Sunday, August 25, 2013

In the World of Wellness: Ayurveda

Wellness is a term widely used that has multiple meanings around health and positive life style changes leading to well-being. Here we will use the term "wellness" as a means of defining a life free from disease as well as a way to explore alternative medicines, what they offer, and what this could mean for you.

Every month I'll do a post on a health and wellness related topic. This will give you a chance to explore other options, become informed, and make the best overall decision for your own well-being.

In the World of Wellness: Ayurveda: "Life - Knowledge"

I'd like to introduce you to a different type of medicine today: Ayurveda, the medicine of India. It is a complex medicine which focuses around the three dosha or vital energy: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Each type has it's own specifications and for those specifications treatments can be done on the patients to bring them to their best health, help them maintain their best health, or even just help them understand who they are and why they are the way they are.
I would dare say Ayurveda is awesome, from my little knowledge of it. Which is, by the way, little. You see, Ayurveda is extremely detailed and for those who want to study this type of medicine they must go to very specific schools with very specific teachings to learn all the in's and out's of it. While Ayurveda can be broken down and easily understood at a basic level, when you really get into it you see how much there truly is to this 5000 year old ancient art of healing.

Because wellness is about you being empowered and informed to make decisions that lead to your best life, I'd like to introduce you to the world of this Indian medicine. But, because I am no Ayurvedic guru, and because I respect the hard work that goes into being someone who is, I have posted several links below that take you to sites with incredible detail on this subject. The first set of links will take you to posts my teacher did, who is incredibly well versed in the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. There's even a quiz so you can find out which one (or which combination of ones) you are. I'm a vata-pitta, or a pitta-vata, depending on the time of year and how I'm feeling and probably about 7 other things. See what I mean by complex? Ah yes, but fascinating.

The other links take you to some well written articles that break down the medicine in an easy to understand way. My suggestion, as always, is to read the info, see how you feel about it, and if you want to pursue it find yourself an expert on the matter.

Enjoy empowering yourself with the interesting and amazing knowledge of Ayurveda!

The Balance of Being by Melanie Jackson
Grounded, Consistent, and Loyal: The Kapha Dosha
Passionate, Fiery, Focuses, and in this heat...Hot Tempered! Pitta!
Creativity, Spontaneity, ever ethereal energy...Vata
The science of life recognizes how wonderfully unique you are (a quiz to determine your dosha type)

Ayurveda: The Chopra Center (you can take a quiz here as well)

Ayurvedic Medicine: An Introduction

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Mantra: Moving Forward

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I said a change (a change) would do you good (a change, would do you good)...
One of the things I like least in life, yet that which is always guaranteed, is change. I'm not a big fan of New when I'm still really enjoying Now, yet everywhere I go New seems to tackle me and force me into it's little web of evilness. OK, and sometimes awesomeness, but I'm going to ignore that right now because right now the New feels scary and scary = evil.

My New is that I'm moving in with The Boyfriend. This is great because we love each other very much and this will solve our whole living in two different cities thing, but this is not great because I am also in love with my house. My house and I have been together for a while, so technically I'm actually cheating on my house with my boyfriend. And now that I'll be renting it out, well, that just makes me it's pimp and that was a job title I never planned on having. But it's not actually that piece of it that I'm stressing about. It's the starting over piece. And every time I move, for me, it means starting over times a kajilllion.

Due to the fact that I have OCD and because I also probably should've been an interior designer, when it comes to my house I am consistently in the phase of Making it Perfect. And when it comes to decorating, my details have details. I don't just pick curtains, I analyze their fabric content, their light and heat reducing qualities, and how many shades of color I can make work with them at any given moment in my room of choice. It always seems like right when I get to a "done" point, I move to a new house only moments later forcing me to start allllllllll over again. And I really, really, really, really, really hate All Over. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to take a nap.

For the last month or so I've been drowning my poor boyfriend in questions on color schemes, sofa placement, which dresser stays and which dresser goes, and how elegant I can make the closet (I'm a big fan of chandeliers in closets. Trust me on this: Chandeliers in closets = awesomeness). While he's been very, very patient and has given  me free reign of everything, I'm still really just...bummed. I'm really going to miss my home sweet home.

I've been thinking and thinking and thinking about this lately. I've realized that in moving forward, sometimes it can feel like you're taking a step back- especially when I look at all of the hard work I've put into my house. But I also know that moving forward leads to better things down the line. What I need to focus on right now is letting go of my soon to be past. Like Eckhart Tole said, the moment you think of the past, you've brought it into the present, therefore there is no such thing as the past. The same goes for the future. There is only now. This moment.

Well, this moment is still freaking me out me a little bit, which is why I'm sharing it with you. Sharing is caring, right? I hope you feel the love.

Have you ever moved for someone you loved? Did you learn to love your new home, city, life?


Image via Society6

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Mantra: Don't Be A Hermit

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Don't be a hermit

About 3 hours outside of Phoenix is a little ghost town called Jerome. Long ago, there was a hermit that lived in a cave in the side of the mountain there and, if you were lucky, you could catch a glimpse of him. Don't be too jealous but once, I even got to talk to him. He no longer lives there, but don't you worry- someone has taken his place.


While I do not live in the side of a mountain the title still fits. I work from home and while that in itself has many, many perks, one of the downsides is that you basically become a hermit. Now that I'm back in school I have enough homework to keep me home the rest of what used to be my free time. Add all of that up and the hermitness sets in even more, slowly taking over all former normal interactions.

I recently realized it had gotten bad when I had a chance to leave my house and be in civilization with, you know, other people, but I decided against it. All day I wanted to get out of the house, but the second I actually could have I decided my house would miss me too much. I just couldn't do that to my poor house. I mean, houses have feelings too. They're actually quite sensitive from what I hear.

Recently on a flight out of town (have you noticed how many of my stories involve plane ride incidents?) I sat by a very fun duo of friends who would not let me be in my own personal hermit bubble, as I had originally planned. They straight up told me that my collection of Oprah magazines were not going to save me because we were, doggone it, going to hang out. Boy, they weren't kidding.

Within this two hour flight I ended up getting a new name (Emilio), let them in on my affinity for Asians, played a newly created game "Guess who Emilio's boyfriend is" (the boy was on the plane with me, but we had accidentally booked separate seats, so they went up and down the aisles looking for him), and told me story after story after ridiculous and hilarious story. One's involving old lady body parts (they work at a hospital in Palm Springs full of Lions, not Cougars, in their words) and one particular story about climbing mount Kilimanjaro while drinking contaminated water that lead to very, very bad things and also very creative reenactments on their part, especially considering we were in the confines of a plane. I will never forget that story, no matter how hard I try. At the end of the flight we had shared magazines, food, and bad life decisions.

In the end,  I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face and a flight attendant had to come check on us. After the plane landed the three of us waited for the boy to show up (so they could see which one of them had guessed correctly via the above mentioned game) and the fun continued as they tried to introduce themselves to someone who was definitely not my boyfriend, but who was Asian so they at least got points for having paid attention earlier.

I cannot fully explain how much fun I had on that plane ride, or just how much crying I did while I was laughing, or even probably how much we annoyed everyone else on the plane, but I really don't care. These people had pulled me right out of my little doomed hermit shell and I will forever own them for their kindness.

To assist you in avoiding this downward spiral of seclusion, I have added some clues Jeff Foxworthy style, via my own personal experiences which I am not proud to admit. You're welcome.

You might be a hermit if...
  • You start talking to your dog as if you're Count Dracula..."My leetle baybay, vat should vee do today?" (If you expect him to answer, you may have bigger problems)
  • You haven't been grocery shopping in so long that your only option for dinner is chocolate chips and seaweed, and you somehow make that work as a meal so that you still don't have to leave the house and get real food
  • You put your gym clothes on, fully intending to go to you favorite gym class, only 5 minutes later deciding to take a nap on the sofa instead. If this has happened 13 times you may or may not have a serious case of hermititis
  • You watch an entire season of a TV show you don't even like because it's "too sunny" or "too rainy" or even "too outdoorsy" to leave your house
So friends, do not make the same mistakes I have recently been making. Leave your houses. Make new friends. Do not let yourself become comfortable in the familiar because your little cave of "just you" will get small and smothering and possibly smelly if you don't shower. Showering is important, too.


Image via Pinterest

Monday, August 5, 2013


Hi Friends- I have a special treat for you today. My friend recently started her own blog, The Inspirational Bitch, and I couldn't wait for her to be a guest on here so you could all get to know the fabulous awesomeness of her: A little swearing, a little honesty, and a little bit of Benedict Cumberbatch. OK, maybe a lot of swearing, but it's her thing and she's really quite good at it.


Chantelle is such a bitch.*

Last week, I received a text from this wonderful, crazy, irritatingly gorgeous woman who suggested that I please join evil forces with her so world domination will be ours write something amazingly awesomesauce and be a guest blogger for Monday’s article! My initial reaction was “Asdgfjfksjshagd YAY SURE OMG SO FUN I’LL BE FAMOUS!” which, of course, swiftly disintegrated into inner panic and consumption of several Xanax. OK, MAYBE I’m being a bit dramatic, but Chantelle is one of the few lovely people in my life who always has a smile on her face, a kind word for all, and radiates positivity and smiles all the live long day. While she consistently serves dish after dish of hilarious and charming anecdotes and advice, I’m over here all, “Try not to curse, use the ‘F’ word or embarrass yourself, just this once, OK!?”

Really fucking irritating, isn’t it? (You knew that was coming and you LIKE it.)

So what does The Inspirational Bitch wish to discuss on this quiet Sunday eve? Honestly, I’m going to be a shmuck and piggyback what Chantelle was talking about last week, Part 4 of Commanding Your Time. Time is a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, therefore a perfect springboard into the cesspool sparkly inviting, gloriously Jamaican-themed pool party of “what -to -do -with -the -time -on -Earth -we -are -given,” (which, incidentally, is currently taking place in my mind palace). The party, not the cesspool. I am the INSPIRATIONAL Bitch, after all, not the Grumptastic Bitch.

Two weeks ago, I turned 34. Entering my 35th year of life spawned an entirely new set of questions for myself- have I accomplished everything I wanted in life up to this point, am I where I pictured myself at this age, am I “successful,” did you SEE that fabulous pair of Louboutins in VOGUE this month?!- which has -since then- sparked an immense drive in me to go out and LIVE LIFE. Like, really live it. Fling-yourself-out-of-an-airplane live it. Can you imagine what you would do with your time if you let go of all of your anxieties, your inner fear about success and failure, and really took the time to be present in the moment to enjoy the savory delights of a meal? A child’s demonical giggle? The way white roses smell? To take a chance on a complete stranger?

The problem is you think you have time. Indeed. Buddha was wise. However, I dare suggest an alternative to this statement: It’s not a problem, because we KNOW we have time. Yes, it is limited to however long our circumstances and our bodies allow us to thrive before we expire…it’s simply our decision what to make of the time that we have left.

I can’t say for the moment that I’ve accomplished the goals I originally set out to do in my short 34 years on this planet. I’m not where I thought I would be at 34. I thought I would have been married to my college sweetheart for several years at this point. I thought perhaps I’d be living in a fabulous home, with a fabulous career and an envy-inducing day-to-day lifestyle. I haven’t written any books (yet), I haven’t traveled as much as I’d like (yet), and I haven’t found the love of my life. YET. But I will. Because in the end, I refuse to give up on the dream and the happiness I hope to find with someone, someday. I have a roof over my head, plenty of ice cream in the freezer, and the love and companionship of those nearest and dearest to my heart. So if perhaps you feel despair, the pressure of time, the overwhelming sense of frustration that the carrot dangled in front of you is just not close enough- reboot your mind.

The answer, my friends, is deliciously simple. So easy, yet so difficult to do. I struggle with it, as do most of the people I love in my life: time is all that we have in the end. Let go of the mundane and useless in our daily lives, be it a person or a feeling that no longer serves you. Take every opportunity that presents itself to you. If it doesn’t turn out the way you planned, it’s going to be one hell of an adventure anyway. Define success by your own standards, not anyone else’s. I know in this day and age, waking up, spinning the same routine and stewing in your own private hell of a cubicle isn’t ideal. (OK, so that cartoon is a tad satirical, even for me; I don’t hate my job and I’m certainly not broke). But ask yourself: will how I feel in this moment last forever, be it a good or a bad emotion? Of course not. Life is an ever-changing adventure. How I feel today may change completely by tomorrow, based on someone new entering my life, someone leaving it, if I should get sick, win the lottery, get pregnant, or meet the love of my life. It’s up to us to spin it the way we want it to be. I personally refuse to be Grumpy Cat. (One is more than enough, anyway…)

It’s never too late for a new beginning.

*And by bitch, I mean one of my best friends whom I adore and would throw myself in front of a train for and also possibly punch babies if I needed to.**
**Babies are assholes.

Image via GapingVoid