How do we return to our natural state of grace?

As human beings, we have free will. We have a choice and the ability to return to our natural state of grace. When we are born, we are full of infinite love, no fabricated self-limitations, just pure love. However, for the most part, not by anyone’s fault, we are exposed to all sorts of things, good and bad – it’s part of life’s journey. We have all observed, listened and have heard stories rooted in fear and naturally start to absorb that information and believe it is our truth. Little by little, we move further away from our natural state of grace, rooted in love and for self-preservation, we move closer to survival mode, rooted in fear. A Course in Miracles says, “ If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within.”The mind is a source of information; it is not the source of our spirit.

While on planet Earth, everything has to have a happy ending – or else it will keep happening.  

“Atonement uproots the source of fear,” ACIM. We must make amends in order to stop the cycle and return to our natural state of grace. As we make amends with our self,  the source of fear is uprooted. Making amends returns us back to our natural state of grace, which is rooted in love.

Trust in the magic of the Universe.

Once we trust in the magic of the Universe, and give ourselves permission to make amends, and uproot fear, we have opened up the pathway to let love into our lives and return to our natural state of grace.

Just realizing that disconnected feeling is the first step to returning to our natural state of grace. Second, is realizing we have a choice, third, is making amends, fourth is trusting in the magic of the Universe. None of this happens over night, for a few lucky people out there it might, for the most part it’s a continual practice of self-reflection.

 

It’s Retrograde Season

Retrograde season is upon us, which means we’re heading into Spring with longer days, more sunshine and warmer weather (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). In the southern hemisphere, it’s time to nest, go inward and appreciate the shorter days. As the planets move into retrograde, take a look around you and become aware of yourself. Being mindful of your actions or reactions is a step towards upgrading your life.

The Universe has always been in a constant state of change as have we — which makes life so special. Think back to where you were in life 10 years ago, what are you still holding on to, what have you let go of? Personal growth goes beyond the material and the tangible accomplishments, it goes beyond the career, the car, the house, the balance in your bank account or value of your stocks. Sure all that stuff is nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting yourself up. However, in order to fully enjoy all that stuff, you must be okay with you. All that stuff does not define you. You the whole wonderful being that you are, goes beyond the material.

Retrograde is a time of self-reflection, of really paying attention to what’s serving you and what’s not serving you. What seems to be working and what doesn’t. Have you given yourself permission to let go of any feelings that are no longer serving you? If not, have you asked yourself how those feelings are serving you?

Trusting the Process

I’ve been feeling creatively stifled for 2 months.

Earlier in the year, I had a wave of inspiration to write. To capture recipes, stories and insight into living a more balanced, peaceful life.

It stopped – came to a halt. Rather than generating ideas or content, I started to look inward. I started to practice healing techniques, meditation, words of wisdom and recipes on myself. I became less social and savored quiet time. I felt this was right for me and trusted the process – I also felt frustrated. But I asked myself, if that was really my feeling of frustration or someone else’s?

I’ve been programmed to hurry up, to keep generating and I’m being lazy if I stop. I’ve been programmed to not be patient with myself. None of this is true. Yet, as I trust my intuition and inner voice to take some time to embrace life — the outside “noise” pipes up causing me to second guess myself.

I think many others feel this way too.

Part of the process in enjoying life is to stop, absorb it and practice the lessons we learn along the way. It’s important to embrace what we’ve learned and what we’re passionate about. If we’re always doing, moving on to the next best thing, we can’t savor it. So many times, we reach our goal or learn a new thing and we’re on to the next. I really admire people who practice what they’ve learned – there is a sense of calmness and expertise.

If I push myself to be generating content or force myself to learn more, it turns into information overload or a power surge, nothing productive happens and in fact, it becomes counter productive. There is a lack of passion, it’s a half baked idea and it’s obvious. Wheels keep spinning, energy is spent, I exhaust myself and go nowhere.

Looking within helps.

When the feeling of impatience comes up with myself, I note it, pause, start to look with in and unpack the way I feel. I try to identify where that feeling is within my body and visualize it. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and visualize what being kind to myself looks like. Ironically enough, the kinder I am to myself, and more patient I am – the more creative and productive I become.

The take away is, trust the process, look within and be patient. We all have these moments from time to time. It’s part of life. We are human, not machines. 

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 5th Chakra Meditation for Communication

IMG_3641Located at our throat, the 5th chakra is our communication center. We communicate all the time, whether it be verbally, via e-mail, text, phone – you name it. Since we are always communicating, we need to nurture the throat chakra. The color associated with the throat chakra is blue – a soothing, cool blue. Blue is associated with heaven and the divine. Blue has a calming, healing, peaceful effect and reminds us to slow down and take a step back.

We’re so busy and constantly being filled with information overload as a result, we’re always doing, communicating, striving– when we think of blue, let it trigger you to slooooooooow down and take a step back. Before we get sick, we feel it in our throat, which is the first sign self-care is needed. We often keep pushing ourselves, because the demands we’ve put on ourselves require us to do so. We end up getting more stressed out, which affects our ability to communicate from a place of love. When we get stressed out we communicate based on the feelings of stress, therefore what we say can come across as rude and offensive. Nurturing your throat chakra allows you to be in tune with your communication center.

Alternately, when we are shy, or feeling insecure, we often hold back from communicating – because that good ol’ story of not being enough, surfaces and gets in the way of full expressing ourselves. What happens is we psych ourselves out from really finding the power within to clearly express ourselves and get that important message out there.

Follow this easy 5th chakra meditation to help you nurture the throat chakra and find your ability to express yourself from a place of love. Set the timer on your phone for at least 7 minutes and settle in:

Close your eyes, breath deeply for 5 breaths, imagine a cool, soothing blue light centered on your throat, notice how good it feels when the blue light cools your vocal chords, continuing to breath, repeat to yourself, “I communicate from a loving place, I allow myself to express myself freely and easily, I allow myself to speak the truth, and I communicate with clarity and ease,” repeat this however times you feel necessary.

Alternately, repeat these affirmations throughout the day, take a deep breath and imagine the blue light at your throat before you communicate.

The throat chakra relates to the throat, esophagus, thyroid gland, neck, cervical spine, mouth, teeth, and jaw. When nurturing the throat chakra, eat foods that are blue in color, such as blueberries. Eat foods that naturally require little effort to harvest when ripe, such as apples, oranges and peaches. Drink herbal teas, such as chamomile, ginger tea and peppermint tea, which are soothing and calming.

Remember, you owe it to yourself to speak the truth from a place of love.

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?