Litha, also known as Summer Solstice is fast approaching and it’s the time when the Sun God is in His full glory. The Wiccan Goddess is in her Death in Life phase, watching the God frolic in the glorious sun while she whets the blade that will end his life at Lughnasadh. For the Druids, it’s when the Holly King overtakes the Oak King as the year begins it’s waning phase and the days to dwindle into darkness.
I love this Sabbat because the themes revolve around the things I love – celebration, revelry, connecting with the Fae who are most active (think Midsummer Night’s Dream). It’s the last of the celebrations with our friends, family and covens before the first harvest begins. Continue reading “Finding your bliss on Litha”→
One of the goals of meditation is to quiet the incessant chatter in our minds. For many people, it’s an impossible task. The relationship we have with their mind’s dialogue is strong. We feel safe and comfortable with it. I’ve had many moments during meditation where I boredom and annoyance were going to swallow me up.
The challenge is that people who are experienced with meditation will tell you that this is easy and we should all be able to do it. It’s not easy, but with time it can become easier. Unfortunately our lives are geared towards mindlessness. Those little devices we have in our purses and pockets were once used to connect with someone by talking to them and now they have become weapons of mass distraction. People are surfing social media or playing games all the time. I’ve even caught myself pulling out my phone while waiting in line. Theoretically I don’t need to be entertained while waiting in line, but our minds are so trained to be processing.
Social media is another distraction. We think in Twitter posts or sit in silence while transmitting messages to our friends. For some, it’s a good way to stay in touch. But often, it’s unnecessary and keeps us speaking in our minds all the time. The dialogue in our mind has an audience and it will continue to grow as we nuture this part of ourselves.
A big step towards mindfulness would be to wean off the mobile devices. They have their time and place, but their time shouldn’t be all the time.
We can also find hobbies or activities that require our concentration or allow us to become engrossed in it. For me it’s colouring, crocheting or writing. It gives my mind a break and it’s a sensation that we can become accustomed to when we try and meditate. The more you are in the “flow”, the better able you are to get into that state of mind at will. Continue reading “Get your mind to shut the bleep up and enjoy the ride more.”→
We’ve all had those moments where you have to deal with something and you just want to crawl under your covers and cry. Millenials call it Adulting. At 43, I’ve had many of those moments having earned my adult card decades ago. I punched another hole in the card on Tuesday when I went to open the blinds in my bedroom and they came crashing down.
Most of us have one thing in common with our wellness – we don’t drink enough liquids. Even the most dedicated chuggers fall of the well once in a while and dry up. We need a lot of water. Generally speaking, women need two liters and men need about three.
I’ve read stacks of books on being happier. I’ve developed good habits, cultivated positive self talk and wrote pages affirmations. I wouldn’t say that I’m an unhappy person. But I’ve been sold on the idea that I can have a life of ease and comfort. That I’ll be floating on a cloud of constant bliss if I carefully follow all the steps laid out in one of my many books.
It’s didn’t do very much other than keep me occupied for a period of time. It wasn’t until I picked up a book on mindful meditation and started living in the present moment that I found out what true happiness is.
Being in the moment, whether it’s a perfect moment or one that I hope is over soon, opens the door for exploration and delight in ways I never thought possible.
When I’m feeling uncomfortable, like at the dentist for instance, I often will become curious about my resistance to being in that chair. I’ll experience that prickly sensation I get on my arms when I hear any of the equipment turn on. In my mind I’ll create a space where I look for a place of peace amidst my thoughts of “make this stop”. I”ll breathe deeply and intentionally relax my body. It transforms a situation that I want to escape into into a richer experience I want to learn more about while I lean into.
Not only are you what you eat, but what you are also slather on your skin and hair. Not only was I shocked at the yuk ingredients in many of the grooming and cosmetics products that I used, but also the fact that the organic equivalent is about the same cost. Your skin soaks up a lot of stuff – good, bad and ugly and so what I put on my skin is as important as what I ingest.
There are some amazing resources to help find good products. Think Dirty is an app where you can take a bar scan of the products you use and look at the rating for toxicity. I was stunned when my belovedQuo bronzer came back a 10/10 for toxicity. Environmental Working Group also has a really comprehensive listing of products as well in their Skin Deep database. Usually what I do when looking for a new product is weigh the toxic load with the price – sometimes getting a 2/10 product which is fairly non-toxic for half the price of a 0/10 product might be a good compromise if you are looking to keep a few dollars back or if it’s a higher priced item. As well, always read Makeup Alley and Ulta reviews before making a purchase. I’ve bought organic mascara only to have raccoon eyes 20 minutes after application which was what everyone else who reviewed the mascara experienced. Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean that it’s good.
I recently had a long and miserable bout of insomnia. It’s got to be the worst thing ever. I was walking around like a zombie and snapping at strangers on the subway. It wasn’t pretty and it’s not how I like to live at all. During this time, I was diligent in cleaning up my sleep habits – when I do something I don’t half ass it!! Here are the steps I took, which you might find useful if you ever find yourself staring at your alarm clock at 4am.
1. Ditched [most of] the caffeine: I am down to one cup of matcha in the morning which I enjoy because it gives me the energy boost I need for my workouts in the morning. I also really enjoy the taste of it. My tea cupboard is overflowing with every flavour of herbal tea – from dandelion root to apple cinnamon.