Self Care Friday: We become what we do…

Peace Soulstars,

Let’s talk about something that has changed my life since 2013 and taught me the importance of self care…Yoga.  My first official yoga class was in 2013.  It was bikram yoga also known as “hot yoga”.  The name in and of itself is a bit intimidating when you haven’t experienced hot yoga before.  I was having a rough day and a friend of mine texted me about going to hot yoga class with her.

A part of me didn’t feel like it because I was in a horrible mood.  The other part had been curious about taking an actual yoga class with other people of all levels. I had done yoga at home for years but never took a class.  It was more about convenience I guess.

When my friend asked me to come to class with her, I had just taken my social work licensure exam and failed it.  I felt terrible but didn’t need to.  It was only a test.  All I know is that I told my husband about my invite to yoga and he encouraged me to go despite how I felt.  So, I went.  It was one of the best decisions I made for myself.

I remember at the beginning of the class while we were in child’s pose focusing on the breath I thought to myself “This is awesome.”…Just from breathing alone.  The instructor said the words which were music to my soul “Let go of all of the shit from this week”.  I needed to hear that and I did.  I began to learn the art of letting go that day and it felt amazing.

I had done yoga before but there was something different about this time.  I did yoga for “fitness” before but this time I had a reason beyond getting the poses right.  I got on the mat not for physical exercise but for my spirit. Later, I learned that it’s called yoga flow for a reason.  It starts with awareness, the breath, spirit, mind and the body follows.

My spirits were low and needed uplifting.  My peace of mind was shook by an external conditions and I allowed that to happen.  I learned that my peace of mind is not contingent upon passing a test or how others perceive me or any other extenuating circumstances.  I cannot control what goes on outside of myself but I can control what goes on within me.

I proceeded to fall in love with yoga and kept it up for almost a year two to three times a week.  Once I discovered pure barre I alternated between yoga and barre.  Nothing ever felt like yoga though. Nothing ever compared.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve been practicing yoga at home about three or more days a week.  Recently I participated in a challenge (twelve days of yoga) which motivated me to practice daily even if only for ten minutes.  The benefits are endless and the little improvements you notice as days progress are profound.  Sometimes I do yoga twice a day(morning and evening) depending.

Over the years,  I always kept yoga in my routine along with other forms of body work (exercise).  So, I would do yoga once or twice a week at home along with pure barre which I had done for a few years (2013-2015).  It was great.  I love pure barre too but nothing was like yoga.  Yoga is soul work when you fully embrace it.

Prior to starting yoga, I thought it was about fitness but had a mindful component to it.  It’s actually the other way around and more.  Yoga means “union”.   We could get into sanskrit terms but for now I’ll keep it simple.  Mind, body, and spirit become aligned when you become yoga.  They unite.

When you break down the many aspects of mind, body, spirit there are many other components within.  We don’t “do” yoga, we become yoga.  When we become it, our soul is illuminated.  Everything else falls into place.  You may not be into yoga which is fine but I am.

Books like The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran (although there are many translations available) and Osho’s Mind, Body, Balancing as well as others have all increased my interest in yoga. I’ve begun diving deeper beyond the surface of how yoga is presented in western culture.  Oh, India how I would love to come experience you full circle….One day.

Just be mindful that movement is necessary.  Stagnant energy that doesn’t get released finds places to hide within.  If that stagnant energy doesn’t get shaken up regularly, it can eventually develop into physical ailments and conditions making you sick.  We become what we do, so choose wisely.

Love and light,

 

 

 

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Spiritual Thursday: Soulwork…It’s necessary

Peace Soulstars,

I cannot and will not stress enough how important soul work is.  Contrary to what many believe we are mostly non-physical beings. Our physical body makes up a small portion of our being…I mean minuscule.

This is the one thousand and tenth reason why it’s utterly ridiculous for people to place more emphasis on appearance and skin color than they do on one’s character.  Putting it more accurately we place emphasis on appearance etc. instead of energy and vibes.

Here’s a quote from Abraham Hicks to ponder “You are source energy.  You came from non-physical and while you were non-physical before you came into these physical bodies.  You still are for the most part predominantly that nonphysical consciousness but that’s hard for you to know because you have come into this personality and the awareness of what’s going on here, what you’re observing is so dominate and so real you call it reality…”

Love and light,

 

Cyst Update: I had surgery…

healing

Peace Soulstars,

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I wanted to give you a quick update on my cyst situation by sharing my experience with the surgery.  I had a minor surgery to drain the cyst because I didn’t have the patience to continue to deal with the inflammation.  Besides, It had gotten extremely painful, irritating, and just became a nuisance to have this thing on my back not to mention how nasty it looked.   When I went for my doctor visit Thursday to follow up on how the antibiotics were working to shrink the cyst, I decided to just let him do the surgery.  It really wasn’t getting better even with antibiotics for a week.  After the doctor explained that the healing process was not going to be overnight and that surgical removal was the best thing to do I agreed to go through with the surgery.

My doctor and his assistant were very reassuring as they made me feel comfortable.  I was worried about the numbing medication via needle because I don’t like needles (who does?) but I can deal with them. My doctor told me that if I can handle getting my blood drawn than I should be able to handle this needle because the  needle he was going to use was smaller than the standard needle used when blood is drawn.  I perked up then! haha!  Getting my blood drawn is a piece of cake.  He even showed me the type of needle he would be using.   I appreciated him being patient with me and trying to make me feel comfortable.  I liked him so much that I wish he could be my primary physician but he’s a surgeon.  I don’t want to have to see him after this is all over…lol.  I just have a few more follow ups to track healing.

In addition to the fact that he had a great sense of humor and professionalism,  I trusted that my doctor knew what he was doing.   I felt that he cared about making me feel comfortable and getting the job done.  This helped me let go of a lot of my anxiety.  I do have general anxiety by the way but I keep it under control (most of the time) using deep breathing techniques, and meditation.  I’m currently exploring other calming practices including the use of crystals and healing stones in my meditation.

During the procedure , I remember talking a lot…lol…That’s what I do when I am comfortable around people (and when I’m nervous).  They were very easy to talk to.  I felt confident that this was not going to be as bad as I thought.   In the end, I only felt pressure in areas that were inflamed but I mostly used my deep breathing to keep me calm.  Thankfully, it worked because I felt very calm despite going under the “knife”.

I share all of this with you because I know many can relate to having anxiety.  You may have even experienced a cyst or something similar.  This experience taught me a few things:  One, don’t put off for tomorrow what could be done today.  I waited too long (until the cyst got inflamed) to address this issue.  It didn’t have to come to the point of surgery but you live and you learn.  Two,  shit happens.  Yes, my waiting too long to address this skin issue caused a cyst to develop but it could have been worse.  I can heal from this and life will continue to be great.  This does not mean that I did something wrong or that my health is in jeopardy.  It’s a warning from my body that I need to just pay attention to it more.

Lastly, I learned that deep breathing is a super power many of us aren’t aware of and/or just don’t use for various reasons.  I know for a fact that it helps in many circumstances not just during surgery but during typical every day situations.  I once used deep breathing to relieve pressure from my bladder after waiting too long to use the bathroom.  It worked because it kept me from peeing on myself and relieved my irritability.  You know the feeling.  How do you manage anxiety?  Everyone has it to an extent.  I would love to know if you meditate, use crystals, prayer, whatever the practice is.  This is a non-discriminatory zone.  We can all use different practices based on different beliefs without feeling like we are being judged for thinking differently from the other.  Next up, I’ll be sharing my experience with salt and epsom salt baths to detoxify, cleanse negative energy, and to relax.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

 

Cysts, ayurveda and antibiotics…In that order

Naturalantibiotics

Peace Soulstars,

As promised, I wanted to share my horrific experience with an epidermoid cyst which has developed on my back.  I’ve been dealing with this thing for quite a while (several months)  but it wasn’t causing me any problems until now.  I now truly regret waiting so long to address this.  Now, it’s extremely painful.  Currently, I’m on antibiotics while also using a natural antibiotic, turmeric.  I’ve also found that drinking a tea of apple cider vinegar (with “the mother“), raw honey, and lemon to be helpful in making me feel more comfortable at least.  Apple Cider Vinegar is antibacterial, anti-inflamatory, anti-fungal, antiviral among many others.  It’s anti everything that will prevent your body from being alkaline and it strengthens the immune system.  If you don’t know, now you know that disease cannot live in an alkaline body.  😉  My goal is to be as alkaline as possible.  Here’s how this cyst began.

The cyst developed about a year ago (approximately).  I know it sounds bad but just let me explain.  I used to exercise 3-4x a week at a Pure Barre Studio.  I was wearing sports bras and getting sweaty almost everyday.  Of course I took a shower after I was done but for some reason I can’t help but wonder if that contributed to the cyst developing.  Prior to that I had no issues with my skin.  About 6 or so months after doing Pure Barre consistently for the same amount of time every week I began to notice this small lump on my back where my bra usually rests.   The next few sentences may be a little too graphic for you so you’re welcome to skip down to the middle of the next paragraph at “I tried tea tree oil”…The bump had a tiny opening at the tip.  I could see what looked to be some cheesy like material ready to be excreted or drained from the tip.

At first I could drain it.  This is not really the best thing to do because it can contribute to inflammation if not done properly hence the whole reason I’m dealing with this situation.  So, I would just squeeze it and the yellowish cheesy material would come out.  I would do this until nothing else came out.  Well several months later I would do my regular routine of taking a shower and trying to drain this bump because the steam from the shower softens and opens up your pores.  It would only keep reappearing every few days as the sebum oils etc would build up.  I tried tea tree oil (diluted of course), a raw honey and cinnamon mask, apple cider vinegar (acv), bentonite clay pastes and other natural remedies to dry it up.  They helped to an extent but by the time I really started doing this it had gotten to the point of no return to its natural state.  As the opening became blocked and unable to drain, the problem turned to disaster. The cyst got bigger and more annoying.  That’s when I started the epsom salt baths which helped but I ended up stopping because we were in transition (moving) and we were staying at my mom’s temporarily.   Salt baths and baths with epsom salts, baking soda, and lavender oil (sometimes tea tree) were not only relaxing but helped start the process of shrinking the cyst naturally.

There was so much going on that I didn’t feel as though I had the time or energy to tend to this “situation”.  My mom tried to help by putting some type of tea tree oil on it (more of a synthetic form).   I just about tried so many natural remedies but one day I woke up and it was sore (inflamed, warm to the touch).   As soon as we got moved into our home I found a doctor who prescribed an antibiotic for me to take which he said should shrink it.  I’ve been on the antibiotic since Wednesday.   I experienced itching  and soreness at first.  The itching was so disrespectful!  It was better than pain but it literally itched all day and night.  Then, the pain returned.  So between the itching and pain I guess it’s safe to say that the antibiotic must be doing its thing aka “knocking this inflammation out”!

Right now (Saturday) as I am typing I feel more comfortable as I’ve taken my two daily doses of antibiotics, had my turmeric smoothie this am, and drank my acv tea this evening! *deep sigh*  To be honest, after drinking the acv tea I always seem to feel better instantly.   I’m willing to do whatever it takes! I just might jump in the tub with epsom salts tonight too! LOL…I am convinced that I must be more consistent with my healthy lifestyle.  Those salt baths are everything! If you have not tried a salt bath either with sea salt or epsom salts (which are obviously two different things but both effective for detoxing) you have got to try them.

I plan to use a more integrative approach to healing my body. Therefore, I’m incorporating the use of an antibiotic in addition to ayurveda by using epsom salt baths, turmeric internally in the form of smoothies and teas along with drinking my acv tea.  We shall see how this turns out! I have a doctor’s appointment coming up on Thursday! So, I’ll keep y’all posted!  I hope everyone found some sense of peace during this long weekend.   We had family over for the weekend and had lots of laughs which was good for me.  It took my mind off of my pain and discomfort.   Peace to everyone for a great short week ahead!

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

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