Monthly Archives: November 2014

Expectations…

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One thing I noticed since getting my Reiki 1 Attunement two weeks ago has been ongoing feelings of intense (and I mean intense)  irritation, frustration and discouragement. It was getting to a point that I felt as thought I were going to scream or have an argument with someone and that I would regret it…knowing that the problem is with me, not the other person.  It sort of felt like intense PMS.

I texted Beth to ask why I was having all this and her reply was that you will continue having these feelings until you realize why you are having them.  And then you need to get rid of it.  She also told me to do some meditation to find out why I have these feelings.  I took some time today to meditate a bit and asked my inner self why am I so irritated with everything(most often my spouse…), frustrated with everything…job, money, etc., and generally discouraged.  The answer I got was “Just let go of the expectations.  Of  others and yourself.”

Expectations…  Interesting concept…and I came to realize that every time I have my feelings of irritation, frustration and discouragement, it’s because I am expecting something…expecting some one else to fulfill what I believe they should be fulfilling, the fact that the job/money isn’t what I am expecting, that I don’t accomplish what I am expecting to accomplish.  In the irritation line the gamut runs from the mundane things like hubby not remembering he was going to take me out to lunch today, not taking the garbage out and wearing his earphones so that he didn’t have to talk(he could probably see I was on the warpath!).  The frustration line involved no response on the Thanksgiving sale I was having on my Etsy shop…and I was so full of hope on Wednesday when I set it up…I envisioned my inventory drastically disappearing and taking masses of packages to the post office.  Instead, very little activity at all and no sales…so that meant no extra funds that I was “expecting”…  The discouragement line was the weather itself wasen’t cooperating…it wasen’t what I was expecting for the weekend…I didn’t get to be outside and make the wreaths that I usually do this weekend.

I got myself a notebook and am going to keep myself on track by eliminating “expectations” in others and in myself as well.  I am often too hard on myself, thinking that I should always be doing something constructive when so many times I am tired and need to just rest.  I get irritated at my husband because he does rest and I mumble under my breath that I have to do everything…I have to just let go, breathe in and out, let go.  And constantly remind myself.

til next time…Eva

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Reiki Level 1

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004aReiki Level 1 photo by Eva 2014

I got a text message from my friend Beth on Friday…she’s a former Art teacher and now does Yoga and Reiki instruction.  She and I have many similar interests and talk about anything healthwise, new methods, various diets, food allergies, etc.

She was giving a Reiki 1 class on Saturday, had one spot left and asked if I wanted to come as her guest.  She has known that I have wanted my Reiki 1 Certification for quite a while…ever since she had gotten her three levels.  I had been reading quite a bit about Reiki online and watched various videos and done it on my pets and myself…but wanted to actually experience it and see how it was done.  I accepted with glee.

She texted me back to wear “comfortable clothing” because we were going to do some “light Yoga stretches” before doing the Reiki.  I have done Yoga off and on over the years…my Dad and I used to do it with the television programs in the 1970s.  I took Yoga classes when I started teaching in the late 1970s.  Now, back then, there were no fancy sticky mats, no fancy clothing, etc.  We wore shorts or sweatpants, heavy socks and a t-shirt.  We brought a towel to lay on and a small blanket to cover ourselves for meditation.

I was excited about the class itself but kind of apprehensive about the clothes part…I didn’t have the time or the funds at the moment for buying anything new so I wore my most comfortable jeans, a t-shirt and my zipped knit jacket and comfortable sneakers.  I knew what Beth normally wears…black Yoga pants and a 3/4 length sleeve knit top.

I got there 15 minutes early and helped Beth with her stuff(various herbal teas and snacks) before the other 4 arrived.  One by one they arrived and when all 4 were there, I was struck by the similarities of them all.  They all had the same haircolor(bleached blond) and elaborate hairdo and were all wearing heavy make up(it was 9 am!), manicured nails, several diamond rings on each hand and top of the line yoga wear.  I was definitely the odd one out and strangely enough, it amused me.  I’m at the point that I spend my time and energy on other things…although I must say that if my 24 year old daughter were home, she’d tell me I have to work harder on my appearance…with some more makeup and care with my choice of clothing, etc.

When it came to the Yoga stretches, I was very gratified to find out that I could keep up with all of them quite well…my real problem was not being able to hear as well as I should have…I had to watch Beth all the time and read lips for the most part. The stretches she selected were related to the chakra points and she would read affirmations that were indictative of each of the chakra points.

The Reiki Attunement disappointed me because I thought I’d get a revelation of sorts…instant enlightenment did not happen!  It was a  peaceful sensation though and some of the women said they did feel something.

Then we did Reiki on each other…one by one we lay on the Reiki bed and got all five people practicing on us at one time.  I was last by choice(I figured the ones who paid should get it first).  We learned how to “ground” ourselves first so that we wouldn’t absorb energy from the person(if you are an empath, you instinctively do that) and to brush and smooth the aura of the person after the session.  I noticed that many of the others cried while they were being worked on.

When it was my turn, I felt the warm soothing sensation on my head area and a surging sensation on my right foot.  Beth later told me that when she was doing my right foot, she could feel the energy being literally vacuumed from her hands…and had never had that experience before.  I didn’t cry during my session…I felt a bubble in my abdomen and gained momentum as it traveled up and I couldn’t stop giggling…it was a totally delicious feeling.

We were given a workbook and told to practice for the next 21 days…on ourselves, our pets, our friends, our family, our plants, our cars, everything would benefit from Reiki.  The more we would use it, the stronger the energy would be coming from our hands.  Another thing Beth said was that something would happen…and she related when she had gotten her first attunement and was practicing in the first 21 days, she realized that her big lesson to learn what that she was not in control of everything in her life.  I’m a little apprehensive of what lesson this has in store for me.

All in all, an interesting day and I’m grateful to Beth for the experience.  Now to move on to the 21 days to practice it, do more research online and become fully versed in it.

til next time, Eva

Substitutions….just a stage

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I was with a friend of mine yesterday who has been battling with migraine headaches.  In the five years since I’ve known her, I’ve noticed them worsening.  In the beginning she averaged 5 a month…that was when she started medication and starting all her various experimentation…lately she’s been having them almost daily.

She does Yoga(is a yoga instructor), is a Reiki Master, has had acupuncture(says that relieves her for a short period of time), has had that Botox treatment(that was a nightmare), has been on an elimination diet, gave up caffeine due to a nervous tic on her face and the list goes on.

She’s a fabulous cook using organic, non GMO products and doesn’t skimp on high quality ingredients.  But, I’ve noticed lately how she obsesses over the latest ingredient substitutions that I have seen online as being mainstream.  She wants her diet to contain the categories it always had and the more she experiments, the more foods she finds that don’t agree with her. She will find something she CAN eat and eat that daily…and sometime later is no longer able to eat that either.

When I first went on a gluten free diet, the recipe book I had purchased at the time had recipes for bread and rolls made from a concoction of potato starch, cornstarch, and xanthan gum or guar gum.  It was a white pasty mess but being desperate for bread, I ate it.

Then it was rice flour products and now the trend seems to be  almond meal flour and coconut flour along with massive amounts of eggs.

The question rotating in my brain is, are the substitutions doing more harm than the originals?

I see people on facebook obsessing over how to make desserts like they used to have…so they’ll make a “substitute” using the other flour options…and later find out that the calorie count/fat count is astronomical.

When you have the goal of giving up sugar for example, so many are trying the various substitutes out there so that they can still eat the same way they always have.  It’s like it was in the beginning of being a vegetarian…I used to get the various “fake meat” products…but over the years, I’ve gotten past that stage and don’t need nor do I want that.

My two cents on the substitutions subject…there are no substitutions.  This past year has taught me that success relies on focusing on real food.  In the beginning you will be in the stage of denial of sorts…the total shock that you may have to give that food up “forever”.  This is the stage when you play with the substitutions.  The sad part is that some people never go beyond that point to explore the wonderful world of real food.

It’s interesting how I’ve been able to change my focus this year…to go from apple pie with all the sugar to sliced apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top…and truly savor it.  I no longer look at candy in the same way nor do I even think about drinking sodas or sweetened coffee or cocoa products.

Now, that doesn’t mean that now and then I won’t  be tempted to eat one of my favorites from the past…but I find that a very small portion will satisfy me(also, if I get a large portion of anything overly sweet, I’ll possibly get heartburn and /or a migraine headache…no thank you!)

This does not happen over night.  It’s a learning process and a challenging one in the beginning…but after a while it does become easier…and if you slip, to forgive yourself and move on.

til next time…Evacountry roads 002aphoto by Eva…Country Road

Asking the Right Questions…

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I was watching a YouTube video by Shannon Kaiser yesterday (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW0Dy0ALk9U&list=PLAQjqa335zSbwV0xnJseAaCQggxKfxNkR) about asking yourself better questions and it struck a chord in me.

If you’ve had a child or been around children for any length of time, at some point in their development they go through a question stage and every question starts with “Why…”.  After a while of answering  or trying to answer the “why” questions, most of us give up and are stumped for answers.

In Shannon’s video, she was talking about three steps to change your behavior…adapted from a book by Mastin Kipp(The Daily Love.)  Apparently, after we’ve experienced trauma of some kind, in many instances we’ve filled it with an addiction in order to cope with it.  The addiction can be anything…over eating, alcohol, drugs, exercise, sex, or any other obsessive behavior.

The first step according to Mr. Kipp is a procedure he calls, “Free your feelings”…at sometime in your past, you felt hurt or were wounded emotionally.  For this step, you now determine what they are and are ready to release them and to allow yourself to feel and forgive the pain.  The forgiveness part is freeing you for the future.

The second step is to ask a better question and for most of us, we are always asking the “why” and in most cases, the “why” never gets answered.  Mr. Kipp advises in his book to get out of the “Why Zone” and ask your addiction, “What am I saying about this when I (over eat, abuse alcohol, abuse drugs, etc.).  What hole am I trying to fill?  How can I fill this hole or this void in my life?”  So, asking yourself  WHAT and HOW questions can lead you to more constructive answers.

And the third step is to take action immediately.  Do something consistently to get rid of the bad feelings you have and the obsessive destructive behavior.

I know I’ve been guilty of focusing on the “why” and am going to be asking more How and What questions…how about you?

til next time…Eva056

A Change in Direction

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I have always loved the whole concept of on January 1…armed with my new calendar and deciding upon my new goals/resolutions for the new year.  While others were nursing hangovers and other excesses from the night before or watching the various parades and football games, I was gleefully visualizing all of the changes that would happen in the new year.

While diligently de-cluttering years of notebooks and papers this past summer, I was brought to the stark reality that I had in fact accomplished very few of the goals.  I found several of my notebooks with my new year’s resolutions neatly written on the first page.  The sad point was that in almost all of them, I had the SAME resolutions!  Always the weight(getting down to my “perfect” weight), de-clutter the house, my debts paid off, relationships improving, and the trips, clothing and activities I was going to accomplish.

Finding these notebooks and realizing how futile all of my enthusiasm and energy had petered out and produced very little, I decided that it was time…really time and long overdue…to change my focus and change my direction.

I knew it would take concentrated effort on my part and I had a lot to lose if I didn’t do this.  I felt as though I’d been stuck for years, stirring things up with my various attempts(half hearted at time, desperate at others) and at the end of the day, seeing it settle back to the same old, same old.

What I decided to do was to break up my goal setting by month…taking the enthusiasm and excitement of the new calendar page and new notebook that had previously been reserved for the “new yea”…not it’s the “new month”.  I started this four months ago…every month I have a major focus.  I also have my other goals as well that are on going(daily habits).

What goals to choose going this path?  The best thing I’ve found is to first brainstorm all of the goals/resolutions you wish to accomplish over a period of time.  For example, if you wish to de-clutter, choose one area to de-clutter(bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc.) or even a section.  The goal is to be successful…if you choose too large an area, you’ll become burned out and frustrated that at the end of the month you didn’t succeed.

Maybe it’s a new habit you wish to develop(http://tinyhabits.com/) .  If you go on this link, you can decide on a small habit you wish to develop.  You will get an email every day of the week to remind you to do your habit.

Once I’ve decided what I want to accomplish this month, I get myself a notebook(usually a simple lined loose leaf notebook that you can buy quite cheaply).  Write the month on the front cover and on the first page write down exactly what your goals are for the month, how you plan to accomplish them and how you will know you’ve accomplished them.

For example, using the de-cluttering example…if my goal is de-cluttering the kitchen, then I will write a list of all the areas in the kitchen that need to be de-cluttered.  If it’s a large cabinet, one shelf/section at a time.  Refrigerator, one area at a time.  You’re aiming for short chunks of time…15-30 minutes.  Lots of times I do some de-cluttering while waiting for foods to cook, talking on the phone, etc.  When you have your list, you can then check it off when it’s done.  There is something so satisfying about being able to check something off a list.

I usually use 1=2 pages of the notebook every day.  I have my goals for the day written down.  I also do an idea list every day…James Altucher (www.jamesaltucher.com) recommends that basically you brainstorm 10 ideas every day…it could be for your home, work, health, relationships, etc.  I have found that by doing this for a while, some of the ideas are iffy at best but every once in a while there is a diamond in the rough…and that’s what you’re aiming for.  James Altucher calls this exercising your brain and the more you do it, the better you get at it…definitely worth doing.

I also write down various tips, suggestions I get online from the various items I receive that will help me to improve my goals.

By doing a daily page, it helps you to focus on the end result and if you’ve been slacking a bit, to speed up your pace.  The checklist tells you whether you’re up to your schedule.

So, it’s a new month and I have my notebook ready and am recharged once again.  Hope I’ve inspired you to try this technique as well.  If you have any questions, please comment and I’ll respond.

Til next time, Eva

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