January Joys 2014 is coming soon…
March is the time of year that hints of Spring. Clocks are sprung forward to give us another hour of daylight. Temps begin to rise and with the crazy weather patterns we’ve already experienced them in the high 60′s here in the Northeast! We shed heavy winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, and the like in favor of lightweight jackets paired with fun scarves as well as pretty layering. We’re excited to get outside and take pleasure in walking, biking, hiking and breathing in the fresh Spring air. Nature has shed her protective winter coat and so have we. What else will you shed this month in preparation for sunnier weather, brighter skies and a more clear and refreshed You?
How about a light detox for your body? See my column in the Bee Intelligencer paper entitled “Lighten Up” to add a few alkaline fruits to your diet as an easy way to keep your immune system strong during spring cold and allergy season. Enjoy the results of an oxygen facial for a fresh face. Get a great massage and enjoy enhanced feelings of well being. Go through your wardrobe for new outfits! Get creative with what you have and let your favorite pieces inspire you! Pick up some fresh cut tulips and dot them around your home ~ a bunch loosely placed in a tall vase in a living room; a single tulip in a tiny vase in each of your bathrooms, on the laundry room shelf, or just about anywhere that’ll make you smile when you see it and use this idea to remind you of being more simple with your life.
How about letting go of a habit that’s got you stuck and unable to move forward in some aspect of life? Choose one that you know is outdated, ineffective and switch the habit for a brand new one. It can be anything that you do over and over again and again ~ that’s what habits are, so make it easy on yourself and pick something you can do every day that’ll become your new best thing to do and do it. Don’t make it complicated ~ maybe the new habit is a quick 20 minute walk in the morning first thing, even before your morning coffee – put your sneaks out at night, slip them on and go outside walking quickly 10 minutes in any direction and walk quickly 10 minutes back. Do it every day of the week and soon the old habit is gone.
How about doing something great for your mind to keep it active and engaged in the now and the new? Check out upcoming articles in the above mentioned paper for cool new ideas and tips to enjoy your mind more fully!
How about lessening and loosening the grip on your emotions ~ all of them. Begin to cultivate a neutral mind so a sense of calmness can permeate your experiences. Instead of becoming your experiences, become the witness of your experiences. If you think of it that way then you’ll quite naturally become less involved in the little dramas that occur many times in a day in a variety of intensities. You’ll emote more joy and lightness and your eyes will shine like a child’s because you’ll be more in the moment, less in the past or projecting into the future.
Enjoy this month and all it’s fun – Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up so implement a few changes then go enjoy that green beer, corned beef and cabbage! Choose a new habit and use the time of the new moon to help you with the new energy! Read something different; go see a movie instead of watching everything on your ipad, phone or laptop. Get outside and watch nature. Sleep deeply so you can take advantage of every hour of the day. Go to bed a half hour earlier and leave the electronics in another room. Get ready to grow and glow in April!
As the new moon approaches and January is in full swing, how are you feeling? Did you choose to make new year’s resolutions or resolve to simply be a better you each and every day in each and every way? Are you experiencing the subtle and not so subtle shifts in energy on our great planet and will you decide to change an old habit or two knowing you’re supported by your own inner strength and courage? When the tides of change are upon you will you keep up, forgive yourself for what you couldn’t control or change and go with the flow as best you are capable? Are you contemplating your goals and deepest desires for this year? How will you implement them? Will you learn a new way of moving your body, sharpening your mind and bringing your spirit more fully into your heart? Can you release the clutter hiding in your closets, corners and just allow the space, without filling it? Would you gift books that you no longer reach for but that sit patiently awaiting someone else’s fingers to flip their pages to soak up all the knowledge you already have of it’s contents? Will you create a wonderful vision board for your Self and allow it to inspire and grow your goals? When you are deeply hurt or disappointed will you allow your Self a brief release of healthy anger and let it go? Why not reach out in your community and dedicate 20 hours of volunteering this year, with something you’re passionate about and fills your heart? Can you choose a fresh perspective on looking at weight and let your body inform your food choices based on how it feels when you eat, after you eat and how your mind feels, rather than what the scales, magazines or stores tell you? Will you stay present to your life more than numbing out when the tough stuff comes along? Can you harness your joy and excitement, streamlining it into something that feeds you for most of the day rather than allow it to be just a fleeting group of moments? In other words, will you live more consciously? Would you consider adding a green smoothie to your day and eating colored fruits and vegetables every single day to feel the vibrancy and nutrition held in them? Can you make a choice and decision to eat seasonally and locally as much as possible this year to help the farmers, create amazing glowing health and support your local community? Will you bathe your trillions of cells with water as your main choice of beverage? Will you re visit these questions in December and feel powerful and lighthearted growth because you honored these questions? I will. Let’s journey together this year ~ watch for upcoming ways we can share and connect!
Happy New Year! Ahh, a new start. A new beginning. A sense of refined perspective. A fresh way of interpreting our lives. Out with the old, in with the new. Time to encapsulate, reflect and review the past year as we prepare to jump into a new resolve, a chance to do things differently, a way to be more creative and present. New beginnings. New commitments. New ways of being with ourselves, our loved ones, our associates and friends. Hope abounds. Melancholy can be in the mix too. For the losses, disappointments, difficulties, promises unfulfilled, wishes not granted, goals not met and paradigm shifts not yet the foundation we thought they’d be. Ahh this wonderful messy amazing thing called life. Let’s listen to the sound of a pen across paper as we send out a handwritten note here and there this upcoming year, rather than always hear the tip-tap of our laptop and cell pads, so we can connect to a different kind of tactile.
Let’s choose to live more sustainably by eating closer to the land. In the earth is where the nutrients are found anyway, and if we choose a smoothie in the morning instead of the all american breaky we’ll save lots of carbon footprint and be doing our bodies good. Let’s lean into a plant based diet more and leave the boxes, cans and processed stuff behind. Let’s create an alkalinity to our bodies and leave the dis-eases of an over acidic system behind. Let’s make an effort where effort counts – by setting up our day to get a really deep sleep every night for 7 or 8 hours, and feel the sharp difference between being really asleep and really awake – what a concept! Maybe last year you sleep walked through the year – sometimes fully energized and alert because you got a great night’s sleep, and more times than not kinda hazy, fogged out and not quite there because deep REM sleep never found you. Time to change that! Keep your room cool, turn off all electronic everything and put it in another part of the room and relish the restorative time.
Let’s create play in our day so exercise is just movement turned into play. Whatever you love to do or choose to commit to envision it as play whether you’re at the gym spinning, practicing yoga in a cool zen studio, training for a triathlon or walking, hiking and hanging out with your pups. Just move every day – no days off!
Let’s connect more with each other in ways that support one another’s desires for financial stability, success in the workplace/force, and renew a sense of sustained and flourishing abundance.
Let’s live with this sense of simplicity and light heartedness, goodness and kindness. Let’s let the pains and sorrows of yesteryear fade away into the archives of the great halls of learning, and be free to be ourselves with each other, and when the judgment and ego pop up to intrude, let’s assure them they’ve done their jobs well and can rest while spirit infuses the situation.
Enjoy the last bit of 2011. Peace to all, Light to all, Love to all.
The holidays are filled with a smorgasbord of emotions just as our bodies enjoy
bountiful varied foods and drink that we don’t normally partake of during the rest of
the year. In this way our emotions are tested too. Our systems of assimilation,
digestion and elimination can become compromised if we’re not conscious. This
time of year brings together family and friends we have history and life experiences with so it’s a unique time to practice neutrality and just 3 minutes of meditation in motion every day has powerful effects for feeling peaceful, generous and happy!
It’s natural for memories, wonderful loving nurturing life-promoting experiences to
come up. Disappointments, long held hurts of wrongdoing, suppressed anger and
fear are also part of the mix in many instances. Our minds project expectations and scenarios before we even go anywhere. Because we’re attached to our own life experiences so strongly, as soon as something someone says or does illicit a feeling of discomfort we are into little grievances, remembrances in our minds and are instantly uncomfortable, defensive and full of the stuff of the past. The whole
dynamics of our mood shift, and the opportunity to feel the gifts of the moment are
Better to walk with a neutral mind and open heart so we can feel the openings, the
shifts and gifts of precious moments that will offer clarity for our lives. A generous,
grateful heart and mind is a gift your give your Self. As you cultivate a neutral
perspective on life your body will easily and effortlessly assimilate, digest and
eliminate all delicious unusually heavy food and libations with no long- term
consequences or need for recovery. Phillip Roth offered this wise understanding of
life: ‘it’s all grist for the mill.” Think about it. Life is a precious gift; time is fleeting and then we’re gone. So understand the simplicity of a neutral mind and a calm heart so you can feel grateful for every one of your teachers in the form of family and friends, co workers and associates, because each one is a mirror of some aspect of yourself you can have fun with, forgive, acknowledge, love and grow into a better version of you!
Enjoy this season resplendent with opportunity and put into practice these time tested, ancient gifts of meditation in motion every day. There’s something for everyone. Take just 3 minutes to feel quickly awakened in the morning; energized throughout the day or give your self a deeply restful sleep. In as little as 3 minutes you can shift your whole vibration and experiences so you feel happy, peaceful and ready for whatever comes your way! Be generous with yourself first by implementing these short 3 minute meditations in motion in your day and you’ll naturally feel the generosity of all those around you! Happy holidays!
Wake up to the Day
a) 1 minute stretch pose: lie on your back arms at your side and legs out straight.
Raise your head, hands and feet about 6 inches off the floor.
Press your lower back into the floor and stare at your toes.
Open your mouth and pant like a dog for a few seconds and then continue with a
closed mouth inhaling and exhaling quickly through the nose. This is called ‘breath
b) 1 minute tuck. Lie on your back and draw knees to the chest holding your shins.
Press your nose toward your knees and do breath of fire through the nose .
Close your eyes and focus them up and in at your third eye brow point.
c) 1 minute seated pose. Sit cross legged and raise your arms up in a ‘V” position
while curling your fingers into their bases and point the thumbs up. Do breath of
fire. Close your eyes and focus them up and in at your third eye brow point.
Increase Your Energy in 3 minutes!
Sit or kneel with your arms straight up and clasp your hands together with the index fingers extended up. Close your eyes and focus up and in at your third eye brow point. Chant ‘sat’ out loud as you pull in your navel and chant ‘nam’ as you relax the navel.
Sat nam means my identity is truth.
Soothe yourself before sleep in 3 minutes!
Let the day go, and prepare for deep and peaceful sleep.
Sit with a straight spine and rest your hands in the lap with right hand sitting in left
with tips of thumbs together. Keep your eyes slightly open and focus them at the tip
of your nose. Inhale in 4 separate parts mentally saying the sounds sa ta na ma.
Hold your breath and say sa ta na ma 4 times and now exhale in 2 separate parts
mentally saying wahay guru.
Sa ta na ma means life, birth, death and rebirth.
Wahay Guru means the ecstacy of enlightenment.
It’s August already with the heat and light still high as mother nature’s gifts of summer are still upon us. Have you been enjoying the delicious organic gifts of veggies from your local farm? Are you relishing the distinct tastes of fresh blueberries and peaches that you’ve picked yourself from one of the many orchards bursting with color and full trees and bushes? Do you know how to choose the ripest fruits at the grocery stores? Are you picking up pineapples, cantelopes or a melon to touch and breathe it’s scent allowing it to provide you with creative thoughts of how to offer it to family and friends? Have you played a lot this summer ~ maybe visiting a park with a couple of free hours, just to swing on the swing and allow your mind to revert to the simplicities of childhood? Or lay in a hammock lazily resting in the heat of the day gazing at the sky and knowing you’re balancing your busy work life by chilling out. What good summer read have you enjoyed? How many times have you enjoyed grilling fresh farm veggies on the barbeque? Are you honoring the heat by choosing cooling foods and staying hydrated with crisp cool water all day long? Did you allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the moments you spent in the garden really relishing your plantings? Have you been keeping the bird feeders full, and feeling gratitude for your senses as you listen to the varieties of bird songs and watch all the different kinds of birds flutter, build nests, care for their young, and perch on your feeders every day? Did you re connect with some family member that you haven’t seen in a long time because they were in town, and enjoy sharing a light lunch and gentle conversation? Will you plan one last little family get away before the busy fall days are upon us, and school days begin again?
To live, to love, and to laugh are easy to be in the space of in summer time because there is less of everything .. we wear less clothing so our choices are more simple; we eat less food because the body isn’t storing for warmth and extra calories necessary for winter’s colder temps; our thinking tends to be more creative as we find ways to enjoy our family and friends without spending much money during these challenging economic times. Speaking of which, these challenging economic times have allowed us to be more present to each moment, as the bigger longer reaching plans can be somewhat out of reach and so gifts of the now are more palpable. The long hours of sunlight make it easier to enjoy being outside and that’s great for the body, the mind and spirit! It feels easy to love the day when the weather cooperates with warmth and lush greens, vibrant colors and the beckoning of leisure time.
Ahh summer … taste it’s simple healthy nutritious pleasures and build a lovely fruit bowl you leave in the fridge for your family to enjoy … cut up big chunks of pineapple, cantelope, strawberries and sprinkle delicious fresh blueberries in it then have yourself a bowl before you put it away! Make peach jam that you can store away and enjoy summer tastes in mid winter times. Buy a huge farm zuchinni and stuff it with panko bread crumbs and diced peppers, garlic, fresh ginger and cilantro – top with your favorite farm marinara sauce and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes – yum .. a meal of health promoting nutrition on a plate! Try to go a week eating mostly fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes and give the meat, chicken, fish and dairy a rest. Play with fresh herbs, and new spices! Try upping your water intake to fully and completely hydrate your trillions of cells, and feel the happy effects of this amazing free thing! Visit with someone you’ve been trying to get together with for a long time now, and by just making it happen it’ll inspire you to create greater happenings for yourself! There’s still time to start a great summer read ~ choose something out of the ordinary for you and really enjoy your new find ! Listen to a type of music that’s new for you and allow it to fill you up with the appreciation for all things different than you! Laze around a bit and nap a little more so your body will be continually at peace. Breathe deeply these last weeks of summer so as Mother Nature brings in fall here on the east coast, you’re ready for her gifts in a whole new way!
How often have you caught yourself wondering why things are so complicated? How life becomes so full of stuff to do that there is hardly time to enjoy the really simple things that make you truly happy? I’d like to draw your attention to this very moment where you can be enlightened by the most simple things around you. Spring offers a chance to see beauty, detox winter sluggishness and re awaken hope and desire just by taking a walk outside. Just by eating clean simple foods in their natural state. Just by breathing. Just by looking at the contrast between winter and spring seasons! Just by remembering to take it easy and go with the flow of your experiences. Just by being open to new and interesting creative desires!
Spring is a time when nature shows us how easy it is to be simple. Birds are already simply creating beautiful nests in anticipation of new life. We are privileged to watch three different types of birds fly to and fro busily building their nests right outside our windows! They are focused in a easy way. I’m sure you’ve noticed daffodils and tulip bulbs; all kinds of tree buds beginning to show promise of their beauty; longer days and shorter nights; warmth of the sun as temps rise, and lots of rain helping create the beauty of deep rich greens. Nature simply being natural without any help from us.
Lighten up your diet and detox the organs for a cleaner feeling inside. It’ll freshen your perspective too. Start the morning off with a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon and add a cup or two of ginger tea to your day. Drink lots of water through the day to flush your system, and dedicate the rest of this month to making water your beverage of choice period. Just drink a glass whenever you feel hungry and see if it really wasn’t water that your body wanted, rather than food. There are many many cleanses out there so choose one with your doctor’s help that feels right to you and you know you can follow. Any gentle cleanse at this time of year is excellent for rejuvenating your body. Add some bitter astringent foods to your diet and forgo the sweets in favor of helping the ph balance of your body become more alkaline.
Let Spring’s simple hope inspire you to move your body every single day, breaking a sweat for 20 minutes a day to create noticeable differences in your moods, sleep patterns and to add more positivity in your outlook! No equipment necessary ~ use your own body weight and surprise your body by switching up various movements you used to do as a kid. Taylor them to your current fitness level and jump, skip, roll, cartwheel, hop, dance, stretch, lift yourself up to standing and lie back down down on the mat as many times as you can in a few minutes and try using no hands; remember what it was like to be a kid where moving was constant and easy. Check out the many sites available that offer easy quick exercises. Some people don’t have time or inclination to go to a gym these days, or simply choose to work out in the comfort and convenience of their own home. Gyms are great, home work outs are great, just get moving for all the health benefits of a body in motion!
Expand your thinking to include a few minutes a day of day dreaming where you create a life for yourself where you are living your dream. Or where you are doing what you love and being paid for it; where all your relationships are stress free and any little blips in communication are easily rectified. Day dream about anything ~ just free your mind to offer the vibrations so you can attract what you want into your life.
Let your spirit soar by staying in the gift of the moment ~ the present. Ask more of your spirit to come settle in your heart so you experience a deeper connection with your body, mind and spirit. Do one new thing each week this month that you’ve not done before. Something as simple as cleaning out one closet or drawer at a time without thinking. Just feel in your heart whether you love it, really love it, or not. If not, give it, gift it or toss it. Feel how wonderful it is to experience the ‘space’ that you’ve just created! Reach out in a way that touches your ‘edge’, and feel courageous and connected! Spring is sprung and I encourage you to use the simplicity that Spring represents to live a less complicated less fixated more rejuvenating resplendent life!
Now that Spring is fast approaching, it’s a great time for releasing the toxins that have accumulated in our bodies over a winter of comfort foods, warming drinks and indulgences with holiday gatherings. Maybe your fitness routine was interrupted due to bad weather and not being able to get to the gym as often as you’d have liked, or the shorter days left a feeling of heaviness and lethargy that was challenging to shake. Now is the time to let go of all that’s been eating you, and all you’ve been eating, and lighten up your body. Release lengthly conversational thoughts in your mind while you’re at it, so you’re less bogged down in every way ! Open your heart to the tastes, sounds, slights and fragrances of Springtime!
There are many different and varied forms of detox out there and they all have merit. If you’ve never done a detox, the easiest way to release all the holdings in your body is to lessen your dependency on heavy foods. The most important thing is to be gentle and kind with yourself. Opt for lighter versions of what you’re used to eating so your system has a chance to adjust.
If you’ve been enjoying regular or whole wheat pastas with heavy to digest sauces laden with cheeses, switch to tossing a whole grain pasta like amaranth, barley or buckwheat pasta with some extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, chop up fresh herbs for seasonal taste, and quickly saute a few different colored veggies with a clove or two of garlic, slices of fresh ginger and an onion. Sprinkle a little fresh parm or add a few crumbles of goat cheese and enjoy with a small tossed salad with different colored veggies than are in your pasta. Switch a cup of that coffee for a cup of green tea during the day. Try coconut creamer in it if you take coffee with milk, instead of cow’s milk. If you like sweetness this is perfect and will alleviate the need for any other added sweetener as well as being a healthy alternative.
Try drinking water with squeezes of fresh lemon throughout the day to help your system become more alkaline than acidic. Try to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big full meals, and switch your snacks to enjoying a small apple or other fruit with a few tamari almonds.
The whole idea to begin this series of blogs on detox is to try something new and lighter with your food and beverage choices. Surprise and confuse your body in a really kind way with what you put in it to shake it out of it’s habitual patterns. Look around the outer aisles of your grocery store for those items that are local, and eat close to the Earth. Your body will thank you, begin dropping pounds as a result of your new choices, and you’ll be preparing your body for it’s natural inclination to detox during this Spring season.
Having practiced sitting meditation twice daily since being a teenager, it became clear I could take this quiet still open-hearted softness into the world and experience a new richness of life. I began exploring the possibilities of meditation in motion. The simplest form of seated meditation is easy to learn, easy to do, and offers immediate benefits. Meditation in motion is just the art of remembering this feeling of peace throughout the day and connecting to it.
Meditation is a wonderful way to increase your happiness quota because you release everything external for a period of time, and rest deeply in your inner sanctum when you sit quietly. Then moving along with your day, whether you’ve meditated for one minute or twenty or for an hour or more, you will instantly feel more rested than if you’ve slept. You feel relaxed and happy. You’ve settled in your heart where everything is beautiful and free. The place inside that is unbounded unbridled, unburdened where no critics live! The place of rich and luminous prisms of color and possibility! Blood pressure decreases, the heart rate slows and the outer world falls away. You can’t help but come gently out of this experience more peace filled. After having practiced most of my life I can tell you all you need to do is sit still somewhere you’re comfortable for a minute or two with your eyes closed and just focus on inhaling slowly and exhaling even more slowly. Breathe in to the count of 4 and breathe out to the count of 8 and that’s it. Some people can’t sit for long periods of time and you don’t need to because it’s more about regularity of complete silence to allow your mind to become empty, your body to be comfortably still and your heart to be open. You can follow any path you like and make meditation anything you want it to be however, it’s not even necessary to think about any mantras (a word to repeat to help focus the mind) or practice any ritual. Just sit there and breathe slowly and deeply for a minute or two! How easy is that for tangible results!
I’ve experienced forms of meditation that are quite rigorous and austere, others that test my body to it’s physical brink. In India I remember a form of meditation that was intoxicating and easy. I’ve meditated with Buddhist Monks, Saints, Sages, Gurus and other Spiritual Masters. I’ve followed precise instructions to the letter and been a most eager student over the years. What I’ve learned by teaching middle school, high school students, college age young peole and the life coach clients I work with is that whatever is easy, simple and rings true for you to instill the habit of connecting to this deep reservoir is the best form of meditation!
You can have more peace in your life today. Sit quietly and close your eyelids, now breathe in and out. Take the peace you feel into your daily activities and keep connecting to it. When your monkey mind begins to chatter away saying things that don’t make you feel good, stop for a few seconds and slow your breath down. Drop your thoughts into your heart. You’ll start a new habit. Your mind will realize it’s been given a break, and it’ll quiet down. Check in with your emotions. If a conversation, circumstance, experience or anything else doesn’t ‘feel good’ ~ quietly let it go and reach for a thought that feels better than that. We all have little moments every day where we feel our feathers ruffled or are disappointed, hurt, feel put upon or projected upon, someone cuts us off when we’re driving, or negates our feelings. It’s natural to react. Release this feeling you’re having by taking a few conscious breaths. Find a feeling that feels better. Keep dropping your thoughts into your heart and living from here because it’s where peace is and drama isn’t.
As you practice the art of meditation in motion, you feel harmony within, more calmness, happiness and much less stress!
What does success mean to you? Is success defined by advancement in your career with a title and large salary/bonus structure or being prosperous in your own business? Are you at your height of success when you achieve major goals that you’ve been working on for years? Are you still successful if you fall short of accomplishing a goal or give up and change course half way through something that started out being important to you? How do you measure success?
When is success defined not by hard work but by how easy something is and does this feel acceptable to you? Do you have to feel honored or acknowledged to feel successful? Does success always require a plan? What about self discipline? Where does personal power fit into the picture of success?
Achieving success can be a combination of the answers you come up with to the questions above. The important thing is to understand just what success means to you and to formulate a plan or a no plan to be creatively in the flow of your own true successes in life. It’s important to feel good about achieving things in life because we feel valuable. Be happy and relish the little things of the present moment because living too much in the future of what will be, or the past of what was, can thwart your being grateful and appreciative for all the successes you are today.
A group of children gave this famous poem to me after teaching them simple ways to be their own life coach. It’s by Ralph Waldo Emerson and I have it framed in the office because it represents my own beliefs and goals for success in this life.
“To laugh often and love much ~ To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children. To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty. To find the best in others. To give one’s self. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden path or a redeemed social condition. To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived ~ This is to have succeeded.”