Three easy meditations you can do in stressful times

Three easy meditations you can do in stressful times

There’s no magic in a meditation practice. You don’t need more than a few minutes to help bring peace of mind to stressful times. Here are three easy mediations for these difficult weeks.

Wash your stress away in the shower:

easy-meditations

Use your imagination to bring peace of mind. Takes just a minute or two every day:

easy-meditations

Yes, when I said easy meditations I meant it!

Send kindness to yourself and others.

This powerful practice is called “metta” or “loving kindness. It’s particularly helpful for some of us these days. (Yeah, talking about myself here.) It’s very simple:

easy-meditations

Getting in touch with heart energy gives us an amazing boost..

easy-meditations

Start with yourself. Take your time and really feel it.

easy-meditations

That part is the most important one for me. But then there’s this next part. It’s the hardest one for many of us. We don’t have to know the object of our attention, they can be anyone in the world. Yes, even him.

easy-meditations

And finally, loving kindness to all beings.

easy-meditations

These are simple, but they can be life changing. Nothing to lose by trying them, even if just for a day or a week.
Remember my free audios, mantras and affirmations to help manage anxiety. 100% free for all. Links next to title,

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How clinging to your soulmate doesn’t work

How clinging to your soulmate doesn’t work

soulmate

You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
     ~Thich Nhat Hanh

When I was young I loved with great passion and at times, without any passion at all, taking for granted what I thought I’d always have. What did I know? I was young. My role models were awful.

When my beloved left, I clung to him with desperation, as if I could not go on without him.

And yet, go on I did.

As do most of us, who have lost a love.

There is work to be done.

In the years that followed I worked on myself. Therapy was a big help. There wasn’t one big aha! healing moment but just, after years, the growing knowledge that I had found a way through to the other side of issues that I’d struggled with. The therapeutic process is mysterious to me, but has always been effective.

(After Riley died, I engaged a grief therapist. Our sessions didn’t seem at all like therapy, they were about spirituality. I often felt that she was just talk-talk-talking and it wasn’t related to me at all. Maybe not even therapy. And yet, after far fewer sessions than I thought, I began to feel better. Mysterious. But effective.)

Releasing that tight grip

But back to love.  Once I released my effort to grip tightly what would never be, the world opened up. My freedom meant I could create a completely different life than I had originally envisioned, and I did.

On the infrequent occasions I spoke with my former beloved, who by then lived in a different city, I felt no great emotional pull. Oh, sure, once in a while I’d think about what I’d be doing if we’d stayed together, but I was more focused on living the life that I had, which was pretty darn good.

Fast forward 26 years and my former beloved approached me about getting back together. Was anyone more surprised than me? No one in our families, that’s for sure. But me? I had to recover from my shock. And then, really think about it.

I’d released him decades before. Was there anything to re-engage with?

It was a real question.

Apparently there was. We have been remarried more than 10 years. Life is good. More than good: it’s awesome.

BUT….

….that only happened because I released my tight grip on love and let it go where it would. I figured it was gone for good and I was at peace with that. But something different happened: it boomeranged back to me decades later.

If the other person feels free, when your love does not confine them, amazing things can happen.

We’re living proof.

And so are the millions of others who went on to find a later-in-life soulmate and are happy and content as they age in that newer relationship. Who know that a tight grip never held anyone.
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Interested in finding your soulmate? Think it’s too late? You can and it isn’t. Book a discovery call with me here.

How to view your life with kindsight

kindsight
View your life with kindsight.
Instead of asking “What was I thinking?”
pause and ask the kinder question:
“What was I learning?”
_Karen Salmansohn

I love this. Kindsight.

Maybe like me, you’ve had a bunch of occasions in life when you made decisions that perhaps didn’t turn out so well.

I’m lucky (ahem) enough to have had a few trusted friends who haven’t been afraid to ask “What were you thinking?” Ok maybe more like “WTF were you thinking?” And there’s a purpose to that. I want friends like that.

But it’s not useful to berate ourselves for actions of the past. Looking at our actions with love and asking the kinder question, “What was I learning?” is brilliant.

Just brilliant.

This works also for grief and illness.

Kindsight.

It’s 20/20.
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How can you practice karma yoga?

karma-yogaTo me, yoga was something physical, how people used their bodies to help center their minds. I never paid much attention to the non-physical aspects of yoga. In fact, I didn’t even understand what they were until fairly recently.

Then, I realized I was becoming a yogi, even though I don’t strike poses. I say “becoming” because it’s a practice, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get proficient. All I can do is practice it.

And can I practice yoga without posing?

Let me introduce you to karma yoga: the yoga of action. Stepping off the mat (or not even on to it) and serving the world around us. Doing something greater than ourselves to help unite us with the Divine. With universal consciousness.

Karma yoga is purifying the heart by providing selfless service to others. Without expectation.

I thought I was just doing random acts of kindness. But really, I’ve been practicing karma yoga for a long time. Kindness can definitely be part of it, but there’s more.

A big part is to act for others without expectation — and that can be hard for us humans. I know it can be hard for me. It means giving without judging how the gift is used, acting from pure intentions and letting go of outcome. It’s giving back for no reason except the giving.

Some friends travel the globe helping people in undeveloped nations in many ways. That’s a karma yoga practice.  Others do volunteer work with animals or people. That’s also karma yoga.

Anytime you serve without expectation, you’re practicing karma yoga.

This year, I’d like to continue my own practice of karma yoga and maybe even expand it in new directions. I’d like to make it even more a way of life.

How about you?
Speaking of karma yoga, see our healing gifts,  hereDefinitely karma yoga.

How to love bomb your loved ones this season

love-bomb

How is it possible that Valentine’s Day is already on the horizon? The day is not just for lovers, either. Because love is love.

Remember those cute little valentine cards we used to give classmates back in the day? Do kids even do that any more? Probably not. But they were so adorable!  And everyone got one.Inclusive.

BOOM! A love bomb coming your way!

The day of love is a time to love bomb everyone we love: not just our partners (if we have one) but our mother, grandmother, bestie, sister, favorite cousin.

My 12-year-old toy poodle, Benji, has begun to love bomb me. He’s suddenly jumping up to kiss me repeatedly for no reason–I love it! It’s really fun to find ways to love bomb those we love–to take them by surprise with a little something on the day of love. Like Benji does!

Our pretty Hearts & Flowers candles are back in stock for the holiday. Yes, that’s a live link for more info. The new 4-oz soy candles come in a pretty screw top lid and can be scented or not as you choose. They’ve got a heart-shaped pink quartz on top and all sorts of love-oriented crystals. Plus our usual pretty florals in red or pink. Customers say my candles are little works of art, and they are!

New options for you!

For Valentine’s Day only, I’ve added two new options: an 8 oz square glass container candle and an even bigger custom 14-16 oz candle. They are all stunning and they burn a long time. Soy burns clean, so no soot. No harmful phthalates in these candles, either. What a thoughtful and lovely gift for someone you care about!

If you’d like to love bomb someone with a Hearts & Flowers candle, the order deadline is Jan 21 so I have time to make it a real work of art. Also, scented candles must “cure” for at least 10 days so the fragrance adheres to the soy wax for great scent throw. Even better if it’s 14 days. I’ve built that time in so your candles will be ready to burn when you get them.

You’ll get it in time

Shipping will begin Jan. 31 by USPS Priority mail, so they normally arrive within about three days. I can ship to you or to your loved one anywhere in the U.S.

**  If you’d like to order 3 or more, message me at carol at ahealingspirit.org and let’s talk discount!

My guru has joined the other angels

Ram-Dass

Photo Credit: Carol Cassara / Maui / Dec. 2018

He is as close to a guru as I will ever have, a guiding figure, a sage, an angel on earth and a generational influence we will never see again.  Guru: one who removes the darkness. A gateway to God.

Ram Dass has joined the other angels and is now spreading his love and joy from the afterlife and for that I am both happy and sad.

I was lucky enough to meet him in Dec. 2018 at his Maui retreat and to have several loving interactions with him there. It was my first time at one of his retreats. I was called to go because I knew his time here was limited. It was a miracle that I got in–the event sold out in six minutes, but I was there lurking when registration opened and quickly got a place.

It was a magical five days. Many exuberant highs and also deep introspection. I came away with a love of chanting and renewed dedication to loving kindness.

Ram-DassAbove is a signed photo taken for the cover of one of his books. I bid on it at the retreat in a silent auction held to raise funds for his ongoing care. It now sits on my dresser and is one of the first things I see every morning. His eyes are beautiful, mesmerizing, so on fire at that time, with all of the intellectual excitement involved in bringing his experience in India to the rest of the world in ways we could digest. His many books. His lectures.

And then, some 20 years ago, a debilitating stroke. He lived a very long time with those disabilities. The brain was fully intact but expression was another matter. How frustrating for such a major intellect and yet, he saw it as a lesson. As he saw everything. As I try to see everything. I try.

And he lived with joy and love.

I am grateful that I got to be in his company, that I met him, looked into his eyes and he in mine, and both sent and received unconditional love.

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram