Help in Hard Times: Things to Consider

Earlier this week I had a rough couple of days where I found myself navigating a ton of dense energy. After I emerged to the other side I started thinking about what it taught me. I was surprised to find all this stuff pour out of me, a list really of the ways I’ve learned to manage energy in hard times. I thought, I’ve got to share this!

So here it is, the first part of most likely a longer list of…

Things to remember when you are passing through hard times:

  1. Nothing is permanent, not even this moment of crappiness! Ride the wave.
  2. Is this even my energy that I’m feeing? Am I feeling a loved one who might be in pain? Is this collective energy? Is this ancestral? Step back and assess. Sometimes knowing that makes a big difference.
  3. Am I under attack?
  4. Is it heyoka energy? (The trickster!) Don’t buy it– this energy is here to test me and poke at me! I don’t have to take the bait!
  5. I AM not this…return to the center, the source, the larger heart!
  6. Observe the emotion but don’t identify with it!
  7. Is something rising up to be released? Observe and release it! Don’t judge the experience.
  8. Can I see it from another perspective?
  9. What’s the medicine? What is this experience teaching me…can I uncover the lesson? What gifts are coming about because of this experience?
  10. Have I asked for divine assistance? I have free will. I must ask for guidance, protection, help, etc…
  11. I’m never alone! Feel into the love of the mother/source/God/the divine I AM presence.

What would you add to the list?

Feeling the call for freedom

I’ve been feeling the call for freedom! What does freedom look and feel like inside myself?

For me, freedom is no more falsehood. That only the true, authentic me remains–no masks!

It’s freedom of pain and suffering. No matter what appears before me.

It’s finding flow and letting the light be…no interruption, no stagnation, no forcing.

It’s walking my path, step by step, trusting that whatever comes is for my highest good.

It’s moving beyond the constraints and limitations of a system of oppression that really lives inside myself.

Freedom feels like HOME inside myself.

Are you feeling the call to freedom? What does freedom feel like to you?

(Oh: and freedom also feels like THIS…the epic Aretha Franklin singing “Think!” in Blues Brothers…freedom…freedom…freedom, FREEDOM!)

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

Removing the masks

Something’s been building in me and it’s this desire–really, more like a lion’s ROAR!–demanding I remove ALL THE MASKS that I wear. To let it flow. To be 1000% authentically me in every interaction whether with my family or friends or colleagues or strangers at the supermarket.

When we put on a mask we cut ourselves off from source. When we wear the mask we lower our vibration to meet those around us in a desire to fit in, not realizing that we are love and don’t need to seek it from anyone outside of ourselves.

For a long time many of my masks have involved hiding my spirituality and the wisdom of the teachings that have been shared with me. In hiding the teachings I dishonor them, and I don’t want to do that anymore.

What are the masks you are tired of wearing? Let’s toss them into a great bonfire and light up the skies with our freedom!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

The call to purify

Here we are on day three of the blogging series about restoring vitality and joy! Yesterday I wrote about understanding the need for inner balance of our masculine and feminine energy. Today I’m going to talk about the call to purify the body.

Early in my journey to restore balance I started receiving messages from my higher self that I needed to purify. Frankly I was confused by this and perhaps even a little offended! What exactly was impure in me that needed to go?! What I grew to understand was that energy that sat stagnant had created blocks in my body that caused all sorts of health woes. Plus, The modern processed food diet certainly didn’t help. These energy blocks, or areas of over-active energy, create big imbalances in our body that express with pain, ailments, discomfort, you name it. (There’s a lot more to how energy moves and gets stuck in the body but this gives you a gist. If you are curious to know more check out information on acupuncture which is all about managing/restoring this movement of energy or chi in our body.)

Purification is also helpful because we are living in a time of so much change–the feminine energy is rising and she literally rises in our body. If there are blocks in our body this rising energy will be met with pain and discomfort. By working to detox or purify our body we make space for the energy to flow freely. I think of it as a way to create ease and grace with a process that could otherwise be very uncomfortable.

There are so many detox plans and diets out there, there are probably a million options for ways to purify and restore balance within. I’m sharing what worked for me because hot diggity dog did it work, and swiftly. I’m so passionate about this – but please know I’m not a doctor, it’s not medical advice, all that jazz. šŸ˜‰ Just one person’s experience.

By far my favorite resource for this topic is Ayurveda. If you aren’t familiar with Ayurveda, it’s an ancient Vedic philosophy rooted in India that is all about the mind-body connection with the underlying premise that our natural state of being is health. It believes that anything we experience outside the realm of optimal health is a sign that we are out of balance — but because it starts within us, should we choose to shift our habits and thoughts we can bring it back to center.

A brief story…remember how I said that I made it my goal to restore my vitality and joy? Once I made that choice I was shown all sorts of resources/supports/people that appeared like bread crumbs from the universe. One of them was a podcast I heard with an interview with a woman named Acharya Shunyas, an Ayurveda scholar/author who was being interviewed about a book she wrote. In the middle of the interview I heard her say, “Joy and Vitality are your BIRTHRIGHT!” My jaw dropped to the floor. I knew this in my core but hearing it from her gave me so much hope! It was like a signpost — yes, Sarah, keep following this path! You can do this!

(By the way, Iā€™ve read a number of books on the topic and by far her book is my favorite! https://www.acharyashunya.com/ayurveda-lifestyle-wisdom-book .)

Before I talk about ways you can restore balance using Ayurveda, it helps to understand your own natural tendencies toward imbalance. Ayurveda believes each person is born with a certain dosha, a term that translates to imbalance. The idea is that once you understand your dosha (your natural tendencies to imbalance) you can be aware of how to keep it from getting out of wack. The good news is that once you know your dosha you can find strategies that work for your particular body type to get back into groove.

There are three types of doshas–vata, pitta and kapha. Each dosha has common physical characteristics and even personality traits that go with it. Personally, finding out my dosha was a game changer. I’m a Vata and to give you a sense of how spot-on this can be, let me describe for you what an imbalanced Vata looks like: dry, fatigued, anxious, hair loss, digestive issues (such as constipation), and problems with fertility and reproductive health.

DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER! Could you say I was an out of balanced Vata or what?

So, check it out – what’s your dosha? There are a lot free quizzes online but I really like this one from Everday Ayurveda. What might it tell you about your own natural tendencies to imbalance–and ways to realign? Lots more tomorrow on how you can use all sorts of Ayurveda methods (and others) to begin to restore balance.

Blogging series on reclaiming vitality and joy!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

Wake-up calls

I write daily and have started asking for a daily mantra from my highest self. I’ve been amazed by what I’ve been able to tap into. They can be and very often are nurturing, encouraging, gentle. But this week they’ve been demanding more of me: just like any loving mother or guide. Message received highest self! Time to get to work!! (Also for anyone astrologically inclined, its very fitting for the shift from Pisces to Aries!)

from Instagram story @justfollowthejoy

The Heroineā€™s Journey

The Wasteland burns us up and burns us out. Instead of following your own instincts, instead of discovering what it is that gives us joy, what makes our heart sing, we spend most of our lives trying to make other people happy…living from our head rather than our instinct for what is good and healthy.

[…]

The Heroine’s Journey for these times is a journey out of the Wasteland. Each of us has our own unique set of stories to tell: the story of the years we spent in the Wasteland, the story of our awakening, and the story of the path we took out of it.

~Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted

How about them (meditation) apples!

According to my meditation app, in 2017 I meditated an average of 16 minutes a day with a total of 37 hours of meditation! That doesn’t include my walking meditations, which I try to take every day.

2017 was the first year where meditation became a habit. I noticed if I didn’t meditate. (Or to put it another way, my family usually noticed because when I didn’t I was an irritable cranky-butt.)

I don’t need more convincing on the benefits of meditation, but if I did, this story might seal the deal. A few weeks ago I saw our family doctor for a well check and I had my my blood pressure/pulse taken. My blood pressure was really good but that didn’t surprise me because I’ve shed some weight.. What I was not expecting was my resting pulse to be so low. My entire life I’ve had a fast pulse. Weight loss and exercise never really impacted it much–even at my lowest weight and highest amount of exercise, my heart rate stayed stubbornly high.

This new rate was by far the lowest it had ever been. In fact, it was so good that I had a hunch it might be getting close to my husband’s heart rate range. The dude runs three miles a day and has the healthiest heart rate of pretty much anyone I know.

Well, well, well. Guess whose resting heart rate is now LOWER her husband’s? This gal’s.Ā 

giphy1

Totally. Amazing.

Have you seen unexpected results from your meditation routine? Feel free to share!


Want to brag about your heart rate too? Share and follow posts on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Finish what you started

That seems to be my lesson this week. FINISH THE DARN PROJECTS YOU STARTED THREE MONTHS AGO. I read a blog post recently (I will link to it if I can find it) that said something to the effect of, how can you be present if you haven’t finished things you have started? Finish them and then you will be able to be present.Ā 

Huh. I realized I had a LOT of things I’d started but not finished. I credit my perfectionism hiding in the shadows, (without me being aware of course) that was stalling me from finishing stuff becauseĀ what if it doesn’t turn out exactly like I planned? What if I don’t like it?Ā Ā WELL THEN. First, nothing turns out as we plan, am I right?! Second, done is better than none. And if you don’t like it you redo it, simple as that. Perfectionism, I shall slay you.Ā giphy2

With that in mind, I finished painting the bathroom that I’d starting painting three months ago (YUP), I ordered hardware for a curtain rod that is broken, did the laundry that was piling up, put away the Christmas decorations, and I’m promising myself I will finish organizing my office this week. WOW IT FEELS GOOD.

Is there anything you need to finish that you started? Is perfectionism keeping you from doing it? Oh perfectionism, we see you and we give you imaginary hugs but also send you on your way.Ā 

—-

Free internet hugs if you keep up with the blog onĀ FacebookĀ andĀ Instagram!

Be here now (no, really!)

What does it look like to be here now?*

(*I started reading Be Here Now, the classic Harvard-prof-drops-acid-expands-mind-seeks-enlightenment-goes-to-India-discovers-guru-but-guess-what-the-guru-is-in-us-all book. It’s awesome. I can’t put it down.)

Let me back up and first say that I used to believeĀ be here now was a way of escaping reality. What do you mean, be here now? IĀ needĀ to think about next week’s fall festival at my daughter’s pre-school which means making a “princess-witch” costume (which is not a thing but my daughter has envisioned it so we will make it a thing). And I need to think about the mortgage payment next week, and blah blah blah blah blah.

I’m starting to really get that being in the here and now is not escaping all of that, no, but in many ways is RECKONING with all of it. Let me give you an example.Ā 

In the here and now I realized that my life was out of balance. In the here and now I realized I was experiencing stress–because all those worries about all the stuff I had to do came bubbling up in the here and now–and by sitting and staring at it in the face I reckoned with it. And in the next here and now (which is not this here and now) I made some hard choices about volunteer gigs I had promised and realized I’d overextended myself (something I do) and in the here and now I said, I cannot do this, something’s gotta give. And in the here and now I cancelled commitments I very much feared cancelling for fear of letting others down, and I faced some shame, gave some love to the shame, and reckoned with it all. Stuff that if I’d pushed away and pushed away would have likely bubbled up in more dramatic ways down the road.

In the here and now I reckon with the fact that I drank too many margaritas with my husband on date night (ok and ate too many chips and salsa too) and saw my weight loss successes diminish. (OUCH.) In the here and now I see that it was easier to blame my husband for the morning’s snafu trying to get our daughter out the door rather than facing the hard reality that she simply struggles with separation anxiety and it is what it whether I like it or not! In the here and now I look at all the laundry, so much laundry, a lot of clean (YAY) but not put away, some if it dirty (sigh) and I think, yikes why can’t I get it together. In the here and now I respond to that critical voice with, hey Sarah I love you doing the best you can juggling the mess of life.

There is no escape in the here and now. There is no hiding in the here and now. Here and now is HARD. It is hard with marriage and a kid. It is hard with the stuff we don’t want to see. But when we see it and face and and release it…wow it transforms.

How can you sit in the here and now? What might you reckon with if you do so? I’m cheering you on. You got this.

~Sarah