Cultivating our own reality

There is nothing we don’t see in our world that we didn’t put there, whether it be beautiful or ugly.

I sat this morning watching my grandma eat cereal covered in aspartame mixed with fruit and thought, “you are going to kill your brain cells and give yourself indigestion, all before 10am?”

I could feel my blood boiling and my energy sinking because I felt powerless. As much as I’d encouraged my grandmother to eat healthy and even offer her healthy options, she still chooses her own set beliefs and actions. Within the same minute, I received a text message from the person I am dating and smiled with joy,  thinking…”how grateful I am to have you in my world.”

You see, there are two things going on here: a positive new beginning, and an old encrusted stubborn way of being.

I brought my dude into my world and have kept him here with my positive thoughts. I usually go out with very positive people, just bursting with good vibes and love.

But there are things like my past and my family that make me wonder about what their presence in my life has to teach me. I have heard Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer say that we choose our parents because they are the best people to teach us what we need to learn in this life. I think that’s great and true.

As a 30-year old female, I am thinking about my future legacy a.k.a having children. All the women my age are. It’s just the way it is. Not to say, we aren’t thinking about our careers and our own growth/development, but we are also thinking about our children.

I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve held out this long without having kids because I really wasn’t ready. It wasn’t until the last three years that I became aware of my subconscious beliefs and finally came to terms with my dark fears and let go of resentments. If I hadn’t done that, I probably would’ve passed this on to a child and the cycle of destruction would have continued.

I am a very loving person and I think love can come very easily to people if you let it. I attract love into my life every day because I choose to think loving thoughts. I wasn’t born into this, believe me. I come from a fearful family. Somehow I knew my family could be so wrong as a child. I like to think of it as guardian angels whispered into my ear and said, “this isn’t the only way to be.”

Nowadays,  I look at being born into my family as a lesson. It’s my life lesson to learn to accept myself completely even though it’s often been implied that I wasn’t good enough. It’s my challenge to believe that I’m completely perfect and cultivate love for the most vile and mean-spirited personalities because really they are just hurt, fearful people who are in desperate need of love. Loving stubborn people even when they are set in their ways can be challenging but one of the greatest and essential spiritual lessons to learn.

Something I’ve been dealing with is just leaving people alone and letting them be even though I can see their path to destruction. Trying to pull people off their set paths is like a human trying to stop a bullet train. You’ll kill yourself trying and the bullet train will just keep on going and inevitably get to its destination.

What can I learn from this?

I’ve heard many say that the best way to take care of others is to take care of yourself first. You can’t change people. You can only change yourself first. People come into your reality because you needed them there to teach you something. You asked for them to be in your life somehow, in some way, shape, or form. I see my lessons before me every day because I encounter three generations of behaviors and the opportunity for me to be different because I make the effort to be aware and change.

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Hanging onto the past, bites you in the ass

There are so many people that hold grudges, thinking they are doing some justice, teaching a person a lesson, but all it really does it hold us back from achieving our full potential and it only develops disease in our minds and bodies. 

I come from a family that holds grudges. I remember certain people in the family hold grudges for 10+ years towards a person and it’s ridiculous because when you ask what the grudge is about, they don’t even remember! They are just like, I know we were mad at each other for something.

You really end up holding the grudge against yourself because holding onto any unresolved conflict, creates havoc within the body and therefore diseases develop.

I wouldn’t think like this had I not discovered Louise Hay and her book, “Heal your body: the mental causes for physical illness and the metaphysical way to overcome them.”

This book is revolutionary!

If there is anything going on with my body, I immediately look at this book and see if the cause is true. The book has not been wrong. What’s cool about it is that there are affirmations you can start saying to overcome the physical issue. This way of thinking has taught me that there is no physical issue that appears out of nowhere. The thinking brought it on.

For example, I’ll never forget this one time I was in the car with a girlfriend. I was driving and she was going off complaining about some women in her life. I wanted to be a good friend and listen so that’s what I did, but when I got home I noticed my right ear was hurting so much. I thought I was getting an earache, so I looked in the book and looked up, “earache.” Of course it was listed and the cause was “Not wanting to hear. Too much turmoil. Parents arguing.” It hit me. I was driving so my right ear was facing my girlfriend and her crap talk. I really didn’t want to hear her. And when my younger brother was little he had ear aches ALL THE TIME when my parents were going through their divorce and they were always fighting.

Crazy, right?

But that’s just one example.

If it’s something that can’t be fixed quickly like being overweight (having the need for protection) or having acne (anger), I find putting affirmations as reminders on my cell phone reminds me that I’m trying to adopt a new changing attitude.

I was just thinking about this today because since I have family that loves to hold grudges, it’s no secret that those family members have had cancer (deep hurt, longstanding resentment) and heart attacks (Long standing emotional problems, hardening of the heart).

I have learned that it’s very important to forgive, let go, and show love to every single person. If you don’t, you’re the only one who suffers.

I really recommend the Louise Hay book. It has changed the way I look at any physical problem. I always refer to the book now and give thanks to my body because it will never lie to me.

Focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t

It’s official. I am returning to Los Angeles in two weeks and I am determined to see this experience positively and focus on what I want rather than what I don’t.

I came to Phoenix last May with a head full of Louise Hay and Gabby Bernstein. I had affirmations programmed on my cell phone that went off sporadically throughout the day to keep me focused, positive, and in a good head space and that is exactly what I cultivated here.

I am extremely grateful to have found a wonderful Bikram studio full of amazing teachers that inspired me and pushed me to grow in my practice. I was ready for it and I met the challenge. I am extremely grateful to have found a job that was flexible and allowed me to make enough money to get me out of loan default!

I got out of loan default and landed a job back in L.A. within the same week. If that’s not destiny, I am not sure what is, which is why it’s made it easier for me to read the signs around me.

As doubtful as a Libra can sometimes be when making decisions, I feel that returning to Los Angeles at this time is the right decision. Yesterday I put the two-week notice in at my job and at the yoga studio.

Keeping a positive mind set and focusing on what I want rather than what I don’t want is essential. There was so much I wanted to move away from when I moved out of L.A., but now I will be returning, I have to keep the positive head space I cultivated in order to maintain my sanity and peace of mind rather than go back to that place I was in full of fear, doubt, and worry.

I’m basically moving back to L.A. to help my 80-something-ish grandmother that my recently deceased uncle used to care for.

I will embark on a new project that I will include in the blog, about assisting my grandmother through the use of natural, healthy food. I was a bit discouraged last time I visited because she told me a salad I made was “Too healthy,” and I thought to myself, dude, I’m moving in with you soon and this salad isn’t really even that healthy compared to the other things I make. My grandma is a strong antagonist, but every good story needs one and I care too much about her to back down. I have to give it a shot. Quality of life is my mission and it’s never too late for anyone, even an 80-year old woman hopped up on pain killers.

I will keep telling myself: this experience will be a good one. I am going to make the green shakes every morning and raw salads for lunch and do my best.

And regarding my yoga practice, well, I’m probably going to go back to the downtown L.A. studio, because it’s the closest to me and everyone knows me so it will be a smooth transition although I’ve been toying with the idea of trying a different yoga studio that’s not Bikram…

We’ll see. I just want to try new things, new studios. I was at Bikram downtown L.A. for three years and I just want to keep with the theme of trying new things.

I am keeping and cultivating a positive head space. Focusing on what we want is essential. You get whatever you focus on, negative or not. The mind is a muscle and will grow whatever it is you feed it. We are that powerful as human beings. It’s exciting to know that you can get whatever you want, but we have to keep our heads held high, full of the good stuff and good people.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 10

Today’s lesson in the Course in Miracles was “My thoughts do not mean anything.”
This was a hard one to wrap my head around but so far it’s been the lesson I value the most. It immediately took me out of a negative head space.
I have been debating moving back to California to help take care of my grandmother and my head has just been all over the place, but as soon as I started doing the exercise for today, I was brought back to the present moment, of just existing as a blank slate. My mind felt clear, as though I had no thought in the world. I didn’t have to wonder why I thought what I thought, because I would keep saying, “my thoughts do not mean anything,” or “my thought about__ does not mean anything.”

Basically I felt like an empty vessel that was more able to receive messages and a clear plan for my existence.

All the frivolous little thoughts that came up in my head like “why is that girl talking so loud next to me?”, or “my hair is frizzy today” all of the sudden didn’t mean anything. You almost get to wondering where those thoughts even come from.
Another part of the lesson is after saying “my thoughts do not mean anything,” you follow that by “this idea will help to release me from all I now believe.”

This part I viewed as being both good and bad. Good because you want to release certain thought patterns, but do you really want to forget everything you believe? Like seven years of college and graduate school?

I’m going to have faith in the Course’s teachings. It may not make complete sense to me right now but I am hoping it will. Most people I look up to like Louise Hay, Gabrielle Bernstein, Wayne Dyer, are all students of the Course, and I want to walk the same path, or one very similar.

Here’s a link to the Course in Miracle’s website I’ve been looking at. It’s less intimidating to me than that huge blue book: http://acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html?daily_lesson=10

Releasing the Need

Earlier this year I met Louise Hay in the form of books and audio recordings. She has quickly become the most influential spiritual guide in my life. She’s not too ethereal and mystic or preachy and badgering. She’s just straightforward and funny without trying. My kind of lady. Anyway, this past weekend I was thinking about old habits because I was in situations where some old habits didn’t resurface but deep, guttural ones did.

Louise Hay talks about “Releasing the Need,” which refers to how we hang onto certain ideas, beliefs, behavior patterns, disease, weight, all because we have a need for them. I found that to be completely fascinating. How could I need to be fat? Or need to be pissed all the time? Or need to be sick with cold and infection?

I don’t buy books anymore because I like to travel light. I don’t plan on buying books until I’m completely settled but I did buy Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body
It’s a small little book that has all these ailments, the causes of them and affirmations to overcome them. Last week I started to get post nasal drip symptoms, which I  used to get a lot a few years ago. I used to think it was because I worked a job I didn’t like. In all actuality, I liked my job, I just didn’t like the company I worked for, so I quit.  I thought I would never get post nasal drip again, but last week I had it full on.

Immediately I pulled out the Louise Hay book, and looked up post nasal drip. It said: Inner crying, childish tears, victim. The affirmations were: I acknowledge and accept that I am the creative power in my world. I now choose to enjoy my life.

Powerful stuff, right?

When I read the affirmation to combat Post nasal drip, I immediately felt something within me that said, yes, this is you, this is what you need to release. Affirmations are such powerful things. You say them and read them so much that they become part of your thinking and then the physical changes happen. Just seeing this affirmation felt awkward to me because I guess choosing to enjoy my life or be the creative power in my world just wasn’t something I was used to thinking.

On a more positive note, my intention with writing this entry was to say that I have released the need to eat bad food since my boyfriend did end up visiting me this weekend but I found I couldn’t pig out with him like I used to because I just didn’t want to and my stomach couldn’t handle it. Having sugary boba drinks and rice pudding just didn’t sound appealing to me anymore. Releasing the need for one thing allowed me to go deeper to release other things that have been brewing up in me. I guess that’s why I like Louise Hay so much because she’s someone who has been through many hardships and has overcame them and is healthy enough to share what has worked for her so that it can work for others.

The Lemonade Cleanse Day 7

Oh man, I’m so happy to say that today is Day 7. I have endured the Lemonade Cleanse for one entire week and I only have three more days to go. I find that my days go by faster when I have to work and my weekend is now over since my work week starts on Sunday. I have a feeling the next three days will fly by.

I suppose the only thing that concerns me is how I’m going to stay feeling this way–light, clean, and toxin-free. I love how light my stomach feels. I love how my clothes fit. I love that my face has cleared up, and how in the moment I am. This cleanse is very centering. I started to imagine what the world would be like if we were all ate healthy and lived healthy lifestyles. Then I remembered something Louise Hay said about not trying to change other people and just focusing on changing ourselves. People around us are mirrors of ourselves and if we change ourselves then we change others. I find that hard sometimes because I like to help people, but I’ve learned that there’s only so much you can do to help others. It has always felt selfish for me to care about myself only and put myself first, but that’s what I’m doing now. That’s what moving to Arizona was all about. Change requires patience and takes time as with anything worth having.

I don’t need to worry about how things will happen. Like I’ve heard Louise Hay mention so many times-we need to focus on what we want to happen and “the how” will take care of itself. I think wondering “how” is fear and it’s been a journey to change my thinking and have faith that what I want will happen if I focus positive energy on what I want, rather than how it will come to be.

So today I’m focusing on feeling positive and continuing to feel light, clean, and toxin-free.

Put Yourself Through The Fire

There’s an amazing quote that I’ve heard Bikram Yoga instructors say often in class which is “put yourself through the fire and no one can touch you.” Today I apply that to my current condition which has totally humanized me: a nice little cold.

I am human but unlike many humans who take medicine to heal the common cold, I put myself through the fire in order to heal my sickness. I’m not fond of aspirins and over the counter drugs. To me, they only prolong the healing process. Instead of drowning my sorrows in Nyquil, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen, I made my body go through the fire of a Bikram yoga class whereby I experienced intense chills, nausea, and dizziness as my body detoxified all of the fear out of my mind. Oh, it was hard but worth it.
What I also love doing when I feel sick is making vegetable soup.
The process of cutting vegetables, especially onions and garlic, feels cleansing and detoxifying. There’s something about onion induced watery eyes that just feels like you are getting better and eating hot soup really makes you sweat and is comforting.

After the yoga and soup, I began to think about why I might have gotten sick in the first place and then it came to me. Sunday I had a heated conversation with my boyfriend via telephone and I immediately got a headache after. We were talking about the future and I was the one thinking negatively, not behaving very Louise Hay-like. I was letting fear take over and I can’t help but think that is what made me sick.

Today was all about making choices and deciding on what it is I want rather than what I don’t want because indecision clouds signals to the universe and indecision is really just fear at work that makes me get sick. I want to feel good. I want to feel peace in my present moment. The future isn’t here. The past isn’t here.
I let fear control my mind and I got sick.

I had to be aware of that. I had to put myself through the fire by just being in my present moment, getting in touch with my center. Once I became aware, I started to feel better.

Anyway, this experience of being sick reminded me that fear and negativity are what make people sick mostly and once we clear up our minds, the body heals. The way I work is that once I eat right and exercise, I get meditative and get in touch with my root, my center. Everything makes sense after that. This is what I experienced today.

Being sick couldn’t come at a better time since it solidified my decision to start my Lemonade cleanse (Master Cleanse) documentary come this Sunday. Ten days of documentary blogging will be coming as I cleanse all the caca out of my stomach that has built up since I last did the cleanse in February.

Leave your friends alone

So I was listening to Louise Hay’s audio book, You Can Heal Your Life 4 CD Set by Hay. Louise L. ( 2004 ) Audio CD again. I reference that book a lot because I listen to it on my Ipod when I take breaks at work and I always hear new things that I feel are important for me to hear. I put my Ipod on shuffle and I often hear the same tracks from the book over and over again. I feel like I’m just meant to hear certain things. I love the shuffle function for that reason, almost like the universe is speaking to me through my Ipod.

Anyway, so there’s a track that talks about mirroring and focusing on yourself rather than focusing on others. Louise Hay straight out says, “leave your friends alone.” She says that we want to fix others before we fix ourselves. She says that you can’t change anyone. If you want to change the people around you, you must start with changing yourself. After hearing that, I just have become more aware of how the people around us are really mirrors of ourselves and we can’t change others. We can only change ourselves.

This track or chapter from Louise Hay’s book really resonated with me because this whole trying to change others has been true for me up until I came here to Arizona. I used to have a need to fix others or at least try. I would see people who seemed in bad situations and feel like I had to help them. I had an alcoholic friend who I tried to help out with nutrition and yoga who ended up drinking alcohol while doing the lemonade cleanse and ending up in the hospital. I had another nutball friend who had just gotten out of rehab. I’ll never forget taking her to her first Bikram Yoga class and waiting for her to finish smoking a cigarette around 30 minutes before the class began.

Boy was that exhausting. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t change them. Now that I’m here on my own, I have no choice but to focus on myself but sometimes I think about helping people. I just can’t help it. Most of my jobs up until now have been in the non-profit sector helping people but did I ever focus on myself or my own creative endeavors? No. I like to help people, I like to make a difference but there came a point when I realized I had to take care of myself first.

The last time I tried to help a friend it was because she asked me. She asked me what she could eat to lose weight and stop having so much gas in her stomach. So, I invited her over my mom’s house and we prepared two salads and a pasta dish. I didn’t want to scare the crap out of her by going all raw so I added the pasta dish so she would have something familiar to her.

I think the problem with that experience was that I didn’t have a plan. I kinda got together with my mom that afternoon before my friend came over and we decided on what we thought we should make. By the end of it, I don’t think my friend really enjoyed the food. The thing is, I have thought about coming up with a diet plan for her ever since that day…But I started thinking, maybe I won’t come to her with this diet plan. I’ll just write it out and experiment on myself. I mean, what better test subject than myself? I’ll just leave my friends alone and focus on me.  Maybe those people were in my life before because I had a need to fix messed up people. Now I think my need is to really focus on myself, rather than others. There’s always room for improvement. I need structure and guidance just as much as anyone else. That’s why I did the Ani Phyo raw cleanse in the first place. I needed the structure. Now that it’s over, I find myself wanting to take from different recipes and authors that I’ve read, tried, or want to try and come up with my own plan, one that is more familiar to people who are transitioning from eating Taco Bell to cooking or preparing their own meals. Dairy-free, meat-free, and inexpensive. This is the task at hand.

I use helping others as my inspiration but inevitably I have to leave them alone and not focus on pushing an alternative lifestyle on anyone. I will get prepared and if anyone comes to me, I will be ready to help.

Day 19 of 21

What do I love to do on my day off? Cook, experiment with recipes I’ve been reading about, watch the Food Network. Today is Friday, and I have two more days on the cleanse. I feel inspired to stay raw this time around after the cleanse is over. This is the first time in my life where I feel really safe and organized because I moved away from everything I knew and now spend a great majority of my day being productive, focusing on my health, my career, and what I love. Going on a cleanse has made my body super sensitive. It was already sensitive from doing Bikram Yoga but now it’s really sensitive. I didn’t used to get stomach aches eating bread or chips but now I do. I think I was supposed to experience days where I cheated by eating carbs so I could see just how awful my body feels when I eat food that is cooked or processed.

I think what I love the most about the cleanse is just how sensitive my system has become. Health is not a game. Good health is something we may or not be born with but I think there is no such thing as a genetic predisposition towards being fat, prone to any certain diseases or addictions. People develop sickness due to what they believe and the environments they are around. Yea, maybe if you grow up in a toxic family full of toxic thoughts and behaviors, then you will be prone to getting diseases that manifest in the body as a result of the toxic nature of the family’s thoughts and actions. Trust me, I was born into a family full of toxicity and I hung out with people who were toxic because it’s what I knew. I was pretty chubby growing up because I was fearful. In Louise Hay’s book “You can heal your life,” she has a list of ailments and the reasons why they occur, along with affirmations you can use to create new thinking that will change you and heal the ailment.

Carrying excess weight means that you are trying to get protection and you don’t feel like you are safe. That makes complete sense to me. When I was a kid, I was always scared so I put on excess weight. I didn’t feel I was okay. You can diet and exercise all you want, but if you don’t change those fundamental thoughts that made you so sick, then you aren’t going to change.

I’ve been working hard to change with diet, exercise, and affirmations. I had gained thirty pounds in a few years but now I’ve nearly lost all that weight because I changed my mind and stopped doing things out of fear. I set my affirmations hourly and read them off my phone. It’s worked for me. I knew there was something better out there for me and for all people. We are meant to operate from love and when we do that, everything else just falls away. We don’t need anything else that isn’t love.

I don’t need to eat any food out there that isn’t made with love. Raw food is made with love. It hasn’t been processed for extended shelf life so that some company can continue to manufacture their crap product on a massive scale. That’s what I think of when I think of how processed foods are created and for what purpose. If it doesn’t grow, then someone made it. Did they make it with love? Did some poor animal have to suffer or die for me to eat it and is this food going to truly nourish my body or is it going to make me sick with disease?

Anyway, these are my thoughts for today as I embrace the weekend. I have to find my camera so I can take some pictures of the awesome dishes I’ve made during this cleanse. Once, I find it I’ll update.

Day 16 of 21

I got home today and felt really really hungry. I saw this baguette on the table that looked so tempting but then I went to touch it, and it was so hard like one of those display food items at Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma. It was funny and reminded me that processed food items look better than they actually are good for you.

Today I listened to Louise Hay’s audio tape, “you can heal your life” and she said that her nutrition philosophy is “if it grows, I eat it. If it doesn’t, I don’t,” or something along those lines. She is a woman who overcame cancer with holistic nutrition and positive affirmations. Honestly, she is one of my biggest inspirations for even creating a blog dedicated to health in the first place. Her existence has shown me that you can really heal your life by changing your mind set and releasing your need for negative thoughts, foods, people, etc. It just starts in the mind. I’ve already learned so much from her and changed aspects in my life due to her teachings.

Lately since I’ve been partaking in this cleanse journey, I feel myself releasing the need to hang onto excess weight and I don’t feel like eating bad stuff as much. It doesn’t serve my purpose as a human being on this earth. I find that exercising and feeling what it feels like to be in my body, just existing, is very grounding.  Eating bad food makes me feel heavy and weighed down but not in the grounded way I need to be in. Exercising definitely helps me be more grounded and in my body as opposed to feeling heavy to be grounded. I know that I like chewing certain foods because I had an oral fixation for years and eating stuff just made me feel better temporarily but that’s it and I now release the need for that behavior.

Anyway! All tangents aside, today is Day 16 and I’m so excited to make the celery almond pate tonight for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to this meal for weeks.

The celery almond pate consists of:

1.5 cups celery chopped, 1/2 tbs fresh grated ginger, 1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 tbs miso, 1/2 cup almond meal, 1 tsp fresh herbs of your choice (dill, tarragon, oregano)

You just put the celery, ginger, raisins, and miso in the food processor and process into small pieces, then add the almond meal and pulse, then finally add the herbs.

Eat this as a dip or put inside of a lettuce, nori wrap, or collard green.

Yup. A total winner. Give it a try.