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Am I Psychic?

Meditation, especially a robust daily practice, will open a world of intuitive knowing beyond your wildest imaginations. In my early days of daily meditation, it became apparent that the practice was opening up an inner sense of “knowing” that went far beyond a mere “hunch” and landed squarely in a new dimension. I did not notice this shift all at once. It was a gradual, day by day, unfolding. At least, that is, until one particular moment in my life that changed everything. It was 4:00 a.m. on a San Francisco morning in July of 2011. Daybreak was still hours away and I had been deep in slumber. Suddenly, I awoke with a jolt like a bolt of electricity through my body. I sat up and experienced a wave of intuitive perception. In that moment, I knew that my (then) husband had been unfaithful to me, with whom, and when. There was absolutely no question in my mind, heart, or soul that the information that had just struck me was truth. Upright in bed, alone, and in the dark, I fumbled for the bedside lamp and found on the table next to me an amethyst pendulum that belonged to him. My mind chuckled that his own divination tool was about to confirm my moment of intuition. I picked it up and asked the question. Not once. Not twice. But four times. The pendulum dutifully responded with confirmation that my intuition was correct. By 7:00 a.m. I was on the phone with the man in question and he confirmed my moment of psychic perception. It was the moment that dissolved that imperfect union and opened a new door for my spiritual growth and personal journey to continue, unabated. Since that day, hundreds of less dramatic moments of intuitive knowing have come and gone. The more deeply I meditate, the more I can rely on the truth in such moments. I test them in the cold light of day and they often hold up. Does this mean that I am psychic? I don’t believe so. I believe that this is the fruit of daily meditation on the Divine light within myself. The more in tune with that spark, the more I can count on the calm knowing that is a byproduct of such communion. When my husband Badri asked me to marry him, after just five weeks of courtship, I said yes against all outward reason. Why? My daily meditation practice and smaller tests of intuition had given me the confidence to trust my gut. I knew that I was not ready to marry him in that moment, but that I would be by September (it was then January of 2012). I also knew that he was the one for me without a doubt. Why September? I had no idea, but it turned out that the day we married (September 23, 2012) was the first day that the state of California would permit it. I had no [...]

2019-07-26T14:29:59+00:00 By |

How to Pick Your Best Idea (Especially If You Suffer from Idea Overload!)

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” ~Scott Belsky In virtually every human pursuit, from personal growth to the arts to business, ideas and the execution of those ideas is what drives us forward. And when it comes to ideas, there are basically two kinds of people: Those who struggle to come up with what feels like good ideas Those gifted with a ton of ideas, but who struggle to pick the right idea to pursue And because struggling stinks, the good news is that no matter which of these two camps you’re from, what follows can help you. As for me, I come from camp #2. Ideas come to me in waves, and when the waves hit they’re like tsunamis. I’ve got the debris—dozens of notebooks and countless sticky notes, napkins, even birch bark with my barely legible notes about the idea on them—stuffed in manila envelopes to prove it. My problem, however, used to be that when it came time to work on a new thing—in my case a new article, video, book, or business, for example—I’d review all my ideas and feel… CONFUSED AND OVERWHELMED. Because there were actually many ideas scribbled in my notebooks and stuffed in my manila envelopes that were good. And how on earth do I pick just one idea? Especially if I was going to be investing significant amounts of my time and energy into it. Sometimes this overwhelm led to my inertia. Walking away entirely and not getting anything done for hours, days, even weeks on a few occasions because I was stifled by the choices. More often, this overwhelm lead to me choosing something, starting it, then abandoning it, because this other idea actually seemed better after all. Until I’d abandon that, too, for the next better idea. And so on. If ideas that I started but never finished were worth money, I’d be a billionaire. Ugh. I finally realized I had to step back and figure out the healthiest approach to pick the right ideas to pursue. And to make a really long story short (a story involving extensive research, lots of trial and error, journeys to wizards in far-off lands, fighting ogres, and more), here’s what I discovered. It’s Not Just About What You’re Good at or What You Know  When it comes to choosing the best ideas to pursue, some common advice is to pick what you’re good at or know about. And okay, that’s well-intentioned. However, I’ll bet you’re good at a lot of things. Just like I’m good at a lot of things. For example, I am good at showering, arguing with customer service agents, and carrying many bags of groceries from the car at one time (it’s an ongoing dangerous quest of mine to try to carry them all at once no matter how many there are). I’ll also bet that, like me, you could become knowledgeable about and good at other things, with a little to [...]

2018-11-27T16:10:16+00:00 By |

The 5 Best Simple Self-Care Habits for Your Mental Health

When you think of self-care, you may think of yoga and similar practices that help heal your body. Self-care, however, can also help heal your mind. In fact, the most basic self-care practices you can start all play a role in managing your mental health. From eating healthy foods for your mind to finding ways to relieve tension,  here are five self-care steps that provide some serious mental health benefits.   Establish Better Eating Habits We all know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our bodies. What many people do not realize, however, is how much food can also affect our mental health. Just like your body, your brain needs fuel to function. Cleaner, more natural diets, like the Mediterranean Diet, can lead to lower levels of depression and anxiety, according to research. But, to take better care of your brain, you just need to be sure to feed it with whole, healthy foods. Using a meal or grocery delivery service in your local area is the perfect way to fuel your brain—even when your schedule is busy. These options also tend to offer low-calorie meals and snacks, making eating right that much easier. And many of these services are inexpensive; meals can cost as little as $7.99.   Don’t Feel Bad About Saying “No” One of the most effective forms of self-care can also be the hardest: saying “no.” In many circumstances, your mental health may depend on you being able to say this little word. We tend to allow our lives to be driven by commitment, but too much can leave you overstressed. Saving space for activities you truly value is not selfish; it’s self-care in its most basic form. Often, the hardest people to say “no” to are friends and family members. We all have that friend who tends to ask too much or a relative who seems to always need cash. Learning how to say “no” to family and friends, without burning bridges, can go a long way in helping you manage your mental health.   Master Your Sleep Routine Sleep is another important self-care step that too many adults tend to overlook. The  relationship between sleep and mental illness is cyclical. If you are sleep deprived, you are putting yourself at risk for developing some serious mental health issues. On the other hand, if you are dealing with mental health issues already, like anxiety or depression, you may find it difficult to get to sleep at all. Your brain needs rest to function properly, so make sure you use self-care tips that will enhance your sleep. Pick up a book before bedtime to calm anxiety or spend some time in the sun during the day to boost serotonin levels.   Minimize Your Stress Mental health and stress go hand-in-hand, and a lot of stress can come from our jobs.  One study even found that stressed out workers tend to have higher instances of mental health issues. [...]

2019-05-14T11:09:21+00:00 By |

Simplify These Things and You’ll Enjoy Life a Lot More

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~Lao-Tze   So said Lao-Tze, perhaps one of the greatest teachers the human kind has ever had. When I committed myself to the most important journey of my life (of course I’m talking about the spiritual one), I was focused on gaining patience. I worked hard to free my mind and soul from all clutter and emotional charge. There was one aspect I kept ignoring: getting rid of the clutter. When one of my closest friends was in my room, she didn’t wait too long before noticing: “You have too much stuff all around.” What stuff? I had no idea I was living in a mess. I even had a name for it: creative chaos. You know how everything seems to fall into place at certain periods of time? It was that very same day when I encountered Lao-Tze’s quote. It just popped up on my Facebook feed. At that moment, I realized: I was focusing on gaining patience and compassion, but I was forgetting about a really important part of the journey: simplicity. And I knew my friend was right: you can’t declutter your mind if you don’t simplify your life. I didn’t limit that change to material possessions; I expanded it beyond that aspect of living. This was part of my journey, and I can’t find the right words to express the relief I felt as soon as I started making my life simpler. Hopefully, my experience will help you make that change, so I decided to share a few steps that will lead you to the bliss of living simply. Understand what possessions are. Get rid of them! Do you own too many things? That’s not a real problem if you need them. If, however, you’re collecting a pile of stuff you never use, then you have a real problem. This was the mindset I adopted: “I own these things. But they also own me!” You’ve probably heard the same advice many times before: don’t allow stuff to possess you. You need a car? I understand that. But would you go completely crazy over a scratch? Our material possessions drain our energy, because we have to take care for them. As soon as you get rid of the attachment, you’ll discover some true values. Simplify your work. If you have too many tasks on your daily schedule and you try hard to achieve them all, you’ll end up in a complete chaos by the end of the day. I know. I’ve been there. Start your day by making a list of five important tasks you have to do. Which one of them has priority? Do it first! Then, continue working through your list of priorities. If you have space for any minor tasks, you’ll cover them. With time, you’ll realize you’re becoming much more effective in your work, but you’ve also simplified the way you cover [...]

2018-11-21T15:55:54+00:00 By |

Emotional Health

Isn't it sometimes exhausting to keep up with everyday life?  You have all the pressures of your job. You give your time and energy to your kids and have the joy, tears and work that make up your marriage. Then there are the million other responsibilities pulling you in every direction all the time. Life can be challenging when things are going relatively well and it can also seem near impossible when things are not.  This is because everyday events affect our emotions and our emotions can have a direct, physical influence on our health.  In Latin, the word "emotions" means "to move-out."  So we can see that "emotions" are a result of what is going on inside our body and they need "to move-out" of our body one way or the other. Did you know that how you feel about yourself affects your body, mind, and spirit? It also manifests in your parenting, relationships, and career because it influences how you relate to others. We all know the glass trick – half empty or half full!  But did you know that according to a Harvard University and Northwestern University study, pessimists have twice as many illnesses than optimists?  At the same time, optimists are twice as likely than their counterpart pessimist friends to have ideal heart health. The body’s response to stress is to suppress your immune system. This causes a cycle of problematic challenges within your body.  Let’s take a look at how our emotions manifest these challenges – which organs are affected and the following possible results.     Are you taking time to nurture YOU so that you can live a better and fuller life?  The more you do so, the more you will notice a shift in your energy and productivity.  This might require waking up 15 minutes earlier to take deep breaths, meditate, or exercise. You can also try a few of the following 7 ideas to help you easily maintain your emotional health:   Start your day out with meditations and affirmations. Identify the stressors in your life and find ways to relieve that stress. Eat living, high vibrational, whole foods that support your energy. Get adequate physical activity to increase serotonin and reduce stress. Get enough sleep to honor the circadian rhythm and for your body to recharge and heal. Remain hydrated with plenty of water to keep your body cleansed of toxins. Add Omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins to support your hormones and adrenal health.   Emotions are not always bad. They tell us that we need to change or fix something. Give these tips a try so that you can handle those job pressures like a pro, enjoy your time with your kids and husband more, and confidently face all those other challenges life is getting ready to throw your way. For optimal health and happier relationships, take those emotions and get them moving out instead of keeping them in and internalizing them. [...]

2019-04-29T19:34:34+00:00 By |

4 Tips for Raising Happy, Emotionally Healthy Children

“Emotional intelligence begins to develop in the earliest years. All the small exchanges children have with their parents, teachers, and with each other carry emotional messages.” ~Daniel Goleman   I consider myself an expert on the emotional needs of children. Mostly because I was one. No one goes into parenthood anticipating the ways they will psychologically damage their children. At least I don’t think they do. I hope not. It’s far more likely that most go into parenthood wanting the best for their children, hoping to do more for them than their own parents were able to do. So, why is it that so many come out of childhood scathed in some way? My parents fed me and sheltered me. I learned how to take care of myself physically and to manage the tasks of adulthood. I was responsible and productive. Yet, I was far from happy and fulfilled. I did not come out of childhood feeling good about myself. I had no idea how to identify how I was feeling, let alone express it in ways that were not destructive in some way. I did not learn what a healthy relationship looked like, with myself or others. Technologically and economically speaking, we have made tremendous strides in the last 100 years. It is actually pretty phenomenal if you take a minute to look at history. World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars took up resources and energy in the early to mid part of the 20th century, and everyone had to step up and out of their comfort zones to keep things going, within the family and within our country. There was tremendous change on a national level. The earlier part of those 100 years were often about survival for families. Putting food on the table and a roof over their heads was a priority. Everyone doing their part in managing household responsibilities was paramount. Disposable income and disposable time were luxuries. For the most part, that has all changed. Huge technological and economical advancement only left psychological and emotional growth lagging sorely behind. Does anyone find it strange that we spend twelve years or more in an education system, which is supposed to prepare us for life, but no one teaches us how to navigate our own emotional world? We take classes for everything from learning to draw to playing an instrument to getting a medical degree or becoming an accountant to learning karate and gymnastics or learning to cook, yet we get little to no education on our psychological and emotional health. We are completely caught up in and focused on our physical health, unaware that our emotional health or lack thereof plays out in our bodies every minute of every day. Why does mental health have a stigma and physical health does not? They are completely intertwined. If we were healthier emotionally, we would be healthier physically. I think most of us would agree that the world often looks like it [...]

2018-11-21T15:38:20+00:00 By |

The Best Things in Life Are Free (and Healing)

“The six best doctors: sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise, and diet.” ~Wayne Fields   I’ve always believed the best things in life are free. Sunshine on your skin next to a body of water ranks up there as one of my favorite experiences. I love nothing more than to be in a pool in the summertime. Though doctors have helped me with my depression, nature has provided me with my best doctors. When I’m in nature, I feel restored. When I was a child, I used to like to go on adventures. I would venture off into my parents’ backyard with the neighborhood kids, telling them we were going on an adventure into the forest. I was a little nature child in love with the flowers, the sunlight, and the trees. Those were some of my best memories of childhood. But, as I grew older I forgot about the restorative power of nature. I started working all of the time and using the weekends for chores. I stopped doing the things I loved. I forgot to venture into the forest. For years, I suffered from seasonal affective disorder. In the winter, a deep depression would overtake me. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to get out of bed. Being inside felt suffocating. The dark nights and the cold winters seemed to drain my spirit. In the spring, I’d feel reborn. Once I realized there was a definite seasonal aspect to my depression, I started taking preventative measures. I bought a light box and started getting up earlier each day to get some sunlight in the winter. I made a point to go meet friends and not stay at home all day. There are many tools I use to cope with my depression. I see a therapist and take medication. But, for me, the best medicine is preventative. It’s getting out into the world each day. Getting enough sunshine is vital to my well-being. I almost feel like the sun is recharging me when I’m outside. I take a morning walk each day to walk the dog and listen to the birds. I use that time to say positive affirmations to myself and reflect on having a good day. If I have time, I also take a walk during my lunch break or at least spend some time outside. I remember the days when I would stay inside at work eating my sandwich while staring at the computer. No more eating at the desk for me! I take another walk when I get home from work. It relieves the stress from the workday and sets me up for a nice evening. These are short ten-minute walks, but they really do make a difference. After dinner, I try to find some time just for me. Soaking in a hot bath seems to melt away all of my worries. Being a Pisces, I’ve always been drawn to water. I live in a land-locked state, but take every opportunity [...]

2018-11-21T15:29:10+00:00 By |

The Wisdom of Our Body: Slow Down and Tune In to Take Care of Yourself

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.” ~Friedrich Nietzche   Parked in a dimly lit garage in the middle of the city at around 7pm, I sat in the driver’s seat, seatbelt still on, texting two different male acquaintances who had expressed sexual interest in me. “What are you up to tonight?” Waiting for a response back, I checked my phone every few minutes. The resounding emptiness in me that craved to be filled felt like it was growing deeper. After some time of getting immersed in social media, I receive a response back: an invitation from one man to come over to his house for dinner not too far away. That night, I ended up drinking several glasses of wine too many, engaging intimately with the man beyond my intention and consent, and feeling emptier than before as I left his apartment in the morning. Despite the gaping presence I felt inside, I was able to distract myself. I was a woman in her early twenties with a stable, corporate job. I also had a part-time job that got me out, socializing and exploring the city. I was doing something with my life and I was just having a good time. When my mother expressed some resistance to my social life because I wasn’t spending much time with my family, I responded to her feelings with agitation and dismissal; there she was again, being overly sensitive and ruining my fun. Two days later, I had a fully booked day of hot yoga at 5am, a full day at the office, then an hour-long drive to the city for an evening celebration for my part-time job. That night, after receiving and celebrating a promotion to a senior position on my part-time team, I began a drive back to the suburbs just past midnight only to wake up to the winds of a cold, lonely highway. It was Wednesday morning at 1am when I fell asleep at the wheel while driving the long stretch between the city and the suburbs. I awoke to a dramatic and jolting swerve, into a bush grazing the windshield at first, and then within a blink, shattered glass and metal crashed into highway 280’s center divide. Shocked with the sight of stark headlights on cement, smoke rising, and a deflated airbag that had just slapped me in the face, I thought, “Was this a dream? Please let it be a dream.” A few speeding cars left me behind in a body ridden with shock, invisible and alone on the interstate. In deep dread and fear at the realization that it wasn’t a dream, I lifted my leg in throbbing agony; heavy, deadweight of broken bone. I looked down to see orange toenails of a swollen foot hanging dementedly, disconnected from my leg. The police officer that found me came by to peek into my car through the wreckage, flashlight blinding as it pointed at my squinting eyes [...]

2018-11-21T14:27:11+00:00 By |

There’s More to Life Than Work: Goodbye Hamster Wheel, Hello Balance

“Most of us try to do too much because we are secretly afraid we will not be able to do anything at all.” ~Rick Aster   I’m standing in my art studio. My palette is loaded with paint. My canvas has been prepped and ready. There is a paintbrush in my hand, but I can’t move. I don’t know what color to pick or what shape to make. I start questioning my color selection, the size of my canvas… and everything else under the sun. A few months ago, I wrote myself a reminder to allow my art to flow through me. Making art is a refuge for my mind—a mind that struggles with anxiety, depression, and “Hamster Wheel Syndrome.” You’re not familiar with that malady? Let me explain it to you with an example of what my brain sounds like when hamster wheel syndrome kicks in: “Do people really like pinks and greens together? Is it too feminine? Should I make my shapes big and bold to contrast against the girlie palette? Maybe I should do a test on a smaller canvas first? Maybe I should just pick a different pallet. It’s cold in here. I’ll get a hoodie. I think I need more coffee… Man, this art table is messy. I’ll organize it first… I only have three hours until my dentist appointment… The grocery is near by the dentist. I’ll plan on going there too…” And on and on it goes. According to UrbanDictionary.com, hamster wheel syndrome is “when someone just keeps running in circles (and making the same mistakes) in their life instead of progressing.” I believe that this only really scratches the surface about what it truly means to feel my wheels spinning, with no break in sight, for days at a time. When I’m in my studio, brush in hand and ready to go but I can’t move forward due to my brain throwing ten different options at me every three seconds, I feel paralyzed. I am a highly efficient person with a creative mind. I’m an abstract painter, essay writer, and fastidious business owner. I can get more done in two hours than many get done in a day. And I’m not saying this to brag. It is a blessing and a curse. If you’re like me, you know how exhausting this type of hamster wheel efficiency can be. IT NEVER STOPS. If I’m not checking things off my to do list, I’m compiling them into spreadsheets, using new methods of organization that I thought of while I was trying to sleep at 3am. I am addicted to efficiency. It makes me feel productive and useful. But as there can be too many cooks in the kitchen, there can also be too many ideas and tasks to process at once. When the multitude of ideas leads to overwhelm, paralysis is the result, and for a person like me, when I’m stagnant, I get even more anxious. If I [...]

2018-11-21T14:18:09+00:00 By |
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