Grace

What if we were able to view our struggles as Grace?

I know that might seem like a crazy question to ask. You may be thinking “How could she ask me to look at my struggles my pain, my suffering as grace?”

…and 15 years ago, I would have agreed with you.

My perspective has shifted. It did not happen overnight but through a process shedding the ideas, beliefs and constructs I had learned to believe about who I actually am.

From where I’m standing now I can look back at every perceived struggle, every bit of pain and suffering; whether it was spiritual, physical or mental, and see it has been Grace. Every decision I’ve made for good or ill has led me down the path my soul required I walk in order to learn the lessons needed in this lifetime; to live with an open heart and not one filled with fear.

When I release the need to view my struggles through the eyes of victim-hood, and instead, the through the eyes of a student being guided by a master teacher, I am better able to release my attachment to outcomes and remove my expectations from situations of which I have no control over; moving through my days in a state of flow, not constriction.

Photo by Man Dy on Pexels.com

In doing this, I am also better able to forgive others. When we forgive ourselves for misguided judgment it becomes easier to forgive others. We learn that we are not perfect and neither is anyone else. We are each learning day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath.

I am not the person I was yesterday. You are not the same person you were last week . Each new choice opens us to the pure potentiality of our experience.

We begin to hold ourselves and others to a standard of GRACE, not perfection.

Namaste

Mindful Beauty

Since we usually tend to focus on what we put in our bodies, I thought I would share a little about being mindful about what we put on our bodies.

The health and beauty industry thrives on promises to remove cellulite, wrinkles, blemishes, etc… But at what cost to our health and that of the environment. Numerous ingredients in cosmetics, shampoos, and lotions contain possible toxic and carcinogenic ingredients. In addition, some exfoliators, which contain tiny plastic beads, are polluting our lakes, rivers and oceans.

The majority of these beauty products are packaged in plastic as well. Plastic is cheap and convenient. As we all know, plastics containing BPA and other harmful chemicals are used routinely for beauty products. Even some organic and natural products use plastic packaging.

It seems almost impossible to get away from using plastic. We have eliminated quite a bit in our house, but still feel the little we have is too much.

Hence learning to make my own products. I strictly use glass or cosmetic grade metal containers, which are reusable.

It is also more cost effective to make things like lip balm and body butter. You can buy a pound of raw Shea Butter for less than the total cost of product(s) that contain only a small amount of the Shea Butter. The next time you are in the store, take a look at the unit price of your favorite face cream, then take look at the ingredients. I guarantee you are over-paying for your 2 ounces of serum that contains barely 1/2 ounce of argan oil. You are paying for packaging and the label.

Not into making your own products but want peace of mind knowing you are getting a product that is safe for you and the environment?

Check out Environmental Working Group to see how your current products rank as far as ingredients goes and maybe you’ll find a healthier alternative for you and the Earth.

Also check out Grove Collaborative for reduced plastic and more sustainable options. I love their new fall scents- 🍁Pumpkin Spice!

Being mindful of what we put on (and in) our bodies allows us to not only take better care of ourselves, but of our loved ones and the environment.

Namaste

For more information on plastic pollution follow link:

Wellness

Are you being mindful of your needs? As we (in the northern hemisphere) move towards colder shorter days, it is a good idea to spend sometime creating nourishing routines to maintain balance.
Are you getting proper nutrition?
Eat warming nourishing foods like homemade root vegetable soups, stews, or try a warming Kitchari for a gentle seasonal cleanse.

Are you moving your body to keep your lymph flowing? Your lymph cleanses your blood and system as it circulates through your body. Unlike blood, lymph needs you to move in-order for it to move. Try some gentle yoga, walking or a rebounder is great for lymphatic system health. Always check with a doctor before starting any new exercise. ..and remember to drink plenty of water!


Are you getting quality, consistent sleep? Movement and proper nutrition will definitely help with getting better sleep. Try not to eat 2 hours before bed. Getting up and going to sleep every night can also help with the quality of your slumber. Need help unwinding? Try a guided meditation (check out Spotify page) to help slow down thoughts and find restful comfort.

Have tips you’d like to share? Let me know!

Beginning Practice

Practice.

Beginning a meditation practice can be daunting. I have heard so many times “Oh I stopped because I couldn’t stop thinking” or a similar statement. It’s a challenging stigma to overcome — meditation doesn’t mean your mind is blank. It means we are able to lose the attachment to the thinking mind, we release the attachment to the thought.


The easiest way I found, when I was first dipping my toes into the meditation pool, was to view my thoughts as just something happening.


Like this: When you have a thought (doesn’t matter what it is!) say to yourself “there goes a thought” and I guarantee you’ll have another one following right behind-“ oh look, more thoughts”


Thoughts come and go all day long. It’s not the thoughts necessarily that cause us the stress but the attachment to certain thoughts. Replaying stressful situations or worrying about the future are both forms of this attachment.

Meditation allows us to learn how to find space and release our attachment to constant mind chatter. Over time, with consistent practice, we are able to sit with a calm mind. Outside of meditation the chatter quiets down, loses its hold on us and we begin to live more mindfully with less attachment, stress and worry.

If you are just beginning your practice, I recommend guided meditations as they provide a focal point for the minds eye. I have some short guided meditations, perfect for beginners or seasoned mediators available on Insight Timer, for you to explore.

Once comfortable with guided practice, try sitting for 1 minute. Yes only 1. Trust me. Set a timer. It’s longer then you think if you are not used to sitting quietly. The first time I attempted this I lasted about 35 seconds before checking the timer!

Patience. Practice. Perseverance.

Namaste.