#PoeticMuses: Interview with Living Lightly Authors Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander

Authors Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander  authors of Living Lightly were nice enough to take some time out to virtually answer these interview questions so grab a cup of espresso and enjoy!

The Smart Cookie: Hello to both of you and thank you for sharing such a lovely book with the world. How do you define living lightly?

Dale C &Kimberly A:

The title is, in and of itself, a bit of a paradox. The more I look for light, the more I must work with everything that is in the way of that, being revealed. The more I let go, the more tightly I cling to what remains, it’s importance is revealed to me.   The beautiful cover design is an indicator of what Living Lightly feels like, on the inside. Our outer landscape is as individual of an experience as each reader. We encourage readers to take in a ‘simple, not easy’ philosophy to cultivating the relationship with your self and with life.  Living Lightly is who we are when we are at our simplest, most content relationship with ourselves.
The Smart Cookie: In your book, you mention how you now live on a farm full-time. How has living on a farm helped teach you about life in regards to the journey and our relationship with self and others?

Dale C and Kimberly A:
Our move from the city to a historic farm is a dream come true for us both.  Before we met we were both looking to move into nature.  While farm life isn’t everyone’s dream come true, we highly recommend the pursuit of a bucket-list dream!  It is absolutely magical to be in the flow of making a dream come true, no matter how long it takes; the synchronicity, the learning, the people, all make a process we would describe as living lightly. Being on a farm, living in a rural community, and in nature, offers a slowing down that makes it easier to see my behaviours, patterns and habits. It has been quite a revelation, and much of it we share in the book!  I start to notice how I am with people, I hear the voice in my head more loudly, I become aware of my breathing.  Living in rhythm with nature; sleeping when it’s dark, slowing down in winter, being higher energy in the longer light of summer. Life and death are regular experiences with farm animals, and this is strengthening our capacity to love and blurring the lines of life and death.  So there are opportunities for connection every day for all of us, and living on the farm makes it easier I think to grasp them.
The Smart Cookie: Nature does have a lot to teach us if we keep our eyes, heart and minds open to it. What drew you to writing a book?
Dale C and Kimberly A:
Well, we tried writing a timeless Christmas song but that is a lot harder than it seems.
The Smart Cookie:  Haha song writing sure is a whole different beast for sure. What is the hardest part of being a therapist? What is the most rewarding part of being a therapist?
Dale C and Kimberly A:
We both were introduced to therapy as clients first, experiencing the life-saving benefits firsthand. It is heartbreaking to witness another’s pain, yet that sacred space between client and therapist is one of the most beautiful, intimate experiences we can have.  Hearing a client speak their truth for the first time or reach a new awareness, is incredibly humbling. Our spirit can crumble limiting beliefs, old pain and blocks and it can happen in an instant, never to be unseen again. We write often about the value of listening and witnessing in our book, and our work is dedicated to a vision that one day we will hold this intimate, healing space for each other in daily living.

The Smart Cookie: Listening and witnessing pain and trauma first hand does create a very clear intimate space.  This global health crisis is effecting everyone worldwide, and creating a sense of isolation that we have not seen in such a very obvious way. What is your advice to the people of the world dealing with the COV-19 crisis?

Dale C & Kimberly A:

We would not prescribe nor advise, rather we encourage people as we do in Living Lightly; to pursue our own truths and to be kind and empathetic towards others.  History and this current situation show us that the basic elements of human connection are what have us come through our greatest challenges.  Kindness and caring, empathy and resilience are innate and it is only our ego that betrays us in our true time of need.  If we focus on what makes us human and humane exclusively, as if it is all we have, we will be rewarded by a rich and meaningful experience of ourself and of life, beyond our imagination.
Thank you for enlightening us and sharing your insights. May we all seek to Live Lightly every single day, especially now in this time of global health crisis and social distancing epidemic.
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#PeriodPower: Tips for having a healthy and comfortable period

Being a girl can be hard but it doesn’t have to be. That time of the month can be stressful but you don’t have to let it get you down or frustrate you. How? You ask. By following these simple ten tips for a happy, comfortable, and all-around Sweet period.

   1. Get plenty of rest

Before your period, you seem to start to witness that things get fuzzy and the world almost seems as if it’s literally caving in on you. Never fear. That’s just Mother Nature trying to take you out of the game. Take back your #periodpower by going to bed at a reasonable set time or an hour earlier than normal. Turn off the tv and your phone an hour before bed because electronics emit a blue light that ends up keeping you alert and awake instead of signaling to your body to start pumping out some good old fashioned melatonin, a hormone your body uses to induce sleep and put you further into REM sleep.  A good night’s sleep is #1 when it comes to coping with exhaustion and crankiness.

2. Exercise

    Even though most studies have shown that exercise alleviates cramps during your period, you will want to start exercising before because studies have also shown that exercise done before your period arrives actually loosens the muscles that usually cramp up during your period and you end up having very little to no cramps at all. So go for a walk, ride your bike, hit the gym, go on a hike at the local park. You’ll feel better and keep your heart healthy too. Plus, exercise releases endorphins which is the body’s natural pain reliever. #ItsAllAboutU

3. Take your herbs

When you round the corner near to when your period is about to arrive, I’m sure every girl can agree that it can seem like an angrier than usual, emotional time. Fight the hormonal rage by taking Dong Quai, an herbal supplement similar to St. John’s Wort. Typically, you can find them in most drugstores and supermarkets. Take one 530 mg capsule once daily to relieve you of all your mean thoughts and find some peace and serenity again. I have been taking Dong Quai for about three years now and I can tell you it not only works but it’s such a natural remedy. #SweetSpotandU

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4. Don’t be surprised. Get a period tracking app

There’s nothing worse than being out and about, most likely, wearing white shorts or pants, and all of a sudden, you head to the restroom and BAM! you got your period. Knowing when you are going to get your period before it comes allow you to prepare for it by stocking up on products ( like Sweet Spot Labs and U by Kotex), allows you to wear or not wear the white shorts, and get more rest and be more sensitive and caring with yourself. I use the Eve app for tracking my cycle but there are a ton of them out there. One thing I love about using an app to track my period is that it will give you a detail description of how you may be feeling because you are whatever number day in your cycle and sometimes it suggests making plans with your friends or enjoying some dark chocolate.

5. Even though you want a taco inside of a Publix sub dipped in chocolate, don’t overindulge

Before your period, your brain dips in it’s serotonin levels so you naturally crave foods that create an instant happiness feeling. Instead go for whole grains and complex carbs. Some ideas: Choose baked sweet potato fries over the regular kind, or spread some Nutella on a slice of whole-grain bread. My personal favorite healthy but indulgent pre-period indulgence is a Nonni’s Triple Chocolate Biscotti with a cup of coffee but I could make that even healthier by swapping the biscotti for a pack of Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits and coffee.

6. Enjoy caffeine but don’t over-sweeten it

Whenever I’m on my period, it feels like I just need caffeine placed in an intravenous and inserted into my arm but beware, not all caffeinated beverages are created equal. For best results, avoid sugary energy drinks like Monster and Redbull and stick to lightly sweetened green tea (two glasses a day benefit your skin and fight hormonal based acne) or lightly sweetened coffee (coffee has anti-inflammatory properties which will make your flow lighten up). Also make sure to not drink only caffeine as too much does cause cramps. Instead, stay hydrated and keep sipping iced water or sparkling water with flavor. A great period hack is Bethanny Frankel’s SkinnyGirl Grapefruit or Tangerine Mango Sparkling Water. It contains green tea extract for an extra boost and it tastes great! Plus, it’s affordable running at less than a dollar per bottle.

7. Be Good To You

With our busy schedules, sometimes it can seem like we are paying for Netflix every month and never even get to watch it. So go ahead. Take a day or two to be good to you. Get a frappuccino. Go for ice cream. Go get a mani-pedi. Buy that album, dress, or outfit you’ve had your eye on. Visit a bookstore or library. Whatever makes you feel completely serene, go and do it and enjoy every minute of it. Then, come home and binge watch all of Season 1 of Fuller House. You’ve been going, going, going. Feel guilt-free about a little rest and relaxation.

8.  Feel the love

Since you are a bit more sensitive than usual, it’s totally okay to spend some QT with the ones you love most: your pets. Or your friends. Your boyfriend, or your family. Whoever loves and supports you most of the time, makes you feel good about the person you are, and helps you become better, spend some quality time with those people and go ahead, and feel the love.

9. Dress cute and snap some selfies

Taking pictures is actually a source of comfort to the youth of this generation and they may be onto something without realizing it. Dress up. Try that new eyeshadow or lipstick you bought and have your own little photoshoot. Is it a silly idea? Of course. Will it help you feel better? Yes. Save those cute pictures for the days during your period when you feel like you are the ugliest, fattest, most bloated girl on the planet and look at the pictures. Seeing yourself all dolled-up will stop the negative voices that lie to you and make you realize that you are beautiful, have value, and matter in this life. No matter whether or not your selfies got ten or one hundred likes.

10. Stock up on products that make you get in formation and slay like Beyonce

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There are a lot of products out there to help girls with their period. One thing I wish somebody would work on is a pill or drink you can take that gets rid of nauseousness from your period. I suffer pretty badly every month and sometimes feel like have morning sickness without the pregnancy. So if anybody could get a head start on that, you would be my hero. Not all period products are created equal because not all periods are equal. Every girl deals with different variations of the same symptoms. Two products I love when I have my period are SweetSpot Labs  Grapefruit scented feminine wash and U by Kotex Regular Ultra Thin pads. The Grapefruit scented wash makes you smell delicious from head to toe, refreshes you, and balances your PH. The Ultra Thin pads come in colorful wrapping but they are packed with the secure protection you need but don’t way you down like other pads because the ultra thin design comes complete with dri core technology to leave you fresh and comfortable for up to six hours at a time.

Right now at Target you can get a Sweet Deal on both these brands products and claim back your #periodpower! Periods can be a bummer but @ubykotex and @SweetSpotLabs are changing the game! http://ctt.ec/8LzMb+ #Sponsored #PeriodPower Click To Tweet This

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Save 15% now on both U by Kotex and SweetSpot Labs

Here’s to hoping you have a happy and healthy period.

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