Posts tagged nature
Accessing Your Intuition

Yesterday, while walking outside in the gentle post-rainstorm mist, I came upon a tree bearing flowers of majestic, otherworldly beauty. I had noticed this tree before in passing and each time it seemed to beckoning me to come closer. As I walked up to the tree I noticed there was one flower perfectly within my reach. Over the past couple of weeks I have been studying the art of flower essences- medicine made by imprinting the energetic makeup of a flower into water using sunlight- and knew in this moment, this flower was my medicine.

Gently asking the flower for permission and receiving a positive feeling, I gingerly picked the flower (a Royal Ponciana), said a prayer of gratitude and returned home to meditate with the flower and create a positive mind-space with which to prepare the essence. Upon researching this flower, I learned that this flower's medicine is confidence, clarity of purpose, and supporting laser-focused action to move forward. My heart began to dance with joy- this was MY flower! My intuition moved me to this medicine as a nudge forward in bringing to life all of the ideas and concepts floating in my mind and my notebooks lately.

This story is less about the flower and more about the process of intuitive guidance. In the moment it is easy to think that we just have random urges to do things, but looking back we often notice the dots that connect and lead us to a moment of truth, discovery or clarity. Our intuition is a system of inner guidance located in the consciousness of our bodies. For some, it's a "gut feeling" or a twinge of energy in the heart. For others it's a soft whisper, a "hit" in the sacral chakra or an energetic reading from the environment. Think of a time when you walked into a room and felt intuition about what had just transpired- is the energy tense after a heated discussion? Is it joyful with celebration? Is it awkward as though you are not welcome? That bodily sensation is your intuition speaking through energy.

Intuition is not "one size fits all", which is why science has a difficult time wrapping it's evidence-based head around the concept that we each have our own unique, subjective experience of very real energetic signal. Discovering and connecting to our unique sense of intuitive guidance is a thrilling adventure. The more we begin to tune in, the less random life feels. The more we listen, the more guided and supported we feel on the path to our most authentic self. The quieter we get, the easier it is to sense the messages that emanate from within. The more we trust, the easier it is to care for our physical, emotional and spiritual form. Intuition is both our connection to ourselves and to the greater intelligence of life.

Intuition guides many aspects of our lives if we allow it to: Finding our "medicine" (plants, dance, meditation, art, stillness, tea, friendship, nourishing food...anything that feels healing), navigating relationships, finding our meaning and purpose in life, knowing if a loved one needs help or healing, choosing the right foods for our bodies, living a creative life, perceiving the energy of our surroundings, knowing when to exert energy and when to rest, feeling into making decisions of our "next move"...when we learn to access our intuition in daily life we may begin to notice ourselves "feeling into" life as much as or more than thinking about it! 

In a society that praises the power of the mind and generally ignores the wisdom in the body, re-connecting to this source of intelligence is an empowering act. Balancing the mind, body and spirit brings us into our wholeness, allowing us to access the entirety of who we truly are. Below I have outlined a few tips for getting out of the mind and into the body to deepen your access to your own intuitive guidance for more clarity, health and direction in life!

Exercises for accessing intuition

1. CREATE TIME FOR STILLNESS. One of the simplest ways to begin accessing our intuition is by sitting in stillness and allow whatever thoughts, messages and feelings to arise and float past your awareness. I find some of my best creative ideas and inspiration come during or right after my daily meditation. Set a timer for 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes- whatever feels accessible to you- and simply be still and breathe. When time is up, take a moment to write down any thoughts, ideas, feelings, urges, images or messages that came through during your time of stillness.

2. WALK WITH NO DESTINATION. This practice is easy and fun and allows your intuition to guide you on an adventure. Go out on a walk with no planned route or destination and allow your intuition guide you. Maybe you intuition says "go left" or "keep walking straight" or "go stand under that tree". After your walk, take a few minutes to journal anything that felt significant, enjoyable or interesting about your adventure and the ways your intuition guided you.

3. START AN INTUITION JOURNAL. Begin a journal to write down moments of intuition and the ways these messages were expressed for you. Where in your body did you feel it?  Was it a voice or a sense of "knowing"? Was it in a dream? While walking? Driving? Meditating? What was your intuition trying to tell you? Did you take action or wait it out? Did you trust the feeling or question it? If you followed the feeling, what was the outcome? Getting to know our unique expression of intuition is a powerful way to feel more guided and supported in our choices and our life path. Approach this with a sense of curiosity rather than judgment!

4. CREATE A HABIT OF TUNING INTO THE BODY. It is common to be so conditioned to stay in the mind- this is exhausting to our energy and cuts us off from some of the most important guidance and messages we have access to in the energy of our bodies. These messages can often come in the form of restlessness, contentment, anxiety, discomfort, pain, and other physical sensations such as hunger, cravings, thirst or fatigue. These messages helped our ancient ancestors know to take care of a need, to change their environment or move to a new one, to pay attention to something or to follow the thread of an instinct. To create a habit of listening to and understanding the messages of the body, set an alarm to go off every hour one day a week and check in with yourself during each alarm. What do you need in that moment? Maybe you are content. Maybe you need a healthy snack or a glass of water. Maybe you need to get up and stretch. Maybe you need to explore an uncomfortable emotion. Maybe you need to take a moment for gratitude! Whatever it is, honor the message and trust that whatever comes up is exactly what was needing to be noticed or seen.

An excellent resource for developing many aspects of intuition through clear information, guided exercises and journaling prompts is the book "The Intuitive Way" by Penney Pierce. Whether intuitive living is a new concept for you or you have been exploring this way for many years, there is wisdom there to be gleaned!

Interested in receiving 1-on-1 support for connecting to your intuition and natural intelligence for health and wellbeing? Head over to my Health Coaching Programs to learn more about how I could support your unique journey of health and wholeness. Schedule a free call with me to experience the power of coaching and find out if one of my programs is the perfect solution for you.

MESSAGES FROM PLANTS: The Sunflower

Plants have been a source of comfort and wisdom for me throughout my life. Always captivated by their beauty, intelligence and humility, I have gleaned many simple yet profound lessons by simply staying open to their messages. I truly believe plants are our allies for healing- in mind, body and spirit!

Yesterday's morning tea and meditation (with the most gorgeous organically grown sunflowers by my side) ended with a channeling of lessons from the noble sunflower. 

The sunflower's existance is literally characterized by a quest to find and drink in the light. Growing above all the rest of the plants, sunflowers have created a life of continually seeking how close they can be towards their source of energy- the Sun. They have even developed a massive surface area for which to absorb and transmute this coveted light.

Sunflowers love light so much they have intelligently designed their entire being in reverence and response to the Sun. During the day they actually follow this light source, always seeking to be connected to and energized by the light. We see divine beauty in the sunflower because yes, they are aesthetically beautiful, but they also hold for us a subtle lesson in following our own Truth, our own source of Light.

The sunflower teaches us about a life of seeking, responding and growing towards our "Light"- anything in life that gives us energy. This Light can be those things you love and feel most drawn to, the habits, attitudes and behaviors that feel life-giving, our sense of connection to divine/spiritual guidance and the guidance we feel from following our intuition.

APPLYING THE SUNFLOWER'S WISDOM

SEEK WHAT GIVES YOU ENERGY IN MIND, BODY, SOUL.

MIND What thoughts, beliefs and intentions fill you with positive energy? And those which drain you of energy- is there a way to change them to be more life-giving? The sunflowers asks us to keep our thoughts about ourselves and other positive so we may stay in the growth-giving powers of the Light.

BODY What foods and health habits give you the most energy? Foods vibrate at different frequencies, some holding more energy than others. Foods fresh from the Earth are filled with the pure energy of the Sun and are life-giving! Processed foods have been altered so drastically that their energy content has been compromised. When you choose foods, do you choose mostly high-energy or low-energy foods? When you choose the habits and activities that make up your day, do you choose those that add to your energy or drain your energy? The sunflower asks us to choose our habits and behaviors based on how they align us with the life-giving qualities of our brightest Light.

SOUL Do you regularly allow yourself to listen to the subtle messages of the heart and soul? The light of the sunflower is the Sun- our own Light is our unique form of inner and divine guidance and our truth. Following our Light means taking heed of what lights us up and responding to what make us feel most alive. When we are aligned with our Source of Light, we feel a sense of trust in our personal quest. We know, deep inside, that our Light will not lead us astray.

REMEMBER THAT LIGHT STILL EXISTS EVEN ON THE CLOUDIEST DAYS.

On overcast days the sunflowers does not shrivel up and become despondent. They keep their heads up high, knowing that behind the clouds the Sun is still shining. The sunflower teaches us to continually seek the Light, even during those times when it may feel difficult or impossible to see and feel it.

The sunflower knows that they have a connection so deep with the Light that they have become a reflection of the Light. This Light runs so deep within them that they can actually brighten a cloudy day with the radiance of their very being!

Channeling the wisdom of the sunflower, we remember that by simply seeking the Light, we become the Light. The yellow of their petals corresponds to the Third Chakra- the solar plexus. This chakra is the source of our Light- our personal power. This chakra asks us to "radiate our power into the world". The more Light we seek and allow to shine onto us, the more we become a powerful Light both for ourselves and for others.

Any time we feel in need of inspiration to connect back to our Light, we can simply call on the energy and wisdom of the sunflower as our guide.

Below is a meditation based on the energy sunflower to open and activate the personal power of our Solar Plexus Chakra.

Simply lie down comfortably, close your eyes, listen with headphones in and relax!

Cyclical Living: Spring Notes

In the spirit of living in harmony with the seasons, I have curated a guide for the activities, energies, tastes, smells, remedies and self-care practices that encompass the creativity, rebirth and vibrance of Spring.

Living in sync with the cycles of the seasons is a potent way to tap into the energies of nature that can guide flourishing in our lives. Because our modern culture is often disconnected from nature and the cycles of the Earth, simply bringing awareness to the beauty and intentionality of these seasonal shifts is a simple way to re-cultivate this sacred connection. Participating in the celebration of each new season may impart a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beautiful planet we live on! Living cyclically also has positive implications for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

From personal life, to work, to health, to leisure, Spring is a time for shedding the layers of Winter. It's a time for planting new seeds, setting inspired goals for the year ahead, flowing with the energy of creativity. It calls us to engage with the abundance of physical energy we feel, and celebrate the vibrant colors, longer days, warmer air and overall sense of renewal.

MOVE

In this part of the year, we have an increasing abundance of energy due to longer days, warmer temperatures and a natural inclination to move our bodies. This is a great time to:

GET OUTDOORS Take up an outdoor fitness practice such as hiking, walking, biking, group exercise classes...anything that gets you out into the fresh air!

CONSISTENCY Plan a consistent movement time each day. Whether morning, afternoon or evening, create a ritual that gets your body moving, daily.

GARDEN Plant a garden! This simple pleasure gets you outside and can be quite physical. It also imparts a sense of stewardship for the blossoming of new life. If this isn't possible where you live, try transplanting some new house plant cuttings indoors to nurture or find a community garden near you.

FRIENDS Move with friends! Springtime often fuels an increased desire to be social. Try out a new exercise class with a friend, go on a hike or nature walk, or create a new group fitness or yoga routine in the park.

NOVELTY Move in a new way! Re-define your paradigm of "exercise". Try something fun, that maybe you always wanted to try, and be open to new experiences of movement.

EAT

Our bodies understand the shifting of the seasons and often crave lighter, fresher, more colorful foods during the Springtime. They sense that it is time to shed a layer, physically and emotionally, and may naturally direct you to making food choices to facilitate this! Springtime is also seen as a time for cleansing. This can mean salads, raw foods, light soups, juices, smoothies, Buddha bowls, and meals packed with fresh vegetables, herbs, light grains, lean proteins, plenty of greens and an abundance of fresh water.

SPRING PALATE SUGGESTIONS

LETTUCES Bibb, romaine, butter, mesclun, arugula.

VEGETABLES Onion, carrots, snap peas, asparagus, garlic, fennel, radish, broccoli, avocado, leek, spinach, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms.

FRESH HERBS Dill, basil, mint, tarragon, lemon balm, chives, rosemary, thyme.

FRUITS Lemon, mandarin, mango, orange, papaya, strawberry, grapefruit, cherry, watermelon.

GRAINS quinoa, amaranth, couscous, farro, barley.

RECIPE I can't get enough of this Spring soup recipe.

BE

PLANT NEW SEEDS This time of year is perfect for "planting new seeds" for a business project or idea, new friendships and relationships, new routines, rituals and self-care practices, and anything in your life that is calling for a fresh start. We feel creative and inspired by the energy of Spring, and channeling this into hobbies, work and relationships feels natural and easy.

TRY SOMETHING NEW Bring a bit of novelty into your work, your routine, your leisure! This is a powerful time to implement new habits, rituals and intentions that bring you into more intimate alignment with the life you are creating. Maybe it's finally time to truly begin that meditation practice you've been mulling over? *hint hint* ;) Or simply visit a new park, museum or bookstore, or take a class such as ceramics, herbalism, or an intersting workshop. Expand your horizons!

BALANCE The equal length of the days and nights represents finding a sense of balance and equilibrium in our lives. This might mean a work/life balance, a seriousness/playfulness balance, a masculine energy/feminine energy balance, or simply balance in your diet, relationships and daily schedule. Journal about what "living a  balanced life" would look and feel like for you right now. Pick one or two ways in which you could implement the balance you envision into your daily life this season through new habits, rituals, behaviors and beleifs.

BECOME Spring propels new action. It can feel like a rejoicing, a new hope, gratitude, joy, and fertility for new ideas and creative ventures. Journal about your journey from "being" to "becoming"- from the experience of existing where you now, to evolving into what is next. What new adventures, growth, possibilities, opportunities and successes are on your horizon? Now is the perfect time to look forward to all that is evolving as you are growing in your life.

CREATE Tap into your unique creative force. Make art, write, sing, dance, inspire, be inspired. Creativity is the natural force of the universe and is especially potent during this time at the Earth creates a re-birth of new life.

REMEDY

Herbal remedies, essential oils and self-care practices to complement the bright, vibrant energy of Springtime.

HERBAL REMEDIES

CALENDULA A bright, sunny flower with beautiful energy. Can be made into a healing salve or oil, such as the one here, and can even be added to salads!.

NETTLES A natural allergy remedy and tonic for nails, hair and skin. Brew as a tea or infusion, and serve with raw honey over ice.

GINGER  Fires up digestion and aids in cleansing of the digestive system. Add to smoothies, juices and cooked foods.

DANDELION LEAF AND ROOT Supports the liver, kidneys and digestive system and is a natural diuretic.

TRIPHALA Supports clearing of digestive tract and aids in detoxification.

ESSENTIAL OILS

LEMONGRASS an energizing, uplifting scent and a natural bug repellent for outdoor adventures.

EUCALYPTUS a natural allergy remedy and energizing addition to showers and diffusers.

GRAPEFRUIT adds a bright flavor to smoothies and drinks, supports energy levels and metabolism, promotes mental focus, uplifts mood, promotes feelings of vitality.

YLANG YLANG Calming and uplifting, massage into scalp for healthy hair after sun exposure, promotes optimism and a positive perspective.

PEPPERMINT Energizing and cooling. Add two drops to palms, rub together, and inhale for an instant energy boost. Rub onto neck and shoulders (spot test for sensitivity first) for a tingly, cooling sensation after outdoor adventures.

SWEET ORANGE Anti-depressant, purifying for air, home surfaces and body, add to smoothies, juices, beverages and foods for a citrusy flavor, uplifting and energizing.

SELF-CARE

EXFOLIATE Slough away the dullness of winter skin with gently daily exfoliation. I love this exfoliating soap and this DIY moisturizing scrub.

STIMULATE LYMPH During the winter months, lymph fluid tends to stagnate due to less physical activity. Get this natural detox mechanism moving through dry brushing, rebounding (jumping on a trampoline!), mindful movement and a daily self-massage.

SUN EXPOSURE Spend at least 20 minutes outside each day and try to get some sun on your skin! This increases the production of Vitamin D, increases energy, heightens feeling of wellbeing and regulates circadian rhythms. 

GO NATURAL What parts of your self-care and beauty routine can benefit from a switch to a natural product? Where can you minimize to let your natural beauty shine?

Spring is a beautiful time to begin truly taking action on the vision you have for your body, your health and your life. For personalized, one-on-one support for creating new habits that stick, achieving your health goals, and engaging in your own personal health and life transformation, let's talk!

Flower Power: Calendula-Infused Oil

Today marks the Spring Equinox- the first day of this season of warmer, longer days, a sense of renewal and the energy of re-birth. This morning, while tending to some Spring cleaning, I noticed (and let's be honest, was distracted by) the beautiful herbs and flowers that have been sitting in my kitchen cupboard. What better day to play with some flowers and create a healing oil than today? This beautiful calendula-infused oil contains the incredible healing and soothing properties of this vibrant yellow flower.

Calendula is used as a healing agent for cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, minor skin infections, insect bites and more. It's anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties both protect wounds and speed their healing. The calendula plant is associated with the energy of the New Moon, as this is typically the one day a month the flower will bloom!

I love to use this oil on my face and body for minor irritations and also as a potent moisturizer or massage oil. It can be a special anointing oil used for the New Moon each month and as a seasonal reminder of the vibrance of Spring.

There are two ways to make this oil- cold and hot infusion. I am using cold (also called the solar method- uses the heat of the sun to aid infusion) this time around as I am no hurry! Cold is also typically a better option for fully preserving the medicinal benefits of the plant.

COLD INFUSION FOR CALENDULA OIL (SOLAR METHOD)

  1. Place calendula flowers in a clean, dry glass jar. I recommend using dried flowers in this recipe. If using fresh flowers, allow to wilt and dry out for 12 hours before use.
  2. Pour carrier oil of your choice into the jar (I used equal parts fractionated coconut oil and sweet almond oil), making sure to cover the flowers by at least 1” of oil so they will have space to expand.
  3. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
  4. Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake daily.
  5. After 4 weeks, strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth.
  6. Pour the infused oil into a glass bottle and store in a cool, dark place.

HOT INFUSION FOR CALENDULA OIL (QUICK METHOD)

  1. Place herbs in crock-pot or double boiler and cover with carrier oil of choice, leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs. 
  2. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1- 4 hours, or until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herb. 
  3. Turn off heat and allow to cool. 
  4. Once oil is cooled, strain using a cheescloth, and bottle into a clean, dry glass container.
  5. Store in a cool, dark, dry place. 
Natural Allergy Remedies

Have you been noticing the thick green mask over cars, windows, sidewalks- literally everything? Pollen season is here and if you are allergic, it can be a tough, sniffly, itchy, foggy, congested time to weather. Though we are currently suffering these symptoms due to the power of nature, nature also offers us natural remedies that provide relief and even boost the immune system for internal protection against allergens year-round. Using the remedies below, I have been able to brave this normally debilitating time without over-the-counter medicine or pharmaceutical support of any kind. Combine all these remedies daily or pick the ones that feel easiest to implement!

EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL Simply add a few drops to your shower floor and allow the hot water to create a luxurious steam-room of sinus relief. OR, create a SINUS STEAM with the oil for anytime relief. You may also diffuse the oil or make a rollerball for plant medicine on-the-go.

NETTLE TEA+INFUSION Nettles are magical. They are a natural antihistamine. When made into a tea or infusion (a strong tea), they offer deep mineralization to every cell in the body. Human tests have found nettles to be effective in reducing symptoms of hay fever and allergies. Firsthand experience tells me- it works! Nettles also have amazing benefits for nail growth, hair growth and healthy skin. To make the infusion, combine 3 Tbsp with 6 cups of hot water, let steep 4 hours, strain, and consume within 2 days. Buy nettles locally here.

PROBIOTICS + FERMENTS Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement or a daily does of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kimbucha, beet kvass, fermented vegetables, etc.) helps to create a more resilient immune system. A strong presence of gut flora helps defend against the body against incoming allergens, thereby reducing their impact. This is the ultimate form of protecting from the inside-out.

CORDYCEPS Powdered cordyceps mushroom is easily added to tea, coffee, soups, sauces and pretty much into any food or drink! It is renowned for it's inflammation-reducing and immune-boosting properties. Buy it online here or locally here.

LEMON + LAVENDER + PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OILS There are many ways to experience this beautiful combination of oils. Diffuse 2 drops of each day and night for consistent protection. Make a roller ball with 2 drops of each and your favorite carrier oil (I use jojoba or fractionated coconut oil). Place 1 drop of each in your palm, and inhale deeply for instant relief. Add 1-2 drops of each to a veggie cap and take 1-2 times daily (use food-grade oils ONLY). Contact me to purchase food-grade oils!

LOCAL RAW HONEY Probably one of the most commonly cited natural remedies. Because raw local honey contains pollen from the local flora, consuming it boosts your immune system against these offenders. Add it infusions, tea, coffee, foods- it really makes anything better!

BEE POLLEN Reduces histamine, thereby lessening the allergy response. The benefits are similar to raw honey, while also containing additional healing amino acids and enzymes. Add to smoothies, granola, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.