Coronavirus – An Unpopular Opinion

By now, I’m sure you are well aware of what is going on in the world pertaining to health and wellness or lack thereof. The infamous “Covid-19” has plagued the planet and people are running scared, hoarding groceries, and filing for unemployment. And what are we to do you when the entire world is telling us we’re all sick? FEAR LIFE ITSELF, of course. Right? Absolutely wrong.

Just as day turns into night and one season changes into another, life is also a cycle filled with good things and bad things. It’s how we learn to appreciate what we have. Every generation seems to go through a monumental event in time- a war, an economic collapse, assassinations. The Coronavirus is serving as just that for this generation.

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The stillness that this has brought upon us has (hopefully) caused us to stop in our tracks and think. One thing you can count on in this world is change- transformation, evolution. Another thing you can count is that everything is a matter of perspective. Perspective during troubling times can either make or break us teaching us who we are in the process.
 

“Fear is just a prayer for something we don’t want.”

Dr. Debra Gambrell from Gaia’s “Real Immunity”

Ever hear someone say “stop worrying, you’ll make yourself sick?” There is truth in that. Fear, stress, and worry literally lower your immune system. They target your adrenals and thyroid glands which are your body’s way of handling stress. Don’t believe me? Check out these articles:

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“To conquer fear is to gain wisdom.”

Gaia’s “Real Immunity”

 Along with words like “Coronavirus” and “Covid-19”, the media is also throwing “social distancing” and “quarantine” our way. These have become synonymous with our current existence.

As we also know, the media is a fear-mongering mechanism that mostly shares the terribleness of what’s going on. I’m here to tell you that it is okay to step away from the news- from the chaos and the fear. You don’t have to watch it 24/7. Quoting a dear friend of mine, “you need to know what’s going on, but it gets to a point where watching the monkies dance just becomes depressing and you need to have some humor to balance it out.” This is also a fact. It’s scientifically proven that laughter boosts the immune system: “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke”  

Side note: If politicians and government have already known about the virus before it blew to the proportion that it has, how then, are you sure you can trust the very information they are shelling out on the media? Flipping the coin, it’s not worth it to cast blame. The point is that it is here now and the way you react sets a standard for yourself and others.    

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Can we also please change the terminology that’s been springing up? It’s not a “disease” nor a “war”. It’s a virus and a new challenge to overcome with help from everyone around the world. Let us be thankful that here in America, it’s not an actual war where people are dying in the streets at the hand of another. With wording like this, we create resistance within ourselves. Resistance creates stress and as we know stress lowers the immune system.  

During the past 2 years, there has been an emphasis in health and wellness routines that encapsulate mind, body, and spirit- mostly confined to the “new age” community and millennials. The whole Corona Virus thing has just kicked all of that into high gear. Because of this, there is a good portion of people who are thrilled to have ample time for self-care, meditations, journaling, reading, etc. There is also a good portion of people who are asking themselves, “how do I even do that?”, “where do I start?”, or even “who am I without the people and things I’m used to being around?”  

Short story: There was a moment after a relationship had ended where I realized I didn’t know what to do when I was by myself. And at that moment, I vowed to change it and embarked on a journey of self-discovery That meant finding out what I enjoyed, what made me excited and becoming my own #1.  To begin walking this path and befriending yourself, here is a good list of questions to ask that I found on Instagram:    

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You can also ask yourself has there been a project you wanted to start or a skill you wanted to pick up? What about a book you’ve put off reading? Is there a place you always wanted to travel? Plan it out for the future! This isn’t going to last forever, you know (but a lot longer than 2-weeks). Find out what you’ve always wanted to do, learn, and aspire to be. Think about the steps you’ll take to get there. When you get sad, depressed, angry- whatever- feel it, express it healthily and move on.  

Another thing to think about is what this is teaching us as individuals and as a collective. A couple observations I’ve made are:  

1. It is teaching us how important self-care is. This is the time (always, but especially now more than ever) to take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

2. It is also teaching us togetherness- yes, there are loads of people who are frantic and panicking that they will get sick and are in turn acting from a place fear, not putting their best selves forward, BUT that can’t be said for everyone. It is an active choice one makes to display compassion and kindness during times like these. Below are accounts and people who had made/make that choice:

Here are some more things to think about:

  1. You guys, SPRING IS HERE! Birds are chirping, bulb flowers have begun to awaken from their slumber, there are buds on trees and greener grass!
  2. With all of this mandated quarantine,  the earth gets to heal from all the nonsense we have wrought upon her. She gets to breathe again and breathe anew. That’s beautiful.
  3. There are so many people offering free services and classes right now. Look around the internet!
  4. People are becoming more conscious- more aware- of their thoughts and actions.
  5. Positive Pioneers! There have been loads of individuals stepping to the forefront to help society, both locally and abroad.
  6. Your body wants you to live. There are more forces working for you than against you. Trust that everything will be okay.
  7. For the love of all divine, please do not spend all of your time sedentary. It will drive you mad. There are lots of workouts being created daily and ones targeted to boost immunity specifically. Move your body! It will make you feel better.
  8. Take it day by day. Make a routine for yourself. Have a task list of all the things you want to accomplish. Stay focused and present.
  9. Please keep in mind small businesses- restaurants, convenience stores, specialty stores, hair salons, etc. If you have disposable income, buy from them. If their products are unattainable, buy a gift card. It’s the small businesses we want to see thrive and they actually need our help.

And if I may take a moment to share my feelings on this pandemic: *clears throat* I will no longer accept a negative mindset or shy away from my perspective. I am putting my foot down and choose to stand by the tools that have helped me overcome all the propaganda and collective social BS. Hope is not lost. Everything happens for a reason. Your truth is your truth and mine is mine, but mentality sets the stage for how you deal with this. Let’s all just respect that.  

Honestly, I hope that when we all is said and done, things won’t be as they were before. As this has all taught us, it can’t be. Think about how complacent our lives have pretty much been, expecting that we can just go to the movies, dine out at a restaurant, go to school, etc. Our society needed something to shake us out of our stupor and look at things with a new lens. The world needed to change. Have you noticed how we are all more of a global community? This is something that we are ALL going through and it is tremendous. And I for one, am really excited to see what the future holds. Like I said in the title, this is my unpopular opinion.   

Please remember, everything will always, always be okay. You are not alone. Our humanity is what unites us. We will adapt and overcome as we always have. That is what we as humans do. Stay present, take it moment by moment. This too shall pass and when it does, don’t forgo everything you’ve accomplished and acquired during your social isolation.

Do your part: sanitize things, wash your hands, respect social distancing (easy for most introverts, am I right? 😉) and breathe.  

Love and Light,

Ze ❤️

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**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

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Where Is My Mind?

Meditation has become more integrated into our current society. It is not all that uncommon to hear the word, how it has helped people, and how they have made it a part of their daily lives. But if you haven’t tried it or have tried and couldn’t get your mind to settle down, you may have already counted it out as unattainable. I’m here to try to convince you why you should give it a go.

Meditation

Dictionary.com

A lot of this world promotes being outside of yourself and gives you plenty of resources to do so- endless tv shows, social media, alcohol, drugs, etc. only to bait and hook you and your desires for more and more product consumption. And when it becomes socially acceptable to be mindlessly consumed by them, the only solution to become mindFUL. All of what you’re looking for is already present within you.

Silence

 

Learning how to cultivate peace and tranquility from within is something that takes time. It’s about learning how to step back and become aware of your thoughts rather than getting caught up in the story behind them. Adding a meditation regimen to your day is one of the most rewarding things you can do- I can personally attest to this.

Some back story: My mind always lived in the future. I was always thinking about what was going to happen next- next week, next month, next year. It got to the point where I didn’t even care to make friends because I didn’t plan on staying where I was. Life was passing on, but I was still just waiting for my “plan” to come to fruition. What happens when you live like that is you never appreciate what is right in front of you or how your actions and words affect others. Living with a future mindset also riddles you with anxiety since you’re always anticipating something. It’s not fun.

I had heard of meditation before, but it always seemed a little too “out there” for me. I was shy about it and felt self-conscious even trying to begin. When I became more dedicated to living a life of wellness, that was when I gave it a shot. I had already integrated things I loved to do into my day-to-day by starting with just 5 minutes. As “corpse pose” helps your body integrate everything you have done in your yoga practice, I decided to use meditation to integrate everything I do in the morning before I went into the world.

Through meditating, I have gained an awareness of my thoughts, actions, and interactions with all things around me. I learned (and am still learning) to take things day by day and not live in the next moment before it even happens. My anxiety has decreased significantly and I am aware of the things that trigger it which helps to prevent any attacks.

If you don’t believe me, believe science! Here are a few great articles about what meditation can do for you:

  1. Mindful.org’s “The Science of Meditation”
  2. Psychology Today’s “The Science of Meditation” (yes, both articles have the same title)
  3. Greater Good Magazine’s “The State of Mindfulness Science”.

I am sure that after all of that riveting information, you have been inspired to try it yourself! winking-face_1f609

zen-frog-22

 

How do you begin? By making it easy for yourself! Start out by doing it 2-3 times a week, 5 minutes a day for at least 3 weeks. If you are thinking that is too much, think about what else you may do for 5 minutes every day already *ahem* scroll through social media perhaps? You are most certainly capable of taking 5 minutes to do something good for yourself. Heads up though, doing something mindlessly for that amount of time versus mindfully will feel different. It may feel like an eternity in the beginning. Mindfulness and awareness are skills to be acquired, but in the process, you will learn more about yourself and navigate through this world with eyes wide open.

Sidenote: Anyone can do it! Unlike the “Dictionary.com” definition precariously suggests, meditating isn’t solely attached to any religious practices.

Did you know meditation doesn’t even have to be sitting cross-legged in silence? There are guided meditations (my personal favorite), mudras, chanting, and moving meditations. Here are some free tools to get you started:

  • Simple Habit: This app is my go-to after “Calm” became nearly subscription access only. Simple Habit is heading that way, BUT they still have free programs such as “Ease Your Fear and Anxiety”, “Foundations of Mindfulness”, and “Detox Your Thoughts”- and it is all guided. When a new program comes out, there is a free trial period. The great thing is that it will be available until it’s not- no payment required. Simple Habit also has an “On The Go” section where you choose what you are doing and the amount of time you have. And if you like pretty relaxing sounds, they have a “soundscape” section as well.

  • Daily Mudras: This app has a library of different mudras (hand positions). It gives you some background on their uses and benefits. Each mudra is typically held between 10-15 minutes and there are several background sounds/music you can choose from. While these meditations are not guided, they provide an alternative from the traditional. They also send notifications for their short and sweet blog posts about healthy living.  

As for moving meditations, I recommend Qi Gong and Yin Yoga with affirmations. Qi Gong focuses on breathing with intention as you release and guide energy in your body. Yin Yoga with affirmations focuses on static stretches while repeating a sentence over and over again while observing your inner reactions. Check out these YouTube channels and videos if you’re interested:

Qi Gong Channels: Yoqi Yoga and Qi Gong

Qi Gong Videos:

  1.  Qi Gong Full 20-Minute Daily Routine
  2.  QiGong For Beginners
  3. Daily QiGong Routine

Yin Yoga Channels: Yoga with Kassandra and Yoga with Heather

Yin Yoga Videos:

  1.  Yin Root Chakra
  2.  Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Self-Love & Healing
  3.  Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Peace & Guidance

P.S If you caught the song reference in the title, check out my favorite rendition here.

As always, I wish you all the best and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out!

Love and light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

The Road To Happiness

Happiness is not a destination,  it’s a journey, it’s progress, and most importantly, it’s the present moment.

In order to have a brighter tomorrow, we first need to go into the darkness within ourselves and heal. There is no magical pill nor is there anything we can do over night. It takes work, consistency and dedication. But it is so incredibly worth it.

As we’ve all come to learn in this world, there are opposites to everything. Hot and cold, positive and negative,  light and dark, yin and yang. And although people strive to stay on the more pleasurable aspects of life, the opposites are a necessity. They are not to be regarded as bad. They provide an alternative and much needed perspective in order to find harmony and balance. As individuals, we all want light and positivity, but, we cannot experience it without the dark and negativity. The dark represents introspection. This is where our journey begins and shadow work comes into play.

What is “shadow” exactly? According to Scott Jeffery of CEOSage, he describes it as such:

The shadow is the “dark side” of our personality because it consists chiefly of primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power. All we deny in ourselves—whatever we perceive as inferior, evil, or unacceptable—become part of the shadow. The personal shadow is the disowned self. The shadow can operate on its own without our full awareness. It’s as if our conscious self goes on autopilot while the unconscious assumes control.

https://scottjeffrey.com/shadow-work/

So then, shadow work would be actively delving into our shadow and unpack everything that has been stored there overtime. Doing this is what helps shift us into a new reality, changes our perspective, and allows us to be happy.

We are made up of more than just of our physical body. We also have an energetic body and it is within the energy body that houses pent up emotions and traumas and can lead to manifestations of disease. When we fill up on toxins, whether they be from our food, environment, resolved issues, etc., they can spread to the physical body in the form of sickness. Shadow work can help with the release of these blockages. I thoroughly believe healing your emotional body can relieve stress and tension, and heal physical symptoms.

At this point, you may be asking yourself where to begin. How can you work on healing your shadow self? By dedicating time in your everyday life. In time, you will heal your body and mind piece by piece.

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do this is with affirmations. For example, by telling ourselves a positive statement such as “I am beautiful and worthy of love” you may agree with this or your body started to tense up and feel uneasy. It’s easy for us to compliment others, but we can have a harder time saying it to ourselves. The next step is to ask yourself “why do I feel this way?” and the exploration begins.

For all the active bodies out there, Yoga with Kassandra started a new series “Yin Yoga with Affirmations”. In these videos she explains shadow work as well, and suggests to have a journal nearby to write anything down that comes up. Below is a trailer of the series on her app. I’ve included links to her free yin and affirmation videos at the end of the post.

I also recommend checking out Jeffery Scott’s post Shadow Work: A Complete Guide To The Shadow. There, he explain about the topic in-depth and offers several different methods on shadow work.

It’s so interesting what you can find out about yourself just by sitting back and observing how you react to different things.

Aside from yoga, meditation and observing my reactions, I also use my dreams as a tool. When I was younger, I knew that dreams for something special for me and have forever used them as a way to learn, heal, and escape. Pay attention to themes, reoccurring dreams and write them down and as you work on energetic healing, watch how your dreams manifest and shift.

As the seasons change around us and days get darker faster, Winter is the perfect time to check in, dive deep and explore all that you are. Be the detective, the scientist, the scholar and when negative emotions or reactions come up, ask yourself “why do I feel this way?”. I promise you that by the time Spring arrives and the warm sunshine glows, you’ll emerge as a much happier and even more beautiful flower than ever before.

Love and light,
Ze ❤

To view Yoga with Kassandra’s Seasonal Yoga videos, click here.
To view Yoga with Kassandra’s Yin and Affirmation videos, click 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.
To read a witchy take on shadow work, click here.

**BONUS**

  • Try playing some healing vibrations while you’re sleeping or studying, by visiting Healing Vibration’s YouTube channel.
  • In the mood for a quick energetic shift? Click here for Yoga Galatica’s Shamanic Breath Work and Sound Healing video.

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

I’m Sorry You Guys, I suck.

I’m Sorry You Guys, I suck.

How many times do you hear people say things like that around you? How many times do you say things like that to yourself? How about your friends and family? Maybe you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

Our society has built up an “ideal person” for everything so it’s easy the feel inadequate. There’s an ideal woman, an ideal man, an ideal worker, an ideal partner, the list goes on forever. Who created these standards anyway? No one knows. These ideals actually have nothing to do with you. But how do they get perpetuated? Through us. Through me and through you.

Let me ask you this: Would you ever say to your best friend “omg you’re so bad at this how do you even function? You suck!”? How about “you look so fat in that you should never go outside again!”? I really hope the answer is no. But, I bet at some point in your life you’ve said something like that to yourself.

As much as we might want to be, humans are not cookies. You can’t roll out the dough, use a cutter, and expect all of them to bake the same. Sometimes one is thicker than the other. Sometimes one is darker, smaller, crisper, etc. (Unless you’re an adept Baker. To which I am not so those are what my cookies look like). There are different flavors, added ingredients, different baking times that all effect how we come out. Actually, maybe we’re more like cookies than I thought…

As humans, our brain is hardwired towards negativity. It’s a survival strategy that we’ve integrated from way back when. So, it’s not all our fault. But guess what, you can change that! That’s right, you can rewire your brain to think more positively and it starts with being nicer to yourself.

Don’t apologize for something out of your control! (Obviously unless its condolences) I hear people talk themselves down quite often, especially when they are starting something new- a new job, a new physical activity or a new project. But think about it, how are you supposed to be amazing at something if you have literally never done it before? It’s a learning experience. We’re humans. We learn stuff.

I am so very tired of hearing people talk themselves down. It hurts to think that they are putting that kind of energy out into the world and into themselves. Starting treating yourself kinder and like you’re your own best friend, because guess what, you are. You are with yourself in your head 24/7 so wouldn’t you rather that space be filled with more positive, loving, and encouraging thoughts? Changing your mind to embrace a new thought process is 100% possible. I vouch for it because I have been on the other side of it. That’s why I am such a big advocate for affirmations and meditation.

It’s not a joke to say bad things about yourself or others. Words vibrate at certain frequencies on a range from low to high. I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “good vibes” , “positive vibes”, “bad vibes”, etc. These are actually based on something legitimate. Words can act like a liquid poison seeping into every inch of the body twisting and decaying it. Or, they can act like a like an elixir, one that nurtures and heals the body. Your energy body reacts regardless of if words are spoken aloud or internally. In a paper I once wrote for school, I described this topic a bit further:

Recall the scene in Jurassic Park where its dark and rainy and the children are stuck in the park Jeep. It’s silent. One of the children notices a ripples in a cup of water- there’s a light vibration. Then, the ripples increase as the T-Rex draws nearer, causing fear and panic. Put this on pause for a moment and shift gears. Imagine a friend comes up to you and calls you beautiful. How does it make you feel?  Uplifted? Brings a smile to your face? Now, they call you ugly. How does this make you feel? Shrunken? Does it bring you down?  These words can make you feel different things because words have energy.

Going back to the rippling cup of water, imagine “beautiful” and “ugly” as droplets falling from the Ether into our bodies creating the same ripples the T-Rex’s footsteps did. What follows in the wake of that droplet- how you react- is completely up to you. Thoughts, spoken words, and written words all produce their own vibrations that effect us on a molecular level. 

On a scale ranging from low energy to high energy, negative thoughts or words are on the low side and positive words are on the high side. Think of the word “no”. Feel it. Embrace it. Feel how your energy body reacts. Its vibration is low, short, and has some nasty residue to it. The following words live on the same spectrum: “broke”, “poor”, “sick”, “war”, “murder”, “betrayal,” and “lie”.  Low energy words make us feel sad, depressed, angry, and significantly impact how we view ourselves and the world around us. Now, think of the word “yes”. Its vibration is higher. It has a “going uphill” feel to it, making you just even the smallest bit brighter. High energy words make us feel good and help attract good things. Some examples of these words are “happy”, “healthy”, “positive”, “love”, “beautiful”, “warm”, and “light”. Just by reading words full of high energy, you should be able to feel your body react, even slightly.

I recently started a book called “Quantum Warrior” by John Kehoe that takes all of this a step further. This book mentions six universal laws that govern our thoughts, minds, and consciousness and I would like to share them with you.

Law #1 Thoughts are Real Forces. Every thought is a force and an energy and is having an effect on your life.

Law #2 Law of Transmission. The mind is a sending and receiving station of thought.

Law #3 Law of Attraction. Thoughts that are emotionalized become magnetized and attract similar and like thoughts.

Law #4 Law of Control. We are forever experiencing thoughts, but we have the power and the ability to either entertain these thoughts or dismiss them.

Law #5 Law of Insertion. We have the power and the ability to insert any thought of any type into our mind.

Law #6 The inner and outer worlds are connected.

So folks, we do have the power to change the wiring in our minds and kick that negativity bias to the curb. We are in control of how we think and how we react to those thoughts and it all starts with you becoming your own #1. I leave you with some affirmations for self-love to repeat to daily. And also, just give yourself a damn hug!

  • I am mentally and physically strong
  • I am capable at everything I do
  • I am worthy of love
  • There is endless abundance all around me

To check out John Kehoe’s “Quantum Warrior”, click here.
To learn more about “The 6 Laws of The Mind”, click here.

Love and Light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

Back To Basics

Hi guys! It’s been awhile. Things seemed to have finally calmed down after what felt like a very, very long build up. Between work and preparing for an international vacation, any energy I would normally use to write had been depleted. I can proudly say that I am rejunivinated and have gained a new sense of clarity. I’d like to share something that happened to me on my trip to Japan, an inward moment that has since helped me more definitively in thought and action.

The Prelude

As I lay in my hotel room alone in Tokyo at 3am, I can’t help but question, well, everything. Walking around the streets of Japan, I see everyone with a phone in their hands traversing through a technological wonderland- including me (thanks to the power of roaming). All of this has got me thinking- where do I stand in all of this? Who am I in a sea of people? Who am I when the crowds are gone, when there is no one around me, and it’s just me, myself, and I? What defines me against all others? What makes me me?

The Wake Up Call

This is the first solo trip I’ve taken and it has been amazing thus far. I’ve put myself out there and have been “where the people are” for the majority of my time. But, thanks to the rain and jetlag, for the past 3 hours I have been willingly confined to my hotel room watching numerous Jenna Marbles videos and “The Good Place” episodes. Everything was fine and dandy until I got a YouTube upload notification from Boho Beautiful. The video is called “Terrible Vegans” and their content has brought me to the previous questions and more.

This video momentarily shattered me. I felt like every inch of me was a piece of shrapnel hanging in mid air as time was frozen around me. What are my ethics? What are my morals? Where do I put my foot down in life and speak out against what I believe in? What are my inspirations, my passions, my motivators? This video had also presented an opportunityan opportunity to look at my entirety and learn about myself. I had the chance to look at all the pieces and select only the best to reconstruct a better “me”. But, to even begin to look within to find the answers, I needed to go back to basics.

For the past 4 days since I had arrived, I hadn’t meditated, hadn’t studied Japanese,  and had only done one work yoga video- all things that usually help me keep ahold of my identity. To go beyond this default and even begin to address everything I asked myself, I began here:

Question #1 – What do I believe in?

Belief #1: eating whole, non synthetic foods. I am all for eating veggies and fruits. And things with minimal ingredients.  Some vegan alternatives freak me out with all the things they combine just to make a vegan burger, mac n cheese, etc. Processed food is processed food.

Belief #2: committed to raising my frequency towards positivity, love and light. And offering others a way to do that in a world that perpetuates unhealthy practices for the sake of comradery.

Question #2 – What moves me? (always seek out these things out)

  • Nature
  • Esoteric/Occult/Metaphysical studies
  • Plant based food
  • Writing
  • Physical activities

With this now in mind and 6 days remaining in my trip, I have been given a gift to redefine myself…

Since returning from my trip, I have let my “what moves me” list guide me and so far, the results have been astounding. By realigning with I believe to be my purpose in life, everything just clicked. It has helped me step out of my comfort zone, act more confidently, and take action. This self work goes beyond one post of course, but I feel that answering “what do I believe in?” and “what moves me” are pretty good places to start.

So, my friends, I leave you with this: vacation is a great way to take you out of your element and reevaluate your day-to-day life while you’re on the outside of it. Does it resonate with your morals? Does it ignite your soul? If not, go back to basics.

Love and Light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Mindvalley: Continued Education for Personal Growth

I’m the type of person who loves learning constantly. I went to school without a career in mind and just studied what I wanted to study. Now that I am out of school and going back isn’t really an option (thank you student loans), finding a way to stimulate my mind beyond books is a must.

Back in December 2018 through sufficient YouTube advertising, I discovered Mindvalley. It’s one of those places that offers free online seminars they like to call “Masterclasses”. I’ve ignored it in the past, but it wasn’t until the “spiritual fitness” class rolled around that I actually took a look at the site. Before I get into the spiritual fitness program, I’ll share with you more about Mindvalley.

Mindvalley was founded in 2002 by Vishen Lakhiani. It is an online institution, but they also meet all over the world. Mindvalley mission is to help people continue learning but cultivating real-life skills, most of them laying within the metaphysical realm. The different classes fall into the categories of productivity, mind & spirit, health, relationships, and careers. I’m aware that there are people who do not believe in such things as manifesting, affirmations and energy work. So if that’s you, consider that your heads up. 🙂

They offer loads of free 60 to 90 minute seminars with very interesting information. Of course towards the end, they will try to sell you the program, but of course, you do not have to enroll. Regardless, you get a pretty good, entertaining seminar. Before the program begins, they email you a link to a printable workbook to take notes during the class.

The spiritual fitness program called “Unlocking Transcendence” with Jeffery Allen is a 2-month meditation program. It is broken down into six 10-day focuses:

  1. Self-Awareness (Location and Time)
  2. Body- Awareness (Physical and Energy)
  3. Mind-Awareness (Inner and Outer)
  4. Spirit-Awareness (Intuition and Connection)
  5. Emotion-Awareness (Feeling and Empathy)
  6. Impact-Awareness (Personal and Global)

Each day there is a 10-20 minute guided meditation. Within the focus, the meditations build upon themselves. Jeffery Allen urges that if you miss a day, don’t worry about it and just continue on with the meditation for that day.

Honestly, I never imagined signing up for a program like this, but I had some pretty powerful experiences. I am glad I enrolled, and now I have the program to always go back to. Having a mind expanding tool like Mindvalley in your arsenal is integral when you feel blasé about life. It gives you something to think about and new avenues to explore. The length and flexibility of the Masterclasses provide a snippet of education for those who like the setting of their own home and not spending a dime!

To visit Mindvalley, click here
To view the Unlocking Transcendence Masterclass, click here
To view current Masterclasses, click here
To visit Mindvalley’s YouTube channel, click here

Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Take A Break – Your Sanity Depends On It.

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t post anything last week. I work two jobs and just started taking self-defense classes. I really tried to, but with all that, the Easter holiday week, and a local strike that increased our business, I was burnt out. I wanted to run away. I wanted to just lay in bed and sleep forever. Those feelings usually signal that I need a break, time to recharge more than I usually do. But how do you do that when you still have to work, pay bills, and uphold commitments? I’ve discovered the answer is prioritizing.

Take a look at your week. Write it out. Mark down when you work, any necessary things- like picking up children-, and any social things going on. Now, take a look at how much time you can spend on yourself. How much is there? Is there any at all? MAKE TIME. Your health depends on it. Cancel anything and everything you can. Maybe that even means calling out from work for one day, or leaving early. You’d leave if you physically weren’t feeling well, right? Mentally feeling well is just as important.

If you’re the type of person who is recharged by social engagements, by all means, make contact with people you haven’t seen, and go out a little more than usual. If you’re the type of person who is drained by social engagements, cancel whatever isn’t necessary. If you’re dreading doing something or going someplace in this current moment, don’t go. Don’t worry if they’re gonna be mad or if you don’t want to disappoint someone. Your health is on the line and if they are truly your friends, they will know you and understand that you really just need time to yourself.

Also, be extremely kind to yourself, well always, but especially right now. You may already be on the verge of an outburst or a breakdown. If there is something you’ve been wanting to buy or a treat you’ve been craving, go ahead. I always feel like I’m reverting back to a child like-temper when I am overwhelmed with life- being extremely sensitive to everything. So treat yourself as such, and be loving and compassionate. Note that needing/giving yourself a break DOES NOT make you weak. In fact, it helps you become stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically. I’m spanning this post across all three of my categories because it really does affect how you stay happy, healthy and fit.


Stay Happy.
Taking a break from things is a necessity for your mental health! During last week, I found myself becoming short with people and just wanting to cry whenever anybody asked me anything. All I could think about was what I had to do when I got home, but when I got there, I would just put on Arrow and stay in bed. I knew that I hadn’t come up with two posts for last Wednesday. I had ideas, but when it came down to writing them, I had nothing. I was drained. I even started thinking “what if this happens all the time? Why did I start this blog? How am I gonna keep it going?” It snowballed and I started feeling ugly things. But in all actuality, that’s not truly how I feel about Cottontail Living, I love it. I love writing and sharing with you guys. It took a lot to be brave enough to not post anything- I didn’t want to disappoint anyone who reads my blog. I could not, however, ignore the fact that my energy wasn’t there in terms of writing. It was there when I took my self-defense classes.

I learned to go where energy flows and not to make myself do something because of a schedule I set up for myself. I really just wanted to attend my class and hang out with people. So, I suspended my writing and anything else with an approaching deadline and did those very things. And, I had such a great time. I followed where I was already putting my energy to and now I feel restored. Sometimes we set such rigid rules or routines for ourselves that we think they are permanent things in our lives that we HAVE to adhere to. Life is never like that, though. It is constantly fluxing and flowing, and just like that, we should learn to do the same. It’s kind of like the buildings they have where earthquakes are frequent- the structure sort of moves with the motion to minimize damage as opposed to a solid structure that can crumble under too much stress.

Stay Healthy.
Taking a break is also healthy for your body. A common thing with companies nowadays is to cut the workforce and put more responsibility on employees without proper compensation. This physically wears you down depending on how hard of a worker you are. Stress is contributed to so many health ailments such as weight gain, depression, heart disease-just to name a few. It causes such an imbalance to your thought process by putting stress on the mind and it can disrupt your eating habits. If you’re so busy, when you have a moment to eat it’s probably going to be something not so great for you. Stress and overwork can also disrupt your fitness routine. When you’re overwhelmed and work late every night, do you sacrifice sleep or fitness before the morning comes and you have to go back work again? But guess what, you’re only human! You need to establish and uphold boundaries so you don’t become miserable and get to this state in the first place. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to push past your limits just to be a good worker.

Stay Fit.
Believe it or not, taking a day, or a couple days not to workout helps you get stronger. You’re allowing your muscles and body to heal by giving them time to recover and grow. If you’re sore or even injured and you push through the pain, you do not help anyone. You especially do not help yourself. If you workout under those conditions, you’re stressing your body out more and causing further injury. Muscles don’t just change while you’re working out, what you do after the workout is just as important- even more so. Eating right, sleeping enough, staying hydrated are all key factors in healthy physical transformation.

Of course I say all of this within reason. Please don’t quit your jobs or not pay your bills or eat all the junk food in the world for a week. I am simply saying that there are moments when energy seems to come to a boiling point and our sanity balances on the precipice of “well” and “not well”. It is more than acceptable and understandable to just stop for a minute, an hour, a day or two days and just breathe.

In the words of Ariana Grande, “just keep breathin’, and breathin’, and breathin’.” Everything is always going to be okay. Life is meant to be enjoyed and experienced. All we can ever do is take it one breath at a time.

-Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Staying Afloat

So what happens when everything feels like it is falling apart? Like the ground before you has disintegrated into water and an unseen current has swept you off your feet? I don’t know about you, but for the past few days, I feel like I’ve lost my foothold on life- as if my mind is swimming in the depths of a dark abyss.

How do you maintain a happy state of mind when you feel like you’re struggling just to stay afloat? This is something I’ve been asking myself. Staying happy is a choice, yet sometimes it doesn’t come all that easily. But, IT IS POSSIBLE to bring yourself back. It is possible to regain a more positive mindset. Below are things that I’ve found to be helpful during this time.

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• Rearrange what your life priorities are
Think hard about why you’re feeling the way you are. Is your job not sitting right with you anymore? Did something happen that triggered old emotions? I usually like to take this time to sit down and write out my priorities in life. For 5 minutes, write about what you’d like your dream life to be like in 5 years. Imagine there are no boundaries, no limitations (because there actually aren’t) and describe your perfect life in such vivid detail. Then reflect and figure out how to make that life happen. Because you deserve it.

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• Go to people that make you happy
The company you keep can either help ease your mind or exacerbate the chaos. If you need some alone time, take it, but be careful not to shut people out during this time. Reach out to those who won’t judge you, those who will just listen and hold your hand without saying anything. Sometimes, we just need the presence of another human next to us. And a good hug. People who do this are so, so important. (that awesomely awkward picture, tho? Because, internet.)

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• Make a small daily or weekly goal
Every day or every week, create a small goal of something you want to accomplish. If it’s moving your body, start with just 5 minutes a day. Want to meditate? Do the same thing- 5 minutes every day. You can do this for anything: reading, learning a new language, going outside, etc. Whatever it is, having a small victories can help boost your spirits while taking life one day at a time.

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• Essential oils
Orange essential oil is great to brighten up the senses. In emergency cases, I even put some on right under my nose so I can smell it constantly. Make sure the oil is skin safe. I also like to keep amber and rose oil in my arsenal. Amber helps to ground you. And rose promotes universal and self-love.

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Color therapy
Surround yourself with bright, happy colors. Like essential oils, colors can greatly effect your mood. Change the background on your phone or computer to something so over-the-top it’s ridiculous. The brighter, the better.

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Crystals
Crystals give off a certain vibration that resonate with certain emotions. By choosing crystals like smoky quartz, black tourmaline, and tiger’s eye, you’ll feel more grounded and protected in your environment.

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Music
Pay particular attention to the lyrics of the music you’re listening to. Sad melodies or painful lyrics will only help to keep feeling blue. Like colors and crystals, music is made up of certain vibrations and frequencies that resonate on certain levels that can perpetuate low, unpleasant emotions. Instead, put on music that makes you want to dance and be happy! Hannah Montana is my go-to. The song “Life’s What You Make It” is my jam.

What I keep telling myself, and what I’m telling you, is: it’s going to get better. Just like the tides, emotions ebb and flow. It’s the natural course of things. Take a deep breath. You are not your emotions. Your soul runs deeper than that. We wouldn’t know what happiness is if we didn’t know what not being happy felt like, right?

Ride the wave of your emotions, and try your best not to get dragged down. We’re all in this together. And you are NEVER alone. If you feel that way, please, please reach out. I am always here for you.

In the words of Hannah Montana, “life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock!”

-Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Book Review – Guides, Guardians, and Angels

By: D.J. Conway
Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1124-9

Guides, Guardians, and Angels is a book for learning how to contact your spirit guides. It is a great book for those who are interested in learning about each of the topics listed in the title, providing a brief history for each, color and crystal associations, and plenty of meditations. At the back of the book, there is an appendix and an extensive “books of interest” section, providing numerous titles to further your reading as well more information on the chakra system, a visual map of the meditations, and more.

D.J. Conway writes in a way that alludes to a least a beginner’s knowledge in the new age realm. I recommend this book if you are already familiar with basic spiritual and occult concepts. That isn’t to say, however, that this cant is your first experience into this world. Just have an open mind while reading. The same can be said of anything we come across in this life.

Conway’s book primarily focuses on debunking common misconceptions about angels as we know them by dedicating 3 chapters to the subject. It’s all very fascinating. I did learn a great deal about new things, which is always exciting. As for the things I was already familiar with, my conviction behind them only became greater.

Though guides, guardians, and angels exist in some form or another in all cultures worldwide, the way this book was written seems to have stronger pagan/Wiccan roots in terms of her methods of interacting with the entities. Conway does, however, provide each mediation with options for Wiccans, pagans, and new age followers. It seems the best way to use the meditations is to record yourself reading them aloud then playing it back. Regardless what your beliefs are, the imagery in the meditations is so beautiful and serene. At the very least, it’s a great vacation for your mind! Try them out and see what happens.

Overall, I believe this book to be a great piece of knowledge for any library, whether you’re a beginner or adept on the subject matter. With a list of correspondences, color meanings, and loads of meditations you can record on your phone, it is a must-have!

Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Spring Cleaning For Your Social Media

Spring is finally here! Depending on where you live, this can be a big deal. In New England, it’s definitely a thing to be celebrated. So let in the fresh air and start cleaning and clearing those winter vibes away! This includes your social media accounts.

Just like friends, who you follow on social media can greatly affect your mood and well-being. Whichever platform you choose can be catered to cultivate happiness and positivity. There are accounts/profiles that seek to promote the good things in life rather than false news, drama, and trauma. It’s hard not to find yourself scrolling incessantly and getting lost, and when you come out on the other side, you don’t feel too good about life. If you are to be on social media you can transform it into a learning platform, all you need to do if follow accounts that interest you, inspire and motivate you.

Delete the people that don’t add value to your life.
Whether they are friends you no longer talk to or people from previous jobs/school/etc., if they do not impact your life in a positive way, unfriend/unfollow them. I know when I used to do this, I would feel guilty for unfriending them on social media. It seemed like such a silly thing to feel guilty over considering I was never really friends with them to begin with. And 99.9% of the time, they won’t even notice. If you do have reservations about deleting them, ask yourself why. Do you have a history with them? Are they a past lover and you want to keep tabs on? Did you add them even though you met them once? Do they contribute anything to you at this moment?

Delete the accounts that feed shadow feelings.
Some people talk about everything that’s wrong/bad in the world. They’ll post things about animal abuse, what’s going on in the news, the drama in their lives, other people’s drama, etc. You don’t need that. Nobody needs that. Delete them and see the negativity disappear.

Add accounts that post things that help make you a better person.
Do you like learning a different language? Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up? Search for profiles that cater to things that make you smarter and inspire to spread positivity.

Add accounts that post things that make you happy.
Do you like animals? Follow a lot of animal accounts. Do you like books? Follow some book clubs. Crystals? Flowers? There’s an account for that! Choose accounts/people that make you feel good.

Cleaning up and deleting accounts that no longer serve you is so great for your mental health. For an extra challenge, try limiting the time on social media altogether. That may be easier said than done, but if you spend time cultivating things you like to do offline, you’ll be so busy you won’t need to be on your phone 🙂 Please share if you did some spring cleaning and how it made you feel! I look forward to hearing from you.

-Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**