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.

 

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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?

Do You Really Like Waking Up Grumpy?

cropped-melissa-cover-e1458245750766.jpgDo you find yourself waking up in a bad mood on a daily basis? Are you making excuses such as  – “I’m a night owl” or “I feel better after I take a shower?” Have your housemates, spouse or family commented commented on this? Do you even like waking up every day in a bad mood? Well you’re not alone. It seems with all the stress in our lives, due to more information, striving, paying bills, getting good grades and a million other things, we can get bummed out pretty easily.

There was awhile I was waking up super bummed, day in and day out, after awhile, I was over it. I noticed waking up depressed or in a bad mood really set the stage for the day and didn’t make it any easier. The outside stressors were controlling my life, I didn’t want that. Not to mention, how could I possibly achieve my dreams by starting off the day with a bad attitude? I was painting a negative picture, projecting and that was keeping me further away from my dreams. So, I decided to take some action and turn it around.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to wake up grumpy every single day. Plus — if you become more aware of your morning attitude, those who live with you won’t have to work overtime to work around it. You probably didn’t think about how your bad mood affects the people who interact with you in the morning. It does. The energy projects.

What if – instead of waking up wanting to hide under a rock and mope around like Grumplestilskins – you wake up, keep your eyes closed and breathe in some stillness around you? Just allowed yourself to breathe. Breathe. BREATHE. Then what if you allowed yourself to feel that wonderful calm morning air? And experience the cool, still morning light, then listen to the symphony outside your window of birds chirping or if you live in an urban environment, the buzz of the city? That doesn’t sound so bad. It’s calming and very nurtuing. As you really sense it and allow it to be just as it is, start to think about everything you are grateful for, that bed you’re sleeping in, the covers that are covering you, your pillow, your ability to breathe, the fact that you are able to wake up and experience the day and so on. Say some nice things to yourself. Then, set an intention for the day. What ever you do – DON’T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. Looking at your phone, automatically induces stress hormones. You’re trying to mitigate your stress in this morning routine and stress is the reason you’re waking up in a bad mood.

We’re human and I do not discredit things that come up in life that may cause you to wake up totally bummed out. Especially as we get older, the stressors can get super intense. Trust me — I’m talking from experience here. There are plenty, PLENTY of things that have caused me and cause me to wake up bummed. I sit with it, embrace it, but then I start to focus on gratitude and all the things in my life that are going well.

This is a small way of finding peace and balance in your life. It’s also an opportunity to bring awareness into your life. Think about it, how would you feel if your sig other or housemates were waking up in a foul mood day in and day out? You would dread it. It’s an extra layer no one really wants to deal with in the morning. Spending time with yourself and cultivating a joyful, grateful feeling is a way to minimize the stressful clutter in your life.

 

 

 

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 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.

Have You Hopped on the Turmeric Train?

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If not, I suggest hopping on it and making a cup of Golden Milk, you will love it. It’s tasty, comforting and filled with all sorts of amazing benefits. This drink tastes similar to chai tea and can be enjoyed in the morning or before bed to help with sleep.

Serves Two:

  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk or Cows Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of Honey (local if possible)

Optional, add one, all or none.

  • 6-10 Peppercorns
  • 6 -10 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  1. Add milk, turmeric and/or optional peppercorns and/or cardamom pods to a small saucepan and allow it to simmer until all the ingredients are combined.
  2. Either, pour into a tea pot and stir in honey & coconut oil or pour into separate cups and add 1 tablespoon of honey & 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to each cup.
  3. Enjoy warm!

The benefits of turmeric are endless – turmeric is a spice that has been used over 4,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Most commonly known to help with inflammation, according to WebMd turmeric is used with digestion, arthritis, headaches, and cancer. It can also help with symptoms of depression. I’ve been told in India, people use it to treat small wounds and bites. In an article written by the Mercola Institute, curcumin is one of active ingredients in turmeric that has been studied the most; and is what contributes to the healing properties found in turmeric. It is said when you add peppercorn to the milk it enhances the properties of curcumin by 1000%!

I like to add cardamom pods into the milk – they have a great flavor and reminds me of chai tea, plus, you’re getting the natural benefits found in cardamom. Cardamom is a natural detoxifier and is used to aid in digestive problems, such as indigestion and heartburn. Cardamom also relives nausea. In a posting on Organic Facts, cardamom is the Queen of Spices as it’s one of the top three most expensive spices. Saffron and vanilla are numbers one and two.

I’m a purist and know there are a lot of sugar substitutes out there. I’ve been slowly cutting out refined sugar from my diet and always have honey on hand. I try to have local honey, as it helps combat seasonal allergies, but I’m human and sometimes don’t have a chance to buy local honey. Honey has all sorts of natural benefits – Medical Daily wrote a great article called, “Liquid Gold” detailing the benefits found in honey. As I mentioned before, honey alleviates allergies, it can also boost your energy, boost memory, ease coughing, helps with sleep (Golden Milk is great before bed), and it treats wounds.

I like to add a little coconut oil to the mix because it thickens it up and adds richness to the flavor. Not to mention Organic Facts explains that coconut oil is great for the immune system. Studies have shown it helps with heart disease, it aides in digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar.

Enjoy a cup and let me know what you added to it.

Put Away Your Coat of Armor

cropped-img_329811.jpgWe wear disguises in the form of anger, competition, isolation, jealousy and weight -the list goes on. These disguises are a physical “coat of armor” acting as a self defense mechanism in lieu of having good boundaries. We miss out in life by wearing this coat of armor and putting a wall up around us.

Think of how many times you have judged people, gotten angry, held on to something or made excuses to get out of doing something out of self defense. Or the times we compete with each other, or push people away because we don’t want to, “get too close” or we don’t want someone to be doing “better than us-“ these are all self defense mechanisms, our coat of armor.

What would happen if you put away your coat of armor? How do you think your life would open up?

Morning Buzz

IMG_3378Allowing yourself to have a ritual that you look forward to each day is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Even if you’re stretched with work, family, kids – just 15 minutes of being still can help minimize stress. You’re just being. How many times throughout the day, are we running, multitasking, stressed, stretched, always doing, always trying to please? Pretty much most of the day. The only times we really have to ourselves, is in the bathroom. We’re always on.

What would happen if you turned off for 15 minutes? How would you feel? At first you might feel as if you don’t have time for that. You might feel guilt. You may feel stressed, uncomfortable, angry. Try it for 15 minutes. There is no right or wrong time of day. There are no rules, no expectations. This is your time. Settle down, quiet the body and just be with yourself. It is time to reset, take care of yourself, and clear your mind.

What are some of your rituals?