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 Thursdays: You don’t have a soul, you are a soul

beautiful-soul

Peace Soulstars,

On Thursdays,  we’ll be focusing on Spirituality.  Spirituality plays a huge part in who I am and everything that I do.  It’s the motivation behind this blog and what has led me to become a numerology believing, crystal toting, heavily praying, reading, and meditating spiritual warrior.   We’re each a masterpiece but also a work in progress because we’re always learning.  Spiritual journeys are unique to the individual.  My experiences have sent me on a roller coaster of emotions from being speechless to  tears at times.  This is a topic that some can’t handle because of a lack of understanding.  I’ll never try to force anyone to believe anything they don’t want to believe.  That’s not what I’m about.  I’m  about helping people to vibrate higher by walking the walk.

Spirituality is subjective.  My experience is exclusive to me and me alone. There may be others who can relate and have similar experiences but no two are the same.  Some cannot relate at all and will probably call me weird or crazy.  That’s fine but respect my “house” aka this blog, the readers, this space…me.  This is a no judgment zone.  If only we could respect our differences more and see them as opportunities to learn more about each other instead of contributing to division we could change the world.  Scratch that…We ARE changing the world little by little the more we raise awareness and consciousness by practicing what we preach.

Speaking of practicing what we preach,  it’s imperative when you’re in the “helping” field i.e. social worker, therapist, teacher etc.  Honestly, I think it’s imperative no matter what your career field.   As a counselor,  I used to heavily emphasize that it should be priority that we continue to educate ourselves not only on therapeutic techniques but on self; self-awareness that is.  When our self awareness is weak,  we fail to realize that we cannot be of service to anyone especially not in the helping capacity.  That’s what led me to exploring a deeper sense of my mind, body, connection and share it with you.

I’m no expert.  I’m learning just like you.   I’m always in learning mode.  I know more now than I did years ago but the awakening experience is so much more complex than some think. This is a space for questions, learning, checking each other (and ourselves) respectfully and enjoying the ride. It’s a journey consisting of many twists and turns.  You fall and it may take you a while but you get back up.  You sometimes think you’re losing your mind but if you just keep going and remain vigilant you’ll reach a point of calm after the storm.

I look forward to sharing my spiritual journey with you and I hope that some of you are inspired to share your story as well.  I’ll leave you with this.  There’s a reason we question certain things, why we start to change the way we eat and live as a whole.  Your soul is in the process of shedding all of the layers that have kept it from shining.  You are light.   You are so much more than your physical body; far beyond what this material world could ever provide.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

Epsom Salt Detox Baths!

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Peace Soulstars,

As promised, I wanted to come in and talk about the amazingness of epsom salts!  I personally have had success taking baths with epsom salts on a weekly basis and as needed.  Typically, it’s suggested that you soak in a bath of epsom salts to soothe aches and pains which is generally very effective.  There are many reasons to take epsom salt baths including for detoxing, to relieve cold/flu symptoms, and healing the body in general.   There are claims that they’re good for reducing and eliminating cellulite and losing weight which makes sense because one of the main causes of cellulite is toxins.  So, the purpose of the detox bath is to eliminate toxins and fluid retention which can lead to reduction in cellulite and help you lose weight.  I believe that it has reduced my cellulite in the thigh area but I haven’t taken any before/after pictures.  I’m just going by my naked eye noticing what seems like an improvement in my muscle tone.   You also have to consider your lifestyle (diet, exercise etc.).   Detox baths alone will not help you lose weight and reduce cellulite if you feed your body clean foods.

You can do your research but be mindful that there is misinformation floating around especially on the internet regarding the effectiveness of epsom salts.  People can be skeptical.  If you have any concerns you can check with your doctor.   The generally healthy individual should not have any adverse reactions to epsom salts unless you have allergies or other health conditions which cause sensitivity to magnesium sulfate.  They’re made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen.   If you’re an individual that is on medication for whatever reason it would be wise to consult with your doctor first as well.    Just know that everything affects everyone differently.  If you have kids, be sure to reduce the amounts of the ingredients for a general recipe which tends to cater to adults.  Kids do not require the same amounts of certain ingredients as adults for obvious reasons.  Effectiveness depends on each individual including your weight and other factors but generally speaking just know as with anything else less is more.  You can always adjust amounts later.

I thought it would be helpful to share a recipe that I’ve tried for myself and my family which has been successful.  You can tweak this recipe as needed depending on the use.  The following recipe is for a detox bath I used for my daughter when she had a fever and cold/flu symptoms.  She had a temperature of 102 degrees and we needed to get it down without the use of medicine (tylenol).   If treating a fever then add the ingredients to a cool bath and use a wash cloth or bath sponge to gently massage the skin.  The cool water helps in reducing the body temperature.   I emphasize COOL because cold water is too much of a shock to the system when one has a fever.  If using this recipe for kids depending on the age cut each amount in half or more depending on the age.

General detox bath recipe (adults):

1 cup Epsom Salt

1 cup baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

4 drops of lavender essential oil

*Note*

Epsom salts are natural but still check with your child’s pediatrician if they are under the age of 10.  I would suggest omitting epsom salts for baby.  A baby’s skin and  little systems can be sensitive to certain ingredients so ALWAYS check with a pediatrician and use your instincts.  If you’re unsure, then don’t use it.  Better safe than sorry.

Baby under two:  baking soda- 1/4 cup, lavender oil- 2 drops

Two to seven years:  baking soda- 1/2 cup, lavender oil – 2 drops

Eight to Ten years:  baking soda- 1/2 cup, lavender oil- 3 drops

Ten years to adult:  baking soda 1 cup, lavender oil- 4 drops

I used this bath for my daughter who was either 9 or 10 at the time.  She took the bath at nighttime.  This recipe brought her temperature down from 102 to 100 then before the night was over she ended up back at 98 degrees.   She also had relief from congestion.

Another way that I have used epsom salt baths was to relieve pain and discomfort.  The detoxing process is a form of healing for sore muscles, aches and pains but also benefits some skin conditions such as eczema and acne.  So, the great thing about these baths is there are multiple benefits because either way it heals.   Whenever I feel the need to give myself some much needed relaxation (usually once or twice a week) and don’t want to spend money on an expensive spa, I opt for my epsom salt baths. Recently,  I’ve used this bath (as described above) to soothe back pain, to reduce inflammation from my epidermoid cyst, and post surgery to heal the surgical wound.  I simply omit the ginger.  Although, it wouldn’t hurt.

Sometimes I just use epsom salts and lavender oil to keep it simple.  Also, if taken at night the lavender oil helps with inducing sleep.  So, you may not have aches and pains but just may be tense from a stressful day or week.  Try taking a bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil.  Put some soft music on, light candles and zone out but try not to fall asleep because that may not end well.  lol… If you want to get fancy, you can add herbs, flowers and essential oils to your liking.  Just enjoy playing around with different recipes, find what works for you, and relax.  Detox baths can be done once or twice a week not every day.  It’s a process and needs time to do it’s thing so to speak.

So,  maybe begin or end your week with a detox bath.  If treating a condition such as a fever or aches and pains you may want to use the baths more often until symptoms go away but space out the time in between by a few hours depending on the urgency.   Just don’t over do it because healing takes time.  Natural remedies can work fast but sometimes they take time.  Always remember with natural remedies they can only do so much.  If there are other symptoms present or the natural remedy is just not cutting it call a doctor because you may have a more serious condition.

Wooo, this was long!  I was long overdue for a few post anyway so this makes up for lost time! lol!  Enjoy the rest of your day!  Next post I’ll be talking about sea salt baths which have a whole other purpose 😉

Love and Light,

9k=-1