My Thoughts on “Footprints: The Path of Your Life” Movie

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

I’ve just realized that in two short months, I’ll be flying to Spain to walk the Camino. There’s still so much to do to prepare!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined," Henry David Thoreau
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Although I’m not yet physically on the trail, I feel I’ve already started my pilgrimage.

I’ve been talking with many people who have already walked the Camino and on Monday, perhaps the first person to plant the seed of going on this journey for me, one of my friends, Alexander, came over to watch the movie, “The Way” with me and my mom.

My mother had also invited Caroline, who had also walked the Camino, and Peter and his mother, who were interested in seeing the movie.

Well, somehow, we had gotten off to a rough start. We couldn’t get the DVD player to work and once we put the disc into an old laptop, not everybody could hear the dialogue and see the screen. Our old technology just wasn’t working and it was an exercise in frustration!

Finally, we decided to switch gears and watch another movie on the same subject on Netflix called, “Footprints: The Path of Your Life.”

Footprints is a documentary that follows a group of 10 men while they walk the Camino de Santiago with their Parish Priest.

crossing street.
Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

I suppose fighting with the technology and then figuring out that we could watch another movie on another platform was a lesson in not forcing something to go in a certain way and letting another option – a better one – emerge instead.

Once we made that choice, the energy in the room calmed down somewhat.

As it turned out, Footprints was actually the better choice for us to watch because it was more “realistic” of what I could expect on my journey, according to Alexander and Caroline.

In the beginning, each of the men were really struggling with their own fears and challenges and sadly, a few of the men in the group had to bow out and leave early.

man waiting at airport.
Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

That’s what happens with any new, ambitious project – stuff comes up. We have all of the best of intentions but somehow, all of this emotional baggage that has been buried deep down over a lifetime, gets stirred up. That’s the struggle! It’s how we deal with all our stuff that we’ve collected over the years that will make our break us.

The fear and the obstacles are saying, “I know you want to get to Santiago de Compostela, [for example] but here’s what you have to deal with first, and once you face this garbage head on and clear it out of the way, the world will be your oyster and you can be, do, or have whatever you want!”

For some of the men in the movie, it was too much too soon. The stuff that came up for them was too much to bear. I know they gave it their best and it wasn’t an easy decision to make to not finish. I hope they have a chance to try again and succeed.

Photo by Scott Murdoch, Burst

But after a couple of weeks and many miles under their belts, the remaining men got a rhythm and got stronger.

By the end of their 500 mile, 40-day journey, they were laughing and dancing and walking barefoot! It was beautiful to watch the men go through their spiritual transformation!

I think the turning point occurred for the group after they saw the cross of Jesus with their own eyes – which would have been amazing! – and then suddenly the men were inspired to work together as a group, not letting the weakest fall behind.

That’s the choice we all have – either we continue to carry our heavy baggage that is weighing us down and give up on our dreams, or we face our challenges and let them go and leave them at the side of the road and move on and help others along their way as well.

Going on a pilgrimage gives us the opportunity to release our rocks and burdens, once for all!

And in the same spirit, working with a Wellness Coach like me would also be valuable.

Photo by Mitul Shah, Burst

Both coaching and pilgrimages open up new options that we may not have seen before (like watching a different movie at the last minute like we had) and give us the chance to make new choices and start fresh.

If we can make it through that initial turbulence and interference, we’ll be stronger for the rest of the journey.

That’s where the expression, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” comes from!

And with wellness coaching, there’s extra support during the rough patches so you don’t have to travel alone.

Have you ever noticed that fear is built into interference? Some people let the fear interfere and stop them from experiencing a blissful miracle because whatever came up was just too much. The turbulence was too scary and the plane was shaking too hard!

Meanwhile, other people on the same flight will just push through and keep going and make it through with flying colours.

Man jumping fence.
Photo by Brodie Vissers, Burst

So I asked myself, “What kind of person am I?” Will I let fear stop me in my tracks as I’m attempting a challenging leg on my journey? Will I let those excuses block my path and give me an out to turn around and go home?

Or will I rise to the challenge and dig deep and keep moving?

That’s why I think the pilgrimage has already started for me. The more emotional baggage I can release before I physically set foot on the Camino, the easier and the lighter the walk will be.

I’m not going to let potential turbulence keep me from getting on that flight or let fear stop me from living my best life!

Buen Camino, Maria

If you’d like to talk with me more about my Wellness Coaching services, especially if you’re interested in focusing on Intermittent Fasting and Wellness Walking to start, book an appointment for a Crystal Mapping Session today!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Coaching Home of Crystal Mapping.

If They Can Do It, So Can I!

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

Have you ever come up with an off-the-wall, harebrained goal for yourself, a dream that was so out there, so against-the-odds of seeing the light of day, that most people would never even think of it, much less attempt it, yet for some reason you were compelled to see it through?

walking path curving right.
Path to the Unknown. Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

Perhaps it was something like Alex and Andrew’s idea to clean up plastic from our oceans which lead to 4ocean, a global movement!

Or perhaps it was something like Lorna Byrne who never finished primary school because of her dyslexia, and now she writes best-selling books about angels.

I recently attended an inspiring talk given by a woman named Casey who, while riding her bike in 2009, was struck by a car, which left one side of her body non-functioning. She has been relying on a wheelchair for mobility ever since.

Well, Casey came up with one such inspired goal and this past May, she managed to complete an ambitious, amazing, and extraordinary achievement in her wheelchair!

Casey and her husband, Jason, went on an adventure of a lifetime and together for five days, they crossed the Camino de Santiago to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela!

Wow!

map of El Camino.
Map of the Camino with Ponferrada highlighted.
Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

History of the El Camino

The Camino de Santiago (Pilgrimage of Compostela), known in English as “the Way of Saint James,” is an interlacing network of trails for pilgrims which eventually leads to the Shrine of the Apostle Saint James the Great, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain.

By the way, Saint James was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and he is also the patron saint of pilgrims. Saint James’ feast day is observed on July 25th – which is coming up soon – and I’m planning to go on a walk and BBQ with the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, Victoria chapter, to celebrate.

People have been walking the El Camino trails since the 9th Century, often for spiritual or religious reasons, but not necessarily, especially these days.

The El Camino network of trails, which travels through Spain, France, and Portugal and further into Europe, is also popular among hikers, cycling enthusiasts, horseback riders, solo travellers, and tour groups.

Mountains in Spain. Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst.

People come from all over the world to have a pilgrim’s experience on the El Camino. There’s something mystical and sacred about travelling day after day after day, rain or shine, along a well-worn route, in the footsteps of millions of others who came before you, with just the clothes on your back and stopping for meals and rest, until you ultimately reach your destination.

Going on a pilgrimage should be available to anyone who wants to go, but unfortunately, the trails are not designed for wheelchairs.

During her talk, Casey described some of the challenges she faced. Just getting to Europe from Victoria, Canada, by airplane would have been difficult enough.

She planned this trip for a year and she and her husband trained to prepare themselves as best they could for the obstacle course ahead of them.

While on the trail, Casey and her loving husband, Jason, (who didn’t come for his own reasons and only came to help her), encountered rocks the size of watermelons on the road, passages too narrow for her chair to go through, streams blocking the way, mud, stairs, uphills, downhills, tight washrooms, hot sun, rain, and once she even fell, but somehow they managed to get through it all and lived to tell the tale!

For the most part, Casey’s husband pushed her chair along the dusty, gravelly roads but they also relied on pulleys, friends, pilgrims, and strangers to help them along the way.

They ended up becoming trail celebrities with every new photo that was taken.

In a way, they enhanced other people’s pilgrimages too by giving them the opportunity to give back and be of service to someone who they met on their path, who was in need.

I’m sure it was a very spiritual experience in its own way and miracles did happen! Casey and Jason made many new friends, one of whom they found by chance who is also from the Victoria, BC area! Small world!

Cover of Tapas Cookbook. Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

Going on a Pilgrimage isn’t for Lightweights

As Casey said to me, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Casey’s experience just goes to show, that even when there are rocks and hills and mud in the way and even if you cry and you argue out of sheer frustration, there’s a way to get through it. Don’t give up! You can do this!

There are plenty of challenges that come up, that are hard for anyone to get their head around. I can think of a thousand excuses not to embark on such a journey but now that I’ve met Casey and her husband, those excuses don’t hold any water.

If they can do it, I can do it!

My Own Pilgrimage

So, I’m excited to say that thanks to a gift for my 50th birthday from my generous family, I’ve got my tickets and I’m heading to Madrid, Spain, on September 17, 2019!

passports.
I’m so grateful I’m Canadian and I have the freedom to travel.
Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

I’ll be gone for two weeks, starting my walk from Ponferrada and then I’m going to walk with my backpack for about 275 kilometres (20-30 kilometres a day) through Spain, to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela!

It’s going to be amazing! I’m looking to have a spiritual experience however it shows up for me and I can’t wait to meet the people who will be walking along side me on the road.

“Hola, buenos días.”

And I’m planning to blog about my experience here in my Ammolite Goddess blog so you can follow my adventure.

Open Invitation

If walking the El Camino sounds like something you’d like to do, I recommend watching the movie, “The Way,” a 2010 film directed, produced, and written by Emilio Estevez, starring his father Martin Sheen, among others.

If you’re feeling called to do this, find a way!

To make things easier, I’m inviting you to join me in September. There’s still time to train and buy your gear and plan your trip!

As an added bonus, if you walk with me, I’ll be happy to give you your choice of foot and/or neck and shoulder massages every night! Just my way of giving back.

Also, as my friends had done for me, it will be my honour to take your prayers with me so if you’d like for me to pray for you or your loved ones, just contact me and I’ll add you to the list. There’s no charge for this and I’m happy to take your petitions the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and lift them in mediation and prayer.

I’ve been walking nearly every day to get in shape for my journey and I’m so grateful to my brother and nephew and my friend Jenny from California who have already gone on 3-5K nature hikes with me this summer. I consider them as part of my pilgrimage!

I’m open to walking with anyone else who is interested, either to help me prepare for my trip or to actually go with me to Spain! Let me know if you want to talk more about this.

Consider this an invitation. If you’re reading this post, it may be a sign that you’re meant to do this, too.

Don’t let excuses stop you from challenging yourself and experiencing something amazing and wonderful! If Casey can do it in a wheelchair, then we can finish the El Camino too!

Contact me if you’re interested!

Buen Camino, Maria

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Coaching Home of Crystal Mapping.

Here Comes the Sun!

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined,

Henry David Thoreau
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined," Henry David Thoreau
Maria standing on a rock at Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Wherever you are on the planet, on this 21st day of June, I’d like to wish you a beautiful, sunshiny day, and a fun, busy, and productive summer!

Today is the day in the Northern Hemisphere when we get the most daylight hours in the whole year and it just inspires everyone to wake up, stretch, and go outside!

Sunshine and summertime go hand in hand. Sunshine brings golden yellow light into our lives and the colour of yellow is all about personal power, confidence, and ambition!

Tapping into cheery yellow energy, via standing in the sunshine and our own solar plexus, helps connect us to joy, belly laughs, our gut instinct, and the Divine Masculine.

Summer is the time of year to go out there and take action towards your goals and dreams!

Let the long, bright days of the summer season inspire you to go to work and be seen in the light of day for the talented person you are. Be confident expressing your creativity as you earn a living. Go ahead and work up a sweat, get in shape, and get a healthy tan!

The sun shines on all of us equally!

Alternatively, if we don’t have enough sunshiny, yellow, summertime energy in our lives, we may experience low self-esteem, poor vision, a big Ego, difficulty going to work, a hard time making decisions, problems with digestion, or anger or control issues.

If that’s the case, you can remedy those issues quickly by choosing self-care activities that will help you feel full of energy and confidence and will get you out of the house and out in the world at large!

To inspire you to go outside already, please enjoy the photos I took of sunshine in all of its glory when I went to Sooke Potholes with my brother and nephew on June 15, 2019.

Sooke River, BC
Sooke Potholes near Victoria, BC.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunlight thru trees at Sooke Potholes.
Sunlight through trees near Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunshine reflecting in the water.
Sunshine reflecting in the water showing us waves and particles!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
heart shaped pool at Sooke Potholes.
I couldn’t resist taking this heart-shaped photo at Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
Clear green water at Sooke Potholes.
Look how clear the water is at Sooke Potholes!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunlight thru tree near Sooke Potholes.
Notice the solar flares dancing in the leaves of this tall tree!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sun reflecting in the water.
The sun insisted on getting into this picture!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
Amidst the tall trees.
Tree friends standing with me in this photo near Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Ultimately, summer is the time of year to make hay while the sun shines!

So go out there and get busy! It’s your time to shine! You can rest all you want in winter. 🙂

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Is spending time in nature something you’re interested in? Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your Crystal Mapping Session today!

Morning Turmeric Drink Recipe

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’m so happy to say that since I’ve stopped eating snacks and desserts three months ago, I’ve lost 20 pounds and am able to run 14 minutes straight on the treadmill!

If you’re curious to read the whole story, please read my blog post, “Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost 12 Pounds During Lent.”

Morning Turmeric Detox Drink Recipe.

Here’s a recipe for a warm Turmeric Drink that has helped me along. My friend told me about this concoction and although I don’t drink it every day, I believe it’s a good drink to put on the menu every now and then.

I personally like the sourness of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar but the honey certainly helps balance things out.

A note on honey — whenever you can, eat local honey made by local bees. It will help you get acclimatized to your environment and may even reduce your allergy symptoms! Thanks, Bees!

As for the Cayenne pepper — that special kick will help you absorb the Vitamin C and the nutrients in the drink, so make sure to include it in your recipe.

I hope you make this drink for yourself. If you do, let me know how you like it. And don’t think it’s just for the morning — I personally like to drink it at lunch time.

And if you want some wellness coaching in regards to losing extra body weight in a sustainable and healthy way, by all means, contact me and make an appointment. I’d be happy to share from my experience with Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss.

Morning Turmeric Drink

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water
freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
1 TB local honey (or real Maple syrup)
1-2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar (make sure it’s the kind with the “Mother”)
1/4 tsp Turmeric spice powder
pinch of Cayenne Pepper (or Black Pepper)

Method:

Boil the water. I like to set my kettle to 95 degrees Celsius. In the meantime, squeeze the juice from half a Lemon into a mug. Add Honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric, and Cayenne Pepper. Pour the hot water into the cup over the rest of the ingredients. Mix, taste, adjust seasonings if necessary, and enjoy!

Is Self-Care Selfish?

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Is self-care selfish? No, no, it is not.

(Not) All about me.

Even though practicing self-care is not selfish, for some reason, many of us feel uncomfortable about putting ourselves first on our own list and taking the time to take care of ourselves.

We’ve got to turn this thinking around because at the end of the day, if we don’t nurture our own body, mind, and spirit, and take care of ourselves, like we would a child, a family pet, or a even a plant, we won’t have anything more to give to anyone else.

Self-Care vs. Selfishness

There’s a big difference in attitude between self-care and selfishness.

Self-care is about giving attention, kindness, and nourishment to yourself so you can be at peace with yourself and be fully present for the people you love.

Being selfish is about focusing solely on one’s own ego, interests, agenda, gains, and superiority without concern for anyone else’s needs or preferences.

Selfish people don’t think about giving to others. It just doesn’t occur to them.

But Don’t Give Too Much Either!

There are also people who want to give and are very generous — they’ll give the shirt off their back, so to speak, — but they don’t have enough for themselves.

Giving from a place of lack is also misguided. If you have an extra shirt and you’re not using it, than that’s one thing, share it with someone else if you want.

But if you only have one shirt and you give your one shirt to someone who already has a shirt, leaving yourself without any shirts, to face the elements without any cover, than there’s a problem.

If you’re scrambling and struggling while you’re trying to give to others, than you’re not being fair to yourself and eventually you’re going to burn out. And then what are you going to do?

Leaving yourself with some measly crumbs or with nothing at all is not what generosity and self-care are about. Sadly, people who are depleted give too much because they don’t feel like they’re enough.

I think abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin.
The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call wholeheartedness, vulnerability, and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks; and knowing that I am enough,

~ Brené Brown

Say it with me: “I AM ENOUGH. I am enough and I am worthy – right here, right now… today… exactly as I am!

Use Fountains as Reminders & Give from Your Abundance!

"Never give from the depth of your well but from your overflow." Rumi

“Never give from the depths of your well but from your overflow.”

Mystical poet Rumi

Give from your abundance! I strongly agree!

Giving generously is at its best when it comes from your abundance, like from the interest in your bank account rather than from the principle. Never give the goose away!

If you have extra of anything, by all means, give it to someone who will appreciate it.

For example, everyone has an excess of hugs and smiles to give and I’m sure everyone has at least one talent that they can share with others.

Give your gifts freely and with joy. Give from a place of having enough and that you are enough already.

However, if you don’t have it to begin with, things like time, money, or energy, don’t try to scrape the bottom of the barrel and think you’re being helpful.

In other words, fountains can’t fount if there’s nothing for them to draw from.

My point is, we’ve got to fill up our own well and keep it overflowing and fill our own needs first before we can give to and help others.

That’s where self-care comes in. Taking care of ourselves keeps our wells topped up. (Notice how the words “wells” and “wellness” are related). 🙂

There’s a Crystal for that…

Rose Quartz & Rainbows.
Wearing Rose Quartz jewelry helps remind us that we’re loveable and worthy.

If you’ve seen my “Let the Crystal Light the Way” video, you’ll know that Rose Quartz is all about self-care and self-love.

I often see one my coaching clients wear her lovely rose quartz earrings when we meet! That’s a simple act of self-care that anyone can practice.

Wellness Coaching Services Available with Maria by Appointment

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do and all of the people you feel you have to please, and you don’t have any time or energy left for yourself, I’d love to help you as a wellness coach.

I strongly believe that practicing self-care goes hand in hand with wellness coaching and it would be my honour to help you feel more loving towards yourself and others.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

Please contact me today and let’s talk!

It’s time you put yourself first in your own life!

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your Crystal Mapping Session today!

The Art of Listening

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Listening is my bread and butter.

I often take wellness walks to my favourite pond in my neighbourhood just to practice my listening skills. I enjoy listening to the birds tweeting, the ducks swimming and landing in the water, the leaves on the trees rustling in the wind… it’s quite a symphony!

As a wellness coach, it’s my honour to listen to my clients as they share from their hearts and I appreciate the trust that is given to me.

So, in the spirit of listening, here are 17 quotes that highlight the value of listening, to inspire you to listen more closely to others, including yourself.

17 Quotes on Listening

#1 Put listening first in all of your relationships

“The first duty of love is to listen,”

~ Paul Tillich

#2 Being a good listener is attractive

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand,”

~ Karl A. Menniger

# 3 Listening is comforting

“Listening is a hug you give with your mind,”

~ Barbara Nixon

#4 Listening is about asking good questions

“If you spend time asking appropriate questions rather that giving answers or opinions, your listening skills will increase,”

~ Brian Koslow

#5 Listening is not multi-tasking

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time,”

~ M. Scott Peck

#6 Listening is showing respect

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another had to say,”

~ Bryant H. McGill

#7 Listening is educational

“Listen and hear not only what you thought you wanted to hear. Listen and hear what you have to learn,”

~ Ralph S. Marston, Jr.

#8 Listening is friendly

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer,”

~ Ed Cunningham

#9 Listening is receiving

“Listening is a form of accepting,”

~ Stella Terill Mann

#10 Listening is persuasive & influential

“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them,”

~ Dean Rusk

#11 Listening is showing the people in your life that they are loved

“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference,”

~ David Oxberg

#12 Listening helps you get past someone’s ego and see the essence of who they really are

“To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is,”

~ Peter Senge

#13 We have two ears and one mouth for a reason

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less,”

~ Diogenes

#14 Remember to also listen to what is not being said

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said,”

~ Peter Drucker

#15 Listening can be a game changer

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around,”

~ Leo Buscaglia

#16 Listening is about being curious

“I love going to coffee shops and just sitting and listening,”

~ Julia Roberts

How about you? Do you have any favourite quotes about listening? If so, please share them with us in the comments.

On a final note, the art of listening is truly underrated. When you’re blessed enough to find a person who will listen intently to what you have to say, keep them around.

But if you don’t have anyone in your life that you can trust, please contact me, Maria. As Martin and Frasier Crane sing on the Frasier TV show…

#17 Remember this catchy tune?

“What’s new? I’m listen’n. Feelin’ blue? I’m listen’n. Feelin’ sad, feelin’ mad, feelin’ bad, feelin’ glad, I’m listen’n.

Martin & Frasier Crane

Wellness Coaching Services Available with Maria by Appointment

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

Free Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost 12 Pounds During Lent

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

On Fat Tuesday, I went to a birthday party and ate a few slices of really good pizza along with a piece of fancy birthday cake from a bakery.

Two days later on March 7, I spontaneously decided to give up eating snacks and desserts for Lent.

I really like to eat potato chips, cookies, and ice cream whenever I have the chance but during the six weeks of Lent, I was only allowing myself to eat three square meals a day, with nothing in between, often for five, six, seven, eight plus hours each day, my version of Intermittent Fasting.

sushi on the table.
Photo by Sarah Pflug @ Burst

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a scheduled eating plan that is more about when you eat than what you eat. If you leave several hours between meals, (rather than eat a little bit here and a little bit there and a lot over here), you give your body a chance to process and digest your food more efficiently.

Basically, I ate whatever I wanted during my three meals a day (including bread, potatoes, meats, and cheeses) but that was it to the next meal.

To me, Intermittent Fasting is related to the Keto Diet in the sense that Ketosis occurs when the body burns stored fats for energy rather than using quick sugars and carbohydrates.

It’s like going back to the warehouse to buy something rather than taking it off the shelf in the store.

Once you start burning fat for fuel, you’ll start losing weight. But remember, one little grape will knock you out of that process, so it’s important to not introduce any sugars what-so-ever into your fasting time.

Did you know the word “Breakfast” comes from “breaking the fast” from the last meal you had the day before?

I had tried Intermittent Fasting a couple of years ago with great success so I already knew what I was getting myself into but this time was quite different from the first.

The first time I tried Intermittent Fasting, I basically coasted through it.

I didn’t realize that this time I’d be embarking on a spiritual quest, filled with days of emotional upheaval.

Yes, I often felt hungry and cranky and tired but I stuck with my eating plan because I realized that I no longer wanted to stuff down my feelings and numb myself out with food. Emotional eating wasn’t going to be my coping strategy anymore and I wanted to face my feelings and my demons head on.

In my mind, as hard as it was to get through the rough patches, the intense emotions actually meant that I was dredging up a lot of old emotional junk that I had been hanging onto for decades.

Each day as I fasted, I was releasing and clearing tons of emotional baggage so it wouldn’t weigh me down anymore and keep me from living the life of my dreams. Being emotional was actually a good sign!

To me, snacks and desserts represent too many extra and unnecessary calories and I was trying to run on approximately 1500 calories a day, without actually counting anything. I’ve learned that we really don’t need as many calories as we think we do.

The good news is, as of Easter Monday, I’ve managed to release 12 pounds in just over 6 weeks, which is less than 2 pounds a week, which is a very healthy and sustainable pace. I plan to keep going.

drinking tea.
Photo by Matthew Henry @ Burst.

My Guidelines for Intermittent Fasting

Of course there are many approaches you can take if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and/or the Keto Diet but here are the guidelines that I personally follow.

  • Talk to your doctor before attempting any kind of significant dietary changes.
  • Know your big why — I happen to have a big 50th birthday coming up so that’s motivation enough for me!
  • Weigh yourself and record the weight in a journal. It’s not really about the weight and how many pounds you lose but it’s a good idea to know where you started. The real evidence is how you’re feeling about yourself.
  • Reduce carbs and sugar — less bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice.
  • Eat more fat because it helps you feel full and it helps your brain function better and it helps keep things running smoothly.
  • No snacks, no desserts, no wine or alcohol.
  • Drink lots of water and tea. In another blog post, I’ll share a Turmeric drink that I discovered that I found helpful and I really enjoy.
  • See websites that talk about Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting.
  • Eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Try not to eat past 7pm.
  • Eat mindfully and taste each morsel of food you put into your mouth. Food does start tasting better and better as you go along.
  • Take supplements including: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Women’s Daily or Men’s Daily, and Magnesium.
  • Take Wellness Walks 4-5 times a week.
  • Workout and lift weights at least once a week.
  • Train to run — I’m up to running 8 minutes!
  • Find an Acupuncture Clinic and go as often as you can — they can tailor your treatments to help support your digestion and weight loss efforts and it’s really relaxing!
  • Do stretches daily.
  • Reach out to old and new friends and have one meaningful conversation, (preferably face to face and in person), each day.
  • Get a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Crystals that might help include: Amethyst, Angelite, Bloodstone, Blue Apatite, Calcite Alabaster, Carnelian, Citrine, Garnet, Labradorite, Red Jasper, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Sunstone, Tiger’s Eye, Turquoise.
  • Good foods for weightloss include: Low carb/high fiber veggies, avocados, Greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, berries, nuts, dark chocolate, fish/seafood, meat, poultry.
  • Eat lots of orange foods like carrots, salmon, and mango — they’re about honouring the Divine Feminine within all of us.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Check weight at least once a week and record your progress in a journal along with any other significant details (like your mood or wins or the weather, etc).
  • Practice daily self-care.
  • Relax and manage stress.
  • Clear clutter in your environment.
  • Live from your essence and take your ego out of it.
  • Assure yourself that this isn’t starvation and that you’re doing this for your long-term health and you will eat lots of good food every day.
  • Talk to a Wellness Coach, like me!

Intermittent Fasting isn’t easy but eventually you get used to not eating as often. Somehow, I managed to get through baking without sampling, cooking breakfasts for crowds, 3 dinner parties, 1 restaurant lunch, potato chips in the house, and Easter brunch without giving into temptation.

Now, my skin in clearer, my hair is softer, my eyes are brighter, my pants fit better, and I’m living more as my authentic self. To me, that’s worth it and I’m planning to continue to eat like this for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions about Intermittent Fasting or would like some Wellness Coaching, please contact me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

Seeking to Build a Wellness Meetup Leadership Team

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Calling all Wellness Professionals in Victoria, BC!

I have an idea for a Wellness Meetup-type Group that I’d like to launch here in Victoria by the start of summer, 2019.

by Matthew Henry from Burst

Essentially, as a Wellness Coach, I’d like to collaborate with other wellness professionals in the area like:

  1. Acupuncturists
  2. Aromatherapists
  3. Artists
  4. Athletes
  5. Authors
  6. Bloggers
  7. Caregivers
  8. Chair Massage Practitioners
  9. Chefs
  10. Chiropractors
  11. Counsellors
  12. Energy Healers
  13. Entrepreneurs
  14. Estheticians
  15. Event Planners
  16. Financial Planners
  17. Hair Stylists
  18. Health & Safety Officers
  19. Holistic Dentists
  20. Life Coaches
  21. Massage Therapists
  22. Motivational Speakers
  23. Musicians
  24. Nurses
  25. Nutritionists
  26. Personal Trainers
  27. Physio Therapists
  28. Reiki Masters
  29. Retreat Leaders
  30. Social Workers
  31. Spa Therapists
  32. Spiritual Advisors
  33. Teachers
  34. Tour Guides
  35. Veterinarians
  36. Wellness Store Staff Members
  37. Workplace Wellness Coordinators
  38. Workshop Facilitators
  39. Yoga Instructors, etc…
by Nick Chung from Burst

And create a monthly event that will allow us to showcase our wellness products and services to health & wellness enthusiasts here in the Greater Victoria area.

The yet-to-be-launched Meetup-type group will center around the importance of practicing daily Self-Care.

So if helping people practice self-care is part of your family-friendly business, join us!

Member participation involves attending a Wednesday night planning meeting and renting a booth at the Self-Care & Wellness Fair on Sundays, once a month.

You’ll also have opportunities to speak and give presentations to further extend your reach.

by Matthew Henry from Burst.

And of course you’ll get to know and have a chance to collaborate with other like-minded Wellness Professionals in a positive environment.

This is a big idea and I’m going to need some help getting it rolling!

So, if you’re a Wellness Professional based on Vancouver Island near Victoria, who’d like to:

• volunteer on this Wellness Meetup Leadership Team,
• get in on the ground floor of this opportunity,
• be the go-to practitioner in your field, and
• organically build your clientele here in Victoria,

please express your interest to me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

In your email, let me know your area of expertise, why you like this idea, and anything you can contribute to Meetup group (like a venue for example) and we’ll arrange a time to meet.

Also, if you know someone who’d be so up for this, kindly share this blog post with them!

If by chance you’re only interested in joining the group once it’s up and running and not joining the leadership team, and would like to be notified of our next meeting, that’s OK, just send me your contact details and I’ll keep you posted.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

I believe this Wellness Professionals Group has tremendous potential!

Let’s make Victoria, BC the wellness and self-care capital of Canada!

by Nicole De Khors from Burst.

12 Things to Look for in a Great Wellness Coach

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Are you interested in healing a health concern in your life? Would you like to work with a Wellness Coach? If yes, you may also be wondering, “How on earth am I going to find a qualified wellness coach” and “where do I start?”

When "I" is replaced with "we" even illness becomes wellness.

First, to find a qualified Wellness Coach, do an online search using the keywords “wellness coach” and “your city.” You might also like to add the words, “best” and “near me.”

Also, ask your friends and co-workers for a referral — maybe they know of someone who does a good job.

With today’s technology, you don’t necessarily have to live in the same city or area as your Wellness Coach, but scheduling appointments is much easier when you live in the same time zone.

Another good idea is to keep an eye out for upcoming live wellness-related workshops, talks, and events in your area. Hearing a Wellness Coach speak is a great way to preview their professional style and area of focus and it’s a wonderful chance to meet likeminded people, too!

Come up with a list of at least three names, (my brother told my mother to find three bids on her home renovations and I think that’s good advice when you’re thinking about hiring any professional services).

let's connect on Skype.

Once you have your list, take the time to review their websites and then call them to see if you can set up a consultation appointment to meet them — either through online video, by phone, or in person — to see what they’re all about.

Consultation Appointment

As you’re meeting with a prospective Wellness Coach, look to see if they have the following qualities:

  1. Interpersonal skills: Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they establish a good connection with you? Do you like them enough to spend time with them?
  2. Communication skills: Are they explaining their work in a way that makes sense? Are they actively listening to what you have to say?
  3. Professional: Are they presenting themselves in a professional manner? Do they take pride in their appearance?
  4. Caring Personality: Do they have a friendly, calm, patient, and caring nature?
  5. Practice Self-Care: Are they walking their talk, practicing what they preach, and taking good care of themselves?
  6. Empathetic and Compassionate: Can you tell if they have an understanding of what it’s like to be in your shoes?
  7. Knowledgeable: Are they knowledgeable in their field of practice?
  8. Self Confidence: Do they know their own value and the value of their coaching services? Are they assertive enough? Are they good at solving problems and making decisions?
  9. Physical Stamina: Do they have the energy and stamina needed to keep up with the demands of their profession?
  10. Flexibility: Are they willing to be flexible to accommodate your needs?
  11. Trustworthy: Do they come across as honest, trustworthy, respectful, and reliable?
  12. Like their work: Do they enjoy what they do for a living and do they genuinely smile often?

Hopefully, you’ll have a check mark next to all of the above. Feel free to add you’re your own preferences to this list as well. You’ll also want to keep your eye out for any of the following red flags:

Red Flags

  1. Distracted by drama: Are they focusing on you, the client, or are they busy with something else?
  2. Closed Communication: Is it hard to reach them by phone or email? Are they dismissive or rude?
  3. Burnout: Are they showing signs of fatigue, depression, stress, and burn out?
  4. Frazzled: Are they unkempt? Are they organized? Are they running late?
  5. Arrogance & Snobbiness: Is their nose in the air? Is their ego in the way?
  6. Judginess: Do they make you feel bad about yourself by judging your appearance, age, state of health, lifestyle choices, marital status, etc?
  7. Exorbitant Fees or Bargain Pricing: Are their coaching fees in line with other life coaches and wellness coaches or are they way too low or way too high for the market?
  8. Gut Instinct: Do you have a bad feeling when you’re talking to them?

If the consultation goes well, go ahead and book your coaching sessions. But if any of these red flags show up, then go with the person you feel will help you the most.

Taking the time to arrange a consultation appointment and meeting a prospective wellness coach on the phone or in person is a great way to see if you click before you make any long-term commitments.

Working with a talented Wellness Coach is definitely worth the investment and I hope you find a great Wellness Coach who ticks all of the boxes!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

And, if you’d like to meet me, Maria, for a complimentary consultation appointment to see if you’d like to work with me as a Wellness Coach, I’m currently offering Free Crystal Mapping Sessions. If you’re interested, please call or email me. I’d be happy to meet you online or in person (if you live in Victoria, BC) at your convenience.

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!

Love this Song! Thanks, Natasha!

Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: Danielle A. Brisebois / Natasha Anne Bedingfield / Wayne Steven Jr Rodrigues
Unwritten lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Unwritten
“The rest is still unwritten…”

I’ve adopted Unwritten as my own personal theme song for this year. It’s so upbeat and fun and inspiring and the video makes me smile.

I’m going to sing this song to myself whenever I like! Maybe even dance a little, too!

I’ve always liked this song, first released in 2004, even though it made me a little uncomfortable — I didn’t quite get it — but now some of the lines really jump out at me.

“Open up the dirty window” — it’s like, let some fresh air into your past and let it breathe.

“So close you can almost taste it” — I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough and it’s within reach.

“Release your inhibitions” — that’s about accepting yourself as you are and just going for it.

“No one else can feel it for you” — you can’t look outside of yourself for validation or live vicariously through other people.

“Live your life with arms wide open” — that’s about surrender.

“Today is where your book begins” — You can only create from here, the present moment.

“The rest is still unwritten” — Endless possibilities.

Wow. That’s a really powerful song!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to live your life as your most authentic and vulnerable self — no shame, no inhibitions, no fear, and be able to connect with other living beings on a genuinely deep level — no egos, no games, no agendas — just being and letting things unfold naturally?

How refreshing is that?

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!