Tag Archives: Meditation

Versatile Blogger Award

I woke up yesterday morning to a notification that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

(Where does this even come from?! Haha!)

Needless to say, it lit up my morning like a pot of gold in the sunshine. I barely thought that this website reached anyone…but what I have to write about had made a difference in at least one person’s life.

Thank you MrHushHush for the recognition 🙂 I’ve only been following your blog a little bit…but in this short time, I’ve been blown away by your literary mindfood and personal engagement with readers. Thank you, cyber acquaintance! Keep on creating! 🙂

Rules for Versatile Blogger Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
  4. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 Facts

  1. I have only told 1 person in real life (lol) about this website. I’m a little terrified that I’ll be seen as a crazy idiot person if I open up to the wrong people…which I realize is completely inevitable haha!
  2.  I’ve moved 18 times in the last 7 years. Each place I’ve lived in for at least a month. Gah college. YAY traveling.
  3. I have ALWAYS wanted to make a full-length documentary. Perhaps this little nugget is a fun start?
  4. I researched bioluminescent fungi when I was an undergraduate. Yes. Mushrooms that produce their own photons and GLOW.
  5. I’ve been taking aerial silks classes for about two years.
  6. Like most people on here probably, I am hella introverted.
  7. I’ve played ukulele since I was 16; I used to be in a two-lady band called Black Tarla Fang.

My Nominees / Blogs That Are Meaningful to Me

  1. Angela Fe – Angela is one of my guides on this spiritual path. She is also my Reiki teacher. She has been an incredible help with developing a shamanic practice, recognizing the ego, and loving the self. Thank you ❤
  2. Goddess Within You – I’m flooded with extremely sensual, intimate and feminine posts by you.
  3. Philotheoristic – According to Tumblr, you get 40% of my “love” haha! Amazing photography. Thanks for randomly wishing me a Happy Valentine’s day a while ago.
  4. Astrolocherry – I really enjoy the way you weave together storytelling and astrology ❤
  5. Raptitude – This is one of the very first blogs I started to follow. I enjoy how articulate, reflective, and honest you are. Also, the journey you share with your 30-day challenges is encouraging!
  6. MushroomVision – You are another blog that I have followed for years. Thanks for the grounded spiritual inspiration.
  7. SacredScribesAngelNumbers – This is (always) my go-to site regarding numerology. In the last 4 years I have been noticing numerical patterns around me. Here is where I go to help interpret that information.
  8. gldn47 – Ahhhh Magoots. AMAZING local photographer and visual artist. She makes unique mandala images from her own photos around the Southwest.
  9. String Theory Collection – Jaci makes the most badass geometric string art in the known universe. It’s mesmerizing, precise, and alien-like hehe there is nothing else in the world like it.
  10. Jenny Yates Astrology – She has a treasure chest of astrology-related gems across her site ranging from daily blurbs to in-depth aspect explanations. If I ever feel a little cosmic-y lost, I head over here to check out what’s going on in the stars.
  11. AerialBurd – Nikki is cosmic goddess that moves as gracefully as a hummingbird. Thanks for the support and mentorship ❤

*Not all of these are WordPress users…but it doesn’t mean you still don’t deserve recognition.

Some of these people I check in with multiple times a week to see what they are posting, others I might go months without stopping by. Each one of them stands out to me as being led by someone who is REAL. Some of you I’ve never even talked to (but have an internet crush on) and some I may have lost contact for now (you always have a home in my heart <3). You all mean something to me. Keep doing what you are doing.

Thanks for reading this far.

 

Meditate Every Day for the Best Relationships in the World

I’ve been meditating twice a day since September. Ten months of disciplining myself to sit with consciousness for 40 minutes a day. Approximately 3% of my day is spent practicing Vedic meditation.

I have cultivated many benefits including patience, focus, compassion, and mindfulness.

…but those will be saved for another blog.

Today, I’m going to reflect on my experience with noticing superficial relationships in my life.

Since I’ve become a regular meditator, I’m noticed how shallow some of my friendships, erm… “friendships”…really are. I’ve become aware of this with a large group of friends and with my co-workers.

With this group of friends, common interests grew us together. It’s more like a friendship web than a circle. I’ve known from day one that some people I naturally resonate with on a deeper level. And others, well, we just say “Hello” to each other and make some small talk. I thought that I was being polite by acknowledging everyone, whether that be around town, in class, or at dinner.

Lately, I’m realizing that I was being superficial. I’ve noticed that I said “Hi” to them because I want them to be my friend. A part of me was a little jealous that they get more attention and more verbal recognition. (Soooo elementary school!)

Now I notice that less fucks are given. There is still an initial urge being drawn to this person, to try to stand out to them, and to be acknowledged by them. When I watch this, it fades quickly. Now, there is freedom in not having to be everyone’s “friend.”

*****

I observe how superficial people can be here in the USA. I don’t think they are trying to be a superficial person…maybe they are just trying to seek recognition like I was.

Regular meditation (compared to sporadic meditation) has allowed me to cultivate an insane amount of depth in my daily life. I feel emotions and feelings more. I am capable of more intimate friendships. I am more self-aware. My senses are hella sharp. I frequently feel “high” even though I have pretty much eliminated cannabis from my life. I have gotten so sensitive to my reality that I can really hold a state of “presence” a lot longer than I ever could. My mind is more focused on the conservation on hand without drifting into daydreams and judgments.

Sometimes I’m feeling a little alone. Not because I don’t have people around, but because I am left feeling unfulfilled with an interaction, especially someone who I thought I was close with.

I used to think that laughing with someone or sharing smiles were signs of a true friendship or a real friendship, not necessarily someone who I am best friends with.

Now, I witness that people are willing to fake that laugh and force that smile to put on a facade. To make themselves more likable. People are fine with creating and cultivating shallow interactions with a friend or a coworker if it means that there is “harmony” between them. They may even talk bad about that person when they leave the room.

But guess what…

There is no depth to that “friendship.” No foundation. No sustenance.

I can’t text you for help if I’m considering ending my life. I can’t message you for advice on what I should do during a huge transition in my life.

Why do we fake being rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns with each other when there is SO much more we could explore together?

Life has so much to unfold for us when we have the dedication to show up and be real. And being real isn’t synonymous with being cool, popular, or liked.

Being real is being able to express from a place of purity. No expectations. No delusions. No drama.

Part of this purity comes from getting to the source of who you are. Who are you without the racing thoughts? The key to getting to the source of who you are is always in this moment.

Guess what! Being a daily meditator makes you metaphorically buff as hell when it comes to being present.

When you are able to experience this moment even more, a whole new world opens up. You will be able to pick up on more subtleties and hear more intuition. You will marvel are the closeness that you can feel with another person, Earth and yourself.

From this space, life literally begins to feel like a trip.

It all begins with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Simple Secrets to Flow With Life When Shit Hits the Fan

I have a couple close friends going through major transitions now. They don’t know what their lives look like in the next few months. New jobs? New cities? New relationships? I’ve hugged them as they cried on my shoulder and expressed all their worries and struggles.

Sometimes, “I’m here for you” or “Let me know how I can help” is the best I can share with a friend when I don’t know what else to say.

But what does that mean to reach out and ACCEPT that offered help when shit hits the fan?

(Side note: “shit hitting the fan” had a recent physical manifestation in my life when my cat got a massive dingleberry and created streaks all over my bedroom carpet trying to get it off. Ewwie)

I’m at a good place now. I am healthy, I have cool jobs with increasing opportunities in the near future, and I’m in a kick ass loving relationship.

So, right now at least, it’s easy for me to clearly see what has helped me in the past work through hard times. This blog is a reminder to my future struggling self, and to my cherished friends.

Here is my personal approach to flowing with life again.

Meditate

witness thoughts being released
Basically thoughts LOL

Just for a few minutes, let thoughts and worries explode.

They will anyway, won’t they? Haha! Thoughts are like the lava that comes out of Earth, or the nasty, pus-y, whatever that comes out of a pimple.

And you know what? Wearing makeup or putting a slab of concrete over that inevitability will make it worse.

Whatever needs to come out, WILL come out. Almost always in a more messy way.

Approach meditation as more of a courageous, patient process and not some crazy metaphysical unachievable miracle.

Watch the thoughts. And the next one. And the next one…

Witness the emotions that surge up within you.

You will probably get swept up in whatever is there… But, again, come back to witness consciousness…the state of the mind where YOU are able to watch and hear and maybe even see that annoying purge happening.

This, my friends, is transcendence.

Observe where it takes you 😉

Reflect

Now that you have a bit more clarity on how you are feeling, you can logically reflect on what’s going on in your life.

Start by:

  • Noticing how you felt or reacted to a thought
  • Do problems still seem daunting? Do some problems seem to lose their troubling significance?
  • Are next steps more clear?

Seek Help

hand reaching out for somethingReach out to those people who have already told you they would help. Your partner, your teacher, your sibling, your mom, your son, etc.

I often talk to a friend, sometimes I vent to my brother, other times I reach out to my meditation teacher or my Reiki teacher.

Someone else is being compassionate and offering space to you. Use it while it’s there!

Integrate and Evolve

While in a government office building today, there was a sign that said:

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

I had an Argumentation and Debate teacher who used to tell us that we could never “lose” a debate because we would just end up learning more about ourselves and our beliefs or communication styles in the process.

There is obviously a similar theme in these two quotes…

So, you’ve been frustrated or pissed or confused or upset.

And maybe you then got some really good insights about yourself or your situation, either from contemplating by yourself or by seeking help with someone else.

What good would any of this chaos have been up until now if you can’t learn some lessons out of it? Crappy!

Integrating what we learned from school, a conversation, a yoga class, a Ted Talk, or anything really is what begins to turn that generic knowledge into personal wisdom. We are more connected to the lesson.keep on evolving

Hopefully, by now you realize that we don’t have to keep on wallowing or stay stagnant in your life. There are definitely ebbs and flows, but each of these tendencies allows us to evolve over time.

Life always has shitstains and buttheads and other frustrating things…

…but there are also infinite opportunities for deep personal growth when we work with life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditating is like…

…opening the windows in a stuffy room.

…hitting a “Reset” button during the day.

…talking to a close friend or a therapist and blowing off some steam.

…lighting a deliciously smelling candle in a dark room.

…cuddling in bed after a long day.

…post-rain sunshine.

…finishing a sudoku puzzle.

rocks

Yet, it transcends all these things…

The Shadows of a Story

A lot of times, I only share the “positive” pieces of a trip or experience:

  • I finished a Vedic Meditation course in Boulder.
  • I overcome a lot of emotional and mental challenges.
  • I am privileged to take a road trip across the  Southwest from Northern California to Colorado…oh, the sights!
  • Pictures of beautiful people, places, and things

OMG my life is soooooooo wonderful.

But I rarely publicly share the challenging times to an adventure…

Just to name a few:

  • Driving 30 + hours just to get to my destination HURTS me a lot.
    • Physically, my spine is out of alignment, my eyes and face hurt from constantly focusing on the road, my shoulders and neck hurt from grabbing the steering wheel, my abdominal muscles are getting tight and knotted (that’s a thing?), and my hip flexors are outta whack from unevenly pumping on the gas, brake, and clutch.
    • Mentally, I feel utterly exhausted yet addicted to the driving. I have a hard time stopping when “…I’m just 2 hours away from the next city.”
  • It’s extremely cold to camp in Sierras in October. Especially without another human, a fluffy dog, and the legal ability to have a fire.
  • Airbnb is great in theory, but you never know what kind of person is going to become your temporary roommate. Even then, some places are next door to a nightclub, and others might be more smokey than a college campus on 420.
  • …and it’s expensive to spend $50+ a night for a hotel for a 1-2 week long road trip.
  • Needing to get four new tires. Two of them could have blown out under me at any time. Then learning that I might need to get my car an alignment service.
  • People can be mean and make me feel unsafe and gross.

This is a simple reminder that when I (or anyone) talks about an epic life and awesome adventures, it goes in both directions.

There are stories that I share with my journal and there are stories that I share with other people.

Though some things I will always keep within myself, I don’t want to portray a completely false representation of my life.

Where the Mind Goes, Energy Flows

Netflix. Food. Instagram. Book. Food. Netflix. Netflix. Tumblr…

Agh! The stimuli.

RajWhat ever happened to those hours I spent alone growing up, hanging out with myself?

Maybe I’d watch the neighbors drive past or planes migrate across the sky or find patterns in the wall texture.

My life was centered around imagination and wonder rather than mindless entertainment.

“The most important thing you own and can give away is your attention.”
—San Pedro / Aguacoya Shaman

You know, those ideas that you can’t quite put into words until you hear someone else says it? This was one of them. It resonated with me HARD…to the point of goosebumps truthbumps, a jawdrop, and staring off into the ethers for a little bit.

Being alive used to be an entire meditation, now I have to “make time” for it.

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes each day
—unless you are too busy.
Then you should sit for an hour”
—Zen Proverb

Even sillier, is thinking that it’s something that I have to “make time” to do.

Why am I thinking that meditation is a doable activity and not the seamless state of consciousness that it is?

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Breathing: How the body and mind communicate to each other

**Article originally written for Psych2Go**
“Don’t forget to breathe!” my dad used to tell me during track races. How could I forget to breathe? For whatever reason, it was something that I just forgot to do…and I’m not alone. (Sort of. I’ll get to that soon.) As children, we are encouraged to talk, walk, eat, drink and do other cute things, but what about breathing? Without breathing, we would cease to live in a matter of minutes! Yet, proper breathing is never really taught to us.

Yes, inhalation provides vital oxygen, but the style of breathing determines how that essential nutrient is utilized in our body. Furthermore, patterns of breath are closely intertwined with states of the mind. This happens whether or not people are mindful of each breath. Please take four seconds out of reading right now and give undivided attention to how your breath is…

How was it? Did it feel effortless, deep in the abdomen, and relaxed? What about feeling forced, weak, shallow, and predominantly in the upper chest?

Humans breathe in two different ways: automatically or voluntarily. Automatic breathing is the physiological response of the body to high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. The body naturally increases the breathing rate to get rid of excess carbon dioxide and take in more oxygen (Novotny & Kravitz). We can also voluntarily choose to breathe with different lengths of inhalation or exhalation. This is actual a remarkable ability of the human body for a couple reasons. First, how many other bodily processes can work automatically or voluntarily? I can think of blinking and peeing (if you laugh too hard. Hehe.) Second, we now have a tangible link between body and mind.

The relationship between our breathing pattern and mental state is interchangeable. Meaning, each of them affect the other. This is a benefit to us because we can have more control and intention over our overall psycho-emotional experience. Yay!

Back to the quality of your breath… So just how does this all work? Short and shallow breaths stimulate our sympathetic nervous system response of “flight or fight.” This type of breathing is dominant during anxiety. Long, slow, and deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous which helps us to “rest and digest” (Wilson, 2014). Breathing in this manner correlates with peace, relaxation, and calm states of consciousness.

Breathe is the physiological connection between body and mind. It can be used negatively (usually without people noticing) or as a helpful tool when you kindly focus on it.

It may have taken years to develop bad breathing habits, but fret not! The wonderful breath is an infinite mechanism and you can come back to at ANY moment. (Including now.) It’s okay to forget about this natural instrument. It happens. What actually matters is that you remembered again…and again…and again! Be patient with yourself 🙂

Interested in more?

  1. Three surprising ways a deep breath can reduce your anxiety
  2. Breath, body, and mind: The physiology of pranayama
  3. The science of breathing

Sources in article:

Novotny, S., & Kravitz, L. (n.d.). The Science of Breathing. Retrieved July 11, 2015.

Wilson, A. (2014, January 2). Breath, Body, and Mind: The Physiology of Pranayama – Thrive: The Kripalu Blog. Retrieved July 11, 2015.