I love this conversation between Celedra and Tai Chi, Yiquan and Qigong master teacher Fong Ha. They discuss enlightenment, eternity and finding your own path to sacred connection in the midst of a busy life. Their discussion of the desire to change really resonated with me. I’m sure that desire for change, for something more, is what brings many readers to our blog. We’d love to hear your comments!
Archive for September 2009
Feminist Review’s Katherine P. Hutchinson wrote a lovely review of our Smoky Quartz and Garnet mala. Here’s an excerpt:
Although there are many styles and lengths of malas, I am most intrigued by the semi-precious gemstone wrist-mala, also called Power Beads. More specifically, it is the Tara Mala with which I have made a connection. In my search for sources that offer such an item, I found that the purchase of a mala of any sort can be a tricky proposition. Be warned that all malas are not created equal. There are quite a few retailers offering inferior products?especially malas that are supposedly made with semi-precious stones.
One reputable source for this sacred jewelry is the online site Celedra. Their Tara Malas are designed and so named for the fully enlightened feminine goddess Tara, whom the Tibetans call Jetsun Drolma. She is also known as the Savioress who assists supplicants toward their awakening. In reverence, the Tara Mala has twenty-one beads to represent the twenty-one praises to Tara and, as with all malas, has the terminus guru bead, which is said to be the symbol of spiritual source. This sacred adornment is of high quality and superior craftsmanship. Any owner would be pleased to use and wear this mala.
Protecting your brain against the aging process is sensible and doable. We often laugh at our forgetfulness calling it a “senior moment” but it truly is not a laughable matter. It could be a sign that your brain is shrinking or not getting enough blood flow or maybe responding to hormonal changes. The fuzzy thinking that sometimes accompanies menopause can be managed with proper diet and supplements. Dr. Mark Hyman in his book, the Ultramind Solution, addresses the connection between inflammation and memory loss, depression and autism.
Dementia, which means deprived of mind, and Alzheimer’s Disease are the two most common memory disorders associated with the aging process. But it’s not inevitable that we will succumb to some form of severe memory loss as we get older. According to Christiane Northrup MD, an expert on menopause and aging, our interconnections between our neurons continue to grow as we age, making it easier for us to make complex associations. She states that the older we become, the more efficient and sophisticated our brains get. We don’t make more neurons, though, so it is important to take care of the ones we have. Read more »
Throughout each year there are many days that serve as special markers of time, experience and hope for the future. Birthdays, the new year and other seasonal or religious holidays all help us celebrate our lives and can also serve as a powerful point in time to pause, reflect and then move forward with renewed intention.
Yesterday marked the Autumnal Equinox or the first day of fall, and today begins the ever faster approach of shorter days and longer nights. The Autumnal Equinox is also a time associated with balance and gratitude. Read more »
I realize that not everyone reading this blog is experiencing menopause right now. You may be a woman who is not currently in that phase of life or you may be a man. But I am confident that either you will be joining the millions of women already in menopause or you are closely associated with one or more menopausal woman. The time leading up to menopause is known as peri-menopause. This transitional time can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years and usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 55. It is often accompanied with some pretty challenging symptoms and changes to a woman’s body, mind and outlook on life.
Menopause means the final menstrual flow. The symptoms that occur during perimenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, increased weight (and more difficulty losing it), emotional lability and mental fogginess. These symptoms can be annoying, sometimes debilitating, but they always can serve as a wake up call to each woman and how she wants to live out the second half of her life. Read more »
As unexpected blessings in life tend to, my involvement with Celedra and Touchstones of the Sacred seemed to blossom from out of nowhere and my gratitude for this endeavor in my life is profound.
In addition to writing for Touchstones of the Sacred, I am also involved in marketing and sales aspects of Celedra LLC. Whenever I visit a retailer and open my sample kit of malas it feels like I am opening a treasure chest of sacred objects, which in fact I am! There is a palpable energy that the malas, both gemstone and wood emit. A gentle wash of awe and lightness seems to descend over myself and any store personnel as we handle each mala and discuss their magnetic beauty. Read more »
This week my commitment to the ME2 Challenge and my greater commitment to living the Challenge as a lifestyle has been tested! Now I am happy to be emerging on the other side with a stronger sense of commitment as well as more focused intention.
Here I want to share what helped me stay on track. By sharing my experiences I hope that any others in our community facing the seduction of inertia, an overwhelming schedule, a hormonal roller coaster or whatever seemingly good excuse not to meditate, exercise and eat mindfully might also maintain their commitment. Read more »
Don’t Worry, Be Happy: How Stress Affects Your Health
More than ever our bodies and our minds are constantly bombarded with stressful situations. Stress levels can vary greatly but extreme stress causes serious damage to our bodies including our brains. Prolonged stress is the most concerning because the longer the body and its organs are exposed to the chemicals released under stress, the greater the damage to the body. Extreme stress causes a condition known as adrenal burnout or hypoadrenalism. Read more »
The leaves are changing color and the days are shorter and shorter each day. It is my intention to not let the strong, fiery energy of summer fade and along with it my commitment to daily exercise. When it’s warm and sunny I can’t keep myself indoors. I simply must get out on my bike or to a trail in the forest. Come winter I’m content to do some yoga at home each day, though I really feel much better overall when I get aerobic exercise several times a week.
Living in the Pacific Northwest it’s rainy most of the year which not only hinders outdoor exercise but leaves most people feeling lethargic and content to be inactive. That’s why I have a gym membership and an inclement-weather strategy to get myself moving: swimming! No matter how dreary outside, I imagine what it will feel like to slip into the pool and I’m motivated to go. For me swimming is such fun that the workout is almost a side-effect.
As the seasons change take some time to think about your commitment to daily exercise and any season-specific obstacles that you think may arise. For instance:
- Shorter, darker days mean less daylight for outdoor jogging, walking and cycling. For safety and companionship buddy up with a friend, neighbor or spouse when exercising outside in the dark. Use well-lit and well-traveled routes and consider wearing reflective or light colored clothing.
- Rain, rain and more rain: The bright lights and machinery of the gym just can’t compete with fresh air and beautiful outdoor scenery but for those of us in temperate climates, especially in the Pacific Northwest, we simply must be flexible when it comes to exercise during winter months. If a gym just isn’t your thing try dance lessons, yoga, martial arts or home exercise equipment.
- Low energy: Many people experience low energy and mood, even mild depression when the longer, sunny days get shorter and darker. Get some exposure to the sun when you can; Vitamin D supplements may also help. Give yourself permission to do a gentler workout (walk vs. run, yoga vs. kickboxing) if you’re really dragging. Working out with a partner or group can also be very uplifting.
Having an inclement-weather exercise plan or a favorite rainy-day exercise you simply can’t resist (swimming, Bikram yoga, ballroom dancing) is a great way to keep your commitment to daily exercise. Before long you will find that rain or shine, your commitment to exercise has become a lifestyle.