Very Exciting News!!!

Bloom & Spark has mooved!-2

Woo-Hoo! That’s all I have to say right now! So, you may have noticed a bit of a lull in my posts recently. Well the very good explanation for that is I have been working tirelessly on upgrading this blog to a real self-hosted wearing the big girl pants website. Same content, better location! I will not be posting to this site anymore but it will still remain live (until I decide to get rid of it completely).

Major thanks to Sarah Magdalena Love who worked her magic and created my gorgeous new site. I cannot recommend her highly enough! If you are looking to start a blog, or design any sort of website she is your girl. I thought that I could do this by myself, and put it off for a very long time. Sarah patiently and with great love walked me through every step of the process and went above and beyond in what she delivered. And she’s like the sweetest person ever!

Thank you all so much for reading Bloom & Spark. Health and wellness is a major passion of mine and I love nothing more than to share what I learn with others, and continue to learn as I go. I hope you enjoy the new space.

www.bloomandspark.com

Digital Hoarding and Happiness

As a fully immersed and loyal subject of the social media kingdom I look forward to the hours (yes, hours) I spend on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and various blogs and websites. I feel an innate hunter gatherer tendency to accumulate as much information I can.  If I see something I like I have to pin it, save it to my favorites and share it on facebook and twitter. Am I a digital information hoarder?

I began following various yogis and food/wellness experts on these platforms to gain inspiration and knowledge to further enhance my own crusade to be as happy and healthy as I can. Alas, what began as a well intentioned sunday stroll has now become an all out sprint to the front lines with a serious case of a-need-to-be-in-the-know. I am starting to notice that every free second I have, my brain is craving constant input. At any given moment I’ll have 10 tabs open in my browser. Even when I’m not in front of the computer, my iphone is practically glued to my hand at all times. I spend hours “window shopping” the internet without actually investing in much quality content. When was the last time I read a whole article anywhere? Probably never. So I came to a conclusion: Pinterest has ruined my brain. Well I can’t blame pinterest in general, but it got me thinking; The ways in which we communicate and connect these days are boiled down to a single picture, status update or 140 characters. When we spend 1-3 seconds looking at something do our brains begin to only respond to small quick bits of input? I find this kind of scary, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  Are we unknowingly deprogramming our brains from attending to something for longer than a minute? And in turn, are we craving bits of things without actually getting to something real and substantial? No wonder I’m never satisfied. It’s like popcorn; little pieces of nothing that you crave but doesn’t fill you up, only leaves you wanting more.

I also wonder what it’s doing to our happiness. We are constantly evaluating our lives in comparison to others because we are so connected with each other. Every time I see a cool yoga posture on instagram I think “I wish I could do that.” Or when a blog shows someone’s gorgeously decorated living room I think “I want my living room to look like that.” And food is the worst! Food pictures evoke thoughts such as “I should be eating more of that superfood” or “yeah right pinterest, my reindeer cookies will never look like that!” Whether we realize it or not we are constantly bombarded with opportunities to compare our lives with others. And let’s face it, nobody wants to follow someone who complains about the crap in their lives. We choose who we follow because they have great pictures, or are aspirational to us in some way. The problem with that is our lives will never measure up to those on our social networks.

I guess my observation is two-fold: 1) With our addiction to social media our brains are constantly craving short bits of satisfaction without achieving any real satisfaction. 2) We are beginning to lose sense of our own happiness by always seeing the great things others are doing, and comparing ourselves to them.

Is there a lesson in all of this? I don’t know. Maybe just by being aware of it we can become better at realizing when we are mindlessly cruising the internet, or feeling inadequate because  Susie-yoga-instructor is doing an inverted body back bend handstand.

Getting into the Spirit

So as my readers know I post a lot about health, wellness, good food and nutrition. But in order to lead a healthful balanced life, a large component which cannot be overlooked is spirituality. I have found that the further I dive into the world of healthy living the more I see how important a connection to the higher self is an integral part of overall wellbeing.  Coming from a Jesuit education, where significance is placed on “care of the whole person” (mind body and spirit) it’s fitting that I find myself at a place in my life where I am placing significance on caring for my whole person. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that spirituality is too woo-woo and new-agey but let’s get real here. We all have souls right? At least I think so. And I’m not talking about organized religion. As author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss says, organized religion is a costume party and nothing but the politics of God. All major religions boil down to the same ideals: love, peace and kindness toward one another. They are just dressed up in costumes like judgement, hate and exclusivity.  Peel away all the nonsense that has been taught for the last couple centuries and we are looking at the teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed and other spiritual leaders, and realizing that they are all kinda the same.  So I want to dive in to better understand the connection between our spiritual health and our physical health, becuase my gut is telling me that they are way more related than we ever thought.

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Since I don’t know what kind of picture would best accompany this post, please enjoy this sunset. 

Welcome!

Welcome to Bloom & Spark. This blog is intended to be a place to share information and inspiration on all healthy and happy living content. There’s nothing better than knowing we have the ability to take the best care of ourselves and live to our fullest potential. Here I will share recipes, tips, and information on food, nutrition and fitness, as well as guidance toward personal development of the mind and spirit. And maybe some fun travel and restaurant posts too.

The inspiration for the name came from my love for healthy natural foods that come from the earth, especially when I grow them myself (Bloom), as well as my passion for seeking out inspiration, positive energy and joy in the world (Spark). The main focus will be on a healthy living lifestyle for the mind body and spirit, but will also touch a bit on travel and leisure as it pertains to finding health and happiness.

A bit of personal background: My name is Caroline and I live in The Hamptons. A wonderful place for finding inspiration and beauty. I began a personal journey of overall wellness after dealing with anxiety disorders for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen psychologists and hypnotherapists, tried prescription medication and finally got fed up with all the effort it took to battle this issue. I decided to look toward other avenues of healing, in a more wholistic and peaceful way. I knew a complete lifestyle change was needed, for my mind, body and spirit. I became passionate about educating myself on nutrition, meditation, yoga, spiritual development and living happily and peacefully. I have found success with this way of living, as long as I am consistent and continue to learn more and maintain healthy habits. So this blog is a place to do just that. Thanks for joining me!