When It Sucks

By , August 31, 2010 9:06 PM

Have you ever had one of those days when things start out fine and then they go downhill from there?  When you feel like you’re being sabotaged by people who are supposed to be on your side?  When you feel like you’re inexplicably being set up to fail instead of succeed?  When you feel completely alone.  Yeah, those days totally suck.  Especially because the problem is with people who have choices in how they show up in the world and they’re choosing to live from a place of smallness, scarcity, and fear.  What do you do when the people around you don’t display integrity, kindness, or even professionalism?

Ah, that’s the challenge.  Feeling beaten down, feeling hopeless, feeling like you want to walk out and just keep walking without looking back…  Can you dig deep—really deep—and still live the life that’s in alignment with your own integrity and the person you want to be—regardless of what anyone else is up to?  Naturally, none of this precludes you from developing an escape plan that you execute gracefully when the time is right.  ALWAYS take the high road.  You’ll never regret it.

This is an example of how powerful your choices are.  And this is when the unforeseen consequences can be doosies.  When you opt to do the right thing, you lay the foundation for good to ripple outward and for the Universe to take care of you karmically and magically.  After all, this is about YOU and not them.

You do what’s right and let the pieces fall where they fall.  (I stole that from tonight’s episode of White Collar, but it’s completely apropos.)  And then you take a deep breath (or 20).  And then you tap into the power that results from the knowing that you’re doing the right thing and living in integrity and let that fuel you through the rest of your day.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Snowflakes

By , August 30, 2010 10:41 PM

I got to thinking after yesterday’s post that there was something very important I left unsaid.

We are all unique.  And I mean that in the context of our appearance, our personalities, and, of course, our bodies.

Consider what it means that my body is unlike any other and that yours is as well.  It suggests that foods that make me sick, might be healing for you.  Or foods that calm you cause me to feel anxious or scattered.  It means that pharmaceuticals affect us differently and it means that what nourishes each of us varies.  In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that we probably can’t make sweeping statements about one thing always being good or bad for us individually, because it might differ based on the specific situation in which we find ourselves at any given moment.

What does that mean?  No assumptions.  It means that in order to really optimize your life, you have to be present in every moment and you have to consciously choose to act upon what’s appropriate for you in that moment.  It means that we have to connect to ourselves using every tool at our disposal—including our general knowledge, our intuition, and our body sensing.  It means fostering a relationship of trust with ourselves, because this is what our primary relationship in this life deserves and requires.

The ability to do this is power.  If it makes you feel any better, this, like so much in our lives, is a practice.  But it is one we have a moment-by-moment opportunity to practice.  This allows us to act instead of to react.  And that frees up a bunch of extra energy for us to be the lovely snowflakes we are.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Practice: Energetics of Food

By , August 29, 2010 11:17 PM

I’m a big believer that whole foods are the most beneficial.  That means foods which are as close to nature as possible.  Generally, that means they don’t come in a box, they aren’t mostly sugar or turn into sugar when you eat them, and they are grown without chemicals and hormones.  Ideally, they’re fresh and locally grown.  Most likely, none of this is revelatory.

What I’d like to talk a little about today is the energetics of food.  Have you noticed that the foods you choose can influence how you feel?  Foods have different energetic properties—they can bring your energy up or down, they can warm or cool you, they can be dry or damp.  For example, eating meat is usually grounding, but eating beef has a very different effect than eating chicken or venison.  Some of this also explains why a rich beef stew is more appealing in winter than in the summer; it’s warming and grounding, which is not really suited to the lightness and heat of summer.

Here are some very broad guidelines…

  • Meat is warming and grounding, as are fats.
  • Seafood tends to be cooling and damp and moves your energy up.
  • Root vegetables are mostly warming and grounding.  They usually move your energy down and in.
  • Leafy greens are cooling and move your energy up (higher and faster) and out, like the plant itself.  Often, they’re dry.
  • Other vegetables are cooling and damp.  Some move energy up, others down.
  • Fruit is cooling and moves your energy up.
  • Dairy is cooling, but butter is warming.
  • Grains are really varied.
  • Beans are generally warming and damp and move your energy up and out.
  • Nuts are warming and move your energy up and out.

When you make your food choices, consider the energetic “personality” of the food you’re about to eat.  What’s the energy of shrimp like, compared to kale?  Try using your intuition to connect to your food and make choices based on what you feel would support you at that particular time.  Had a hard day at work?  Something grounding might be in order.  Do you tend to be scattered mentally?  Again, something grounding might help you focus.  Do you tend to be controlled and serious?  Maybe try eating greens or fruit instead of meat to help you lighten up, especially if you’re headed to a summer pool party.

Until 2005 I’d never heard this concept before, but if you’d like to learn more, you can check out Energetics of Food: Encounters With Your Most Intimate Relationship by Steve Gagné or even www.stevegagne.com.  I’m really barely scratching the surface here.  Spices, color, and preparation methods can also factor in.

Over this week, try connecting to your food and notice what happens.  Compare how a farmers’ market meal feels in comparison to a fast food or otherwise super-processed meal.  Remember: You really are what you eat!

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Taking Care of Yourself

By , August 28, 2010 8:32 PM

There’s so much that isn’t taught in school that really should be.  I could easily argue that math, English, and history ought to play second fiddle to learning self-care.  One of the best tools you can have when you show up in the world is a balanced, healthy body and mindset.  Somehow, our culture seems to have forgotten what it means to be a healthy person.  Why don’t we do more to teach mind-body-spirit studies to give our kids a truly well-rounded education?  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have classes in nutrition, movement, and tools to help deal with stress and emotions?  I think so!  As it is, most of us have to learn to fend for ourselves in this area, and I think it’s fair to say that trial and error in this realm can have a hefty price.  Just look at our reliance on drugs to control mood and behavior, our obesity epidemic, and the level of disease and violence in our country.  Something’s obviously not right.

Sometimes I think that the reason this area doesn’t get more attention in our school system (or, in general) is because it doesn’t actually support the American way of life.  Think about it: If we were all self-aware and knew how to take care of ourselves, what would that do to the pharmaceutical industry, the processed food industry, and our willingness to forgo our day-to-day wellbeing while we chase the American dream of monetary wealth?  What would it do to the underlying sense of fear and scarcity that fuels our lifestyle and political climate?  Wouldn’t it be an amazing shift if more and more people focused on attaining joy and wholeness as individuals?

Naturally, there are huge amounts of power in self-care because it’s such a key component of knowing yourself and being in tune with your own wisdom.  If you know how to take care of yourself and you actually DO IT (yeah, there is always that little gotcha…), you’re setting yourself up to be balanced and centered to take on your life and whatever challenges might come along.

I’ll definitely talk more about this in coming posts, so stay tuned…

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Faith and Doubt

By , August 27, 2010 11:07 PM

I’m challenged.  Lately, that’s been happening a lot.  With all the changes that seem to be swirling around me, I’m coming face to face with the best and the worst of what the changes have to offer.

What keeps me going is my faith that things will improve.  That I will get clarity.  That I will find love.  That I will connect with my community– whoever they are.  (I don’t think I’ve met most of them yet.)  Frankly, I can’t imagine NOT finding those things.  If I ever truly, deeply believed that they would forever elude me, I would probably lose my will to live.  After all, without love, what’s the point?   But, I’ll tell you what, some days I’m challenged because the doubt can overtake and overwhelm me.

But then I realized that the dichotomy is what births the experience.  What’s the meaning of faith if it’s not in the context of doubt?  How relevant is faith if everything is absolutely certain?  No real need for faith then.

What if there were a way to actually use doubt as the fuel to create faith?   Hmmm…  Could it really be as simple as the mere visualization of putting all my doubts onto a fire that blazes brightly and generates steam that drives the gears in a massive machine that tirelessly works only to bring me my heart’s desires?

If I think about it logically (which is a sometimes annoying habit I have), this makes perfect sense.  If faith and doubt are simply two sides of the same coin, it stands to reason that I can use them to my advantage to create more of what I want.  I guess the tricky part is that I need to be careful and deliberate about what I’m using to fuel what.  It’s too easy to let my faith in failure to fuel my doubt and that direction is, um, not desirable, even though, over the years, I’ve sort of mastered it.  It’s time to turn that around and try something a little different.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Your Business Plan

By , August 26, 2010 9:23 PM

I was in a meeting with about 25 other people at work today.  Mostly, we sat and listened while one of the managers gave us information about all the changes happening in his area.  At the end, one audience member asked a question about his own financial compensation and this manager essentially replied, “What’s your business plan?  There’s one at every layer of the company—the whole company, our office, the program area, and, the individual.”  As soon as I heard him make that remark, I knew I’d be writing about it tonight.

What is your business plan—you know, the one for your life?  It’s a funny question on one level, but it’s also completely right on.  We all need to be able to answer that question for ourselves.

A business plan is a plan that defines your objectives, the strategy and tactics you intend to use to reach those objectives, and the profits you expect to reap.  Are you living consciously enough that you’re aware of the yardstick you’re using to make choices?  Does it match your objectives?  If so, is it working for you?  Are you reaching your objectives and realizing the profits you intended?  If not, what’s going wrong?  Are your strategies or tactics ineffective or are they out of alignment with your objectives?  Is it time to revamp or try something altogether different?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they aren’t conscious of their business plans or they don’t keep them up to date.  We change, we learn, we need to update our plans!  Plus, being conscious of your plan makes is easier to make decisions that are consistent with your objectives.  For example, if joy is one of your primary aims, it’s great to remind yourself of that fact with each choice you make during the day: Is the choice you’re making bringing you joy—or at least closer to it?

Hint: You may need to tune in to your heart (as opposed to your mind) to know if you’re on track or off.

I’ve gotta go work on my plan because it’s due for an overhaul!

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Produce Love

By , August 25, 2010 10:17 PM

Living in Colorado, there’s something really special about this time of year.  It’s harvest time.  For me, it’s like our fifth season because it’s only now that we have lots of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables available.  Visiting the local farmers’ markets is such a treat.  I love walking among the tents and taking in all the stacks of gorgeous, brightly colored produce.  I can step into my little garden at home and pick tomatoes from the vine and then slice the sun-warm fruit for a sandwich or salad.  Juicy, ripe peaches are everywhere.  I’m in heaven and maybe even a little drunk by the sensuous beauty of it all.

A couple of years back, as I walked through the farmers’ market booths, I spotted a perfect patty pan squash sitting on a table all by itself.  I approached the vendors and asked them about it because I’d never seen a patty pan squash before.  I was completely taken with the unique shape and creamy white color.  I took it home and let it sit on my kitchen counter so I could admire it every day for months.  To me, it was absolutely beautiful.

This year, I discovered squash blossoms.  I’ve fallen in love yet again.  Their delicate texture, vibrant orange hue, and embodiment of the feminine potential have captured me.  Fill them with a bit of goat cheese and sauté them and you’ve got a delicious lunch.  What can I say?  I’m hooked.

Um, isn’t this blog supposed to be about power?  Yup.  Why would I go on about the beauty of produce?  Simply put, when you’re in your power, beauty is everywhere.  Are you paying attention?

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Grounding Miscellany

By , August 24, 2010 9:42 PM

Over the last couple of days, I’ve introduced a grounding technique.  You may be wondering why grounding is even needed.

Stuff can be sticky.  Have you ever met a friend who was having a bad day, and after listening to him talk about it, you also started feeling upset or cranky?  Have you found yourself doing something because you “should” (and maybe you can even hear your mother’s voice telling you to) but you don’t really want to do it or you don’t understand why you’re doing it?  Have you ever gone to a shopping mall and suddenly felt overwhelmed and you couldn’t get out of there fast enough?  These are a few examples of how we can be affected by energy around us.  This energy can get stuck in our space; it may actually have nothing to do with us!  Usually, when it happens, it doesn’t feel good, no matter what the source of the energy was.  Grounding helps clean that stuff out.  When you don’t have to contend with foreign junk in your space, it’s a lot easier to manage and hear yourself.  You’ll even get a new perspective on the world when you can see it through your own experience and without any filters the junk supplies.  By making grounding a daily practice, you’ll get to experience more of the real you.

If you’re skeptical about any of this, I’d suggest giving it a try, purely on faith.  The mere intention to clear yourself of foreign energy is a powerful first step.  If it makes you feel better, great!  If you don’t notice anything, you might consider trying one or more of these alternatives:

  • Actually make direct contact with the Earth.  Lie down in the grass or walk barefoot on the Earth for as long as you can, if the weather allows.  Let the Earth work her magic on you.
  • Take a bath.  If you can, use bath salts.  Dead Sea salts are wonderful!  As you soak, intend to release anything that doesn’t serve you.
  • Each day as you stand in the shower, intend that the water pouring over you will help wash away everything that is not in alignment with your highest self.
  • Breathe.  You can breathe in whatever you want (peace, love, confidence, healing, clarity, anything you want) and send it all your cells every time you inhale through your nose.  You can assign a color to whatever you’re breathing into your body, if that helps.  As you exhale through your mouth, release everything that doesn’t serve you.
  • You may notice that you feel better simply just by being out in Nature.  If you do, make the most of it.  Is the sun shining on your back and rejuvenating you?  Is the crisp mountain air recharging your batteries?  Be in the moment and give yourself over to those experiences and pull them into every cell in your body, while releasing everything that is not in alignment with your true self.

And one other thing…  I know some people worry about giving over their “junk” to the Earth.  After all, doesn’t she have enough to contend with already?  The Earth has an amazing ability to transmute the energy she receives.  As you and she exchange energy between you, both sides benefit.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Practice: Grounding Part 2

By , August 23, 2010 9:37 PM

Yesterday I introduced you to a grounding technique and today I’d like to expand on that a bit further…

It’s important to note that there are all kinds of grounding variations out there.  Some people add grounding cords from their feet as well as from the base of the spine.  Some people call in spirit guides to assist with the whole process.  I’d suggest you go with what feels good to you.

The next time you ground try this to take it to a new level: When you have your grounding cord in place and you’re releasing everything that doesn’t reflect your best and highest good from your space, intend that you’ll pull some pristine energy from the Earth up through the bottoms of your feet.  Run a continuous stream of that energy through the energy channels up your calves, swish it through your knees and thighs, let it go through the base of your spine, and then let it run down your grounding cord.  You’ll notice that different energy will feel differently.  In other words, deep forest energy has a different feel than does beach energy or Chartres Cathedral energy or desert energy.  Don’t be afraid to cycle through a couple of different energies to see what feels right, and notice that it won’t always be the same energy that feels good when you sit down to ground from one day to the next.

Now, find pristine energy from the Cosmos and pull it down into the crown of your head.  Let it run down through the top of your head and neck and down the channels in your back.  As it reaches the base of your spine, let it mix with the Earth energy, which is also still running.  Have the energy continue through the energy channels up the front of your body—up through your abdomen and chest.  When it reaches your shoulders, send some of the energy down your arms and out your hands.  Have the rest go back up out your head, like a whale spout.  Let it cleanse you and the space around you.  Let it restore you.

Remember when I said that your Cosmic energy mixes with your Earth energy at the base of your spine?  You can also try playing with the ratio of Cosmic and Earth energy as it moves up the front of your body.  Aim for about 80% Cosmic, 20% Earth as it travels up your body.

If you have an experience like I typically have when I run this energy, you’ll feel more relaxed, more centered.  I end up feel more like myself—in the best way possible.  As with your grounding cord, you can let this energy continue to run throughout your day.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Practice: Grounding Part 1

By , August 22, 2010 9:43 PM

In my spiritual journey, I’ve tried several different modalities and techniques.  Just about all of them rely on some sort of grounding or centering to get you into the present moment and get you connected.  This is a foundation on which all else is built.  I’d like to share a simple, but very effective technique that can be used just about any time anywhere.  Ready?

Sit upright in a chair and put your feet flat on the floor.  Set your hands comfortably on your thighs.  Let your eyes close.  Take a deep breath and relax.  Feel the chair supporting your body.  Breathe deeply.  Imagine a connection running from the base of your spine to the center of the Earth.  This grounding cord can take any form you wish—a hollow tube, a beam of light, tree roots, a gushing waterfall, whatever feels right.  Make sure you have a solid connection all the way to the center of the Earth.  Stretch that connection so that it’s as wide as your hips and make sure it’s fastened securely to the base of your spine and to the center of the Earth.  Now imagine releasing everything that’s not part of your Divinity into the Earth.  If you need to create a vacuum cleaner effect, go for it.  If you need to have a giant Release lever, pull it.  Let it all leave you and send it down your grounding cord.  Continue to breathe comfortably.  With each breath, intend the release of everything that doesn’t serve your best and highest good.  Any stress, worries, or negative thoughts come up?  Pull them all out and send them down your grounding cord also.

When you feel complete, open your eyes and continue with your day.  Be sure to leave your grounding cord intact!  For best results, start your day with a few minutes of grounding and check in to be sure you’re still grounded throughout the day.  If you’ve come ungrounded (or frazzled or unbalanced or stressed)—which does happen and is completely normal—simply reground.

This is the basis on which we’ll build additional tools and techniques.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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