Choose Love.

unconditionalloveAmericans are funny, in that most consider Christmas & the holiday season to be based around Santa, getting, giving, and presents or parties. While that is a nice thing to celebrate at the end of the year, December is really about reflecting and allowing yourself to slow down, wind down, and pave a new way for the Winter season & upcoming new year. December, to be, is a celebration of Love, of light, and a peaceful ending to whatever has been.

The holidays stress us all out and create disharmony. That’s normal. Choose love this year. If you are single, without your family, or busy working during the season, reconnect to your faith and cherish yourself for who you have become. This is the season of Love and when it is important to also do a cheers for you, what you have accomplished, and who you have become. It’s not about being accepted, having the decorations, or even having a partner to kiss under the mistletoe… those all come in time.

The end of the year is a deep period of transition. Your body is probably feeling it, perhaps you are even feeling the urge to stay in, be within yourself, or seek out some quiet time. That’s because Winter is coming and it’s the season to hibernate and relax. Choose you this Christmas, and choose Love. Everyone is having moments, emotions, frustrations, sadness, and what I call ‘episodes’. Let them be, let it be. Come back to your love, your heart, and fill yourself with gratitude for wherever you are at. Be happy for what you DO have. Be grateful for friends you have met this year, people who have helped you, old friendships, and be good around your family. 

Choose love in everyone who crosses your path, with whatever the Universe yields you, and whoever comes your way. There will be much expected surprises the next two weeks. Choose love always.

When you love yourself, you know yourself, and you know your intention, who you are, and what you stand for. People can think otherwise, as they choose. I’ve let go of people, I’ve had friends move away, and in this year, I celebrate ME this December. I’ve learned that the world will never be perfect. It’s human nature to serve your ego, until you do the work to stop it. Even Yogis, claiming to be all Zen have their moments, and just because they ‘teach’ does not always mean they care or are consciously connected to the light in the heart always. We all fall out of balance and alignment, it’s part of being human. We all forget that Love is always the answer. Come back to your heart this Christmas/Holiday, and serve you. Share love with others, remind them, and help people remember Love is all we all are looking for. End this year well, with love. Say sorry to those you hurt, make up with people who have parted, acknowledge souls that have brought kindness to your life, and do something fun for You. Remember your greatness, share a smile, and do something nice for a special friend. Love is all you need ❤

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Happiness & Gratitude

I sat down to begin writing my Holiday cards. Who do I write to? Those who have inspired me this year. Some I may have barely chatted with. Others, may not even know my name. I made a list with those special souls who have touched my heart this year and changed me. Those people that I need to thank, not because they are ‘family’ or because I knew them in college, or because someone told me I had to give and do something for them. I chose the people who have helped me become happier this year. It’s for that, I want to express my thanks, and give this holiday season…

 

Does it resonate with you?

 

Berry Bliss ~ Strawberry Milkshake

IMG_3243Summer time season and berries are back in, fresh, local, and sprouting from the Earth. I’ve been on a blending kick. Yes, amazing things happen when a grocery store is more accessible to me. Ha. My vitamix is my best friend and main fuel source! I browsed the local farmers market and came across the most vibrant juicy red strawberries. Summer time and all my favorite things are in season, I love it! A time to nourish and consume all that Earth helps provide us. Naturally, I could not resist. I typically don’t do many fruit smoothies these days. Mostly because I don’t want that huge sugar peak, especially in the morning. However, I was heading to teach yoga all afternoon/evening and my sweet tooth called. Perfect! What a better way to use my strawberries before they get too soft.

Nutritious: Strawberries have with Vitamin C, lots of fiber, and antioxidants that are suppose to help cancer…

IMG_3242

IMG_3287 Blended well with:

Local, organic, strawberries, homemade almond milk, touch of vanilla, special protein powder, two coconut covered dates, some ice, tiny splash of coconut water, dash of nutmeg, sprinkled with hempseeds

(Don’t forget to blend the whole strawberry, green stem included!)

Think Less about Rountine, More about Being

Part 1: Teaching yourself to fall out of your routine, and listen more to your body and what it needs

“The most important thing in winter is to be internal–to take this as an opportunity to turn inward, because the whole world is doing it,” he said. “ It gives you a chance to rest your extroversion and your senses and go into your heart and look deeply during the time you spend in solitude or silence or while communing with others who are in an internal mode. But it has to be balanced out, because wintertime depression can creep up on someone who becomes too isolated and internalized.”’ [Scott Blossom]

There is something always about this time of year that gets to me. I’m not sure if it’s the end of the crazy holidays, the fear of turning another year, or the cold weather that promotes my unease. Probably a little bit of it all. I frequently feel a bit off balance and off the last two weeks of January. I remember last year what i was going through and acknowledge my incredible growth since then. But I still feel a little fog in my mind, stones heavy in my stomach, and sense that something is just aloof from keeping me from being and feeling like my happy healthy self.

I’ve been doing some researching and reflecting. While quite a lot of emotional things came to mind, here are some ways to keep yourself more balanced during the winter and this time of year. During the winter I naturally become very closed off. I’m okay with staying home, with curling up in my PJs or with my blanket, and I’m totally fine avoiding the cold. I enjoy snuggling up with a book or sleeping in or staying in bed into the late hours of the morning. When I’m usually up with the sun, ready to get my day going, winter time and the colder weather gives me permission and incentive to just relax. I use to be so fixed on getting up, making sure I squeeze everything into my day, and maximized all time I had. Especially when I started working full time, I noticed myself forcing myself to get up early to workout or do yoga, then working all day and making my nights busy with dinner, or whatever I had going on. I never rested. I’d come home, be tired, do the normal chores, and then go to sleep only to wake up and do it again. I never listened to my body or adjusted and I was never able to develop a routine that served me. I was so fixated on, I have to workout, to go to happy hour, to work late, to get to yoga, whatever it is, you name it… it all takes time and I use to feel so incomplete when I just woke up went to work and came home. As a society and US culture, we are always on the go. We are taught that we need to achieve so much and be so busy, and so often we make our schedules so crazy that we forget to come back to ourselves and what we really need.

Routines are great, and very important to keep yourself balanced. However, routines need to be shifted and changed with whatever you are going through, and to match what the universe and nature is going through. In other words, we get so stuck in our ways that we start to do everything the same everyday, every week, every month, every year. We forget that change is part of every process. It’s part of nature’s evolution and our own. And how silly would it be if we kept our daily routine and structure the same, without adapting to the changes? We get so fixated on routine, what we think we need for ourselves, and our routine that once started as a way to fuel us turns into autopilot and a habit. For example, coffee. You dont need coffee every day to wake you up. You have so much energy within yourself to naturally wake you up. If you’re depleted, drained, can barely wake up, maybe you should check in with yourself, what you are doing in your life, and how you can calm down and rest more? I do love coffee, I do drink it on occasion. However, it is not a necessity. Nothing in my life really is…( well maybe yoga and some greens). I dont drink it to wake me up or fuel me. I drink it because it taste good and sometimes my energy is running low so I treat myself. It’s not a habit, not a pattern, and not something I have to have. It use to be, but not anymore. I’ve tapped into how to create my own energy and how to enjoy life without stimulus, and I’ve learned how to readopt my lifestyle to better serve me.

So if you’re feeling stuck, unhappy, maybe like you’re going to catch the flu that’s going around, check in first. What is dragging you down? What actions are you taking to move forward? What routine do you have that may be too much for now? Have you been indulging too much over the holidays and now its all catching up to you? Maybe it’s time to detox the mind and the body? Have you set goals and new year resolutions and maybe not been as dedicated?

It’s almost the end of January, almost a new month, February… almost a new season as we close of winter. So what have you been holding onto or holding in? And where have you exhausted yourself. Have you been avoiding your own wishes and avoiding your own feelings? Winter is a time to ground down. To establish a foundation to move forward into the new year. It’s a time to reflect on yourself, where you’ve been, and where you’re going…. No longer do we hide, set in our ways, attached to our routines that we thing serve us well. Instead check in, get sleep, rest, restore, and then decide what you really need. New year, stop doing your old patterns, saying your old excuses, your old stories, and stop doing and thinking things that you don’t need. It doesn’t matter. You are building your foundation. You are balancing yourself. You are allowed to hibernate. You are able to relax, restore, and ease yourself… re energize, recharge because once winter is over things just spring ahead…

Flu Season

There is something in the air. Do you feel it? Ever since the full moon last Monday, and since Halloween has passed something mystical has been circulating. Or at least I feel something magical.  I felt the full moon energies tremendously and so much happened leading up to it and after it, I’m still a bit in ah. It’s November. One of my least favorite months of the year. I just don’t like it. Never really have. The weather gets colder, but it’s not cold enough to snow. We edge closer to family and holiday celebrations, which usually resonates to family drama. Don’t even get me started about Thanksgiving, a holiday I personally thing is really dumb and way to commercial. Not to mention, all the food just puts us more stuck. I just think November and have a natural tendency to want to curl up in my bed all day long with a book and blanket. Is that weird? Probably.

It’s the time of year when we are well into the Fall and practically navigating into the Winter. Halloween is symbolic in many religions and countries and the mid mark foe the year. A time when there is more darkness all around, and less lightness. I agree.  This is also the time of year where my body acts up, it gets uncomfortable with all the changes, my allergies get loose with the weather patterns, and I consciously really have to focus to try to keep my body in balance to avoid getting (if I dare to say it) — sick.

It’s flu season. So how do you cope? I will not be rushing to the doctor to get one of those magical flu shots that will cure me of the common cold. No, not this year. I’ve noticed so so so many people getting ‘sick’ in the last week. Even super healthy people, yogis,  who have come down with something. What is in the air? Energetically I believe we are at a pivotal shifting point. A time when we are reaching closer to what the Mayans believe to be the end of the year (Dec 21, 2012)….it’s 2012 afterall! I’ve been talking about change as the theme for the Fall season, but this year it’s even more significant. I believe it’s time to shift out of old ways of being. To start with this season, to plant your own seeds of passion and inspiration and start to feel rooted to who you are and your own being now. To shed off those layers, to detach from what was, be thankful for what is, and focus on what is coming. It’s time to stepback and evaluate your life. Keep people around who have meaning, who bring you joy, and who you enjoy talking to and being around. And let those other relationships dwindle away as they need to. People are changing, lives are shifting, the planet as we know it I believe is transforming.  If the people are uninspiring, toxic, negative, mean, it’s time to cut those ties. Or maybe you’re in a relationship with someone where you feel no passion or lust, and you sometimes wonder why you’re together. Maybe it’s time to free yourself and move on. It’s liberating and you’ll have more time to focus on the people you value and truly care about. By creating room, for more genuine people like that to flow in. Some may be more in tune with you, others may not understand it. That is fine, that is life. Begin your journey with confidence though. Use this month of November and December to come to terms with who you are and what you want. It’s not easy, but begin to find some clarity and allow your feelings to guide you, then you will know what feels nice.

Do you during this month: Relax. Sleep more, go to bed at a reasonable hour before 10pm, maybe try less rigorous exercise and try slowing it down instead. Eat smaller, lighter, warmer meals. Keep you tea cup filled. Wear socks. Wear scarves. Speak your truth, don’t hold anything back. Sleep more. Breathe deeply. Try yin yoga. Avoid heavy, fried, meaty foods. Add cinnamon for warming. Drink water. Close your eyes breathe. Wash your hands with soap. Clean your body. Get a massage. Stay hydrated. Get moving to move your your bowels. Vitamin D to make up for lost sunshine. Sleep. Drink clean water. Do what feels right for you. Relax.

This time of year is when we get stuck. Physically in the body, mentally in the mind, and confused in the heart. As we try to keep up with our routine, go about our quick paced days, and fill our calendar with holiday events, we forget to take time for ourselves. It’s time to pause, look into your life at the things you value, and begin to appreciate the good things and people you have. When you notice people, jobs, events, circumstances that don’t serve you, decide to let them pass, allow them to go in their direction, and be okay when people stop asking about what you’re doing. You’re on your own path for your own success, and when you follow what feels right, you can never turn down the wrong road. Emotionally this time of year we feel scattered, all over the place, maybe a bit overwhelmed with the new changes and decisions coming upon us all. Our bodies have trouble adapting to the changes in season, the transition into cooler weather and less heat, and out immunity starts to take a downward spiral. Nature shifts, our own mental chatter starts to bog us down, we get fogged in the mind, unstable, insecure, and then it shows up in the body. Take a deep breathe, there is health and vitality available to us all.

The first step to feeling good and keeping your immune system strong is digestion. Yes, that. It may uncomfortable, you may not want to think about it, I’ve been there, but it’s important. You need to rid you’d body of waste and not let the toxins accumulate. If you’re not going once a day you have problems, especially if you’re eating a lot of large meals.

Tips for Digestion:

–       Start your day off with lemon tea: hot water and lemon

–       Maybe drink some natural laxative tea before bed like Smooth Move

–       Eat more veggies, a natural source of fiber

–       Drink more tea….all kinds. Ginger and peppermint are especially beneficial for the tummy

Digestion is different for everyone, so notice what works for you. Notice what foods you are more sensitive to. It’s important to stay consistent around this time of year with how you eat. Take time to slow down, turn off the noise of cell phones, TVs, and instead take a half hour to sit and fully enjoy your meals without distractions. Be present, chew each bite, savor it, and enjoy.

Choose: garlic to warm the body, ginger, peppermint, dates to help the bowels, lemons (in water, tea, everything), more warm veggies, etc

Feeling off? About to catch the cold? Try these first~~~

If you begin to start to feel imbalance, probably in your throat, head, nasal area, and lungs, you can also pick up a natural wellness formula and Echinacea support. Start with your belly though, be conscious of what you’re feeling when you’re eating, what you’re eating, and how you are eating. Notice if you feel stuck or uncomfortable in your gut. And try to eliminate those negativities out of your system completely. Deep breathing, relaxation, tummy massages, yoga, and mediation are fabulous for that. As always, stay hydrated. As things shift internally and externally we need to keep the water flowing through to help flush.

 

 

 

 

Spring Allergies Remedy ~ The Netti

Spring has sprung! And with that comes flowers blooming, pollens circulating the air, and unfortunately for me allergies. I began the week, Monday, waking up with a scratchy sore throat and my nose stuffy. Yuck. I told myself I’m not getting sick, this will pass. I jumped out of bed and went straight for my netti pot…the best holistic remedy for allergies or anything nasal related. It’s like rinsing off your body, rinse your nasal passage! I filled it with some warm water put some kosher salt in it, mixed, and began flooding my nasal passages. There are certain recipes, saline solutions, for the Netti, but I just mix and blend at will. Not the most pleasant feeling, but it works. I did it every morning, sometimes twice a day, and by Friday I was feeling great. I added some Echinacea and vitamin C, a few emergency packs, and lots of herbal tea and lemons. Not going to lie, I did take benedryl for a couple nights to help me get some ZZzzZZzzz’s. Health restored in a few days and back to my own fabulous me! It just took a netti pot, some vitamins, and a little bit of hot yoga to sweat it out. Hello Spring! It’s good to get into a routine of using the netti pot, especially if you are cleansing or the seasons are changing. It’s a fabulous Ayurveda tool! It’s weird at first, maybe even gross, and unpleasant, but once you feel the benefits, you will be hooked. No pill, just pure natural h20 and some salt, thank you Mother Earth! But life gets busy, time is short, and mornings are hectic…you can always count on the netti for a rising discomfort, allergies, or nose issue.

Some Netti Pot Benefits

  • It is 100% natural and totally holistic
  • It is cheap
  • Solves sinus issues and drains the bad stuff
  • Helps aid sinus headaches
  • Improves smell and clears your nasal passages
  • Provides instant sinus relief
  • It’s easy, simple, and has only positive side effects, and no drugs!
  • Helps clear allergies, bronchitis, asthma, stuffy nose, running nose and more
  • Dr Oz even recommends it!
  • You can get a netti pot everywhere: drug store, health food stores, online, etc…

Netti Pot Best Practices:

– Use warm water….not hot (you will burn yourself) not cold (brain freeze, discomfort, etc)

– Use non Iodized salt and maybe baking soda, mix with water ( 1/2 teaspoon to 8 oz water recommended)…give or take a little. I don’t use baking soda, but I’ve heard good things. Iodized salt can cause irritations overtime.

– Always lean your head to the side, over a sink, and pour netti through opposite nasal passage. The water should run down opposite nostril. If you feel it in your mouth/throat you are not tilting your head enough.