Friday, February 21, 2014
This has been one looooong winter. I’m not complaining because (please don’t hate me) I’m one of those lucky folks who is not really affected by NY’s crazy weather changes. But one thing that does get me down is hearing people complain about the weather all the time and I mean, all. the. time. When people see me smiling when it’s -10 degrees (with the lovely wind chill) and yet another snow storm on the horizon, they first say, “what the heck??” then ask, “how do you stay so cheery in this weather?”
I am going to share my two secrets winter tools. First, I do my best to eat really, really well. It is very easy to fall into the habit of eating gooey, warm comfort foods before hiding under the covers. Oh yeah, I’ve done that too. But I realize what really makes me and keeps me feeling great is eating vibrant foods. Green kale, orange squash, red peppers, yellow tomatoes. How can you feel down eating all those beautiful colors? I sometimes eat them raw but cook them up in stews and stir fries. It cheers me up while I cook and makes me feel like a rockstar when I’m done chowing.
Here’s my second winter doldrum busting tool and it’s a powerful one, I promise. It’s something that when I am feeling my lowest, will lift me up in the first 3 seconds. It’s my rebounder. No, I am not in a temporary pick-me-up relationship. I am talking about my personal trampoline. You heard me right, I have a trampoline in my New York City apartment and no, my head has not gone through the ceiling as many think. This has literally been my lifesaver. I put on my tunes and get to dancing and bouncing for a good 20+ minutes. I dare you to feel down after that. Aside from a uplifted mood, the benefits are endless.
So there you have it. That’s how Susan gets her groove back in the dead of winter. Do you have any chi boosting activities that you would like to share?
Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before beggining any exercise regime and be sure to not do these things in the order I mentioned (bounce first, eat second)!
Friday, February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine’s Day! For some, it’s a day that has been long prepared and waited for. For others, it’s a day that can not be over quickly enough. A big reason this holiday is dreaded is a lack of a romantic partner. Yes, that is definitely what Hallmark would like for you to feel. If you’re not loved by another, what and who are you? Nonsense I say!
It’s possible to love and be loved by others than a romantic partner. In Feng Shui, the “relationship” area, located in the top right hand corner of the room from where your front door is, not only pertains to romantic relationships, but to all your other relationships – family, colleagues even your landlord! See how expansive and inclusive this is?
One person though we very often leave out of the equation is ourselves. You know, good ole Me, Myself and I. That’s a big one. How many of us can really say that we truly love ourselves? I know you have heard it a million times before but it’s because there is so much truth in it, “You cannot love or receive love properly until you love yourself unconditionally.” Which mean no complaining of belly flab or wrinkles. Focus on what is wonderful about your life and yourself. In celebration of Valentine’s day, I ask that you do something nice for yourself today. Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment and really mean it. Order yourself a nicer tea or coffee than usual. Buy yourself flowers and put it in the relationship section of your bedroom. Take a 15 minute music break and don’t feel guilty about it. The more you feed your spirit of self love, the more you are giving back to the Universe and to the world. I have said it and I’ll say it again, it’s all about Love people. Love. So many issues can be resolved if we really took this to heart. And yes, pun intended.
Some great quotes inspired by self love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha
- Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. ~Louise L. Hay
- Loving yourself… means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. ~Margo Anand
- I celebrate myself, and sing myself. ~Walt Whitman
- Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home. ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- I love myself for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now. ~Louise Hay
- Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it. ~Thaddeus Golas
- To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now. ~Alan Cohen
- Our first and last love is self-love. ~Christian Nestell Bovee
Friday, February 7, 2014
Valentine’s day is creeping up on us. Mixed feelings arise, I get it. But it can be a fun holiday, celebrated however you like. Whether just a homemade dinner or a full blown dinner with a dozen roses, I say go for it. That’s what I take away from Valentines – do what makes your heart sing. Honoring that will make your chi soar. We tend to forget, but keep in mind as well that you don’t need a partner to make your heart sing.
Case in point, this little necklace. I mean, a tiny terrarium that hangs around your neck all day?? Pinch me! Just seeing these mini eco-systems makes me grin from ear to ear.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I’m a pretty old fashioned kind of gal. I love traditional rituals but the eccentric in me always loves to throw in a twist or two. It keeps things spicy (and what’s life without a bit of spice?) and I had the opportunity to experiment during my Chinese New Year’s celebrations. I was honored to be able to spend the “opening” of the Chinese New Year with family (tradition) and New Year’s day with friends (twist).
Enjoy some snippets of my new year’s weekend. As in my practice, the traditional rituals were updated with modern deliciousness.
I am so grateful for the abundance in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I look forward to a very happy and prosperous Year of the Horse and wishing you the same!
Friday, January 31, 2014
Gung Hay Fat Choi! That’s how we say Chinese New Year in my house. Literally translated, it means, “May you be prosperous.” Today is the equivalent to the Western Jan 1st. The difference is that the Chinese follow the lunar calendar as opposed to the Western solar calendar. But the celebrations are all the same. Well, kinda.
One Chinese tradition suggests eating only vegetarian meals until 6pm the first day of the new year. The belief is that you are cleansing for the new year. Personally, I don’t make anything special as my diet goes more toward vegetarianism anyway but the Chinese like to make dishes like this one which is vibrant and symbolic for an abundant new year.
This year is the Year of the Wood Horse. It means that it will be a very active, vibrant year and we must be ready for it. Wood in Feng Shui symbolizes Spring, movement, energy, growth. And you know what a horse it like right? Active and strong. Vibrant and free. You know what kind of year you are in for. I see it as an energetic year for many that offers many opportunities. So no dozing this year folks or you’ll see your opportunities galloping away before you know it.
Any way you celebrate, make sure it’s filled with laughter, joy and powerful intention and contemplation of what you want to create in your life for this new lunar year. It’s always best to start the year feeling how you want to feel for the rest of the year so make it a good one! Sun Tai Gin Hong – Wishing you good health!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tomorrow is Chinese New Year! Which means that today we prepare. You don’t need to get too crazy since yes, I know, it’s a weekday. Here are 3 ways today to prepare to welcome in the Year of the Horse:
1) Make Space. Clear off your kitchen counter so you will have healthy food this year. Clear off your desk to bring in wonderful new work. Clean out your wallet to allow abundance to flow in.
2) Count your Blessings. Without gratitude, we gots nothing.
3) Prepare a favorite meal for yourself and family tonight. It doesn’t have to be fancy just something you really like and put some thought into. Even if it’s your favorite takeout and you use your best china. But if you have the time, try to prepare something with your hands like cut up fresh fruit.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
It’s that time of year again and we’ll be prepping for the Year of the Wood Horse. Chinese New Year falls on January 31st and it promises to be a very active year. Think about what you know about horses in general – strong, fast moving animals with unbounding energy. Now imagine that in your life for 2014! Are you ready?
Here are 3 tips to help you get in gear for the unbridled horse:
- Clean your home – Traditional Chinese folks strongly suggest cleaning your home to prepare. Clean out the old to bring in the new!
- Work on your flexibility – No, not your old school gymnastic splits. The horse year promises to be a very active one with some up and down bumps just like on the saddle. It’s time to not sweat the small stuff. The more flexible you are, the easier the ride will be.
- Practice quiet time – It seems counter-intuitive in such an active year but if you think about it, when it’s crazy out there, you need calm in here. If you have a meditation practice, see what you can do to step it up a notch. Even just practicing focused breathing would help greatly. Be sure to have that coping mechanism in your pocket that you can pull out at a moment’s notice when you need it most.
Let me know how you plan to prep for the Chinese New Year. Yeehaw!
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
New York City can be chaotic. It comes with the territory. But taking the subway this morning was…different. It was…quiet. I was surprised too. At daybreak, it had dipped into the low single digits, so those who could stay home, did. Those who had to brave the artic, bundled up in various forms of hats, scarves, down puffies, squishing together in the seats. And then, silence.
Was it the successful heating of their multi-layers combined with the warmth of their neighbor that lulled them into rare MTA tranquility? It was almost like I was in a meditation class. If you think about it, I was. Everyone was of one consciousness – thinking about and feeling the cold. It’s almost as if the frigid temperature was the repeating mantra that allowed New Yorkers’ minds to quiet down today. “Cold, cold, cold, cold…” Even if it was only for a short 20 minute ride, I definitely enjoyed and marveled in the accidental singularity.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Ok, so New Year’s eve festivities are done and over. Now what?
This is where alot of us go Type A for about 3 weeks or so. But not for me this year. I am giving myself permission to slow down and reflect. Sure there’s stuff I would like to accomplish this year like everybody else, but I’m allowing myself time and space.
To welcome in the new year, I listened to this 16 minute guided mediation on “Opening up to receive Love and Abundance” led by author and love coach, Debra Berndt. Because you know, it’s all about love people, love.
Even if you can’t sit still for long, I encourage you to listen to this meditation to the very end because it will be worth your time. Besides being a very relaxing meditation, it’s sprinkled with alot of knowledge and important things to bring our attention to. Some highlights are: descriptions on giving and receiving and how it ties into abundance, creating boundaries and balance, creating intention/goals, learn what is holding you back and helping open channels to receive and harness your creative power. Good stuff.
I would recommend that you listen to this meditation in a comfortable position, sitting in a chair or laying down on the floor. I wouldn’t suggest you get too comfortable because it’s so relaxing that the chances of falling asleep is high!
I know alot of you come to this blog looking for ways to Feng Shui your home and wonder why recently I have been speaking more about spirituality than your physical home. Well guess what? It’s all related.Our external world (our space) is an extension of our internal home (our bodies). It’s impossible to have one without the other. So it’s time to clean up our internal homes! So, slow down, listen, and enjoy relaxing into 2014.