Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews and Giveaways

“Mind/Body/Spirit Principles are finally showing up in the world of pregnancy/childbirth” – First Early Review!

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The first early review of Feng Shui Mommy is in! Many thanks Anna Jedrziewski at Retailing Insight!

“Mind/Body/Spirit principles are finally showing up in the world of pregnancy/childbirth and Gaddis is at the forefront of it. Her own pregnancy was an unexpected push in a new philosophical direction and she has made the most of it. Finding limited information to help her through the shift and making the rest up as she went along, she made careful note of not only what kept her going but also helped her to maximize the new experiences toward enlightenment (and a return to sanity). She tells readers that it begins by getting honest. The feelings are messy (beginning with the sudden blow to personal identity) but they must be faced if one is to find the buried treasures contained within the powerful experience of bringing another soul into incarnation. Gaddis used the five elements of Feng Shui, applied to three levels (physical, mental, spiritual), to anchor her perceptions and process what she was experiencing. With or without that framework, she has written a book which offers pregnant women and new mothers a way to maintain balance in all areas of their lives and always find the joy in what is an extremely stressful process.”

– Anna Jedrziewski at Retailing Insight

Pre-0rder your copy now 🙂

Mind-Body-Spirit

Wisdom From an Intuitive New Age Guitarist: Interview with Shambhu

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In these chaotic times I seek solace in music – music full of melodies that lull my mind into calm and encourage me to just take a freaking breath – music that will whisper a long “shh” in my mind’s ear.

So, I’m always on the prowl for “mind medicine” tunes, and scored when I found Shambhu, an artist whose website aptly describes him as an “intuitive new age guitarist” who creates “heartfelt relaxing music.”

I was intrigued by the consciousness, grace and calm woven into this album and was able to peek into the insightful mind, heart and spirit of Shambhu in the following interview.

Bailey Gaddis: How do you think your music can positively impact the collective consciousness, given the current political climate?

Shambhu: We can lift the collective consciousness by expressing love as the song of our lives. I play a heartfelt music founded in love and inspire listeners through my musical meditations and reflections. Soothe was recorded during the recent election as an aural antidote to a sour political climate. It is music I played to calm down and connect and I hope it has the same effect on you.

Bailey: Do you have a regular meditation practice? If so, do you believe it influences your music? And how?

Shambhu: Music expresses the feeling I want; meditation is the practice of attaining it. Meditation is fundamental to my music. I meditate daily, often very early in the morning, and I live the peacefulness of spirit. Meditation is an awesome practice for disciplining the mind, feeling the heart and finding the inner calm. Even 5-10 minutes of regular practice daily is helpful.

I’m mindful while recording and performing. Each song is created as a unique ‘consciousness’ – a destination born in silence, manifested in sound, and satisfied in the fullness of spirit. The songs on Soothe balance what a good friend described as ‘exquisite and impeccable’, and yet, ‘relaxed and comfortable.’ There is a heartfelt intention inside every note and touch. The music feels like a comfy slipper. Meditation is the key. 

Bailey: I recently played your album while receiving a massage and it seemed to greatly enhance the experience. What are the most common situations and/or environments you hear people enjoy listening to this album during, or in?

Shambhu: And I listened back to Soothe recording sessions while on the massage table, as well! Paramahansa Yogananda wrote that Heaven is “behind the darkness of closed eyes, and the first gate that opens to it is your peace.”  Massage carries the intention to relax and immerse in peaceful serenity. We breathe deep and release. We are clear in mind. My intention with music is recreate a meditation in sound, one that soothes the mind and inspires the heart. For Soothe, I played the guitar delicately with intricate expressions of nuance and subtlety. Some listeners call the experience of my music ‘magical’ and ‘opening a space within.’ Others feel a calm inside the songs – a sense, a mood or a feeling that helps listeners touch one’s own reflective place. For others, my songs are surfaces for reflection. Soothe works as a background for calming any moment. If you’re listening at home, work or at school, try listening behind other activities. Or listen to the album full on and enjoy the music and sound quality. There’s something in Soothe for everyone.

Bailey: What are the primary musical genres woven into Soothe?

Shambhu: I’m a former rock/jazz studio guitarist who trained at a New York City classical music conservatory. I began practicing meditation in my 20’s and lived for a few decades as a modern-day monk. A meditation student of note and friend at the time was guitarist Carlos Santana; we often played acoustic sets at meditations. He was already exploring the deep connection between his music and his soulful heart. It took me about 10 years to put it together. Over time, as my meditation practice advanced, my music evolved into a ‘new age’ / ‘contemporary instrumental’ genre. But, the jazz/rock studio guitarist is ever-present in all the songs.

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Shambhu and Carlos Santana

Bailey: One track seemed to organically flow into another as I listened to this album, almost like it was one fluid track – was that intentional?

Shambhu: My music emerges intuitively. I hear songs inside. My creative process is to spontaneously play what I feel in any moment and record everything I play. I listen back later and find the songs. There is also a sense of Nature in the music. I observe the rhythm of Nature as a meditation. I spend time on Maui, Bali and other beautiful places where I feel my presence in the flowers and the stars and watch Nature unfold. The waves break randomly, wind blows through the palm trees, singing birds dart across the sky, flowers are abundant with gorgeous colors and fragrance. Was there ever a mistake in the rhythm and flow of Nature? Do we witness the grandeur and magnificence of Monument Valley or Grand Canyon and ask for a correction?  Nature seems perfect as it is. I learned from Nature to trust the music that flows through me naturally and spontaneously. The songs flow similarly, one into the other, organically and naturally.

Bailey: What do you believe is your primary purpose for this album?

Shambhu: Aldous Huxley wrote, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”  Heaven is within and my music is a canvas for conveying what that feels like to me.  My purpose is to inspire and spread love, and my music is the realization of a journey I began years ago as a young monk. Maybe it’s my effort to compensate for driving forward the very technologies that are now disrupting our lives? I know that Soothe is my heaven on earth. May it also be yours!

To hear Shambhu’s music, check out his website ShambhuMusic.com

*This interview has been condensed.

Career, Family Entertainment, Mind-Body-Spirit

5 Motivational Lessons From Supercross Legends and Rising Stars

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Ryan Dungey in Anaheim (Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment)

When I think about common sources of motivation, phrases like “meditation”, “self help books”, “my grandmother”, “that yoga guru”, and “affirmations” pop up – “supercross riders” have never been on my list, but maybe they should be.

 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a supercross legend, Ricky Carmichael, the current star Ryan Dungey, and two up-and-comers, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac, about what it takes to build the courage to compete in a sport wrought with unpredictable danger, frequent injuries, and intense rivalries, and how to settle into the sweet mental state that often results in a big win.

 

As we talked, I expected a slew of technical terms I wouldn’t understand to be thrown at me, but instead, I received poignant and thoughtful responses on what it takes to go all in when committing to the challenges of supercross, and a life riddled with obstacles.

 

Following are gems of wisdom from a few dudes who have made a career out of conquering their mental doubts and physical limitations.

 

1. It’s Not Failing, It’s Learning. The term “failing” is not in Ricky Carmichael’s lexicon, instead, he uses the term “learning.” He views a mistake as an opportunity to wipe the drawing board clean and build a new and better way to tackle the challenge at hand.

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Ricky Carmichael (Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment)

Ryan Dungey seconds this sentiment, believing that his ability to objectively view a mistake, tweak his strategy, and fully commit to implementing that strategy during practice allows him to move into his next race with a refreshed mental state, which is important because . . .

 

2. Success Comes With a Sound Mental State. As Ryan Dungey puts it, “You can be the fittest guy out there, but if you don’t have it going on mentally, the physicality doesn’t mean anything.”

 

When life throws you into a high intensity situation, be it on a field or track, in a boardroom, or even a tense conversation with a spouse, a healthy mental state is the best tool to not just make it through, but find favorable results on the other side.

 

But, that healthy mental state doesn’t live in the realm of overconfidence, or the domain of timidity – it lies somewhere in the middle. As Eli Tomac says, “You don’t want to bring overconfidence because you might get caught sleeping, but, you don’t want to be too nervous and lose your way – try to find the middle.”

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Eli Tomac (Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment)

 

Sounds great, but how to do we find that mental middle ground . . .

 

3. Preparation Is Key. All four riders reiterated that preparation is, as Ryan Dungey says, “the best way to be ready for the challenge.” And when asked if he had any rituals before a race Ricky Carmichael reminisced that his only reliable ritual was preparation.

 

So folks, if at first you don’t succeed, do as Eli Tomac does and “go all in with preparation.” And the more you prepare, the easier it is to . . .

 

4. Keep your cool, and focus on yourself. In our social media obsessed culture it can be easy to get lost in what everyone else is doing – becoming despondent if someone scored a goal you’ve been vying for, feeling “less than” if a colleague is able to log more hours of prep than you, or getting distracted by irritation if a competitor seems adamant to goad you. Ryan Dungey battles this by “keeping my cool, and focusing on myself.”

 

So, if you become overwhelmed by the doings of others, circle back to your own unique talents and abilities, devote your energy to putting in the work towards your goal, and allow the resulting sense of power to return you to a lovely state of equilibrium.

 

And above all else . . .

 

5. Be in it for the long haul. In supercross (and most things in life worth working for) a championship is not won in one race, it’s won over a series of races. Losing perspective, by becoming ruled by the outcome of one event in a series, pulls you out of the long-term focus and lasting spirit you need to conqueror the ultimate win. Ken Roczen described it as, “Being out of for blood, but not overreacting.” Love it.

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Ken Roczen (Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment)

 

Want to see how this advice pans out for these boys? With the exception of retired Ricky Carmichael, these three riders just began their 2017 supercross season that is sure to offer an intriguing seventeen rounds, leading to the crowning of a champion.

Article also available on Huff Post

Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Travel

Inside the NYC Music Scene with The Delancey Five Leader Svetlana Shmulyian

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There are many voices flowing through New York City’s music venues, but few as alluring as Svetlana Shmulyian – a woman who channels the essence of Ella Fitzgerald, while mixing in an aural flavor that’s all her own.

Svetlana is the leader of the swing band The Delancey Five, and a regular at many of the jazz clubs and speakeasies that together form a web of old school musical magic. But, as intriguing as Svetlana’s pipes are, I’m equally enthralled by the fact that she’s churning out all this goodness while also being the mother to three young girls (go team mompreneurs!)

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Svetlana and The Delancey Five

Below is your key into the mind of one of the most badass ladies gracing the most interesting stages in New York.

Bailey Gaddis: Any advice for NYC tourists wanting to make the most of their time being immersed in the city’s music offerings.

Svetlana Shmulyian: It all depends on what you want to see! NYC has a “scene” for everything – whether you are into avant-garde jazz, or swing dancing, or salsa, reggae, or indie rock – there are multiple spaces­ to listen to this specific kind of music and mix with other lovers of it.

There are highbrow spots and underground spots for every kind of music, each offering a unique experience – and an “only in New York” thing to do is to experience these different spots in the same night!  So, search online for a specific kind of music you are interested in, on a specific date, and go to a high-brow show at 8pm (for example, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola for jazz and swing), grab a small plate or a snack after (like a falafel or noodles in Greenwich Village), and then “club-hop” through a few hidden speakeasy spots, like Mezzrow, Back Room, or Smalls for an after hours jam session.

BG: Being a mom, how do you find time to explore the live music in NYC? Do your daughters enjoy jazz and swing music? 

SS: I mainly explore the live music scene when I perform – and then stay later to check out after-hours shows of friends, or other acts I am interested in. On the nights I do not work, I prefer to stay home with my daughters, unless there is a very special show going on.

On the other hand, attending shows is part of a continuous education and improvement for anyone – and a feeding of the soul, so I try to do it as much as I can. That said, keeping a work-life balance is a challenge for any working mom, being a musician mom is no exception – we all do the best we can!

My daughters like jazz and swing – my older one is exploring other genres in her school orchestra, band and chorus. My little one always asks me to put my record on in the car and knows all my songs by heart!

BG: What inspired you to put together flashmobs? What is that process like?

SS: The idea to create a flashmob came from dancers themselves, and one of the swing DJs that often work with my band (DJ Douglas McMilan). The idea stems from our love for swing music and swing dancing, and is meant to celebrate a great community of swing dancers, and our beautiful town of New York. Because of these factors, we wanted to pick a dramatic spot against which the dancers and the band can be best seen, listened to, and danced to – Times Square!

The infectious vibe of our first event gained momentum for the gathering, and the following summer’s event went viral with several thousand people RSVP-ing, and hundreds of people actually attending. Our flashmob this summer, around SeaGlass Carousel, was profiled on WPIX 11 with live music and dancing at 8am (clearly way too early, but still very cool!). And our last flashmob was, once again, conducted in Times Square on Halloween night, and was listed in Time Out New York as the top free event to do on Halloween. Our next Times Square flashmob will once again take place in Times Square – all the information will be listed on the band’s Facebook page, and the website, where folks can find videos and photos of the last year’s events!

BG: What are you currently working on?

SS: I am currently working up songs for my next album, which will be a Volume Two of Night at the Speakeasy (our first album produced by Guy Eckstine, featuring Wycliffe Gordon). The vibe will remain ‘swing’ and ‘music that makes you smile,’ as the first album did. But, I will continue to develop my voice through the new original songs, some of which may go outside of the swing idiom, while definitely still retaining a vintage feel, and a feeling of ‘social music’ (a term coined first by Miles Davis and today championed by Jon Batiste).

‘Social music’ is music for your mind (sophisticated music played by first rate musicians), your feet (music you can dance and move to!), and your heart (music that will make you feel warm and welcome to the world of art, imagination and music).

I also enjoyed having special guests on the first album and will continue this tradition in the second album. I wrote several songs, some with my songwriting collaborator, Ryan Smith, and received permission to record original songs written, and arranged by, friends and collaborators – Wycliffe Gordon, Jay Rattman, Ruby Choy, and others.

I am also working on the birthday show that will include some of this new material for the performance at Joe’s Pub (date pending for early March).

In honor of the chilly weather flowing across the United States, check out Svetlana’s rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside.

*This article has been edited and condensed.

Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love

Talking Freedom, Power and Masculinity with Transformational Teacher David Wagner

I’ve sought out the services of many “inner work facilitators”: hypnotherapists, meditation teachers, yoga instructors, psychologists, the eccentric old lady next door- pretty much anyone who would listen. I partook in all this wisdom seeking in the hopes of feeling like less of stranger to myself.

All the forementioned facilitators were lovely, providing open ears and sage words, but I usually left my time with these folks feeling confused, like I needed a wisdom decoder.

My desire for such a decoder persisted, until I met David Wagner. David is a transformational teacher and author of the book Backbone: The Modern Man’s Ultimate Guide to Purpose, Passion and Power he aptly describes himself as “a combination of a healer, life coach, and life strategist.”

As a friend, David exudes a refreshing transparency: precise with his language, and unafraid to express love . . . or raw humor, or curiosity, or whatever the heck he feels compelled to express. As a teacher, David fully shows up for the individual he’s working with. Every time I’ve experienced David in a professional capacity, he seems to enter the space holding a proverbial clean slate – having no agenda but to support that person (or group of persons) through whatever they’re navigating, and to support them in finding their freedom and power in the process.

David’s responses to my scattered thoughts and emotions, during a private session, were so uncontrived and clear I felt them strike me in my core, then resonate up to my mind, where I experienced dozen of ah-has in the span of an hour.

Because of this clarity and candidness, I thought it best for David to speak for himself – so, I sat down with him in his cozy office in Ojai, CA to get a better glimpse of what it’s like to be David Wagner.

Bailey Gaddis: How would you describe what you do?

David Wagner: People work with me on whatever they’re navigating; I’m like a midwife of freedom and power for people. When people are at that point where they’re ready to break free, where they’re ready to unearth some inner power that was previously jammed up, then I can help them to do that – to create space for them as they do that; I can assist that, I don’t do it for them.

I have made it my work to understand people, and to understand the way people live a life of wisdom. Basically, I help people to have a relationship with God; God in the broadest sense, meaning a relationship with Spirit, or something greater than themselves, or some unseen element of life. In some cases, that’s a matter or training people in practices like meditation, self-inquiry, etc.

BG: Why do you think it’s important to approach spirituality in a straight forward, no-BS manner? Or is that even an intentional choice?

DW: It is intentional.

Many teachers talk in that soft “spiritual voice” and create a certain environment (chanting, incense, etc.): they have a certain style. Maybe it’s useful, maybe it’s not, but you feel better when you leave because you’ve been bathing in a vibe, which is great; but, that’s not natural for me.

There’s a place where spiritual teachers can talk in a really ordinary language. I live a relatively ordinary life, so it’s natural for me to use sort of ordinary language.

BG: How are you affected each time you lead a retreat, or work with a private client?

DW: Every time I teach it’s different. Whenever I’m doing whatever it is that I’m doing, I’m not completely in it the way I would be if I were only a participant, but I’m immersing myself in the content I’m offering. Often, when I’m teaching, I’ll hear myself say things that are much more enlightened or wise than I think of my actual experience being. So I’ll hear myself teaching and I’ll learn from listening to myself.

Also, being in the experiential process with people, I’m right there in it with them. So if we’re meditating together – the way I do it – we’re going into a shared psychic space together; I’m experiencing what you’re experiencing.

The other piece of it is, it’s just incredibly moving for me to see people interacting with grace, and to see people going through the process of transformation – when they do it.

BG: What were the primary catalysts that led you to teaching?

DW: It’s my dharma; I was born to do this. So, in some ways it’s one of the only things I’ve been able to do well and feel like “yeah, this is my thing.” So that’s part of it, but the way I first got into spirituality was in AA when I was very young, a teenager. There was a heavy emphasis on service, and we had this expression, “you’ve got to give it away to keep it.” So, that was a general orientation and I discovered that was a really good way to stay sober and assimilate the work of transformation if I knew that I was going to have to help other people go through that process.

I also had a moment when I was in college [an art student.] I took a course called Mystical Consciousness, East and West, and it was a really cool teacher who was exposing us to all these different mystical traditions. One of the things he exposed us to was mystical Christianity. He showed us a documentary about mother Teresa, and there’s a scene where she and some missionaries have to go in and rescue children that are abandoned in a hospital in a war torn area. She enters the hospital and picks up an emaciated baby and looks at the baby, strokes the baby and says “beautiful child,” with so much love, and poise, and steadiness. She’s radiating so much love. It hit me in that moment; I realized that I could be whatever I want to be in this life. I could be a vehicle for God’s love on Earth; that was an option to me. Once I saw that I could do that, the realization erased all other options; there was nothing else I could do, as my main thing in life.

The way that I’m teaching right now, something that I’ve settled into over the past 15 or 20 years, is the most natural expression of that calling.

BG: When men complete Backbone, how do you hope their life (or their perception of their life) has shifted?

DW: It depends on the man. I wrote Backbone because after many years of teaching I realized 95% of the people I was working with were female, and the other 5% [the men] were already very open. There was no Oprah for men; so women had this huge expanse as a group, and men stayed out of it.

I wrote Backbone, and some of the men’s training that I do, to answer that. I wrote it in a way so a man that’s already on a spiritual path, could read it and find a masculine expression of his spirituality; and for a man who has no idea about his spirituality, the book can act like a primer for having an inner life.

A lot of men don’t really have a conscious inner life, and so if a man reads Backbone it can be confronting – they may need to take breaks. They’re confronted with the knowing that they can create themselves; they’re confronted with the idea that their life is theirs and the way that they are is their choice. If they get some tools about how to that from the book, I consider that an extra bonus.

To learn more about David, visit his website DavidWagner.com

This interview has been condensed.

Guilt & Forgiveness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love

Honoring Our Need to Hibernate

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I love being out in the world. I love connecting with people. I love getting out of my head and tuning into my heart: it lights up when I’m with people who make me smile.

But after awhile, I don’t love it, and I need to reset.

After I burst my introverted bubble and observe myself with others, questions begin to percolate into my awareness as I step out of the socializing: “Why did I say that to this person? Why do I feel nervous in those situations? I wonder what that person thought when I said this thing? Why am I such an awkward hugger?” Ugh.

My time in my nest, my time for resetting, isn’t really about answering those questions, but letting them flow through and out of me. Sure, I could sit for days analyzing every social situation I flubbed, but that much time in my head makes me nervous.

So, I let those questions do their thing, I avoid human interaction for a few hours (maybe days), and I reconnect to myself. For me, that reconnection looks like writing, meditating, staring at my Christmas tree lights (happy holidays y’all!), watching TV shows that do nothing for my intellect but are so yummy, napping, playing with my son (who could care less how smart or witty I am), and engaging in other fail-safe activities for my soul – and ego!

After a solid period of hibernation, I crave a flight out of my coop.

I used to resist this hibernation. I used to have difficulty enjoying my alone time. I used to think that avoiding humans made me a less functional member of society.

But, hibernation actually makes me better at being a human who interacts with other humans. My well runs dry when I try to push too much socializing out of myself.

I’m starting to find my balance, and it feels really nice: I’m working with who I am, instead of who I think I should be.

What about you? When does your “socializing well” run dry?
Maybe it happens after an hour of small, medium and big talk at a party. Maybe all your wells fill up when socializing and you could do it all day er’ day. Maybe you can only handle a few minutes at a time.

Let’s honor our individual limits and care for our authentic selves, instead of trying to fit into that one-size-fits-all “model self” society has fashioned for us.

Happy nesting!

P.S. Have a child? Begin noticing when their little well runs dry and let them cozy up in their nest to refuel: the tantrums (for all of us!) usually start to fade when we honor our boundaries.

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy

The One Word That Transformed My Birth Experience

I used to be really uptight (OK, I’m still a little uptight), but during my pregnancy I was even more high strung than usual.  I read 32 pregnancy and childbirth books, scrolled through all the things on all the mama sites and made a lot of lists.

I convinced myself that the more I planned and prepped, the birth would be easier. I convinced my body that if I ate the right foods, my birth would be easier. And I convinced my partner that if we mastered all the birth positions and massage techniques, the birth would be easier.

I moved into birth with this rigid plan.

But, when I went into labor and didn’t have  more than twenty seconds between contractions, I thought something must be wrong because “This wasn’t part of the plan.”

But, nothing was wrong; I was just having a baby.

I resisted the unpredictability of my birth experience for the first three hours, continually forcing myself onto that dang birth ball, or sniffing essential oils that were making me nauseous. But, the ball and oils were on my list, so sit and sniff I did.

On top of being exhausted, my cervix was being stubborn and I was devastated that all my planning seemed worthless.

Then, my sweet partner Eric smoothed my sweaty hair back, leaned in and whispered, “Just surrender. You don’t need to do anything else.”

Read more on Expectful 

Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Travel

#KudosToYou: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hosts “Over the Edge” Fundraiser for Special Olympics

There are many ways to enjoy the views of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii- by airplane, boat, foot or car. But, what do you think it would be like to take in the turquoise textures of the water, the swaying palms popping out of fluffy sand and the yawning sky disappearing into the Pacific Ocean while rappelling down a 40 story (more than 400 feet!) building?

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach is providing this high-thrill vantage point, via an event called Over the Edge on Saturday November 5th, to adventure-seekers able to raise more that $1,000 for the Special Olympics Hawai’i. They hope to raise $130,000 for Special Olympics Hawai’i with all funds used to benefit local athletes.

The Over the Edge event has raised over $900,000 (!) for Special Olympics Hawai’i since it was first held in 2009. The proceeds have provided services to more than 3,700 athletes statewide.

Read more on Huff Post!

Camping, Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Travel

The Journey of The Great Song Cycle: Interview with Joanna Wallfisch

Playful and poetic British vocalist and composer Joanna Wallfisch shirked the bus aspect of her latest West Coast tour in favor of a bike. The tour was aptly named The Great Song Cycle.

Joanna pushed through challenge and triumph while traversing the coast with only her body and two thin wheels propelling her forward; what transpired was a tour full of music made richer by the beautiful struggle Joanna intentionally created.

As you’ll discover in the following interview with this unique songstress, her journey was not passed through without contemplation and growth; it birthed it.

Why did you decide to pass on “traditional transport” in favor of a bike for this portion of your tour?

J: The main reason was freedom. Life on a bicycle is to be completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I carried all that I needed for my multi-faceted month; my instruments, my home, my clothes, food, water, and myself. When traveling by car, train or plane one can easily forget that you have to carry yourself with you wherever you go. On a bike, you become so attuned to the body you live in and how mind, spirit and flesh can actually exist simultaneously together and also as separate entities. It was a complete thrill to know that the only way I was going to get from A to B was by the strength of my own body and mind…. Read more on Huff Post!

Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love

A Musician’s Journey Through Success, Heartache & Reclaiming Her Gift of Creation: Interview with Leslie Nuchow

Illness and new life required Leslie Nachow’s attention flow from her music to her family after her acclaimed album Tenderland debuted in 1998. Now, eighteen years later Leslie has re-opened the gates to her creativity, and birthed her next album Balm for Gilead. Leslie wrote the songs for the album two weeks after her mother passed away, infusing it with authentic emotion and poignancy that makes a direct strike at the heart. There will be tears while listening to this album, but, as they trickle out, love will pour in.

Because Leslie is such a gifted writer, I wanted her to share, in her own poetic vernacular, what the journey from Tenderland to Balm for Gilead looked (and felt) like.

Bailey: The struggle of harmonizing the nourishment of creative needs with caring for loved ones is such a challenge, especially when one of your loved ones is ill. What was it like to set aside music to be the caretaker for both your mother and son? How did Emily support you through this transition?

Read more on Huff Post

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mom Humor, Parenting, Pregnancy

Moms Who Inspire: Bailey Gaddis

Featured on Expectful! Whoop whoop!

After one read of Bailey Gaddis’s About Me page on her site, Your Serene Life, I knew I wanted to interview her for Moms Who Inspire because she’s insanely inspiring and  hilarious.

During our conversation, I mentioned to Bailey that I find it hysterical that she admits in her bio that she can’t stop bragging about attending an event hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. She laughed and went on to tell me that she was at an event that morning and bragged about it to the strangers next to her. “It’s just such a cool thing to have experienced, why not brag about it?” she said laughing.

This is Bailey Gaddis. funny, honest and high on life.

Bailey is the Author of Feng Shui Mommy (coming out May 2017), a Childbirth Preparation Educator, Hypnotherapist, Birth Doula, travel addict and writer on all of the above. Bailey decided that she wanted to help women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum after the birth of her first child. Using Hypno-anesthesia as a method for her labor, she was able to have a pain-free natural childbirth. This empowered her to want to help other women experience their own bliss during their motherhood journeys.

When speaking to Bailey, I asked her what the first few days were like after she gave birth. I ask this often to other moms as a way to bond over stories of sleepless nights and crying babies, but Bailey’s answer was one that opened my eyes to a different experience than my own.

She replied as if reliving the experience as she spoke, “Blissful.”

This isn’t the typical answer I receive and it’s not even close to how I describe the first few days of my motherhood path, but when she said it, my body filled with love. It was really beautiful to see a different perspective on what’s usually a difficult time.

I learned so much from Bailey in our brief conversation, and I’m so happy to share more below.

Read more on Expectful!

Childbirth, Guilt & Forgiveness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy, Self Love

Stunning Photo Celebrates One Mom’s Rainbow Baby, While Honoring the 6 She Lost

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Mamas who have survived the loss of a pregnancy and are newly pregnant with their rainbow baby (a child born after a stillbirth or miscarriage), have an obligation to themselves to honor their journey. These women have gone deep into the trenches of pain and had the strength to reopen their hearts to another child; they’re so deserving of worship and love, versus the guilt and regret that is often served on this path.

I’ve worked with many women who have emotionally kicked themselves when they became pregnant with their rainbow baby by thinking they didn’t deserve this new child, believing that the passing of their last child was somehow their fault, and that if they expressed even a breath of excitement for the new pregnancy, something would go wrong.

I want to wrap all these women in my heart and tell them it’s OK to be excited; it’s OK to celebrate; it’s OK to have hopes and dreams for this new life while simultaneously mourning the loss of your past child’s life.

Read more on Babble!

Airplane Travel, Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love

5 Bali Destinations that Will Nurture Your Creativity

Every Creative is perpetually searching for the “it” spot that will unlock all the juicy ideas, and resulting creations, waiting to blossom from their mind. While there is no magic elixir for inducing creativity, being in a location ripe with sacred structures, water pulsating with life, and landscapes that not only astound your eyes but cause your heart to smile, will offer you the key to your inner world of inspiration- all you need to do is turn it.

That key is waiting for you in Bali.

Here are five locations, nestled in Bali, that will encourage your expressions of creativity to flow in directions they never before had permission to explore.

Read more on Huffington Post

Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Video

#DayInTheLife of a Mom, Writer, Cereal Chef, Birth Professional…

 

Name: Bailey Gaddis

Home city/ country: Ojai, CA, USA

Current Occupation: (student, current job, etc.): Mom, author (Feng Shui Mommy- coming out May 2017!), childbirth educator, birth doula, hypnotherapist and volunteer maid, chef and handy-woman for my people.

Time I wake up: I set the alarm for 6am- but roll out about 6:32am.

First thing I do in the morning: Coffee. Just coffee. If I’m being “good” I’ll drink some water first.

My typical breakfast: Smoothie with bee pollen, hemp seed, cacao nibs, mysterious green powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, apple cider vinegar, half a banana, almond milk and frozen fruit. (You eventually get used to the taste.)

Here’s what my morning commute is like: 15 minutes to son’s preschool, 20-ish minutes sitting in the pre-school playground marveling at how good children are at life, then back home. A 20-second walk to the room I exercise in, then a 45-ish second walk to my home office.

Read more on Mogul!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Video

The Importance of Listening to Your Intuition During Pregnancy & Childbirth

Hi friends!

Here is a clip from my new online Childbirth Preparation course discussing the importance of honoring your inner voice of wisdom as you navigate the path into motherhood.