With the holidays fast approaching and a new year soon beginning there is so much going on in our lives that we may feel a jumbled mix of joy and anxiousness during this time period. For many of us, despite our best intentions, the actual experience of the "holidays" may be somewhat uncomfortable as our many roles, obligations, or expectations cloud our awareness of who we are.
The diamond in your pocket is a refreshingly straight forward book about consciousness and awareness of true self. As always, Gangaji offers an invitation for self inquiry that goes straight to the heart of the matter, without bells and whistles, to "call off the search" and just be open to what is right here, right now. "Who are you.. really?" she asks and you may be surprised by what you find. Even amongst the apparent chaos and over-streched feelings the ever abiding present moment is here for you to rediscover.
Unwrap this most generous gift and find that the truth about yourself is good news!
Here is a clip of Gangaji reading an excerpt from her book, it is a breath of fresh air.
Wishing you well this season and may all beings enjoy profound, brilliant glory!
Who knew we could garner great wisdom from those tedious inflight safety demos? That one line that begins all trips "please be sure to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others" can also serve as a reminder in life that if we ignore our own needs we jeopardize not only our health and wellness but also the ability to assist others. Unfortunately many folks, especially parents and caregivers, feel that self-care is an act of selfishness and in turn find themselves feeling burnt out, depleted and depressed. However with a shift in perspective, seeing that our own sense of balance and happiness has importance, we can then serve as a model to our children, our community and ultimately cultivate a more harmonious and fulfilling life experience.
If you're gasping for air you aren't going to be useful to yourself or anyone else!
Find your own sanctuary from stress and allow time for the things that feed your soul and refill your tank. It'll be helpful for you, your family and for the world at large.
Get outside! Carve out an hour in your schedule to take a walk outside, preferably in a park or natural setting. I sometimes like to do a guided meditation walk by listening to either Kelly Howell www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0VyUyuznL0&t=904s or Lillian Eden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ab34P9UuJo on my ear buds, not so much for what they are saying but for the fact that it provides a relaxing, uplifted distraction from my busy life (or mind!).
Epsom Salt Bath A good soak is calming to both your muscles and nervous system. Try mixing a couple drops of lavender & cedarwood essential oils to a cup of salts. Mmmm...
Aroma Yoga While it is best to find a group yoga class if you are tight on time try an online class. I LOVE doyogawithme.com, you can choose your own time-length , teacher, and style. Create a peaceful space by diffusing Frankincense,
Aroma Meditation Find a quite place to sit and follow your breath, as thoughts arise just let them be. Watch that you do not get swept away in any particular storyline or fantasy. To focus, try counting your breaths; breath in "one", breath out.. let go, breath in "two", breath out...let go. Repeat for ten breaths and if you are able to complete those breaths without engaging in your thoughts then keep going...try another ten. If you have ever sat in a meditation centre you will have noticed that there is likely incense burning, this is a focusing ritual, there may also be a gong or bell to signal the beginning of the session. Diffusing essential oil can also create the same retreat-like effect and signal to the mind that it's time to calm down and practice.
Yoga master Rodney Yee and designer Donna Karan are the creators of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program in the US, along with facilitators Roshi Joan Halifax and Colleen Saidman. UZIT brings five healing modalities to the hospital bedside of cancer patients that include; modified yoga, reiki, contemplative care, nutrition and essential oils. The program offers support to those who request it and successfully augments traditional western medicine by addressing P.A.N.I.C. (pain-anxiety-nausea-insomnia-constipation). Healthcare centres are beginning to embrace this type of complementary care including; Southhampton Hospital, UCLA Medical Centre, NYU Langone Medical Centre, The Farber Centre for Radiation Oncology and Beth Israel Medical Centre. Students of the program come from a wide range of healthcare backgrounds including medical doctors and nurses all of whom recognize the value of holistic medicine.
As we know these oils are far more than just a good smelling aroma, research shows that they work with immune support, emotions and memory, as well as relief from headaches, pain, nausea, insomnia and anxiety. Unlike strong smelling, toxic fragrance oils that 'take over' a room, therapeutic grade essential oils quickly dissipate into the air and are safe for those with sensitivities.
As of now the training is only available in the US, however Savvy Wellness would love to find like-minded practitioners interested in bringing UZIT to Canada. Feel free to connect with me!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilk4O5ZZTjk (voices of patients)
*photo credit Urban Zen
Hey YOU, go take a Hike!
Well who doesn’t feel better after some time spent drinking in country air, touching the papery bark of a birch tree, listening to the murmuring of a cool creek, surrounded by wildflowers, rocks and even, I don’t know, a bunny hopping along…..mmm,so peaceful….can you imagine it? Maybe it’s time to circle a date in the calendar to take such an excursion, let’s see, I think I have a free weekend in what …six weeks? For us downtown dwellers, finding such stress-‐relieving tranquility can seem difficult in this speedy and crowded environment, but, seek and ye shall find. Every major city has green-space and it is surprising how effective taking time for yourself in these places can be, and yes, even in the wintertime.
Do some research and see what your city has to offer in terms of trails, parks, boardwalks ext.. We don't always have time or money to take a vacation, or get a massage, but getting outside and walking often does the trick to reduce stress and hit the reset button:)
I am heading out today for a walk along a downtown ravine with some ambient, guided meditation music and my most relaxing, stress reducing essential oils like Lavender, Orange or Copaiba.
Do you love beautiful smelling candles? Use them at home, or maybe in your massage clinic? They really do add a calming, peaceful ambience to your environment. Unfortunately most commercial brand candles are flat-out TOXIC, and are causing indoor air pollution as bad as cigarette smoke. The biggest issue being fragrance. What is fragrance anyway? Well, it is comprised of damaging free radicals, lead, cadmium, toluene, benzene and an alarming range of VOC's (volatile organic compounds) known to harm human health. The SOLUTION? Make them yourself! It's way cheaper and you will know exactly what is in them.
Recipe: Source out eco-soy wax and order in bulk, purchase wicks as well (both are easy to find online), choose a quality essential oil to add a natural scent, melt wax in microwave, let wax cool and add essential oils. Pour into glass jam jar (can even reuse old tea light holders), place wick in centre of jar (can use a pencil to hold straight) let cool and solidify.
Healthy, beautiful, inexpensive, headache-free candles!
*Silent Retreat candles are from Wildrose Magnolia
If you have found yourself on this page then you are likely interested in reducing the toxic burden in your home, health and skincare routine.