Self Care Fridays: 12 Steps to Self Care

Peace Soulstars,

I hope everyone had a great week! Despite perceived obstacles always remember that you have a choice to manifest your reality and whatever that reality is it’s a work in progress.  Every day is a chance to move closer to that reality.  Start with self care.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you are doing not only yourself but others around you a disservice.  These steps are only a guide.  Use them at your own discretion and tweek where necessary.  It’s for inspiration purposes.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve been participating in a twelve day yoga challenge.  This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year!  It has motivated me to keep that appointment with myself everyday.

I’m not only improving my total wellbeing (yoga is perfect for mind, body,soul alignment) but the wellbeing of my family as well.  When I’m out of alignment, they have to deal with it.  I prefer being aligned not only for me but for them. If we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, nothing will improve.  It’s in our own hands.

What we do and how we react not only affects us but those we come into contact with; especially those we care about the most.  If everyone took the time to practice more self care the world would be a much better place but we cannot control what everyone else does.  We can only control what we do.

Love and light,

 

 

Self Care Fridays: Set Goals and Crush ‘Em!

setgoals

Peace Soulstars,

One of my favorite forms of meditation involves movement.  Anything dance, barre (pure barre to be exact), yoga which involves moving the body resonates with my spirit.  Sitting still is cool but I much more prefer to move.  It’s just as effective but adds variety to my meditation practice and variety is a must for me because I bore easily.  Insert amazing yogi Adriene from “yoga with Adriene” whose yoga videos I’ve been using for my home yoga practice for years now.  I’ve just finished day 2 of the “31 days of yoga” series with Adriene of “Yoga with Adriene” on youtube. I started the 2016 yoga series but fell off.  Well, this year I plan to keep it up throughout the 31 day stint.  I’m all about goal setting because it’s motivating to have done 2 days back to back.  It actually goes by fast because I enjoy it so much.  I make sure I do yoga first thing in the am or after a light breakfast.  So, I’ve made it a part of my morning routine which helps tremendously.

I’ve been off and on with my home yoga practice due to a two year stint with pure barre which took over for a while starting in 2014.  Back to my yoga now and I am truly loving this series.  Adriene takes it easy, doesn’t rush you, and encourages you to go at your own pace.  I love her clarity in describing each transition from pose to pose and her overall vibe.  Her style resonates with me so much that I’m thinking of doing yoga morning and night (right before bed) just because.  The list of health benefits of doing so is endless.  Check out yogarevolution with Adriene here.  I’ll check in from time to time throughout the month to follow up.  Nama-Slay!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

Self Care Fridays: Honor your feminine power…

 

yoni

“Yoni” is the sanskrit word for the female genitalia which means “sacred space.”

Peace Soulstars,

Your sacred space is not confined to the space within your home where you meditate, relax, or find solace from the outside chaos.  We focus so much on clearing outside forces that we tend to forget about the inside.  You also have a sacred space within.  As women, nothing compares to our divine feminine energy within which starts with our yoni.  Adopting ancient healing practices including ayurveda for yoni health is imperative in my spiritual journey.  Honor your sacred space by reclaiming the feminine power we all have at some point or presently neglect.  We’re so jaded by Western medicine that we fail to understand that it’s only meant to keep us sick so they can profit from our illness.

Do your own research on best natural healing practices for yoni health.  There’s a ton of information about how to connect to your divine feminine energy.  Keep an open mind and toss out the old beliefs from the programming we’re bombarded with from Western culture.  They aren’t for your highest good only to fatten the pockets of those affiliated with the pharmaceutical companies.  Here are some basic yoni health tips:

Yoni Health tips:

  • wear cotton underwear
  • avoid sleeping in underwear
  • use a separate ph balanced wash for your yoni
  • avoid tight clothes that constrict the yoni area
  • take epsom salt or sea salt baths weekly
  • use unbleached, cotton pads or tampons during your menses
  • completely avoid feminine products (most are filled with chemicals that do more harm than good)
  • consider meditations that focus on connecting with feminine energy, the womb, and reproductive parts

I’ll be following up on this as I explore other practices such as the use of yoni eggs, yoni steams, and other natural alternatives including herbs for yoni health.

Love and light,

9k=-1

 

 

 

Self-Care Fridays: Set your rhythm with morning rituals…

morningrituals

 

Peace Soulstars,

Yesterday, I mentioned moon rituals but those aren’t the only rituals that I do.  I have quite a few which change from time to time but they keep me grounded.  I’m not sure about you but my body loves routine and I can go so far as to say that it needs routine.  It’s also ideal for a routine to stimulate each of your senses.  It’s important to take the time to jumpstart your senses before using them.  If not, your body may not function properly and your  body can be thrown off balance.  Alignment is key to overall health.

I am a music person so I like to use analogies that reference music.  So, I like to refer to “getting in alignment” as “setting the rhythm”.  For the past few years I’ve tried different ways to “set the rhythm” for the day upon opening my eyes.  The “rhythm” can be different each day but as long as it’s in tune with your spirit that’s all that matters.  Here are some of my morning rituals which  stimulate my five senses.

  1. SOUND:  I wake up to music or play it in the morning while getting ready.  If I have time, I listen to a motivational podcast or other audio which is in tune with my rhythm.  I have also set my alarm to play a song with soothing vibes and/or a positive message.  Great way to wake up.  Typically, I don’t need an alarm but when I do I prefer music as opposed to some annoying, loud basic alarm.
  2. TOUCH:   To prep my physical body, I stretch for a few minutes to warm up my muscles and wake up my body before getting up and moving.  Nothing major.  It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths and stretching your neck, shoulders, back, arms, and legs.  It helps you to notice any physical sensations (comfortable and uncomfortable) and increase body awareness.
  3. TASTE: Hydration is key.   Before or after showering and brushing my teeth, I drink a tall glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or have a cup of matcha green tea.  Sometimes I steam water and add lemon.  Either way I have something to stimulate my internal organs at some point in the morning before eating anything.  Why?  I just spent from six, seven, eight or more hours without eating or drinking anything.  The body needs fuel.  Your body needs to replenish and regenerate itself.  Water helps to give it that push.
  4. SMELL:  There are many ways to do this but here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate sense of smell to my morning ritual.  I burn incense or inhale some of my favorite essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, or lemongrass.  Sometimes I also use lavender oil because it’s calming.  I also apply topically by mixing one to two drops of an essential oil into about 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil.  Then I massage my neck and shoulders (sometimes my back).  There are different essential oils that can be used for different parts of your body i.e. pressure points to relieve certain ailments or for prevention purposes.  I also use a diffuser that uses a tea light to generate heat which disperses the fragrance in the air.  You can also use your favorite all natural scented body wash or salt scrub if you prefer.
  5. SIGHT:  Lastly, I meditate for at least 10 minutes using a lit candle or a himalayan salt lamp as a focal point while I take deep breaths.  Eventually, I may close my eyes while envisioning the light from either source as my inner light.  Both are reminiscent of that ball of light within myself where inner peace lies.  The light can also represent my higher being and the fact that my higher being is always within to keep me centered.  Crystal stones have healing energy, are beautiful to look at and embody the light energy that helps me maintain a connection to nature i.e. vibrating higher.  Crystals can also be used during meditation.

These are just some of the practices that have worked like a charm to help me set my rhythm for the day.   Anytime I get thrown off I remind myself of that inner light.  This may seem like a lot for some.  Do what you can and follow your intuition.  We really need to learn how to connect to our higher selves more.  It doesn’t take an hour or even several minutes.  If you only have five minutes it’s better than nothing.  If you don’t have five minutes, that’s a whole other problem to address.  What do you do to set your rhythm for the day?  Do you practice morning rituals?

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

Self Care Fridays: Get an energy boost with peppermint oil!

 

peppermint

Peace Soulstars,

I’ve been a fan of essential oils for years now to clean the house, skin care and beauty purposes, for diy hair oils and butters and the list goes on.  Most mornings when I need a boost, I will slowly inhale some of my  peppermint essential oil because it helps to wake me up.  I love the smell of tea tree and peppermint oil.  I would use them both interchangeably.   Aromatherapy works wonders when used safely and properly.

I recently discovered that one of my favorite natural living bloggers HeyFranHey uses a peppermint oil based massage oil which she says helps to relieve stress.  Typically, I would just inhale peppermint oil and have applied it to my skin topically with a carrier oil (sweet almond oil).  Fran suggests adding the massage oil to your neck and shoulders which are areas where tension tends to build up resulting in headaches.

So, over the past week or so I’ve been using a peppermint/sweet almond oil mixture.   I use a few teaspoons of sweet almond oil and add two drops of peppermint oil, mix it together in my hands, and apply to my neck and shoulders. I’ll report back how it works for me after I give it more time but so far so good.  Along with daily meditating, mindfulness and other spiritual practices I’ve been able to control my anxiety.   I cannot say that anxiety goes away completely but it can be reduced.  I’ve been making necessary changes to improve my mood and overall health and this one is quite effective.   Between matcha green tea and peppermint oil my energy has been on fleek for the past few weeks.  I’ve added these to my morning ritual to start the day off on the right foot.  Don’t forget to check out heyfranhey.com  for Fran’s  peppermint argan oil for stress relief.

Love and light,

9k=-1

Self Care Fridays: Listen to your body.

selflove

 

Peace Soulstars,

If you don’t practice self love you will be of no value to yourself or others.  I learned a valuable lesson this week:  Listen to your body.

A few days ago I decided I wanted to do yoga although I haven’t been practicing as much as I need to. Well, I did a thirty minute yoga sequence which targeted the root chakra.  The root chakra is the foundation of all chakras.  This sequence included a few garland poses and I think I went a little too far.  After I was done I noticed vaginal spotting which was unusual for me because I normally don’t have any issues with this happening.

I immediately associated it with the yoga because I had just finished.  I reached out to some yogis I know of and all advised me to seek medical attention. Well, I did.  My nurse practitioner told me that based on what I described, it was hormonal.  There were no other symptoms, pap test was recent and normal. She advised me to keep an eye on it and as long as it doesn’t continue there should be no problem.  That was a relief but I also kept in mind that I may have pushed myself too far.

Listen to your body.  Always.  I cannot stress this enough.  I’ve been doing so much spiritually which includes trying to get back into my yoga practice.  At the same time I need to pace myself.  If there’s anything I learned from what happened this week it’s that we need to be gentle with our bodies.  If you know you haven’t been consistent with your physical exercise and other practices that can strain your body you need to start off with ease.  Don’t push yourself too much because you can do more harm than good.  Take things one day at a time.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Self-Care Fridays: When in doubt, write it out…

write

 

“Pick up the pen of hope and write on the tablet of faith.  Write with grace.  Write with flourish.  Write with passion.  Write with freedom.”

Peace Soulstars,

Journaling has become an intricate part of my spiritual work.  I have journals for different purposes.  I have one journal that I consecrated to be used solely for my New Moon ritual.  I don’t use it for anything else but my new intentions that I set for the ritual as each new moon occurs.  I have journals full of quotes, notes from books I’ve been reading,  one I use to record my dreams, and another solely for prayers.  It’s interesting how I went from hardly journaling to having a journal for different purposes…lol…I still have some of my journals/diaries from years ago which I’ve gone back to read.  Honestly, some of my questions about the past have been answered after I’ve referred to my old diaries.  That’s why it’s important to journal.  It may be helpful to look back at where you’ve been and how much you’ve grown.  My have I grown.

Anyway,  I find journaling to be very helpful in the process of healing, reflecting, and moving forward as I set new intentions.  I’m ridding myself of the old to make room for the new.  It’s actually harder than I thought it would be but it’s do-able.  Good thing about journaling is there are no rules.  I’m not a fan of rules.  I like freedom.  Journaling allows you to express yourself freely.  You don’t even have to use complete sentences if you don’t want to.   Write words or phrases, quotes, or whatever moves you.  If you want to write a page full of cuss words to express how you are feeling or what you’re thinking,  have at it!  The point of journaling is different depending on the person.  For me, journaling serves many purposes but one that I find very helpful is that journaling is a great release.

If any of you have kids I strongly encourage you to get them a journal and/or diary that they can use for releasing as well.  Kids are so often treated as if their thoughts and feelings don’t matter.  You know the old notion “Kids should be seen and not heard.”  I’ve never liked it.  It conditions them to think that what they think and feel doesn’t matter. They end up bottling up their thoughts and feelings which does more harm than good.  Journaling will allow them the freedom to express whatever they need to at least get it out and not hold onto what needs to be released.  Whether you’re a kid or not we all can benefit from release.

Love and light,

9k=-1