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Archive for January, 2012

My favorite teapots, in no particular order. This was so much fun!

 

 

I found these all on the Teavana website

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Making time for yourself is a skill, and one that should be practiced regularly! It is so easy to say yes to every request or invitation. There is an underlying fear that if you say no you will hurt someone’s feelings or even lose a friend. You might also feel like if you request time for yourself your significant other or your children will feel neglected. In order to discover yourself as a spiritual being, however, you must first make room for that self to appear.

Author Cheryl Richardson suggests to make a date with yourself once a week. It can last anywhere from a full day to an hour. Use this time to do exactly what you love to do, without judgment or worry that you’re being selfish. Schedule this date on your calendar or as a reminder in your phone, as you would do with any other important appointment, and hold yourself to it! It may be difficult at first, but over time the people you live with will begin to understand, and you too will look forward to this breathing room.

I get up half an hour earlier each morning in order to meditate. When I get home from work I take an hour block to meditate, write in my journal, or do yoga. On weekends however, this routine is slightly interrupted. My fiance is home from work so the time I would have had alone I now share with another person. When I first began this routine he would often come in to ask a question or want to do something in the room I was in. I explained to him that this was time I needed just for myself and he could have me for the rest of the day. The people you love will get used to this new part of you emerging, the part that practices self-care, and will most likely be happy for you.

I have recently found that I have taken my self-care practice to a new level. Now, as soon as I feel a strong urge to slow down, I do. Last week I arrived home from work and had an overwhelming urge to curl up into my bed and watch television. This is not my normal routine, but it felt so good I couldn’t resist. After about an hour in bed I had another sudden urge to take a hot bath. So I went with it. I had a very relaxing evening because I listened to myself and followed my own needs.

My next goal is to only do things that bring a sense of happiness and fulfillment, things that make me have an oh yes! moment. It is amazing to me how often I make choices that make me feel the complete opposite of this and I believe that more joy will come into my life if I really examine how I spend my time.

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Yoga is my exercise of choice. I began doing yoga almost 4 years ago at a rough point in my life. It not only made my body feel strong and healthy, it also helped clear my mind. I learned how to go more deeply into uncomfortable situations or feelings in my everyday life from the challenges I faced on the mat. I used to abhor discomfort of any kind. Yoga helped me literally stretch myself into uncomfortable places that I had buried deep inside of me.

The catch is that yoga comes with a fairly high price tag. Although you can find a gym for $10 a month, yoga classes average about $20 each. If I were to attend classes as much as I would like, I would end up spending an extra $60-$80 a week! While a group class has a certain energy that is impossible to find at home, I have found that home practice can be just as challenging, rejuvenating, and peaceful as a studio class.

I first made this discovery three weeks ago when I began the Yoga Journal 21-day Yoga Challenge. Taking these online classes made me feel like I was in an actual studio. When you are on a budget, or just don’t feel like getting into the car and driving to the studio, an online class is a great substitute.

A friend of mine also recommended the website YogaGlo. YogaGlo is a real studio located in California, but they tape all of their classes and post them online. For $18/month you can access any of their classes at home and do yoga as often as you want! This is a great deal because for less than the cost of one yoga class you can access lots of great classes with professional instructors!

Of course I will still be going to my local studio because I want to support the business and take advantage of the great energy group classes has to offer. However, I have found online classes to be a great addition. Namaste!

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What weekend activities do you do that increase your awareness and are both fun and relaxing? Sometimes, especially in the winter, I love to plan a bunch of recipes to make during a lazy weekend. As I’ve said before, cooking and baking is meditative for me. It is one of my favorite ways to relax, do something creative, and enjoy a delicious result!

This morning I made blueberry waffles

They were delicious and fairly healthy too. As a suggestion, use whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter texture.

Tomorrow I plan on making chai-spiced apple oatmeal bread, yum!

Also, check out Dr Oz’s favorite green teas. I’ll definitely be trying the Tea Forte Cherry Marzipan.

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I enjoyed rose tea today for the first time. I was feeling a little off and a friend of mine at work suggested this herbal tea. Rose tea is supposed to have many health benefits including:

  • Improves circulation
  • High in Vitamin C
  • Soothing nerves
  • Good for sore throats

It was delicious and beautifully scented. I highly recommend drinking this when you’re feeling a little blah. Definitely worked for me!

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As I arrived home from work this evening, the rain had departed and the clouds were beginning to part just enough to let the sunset shine through. I don’t always remember that the sun is always present when all I can see are thick, gray clouds. Remember that even if all you can see in your life is gloom and darkness, the sun is always there, waiting patiently to break through. The catch? Unlike the weather, you get to choose when and how to part your own clouds.

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Each day is a full expression of the cycle of birth and death. In the morning we awake to an entirely new day, fresh with possibilities. We make choices throughout the day that either lead us closer to our divine nature or away from it. In the evening we begin to tire, weary from the day. Finally as our head hits the pillow and our eyes close we drift off to another dimension.

If each day follows this cycle then our intention to lead a spiritual life begins on the level of leading a spiritual day. When broken down to this level, the idea of practicing mindfulness and peace is both simpler and more daunting. It means that each day counts, and cannot be discarded in favor of the whole. Look at your day as the entirety of life on a small scale. Would this change how you react to people or events? How much more love would you create by viewing each day this way? Would morning and evening, the two ends of the cycle, feel more sacred? Contemplate this shift in perspective and see what arises.

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