Category Archives: Day to Day

The best technology for quieting the mind

Having trouble quieting your mind?

You might be going about it in the wrong way. For instance, here’s how it went for me…

I wanted to start a home yoga practice, so I created a “Yoga Glo” account and voila!, had access to hundreds of virtual classes, depending on how much time I had, my specific aches and pains, etc.

I wanted to learn to meditate, so I downloaded Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie app, and then “Headspace,” another meditation app considered the “gym membership for the mind.”

I wanted to get more in touch with my soul, cultivate a deeper spiritual life, so I read Danielle Laporte’s email newsletters religiously.

Any of these methods sound familiar? 

The problem was, I started to feel distracted, the way I do when a restaurant menu has too many options. My morning routine started to become full of choosing the “right class” or the “right meditation” or “damn, the internets not working,” or “ok, guess I gotta update the app” … “and in the meantime I’ll just check this one email.”

Truth is: no matter how useful or inspirational a virtual tool might be, technology in essence pulls us away from ourselves.

Over time I recognized my mind “clearing” activities were in reality producing more clutter. Building stress relieving practices via “plugging in” was backfiring because I was building from a foundation that in essence is stress producing. Does that make sense? (If you doubt the stress producing effects of technology, that’s a whole other discussion! More to come in future posts).

I began to wonder:

What made me think after taking and teaching hundreds of yoga classes, that my body didn’t have the wisdom to move without a virtual teacher?

What made me think that to clear my mind or access my soul, I needed anything more than a quiet room and a comfortable place to sit?

While I’m still a huge fan of (and still make use of) all the virtual tools I mentioned above, realizing I held within me all the technology I needed felt empowering. So? I made what was within me my go-to, my trusted guide. Slowly my morning routine started to shift. My menu of options became shorter and shorter. And clarity of mind felt more in reach.

So what does my newfound practice look like?

Below I leave you with my only three non-negotiables, allowing for quite a bit of flexibility. Take em’ or leave em’. Make your practice your own!

1.Unplug – No ifs ands or buts. Choose a time slot every day, a time you dedicate to coming home to yourself (I’d recommend at least an hour, but any amount of time you can stick to consistently will do). During this time you won’t use your phone/ computer/ Ipad. Not for music, not for guidance, not for anything. That can all be enjoyed another time. Think about it – if we can’t/ won’t unplug fully during yoga/ meditation/ prayer… then when?

2. Get on your yoga mat – A good friend and yoga teacher once told me, “Even if you ‘don’t know what to do,’ Just get on your yoga mat. You’ll end up doing something, and most likely you’ll move in exactly the way you need to move.” This doesn’t mean a yoga teacher isn’t valuable it just means you should never let the absence of a teacher hold you back from your practice. Don’t underestimate the knowledge of your body.

3. Light a candle + burn some incense – Make this time sacred. Make it different than the rest of your day. Like the moment you get in bed at night… that’s how you want it to feel. Safe. Comfortable. Inviting.

Does this simple structure work for you? If not, let us know what does in the comments below!
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Anxiety be gone, my top 3 strategies

Type “anxiety” into Google. 

You’ll find something like, “uneasiness of mind”, “emotional distress”, “fear”.

(Keep reading, I promise this will end on a positive note!)

Anxiety isn’t something I ever felt. Honestly. Sadness, yes. Anger, yes. Jealously, yes. But anxiety? I didn’t even know what the word meant until recently.

For years (since my early 20s) I practiced and taught yoga consistently. I didn’t know it at the time, but that lent itself to a life of focus and peace, even among the most uncomfortable situations.

It was why I could keep my cool in traffic jams, why I could effortlessly give of myself in social situations, why city living never stressed me out.

About a year ago, I stopped teaching and practicing regularly. Very quickly I started noticing this “uneasiness” creeping up. It confused me. The non-stop thinking and analyzing. The nervousness. The lack of focus and overwhelm. 

And when I asked a friend if she’d ever felt this before she gave me a crazy look and answered, “Uh… yea. Who hasn’t?”

It got me thinking about what we’ve come to accept as normal. And then it got me blaming (i.e. “it’s my IPhone, I gotta get rid of it”, “it’s the chaos of the city, it’s finally getting to me).

Then it got me scheming… I came up with a plan.

I’d rent a room on farmland and commute to the city. Perfect. At least the place I laid down at night and woke up in the morning would be a peaceful one. I’d leave behind the drunk college girl begging her boyfriend to open his door at 3 am and the garbage trucks barreling by my window hours later. But hold up, what about all the things I love about city living? And about my IPhone, for that matter?

Could it be possible to feel peace among the chaos? Without spending hours in the yoga room?

It became a bit of an experiment. Here’s what I found out: our ability to stay centered, to feel still within ourselves (just like our ability to maintain a healthy diet),  is dependent on how seriously we seek it.

Think about it. If we aren’t actively trying to eat well, we’ll end up filling our bodies with junk, right? It’s what’s most easily accessed and is deceptively appealing.

Same goes for our emotional state. If we aren’t actively trying to find center, stillness, to come home to ourselves (especially in the city) we’ll end up full of junk (constant noise, non stop stimulation, overload of information — deceptively appealing and deceptively comforting).

So, question is: what simple steps can we take every day to increase our likelihood of feeling still and grounded? 

Below I share my top 3 “anxiety be gone” list. Commit to ONE of them for the next week and see where it takes you.

1. Find the sun – This winter, after a week in Tulum, Mexico, I recognized how comforting it was to be on nature’s clock… waking with the sun and following it to bed. I came home to Boston and sought out the sun. Sunrise and sunset. And happened to find a view of both from the roof of my apartment. Who knew? Where will you find the sun? 

2. Turn OFF the lights + light up some candles – Naturally darkness induces a sense of calm to prepare us for sleep. I know it sounds extreme to turn off all artificial light after sunset but in just a few days you’ll notice an ease you can’t find under the bright lights (if I were you, I’d exclude computer and phone after dark as well). Try it for 3 days… (if not to find stillness, do it cuz’ candlelight is sexy).

3. Sit Still – Some might call it “meditating” which I know you’ve thought about doing… if the idea intimidates you just think of it as sitting still. In a comfortable place. With your eyes closed and these sounds. Set your timer for 15 minutes and do it every day for the next 7 days (always helpful to find a buddy who will join you – the more accountability the better to start).

Oh, and before I go! Speaking of stillness and finding center…

I’m super excited to announce a one-day Urban Retreat I’ll be co-leading with my business partner, Ashley, September 7th 2014 (save the date!) Details have yet to be release but what I can tell you is you’ll be spending this one day “time out” fully unplugged and in community with other women… moving, learning, connecting. To stay in the know, get on this list.

Got other strategies to share? 

Please share below!

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Quit Thinking About Your Dreams

“What are your dreams?”

You’ve been asked it since you were a kid, right?

I start coaching sessions with a similar question:

What do you want?

Clear and simple. Or so you’d think.

But after so many awkward silences and blank stares, I’ve come to realize that articulating desire, envisioning dreams is something that comes much more naturally to a fourth grader.

By the time we hit our 20’s (or if we’re lucky, not til’ our 30’s) something happens. After years of working toward goals (achieving some, falling short of others), years piling on responsibility after responsibility, and years building a life influenced by our friends, family, co-workers, and every voice from Oprah’s to that of your local bank teller…

We often lose sight of our dreams… yes, we get lost in the day to day… but what’s worse is, we lose the ability to identify our dreams, even if we try! (Hence the awkward silences and blank stares).

Let’s test it out… what do you want? Can you identify your dreams? If you can, write them down. In crayon or colored pencils. For old times sake!

If you can’t, it’s ok. I struggled with this recently too. Read on

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Not long ago I spent a weekend listening to some of the most inspirational speakers and was determined to step it up in the “living my dream” department.

On my way home I sat and thought about my dream, the big picture for my life, ready to jot down a strategy… and nothing came to me.

All the thinking was actually starting to stress me out. And clearly not leading me closer to any “dream”.

Frustrated, I shoved the pen and paper back in my bag and sat, thoughtless.

Little did I know that was exactly what I needed. To stop thinking (for once), and to start feeling.

I realized my dreams didn’t have much to do with being in the perfect city, the perfect home, or the perfect job. They had much more to do with being, period. I dreamed of simply waking up and consistently feeling at home in my bodyalive in my soul.

Maybe you share that same vision?

If so, your task is to simply feel out what brings you this good feeling, and add more of those things to your life.

And if you don’t know how to recognize this good feeling? Start by envisioning various activities, people, places, etc. And when you do, take note of:

** What makes you breathe deeply? (vs. what makes you hold your breathe)
** What makes your hands feel still and body feel grounded? (vs. shaky, scattered, restless)
** What makes you lose track of time? (in other words takes you out of your head and into your heart)

Maybe your dreams have to do with music, or candle light, or walking barefoot in the dirt… 

Start a list.

This is a list of ingredients for your dream.

With it you can slowly piece together a bigger vision for your life.

So, will you do it? Will you take the pressure off, be still, and give yourself the time to dream? 

Your inner fourth grader will be cheering you on and so will I.

{Share a list of at least 5 of your dream’s ingredients below}

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3 of my worst moves

I’ve made a lot of good moves in my life. 

Great moves, actually. Moves that worked out just how I thought they would. But that’s not what’s on my mind today.

I’m thinking, instead, of those “well, this didn’t work out exactly as planned” moves.

“Brilliant” ideas that tanked. Risks that left me heartbroken.

Because those moves, of course, the ones that made me feel like a big fat failure… frustrated, confused, and sometimes completely destroyed, also made me feel strangely alive.

Those moves, those “mistakes” made me feel… well, fire. 
They made me feel something more

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In that spirit, make a list of three of the “worst” moves you’ve ever made. I’ll get you started with three of mine.

1. Flying to Argentina for love

Quitting a full time job and traveling 6,000 miles from home for a man I met on a subway isn’t practical by any stretch of the imagination. And when I came back 3 months later with a heart shattered in a million pieces I wondered for a moment if maybe a bit of practicality would have done me good.

But only for a moment.

Because those 3 months, exposed to the unfamiliar, forever changed the course of my life. The language, the food, the music. The intense beauty, the passion, the loving and the loss. Each unfamiliar experience revealed an unknown layer of depth in me.

Following my heart to the beautiful mess of Buenos Aires could never have been wrong.

2. “Opening a yoga studio”

I’ll never forget the day. Sun shining as far as we could see, I biked with my friend (and potential business partner) through the dreamy South End of Boston, streets lined with brownstones and boutiques. We kept an eye out for any open space, giddy at the sight of “FOR RENT” signs, imagining each would be our spot.

“Isn’t it fun?” he shouted to me over the traffic.

“It’s like shopping for your life!” 

Wow. What a thought. I smiled, feeling such a thrill, a sense of freedom in his words.

We had every intention of making it happen. For months we brainstormed ideas. We wrote the business plan. Found the space. Met with an architect. This I could see myself doing. This life I could see myself living. Teaching yoga, building community. Yup, sounded just right.

Until it didn’t. Until one person after the next shot the idea down and local yoga politics got in the way.

Just when I thought I’d settled on a life I could be proud of I’d have to back down and everyone would know it.

Was it all on some level a waste of time? Sure. But those words my friend once shouted to me became my mantra.

Shopping for my life. Choosing to create rather than just receive what’s given.

Yea, that I could do. So I did. And a new chapter began.

3. Declining grad school

“I’ll go to grad school when I get back,” I promised my parents (and myself), deferring my offer from two different programs.

And I meant it.

But after four months in South America, spending days at markets and nights around a table full of food, wine, and endless banter, the appeal of academia slowly faded.

I didn’t want to go just to go. I wanted to feel excited about my next move, engaged in my future.

So I turned down scholarships. And had difficult conversations (despite my shaky voice and sweaty palms).

In the meantime I started to write. And cook. And create.

I started to feel expressed. Courageous. I had ignited that feeling once again, a feeling that’s now become familiar, a feeling of something more.

You with me? Know the feeling?

If you’re feeling stuck, could use a roadmap for feeling something more, join me here to be inspired, to be challenged to raise the bar. All the good stuff begins next week, 4.14.14.

And let’s get you started by sharing below…

What are three of your WORST moves?
And how might they have opened a door to something more?
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On Burnt Tortillas + What’s Important

What’s most important to you?

About the way you eat, I mean. Is it filling up on veggies? Or staying away from processed foods? Is it keeping your calorie count low? Or is it balancing your protein, fat, and carbs? Is it being vegan? Vegetarian? Raw? Or maybe dairy free, gluten free or soy free?

If you really think about it, all these approaches work, don’t they? So, uh… what to do.

Well, let’s back up a sec. Start with this one step that’ll serve as the catalyst to all the major changes you’d like to see…

Cook it at home. Yup, forget about restricting this or that. Whatever you love, start cooking it at home. At least one meal a day. Then bump it up to two.

Craving pizza? No biggie. Just make it from scratch.
Muffins or donuts your weakness? Learn to bake them!

By cooking at home you immediately cut out excess oils, chemicals, and preservatives. You get to choose where the food comes from and how it’s prepared. And you immediately start to cultivate a deeper relationship with your food and body.

One of my favorite food writers, Tamar Adler, writes…

“If it’s hot dogs or cinnamon toast that reminds your heart that it can be moved by food, make hot dogs or cinnamon toast.”

In other words, it doesn’t so much matter if your meal includes meat, dairy, gluten or soy, whether it’s raw, cooked, or dipped in chocolate… not only will the nutrition level sky rocket by simply starting from scratch but you’ll also be experiencing it rather than just consuming it.

So tell me, what’ll it be? What meal do you love that you’ll recreate in your kitchen?

To get you started here’s another simply warm, winter meal.

Black bean + Avocado Tacos
(Disclaimer: my version is basically a kale salad in disguise… you cool with that?)

1. Make yourself a small bowl of massaged kale (in other words, add lemon juiceolive oil, and sea salt to a bowl of kale and work the ingredients into the kale with your hands until it begins to soften).

2. Slice an avocado and heat up some black beans (either homemade or quality organic canned beans)

3. Warm up your organic corn tortilla. If you’ve got a gas stove, put it right over the flame for 20 seconds or so. Keep your eye on that baby! A fire wouldn’t be fun (although I do love burnt edges).

4. Fill your tortilla with slices of avocado and black beans then top with kale and a bit of cilantro. Add fresh pepper and sea salt to taste.

Done and done. Reminiscent of summer and warms your chilly bones.

In other news, there’s officially 7 days til’ Christmas. Instead of gifting socks, sweaters, and books they’ll stuff on a shelf, give your mom energy (she’s had enough exhausting days), give your sister inspiration (sometimes she just needs a little push), give your fiance a transformation (because even if he doesn’t say it, he secretly wants it). And I’ll be waiting to welcome each and every one of them.

Gift my 14-day Whole Food Detox, starting 1.5.14. Use the coupon code “Jody” to also gift a bonus coaching session with me following the program… or better yet, keep it for yourself!  This program is totally virtual so can be gifted to your long-distance friends and family too.

Believe in endless possibility this Christmas and what a happy happy holiday it will be… !

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I’m gonna do it this time, I swear

Last fall I decided to be an early morning yogi.

Yup, that’s right, the yogi we all want to be, fiercely dedicated to a practice. I wouldn’t give in to excuses. No way! I’d be stronger than that. I’d be a “no matter what” kind of yogi. I’d be outta bed no matter what happened the night before, no matter how dark or how cold the morning. No matter if I had a stuffy nose. No matter the time of month. I’d get up, I’d go, I’d feel exhilarated and attack the day.

And I got it done! I became that yogi, rode my bike through the dark, silent, city streets, one morning after the next, arrived to a silent room where I was surrounded by the other fiercely dedicated, and I practiced. I felt strong, proud, productive.

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But soon enough, some of those all too familiar thoughts started running in my head… 

“but it’s too cold”
“but it’s too far”
“but it’s too expensive”
“but I stayed up late”
“but one day off won’t kill me, right?”

And before I knew it, “early morning” yogi became “sleep-in-til-10-then-roll-out-of-bed” yogi. Actually, yogi was no longer a term I could rightfully use. I’d stopped completely.

Tell me you can relate. To having EVERY bloody intention of following through, and then… not. WHY OH WHY does it seem inevitable for excuses to take over?

Well, to put it simply, because we love setting unrealistic goals. My thinking was this, for instance: “Ok, Jody, you want to feel clear headed and connected to yourself every morning? Why don’t you start by riding your bike through below freezing temperatures at 6 am, five times a week? You can do it.”

Sure, I could do it. But did I want to? If I was really being honest with myself, what I wanted was to be able to say “yes” to late night salsa dancing and be wrapped up in bed like a burrito the morning after.

What if I made goals that left room for all I wanted? Goals that actually made sense for ME, that wouldn’t force me to give up on other priorities? Those goals I could get excited about, could sustain, and would lead to permanent change.

So, back to the drawing board. I revisited my action plan. I made it MUCH simpler. So simple, in fact, it seemed kinda silly.

You know what I ended up with?

Saying “bye-bye” to early morning yogi and her freezing cold fingers. And instead challenging myself to start each morning with 30 minutes unplugged. That’s it. On any given day that might include reading, writing, meditation and/or stretching. Or, if I’m being honest, it might just include putting my feet up against the wall and breathing deeply. The only non negotiable is that I’m unplugged. It absolutely still gets me feeling “clear headed” and “connected” and what’s even better is it’s a practice I can sustain, not just for a season, but for a lifetime.

Ok, your turn. Consider a habit of yours you’ve been trying to change for a while. Ditch the all or nothing mentality. Readjust your goals, your action plan. Make it so simple it seems silly. It’s got to be doable. Attainable. It’s got to work for YOU.

Once you can consistently reach your goal (could take weeks, or months), you’ll set another goal, and another… and go on and on embodying, owning these new habits until you’re exactly the you you want to be. 

Now tell me what works for you! Share with me ONE lifestyle change you’ve made and how you’ve managed to maintain it consistently.

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You Could Use A Little Porn

I remember the days well…

When my mom’s “healthy” birthday cakes sent childhood friends screaming (and laughing) for days. When our “healthy” Halloween left us with nothing more than apples at the bottom of a pillowcase. When our “healthy” lifestyle was far from trendy and straight up bummed us out and turned us off.

Fortunately times have changed, my friend, times have changed. If you’re feeling limited in any of the ways I mentioned above, something is very wrong. You need not be eating only rice cakes and tasteless crackers. You need not be drinking blue green algae and passing on dessert.

Healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. Do you hear me?
It’s about time you get turned on by the food you eat.

And that’s where the porn comes in… food porn obviously (what were you expecting?)

We’ll start slow, get you warmed up with a slice of strawberry shortcake, its crust of soft dates and unpasteurized almonds (oo baby, tell me more). Coconut milk, cashews, and just a touch of raw honey make for the perfectly white, creamy filling, setting the stage for the fresh berries which pop with color.

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Next, something traditional…

…the one and only chocolate chip cookie. You think you know, but you have no idea. You won’t taint your taste buds with processed sugar and preservatives but instead treat them to an electric combination of honey, coconut oil, almonds and cacao nibs. Five minutes to heaven.

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 Ok, you don’t have all day for this…

…or maybe you do… but in any case, let’s skip ahead to the main event, your deepest desire. From the moment you wake until the moment it hits your lips, you yearn for the dark, previously forbidden, forever satisfying chocolate… (unless you’ve never had good chocolate, of course, then you have no clue what you’re missing). Good chocolate doesn’t come in a package (no way) but is crafted (in just minutes) with your own hands, mixed with natural sweeteners and slick, heart healthy oils and when tasted, is a pleasure that lingers on… and on… and on.

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Alright, snap out of it!

But just for now. To learn more about getting turned on by your food, join me for a FREE teleseminar event, Chocolate for Breakfast: 4 step process for becoming FREE to say “yes” to your guilty pleasures, every time.

Monday, Oct. 14th, you’ll learn not only how to STOP feeling restricted by your diet, but even better, how to fall passionately in love with it. 

Register here (did I mention it’s free? but you must register for call-in details).

Can’t wait to share my dirty secrets!

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  • Praise

    Kristin M.

    "I'm really pleased at the changes I've been able to make and STICK WITH while working with Jody."
    Jody Grimm Coaching
    2013-09-15T00:47:10+00:00
    "I'm really pleased at the changes I've been able to make and STICK WITH while working with Jody."

    Nancy A.

    "I'm no longer obsessed with what I'm going to eat. I have freedom to think about things besides food."
    Jody Grimm Coaching
    2013-09-15T00:47:28+00:00
    "I'm no longer obsessed with what I'm going to eat. I have freedom to think about things besides food."

    Amanda M.

    I feel more energetic and much more positive about my eating and myself! Jody is a wonderful and encouraging coach!
    Jody Grimm Coaching
    2015-09-30T18:42:51+00:00
    I feel more energetic and much more positive about my eating and myself! Jody is a wonderful and encouraging coach!

    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"
    Jody Grimm Coaching
    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."
    Jody Grimm Coaching
    2013-09-15T00:45:36+00:00
    "Jody has shown me eating healthy is not a chore."
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    0
    Jody Grimm Coaching
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