Archives For Spirituality

If you didn’t catch the last post, I’ve decided to take Fridays to express my gratitude to the Universe for different things that I’ve seen, done or experienced in the week. It’s my belief that when we stop to appreciate what we have right now in the present, no matter what else is going on in our lives,  we can feel happier and experience joy more.

I believe that by practicing appreciating the little things on a regular basis, we can train ourselves to be more joyful, relaxed and open to life and that gratitude is one of the tools that can help us get there.

So, here are five things that have totally raised my vibration this week (in no particular order):

Music, Man

I love music, clearly. I’ve written about it’s power and how it can heal us, it can soothe us and pick us up when we’re down. Music can be a hug. I was having “one of those days” and listening to Pandora just  minding my own business and working when this song came on. It’s by Stardust and I just love it.

“Music Sounds Better With You” was followed by some other awesome tracks including Prince and Lenny Kravitz and, hello, I was instantly happy. “I feel so good, I feel like the music sounds better with you…” It’s true, friends, the music sounds better with you.

My Grandma Helen

ps_2013_10_24___17_43_25

For the past week I’ve missed her terribly. I have thought of her everyday.

Every. Single. Day.

And even though she’s now Spirit, I am left with a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude that I was blessed enough to have such an awesome grandmother who was such a huge part of my life, and who helped to shape the person I am today. She gave me Paris, a love for quality, art, blond hair, consistency, courage. She gave me my mom who is an awesome mom and is who she is because of her parents.

With every new step I take in my life, every courageous breath I take, every moment when I love myself just a little bit more, I know she is there with me pushing me on and that she is so proud of me. I am grateful for knowing so completely how much she loves me that I can still feel her love today.

Flowers

unnamed

Flowers are beautiful. They smell good and did I mention they’re beautiful? And how amazing is it to live in a world with flowers?

Second, Third & Fourth Chances

everyday-is-a-second-chance-20130103739

click image for source

No matter how many mistakes we make, we can always begin again. This week I feel incredibly thankful for the gift of being able to start over. I am incredibly thankful for allowing myself to try again. 

Love

fall-in-love-spells2

click image for source

With today being the national day of love it’s only appropriate to be grateful for it. I’m not talking solely about romantic love, or the love we feel for our children, or our best friends. Not the love we feel for our pets. 

But Love with a capital L.

The Love that is the very essence of who we are. How magical is that?

What’s got your gratitude bee buzzing this week?

Sometimes we think that joy and happiness are destinations.

As if we can jump on a plane as easy as we would to Paris or Cancun and land at Joy International or Endless Happiness Airport. There is no overnight flight to joy. You can’t hop a train, jump on a bus or hitch a ride there.

Joy is not a destination. It’s a feeling that we can have while we’re in route to having our dream homes, family vacations, or the career that we were born to have.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to access joy, happiness and feeling content is through gratitude.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Brother Stindal-Rast

When we stop to take notice and appreciate the little things, we realize that the little things are the big things. We also make our lives more joyful.

I’m grateful for the these things for making me feel happiness and joy this week:

1. This post on Mercury in Retrograte and seeing beyond the craziness it can bring.

This week has been one to go down in the books in terms of poor communication. My internet connect has had a mind of its own which means that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. There have been all sorts of little technical snafus and other crazy happenings, and communication with other people has been so out of it that I’ve had moments where I’m convinced we must be speaking different languages. This post was a nice little reminder that everything is an opportunity for growth.

2. Fresh Produce

It’s such a simple thing but this week I am totally appreciating fresh produce. There is nothing quite like fresh fruit and veggies that fuel my body and keep my family healthy. I am grateful that I live in a time and a place where fresh produce, both organic and non-organic, is at my fingertips. I am grateful that I have options when it comes to what my family and I eat. And asparagus with cherry tomatoes and kale over rice noodles… in a word: bangin’! (It’s extra delish if you eat while wearing ladybug slippers, like I do.)

3. This Song

For no other reason that without fail every single time I hear it I smile and feel an instant injection of joy.

4. These Shoes

I am a recovering high-heel addict. Yes, I was one a stilletto stalker. I wouldn’t be caught anywhere but the gym without a pair of high heels on. At one point in time, I didn’t own any cute flats. But you live and you learn. Plus, my office is like so not a place to be walking up and down the stairs in stilettos. Now cute flat shoes are a must.

Enter these Minnetonka Moccasins that were gifted to me by my shoe fairy — Pam. She’s always hooking me up with the cute kicks and these are so comfy and so cute I can look over the fact they make me feel like a total hipster which is generally not a good association for a San Francisco Native like me.

5. Y O U!

For anyone who has taken the time to read my blog, has read and/or liked my Facebook page, and given me such positive feedback on my last post about launching my life coaching practice, I thank you so much. I am so grateful that the ramblings in my mind that spill out my fingertips in black type resonate with you. I write them to spread love and light in the world and through your support I feel that love and light right back.

Now it’s your turn! What are some things that you’re thankful for this week?

click image for source

I never used to have a morning routine. In the past, I just woke-up when my alarm went off, sometimes a few minutes before, and stayed in bed until I absolutely had to get up.

From then, I rushed to get the kids ready for school, get dressed, and get out the door on time. It all went by in a blur and sometimes felt like a complete mad dash. It was exhausting!

By the time I got to work I often felt like I’d already done a half day’s work. I also felt rundown a lot, off-balance and frequently sad.

In fact, I dreaded mornings because there was just so much to be done and so little time.

It didn’t help that, more often than not, I was completely sleep deprived so by the time it came time to get back up and do it all over again, I was running on empty.

click image for source

There was a time when I cried in the morning in the shower just about everyday.

I was just so tired. There was just so much to do. I just knew that the day was going to suck. I needed coffee.

And, fuck, I couldn’t even put my underwear on before there was a knock on the door of someone wanting something!

There was important information that just could not wait. I needed to hear important things such as, “Mommy, I just want to let you know I’m not wearing this dress as a dress; I’m wearing it as a shirt.”

Or I need to help solve the mystery of the always missing hairbrush, which was more often than not, the last place it was used — in the kids’ bathroom!

The world just seemed…. cruel and harsh. Woe is me, was my morning song. And I had it on replay.

One day, and I can’t recall when, I had enough of the pity-party. I had been reading awesomely inspiring blogs by life coaches and feel good gurus and noticed one thing in particular – they all had rituals. They had rituals for being thankful, and rituals done on Sundays.

And just about every one of them did something in the morning, every morning, to make sure that they felt good. Like her, and her, and her too.

With nothing to loose because, hell, I was already crying in the shower pretty much every morning and that clearly was not working, I decided that perhaps I needed to start my morning off a little better.

Gone where the days when I could get up at 5 a.m. and rush off to the gym, or wake-up and leisurely stroll around the house taking as much time and care as I wanted to get ready without anyone else to think about, so what could I do?

I did the easiest and most simple thing that wouldn’t require too much movement (don’t want to wake a sleeping baby!) and didn’t require too much of anything.

I started meditating.

Before I even got out of the bed, I would meditate. At first, it was difficult to calm my mind. I had trained myself to immediately jump up and start going through my daily “to-do” list so that was my natural inclination. But, I kept at it. I would set a timer and slowly up the time.

By the second week, I was at 10 minutes. My mind was quieter and, lo and behold, my days seemed better!

I felt happier in the morning and I hadn’t even had coffee! Imagine that!

I slowly started to incorporate more into my morning routine and realized that having morning rituals that go beyond having a cuppa jo’ is a way of practicing self-love. We should start our days from a place of being connected to ourselves and by loving ourselves first.

I will admit, this required scheduling in time for me to do this. It means getting up a little bit earlier. My baby still does not sleep through the night so giving up a few extra minutes of sleep is HUGE for me. But so worth it.

My current routine looks like this:

1. Morning Meditation –  I aim for 20 minutes. I can’t always get a full uninterrupted 20 minutes, but I do what I can. If for some reason Lovebug wakes up before me, I do a shower mediation (explained below). Something is better than nothing.

2. Journal – I keep a journal next to my bed. After I meditate, I journal. I don’t aim for a page count. I just write. Even if I can’t meditate, I try to journal. This is something that can even be done with a toddler calling out, “Wake up,” to everyone in the house. (Well, really she says, “Way-bup,” but you get the idea.) I make sure to include gratitude in my journal entry in some way, and ask the Universe to help guide me to be of service. I feel like by asking to be of service I am setting a positive intention for the day – to be the Love I want to see in the world.

3. Sing – Everyday I sing the “good morning” song to Lovebug right after I wake her up or right when she wakes up. Since I’m away from her all day, it’s nice for both of us to have a quiet moment together.

4. Oil Pulling – This is something I have great spells of doing and then can go a week without doing it. Oil pulling is a way to help detox the body and is good for oral health. I do it while cooking breakfast for the kids or packing lunches. I nod or write down instructions if I need to interact with anyone and by now everyone is used to me doing it. Being a mom means I’m a multi-taking rockstar!

5. Shower Meditation – I always do a shower meditation even if I’ve already done my 20 minutes. It’s like a feel good insurance policy! This is very quick. I simple take three minutes and close my eyes and breathe. I imagine that the water is white light washing over me and through me and washing anything icky away. When I open my eyes I usually do a little Beyonce shimmy to remind myself that being in my skin is pretty awesome, then I turn off the water and get out feeling good!

6. Drink Warm Water With Lemon – I usually do this on the way out the door or as I’m making my green smoothie. It takes a few minutes and makes my body feel good. If I’m feeling extra spicy, I may add a little cayenne. If we’re out of lemons then I’ll just drink plain water. The reason I drink warm lemon water is to help hydrate and alkalinize the body. It is said to help aid with digestion, energy levels and can help if you have problems getting things “moving,” if you know what I mean.

And that, folks, is my busy mom morning ritual recipe for a kick ass day!

It does not take a lot of extra time. I only get up like 30 minutes earlier and some of the things can be done while I’m doing other things, like getting Lovebug dressed or cooking breakfast.

The change in my mood and overall happiness has been astronomical. I feel good pretty much every morning. Even if I initially wake up in a funk, I usually shake it off by the time we’re out the door. I don’t cry in the shower or feel sorry for myself, and I’ve noticed increased energy.

Since I feel better in the morning, that means that more of my days feel better and happier. I am more present. I feel in control and that mornings, which used to feel frazzled and like another job, are now joyful.

You can play around with your routine and see what works for you. At one point, I tried doing Sun Salutations (yoga) but that took too much time and I just wasn’t digging how tight my body was and how forced the movements felt. So, I trashed it.

Here are a few things you can do to get a morning ritual going that’ll up your energy and the quality of your days:

  1. Listen to music and dance in the shower while you suds up.
  2. Meditate.
  3. Journal.
  4. 50 squats while you brush your teeth.
  5. Dry brushing before your shower.
  6. Listen to personal development or audio books while you cook breakfast or make your coffee.
  7. Go into your backyard and practice grounding (touching your bare feet to the Earth).
  8. Pray.
  9. Make a gratitude list of three things that you’re thankful for.
  10. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “you’re gorgeous,” or “i love you,” or “you’ve never been more beautiful than you are today.”
  11. Check out your naked body in the mirror after your shower and focus on a part of your body you love for two minutes.
  12. Make your hallway a catwalk and strut up and down after you get dressed channeling your inner Naomi Campbell (but keep your hands to yourself!).
  13. Pick a morning theme song and sing it.

Do you have morning rituals?

No Doubt, It’s My Life

November 30, 2013 — 1 Comment

Music is so powerful. It can totally turn your world upside down. Music can be medicine.

Did you know that?

That music can be medicine?

Well, it can. Music can totally make you feel things. Listening to a sad song when you’re song can make you feel sadder. Listening to a booty shaking song can make you wanna shake your bum-bum. Love songs can make you feel that sappy in love feeling.

Have you noticed that in movies the music always makes you feel the story more? You know when something scary is going to happen because of the music. You can tell when people are falling in love because of the music.

I’ve talked before about how listening and moving to music can help you shake off a funky mood, but there are so many other ways that music can drop kick a bad mood.

Recently I was feeling sorry for myself. Not because I’d had an especially difficult day or anything in particular had gone wrong.

For a little I let myself feel sorry for myself because it’s cool to feel bad. Not like feeling bad is cool but rather it’s natural to feel what you feel. Sometimes we are going to feel shitty and that’s cool as long as we don’t just stay in that negative headspace.

After a bit, I decided I’d had enough of feeling funky. I listened to a meditation and that was okay. I felt less anxiety but I didn’t feel especially joyful. I was neutral and I wanted to feel good.

(I’m a total believer in feeling good as much and as often as possible. We’re only here for a finite period of time so for fucks sake try to feel as good as you can as often as possible!)

So, I put my headphones on and turned on Pandora and WHAM… No Doubt comes streaming into my ears all sultry and hard. It slapped me in the face with it’s heavy bass.

“It’s funny how I find myself in love with you,” Gwen Stefani sang.

And just like that – joy. Easy and sweet as pie.

A Hello Kitty band-aid for an achy heart.

“It’s my life, don’t you forget,” Gwen and I sang together. A huge smile took over my face and, man, the light switched was flipped and happy flooded into the room like light.

Nothing changed. Dinner still needs to be cooked and there is a pile of crushed popcorn under the coffee table, and Lovebug just pulled Macaroni’s hair and they’re both upset. And yet everything changed.

See, the song reminded me that “it’s my life, it never ends.”

Joy is always available to us and sometimes happiness is a conscious choice. It’s not something abstract that only happens when we’re in a great mental place and everything is going right. It’s not something reserved for the rich, or the beautiful or children.

It’s really just a shift in perception.

It’s finding enjoyment in the small things. It’s listening to a song and letting it pick you up and carry you along until the little ache in your mind relaxes and leaves a smile to a backdrop beat.