Embracing Wisdom

Life, food, wellness and love

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You Are What You Think

We have all heard the old adage you are what you think. If you are one of those who does believe this, then your life may be an outward indication of your internal thoughts. Certainly it could be suggested that the healthier the thoughts, the healthier the life. Where things get dicey for us is within the challenge to take our thoughts and then create an action that is in alignment with those thoughts.

Choosing our thoughts and our words carefully is key in developing an external manifestation of our internal thoughts.
The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.” Affirmations help to clean out our somewhat less than useful thoughts that create internal clutter. In practicing this sort of housekeeping we soon being to realize that anything may indeed be possible. Affirmations strengthen our mindset by helping us to believe in the potential of an action we desire in our life. When we have the thought (seed), and when the thoughts becomes spoken or written down (planting), we instantly become empowered into action (reality).
Consider this practice: for one week repeat a positive affirmation daily or even better multiple times a day. Then observe. Notice your mood, your interactions with others and your general well-being. You just might notice that things appear better than they had before you started being aware of your inner dialogue.

Need some ideas to begin your new way of thinking? Try these:

  • I am filled positive energy.
  • I am courageous in my choices.
  • I am worth it.
  • I radiate joy.
  • I have plenty of time for tasks and plenty of time for me.
  • I am balanced in my ability to give and to receive.
  • My body is healthy and I am strong.
  • I choose happiness.

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Practicing daily gratitude has been part of my life for 9 years. This gift has shifted my state of being from a victim to seeker.  Find gratitude daily and your life will change dramatically–fasten your seat belt because it’s the ride of your life.  

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Imagine Goodness

I awake every new day in joy.  I rest in the knowing of eternal goodness and evermore there is a song in my heart as it overflows with the acknowledgment of good.~Ernest Holmes

Pause. Stop rushing to get to the next task. Stop hurrying through the things you enjoy with the intent to take in more.  Just stop.  Hit the pause button.  Breathe.  Feel the aliveness and goodness of this moment.

In a culture of constant hurry, it is imperative for the well-being of our soul to stop and take notice.  Take in this moment and see the good.

Imagine for a minute how your life might be different if you stopped hurrying and instead you moved through each task with grace and mindfulness?  Imagine if you stopped hurrying and smiled more.  Imagine if you held your lovers hand a minute longer.  Imagine if the hug from your child lingered.

Stop rushing.  See the goodness.


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Small, Yet Remarkable

Practicing Gratitude is not just recognizing the ‘big’ things in life, such as a great job, a home, or fulfilling relationships.  Instead, I find that looking for small, yet remarkably large points of gratitude humbles me into a deeper practice of appreciation.

I was thinking about the women around this world who are as physically tired as I am.  Aching joints and sore muscles with long days of hard work that tire their bodies as much as my body tires. As I soaked in the sweet-smelling bubbles I realized that not only do I have a giant soaking tub, I have hot water to fill it.  What a simple, yet profound luxury that I have at my fingertips each day.  How many women across this planet have never slipped into a hot bath?  How many women whose aches and pains are never relieved by hot water much less epsom salts and lavender bubbles.

This morning I was not unconsciously washing my body and warming my muscles.  I was taking in the glory of just how fortunate I am not just for the home that my tub is in, but for the availability of hot water.  I imagined women all over the world who work tirelessly and have no relief.  I marveled at just how abundant my life is.

What can you be grateful for today?

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Starting my day

I have found that starting my day with certain ‘habits’ or ‘rituals’ keeps me healthy in my mind, body, and spirit.  These naturally occurring routines ground me physically, clear my head mentally, and nourish my spirit.  What are your daily habits? How do they affect you?

1.  Gratitude.  I review my gratitude for my life, for who I am, and for the day.  Doing this keeps me in the present moment of this breath. I am not drawn into a story of the future or the past.  I am here now, with gratitude. This helps my heart to stay open to all that life is.

2. Review the tasks of the day, and prioritize.  Sometimes I write these down but most of the time I spend about ten minutes per day checking my calendar and reviewing what tasks need my attention and make a list of prioritizing them.  This keeps me grounded and focused.

3. Wake early.  Waking up early is the foundation for the above items.  It allows me quiet space.  Additionally, being attuned to the Earth’s rhythm produces better sleep and research says this can be support one in having a more optimistic outlook.

4. Hot water and lemon.  Every single morning before anything else goes in my body, I drink a large mug of hot water with lemon.  This helps the body eliminate toxins in the body, balances the ph in the body, and nourishes the brain.  This is also great for skin. Every day.

5. Affirmation/Meditation.  This takes less than five minutes and is so powerful.  I close my eyes for about five minutes and I whether repeat affirmations; all is well, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, I am open to anything, I am willing, etc., or if I just sit in the quiet space and watch my breath. This helps me to live in the present moment and know that my life is unfolding just as it is supposed to.

6. Essential Oils. Each morning I apply essential oils to my feet.  In doing this I am not only helping my physical body stay healthy or keep pain at bay, I am taking the time to love myself and give myself the gift of self-care.  I am being a receiver of the love that I give so often to others.  That is a good thing.

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Seasonal Stress Tips

For many it is impossible to not feel stress during the holidays.  Shopping, wrapping, cooking, the expectations of others, holiday parties, and staying healthy are just a few of the common stressors of the season.

It is a common misperception that one cannot have holidays without stress.  Certainly the time of year can be chaotic, but maintaining your practice can be what holds you steady.  Try this:

  1. Start your day off with gratitude.  Breathe into the simplicity that you are alive and all is well.
  2. Prioritize yourself.  Make time each and everyday for at least thing that serves your soul.  A walk around the block, a bubble bath, time at the gym, time alone, a good cup of tea, or read a chapter in a  book. Make the time.
  3. See the joy.  It is everywhere.  Smiling children, sparkly lights, couples arm in arm, excitement in the eyes of others.  This may be one of the few times of year when people are experiencing more joy than any other….take it in.
  4. Be generous.  With your time, your energy and your actions.  Give to others that have less without judgment, offer to help someone, and be willing to spend time with someone who is lonely.
  5. Stop and observe. Take time to actually look around. Observe others, observe yourself. Look for goodness in others.  Truly look.

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The Yoga meal

The Yoga Meal is all about mindful eating; not just what eat but how you eat.  See how the ordinary meal becomes an experience. This method helps you to develop an intimacy with your food unlike any other.  You begin to slow down and appreciate not just the foods, but the efforts that went into getting your food onto your plate.  There is an intentional pause or stillness. Follow these guidelines just one meal per day and you will find that foods become tastier, more vibrant, and deeply rich.  This is all about awareness.

Give it a try to see for yourself if your relationship with food doesn’t evolve into a healthier space.

1. Remain seated.  This doesn’t mean in your car.  It means that you set a space at a table and you sit to eat your meal.  Even if the meal is as simple as a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of fruit.  Sit down with a plate and a napkin. The before you eat, pause.  Pause and look at the foods; colors, smells, textures.  After you have paused you choose to bless the food, pray over the food or simply pause.

2. Only 2-3 handfuls of food on your plate.  Start with this amount.  This is the amount that typically is enough to sustain our bodies.  We often live in the mindset of lack, and therefore we take in way too much food.

3. Put the fork or spoon down between bites. When we are loading up our utensil with the next bite, we are not experiencing the bite that is in our mouth.  We are in the future bite rather than the present bite.  When the fork or spoon is down you are more aware of the sensations that are happening in your mouth.

4. No talking with food in your mouth. We may have been raised with the words “don’t talk with your mouth full” but this goes deeper.  Conversing at a meal is fine, but doing so with food in our mouth is not mindful. When we are talking with food in our mouth, we are usually not chewing as much as we should (in order to get that sentence in), and we are really not focused on what is happening in our mouth.  Awareness again.

5. Wait 10-15 minutes after eating before reaching for more. As humans, we eat way too much.  It is pretty evident that in our country more people are over eating and struggling with weight. By becoming aware of not only what we are eating and how we are eating, we deepen the awareness to the possibility that we are eating for reasons other than hunger.