On Containment

On Containment

Each year, sometime in the dark of winter, I choose a focus for the year. I prefer not to choose one word or one goal, but rather, I very intentionally choose a “modus operandi” of sorts…a mantra to touch base with, a lens through which I view my life unfolding.

In recent years, as I have opened and sustained my own business, my words have reflected that: Abundance, Prosperity, Courage, Perseverance…you know the drill. The major things I was looking for became the containers I chose to work through. And that was neat. I developed a strong relationship with non-physical Source energy, and I learned how to let go, stepping into a flow of energy and abundance that sustains me to this day. It felt deeply empowering, and still does.

But then I didn’t know what was next.

I mean, after you attain an understanding of Law of Attraction and start practicing, and you see the dynamic of co-creation unfolding daily in your life, what’s the next place to investigate?

Well obviously, there’s an entire universe to explore. But I wasn’t feeling it.

A conversation with my Mother changed everything. I have an excellent relationship with my blood mother, and she is often the source of incredible perspective and inspiration for me. We were talking about how I stress out about very small things, and really waste energy on big reactions. We talked about the concept of Containment.

Containment is a concept of how I hold my energy and resources. It’s tricky, because to contain, there must be boundaries, but as energetic beings, there is also a simultaneous flow and movement, inherent on every level of existence. So we don’t become hard in our holding of ourselves, or separate from the flow (impossible), but we recognize the wisdom of gathering and resting in a place of fullness. I recognize that I don’t HAVE to react. I don’t HAVE to give, or offer, or play into anyone’s expectations. I can contain mySelf. I can sit back, and watch.

And in the sitting back and watching, I am contented. I am having fun. I am witnessing life unfold, instead of pushing it forward.

So this is my main lesson and exploration for the year. It has started coloring and influencing the quality of my days. I am learning to be OK with Gathering and Holding, rather than Accumulating and then Letting Go. I am investing in quality, rather than quantity. I am taking more deep breaths before reacting. I am not reacting at all.

I am weaving Containment with Contentment and Harmony…knowing that I am nothing without the environment that I am in, and I am never cut off, even when I set boundaries and enjoy them. I am noticing the contrast as Old Patterns come up for healing, and I am blessing them and letting those go.

The interesting part so far, is that with Containment, I am learning what to HOLD ON to, rather than what to let go of, which is the opposite of how I have thought about my self-growth in recent years.

I have wanted to let go of fear, impatience, judgement, lack…all the demons that I imagine keep me small. But what if, instead of focusing on those demons (which keeps them active, and real in my present-self-life), I simply re-tune into what I want to hold on to?

Generosity. Empowerment. Fecundity. Compassion. Connection. Community. Laughter. Love. Service. Devotion.

Can I steep myself in those qualities, saturating my cells with Divinity, until there is simply no-where left for the other things to reside? Can I contain my potential to such a degree, that past-versions simply cease to be?

I’ll keep you posted.

Selah.

 

On Creating a New You

On Creating a New You

Each year, “new year’s resolutions” are everywhere. We are admonished and recommended to take stock of the previous year, and to vow certain improvements will be made in the new year. Most of us (all of us?) end up disappointing ourselves a few weeks into January when we fall back into our old behavior and patterns. The fact is, change takes consistent attention and energy, and it can be deeply challenging.

In recent years, I have started to honor the winter Solstice as my New Year, and I like to take time on that day, or right around it, to look at myself and see the shifts I’d like to make. I make this a sacred time, and my vows that I take are for myself only, or for things that affect my husband and family, I will share them with those people, in hopes of creating support and some accountability.

The language is SO important as I make my vows…I don’t say, “I vow to lose 10 pounds.” But I might vow to “treat my body with the respect it deserves, starting with a gratitude practice I check in with, daily.” The difference between these two sentiments is palpable: one is a judgement of where I am right now, and my behavior that put the weight on in the first place. The other, is a gentle shift in the relationship I have with my body. And by deciding to do a gratitude practice daily, I set up a different relationship with ALL aspects of my life.

I don’t make specific rules about how the gratitude practice looks, by the way. If one day I write it down, maybe the next I simply take a deep breath and say Thank You to myself. Or I thank someone else. I thank my body. I thank my patients. I thank my food. Gratitude brings us into a place of peace and freedom, and even worthiness, if we practice long enough.

Something else I heartily recommend and have come to rely on, is drawing oracle cards. This is an easy way to connect with Source energy, but you could also do a nice meditation, or book yourself a Tarot card reading. The main questions are: What is my main lesson for the year? What’s the best way for me to help myself? How can I change and become the best version of myself this year?

When we slow down and listen, we often get answers that ring deeply true, that maybe we haven’t wanted to hear or face in previous years. The reason these things are coming up now, is we are more ready to face them! Along with the answers and information we glean from our highest Self, I also suggest asking for help. Sometimes, the answers we get are overwhelming. This isn’t a reason to ignore the information, but it’s a GREAT reason to expand your support network and get the help you need. It’s easier to do when the answer came from within yourself, so you KNOW it’s not about someone else trying to change you. You will find (as I have) that when we really want to engage in change and ask for help and support, that it comes, often in very unexpected ways.

Lastly, I suggest writing a letter to yourself and burning it. Write about the year, about your successes and failures. Write what you have learned. Write what you might want to change the next time the lesson comes around. Write your goals and dreams and aspirations. Write your vows. Write the bad stuff. Write the good stuff. Then, go outside and light it on fire and let it burn up, in something fire-proof. Light some sage and cleanse out the negative energy. All of it!

When we do this, we get all the pent-up stuff OUT and let it GO in a big way! We are signalling to the universe that we are ready to move on, and it can feel amazing. It’s even nicer to go through this process with other people who can really engage and dig in. The energy you generate with amplify and support everyone’s collective process.

Armed with these tools, I hope you can find your way into an easy and empowering new year! May change come easily and naturally. May you be blessed and content in all the best ways life has to offer.

Selah

Pixie

On Anxiety and Overwhelm (during the holidays)

On Anxiety and Overwhelm (during the holidays)

It’s easy to spread ourselves too thin with enjoyable activities and not even realize it…until a huge wave of overwhelm, anxiety, or exhaustion (which looks likeanything from getting a cold or flu this time of year or not sleeping well, to full-blown anxiety attacks) hits us over the head like a tons of bricks. Pixies, IMHO, are extremely susceptible to such waves, as we take deep enjoyment in all the season’s merriments, and sometimes over-do without realizing it!

It’s ALSO easy to prevent this from happening in the first place, and of course, to heal those waves when they do occur.

I offer this post in hopes that this holiday season, I will do more of the preventative things, and meter out my energy and time more carefully, thus avoiding the traditional post-holiday-crash that has occurred the past years. Ah, hopes. We’ll see!

Anxiety and overwhelm are to heads of the same monster. One is just a more intense version of the other (although I am not going to say which is which, because I have experienced both firsthand as being really nasty monsters).  What we can understand, however, is that anxiety and overwhelm happen when the Spleen meridian gets saturated, stressed and depleted.  The Spleen meridian in Chinese Medicine is our system of filtering information and input from the outside, and integrating it or getting rid of it, based on whether or not it serves us.  Very important. The Spleen organ is an immune organ, producing cells that fight infection (and harmful input…see the connection?) and is related to the earth element of grounding, healing and soothing us. The Spleen meridian plays a role in keeping blood and energy in the organs and body, digesting food and integrating nutrients, as well as processes of thinking, studying and memory. When the Spleen is imbalanced, we are worried, anxious and obsessively focusing on things.

So as we run around shopping, cooking, eating, drinking, listening to holiday music (voluntary or not) and adding sprinkles off sugar to everything we see, our Spleen becomes depleted. It is overrun with information and doesn’t have a chance to restore and replenish.

We may feel this as tiredness, or stress, or burdens of the season. We may not feel it at all.  What happens when the Spleen is *really* depleted, though, is that we get nasty monsters rearing their heads, and nice phlegm-y colds. Ugh.

To Prevent Depletion of the Spleen:

Grounding: In the colder months, it’s tougher to ground.  Ideally, we walk around outside, barefoot.  This simple connection of our energy with that of the Earth is deeply healing for our systems, and helps drain off excess energy. In the late autumn and winter, however, chances of that are slim! We can still ground however…and it still works!

Instead of going barefoot, simply go outside. Take deep breaths and let the cold air refresh you and cleanse you.  After walking about a bit, stand still, and visualize roots growing from your feet down into the earth.  The roots you send down are any color you like, but visualize them going to the center of the Earth to our heated core.  Then, as you breathe out, send anxiety, stress, irritation or any other emotion down your roots, into that white-hot core of the Earth.  The heat at our core will transform all energy that comes it’s way – negative or positive- into neutral, clean energy. You can then either offer this cleansed energy to fuel other creative processes of the universe, or you can draw it back up your roots, into your legs and belly, letting it nourish YOU!

Adaptogenic Herbs: The class of herbs known as adaptogens is quickly becoming deeply respected and, as more and more research is done, turned to for all sorts of support.  Adaptogens do exactly what their name sounds like: they help us adapt to the stress of our lives. They provide foundational support for the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems.  Any one of these herbs taken regularly will strengthen the system and work to prevent meltdowns.

I certainly recommend speaking with your health care practitioner or herbalist/nutritionist before you start taking any new supplements. 

Adaptogenic herbs are: Echinacea, Licorice, Astragalus, Ashwaganda, Eleuthero, and Schisandra. These need to be taken daily for at least a couple of weeks, if not several months, to truly help us heal. Dosage will vary person to person, so again, please check with a qualified professional before beginning any new herbs or supplements!

Light abdominal massage stimulates the free circulation of spleen qi and eliminates stagnation. Perform this exercise standing or sitting with your spine straight. Place your right palm on your upper abdomen. Inhale fully and gently. As you exhale, massage the abdomen with your palm, moving in a clockwise direction. Use the breath to whisper the sound “hu” as you exhale. Repeat 10 to 20 times. In addition to strengthening spleen qi, this exercise promotes good digestion.

Circling the Qi Gong Ball: One of the keys to strengthening Spleen qi is to engage in smooth, continuous movement. This exercise targets Spleen qi. Stand with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Hold your hands in front of your torso, with the right hand on top of the left. The palms face each other as if you were holding a basketball, and your fingers point at 45-degree angles away from you. Turn to the left, continuing to hold the ball. Turn to the right, rotating your invisible basketball so that the left hand is on top. Turn back toward the left, rotating the ball so the right hand is on top. You’ll know this exercise is working if you experience increased bowel activity and you have improved appetite.

All of these exercises and suggestions give the most benefit when practiced daily. You can mix and match or just choose one, if you don’t have time for all of them.  Remember: some is better than none, and the practices we engage in daily act as deposits in our health bank accounts over time.

How to Come Back from Anxiety and Overwhelm:

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, life gets hectic and we find ourselves in the feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

The first, most immediate tool that we always have on hand, is the breath: 

Place your hands on your belly.

Breathe in as you push your belly against your hands, slowly counting to 5. Hold your breath and count to 3. Then breathe out, deflating your belly, to a slow count of 7.

This rhythm of 5:3:7 is extremely grounding, and signals the bodymind that all is well and you are safe. As you breathe out, you may send your roots down (even if you’re indoors, this is highly effective!) and breathe out your excess energy into the Earth’s core. When we push the belly into our hands on the inhale, we turn on the diaphragm and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and the body’s “rest and digest” response, which is opposite “fight, flight, or flee”. This takes us out of anxiety and overwhelm immediately.

This technique can be done anytime, anywhere, and is subtle enough so if anxiety hits at a party and you can’t leave, you can at least take the edge off.

Then, when you have some time, get out your journal:

Write about why you are anxious or overwhelmed in a stream-of-consciousness way. Don’t censor yourself. Just let all the words and emotions flow onto the page. All the things you are keeping inside that seem petty or silly, let them out.

Then take some deep breaths, maybe even take a nap!

And come back, to write yourself a letter sharing the reasons why all is well. Remind yourself you have all the resources and abilities to handle whatever is before you. Remind yourself of how loved and supported you are.

Then, listen to this meditationMeditation to Heal Anxiety and Depression  It’s well worth the 20 minutes, and will help you let go of even more levels of stress and depletion.  If that one doesn’t work for you, simply type “meditation to heal _____” in YouTube’s search box, and be amazed at your resources and results.

Other ideas:

Kava Tea, especially before bedtime, is a wonderful soother-of-the-system.

Theanine is an amino acid that helps us calm down when tightly-wound. You can take it as needed (keep some in your bag or car), and it comes in chewable tablets, which absorb within seconds to provide relief.

Eat enough fat! Fat is essential for brain and cellular health! Coconut, avocado, and butter are all incredibly healing foods to take almost daily.  Also cashews have been proven deeply effective in soothing the system, and even in combatting depression! Walnuts are another amazing one, so add them to salads and other dishes anytime you can.

Avoid processed sugar! Ugh this one is SO tricky this time of year, isn’t it? But here’s a recipe I make and take with me wherever I go, as a contribution to the dessert table that can ease my cravings. I actually eat one or two of these, and my cravings for other sweets go away, or at least, calm down a bit!

Raw Brownie Bites via the Detoxinista
Makes about one dozen

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
1/4 cup cacoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free, if you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup soft dates, pitted (about 10 Medjool dates)
1 tablespoon water

Blend all ingredients, roll into tsp-sized balls, and then roll in raw cacao powder to dust.

*Pixie variations: I reduce the number of dates to 7 or 8 and increase the cacao powder by an extra tablespoon or so, as I like my brownie bites to taste more like dark chocolate. I also love adding 1 tsp of cinnamon or pumpkin spice, or even 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper!  You can also roll them in coconut flakes instead of cacao. I have even added coconut flakes (about 1/4 cup) to the blender in this recipe, but you may need a bit of honey or water to help it hold together if you do so.

What are your other tried-and-true methods for relieving holiday stress, anxiety, and overwhelm?

Hopefully this post gives you a few new tools to start working with, and helps you enjoy your holiday season to the fullest!

Blessings and Bright Warmth,

Pixie

On Sisterhood

On Sisterhood

The world is heavy these days. I find my pixie-heart…normally up-lifted and warmed by holiday lights and cider….is aching for the world and the atrocities being committed on a day-to-day basis.

What is a Pixie to do?

I would *like* to crawl into my loft, where all of my craft supplies abound. To make messes and paintings and jewelry, seems to me, the best balm for the soul. But I pause.

What has retreating into mySelf gotten me?

(Well…as a quick aside, I believe it has actually gleaned deep wisdom and compassion, but this isn’t that kind of introspection. There is a difference between hermit-ing, and hiding. My inclination right now is to hide.)

It doesn’t get me anywhere. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it gets me junk food, or alcohol, or any number of other agents-which-numb-me and feel old, safe, and comfy. Easy. And terribly inauthentic. I recognize, after years of these sorts of heart-battles, that superficial balms do nothing to ease the unrest of my inner Self…except they provide temporary numbness.

Which, for some (myself included) is occasionally part of the process.  Sometimes, I can’t handle the entirety of the shock or heart-break. Small pieces only, please, and hold on the rest until I can actually understand, or attempt to look at the picture painted of what is unfolding in the world.

So much ache. So much dark. Right now, it feels like every Mother is crying out, and I feel isolated, and utterly helpless.

It’s quite uncomfortable.

It’s also what makes me human: my ability to feel empathy, and to hear the cries, and hold space for the depth of suffering present in our world right now.

What do I do in the face of so many tragedies, of so much karma being expressed?

Of course, I reach to my husband, my kitties, and my cozy blankets. I make a lot of tea. I practice a lot of candle-lighting, spreading light and prayers and compassion…first to mySelf, and then to my community. But the most healing medicine, is the sisterhood I recognize and enjoy in the communities I belong to.

I have many circles. Pixies need groups who are like-hearted to survive. I have built them up around me. Some are near, some are far. Some are passing glances, some are professional, some are deeply personal.

But here is what is always true: We can hug each other, and know that the Web we create together, is one of Light and Magic. The more we as wombyn (and Pixies) choose peace, choose light, choose laughter, in the face of all of this angst and desperation, the more we shift those around us.

And I truly believe, down to the tiniest of cells of the smallest parts of me, that when we breed light in ourSelves, we allow others to Shine.

I turn to my Sisters for more than support and hugs. I turn to them to vent frustration. To recognize how uncomfortable vulnerability can be. To offer words and resources of inspiration and solidarity. Without these moment of Sanity, we are nothing. We are all spinning out of control and listening to the media and Fox news as though it was gospel.

We MUST create sanity, solidarity, and laughter. We must, as wombyn and light-bearers and truth-knowers, work on healing ourselves so that others around us may heal.

Take actions of peace. Put your burden down. Rest in the Truth of your conscious essence, beaming through you, showing you the Light of your soul. And, as much as you can, take the suffering of the others in the world into your heart, and know it as your own. Do not let it define you. Do not let it weigh you down. Just know that Witness is a Sacred Role. We must NOT harden our hearts. We must envelop the world with our strong love, and dig deeply to heal these wounds that humanity is carrying.

We can do this, because as wombyn, we are the ancient Source of Life. We are deeply connected to tides and ebbs and flows of the MoonLight. We are That.

Remember who you are, Sistar.

With Love….Selah.

Pixie

On (re)Committing to ourSelves

On (re)Committing to ourSelves

Life is full of waves and patterns…they ebb and flow and change and firm up and melt again. Over and over and over…the longer I live, and live somewhat mindfully, the more I am astonished at this simple truth.

In my life, patterns look like bouts of creativity followed by not-a-single-new-idea, wanting to MAKEALLTHETHINGS and then not-wanting-to-touch-my-tools, preparing delicious and nutrient-dense food followed by eat-all-the-doughnuts, and meditation and asana daily followed by ugh-that-sheepskin’s-best-purpose-is-for-napping.

And those are just the ones I’m aware of these days. Every action and behavior that we experience is a result of the Sanskrit term Samskara.  Samskaras are the patterns that make up our personalities, thought-patterns, and reactions (our interior landscape, if you will) and then stream outwards into the tissues of our bodies, our environment, and our lives (the exterior landscape).  Samsakras are what make us, us.  And they aren’t bad. They are simply something to be aware of. They are structures, and structures both help us survive and define ourSelves, while simultaneously holding us in one space (rather than allowing evolution and growth).

So how do we get around these structures, and grow into versions of ourselves that we are proud of? I am not talking about the patterns that serve us…this is a question of changing patterns that are not getting us anywhere we want to be.

We commit to taking Care of ourSelves.

We make small changes daily.

We remind ourSelves of what is important.

But then, of course, sometimes we forget. Or we go on vacation. Or a holiday happens. And all that intention we set and all those good practices, get changed and (maybe) thrown out of the daily routine. Ugh. That’s a pattern, too…and it’s one that’s not so hard to get out of!

So here are some ways to help all of us re-commit to the things we do to take care of ourselves…this is a list I go back to over and over again, and it continues to grow as I evolve in my own practices.

  1. Notice that you fell off the horse: This seems silly, but unless you notice that you STOPPED doing something, you can’t START it back up! So give yourself a bonus point if you already know where you want to “re-horse”.
  2. Give yourself another day to prepare: This time between noticing and taking action gives us a moment to pause and reflect.  Why did you stop? What are you feeling because you stopped? Are you judging yourself? Are you placing blame on another pattern, person, holiday, or structure? Are you simply avoiding taking healthy action because you don’t want to? Journal a little bit on this day, and make sure you journal about what you want to re-commit to, and why.

We need to know WHY we are doing something, very clearly, if we are to keep it in our lives. So “I want to start daily meditation again because it makes me feel good” is actually not specific enough. I need more reasons (because hey, feeling good also comes after a glass of wine, eating pie, and binge-watching Big Bang Theory).  What does meditation give me, that NOTHING else does?

“I want to have a daily meditation practice because it nourishes my soul, gives me time to process energy and awareness, and offers me a sacred ritual to connect to my highest Self. I deserve and am worthy of these things on a daily basis. My life flows better, I am a better manifestrix, and I am kinder to mySelf and others, when I meditate daily.”

Now THAT’s a reason!

3. Put it in writing.  So this is the next day. Grab a candle, incense, or just put on some lovely music…setting the mood as you commit to yourSelf helps bring your awareness IN, and helps you to feel like this is a special moment. Because it is. Commitment ceremonies are special. Breathe deeply for a few minutes before you even start. Take a moment to write the positive aspects of what your self-care gives you.  Write down in a simple phrase what you are committing to.

4. Just choose one thing at a time. Don’t change your diet, meditation, exercise, sleeping habits, and communication goals all at once.  It doesn’t serve you to be overwhelmed.  This is a gentle process, so treat yourSelf with care and tenderness.  This is a quiet molding, not a forceful push, into another aspect of your life. Enjoy it. Savor it.

5. Offer this commitment to your Highest Self.  Some of us use the word God, or Goddess.  Some use Energy, or Consciousness, or That.  Whatever you consider your highest, creative Source…offer this commitment to That, with reverence.  This Highest Self is not judging us for messing up, but it is noticing how much attention, energy, and gravity we are giving to our patterns and commitments.  Use this knowledge FOR yourSelf, and let it support you!

6. After you close your ceremony with gratitude (I recommend offering thanks to the Highest Self, followed by offering blessings to the world around you, but that’s just one way), start practicing immediately.  Did you commit to meditation, yoga, or exercise? Go do those things, right now.  Nourishing yourself with healthier foods? Get in the kitchen! Communicating with ease and grace? Go write an email, return a phone call, or strike up a conversation with someone dear to you.  Hold that commitment sacred, and act on it.  You made a vow to YOU, and you are worth upholding it.

7. Set an alarm or timer, daily, for taking the actions you committed to.  It becomes easy when it’s just part of the structure of your day.  For me, mornings have time, so that’s when I practice.  Do you get home and have energy in the evenings? Long lunch breaks? Half days? Can you possibly wake up an hour or thirty minutes earlier, to have enough time to get all of your self-care things done? Look at your schedule and find the time. Make the time. Again, this is about you being worth it.

8. Don’t set goals you can’t achieve.  It only sets you up for failure and judgement and self-loathing. Blech.

9. Weekly, re-commit! On a weekend, or day off, take a moment and journal about the results you got, and what you achieved in the past week. Congratulate yourself, and re-commit to your healthy new pattern. If you want to indulge in a “treat”, make it one that supports your goals…so rather than going out of ice cream if you have committed to not eating sugar, get a pedicure, take a luxurious bath, watch a sunrise somewhere beautiful, or make a purchase you havve been denying yourself.  Just be honest with yourself about affordability, and what supports you.

and finally, and perhaps most importantly:

10. When you mess up and forget, or skip a day, DON’T judge yourself harshly. Remember the part about tenderness? You gotta be kind to yourSelf! So if you mess up, get out your journal and write the mess-up. Write why. Write all about it, if you like.

THEN write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.  Write a letter about why it’s OK to mess up, and make mistakes, and fall off the wagon. Then take a big deep breath, and re-commit. ❤

Selah Selah

Amen

(ps…anything to add? I’d love to hear what you do to take care of your precious Self!)

On Breeding Compassion (when I would like to scream my head off)

On Breeding Compassion (when I would like to scream my head off)

Ah, Life.

Many of you are not aware of the fact that I cover my head when I leave me house (unless you know me in real life, of course…then it’s quite obvious, and has been for quite some time). I know that this is not the norm for women in the community in which I live. I realize that people associate a woman who is not showing her hair as having certain religious affiliations, or maybe being ill, or losing her hair for one reason or another (in fact, I caught myself having that thought the other day at the grocery store…and totally had to check myself!) All of this is something I am perfectly OK with responding to directly. I welcome questions, curiosity, and conversations about this.

But here’s what gets my Pixie-pants in a twist: when people ask THE PEOPLE AROUND ME why I cover my head. I understand that maybe these people don’t know me personally, and feel inappropriate in asking me…but guess what folks…NO ONE KNOWS BETTER THAN ME WHY I COVER MY HEAD.

Weird, right?

I have shared aspects of my reasons why with different people. I am open about my reasons. I am clear in how I communicate.

But when you go behind my back to talk about me, and it gets back to me, guess what: it doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel like I am being spied on. And while I KNOW that we all talk about each other, and we all judge each other in not-nice-ways, I don’t need it rubbed in my face that I am different. I can’t be anything else. If you want to talk to me about it, let’s talk. Let’s have a real dialogue. Let’s not gossip. Let’s not assume. Let’s not revert back to middle-school-secret-spreading. It’s not a secret. I’m following a path that I can’t NOT FOLLOW if I am to be a happy human.

Deep Breath.

So recently, this issue has obviously come up again for me. And I take several deep breaths and remind myself that these people have no idea they are hurting me. They have no idea, and no intention (I hope) of causing harm. Maybe it’s their way of asking me about it themselves. Maybe it’s them thinking they are being helpful. Or whatever. It actually doesn’t matter what anyone’s intentions are.

Here is what matters:

I choose to get hurt, or not.

I choose to react negatively or positively.

I choose to cultivate patience or intolerance.

I choose to cover my head and commit to this as part of my life.

I choose.

And as I choose to take a step back, and let go of the hurt, and align with joy, I see that in today’s society so very many of us are looking to be hurt by something (myself included). Part of what the ego does, is that it uses our suffering to connect with others in our society. So much of what we communicate is complaining. We spend so much time focusing on what is wrong, that we perpetuate a cycle of more Bad Crap happening in our lives, and then find more friends and people to complain with (sorry for the dangling preposition).

And so each time I am hurt by something a trivial as other people’s ignorance and curiosity, I take a step back. I recognize my own assumptions about THEM: the people who assume I am Muslim, or have lost my hair because of chemotherapy, I assume are ignorant of the spiritual path I follow. I assume they are too busy with their lives to actually consider other answers. I assume that it doesn’t really matter to them; they just want something else to talk about. Human nature makes us Assumers,  and it’s a dangerous game.

So I take another step back.

We are all just people, trying to figure out the world around us. We are all simply doing our best, with what we have. If we have no other paradigm that Muslim-cancer-survivor to associate with head-covering, then we REALLY don’t even know what questions to ask.

And this idea, this recognition, gives my heart some ease. I smile, I reply, “No, I’m not Muslim. I’m Jewish, but that’s not why I cover my head. I made a commitment to my Teacher that this would be part of the path I walk, and part of how I keep mySelf protected (energetically) in a world of insanity.” I walk away hoping that I opened a new door for that person, and a new way for them to see the world.

But if I didn’t, oh well. Their judgement is not my burden to bear.

May we all recognize this: We are here to spread light. We are not here to carry anyone’s judgments of us.

Selah Selah Amen,

Pixie

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

I see quite a few folks for life coaching, which I love…and the most common question I am asked, is “What’s the ONE thing I can do to fix….”

Right. Because human beings want ONE thing…even though, there are as many options out there as there are people milling around the world. Or Pixies, if you prefer. You get it.

But, it actually just so happens that I do believe there is ONE thing that everyone can benefit from, and that is meditation.

And I know that the word Meditation strikes fear and revulsion into the hearts of many…but it actually isn’t so bad. Don’t get me wrong…it can be tough, and it can feel like torture. BUT! But….when you stay with it, and you practice in a way that appeals to you, meditation becomes the greatest gift you give to yourself.

Recently, my husband asked me why I meditate.  The question sort of took me aback; I figured it was obvious. When I don’t meditate I am more of a lunatic than when I do. We argue less. I don’t shut down when we are arguing (which gives me room to receive what he is saying, and to actually get things moving in a constructive way instead of spiraling into crap). I take more deep breaths. Little things don’t bug me as much. I am more motivated by love, and less inclined to stay in a fear-based reaction.

So here is what I suggest:

Find a way of meditation that appeals to you.

Do you like sacred texts and reading? Choose one…poems, prayers, tests like the Radiance Sutra, the Tao Te Ching, or the Upanishads, and read ONE passage. Then set a timer (start with 5 minutes!), and let the essence of that reading flow through you.  Just let it mull around. Soften to it. Open to it.

Do you love oracle cards or tarot cards? Choose one before you begin, receive a message, and then allow that gentle message to direct your attention. Open yourself to other messages you might benefit from. Have a conversation with your higher self. Make sure to give yourself some moments of gratitude and silence when you are complete.

Do you love music? Are you quite sensitive in terms of your emotions? Find a chant or mantra to repeat over and over again.  Get a mala (you can check out thispixielife.etsy.com for some great ones that are super affordable!) and use the mala to count repetitions. Sing it or say it or whisper it…just do it. Let it resonate throughout your bodymind. When you are finished, spend another few moments in silence, noticing the changes you created.

Are you very visual? Set a time and visualize a stream of light pouring into your mind, and down your body. The light fills you everywhere. Use your breath to increase the flow. Notice how you feel. The light is full of blessings.

Do you simply want to sit in meditation? Set your timer. Follow your breath.  When thoughts come in, let them go and focus on the breath again. Simple. Let it be.

Are you exhausted? Try yoga nidra, which is a guided meditation into deep relaxation (deeper than sleep, actually). There are apps and youtube videos with free yoga nidra tracks for you to enjoy.

So, why meditation? Because it’s an opportunity for our system to STOP processing more information. We give ourselves time and space to process and integrate what our lives are dealing us. We ALL need that. In a world where social media is everywhere and our technology enables us to access the world 24/7, we need to rest. We need quiet. We need restoration. We need to let go and just be.

The benefits are tremendous, and you don’t need to do a lot.  Start with 5 minutes and work up to 15. I often sit for 11 minutes after several exercises that get me ready to sit. My whole practice takes 20-30 minutes depending on how my day looks.

The immune system gets stronger. Our minds become clear. We become more focused, thus making better use of the time we have in other activities. We carry less stress, which decreases risk for heart attack and high blood pressure. We become more of who we really are, and less of the junky stuff we get caught up in.

So please let me know what happens when you start. Commit to 10 days. See what happens.

Selah