Where there’s darkness there is light…

Darkness

“Sometimes in order to get to the light we must find our way through the dark.” ~ Amanisoul

Peace Soulstars,

I know we are bombarded with positivity all of the time to the point where it can get overwhelming.  There’s pressure to be something that we cannot be all of the time.  Happiness is great but there are days when we just don’t feel happy even in gratitude.  Everyone is going through something and it’s hard to face that something when you have everyone telling you “BE happy!” and “BE positive!”  You end up pretending to be okay when you’re really not.   Sometimes you have to take the mask off or just throw it away, burn it; whatever you need to do.   Just be in the moment even if that means you need to take a day to be in your feelings so to speak.  We are not a perfect people.  We are much more complex than we think.  Yes, we want more positivity but with positive there is also negative.  Balance is key.  How would we know what “positive” is if we did not experience it’s arch nemesis?  We must have one with the other in order to understand life  ourselves.   In order to understand life’s ups and downs we must begin with self.  It’s as simple as that.

Ignoring negative thoughts and feelings does nothing for your emotional and spiritual growth.  You certainly don’t learn how to deal with adversity or how to protect yourself from negative energy.   When you avoid your “demons”, problems, etc.  you end up with repressed issues that keep you stagnant in your relationships, careers, and life in general.  That’s why there are a bunch of people running around unhappy, lost and lashing out at people that have done nothing to them.  They turn to drugs, alcohol, food and other vices to cope.  They breed negative energy because they have not learned how to cope with it in a way that serves them.  There’s no balance.  They hold onto anger, resentment, and hate while letting it control them.   This leads to conflict, chaos, and in many cases violence.  Most of us really don’t want this.  It isn’t a part of our nature to constantly breed negativity and chaos.  Hurt people hurt people.  That’s why it’s imperative to dig deeper to get to the root of your problems rather then continue to keep them hidden.  Sometimes in order to get to the light we need to find our way through the dark.

The ultimate goal for most of us is to obtain inner peace which is necessary to generate peace around us.  When negative thoughts and feelings arise, acknowledge them,  feel them, and let nature take its course.  Just try not to let them control you.  If this is difficult to do you know you need to make a change because the first step is acknowledging that you don’t have  control.  The next step is deciding what to do about it.  Once you get to know your negative side you will be able to find positive ways to manage it.  This way, you  take control of how you think, feel, and act not let your emotions take control of you.   When you become the master of yourself you not only understand yourself better but you also understand others more.

Until next time, just take mental notes of how you respond emotionally, psychologically, physically, behaviorally, and socially.   Sounds like a lot but it is do-able.  Keep in mind that you are a work in progress and continue to seek ways to enjoy life.  A new day is a new beginning.  Next week we’ll explore what to do after you’ve identified the negative thoughts and feelings.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

 

Don’t forget the window sills…

CleansingSpirit

Peace Soulstars,

I have not been blogging as much lately due to some major life changes ahead for myself and my family. Good things though!   We also were away for a week on a mini vacay in which we took care of business as well.  Many positive manifestations happening right now including a major move.  As I’ve been taking time to purge physical things prior to moving out of our apartment I have also been continuing the process of purging emotional and mental handicaps including people, the past, problems, situations and the like.

This morning I opened the curtains to raise the blinds and decided to check out the window sills.  I have noticed build up over time but neglected to clean them.  After noticing the filth, I proceeded to grab a cleaner and paper towels and wiped those bad boys down!  I also thought about how breathing that stuff is in is terrible for your body.  As I proceeded to clean the build up of dirt, pollen, and other debris, I felt so much better.  I remember when we first moved in I made sure I wiped the window sills whenever I dusted because it looked so much better to me.  It was also easier to clean because I did it regularly.  Over time I had forgotten about them so it took a little more effort to clean this time but it got done.

As you know, the window sills are the surface at the bottom of a window on the interior side.  I place emphasis on “interior” for a reason.  Stay with me.  Underneath the grime was a clean, fresh surface which was so much more pleasing to my senses including my soul.  This brings me to my point.  We tend to forget those little crevices that are an important part of our environment/living space and often get overlooked as time progresses.  We concentrate mostly on the larger, outer surfaces while neglecting those small spaces and corners that need cleaning too.  It happens so easily because those small areas aren’t usually seen by the naked eye.  You have to look closer.  Usually, this doesn’t happen until we are sneezing, coughing, or just get tired of looking at it because sometimes we notice but put it off😉.

The same goes for us as spiritual beings inhabiting physical bodies.  We often forget to cleanse our souls of build up from  years of toxic people, situations, problems, etc.  Purging and cleansing are an important part of starting anew.  For example, when moving try purging your space of anything unnecessary before packing.  While going through items, ask yourself “Does this serve me?” “Do I have a need for this or am I holding onto it just because?”  That is when you know you need to let it go.

This is a great way to get into the mindset of cleansing yourself of anything that does not serve you.  Removing layers of build up will do wonders for your life in all areas.  In order to grow, change, and improve yourself from the inside out it’s imperative to check in to those areas regularly.  It’s preventative and helps improve overall health.  Once you purge and cleanse you can start fresh which will allow you to move forward mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.   When you have those three down the physical will have no choice but to follow suit.

Remember to set time aside daily or weekly (whatever fits your lifestyle best) to check in.  If you need to write it down, write it down or put a reminder in your phone until it becomes second nature.  Do what works for you and feel better! If you need to set the reminder as “Don’t forget the window sills!”.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Word of the day: Discernment

Peace Soulstars,

I’m embarking on this total body wellness journey with spirituality being at the forefront of this transformation.  While doing so, I am coming across many terms, phrases, quotes and images which are inspiring as well as crucial to my understanding of self.   Today’s word: discernment.  There are many forms of discernment but the general definition is the ability to decide between truth and error; right and wrong.  As I learn myself all over again I realize that I need to bend my mind a little (a lot in some cases).  The mind stays stagnant if we don’t challenge it.  We need to challenge our minds consistently or change will not occur.  It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from.  We can all use sources of inspiration to get that energy flowing within and push us to do more thinking and less believing.  Yes, I meant to say that.   MORE thinking and LESS believing.  If you follow me cool but if you are giving me virtual side eye I urge you to just take a second to stretch your mind right here.  Step outside of the box for a minute or longer while I break this down.

More times than not when we BELIEVE we don’t question.  We don’t leave room for error.  It is finalized and we are not open to infinite possibilities.   In simple terms, we just don’t think.   It’s easier to just take what we hear as truth and nothing further.  Life is full of infinite possibilities which include mystery and the unknown which we often fear.  So, what do we do to cope?  Among the distractions, vices,etc., we establish all of these beliefs  which do come in handy to an extent but can also hinder our growth.  In order to grow we must be able to accept that everything is not always the way it seems.

Someone may tell us something and we are quick to believe it for the simple fact that we trust the source.   Have you ever been let down by someone who you trusted all to realize that you got mind-fucked?  Oooh, harsh words you say? We live in a harsh reality I say.   Step a little further away from the box if you thought my choice of word was too explicit.    It is just an outright way of saying that you were bamboozled, you were tricked, and it burned you so deep that you were emotionally impacted by the person you thought you trusted.  The person you thought you believed.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t trust anybody…No, wait…Actually, it would be advisable to not fully trust others or place higher expectations on them than what is realistic.  Even people who have been by your side during the toughest times can disappoint you if you let them.  As I hop back on the topic (I took a little leap there) at hand,  let me stress that I am not in any way encouraging you to be pessimistic or look for the negative.  What I’m saying is when it comes to people, places, things, information you must always remain vigilant.  Be aware of the fact that everyone and everything cannot be all good and definitely not all-knowing.  Don’t be so quick to believe everything you hear, see, touch or taste.  You get the point.

Bottom line, it’s okay to think for yourself.  It’s okay to question and have an opinion.  It’s even okay to believe to the point where you question things.  I said LESS believing not NO believing at all.  There is a difference.    While you’re at it, let’s work on less judging because the two go hand in hand.  When we have certain beliefs we use them against others to judge the way they think, look, and behave.  Hell, we all judge but what matters is whether you are aware or not.

At the end of the day do what serves you best.  Ask yourself does it serve me to judge other people or would it benefit me more to have an open mind?   Our thoughts, perceptions and beliefs are usually based on our experiences.  Although, many times we disregard our experiences and move on to just believing because it goes along with what we think and feel.  Seek the  understanding that we can all co-exist in harmony with our differences in tact if we take the time to step outside of our boxes and look around, talk to people of different ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, listen and we just might realize that what we thought was truth was actually a misconception or a lie.  Start by questioning this blog post.  ;-)

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Meditation…My Most Important Lessons

“Meditation is emptying your mind completely of all belief, ideology, concept, thought.  Only in an empty mind when there is no dust left on the mirror truth reflects.” ~Osho

Peace Soulstars,

The above quote is from “The Book of Wisdom” by Osho which I have yet to finish because it’s filled with so much wisdom that I have to pace myself.  I take notes in the margins and everything.  I highly recommend it.  Many may find this “mindless” concept of meditation questionable.  It has even become quite controversial but just like with any other information you take it as just that.  It is information.  Use it how you see fit.  What is truth to one is not truth to the other.

Meditation is all in what you make it out to be.  It does not always have to consist of you sitting “mindlessly” in lotus position while deep breathing.  For example, this past weekend my meditation consisted of creating my vision board (finally).  Most of the time I  do sit in lotus position while deep breathing as I let the thoughts that enter my mind pass like clouds in the sky.  My understanding is that it is okay to have thoughts while meditating.  It is what the mind does.  The key is not letting the thoughts control your feelings and/or distract you from your peace of mind.  Also, have fun!  Meditating should not be stressful.  It defeats the purpose if it is.

I’ve meditated off and on in the past but my most successful experience with meditating began when I used the app Headspace.  I did the free 10 minute daily sessions which helped me understand what I was doing, why, and how to begin.  From there, I began meditating on my own and found that I was able to meditate for 10 minutes without a timer or other guidance.  This intrigued me as I found that the mind truly is more powerful than we give it credit.  It was nonstop from then on which led me to learn how to meditate in other ways besides sitting still.  Though I do enjoy sitting still and find it very effective.

In the months that I have been practicing daily meditation for at least 15- 20 minutes (sometimes longer) here are a few lessons I’ve learned:

  • There are many creative, effective ways to meditate.  Do not just stick to one method
  • You can meditate anywhere when you really get the hang of it
  • Learning to let my thoughts come and go without reacting to them helped me resist feeling (letting thoughts control you)
  • I was able to tune out the physical state (sounds, distractions, tension/pains in the body) by focusing on the breath and breathing  causing me to relax
  • It is okay to lose focus at times as thoughts take you off track but what’s important is that you bring your awareness back to the breath

I’ll be sharing some of my experiences with meditation.  I think many of you will find it interesting how I learned to take life to a whole other level by learning how to connect with my spiritual self.  I hope you find this helpful in establishing a meditation practice of your own.  Remember, everyone is different with different needs and starting from different points in their journey.  When you understand that, you’ll be able to reap the full benefits of meditation.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Have you had your tea today?

GreenTea

Peace Soulstars,

Do you ever think about what you put into your body first thing in the morning before eating breakfast (assuming that you do eat breakfast)?  Breakfast is that meal in the morning which you consume to break the “fast” so to speak.  Typically, at night we go to bed for at least 6-8 hours without eating or drinking anything.  This is considered a fast.  So, you break the fast when you eat in the morning.   Hence the reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.   It is imperative to not only eat breakfast but you must also hydrate yourself.  Dehydration leads to all sorts of problems and your organs need hydration in order to work properly.  So, before we even start thinking about what to eat we need to remind ourselves of the importance of getting those organs to function.  Then, we can move onto feeding ourselves after our body’s are ready to digest properly.

Question:  Who drinks coffee early in the am before doing anything else? Who does not drink anything but goes straight for that donut, bagel or whatever your breakfast of choice? Who just skips it altogether because they just “ain’t  got  time for all of that”?  Well, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t start your day off at least with a glass of water but my drink of choice is tea.  I love tea!  I sometimes make my own with steamed water, raw honey, and a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon depending on my needs.  Simple yet satisfying and healthy to boot.  Green tea is my jam though!!  The Republic of Tea makes double matcha green tea and matcha green tea powder which are high in antioxidants and in price (depends on your perception of “high”)  but it is worth it in the end.  You’re paying for the quality but do your research to find what works best for you.  Consider it an investment in your health so you won’t have to shuck out loads of money later in life on doctor’s visits😉  So, tell me….Do you drink green tea?  How do you get your hydration on in the am?

Love and Light,

9k=-1

It’s the “little” things!

 

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Peace Soulstars,

The picture above is from our trip to Scarborough, Maine over a week ago and the views were just breathtaking.  The beach we visited was just as beautiful and clean with air so crisp it was surreal.  The above picture is from a historical site Fort Williams Park where we took in the scenery as we later discovered more landmarks including the Old Goddard Mansion, a nearby lighthouse, and cliff walk.  Life is much more beautiful than we sometimes think if we just take the time to enjoy the “little things” right before us.

I made sure to walk on the beach, look around at the water, the sea gulls, the sky, people surfing etc.  I have been embarking on this journey of self discovery as I get to know myself while getting more connected to God and nature.  I have to get outside everyday.  Rain or shine.  No exceptions.  The weather is warming up and that is enough of a reason to get outside.  Amongst the craziness of that which can be life with the everyday hustle and bustle among other things we must stop and just BE.  Be aware of yourself, your surroundings, breathing, the here and now.  You owe it to yourself to do this regularly.  Everyday in fact.  You don’t have to be in Maine to do so either.  There is beauty all around us if we just stop and take the time to pay attention.   We aren’t on this earth in this form for long so don’t take it for granted.  Here are more pics from our trip:

 

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Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

DIY Sugar Wax Recipe and Tutorial

Peace Soulstars,

I hope this post finds you all well.   If you don’t know yet I also have a youtube channel (also entitled Amanisoul).  It started off as a beauty/natural haircare channel  but it has become more about my holistic lifestyle due to my most current interests.  I still incorporate the natural haircare aspect to the beauty portion of the channel which includes all things natural beauty.

Speaking of natural beauty I just posted a video to my channel which is a 2 in 1 (two videos in one) as I shared a recipe and tutorial for a diy sugar wax.   This video was specifically waxing for the underarms.   The sugar wax only requires three ingredients which you may already have in your kitchen! As a matter of fact I am pretty sure that most of you have all three of these ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, and water.  Boom, there you have it! lol…This was my most recent and successful sugar wax to date where I show you how to make it and how to apply it.  I also discuss the pros and cons of using sugar wax.

I hope you enjoy the video and find it helpful! If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to share your experiences using sugar wax comment below!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

Vegan Cheese is pretty damn good!

 

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Pictured: Glutino brand multigrain (and gluten free) crackers; daiya jalapeno havarti style cheese

Peace Soulstars,

I thought I’d share my food find from this week because I am searching for healthier snack and meal options.   I discovered a new snack that included an alternative to one of my favorite foods that happens to not be healthy: cheese.  This is my second time trying vegan cheese which is actually not too bad in my opinion.  If you have been following this blog from the beginning you know about my vegegan journey.  I ate primarily vegetarian with some vegan meals for almost two months but Super Bowl day chicken wings nixed that…lol…Recently I’ve decided to ditch the labels and detach myself from the pressures that come with lifestyle changes.  It’s a process and should not make you feel like you are depriving yourself.  I choose to enjoy trying new things and gradually ridding myself of what is not good for me.

Speaking of new things I was inspired to try vegan cheese again after finding this youtube channel.  There are actually so many more options than I thought which means I don’t have to settle for whatever’s in the house.  Instead of chips I can snack on multi grain crackers with vegancheese and a side of apple slices.

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This was on point and 10 year old approved because my daughter loved this vegan “cheese” with the crackers.  This was a perfect balance of tarty sweet from the apples (granny smith) with the sharp taste of the cheese.  I think it’s safe to say this was nomtastic! Yes, that is corny but at least it’s original!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Distractions, vices, and silent killers

Peace Soulstars,

Often times we ignore our issues, suppress them and try to cope by distracting ourselves with vices which can be anything from tv, social media, food, sex ,drugs; the list goes on. This does more harm than good. We tend to realize this after damage has already been done like when we have several failed relationships, fall victim to drug addiction or develop a physical disorder.  Yes, psychological disorders can be converted to physical disorders when you don’t address unresolved issues.  There does come a time when we have to face our issues by duking it out with our fears and anxieties. If we don’t, we continue to perpetuate the cycle and eventually end up stuck in the same place where we started. Sometimes we don’t even realize this because we are that caught up in the distractions.

What do you think about late at night while everyone else is sleeping?  What are those thoughts in your mind which run in circles keeping you up all to return every single night?  Those are the things that you need to address because at some point you will have to face them whether you want to or not.  You can continue to distract yourself but you will never really be free until you just let go.  Depending on the problem you may need to seek professional help.  Does it mean you are crazy? Nope.  It just means you need to seek perspective.  You may need a little push through guidance of someone who can help you remove the veil.  The veil being those things which you “hide” behind to cover up what is inside.  Is this going to be easy? Nope.  Well, sometimes it may be easier than you think but it really depends on what the issues are and how long you’ve been holding onto them.

You will be doing yourself a disservice if you continue to use the veil and add on distraction after distraction after distraction.   You’ll know you need guidance from a professional when your problems affect your functioning.  For example, you cannot complete your tasks at work or at home like you usually could before this problem or if a child, they have recurring conflict with classmates/teachers and their grades fall.  Some other signs for adults and young adults include rapid weight loss or gain, appetite changes (increase or decrease), inability to experience pleasure or joy (anhedonia), and of course a huge sign is thoughts of harming yourself (suicidal ideation) or thoughts of harming others (homicidal ideation).  These are a few and be mindful that they are very subjective.

You must consider the role of all factors that affect your wellbeing.  That is why it is important to have a biopsychosocial assessment done by a professional because they know what areas to look into.  You may not even realize the extent to which biological, psychological, and environmental factors are affecting you.  In other cases,  you may not even need professional help.  You may just need to ask yourself “What do I want and how do I get it?”  Then, you take the necessary steps to do what you need to do.  Make sure that what you want is reasonable.   Depending on the circumstances what you want may just not be obtainable or  try this perspective: What you want may not be what you need.  I mean if it is a man or woman you “want” but they are married, involved or just not interested but you want to work on getting them anyway you may want to reconsider seeking professional help.  Just saying…

Just like we need to see a doctor or naturopath to keep track of our physical health we need to seek professional help for mental health.  They are all interconnected.  If you have a mental illness it can affect you physically and vice versa.  On average, when you have a tooth ache don’t you at some point go to the dentist to have them check it out?  If you have pain anywhere on or inside your body that won’t go away don’t you make an appointment to see your primary care physician?  It should be the same if you find yourself having emotional issues which can bring on anxiety, depression and other ailments.

As stated previously, some physical disorders can trigger psychological disorders.  There are cases where physicians treating  patients with chronic physical illnesses can and do overlook psychological disorders such as depression.  Most physicians are more concerned with the physical disorder because that’s the reason for the visit.  Many do not ask about what is going on with you mentally or emotionally.  Untreated mental illness can affect you differently than physical illness but both have a tremendous affect on your well being.  Simply put you end up treating the symptoms and not the problems.  Either way, if you keep sweeping the issues under the rug will come to surface anyway because all you’re doing is letting issues build up and build up.  You will be left with physical and/or emotional issues in the long haul.  You may shrug your shoulders and say “Well, nothing is happening yet so I’m good.”   Not necessarily.  Ever heard of the silent killer diseases?  They aren’t called “silent killers” for nothing.

Ready to seek help from a mental health professional but don’t know where to begin?  Make an appointment to see your pcp and ask them to refer you to a mental health professional or check with your insurance company.  You have to check with your insurance company anyway to be sure that your services will be covered.  Hope this was helpful!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

Melanie Fiona’s Truth about Motherhood

Peace Soulstars,

Sometimes I find myself struggling with what to post on the blog because I don’t want to be generic.   Not only do I prefer my food to be organic but being genuine and my true self play a major part in my lifestyle.  I take much pride in my crafts which include writing this blog.  I put my heart into everything I do.  I especially appreciate the support from you all, my wonderful audience.  I think highly of you which is why I call you my “soulstars”.  I don’t just blog for the sake of posting content.  I blog to inspire.  With that said I thought that the following video would be inspiring, enlightening and possibly motivational for you; specifically the mothers or soon-to-be mothers.  Speaking of organic and realness, this new mom shares the reality of her motherhood journey.

The following video is a must watch for those who have experienced pregnancy and motherhood.   Melanie Fiona keeps it real and I give her major kudos for sharing her story.  I wish I had received a message like this during my pregnancy and right after because I had a serious reality check.   It would have been comforting to know that I was not alone or losing my mind.  My experience was not to the extreme that Mel experienced.  I too suppressed my feelings of failure and lack of bliss so many often speak of after having a baby.

Don’t get me wrong.  I was grateful and happy to be a mother but I struggled with living up to these false expectations that I placed on myself.  I rolled with the punches on the outside but inside was a different story.  I suppressed my feelings because that is the way I knew how to deal.  It could’ve been worse but far too many than not talk about pregnancy and post baby “bliss” rather than keeping it real about the difficulties.  Being vulnerable is not something we usually tend to discuss.  It’s an uncomfortable place to be but being uncomfortable can strengthen us.

It is so taboo to discuss postpartum depression, pregnancy, and/or delivery issues including pressure from others to “bounce back” to your pre-pregnancy weight.  As if mothers don’t have enough to deal with we worry about body changes.  I gained ALOT of weight during my pregnancy and many people did not hesitate to so rudely and insensitively point that out to me.  I’m so inspired by this that I will be doing a video for my Youtube channel’s mental health series where I share my full story.  Honestly, I’ve been holding back because it’s so personal and a touchy subject but if it can help another woman going through the same or similar experience it is all worth it.  In the video below, Melanie Fiona shares her truth.

Love and Light,

9k=-1