Gift Experiences instead of Stuff this Holiday Season (special offer)

We know, and research proves,
that experiences bring more joy than stuff…

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades.

Share the gift of (self) love.

Instead of another coffee cup or sweater collecting dust in the back of the closet, what about the gift of self-care, the gift of love?

When you book a Mindbodywise session before December 15th, 2017, you’ll get another session to give to someone you love.

Buy one get one offer applies to:

  • Mindbodywise Therapy sessions
  • Private yoga sessions

There’s nothing that matches the experience of a private, personally-tailored-for-you session of MindBodyWise Therapy. The combination of bodywork, movement, breathing techniques, mindfulness tools and verbal processing makes MindBodyWise Therapy a powerful path toward self-discovery.

If you’ve already had a session of MindBodyWise Therapy, you know how life-changing this work can be…it’s hard to forget. Isn’t that worth sharing?

If you’ve been meaning to book your next session, use the Buy Now link below and you’ll get your session plus one to gift to someone on your nice list. And, if you’ve been considering your first session, this is a great time to take advantage of a little extra self-love to share.

We thrive from experiences, not stuff, because…
“The best things are never things.”
~Courtney Carver (Be More with Less)


If you’d like a personalized gift certificate for your loved one, let me know and I’ll send it to you via email (simply hit reply to this email to let me know).

Love, Rachel

P.S. Looking for a meaningful, long-lasting gift that goes beyond disposable “stuff”? Give yourself the gift self-care and take advantage of self-care to share!

THIS Works Better than Positive Thinking

You’ve probably heard plenty about positive thinking, but does it work?

Positive thinking is all the rage right now. It’s also at the heart of a lot of shaming.

Just thinking positively will NOT cure your cancer. Just thinking positively will NOT get you pregnant, land you the job you always wanted, find you the partner you’ve been looking for, make you rich, or help you to never be sad again…

Telling yourself or someone you know who is struggling to “think positive” is HURTING them.

That’s right, you’re not only not helping them by telling them how to think, you’re shaming them for feeling/thinking whatever it is that they are thinking and feeling.

Positive thinking is *not* the antidote to pain, suffering, and life challenges.

Positivity isn’t a cure-all, just as negativity isn’t the root cause of all personal challenges.

I’m frequently saddened when I witness people shaming themselves (and others) for having raw and sometimes “ugly” feelings versus having shiny-happy-rainbow feelings.

Let’s get back to being real again!

“Emotions have helped us evolve as a species.”Dr. Susan David 

We are human, which means we feel a full range of emotions and have a full range of thoughts. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts are dark, negative, and sad. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts are hopeful, joyful and pleasant.

Positivity isn’t the new healthy. It’s a shield from being real.

What’s also NOT healthy: shaming yourself about having negative thoughts and telling yourself that things would be completely different if you “just think positive.”

Let’s stop making ourselves and other people feel bad for feeling bad. Instead, feel what you feel and support others to do the same. Be who you are.

Instead of shaming yourself for
not feeling or thinking a certain way,
work on cultivating compassion for who you are.

How? Try some of these…

1) Name one thing you love about who you are, every day for a week.

2) Think of one way you can be more self-caring or gentle with yourself, then try it out for the week.

3) Close your eyes and feel the power of your whole body working for you. Breathe into 3 separate parts of your body that feel strong, healthy or loving. Notice what it feels like to be connected to yourself in this way.

4) Try something new and no matter how it turns out, write yourself a congratulatory letter about going for it.

5) At the end of each day, write down one thing you did really well.

6) When you notice yourself going into critical self-talk, consider how you would talk to someone you love and reframe the conversation with yourself as if you’re talking with them.

While optimism has some proven benefits (but only for those who are in the 20% who already are “emotionally positive” to begin with), feeling your true feelings and being authentically you has many more positive effects!

Love, Rachel

P.S. A balance between optimism and space for your full range of feelings has the biggest benefits of all.
P.P.S. Take the MindBody IQ Quiz here. It’s fun and informative!

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch

Out of nowhere…panic attack tips

Your heart is pounding out of your chest.
Your breath is shallow and quick.
Your body feels like it’s overheating.
You can’t think straight – the world is spinning.
You’re dizzy and scared.
You feel trapped in your body, out of control… and you feel like you’re going to die.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s likely that you’re having a panic attack.

Panic is a whole-body experience!

Your body needs tools to flip the switch and stop the madness!

Here are my favorite MindBodyWise Panic Attack Tips
to slow down your system instantly…


  1. Paper Bag Method – Cover your nose and mouth with a paper bag. Breathe as deeply as you can through both your nose and mouth (inflating your belly and chest) for at least a minute.

Why this works: When you hyperventilate, it means your body has too much oxygen which stops you from retaining carbon dioxide. This excess oxygen makes you feel short of breath. The paper bag breathing technique traps carbon dioxide in the bag, so when you inhale into the bag, you absorb carbon dioxide-rich air, which then allows you to fully absorb the oxygen that’s entering and stops the hyperventilation.

2. Hold your breath –  If you hold your breath for 15-20 seconds (repeating this a several times), it helps to slow your heart and calm your hyperventilation quickly.

Why this works: Holding your breath prevents the release of carbon dioxide. Similar to the Paper Bag Method (above), holding in carbon dioxide allows the oxygen that’s entering in to be used in your body, instead of having an excess – which is what causes hyperventilation in the first place.

3. Conscious 1:2 Breath – Even though it may feel challenging, aim to breathe consciously. Bring your hands to your belly (not your chest, as you’ll feel your fast heartbeat and this sensation may induce more anxiety), and feel your inhales and your exhales inflate and deflate. Try to double the length of your exhale, which is proven to slow down your central nervous system.


4. Get Present – The best and easiest way to get present is to use what you already have – your body. This is most easily accomplished while sitting in a chair. With an open palm, tap your body beginning with your feet. Feel the sensation of your hands against your body and your body receiving the touches and taps. Take your time to notice the experience in its entirety, moving from toes to head. Experiment with different levels of pressure and soft fists versus open palms.

dog laying on me
Here’s a picture of my dog laying on me. When I feel her weight and I sync my breath with hers, my body relaxes almost instantly. FYI – no animals were harmed in the shooting of this photo (but 2 animals were calmed :-).



5. Ground Yourself – Lay on your back, on the floor with weight on top of you. When you are panicking, it can feel like you are floating off the ground and into the ether. Feeling your body supported by the firmness of the floor with a heavy pillow or blanket on top of you (or your dog) while breathing deeply can help to flip the switch on your panic quickly.

6. Move – Jump! Dance! Walk! Run! It doesn’t matter which you choose – what matters is that you get your body moving. The trapped feeling that comes with panic is much more easily dissipated when you get moving. It might be challenging, while in the midst of panic, to get yourself out the door, but if you can muster the courage –  it could be your saving grace.

7. Eye Pillow – Light pressure on and around your eyes is a great way to stop panic in its tracks. Use an eye pillow and if you aren’t hypersensitive to scent, purchase an eye pillow with lavender scent for bonus calming effects. Another, more intense, option is to use a cold eye mask. The cold temperature with the light pressure can be an effective way to stop panic in its tracks.

Why this works: The vagus nerve (this is the nerve that controls your fight/flight/freeze response) is easily stimulated in the area around your eyes. Light pressure and cold temperature soothe this nerve instantly send a signal of safety to your whole body.

8. Laugh – Did you know that it’s nearly impossible to laugh and panic at the same time? So, if you can make yourself laugh (even if it starts off as a fake laugh), you can ward off an on-coming panic attack. Start with an exaggerated fake laugh, if you can’t get a real one going, and see where it leads. The louder and sillier you can get, the better.


9. Distract Yourself – With mild panic it’s possible to distract yourself to stop the sensation of anxiety. Turn on an upbeat song you like, a TV show that engrosses you or that makes you laugh. It’s best to make a list of these before you have the panic attack, so you have your go-to distractions ready and no thinking is required (remember: panic lowers your ability to think clearly).

10. Remind Yourself – If you can, even in the midst of the chaos of your panic, remind yourself that just like everything else in life – nothing lasts forever. This feeling and sensation will pass, just like all feelings and sensations do.


11. Ice Dunk – This is only suggested for when you’ve tried everything else and you are in extreme panic mode. If you have a heart condition or an eating disorder, do NOT do this. Fill a wide bowl with 1/3 with ice. Add cold water, leaving some room at the top. Take a deep inhale and then plant your whole face into the water for 30 seconds. Make sure you get the check bones and above your eyes fully immersed in the icy cold water, as these are key areas that connect with the vagus nerve (fight/flight/freeze response).

Why this works: This physically halts the panic, by forcing the parasympathetic nervous system to turn on (regulated by the vagus nerve) and it slows your heart instantly, which has a relaxing effect on your whole body.


The following list includes some of the most common triggers for anxiety and panic, so stay away as much as possible from: caffeine, sleep deprivation, dehydration, smoking, narcotic drugs and alcohol.

Panic attacks don’t have to be a life-sentence!

Love, Rachel

P.S. If you’re prone to panic, I’d love to work with you! You can go on to live a joyful, panic-attack-free life. Yes, this is absolutely possible (I’ve worked with many who will attest)!

P.P.S. To continue the conversation and share/listen/learn/connect, join me and a group of others just like you in the free MindBodyWise Living Room group on Facebook. I hope to see you there!

Gift Experiences instead of Stuff this Holiday Season (special offer)

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THIS Works Better than Positive Thinking

You’ve probably heard plenty about positive thinking, but does it work? Positive thinking is all the rage right now. It’s also at the heart of a lot of shaming. Just thinking positively will NOT cure your cancer. Just thinking positively will NOT get you pregnant, land you the job you always wanted, find you the […]

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 It’s your life. Choose your path and fully embody your whole self. It is with this intention that a beautiful journey will unfold within and before you. Make 2016 YOUR Year ~ Free Your Body, Free Your Mind Every new year, you make resolutions that don”t stick. Maybe you sign up for denial-driven programs that […]

Don’t miss it…!

“It’s a one-shot deal…” How many times have you heard this and it’s rarely (if ever) true…?  This time it IS true!   Recently I have been exposed to several untimely deaths, others who are struggling to stay alive and others who have recently been diagnosed with life-altering diseases. Although we all know that death is part of […]

Wondering where to find the wonder?

With summer ending and a new season beginning, it gives us an opportunity to become present to our lives in a new way. But how do we get present and find the wonder? A reflection…a suggestion…and an opportunity… I’m just returning from 2 weeks of being away from my everyday life. My first week away […]

6 Seconds to Stress Relief…really!

Did you know that hugs are a natural stress reliever? How cool is that?! Hugging for only 6 seconds releases dopamine — the feel-good hormone — in both the hugger and the “huggie” (is that even a word?). A few more words about hugs and your health… Hugs reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) Babies who […]

Are you having fun yet?

It was recess and the game was Capture the Flag. My big brother was in the sixth grade, and I was a few years behind in second grade. Usually, only the older kids played, but this time my big brother invited me to join his team. It was an extra special honor to be a […]

Inspiration & Empathy ~ A Human Experience

Have you noticed that stories of triumph often support you in feeling most alive, inspire you to overcome your own challenges and sometimes even bring you to tears? Me too! Did you know there’s a neuroscience and mind-body supported reason why these beautiful, life-affirming stories move us so deeply? I might be a bit of […]

7 Mind-Body Creativity Hacks

Do you want to become a better problem-solver, innovator and to access more of the creativity within you? Of course you do…who doesn’t! The most effective way to enhance your creativity is to get your whole body into the process. Here are 7 scientifically supported and totally awesome mind-body creativity hacks that involve all parts of you. Some […]

Stand Up for Yourself

By this subject line, you may assume that I’m suggesting that you hold your ground, or speak up for yourself, or stop being a people pleaser. However…I’m actually talking about… Standing up for yourself and for your health! STAND UP! Get out of your seat! Yep, it may seem like a silly suggestion, perhaps. Or […]

Love More, Live Longer

This one’s a short and oh so sweet one…! Create relationships. Connect. Give and receive support. Love. Be loved. Continue surrounding yourself with good people and meaningful relationships. Fill up your “connection containers” and live a longer, healthier life. This isn’t just touchy-feely stuff. This is back by facts! There are countless studies that show […]

Transform your Perspective

We all know that our mood is heavily impacted by our perspective. Knowing this fact and knowing what to do about it is a whole different story. I love this 3.5 minute video, based on the Growth Model from Carol Dweck. The video simply explains why it’s sometimes hard for us to shift our perspective.  The video also confirms […]

What Invigorates You?

When’s the last time that you felt full of life? How many days, weeks, months have passed since you last felt invigorated? You don’t have to wait or hope or wish that you could recreate that feeling of excitement about getting up every morning and starting your day. It doesn’t have to be difficult or […]

Authentic to the Core

What does it mean to be authentic? How do you you know when you are being your authentic self? When I am being my true self, I know it because I feel ease in my mind and freedom in my body. I am neither anticipating what’s next or belaboring what came before. I am present. […]

Are you living a “Good Life”?

How do you define living a “Good Life”? Are you living it? If not, what steps are you taking to create it? What does it feel like to think about these questions? It’s not uncommon to hear people say “I want a good life” but not really know what that actually means…and it’s so unique […]

Simple Shifts, Lasting Changes

Do you KNOW there’s more to life than this, but you’re finding it challenging to create change? Do you feel a bit alone in your quest for health and happiness? Do you feel a little stuck about what to do next? Do you make promises to yourself, but find it difficult to keep them? Often […]

Spring Cleaning for your Soul

Are you leaving space in you life for new challenges and new opportunities? Are you creating space in your body, lengthening and stretching and reaching, to create the life you want for yourself? For transformation and personal evolution to occur…to fully squeeze the juice out of life…both your mind and body have to be a part […]

Peace in Motion

Have you ever thought you’d like to meditate, but that you aren’t or wouldn’t be “good at it”…? Walking meditation might be your solution! First of all, just so you know, there is no such thing as not being good at meditation. All of us struggle with wandering minds – that’s our brain’s job (and […]

Are you Crazy-Busy?

When people ask, “How are you?” do you tend to answer with something like: “So busy!”…? Over the past few years, many articles have emerged about the function of our being so “busy” and how this “busy-ness” serves to distance us from our unique purpose, from connecting with others and from connecting to our authentic […]

It’s All Connected!

What is the mind-body connection? How does it work? How do you access it? Why would you want to? Only a few words this time…and instead some awesome mixed media to help you understand, appreciate, and gain some tips on how to access your mind-body connection! I could list endless references, movies, and more here, […]

How to Love your Life

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life.” – Steve Jobs We all know that we have limited time here, in this precious life. Yet, we don’t always live like each moment is our last, nor would it be healthy to do so! However, it’s valuable on occasion to remind ourselves of the […]

Making Peace with Pain

You know it and I know it: PAIN IS NO FUN! If given the choice, it would be very difficult to turn down a life of a pain-free existence, right?! However, there is no magic healing wand – sorry! And, this may sound nuts, but our pain can offer us powerful and often profound life […]

6 Life Lessons from a Balinese Offering

I just returned from a yoga vacation in Bali. It was an amazing, magical and beautiful trip on so many levels. One of the most striking aspects of Bali is its people… They are kind and they smile often. They are generous and warm. They take time and care in all they do. They don’t […]

5 Ways to be More Courageous

Do you fear … Speaking your truth? Trying new things? Being your authentic self? Exploring the unknown? Going for your dreams with all you’ve got? “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The […]

Releasing Regret and Finding Freedom

Do you have regrets? Most of us do.  What function does regret serve? How can we live more freely and release the pain of the missed opportunities of the past? When I was growing up, the quote “I woulda, coulda, shoulda, but I didn’t” was on my family’s bathroom wall (and is still posted there […]

Coming from Love

What’s your Heart Saying? If we approached all of life and every human interaction from a place of love, what would life be like? If we all lived from the voices of our hearts, what would our world be like? What might be different? Who might we be? We are often so go-go-go that we […]

How to Feel your Feelings…

You may be wondering, why would I want to feel my feelings?! Because…it’s life-changing in many great ways… If you missed last week’s discussion about the importance and value of feeling your feelings, you can read about it HERE. As promised last week, here are some ways to connect and begin the practice of feeling […]

5 Life-Changing Reasons…to Feel Your Feelings!

Do you avoid allowing yourself to feel what you’re really feeling? As human beings, we crave safety. We crave comfort. Often, our same-old same-old routine becomes our safety and comfort. Sometimes, it may seem easier to go on autopilot, without any consciousness about our internal experience. It’s natural and adaptive to want to avoid things […]

Moving through the Blues

Are these cold, short days getting into your body and making you feel a little slower than usual, a little more down than usual, or a little less motivated? Weather and sunlight can have a profound impact on your physical body as well as your mind. So, what can we do about it? Well, the […]

Happiness Jar

Capturing Happiness… As I’m sure you know, the more we allow in and connect with the happy moments in our day (even the very ordinary happy moments), the happier we are…duh…! I know, this idea isn’t groundbreaking, but sometimes putting this happiness thing into practice isn’t quite as simple – especially on those not-so-great days […]

How to Live with Intention

A new beginning is a marker that gives each of us an opportunity to get conscious about what we are creating inside ourselves and in the world. It’s a chance to start fresh, (re)design our lives, build new relationships, deepen existing relationships, and connect to our purpose. You get to create it! Each day we face […]

Revisiting your Year

Reflecting Back… Looking Ahead… Living in the Present… As 2014 comes to a close, we are given a great opportunity to reflect, rewind, recall, revisit, relive, and then ultimately reinvent. This process can be exciting, sad, joyful, frustrating, scary and more. As human beings, we often experience many conflicting feelings all at one time, which […]

3 Ways to Lean into Joy

Wholehearted Living… Do you lean into joy? Or do you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop? Are you often looking over your shoulder in expectation of the happiness you feel to disappear at any moment? If we don’t learn to be grateful or be vulnerable and present to what is in the […]