August 14th, 2014 § § permalink
I have meditated for years. Most of the time I don’t do guided meditations, but I DO love the Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience.
For me it realigns my focus. It gives me new things to ponder or refreshes my understanding about myself. It can be a valuable tool for those who have never meditated or who have had difficulty with it in the past.
The Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation series is happening right now and it’s not too late to join. It’s free and the meditations stay up for 5 days, so you still have time to catch up. We are on day 4 now.
I can’t tell you how much a meditation practice has helped me to cultivate calmness, peace and clarity in my life. It can jump start a meditation practice for you and get you in touch with who you REALLY are.
Here is the link to sign up. You can sign up either by email or through Facebook.
If I could recommend just one thing about meditation:
Just sit and allow the experience to be just as it is. If your mind is busy and you are having trouble focusing, just sit with that WITHOUT judging yourself. Just notice that your mind is busy.
It’s only 20 minutes per day and even if your mind is super busy during meditation you can trust that it is bringing clarity and peace into your life.
The benefits may be subtle at first but if you continue you will see that it can make a big difference in your day to day life experience. So, don’t judge what happens in meditation and keep doing it!
I would love to hear from you if you do try the 21-Day meditation practice. Come back and let me know how it’s going!
August 14th, 2014 § § permalink
Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Despite years of self development work, workshops and spiritual practices, I continue to ask myself, What is my life purpose? Even in midlife, when you’re “suppose” to have it all figured out, I still wonder about my purpose. What grand thing am I suppose to do before I die? What gift can I bring to this planet to make it just a little bit better?
And yet, I have had the answer to this all along. It’s just that sometimes in the craziness of life, I forget.
My inner state of consciousness is my life purpose. This inner state of consciousness is what produces the outer purpose. If my inner state is murky, the outer looks murky. If my inner state is peaceful, loving and non judgmental, my outer purpose is shown to me in each and every moment.
Many times I forget and gaze into the future for some grand action that will make me “sure” I’ve fulfilled this purpose.
My purpose is to be present with what IS in my life right now. My life purpose is to bring presence and quality to every single moment of my day. It is to bring at least acceptance, if not excitement and passion to – washing dishes.
It is to accept my kids right where they are in this moment with love and respect. Even when they’re scowling at me. Even when they are frustrated and my presence doesn’t seem to help them shift to a better feeling.
My purpose is to sit and do my work without regard to the end result. To take my eye off of the end and bring it back to each step that I’m taking. There is great power in this practice, which brings quality and presence into anything we are trying to produce.
Taking time to recharge my spirit is my biggest purpose; meditation, journaling, walking alone in nature, yoga – these are the things that keep me present and keep me grounded. If I don’t do these things, my purpose begins to shift to outer things where stress and discontent live.
When life purpose becomes about being at peace and realizing that I am love; when I can quit looking for these things outside of myself and know that I already HAVE these within me, I am living my life purpose.
I am not a religious person and for many years was turned off by religious texts, but as I reexamine them with new eyes, I can interpret them in new ways. There is a verse in the Bible that has become a kind of mantra to remind me of my purpose each and every moment of each and every day:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ~ Matthew 6:33
That sums it up for me. The kingdom of God dwells within each of us. It’s the peace that passes all understanding. It’s the joy that lives deep within each of us for no reason at all – THAT is the kingdom of God.
When we seek to know that, it is expressed through us into the world and into everything we do. Our inner purpose aligns with our outer purpose and all of life’s gifts are easily given and received. All things that we do from this place of clarity, great or small, have great power in them.
Does this resonate with you? Do you feel that cultivating the inner purpose of peace and love makes a difference in your outer life? I would love to hear your experiences with this.
August 4th, 2014 § § permalink
Want a quick and healthy snack?
Well, I’ve got one for you and it’s so simple and so easy it will satisfy your munchies in a snap and will help you get that dose of cruciferous veggies in a very satisfying way – no problem.
Kale is chock full of vitamins and minerals. Webmd.com has this to say about kale:
One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Pretty good for a cup of kale if you ask me. I’ve prepared kale all sorts of ways – raw, sautéed with bacon, steamed, in salads; but this recipe is by far the easiest and tastiest way to serve it. My kids even love it and that’s saying a lot!
So how do you make them? Simple. . .
Grab your olive oil, garlic salt, parmesan and of course a big bunch of kale.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Cut your kale into bite sized pieces, removing the stem.
Toss it in a bowl with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic salt and a handful of parmesan.
Dump all of it onto a baking tray.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning once during cooking time, until crisp.
Voilà! You’ve got Parmesan Kale Chips to enjoy in about 15 minutes.
A bit of advice: Buy two bunches of kale. The likelihood that you will be making another batch of these in a few minutes is HUGE. Just trying to save you another trip to the grocery store!
Enjoy. . .