More and more studies are uncovering what we already know – that gratitude is good for us. At Healing House, gratitude is at the center of all that we do. Here is one of our fave meditations that helps to expand and grow feelings of gratitude.
Sit or stand in stillness. Close your eyes, and intend to feel gratitude. It will be helpful to think of certain things or people for which you genuinely feel gratitude. (Don’t force something that doesn’t feel authentic; you might try thanking tiny details such as the taste of a fruit you are about to eat.)
As you connect with this sensation, inhale deeply and imagine that you are filling your chest up with gratitude; it may help to visualize it as a light or color. On your exhale, share this force with the rest of your body, out to your fingers and toes. Repeat this a few times.
When you feel that you’ve filled your entire body, inhale deeply drawing in more gratitude, and hold the breath in. Then inhale a little more, and EXPAND YOURSELF WITH GRATITUDE. As you exhale, send it out into the space around you.
Repeat with your next few inhales and exhales, expanding further into the space around you: fill the room, the building, the block, the city and beyond.
Take several breaths inhaling gratitude into you and exhaling it out to anyone or anything you would genuinely like to thank.
As you do this exercise, notice how you become, lighter, happier, more present, more expansive and receptive.
Looking for a delicious treat that’s as great for your health as it is for your taste buds? Our resident Holistic Nutritionist, Selene, has the perfect recipe for you! Fudgy sauce tops fresh flavourful raspberries and a nutty chocolate crust for an easy-to-make tart that’s perfect for a tea party on a sunny afternoon.
1 cup almonds
1 cup macadamia nuts
5 Tbsp raw cacao powder
½ cup dates, pitted
Chocolate fudge sauce
¼ cup raw cacao powder
¼ cup agave
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Pulse nuts in food processor until crumbly. Add cacao and pulse until well mixed. Add dates and blend until a dough is formed. Press the dough into a tart or pie pan and chill in a fridge for at least 15 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, fill the crust with raspberries, drizzle with chocolate fudge sauce and enjoy.
Looking to focus your mind and expand your creative self? Try some of our favorite writing exercises.
This fabulous exercise, from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, helps clear and focus your mind.
Daily Self-Awareness Journal.
Keeping a daily journal is a great way to get to know yourself, find clarity and inner guidance. By just taking time out to write every day, like you are talking to an old friend, you will find new perspective on seemingly “big problems,” and you will inevitably heighten your awareness to how you are feeling and what is happening inside of yourself. If you like, you can pose a theme or question that you would like guidance on, and you’ll be surprised at the information that will come through! We suggest writing long hand with a real pen and paper for maximum connection and benefits, but typing is ok too.
You’re a Poet!
From something you’ve written in your journal or morning pages, circle several words or phrases that strike you, say between 5 and 15. Then write these words either at the top of a blank page, or down the lefthand side. Challenge yourself to include each of the selected words or phrases in a poem. You could model your poem in a certain classic structure, or freestyle. Remember, not all poems have set rhyme and rhythm. But in case you like structure, here are some classic styles.
Soft skin can be yours with this simple scrub made from healthy ingredients without chemicals commonly found in body care products. The light lemon and mint aroma will awaken your senses and revitalize your mind as this gentle scrub soothes your body.
1/4 cup oil*
1/2 cup sea salt
2 Tbsp ground mint
10 drops lemon essential oil
Stir all the ingredients together and store in a glass jar. Use this luxurious scrub lavishly – especially on your elbow, knees, and feet – when in the shower or bath to leave your skin glowing and soft.
*You can use any type of oil for this scrub. Olive, almond, and jojoba oils are all known for their healing and moisturizing properties. Coconut oil should be melted in a double boiler over low heat first. Coconut oil will solidify at room temperature, so a scrub made with it will need to be warmed up in your hands before use.
The ancient yogis worked intimately with their breath for purification, relaxation and meditation. This practice is called pranayama, a Sanskrit word meaning “expansion of life force.” Following are three of our favorite pranayama exercises that you can use any time of day.
Keep in mind: These exercises should not be forced—they should not create strain or discomfort. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, slow or stop completely.
Ujjayi Breath—Victorious Breath
“Ujjayi” means victory or success—victory over emotional or mental states. Start by “fogging a mirror,” so pretending that you are exhaling through your mouth to create fog on an imaginary mirror. After identifying this sound made by a slight constriction in the back of the throat, then repeat this sound inhaling and exhaling with mouth closed. (Some people practice with the exhale twice and long and the inhale; others practice as equal length.) Repeat as long as you like; even a few breaths can calm your mind and body. Try it (softly) while you are waiting in line at the grocery store!
Benefits: Inner peace, calms mind and emotions, clears phlegm, reduces anxiety, regulates body temperature.
Inhale through your nose, place the fingertips of your index fingers over the flaps of your ears to close them. Keep fingers in ears as you hum until you are out of breath. 5-20 times. (Try “moving” the sound around in your head.) This is a quick fix for a temper tantrum. It feels wonderful!
Benefits: Clears mind, creates inner focus, extends exhalation, awakens inner sound, benefits brain.
Nadishodhana: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Bring your index finger and middle finger on bridge of nose. Place your thumb on right nostril, inhale through left. Close left nostril with ring finger and release thumb to exhale through right nostril Inhale through right nostril and exhale through left. This is one round. Begin with 6 rounds. It’s nice to focus on a light in your third eye (center of forehead).
Benefits: Calming, balancing, oxygenates the blood, cleanses major energy channels
Boost your brain power with a delicious tropical fruit Chia seed pudding. Full of brain-friendly Omega 3’s and protective antioxidants, this tasty treat can help counter age-related cognitive decline and balance your mood.
1/4c brazil nut milk
1/3c chia seeds
Blend together all ingredients but the chia seeds.
Stir in the chia seeds. Chill. Enjoy.
Collage your dreams and goals. When we create 3-D art that articulates our goals, it adds power to our intention, as well as helps us to get clear about what it is we would like to attract into our lives. Here’s one of our favorite Healing House Art Therapy sessions.
Recording a hit song to share the world is no longer out of your reach. You can now have a near-professional quality recording from the palm of your hand with your iPhone.
1. Keep your phone close and its microphone closer. The quality of the sound depends on your device’s microphone. The iPhone’s microphone is high quality, but it does work best when it is no further than a foot from the source of sound.
2. There’s an app for that. There are a variety of applications available that can help make the most of your recordings. Four Track, with its four track recorder and the ability to upload from the app to your computer via WiFi, is one that is highly recommended. Experiment with different applications to find one that meets your needs and style.
3. Use your computer to make the most of your recording. Export your recordings from your iPhone to your computer to apply effects and get your song radio-ready for all the world to hear.
What better way to celebrate a sunny day than with a lemonade stand? Set up your own or throw a lemon-themed cocktail party for your friends to help raise funds for Healing House.We have created a special recipe, inspired by the Gold of the Incas, that we are sharing with you today. Visit our Cusco-based stand on June 29 to try our delicious brew!
2 Lemons or Limes, juiced
1 Orange (or 3 clementines), juiced
1 cup Pineapple, chopped
1 cup Water
Blend. Serve. Enjoy.