Feeling Great, Improved Health, and Being Proud – That’s what doing “it” can do for you!

I have done it with lovers, I have done it with co-workers and friends, I have done it by myself, I have done it in a group, I have even done it with family members. My husband told me of his plans to do it today. It made me reflect on times in the past when I would do it on a somewhat regular pattern. What is it? Donating blood! After I would make my donation, I always felt like a hero! Have you ever felt like a hero? When my husband told me what he was doing today, it reminded me of times in my life when I felt like a lifesaving hero! I congratulated him on his hero status but he just smiled and laughed it off.

Blood donation is not just good for those receiving your blood but it is also good for you. According to OrganicFacts.net; blood donations improve your health by reducing your risk of cancer, decreasing risks of diseases cause by iron stores (building up in the body) and decrease risk of some heart and liver diseases. It also stimulates your body to burn calories and can help support weight loss efforts. Additionally it stimulates your body to make nice fresh blood. I would also add the “good feeling” you get in your heart for making a donation is the best benefit of all!

Another type of this kind of donation is Plasma. Connectusfund.org has an article that lists the pros and cons of plasma donation. Many look down on this practical because of the financial reimbursement for the donors time. This has health impact for the donor as well and many lifesaving medications can be created from the plasma. It is used for patients who have suffered burns, are fighting leukemia as well as a number of other illnesses.

Plasma donations can be made up to twice a week, where blood donations are limited to once every 8 weeks. I personally have no issue with the reimbursement for these donors. If they are giving up some of their precious time and a part of themselves to help others, why not allow them some help too.

Whether you donate blood or plasma, I think you are a hero! I don’t judge. I currently cannot donate either one. My veins are too tiny for the plasma donations and my iron to low to donate blood. My hat is off to those of you who give of your time as well as of yourself, to save the lives of others this way!

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you have the opportunity to feel like a hero in your life, as if by magic.

I love you!

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Improving the World – Starting Right Here

I want to make the world a better place. I want to do my part to raise the vibration. Bring peace and healing to the planet and to promote kinship, hope, and love amongst all people. These seem like quite lofty goals. So how does one even get started on a journey to make the world a better place?

This morning in my meditation it became clear to me. The best way for me to improve the planet is to start right here, deep inside of myself. I cannot promote love unless I am love. I cannot promote peace, unless I am peace. I cannot promote healing, unless I am healing. I cannot promote high vibrational energy, unless I am high vibrational energy.

Far to often as I go about my day stressed, disappointed and frustrated as part of my experience. I am human and having human emotions is a normal experience. I must not “shame” myself for these emotions but I also must not get “stuck” in these emotions. When we experience these lower vibrational energies, it is important to acknowledge them. Allow them to move through us. What we resist, persists! By trying to deny our experience of these human emotions, they cling to us. When we notice them and feel them, then we can let them move through us.

Here are some steps to help process and move past these times when we are not feeling our vibrations are at their highest possible levels.

1 Become aware of it: Notice that a lower vibrational energy such as anger, grief, jealousy, sorrow, judgement, fear, etc. has entered your experience.

2 Feel it: Really feel it. Do not judge it.

3 Allow it: Take a moment to allow it. Just sit with it. Don’t shame yourself. This is a part of the human experience.

4 Reflect on it:  If it is possible step back from it and look at it. Think about why you are feeling like you do? Why has this situation affected your emotions in this way?

5 Bless it: Those emotions have purposes. Thank them for being a part of your human experience.

6 Release it: It is not necessary to hold on to it. There are many different techniques for release of stubborn emotions. The Sedona Method is one. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping is another. Some emotions will release easily. Others you may need a technique and still others you may need the help of a therapist or healer.

7 Replace it with Gratitude: Gratitude, which is born from Love, is powerful. We ALL have things to be grateful for. Allow that gratitude to flow into you and through you to replace the space the lower vibrational energy has vacated.

Today as I journey through my day I will focus on Love, Gratitude, and Hope. I will feel blessed and share blessing with my fellow voyagers. When I observe an emotion that does not seem to be in alignment with these intentions I will work the 7 steps above to maneuver past it. I hope you will do the same. Together we will make the world a better place!

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you effortlessly move past emotions that do not serve your greatest and highest good, as if by magic. I love you.

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When Is Enough, Enough?

I was recently on a hiking adventure with Adventure Sister, Emy. While climbing up a pretty steep ascension, some rambling thoughts became an opportunity to reflect on my life and how I view what is enough.

As I was climbing, I was thinking of a friend who had shared stories of many spiritual ceremonies she had participated in. I thought, I would like to do more of that but time and money never seems plentiful enough to spend it on those types of practices. I whole heartedly believe that those wise souls, who facilitate these types of ceremonies, deserve to be paid for their time and energy, so that they can make a fair living for their own life. I was thinking once I have more financial abundance, I will take the opportunity to participate in more of these types of ceremonies. Ones that feed my soul and call out to my heart and fulfill my need to connect to spirit through nature. I will attend more classes given by wise souls who have knowledge to share. Once I have that magical amount of financial abundance called “more”.

It hit me then, as we climbed up and up from the river down below, that I  have made this deal with myself in the past so many years ago. I am much more financially abundant than I was when I last made this same promise to myself. I have noticed, as well as been told in the past, that the more you make the more you spend. This has proven to be very true. Also it seems that priorities shift. Spirituality has been a priority for me for a number of years but I create my own ceremonies and experiences rather than paying others for them. I trust my intuition, wise friends, and books for guidance,

It got me thinking, when it comes to abundance, when is enough, enough? Emy shared with me something she had learned about manifesting and getting the specifics into the visualization. How much do you want to make? How much vacation time do you need? What kind of benefits do you want? Do not try and manifest the how. Let the universe figure that part out. Getting the specifics figured out is also discussed in Lisa Nichols book, Abundance Now. She suggests you really think about the costs of doing things you want to do and living the lifestyle you want to live. She says only then can you really manifest the life of your dreams. This is something I have not ever really done before. I have never sat down and tried to figure out when enough will be enough.

I plan to spend some time deciding when I will feel abundant enough that I will feel safe to spend money to participate in ceremonies on a regular basis. Until that time, I will continue to participate in the occasional paid event but mostly will look within myself and to those wise souls who are walking this journey with me.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of having enough to feed your soul and live the life of your dreams, as if my magic.

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Week 10 Check In; Starting again – Daily Meditation Adventure

If you have not already joined our Daily Meditation Adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here’s how the last couple of weeks went for me.

Experiences during the week: I have fallen off the meditation wagon. Why is taking time to take care of myself such a hard task?! Why, when the day is busy and there is much to do, do I put meditation to the bottom of the list? After so many weeks of (mostly) daily meditation, how could I suddenly stop all together? It is has been about 2 weeks since I have meditated faithfully. Today, I will once again recommit to me and begin my (at least) daily meditation practice again. I will give it new focus and place it higher on the priority list. I will attempt to find a rhythm or routine in my days, that I can make meditation a standard part of this. 

My weight: My weight has decreased by 4.6lbs since starting the challenge. I do have to credit  intermittent fasting with the majority of the weight loss.  I have lost 7.2 lbs with the intermittent fasting in about 3.5 weeks. Although, before I started that, I had begun to loose some weight just by meditating. 

How I feel: I feel disappointed in myself for falling away from something that I believe is a helpful and healthy practice for me. I feel ashamed for not following through on my commitment to you of 90 days of daily meditation. I feel hopeful that today is a new day and a new opportunity to start again. 

How it is affecting my life: I will let you know next week. 

What I have learned: I have learned that it is never to late to begin again. That not following through and failing are not the same things. I have learned that each new day presents us with the opportunity to put ourselves first and to find the rhythm of our lives that encourage us to continue on. I have learned that it is okay to love myself even in my imperfection. 

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you fallen off the meditation wagon? Have you maintained daily meditation? Have you enjoyed this adventure? Is meditation helping enhance your life?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of loving yourself as is, imperfections and all, as if by magic.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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My experience with a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship.

Emy and I are The Adventure Sisters but we are not biological sisters, we weren’t even raised together. We met at a class several years ago and were friends before we knew we were friends. Our friendship goes so much deeper than a typical friendship. We are soul sisters. There is a familiarity between us that hints at past lives of being princesses together. A soul connection that calls to past history of dancing through lives together. I am completely myself with Emy. Her presence brings out a deeper part of me. I feel safe in her love; safe in the knowledge that I can be me and she will not judge or walk away from me.

Emy and I have had an annual trip to the BWCA for awhile now. It has been something we both look forward to; at least until a couple years ago. For some reason, I have become more resistant to this trip. I know how much Emy loves it and how it feeds her soul; so I keep trying to push through to make it happen for her. This year, only about 3 weeks prior to the trip that has been planned for 6 months, I started to feel anxious about going. I am not an anxious person; typically I can push through whatever hang ups I may have to do what needs to be done. I spent a week, trying to work through it, seeking guidance and even talking to Emy about making modifications to the trip. In the end, just over 2 weeks prior to the date of the trip, I told Emy I wasn’t going this year. I still needed to feed my spirit but I needed to do it in a different way. I needed alone time to go deep within myself. I needed time to recharge my own batteries. I advise people all the time to take care of themselves first but relized I had not been following that same advise.

I knew Emy would be upset, disappointed, and angry with me. I imagined she would feel abandoned and maybe even disrespected. I reflected on how I would feel if the places were switched around. I also trusted that Emy loves me just like I love her. No two blood relatives could have a stronger connection than we do. I knew she would understand why I needed to back out and would support that decision, even if it wasn’t what she wanted. Emy did not disappoint me. She showed me what a strong, nurturing, and amazing woman she is. She modeled how I would hope to respond in a similar situation. She expressed how she felt, honestly, to me. She had reflected on what the lessons might be for her in this situation. She shared love and support with me. She is a beautiful soul! She encompasses so many powerful, nurturing qualities. I am proud and so very blessed to have her as my adventure sister!

This year we will still have an adventure but different than it has ever been before. She will voyage in one direction and I in another. I am setting off into a forest to spend time in nature searching for parts of myself that seem to have gotten lost in caring for others. She is taking her personal trip to discover her own lessons.

I love helping others; I feel it is a part of my mission. But, as they say on the airplane, I have to put the oxygen mask on myself first. I appreciate it so much that Emy understands and support me in this. I appreciate those wise friends who helped me dig deep for guidance. They supported and encouraged me through making a challenging decision, a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship that I hold close and so very dear.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish all of you will find your soul siblings, as if by magic. I love you and I am proud of you!

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Week 8 of the Daily Meditation Adventure

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here’s how week eight went for me.

What I have learned: This past week I have had multiple nights where I been challenged by insomnia. I tried to use various guided meditations, for sleep, to assist me through these periods. I learned, that for me, they give me a period of relaxation followed by a second wind. In the end they did not help me attain a restful nights sleep. 

Experiences during the week: I have been experimenting this week with different YouTube meditations. I had one especially powerful experience with a Yoga Nidra meditation. This is a type of meditation I have not experienced before. Upon doing some research I learned the Nidra is the Sanskrit word for sleep. Yoga Nidra is a way of using that stage just between wake and sleep to plant seeds of your intentions. I intend to experiment with this some more. 

My weight: My weight has decreased by 1.8lbs since starting the challenge. In full disclosure I did start intermittent fasting, so I cannot claim that meditation alone caused the weight loss. The meditation does help with the fasting when I feel hungry or tempted to eat. It also helps me feel calmer so I am less likely to partake in emotional eating.  

How I feel: Upon completion of a meditation I feel relaxed. I have been quite stressed lately; feeling all the pressure from multiple sources, bearing down on me. Of course, it is all self induced pressures. There are things I could choose not to participate in, others that I wouldn’t have to push so hard at, and still others that I could put up healthy boundaries around. I choose to continue to try and do it all and be it all. The meditation gives me a brief reprieve from the stress. 

How it is affecting my life: The affect on my life changes from moment to moment. Sometimes meditation is still a stressor – something I have to get done. Other times it gives me a tool to use when life feels out of control. This week I am going to make a conscious effort to find time to meditate when life feels out of control. When all of life pressures are causing me to feel uncomfortable, then I will turn to meditation as a moment of freedom from it all. 

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you found your preferred meditation style? Do you have a preferred meditation space? Is meditation helping enhance your life?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of healthy habits which settle themselves into your life as if by magic.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Moving Toward a Healthier Diet Through Understanding Myself

It seems like the up and down (often more up than down) of my weight has been a life long journey for me. I had gastric bypass surgery in 2008. It worked like a charm for me. I lost 113.5 lbs. I had a little initial rebound weight gain, which is normal but very scary when it is happening. After that initial rebound I maintained my weight loss effortlessly for 8 years. Then the weight started to slowly creep back on. I am now in the process of learning about myself, why I eat, what is causing the weight gain and how can I most naturally, once again, release the weight.

Those of you who follow the daily meditation adventure know that I started 90 days of daily meditation to see if reducing stress and cortisone, would help stop my insidious weight gain and hopefully even help me lose some weight. Last Friday I decided to try something that was recommended to me by a friend, intermittent fasting. I read some articles and saw that studies have been done on this concept. The idea is that you fast for a specific number of hours each day. Of course most of us do fast, for a specific number of hours each day, while we are sleeping. This stretches that out a bit longer. One study I read proposed a 16/8 split. People would eat only between 10am and 6pm and then fast the rest of the time. I have decided to try a 18/6 split.

I am eating only between noon and 6pm. I feel hungry but my “wanting to eat” is more instinct or habitual than an actual need. I am really liking the fasting. I feel I am making healthier choices about what I put in my body instead of mindless noshing. I feel that I am again appreciating food (like I used to do after my surgery). It was 8 years of my weight being maintained before I started gaining. When I look back at what changed, it occurred to me I started eating just because I needed to eat instead of making good choices for tasty food. I was just filling a hole instead of selecting something I would enjoy and nourish my body.

I used to be really good about being selective about what I would put in my body. I knew I could only eat so much and so I made really good tasting and healthy choices. That has changed over the past couple of years. I still am a vegetarian (truly pescatarian) and I avoid highly processed foods with lots of preservatives, as well as processed sugar.  I often eat just because it is meal time and I just need to fill myself with something. I eat, but not what I really want or need and then eat more later to compensate. Some of that is being a part of a family, I got married 2 years ago (the same time the weight started to reappear). When I was single it was easy to eat what I wanted when I wanted. Now as a part of a family, it not just about me. Compromises have to be made about when, where, and how meals occur. My boss told me once my weight gain was because I was married now. I could not at first understand how that would contribute to weight gain. This experiment in fasting has given me the opportunity to step back and study my eating and see what really did change. IMG_6045

The other thing that has affected my eating is being busier. It seems I am always on the run. Instead of making a good choice that will satisfy me, I just grab something quick to get by and then eat more later.  It has started a vicious cycle of eating second breakfast and snacking or grazing.

I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening, sometimes two. I know that my wine intake is also a part of my weight gain but not the whole story. I have had other times, when I was maintaining my weight, where my wine intake was about what it is now. One of the rules of post gastric bypass surgery is no fluids with calories. Wine should be off the menu. Beverages with calories are also a sneaky way for your body to slowly gain weight, because it is easy to intake more calories than you realize you are ingesting, without feeling full.

I have noticed, since starting the intermittent fasting, that I am chasing more and more veggies. I really crave them. I am limiting the amount of carbs I eat and when I do eat them, trying to choose complex carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice. One of the side effects I have from my gastric bypass is if I eat to many carbs, my blood sugar drops and I feel horrible, so I focus on getting protein with my meals. With the decreased carbohydrates I have not had problems with the usual fluctuations in my blood sugar that I had prior to starting to eat in this way.

I have not even been doing the intermittent fasting for a week yet, but it has given me some very interesting insight into myself and my eating behavior. I hope to continue to learn about myself in order to make healthier and healthier choices.

Thank you for Reading my blog today. May you learn how to eat nutritious, healthy food, that makes you feel happy, healthy and nourished, as if by magic.

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