From Colette Baron Reid’s “Wisdom of the Hidden Realms” Oracle Deck
When you think of the desert what do you think of? Chances are it’s not much – dry climate, sand, it’s not exactly the lush green forest that the imagination can conjure. When the desert prince arrives (in an upright position), he brings with him a message of strength and survival. Just because the desert is dry that doesn’t mean life doesn’t exist there. There are desert animals and insects, cacti and other signs of breathing and living things. The same could be said for you and your current situation. Just because right now you are not feeling your personal best or where you want to be, that does not mean you will not survive and thrive. It means that your current situation will help you to build strength and character and that you have the ability to learn and adapt to any environment. Don’t be afraid to dream big, or take risks to get to where you want to be. This card’s message is saying that no matter what the outcome is, you will survive.
If you find yourself caught in a proverbial sand storm (chaos) right now, know that it will pass and you will come out of this alright. The tough succulents of the desert withstand the weather and very little water and while undergoing this phase you will also be able to withstand the current storm of life even though you feel like you’ve got little belief or energy left.
With a New Year beginning this week, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to immediately be where you want to be or achieve what you want to in the first days. Good things take time and there will be good times and bad. No matter what happens, the desert prince will be there in the beginning to remind you that you will make it through. Keep him close this week and as a reminder throughout this coming year that you have the capability of weathering any storm. It will make you stronger, wiser, and bring you closer to where and what you want to be.
With Mercury finally out of retrograde, this card comes as a message of a renewed sense of self and intuition. Perhaps with the Mercury retrograde you were feeling a bit cloudy and out of touch with your sense of self and like you were not receiving spiritual guidance from your Creator and/or guardians. Have no fear or worries! Everything happens in cycles and that phase is now over and you are moving into a time of heightened intuition and awareness. Be open and observant of situations or people that seem to “pop up out of nowhere” offering assistance, aid, or a sign for your next action or step to take. This is no coincidence and believe that this person or situation was brought to you for a reason, all for your highest good. Loved ones who have departed from this world like to especially make their presence known on special occasions and holidays. With the upcoming holiday this week you may also feel their presence and guidance more. Pay attention to signs they may send you – a song on the radio, an object, an animal, or hearing a saying that they used to say all the time. This is their way of telling you they are there, they want what’s best for you, they are here to guide you, and that they’re only a thought away.
Your renewed intuition will also help you see beyond the literal, and help you to see past illusions. If you are receiving “gut feelings” that something isn’t quite right, or that you need to take a particular action then you should probably listen to that! Especially since this is a time of heightened intuition – it’s like your inner soul is screaming even louder than it normally would. If you’re still unsure about what to do, and have not yet mastered the art of listening to your intuition (we all slip up here and there!) then reach out to a psychic, medium or other gifted individual to help shed more light. It’s a good time to do so.
The moon also represents feminine and “yin” (yin = female, yang = male) energy. If you are a woman then you may be coming into yourself as an individual and feeling comfortable and confident with who you are. If you are a male, then you may be getting in touch with more of your feminine side perhaps showing more compassion, nurturing qualities – it’s not a bad thing! Having yin and yang qualities as an individual is a healthy balance for both men and women. There could also be a very significant woman (possibly of the intuitive type) in your close circle or that you may soon meet that could deliver an important message for you. Be open and listen, for they may be delivering valuable information for you to help you progress on your path.
You just can’t help but get that whole “New Year, New Me” feeling inside when the start of a New Year is right around the corner. After all, it psychologically gives us the feeling of starting over, a clean slate, new beginnings. With that comes all of the promises you’ll make to yourself and resolutions for the year ahead. But New Year’s doesn’t have to be just about making resolutions and it doesn’t have to take place just at the New Year. In fact, most times, people who make resolutions (in their head) start to lose sight of them after the first few months and either disregard them, or fall back into old habits or ways. At the start of a New Year, your confidence and will are high and you’re feeling hopeful and on track. There are a few other different fun traditions, rituals and exercises you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your “New Year, New Me” feeling all year long. And you don’t necessarily need to wait until the start of a new one to begin. Start when it feels right for you because essentially, each day is a new beginning. These are some of my favorites that I’ve come up with over the years:
1. Set a Theme for the Year – A couple of years ago I started a tradition of coming up with a theme that I wanted to focus on each year. It takes the pressure off of being so literal with what I want to accomplish, and instead sets the tone for what I want to attract while at the same time letting go and allowing the universe decide how I should achieve or receive. It’s a very simple exercise where I sit and meditate and say aloud the theme for the year ahead several times. I set the intention and then let go. For example, the first year I did this I decided that I wanted the year ahead to be about love, in the romantic sense. Simple, and yet so broad. I didn’t specify how I wanted to meet someone, or where but just that I wanted that to be the theme and goal of the year. Low and behold, I did meet someone that year (in a very magical way!), and we’re still together now. The following year I picked a different theme of health. I made that year a focus on going for all my check ups and revamped my schedule to become healthy in mind, body and spirit. I did all of this by reminding myself what the theme was for the year, and also the universe had a way of letting me know healthful changes I needed to make by sending me signs. Currently pondering what I want the year ahead to be! Be open to receiving from the universe. You may not always get what you want, but you’ll get what you need.
2. Happiness Jar – I love this! Admittedly, I haven’t done this one this year but would like to start it up again this coming year. 2014 was a particularly trying and life changing time for me emotionally and spiritually. I decided that I wanted my 2015 to be filled with things that I love, and a focus on the good things in each day. On the first day of the New Year and literally every day thereafter until New Year’s Eve, I wrote one thing each day that brought me great joy, made me laugh or put a smile on my face. Whether it was something that happened that day, or something nice someone said to me, or a quote or song lyric that I found uplifting. It was definitely trying at times, especially if the day wasn’t so great, but the beauty of this is that it forces you to find the positive in each day. It also makes you look harder for the good things in life, instead of worrying about the things that could go wrong. I would write it down on a little piece of paper each night, and then fold it up and put it in a large Mason Jar. The key is not to look at any of them until the end of the year, which is the best part of this whole exercise. On New Year’s Eve open your jar, and read over all of the great things that happened over the last year. You wouldn’t believe some of the things you had forgotten about that happened throughout. It’s a great little reminder that every day is a gift, every day is significant, and there is good in each day. Count your blessings.
3. Oracle Cards – It’s no surprise I’m an Oracle Card junkie, so of course I need to incorporate them into the New Year somehow! Before the New Year begins, I make it a ritual of doing a card reading for the year ahead by choosing a different card for each month. Typically, you could choose from the same deck, but I like to get creative and funky with it and choose a card from a different deck for each month. I also have a lot of card decks so if you only have one deck or a select few then that’s fine as well. I sit quietly for a few minutes before I begin choosing cards to center myself, clear my head and begin to think about what the year ahead will hold for me, and what I need to know for each month. Once I feel calm and neutral I begin the process selecting a card for each month. Yes – it could get a little messy if you’re working with a bunch of different decks but that’s ok. Arrange them however you would like – I prefer circular since it is representative of a new cycle for me. If you are being pulled to draw extra cards anywhere, always go with your gut feeling. For this particular reading (below) I felt compelled to pull a few cards for the center expressing what I need to know in my relationships, career, general advice for the year and what I need to be aware of going into 2018. I absolutely love doing this every year because it gives you something to focus on or be aware of each month. I keep a picture of the reading saved on my phone and reference back to it at the start of every new month to remind myself of what card I picked. It’s amazing to see how it all ties in as the year goes on!
4. Make Lists – By lists, I don’t mean resolutions! If you feel you’re not disciplined or patient enough to follow number 1 (above) and set a theme for the year and be able to allow the Universe to help you, then get to writing! It’s simple to say “My New Year’s resolution is to live a healthy lifestyle.” What you need to do is make definitive lists of the things that you want to do in order to successfully carry out those wishes. Don’t be afraid to get thorough. Make different columns – “Food Health,” “Mental Health,” “Lifestyle Health” etc. and think of all the different things you can do to really make a change. For example, under “Food Health” I will forgo eating fast food on Fridays – “Mental Health” I will take a personal day for myself once a month to do the things that make me happy – “Lifestyle Health” I will forgo using plastic bags at the grocery store and use reusable instead. Seeing all of your laid out plans in front of you will give you more incentive and drive to stick to them and will help you carry them out longer. Keep it somewhere close where you look frequently as a daily reminder. It’s also rewarding to look back on all of the things you’ve implemented into your life or inner being and feel proud that you’ve done it.
5. Daily Zen – Maybe you’re not into the whole resolution thing – then ditch them altogether! Don’t feel like just because it’s a New Year you need to figure out what it is you want to do on that specific day. Sometimes the best things take time, and we are in a state of unknowing. There’s no problem with making your life about daily zen instead. Focus on each day as it comes and think about your wishes or intentions for the day ahead, and show gratitude at the end of each day. You can do this very simply either by keeping a gratitude journal, or saying your thanks or what you would like to manifest out loud. Sometimes a more simplistic way of being is not a bad thing at all. And it doesn’t make you a lazy or non-goal oriented person if you have no resolutions made! It just means you prefer to focus on the present – and isn’t that was zen is all about?
These examples can be done at any time of the year. The most important part of all of this is not what you are doing on New Year’s, where you are, who you are with – but how you feel inside. Not just on New Year’s, but every day. Take whatever steps you need to ensure that you are living your best life – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Connect with yourself, even if it means disconnecting from everything else for awhile. It’s the best way to find yourself if you aren’t sure where to begin. Once you do begin to find yourself, it’ll be the best journey you take. Happy New Year!
From Jody Bergsma’s “Magical Times” Empowerment Cards Deck
If you read the words directly on this card, then no message could be clearer! Are you currently living a life that may not be reflecting who and what you are inside? It’s time to let that go. Those things are outdated and no longer work for you and your life. When you outwardly express all that you are and all that you stand for in the most respectful of ways, you shine from within. That shine radiates outwardly for others to see and gives other people the hope and strength to also be able to do and be the things they wish to. You can do and be anything you set your mind to, and no dream can be too big or too small. Start small and take baby steps to reach your desired life. Write down your goals, a list of the things you would like to manifest in your life, and the things you would like to let go. Begin to do and incorporate one tool or thing that can help you to achieve a goal, or bring you closer to your truth. This could mean starting classes at school, changing jobs, or telling people or yourself (out loud) who you really are inside. Don’t be afraid to do this – the people that are meant to be in your circle will gravitate to you the more you are honest with yourself and your truth. The others that offend your soul will start to drop away. Believe in this. It is real and does happen once you raise your vibration.
If there are people that are offending your soul, then it is also time to gracefully depart from their energy. Whether for you this means simply cutting the person off, talking to them less, or shielding yourself from their energy – your soul is telling you that it wants you to be healthy. Healthy isn’t just physical, it means also of your mind and aura. If there are others trying to dim your light, or drain your energy then this could be a sign that you need to distance yourself. You will know the feeling as when you are around this person/people your energy starts to lessen, you find that you do not want to see or be around them, you may get knots in your stomach (that gut feeling) or other physical sensations, and you feel insignificant or small in their presence – just to name a few instances. This could pertain to anyone whether it is your family, friends, loved ones or coworkers. If you can’t avoid seeing this person/people, then mediate imagine being surrounded by a white light of protection, or your guardians standing by shielding you as a way of protecting yourself from their energy. If you can avoid them, then simply pull your energy back and do the same meditation. You don’t need to surround yourself with anyone that doesn’t enhance your being.
This could also pertain to personal integrity. When others aren’t around to see what you are doing – do you act with honesty? Just because others aren’t looking or see what you are doing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act from a place of personal integrity. Lying, cheating, stealing behind others backs only lowers your vibration and brings you closer to attract things of lower energies. Don’t be afraid to be honest about something even if you fear losing something or someone. Acting out of honesty helps your soul to grow, and learn lessons. If there is something you’re doing that you know deep inside is not right, don’t be afraid to seek help or talk to someone about how you can change it. Admitting it to yourself and finding someone or something who can help is the starting point. This card is saying you are strong enough to do that, and capable of changing your life for the better by taking this step.
If you’re a college student with upcoming exam(s) to take, a working professional with new topics and information to constantly research, or a person that has something to study for in general, then you know full well that studying can get downright frustrating, tiring and stressful. Not to mention it’s probably not what’d you rather be doing, especially if you have other things to juggle in your daily life. While studying is not the most fun, there’s a lot you can do to boost your concentration, lower your stress levels, sleep better and find a method of studying/researching/test taking that works best for you.
Chances are, if you’re stressed about studying (or anything in life! Let’s face it our nation is) then you’re probably not sleeping well either. Unfortunately, these things seem to go hand in hand. Fortunately, once you start making healthful changes to fix one, then the others will start to get better too as if by magic! It’s a vicious cycle that repeats if you don’t try to alleviate it and help to care for and heal yourself – study… commence stress… lack of sleep/restless sleep… day time grogginess… leads to more stress/aggravation… disrupted sleep… you get my point.
As a student myself, it took a lot of trial and error to figure out what studying methods and preparations worked best for me, what stress relievers helped, and what I could do to ensure a restful night of sleep. Anything to keep me feeling my best physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Having a million things to do on top of studying can get pretty draining! Downing Red Bull’s, coffee, and eating processed foods and sugar to keep you up all night to study may seem like a good idea at the time to some. It may even trick you in to thinking it works, but it will only leave you with a sugar or caffeine rush and more cravings for junk. Then the sugar crash will hit and you’ll find it harder to concentrate.
There are better ways to help that will keep you feeling good before, during and after your big test/project/research begins, but please keep in mind that this also applies to stress and difficulty sleeping in general. Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks to help with all 3 S’s – studying, sleeping better, and stress. I find that most of them could be used interchangeably to treat one another also because as I said before they all seem to go hand in hand – fix one and the rest will follow!
FOR A SUCCESSFUL STUDY SESSION…
*Classical Music – If you’re not the kind of person that can study in silence and prefers some noise, put the TV distraction to the side and opt for classical music instead. The harmonious melodies help to ease your brainwaves into relaxed “alpha” state. To ease a racing mind listen to softer melodies and if you’re looking for a pick me up right before your test, choose pieces with a little more energy. Either way, listening to this music helps your brain to retain information because it keeps you relaxed yet aware. Some suggestions: Debussy, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Wagner – just to name a few of my favorites! You can find samples on YouTube and discover what you like. I’ve got tons and this doesn’t even touch the surface on how many other great composers there are. Here’s an example of one of my favorites – Relaxing Tchaikovsky
*Rosemary – Whether a fresh sprig of rosemary or rosemary essential oil, the scent of rosemary has been found to boost memory and concentration. Your olfactory nerve is closely linked with memory so smelling something like rosemary can trigger what you’ve worked hard to try and store in your brain! This is especially helpful if you often find that while taking a test you suddenly draw blanks or get stuck on a question trying to recall what the answer is, or that acronym you taught yourself to try and remember something that suddenly slipped your mind. Using a carrier oil, dab some on your wrists, keep a fresh sprig on your desk to sniff once in awhile, or add fresh rosemary to your water (add lemon if it’s too harsh for you).
*Silence Your Phone – With today’s never ending obsession with social media and texting it’s very easy to lose concentration if your phone is going off every few minutes with notifications and messages. Having access to social media at your fingertips can also be very distracting. Designate and set aside a time for your studying/researching and make a decision to silence your phone or put it on “do not disturb.” If you’re worried that something may happen and will need to be notified, let your family/friends/spouse/coworkers know ahead of time that you will be silencing your phone and that if something is emergent they may call (there are certain settings that allow for ringing after a certain amount of calls). Your loved ones and workmates should understand that you need to dedicate this time to yourself, and if they care for you then they will. There will be a time and a place to go back to check all of those messages and e-mails and catch up on social media.
*Stretch Breaks – Holing up to study/research (or even working daily at your desk) could mean staying in the same crouched position for long periods of time. Often times, we don’t realize while sitting that our posture starts to slack and before you know it you’re hunched over the computer. To break up your studying session, or your daily work routine, get up every so often and have a good stretch. Your muscles will thank you later. It will also help you to rejuvenate a little bit in situations where your mind starts to wander or you feel like the information you’re looking over is going right through you and not being retained. That’s a sign for needing a little break. Stretch, breath, bring yourself back into focus.
*Chocolate – YES, I did say that loading up on processed sugars and junk food are not good tools for studying. However, a small piece of dark chocolate (cacao, not sugar!) about the size of your thumb can help boost concentration and keep you mentally alert due to its small amount of caffeine and magnesium content. Both keep you mentally alert and get the endorphins released to keep you happy – and who isn’t happy eating chocolate? Opt for an organic bar to ensure it’s pure and free of additives. Snack on a piece no more than an hour before your test. By the time it hits your system you’ll be ready to go. These are some of my favorites – Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate . If you’re not a chocolate person you can always opt for…
*Green Tea – Same concept as chocolate! It’s low caffeine content gives it just enough to boost your brain at a time when you need to be mentally sharp. L’theanine is a component (amino acid) found in green tea that helps to induce relaxation without leaving you feeling lethargic or groggy. This is why when you drink green tea you don’t get the energy crash you get when you drink coffee. Bonus: Green Tea is considered an antioxidant that also helps to fight cell damage. Drink up!
*Meditate – If you’re getting antsy and finding it hard to focus then I suggest meditating as a way of helping to clear your mind and recenter yourself. Sometimes studying can be hard if you have other things on your mind and meditating can help you learn to focus on the present. You don’t need to go into a half an hour binge (but if you want to go ahead). A quick 5 to 10 minute meditation can help you to feel refreshed and level headed. A good tip would be to take a deep breath in counting to four, pause and hold the breath counting to four, and then breathe out counting to four. Do this a few times and add in your favorite meditation – I like this one The Honest Guys – 10 Minute Time Out for Exam Revision for a quick pick me up – or find others on YouTube or through an app.
*Clear Quartz – This crystal is my go-to for test taking! Think “crystal clear.” Connecting with your crown chakra and therefore anything related to your brain and nervous system, this crystal is excellent to aide in focus and concentration and brings mental clarity when needed. Carry it close in your pocket or keep it on your desk. If you have a piece of jewelry containing clear quartz then that would work as well.
*Ashwagandha – This herbal supplement is a staple in my household. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb which means that it helps your body’s natural response to stress (fight or flight) and boosts the ability to be able to effectively cope. This herb can work in two ways; if you’re feeling run down, low on energy and burnt out from stress it can help to boost your endurance and strengthen immunity. If you’re feeling high strung, anxious and overwhelmed from doing too many things at once it can help to relax your system while maintaining your drive. Other adaptogenic herbs include: Asian Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus Root, and Eleuthero. If you have medical concerns or conditions, consult your medical physician first before beginning any supplements to be on the safe side. My favorite brand is this one – Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Organic Ashwagandha
***General test taking tips: READ CAREFULLY! If there’s anything I’ve learned in my long student life it’s that there are some tricky questions out there and it’s usually the silly ones you get wrong. Typically, I like to read through the test and first answer all of the questions that I definitely know the answers to, leaving the ones blank that I’m not sure of. Once I do a run through of the whole test, I start back at the beginning and start going over the questions I didn’t answer. Look for clues in the question and other questions, and cross out which answers you know are definitely not right, answering the ones you can and once again skipping over the ones you still aren’t sure of. For the third and final time, look back over the questions that you aren’t sure of and make the best guess you can. Most importantly, take your time!
FOR STRESS RELIEF AND A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP…
*Heat Therapy – My electric heat wrap and aromatherapy neck wrap were probably two of the best gifts I’ve gotten – I’ve had them for a few years now. When your muscles are feeling sore and achy (especially at the end of a long day) then either of these products would be a good addition to your self care repertoire. You can find them online – Electric Heat Wraps & Neck Wraps, or at a local pharmacy. You can use them at anytime of the day, but my favorite time to use it is at night while laying in bed. Turn it on when you first get into bed and are starting to unwind and then off before you fall asleep if you don’t want to leave it on. You could also buy one with a timer if you’re concerned you’ll forget to turn it off. The heat helps to relax sore muscles and induce relaxation. Neck wraps are similar except most (like the one I have) require heating in the microwave for 30 second intervals (up to 2 minutes) rather than using electric. Heat therapy has been shown to be more effective than cold therapy at treating muscle ache/soreness. Cold constricts and can create more pain whereas heat can dilate and allow for more blood flow.
*Get Adequate Sleep – Sounds silly to say get adequate sleep under tips for sleeping well but there is a difference between sleep and adequate sleep. We function at our best with adequate sleep, which means getting at least 7-9 hours each night and typically rising and retiring at the same times each day. Yet the stress we experience daily and our hectic schedules prevent this from happening a lot of the time. Make a conscious effort to try and go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Make a list of the things you need to accomplish before or after work and then stick to it. If there’s things that can wait until the next day then do that. Set a time for yourself that is your cut off from doing everything (i.e. at 8 pm I am going to put everything away and start winding down). Chores will always be there, make sleep a priority. We need to recharge our batteries to be able to keep doing the things we need to daily. The more you try and push through things and put sleep on the back burner, the more likely you will be to burn out.
*Lights Out – Our tech-obsessed society has a hard time putting away electronics in order to get restful sleep. Studies show that the light given off by televisions, cell phones or other electronic devices send signals to our brains to prevent us from feeling tired. Our bodies natural biorhythms should be tired during the night and awake during the day – hence our ancestors used to rise with the sun and retire at dusk. Before you reach for the cell phone or leave the television on all night to fall asleep, consider turning off or putting away all electronics at least 2 hours before you plan to go to sleep. This will help your body fall into it’s natural circadian rhythm. Do not leave them close to your head or under your pillow as this disrupts your sleep also.
*Chamomile Tea – Chamomile tea is a great herb to help reduce anxiety, stress and induce relaxation. It’s naturally caffeine free which makes it a great tea choice before bed. Make drinking tea a night time ritual by curling up with a warm blanket and holding the warm cup in your hands. Check out my page on chamomile and all of it’s other health benefits here! December 2017 – Chamomile
*Diffuse Essential Oils – I have a small essential oil diffuser next to my bed and I love it! I fill it up and turn it on right before I get into bed and it usually diffuses throughout the whole night. I noticed that when I do this I have an easier time falling asleep, and staying asleep through the night with little to no disruption. Diffusing relaxing scents like lavender or chamomile can make for restful sleep. Of course if you aren’t feeling well some nights, you can also incorporate oils like eucalyptus or clove to help breathe easy at night too. If you’re looking for stress relief, again lavender or chamomile are good choices. If you’re feeling particularly run down or lackluster then use more uplifting and citrus scents like lemon, grapefruit, or tangerine. Make sure that the oils you’re diffusing are 100% pure essential oils and do not contain synthetic fragrances or chemicals.
*Don’t Eat Before Bed – This is a big one! Many people will argue that it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat so long as it’s well balanced. However, your body needs time at night to power down. If you eat right before you go to sleep, then you are giving your body substances that it needs to utilize energy to break down. You also might experience more heartburn due to stomach acid coming up while you’re laying down because your stomach isn’t properly digesting food. Your body’s internal body clock uses night time as a time of restoration and recharging where during the day is a time of work. For example, from 7 am to 9 am the stomach is functioning at its peak. This makes it an ideal time to eat a hearty meal (like breakfast) and get the most out of its functioning. At 9 pm your body begins the process of regulating temperature, metabolism and energy to prepare you for sleep. You should forgo eating from this point on (even better if you stop eating at least 2 hours prior to this). It then goes on from 11 pm to 3 am (times of the Gall Bladder and Liver respectively) to detox and cleanse your system. It’s vital to try and eat at regular times during the day so that your body can perform its designated tasks at night. Eating late at night also packs on more pounds and can lead to feeling bloated in the morning – another reason to ditch eating right before bed!
*Meditate – Meditating is good for anything! As stated above for studying, meditating can help you to recenter and focus on the present. This is especially important if you’re stressed, run down, and feel like there are a thousand things going on inside of your head. You may feel like you aren’t thinking clearly or at the end of your rope. Take time out to make a meditation ritual for yourself whether it’s in the morning, after work, or before bed. Check on my page Rituals, Altars and Sacred Spaces for tips on how to set up your own sacred space and ideas for meditation.
*Water Therapy – When the “fire” feels like it’s blazing inside of us from stress, anger and emotions then water is a good way to put out that fire. A warm bath using essential oils, Epsom salts or whatever else you prefer, and lit by candlelight is one of the most decadent and luxurious (and cheap) ways to relax. Make it a ritual – play relaxing music, read a book, have a glass of wine or tea, literally soak up the moment. That quiet time will do wonders for your mental health and the warm water will soothe aching muscles. It’s also very good for women in easing the stress of infertility, or the tension and pressure of trying to get pregnant. If you don’t have access to a bathtub (my current situation) then you can make shower time a special ritual also by using shower bath bombs or splurging on a handmade soap or deep conditioner. Imagine the warm water washing away all of your worries and leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed. If the idea of taking a bath or shower at the end of the night doesn’t appeal to you then you can also invest in a small foot bath. Fill it up with lavender or other scented Epsom salts and let the mini Jacuzzi do its work to relax you. In Chinese medicine, there are a number of acupuncture points on your feet and ankles that have functions of helping with stress relief. Soaking your feet in a warm foot bath can also help induce that relaxation since it triggers all of those points.
*Keep a Glass of Water Next to Your Bed – In this case, not for drinking. I once read this Feng Shui tip that if you’re having a lot of nightmares, restless sleep or agitated thoughts during sleep time, keep a full glass of water next to your bed. The glass of water will absorb all of the negative energy taking it away from you. In the morning, pour the glass of water down the drain – don’t drink it, as you will be taking in the Qi (i.e. energy, life force, etc.) of that glass of water. The goal is to get rid of it so that it no longer controls you. It might sound a little hoaky but I have to say I’ve tried it before and oddly enough, it works!
*Crystals Under Pillow – Amethyst is a great crystal to leave under your pillow or on your night table to promote a good nights sleep. For extra benefit, rub some lavender essential oil on it and a little on your pillow case.
*Reading – If you stick to the no lights policy but find that you’re still having a tough time falling asleep, then keep books on your night table with a little book light.I like to keep books on my night table that are spiritual, uplifting and positive usually containing small chapters or quotes and also there’s usually a novel thrown in there somewhere. Each night, or every few nights I like to read one small chapter or quote in it. This allows you to connect with something positive before bed time and think about what it could mean for you in the day or days ahead. It’s also spiritually uplifting if you’re feeling stressed and it gives you something to connect with and give you hope that all will be alright. I’ve always found that reading before bed helped to put me to sleep over the years. It beats turning the television on and absorbing all of the energy from it.
There are a number of different things you can do to improve your studying skills and alleviate symptoms of stress and make for a better nights sleep. This list is definitely not exhaustive of all of the different things you can do. These are just tools and mechanisms that have worked for me throughout the years with trial and error that I wanted to share. And of course, it’s a never ending adventure for me also on finding different things to help. For now, a great way to start may be to implement any of the things above. This could open doors for so much more. I would love to hear about your favorite study/stress/sleep tips also!
From Colette Baron Reid’s “Wisdom of the Oracle Divination Cards” Oracle Deck
Time is an illusion. When time was created by humans, it also created a false belief on how long it would take to accomplish something. When we think of “time” we automatically think of the imaginary timetable in our heads that it would take to accomplish something – it limits what we think we can do and achieve. The truth of time is that it is infinite.
The most important thing to remember is that neither the past nor future matter as much as the present does. In this very moment, any and all is possible for you to accomplish as there is unlimited amount of time to do so. Any time you feel stuck in the same rut of feeling like you don’t have enough time – “I don’t have time for that,” “This will take too long,” “I’m in a rush,” “I’ll never get this done,” eliminate the need to label that whatever task or project is ahead will not be accomplished. Rather, prioritize your projects/tasks and if something isn’t necessary then don’t be afraid to say “I don’t need to do this right now,” rather than “I don’t have time.” This will help to focus on the present moment and one thing at a time.
If there is something you have been waiting for and feel like time has been ticking away without success – “All of my friends are getting married, when will I?” “Everyone is having babies, I feel so behind,” “I haven’t even moved out of my parents house yet and everyone my age are buying houses” “I still don’t know what career path I want to take,” then know that everything is life is guided by forces unknown. Everything will happen when the time is right for your particular path. Just because others around you may be accomplishing something you may be after, it doesn’t meant that you won’t ever have it. Be open to the unlimited time source of the universe and remember that your guides are helping you to live the life you are presently living and have everything planned out for you. When it is timely for you to receive what you’ve been manifesting then the universe will align you with it. In the meantime, keep believing while at the same time letting go and moving forward with your other daily tasks. Chop wood, carry water.
Contrarily, time is also of the essence. Perhaps you have been putting something off that you can’t any longer, or that you have trouble managing your schedule/day, or are frequently late for things. If there are deadlines or unfinished projects then it may be a sign to finish them. When a project or task is complete and you are able to check it off of your “to do” list it brings about a sense of relief and weight being lifted off of your shoulders. Getting your “to do” list done allows for more freedom, fun and play time! However, don’t rush things – take your time and make sure they are done efficiently so you don’t have to go back and do them again.
From Doreen Virtue’s “Archangel Oracle Cards” Deck
I have been receiving signs of 444 A LOT lately, which is the sign of the Archangel’s near, so I felt it appropriate to pull a card from that deck this week, as they are definitely trying to deliver a special message! It’s also a full super moon tonight! If you’ve been following my cards each week, then this card is a great follow up to last week’s breaking barrier’s card! If you’ve done your work on being brave and breaking barriers last week, then now is the time to step back and let the dust settle a bit. Last week, Mercury was not yet in retrograde so making moves forward was advisable and safe for you to do. With Mercury now in retrograde until 12/22, this is more a time of self reflection and going within.
Now that you’ve made your big decision/action/move it may have stirred up a bit of chaos or created some discomfort/conflict/drama this past week. It’s completely alright if this happened, as it is all a part of the process. It is now time to pause, and travel inward to plan and digest the decisions you have just made. You do not have to accomplish everything all at once. You’ve already done and overcame the hardest step which was making move number one, often the hardest one. If chaos still surrounds you, it is not the time for you to fuel the fire or add to that chaos. Instead, take this time to quietly retreat into your own thoughts and reflect peacefully and hold yourself accountable and feel proud and happy with the choices you have made, for you have made the right step for yourself. This may mean having to isolate yourself for a bit if you find you have a hard time saying no or giving in to others desires. If you can’t avoid people (let’s face it, most of the time we can’t) then choose to remain neutral in action for now and not provoke any arguments or “drama.”
Say no to things that bring about conflict, disrupt your inner peace, or make you feel uneasy right now. It is a time for gentleness in thought, action, and deed. Gentleness comes from the way we speak and think of our selves before, during or after we’ve done something, or when we look in the mirror at ourselves. It comes from how we handle ourselves when being put in a situation that is a bit uncomfortable.
You may now turn to gentle activities to nourish your mind and body and give yourself a reward for making the decision to break barriers (from last week). Engage in simple activities such as yoga, listening to classical music, reading by the fire, enjoying a cup of warm tea/coffee, meditation, taking a peaceful nature retreat or doing something that is simple and requires minimal effort and brings you to peace and center.
If you missed out on last weeks card, or have not had any reason to “break barriers” or take a big step forward then use this time to gently take care of and nourish your mind and body. Any of the activities listed above can help with this. If you have trouble slowing things down or trying to relax, call upon Archangel Sandalphon to help guide you on this inner journey of love and peace. Wear or carry turquoise crystals, ask aloud for his help. He is the archangel of music and prayer so listening to gentle and instrumental music will align you with his guidance.
If you find yourself connecting greatly with music, poetry, writing or anything artistic in a solo sense then consider yourself lucky! For Archangel Sandalphon is there to help you and make you feel warm and at peace in these moments as you take care of yourself. Don’t feel guilty for taking some time for yourself or for not jumping at every opportunity right now. All actions can be put on ice for now and saved for another time. You’ve done your hard work, now it’s time to rest.
If you’re looking to turn your finances around and increase your abundance, then Citrine is the crystal for you!
If there’s one thing our society is well-known for these days it’s the crippling debt that the majority of us have hanging over out heads – mortgages, rent, student loans, bills. It’s tough to be able to juggle financial responsibilities while at the same time trying to have a life and be able to treat yourself once in awhile. Guilty! After struggling myself for quite some time (it’s still not easy sometimes!) I decided that I needed to make a lot of changes. Yes, you need to do your research and find out where you can spend and save, and revamp your budget. However, you also need to make some mental and spiritual changes. That’s where crystals like Citrine come into play.
In order to begin turning your situation around, tell yourself that you do deserve to be debt free, that it is not impossible, and that you can make positive changes. Crystal energy enhances what you are feeling and vibrating to. If you change your mindset to believe those things and also carry Citrine on you, then you will begin to see changes.
Citrine is a powerful stone to attract monetary wealth, abundance, and prosperity. This doesn’t mean that you will magically open your wallet and see more money in it, although that would be lovely. It could, however, mean that you will be brought together with people, places, or situations that could benefit your current financial situation where you have not had this luck before. Some examples: if you are a business owner that has been struggling, Citrine could help attract customers to increase your profit. If you’re having trouble paying your monthly rent, Citrine could bring you into contact with someone you can move in with (family, friend, spouse) to cut your rent in half. A sudden influx of cash such as a donation or inheritance from someone, or winning money can also be a sign that Citrine is working its magic in your life. When you start to use Citrine these situations won’t be forced, rather, they will happen naturally. The customers will come of their own accord, the people and situations will be brought together harmoniously by fate.
Citrine will also help you increase your willpower, which is especially significant when dealing with financial stresses. In using this crystal, you will start to make better decisions – saying no to that 2 for $20 deal (do you really need that other one? Or can you save the $10), spending an evening in cooking dinner rather than eating out, starting a savings account, making a conscious choice to pay more money off of your debt each week. These seem like simple things, yet take notice if you did them before you started using Citrine. All of those little changes add up to increase your wealth. Starting out small first and then gradually adding up to bigger manifestations. Citrine also helps with maintaining wealth so once you make these changes or make extra cash you do not have to fear losing it again. You will gradually build to bigger wealth and abundance.
The yellowish hues of Citrine also make it a great crystal for enhancing feelings of joy, happiness, optimism, personal power and confidence. Think about how you feel being outside in the sunshine. Typically, we think of the sun as being uplifting and vibrant and Citrine holds similar qualities in stone form and produces similar results. It also helps you shine from the inside out, and creates a protective “light” barrier around you so that other cannot harm you psychically and emotionally while you are bettering yourself and your life.
Since this stone resonates with the Solar Plexus Chakra it can help physically with symptoms of upset stomach or digestive issues, Spleen and Liver health, allergies (particularly related to the skin such as rash or hives), chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
Citrine is a great addition to your crystal collection especially if you are a business owner, work in sales, or are looking to increase or improve your finances. Since beginning my journey with Citrine some two or so years ago I have noticed a steady improvement in my financial situation. As with most things, it is not an overnight success but is definitely one that is worth being patient with. The changes that have been made, are well worth it!
Associated Chakra: Solar Plexus
Suggestions for Use: Most beneficial if you can carry it in your wallet, pocketbook or any place you keep your money such as a safe, if you are into feng shui it helps to have Citrine or a Citrine tree in the wealth area of your home, carry it in your pocket, do wealth/financial/prosperity meditations while holding Citrine in your hands, if you can’t carry Citrine in your pocket or wallet consider printing out a picture of Citrine and taping it to a dollar bill to keep in your wallet.
Mantra: Hold Citrine in your hands or at your Solar Plexus Chakra while repeating any of the mantras “I attract wealth, abundance and prosperity in my life easily and effortlessly,” “The help that I need to improve my finances will come to me and I am open to whatever form it takes,” “I will be able to pay off my debts and come to a place of financial peace,” “I am confident in myself and feel happy with the decisions I make.”
Chamomile is one of (if not my) absolute favorite herbs! As someone who is always on the go and occasionally under stress, the gentle quality of Chamomile helps to prepare me for the day ahead and/or also to set my mind at ease at the end of a long hectic day. It can be taken as a tea, diffused as an oil, and is used in numerous over the counter beauty and health products for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Typically, the two varieties used are either German Chamomile, or Roman Chamomile. Some of the benefits of Chamomile are:
1. Ease Anxiety – Those with anxiety disorder, Type A personality, or a general feeling of uneasiness or nervousness will find that this herb is very calming. It’s best to drink a cup of chamomile tea in the morning before your day begins to help keep you calm and centered. Make it a ritual by sipping it leisurely and enjoying the light taste. You can also diffuse Chamomile oil in your home or car as the scent is also effective. For added benefit, diffuse the oils while taking a warm bath (you can even put chamomile tea bags in your bath water).
2. Help Sleep Better – Because it helps to relax the mind, the gentle and naturally caffeine free tea makes it a great one to sip before bedtime. It can also be taken as a tincture or the oil diffused at your bedside. It will help in falling asleep faster, staying asleep during the night, and preventing nightmares/night terrors.
3. Digestive Health – This herb is great for stomach issues pertaining to inflammation such as Chron’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. However, it is also effective against other GI issues such as general stomach upset, diarrhea, or gas. Its anti-spasmodic qualities help to reduce pain associated with cramping such as general lower abdominal cramping from stomach ache, or menstrual cramping. Since Chamomile is a big stress reducer it can also quell symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) since this syndrome is exacerbated with stress or emotions.
4. Skin Health/Sensitive Skin – Being fair skinned myself, my skin is super sensitive to a lot of chemicals and products out on the market. There are now a number of products such as facial creams, masks, or cleansers that contain Chamomile for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties (acne, eczema, rosacea, etc.) and I highly recommend them for all skin types and especially for sensitive skin. If you’d rather not buy anything over the counter, you can make your own skin tonics using the tea water or grow your own Chamomile plant and dry out the flowers for use in your own homemade products. As mentioned above, you can put chamomile tea bags in your bath for a relaxing and mellow treat for your skin. It’s also good for conditions such as wounds, canker sores, or cuts and bruises.
5. Puffy Eyes – The anti-inflammatory properties of Chamomile also help to reduce eye puffiness, swelling and redness. I like to save my used tea bags (put them in a plastic or paper cup) and stick them in the refrigerator for a little bit to cool. Once they’ve reached the desired coolness take them out, lay down, put the cool tea bags over your eyes and relax! It’s like treating yourself to a spa treatment minus spending all of the money.
6. Allergies – Chamomile is a part of the Asteraceae or Compositae family (daisies, dandelion, ragweed are also part of this group just to name a few others). If you are allergic to ragweed pollen then Chamomile and its tea may irritate you or cause an allergic reaction. Otherwise, Chamomile has been found to be a helpful homeopathic remedy in treating hay fever due to it’s anti-histamine qualities. Adding a bit of local made honey to the tea will enhance the benefits further as local honey is also effective in treating allergies (especially seasonal allergic rhinitis).
7. Oral Health – The mouth is where our digestion begins. In addition to helping the further reaches of our gastrointestinal track, Chamomile helps with mouth sores/canker sores, toothaches, gum pain or inflammation and helps fight bacterial infections/gingivitis, and bad breath.
8. Boosts Immunity – Regular consumption of chamomile tea can boost immunity thereby helping fight against the common cold and cough. Bonus – If you incorporate Elderberry Syrup (separately) into your routine along with Chamomile tea then you’ve got a great “flu shot” or flu fighting regimen perfect just in time for flu season!
9. Hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids can arise for many reasons but the type I’m referring to are the result of straining which can commonly stem from emotional symptoms such as a fear of letting go or letting things happen naturally, trying too hard or worrying too much about things (from a Chinese Medicine perspective). Since Chamomile is found to be a calming and soothing herb, incorporating the tea into your diet can help ease these symptoms and help treat hemorrhoids for this reason. For additional relief you can make a salve or apply the oil directly to the site of discomfort or take a warm bath using Chamomile flowers or tea water.
**It’s important to note that pregnant women or those with allergies to ragweed pollen should not include chamomile in their diet until speaking with their medical doctor as it could increase risk for miscarriage or worsen symptoms of allergic reaction.