Turn Up the Volume – Retrograde’s are Amplified Lessons

MoonsetWhen I first learned about Mercury in retrograde, I would be so anxious leading up to it, getting all thrown off during it and dreading the next one. Truth of the matter is, at some point, every single planet goes into retrograde and it’s part of that amazing Universe we live in.

Long story short, I decided, it’s pointless having all that build up of anxiety and started to look at each major retrograde as an opportunity to learn something about myself and my environment. Each retrograde has a theme or lesson that is amplified. Kind of like, turning up the volume on a favorite song, so you can really feel it. If we look at retrogrades as the Universes way of teaching us awareness, we can create the space and to do a little self reflection.  Start to ask yourself, “How can I apply that lesson into my daily life?”

Some examples of the lessons tied to retrograde include the most recent Mars in retrograde, focused on communication and the value of being mindful or selective with how we communicate with others — why is it only during that timeframe we should focus on that, shouldn’t we focus on that in our day to day lives? When Mercury goes into retrograde, technology issues can come up, often creating agitation — the lesson there is patience and acceptance.

It takes 21 days to form a habit, retrogrades vary depending on planet size, but their retrograde period is often a couple of weeks, which is long enough to reflect, learn, and apply the lessons each retrograde is teaching us into our lives. Cultivating awareness is key to becoming more compassionate and conscious.  When we start to self-reflect we can look at how our actions and non-actions affect others and the environment around us.  So the next time a planet is in retrograde, as tempting as it may be, don’t hide under the covers, turn up the volume and really experience the lesson the Universe is teaching!

 

Easy 7th Chakra Meditation for Letting Go

IMG_6352The Crown Chakra or 7th Chakra is located at the very top of your head – which is the universal connection point. Since energy is everything, we are connected at a basic level rooted in nature. This is the center for peace, joy and happiness. The 7th Chakra is the point at which we give and receive energy. Any tension we want to let go, we let out from the top of our head. According to Chakra Anatomy, it’s the point where the finite (body) and infinite (soul) meet. A deep purple is associated with the Crown Chakra, it’s the place that allows us to connect with our more spiritual side.

The 7th Chakra reminds us to have gratitude for this life, to let the ego go and accept that we are all interconnected. As we move through life and through day to day activities, we sometimes take for granted all this life has to offer. We get caught up in the comparison game and the “should’s”- we forget we’re all connected because the “noise” around us is canceling out who we truly are. We forget we’re here for a bigger purpose, which can get overshadowed by the material and superficial status quo that have somehow defined our “happiness.”

An easy way to re-engage with your Crown Chakra, is to sit quietly for 7 minutes, with your eyes closed, no cell phone or other distractions. Breathe deeply seven times, to calm your mind and settle in. Imagine a calming, nurturing white light coming down from the sky, starting at the crown of your head, and running all through your body. Notice how good this light feels. Allow the calming feeling of the light to flow through your body. Repeat the following mantra to yourself, “I trust my intuition, I allow myself to be present, I love and accept myself, I am at peace.”

When nurturing your 7th Chakra, repeat the mantra to yourself throughout the day. Reminding yourself to release any negative energy that is not yours.

What we need to remember is that we’re all part of the bigger story line. We have to have faith and trust that the Universe will guide us to exactly where we set our intentions. What you have to remember is, we all get there at different times. Life is about ebb and flow, yin and yang, finite and infinite, death and life. Once we liberate ourselves from falling into the trap of the comparison game and the “should’s” we open our life up to infinite possibilities. We are human and are not free from stress, struggle, sadness, emotions – however, once we liberate ourselves, become more present and live our own authentic way of living we can truly experience those emotions, let them sit with us and experience the process of life from a clearer lens.

 

Easy 6th Chakra Meditation for Intuition

IMG_3271Located in between our eyebrows, the 6th Chakra is our intuitive center. It’s often referred to as our 3rd Eye. It represents clarity, imagination, intuition, and the ability to be present. A deep indigo blue characterizes the 6th Chakra, blue is calming and represents a deeper knowing. Indigo blue, is symbolic for the night, connecting us with our inner thoughts and higher self. At night when we sleep and are in a relaxed state, we are able to connect with that deeper part of our self, which during waking hours we are unable to.

Whenever we have an “aha” moment, our 6th Chakra is leading us to transformation, whether it be big or small – we’re realizing something and making a change. The third eye is where we get our “gut feeling.” As we nurture the 6th Chakra, we quiet our mind, settle our bodies so we can truly listen to our intuition and become aware of that “gut feeling.”

From time to time, it can be challenging to listen to our intuition, because stories come up. As I’ve said before, we’re in an information overload, which is essentially cluttering our minds. Often, those stories overshadow our intuition, and we listen to the stories thinking it is our intuition. As you begin to nurture your 6th Chakra, you’ll be able to tell the difference between the stories and your true voice, bringing you clarity. We’re then able to connect with that deeper part of our self, during waking hours. Meditate on the 6th chakra, so you can trust yourself, and put yourself in the drivers seat of your life.

Set your timer for at least 7 minutes, close your eyes, take a six deep breaths, and begin to relax. Focus your attention on the area in between your eyebrows. Imagine a deep blue light, calming and easing any tension in that area. Notice how good the peaceful, tranquil, blue light feels. Repeat the following mantra to yourself, however many times you feel necessary, “I have clarity in my thoughts, I trust my intuition, I am present in every moment, and my imagination is blissful.” When you’re finished with the meditation, spend a few minutes and savor that relaxing feeling.

You can always repeat the mantra throughout the day as a reminder, however many times you feel is necessary – there are no rules.

Easy 4th Chakra Meditation for Love

IMG_3636Spend some time today meditating on your fourth chakra (heart). The 4th chakra is all about LOVE.

When you feel love, you can’t feel fear. Fourth chakra is about compassion – starting with being compassionate with yourself and others. When focusing on the heart chakra, visualize a green, the color of leaves, grass and nature. Allow yourself to feel love and compassion. Forgive yourself and create new space to love yourself.

Here is a quick meditation you can do – feel free to set the timer on your phone starting for 7 minutes: Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, relax your shoulders, feel the tightness dissolve. Begin to focus your breath in your chest area, imagine a calming green light in your chest area. Say the following mantra to yourself: “I am free to expand and accept myself. I radiate peace and love. I am open to giving and receiving love.” Repeat as often or as little as you like.

You can also remind yourself of this throughout the day. I repeat mantras while out on walks. The fresh air helps me clear out all that old stuff that gets in the way of allowing love to rule. The steady rhythm of my pace & breath helps the manta flow. Afterwards I feel pretty blissed out.

How do you feel after you do a heart chakra meditation? 

Easy 3rd Chakra Meditation for Self Confidence

IMG_3923Yellow is the color of sunshine – it’s the core of your being. Meditate on your third chakra (think belly button), it’s the center of self esteem, confidence, self love. It’s the source of our true self, our inner being. It’s our source of power.

When you meditate on the third chakra, visualize the color yellow and the warmth from the sun. This warmth is the light of your inner being. That light is infinite. When you meditate on your third chakra, create a mantra. Tell yourself things like: “I am Confident,” “I have the power to assert myself,” “I shine from within.” These powerful mantra’s are the start to loving yourself again and generating that power from within.

Allow yourself to release any blockages. Yellow is expansive – imagine the confidence you are cultivating and light expanding out from your core. Give gratitude to your emotions, let anything go that is no longer serving you. Stories come up, because people have tried to bring us down in life. Whether it be because we’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, manly enough, rich enough – remember, those are just stories. We know who we are. We’ve been in this self since day one. Rather than being mean to ourselves and listening to those silly stories — turn it around by mediating on your third chakra, releasing all that negative stuff and filling your body with the warmth from the sun and self love you deserve.

You determine your self worth. Accept yourself for who you are right now. Let go of the story of non-self acceptance today. Trust your own guidance, every step on your journey has taught you valuable lessons. Part of standing in your own power and having a connection with your third chakra is knowing that it’s okay to make mistakes because it’s all part of the journey. Not by coincidence, third chakra imbalances are related to digestive issues, interesting how anxiety and lack of confidence are related to third chakra imbalance.

When nurturing the third chakra, eat yellow foods, such as yellow lentils, banana’s, corn – stay away from flour and processed sugar. Stay away from alcohol — especially if you are feeling low. Surround yourself with citrine and yellow serpentine. Take the time to nurture yourself and distance yourself from those who deplete your self esteem or make you question your worth.

Be yourself,  stand in your power, thrive. Let go of those stories. You are enough. Let your soul shine.

What Happens When You Unplug for 20 Minutes?

IMG_5400 (1)I think the word “meditation” gets mixed reviews –  from sounding like a bigger deal than it really is, to some “crunchy” “new ” thing people do, to being reserved for Buddhists and Hindu’s.  Trust me, I used to think the same thing.

So what is it? There are a million articles, books, blogs, apps out there.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:

meditation

noun med·i·ta·tion \ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən\

Simple Definition of meditation

  • : the act or process of spending time in quiet thought : the act or process of meditating

  • : an expression of a person’s thoughts on something

To simply put it, meditation is all about spending time with yourself and being in the present moment and unplugging. It’s about spending a few minutes away from technology and our ever looming list of things to do. Being in the present moment means being aware. Aware of your body, the way it feels at that very moment.

When you meditate sometimes your mind will be really busy, other times like a lake. We close our eyes in meditation, because it’s easier to look inward when they are closed. We’re less likely to get distracted. Things will come up when you meditate – say hello to it. Think of those things as an old friend.  That old friend can be, anxiety or that familiar story from the day before that stresses you out.

Meditation is about noticing what happens to your body, when your old friend anxiety shows up or that story is told. Often times, we’re so busy we don’t allow ourselves to have 20 minutes of stillness. We’re so busy, the feelings associated with anxiety and stress go unnoticed until we’re sick or just so taxed we have to stop.  As we start to notice the old friend anxiety or the familiar story and say hello to them, they become less painful and less of a burden. Whatever story may come up, I now look at it as a story, it makes it easier to be in my own skin.

The whole point of meditation is to connect with yourself in a non-striving, non-judge mental way.

Why is meditation hard for you? What have you started to notice as you meditate? 

We’re Always Doing Something

IMG_5517

I was 16 or 17 when it occurred to me we are always doing. I was a new driver waiting at a stoplight, the sun was beating down, I looked around and noticed movement everywhere. Nothing was stopping. Cars moving in either direction, lights turning, people walking across the street, a train going by, people fidgeting in their cars, a breeze blowing, birds flying by – you get the picture. I was an island in the middle of all this movement and I realized “nothing really stops.”

We’re taught at an early age we need to always be doing and not being. If we’re not doing then we’re told we’re lazy. Which is untrue – there is a difference between being and being lazy. I found great comfort when John Kabat-Zinn wrote a whole section about this, in his book, Full Catastrophe Living. We’ve become a society that is constantly on. We don’t really make time to turn off, other than when we sleep. We have disconnected from ourselves because we’re always doing. We never stop.

We can reconnect with ourselves if we get into the practice of turning off and allowing ourselves to just be. What if we spent 20 minutes a day, just being? When we set aside time to just be, our bodies cannot thank us enough. If we fully immerse in our bodies, and we turn off everything around us to focus on right now, concentrate on our breath and our body and immerse in the stillness, then we naturally connect with ourselves.

I recommend giving this a shot, a couple of times a week and see how you feel. Try this without judgment or expectations and allow yourself to turn off and just be. Start by, turning your phone to silent – not vibrate, setting the timer for 20 minutes, sitting in a comfortable place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale. You can even repeat in your head, “in,” “out,” with each breath, or “peace” on the inhale, and “joy” on the exhale. As you’re focusing on the breath notice how good it feels to relax your mind and your body without any outside distractions and just be.

Let me know how you felt – if 20 minutes seems too much at first, try 10 minutes and increase it from there.

The Biggest Waste of Time Ever! How to Stop Being Hard on Yourself

IMG_3506If you sit back and really think about it – how much time is spent throughout the day being hard on yourself? A lot right?!

As I’ve become more aware of myself and my thoughts, I’ve really started to notice what it feels like when being I’m hard on myself. Something will trigger the thought and a combination of the following occurs: Tight chest, increased heart beat, knot in the tummy with a dash of nausea, and a tingly head that feels as if a rubber band is around it. Of course, thoughts going a million miles an hour that are berating, fear based, and just plain mean. These thoughts are most likely caught in the past and then they start manifesting a dismal future. To top it off these thoughts and feelings that aren’t even ours! UGH!

When we’re hard on ourselves, we’re not focusing on the present and we miss out.

Can you imagine what would happen if we were nicer to ourselves? Amazing things, right?!?! Like, being present, noticing the birds chirping, the sound of rain hitting the roof or the sunlight beating on your face. Even better yet – opportunity. The more present we are, and not caught up in the past or comparing ourselves to others, we become more aware. Aware of ourselves and our surroundings, which creates positive space, which then allows opportunity to enter into our lives.

The next time you’re unkind to yourself, take a moment to notice what’s going on. No judgment, just notice how you feel. Then ask yourself, is this how I want to be treated?

What happens when you’re hard on yourself?