Practicing Mindfulness: Take the Challenge

Mindfulness. What does being mindful mean to you? To me, it means focusing on one thing at a time. I used to call myself a “Master Multi-tasker.” Over the years, I have shed that title, and have learned to immerse myself into one task at a time. I have less stress and truly enjoy experiencing all of the different sensations and aspects of my task at hand.

Riley from the Spirit and Soul Blog, and I have collaborated on blog posts and a 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! First, read my five tips for becoming more mindful, then head over to Riley’s post. Sign up here with your e-mail address to take our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge where we will instruct you on integrating tips and tricks for becoming more mindful in your everyday life.  

So, we begin…

Mindful Eating

Clear your table. Turn off the TV and phone. Prepare your food on your plate. Sit down comfortably. How does it feel to sit? Take ONE bite. How does your food taste? Is it hot or cold? What’s the texture like? Chew slowly and thoroughly. Swallow. Put your fork down. Take a deep breath. Savor your food.

My husband and I used to read bills, text whoever was pinging us, and watch the news. Now, we have a no distraction zone at our dining room table. We sit together, without external resources and devices, enjoy each other’s company, and taste our food.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Exercise

Have you ever gone to a yoga class and the person next to you is on their cell phone? Whenever I enter the gym, I find it comical to see a bunch of zombies walking around with headphones blasting and mobile devices in each hand.

I used to be both of those people. Now, I leave my cell phone in my car during my yoga class. At the gym, I go without my headphones and cell phone. It is so easy to zone out on an elliptical; I want to be present in my workout. I want to feel my body’s movements and be more aware of what’s around me. I learned that I like the gym’s music, too!

Mindful Exercise

Mindful Mornings

My alarm would sound and I would fly out of bed like a bat out of hell. I would begin checking my e-mails, text messages, and calendar. Now, after I turn off my alarm, I sit at the edge of my bed, and take a few moments to acknowledge, and give gratitude for, receiving another beautiful day.

This allows me to be present in the moment.

As I sit on the edge of my bed, I do a full body scan. How do my neck and back feel today? Do I feel well rested, or am I still tired? I take deep, cleansing breaths. I meditate. Now, I am ready to begin my day.

Mindful Grooming

I don’t have an intense grooming routine. I brush my teeth with doTERRA’s On Guard Whitening Toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash. I run a brush through my hair and affix a messy bun. Simple, right? Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth and hair. What happened? How did you do?

Slow down your grooming routine. Taste the toothpaste and mouthwash. Feel the sensation of the bristles on your teeth and scalp. Look at yourself in the mirror. Take time for you.

I love my showers. Showers can become a sensory experience, inducing feelings of peace and happiness. As you enter, feel the warm water rush over your body. Take a moment to enjoy the scent of your shampoo and body scrub. I love feeling the texture of the body scrub and smelling the aroma of the essential oils. My skin feels so soft and lovely afterward. I love seeing the dirt from the day wash away. I meditate in the shower and take the time to focus on myself, completely surrendering to moments of self-love.

Mindful Driving

During yoga class, an instructor asked, “For those of your who drove, what was your experience like getting here?” Answers ranged from, “Same as always.” “Listened to the radio.” “Rushed.” “Got stuck in traffic.” She proceeded to ask us how we sat in our seat (were we in good anatomical alignment?), whether we had both hands on the wheel (with arms engaged?), and if we practiced Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock and breathing technique). We proceeded to review how to integrate mindfulness into driving. These techniques I still use today.

I learned to sit with good alignment, practice breathing, and abdominal holds, have both hands on the wheel, arms engaged, and to turn off the radio. Turn off Bluetooth. Let your call go to voicemail. Pay attention to the road. Let thoughts enter and exit. If the weather is acceptable, roll down your windows. Open your sunroof. Feel the breeze. Do you notice a difference from your normal routine?

Driving Mindfully

Final Thoughts

How are you more mindful? In what ways do you integrate mindfulness into your daily routine?

Don’t forget to sign up for our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! It will start July 3!

Namaste.

5 Ways to be Mindful

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Calm, Patient, and Seeking OM

I had a Buddha of Abundance break into a million pieces on my desk. It was the topic of the day. I was the laughing stock. Buddha couldn’t handle my stress. He wasn’t feeling my vibe. You could imagine how I felt when I received the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet from Seeking OM. I wasn’t sure if it was going to shatter as soon as I donned it on my wrist. I chuckled as I read the description:

  • Color: white with grey veining
  • Aides: a calming stone, antidote to insomnia due to an overactive mind, formulates ambitions, both spiritual and material, and aids in achieving them. Teaches patience, eliminates rage and uncontrolled anger.
  • Chakra: Crown, located at the top of the head, is the state of pure consciousness
  • Ganesh: Hindu God, Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles, both material and spiritual

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When I was a child, I was an insomniac. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and play Sega Genesis into the wee hours of the morning. When I was done playing video games, I would read and write for hours. Mornings were terrible. As I got older, different stresses made sleeping even more impossible. It wasn’t until I got married, had a stable job, and moved into the middle of nowhere that I was finally able to sleep through the night. On occasion, I will toss and turn, become restless and antsy, causing my husband to turn over and say, “Turn it off, Danielle!” He means my mind. He knows I am thinking about my to-do list, or the foster dog, or my blog, or work. What I discovered from receiving this gemstone bracelet is that Howlite is a calming stone, that can be placed under the pillow to help insomnia. Next time I can’t sleep, this gemstone bracelet will be my new best friend.

Scott and Kae, owners of Seeking OM, read my mind. I often wear the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet to work, where my patience can be tested by the non-compliant patient, the disgruntled nurse, or the unhappy doctor. Any profession where you interact with people can be trying. I joke with my coworkers, “I have no patience for my patients.” The Howlite and Ganesh bracelet serves as a reminder to be cool, calm and collected.

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For those of you that don’t know, Seeking OM, is a Boston based artisan company. Their jewelry, for both men and women, can heal the 7 chakras and can empower you to be the best version of yourself. Seeking OM’s bracelets range from $25-33 USD, and can be customized by stone, style, and size. Seeking OM also sells malas and candles.

The detailing in the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet is exquisite. I loved the marbled look, the gorgeous Swarovski crystals, and the Ganesh pendant, which I enjoy dangling from my wrist, knowing that he helps remove obstacles from my path. I wear it on my left wrist, because it picks up the bling from my engagement ring and wedding band. (Don’t mind my pasty white hand and unmanicured nails!)

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In case you were wondering, Seeking OM’s Howlite and Ganesh bracelet didn’t shatter when I donned it on my wrist. In fact, it spoke to me. It gave me relief and a calming cue; “Take a deep breath, this too shall pass.”

Read my last Seeking OM post – Amethyst & Ganesh

Visit Seeking OM to explore more gemstone jewelry, malas, and candles. Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram, and Pinterest. Shop small, live large.

Disclosure:  I received gemstone jewelry from Seeking OM in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started. Namaste.

seekingom

 

 

Meditation, Peace & Strength

I have practiced yoga since I was thirteen years old. I accompanied my mom to work at a nearby YMCA, where I would take a ninety-minute beginner yoga class with a short, brunette instructor named Mary. I was the youngest person in the class, surrounded by an encouraging, experienced group of yogis. I left before Shavasana every class. One Sunday, before class started, Mary asked to speak with me privately. She asked me to stay for Shavasana and explained the importance of meditation and fully surrendering both my mind and body after a yoga practice. I obliged, but I felt uncomfortable. “I’m just laying here!” I thought. “I could be on the treadmill!” I didn’t know how to meditate. Mary would gently press her index and middle fingers on my temples and quietly whispered, “Relax your mind. Think of nothing.”

I am so honored, and proud to announce, that Seeking OM, a Boston based artisan company, acquired yours truly as a brand ambassador to promote their exquisite crystal & gemstone jewelry. Their jewelry, for both men and women, can heal the 7 chakras and can empower you to be the best version of yourself. When you visit the Seeking OM website, you will be able to customize your own jewelry by stone (Howlite, Tiger’s Eye, Moonstone, Kyanite), style (plain, Buddha, Ganesh, sandalwood, lava stone) and size (small, medium, large). Seeking OM has a great motto: find your journey, find your true self. Their mission is to guide you to find a way of healing your chakra, physical and mental body.

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My Amethyst and Ganesh gemstone bracelet has many shades of purple. The crystals absorb, conserve, focus, and emit energy for the set intention. A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal, used for making jewelry. With consistent use, crystals may become saturated with negative energy. It is recommended you re-energize the crystals every four days. To re-energize, you can rest the jewelry under a full moon, under Sun rays, or in brown rice or Himalayan salt. (Dispose of the rice or salt after use.) To clean your jewelry (recommended every two weeks), use a damp cloth (water only), and dry completely. Never submerge your gemstone jewelry, or spray colognes/perfumes, as that will not only damage the crystal/stone, but congest it.

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What I love about Seeking OM’s gemstone jewelry is the complexity. Here are the components of the Amethyst and Ganesh gemstone bracelet:

·      Amethyst: protective and powerful stone, purple in color

·      Aides: protects from psychic attacks, turns energy into love, balances highs and lows, excellent for meditation, peace, and strength

·      Chakra: Crown, located at the top of the head, is the state of pure consciousness

·      Ganesh pendant: Hindu God, Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles, both material and spiritual

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The Amethyst and Ganesh gemstone bracelet brought me back to my early years as a teenage yogi. Before I donned the bracelet on my wrist, I allowed myself to reflect on my personal growth and development regarding meditation and finding inner peace. My thirteen-year-old self didn’t value Shavasana. Her mind ran wild and she didn’t know how to let her thoughts go. Almost 18 years later, the woman typing this blog values her guided meditation apps, and allocates a few minutes each day to meditate. Before I leave for yoga class, I slip on Seeking OM’s Amethyst and Ganesh gemstone bracelet to serve as a reminder to let it go. And for Shavasana, well, that’s become my favorite pose.

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Visit Seeking OM to explore more gemstone jewelry, malas, and candles. Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram, and Pinterest. Shop small, live large.

Disclosure:  I received gemstone jewelry from Seeking OM in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started. Namaste.

My At-Home, Budget Friendly Spa Day

** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission to help sustain this blog.**

I am writing this wearing a leopard robe. Coconut oil is swishing around in my mouth. 11 more minutes to go before I spit my toxins out into the garbage can. My face has a dark grey, charcoal mask on it. A nose strip is waiting for me on my bathroom sink. That fruity sugar scrub is going to exfoliate the winter dryness off my scaly body. A hair mask will hopefully tame my split ends and make my natural balayage tendrils extra soft and shiny. A lip scrub and conditioner will make my pucker extra plump and smooth. Today, is a day of at-home pampering.

I wish I could afford facials and massages, but those are luxuries, and do not fit into my budget. I will ask for them as a gift for special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. In the interim, when I have some extra time, I try to take care of myself at home. Here are some easy, but effective ways to make yourself feel good on a budget.

Water

I fill up a huge (wine) glass of ice water, and then add a few slices of lemon and/or cucumber. Drinking water helps maintain your metabolism, increases energy, decreases fatigue, and improves your complexion. I hydrate during my in-home pampering experience.

Meditation and/or Music

I turn off my cell phone and other electronic devices and really take the time to focus on me. I type “guided meditation” into a search engine, and play something that takes me to a calm headspace. Sometimes, of I want to zen out without a guided meditation, I will turn to Trevor Hall. If I’m not in the mood for calm, then I will turn on Amy Winehouse or Joss Stone. Set the atmosphere for your mood.

Robe & Scents

I absolutely love my fleecy leopard robe that I bought myself and my bridesmaids for my wedding. It is incredibly warm and comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pulling anything over my head. (I don’t want to get my face mask on my clothing). I usually put a headband on as well, to keep my bangs out of my face. Then, I light a candle in my bathroom, so I can smell a relaxing scent as I perform my at-home pampering routine.

View my ipsy Glam Bag

I subscribe to the ipsy Glam Bag. Each month I receive a bag with 5 samples including facial cleansers, blushes, face masks, primers, moisturizers, eyeshadows, hair care items, and brushes. It has introduced me to so many different products and brands. On my at-home pampering days, I go through my ipsy Glam Bag and see if there is anything new I can implement (usually the hair/face masks, moisturizers, body lotions). The ipsy Glam Bag  costs $10/month, or you can sign-up for their yearly plan which is $110/year.

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The Full Package: Teeth, Face, Hair & Body

It sounds counterproductive, but you want to start with a clean canvas. Brush your teeth swish with mouthwash, and floss. Wash your face with a mild cleanser or exfoliant (I use what I have received in my ipsy Glam Bag), then I use a toner to make sure my face is stripped. I apply Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask and scoop 1 tablespoon of Carrington coconut oil into my mouth. Oil pulling, when performed regularly, pulls toxins out of your blood and benefits your oral and overall health. I swish for 20 minutes, and then spit my toxins into a garbage can. I have oil pulled for 2 months straight and my teeth are noticeably whiter and it feels like there is a protective layer covering my enamel. After the 20 minutes are up, I hop in the shower, where I wash the face mask off, cleanse with a mild cleanser, and exfoliate my body with Yes To Coconut Polishing Body Scrub. I rub Sara Happ Vanilla Bean Lip Scrub on my lips to exfoliate dry skin. While I am shaving, I apply Marc Anthony True Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment. The mask needs 3-7 minutes to be effective. I wash it out, then shampoo and condition. Before I towel off, I slap a Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strip on my nose and then slather lotion all over my body. After I remove the nose strip, apply a cream moisturizer to my face and a lip conditioner. Bam, new me.

Power the Temple: Food & Vitamins

On my at-home pampering days, I make a nice healthy green shake (water, spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries) or salad. In healthcare, sometimes meals happen, and sometimes I can be found scarfing a Larabar on my way to see my next patient. When I am home, I try to savor each bite, really focusing on the taste and texture of what I am drinking or eating. After I have a full belly, I make sure to take my vitamins.

Open your Mind: Read

Read something, anything. We spend way too much time on our electronic devices. Pick up and hold something in your hands. I subscribe to a newspaper and ten magazines. Books sit patiently on my built-ins waiting for my attention. Find a comfortable spot to lounge, read, and relax. I try to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading something that inspires or motivates me. It is another gratifying, stress-relieving activity.

Feel Good, Be Good

When I spend time pampering myself, I feel better physically and emotionally. You don’t have to have a lot of money to feel good and clear your head. Even if you pick one or two things to do from my post, you will reap the benefits. If you need someone to tell you to make time in your schedule to treat yourself…

Stop what you’re doing and go take care of you.

Namaste.