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,

 

 

 

Friday “Feels”

Peace Soulstars,

Happy Friday!  I may be a little late but I’m lovin’ the summertime vibe of “Feels”.  I’ve always had a multidimensional style of music.  I love anything that has a beat that moves me. Speaking of frequencies and high vibrations, this song is no exception. Oh yeah, and I’ll be sharing more feel good music more often.  Music is my therapy.  So, it’s only natural that I spread the love.  Catch the video below!

Love and Light,

Updates

Peace Soulstars,

Hello to all of you beautiful people.  Unfortunately, once again I’ve managed to let time pass without blogging regularly.  Thanks to computer issues (damn Mac chargers are the worst!) and of course…life, I was unable to blog like I wanted to.  I could’ve done so from my phone which isn’t a bad idea. I may start doing that sometimes but it’s not the same.  Although, I have to be honest in saying that I think I bit off a little more than I could chew.  I went from more of free flow blogging to daily blogging which was good information but ultimately became too much for me to keep up with.  It wasn’t my style to just blog for the sake of blogging.  When that happens it becomes less authentic and more contrived.  The latter doesn’t resonate with me at all. Needless to say, from now on I’ll be blogging more regularly.

I  have so much to share from all things spirituality to some great recipes using foods that increase your vibration and of course mental health.  I’ve discovered some meditation techniques that work for pain reduction and anxiety especially a good one for menstrual pain.  Oh, and I haven’t updated you on how I was able to heal myself from an ovarian cyst that I was diagnosed with late last year.  Yoga, meditation, diet and just overall lifestyle changes work wonders!

The more I read, open my mind to new ways of thinking and appreciate different perspectives the more I learn.  I cannot wait to share what I’ve learned with you.  You can also check me out on instagram (check the side bar for that link).  I check in with random thoughts and thought provoking info regularly on the gram.

Be on the look out for new posts this week!

Love&Light,

 

Monday Inspiration: To find peace, let the ego go…

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening.  That’s where your power is.”

Peace Soulstars,

The key word here is “Challenge”.  Today, challenge yourself  to respond differently to situations so they don’t become your stress.  Stress is subjective.  The key to dealing with “stress” is to gain control of it by not letting it control you.   Circumstances are just that.  We cannot control everything but we can control ourselves.  Remember that especially when dealing with others.  Holding grudges isn’t safe for your peace of mind.   If someone tries to pull you into their chaos, instead make a conscious effort to choose peace.  Set the intention for the week that this is exactly what you will do.

There’s a saying that if someone tries to pull you into their storm, chaos (whatever the case), pull them into your peace.  Remain vigilant of the ego though…Ego is our worst enemy.  In order to find peace, you must detach from the ego.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Music Spotlight: Solange takes a “Seat at the Table”

 

solange

Peace Soulstars,

Thought I’d add a new component to the blog “Music Spotlight” because music is near and dear to my heart.  Actually, I’m revisiting the idea because when I first started the blog last year I did have “songs of the month” in mind but discontinued it.  Not sure why…Anyway, music is my first love and has been my therapy so to speak.  All kinds of music!  There are albums that are the song tracks to my life.  I’m sure many can relate.  It may sound cheesy but I think a part of me would be empty without music.  So, I wanted to share some of my favorite music whether it’s a song or an album that I vibe to as the mood hits me.   It will more than likely be monthly again because when I find a song that resonates it sticks for a while.  Ha Ha! I keeps it on repeat! Then, I switch things up because my mood changes and the music follows suit depending on how I’m feeling.

Speaking of vibes, “A Seat at the Table” the new album by Solange Knowles who goes by Solange (in case you didn’t know) is simply a breath of fresh air.  No wonder I love Solange’s style.  She’s like a unique combination of  many of my faves with her own flare.  This album is like Tweet meets Erykah Badu with a hint of the late but great Aaliyah and a splash of Janet.  Yessss! The music is soft, mellow and so fitting for a chill night burning incense and candles or whenever the mood hits.  I decided to check it out on Spotify on this gloomy Saturday morning and I’m glad thatI did.  I cannot usually listen to most albums these days all the way through without skipping but I literally love every song on .

I’ve always been a supporter (I prefer “supporter” over “fan”)  of Solange’s music and artistry.  One thing I can say about her is that she’s one of a kind in many ways.  That is what makes an artist an artist.  She sets herself a part from other artists and I appreciate that.  Some of my favorites are “Weary”, “Cranes in the sky”, “Don’t Touch My Hair”, “Where Do We Go”, “Borderline: An Ode to Self-Care”, and “Don’t Wish Me Well”.  Hope you get a chance to check it out this weekend! Check back if you’d like and if you like what you hear let me know your favorites!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

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