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Each morning my beautiful golden retriever companion, Bailey Nanda and I head out for our
daily ritual of drinking in the day.  Often still dark, we are blessed with a plethora of awe-inspiring unfoldings as dawn becomes daylight. From lingering starlight on some occasions, to a sunrise over Mt. Baker in brilliant hues of gold, apricot and turquoise, to a wild riot of a billion snowflakes kissing our eyes and cheeks, to gale force winds dancing in trees and in our hair, nature blesses our every step.

I have taken to adding in a walking meditation centered on gratitude that I practice first for myself and then –  it becomes ‘Metta’ – a form of loving kindness for all of life.  I would love to share this here with you in the hopes that it may resonate and become part of your own daily ritual as you honor YOU and all Sentient Beings.

Opening:
I Am Grateful for…
– my strong, healthy body
– my calm, clear mind
– my tranquil soul
– my open, peaceful heart.

(This I repeat several times in rhythm to the cadence of our walking.)

Then it becomes “Metta” as I repeat:

May All Beings know…
– a strong, healthy body
– a calm, clear mind
– a tranquil soul
– an open, peaceful heart.

(Once again, repeating for a deepening of the prayer and intention.)

In closing, my wish for you is all of the above.  As we share our inner light generously from the from the love within us, transformation is a certainty. So simple, yet so profound, the changes we can inspire when we live and commune from our beautiful hearts.

Namasté.
BaileyNanda1-feb17

Ahhhh-choo!!

GRRRRR…

Owwww….

These are a few of the sounds you may be making as we move into Spring.  In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) this is the season of the Liver.  If you are experiencing any of the issues below, though they can occur at any time of year, they may be more pronounced as we move into this time frame.

Headaches/ body aches and pains:  In TCM language, we would call this STAGNATION SYMPTOMS – pain that feels like pressure, tightness or restriction.

Muscle Stiffness: The Liver and its associated system, the Gallbladder (the Yin and the Yang) bring nourishment to the body’s connective tissue including tendons, muscles and ligaments. If you are feeling more tension and tightness this is often believed to be arthritic symtoms when it could well be a sign of Liver imbalance. These feelings may feel exaggerated as we move into spring.

Feelings of anger: This is the emotion associated with the Liver – and while occasional bouts of anger are to be expected – kind of like a release valve- more frequent outbursts can suggest that the Liver is overtaxed.

Irritation/Frustration: These two emotions are associated Gallbladder imbalances and go hand-in-hand with the physical stagnation that can take place causing a feeling of ‘stuck-ness.’ You may feel yourself clenching your jaws more than normal, stiffness in the shoulder muscles, etc.

Feelings of anger: This is the emotion associated with the Liver – and while occasional bouts of anger are to be expected – kind of like a release valve-  more frequent outbursts can suggest that the Liver is overtaxed.  The Gallbladder kicks in with the feelings of frustration.

Digestive upsets: For our digestive system to run smoothly, the Liver needs to maintain a balanced flow and consistent movement throughout the body. Add to this the brain-gut connection and if you are more more stressed out than usual, the digestive function takes a hit as well.  KEY HERE:  Don’t eat when you are angry or upset – turn OFF the TV (especially if you are watching the news).

Vision/Eye imbalances:  The sense organ relating to the Liver is the eyes.  Any issue here is typically attributed at least in part to a Liver imbalance. This includes poor vision as well as eye pain and fatigue and dry eyes.

Acupressure can come to the rescue in many of these imbalances. There are two key points that can be used to address  many of the issues listed above. They are LV (Liver) 3 and LI (Large Intestine) 4 and are referred to as the ‘Four Gates’.

LV (LIVER) 3:  located on foot between first and second toes in front of bone convergence. This is the source point of the Liver meridian – like a ‘hub’ – where primordial qi (source of life) from particular organs gathers to be distributed throughout the rest of the body.  This is a ‘go-to’ point any time of year to release stagnation throughout the body and because of it’s connection with spring, even more so now. Press often and firmly.:)

LI (LARGE INTESTINE ) 4: located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger, with pressure slightly up underneath bone of index finger. (Do not use when pregnant – can induce labor.)This point is helpful for allergies, headaches, hay fever, and general pain in upper body.

daisy-ladybug

Some other tips for a healthy Liver:

* Consider a cleanse (check with your doctor) or at least add sipping lemon water to your schedule every morning and even throughout the day.  Lemon helps to not only cleanse our system and remove toxins, it also alkalizes the body, a key component of good health.

* Limit intake of unhealthy fats as this puts a lot of stress on both the liver and the gallbladder.

* Increase consumption of fresh leafy greens, fruits and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) – and organic whenever possible.  Also fruits that are high in fiber such as apples and pears.

* Dandelion tea would also be a nice addition as it helps to detox the body and promote bile production.

* STRETCH & BREATHE!! Consider practicing yoga & meditation to release pent up anger and frustration. (Click here for class schedule or to learn more about sage butterfly yoga.) Also, get out in the fresh air and nature daily even for a few minutes to ground and refresh your spirit.

* Do your best to not SIT too much. This not only affects our digestive system, but also our lymph system.  If you are in a desk job and/or have a long commute or many hours in your car, schedule some time every hour to stand up and move around. This is absolutely essential for the health of our whole being – not just the liver.

****  And lastly, and perhaps most importantly (in any season), stop long enough several times a day to notice the miracles within and around you – everything from the blossoming of the trees (and your ability to see them), to the sound of the birds singing (and your ability to hear them) and your heart beating and connecting you to this amazing gift of Life.  Now. And now. And now…

Chakra Balancing Meditation to Release Feelings of Anger

We can hold anger in any of our energy fields for various reasons, for instance, in our throat chakra if we feel unheard or stuck as far as self-expression. Or in our heart chakra if we are having a difficult time either giving or receiving love. Each of the fields can become blocked due to these emotional states. This meditation will help to alleviate the stagnation and invite in a free flow of energy from root to crown.

Chakra Balancing to Release Anger

guru-allchakras

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. – Jimi Hendrix

This is a quote that I am sharing in my yoga classes as we enter the realm of Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra. This energy field represents and manifests courage, confidence and inner power.

Though to fully experience a sense of power, it must be understood that TRUE power comes from a place of inner peace, NOT force.  It comes from an understanding that each of us shoulders a burden that might not be readily apparent to the physical eye and therefore encourages patience and a sense of equanimity. It comes from a deep spirit of compassion and realization of our Oneness with ALL Beings.

It’s no coincidence that this article is being written as many the world over mourn the death of Cecil, the beloved lion who made his home in a national park in Zimbabwe. Cecil brutally lost his life to be mantled on a trophy hunter’s wall. The tears that come when I even ponder this cruelty must now be transmuted into knowing that Cecil gave his life to raise the consciousness of our world.

The number of posts around the globe, the millions who are not only saddened but horrified at this action reveals to me that the hearts of the majority of us sharing this beautiful planet are in alignment. BUT we must now come together and allow the energy to exponentially bring peace to a planet that is experiencing violence and despair at levels perhaps greater than ever before.

So what can we do? We can come into our own peaceful inner power. We can stand up for what is right. We can honor our brothers and sisters on the path – of EVERY species. Not through force, but through example.

The energy in our hearts is strong enough to move mountains. Believe in this. Believe in the quote that Jimi Hendrix shared so many years ago.

Here also is a mantra that says it all:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translated: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. (jivamuktiyoga.com)

Below you can listen to the fabulous Deva Premal & Miten share this beautiful mantra.
Namasté.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/usJl7oiZPnc” target=”_blank”>Deva & Miten

Compassion

Compassion

Pivotal Moments

Has anything ever happened along your life path where you can look back and recognize that a single event, conversation or random choice completely changed the course?

One such occurrence stands out for me really strongly. I was visiting Taos, New Mexico with my ex-husband. (Well, he was still my husband at that point haha. THAT’S a whole ‘nother blog.);) Anyway, we had been living in Nashville, Tennessee and while we both liked it there, we knew it was time for a change and Taos was one of the options we had in mind. When we arrived there, as beautiful as it was, we both knew inside that this was not the place we were to relocate.

The other option that we were considering was Port Townsend, Washington. So, sitting in a café in a courtyard in the middle of the village in Taos, we both agreed – that was indeed the place for us. Just then the waitress arrived with our beverages and as she placed them in front of us, she smiled and asked where we were visiting from. We looked at one another and told her, “Well, currently we live in Nashville, but we are moving to Port Townsend, Washington. SHE says, “OH! I love Port Townsend!” We looked at each other again, thinking, “Wow, what are the odds? Here we are in Taos and she is familiar with this small town in Washington?” Then she adds, “But have you also considered Bellingham?” At that point neither of us were familiar with Bellingham but the thought was implanted and we both agreed, perhaps before making a final decision we should check it out as well. And so we did. As well as Birch Bay. AND that is where we ended up relocating.

SO. If that particular waitress had not been working that day OR we had not stopped for a drink, our entire future could have been quite different. Not to mention life stories of everyone we have met and therefore influenced in some manner along the way.

Those kind of things just blow me away. The reason I am sharing this is because we are on Third Eye chakra this week in yoga class – our seat of perception and inner guidance. Often along this path of life it may feel that certain goals and aspirations are not panning out. But if we can remain open to the ‘Inner Guidance” that can come in many forms, (like a waitress in a café in Taos), we will know that we are exactly where we are meant to be every step of the way. Even if it appears foggy and ill-defined or we have what may feel like too many options from which to choose, when we drop down into our heart and KNOW that it’s all perfect, the stepping stones will indeed appear. Messages from God and the angels can manifest in many different forms so being open to the unexpected is a very good idea. And one day you will look back and think, ” Ahhh. Now I get it.”

Coming into this ‘state of mind and heart’ is not always easy so I want to share with you a little prayer/meditation both  audio and written form called, “What If…”

Click here for audio meditation.

What if just for today
… you released worry.
… you lived your life moment by moment.
… you allowed yourself to see things through the eyes of a child.
… you knew that all is indeed well.
… you let the miracle of your breath carry you gently forward.
… you trusted that angels are surrounding you with love and guidance.
… you opened to the magic that happens when you live from your heart.
… you believed that you are a blessed child of God, more loved than you could ever imagine.

What if… you repeated these statements EVERY day.

Namasté.

What does it mean to be free?

When we can reach a place of non-judgement, both of ourselves and others – a place of total forgiveness – for ourselves and others- and through this, a deep awareness of our infinitely Divine nature, this is true freedom. This is where healing takes place. This is love.

Let us honor our crown chakra, our connection to the Divine and in so doing, may we open ourselves to this idea of freedom. Let the light of the crown flow down, celebrating the beauty of all the chakras paying heed to the unique gifts they offer. This will then support and magnify the blessings contained within each of them.

We honor the root chakra for the gift of stability and earth support. We honor the sacral chakra for the flow of abundance in our lives and our ability to create. We honor the solar plexus for our sense of power and courage to walk the path. We honor our heart chakra for the gift of compassion in our lives and our ability to give and receive love. We honor the throat chakra for enabling us to celebrate and express our truth and purpose. We honor the third eye for the sense of intuitive knowing that emanates from the indigo light within. We honor the crown chakra for our infinite and all-loving connection with the Divine.

So with breath and movement, may we bring awareness to these fields and ask that any blockages to a free flow of energy be removed that we might serve each moment of our lives in the most free and joyful manner.

I’d like to now share a meditation with you that will enhance this practice. We will be bringing focus to the power of the words “I AM.” We must be really cognizant of whatever we say that follows those two words because that is what we will be manifesting and magnifying within our lives. Hence, saying I AM and anything derogatory or less than empowering should be consciously avoided. We will be using the I AM to enhance the gifts of each of our energy fields.

I will be ringing a chime for each chakra and then introduce you to the statement in the form of “You ARE… ” after which we will repeat that statement in the form of I AM three times. (Please see link to audio version below.)

ROOT CHAKRA….. YOU ARE STABILITY AND SUPPORTED BY MOTHER EARTH.
(I AM STABILITY AND SUPPORTED BY MOTHER EARTH.)

SACRAL CHAKRA…. YOU ARE CREATIVITY, ABUNDANCE, AND FLOW.
(I AM CREATIVITY, ABUNDANCE, AND FLOW.)

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA …. YOU ARE GODDESS ENERGY AND TRUE WARRIOR SPIRIT.
(I AM GODDESS ENERGY & TRUE WARRIOR SPIRIT.)

HEART CHAKRA…YOU ARE COMPASSION AND BOUNDLESS LOVE.
(I AM COMPASSION AND BOUNDLESS LOVE.)

THROAT CHARKA – YOU ARE TRUTH AND AUTHENTICITY.
(I AM TRUTH AND AUTHENTICITY.)

THIRD EYE – YOU ARE ALWAYS GUIDED BY AN INNER LIGHT
(I AM ALWAYS GUIDED BY AN INNER LIGHT.)

CROWN CHAKRA – YOU ARE AM EXPRESSION OF PURE DIVINE LOVE.
(I AM AN EXPRESSION OF PURE DIVINE LOVE)

Now come into pushpaputa, a mudra representing openness, acceptance, allowing by bringing your hands palms up in front of you at heart level, like you were holding a handful of flowers. Let light shine down through your crown chakra and through all of the chakras, seeing them balanced and clear. Then bring your hands into anjali mudra – prayer hands – and draw them to your heart space, in non-judgment, in total forgiveness…

You are a pure Divine expression of Love…. you are free.

Namasté.

Link to audio of this essay and meditation: