Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding physical excess can be painful.

Shedding any excess can be painful. For some, it may feel like a surgical amputation. I experienced this many years ago when I started to live a serene life. I had known only chaos since I was a small child. My physical body and my emotional state rebelled. Consequently, I developed panic attacks.

However, there was a lesson to learn. Fortunately, I had a strong tribe of support and help along that part of my journey. I just needed to learn to live a better life. And learn I did.


To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 

– Ecc 3:1

It’s been a while since I have done some good writing. This was not planned. Two months ago, my GP (Gastroparesis) returned. What can I say? I had a great 5-year remission. Remarkably, this came just as I was about to address the topic of shedding physical excess.

Nonetheless, I have had to shed a whole lot from my diet. For three weeks, I was unable to eat any solid food. So, there’s that. Keto is out the window. I cannot eat any meat or anything too fibrous.

Exercise and Yoga practice is limited as well thanks to my low nutrient count. So, what does one do? One finds another form of movement. Just as I found other ways to get as many calories in me when I cannot eat.

One night, I truly thought I was done. My body shaking, vision blurred, I was weak & in severe pain. I knew the flare-up was almost over. I just needed to make it through the night. Still, I thought I was going to die.  I ain’t going to lie, I kind of wished for death. But I’m a survivor. And as survivors do, I survived.


Anywhoo, let’s talk about shedding physical excess:

Diet (And Weight)

Ha! You would think someone who hasn’t eaten much in 2 months would be shedding some weight right? Not me. Well okay, I lost about 5-7 lbs. maybe. But hey, it is what it is. In the past, I have scraped the whole internet regarding diet plans. Currently, I’m not actually looking for a diet plan for myself.

Shedding Physical Excess

Regardless, there are many people out there looking for the diet plan that works. One thing I know: our bodies are all different. Find a plan that works for you. And make sure you are getting some movement.  You’d be amazed at how much one misses working out when it is not an option. This too shall pass.

Sometimes, our bodies divulge the need to change things up. Moreover, I realized that when I am weak and, in a fog, I cannot think about preparing something that I can digest. So, I subscribed to Daily Harvest (Yes that is my affiliate link :).  I prefer their fruit smoothies and Avocado/Cucumber soup. And they add veggies to the smoothies! As always, I add protein powder.

These days, my diet mainly consists of pureed food, soups, and smoothies. Somedays I am okay with that. Sometimes not. But we don’t always have to like our circumstances. We just need to accept them, right? After all, this too shall pass.

Additionally, I am on liquid forms of vitamins and supplements. Iberogast is a German made herbal concoction that is almost miraculous. Danke, Deutschland.

Beauty

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I know there are women who don’t get excited about beauty products. I’m just not sure I’ve ever met one. Before this last flare up hit, I went through all my gear and tossed away any expired items.

Moreover, I cannot count how many products I had barely used. Of course, when I purchased them, I thought each item would be the miracle cure for my numerous imperfections. What? I thought I had expressed my desire to be perfectly imperfect. To the trash you all go!

Now, when I see a shiny new product, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I need this now?
  • Is it within my budget?
  • Does this item serve any real purpose in my life?

If the answer is “no”, time to move on. If the answer is “maybe”, I put it on the wish list. And if the answer is “yes”, I first get rid of one item before purchasing my new precious.

Click here to get a free download of 3 Tools to Help You Shed the Excess [Infographic]


Yeah, I was pissed off when Gastroparesis returned to my life. I don’t like it. But I will accept it. For me, today GP is not a death sentence. It only controls me when it is at it’s strongest. But I am not GP. I am E… And this too shall pass.


Shedding Physical Excess

He

He is not mine.

He never was.

Can we ever really own another anyway?

Time to let go.

Time to move forward.

Resisting the evolution of life is fruitless.

I want to be a healthy, strong tree.

And sometimes, I must stand alone.

Feeling the winds of adversity trying to take me down once again.

Trusting my roots to grow.

Strengthening my stance.

Until the calm returns.

And I may rest.

And I may delight in the sunshine once again.

I deserve this.

And so does he.

Shedding Physical Excess

She-Shedding Emotional Excess

2019 has become the year of shedding excess for me. Remarkably so, this theme has been communicated to me through, prayer, meditation, yoga, and Netflix. All in January 2019. I hear you, God!

Therefore, I am sharing this part of my journey for the next few blog posts. I have outlined my she-shedding as follows:

  1. Emotional
    1. “Responsibilities” to Family & Friends
    2. Circle of “Friends”
    3. Fear
  2. Physical
    1. Hair
    2. Weight
    3. Clothes
    4. SHOES!!
    5. Home
    6. Yoga Practice
  3. Career
    1. Number of Clients
    2. Amount of “Busy Work”
  4. Spiritual
    1. Empathetic Attacks
    2. Sex
    3. The Overwhelming amount of “Inspirational” Facebook Groups

For today’s blog, let’s focus on shedding emotional excess:

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

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The summer of 2018 was not an easy one for me. I was selling my home and moving from Colorado. It was time. I had planned to move to Hawaii but took a detour to West Texas. I found a love for this little town and its community. Things run slower and it is much quieter than Loveland, Colorado.

Unfortunately, some of my friends and family felt I was abandoning them. This pulled on my “responsible” apron strings. And shit got ugly. I can’t remember feeling so guilty about “doing me”…well ever. People said I was chasing after my new love. Not true. He and I decided to hang in West Texas for a couple of months, while I decided what I wanted to do. Since we both travel, we decided to make our RV in West Texas our landing spot.

The gift of this relationship: No unrealistic expectations or responsibilities. However, my guilty feelings over the summer flowed into our vibe from time to time. On one such day, at a carnival, I could not bring myself to smile. If you know me, I smile a lot sooo…

It was time to set my friends and family free to make their own decisions. Time for them too experience their own journeys. Regardless, of my desire to “fix” everyone else’s problems. I need to do the things I have feared my whole life.

Thus, I let them go. Of course, I let them go with a blessing and not a curse. Regardless, I did experience frustration and shake my fist at times. I am human after all. This began my process of shedding emotional excess.


But Elysia, How do I Shed Emotional Excess?

I’m so glad you asked! As have always been instructed by my advisors: First thing you do is pray. But faith without works is dead. Therefore, action must follow…

  • Service Work to Others – Just because my life seems like shit, doesn’t mean that others who have it better than me. Absolutely not! Being present and offering an ear to someone else surely gets me out of my own BS.
  • Staying True to Commitments – Life continues no matter what. Suit up and show up, even if it is just to shut up…
  • Focus – When we are emotional, we can certainly be effective. We have emotional energy. Use it!

And personally, most importantly:

There are no victims, only volunteers

I took a 2-month trip to South America to be alone for a while and reflect. Speaking with my boyfriend on the phone, I recognized that I didn’t handle the summer of 2018 so well. But now I was getting a do-over – celebrating Summer Solstice the second time. I was not going to let history repeat itself twice in one year!

Suddenly, I observed how I had re-developed the victim role. WITAF?!!
I had been playing victim during the whole summer in the states! What an effin’ waste of time! Precious time, I might add.

Just to be clear, there are benefits of being a victim – people feel sorry for me, the person who upset me might send gifts…etc.

Therefore, I took some time to identify the pros and cons of being a victim. Not surprisingly, the cons outweighed the pros. How could I be the warrior queen I say I am and be a victim at the same time? I cannot.

Consequently, I stopped letting people talk to me a certain way. This is not easy. Indeed, it takes courage. But we do teach others how to treat us. Stepping up and standing up for myself is essential.

None of this is new. I have known this for a long time. I guess revisiting this lesson was in order. Just to make sure that being a victim still does not serve me, I’m sure.


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While in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru, I rediscovered my courage to face the power of the waves. I have always had a love for swimming in the ocean. But I also have a reverent fear of its strength. I wanted to swim further. Swimming into the waves, I ate shit a few times. Then enjoyed the glory of floating far from the shore… That moment, that day I shed some excess – fear.

Do you “feel” the need to shed excess emotional excess? If so, comment below. And stay blissful my friends.

Short Hair & Other Resolutions

We could all use a little change – Smashmouth

My hair is short today. At the beginning of the year, I had long extensions. They were removed in the Spring. My hair was then just past shoulder length. Not a bad length. But then I got obsessive about my gray hairs and decided to have it colored, then highlighted.

Between all the chemicals and heat styling, my hair started dying. Rapidly. So it had to be cut down. Oh, it will grow again. Maybe.

Oh, and the weight gain…caused another back injury. Just as I arrived in Ecuador. Most of my food goes bad because I buy too much anyway. But I continue to wake up in the middle of the night to sneak Oreos from the pantry. Why are there Oreos in my pantry?!!!

Laundry day has become an all-day event, prompting me to buy more clothes?! Am I the only one?

girl-2705518_640Outward Representations

They say the outward is a direct representation of the inward. This year has proven that statement to be quite fair. I have taken a long inventory of the excess in my life as of late. My physical being told a great story.

Weight (This one Really Hurts)

I had a back injury in 2016. In addition to treatment, I was put on a Ketogenic diet to lose 30 lbs. This was a complete success throughout late 2016 and all of 2017. I felt better than I had in years!

But then, I thought I could have a cookie in 2018…Mind you, I had just begun a new relationship with a wonderful man and lost my soulmate (my dog, Chewy). So much emotion – and this will be another topic in the Shedding the Excess Process.

Because emotion plays right into eating habits for me, by the end of  2018 I had gained 15 of those pounds back. Now that doesn’t seem like much but let me tell you, I injured my back again. Additionally, heartburn and burning mouth syndrome have returned.

The solution to this: Find another healthy eating program. One in which I can afford. I decided upon HIITBURN after completing their questionnaire. For $97.00, I get a personal coach. This is extremely helpful since I travel a lot and cannot go into a clinic for weigh-ins.

Frontpet Pet Carriers


Home

My house in Colorado was difficult to give up. So many memories. My son wanted to buy it to raise my granddaughters in the home they knew so well. Unfortunately, he could not come up with the money in time and my ex-husband was wanting his money.

This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The house did hold many moments in time. And it was time to let those moments go. Just as I had said goodbye to Chewy, I needed to say goodbye to the home I raised him within.

Again, this was an emotional process. I had already minimized so much and moved into an RV. But there was more.

How many of us hold on to a cluttered home because we just cannot let go of the dead energy that we know so well. There is safety in the familiar. I had learned this when I got sober. I had learned this when I got divorced.

I realized that I did not want the responsibility of a mortgage. I didn’t even want the responsibility of digging in roots anymore. It’s time to travel the world. It’s my time. And, it’s time to own it.

House sold.

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SHOES!!

Okay, I have a love-hate relationship with shoes. But especially boots. I have been stalked by shoes and boots on Facebook. But alas, I have no room for all the shoes that I once owned. Furthermore, I don’t need all of them!

Clothes

When I am in my new landing spot in West Texas, I dread laundry day. Packing for my long-term trips around the world is a nightmare.

I had a flannel shirt for 15 years. It served me well until the holes could no longer be mended. After which, trying to find that perfect flannel again took another 15 years. I remember a conversation with my favorite pair of white pants when I was 16. “Okay, I am giving you one more chance to make it right. I’m going to wash you with bleach and if you are still pink when you come out, it’s off to the Segunda for you!”. They came out white again…

I downsized my wardrobe twice in 2018 and have concluded that I need to do this again. But clothing also has an emotional connection. This item was a gift, this other item was something I wore on a special day. How can I hold on to these memories while letting go of the piece of clothing that means so much to me?

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Yoga Practice

How can one practice Yoga too much? When it starts to lean more on either aspect – the physical/spiritual. Yoga burn-out is real. It happens. It was happening to me. Just after a great year of taking two additional Yoga Teacher Trainings.

It was time to change it up. I had no choice but to do so when I injured my back. Taking a look at the many different practices:

  • Hatha
  • Iyengar
  • Restorative
  • Yin
  • Kundalini

I landed back on Kundalini because, though it can be physical, it is also less stressful on the back for some reason. I found a lovely 40-day Kundalini for weight loss program. What I started to see as a continual topic through this program was “Shedding the Excess”.


This is just a small piece of the pie. (oh, I want pie).  There’s much more excess to cut:


People are flocking to the Minimalist Movement. But do they really know why it is so appealing? Do they understand the philosophy behind this movement? Or is this just another pop-cultural thing to do? Another “Shiny Object” to play with for a while?

For me, it has become a new prana. The only way to truly breathe now. And I realized this when I looked in the mirror and saw that my hair is short today.

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Back To Me

I feel like I’m doing my own version Eat, Pray Love. But more like Love, Pray, Starve…

Exactly one year ago, I was falling in love with a man I had only met twice in 2017. But we wrote to each other quite often. He inspired me to write with all the rawness in my soul. Almost exactly one year ago, he surprised me in Hawaii. He showed up for my Yoga Teacher graduation.

We fell fast and hard. He lived on the East Coast, I lived in Colorado. But we met up around the 8th of each month and then spent the summer and fall in Texas together. For the first time in my life, I let a man be really good to me.

IMG_20180425_162331_3I welcomed him in. That he would know me, and I would know him. More intimately than anyone else. I let him see the good, the bad, the vulnerable, and even the insecure at times.

The boyfriend and I are good to be together. We are good staying in an RV in a small West Texas town. We are good to be apart for days, weeks, and even months.

We’ve connected in a way, I had never known possible. No drama, no games, just true love.

When an incident would more commonly lead to packed bags and a long car drive out of town, I remained. We walked through these moments together. It wasn’t easy. But so worth it.


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But now, it’s time to get back to me…

I sound like a Fergie song. Blah! Have I been reduced to becoming a walking cliche of pop culture and inspirational quotes? And is anyone even reading this sh!t?

The medicine woman I met at the beginning of this trip has extended an invitation for a 3-week spiritual walk next year. There is much to consider, and I will first consult with my sponsor about some concerns I have before I can commit. Though, everything this lady shared with me seems to be a confirmation of sorts.

Untitled designAlone in Olon

Did I really have to fly all the way to South America to feel lonely? Why Yes. Yes, I did. As I said last week, this has been a year of excess in the States for me. Mostly good, but not all.

So now I am detoxing from smoking, sugar, and (gah!) sex. Even the private party sex. (Oh, don’t judge! If you’ve never done it, you’re a liar.)

 

Anyway, back to me…

This first week in Olon has got me all twisted. I eat, work and sleep. I sleep a lot because I want chocolate cake, a cigarette, and my man.


I Have Found My People

But on the 3rd day, it is beautiful out and I must hit the beach. I also meet a friend on the Facebook Expat group. While we were communicating back and forth, we find out that she and her family are staying upstairs from me.

46644878_2086531621382063_8490081000414511104_nI have found my people! We are open about everything. My new pal will not tell me where to buy smokes (even though I don’t ask).

But a few days later I figure it out. I tell my new friends that I now know. But I chose not to buy a pack. This smoking cessation thing is a lot harder than it was the last time I quit. But I have not given in. They cheer me on!

Did I mention, that my people also live in an RV back in Canada? We talk about renting the big house on this property next year together. And extending our stay to 6 months.

But back to me…


Contentment

It’s incredible, how Ecuador has taught me how much I don’t need. My closet does not floweth over. My refrigerator is almost empty. But I’m neither naked nor hungry.

I come from a world that is conditioned to live a certain lifestyle. Though many of us don’t realize that this lifestyle is a choice. I have been hustling for new business constantly instead of being content with the clients I have right now.

What if I stopped working so hard to find more business and just focus on giving better service to my clients? I sound like the “Jerry McGuire” of the Online Business Management world. But I think I’ve tapped into something.

I don’t need as much money as I make already. What if I just lived off what I need and save the rest for another day?

We don’t have to choose what everyone else is doing if we don’t want to. Look at your lifestyle. Is this what you really want? If so, good. Be happy. If not, seek what brings you joy and go after it.

While you are working on this, I will get back to me…

“Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spiritual Laws

 

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Ayampe, Ecuador

“Are you okay?”, the Native American Healer asks me. Good question. I can hardly reply, so the answer must be “no”. She continues, “Because you look like sh!t. Your energy is f*cked.”

I totally get it. It’s beyond vanity at this point. I have spent quite a few dollars changing my hairstyle, buying pretty flowers for my hair, etc. But there is something going on within and it is extending without.

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I thought I had beaten my battle with sugar.

Unfortunately, this year got the best of me. Gluttony, sugar, smoking…What in the actual? What happened? Sickness, bad teeth and now another back injury have plagued me within the last 6 months.

So, I decided to spend a couple months in South America…alone. Well for the most part.

 


For the first wing of the trip, I flew my daughter and myself out to Ayampe, Ecuador. Ayampe is a lovely little surf town just 3 hours from Guayaquil. This place is off the beaten path. To buy any of the basics, like toothpaste, you will have to get a taxi or bus ride to Puerto Lopez.

We stayed at the beautiful Finca Punta Ayampe hotel. Wonderful staff, gorgeous setting, and delicious meals!  The Staff Manager, Santiago, was extremely helpful in helping us get to our other locations.

 


There were so many stairs to reach our room, and then more stairs to get to the restaurant. This reminded me of my stay in Oia, Santorini Island, Greece. Only, I’m not is as good of shape as I was then. More to work on…

The plan was to spend a week doing Yoga and learning to surf.  Unfortunately, I hurt my back lifting my bag during travel.  Then my daughter got smacked in the mouth with her board. So, we are both in paradise, hurting.

Of course, I push it trying to do Yoga. But after 2 sessions at Otra Ola, I know I need to stop. I know this path all too well. No Yoga flows for at least 5 weeks. But I can probably find some Kundalini Kriyas, which will more than suffice. It’s been too long since I have practiced Kundalini.

Then there are the surfing lessons, which Otra Ola also provides. I did much better than I thought I would. Didn’t think that surfing would make my back worse. It did. Alas, I will probably have to get back to that next year, when I return. Too much risk.  Well, at least we could take advantage of the soothing tea they brew when they are not teaching Yoga.

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I feel I cannot make this trip good enough for my daughter. We take walks along the beach, drink tea, and have some conversations. This was not the “retreat” I had envisioned…

I pull out my chanting books for my daughter and me to practice together. This is something we enjoy doing with one another.


But we meet the Medicine Woman. And we know that everything that has happened on this trip was for this divine appointment. We were meant to meet her this very day.

And the Medicine Woman has a lot to say to both of us. So instead of chanting. We listen.

 

Super Blue Blood Moon – Entering the Spotlight

I am not an astrologist and rarely view my horoscope for anything else besides entertainment. Yet, a few women, whose words I cherish have made a similar statement. One of the Super Blue Blood Moon’s effects will be shining the spotlight on ALL that we are. Be prepared to be exposed, the good and the bad. This will definitely serve its purpose by allowing us to let go of what no longer serves us. Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Spiritually.

I recently shared my cowardice in being vulnerable with letting a remarkable man know me…really know me. Today, I’m over it. Good timing, since we will be spending next week together.

Today, I welcome the thought of his embrace, the feeling of his breath on my shoulder as we lean in close to one another. He will also know my touch, breathing, noises, weird faces, and (yikes!) ….my scent!

 “Yeah baby, yeah baby, I come to dance with you

Yeah baby, yeah baby, are you ready?” – Kano

I’m ready!


Elysia, how did you arrive here so quickly? I’m glad you asked! In addition to my daily prayers, here three key observations I have made through this process:

A Strong Support System

Being that this is a long-distance relationship, taking some time off was simple. Not easy. Having good friends to lean on, talk to and play completely inappropriate games with is imperative.

While taking some alone time for self-reflection is good, one should avoid loneliness. In addition, being alone for too long makes one take themselves too seriously. What a drag.

Thankfully, I have the best group of friends one could imagine. For better or worse, (and we have seen it all in each other), we stand together and are present for one another.

Mindfulness

Another part of this newfound bravery has been my return to practicing mindfulness. Taking the time to experience my senses; While I’m walking the dogs – feeling the cold breeze on my skin, listening to my footsteps, and smelling the smoke from the neighbor’s chimneys.

Though nature walks can be inspiring, I’ve also applied mindfulness to my work; Listening to the scroll and click of my mouse, the tapping of my keyboard, giving attention to my sitting posture, & the pleasing scent of brewing coffee.

Additionally, housework is a useful activity to practice mindfulness. I learned a lot while residing at the Ashram in Hawaii. Seva (selfless service) is done with minimal talking. We would either listen to Kirtan or chant while working. The goal was not to get as much done in 30 minutes as it was being mindful of our actual work. After the 30-minute bell was rung, we stopped cleaning whether we were finished or not.

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Acknowledging Our Shadows

We all have them. Ignoring our shadows or dark personalities doesn’t make them go away. We can only improve that which we can see.

Fall of 1986: I had just got my paycheck at a job I hated. In addition, my mother and I had a nasty argument right before my shift. So, I quit my job, cashed my check and bought a handle.

I decided to surprise my then boyfriend but he wasn’t home. This did not bother me in the least. One of his friends was hanging outside and we drank together. Platonic juvenile drinking of course. At some point, we decided to go get high. I don’t remember much about how we managed to get to a motel on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

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There I was, with a bunch of men I didn’t know, in a motel room smoking crack. But the God-shot in all of this – Every single man in that room had only one thing on their mind; getting high. Really, these were the most polite and kind crackheads I would ever meet outside of the rooms of recovery. I found myself in the bathroom puking my guts out and they were bringing in water and wet cloths trying to comfort me in between hits.

This could have ended up very badly. I might not be here typing this story. But instead, I made it home alive and safe.

I’ve been to some dark places. These days, my shadows are not as grim. However, they do exist as life evolves. More is always revealed. If I am willing to take an honest look with an open mind.


“If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability.”

So today, I am ready to enter the spotlight, with courage. Mindfully, no longer hiding my shadows, and knowing I have a good support system in place. The sweetest thing; knowing there is a strong soul of a man who wants to know me inside and out. Just as I am ready to know him.

Welcome the Super Blue Blood Moon to shine on our wholeness and assist our letting go of what no longer serves us.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

PS. I have created a Moonsong Playlist on Spotify which I would love to share with you for your listening pleasure.

Protein Drink Hacks – InfoGraphic

Are you on a High Protein Diet?

Over a year ago, my doctor put me on the Ketogenic Diet.  Although I initially rolled my eyes at the thought of another diet, I went ahead with it.  Am I ever so glad I did! I had to lose 30lbs. for my back pain.

I have since lost said 30lbs and not only has my back improved, my health has drastically as well!

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There are many great products online and I had fun creating some protein drink hacks. I have always enjoyed Starbucks Passion Lemonade and was able to create a protein substitute of this drink – with only 1 gram of sugar per serving!

While I was in Croatia, Nescafe 3 in 1 was all the rage. Though this was against my plan, I chose to indulge as I enjoyed the beauty of this lovely country. So when I returned, I looked for a close substitute. This was easy, with Proteinwise Proticcino! My concoction is very low in sugar and high in protein!

Who doesn’t love Hot Apple Cider? Proteinwise Apple Drink has absolutely no carbs (this means no sugar!) Combined with Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea, and you have a yummy Hot Apple Cider drink! Can’t even tell there is no sugar! It does contain Sucralose.

Where to Get These Yummy Protein Supplements

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with this company. Why?

  • Because they are awesome and sell all of the protein items listed below.
  • They provide free shipping on products over $69!
  • Additionally, every package I have received from Nashua Nutrition includes some freebies!

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A Love Letter To Myself

My Dearest Elysia,

It has been a long time since I have sent you words of love and encouragement. How does time go by so quickly? I can’t even remember the last time I whispered positivity into your ears.

I know how much a loving whisper means to you. Yet, I find I have completely taken all that you do and are for granted. Worse than that, when I do give you any attention at all, it is in the form of criticism. I am so sorry…again.

How can one overlook your kindness towards others? Your empathy when a friend or loved one is hurting. How I love the way you celebrate with others’ successes. Elysia, you always seem to bring a smile to someone who needs it.

Your fun nature can put aside any difficult situation and gather contagious laughter. Remember when you told Satyam about your new Yoga style concept: Hot Flash Yoga! You got a laugh out of a serious guy!

Elysia, this past year you have suffered chronic pain severely. Yet you continued to suit up and show up for life. Your doctor said you needed to lose 30 lbs. You are just 4 lbs shy of this! You go, girl! Even though Elysia was perfectly okay with her body (or so she said), she dieted and worked out for her health.

So I guess, I did show myself (Elysia) a bit of love when I took care of her body. Maybe I just needed to be reminded that I truly love you, Elysia. Thank you for being the badass you are! The warrior queen you encourage your sisters to be in their lives!

Please never forget how much I love you, Elysia.


When was the last time you wrote yourself a love letter? Can you do so today? I would love to see what you come up with in your words to self. 

Love yourself this Valentine’s Day – And stay blissful my friends!  – E

 

 

Within Reach

Unity, harmony, and mutual respect, are just within reach of us at this moment. Are we ready to grasp ahold of these? Sigh, I wish it to be true. So I start within my inner being. How can I contribute to better unification, harmony, and mutual respect?

There are many people with personalities that are in contrast to mine. Am I open to being more of a balancing color to theirs, rather than clashing and vying for all the attention? Might I listen more than talk at this person?

At this juncture in time, everyone is yelling and nobody is listening. There is pain, hurt, anger and fury. I have witnessed several family members bash each other on social media. It is quite disheartening to see such deep-seated resentment and division breeding amongst us.

What can we do to correct this situation?

Listen to each other. A very simple process. I was in marriage counseling years back and we tried a method using a wooden spoon. Whoever had the spoon in hand, got to speak. The other person had to listen. How easy is that?

Respect one another. Can you look at the other person with the realization that he/she is not a serial killer? Because most people aren’t.

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Love each other. This takes a bit more work for some. I remember reading an article in the 90’s about a weekend experiment in which women who were pro-choice and women who were pro-life attended. Before the weekend began, the women were asked to write a list of what they thought of those on the other side of the spectrum. The one common word they used: Nazi. Wow.

Each person was assigned a counter person with opposite beliefs to partner with for the weekend. Their very first activity was to sit, cross-legged, facing one another. They were instructed not to say one word but to make eye contact with one another.  Within minutes of this activity, the women began to cry and hug one another. Powerful.

If any of the women had changed their beliefs by the end of the weekend, it was not noted. That was not the point of the experiment. Many continued to stay in touch with their partner in friendship and in love.

Because we are spiritual beings, when we chose to look into the eyes of those who do not agree with us, most of us will react in love.

So my challenge to all, including myself is to focus and implement each one of these corrections one week at a time. Is the willingness to do so within reach?

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Of Breath, Fire, ​and Acceptance

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“I’m going to start my own style of Yoga”, I announce to Satyam before we begin our next lecture. The look on his face is priceless.“I’m going to call it ‘Hot-Flash Yoga’ and we will just sit in easy pose and sweat for no reason at all!” This gets a slight smile from Satyam and a chuckle out of my classmates.

I have entered full menopause at the young age of 46 and hot flashes have been a constant. I had found some relief in acupuncture and Chinese herbs. But almost as soon as I arrived at the Ashram, I stopped taking the herbs. It didn’t seem to matter anyway. Kona has been especially scorching and I could hardly tell if I was in a hot flash or it was just hot.

I also felt the need to experience this process in my fullest womanhood. I had already stopped wearing makeup and started to appreciate, even celebrate my fat rolls instead of loathing them. Many of the things my classmate Amy shared with the group was integral to this psychic shift. So many changes I had never expected.


We are studying breathing techniques and one of the first we dive into is called “Sitali Breath”. Its benefits are read to us “Cooling to the mind and body. May be used anytime one feels overheated. An effective pranayama for hot flashes”… JP looks at me and raises his eyebrows. This deserves further research. I make a point of trying this the next time I have a hot flash.

I find that if I start this breathing as soon as the flash hits me, it shortens the length and intensity of the heat. I think I’m on to something here!


I will find this to be my most useful tool going forward and have not had to use the Chinese herbs even when I return home to my normal life.


Vedic Fire Ceremony

Every Saturday morning at 5:30 AM we are required to attend the Fire Ceremony. It is another beautiful practice as we throw rice into a fire.

What is Yajna?

Yajna is not a new age phenomenon. Yajna is the ancient yogic practice of making offerings into a sacred fire. Fire ceremony purifies emotions, burns up unresolved conflict and worries, and leaves us feeling lighter, free, and more open inside. As we focus on letting go, the fire dissolves our tensions leaving only Vibhuti, or Sacred Ash, behind. The Vibhuti represents the pure essence of our nature, the Inner Self.

How do I practice Yajna?

The practice of offering mantras and a simple masala (rice mixture) has been used for thousands of years as a catalyst for change and growth. First, the sacred fire is opened by an experienced Pujari. Next, practitioners take a small amount of masala in the right hand between the thumb and two middle fingers (The index finger is left out as it represents the ego) and circle the heart in a clockwise direction while repeating a mantra. The masala is then offered into the fire. Practitioners can visualize releasing all of their troubles into the fire; the fire purifies everything. [1]


Afterward, at breakfast,  I tell Satyam and Abhaya that the Fire Ceremony will fit well with my “Hot-Flash” Yoga style. “We can burn all the unnecessary Karma away, then do some Asanas followed by Sitali Breath”. This actually gets them both laughing.

Yet I am feeling such growth with the acceptance of my natural body as it exists today. No longer embarrassed or wanting to hide. Perhaps some of my vanity was burned off as I tossed the rice into the fire. Thus, opening my heart spirit to learning more about living a life filled with true self-love. Might I be able to take this further and teach my students about such love? I do hope so. Stay Blissful My Friends – E

 

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Photo by Satyam Ehinger – Konalani Shambhava Yoga

 

  1. https://www.shoshoni.org/about-us/yajna-fire-ceremony/