Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's: Happy Halloween!

I've been a bit quiet this week, in fact today is the first day I've been online since Sunday. I've had the flu on and off, been sleeping alot (I literally slept through Tuesday, not kidding) and possibly feeling a little funky from my Reiki III attunement. However, I am seeing a turn for the better, and wanted to acknowledge the fun-tastic holiday of Halloween.

"I was just thinking of the life of a pumpkin, grow up in the sun, happily entwined with others, then someone comes along, cuts your open and rips your guts out." Buffy from 'Fear Itself'

"Ok, on sleezing extra candy, tears are key. Tears will normally get you the double bagger. You can also try the 'you missed me' routine, but it's risky. Only go there for chocolate." Xander from 'Halloween'

My favorite part of Halloween? The Scare-Tastic Halloween movies on all week. Who doesn't love "Teen Witch", "Casper" or "The Craft?  Be sure to enjoy some tasty Vegan Halloween Treats to enhance your movie watching pleasure.

Carving pumpkins this year, be sure to check out Dog O'Lanterns. This lense is heating up the web and has some great doggie pumpkin carvings. There is also a pic of the Triton pumpkin my ex-Ryan carved a few years ago, definately worth checking out!

Need a last minute party idea? Why not throw a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Halloween party?

Ashley, Megan and I, Halloween, 4th grade maybe?

Ashley and I, Halloween, 2nd grade?


Love and Gratitude,

Shanna ♥

Friday, October 22, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's: YOU!!

I am grateful for all the wonderful people who have supported my blog project, my followers, commenter's, my Mom, the lovely and wonderful Laura L who is currently working on upgrading my design and everyone who has approached me with their positive thoughts

 Also a good read? Shanna's latest blog post. Our friend is an excellent inspirational writer! Who knew? ;)
 In that note, I would like to share that Shanna, I am so proud and happy that a little over 5 years ago, you chose LIFE over what most would consider a death certainty. You have really re-imagined yourself and are a true inspiration. Keep up the amazing work. You have chosen to use your cancer as a gift, to realise how precious life is and to share your knowledge with others. I love you!!!

I am also grateful to Shirley Twofeathers for creating such a wonderful Reiki experience, and hosting monthly workshops. She's truly an inspiration.  I am grateful for Linda Bradbury being such a gracious host for the classes, and all her wonderful insight.

I am grateful to Gala Darling, for her wonderfully inspiring posts each day, and the gorgeously written Love and Sequins, which I'm just delving into. Such a lovely blogger!

Things I Love

funky tights ♥ doggie snoring ♥ tooth soap ♥ new lipstick ♥ Cold War Kids ♥ dreaming Twitter ♥ flirting ♥ new book Glimmerglass gorgeous coverart ♥ lilies ♥ Her Future ♥ clean floors ♥ discovering new blogs ♥ How I Met Your Mother ♥ jumping on acorns and hearing that crunch ♥ namaste yoga ♥ creating love lists ♥ new experiences ♥ walking to work ♥ fall sweaters ♥ peep toe heels ♥ La Roux CD ♥ watching Buffy Halloween episodes ♥ pumpkin carving ♥ chai tea ♥ Indian leftovers ♥ creating my Vision Book ♥ secretly blessing strangers ♥ The Daily Love ♥ Mary Magdelene ♥mascara ♥Eden's Alley ♥ rose petals ♥ basking in the sunshine ♥

Love and Gratitude,

Shanna ♥

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 New Things Before I Turn 30 on March 29th!

I've been following this lovely blog called Yes and Yes, and blog owner Sarah Vonbargen has this wonderful concept; to experience a certain number of new things before your next birthday. She's turning 32 this year, so she has 32 items on her list, one of her followers is turning 20, so she's posted 20 new items, and so I'm doing 30 in honor of my 30th birthday. I realize at this point I don't actually have a year, more like 5 months, but I feel I can do this and it sounds fun! Here's my list:

1. Learn to Knit; complete at least one project
2. Write my first e-book
3. Watch "Gone With the Wind"
4. Achieve Giant Squid status on Squidoo
5. Attend a service at Rime Buddhist center
6. Learn to make tiramisu
7. Take 5th Dimensional healing class
8. Attend an Opera
9. Create my Vision Book
10. Complete a jigsaw puzzle on my own
11. Convert our family videos from VHS to DVD
12. Schedule myself a Spa Day
13. Go to a Shooting Range
14. Go to the roller derby
15. Attend a hockey game
16. Read "To Kill a Mockingbird"
17. Meditate daily
18. Go on a Missouri weekend and see all historical landmarks
19. Send snail mail love letters to at least 10 friends/family
20. Clear out basement
21. Try Kimichi
22. Get a psychic reading
23. Buy lunch for a homeless person
24. Reconnect with my cousins Alex and Sloane
25. Watch the "Godfather" trilogy
26. Read "Siddhartha"
27. Find a mustard greens recipe I love
28. Write at least 5 letters to people who inspire me, who I don't know personally
29. Read Gala Darlings e-book "Love and Sequins"
30. Throw a slumber party (as an adult)

What are you going to experience before your birthday? Any suggestions to help me reach my goals? I am going to post them on the side of my blog, and update my progress as we approach my birthday. Post your list here and let me know how it goes!

Love and Gratitude,

Shanna ♥

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Existing's Tricky Healing Workbook: Week 1

Today's Archangel Oracle Card: You Know What to Do. Archangel Uriel: "Trust your inner knowledge, and act upon it without delay. You are far wiser than you realize, and your inner wisdom has already given you the answers you seek. Embrace this knowledge, and trust it. If you're doubtful, ask me to give you clear signs to validate your thoughts and ideas. I can also help you put your ideas into action, and make decisions about the next steps to take. Just ask me. And then be willing to work with me by taking action."
Doreen Virtue Archangel Oracle Cards

Some days I feel alot like this polar bear, hanging on for dear life. However, as Archangel Uriel stated, we often know what we need, we just don't always know how to get there. There are a lot of amazing workbooks out there with exercises, affirmations and guidance on how we can manifest the life we desire. Each week I'm going to post some exercises, tools and tips from some of my mentors. I encourage you to invest in a journal, and take the time to do these exercises each week. I also would love to hear how you are doing, what discoveries you make about yourself. We are a community here, so post your experiences and let's grow and manifest together!

Workbook Exercises: Week 1

Affirmation: "In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I believe in a power far greater than I am that flows through me every moment of every day. I open myself to the wisdom within, knowing that there is only One intelligence in this Universe. Out of this One intelligence comes all the answers, all the solutions, all the healings, all the new creations. I trust this Power and Intelligence, knowing that whatever I need to know is revealed to me, and that whatever I need comes to me in the right time, space and sequence. All is well in my world."
--Louise Hay

Exploration Question: "What is an inherited belief you have about money that inhibits your experience of abundance? What is something you would like to believe about money that would have you aware of abundance? Share both of these beliefs with someone in your life"
--Abounding River Workbook, Cafe Gratitude

Art Project: Break out the crayons, stickers, etc. Visualize yourself, how do you see yourself? Draw you incredibleness and see what that "inner billboard" looks like. This tool will reveal a lot about your feelings of self-worth.
--Kris Carr

Exercise: Write "I Should" on the top of a piece of paper (or in your journal) and make a list of 5-6 things to finish that sentence. Read each one aloud to yourself, and ask yourself "why?" Should is an obligation and often times means being wrong. Reread the list, one item at a time, except this time begin each sentence with "If I really wanted to, I could _____________" Then ask yourself "Why haven't I".  You may have some fears come up after doing this. Focus on letting go of the "shoulds" this week and focus on things that empower you.
--Louise Hay

Exercise: Focus on your Feelings. What emotions are coming up for you? Experience those negative emotions, than re-think them. Ask yourself, "What are the beliefs about myself that are holding me back?" Then put on an upbeat CD and dance it out! Release those negative beliefs and refocus on gratitude. 
--Gabrielle Bernstein

Your Homework
1. Purchase a journal or notebook
2. Say your affirmation each day. If you can say it to yourself in the mirror, it will be more powerful.
3. Work through these four exercises this week. Journal your thoughts, what comes up for you? If you need any releasing tools, let me know.
4. Take time each day to list at least 5 things you are grateful for; morning and night is really empowering.

Let me know how you do with the exercises!

Love and Gratitude,

Shanna ♥

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quinoa, Food of the Gods

I first talked about Quinoa in my blog entry The Protein Myth. This amazing grain is a complete source of protein and extremely versatile. The Incans planted this grain each year at Solstice, in honor of the gods. I thought I'd share a few recipes with you.

Quinoa Salad

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 scallion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cucumber, sliced
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
dash cayenne pepper
dash cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Boil quinoa in a rice cooker or saucepan with water until all water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine all chopped veggies and drained beans with lemon juice, oil, vinegar and spices.
3. Toss with quinoa, add salt and pepper to taste and serve. Good with hot sauce!

Makes: serves two, with leftovers, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Nutty Quinoa Hash

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, chopped
1 can (16 oz) corn, or pre-cooked fresh or frozen corn
favorite all-purpose seasoning (I use a spicy Creole blend)
at least 3 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter, or 3 tablespoon creamy and 2 teaspoon chopped peanuts

In a medium saucepan, bring the two cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until all water has been absorbed. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive or canola oil on medium heat. Add the potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are thoroughly cooked and slightly crispy. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook until each is slightly soft. Add zucchini & corn; cook until zucchini is soft and corn is heated through. Add seasoning to taste. Remove from heat.

Add the peanut butter to the quinoa and stir until thoroughly blended. Add chopped nuts, if using, and stir. Add the quinoa to the vegetables and mix well.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 20 min.

What are your favorite Quinoa recipes? Share them here!

Love and Gratitude

Shanna ♥

Monday, October 18, 2010

12 Steps to a Healthier You

Getting healthy and staying healthy is a full time job and can be a daunting task. There are so many different aspects to being healthy; physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are many tools, that each take a few minutes of your day. So how does one balance this? Where do you begin and how do you stick with it once you've started the process? I've created a 12 Step Program, based on my own experience.  A few tips before I share the program; don't despair. How many times do you set a weight loss goal or decide to cut out coffee, and then on day five you break down, have a drink or binge on processed food? Most people say screw it, and go wild after that. Take a moment to access what happened, forgive yourself, and reset your intention. Everyone breaks, I don't care who you are, or how many years you've been on the strictest regiment known to man, we are all human. Don't beat yourself up because you just can't stand the idea of exercising today, just make sure to fit it in tomorrow. Learning to love yourself and accept yourself is an important tool to achieving a healthier you.

12 Steps to a Healthier You

1. Meditate.  Ok, so this may sounds strange to some of you, and others may wonder why I didn't start with cutting coffee or daily exercise, but trust me, this is the first step if you want to implement a successful health program into your life. Start with 5 minutes, every day to meditate on your desires, the things you want to improve, and what areas in your life you feel you may not be as healthy as you like. Meditation has several purposes a) you can figure out what your healthy goals are b) it helps center and focus you on achieving those goals c) it creates balance.  Try meditating for a week on creating a healthier you. Visualize yourself with an abundance of energy, an easy smile, a body type that allows you to wear anything you wish, freedom from disease and pain, etc. Feel it, know it will be yours, focus your energy, and you'll be ready to take the next step.

2. Establish Your Health Goals. Now that you've meditated and focused, what areas did you find need improvement. Are you tired a lot? Not getting enough sleep? Do you get colds frequently? Constipated? Do you feel depressed? Are you a mess Spiritually? Write down what you discovered about yourself in meditation, and create some achievable goals, start small. For instance, if weight loss is a goal, instead of saying you will loose 50 lbs in three months, start small, 2-5 lbs a week. Personally, I think you should throw out that scale, and focus instead on how loose your pants are getting and how much better you feel physically, but each person must make that decision for themselves. Starting with weekly, or even daily goals, will definitely make it more likely you will succeed. If for some reason you don't hit your goal that week, you can always start fresh with the next week!

3. Daily Affirmation. Ok, you've meditated, you've set your goals, now you need to affirm everyday to yourself that you are a superwoman/man and can easily achieve what it is that you desire. Post your goals on the mirror so you can see them each morning. When you get up, look yourself in the mirror and say "I love you. I believe in you. You're a rockstar!" Then, create an affirmation regarding your goals. For example, "I am on the path to a healthier me. I deserve to be fit, happy, and connected to the Universe/God. I love my body, I believe I am worth it, and today I am empowered to be the best me I can be." This is going to be extremely difficult for most of you at first. "I love myself...whaaat!!" It's an important step to successfully transforming your life, and I guarantee you it will get easier over time. You can also Empower Your Affirmations With EFT, a wonderful tool that will release some of the emotional blocks you may have.

4. Green Smoothies. Most of the time, the mindset initially is "what can I eliminate from my diet".  While eliminating things is important, and a lot of health advocates do say it can be more important than what you add to your diet, I feel that part of where people fail is they feel denied. So personally, I think adding something fun and delicious, that will immediately make you feel better, will make it easier to start eliminating when the time comes. You can read more about adding green smoothies to your diet in my blog entry Healthy Eating Monday's: Green Smoothies.

5. Shake That Thing! Exercise is extremely important. It moves the lymph, which clears toxins from your body, it boosts your endorphins, giving you a happy vibe, and gives you energy! It's so important to find something you like. If you hate your routine, you will not do it. Don't like the gym, don't get a gym membership! There are so many things you can do from the comfort of your own home. Take a walk, ride your bike (can you walk/bike to work?), bounce on a rebounder, do yoga, pop in an aerobics video, just MOVE!! You can mix it up, see what feels like fun each day, and it NEEDS to be fun. Dancing is also a great way to exercise, simply pop in a CD, and shake your thang!

6. Eliminate Coffee/Add Tea. Coffee is a stimulant, and gives you a false sense of energy, followed by a big crash.  Learn to say no to coffee, and yes to tea instead. Personally, I feel black tea is virtually worthless, so make the switch to green, red, yerba mate, white or an herbal blend. Allegro teas are inexpensive and have fun names such as "Engage Your Brain" and "Feel Flawless".  With the exception of red tea, most teas do have some caffeine as well, but also contain many herbs and anti-oxidants that will improve your health and clean your liver.

7. Forgiveness. Things are starting to get sticky, we've added some new things to our life, and now eliminated something precious to us as well.  It's time to break out the emotional tools and keep ourselves feeling good. Chances are, there has been a day (or two) that you've fallen off the wagon a bit by now. You are also probably remembering all those past experiences, where you tried to make the change and "failed". It's time to forgive yourself and release that toxic energy. Read more about Forgiveness tools in my previous blog on the subject.

8. Elimination Time! It's time to cut some more "no no's" from the diet.  In my blog post So You Want to Eat Healthier and Feel Better, I discussed cutting back on carbs, eliminating processed foods and soda pop, and participating in Meatless Monday's.  Check it out here:

9. Detox Your World. At this point you should feel a real shift in how you are feeling. Chances are you are having more bowel movements, your skin may be breaking out or clearing up, you have more energy and feel balanced. It's important to detox during this period. There are many important tools, such as Skin Brushing, colonics/enema's, Epsom salt baths, neti pot, infra-red sauna, deep breathing exercises, parasite cleanse, etc.  If you don't move the toxins out of your body, they will recirculate into your blood stream and can cause fatigue and illness.  Pick one or two tools, and incorporate into your daily practice.  Most take only a few minutes, but for some you may have to schedule yourself a bit.

10. Laughter.  Laughter increases oxygen to the brain, stimulates your cells, strengthens your stomach muscles, is great exercise and makes you happy! The more you laugh, the better you will feel. Start off by setting aside one full minute to laugh each day. Set a timer, and just start cackling. You will likely feel ridiculous at first, but over time it will get easier. Ideally, you want to spend 30 minutes a day laughing. Find a great comedy, giggle with your girlfriends, subscribe to humorous quotes or blogs, enroll in Laughter Yoga, and start belly rumbling! Hint: if you are having trouble laughing, start by smiling, smile at yourself in the mirror, it will crack you up!

11. Balance Your Energy. We are all energy, and regardless of how healthy our diets are, how much we exercise, and all the emotional releases we have, sometimes our energy meridians can get thrown out of wack.  If you are following all the steps, and still feeling some fatigue or imbalance, I would suggest that this has happened to you. I blogged a bit about this a few months ago in my Energy Medicine entry. I highly recommend implementing Donna Eden's 5 Minute Daily Energy Routine into your schedule. I do it first thing when I get up. It removes any energy blockages, and I've noticed an immediate energy increase since I've implemented this tool. Check it out here:

12. Prayer. It's important to have a sense of grace in your life. Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, at some point, you need to get out of your own way, and let go/let god. Prayer is simply a way to release your fears, your desires, anything to the Universe. Let it go, take a step back, and watch the Law of Attraction at work. This is a great tool to manifest the life you want, and develop a healthier you on all levels.

What tools have you used to transform your life? Let me know how these 12 Steps work for you, I'd love to hear about your progress!

Love and Gratitude,

Shanna ♥

Friday, October 15, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's: It's Officially Fall!

I am Grateful for the beautiful fall tree foliage, puppy kisses, new friendships, reconnecting with old friends, skinny jeans, going barefoot, reiki circles, inter-library loans, free photo session with a professional photographer for Triton, my lovely new fall pictures, texting, making 44 cents on Squidoo, the perfect weather for warm cup of tea, my Dad

Things I Love....

I love the blog Yes and Yes, fantastic fun! ♥
Check out these super fun dog-o-lanterns! ♥
A day in the life of Bruno, an adorable bull dog pup ♥
If you are a writer, follow @elizabethscraig on Twitter, she posts some great tips ♥
The anticipation of a new Nellie McKay CD, love her! ♥
Looking for a new Halloween Movie to add to your collection? Hallmark is premiering The Big One featuring Shannon Doherty October 23rd ♥
This gal teaches you how and why to go Barefoot everywhere! ♥

What are your Grateful for? What's on Your Love List? Post your thoughts here!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rawman & Green Girl: Cartoon Superheroes

How do you introduce rawfoods, green smoothies, organic living and composting to a little kid? Cartoons of course! These videos are cheesy, fun and educational.  Check them out, share them with your kids, and support this wonderful cause!

Rawman & Green Girl on Cafe Press:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Inspirational Bookshelf

This week I wanted to share a list of wonderful books that have inspired me and influenced my healing process.  Most of these wonderful books would apply to anyone in the process of healing themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.  If you've read any of these books, please share your thoughts!

1. The Crazy Sexy Cancer Series. Valentine's Day 2003 Kris Carr received the news she had Stage IV Epitheliodid Hemangioendothelioma, a rare cancer that encompassed most of her body. Only a handful of oncologists in the country have any knowledge of this disease and there is no medical cure at this time. Kris decided to take matters into her own hands and became a health expert. She read books on the raw food diet, macrobiotics, yoga, meditation, herbal treatments, etc. She formed her own Cancer Posse and started CrazySexyLife. The first book has a list of great tips for those going through cancer, and those assisting friends/family with cancer. Her second book is a journal, with exercises to explore the emotional side of the disease. In January she will release Crazy Sexy Diet, filled with health tips every cancer patient should know about. Kris is a strong woman, living with cancer, and getting healthy every day. I strongly recommend reading her powerful books.

2. The Sara Triology by Esther Hicks. The Law of Attraction is a powerful Universal tool, but some of the information out there can get confusing at time. Esther Hicks created this wonderful series, written for young adults, that explains the Law in a simple manner. We follow the life of Sara, an unhappy young girl living in a small town, who meets a talking Owl that changes everything. It's a wonderful, easy read, and a great way to learn the laws of the Universe.

3. Detox Your World by Shazzie. This incredible book takes you through the process of detoxing physically and emotionally the toxins and blockages that prevent you from achieving optimal health. She provides many tools for detoxing, including details on skin brushing, deep breathing techniques, colonics, etc. She has a detox diet program that gently allows people at all levels to release toxins from the body and shift their perspective. This is a unique read, a gem that I reference reguarly.

4. Superfoods by David Wolfe. I wrote a three part post earlier this summer on Superfoods, and later turned it into a lens on Squidoo.  This amazing book has changed my life. I had issues with anemia, hypoglycemia, hormone imbalance, fatigue and of course cancer. Since I started using Superfoods in my smoothies, my energy level has improved (with indicates a balance in blood sugar and iron), my periods have normalized and I just feel better. I can't say enough about this book.

5. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It took me a long time to read this book, I resisted for quite awhile. I simply did not want to deal with my feelings. However, I finally did read it and I'm glad I did. This incredible woman healed her breast cancer doing mirror work and affirmations. Her incredible story inspires and her exercises leave no room for denial. Everyone should own a copy of this book.

6. Knockout by Suzanne Somers. In this book Suzanne shares a story of a near-death experience, which nearly became fatal, because of the practices of the medical industry. Misdiagnosed, pumped full of drugs that never should of mixed, ignored and poorly treated, Ms. Somers is lucky to be alive. After this experience Somers interviewed a slew of medical doctors who were curing patients of cancer, without chemotherapy. Doctors who were listening to their patients, looking outside the drug industry, and some who were legally persucuted for it. If you have any doubts regarding how powerful big Pharm is, read this book.

7. Greens for Life by Victoria Boutenko. This book breaks down the science behind green smoothies and shows you just how important greens are for our diet. Written in an easy to understand manner, and with an index of recipes. the Boutenko family have long been leaders in the raw and health industries.

8. Anastasia by Vladimir Megre. I don't even know how to describe this series. These books are powerful, moving, magical, astonishing, breaktaking, I could go on. You will be moved.

9. Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein. I've mentioned this book on several books, but it's worth mentioning again. Bernstein takes concepts from "A Course in Miracles" and breaks them down for the 20-30 somethings in a way that we will connect with.  Each chapter covers a specific topic, from Forgiveness, Mirroring, Releasing Romantic Illusions, etc. She provides exercises to do over a 30-day period to change your life. You can read more about my impressions and how this book has influenced me on my Squidoo Lens:

10. Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. This gorgeous book by poet Rilke will move your soul. Split into three parts, these poems are questions, observations, and spiritual hugs to the Universe. "I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it. I circle around God, around the primordial tower. I've been circling for thousands of years and I still don't know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?" Beautiful.

What's on your Inspirational Bookshelf?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Power of Positive Posting

Cyber bullying is a hot topic this week with the suicide of Tyler Clementi.  Gabrielle Bernstein encouraged everyone in her VLOG this week to join her in 30 Days of Positive Posting. I've decided to take up the challenge and invite you to do the same.

Remember the old playground adage, "sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me."? Well that's a load of crap. Words have power and what you say and how you say something to a person can impact them for the rest of their life. It's easy to get lost in judgement, judging others Spiritual practices, what someone eats, wears, etc. I'm almost 30 years old and I still catch myself sometimes judging a stranger's outfit or gossiping. It's extremely dis empowering to everyone involved.

I encourage you, next time you catch yourself judging someone, to silently bless them instead. Feel how powerful that positive energy is. Take time to smile at strangers, post inspirational messages on Facebook and Twitter.  Acknowledge friends and family for how amazing they are. Did someone say or suggest something that impacted you positively lately? Let them know! Be grateful and others will follow your lead. Resist the temptation to be dragged down into a negative spiral. I guarantee the more you practice love and gratitude, bless people, eliminate gossip and focus on the positive, the easier it will get and the lighter you will feel. Go out and inspire the world I love and bless you and am grateful for each and everyone of you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Protect Yourself This Flu Season

As the weather gets cooler, the sniffles get bitter.  I have a lot of experience with the flu, however, these past few years, with the aid of my kick ass immune system, the flu is barely a blip on my radar.  Here are some tips that will help you prevent the flu, or stop it cold in it's tracks.

1. Stock up on Oscillococcinum.  This homeopathic flu remedy is my best friend. At the first sign of the flu, take this and within 24 hours you'll be saying "flu who?"  Be sure to keep it in stock, if you wait until the flu has already grabbed hold, this remedy will still help, but won't kick it completely.

2. Neti Pot.  I talked about this wonderful tool in my Detox Your World post. A few weeks ago I started getting the sniffles and got out my Neti Pot.  Within three days my nose cleared up completely. The worst part of the flu in my opinion is all the nose blowing, the stack of nasty Kleenex and how sore and red my poor nose is afterwards. With the Neti Pot, not only will you rinse out all the mucus, but if you purchase the herb dropper that goes with it you will also kill the bacteria, killing any budding infection.

3. Herbal Supplements. Boosting your immune system is a great idea during any signs of sickness.  Echinecea, Goldenseal, Astragulus, Garlic, Oregano, Cat's Claw, Vitamins A&E are all great supplements to have on board when you aren't feeling well.  I would take 3x daily during the illness, and like an antibiotic, you want to continue taking them for about a week after you start to feel better, to keep the illness away and rebuild your immune system.

4. Green/Red/Herbal Tea.  Most people have heard of the benefits of drinking Green Tea, but when ill I enjoy the Be Well Red Teas from Republic of Tea.  These teas cover many issues including sore throat, constipation, nausea, etc. I highly recommend them.

5. Reiki. I you are a practitioner or have access to one, this is a great tool for healing. Generally I Reiki myself for an hour or so at a time, while relaxing to the television. The healing energy helps the body fight off illness, increases your energy, and reduces stress that may be causing you to feel poorly.

6. EFT/Affirmations.  In Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" she has an index that lists a multitude of diseases, along with a positive affirmation to counter it. for the flu, she states the emotional imbalance as "Response to mass negativity and beliefs. Fear. Belief in statistics." The positive affirmation she uses to counter this belief is "I am beyond group beliefs or the calendar. I am free from all congestion and influence." I like to incorporate EFT when doing my affirmations to empower them and release any emotional blockages in my cells.  Check out this link to aid you in combining EFT and Affirmations:

Additional tips include getting plenty of rest.  My Dad always told me that sleep is the best medicine and I believe he is correct. If you are tired, sleep, nuff said. Remember the adage, "starve a fever, feed a cold?" When you do feel like you are ready to eat, keep it light, in fact, stick with liquids in the beginning. Your body exerts a lot of energy digesting food, you don't want to draw energy away from healing to focus on digestion. Focus on orange juice, green smoothies, veggie juice, brothy soups to provide your body with nutrients that are already broken down and easy to digest.

Follow these tips and you will have a healthy winter!

P.S. Check out this link before getting a flu shot: The Risks and Dangers of Flu Vaccines and Flu Vaccinations

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's: Attracting Abundance

This week I am Grateful for all of the Abundance I've drawn into my life recently.  Using some amazing tools, I've received so many blessings recently.  I am Grateful to my Mom for introducing me to the Law of Attraction, the kind gentleman at the local photography studio who offered to do Triton's session for free, my recent sales, Sourcebook for hosting a contest and sending me a brand spanking new Book (Darcy's Voyage), a wonderfully profitable month at the office, the abundance of gorgeous fall days, new friendships, and all of the wonderful tools for allowing abundance into my life.  I choose to continue to allow the Universe to deliver Abundance to me and am Grateful for everything I receive.  This weeks Love List will highlight the wonderful tools I use to attract Abundance.

1. I LOVE the concept of New Moon Abundance Checks.  Essentially, you write a check to yourself from the Universe during the New Moon each month, put it aside, and allowing Abundance to come to you.  It may sound like a gimmick, but it worked for Jim Carey, and in September it worked for me! Hey, what do you have to loose, check this out!

2. The 30-Day Prosperity Affirmation.  Ok, so I found out about this around the same time as the New Moon Abundance Checks.  This affirmation strengthens the check, and helps bring prosperity in all forms into your life.  I didn't do it for the full 30 days the past lunar cycle, but I intend to do so this time.  Again, why not?

3. The Secret DVD.  This fab film really introduced me to the Law of Attraction.  People of all walks of life share stories, tools and experiences in this inspirational film.  I loved the gratitude tips and concept of creating a Vision Board.  This is not to be missed, and a great way to get started on attracting abundance into your life.  Oprah featured this movie several times on her show.

4. Create a Vision Board.  This is an excellent way to set goals and attract what you desire into your life.  Here's a great post with some tips: How to Manifest With a Vision Board
5. Declutter your space.  There is a theory that if your life is filled with physical clutter, you cannot attract anything new into your life.  Sarah Wilson posted a great article on her blog with some fantastic tips to combat clutter.  I highly recommend you check it out. Sunday Life: in which oprah's declutter dude peter walsh visits my apartment
6. Follow the works of Esther Hicks aka Abraham.  They have several books and videos that show you how to use the Laws of the Universe in all areas, financial, relationships, etc. My personal favorite is the Sara Series, which is geared towards younger folks, but really lays things out simplistically.  When you have the time, I recommend checking out this series of videos that details the Law of Attraction.





What are you Grateful for?  What's on your Love List?  Where have you seen Abundance in your life recently?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mirroring: Reflect on the Inner You

Remember that scene in The Neverending Story, when Atreyu seeks out the Southern Oracle to find out why Fantasia is being destroyed by The Nothing and the Childlike Empress is dying?  He has to go through three gates, the Spinx, The Magic Mirror Gate and then the final gate. The Mirror Gate is perceived to be the most challenging because it "mirrors" a person's true self. 

"I've known travelers away at the sight of the monster grinning out of the mirror at them.  Other's appear to have seen something even more horrible, but had the courage to go through.  What some saw was not so frightening, but it still cost everyone of them an inner struggle.  Nothing I can say would apply to all.  It's a different experience each time." -The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Is there someone in your life that bugs the crap out of you, whose behavior gets under your skin?  Often times people who bother us the most, are a mirror for something we don't love about ourselves.  For example, I have this friend who I see a few times a year for a lunch date.  For the most part, I enjoy spending time with him.  He's intelligent, unique, curious, vegetarian, music lover, into philosophy, etc.  However, I always end our bi-annual luncheons with the desire to strangle him.  Why?  There are a few aspects of his personality that really bug me.  The main one being, this attitude he seems to have that he is so different, that no one could possibly understand him.  He tries so hard to be different from everyone else that he struggles to really connect with anyone and often prefers to be alone. 

How does this relate to me?  As a child I prided myself on my differences; feminist, atheist, vegetarian, I read tarot cards on the playground, I've never chewed a stick of gum, been drunk, experimented with drugs, and as far as I know I am the only Shanna Sandmoen the world has ever seen.  I thrived on my differences, and in reality maybe a part of myself still does.  In looking at myself through him, I see that I might have used those differences as an excuse for why I didn't always connect with people and why I tended to have a new BFF every year of my life.  I also realized that this is a cover for my own insecurities, and seeing this trait in someone else bugged me so much because it's an aspect of myself I do not love. 

We all have experiences such as this, next time you encounter of think of that person that irritates you, look in the mirror.  Meditate and let your inner guidance system lead you to the truth.  By unveiling this trait in yourself, you can take the steps to heal this part of yourself, and accept and love yourself completely.  Mirror exercises are very powerful, but like Atreyu on his quest, we don't always see what we think we are going to see. 

Gabrielle Bernstein, in her book Add More ~Ing To Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, states, "Mirrors don't just reflect the things we need to change.  They also reflect the beauty within us.  The beauty you see in the world is the beauty you see in yourself."

Take time this month to reflect on your relationships in the "mirror" and rethink some aspects of your self.  You may release a blockage, that will allow to attract more abundance into your life, a new relationship, or a better relationship with yourself.

(Watch minutes 4-7 to see Atreyu face himself in the Mirror Gate)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oracle Cards

Oracle Cards are an ancient method of receiving guidance, clarity, and messages from your Spirit Guides.  I've been utilizing Oracle Card for many years now, on and off, but recently have gotten back into it.  I have five decks created by Doreen Virtue: Magical Mermaids and Dolphins, Magical Unicorns, Healing With the Fairies, Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards and Archangel Oracle Cards.  Recently I also purchased Toni Carmine Salerno's Magdalene Oracle.  Oracle cards are fun to use, and surprisingly accurate.  Sometimes I just pick one card to see what my "message of the day" is, other times I might be drawn to pick 3-4 cards and if I have a major issue, I might do a full reading with several cards.  This week I decided to tackle the same question with all six decks to see what would happen.  I asked what guidance might help me improve my health, career, and relationships.  Many of the decks shared the same messages with me, proving that maybe there is something to this intuition stuff.  Here's what I learned:

1. Detoxification.  Every single deck encouraged me to participate in a detox.  I realized that I've been thinking about scheduling a colonics and getting back into enema's lately, so this just confirmed to me that this is an important issue that needs to be taken care of directly. 

2. Exercise.  Almost all the decks drew a card that suggested I do more exercise.  Triton and I go on walks daily, but I've also wanted to incorporate rebounding and yoga into my daily exercise routine.  Once again, the cards affirmed that this is important to my journey.

3. Let Go, Let God. I had several cards in all the decks that basically indicated that yes, I'm on the correct path, my prayers/affirmations are kicking in, and I need to let go and allow the Universe to provide for me.  I was also reminded to continue to meditate, and believe that I know the answers to my questions. 

4. Transformation.  Many of the cards had this theme running through them.  All the work I've done, physically/emotionally/spiritually has caused me to turn a corner and land on a brighter path.  I'm changing and evolving and getting back in touch with some aspects of myself that I may have waylaid.  The cards encouraged me to enjoy the process, be grateful, and meditate.

5. New Relationships.  The cards told me I was surrounding by love, new relationships were coming, and family relationships were in a healing process.  I was also warned to beware of a new relationship with a person who is a user. 

Other messages received included: Serve Others, Laughter, Let Go of Stress, and Speak Your Truth.

The Dolphins and Mermaids gave me an interesting exercise.  Write down a list of your fears about moving forward, then "drown" those fears by putting the paper into a bucket or large bowl of water.  Then, take a cleansing shower, bath or swim.  The water seals your new way of seeing yourself and reminds you that you are equal to all other children of God.

Do you use Oracle Cards?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World

Changing any aspect of our current lifestyle is exciting, scary, stressful and challenging.  Having a strong support system is very important when going through any new process.  Often times though, society does not respond positively to our new change.  Co-workers, friends, family usually have their own opinion of your decision, and sometimes it can be disheartening.  However, it's important to remember that in most case, this resistance comes from a place of love.  Generally, the people in our lives want us to be happy and healthy.  New vegetarians often receive a lot of resistance, and negative feedback when first making the dietary change.  Remember, it's not you with the issue, it's them.  Getting defensive or putting others on the defense will only make the situation worse.  Here are some tips for dealing and creating a positive relationship with your non-vegetarian peers. 

1. It's Not You, It's Them.  Meaning, you are are not responsible for how others respond to your lifestyle choice.  Be confident in your decision, but don't get defensive or snide when criticized.  In most cases people either simply do not understand your choice, are concerned about you getting all the proper nutrients, are concerned about how difficult it will make life for you, and more important how difficult your decision will make life for THEM.  Also, sometimes people feel like they are being judged, like they are the bad guy for continuing to consume meat products.  Be understanding, don't take it personally, and communicate with them.  Share that you made this choice for weight loss, health reasons, ethics, etc. 

2. Let Them Come To You.  It's easy in the beginning to be so excited about your new venture, and how it makes you feel, to become a pusher.  A lot of new vegetarians want to share all the new amazing benefits, talk about the ill treatment of animals ad naseum, lecture people on what's "really" in the food, etc.  While it's tempting to do this, and while all this information may be true, people do not like to be pushed.  The more you push, the more they will resist and the more difficult things will be in your relationship.  Let them come to you.  Once they see that your skin is clearing up, you are loosing weight, your veggie risotto looks fab compared to what they ordered, people will come to you and ask "What is it that you've been doing, you look fantastic!"  This gives you the opening to share your new vegan ideals in an open and friendly manner, where the person will be more receptive to what you have to say.

3. Volunteer to Bring a Dish to Family Gatherings.  One of the reasons people resist your change to vegetarianism is that they have no clue what to feed you when you come over.  Help them out, bring a dish, and for goodness sake, not a simple salad.  Bring a nut loaf, risotto, vegetarian casserole, etc.  Show them there is more to being a vegetarian as lettuce, and at the same time you will relieve their stress over what to feed you.

4. Throw a Smoothie Party.  Instead of a wine and cheese affair, have a smoothie party!! I had a friend who did this a few years ago and it was a great deal of fun.  We had martini glasses, and she made 5-6 different green and superfood smoothies throughout the night.  It was a great way to sample different smoothie flavors and gossip and have some girly time.  She also invited someone who sold Superfood products who talked for a little bit and promoted their products.  It was kind of like going to a product party in that respect as well.  Have fun with it, be creative! Check out this site for some incredible recipe ideas: Green Smoothies

5. Join a Local Meetup Group.  The best way to feel comfortable in your new lifestyle is to find other vegetarians to share with.  Meetup is a great place to find local vegetarian, vegan, healthy living and raw food groups.  Just put in your zip code and it will show you a list of active groups in your area.  Making vegetarian friends is very helpful in feeling good about your path and sticking to it. 

6. Have a Vegan Potluck.  Invite your friends over for a potluck and game night.  Ask everyone to bring a vegan dish and encourage them to get creative and have fun with it!  Veg Web is a great site where users post their own recipes, people can comment and rate them, and usually there are pictures.  Send out an evite, include this link, and make it a fun experience.  Potlucks are a great way to try new things and people usually feel pretty good about the success of their dish. 

7. Bring Vegan Treats to the Workplace.  Make some fun cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, etc.  Pass them out at work (don't tell people they are vegan), let them oooh and awww over your creation, then let them in on the secret.  Desserts are a great way to win people over and get them to appreciate your lifestyle.

8. Communicate With Your Waiter.  Chances are, you will still be expected to go to restaurants that may not be too veg friendly in social situations.  Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.  In this day and age, restaurants have to be accommodating.  Think about all the people with food allergies, celiac's disease, lactose intolerant, etc.  Restaurants are used to receiving special requests.  I've read a few vegetarian and raw food books where the author suggested creating food cards, listing every ingredient you will eat.  It sounds silly, but sometimes it is easier than attempting to explain your diet to someone not trained to understand veganism.  Simply hand the card to the waiter, and ask the chef to create something for you based on your list.  You could also ask for a salad, and have them put every single vegetable at their disposal in it.  Most of the time restaurants have very basic salads, and often times chicken is the main ingredient.  However, if you peruse the menu, you will find that many of the meals will contain vegetables not found in the salad.  You can get a pretty amazing salad this way.  One time, on vacation, my Dad and I went to a chain restaurant, and we explained to the waiter that I had cancer and was on a very special diet with vegetables (raw or steamed) and some grains.  The chef made me an amazing veggie risotto dish, and ladies and gentlemen, that restaurant did not have anything like that on the menu. 

9. Take a Cooking Class with a Family Member.  Who's the cook in your family?  Ask them if they would be willing to attend a vegetarian cooking class with you.  Again, a lot of the resistance you may find from family is their fear that they won't be able to accommodate you.  This is a fun way to help ease their fear and will give you two something to do together.

10. Make Dinner for Your Family.  Holiday's are tricky times for vegetarians.  How about inviting your family over for a pre-holiday meal?  Make them a fabulous dinner that will show them that you are being responsible and properly balancing your meal, that what you are eating is tasty and healthy.  This will bring them into your new world and ease some of the fears they may have about your new lifestyle. 

11. Take Your Family/Friends to a Vegetarian Restaurant.  There are a lot of fantastic vegetarian restaurants out there, and usually they create creative meals that also appeal to meat eaters.  My favorite restaurant in Kansas City is Eden Alley, a wonderful cozy little place that offers a variety of vegetarian meals.  I've been taking my friends and family there for years and everyone always loves it. 

12.  Start a Blog.  Blog about your journey.  Share with people why you made the decision, the challenges you have faced, the benefits you've seen, the facts and figures, recipes, etc.  Bring people into your world. 

As you start to blossom, look and feel better and gain confidence in your decision, people will be more open and supportive.  Follow some or all of these tips and I guarantee you will win your friends and family over in no time.  Don't expect them to follow in your footsteps, that is not the goal.  The goal is to be supported and surrounded by positive influences.  Good luck on your vegetarian journey!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Love and Gratitude Friday's

Friday night I had an incredible dinner with the loveliest group of ladies I've had the pleasure of spending time with in a long time.  Delicious vegetarian food, gorgeous weather. creative artwork, a truly delightful evening.  The next morning I awoke with a sniffle, got out the Neti Pot, and then went to the Waldo Fall Festival to represent Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.  A fun afternoon, even with the pouring rain and crazy dance moms.  However, by the evening, I felt quite off, and ended up going to bed at 9pm.  Later I realized, I had the flu.  I rarely get sick, but when I do, it's almost always the flu.  Fortunately, I'm a health guru, I took some homeopathic flu remedy, slept all through Sunday, and by Monday I was 85%, just slightly week, and Tuesday I went to work, ran errands, and checked out some killer shoes.  Past years the flu would have been an ordeal, week of misery, runny nose, hacking, grossness all around.  Thanks to my Neti Pot and Oscillococcinum and of course my kickin' immune system, it's now a little 48 hour bug.  So this week, I'm grateful for all the tools that aided me in healing the flu.  What are you grateful for?

"When you gonna make up your mind?  When you gonna love you as much as I do?" -Tori Amos

"Love and appreciation are identical vibrations. Appreciation is the vibration of alignment with who-you-are. Appreciation is the absence of everything that feels bad and the presence of everything that feels good. When you focus upon what you want - ;when you tell the story of how you want your life to be - you will come closer and closer to the vicinity of appreciation, and when you reach it, it will pull you toward all things that you consider to be good in a very powerful way."- Esther Hicks

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." - Steve Jobs,

"If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive." - Betty Eadie

"Perception is a mirror, not a fact.  And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.  The world is only in the mind of it's maker.  Do not believe it is outside of yourself." -A Course in Miracles

Things I Love....
The breeze blowing scents of fall my way on our doggie walks ♥ Allegro Fine Teas, with delightful flavors such as "Feel Flawless", "Engage Your Brain" and "Queen Bee Balance" the "Chamomile" is quite delightful as well ♥ Ladies Date Night ♥ Blogs on Books ♥ Mom's vegetarian chili, so delicious ♥ trying on clothes and knowing that EVERYTHING is going to look spectacular ♥ finding that pair of skinny stretch jeans you just know will make you look foxy ♥ new music from Nellie McKay ♥ having the windows open and breathing in fresh air ♥ Young Living Essential Oils Peppermint, place it behind your ears if you have trouble sleeping ♥ all the lovely blog comments I receive ♥ reading Jane Austen ♥ knowing sweater season is on the way ♥ yoga pants, so comfy! ♥ meeting newbie vegetarians and remembering the initial excitement and passion the decision brings ♥ my sweet puppy dog Triton

Eclipse: A Spiritual Interpretation
Tonglen: A Loving Kindness Meditation

What's on Your Love List?
Related Posts with Thumbnails