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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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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Navigating the Changes of Now – Part 2

In part 1 we talked about discovering how we respond to changes and possibly exploring why we react in the ways we do. Today we will explore tips and techniques we can use when the pressure of change is causing us stress. Here are 9 things you can do to help you float through change more easily.

  1. Take a deep breath – Often times we breath into our shoulders. Breathing into our shoulders can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Instead, take a deep belly breath; feeling that inspiration go all the way down into your lower abdomen, deeper than your belly button. During a couple of these deep breaths, allow the breath to slowly fill your lungs and then slowly leave your lungs over the course of 20 seconds.
  2. Visuals a happy outcome – Instead of worrying about the outcome you are worried about, visualize a happy outcome. Take a minute, get yourself into a quiet space, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, and then spend sometime painting a picture of how you see the situation working out.
  3. Recognize your lack of control – This is a great time to remember what you have control over. You do not have control over the things going on around you. All you can control is your reaction to the events unfolding in your life. If you remember this, you can release a lot of the feelings of stress related to the need to “make things workout”. You can’t “make” them anything. All you can do is work to control how you react to them.
  4. Make a plan – Things are changing and you need to be able to roll with the punches. A great tip is to make a plan. A great plan starts with a goal. Once you make a goal related to this area of change; you can set steps or interventions to take to help you work towards that goal.
  5. Remain flexible – Of course I am talking about remaining flexible in you actions , your plan, and your response to change. However Yoga is also a great way to remain flexible as well as to remain centered. So stay centered and be willing to adjust your plan when the changing times call for it.
  6. Talk about it – Talk about your feelings with a close friend, confident, or Therapist. Sometimes saying it out loud can help you process it better. It gives you opportunity to hear your feelings spoken and this can decrease their power. It also gives you a chance to feel heard by someone. If talking about it doesn’t seem like a possibility for you , then journal about it. Keep a notebook, journal, or even app on your phone handy to give you a place to express yourself. There are some very cool journaling apps now, some even let you add photos or music to your entry.
  7. Look for the positives – There is good and bad in all situations, Yin and Yang. Even though change can be very difficult there are positives in it for you. Look for them and you will surely see them. It becomes easy to focus on the things you perceive as negative. When you shift that to looking forward to the good things about the change, it can change your whole opinion on the upcoming changes.
  8. Remember our exercise from part 1– You made your list of recent changes, you wrote down your reaction, and then you wrote about the outcomes. Exam those outcomes. Often change puts us into a better place. Just acknowledging that change can get you to a better place can help reduce your stress in dealing with new changes.
  9. Acknowledge your feelings – Don’t shame yourself for feeling fearful or stressed about changes that are coming. Many people have these same feelings. It is okay to be afraid or to feel stressed. What is important is to not get stuck in the stress of it. Don’t let it paralyze you. Take a deep breath and take a step forward into your future.

What things do you do to help you overcome nervousness about fear? Have you used any of these tips and techniques? How did they work for you?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May all your changes happen with ease and bring you to an even better place in your life. I love you.

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Navigating the Changes of Now – part 1

I have heard that now, more so than any other time in history, we are combated with multiple changes. Big changes and small changes are happening to us all the time. When I had my holistic healing business, this was one of the main things I wanted to help people through. Change can be so challenging for most of us as adults. Some people seem to effortlessly bob through the river of life, going with the flow, while others are like a rock slowly being changed and moved by the current. Which type of person are you? Are you somewhere in between? I am sure you can think of people in your life who meet both descriptions. Let’s explore why there is so much change right now and what we can do to navigate it more easily.

Why so much change right now? If you look at it from an astrological stand point; look toward what Uranus is doing. He is the planet of change and is associated with originality, progressiveness, and ingenuity. Pluto is another planet of change. He has to do with destruction, upheaval, and control issues. To learn more about the planets you can go to Cafe Astrology .com. If you want to learn more about how the planets affect you directly, you could consult an astrologist. I believe that the rapid changes in technology are another reason why we are having so much change. Few generations have seen the rapid advancement in technology that we are currently experiencing.

Whether change is related to technology, astrology, or something else we need to learn to navigate it. How do you feel when change is occurring? Does it make you feel sweaty? Does your heart race? Do you get angry or fearful and want to run the other way? Do you feel excited and look forward to its approach? Does change inspire you and cause you to set new goals? What is your relationship with change? Before you can make improvements to your navigation of change; dig deeply into how and why you react the way you do to change.

Understanding your response to change: Make 3 columns on a slip of paper. Table the first column change, the second my reaction, and the third outcome. Take some time and make a list of seven recent changes you have experienced in column 1. Think about how you reacted to each and put your reaction in column 2. Now think about how it all worked out in the end. Place that in column 3.  This will give you some insight into how you react to change. Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.47 AM

Once you understand how you reacted to past changes, think about the fear that was behind the reaction. Why did you have that fear? What kind of beliefs are behind that fear?

In Part 2 we will discuss some tips to help navigate the changes and deal with difficult reaction to and fear around change.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May all your changes are positive in outcome.

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Summertime

Summertime in MN is an amazing time. We suffer through the cold winters of ice and snow and when summer comes, it feels like the whole world comes alive. The days are longer and it just seems like there is more time to enjoy the day. There are those who love the Minnesota winter and I must admit that the snow, when it falls soft and fluffy, is beautiful. The peaceful white snow covers the world like a serene blanket. For me though, Summertime is supreme.

I had lived in FL for 10 years and it felt like summer all year long. At the holidays I would plant poinsettias and red and white petunias in the flower beds. Sure, there were times of year that were less hot, but there was no snow or bitter cold. When I moved to Minnesota from Florida, I rediscovered the beauty of all seasons.

In the Autumn, I love the change of colors of the leaves. I love going hiking and feeling the crunch under my feet and the smell of autumn in the air, which I can not adequately described. It is the time of year when the crops are harvested. All the fruits of our labor are fresh and available.  Ripe for the picking.

The Spring slowly awakens after the long slumber of Winter. She stretches herself toward the rising sun and the days get longer. Splashes of color begin to make the world bright again. The promise of warmer days provides hopefulness.

I love them all and always look forward the the newness of the change. None of them can make my soul sing like the summer though. The sparkle of the sun on the lake water. The bright green of the grass. The peacefulness of kayaking down a quiet waterway.  Camping in the forest and sitting around a crackling fire in the evening. All of these things are part of the experience of Summer that I love so much.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find things in all season of the year and a season of life to love.

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Coon Dee What Eee Yoga? ~ A short description of Kundalini Yoga

Have you heard of Kundalini Yoga? It is very different from other yoga you may have tried. I recommend that you give it a shot even if you think you don’t like yoga. I stumbled upon it many years ago and took my first class in the teacher’s backyard with one other student. I was hooked immediately. I have since continued to practice it off and on and even became a certified teacher.  I love it that much!

Kundalini Yoga started in the 60’s when a Guru named Yogi Bhajan saw the kids using psychedelics. He started teaching, this yoga, that could give them the same experiences without the danger and bad effects of drugs. There is still a striving Kundalini Yoga community of really remarkable people. There is even research studies done on the positive and healing effects of Kundalini Yoga.

Things are different when you step into a Kundalini yoga class. First off, the teacher will likely be dressed in all white and have their head covered in some way. We dress in all white to expand our radiance. I always feel radiant in my Kundalini whites and I love wearing them. The head cover is to protect us from all the energies. There is no need for students to wear white or cover their head but, of course, you can if you so choose.

The class has six main parts

1. Tuning In – This is a chant that connects us into the Kundalini ancestry. It is short and you are     welcome to just listen if you are not comfortable with it at first.

2. Warm up – This gets your blood and muscles moving.

3. The Kryia – This is the yoga set. Kundalini yoga is often a lot of movement during the Kryia. Each Kryia is unique in how many exercises and how long they last. Some are done completely while sitting. Each one is different and for different reasons. They are all purposeful!

4. Relaxation – During this part you lay on your back. Often a gong is used and the sound of creation washes over you while you lay peacefully. I love the gong. It is a powerful part of the class. Sometime the relaxation maybe done without the gong.

5. Mediation – Each mediation is different. Some are quiet and some are chanting. Some are still while others include movement. All are powerful. I have had entire children’s books download into my consciousness while in Kundalini Meditation.

6. The Long Time Sunshine Song – is sung. It is either sung 2-3 times through. It is short but powerful. I especially enjoy doing it three times through; with the first time being to yourself, the second sent to someone you love and the third sent out to the world.

Now that you know the basis of what to expect in a Kundalini class, I hope that you will give it a try. The purpose is to move the Kundalini energy up your spine and connect you to your source or God. It is not a religion but a spiritual practice. When I do it I feel calmer, more centered and inspired. It helps me be the best version of myself.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish for you a lifetime of finding your own centering practice that helps you feel your best today and always. I love you!