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How Can We Enjoy Life Guilt-Free?

For the past few days I’ve been having a lot of fun because I just bought a new Jeep Wrangler. No, material things don’t make one happy, but sometimes they can add to the experience. I’ve had a blast with the top off of the Jeep, enjoying music, seeing my son’s face light up as we drive fast and the wind blows through our hair, and the feeling of the warm sun shining down on us through a topless car. Then, ego starts talking. That voice of guilt, fear, anger, etc. My ego can be pretty nasty to me (then again, so can everyone’s). It started telling me how impractical this car is, how I’m irresponsible, and that it isn’t a good “mom” car. This got me thinking about why my ego and the egos of pretty much everyone on the planet dissuade us from fun and really living life to the fullest.

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It has to do with trauma. Remember, trauma is anytime a person didn’t feel safe and secure. Our egos do have a purpose; they are the ideas we have of ourselves–beliefs, judgments, and culture. Parts of our egos (our beliefs) stem from traumatic events, be it an abusive childhood or enduring a childhood bully, and therefor the ego can dictate out of fear. This is a fear of that traumatic event happening again, but that fear is irrational. It’s trying to keep you safe, but it’s not from a place of love. The ego is not of love, ego can cause suffering because it wants to control. A new experience that is fun can be quashed by ego because of beliefs we gained from influential people in our lives. For example, when I was a teenager I actually begged my mom for a Wrangler (a friend of mine got one when she turned 16 and I wanted one too because I had a blast in hers). But, my mother said they are dangerous and unreliable. I ended up with a practical Toyota Tercel (yes, a 1987 Tercel with no air conditioning or radio!). Throughout my adult life I got cars that made sense because of what I was doing–a Ford Focus because it was inexpensive and ran well (she was a good car) and a Subaru because I got pregnant and needed a safe car for my family (she was not a good car). She was a 2013 when the clutch needed replaced and the transmission was starting to die, I’d had enough. I went on a yoga trip to the Sand Dunes, and my bunk mate had a Wrangler. I rode in it all weekend with her and learned a lot about them. I decided that was the car I wanted and three weeks later here I am. The point of this story is that my ego’s voice is that of my mother’s, an influential person who helped shape my ego. My mother has been wrong about many things, but that’s another story for another blog on another day.

So how do we have fun without listening to our ego? First, you need to become aware that your ego is doing the talking and try to decipher from where it comes. What trauma is causing the ego to fight you on your decision? Once you figure that out you can start to heal that trauma and then let go. Upon letting go you can start to enjoy life and truly have fun without allowing the ego to stifle your enjoyment on life.

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What is the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine?

I’ve been asked several times to explain the divine masculine and the divine feminine by friends, loved ones, and clients. As the human species continues to grow and evolve so too does our desire to find balance within ourselves. Gender is your biological make up–those physiological aspects that makes one biologically male or female–while the divine masculine and divine feminine are energetic aspects that every human being carries within him/herself.

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The Divine Feminine:

The divine feminine is represented throughout many cultures in the world–Mother Mary in Christianity, St. Brigid in Celtic tradition, Isis in Egyptian mythology–and when in a healthy and balanced state it shows nurturing, creativity, intuitiveness, and essentially represents the mother. When thinking about a mother one focuses on fertility, nurturing, and healing. For centuries, because of patriarchal society, the divine feminine has essentially been quashed, but now a resurgence of the want for love and nurture has come to pass. When the divine feminine is out of balance, one may feel a lack of self-love and a lack of self-confidence. When in balance, the feminine is intuitive, wise, and loving. The main aspects of the divine feminine are creativity, fertility, compassion, empathy, love, and acceptance.

In our culture, it is looked at as though men have to be “tough” and women need to be quiet and demure. But, we all have these qualities within us. Men can and need to be loving, compassionate, and nurturing, not only to others, but also to themselves. Mental health in this country is suffering, and it may be because we are stifling energetic aspects of ourselves. If men are told to “man up” and take it, of course they will bottle up their emotions and slip into self-loathing and depression. But what would it look like if men and women were able to freely express compassion? The world would be a kinder place. If we were able to freely express our compassion and love, there would be no need for war or hate because rather than coming from fear and aggression, we would come from love and peace. However, as important as the divine feminine is for our psyche, so too is the divine masculine. You cannot have one without the other. Everything needs to be in balance.

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The Divine Masculine: 

The divine masculine is also represented across many cultures–Jesus in Christianity, Buddha in Buddhism, Mohammad in Islam–and shows aspects of fearlessness, courage, and loyalty. There is gentleness in the masculine’s strength and is never ego-based. The masculine is the protector of the feminine and is open to exploration of compassion and love and values sexual energy but from a loving standpoint rather than a dominating one. The divine masculine moves forward and puts ideas and thoughts into action. The masculine is open to exploration and learning new things. When out of balance the divine masculine is stagnant, afraid, and rather than exploring new things for himself, listens and believes what he is told without question.The imbalanced divine masculine will look to outside sources for happiness and will try to exert power in inappropriate ways–through ego, dominance, and anger. Sexual encounters are enjoyed but are not fulfilling in an unbalanced masculine energy.

Look at our culture now. There is a lot of unbalanced masculine energy both in males and females. Women will often look to outside sources for happiness whether in relationships or through body shaming and guilt. Many “powerful” men exert their power and abuse it to get what they desire–be it in business and/or relationships. So, how does one balance the divine masculine and feminine? How do we find harmony within ourselves so we have balanced scales of nurturing, love, and compassion with action, self-confidence, and courage?

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It’s All About the Balance:

The best way to balance masculine and feminine energies is through meditation. Yoga is another great way to find balance in the masculine and feminine. Vinyasa is active and will charge your masculine qualities, while yin is a little more passive and allows you to sit in the quiet and offer nurturing to yourself. If you notice you are feeling out of balance in either aspect focus on changing that aspect before moving onto the next one. For example, if you feel you’ve been giving a lot of yourself and haven’t taken time for you, your feminine is likely stagnant. Look to massage, yin yoga, meditation on the goddess within, and self-care such as a quiet bath or time to write in a journal. If you are feeling fearful your masculine energy may be at a lull. Take time to go on a hike, a run, a bike ride, write down ideas and take the steps to put them into action–when afraid the best thing to do is act on those things you don’t think will come to fruition, even if in small ways.

We all have the divine masculine and divine feminine within. It doesn’t make one less of a woman to tap into her divine masculine, just as it doesn’t make one less of a man to tap into his divine feminine. We are all of the divine and as such have both divine energies within us. Embrace these aspects of yourself. When in balance, the two work together to heal and to make the world a kinder place.

Why Boundaries are Important

We all hear about the importance of boundaries, but many of us (myself included for a time) don’t really know how to set them and keep them. Many still don’t understand what healthy boundaries look like. “Boundaries are the limits of acceptable behavior” from those around us–professionally, personally, and even with those we don’t know. But how do we set boundaries? So many of us worry about what others may think about us or that we will upset others we often don’t speak up for ourselves, which in turn can cause resentment and anger.

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Matt Kahn has a video I would highly recommend. It’s long so make sure to allow yourself time with it, but he talks about setting boundaries and why they are important. He essentially states that boundaries are a way for us to make and take time for ourselves to recharge. If we are feeling nervous, angry, or fatigued at the thought of being with a person or doing an activity someone has asked of us that is our nervous system saying we need a break. Matt Kahn explains you can say something along the lines of, “I really want to be present for you, but right now my nervous system cannot take that on. I’m going to have to say no.” I thought this was brilliant because I personally relate to my nervous system feeling overworked when I haven’t been setting boundaries and giving too much of myself to others. I will get to a place of fatigue and want to check out. In the past I would just put a smile on my face and carry on doing what others asked of me, but how did this really help them and myself? It didn’t help them because they didn’t get 100% of my energy and it didn’t help me because I would become exhausted and/or resentful. This isn’t good either because people catch onto that energy and they either back away or expect more and more of you because you always say yes.

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Boundaries need to always come from a place of love because they are meant to support our own well-being and that of others. The two types of boundaries–internal and external–are equally important. The internal boundaries are personal agreements with ourselves to modify a relationship. External boundaries are those we verbalize to another person. In setting boundaries this is a place of authenticity and love. Boundaries also allow us to be truly present, either with ourselves or loved ones.

It can seem foreign to set and keep boundaries, but they are essential for our mental health. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of and help others. If we are resentful or a doormat, how could we be at the top of our game? It takes practice, but once you start you will realize you feel much better, and you may even inspire others to take care of themselves and make boundaries of their own. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi

 

What Does it Mean to be Present?

For the past few days a friend of mine has challenged me to set a daily intention. Today my intention was to be fully present in all I did, which was difficult with some things and easier with others. But what does it mean to be “present”? I’ve discussed this idea regarding mindfulness and meditation. But it goes even farther.

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Being present means being fully immersed in the moment, or fully aware and involved in what you are doing or seeing. For example, when you cook dinner you may have kids running around and you’re worried they are making a mess or possibly bickering. You may be checking your phone off and on in between stirs of your cooking stew. You may be having a discussion with your partner while you chop the veggies. This can cause chaos in your brain, in your body, and in your surroundings. Rather than focusing on many different things, being present would mean focusing on your one task–dinner. This is where creating boundaries is essential. You need to have boundaries in all of your relationships so that you and your loved ones feel supported and cared for. You could tell your children, “I’m going to start dinner, so I’m wondering if you would be willing to do a quiet activity as a team, like a puzzle or coloring.” You could get the kids squared away doing what they want to do, and then you could tell your partner, “I’m interested in knowing about your day, but would you be willing to tell me about it during dinner, so I can focus on cooking?” Maybe offer her or him to go have some time to decompress. Put your phone in the other room, so you don’t feel tempted to check on it. Now you can really get to the present. You can really focus on chopping the veggies–feel the knife chop through the onion, feel the difference in chopping a tomato versus a bell pepper, smell the aromas each veggie releases. Hear the sounds of the vegetables as you sauté. Smell the spices and ingredients come together. Feel the sensations in your arm and hand as you stir. Feel the heat coming from the stove. Notice the pleasure and sense of pride you get from creating something out of these ingredients. This is presence. This is the art of being immersed in your task. Doesn’t this sound better than the chaos in the first scenario? Sure, life happens and even when your kids are getting along, they may start bickering. Remind them you are cooking and try to have them work it out. You may get distracted, but coming back is what’s important; you don’t have to be perfect because this is a practice.

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You can practice being present anytime and anywhere. While you practice yoga, are you truly present with your breath and the poses? While at the park with your children, are you watching them, enjoying the sun and breeze, and noticing the smells of the grass and flowers? While getting a massage are you really feeling the sensations in your body–the release of your muscles and the relaxation of your mind? Being present can be difficult due to the distractions of familial obligations, work, and social media. But even with these distractions, being present can be done. You can practice being present with the family–watching your child play soccer while feeling the grass under your feet as you sit on the sidelines; you can be present at work–put your phone down and close the extra tabs on your computer and be present (of course take breaks as needed, but while working, focus entirely on the work); and start taking breaks from social media–limit it to once a day (this is easiest when you take the apps off of your smartphone), or you can limit the amount of time you’re on social media by setting a timer on your phone. Being present is being mindful and this does have immense benefits on your mind and body from decreased anxiety to improved cognition.

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Set your intention to be fully present. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it’s difficult at first. Not to be too cliche, but practice does make perfect. Give yourself time and before you know it, you will be enjoying the little things and maybe even feel more grateful seeing all the wonders of life happen around you.

Is Manifestation Possible?

Several of my clients have been discussing the idea of manifestation–the ability to focus on something and bring it into your reality–and some have said they can do it easily and enjoy it, while others struggle with this idea. Many, including myself at times, feel they aren’t worthy of manifesting whatever it is they want or even need. It can also be a difficult concept to grasp: that anyone on this planet can work alongside the Universe and bring wants and needs to ourselves at any time. So, how does this work? Is it even possible?

Manifestation is about setting an intention and releasing control. The fun thing about manifesting what you want and need is those wants and needs come to us in the oddest, yet simplest of ways. The main thing to do is really focus on that which you desire. Be clear. Your thoughts are powerful and have the ability to create your reality. A simple example of this would be, “Mondays are terrible.” And, you will see that your Monday turns out “terrible”–maybe the barista at your coffee shop got your order wrong, traffic was worse than normal, etc. If you change it and think, “Mondays are easy,” even if those things above still take place, your perception is changed and the day flows easier because you can let go of the little annoyances. This is one way of creating reality–your perception and how you view the world around you shapes your reality.

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The intention behind your manifestation is key as well. If you are wanting more money so you can buy a race car and show off to your friends, that’s probably not the purest intention. Whereas if you want to manifest money to help your family live comfortably and donate to charity and help others, the intention is from a place of love rather than ego.

Conscious manifestation means taking back our power in working with the Universe rather than relying on “coincidences or luck.” The 9 principals of conscious manifestation are: have a vision (a clear goal or direction), have a strong desire (this fuels the vision), have a clear intention (this “gives a clear direction to your goal”), have an unflappable belief (disbelief blocks manifestation, so believe you are worthy), acceptance (this is accepting that what you manifest is already yours), take aligned actions (align your actions with your goal; co-create with the Universe, take steps to show that you believe your manifestation is already yours), detach (this is difficult at times, but necessary; you must release control and have faith that it will come to you exactly as it is best for you), support yourself (focus on your dreams and living the life you crave), and be as clear as a laser beam (complete focus on what it is you want).

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A wonderful way to be clear and focus on the goal, intention, etc. is through journaling. Simply writing down what you want is a beautiful way to let the Universe and yourself know what you desire. Another way, one that works best for me, is through daydreaming. I will sit for minutes at a time, or while I’m driving, and play scenarios through my head of what I want. Though, I do let the scenarios go once I’ve played through them because I know that they will come to me as they are meant to. One principal of manifestation that can prove difficult for people is feeling you are worthy of whatever your manifesting and believing it’s yours. We all have traumas that can make us doubt our worth as human beings. A way to move past those traumas so you can have self-worth, and manifest, is through feeling your emotions and going through each trauma to heal pieces of your soul. Then you can find your inner divinity and see that you are a part of this universe and a co-creator in your life and reality. Teal Swan has an excellent article on healing and working through trauma.

Manifestation is possible. When your manifesting comes to fruition it is amazing to watch and see how everything flows. This happened with my business. I got my Reiki certification in November, 2015, and was really trying to force a Reiki business but wasn’t clear on what I wanted or even what to do, and I didn’t think people really would want to come see me. Then, I was supported to go to massage school because I was told I have “a nice touch.” I scoffed at the idea and swore I was done with school (I have my bachelor’s degree and a paralegal certificate, so I didn’t want more school). On my way up to the mountains for my 30th birthday I saw 5 “Reiki Massage” businesses and thought that it was strange. Then I talked to people and they said they wished there was massage infused with Reiki. I immediately went online and found a program at Denver Integrative Massage school, and I was accepted a week later, and I started a week after that. Everything flowed beautifully. Then, I said out loud, “I want a cool internship where I can learn more Thai massage.” I drove to a store and next to that store was a Thai massage salon, so I called and just asked if they needed an intern. They said yes, interviewed me, and I got the internship. Then I said out loud, “I want a job with the Thai Healing Arts (my internship).” I emailed the owner and asked if they were hiring, and he wrote back and said I could start after I finished my hours. I finished my clinical hours in 2 months and took the job. After working there for a short time I said I want my own business in Arvada. I would sit down every night and imagine a cute little room with my mat and table where people would come to see me. I emailed a friend of mine I spoke to in February and told her then if she needed a sublet to let me know, and she said her previous sublet just left and she was getting ready to advertise for another but she said she would love it if it were me, and I opened up my business on August 2nd (1 month after officially receiving my license). I worked in that room for a time and then I emailed the landlord and said if there was a room that was opening up to let me know, he said he just had one become available and that I could take it, so I moved downstairs in January and here I am. I definitely took steps in creating my reality but it really was effortless and that’s how manifestation works. It’s not hard. It’s a process but a fun one. I couldn’t have put this together on my own; I co-created with the Universe, and it’s been amazing. You can to! It truly is about putting your mind to what it is you want and the rest will fall into place.

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Yoga as a Spiritual Practice

I’ve been thinking a lot on yoga, and lately I’ve wanted to find a more spiritual-based yoga practice because, after all, that’s what yoga’s main focus is. So many people, myself included at one point and time, practice yoga to gain that “yoga body” or as another form of exercise. While the fitness is a nice benefit to yoga, there is much more to yoga than just the physical practice.

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When you choose to get on your yoga mat you are making the conscious decision to be present with yourself for an hour (give or take). This is mindfulness in action. If you commit to the practice for an extended period of time you are letting go of attachment to control the pace and rather enjoying the journey. Yoga is about being in a state of wholeness. This wholeness is a connection to the body and mind. When you practice the asanas you are present with your breath; you are focused on the breath moving you through each pose. This is yoga as meditation. It is important to carry this wholeness, this state of consciousness in your everyday life because then you are truly able to enjoy a relationship with yourself and the world around you. Rather than being unconscious in your phone, yoga can help you gather an awareness allowing you to be mindful in your life–noticing the flowers as you walk, being present with your children, better able to focus at work, etc.

Deepak Chopra and David Simon wrote on the 7 spiritual laws of yoga, which include: pure potentiality (inner divinity); giving and receiving (being one with the universe because you, like the universe, are in a constant state of change so give and receive to remain balanced); Karma (cause and effect–what you put out into the energetic field comes back to you); least effort (using love as motivation); intention and desire (the law of attraction); law of detachment (let go of control); and dharma (life’s purpose). When you focus on these intentions within your yoga practice you retrain your brain through neuroplasticity to let go and understand you can manifest and create your reality. In practicing these laws on and off the mat you will come to realize your dharma, life’s purpose, and will be able to detach and live in a mindful, fulfilled way.

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Iyengar yoga is rooted in Hatha yoga (movement through the breath), but its focus is aligning the body, mind, and spirit for overall health and wellbeing. There is a stronger focus on alignment and precision within each pose, which ultimately helps your mind better focus on the practice. There are three key elements to Iyengar yoga–technique, sequence, and timing–which all allow one to stay present with pranayama (breath control). There are many forms of yoga, however, to help you become mindful. For me, this form is a wonderful way to really be present and aware.

Thai massage is also rooted in Hatha yoga, among other traditions, but it allows your body and mind to connect through breath and assisted movement. In receiving Thai massage you are relaxing into a state of meditation while also allowing your body to heal and your mind to quiet. In this way, Thai massage (also known as Thai yoga massage) is truly a meditative and healing practice much like traditional yoga. You focus on your breath, focus on being present to relax, and focus on self-care and healing.

Yoga is much more than a workout. It’s truly a lifestyle practice on and off the mat. Yes, the physical benefits are wonderful, but so are the mental and spiritual benefits. In a yoga practice, you learn about yourself–you may push the boundaries, learn how to quiet a racing mind, and learn you are able to heal and control your breath. Next time you step on the mat remember yoga is a spiritual practice first and one that can only help you grow.

Why We Settle

When we hear the word, “settle,”  with regard to relationships, jobs, friends, etc. we might have a little cringe course through our bodies. We all know settling in any area of life is “bad,” so why then do we do it? It’s hard to admit, but we’ve all done it at some point in our lives in one area or another.

I believe we settle for a number of reasons. The first being fear–fear of being alone, fear of not finding another job, fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Fear is the opposite of love. When you truly love yourself you would never settle for less than what you truly deserve–happiness and joy. In settling, happiness becomes elusive, a mirage that only “other people” get to enjoy. But, when you make the conscious decision to focus on self-love, you will find happiness isn’t elusive, you just weren’t allowing yourself to see it because fear cast a shadow over it.

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Another reason people may settle in relationships is because many believe there is a stigma to being single. But on the contrary, when one is single it is truly a time for self-reflection and healing. The book Conscious Dating by David Steele discusses how one can really learn about the self while single and pinpoint what it is she or he wants in a partner, then she or he can go out and CONSCIOUSLY meet people and find a partner. To be conscious is to be “aware of and responding to one’s surroundings; awake.” In other words to be present with yourself and others rather than floating through life settling for whomever enters into it.

Many people settle in many different areas of life out of habit. It’s perceived as “easier” to stay in a situation rather than move on because it’s the way it’s always been done. But this goes back to fear. Taking that leap can be horrifying, but when done it can also be very rewarding. If you have been at the same job for years and feel unfulfilled that’s your intuition telling you it’s time to move on. That feeling of despondency can be crushing. Sure, there may be anxiety when you leave that job–how am I going to make rent, what if I don’t find something else–but there is always another job. Maybe you take a pay cut but if you feel better mentally the money won’t matter, and when you are more positive, more positivity flows your way. Settling won’t bring you positivity.

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Settling is something we all do at one point or another, but we can get out of it. If you feel like you are settling take time to heal and meditate. Don’t worry about societal pressures. Focus instead on you and your well being. Your mental state improves when you feel happy and fulfilled. Take the steps needed to move forward.

The Art of Grounding

Lately I’ve had several clients ask me what grounding is and how to do it. Grounding, also known as “earthing”, essentially is a way to become centered in your body and with the Earth herself. When you connect to your body you are truly in touch with your feelings and your mind, and that energy is then transferred into Mother Earth. When grounding and connecting to Mother Earth you are receiving her energy as well. The Earth has electrical energy flowing through her, which transfers into our bodies when we walk barefoot, touch a tree with our hands, garden, etc. When we receive this energy it resets our “bioelectrical circuitry” that assist in controlling our bodies and in turn this helps eliminate depression, sleep disorders, and boost overall well-being.

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When feeling ungrounded one can feel unsafe, anxious, and fearful. This can be connected to a dysfunctional root chakra, our center of safety and grounding. The root chakra can be looked at as the foundation of our being. If there is a crack in the foundation of a building, it will be unstable. So it is with an unbalanced root chakra. If there is dysfunction in this chakra, the others will not be stable. It is important to maintain a healthy root chakra so as to feel safe, secure, and happy.

There are several techniques to ground and maintain that energy you gain from Mother Earth:

  1. Go outside and stand on the grass, the sand, the dirt, or whatever is available with your shoes off. Close your eyes and visualize energy (light) coming up from Mother Earth into your feet and moving through your body. Imagine your root chakra (it’s color is red) at the base of your spine connecting to that light swirling within your body.
  2. Go for a hike or a walk. Simply walking among the trees, flowers, animals, etc. is a wonderful way to connect to Mother Earth. Not only are you connecting to the Earth but you are receiving vitamin D from the sun, you are getting your heart-rate up, which boosts circulation and health, and you are focused on the task at hand rather than other daily anxieties.
  3. Sit next to a tree. When you sit next to a tree you are still receiving that energy from the Earth. Imagine its roots wrapping around you like a hug connecting you to your mother.
  4. Eat grounding foods. Root vegetables are wonderful for grounding (beets, turnips, potatoes). Red beets are the color of your root chakra, so this particular root vegetable is a wonderful way to activate your chakra. It is also a food rich in iron, so it’s great for your blood.
  5. Meditate and set the intention to be grounded. Close your eyes in a quiet space. Focus on roots extending down from your root chakra, down your legs, out of your feet, and going all the way to the Earth’s core. Imagine the energy coming up from the core through your roots. Feel that connection. Feel the love the Earth has for you because she keeps you safe, she catches you when you fall, she is home. Breathe and continue to focus on rooting into the Earth until you are ready to come back.

Grounding has many benefits mentally and physically. When we feel grounded our anxiety level lowers, which brings down the stress hormone levels. As mentioned in my meditation blog, stress hormones are linked to causing illness and pain. If you are feeling anxious or fearful, try to ground and connect with Mother Earth. She will help you feel right again.

Expressing Truth

What is truth? I believe truth is perception. Everyone’s truth is different based on their current perception, therefor your own truth can evolve over time. For example, I used to be Catholic and believe that was the only truth. That Catholicism was the only way to be. Sure, I knew there was good in other people but I believed it was the TRUE religion. Now, however, I don’t believe there is one true religion. I don’t really consider myself to be a part of any religion but I pick from different belief systems and live a life of compassion, empathy, and authenticity. I don’t think it is necessary to have a religion to be a good person. Your own truth can even change day to day based on your emotional state. You could wake up one morning feeling cranky and not really know why. But, if you go within and question it, step outside, or talk to someone about your feelings that truth can change and shift.

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How does one express their truth? At the core of all beings there is only one truth–love. So, how does one express love? Some express it by painting, some by writing, some by skateboarding, some by gardening, some by sports, some by yoga, etc. And then, there are layers within that love. Are you feeling reminiscent when expressing that love? Are you present and mindful when expressing it? Love has many facets. Truth, love, is truly about being authentic. When you are authentic, vulnerable, you are showing your raw humanity. This is the importance of shadow (or trauma) work because you will not feel comfortable or safe in your vulnerability and authenticity until you work through your trauma and heal old wounds. The more you do shadow work the more you are able to have your truth be expressed from an emotional state of calm, peace, joy, or gratitude because then you have more moments of truth that are of love rather than moments of fear.

If you go through a stressful experience you don’t really remember the details because that’s what stress does to our brains. For example, if you go through a divorce, bankruptcy, a death, etc. you don’t really remember exactly what was going through your mind because you were thinking thoughts of worry about things that would come to pass. Maybe some of these thoughts did manifest, but your truth was ever changing because of your perceptions from moment to moment in that situation. In the background of all of this there has always been a truth about you at the core, a drive within you that you wanted but maybe couldn’t pursue because of life’s circumstances. Eventually, when you got through these situations you were able to pursue what you wanted. This is another aspect of truth, another way love expresses itself. Maybe some of you have already started to pursue those dreams, maybe some feel that the dreams are dormant within you, but we all have those innate talents within us. Maybe we were told, “It’s impossible,” or “Your dreams are unrealistic,” yet there’s that nagging voice in your head pushing you to pursue those dreams. If truth is love then love can only express itself for your goodness so follow your truth. Express your truth, your love, in the way that suits you and only you.

Thanks to Amanda Gardiner of Intuitive Nature for her help and guidance in writing this blog.

Movement

These past couple of weeks have been quite interesting for me personally. I’ve literally been on the move with work (marketing, expanding, and growing–I’m so grateful!), moved homes (significantly downsized and minimized, which is freeing in so many ways), and made movement spiritually (meditating even more, reading more, and learning about manifestation and really going with the flow of the universe). So, this brings the question to mind, how does movement benefit our highest and best good?

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Movement allows for growth. When we are moving–figuratively and literally–we are in a state of allowing for change, which brings about learning and evolution. There’s research to back how movement benefits children in education, and it would prove true in adult life. Movement makes us more productive in the work force. No matter what the job is, it’s important to get up, get outside, and/or stretch. Movement in learning helps us process and retain new information. In researching spiritual practices, I will read, journal, and then get up for a walk. All the while thinking about what I’ve learned, and I find it “sticks” better than if I just read a book and don’t take time to really process it.

Just as it is beneficial to meditate and slow down for our minds and bodies, so is it to move and be active. According to Harvard Medical School, movement (exercise, yoga, walking) decreases the symptoms of depression. Harvard discusses the body mind connection and how movement can actually improve your thoughts and help you feel better.  So using movement in conjunction with slowing down in meditation creates a balance for your mind and body allowing you feel whole, happy, and restored. Personally, I love yoga and running. Running for me is very grounding, yet challenging. While yoga is challenging, yet meditative. I add these in with a morning meditation and an evening meditation (they can be as little as 5 minutes long or as long as 30 minutes), and I truly feel like a whole human being.

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Moving homes, spaces, etc. is also beneficial because it allows you to start anew. I’m not suggesting everyone drop everything, move out of their homes, and start over. If that’s available to you, great. Moving allows you to purge things you no longer need. But, you don’t need to move homes in order to purge. Donate old clothes, old furniture, etc. to your local thrift store or charity. If you cannot move physical homes, you can move your space around. Look into Feng shui and how you could move your furniture within your current space to feel at peace and renewed. Sometimes moving a chair to the other side of the room is all you need to feel better, to feel more at home. Whatever works for you, create your space and move so you can have more mental clarity.

Movement is as powerful as resting. Movement keeps our minds sharp, our bodies, strong, and our spirits alive. Keep calm and balance it with movement.