I would like to share about a walk I went on recently in a city that lies on top of an engineered landfill. The homes all look the same, and there is generic shopping center after shopping center.
In other words, the general scenery is more bland than iceberg lettuce.
But the sweet job I landed in this city is worth the eye boredom.
I have to cross a bridge in order to get home. On this particular day traffic was still high after work, and there was no way I was going to sit idle on a bridge in earthquake friendly California. So I drove with intuition around the neighborhood I worked in, pulled over, and started walking.
I came across a trail by more bland homes, and ended up walking on a path parallel to a small body of water.
Then things shifted as I paid attention.
And here is a little bit of what I captured.
It ended up being a really nice walk! I had some good music on the headphones, embraced the chilly weather, and searched for pretty plants.
As you can see, I was able to find them.
It reminded me of life-we are not always in the midst of blatant beauty. It is not always right there in our face and for the most part, most of us don’t really pause to capture it in our day to day lives.
But it IS there, and it is only when we begin to set the intent to find it that things will start to step forward to us. Maybe a really bright gorgeous piece of fruit at the grocery store that also smells delicious. A passing moment when you walk by a stranger, and there is a brief exchange of smiles.
Think about it. What are the little things that you find beautiful? The things that give you the feels? I actually have some of those things written on a memo in my phone to bring me joy. I also jot down moments of unexpected enchantment to remind me that there is still the little girl in me whose soul likes to be fed.
More importantly, there is the adult that I am, who needs to be fed.
It is important to find some beauty amidst the bland.
This is another way to access your point of peace.
Contact me today to receive support with accessing your personal point of peace!
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Quiet video post! So excited to share more about the benefits of Reiki♡ Coming to you this Sunday, March 25th! Hope everyone has a great weekend! #callavida #reiki #reikihealing #chakras #myhealingjourney #yourjourney #energywork #bayareahealingchica #soulwork #selfcare #selflove #letsmasterselfcare #soulcare #grounding #bayareablogger #realpointofpeace
What a great closeup for you all to enjoy this evening, right?
Per the most recent post on my Instagram page I wanted to share a little bit about my recent reconnection with a form of energy healing called Reiki.
Here is the fun part.
I am not going to Google this for you right now. I am not going to research a bunch of definitions and put together some poised presentation of words that makes it look like I have studied Reiki by exact definition for a long time.
Because I haven’t.
I became Level 1 certified in May of 2015. I took what I learned, and spent the next two years diving deep into self-healing work. I have only recently in the past six months really connected with what Reiki means to me on a level that I am now able to share it with others, in a personalized, impacting, and continuously evolving, intuitive way.
This is the perspective from which I will be sharing.
What Reiki means to me:
~ It means that I help people take a conscious rest. The mind gets to chill out, as well as the body, while still being awake.
It is comparable to that yummy feeling right before you actually fall asleep.
~I help people “feel lighter,” and have been told this repeatedly.
What lighter means to every person, differs for every person.
~I help people feel more deserving. Deserving of a hearty self-care session, balance, and the opportunity to explore unaddressed emotional bruising.
~It means that any person from any walk of life can benefit from Reiki, as helping humans is simply about that.
~It also means, that I must honor the heavily involved self-care it takes for me to do this.
Which to be honest, can be the toughest part. For me to stay consistent with, and for others to fully understand.
~ It is totally worth it.
Lastly, and so beautifully put by one of my clients as she put her hand to her heart after a session-she shared what Reiki meant to her.
And what will always sum it up for what is Reiki really means to me:
“It is like a hug for my soul.“
More info about Reiki via Google
There is a young child I am working with right now that perfectly portrayed one night, exactly how I had been handling recent stress at certain points throughout my daily life.
He had a meltdown I could relate to on an almost spiritual level.
You see, I am this kid’s pusher. I am the one who celebrates his abilities while pushing him outside of his comfort zone. I am the one who changes the schedule when he gets too comfortable with routine. I reward him for taking risks, and I keep him going when he melts down with perceived failures. I am the one who plays with him, but also has to tell him it’s time get back to work. I surround him with love. I piss him off.
I make sure he is learning, and growing.
I am to him, what life is to me.
The night this was made clear I had decided to reward him after completing a non-preferred task with using “okay Google” on my phone. He was thrilled! He got to ask one question. He got to see the answer. We got to talk about it.
And then I put the phone away.
With a red-face, and body contortions so extreme I thought we might have to call a priest, this kid proceeded to writhe all over the couch. I stood there calmly, taking loud enough breaths for him to hear. After what seemed like an eternity later he slithered onto the floor and started to breath with me. He wiped his tears, sharply stood up, and with raised up arms he said with a smile,
“OKAY I AM DONE!”
After a big hug were able to transition to the next activity. He was done, but he was not finished. Realistically, his meltdown did not take anything away but a few minutes of awkward observation on my end. It was more of a physical release than anything else.
For most of us, surrendering to an internal struggle is the best thing we can do to release it.
When you are brought down by life it is okay to meltdown for a bit with the intention of repairing so you can get back up stronger than before. Make friends with your breaking point, and even go a bit nuts. If you are thrower-lover find something appropriate to further release the tension, if you enjoy exercise do a bunch of frustrated push-ups, or sprint down the street. Do yoga. Call a trusted friend to word vomit to, or if you are a writer like myself, pick up a pen and without judgement jot down what you are really thinking.
Do something with your body to support your mind.
Because guess what?
We are not robots. Even the most ultra spiritual person can’t possibly have enough sage to smudge away certain stress. Who knows? You might find a vegetarian eating bacon on their worst day. Or the most poised person yelling into their pillow when it all feels like too much.
This is all okay.
We all feel, we process, we absorb, and we carry on.
This is what it means to be human.
“It is surprising how sane you will become when you allow yourself to go a bit nuts.”
I have a student at my work who is a little negative Nancy. She never seems entirely happy from moment to moment, nor easily satisfied. For example, one day we were coloring during free time, and she mentioned wanting to have her old teacher back. I asked what did she like about her that made her want be back in her class? She replied “Well she let me draw and color during free time.”
A few days ago it ended up being just us two girls and a handful of boys in program. For first period they all wanted to play basketball. Normally I play with them (grandma shots and all), but of course, my negative Nancy was unhappy that we all wanted to do something physically active…during physical activity time. She slumped onto a bench nearby and crossed her arms. I decided to see if I could help shift her mood.
“Have you ever played M.A.S.H.?”
I took out some paper from my work binder and gave her first turn. She chose potential jobs, number of children, pets, and “types” of future husbands. When it was time to count off she declared that picking a type of husband was the hardest part.
I might have to agree with her on that one.
When we finished the first round she was appalled at the job she landed. “Whyyyy did I get THAT job?!” Imitating her signature whiny tone I answered.
“Becaaaause, you CHOSE that job!”
Then, it was my turn.
Now this is where it got kind of cool. My girl initially picked some pretty mediocre shit. She had never played the game, and was understandably unfamiliar with how to fully engage it. So as my turns went on, and I had named a horse as one of my pets, “a wild warrior” as a potential husband, and one of my jobs getting paid to travel it started to sink in for her.
There were no limits.
What were her dreams like at this age?
We played back and forth for the entire period. By the time we got to her last turn she was clapping in delight, as she landed an “artistic guy,” a pet dragon, zero kids, and a job as an artist. When I asked if she thought these things could come true she shrugged, but then mentioned with a slight smile, “But it’s what I WANT.”
Later that night I thought about our time together and how my turns went. The initial ones were more in the area of magical outcomes, more silly to reflect the lightness of the game to my Nancy, but also with a hint of truth to which I would not share with even the closest of friends. Sometimes children keep the best secrets. One turn midway I realized was what I thought I wanted, and the very last turn ended up being most of things I currently, really wanted.
Well, maybe I can’t have a pet wolf.
But perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to pet one.
Let’s talk meditation, honestly.
So you already know that sitting in a one-hour guided meditation is the equivalent to sitting through a moment to moment experiment with your utter incapability to focus and clear the mind. Have you ever experienced the monkey brain syndrome while trying to follow a guided meditation with one of those lovely people with breathy, soothing voices? One of my favorite YouTube videos is of a Tibetan Monk describing meditation as a conversation with the monkey: “Hello monkey! Watch breath.” My monkey brain is super smart and clever, always busy, jumping from one tree to another, happily creating havoc and whipping up the energy in my brain.
I used to lie on the floor of my guided meditation class writing mental lists of all the things I needed to get done before I could relax and meditate. It was a very, very productive time in my life during my fancy yoga and meditation classes paid handsomely out of my New York paralegal salary.
So here I am, 20 years later, and my attention span for meditation is much shorter than what it used to be. Yet I still enjoy the health benefits of meditation on a daily basis! How you ask? I call them my Meditation Hacks! It is 5 minutes of meditation while cooking; really focusing on the sensation of the food I am preparing. How the vegetables look, how it feels to chop them, how the rough textures of the vegetables feel as I skin them. I focus on my breath and the sensation of the water, and the way the bubbles swirl down the drain while I wash dishes rhythmically. I sometimes take 5 minutes to focus on my breath when I lie down with my toddler as she falls asleep.
In the car it’s actively meditating while I drive. Yes, it is safe. In fact, we are so distracted when we drive, that actively focusing on our breathing and the visuals of the car in front of us, and the road, is far safer than what most distracted drivers do! I meditate while I drive, cook, put my toddler to bed and clean. It makes sense when you think of meditation as just a practice of mindfulness. Slowing down and noticing. Allowing without judging. Tuning in and grounding in the moment, whatever that moment may contain. As a mom, instructor, entrepreneur, speaker, wife and caregiver, I have few spaces in my day where I can do just “nothing.”
So I find ways to integrate mindfulness into my daily grind.
I also use BINAURAL BEATS. They are what many might consider a “cheat.” It is music that tricks your two cerebral hemispheres into coming into alignment. I am a sucker for the neuroscience behind this method, and this is my new fix. I put on my headphones, and the carefully syncopated, electronically coded beats resonate in each ear differently. The effect is very meditative. I have reached a state of what I assume meditation gurus are describe: very relaxed, yet awake and present. It is magical. We all need different things in life. Why do we think one-size-fits-all meditation will work for us? One size fits all may work for clothes, but not for mindfulness work. Part of succeeding at a practice is to play with different tools, notice our experience, and try something different if its not working for us.
The key is to start anywhere and to do it now , and the benefits will leave you wanting more. So you do it more. And maybe it’s not consistent at first, but bit by bit, it becomes a habit. A good one. You can do this. This is how it became habit forming for me:
Be kind to yourself, and congratulate yourself for each success, no matter how small your strides. Your commitment to care for yourself gently, will pay off in all areas of your life areas where you now find more room to breathe. You will have created more space where energy can flow to your creativity, your health and toward a deep sense of happiness and calm. So start now, and take that first deep breathe. Let it all out, very slowly. You are doing it, you are making progress, and you are succeeding. Congratulate yourself.
I would like to share something written by a woman I admire, and have had the pleasure to work with over the last few months.
She is Big because she is not afraid to dig deep, and uses what she finds to positively move forward! I am proud of this Calla gal.
When I am Big
I am a mindful, centered, positive creator.
I am helpful and giving to others in a way that doesn’t drain me or steal my energy.
I am dynamic and energetic with a thirst for life and change.
I am kind and compassionate from a place of love and not fear or anger.
I am strong and truthful and authentic and able to express my position with words of wisdom.
I am free from the shackles of societal and familial pressures and forge my own path based on the whispers of my Heart.
I am slow moving through each present moment with a quiet mind and an open heart.
I am uplifted because the universe has my back and I put my wholehearted trust in that Divine Power.
That is who I am when I am Big.
Vanessa, a Callavida Gal