more than my share of responsibilities. Back then, I didn’t think about myself. I was solely focused on my staff, my clients, my family and my duties. I couldn’t even think of making myself a priority. I didn’t realize then, that making a little time to relax and nurture myself would go a long way.

As a result of not practicing self-care, I became completely disconnected from my body and soul. I was a floating head. Going from my home, to my car, to an indoor job and back home again, I grew out of sync with nature and the cycles of the seasons. It wasn’t until I suffered complete burnout that I realized it was time for some serious self-imposed hibernation! I left my job, hunkered down under the covers and didn’t come out for about 4 months!

Since then, not only have I learned how to use the cycles of the seasons and the natural rhythm of winter as a time of seasonal self-care, I have made it my life-work to help coach other women and men to learn to do the same.

Now, when winter comes, I find myself wanting to withdraw to my deepest inner spaces. I don’t seek out connection as much as usual, and I often avoid encouragement from others that I should get out there and engage in the world. When winter comes, I retreat into myself. The frigid season gives me the freedom to slow down and not feel guilty about it.

Winter is my resting time; but I am more than resting. I am creating a new universe within myself. Winter is my time for examining and breaking old patterns, letting go of what should not be revived, deciding what should be saved and what I will bring into the next season of my life.

As a Retreat and Life Coach, I know the value of retreat during all the seasons of life. Whether it is a personal retreat, a virtual retreat or a gathering with other like-minded people, the decision to care for ourselves in a more deliberate, attentive, soul-nourishing way enhances our well-being and makes a positive difference in the world. When we honor, value and care for ourselves, we naturally begin to honor, value and care more for our families, our friends, our co-workers, and our world.

Embrace your need for hibernation this winter by giving in to your natural inclination to slow down, sleep more, and demand less from yourself! Taking care of yourself, body, mind and soul, you are likely to feel healthier and happier, and ready to weather the winter!

Interested in a Virtual Mini-Retreat from the comfort of your own home?

Click here!

Can A Woman Have A Belly In Peace?

Posted by LaRonda on September 18th, 2016

I’m a big fan of Rosa Lee Timm — a performance artist, actress, ASL teacher and managing editor of KISSFIST Magazine. She is also a mom, a storyteller, and a Deaf woman with a great sense of humor! Our paths occasionally crossed when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I became quite fond of her. We became friends on Facebook and I look forward to her deep sharing and occasional tongue-in-the-cheek posts. One of her posts in particular caught my eye a while back and has become my latest mantra. She wrote:

“Can a woman have a belly in peace?” 

I sent Rosa Lee a private message asking her if I might use her quote in this newsletter. She chuckled and said,

“But of course! Ha! I’m glad it spoke to you.”

It sure did! More importantly, I believe her quote speaks to many of us women on a “gut” level — pardon the pun — and it deserves some attention.

belly-loveSo… let us ponder for a moment, the beautiful, bountiful BELLY. 

As a little girl, I often heard my mom, aunts and grandmothers talking about their unwanted paunch. I quickly learned that a large, protruding or flabby abdomen was a bad thing for a woman to have. Some of the men in my family had similar or smaller versions of it, but when they referred to their rolls as a “beer belly” or “love handles,” it seemed to be terms of endearment. I never heard them complaining about their girth the way the women did. In fact, almost every girl and woman I knew, in or outside of my family, hated their bellies. I learned that having a big tummy was simply unacceptable!

As a teenager, while I poured through my teen magazines, I learned that society definitely agreed. The multitude of bone-showing models and fat-busting advertisements continued to punch me in the gut. They told me how to work it, wrap it, burn it, pinch it, tighten it, flatten it, bind it, slim it, cinch it, tone it, hide it, blast it, belt it, lose it and suck it in!

But nowhere did anyone tell us girls anything about how to LOVE our bellies …unless… we were pregnant! Only then, for the next 9 months, a woman got to have a belly in peace! She became a belly-goddess! This is when a woman’s belly is painted, cast, decorated, kissed, rubbed, soothed and loved! After all, her belly is a vessel of life and that is something to celebrate!

But the moment her child leaves her womb, a woman is once again bombarded by the onslaught of belly-haters to get rid of it! That lovely, magical baby house is now an ugly, bulging, spare tire that must simply go away! People no longer rub their hands and fingers affectionately over her lovely middle. They no longer lean their soft cheeks against her solar-plexus and speak or sing adoringly to her. Once her baby is born, it’s all about loosing the pooch!

My girlfriends and I now find ourselves sporting a middle-age-spread. Not only are we still battling our own Inner-Critics, we occasionally have to deal with ridiculous comments from people asking us how far along we are or when are we due! “Puh-lease! We are clearly beyond baby-making years, honey!”  It’s times like these, when I want to flippantly and loudly toss out Rosa Lee’s quote.

“Can a woman have a belly in peace?!”

As a girl grows into a young woman, she no longer needs ads or commercials telling her she doesn’t measure up. By then, her Inner-Critic is alive and loud! These Inner-Bullies lives constantly within us and are hard to escape! Sometimes, she shows up as a Comparison Queen. The Comparison Queen’s job is to measure the value or success of your life by comparing you to others. In her eyes, you are never enough. She makes you feel inferior to others.

“Your belly is fat and ugly! Everyone can see it. Why can’t you have a flat stomach like everyone else? No one will love you with a big belly.”

Ahh, those Inner-Critics! We all have them. They pile on loads of belittling or negative messages and make us feel like crap! Our Inner-Critics cause us tremendous stress and unhappiness! So what do we do? 

Sign up for Life-Coaching sessions with me and I’ll show you how to:

  • Deactivate your Inner-Mean-Girl!
  • Transform her!
  • Give her new superpowers! 
  • Empower the voice of your Inner-Wise-Woman
  • and Give up self-bullying for good!

In every moment, every day, you have the choice of what thoughts fill your mind, what emotions fill your body, and what actions guide your life. You have a choice as to whether you tune in to the judgmental voice of your Inner-Critic or the loving force of your Inner-Wisdom. What will you choose?

For all of us women who have bullied ourselves — as little girls, teenagers, and adults — it’s time to say“FINISH! ENOUGH!” It’s time to LOVE OUR BELLIES…. and to Love ourselves.

CLICK HERE for a FREE Consultation with Coach LaRonda.


Or, visit my website: www.turtleheartretreats.com

What Activities Make You Lose Track Of Time?

Posted by LaRonda on August 11th, 2015
save the date mandala
New Upcoming
Art & Soul Retreat
in ASL!
Center ~ Connect ~ Create!

This one-day art retreat is for adults who use ASL (Deaf/hh/late-deafened/Coda’s/Interpreters, etc.)If you’re like me, you probably sometimes get stuck living in your head and forget you have a body and spirit as well.

Here’s a chance for you to move from your head to your heart and find that sweet spot in the center of your being, that place we connect with ourselves, each other, the earth and the divine.

That’s what this retreat aims for. Come find that sweet spot through art and experience connection with others as you center and create.Explore rich symbolism through circles, spirals, mandalas, labyrinths and more!

This is one of my favorite retreats to give! Please join me!

Click on flyer below for details.

Art & Soul Retreat 2015

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