Life is always happening. Stressors are constantly coming our way. Under heightened periods of stress, it is so easy to either throw ourselves into staying busy or completely vegging out on unhealthy foods and mindless activities.
However, there are practices and tools we can utilize to support our self care. When one thinks of self care, you can be inclined to think of massages, nail spas or hair salons. Yes that may be one form, but there are simple, affordable and natural tools that you can utilize to combat stress.
When it comes to stress, it is important to know, that your body is responding to external stimuli on a neurological, physiological and energetic level. Most of the time when we are "stressed", we do not even perceive it because consciously we are built with protective factors and operate thru resilience. Regardless if our conscious selves process all of our stressors, its beneficial to have tools that stabilize us neurologically, physiologically, and energetically.
-Burn Something Edifying
Burning herbs, woods, and incense to clear energies, bless bodies, and purify the atmosphere of the home is an ancient practice utilized indigenous, African, Asian, and LatinX cultures.
Look for these scents which are known to have a positive effect on the nervous system. They may reduce feelings of nervousness, anxiety and stress. Lavender, eucalyptus, jasmine, vanilla, and sandalwood.
Sage, Palo Santo, or Incense
These are shorter burning items, that only require a little bit at a time. You can purchase and look up how to burn white sage or palo santo. Sage and palo santo are used to smudge (clear energies and toxins) so you would burn the tips and let their smoke fill the air for 30 seconds to 2 minutes (depending on how much you have). Incense will surely burn longer but not as long as a candle.
-Meditate and/or Pray
Meditation is essentially the practice of focused breathing, typically done in silence. In meditation, you become mindful of your thoughts, and as you deepen your meditative practice, you develop the strength to quiet your thoughts. Because we are so overstimulated, the thought of meditating can seem challenging, and initially it is. Fortunately there are tons of apps and wellness channels on YouTube, that support meditation, no matter how fresh or seasoned you are.
The goal is all about stillness and awareness.
The same goes for praying. Praying is a time where people talk to their respected higher power and that power responds back and guides that individual on their life journey. Prayer time, allows you to shut the outside world down, and focus on your intention in that moment.
-Practice Sound Healing
Listen to binaural beats, meditative music, music that stimulates your chakras.
Every object and every person is composed of energy. As the great Sir Isaac Newton theorized thru the law of conservation of energy, energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but it can be converted from one form to another and it can be transferred from one object to another. This means that you, during times of stress emanate certain energy. Therefore, one energy based tool you can utilize is sound healing. All that "sounds" are is energy captured in frequency form. Of course there's a science to it, but for the sake of this conversation, just know that there are specific sounds that you can listen to that scientifically enhance your mood or relax you.
You can simply use YouTube or your favorite music app to search for binaural beats, meditative music, sound healing songs, chanting, or chakra balancing hymns.
An essential oil dropper or roll-on, a tincture, or a tea
As herbs come from the ground, we humans have mastered various ways to ingest them. Either on your skin or thru your blood stream, utilizing the power of herbs works. Some herbs can be used for cooking as well as aromatherapy. Others can be used for tea. When herbs are doused in rubbing alcohol, they become what we call tinctures, and can be placed in water or tea. No matter if the herbs are in a form of an oil that can be burned, rolled on you, in a tea bag, or in a tincture, utilizing the different forms are great for your well being. You can locate herbs in various forms at your local farmers market, health food store, alternative healing store/clinic, or online.
Look out for the following
- Lavender -Licorice root
- Chamomile - Holy Basil
- Eucalyptus - Ashwagandha root
- Kava - Eleuthero root
- Vanilla - Rhodiola root
- Cinnamon - Bergamot
- Lilac - Jasmine
Your breathe is the most centering tool for self care that you have. Taking intentional moments to practice 6 second inhalations and exhalations can center your body, improve your oxygen flow, and stabilize your fight or flight system. Focus on inhaling thru your nose and exhaling thru your mouth or breathing in and out of your nose.
When it comes to self care, there are endless tools you can use, however these are tools I have utilized in the last couple of years that have helped me.
Of course other steps you can take include quality rest, having a diet full of live foods, physical activity, practicing boundaries, being in nature, and taking quiet time.
In BE Love: Daily Intentions Guiding You to Self Love, I provide you with 35 activities and steps to practice self care and support you on your journey of self love.
What self care tools do you utilize?
For centuries, Eastern societies have known something that only Westerners have recently began exploring within the last century: the practice of being present and mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a concept of being of aware of where you are in the moment with no concentration or judgment on the past or future. With focus on the future you can practice gratitude and be truly aligned with your mind, body and spirit. Practicing mindfulness reduces stress, tension, negative emotions, worry and so much more.
According to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, "mindfulness is the miracle which we master and restore ourselves."
Today, I wanted to share your some words that may impart some mindfulness in your life
BE Present. BE Still. BE Expanding.
By: Tiffany W.
There's a whole lot that in occurs in our lives everyday. We`ve all had situations and circumstances that could have derailed our lives. We've been through major transitions that have brought about feelings of ambiguity, joy, sadness, excitement, and even disappointment. Despite all that, one thing that remains constant, is that change occurs, and we are present for it all. So when we can choose to respond and sit in feelings such as anger, sadness, doubt, distrust, or discontent, we can powerfully choose to live life staying full of love and hope.
What does that look like?
Well that is you staying in the moment and being still in the moment while choosing to balance not only your expectations but also how you choose to honor your self, mind, body,spirit, and stay in a place of forgiveness; you know, abiding by the 5 commandments of self love. See, love really has the power to transform life and all that you choose to see.
Think about it. If you've ever been in love or have known someone who's been in love, you know everything experienced is different. Love has an effect on how you smile, interact with others, and even what you truth you decide to see in life. Well, romantic love isn't the only love with life-changing impact. So is self love, and just a centrally spirited sense of love in general.
While others around you choose to worry about being good enough, the evils of the world, the amount of wealth accumulation they have (or for most of us, the amount of debt), and why it's a good reason to not trust others or believe there is even good left in this world, you can choose a different perspective. You can choose love and hope.
Yes there are inequalities, dangers, hurtful people, and many barriers that exist in the midst of a possible great life, but at the end of the day your attitude is the determining factor. Consider the perspective that there is a life of abundance, a life if love, a life of possibilities, a life in which you can make a difference, a life that you're worthy of attaining or at least going after.
Cutting your self off to the possibilities of life is not one reflective of choosing to honor your self, mind, body,or spirit. Self love is more intricate in living a great life than most people consider. So today, this week, every day and every week, work on choosing to activate a feeling, perspective and walk of love and hope. I guarantee life will not only feel better but it will be better.
By: Tiffany W.
Your life is shaped primarily by one process: thought.
How you think affects how you see and experience the world; it affects your choice in relationships, careers, and lifestyle. Your thoughts affect your relationship to fear and love.
One of my 5 Commandments of Self Love is Honor Thy Mind, which essentially means recognize/acknowledge the power of your mind along with its sensitivity. Honoring your mind means to actively be aware of all that you do which may shape its existence.
What are you listening to? What are you watching? What are you reading? What are you believing? What are you visualizing? What are you saying to yourself?
The condition of your mind truly does affect the condition of your life. I don't believe anything is absolute, so I don't believe that every single thing in your life is a reflection of your thoughts but, just as the Earth and our bodies are nearly 70% water, I do believe a high percentage of our lives are merely our thoughts manifested.
As a woman of today, you have more pressure than ever to do and be so much.
More often than not you're comparing your body, love life and sense of success with other women. Stop. Use others as inspiration not as a platform for comparison.
I want you to know that striving for your highest best self is a noteworthy goal. When you reach for something more, you challenge yourself and grow. The issue is when you stop reaching, you block your mind from continuing to develop, thus your life stands in a place of stagnation. Most people are comfortable there, but rarely does anything special happen in your comfort zone.
I challenge you to let go of limiting beliefs. Let go of thoughts that are opposite of, I'm good enough, I am strong, I am beautiful in and out, I am a conquerer, I am bold, I am loved, I am important, I am me.
Go forth today with an intention to focus on positive thoughts, even if it comes to not so positive people and situations.
By: Tiffany W.
Happy #selflovesunday BEautiful BEings! Its the day of spiritual revival and I myself and feeling renewed. Good things always happen to our souls on Sundays. Its the beginning of the week and I want to share something special with you.
Today I got the most empowering text from a good friend and sister like figure in my life. She said, "Have you been posting anything? the last post I could see is the Valentine's day one, I think something may be wrong with my browser. Let me know."
Do you know why that was empowering? Because I wanted to quit blogging. I knew I wasn't going to quit but I considered, what do I need to do differently to make an impact? I truly want to create content that the average gen y woman can relate to and to be honest when people don't comment, like, repost or even acknowledge what you do, it's easy to think, well maybe it's not good. It's good enough for me because it's my truth, but I have to consider as to whether it resonates with others...
That text let me know, that even if it's just 1 person, someone cares.
I'm going to have a truth moment with you:
I have been frozen for literally 1 week. No writing (until last night). Little feeling. Little exposure. Little interaction. I've confined myself to my room for the most part. Laying in bed, praying, meditating and watching movies I've seen 100 plus times. As I've felt emotionally dead, mentally I've driven myself insane 100 plus times.
Feelings of failure, despair, confusion, dissapointment, and dare I say doubt. About what? The path I'm on. See, from a place of faith and spirituality, I can see the future, but the present leaves me in total confusion sometimes. One thing I know for sure is that when you get a vision from God several times in your life, that vision is showing you whats possible. I believe divine sight, inspiration and vision is real. Whatever God shows you, will always take place. I've seen my life. I've seen the impact, the joy, the love, the abundance, the family, the philanthropy, and the legacy.
The problem with having such clarity while being a typical millennial and someone with depression, is that I become an enemy of time. With visions and goals there comes action. With action, there's not only expected outcomes, but expected outcomes on my timeline. Certain times of the year falling on my face is no problem, I get that happens in life. Other times, the times in which I'm most prone to experiencing a depressive episode, my failed Great Expectations become a problem.
The reality that I know: Life is NEVER as bad as it SEEMS. If you can find gratitude in having shelter, food, health, clothing and love, you're doing better than about 2/3rds of the world. In the end, the world never really knows what might have been done (in light of failure) they just remember you're impact (whether negative or positive). The reality that my well self knows: I am enough.
Well reality has almost nothing to do with the mind of someone in a depressive state. A different darker dimmer reality exists. It's the one that says, " What I'm doing isn't working. I don't matter. No one pays attention to me. I want to give up." (If you believe "depression is a choice" or don't really understand it, I suggest you visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml).
I fall victim to my own great expectations. No matter what I do or what I say, the judge in me can easily choose to nullify everything; every step, every effort and every piece of "success."
The truth is that true acceptance and perfect self love is hard for anyone. That's why its a journey of fascination for me. Not just on a personal level, but on a psychological level. In fields like Positive Psychology and Personality Psychology, looking at all measures of self concept are the most compelling stories of human behavior. Self acceptance is hard for anyone, but especially those with the most critical, heart and mind.
Naturally, I'm critical and I overthink, but when you take account of my brain chemistry at times (the depression) I become anxious. I become obsessed. I become inundated with thoughts that counter what I KNOW to be my true being. My advantage: I'm extremely cognizant of the mental and at times spiritual battle going on inside of me, which is why I know what I need to do to recalibrate my internal state.
There is beauty in learning about yourself. There is beauty in accepting your own journey, your own truths, your own limited limitations, and the possibilities that exists. There is beauty in timing. There is beauty in special relationships. There is beauty in darkness. There is beauty in life.
Sometimes life gets hard and overwhelming but we must just pray and surrender, and continue to love on ourselves.
No matter what, I still chose to love on myself (even though my mind didn't connect to it) I worked out, prayed, meditated, burned my incense/sage, watched what would make me laugh, listened to my sermons and read uplifting messages.
I knew I'd come around. ..eventually. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing . I'm glad to say I'm back.
Do you have a story of triumph? Would you like to share something from your own self love journey. I and the world want you to share your story. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be featured as a guest blogger.
By: Tiffany W.
Do you know how amazing you are and your life is?
Granted, you may or may not have everything you want or desire. You may even be going through a rough season. You may have recently lost someone. You may be one of the millions of people fighting through a seasonal episode of depression. Despite all of that, you and your life is amazing.
Sometimes it's really hard to the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think that's because we're paying more attention to the tunnel then the light. Staying focused on not only what we're grateful for in the moment, but also on whats at the end of any season keeps you motivated.
Stay encouraged. People and situations seem powerful enough to take our joy and smile, but we have the power to choose how we want to respond to the world.
If you feel like you are in a deep funk or experiencing a depressive episode its even more important for you to have a Self Love tool kit available. What should be in your tool kit? Poems, affirmations, intentions, declarative statements, uplifting songs, encouraging spiritual scriptures, fitness, eating clean (yes this dramatically effects your mood), comedic films/shows/text, a creative process (writing, singing, dancing, painting, etc.), deep breathing, random moments of forced smiles, and the most important, daily actions that uplift another.
Yes these are all tools you can use to stay encouraged. Of course choose whatever resonates with you, but whatever you do, remember you and your life is amazing.
By: Tiffany W.
I love Sundays! For me, I participate in faith filled worship everyday through song, word and prayer, so Sundays are not set aside for just that purpose. Sundays represent rejuvenation and energy of spiritual reset that I feel all around me.
This year, I'm setting aside Sunday for you! Yes You! Any followers or supporters I have who want to share their stories, send me a Selfie (with no makeup on), or who want to honor others in their lives.
#selflovesunday is all about sitting extra in that love, sharing, giving, ans reflecting the God and Divine within you.
So today, partake in extra reflection. Devote yourself to extra affirmation. Honor thy self and honor the spirit. Fill yourself up for the week. If your feeling bold, let me celebrate you!
Connect with me on my social media
or send an email: email@example.com
Love will always do more, get more done, and change more of anything than Hate. Love will always shine light through darkness. It is the power of love that transforms our own lives. It is the power of love, that drives the compassion necessary to overcome injustice, misrepresentation, abuse, inequality and any state alike.
A realistic truth to understand is that duality is necessary. Light and Dark. Love and Hate. One could not exists without proof of another. Another truth is that no matter what, you (most individuals) are responsible and in control of your own thoughts and actions. You may influence others but you cannot control others.
Humans all experience emotions, but women, ON AVERAGE, by our very makeup are extremely emotional creatures. Especially in a situations that spark emotion around anger or disgust. Of course everyone doesn't express emotion the same, but often we react before really reflecting. Sometimes we reflect, practice how we want to respond in a situation, and still react full of intense emotion.
As a woman and as a human being you want to be heard, vindicated and right, but what if you learned to react through love.
Now I'm transparent, even though I'm not a dangerous, screaming, physical type of person, I can be combattive when I in a certain mental space ( especially when I'm hungry or hungry while mother nature is visiting). This is why in knowing that truth about myself, its even more important for me to center myself in the morning, connect to a source a love, so I can have calculated reactions/responses as opposed emotionally intensive responses.
Now the truth is, getting to that place in which you can respond to others with love is pretty tough. You have your ego as your biggest barrier ;Wanting to be right and having the last word. As any area of our character, it takes work.
Really connecting to the idea of self love and acceptance. When we can actively shift to the mindset thag we are imperfect and have different views, experiences, and values as another, we open up out spirit to accepting the differences in other. This helps satiate the desire to go off. You learn to allow your spirit to just speak its truth through your impeccable word or even when not to say anything and just keep the peace.
You can get more with honey, and you can influence change or respect more with love.
So next time that coworker shares her unsolicited opinion about your outfit, size, or work ethic to you or someone else, respond with love. When you find out someone you love may have betrayed, lied to, or dishonored you in some way, respond with love. If someone affiliated with an organization, club, culture, etc. does something you feel like misrepresents what you stand for, respond with love.
When we respond with anything opposite of love, we unsettle our own spirit. We end up becoming more irritated and we end compromising our own joy. Don't give someone else that much power.
Spread love, Give Love, Be Love, Receive Love, regardless of reward or return. It feels powerful, you sow goodness in the universe, and you teach others how to love.
By: Tiffany Wright
The 4 Elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.
If I had to speak for myself, I'd say the element that renews, restores, and energizes me is water. I'm a LA native, and I love just being at the beach, standing, running or even sitting in the ocean. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life and writing, mediating, praying, or listening to music just won't do it, I spend a lot of time in water. To be honest, when I concentrate on the power of water, I feel like I'm being baptized and beginning life again.
Sometimes, I just want to be outside. I love hiking, walking in forest like environments, and laying on the ground. That is my connection to the Earth. I believe it teaches me patience. I connect to the process it takes for flowers to bloom, trees to grow, and animals to evolve. Connecting to the Earth teaches me gratitude. Being grateful for every little thing because in actuality, nothing is unimportant. Everything and everyone is connected. There is a grander purpose in everything. Connecting to the Earth centers me. Sometimes I feel like my spirit can float away when I just stand and appreciate all the beauty around me.
I say this because I believe that in honoring nature, we learn to Honor Our Spirits (one of the % Commandments of Self Love I discuss in my book). Do you relate to the power, intensity, and passion of fire? Do you relate to the flow and flexibility of water? What about the invisible power of air? Or the vast ground of Earth.
When you can connect something outside yourself, your BEing expands especially what is reflected in your mind and spirit. At one time, when there were no self improvement books, fancy yoga or pilates studios, or even religious/spiritual centers, there was just nature. Nature will be there. There's no fee. No judgement. No waiting list. It's available to you. So when you feel anxious, fearful, hurt, sad, confused, or just in need of a shift, retreat to being one with an element. They are in fact the foundation of all there is.
By: Tiffany Wright