TED Talk Friday: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go

This is a great talk told in an incredibly personable, relatable way. Her message around the danger of “not yet” is something that rings true for me across numerous areas of my life, but I’ve been working very hard over the past year to lose that outlook. Saying “not yet” helps us cling to certain things, or stay a step away from things, and those choices often come from fear. I hope you enjoy this wonderful talk.

What do you need to let go of? Which rule is your favorite?

Becoming a #FutureHuman with Orb

I have posted a lot about my difficulties with sleep, usually I fall asleep within 45 minutes, but I struggle with staying asleep. I’ve tried so many different supplements, teas, and pills with little help.

I decided to try Orb Sleep Complex at Costco after the brand reached out to me with their new release to Costco stores (not all stores carry it, but you can find it on Costco’s online store.

I’ve worked in the health & fitness industry so I know about the smoke and mirrors involved with many supplements out there. I’ve tried a lot of products and have done my research, and I think it’s important to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

So what makes Orb different? It has time-release technology with a blend of supplements that help your body calm down for sleep, plus B12 for energy support. Plus, the pills look pretty cool:

See the beadlets floating in the liquid? The ingredients are separated for ideal absorption; vitamins best absorbed in liquid are in the oil and the the vitamins in the beadlets are better absorbed in dry form.

The Orb Sleep Complex contains:

  • Melatonin
  • Valerian
  • L-theanine
  • GABA
  • 5-HTP
  • Lavender & Ylang ylang oil
  • Vitamin B12

Our body naturally produces a hormone called melatonin; we make it based on our circadian rhythm, which follows the sunset and sunrise. Melatonin production also decreases with age. Melatonin supplements can help with insomnia, jet lag, and general sleep troubles. I’ve taken melatonin for years with mixed results.

Valerian is far less popular, but can be found in Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime tea varieties. Valerian is made from a root and helps with insomnia, and many claim it helps with anxiety as well. Research suggests it acts like a very mild sedative.

L-theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea (and some mushrooms). L-theanine boosts the neurotransmitters that make us feel good and happy–seratonin, dopamine, and GABA. These neurotransmitters work in the brain to regulate mood, emotion, concentration, and sleep, as well as appetite and energy. L-theanine has recently grown in popularity because it doesn’t make you sleepy, but instead makes you feel calm and relaxed.

GABA is crucial to our brain’s health; low GABA activity has been correlated to anxiety, depression, and difficulty focusing.

5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter I mentioned earlier. It has been shown to diminish depressive symptoms in high doses (500-1400mg daily for at least two weeks).

Lavender and Ylang Ylang oil both provide natural soothing properties. I actually take lavender oil capsules when I’m having a particularly stressful day and they definitely help me calm down.

Lastly, vitamin B12. Our bodies don’t make B12 so we must get it from food or supplements. Vegetarians are at higher risk for B12 deficiency. This is included because in the Orb supplements because lower than healthy levels of B12 can make you feel groggy or tired.

I’ve started taking Orb regularly and am loving how relaxed it makes me feel. I bought mine at Costco at a bargain price– 120 capsules for $28.99 in-store, $29.99 online (it’s regularly $39.99 for only 60 capsules).

I even brought it with me to Peru to take and share with my family.

They’ve been using it and enjoying it so far! I’ll keep you posted as I get in a rhythm and use it over the next few weeks; some of the ingredients work better over time (5-HTP for example).


Do you have trouble sleeping? What have you tried that does or doesn’t help?

Disclaimer: I received this product from Orb, but all opinions, thoughts, and photos are my own and represent my own experience.

Ted Talk Friday: What to do when your worldview falls apart

The opening of this talk deeply resonated with me; I remember the moment I started questioning, then completely doubting God. Up until that point, I don’t think I questioned the existence of God–I was raised Catholic, going to Sunday school and church every week. Questioning our world view is terrifying, but it is crucial to building our own identity and learning to think critically.


Do you question your beliefs? Does questioning them scare you?

Movie Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I don’t think I’ve ever done a movie review on the blog, but I feel the need to share and reflect on this wonderful documentary.

I have vague memories watching Mr. Rogers growing up; his kind face, his sweaters, his assuring voice. I didn’t know what to expect of the movie, but I was quickly lost in the fascinating world of Mr. Rogers.

His character on TV was not just a persona, it was exactly who he was. I was surprised to learn that he was a minister (and republican!), but none of those details mattered–the only thing he preached of was love. He embodied Carl Rogers’ concept of “unconditional positive regard,” which is the idea that an individual is loved and lovable no matter what they say or do.

To Mr. Rogers, every child has a right to unconditional positive regard. What a powerful, simple concept.

He discussed emotionally painful situations like divorce, assassination, and 9/11 with kids. Often people feel the need to shelter kids from these events, but children sense when something is wrong–and they deserve to know. Mr. Rogers knew that and knew exactly how to tell them.

I was young when 9/11 happened and asked my mom, “There were not any people on the plane, right?” I don’t know how she answered, but I know it was a good answer. My parents mirrored Mr. Rogers approach–they always told us the truth in a way we could understand, no matter how painful.

The movie explores Mr. Rogers deeply as a person; he had so much grit, passion, and kindness in his heart. He seemed to never waver, but partway through the movie we learn that was not the case. Even he was not perfect. He has self-doubt and questions, but he always chose to persevere because he knew children needed help.

He have a commencement speech, and part of it was included in the movie. One line: “Take a full minute and think about someone who has loved you into being. The timer starts now.”

I thought about this phrase and tears slowly started coming. I thought of my high school boyfriend, someone who has come up frequently in the blog over the past year. He died from an overdose about a year ago; it rocked me to my core and continues to rock me. He loved be into being. He loved me into knowing I was enough, lovable, special.

“Thank you, Max, for loving me into being” I thought. It wasn’t sadness about his death that was bringing me tears, but instead tears of gratitude that I experienced that kind of unconditional love and acceptance so young. My parents always gave me that love, but it’s the first time I felt it in someone who was not in my family–and that gives a different feeling.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a must-see; it adds so much depth to the staple childhood show. Mr. Rogers was not simply the character, he was that person. He was kind, loving, and generous–those kinds of people can exist and can make amazing change in the world. The movie also prompts self-reflection that went far beyond what I expected (I know I didn’t expect to cry!).


Have you watched Mr. Rogers? Did you see the movie?