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People almost always say that it’s too hard to meditate. I find it really hard myself to quiet the thoughts racing around in my head. This is particularly so when we have things that are troubling us or stressing us out which is, of course, the most important time to slow your body and mind down for a rest.

On a personal note – we are getting a puppy! It’s interesting – there is only one person I’ve told that has said, “Congratulations! You are going to have so much fun!” EVERY person aside from her (happens to be my BFF) has said, “oh no – do you know what you are in for?” or “why would you do that – you’re crazy!” Stuff like that. It’s been pretty hard to completely dismiss those comments and, because of them, I’m getting so nervous I’m not sleeping well at night. Meditate, Meditate, meditate – and when I do, I realize the joy and excitement of my feelings rather than the negative.

And, to all of you who have rained on my parade – that’s your feelings (and sometimes better to keep inside of your own head) I am very excited – will post pics!!

Now – this is NOT my new dog but the picture was sent to me (thanks, mom!) It brings the whole post together, don’t you think?

Very best wishes,

Sonia

ommmmmm

Have a real heart to heart with yourself and see if you can rediscover that dream that you’ve held onto. What’s stopping you? Absolutely anything is possible in this life. What is the one thing you can do today, the one step you can take in the direction of your dreams? If it’s a career shift, can you research a course you can take? If it’s finding your perfect match, can you think about where exactly they are hanging out right now? If it’s a shift in body weight can you look into local gyms and skip that box of munchkins in the office kitchen? If it’s saving money can you skip the expensive latte? Every step takes you closer to your destination.

be well, Sonia

(title quote from Henry David Thoreau)

Well… what better day to dedicate to living consciously ? Be sure to use your energy to clean just a small patch of earth. There is a park near our home that is pretty big and every year on this day you can find kids picking up trash – how is that so great that you put your kids to work picking up trash? Well, it conveys a message that even if we didn’t cause a problem with the natural earth we can still make a difference. It’s up to all of us to help clean up our environment, even if it seems to large to tackle. It’s a nice park btw – not recommending you send your kids out on busy streets or anything to pick up litter!! They get the idea. You can also pick up leaves in your own yard, etc.

Another great idea – plant something! Get a pack of seeds and one of those great seed starter trays. They will be ready to harvest right around Mother’s Day (which they say is the first day to plant w/o the chance of frost)

Aside from using your energy for these tasks, I think there is something to be said for the collective energy of all of us loving our wonderful earth.

Happy Earth Day,

Sonia

I think for many people it takes a real wake-up call to decide to get healthy. It could be health or some change of circumstance that makes a person stop and look in the mirror. Following a miscarriage close to 10 years ago, I decided I’d do whatever it took to get healthy and feel good. I changed my diet to “moderately healthy” – now I’m vegan so I still had a journey ahead of me there. I went to a healer who was tremendously helpful, both in energetic healing and as a source of therapy. I went to wellness seminars. I took on a new exercise routine that wasn’t crazy – just an hour of walking the dog per day. I got certified as a Reiki practitioner and took yoga teacher training.

You know what? It helped. I think it really launched me on the journey to wellness. I think the thing that helped so much was that it was a diverse approach to healing. I approached it on different levels. Of course, healing takes far longer than we’d like. Still, I think I really benefited from a “whole person” plan.

If you are at a point in your life where you need to heal or just to investigate wellness techniques and options, the best thing you can do for yourself is to create a wellness plan. This might include the following:

Physical – begin a routine such as walking, joining a gym, taking yoga classes, doing some exercise videos. Ease into it – start at a few minutes a day and go from there. Get a physical & full blood workup. You want to start on a path knowing where you are currently so you can see where you go. Physically, you can actually count numbers to see how you’re new wellness routine is working.

Emotional – Consider coaching or short term therapy. Have a good cry, read an inspirational book. Find a place that you love to go to to think. Know that to overcome many feelings you need to live through them and process them first. Don’t back away from these feelings. Work through them. You can also label feelings if they are too difficult to deal with at the time. You can say, “this is sadness” or “this is anger” Feelings lose their power if you do this.

Mentally – Meditate!! See if you can take a break. Great if you can go on vacation! Sometimes I can get a mental break walking aimlessly around a bookstore or going to a movie. You want to get out of your own head and think about something other than yourself. It’s not taking a break, but you can also research whatever it is that is making you rewrite your life script – example, if you are ill you can learn as much as you can and maybe join a support group, etc.

Spiritual – Take a look and evaluate your spiritual connections. You need that connectedness to feel whole and remember your core beliefs. Do you belong to a spiritual community? Do you believe in God? the Universe? What is your faith? Have faith. You need to have faith.

Financially – Get your money in order. It feels great to face any money issues you have, no matter how unpleasant it might be, and settle up and clear out any debts. You really need to do this before you plan your wellness package. You need to know how much money you have to spend on some of the things you’d like to do. Put money aside for a fund specifically for fun/vacation.

Give it a try! From my own experience… it helped… a lot!

That’s all for now!

~ Sonia

Check out the recipe page: https://soniamcsweeney.wordpress.com/vegan-recipes/

If I told you you should focus more energy on your kids, most exhausted parents would roll their tired eyes at me and say I was crazy for suggesting they don’t spend every other second on them. But, humor me for a minute… Say your child keeps trying to get your attention – “Mom, look at this!” “Dad, please play with me” And, you keep saying, “In a while..” To the child, “a while” means forever. So, the child starts acting out, beats up his/her sibling, gets in time-out, etc.

Take the same circumstance and say, “Ok, what do you want to do? I have to get some stuff done but let’s play for 1/2 hr (or hour – give them at least a 1/2 hr) Really focus on them. Look at them like they are only young once and how you’ll treasure moments like this and miss them terribly. Then, turn yourself into a kid and play and get ridiculous. Then, when time is up, go back to your stuff. Now you’ve set a tone for the day and everyone is happy (or so you can only hope…)

~ Sonia

I love the poem “The Journey” from Mary Oliver. If you are being called to grow in your life, to shift direction or return to yourself, you have to read this one: (it’s about halfway down the page) The poem at the top, Wild Geese, is a favorite of mine as well…

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/oliver/online_poems.htm

Part of being a conscious eater is to stay in tune with the seasons and eat what is IN season. This is a great site for determining what fruits and veggies are best in your area at any month:

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap

One powerful exercise that I ask my clients to do is to look at themselves in a mirror. In most cases, it’s a really hard thing to do. Stand in front of a full-length mirror (clothed or unclothed) and look at your body. Then, look at your face. What is your expression? Is it pride? Is it looking “lost” or confused? Is it sadness? Have you already criticized yourself within the first minute of looking at yourself? Why is that? This is you! It’s your amazing body that keeps you alive and well. It’s your beautiful face. I know I have said things about myself that no one would ever say to me, without any compassion. Do you really know yourself? Look into your eyes. What are you trying to say to yourself? Honestly, a lot of people can’t even do it for two full minutes. If you can, write down what comes up for you in a journal. Try the exercise again when you feel you can. The goal is to end up loving who you are as you are.

Intuition comes from the latin word intuitio which means the act of contemplating. I talked about this in earlier posts that if you can put yourself in the present moment and allow your mind to quiet you can read other people’s energy and know how they are feeling and if they are friendly, etc. I’d call it “getting into the zone”. There are all sorts of terms that talk about this way of being in tune with the energy of other people or of a situation. If you saw someone you were close to and went on about yourself, gave a quick hug and went on your way you’d never have a chance to know if that person had something wonderful to say, if they were sick, if something bad had happened and they needed the support of a friend. All of these things can be read without them even opening their mouth if you really notice them – if you put yourself aside – if you “contemplate” them. That’s intuition.

If you can quiet your mind long enough to really contemplate a situation without bias you are tapping into a very powerful tool that will help you make good choices. I’m not swearing by it 100% of the time but I know it’s served me well on many many occasions. Choosing between two possible futures? Check back at my meditation programs: http://www.enlightenedmeditations.com – we are producing one that deals specifically on the topic of knowing which path to choose.

Are all of us capable of it? “women’s intuition” “gut feelings” “it didn’t feel right” Yes, we all are – we just have to notice it. 🙂

Intuition can be a very important skill with health, as well.

Judith Orloff, M.D. in her book, Guide to Intuitive Healing

  • Notice how your beliefs — positive or negative attitudes — affect health.
  • Become attuned to your body so you can pick up early signs of illness.
  • Trust your gut about relationships.
  • Use meditation or visualization to seek inner guidance.

Being a vegan, contemplating what you eat… you’d never be anything but vegan once you took a good look and ate with integrity to your intuition.

Until next time,

Sonia

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