3 Mini Meditations to Get You to Bliss in 4 Minutes or Less

Photo by Shiva Smyth on Pexels.com

I love a good, long sitting meditation. I especially love guided meditations with music and imagery.

Not only do I participate in meditations, I lead them at several local spots in my community. I’m the meditation guide for people who say, “I can’t meditate, I can’t just sit there.”

I play the crystal bowls (they are said to make the sound of the Universe), and I use imagery about nature, colors, and calming words that invoke feelings of peace, to bring those meditating to a blissful state. For those who think they can’t meditate, starting with mini-meditations is a great way to see that it can be done. It’s a wonderful way to reset, take a minute, and be present.

These are three mini meditations all no longer than four minutes that will empower you, take you into a space of inner peace and create a healthier, happier body.

Visit my YouTube Channel for more!

#1 Find Empowerment in 3 minutes

#2 Find Inner Peace in 2 minutes

#3 Happy, Healthy Body in 4 minutes

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Nature’s Way to Not Stink

A Deodorant Recipe

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

I’ve been making my own deodorant for about 10 years. I truly believe it’s the best deodorant I’ve ever used.

Not only is it easy to make, it’s also cheaper than buying on-market natural deodorants. It also works just as well as any of those expensive organic deodorants.

Why I Started Making My Own

All my life, until I started making my own deodorant, I used Secret anti-perspirant. But, it seemed like I wasn’t able to get it off. Even after I showered, I still smelled the floral scent.

I also had two family members, my mom’s sisters, get breast cancer. Over the years, that number has turned to three. There was a big buzz then about aluminum in deodorant being a cause of breast cancer.

I tried using the crystal deodorant, the one with a big chunk of salt, but that didn’t work. I stunk. I tried a couple of other natural deodorants that also didn’t work.

It was when I was consulting Dr. Google yet again, searching “The best natural deodorant,” that I came across a comment that changed my life. It said, “The best deodorant I have found is the one I made myself.”

Why not try?

Here is the recipe I use for making deodorant. One thing to note is that this is not a stick, it’s a cream. I don’t mind getting it on my hands. I just get a little pea-size amount, rub my hands together and put it on each armpit. Then I wash my hands off with warm water. This is also not an anti-perspirant, you can still sweat.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid state)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (or less, or all arrowroot if you have sensitive skin)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • essential oils (optional)

Instructions

Mix the baking soda and arrowroot powder in a glass bowl.

Add the coconut oil (do not warm or melt it). Use a fork or spoon to thoroughly blend it into the dry ingredients.

Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils and blend completely. (This step is optional, I like Lavender or Lemongrass).

Add more coconut oil or arrowroot powder/baking soda if needed until the texture is not too wet, not too dry. Don’t add more until completely mixed. The oil can look dry until the end.

Scoop the mixture into a small jar or container and store at room temperature (link goes to Amazon suggestion).

To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a pea-size amount of the deodorant and massage it into your armpits daily or as needed. Allow a minute or two for the deodorant to set before getting dressed.

Ingredients Explained & Tools

Arrowroot powder is similar to baking soda, but it is finer. I use only a little bit of baking soda and mostly arrowroot when I make my recipe because my skin is sensitive. If you make it using only baking soda, or mostly baking soda, and you get a rash, cut down on the baking soda.

My favorite essential oils are lavender or lemongrass.

These containers also come in 8 oz. You will fill more than one container with the amount of deodorant you are making, so be sure to buy more than one of whatever you get to store your deodorant.

Arrowroot is available in most grocery stores or you can get it from Amazon.

Finished Product

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Guided Meditation: Creating the Life You Desire

This is a guided meditation with crystal bowls. For some, guided imagery and music makes it easier to go within, relax and let your subconscious do the work for you. Try it!

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Guided Meditation, Space for Loving Yourself

Leading meditation is a passion. I love it. I love writing the meditations and playing the crystal bowls, which are said to be the sound of the Universe. I lead meditations in my community, but I’m hoping by recording them, I can get more people affected.

Guided meditation, using imagery to help keep focused, is my favorite. I’m a thinker, a ruminator really. Guidance and music help me stay focused.

I hope you will give this meditation a try! (And if you like it, subscribe, share, and do more!)

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Again, I AM

Getting quiet

In, out

In and out, again

And again

I know in my breath

Lives a life

Seen and unseen

Been here, been there

And lived again,

And again

My breath tells me

Deeply,

Again,

I am one with all

That ever will be

A cosmos

Intertwined

With matter

A sun

A moon

A star

Far reaching

For today

And ever more

I am,

Again

Do you believe in reincarnation?

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Flowers

Flowers in a glass vase,

Sitting on my desk

I bought them fresh,

Alive

Those flowers

give me smiles

They bring my heart from aching

to happiness,

In a flash

If only a flower could live

As long as I needed that beauty,

Just one more day.

Maybe one more minute would help

This morning

I woke to wilted blooms

And even then

I smiled

At a life well lived

My heart went from aching

to thank you,

In a flash

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Prison Break

My son and I were sitting outside together, talking on the back deck of our home and he asked me an interesting question.

He said, “What would you do if you were put in prison for life with no chance of getting out? Would you try to escape?”

I replied, “I don’t think I would try to physically escape, I would try to be free in my mind, like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi did when they were imprisoned. But, would you visit me if I went to prison for life?”

“No, since you wouldn’t try to escape, I would come break you out of there,” he said.

I laughed at what Nathan said, and then I felt good knowing he would not want to live without me. As Nathan gets older and more independent it is harder to tell he likes me.

Instead of reaching for my hand, as he did when he was little, to hold it while we walk across a parking lot, he now, as a middle schooler tells me, “You just talked too loud and that man over there is making a face at you like you’re weird.”

If I try to hold his hand in public, he pulls his hand away.

But, he also puts himself to bed most nights and brushes his teeth without reminding. He makes his own snacks and fills his water bottle. He showers without being forced and has hobbies, like soccer, and an insatiable desire to learn all he can about fancy cars (from him, I now know enough about a Bugatti that if you are in the market for one, I’m your girl for answering questions).

Nathan has, from the time he could talk, been an adult in a child’s body. Most kids have something teachers comment on when talking to a mom about her child. Nathan’s comment from every teacher he had from the time he started school at four was, “he’s very well-spoken.”

Once, I said to the pre-K teacher, “I get that a lot – he is well-spoken.”

She said, “Yeah, but I’m thinking about asking him over for coffee.”

That summed it up well. He’s been the kind of child from the get-go that you would have over for a cup of coffee and a good conversation.

Even now, he loves to have a good talk with someone. He asks questions, like, if you went to prison for life, would you try and escape since you are going to be there forever anyway?

And now that I know he would come break me out, I can’t help but believe I would go with him, even if it was for just one day until “they” put me back in prison. His question made me meditate on how it would feel to be imprisoned and never be allowed to hold him again, or see his daily facial expressions, or be aware that I can’t tell how much he’s changed because I see him so often. When family members haven’t seen him in a while they comment on his rapid growth, but to me he looks like the Nathan I saw just yesterday, my baby boy.

Feeling this way reminds me that he will one day be grown and I might not see him daily. I won’t have him there to interrupt me, beg me for something ridiculous, like a drone with a 4-D camera or some pricey shoes that he will outgrow in a month. I won’t pick him up from school, or take him to ice cream, or soccer practice, or just lay with him and watch him breathe (when he doesn’t know, because he would tell me to stop looking at him if he knew it).

Nathan’s question was light hearted, but I know my answer deeply. Yes, Nathan, if you come break me out of prison, I’ll go with you gladly.

Today, I breathe in this time with my children. I thank you, my open heart, for the moments I sit with my son, present to his insightful questions and in tune with his love for me. I am grateful for the love of my family.

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A Message From a Tree

There’s a tree that I talk to on the path where I walk my dogs every morning. The tree doesn’t look like much. It’s skinny, and shorter than the other trees surrounding it. I don’t even know what kind of tree it is. It’s just a tree, with leaves that look like nothing unordinary. The special part of the tree is its trunk. I’m not sure how trees get uneven growth to the trunk, but this tree has a heart in its trunk. It’s like someone dug out part of the trunk and created a heart divot. And not only does it have a heart, within the heart it looks like there’s a face. It’s not a smiling face, but it is a face.

The heart is cool, but it’s not why I love the tree. I was given the tree as a gift from Archangel Michael, the archangel who slays negativity and obstacles from my path and helps guide me to be my highest and best self. He has large wings and a huge sword in his hand, ready to slay away anything around me that isn’t helping elevate me higher in my mission on earth. I often see in my mind’s eye this angel wearing armor, ready to do battle for me when I can’t fight for myself.

There are other Archangels, many of them, and they are not relegated to one religion – you’ll find them in Christianity and Judaism, as well as other religions. Archangels are “chief angels” and each has a specific role to help us. For example, Gabriel helps with communication between the earthly realm and the heavens. Raphael is the guardian of healing, both physical and mental. Uriel is the miracle worker, problem solving and change – when all is out of control, Uriel will come and transform thoughts and give inspiration to help stabilize and calm the storm. There are more Archangels, and they do much more than I am going into here. Don Simmons has an Archangel guided meditation I love. (You can find it here: http://donreedsimmons.com/cds-and-downloads/ )

Of all the Archangels, Michael has always been the one I see clearest. He’s the one I feel protected by and healed by the most. So, when Yvonne O’brien, a psychic medium, announced she was leading a class where Archangel Michael would give guidance on a career path, I signed up and paid in advance.

I went with low expectations of getting something out of it career-wise. Since getting out of advertising after having my kids, I have been a serial entrepreneur, trying much, but sticking to little. If I could get some guidance on something I could stick with, I would take it.

Most of the class consisted of short meditations, guided visualizations, to get us in touch with Archangel Michael and his guidance. I felt touched and close to Michael in a way I had not been before. Much of my career path seemed centered on writing (how shocking!).

The class was long – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break for lunch. We meditated, we wrote and then the unexpected was expected. We were asked to give psychic readings to each other.

Gasp! I’m not psychic. Or am I?

This wasn’t my first time being in a class and asked to give a reading on someone. I once attended a class by a man named John Mulkey called, “Writing Your Way to Enlightenment.” (I’m sure you can see why the title grabbed me.) When we got there, we each went around the circle and introduced ourselves and why we were there. Being that the title of the class was writing, each person gave a reason they were there that had to do with writing.

The class wasn’t exactly a writing class, but it was fascinating none-the-less. It was similar to the Archangel Michael class in that we did many guided, visualization meditations to get in touch with our writing selves. At the end of class, John asked us to give a reading for a person we were partnered with.

I was partnered with a woman who was probably a few years older than me, with an open heart and easy-to-be-with personality. She was friendly and calm and I liked her immediately. But that didn’t mean I could give her a psychic reading! I was nervous.

John put on Native American music, with drumming in it. That music can be entrancing, so it wasn’t hard to get into a meditative state. As I closed my eyes and cleared all thought from my mind, I heard someone talking to me, in my mind, just like it was a thought. For me, it’s hard to tell the difference between thinking and being given a psychic message. What I heard was, Ask her if she likes to cook. Tell her that if she wants to bottle something to sell and manufacture, it would sell well. She should do it. Tell her if she wants to be a better writer, she needs to treat her writing the way she treats her cooking – use colors to inspire her writing.

It was a little more than that, but that’s most of it. The music stopped and John asked us to give our messages to our partner. In the pit of my stomach I was afraid I was going to look foolish. But, I only had what I had, and why not just give it to her?

I said, “Do you like to cook?”

“Yes,” she replied.

So, I relayed the message I was given. When I was done, she said, “Would you like to know what that means?”

“Please!” I said.

“I am a chef for a living. I am thinking of bottling something, a sauce. I do use color in the kitchen… color is very important to me.” She went on and on, but I was too in shock to hear it all. I actually gave a reading to someone!

And now, in Yvonne’s class, I was being asked to do it again, this time to give advice on a career path. Even with one success under my belt, I was scared.

I was paired with a girl, younger than me. I knew nothing about her, as when we introduced ourselves for Yvonne’s class we didn’t give the career path we were on, assuming we were all there to find a career path.

I closed my eyes and began to meditate and I saw, as a thought, trees. Trees were everywhere. I heard, landscaping, but it’s not with plants, it’s with trees. I saw the girl in the woods, walking.

When we were asked to give the readings, I said, “I see you in landscaping, but not in the traditional sense. I see you with trees everywhere.”

She said, “I’m in school and studying forestry.”

Once again, I shocked myself. But, Yvonne wasn’t done. We had to read others. I saw a man in a corporate environment giving seminars. He was already doing that and was happy that I saw him continuing on that path. Then Yvonne asked us to give a person a reading that included a sign that they would see in the next few days that would ensure Archangel Michael had heard their prayers and was with us in the class this day.

I was with another woman, this one closer to my age. I closed my eyes and I heard, there’s a tree. It has a heart in it and possibly a face.

I opened my eyes and told her what I heard.

It was the next week when I was walking my dogs and my dog stopped to go to the bathroom that I looked straight ahead of me and saw it. The tree, which had been here for two years of walking dogs, but I never noticed it. That tree with a heart in it, and yep, a face, staring at me.

Telling this story, I have been asked, “Don’t you think it could have been subconscious that you have seen the tree?”

I say, maybe, but I cried when I saw it. If I noticed it subconsciously, it was buried deep and maybe waiting until the right time to show itself. I also thought I was giving the sign to the lady, not myself. I felt awful that I had told her about her tree-sign and then I found it. My hope is that there was another tree on her path that at least had a heart, if not a face.

I had not seen that tree before, much less talked to it! I do talk to it now. I ask Archangel Michael to slay away all of my negative thoughts and actions and help me shine. I have since being in that class found a much more narrow path on the career front. I’ve gone down a lot of different paths, lucky that I’m in a position to try everything that interests me. But, one route I have never deterred from no matter what I do is writing. Today, I am also leading meditations and I see that as long as opportunities continue to come my way, I will continue that path because I love it as I love writing.

It was a gift to receive the tree as a tangible reminder that we are all psychic and there are angels watching over us, if only we will see with something other than our eyes. All it takes is heart energy and a willingness to believe that there is more to life than what we experience on the earthly realm. Angels are part of the connection we all share that makes us One, because angels don’t discriminate. They help us all.

Today, I am grateful for nature, for angels, for all that is beyond my understanding, but that which I know in my soul exists.

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One of Those Days

Today feels like one of those days. I call it a “static-y” day. It means my energy feels out of whack and no matter how many metaphysical, energetic-correcting tools I pull out of my box, nothing seems to work. I have breathed deeply and made-up a ditty to sing in my head entitled “I surrender,” and sung it over and over (it goes like this: I surrender these feelings of stress, I surrender and know I can rest, I surrender all the stress I feel, I surrender and know that I am healed). I have left the present moment a thousand times to be in my angry head and come back to the present moment still mad as a hornet for no good reason. I’ve watched kitten and puppy videos, which temporarily made me happy, and sat on my covered porch listening peacefully to the rain. As soon as I gain a little calm, I’m pissy again.

And, I can’t seem to shake it.

I know partially why I’m in a dither. Today is the first day we are home for summer “break,” we meaning the kids and me. They are doing the normal things they do when it’s raining and boredom strikes. My son has his big red kickball and has been throwing it at the walls in the house, trying to play a multi-player game called four-square alone. Then he’s squeaking his shoes on the floor and asking me to “name that tune” to his squeak. My daughter is complaining her iPad won’t charge and letting me know that one friend called another friend, “messed up” for one daring the other to drink toilet water. (I plugged my ears when she told me if one of those kids actually drank the toilet water and read her the riot act about how she best not do that, ever). Every time I sit down to try and collect myself to change my attitude, one of the kids asks me for something or has another story to share, or my husband calls asking me for or about something.

I had the day planned where I would wake early, go to the grocery store, come home and exercise, get Jessie to an appointment at 10, work on getting caught up from the holiday (we went to Florida and just returned yesterday), and I had a real estate class to go to at 1:30, which is going on now and I’m not there because somehow I haven’t even showered yet, much less exercised.

I’m trying to practice acceptance, but no matter what I tell myself, I can’t seem to change the anger and stress I feel today.

I recently finished reading a book called, Chop Wood, Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf. One of the chapters in the book is called Principles Instead of Feelings. Because I tend to wear my heart on the outside, not able to hide my feelings well, this was a revelation for me – a real ah-ha moment.

Feelings come and go, but if I live by my principles I don’t have to be ruled by my feelings. In other words, it’s been hard not to go off on my kids or be unkind to anyone else crossing my path at every turn today. I can’t say I have been perfect either. The kids definitely know mom is a tad grouchy.

But, I have been studying The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement, Be Impeccable with Your Word, gives me a new way of living where if I’m feeling “static-y” I can at least be way more conscious of what I say to others, especially my kids.

Today, I don’t feel like being nice to anyone, but my living principles give me a good reason to try harder to be conscious of my choices and to do my best (The Fourth Agreement in The Four Agreements).

My principles tell me that I reap what I sow. I want to be impeccable with my word. I am aware I have the ability to pause before I say something and determine if I am, in fact, being impeccable with my word.

I also put up a couple of boundaries for my sanity, to help me be a better mom. I’m writing now. I told the kids I was going on the porch to meditate. Not that they haven’t interrupted. My daughter is now sitting on the porch with me, but she knows I am not going to be chatting this moment. The older my kids get, the easier I find it is to set these boundaries than it was when they were younger (I wish I would have known this when they were younger!).

Another principle that helps me today is, don’t take anything personally. Once my day morphed into something unrecognizable from what I envisioned in my head, I took it personal. I started to blame everyone in sight, including myself.

Living life from principles instead of feelings makes my life easier. I see it takes awareness to live this way. First of all, it takes knowing what my principles are. Right now I love The Four Agreements. They are sound and easy to understand. They are:

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word
  • Take Nothing Personal (my personal hardest!)
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

When I use these statements as a guiding force in my life, I don’t have to work nearly as hard to figure out what kind of person I want to be.

The four agreements

Motherhood isn’t for the weary. The days are never the same and rarely go “as planned.”

Most of the time I’m a “go with the flow” kind of person. I don’t sweat the small stuff and all that good stuff. But I’m human. I have days like today where the small stuff feels big and the big stuff seems even bigger. Some days I’m sad and can’t seem to “snap out of it.” But, those are feelings that come and go, like my thoughts come and go in meditation, or like the tide of thoughts roll through my mind all day long.

Principles give me a place to go. A shelter. For this I am grateful. I still feel “static-y” today. That’s not changing until it changes. What’s changed, for the better, is how I handle those feelings after determining that I want to live from principles instead of feelings.

Today, I live my life from principles instead of feelings. I appreciate that feelings, like the weather, change often, but principles are a foundation I can build my emotional home upon.

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Gentle Is As Gentle Does

 

Last night I went to meditation at the bookstore around the corner from my house. I was lucky enough to go to meditation twice in one week. With summer break just four days away for my kids, I need all the meditation I can get.

Monday was women’s meditation. In that one, the guide chooses a card from Doreen Virtue’s Goddess card deck and uses the message as the theme for the meditation. Just before we started, I was speaking with one of the other women. Of course, with summer being so close the conversation turned to when the kids get out of school.

I find nearly everyone asks, “Are you excited for the year to end? For the break?”

Being that I wear my heart on sleeve, I find it hard to lie. The lie would be a hardy, “Oh yes!” But, like I said, I’m not good at lying. So, I told the truth, which is that I enjoy the break in routine and we usually take a little trip the day school gets out, so I’m looking forward to that, but after about three weeks, I could use a break myself from the summer “break” because my sanity starts to crack.

As I closed my eyes for meditation and began to float away into the moment, my mind wandered to one word – “gentle.” And what floated by like a cloud was the message, “Try and be gentle with your kids, and kind. And be gentle with yourself as well.”

Kisha, the meditation guide, drew her card and began to read the meaning. The card was “Damara, Guiding Children.” Damara is a Celtic fertility goddess and her name means, “gentle.” The meaning was about children who need you, keeping a harmonious household and being a youthful spirit yourself. I smiled knowing that I was, in fact, being guided to reflect deeply on being gentle with those around me, including myself and my own “inner child.”

damara

Tonight (Saturday), I was lucky enough to go back to meditation for a second time this week. It used to happen much more often that I went more than once a week, but these days I find it harder to get away. I see that when I make it happen it does, and when I concede that “it’s not a good time to leave,” I allow myself to be pulled away from the place I love, my meditation retreat just down the street.

Don led us and his theme for the evening was Gratitude. As he guided us he asked a question, “What part of your life do you feel happy about?” My kids came to mind. I saw myself smiling and being with them in a happy moment. Then he said, “What in your life makes you feel anxious?” I almost laughed out loud – I saw myself again with my kids!

That’s the duality of motherhood. Those two little people give me plenty of happiness and in the next moment give me a heaping helping of anxiety pie.

But I’m grateful for both. I was able to say “Thank You,” to both the happy and the anxious, because both help me evolve into who I am in my soul. I know that when I am able to laugh with my kids, my own inner child is freed. And, when I am able to face an anxious situation with mindfulness, rather than reaction, my soul is freed. The latter is the one I struggle the most with. Being mindful when I’m anxious is very hard for me, but I am working on it.

I’ve been reading the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is, Be impeccable with your word.

Being impeccable with our word is not just “say what we mean, mean what we say.” It is that, but it also means not saying everything that comes to mind. It’s being aware that the spoken word has meaning and can be used as good energy or as poisonous energy. I wish I could say I always use my word for good. But I can’t. Don Miguel says the first agreement is the hardest because we have been trained from childhood to use our words to gossip and to control, as we were controlled by words when we were children.

My children are my greatest lesson in being impeccable with my word because they are the people in my life with the least amount of filters. They are so used to me that they give it to me straight in all instances and situations. They are kids and kids are free, non-domesticated people, until they grow into the domestication (belief system) that we and all of the other people in their lives (teachers, preachers and other kids) give them to graduate into adulthood with.

But for now, they are giving me their version of me with all they know how, mostly by arguing with everything I say! They are nine and 11 years old and both have a will as strong as I did, and maybe more in my son’s case, at that age. They don’t mind telling me exactly what they think of everything I do and say. I find myself arguing back and becoming a child myself, or saying things very parent-like. Not that any of this is not “right.” But it is not real.

What’s real is love. I have immense love for them. I want so badly to be impeccable with my word where they are concerned. So now, after studying what Don Miguel says, I am more aware of what I say. Even when I don’t say what I think was best for all involved, I leave a situation and ask myself what I could have said to make this a better interaction. And sometimes I am aware that saying nothing at all would have been the better choice. Just being quiet can say more than words when the words are getting nowhere!

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for all of the happy times I have with my kids and for the challenging times where I get to use awareness to be a better person. And when all seems chaotic and anxious, I am so very grateful for meditations that are close to my home with meditation guides who seem to know just the right topic at just the right time.

Today, I will be grateful and I will be aware. I will use my words wisely and impeccably or not at all.

 

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