Cat yoga

Cat yoga

Katrice demonstrating “Downward Cat” pose, or maybe Anahatasana, although her form is better than mine! 🙂

I have been trying to capture my cat doing yoga on my mat for weeks now.  Snapping this pic made me really happy, which was fitting because today’s mantra in the series I have been practicing is “I celebrate.”

I haven’t posted in a long time because this past year brought many challenging changes to my life and I am of the mindset that if one doesn’t have something positive to say, then it’s probably best to say nothing at all.  Over the past year, my sister passed away, I moved away from the apartment that I loved, I lost my job and I nearly lost my mother as well.  Integrating these changes has been changing me as a person, molding me into a new shape from the inside out.  What has saved me, mentally and spiritually, is physically molding myself into new shapes via my daily yoga practice.  After such a long hiatus, I felt led to breathe new life into my blog by sharing this series because it has helped me so much.  Below is the video that I did today, and her whole “Yoga with Adrienne” channel is just full of really good, healing, high-vibration stuff.  While this 30 day challenge is ending soon, you can always go back and start from Day 1, or check out the other 30 Days of Yoga challenge she did last year. I have done both and they are just excellent, so much so that I felt I had to post and share.

Namaste,

Mercedi

 

 

 

Don’t explain, don’t complain, just say thank you. Say thank you to existence.

The above is an excerpt from a quote by Mooji, a wise guru from Jamaica. I keep these words as my background on my phone and it’s really cool how many times a day I will find myself going to do something that involves explaining or complaining.

Explaining takes us out of the peace of the present moment, and is usually our attempt to verbally rationalize an action prompted by our ego (likely a fear based action, too) instead of our higher/inner self.

Complaining is just plain negative, and is giving away our attention to those things that we do not want in our lives. Why would we give away our energy to those things when we could use our minds to focus on what is going right in our lives, as opposed to going wrong? It certainly feels better. One of my favorite books is Happy For No Reason by Marci Shimoff. In this book, she notes that complaining and blaming are “happiness robbers.” This could not be more true. Griping about something or someone is not exactly an act of joy. We all know people who like to “bitch and moan” and I think we can all agree they are not the bouncy, smiley personalities that we associate with happy people. In fact, we often try to avoid those people because they bring us down!

Shimoff also suggests that we take note of how our body, especially our heart center, feels when we experience thoughts. She points out that positive thoughts make us feel expansive, light, and happy. Negative thoughts make us feel closed, contracted, tense. The Institute of HeartMath has confirmed that the heart’s electromagnetic field is unquestionably affected in this way, so we want to look for those thoughts that “expand” us and avoid those that “contract” us. Play around with this. Focus on the center of your body, around the solar plexus and your heart center and see how you feel as you experience different emotional reactions to thought.

In my spiritual research and my quest for self-awareness, it is becoming clear that the single most important thing in life is to maintain a positive mindset.  Nothing is going to make us happy–we have to find happiness and then do what it takes to stay there to draw in our highest good. It affects everything from our health, to the amount of money we can make, even to our life-expectancy. One of the easiest ways I have found to do this is through gratitude. Even the seemingly “bad” things that happen to us always come with a blessing if we have eyes to see it. I go through every day now looking for things to appreciate, no matter how small, and i verbalize these every chance I get. It feels fantastic, and I feel good about where I am giving my energy and attention and how that is affecting my body.

Thank you for reading this. May your day be full of things to be grateful for,

Mercedi

Thank you

Raise your vibration with rose petal juice

IMG_2674
Did you know that, at a rate of 320Hz, roses vibrate at the highest frequency of all known plants? I believe this is why they are so nice to be around. They are commonly revered as the “alpha flower” much the same way that lions are regarded as the king of the jungle. When someone gives you roses, you know they are trying to convey a message of deep significance. I am one lucky gal because my boyfriend gives me roses all the time. I’ve seen rose petals in gourmet salads, but until this morning, had never eaten any myself.

Here is a good explanation of how Prana, or life force energy, is expressed as an electromagnetic vibrational frequency. The frequency of a healthy body ranges anywhere from 62 to 68Hz with a frequency lower than 50Hz increasing your risk for cancer. So, it makes sense that we would want to do all that we can to keep our vibration rate high. I do this primarily by meditation, keeping my my thoughts positive, and of course by consuming  Prana-rich foods.

After Valentine’s Day, many ladies or couples will probably have leftover roses and rose petals.  Why not consider including them in your green juice or smoothie? Remember to bless them and thank them for their life-giving energy!

IMG_2675-0

Smiles and good vibes,

Mercedi

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. ☀️

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

Pamper yourself and detox at the same time

My favorite way to de-stress and cleanse myself physically and spiritually is to take a healing bath.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d87/63605398/files/2015/01/img_2436.jpg
Epsom salt draws toxins out and it’s high magnesium content is great for easing stiff muscles. I add about two cups to a bath. 45 minutes is optimal detox time, but I try to soak for at least 20 min.

I also like to add some essential oils. My favorites right now are lavender for relaxation and a bright citrus oil to keep my spirits lifted. Another good oil for balance is clary sage. DoTerra makes a great blend with clary sage called “Balance” that is great for females, especially around the time of your Moon Cycle.

During the bath I ball up a wash cloth and scrub my entire body in a circular motion, pressing rather hard, until the skin reddens. This open pores and helps our body’s largest organ to release toxins as much as possible.

Sometimes before the bath I will use a dry skin brush to move lymphatic fluid up toward the body’s “drain” which is under the left collar bone. I do long, sweeping motions all the way up my body, beginning at the ankles and taking extra time at the sites where lymph nodes are clustered, such as the backs of the knees, the armpits and the inguinal lymph nodes of the groin. This feels really good and helps to prevent cellulite. Note: It is best to avoid the breasts and genitals when you do this, or just brush over them very lightly.

I always feel AMAZING after one of these baths. It’s really one of those things you can do for yourself that provides instantaneous results.

As one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Emmanuel Dagher, says “Make sure to pamper yourself often. It sends out a signal to the Universe letting it know to rise up and do the same for you!”

-Mercedi

Super easy vegetable soup

IMG_2231.JPG

I never used to like soup until it dawned on me how freaking quick and easy it is to make and how much of a nutritional powerhouse it is with very little calories or fat. I still don’t eat it much in the summer, but nothing beats a hot bowl of soup to beat the chill of winter. Plus, our bodies naturally slow down a bit in the colder months leaving less energy for digestion. Large, greasy or protein-heavy meals can make us even more tired or sluggish on gray days. A nourishing vegetarian soup is ideal to give our body a break and help keep us feeling light and vibrant.

Recipe:

28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
1/2 pkg (6oz) frozen mixed veggies (I used a blend of carrots, peas, corn and green beans)

Optional:
This tastes great alone, but sometimes I add a clove or two of garlic and a pinch of basil, and/or oregano.

Cover and simmer until hot.

Lunch or dinner for the whole week? Done and done! *brushes hands together* 😎