The Journey Continues…

Where have I been? Oh…everywhere and nowhere.

I moved across the country and restarted my life. Of all of the crazy adventures that I have been on, this has certainly been the craziest. I chose a new career path and lived in a pop-up camper for five months. You know that quote, “If you don’t like where you are then move, you aren’t a tree.”? While I certainly felt like a tree, I was determined to pull my roots and move. It has been terrifying, as most rewarding things are.

I planned on working freelance and privatized my page just in case I double entered a piece. Screw that. I would rather type endlessly to you all about my journey than pursue a career in writing. Why? I could reach a lot more people if my writing was more recognized. The reason is that “one”. The one person who reads an article and finds the words that they needed on that day. The one person who feels a little less lonely in the world by finding common ground with a stranger’s ramblings. The one person who was afraid to take a leap, but decided if I could then they could. There are days when my page isn’t viewed at all and there are days when I have a few bites. I could care less about the numbers. It is all about one. I value every person as their own entity and reaching one person is just as valuable as being recognized by the collective.

So, here we go. New topics. New questions. A new journey.

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The Importance of Human Connection on the Spirit and How to Find This Connection Through Technology

There is a weakening of our spiritual selves when we are disconnected from others who share a similar journey or the paths that we are on. I learned this the difficult way. Seven years ago, I moved from a very diverse area to an area that is the exact opposite. It was like taking a free bird from the sky and caging her. Instead of growing and exploring, I retreated. My differences made me feel isolated, so I ignored them-pushing them far back into myself until they were barely detectable. Recently, I have become more open and honest about myself in hopes of growing in authenticity and spirit. It didn’t take long before I began to blossom. That is not to say that I have blossomed fully; I am somewhere in the middle. My current state is equal to a rose that has just began to bloom. You can see the color through the closed leaves, but the bud has not yet fully opened.

Instead of feeling isolated in my journey, I have found women online who share my interests and are on similar paths. Technology can bring so much negativity into our lives, especially social media. I made it my mission to fill my news feeds with positivity. For every negative article I encounter, I seek out a positive one. For every media page that I follow, I follow two pages that promote positivity and peace. Since doing this, I have restored balance and am able to stay current on events without losing myself to them. This is a practice that took months to adapt to.

A wise woman responded to me this morning with one of the most helpful things that I have heard lately. I introduced myself into a new group of Wild Women and stated that I currently don’t have a tribe, due to my area being very conservative and it being difficult to find like-minded people here to share my journey and experiences with. She said, “Welcome. The world is your tribe!” How beautiful and true. Instead of feeling isolated, she allowed me to feel open to the possibilities of connection beyond my physical existence. I realized how thankful I am for technology and the connection that it can provide, if we use it wisely.

I encourgae you to restore balance and peace within your life by incorporating more “good news” and positive influence into your screen time. Watch inspiring videos, listen to music that moves you, follow pages such as “Good News Network”, learn from people, and connect. Your body and mind will thank you.

Namaste.

Earthing

I recommended someone earth today and said that I was going to as well. It is very cold and cloudy out today (even though it was around 80 yesterday?) but I decided to do it anyway. For those who aren’t familiar, “earthing” or “grounding” is when you receive the Earth’s minerals and energy through connecting with the dirt.

I have felt so drained lately. I am an empath and am greatly affected by others’ suffering. Current events had me feeling disheartened, my health has been poor for the past few days, and I have generally felt like the life has been sucked out of me. I forced myself to go outside and connect with nature. I sat on my son’s swing set and dug my feet into the Earth. At first, the soil was wet and cold. As I dug a little deeper, it started to feel warmer. I felt the energy, and right when I thought it couldn’t feel any better, the sun broke through the clouds and beamed some rays right on my shoulders. Aside from the minerals and natural energy of the Earth, there is something so magical about being in the dirt.

As I sip on my green tea and reflect on that moment, I am reminded of my childhood. I pretty much never wore shoes when I played outside as a child. My feet were constantly in contact with the Earth. We lose so much when we grow older and stop doing this. Our bodies crave the Earth’s energy. We need it to sustain us. Without it, we feel disconnected and drained. Earthing is one great way to reconnect, re-energize, and revitalize ourselves. Go outside, take off your shoes, and dig your toes into the soil. Reconnect. Breathe in the wind and soak in the sunlight. You can always wash your feet later.

Namaste.

My Collection of Collections

I’m ridiculous. I bought another Journal. I really love journaling now that I have created my little system. Well, now that has been enhanced by (drumroll) bullet journaling. I jumped on that train last night and I can’t wait to post some progress photos once it has been used longer. So far, it is right up my alley. Cheers to the guy who created that system. More on that later. 

Namaste.

Crushing the Daylight Savings Time Blues

     It’s that time of year again! The clock changed and it didn’t take long before the memes started rolling in. People are always pretty upset around this time of year when they lose an hour of sleep. 

     I was definitely one of those people until this year. My husband and I got out of bed Sunday morning excited. See, we had an activity that we really wanted to do outside but there wasn’t enough daylight when he got home from work. DST arrived and we got one more hour of sunlight back! The days are longer and it gets dark later, so we are able to do more together as a family and enjoy the outdoors.

     It’s all about perspective! When you feel groggy and irritated with the whole DST process, try to look at the silver lining. Go outside! Enjoy an extra hour of sunshine! We always say that there aren’t enough hours in the day but we have just been given an extra hour. Go spend it doing something beautiful. Enjoy it!

Namaste. 

The Three Journals of Positivity

       I’ve always been interested in journaling, but not about the day’s events. That felt too mundane for me and I would almost immediately quit. As I grew older, I became very interested in positive reading and music. I wanted to compile my favorite inspirations somewhere other than my Facebook wall. I felt every bogged down by the world’s negative energy. I needed to recharge-to boost my happiness level and stay positive. The idea struck me to start a happiness journal and it actually stuck!

    First, I purchased the handmade sari journal from a B&N in D.C. in 2014. I started collecting quotes and anything that inspired me. It is a very special journal that calms and grounds me. I can’t even explain my love for this one. I even keep a bucket list in the back (it is a work-in-progress).

     The green notebook came next. I started coming up with five things that I’m grateful for every morning. This stemmed from my efforts to make my days more positive and productive. I needed something to write them in and grabbed a cheap journal (notebook) while I was in the store. Hey, at least it’s cute and fits me perfectly!

     The yellow journal is one that I am very excited about. I am planning on visiting an ashram in about a month, and wanted something to take notes in. I started getting back into chanting and decided to also keep chants/verses and notes on yogic living in this journal also. This way, I always have them together and accessible. 

     I find this type of journaling relaxing and uplifting. Most people like to read inspirational or positive quotes. Why not compile your favorites? It has been a very positive change, and I can’t wait to see how it grows and helps me to spiritually evolve. 

Namaste. 



Against the Grain

      I am frustrated at being judged for not conforming to societal norms. We live in a world where children are told that they are one in a million, but then grow up and try so desperately to be like everyone else and accepted. Why is it considered taboo to be different? During the rare occasions in which it is celebrated, why is it considered trendy like we all fit into some hipster-hippie, rebellious, counter-culture stereotype? How come we can’t just celebrate the fact that we are all different, tolerate those differences, and love ourselves? I’m frustrated that I’m considered bitchy for not caring–for not being comfortable with conformity and for not caring about acceptance. 

     Here is where that third eye comes in: by writing this, I clearly care; otherwise, I would not feel frustrated. Every single person needs acceptance. It is human nature. I have found acceptance where it matters: in the few friends and family who accept me for who I am and who respect my journey. I guess I am more frustrated that this is something that affects so many people. We are in the midst of a social and spiritual revolution. People are changing. Those of us who are awakening are being criticized and judged. All we want is what everyone else wants: to be happy. Why is it wrong that we want to achieve that happiness through living as our truest form? 

     Food for thought. Questions without answers. The best that we can do is stay true, love, and keep evolving. 

Namaste. 

Sanskrit in the Mountains

   Last year, I was invited to a place called Yogaville. Hidden in the mountains of Virginia, this retreat proved to be just what I needed. Not only did it provide me with a relaxing weekend, it completely changed my life. I have craved that place since I left it. The spirit, positive energy, and genuine beauty of the people and the ashram were nothing short of inspirational.

    Before that visit, I had never experienced chanting. I remember walking into the room terrified, because I knew that my first guided meditation session would include chanting. I survived it with little embarrassment, and found it to be very relaxing. Fast-forward to the Saturday night ceremony and I was absolutely, 100% terrified. I went from being a stay at home mom and isolated student, to sitting in a room full of strangers chanting Sanskrit. I had a choice to make: I could allow my embarrassment to ruin the experience for me, or I could dive in and and learn as much as possible. I chose the latter. I thought about our human nature and how we are so easily embarrassed-an emotion that forces us to miss out on many of life’s greatest moments. So, I chose adventure. 

      I fumbled my way through the words and appreciated the music being played. I watched the other attendees swaying back and forth, eyes closed, lost in verse. I envied them. I wanted to feel free. 

      Something amazing happened and halfway through the ceremony, I felt it. I felt the energy rush over me like a wave of peace. I felt connected to the words that I previously feared, and I was completely devoted to the ceremony. When it was over, I felt relaxed, collected, energized, and awake to the world around me. I wanted to stay in that world forever. 

     Sanskrit is a beautiful language that is intimidating at first glance. Fortunately, there are many websites and videos that offer assistance with understanding and pronouncing the verses. There is something magical hidden within those words. Once you learn how and the words slide off of your tongue, you are hooked. It is also open to any religion, and is not limited to practicing Hindus. There are unrelated chants that can be used by anyone. Buddhists use chanting, and that is a philosophy that does not praise any god or idol. So, don’t feel like you are betraying your current belief system by practicing a chant.

       I am working on an at-home practice, and will be visiting another ashram within the next couple of months. I hope that this story brought hope to someone who has been afraid to try chanting, for fear of being embarrassed or doing it incorrectly. Free yourself. As long as you are practicing and are reciting them from a place of truth, you will feel the calming and restoring effects of the chant. 

Om Namah Shivaya.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

                 (More on that later)
Namaste. 

If Today Were My Last Day Alive

     I read somewhere that we should ask ourselves one question every morning: If today were my last day alive, how would I want to spend it? 

     Obviously, my mind immediately attaches to family and travel. In the simplest sense, my mind is correct; however, there is a much broader way of thinking that is required in order to think so abstractly. It isn’t realistic for most of us to abandon all of our responsibilities each day in order to do something more meaningful to us. For daily life improvement, this question requires us to think a bit deeper than that.

     Everything that we do and every reaction to it is a choice. The dishes still need to get done, but how do I want to feel about doing them? I still have that meeting today, but what do I want to get out of it so that it isn’t wasting my time? The kids are already bouncing off of the walls, so how do I want to handle my parenting attitude today? It is so easy for these daily situations to cause stress or negative reactions. What isn’t easy, is training your mind to create positive feelings and reactions, but it is worth it. 

     Positivity training takes time and a lot of effort. There will be difficult days that test your patience and dedication to your practice. It is important to maintain some thread of positive thinking, even if it means having someone hold you accountable or leaving notes to yourself around your home. The best time for me to practice, is first thing in the morning before I get out of bed. I’ve noticed that my attitude about the day is set before my feet hit the floor. Really pay attention to your morning routine and see when your attitude about the day is set. It is likely that it happens before your feet hit the floor, but it could be different for everyone. Tailor your training to your schedule and needs.

     So, today is your last day alive. How are you spending it? Is it full of frustration and anger, or love and appreciation? 

Namaste. 

There’s a Song for That

     I am a firm believer that there is a song for every emotion and situation. I have been that way my entire life. Some of us feel music differently than others and have an intense connection to it. I love sharing music with others, especially if it helped me through a particular time that they may be facing. So, feel free to ask me for suggestions if you need some new inspiration, and feel free to drop a tune below to inspire me. Today, I’m going to share two songs: 

        Flowers in the Window by Travis: My favorite happy, dancing around the house with the kids song. 

        Aloha Ke Akua by Nahko and Medicine for the People: My go-to song for anxiety and depression. (Check out the music video for an added relaxation bonus) There is a reason why it is called medicine. 

     So, no matter what you’re going through or what kind of day you’re having, there’s a song for that. Turn it up and let it do its job, whether it be a musical bandaid or a hug. 

Namaste.