by P. Nick Sholley

flower out of concreteOutside on the street in front of our house, jackhammers blat out their imperatives. A new water main is going in. I am focused on not using the noise as an excuse not to persist in writing this. I can work through it. I know I have something to say… Didn’t I have something to say, something I wanted to share?

I have been circling around this subject for a while now. And I stepped away from it hoping for more clarity, hoping for more quiet, which is now delivered. Lunch hour is upon us.
What is it about renewal? The word is appearing in blogposts and fliers everywhere. Spring is here and we are struggling like buds to poke through the surface, of wood and soil, whatever contains us and holds us back.

Contemplating this, I wonder what holds me back in my couplehood. How do I renew and push through to grow something new in my relationship? How do I reinvigorate my commitment to my partner, my family, my friends?

Like a tendril, like a shoot, I reach toward the light. Or like a root, I reach deeper into the ground, into the soil that surrounds me and nourishes me, that holds me secure. I seek out water, light, nutrition, companionship, known-ness and newness.

Okay, sounds good. But what does it mean in everyday terms? I think about last week and the way my wife and I spent time together. One day we went to the carwash to give our ride some much needed attention after a roadtrip to the snow. We got pulled through the automated wash and marveled at how our toddler had remained completely asleep the last time through despite the near-deafening noise. We joked that it must have been a familiar experience in utero: the thump of the flap sponges as the heart beat, the whooshing digestive noises of the water jets.

After that, we pulled up to the bank of vacuum nozzles and began attending to the interior of the car. I was suddenly aware of how good it felt to be doing this together, giving attention to our ride, sucking up the dirt (or getting to the other side of it), each tackling one half of the car. Very quickly the task went from being mundane to being a kind of gift. What we were doing needed to be done, and it felt better doing it together. And since we don’t always get to do such things together, portioning off chores as a time saver or out of necessity, we might have very easily missed this opportunity. We acknowledged that it felt good.

And yes, getting through the dirt is a huge part of renewal. Spring cleaning, anyone? But just past the cliché are specific experiences from our own lives.

Those moments when we are separate but working alongside one another can meet the same need for renewal and reinvigoration. They serve as a reminder that we are together in this (or in the words of a best friend couple of ours, “we’re on the same team.”)

One of the next things on our list that day involved weeding and tidying the yard. Again, a mundane activity that might not rhyme with any romantic musings of a weekend well spent, but it was something that suited both of our needs for connection: pulling out the visual clutter and making room for something new to grow, or making room for the space to frame the rest. And between us something else could take root, a reminder of being a good team, of making room for future growth.

In renewing, we may reach toward connection with ourselves, and we may think of others as we reach from ourselves. We may ground ourselves despite the pull of distractions, a whipping wind, the interior commotion of our own mental carwash, or the returning blat of the jackhammer.

Renewal can happen with a fresh look at things, at how we communicate, at how we receive, at how we reach out, at how we ground. And in this case, renewal can happen with a little help from the mundane tasks we might otherwise write off as a chore.

Upcoming Event: Tue, Jan 28, 2014

Sustainable NutritionThais will be speaking at the YMCA Santa Rosa about “Sustainable Nutrition: Eating for the Health of Your Wallet” this coming Tuesday, 1/28, from 5:45 to 7:45pm.

Join us for an informative talk on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable for you, your budget and the planet.

There is no fee to register and there will be a food demo.

More info: click here

Upcoming Events

Sustainable Nutrition talk at the 3rd Women in Discovery Salon

Thais Harris, NC will be presenting at the 3rd Women in Discovery Autumn Salon at 2pm, on Saturday, October 26th, 2013. The salon runs from 11am to 8pm and offers a wonderful array of presenters.

Location: 412 Redhill Avenue, Suite 2, San Anselmo, CA 94960

Tickets: $20

More information:


Reset & Renew Fall Cleanse for Individuals:Pumpkin, apples and Cranberries on fall leaves


This guided 21-Day Reset & Renew Cleanse includes ongoing coaching with a certified holistic nutrition consultant, ALL supplements, and 28 meal replacements


• Have been feeling a little bound up
• Have “foggy” brain
• Can’t get rid of the afternoon slump
• Have a few persistent pounds to shed
• Want clarity and focus
• Want to make “eating healthy” easy and delicious
• Want to reset and focus before the holiday craze starts

First meeting: Wednesday, October 30th, at 6 pm (1.5 hours)
Second meeting: Wednesday, November 6th, at 6 pm (1 hour)
Final meeting: Monday, November 18th, at 6 pm (1 hour)

Location: 779 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, CA

This is not a starvation cleanse: you will continue to eat throughout the detox process and will have all nutrients needed to thrive in any situation.

ONLY $395
(includes coaching, supplements and 28 meal replacements)
Featuring supplements from Designs For Health

Sign up here


Reset & Renew Fall Cleanse for Couples:Couple_Cooking1

Improve Your Health and the Health of Your Relationship

Cleansing isn’t easy, but going through it with a partner makes it so much better. Why not take this time to also cleanse your relationship of patterns and behaviors that no longer serve you, or to set intentions together for the future?

This Couple’s Cleanse allows you to improve your own health and the health of your relationship. It includes 3 meetings and ongoing coaching with a certified holistic nutrition consultant, 3 counseling meetings with a licensed psychotherapist, ALL supplements, and 28 meal replacements for each individual.

First meeting: Thursday, October 31st, at 6pm (2 hours)
Second meeting: Thursday, November 7th, at 6pm (1.5 hours)
Final meeting: Wednesday, November 20th, at 6pm (1.5 hours)

Location: 779 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, CA

This is not a starvation cleanse: you will continue to eat throughout the detox process and will have all nutrients needed to thrive in any situation.

The counseling portion of this cleanse is not intended as therapy for couples in crisis, it is instead a time for committed couples to set intentions, expand communication, and together let go of patterns that might not be serving the relationship.

ONLY $825 per couple
(includes nutrition coaching, relationship counseling, supplements, and 28 meal replacements for each individual)
Featuring supplements from Designs For Health

Spaces are Limited.

Sign up here

Thais and Peter are featured writers for Honey Colony

We are happy to announce that we are collaborating with Honey Colony, a fantastic community-based resource for information on everything related to health, from practices to products. From their website:

We’re here to unite the growing number of people adopting healthy lifestyles and seeking to cut through the hype and claims about natural products and remedies. With a little help from leading health experts and top-notch journalists in the field, community wisdom determines what works and what doesn’t.

We are sharing with Honey Colony articles on nourishing self and relationship.

Our article “Nourishing Intimacy” has 2 parts, one focused on nutrition for desire, and the the second on rediscovering passion in the relationship. You can read them here:

If you have any questions on these articles, be sure to post them here. Thanks!

10 New Rules for a Body in Pain

For the last six months or so, I have been in the tilting, lumbering waltz of back pain. There was a specific point in time not so long ago as the days were getting short and my own outlook was bleakening, I realized it wasn’t about the outside world fixing the inside of me. No number of specialists on either side of the east-west divide would be able to help me end the dance of discomfort until I changed the way I was with my pain. Otherwise, I would continue aggravating the tender part of me that was trying to heal. I would have to gain the patience and presence of mind to sit with what was happening inside, and be more responsible and more responsive to my own healing message.

A Healing Hand

For any who have experienced it, sciatic pain curtails many aspects of life, almost like living locked in a room that keeps getting smaller with a wild animal that keeps getting bigger and hungrier. It gets harder and harder to imagine life without the searing limitations of pain. In my case, the intense pain would wake me from a dead sleep and then every adjustment made it worse. Then returning to sleep became harder and harder as each waking startle brought more adrenaline and cortisol to my grapple-dance. It turns out that the food the waltzing monster most wanted was sleep.

Upon waking Sunday after a night of deliciously waltz-free snoozing, I thought I would write out other rules for healing the body that I have found in the course of my six-month pain process. And finding something to be grateful for in all of this has been at the center of my healing. What is my pain telling me? Slow down. There is no rush. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.

And one of the things I happen to be able to do now is share the following rules:

1. Get up mindfully. When first waking, before immediately succumbing to habit and habitual motion, really tune in and see what this your body wants to do. How does your body want to move? Break big motions into smaller parts, so you can pay attention to where your pain begins. Listen to the message and adjust accordingly

2. Eat toward health. Starting with your first meal, eat foods that will assist you in healing. Specifically in my case, collagen-rich broth for bone/tendon/muscle health, lots of greens and protein for repair. (Look for a future post here soon focusing on eating for healing…)

3. Remember you are healing. Remind yourself that you are healing. As often during the day as you’d like but especially when pain is overwhelming or you feel yourself slipping into despair, give yourself permission to heal. This most recent frustration or burst of pain is not you, it is a temporary condition. “I am healing,” also reinforces consciously what this your body is trying to do on a second-by-second basis, or rather is already doing.

4. Love your pain. This is not the same as being a masochist. This is about respecting and getting to know your pain. As long as we resist pain, it will stick around like a house guest with nowhere else to go. So, don’t pretend the guest isn’t there sitting on your couch, and don’t offend your guest with an obscene gesture or a slap to the face. Get to know the guest and find out what the pain wants. (Pain wants to move on, too, usually.) Keep a pain journal. Keep track of what aggravates it and when you feel best. You could even develop your own rules for healing, so you and your guest can both get on with the lives you want.

5. Visualize what you want to be doing. When you hit a wall and can’t do something that gives you joy or that you are used to doing every day, close your eyes and take a second to see yourself doing that thing. Biking, hiking, playing tennis, skiing, walking the dog, or just sitting in your favorite chair for half an hour pain-free by a warm crackling fire. The more vivid and specific the image, the more effective it is in supporting your healing toward its realization. As an added bonus, the more you flex your visualization muscles, the clearer and more potent they become, moving you toward your intention.

6. Don’t make yourself wrong. It is very easy to slip into this trap, I know. A vicious cycle of self-blame, heaping on the epithets, born of frustration or remorse (Why didn’t I listen to my body then? Instead I just kept on moving those boxes…) If you saw a friend beating themselves up for not being able to do something, you might say, “It’s not always going to be this way,” or “It’s going to be okay.” So, hey, be a friend to yourself.

7. Stretch throughout the day. Remind this your body of its full range of motion. Breathe into the parts that get neglected first. Breathe deeply as you gently stretch, and fully oxygenate the body. Building this in as a habit can also guard against future injury.

8. Educate yourself on the healing process. Every day, spend a few minutes taking in information. Talk to someone who has had this experience and is on the other side of pain. Look up a book on healing at the library. Sweep for blogs. Search the medical databases. Educating yourself can also help you visualize more specifically, and you will be able to hone your visualization mojo to support what needs to happen inside.

9. Visualize your healing. This is about getting clear on tissues and systems, finding a way to understand the shape and process of your healing. And you know the gist of what comes next; the more you can see clearly and the clearer you see it, the more this your body will move in that direction.

10. Call a buddy. The healing power of being in loving company goes beyond words. Don’t hurt alone. Some downtime of course is necessary, and pain’s natural effect is to get us to slow down, hunker, isolate. At some point, though, we need to reach out and start saying yes to the get-together. You can be selective, too. Honor your heart’s choice. What makes the hea feel better steps you toward healing to your fullest and happiest future. Heal on!

A little inspiration for the year ahead

The Holstee Manifesto has made its way into so many places that it is hard to find anyone who hasn’t seen a poster, coffee mug, or t-shirt carrying its message… and since it is a message worth spreading, why not be inspired by it again, with the help of music and movement?

Click here for the video:

Creating Intentions That Stick: 01/05/13

From my own experience in implementing lasting changes, and from what I gather from my clients who are trying to eat better and improve their lifestyle, the task of creating intentions is easy, but sticking to them in the long run is the challenging part.

I am proud to announce my dear friend Alejandra Siroka’s upcoming workshop on Creating Intentions That Stick. Alejandra is the founder of Language Alchemy, a communication consulting firm in the Bay Area, and the facilitator of numerous workshops in Connected Communication (I have participated in two of them and learned a lot about how I communicate with others and the messages I give myself).

With her gracious style, generosity, and wisdom, Alejandra helps transform the way people communicate to improve their lives, relationships, and businesses.

I will be at the workshop on the 5th, and there are still places available. Register today and save $9! See below:

Sometimes we make New Year’s Resolutions that seem pretty juicy at first and by February they are completely forgotten. Have you had this experience?  One likely reason these intentions do not come to fruition might be because the changes we want to make exist only at an intellectual level.  We need our whole system to get involved in the desired new actions so that some unconscious behavioral patterns do not interpret change or transformation as a threat.  To work with our entire ecology having a clear vision is essential.  When the vision is in alignment with our core values, our system unlocks our unconscious patterns and welcomes the new action. Would you like to learn how to get your whole self on board and create lasting change in your life? Would you like to change the unconscious patterns that keep you running on habitual loops that are past their due time? If so…


In this 3-hour workshop you will:

  • Have a specific, clear and compelling vision for your life in 2013;
  • Engage your whole brain ecology to make lasting change;
  • Create value-based intentions;
  • Craft a concrete, doable and joyful action plan;
  • Form a network with workshop participants to start, continue and deepen your intentions.

January 5, 2013 | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM  

@ Shanta Shala | 355 Roosevelt Way | San Francisco, CA 94114

Workshop investment:  From now until December 20th $36  |  After December 20th  $45

Space limited to 20 participants


For more information, visit Language Alchemy’s website.

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