Health, Spirituality

3 Simple 5 Minute (or less) Meditations

20170630_203027

I have been meditating for a fairly long time. When I talk to people about how much it has improved my health and my day-to-day life, the most common response that I hear is “I’ve tried meditating. I just can’t sit for that long.” I get it. I totally get it. When I first started meditating, I would sit and try to empty my mind. I felt like there was a magic number or amount of time that I needed to be able to sit with my head empty of thoughts. It was like I was creating an unattainable goal and then getting frustrated with myself for not reaching it. I eventually got to a place where I thought, if I can sit and focus on my breath for a full minute today, then I will have accomplished my meditation goal. As you might imagine, that went way better for me 😉 The minute became two minutes, then 3…and the rest is history.

With all that being said, I wanted to offer you a few of my favorite quick focusing techniques or meditations.

  1.  Count Your Breath– This is as simple as it sounds and can be done for as long as you want. I have used this with children as young as 3 or 4 years old and I still use it myself multiple times throughout the day. All you have to do is close your eyes, inhale while slowly and silently counting to 5, pause, exhale while slowly counting to 5. That’s 10 seconds! Do it 6 more times and you have meditated for 1 whole minute! See how easy? If your mind wanders, no big deal. Start the count over again. This will soon be one of your favorite centering techniques. I promise.
  2. Sun Meditation- Here’s another quick one to do while just sitting outside. Again, close your eyes. Feel the rays of the sun come down through the top of your head, all the way through your entire body, down to the soles of your feet. This might be enough for you. You can do this quickly or you can take your time, imagining that the sunlight is filling each portion of your body (head, neck, shoulders, etc…taking a little extra time on those areas where you find yourself holding tension) as it moves down to your feet. Once you get to your feet, allow the sunlight to exit through the bottom of your feet.
  3. Sun to Core Meditation If you find the above meditation easy to visualize and you like the peace that it brings to your physical body, then this is an additional step that you can take to extend your practice. After your bring the sunlight through your entire body, imagine it going through your feet and all the way to the core of the earth. Then slowly do the same with the warmth from the center of the earth coming back up through your body from your feet to your knees and so on. Take your time bringing the warm light back up through your body, melting away any fear or tension that you might be carrying in your physical body.

Simple enough, right? That first one is probably one of my favorite go to meditations and is easy enough for all ages. If you have been wanting to have a go at meditation, but have been feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having to clear your mind and sit for 15-30 minutes, then I hope that you give one of these a try. I would love to hear how it goes for you.

As Oprah and Deepak say, it takes 21 days to form a habit. These are easy enough to attempt for 21 days, don’t you think? And the reward of more peace in your life is worth the effort. I promise.

With love and gratitude,

Maria

Advertisements
Health, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Body Maintenance…keeping your engine running at its optimal level

check_engine_lights2

A common theme in our house this past week has been one of “taking care of your body”. I believe society as a whole can agree that food fuels your body. After all, the old saying “you are what you eat” definitely derived from a known truth. However, what many still don’t realize is that your body is also an energetic vessel. One that requires similar attention and maintenance as say, a car. Go with me here. Just as we use gas to fill up our car and keep it running at its peak level, we use energy to keep our bodies and organs running at their peak level. Yoga, acupuncture, energy work (such as reiki) keep your body from blockages and build up. They keep the gas moving through the engine, so that your vehicle can continue to run at its optimal level. But what happens when you have run yourself ragged and have not found ways to “refuel”? We all know that no matter how hard we try, we cannot keep going if that gas light is on for too long. Eventually, your car will stop…hopefully near a gas station. But here’s another thing. I’m not a mechanic, but I have heard that if you drive your car and don’t keep up with maintainance–running out of gas on a regular basis, not changing the oil, rotating tires, etc–then you will most certainly have some bigger, more expensive, problems on your hands. At the very least, the life of your car will be greatly diminished. Do you see the parallel here? If you don’t do things to regularly maintain this “vehicle” that we’ve been given, then you yourself are responsible for diminishing the life of this vehicle! That’s a big responsibility. But the truth is, it’s not that hard to maintain. Feed it well…every now and again, fill it with a higher octane. Rest. Get to know your own body. Listen to it. When your body gives you signs that you need a break, take it! After all, you don’t go from full to empty that quickly. Pay attention. Learn to recognize when your body is giving you signs. For example, last night my son said, “I feel weird. I feel almost…empty.” I complimented him on recognizing that feeling and asked if he would like an energy treatment. He said yes because, if nothing else, my kids recognize the value of refilling when they are feeling low. When I was giving him energy, I saw that he was completely in balance (that will have to be a future post), but that he was very depleted throughout. In other words, his gas tank was on empty. I filled him back up and this morning he came downstairs feeling back to normal/full.

So you might ask, what if I don’t know someone who can give me energy? My answer? Well, it’s kind of mixed. I do believe that you can do things to fill yourself back up. Rest, spend time out in nature, find time to do the things that you love…that fill your heart, meditate (or deep, focused prayer), listen to your favorite music, have a good meal that has plenty of “live foods” (this is fruits and vegetables…things that grow from the earth). Slowly, these things will help fill you back up. If you are already full, then these are the things that will keep you full! These are your natural ways to maintain your vehicle. If you feel so low that you don’t feel much relief from trying the above, then seek out someone who can give you energy. Get a massage, acupuncture, yoga…do something to get things unblocked and moving again. There are many avenues and methods to attain your optimal level. Try some out and then go with what feels best and works for you personally.

And remember, if energy work interests you, but you don’t know where to start, you can always come back here and set up a distance appointment with me (if you aren’t local). I would love to help!

As for me, tonight I am trying something new. I just signed up for a Sound Healing Meditation class and I am excited to experience something that I haven’t done before. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Health, Spirituality

Healing with Flowers?

Healing with Flowers?

Disease is solely and purely corrective; it is neither vindictive nor cruel, but it is the means adopted by our own souls to point out to us our faults, to prevent our making greater errors, to hinder us from doing more harm, and to bring us back to the path of Truth and Light from which we should never have strayed.

-Edward Back in his Collected Writings

Recently I have begun to dive into the world of Bach Flower Remedies with a passion. If I could buy all 38 of them and try them out on my own at different times (or with volunteers), I would. Wait, I suppose I could do that but don’t currently have the extra money falling out of my pockets…some day.

Anyway, after reading Vinton McCabe’s The Healing Bouquet: Exploring Bach Flower Remedies, I identified a few remedies that I myself might benefit from taking. Here’s the thing about healing your life (whether from disease or old thought patterns, whatever), it can be really hard! I will be the first to admit that it’s ridiculously difficult to look at yourself and focus on your shortcomings or character “flaws”, but over the last several years I have also become very aware that if you want to move forward with health and joy, this is exactly what you need to do! Uhg to exploring and dissecting yourself. So much easier to do with others 😉

So there’s a part in this book–I will paraphrase as I have no idea where to find it off the top of my head–where it talks about how difficult it can be to see these negative characteristics in ourselves. He says that our answers often lie in our biggest pet peeves. Nooooooo!!!! Yes. So what drives me crazy? When people that I love don’t see themselves for the amazing, beautiful, capable beings that they are. When they lack self-confidence in everyday life and especially regarding things that I (and probably everyone else around them) can see that they are amazing at doing. It really bothers me. Hmmmm.

larch

Sooooo…that being said, I started taking Larch (pictured above–follow the link to see other beautiful photos of flowers and pottery creations). Dr. Bach says that this remedy is “for those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.”

Eek. Could that be me? Yes. Sadly, it could. I will spare you the uneventful, very simple reason that I have had self-confidence issues all my life and just admit it. This is true. This is me. This book helped me realize it and about the same time that I was reading this book, I was looking online one day and found some really great energy workers who were offering meditation classes, etc. As I looked at the bio page, I saw that they had been doing this for 3 years. 3 years! And already they started a website offering energy and meditation workshops, etc. And it hit me. I have been doing energy and meditating for nearly 13 years and have been off medicines for my RA and have had no problems with it since…never once did it occur to me that I was capable or qualified to teach. Crazy right?!

I started taking the Larch about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have offered and hosted/taught my first beginning meditation class out of my house. It was only a handful of people that I feel comfortable with, but it went really well! Surprisingly well I would say. And the best part about it is that they asked for more. So we are continuing this class every other week and I look forward to watching as each of my friends begins to find more peace in their everyday lives. More quiet to reflect. And hopefully the calm to begin to hear that inner voice, that whisper, that we so often miss.

Healing with flowers Dr. Bach? I’m starting to think he might have been onto something…

Health, Spirituality

How I Really Look

howireallylook

Soooo, I saw this on facebook yesterday and just couldn’t help myself (for several reasons)! So funny! But really, does anyone else ever feel like this? What’s really funny is that just after re-sharing this on FB, I turned to wordpress to read and be inspired and what do I find? This little beauty http://goss-coaching.com/2012/12/06/love-your-body-to-get-the-body-you-love/
The truth is, I have never been fully satisfied with my body. What is it about this vicious cycle and women? When I was young, and let’s face it, should have been very happy with my body, I put a lot of energy into covering it up. I felt very self-conscious of how “developed” I was…so to speak. At some point in my adult life–actually, I know the exact point, it was when I had my last relapse in the fall of ’99 and was put on steroids (among many other meds)–I started gaining weight for the first time in my life and even after I recovered from all that and started putting myself back on track, I found it very difficult to take that weight off. What had changed in me? Whatever it was, it’s still haunting me. That is the one part of my life that I just haven’t reclaimed. I went from never having an issue with weight to being on this roller coaster of weight gain/loss. Sure, having 2 children can account for some of that roller coaster, but I believe the issue is deeper than that. I know the issue is deeper than that…
So, this morning I am going to put my ET feelings aside and reread (probably several times) the post by Goss Coaching and do a little soul-searching. Wish me luck!

Health, Spirituality

Day 8: Feeding Our Souls

We all are familiar with this picture. The food pyramid. We’ve been taught about it in school and when we were young, chances are that our parents tried really hard to get us to eat a balanced diet to help us grow and stay healthy. The pyramid is a great guide. Have you ever stopped to think why? Or even how the food pyramid came to be? I can’t say that I know who first created it or that I plan to ever research it so that I can have that information (sorry, I’m a slacker). To me, that information is not necessary. What is necessary is what I am about to say concerning food.

A good friend called me the other day asking for some insight on some of her food sensitivities, or “allergies”. Let me preface by saying that I do believe that allergies exist. Sometimes they can be quite severe. BUT, as with all other medical conditions, I believe that they are a physical manifestation of something that is happening on the spiritual level…just as my arthritis was. So if you are reading this, please know that I am not discounting the existence of your allergies or diseases or physical ailments, I am just saying that I think it goes deeper than the physical body and that thankfully, most of the time, it does not have to be permanent. This could be an entire post on its own and probably will be some day, but today it’s not my focus. My friend’s question led us into a long dialog about the vibration of certain foods.

That conversation is what led me to this post.  Let’s talk about the energetic “vibration” of food. What? My food is vibrating?!? No, not enough for you to see at least 😉 That would be freaky. But as with all physical things, there is an energetic vibration. As we become more connected, more spiritual, more in tune (whatever you want to call it), we energetically vibrate at a higher level. Because of this, we may find ourselves craving different foods, drinking more water…generally eating healthier. Why is this? If you look up at that pyramid, you will notice that water, grains, fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of what “they” say you should be eating for a healthy diet. On the top of the pyramid are meats, products that come from animals and then finally sugars and oils. Interesting. Like I said, I don’t know who started the food pyramid but I can certainly see the sense in why it is set up in this way. All the items on the heaviest portion of the pyramid are items that vibrate at a higher level. They are “live foods” or foods that come directly from the earth. Plants and water. They nourish our bodies and give us the energy and nutrients that we need to vibrate at a higher level as well. Does that mean that you no longer should eat meat or enjoy that piece of cake? I believe that is entirely up to you. Personally, I really enjoy fish and chicken and occasionally a good piece of red meat. Do they energetically meet (ha ha) my needs? Maybe not, but I don’t think they are harming me either. I believe that understanding that I can enjoy these foods on the top of the pyramid while truly nourishing my body with the foods at the bottom is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with food.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to make a shift in the foods that I choose to eat. Instead of sensing that I am hungry and then walking over to the pantry or refrigerator to mindlessly grab something to eat, I am going to ask myself, “does this food energetically meet my needs?” If yes, great! If no (but I still really want to have it), then maybe I can allow myself a smaller portion of it without attaching any guilt to my choice. I have a feeling that I will not only see my physical body begin to transform but that I will feel more energized and happier because of it.  Anyone with me on this little experiment? I will be interested to hear about your experiences and results 🙂