Monday, July 11, 2011

Make Every Day A Spa Day

Originally posted on Your Bella Life.

How relaxed do you feel after you walk out of a massage? How does your skin feel when you leave the steam room? Are you glowing after that amazing facial?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you created your everyday life to be your own spa?

Recently I was at fellow Bella Life contributor Sarah Jenk’s adorable apartment in the East Village having a brainstorm session for our businesses. She was running out for a few hours but offered her apartment to me as a space to work in while she was gone. I took her up on the offer since it is so darn cute, filled with light and excellent vibes for creativity. Sarah began setting up a desk for me. She threw on a vintage floral tablecloth. She brought 3 candles in mason jars over and lit them. She carried over a vase filled with vibrant flowers. She filled a glass with water and squeezed a luscious lemon inside the glass. And to top all of that off, she placed a bottle of luxurious cucumber-melon scented hand lotion on the table. I sat there in amazement and said, “Wow, I feel like I am at a spa!!!” Sarah replied, “Yeah, well that’s the point, Ali! Every day can be spa day. Bring the spa to you.”

I was blown away by this comment. My mind opened and I realized that I was the one choosing to not show myself love. I was choosing to not decorate my room with beautiful, feminine pieces. I was choosing to place only office supplies on my desk. I was choosing to save the candles and the lotion for rituals and rare occasions. Why can’t we choose luxury, relaxation and serenity everyday? The answer is, we can!

How can you create your own personal spa?

1. Bring beauty to your indoor spaces. This will create a spa-like atmosphere. And you are allowed to bring out all the stops EVERY DAY. Do this all the time! Light candles or incense. Play relaxing music or just music that brightens your day. Invest in some beautiful pieces of art or decorative accessories. Buy some fresh flowers and place them in a gorgeous vase. Even if you aren’t at a place where you can afford to have the space of your dreams, adding small elements will feel like you are

2. Bring the spa into your everyday activities. We all shower. Well, hopefully No but really, you can make your everyday acitivities, such as your shower, extra special! You could do this by using natural products that nourish your skin but that also smell good. I love Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap because the smell of peppermint just does it for me. I also love to stand under the water, close my eyes, and pretend like I am standing under a waterfall in a tropical rainforest. I let go of all of my thoughts and let the water pour over my body. It feels so good!

3. Beautify your meals. Cooking is nourishing to the soul but sometimes when we are hungry or we are in a rush, we tend to slack on presentation. Decide to prepare your plate as if it was a piece of art. Take care in it’s presentation and you will feel like you are being served at a five-star restaurant. It definitely makes a difference- you’re food will taste better, you will enjoy it more, and you will feel super pampered.

Let the spa days begin!

Emotions are the way. Not what gets in the way.

Originally posted on Your Bella Life.

Our analytical, intellectual minds attempt to get in the way. Our judgments, our apologies, our comparisons, they get in the way. Of growth, of learning, of feeling, of being. When we judge our emotions, we are refusing to see our own truth.

I have been known to be a chronic judger of my emotions. I feel something, anything and the negative self-talk begins right away. “You are being silly, she didn’t mean any harm”, “Why are you so emotional?? No one cries this much”, “Suck it up, you’ll be okay”. How mean is that? Would I say that to a friend? Never.

Why are we talking to ourselves this way? It could be that it’s what we have learned to do. Most of us were taught to suppress our emotions as we grew up. We were told that we were too sensitive or that we overreact and even when no one is actually telling us to stop feeling, we take on that role ourselves. But here is the reality. We are not overreacting. What we are feeling is real, it is truthful, and it is beautiful. I am here to remind you that you no longer need to control your emotions, judge your emotions, or apologize for them. It’s time to let them run, wild, crazy and free.

Our emotions are the key to our intuitive selves; they are an essential aspect of getting to know ourselves at the deepest level. When we learn to accept and honor our emotions, they can become our greatest teachers.

How can we access the knowledge that our emotions are providing us?

1. Let it be. When you feel emotions coming up that you are uncomfortable with, say to yourself “I accept my feelings fully, they are here to guide me.”

2. Ask. Ask your pain, your sadness, and your grief what it is you need to learn. Sit in a meditation, lie down in silence, write, or call up a friend and start talking through it. Call on your inner knowing to provide you with the answer. You may come up with an answer that can help you. You may not. And if you don’t, trust that when the emotion passes through you, things are shifting.

3. Surrender. Create a space for yourself where you can fully submit to the feeling that is coming up for you. Let it come through you uninhibited. Cry. Laugh. Scream. Whatever needs to happen let it happen. Think of emotions as energy that needs to pass through you.

After all, feeling is a part of being human, it’s part of knowing the richness and depth of our lives. Be courageous; get to know your own depths.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What A Feelin'

It's time to take a look at your desires and get to the bottom of what you REALLY want.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eat When You Eat

Get your metabolism revved up by slowing down and being present while you eat. It makes all the difference in feeling good and losing weight!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Love Affair with "Why?"

As a seeker and a full-time student of life, I find myself always asking the tough questions. Trying to dig deeper. Trying to understand, um, everything.

What is that?
Why does it exist?
Where did it come from?
Why? Why? Why?

I am obsessed with understanding why things have become they way they have. I have been having a love affair with "Why?"

But what I didn't stop to consider was that my reasons, my answers, may have helped me make sense of my immediate universe but they are not the final answers. My answer is the answer that comes from my one tiny, limited perspective. And even as I expand my consciousness and receive the answers from that expanded perspective, it's still only another perspective.

So, I will keep up my love affair of "Why?" but with the awareness that this life is a mystery for sure.

This reminds me of my favorite quote:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions - Rilke

I here on out pledge to love the questions and accept that I won't fully understand all of my emotions, or other's emotions. I won't fully understand why I am the way I am and I won't understand why others are the way they are. I accept that and am ready to feel all that I need to feel without trying to wrap my head around my emotions.

Because the head can't always understand the matters of the heart.

Cheers to loving the questions. Keep on asking, my fellow "Why?"ers!