As a young girl, I was absolutely captivated by fantasy creatures, especially the unicorn. A majestic being with a wild and free spirit, found in the enchanted forests around the mythical world. With their sparkling horn as the vortex of their magnificent, unrestrained power and purity, their supernatural qualities are noble in nature. The movie Legend is in my top 5 all time favourites. I just love watching the unicorns gallop through the river as Tom Cruise observed their incredible beauty from behind a bush nearby.
Unicorns are meant to be free and cannot be captured or touched. If this should happen and their horn is removed, they will die. Along with it, all the fair enchantment of their magic will fall and become evil. When I think about what that means, I often compare it to the human desire to tame and become master to wild creatures of this world and their own individual gifts. The desire to capture that which is forbidden brings me back to the very nature of what it means to be human, right down to the story Adam and Eve. To want something that is not to be taken seems to be part of the human condition and has led our species down some slippery slopes in this world. Why is it that we possess this inclination? Why do we allow it to control our behaviours? While I don’t have the answer to these questions, I do have some personal speculations on what they mean.
To me, the unicorn symbolizes the true nature of our own spirit. The fact that we have become unable to see that we already have everything we need inside ourselves and always have makes me feel melancholy. In the very first post I wrote for this blog, I referenced a native creation story about how the human spirit has been hidden within us so that we would not find it until we are prepared to realize our oneness with the divine. The unicorn is a divine being and we are divine beings too. The problem is that we place value on things that we admire or wish to take them for ourselves. Our world is built on the hierarchy of a system of money and power that dictates the value of something as a prize to own, not as an experience of life or a way of existing. That has long been forgotten by the power of greed and social stature in society. These are generalizations as I dare not speak for all of mankind, but they are marked patterns in the operation of the many civilizations of this world, without doubt.
The rush of wonder and admiration I feel when I watch those unicorns running in the forest, that feeling is out of respect and love for the power of the untamed and the unbound. For the and confident and carefree magical beauty of their very existence. We are born into this life with the understanding of our unicorn nature, that knowing. I remember feeling like I could do anything I wanted if I tried hard enough, if I let my creative energy flow, as a child. I would spend hours dancing, making artwork, creating in my own way and felt limitless. I believe we all wish to feel that way our whole lives, to be confident in our capabilities and at the same time know that their worth is really in the experience of creating them. That this experience itself is so powerful in its realization of the interconnected fiery light that joins each of us to one another and then allows it to dance in our passions of life’s purpose.
The greatest artists in the world did not spend painstaking hours on their craft merely for recognition or how others would receive their creations, it was for the process of it. Because they loved it. Fearlessly following the effulgent light burning so deeply into the essence of who they knew they were. At first, they didn’t even know or care if what they created was loved by others at all. We observe people like this with awe and admiration, as if we lack their capability. In reality we need to make a space inside to rediscover that light within and let it guide us on our way.
We are all unicorns! Isn’t that totally awesome! To think when I was little, I used to make a little horn and decorate it with sparkles so a I could run around with it taped to my forehead, lol! I wanted to be one, and now I am working on rediscovering that I already am!
Well my beautiful readers, that is my little philosophical musing for today. Wishing you all the very best week coming! Keep smiling😄
It seems that this year, I am so much more aware of the happenings over the last year than in those past. I started this blog this year and in preparing my writings for it, I suppose it has helped me to really put conscious memory into action as I ponder my thoughts and feelings. I have observed a great deal about my little life and noticed some wonderful things and also some places that could use some really overdue attention. I really love writing this blog, by the way;) There is far too much truth in the fact that we mostly, blindly, fail to acknowledge places in our lives that make us uncomfortable. For me, in the past it was a fear of failing to be my best all the time. I have managed to work quite a bit there and feel much better about this work in progress. This year I experienced some dark times in the beginning of it. Out of my control, but they quelled my growing ability to shine forth more confidently. Many steps back, I notice that I must draw attention once again to confidence in the radiance of my being.
In 2018, I will take charge of old patterns rather than let them play out. I will speak from within and hold no expectation of how it will be interpreted by those around me. If I am true, I can’t be mistaken for anything other than the true intention that I really am. If negativity happens, it is not me but a reflection of others. I will be TRUE. I also noticed that I live in a very regimented pattern in my life. Im an ashtangi and it is not difficult to see why I love the practice of Ashtanga yoga so much. It is also very disciplined. However, it impedes my social interactions with people. If time spent doesn’t fit into my comfortable schedule, I can get, well, agitated. I have been aware of this for some time, and have made some progress but it needs more.
I also can’t cook. I don’t like holding meals because food doesn’t inspire me. I am also vegetarian, which doesn’t harmonize with people around me. Food is more of a subsistence of life for me. It seems to create issues for social gatherings because I don’t relate well to others in this way. I am good at doing activities with people or having a coffee and a chat. Evening visits with a glass of wine aren’t too shabby either, lol, right?? But in all seriousness, I want to connect again without fear of judgement. If I don’t fear it, it can’t burden me. I will practice my meditations, affirmations and general thoughts to help create new mental patterns. If you think it enough, it will become real. I know my intentions are to relate to others, to feel them.
The new year isn’t necessarily about changing things or becoming a new person. It is about reflecting on what works and what doesn’t. Realizing what could do with some improvement and what is working better than ever. I like the reset feeling. It reminds me of morning time. I love the feeling of waking up and being out before others. Everything is fresh, untouched by the essence of daytime and I get to see it. That is what the new year is akin to. A time to refresh, reflect and be a better version of me.
I hope you enjoy this time of year and start off in 2018 with your best foot forward. Be fierce, be powerful, be You.
Happy New Year my loves!! Best for the coming year to you!!
Lisa Michelle xo
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!! We are away holidaying at a ski resort for Christmas this year. Usually we go down south but we wanted to try a winter holiday this year. Though I am with the people I consider to be the essence of my existence, I do miss our family that we will not see over the next few days. I feel love, hope and enthusiasm for the coming new year and felt some inspiration for a poem. Hope you are having a wonderful time, celebrating life, love and all the important things at this special time of year!!
That Christmas Feeling
The snow begins to fall,
Gracefully feathering down to the ground,
The night is lit up with coloured lights,
Eyes are wide for every child in town.
The carols play over the radio,
Bringing back memories of this time,
A sweet nostalgic feeling to embrace,
The scent of evergreen is in its prime.
School is out for the holidays,
Children play and eat the snow,
No care in the world is what they have,
Carefree and happy feelings is what they know.
A time for friends and family,
Smiles and hugs will fill your days,
Chocolates and sweet cookies,
Love is shown in so many beautiful ways.
Thinking about what’s important,
Squeezing close with those held dear,
Don’t forget to look into their eyes,
And let them know that you are near.
Love is the reason for all this fuss,
Don’t let the purpose become skewed,
Let your loved ones know how you feel,
And your feelings show their magnitude.
I love you now, today and tomorrow,
I will love you forever more.
My heart is full when we’re together,
You make me feel like I could soar.
Merry Christmas to you my friend,
May your holiday be sweet,
Enjoy making new memories,
That forever you may keep.
By: Lisa Michelle
Keep smiling my gorgeous friends, Love to you all. We are all human beings, craving understanding, connection and above all Love. I feel it and it is so beautiful. Kiss and hug your loved ones!!!
Lisa Michelle xoxoxoxo
Sometimes I think about what emotions are. Why do we experience feelings like anxiousness or fear? When things seem to be opposing me, I can get down. That’s when I start to think of ways to turn my current state into something more positive. Life is short, be happy as much as possible and so today around the time of year when we wish to experience joy, there are often stressful shopping trips, cramped parking lots and many social engagements to attend. So much love and fun is meant to be had, but at the same time, it can get a bit overwhelming too. I have some thoughts on joy and how to bring it forth when life can throw you a curve ball;)
What is pure joy?
Is it the feeling of accomplishing a goal?
Is it watching your child grow?
Is it overcoming an obstacle?
Is it learning something new or making connections?
Joy is the outcome of giving.
Joy is the release of positive emotion.
Joy is the recognition of watching your child make good choices.
Joy is finding that deep connection with another free of judgment.
How can I find joy everyday?
Be true to your feelings, be genuine.
See each moment for the worth it gives to you.
Look for it in places where it seems vacant.
Bring it with you to others always, it will bring you more joy to give it.
Look into the eyes of each person you talk to, really look.
Smile at people you don’t know.
Look in the mirror and smile when you feel down, really smile.
Find light on days when the sun doesn’t shine.
Use your happiness to extend to others.
Spare some money for someone in need.
Stare into the eyes of your lover each day, give a hug too.
Find common ground in a distanced relationship.
Excuse an outburst that was not thought through.
Most of all- find a strength you have and let it lead you.
Put blinders on and follow the path that feels right.
Your heart doesn’t lie to you, it loves you unconditionally.
Never question your worth, it will forever be priceless.
Best wishes as you prepare this last week before the holidays and always.
Lisa Michelle xo
What is sankalpa? It is broken down to mean ~ the highest truth of the heart which is followed above all others. It is an intention that you decide to follow that will serve your highest truth or purpose. Sankalpa is referenced in the Rig Veda which is one of the oldest yogic texts that form the foundation of our philosophical understandings of yoga. I have been to many yoga classes where the instructor will invite students to set an intention for the class. May it be to dedicate it to someone or a feeling inside such as “I am joy” or “I am courageous”. The wonderful thing about sankalpa is that it posits that you already are the intention you wish to fulfill. It is just that we must realize and use our mind to focus on bringing out these qualities within ourselves, to connect within. I find this concept to be innately beautiful. Imagine…all the doubts you have about yourself, the unsure thoughts, the potential harmful self-talk you may have from time to time- become non-existent. There is no place for doubt when we already are what we wish to be. So confidence inspiring, with such conviction and above all so validating of who we are and what we are capable of doing. I am what I am meant to be. I am capable of fulfilling my dharma or my purpose in this life. There is no question.
How does Ashtanga Yoga help us to see our Sankalpa?
Yoga helps us to tune in, to become aware of the thought processes and internal obstacles that make the awareness of our abilities become obscure. We live in a society ridden with self-doubt and unfulfillable ideals. It is like we all want to be something that we think we are not able to be. There must be some impossible task to create dis-ease and woe in our hearts. Why???? Why do we want to feel inadequate? Why do we buy in to these ideals which are unattainable, therefore causing a sense of incapability?
It is only when we are challenged that we can truly call on our innate abilities. They will automatically come to the forefront because we need them. It is not easy to commit yourself to doing a physically challenging practice on a daily basis. Ashtanga calls to us to do this. It asks us to be present, to breathe into difficulty, to find ease in what creates uneasiness. Yin and Yang are called to become one. A synchronicity within our internal controls is the savior to our woes. It is part of our creation. We live. We die. We are part of a cycle of life much greater than our individuality that we never ever become disconnected from. It is the fuel, the breath, the momentum of our existence. Sankalpa. Dharma. Life force. These qualities are one and the same. Ashtanga helps to repeatedly identify the strength and perseverance of what lies within so that our Sankalpa may become clear.
Sankalpa makes me think about my highest truth and why we exist. What is my purpose?
It’s a difficult thing to contemplate. What is the purpose of existence if we are merely part of a cycle? Why is sankalpa important? I believe it is a question we can only find the answer to in our own way. For me, I have only glimpsed my truth, most notably it has been in some deep conversations with my grandma that I have found some peace and a little bit of insight. I feel that part of my highest truth is to be of service to make the world a better place. I see this in my Grandma. My grandmother is a very strong woman. Among her impressive qualities are enduring love, she gives of herself freely with no expectation. She is compassionate, so giving of all of herself, her thoughts, her love and her life. I connected with her at a very young age. She made me feel strong, appreciated, capable and most of all, loved. I always felt that she would be there for me, even if I faltered or if there was negativity surrounding me. Her care was and is unconditional to this very day in her 85th year of life. She has discussed death and how life is part of this cycle with me from her perspective. When I hear her speak of it, I feel part of her knowing and understanding that it is just part of what it is to be a human being. Now that fact is mere science, but the understanding of it is a much deeper and darker reality that some priming for is a gift. My granny is a beautiful gift of so many things, I am grateful to be among those blessed to be a part of her family and life.
You see, I view my Sankalpa as an intention with the undertone of service, of giving. The ultimate gift is to give without expectation. This is what may be the sankalpa of my daily life in little bits each day. I can be giving of my heart, to listen, to be thoughtful, to be supportive, to be kind. Like my grandma. Think about those little intentions that you can do each day to fulfill your own personal Sankalpa – I am courageous. I am joy. I am forgiveness. I am light. I am giving. We are really all of these things already. Do you know that? Find the beauty within you. It is strong. Share it with others and relish in the happiness that it gives you to make another feel your love. Do it without expectation. Find your Sankalpa and live it each day. How wonderful is it to be able to live your purpose, your highest truth, in little acts each and every day?
Best Wishes to you all my friends. May the new week bring many smiles, laughter and love to you💖
Lisa Michelle xo
Think about what yoga does for the body and mind…It brings calmness and clarity to start. It sharpens our body awareness and mental focus. It helps us develop introspection and opens the door for learning so much more about ourselves. I want to share with you a yoga practice incorporating use of the healing and balancing properties of essential oils! My two favorite things coming together to create the ultimate experience of physical and mental rejuvenation!
Essential oils have long been known to contain properties that are able to assist in emotional balance. There are hundreds of components that make up these all natural oils which are steam distilled or pressed from pure plants. Inhaling them will allow the molecules to reach the brain in 22 seconds, and all body cells within 20 minutes. The constituents within them carry different electromagnetic frequencies which may compliment our body composition to facilitate equilibrium.
Yoga is used similarly to bring calming feelings to the body and mind through poses and deep breathing. When we bring these two elevating elements together it is such a beautiful experience.
Opening the Heart- Chakra Basics
The practice I wish to share with you today will focus on balancing one of the Chakras or energy centers in the body. There are thought to be 7 majour energy centers along the spinal meridian of the body and we are going to work with the 4th- Anahata (meaning unstruck or unhurt) or the heart chakra. It’s colour is green and it is believed that when the heart chakra is balanced, it allows for us to experience love with others, self-love, compassion, generosity, warmth and joy. Others feel our love and warmth and we are able to know when to take time to care for ourselves as well. Unifying love connects us all and so opening the heart chakra to balance is a wonderful way to enhance well-being. It may then be possible to connect to the deepest parts of our being, our spirit and our true essence. Doesn’t this sound absolutely marvelous?
Sensational Oil Selections
The oils I have selected to accompany this yoga sequence may bring about such complimentary feelings that I feel the practice is simply divine!
This essential oil comes from Oman, which is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. The species of frankincense tree which produces this resin and essential oil is only available here through Young Living. It is slightly sweeter in its aroma than others and I find it to be very grounding. It helps me feel more focused when doing my meditations and yoga practice. It is the oil I have in my diffuser, you will see it in my pictures!! It is a fabulous diffuser too! Brand new 8 hr. diffuser called he Dessert Mist by Young Living.
I use this oil almost daily. It is cold-pressed from the bergamot orange peel and has a light, citrusy aroma with a warmth that almost seems slightly floral. It is thought to work on a frequency that may help to balance the heart chakra specifically. When I inhale this oil, I always smile. It is also very relaxing yet uplifting and I use it frequently to de-stress. It is a fitting compliment for the intention of this yoga sequence.
This oil was the first I ever used in a diffuser. I was going through some super stressful stuff and the effect of this oil was so immediate for me that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I was so surprised. It is steam distilled from the Chamomile flower and has been widely used for emotional balancing for many years. Because of its power to balance emotions, it is a fitting oil for today!
Lavender, how do I love thee? I first used Lavender to rub in my palms and give neck massages in my yoga classes because that is how it was introduced to me, it was so wonderful. I absolutely love it and NEED to share it with others. Good for so many things, lavender is calming, acting as a nervine as well- which calms the nervous system as well as the mind.
I really hope you enjoy this sequence and feel open and happy when you are finished. The practice will still be so good for you, even if you don’t have any oils! Loose fitting clothing and a mat are all you need for this one. If you don’t have a mat, it can work without one. Mats are a relatively new accessory as far as the history of yoga is concerned, so it’s a nice to have but not a must;)
Heart Opening Yoga Sequence & Essential Oils
Take a cotton pad or a small face cloth and put 2 drops of your essential oil into the centre of it. For each of the four oils we are using, use a separate cotton pad and prepare them in advance. I usually put the bottle of the oil that I placed on the pad next to each one, so I know which is which. These are close to my mat so when I am ready, I can easily reach for them.
Begin by bringing the pad with Bergamot close to your nose and take a few deep breaths in.
Once you have done so, put the pad down and cross your legs on your mat, placing one hand over your heart and the other over your abdomen. Take 5 deep breaths, with your eyes closed if you wish. Feel the air opening your belly and chest as you breathe.
Bring your hands to your knees and roll at the hips to bring your whole body in a circle. Taking deep breaths, do 5 to the right and then 5 to the left.
~~Take a few moments to inhale the Bergamot oil pad again~~
Bring your arms behind you, interlace your fingers, pull your chest up and your arms down and back. Gaze up and take 5 deep breaths. Let your hands come to the floor at your sides. Bring your right hand up, arm next to your ear, stretch up and over to the left. Let your left arm move away from you as you bend and keep both seat bones pressing down into the floor. Take 5 deep breaths and then repeat this stretch with the other arm.
Now take your right hand across to your left knee, and your left hand behind your back as close to your spine as is comfortable. Inhale and bring your chest up, exhale turn to look over your left shoulder. Hold here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side- left hand comes across to the right knee, right hand comes behind your back as close to the spine as possible. Inhale, chest up, exhale to twist and look over your right shoulder.
Table Pose Work
Come to table pose- knees are hip width and stacked under the hips. Arms are shoulder width and shoulders are over your hands. Begin to inhale and drop your middle section down, looking up and pulling your chest up, now exhale and move into cat by pulling your back up towards the ceiling and pressing down into your hands and knees. Repeat this, you guessed it- 5 times.
Come back to a neutral spine and lift your right leg back behind you, keeping your weight even. See if you can extend your left arm. Hold for a few breaths and then inhale as you lengthen your lifted limbs away from you and then exhale bring elbow to knee as you curl your back. Do this 5 times. Repeat on the other side. Then come into child’s pose. Hold for a few breaths.
~~Come up and take a few moments to inhale your chamomile cotton pad~~
Sun Salutations-1/2 Surya Namaskara
Start in standing and then reach your arms up, palms to touch as you inhale. Exhale as you swan dive forward, bringing your ands towards the ground (bend knees slightly or more if that’s comfortable). Inhale coming to a flat back, hands to shins, exhale down again and then inhale all the way up to standing. Repeat 2 more of these 1/2 sun salutations.
Full Surya Namaskara
Inhale, reach arms up and bring your palms to touch.
Exhale as you swan dive forward, bringing your hands towards the ground (bending knees as needed).
Inhale and step the right foot back into a lunge, bringing hands to the ground on either side of your left foot.
Exhale step left foot back coming through downward dog and down into 8-limbed pose- bending the elbows beside your body, bring the knees, chin and chest to the floor while keeping the hips up.
Inhale sliding through into cobra pose- hips and legs strong and on the floor while chest is coming up and through, arms may be bent at the elbow.
Exhale coming into downward dog by pressing into the knees and hands.
Inhale, step the right foot between the hands and coming into a lunge.
Exhale, stepping the left foot forward to meet the right in a fold. Inhale raising the arms up and coming back to standing.
Do another surya namaskara but in place of the low lunge for each side, bring the arms up towards the ceiling.
Do a third and final one but at the lunge, bring the arms into eagle arms. This is done by bringing both arms out in front of you, bringing left arm under the right, bend the elbows and turn your palms towards you. Bring the right hand behind and around the left and see if you can bring the palms towards each other. Bring the elbows up and then unwrap and come back low lunge to do the next transition. Wrap the arms the opposite way for the other side. When you have completed the 3 rounds, stand and take some recovering breaths.
~~Take a few minutes to inhale your chamomile again~~
Bring your weight into your left foot. Turn your right foot out and bring the sole to the inside of your left foot, keeping the ball of the foot on the floor. Raise this leg up where it is comfortable to balance- either below or above the knee. Keep the hip level, press the foot into your left leg. Hands may be in prayer or you can bring hands up towards ceiling and look up, feeling your chest come up. Stay here for 5 deep long breaths and then come down and prepare the other side. Do the other side the same way.
This pose begins by crossing the right leg over the left, once or wrapping it around again if possible. Bending in your standing left leg. Eagle arms again for this side the right arms starts under the left. Once in the pose, find a staring place to help you balance, draw the elbows and chest up. Hold for 5 deep breaths. If you fall out, come back in again and try. Repeat on the other side. Left leg over right standing leg, left arm under right for the arms.
Wide Leg Fold & Garland Pose
From the top of your mat, step the left foot back around 4-5 feet, turn both feet to the long side of the mat. Inhale your arms out to the side, exhale and interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale here and then exhale folding at the hips letting the hands come down towards the floor. Hold for 5 breaths here and then come back up.
Bring your feet closer together, slightly wider than hip width. Bend your knees and come into a deep squat. Your feet may turn your feet out slightly and the heels may not come all the way down to the floor. It’s okay. Bring hands into prayer and elbows to the inside of the thighs, pressing out gently and pulling the chest up. Hold here for 5 breaths.
Upward Table & Boat Pose
Come to sit down towards the top of your mat. Bring the feet parallel and to the width of your hips, and hands with fingers facing your feet, about 1 foot back behind you. Press into your feet and hands, raise your hips up. If it is comfortable, let your head fall back. Keep pressing the inner legs towards each other as they will naturally try to open as you raise your hips. Hold for 5 breaths. Come down slowly.
Prepare for boat pose by letting your feet stay flat on the floor, bring your hands behind your thighs and lean back, using your abdominals. Raise your feet off the floor and bring your shins parallel to the floor. If you can, let your thighs go and bring your hands straight towards your feet on either side of your body. You may hold here for 5 breaths or extend the legs out and up so you look like a V and hold here. When you have completed this sit calmly.
~~Take a few minutes to inhale your Bergamot cotton pad~~
Locust Pose, Sphinx Pose & Cobra
Come to lay on your tummy. Bring strength into your legs, pressing the tops of the feet down into the floor. Bring your hands beside your body, palms up. Raise your torso up, gazing slightly forward past your mat. Hold for 5 deep breaths and then gently come down.
Bring your hands on the floor, palms down on either side of your head. Bring strength into the legs, press into your forearms and pull your chest up. Gaze up. Hold here in sphinx pose for 5 breaths and then slowly come down.
Slide your hands back in line with your lower ribcage. Strengthen the legs, press the tops of the feet down, pull the low belly in. Press into your hands and pull your chest forward as you peel your torso off the floor. Keep the elbows tight to the body and the neck long. Hips and legs stay on the floor. Hold here for 5 breaths and then co e down slowly. Take a child’s pose.
Come onto your back, feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands down to grab your ankles. This will ensure your legs are in the correct position. Press into the feet, squeeze the legs slightly to keep them hip width as you raise your hips up. If you can interlace your fingers underneath your body, do this and lengthen the arms in the direction of your feet, keeping them on the floor. Hold for 5 breaths. Come down slowly and then reset for another round. When complete, bring your knees and hug them into your chest. You may gently roll side to side if this feels good. Hold for 5 breaths.
~~Take a moment to inhale your Lavender cotton pad~~
Sometimes I even place it on my forehead at this time. It is rest time, savasana. Let your body relax, palms up, feet wider than hip width. Lay here for 5 minutes or as long as you wish.
Come up, have some water. How do you feel? How does your body, mind and emotions feel? I hope you feel relaxed and happy💖
If you wish to learn more about Young Living essential oils or have any questions, please email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Obligatory Disclaimer- Please note that no part of this of practice is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any conditions. It is not meant to replace consultation with a medical professional. This information is for educational purposes and the practice is completed at your own risk. If you have any health conditions, please contact your medical doctor before engaging in this practice.
I am thrilled to share with you that I have received a nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award! My fellow blogger Abhinav Uniyal, I express my sincerest gratitude for this marvellous opportunity for recognition and for your personal appreciation of my blog. Thank You!!! Abhinav has a fabulous blog where he shares personal development, business leadership, communications and interpersonal skill development for the workplace. Some great and valuable information can be found on his blog.
Please check him out here- https://abhinavuniyal.com/blog/
The Sunshine Blogger Award is an opportunity to recognize a blog that inspires you and imbues creativity. It’s a wonderful time to let your fellow bloggers know just how much you enjoy reading their blogs and observe their accomplishments.
As part of the nomination, Abhinav has given me some questions to answer about blogging and it’s a great way for you, my readers to learn a little bit more about me:)
1. When did you start blogging?
My blog went live on February 23, 2017 to be exact. I was looking for a creative outlet and a way to share with others, things I have learned over the years in the realm of yoga, healthy lifestyle with Young Living essential oils, poetry and life through the lens of my personal experiences. I had been collecting my thoughts for a while and it just seemed like the right time to move forward and get my blog going!
2. What makes blogging special to you?
Blogging is special because the audience who reads my blog have a genuine interest in my writing. I really enjoy writing and when I can help others and bring value to them, it makes it even more worth while. Sometimes I get so enthralled in how to express my thoughts and demonstrate them so accurately that I have to catch my intentions from getting lost in that translation! Improving my writing skills is slowly happening over time. I love the moment I press “publish” every single time. It’s so exciting and sometimes I am nervous because I share vulnerable parts of myself, my heart and my mind. It is new for me but a very pleasant experience.
3. Does blogging bring out the best out of you?
Yes! Blogging helps me to put my own interests and knowledge to work. I am able to think critically and then share about what I have learned. It is a way of being introspective sometimes and then seeing what that looks like when it’s written down. I feel like it makes me better at life. Writing and creatively, flowing my thoughts through words is sort of therapeutic in a way. It helps bring out the best me!
4. How important is monetizing the blogs?
For me it’s not a primary goal. If one day the right opportunity should present itself, I would happily get involved in monetization. It would have to feel right.
5. What is the best thing that has happened to you since you started blogging (within the blogging world)
Getting to connect with people around the world and reading what they are passionate enough to write about and share with others. It is so much fun and I really enjoy it. It’s pretty amazing to read the perspectives and thoughts of those living around the globe. It wasn’t something I started my blog with the intention of doing, but it has been a fantastic experience that I am grateful to be a part of.
6. What is your next goal in the blogging world?
My goal is to connect with more people, both bloggers and readers. I work towards this goal daily. Having a blog has really opened up an entire community where we all have in common, the love and joy of writing. I think there is so much to learn about and stories and viewpoints to receive. Looking forward to continuing my blogging and having fun.
7. What are you passionate about in life?
It may be obvious through my blog that I am passionate about Ashtanga Yoga! I am interested in anything and everything to do with it. I practice 6 days a week and read books to learn more about yoga philosophy, anatomy, current topics and more. I also believe in the natural power of essential oils and enjoy using them in my every day life. My family loves them too. I also enjoy writing and creative expression. I think it is a powerful tool to enhance and help us express ourselves in this world. It enriches our experiences and brings new ways to view life. I try to bring all of these to my children and hope that they will also find a creative outlet to be themselves.
8. What is your suggestion to the fellow bloggers (new and existing)
My suggestion would be to connect with fellow bloggers as much as possible. Blogging isn’t just about writing, it is a community of some pretty awesome people! Join Facebook groups, instagram groups and other social media groups where you will meet and support others in their blogging endeavours as they do for you.
9. If you can do one thing different about your blog, what would that be?
Hmmm….that’s a difficult question. It’s pretty new and so I haven’t really had too many concerns so far. I did make a change a short while ago to a different theme. The theme I was using wasn’t easily viewable on mobile devices. As a new blogger, I didn’t really think about that. I am enjoying the new theme and it suits my needs better. I suppose there will be more of these types of changes, I will discover as I go.
10. As a blogger, you have a certain social responsibility, how to do take care of that?
I believe that sharing from the heart, being respectful of readers and the power of interpretation are important to be aware of as a blogger. I try to share things that I feel can be of benefit to others and ways to connect. I feel like this takes care of my social responsibility.
11. What effect does recognition have on you?
It is very inspiring! It means that there are people who feel that they can connect to my writing. I feel joyful knowing that what makes me feel and how I express that is helpful and interesting to others. It’s super fun to participate here because it is another way to connect with other bloggers!
Fellow Blog Nominations
I would like to nominate the following blogs for this Sunshine Blogger Award. I continue to thoroughly enjoy reading each of these blogs regularly and think that the creativity in writing, photography and skills within their niches are some of the reasons I delight in following them.
NOMINEES FOR THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD
Kirti Arora- https://www.thefashionflings.com/
Tahnee Flack- https://tahneesblog.co.uk/
Marine Lucas- http://superflysister.com/
Basundhara Ghosh- https://basundharasblog.wordpress.com/
Chikumo Fiseko- https://adiaryofachik.com/
Chelsea Rose- http://www.rosypointofview.com/
****Important Note to my Nominees****
Please thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. Nominate bloggers who you feel deserve recognition. Answer my questions for you in your post as well as create 11 of your own questions for your nominees to answer. The Sunshine Blogger Award Logo must be displayed in your post. Please put a link to your post in my comments so I can read your answers to my questions. I look forward to reading them:).
Thank you for continuing to write purposeful, talented and interesting blogs for us all to enjoy!
Here are my questions for you:
1. How did you get involved with blogging?
2. How do you think your readers would describe your blogging style?
3. Where do you find inspiration for your posts?
4. How has blogging improved your life?
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of having your blog and how do you work on that?
6. What has been the most enjoyable aspect of being in the world of blogging?
7. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
8. What networking do you do that you feel has benefitted your blog the most?
9. What do you think the best thing is that a blogger can give to readers?
10. What is your favorite post on your blog? Why do you like it the best?
11. What has been your strategy for creating visibility for your blog?
Thank you again for my nomination Abhinav! And thank you fellow bloggers for keeping the Sunshine Blogger Award nominated to blog writers who you feel are inspiring and creative:)
Peace & Love,
If you have been to a few yoga classes you have probably seen or at least heard of mala beads. Maybe you have seen them at a metaphysical store or at a booth at the yoga conference. What are those beautiful bead necklaces and what are their significance in the practice of yoga?
In Sanskrit, the term mala means ‘garland.’ They are usually made up of 108 beads and one larger central bead called a guru bead. These are the type of prayer beads used by Buddhists and Hindus. When they are used, a mantra or intention word is repeated with each bead, starting at the guru bead and ending again at this central bead. If the user wishes to do more, the guru bead is never crossed over, rather the beads are flipped and counted away from the guru bead again. Mala beads date back to Hindu religious practices around the 8th century B.C.E.
In Hinduism there are two main branches called Shaivism and Vishnuism. The former uses 32 to 108 rudraksha beads made of seeds from a unique Javan tree. The seeds are rough and separated into 5 sections to represent the 5 faces and personalities of Siva and also represent the rigid lifestyle required by worshippers. Vishnu mala are carved of tulsi wood and have 108 beads.
Buddhist mala have 108 beads which represent the impurities that must be overcome to reach Nirvana. The beads were once only made of the sacred Bodhi tree but now are crafted from many other materials as well. Healing Mala may be made of gemstones or crystals which have different energies, colours and properties that may aid in different healing practices.
The crystal mala used in healing may use stones specific to correct an imbalance. For example, I went for an colour aura scan and had a slight imbalance in my solar plexus or third chakra. A crystal used for healing this imbalance is citrine. I got a citrine mala bracelet to help me create balance here. It is very interesting to learn about crystals and how their properties may be used to help work with the subtle aspects of our energetic being. It is something that I am new to and wish to learn more about.
A place to find some gorgeous mala beads is https://purplelotus.ca/
Anyone may use mala beads and the meaning they will bring to each will be individual in their prayer and meditation practice. According to Hinduism, they are used by the right hand and the thumb is used to move from one bead to the next. The index finger should not touch the beads through the transfer and the beads are draped over the middle finger.
To begin a meditation practice using a mantra or an affirmation is a great way to stay focused and really with your practice. Using a mala to help you count your repetitions will allow you to completely focus on your intention. It is easy for the mind to wander sometimes, which is okay, but the mala is another helpful way to increase concentration.
Here is a simple practice for you to use a mala:
First decide on your mantra, affirmation or intention word. This will be what you repeat with each bead and the focus of your meditation.
Sit as comfortably and as tall as you can. Take a few deep breaths by inhaling through the nose while letting your chest and belly open. Exhale through your nose equally and fully. Try closing your eyes and taking 5 deep breaths this way.
Hold your mala in your right hand with the mala draped over your middle finger and in your palm. Bring your thumb to the bead just past the guru bead. Begin your mantra and use your thumb to move to the next bead with each repetition. Keep your eyes closed to enhance your focus. When you come around the mala and back to the guru bead you may finish or flip the mala to go back around again. When you have completed your meditation, sit and take a few more deep breaths before opening your eyes. Hopefully you will have a positive experience that will stay with you for the rest of your day:)