Mantra Monday: “I Will Take Time for Play.”

I Will Take Time for Play This past week, while drawing my angel cards, my guides gave me the card above and of course, it was exactly what I needed.

Although I have a great sense of humor, sometimes, I take myself far too serious. I stress easily and work myself up till my anxiety is spinning. I can be too stringent about keeping a scheduled plan and get all sorts of twitchy when my routine is shaken up.

I have quite a few family commitments coming up that are shaking up my usual routine and spinning my regular weekend plans around. I get a bit stressed thinking about how I may not have time to clean the way I like, meal plan and prep, sit and read, nap and relax, blog and write and take some quiet time for myself. However, they are all joyous occasions and I need to take this opportunity to practice being OK with my routine and plans changing. I need to let go of my need to control and just allow myself to simply play and enjoy!

The truth is, I was never good at playing to begin with. Even as a kid, my playing revolved around being a fake librarian, teacher or bank teller and of course, I was always in charge. (Did anyone else ever play bank or library?) I guess I have always taken myself far too serious and it’s time to learn how to let go.

So, I threw out my meal plan for this week and have not prepped anything. I am trying to go with the flow and I even let my husband do the grocery shopping! I am going to try to have fun and just be.

I want to hear from you. How do you find ways/time to play as an adult?

Indie Pendee La La Movie Friday: The Imitation Game

Although I saw The Imitation Game awhile ago, I wanted to write about it because of the secondary plot that involved the main character Alan Turing.

The Imitation Game is a period movie set during WWII.  It’s mostly about boring math stuff and cracking codes but the homosexual sub plot was by far the most interesting.  From the beginning, Alan Turing, the main character, goes back in forth in time all while remembering his days in boarding school.  Throughout his early years, he had one special friend that he loved to hang out with; both boys were inseparable.  Then one day, the evil headmaster starts to suspect there’s more going on than friendship.  As the movie progresses, we find the two friends trading notes written in secret code – a code that only the two of them can understand.

Passing notes and secret codes?! FUN!

When Alan grows into a man, he’s sensitive with a low self image of himself.  His body posture gives away his own personal view of self worth.  I always find it fascinating when there are influential men and women from the past who have gay tendencies which are never talked about.  Maybe if Alan were alive today, his self worth would have led to a man who stood up confidently with a proud gait.

The Imitation Game is worth the rent!

Oh BTW – Cumberbatch.  I love saying his last name.

Reiki Certification

This past weekend, I completed another step in my spiritual journal and completed my Level 1 Reiki Certification.

reiki certification

I have been very interested in reiki since my first session with Jasmine last year, that I blogged about here. I have been trying to study more and more about the chakras and have put a let of dedicated focus in 2015 to opening up my throat chakra, speaking my truth and advocating for myself.

When I heard there would be a reiki training at Salt Oasis in Rancho Cucamonga, I signed up right away. Salt Oasis is a wellness center with himalayan salt caves. Inside the salt caves, you relax, breathe deeply and soak in the benefits of renewing your ions. It’s one of my favorite places to be and the perfect environment for learning about energies and chakras.

The class taught by the very knowledgeable and compassionate Nancy Myers. She taught us how to detect energies, set good intentions and be a conduit for healing energy. We practiced reiki on one another and it was so interesting to actually be able to feel, detect and work with the energies of others’ chakra centers.

While I was on the table getting worked, the other practitioners detected that my throat chakra needed work. While reiki was being done to my throat chakra, I felt almost like I needed to cough up a hair ball. My throat itched and I felt as though something would come bursting out. I definitely felt as though my throat chakra was opened, and I know I just need to keep putting that work into practice my speaking up when needed.

At the end of our training, Nancy gave us all certificates, pendulums to detect energy and an assignment of a 21 day chakra cleanse. For 21 days, we will be focusing on our chakras, exploring and balancing them out. We will concentrate on one chakra for three days, then move on to the next.

I went to work this weekend brushing up on my chakra knowledge and diving into Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith. I hope to work on specific things with my chakras that apply to where I am currently. I definitely know my throat chakra needs work, but the more I was studying, the more I realized my third eye chakra is too open and needs more balancing.

chakra studying I am really glad I attended this training. The environment of the salt caves was perfectly relaxing and balancing, Nancy was a wonderful instructor who opened the path for me to continue exploring. I am excited about these 21 days and finding some balance in my chakras.

Mantra Monday-“I Am Devoted to Self-Care”

Mantra Monday

After last week’s issues with anxiety, I realized I need to be more devoted to taking care of myself. My anxiety may not have reached the point it did, if I was being more mindful and giving myself the down time I needed or re-prioritizing my responsibilities.

I would say I am devoted to many things. Definitely my family, my job, eating/living healthy, but I do not always apply that same devotion to taking care of myself. What if I devoted as much care to myself as I did to others?

I attended a reiki certification training this weekend at Salt Oasis. I spent 6 hours in a himalayan salt cave, inhaling ions, detoxing and learning to balance my energy and chakras. I slept sounder than I have in a long time and I left feeling completely free of tension. I was astonishingly relaxed and I realized I do not take enough time to do things like this more often.

I may not be able to spend every weekend in a salt cave, but some other things I can do may be; get rid of something on my to-do list, ask my husband for help, go to sleep earlier and complete a task in the morning, stop and drink tea, inhale lavender oil.

I am going to use this mantra this week to remind myself to also do small things for myself, as I do them for others.

I would love to hear from you. How do you manage self-care?

The Ugliness of Anxiety

I posted this entry Monday on my personal blog and thought I would also share here some of the spiritual things I am currently working through. Thank-you for reading. XO-Ang

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember.

I was a nervous kid who worried about everything. There was definitely some circumstances in my life that added to my worry and stress, but mostly, it was self-created and perpetuated. Looking back, I recognize certain obsessions, compulsions and rituals I carried out as characteristic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I eventually grew out of some of the compulsive behavior, but the anxiety was always there.

I experienced my first full-blown anxiety attack when I was in college. I was a psychology major and recognized what I was experiencing, but did not know how to deal with it. I simply went through it and eventually it got better. This happened a few more times through my early 20s.

My anxiety has had peaks and valleys throughout my life and there are lapses of time when it does not even seem to be present. I have been managing it very well the past few years and the last time it was truly out of control was around the time my dad was killed. His death brought about a huge turning point in my anxiety. I was always scared of something BAD happening. Then, something bad, very, very bad, in fact, did happen. My dad was shot and killed and no amount of my own rituals, compulsions, positive thoughts or worries could have prevented that. No amount of freaking out, crying, blaming or falling apart afterwards could change what had happened. I was outwardly broken and weak and somehow, this was freeing.

One of the most difficult parts of my anxiety has been trying to hide it from others. I try to appear outwardly strong at all times. I am perfectionist who wants to have it all together. I want to be an amazing counselor who helps others and a zen yoga teacher who brings about peace and comfort. I want to be the best wife, step-mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend and citizen that I can be. I feel sometimes that I fail miserably at absolutely everything and I can barely keep myself together.

Usually, I can control this. Usually, I deal with the racing thoughts, the worries, stressors and inner arguments my brain experiences through meditation, yoga, counting my mala beads, inhaling my lavender oil, journaling, returning to gratitude, talking to my husband or close friend, running, singing or hiking.

My anxiety expresses itself in the forms of tension, migraines, cold sores and skin rashes. These are my warning signs that I need to be more mindful about my stress levels and get ahold of myself. In it’s ugliest form, my anxiety blows up to crying spells, tightness in my chest, hyperventilating and a complete inability to function. This does not happen very often, but it happened this weekend and I am so embarrassed.

I should have seen this coming, but I let myself get too busy to deal with it properly. I started a new job two weeks ago. I absolutely love it, but am still adjusting and learning. My schedule for this month and next is jam-packed. I have little down time on the weekends and this has caused my anxiety to jump exponentially. I am someone who really needs sacred time to myself to re-charge, re-focus and rejuvenate.

When it comes down to it though, it’s not the fault of my new job, new shifts or busy schedule that is causing my anxiety. It’s me. It’s how I deal with stress, busyness and things outside of my control. I think this is what bothers me most. I feel that I am broken, defective and unable to cope. I feel like I have no right to feel this way or fall apart.

I have a wonderful life and a gratitude list miles long. My “problems” are truly first world in nature and my list of worries are enough to be grateful for, when I list them I realize I truly don’t have much to complain about.

However, I do recognize how dangerous this thought process can be. Feelings need to be felt and it does not matter what I outwardly want to present as or be, I have issues just like everyone else and this why I am finally talking about them. It was difficult for me to share about this ugliness on this space, but I know I am not the only one and I want you to know you are not either, even though it can certainly feel that way at times.

I am taking this week one day at a time. I am finding solace in opening up about my anxiety to you, organizing my tasks into smaller chunks (with colored pens and my pink planner. It’s a proven fact that colored pens help with anxiety) using Bach’s Resuce Remedy as needed and simply being OK, with not being OK (you can read about this here).

rescue remedy

Talk to me. Please share in the comments what you do to deal with anxiety or how you deal with those portions of your life you feel embarrassed or ashamed of?

Mantra Monday-“It’s OK to NOT be OK.”

It's OK to not be OK

I have to be honest, I am really struggling this week.

I have struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. It comes in waves and has been more intense and then barely noticeable at different points in my life.

This past week it has been mounting and spilled over into a full-blown anxiety attack yesterday.

I truly hate talking about this and sharing it with everyone. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. However, one of the few things I have learned is that it really is OK to not be OK and although it may feel isolating at times, I know I am not the only one.

My spiritual sister helps remind me that it is OK to not have it completely together all the time and that perfection is truly an illusion. I feel more authentic and open being honest with my struggles although there is still apart of that feels I should have this figured out and under control by now. I am a counselor and a yoga teacher, why haven’t I worked through this yet?

And yet, another part of me knows how hard I have worked through this and I know enough about anxiety to know it is a journey and probably will not ever completely disappear. It will constantly be something I have to sort and work through.

Whether you are struggling with anxiety or something else today, I want to tell you that it’s OK to not be OK. You are not broken, defective or crazy. You are not alone. You are not the only one. No one is perfect or has it all together, no matter what type of image you may perceive they are portraying.

Do you believe it is OK to not be OK sometimes?