The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate our blessings. Society overemphasizes gift giving, eating and drinking rather than getting quiet, conserving and focusing our attention inward. Let's face it, it's time to refuel like bears and hibernate. It is challenging because our schedules are filled with shopping, writing cards, travel and parties. The end result is we overextendourselves and become overwhelmed.The solution is to carve out time to meditate, take that yoga class and relax. These activites will effectively raise endorphines in the brain and enhance a sense of joy and peace. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor this holiday season and invest 20 minutes a day for meditation and prayerful peace.
Simple Breathing Meditation:
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable postion. 2. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. 3. Observe your breath for several minutes. 4. Gradually adjust your breath by increasing the volume. 5. The first part of your breath fill the belly, then the ribcage, and finally up to your collar bones. Essentially you are splitting the breath into 3 parts and gradually filling the lungs. 6. When you reach the top of the breath, pause and hold. 7. Release the breath slowly and evenly. 8. At the end of the breath, pause and hold it. 9. With each inhalation recite the mantra silently to yourself "Let." 10. With each exhalation recite the mantra silently to yourself "Go." 11. Repeat this pattern of the breath with mantra for 5 to 10 minutes.
As thoughts arise, simply let them pass by without a conversation about them.By observing your thoughts without reaction, solutions to any challenges you may be experieincing can freely enter your conscious mind. Let this time of hibernation bring you back to balance.
Om Shanti Peace, Mary Jane
"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one." John Lennon
A new study identified foods that are particularly beneficial for digestive health, and some that are not. Here's the short list:
Legumes and nuts were linked to decreases in potentially harmful bacteria. Higher intake of these foods led to lower levels of markers that are linked to intestinal inflammation.
Meat, fast foods, and refined sugar were associated with a decrease in beneficial bacteria and an increase in inflammation.
Red wine, legumes, vegetables, fruits and cereals were linked to a higher abundance of bacteria with anti-inflammatory functions.
Plant based diets were linked to better energy for cells that line the colon.
Plant based protein was found to enhance the synthesis of vitamins and amino acids.
Strawberry Basil Milkshake
Why not treat yourself this holiday season with a vegan strawberry milkshake. This is one of my favorites from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen.
In a blender, combine the following ingredients: 1 cup soy, almond or rice milk, plus extra if needed
1 pint dairy-free vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons agave
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
You'd be surprised how complimentary the basil is to the strawberries and cream. You'll probably want to eat this with a spoon or at least use an extra-thick straw.
Feng Shui Tips for Holiday Finances
Let's face it, this is the time of year when money seems to fly out of your wallet with purchase after purchase. Wouldn't it be nice for every dollar that goes out, two more float in? Let's take a look at some simple feng shui finance tips for this holiday season and all year round.
1. Declutter your environment inside and out. Clutter creates chaos and that is what we are trying to avoid for obvious reasons. It's a good time to release things in your life with autumn recently ending taking with it the unpredictable movement of (vatta), and over processing of information (metal). The element of water has arrived in full swing so we can freely let go of what no longer serves us and the journey inward can begin. This sets up for transformation.
2. Assess your color palette for rooms located in wealth areas. New opportunities can elicit potential income building. This is associated with the Northwest direction. Rooms in this area should be either in the colors of either earth or metal hues. To support and assist daily finances, choose wood and water hues in rooms located in the Southeast. Choosing proper colors will support and assist these feng shui money points tremendously. After all, walls take up a great deal of square footage and therefore have a substantial impact.
3. If appropriate, place a water feature or fish bowl in the southeast. The movement of clean water propels energy, and when it comes to finances, who couldn't use more movement here!
4. Place images of generosity in the finance directions (Northwest and Southeast), or in an area you pass through often, such as the kitchen. It is in the giving that we receive. This is the underlying basis of triggering the Law of Attraction.
5. Incorporate lush plants in your décor. Healthy plants are a symbol of vitality and growth. They are most impactful for finances when positioned in the southeast portent. Be mindful if this direction is the location of a bedroom by placing only one plant, as too many plants in the bedroom can drain your energy while sleeping. Plants do not emit oxygen in darkness, only during sunlight hours.
6. Make sure there is good support to the rear of your home with tall trees, hedging, rockery or fencing. Inside, create support on back walls with heavy furnishings and powerful artwork such as mountain ranges. Good support to the rear of the structure (fu wei), directly impacts finances and health. After all, if you are not healthy, it becomes extremely difficult to produce wealth.
7. Spruce up the front property and entrance to your home to invite healthy energy to circulate. This means trimming back overgrown vegetation and adding landscaping to areas that are barren.
8. Hang a movement device outdoors in the Northwest (metal chime), and Southeast (bird feeder), to attract wealth from outside sources.
9. Refine, Refine, Refine. This refers to finer points of wealth such as the sheng qi (up to 4 points), the Fu wei (up to 4 points), flying star and 4 Pillars. These refined points will require the assessment of a professionalfeng shui consultant.
10. Meditate before you head out to make your purchases. This will keep your energy focused so you are not distracted by unnecessary items.
For additional ways to incorporate good feng shui design see my Feng Shui Designs in a Flash! This CD is filled with feng shui tips for every room in your home including printable templates for your floor plans. Just scroll down to the bottom of my "Publications" page under "Store" tab on my website.
Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukkah - Happy New Year! Mary Jane Kasliner