healing

Coming Back to America & Productivity Addiction

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It's been a little bit since I've reached out with anything new... and that's because I've returned to the United States after my year-long trek around the world. 

My husband and I are on the very last leg of our journey and today we'll actually set foot in OUR HOME! Right now, we're sitting in the Bozeman Food Co-op waiting for my mom to come pick us up and bring us home. It's snowing outside. We have all our suitcases piled around us as well as a week's worth of groceries that will actually go in my OWN kitchen. 

It feels right. 

I am so excited to have my own space again, more options for clothes than what can fit in a little packing cube, and to be seated at my own little desk in my own little office. 

That being said... 

Coming back to the United States from a year abroad has its difficulties. 

I am a person who is very sensitive to energy and "vibes" and part of what I would do in each country I visited is get a sense of the energy of that country and try to sum it up in a few words. 

Example: Bali is magical and heavy with discovery. India is chaotic and spiritual. Croatia is recovered and burgeoning. 

So when I landed in LAX from Guatemala, I immediately felt the American vibe of: stress, isolationism, and "rat-race-iness." (not to mention the smell of America is fast food restaurants and cleaning chemicals). 

We've been back stateside now for about 3 weeks visiting family and friends and slowly making our way north, and I've already found myself and my energy getting sucked back into this "go go go" energy. It's incredibly hard not to. 

We, as a society, are addicted to productivity. 

We have this idea that being “productive” somehow increases our value. The more we do, the more we’re worth. 

Making us feel like productivity equals love. And productivity starts to be equated to the biggest of all our root desires; connection. 

So we do more. We stretch ourselves further. We try to dig deeper into a well that’s already hit bedrock. We strive. We push.

More work. 
More workouts.
More healthy food.
More money. 
More things. 
More.

And, just like any addiction, this one is making us sick. Creating a surge in physical imbalances like adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, hormone imbalances; mental/emotional imbalances like anxiety, depression, & a general lack of enthusiasm for life; spiritual imbalances like feeling like we have no purpose & meaning in our lives. 

In a climate like this..
(As Danielle Laporte says) “being still is an act of courage.” 


It is a brave & courageous act to stop, let go of the need to “do” & instead listen. 


To lay in savasana a little longer.
To let yourself sleep in.
To allow yourself to do nothing for an entire day.
To let the “to do” list fall by the wayside. 
4 day work weeks (which I am personally implementing this year).
Take a year long sabbatical.
Do shorter work days.
Take 15 min breaks every hour.

When you stop to reevaluate your life, you are taking a stand against our society-wide addiction & letting wisdom sink in. Creating space for healing to occur. 

Slowing down or stopping won’t get you any honors or congratulations, but when you are intentionally still you are doing something powerful & necessary. 

Pause to feel what’s happening to you. 
Pause to love. 
Pause to appreciate & feel gratitude.

Take a break, not to be more productive later, but because its the inhale to the exhale. 

I see you’re tired, love. I’m tired too. Let’s all rest & simply breathe. You are loved, you are loving, you are lovable, forever. 

You don’t have to do anything to deserve this. We’re in this together.

 

Only Love, 

 

Clara 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

How to Use the Eclipse for Your Own Good

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Have you been feeling that eclipse energy? 

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little on edge? A little more emotional than normal?

A solar eclipse creates pressure. Necessary pressure, in our inner life as well as in outer society. A pressure that births new beginnings and change. This same pressure, pushes up old patterns, beliefs and sometimes, ugliness to the surface, to be healed and let go of. 

As Sonia and Sabrina Choquette say, ““A solar eclipse creates pressure to our inner and outer worlds. Scientifically, the solar eclipse creates a higher atmospheric pressure called the Atlas’s Effect. Pendulums behave differently as our air pressure is slightly elevated. Historically a solar eclipse has had a profound emotional and psychological effects on human beings. Astrologically speaking, a solar eclipse energy will trigger many of our subconscious fears as it awakens our souls' growth.” 

Yesterday (8/17/2017) I was feeling kind of off. The only way I can describe it was it felt like I was kind of humming inside my body. Nothing that would stop me from going about my daily routine, but a slight humming. Kind of how you feel after chanting, or a deep meditation or an awesome yoga class. 

I’ve had this feeling before. It’s a familiar kind of ‘off’, and pretty enjoyable really, but it is normally accompanied by something unpleasant or a period of forced introspection. I’ve come to view this humming feeling as an invitation to accept a “leveling up.” It’s the way my body lets me know, “OK. We’re going to rework some things, and it’s might have to get real.”I guess I think of it as my physical form is being invited into or to use a new frequency, a higher vibration. 

And today (8/18/2017)… I am sick. It's a shaky, achy, headache-y, kind of sickness. My whole body hurts and it is definitely making me stop my daily routine. I’m writing this in bed while lying down. It feels like being dizzy or carsick. Almost like this new frequency, I’m being invited into is giving me motion sickness. 

If this idea of “frequency” and “vibration” is new to you, I know this might sound kind of cray-cray. In the words of my husband, “Personally, I don’t connect with the idea that a solar eclipse has anything to do with someone feeling sick.” (do you see what he did there? He’s such a good communicator : ) ). 

That’s OK. I understand that sometimes these things are beyond the realm of understanding and/or belief for some people, but my point with this story is that we can use the extra pressure in our atmosphere and inner worlds for positive change if we chose to. Freedom is in the choice. This energy, pressure, event can give us a little extra push to make the choice to let go. To heal. To release. To change. 

Maybe you are super tuned into this high-pressure energetic time and you’ve got your sage bundles, crystals, journaled intentions, essential oils and meditation cushion all ready for the eclipse. Or maybe you have entirely different ways to celebrate it. Cool. It’s all good. 

Either way, right now, I invite you to get a little introspective about the last few weeks. Have you felt more intense than normal? Maybe sad, upset, angry, frustrated, sick? There have been some outrageous and ugly things happening in the world, but these horrendous acts have also been met with a huge upheaval of kindness, love, and life-affirming action. Have you been swept up in that? Do you feel the intensity? 

So what do we do with this intensity? This extra emotional charge? 

We hear the invitation to slow down. We start or restart our meditation/contemplative practice, or add a few more minutes on each day or second meditation. We hear the invitation to check in with our internal world and make sure that we’re on a path that brings us joy. We allow the feelings to come up without judgment so that they may be processed and let go. If we get sick we see the message in the sickness, “Slow down. Take care of yourself. Rest.” Maybe we go to a special yoga class. 

You may find that it’s more likely for you to have deep conversations with people during this pressed time. We can open ourselves up to totally new and previously unimaginable solutions to problems. We break down some of the self-imposed conditions and experience fuller and more complete joy. 

I invite you to use this extra energy in the cosmos and in you to “level up.” To experience greater and greater clarity. To allow the time and space that it takes to rearrange your inner world with the knowledge that when we’re open to healing our inner world, we heal our outer world as well. Send your roots down deep, so that you can rise up strong. It may be a bumpy ride. But, this is what healing looks like. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Rituals

What is a sacred ritual?

These two words might conjure up images of naked women dancing around a bomb fire, or pagan sacrifices, or maybe even a taking communion at a church. Or, like me, you could have flashbacks of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reading out of some ancient book and casting spells. It could also illicit an eye-roll or two. I'm OK with that. I get it. 

If you would, please, suspend these preconceived notions about what a sacred ritual looks like or is for the duration of the time it takes to read this.

What if sacred rituals were just little actions we partook in that reminded us that there are circumstances in this world that are mysterious and out-of-of-our-control-in-a-good-way? 

We typically want everything in our life to have some semblance of control. We like comfort, consistency, and safety. This makes sense! We should want to have shelter, food, and the guarantee that our life isn't in danger. 

However, when we cling to this idea of needing-to-know too desperately, we are completely thrown off when things (inevitably) show us that we don't always have control. 

Typically, when we do realize we're not in control our mind immediately goes to the worst possible scenario.  As Gabby Bernstein explains in her book "The Universe Has Your Back" we live our lives like we're the girl in the horror movie just about to have something awful jump out in front of her. We're throwing popcorn at the screen and saying "DON'T DO IT!! YOU'RE GONNA GET HURT!!!".

The funny thing is, unlike the predictable horror movie, there normally isn't a bad guy around the corner. We're typically totally OK, and even when we're not, we typically figure it out. But we put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves by constantly being in the scene. 

What if the unknown or the mysterious didn't send us into a horror movie but gave us a sense of awe and wonder? 

What if instead of using our imaginations to create awful scenarios, we create beautiful ones?

Is it really that much crazier to think that taking the time to give a little offering of prayer and love to the universe could positively affect the outcome of a difficult situation, than (one of my recurring horror scenes) to feel like you're DEFINITELY going to die while you're driving in a snowstorm? We always seem to believe in the bad projections of the future and scoff at the possibility that there could be wondrous outcomes. 

Here in Bali, each day people put these little offerings (called on their doorsteps and around their home and light incense. They take the time and put the effort into creating these beautiful little offerings. These offerings are a repeated act of faith by Balinese Hindus and can be infused with intentions, prayers, or just simply put out to ask for good fortune. 

Balianese offering

Can you imagine if every person spent the time and effort of putting together a beautiful little offering and lit some incense every morning?

And so I've been thinking about this question. About the role of sacred rituals and how I might be able to create them in my life in the modern world. My feeling is that if we made time for something that felt like a sacred ritual in our lives we would feel more connected to the magic in our souls and ultimately more joyful. We would direct more of our abundant imaginative energy towards the positive instead of reliving our horror movie scene over and over. 

These sacred rituals are less about what we do, but more about how we do it. Whatever you do, do it with reverence and appreciation of something larger than just our daily routine, you can literally infuse anything with sacredness if you see it from a larger point of view. 

We are multi-dimensional beings and acknowledging our sacredness could connect us more to the aspects of ourselves that get pushed aside in our daily grind, and turn us on to the positive possibilities that come from releasing control with love instead of fear. 

So light some incense tonight. Say some prayers. Have a hot bath and honor your sacred body.

Do something that feels like it has magic in it and let me know how you feel after.... ✨💫

If you're interested in partaking in a sacred ritual but have no idea where to start I have recorded one of mine. Watch it here. Use this ritual for planting new 'seeds' in your life. A perfect time to practice this is on the night of the new moon, but it can be practiced at any time you feel you need to get back to neutral and imagine new and postive outcomes.