Mii Time Virtual Series
Lectures & Presentations
We invite and encourage you to explore an array of purposeful Mii amo experiences through
which we share with you the healing spirit of Mii amo and Boynton Canyon.
As part of the ongoing Mii Time virtual series, these sessions are offerings from the Mindfulness Team
at Mii amo and presented by Kim McDermott, a senior member of this team.
We envision some of you will discover new information and possibilities through this series,
while others will enjoy reminders that will bring you back to your practice.
We look forward to being on this journey with you.
Healers and Healing
Healers and Healing
Part 1: Happiness and Healing | Part 2: Compassionate Communication | Part 3: Sacred Sleep
Hi, my name is Kim McDermott, I am a Senior member of the mindfulness team here at Mii Amo and have been here for 18 years. I love my job and what I do as this is my life’s passion. I do many things from classes to lectures and private sessions. My passion and I feel my gift is to help people, and provide information and tools to help reconnect back with themselves. I do sessions on Meditation, Releasing Stress, Living with Change and Sacred Sleep, and also Aura Photography as well as Past life regression and Hypnosis.
Welcome to the presentation on happiness and healing. We are born with joy and happiness, it is something we came here with, it’s already within us, it is not from outside of ourselves, it is a state of being, a feeling and sense from inside of us. So, the intention is to return back to that natural state of being. What happens is we just get really far away and disconnected from ourselves in our busy lives and many responsibilities that we have, we tend to get on that treadmill and disconnect from that natural state of being of happiness, which is truly a part of us, it’s a part of our essence and soul and it is natural.
When you think of the word happiness, what does that mean to you, what is your first thought or how does that make you feel? When I tuned into this question of what happiness is and felt for me I could actually feel it in my body, I feel a strong sense of contentment within me, just very content and happy with who I am, and happy and grateful for my life, it feels expansive and there is a lightness, and this feeling of happiness makes me smile, it feels natural, even as I talking about this, I’m smiling.. There are actually a few ways to feel happiness. Sometimes you can feel excitement, or an exuberant joy, gratefulness, or as I said just a strong sense of peacefulness and contentment of who you are and the life you have, it is a state of being. When you are in that state of happiness, no matter what’s going on in the world or in our lives you feel elevated and light, because it comes from within you, it is not outside of you. Most times it’s the simple things in our life that can also bring us joy and happiness like waking up in the morning having a cup of coffee or having someone make you a cup of coffee can make your day, or driving to work seeing the sun shine and everything looks so bright and it feels so good to be alive, those things can make you grateful, it’s those things that make you smile and feel good inside. Happiness is being inflow with your life, where life flows easily and it feels lighter and expansive;
Life can be stressful, and yes sometimes life can bring us challenges and is sometimes difficult, but when you are connected with that natural state of happiness life is still really good knowing that that challenge is temporary, so it’s about being able to maintain that state. Some tools to bring that forward and to maintain that happiness is meditation, I love meditation it is such a great way to make that connection to really get back to that part of yourself, to that calm state and feeling good at all levels, it brings that awareness of oh yeah that’s right this is who I am, meditation raises and elevates your energy. The higher your vibration the happier, and more peaceful and joyful you feel for longer periods of time. It’s finding and making ways to create balance in your life, to give yourself time to do the things that you enjoy, making connections with people you really enjoy being with by finding time and putting yourself into your schedule, that self-care and checking in with yourself throughout the day to see how you are feeling. So, check in how you feel when you first wake up in the morning before your busy mind kicks in. Go within even if it’s for like 5 minutes or 10 minutes to help connect and maintain that state of peacefulness, gratefulness, and joy. Another tool is writing down what you’re grateful for in your life, this can start to build that awareness within you of that natural feeling of happiness by bringing attention to things in your life that are already there and really great, that make you feel good about yourself and your life.
This is not saying that you cannot feel other emotions, such as anger or frustration, or fear, or sadness, as life happens to us all, it is important to allow yourself to feel and express those feelings those as well, but the longer you can stay in this state of happiness, lightness and expansion, the quicker and easier you will be able to move through the other emotions that can feel heavy or constricting in your body and mind. You could have a very stressful day, and come home feeling tired, but you know what, when you walk in the door of your house there are your children, or your dog wagging her tail just so happy and excited to see you, your daughter or son calls just to tell you that they love you, or you’re driving to work and you think hey, I have a great job, I make good money, I love what I do, that can make you happy and come back to your joy, it’s that gratefulness, that contentment that I spoke about it, those things that make you smile and feel like everything is good and is going to be ok.
If we watch the animal world, we can learn so much from them and remember how living is supposed to be because they naturally play, they allow themselves time to rest and to sleep, so remember to take that time to play, and make that time to get out in nature and connect the trees, the birds, and the sunshine which will make you feel more alive Take time to connect with and enjoy the people in your life who are important, the people who you can laugh with and have fun! Really allow yourself to enjoy your relationships, and enjoy the pleasures that life has for us. All of these ways can and will allow you to feel grateful for your life for who you are and what you have and make you smile and feel that happiness and joy within your body and within your mind, each one of these ways are important not only for our wellbeing but helps us return to that natural state of joy and a natural state of balance.
Remember that you are more than just what you created in your busy lives, responsibilities, habits, and patterns, take that time to remember to play, to enjoy, and feel pleasure in your life. Life is not about going from here to there and not going to this or to that, there’s more to life when you allow yourself those connections doing things you enjoy, this will help you become more aware and feel your natural state of happiness and joy.
Thank you for listening, and I hope this was helpful for you in some way, and if this presentation spoke to you, know that we not only offer these sessions here at Mii amo live, but we also offer personal one-on-one sessions via zoom, and we would love to work with you.
Have a great day!
Part Two: Compassionate Communication
Hi and welcome, This is a talk on Compassionate Communication and my name is Wendy Lindahl. I have been on the Mindfulness and Wellness team and helped to create this session for Mii amo Spa at Enchantment Resort.
All of us, every one of us wants to be seen and heard, felt and respected. We long for that at our core and yet we often forget to connect with ourselves in this way. Holding presence, listening to our own feelings and needs quieting our anxious, busy, future driven self, to just be with what our bodies, hearts and minds are truly needing. In Compassionate Communication we learn to hold this kind of space for ourselves as well as for others to empathize and befriend from a place of calm. We can learn some tools for helping us to calm including “belly breathing” these come from the brain regions where we can shift from fight, flight, freeze and fawn, to tend and befriend.
Here is the Belly Breathing technique that I teach in all my sessions.
Putting your hands on your belly and imagine a balloon filling inhale for 4. 1,2,3,4 pause and exhale for 8. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. again inhale 1,2,3,4 pause and exhale 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.
Feel any changes in your body and your spirit that you’re aware of. we are eliciting what is called “The Relaxation Response”. Initially discovered by Herbert Benson at Yale.
We move from “Jackal” to “Giraffe” (attacking to open-hearted) in a very short time. When we are not triggered or even when we are, or maybe especially when we are, is the time to hold this sacred space release blame and judgment and move instead into a place of inner listening, remembering these are simply feelings like weather.
Yet in honoring the origin of the feelings, possibly doing some creative release work, journal or letter writing there’s even opportunity for really revealing what’s underneath some of the pain that we are feeling to let ourselves or another know where we’re at (if appropriate) from a place of vulnerability and self-care.
Making “requests” from this place inspires another to hold us tenderly to shift to approach, rather than avoid. When we are triggered we are in fight or flight mode running away or demanding that our needs be met, which rarely happens and re-traumatizes the inner child part of us who has been holding the same pain we are now facing.
We can consider this an access point. Many of us realize that these past hurts or even traumas are activated and live in us. There is a quote that says… “Feelings buried alive never die. “
We realize that we can use vocabulary tools for gaining more access to our emotional intelligence with Feelings and Needs Wheels, (Communication) Cards where we feel our needs and feelings are being understood even by us maintaining a field of love and non-judgement for ourselves helps us to do that with others.
I believe that we have many parts of us that long to be discovered, released, revealed and reconstructed. In our attending with compassion to them there is a chance that that healing could happen. I’ve found this true in my own life.
The tools given to us by Marshall Rosenberg of Nonviolent Communication, Kristen Neff and Chris Germer who have studied and researched self-compassion and the Buddhist meditation teacher and mindfulness guru Tara Brach, gives us a beautiful framework and processes that we can work with one by Tara Brach is called rain an acronym for…
R for Recognize
A for Allow and accept
I for Investigate with kindness
N for Nurture
These four steps have been very valuable to me and so many others, as well as my background in dance (somatic) therapy which taught me the embodiment of the three stages for three R’s of healing and they are…
This can be done best initially guided by a train somatic therapist that can give tools for how we might release physically, creatively as well as emotionally what we are holding in our bodies and psyche that tend to be access points for healing when we’re triggered.
If we allow the various parts of ourselves to be held and “witnessed” with compassionate eyes and non-judgment, for once, we are reparenting those wounded parts of ourselves that are longing to be expressed.
Whether it is with another person or just on our own we are capable of calming the amygdala or survival brain and shifting that which is both of our most vulnerable and strong parts of us. Anger helps us to set boundaries, fear helps us to protect ourselves. Guilt can be a pointer toward our integrity somehow being in question or an opportunity to release the shame that goes with it and remain innocent. We become willing to release the critic toward ourselves and others the perfectionist that often lives with us and takes away our joy. At the core of vulnerability is our strength and when we accept ourselves in all our woundedness and brilliance as well as others as we see the light in them as well in True Namaste’ We are willing to become “giraffe” as Marshall Rosenberg would say to have the big heart that allows us to be kind, step into the shoes of another and become the wisest and most authentic version of our self both with ourselves and in our relationships.
In our Compassionate Communication sessions, you’ll learn the tools that help you connect with your feelings and needs while making compassionate requests and empathic responses to others who are also human and wounded and willing to see and hear us when we are not in our “jackal” mode: which is the attacking part of us that comes from that survival and oldest part of our brain. Our trained facilitators offer a vocabulary of the heart and help us to hold ourselves and one another in empathy. To step into another person’s shoes for a moment with kindness as well as to return to kindness for ourselves, which another word for compassion. I hope you’ll join us for some of these sessions or check into some of the resources I have mentioned in this presentation.
I just wanted to let you know that the Compassionate Communication (skills) can work in every situation. whether it’s families, with your kids, with your partner, a work situation, and that we need these tools for every situation in our lives …Thank You.
Part Three: Sacred Sleep
Welcome to Mii Time from Mii amo! My name is Ashiko Rupp and I’m part of the mindfulness team at Mii amo and I do different sessions like energy intelligence, harmony, hypnosis, past life regression, aura-soma, compassionate communication, readings of the moment and meditations. I have a strong background in meditation and intuitive readings and energy work. Recently I also completed a three-year training in somatic experiencing, a gentle way to heal stress and trauma.
Sacred Sleep is one of our educational sessions and today I will talk a little bit about this session. Since menopause my sleep has changed a lot from being an excellent sleeper to a more sensitive sleeper and my interest in this session is also personal. I experiment a lot with different ways to sleep better and keep up on the latest research.
In the last few years this session has become more and more popular at Mii amo and also on the internet and in the media, there is more information and talk about it. One reason for this is definitely the increasing pressure and screen time we all experience, constant stimulation and often not great boundaries between work and private time. Productivity is more and more valued and relaxation seems to not matter as much to many people.
This session always starts with a lot of questions, because the more, we as practitioners, know about our guests, the better we can help create strategies for deeper sleep. The questions include not only specifics about sleep issues, but also inquiry about nutritional habits, lifestyle, stress levels etc.
In order to find the best strategies to improve someone’s sleep, we need to know which of the following categories applies (more than one category can be involved).
Categories of sleep issues:
- long term insomnia (this is often inter-generational and can be trauma related) – it can be very complicated to heal and often needs psychotherapy
- collective stress (valuing productivity over everything else, over stimulation) – this needs an attitude/lifestyle change which can not only improve sleep, but your life quality overall
- personal stress (divorce, grief, babies, work challenges, illness…) – this can be temporary if dealt with and can even be a catalyst for better self-care
- hormonal or other medical issues (specially menopause which often shows up as waking up in the middle of the night or sleep apnea and such conditions) – this needs a medical evaluation and often medical care
It is important for us to be specific and go in-depth as many people are familiar with fit bits, oura rings, sleep apps etc. and a lot of tips can be found online.
At the end of the session, we create a plan of things to try out for each guest individually.
I’d like to mention one practical tip for everyone: think of a happy childhood memory when you have trouble going to sleep; this moves your attention from frontal lobe of the brain (to do lists etc.) to the brain stem (where memories and sleep are located).
I hope this helps a little or got you interested to find out more. Thank you for listening today!
Meditation 101 Transcript
Hi, I’m Kim McDermott and I have been with the Mii amo Spa for 16 years. I am a senior member of the mindfulness staff here and offer a variety of services.
I offer lectures, classes and sessions either one-on-one or with a group. I have helped co-create many of our special mindfulness offerings here such as the Prayer Arrows, our Canyon Bathing Meditation and Medicine Wheel Meditation, as well as the New and Full Moon Ceremonies that we offer each month and have personally created all of the guided meditations on the Mii amo website for the Mii Time Meditation Series.
I love to share information and do so in many different ways. I feel that what I do here is my life’s work. It’s my passion so thank you for letting me share with you today about an overview of what meditation is and what some of the benefits are.
To me, meditation is truly about quieting this busy mind of ours and connecting to the mind within us – which I call our true mind – our essence, our soul. It’s about that connection within ourselves. Once you start to quiet the mind and start to connect within, it’s like a wide lens on a camera that begins to open and expand your inner vision and connection.
It expands your awareness within yourself and expands the awareness within your environment. It helps you to see what’s already there, that maybe you cannot when your mind is too busy. Meditation helps allow that expansion to happen, to remember the peace and calm within yourself that’s already there, and helps us stay present in our daily lives.
I would like to share a few of the many benefits meditation can have for you. It has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. Stress, along with our emotions, are a natural part of life. It’s part of our human experience here, so there is nothing wrong with stress or emotions. It’s how we handle our stress and emotions that affects our minds and bodies.
Most of us internalize our stress and our emotions whether we are aware of it or not. Meditation allows that awareness and then can help us to move the stress to release from the body and mind. Meditation helps you get you into that state of connection and balance within yourself.
Meditation can help improve our emotional health, it can help you feel and get back to that happiness, peace and calm that’s already there. It also enhances self-awareness, and can lengthen your attention span and clear your mind. Meditations can help with our with our sleep and are also used for help with pain management and it can actually help lower your blood pressure. These are just a few of the many benefits of meditation.
There are many different ways, different styles, and different modalities of meditation. There is no one way. There is no right way. We are all unique beings and it’s about finding the types of meditation or that style of meditation to help you get into that space of connection within yourself.
So allow yourself to try the hats on to see how it fits, how it feels, and what resonates with you. When you find the style and way that works for you, keep going to see what is there for you to experience. Continue to make time for meditation, time for yourself, time for that connection within, to allow the benefits that meditation brings naturally to you.
What might work for me might not work for you, so if a certain style does not work for you, that’s okay, move on to the next. Don’t try and force on yourself. Find the one that feels right for you.
Now I would like to talk about just a few different types of meditation. There are breath meditations, movement meditations, sound meditation, along with chanting and mantras and guided Meditations
Breath is used in most meditation. Focusing and using your breath is very powerful. Belly breathing can actually help you get into a state of calmness and clarity very quickly.
When we come into the world we know how to breathe and then we forget when we start to go onto our minds. If you watch a baby breathe, as a baby breathes, his belly rises and as he exhales he lets the belly fall. The belly is where most of our internal organs are. It is the center of our being, the center of our body. This is our power center, our stability.
So focusing and re-training our bodies with the belly breath can help us become more clear and more confident. It helps maintain the circulation of energy and blood flow through our internal organs. Our heads should stay cool and our bellies warm, but most of the time our heads are hot and our bellies are cold, so that natural breath allows you to warm the internal organs to warm the belly so you can maintain that natural harmony within you. Physically, emotionally and mentally, it all works together.
Movement meditations are gentle movements. There is the practice of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. These are far east Asian modalities that use energy and breath. They’ve been around for thousands of years and can help create balance and strength.
The way I describe it is, we are more energy beings than physical beings, meaning we are made up of energy and we emit a life force energy that is about 3 feet around us. So Tai Chi and Qi Gong gather, and harness this life force energy, from the earth, from the universe, and then use this energy as intended. It uses the one of the laws of the universe, which is you first must receive, replenish and harness energy for yourself and then you can give and use your energy and power.
Most of the time we are pushing our energy out or pushing against our lives, and Tai Chi and and Qi Gong help us remember to first replenish and receive our energy so we can go out and give and move in our lives in the ways that we do, with ease and grace by being connected to our natural flow.
There’s also walking meditations that use the symbol of the circle. The circle is very powerful. It is a continuous movement and creates an amplification and can create manifestation. There are prayer circles, meditation circles, Labyrinths and Native American Medicine Wheels. The Labyrinth is a very simple sacred geometry symbol.
The way to use a Labyrinth is as you go in to the circle, first let go of something that no longer serves you in your life, or something you are complete with, and as you walk through the Labyrinth it gives you a chance to unwind to unravel to really let go of something. And then as you reach the center of the circle, giving yourself a moment to connect with the earth, and within yourself, and now that you have let go, and given yourself more room, now it is time to create something, to ask for what you want, wish or desire, with no limits or boundaries. Ask for anything and open and allow yourself to receive as you walk back through the circle and step into your life.
The Medicine Wheel is a Native American is a symbol of life and specifically the circle of life. The circle represents the perfection as well as the infinite since the circle has no beginning or end. Never ending and always new beginnings.
It represents the four directions – East, South, West and North. The four Cycles of Life – the newborn baby, the child, adulthood, and the elder. The four colors of people on the earth – the Red, Yellow, Black, and White. And the four seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
Other walking meditations can be walking through a forest, connecting with the nature and trees, or through a beautiful canyon. Here at Mii amo we offer Canyon Bathing, which the word bathing is about connecting and receiving the energy within nature.
Canyon Bathing is simply being present in nature with all of our senses fully alive. This practice can have a remarkably healing effect, and it can also awaken in us our profound connection with all living beings. It is a gentle, meditative approach to being with nature that can heal our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with the more-than human world.
It’s about connecting with the energy, the timelessness and the wisdom of this sacred canyon and all that is here within it. Walking in nature connects you with the earth, with the trees, the sounds of the birds and the wind.
There are sound meditations. Sound is very powerful. Sound creates an energy. It creates a vibration. It can help us connect with ourselves. That’s why we are so drawn to music. A few ways of sound meditation are crystal singing bowls, metal Tibetan bowls, gongs, bells and symbols. There’s also mantras and chanting, which are about creating a sound over and over again, and what that does is it raises the vibration within you. The sound creates an expansion, an opening within you through the vibration.
While in any meditative state, you will receive and experience that is yours, in those moments, whether it’s just a feeling or sense, or sometimes people see colors or get images of places or loved ones that have crossed over, and animals. Whatever you see, feel or sense, the experience is yours.
Sometimes you do not see or feel anything at all. I call that the void. That also means that you are there. Sometimes it may feel like you haven’t connected, but on some level you truly have. So allow yourself to go there, whichever way it shows up for you. Each time you connect will be a different experience.
And what I love is guided meditations. They allow you to focus, while a guide walks you through the steps into a relaxed meditative state, by focusing on the guiding voice. I feel it can get you into a deep state of connection very quickly.
Here at Mii amo, we offer what I spoke of today. But if you can’t be here with us, there are many resources to access to help find your way to begin or enhance your practice.
The internet is a great resource of information with YouTube videos and podcasts on many styles and ways of meditation. There are meditation apps to download to your phone such as Calm. What I really love is being in a room with like-minded people meditating together. It creates a powerful energy which allows a higher vibration within ourselves, the group, and the room.
Meditation is a personal practice. There is no right or wrong way. So try the hats on and see which way is best for you.
Thank you so much for letting me share my information with you and have a beautiful day.
Creating with Intention
Creating with Intention Transcript
Hi. My name is Kim McDermott and I am a senior member of the Mindfulness Team here at Mii amo. Welcome to my presentation and meditation on creating with intention.
With it being the beginning of a new year, it has been a tradition for most of us to set resolutions and intentions. What these do is give us direction on what is important to us in our lives. When we mindfully set intentions and use meditation to connect to our intentions, it helps raise and elevate our energy to step into and connect to creating and living those changes we want to see within ourselves and in our world.
Last year and the beginning of this year have been very interesting to say the least. It is clear that change is happening and will continue levels we might even know yet.
There are a lot of things going on in our world and within ourselves individually at this time. I invite you to look at these times as an opportunity to embrace the changes and create new perspectives with positive intentions to create your world, and your way of being in it rather than waiting to see what happens and reacting to those changes around you as they occur.
Intentions give you purpose and opens your creative mind and inspiration to achieve what it is you want to create and experience. Intentions can change your life.
I would like to share with you some ideas on how we can use our intentions, and I will be guiding a meditation where you can embrace your intentions and tap into and create your life at the end of this talk.
First, I would like you to open the possibility and awareness that there are no limits or boundaries to what you can intend, create, and manifest, this is where we can begin to make changes and create what you desire.
When we want to change and create an intention, we need to see things differently than the way we have been living in our life and our way of thinking previously. then imagine all possibilities that are there for us to experience and create in a positive way and be able to focus and open to allow ourselves to receive, to connect and experience them, then surrender to these positive thoughts and then to be able to let go to let them unfold in a way that is best for us. Surrender is sometimes completely letting go, and sometimes it may be releasing the reigns enough to allow things to happen as they should. If we hang on too tightly, it constricts the flow to allow change to occur. Change is inevitable, it helps us grow into more of who we are and expand our lives.
Setting an intention is about becoming clear of what you want and desire to create and experience in your life and then believing that it can happen, not only in imagining it but seeing it, and feeling what that would be like to have what it is you are intending. Feeling the emotions of having what you want in the way that you intend. We have done this throughout our lives, If you look back on your life when you planted your seeds and imagined how you wanted your life to look or feel, starting from when you were a young child when our creativity and imaginations were so strong and fluid, and remember those times in your life of when you received it and it came into fruition. remember the feeling you had of awe, joy, and happiness, and being excited when it happened and came true in the way you imagined and visualized it to be. Pretty cool right?
With all these changes that are happening now and though they may not seem in your control. look at it differently and turn it around to make and create your world as you intend in the best possible way no matter what is happening in the environment around you.
I would like you to look back at your life in this last year and bring forward the positive has happened in your life, such as closer relationships with others and within yourself, or new opportunities that you may not have had if it were not for what is happening in our world today.
Now start to think and imagine from here what you want, desire, and wish your life to be from this moment forward, no limits, no boundaries. Let the thoughts flow, everything from material things, to connections, or new ways of being…anything. THINK BIG! Try to be specific as you can with your thoughts or images of what this looks and feels like, this begins to activate within you your openness to receive, to begin to allow it to happen, which then helps you soften your resistance to change.
Intend and create things with a purpose that are important to you, then start immediately incorporating them into your life. Then watch and become aware of the changes that occur. The first step is always awareness, and to remember not to stop or get discouraged as each day is a new day, a new beginning, you can do it again.
Some ways to help set your intentions and to get more clear are:
- Write them down. Keep an intention journal, both to write your intentions to keep track of and to note anything that occurs with that intention.
- The writing from your hand to pen to paper is, physically, energetically, and emotionally putting that thought and intention into the universe and is a great way into the step of manifestation.
- Write a list of all that you want to create and experience or change in your life and even your way of being, It will become more clear and as you write it down.
- Each morning set 5 to 10 minutes when you first wake up and tune into what your intentions are.
- Become aware throughout the day of that intention and what experiences you are having that may be bringing you closer to it.
- Lastly feeling grateful is a very important part to create your intention.
I hope this was helpful for you in some way, and now it is time and I hope you enjoy the mediation to create with intention and envision all the beautiful things in your day and your life.
Elevating Your Energy
Elevating Your Energy Transcript
Hi, my name is Kim McDermott, and I am a senior member on the mindfulness staff here at Mii amo. Welcome to the presentation of elevating your energy.
What I am going to share with you today is how to raise and elevate your energy on different levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In our world today, with all that is going on and the unknown of what is next, it is important that our minds stay positive and our bodies active. It is important to recognize the deep connection between the mind and body. If you look after your body, you automatically increase your emotional and mental energy as well.
Our energy can feel low or drained, by not sleeping well, too much stress, not enough exercise, or not eating good nutritional food to feed our bodies and brains. Also, our thoughts can affect us. By being around certain environments, interactions or conversations with people can make us feel drained, tired, and affect our emotions.
Worry, fear, and anger can lower your energy. It can affect your body and mind. Become conscious of your thoughts. Become aware of when these thoughts start to come to your mind. Feel your body and notice your mind start to race to different stories and scenarios of what could happen all not so good.
Your eyes and your head start to feel tense as well as your body. This way of thinking and feeling lowers the energy, lowers the frequency which can affect you in these ways, as well as emitting and sending that energy, thought, and feeling outward into the universe to that situation. Know that your thoughts can affect your life and will begin to create what it is that you are thinking.
Start to become aware of when this happens, and then change the direction of those stories and thoughts. If you are worried about a situation with yourself, a family member or friend, change the thought to positive meaning change your thought of,
What if this happens, or seeing it as something negative.
Instead imagine what it is you are worried about or fear might happen and change the story, change the ending, seeing and feeling that scenario unfold in a positive way. Even if you think you have no control over the situation, you truly do. You can help affect the outcome just by sending positive thoughts and energy to that situation.
You create what you think, is true, so begin to see and think of things turning out for the best even if you might not know what that best may be. By sending positive energy and thoughts can help raise the vibration of that situation, where the negative thoughts and feelings can lower the vibration. Test it and when you start to change your thoughts, feel your body and mind lighten. You will notice a difference.
How we think plays a huge role in how we feel. The more you focus on the positive things in your life the more you will enjoy a sense of well-being. Positive thinking brings positive responses in your body. By thinking positively and having a good attitude about different situations in your life, knowing that you will figure things out, and believing that you can do whatever is before you in your life will help you get through those challenging times. Having this positive way of thinking and looking at the world in this way will raise your energy and vibration.
Staying positive in our thoughts and outlooks of ourselves and the world important for us to maintain a healthy and happy life. Sometimes we create habits and patterns both physically and mentally that are not for our highest and best good. So become aware of your thoughts, become aware of your body, to maintain balance in your life.
Our vibration is a way of describing your overall state of being. Everything in the universe is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Even things that look solid are made up of vibrational energy fields at the quantum level. This includes you.
All vibrations operate at high and low frequencies, within us and around us. If your vibration is low, it will be evident, it’s simply a matter of bringing awareness to your situation and then changing it to a higher vibration by the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we see our world.
Here are some ways to elevate you energy and vibration.
Keep your sense of humor. Humor can change your mind; it can widen your mind. When you can look at things, even if they are challenging or serious, if you can find a little humor in the midst of it all it will lighten your heart, and lighten your mind. Even if it is just throwing your arms up and saying,
You have got to be kidding! or,
I give up.
When you throw your arms up it is a surrender. Surrendering is a good thing, it allows you to release the control that we try so hard to keep, and when we let go it allows the energy, the universe, guides and your angels, to come in closer to you to help balance whatever is happening in your life. If we hang on too tight, there is not enough room or give for things to unfold as they should.
Surround yourself with people that are positive, people you have fun with and laugh, and where the conversations are always interesting. Write down every night before bed the things that you were grateful for that day, the things that did go right. Write down something that someone said to you that day that was kind, or complimentary.
Do things that help you feel positive. At least twice a week, give yourself time to do something that makes you smile, or makes you laugh and allows you play, whether it is creating something, taking a dance class, going to lunch or dinner with a friend that is like minded, with someone who it feels good to be around, and really enjoy the time with.
Keep a journal. Everyday write something down you would like to experience and watch how it unfolds for you. Also, at the end of every day, write down the things that were positive, and allow yourself to reflect on them, rather than the things you thought might have gone wrong.
Ask for a sign from the universe that you are on the right path, and know things may seem intense, that you know you are not alone and feel supported even during those turbulent times through those signs. Give yourself permission to create your life instead of waiting for things to happen. Start with one step or one thing at a time, and watch it happen. But not just think it, as you imagine it, feel it, sense it, and see it happening.
Find something beautiful in your world. It is the small things that can help you appreciate your life more. A kind word, a thoughtful gesture, a hug, or smile. Allow yourself to do this for others as well as become aware when it happens to you.
When your energy and vibration start to rise, you may notice you are less judgmental, you know it and feel it, and something is different, and that something changed your way of seeing the world and yourself, you sense it. From all your physical senses to the intuition that is always there but you become more aware of it, and you suddenly feel attuned to it. You are different, you are elevated.
A great positive exercise is on a piece of paper writing your name vertically down the piece of paper. Write both your first and last name. The point of this exercise is for each letter in your name is to write something positive about yourself.
An example would be the name Kathy:
K – Kind
A – Attentive
T – Thinker
H – Helpful
Y – Young at heart
By feeling and thinking positively in your life can elevate your energy, it allows you to feel freedom and more expansive.
Movement is important. Being stationary and sitting too long can affect your energy level and make you feel sluggish and tired and can affect your mood. Create movement throughout your day. Being in nature can replenish us.
When we step outside, everything is alive which means everything has a life force energy and charge. There is an exchange happening, with the air, the earth, the trees, and the natural sounds. It also reminds us that we are so much more than our daily lives, that we are a part of a whole and connected to everything.
Dancing is powerful in raising your energy and mood. Move your body to your favorite music, from whatever era you connect with. It is a fun, feel-good exercise and is so good for you on so many levels. It helps you connect with your body. Music holds energy, so moving your body together with the music adds to raising the level of your energy. Whether it is a dance class or at home being free in your own space, allow yourself to let go, have fun, and feel the smile grow as your body raises and elevates in energy.
Thank you for joining me today. Remember to smile often and keep your thoughts positive and feel yourself become more alive and happier. Become elevated. Have a great day.
Recognizing Universal Signs
Recognizing Universal Signs Transcript
Hi. My name is Kim McDermott and I am a senior member of the Mindfulness Team here at Mii amo. Welcome to my presentation on recognizing universal signs.
Universal signs are messages from the universe, from your higher power, your guides and angels, and our loved ones that have crossed over. These signs show up as synchronicities or coincidences in our life. They are the moments where you stop and turn your head and think,
Well, that was interesting.
When that happens, it means it was specifically for you, so allow yourself to become aware and pay attention to see what’s there for you. Sometimes the signs we receive are to let you know you are not alone, to say hello, or just to let you know that you have been heard in what you have been asking for.
Sometimes the signs are subtle and then there are really big signs, which is says to you,
Do you hear us now? Yes, that was for you! Sometimes we need that big sign. The signs from the universe are all around us to connect with, and show up in so many different ways, so allow yourself to tune in to your environment and become aware of how they show up for you.
I receive signs all of the time. I am very connected with angels and animals, so this is usually how my signs show up for me and why I am sharing this information with you. They are a big part of my life. They always make me smile, and I am very grateful for them. They help me remember there is so much to connect with than just our 3D world, that we are supported in big ways and that we are not alone.
One way that the universal signs can show up is through numbers. Numerology is powerful in its messages and meanings. Numbers are a universal language. They are a powerful way for spirit and our angels and to communicate with us here in our physical world. Numbers hold energy, so it shows up for us in different ways for information and messages.
In today’s digital world numbers are around us all the time, on our watches, our phones, tablets, and computers. When they start to show up in repeating sequences, it means there is a message for you. When you continuously see the same numbers over and over again, it is trying to get your attention.
Some sequences that are common to see are 111 or 333, and so on, 444, and 555. They may also be random numbers that show up throughout your life or at certain times in your life, that come to you over and over again, such as 62, 41 or 1014. What are the numbers that come to you? The numbers that show up in sequences are the most common, I think of them as angel numbers and the universe letting us know we are not alone.
When you see the sequences over consistently, such as for three days in a row or every time you glance at the clock, this is when there is a message and meaning for you. As I was putting this presentation together for you, I just looked down at the clock and it was 11:11. I love these universal signs!
To me, this is my confirmation that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in sharing this information with you. Eleven-eleven is a number that carries strong codes of initiation, intuition, spirituality, and enlightenment.
Numbers many times are called angels numbers, it is a way for the angels to connect with us to receive messages. The number 111 is a message from your angels or your spirit guide. It is their way of telling you that the universe is open to you, that your thoughts and ideas are ready to be manifested. For this reason, many numerology experts refer to the number 111 as an angel number.
The number of 333 is a message that your angels are just nearby, ready to help and reassure you that your plans are going well. It sends the message that your prayers have been answered and seeing 333 means that whatever you requested for is on its way to you.
An angel number 555 means you’re about to experience a positive change and you need to be prepared. So know that change means growth, and allow yourself to embrace it.
Another way signs and communication from the universe are through animals. Animals are very pure spirits and can be used for messengers for us in different ways. Our loved ones that have crossed over to the other side, love to show you they are around by using the animals. There are so many stories that after loved ones are gone sometimes almost immediately animals start showing up and it is their spirit and energy saying,
I am ok, and am still here with you.
They can show up as birds, or butterflies and most anything in the animal world, and usually there is a sense within us that we know it is them. I feel they use the animal kingdom, so they can let you know they are free now, but are still near, just in a different way.
Just the other day, I was thinking about my father who passed away over 20 years ago. I had a couple for a session here at Mii Amo called ‘Red Rock Inspiration’ which is a guided meditation and is done outside to connect with this beautiful majestic canyon here. The husband was a Firefighter, and my father was a Fireman in Chicago. It brought a warm feeling of my father to my heart as we talked about being a Fireman and really how special kinds of people they truly are.
Part of the meditation was giving this couple space to connect with the canyon and nature, so I was off to the side, and suddenly a red cardinal landed right in front of me on the ground only about 5 feet away. And he stayed there and faced me and kept looking up at me. This went on for longer than a minute. I knew that was my Dad saying hello.
I love when my signs come to me, they make me smile and I am always so very grateful. Cardinals have been considered messengers sent by the spirit world for thousands of years. This symbol spreads across a number of different cultures and signifies an important or meaningful relationship.
Ravens also come to me often as well, and to me and represent my connection to the universe. They are consistent in my life and show up sometimes more than others, and when that happens I know there is something good coming into my life, and they will show up in a way that there is no coincidence that the message is for me.
Last year on my birthday in October, I was driving up the canyon to Mi amo to come to work early in the morning. It is a two-lane scenic road that goes both ways. It was quiet, and I was the only one this road at the moment. There was a raven flying slowly towards me on the other side of the road very low, about the height of the top of my SUV.
As he reached my car he did a U-turn and flew along side of me for about a mile. That was a very special experience for me and brought tears of joy to my eyes for the magic that was there with me that day, and to be aware of that connection. Raven represents prophecy and insight. Ravens are about connecting the material world with the spiritual world.
So when an animal shows up in your life, in a way that gets your attention, take a moment to receive the connection. The internet is such a great source to find out what the meanings and messages of these signs are. There are books on animal medicine, which specifically are about the animals that show themselves to you in your life and their meanings. There are books on numbers and numerology and their meanings as well. Allow yourself to explore.
There may be times when you have a question about something in your life, and shortly after you have a conversation with a stranger or a friend that says something that is the answer to what you were asking or looking for. It’s those one-off moments where it grabs your attention and that’s when you know it’s for you.
Sometimes it shows up in songs that we hear where something has been on your mind to make a decision or you are unsure of and you turn on the radio as you are driving or in your house and suddenly a song comes on with exact words you need to hear for the answer you are looking for. Or a song comes on that reminds you of a loved one that has been on your mind.
However it shows up to enjoy! The signs are truly around you, it’s just a matter of opening up to them, asking for them and becoming more aware of your environment and what’s in your path.
I am sure you all have your experiences as well. Keep asking for these signs and the more you become aware or ask for your signs, the more they will keep showing up for you. Sometimes almost immediately or sometimes it will show up more subtle a few days later. Test it and see what happens and see how the universe, your guides and angels respond to you.
Thank you for joining me, and I wish you many magical signs to come your way in your life.
Have a beautiful day.
Releasing Stress Transcript
Hi, my name is Kim McDermott, and I am a senior member of the Mindfulness Team here at Mii amo. Welcome to my presentation on releasing stress.
Today we are going to talk about the different ways stress can affect you and give you some tools that can help you with releasing the stress from your mind and body.
Stress can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically. We each tend to hold and store stress in different areas of our body. Some common areas are the jaw, such as clenching your jaw or grinding our teeth. Some of us hold stress and tension in our head, our neck, shoulders and upper back. And then there are those who hold tension in their stomach and organs in the body that can affect your digestive system, where it feels like everything is in knots.
Stress is a natural part of life as well as emotions. When they start to become an issue is when we internalize the stress and emotions, which many times we don’t realize we are holding on to it. A law of the universe is what comes in must go out. So, it is about finding ways to move the stress though rather than let it accumulate in your body.
When the body is stressed, it can create what is known as the ‘flight or fight’ response. It’s like a switch that gets turned on, but has a hard time shutting off, which can create tension in the body, affect our mood, and not be able to quiet the mind.
Another law of the universe is you first must receive and replenish and then you can give. Most of the time we are going and going and we don’t allow ourselves the proper rest and replenishment that our bodies and minds need.
Put yourself in your schedule, just like you have a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Take care of you as part of your ritual. Let taking care of you become a part of your life and this is a major step into reducing stress in your life. That’s self-care.
Here are some tools that may help you throughout your busy days:
Write a to do list either before bed or in the morning, so you don’t get overwhelmed and keep thinking about what you have to do throughout your day, it’s right there on the list. Be sure to keep the list light, so it is not too much, and remember there is always another day.
When we are stressed, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed. It’s about taking a step back and diffusing, resetting, and connecting to become more clear and replenish so we can continue our day more easily and in flow. Take time to reset your day. Be sure to take lunch away from your computer and desk.
Take about a 10 to 20-minute walk outside and get a little fresh air. Just doing those two things in the middle of your day, will reset your mind and the space you were in, so when you come back you are more clear and refreshed.
Exercise and movement is important. Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are great tools to help create balance in our bodies and mind. Whatever your exercise that feeds you, allow and create the time for yourself in these ways.
Also, taking a walk each day for at least 20 minutes will help keep us in balance. Getting outside and being in nature is also key to our health in both mind and body and can help maintain a balance to help with our sleep and stress levels as well.
When you are outside be sure to be aware of your environment, so leave the headphones at home, and listen to the sounds of the birds. Feel the breeze, and notice the trees, the animals, and whatever is there for you to connect with.
Take time to connect with you. Meditation can help in keeping you clear and balanced in both your mind and body. It has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. Make the time in your busy life to have a practice of connecting with you.
This can be for 10 minutes 15, to an hour a day. Whether it is in the morning, middle of the day or night-time, whichever time works best for you. It’s not about the quantity of time, it’s about the connection you make. The more you make the time for yourself in this way, the more the benefits your mind and body will receive.
Do things that help you feel positive and make you smile. At least once twice a week, give yourself time to do something that makes you smile, or makes you laugh and allows you play. Whether it is creating something, taking a dance class, going to lunch or dinner with a friend that is like minded, with someone who it feels good to be around and really enjoy the time with.
When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a great positive exercise is on a piece of paper writing your name vertically down the paper. Write both your first and last name. The point of this exercise is for each letter in your name is to write something positive about yourself.
An example would be the name Jim.
J – Joyful and joking
I – Intelligent
M – Mindful
What this does is switch your mind to positive thoughts, and the words are raising the vibration of your energy.
Also, limit consumption of media you listen to or read on your electronic devices. The news is always literally in our vision and is everywhere our world today whether it is your intention or not.
News is rarely positive, so all of the information that you read, watch and listen to is absorbed into your mind and body. Information is energy. A lot of our news creates fear, anger, shock, violence, and is very graphic of what is happening in our world today, and can have a deep effect on your body, mind and nervous system.
In this season, being made aware of global happenings is important, however try limiting consumption of media to no more than 10 minutes per day or every other day. It’s usually all the same information over and over again so you won’t miss anything – and never before bed or evening.
Instead listen to uplifting information such as podcasts or audiobooks that inspire you. Where you can learn something new or widen your scope of insight to many things or subjects, and areas that you have a curiosity about and that interest you.
Some other tools to help are the belly breath. Belly breathing can put you into a very calm and balanced state quickly. What it does is begin to bring all that energy and blood flow that has risen to your head, neck and shoulders, back into your belly letting it flow through your internal organs.
The belly is your power, not your mind, and what happens when you are under stress your organs and muscles start to tighten and constrict, so the energy and blood flow starts to rise into the chest, the shoulders and the head, and we forget how to breathe. The belly breath allows the natural flow of energy and blood to flow through the body and organs to recreate the natural balance, physically, emotionally and mentally.
When you breathe, breathe from your lower abdomen. When you inhale, feel your belly rise and when you exhale, let your belly fall. Focus on the breath from the lower abdomen, you can place your hands on the belly to help with the focus.
You can also use visualization. Imagine a candle inside of your physical center, your belly and keep watching the flame with each breath. Or you can visualize a nose in the small of your back, and breathe in from the nose as you raise the belly, and then exhale.
Another visual is imagining your belly as a balloon and as you inhale the balloon inflates and as you exhale feel the belly and balloon deflate. Another is mantras with the belly breath.
Mantras can help you clear your mind of your thoughts, and get your body and mind into a relaxed state. Here are a few examples:
- Within me is a peacefulness, that cannot be disturbed
- Breathing in, I calm my body, breathing out, I smile
- This too shall pass, and I will be OK
- All is well in my world, and I am safe
Using the breath with the mantras can bring your mind back into the body. It’s a good focus tool. As you inhale, raise your belly up, and in your mind, not only say but allow yourself to feel the words, “Within me is a peacefulness,” then when you exhale, say and feel the words, “That cannot be disturbed.”
You are not only saying the mantra, but you are communicating with your body that it’s true. You can also use a deep breathing exercise.
Slowly inhale filling your belly first and then up to your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of five, and then slowly exhaling to a count of five, and repeat several times. Allow yourself to feel the tension leave your body.
Visualization is very powerful, and you can move stress through your body with it. When you are in the shower in the morning, imagine the water as a waterfall running over and through your body, and feel the waterfall begin to release the stress and tension in your body, feeling it leave through your toes and then down the drain.
Water is a very powerful visual for cleansing and clearing all that we no longer need or no longer serves us. There is also a water visual you can do throughout your daily life, whether at home or at work, and that is to place your hands and wrists underneath a faucet, and feel the water as it moves over your wrists, hands, and finger.
Close your eyes and visualize whatever you are feeling whatever stress you have in your body or emotions and imagine it leaving down the drain. This visualization will help you move stress and emotions through the body so you no longer hold them. Water is very clearing and cleansing and calming, so the visual of it is powerful.
I hope some of these tools were helpful for you and remember anything that is stressful in your life now will pass, and you will be OK. Take care and have a beautiful day.
Sacred Sleep Transcript
Hi, my name is Kim McDermott and I am a senior member on the Mindfulness Team here at Mii amo. Welcome to the presentation on sacred sleep.
Sleep is very important in our lives on all levels. Not having a good night sleep can have an effect on your alertness throughout your day, as well as your mood. It can make you feel tired and fatigued.
Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think, remember and process information. If this becomes a pattern and habit in your life it can begin to affect your quality of life as well. It can affect you on all levels and areas within it, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
I am going to talk to you about some ways that might help change your sleep pattern and habits to receive a more restful sleep, whether you are having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, where you wake up in the middle of the night or maybe several times a night. What I would invite you to do is keep a journal to become aware of what is working and what is not working.
Think of your bedroom as your sanctuary to rest and rejuvenate, from your day and your life. Make it as comfortable and cozy as you can so that it keeps inviting you into it each night. Turn off and keep all electronic devices away for your body during the night.
If you must have your phone on, keep it at a distance from your body and head. Place across the room or better yet outside your bedroom door so you are not receiving the electronic signal which is always being emitted while it’s turned on.
If you have a television in your room, unplug it at night while you sleep. We are being bombarded with the electronic waves all day long, so give your body a rest at night. A very important step in a good night’s sleep is to go to bed every night at the same time, or at least around the same time so that it becomes a habit or a pattern.
Your body will begin to get accustomed to this and will actually start to communicate with you to let you know it time to go to sleep. Also, it is a good idea to eat your dinner earlier in the evening, and that your meal is not too heavy, and to be sure that you eat at least three hours before you go to bed, so your body can digest what you have eaten.
Caffeine and sugar can also be a factor in not being able to fall asleep, and interrupt your sleep. Try not to have caffeine or sugar after 2 p.m. so your body can process it through your system by bedtime. For those of you who like their sugar and desserts, try having them after lunch instead of dinner and enjoy them without the sugar affecting your sleep time.
All alcohol is a stimulant and is turned into sugar in the digestive process. So, if you do drink become aware of how you sleep when you do have alcohol compared to when you do not.
You can test this in different ways. If you are used to having more than one drink before bed, try to scale back to just one at night and notice any differences in your sleep. Also maybe take a break for four or five days and then resume having your favorite drink and again notice any changes in your sleep. Remember it’s all in moderation, too much of anything will create an imbalance.
Here are some other tools that can help quiet your mind and body. Guided meditations before you sleep are a great option to help you get into a deep state of relaxation to fall asleep easily.
We have ten Mii time meditations here on the website you can use. There are also guided meditations on the internet that focus on relaxation and sleep. Now, I would like to speak about using the breath to help put your mind and body into a state of relaxation, so you can fall asleep or fall back to sleep easily.
Focusing on the belly breath is focusing on the natural breath originating from the belly. So focus on the breath from your lower abdomen, by placing your hands on the belly will help with the focus. While you inhale, expand your belly up, and as you exhale let your belly fall, as you continue to be aware and feel your belly rise and fall with each breath.
You can use visuals to help focus as well. Imagine your belly is a balloon inflating and deflating with each breath. As you inhale the balloon inflates, and as you exhale the balloon deflates as does your belly.
And I like to use a visual of a cave with a candle within your belly, and keep focus on the flame of the candle as you breath. Or you can visualize a place that brings you peace and joy and bring that place within your belly as you focus on the breath.
What this focused breath does, is bring your mind into the body rather than your mind start thinking too many thoughts. It helps quiet the mind and brings the circulation of energy and blood flow back into your body to create a natural balance within you.
You can also practice a body scan before sleep or if you find yourself awake in the middle of the night. This is a mental check of the body that visualizes releasing all of the muscles in your body. You begin at the top of your head, allowing yourself to fall deeper into the pillow, releasing the muscles in your head, then releasing your shoulders, as if there were nothing to carry, then your arms, and chest, then continue this scan through each part of your body all the way down to your toes allowing each part of the body to relax further into the bed below you.
Another invitation would be to keep a to-do list by your bed. Before you go to sleep, write down what you need to do the next day. What this does, by writing it down from your hand to the pen and on to the paper, is giving your mind a visual of what needs to be done. This sends a signal to the brain letting it know you got this, and the mind no longer needs to think about what it is that you need to do.
Also keep a journal by your bed as well to write down any worries or stress that may be coming to your mind from your day or your life and use that journal to release as well. And again from your hand to the pen onto the paper, this helps move it out of your body and mind so you are no longer holding it, and is a form of release.
Some other tips that can help are to drink a nice herbal calming tea, such as Nighty Night Tea or Sleepy Time Tea, which you can buy at any natural grocery store. These are very calming teas.
Essential oils have been known to help with sleep as well. Its best to use high-grade, pure essential oils. There is lavender oil. Lavender is known for calming the nervous system, which can help you find relaxation before sleep. Chamomile oil. Chamomile alleviates insomnia by reducing anxiety. There is also bergamot oil, sandalwood oil, and ylang ylang oil.
And how to use the oils to allow them to get in your system is to place two small drops of any of these oils in your hands and rub them together, and inhale and exhale while cupping over your nose and mouth while breathing in. This get it into your membranes and system. And then add two more drops in your hands and work into the bottoms of your feet. You do not need much so use sparingly.
I do hope you find some of these tools helpful. Thank you so much for letting me share with you and have a beautiful day.
2021 Spring Equinox Blessing
In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is called the Vernal Equinox, because it signals the beginning of spring (vernal means fresh or new like the spring). This Spring Equinox blessing is offered by Uqualla, a recognized ceremonial and spiritual advisor. As a member of the Havasupi Nation, Uqualla leads us in this celebration of spring’s emergence and awakening in the sacred lands of Boynton Canyon surrounding Mii amo and Enchantment Resort.
Boosting Your Immunity for Spring
Boosting Your Immunity for Spring
Hello, thank you for listening. My name is Zoe Ruff. I’m a yoga and fitness instructor, as well as a certified holistic nutritionist. I’ve worked at Mii amo for 14 years and I am passionate about feeling my best and helping others feel their best. I’m excited to be here today to talk about boosting immunity for Spring.
With springtime comes longer days and warmer temperatures. This is my favorite time of year. It’s nature’s birthing season, a time of new beginning, inspiration, energy, power to act upon your ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm. This is a good time to look at your life and make a new plan. This is when we feel most like making resolutions or setting goals, not January 1st when it’s cold and dark and we feel like hibernating.
In Chinese medicine Spring is the time of the liver and gall bladder. The foods and practices I’ll be talking about will support those organs.
In Ayurveda, Spring is the time of Kapha, which embodies the elements of earth and water and the characteristics of heavy and wet. It’s the nurturing/mother energy. The Kapha energy might make it harder to get up in the morning and might cause mucus build up, but you can balance this out with lots of movement, breath work, and getting up right before sunrise.
Now let’s talk about the immune system. Your immune system protects your body from infectious germs, keeping you healthy. It is always at work, protecting you from infections and identifying and destroying harmful microorganisms (things that shouldn’t be in your body). Your immune system also helps you build immunity so that when you encounter certain invading germs again, they are recognized you can fight them faster the next time around, often without even getting sick at all. There are many things we can do to support our immune systems (and can vary from season to season), which I will talk about today. So… what can we do to boost our immunity for Spring?
Well, I love Hippocrates philosophy of “food as medicine”. The food we eat plays a huge role in boosting the immune system. Spring is a good time to make some dietary changes. The body’s ability to adapt to changing seasons hinges on the quality of the food we eat on a regular basis. Healthy food choices directly impact immune system functioning and gut health (which by the way our gut houses 70-80% of the immune system). Making changes to your diet can go a long way toward staying healthy all year long.
First off I want to talk about hydration. Water helps produce lymph which carries white blood cells and immune system cells. Drinking enough water ensures that your blood will carry plenty of oxygen to all the cells in your body. Water also flushes out toxins and keeps the eyes and mouth moist & clean so that they can repel dirt, dust and parasites that might cause infection, essentially creating a barrier.
It’s best to drink room-temperature water (or warm) because it’s more hydrating than cold water, as your body has to spend more energy to bring cold water to a temperature it can absorb, which results in water loss. Icy water can cause the blood vessels in your stomach to shrink slightly, hindering the digestion process and thus slowing hydration. Be especially mindful of this around meals.
Ideally you want to drink the majority of your water between meals instead of during. Water with meals dilutes the digestive juices and makes it harder to break down the food. If you need to sip a little water with your meals to wash it down, that’s okay, but be careful to just drink a little. If you go into a meal already hydrated this will be much easier. Drinking a good amount of water a half hour before a meal is fine and an hour or so after.
You might want to track your water to make sure you’re drinking enough. The rule of thumb is half your weight in ounces. So, it you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water. That’s actually the bare minimum. I personally feel much better when I drink more than that. Keep in mind that you need more water if you live in a dry or hot climate or if you’re sweating. Caffeinated drinks & alcohol are dehydrating, so you’ll need to drink more water to compensate for that. You can track your water with an app or just write it down, or know how many bottles you’re drinking.
You can make water more palatable by adding lemon or lime, cucumber slices, ginger, berries, whatever you want. I also suggest taking water with you wherever you go, preferably in a glass or stainless steel bottle.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a must. Not only have you gone a long time without water, but as our bodies regenerate during the night toxins are pushed out into the blood stream. So we need to assist this process by drinking water to flush out the toxins or else they get reabsorbed. So hydrate first thing in the morning before you have a caffeinated drink.
A wonderful habit to start is to drink hot water with lemon or lime. You can do this in the morning as well as during the day. The lemon or lime supports the liver, adds vitamin C and enzymes and helps the cleansing process. You can add some raw honey if you like, which I do.
Other beverages that are hydrating include herb teas, like peppermint, dandelion, milk thistle (super supportive of the liver) or whatever herb teas you enjoy. Coconut water is extremely hydrating as it contain electrolytes. You can drink it straight or use it as a base in smoothies. And also watery fruits and vegetables provide lots of hydration.
Speaking of fruits and vegetables, let’s get into that. It’s probably no surprise that eating plenty of fruits and veggies every day can work wonders for your immune system. The idea here is that more is better. Fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s important to rotate them. So not eating the same thing all the time. Yes, broccoli is great, but don’t eat it every night at the expense of not eating other veggies. Try asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, something else.
Eating seasonally ensures that you are getting variety throughout the year and the produce is at it’s freshest. The Farmers Market is a great place to shop because the produce is local, meaning it was picked fresh (maybe even that morning). Freshly picked produce is higher in nutrients. Think about it…produce that comes from another state or even another country was not picked at ripeness. If it was, it would be rotten by the time it gets to you. Growing your own garden or at least some herbs can be fun. It’s just so satisfying to pick your own food and then eat it right away.
Also eating all the different colors is a great way to ensure you’re getting lots of different vitamins from your food. So for Spring we want to eat a high fruit and vegetable based diet, more raw, lighter foods and fewer meats and dairy. You may notice that this is what you’re naturally craving.
Some wonderful Spring fruits are berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), apricots, apples, mangoes, pears, citrus (so lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit), kiwi, pineapple, melon, cherries, figs, nectarines, papaya, and rhubarb.
Some wonderful Spring veggies include cabbage, which is loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Cabbage is great because it lasts a long time in the fridge. You can even shred it up ahead of time and have it ready to go for salads, wraps, whatever.
Leafy greens are incredible for us. These include lettuces, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, kale. You can make salads, use them in smoothies, wraps, burritos, sandwiches. Sometimes I put a bunch of raw greens at the bottom of my plate or bowl and then pile my hot meal on top of it. If you notice your greens in the fridge starting to go bad, just freeze them (before they go bad) and then you can use them later in smoothies or even soups.
Dandelion greens, arugula and watercress are also amazing greens that are perfect for Spring, as they are astringent, cleansing, and supportive of the liver. They can be bitter, but you don’t need a lot. So try mixing a little dandelion, arugula or watercress into soups, salads, wraps, smoothies. I mentioned dandelion tea earlier. It’s delicious.
Sprouts are one of the easiest ways to get lots of nutrients into your body. They are like 50x more nutritious than the fully grown plant. You can choose sunflower sprouts (which are actually really good just to munch on on their own), broccoli sprouts, kale sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, you name it. You can get them at the store or Farmers Market or even grow your own. I use this kit by Hamama. I actually have 2 of them so while one is still sprouting, I have one ready to eat.
Other Spring veggies include green beans, which have vitamin K and lots of minerals. You can stir fry them, or steam them and toss with garlic. They’re also good raw on their own or dipped in hummus.
More Spring veggies that are very liver supportive are artichokes (if you have an IntantPot they cook in 11 minutes), asparagus, garlic, onion, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, radish, fennel, green onion, beets and beet tops, bell peppers (which are loaded with vitamin C), and parsley.
Vitamin A rich foods are important for the Spring because they help keep mucus membranes in the nose and throat healthy. Vitamin A foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli and red bell peppers.
Mushrooms are also great because they contain vitamin D. Shiitake & maitake are delicious, as well as portobello, but any mushrooms are great.
Medicinal mushrooms are also incredible for the immune system. For thousands of years, medicinal mushrooms have been used across cultures to help boost immunity and fight off colds and flus. Medicinal mushrooms can help with your body’s immune response by working to strengthen and support its natural defense processes. Medicinal mushrooms include reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, turkey tail, and cordyceps. A blend might be best. You can purchase these in capsules, tinctures (which is a liquid form), or powders. I’ve got an array of medicinal mushroom powders in my kitchen. I use them in smoothies and make drinks out of them. If you drink coffee they blend really well into coffee. I make this amazing beverage with dandelion powder (I use the brand Dandy Blend), chaga mushroom powder, honey and nut milk. It has a coffee like taste, but no caffeine and tons of benefits to the immune system and liver.
Another powerful immune boosting food is garlic. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, which can help the body resist or destroy viruses. More specifically, garlic contains allicin, a potent compound that enhances immune resistance. I came across a large, 12-week study that found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo and the average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1 1/2 days in the garlic group. Garlic is also delicious and enhances any food it’s added to. You can put garlic in salad dressings, sauces, soups, stir fries, pretty much anything you’re cooking, or if you don’t like the taste of garlic you can use a garlic supplement.
Ginger is another powerful immune boosting food. It’s antibacterial and antiviral. It cleanses the lymphatic system, rids the body of toxins, cleanses the colon, and fights inflammation and infection. Ginger is warming and increases circulation. Ginger is also incredible for any stomach upset- it’s great for digestion. You can use it in cooking just like you would use garlic, in tea, you can add it to your morning hot water with lemon- just cut thin slices and pour boiling water over it and let it sit for like 10 minutes, you can also juice it and take a shot.
And lastly, spices are great this time of year. They enhance digestion so you can get the most benefit from the foods you’re eating. Oregano is antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral, so make sure to use this spice while cooking. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cumin, coriander, and turmeric are also wonderful spices for immunity and overall health.
So, I’ve talked a lot about food. What is best, raw or cooked? I make sure to include a combination of raw and cooked foods in my diet, but you can do whatever feels best to you. Some people have a hard time digesting raw veggies, so if that’s the case stick with more cooked. If you just prefer that taste of cooked and that gets you to eat them, then do that. It’s difficult comparing the healthiness of raw and cooked veggies because although a raw veggie might have 10% more vitamins and nutrients than a cooked veggie, a veggie you don’t consume at all has 0% of the nutrients you need. So prepare it in a way that will get you to eat it.
I can’t go without talking about optimizing gut health. As mentioned earlier 70-80% of our immune system is in the gut. We need lots of fiber from fruit, veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds to feed the good bacteria. Especially helpful to fuel the good bacteria are things like dandelion greens, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, apples, barley, oats, burdock root, flaxseed, seaweed, mushrooms, and jicama. These are known as prebiotic foods.
Probiotic or fermented foods are also great for adding these beneficial bacteria to our guts. Things like unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchi (found in the refrigerated section), miso, tempeh, kefir or yogurt (you can even get non dairy versions), also kombucha and probiotic supplements, all of which can help restore the healthy bacteria of the microbiome. For a healthy gut we need to avoid pesticides (so please buy organic food), processed foods (which are high in sugar and chemical additives and preservatives), avoiding antibiotics found in animal products, so look for antibiotic free versions of meat and dairy, chlorinated water messes up the gut and diet sodas or artificial sweeteners. Stevia and monk fruit are good options, but stay away from all the artificial sweeteners.
Now I want to share some tips to help you get more fruits & veggies into your amazing body.
- Eat fruit in the morning or as a snack. Fruit actually digests better by itself (or in a smoothie with greens if fine)
- Smoothies (not freezing cold, let them warm up a little) loaded with fruit and greens (kale and spinach are very mild, so taste good in a smoothie)
- Snack on veggies and hummus (prep the veggies ahead of time)
- Add banana, raisins or goji berries to hot cereal (bananas and dried fruit are exceptions to the ‘eat fruit alone’ rule because they digest a little slower)
- Green juices (make your own or buy from a good juice shop)
- Use spaghetti squash or zucchini spirals instead of pasta (or a combination of them)
- Have both raw and cooked veggies with dinner (fill up at least 1/2 your plate with these)
- Soups loaded with veggies are delicious, warming and easy to digest (and can be frozen for another time)
- Eat 1 huge salad every day (this could be lunch, dinner, or even as a snack)
- Roasted or baked veggies are yummy (this brings out the flavor, it’s easy, you can have leftovers for the next day)
- Frozen fruits and veggies are very convenient (they’re picked fresh and flash frozen, so the nutrients are still there)
- Shop at a Farmers Market (this can be a fun way to feel connected to the farmer and know that it’s fresh and nutritious)
- Trying something new (each time you shop buy something you’ve never tried or haven’t had in a while)
- Keep out a fruit bowl (already washed)
- Make a list of the fruit & veggies you have in the fridge and look at it every time you’re going to prepare a snack or meal and cross off as you go
- Meal plan and prep food ahead of time (this makes it so much easier and you’re less inclined to make unhealthy choices when you’re hungry)
- Let someone else do the prep work- buy produce already washed and cut • Set a goal, print a habit planner from online or use a chart for motivation (there’s something about checking it off that keeps you on track)
- And lastly, build up slowly (add 1 extra serving of fruits or veggies a day, “an apple a day”, and when you’re used to that add another serving)
Now, let’s get into some practices we can incorporate for Spring (and really anytime) to stay our healthiest.
First of all, we are meant to move our bodies. Energy creates energy. If you are feeling sluggish, you need to exercise. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. You may not be exercising because you feel like you don’t have the energy, but you have to force yourself at first and then you will see how this works. Exercise gives us energy. Aim for around 30 minutes (or more) a day. This could be taking a walk or a class or a YouTube video. It could be dancing, swimming, stretching, jumping on a trampoline or rebounder, whatever you like. If you’re not doing anything right now, maybe start with 5-10 minutes a day.
Exercise also promotes cell circulation and offers a range of health benefits. Exercise gets the blood pumping. This allows your immune system’s white blood cells to circulate quicker, which helps germs and viruses from developing into colds and flus. Exercise also causes the brain to release endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals that promote feelings of calm and contentment, which is also great for immune system.
Another helpful practice is tongue scraping. This is actually an Ayurvedic practice. You can buy a very inexpensive tongue scraper online or at your health food store. It’s usually stainless steel so it lasts forever. You basically drag it along your tongue from back to front and then rinse it and do it a few more time. It takes about 10 seconds. It removes bacteria and toxins from your mouth. You’ll probably see a white film on the tongue scraper. It’s very satisfying. I do this practice every morning (as well as brush my teeth) before I drink any water.
Another practice (another Ayurvedic practice) is dry skin brushing. You can buy a dry skin brush or maybe you have one but use it wet in the shower. Using it dry before your bath or shower is best. It stimulates lymph and detoxification. Basically you brush your skin toward the heart. So it you’re brushing arms or legs, you move up. Be very gentle on the chest and don’t brush your face. I like adding essential oils to the brush for a lovely experience.
We also need to get some sun, especially this time of year. If you’re like me (I don’t enjoy being outside when it’s cold) you may have been a bit cooped up during the winter. Sun helps your body produce vitamin D in the skin, which boosts the immune system. Getting some sun also elevates mood and helps the quality of sleep, which helps us stay healthy. So a little sun (even 10-15 minutes daily for some people) is important. If you don’t want to get sun on your face use non-toxic sunblock or wear a hat.
Now let’s talk about sleep. I think we’re all aware these days how important sleep is. It’s very tangible, you get immediate feedback. When you sleep well (not too much, not too little) you feel good and have energy. It allows immune cells to regenerate. If you can fall asleep around 10pm (or at least not too late) that is most beneficial for our bodies.
It’s also important to limit alcohol. Alcohol suppresses the immune system, interferes with sleep, and burdens the liver. You don’t have to give it up completely but be mindful of why you are drinking. Is it just a habit? You can replace it with another beverage that’s healthy and will contribute to your well being. Are you drinking to shift your mood? That’s something to look at. What you do once in a while will not have a huge negative impact, it’s what you do on a regular basis that creates either good health or not.
And last but not least, let’s talk about stress. Many studies show that stress, especially long term/chronic stress, suppresses immune activity. Stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol, which can boost inflammation, a precursor to many diseases. Some tips to lessen stress are: learn to say no (you don’t have to do it all), make sure you’re breathing deeply, feel your emotions instead of pushing them away, meditate, exercise, eat well, journal, use positive affirmations, get organized, nurture yourself, and get out in nature.
I thank you so much for listening and I hope this was helpful. If you can just start incorporating one of these tips into your life that would be amazing. We are meant to feel good, have lots of energy and fight off whatever our bodies come into contact with. Wishing you a healthy day!
2021 Summer Solstice
Summer is the time of more light, which gives us more freedom to play, and to create, along with the feeling of the warmth of the bright sun as the light fills us. The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on your personal growth and the meaning of the season. It’s a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of growth, a time in our year when there is the most light from the sun available to us. In our consciousness, it is when we are the most present to ourselves. The Sun represents the light of all life and consciousness, and the Sun’s light provides the warmth necessary for all living beings to thrive and prosper. The Summer Solstice signifies the time when the Earth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance.
Observe the Summer Solstice from the Mii amo Crystal Grotto with a special ceremony greeting this season of light.
2021 Fall Equinox
The Fall Equinox is a meaningful time of the year to honor the harvest of efforts and intentions for your life path that you set earlier in the year. As we consciously link our awareness to nature’s cycles, our understanding of our own cycles begins to deepen.
Join us as we celebrate the Fall Equinox on September 22, 2021.
2021 Winter Solstice
The Winter is a time when the air is crisp, it is more quiet and still, it is a time to go within where it is safe and warm. The winter light brings an energy of illumination and softness, a sense of understanding and spirituality. The Winter Solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection. One way to honor the solstice is to lean into that darkness by enjoying the silence it brings, and by going within yourself to find your own unique light. Since the days grow shorter and the night grows longer, the winter solstice isn’t about having more light, but it’s about carrying it within yourself and going within for rest and reflection.
In the darkest part of the year when the days are shortest, nature asks us to slow down and enjoy a cup of warm tea, to be with loved ones, to listen rather than to speak. Under the ground the earth silently sleeps, and the animals hibernate. It is a time to rest, to dream and gather strength in our bodies for the coming season of renewal. Nature teaches us that resting, drawing inward for a time, is present in all living things. We as humans need to to remember and have ways to come back to this.
Join us for the Winter Solstice Ceremony on December 21, 2021.