Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Surrender.



Surrender.
As in - Let go, Stop Resisting, Stop forcing. 
Surrender.
As in - Be Still and Listen.

Let's be honest for a moment, I am not one to surrender and be still. Nor am I the one to listen. I have the need to be right in the middle with the knowledge to know everything that is going on. If though I know I have no control over various  most situations -  Letting Go is still a challenge for me. So now, here I am, sitting on our front porch listening to the soft wind and the crow singing out above me. This comes after a day where I so desperately wanted to crawl under my bedsheets and cry. I woke up emotional and uneasy as I do most days nowadays. Yet I knew that I was meeting one of my dearest friends for lunch this afternoon and I just needed to keep it together until then. But on my way to meet her, my car stalled and wouldn't get power enough to move. I tearfully called my truck driving husband at work and cried that he needed to send one of his co-workers to come to get me and my car. The emotions of the day got me. When my friend picked me up, as we still made it a point to go to lunch, I sat in her car and said: "Well, I'm raising my white flag, my hands are up in the air, and I surrender." 

The word surrender has been poking at me for over 2 weeks now. I would hear it in a song, someone around me would say it, or I'd read it in a book. I keep thinking "Okay, I get it. Surrender!" but then I'd roll my eyes and keep doing whatever I was doing. Which was trying to keep my anxiety and depression under the best control that I could. I knew there was something that I needed to do and I knew that something was to sit back, look up, and say "Okay God. I'm laying it all down at your feet and I'm giving it all up to you to decide what happens next." But, with me being the overbearing control freak that I am. I couldn't do it, not full-heartedly at least. And then my car broke down and that was it. Full-heartedly, I threw my head back with tears in my eyes and said: "What now?" but no answer. I moved through the rest of my day doing all I could to keep my mind and body busy. When I got home, I went to my space where I meditate, pray, do yoga, and write. I saw the sticky note I had placed a few weeks ago on the backboard of the bookcase with the words "I SURRENDER TO THE FLOW," written in all caps and a black marker. I grabbed my sticky note pad and wrote two words: GOD PROVIDES. They are two words I had repeated to myself back in June of 2018 when I felt defeated and lost. God Provides. God Provides. God Provides. On the second sticky note I wrote my mantra of the year 2019: "WHERE THERE'S SHADOW, THERE IS LIGHT."  A very cliche but true quote that you can find in one of my favorite songs "Battle Cry," by Kyler England. 

I fell to my knees, bent my forehead down to the floor with my arms out wide, palms up and whispered an old worship song we used to sing before every show when I was growing up in musical theater. 

"I cast all my cares upon you. I lay all of my burdens down at your feet. And when I don't know what to do. I cast all my cares upon you."

I lay in silence - my heart, mind, body, and every ounce of my soul down at the lowest point I have been at. Surrendering. Letting Go. Not asking questions. Not seeking anything other than my breath. 

"Okay Child, Get Up. We Got Work to Do."

Is all I felt in my body. It's all I heard. It's all I knew at that exact moment. To Rise. To Move. To Keep Going. Undoubtedly towards tomorrow. 

Surrender.
As in - Let go, Stop Resisting, Stop forcing. 
Surrender.
As in - Be Still and Listen.

Ok God, I'm Up. Let's Get to Work!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Hippie's Guide to Coffee Meditation



Let me paint your morning - It's natural to wake up to the sound of your alarm ringing after the 4th snooze and jumping to make it out the door on time. It's even more natural to grab your coffee to go and rush into the meeting you were almost late for while spilling your coffee down the front of that new blouse you just bought - and now, you're coffee stained, frustrated, and already over the day in total. 

Now think about tomorrow morning and what you could do differently. You can set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and push snooze only twice. You can wake up before the rest of your house, do a 10 Minute Morning Meditation before even leaving your warm, comfortable sheets. And then you can enjoy a fresh, hot cup of homemade coffee before you begin your day. You'll have time to get ready at a steady pace and make it to the office with 15 minutes to spare. The rest of the day may be full of the usual hustle and bustle but you are able to get through it calmly and efficiently. 

Calm Morning = Calm Mind = Calm Day = Calm Sleep.Repeat Daily.


I learned the art of enjoying a cup of coffee at the age of 3, probably sooner if I'm being honest. My Dad is well-known as "Mr. Coffee" or "Captian Coffee," because he is never without. We blame it on his 37-year profession of being a Fire Fighter that brought him to enjoy a cup of coffee at any time in the day or night. I've seen this man drink a freshly brewed cup at 1:45am and be asleep soundly at 2am. It's Magic. But I'm pretty sure my dad had his first cup of coffee at 3yrs of age too because my grandparents were also never seen without a cup in their hands. It's a Family Thing. 

I've seen my dad, uncles, and grandfathers exchange old war stories over coffee. I've seen grandma and grandpa read their morning newspaper while dipping their toast into fresh black coffee. I've seen my sister make any type of coffee you desire after years of working as a barista at the towns local coffee shop. It's only my right of passage to love coffee as much as I do. Like everyone else, I used to use it as a dose of caffeine to keep me awake during finals week and study sessions. It became my right hand during cosmetology school and again when I had to be at a Bridal Suite at 7am for Hair and Makeup. So I began thinking, "How Can I enjoy my coffee more?" - I grew up in a time when coffee was meant to be enjoyed, Huggelig style, with friends and family; and I was eager to get back to this great past time. I decided to mix it with something I know best - Meditation. 

HOW TO DO COFFEE MEDITATION

Call me Old-Fashion but I like to grind my own coffee beans. There is just something about the aroma that fills the room when each little bean begins to crack and split. I, however, know that not everyone wants to hassle with grinding coffee beans and I also know that most of the coffee made these days are from premade pods. Whatever way you do it, I don't judge, it's all about personal preference when it comes to coffee and meditation. Really, My Dad likes his coffee, Black. That's it - no sugar or creamer or milk. Black. I, on the other hand, am a coffee with my creamer and not creamer with my coffee kind of gal. Don't get me wrong, I love the taste of coffee. But I love the taste of creamer too. To Each Its Own. 


  • While the coffee is brewing I like to stretch focusing on my arms and legs. I'll place my hands on my counter and lunge back to get a nice stretch through my extended leg. I'll curl my toes under and lightly rock to get some nice movement in my toes before switching legs.) I'll do some light arm circles forward and then back, rolling my wrists lightly and wiggling my fingers.

  • Don't forget to breathe! Not only do you want to align with your breath but you want to fill your lungs with that sweet aroma of coffee. It's the best part, in my opinion. 

  • Before I put in my light stevia and creamer I like to hold the coffee mug in my hands to feel the warmth. There is nothing like a warm mug to send a calm, peaceful feeling through your body. I like to close my eyes and express Gratitude for stillness, for clarity, mental strength, and the ability to be present. 

  • I use my stevia and creamer as intentions. As I pour each ingredient into my mug and stir them together I set 3-4 intentions for the day. I look at each ingredient and intention as my ingredients for a good day - I could have titled this post "How to Brew a Great Day" - or something like that. 

  • As I take my first sip, I like to plant my feet into the ground; sometimes in my kitchen or sometimes I'll step into my front yard and dig my feet into mother earth. I take a few deep breaths before the first sip and then savor the moment of warmth and stillness. I give Thanks, once more, and I begin my day.

I always tell people that it doesn't matter how you meditate as long as you do it. It takes time, dedication, and practice to find what works for you. I don't believe there is a perfect way to meditate or right way. Meditation is customizable and that's why I like my Coffee Meditation. Many people say they can't sit still long enough to ease their minds - and I get it. But meditation doesn't need to be an hour-long practice. Meditation can be easing your mind, being present, and giving thanks over your morning coffee. It's that simple.

**You can also apply this to morning tea if you aren't a coffee drinker - Remember how I said it's customizable, YAY!!

Cheers to a simpler morning!



Wednesday, June 26, 2019

4 Things that Happen when you align with Life


It's a beautiful, clear blue sky 70-something degree kind of day; and I am in a total state of bliss. Bliss. It's a word that has been on my mind for the better half of this last week of June. I never fully thought of the word bliss before, except for the fact that there was a teacher at my old high school with the name. I was met again with the word when my mom presented me with the book by Lori Harder "A Tribe Called Bliss," which is in short all about finding your bliss in life. 

I read that book about a year and a half ago, working on finding my Bliss ever since. It wasn't until a few days ago when I realized Oh Shit! I'm in Bliss right now as I'm crying and pushing this cart full of groceries to my car. And it's true. I found myself in a total state of bliss without a care in the world - for once it was as if my anxiety was on a vacation and I was free to through a house party in my own mind filled with chirping birds and fresh kombucha. My anxiety would have been pissed. 

I found myself in meditation...

"You've come so far in the last year! When you re in complete bliss and alignment with life, you are no longer spending time thinking about the past or negative thoughts that serve you no purpose or connect you to your soul's purpose. Bliss comes from within, it is not driven by the materialistic world. Simplicity. Life is mean to be spent in simplicity. This doesn't mean life is easy by any means, but it does, however, mean that we are meant to live a semi-calm life even through the storms that are less than blissful. To find inner-strength to allow yourself to find simplicity and shelter in yourself. "

When you align yourself with life...

Aligning yourself with your Bliss and your life is no easy task. Life has kicked the literal shit out of me multiple times and I am assuming it's not done with me yet. However, I have made the conscious decision to have a never-ending endurance when it comes to aligning myself with the life I want. I believe when you begin to align yourself with life, And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it - just like the Alchemist said. (Paulo Coelho). I believe a few things happen:

1. Your Environment Changes. 
There is a quote that says "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at changes," and it's true. When you become aware that life is happening FOR you and not TO you, you start to see the world differently, and yourself for that matter. You begin to notice that the people in your life start changing too, some are falling away to your past, some are staying, and you also have some new faces coming in. You begin to see your external (physical) space begins to change as well. Maybe you start a new job, move into a new home, or you change up hobbies. Or maybe it comes as simple as redecorating your home. Either way, your environment changes to align itself with what you are trying to align with. 

2. Rational action VS Irrational reaction.
When your environment begins to change, you will come to find that when a challenge emerges, you can now face it with Rational Action VS Irrational reaction. What I mean by this is, from personal experience as an example: Not only does my anxiety kick into overdrive when I'm triggered, but my temper flares and starts throwing bullets left and right like I'm fighting in Armageddon. I was always someone who was quick to react, and I still do from time to time because I'm only human. But I have become more mindful and dedicated to mindfulness knowing that mindfulness doesn't come from those who remain peaceful at all times but rather those who make the effort to find it (mindfulness).  Instead of reaction, I take a step back from the situation and think about it from a rational-neutral space. I return to my breath and ask myself the simple question of "why is this making you reactive?" and I work through my awareness before I act. 

3. State of Bliss, Awareness, and Gratitude. 
When you've aligned yourself with life, your environment has changed, and you've become aware of your actions/reactions...You will come to find a state of Bliss, Awareness, and total gratitude. While in these states you find that you are happy. When you are happy, you no longer need to linger on what haunts you or hurts you. This is a huge part of the healing process, one that I didn't fully understand until I found myself crying in the middle of a grocery store parking lot because I couldn't find anything to be worried about. I had allowed myself to be in Bliss without over thinking and judging myself for it - in return, I wasn't judging others for whatever state they were in. 

4. Presents from the Universe. 
Remember what I said about the Alchemist? When you truly want something and you make the conscious effort to align yourself with what you are asking for, the universe comes in alignment to make it happen not just for you, but with you. By showing up for yourself, the universe shows up to..with presents. You will be presented with New Information to use in your benefit as well as New Opportunities. When you receive this "New," the process begins again. It's a cycle.


Every day we have a choice. We get to decide on how we want to wake up to the world. Do we wake up thinking about the days that have already passed? Or do we dream into the future? IF we are lucky, we will wake up to be absolutely present, like today is the only things that matter because the reality is: It is. We can continue to trap ourselves in the what could have's, what should have's, and our regrets that we hang on the bedpost. But why would we want to live like that? Life already happened, that part of life already happened even if we don't agree with it. Each moment, dark or light has made the fragments of our time here on this earth. I regret nothing. I am only filled with lessons and wisdom to carry new. Life is mosaic. It is small little details that mean nothing when it stands alone, but what happens when you step back and look at the bigger picture? That picture is YOU and YOUR life, YOUR art. How do you want to bring that into alignment? What choice are you going to make? How will you decide to wake up in the chill of the morning? Are you going to rise passionately? Ready to align your life with your fullest, highest purpose? Or will you still be weighed down by the less blissful? 

As for me? My Passion is Life...and I'm still rising to it!


Friday, June 21, 2019

Cancer Season + The Summer Solstice


For centuries people have been honoring the cycles of the sun through celebrating Equinoxes and Solstices. Today, June 21st, we wake up to the sun at the highest point of the sky on the longest day of the year, bringing us the Summer Solstice. 

The world Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium which translates to (Sol) "Sun" and (Stitium) "Still or Stopped," recognizing the sun is still on this very day. The Sun gives us warmth and draws our attention to the nourishment from its light.  The slow movement of the sun connects us with the ebb and flow of our lives, bringing the cycles of dark and light to our acknowledgment. The Summer Solstice brings us from action to patience as we slow down and allow the seeds we planted in the spring to take the course and grow.  We are asked to let loose and surrender in order to allow what is meant to be. 

A great way to connect with the Summer Solstice is to connect with the zodiac of Cancer. We are met with the solstice the day our sun moves from Gemini, the twins, the Cancer - The Crab. 

Cancer
(June 21 - July 22)

Duality: Feminine
Triplicity: Water
Quadruplicity: Cardinal
Symbol: The Crab
Words: "I Feel"

Cancer is known as "The Great Mother," as she brings a soft, nourishing gentleness to us. Ruled by the moon, she is connected to our emotions. She gives us a space to navigate through our feelings as well as expressing them while having the confidence we are being held and protected; able to express ourselves without fear and judgment. 

Cancer is introvert and brings a time of inner reflection, contemplation, and self-care. Cancer is the Ruler of our 4th House. The 4th House governs our home life and what makes us feel secure. It represents what we hold dear to us and want to protect in both our physical and emotional/mental world. Just as a Crab Shell, we are delicate beings that need tending too - our physical bodies need care just ask much as our emotions need to be taken care of. Allow yourself to be vulnerable this season and move from your comfort zone to allow yourself to expand. 

This is a season to nourish our souls in every way, with complete trust and honesty. It's a time to recharge our energy but allowing the sun to fill us with its warmth and light. (Protecting your skin with SPF of course). This is the perfect time to establish a routine for the summer. This is a time of self-care and introspective practices. Try turning your phone off or putting it in the other room for 30min - 1hr every morning allowing yourself to wake up with a digital detox and embrace your mornings fully. Meditate under the sun and feel the warmth against your skin. Go near water, like the beach, and allow yourself to be one with nature as you listen to the sounds around you. Remember, have a journal near and write down your experiences as you slow down. 


Happy Summer Solstice.
Happy Birthday to all my Cancers.