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,

 

 

 

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

What I’ve been up to…

 

WhatIBeenUpto

Peace Soulstars,

Is it really September and I let a whole month go by without blogging?  Shame on me!  The nerve!  In my attempt to scold myself for being M.I.A. for a while I want you all to know there’s a legitimate excuse that keeps me from being too hard on myself.   There’s a reason that  August was pretty much non existent on the blog and the one year anniversary (August 15th) of Amanisoul.com got completely overlooked!  *deep sigh* That is a huge accomplishment by the way which deserves its own post (Coming Soon!).

Lots of transitions have been taking over my life as of late including a move back to my hometown, the DMV!  I wanted to just briefly take the time to explain that the lack of posts for the past month have been due  to my shift of focus solely being on packing and moving in a nutshell.  It’s been quite the experience because it was our third move in three years.  Yes, every Labor Day weekend for the last three years we have moved.  We moved to Boston in 2014, moved to another apartment (same complex) in 2015 and this year we moved to the DMV!  This will be the last move for a LONG time! I’m speaking it into existence!! *hands up to the universe*

Speaking of the universe, I almost lost my mind just a little bit (haha) but I discovered how beneficial mindfulness meditation is in maintaining my sanity.  Right now as we speak the house is still filled with boxes and I’m okay with that for someone who despises disorder.  If ever you’re faced with so many things going on at one time some of which are beyond your control make it mandatory to take time out for yourself to enjoy life.  Appreciate the “little things”.

Treat yourself to some ice cream (or a smoothie for my health conscious folks), go for a walk, get outside…Do whatever you like to do that represents life and forces you to slow down!   Focus on that one thing and take every second and minute to enjoy every morsel of “life”.  That is mindfulness.  Then you can go back to dealing with the chaos with a cool head.   We all need balance.  We need the stress to learn how to deal with challenges when they arise because there’s no escaping stress.  We can minimize it but not totally omit it.  At the end of the day, regardless of the craziness life still goes on.  Remind yourself that this is only temporary.

Well, we’re all moved in now but still lots of organizing and unpacking to do among a plethora of other things that have tested my ability to remain calm like dealing with the MVA.  In other news, in case some of you didn’t know I do have an instagram where I post more frequently with shorter more straight to the point inspirational posts.  I share my experiences in getting closer to my higher self, the mistakes lessons (because I’m human) in this journey called life, and my fascination in rediscovering the use of crystals.  Manifestation at its best!  You can find me on insta at amanisoul_.  I’m also on snapchat as missangiebee.   So many blessings and new beginnings have my level of gratitude on high!  Not only am I thankful for this next chapter.  I am also thankful that I still have my loyal audience which is you who hasn’t quit on me during the time of my absence.  Life happens and  I know y’all understand that.  So, thank you!

The break stops here though.   I needed to take time to focus on packing, preparing for the move etc.  If you’ve been there done that than you know what it all entails.  I honestly could not focus on blog posts so I would post here and there to instagram because it was just easier with the way my lifestyle was at the time of transitioning.  Transitioning is still in effect as we get used to new surroundings, people, and everything else thrown our way but we are taking it one day at a time.  Been working on new posts which I plan to start sharing soon including one about an epidermoid cyst that  has developed on my back.  I’ll discuss how I plan to use an integrative approach to healing myself because I’ll be using an antibiotic (per Doctor’s orders) in addition to natural remedies for the inflammation.  Until next time,  I hope you all have a peaceful weekend!

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