Category Archives: Bits of Wisdom
Hey! You know those life changes you’re putting into play? First, congratulations, you’re DOIN it!! Second, you might not see results just yet but keep working at it day by day. It takes a little time for the sun and the rain to sprout that little seed before we see it peek above the soil. Keep going! *waving pom pons* And a little Toad the Wet Sprocket is always good.
*inhale* Last night I found out that another dear friend of mine is moving cross country. I was IM’ing a coworker this morning and these little words came out of me. Hoping this reaches anyone riding that line of embracing change as it kicks their ass. *exhale*
On the 11th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me
A MOMENT FOR REFLECTING
Psst…the holidays are over. Happy New Year! Phew, we made it. Today might be the first day in a while that you’ve had nothing “to do.” It’s a great day for relaxing — you know like fuzzy jammies, the parade of roses, new slippers on thine feet — and appreciating what was awesome in 2015. It’s also a good day for reflecting on things that were not awesome in 2015 — things we might want to leave behind that no longer serve us.
I am a firm believer that before we can move onto something new and fresh, we have to give thanks and release the past. That way we can move forward cleansed, refreshed, with lessons learned and build upon something new for this year.
So! In celebration of the new year, first I have some questions for you from 2015. It’s good to write these down in a little journal or wherever makes you happy. You can save them or put them ablaze in the fireplace — whatever inspires you.
RELFECTING ON 2015
Make a list, as long as you want, of what you were most grateful for in 2015.
What were your 3 most favorite moments or accomplishments?
What were some of your biggest challenges?
What were the most impactful lessons learned (take these with you)?
What can you absolutely leave behind (don’t need it, leave them)?
Do you have a rant for 2015? Write it all out…get it out of your system…go ahead.
This will essentially “cleanse” your 2015 energy to start 2016 anew.
And the rest of em…
10 Appreciating simple things
9 Phew, I found my grounding
8 Time and space for breathing
7 I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices
3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
1 Permission for my authenticity
On the 8th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…
TIME AND SPACE FOR BREATHING
In the midst of holiday busy-ness, party-ness, giving-ness, cooking-ness, mailing-ness, spending-ness, decorating-ness, traffic-ness, etc., many of us feel overwhelmed and exhausted before the holiday celebrations even get here!
One of the fastest ways to calm, ground, and nourish ourselves is by (wait for it…) breathing. Yep, that’s it. Our two lovely little nostrils are the fastest passageways to the mind, so breathing slowly tells our mind, “It’s all good. We got this.” And the mind relays that message to the rest of the body so we can fully relax. Let’s make some time to breathe today.
Today, please find 5-10 minutes (use a timer if you want) to sit down in a chair, feet flat on the floor, back straight, eyes closed, palms facing upward on your lap. Just breathe slowly through the nose (mouth closed) until the timer goes off.
Let me know how you feel afterwards :) xo!
And let’s take it back down…
On the 5th day of Ayurveda, my spirit gave to me…
OOPS, TOO MANY COCKTAILS!
Well so much for using your wisdom to make right choices, hey? Hehe. Just kidding. During the holidays it’s easy to throw caution to the wind as we enjoy an abundance of food and drink with people we love. Because we are so busy socializing and having fun, our mind is likely not in our food and also not paying attention to how many “spirits” we’ve had. We usually don’t know we’ve over done it until it’s too late and then we feel like junk.
To avoid too many cocktails: Start the evening off with one or two mocktails (see below) or sparkling waters before your first glass of wine or cocktail. This way, your mind stays clear in the beginning of the night. The main reason why we over-drink is because alcohol causes our mind to get lax and then we lose adherence to make right choices and follow through with right action. We totally lose our wisdom. Ever do anything dumb while drunk? Right. See? No wisdom. But, if we allow ourselves 1 or 2 drinks over the course of a night, we are more likely to take is slow, savor and enjoy. Space it out with water or a mocktail in between. You will feel SO good about honoring your modern Ayurvedic self without feeling like you’re missing out. And! The next day you’ll feel awesome.
Mocktail ideas: Experiment! It’s part of the fun and for maximum festivity, serve mocktails in a fancy glass. Note: These mocktails are not Ayurvedic necessarily, they are just alternatives to alcohol with ingredients likely found at parties or a bar. In Ayurveda, we don’t strive for perfection, we strive for “better.”
• Warm apple cider. Heat in a pot with cinnamon sticks & a few cloves. Strain & enjoy. You can also add honey if needed. Garnish w/one cinnamon stick.
• Cranberry w/splash of orange juice and top with seltzer. Have with or without ice. Garnish with an orange slice or float 3 little crannies in the glass.
• Pomegranate juice, dash of orange juice. For optional fizz: Top with seltzer
• Pomegranate or cranberry juice mixed w/ginger ale
• Grapefruit juice, splash of cran, & seltzer. Dip a lemon wedge in sugar for garnish :)
• MY FAVORITE: Cranberry juice with seltzer and a lime. mm!!
Ginger ale will give fizz and sweetness. Seltzer just adds fizz. Orange juice ads sweetness, pineapple juice is also good for that, very sweet. Pomegranate and cranberries are astringent, soaks up and cools down heat.
On the 4th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,
As some of you know from readying my book, In Your Elements (Ooooo…TODAY 12/13 is the LAST DAY FOR 10% off! use code MC8RC2WV), one of the most powerful tools we have as an intelligent being is full ownership over our own choices. Our choices our so powerful, in fact, that making the wrong choices is actually one, out of only three, causes for disease.
The excerpt below is from my book on how lucky we have to have our wisdom and why we should listen to it.
From In Your Elements: “There is a wise, little part of our mind called buddhi (boo-DEE). Buddhi is our inner wisdom, kind of like the “good angel” sitting on our shoulder whispering the right things to do in your ear. Our buddhi always helps us adhere to choices that would be best for us, whether big or small. When we listen to our buddhi we feel accomplished, are highly productive and are more likely to make the right choices by following through with right action.
If we do not listen to our budhhi, we will not make the right choices, which is the root cause of all kinds of problems. There’s a waterfall effect for bad- choice-making as one thing leads to another. Let’s walk through two examples together 1) when we do not listen to our buddi and 2) when we do.
You did not listen to your buddhi
Let me be dramatic for a sec. After a wonderfully tantalizing meal, you are full, but the food was so good you want a second helping. Buddhi says, “One helping is enough or you will feel overfull.” You know you don’t need a second helping, but it was just so tasty! Against buddhi’s advice, you have more food anyway. That second serving pushed you into a food coma and now you are too lethargic to take your 30-minute evening walk. Instead, you veg in front of the TV watching House Hunters. You feel a bit disappointed in yourself and are irritated by small closets being a deal breaker, so you watch more TV (Shark Tank, anyone?) and you still feel very full. Since the TV is an addicting little bugger, you might stay up past your 10 p.m. Ayurvedic bedtime. As the night goes on, you get snacky. Buddhi says, “Don’t do it! Just go to bed!” But you reach for the chocolates anyway because your sweet tooth is calling for it. Besides, you already screwed up the night so who cares. You get a sugar surge, so you stay up even later and have restless sleep because of the caffeine in the chocolates. You have a hard time waking up the next morning because your belly is still full from the night before. And then you wake up feeling like physical junk from too much food, guilt from watching too much TV and staying up too late. And all because you made the wrong choices — this was nobody else’s fault.
You listened to your buddhi
Now let’s say, you listened to your buddhi and only had one delicious helping at dinner. You felt physically nourished and had enough energy to clean up the kitchen and reward yourself by enjoying a leisurely evening walk outside at sunset. The walk refreshed you because you were out in nature able to enjoy some down time after a long day. Perhaps you even experienced something interesting on your walk, which may have sparked a nice conversation with a loved one when you got home. When there is downtime, our mind relaxes and we have pause. When we have pause, new ideas have a window to enter. Maybe you still watch House Hunters but limit to one episode because you know you can get sucked into TV for hours. After one episode, you have had your fill of small closets being a deal breaker and turn to a favorite book, knitting project, phone call to a friend or journal before bed.
Notice the difference of this scenario vs. the first one!?
Like night and day! Each of your awesome choices influenced the next awesome choice. Once we start choosing and doing the right things, we will feel increasingly fabulous and we will want to do it more and more! However, the same happens if you make the wrong choices. It can easily end up in a domino effect of bad choices and then we feel like junk. We will not be perfect in our decision-making but at any time we derail, we can stop and make a better choice.”
On the 3rd day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,
The best way to slow down time is staying present in whatever we are doing at the time (Anyone ever play Scrabble for 3 hours? Time never ends. And with Scrabble, at least for me, not in a good way. I will never play that game again. zzzz. I digress…). Conversely, the fastest way to speed up time is to spend a ton of time multi-tasking, online or on smart phones. *zip!* Time gone. Our spirit loves it when we fully experience the present and take the time to *INHALE* and absorb our surroundings. *exhale*
One of my favorite pieces of advice to couples on their wedding day is to take several moments to pause, be completely present, and take it all in. Taking a breath to look around at their friends and family having fun in their honor is an experience they will never forget. But if they move too quickly, they will miss it. Taking conscious pauses sloooooows time doooooown so we can fully immerse ourselves and remember the moment.
Holidays are similar. Some of us are really good at slowing down to decorate, spend time picking out the perfect gifts, and carefully craft recipes for the dinner menu. Others of us race until we are so tired that we fall on our face in bed with our contacts in and shoes on. Too much speed, noise and agitation overtime can leave our spirit starving (and our body-minds exhausted). The spirit likes to savor life, sometimes through experience and sometimes simply as observer.
So, keep it simple. During meals (or appetizers!) take time to chew well, letting the yummy food and drinks dance on your tastebuds. Look into the eyes of the person you are talking to and instead of jumping to what you want to say next, listen and respond. Take a minute to enjoy the fire in the fireplace (good therapy for the eyes too). Slow down on streets with holiday lights and enjoy the sparkles.
Slowing down to experience simple joys is what being in the spirit and of the spirit, is all about. xo!
On the 2nd day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me...
A PATH FOR EVOLVING
Permission for my authenticity.
Our spirit is on a path to evolve. There are lessons to learn in our time here on earth as we face obstacles, heartbreaks, disappointments, and major struggles — it’s all part of the path. In the moment, we might not understand why the difficulties arise as we work through our emotions and tears, but once we look backwards, the lessons become clear.
The path is definitely not always smooth (sometimes it seems to disappear — I’m lost!) and we can’t see the end of it either, but we can be confident that if we keep walking, we will evolve as we are meant to. It’s also important to remember that the goal is not to chase the destination, it is simply to “be” and experience all the nuances of the path.
So, “Thank you, path for evolving me! Thank you for the challenges, blessings, and all the lumpy things. Because I am spirit, I am paying attention, ready to grow and I know the not-so-good things happen so that I can learn. I look forward to all you have to show me.”
In the SPIRIT of the holidays, welcome to day 1 of the 12 days of Ayurveda.
On the 1st day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…
PERMISSION FOR MY AUTHENTICITY
Ayurveda is the only healing method that recognizes and honors us as completely unique individuals.
Now, there are many guidelines in Ayurveda including an Ayurvedic daily routine, eating for our dosha and proper food combinations. There are massage and therapy techniques that are to be performed in a methodical way. And, of course, there are the cleanses that take expert knowledge to bring customized healing to each person.
So, sure. All those things are true. On the other hand, Ayurveda also arrives in the space where we don’t have to “know” much at all, except ourselves. The biggest healing often comes from paying attention and looking inside because that will give us more information than anyone else. Only you know, “When I eat this food, I get heartburn” or “When I go for 20-minute morning jogs, I feel awesome afterwards!” Or, “When I have coffee every day, I can’t poop.” or “When I eat a lot of vegetables, I feel light and clear-minded.” These experiences that run through our heads are the signposts to our unique health. No book, no class, no method, nothing external will tell us how we feel. It lives in US.
How many times have you gone to a friend for advice and when they give you their words of wisdom your response is, “Yeah, deep down, I know that.” They might not even tell us something new, they just validate what we already feel. When we say, “deep down” that is spirit. It talks to us all the time and delivers information through our mind and body, we just have to relax and listen.
So. You are more powerful than you think. Your spirit is always talking to you, unique you. Listen to it. XO!
What’s in front of the stage? Monica Bloom wrote a book! And the world can see it! Yay!
Behind the scenes? In mid-September just as the book was finalizing, my dog Blossom was diagnosed with liver failure at only 6 years old. Four weeks later, she died on Friday October 16th around 1:15 a.m.
I’m not sharing this story to make you feel sorry for me or my dog. There were lessons and miracles along the journey that are too precious to keep to myself. It is my hope that for anyone else living between two extremes (great joy! heart breaking sadness.) that we begin to honor our raw sadness without feeling guilty for feeling joy in between (or vice versa).
While working on the book’s final touches, staying up way too late, dealing with some pretty big transitions at the day-job and turning 40, we were told Blossom was in end stage liver failure and they were not sure how long she would live. September 18th, one day before my 40th birthday, we cancelled our trip to the mountains and stayed home where I cried and hugged her the entire day and night. When I woke up on my birthday, I saw her eyes — those sweet sparkle eyes. I thanked her for being around today. My heart was full and grateful — she was still here and that was the best birthday gift ever. Lesson 1: Live now. Every day, every moment is a gift.
Ok but, I’m a healer so… I can heal her, right?! Yes! Because life is full of miracles and she was going to be one of them. Trying to manifest the shit out of some serious healing, I tried some ayurvedic herbs, I fed her “magic” sweet potatoes, I wrote in my journal how she would heal, I did energy work on her at night, I begged her to stay strong. She kept declining. She refused to eat. Her poop turned the color of tar. Lesson 2: Surrender. All beings have their path. I cannot fix everything.
I thought it was unfair and “couldn’t be!” because she was only 6. Lesson 3: Not all creatures live to be old.
After another visit to the vet, we had her abdomen drained for the 3rd time (she was about 1/2 full of fluid in body weight while her body was very very skinny from not eating) and I knew it would be the last time. Lesson 4: I gave her permission.
I told her that I would rely on her eyes to tell me everything and when she was ready to go, I would just know. Every morning when she got out of her bed, I locked in on her eyes. I thanked her for being here, “It’s great to see you,” I would say. A day and a half before she died, one of her eyes started to close. Her other eye started to look a bit weak also. Only when I didn’t have her eyes, was I able to fully see how uncomfortable she was in her body. Lesson 5: Be prepared to get what you ask for, but it might be delivered in an unexpected way.
Blossom was trying to sleep standing up because she could not breathe well while lying down. She kept coming to us for pets and sat there with her eyes closed. It was time. We took her to the vet at 12 a.m. on October 16th with our 4-year old (we don’t have family close by). We gave Blossom a big family group hug and we all cried. My husband and daughter waited in the car and I carried Blossom inside. Lesson 6: Little kids can handle tough information if it is delivered delicately in truth and from the heart.
The vet supported our decision. She asked if I wanted to stay with Blossom the whole time and without hesitation I said yes. Lesson 7: The purity of spirit gives strength I didn’t know I had.
We were in a little sanctuary of a room, totally peaceful and in the middle of the night. I held her face to mine and heard her breathing in my ear (so hum so hum so hum). I felt her body relax and it was the most comfortable I had seen her in weeks. I felt her instant gratitude. I felt her last exhale (hummm) on my cheek and felt her last heartbeat. She was grateful for everything and so was I. Lesson 8: One of the things I fear the most (death) became one of the most beautiful and peaceful experiences I’ve ever had.
When we drove away, I saw Blossom in my mind (heart?) running and running, tail wagging like crazy, tongue hanging out, smiling. The message I got was, “I’m happy Mom! I’m having a great time here! Thank you!”
First thing in the morning, my daughter wanted to draw Blossom, so she made this beautiful picture. When I asked her what the yellow was she said, “It’s light, Mama!”
Another little miracle happened when our other dog, Matty, was lying in his bed. They usually slept right next to each other. And look…two little rainbows.
Between the tears, worry, anxiety, and sadness, there were bursts of excitement about my book, but it all made me realize that this is all about LIFE. Such a precious thing and also so raw. But you know what? In my meditations now, I see Blossom’s smiling face — she is wearing one of those doggie backpacks — I put books in it. And I say, “GO BLOSSOM GO!” I see her RUNNING FAST like the little bullet she was and she takes my books around the world for me (tearing up now as I write).
Good girl, Blossom, good girl. We love you.
IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE!
EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!
Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*
In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.
My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.
So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.
For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B
Don’t cry. I’m not telling you these things to bum you out. No way. My intent is to SHOW you exactly what’s going on during this time of year. You are not crazy or lazy, so that’s the good news. Hurrah! These natural forces (dark, cold, shorter days) flow against our desired rapid pace of Christmas completion. During the flurry, I have some quick Ayurvedic tips to keep the holidays happy and I will trickle them in over the next couple weeks.
A thought for the weekend
If you are not getting what you have been wishing for…ask yourself if you are really ready to RECEIVE it. If you are not ready, that’s ok, the Universe will wait for you. But if you are, open your heart and mind. Be ready to receive a showering of your wishes and more. XO!
At work we use a little phrase called, “WOWs!” It’s basically a sharing of really cool things we did to “wow” a client, a talent or a teammate. I recently got an email from one of you and all that came to mind was, “WOW!”
You guys send me lots of notes and I do my best to respond to every one of them. While they all touch my heart, this one in particular needed to be shared immediately, and with all of you. When I read her note, instantly my heart swelled, tears came to my eyes and quickly plopped out. It’s a pretty incredible story and proves how fast Ayurveda works. We have all the power within ourselves to change. We innately have all the tools we need to live our best lives. Ayurveda shines a light on that. Please share this with…heck, everyone. This is amazing. Proud of you, J, for your progress and for sharing your story with us. Thank you. Love, Monica B.
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, but I just wanted to write and thank you for the information that you have provided on your site. I read almost every article on your site last weekend and have been following your advice for 5 days. As a result, I have already experienced a dramatic improvement in many aspects of my health and wellness which I have been struggling with for years. Some of what I am about to tell you is maybe a bit personal, or ‘too much information’ for most, but I think you can handle it!
My prakruti is Kapha-Pitta, but I now realise that I have long been battling a seriously aggravated Vata. About 6 years ago I started to suffer with an eating disorder and, whilst I haven’t ever been in any significant medical ‘danger’, I have never really recovered a healthy mindset towards food (my eating behaviour is still very disordered), and was also left with some medical problems as a consequence of the stress I put on my body. In particular, and this is where it gets a bit ‘T.M.I’, I don’t remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without taking excessive amounts of stimulant laxatives. As you can imagine, that was pretty horrible, plus my tongue was coated in a thick grey and black coating from all the toxins building up in my colon, my appetite was virtually non-existent, and my stomach was bloated and uncomfortable for 7-10 days at a time until I could do my weekly ‘laxative purge’.
As well as this, my Kapha dosha was also a bit out of balance – whilst I am quite content spending time alone, I had become quite reclusive, and if I was invited out with friends, I would usually find a made-up excuse at the last minute and not go out. I also know that my natural tendency to hoard things had also become worse in recent weeks.
So, last weekend, when I stumbled across your site, I noticed what I had been doing wrong with regards to my diet and general behaviours: I was living on up to 2lbs of RAW broccoli a day; I ate at irregular times (if I was eating at all); I quelled hunger pains with LITRES of diet cola; after work I would come home, where I would be alone all evening and just watch TV or surf the internet mindlessly; the only real exercise I was taking was my 10 minute walk to and from work; and all that caffeine in my system had led to terrible insomnia. No wonder my Vata was out of whack – I was doing everything in the world to make it worse!
After reading your blog, I made the following changes to my diet and lifestyle:
· Lemon juice in water on waking in the morning
· Ginger & lemon tea 30mins – 1hour before each meal
· Practicing yoga daily – sometimes morning AND evening
· Eating, sleeping, etc. on a regular schedule
· Eating soft, well cooked foods – soups, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked foods and NO raw veg (broccoli!!!) – with spices such as cumin, ginger, cinnamon
· Significantly cut down on intake of caffeine and diet sodas
· I made a small portion of ghee and cook my eggs and veg in it – eating fats is something that I particularly struggle with, so I have been using teeny amounts and getting used to it. I’m gonna make more this weekend!
· Decluttering my wardrobes and cupboards (hello, eBay!), cleaning and tidying my flat
· Bought jasmine scented incense sticks
As a result I have been able to use the bathroom in the morning when I wake up without laxatives for the first time since I can remember, the coating on my tongue is almost gone, my stomach is less bloated and painful, I have been going out and socialsing with friends, I feel calmer and happier, and I no longer live in a cycle of starving and binging on food.
There is still a long way to go, but I already feel much more like ‘me’ than I have done in the last 6 years, and that is largely down to you sharing your knowledge of Ayurveda. I’m sorry this has turned out so long and so detailed, but I really wanted to extend a heart-felt ‘thank you’, because in less than a week I am starting to feel happy and well again.