The Power of Manifestation

The Power of Manifestation

It’s been one month since I have written an entry and there is a very specific and exciting reason as to why. However, I will dive a little deeper into that in just a bit. In the final days of 2017, I spent a lot of my time in reflection about the year. Reflecting on current and past relationships with friends, family, and lovers. Where I am in my career and where I would ideally like to go. My overall attitude and outlook on how I approach each moment. When I began to really sit down and highlight the positive, the good outweighed the bad. It created a clear visual to me where I feel accomplished in my life and highlighted the area’s where it needed improvement. Now, if you haven’t been keeping up, I’ve had a pretty big life-altering change that rocked my world and turned it on its head a few months back. Breakups are never easy and it can take some time to really start thinking logically about this transition period. Then suddenly, you kind of just wake up. You start to put all of the puzzle pieces together. The ones you have been collecting for months or even years and once your pieces begin to fit together, it creates a better image of your reality. For me, my bigger picture or reality was knowing it was time to move on and move forward.

One particular resolution I made for myself for 2018 was a vow to being more open to life and what it has to offer. Saying yes to new experiences. Not allowing fear to stand in the way anymore of getting exactly what I want or have always envisioned for myself. No more making excuses and no more bullshit. At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your own happiness. I think partly why we allow fear to take over is because we don’t necessarily believe that we are deserving of these things. We have all heard the saying, “what we feel we attract”. A simple concept that has been lost in translation. Our thoughts and feelings vibrate outward and create our reality. Through this realization and the alluring words of Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata”, I knew I had some big changes to make.

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Spiritual manifestation is an art that I am just now dipping my toe into. For year’s I’ve heard about books like “The Secret” or “The Power of Now” but never really engaged or participated in this mindset. Let’s pause and take a moment to spell out what spiritual manifestation is. According to Manifestation Made Real, it’s the process of bringing what you want into your life by using the Law Of Creation, also known as the Law Of Attraction.

The Importance of Believing
The Impossible Is Possible!

When we talk about manifestation or manifesting your reality, what we really mean is creating a world around you that contains the things that you want, be that people, places, wealth, or any other tangible or intangible thing which you can imagine and which can exist here on Earth.

Let’s just say, after a glass or two of prosecco on a cold December night, I decided to take my fate into my own hands. I pulled out my beautiful leather bound journal, that just so happened to be my journal during yoga teacher training, and began compiling a list of characteristics and attributes that are important to me in a significant other. Surprisingly, this list began to grow at a pretty rapid pace. It was clear to me after two and a half pages of material, I had a good visual of what this looked like. Also, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I set expectations that are too high to obtain. I think to go into any relationship, you have to have a sense of understanding that this person you may put on a pedestal isn’t always a perfect one and that’s OK! That’s what makes things interesting and fun. But there still needs to be a basic foundation of love, trust, intimacy, and honesty to have it thrive. This was the first time I truly allowed myself to feel deserving of all of these things I crave. I spent one too many years trying to change the outcome of a situation and it became exhausting.

As January comes to a close, I can full heartedly speak to the power of manifestation. It starts with waking up every morning and finding gratitude in the moment. I don’t want to spill all of the details just yet and while still being very optimistic, I feel like I’m finally living my life the way I have always intended to. It has been turned upside down yet again. Although, this time, in such a different and positive way. The past four weeks have been so different than my usual routine. New people and new experiences. There are people who are just meant to be in your life and it’s all finally starting to make sense…

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Coping With Heartbreak During The Holidays

Coping With Heartbreak During The Holidays

It’s that time of year again where Christmas lights and decorations begin to illuminate and bring to life the most ordinary objects. The holidays are customarily tied to cherished childhood memories of magic and tradition. A time of year to take a step back and spend more time with family and friends. However, whenever we are emotionally processing the loss of a loved one, such as a breakup, it’s hard to find light in the darkness. It’s as if something is missing. A hole or gap that we cannot seem to fill.

Recently, my longtime boyfriend and I have decided to part ways after spending six years together. Though we are unsure of what the future holds for us, we know that we are not able to be together at this time. It has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in the 28 years around the sun. Letting go of love can be traumatic and gut-wrenching. Though I do not have a crystal ball to foresee how this whole situation will play out, I truly believe deep down in my heart, that the right person will find his way to me. But in the meantime, I must be patient while I figure out how to glue the pieces back together.

As I continue to move forward in this new norm, I have found it incredibly hard be excited about anything, let alone a time of year that highlights joy and cheer. As much as I would love to bury my head in the sand and count down the day’s until all of this is over, I have come to terms that it’s important to find as much normalcy during this transition as possible.

Below are a few suggestions that have helped thus far. In sharing this piece of my personal life with you, I hope to shed some light for others who may be also experiencing a loss this holiday season.

1. Continue On With Tradition.

Whether you find yourself lighting a candle for eight nights or stringing popcorn and hanging tinsel to a tree, know the importance of continuing on with tradition. For myself, the day after Thanksgiving, it’s “go time” for anything and everything Christmas related, including purchasing a tree. I almost opted out of buying one this year. I thought to myself “Who do I have to enjoy it with? Who will help me string lights and place ornaments?”.  After throwing myself a pity party, I realized that tree is exactly what I needed! Just because you may have done things differently in years past doesn’t mean that you strip yourself of something that makes you happy. Traditions are meant to be passed down from generation to generation. However, this idea of passing down tradition also reflects moving forward. Keep moving forward!

2. Stop Comparing

The holidays are also known as engagement season. Last year, six out of the ten most popular dates to get engaged landed in the month of December. From Thanksgiving until Valentines Day, our Instagram pages and Facebook feeds will be flooded with beautifully cut diamond rings and heartfelt announcements. Instead of allowing yourself to feel sadness or even jealousy, find a way to implement gratitude. Be happy for those who are celebrating a special moment in their lives. Their happiness has nothing to do with yours. It’s up to you to find your own happiness within.

There is a Sanskrit word “Mudita” which translates to taking delight in the happiness of others or experiencing vicarious joy. It’s reflected when we can truly be happy for the joys of others. Find a practice of Mudita.

3. Take A Break From Social Media

If you are struggling to find Mudita, try taking a break from all social media outlets. Easier said than done. I think we all, as a society, could benefit from this practice of letting go. I am just as guilty as the next, but we tend to share only the good things that reflect in our lives. Perhaps we even exaggerate the good to create a certain image or perception that deflects from our reality. We have to take a step back and remember that most social media content is a clouded or overemphasized. Not to discredit other people’s happiness or good fortune but it helps to put a closer lens on reality.

4. The Practice of Gratitude

Since my break up, I have made more of conscious effort to count my blessings each and every day. In past relationships, I always viewed my break up as my world was crumbling around me partly due to my age and lack of life experience. Yes, I have had my moments in the past few weeks of hopelessness. Yet, knowing how truly blessed I am, gives me a good reality check.

A few ways I have been practicing gratitude is through meditation and journaling. Manifesting and writing down everything you find gratitude in your day-to-day, creates a visual and a great tool to reference back to especially when darkness begins to set in. Gratitude can be as simple as a warm cup of coffee or a pair of fuzzy socks. When we really stop to think about all of the ways we are blessed, it allows us to feel a sense of fulfillment, a way to fill that gap that is missing.

5. Surround Yourself With Loved Ones

Nothing helps a grieving heart more than the company of your closest friends and family. I consider myself to be very lucky to have access to some of the most amazing support groups anyone could offer, starting with the love of my family, my people, my tribe. The ones who are there for me no matter what because at the end of the day, they have no choice, they are stuck with me! I don’t know where I would be without them.

Secondly, my yoga community. I’m one of the lucky ones where I don’t view my job as “work” and acknowledge that this concept is a unique one. The amount of love and compassion I have received from not just my colleagues but my friends has been outstanding. I am forever grateful to have a community, like Yoga Six, to lean on.

Also, don’t forget to personally thank those who have helped keep you afloat during a hard time. We sometimes tend to forget that a simple “thank you” or acknowledgment can go along way.

 

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Live & Let Live

Live & Let Live

One of my hardest life lessons in my 28 years around the sun so far has been understanding the art of “letting go”. This umbrella term can be relatable to almost any and every life experience. We all have had, at some point or another, an ah-ha moment in realizing that perhaps a friendship, lover, job or situation that once fulfilled us has become a negative in your life. For whatever reason, a change has occurred and it becomes dead weight. It not longer is serving us the way it has in the past. Although, coming to this conclusion sometimes is the easy part. What one can’t always prepare for is the actual process of nonattachment. The process always sucks and sometimes we still never get the answer or closure we hope to find. Sometimes the answer itself is you simply coming to terms that in order to achieve happiness, we must hold ourselves accountable for it.

Sometimes we choose to stay in a relationship or situation that no longer serves us due to many reasons. The feelings of guilt or shame. That the ego has something prove. Or the sheer fact that fear is standing in the way of the unknown. Being creatures of habit, we often respond well to routine and the familiar. When our routine and familiar gets turned on its head, that’s when we typically turn to panic mode.

When we allow ourselves to constantly live in the past, we are are not discovering self-growth. What once was, is now gone. Though it doesn’t have to be forgotten. That is where the true test of letting go comes into play. It’s ok to look back at a friendship or relationship and cherish the time what was spent there. It’s OK to love these people from afar and wish them well. It’s not an accident where and who you end up meeting throughout your life. Your path led you to that experience or person for a very specific reason. But some things/feelings/experiences are not meant to last but are simply here to teach us a lesson. Part of letting go is taking the time to ground, seclude, meditate and really take an analytical approach to what lesson is to be learned. Sometimes we already know the answer to our question and other times, it takes patience.

Overanalyzing on how these changes affect you in the future is just as bad as clinging to the past. Often times when we look to the future, the perception of our own reality starts to get a little fuzzy and that’s where expectations are created. We might have a very specific idea or image about someone or something but if that person or thing does not live up to our expectations, disappointment follows. No one has a crystal ball to gaze into to assure you of what’s to come either. One thing is clear though. Life happens. We have no control over what happens and how other people respond. But what we do have control over is proactively taking steps in changing the way we think, respond, and engage with change.

Let me make something very clear here.  Have I myself mastered this concept? Hell no!!! I’ll be the first to admit that past and future come back to haunt me all the time. But, I am more vigilant of these mind fucks. My yoga practice has taught me to not be so reactive all of the time. I know I can’t change the people or the situations around me. Yet, I can change the way I digest and acknowledge them. People and life experiences will continue to disappoint me throughout my lifetime. That I can guarantee. But it’s truly up to me in how I go about dealing with change and disappointment.

I try my hardest to find gratitude each and every day for any form of negativity that comes my way. It’s a constant battle, but so is forearm stand. Some day’s my feet barely leave the ground and others I feel like I could balance on my forearms for hours. No pain, no gain. No mud, no lotus.

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Here Comes The Sun…

Here Comes The Sun…

Considering Chicago is blanketed by a daze of grayness for about six or so months out of the year, it’s no surprise that Chicagoan’s anxiously wait for the calendar to read June 21st.  The first day of summer and longest day of the year! The sun has finally found its way back into the city. It navigates Chicagoans back to the shores of Lake Michigan, on top of picturesque rooftops embedded in the Gold Coast neighborhood, or a quick jog on the 606. The city comes alive again! A time where life and its day-to-day demands slow down a bit. We take more precedence in BBQ’s and pool days. Gathering of family and friends. We come out from underneath the rock we choose to hibernate under to battle the long winter days. We quite literally feel ourselves physically morph into creatures tuned to a different beat.

Throughout history, people around the world have been known to gather in similar ways on this specific day in celebration of the Summer Solstice. Solstice rituals include everything from simple gatherings, bonfires, community celebrations, and dancing to the telling and re-telling of myths, creation stories, and folklore. However, all of these acts of celebration all speak the same message. The coming together as a community while shedding and letting go of the darkness and looking forward into the light.

The Summer Solstice is a great time to step back into nature and reflect a bit about what is happening around you. The gift of more hours of sunlight in the day gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate the physical, mental and spiritual. We use all three concepts in order to relate to our unique journey. It’s important to remember to honor the entire journey as well. Finding acceptance in each and every experience. Good or bad. We allow the light to shine down upon these reflections as a blessing for what lies ahead. Not to be confused with overthinking the future either. But instead being comfortable with where we are, here and now, and looking forward while feeling prepared to what’s to come.

 

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Liquid Xanax

Liquid Xanax

What’s that you say? A natural sleeping aid that makes you feel like you just popped a half bar and makes all of your worries disappear? What’s even crazier? It’s a safe and non-addictive alternative to prescription pill! If you haven’t yet explored the magical world of essential oils, I highly recommend starting out with the doTerra blend, Serenity. For those who suffer from stress or restless nights, this essential oil blend helps to promote relaxation and a restful sleeping environment.

But what do you do with it? There are many different ways in using essential oils. A good rule of thumb? A little bit goes a long way! Only a few drops are necessary.

Apply To The Soles Of Your Feet

By applying the oil directly to the bottom of your feet, this allows for the quickest absorption! Because the feet have the biggest pores, they are able to absorb the oil at a faster rate. This essentially leads to the bloodstream in no time!

Keep in mind, some people find themselves a bit sensitive to essential oils. Irritation or even burning of the skin has happened. The bottom of the foot is less sensitive than other areas of the body. It’s recommended to test out here first in order to avoid a reaction.

Diffuser

These little wonders are sold almost anywhere and everywhere now days. Amazon alone has a plethora of different diffusers to choose from. A safe an effective way to benefit from the essential oil and their strong aromas. Follow the appropriate directions to specific defusers. 3-4 drops max is needed in order to achieve the appropriate benefits.

Bathtub 

A few drops of Serenity along with Epsom salt will take your next bath a whole new level! Remember, these oils can be sensitive to certain skin types. Because the water helps to dilute the strength of the aroma, feel free to use up to 5-7 drops. If you are worried about skin sensitivity or were looking to add moisture, dilute the oil with coconut oil or carrier oil.

DoTerra can be purchased online, through a DoTerra representative or found on Amazon. Sweet dreams zzzz….

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The Speaking Voice

The Speaking Voice

Many often assume that “yoga people” are calm, zen and eternally blissed out. Ha! I’ll be the first one to admit that we are all, for a lack of a better word, fucking insane! We all have our different reasons for showing up to our mats but we all have a similar end goal in mind, contentment. Being in the present and at peace.  Yet anxiety, life pressures, and judgment are all a product of fear and are all idiosyncrasies that keep people from truly finding their Atman or “self”. The eternal and subconscious. Our true nature or identity. Happiness.

For a while now, I have noticed myself struggling with finding my sense of self in my speaking voice. Though I’ve always been shy, lately, I have felt the inability to express my thoughts fully. When your thoughts, emotions, and concerns are unable to thoroughly expressed, this often leads to confusion, misunderstanding, and frustration in relationships, work situations and social outings. A true introvert, I have tendencies to internalize the situations and surroundings happening at that moment. But I’m not always good at the delivery of these internalizations. Some would argue that these are the signs of a blocked throat chakra.

For those who are unfamiliar with yogi terminology, a quick break down. The chakras are centers in our body where energy flows through. The body is made up of seven chakras each having a specific connection.

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However, when chakras become out of sync or blocked, we tend to see both physical and emotional signs. For instance, physical signs of the throat chakra being blocked are…

  • Chronic sore throat
  • Allergies, especially those unresponsive to medication
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the back of the neck
  • Frequent headaches
  • Dental issues
  • Frequent ear popping or feelings of stuffiness in the ears
  • Hoarseness
  • Thyroid problems
  • Laryngitis
  • Temporomandibular disorders of the jaw (commonly known as TMJ)
  • Neck pain

While some emotional signs may show up as…

  • Fear of speaking
  • Feeling misunderstood, disrespected, or like your voice is not being heard
  • Shyness
  • Arguments in your close relationships over minor issues, due largely to miscommunication
  • Inconsistency in speech and actions
  • Social anxiety
  • Inhibited creativity
  • Stubbornness
  • Detachment

Even if you are experiencing one of these symptoms, it could be a sign that you too might be struggling with a blockage in the throat chakra. So, how do we “fix” or unblock this area? A few helpful tips to be mindful…

Learning To Trust Our Inner Voice

We all have that little voice inside of us that we choose freely to either listen to or ignore. The more in tune we are with the ability to tap into and trust our intuition, the more we find ourselves being able to gain a better understanding of who we are and what our needs are emotionally and physically. Instead of doubting that “gut feeling” because it may not be the answer we are seeking, we must embrace it! If we can truly tap into the “atman” or ” sense of self”, we are then able to unveil our truth.

Meditate/Unplug 

Building off of the first exercise, it takes the effort to step away or detach from the day-to-day. Making a conscious decision to turn off your cell phone, laptops, and any device with a light up screen. We are constantly being fed a stream of information and many would argue, we are addicted. This constant need to “check in” or “update”. Let’s change this a bit by making a point to put your cell phone away during dinner or while watching a show. Be here now.

Journaling

The inspiration behind my blog! Though it’s been years, journaling has always been a way to really speak my truth. I have to admit, I am one to never go back read what I write. I have filled the pages of multiple journals that I have yet to revisit again. But, I think that’s OK! That’s the beauty of this exercise. The ability to write freely with no judgment, structure or grammar. To simply put pen to paper or fingers to buttons. Plus,  it doesn’t even have to make sense! The idea is that it is for your eyes and your eyes only.

Cultivate The Color Blue

Just like every chakra has a purpose, it also has a specific color attached to it’s meaning. Blue happens to the color that resonates with the throat. Get creative! Perhaps it’s a great excuse to go shopping for a new blue top or shopping for blue crystals to help cultivate intention during mediation. Surround yourself in this beautiful hue.

Deep Breathing 

Breath is crucial to any yoga practice. Breath= yoga. Without it, the practice is simply made up of shapes. Specific breathing exercises like Belly breathing, help to send a sense of relief throughout the entire body. This type of breathing exercises is also a great way to clear any chakra blockage.  Try this simple breathing exercise…

  1. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair
  2. Close your eyes or soften your gaze
  3. Place one hand on your belly
  4. Open mouth exhale- get rid of stale air
  5. Inhale- for a count of four.
  6. Exhale- for a count of four.
  7. Continue for at least 2-5 minutes. Notice how you instantly feel a difference in the body and mind, mental and physical.

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