Tag Archives: serene

Why Meditate?

meditationThe most immediate way I integrate spirit into daily life is through meditation, the simple practice of quieting the mind long enough to become aware of the here and now, to become aware of what is within. Meditation reconnects us with ignored parts of ourselves.

Our souls live through our bodies. To connect with the soul we connect with the body. Through this connection, excess mind chatter, worries, and fears die down so we can settle into the present moment.

One basic, widely-used meditation technique is to sit with your eyes closed. Bring your attention to your breath without changing it in any way. Observe the inhale and exhale. Note when the in-breath stops and becomes the out-breath. Do this for several minutes twice a day. It’s that simple!

Sometimes, however, it’s not so easy, and there are reasons for this. During meditation your mind races, your breath is sometimes quick and shallow, you might feel frustrated or restless and don’t want to focus on your breath. You want to think instead. Sometimes people I work with say “I’m just a big thinker.” That’s true! This is what our minds do. They think about the past, what someone did, what you yourself did or didn’t do, what you’re going to eat for dinner, how your knees ache while your sitting quietly. The mind will do this. It generates thought, continually. Despite this, basic meditation practice is about bringing your focus back to your breath and quieting the thoughts.

Your mind will master you if you don’t master it. Meditation is a simple way to develop mastery over the mind.

A Few of My Favorite Healing Teas

Herbal TeaEvery morning when I wake up, one of the first things I think about is what kind of tea I want. I know many people think of coffee first thing, but I already wake up with my mind buzzing full speed ahead at 6:00am and coffee on top of that sets my nerves on edge. Nowadays, as I head full throttle into the menopausal years, I avoid green tea too. The caffeine is too much and I can’t sleep well if I’ve had any. So as the sun rises, and sometimes before it appears, I make tea from various herbs (or fruit or roots) to appease my spirit and begin the day. Here are a few of my favorites healing teas along with some of their health benefits.

gingerFresh Ginger ~ settles the stomach and is being researched as a cancer preventative. Use a piece about an inch long from raw ginger root. Chop and put into a cup. Add hot water and a little honey.

Mint ~ settles the stomach but also smells and tastes fantastic. I go out and pick my own from the yard where it grows like a weed. Crush a few leaves and place them into a cup. Pour hot water over, and voila!

Rooibos ~ aids digestion and prevents free radical damage, helping to keep your body’s cells normal. I purchase this at my local natural foods store.

Blue Violet LeafBlue Violet ~ has been used for thousands of years as a blood purifier. It is linked to the reduction of malignancies in the body. These days, who wouldn’t want something like this?

Green tea ~ I must add it because I love it even though it contributes to a few sleepless menopausal moments. Many studies have demonstrated the effects of green tea as a cancer preventative. Loose-leaf organic green tea is best. Tea bags generally contain lower quality tea, so go for loose-leaf if you can.

Dandelion ~ helps digestion, purifies the blood, and supports the liver. Yep, that little weed… but I order a large bag of dandelion leaf from www.mountainroseherbs.com.

nettlesNettles ~ my daily favorite, nettles has been used for centuries. Like blue violet, it’s a powerful blood purifier. I often pour boiling water over dandelion mixed with nettles and make a vitamin-rich infusion by steeping the leaves for several hours in a glass jar. Nettles can be cultivated in your yard, but I haven’t done this yet. Maybe one day when I have a gardening assistant, because there’s a reason their called “stinging nettles.” I still get mine from www.mountainroseherbs.com.

Tulsi ~ sometimes called Holy Basil, the wonderful side effects of drinking Tulsi tea are its adaptogenic effects. In other words, it supports your body, mind, and emotions to better adapt to stress. It strengthens you in the face of stressful circumstances. This is one I get from the local natural foods store.

LemonsLemon ~ especially mid-winter when people around you are sniffing and sneezing, lemon tea with a little honey is a good choice. It helps alkalize and hydrate your body and assist your liver to function more efficiently. If you have a cold, simmer it with chopped raw garlic and cayenne. Drink several cups during the day.

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