Water, Rest, and Movement…A Check In!!!

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Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. So, we were going to wrap up our conversation on the Crown Chakra, but my spirit led me in a different direction for this week. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/kIxX1fyw0h4

I actually wanted to check in with everyone and just see how you all were doing. Are you resting, hydrating, and moving your body? Are you engaging in self-care? It might not seem like these simple things matter, but they do—they matter a lot. Sometimes I do think that life is actually trying to remind us that the simple things can often bring about the most profound blessings into our lives.

From Canva

Many moons ago now, I wrote blog posts and videos on the topics that I just mentioned: The importance of sleep, the importance of hydration, and the importance of moving our bodies. I wanted to make sure that I was also practicing what I preach, so here is a mini report on rest, hydration, and movement, probably not in that order. 

Rest:

Since working mostly from home for the past year, one of the biggest chunks of my day actually got removed—and that was the commute. Now, instead of riding the metro for about an hour each way, or driving into DC (driving time varied based on traffic conditions), I have basically been able to get up, clean up, have some breakfast, and then commute by walking to my desk. I thought initially that being home more would also mean more rest, but then I found that pandemic fatigue was a real thing. That and it also felt like I was doing more work at home. The ease of having the computer right there, meant that it is not difficult to check email, or to finish one last thing. But the buffer between commuting and work, also meant that I felt a loosening of my work/life boundaries. I also noticed that my sleep patterns felt off, even though I wasn’t doing much, and really time itself seemed to have lost some meaning.

From Unsplash

Since doing my research on rest, and sleep, I have definitely tried to get more rest in the nights. I try to follow my circadian rhythm, and rest when I feel tired, if possible. If not, then I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. What I have found is that my body wakes up pretty early on its own accord, and generally feels more rested than not. I have also tried to create a routine for myself logging in to work at around the same time each weekday to create a sense of consistency. I have also tried to take downtime for rest, and to allow my own creative projects to flourish. I noticed benefits from this including feeling more refreshed, less groggy, and able to have more energy to do some of my own things. Have you been resting? If you would like to see some benefits of resting and of sleep—please check out my video here: https://youtu.be/r_WrMm4Ygr4

Movement:

With regards to movement, for the past 39 weeks, I have kept a record of walks that I take during the week. Things like weather, events, travel, and even honestly just needing a nap more than the walk, have impacted dates and times, but for the most part, I have been able to walk at least 4 times per week. I set a goal for myself of 3 miles per day, and so my weekly goal is 12-15 miles. Sometimes on the weekends I will take a longer walk of about 5 miles. I will push myself to do my 3 miles, but anything over that really feels like a plus. I don’t overdo it because I have hurt myself before, and recovery takes time. It just feels good to give myself the gift of physical movement.

There have been multiple benefits from walking for me. First, I feel stronger. When I first started my walks, I had been in pandemic world for a few months, eating delicious things that I had been learning how to make from the Food channel, and epicurious, but I hadn’t really been moving. I could feel it more in my clothes, and then I started to feel more sluggish. Walking, helps me to feel more energetic. Second, I get to spend some time in nature. That means grounding, and earthing. By taking a walk, I have some designated time when I am not connected to everything else that is going on in the world. My brain gets a break, and I find some peace in my day.

Third, I truly feel that by observing nature, that there are more things that make sense for me. For example, I have talked about the seasons that we go through in our individual lives. That’s no accident. In nature, everything gets done—things grow when they are supposed to without rush. In nature, we also witness the power of sunshine, water (rain), rest, and growth. Walking has genuinely put me in a better mood, and I am thankful for the opportunity to spend that time outside. Check out my video on movement and drinking water: https://youtu.be/vnfBpT0AQmQ

You can also check out my video on disconnecting and decompressing: https://youtu.be/Nv7DwmYntp4

And my video on Earthing and Grounding: https://youtu.be/01RUU0L_2Qk

Water: 

The journey to better hydration has probably been my most challenging, but also my most rewarding journey. Out of the last 37 days, I have completed 35 days of drinking 1 gallon (128 oz) of water. Prior to this, I had started feeling really brittle within myself. My bones and joints felt achy, and I knew instinctively that I probably needed more water. Since I had also done research on the benefits of water, I also knew that if I increased my intake, my body would be thankful! I did some research on water bottles, and found one that I liked on Amazon.

The Fidus water bottle in a beautiful shade of blue green and pinkish purple. It also had motivational quotes that started at 7am and went until 9pm. Sort of cynically, I said, who is drinking water from 7am – 9pm? As it turns out, me. There is something about seeing the bottle that made me feel like I should be drinking it. The result of my month of water are that:

a)     I definitely FEEL hydrated. My joints and body as a whole feel better and more fluid.

b)    I think my skin also looks better, and more glowy.

c)     Water is definitely a detoxing agent. If you want your kidneys and intestines to thank you, drink water. As a matter of fact, I think all of you will feel better!

d)    Yes, you do have to go to the bathroom a lot initially, but as time progress, I think my body got used to the amount of water it could hold without constantly running back and forth.

e)    I think it has been helping me to sleep better. 

f)      I feel more energized.

g) I snack less, because when drinking that much water, there is no time to be doing anything else. LOL

h)    Drinking water begats drinking more water. Probably the most surprising thing has been that even after drinking a gallon of water, I still feel that I could drink more. 

I think if you want to get more water in your body, my suggestions are:

a)     Just start!!! Just start drinking a glass or two more, and work your way up

b)    If you don’t like the taste of water (and I know this is a thing), maybe add fresh fruit to help you with the taste

c)     Schedule your day around this. I know that if I was commuting, I wouldn’t be able to drink my water consistently through the day—what it means is that I would break it down into time clumps. Morning, Afternoon, and Evening, with enough time to get home. As it stands, I schedule my water around my walks. If I know I will walk at 6:30pm, I might stop drinking water at 5. When I return from my walk, I want to drink more water.  

Another thing that I learned from a very wise woman recently, was that I should work with my water. Right now, I have just been drinking it to keep me hydrated, but I haven’t thanked the water for all the amazing things that it has been doing for my body. With this in mind, today as I held my water bottle, I asked the water to work with me. As I took my first sips, I let myself feel the water flowing through my body and I thanked it for purification, cleansing, healing, and love.

This wise woman also said, What does the world need to be carried from you by the water? When I think of that, I think—what toxins need to be removed so that I have the energy to use my gifts in the ways that are most of service to the world, and also to my own dreams and goals? This has profoundly changed my experience with water and my hydration process.

I hope that you are resting well, moving your body as you have the capability to do, and also hydrating. These are simple things—are the foundational level of our lives. We need air, we need water, we need the earth, and we need the inner and outer fire to sustain us, nurture us, and to help us give back to the earth and its people. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you be hydrated, rested, and energized.

Renewal and Rebirth

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. This week, we were supposed to continue our discussion of the chakras, but it felt as though life was talking to me, and there was a different topic that yearned to be discussed. Each time that I tried to put pen to paper for chakra stuff, something else kept coming up. I believe in listening to my intuitive voice, so, we will wrap up the chakras soon! In the meantime, see this as a conversation about the cycles of nature, rebirth, spring, resurrection, and renewal as it pertains to us individually. That’s a mouthful, but it is all important. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/ICIX105S4gk

Just a few weeks ago we had the Vernal Equinox and the beginning of Spring. This last week for some has been Passover week, and for some it is Easter Week. When I was growing up in Jamaica, Easter Week or Holy Week was considered to be one of the most important times of the year. As a child, you often don’t realize the deeper meanings behind celebrations, and symbolism. For me, the excitement was in dressing up, and in eating yummy meals. It’s sort of how I read fairytales, folktales, and mythology as a child versus how I read them now with a new eye.

For example, I see the story of Persephone, the tale that explains the eternal cycle of Nature’s death and rebirth, also as a story of Persephone transitioning into womanhood, and into her role as both Queen of the Underworld, and as the symbol of the coming Spring.

It is the story of Isis and Osiris—another story of death, and rebirth, but also the way in which love helps us remember our true selves—it is the way in which Isis put the pieces of Osiris back together to help him remember who he was.

Intrinsic in our daily lives, are constant cycles of death and rebirth. Themes of crucifixion, resurrection, rebirth, and renewal are heavy during this time of year. In the same way, that these stories have lessons to teach us, this time of year—springtime, is replete with important reminders that we can apply to our own lives.

I consider myself as someone who loves nature, who loves to observe the cycles of nature, and then tries to live in harmony with that. “Tries” is the operative word, *chuckles*, but I do I find that a lot of the answers to some of my deepest questions come from observing nature, and being reminded of its eternal wisdom. Rainer Maria Rilke said, “If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” 

Sometimes, I forget that, but life will always remind us that there is a flow and that we are part of something greater than ourselves. When we are in the flow, life just feel better and we are free to live more authentically. Maya Angelou said, “A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” I do believe that most of us are trying to live a harmonious life, but that does not mean that there won’t be challenging moments.

These moments are our personal crucifixions, and each one presents an opportunity for personal renewal, resurrection, and rebirth. With each of these moments we gain wisdom, and we can choose how to apply it the next time something comes up, as something inevitably will in the spiraling dance of life. As each lesson comes, we have opportunities to ascend in wisdom and love.

This also means that if we want to be in the flow, we have to recognize the things that serve to take us out of that state.

Do you know what are the things that trigger you into coming out of your flow? Can you recognize in your own life, people or situations that represent your own personal crucifixion? You feel as if they sort of torment your soul it feels like? You may have just thought of something or someone, so before we move on, we will recenter ourselves.

Wherever you are, and whenever you are either reading this or watching my video, I just want you to take in a deep breath. I want you to hold it for three seconds. As you breathe out and exhale, I want you to imagine yourself releasing the stresses of the past week. If there is anyone or anything that has caused you grief of some sort, exhale that too.

I don’t know how your week was, but this was definitely a strange week for me. I felt as though I went through every emotion under the sun. There were challenging moments, things that truly upset me, and things that made me cry and feel sad for the state of the world. I felt the tension in my body. I know where I hold stress, and I am still learning how to release that to remain in harmony with myself. Alternatively, during the past week I also felt hope and love. I found things to look forward to. I laughed at certain things during conversations with loved ones, and I also made attempts to truly rest and decompress. I know that for me, when I do not rest, I tend to be crankier, and more inclined to give into feelings of doubt and fear.

The things that you do to take care of yourself when you feel hostile cycles emerge in your life, are part of what brings you back to yourself—these are the tools that aid in your cyclical rebirth and renewal. When you do work to heal yourself and to renew yourself, you are also helping to heal and renew the world. That is love. That is part of the service that you offer to the world. Marianne Williamson said, “Love, when it is a sacred quest, is a space of resurrection and repair. It does more than help us survive a soulless world; it helps us to transform.” When we transform, so does the world around us. The Tao Te Ching says, “Cultivated in your soul, the Tao brings peace to your life. Cultivated in your home, it brings peace with those you love. Spreading to friends and neighbors, it brings peace to your community.”

I may have spoken before about the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann; it has always served to calm my soul when I find myself out of alignment. If you have never read this poem, it is one for the self-care tool box.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” I just love that. 

I also have a set of books that are my go to books for when I need good reminders to stay centered. One book, “The Tao of Inner Peace,” by Diane Dreher, was given to me by someone that I truly respect and admire, and it is filled with an abundance of wisdom, especially in trying times.

Not only did I revisit this book this week, but I sat with the words, and thought about them on my walks. The Tao Te Ching says, “A plant that grows deep in the earth cannot be uprooted. Hold fast to the Tao and nothing will defeat you,” and “To keep your center is to endure.” There are days where you will feel defeated. The author reminds us that “our thoughts, our attitudes, [and] our emotions are all forms of energy, that are constantly influencing the world around us…Not only do we influence people around us; we are continuously affected by the actions and attitudes of others. Spending time with other people means breathing the same air, sharing the same energy field. Some interactions are energizing. Others deplete us.” We must recognize the things and people that drain our energy, and the ones that energize us. We can be an energizing force as well, and put good energy out into the world. When we are renewed and revitalized, we are in the best position to do this.

This book also reminded me that “centered, Tao people do not become hostile, fearful, or angry when confronting negative events.” Instead, as Lao Tzu instructed, sometimes you need to do nothing; step back, and watch the cycles. This is the principle of non-resistance. I also think about this in the context of our personal resurrection from something that has happened in our life. When we are centered within ourselves, we are like a tree in a storm. We are able to stay rooted, even as we bend with the wind to meet current circumstances.

There were a few things this week that caused me to feel anger, fear, and sadness. These emotions are also valid, but when we react to something with these same energies, we can also cause more harm than good. Once we process them, and allow ourselves to approach things from places of love, wisdom, and harmony, we can transcend a lot. The Tao also tells us, “the wisest person trusts the process, without seeking to control;”

In another of the books that I keep close, “A Return to Love, Reflections on A Course in Miracles,” Marianne Williamson talks about a three day period to process things.

“Truth will always reassert itself, given a symbolic three days. Three days represents the time it takes between the crucifixion and the resurrection, between an open-hearted response to hurt and the experience of rebirth that will always follow… Think of the mystical three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection as the time it takes for a situation to change, once spirit has infused our consciousness. As we come to look at an experience differently, in time it begins to transform.” Sometimes, we need to give ourself time for our own personal renewal, and for us to transcend certain situations. One way to transcend hostile situations is by first releasing the tension within ourselves. The next thing is then to take positive action. The Tao of Inner Peace says that this positive action doesn’t even need to be directed at the problem, but it becomes important to, “affirm your faith in life and set new healing energies into motion.” Is there something that you can do that brings a better sort of energy into your world? Is there something that you can do for yourself to bring you into a better space, and to look at things from a more clear and grounded perspective? For me, I take a walk, preferably to the river.

Inevitably, there are things in life that are going to make us feel uncentered, and that will threaten our personal peace, and try to throw us off of our flow. In these times, it is important to remember that life happens more cyclically than linear. In the times of our own personal crucifixions, we can rest in the knowing that this too shall pass. We can know that we will have our period of rest, resurrection, and rebirth. As I take my daily walks, I see it in the seasons.

Right now, the plants are bursting into bloom. A few weeks ago, the branches were bare, the land was slowly emerging from winter. Now, we see trees filling in, and greenery as far as our eyes can see. Our lives work in this way. “Whatever can be threatened, whatever can be shaken, whatever you fear cannot stand, is destined to crash. Do not go down with the ship. Let that which is destined to become the past slip away. Believe that the real you is that which beckons from the future. If it is a sadder you, it will be a wiser one. And dawn will follow the darkness sooner or later. Rebirth can never come without death.” ~ Robert Price.

On some days, there might be something that represents for you a crucifixion and the death of something, but whenever something dies—figuratively, something else is being reborn. What are you doing in your life to support your renewal, resurrection, and rebirth? “A man with outward courage dares to die, a man with inward courage dares to live.” Be courageous on the inside and out.

I hope that your moments of grief, anger, despair, and sadness will be minimal, and that your happiness, joy, love, laughter, and the things that you hold sacred will be infinite. Ultimately, as the saying goes, “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.” May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be one in which you feel renewed and wise. Thank you.