Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Tag: meditation

Essential Oil Spotlight: Balance

     Hey There, Well Beings!

If you are part of my Essential Oil Academy, you got to experience the Emotional Aromatherapy series. What you maybe didn’t know, is that these are the newer kids on the block when it comes to blends that support the emotions. The OG emotional support blends were Citrus Bliss, which we covered last week, Serenity, Balance, and Elevation. We spent some time covering Serenity in our Essentials for Sleep class, but this week I want to brag on Balance, the Grounding Blend a bit. (And don’t worry, because I’ll be talking about Elevation next week!)

Oh, Balance. This blend has such a special place in my heart. I often struggle to describe it’s lovely scent, but no trouble at all explaining how it makes me feel. When you struggle with anxiousness, a feeling of balance is something you learn to cherish; the ease with which you move through the day. The peaceful, even keel is almost meditative, and that’s such a blessing when you tend toward tension and tightness. Rolled over my heart, on the bottoms of my feet, and the back of my neck, Balance gives me this whole-body sense of calm and tranquility, and being that it’s grounding, I reach for this during meditation sessions when I’m struggling to quiet my mind. This little bottle of good feels contains Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus essential oils in just a touch of Fractionated Coconut Oil to help these perfect plant essences emulsify and merge together. The end result can only be described as divine.

This little bottle and I have been through some tough times together and it’s always had my back. <3

Speaking of Fractionated Coconut Oil, there isn’t enough present to properly dilute the blend, so you will still want to use safe dilution ratios when using this blend on the skin. It’s not so much though that you can’t put this beauty in your diffuser, though. I love to use this one at my desk when I’m working to meet a stressful deadline or in the evening when I’m winding down from a long day and my mind is still racing. As as long as you wipe the inside of your diffuser with a soft cloth once you’re ready to switch over to another oil and are good about running a regular cleaning cycle of water and white vinegar through every couple of weeks, you should be just fine.

The color is the prettiest green thanks to the naturally occurring constituent chamazulene, which makes it such a beautiful oil to add to clear glass rollers. I haven’t had any trouble at all with it staining my skin or clothes, but creature of the night that I am, I don’t wear a lot of light colors, so just keep this information in your back pocket and don’t go rolling it on your brightest whites.

Citrus Bliss and Balance is one of my all time favorite combos for emotional support.

This is another blend that I find isn’t a strain on my pocketbook because of the perks of having a wholesale membership, and when this is one of our BOGO offerings, I stock up because I use this oil multiple times a day, every single day. If you think Balance might be a perfect fit for you, I’m happy to share how I shop smart to get the best deals and get free oils each month. (If you have a wholesale membership to Sam’s Club or Costco, you’re already doing this.)  Let me know if I can help you, Love. It would be an honor to help change your life with this blend like it’s changed mine.

 

Wishing You Total Well-being,

 

Jennifer

Meditation for Beginners: The 4-7-8 Method

     Hey There, Well-Beings!

Several months back, I wrote about some of the misconceptions that I believe keep people from trying meditation. (You can find that post here.) The good news is that there are a number of very simple and super effective ways to get started with a meditation practice. One of the easiest is a meditation I still use whenever I feel stressed or anxious because of how well it works.

Photo by Chris Ensey on Unsplash

The 4-7-8 Method, at its core, is just an easy breathing exercise. Start by getting in a comfortable position. I find sitting in a supportive chair or lying down on my bed to be the best places, but feel free to stand, or even use this as a walking meditation if you wish. It’s really about what’s going to make you feel supported and relaxed, so don’t stress yourself further by trying to find the perfect place to perform this meditation. Wherever you are is the perfect place.  You begin by simply inhaling deeply through your nose to the count of 4, holding that breath in your lungs for a count of 7, and then completing the cycle by breathing out slowly through your mouth for a count of 8. From there you repeat the process until you feel calm and centered. Sometimes this happens quickly and other times it can take several cycles until you can feel your heart rate slow and your shoulders relax. There isn’t a magic number of cycles, so just focus on the breath and let your body respond. You’ll know when it’s working.

If you want to add something to the practice to make it feel really special and aid in the relaxation process, try adding an essential oil to the mix.  For this, I really love using Balance, dōTERRA’s Grounding Blend . The fresh, woodsy aroma reminds me of being in my favorite place in nature and I think it makes the experience feel sacred and allows me to slow down even further and relish the process. I apply one drop in the palm of my hands, rub them together, and cup my hands over my nose during the inhale part of the breathing cycle. It’s already pre-diluted in a base of fractionated coconut oil, so I like that it’s ready to go, especially when I’m looking at fending off panic. For single oils, I like Frankincense  and Lavender. Both are known for their relaxing properties, and are wonderful multipurpose oils that I get a lot of mileage out of.  If you don’t have time to dilute your oils, don’t worry! You can inhale directly from the bottle, without applying any to the skin and will still get the same benefit.

A final tip for using this powerful practice; should you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, give it a go instead of counting sheep. The repetitive nature of the exercise doesn’t just help you come back to yourself during high stress and panic episodes, but is fantastic for quieting the chatter that keeps our minds from winding down before sleep. All this from breathing.  Not bad for something you were going to do already!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Meditation: It Probably Isn’t What You Think

jewellery-1613801_1920     Hey There, Well Beings!

Something magical happens when I’m making jewelry or doing any kind of crafty activity, really that shuts down chatter, and slows my heart rate and breathing, and narrows my focus to the here-and-now in a way that feels truly spiritual. It started with beading in my very early twenties after a nasty heartbreak, and has been a feeling I’ve retreated to whenever things got really bad or inspiration raised its whisper to a scream. It’s not something I’ve been super consistent with though, until recently when things hit another stressful skid. Finding my way back to it has been absolutely ambrosial and has changed my mental, physical, and spiritual health so much that I see the difference it’s made in a mirror. Hard lines are softer, my eyes are relaxed, I hold my neck and shoulders differently.  It’s almost like I just got back from a spa vacation after a visit to a Zen monastery. There’s a reason for that.

A few of my recent projects, and a peek into one of my bead drawers. <3

A few of my recent projects, and a peek into one of my bead drawers. <3

I learned how to meditate over the course of a couple of years after a period of chronic illness. I’d had a form of drug resistant pneumonia in 2012 that hung on for six months and left multiple doctors baffled. I took leave from a very high stress job to recover and after I’d caught up on sleep and episodes of Supernatural, did I get hit with a case of cabin fever! I started re-reading my aromatherapy books and was sent down the rabbit hole of natural health resources until I started pulling up YouTube videos and using guided meditations to teach myself how to manage stress. I knew the tension and anxiety from my job had contributed in a big way to the illness I was experiencing, and slowly, with clean eating and other practical knowledge added to my arsenal, I got better. It was a pivotal moment for me, because it started me on a journey to become a Master and Teacher of Meditation a couple of years later. That feeling of peace and joy after a good session, though? I never could shake the total familiarity of it. I’d done this before, and not as déjà vu, but as a tangible experience. I’d been in “the zone” a handful of times and I’d either had a paintbrush in my hands or jewelry supplies strewn about while deep in a place of blissful creation. You see where I’m going with this. I’d been meditating for years, I just didn’t know it.

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Peace isn’t only found in Gyan Mudra. Sometimes we find it in the most simple, but wonderful places.

I had a conversation with my mentor and friend one night about what meditation is and we both listed examples of activities that looked nothing like navel gazing in quiet contemplation. We talked about washing dishes and getting lost in a piece of music as though they were sacred, because they are. I have a theory that people are afraid of meditation because they think it requires a steely focus and the ability to sit still for an hour, and some forms do, but if they knew they could get there by taking a nature hike, or cooking a gourmet meal, or by getting in “the zone” of any activity that turns them on in a creative or blissful way, then baby, they’d meditate all the damn time! I’m not about to ever knock traditional forms of meditation. I’m deeply in love with the practice in every form it holds, but if you don’t think you have it in you to quiet your mind in lotus pose, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this powerful tool to manage stress in your life. Maybe you just need to make some jewelry. <3

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

P.S. I want to hear about all the activities that feel meditative to you. What really puts you in a place of peace and beatitude? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss! You never know how your words may remind someone of a favorite pastime or treasured hobby that could set them on a path of ease and balance.

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My Top 3 Methods for Managing Stress

table-384802_1920    I had a conversation with a friend who didn’t know that I completed my life coaching certification last year, and she had a lot of questions about exactly what a Stress Management Coach does and how someone decides to become one. After sharing some background about what I’ve been up to since we’ve seen each other (it’d been 15 years!), I detailed some of the time I spent battling grief and chronic illness and how I faced a pretty serious decision between giving up or teaching myself how to get better. We talked about all of the tools I added to my arsenal as I learn how to heal myself from years of chronic stress and dis-ease, and then she posed a question that I absolutely loved she said, “How would you help me get started?” I want to share my answer with you because I think it is an opportunity to help many of you who may just be getting your self-care footing. Below are my top three methods for lessening stress in my life, and I hope they help you do the same:

  1. Meditate – This probably scares some of you, but I promise you there’s nothing scary about it. In fact, if you can just muster 1 to 5 minutes to sit in a quiet room by yourself and pull up a short video on your phone to listen to while you close your eyes, you my friend, can meditate. When I was first trying to figure out what this whole meditation thing was all about, I used guided meditation as my training wheels. It did eventually lead me to certify as a teacher of seven different types of meditation, but I started with what was accessible and comfortable to me, and we all must start somewhere. Try listening to a few short ones until you find one that resonates with you and make time to use it every day for a week. Then repeat the following week with a different meditation. Practice for as long or as short a time as you wish, as long as you give it your all and remain committed to doing so at least a few minutes a day, every single day. If you are consistent, you’ll begin to see and feel results quickly. When things get crazy in your life, you will be tempted to quit because you think you need the extra time, but this will be the most important thing you do all day. Show up for yourself. You’ll never be sorry that you took time to meditate.

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  1. Get Outside – I struggle with my day job. It’s not especially in line with my soul’s purpose and it drains me to the point of total exhaustion sometimes, but I still need it to pay my bills right now. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my shift is stepping away from my desk and taking a lap around the building. There is something about nature, even the small patches of flowers and grass in the shopping center where my office is located, that grounds me in an instant. If you can’t spend all afternoon hiking, or you don’t have a backyard with a lovely garden that you can tend and get your hands dirty in, sit outside with a book on your lunch break or sip some tea on your apartment balcony. Make it a point to get outside once a day and be present in nature. As I’ve made the effort, yes even in the rain and snow, I’ve witnessed it change the energy in my body in a way that’s allowed me to handle whatever I have to do with more grace and ease. It can do that for you too, if you let it.

 

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  1. Gratitude – If you’d said this to me while I was on my descent into chaos several years ago, I would have a digitally signaled my contempt and probably used some colorful language to make sure I’d made my point. Gratitude is everything, though. Make yourself, and I mean force it if you must, write down three things to be thankful for each day. Do it at the same time every day, and don’t plan to move on to the next thing until you’re finished with the exercise. This is why I like to do mine at the end of the day as part of my winding down process before bed; nothing can get in the way. It might feel a little insincere at first, but even if all you can find to feel thankful for is the ability to write, a pen, and a piece of paper to write on, then start exactly there. More will come. That’s the beautiful thing about gratitude. If you are consistent about practicing it, it begins to bubble out of you. You’ll find more and more things to feel thankful for until one day, thankful is all you feel. I mean sure, you’ll still have other emotions, but the pervasive one will be gratitude. A thankful person is a happy person. Trust me on this. When I started, the only thing I had to feel thankful for was the fact that my illness hadn’t killed me, and now I have no trouble spouting off 100 or more things that I feel a deep sense of gratitude for. You can do this.

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I could easily expand on any of these topics and add about 16 more tips, but these are the absolute basics that I started out with when I was finally ready to stop letting stress control me. If it were any more complex I’m not sure I would have tried and that’s all you have to do. Try these methods for one week at a time and before you know it, you’ll have conquered stress and people will be coming to you for advice. That’s exactly how I did it, and you can do it too.

Wishing You Total Well-Being (and Lots of Success),

 

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: Goodbye to 2015

winter-654442_1920     Is it just me, or was December a tough month? I was sick for most of it, and got some sad news that’s affecting someone very important to me, then capped it off with not-so-fun quarrel that had me pretty stressed and heart-sick for a few days. I’m certainly not sad to have been able to set the counter back to zero at midnight. Since I missed my usual Gratitude Review last month and I want to give January a fighting chance, I thought I’d actually start the month with some of the highlights from my 2015 and share them with all of you. So Duke, roll that beautiful bean footage…

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I started my year accomplishing something that I still sit in total thankful awe over. In January of last year I completed my Meditation Teacher’s Certification. It was the best experience, and one I’m so proud of.

busted ankle

In June I slipped and seriously injured my ankle.  I know that isn’t really a thing most people jump for joy about, or in my case hobble, but a mighty good lesson came out of it.  Rest. I started out the year thinking I was going to get sh!t done. If anything, I was overeager about it. When I fell, it forced me to take a looooong look at my schedule and do some serious soul searching. What it did is teach me to slow down and learn to say no when saying yes was really not in my best interest. I also got to heap a lot of self-care on myself because, dang yo, it really hurt. I’m better now thankfully, and I have been applying this lesson ever since.

aromatherapy school

In July, I started aromatherapy school. I’m still at it, albeit after changing schools and finding an instructor that was a better fit for me, but I’m on track to finish early this year. The timing of this is perfect, as I was blessed with about a thousand ideas this week that I want to bring to life in the form of classes, books and products in 2016. Cannot friggin’ wait.

stevie

I caught two shows this year that made me pretty dang happy. I went to see Janeane Garofalo and Stevie Wonder within a week of each other and I’m still riding that high. If you were a teenager in the 90’s and you tended more toward alt-rock than pop, you know why Janeane is important. She was really my first foray into feminism and I’m glad of it. If I need to tell you why Stevie Wonder is important, than I feel I should give you my personal phone number so we can have a little talk. I’m a concert-goer. I love a live show. I’ve seen everybody from Aerosmith to Tori Amos. This one was the best one. The talent in that man will bring tears to your eyes. It also came with a soulful sermon about how we all need to be nicer to each other that I really appreciated. Go see him if you can. The words living legend fit him like a glove.

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In November, I also did a 30-day photo challenge to up my game in the thankfulness department and boy, am I ever glad I did it. I practice gratitude daily, choosing at least 3 things that I’m thankful for and committing them to paper, but this wasn’t just picking an item and jotting it down. It was hunting for or taking a photo that represented the feeling, which allowed me to be creative regularly. It was taking several minutes to describe to a stranger why that item had importance to me, which gave me the gift of truly and totally getting into that space of thankfulness about it so that it translated to others. It let me share feelings with others that helped them feel gratitude in their own lives.  It was basically a big old love fest, and I will be doing it again this year and at least once a week on my social media accounts. Such a worthwhile activity!

This week, I challenge you to take the time to sit down and write your own year in review. You don’t have to share it, but do make sure you get real. Not all of it will be good, but it is good to be honest about what went weird on you so you can make positive changes and it’s also a great tool for looking back and seeing where there were lessons in the things that started out rotten, but helped you realize something great by year’s end. Hindsight is always 20/20, after all! When you’re done with the not-so-fab, more on to the things that really lit your fire and gave you goosebumps and shout that stuff from the rooftops. Happy reviewing and share some of your highlights in the comments!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: September

It’s Fall, Ya’ll! If this isn’t your season, my sincerest apologies.  I’m a sweater-wearin’, chai-sippin’, all-things-pumpkin-eatin’ fool and my enthusiasm for the cooler weather knows no bounds.  Fall is totally when I come alive. I’m so happy to wave goodbye to Summer and hear the crunch of Autumn leaves underfoot. We don’t get a lot of it here before Winter sets in, but boy, oh, boy! I’m gonna get outside with my camera and enjoy the frack out of it. I’ve enjoyed some other things this month, that I want to share with you. Curl up with a mug of your favorite drink and a warm blanket and read on!

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I LOVE soup recipes when the weather cools down.   This Quick Moroccan Soup recipe from Cook The Story is my favorite recent discovery.  It has chicken in it, so with a simple substitution, it’s good to go for you lovely vegetarians and vegans. I followed the directions as written, but omitted the chicken and then later added in Quorn’s Chik’n Tenders, cooked those per their instructions and then added them like a garnish on top of the soup. They are the bomb.com, if you haven’t tried them. Taste and texture are on point and they are soy-free, which is huge if you’re a vegetarian with a thyroid condition. I found mine at Whole Foods, but I recently discovered that Neighborhood Market and Target has begun carrying Quorn products, so watch for bargains!

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I’m chugging along in my aromatherapy classes and am ever the happy student. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop feeling grateful for this opportunity. I’ve been in love with this subject for so long and every new thing I learn fills me with more joy.  Seriously, I’m so lucky.

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I cannot wait to buy supplies to make this super-adorbs DIY bench! My bed is insanely tall,  so as a short girl, having a place to sit to put on shoes that I don’t have to take a flying leap to climb on to is pretty  fantastic. I’ve looked at several to buy, but never would have thought to make one myself. What do you think?

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When I was sick back in 2011-2012, I discovered a free meditation app from The Silva Method and the Energy Booster meditation was the first one I ever did. As someone who was suffering from adrenal exhaustion on top of lung issues, this was invaluable for me. I never would have thought that in just over three years from the discovery I would be a certified teacher of meditation and would be starting to create my own recordings and programs. This one in particular is so near and dear to my heart. I’ll always be so grateful that I found it.

I want to hear how your September’s treated you. Anything extra special happen that you want to shout from the rooftops? Let’s share and celebrate!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

 

Controlling Your Cravings: What Your Body is Trying to Tell You

chocolate cravingHiya, Darling Hearts! Been pretty busy of late, what with school and the teaching gig.  I wanted to leave you something to read this week, so here is an article I wrote back in July for Inner Child Magazine.  This one is all about food cravings and what’s really at the root of them.  Hope you enjoy and that you have a wonderful week!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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Food cravings. We all have them. Sometimes the hankering is healthy , but more often than not you find yourself just wanting to eat your body weight in cheesecake, chocolate or Cheetos. Knowing how food cravings work and what they’re trying to tell you can help you manage them more effectively without letting them totally derail your diet.

Most commonly we tend to crave foods, specifically carbohydrates, fat, or sugar, as an emotional response to stress or anxiety. This is due to the release of serotonin and its calming effect on the body. There are also some studies that suggest that an unbalanced diet leads to food cravings, because the body is not getting enough of the right nutrients. New research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center suggests that cravings are tied to the parts of our brain that are responsible for memories and sensing pleasure. It’s only natural that we would create pleasant memories of foods we find delicious and then seek to re-create them.

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One of the best things you can do to manage food cravings is to manage the stress in your life. There are so many great ways to accomplish this, and it will take a little trial and error to find the right combination of practices that work for you. A few of the most common ones that people report having the best success with are meditation, regular exercise and having a hobby or social activity that keeps your work and personal life balanced.

There are also a number of herbs and supplements that may help with this. Things like GABA, lemon balm, and magnesium have a solid reputation for helping with stress, so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and make sure they can recommend something that will be safe for you.

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Since diet plays a role in the foods you crave, it’s important to know that just because your body wants chocolate, doesn’t mean that chocolate is the only way to satisfy its needs. In fact, believe it or not, chocolate may be your body’s way of telling you to get more magnesium in your diet. You can accomplish the same thing with supplementation, raw nuts and seeds and some legumes. A general sweet tooth is usually a cry for chromium. Reach for grapes and satisfy both. Itching for a soda or a fatty snack? Calcium is what you crave, so grab some string cheese. Also watch out for pre-menstrual cravings, which can be caused by lower zinc levels. Leafy greens and root veggies, along with red meats and seafood should set you back on the right path. There are lots of valuable resources online, so if the food that’s compelling you isn’t part of your meal plan or lifestyle, spend a little time looking it up to see if there’s something better for you that will stop that craving in its tracks and nourish you more thoroughly at the same time.

If you think your cravings are about pleasure or happy memories, it might be a good idea to spend some time focused on self-care. You are the only you there is, after all. Treat yourself to a massage or a haircut. Spend the day curled up with that book that you’ve been dying to read or marathon your favorite movies. Make a date to see your favorite band in concert. Create memories that don’t revolve around food, but also feed your soul. That way when you’re looking to recreate the good feeling, you’ll be able to do it with a fun activity and not a high calorie dessert. Of course there’s something to be said for indulging every now and again, so as long as you’re doing so in moderation, that slice of pie could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Bon appétit!

A Letter From the Editor: July In Review

How has July been treating you, Lovely Readers? Incredibly well, I hope! It’s been hotter than heck here, so my a/c and blender have both been getting a workout.  Thank God for smoothies, am I right?!

I have some lovely little gems to share with you as we wind down this month. Go ahead and mix up a smoothie for yourself and chill with me for a few. There’s something fun for you in this post, I’m sure of it.

 

I love, love, love Danielle LaPorte. I am a big fan of her book The Desire Map and use her daily planner every day. This experiment she posted on her blog is a wonderful example of the reasons why I think she’s so fab. I loved it so much, I featured it in the July issue of Tejomaya Wellness Magazine. It’s all about self-talk and how we need to be nicer to ourselves. and everyone we come in contact with. I am so thankful I came across this post.  It’s really reminded me to be conscious of what I allow myself to speak over myself and others.

 

I’m a gal who digs a good D.I.Y., and this one that teaches you how to make your own wind chimes is so, so good. This one will only run you around $20 for your supplies. Heck, at that price you could make one for yourself and one to give as a gift to any new homeowners in your life! I’m always grateful for craft projects. As soon as I borrow a Dremel, I’m going to make one to hang from my balcony.

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I meditate every morning, but sometimes life happens and I oversleep, or my hair just won’t cooperate, and I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to get my calm on.  When this happens, I have a great go-to that’s beautiful, centering and always does the trick.  I’m always so grateful I have this one in my back pocket. Now I want to make sure you have it in your arsenal, too. Give it a try next time you want to get your day started off on the right foot:

 

I could eat these Veggie Spring Rolls until I explode. These are absolutely perfect for summer dinner parties, light lunch, or if you’re like me, all three meals a day. I’m thinking about making up another batch as soon as I wrap this post up.  Wrap it up!  Get it?! Okay, I’ll quit now, but seriously.  I’m thankful that something that’s this delicious is so easy to make.

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I got this masque from Befine in my Ipsy Glam Bag for June, and I just got around to trying it. The ingredients are actually pretty dang clean, and it smells like fresh cucumbers, My skin is so soft and smooth after I use it.  I just love it. I get to be thankful every month that I spent the $10 on myself to have a little something luxurious that reminds me that self-care is ultimately better for everyone. A burned out me is not able to help as many people as a well-rested, happy me. The same is true for you, so indulge in a little pampering this week.  Jennifer’s orders!

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I want to hear from you! What have you loved this month? Any big news I can help you celebrate? What are you so grateful for that you just have to tell someone? Share in the comments below! It’d be so cool of you. 😉

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Letting it Go: A Lesson in Loving Your Enemy

crying-2856_1280     If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had your feelings hurt.  I wish I could tell you that you’re done and you’ll never have to face another grumpy person again in your lifetime, but unless you live in solitude, there’s a good chance it will happen again. It sucks, I know.  I’m really sorry, and I wish I could wave a magic wand over people and make them behave. Since I can’t, I thought I’d do the next best thing and try and arm you with a technique that I learned after leaving the customer service world after years of stress, yelling and crappy attitudes.

It’s not uncommon for children to respond to circumstances that don’t suit them by responding with name-calling, fit-throwing, or storming off and a good parent is going to intervene with consequences for those actions. What do you do when a grown human is the one throwing the tantrum, though? As much as we might like to send them to time out to think about what they’ve done, the sad truth is that hurt people, hurt people. Does that mean that grown adults shouldn’t be held responsible for their own actions? A loud and resounding hell no! If you’re doing that, knock it off or I’m telling your mama! If you’re the target of someone’s pain or anger though, it’s rarely ever about you, Darling Heart. It’s something crummy that other person is carrying and frankly, they’re just not good at dealing with it in a way that’s constructive.

So what do you do? Shake your head and shake it off. Wish their soul well, and send them on their way, right? But what if they were REALLY mean? It’s not always easy to leave it at that though, is it? Especially if your heart is extra tender. I’m right there with you. I used to carry the sting of lash-outs long after it was good for me to do so. That is, until I learned to devote daily time during my meditation to forgiveness.

If you’ve been meditating long you’ve probably heard guided sessions ended with these words: “May you be well. May you be happy. May you live with ease.” Typically your guru is inviting you to offer those precious words of kindness to yourself, but when you let yourself have several minutes to imagine the face of someone who has hurt you and you repeat those words as you imagine sending love to them, it not only does something kind for them, but it heals your heart as well. Some situations may require multiple sessions, so don’t give up if you don’t feel better right away.
Does any of this mean you have to go shoe shopping or skip through the park holding hands with your nemesis? Nope. It’s probably best not to have this person in your life at all, until they can address what’s at the root of their behavior and they’re ready to do some soul work to fix it. It will make it easier for you to go on with your life, though. Holding on to that pain only causes you more of it. Don’t hold on to what wasn’t yours to begin with!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

 

C’mon Get Happy, Naturally!

dog walkHello again, Lovely Readers! It’s been another busy couple of weeks for me with classes, work and adopting a new fitness routine.  I can proudly say that I’ve dropped 15 pounds since finishing my month of juicing and switching over to a clean, unprocessed diet!  I’ll be sharing more about that journey with you very soon, but in the meantime, here is another one of my articles from Inner Child Magazine. I hope all of you are having a great April, so far!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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Depression. It’s almost a fact of life these days. 1 in 10 adults have reported experiencing it according to the CDC. Sometimes it’s affected by the seasons. Others we experience due to the stress of life or after the loss of a loved one. Chances are, you or someone close to you will face depression at some point, if not already. For mild to moderate depression, you needn’t abandon hope. There are things you can do to get your happy back.

Start with Supplements: A good fish oil, or sea algae supplement for vegans, will do wonders for your brain. Aside from providing you with nutrients that will help memory and offset Alzheimer’s, omegas also help battle depression. Omega 3s have been shown to be lacking in depressed individuals. Vitamin D is a biggie, especially in the winter when our exposure to the sun is more limited. It’s not at all uncommon to be deficient and supplementation is simple. St. John’s Wort is very popular for treating mild to moderate depression, with some studies showing it to be equally as effective as some prescription medications. You may also want to look for SAMe and 5HTP. There is some evidence that both may be helpful as 5HTP is a precursor to serotonin and SAMe may increase the level of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These are all contributors to feelings of well being and energy needed to stay motivated when times are tough. Just make sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements to make sure your dosages and all possible interactions have been accounted for.

Follow Your Nose: Citrus essentials oils of orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and bergamot are all known to lift the spirits and leave behind a bright, cheerful scent. Mix your favorites together and diffuse them in your home or put them in an unscented cream or oil and wear when gloomy. You’ll see it has a lot of a-peel! If fruity scents aren’t your thing, look for rose or chamomile to brighten your mood. The idea is to surround yourself with something that you like, so if it isn’t your favorite, it probably won’t do the trick. Just make sure you’re using real essential oils, as fragrance oils made from chemicals don’t have the same effect on the limbic system as the real thing.

Get By with a Little Help From Your Friends: The last thing you probably want to do when you’re down is be social or even put on pants, but when someone tosses an invite your way to go out dancing or come over for game night, go! Being around people who care about you and make you laugh is exactly what the author ordered. Make the extra effort and spiff up a little, too. Taking the time to take care of yourself is a must. Do your hair. Shine your shoes. Heal your soul.

Fuzz Therapy: If your finances and lifestyle allow, consider adopting a pet. Furry companions require exercise and playtime, which will force you out of your rut. They also require serious snuggles which will boost your mood faster than a cat comes running at the sound of a can opener. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that my dog was sometimes the only reason I managed to get out of bed and go to work during some of my darker days. It was my responsibility to feed him so I made myself go for him. Returning home to his grateful, wagging tail was entirely worth it.

Get Spiritual: People with a solid spiritual practice tend to experience less depression that those that don’t. Prayer can help put you back in touch with your heart and help you find that light at the end of the tunnel. Meditation is something that’s helpful no matter what faith you belong to. Volunteer to do some community outreach at your place of worship. If you’re not religious, find a local group of Secular Humanists doing good things in your area and get involved. Doing good feels good. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?

By taking an active role and knowing your natural options, you can treat your depression. Of course, if you think there’s any possibility you may be suffering from depression that is moderate to severe, please consult with your doctor. If your depression has reached the point where you have considered taking your own life, I want you to have this number: 1-800-273-8255. It will connect you with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and someone in your area will help get you through it. You are not alone. The world still needs unique and wonderful you and don’t you ever forget it!

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