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Is there any meaning in depression?

What’s something that hurts too much to think about?

Maybe it’s
a strained relationship with a family member
a loss of someone you love
a loved one who’s sick

Maybe it’s
a toxic job you know you’ve settled for
a toxic relationship you know you’ve settled for
Maybe it’s your painful past,
or maybe all of the above.

For me, for instance, in the last year or so, it’s been the reality that getting married and having kids might not happen for me. It might! But it also might not. The “might not” has been at the forefront and has been the source of a whole lot of pain. Sometimes grief. Sometimes anger. Sometimes what feels like a bottomless pit of helplessness.

I’m guessing whatever you don’t wanna think about also makes you feel helpless, yea? And I’d argue this is when depression tends to swoop in; when the body is registering intense and uncomfortable feeling (i.e. heaviness in my heart registered as grief), stemming from an unfulfilled need (i.e. need for intimacy and love), and the mind can’t find a solution.

We’re wired to find solutions to all kinds of dis-ease. And if we can’t find one, our systems (made up of our mind, body, and soul), will do the next best thing: suppress the feelings of dis-ease. If you think of emotions as energy and sensation flowing through the body in streams, it would be like putting up a damn to block any stream of energy or sensation related to grief (in my example).

This making sense?

Now suppressing or blocking painful emotions can be helpful, sometimes totally necessary actually, in the short term. Like if I were at a baby shower, for instance. Damning up those streams of grief might be useful for a few hours. Kinda like a little anesthesia for the soul. Thing is, we’re not meant to keep our emotions damned up for long. And some of us do. For years. Over time, if we refuse to let energy and sensations flow, our system starts to lose its life force all together. It starts to shut down. We feel numb. Stagnant. Tired. Want to stay in bed. Depression, from my perspective, is a widespread and chronic damning of our feelings, a widespread and chronic disconnection from the energy and sensation in our bodies.

So what’s the takeaway? Well, if you experience depression in any form, one way to respond is with thoughts like, “I’m broken and need to be fixed” (the way we’re taught to think in our current medical system). Another, more empowering way, is to respond with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

What am I not feeling? 
What emotions or memories has my system decided I can’t handle?

How much more support (and what kind of support) might I need in my life to feel capable of facing it all?

Over and over I’ve seen depression lift as people (myself included) break away from the cultural standard of isolation and build more support into their lives (i.e. closer bonds with friends and family, starting therapy, committing to a regular spiritual practice). As we get the support we need to face the pain of life, we convince our system that it’s ok to feel again.

From this perspective, there’s nothing bad or wrong about depression. It doesn’t make you broken. In fact, I’d argue there’s wisdom in it. Depression is your body’s way of telling you there’s something (probably something pretty painful) you haven’t felt yet. And it’s gonna stay with you to numb the pain until you build up enough love and support to do the hard work of healing.

Wishing you the courage and support you need this week to feel and heal

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body centered coaching sessions

Starting this month (June 2018), I’ll be offering private, body-centered coaching sessions out of my home in the North End of Boston.

Body-centered sessions will include the integration of gentle movement and breath work into a traditional coaching/talk therapy approach.

Why the integration?

Couple reasons:

  1. Talk therapy and coaching are wonderful vehicles to healing BUT often miss out on the direct and very critical communication coming from our bodies. For instance, the way your stomach starts to get queasy every time you’re at a certain kind of social event or the way your chronic headaches get even more intense when you’re around your awful boss. Our bodies have a wisdom that’s so often overlooked. We live in a culture where over intellectualizing (i.e. talking, analyzing, “processing,” and problem solving) can be consciously or unconsciously used as a way to AVOID how we’re actually feeling about the issue at hand. I’d like to help you reclaim an intimate relationship with your body so you can begin to understand and trust the messages it sends you, and thus get to a deeper level of truth about yourself and your life.
  2. Addressing physical tension and discomfort via gentle movement and breath work is an extremely effective way to elicit what’s often called the body’s “relaxation response.” When activated, this response brings balance and a sense of ease to the body AND mind. We often try to TALK ourselves out of uncomfortable feelings (anxiety, for instance) when what we really need to do is give our body the experience of feeling CALM.

I’ve got a whole lot more to say on this topic, but just wanted to offer a brief intro.

Sessions will be 1.5 hours and are $150 per session (slight discount applies if you purchase three or more at once).

These sessions could be particularly beneficial for you if you:

>feel stuck and want to make a change
>> have trouble identifying what you’re feeling
>> feel “off” but don’t know why
>> feel disconnected from your body and/or dislike your body
>> have chronic physical pain of any kind (i.e. back/neck pain, headaches, digestive issues)

Email me to set up your session: [email protected]

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Be the one who brings chocolate

It’s gettin’ real chilly here in Boston! Over in my kitchen that means it’s CHOCOLATE SEASON!

I’m now shipping my raw chocolate truffles, which are gluten, sugar and dairy free. Would love to get some in your hands this winter!

Click here to order your box.

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When the Netflix cure just doesn’t cut it

Sometimes it happens when the lights go low, right?

Or when the sun hasn’t come out for days (like here in Boston!)…
or any other random time, just cuz we’re human.

I’m talkin’ bout those moments we’re alone with ourselves.
And a restless, uncomfortable feeling creeps in.
Maybe it’s just loneliness.
Or maybe doubt.
Regret.
Sadness or fear.

In those moments, what’s your go to?

call to Mom?
late night run?
Netflix binge?

Or maybe grabbing an Uber to the closest bar,
or texting “hey” to that guy you kinda like, but don’t really like (but maybe he’s good enough for just tonight?)

Maybe it’s a sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies,
or taking on extra projects at work,
or checking email constantly,
and FB,
and Insta,
and SnapChat.

In other words, when you’d really rather not deal or feel something (whether it be sadness, loneliness, fear, etc.)… what makes it all (temporarily) better?
Hint: If you have no clue, it’s probably whatever you feel like you can’t live without.

I’ll tell ya, my “go to” for as long as I can remember was relationships.

As long as I was in one, I felt safe.
Romantic relationships were my shelter from the inevitable storms of human life.

Now, nothin’ wrong with love and romance (just like nothin’ wrong with Netflix, callin’ Mom, or a late night run), but in recent years I realized a couple things: 1) I was using my “go to” for more than it was meant to provide, as a cover up for anything and everything I wanted to avoid and 2) Sheltering myself from pain wasn’t making me better, or stronger, but actually weaker by the day. It was like the more I looked outside myself for comfort, the less comfortable my life became…

Can you relate?

This is one of those emotional/spiritual “growing pains” of adult life. When we realize there actually is no shelter. That we can’t “hide out” anymore. Not if we want to become who we’re meant to be. When we realize that in the making of a life, our pain is as critical an ingredient as love or joy.

In Glennon Doyle Melton’s best selling memoir Love Warrior, she writes, “I could go on hitting easy buttons until I die and feel no pain, but the cost of that decision could be that I’ll never learn, love, or be truly alive.” 

Turkish poet Rumi, expresses a similar sentiment when he says:

Don’t turn your head.
Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That’s where the light enters you.

Growing into who we’re meant to be requires us to, over and over again, look at our “bandaged places,” to get curious about our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, doubts, fears.

So, whatya think – are you willing to go there? Willing to dig a bit deeper next time you feel like hitting the “easy button,” as Glennon called it?

When you’re ready, I’ve got a 3-step suggestion to get you started. Read the steps now so you’ll be ready to use them.

1. Next time you’re feeling restless, on edge or anxious, and you, once again, make your automatic move to your “go to,” your “easy button” (a drink, social media, Netflix, a phone call, a text), just stop. STOP. Grab a notebook and pen and go somewhere that feels safe/comforting (i.e. your bed, your yoga mat).

2. Remind yourself that you’re trying something new. And give yourself the freedom, after five whole minutes, to return to your “go to”/ “easy button.” But for five minutes, commit to being in the silence, alone with yourself.

3. Open your notebook. Write two thoughts, two emotions and two physical sensations you’re experiencing at that moment.

After following these few steps, feel free to return to whatever else makes you feel good. But continue this short, intentional practice in times of distress.

Maybe a space will start to open between your distress and your automatic reflex to squash it. Maybe in that space there will be thoughts or feelings. Some comfortable, some not so much. Maybe in that space there will be memories, insights, hopes or dreams.

Maybe, as Rumi offers, there will be light.

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Truffles for the someones you love

This is it, your last chance to order Jo Jo’s Raw Chocolate Truffles for the someone(s) you love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, this isn’t any old chocolate. This stuff has been called “the bomb,” “the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten,” and “orgasmic.” Hey, just sayin’.

Whether you’ve got one special someone or a few someones you love, I’ve got you covered. Cuz Hershey’s just won’t cut it this year!

Ok, I’m about to go whip up the next batch – will some of it be yours?

Place your order by clicking here! Orders must be made by tomorrow, Feb. 8, at noon in order to receive by Valentine’s Day.

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Chocolate for your love story?

Whether we like it or not, Valentine’s day is upon us (thanks for the generous reminder, CVS). To be honest, I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. In other words I spent most of my teenage years pouring out my heart via Hallmark cards, engraved gifts, and mix CDs (I was that girl). Now, here I am, a decade or so later, with many years of love (and heartache) in the rearview. And the funny thing is, I have more questions about love now than I did back when the boys of NSync were the objects of my affection… hmmm…

So here’s where my chocolate comes in. This Valentine’s Day, rather than turn away from the roses and hearts and all that makes a single girl cringe, I decided to find the love stories all around me. I wanted to know what makes people fall in love and what makes people stay. And what better way to get people to tell me their love stories than to offer them a box of chocolate? Am I right?

For the last two weeks, I’ve been asking about the “someones” that people love. I talked to my neighbors and friends, documenting a snapshot of their stories, and have been sharing them with via social media…

If you’re a sucker for love, like me, or are lookin’ for some hope, like I was, click here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Praise

    Nancy A.

    "Jody has been an inspirational force in my life. Not only do I eat better, but I'm able to handle difficult areas of my life with honesty and understanding"
    2013-09-15T00:45:15+00:00
    "Jody has been an inspirational force in my life. Not only do I eat better, but I'm able to handle difficult areas of my life with honesty and understanding"

    Heather B.

    "Jody has shown me eating healthy is not a chore."
    2013-09-15T00:45:36+00:00
    "Jody has shown me eating healthy is not a chore."

    Audrey H.

    "Working with Jody not only improved my eating habits, but also created more awareness around the nourishment of my mind, body, and spirit!"
    2013-09-15T00:45:56+00:00
    "Working with Jody not only improved my eating habits, but also created more awareness around the nourishment of my mind, body, and spirit!"

    Angela S.

    "Jody has a natural glow and positive energy about her. Working with Jody has inspired me to find the things in my life that will make me glow and thrive!"
    2013-09-15T00:46:14+00:00
    "Jody has a natural glow and positive energy about her. Working with Jody has inspired me to find the things in my life that will make me glow and thrive!"

    Emily S.

    "Working with Jody has helped me take control of my health which has opened doors that used to seem impossible."
    2013-09-15T00:46:31+00:00
    "Working with Jody has helped me take control of my health which has opened doors that used to seem impossible."
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