January 2019

January Wellness   |   words from Kate

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Do you want more from your life? Do you want more happiness? Better health? Better Sleep? Closer and deeper relationships? Increased productivity? More Energy? Deeper sense of coherence?

What if I told you that one simple thing can help in all these areas. This little tiny, amazing, energy packing thing is cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

When was the last time you said “thank you” and you truly meant it? As children, we were often encouraged to say thank you. I know I encourage my daughter all the time, though I realize I do not always encourage her to really feel the gratitude before saying it. At times, I myself have gotten out of the habit. This is kind of like eating the most delicious chocolate cake and not really tasting it. Modern research is showing that cultivating an attitude of gratitude has a long lasting and powerful effect on our well being. Gratitude reduces anxiousness, depression and loneliness and increases enthusiasm, optimism and happiness.

Giving gratitude also helps us view our daily, sometimes mundane or busy, experiences in a positive light. Through giving gratitude we are able to see what went well today! And from this point of view, we can appreciate that every moment is a gift and enjoy them all. When it comes down to deeply enjoying your life, at any age, gratitude sits pretty high on list of attitude requirements (along with zest, love, hope, and curiosity!)

In joy!



Kate's Kitchen   |   brussels sprouts with pistachios & lemon




2 tablespoons ghee or grass fed butter

¾ cup shelled pistachios

Zest and juice from one lemon

16 large brussels sprouts, quartered.

Salt to taste



  • Heat ghee or butter in a large wok or skillet over medium/high heat

  • Add pistachios and lemon and sauté for one minute.

  • Add brussels sprouts and toss until bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes

  • Squeeze remaining lemon juice over all and season with salt and pepper.



Mindfulness Activity   |   heartfelt gratitude reflection


This activity is adapted from Rachel Harris and has been a part of many of Illuminating Wellness' retreats. The activity takes 45 minutes and you will need paper, oil pastels, crayons, pencils, or markers as well as a hard surface on which to draw and write.To

Begin, place hands on your heart and take 3 deep breaths. The feeling of gratitude opens the heart more than any other emotion except, perhaps love. As we practice feeling gratitude we expand our heart’s capacity to experience and express love and joy.

Step 1: (10 minutes) Sit in a comfortable position for drawing. (Hands/heart)

Have your paper and oil pastels, crayons, pencils etc available.

Close your eyes and consciously decide to feel gratitude. Think of all the things for which you can be thankful. Pay careful attention to how you experience these feelings in your heart.

Step 2: (20 minutes) Make an emotional drawing of this feeling in your heart. This is not a drawing of people or a scene. It is a free-form expression of feeling. You may find you want to only make one or maybe more.

Step 3: (5 minutes) Close your eyes with hands on heart and again experience the feelings of gratitude in your heart

Step 4: In the final 3 minutes look again at your drawing(s). Plan a time, just a minute during the day, when you will remember this drawing and the feelings in your heart

To Conclude, to really start cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude you can do this in your head or write in journals. Write each day or each week 3 things you are grateful for. Be grateful that you were friendly that the store clerk smiled and said hello, be grateful to your partner for saying good morning. If there is anything you struggle with job, family, spouse, children, diet, see all that you can be grateful for and things will shift.

Whole Being, Wellbeing Retreats   |   cultivating gratitude together

Each day of our Whole Being, Wellbeing Retreat includes the practice of opening ourselves up to gratitude, through mindfulness practices, creative activities, discussion and more. It's all a part of learning to Live In Flow and being present in the gift that is ourselves and the world that surrounds us. Join us! A few spaces are still left!


Winter Retreat   |   Jan 31 - Feb 3, 2019   |   Basalt, CO

one space still available

4 days and 3 nights in a mountain home to relax, let go and begin living in flow and receive daily massages, inner journeying exercises, guided visualizations, movement classes, sessions on the BioMat ,the IMRS 2000, and the Chi machine AND wholesome, deeply nourishing, and incredibly delicious snacks and meals. Come join us for great conversations, connection to self and above all lots of fun. Learn More About Lodging.

$1900 w/ meals + private room | $1500 meals + shared room


Spring Retreat   |   May 14 -19, 2019   |   Isla Holbox, Mexico

6 days and 5 nights on a tropical island away from it all to relax, let go, renew and begin living in flow and receive daily massages inner journeying exercises guided visualizations, movement classes, sessions on the BioMat ,the IMRS 2000, and the Chi machine AND wholesome, deeply nourishing, and incredibly delicious snacks and meals. Come join us for great conversations, connection to self, local activities, and above all lots of fun. Learn more about Isla Holbox, MX.

$3300 meals + private room | $2800 meals + shared room

*save $400 when paid in full 33 days in advance with payment plans available

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kelly alford