Are You Having Trouble Being Present?

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I have an absolute love/frustration relationship with our yard. So much so that I realized recently that I probably think about it 10-200% of the time. I’ve never really had a yard except for when I was growing up and even then I only did the occasional mowing. I did try to grow tomatoes a few times (that did NOT work). As an adult I’ve always lived in places with small yards that were maintained by others.

And now. An acre and a half. Which I LOVE. I love all the space, I love the animals that come to visit, I love the possibilities. But when we moved in, there was basically no landscaping and a good deal of the yard was littered with strange objects (a porcelain doll’s arm was one of the weirdest) and a lot of glass and nails.

In my enthusiasm and eagerness to have a beautiful outdoor space (and my love of flowers and plants and tomatoes), I’ve become a Lowe’s orphan garden section junkie. This is the section where they put the plants that are not doing so well out to pasture. And mark them waaaaay down. It’s one of my faaaaavorite things to do to go and peruse this section and discover beautiful plants that I can bring back to life. I love studying them and the exotic names and all the varieties. Stella D’Oro. Hibiscus. Lantana. Lorapetalum. I love learning whether they like sun or shade. Whether they like lots of water or whether they like to be ignored.

Thing is, inevitably, in spring and fall we end up with 20+ plants still in pots in various places in the yard that are eagerly awaiting to be planted in the earth. Also inevitably, they sit. And they sit. And they sit. They do get watered and they get loved but man…we’re busy!! Planting them takes some time that we haven’t been able to find lately.

So I find myself guiltily thinking about all these beautiful plants and when the heck I’m going to plant them. A LOT. And for some reason I just recently realized that all these guilty ruminations are not helping them or me. I’m not enjoying them AND it’s making it more difficult for me to actually take the action. Basically, I’m NOT BEING PRESENT. Ha! I know I know. It took me awhile, but I got there.

It’s not that it’s inherently bad to think about the past or the future, but if we’re caught in one or the other perpetually, were missing out on our present. In this case…I’m not really enjoying my beautiful plants because I’m stuck in the future of when and how I’m going to plant them. And I’m missing the things that are actually around me when I’m not around the plants.

So…my decision is to change this thought pattern. I am focusing on enjoying these beauties. AND on allowing myself to BE WHERE I AM and to appreciate it all. Take it all in. Because it really is all here for us to enjoy.

Oh, and our tomatoes are THRIVING! :)

The Power of Imperfect Meditation

A lot of people think that when you meditate you’re not supposed to have any sounds happening around you or any distractions or any thoughts. And that if you do, you’re not doing it “right.” Well…we live in the world, so we’re gonna have distractions and we are HUMAN, so we’re gonna have thoughts. It doesn’t mean you’re not meditating “right.” There is no “right” way to meditate. Personally, I have days where my brain is so nice and quiet and *sighhhhhh*, oh, so serene. And then there are days where my mind is jumping and skipping and diving allllll over the place! Funny enough, on those days, I welcome what would most people would probably call “distractions” because they actually remind me to refocus and just witness the bouncing, running thoughts, rather than chase after them.

Read on for a funny case and point AND a little anecdote to help you remember the point of all meditation AND another fun video.

First, you gotta watch this video, it’s the frickin funniest thing in the world! They are trying SO HARD. The one on the right in front cracks me up about half way through the video. Oh, and the girl on the left who’s dancing the whole time. Well, all of them crack me up!

K-sweet-man and I meditate for 10-15 minutes every morning. This particular morning a few weeks ago was very very very cold (well, at least for down here in SC…in the 30’s) and our heater was running running running. I’d woken up and done my yummy morning routine and was feeling bubbly with laughter. So we sat down to meditate and I was already feeling that bubbling and then the heater turned off and let out a big ole *siiiiiiiiiigghhhhhhh*. If you’ve ever seen the movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Universe, it was exactly like the sigh the doors in the spaceship make when they open and close…it’s a human sound, I swear! I wish I had a recording of it so you could hear it!

Like I said, I was already feeling giggly and bubbly and I just BURST out LAUGHING in the middle of the meditation. And you know what? That meditation is a perfect meditation to me. I’ve promised myself never to hold in laughter. It’s so so SO very good for us and it feels so good. I allowed myself to flow with it. Well, I really couldn’t help it, it just came out, so there’s that too;)

The whole point of meditating is to raise our vibration, to witness ourselves, to gain perspective, etc. I can’t think of a better way to do all of those and more than being tickled to bubbly laughter!

This clip makes me laugh too…

The Power of Having a Morning Ritual

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Ooooohhhh, it’s getting cold here! We’re well below freezing tonight and tomorrow night. I’ve tucked all the plants in and told them their bedtime stories, covering them lovingly with light blankets to protect them from the frost.

Right now I’m loving the cold weather. It means I get to start my ritual of hot hot morning baths, which is sooooooo yummy! I get up super early (around 5), turn on the heater in the bathroom, grab my Intentions/Appreciation journal and my favorite pen (very important), light some candles, turn on some soothing music, and draw my bath with the warmest water I can tolerate. Add in some epsom salts, baking soda, vitamin C powder, and essential oils (usually lavender…just can’t go wrong with lavender). And while the bathtub is filling with this delicious soothingness, I sit and write. I do this almost every morning. And if I don’t do the bath, I try to *always write down my intentions for the day and lots of things I appreciate.

Then, my sweetie and I meditate, do a short powerful workout and some yoga and…we’re off!

There is so much power in this simple practice. I’d gotten out of the habit of doing it for awhile and I can definitely tell a difference. We’ve talked about inertia before and this is the perfect example of how inertia can be our friend or our foe.

Have you noticed that if you wake up and immediately start looking at emails or are immediately bombarded with problems that the rest of the day tends to feel out of control and like you’re putting out fires all day?

Conversely…when you take the time…even just 15-20 minutes…to center and think about delicious things, your day will go much much more easily.

Since I’ve been doing my morning ritual again, my days have been absolutely PHENOMENAL!! All in all, it takes me about an hour and a half, but again, you don’t have to spend that long. I’m just finding that I’m having so much fun and reveling in the yummy yummy of it so much that I want to keep on with it! So sometimes I do.

If you don’t have a morning ritual yet, start simple. Meditate for 15-20 minutes and then write down 5 things you really love and enjoy.

If you’d like something that’s a little more substantial, here’s what I do just about every morning:

  1. Write down my intentions for the day. These are BROAD intentions. Things like: “Today I intend to have fun.” “Today I intend to love and adore myself unconditionally as much as possible.” “Today I intend to focus on what it is I want.” “Today I intend to play.”

  2. Spend 10 minutes writing down things I love and appreciate. These can be as simple as running water or oranges. Or it can be a person. Anyone! Maybe the lovely checkout lady at your grocery store. If you can, write down a few reasons you love and/or appreciate it/them.

  3. I lurvs my hot baths, so when it’s chilly out I take one filled with the goodness outlined above.

  4. Meditate for 15-20 minutes. This can be guided or not. You can listen to music if you’d like to…or not. I like to mix it up.

  5. Do some exercise. I love doing my High Intensity Interval Training followed by a little yoga (some days I’ll do a full yoga class as well, but that’s a lot;).

There! Now…you are ready to start your day. Fully and completely. I know not everyone has the time to do that much, so take what you’d like from my morning ritual and create your own. It is SO very worth it.

Yummy Love Your Body Meditation

*If you want to get right down to it, scroll to the bottom of the post for the recordings*

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So much of our experience here in this realm is related to our BODIES.  At the same time, so many spiritual teachings neglect the body.  Dating to waaaaay back, there are many teachings that the body, the physical, should be ignored or even rejected.  

And I say...*back up!*  Reassess.  Not only are these bodies assets, they are to be enjoyed (more yumminess on that in other posts).  They are to be...well...emBODY-ed.  That means developing a loving, feeling, symbiotic relationship with your body.  And I can tell you from serious experience that until you really accept and get into your body, you're going limit your expansion.  On all levels.  You and your spirit...essence...soul...higher self...source...god..."Big 'S' Self" (a friend of mine and I made that one up and it makes us laugh every time)...whatever you want to call it...are not separate from your body.  Source is flowing through your body at all times.  Your body IS source.  Which is not only a really beautiful thing, but also a really good thing.  Because that means you don't have to remind your heart to beat.  Or remind yourself to inhale and exhale.  You don't have to prod your liver to work.  You don't have to remind your stomach to digest.  

Now...you may have had some...not-so-good-feeling experiences with your body.  Anyone, anyone?  I say this in jest, cuz, well, yeah...we all have!  I'm happy to share my own experience, many of you are familiar with it (you can take a look at it here).  And I find that lots of times when we experience negative feelings we can disassociate from our bodies.  Whether those feelings are physical or emotional...well, we want OUT.  Which is totally understandable!  We just...disconnect.

We set up this experience perfectly before we came here.  We wanted to have bodies.  We wanted to be deeply connected with them.  Because we wanted to have a way to *know* how we feel about things.  We wanted a way to know when we are on track with our truth, with our desires, with our knowing...and when we're off track.  Other reasons too and we'll get into those at another time;)  

When you can FEEL your body...when you can FEEL your feelings in your body...you are so much more able to shift those feelings (physical and emotional) and to let them move through.  In fact, they will move on their own when you allow yourself to be with them!  If you try to ignore them or change them right away, you're doing yourself a disservice.  Because those feelings are there for a reason.  

Before we get down to it, I'll give you some backstory about this particular Living From Inspiration Meditation.  It's a super duper sweet story and one of my favorites, because it involves my gorgeous nieces.  

A few years ago, I was staying with my brother and his family in Albuquerque, NM.  They have this beauuuutiful big house with a casita in the back.  Every morning, I wake up and do my meditation, workout and then go to the main house and have breakfast with the family and always sit next to, you guessed it, my lovely niece, "A".  She's about 3 or 4 at this point (I'm so bad with ages, but I'm pretty sure).  So sweet, so beautiful.  I sit down on a bar stool/breakfast stool and help her up to the bar stool/breakfast stool next to me.  And she puts her sweet hand on my arm and says...

"Auntie Lala...I love your eyes...and I love your face...and I love your arms...and I love your legs...and I love your shoulders...and I love your hair...and I love your shirt...and I love your nose...and I love your fingers.........."

And she keeps going on.  And on.  And on.  For about 3 minutes straight.  Which is a looooong time for a 3-4 year old.  Just loving, loving, loving everything about me.  And oh!  I try to interrupt!  And say "I love your face...and your arms...and your legs..." She will have none of it.  She just keeps going...and going.  My only choice is to sit...and let it all in.  Which I finally do.  

It was so sweet.  So much love.  And I have never forgotten it.  *That* is how we can feel at all times.  Because Source is always flowing all that love to every single part of us.  

This meditation will help you get connected to your body and establish a loving relationship with it.  The first recording goes through instructions.  The second recording is the actual meditation.

In the instructions, you'll learn that as you're going through the meditation, if when you get to a certain body part you notice any pain, tightness, or resistance of any kind, pause the recording and take some time to just BE with the sensation.  Without trying to figure it out, without judging...just be with it.  Embrace it.  And when you're ready, start the recording again and keep going.  

So get comfortable, close your eyes, and melt into this.