10 Lessons Peaceful Mama @LaurieDelkLife Taught Me by @ClinkAndChat

by Mella Noir | Featured Contributor

Ever met a woman who is an expert in the wine world, a cocktail enthusiast, a craft beer sommelier and a champagne connoisseur?  But, to balance the scales, she also lives a mindful life of eating vegan and gluten-free, practicing yoga, hiking and meditation every single day?

I have, and her name is Laurie Delk.

laurie_delk   She supplements her additional time (haha) by being a loving mother to her brilliant and precocious son, reading volumes of books, visiting art museums regularly and always, ALWAYS expanding her mind and horizons.  I met Laurie when I was traveling and caught sight of a beautiful woman on the cover of a local magazine.  Her smile was radiant and her eyes beamed love and light.  I decided I must know her, picked up the magazine and emailed her that night asking her to come onto my podcast “Clink, Chat & Catch Up!“.  She graciously agreed and through many bubbly brunches, calls and adventures together — I am proud to call her one of my closest friends…

Today, we get together to share a few ideas, so simple to Laurie, but so enlightening to our souls, spirits and hearts.

1. Meditate – We all desperately need “brain breaks” in our overstimulated, overstressed lives. Closing your eyes for even 5 minutes a day calms the “monkey mind”, slows our heart rate, regulates our breath, and relaxes our body. **Having trouble getting going? A great place to start is Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s free online meditation sessions every few months. My #1 recommended phone app is Insight Timer. With sleep, morning, relaxation, and even “Mini-Moments” meditations, there is something for everyone. You will even find yourself mediating with people from around the world in a truly unified mission of meditation.

laurie top2. Create a Supple Body With Yoga – Finding new energy and strength in your body and your inner self is one of the most empowering things you can do. When you stretch, you not only release tight muscles, but emotional toxins. *Can’t afford a yoga membership or think you don’t have time? There are an endless selection of yoga videos on You Tube for anytime home or travel practice. Your body will become strong and lithe, and you will find yourself walking with grace and posture.

3. Move to a Plant-Based Diet – Going vegan isn’t just a radical, anti-establishment movement, it’s about practicing a better life for yourself, animals, and the planet. When done properly, you will experience a lightness and energy you haven’t experienced in years, or perhaps ever. Besides feeling like you’re 25 when you’re 40? There’s compassion. Your heart and spirit are freed from contributing to acts of cruelty on another sentient being. How beautifully liberating!

laurie nutrition4. Drink Water (Especially in the Morning) – I realize this sounds like a “duh” one, but I’m always amazed how many people still drink soda for breakfast. Our bodies need flushing, and the morning is a great time to do it. Squeeze some lemon in your water for your first 12-20 oz of fluid in the morning. Yes, before your coffee. I promise you will feel the difference, and your skin will thank you.

5. Hike – Get out in nature, and I don’t mean running or whizzing by on your bicycle. These are wonderful endeavors, but hiking makes you slow down, and really feel the ground beneath you. You will challenge your body and your mind as you progress in difficulty and you become attuned to nature and the wonders of this magnificent planet. Not to mention it keeps your brain razor sharp, as concentration and processing are musts to navigate rocks and terrain without a nasty fall.

laurie hike6. Pay attention (Particularly to your Own Body) – One of my biggest mantras of life. Signs are always around you to be noticed. Get out of the tunnel and look around. If you are struggling with diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, or health problems, listen to your body. It is telling you (sometimes screaming) what you need and don’t need. Tune in your heartbeat, the condition of your skin, your hair, your tummy. If you practice mindfulness in your eating and your daily habits, your body will tell you what works, and what doesn’t. What comes next is called willpower.

7. Don’t Ever Give Up – Life is hard. There are times when you feel like you will never reach your goals, and the odds seem too great. That’s when you meditate, realign your mind and spirit, and take ONE more step. Try not to focus too intently on the long term goal (I know that’s a challenge!), just put one foot out and take the next step. You don’t need strength for months down the road, you need strength for today.
laurie stairs
8. Sleep – It’s hard to overestimate how crucial this is to our mind, body, and spirit. As a single mom, I know how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole of work, obligations, social time, media, and being a parent. But for the love of your sanity, lay down. Facebook and Instagram will be there in the morning.
9. Give – Whether it’s money, food, or simply your time, giving is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in this life. I truly believe it’s why we are all here, to love, to share, to accept, and to give to others. Don’t let hatred, bigotry, and prejudice (social or personal) blind you to another’s suffering and needs. There is always someone who needs a helping hand, whether it’s a child, a senior, the homeless or orphaned animals. Pick your passions and put your heart into it.

laurie dalai10. Practice Gratitude – This truly encompasses all of the others. The quickest way out of anger, despair, hurt, and frustration is finding something to be grateful for. For your health, your child, your food, your bed, the choices are endless. I know it’s hard, it’s a lifelong struggle to stop a downward spiral and turn the tide. But it can be done, and meditation and prayer in particular are marvelous paths to realizing just how blessed your are.  Love, light, and blessings to you all!

What I learned from Laurie is that every moment counts. There is beauty everywhere and it is up to us to open our eyes and take it all in. Compassion for ourselves, compassion for others, compassion for animals will make this world a better place.  Taking care of your body, mind and spirit is our duty, but guess what? We can enjoy doing it along the way.  All the tips she gave are what she does daily — she practices what she preaches…and a more happy, joyfilled, spirited, lively, radiant person, (despite her own trial and tribulations) there could not be.

Thanks for the lessons, Laurie!

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