13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

Happy Earth Day 2021!

I hope that you were able to get outside today to enjoy a little bit of our beautiful planet’s natural offerings. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy a short hike today, which as you may already know, I love doing. I am glad that the weather is warming up and that, albeit slow, we’re all moving toward doing our best to get Covid-19 under control so that we can all get back to our definition of “normal living.”

Going outside to enjoy nature is just one of the things that I do to celebrate Earth Day each year; and I’ve compiled a list of 13 of my favorite Earth Day activities to share with you. These are also great everyday selfcare activities to do during any time of the year as well. Enjoy!

  1. Visit a state or national park (physically or virtually).
  2. Go hiking.
  3. Do a little earthing or forest bathing.
  4. Go for a walk in your neighborhood (solo, with someone, or walk your dog.)
  5. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
  6. Make a herbal face mask or hand scrub instead of buying one.
  7. Take a bath instead of showering to save water.
  8. Turn off your electronic devices for the day to save energy, and digitally detox at the same time.
  9. Enjoy plant based meals all day.
  10. Repot your plants that need it, divide those that have extra growth and start new plants and give them to family and friends as gifts.
  11. Cut flowers from your garden or buy them to bring nature’s beauty into your home space – just because.
  12. Make your own herbal tea with fresh herbs and plants such as chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, or peppermint.
  13. Meditate, do your yoga practice or any other exercise outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Life is generally good, right? I think that most people would agree that life, even with it’s disappointments, is okay. In fact, more often than not, it can be pretty amazing.

Today might be filled with happiness, joy and excitement; while tomorrow “could” bring sadness or pain – and that’s okay. It’s okay because living isn’t about having everything work out for the best all of the time, as much as it’s about being able to make it through the rough times; and to do so with a healthy mind frame and not allowing our disappointments to define us.

We expect too much sometimes, I think. We also tend to become complacent in our ability to not let our egos get the best of us. It’s easy to believe that things will always be the way that they are – especially when things are going great. Of course, this may not be true for everyone.

Well, 2020 should have taught us a thing or two. It should have reminded us of our lack of control. The control that we tend to thing that we have, when truthfully any semblance of control that we thing we have is actually quite minor.

We should always be open to “other” possibilities. Why? Because that is what helps us transition better when thing do not go our way. At any time, even the healthiest person can suddenly become chronically ill. Or, that well-to-do friend of yours that you thought was so blessed and fortunate can suddenly lose everything. Or that job that you thought that you would retire with could suddenly go out of business.

When disappointments happen they can leave us feeling sad, angry or regretful that we couldn’t have done more to prevent whatever happened from happening. The key though is not to ruminate over disappointments when they occur. As difficult as that might be – just don’t do it. Please don’t do it, unless you’re looking for more disappointment.

We have to be willing to accept the life that we have been given, regardless of whether or not we approve of the outcome. You have to just keep moving forward.

Now, there may be disappointing situations that call for you to contest or dispute, because there are many things in life that we must fight for – but I am not talking about those type of disappointments. I am talking about the ones that we absolutely cannot control.

When life throws a little disappointment your way you don’t have to forget what happened, (you need to remember as that will be connected to your personal growth), but you do have to learn to accept life’s disappointments.

Once you learn to that, then you can conquer anything. When faced with something disappointing I like to remember the phrase “God doesn’t give us anything that we cannot handle.” It always helps me to keep things in perspective. So, if you’re experiencing something less than favorable and you feel that the sky has fallen – try remembering that phrase and see how that works for you. Also, stay strong, keep the faith and know in your heart and soul that all will be well in the end. All you have to do is learn to accept whatever is making you feel that way or, if you are able to change the situation – change it. All else is madness and who wants that?

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Take care and be well.

Brighter Days Ahead

Brighter Days Ahead

Spring will arrive in less than 30 days. There is a special balance that occurs with regard to lightness and darkness during this time of the year. The time of year that we know as the spring equinox.

As we begin to gain more daylight, we still have periods of dark which can serve as a reminder that a time of growth and beauty is upon us; and that we can move forward from a period of stillness. It’s a time when the period of grounding that we endured during the winter comes to an end, and we begin leaning toward the sun and celebrating the newness and hopefulness of the spring season.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Take care and be well.

Blessings.

– Carol

A Lovely Day

A Lovely Day

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while.

I am in an extremely good mood today. I’m in such a good mood that I felt compelled to make today the day that I would return to the blogosphere after yet another hiatus.

Today is light-filled. But, more than that it is joy-filled for many.

I didn’t expect to see what I observed this morning, which was exactly how much joy is being pushed and rebirthed into the universe until I walked into my family room this morning, turned on the television, and watched the news as people from all walks of life danced and sang in the streets all across America.

It didn’t take long for me to begin dancing and singing along with them with happy tears pouring from my eyes and down my cheeks. It was a beautiful sight to see. It was definitely one of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever felt.

I am probably not the only person who may have felt the stagnation depart from the soul of the United States of America, ( extra special emphasis on the word “united”), because isn’t that the promise of our nation? Isn’t that what we love about it so much even though we have our left and right sides?

Unity is what results when sagacity, impartiality, and the sweetness of empathy are honored and practiced.

And here we have it. Unity wins. Goodness and love prevail. Hope is restored and those who have may have felt as though the sky was falling can feel comfortable enough once again to just close their eyes, take a long deep breath inward, exhale the past and allow their hearts to become lighter again.

Let’s sit with with this feeling for just a moment,

and be grateful for this precious day,

smile,

and let the healing begin.


With love and light,

Until the next post,

Take care.


Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

I’m excited this month because September is the anniversary month of my yoga journey. I am also excited because it is also National Yoga Awareness Month. National Yoga Awareness Month is an annual campaign that was created in 2008, by the Department of Health and Human Services that was designed to acknowledge and share the many health benefits of yoga.

During the month of September, there are often an abundance of offerings involving yoga related activities that can be found. As a result, it is a good time to find discounts and promotions on yoga classes, equipment, supplies, clothing, and the like.

Some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month include:

  • Participating in a yoga challenge.
  • Trying a new style of yoga.
  • Making a commitment to your yoga practice.
  • Taking a yoga class. (Many of which, now, can be taken virtually).
  • Purchasing a new item to help you in your yoga practice.
  • Getting to know more about yoga by reading a book covering the topic of yoga.
  • Practicing an asana that you find challenging.
  • Sharing the benefits of yoga with others.
  • Taking or sharing photos of your yoga asana progress.
  • Strengthening the non-asana part of your yoga practice.
  • Practicing yoga with a friend.

For anyone looking to begin a healthier lifestyle that includes implementing a yoga practice, this is a great month to begin.

I hope that one or more of the ideas that I have presented help inspire you to try yoga, if you have never done so.

Or, perhaps assist you in finding ways to strengthen your yoga practice. Namaste.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take Care.

How I Fell In Love With Yoga

My yoga journey began in 2013. It started with an exercise video that included several ashtanga based yoga sequences that were designed to build strength and increase flexibility. I truly enjoyed those yoga sequences, and remember performing them with so much ease. Later, I attended classes at a yoga studio and at a fitness center. My interest in yoga eventually waned with each passing year, and I began pursuing other interests; such as hiking. I know now, in retrospect, that those ashtanga asanas weren’t designed for anyone just beginning a yoga practice. So, when I look back at that time I feel extremely fortunate for that experience.

It wasn’t until the end 2019 that I would rediscover yoga, and learn that I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. Never, in a million years did I ever expect to be as intrigued with yoga as I am today; after making the decision to pick it up again and deepen my practice. My decision to do so arose from my intent to find a way to manage the grief that I was feeling after losing my son. That led me to begin taking courses that would help me learn about the foundations and fundamentals of yoga . It turns out that was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself.

There was a time when I once thought that yoga only consisted of performing complex asanas (poses), maintaining a “certain look”, or living a specific way. For some, it may be just that, but that is not all that it is. Yoga is so much more.

Besides asanas (poses), yoga is also comprised of meditation and pranayama (breathing). In fact, the word yoga means “to yoke” or join together in Sanskrit. Moreover, according to Pantanjali, the father of yoga, it is about mastering the stillness of the mind, understanding the nature of reality and the true nature of self.

The asanas (poses) are actually just one part of what makes yoga… well…yoga. They are the part that assists in the creation of strength, flexibility and balance. The other components of yoga are related to mental focus, personal and spiritual ethics, and using the breath as a life force. All of which, once practiced daily help increase resilience, compassion and a connection to your higher self and source.

A lot has changed for me personally since 2013 including my levels of physical activity and flexibility. But thankfully, yoga is very forgiving. It doesn’t demand perfection. It only asks that you continue to show up on your mat daily, and when you do show up, that you meet yourself wherever you are, and create space for where you are trying to go. I love that so much.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post..

Please take care.


References:

Satchidananda, Swami, Sri. (2018). The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali . Integral Yoga Publications.

Easwaran, Eknath. (2007). The Bhagavad Gita. Nilgiri Press.

How Are You Doing? A Message of Hope and Solidarity.

How Are You Doing? A Message of Hope and Solidarity.

As we have all been affected in one way or another by the coronavirus, (COVID-19), as it is known as a novel disease; and as a virus by the name SARS-CoV-2 I just wanted to take a moment to check in on you and say that I hope that you are doing well. I hope that your loved ones, too, are doing well. If it happens that you are not doing well or someone that you know is not, or has not fared well as a result of of this pandemic my heart goes out to you and please know that even though you may not know it, there are people who are thinking of you and praying for you every day. I am one of those people. What we are experiencing right now is heavy to bear, but it is something that we will overcome.

I would like to remind you of the importance of being present – especially when life may seem to be unraveling at the seams. Let me share with you a quote by R. Wayne Willis, author of Hope Notes which says, “To grow some hope, take a hope-full step. That first step is the most difficult.” There are times in our lives when cultivating hope can be a hard thing do, but in reality we should never really expect it to be something that will happen overnight. Some things need time. So take it day by day if you need to. Keep the faith and know that we will all get through this together.

If there is anything even the slightest bit positive about what we are now forced to endure, it the opportunity to come together as one as we work through our concerns, fears, losses and patiently await resolve.

As always, thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Please take care.

Aromatic + Curative CCF Tea


I drink a lot of tea. I love tea and I love trying new teas even more. Whether hot or cold, it doesn’t matter, I enjoy both; but I do have a little more of a soft spot for hot tea. Are there any other tea-lovers out there?

I often drink tea throughout the day every day, and there are times when I will even forgo a cup of coffee and replace it with a cup of hot tea instead, (caffeinated of course), to help get myself going in the morning. A cup of black tea or Earl Grey will usually do the trick in this instance.

Otherwise, I prefer decaffeinated or reduced-caffeinated based teas such as green tea, rooibos, tumeric, mint or some other herbally blended tea.

The first Ayurvedic recipe that I tried when I began my journey with ayurveda was a tea recipe known as CCF Tea. The CCF stands for the spices and herbs we know as cumin, coriander and fennel.

If you’ve ever had tumeric tea, the taste of this tea is somewhat reminiscent of that tea. It’s aromatic, slightly “spicy”, and to some it might be a bit pungent or bitter, but please don’t let that description sway you from trying this tea or from getting acquainted with its healing benefits. It is a very delicious and refreshing beverage.

CCF tea helps me tame my food cravings in-between meals, but it is also beneficial in that it nourishes tissues in the body, helps to keep your digestion system running smoothly, reduces inflammation, increases mental alertness, aids the lymphatic system, eases muscle spasms, may help burn fat, helps alleviate menstrual cramps, helps with the flow of breast milk, helps remove waste from the body and aids congestion.

I am including a recipe in today’s post for CCF tea. This recipe is more of a homemade version and calls for the addition of the 3 individual spices (plus 1 additional one), some of which you may already have in your pantry.

However, you should know that this tea blend can also be purchased in one single package from just about anywhere that you would normally buy your tea for anywhere between $5 – $12.

I happen to use both methods, depending on whether or not I purchased the prepackaged blend beforehand, and thankfully I was able to find a really nice brand that is both inexpensive and organic.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Happy tea time!



Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take care.

Ayurveda: What is it?

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Ayurveda! A name that you’ve, undoubtedly, heard a lot about lately as it has become a trending practice. But did you know that ayurveda has been around for a very long time, and is one of the first systems of medicine in human existence?

Originating in India, it is a 5,000 year old system of healing that addresses the mind, body, and soul.

Other forms of healing and medicine have a connection to it such as traditional Chinese medicine, reiki, accupuncture, accupressure, polarity therapy, energy medicine and herbal medicine just to name a few.

One of the most interesting things about ayurveda is the way that it acknowledges the wisdom of other cultures and traditions in addition to its own.

Often referred to as “the science of life”, ayurvedic knowledge was derived from the Indian Vedas, which is one of the oldest written texts in the world, and a traditional concept of philosophical phrases, (known as sutras), as a way of transferring knowledge to the next generation.

A central belief in Ayurveda is that food is medicine, but ayurveda is not just about diet and nutrition. It is a lifestyle that can include diet, maintaining a daily routine, the elimination of bodily toxins, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, breathwork, chanting and various other holistically based selfcare methods – but the most important part of ayurvedic practice is the utilization of dosha specific guidance.

The goal of an ayurvedic practice is to bring the body into a state of balance and to maintain that balance; which in turn, helps with overall wellness. It is also believed to help with healing faster should you become ill.

What I love the most about ayurveda is its personal approach to wellness through the use of doshas that help address your individual and unique health concerns. In other words, it’s customizable and what’s not to love about something that is specially designed to help you care for yourself and address your own specific health needs? Because if you really think about it, health and wellness (perhaps) shouldn’t consist of a “one-size-fits-all solution. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for reading.

Until the next post…

Take care.

25 Ways to Live a Holistic Lifestyle…(With a Focus on the Mind)

25 Ways to Live a Holistic Lifestyle…(With a Focus on the Mind)

Hello everyone! Now that we know that holistic living is more a way of living than just a way to curb illness, (and involves the mind, body and soul), I would like to talk about what holistic living looks like when it solely involves caring for the mind.

A few weeks ago I watched a news program that covered a story on how the rain forest in the Amazon is in danger because of the the excessive practice of burning and clearing away of necessary plant life for commercial purposes due to some of the effects of consumerism. It was quite an interesting program.

They mentioned how that problem has an affect on animal life as well, which was kind of sad, but it really got me thinking. If you’ve ever watched a documentary or read a credible article on the Amazon, you know that it is considered to be “the lungs” of our dear planet earth. Without that critical part of our planet’s whole, who knows what the health of Earth will be like in the years to come. A simple domino effect of problems can have an adverse effect on the “whole”of just about anything. It’s no different with our “selves” .

Whenever one aspect of our health is impacted, (positively or negatively), it can affect other parts of our health, (positively or negatively), too. Our emotions can lead us to develop headaches or stomach issues; or they can have an effect on how well we recover from surgery or illness.

So as you can probably guess, working towards keeping our minds as healthy as we work towards keeping our bodies healthy is a part of living a holistic lifestyle because, again, our mind, body and soul are interconnected.

Here are a few ways that you can apply holistic health to your mind health. This list is not exhaustive, but these are a few things that I have personally learned from holistic practitioners, tried, and deem effective:

  • 1. Practice meditation daily.
  • 2. Use affirmations
  • 3. Practice yoga daily.
  • 4. Think critically about everything.
  • 5. Practice healthy optimism and positivity.
  • 6. Avoid negative thinking.
  • 7. Practice gratitude daily.
  • 8. Develop personal boundaries and avoid toxic relationships / “energy vampires”.
  • 9. Challenge yourself often and release yourself from “comfort zones”.
  • 10. Journal regularly to express and release emotions, feelings and thoughts.
  • 11. Be careful with your thoughts and the things that you allow your mind to entertain.
  • 12. Develop a strategy, such as using a mantra, to redirect your mind from any triggers that might lead to negative thought patterns.
  • 13. Get out into nature and go for a walk to help clear your mind and strengthen mental well being.
  • 14. Try learning new things – often.
  • 15. Give your brains periods of rest by practicing mindfulness, meditation or listening to music.
  • 16. Don’t let your ego take over your being.
  • 17. Practice deep breathing or Pranayama .
  • 18. Practice “Earthing” .
  • 19. Give yourself natural vitamin D by practicing healthy sun gazing.
  • 20. Maintain only those relationships and friendships that foster positive mental health – and that feel good.
  • 21. Try a little aromatherapy every now and then.
  • 22. Detach from social media and technology regularly.
  • 23. Separate your personal life from your work life,
  • 24. Practice minimalism.
  • 25. Create a sacred space in your home – a special place where you can go to for solace and quiet time to find peace from the busyness of daily life.

I hope that this list helps you as much as it has helped me, and if you have any tips of your own with ideas on how to live holistically, (with a focus on the mind), I would love to hear them, so please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

With light and love,

Take care.