Friday, September 24, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's

I LOVE winning contests!!! I entered a drawing for this fab new Pride and Prejudice variation story and I WON!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! I cannot wait to read it.  This story puts Darcy and Elizabeth at sea, en route to America, where they meet and fall in love.  Should be a fun read.

Udi's Gluten free products are extremely delicious!! Especially the double chocolate chip muffins, OMG!! I've heard excellent things about the granola and have been eyeing the Cinnamon rolls for eons now.  Highly recommend for those watching their gluten intake.

Just got back into Yoga and LOVE IT!! The fitness channel has a great program called Namaste Yoga, which airs a few times a day.  I have several episodes recorded, and it's absolutely brilliant!  I love how centered I feel, the amazing stretch, and cleansing of the chakras.  So beautiful, and you don't have to leave home to do it!

Sexy vampires, teen angst, witches, werewolves, and school carnivals, it can only be The Vampire Diaries.  Love this show, pure popcorn fun.  And Damon Salvatore, seriously, if you are going to crush on a vampire, he better be really badass, a little bit scary and a whole lot of dreamy. 

Love this concept!  New Moon Abundance Checks, a great way to increase abundance in your life, just ask Jim Carey!! This month is the first month I've done this, and I won a free book, ended up with more cash than I budgeted for and it's only two weeks in.  The next new moon is two weeks away, don't forget!! And if you really want to empower your abundance check, be sure to do the 30-Day Prosperity Affirmation along with it!

Love this new song by Sara Bareilles!! Can't wait to pick up the new album!

I am grateful for all of my beautiful followers, Ladies Date Night at Eden's Alley tonight, the library for providing so many wonderful books to read and CD's to burn, Chris Beat Cancer for being such an inspiration, new friendships, this gorgeous weather, Fitness television for providing yoga programs, my wonderful job at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, comfy shoes, ant traps, my rebounder, the trash service, indoor plumbing, and fine jewelry for nights out on the town

What's on your Love List?  What are you Grateful for?

Ho'oponopono Meditation

In my previous blog on Balancing the Mind I mentioned a Ho'oponopono meditation I did.  Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.  "Thank You, I Love You, Please Forgive Me, I'm Sorry." This is the Ho'oponopono mantra.  Recently, raw food activist Angela Stokes-Monarch featured this powerful prayer in her blog.  She describes two meditations that she practiced using this mantra, one she called Healing the Ancestral Lineage and the other the Animal Healing Meditation.  The first deals with blockages in your ancestral line, things you may be carrying from relatives in your past.  The other she did to clear the energy from all the animals she consumed before choosing the vegan lifestyle.  I decided to focus on the Animal Healing Meditation first.  I laid down, legs straight, arms uncrossed, and visualized cows, pigs, chickens, etc in various conditions.  I mentally repeated the Ho'oponopono prayer over and over again in my head as I visualized.  After a few minutes passed I started visualizing an image of myself as a little girl, then my current self looking in a full body mirror, images of my tumors, and people on my forgiveness list also popped up.  I kept on mentally repeating the mantra, as I explored many different issues, even world issues.  I felt tingles up and down my body and the mama tumor in my neck started to vibrate.  I'm not quite sure how long this experience lasted, anywhere from 15-20 minutes, but afterwards I felt such a release and I swear some of my tumors had changed.  I highly recommend this incredible clearing experience.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Balancing the Mind

This month I've been terribly out of balance.  Actually, if I'm really honest with myself, I've been out of balance for a long time.  I snapped a bit a few weeks ago, when I realized how caught up I was in The Attack of the Should's.  Since then I've done a lot of fictional reading, very little in the healing department, a tad bit of writing and pretty zero socially.  Monday, I woke up and decided, screw Facebook, Squidoo, Twitter, Blogging, Email, chores, etc., today I'm going to do all those things I desire, but never have the time for.  I started out with a killer Superfood Smoothie, did a Ho'oponono meditation, a prayer meditation I'd borrowed from my Mom in July, rebounder, practiced yoga for the first time in two years, got out my Oracle Cards, walked Triton, did a full body Reiki session on myself and set up a Girls Date Night.  Guess what?  I still had time to write, play on the Internet, watch TV, read and whatever else I might have wanted to do.  Which tells me that we are capable of accomplishing all the things we desire, we just have to prioritize and balance ourselves.

I've always been a pretty left brained person; I crave order, discipline, schedule, etc.  However, lately I've been more right brained, free wheeling, creative, no real order or schedule.  Balance is finding that middle ground.  I need some stable things in my life, but maybe i can be flexible in the when and how, or switch it up when creativity strikes or new opportunities come up.  This is something we could all benefit from. 

Meditation, yoga and rebounding are all great tools for balancing one's self.  Incorporating one or more into your day will help stabilize and balance you out.  When you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "I love myself and I am balanced."  You can also do affirmations while rebounding; it's powerful and fun! Balancing our energy is also extremely important.  If your energy meridians are crossed, it can throw you out of wack.  Check out Donna Eden's 5 Minute Energy Routine for balancing your energy. 

What do you do to regain Balance?

P.S. Cutting down on TV will free so much time, check out the No TV for 30 Days Challenge for tips on cutting back on your TV viewing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love and Gratitude

This week I'm combining my Loving Tuesday's and Gratitude Friday's blog for one big fat showing of Love and Gratitude.  Love is such an important expression, and there are so many things I feel loving energy towards.  There are also things, people, situations that are more difficult, which is where gratitude comes in.  Finding the gratitude in difficult situations is the first step into shedding our ego and turning each aspect of our life into Love. 


I love books, the way they smell, the feel of the paper beneath my fingertips and getting lost in a new story ♥ the new Jenny and Johnny CD ♥ Lulu's Noodles ♥ sale weekends at Kohl's, especially when I still have a $100 gift certificate from Christmas ♥ going braless ♥ Chai Tea ♥ my new Unicorn and Mary Magdalene oracle cards...awww my unicorn card today is "Love From Your Parents" ♥ boots! ♥ the one processes treat that I still indulge in, those chocolate marshmellow creations from Russell Stovers that are bunnies, santas, or pumpkins depending on the holiday ♥ hearing old favorites on the radio ♥ funky tights ♥ fall for the apples, I love Gaia and Honeycrisp ♥ new frienships ♥ writing letters ♥ knowing the waiter or waitress at my favorite local restaurant and feeling like home ♥ having a clean doggie ♥ bouncing on my rebounder ♥ e e cummingsDalai Lama ♥ Chuck on NBC ♥

What's on Your Love List?

I am grateful for each moment I get to spend with Triton and the fact that he forces me to exercise whether I'm in the mood or not
I am grateful for my job and the flexibility it provides and my new job as a writer
I am grateful for the cooler weather, which I am sure will inspire me to start mowing the lawn myself
I am grateful to my Dad for fixing up Grandma's lawnmower for me
I am grateful we are getting a Trader Joe's at Ward Parkway Mall, just 5 minutes from home!
I am grateful for having a clean bathroom, freshly washed sheets and the laundry done
I am grateful to have caught the first episode of the Nanny the other night, and now I can DVR the entire series in order, woohoo!!
I am grateful to the trash pickup service and recycle pickup service that come every week like clockwork
I am grateful to be able to open my windows and let the fresh air in
I am grateful for the Universe safely providing for my adopted soldier

What are you Grateful for?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eat Pray Love: Take Your Own Spiritual Journey

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert has had a resurgence of popularity recently due to the release of the Julia Robert's movie based on the book.  This wonderful story is Ms. Gilbert's Spiritual Awakening, her journey to self.  She takes a year and travels to Italy, India and Indonesia, learning important lessons about herself and life on the way.  Elizabeth experiences self confidence and sensuality through her exploration of food.  She meets many supportive friends, learns to forgive, meditate, and the important of supporting others.  She learns to love herself, and in doing so, is able to share her love with another.  An inspiring story, I highly recommend it.  After watching the movie, I started to wonder, "what would my Spiritual adventure entail?"  Of course, life lessons can be learned in any environment, but if given the opportunity to take a year off, where would I go? 

1. Greece.  This beautiful country has always intrigued me.  As a child I loved Greek Mythology and find the history of the country fascinating.  While not vegetarians, the Greek's diet is very vegetarian friendly, providing great dining options.  The country is situated on the ocean, with gorgeous beaches and cliff sides.  I can see myself strolling on the beach, baklava in hand, looking up at the cliff side dwellings.  This would be the beginning of my journey.

2. China. I've been fascinated with Buddhism as of late and China is rich with Buddhist culture.  I would love the opportunity to stay in a temple and learn from the masters.  China is also rich with the arts, mountains and valleys, and incredibly diverse people. 

3. New Zealand.  I've wanted to visit New Zealand for a long time now.  I've had a book idea ticking around the back of my head based in New Zealand; going there would make it a reality.  My dream would be to swim with the Dolphins, what an incredible adventure!  Talk about Spiritual Awakening, dolphins are such open and intuitive creatures, we have much to learn from them.  This country is stunning, friendly, and I imagine somewhere with a lot of great food options.  The perfect ending to my Eat Love Pray adventure.

Where would you go on your Spiritual Adventure?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Healthy Monday's: The Protein Myth

As a vegetarian, the question I get asked most often is "Where do you get your protein?"  Most people believe that the best sources of protein come from meat, dairy and eggs, and are baffled at what vegetarians, especially vegans do for protein.  There are actually many wonderful sources of protein, which I will layout for you here.  An important thing to notice also is if something is a COMPLETE source of protein.  What does this mean?  Essentially a complete source of protein contains adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids the human body needs to function properly. 

One thing to get in mind before I divulge vegan protein options is that while most sources of meat and dairy are complete proteins, it doesn't necessarily mean that those sources are good for us.  95% of our meat and dairy industry is controlled by large factory farms.  This means that most of the meat, cheese and egg products we consume are filled with hormones and come from extremely unhealthy animals.  Most of these animals never see the light of day, live in terrible conditions, are disease-ridden, and are fed unnatural, nutrient-less diets.  Even if you are not concerned with the humanity issue, who wants to eat something that is filled with chemicals, stripped of nutrients and diseased?  Ewww.  If you choose to eat these items, go local and organic.  You'll find that not only will it taste better, but you will get more out of the food and not be exposed to harmful hormones and potential diseases.  And for those of you that believe you are safe by eating fish, think again.  Most fish sold in stores and restaurants now actual come from farms.  These fish are also pumped with toxins, and many fish are dyed so that the flesh appears white and is therefore more attractive.  Companies have also experimented with feeding fish corn, which is unnatural and leading to health and nutrition issues with the fish.  Do some research before consuming these products, or all you'll be doing is consuming toxic, nutrient-less food.

For more information check out these blog entries by Chris Beat Cancer:
Mutant Milk
King Corn

So what sources of protein are healthy and great for vegans?

1. Grains.  There are several grains that are a complete source of protein.  These include Amaranth (pictured), Buckwheat, Hemp seed, and Quinoa.  All of these grains are great for making pasta, cereals, baked goods, and much more.  Hemp seed is the star of this category, with the highest source of protein.  Another way to consume it is by purchasing vegan protein powders that are hemp based.  Famous vegan athlete Brendan Brazier has a great product called Vega that I often use in my smoothies.

2. Greens.  Most greens are a great source of protein, but these particular greens are also a complete source of protein.  Spirulina (pictured) is the highest source of protein of any food item in the world.  It can be purchased in powder form and is a great addition to any smoothie.  Blue-Green Algae is another green that also counts as a complete protein.  Usually you can find this in the freezer section of your health food store.  I recommend thawing it, putting it into ice cube trays, and then popping a cube into your smoothie. 

3. Goji Berries.  This delightful berry has one of the highest sources of complete protein in the word.  Goji berries are known as the "Longevity Berry" and Chinese history has many stories relating to people who have lived 250-300 years by eating these berries daily.  This fruit is also an adaptogen, which means that it strengthens the systems, helps our body deal with stress by supporting the adrenal glands.  These berries are also very high in antioxidants, boost the immune system, improve vision, hydrate the body, are very alkalizing, promote neurological and cardiovascular health, balance blood sugar levels, and increase the product of the human growth hormone. 

4. Nutritional Yeast.  This amazing food is an incredible source of protein, higher than any meat product.  It is also a great source of B-12 vitamins and regulates blood sugar.  It can be used as a condiment, added to gravies and sauces, added to the flour in baked goods, used to make a vegan cheeze, etc. 

Finding protein sources is really not that difficult.  Other vegetarian sources of protein include Chlorella, Cacao, Incan Berries (also known as goldenberries), dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.  Most of these are not complete sources of protein, but when combined will give you all the protein you need. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gratitude Friday's: Attack of the "Should's"

Last week I had a little mental breakdown.  I had this list of things to do 1) pay bills 2) write soldiers 3) update blog and post-date a few entries 4) finish the 2 pending articles I was working on 5) clean house 6) take care of mom, etc, etc, etc etc.  and this little voice inside my head just stomped my foot and said "i don't wanna!!".  And so I didn't.  I stopped writing, I didn't go to work, I didn't pay the bills, the house is a mess, etc.  And I felt really cranky about it for a couple of days, like I wasn't fulfilling my purpose, but again "i didn't wanna!".  So I took a few minutes and had a little inner talk with myself, and found out that I had taken on too much.  I was trapped in the "shoulds".  I SHOULD pay bills, I SHOULD write this blog, I SHOULD take Triton for a walk, SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD!!! I detest that word, it's a dirty word, however difficult to avoid.  Need is another poor word, very similar sometimes.  So what to do.  First, I realized that cutting back on a few things to relieve the pressure was a first step.  Originally, I wanted to do all the things on my list, but because I overextended myself they became "shoulds".  So I took a few things and cut back my expectations, extended my deadlines, and gave myself a little breathing room.  The other important step is gratitude.  Instead of being frustrated when it came time to pay bills and clean house, things I'm not crazy about, I changed my perspective to one of gratitude. 

I am grateful I have a beautiful house, that is all mine, one that I am able to pay for myself and care for myself.

I am grateful for cool airconditioning in the summer and warm heat in the winter.  I love having hot water when taking showers and am grateful for my weekly trash pickups.

I am grateful for the opportunity to write each day, to create new worlds, spread my healing message, and make a solider feel a little less lonely.

I am grateful I have the stamina to walk my beautiful 116lb dog each day, and even more grateful for the wonderful weather we have been blessed with lately.

I am grateful that I have the freedom to take a few days off to meditate, read all the books I desire, and bounce on my rebounder.

We all get caught up in responsibilities sometimes, or even things we desire, that turn into chores because we overextend.  Whenever you get caught up in the "should's", take a deep breath, step back, delegate, let a few things go, and find the gratitude. 

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bounce Your Way To Fantastic Health!

I made a promise to myself this month that I would spend at least 10 minutes each day on my rebounder (mini-trampoline).  The rebounder is a great tool for exercise, creating balance, and it's fun!  Bouncing on the rebounder moves the lymphatic system, the only system in our bodies that does not have it's own pump.  When the lymphatic system becomes stagnant, it can create a slew of health issues.  Rebounding is also one of the most oxygen efficient exercises and it's low impact, so the likelihood of being injured is rare, compared to other forms of exercise.  The rebounder is great for everyone, but especially those fighting disease.  A lot of times disease can create fatigue, making exercise difficult or even painful.  With the rebounder, you can still get many of the same benefits simply by walking slowly or bouncing lightly in place.  This still moves the lymph and improves oxygen flow.  Over time, doing this at least 10 minutes each day, you will notice more energy, strength, endurance, and feelings of joy.  The rebounder has been proven to aid people with depression, because it gets the endorphins flowing and reduces stress.  The rebounder also increases the metabolism and is a great tool for reducing cellulite. 

Check out some of these great articles for more information on rebounding and where to order:
Health Benefits of Rebounding
How to Get Rid of Cellulite Through Rebounding
How to Choose the Right Rebounder For You

You can do this while watching TV or listening to music.  I also recommend doing it with your affirmations.  It's so empowering to shout out your daily affirmations, "I am worthy", "I am love", "I am healthy" "I am beautiful".  Try it out and let me know what you think!  Do you rebound?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm a Reiki Gal Now!

A few weeks ago I finished my Reiki Level II class.  It's taken me awhile to absorb everything I've experienced and piece together the best way to represent Reiki to you.  I took the first level several months ago, and learned the basics on how to feel energy and direct it to heal myself and others.  Unfortunately, I went to that class on less than an hour of sleep, after a night of puking my guts out, so I didn't have the focus I wish I had.  I did do some Reiki on myself for a few weeks after the class, and then promptly forgot all about it until the Level II class came up.  This time, I came mentally and physically prepared to soak it all in.  Wow, what an incredible and moving experience.  And in some ways terrifying, learning things about myself that I didn't want to admit, not necessarily bad things, but a change is coming, and that's always a tad bit scary. 

So what is this Reiki nonsense anyway?  I've made mention of various energy healing modalities, EFT, Reiki, Resonance Repatterning, etc., but I'm not sure I've really explained it, and I'm not going to. Just kidding, sort of.  My Mother started down the Energy Healer path about 14 years ago, and has blossomed.  She's a healing guru, a superhero of energy medicine, and a kick ass woman.  She recently wrote a really great blurb on energy healing (which is what Reiki is) and I'd like to share that with you here.

Written by Rhonda Sandmoen
I am an Energy Healer, which means I practice Vibrational Medicine…an umbrella term for a myriad of energy techniques that heal more than just physical symptoms. I know that to some people “Energy Healing” or “Vibrational Medicine” may sound like some weird “new age” thing but in reality it is an ancient method of healing that is now being supported by the modern sciences of Quantum Physics, Biogenetics, and Noetics.
According to these sciences, we are vibrational beings living in a vibrational universe where everything is energy, including thoughts, emotions, and us. Whenever we are sick it is because our energies are out of balance and not flowing properly. Pain and disease are both the symptom and the result of imbalanced energy. Since we are energetic beings and our unbalanced energies make us sick, then it follows that balancing our energies makes us well.
This is where Energy Healing enters the equation. If you were low on blood you would have a blood transfusion, if you are low on energy you need an energy transfusion! The major part of the rest of the world has understood this for thousands of years...think of Acupuncture, Qi Gong, Aromatherapy, Massage, etc. Here in the west where the drug companies rule we are conditioned to believe that we need drugs to be well, when in truth drugs only treat the symptoms of disease while creating even more energy imbalances. Drugs can’t heal the emotional and spiritual problems that are the underlying cause of illness; with energy healing you can awaken your inner healer and heal yourself!
Vibrational medicine supports and strengthens your immune system, eases your stress, heals your emotional wounds, eliminates pain, and improves your overall physical health, energy, and vitality. When your energies are strengthened and balanced you feel relaxed, have more clarity of mind, are more inspired, creative, and tuned into your inner guidance...these are the “side effects” of energy healing!
A good energy healer has a natural ability for the healing arts that allows her to feel or see energy, she (or he) is tuned into their inner guidance, has had years of training, and knows that she is merely the facilitator for healing, not the source.

Isn't she brilliant? Check her out at Awakening Wellness for more info on energy healing, to enroll in a class or book a session. 
Mommy and Me
Now that you have more of an understanding of what Reiki is, I will share a little bit more about my experience. During the class, we practice directing energy, doing full body sessions on people, learning to intone where the pain is, and even sending energy long distance to heal people anywhere in the world.  I discovered during our practice that I am highly intuitive.  Now, my Mother has been trying to tell me this for years, but as an avid lover of Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and other books/movies/tv on psychics, I have to admit I never envied their "gift."  Who wants to be able to read people, commune with ghosts, and predict the future.  Sheesh!  Ok, so maybe I haven't developed all those skills, but these things do expand as you expand.  I did learn that I am pretty good at reading people, and what I mean by that is that when I focus on a person, sometimes images, colors, thoughts pop into my head.  When I've share those with the person I've "read", most often I have been on target.  Ok, so that's kind of neat, tad bit freaky, but comes in handy, especially in the dating world, right? LOL 
Fairly tame, so far, but THEN, during my attunement (where you get the Reiki "download" so to speak) I had the coolest experience; I met my Spirit Guides.  Now, those of you who knew me when, so to speak, know that I used to proudly spout Atheist propaganda, and rolled my eyes in disgust at all those crazy Christian girls out there.  Obviously, things have changed a bit.  I've grown and expanded my Spiritual self, step by step, during these cancer years, and it's an ongoing process.  Spirit Guides, definitely a big step.  They came to me one by one, almost like a Picture Slideshow.  I saw my primary guides, a gorgeous blonde hanging out in a field of butterflies and a man in a top hat with a snake.  Several other minor guides appeared very quickly, and then I saw several totem animals pass by, so cool.  I've definitely never experienced anything quite like it before, and quite frankly I'm still adjusting.  Anyway, definitely a great experience, and I will go further into Spirit Guides and Animal Totems in a future blog.
Since then, I've slowly started to open myself to more possibilities, but when it comes to the Spiritual stuff, I'm a baby stepper.  I've had a few more experiences, even met a ghost; it's definitely been life altering. 
Well, there is always more to share, but for now, be grateful, create your own love list, eat lots of carrots, and think about exploring the world of energy healing. 
One last thing....
I'm putting together a list of people who may need a little healing.  If you would like to be included, or know someone you'd like to include, let me know.  I have a little Reiki box with names and circumstances, and I plan on sending a little Reiki to those people each day.  Don't be shy, you might not feel a thing, but maybe it will brighten your day just a bit. 
Let me know what you think, comments make me happy! :)
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