Tag Archives: bliss

Blissful Ways to Cultivate Calm – Part 2

24 Oct

In my recent article, Blissful Ways to Cultivate Calm (Blissful Ways to Cultivate Calm) I shared 7 blissful tips on how to utilize mindfulness to cultivate calm. I had so much fun writing that article that I decided to share 6 additional ways to assist you with practicing mindfulness that leads to cultivating calm and eliminating stress.

If you haven’t already guessed, my goal is to help you discover how to live a life of Bliss. In living a life of bliss, having excellent health and well-being is key. When you begin to feel better you begin to be able to enjoy life just a little bit more. The busyness of life can cause you to be stretched and pulled in many directions leading to tension, anxiety and stress. Cultivating mindfulness in to one’s daily living is a wonderful way to combat the painful effects of stress while enhancing your physical and mental well-being.

The six Blissful tips in the article can be combined with the original seven tips for a total of 13. Try utilizing the tips for 13 day repeating once for a total of 26 days and see the difference they can make in your life.

6 Blissful Tips to Cultivate Calm

  1. WATCH THE RAIN FALL.

Notice the path of the rain as it falls toward the ground. If you are in a place that snows, try watching the snow instead. Let the puddles inspire you.

  1. BE PATIENT.

Instead of wishing for the day, the week, the year to hurry by so you can get to something better, savor each moment, whether big or small.

  1. TODAY AS YOU WORK, TAKE A MOMENT.

To think not about the task, but about those who will benefit from your task, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

  1. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR THOUGHTS.

Don’t try to change them, just be aware of them and then let them go without judgment.

  1. TURN OFF ALL SCREENS FOR THE DAY.

No television, no phone, no computer. Be at peace with not being connected.

  1. APPRECIATE A PET.

Take your dog for a walk and notice her joy as she explores your neighborhood. Play with your cat and appreciate his focus. Watch your goldfish and marvel at its grace. If you don’t share your life with a pet, borrow a friend’s or spend some time at a local animal shelter.

While engaging in the Blissful tips to practicing mindfulness while cultivating calm, be easy on yourself and have fun experiencing the benefits from each practice. The more you practice the easier it gets to cultivate calm.

Enjoy!

 

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Host of Blissful Living

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Instagram: rochelelawson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ rochele.lawson.5

Www.blissful-living.net

 

 

 

 

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Blissful Living

10 Oct

Living a blissful life is easier than you think. Once you know what blissful living is and how easy it is to obtain it, you will want to live this way. The quickest way to live a Blissful life is to eliminate stress.

You may be thinking, “ eliminate stress, is that even possible,” and if so how do I accomplish that? You know as well as I do that our society is built upon the battle with stress. Just the thought of the word “stress” causes a stress reaction in most all human beings. So how can the battle of eliminating stress be won without stressing you out?

Here are five things that you can do everyday to win the battle with eliminating stress:

  1. Take a Walk

Our life has become more and more sedentary. We are sitting, standing of lying down for longer periods of time. This can cause an imbalance in our balance of mental to physical energy expended creating stress within. Taking a walk for at least 10 minutes in nature will release feel good endorphins within your body elevating your mental clarity, mental bliss while invigorating your body.

  1. Eat Lunch Somewhere Pleasant

Lunchtime is a wonderful time to take a break and remove yourself from the confines of your desk. Find a place that’s relaxing, quiet and peaceful to eat your lunch or go to lunch with co-workers and release the pent up energy.  And while at lunch engage in pleasant and positive conversations or thoughts. Refrain from complaining, criticizing and gossiping. This helps to set a blissful tone for the remainder of the workday.

  1. Relax Your Muscles with a Body Scan

Progressive muscle relaxation can help you notice where you’re holding stress. It doesn’t take long and it’s simple to do: Lie down comfortably on your back with your legs straight. Close your eyes. Start by tensing muscles in your feet, and then relax.  Continue the process working your way up your body doing the same thing in sequence from your feet to your head, starting with the right side of your body. Often it’s only by experiencing muscle tension and letting it go that we become aware of just how much tension our bodies are retaining.

  1. Minimize Multitasking

Studies have shown that multitasking is not as efficient or effective as it once was thought to be. Jumping around from one thing to another to another in a constant state of partial attention is exhausting, inefficient and highly stressful. Try giving full attention to one thing at a time and watch your efficiency, effectiveness and Bliss increase.

  1. Get Your Face Out Of Your Phone

Set boundaries on when, where and how you will use your phone. Beware of the “dominating phone.” This is a phone that dominates your life to the point that your phone is in your hands more than not. Try eliminating your phone usage after 8:30pm and not using it before 7:00am and lastly putting your phone away during meals, parties or interacting with your family.

When we choose the path to bliss, we begin to enjoy our journey. Taking small steps to bring Bliss into our life is exactly what we are meant to do. It’s our destiny to live a life of Bliss and by learning what to do to accomplish the goal of Bliss, makes the journey even more special.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

 

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Host of Blissful Living

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Instagram: rochelelawson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ rochele.lawson.5

Www.blissful-living.net

 

 

 

 

 

Blissful Feet

12 Sep

Summer time is a wonderful time of the year. The choices for footwear are endless. Strappy sandals. T-strap block heels. Colorful pumps. Espadrille wedges. Pretty much anything goes!

With all the fabulous footwear choices and activities that occur during this time of year, sometimes we push to the edge! We do too much, walk a bit too far or stand a bit too long.

Even in our most comfy pair of shoes, our feet are hot, sore, tired and inflamed. This can cause us to be off balance and centered creating aches and pains in our lower back, hips, thighs, knees, calves and toes.

Ever been there?

If yes, then usage of essential oils may be just the thing you need.

Just as the choices for summer footwear are plenty, so are the choices for pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory essential oils.

Essential Oils for Blissful Feeling Feet

Peppermint essential oil increases circulation, stops muscle spasms, and is also a pain reliever.

German Blue Chamomile is an intensely blue, spicy-scented essential oil. It’s best used for pain, muscle soreness and spasms, inflammation and sprains.

Helichrysum
For decades, Helichrysum essential oil has been successfully used in Europe for profound pain relief. It reduces inflammation and relaxes tight muscles and connective tissue, among other actions.

Marjoram 

Known as the “happiness herb” and the “joy of the mountains,” marjoram has strong sedative properties. The essential oil is excellent in treating stiffness, muscle spasms and arthritis pain.

Rosemary essential oil is promoted for its ability to relieve pain, which is why it’s widely when treating muscle pains and even arthritis.

Ginger essential oil has been shown to inhibit the chemical signalers involved in the sensation of pain.
Blissful Therapies to Relieve foot pain utilizing essential oils

Massage
Mix 10 to 12 drops of essential oil with one ounce of carrier oil. The most recommended carrier oil for this method is coconut oil as it is clear, light and does not oxidize. Massage the mixture onto the effected area. Keep in mind that “hot” oils such as peppermint can bring strong sensations to the skin, so apply with care.

Soak  Add one cup of Epsom salt and 8-10 drops of essential oil to a basin or bucket. Fill with warm water and immerse your feet for 15 minutes.

Compress
Fill a bowl or sink with warm water. Add 3 to 5 drops of essential to the water and stir. Soak a washcloth in the water, wring, then apply to the affected area. These compresses can be used for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

When choosing essential oils, please choose a reputable brand that provide therapeutic grade essential oils and uses organically-harvested plant materials and the most potent parts of the plants when creating the essential oil.

And always test mixtures, baths or compresses on a small area of skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction to particular oil.
*If you are pregnant or nursing, it’s best not to use essential oils. If you’re taking medication, consult with your doctor before using.
Would you like to learn more about how to use essential oils to create your Bliss in your Life? Click here [http://www.feelingfabulous.net] for some of my tips on how to use essential oils in your life.

p.s. please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.

Namaste,

 

blissful-feetRochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Host of Blissful Living

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Instagram: rochelelawson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ rochele.lawson.5

Www.blissful-living.net

 

Reverse Mourning the Mornings

18 Jul

How many of you dread waking up in the morning? No matter how much sleep you get you simply hate getting up in the morning and not because you are tired but rather because it is the morning? We have all been there. It’s morning and when that dreaded alarm clock goes off you muster up all the ump you have in you and you either hit the snooze button or you get up.

Sadly most of us are sleep deprived due to various reasons from insomnia to over stimulation of the mind. When we are plague with sleep challenges it is difficult for our brains and bodies that have been asleep for hours, to shift from sleep to wake at the sound of an alarm.  Often times a busy day lies ahead so we must struggle to get a grip on our immediate racing thoughts upon waking up. Having a morning mindfulness routine and practice can help awaken the brain and bring balance and focus to your morning. You may even find with a regular routine of morning mindfulness, you begin to enjoy waking up for the quiet and peaceful moments that starts your day.

Here are a few blissful tips to help you enjoy waking up in the morning.

Upon Waking Up Observe Your Breath

Feel your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Focus on this breath and allow your mind to engage in the process of inhaling and exhaling. If your mind wanders in to other thoughts such as how you would like to just stay in bed, simply note the thought, take 5 more deep breaths in and release them out then rise and get out of bed.

Let The Sunshine In

Upon arising out of bed, before you do anything else such as going to the bathroom or taking a shower, open up the blinds and curtains in your room and let the sunshine in. If the day is a cloudy day do not fret, still open up your window dressings and let the day light in. This has an immediate effect on your brain stimulating the receptors in the brain that differentiate day and night. The light awakens the brain, which then sends signals to the body to wake up and get ready for the day.

Find A Comfortable Spot

Once you have opened up your windows, find a comfortable spot to sit near the window, stretch your arms over your head and then relax them at your sides and let the warmth of the sunshine hit your face so that it can awaken the circulation in your face.  Thus further enhancing the mindfulness waking up process.

Observe The Weather

Look out the window and bath your face in the natural light. Take a moment to observe the weather outside as you gaze out your window from your comfortable spot. Notice if the day is sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy or foggy? What color is the sky? How bright is the sunshining?

Become aware of your feelings, positive or negative about the current weather situation outside. Notice what arises in your mind as you allow yourself to experience the weather in this manner. Take a deep breath in and release it out.

Stand Up And Start Your Day

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and sit there for a moment or two. Notice the texture of the floor. Is it carpeted, hard wood or tile? Does it feel cold? Hot? Stand straight up, stretch your arms up high above your head and take a deep breath in and exhale out, lower your arms and get moving toward your Blissful Day!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

 

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título

www.rochelelawson.com
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.stressassessmentmagic.com
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.linkedin.com/rochelelawson

Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy and Friends

4 Jul

Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy

Everyday stress can make you look older but you have the power to stop this from happening. Everyday I amaze people when I tell them how old I am. They often think that I am at least 20 years younger than I am. I often hear that my skin looks amazing. What I learned a long time ago is not to let stress or anxiety take a toll on my health and well being and my skin. You can often tell just by looking at someone how much stress they have had in their lives and how much of a toll it has taken on their wellbeing, just by looking at their face.

You see each one of us at one point and time in our lives has suffered from the stress provoked acne breakout.  This happens because stress and anxiety triggers hormones and neurotransmitters that inflame the skin and causes the skin to become a breeding ground for acne.  When your brain senses psychological stress it turns on the stress related hormones. The result is an acne producing cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals triggering angiotensin and inflammation generating cytokines that courses through your body eroding your skin’s plumping collagen and sacred defenses.  When this happens during short-term stress or anxiety, it is not too much of a problem. The trouble is when stress and anxiety become a chronic problem, which often goes unnoticed.

The chronic state of stress continues bathing of the skin in the stress hormones, which begins to damage your complexion from the inside out. Over time the increased exposure to cortisol can inhibit the growth of fibroblast cells, that make new collagen, but it doesn’t slow the breakdown of old tissue. This may lead to skin tissue lost at an accelerated rate.  Chronic stress also boosts the production of free radicals and reduces protective antioxidants making your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles, pigmentation spots and dullness.

Skin inflammation often occurs in response to emotional stress and the inflammatory process damages and ages skin. Your immune system is not meant to be turned up 24/7 and than constant low grade inflammation may further degrade collagen and hinder skin’s ability to replenish. Plus inflammation compromises your skin’s barrier function, which can leave your complexion drier, duller and more prone to irritation. When you live in a constant state of stress it becomes harder for your skin to repair itself naturally, form healthy collagen and elastin and heal the damaged areas.

Your Skin’s Biggest Friends

So now you may be wondering how in the world can I prevent this from happening when often times I don’t even realize that I am stressed, well let me share with you some of the methods I use to keep my skin looking fabulous while keeping stress and anxiety at bay.

We all know that exercise is good for you in so many ways in that it boost circulation and relieves stress. In fact, exercise decrease cortisol levels and inflammation and you actually look younger, fresher and healthier after you exercise. Exercising for even 10 minutes has been shown to have a significant effect on the appearance of your skin.

Something that has wonderfully soothing effects on the mind and the body is listening to some soothing music. Soothing music is known to reduce cortisol and inflammation. So go ahead an indulge in some soothing music by turning on your computer playlist and let the melodies of the music relax your mind and your body and heal your skin from the inside out.

Being in nature or surrounded by green space has a soothing effect on the brain as well and can reduce cortisol and anxiety in adults. Taking a walk in nature can do wonders to relax the mind. A relaxed mind equals decreased stress hormones and happier skin.

At the end of the day, take a minute to write down three things that you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to beat stress and feel happier. You don’t have to do a 10-day silent retreat to make significant impact on stress and how you let it affect you and the way you look.

My Zenful solution to you for improving the way your skin looks and feels is exercise, music and gratitude. These three little things can reduce the hormones that lead to dull, tired looking skin, wrinkles, sagging and aging skin.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título

www.rochelelawson.com
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.stressassessmentmagic.com
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.linkedin.com/rochelelawson

Detox not Deprive

17 Apr

The other day I was at an event as was asked the following questions, why does everyone make such a big deal about doing a cleanse or a detox? Who has time to do all that it takes and does one really benefit from denying themselves of food? I looked at the person and thought wow with all the articles I have written about this, I know people are still confused, think it is hard to do and that they have to deny themselves. So I decided to address these questions in this article.

To do a cleanse or a detox is one of the best things that you can do for your body and mind to reset things back to balance. The digestive system is one of the key components to your overall state of wellbeing. If it is not functioning correctly, if it is full of sludge and toxins then you can possibly have optimal health and wellbeing. In fact, I have several options that I offer to my clients because a one fit all option is not possible. Each dosha or person’s body type has different needs.

Here is what you should know about a cleanse or detox program, you do not have to starve yourself to received the benefits. It does not have to be complicated nor do you have to check out of your normal aspects of life to succeed in cleansing or detoxifying your mind and body.

Here’s the deal, a detox allows the body to remove the toxic material that builds up in the digestive system. This is the system that is the foundation of our cellular building structure and if it is full of toxic material, the food that you take in is not getting metabolized efficiently and effectively thus depriving the body of the nutrients that it needs to keep you healthy and well.  A cleanse or a detox helps to rid the body of all of those toxins so that what you eat actually gets metabolized efficiently and effectively and the body is able to use it for fuel, building of the immune system and keeping the body’s process working optimally.

The process can range anywhere from 4 days to 30 days however I recommend no more than a 21 day detox or cleanse to achieve the maximum results.  A cleanse allows the internal process of the body to reset, it allows you to reset and strengthen the digestive fire and it allow you to purify the mind. If you are a person that has been having issues with your digestive system such as gas, bloating, weight gain, acid reflux, nausea, constipation or sluggishness, then you a prime candidate for a detox. If you have been suffering from lack of concentration, irritability, sleep challenges or lack of enthusiasm, then you would benefit from a detox.

Now here is something that will probably blow your mind, you do not have to deprive yourself of food. You do not have to starve yourself. Yes I said it. You can do a cleanse and eat some really yummy, wholesome and nourishing food as you go through the process. As far as it being something complex and time consuming, listen to this it does not have to be.  In fact in my 7 –day,  (http://www.the7daydetox.net) detox program and my 21 day Blissful Cleanse program,  (http://www.blissfulcleanse.com) you get to eat some very yummy food that is cleansing to your digestive system and nourishing to your body at the same time. The end result is that you get to reset your digestive system, recharge your agni (digestive fire) and shed a few pounds in the process.

Here is how you can take away the mystic of the complexity of doing a cleanse. Schedule your first detox for a shorter period of time such as over a weekend, starting on a Friday and ending on a Monday. Next prior to the cleanse go shopping for the food that you will need to eat during your cleanse, my programs come with a shopping list and recipes so that you don’t even have to think about what you need. You can take the shopping list with you to the store and get what you need. I advise that you remove unplug from the doldrums of your everyday life and limit the use of technology. Get some candles, prepare to take some nice, warm, loving baths and choose this time to stay in your home and focus on loving yourself. Here is one more tip, let others know that you will be taking this time to rejuvenate yourself and that you may not be available to them during this time. This one tip alone helps tremendously because if others know what you are going to be doing they are more apt to assist you with succeeding.  And yes spending time in nature is good, so be sure to put in time to take walks or to sit outside in nature to connect with the elements of our universe.

After the detox, you will feel wonderful and your mind and your body will thank you.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your mind.

Also, please pick-up your free gifts here: www.gifts4free.com

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP, CMS                                                                                                    The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

www.rochelelawson.com

www.healthhealingwellness.com

www.blissful-living.net

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rochele.lawson.5

Instagram: rochelelawson

Email: info@healthhealingwellness.com

 

 

Fuel the Fire

3 Apr

The key to lasting weight loss has nothing to do with depriving yourself of food and everything to do with the fire in your digestive system. I’m going to let you in on a weight loss secret… are you ready? The key to lasting weight loss is mastering your metabolism or rather your digestive fire.

You may be one of the many of millions of people that believe that in order to lose weight you have to deprive yourself of food, you have to go on a fad diet or a juice fast or sign up for a weight loss program that you see on television. In fact, the weight loss industry is a booming business because no matter what it markets, it sets people up for continual failure resulting in repeat business for them. In fact, once you stop doing the program, you quickly begin to regain the weight you lost and many times you gain more weight than you lost.  Does this sound familiar?

You may be someone that is working to maintain your weight and have had some success but you are constantly working hard to do this. Let me tell you my friend, it does not have to be this way. In order to be successful with losing weight and keeping it off or maintaining your weight with little or no effort, you need to know that just as your size shrinks after dropping pounds, so does your ability to burn the calories you take in.  As you shed pounds, your body enters what scientist call a “starvation state,” slowing down your metabolism and decreasing your digestive fire, which actually encourages your body to regain weight.  After we lose pounds, changes occur in our endocrine, nervous and muscular systems to make us burn fewer calories for the same amount of effort while our brains are telling us to eat more. Your body may be working against you but by engaging in a few new habits, you can reignite your digestive fire and increase your metabolism.

Here are some things that you can do to fuel the fire within you.

Get moving, standing, stretching and walking throughout the day is crucial to keeping your system revved up. Each time you get up, your muscles activate and within 90 seconds your cellular engines turn on.

Exercise less but make it count by doing it harder. Amp up your workouts with high intensity interval training. Shorter bursts of intensity can increase the energy burn in the muscles, making it easier for the body to generate energy by metabolizing fat for fuel.

Time your coffee intake. Drinking a cup of coffee an hour before your workout will help you burn 15 percent more calories afterward. Caffeine seems to raise the adrenaline levels in the body and that causes you to expend more energy to blast calories, which in turn revs up your metabolism.

Get up and get outdoors. People who are exposed to bright light from morning to noon have healthier BMIs than those who get more light exposure at other times of the day. Blue light, which is greater in the morning helps to synchronize our circadian rhythms, keeping our appetite in check and our digestive fire burning.

Exposure to light in the evening may alter the hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism so that we eat more and burn fewer calories.

Turn off your brain. Stress slows the digestive fire. Research is suggesting that stress alters the functions within our cells in a way that lowers our metabolic rate. Everyday be sure to schedule some down time that allows you to focus on something you enjoy like meditation, spending time in nature or spending time with those that you love and care about.

Drink lots of water, preferably at room temperature or warmer. By drinking just 17 ounces of water you’ll boost your digestive fire by 30 percent. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of room temperature or warm water each hour.

Lastly, eat plenty of protein. By eating more protein you’ll be more likely to store any excess calories you eat as fat. Protein takes more energy for the body to digest than carbohydrates, so eat the proper amount of protein for your dosha and you’ll fuel your digestive fire and burn more of the calories that you consume overall.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Also, please pick up your free gifts here: www.gifts4free.com

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

www.rochelelawson.com

www.healthhealingwellness.com

www.blissful-living.net

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rochele.lawson.5

Instagram: rochelelawson

Email: info@healthhealingwellness.com

 

 

 

 

The Blissful Way To Jumpstart Your Day

20 Mar

 

This is the Vata season

As the season changes, what’s going on around us? The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing colors and falling, and we feel change within. Vata — light, airy, dry and governing movement — has great qualities. In our bodies, when Vata is in balance it is expressed as mental alertness, ability to fall asleep easily, good circulation, calm demeanor, balanced digestion and elimination, and balanced body temperature. But oh boy! When Vata is out of balance, we may notice that we are tired and forgetful, spaced out; we may experience difficulty falling asleep, occasional constipation, poor circulation (cold feet & hands), or occasional feelings of anxiousness and worry. So, how do we find that balance during the winter when Vata is in full effect? To counteract its uneven, variable nature, one of the best antidotes to balance Vata is regular routine! If you know you are a Vata dosha then you are a head of the game and if you don’t know your Dosha keep reading to find out how you can learn what your dosha is.  (Those with Vata disorders often find themselves in a rush, always in a hurry. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to structure a more relaxed daily routine. Take it easy and slow down; enjoy abhyanga, warm baths and turning off electronics — disengage. This is important for mental, emotional and physical health!) However if you are not a vata the information in this article is still very important to you no matter what dosha you may be.

Start the morning with the intention to cultivate balance. When we take the time to invest in our Ayurvedic daily routine, we are jump-starting our day in the most powerful way — balanced and ready for anything!

Here are the goodies…

 Make a Plan

To be successful, routine needs a plan. So map out the morning according to your own personal schedule. For example, if you have to be at work at 8:30 a.m., it’s easy to fit this routine in if you wake up by 6:00 a.m. An early wake-up call, with the rising sun, is smooth when accompanied by an early bedtime. Ayurveda recommends going to bed by 10:00 p.m. during the drowsy Kapha time of night (6:00 – 10:00 p.m.).

Ayurvedic Daily Routine

  1. Wake up in the morning before 6:00 a.m.
  2. If easy and natural… eliminate: empty bowel and bladder. Don’t strain. Ayurveda never wants us to resist healthy natural urges, or strain by trying to force them.
  3. Wash your face.
  4. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue (Tongue scraping, really… don’t roll your eyes! See instructions below).
  5. Afterward, this is a good time to drink a cup of water.
  6. Perform Abhyanga — warm Ayurvedic oil self-massage.
  7. It’s best to wait 10-15 minutes for the oil to soak in between your massage and bath. If you don’t have time, immediately jumping in the shower is OK. The waiting time while letting the oil soak in could also be spent swishing oil in your mouth, known as oil pulling.
  8. Bathe or shower. Use warm rather than hot water.
  9. Perform Yoga Asanas and breathing, called Pranayama.
  10. Meditate for twenty minutes.
  11. Eat a light breakfast — a stewed apple or pear and/or warm cereal are ideal.
  12. Then… work or school — you are ready to do this!

Take these recommendations one-step at a time, and don’t feel overwhelmed. And remember to cultivate a habit of taking it easy and slowing down. Balance that Vata!

Here are the specifics on these Ayurvedic morning routines:

Elimination

According to Ayurvedic principles, it is preferred to evacuate the bowels in the morning. Our body’s clock leans toward following the cycles of nature. During the nighttime, lunar energy is more predominant, so our body focuses on calming and cooling. In the morning, when the sun rises, our body goes into absorption phase when Agni — the active, burning and transforming solar energy — dominates. If, during the day, we carry around the waste material we created at night, we may absorb some of that waste material (toxins) back into our system, weakening immunity and leaving us feeling fatigued, drowsy and irritable during the day. Feeling energetic and relaxed are signs of proper evacuation. Twice a day is normal, but at least once a day is essential. Bowel movements affect our entire physiology, so don’t ignore urges and don’t wait! Through routine and a balanced diet, we can tune into our body’s internal clock and make regular elimination a part of our daily routine.

The use of nature’s intelligence, Ayurvedic herbs, can help smooth the elimination process into regularity.  To assist with this process try drinking a cup of warm water with a little lemon juice or a drop or two of lemon essential oil.

Tongue Scraping

“Ok, ok…. scrape my tongue?” We guarantee you, do it for one week and you will never quit. It is like brushing your teeth. Once you start, your mouth just doesn’t feel clean without doing it. It is also a great “meter” for ama, or digestive impurities (the result of incomplete or inefficient digestion). If you have a lot of residue, then think about your diet and routine and make changes. Tongue scraping has long been an important part of the recommended Ayurvedic daily routine. If you have ever noticed a film or coating (which can range in color from clear to white, yellow, or green) on your tongue in the morning, your body may have a build-up of ama that can compromise your digestive and immune systems. This simple, yet important, method of cleaning the tongue removes ama, the toxic coating or film, before the body reabsorbs it.

Here’s How to Scrape Your Tongue:

  • After brushing your teeth first thing in the morning, grab your tongue cleaner. The Tongue Cleaner is traditional sterling silver and designed for ease and efficiency. In a bind, the front of a silver spoon can be used in place of a tongue cleaner. (Why silver? Silver is known for its antibacterial properties.)
  • Relax your tongue so that the scraper contacts maximum surface area, and place the scraper as far back on your tongue as comfortable. Gently yet firmly, scrape the entire surface from back to front.
  • Rinse the scraper well with hot water after each use.
  • Repeat this process 3-5 times, until your tongue looks clean, and pinkish or red in color.
  • Be careful as not to scrape the tongue too hard, destroying your taste buds. Gentle pressure is all that is needed to scrape the tongue.

Oil Pulling

Sesame and coconut oils are regularly used in Ayurveda to detoxify or “pull” toxins from the skin that they are applied to — so no surprise here that oil pulling can be done with either of these oils. This simple routine involves swishing (not gargling) one tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 2 to 20 minutes – whatever is comfortable. It’s not as bad as it sounds! It feels great, draws out bacteria and has been shown to promote healthy gums and teeth and reduce tartar build-up.

Embrace oil pulling as part of your daily teeth-cleaning routine, and remember these few things:

  • Swish the oil gently. If your jaw or mouth starts aching, slow down. Go easy on yourself!
  • Avoid swallowing the oil while swishing.
  • Once you are done pulling, spit the oil into the trash or outside, not in the sink, because over time the oil may clog pipes.
  • After spitting, rinse your mouth with water before consuming any beverages.

Abhyanga

Self oil massage, Abhyanga; helps calm the mind and nervous system. Daily Abhyanga is especially important for Vata, as it helps alleviate dry skin that is often a result of Vata imbalance. The skin is one of the primary seats of Vata dosha, so massaging your body every morning with warm, Vata-pacifying such as Sesame can go a long way toward soothing the entire nervous system and emotions. It’s just a matter of taking however many minutes you can spare — from 2 to 20 — to give your skin some love! It’s a powerful tool before or after a shower, and has healing qualities: increased circulation, toxin release, and stimulation of nerve endings.

Here’s How to Perform Abhyanga:

  • Place a small amount of warm oil in the palm of your hand for each point listed below (using small amounts will help you avoid feeling too oily).
  • Start with massaging the face and outer part of the ears.
  • Massage both the front and back of the neck and the upper part of the spine.
  • Massage the arms, using a back-and-forth motion over the long bones and a circular motion over the joints.
  • Use a circular motion to massage over the heart and a clockwise motion over the abdomen.
  • Massage the legs, using the same long motion over the leg bones and a circular motion over the joints.
  • Last but not least, massage the feet. Use the open part of your hand to massage vigorously back-and-forth over the soles.
  • After massaging your whole body, you can use a natural-bristle body brush with a vigorous motion upward toward your heart on the front and back of your feet, legs, arms, back and tummy.

Yoga Asanas

Yoga asanas are the preferred Ayurvedic way to exercise, because practiced properly they do not put undue strain on any one part of the physiology. Yoga asanas increase blood flow to vital organs, stimulate marma points (points in our bodies where concentrated prana is located) and activate the relaxation response, which is beneficial to the digestive system and all the systems of the body essential for good health.

Meditation

According to Ayurveda, we metabolize not just food, but with all our five senses. During Meditation all the senses are engaged and we experience a unique, silent state of awareness that becomes part of who we are. While all parts of the daily routine are important, the Meditation aspect is the most effective way to reduce stress. Just 20 minutes twice a day has the potential to regulate cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase serotonin, which is a sign of relaxation — ultimately reducing stress and feelings of anxiety. For a free guided meditation to: gifts4bliss.com

Ayurvedic Breakfast

Regular meals are an essential part of the Ayurvedic routine, with three warm, cooked meals a day. It’s preferred to eat them at the same time every day, as Vata digestion tends to be irregular. Start the day with an energizing meal to build an appetite for lunch, stimulate regular bowel movement, increase vitality and alertness, and provide a light but satisfying breakfast.

Go to gifts4bliss.com to get energizing Ayurvedic recipes that will help you to optimize your day in a positive and energizing way.

As I mentioned earlier knowing your dosha can assist you tremendously in knowing how to jumpstart your day. To find out your dosha click here: www.freegiftsfromrochele.com

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

 

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

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The Sacred Experience of Cooking

10 Feb

Is cooking good for the soul?

When I was a little girl, I would sometimes watch my grandmother cook. She was one of the best cooks I knew and always seem to have a smile on her face whenever she was cooking. I remember one time asking her why she was smiling and she told me “because cooking is good for the soul, child.” As I grew up and began to cook for my family I would often remember that conversation that I had with my grandmother and the smile that she had on her face when she cooked.

The wise people in the world say that cooking is good for the soul because it is a spiritual thing to do. It is a way to thank and show appreciation to the Divine for the food that we have to eat. When we cook for others, the experience of cooking becomes an even more profoundly spiritual thing to do. In many cultures cooking is a sacred experience and mindfulness on the food is adhered to while cooking by not talking but rather praying in silence and even pausing to give thanks while chopping, peeling or stirring. This is believed to assist with cultivating a selfless intention and being honorable and respectful for the gift of food from the Divine.

When we cook in a joyful and peaceful state of mind, we bring the essence of that into the food that we are preparing. It is wonderful to integrate mindfulness and love into the experience of cooking because it deepens the cooking experience and enhances the quality and flavor of the food. It is because of this awareness that we are able to cultivate a unique experience each time we cook a meal.

When a person cooks a meal for another they are practicing what we call in Ayurveda, Seva. Seva is a Sanskrit word referring to the practice of serving others with no expectation of reward or recognition. Practicing Seva helps us see that every person is an aspect of the Divine therefore any action that benefits others, no matter how menial is a service to the Divine.

Kitchens are often the most used, best-loved room in the house. They possess a gravitational pull that brings together friends and family, labor and laughter, sustenance and celebration. That lovableness is often exhibited in the wonderful meals that come out of the kitchen. Most good cooks have the belief that cooking is for whomever you are preparing the meal for and not for the cook. Most cooks understand that being a good cook in the kitchen is a true selfless service and comes from the love of wanting to serve others.

What will you cook today to show your love?

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

International Best Selling Author
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Wishing you Peace to your Mind, Wellness to your Body and Tranquility to your Spirit

 

 

Avoiding Fat Traps while eating out

18 Nov

In my business there are times that I travel a lot which means that I am eating out a lot. I have had countless friends, family and acquaintances ask me how do I manage my figure and my weight so well, with such a hectic and busy schedule, so I decided to share some of my secrets for successful weight management with those of you that travel a lot, eat out a lot or just want in on my secrets.

Considering that many people go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner up to five times a week, you would think that by now people would have become pros at eating what is right for their body and makes them feel good. You would think that with all the information out now days about how to eat healthy, people would have learned to avoid the fat traps that keep them stuck in the “fat” mode. Well it just isn’t so. We all know that if we are at a restaurant and we order a “Blooming Onion,” it is going to be loaded with calories due to the fat that the onion is fried in but what about that chopped salad that sounds so healthy and delicious? Here is something to note, that salad may not be as healthy and fat free as you think. In an effort to make things on the menu seem healthier, trendy restaurants are revamping their menus to look and sound healthy, but it can make a surprisingly large dent in your diet. I’ve looked at seven of the sneakiest dishes that can actually add to your waistline even though they sound healthy.

  • Ever go to an Italian restaurant and they place nice warm bread and olive oil on your table? I’m sure you have, so check this out, while Extra Virgin Olive Oil is hearth healthy, many people go overboard, soaking up as much as a tablespoon of about 119 calories with each chunk of bread that is dipped in it. Food for thought, if you dunk four chunks of bread into that Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you have just taken in over 400 calories and you have even gotten to your meal yet. Here’s a Blissful Tip: Drizzle a little olive oil onto a small plate and add balsamic vinegar to dilute the fat and pump up the flavor. Better yet you might want to use some butter. At Cornell University researchers found that when people spreaded some butter on their bread, they consumed 21 percent fewer calories per slice than those that dunked their bread in the olive oil. Here’s the catch, butter eaters consumed more bread so be sure to cut yourself off after one piece.
  • Having a chopped salad always seems like a great thing to do and can seem light compared to other items on the menu. Here is something to be aware of, because everything is so finely chopped, the restaurant can actually fit way more onto a plate or in a bowl. Some chopped salads can contain upwards of 700 calories and with the pieces being so small, it is often difficult to tell what you are eating, which is important in terms of satiation.

Here’s a Blissful Tip: Order a regular tossed salad instead. If you are building a salad at the salad bar, add no more than five toppings and avoid crispy Chinese noodles, dried fruit and other high calorie options. Get your salad dressing on the side, along with a few wedges of lemon or vinegar. You can make a little vinaigrette that will go a long way in avoiding the fat trap.

  • Sweet potato fries have become so envogue and are a wonderful super food but when cut into strips and deep-fried, they end up being just “French fries.” Besides a lot of restaurants load them with salt to balance out the vegetables natural sweetness, bringing the salt count to 800 milligrams, and opposed to 40 milligrams for regular “French fries.” Here’s a Blissful Tip: Gram for gram sweet potato fries contain about the same number of calories as regular fries. Since they contain more fiber, calcium and vitamin A, the sweet potato type is definitely better than regular fries. The key to keep portions down is to order them when you have someone else to share them with and only eat a handful.

Rest assured that even though these tips seem small they could play a huge role in successfully managing your weight when you go out to eat whether you are at home with the family or traveling. Small changes that you make in the way you consume your food can have a huge impact on the improvement of successfully managing your weight and your health and well being. So give it a try and see the difference it makes in your life.

I welcome your comments and any additional tips below.

Wishing you much health and wellness!

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeing Fabulous

www.rochelelawson.com

www.healthhealingwellness.com

www.stressassessmentmagic.com

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