I was given this by one of my mentors. If you have any difficulty truly loving yourself or feel a block in your heart somehow, try this exercise.
For 21 days in the morning and night repeat:
I know what it feels like to love.
I know how to be completely loved and accepted.
Every breath is filled with love for myself and others.
I know what it feels like to be completely loved by creator.
I understand the Creator's interpretation of love.
I know how to allow love.
I deserve to be loved.
I know how to absorb love.
I know what it feels like to be surrounded by love.
I understand what it feels like to be loved.
I understand how to accept love.
I know how to love someone completely and wholly.
I know how to give love.
I know how to live my day to day life full of love.
I know how to show other's God's (The divine) love through my actions.
I love myself through the Divine.
Some of these may be harder to stay than others. Sticking with these affirmations for 21 days will really allow these words to sink in where you will start to feel it resonate through your being.
As long as I can remember, I have always struggled with addiction.
I have always written in journals since I was a child, I have hundreds of them. There is something so special about picking up a pen and writing down anything on the mind then closing the book only to know its completely private.
This on the other hand is so different.
Writing openly, for all to see, is intimidating. It's vulnerable. It's sensitive. I don't want to be judged, so I don't know where to start.
...Suddenly, I'm shy.
~My intention is to start blogging at least once a week.~
I'm going to take a deep breath and start here...
I've changed. A lot. I barely recognize myself from last year and even reading back on my old journals, it just doesn't even seem like the same person.
Just within these past few months have been extremely life changing. I have taken off in my Thai Yoga Massage business, completely dropped in to a loving relationship with my best friend and finally finishing up an album that has taken over a year to complete.
Those things are just the tip of the ice burg to something much deeper that has changed within me.
You see, my whole life I have been a care taker and most deadly, a fixer. I like to repair people. I actually got a high off of it. Since a very young age, my mother taught me to play this roll very well.
I have learned with much counseling, patience and walking a tight rope of whats healthy and whats dysfunctional. I have cleared out unhealthy people in my life. I have removed myself from most of my old patterns. I have finally learned how to ASSIST people in their healing processes instead of FIXING them.
The past month or so has been that much of an eye opener and a test in my strength against this addictive "fixing" behavior. I have a client of mine that just got diagnosed with brain cancer. Him and his wife have become so close to me and this was a sudden shock to all of us.
I have been traveling to work on him in the hospital whenever he has free time. Though I can't do my traditional Thai Massage, I have been offering Reiki, soft massages and really just a listening ear.
I can't fix him, I know this. What I have learned is this deeper presence within me that I never thought was there. Just showing up, sitting with him, rubbing his feet and listening is ENOUGH. Sometime just BE-ING is enough. I don't have to try. I don't have to give advice. Just listen and be present and that is healing enough.
It's hard, I walk out of there and sometimes cry. Sometimes I can't stop laughing. He teaches me so much through our time together... He keeps saying " Sarah, we all share the same experiences.. We are all one." " You and I are having a healing experience together through this.."
It melts my heart how much this man is awakening to himself for the first time. His wife has said, she feels like she is starting all over in her relationship with him because he is so unbelievably different now. He finally expresses his love, he cries, he giggles! Her unconditional love, support and strength is so inspiring and has taught me a different level of acceptance and patience through partnership. I am humbled to be around them both through this journey of theirs.
And so bringing this back to myself... How many times I feel like I have died only to be reborn again. How many layers we have to shed each day to fully step into our authentic selves. I only hope it doesn't have to take dis-ease, injury and trauma to wake up each time...
As I sit before my meditation shrine and send all the love and healing energy out to the ones I love, I am listening, my god I am listening. I am shedding. And I'm soooo trying to be present.
I have been known to do very extreme detoxes and cleanses.
I enjoy the process of challenging my mind as well as using my body as an experiment for people that are too worried for side affects and the process it's self.
I started out with the box cleanses. Taking a series of pills to clean the liver, kidneys, body and mind. It was OK. I ate the same, did the same routine but I took a hand full of pills a day. I tried a 3 day watermelon cleanse which made me just straight aggressive. If you ever want to see me royally upset, just restrict my diet down to a half watermelon a day and it's over.
I've done just tea cleanses where I drink tea for 3 days. I've tried doing a strict type of food for a week. And then I found the master cleanse! My good friend Sara who is also a Master Nurse got me hooked on it. So for the past 4 years, at the start of every Spring, I ONLY intake cayenne pepper, maple syrup, lemon and water for 10 days.
It's a great cleanse to incorporate right after winter because that's when we hibernate and pack on the extra pounds. The cleanse makes you loose weight and gives you a clean slate.
I LOVED this cleanse and would have recommended it to all! Until now.
I good friend of mine had serious Candida issues. For those of you that aren't aware of what candida is, it's a yeastlike, parasitic fungus. Mostly women get Candida but men can also get it. It comes in all different forms and effects all sorts of things in the body. So she took sugar out of her diet for 6 months to kick this big issue!
Sugar feeds bacteria, infections, injuries, lyme disease and so much more. But most of us think sugar is just stuff we add into what we are making, but it's NOT.
Sugar is actually in EVERYTHING, even meat. The only difference is, each thing you put in your system breaks down a completely different way. So there are some foods that are not good for the body and some that are great!
So back to my friend: She kept telling me to take it out of my diet because I too suffer from Candida issues but I was too stubborn to stop intaking the few sweets I thought I had a day, out. With much frustration from my health issues and wanting to get some lasting results I decided to do the Sugar detox and have other people go on the diet with me so I didn't feel so weak when I wanted a bar of chocolate.
There is always power in numbers.
Here was my challenge:
I took out dairy, fruits, processed sugars as well as honey & maple syrup, alcohol, carbs ( potatoes, breads, grains), soy, beets and carrots.
This was HARD. These things are in EVERYTHING. Also included in most meals at restaurants. So what was I left to eat? Steak and salad? Why not fruit? Isn't that healthy!?
I started doing some serious research and realized sugar was a lot worse than what I had thought. Just two fun facts: 1. Sugar is 8x more addictive than Cocaine. 2. Fruit is all sugar with a tiny bit of fiber, there is nothing good about it.
I definitely felt that on Day 3 in the cleanse. My withdrawal was horrible.
So I bought things at the store like chia seeds to make pudding and almond milk for my coffee. A friend and I started trying to make pancakes with almond flour and coconut flour that didn't turn out that bad! When I was hungry I was forced to stop and think about what I needed to eat instead of grabbing that first thing in sight. It was harder than the Master Cleanse because with liquid all I had to do was put it in jars and drink it. There was no thought to meals therefore it minimized cravings. With the sugar detox, it was a different story.
I got hungry faster and it seemed all I was eating was proteins, nuts, greens and fat's ( like ghee or butter.)
By Day 5 I was feeling unbelievably good. I wasn't waking up in the morning groggy. I felt lighter in my body even though i didn't hop on the scale. I also wasn't having serious cravings anymore.
On a personal note: I have always had skin issues which made me EXTREMELY self conscious my whole life. When I took gluten out of my diet (I'm allergic) a lot of these issues subsided but some would still come on around the time of my menstrual cycle. I thought it was probably hormonal, I thought wrong.
My skin has a hard time exfoliating its self. I have these little bumps on my skin, some areas are worse than others. It doesn't itch, it doesn't look weird, it's just there like goosebumps. What it is, is dead skin cells that are trapped in my pours. I began doing exfoliating scrubs to help the process but it's been on- going.
When I started this cleanse, my skin started to get softer. Not only that, but it seems like my cells have finally woken up to do the job they were designed to do in the first place! I'm pumped! GO SKIN, GO!
The Candida issues I would rather not discuss on a blog, though if you are interested in knowing more, message me. I can say on here that it's completely gone and no longer affecting my life :)
Today is Day 10 and though I am suppose to be done with this cleanse I actually am going to continue in a not so strict way! Side Note: I also lost that stupid extra fat on my body that I'm sure I'm the only one that noticed! HAHA
So, This is what I am going to do: If I want to have carbs like potatoes and rice, I'm going to ferment them first. The fermentation process takes sugar out of the source.
I will only add in small amounts of dairy on rare occasions. I am choosing to sprout most of my beans before consumption. I probably won't have fruit unless it's berries fermented in Kefir. This month I may make an exception to indulging in my favorite kind of apple, The Honey Crisp.
If I make baked yummy things, I will use alternative sugars like Stevia or use a little of honey once and awhile. I actually made "chocolate" for the first time yesterday that came out pretty yummy!
Overall, I think, if you need a diet ( because diets never leave a lasting result), if you need to loose weight, if you have to kick Lyme Disease, if you want to improve your sleeping habits, If you want to feel better overall, Take sugar out of your diet even just to experiment.
You will feel so much better :)
So there's my story on the sugar detox. I encourage those that have done this before, or did it with me to write a little something as well.
Happy eating Ya'll!
Love, Light and Laughter!
It all led up to this moment.
Talk of injuries, pains, loss and grief that have an opportunity to bring much clarity and acceptance into so many people's lives. How often we attempt to have control over our emotions, physical movements and words so much that it slowly builds and boils under the surface waiting to explode..
I had been taking care of family issues that were draining me completely. So much that I was feeling sucked dry on a daily basis and slowly loosing touch with myself. This was a familiar feeling.. I was very used to taking care of my family and never knowing the limit before it became clearly too much. So here I was again, in this familiar feeling, having discussions about balancing giving and receiving energies that all led me up to my yoga class at the rock gym two days ago.
I came into the class, already drained and upset towards a family issue I had earlier in the day. The only thing I wanted to do was help myself and others to get grounded and stable through the feet. So, because rock climbers primarily use there feet and legs to help move and dance up the side of a mountain or plastic, I designed a class around strengthening the toes or as I call them, your "roots."
We worked on lifting the toes, spreading them, especially the "pinky" toe in nearly every pose. From a simple standing forward fold to downward face dog, straight into a lunge I said " Lift your toes, spread them! Lift your Pinky toe, bring your awareness down into your roots! Breathe into them..." And as I walked around poking peoples toes and making people laugh, I reminded everyone that working your toes will help build a better foundation for a healthier and grounded YOU.
So we're making our way from Crow pose into a Tripod inversion variation and I went over to help a student. Great placement of my toes, assisting his hips and one wrong turn of my foot to assist his fall led into an excruciating pain up my ankle, a feeling of throwing up and the room went dark. I panicked.
Not knowing what to do with my throbbing ankle, I told everyone it was fine and to sit down on their mats because we still had 15 min of the class to do. I continued to teach. It really was the only thing I could and knew how to do at the moment.
We all said "Namaste" and people started to trickle out of the class, as others came over to assist me up. We didn't know how bad the injury was and honestly I still don't. That wasn't the point.
My injury was on my left ankle. Energetically, that is my feminine side (receiving end). Unfortunately, the only thing I had been receiving all month was STRESS. Clearly, it made sense, that I had a block.
Once again, I needed to follow my own advice and start working on my receiving end so my ankle could heal. But in order for my ankle to heal, I had to heal my internal feelings first. I need to learn how to speak my truth especially around the times I feel like things are a little too much. It is very easy for me to let others suck me dry, but I can't continue to let that happen. Relationships are about learning how to give and receive as well as learn how to be your authentic self so you have the ability to share and experience love.
This yoga class was the perfect prep for me sitting on the couch for the next week or so. I have a lot to process and integrate. Time to release old patterns so I can make room for some new ones.
Since I have been back in Rhode Island, I have only taught one yoga class that was my workshop, "Reawakening the Authentic Self through Yoga and Sound Bath."
We discussed two deep moments of grace, Anugraha and Kripa.
Anugraha means of what holds and supports you and Kripa means to be lovingly pushed into the direction of your highest self.
When taking this into a yoga practice, there are moments where Anugraha sets in, maybe in a childs pose, your favorite pose or seated. You feel supported by the earth maybe even nurtured by it. What joy, to be in a yoga practice, on your mat, in full feeling.
Kripa, is those moments in yoga practice that are simply tough. "How much longer can I hold Warrior 2? my arms are going to fall off!!." "I can't go into a hand stand, there is no way!"
There are moments where our mind will literally get in the way of our body. It will give every excuse, every fear, every horrible scenario as to why you shouldn't be or go into a pose. With breath and patience, Kripa "pushes" us a little further into what we thought was impossible. Kripa teaches us "Just go one more breath", "It's ok to try and fall and try again."
We are way too hard on ourselves in yoga asana. It is very hard to separate our working minds, our labels, our responsibilities from our yoga mat.
For the 9 years I have taught, I have seen people walk in, in all different states of mind. I see people clenching their teeth in a pose, have a hard face in savasana and get angry at themselves for falling. Yes, this is all a part of our path, to learn, grow and not judge. I must say, yoga asana does a wonderful job of making us vulnerable, stripping down hardened layers that have built over the years. We all bring our stories onto the mat, what makes us ache for something more each day than just existing.
In my own personal practice,on or off the mat, I realize I need to go through Kripa to even reach Anugraha. Sometimes if I just soften my face in Warrior 2, it begins to soften the whole pose. Right then I make a choice, I can lower my arms OR I can be challenged by Kripa to soften the parts that I am holding onto. In response, (Anugraha) I receive softening, a beautiful support from the earth, a few more deep breaths into myself, and then we are flowing again into the next pose… Beautiful.
Each time I step onto my mat, I am either being challenged by my mind or my body. Sometimes my mind doesn't show up until after my practice, and that's ok. Sometimes my body is flailing all over the place, and I laugh or get frustrated. But each moment, is MY MOMENT, with MY SELF, to experience, to grow, to be present.
I ask you to do the same.
I suggest, bring your worries, pains, joys, anger, gratefulness, heartache to your mat. Bring feeling and emotion. Bring Anugraha and Kripa to your mat. Allow yourself to be supported when you need it, and allow yourself to be lovingly pushed so you can step into your more authentic being.
And then, allow your practice to still remain with you throughout your week. Notice how Anugraha and Kripa can shape your daily life.
How many times do you allow yourself to be supported?
How many times do you ask for help when you need it?
Do you allow yourself to be challenged?
Do you allow yourself to step out of the every day routine box to enjoy life?
What inspires you? What brings you to your yoga mat? What keeps you going each day? What challenges you?
Let's keep this conversation going, please comment!
Namaste and Love!
Deep as the ocean she breathes.
Patiently awaiting the gentle tide to come in and take away her thoughts.
Rolling through her hair,
Every strand being released
By the constant flow of consciousness
It sucks her in.
She yearns for a release.
Not the kind where you scream into a pillow.
But the kind of release where you look to the horizon
And everything you feel goes completely out of focus.
The kind of release where escaping from your ego doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
As I talk about her
I'm clenching these pages
Thinking the same thing
Feeling the same words
That flow off this pen.
I'd advise her that everything will be ok, but will it?
Lessons will come in quicker than the change in season,
but you can't stop these leaves from falling
Nor can you catch them all.
I'd tell her to stop holding on to the world
But sometimes our grip can be so strong that
Not even a flood can take away the marks
So I breathe in union with her
Hoping that maybe my waves will soothe her sand
Gently caressing her rough edges.
Author: Sarah Daigle
Sarah has been a writer her entire life. She has written lyrics for other artists and her own music, collaborated in spoken words, written articles, stories, poems and always has a journal on hand to note all the quirky observations that she sees.