Thanksgiving is not just a Holiday

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celebration-315079_640As we approach the month of November, most of us are making plans of some sort to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We collaborate with family and friends on dinner plans and family gatherings. It’s the one time of year we are explicitly reminded to give thanks. Although It is good that a day has been set aside for this, but it is up to each and every one of us to be “giving thanks” every day, all year long.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget that there is still something to be thankful for daily. Sometimes we look around at our financial situation and think that there is nothing to be thankful for. Or we look at our relationship or health challenges and think that giving thanks borders on the absurd. Yet, if we really take a look around us, we can see that we are not alone in our trials, that many others are facing similar problems. There is no exception for trials and tribulations just as no one is exempt from living a life filled with true joy and happiness. But it’s unrealistic to be in a state of happiness when the world is weighing on your shoulders, right? How do you find happiness during the storm? You find it through gratitude.

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Having an attitude of gratitude is a mind shift that turns your focus on the things that matter the most to you. The things that bring you a sense of joy. When we look away from our problems, even for a short time, and generate joy in our hearts, we find that the world seems to change a bit. How can something so seemingly simple make such a big difference? Well, ask yourself this – do you really need a psychological blueprint to convince you to feel good enough to be thankful?  The answer is NO, you don’t because there is plenty for you to be thankful for right in front of you and the universe seems to respond quickly to a grateful heart. We attract the things we focus on. The way it works is that when we break focus with our problems and we take a break from being miserable, the River of Life flows more gently and more fully through our being.

So instead of waiting until the table is set, and family is present to give thanks, stop what you’re doing for one or two minutes, quiet your mind and begin to say to yourself thank you! During this minute or two, think of two or three things or events you are or should be grateful for. water-863053_640 Feel how fortunate you are to have them. For example, I consider myself extremely blessed to have our daughter and a husband that is dedicated to his family. Yes, there are moments of chaos when I think to myself that children were created for the sole purpose of making parents crazy or that men really are from Mars. Yet, with all the ups and downs of being a mother and wife, I consider myself the most fortunate person on earth to have a teenage daughter that will say, “thanks mom” and still lays in any nook she can find next to me. And a husband that lights up when he sees me, reminding me that I must be something he is thankful for. They have taught me patience, understanding, and how to give unconditional love. I could not be who I am without the experience of being mother and wife. For this, I’m grateful and I give thanks. That is the kind of mind shift being thankful is capable of and it is free, yet priceless when it comes to aligning yourself to manifest the things you focus on.

gift-1015694_640What about unfortunate situations? Are we supposed to be thankful for misfortune or tragedy?  Am I happy or grateful that my mom died when she was only 55 years old? Should I be thankful that I was left with a ton of unanswered questions about things that I learned after her passing?
Of course not! But I am grateful the time did we spent together. She was my best friend and I am grateful for her love, for her kindness and compassion and for making it possible for me to be what I am today. We could all turn tragedy into triumph and disaster into divine outcomes if we maintain a spirit of gratitude and if we listen to our heart and soul. It is in our quiet times, in our “thanksgiving” moments that we can hear the universe sing to us. If we listen carefully, we can hear it say, “You are my child and I love you dearly. Look around you. All that I have is yours. Everything is yours. It always has been. Please unwrap your gifts.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Five of my Favorite Mindfulness Techniques to help Center my Mind and Spirit

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Self-improvement or self-help tools come in many shapes and sizes; sometimes it’s physical in nature (a self-help book, having a massage, painting with water colors), or spiritual in nature (flower essences, Reiki, meditation which is both physical and spiritual, etc).

Prayer – Regardless of your religious background or beliefs, I believe it is important to spend time acknowledging and connecting with a higher power, which I personally call God/Spirit, or vibrational frequency. This is when I show my gratitude for what is and ask for guidance for what’s to come. This is my opportunity to unload negative emotions and reconcile the controllables vs. the uncontrollables and communicate my need for guidance.

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Meditation techniques – Meditation is a physical and spiritual mindfulness tool proven to have several benefits in overall health and wellbeing.  Meditation requires you to take control of your thoughts by training your mind to turn them off. This opens room for you to receive the message for solutions to what you prayed about. With a clear and quiet mind, you will begin to hear the ideas that are in alignment with what you asked for in prayer. There are several meditation techniques that are all very effective. If you are not already incorporating meditation in your daily routine, you should consider finding a meditation meetup in your local area and attend a session. This will give you an opportunity to experience and learn how to meditate. Not much of a “groupie”? YouTube it! There are thousands of helpful resources from renowned practitioners that can help you learn how to meditate effectively. Here is a brief list of some of the many benefits of meditation:

  • Meditation reduces stress.
  • It improves concentration
  • It encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • The practice increases self-awareness
  • It increases happiness
  • Meditation increases acceptance
  • It slows aging.

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Get Creative – Coloring or painting with water colors, pastels or oil paints is a wonderful way re-center your thoughts. Activities like these force you to focus on what you are doing and activates the creative part of your brain. This leads to a nice release of tension and negative energy. In fact, Mandala coloring books are very popular and highly recommended as an effective mindfulness tool. This is one of my favorite things to do when I am feeling anticipatory and antsy.

According to  Craig Sawchuk, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Such approaches work “almost like a volume knob to turn down the sympathetic nervous system, the stress response.” Coloring can help slow down heart rate and respiration, loosen muscles and stimulate the brain, he says. Coloring has a “grounding effect” he says, a benefit that can be amplified with deliberate focus on the process — “the gentle pressing of the crayon or pencil on the page, the texture of the paper across your hand, and the soft sounds of the coloring instrument moving back and forth in a rhythmic fashion”.

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Vibrational Essence – Part of ancient wisdom, vibrational essences are used in healing to assist with the removal of emotional blocks and patterns, as well as resolving issues from past lives. As we move through life and collect emotional imprints, we also create a reservoir of negative energy in within our body. Vibrational Essences are generally in liquid form and can also be used in creams, ointments and oils (I sometimes combine mine with an aromatherapy oil blend).  Vibrational substances are derived from light (sun, moon etc), healing energy (universal or spiritual energy, prana, Reiki etc), plants (flowers, stems, leaf etc), mineral (crystals, gold etc).

 Its important to understand that when we have an emotion there is a chemical and biological release of energy that tells our brain how to respond. That energy is either positively charged (negative) or negatively charged (positive). The elements in essences are natural, energy releasing, elements that trigger those energies and help to balance your energy. Bath and Body works has an amazing line of Vibrational Essences that they simply call Aromatherapy. The aroma of various fragrances trigger a vibrational response that your brain will identify and begin to tell your body to respond to the vibration the fragrance triggers.

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Journal it – Journaling is such a healthy and peaceful outlet. Sometimes you just need to get your thoughts out of your head. This is a good way to connect with your emotions and release the energy associated with it. I try to journal daily, but when I am feeling a little off, I journal so I can see what exactly has me feeling how I feel. Find yourself a special journal/diary to write in; something special to write with (can be brightly colored inks or the more traditional black, blue or reds) and make a date with yourself to do some journal writing every morning at the same time (before rising out of bed). I’ve practiced journal writing as a self-help tool for many years and still find it one of the greatest personal growth and self-improvement tools around – and it costs nothing!

Personal growth and evolution is your birth right and ultimate destiny. Don’t settle for a you that is less than the BEST of you. Taking time to take care of your spirit is a vital part of growth. You are accepting accountability for your personal and emotional well-being. That is the first step to a more balanced you!

Be Well,

Calie Swint

Baggage Claim: Kicking Emotional Baggage to the Curb!

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Life, as we know it, is a collection of experiences over time. Every experience leaves an emotional impression on our spirit, energy, and in our minds. These impressions are what map the physical and emotional responses to certain things you encounter later. Subconsciously, we carry this emotional baggage with us everywhere. This article offers a healthy exercise that will guide you through releasing unwanted emotions and the negative energy associated with it.

When you have an experience that sends you into emotional imbalance of some sort, that experience is a trigger. It’s a trigger that is, through emotional mapping, associated with the original introduction to the emotion you are feeling. A lot of times your emotions are misdirected towards a person who has unknowingly triggered your negative emotions. You are not really bothered by the person, as much as you are the emotion that person triggers.

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Figuring things out

Getting rid of the baggage is going to require you to reroute that emotional map. You do this through an exercise I call “baggage claim”. Baggage claim is an exercise that requires you to peel back the layers and get to the ROOT cause of your emotions. Once you learn how to do this, you apply it to every trigger that flips your emotions and start clearing out your emotional baggage.

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Claiming your baggage!

This is the part when you reclaim who you were before you made an emotional connection to something negative. It’s best to do this exercise in a quiet spot with uninterrupted time. This exercise takes time, so be patient with the process. You will want to be in a slightly meditative and calm state when you begin the exercise. When you are ready, Let’s begin…

Focusing on your current most dominant negative emotion, Take a few minutes to engage in steady breathing. Breathing steadily, without pauses or interruption, brings your subconscious mind to the conscious state. Allow yourself to make this connection with the subconscious through breathing in order to proceed. You will know you have reached consciousness when your breathing becomes effortlessly steady. Once you feel comfortable with moving on begin to ask yourself these questions:

How do I feel?

You want to acknowledge the raw emotion. Say it out loud… I feel [emotion]. By doing this, you call attention to the conscious mind to begin recall of this emotion. Sit with this for a bit… Let your physical reactions to the emotion out. Take your time. When you are ready, ask yourself…

When did I last feel this way?

Say it out loud. This is going to begin the process of identifying what is triggering this emotion. Sit with this recollection for a little while. Evaluate the images that come to mind. Say out loud… “I am here with you now”. This will pin the emotion to the conscience state and allow you to identify the trigger.

Next ask out loud…

When was the FIRST time I felt this way?

Now you are calling for the original introduction to the emotion. Evaluate those images. How do they correlate to the LAST time you felt this way and what you are feeling now. Ask yourself, out loud…

Who was there?

Identify who was there. Sit with this for a bit and evaluate the images. What were they doing, wearing, eating… Etc. Ask…

What made me uncomfortable?

Identify what created this emotion for the first time. Say… I acknowledge this introduction to this emotion.

How did it make me feel?

If you have been focused this should bring you back to your current state of emotion. Sit with this for a bit and let the emotion flow through you. Do not run from the emotion… Do not divert from feeling the emotion. If it makes you want to scream… Scream! Allow yourself to fully feel that emotion. Don’t fight any urges you have as the emotion flows through you.  Do not allow the emotion to cause you to harm yourself or anyone else.

Now, while you are IN the midst of your emotions, begin to SAY Thank You over and over. You are now recalling the mapped emotion, acknowledging it, and re-mapping the emotional association with gratitude. Embrace the release and continue to say thank you! As you begin to feel your emotions wind down, visualize how that first emotion could have gone to make you feel better. Evaluate the images you visualize to change that recalled scenario. Allow yourself to feel the new emotion.

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Example: your recalled emotion is that you were left home alone for hours and felt scared and abandoned. You want to visualize, a person of love being present and comforting you. Making you feel safe and secure. You want to say “thank you for comforting and protecting me”. You are acknowledging that you understand and appreciate comfort and security. This is your revelation. This is most likely the root of your emotion for this example. The feeling of lack of security and comfort is scary and triggers your emotion. Now you can release that fear and reassociate it with gratitude and feelings of security. Words of affirmation are key here. You are feeling better already, and should affirm that new emotion by saying… “I am comfortable with being alone. I am secure and safe and I provide that security myself “.

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Once you do this from start to finish for the first time, apply this same exercise to every ugly thing you encounter about yourself AND others. Your dislike for someone could be because your babysitter who wore a hairbun, was boring and fussed at you to get to bed on time. Now you have a problem with the coworker who happenes to wear a bunch but can’t quite explain your dislike. These are the kinds of things you will reveal when you stop and drill down. Frustrated? Stop and drill down. This will always let you know what about your current situation is taking you there and you can release it right then and avoid misdirected emotions. This exercise is typically done with the help of a spiritual or holistic practitioner, however it is perfectly OK to do this yourself if you are an extremely private person. This is a very personal and revealing experience. It puts you back in control of your thoughts and emotions. It is an incredibly mindful way to unload and eliminate your emotional baggage.

One wonderful benefit from drilling down and releasing negative emotions, is that your body releases stored negative energy (positive ions) into your lymphatic system which will prepare you to release them through eliminating (going to the bathroom or sweat). You will be able to tell just how much your body has released in your elimination. You may experience an extremely full bladder several times after you release that energy and replace it with gratitude.  You will also notice muscle tension relief or high energy (take a walk or jog-sweat). These are just the physical indications that should confirm you have released that emotional energy. The best part about this is it teaches you more about you. It forces you to be more mindful and operate in a more conscious state of mind. The end all result is peace of mind and makes for quality spiritual and emotional wellness. Be Well ❤️

Spirituality – What does that even mean?

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Spirituality – What does that even mean?

As I’m sure you are already aware, spirituality has a broad spectrum of meanings making it difficult to definitively define. As we embark on our spiritual journeys and begin to come more and more aware of our connection to a higher power, you may find that you will begin to identify with being a spiritual being. So what then, is spirituality? Spirituality is the process of nurturing your awakened spirit based on a personal understanding of three simple questions:

1) What areas of my life do I find meaning?

2) In what ways do I feel connected (what source/Deity) ?

3) How should I incorporate this in my life?

Spirituality isn’t an alternative “belief” system as much as it is a conscious lifestyle based on the awareness that because of YOUR God Spirit, you are subsequently connected to ALL THINGS. Powerful!

The fact that you are reading this may be some form of conformation that you are exploring your personal spirituality or experiencing a spiritual awakening. The call to become more knowledgeable about whatever topic brought you here is a good sign that you are experiencing a spiritual awakening. That’s a beautiful thing! What you do with the information you encounter, will be based on the answers to your 3 simple questions. The beautiful thing about spirituality is that it’s a personal relationship/connection with you and the source of life/energy, in which I refer to as God. For some, it may serve as an extension of something they believed prior to their awakening, and for others it may be their sole lifestyle of choice. Regardless of how you choose to acknowledge your spirituality, the common ground is the understanding that we are all still connected, and our words and actions towards one another ultimately affect our personal journey. I hope you are having a wonderful experience in your personal journey!  ❤

How do YOU define spirituality? In what ways has your understanding redefined your life? I would love to hear from you!