Soul Coaching: What it is & What it can do for you

If you have ever taken a glimpse into the world of health and wellness you would know it is a bit crazy. There are countless theories of what is right to eat and every person has the science to back it up. There are countless supplements and powders that you’re told to take on a daily basis. Everyone is so fit doing calisthenics, zumba, p90x, cycling, barre… what even is this stuff?! Most days it seems hard to even get a walk in aside from the one from the car to work!

You may have even tried some of these things or certain fad diets and detoxes, but just could not get it to stick. You keep ending up right where you started. It’s stressful and tiring. Why can’t I just live how I want without worry?!

Well, you can. There is something that has been missing from your endeavors. Maybe you’ve even figured it out but have had trouble committing to it. That thing is yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of life and other people’s needs, and put yourself on the backburner. “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” “where’s the coffee,” “I already at 5, what’s one more?” and “when’s the last time I had a me day?” all become repetitive phrases in your mind. With a Soul Coach, you would be able to break the cycle of stress and self destructive tendencies, and shift your focus back onto your own needs.

For some people this may seem daunting. You may have the impression that it’s selfish to take care of yourself and put yourself first. I promise you, it’s not. I’m sure you have heard this before: you’re no help to anyone if you can’t first help yourself. If you can learn to love and care for yourself, you will naturally be able to radiate that love and care into your environment and those who surround you.

So what exactly is a Soul Coach? This is someone who helps you reach vibrant health and wellness by connecting you to yourself on a soul level. It is an intuitive guide and empath that can relate to you, understand and accept you, and lead you back to your inner knowing. A Soul Coach is an open heart and mind that you can freely speak with and release all of your fears and worries. Once you uncover all of the dirt, underneath you will find what it is you are truly passionate about and want for yourself.

With a Soul Coach you will learn to pave your own path. We are all in a different place and need different things, despite what all the health articles and dietary theories may say. Once you find what it is you desire, a soul coach can help you craft the goals to get you to where you would like to be.

It’s an accountability partner. Creating the goals is a great first step, but sometimes we need an extra push to keep the train moving. By partnering with a Soul Coach, you will be held accountable to your goals and encouraged to follow them, so that you can turn you life into your dreams.

If you are interested in learning more, you may check out my coaching page, or jump right in and schedule a free Acceptance Session with me. This first session helps you to lay out all it is that has been troubling you and figure out what it may be that you would like to start working towards.

By working with me you will learn valuable self-care techniques, gather skills to release stress, and be able to bring diet and lifestyle into balance simply by focusing on you!

What are you waiting for? Get to loving yourself!

The Essence

Look around.

What do you see?

I see beauty.

I see life.

I see love

in gold sparks, floating on the late summer breeze.

Autumn slowly makes its descent.

I can smell the sun

bouncing off the trees.

Leaves cheering in their gleeful dance.

The day is new; Clean slate.

I feel empty,

yet filled with the warmth

of the seasons passion.

She urges me to hold on.

“Hold your head up.”

“Brace the winds.”

“Keep moving forward.”

I do not feel stress

as I rest with each breath.

Exhale.

Here comes the breeze again.

A cosmic dance.

I float in the winds ripples;

Make waves with every movement,

Every thought,

Every feeling.

I’m in love with a dream;

An essence.

A reflection shown through a slivered mirror;

Depths unseen and unknown.

The wind stills again and the ripples cease.

Through the puddle of our reality-

a glimpse.

I’m alive.

Banana Island Detox & What It Taught Me

For the past 7 days I have been on a cleanse called banana island. I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, I just felt like it was necessary at the time.

Banana Island is a detox where you eat only bananas and greens for a set period of time.

I had been eating 20 bananas a day minimum, along with a head of romaine. I was also drinking a gallon or more of water (most days).

Around days 4-6 I experienced gas and bloating. I realized later this was due to a few reasons:

  1. The bananas weren’t full ripe. I couldn’t find brown spotty ones and settled for bright yellow. This caused constipation.
  2. I was not drinking enough water. Once I realized this and started drinking more water, all gas and bloating diminished.

Takeaways:

  1. If you are to embark on banana island, prepare ahead of time with plenty of spotty brown bananas. If they aren’t ripe and spotted, the starches have not yet been converted to sugars and are much more difficult for the body to break down and use for energy.
  2. Always drink enough water. It is much more important than the food you are ingesting.

Overall my experience was very rewarding. I had more energy, I felt stronger and could go for longer while working out, and I was also much more peaceful. I typically have crashes midday and am easily susceptible to mood swings.

However, I did experience a drastic shift on day 7.

Day 7 I was already off as I was feeling a bit sleepy. Later on in the day a coworker started talking calories. Calories are never something I worry about. I am more of the “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” kind of person. I adopted this mindset after years of binge eating disorder followed by a physically and emotionally exhausting period of time where I… you guessed it: counted calories.

I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but basically I had already met my RDA of calories after lunch time.

My first instinct was to get angry. I had spent my whole life with an eating disorder I thought I was over and now I have someone telling me that scientifically speaking, it was the opposite case.

I was in disbelief. I became stubborn in my mind and let this fester for hours. I kept asking myself, “why am I so mad about this? If I know I am doing what is best for me and I have good intentions then why should it matter? All I am doing is listening to my body, I know what’s best. If I know what’s best then why am I so angry? Why can’t I let this go?” and so on…

When I was eating I never felt a definitive “full” feeling. I stopped once I was satisfied and ate again when I felt my tummy asking for more. Could I have been eating too much? Possibly. It could have also been what was causing constipation and I didn’t realize it. Yet, it still felt like something deeper….

Then, it dawned on me. It didn’t matter how much I was eating so much as it mattered why I was eating.

When I started this journey, I felt a bit lost. I felt like I hit a fork in the road, but both of the roads had a very dense fog on them. I had no clue what way to go. By the end of my journey, the fog began to lift and I realized it was the same road all along. The problem was that I was running.

Sometimes I can be a bit of an escapist. Two popular tools I abuse are my phone…and food. When there is something coming up that I am not quite ready to face I will avoid it at all costs. I can not yet answer why. I often envision the life I want for myself, the things I would love to create, manifest, and mold into reality. I can see it all perfectly. In all this daydreaming I easily lost sight of my passion. I forget to hold dear the drive that can get me to where I want to be. I love to think about what my life could be, but when it comes to putting in the work? Nah… forget about it…  I’ll just eat/check instagram instead.

On Day 7 I was faced with a harsh reality check. When I arrived home from work with my last banana meal in the seat next to me, along with my keys and phone, God gave me a kick in the ass. I unlocked the passenger door before getting out of the car so I could pick up all my stuff. When I got out on the drivers side I subconsciously locked the car and shut the door.

Well, Shit.

Now all of my stuff was locked in the car. My last bundle of ripe bananas, my phone, keys, my highly perishable probiotic! Woe is me! Whatever will I do now?!

I walked to the lawn and laid down in the sun defeated. Okay lord, you win. I am done with my consumeristic ways from now on. I will face my reality and start living in line with my passions. You sent a sign and it has been heard.

This isn’t the first time something like this has come up for me. By this point it was becoming common knowledge to me that when I focus on creating and doing things I love, food and all other distractions become secondary. When I focus on painting, for example, hours could go by before food even crosses m mind. During the duration of this cleanse my main focus was all about food. “Do I have enough bananas? Am I hungry again or thirsty? Did I eat enough for the day?” I let my self and fall on the back burner. I forgot about my own desires and passions.

Thankfully, my brother was home to let me in the house (my mom wouldn’t be home for another 5 hours), so I could get a small start on loving myself again. I was able to change out of my work clothes, do yoga, clean my room, and watch The Matrix. I had never seen The Matrix until that moment; It was further testament that I need to start believing anything is possible, and I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to.

Who knew that deciding to eat only bananas for a week would help me realize that I was subconsciously avoiding self-love and living in line with my passions? Who knew that by doing a cleanse, I was really avoiding myself? And how ironic that what really got cleansed out wasn’t necessarily physical toxins, but mental ones? Negative self-talk and depressive thinking.

It’s always a good idea to cleanse every once in awhile. Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you may still find that there could be some benefit behind it. Just remember to stick it through and have faith in yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.

 

P.s. be sure to drink enough water.

20+ Quick Plant-Based Milk Recipes

This is a master post of Plant-Based “Mylks”; From cashew to banana, and everything in between. I promise, it is way easier (and tastier!) than you think.

Whether you are vegan, sensitive to dairy, or looking to try something new, these plant-based nut milks (mylks) were designed just for you!

Some of you may be thinking: “I don’t have time to make my own milk. I can go to a store and buy it, why should I bother?”

Well, I’m not going to go into the ethics or gorey details of why you should limit dairy consumption. Google it and look at any of the 39,700,000 results. I will, however, tell you why you should aim to make your own plant-based milks over buying ones on the shelf.

Store-bought plant-based milks are often filled with preservatives, thickening agents, gums, isolates and lecithins, and unless you buy unsweetened: roughly 14-24 teaspoons of sugar. It isn’t just plant-based milks, though. Standard cow’s milk could contain anywhere from 22-28 teaspoons of sugar. All of these “natural” ingredients in store bought milk could lead to inflammation, insulin spikes, leaky gut, digestive discomfort, bloating and excessive gas.

There is also the simple truth of the matter: it just tastes better. When you take the time to make it yourself, put love into it, and use fresh ingredients that have not been processed, it is hard to go back to the store-bought stuff!


DIY Plant-Based “Mylks”

 

Banana

Naturally Sweet and Creamy!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

1 Banana

1-2 Dates

Put ingredients in a blender and blend. Enjoy immediately.


Coconut (Lazy Version)

Easy-Breezy and Smooth Going Down

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Coconut Manna or Butter

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Coconut (Lazy Artisan Version)

One of my favorite methods. The result is Rich, Indulgent, and Full-Bodied.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

2 Cups Coconut Shreds

2-4 Dates

Heat up the water to the point of steaming. Pour in a bowl with the Coconut Shreds and let stand to soften (can skip if you have a high quality blender).

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend from low to high until smooth. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Coconut (Artisan Version)

I recommend investing in a CoCo Jack for this one….

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

Flesh of 2 Coconuts

Crack open the coconut and scoop out its flesh. Remove as much of the shell fragments as possible.

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store up to 5 days in fridge.


Nut or Seed of Choice (Lazy Version)

I like doing this in my Coffee for an Easy and Satisfying Latte.

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp of Unsweetened Seed or Nut Butter

1-2 dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Nut or Seed of Choice (Artisan Version)

Pro-Tip: Always soak the nuts in a bowl of water overnight, at least 8 hours. For seeds, soak at least 2 hours. Remove the ones that float to the top. This gets rid of the bad ones and makes them easier to blend.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

1 Cup Raw Nuts: Almond, Cashew, Pecan (add extra ¼ cup), Pistachio, Macadamia, Hazelnut, Brazil

OR

1 Cup Raw Seeds: Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp or Chia (no need to soak)

2-4 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour ingredients through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in fridge up to 5 days.


Hemp (Lazy Version)

This one gets a special feature because of how easy it is to make. It is one of my go-tos as it is super frothy and great for homemade lattes!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Oat

You don’t know creamy until you have tried oat mylk.

Serves: 3-5

3 Cup Water

2 Cups Oats

1-2 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Quinoa or Rice

Slightly nutty in taste. Not bad at all.

Serves: 4-6

3-4 Cups Water

2 Cups Cooked Quinoa or Rice

1-3 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Optional: 1 tsp Vanilla

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Notes and Tips:

  • Use filtered water for all of the recipes.
  • Experiment with different flavors! You can add cocoa or cacao powders, vanilla, different fruits… It doesn’t have to be plain!
  • I use dates in my recipes to sweeten, as they are a whole food and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined sugars do. Adding them is optional, as these all still taste wonderful without. If you choose to use the dates and they’re a bit on the harder side, soak them prior to using (approx. 30 minutes). You may also swap them for your preferred sweetener.
  • Always use an airtight container to store these in to prevent spoilage. I personally use 64 oz mason jars for the stored batches.

 

What is your favorite milk alternative? Are there any unique flavors you can think of and would like to try? Let’s get creative and start a conversation in the comments below!

Why to Cleanse

Last week I made a post on how to know when it’s time to cleanse and I talked a little about the cleanse that I am currently on. If you have not read it you can check it out HERE.

Now I will go over some of the things I have learned so far, how this cleanse has made me feel, pros and cons, and share a yummy recipe to satisfy the sweet tooth.
I am on the 6th day of this cleanse, so halfway through. The hardest thing about it is remembering to take the herbal supplements. I will probably have an extra day or two worth of pills to take after my 12 days are up. Another difficulty was adjusting to the foods recommended. My diet before this cleanse was mainly bananas and dates, and both of those are not recommended during the time of cleansing due to their higher sugar content.

Having a limited diet is also a blessing in disguise. It opened a doorway to a whole new abundance of recipes to try out and I have been enjoying experimenting with more vegetables and different foods than I would normally eat.

As for how I have been feeling, to my surprise, I have had a lot more energy. I have moments where I feel a bit more tired or my stomach starts to hurt a bit, but then it is quickly over after I realize I just need to go to the bathroom. This detox has opened my eyes to how connected energy and the gut truly are. If the digestion is sluggish, or there is a buildup from eating foods that are difficult to process, it will decrease energy tremendously. Forty-five to seventy percent of daily energy, on average, is put towards processing food. This percent increases as we eat heavier and more processed foods.

On this cleanse, I have been eating mostly raw, all whole foods; saving the cooked and heavier foods for the end of the day. On the days when I experimented with eating cooked foods for breakfast I found my energy levels started to dwindle much sooner.

Some of the benefits I have experienced on this cleanse thus far include: a LOT less bloating, clearer skin, clearer thinking, connection to the body and its natural signals, better sleep, newfound motivation and passion.

Some of the cons: moments of bloating and brain fog before using the bathroom. … That’s it. I feel better after going to the bathroom every time.

I recommend everyone try out a cleanse at least once. There are so many different kinds of cleanses out there. There are even one-day resets for those of you who feel you do not have the time or feel timid on making the commitment.


Reasons I recommend a cleanse:

  1. It connects you to yourself.
    • A cleanse allows you to tune in to your bodies natural signals.
    • It releases old baggage so you are able to focus on here and now.
  2. It is an act of self love.
    • A cleanse is a commitment to yourself.
    • By turning the focus inward, you are acknowledging that there is work to be done, and by releasing all of the old build up you will be able to start fresh and grow anew!
  3. You will feel so much better!
    • Low energy? Low libido? Yeast problems? Gassy or bloated? Angry for no reason? Cleanse.
    • A cleanse is more than just clearing old waste and toxins from the body. It is clearing all of the negativity that has made its home in your body through time. As we progress through life, we carry old burdens with us. A cleanse can bring those up and release them leaving you feeling much lighter.

If you are thinking of embarking on a cleanse, here are my top tips to make it easy and painless:

  • Stay hydrated. Always keep water on you. If you don’t drink plenty of water, any toxins being kicked up will just sit inside of you leaving you feeling fatigued and sick.
  • Go at your own pace. If you feel you are only capable of a one day cleanse, then start there. We are all in a different place, and some may have a lot more toxicity built up than others. Release what you can handle and do not try to tackle it all at once.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods, low-sugar fruits and vegetables. Keep the heavy foods (starchy, protein-rich, fatty) to a palm sized portion and see how you feel from there. Keep the focus on high-fiber fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
  • Rest. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the noise of daily life, but if you feel you need to take some time to relax and be with yourself, do it. Light some candles, take a bath, read a good book. Whatever it takes to keep you grounded and at peace.
  • Ask for support. Sometimes our biggest downfall during a cleanse can be being around others who are not on one. Make sure the people you surround yourself with know about and respect what you are doing for yourself. That way you feel supported through the process and will feel less tempted to go off-course.
  • Forgive yourself. If you mess up once, do not worry about it. I have already forgotten the pills I was supposed to take at least 3 times, and I ate grapes (a high-sugar fruit, not on my acceptable list) on the first day! That did not stop me from striving forward towards my goal. Never let a bump in the road keep you from yours.

Recipe

Sweet Potato and Millet-meal

Serves: 1

1 Cup cooked Millet
1 Small baked Sweet Potato
Almond Milk, to cover
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
Dash of Vanilla
Generous shakes of Cinnamon

Directions: Stir the millet in a container with the flax, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or while the sweet potato cooks. Cook the sweet potato whole in a glass baking dish for an hour at 300 degrees (quicker at higher temperature, but not as good for you.) Right before the potato is done baking, put the millet concoction into a small pan and warm on low. When the sweet potato is done, cut it in half and drizzle almond butter in the center. Plate it up and Serve!


 

10 Easy Ways to Survive the Summer Heat

Here in Michigan, Summer came creeping up from behind quickly, and with a story to tell. We were all feeling it as the sun blazed down and the sweat started to form a sticky layer that seemed to become a part of the skin. I had to learn quickly how to adapt to this heat wave, just to be comfortable in my own home. Now I would like to share a few tips and tricks with you on how to survive these coming summer months. After all, this is only the beginning….

First, we will start with some of the obvious:

  1. Loose-Fitting, Cotton Clothing

It’s breathable and will increase airflow around your body.

      2. Drink Plenty of Water

You are roughly 60-70% water. It is vital for regulating body temperature and keeping you cool, especially as these hot summer months can suck the moisture right out of you! (Gotta love that sticky humidity) Be sure to stay extra hydrated, I aim for at least 3 Litres of water a day, if not more. Listen to your body to find what works for you. If you’re one of those people who don’t like the taste of water, try adding fresh fruits and herbs! Experiment with different flavor combos. Here are a few to try out:

  • Cucumber + Lemon (Alkalizing and contains Electrolytes!)
  • Blueberry + Lavender (High in Antioxidants and Relaxing)
  • Watermelon + Mint (Summer in a Cup)
  • Strawberry + Lime + Mint (Refreshing Detoxifier)
  • Green Tea + Lemon + Ginger (Metabolism Booster)

      3. Turn Off and Unplug

Pretty straightforward. Electricity emits heat. Keep the lights off and unplug electronics at night.

      4. Hang a Wet Sheet

This might be a new one! Hang a wet sheet in a doorway or on the windows. The air blowing in will pick up moisture from the cloth and quickly cool down the room.

      5. Avoid the Stove and Oven

Have you ever cooked something in the oven during a hot summer day and dreaded going into the kitchen after? I would too, having a large appliance emitting waves of 400 degree heat.
Opt for eating more fresh and raw foods, especially ones with high water content to cool down and regulate body temperature (Easy Summer Recipes coming soon!) Some good choices include fruits (Berries, Watermelon, Peaches, Apples…), celery, cucumber, leafy greens, peppermint, and tomatoes.

      6. Sleep Outside

I’ve taken a liking to sleeping outside on my porch. It’s much cooler at night, but sometimes the house is left still humid and hot from the day time. Go rustic and set up a tent in your backyard for the night. If camping was never really your style, try glamping! You could even invite some friends over and make a little party out of it.

     7. Put your Sheets in the Freezer

Place your sheets in a reusable bag and store in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to sleep. It won’t last all night, but can at least keep you cool while you’re drifting off to sleep.

      8. If You’re Sweating, Up your Salt Intake

Salt is a vital mineral for regulating body temperature and has a cooling effect. As you sweat, you lose salt through your pores. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may need salt even more, as it leeches it from your body! Take a small pinch of high quality sea salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt) and add it to your food or water throughout the day.

      9. Go Cold Brewed

You could brew coffee or tea traditionally and pour it over ice, but boiling the water could add excess heat to the air.
For Iced Tea, I like to add around 8-10 tea bags to a half gallon container and store it in the fridge overnight.
For Cold-Brew Coffee, add 1 + 1/3 Cup of ground coffee to a jar with 4 cups of water and let sit in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours). When ready, pour through a fine mesh strainer and serve! It will turn out quite concentrated, so I recommend diluting it to your liking.

      10. Exercise… your Green Thumb

You thought I was going to tell you to actually exercise didn’t you?

Did you know there are plants that can help keep your house cool? Most of them are the same ones that remove pollutants and toxins from the air! Bonus!
Just to name a few:

  • Snake Plant
  • Ferns (especially good for humidity)
  • Areca Palm Tree (removes benzene and formaldehyde)
  • Ficus Tree
  • Aloe Vera (will also come in handy for the sunburn you’ll be getting!)

Have you tried any of these methods, or have tips and tricks of your own? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Signs You May Need to Cleanse

How do you know when it is time to cleanse?

Here are a few warning signs:

  • Feeling heavy and lethargic
  • Being stuck in cyclic patterns
  • Dropping everything
  • Bump into every object and wall you pass
  • Difficulty thinking or talking clearly
  • Bloated or gassy
  • Stressed constantly, even if there is nothing to be upset about
  • Yeast overgrowth (itchy down under)
  • Lack of motivation or apathetic

 

I could keep going on, but I think you get the idea. It could be time for a cleanse when you have a feeling that something is out of balance.

 

Yesterday’s Full Moon had a theme of Transformation and Healing.

Lately, I have been feeling out of balance. I found this to be the perfect time to embark on a cleanse. On the Full Moon, I decided to dry fast the whole day and decide where to go from there.

During this fast a couple things came up for me:

I have been very hard on myself and need to learn balance between resting and working;

And…

Emotions are meant to be felt, not bottled up or hidden. On that note, they are also not meant to be dwelled on. It is perfectly acceptable to not be super happy and enthusiastic all the time; it’s exhausting. It’s also not ideal to be upset or negative all of the time. What matters is to find a peaceful balance between the two to return to once the positive and negative have been experienced.

 

Today, I have decided to continue my cleanse. I woke up feeling a bit lighter emotionally and spiritually, but physically I could tell there is work to be done as I am still quite heavy. I am no longer fasting, as I do lead an active lifestyle and work full time. I will be using the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox for the next 12 days. I invite you to find a cleanse that works for you and join me in this venture on the road to overcoming obstacles and healing from the inside out. It doesn’t have to be intense or cost a lot of money. It could be as simple as cutting out all processed foods for a week and drinking 2 litres of water a day. We are all in different places. It’s important to acknowledge where you are at now, and what you feel ready for.

The focus on this cleanse will be to drink plenty of water, eating only fresh fruits and vegetables, and to eat foods that are mainly alkaline. I will check in throughout the cleanse with updates and inspiration, so stay tuned and make sure to be following me on this blog or other social media (found at the top and bottom of this page).

If you would like to eat according to the detox I am using, I will include a link to the PDF file of the food list HERE.

 

We are blessed with these bodies to embark on a human experience, filled with the good and bad, always in a state of growing. Throughout a 70 year lifespan, a single person clears at least 25,200 lbs of waste from the body. On top of this, we are constantly storing gunk from a lot of the foods people are not meant to eat and energies from our environment, other people, and our own emotions. It is vital to take care of these vessels and give them the love they deserve for working so hard to keep us going. It is time to check in with ourselves and take notice of what the body, and intuition, is telling us.

What is yours telling you?

A Reflection In Yoga

An Essay Written by Erin McCaffery

I began to practise yoga after a sort of personal awakening, upon realizing how little I maintained my health and the effects of that on my depression. I’ve never been the very active type, but decided if I couldn’t handle a few minutes a day to build my strength by just simply existing in various poses then I was being far too lazy for my own good, which is another demon with which I am well acquainted. I began with youtube tutorial videos and then enrolled in Yoga I Winter 2015 semester as a means of forcing myself to continue with practice.

Alongside the physical changes I’ve been trying to grow within the myself, the past year I have had a shift in mindset. It began with philosophical talks with some well-read friends and an Existentialism class, and with my existing fascination for natural sciences this set me on a path with many Eastern roots. I’ve taken from what I have read, felt, and understood in my experience of the world to believe in the magic of nature and of the mind. Much of Eastern philosophy, Taoism having been my main focus, can be viewed as analogous to evolutionary patterns, the course of nature itself. As an existentialist I understand the importance of Now, the present moment, the only reality having any claim to existing. This is comparable to Awareness and Presence within the body practiced in yoga, which I feel when considering all three at once each only serves to deepen the others. As a scientist I understand the importance of bodily health in relation to mental health, the two are inseparably intertwined and guide the development of each other.

This was all comparably described in Iyengar’s Tree of Yoga. The tree of the self and the description of the roots, trunks, branches, leaves and fruit. The self is a seed that must be cultivated and grown until it is unable to continue, as all plants do. While I do not know if I believe in a God, I do believe that there is far much more to human biology and psychology than we will ever be aware of, and spirituality as a product of that deserves examination.

In Eastern countries yoga is considered to be as spiritual as is it mental physical, opposed to the simple Western goal of exercise. The everydayness of our society dulls us to our inner sensitivities, and this has led us down a slippery slope away from many achievable ideals of existences- we cease to see others as we are, we lose empathy, and we succumb to the darker parts within ourselves by our unawareness of them. And I by no means place the fault on any individual in society, but on society as a whole. Ignorance and pride, considered intellectual defects, desire and aversion, considered emotional defects, and even the fear of death is an instinctual defect.

With the practise of yoga I aim for self study, improvement, and peace. I see my place in society as one anyone may fill, and I am the only ‘anyone’ that I have control over so it has to be me. To live in a society that I support morally I must live as the citizen I see fit to exist. The elements of Ego Death in yoga also interest me,the sublimation of the self with the Universal Spirit is to me a living shift in mindset. There are so many things to celebrate of humanity- the depths of love, the powers of empathy, the beauty of art, the creation of every action one makes. Everything we know is a product of the Universe, and we have become its own introspective eyes. What we see is of our own creation, but credit and property are two of the largest illusions of our time. They blind us to each other, ourselves, and to the future. I practise yoga in order to see.

How To Live in the Flow of Abundance

On Abundance.

A small word with Infinite meaning, as Vast as the Universe itself.

The Universe is Abundant.

Abundant in Galaxies, Stars, Planets…

Of that Universe one would find our home planet: Earth.

Earth is Abundant in Trees, Water, Plants, Animals, and People.

Of those People, one would find You.

Abundant in Life, Love, Cells, Atoms, and Stardust.

You are born of Stardust.

You are as Infinite as the Universe itself,

Because

You are the Universe.

You are Abundant.

“I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up—many people feel small, because they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

In my last post I talked about how to clean our slate, so that we may be open to the abundance of the universe. Now, I would like to share how to live within the flow of abundance.

Whether you realize it or not, you are already in the flow of abundance.

When we focus on the negatives in our lives, it starts to accumulate this pile of dirt in front of us that grows taller and taller until we can’t see all of the blessings before us. We have to push this dirt pile forward while we make our way through life, making it a lot harder to be fully open to the loving hug the universe is trying to give us. This means that by focusing on negatives instead of the positives, we are closing ourselves off to more positives and abundance. 

Thankfully for you, you read my last post, so your dirt pile is no longer there. The question is, how do we keep this pile from forming again and remain open to universal abundance?

It’s simple. Almost annoyingly so. All you have to do is know that you are abundant.

Say it with me:

I am Abundant.

In this consumeristic society it’s easy to get caught up in the feeling of lack. People often focus on everything that they don’t have, wants and needs, and things they want to change. To be and feel abundant, you have to shift the focus from what you do not have to what you do have. Focus on being grateful for all of the blessings that surround you, big and small.

If you have gone most of your life focusing on lack, this can be a difficult practice to get in the habit of. The Ego LOVES convincing you everything is going wrong and the world is pitted against you. In fact, it thrives on it. It wants to push you down so it can grow bigger and stronger along with that dirt pile. I’m here to tell you: don’t let it win. One thing can beat it, and that is love. Love for yourself and all of the amazing things this universe has to offer.

Here are some practices you can try out to start shifting your focus to gratitude and abundance:

Make a list of all that your are grateful for.

This can be anything. The stars in the sky, that strand of hair that falls perfectly, the trees, family and friends, that job offer you got last week. Anything. No limits, not even the sky! Be grateful for that too! Even better would be to get in the habit of doing this every day. I like to start my day by journaling 10 things I am grateful for. Even if they are repeats from old lists or a bunch of little things.

Wake up every morning, throw your hands into the air and yell “THANK YOU!” to the Universe.

This may seem silly or embarrassing, but I promise you it is nothing short of effective. When we can start our day off the bat with gratitude, it sets the tone for how the rest of your day is going to go.

Meditate on it.

You don’t have to go full out Buddha under the Bodhi tree chanting “Om” to meditate. Meditation is in every moment. You can meditate doing the dishes. It’s simply being present in the moment. I use this as a tool to focus on gratitude by setting a mood for myself, mainly in the morning or before bed. I make a soothing tea and sit somewhere comfortable and relax while I listen to the world around me. From here I’ll start thinking of all of the things I am grateful for in that moment. The sound of birds or crickets outside, the light or the sun or moon shining through the window, the clean and cooling breeze, the smell of tea wafting up into the air….

Create an Altar.

Simply create a space on a table somewhere you’ll pass by often and fill it with things you love. Fresh flowers, and statue of your favorite animal, pictures with friends and family, your favorite smelling incense or a potpourri bowl, some crystals… let your imagine run wild.

Write it on your mirror.

Where is one of the first places people go when they wake up? The bathroom. Where are they bound to revisit again throughout the day? The bathroom. Write “I am Abundant” on your mirror, perhaps with a little list of things you are grateful for, and repeat it whenever you visit the bathroom. Mirrors are also powerful and magical tools for amplifying and reflecting back energy. If you look in the mirror and tell yourself you are abundant, it will reflect that abundance right back to you!

Create a Mantra.

You can come up with your own or simply say “I am Abundant.” Whenever you are feeling small, lacking, or just need a kick back into the flow- tell yourself you are abundant. As many times as you need to until you not only know it, but feel it.

Clean Your Slate

In honor of the New Moon last night, I am going to do a two-part “series” on how to release all that has been holding you back, and how to open yourself back up to the natural flow of abundance. First, on how to let go of what has been holding you back:

It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives. People are like sponges. We absorb the environment we dwell in at any given time. Have you ever walked into a room where a fight just happened, and were able to feel the dense heaviness of the air?

We are constantly reminded of all of the bad things happening in the world. When’s the last time you turned on the news and heard mainly happy and uplifting stories? As we are constantly surrounded by all of this negative energy, it starts to build up and weigh us down. We start to forget the good things and focus on all of these negatives we are faced with.

There may be things building up in your own life; “My job is too stressful, I have no time for myself, there’s dishes in the sink, and when is the last time I had a vacation?!”

Then there’s what’s going on in everyone else’s life. How often do you have conversations with someone and they tell you all of the wonderful things in their life, rather than the drama and the drama of other people they know?

One common thing I hear about these behaviors is, “I just need to vent.”

Venting is a wonderful tool to work through all of the clutter in life and let it go, but people often confuse venting and complaining.

First, let’s get clear on that:

vent
  1. give free expression to (a strong emotion).
    Synonyms: release, let out, pour out, express, discuss, talk over, communicate

complain

  1. express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.
    Synonyms: protest, grumble, whine, bleat, make a fuss

By venting your emotions, you are taking the initiative to work through them with someone to get them off your chest. Complaining, however, is the manifestation of negative emotion towards the circumstance.

By complaining, you are essentially holding in and growing what is upsetting you by throwing more dirt on top of it. If we begin to look at our troubles with an inquisitive and open mind, then it will make it a lot easier to overcome them and take the weight off.

The best way to vent is to sit down with someone you trust, and ask them to listen with an open heart and open mind while you speak what has been troubling you. This could be a friend, family member, or you could even consider investing in a health coach.

As a health coach, I am trained in the top coaching methods and create a safe space where you can feel comfortable to express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Many people in today’s world will hold things in because they feel they do not have this safe space, and are insecure about their own feelings. I spent a large majority of my life holding in everything until it came out as anger towards the people I love. It took a long time to learn that how I felt was valid, and there is no reason to fear being judged or looked down upon for how I feel. The same goes for you.

It is vital to have people in your life where there is a mutual love and trust. Create a space for yourself that is free of judgement, so that you may express yourself freely and continue to grow past any dirt that may try holding you down.

Some people may not yet have a safe space like this. You may feel there is no one you have a strong enough bond with to feel comfortable expressing yourself without being judged or having your feelings dismissed. I have been here too, and there are ways to work through it.

Journaling is one of the most important things you could do for yourself. It is completely private and a blank canvas to project anything and everything that’s been on your mind. Journaling has helped me overcome depression and anxiety, get through college, and release the anger issues I have had since childhood.

Praying is another powerful practice. I have an altar set up in my room where I can sit at night and release any fears or worries to the Divine, so that I may fall asleep knowing that I am safe and provided for. Sometimes, I’ll even have a dream that night about overcoming what it was that had been bothering me!

Any form of art, from painting to poetry, can also be helpful in projecting your worries. Experiment with different methods and find what works best for you.

When we take the time to check in with ourselves and notice what has been weighing us down, it helps us to better understand ourselves and our fears. As we learn to release these things, it will open doors to new opportunities in life and allow us to continue growing into the beautiful, abundant beings we were born to be.

It’s okay to feel lost or stuck sometimes, it happens to all of us. Just know that it doesn’t end there. A flower doesn’t stop growing once it hits the pavement. It breaks through that shit until it can feel the sun shining down upon it, allowing it to bloom into its fullest potential. You are that flower. Get ready to bloom.

 

Even flowers growing in rock crevices

Keep an eye out for the second part to this article on how to manifest more love and abundance  into your life.