The story of the month for April 2011 comes from Lauren Lionheart of Effortless Vitality.

I had the pleasure to getting to know Lauren through Twitter, which lead me to her dynamic web site where she writes about various aspects of health and wellness for the mind, body and spirit. Her views on life are as wise as they are uplifting. Her approach to physical health is smart and leading edge, where we take accountability for all of our choices through mother nature’s abundant bounty.

Lauren’s site mission and vision states: “Effortless Vitality focuses on all of the truly effortless – often instant – ways that you can improve your life and experience personal fulfillment. From uplifting quotes to grace-filled products, this is our easy-living haven.” Lauren also showcases her beautiful art and wisdom on her site

I just love Lauren’s energy and spirit! Her radiating energy of love and vibrancy comes through with such clarity both through her site and in everything she writes or creates! This beautiful being is just glowing with vitality and reverence for herself and all life, hence why I know she is an excellent role model for us all when it comes to our life, and taking care of ourselves and our planet.

And so it is again a great pleasure to share with you here Lauren, and allow her to tell you more about her health and wellness journey:

Area(s) of My Health and Wellness that Needed Change

Congruence, self love, and seeing the bigger picture are my lessons right now. My Grandpa Bud used to remind me to “just say what you mean and mean what you say.” Inherent in that advice is some sneaky subtext: be your true self and life just becomes more effortless.

How does that look in my life now? Making sure I’m applying universal truths to every area of my life. Not just the convenient ones.

In the past, my vision was more focused on individual areas of wellness, such as alkaline water, energy healing, or a specific nutrient. Although helpful in its own way, that focus also left me feeling unbalanced. Missing some crucial understanding. Now I notice that a holistic view is more helpful to me.

The reason for my change is simple: I could no longer stand the inner pain of living in a way that was not in alignment with my true nature. (Can I get an Amen for dissatisfaction? Without that emotion, we would never get annoyed enough to evolve!)

Strategies I Implemented & Their Results

My most powerful transformation has come from putting my thoughts, words, and habits on the chopping block! It’s a moment-to-moment commitment to slow down and just notice what I’m thinking and doing. For almost four months, I’ve consistently been my own mental watchdog.

And frankly, I think it’s a hilarious process! I notice the most absurd and shockingly untrue thoughts come to mind! At first, it’s frustrating. Fear-based fallacies like “I don’t have what it takes” or “the world is a dangerous place” sound kind of true.

I confess: since committing to witnessing my thoughts, I have allowed myself to wallow in some untrue ideas. I can still let myself get into a funk. But here’s the new discovery: it hurts too much to stay in that negative place for long.

More and more, I’m becoming a Lover of What Is. I remind myself every single day – all throughout the day – that everything is in divine order! Anything I experience in myself or in my outer environment is perfect… and why would I want to mess with perfection? My journey at this point isn’t about “changing” what is. It’s about seeing the innate perfection in it. Then making a heart-centered choice from my endless options.

Whenever I feel less than awesome, I look for the bigger message instead of focusing on the outer circumstances. Whatever truth I know about Thing A, I look for how it’s also applicable to Thing B. Without fail, the connection makes itself known, and suddenly I experience peace and clarity again.

If that doesn’t work, I allow myself to feel upset, I put on my favorite songs, and dance or hoop until I’m feeling good again. It’s a quick way to clear my cells from negative emotions and the neural peptides that can make a person “addicted” to feeling bad.

This way of consciously choosing spills into every nook and cranny of my life. The way I eat, drink, work, exercise, speak, spend my time, etc. has changed a lot in four months! The areas that I focused on before are now resolving themselves with a lot less effort. For instance, I used to daydream about “off limits” foods, and now my daily green juice is truly the most delicious flavor to my taste buds. I’m so grateful for this!

One more crucial strategy: I laugh at myself, and everything else. A lot! When I’m tempted to get down on myself or label something a failure, nothing changes things quicker than a good belly laugh. The majority of the wonky crap my ego tells me is truly laughable, so I put it into perspective by highlighting that ridiculousness. It’s nearly impossible to be upset when you are laughing!

How My Changes Benefitted Me

I feel good much more often! Happy-content in what’s here, and curious-excited for what’s coming next. That’s definitely the best part.

Being aware has lead me to some new daily choices, such as a cleansing diet that has healed a lifetime of digestive pain. Now my skin glows, I have more energy, my body is lean and strong, and I have way more mental clarity, too. I’ve been drawn to physical activities that connect my mind and body, and I notice that I finally feel “comfortable in my skin”.

Meditation is easier. Healing work is effortless. I can roll with things that used to ruffle my feathers. Sometimes I can even laugh at them!

Where I once saw inherent flaws, I now see shining opportunities. “Mistakes” now reveal themselves to be secret blessings. When I lose my cool, I come back to calm quicker.

Speaking to myself in a loving way has unleashed a torrent of pent up creativity. Before I used to anguish over the details of my ideas, seeing flaws in each one. Now I can barely keep up with all the brilliant ideas that flow through me, and I recognize each one as genius. I have to admit. I truly like myself now. (Most of the time anyway :)

Feeling centered and confident has become my default way of being. My happiness is no longer reliant on outside circumstances, and that is MAYJAH!

Next Steps on My Health and Wellness Journey

I love where I am headed, and so I continue in this direction. The mental and physical detox process will deepen as Spring unfurls. I feel excited for the day that my digestion is 100% comfortable and all other detox symptoms have cleared, so I’m continuing my cleansing diet.

I look forward to more physical action! Practicing AcroYoga in earnest with my husband, improving my hoop dancing and Watsu skills, beginning aerial arts training, and becoming a master of the handstand. I really love seeing what magic my body is capable of!

I see a near future where I feel “whole and complete, unto myself“. That phrase has been coming to me for years, and recently it’s taken up residence in my head. It’s on my itinerary for this lifetime. :)

In the next six months, I am unveiling several new projects that I’m super, ultra, MEGA excited for. They all provide me with real-world opportunities to be my authentic self while supporting others on their road to personal success. They’re like the digital equivalent of having a personal Muse at your side. Living with that level of honesty and giving – really laying myself bare – will be an incredible achievement for me. In the same vein, I am creating lots of videos, articles, stories, art, and music to share with the world! I used to be too afraid to share most of my creations, but now I feel the fear and do it anyway.

And finally, connecting more with my tribe! “Gather the tribes” is another phrase that has been coming to me with increasing frequency. Being approached by Evita for this article is a great example. I love what she and the rest of the contributors to the Evolving network are doing. I’m excited to collaborate with other brilliant, like-minded people!

Wisdom & Inspiration for Others

Start from exactly where you are! You have everything you need right now. No more excuses or research or shopping trips. Begin HERE and NOW.

Remember you are inherently perfect in every moment! You live in an abundant universe. The only thing that’s “missing” is a fresh perspective. Remind yourself ceaselessly, “I am a child of God, and I am made in my Creator’s image. I am whole and complete unto myself!”

Commit! Feel the fear and do it anyway!Procrastination is like a cancer, eating away at our sense of well-being. The instant cure is to witness that fear and dive head first into whatever is making you so scared. A few seconds later the fear often magically transforms into laughter. You have to try it!

Make every day the Best Day Ever! Did I mention to just do it NOW? :) Every single morning you wake up, whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring, decide with conviction that today is the Best Day Ever.

Relax. It’s just a game.Life on earth is an epic gift. It’s also just a game. Guidelines, not rules, ya know? Laugh more, and enjoy yourself.

The message that I was born to share with people is “you are so brilliant and so loved“. If you take just one thing from this article, remember this truth. All of creation loves YOU, exactly the way you are right now. Even when you are sure you are alone in the world, you are surrounded by love anyway. Baby, you ARE love.