Category Archives: Women’s Health

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish! 5 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care

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There have been a few times in my life that I have had what I refer to as a “light bulb” moment. It happens when something becomes so crystal clear and illuminated in my mind, almost like a light bulb has been turned on in a dark room.

I had a light bulb moment when thinking about my self-care routines, and ultimately it helped to transform me and change extended to my entire family.

As a young mom I had an idea in my head that being a martyr meant I was “doing it right.” I thought that putting everyone else’s needs before my own meant that I was proving my love to my family. The only problem was that when I did they got the exhausted, depleted, and overwhelmed version of Mommy.

We have all heard flight attendants instruct us to put our oxygen mask on before those that we are caring for. Every single time I fly I silently thank the airline for the gentle reminder. It never gets old.

We cannot share what we don’t have. If we don’t have reserves of energy that allow us to feel balanced and centered we can’t give our best to our children and loved ones, to our jobs, or to our friends and extended family.

The more I began to prioritize my own needs and care, by practicing meditation, mindfulness and gratitude, the more patient, present and joyful I became. I was able to bring the best version of myself to everyone that I cared about.

What I learned as I transformed from a “hot mess” to a “mindful mom” is that it doesn’t take as much time as one would think to practice self-care. Small tweaks had a huge impact on my life. Things such as: Continue reading

Crazy Train or Baby Train? How Stress Affects Fertility

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Stress is not our friend when it comes to good health, and that includes fertility.  As a mind + body coach helping women birth their dreams, I see all too often how smart, successful women are “killing themselves” pushing so hard trying for a baby and it breaks my heart. Let me tell you what I have learned: Mother Nature doesn’t like bullies and doesn’t offer short cuts. But she loves it when we are true to ourselves, and will freely give you all her secrets if you slow down enough to tune in.

If we are on crazy train we are going to miss baby train if we don’t soften our hard parts, dial down the crazy and get with the program.

Stress puts us in “fight or flight” mode which activates the fertility killing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, pulling all the blood to our limbs away from our womb and reproductive organs. The body says, “we are not about to make a baby while we are running from a bear!”

What we are facing is a present day dilemma that all of us must at some point have a “come to Jesus” with; and that is if we are trying to make babies we are going to need to stop running from (or in some cases chasing) that proverbial bear. Something’s got to give.

The great news about this is slowing down is not a luxury it is a necessity. No more guilt, ladies! By making a few simple choices in our daily lives, we can keep our heads from exploding and step off of crazy train and back onto peace train (or what I love to call baby train.) Here are a few tips to get you started. Continue reading

One Woman’s Survival Story: Marriage Separation

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She didn’t know anyone whose marriage had survived separation, but here it was, staring her straight in the face. The woman, we’ll call her Wendy, had only been married a few short years but it was obvious that things were getting stale.

He wanted out. Separation. Relationship halt.

She didn’t see that coming. Aside from things being stale in their young marriage, there wasn’t anything major going on. No affairs or big fights. Nothing that would indicate that her husband was particularly unhappy with her. So when he wanted to move into another apartment, she was in shock. Now what?

When married couples contemplate such a move, it can be scary. Being separate typically means there are big problems, and big problems can lead to divorce. Separation just prolongs the questions. Will this work out? Will we find our way back to each other again?

Wendy kept their separation a secret save for a few who were closest to her. Mostly, she cried alone at her house, or at her desk at work. She cried a lot. Likely she thought about all the things she should have done while they still lived together. Regrets loomed.

Was it all too late? Continue reading

Far Better To Dare Mighty Things

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One of my favorite quotes in the world is Theodore Roosevelt’s, “Far Better to Dare Mighty Things”.

“Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy nor suffer much, in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

No one on earth lives this wisdom more than one of our Project Athena “Survivors”, Alli Morgan. I created Project Athena to help women survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their adventurous dreams.

When Alli was 15 years old, she tore her ACL in a soccer game. She went in for a routine surgery to fix her ACL and was progressing toward recovery until she faced intense pain and couldn’t advance further in her therapy. It was discovered in an x ray that a screw was lodged in the joint and the replaced ACL was too long. So she underwent a second surgery to correct the first. A few weeks after her second surgery, a staph infection set in, and her surgical wound refused to close. The ligaments and hardware in her knee became septic and were removed, but the infection continued to spread.

Over the next four years, which were spent on crutches, Alli endured over 40 surgeries and spent a collective 15 months in the hospital, missing college. To literally add insult to injury, her leg had become irrevocably locked straight, and no surgeon could provide her with an answer about whether she would ever be able to bend that leg or walk again. So at the very young age of 20, Allie decided to make a very brave decision to avoid the “gray twilight” her life had become, and she dared to do a very mighty thing.

She decided to become an elective above the knee amputee to gain her life back. She applied for a grant to become one of our Project Athena “Athenas” for the Keys to Recovery Adventure, which is a kayak and bike ride from Key Largo to Key West. She completed all 120 miles of that journey in 2012 surrounded by a supportive group of fundraising gods and goddesses in and crossed the finish line with her new bionic leg and her new life. She’s now a member of the US Paralympic Skeleton Team.

For me, Alli truly embodies Theodore Roosevelt’s Far Better To Dare Mighty Things quote, because she knew that there would be fear, failure, and pain along the way….but a far bigger fear for her was to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. She knew her life would be harder in many ways, but as she said in an interview, “I didn’t know if I was going to get my life back or what would ultimately happen, I just knew I had to try”. Brave words, from a brave young lady who would much rather have victory or defeat than what ifs.

So what is your gray twilight? How are you in limbo in your life? It’s time to channel your inner Alli Morgan and dare mighty things!


Robyn Benincasa is a World Champion Adventure Racer, 3x Guinness World Record Kayaker, San Diego City Firefighter, 10x Ironman Triathlete, sought-after leadership speaker, New York Times Bestselling author of ‘How Winning Works’, proud owner of 2 bionic metal hips, and the Founder and CEO of The 501c3 Project Athena Foundation, which helps survivors live an adventurous dream as part of their recovery. In her spare time, Robyn’s favorite hobby is inspiring people to do insane, life affirming things like run their first triathlon, start their own business, hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim, or kayak and ride 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. For more information visit www.robynbenincasa.com and www.projectathena.org.

Spirituality in Stilettos: Spiritual Bliss with a 21st Century Twist

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Spirituality in Stilettos celebrates the beauty, strength and style of a women’s spiritual bliss grounded in the 21st century with an irresistible twist!

Spirituality is truly a big word for spirit … the truth and joy of who we are and Stilettos remind us that we live in the 21st century with all of its mixed messages and noise. Most of us yearn for clarity, balance and connection but we don’t have a year to eat in Italy, pray in India and fall in love in Bali to find ourselves. We need to keep our feet on the ground, but allow our spirits to soar. You have both, be enlightened and embrace the power of mind, body spirit unity: all while hugging a tree, wearing a pair of stilettos and drinking a glass of wine in a sexy red dress.

Finding your spiritual bliss. This doesn’t mean you have to box yourself in, become holier than thou and give up everything else. In essence, it means you have the ability to expand beyond your physical self; We’re multi dimensional beings, made up of layers of conscious and unconscious experiences and roles all stored in our mind, bodies and soul. Only by approaching life as a whole in all of our glorious shades of perfect and imperfect color can we be our original, exceptional, sexy self …we wear many shoes, so be kind and forgiving with yourselves. Spirituality in Stilettos means different things to different people, so be different and be your own judge.

Follow your bliss. First, there is no secret timeline when it comes to Spiritual bliss. Spirituality is our own journey, whatever that may be. I just ask that you choose yours and not someone else’s. I do encourage you to let the fear creep in, face it, but don’t let it stunt you.

Embrace your childlike wonder, be curious, creative and answers will flow. Bliss comes from what your spirit needs, not textbooks, so when you feel doubt. I want to remind you to ask yourself a simple question. “Who has the right to judge your journey?” Continue reading

For Mother’s Day and the Women We Love: Get Your Signed Living with Intent Bookplates from Mallika Chopra!

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We are so excited to announce the upcoming release of Living with Intent in paperback this May 3rd. It has been over a year since the initial launch and we have heard countless stories of men and women living their own lives of intent. It has truly been an honor to join in that journey with you.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are happy to one again offer free signed bookplates from Mallika Chopra for your copies of Living with Intent.

How do you get one? Continue reading

Engaged… Now what?

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by Desiree Hartsock
So your man finally popped the question in the most romantic way ever… Now what!?!

This is a question asked at least once by a newly engaged bride. Whether you have been planning your wedding since you were a little girl or barely thought about it, you are a new seed in this fast-growing pot known as the wedding industry.

It’s hard to know where to begin or what your first step should be. It’s not everyday that you plan a wedding… So, first things first. Continue reading

A Woman’s Guide to Building Muscle

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Creatine is a substance known to help build muscle mass and increase performance. Even though there are a growing number of women pursuing bodybuilding, it’s predominantly used by men. A survey in 2007 revealed that only one percent of female athletes use creatine to help them achieve their goals. This is primarily because they see creatine as something that will bulk them up and make them larger, and our society teaches us women should be small. However, what they don’t consider is that it also keeps them weak. By implementing the use of creatine for women, they can build strength and look better than they ever imagined. Continue reading

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