how does “freedom” feel
breathe in joy
breathe out love
it is transparent
and all the beats of your heart
it is the space before
I took a super fun yoga class by Shari Beard that prompted us to write our own poetry at the end… didn’t share in class, but feel compelled to share somewhere:-)
I AM MEANT FOR THIS WORLD
IS THIS WORLD MEANT FOR ME
IS MY HEART’S QUEST
WHY DOES MY HEAD GET IN THE WAY
TO BE FREE
TO BE ME
WITH THE EARTH BENEATH MY FEET
THE MOUNTAINS THAT I SEE
FRESH AIR TO BREATHE
NOTHING ELSE SHOULD MATTER
THIS IS LOVE
MY HEART BEATS FOR THESE
As long as I can remember, I’ve had an open relationship with myself… what does that look like, you might be wondering? For me, it’s an open conduit to the voice of my heart; not the voice that sounds and feels like defeat… but rather the calm, and often more curious voice that chimes in when I allow it. I spent a lot of time alone growing up, so I would walk out in nature and sit, look around, explore… and spend time thinking about how I thought life should feel and become for me.
The time I spent seeking and looking inward gave me my moral compass; I could never stray off my path for too long or far. Shame and guilt have always played big roles in my life, and I almost let it become debilitating; I let my past choices define me, and I shamed the hell out of myself. It hurt, but I knew that the truth could save me; that and a deep understanding of my worth and footing on my path. That actually is something I hadn’t given much stock until the years proved my experience to be based on THIS VERY SAME TRUTH GUIDING ME BACK.
Call a spade a spade… do not waste your time, and don’t be scared to move on. Listening to your strong subtle voice is your insurance that you will be ok; so have faith in you. The absolute opposite of what we teach our kids.
As I see it, it is now time to cut out the bullshit from our lives, and not only in our personal lives but out of our corporate ideals and consumer driven lives… take charge and breathe your way to the better life you have always been walking towards. It just requires a little remembering to pick up the pace; and allow your breath to do what it does best… renew, and carry out the bad. Breathe in your truth and breathe out the lies. Whether it’s the untruth you berate yourself with on a daily basis, or the bullshit you fell prey to along the way… push eject!
My hope is to start a conversation, allowing people to take a real look at the low rumble that has been getting louder this past decade. What is the true motivation behind your actions? For example, a good friend of mine (who is lovely in every way) told me she was a bit stressed about the list of things to get done before heading out to visit her family for the holidays. On this list was getting her son to the gym more often, and her daughter running more with her. My heart broke just a bit because I remember my experience growing up, being told I’m not good enough. I was told that a lot, and definitely believed it until not too long ago.
I credit my newfound self-worth to trust, I finally trust myself to know what is best for me; my voice guided me places I never dreamed was for me. Maybe age helps a little bit, a secure checking account, strong support, and lots of love around me… I know I am lucky, and I am now walking the walk and talking the talk; making my way to the best me I can be.
I got off track a little bit, but it all comes back to clearing out the rubble and letting the light shine on the beauty around you. The stories we tell ourselves are not beautiful, in fact, they are cruel and hurtful. With our very own thoughts, we are our own worst enemy: if only my hair was two shades lighter, my nose a little shorter, my pants a little looser, my shirt a little lighter, my feet look fat, I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish I had a date, I wish I could laugh better, I am so stupid, and undeserving of anything, it’s all my fault that I am sad.
Instead, take your power back! The voice of lack is not the voice I am speaking about, and not the words to live by… that voice is fear, and it will serve defeat to you every time you listen to it, every time. It may feel comforting to know where you are headed, but you will never find joy there. There is a truth to life that requires you to open up, and be honest about where you want to take a stand, and I think it is time to go for strength and honesty. This requires listening to the calm voice in your head, that stable whisper of a voice that puts your body in alignment, and engages your heart.
How did you feel after the last big decision you made? Ideally, we would want to walk away standing a bit taller and feeling joy radiate warmth from our heart. Sounds a little like a romance novel, but life can be that obvious when we allow ourselves into the subtle body, and can feel the truth of a situation physically.
Now feel how your body responds when you think of the reverse decision; the heart sinks into your stomach and you feel a bit nauseous; your head looks down, shoulders slump and either a nap or a good scream sounds good. Our heads get in the way because we learned at a very young age not to trust ourselves, and that we don’t know what is right and wrong. We have been told so many lies about our history, our very lives, that we have become more comfortable following the rules, and chasing the elusive carrot than wanting to align with the truth.
This same problem is pervasive in our government, our schools, welfare, mental health, prisons, and any other situation involving human lives. The institutions we have built around these lies have become so big, we can’t imagine a new way to govern. We can’t even allow the idea of discounting this Presidential Election due to Russian involvement because it would destroy our lie of democracy being for the people. It has become all too obvious that our government is mostly for the people with money. Now I’ve really gotten off topic, but it makes for a great example of the silly stories we tell ourselves.
Another good example is how Christopher Columbus was among the last to discover America… the Vikings are now considered the first to discover America. But really, why can’t we simply admit we stole America from the Native Americans; they did not need to discover what was already inhabited. Hundreds of years later, and we still can’t tell the truth.
This brings to mind another area of lies that gets me all the time. The propaganda advertising that pervades our culture, telling us what to wear, how much to spend, and how often to trade it all in. This story will knock you down, or it should. Remember the “Keep America Beautiful” crying Indian ad that ran in the 1970’s? It focused on plastic bottles littering our planet, which is a sad reality and should be taken seriously. The problem was that the ad and the whole campaign was created within a secret meeting between top level soda companies (yes, Coca Cola and the other big ones were there). They didn’t want to go back to glass soda bottles and again have to incur the cost of collecting, washing and reusing their bottles; instead, they wanted Americans to be responsible for the littering and garbage creation that using plastic bottles created. So, they made us Americans the bad ones, and not their own greed. Which brings it back to institutions being too big to handle responsible, full-cycle productivity when all they care about are profits.
When we support these gross oversights, we encourage more bad behavior. We cannot overlook the importance of honor and truth in our world any longer. I think it has come time to decide that we have enough, and to take care of those who don’t. This beautiful planet can provide enough for all of us… we just have to decide we are enough. No more self-hate, no more living in lies; stand tall, open your heart and let the light in for all to see.
We are free to be… real, to be loved, to give love, and to live without fear. There is no fear in the truth, it will set us free!
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with tremendous healing properties. Using essential oils for healing purposes is often called aromatherapy, which is a holistic treatment seeking to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Dr. Axe goes into detail about their uses for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning, and most often for natural medicine; his article is fantastic, and the link is below:
I have many reasons for loving essential oils, and am excited to explore this area more after attending a mini-essential oil class recently. Replacing our household chemicals is a big deal for me; it’s a little like quitting smoking, and how the smell is offensive once you’ve quit. That’s the truth once the veil of habit is lifted, you smell the clean, clear truth:-) Here are the most popular household uses for essential oils:
all-purpose household sprays/cleaners
face & body oil
I liken the oils to a highlighter pen, to be used to enhance a certain outcome; drawing it out using the senses, the medicine, and the proper use. Essential oils are not just another tool in the toolbox, they could be the most well used. Stacey Orr shares her advice below:
“Our sense of smell and olfactory nerves are a direct pathway to the brain and emotional/mood responses. How? Simply inhale directly from the bottle, or use a diffuser to enjoy.”
“Essential oils are an awesome aid to your yoga and meditation practice! How? Make your own yoga mat spray: add 20-25 drops of oils in a spray bottle to mist and wipe down your mat. Other tips: start your diffuser in your home yoga/meditation space (frankincense is an excellent oil). Sniff citrus oils just before practicing sun salutations. For a quick centering/pranayama exercise, use peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus (diluted in your palms or in a diffuser) to take several mindful breaths. During savasana, apply a few drops of lavender to a folded tissue and place over your eyes, mindful that the essential oil drops are near your nose.”
“Our skin is our largest organ, and anything we apply to our skin is absorbed into the blood stream for health/medicinal benefits. How? Dilute 3-5 drops of essential oils per tablespoon of carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, sweet almond) and apply into your bath or massage on your hands/feet. Aromatherapy rollers are also convenient for topical application to pulse points. For example: peppermint diluted in a carrier oil provides great headache relief.”
THE ESSENTIAL TEN BREAKDOWN……… by: stinkyyogi.com
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia): When in doubt, use lavender! In addition to being a natural antiseptic, sedative and antidepressant, it provides calming emotional support and induces sleep.
Lemon (Citrus Limon): Citrus oils are known for their bright aroma and mood uplifting qualities. Lemon is a natural astringent and antiseptic. Use in your household cleaners/diffuser. It also aids in concentration and mental fatigue.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperita): Peppermint is cooling, refreshing and minty. It is a great digestive aid, sore muscle remedy and provides headache relief. It can also aid in mental focus via inhalation, or gargled with salt water as a mouthwash.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Radiata): Eucalyptus is primarily used to support the respiratory system. It has a penetrating aroma that aids in lung health, and is also a sore muscle and joint pain remedy. It mixes well with peppermint & rosemary.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis): Rosemary has a refreshing, herbal and camphorous aroma. It stimulates memory/ mental activity, aids in concentration, and is great for the scalp. It shares similar qualities of peppermint and eucalyptus.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia): Tea tree is known for its medicinal and antibacterial properties. It aids in treating wounds (cuts, blisters, fungus, head lice) and fighting viruses. Mix with lavender for skin treatment or eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary for cold/flu treatment.
Frankincense (Boswellia Frereana): Frankincense provides emotional support, reduces inflammation. and strengths the immune system. It is also an excellent spiritual/meditation aid.
Geranium (Pelagonium Graveolens): Geranium is a great female tonic: it balances hormones, treats PMS/ menopause, and provides positive emotional support. It is also supports liver health and soothes skin issues.
Marjoram (Origanum Majorana): Marjoram is a healing oil and wonderful aid for aches/pains, joint swelling, muscle stiffness and cramps. It is also emotionally calming/relaxing and aids in cardiovascular health.
Ylang Ylang (Canga Odorata): Like geranium, ylang ylang is primarily used to support emotional and hormonal balance. It reduces blood pressure and is a natural antidepressant. It has euphoric qualities, but is a heavy floral and therefore can be mixed with other oils to soften its aroma.
If the moon is nature’s cyclical groove…
then the oceans’ waves are her metronome,
setting the beat for nature’s sandbox.
Water is amazing, might even come before love… but then I would have to include food, and probably some other worthy items would be remembered. So for now, I’m sticking with LOVE is everything; which then allows for water to be cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and beautiful.
Water is one of the five elements of the universe: fire, earth, air, space and water. These same elements make up us humans; I AM fire, earth, air, space, and water. As every snowflake, tree, animal, or person… we are all unique in our design. These elements are all equally intriguing, but this week we focus on water… and honor her power to be both forceful, and flowing in her travels around this beautiful world of ours.
We are taking this week to the tub, and with all the rain coming down outside, I think it’s time to surrender to a luxurious bath inside our home. Light some candles, add some salts or bubbles, and soak. Let your muscles warm and relax, allow your body to release toxins, unfurrow your brow, and melt into the water. When you are ready to take your relaxation to the next level: close your eyes, breathe in for five counts, breathe out for five counts, and repeat five times. Sit in silence to find your center. If you want to breathe for another set of five, go for it! Find center, then repeat this mantra three times – “SAT NAM” — deep breath in, then out, between each repeat. This mantra translates to “I AM.”
I am sharing a website quiz that provides your personal Ayurvedic dosha-type. Getting to know and appreciate your dosha is key to knowing yourself. It provides clues for what you should eat, and what things you should address when your energy gets out of whack. The more you know about what may cause certain reactions or tendencies, the easier it will be to balance them. So, here is the link for a free evaluation; don’t forget to click the “get your report here” yellow button on the results (sent to your email). This is super fun for me, and very enlightening… I’m certain you will consider this time well spent:-) https://www.theayurvedaexperience.com/dosha-test/
Drinking eight cups (64 oz.) of water every day is the best way to clear toxins from your body. I think that’s a fairly easy task with some pretty fabulous results for your health. It is important, however, to be mindful of the quality of your water. I love my Zero Water Filter system (reasonable and the filter lasts a long time); it also comes with a “solid waste detector” that I find fascinating. We once noticed a difference in the taste of our water, tested and found a 20 point increase; called the city and found out the pollen count had tripled that week, and the effects were found in the water (wow). The best drink in the morning (and all day), is warm water with fresh lemon juice; it alkalizes the body. One tbsp. lemon juice/mug, but adjust to your personal taste… this is something to enjoy, not endure!
I just started enjoying baths a couple years ago. I suppose previously, I only let myself slow down enough to soak in a hot tub; which is definitely not a detox with a glass of wine, and a load of chemicals in the water (although I have found a safer hot tub cleansing treatment:-) Regardless, I am now a lover of baths of all types. I like bubbles because they are fun to play with, but mostly, I enjoy a really hot soak with some salts and essential oils. I just lay there and fall into deep breathing, not much else happens; I leave the real work for my showers!
Clearing our bodies of toxins is important, but we can’t possibly keep it all clean. No matter how much we try to block what is allowed into our lives, toxins have become too pervasive. So, our next step is to help them escape our bodies with ease, and expediency. I’ve been reading a lot of DIY recipes, trying some out (of course), and I have put together a few for you to try on your own. Keep it simple, use what you have in your kitchen, and/or purchase the basics first, no need to break the bank when all you really need is sea salt.
Check-out this little article on the benefits of SEA SALT:
The DIY recipes I am sharing are all simple, and all equally fabulous! Adding your own essential oils will only elevate your experience, so play with your favorites (and no fillers in those oils:-). Although Epsom salts are the standard, I prefer sea salts. Celtic is super, but Himalayan is good too; Epsom is great for adding magnesium, but that’s about it. Sea salts contain a whole family of minerals from the sea, including magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, sodium and bromide.
Since a lot of us have chlorine and fluoride pumped into our drinking water, it is best to have a filter. It can also help to put a few tablespoons of bentonite clay in your bath water. The clay will absorb the chlorine and fluoride, leaving your bath water a bit cleaner.
I like to end my baths with a favorite body oil, but it is super important to me to let the oil soak in before getting dressed. This does not always happen, but I try to stop and do a few sun salutations, or a five minute meditation. All warm and relaxed, taking this relaxing next step in making sure my day goes as planned is never the wrong choice. HaHa, the simple things as we age… are really the best!!
I like the advice I got somewhere (can’t recall where), but start with your bath water as hot as you can handle. Then just soak until the water cools. The heated water pulls your toxins to the skin, and then the cooling water (with the help of your body trying to stay warm) brings the toxins out. Add some sea salts, your favorite essential oil if you wish, and just breathe for a while… simple enough!
I found this recipe on www.draxe.com I think it makes a great salt scrub… exfoliate that lovely organ of yours:
2 fat fingers worth of FRESH GINGER
3/4 cup of SEA SALT
2 tbsp LEMON JUICE
combine INGREDIENTS IN A PROCESSOR & blend
SPREAD EVENLY OVER YOUR SKIN (avoiding sensitive areas) – KEEP RUBBING for better exfoliation
ENJOY YOUR HOT-to-COLD SOAK & RINSE
I/2 cup BENTONITE CLAY – mix with small amount of water to make paste (Amazon.com)
1/2 cup SEA SALTS – dissolve in water
ESSENTIAL OILS (if desired)
STAND IN TUB FULL OF SALT WATER AND RUB THE CLAY PASTE ALL OVER THE BODY, LET DRY
SOAK IN TUB UNTIL DONE, THEN USE WASH CLOTH TO SCRUB ANY REMAINING CLAY OFF THE SKIN & RINSE
Detoxing can happen without a tub, AND maybe even an easier option for some with a tub… try these tips for a “detox shower”:
I like to add a couple drops of my favorite essential oil when I want a little extra zing in the shower. You might also consider a shower filter to remove the chlorine and fluoride. I just purchased the Berkey shower head with filter ($40 on Amazon.com), and both my husband and I have noticed the difference on our skin!
I like to get out in nature; I found her in my youth, and never felt alone when I was wandering the hills around my home. My love for nature has only grown over the years, and honoring her brings clarity to how I live my life. This sense of appreciation is what we will be channeling this week, month and hopefully – for the rest of our lives:-)
A fun example of how nature continually intrigues me can be seen in this hydrangea photo. We have this medium sized hydrangea bush in our yard, but all the leaves and flowers fell off well over a month ago. Except for this one fist-sized bloom that is holding tight to its’ stem, the entire bush is made of twigs. I am truly going to miss this Dr. Seuss flower when it finally drops to the ground, but I will remember its’ triumph!
“Lose yourself in nature, and find peace.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
On some level, all our yearnings and scarcity in life are due to our separation from nature. Consumption is nature’s demise and without proper balance, our ecosystem can collapse and cause the decline of all affected species. We, as consumers have an important role to play, not only for our own bodies, but for our own planet.
Nature has everything to do with good nutrition as it offers all we need to survive. The vegetables, fruit, rice, water, berries, nuts and wildlife we have at the offering is literally all we need… somewhere along the way, a bunch of manufacturing plants and added chemicals came in because us humans thought we could improve on what is already a miracle. It feels good to remember that food is and should be simple; whole foods speak the same language our bodies understand…truly!
It is time to fall in love with nature again, to really appreciate how lucky we are to call this planet our home. Then take just one step further, and bring that same love into your house… and watch that one intention grow over time. I am so happy to be sharing this journey with you guys; please only enjoy your choices, and remember that life should be joyful, not painful.
Make a date to walk or hike a beautiful piece of nature this week, whether the beach, a park or simply your lovely neighborhood. While you are out there, take the time to focus in on your breath periodically, look around and take in your surroundings. There is so much beauty in nature, and it taps into our inner sanctity when we show the respect it deserves.
Plant 1-3 herbs in small container(s) you can keep indoors through the winter. The herbs I most use are: rosemary, basil, mint, cilantro, thyme, and sage. We mostly keep our herbs outside, but the winter months are hard on them; mint and rosemary are the hardy plants, cilantro and basil are the most tender and definitely indoors in the winter.
Visit your local farmer’s market. Although more fun in the warmer months, this could be your one day out in a string of rainy days, so get out there and find inspiration from your local farmers. I often wander with all my senses open, just waiting for that one BAM! I have to have those mustard leaves, or the local honey or the sprouted bean mixture. Then put those ingredients to work for a meal that weekend; you will notice that meal tastes better than the rest! If no local markets, substitute with your favorite produce market and go home with something new to try:-)
Why is it the Republican presidents tend to have a really bad guy pulling the strings behind a magic curtain? You know who I’m talking about… Bush with Cheney… and now Trump with Bannon? This is bananas Bannon (#bananan).
I can actually hear the Monkey’s music playing, while short bits of the White House staff and the President scramble about, running into walls, and poking fun at each other.
Then I shift my focus, to what I can see going on outside the White House windows… protests as far as the eye can see.
There is a definite music change, to something more soulful. I lost my breath, my mind, my heart has left the White House. The collective soul of this nation is pulsing with life again, and I feel the love, just fear the hate.
I consider myself a very trusting person, but I do not feel safe with the President. I have never felt this powerful emotion before.
I have questioned, but never feared. I am a 50 year old woman, and I am scared of my President.
And so are you.
My planter box can sit for years, not yielding one plant. No matter how hard I wish, nothing grows in this box without a seed.
I could buy some seeds, but that’s terribly expensive. I can’t steal any seeds, because I can’t free them from their chain and balls.
How then can I get seeds?
I will need someone to give them freely, a man to provide his seeds willingly.
Which brings me to the planter box next to me… she was seeded without consent. Forced to grow the seeds of a thick tree trunk that has now broken her box, and her tears are everywhere. She can’t hold her own (water) anymore.
I overheard the workers saying she was weak, and should be removed. They didn’t want to waste their time putting her back together; they want her to go away.
Incarceration for being seeded? Are you kidding me?!!!
This is not a blame game… wake up people; or the 73.3% of us will happily watch you shovel manure for the rest of eternity.
Karma’s a bitch!