Tag Archives: inspiration

Taking a Break and Trusting the Flow

Trusting The Flow Photo Credit:  Holly Kempe

Trusting The Flow
Photo Credit: Holly Kempe

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t written on my blog for over two months!  I never foresaw this happening.  However, as I embarked upon some big changes in my life, (namely, preparing for and then carrying out a cross-country move to Portland, Oregon) there was no inspiration towards blogging.

At first, I tried forcing a few blog articles, but that didn’t feel too good. I began to feel uncertainty and fear around NOT blogging.  I had nurtured a deep dedication to my blog and had big career plans with it.  And then, suddenly, NOTHING.  Was my whole blog project just a temporary dream? Did I yet again start something and not finish? Was I back to square one again?

Yes.  No.  I don’t know.

All I know is, that over two months later, I have the inspiration again AND that I have been exploring a new way of approaching life.

You see, like many of us, I have an inner critic and authority figure in my head (the proverbial, internalized parent), that seemingly attempts to guide me in my best interest.  However, it often clashes with that deeper, wordless part of me that simply doesn’t jive with its imposed order.

After years of trying to make my life work by the authority figure’s plans and having  it never really work for me, I have decided to give it up, piece by piece, chunk by chunk.  It’s so scary because what if, left to my own organic rhythms, I discover that I am an inherently lazy and an unproductive person?!

What if?

I can’t say that I know the answer yet.  At the very least, I know what doesn’t work.  I am willing to see what following my own organic flow looks like and take a leap of faith that it might have my best interests at heart- even if it doesn’t look like what I think it should.

Something’s got to change and I am ready to take the plunge.  Are you?

Please share in the comments section below how you’ve handled change, gone with the flow, taken a break and dealt with uncertainty. I would love to hear from you.

The Magic of Summer Rain Dances

Photo Credit: Daxe09

Photo Credit: Daxe09

Who Likes Dancing In the Rain?

Apparently, I do.  For the first time ever in over 37 years, I willingly threw myself into a downpour.  No more of that timid stuff– mists and sprinkles (although, they are amazing, mind you.)  I was ready for the intensity of a gorgeous, full force rainfall.

Stepping out of my apartment, with my semi-broken umbrella (i.e. security blanket), I gently got used to rain drops hitting my skin, where my tiny umbrella did not protect me.  I, then, pulled away the umbrella to feel the rain on my skin and then shielded myself again.  I went back and forth like this a few more times, until I ditched the umbrella altogether.

The rain briefly lightened– not so bad.  But then, the deluge returned, and just like jumping into cool lake, where at first it is slightly unpleasant as my body gets used to the temperature of the water, I soon adjusted, feeling the pure watery bliss.

Okay, so I never, literally, danced in the rain, but I was dancing in side.  I tilted my head back, letting the rain slide down my face, down my arms, down my back, down my legs, soaking my dress completely.  Ahhhh, cleansed by water– joy free flowing.  I opened my arms wide to the sky, letting the rain beat down upon my heart.  As I walked down the street, I saw a few people dashing to get out of the rain and a few more people standing in doorways waiting for it to pass, but I was loving being in it 1000%.  So much so, that I ran in it, like a child expressing glee.

It’s moments like this that I realize that more rain dances and expressions of joy are in order.  Next time, I want to go deeper and wider, and not stop and go home to take my laundry out of the wash, but keep going, allowing the moment to fully blossom and awaken my life.

 

The Magic Of Rainwater For Your Hair

 

Who enjoys dancing in the rain?

Who enjoys dancing in the rain?  Photo Credit: Praise Philly

Nature is absolutely magical and sometimes even beautifying.  The simplest things can be the most profound.  Take rainwater, for instance: while I used to resist being outside in the rain, particularly in cold weather, I now remind myself, when caught in a spring sprinkle,  to relax and enjoy.  The rain brings out the child in me who wants to splash in puddles, muse at drops glistening over leaves and enjoy the sensations of tiny droplets falling on my skin.  Not to mention, rain does amazing things to my hair.

Just two days ago, I got caught in the rain.  I told the part of me, that wanted to hurry to my destination and get out of the rain, to relax.  I slowed my pace, relaxing into the sensations of a light, cool rain showering all over my skin.  I was wearing flip flops and seemed to inadvertently splash some dirt, from puddles, up the backs of my legs.  There was a joy to this messiness.

Once I got indoors and spied my reflection in the mirror, my previously flat, slightly frizzy hair, was now wavy, soft and glossy.  Hooray!  I have also noticed that when I get caught in a rain or mist, that I can go an extra day without washing my hair.

So, what is about the rain that creates this hair magic? Rain is a soft water which hair loves. Hard water doesn’t wash your hair as well; you can’t lather as well and it doesn’t rinse out the soap scum very well either.  Also, rainwater doesn’t have chlorine, which is harsh for our skin and hair.

Digging a little deeper, what I found out from a company called,  Rainwater Connection, is that rainwater is a “high quality water” that “is soft, neutral in pH, free from disinfection by-products, salts, minerals, and other natural and man-made contaminants.”   However, they caution that you should properly collect and filter your rainwater for personal use.

When googling about the benefits of rainwater for hair, several websites cautioned against using acid rain.  Holistics.com cautions: “Rainwater still has chemicals in it, but it won’t contain some of the heavier chemicals found in hard water. Rainwater is not safe to drink without filtering it first. If you live in an acid rain area or any place where a layer of smog casts a pallor over the town, washing with rainwater is not for you.”  I even looked at a map that showed acid rain prone areas of the United States. It looks like I live in one of them.  Still, my hair seems to love getting caught in the rain.

Here are some other website pages that tell you how to wash your hair with rainwater and also things you should be cautious about when using rainwater:

I keep wondering, however, if there is something else about rainwater other than it’s softness, lack of chlorine and lack of other contaminates?   Unlike treated tap water, it comes from the sky and is part of the cycles of nature.

It is alive.

A selfie of yours truly, enjoying a light morning rain.

A selfie of yours truly enjoying a light morning rain.

The Persistence Of Nature In The City

 

Springs lushness ignites the soul.

Spring’s lushness ignites the soul.

Spring has been springing for over two months now and I’m still in awe.  A city that had felt hostile, cold and barren now dances in bird song and explodes in green lushness, flowers and joy.  I just can’t get over it and nor do I want to.

The beautiful merging of man-made and nature.

The beautiful merging of man-made and nature.

I often take the scenic route, avoiding busy or ugly streets, preferring the magical blend of beautiful architecture, lush gardens and the sway of trees sighing in the gentle wind.

Every bit of green helps.

Every bit of green helps.

You see, ever little bit of green helps in an urban environment.  The less cement, the better.  I often wish the sidewalks were narrower, giving way to plant life instead.  Perhaps, our walkways could be like quaint brick paths with little grasses, weeds and dandelions creeping up  between the bricks, exposing the soil and the richness of life.

Nature persists.

Nature persists.

In spite of the concrete, pavement, dense buildings and humanity’s intent to control and contain nature, she persists, determined to burst forth.  You see her in between sidewalk cracks, growing up the side of buildings and taking over the yards of vacant homes.

Nature persists through concrete.

Nature persists through concrete.

I often wonder about her rich soil and microorganisms trapped beneath streets, buildings and sidewalks, wondering if they persist too?  I wonder about the rain water that longs to feed the soil and give birth to life, that is often left to trickle down the cement and into storm drains instead?

And, I wonder if cities could be like forests, seamlessly merging man-made with nature in a mutually nourishing  and symbiotic dance expressing the web of life?

 

 

Flow versus Force: Finding Ease In Your Green Journey

Sometimes Small Green Steps Create Bigger Change

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What Does Going Green Mean To You?

What started you on your green journey?  Have your reasons evolved over time?For me, my initial interest in going green was to reduce garbage.  The idea of mounds of stuff accumulating in landfills (some of it never biodegrading) really bothered me.

Over time, as I learned more about sustainability and evolved personally, my reasons multiplied and deepened.  For me, going green is about living in harmony with Earth, consuming from a balanced place and a wholesome, healthy and vibrant way of living.

On a global level, I care for about how people, animals, plants and ecosystems  are effected by pollution and habitat destruction. I feel part of a new consciousness taking root where every action considers the whole, where we feel empowered to create an abundant world that mirrors our hearts, where businesses and governments are created from a place that honors and nourishes all life.

Creating New Habits

So, what creates change?  Zooming back into to things on a more personal scale, I believe, that small steps can often be more powerful.  Perhaps, what applies on a personal level can apply on a global level.   Going green is no different from any other way you may change and evolve as a person.  For example, many years ago, I wanted to eat way less sugar for health reasons, BUT I was very addicted to sweets. A few times I made dramatic short-term changes, like going on a candida cleanse.   However, after such a dramatic change in behavior, my dominant habits that I had for many years, soon returned (albeit, slightly improved).

Over the years, however, my intake of sugar has naturally decreased without much force or will-power.  Why is that?  For one thing, I was working on myself to become more present, peaceful and clear in my life purpose. Shedding some emotional baggage in my life has made it easier for me to not emotionally eat and also to be more in tune with my inner rhythms and what truly nourishes me.  Plus, I was sincerely interested in eating wholesomely.  I believe any authentic dedication will eventually take root and blossom.  Also, when I chose the path of least resistance, the changes more likely stuck.  Over time, those changes added up to big results.

Going green is much the same thing.  Celebrate what you already are doing now and see what new steps you are ready to take next.  Remember, new habits form better in bite sizes.   Right now, I want to go to the next level in weening myself off of plastic.  After seeing this YouTube video and going to this website with plastic-free products, I felt both inspired and a bit overwhelmed.   I thought to myself, “well, I can do more to eliminate plastic from my life, but what about about supplements that are for my cat’s health condition that come in plastic bottles?  What about protein powders that come in plastic containers?  I don’t want to give them up.  Do I have to bake my own gluten-free bread?  I don’t like baking.  It takes too much time. ” And then, I saw the price of some plastic-free alternatives, and I was like “wow, I am going to have to earn more money to live plastic-free.” 

Let me share a little secret with you: when we feel overwhelmed, we are not in a peaceful and present place and, therefore,  not capable of making empowering decisions.   So, just chill.  Take some deep breaths with me and trust the process.  Ahhhhh, good.   So, how about this? Pick 3 new habits you can explore and incorporate over the next few weeks.  Make it fun and enjoy trying something new.

Here are my 3 new habits to explore incorporating into my life:

  1. Find a store that sells organic, bulk spices and get a few reusable spice containers.
  2. Try soap nuts for doing laundry.
  3. Grow my own sprouts to put in salads.
  4. I am adding a fourth as a bonus.  It’s not quite a habit I ready to form yet, but I  am curious to explore different types of snack-foods that are either easy to make or come in sustainable packaging.

After you’re in a peaceful place, feel into the inspiration and where the flow is.  As you explore new alternatives and develop new habits, you will become an inspiration for others.  Those that walk the talk in an inspiring way, without preaching, positively impact others. And for those others habits that may seem like a struggle to incorporate, take a step back and trust that you will be ready when the time is ripe or you will find an alternate way that works better for you.  This sort of attitude creates an open space for more powerful change and, ultimately, makes you a more empowered citizen of the Earth.

The Beauty of Less Stuff

home

As I look around at my humble abode that I share with my boyfriend in Brooklyn, I feel proud.  I feel like I have accomplished a mission.  My home is simple, low-clutter and artful with a beautiful clear energy.  I’m not a neat-freak, but because I have a lower amount stuff in a spacious apartment, I don’t have to be.

Severals years ago,  I read “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston and started getting rid of things, even old diaries that I felt held painful memories and old stagnant ways of being.   If an object inspired negativity or ambivalence, I often let it go.  Luckily, I am not very nostalgic, so this is was easy for me in certain ways. I peeled away layers and layers, disliking holding onto things that were not useful or beautiful to me.  My only stuck spot in this was if I couldn’t find a sustainable way to get rid of something like, for example,  used lipstick,  burnt-out incandescent light bulbs, broken candle votives,  etc. Did I ever regret getting rid of something?  Yes.  Admittedly, I can be a little get-rid-of happy. Three items comes to mind that I could totally use now.  Ugh.

Not only was I letting go of things, but many items in my home are sustainable (i.e second hand).  Admittedly, my initial motivation was the cost-effectiveness.  But later on, I also realized it was much greener and also began to purchase some new things, when in my price range, made of sustainable materials, like my bamboo drying rack for hanging my laundry.

Anyway, I think there is a beauty to having less that is both sustainable and liberating.  Here are some benefits of letting go of stuff and accumulating less:

  1. The energy and look of your home will be more open, spacious, airy and clear.
  2. It feels therapeutic and cleansing to let go of objects that carry ambivalent or negative associations for you.
  3. As your home becomes less cluttered and bogged down by stuff, you feel clearer and lighter inside.
  4. You’ll have less stuff to organize and clean, which means more free time and simplicity.
  5. A chance to look within and heal:  do you compulsively collect, hoard or emotionally shop rather than face some difficult feelings inside?  Perhaps, this is a time to nurture yourself in more healthy ways, like a yoga class or a nature walk, or find a therapist or insightful, caring friend to talk to.  There are also professional organizers  and declutterers that could be just what the doctor ordered.
  6. Freedom of movement: it’s easier to change residences with less stuff to pack and move.
  7. Sustainability: consuming less of the Earth’s precious resources means less deforestation, less habitat destruction, less mountain-top removal and strip mining for minerals, less pollution, less toxins, less endangered and going extinct species and the health and well-being of the human race for generations to come.  See if you can buy second hand or find a a more sustainable version of your desired or needed item.
  8. Less expensive: use that money for things that truly nurture you like buying  organic food, getting a massage,  an eco-travel adventure, taking an art class  or whatever makes your heart sing.
  9. Less stuff, less gadgets, less television and video games, means less distraction and more quality time to connect with the world around you, to connect more with friends and family, to engage positively with your community,  to follow your passions,  and to also cultivate a deeper relationship with nature.
  10. Getting rid of stuff is also an opportunity to  be generous.  Perhaps, your friends and family could use what you no longer need.  Doesn’t it feel good to give?  Perhaps, you could donate to your local charity.  Heck, you could be generous to yourself and make some money selling  your castaways on craigslist or have a yard sale.

Thank you for reading and happy spring cleaning!  Feel free to share your own inspirations on this topic in the comment section.

The One Thing Even More Important for Your Diet Than Healthy Food

Well being starts from within.

Well being starts from within.

Have you ever been fatigued, under the weather or in less than optimal health, for an extended time, in spite of a very healthy diet?

A while back, I had this on and off slight sinus infection or slight scratchiness of the throat for several months.   At the time, I was on a protocol for a non-related health issue, taking heavy duty immune boosters and antioxidants.  I had also increased my vegetable intake,  reduced my sugar intake and was eating very little gluten and dairy (I was supposed to have none, but I cheated occasionally.) As a health foodie,  in general, I eat predominately organic and unrefined foods. So, experiencing frequent under-the-weatherness did not make sense to me.

There were times that I thought I wasn’t eating perfectly enough.  I, also, thought that I might have a hidden food or environmental allergy/sensitivity.  I felt like the proverbial mule chasing the dangling carrot– if only I had more self-control and ate more purely.  If could limit my dark chocolate intake to twice a week and have gluten/dairy once or twice a month, then all would be well.  But something in that pursuit of perfection didn’t feel right to me.  It felt kind of like an admonishing authority figure taking up real estate in my head or like a skipping record playing  the same message over and over again, but not being effective.  It didn’t feel flowing and expansive.  I realized my focus was in the wrong direction in helping myself.

There have been times in my life where I have eaten more gluten, dairy and sweet treats while taking no immune supportive and antioxidant supplements.  And guess what?  I rarely got slightly under-the-weather or full-blown sick.  Connecting the dots and feeling into the natural intuitive gifts we all possess, I realized that my state of being was the prime cause of of my reoccurring experience of feeling “slightly” not well.

Our state of being (thoughts, emotions and, ultimately, the way we perceive reality) is something we eat 24-7.  Let’s face it, everything  is energy.  This is a scientific fact proven by quantum physics. So, when we are experiencing chronic underlying tension in our lives, that is a particular energy effecting our denser energy– i.e. our physical body.  I firmly believe one could eat the most PERFECT diet (whatever that means to you) and if your general state of being is not supportive and nurturing to you,  your body will be negatively impacted.  To me, while a healthy diet is very powerful, a healthy state of being is even more powerful.

That said, once I realized that perfecting my diet was not going to solve my sinus/throat issues, I started to look within.  I started to realize that I was experiencing a chronic, subtle tension in my life: not feeling nurtured by my romantic relationship.  Not sure how to deal with it, I focused on my life-purpose goals instead.  I didn’t want to say the same things over and over again to my beloved partner like a broken record to no avail, so I unsuccessfully tried to clear my frustrations on my own.  Eventually,  I noticed I wasn’t being honest with myself or my partner.  Being honest was scary and might have meant some big changes I felt unprepared for. Looking back, it’s no wonder that my physical symptoms were showing up in the mouth area, our primary means of expression.

I started to realize our lives are holistic.  If one part of our life isn’t flowing well, it effects the whole.  It was totally silly of me to explore following my heart in my career life while not dealing with my heart in my intimate life, as if they were separate entities. So, one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore and with mutually prayerful intentions, my partner and I candidly shared our needs, frustrations and what each of us wanted to create romantically, like really shooting for the stars, rather than just settling for “good enough” or tolerable.  As I shared from my most heart-felt authentic place and listened deeply,  I felt intense sensations in my upper chest and also where my neck connects with my jaw.  These sensations were sharp, like electrical currents that suddenly fired. I also started to feel a big pressure on the roof of my mouth.  Although a bit painful, all of these sensations felt positive, like a heavy weight was finally being released.  Ahhhhhh. I started to feel physically and emotionally better.

So, if your state of being can either nourish you like a healthy delicious meal or leave you feeling clogged, jittery and uncomfortable like eating a whole box of cookies in one sitting, how can you better take care of your state of being?  Do you take time to just be?  Do you meditate?  Do you give yourself time to digest and process the happenings in your life and to become present to what you truly feel? Do you take walks in the park or in nature?  Do you move and exercise your body in ways that feel good and free up the flow in your body? Are you able to express and explore your true feelings with both yourself and your loved ones? Are you a good listener?   Do you love the work you do? If not, are you committed to exploring what a nurturing work life would look like for you and to take steps to create that?

As you take time to nurture you state of being, be freely expressed, and listen more deeply to yourself and others, your thoughts, emotions and perceptions of reality will naturally change, thus making a healthy change to your energetic diet.  So, tune into yourself right now.  What, in this moment, would be the most yummy and supportive for you?  Maybe, you’re stressed and you just need to scream into your pillow.  Maybe, you just want to take some deep,  heart-felt  breaths.  Or maybe, you have an overwhelming urge to take a walk and gaze at the moon.  Trust whatever comes to you and enjoy a healthier life lived more fully, moment to moment.