Category: Wellness

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What is Your Spirit Animal Saying to You?

It is a widely known school of thought that we can have ‘Guides’, Conscious Energies or Subtle Beings around us, that lovingly come to us to serve as mediaries through various periods of time in our life, or even over the course of our entire life time.

Guides have different purposes. For example, Guides can be Protectors or Guardians, Healers, Teachers, Messengers, and so on. They come to our aid with the purpose of steering us through a situation, assisting us with an obstacle or emotion that seems just too difficult to overcome on our own. It is perfectly normal to become overwhelmed; we have innumerable decisions that we must make on a daily basis, and countless responsibilities and expectations that we must meet, in all facets of our life: home, work, health, wealth, you name it. Sometimes, we just need an extra bit of involvement from an outside source, whether it be a friend, a colleague, or as I find the most immediate to intervene with help, the Divine and our Guides.

Guides are beings of Light, meaning they work in the mode of goodness. They can be in the form of Angels, Ancestors and past loved ones, Ascended Masters, Gods and Goddesses, and Elemental Guides, like fairies! We don’t always need to see them physically to know they are there. I used to become terribly frustrated when I would call out to a Guide and not ‘see’ any around me. I would use Angel card decks, or go out in nature and talk to nothing, hoping to receive a response. Then I learned that Seeing doesn’t necessarily mean they appear before us in the physical realm, in the form in which we expect. Have you ever noticed repeated patterns of numbers or objects, or heard a song come on at a precisely relevant moment, or experienced wonderful, timely synchronicities? These are ways your Guides are also communicating to you. That’s where strengthening your intuition, or your mind’s eye, comes into play. To be able to perceive these modes of communication as they happen, while awake or in dream state. Meditation certainly helps with this, and having an open ear and heart to trust that you are supported, that everything is unfolding exactly as it should, in this moment, for your Highest purpose.

I had a bizarre experience happen to me once where I was riding my bicycle (while simultaneously singing sacred chants, of course… typical Melinda style) down a sidewalk of a main city street, and two DEER appeared! There was a ravine below this street where they must have come from, but still, to be that close to cars and traffic without being afraid? They were literally trotting right beside me, as I rode and sang, keeping pace with me for quite some time. Like my companions. It was since that night that my curiosity peaked for another type of Guide: Spirit Animals.

So just as I mentioned before that Guides are present and communicate in alternate ways, the same can be said about the reoccurrence of a certain animal in our life, or in the reality of our dreams.

Yesterday I was discussing with a dear friend of mine how we came to know his Spirit Animal. His answer: he doesn’t have one, he has four. I really admire how attune he is to the behaviours and characteristics of animals. These beings really have so much to teach us. And bonus, they are surrounding us; therefore, they are tangible. Observing and interacting with animals has many benefits: it brings out our qualities of compassion and equality, for the deeper we look, we notice that Souls are within other forms of life outside our own. They remind us to play (our inner child needs to!) or be strong or forgiving, and they show us the capacity of unconditional love. Discovering your Spirit Animal is an excellent way to learn to respect nature more too.

Be open to your Spirit Animal’s appearance in your life. If not in nature, it could even be in poems, pictures, etc. A Spirit Animal will empower you. Be aware of the type of occurrences in which your Spirit Animal manifests itself, as that indicates what it is trying to tell you. Each Spirit Animal has strengths and weakness that are important for you to learn about, as they directly apply to your life. The more you know, the better you will come to understand yourself, and maybe even recognize something you need to improve or change in your life. Remember, our Guides are leading us in the right direction, which includes being the best versions of ourselves we can be.

There are many resources available to help you determine your Spirit Animal(s). Once you know which animal you strongly associate with, it is a beautiful practice to take time to show gratitude towards its presence and teachings in your life. Tiny Devotions offers 20 Spirit Animal bracelets to help you connect with your Spirit Animal, and its symbolic wisdom, on a daily basis.

I hope this blog leaves you feeling receptive to the supportive relationships surrounding you, and receiving help from all your Guides!

Feel free to share your Spirit Animal and any stories of how you connected with it below!

Blessings,
Melinda

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Melinda is an active pursuer of discovering the root of knowledge and the best methods that lead us on paths of discovering eternal happiness, rather than temporary. It has really been a calling of hers throughout her life to seek the oldest sources on any topic matter; spirituality, language, culture and history being of keen interest. While fulfilling her career as an Actress, Melinda actively has spent the past 5 years specifically searching and engaging herself in an abundant number of techniques from around the world for meditation, wellness and healing. She has come to find a beautiful harmony between music and Mantra Meditation, and her favourite activity is to play her harmonium instrument while singing in community Kirtans. Followed closely by her enjoyment for delicious love-infused Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free cuisine! Melinda’s mind set is one of determination and resilience for overcoming obstacles, especially out of the throttles of anxiety and depression and chronic digestive disorders. She hopes to share her story and the information she has accumulated over the years from her own, personal journey toward serving others to attain a happy and health mind, body and Spirit.

Melinda is a certified Reiki practitioner and is available for in-person or long distance healing sessions. If anyone is curious about any healing practices, feel free to reach out and Melinda is happy to guide you as best as she can.

Have fun engaging with Melinda on social media!
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Gratitude is My Prayer

Prayer is an important tool in all of our lives. And it’s not used nearly as much as it could be. Do you have rituals in your day where you are giving thanks?

Expressing gratitude and giving thanks is a form of prayer. When we say thank you for what we already have, we are asking God or The Universe or a power that is greater than ourselves to give us even more to be thankful for. Writing in your gratitude journal is a form of prayer. Giving thanks before a meal is a prayer. Saying ‘thank you for this gift of another day’ when you wake up is a prayer. When we widen our scope about what prayer looks like, we may find many opportunities in our day when we are praying.

Having grown up without any formal prayers or spiritual practice, it wasn’t until my daughter was born that I started looking at my faith and spirituality. At first, my focus was only on gratitude as my prayer, which on its own can be very powerful! I manifested many wonderful things in my life using gratitude intentions. A gratitude intention is when you write something that you are grateful for, in the present tense, that you have yet to manifest in real life. You write the same intention in your journal, every day, until it becomes your reality.

My practice continues to grow today and currently includes a morning prayer ritual, meditation, gratitude before I eat and giving thanks in my gratitude journal every night.

You don’t have to be religious to benefit from the power of prayer. A prayer of gratitude can change your life. When you give thanks, do it from a place deep inside of you, right from your cells and create a beautiful vibration at the highest energetic frequency possible. Send out your message of thanks into the world and watch carefully what comes back to you. You will be amazed and surprised at the gifts that will show up.

What are you prayer practices? How can you use the incredible power of gratitude to fuel your prayers and connect you to a higher power?

julie-128Julie Boyer’s mission in life is to inspire people to build their lives on a foundation of gratitude through her brand, Wake Up With Gratitude™. Julie’s first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life, became an Amazon bestseller when it was released in May 2013. She is also the founder of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Program, a healthy, whole food detox that nourishes your body at the cellular level. Julie also loves to mentor and develop leaders through her mentorship program as well. A former triathlete, Julie has completed 3 full Ironman Distance triathlons. Julie lives in Ontario, Canada with her 6 year old daughter and husband Dan. She can be reached on her blogInstagramTwitter and Facebook.

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MINDFULNESS + SOCIAL MEDIA

Last month, I gave an introduction to living a mindful life in a material world– how we can enjoy everything that out physical world has to offer while maintaining a deep connection to our inner selves.

Today I want to get more specific and look at how we can bring mindfulness into our social media usage. This has been a huge conversation for me personally as I’ve struggled to balance the positives and the negatives of an online life. I’ve learned that I have to be very mindful of how I use social media, or I seriously suffer the consequences.

For me, it all starts with this one question:

Am I picking up my phone to get inspired and connected or to zone and numb out?

This is a really important thing to recognize– why exactly are you scrolling through social media?

When I’m bored, stressed, indecisive, or anxious I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll immediately reach for my phone. When being alone with my thoughts or worries feels like too much, a quick scroll through Instagram seems like the quickest way to distract myself and not deal with what’s really going on.

The thing is, I am not necessarily saying this is a bad thing. Sometimes diversions and distractions are good coping mechanisms, but being mindful of what’s going on behind your scrolling is key. It takes you out of autopilot and puts you back in control of your actions.

Another question to consider is why do you post what you post? Is it for “likes” or validation, or is it to share a piece of yourself with others and connect with a community?

Again, I don’t actually think there’s a right or wrong reason- personally, I am happy to grow my online platforms- it opens up a lot of doors! What’s really important is that you’re aware of your intention.

The hashtags you use, the filters, the editing, the comments you leave- they can all be applied mindfully or not. This might make the whole thing seem way too complicated, but it’s as simple as bringing awareness to how you’re feeling when you do these things.

Recently, I’ve really begun evaluating my social media use and looking at what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve finally accepted that too much scrolling makes me feel overwhelmed, cloudy, and less satisfied with my life. And this is coming from someone whose feed is comprised of really inspirational, wellness focused content.

It’s not the posts itself that throws me off; it’s the sheer volume of information. Having constant access to so many differing opinions, quotes, beliefs, and experiences, just leaves me confused and disconnected from myself.

I am able to get so much clearer when I’m not overloaded with social media content. I feel so much more content and present when I’m offline more of the time.

It’s not always easy to put down my phone though. There’s this feeling when you’ve checked all of your accounts and you’re just kind of sitting there with your phone not sure what to check next. We look for connection through our phones when we’re not finding it within ourselves or in the physical world around us.

I also recognize that there is SO much good that can come from social media. I’ve met new friends, clients, and collaborators through my Instagram and Facebook accounts, and I’ve learned so much from the inspiring people I follow and connect with! I’ve discovered new places, new recipes, new books, new ways of thinking, all through the community I am able to connect with online. And that is extremely powerful.

I also love the creative aspect of social media. Taking photos of my travels, my kitten, and my smoothies is so much fun. Filtering, editing, and writing captions is a creative experience for me.

When I use social media now, in addition to limiting my time spent scrolling or posting, I’m mindful of how I’m feeling. When I’m feeling inspired and connected to others, I stay online. Once I start feeling overwhelmed, less-than, or judgmental, I know it’s time to switch off.

Learning how to navigate this online world takes practice. The majority of us didn’t grow up with smartphones, so we’re still learning how to adapt to this new way of life- to find balance and not lose ourselves online. Using social media gives us an amazing opportunity to set boundaries and become mindful of what works for us and what doesn’t.

Taking selfies, seeking followers, scrolling through your feeds, perfecting your filters and edits- these are all neutral actions. The power is in bringing mindfulness to these actions and becoming aware of why you’re doing them.

How do you find balance online? What are your tips for staying mindful and present in this age of information overload? We would love to hear from you!

p.s. Social media and the effect that it has on our lives is such a huge conversation, one that I can’t even begin to properly cover in one short article. If this is something you’re interested in, there are two TedTalks that I highly recommend.

Quit Social Media, by Dr. Cal Newport

Social Media Makes us Unsocial, Allison Graham

I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, but they offer a really powerful perspective on the importance of understanding the effect that social media can have on us. I think educating ourselves in this way can help us to stay more mindful and make informed online choices.

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Kate is a lifestyle and travel writer based in Halifax.  You can find her online at her site, and on Instagram

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To the girl who wants to have it all

The answer is yes. You can abso-friggen-lutely have everything that your soul desires. The people who tell you otherwise, those afraid of the big life you want to live and who want to keep you small, they’re wrong. The success, the love, the magic you seek? You’re worthy of it.

Your passion, your determination, your never-ending days and sleepless nights will all get you to exactly where you want and need to be, but not without patience. You’re your own toughest critic, but only because it keeps you on track, motivated, and accountable. You’ll be met with plenty of closed doors and nos, and some of them might shake you so hard you’ll want to give up, but don’t. Please don’t forget that you will never miss anything that was meant for you along your journey.

Between work, working out, maintaining a social life and everything in between, you pack your schedule full to the brim and often find yourself running on fumes (coffee fumes, that is). You pride yourself on your productivity, and you think you’ve figured out a sustainable way to cheat exhaustion without actually taking time to rest, but don’t fool yourself – you haven’t. You check goals off of your list like you’re grocery shopping, and you often put your heart’s desires before your personal needs.

Pause. Take a step back. Breathe. Slow it way, waaay down. Admire all the good things and humans you’ve filled your life with thus far. Give yourself permission to prioritize pleasure, play, and rest once in a blue moon; it won’t kill you or tack on any extra miles to your trip toward your vision of your best life. You lovingly hold space for others, so why don’t you try holding space for yourself? Most importantly, remember this: you don’t have to do it all, all the time.

You are doing the best that you can. Take pride in that idea. Cultivate a joy-filled life around that idea. You can have it all as long as you remember to take care of yourself along the way.

Get it, girl. Slay.

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Jenna is a yoga teacher, writer, and brand builder on a mission to fuel her life withurpose and to explore the world. She was raised in Minnesota but considers Colorado her home away from home. Currently, you can find her in Minneapolis, where she is creating the life she has always dreamed of.

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Why Appreciate the Body?

In yoga, the self-reflective question “Who am I?” is often posed as an invocation of personal meditation, or deep contemplation, on the critical query of discovering one’s true Self. It is an invitation for each of us to reflect, in detail, the meaning behind the “I” that we so strongly identify and associate with. Or rather, have mistakenly been conditioned to believe is who we are.

How difficult can it be to answer this 3-worded question?

I am… my name. Am I not?
I am… my nationality; a patriotic representation of my country. Am I not?

I am… this human being that you see and that I, too, see reflected in photographs and the mirror; I am the unique composition of my physical features. I am this body. Am I not?

I am… the voice behind my thoughts; a combination of my intellect, opinions, beliefs, and personality. I, therefore, am my mind. Am I not?

One must not be fooled with the simple sounding nature of this question by responding so simply when recognizing and acknowledging our Self. Then how to begin answering this undoubtedly vital and personally intricate topic?


It is important for one to first differentiate and shed light on this pivotal misconception: You are not this body, you are not the mind. I myself, was not told this differentiation so plainly and clearly until I was sitting in a Vedic philosophy class in Toronto, in 2013 – and how I wish I knew this sooner! Well, I believe as I child I knew, but then as we age we often forget our inherent disposition. But if we are neither the body or mind, who are we? Who am I within the body? And here begins the journey of discovering ourselves as a Spirit Soul.

A Yogic Perspective

Yoga values the science of self-realization. Literally, to bring awareness to one’s Self. In the West, physical yoga is very popular… you may even do it yourself. Did you know that this physical (or Hatha) Yoga is meant to prepare us for long periods of meditation? To use our bodies as a tool to engage in transcendental meditative practice, for self-realization. There are many beautiful ways in which the body can aid us in discovering who we really are. This leads me to what I wished to share today, as it is something I have had a hard time understanding over the course of my own life time: how to view the body as an instrument in facilitating Spiritual growth. But how do we acknowledge we are not the body, yet not consequentially be frustrated with it for ‘containing’ us, this Spirit Soul? I, myself, for many years felt trapped inside my body, angry for feeling limited within it. I quite literally picked my skin as a form of expressing this negative view of my skin encasing me. Of course, only furthering hyper body awareness, which many people experience.

Changing Pain to Appreciation

How to switch my perspective, while remaining respectful to the truth and science of yogic wisdom? That we are Spirit that is not born nor doesn’t die with our bodies. This is what I concluded. The body houses the Soul, gives it opportunity to experience this life and LIVE. Our one of a kind, beautiful body is the physical, material manifestation of our unique Soul. Therefore, our bodies truly are a temple of God (whoever God/Source may be to you).

Appreciating the body, yet not identifying with it, takes practice and patience. It is interesting to observe and feel how we are so closely bound to our attachments, especially regarding the body. As a young girl who was taught from others’ comments to hate her body, I can personally state from experience that revering my body as a ‘temple of God’ was not my idea of fun. Though the perspective of this ancient knowledge has undoubtedly been a source of liberation from the chains I once felt were comprised of this skin.

Celebrating the Body

Let’s talk about meditation-specific ways to appreciate the body. There are countless customs in a myriad of various cultures for how we can adorn and celebrate who we are, where we came from, through using our bodies to glorify our true and authentic selves within. For example, a devotee of Lord Krishna decorates the body with tilaka (sandalwood paste), as a reminder of Krishna, as well as to receive protection from the Lord. For us in the West who are inundated with societal pressures and expectations: instead of causing harm and destruction to the body (guilty), sabotaging it – even if that’s simply by comparing it to others or the initially innocent habit of emotional eating, etc. (again, guilty), or despising it for it not working properly for us as a result of injury or the inescapable course of aging… here is what we CAN do. We can respect and care for it as a residence of God. The Soul lives within the body, as well as the Paramatma, what is translated from Sanskrit to be called the ‘Supersoul’.

The 5 Senses

In addition, we can also employ the different senses our body already has for spiritual advancement. The tongue, for instance, can be used to chant or do mantra meditation, performed on mala beads. Tiny Devotions carries a beautiful variety of mala beads with semi-precious gemstones, created with the highest intentions of healing and peace. Wearing mala beads on your body is a useful and positively helpful method because, of course, you regularly see the mala on yourself, thus it cues you to stop and take time throughout your day to meditate and quiet the mind. They act as a great self-reminder and guide in this way, so that no matter what stress may be accumulating in your day, you can quickly and easily access the mala that is adorning your body – engage the sense of touch, connect with its strength and intrinsic potency – and dive inward. Expanding further with the senses: the nose can smell beautiful incense or candles or essential oils; we can hear scriptures or classes from learned, enlightened beings/Gurus/monks, and so on. I hope these ideas expand your current concepts and make room for new, simple and highly effective techniques you can try out and adopt into your daily life. After all, we are creatures of habit!

We All Seek Connection

To conclude, let us not forget that the word “yoga” means ‘union’, or to ‘connect’. I encourage you to remember as often as you consciously can, that in order to connect our Spirit Souls to that which created us, we must be in union with the manifestations of our Spirit Soul, including our beloved bodies. Our bodies are unique and sacred. Let us set some goals to implement into our personal practice as well as mindfully throughout our days as best as we can from here on, toward treating our bodies as our own best friend and have them assist us, versus deter us, from our inherent disposition of being happy, kind, and free Spirits. I wish this helps you view your body in a mode of goodness, with love and self-respect. You deserve it!

Namaste, With love and light,

MM0602Melinda Michael is an active pursuer of discovering the root of knowledge and the best methods that lead us on paths of discovering eternal happiness (not temporary). It has really been a calling of hers throughout her life to seek the oldest sources on any topic matter, though spirituality, religion, language, culture and history have been of keen interest. She has spent the past 5 years specifically searching and engaging herself in an abundant number of techniques from around the world for meditation (listed below). She has come to find a beautiful harmony between music and meditation, and her favourite activity is playing her harmonium while singing in group Kirtans. Melinda’s mindset is one of determination and resilience for overcoming obstacles, especially out of the throttles of anxiety and depression and chronic digestive disorders. She hopes to share her story and the information she has accumulated over the years from her own, personal journey toward serving others to attain a happy and health mind, body and Spirit.

If anyone is curious about any of the following practices, feel free to reach out. Melinda is happy to guide you as best as she can.

  • Reiki – Melinda is a certified Reiki practitioner and is available for in-person or long distance healing sessions.
  • Mantra Meditation or Chanting
  • Musical Meditation (Kirtan)
  • Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free Nutrition
  • Manifestation
  • Brainwave Optimization
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy, or “Tapping”)
  • NDT (New Decision Therapy)
  • TMS (Trans Magnetic Stimulation)
  • CBT (Cognitive Beahvior Therapy)
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • NES Health
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodrama
  • Bach flower remedies
  • Osteopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • Ozone Therapy
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • More Meditation Methods, like: The Lester Levenson Love Technique, theHeadless Way by Richard Lang, Direct Inquiry, Noting Meditation, and Group Awareness

Have fun engaging with Melinda on social media!
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