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Friday, March 20, 2020

New Routines

I can’t believe how many texts I’ve received from friends who are going crazy in their homes right now. It’s only been a week of being quarantined and almost everyone I know is losing their minds. My response? “Well, this is how I already live so….” Shrug shoulders...continue sipping tea in my quiet little corner...

Apparently I’m the perfect person to help everyone out right now. Because honestly if I didn’t have to drive my son to school and back, I wouldn’t have a reason to leave my house on a daily basis. Now that his school is online, I’m enjoying not having to even do that! But it wasn’t always like this. Rewind a few years back and I would probably be alongside everyone else going stir crazy. My decision to move away from my social circle and only work from home created a huge inner rift initially. It has taken me a while to create the kind of structure that gives me every single ounce of happiness I had when I was more outgoing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a complete hermit. I still enjoy my walks in parks, window shopping through outdoor malls, hiking in desert mountains, trips to Sedona and to San Diego. But on a daily basis I have become as comfortable as a monk in a monastery. My life is deeply peaceful and I live in an oasis of joy. I'd love to help you get to this point as well.

So, I decided to write a new blog using my experiences around creating healthy habits, routines, and fun things to do/look forward to that have worked for me. This will be an attempt to keep you from sounding like the beginning scene of Tangled (you know, when Rapunzel is obviously super crazy bored stuck in her tower and has a list of 100 things to do but she gets it all done before 8 am and therefore begins painting crazy things all over the walls… And because she lives a weird sedentary quarantined life she goes off with a strange dude who ends up giving her horrible haircut at the end of a frightful adventure… ya, I’ll try to keep you from that level of crazy.) Enjoy today’s blog.

No matter what you do for a living, whether you're working from home or continue to bravely serve humanity outside of quarantine, it's a safe bet that your everyday life has changed to some degree over the past week. Most everyone has had to move their entire lives that include offices, schools, and extra activities into their living space and this might pose to be quite a challenge. Your daily and weekly routines are out of whack, and it will require some flexibility, creativity, and a lot of deep breathing to find a new way of doing things. One thing I have learned about human behavior is that routines create a great sense of stability. Even the smallest thing done in a repetitive way can cause one to feel more safe in times of such uncertainty.

As someone who has worked from home for years, I have found that when I don’t have a solid routine, things seem to fall apart. An entire day can go by with no productivity. My personal routines are the glue that keep my physical, mental and emotional health steady. Without them I tend to busy myself but never really get anything done! Here are some things I have personally experimented with throughout my life that create a solid sense of happy stability. I think we all need right now. See if there are any suggestions you feel you could fit into your mornings, afternoons, evenings, or on a weekly basis. And please add anything in the comments that has helped you as well, I’d love to hear!

I’ve learned that a big key to helping me stay “on task” is by journaling the night before with this outline:
Tonight I will sleep by______
Tomorrow I will wake up at_____
Best thing that happened today______
What is the overall point of focus tomorrow? (I like to think about what my intentions for the next day are).
My morning ritual will include the following five things.

Then I pick five things that will help prepare me to accomplish my main point of focus. Things that will put me in the right motivated mindset.
The next thing I do is set some alarms on my phone for the next day to remind me to take a break, refocus onto the next item of business, or integrate one of the following routines below.

I know, it sounds like I run a personal little military camp for myself over here but I gotta be honest. When I don’t live this way I get irritated and depressed. I feel absolutely lost without a structure. This is literally how I get anything done, and I am positive that if you integrate any of the following things into your work and family life, you’ll feel better about being home all day too. Here are some things to try out over the next several days or weeks that we are stuck at home.

-Positive affirmations. You can repeat positive mantras first thing in the morning and/or right before you fall asleep. Positive affirmations are phrases that help you feel uplifted, optimistic, healthy, and brave. Examples: “I am safe, secure, and watched over. I choose to see love. I am enough. All is well in my world. I receive everything I need and desire. I make friends wherever I go. Life is easy, love comes to me effortlessly, abundance flows to me from all directions, I am cool, collected, calm, connected, centered, grounded, etc. I am excited for this day, I am guided throughout my day, I finish my projects with ease.”

-Make your bed. As someone who has worked from home for years, I can attest to this small ritual. If I don’t make my bed, it will literally summon me back into it leaving me feeling tired, depressed, lazy, and bored. Once you’re out of bed, stay out of it.

-Make sure to get dressed. Another trick of the trade as a stay at home worker. While I may hang out in comfy clothing like sweats, sundresses, or yoga pants, there is something psychologically healthy about putting on a fresh new outfit. And no matter what, whether anyone is going to see you or not, brush your hair! You’ll thank me later.

-Body brushing. Google it, it’s amazing and has a lot of health benefits! I do this every morning before getting dressed to wake up my entire body.

-Oil Pulling. Another thing you can google. I do this while I body brush because they take about the same amount of time. An added bonus- I listen to positive affirmations on YouTube while doing both! Talk about 10 minutes of awesomeness! I literally look forward to this little routine every morning. It’s more energizing than coffee!

-Spiritual Journaling. If you want a really good book that prompts some fun journaling, consider buying “May Cause Miracles” by Gabrielle Bernstein. It’s a 40 day guidebook sure to get your mind and heart in alignment.

-Meditation (guided or silent) All of my meditations are free right now on my website if you want guidance. I will also be releasing more of them throughout the weeks. I also highly recommend Deepak Chopra's 21 Days of Abundance free on YouTube. To create a routine, commit to meditating at the same time every day.

-Card of The Day. If you know me, you know that I love oracle and tarot cards. I have found that by drawing one a day, reading the message, and then really spending a moment pondering the card can bring a lot of happiness and clarity. I recommend The Archangel Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue or Messages From Your Angels by the same author. They always leave me with a smile.

-Baking day! I use one day a month to bake bread (you can keep extra loaves in the freezer). This is a day I set aside to get messy and bring a wholesome vibe to my home. There’s nothing like homemade bread, and there are more than plenty of recipes for gluten free, whole grain, Rye, or sourdough. If you’re not much of a bread eater, set aside a day to cook/meal prep/ or bake something else in bulk.
-Walk the dog at the same time every day. (Yours or your neighbors). Pups need to get out too!

-Bike Ride/walk/jog. Last year I bought my son and I beach cruisers. One of my favorite things is to ride it for about 20 mins every day while listening to either super fun upbeat music or  to a self help book on Audible. Lately I’ve been on a Wayne Dyer kick and audible has a lot of his lectures. There have been a few mornings I decide to walk instead. Either way, it’s definitely the happy “me time” with wind in my hair and smiles to neighbors that keeps me in a positive frame of mind.

-Tea Time. Take a page out of English history and enjoy a cup of GOOD tea. (I say good tea because most Americans don’t understand what a really good cup of tea is.) About 3pm every day, I enjoy a cup of real authentic tea. None of that Celestial Seasonings or Lipton stuff. I’m talking about real English tea. My favorite brand is Twinnings. I also like Bigelow and Yorkshire. If you haven’t yet experienced what a really good cup of tea is like, I have suggestions on my Instagram. Or you can message me. I’ll talk tea until it’s truly annoying. 3pm is a natural time for most people to get tired, cranky, and reach for sugar or soda. It’s a good time to stop, take a breather, regroup, and sip on a magical pick-me-up! Tea time is definitely something nice to look forward to and I figure that hey, if it works for the English, why not me?

-Rotate Checking on Friends & Family. Write a list of 10-20 people you care about. Each day, reach out to one of them and say hi, share a loving message, offer to help them with something. Rotate your list often so that you have a system for staying connected.

-Sit in sunshine. It’s important to get sunlight every single day. Create a small playlist of 5-6 songs and spend time without distractions to just soak up some healthy rays and give your mind a rest. My 10 minute hammock time is the best time to jam out to some tunes and forget about everybody and everything.

-Set meal time (example- lunch is always at 1pm for a much needed break in the middle of the day).

-Exercise the same time every day. If you can’t go to the gym due to closures, there are a ton of workout videos free on YouTube. I’ve also noticed so many instructors and trainers provide more content than ever for those of us stuck at home.

-Weekly game night (can be done via skype or zoom with extended family and friends).

-Daily dance party. Literally just pick an upbeat song and move around for the length of the song. Do this at the same time every day for something fun to look forward to.

-Watch an episode on Gaia TV. I have been a huge fan of this network, we’ve been setting aside time to watch one episode every evening. Right now we are watching Dr. Joe Dispensa talk about how to rewire the brain. We then discuss what we learned. All of their shows are very informative, thought provoking, and can easily get your mind off of things. Gaia also has amazing yoga classes, episodes on wellness, ancient mysteries, and other fun out of the box subjects. If you live alone, see if you can find a friend or create a group of people to choose episodes and have lively discussions on Zoom, Marco Polo, or Facebook.

-Join an online book club or create one yourself.

-Spa time. Yes, even (and especially) you men out there. Choose a day of the week to give yourself a facial, clean, clip, and paint nails, exfoliate skin, shave, hair treatment, sea salt bath, etc. We will all leave our quarantines looking and feeling like a million bucks! 

-Personal ceremony. I teach this extensively in my mentorships. It is basically a time where you sit in your communion with your angels and Creator. I use this time to receive personal guidance and to feel safe, protected, and provided for. My personal ceremony is everything to me. Set aside some time each week to light a candle, pray, and feel your oneness.

-God Box. Write down things that worry you and stress you out. Put all of your fear down on paper and then put the paper in a special box called a God Box. By doing so, you give it all over to God leaving you feeling lighter. To me, this is a small act of faith that God has your back. When we give Him our fears, He is able to work miracles in our lives.

-Designated time away from your phone. This is a really important time(s) of day. We all need time away from our phones- no matter how important your work might be, your mental health is more important. Whether you give yourself time in the morning, night, or several designated breaks throughout the day, this is an important part of your routine.

-House work. This might seem obvious, but if you have certain house work that you designate throughout the day/week, you won’t worry about it as much. For instance, if Saturday is laundry day, you won’t stress about your laundry piling up because you know it will be done on Saturday. If you do the dishes at the same time every day, you won’t grow irritated as the sink fills up with dirty dishes. If you live with others, creating a routine that includes their contribution adds stability to the entire household.

-Creative Project & Learning Something New. A long term project or training will give you a sense of accomplishment and growth. If you have something ongoing that you can return to on a regular basis like a painting, puzzles, growing indoor/outdoor garden/plants/herbs, coloring, home improvements and decorating, writing a book/short stories/poetry/music, knitting, video project, starting up a new side business, jewelry making, learning how to play an instrument, online dance class, speak a new language, taking my spiritual mentorship (shameless plug), taking any kind of online training, or learning more about a subject you’ve been interested in. The point is to get involved in something that will be an ongoing journey for you to participate in on a regular basis. A personal example, lately I committed to learning more about the Tao Te Ching. Every night I read a verse and compare it to Dr. Wayne Dyers interpretation. I meditate and journal what I understand about the verse. It has given me something to look forward to as well as help me feel expanded in my own spiritual awareness. If there is anything you want to learn more about, spending a small time every night doing research on it will lead you to more education and knowledge. Who knows, you might just become an expert on something by the time this whole quarantine is over.

-Increase Your Skill Set. This follows the previous suggestion. Now is a good time to pull out the old training manuals and educational materials, to review things you need to remember about the career you are in. Or you can invest in new updated ways on how to do your job more effectively. If you spend just 10 minutes a day increasing your skill set you will eventually make yourself more valuable in the workplace. By the time we are done with this quarantine, you might be able to ask your boss for a raise!

-Health Supplements. I am a firm believer in taking whole food vitamins, minerals, nutrients, healthy oils and fats, herbs, and homeopathics. Especially now, we need to be feeding our immune system. I’m a big fan of DoTerra’s health supplements and take them every day along with extra Vitamin C and digestive enzymes. I am also diffusing oils throughout my house to keep the air free of germs. I find that by using plant based supplements, not only do I have more energy and increased health but as a routine I look forward to giving my body everything it needs every day.

-Nighttime Ritual. Studies show that when you do the same 4-5 things every single night, over time your body will begin to rest and sleep better. For instance, an hour before bed you can choose to turn off your phone. Brew a cup of calming tea. Wash face, brush teeth, bathroom stuff. Stretch/yoga. Read a chapter of a book. Journal. Pray and meditate. After a while your body will begin to understand that the next step is sleep. This is a more ideal way to set the tone for deep rest and sleep than rushing through the evening, scrolling through fear based media, and then trying to close your eyes without taking measures to relax and let go of the day.

These are just examples of things you can implement if you feel it would bring your life more stability, happiness, and security. The most important thing to remember here is to be flexible. Creating routines that work takes time and experimentation. I constantly change mine depending on what I am going through and what I need. Sometimes I’m super strict and unyielding, other times my routine is more like a suggestion in case I start to feel lost. It’s important not to judge yourself if you “mess up” and have a day when everything falls apart. That’s life. Think of your routines as insurance. They are there when you feel like your life is out of control. Right now many people are feeling helpless as changes and catastrophes surround them. As you add healthy things to your routines, you inspire others to do the same. Together we can create happy and stable lives even from within the chaos around us. Try a series of things for a week and see how you feel, see what sticks. Once you find the things that help you feel successful, stick with them until you feel like you need to change it up again. Wishing you the best as you situate yourself into a brand new at home groove!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Time For Peace, Lessons, & Healing

It's an uneasy feeling. It is a challenge to feel peace while the world around us seems to be burning, coughing, fighting, and hoarding. Everywhere we look there is speculation without proper facts and several levels of panic depending on the day. Many people are scared wondering what the next catastrophe will be and whether or not they will be a part of it. No one likes uncertainty, the very word sparks fear. Everyone deals with it in different ways and that is what we are witnessing right now- all of the many different ways people choose to deal with uncertainty. 

In the midst of all of the uncertainty, there are some certainties you can count on. In your own life, right now what do you know to be certain? It is important to focus on the things that are stable, even the little things. For instance, I know for certain there will be coffee in my coffee maker tomorrow morning. I know that at 8pm tonight, my dog will tell me it’s time for our evening walk. I am certain that my evening meditation will leave me in a calm mental place. I am certain that we are being watched over by angels and deceased loved ones. I am certain that the more I stay away from fearful media, the better I feel. I am even certain that things will turn out better than we expect. I hope you become more certain of that as you continue to read this letter.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed while being an observer of life, it is that fearful things are rarely what they seem to be. There is always something more- deeper underneath the surface issue.  For instance, a couple might think they are arguing about money, but the real underlying issue might be about unhealed wounds around trust or feeling unsupported. Until the couple deals with the underlying issues, they will continue to fight about money because money isn’t what needs to be healed- the wounds that are being triggered because of the money are the things that need to be addressed. It seems like the more we focus on the underlying issues, the easier things get. But when we fail to look deeper, only focusing on the surface, the challenges remain. 

I learned about a cycle of healing and it goes like this. When we focus on healing the underlying wounds, we get an opportunity to learn something valuable. Once valuable lessons are learned, the surface challenges fade away. 
Recap: Surface Issue leads us to the underlying wound. Healing the underlying wound= a lesson. Lesson learned= no more surface issue. 
Here’s the catch, the more we focus on the surface issue, the louder the underlying wound becomes. It’s almost like the wound itself jumps up and down yelling, “Hey- stop arguing about the money! I’m here, it’s really about me, and I just need to be healed!”

A current example of a surface issue with an underlying wound is seeing all of the bare shelves at the grocery stores. We know that our entire country is nowhere near having food or supply shortage. Delivery trucks continue to bring in an abundance of everything we could ever need. But we see the bare shelves and begin to panic. Have you ever stopped to wonder, where is this panic coming from? Again, it’s not from the lack of stuff, logically we know that our country has so much! The panic comes from a deeper lack mentality that is being triggered by seeing bare shelves. Triggers are sneaky, never logical, and people tend to react in illogical ways when their deepest fears are being exposed. It is interesting to see that in a country full of so much, we have an undercurrent of lack mentality that has risen to the forefront for everyone to see. This lack mentality affects us all in different and personal ways depending on past experiences and our current perceptions. So in reality, we aren’t really seeing greed and hoarding, we are seeing deep fear based wounds within our society that are loudly asking to be healed. When you stand back and look at everything that is going on, you will witness a lot of lessons in the process of being learned. 

We are all talking about a virus and social separation as a global quarantine. These things are the surface issues. As long as we focus on them, they will remain. I urge you to look deeper. There are many personal underlying issues that will certainly begin to rise to your attention during this time. Because this is a time of healing. And what needs to heal will arise. Everywhere you look you can see what issues people are dealing with. The fears and pandemonium that we see are symptoms of people’s underlying wounds that are rising up to be healed. To the degree people are in a panic, is the degree of healing they require in order to be peaceful again.

Some people are healing their relationship to money, to greed and their lack mentality. And those who judge them for either hoarding or ignoring are healing their issues around judgment and tolerance. Some people are healing things at home- the things they want to stay away from but now cannot. Some people are facing their marriages, their kids, or lack thereof, and the things they use in their busy lives to avoid. Some people are healing their dependencies and addictions. Some are healing their general perceptions of security and the ability to survive. Some people are facing the hard fact that they hate what they do for a living. Some people are healing the cause of their restlessness, anxieties, and depression. Some people are healing their relationship to their creativity, passions, and inner talents. Some people are healing their bodies, their diet and personal care issues. Much needed time away, rest, and recovery is happening. Conversations that have needed to happen are about to happen. Decisions that have needed to be made are about to be made. Healing that has long awaited….Well, I believe that healing is happening. 

It’s almost as if we have hit the global restart button. There’s much more going on than what meets the eye.

If what I have written is true, if every single one of us is facing a wound that needs healing, then it is safe to say that compassion is the one lesson we all have in common. True compassion does not decipher who is worthy of it. True compassion simply just is. So to all the jerks, the rude people, to the people you’ve judged- now you know they are having their wounds rise to the surface and their actions are evidence of it. They are in the process of learning. In order to be peaceful during this time, I would guide you to explore your ability to have compassion for everyone. For me personally, this has been the one solid pathway to feeling stability through all of this. Judgment and resentment are unstable feelings. They lead me into more uncertainty. It’s so much easier to just have compassion and free myself from having negative reactions to people's fears and wounds.

Love Over Fear.
So this is what it looks like to have more people in fear than in faith. This is what a fearful society looks like. Paranoia, panic, fake news, false reports, and extreme unkindness. People are having their wounds triggered all over the place. They are afraid. And I don’t blame them. If I didn’t know I had a choice, I would be afraid too. But there is always a choice. At every moment we have the freedom to choose how we are going to look at things. 

“I choose to see love instead of this.” 

If we can remember that this is a time of healing, and that the surface things we see are an indication of an undercurrent of many wounds, we can bypass the surface fear and ground ourselves into faith that all things are happening for the purpose of healing- not suffering. Yes I understand there is suffering, and as an empath it has been hard to stay centered in so much of it. But it is my life’s purpose to do so. And it is your purpose to do so too. This morning before I began to write this letter, I woke up to these words echoing in my consciousness, “...and above all else, stay centered- this is your purpose now.” 

I believe that by shifting our focus from the surface issues to the willingness to go within, we will find peace in finding what it is that these times are trying to teach us. What is your big lesson through all of this? What personal issues are rising up to be healed? If you pull away from the distracting chaos and go within, you will find your balance. You will realize that there was a deeper wound asking to be heard, understood, forgiven, and loved. This whole virus and social separation thing could be a game changer for you. It could very well be the conduit to the change you never even knew you needed to make. When this is all over, and we all open our doors and go back into the world, we could very well be better versions of ourselves. Our lives could be straightened out in ways it couldn’t have had life continued the way it was. This could be your time of miracles. 

How Can I Serve?
If there are two things I would guide you in looking at right now they are 1. The lesson you are needing to learn and 2. The thing you are needing to provide. I ask myself daily- what can I heal within myself and how can I serve others? If this is your focus, the drama and fear of these times will slip away. Every time you ask “How can I serve” you are immediately connecting yourself to the Source of Love and Guidance. Your connection to that Source is your life preserver- don’t ever forget it. Don’t be afraid of what the answer might be. You’ll never be asked to do something beyond your capacity. Most of the time the answer comes in the moment like helping someone with their packages, smiling at your neighbor, deeply thanking your delivery person, calling someone just to say you love them, or offering to babysit for overwhelmed parents. When you see the news, ask yourself those two questions: “What can I learn about myself & how can I serve?”  I promise it will give you a much different experience- a deeper experience, one beyond the surface and one that will provide you a way out of the madness.

In asking myself how I can serve, I was prompted to record two short and sweet calming meditations. I originally did it for children because I felt called to help ease their anxieties. Their lives are drastically changed as they can no longer attend their schools, see their friends, or check on their teachers. Children are very sensitive to the level of stress coming from their parents and society in general and so the meditations are more for their tender minds. However, I do feel that we can all use some sweet and gentle love as we begin to embark upon weeks of solitude. More meditations and videos will be released throughout the coming weeks and if you are a member of my Patreon, we will be doing a special New Moon meditation on the 24th.

Sunshine Meditation CLICK HERE
Healing Visual CLICK HERE

Use this time wisely my friends. Use it to observe, exercise compassion for yourself and others, to heal, and to grow. Choose love over fear. Choose faith over chaos. This too shall pass, like clouds covering sunshine. We have to remember that just because we cannot see the sun, the light is still there. 

That is one more thing you can be certain of. 

Sending you all so much love, light, and everything right,

Crystal Doty