The Science and Soul of Living Well
Learning about yourself through the lens of Ayurveda

Learning about yourself through the lens of Ayurveda

November 4, 2021

In today's episode, I share some pearls of wisdom from Ayurveda, a rich and complex holistic preventative medicine system originating in India over 5,000 years ago. One translation of the word "Ayurveda" means "the science of life."

Ayurveda can deepen your understanding of your unique mental and physical constitution in ways that can help you cultivate and craft your life in ways that promotes recalibration in times of stress, transition, and imbalance. Ayurvedic healing modalities include food, nutrition, and spices, specific physical activities, addressing thought patterns and actions, lifestyle practices, pranayama (breathwork), meditation, bodywork (e.g., abhyanga (warm oil massage), marma therapy), detoxification practices, daily and seasonal rituals and routines, and more. This body of wisdom is well beyond the scope of one episode, so today's focus will be on a few key nuggets.

In addition to sharing more about what Ayurveda is and what personally drew me to Ayurveda, I share some key Ayurvedic principles (e.g., various Ayurvedic modalities, 5 elements, tridoshic theory, impacts of daily and seasonal rhythms) and offer some tips for self-study that can help you learn more about yourself through the lens of Ayurveda. I also describe examples of specific pranayama (breath work) and meditation practices that from an Ayurvedic practice can bring you more into balance depending on what is happening for you mentally, physically, seasonally, etc.

Additional Resources & Information

  1. If you're interested in personalized support that integrates Ayurveda in addition to other tools from evidence-based psychology and ancient wisdom traditions, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  2. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at hello@melissafoynes.com to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  3. For more strategies that can support you in finding balance in times of transition, stress, and hardship, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  4. Check out the free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" (https://melissafoynes.com/perfectionistic-tendencies) and the accompanying 3-part perfectionism series on the podcast (Episodes 28, 29, and 30).

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and thriving with the support of Ayurveda and its many practices.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Setting and Maintaining Boundaries as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

Setting and Maintaining Boundaries as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

October 20, 2021

In today's episode, I briefly review what "high sensitivity" means. I also discuss different kinds of boundaries and containers that can help you thrive as an HSP. I also share examples of common barriers that many HSPs face in cultivating lifestyles that support boundaries and containers. I also offer some concrete tips and actionable strategies for for setting and maintaining boundaries as an HSP, including 1) ways to stay balanced in your life and consistently implement meaningful self-care practices that keep high sensitivity in mind, 2) ways to regularly tune into your inner landscape of thoughts, emotions, and sensations, 3) ways to use your inner awareness to identify what you need/want in terms of boundaries/containers, 4) ways to articulate and skillfully communicate to others what you need/want when it comes to boundaries/containers.

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Because HSPs are so attuned to the external environment and tend to be highly conscientious, they can at times struggle with perfectionism. If this sounds like you, download free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" (https://melissafoynes.com/perfectionistic-tendencies) and check-out the accompanying 3-part perfectionism series on the podcast (Episodes 28, 29, and 30).

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and navigating high sensitivity in a compassionate way that nourishes your unique needs and strengths, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at hello@melissafoynes.com to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in regulating your nervous system and building resilience as an HSP, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and thriving as a highly sensitive person.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Recovering from criticism as a highly sensitive person (HSP)

Recovering from criticism as a highly sensitive person (HSP)

October 6, 2021

In today's episode, I describe the trait of high sensitivity and share some key research that is helpful in understanding high sensitivity. I also discuss how cultural values, families of origin, life experiences and relationships shape our perceptions of high sensitivity. The judgment and criticism that highly sensitive people (HSPs) often face from others can result in an internalization of these harmful messages and profound self-judgment. Because this self-judgment can really erode self-esteem as an HSP, I share several examples of concrete ways we can both individually and collectively work on reframing how we think, talk about, and treat high sensitivity. I conclude by sharing key principles and actionable steps for facilitating your recovery from criticism and invalidation as an HSP.

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Because HSPs are so attuned to the external environment and tend to be highly conscientious, they can at times struggle with perfectionism. If this sounds like you, download free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" (https://melissafoynes.com/perfectionistic-tendencies) and check-out the accompanying 3-part perfectionism series on the podcast (Episodes 28, 29, and 30).

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and navigating high sensitivity in a compassionate way that nourishes your unique needs and strengths, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at hello@melissafoynes.com to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in regulating your nervous system and building resilience as an HSP, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and thriving as a highly sensitive person.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Breaking the cycles of perfectionism

Breaking the cycles of perfectionism

September 21, 2021

In today's episode, I focus on actionable ways that you can break the cycle of perfectionism and shift perfectionistic tendencies. I highlight various principles that I think are important to keep in mind as you go on this journey, as well as some helpful strategies and tips that I have found to be useful in addressing perfectionism in my own life and in the lives of the clients with whom I work. I start off by sharing a definition of perfectionism derived from decades of research, and then discuss the importance of identifying what motivates you, on a personal level, to let go of perfectionism. We'll then talk about how to draw from any fears and hopes that underlie your perfectionistic tendencies to affirm your process of letting go of perfectionism and help you stay motivated, as well as help you flip the script on any harmful narratives about perfectionism and your worth. I'll also talk about ways to practice imperfection in a way that is accessible and can be easily integrated into a busy lifestyle, and share some ideas for learning ways to practice admiring and celebrating imperfection. I also share tools and strategies for shifting your relationship to mistakes. I close by talking about both self-compassion and self-forgiveness and ways to practice both in your life. I'll also highlight the reasons that the practices of both self-compassion and self-forgiveness are so essential to letting go of perfectionism. I loved doing this whole series and hope you tune into the final part of it! 

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Download the free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" that accompanies this 3-part perfectionism series: https://melissafoynes.com/perfectionistic-tendencies

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and breaking through patterns of perfectionism, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at hello@melissafoynes.com to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in managing perfectionistic tendencies, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and addressing perfectionistic tendencies.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Signs of perfectionism: A guided self-assessment

Signs of perfectionism: A guided self-assessment

September 7, 2021

This week's episode is the second episode in a three-part series on perfectionism. This episode is intended to give you an opportunity to dive more deeply into different domains of your life (e.g., physical appearance, physical fitness, profession, hobbies/vocation, parenting/mentorship, relationships, sexual life, physical environment, vulnerability, relationship to time and space, relationship to success, self-worth/beliefs) and to thoughtfully and non-judgmentally consider some of your tendencies and ways in which they may rise to the level of perfectionism, even if in subtle ways. Reflecting on perfectionistic patterns and ways they both do and don’t serve you helps you live more intentionally. With this increased awareness and insight, you then have the power to make changes in any areas of your life in which perfectionistic tendencies no longer serve you. Don't forget to tune into the third and final part of this series for some concrete strategies on breaking through cycles of perfectionism.

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Download the free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" that accompanies this 3-part perfectionism series: https://melissafoynes.com/perfectionistic-tendencies

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and breaking through patterns of perfectionism, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit feels right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, please feel free to email me at hello@melissafoynes.com to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in managing perfectionistic tendencies, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and addressing perfectionistic tendencies.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Understanding perfectionism: Root causes, myths & facts

Understanding perfectionism: Root causes, myths & facts

August 24, 2021

In this first episode of a 3-part series on perfectionism, I define perfectionism and outline three key dimensions: 1) 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘮, which involves requiring perfection of yourself, 2) 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳-𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘮 which involves requiring perfection of other people, and 3) 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘮, which involves believing that other people require perfection of you. I also help you examine the ways in which perfectionism may show up in varying degrees in different life domains of your life (e.g., appearance, physical fitness, profession, hobbies/vocation, parenting/mentorship, relationships, sexual life, physical environment, vulnerability, relationship to time and space, relationship to success, self-worth/beliefs). I describe some of the root causes of perfectionism to help you consider how perfectionism might have been developed in your own life, all through a lens of compassion since perfectionistic tendencies often develop in an attempt to cope with anxiety and in response to prior life experiences and conditioning. I also dispel common myths about perfectionism by sharing what the research says about the pros and cons of different dimensions of perfectionism. Throughout, I emphasize the importance of really gaining insight into your perfectionistic tendencies and patterns and the ways in which they both do and don't serve you so you can have more clarity with which to decide what, if anything, you want to change in your life and can therefore live from a more intentional place. Stay tuned for the next two episodes in this 3-part series, as well as a forthcoming free workbook to accompany you as you continue to understand and address perfectionistic tendencies. 

 

Additional Resources & Information

  1. For more strategies that can support you in managing perfectionistic tendencies, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and breaking through patterns of perfectionism, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and addressing perfectionistic tendencies.

 

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Mindfulness, movement & music in everyday life: Tips for children & adults

Mindfulness, movement & music in everyday life: Tips for children & adults

August 10, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Kira Willey (@kirawilley), an award-winning children’s music artist, author, kids’ yoga & mindfulness expert, TEDx speaker, & creator of Rockin’ Yoga school programs (read more about Kira below). Kira is an incredibly inspiring & passionate gem of a human, & she has dedicated herself so wholeheartedly to sharing the wisdom of "the 3 M's" (mindfulness, movement, & music) & their benefits for children & adults alike.

 

Kira shares the 3 Ms in such an accessible way & demystifies what it means to practice them daily. She emphasizes how important it is to have FUN with them & "bite-sized" ways you can practice them that truly make a difference in your ability to approach life with more presence, flexibility, & heart.

 

In this episode we discuss: 1) ways you can be mindful & active at the same time; 2) how mindfulness, movement, & music help you regulate & learn better; 3) the power of training yourself to slow down & pause in our fast-paced culture; 4) self-awareness as the foundation of kindness, compassion, gratitude & responsible decision-making; 5) letting go of judgments about how mindfulness "should" look & finding what works for you & your family.

Additional Resources

  1. Get Kira's free mindfulness printables based on her books at rebrand.ly/mindfulnesskit.

  2. Check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience & living more mindfully, which highlights 4 key pillars of resilience including enhancing body awareness, decreasing your stress response, clarifying your values & deepening your connection to them, & cultivating self-compassion: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  3. If you're interested in personalized, holistic, support that can help enhance mindful living, see if applying for my 1:1 Coaching Program may be right for you: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  4. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram or Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/drfoynes/).

More about Kira:

Website: kirawilley.com

TEDx Talk: https://youtu.be/uOlIdmMK_zM

IG: @kirawilley

FB: Facebook.com/kirawilley

Twitter: @kirawilley

Kira Willey is an award-winning children’s music artist, author, kids’ yoga & mindfulness expert, TEDx speaker, & creator of Rockin’ Yoga school programs. Her five releases of yoga albums for kids have all won numerous industry awards & earned national acclaim; her hit songs include “Colors,” which was featured in a worldwide Dell ad campaign. Her most recent release is Every Voice, winner of Parents’ Choice Gold, that Foundation’s highest award. The single "Real Girl," from Every Voice, was given ASCAP's 2018 Joe Raposa Children's Song Award.

Kira’s children’s mindfulness books include the bestselling “Breathe Like a Bear” (Random House Kids), which has earned more than 2,000 five-star reviews & been translated into eleven foreign languages. A companion book, "Peaceful Like A Panda,” with 30 all-new mindful moments proven to to help children calm themselves down, let go of stress, & focus their energy, is available now!

Kira has also authored the children’s board book series "Mindfulness Moments for Kids,”  which includes the titles "Listen Like an Elephant,” "Breathe Like A Bear,” & “Bunny Breaths;” a fourth title will be published in 2021.

PBS TV affiliates nationwide air "Breathe With Me" & "Fireflies Yoga,” two yoga-for-kids programs Kira created & hosts; her “Music You Can Move To” series with kids’ music superstar Laurie Berkner can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio. Kira’s TEDx talk, “Bite-Sized Mindfulness,” can be viewed online. 

Kira speaks at conferences, leads Professional Development days & teacher trainings, & performs Rockin' Yoga Assemblies & Concerts with her band nationwide. She also leads the River Valley Choir, plays fiddle in the not-quite-bluegrass band Moonshine & Millet, & is a founder of the singing-is-for-everyone experience, Choir & Company!

Grief is not a “choose your own adventure”

Grief is not a “choose your own adventure”

July 27, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Jesse Brisendine (@jessebrisendine), a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and world-renowned expert who, in his words, works with individuals and organizations to "move beyond their limitations, unlock their greatness, & build their Camelot." We highlight different kinds of supports that can help us navigate immense heartache when someone we love dearly dies. We discuss personalized rituals and how they can help us create habits and structure that support us through grief. Jesse also generously shares about a unique community-based grief ritual he created (the Sunrise/ Sunset Project) as well as various personal rituals he created to support him in his own grief process. We also talk about ways we can integrate presence with action to honor and maintain a connection with those we have lost. Importantly, we name the complexity of experiencing joy in the midst of grief, which can bring up both fear and guilt, and how we can practice living out the coexistence of our full spectrum of emotions, which isn't something we are necessarily taught how to do. We also highlight the importance of collective healing and ways to educate our community on how they can best support us in times of grief. Throughout, we talk about the importance of practicing more kindness with ourselves in all times, but especially when we are grieving.

Additional Resources

  1. Check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience, which highlights 4 key pillars of resilience including enhancing body awareness, decreasing your stress response, clarifying your values and deepening your connection to them, and cultivating self-compassion: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  2. If you're interested in personalized, holistic, support, see if applying for my 1:1 Coaching Program may be right for you: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram or Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/drfoynes/).

More about Jesse Brisendine:

Jesse is a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and world-renowned expert who works with individuals and organizations to move beyond their limitations, unlock their greatness, & build their Camelot.  Business leaders, Hollywood celebrities, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and educators have utilized Jesse's services to break through limiting beliefs, uncover their unique purpose, build thriving businesses, and live fulfilling lives. Jesse is a big fan of buffets, professional wrestling, and finding the silver lining in any situation

To learn more about or connect with Jesse follow him and find some of his resources at the links below:

Jesse's free Mindset Mastery Blueprint: https://jessebrisendine.lpages.co/mindset-mastery-blueprint/

TED Talk:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJCMnjXPdos Website: http://www.jessebrisendine.com

Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-handful-of-hope/id1510146999

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessebrisendine

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JesseBrisendineCoaching LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessebrisendine/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JesseBris @jessebris

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jessebrisendine  

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JesseBrisendine

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-handful-of-hope/id1510146999

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Defining spirituality for yourself

Defining spirituality for yourself

July 14, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Kristjana Hillberg (@kristjana_hillberg), founder of Your Freelance Friend and host of the Red Door Podcast, about growing up in a system of religion that did not resonate with her. Through heartfelt and inspiring anecdotes about her personal journey, Kris shares how she stayed connected to her intuition throughout many difficult life experiences, which led to an ultimate realization that spirituality doesn't have to involve organized religion. We talk about how important it is for your overall health and well-being to define spirituality on your own terms. We also emphasize how questioning your beliefs, doing inner work, setting boundaries, and sitting in discomfort is essential to this process; even though it can be exhausting at times, there is the promise of wholeness on the other side if you're willing to do this work. When there is dissonance between what feels true in your heart and what is communicated to you by others, it can lead to self-doubt, low self-worth, and pressure to follow the status quo. To this end, we also discuss how to cope with the pain and challenges commonly involved in breaking free from values and messages you've deeply internalized, especially when you're told that there's something wrong with you, or you face other negative repercussions, for not aligning with what you've been taught.

Note: This episode does refer to an experience of sexual assault. Please listen at your own discretion.

To learn more about or connect with Kris, follow her on instagram @kristjana_hillberg(https://www.instagram.com/kristjana_hillberg/), or check out her podcast - the Red Door Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-red-door/id1441883898)

Additional Resources

  1. For more tips on connecting to intuition and defining your values and living in alignment with them, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  2. If you're interested in personalized support focused on enhancing intuition, defining spirituality and other life values, living life more on your terms rather than for other people, or other important lifestyle shifts, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Intuition, balance, & feminine energy: Preventing burnout & beyond

Intuition, balance, & feminine energy: Preventing burnout & beyond

June 26, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Isabelle Havers, an intuition coach who helps women make themselves their own priority by learning how to cultivate more joy & ease in their lives.  We talk about the pressures many of us face in workplace settings to overwork and over-perform in ways that lead to burnout and a disconnection from what we truly want and need emotionally, physically & spiritually. We talk about the principles of masculine and feminine energy that exist in many different wisdom traditions and highlight the unique qualities and importance of each. We emphasize that while both types of energy are essential not only for humans to thrive but also for the universe to function, feminine energy has historically been suppressed and invalidated, leading many of us to face profound imbalances in these energies as well as difficulties in accessing joy, intuitive wisdom & emotional intelligence. We discuss small, accessible, concrete practices you can implement in your own life to cultivate balance, monitor burnout, relearn how to tune into your innermost needs & desires, and reconnect with your innate intuitive capacities.

To learn more about or connect with Isabelle, follow her on instagram @isabellehavers (www.instagram.com/isabellehavers), or check out her website (www.isabellehavers.com) and free resource (https://isabellehavers.com/morningroutine).

Additional Resources

  1. For more tips on connecting to intuition and managing burnout, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  2. If you're interested in personalized support focused on enhancing intuition, cultivating work-life balance, or other important lifestyle shifts, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

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