The Way We Give

I made it.
I have it all.
The perfect body,
The perfect house,
The perfect vehicle,
The perfect wardrobe,
The perfect career,
The perfect spouse,
The perfect family,
The perfect friend group,
The perfect material life.
Everything is as I imagined.
Everything is exactly as I want it.
Now what?

 

Now that we’re entering holiday season, things can start to get crazy. This is a time when people are encouraged to focus on love and giving. Loving friends, family, strangers, taking extra time for self care. Giving back to the community and those in need, along with giving to those we cherish in our own lives.

In today’s age, much of this perspective has been skewed and tainted. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the rush to buy buy buy more more more to be able to please others is constantly on our minds.

I wrote this short light-heart poem to bring attention to this mindset and hopefully bring awareness to this dis-ease that currently occurs in the world.

It all comes down to our perception of love. People often see love through the eyes of a consumerist society. It is often related to giving material gifts, giving our own bodies (a talk for another time), or even just saying “I love you,” along with other terms of endearment. Though there is a time and place for these things, it is only looking at a miniscule, finite fraction of the equation.

Growing up, I have received many gifts I had been grateful for the day I received them, but it took little time for them to be erased from my memory. I wouldn’t be able to tell you have of the things I had received growing up. It’s not that I was unappreciative. Simply, the gift itself was insignificant compared to the gesture itself.

The act of giving is an act of love. It’s not about how much we give, rather it’s why. Many will say “I want so-and-so to be happy, so I’ll give them what they want.” What we should be asking is “What can I provide to help the greatest good?”

And “What can I do to raise this person to their highest self?” This is where the love can make itself known to the highest degree.

It’s not the gift itself so much as the intention behind it. As I said, it’s the “why” we are giving.

This time of year has emphasis on “holiday spirit” for a reason. It is a time to nourish the SPIRIT. The soul as individuals and a collective. The intention behind giving, the “why,” should be that which nourishes the soul. Instead of stressing over the debt you’ll be in if you try to make everyone happy with things that will cause a moment of fleeting happiness… maybe it’s time to consider how you can bring, as the song goes, “Joy to the World.”

Below are three lists that could inspire thoughtful acts of giving.

 

Projects For The Season:

  • Baking cookies and sharing them with the community
  • Hosting a bake sale and giving them money to charity
  • Donate old toys and clothes to local shelters (animal shelters are in need too!)
  • Visit nursing homes brighten up their day with board games and song
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen and/or donate to food banks
  • Can food drives

 

For Day-To-Day Life:

 

  • Pay for the person’s coffee in the line behind you
  • Packing care kits for the homeless and keeping them in your car (think water, warm hats and gloves, trail mix, etc)
  • Leave kind notes on people’s windshields
  • Smile at strangers
  • Hold doors open for people
  • Tell someone the compliment you thought upon seeing them
  • Write letters to people who have positively impacted your life
  • Write letters of forgiveness and make amends to loose ends in your life
  • Bake treats to share with coworkers
  • About to complain on Facebook? Post something positive and inspiring instead

 

For Loved Ones:

  • A painting
  • A trip to a favorite place
  • Plants (the gifts that give 😉 )
  • A date
  • Cooking and sharing a homemade meal
  • Something knitted or crocheted
  • Anything crafted. Check Pinterest for thousands of DIYs
  • Giving a massage
  • Writing a loving letter showing appreciation for their presence in your life and reading it to them
  • Poetry
  • A mix tape

 

Use your imagination. Think about what is most needed in your community, the lives of those around you, and the world at large. Team up with others or make it a family event to give back this year. There is a lot that can be accomplished if we all take the time to focus on spending our energy on providing what the world needs, rather than spending money on unneeded material possessions.

I’m not saying material possessions are bad, per say. They can be highly beneficial! I.e. I’m asking for a planner this year with inspirational daily bible quotes in it. It all boils down to what the impact of the gift will have on the individual. How it could affect their lives and stir the soul inside of them.

If they need a new pair of socks, great. Get that. I just encourage you to put extra thought into what you give this year, and consider those who do not have access to that new pair of socks.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to give back or experiences worth sharing? Leave them in the comments below!

What Holds You Back?

What holds you back from doing what you love?

Stress?

Opinions of others?

Money?

Being trapped in a given situation?

 

What does it feel like? This feeling of being unable to move forward? Where is it located in your body?

Breath into it. Don’t try to cover it up. Feel what it is trying to tell you.

 

Now breath into your heart space. Feel the feeling of love and protection. Trust you are safe.

 

How would you describe the first feeling you felt? Anxious? Or better yet, maybe fear?

How long did it last once you started to cultivate love into your heart? It may have taken a bit of work, or it may have fallen away with ease.

Either way, the fearful feeling is now gone and there is no reason to worry. In fact, worry is fruitless. All it does is produce more nonconstructive feelings. The fearful feeling, however, can be used in a meaningful way.

When you are about to embark on something that makes you feel fearful of what the results may be, take a step back. Analyze the feeling. Feel where it is coming from and what exactly caused it. The answers you come up with may surprise you.

We have been conditioned to believe we are unable to do the things we love. We have to work all day, clean up after others, spend money we do not have to fill a void, then binge eat, drink and smoke to forget the pain. We have been pushed into a fog that shrouds our mind with preconceived ways of thinking. We are conditioned to live in fear. Fear of what the future holds, if we will make enough money to pay rent, fear our lives may never truly start before they are over.

Fear is not forever. You experienced this just now. If you feel fear, you may also feel security and love. You have the power to transform your emotions. Once you know what is causing you to feel afraid of taking a step towards your dreams, ponder if it is truly keeping you trapped. Sure, you can’t always be exactly where you dream of being overnight, but there are always smaller steps you can take in the right direction.

It is time to step into that transformative power you hold inside. You are capable of getting to where you wish to be in all aspects in life. If you can push through the fog and illusions, then you will find the deeper meaning that is true to you. Once this inspiration is sparked you will find the motivation to make miracles happen because deep down… you know you deserve it.

This is the essence of soul coaching. Through the training I’ve received I have created a program that may be tailored to each individual and their needs. Together, we may uncover what it is your heart truly yearns for and discover the deeper meaning behind what it feels is stopping you.

You are not alone in this.

Schedule a consultation with me today

Zero Waste Self Care

This month I am doing a challenge- No Waste November!

In an attempt to lessen my carbon footprint and reduce the amount of trash I produce, I have been making the most of my resources, buying from bulk bins, and making my own… everything.

This post is all about recipes to replace the chemical ridden body care products with clean, easy to make alternatives.

To make these recipes zero waste, you can find local stores, co-ops, or farmers markets that sell bulk goods and buy a majority of the ingredients there in reusable containers. IF there is anything you can not find in bulk, another option would be to buy items in glass containers.

 

You are what you eat, but what about what your skin eats? Everything you put onto your body is absorbed by your body. You even absorb things that are in the air and environment! (That’s a talk for another time.)

We should all know by now that we should not be ingesting things that we can not pronounce, or that have a looong list of ingredients. When is the last time you flipped over your body care products and looked at the ingredients list? How long is it? How many things on that bottle can you pronounce?

A lot of common self care products are linked to a host of health issues, such as skin conditions, infant mortality, cancer, infertility, thyroid disorders, erectile dysfunction, and hormone dysruptions.

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By making your own products from whole ingredients found in nature, you can reduce or completely eliminate the risk of these harmful side-effects.

It is just as vital to put things found in nature on your skin as it is in your body.

Side note: Isolates of things found in nature can be equally as harmful! Just because something is extracted from a plant or whole food item, etc, does not mean it is good for you. Your body can no longer identify the isolated chemical if it does not have the rest with it. Would you rather drink water, or straight hydrogen? Which will quench your thirst? I’ll take the H2O.

 

Edible Skincare Recipes

Shampoo and Body Wash

You can find bath bars without packaging at most health food stores and farmers market. At most they may have a small barcode sticker or paper wrapping around it. Popular places to check would be Whole Foods and Lush.

You could find a recipe online, but I have found sticking with the bars works best. Another option would be Castile Soap, however you would have to recycle the bottle after.

 

Conditioner

Conditioner, in my opinion, is completely useless! It can easily be replaced with a nourishing vitamin-rich oil before or after a shower. If my hair needs extra love, I will apply oil to it from the tips to the roots and wrap it up before bed. In the morning it can be washed out with shampoo and a little apple cider vinegar. More times than not, I can get away with applying a little bit of oil after my showers and throughout the week as needed.

Another option for those with extra dry hair would be a hot oil treatment. You simply heat up an oil, apply it to your hair and wrap it up with a shower cap and hot towel. Wait 30 minutes to 2 hours and wash it out. Voila! Lushes Locks.

 

Face Wash and Scrub

This is by far my favorite thing I have discovered to replace my face care routine. It is balancing to all skin types, hydrating, and firming! It also can help reduce redness and acne. What more could I ask for?

Face Wash

  • 1 tbsp Honey (or lightweight oil for vegan option)
  • 1 tbsp Aloe
  • Optional: 1-2 drops Tea Tree Oil (for acne)

 

Face Scrub

  • 1 tbsp Honey or Oil
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

 

Deodorant

Below are two deodorant recipes based on preference. The spray utilizes himalayan salt which is a naturally occurring mineral that absorbs toxins and odors. It is a lightweight recipe that is good for on the go, as it may not last all day if you are more active. The cream is a heavier option that lasts all day and is better than any natural deodorant you can find.

Spray

  • 3 oz distilled water
  • 2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 oz witch hazel
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 10 drops essential oil (scent of your choice)

Cream

  • 2-3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Essential oil (scent of your choice)

 

Makeup

Blush

blushes

SOURCE: https://thrivingonpaleo.com/diy-natural-blush/

 

Eyeliner and Mascara

  • 1 Tablespoon Activated Charcoal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Shea Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of Bentonite Clay
  • 2-3 Drops of Essential Oil

To use, buy a reusable mascara brush and a line brush for use as eyeliner.

 

Makeup Remover

Oil of choice (I like coconut oil)

 

Other Essentials:

 

Reusable Cotton Rounds [LINK]

Or

Hemp Rounds [LINK]

 

Organic Wash Cloths [LINK]

Bottles and Jars to store recipes and ingredients (easily found at thrift stores i.e. salvation army)

 

Living Waste-Free is the way of the future. It is fun to experiment with and adapt to your own lifestyle! It does not have to be difficult or full of complicated recipes. In fact, it simplifies things- for everyone and everything. If you want to start on this path, don’t be intimidated if it doesn’t happen over night. Slowly replacing items in your house as they run out with zero waste ones is still a step in the right direction. Have fun! Experiment! We are learning together ❤

The Path of Compassion

Switching over to a plant-based diet is by far one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Not only did I lose weight, gain energy, and a newfound love of living…

It also opened my heart and mind to the path of compassion. I originally chose to become vegan because of my deep love for animals and this beautiful planet, mother earth. Nowhere in my mind was I considering my own health.

I decided to start eating vegan after watching a documentary called “Vegucated.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching it (available on Netflix). I could not believe how much I had been living in the dark before seeing this film. It highlighted everything from health benefits, to the impact on the earth, to the treatment of the animals in the food industry. If you don’t want to sit for a documentary and are still unaware of the impact eating animals has, here’s a short clip to sum it up for you:

At the time I made the switch, I was severely depressed and suicidal. I felt my life was worthless, but I knew now I could still make a difference for others. I now had the motivation and information I needed to start making the world a better place for animals, nature, and those around me simply by changing the way I cook my meals.

It was hard at first. At the time, I disliked most fruit and vegetables. It took me 4 months after I decided to finally cut cheese from my diet (eventually just losing the taste for it). I became what most call a “junk food vegan,” eating mainly prepackaged “chik’n” nuggets and boca patties. I began experimenting slowly with new foods as I went along, and soon started to develop a desire to become healthier in this lifestyle.

Through a lot of trial and error in the kitchen and several Pinterest boards, I learned how to work with nature’s gifts and create meals I could enjoy and share with others. The weight started to come off, and a lot of love for myself and the world around me took its place. The lifestyle of veganism has allowed me to overcome depression, heal my self image, relate to others on a deeper level, and be conscious of and improving my impact on the world around me.

Veganism opened my heart on a very deep level. It taught me to treat others the way I wished to be treated, and to treat myself the way I felt I deserved to be treated. It allowed me to think past diet in ways of lessening my carbon footprint. It developed a lasting and growing capacity for love of this beautiful planet and all of its inhabitants. I have also been blessed with growing intuitive abilities as I navigate my way through life. Never before have I felt so blessed, guided, and full of love. Before veganism, I was at rock bottom. Now, I am always growing and expanding upwards.

I share this with you because this month is World Vegan Month. When you sit at the table to eat your meals, be aware of what is on your plate. How much plant food is there? Everyone should strive to make plants at least 80% of their diet. Even try eating a fully vegan meal every day (or go a day to a week fully vegan!) Doing something this simple could make a tremendous positive impact on the planet, making it a better environment for all of us and generations to come. If you’re feeling very adventurous, I challenge you to go this whole month eating plant-based meals. I promise, it is much easier than you think. If you need advice, you can contact me!

If veganism is not something you feel you could commit to, I understand. Not everyone is ready for it. Please just be aware of where you are sourcing animals and their byproducts from. Get in touch with local farmers. Go hunting yourself and thank the animals for the sacrifice of their lives for yours. In the mean time, check out this list of documentaries on how effective plant based diets are:

https://nutriciously.com/best-vegan-documentaries/

and this website created by Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, who with his team, scours the latest science and medical journals to answer the question haunting today’s society, “What is the healthiest diet?”

https://nutritionfacts.org/

and before you even ask about protein: