Mantra Monday: “I Speak My Truth Freely”

This has been the chakra I have (and continue to) the most active work with. It does not come naturally for me to speak my truth, but with very mindful intentions, I am slowly getting there.
 How do you speak your truth? 

Mantra Monday: “I Allow Myself to be Loved.”

The chakras continue to become more tangible and meaningful as life unfolds. As I focus on the heart chakra and deepening meaningful connections with others, I am also reminded of what throws the heart chakra off balance most: GRIEF.

It’s hard to make to adulthood without experiencing some form of grief or loss. This can of course be the physical loss of a loved one, but it does not always have to be defined simply in terms of someone we love passing away. It can be the loss of a relationship, friendship or dream. Loss and the subsequent grief are apart of the human journey.

The heart chakra that has not recovered or grown calloused from these experiences can present itself as untrustworthy of others, closed off or too clingy. It can be difficult, but it is so important to let others support us in those moments of grief and continue to open our hearts up to new relationships, concepts and wonder. After a loss, it can be tempting to close ourselves down and not allow hurt to enter into our hearts again. But, we also close ourselves off to new beginnings, connections and experiences.

I was so very fortunate to have a strong support system after losing my father to a homicide. His death was sudden and unexpected. There was nothing in place for a funeral and I had to figure out a whole mess of things, quickly. But, I did not have to do it alone. I had family and close friends that rallied around me for support. I had people step up and take care of things without being asked. I had friends, co-workers and people I had not even been in contact with recently, send support, love and even money to help me bury my dad.

I will never ever forget that.

I lost my dad in an awful manner and I could have easily fell down a hole of hate and anger. But, humanity did not let me. They made it impossible to focus on the ugliness because they kept showing up with beauty.

Ed lost his dad this past week. He is now facing his own journey of grief and loss and I just hope I can show him the love and support he deserves. I took this picture at the coffee shop we met up at a few days after his dad passed, to start planning his funeral. We sat and cried. We talked about my dad. We talked about his dad. We allowed one another to grieve and be supported.

I think it was no accident that I ordered a matcha latte and the barista served it with a heart swirl. Green is the color associated with the heart chakra and this picture will now serve as a reminder to always love and allow myself to love.

heart chakra

Mantra Monday: “I Honor the Power Within Me”

This week I focused on my solar plexus chakra. This chakra is located around the navel area and is associated with confidence, empowerment and self-assurance. The solar plexus chakra is mostly thrown off balance by SHAME. This can leave one feeling doubtful, without a strong sense of self or lacking in assurance. On a physical level, this can produce digestive issues, problems with the liver or ulcers.

solar plexus

This is one of my stronger, balanced chakras, but it has not always been that way. I think as a woman, shame can be a stronger force. It is not always encouraged or taught to speak up for yourself or feel confident in who you are. I feel it is almost discouraged at times to feel good about yourself and it’s automatic to downplay or refute compliments.

mean girls I have worked hard to re-train my brain and gut instincts to know that I am enough. I am confident and happy with who I am. I have work to do still and I will always try to improve, but I am OK with being imperfect. I am confident in myself and continue to honor the power within me.

I chose Dancer’s pose for the solar plexus chakra. This pose looks very pretty and effortless, but it takes strength and balance. The standing foot needs to be firmly ground into the earth. You keep the hips level, while lifting up the foot. It is a deep backbend and chest opener, while the shoulders, head and mind stay relaxed. I feel this a wonderful metaphor for what it’s like to be a woman. It can be a huge balancing act of putting forth an effortless, beautiful image, while exuding great amounts of strength and balance behind the scenes.

I Honor the Power Within Me This week can you practice honoring the power within you? Can you remind yourself that you are enough? Can you unapologetically embody our strengths, flaws and confidence?

Honor the power within you.

Mantra Monday: “I Allow Myself to Feel Pleasure”

This past week’s focus was on the Sacral Chakra. The Sacral Chakra is associated with pleasure, creativity and sexual energy. When this chakra is too closed, there can be repression, suppression of creativity, a sense of being out of touch with sexuality or a denial of pleasure. This chakra can also be too open and one can be overly sexual and too free in their creativity, without the balance of being grounded to reality.

I find most of the time, my sacral chakra is pretty balanced, but can be knocked off and closed down when I am feeling tense and putting too much pressure on myself. The main culprit that attacks this chakra is guilt.

From a woman’s perspective, I think women particularly have a hard time keeping this chakra in balance. Generally speaking, I think guilt can often creep in when we want to give ourselves time to experience pleasure and explore our own creativity.

Personally, I struggle with allowing time to do things completely for myself. I feel GUILTY when I want to take a day alone, when I want to not talk to my family and would rather attend a yoga class (alone), get a massage or simply read in bed.

However, I have found that those moments alone to basque in simple pleasures or let my creativity flow through journaling or blogging keep me balanced and calm. When I have denied myself these joys for too long, I feel tense, frustrated and easily irritable.

One of my absolute favorite yoga poses is specially for this chakra. It is Goddess pose, which is done by turning the corners of the feet in opposing directions and sinking down into the hips, with a stable pelvis. Once the legs feel solid, various options can be taken with the arms. I like moving my arms around sometimes and letting the creative energy flow around my body, or settling in to a mudra with my hands.

I Allow Myself to Feel Pleasure This pose does have a feminine flair. It is truly opening to the sacral chakra (which is on located in the lower abdomen) and takes solid strength in the hips and groin. It can look very pretty, but it is also a very strong pose that takes focus, stability and strength. I believe this describes women beautifully. I love how solid I feel in those pose, yet free to move and flow.

What keeps your creativity, sexuality or pleasure from freely flowing?

Mantra Monday-“I Am Vibrantly Healthy”

Last week I felt, well, not myself. But, I was not sick. I never am.

I remember when I was growing up, my mom would never utter the words “I am sick.” She would say she did not believe that and did not accept it. If she felt less than her best, she would start resting, drinking more water and healing herself naturally. She would start proclaiming “I Am Healed!.” I thought she was looney, but like most things I thought were looney about my mother, I am now doing the same things in my 30s.

I have a pretty strong immune system (also thanks to my mother), but I am working at a new school site this year. Middle schoolers germs seem to be effecting me more than high schoolers did and towards the end of the week, my throat was sore and body was achy. But, I was not sick. No way. I started proclaiming myself “Vibrantly Healthy” and took steps to get myself back there.

I Am Vibrantly Healthy I now understand why my mom would not resign to sickness or even utter the words. She was a single-working mother and had no time to be sick. She did not ignore her health and carry on as though things were normal, she spoke healing into her body and aligned her actions to match. I try to do the same.

I begin diffusing doTerra’s “Breathe” blend throughout my house to clear my sinuses and help my cough. I made a “wellness shot” tea my dropping doTerra’s “On-Guard” blend, lemon, ginger and oregano oil into hot water. I drank this about four times per day. It by no means tastes good, but I felt it decongesting my head and strengthening my body.

breathe wellness shot

I also made a wellness blend of the above listed oils blended with fractioned coconut oil. I rubbed this on my feet multiple times throughout the day.

wellness blend I also drank ridiculous amounts of water to continue flushing any toxins out of my body. I love my obnoxiously large water bottle that I bought from my hot yoga studio.

64 oz

I also honored that my body needed more rest. At 5:00 PM on Friday night, I sent Ed this picture of myself. I laid in bed and read, and was asleep by 7:00 that evening and 8:00 the next.

I am not sick

I feel almost completely back to myself today and alive in my vibrant health.

What are your remedies for when you feel less than your best?

Mantra Monday: “I’ll See It When I Believe It”

Faith. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I remember a time when I wanted to believe this. I remember a time when I absolutely, positively did NOT believe this.

I am currently at a place where I am learning how to do this. I was reminded about faith last week while completing one of my meditations from Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s meditation experience, Deepak said we need to reverse the phrase “I will believe it when I see it to.” Essentially, we will manifest our desires more when we believe it.

A few days later, another of my spiritual teachers Gabrielle Bernstein posted the same phrase on her Instagram.

faith I guess the universe felt I truly needed to be reminded of this and maybe some of you do too, as well.

In love & faith,

~Ang

Mantra Monday: You Bettah Wurk

As I write this blog, on a Sunday night, Angelina is currently “dropping it low” at her sister’s wedding.

This marks the end of Angelina’s hijacked life for the last quarter of 2015.  November 1st officially marks her birthday month and everyone in her family better recognize.

I’ve decided for this Mantra Monday to use the always informative RuPaul as a our guide to better living.  In the early 90s RuPaul came out with a delicious dance song entitled Supermodel.  It’s a divas mantra for all things runway.  Many times, when life becomes too difficult, we have to escape inside our own heads in order to make our world a better place.  Many times I like to image that the only requirement of my job is to sashay down a runway in order to make my daily bread.  Unfortunately that’s not the case.  Instead, I have to continually use the mantra: Wurk…Wurk…Wurk in order for me to get my tired butt out of bed and back into the flow of the regular work week.

Hope everyone, including Angelina is able to Wurk first thing Monday morning.