3 minute meditation: drop worries and calm the victim mind

I wanted to share something that has been exceptionally helpful for me over the past few days. This meditation WORKS. January has been a tough month for me and left me in a very worried headspace. I was feeling like a victim instead of the creator of my own life and couldn’t seem to shake it or turn it around, until I found this:

The past few days that I have done this, I have felt mentally calm and strong.  I have noticed a complete change in my actions (and plans for action) coming from a place of love instead of fear.  So give your worries over to the Divine and remember that the same loving force that supports the planets and holds them steady in the sky is the same force that supports you!

 

Love and light,

Mercedi

Advertisements

“You only need to believe that your life can be as good as you imagine it to be. “

Last night I had an interesting experience when I went to bed. It began with very strong tingling in the top of my head, followed by some intense and beautiful visions of things I never thought were possible in this life, mostly due to limiting or fear-based beliefs. Then I was aware of all my chakras spinning freely except my throat, which made a slow, forced grinding motion. I worked on clearing it energetically and then had a hard physical coughing fit, as if I released it. I got out of bed in the most blissful state and stayed up late, laughing with Rick. I felt very peaceful having seen my life in a new way, having been shown that nothing is impossible and it’s only our beliefs that force our futures to be limited in anyway. Then I woke up and saw the following post from my favorite numerologist, Kari Samuels: (!!!)

Energy forecast for the week of January 26th – February 1st

THE PAST – 6th chakra 3rd Eye
You’re receiving visions and impressions of what’s possible for you, yet you’re not sure whether these are things you should ACT or if they’re even possible. What you are seeing are probable futures of your potential. They are very real. You only need to believe that your life can be as good as you imagine it to be.

THE PRESENT – 2 of Cups Spiritual Union
The decisions you make must be of the heart. Perhaps you don’t feel like focusing on work now, you’d rather spend time with your loved ones. This is a time of deep emotional connection. Remember it’s your emotions that create your reality, not always effort. The more joyful you are, the more good things will come to you. Focus on your feelings rather than your strategy. Nourish yourself with love.

THE FUTURE – Destiny reversed, also Rest and Rejuvenate
Outer changes might not be happening as quickly as you would like, but things are changing for sure! Take time this week to restore your body, energy and mind. Things will be plenty busy later. The inner work creates the outer results. Remember that!

Cure your seasonal depression with light therapy

I used to suffer from a very debilitating case of seasonal depression. I will spare you the list of medications (both herbal and natural) I have tried and say that what I think has helped the most is light therapy.

I am about to say something controversial. I love tanning beds…but only for 10 minutes, approximately once a week in the winter. It helps TREMENDOUSLY to trick my brain into thinking it’s summertime and makes me feel happy.

I have tried several daylight simulators but until last year, had not found any that helped. I bought a Happy Light and a Verilux Wake up Light. The use of both together have been remarkably effective. I use the Happy Light when I’m sitting at the computer, or when I know I can sit under it for at least 20 minutes. I have read that the photoreceptors in our eyes are positioned in such a way that they receive light best when it comes from above and not straight on, so it does help to position it a little above you.

The Wake up Light mimics the gradual brightness increase of the sun so your room slowly gets brighter. It helps your body’s natural circadian rhythms stay in sync so you wake up more alert instead of groggy. If you’re like me, waking up to darkness just makes the body want to go into hibernation mode and sleep. It was one of the worst parts of winter when I had to get up before the sun and it caused me to be very grumpy, unmotivated and just apathetic. I think this light really did a great job of combating that.

I had a doctor tell me once that tanning in moderation is good for those suffering from SAD. If you are afraid of them though, go with one of the Verilux models which have no chance of causing sunburn. ☀️

Cacti wisdom and the art of aura fluffing

I’ve been reading an incredibly entertaining book called Travels by Michael Crichton.  Not only was he a Harvard-educated physician, award-winning author and film writer/producer/director (including a little film called Jurassic Park) but he has had more fascinating experiences than just anyone else I’ve come across in my studies.  He writes about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, visiting the original Shangri-La and having metaphysical experiences that rival those of Carlos Castaneda.

Last night, the chapter I read was positively life-changing.  It detailed his experiences at a metaphysical retreat where among other things, he heard the audible voice of God, had a vision in the desert where he saw all the stars in the Milky Way rearranged to spell “Hi!” and developed a telepathic relationship with a mentor of sorts who happened to be a cactus. Alone in the desert, after the vision and during a two day fast, he says he was gripped by a rushing sense of overwhelmingenergy.  It kept him up all night and he used this time to journal.  He says,

“What I recorded while in the grip of this energy seems terrifically silly. I was preoccupied with cacti, and I recorded all kinds of giddy foolishness in my notebook. I wrote poetry from the viewpoint of a cactus.  I wrote cactus philosophy. I also drew designer cactus fashions, a history of cactus religion, Cactus Comics, the Sayings of Chairman Cactus. All profusely illustrated. Page after page of silly stuff. Long into the night.”

I should note that the cactus mentor came about after retreat participants were instructed to listen to their other senses and find the rock, tree or plant that seemed to have a special relationship to them, and listen to what this teacher had to say.  His descriptions of what he learned from the cactus struck me a in a profound way. In the same chapter, he talks about the process of aura-fluffing, where junk is “combed” out of one’s aura with the hands and then the energy is “fluffed” to make it nice as one would do a pillow. He went into this process in disbelief but was shocked to find that he noticed a difference, which he likened to taking a bath.

Today I was feeling pretty rotten — depressed, apathetic and just out of sync. I didn’t want to do ANYTHING and was feeling pretty hopeless.  (Not gonna lie, tears had been shed earlier this morning). It dawned on me to try fluffing my own aura and I was astounded to find myself feeling so much better afterwards that I was immediately inspired to begin dancing around my apartment, followed by the urge to create something.  I was given the energy and motivation to work on my blog.

Twice in the past week it has been pointed out to me that I need to meditate on questions such as “If someone were to call me on the phone with the news of my dreams, what would they say?” and “If I were to leave this planet right now, what is the one thing I would have wanted to have accomplished, to make my mark on this world?” I know that I want to bring others joy, and to help others grow, but I wasn’t sure how to answer those questions clearly.  I had actually journaled about this the other day, asking for the answer to be revealed to me so I could begin to draw that into my life.  Crichton has helped me tremendously with his writings on his own experiences. Today it was made clear to me that I want precisely that. I want to opportunity to have these experiences of a lifetime and to write about them, or make a film about them, or otherwise share them in such a way that others’ lives are permanently and progressively changed for the better as a result of my sharing.

Right now, I am really tempted to go out and buy a cactus.

Love and light,

Mercedi

Healing green soup

2015/01/img_2458.jpg
Whenever our bodies feel run down, it’s a good idea to eat foods that are not only nutrient-dense, but also very easy on the digestion since our bodies need to use all available resources to get back to an optimal state. Here is a beautiful Happy Belly Green Soup that you can make to keep you warm, help your body fight germs and heal your digestion at the same time.

I made this with cauliflower instead of zucchini, and I used equal parts coriander and cumin in place of the curry since these are more suited to my Vata dosha.

The author of the article above, Nadya Andreeva, wrote a book called Happy Belly that has been tremendously helpful for me in healing my digestion. I feel I would be remiss in my spreading the love of health if I did not take a moment to encourage anyone with bloating or other issues to check it out!

Wishing you optimal wellness,

Mercedi

Easy homemade hummus

2015/01/img_2457.jpg
I have to confess, I rarely measure things. I have learned the most about cooking by “eyeballing” the measurements and have learned that it’s not hard when making fresh or raw items. Baking is another story…and there I am still learning. I have the most fun when I dump a bunch of ingredients into the blender or a pot and part of finding that it comes out tasting like it’s own brand of delicious is half the fun. 🙂

Here is what I used:
1 can organic chick peas
Approx. 1/4 cup sesame Tahini
Juice of 1/2 medium- size lemon
2 cloves minced garlic

Approx. 1/8 cup organic olive oil
Water as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the first four ingredients into the blender, then add enough olive oil and water until you get a perfect consistency in which to dip your favorite raw veggies.

This is where the fun of creating healthy foods comes in. I have learned that I already know that for one can of chick peas, a half a cup of oil might be too much to add to make hummus. So, I start sparingly and then keep adding and taste-testing (such a chore, but somebody’s gotta do it!) until it’s just right. I always said I didn’t know how to cook, and that I hated it. But the more I practice, I have been delighted to find that friends and family have been asking me to help them make healthy food! It really can be fun to me now and sometimes I think that not measuring anything really is how you get the most out of this food-alchemy!

How to make your own remineralizing tooth powder

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d87/63605398/files/2015/01/img_2453.jpg
There is some evidence to support that cavities can be healed naturally by remineralizing the teeth. I made this last week and already my teeth feel cleaner and are looking whiter. I had heard about the properties of Xylitol in preventing tooth decay, but I recently learned that Bentonite clay is also great for teeth as it is full of minerals and draws out toxins. I also added baking soda for whitening, and cinnamon and clove for taste and for their antibacterial properties. This is adapted from a recipe I found on a highly useful website called Wellness Mama.

Here is what I used:

2 oz bentonite clay
1 tablespoon each xylitol, baking soda and ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix it all up in a small jar and dip your toohbrush (and paste) at least once a day when you brush your teeth. Tastes great too!

-Mercedi

How to Meditate Part II

This is the follow-up to yesterdays “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of meditation which you can find here.  Now for the “How:”

How to Meditate:

Once you get the hang of it, it really is as simple as “sit your butt down, take a deep breath and just let go.” But, for the sake of clarity and to honor the practice, I am going to break it down into a few easy-to-remember steps you take to really get the most out of it. These are: Set, Sit, Adjust, Focus.

SET the stage  –  I begin by lighting a candle or two and sitting down on a folded yoga blanket, in my favorite spot in my bedroom.  I don’t light the candle to watch the flame (although some people do!). Instead, I light them to help create the ambiance of a sacred, relaxing space. Some people like to hold healing stones or Mala beads. Choose what you are drawn to for your sacred space.  Some people meditate in silence, but my preference is to listen to relaxing music, or a guided meditation with my earbuds in.  This helps to drown out any distractions from mental chatter, or from others in the house or outside my window.  This also allows me to set a timer on my phone so that I don’t have to worry about checking the clock.

SIT (or lie) down –  The point is to get comfortable. There are people who will tell you that you must sit in lotus pose, or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap, or never to lay down.  I say forget all of that. I like to sit in lotus pose or easy pose, and there is some science behind these postures, with the way energy flows through our body, but sometimes I lie down too. The important thing is to get in a position where you can relax, but still remain aware. (Lying down causes some people to just go ahead and take a snooze!)

ADJUST your posture – It is best to keep your spine in a position where it is as straight as is comfortable for you. If you don’t want to sit on the floor, a high-backed chair is better than a recliner. The brain and spinal cord make up our body’s central nervous system, which is the most complex system and has the huge job of being our entire body’s control center. I think of our spine as an electrical-chemical superhighway of sorts.  Keeping it straight ensures that it is able to send nerve and hormone signals and other messages to the body in the most optimal way possible. So, keep that spine straight and get comfy, but if you choose to lie down, not so comfy that you fall asleep! It’s fine to adjust yourself throughout the meditation also if needed.  As for your hands, you may place them where ever feels best.  Gyan Mudra is a popular hand position to help center the mind.  I like to rest my hands on my lap with palms facing upward to receive all the good energy.

FOCUS It is very helpful to give your focus a direction, to establish a connection between your body, mind and spirit to begin. I being by focusing my attention at my third eye and by chanting three times “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” which means “I bow to the Divinity within.”  This is a mantra we use in Kundalini yoga for tuning in to one’s Highest Self. Some people find it peaceful to envision themselves enveloped in a beautiful white light to begin. Others like to set an intention – what do you hope to gain from this meditation? Experience inner peace? Connect to God? To turn off your racing thoughts and give your mind a break?  Choose what feels good to you. After you establish this connection, then just focus on the music or the words to the guided meditation you may be listening to, or on the rhythm of your breath.  What you don’t want to focus on is any thoughts that may creep in. When thoughts appear, try to let them drift by as if they were clouds. Now is not the time to unravel that problem or make a mental grocery list or worry about your kids or your schedule or anything at all.  This is undoubtedly the most challenging thing about meditation but it is also the very purpose of it. In time, you will strengthen that “muscle” that blows thoughts away like clouds in the wind and you will  be able to experience a quiet mind whenever you desire. It really is like a muscle though, and we must practice to get there.

Be easy with this…start out with a length of time that is manageable, maybe 10 or 15 minutes.  I recommend practicing everyday, but if you forget that’s okay too. You will start to notice improved results as you get better and better and eventually you won’t want to miss it because you feel so good afterwards and your brain “behaves” better throughout the day as a result.

To close, I will leave you with something I like to listen to on a regular basis.  It’s not technically a guided meditation, but I use it as such because I’m a big fan of Abraham-Hicks and I like where my mind goes when I listen to their videos as my meditation. YouTube is a great resource for all kinds of music and guided meditations. Play around and have fun finding some of your own favorites!

Happy meditating!

 

How to Meditate Part I

Inner peace

I am trying to keep my posts short and easily digestible so this will be divided into two parts:

1.  The Who, What, Where, When and Why of meditation and
2.  The nitty gritty on exactly “How” to do it.

This was inspired by a dear friend of mine who asked if I would teach her how to mediate and by another friend the next day who casually mentioned she had never been taught how.  I know much has been written on this topic, but I wanted to type up a simple (I hope) how-to guide and possibly dispel some of the myths, such as “meditation is hard” or that it must be done a certain way.  The truth is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Like most things, it’s going to give you the best results when you listen to what feels good to your body and do it in a way that works best for you, not your guru or your therapist or even your partner or best friend. This is also when it feels easiest.  If it feels like too much of a chore, we are less likely to want to stick to it. So we want to make this easy and peaceful and blissful. Ok, here we go….AHHHHHH…OHHHMMMM…

Who:  You and your Higher Self: that deepest part of you, made up of non-physical energy that remains consciously connected to Source at all times

What:  An exercise to turn off our minds as much as possible and align ourselves with Divine energy.  Sometimes this will feel incredibly blissful, and other times I have found myself moved to tears as answers to my prayers or deep questions I have held about my life came through. It has been said that we ask through prayer and that meditation is how we listen.

Where:  Your favorite spot in your house. You can meditate anywhere, really but I have a favorite spot where I feel the most relaxed and free of distractions.  In yoga, we “take our cares to the mat” because our body has come to recognize the ritual, that getting on the mat means the same thing every time: release, renewal, restoration.  In the same way, the repeated act of sitting or lying down in the same spot to meditate sends a signal to your body and helps your body understand and say, “Oh hey, I know what we’re about to do here!” With each time, it becomes easier to turn off your mind  because your body recognizes that this is exactly what you come to this spot to do.

When:  Again there is no “right” answer here except whatever feels best to you. First thing in the morning is a great way to start the day.  As the last thing you do before you go to bed really helps to melt the cares away so you can sleep. For me, I like to wait until I have been up for a while and have had a shower.  I try to meditate when I am clean, because it makes sense to me to clean my body and then “clean” my mind.  Sometimes I do it before bed too. And anytime I feel angry or scattered or depressed it is my very first line of defense against these emotions.

Why:  To achieve a state of inner peace.  To bring greater clarity to our mind, create a sense of happiness no matter what life throws at us, and to strengthen the subtle senses like intuition which provide a light for our path whenever we need guidance.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part II on just how easy it all is!  I’ll cover ambiance, technique, avoiding distraction, etc. I’ll also outline the process I use as an example.  My hope is that after reading, you will be inspired to give it a go.  🙂 You can pick and choose from my method what things you might like to try and think would be most helpful to you but most importantly remember there is no wrong way to do it!

-Mercedi

 

 

“If you think you feel bad…take your love and stick it up your heart”

…these are wise words from Wille Nelson. Who knew he was such a sage? I just finished reading his book Roll me up and smoke me when I die and I was profoundly impressed by his knowledge on all things esoteric.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d87/63605398/files/2015/01/img_2439.jpg
Here, he talks about how the words God and Love are the two most powerful words and how they are interchangeable. In yoga, we are taught that chanting God’s name as a mantra can free us of worry and negativity. Willie didn’t mention anything about chanting God’s name, but he did say it makes you feel good, and he does recommend spinning around 50 times before bed to reset your chakras so I’ll be he does it (chant)!

I read somewhere that saying the word “love” outloud emits a special frequency and directs our energy toward the positive. Every morning when I wake up, I silently say thank you for the day and then outloud I name two things that I love, like “I love my mom or I love my apartment.” This makes me feel great and starts my thoughts rolling in the best direction possible. It really sets the tone for my day.

So thanks to Willie Nelson, I was inspired to give you these tools you can use to speak your way into a higher vibration and begin feeling better. And, if you love books as much as I do, you might just be inspired to go read his book. He is one fascinating dude, definitely an old soul and far more than meets the eye.

-Mercedi