Marrying Humanness & Spirit

Old Nautical Rope Tied To A Rusty Metal Cleat Close Up Abstract Stock Photo  - Download Image Now - iStock

This morning during my meditation time one of my readings came from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. The title read, “To Marry One’s Soul”.

Even before I began to read, I paused and sat with this idea for several minutes. What can up for me was no only beautiful, but powerful. I would love for you to consider doing the same thing.

Here are some takeaways both from Mark and from me:

  1. “The same commitments we pronounce when embarking on a marriage can be understood internally as a devotion to the care of one’s soul: to have and to hold…for better or for worse…in sickness and in health..to love and to cherish, til death do us part.” MN
  2. Stay committed to your inner path, the part of the soul that wants you to live your purpose; your unique gifts and talents.
  3. To marry your soul means that you show yourself grace, love and compassion just at you would another person.
  4. It means “binding your life with a solemn pledge to the truth of your soul.” MN
  5. To marry to our soul means a commitment not to be torn apart or split. This happens when we want to be “there” rather than “here, or be in the future rather than accepting the present.

I will end with Mark’s last paragraph which reads: “It is interesting that the nautical definition of marry is “to join two ropes end to end by interweaving their strands.” To marry one’s soul suggests that we interweave the life of our spirit with the life of our psychology; the life of our heart with the life of our mind; the life of our faith and truth with the life of our doubt and anxiety. And just as two ropes that are married create a tie that is twice as strong, when we marry our humanness to our spirit, we create a life that is doubly strong in the world.”

Being true to who we are means carrying our spirit like a candle in the center of our darkness. MN

The Benefits of Water

Different Types of Drinking Water

Lately I have been trying very hard to avoid alcohol and to drink more water. It seems that during these stressful times it is easy to look for relief through distractions – television, social media, drinking; just to name a few.

Water may not be very sexy but it’s essential to our health and well-being and so I have chosen to learn a little bit more about water and I will share some things here with you.

Fast facts on drinking water

  • Adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent water.
  • There is no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily.
  • Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.
  • When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.
  • Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss.
  • It cushions the brain, spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
  • It regulates body temperature and delivers oxygen throughout the body.
  • Water flushes waste and prevents kidney damage.
  • Boosts performance during exercise.
  • Lubricates joints and produces saliva.

The types of water

1. Tap water – Tap water is the water that you get directly from your faucet, it may or may not be suited for drinking purposes.

2. Mineral water – Mineral water is the water that naturally contains minerals. It is obtained from underground sources, which makes it rich in minerals like calcium, manganese and magnesium. The essential minerals give it a reputation of healthy drinking water. The component of mineral water can vary from brand to brand, some may have more number of minerals while others may have lesser. The presence of the minerals also gives the water a characteristic salty taste.

3. Spring water – Spring water can be considered rainwater accumulated underground and tends to “leak” out at the surface as a spring, or puddle. Natural springs are not passed through a community water system and are yet considered suitable for drinking.

4.Well water – When it rains, water trickles down and travels through the inner crevices of the soil, beneath the ground to form underground lakes. This happens over a period of time. In rural areas, one of the primary sources of water is what is dug out from deep wells. Deep wells directly tap groundwater and bring it up.

5.Purified water – Purified water is the water which after deriving from its source has underwent purification treatment in a plant. The act of purifying entails removing contaminants and dissolved solids making it suitable to drinking and other purposes. You can either purchase it from the markets or install a water purifier at home and have pure water to consume. 

6. Distilled water – distilled water is one where the water has been subjected to a treatment that removes all its minerals and salt in a process of reverse osmosis and distillation. It is an absolutely pure form of water but it is not typically recommended for drinking. It can cause mineral deficiencies because it is devoid of all salts and most of the natural minerals in the water are gone as a result of this process. Drinking this water may cause a rapid sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium loss. 

7. Sparkling water – Sparkling water is a great alternative to still water. Many times in a restaurant you may be offered a choice of sparkling or still water. Sparkling water is the water that has undergone carbonation which makes your water fizzy just like your sodas.

Tips to Drink More Water

  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Choose water over sugary drinks.
  • Opt for water when eating out. You’ll save money and reduce calories.
  • Serve water during meals.
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.

Now go grab that water! Enjoy

How’s That Head Trash?

Taking Out Your Head Trash: Secrets of Top Performers

2020 has been a year! You are welcome to insert the kind of year it has been for you and it’s perfectly fine to have more than one adjective to describe it. We are on the back end with just a couple of months to go and a new year just around the corner.

Of course, COVID will still be in the picture so much of what we have been experiencing now, we will continue to feel into the new year for sure.

I am not surprised to read about the numbers of people who have found themselves in therapists offices this year. It honestly parallels the people I know in my my small corner of the world who are struggling. The issues are many and some of us who before this pandemic, were on a path to affirming, visualizing, manifesting and doing the hard work to reverse their head trash have only been dumped back in.

There are days my head trash feels like the city dump and I would be grateful for the garbage can. Wading thought ALL the limiting beliefs, the frustrations and fears – where to begin, its beyond overwhelming.

What is head trash?

Head trash is a negative belief you may have about your abilities, your products or yourself. It affects what you do and how you do it. The problem with head trash is that those negative beliefs become behaviors. The behaviors become feelings. The feelings become results (not the results you’re hoping for) For most people, negative beliefs are so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But they may actually hinder you from reaching your goals. Learn to identify and overcome the head trash. Once you stop letting it hold you back, your new, positive scripts can start influencing your behaviors, feelings and results.

What can I do?

A few things that might help, and NO, these are not quick fixes unfortunately, include; identifying the head trash that is holding you back. Make a list of all the responsibilities you have in your role at work or in your personal life. Get help from team members, friends and family. Communicate! Let them know about the improvements you want to make and ask them to call you out when they see you going back to your old scripts. And finding a coach or getting some training might be the only way to get over it when the option of overcoming on your own seems to much.

My head trash right now is overwhelming. It interferes with my sleep, it consumes my thoughts at times. My answer to myself is to honor my feelings but don’t own them. Observe and then inquire. Start to peel back the layers again, one by one. Show self-compassion. Beating myself up won’t help either. And, take a step back. It’s a marathon. Slow down.

I’d love to hear how you deal with your head-trash. Maybe you are doing something that could benefit me or another reader.

Please share~

Santosha

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Definition. Santosha, sometimes spelled Santosa, is a combination word in Sanskrit, derived from Saṃ (सं, सम्) and Tosha (तोष, तुष्, tuṣh). SaM, means “completely”, “altogether” or “entirely”, and Tosha, “contentment”, “satisfaction”, “acceptance”, “being comfortable”.

I love this word. It is probably one of my top five sanskrit words due to its meaning. The words I visualize together are “complete” and “acceptance”. What does having complete acceptance look like? What does it feel like?

For me living in a state of santosha is being happy in the now. Think about how often we say, “I will be happy when __________.” Well, if we are living in that mode of chasing after that next thing and thinking we will be happy once we get it, we may quickly learn that moment is fleeting and we are soon off on the next, “I will be happy when ______” scenario. So, be happy, be content right NOW. Of course, that doesn’t mean stop planning, working, achieving, dreaming or striving. It means with each step forward or back, with each trip and fall, with each pause: be completely content.

Here a few other ways to practice Santosha today.

  1. Ditch the Assumptions. It’s easy to assume someone is acting a certain way, because of something you’ve done. … Remember when we were taught what assume meant? Making an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. That assumption has to go. Why not listen and ask questions instead. My friend Wendy shared on her Think About it Thursday today on this idea as well as few more great pearls of wisdom. You may like to take a listen. Click the link!
  2. Let Go of What You Can’t Control. Remember that sometimes all you can do to take control is focus on your breath & your energy to stay on track. … That is a lot right there!
  3. Focus on the Good. I try very hard to live my life in complete gratitude. Maybe you’d like to try it. What I have found is when you come from a place of gratitude and an open heart, focusing on the good just happens!

4. Declutter. Think about cleaning and organizing areas of your home, work space or closet. You can declutter your pantry too and throw away food that might not be nutritious or healthy.

5. On the mat practice. There are a few things you can do in your yoga practice around santosha. One simple one is to clean your mat! LOL Then practice pranayama to clean and purify your inside. Nadi Shodana or Nadi Sudi is a wonderful cleasing practice (alternate nostril breathing). Finally meditate. That is the highest form of declutter. I personally meditate three times a day. First thing in the morning, around midday and in the evening.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2020: History and significance during the Covid-19  pandemic - health - Hindustan Times

Today is World Mental Health Day. A day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy to demonstrate that there is no health without mental health. Dis-ease in the body comes in many forms. When you think about the power of the brain in the functioning of our daily lives, honestly, we can’t live without it. Just like we can’t live without our heart pumping and our lungs breathing.

Covid has brought unprecedented levels of stress to many. Frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, store clerks, teachers, fire and police have had more levels of stress and anxiety. Worries over contracting the virus or passing it to family and friends, financial pressures and long work weeks have added to the dis-ease they, as we all, can feel.

It IS OKAY to NOT be OKAY right now!

And there is help for you or someone who needs help and support. NAMI has great resources available as do many local mental health centers. Making an appointment to speak to a therapist during difficult times may be the best way to deal with feelings of worry, stress and anxiety and to help get you through these times.

For those who suffer from depression, anxiety and the amusement park of mental health diagnoses, your journey right now may seem even greater as you work to get to a place of health and well-being. Again, remember these are unprecedented times and we are all feeling the effects. I pray you find your voice and your support system to help you through.

Ask for help.

Vision Board

Create your own vision board. A great way to unleash your creativity… | by  Fahri Karakas | Journal of Curiosity, Imagination, and Inspiration | Medium

Did you know that visualization is one of the most powerful exercises you can do? There is a book you may be familiar with called, The Secret, and the premise is that what you think about, you bring about or you manifest into your consciousness. “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe,” according to the book.

So what should go on yous vision board? Well, for me, the first thing on there should be focusing on how you want to feel and bring that into your life. Of course, you can add the stuff too – the things, places and people you want as well.

So what are the rules? Love this! There are no rules. You aren’t going to mess it up, you can create your vision board on your own terms.

Here are a few things to think on as you get your vision board out of your head and heart and into reality:

  1. Put anything that inspires and motivates you on your board. The purpose of your vision board is to bring everything on it to life. First, think about what your goals are in the following areas: relationships, career and finances, home, travel, personal growth (including spirituality, social life, education) and health. Remember that what you focus on expands. Handwrite your goals for each area so they have more meaning to you.
  2. I like the idea of one central board but you can create different boards (kind of like pinterest) if that suits you better.
  3. Change your board or add to it as needed. I like to start a new one at the end of each year. Some things stay, some go.

Now create:

Set the mood. Turn off the TV and turn on some relaxing music. Light a candle and clear your space. When it comes to actually putting your stuff on the board, lay everything out before you start gluing and pinning so you can get an idea of where you want everything. You may like space or perhaps you like to have things close together. Maybe different areas represent different aspects of you. Use poster board, scissors, glue, markers, magazines and the stuff you want to look at every day. Photos, quotes, sayings, images of places you want to go, reminders of events, places, or people, postcards from friends and just about anything that will inspire you. Just have fun!

If you are so inclined, I would love to see a photo of your vision board or just share a few special things that are on it and why!

Sermon on the Mat #7 – Quiet the Monkey Mind

Living with a Monkey Mind? — Root&Connect

Monkey mind or mind monkey, from Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin’en 心猿 [lit. “heart-/mindmonkey“], is a Buddhist term meaning “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable”.

The yoga practices of pranayama and asana and meditation are methods that we can use to train the mind to focus on the present. This is desirable because the monkey mind is in an agitated state. It dreads something that may occur in the future or fixates on something that happened in the past. It jumps around, resting briefly on one of the many thoughts that pop up before moving on to something else.

When you do an asana practice, you become entirely focused on what your body is doing. It can be all-consuming in such a way that you only realize later that several minutes have passed in which you haven’t engaged in thought. This break from the mind’s activity is one of ​the asana’s great revelations. Pranayama can work in a similar way. When all your attention is focused on your breath, there is no room for background chatter. This leads us to meditation, in which we learn to sustain this state of mental tranquility.​

These practices are helpful because they (first) show us an alternative to the frenetic activity in the mind that we may not have been aware of before and (second) give us outlets through which to access this more peaceful state. In fact, this ability to quiet the mind might even be the whole purpose of yoga, according to the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The oft-quoted second sutra, yoga chitta vritti nirodha, is translated as “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.”

Here is a quick list compiled by Forbes Magazine: you can read more by going to the post.

  1. Meditate
  2. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  3. practice mindfulness
  4. color, count, recite, run
  5. talk to a person or write
  6. get outside yourself and help others
  7. defuse the rhetoric

 

Fall – Feelings – Yoga

Why Do The British Say "Autumn" Instead of "Fall"? | The Fact Site

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant is change.” Autumn reminds us that our bodies, minds, and surroundings are always developing. It focuses on the impermanence of life, emphasizing how important it is to embrace the present. When we do, we can savor what we have before it is gone.  Fall is a time of transition—and transformation.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, Fall can also be a time associated with transformation, transition, sadness, and grief—and yoga can be an amazing way to cope with these varied emotions.  In TCM, this time of year correlates to the lung and large intestine channels, which run though the chest and arms and are associated with sadness and grief. These emotions represent our ability to balance taking in and letting go—as is represented in the lungs and large intestine.  The physiological functions of these organs aligns with their energetic function: the lungs govern respiration and the large Intestine governs elimination. Disharmony of both organ systems can present as upper respiratory symptoms (runny nose, cough, hoarse voice, etc.) and constipation. The contraction of energy can present with shallow breath and slow-moving elimination, and if any sadness and grief are not processed, they will continue to constrain qi, or energy—and the emotions will persist.   However, we can use this withdrawing of energy during Fall to our advantage by taking the opportunity to review what needs to be released in our lives. We can bring harmony back to the body by slowing down, giving room for reflection, and creating a state of ease with our relationship to change.  The course I just took through Janet Stone Yoga, called the Anatomy of Emotion, went into depth on how the body responds, ways we can nurture and heal, and use movement both Chi Gong and Yoga to help facilitate our understanding of the emotional body through the physical body.

As temperatures drop, leaves change color and fall.  Autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go. It doesn’t have to be considered morbid or morose. Instead, we can apply this concept to our inner egos and patterns of greed and pride. The idea of letting go also stresses the temporary nature of everything around us.  As nature and the seasons demonstrate, life is a series of cycles and changes. Through the example of trees, we see the introduction of yin energy as the energy begins to recede, bringing nourishment back within. The leaves change color at this contraction of energy in preparation for winter. The tree, no longer needing the leaves to bring nourishment, are released. The tree lets go.

Day and night are the same length during the autumnal equinox. As a result, ancient cultures have always associated this day with the concept of balance. The sun also enters Libra, which is symbolized by a pair of balanced scales. Autumn grants us a chance to harmonize with the Earth and tap into the balance within us.  Play with balance poses.

The autumn season offers us a chance to reconnect with ourselves as we preserve our safe havens or homes.  We tend to retreat indoors, we exercise self-protection by wearing layers and thicker fabrics. We also tend to focus on our health by boosting our immunity through habits and nutrition. Ultimately, autumn doubles as practice for heightened awareness of your self and surroundings.

Enjoy this time of reflecting, shedding that which no longer serves us, and allow time to retreat inward.  What grows from this time might just be glorious.

And maybe think about that Pumpkin Latte to go with that cute sweater.

 

What Brings You Down?

Feeling down? You're not alone

You know the song… “rainy days and Monday’s always get me down.”

Well I can’t really say that rainy days or Monday’s get me down but I can tell you that there are things that really do get me down.  I think all of us share that commonality.  They may not be the same issues or things, but the feelings associated with those people, places or events feel the same.

I don’t really want to go down the rabbit hole of sadness and negative thinking but just to share a few, here are some things that if I let them, can surely bring me down.  My relationship with my daughter is a big one.  The fact that my business is not where I think it should be right now can paralize me.  Covid and my inability to hug everyone I see or to go out to dinner makes me feel like a hamster in a cage.  Travel is off the table; that brings me down too.  I can go on and on but then I will end up in my bed with the covers pulled over my head and I don’t want to do that!

So, what brings you down?  And the bigger (and better) question, what do you do about it?

This is what separates the high performance people from the rest of us.  If we let the stinking thinking out play our affirmations we lose. So what can we do to put our feelings and emotions in their place?  Here are some ideas:

1- Acknowledge the sadness:  Its only then, that you allow yourself to begin to heal. Acknowledging the sadness has to happen to be able to let it go. It’s going to hurt and you’re going to feel like collapsing on the floor sometimes, and it’s okay. Do it and move on…

2- Fill the voids with meaningful things:  All of the situations that bring on sadness make us feel the same, empty, hollow. You need to start filling that hole so it can heal. Here is a list of things that might fill the void: service, meditation, uplifting hobbies, more time with your family, a break from your routine, music, touch like massage or reiki, add omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, eating well and getting plenty of sleep, watching the negative self talk and reversing it, journal.

3- Don’t feel guilty about being happy:  It’s OKAY to be happy! You don’t have to doom yourself into a life of suffering.  If you want to go there and feel sad, give yourself a certain amount of time and then stop.  Don’t let the feelings and emotions take over.

4- Forgive-  BIGGIE!  Forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing a toxic person back into your life or accepting a situation.  It means moving on.  Start somewhere, and move forward. And double check because sometimes, the person that needs to be forgiven, is yourself.

5- Write a letter: There is something very therapeutic about writing a letter to the person, place or thing causing you sadness. Whether it be a sickness, death, a loss, a break up, fear, disappointment, family problems… whatever it is, write it a letter. Put down every feeling you have about it.  Then burn it or put it in a box or drawer and remember that it is now out – you have placed it into the universe.  And it’s not yours alone to bare any more.

6- Keep Living: I know it’s hard to do but please, don’t rob yourself of your one precious life.  Keep living and recognize when you are limiting what you do based on your circumstances.  Please live! You have this gift of your life and this present moment.  Make the most of it because once it is gone you can’t get it back.

And remember to breathe.

I would love to hear from you.  It is good to know we are holding space for each other

Lea

Feed the Brain

The 50 great books on education

Do you like to read?  I do!  I love to hold a book in my hands, curl down the pages, write in the margins, highlight and underline and rewrite things that strike a cord with me.

Back in December of 2019, I chose my “word for the year” which came out of weeks of quiet time and meditation. The word for 2020 was wisdom (with some discernment thrown in) and just like every other year’s word, I knew I was in for a wild ride ahead.

So here are some of the amazing books I have read this year (and in past years) that you may like to check out.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I recommend this book to everyone who has dreams of living an adventure. Because life is an adventure. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I never understood how wealth worked. This book completely changed the way I think about money and creating wealth.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Whether you like people or not you have to learn how to become more influential to live a better life and build a meaningful business.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Without an effective morning routine, you are betting on your life instead of taking control of it and focusing on things that matter.

The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

The only way to build more wealth, do more and live more is to do ten times more than you are doing now. Simple principle bringing noticeable change to your life.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Humans are survivors. But only humans who have a purpose survive the longest. This book will make you stop complaining about the things that don’t matter.

The Bible 

Trust, discover, and grow in your faith

The Unteathered Soul by Michael Singer

Transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you.  Find inner peace and freedom.

Here are some more….

Rising Strong, Brene Brown

The Surrender Experiment, Michael Singer

The Charge, Brendon Burchard

You Are a Badass, Sincero

The Last Lecture, Rancy Pausch

Fervent, Priscilla Shirer

Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman

 

There are soooo many more but this is a start!  Happy Reading

 

 

 

 

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