Writer’s Block, Acupuncture, Sleep, and Reviving Your Creativity

Writer’s Block, Acupuncture, Sleep, and Reviving Your Creativity

For the first couple of months of fall this year, I had a serious creativity block. I had to press myself to sit down and write, and when I did it often felt bland and not up to my usual standards. This meant I had to put in a lot more time and effort than usual just to get what I was writing up to my standards. And even then, sometimes I didn’t feel like my work was as good as I’d like.

It’s a sucky feeling to lose your creativity when you are in a line of work that requires you to be creative. There are certain tricks that help to get your writer juices flowing. Reading is one of them. Meditation doesn’t hurt. But sometimes, it just ain’t happenin’.

I’m glad to say, I feel like my writer’s block is gone and creativity has returned, thank goodness. Those two months seemed like an eternity and I felt like something was missing in my whole life, not just work. It’s hard to single any one thing out as to why this happens or what makes it better, but I will share one thing that I’ve started doing that I feel is making a huge difference in how I feel.

And that’s acupuncture.

I tried it because I was getting a migraine every week. You guys, imbalanced hormones are no joke. I can deal with fluctuating between freezing cold and burning hot a few times throughout the day, or not being able to eat the way I used to, or having to slow down my beloved coffee intake. But having a headache that had me couch bound for several hours each week was not an option. I felt like I was missing out on life and drained of anything that was me.

So, the medical acupuncture my doctor performs is designed to alleviate the migraines. But there is an unexpected bonus. I am sleeping better.

Of all the complaints I’ve had of late, sleep problems were not among them. But now I am able to see that, while I may not have been unable to get to sleep, I was waking up several times each night and the sleep I was getting wasn’t restful.

Now that I am sleeping better, I feel energized, upbeat, and … creative! My headaches are coming about every two weeks now, which is an improvement, and I’m feeling more like myself.

Why am I telling you this?

One, because I want you to know that not getting enough sleep can make you feel all sorts of off. And you may not even realize you aren’t getting enough sleep or that the quality of the sleep you are getting is not ideal. Maybe acupuncture is for you, maybe it’s not. But if you are experiencing low energy or a creativity drought and none of the usual tactics are helping, take a look at the quality of your sleep.

The second reason I’m writing this long and winding post? Because I want you to have a mini arsenal in your back pocket for getting your creativity back on track. When I wasn’t writing my best, I totally knew it. But when you are feeling low on energy and inspo. It can be tough to think of things to turn it around. Write a list or put a note in your phone of things that help you get your mojo back. Maybe you exercise or binge your favorite creative inspiration on Instagram. Maybe you add in daily naps or get some outdoors time. Maybe you play with your pet or simply take some time off. Make your list of creativity boosters when you are feeling good, so you can check in with it when you are feeling not so good.

Stuck on what saps your creativity or gets you out of a slump? Use my Creativity Boosting Checklist to add to your feelgood arsenal of inspo boosters.

Creativity Booster Checklist

Do You Have Energy Work Burnout?

Do You Have Energy Work Burnout?

Evolution is good. It’s why we are here, after all. But too much of a good thing can be bad.

Have you ever experience evolution exhaustion? Growth burnout? Enlightenment fry?

You know what it is. When you are meditating like a mad dog, reciting your mantra like your life depends on it, and willing yourself to think the happiest of happy thoughts at every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment.

You are giving it your all, trying to manifest the heck out of your dreams and putting work into your good stuff. Then you hit the wall. And it’s not a nudge, but a huge, horrific, noisy, messy crash.

You feel tired. Grumpy even. You don’t like any of your favorite stuff quite as much. You feel like you are slogging through the day, waiting to return to bed. This is called burnout.

I’m just coming out of one of these babies.

I was doing it all – had a dream plan, a brand spankin’ new mantra, was listening to fresh words of wisdom, making time for stuff that furthers my dreams. I even did a daily viewing of my Pinterest vision board before taking my first sip of coffee. Every. Single. Morning.

Sounds like all good stuff, right? Well, as has happened in the past, it turned on me. I ended up a headachy, sleepy, foggy brained mess. I read once that when you hit this phase it is the universe readying you for a launch into something bigger. Ok. I’m ready, already.

So I prayed and meditated on this some more. And waited. And then it happened. One morning my inbox filled up with email from several different people, all up to different things. But there was one thread that ran through all of them. The word “exhaustion” was in the title.

And it was true. I felt exhausted. What started out as an energy boosting plan to the max, fizzled into a daily grind. I put the question “can positivity be a form of resistance” out to a wonderful group of women I am lucky enough to associate with, and received many solid and helpful replies. But one in particular caught my attention. Like, big time.

“If the underlying emotion is fear and the positive is a veil on top trying to keep from feeling the emotions that are coming in, then absolutely. “

I love it! With all of my visioning and praying and positivity attracting I was forgetting one very important part…to feel the shiz I was feeling.

I guess the moral of this story is: Even your daily program to wellness and abundance can become work if you let it. Do what works for you the day, or even moment, you are living. As my Mom always said, everything in moderation. And don’t forget to feel what you feel while trying to improve your sitch.

OBS is 10!

Pineapples at Unsplash

Yep, I started this little blog a decade ago. Since then, my business has definitely evolved. And my blog design along with it, thankfully. Just for chuckles, check out the OBS original home page, below.


Ouch, right?!

Way back when it all began I had a preschooler and a kindergartener, and would spend any time they were sleeping researching this whole toxins in beauty products thing. In March of 2006, after spending a good 6 months reading and asking and emailing, I decided to start a blog sharing this knowledge with others. The plan was to eventually open an online store selling my favorites.

But the writing bug soon took over and before I knew it organic beauty professionals were asking me to write for them. I may spend most of my time now writing for other businesses and websites, but I am still just as passionate about the organic beauty/heath + wellness movement.

Not only have I and my blog changed, but the organic beauty scene has changed big time too. Back when I was starting out, researching my brains out and scouring the web for organic brands that were actually walking the talk and not just utilizing good marketing skills, naturals were different. Sure, there were those that have always been both high performance and safe at the same time (Lavera, Primavera, Dr. Hauschka, I’m lookin’ at you), but many were sloopy, sticky, stinky concoctions I did not enjoy using.

I think these days women are looking for products that act, look, feel, and sometimes even smell like conventional products. I know I am. Lucky for us that is happening. Today we have a huge selection of nontoxic products and brands to choose from. Truly safe, high quality, act like you want them to, beauties.

We are fortunate. There is nothing standing in our way of looking and feeling great while making healthy choices. I’m so happy to have been a part of the organic beauty movement over these past 10 years and want to give a huge shout out to my sisters and bros in the organic beauty game too. All of the amazing bloggers, editors, online shop owners, brand creators, and PR peeps who’ve lent their time and products to my journey…a big smooch to you. Couldn’t have done it without you!

If you’d like to talk about my writing services, please get in touch via my contact page. For organic beauty info, hit up the Resources tab. The Shop page will get you started on some beauty products I’ve picked out from one of my fave shops. Or dive into the posts to see what’s going on in my green beauty world.

As always, thanks for reading and come back soon!

Top image by Pineapples at Unsplash.com has absolutely nothing to do with OBS turning 10. I just love pineapples and beaches:)

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

I never thought it would happen to me. My entry into womanhood was and has always been pretty smooth, hormone-wise. Until lately.

Starting last year things went out of whack. As in a twice monthly period (joy) and, worse still, a monthly migraine. My Mom was sick and passed away, so I chalked it up to major stress. But while my cycle has gotten back to normal ( or a new normal, shall we say) I’m still getting the headaches. Sound familiar to anyone else out there?

I’ve changed my diet pretty drastically, cutting out almost all sugar and refined carbs, cut back on caffeine, and have incorporated more soy (a natural estrogen balancer, not the estrogen booster as previously thought) and tons of fruits and veg. While I ate pretty heathy before, I’m now on the very straight and very narrow.

Then there are the supplements. I wasn’t taking any before. Now I’m on a daily dose of magnesium, fish oil, turmeric, zinc, vitamin C, and glucosamine. I’m not saying you should run out and buy these supplements. These were something I came up with after much research and, yes, a chat with my doc.

I’ve been reading my perimenopausal ass off on natural hormone balancing. It’s definitely a science and that research, along with making sure I get all of the stuff I need into my body daily, has been taking up a huge chunk of my life. Which begs the question: Should it really be this painstaking just to feel decent?

Dr. Christiane Northrup is always a fountain of great info on women’s health, and I’ve been eyeball deep in her book The Wisdom of Menopause. I highly recommend you pick up a copy if you are perimenopausal, approaching perimenopause, post menopausal, or are a women of any age that lives on planet earth. For real. The woman knows her shiz. I’ve also pulled some useful info from The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried and I’m Too Young for This! by Suzanne Somers.

I do feel the whole hormone thing, and how crappy you do or don’t feel, has to do with how much attention you pay to it. And right now I am paying a lot. Maybe too much. Still, no matter what any doctor or regular person tells you, these symptoms are very real and you need to listen to and trust your own body. We are all individuals, afterall, and this is not a one size fits all kinda deal.

One side benny that has come of all this has been weight loss. I gained 5 lbs over the course of a year or so and couldn’t seem to get it to come off. I have barely thought of it in months and was surprised to find out that the sneaky fiver had vanished. Guess the whole more protein/less carbs thing truly pays off in that way. Or was it because I wasn’t obsessing over it anymore. Hmmmm……

What is a Balanced Diet, Really?

balanced diet

Are you confused by the enormous amount of information on balanced diet and healthy eating? I know I am. Health and wellness is a huge area of interest for me, so of course I love reading all about foods and ways to stay balanced. And there is definitely a wealth of info out there on the subject.

But how do we decipher what is best? Namely, what is best for ourselves.

You hear that avoiding animal protein keeps you healthy, living long, and free from issues like heart disease and cancer. And the evidence does seem to back this up.

You also hear that carbs are bad and more protein is the answer. While this argument usually leans toward refined carbs being the evil culprit, some believe avoiding most carbs (including whole grains and fruit) is the best way to go. Carbs are said to lead to inflammation and protein keeps blood sugar balanced. This makes sense too.

Oh my gosh, overwhelmed yet?

Enter Dr. Christiane Northrup. My god, I love this woman. Not only is she a huge advocate for women’s health, but also believes in the being as a whole. Dr. Northrup prescribes a bit of everything, in moderation. She states that we need healthy grains and even animal protein in our diet, but we need to balance each serving of those with 4-5 servings of vegetables. Namely healthy greens, like kale, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, and watercress.

Ok, that does seem like a lot of veg and on this program you would be eating primarily veg-based. But that is the whole thought behind the moderation thing. You eat mostly healthy but still get a little of what you want. I, personally, like meat but don’t miss it when I don’t have it. But, at least for me, nut butters only go so far. Sometimes you have to mix it up. If you are strictly veg or vegan, great! You don’t even have to worry about the meat thing. Another note: If you do consume meat and dairy, be sure you are buying products made without hormones. Those suckers cause all sorts of problems. That article coming soon.

Obvs, good health and feeling great are the driving force behind eating well. But there is another super important component that goes along with this whole thing. You pass that good stuff on. As in, when we women feel great, our husbands are more satisfied, our children are happier, and the world around us is a better place. There is so much of this juicy info (and more) in this interview. Do yourself a favor and go read it now.

October :: Non GMO + BCA Month

October Non GMO + BCA Month

Do you follow me on Feelgood Style? If not, you should be? Here’s why…

Here on OBS I cover, what I consider, fun stuff. What’s hot in organic beauty, new products and lines, seasonal, motivational…you get the picture. On FGS I get a little more science-y and newsy. It’s a good place to pick up indepth info on ingredients, new regulations in cosmetics, and the lowdown on how cosmetics and personal care products are made.

Since it’s Breast Cancer Awareness and Non GMO Month, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Cancer Causing Ingredients – What You Need to Know You know I’m all about prevention when it comes to BCA talk. Check out my list to find out which ingredients to watch out for and why.

Susan G Komen Partners with Fracking Company in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness Yes, unfortunately, you read the right. The breast cancer organization has teamed with big oil to offer pink drill bits and they are using BCA as the why. So much wrong with this it’s pitiful.

GMO Contamination + Cosmetics Think going organic makes your cosmetics exempt from GMOs? Think again. If you want to go deep on GMO cross contamination, I offer ways to help with that.

Happy reading!

Hormonal Headaches + What to Do About Them

Headache by stockarch at morguefile

I know. Not a very fun subject. Still, this sucky situation happens to lots of women. Every #*&! month. So I feel it deserves some attention.

I’ve always been headache-y. But getting a migraine type headache every single month for the past year has gotten a bit old. There’s the week of the headache, then the week of recovery. That is half of the time. Half of life! Not okay.

Yes, I did ask my doctor about this. And yes, it is most likely hormone related. But the artificial hormones route is not appealing to me and being the natural kinda gal that I am, and also one to love research, I’ve been delving into this thing myself.

Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup is an all time favorite of mine and I’ve also read Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book The Hormone Cure. This means cutting back on carbs, eating more fresh fruits and veg, and healthy proteins, and taking some supplements. It has helped some of my symptoms (irregular periods, mini hot flashes) but, sadly, hasn’t touched the headaches.

Time for drastic measures.

We know that too much sugar is crap for your health, looks, mood. I do my best to curb my sweet tooth as best I can. But I’m beginning to wonder if I need to eliminate all sugar from my diet. At least for a while.

Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar has an 8 week program that looks tempting. Unfortunately the next one doesn’t start until January. For now I think I will try my hand at cutting waaaaaay back on carbs and see if I get one of these suckers next month.

Do you get hormonal headaches? Quit eating sugar? Found something else that helps? Please, please, please share!


Image from stockarch at morguefile.com.

Self Help For Meals

BOWLS! Self Help for Meals

Today, something for your reading list!

Ok, this one is not purely entertainment. Though it does contain some pretty fabulous pics. This book is practically self help in that it is going to change how you look at mealtime. Unless you truly love to cook, and maybe even then, mealtime can become…well…not so much fun. All of that shopping and fixing, not to mention coming up with new ideas that everyone at the table will like.

BOWLS! is a cookbook written and created by my friend Becky Striepe, whom I work with at Feelgood Style. Becky’s idea is to create a meal, in a bowl, with stuff you have in your kitchen. No extra trips to the supermarket, no long preparation, just a delicious and healthy meal.

BOWLS! shares excellent recipes and ideas to get you started. Use one of Becky’s or create your own. Read my review on Feelgood Style which shares a recipe from the book.

This week we’ve had bowl dinners twice. The first was mashed potatoes (made with almond milk, which is really good btw) topped with sautéed veggies. The second was rice, beans and avocado with enchilada sauce. So dang good, easy, and made to order. If BOWLS! can make even me look forward to dinner time, you’ve gotta take a look.

Perfect gift item for your holiday shopping list.

Your Own Personal Nutritionist (app style)

Rise App Personal Nutritionist

Want to lose 5 lbs with me? Or maybe figure out how to boost your energy? Maybe you have a special occasion coming up that you want to look extra fabulous for?

Let’s do this!

Haven’t you always wanted a personal nutritionist to help you out with this kind of stuff? Me too. And I have one. For the next 10 days. And so can you.

Here’s the deal: Rise is a new iPhone app that helps you track what you eat and connects you with a real life nutritionist who guides you on your mission to healthier eating, feeling great, and looking like a million bucks.

All you have to do is download the app and plug in your deets to get started. The nutritionist is a subscription service, but the folks at Rise have given us a special discount code to get started for free. Wee! You’ll still need to enter your credit card info, but where it says gift card enter code RISEGK8 and you won’t be charged.

I’d love it if you jumped on the Rise bandwagon with me and share your experience along the way. I’ll be posting on mine here and at Feelgood Style.