I joined a mindfulness meditation group tonight for the first time. The teacher shared this sweet poem with us at the end, and I just had to pass it along. May we all remember the wild innate selves breathing under all those should be’s.
Remember who you are. Not the shape others have put on you, not the story they handed you, not the lies or needs that were pressed into your psyche. Not even your own imagined ideas of what you should be. But the real you, the wild innate you that is breathing under all those should be’s, all those untruths. Remember the feel of it, the shape of it. Let it inhabit you, like golden weeds rewilding the concrete. Brigit Anna McNeill
Wow! Brene Brown hosts this amazing podcast that I found to be helpful, humbling, informative, and inspiring. Apologies fall into the realm of holistic health and emotional well-being, so I wanted to share it here.
It’s a lot to digest, so you might like to break it up into chunks like I did. It’s taken me a week to listen to part one and the first five minutes of part two just blew me away. I feel confident it will not disappoint.
Once again, I am deeply touched by Dr. Rick Hanson’s free newsletter. Last week’s edition was titled “Keep your Eye on the Prize” and guided us through a contemplative practice of recognizing purpose and priorities and followed up with easy, useful tips for moving in the desired direction. It’s so easy to get swept up in the busy-ness of modern life if we aren’t anchored to our goals. Here you will find suggestions for connecting with those anchors.
I’m selective in what I allow into my inbox. My time is precious and there needs to be a good return on any time I invest in reading newsletters. This is one that consistently adds value to my toolbox. This gift of a ”simple practice each week for more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind” does not disappoint and I think will benefit anyone interested in actively pursuing improved quality of life. Check it out and decide for yourself!
I’m sure my students get tired of me repeating the same answer to almost every question that begins with, “How do you…”. If you desire to heal psoriasis, increase abundance, find a new home that meets all your needs, or awaken you intuition, the process is the same.
State your intention and apply Reiki.
Really! It’s that simple. There’s no need to make it complicated.
“But… how?” Is generally the follow- up inquiry. Again, my reply rarely wavers. Use the hand positions you were taught in class. They were designed to cover all the glands, organs, and chakras. You need all of your team playing at an optimal level. I don’t usually suggest focusing on any one particular zone as we are seeking full system balance.
You might be tempted to soak your third eye center with daily Reiki treatments, knowing this is the chakra involved with seeing clearly. Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that having a wide open sixth chakra isn’t all that helpful when there isn’t a flow throughout the entire being. If there is unhealed trauma that stirs up fear of knowing, it might reside in your pelvis or your kidneys. It will actively inhibit your progress and needs to addressed before getting the desired results. Same with any limiting beliefs lurking in the shadows.
If your particular flavor of intercepting intuition is auditory, you’ll want to tend to the ears. If it’s a gut-knowing, treating the abdomen will be invaluable. In order to follow up on any messages, you’ll find it helpful to have a functional, fiery solar plexus, and clear communication abilities.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point! You’ll want all systems online, balanced, and connected with one another. (Same goes for psoriasis, abundance, and house hunting too.)
Any impediments in your system need to addressed to experience optimal benefits. Inviting powerful energy to enter in through one portal without clearing the way for it to circulate can be problematic. Think of an eight lane highway that suddenly narrows down to a single lane track. Havoc! A consistent two lane road is much more functional and can be built up steadily over time.
During your practice, you might be guided to stray from the traditional positions. Excellent! It could be your intuition awakening, and telling you exactly what you need to maximize its function. Otherwise, carry on with the series, and trust that Reiki always goes where it is needed most.
If there’s music, poetry or prose, or an image that symbolizes your abilities to access inner knowing, you might like to bring it into your practice. Sensory perception affects the subconscious, a powerful resource, and I consider such additions to be icing on the cake. The cake itself is setting the intention and applying Reiki. (Yes, I know that I sound like a broken record.)
This is a basic step in a series of recommended actions for connecting with intuition. Opening your willingness to prioritize these practices was the first post. Future posts will cover starting small, asking for guidance, listening attentively, keeping records, and taking action. It might seem like a lot of effort, but I can assure you that the benefits are well worth it. For now, start where you are and keep up your daily practice.
It’s been nearly two years since I ditched the shampoo/conditioner routine. I was tired of spending a small fortune on organic products that still contained some questionable ingredients and wanted to lessen my contribution to the failing recycling system. I was delighted to discover an entirely radical approach. Super- cheap (a little over $10 TOTAL over the past 22 months!), zero plastic containers, and completely natural products (baking soda and apple cider vinegar).
Shampoo is a brilliant self-sustaining marketing ploy. It strips natural oils from the scalp, causing it to produce… more oil. Since I gave it up, my scalp hasn’t been oily once. After the first month of settling into the new habit, I have never considered turning back. My hair looks great, I can go for up to two weeks in between treatments, and I’ve just now spent 30 minutes searching for, and failing to find, any split ends.
I haven’t had my hair cut in two years now. It’s straight and long, so that in itself is no big accomplishment. I started wondering if I’ve ever gone this long in between cuts before, and am certain I haven’t. Usually split ends annoy me around the one year mark, and I make a trip to the salon. Not last winter. Not this winter. So I inspected my hair and couldn’t find a single raggedy one!
As I’ve been sharing this triumph with friends, there have been a lot of how-to questions. Hence this post. If you’re interested in saving big bucks, time and energy without sacrificing appearances, here’s the 411 on how to no-poo.
Place 1 teaspoon baking soda in a small jar. Repurpose a 4 oz squeeze bottle (check under your sink; they seem to breed under there!), add about an ounce of apple cider vinegar. Once you’re in the shower, get your hair thoroughly wet. Add about ¼ cup of warm water to the baking soda, swish until mixed and pour it over the crown of your head. Use your fingertips to scrub your scalp and work your way down to the ends. Rinse thoroughly. Very thoroughly. Otherwise it will feel gritty and you won’t get the full benefits of waiting so long in between treatments because it will make you nuts.
Fill the squeeze bottle with warm water. Pour over your scalp, keeping your chin up as vinegar is not eyeball friendly. Rub it down the length of your hair using the same motion as you would with a bar of soap. Let it sit for a few minutes while you finish your shower routine and rinse it out. I noticed that when I didn’t rinse the vinegar out completely, my hair looked I’d added mouse (do people still do that?) or some other hair- styling product that is less 1987. Not my thing, but you could play around if it’s yours.
I have thick, straight, long hair so you might need to experiment some with quantities or ratios to get it just right for you. I will add that the first few applications didn’t sell me completely. My hair had a tacky feeling that I suspect was old product lingering. So plan accordingly and give yourself a month before making the call.
I’ve used approximately 50 teaspoons of baking soda and 50 ounces of organic ACV with no visits to the salon over a two year period. One box and one and a half bottles, totaling about $14. I’ve contributed no plastic containers to the waste stream (let’s face it, that’s likely where most plastics go these days) and rarely have to fuss with anything hair related. Now that I’ve discovered GarageBand, I’m so very tickled to have all that extra time so I can play creatively. I’m sure you have other things you’d rather do with your time and money too.
For all you fellow rebels, you’ll also get a kick out of bucking the system. It brings me great joy to bypass the messages from the advertising industry and figure out what really works best for me. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
In this humorous video, Sonia Choquette delves into the different personalities of the human spirit. It can be really helpful to have this type of clarity so you don’t bother turning to a go-get-’em type person when you really want a hug and vice versa.
I recognize myself as part earth and part water. I guess my spirit type is mud, although she doesn’t present that as an option. You might think mud is rather unappealing, but it’s certainly useful for holding things together. It’s definitely messy, and difficult to control. Like me. 🙂
I think many of you will enjoy watching this, if only for the chuckles. And some will really find the concepts presented to be helpful for understanding yourself as well as creating future strategies to meet your unique needs.
I found this podcast with Dr. Rick and (his son) Forest Hanson, to be very helpful. In my Reiki practice, many clients and students are searching for tools to handle difficult family dynamics. Those of us on spiritual and/or healing journeys have often come across practices of forgiveness and compassion which might seem to butt heads with practices of self-care and boundary setting. Confusion can arise, further complicating things.
To say it’s a complex issue is really an understatement! Whether you’re the one choosing distance, or the one being distanced from, you might find some comfort or useful tips in this mindful and meaningful dialog. It’s geared toward parent/child relationships, but could easily be adapted to friendships.
From podcast notes: “We’ve received a substantial number of questions from our listeners regarding familial estrangement: when one family member distances themselves from the others, or chooses not to interact with them at all. It’s a common and extremely challenging situation, and the pain related to it can be particularly intense during the holidays. Today on Being Well, Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson discuss family estrangement, particularly focusing on parents and children, and how the questions we engage in this territory apply more broadly to how we balance our own boundaries with the responsibilities we have toward other people.”
My friend emailed me this beautiful excerpt from the book, Eternal Echoes, written by John O’Donohue. It really captures the essence of why I’ve fared so well during these seemingly endless months of involuntary isolation.
“Each one of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. Most of the activity in society is subconsciously designed to quell the voice crying in the wilderness within you. The mystic Thomas a Kempis said that when you go out into the world, you return having lost some of yourself. Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.”
Enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions begins to wane around the second week of January. I’d say that’s pretty normal, especially if the goals you’ve chosen aren’t authentically yours. It’s easy to be swayed by external so-called authority figures who proclaim to know what’s best. Yet I’m here to remind us all, myself included, that we are each our own authorities.
Perhaps your resolutions could be tweaked slightly, rather than tossed out completely. I find it helps to know my “why”, the underlying motivation that causes me to seek change. Oftentimes resolutions are strategies to achieve a why, but there are likely other avenues that could help you reach your destination. There’s no shame in changing course when you realize you’re on the wrong path!
It’s common for people to choose goals related to health this time of year. In spiritual circles, I hear people talking about going vegan and eating more kale. True confession: I’m a carnivore. Yup. I eat meat. Red meat. My body feels better when I do. I’d prefer to be a vegan, frankly, as the cost of grass-fed beef is outrageous. I’d fit in better, I suppose, if I went along with the crowd, but it wouldn’t actually serve my health. I do want to minimize my impact on the environment, so I’m committing to experiment with the minimum quantity my body needs.
Same with dairy. Holy moly, do I love cheese! Yet I’m not interested in supporting the cruel practices of factory farming, so I’m going with small family farm products, switching to goat cheese more, and replacing half and half with homemade hemp or nut milk. If I began the year pretending to be vegan, I’d be ready to throw in the towel about now. I’m glad I’ve learned to listen to the expert on me: me.
Another confession: I don’t like kale. There, I said it! And I have zero interest in eating salad in the winter. No thank you. So, I can just skip those trendy resolutions and opt to eat a variety of organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, roasted or made into fabulous stew. I’ve thrown out enough slimy kale and wilty lettuce over the years to know that it’s just not going to happen. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve my eating habits; I just need to do it my own way.
I might not like kale, but I truly loathe the gym. Ugh. Voluntarily immersing myself in an atmosphere of suffering is just not my idea of good health. Plus, I can’t turn off my knowledge of body mechanics and it distresses me to see people doing things that are likely to cause injury. Nope, not for me. I’ve recently sworn off vinyasa yoga, which is the primary style offered in my area. It’s just too fast for me. Teachers always say to go at your own pace, but they don’t mean four times as slow as the tempo they’ve set- it disrupts the flow for the whole class.
So, while I’m aware that I do need to move my body more, the most common tactics are not a good fit for me. Luckily the woods are nearby and full of steep hills. My rebounder is even closer and a great choice for intense exercise that minimizes the jarring of mature joints. I know that the stretches I benefit the most from are those that I resist because they’re uncomfortable. Yet I am grown up enough to fit them into a rotation. I don’t want to avoid things that are truly beneficial (there are LOTS of substitutes for kale, just saying…) just because I don’t enjoy them. It’s been no hardship to stick to my plan because I feel so much better already. Imagine a resolution that isn’t a constant struggle!
Here are some other aspirations I’m working towards that aren’t very popular in our consumer culture as there’s no profit to be made. In fact, these actions are nearly revolutionary as they buck the system that is always driving us to do more, work harder, and buy all the newest gizmos. I do love being a rebel, but want to make sure each decision is truly aligned with my values. Going against authority figures just for the sake of doing so is still a decision based on external factors. Feel free to borrow any of these ideas or share some of your own in the comments.
Love and accept myself exactly as I am
Minimize screen time, including the habitual checking of my phone
Listen to my gut
Say no to requests that activate a sense of dread
Waste less/ make less waste
I’m wishing you a very happy 2022, and hope you find your “why”!
Feeling tense, frazzled, stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? Utilize the body-mind connection to upgrade your internal chemistry.
1. Stop doomscrolling. You can always come back later. Nothing has changed in months anyway, it won’t hurt to take a break.
2. Decide you want to feel better.
3. Take action.
Today I used Pandora Radio as an Oracle. What music will help me lift my vibration? When everything seems to be going wrong, music is the perfect remedy.
I offer this song that got me moving and endorphins flowing. If you need some relief, it might help you too. Get your groove on and let the mind go quiet. You might need to purge some thoughts first, preferably in a journal where they won’t cause any damage but can be released from your head, where they can also cause damage.