Vibrations I

March has always been my least favorite month; between the last dregs of winter built up like plaque on the ground and the cold wetness lingering on even the sunniest days, I get a sort of “crab”-in fever. During this time I get wrapped up in the material, what is lacking or where I am failing. I feel out of sync and vibrationally tone-deaf. My energetic field gets clouded with limiting belief systems. Ergo, I haven’t felt the confidence to post.

Vibrational energy is the matrix by which matter sustains shape and communicates within and outside of itself. The lowest vibrational frequencies create matter, whereas higher frequencies create light.  When we are feeling “down” or “low” it’s because our vibrational frequency is just that. It also seeks rhythm with our surroundings, which is why we can feel stuck in a cycle of negative events and actions that perpetuate our feelings of fear, anger or despair.

The highest vibrations we can sense are those that materialize as colors of light, so to raise your bodymind’s vibration actually makes you feel lighter and brings you closer to harmony. If you surround yourself with positive people, practice self-love, and face your fears with an open mind, you will attract countless opportunities and find yourself living your true potential.

Vibrational frequency is the magnet that attracts experiences. (1.)

It’s never easy to pull yourself out of your rut, and I am living proof that it’s surely not instant. However, even when I’m down I have a tiny part of me that doesn’t want to be there. It’s my true self reminding me that it’s my responsibility to practice raising my vibration, even little by little.

When we are overwhelmed by the material things in our lives, burdened by financial obligations, poor health or limiting belief systems, often we build the drama around them. This gives a false sense of importance to things that actually keep us down. Instead, we can practice the phrase, “I am important, I am enough”. It may feel superficial at first, but slowly and with mindfulness it can come around to be a powerful lifting tool. No one else can convince us of this, only ourselves.

Physical activity, the conscious choice to pump our own blood and move our lymphatic system also has a powerful effect on vibrational frequency. Every cell in the body has to work harder during exercise, creating more energy, more heat, and higher vibrations. I focus on the energetic rush when I’m feeling distracted, and breathe– oxygen is a fuel for our muscles.

If, when I catch my breath from a workout I still don’t feel like I’m living in my true self, I read or listen to an educational podcast. (Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts on CranioSacral Therapy while I work out; the combo of nerding out and moving my body has been surprisingly motivational!) Acquiring knowledge creates a sense of accomplishment  by “working out” the brain, and it engenders compassion due to a greater understanding of the world around us.

These simple things, with routine, pulled me out of that mucky rut. When you’re vibrational frequency is higher, you see it in your decisions and relationships as well as feel it in your physical being. Plus, your body wants to function from a high vibe place, just think of all the light that surrounds you…

For a great arcticle about vibrational energy and more ideas to raise your frequency, check out (1.) Earth Unchained’s Vibrational Frequency: 23 Ways To Raise Your Positive Energy.

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Altar

The law of attraction can be infinitely complex and extremely powerful. We are drawn to certain places and surrounded by certain people, we seem to fall into life patterns. And, this is not random, we attract it all with the energy we create and how we create it. This is why meditation, yoga and other grounding practices can be helpful in leading a positive life. Grounding allows us to fully process our energies and give them direction. Direction and force (passion) will cause the energy to resonate at a higher vibration leading to positivity.

We’re surrounded by so many distractions, however. It can be difficult to find the motivation to begin or continue a practice. Along the same lines of “buy yourself a water bottle that you like carrying/looking at to help remind you to drink more water”, having a designated space can help to focus the attention and settle the mind.

Altars have a long history in humanity and are generally used for worship, prayer or sacrifice. But let’s not get too literal. Contemporary altars can be any shape or size, and can be used to any focused purpose. Whether prayer is your thing or not, creating a small altar to honor your grounding practice is a visual reminder for those days when you “just don’t have the time”. It can be as simple as a dish with some family jewelry, a smooth rock from a special place and a candle.

I am a serial collector of tchotchkes–you know, small figurines, vessels, bones, stones–so my altars tend to get a little cluttered. I like to represent all four elements and I keep mementos of those who have passed to honor their memory. Currently, I have cut down to one altar, and am thinking of rearranging it as some of the items have become obsolete to me. And, that is okay too! Your altar should be a space you enjoy looking at and caring for, something that brings you calm. Place elements of things that are important to you. Create a space that you are drawn to.

Tread

This place was once green and soft. Today, it’s completely frozen. Walking over the ice, all joints at attention, I’m focused on the task at foot. Subconsciously, my fears simmer; thoughts of sprawled legs, tearing ligaments, and whacked skulls. The terrain is uneven, slick, frozen, once slush. There are footprints, not my own, preserved. One long channel about as wide as my boot, slides out in front of me and I brace.

This is not pretty, white blue ice or safe soft-on-top-from-the-sunshine ice. This is muddy and sandy gray ice with leaves caught in twisted positions, sticks reaching through like the masts of little ships wrecked.

My boots have jagged soles that hook onto the crests of solid tumult, but I chose them for more esthetic reasons. Now, I envision myself reaching that soft spot over there, under a tree where the snow still sits proud and fluffy on top. There, I can be stable.

And out from under me goes a step. I counterbalance, throwing arms at violent angles and hissing mini prayers of expletives. Then, it stops. I’m standing, still, how? Still. I look down. The rubber soles are holding the ice with casual dominance, like this was what they were meant for.

Wellness

Wellness is a relative term. It is not achieved by striving the hardest, or restricting the most. We reach for wellness at the cost of truly achieving it. One definition is limiting and creates notions of failure. When in reality, there are a great many ways to practice wellness.

Yes, there are certain habits and choices that are better than others. There are some we may practice for a while, and then one day find to be not as useful or good for ourselves  as they once were.

Wellness is striking a balance. It is finding the rhythm in our habits and our choices that suits us individually. Wellness is being able to have moments where we feel satiated, rested, and content everyday.

Personally, I love lemon water with cayenne pepper in the morning, and a glass of red wine at night– sometimes several. I also enjoy butter and carbs, and kale salads for breakfast. Some weeks are all about yoga, some I use all the toys at the gym, and some I just walk, a lot. I have smoked cigarettes, and my last one probably won’t be my last. (But, for now, it is.)

I practice body awareness. Listening to my inner voice, the voice of my gut (literally and figuratively). I have countless conversations with my self about my needs in the moment. And it can be fun to sometimes chose the thing that doesn’t give me instant satisfaction, because then it becomes a game of patience and trust with myself.

When I started, I faltered a lot. I wasn’t very good at listening and I kept hurting myself indirectly. I would overindulge and feel crappy about it the next day, so then I would cancel plans or skirt obligations, definitely wouldn’t drink enough water, and in 24 hours I would find myself emotionally depleted looking for an immediate fixer. So, I started leaving myself little notes. Physical notes propped by my bedside or by my toothbrush, or where I hid the chocolate. I just had to see the reminder and it would spark the conversation with myself. Slowly, I got better at listening to what I really needed, or didn’t need.

I still overindulge, but less often. I still get hangovers. But I am constantly trying to improve my self dialogue, and if I am going to indulge, maybe only on one thing instead of ALL THE THINGS.

If I continue to increase casually deeper breaths, flexibility of body and mind, and restful sleep, I think I’m doing okay.

It helps to surround yourself with others who are working on their wellness. So, I offer my support to you. Move forward with patience for yourself, and for others. Strike your own balance, don’t try to embody someone else’s definition. I will keep posting what I learn, but only to find solidarity in the process with you.

Self Care I

It’s 9:30 on a Friday night and I’m sitting at my dining room table with a glass of rich côtes du rhône almost empty, listening to the Isley Brothers’ Fight the Power. I’m sure there will be many posts under this title, but tonight I would just like to illustrate what balanced self care can look like.

This blog is not intended to preach a higher way of living. It will serve as the example that wellness is relative and variable.

Self Care.

Our nation, we the people, saw something extraordinary happen today. For a great many of us, it was frightening. How quickly the reins fell from our own hands, it stung and it cut some of us deeply. There is despair and outrage on our social media feeds, in our voices, in our streets. There is also a lot of motivation, a large contingency of people already mobilizing– I’m looking at you, #womensmarch.

Though I’m inflated by the swell of this movement, I also feel like I haven’t licked my wounds yet. I am inspired by the incredible, fearless women who I am lucky enough to know personally, and I miss their company at this moment. And then there are those women I aspire to create community with, something only possible if I have something to pour from my cup.

Tonight, I believe there is strength in permitting myself some vulnerability. To truly understand where I am hurt and why, as intricately as possible.

Tonight, my self care is permission. Whatever I want to feel, I am allowed to. However I want to process is okay. I will finish this second glass of wine, consider a third. Nope, I know I’ll want to feel clear headed tomorrow, so I’ll make some ginger tea instead and have a square or five of a raw chocolate bar. I will then sit on my couch and gaze gently at the plants or the window or the wall and just let the thoughts come through. Like a film reel, I will allow them to pass by, seen but unstudied.

For a few moments, perhaps after you finish an “Outdated Beliefs Can Suck My Queefs” sign or when the fervent coverage has assuaged, you can join me in just feeling. Be still with yourself, process.

It is only with a clear heart and a clear mind that we can be truly effective. The anger won’t go away, maybe not the fear nor sadness. Perhaps you feel elated, energized, warm, or any amalgam of those states. Good! For three minutes just breathe and feel that.

Feel it, fully.

The Slow Tide

Why hang on to habits that are no longer fulfilling?

Is it hard to change? Why not just flip the switch? Stop. Start.

Undoubtedly, there would be much less conflict in life if change were so simple. One day this, the next day that. But even turning on a light is a step-by-step transference of energy, a process that if not done in sequence,  could leave you in the dark.

Create change through constant work. Gain momentum and then maintain course because without it there can only be stagnation. Anger, sadness, and frustration are the products of arrested growth.

Every day is the choice of direction. Move toward love. Toward happiness.