In God We Trust

in-godLately I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles, memes, blogs about What Successful People Do. Its usually a list of:

  1. Work hard
  2. Get up early
  3. Work Hard

And I definitely believe yes working hard is a HUGE factor to success (however, you define it).

The thing I don’t see often is the idea that “successful” people have faith. They believe in themselves yes, and they believe in the universe. They have faith. They believe that what they put in (hard work) will be matched by a certain output (faith tells them).

It’s like my friend used to say to me when I would contemplate a big choice, like switching jobs or making a big move. She’d say, “oh girl, do you really think the universe would have you do all this work and transformation, just to leave you homeless and alone?”

Hahaha! I guess if you think about it…NO of course not! The point of doing the work, putting in the time, blood, sweat and tears, would not lead to being alone and broke, because faith.

Faith says, just believe, just know (without really knowing), just blindly leap and trust that you are supported, loved, protected by something bigger, to me that’s God, to you it may be the universe or higher self.

Successful people, some, may not even know they have this faith. They are just in it, going about their moments doing what they are born to do with passion, wholeness of heart, and to exhaustion. When you work this hard you may not even have time to think about it, you just know (without really knowing) that faith is there.

The idea of In God we trust is on our currency, its what I can only assume is the base for which this country was built, the American Dream. That a dream stays a dream until you add Faith, defined as trust in God, to me anyway. Faith doesn’t take away anything, like fear, doubt or negative self talk, it only tells you to leap anyway. Faith gives you the courage.

Its hard to think you can have an extraordinary life, without faith in extraordinary results, which need extraordinary choices. Choices outside the “norm.” Choices that will piss some people off and confuse the hell out of others! None of that matters because you have faith. You have a Trust in God.

What’s Scarier Than Fear?

 

 

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Have you ever been so scared that you can feel your stomach in your throat, an empty feeling in your heart and your body freezes like a deer in the headlights, you can’t move, speak or think anything but “shit I’m going to jail?”

Fear is just a thought. Its a very important thought because it manifests into our bodies, minds and being and makes us feel incapacitated.

Have you gotten an email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or some government agency wanting money and threatening that the police will show up at your door in a matter of minutes if you don’t pay some fine??

Did you know that people believe this? And most people actually pay?!

Even I have received a call from someone on my voicemail saying they were from the IRS and that I had to call back or I was going to be under criminal investigation.

Of course, my first instinct was fear. Then very quickly I asked myself, “Would the IRS leave a automated voicemail with a callback number? And from an area code that is not even listed? …the answer is No!

HOWEVER…there are a lot of sweet, innocent, lovingly gullible people who do give in. I know this because these cons are making BILLIONS in profit as reported by CNN. Also because people from my own family have given money!! I KNOW!!?? Crazzzyyy!!!

Let me tell you about how my uncle, who is such a smart, savvy, successful businessman, went to Walmart and paid $5000, because he thought his visa bill was overdue and that cops will show up at his house immediately!! I mean I don’t have words for this sad scenario, except I couldn’t even make this stuff up.

I do however, have words about how fear can make a person do, think, say and be the extreme opposite of who they are. I think about how my own fear of failure would turn me into a lying piece of sack, just so I would feel accepted.

I mean haven’t we all done this? Hello! Am I alone? ….crickets…

Well, I am willing to fess up and say, yes my fears of spiders or of being a horrible mother or even the fear of a failed marriage, have turned me into the extreme opposite of who I am. I’ll do things like yell, run away, say things that sound obsessive.

I know….OMG! But its true. We all do things in fear that we may never do if we were in any other state of being. In any other state we may ask questions rather than assume! I mean I was assuming that people wouldn’t like me for me, so I had to be someone else to impress them. I was assuming that the spider was a deadly poisonous one who could kill me from 8 feet away.

And if you think about it, what is fear? Fear is an emotion made up by your own thoughts, sometimes nothing physical has even happened.

I’ve never been bit by a spider, and my uncle has never done anything illegal (I mean that’s hear say…but you get the idea ;), yet he thinks that an unpaid visa bill will land him in jail?!

Think about when you go through a parking garage at night and the fear that you will be attacked comes over you.
Have you ever been attacked?
Is anyone else around?
Most likely the answer is NO. No one is even around, you don’t even see or hear anyone, yet we instinctually have this fear.

Its sad, its annoying, its terrifying! But when you sit down and ask yourself why you keep allowing yourself to be victim to these thoughts of fear, one word comes up…Comfort.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering, that is familiar.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our egos love situations that are controlled, where we know the outcome and can sit comfortably doing nothing but being robots! Well that’s great…if you want to be a lab rat or a robot. But…

If you was meant to be controlled you would’ve come with a remote! ~Unknown 

I, however, want to live life. And life happens when we are uncomfortable. Think about wanting to go away somewhere completely outside your “norm,” like Peru or Thailand, wherever.

The first thing that comes up is this weird tug in your belly, basically you are feeling uncomfortable. However, when/if you do muster courage to travel, you realize how amazing it is, how much growth you gain. But if you let fear drive your vehicle then you never explore.

Think about something as simple as having a conversation. Last month, I wanted to talk to my brother about needing his support because I was going through a hard time in my life and that I was feeling distant from him.

This seems like a simple conversation, talking about my feelings, which cannot be right or wrong, they are my feelings. Then talking about a solution, fixing or improving the situation.

But when it came time to actually make the call, I started to get butterflies or like a pit in my stomach. My palms became sweaty and my scalp started to tingle (I didn’t even know it could do that!).

I could’ve allowed these feelings to stop me. I could’ve stayed comfortable in knowing that “he is who he is and I am who I am and this will pass.” Thankfully, I mustered the courage to do the thing that made me uncomfortable! I talked to him!

What happened was amazing….possibilities opened up…endless possibilities (see what I did there 😉

He and I reconnected! We got our relationship back (he and I are like peas in a pod, maybe even like

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….and I would’ve spend the next few days/weeks/months in misery waiting for this episode to “pass” if I hadn’t called him.

I’m starting to love being uncomfortable (well on paper). But I’m getting used to this space. Its where life happens. Its where we connect, have adventures and LIVE! Its where we actually think rationally! Recognizing that something is fishy about making an official government payment at Walmart?

What’s scarier than fear?

A wasted life. Where we live in comfort, stay small, and suffer. We give up buckets of money without asking questions. We live disconnected and alone thinking we’re being independent. No, you’re living in fear.

“Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” ~Anonymous

Photo Credit:
mysuccessfullife.co.uk
http://www.buzzfeed.com

The Main Reason We Practice Yoga…To Find Bliss

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THE KOSHAS

The core reason we practice yoga is to experience bliss and become one with ourselves through synchronizing the mind-body connection.

Yoga helps us access the koshas, teaching us that everything we need to feel whole, is already within us, and allowing us to feel bliss along the way. The kosha are 5 sheaths or layers surrounding our true self, which is in the center.

As you discover, explore and release each koshic layer, you open up to the next layer and the next, eventually leading you to bliss and allowing you to connect with your true self, full of love, light and peace. This is apart of the yoga experience. Let me guide you to meet your 5 koshas.

1. Annamaya Kosha
This is the physical body composed of the muscles, joints, organs, cells, glands. You notice this layer when you first sit on your mat and are called to notice what’s going on with your body. Tightness in your back, aching in your knees, cramping in your toes, or other physical imbalances.

As you begin to flow through your practice, you start to become more aware of your physical kosha through engaging muscles or sensing temperature changes on your skin. At some point you relax, your shoulders come down from your ears, your gluts stop compensating for your abs, you become aware of where your physical body is without having to purposefully think about getting in the pose. You start to focus more on the breath and in that moment you have just moved into the next layer.

2. Pranamaya Kosha
The energy body concerned with the breath and flow of energy through the physical body using the circulatory and respiratory systems, as well as the chakras reside in this layer.

At this point of your yoga session you are flowing through your poses and can begin to shift and focus on your breathing, maybe even playing around with different pranayama techniques (art of breathing), like ujjayi breath, kapalabhati, sithali while holding certain poses. In coordinating your breath with your poses you are connecting your physical body and breath bodies. At some point in your yoga practice your breathing goes on automatic and you enter the 3rd layer.

3. Manomaya Kosha
The mental and emotional layer concerned with processing thoughts and emotions. This kosha also gives access to the vrittis, the waves of thought or modifications of the mind. This is the “lower brain,” it interprets every situation, moment or thing. It can be full of doubts and create illusions. This is the part of you that usually brings up your to-do lists, tells you you aren’t strong enough to hold the pose, or that the girl in front of you is doing it better.

Most people, with much practice can get through the first three koshas with ease. When your physical and breath body are synchronized, your mind becomes slowed, even quiet, it can serve as a teacher, telling you to tighten the insides of your thighs to stay in eagle pose, or take the backward bent to give your back a good stretch.

However, when you lose the synchronicity of your breath and physical being, your thoughts can become erratic causing you to lose balance or lose focus, and at some point you start to observe these thoughts, without judging or criticizing, just noticing, and that brings you to the next layer.

4. Vijnanamaya Kosha
The wisdom, intelligent, or the witness/observer of your thoughts. It’s the layer that distinguishes positive and negative thoughts, and the thoughts that will serve your practice or life and the ones that won’t.

This kosha can be experienced in short bursts initially, where you aren’t thinking about squeezing your abs or how hot it is, or about keeping your inhales and exhales equal, or about the past or the future, it’s just experiencing the moment. You sense an inner peace or power that is holding you in airplane or tree or crow, and you smile without even knowing it. If you are in Savasana you lose touch with your physical body, breath and thoughts, you almost are an outside observer, this is Vijamaya Kosha.

As you become more aware of this kosha, there is a natural sense of wholeness, of being one, of being in bliss; you are now in the last layer.

5. Anandamaya Kosha
Bliss, unending love, peace, joy, and happiness, independent of a reason. This layer is the inner most layer, right outside your atman or true self (center of consciousness).

It takes honest practice to get through to this layer, but once there you will know it, sense it and want more. To get to this layer, one must practice stillness, meditation, even if it’s to sense it for a moment. Its the awareness of being whole and complete, exactly as you are. “You are beautiful, you are bountiful, you are blissful.” Translating the inner bliss to others and keeping faith for humanity. Recognizing we are all beautiful and no man gets left behind.

Our true self shines through only when we can carry over the practice of yoga, off the mat, into our lives. You can now access true wisdom and bliss, in any moment by being aware of your thoughts using your body-breath-mind connection.
“Its hot, I’m tight.” Annamaya Kosha
Paying attention to your breathing. Pranamaya Kosha
“I am so tired, I am upset.” Manomaya Kosha
These thoughts don’t define me. Vijamaya Kosha
Sensing yourself in deep meditation, lucid dreaming.
Feel whole, belonging, connected. Anandamaya Kosha

Namaste ♥

Photo Credit: American Meditation Institute

Pain Has a Spiritual Side

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“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take the pain and turn it into wisdom.” –Unknown

People ask me what it is that I do? I could simply say I’m a physical therapist, but that really isn’t true… I’m a healer. I heal people in pain whether physical or emotional. Pain is simply the sensation of being hurt whether physically from injury or trauma or emotionally, mentally from an heartache, sorrow, unhappiness.

I help people get to the core of what is causing the pain, restrictions, imbalances so we can begin to heal it.

In my journey of healing myself and others, I have learned one HUGE lesson, that PAIN HAS A SPIRITUAL SIDE.

Now I know automatically the atheists are like ok I’m done and moving onto the next blog. BUT this isn’t about religion or God, although I am a God-loving woman.

This is more about the relationship between your spirit, the beautiful dreams, hopes and beliefs and your ego (persona we think we need to portray).

What does it mean to have a spiritual side to pain?

Physical pain is what we feel when we bump our elbow or cut our finger, its physical, it has a purpose for why its there and can be healed with some “physical” treatment, such as ointment, stretching, strengthening, massage, or other physical aides.

The spiritual side of physical pain develops as our body’s way of saying there is something bigger that needs addressing. It starts as physical pain from tightness or overuse, or even negative thoughts (“I know this will hurt later”, “I know I will be sore”—you are manifesting your pain). However, this type of pain cannot be “fixed” with a bandaide type treatment.

Spiritual pain stays around until we acknowledge that there is a deep-rooted longing for acceptance or incompleteness with an issue. Issues of the deepest meaning and essence of your soul, issues of karma, dharma, love, connectedness, life’s purpose.

How do you recognize the pain has a spiritual component?

Listen closely to the person in pain. Questions of “why me? What’s the point?” Thoughts and words like “No one understands. This is just how my life is now.” Feelings of hopelessness, unworthiness, isolation, and fear are present.

I started to recognize the spiritual component of a client’s pain, when she would say, ”I am always going to be in pain.” After many physical therapy treatments, I saw incredible objective changes, her mobility was improved, her strength was in functional range, her muscle restrictions were minimal to none.

However, her subjective reports remained the same. I knew her back pain started around the time of her mother’s illness. She was caring for her, transporting her, being her rock, quite literally. This all took a toll on her back, and unfortunately her mother passed away, and her back pain remained.

How do you heal the spiritual side of pain?

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” –C.S Lewis

In our sessions we had recognized the toll her mother’s death had taken not only on her body, but her mind. She was very open with me about her feelings, thoughts, grief, so I found it natural to ask her, “Do you think you keep the pain to remind yourself of the care and love you gave your mother?”

She wasn’t surprised by my question, because she knew it to be true. And this is where we discussed letting go of her pain. She recognized the pain kept her close to her mother, and she feared letting go would take away the memories of love. It was also a reminder for her own mothering, it kept her calm, focused and only able to do things she really valued.

We discussed various ways she could honor her mother. Her mother had guided her to be a massage therapist, which she loved to do. She realized if she returned to work (even for a few hours at a time), how many people’s lives she would change having been through her own journey of back pain.

Letting go of pain and fear is the hardest thing a person can overcome. However, it’s the first step to healing, and it’s the only step to moving forward and living.

She had improved reports of pain level, just by recognizing and discussing the root of her pain. She even began getting back to work…she was functioning! Functioning like a person, instead of as a symptom. Her pain was no longer a badge of honor or memorial. It was outside of her. Her life had a new meaning, she lived for herself, for happiness, to heal others.

What options are there for spiritual pain?

Its not the easiest to recognize how long a person has been carrying the “pain.” Sometimes the pain goes back to many lives and is in a sense some of the karma you’ve carried with you in this life to help your soul grow and keep rising. You hold this in the form of blocked energy in your body in your chakras.

There are many techniques to clearing out your chakras: guided meditations, mantras, certain foods, and yoga poses.

As far as other lives go, have you ever said to yourself, “I must have died in a car accident/drowned/been abandoned by my lover in a previous life?” Well maybe your soul knows something your physical being doesn’t…

Past Life Regression (PLR) is also great start for this type of pain. I have read all of Dr. Brian Weiss’s books and have tried PLR myself with awesome results! Sometimes “pain” can present emotionally as anxiety, panic attacks, heart aches, even just a sense of holding back.

No matter where your journey leads you …True healing happens when we address all the components of our pain. It’s work, time and true soul searching. I faithfully know this having dealt with spiritual side of my own pain both in this life and in other lives… but that’s another post 😉

Cravings: What’s Really Going On?

I would love to introduce you all to a blog Energy We Bring! I am a guest blog this week and the post is about What Your Cravings Really Mean!
Thank you to these wonderful ladies, Francesca & Julia, for introducing me to their awesomely informative and refreshing blog and asking me to write for them! It was an honor!
Hope you all enjoy and are able to take the steps to healthier food habits!

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It’s no secret (anymore), that I was a junk food addict. I have craved everything from red hot potato chips to nerds candy, I know I know some of you may be squirming at the thought of someone eating that processed nastiness, and others are salivating at the mere mention of it.

For many years it was the only nourishment my body was receiving. It is for this main reason that I am so grateful to my body. With everything I put it through from sleepless nights partying to fueling it with oily and sugar infested foods, it’s a wonder my body hasn’t wasted away into diabetic coma or full organ failure.

I’ve definitely learned my lesson, I’m listening to the signals to clean up my act; Signals of constant fatigue, nausea, even intestinal discomfort presenting through constipation and pain. And even though I turned myself into a wellness addict, I still had moments of junk food cravings; either because it was the time of the month or because I was feeling rushed and didn’t have time to think about a healthy option.

What I know now that I didn’t know before is that each craving means something to my body either directly needing that satiety, or indirectly by showing up as a deficiency of something else. Here are the major cravings I had and what I learned.

1.  Craving Potato Chips or Salty Snacks

Emotionally: This is a sign of stress related hormone fluctuations or a sign of frustration.

Physically: Can be a sign of dehydration. Ever notice that potato chips make you want to drink more water to wash them down, your body is craving water.

Research: in Salt Lake City (ironic?), Utah shows that just by taking a deep breath and meditating before grabbing for that salty snack reduced stress hormones by 25% and cut cravings in half!

Substitute: NutThins (My BFF introduced me to these and I have been grateful ever since.) They are delicious, have a crunch just like a chip and are salty. Especially the Almond Cheddar Cheese.

Carrots, celery or radishes are also great substitutes because they have a crunch, if you add a little ground cumin with the juice of a lemon wedge, you activate the same taste buds on your tongue for salty.

Long Run: In the long run vitamin B-complex to help with management of stress hormones and glands. Eat more protein to decrease cravings overall. Hydrate regularly target: ½ your weight in ounces of water each day.

2.  Craving Soda

Emotionally: It’s a need for whimsy, refreshing and energy.

Physically: Lack of calcium. Soda is linked to osteoporosis, either because it decreases the need for fortified drinks or because it decreases calcium absorption.

Research: Studies show that soda is linked to causing diabetes, obesity and elevating blood pressure leading to stroke risk, kidney damage and cancer. A powerful study in Massachusettes reports that each additional sugary drink a child drinks increases his risk of obesity by 60%.

Substitute: Try Steaz Soda (carbonation and flavored but filled with vitamins!). My favorite is honest harvest coconut water. Try flavoring Perrier with real fruit.

Long Run: Make sure you are getting enough calcium-rich foods into your diet. Make it a point to get outside and take a walk in the sun (vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium).

3.  Craving Sweets (Candy, Chocolates)

Emotionally: This is a craving could indicate loneliness or boredom, the need for tenderness in our lives.

Physically: Our blood sugar is low and needs a quick fix.

Research: Studies show humans digesting sugar and fats produces opioids in our bodies, which is the active ingredient in heroin, cocaine and other narcotics. Other studies show that sugar is actually more addicting than fatty foods.

Take away: Stay away from sugar…it’s a vicious cycle the more you eat the more you crave it.

Substitute: dark chocolate has antioxidants, Gnosis Chocolate has an amazing assortment of raw good-for-you chocolates.

Use honey, coconut nectar or real maple syrup as sweetners. Fruits are also great to curb sweet cravings, especially my favorite mangoes or bananas.

Long Run: Add in more high fiber foods into your diet to help regulate blood levels without the blood sugar spikes. Whatever HAPPY means to you (listening to music, singing, dancing, yoga-ing), make sure you spend a little time making yourself HAPPY! Now that’s sweet!

4.  Cravings for Carbohydrates (Pastas, Breads)

Emotionally: Feeling emotional or fatigue and are looking for comfort.

Physically: Carbs help to release serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) and provide a calming effect to the body.

Research: Studies show that processed carbs(i.e. sugary food & drinks, white breads, pastas) activate areas of the brain associated with reward and increased hunger at the next meal.  Processed carbohydrates cause abrupt spikes in blood glucose and can cause people to overeat, cause food addiction and increased food cravings.

Like sugar, processed carbs are also: the more you eat the more you crave.

Substitute: Try Brown Rice Pasta, Quinoa Pasta. Long term try proteins to keep you full for longer periods.

Long Run: Add in high fiber foods and also magnesium rich foods. Magnesium is a mineral required daily by our bodies, if deficient we can feel fatigue or weakness.

The one thing I’ve learned about cravings (research confirms, not that we need it) the more you try to fight a craving the more intense the craving becomes. Make it a mindful choice, to hold off the craving, because the longer you hold it off the less the urge becomes over time.

The long-term option is to create better wellness “habits.” A study done in San Francisco found lab animals placed in “high stress” environments preferred to eat foods with high sugar and fats, so it all comes down to de-stressing.

  1. Deep Breathing
  2. Believe in Yourself and Your Will
  3. Exercise
  4. Hydrate
  5. Sleep Routine

Start with a healthy protein-rich breakfast to reduce cravings throughout the day!