The Best Mantra for 2018: Om Mani Padme Hum

I’m pretty new to meditation (dabbled a bit in college but it didn’t stick) and I’m restarting with the basics.

In terms of actually practicing mindfulness and compassion (to self and others) – these are things I’ve sporadically attempted for a few years.

I think it all started during an annual exam when my lady doc suggested something in between my Pap Smear and and the breast exam: every morning, I need to look in the mirror and say “I love you” to myself.

I told her I couldn’t possibly; it was embarrassing, what was the point, and she said in addition to filling my body with healthy foods and wheat grass, turmeric, ginger, and Vitamin D (I was deficient at the time), that loving oneself is another and very important piece of the puzzle needed to attain an optimal level of wellbeing.

When the La Costa Chopra Center used to host one-hour meditations in the afternoon, I attended a few times with friends and it was a good re-introduction, but I’m more of a solitary soul and would rather do my internal discovery not in the company of strangers, no matter how kind…

It’s all about rewiring our brain-using neuroplasticity to change negative thoughts and belief patterns into positive actions and a joyful future.

Meeting the Dalai Lama was a significant experience that opened my eyes (and my heart) and encouraged me to follow an inward searching path.

Om Mani Padme Hum is an ancient mantra related to the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, and with the Dalai Lama, who is considered to be an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara. It is believed that all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this mantra.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that by saying Om Mani Padme Hum out loud or silently to oneself invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.

From His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast …. The first, OM … symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha…. The path is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the … altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassionate and loving…. The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom…. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable HUM, which indicates indivisibility…. Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha….

All I know for sure is that when I say or think Om Mani Padme Hum, no matter how sad or anxious or stressed I feel, even when I wake up at 3AM in a panic, a certain calmness and quiet joy washes over me.

As we leave one year and transition to another, I wanted to share this with you and hope you also find solace and wisdom in this mantra.

Happy New Year!

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You might call me shallow, but retail therapy is a THING, y’all

It’s been a DAY. Taking a deep breath. Home now, feet up, having a cuppa.
I had an especially joyous afternoon!

Let me tell you all about it.

OK. Last week I felt like crap. I had a viral lung infection (thank you for your potent little germs, Angel Boy 2.0!) that was quickly turning to pneumonia and on top of that bad news, I had laryngitis. I mean 100% no voice. I couldn’t even squeak out a whisper.  I was forced to endure a vow of silence for about 72 hours.

Now I’m almost all recovered, enough to get back to the gym and back to my real sport of choice…SHOPPING!

Yup, Retail therapy is a THING, y’all. It’s therapeutic; self care and all that new agey mindset.

I planned my day with laser precision, flexed my shopping muscles, said a mantra for extra patience, and first ran errand or two for my absentmindedprofessor son who forgot to take care of something important before he/family left for the UK, so that was number one.

Mission accomplished. (As an aside, I don’t care how old they are, it warms a mommy heart to be able to solve a problem for her child. To feel needed. SIGH.)

As soon as I got that out of the way (visualize the chaos of a post office a few days before Christmas ‘cos that’s where I was) I confess that I got a little tingle in my root chakra area (heehee) as I sped off to the Forum in Carlsbad.

Yes, a real physical reaction, like salivating over chocolate, to see what the world had to offer for purchase!

Breathe, girl. Breathe, I said to myself. Pace yourself.

Find a place to park. Universe, open up the best spot for Princess Rosebud. And then it happened. Someone pulled out of the perfect location at the exact moment I was rounding the corner. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A quick check of my hair and lipstick, and I was off, gleam in my eye, rapid heartbeat; I bet my pupils were dilated just a bit, too.

Even though Angel Boy 2.0 already got his gifts, I can’t walk by Gepettos without popping in and getting something. Looky at this. A growing owl. Grow Owl: An owl will emerge from a tree stump. Just put the tree stump in a container, cover with water and after 12 to 24 hours, the critter will begin to emerge as the water is absorbed! Can’t wait to send it for a New Year’s Day prezzy. Just a little something cute and fun. Theo LOVES owls, so this will be something fun for the Angel Boys to work on together.

My inner GPS guided me to H&M, where I picked up some SUPER ADORABLE clothes for Mr. T. They were on sale!!!!! A total score. Three dollars for the striped shirt and seven dollars each for the sweatshirt and distressed jeans with suspenders. I cannot even imagine how precious he’s going to look. Such a little boy. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Across the parking lot was my HOLY GRAIL…Anthropologie. I get it. It’s overpriced but their marketing and store decor is so amazing, you gotta appreciate their attention to detail.

Here I was, back with my tribe, my people. My PEOPLE. All Christmas-y. The mall was crowded and so was Anthro.

We were all rotating in our own little worlds of conspicuous consumption- women on a mission with a very few brave men who dared to cross the threshold, and omg they all looked the same: scared, dazed, deer in the headlights. trudging around and around not able to locate the door to exit the hell they were trapped in. I almost felt sorry for them. ALMOST. No eye contact cos I didn’t want them to plead with me for assistance. Not my problem.

The checkout line snaked around the store. I was looking for something for myself. I had a “secret Santa” who gave me a little cash and I wanted to spoil myself because I’ve been a VERY good girl this year. I found this beautiful pierced tin candle. The scent is Mahogany Amber and it’s filling my bedroom with love and joy. 30% OFF! The bag and wrapping paper adds so much to the shopping experience. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I forgot to tell you that I went to Macy’s yesterday at Carlsbad’s other (newly refurbished) mall and bought myself an extravagant Chanel lipstick. I know it was forty dollars and I could have purchased at least three or four others for that same price, but CHANEL. Plus lots of samples, so a good deal, right? Rouge Coco Etienne #446 LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I had a follow up doc appointment to see if I needed an x-ray (I don’t, yay!) and their office is across the street from a hospice resale shop, so I stopped in for a minute. Christmas decor was on sale, so I picked up this adorable vintage bunny ornament for one dollar! ONE EFFING DOLLAR! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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When I got home, I found a box at the front door!!! Nestled inside was a wrapped gift from my wonderful son and DIL. I can’t wait to open it!

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All in all, a wonderful, stupendous. amazing, joyfilled day! Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, retail therapy can turn my frown upside down, no matter what.

Love and joy to all!

The Dark Night of the Soul

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When you start hearing and reading this phrase EVERYWHERE, out of the blue, you sit up like a meerkat and take notice.

(And yes, you aren’t imagining things; I did write another post about the word forgive that showed up on my radar. Now it’s the phrase, dark night of the soul. I’ve been trying to finish writing this post for about three weeks.)

During my own personal Bataan death march of this involuntary tortuous journey of soul discovery, I dipped my toe into the maelstrom of an agonizing Weltschmerz.

Since I’m an introspective and insightful sort of person, a swirling thought began to form in my gray matter: why am I seeing these words? (I don’t have an answer yet.)

From blog posts to Deepak Chopra to random articles on the internet, there seems to be a plethora of attention fixed on the “dark night of the soul”, just exactly like I saw wetiko at every turn for a while.

What does it all mean? Wetiko…forgive…dark night of the soul… Is there a connection?

What IS the dark night of the soul?

It’s a chicken and egg sort of conundrum: Which comes first, depression or darkness?

Have YOU experienced it?

What I’ve learned is that this is so true: “Wherever you go, there you are.” You can’t run from yourself, you can’t distract the pain with anything; you’ve got to face it head on and hopefully make it through to the other side.

Are we experiencing it collectively as humankind? Or should I better refer to it humanUNkind…

“If you aren’t in the moment, 
you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.
“—Jim Carrey

So I did a little research.

Eckhardt Tolle describes it this way:

The “dark night of the soul” is a term that goes back a long time.  Yes, I have also experienced it.  It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness.  The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression.  Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything.  Sometimes it’s triggered by some external event, some disaster perhaps, on an external level.  The death of someone close to you could trigger it, especially premature death, for example if your child dies.  Or you had built up your life, and given it meaning – and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, and the meaning that you had given your life for some reason collapses.

It can happen if something happens that you can’t explain away anymore, some disaster which seems to invalidate the meaning that your life had before.  Really what has collapsed then is the whole conceptual framework for your life, the meaning that your mind had given it.  So that results in a dark place.  But people have gone into that, and then there is the possibility that you emerge out of that into a transformed state of consciousness.  Life has meaning again, but it’s no longer a conceptual meaning that you can necessarily explain.  Quite often it’s from there that people awaken out of their conceptual sense of reality, which has collapsed.

They awaken into something deeper, which is no longer based on concepts in your mind.  A deeper sense of purpose or connectedness with a greater life that is not dependent on explanations or anything conceptual any longer.  It’s a kind of re-birth.  The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die.  What dies is the egoic sense of self.  Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity.  Now it is probably the case that some people who’ve gone through this transformation realized that they had to go through that, in order to bring about a spiritual awakening.  Often it is part of the awakening process, the death of the old self and the birth of the true self.

The dark night of the soul occurs when you confront your innermost fears and feel them completely and deeply. These are fears that you’ve had, but which you previously kept from conscious awareness by staying busy, using intoxicants, or willing yourself not to think about them.

In a cycle of irony, when we hide our fears from conscious awareness, it’s because we are afraid of our own fears. Yet, when we face the fears, we can see how illogical and powerless they are. That’s when we are no longer ruled or controlled by unconscious fears. It’s true freedom!

For most people, this process involves confronting issues of life and death, the meaning of your life, and whether life is worth living. The dark night of the soul is similar to the initiations that ancient Egyptian candidates for high priest- and priestesshood would endure.

In that culture, you’d be enclosed in a sarcophagus, which is like a coffin, for several days. In that enclosed environment, with no light and just enough air not to suffocate, your mind would terrify you as your fears came alive as very realistic hallucinations.

At the end of two or three days, when the sarcophagus was opened up, if you were still alive, you passed the initiation. Some people actually died from fear, even though it was just in their minds. This shows how terrifying our thoughts can be if we were to really confront them head-on.

In a dark night of the soul, you feel totally alone in the world, completely misunderstood, as if you don’t fit in anywhere. You feel like your life doesn’t matter, so what’s the use of carrying on? It’s painful!

Like the ancient Egyptian initiation, the dark night of the soul puts you in a position of life or death. Some people don’t survive, because they decide life isn’t worth living, and unfortunately, they tragically take their own lives. For some, this suicide takes a slower pace, with the person using toxic addictions to gradually kill themselves.

But if you can stay with the emotions, including the very painful ones, the dark night of the soul can actually lift your whole life to a higher and clearer level.

Nobody wishes for a dark night of the soul, and it’s not something that you can create artificially. Basically, it just happens when you least expect it, usually because something has triggered a deep and dark emotional place inside of you.

Dark nights of the soul, like every part of life, serve a healing and useful function. The dark night of the soul is a mirror that you hold up to yourself so that you can see the contents of your ego’s fears. A lot of the painful emotions you’re experiencing are connected to situations that happened in your childhood. Present-day situations are triggering painful memories.

Don’t numb your pain or run away from your emotions. They’re your teachers! Just keep asking your painful feelings, “What are you here to teach me?”

Ultimately, it will boil down to this: forgiving yourself and everyone who has ever hurt you is the only way to escape the pain. You don’t need to forgive their actions. You definitely should still stand up for yourself and be truthful about your feelings. And you don’t want to stand for any form of abuse. But forgiveness is essential as the ultimate detox. Let go of the past in all directions of time and finally be free.

From Kosmos Journal for Global Transformation:

Anyone may go through a period of sadness or challenge that is so deep-seated and tenacious that it qualifies as a dark night of the soul. Not long ago I was giving a talk at a university when a man shouted at me from back in the crowd: “I’m terribly depressed. It’s been years. Help me.” I shouted back my email address. In his voice and body language I could see that this man was not caught in some passing depression. His life was broken by some loss, failure, or long-forgotten emotional wound that left him in a desperately dark place.

I reserve the expression ‘dark night of the soul’ for a dark mood that is truly life-shaking and touches the foundations of experience, the soul itself. But sometimes a seemingly insignificant event can give rise to a dark night: You may miss a train and not attend a reunion that meant much to you. Often a dark night has a strong symbolic quality in that it points to a deeper level of emotion and perhaps a deeper memory that gives it extra meaning. With dark nights you always have to be alert for the invisible memories, narratives, and concerns that may not be apparent on the surface.

Faced with a dark night, many people treat it like an illness, like depression. They may take medication or go into counseling looking for a cause. It can be useful to search for the roots of a dark night, but in my experience the best way to deal with it is to find the concrete action or decision that it is asking for.

And from Dr. Deepak Chopra:

 

Have you experienced this? Do you think it’s severe depression, mental illness, or is a dark night of the soul  a rite of passage to happiness, peace, and harmony?

A Practical Guide to Weaning Fast

Let me first say that the one and only time I weaned my one and only child was in 1982, so what am I doing writing about weaning, you might ask?

My thirty-six year old son weaned himself on his first birthday with no warning, and my poor body suffered while he loved the autonomy of his burgeoning independent nature.

This is a guest post written by my DIL, who is now the mother of my one and only amazing and brilliant grandson.
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My son turned one at the beginning of March.

I had been toying with the idea of weaning him for a couple of months.

Initially, I had tried the “only when he asks” approach, but babies are creatures of habit, so he continued to ask and I continued to feed on demand.

As soon as my son had his twelve-month wellness check and his pediatrician said he was physically and emotionally ready, I was eager to start the process of weaning.

The thought of dragging this out for six-plus weeks was too much for me, but the risks of going cold turkey are very real (infection, blocked duct, emotional trauma) so I proceeded with caution. If you do need to wean quickly for whatever reason, or your baby just suddenly rejects the breast, here are some tips to get through it more quickly.

As a disclaimer, my son was already eating three meals a day plus snacks, so it wasn’t like I was still producing a massive amount of milk. He was clearly obtaining his nutrition from other sources.

Where to start…
Start with the easiest feeds. For me, those were the ones when he woke up. I first eliminated those after naps, then morning, then before day naps, before bed, and then the dreaded night feeds…

Tips for baby…
I have been a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarersmom since day one, otherwise known as respectful parenting. The philosophy centers around honest and authentic communication as soon as baby is hours old. Even though I was tempted to put band aids on my nipples and say “mommy is sick”, or apply garlic so it would taste gross, my son and I faced the challenge together.

 

Make it positive — I bought my little guy a special cup for homemade smoothies to replace the nursing experience from his wake up feeds. My son loves rabbits, so I got him the biggest rabbit cup I could find; since he has no problem with a straw, that’s what we use, but a sippy cup would be equally successful.

Do not place yourself in familiar nursing situations — I love to read books in bed with my son in the morning, but during weaning I would get up, shower and dress, so that as soon as he woke up I took him out of the bedroom for banana and almond milk smoothie in “Rab Rab”.

(Smoothie recipes below.)

Sport the high-necks — I wore three layers to minimize the odor of milk, as well as high neck shirts that he could not pull down.

Stay busy — As we eliminated the day feeds, I made those days extra busy. We were barely ever at home so as not to place ourselves in situations where he would even think to ask.

Mr. Mousie — I bought a special blanket that I sprayed with Chanel Mademoiselle (my familiar scent), which I use to cuddle him with during Rab Rab smoothie time. (Smoothie recipes below.) This was a blanket that I could also use to place in the crib for naptime. Extra cuddles and love during weaning will help to bridge the emotional loss of breast feeding.

Change of scenery — I chose to do it while visiting Grandma. There were so many exciting things for little one to do and experience, and I got the support I needed as my body and emotions went through the change and the challenge.

Watch out for hunger — As I worked on eliminating the night feeds, I needed to make sure that he was not waking up because he was hungry. Toddlers burn through so much energy! When they have been asleep from 6.30pm, it is reasonable that at 4:00 am it might be that they need a little something in their tummy. I was focused on eliminating the breast so my milk would fully dry up, and I decided to replace those feeds with a bottle of warm milk. Try what works for you; regular organic milk, almond milk, or coconut milk.

Boundless love — I got lots of advice to let Dad go in at night so he cannot ask for milk. As part of the RIE I mentioned earlier, I faced this head on. I went in and there were moments that were heart-breakingly sad. But in my heart I knew it was time, and so I told him — I know this is hard for you. I love you so much. And found lots of ways to be close, tight cuddles, cheek to cheek.

Success! After two weeks, my little guy is completely weaned, sleeping through the night, and started walking. What a great first year!

(If your little one is also teething, try the teething biscuit recipe below. My son LOVES them!)

Tips for mom…

Sage — 
I drank fresh sage tea and infused sage water pretty much constantly. I also included fresh mint and lemon balm, but sage was my primary fluid. I was advised that you should drink it every six hours, but I had a cuppa going all day.

Cabbage Leaves — These have been used for centuries and I can see why!! I was a little skeptical at first, but they work amazingly well. For the first few days, I used them continuously during waking hours. I kept them in the fridge so they were nice and cold, which feels wonderful if you start to feel engorged. Place the stems out, and change every 30–90 mins depending upon flow.

Antihistamine — This is also meant to dry up milk. I took a non-drowsy type every 24 hours.

Warm showers — The first day I took three warm showers. I would massage my breasts and hand express just enough to make sure the ducts still had an outlet, but not too much to stimulate production.

Heating pad — I read varying accounts of this, but I did use a heating pad at times when the engorgement made my breasts feel hard and lumpy.

Ice-pack — I used this in-between the heating pad to cool down swelling. I was also using cold cabbage leaves, so the icepack was used when I was taking a break from the cabbage leaves.

Topless Sunbathing — Luckily I was weaning at Grandma’s house in Southern California, so while my little one was napping, I could enjoy some au naturale topless sage tea!

Rocky Road ice-cream — It’s important to remember that if you’re eaning fast, you’ll go through a pretty big hormone crash. Be prepared and have supplies. Pamper yourself with whatever you need to do for self care to get through PMS — ice-cream, movies, cuddles. I kept laser focused on the end-game — no more night feeds, no more gross nursing bras, and no more sanitary pads in your BRA!!! (and all over the bathroom floor).

Sleep — sleep when you can because you may need extra energy at night. If you’ve been used to nursing, dousing, and then crashing out, remember that getting a baby to sleep without popping them on the breast takes more energy and perseverance.

WAB WAB Smoothie I

Waking up in the morning and after nap

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

1 TBS organic almond butter

1/4 small banana

Sprinkle cinammon

Wab Wab Smoothie II

1/4 cup 100% organic fruit juice

½ cup purified water

Leftover kale, spinach, chard, or other leafy veg, well blended!

1/4 cup Organic whole milk Greek yogurt

Chopped/grated apple or pear or organic blueberries/strawberries

Blend all.

Teething Biscuits

1 cup almond milk or coconut water or a combination

Blend 1/2 cup dates and 1/2 cup raisins with the liquid until well chopped.

Pour into bowl

2 TBS organic agave

2–3 TBS vegetable or coconut oil

Add 1/2 cup flax meal

1 cup organic whole wheat flour (or any flour)

Oat flour is easy to make in a blender

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all. Add a little more flour and knead briefly to make dough pliable.

Roll into 12×14

Cut into 1inch x 6 inch slices

Roll into finger sized shapes, easy for little hands to grasp.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and then 300 degrees for another 15 minutes turn off oven and let them cool in oven.

Light Energy

Up to this point in my life, I didn’t understand anything about energy of any sort, whether it was the kind of electrical energy that is generated when you plug in a lamp or a hair dryer, or the kind of energy that surrounds us and makes up our universe.

I guess I was absent from school that day, haha.

The speed of light is about 300,000 km/s. To put that in perspective, when you watch the sun set, it has actually been 10 minutes since that light left the Sun.

Is that cool, or what?

I learned this recently. I know you probably ALL know this, but I did not. Light energy is defined as how nature moves energy at an extremely rapid rate, and it makes up about 99% of the body’s atoms and cells, and signal all body parts to carry out their respective tasks. An example of light energy is the movement of a radio signal.energy therapy encourages the body to draw upon its natural healing ability by opening up the flow of energy, clearing emotional blockages and detoxifying itself.

We human beings are an open system of energy that live in an energy environment which is constantly shifting and moving. A healthy body thrives in this environment with a clean continuous flow of balanced energy.Our human energy field sets the foundation for the physical body. If the energy field goes wrong, this will eventually affect the physical body.

Disease and ill-heath manifest themselves first in our energy field before showing up on our physical bodies.

When there is a conflict with the environment around us (for example the unhealthy food we eat, common daily stress from work or relationships, the quality of the polluted air and water we breathe), a healthy energy system is able to release this excessive energy immediately because our natural flow of energy always moves towards generating perfect health and well-being.(curated from  http://www.healing-for-wellbeing.com/Definition.html)

Clueless, that’s me!

I certainly never knew that light energy can heal.

I never heard of chakras, either. No REALLY. I never did. Guess I lived under a rock for a very long time, you know?

The word “Chakra” is the Sanskrit word for “Wheel” or “Disk” (because chakras spin like a wheel or a disk or a vortex) and refers to the energy centers in the body.

When faced with difficulties in our life, we tend to hold this unresolved energy in our bodies instead of releasing it.

This creates blockages in our energy field which then depletes our vitality and can lead to ill health and suffering. It might explain why a person who suffers from stress might feel like his/her head is on the verge of exploding: their head is like a balloon being inflated with an energy flow whose exit path has been blocked!

Blockages and imbalances in the energy body often manifest themselves as physical ailments, stress, sleep disorders, depression, and other emotional imbalances.

Energy therapy encourages the body to draw upon its natural healing ability by opening up the flow of energy, clearing emotional blockages and detoxifying itself.

This is fascinating, don’t you agree?

chakras

 

Not in any order, but I thought I’d start with the very important Heart Chakra, also called Anahata.

Shall we all clear our heart chakra together?


About the Heart Chakra:

The Anahata (heart) chakra, represents unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion. The heart chakra influences your right to love and be loved, in other words, your ability to connect with oneself and other people.

This chakra promotes balance and integration as it is the middle of the seven with, three lower chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus) and three upper chakras (throat, third eye, crown). A healthy heart chakra is demonstrated by maintaining healthy boundaries.

Anahata chakra helps us to see the world through the eyes of our heart. We see through a prism of love and aren’t afraid to express our emotions.

Tomorrow when you wake in the morning, fall in love with yourself all over again say to yourself: “Today help me to keep love and peace in my heart. And to make that love a way of life, that I may live in love the rest of my life.”

Name:  Anahata is Sanskrit name of heart Chakra, “unstruck” or “that which cannot be destroyed”

Location: at the heart (center of the chest)/ base of sternum

Intention:  Adoration

Your Rights: Your Right to Love and Be Loved

Self-work: Self-love

Identity: Social Identity

Mantra: I am love

Color: Green

Element: Air

Sense: Touch

Healing Stones: Emerald, tourmaline, aventurine, malachite, rose quartz, rhodonite,

Bija Seed Sound: Yam

Vowel Sound: Ay (as in play)

Psychology:

Basic Issues: Love, devotion, ability to connect with others, openness, compassion, balance, self-acceptance, self-confidence, to be in good relationship, place where dharma resides, forgiveness

Characteristics When Out of Balance: Grief, emotional outbursts, insecurity, nervousness, anxiety, anger, impatience, fanaticism, overly critical, withdrawn, inability to have deep relationships, inability to express emotion, codependency, poor boundaries, possessiveness, Jealousy, addictions to tobacco, sugar, marijuana

Excessive: Codependency, demanding, clinging, jealousy, overly sacrificing

Deficient: Antisocial, withdrawn, cold, judgemental, loneliness, isolation, depression, fear of intimacy, lack of empathy, narcissism

Healing: Breathing exercises, journaling, psychotherapy

Fourth Chakra Mantras:

  •  I am loving of myself and others.
  • There is an infinite supply of love.
  • I live in balance with others.
  • May I be at home in my heart.
  • May I be free to feel my true feelings, desires, passions
.
  • I am worthy of love.

featured image courtesy of http://www.empowerus.biz/energy-healing

There’s Nothing Like Pink Ballet Shoes

To a certain type of little girl, there’s nothing like pink ballet shoes.

I mean NOTHING. Nada.

Before I was Princess Rosebud AND before I was Rowdy Rosie, I was simply Rosebud.

I was ballet-obsessed.

A little ballerina in pink tights, leotard, and ballet shoes, and once in a blue moon at a recital, I was lucky enough to be chosen to wear a pink tutu. HEAVEN.

Yes, I was a bunhead. And proud of it!

There was the special red letter day all ballet dancers wait for; the day we’re told our feet and legs are strong enough for POINTE WORK –and that means TOE SHOES.

To dance en pointe is the epitome of a dream come true.

You never forget the day your mom takes you to Capezio to be fitted for those first toe shoes. Smelling and stroking them all the way home, hand sewing the satin ribbons in the perfect position, tying and retying them, clumping around the house on hard flat soles that feel like wood, hours spent staring at your reflection in the mirror. I AM A BALLERINA; ignoring the promise made to Madame NOT to try to stand en pointe without her specific instructions.

SIGH

Innocence and hope and aspiration all wrapped up in pink satin.

These are my old shoes, the toe box full of lambs wool. I’m walking around in them right now…and my feet are killing me, lol.

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I definitely can’t execute twelve fouette turns in a row like the good old days. Never mind trying SIXTY-FOUR!!!

 

Down in the village. there’s the cutest little ballet store, and I couldn’t resist a new pair of soft shoes for barre work-and an adorable shirt–pink, of course!

And I know what you’re thinking and NOPE, I’m never going to grow up, don’t even ASK!

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The Science of Gratitude

Counting your blessings and creating a list of things to be thankful for has a real foundation in science and might even change the way our brains work, according to a brain-scanning study in NeuroImage.

It brings us a little closer to understanding why these exercises have these effects. The results suggest that even months after a simple, short gratitude writing task, people’s brains are still wired to feel extra thankful. The implication is that gratitude tasks work, at least in part, because they have a self-perpetuating nature: The more you practice gratitude, the more attuned you are to it and the more you can enjoy its psychological benefits.

Feeling grateful is very good for you.

Time and again, studies have shown that performing simple gratitude exercises, like keeping a gratitude diary or writing letters of thanks, can bring a range of benefits, such as feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression, that often lingers well after the exercises are finished.

Changing our neural pathways of any old tapes we run of self loathing and lack of self worth and depression with replacement thoughts of being valuable, of deserving love and respect aren’t new ideas but they’re new to ME. Louise Hay is a well-known proponent of positive self talk and affirmations.

Recently, I started sporadically attending  free Friday mediation classes at the Deepak Chopra Center in La Costa because I thought I needed a little jump start to get to the next level of peace, harmony, joy, and NAMASTE.

After one of the sessions, I purchased Deepak’s little book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I just found a pdf of it here, if you are interested in reading it, too. It’s an easy read with valuable insights and suggestions.

I like knowing that I’m headed on a path toward increased compassion and gratitude, hoping to make the world just a little bit kinder by being more kind and grateful.

The Project of Happiness outlines seven steps toward the goal of a  joyful and fulfilled life.

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I’m grateful to all of you who read and follow my blog.

What are YOU grateful for today?

*Thanks to http://bulgariastories.com/2015/11/2612/ for JFK image

I’m BAAAAACCCKKKKK!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Today it rained nonstop in SoCal and you probably saw the record breaking weather on your local news; I’d say our drought is pretty much over. Heavy rain on the deck!

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It was a perfect day for a DIY matcha green tea mask. It’s so easy; just a teaspoon of powdered matcha mixed with a bit of water and a few drops of rosehip oil. Leave it on for about twenty minutes, rinse off, and moisturize.

Did I scare you?

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What else is new with me?

Angel Boy 2.0, my adorable grandson, is going to celebrate his first birthday in a couple weeks. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by.

This is a view from their living room. The Salish Sea (Puget Sound) with the Olympic Mountains seem so close it’s as if you could almost touch them. Spectacular!

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No whales, but lots of boats. This is a busy waterway.

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And during a recent visit, a perfectly positioned squirrel watching us at Golden Gardens, an amazing park near the Chittenden Locks in Ballard, near Seattle.

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So what’s new with all of you?

 

GoMacro Thrive Bars: A Giveaway!!!

When I was went on my solo hike last week and was ALMOST LOST FOREVER, I was smart enough to have the foresight to pack not only a bottle of water, but a couple of delicious and nutritious THRIVE bars.

How lucky am I that GoMacro sent me a box of assorted Thrive bars to sample!

Almond Apricot, Blueberry Lavender, Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt, and Ginger Lemon.

I’m so happy to be able to share some of these yummy treats with my wonderful and loyal readers! 
GoMacro is a family owned vegan company that was started by a mother-daughter team on their organic farm in Southwest Wisconsin.
While you may be familiar with their original MacroBars, they have launched a delicious new line of plant-based bars called Thrive.
Thrive are made up of a superfood ancient grain blend, are all less than 200 calories, and provide plant-based protein, essential fatty acids, and prebiotic fiber to fuel your body and mind.
Like all GoMacro products, Thrive are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free. Thrive is currently available to purchase online and will become available to Whole Foods in October 2016.
All you have to do to win a box of GoMacro Thrive is to LIKE  them on social media (and of course LIKE this post so I know whom to choose! (US residents only, please.)
Twitter:@gomacro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro/
Instagram:@gomacro
(I was provided product for sample and review. Opinions are my own.I have not received any compensation for writing this post.)

WelleCo Super Elixer Nourishing Protein

Can you believe the holidays are fully upon us?

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah, New Year’s Eve…all designed around FOOD. Yummy food, but full of carbs and fats and more caloric indulgence than we usually allow ourselves to have, right?

Maybe we think we don’t have to worry about eating healthy and even losing those extra few pounds until swimsuit season, but I have a different philosophy.
I think that NOW is the time to prepare for those extra cookies and stuffing and pumpkin pies.

And who wouldn’t want to finally, finally get rid of cellulite?

I know I do.

WelleCo sent me some of their YUMMY Super Elixir Nourishing Protein.and it’s so delicious that I’ve had to hide it at the gym, ‘cos my friends try to deplete my container!

This is a new, all-natural, delicious alternative to bulky whey protein.

Their unique formula comes from plants you’d recognize, like peas, dandelions, pomegranates, sprouted brown rice and pea protein.

It’s all organic, and vegan friendly.

And with a delicious Raw Peruvian Cacao chocolate flavor, it’s a treat for your taste buds as well.

Your body will reap the rewards you’d expect from a protein supplement, and so much more. That’s because unlike other all-natural protein options, ours contains 9 essential amino acids.

Other benefits you’ll notice include:

  • Maintains your blood sugar levels as a part of a healthy balanced diet.
  • Contains fibre to keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Acai to help with free radical elimination.
  • B vitamins to fight stress.
  • Its digestive enzymes help to boost your metabolism.

Now let’s talk about the dreaded CELLULITE. I hate it!!

Cellulite affects many women due to hormones and pre-disposition to store fat in thighs and hips.

In SoCal, it’s always swimsuit season; luckily Elle Macpherson’s nutritionist, Dr. Simone Laubscher, is offering her top tips to minimize cellulite and say hello to silky smooth skin with the help of WelleCo.

 1.       Stay Hydrated: The more water you drink, the less water you hold. Drink two liters of water each day infused with cucumber shavings, lemon and mint to help your body let go of water retention.

2.       Balance your Hormones: When your hormones are out of balance, your body tends to hold more water due to excessive estrogen, which can worsen cellulite. Balance your hormones without increasing acidity in the body with the WelleCo Super Elixir Nourishing Protein.

3.       Go Alkaline: The more acidic you are, the more toxins and water you will hold. Add two teaspoons of the WelleCo Super Elixir Alkalzing Greens in 250ml of water to bring your body on the fast-track to living alkaline.

4.       Reduce Caffeine: This can be a tough one, but it’s important to try and limit your caffeine intake to one cup each day. Swap your coffee for herbal teas that contain ingredients such as lemon, ginger and dandelion, which are great for cellulite reduction.

5.       Dehydrate the Cellulite: Use a compress of iced tea, seaweed or mud wraps on areas of your body that have cellulite to dehydrate and improve the appearance of cellulite.

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I was provided product for sample and review. Opinions are my own.I have not received any compensation for writing this post.