BONUS - Oils, Crystals and Teas! Oh My!

I realized that I could not finish this out without talking about oils, crystals and some of the other things I use to activate my senses and help me relax. So, here goes!

Oils

There are so many oils out there that have so many different things. The best oil I’ve found for relaxing is lavender oil. There are a lot of options out there even for lavender oil, though, so find the one that your body responds the best to, and go with it. It might be the cheapy bottle from the store. It might be one from your favorite DoTerra or Young Living rep. It might even be one that your good friend, who is an herbal specialist has prepared for you. There are different blends you can try, too, that have lavender in them. Or maybe lavender isn’t the one that relaxes you. It might be peppermint or this time of year, Thieves/OnGuard is pretty amazing. You can diffuse them. You can rub them on your skin. If you find a good, food grade oil, you can put it in your water or tea. Do what works for you. Every body is different, so everyone is going to respond to this in a different way. If you don’t know what to get or where to get it or have your own DoTerra or Young Living rep, let me know. I can hook you up!

Tea

How amazing is it to sit down with a piping hot mug of tea?? It doesn’t even have to be a relaxing blend for me, just the act of having a mug of something warm in my hands this time of year lifts my mood. Visit your favorite coffee or tea shop or just enjoy a mug at home. If you are venturing out, there are some really great tea shops out there now that are making some really great relaxing blends. My personal favorite is High Garden Herbs on Woodland in East Nashville. They have so many amazing blends that I’m not even going to start to list my favorites. Go. Tell them what ails you. They have a blend for it, I’m sure.

Crystals

No matter what’s going on with you or where the energy is feeling stuck, there’s a crystal for that. You can wear them, carry them in your pocket, or have them sitting on your altar at home. Go into your local crystal shop and explain to them what you’re needing. They can help you pick out the best crystal for what you need. My favorite shops in Nashville are Nashville Crystal Store or Cosmic Connections in Nashville.

Angel/Goddess Cards

Something else I’ve gotten into for when I’m feeling stuck is angel cards. They’re similar to tarot cards, but with only positive messages. I love just asking them what they want me to know today and pulling one. It’s always fun to see what comes out and how it applies to my day, and it’s also a great way to validate some of the messages that you might be receiving without realizing what’s happening.

I could go on and on with some of the amazing things that I’ve found that have helped me with my anxiety and depression, but I’m going to stop now. Please reach out if there’s anything I can help you with this holiday season. I am here for you. I have been where you are, and if I haven’t, I’m happy to sit with you in it for a minute or two. We’re never alone in what we’re going through. We are loved beyond belief.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Much love,

Emily Rose

Twelfth Day of Holiday Peace - Dance, Laugh and Be Merry

Ain’t nobody no damn perfect! At least that’s what my Grams says. If you’re striving to be perfect, it’s time to stop. At some point, you have to just realize that you are enough. You have enough. You have done enough, no matter how much or little you have done. Just by being here and being you, you do enough. All of this other stuff is just fluff! Ok, have I buried that one deep enough?? No?? You need more? You are amazing and perfect just the way you are. You don’t need anyone else’s approval but your own. It’s time to go play. If you’ve forgotten how to play, find your favorite toddler and just watch for a minute. If you don’t have one of your own, do a search on the internet, because there are a ton of videos of kids playing and laughing these days. They don’t need much to send themselves into fits of giggles, right?? Add a little dancing in there, and they’re in heaven. Why would you not give that to yourself?

Stop whatever you’re doing right now and do a lap around the living room or the house. Chasing your kiddo or your spouse adds to the fun, and oh my, if they chase you back, even better! I guarantee that you will end up in shrieks of glee and belly laughs, maybe even rolling around in a pile on the floor. It never hurts to add some laughter to your life, because laughter really is the best medicine. I swear, if everyone laughed a little bit every day, we probably wouldn’t need so many doctors in this world.

Ok, had enough playing, put on your favorite upbeat music and dance around the living room. Have you heard the phrase, “dance like no one’s watching?” Well, do it. See what happens. It might just bring a smile to your face. If someone is watching, it might just bring a smile to their face. Dance in every muscle in your body. Move your body in whatever way it wants to move. Dancing is an amazing way to feel in your body, and we don’t do nearly enough of that in our culture. Most of us have been told to sit still and be quiet, right? Well, this is your chance to break free of that! Dance, dance, DANCE!

And finally, shake it off. You’ve all heard Taylor Swift’s hit song, right? If the catchy tune isn’t enough for you, the lyrics are pretty amazing, too! I used to start a lot of my yoga classes with a little shaking. Imagine a dog shaking off after it’s been in the water. Imagine that everything from your day or week or year or however long you’ve been holding on to whatever it is that is causing you all of that stress and tension falls off of you just like the water comes off of those dogs. Start at the very top of your head and let the movement travel all the way down through your body to your toes. Do it as many times as you need to in order to feel better. We carry so much baggage with us every day that it’s time to let it go, and this is your time to let. it. go.

If you’re not feeling merry by now, go drink some egg nog and relax by the Christmas tree or Hanukkiah (or whatever it is that you decorate with this time of year) until you’re ready to embrace that inner toddler and show them some love. Oh, and just because this is the Twelfth Day of Holiday Peace doesn’t mean that it’s over. I have a bonus for you tomorrow! Just wait and see!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Eleventh Day of Holiday Peace - Ask for Help

One of the hardest things in the world for me is to ask for help. It’s not necessarily a vulnerability thing for me, as I’m sure it is for some. I’m ok with admitting that I don’t know how to do something most of the time.  Not always, but most of the time. For me, I don’t want to feel like a burden on others. I don’t want to add to someone else’s load. I know that everyone has a lot on their plates, and I don’t want to add that one pea that sends everything crashing down for someone. I’ve learned, though, that the longer I go without asking, not only the harder it is to ask, but also, the bigger the problem becomes.

Whatever it is that I deal with, and whatever situations come up, I have learned that I am not the only person having those problems. Talking about them with people, reaching out to someone, not only helps me, but also a lot of times helps the person I’m talking to. They usually have some situation they can compare it to, and by knowing that you’re not alone and that you have someone to sit in it with helps lighten the load considerably. Whatever it is that you’re feeling, know that you’re not alone, first off.

It also helps to find someone you know you can talk through things without them trying to fix you or your problem. This year, I reached a point where I was feeling very alone. I had changed so much that the people I had connected with were no longer able to relate to me. There’s nothing wrong with it. We just ebb and flow in relationships as we go through changes in our lives. Regardless, I was at a transitional place where I didn’t have a lot of deep, meaningful relationships, and I started to say prayers for friends who I could relate with and have joyful, loving interactions with.

Not long after I first said that prayer, I met an amazing woman who has become a staple in my life. We check in on each other almost daily, and I love her dearly. Since then, I’ve had several other amazing women come into my life who I love being around and our interactions are always heartfelt and loving and provide exactly what I was looking for, and I found out recently that I do the same for them. I also have a handful of relationships that stand the test of time. No matter what changes I make, they are there. I can call or text them with anything and they totally get it! All of these people get me without judgement, and that’s important to me right now.

Before I had these types of relationships where I felt comfortable being vulnerable, though, I had other outlets that helped me with my struggles. I saw a really amazing therapist, Michelle Chalfant, for a long time who first helped me relate with my inner child. After she helped me open up, I found a Sister Circle led by Kim Salter, where I was able to open up even more when the talking stick was passed my way. Seeing myself and the difficulties I was facing in all of those beautiful, amazing, strong women in the circle helped me beyond belief. Kim introduced me to Marin Bach-Antonson, who first taught me self-love through one of her offerings and now is leading the Priestess Initiation program I’m participating in, where I have met more amazing, strong, kind, compassionate women.

All this to say, there are so many people out there who want to help. As we heal ourselves, we reach out to help those who are going through what we have been through. It’s only natural to show the same kindness to others that was shown to us. So, whatever it is that you’re going through, reach out to someone in your life for help. It may be a sister, a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a friend, a partner, a lover – whoever it is, explain to them what you’re going through. Ask them for help with whatever it is that you need. If you’re not sure that you have someone, ask God to send you someone who can help. Ask God to show you someone who can help you with whatever it is that you’re going through. Ask from that place of innocence, that inner child crying for help from its mother. Ask from the heart, and you will receive whatever it is that you need.

God is always there for us, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. We are surrounded by so many angels, ascended masters, and guides that we are never alone, no matter what we’re going through. They are helping and guiding us in every interaction and every decision we make. If it doesn’t seem like that, we just have to ask. I know that I am loved beyond belief, and I know that you are, too. There was a time I didn’t know that, though, so if you need a reminder, just let me know. I have been blessed to have a lot of people show me the way back to my heart, so I’m happy to be that person for you. All you have to do is ask!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Tenth Day of Holiday Peace - Yoga

In the western world, when we think about yoga, for most of us, I would say that the first thing that comes to mind is the asana practice. Asana literally means “seat,” but what we know of asana is the postures that allow us to remain seated for extended periods of time. The physical practice of yoga is merely a tool to get us to the point of being able to sit in silence and connect in with our Source without feeling all of those aches and pains that have a tendency to come up when we actually take the time to sit still. Yoga is the whole kit and caboodle.  The whole shabang. It’s everything that gets you to that place of connection. The postures, the meditation, the mantras, the mudras, the breathwork, all of it.

My yoga practice started over 10 years ago when I was starting to realize that I was in a dysfunctional marriage and working a job that did not feel authentic to me. About the same time, I went horseback riding at a friend’s house and managed to fall off the horse I was on when he got a little too excited heading back to the barn. I managed to tear the cartilage in my SI joint, an injury that has no quick fix other than time. I was in the middle of training for a century ride when this happened, and the only time it didn’t hurt was when I was on my bike. This happened about 3 weeks before I was scheduled to leave for Tucson with my Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training group, and I wasn’t about to stop at this point. Especially considering that it didn’t hurt when I was on the bike. I kept training through the pain and probably made it worse in the long run. I was looking for something - anything - that would help me feel better.

After completing that century ride, I signed on to mentor the 3 State 3 Mountain group and as part of the fundraising for that one, we did an ice cream social and a friend of one of my teammates came in and said she was opening a yoga studio in East Nashville where I just happened to be moving the next spring. It took me a while to step foot in the yoga studio, because as someone prone to having gas, I was also one of those people who was terrified to set foot in a yoga class. I actually even emailed the owner to ask what to do if I farted in class. It’s so funny to think about that now as someone who has experienced farts in class as a student and a teacher. Class goes on, and believe me, by the end of svasana, no one remembers that event. Needless to say, if that’s something that’s kept you out of a yoga class, it’s time to take the risk! It’s worth it!

My practice started as a physical practice. I needed something for a stress relief and to help me not be in so much pain when I walked. I had no concept of there being anything else to yoga at the time. It became so much more than that for me, though. It helped me realize that being self-centered was not the bad thing that people made it out to be, but was actually an honorable goal. I’ve learned that the more centered I am, the more I’m able to love other people from a place of deep authenticity. The more I take care of myself, the more I have to give to others, and who doesn’t want to be able to give more??

So, yes, practice the postures, the mantras, and the mudras. Do whatever it takes for you to feel connected, because that’s ultimately what we’re all seeking, is a deeper connection to Source. If you already have that, know that you’re not alone in it, but also know that there are so many people who are still striving for that connection. When you feel full enough to give, Give in whatever way feels authentic to you. Give from the heart so that it fills you up, too, as you share your gifts. Love yourself so that you can shine that love on everyone you meet. Be the light!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Ninth Day of Holiday Peace - Honor Yourself

I am one of those people who wants to do everything. I want to see everyone. I want to connect with as many people as possible. In this holiday season of parties and family gatherings, it’s easy to overcommit. When this happens for me, I eventually get to the point where no matter how much I love the person I’m going to see, I may start to dread the actual interaction. I learned several years ago to be very careful about what I say yes to. I also learned that it’s ok to say “no,” it’s ok to say “not right now,” it’s ok to say, “I may be able to do that” without fully committing, and it’s ok to say, “I was really excited about this when I RSVPed, but I’m really not feeling it right now.” The people who love me will understand and will be ok with me saying no or needing to reschedule.

Honoring yourself is all about taking the time to listen to what you need. It may be rest, but it may also be activity. Sometimes when I’m feeling especially sluggish or stuck in one emotion or another, I’ve noticed that if I get up and go for a walk or run, the emotion is able to move up and out to make room for more happiness and joy. Emotion is, after all, energy in motion. If my energy isn’t moving through my body, how can it move out? Sometimes we need to sit in it, sometimes we need it to move. It’s all about being more present with yourself and being able to hear the difference in your body.

Ok, so let’s go back to that converations I was having with Uncle Fred at the family Christmas party on the Seventh Day of Holiday Peace. If the visualization I used to help myself feel more comfortable didn’t work, I may need to excuse myself from the conversation. If Uncle Fred isn’t willing to give me that space I need and have asked for, in order to honor myself, I can simply say, “Uncle Fred, I love you, and I appreciate your excitement for this topic, but I am feeling a little anxious right now and need to step outside for a minute to get myself calmed down.” By saying this, not only am I honoring my feelings and my needs, but I am also expressing my love for Uncle Fred while honoring his passion for whatever he was talking to me about, which of course I would remember if this were a real scenario. I don’t even have an Uncle Fred…and I’m sure if I did, he would be an amazing and interesting guy who I would never feel anxious around. Ha!

How do we tune into ourselves, you ask? How do we know what we want and need? This is easy for some people. Some people are able to easily know and ask for the things that they need. I have not historically been one of those people. I have had to train myself as an adult to be able to listen to what I need. There are a couple of ways that I’ve learned to do this. One is that I imagine that my little five year old self is sitting next to me, and I ask her how she’s feeling and what she needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “I’m feeling sad, and I want a hug.” Sometimes, it’s a little more complicated.

Another way that I’ve learned is to literally imagine my mind dropping down into my heart space. I have typically spent a lot of time in my mind and not so much in my heart. I’m learning now that the mind is meant to serve the heart, and that is why I’ve always felt so disconnected from my authentic expression. Again, this has not always been the way that I approached life, but it’s where I’m choosing to live now. I’m choosing to express myself from my heart space instead of from my mind. So, once we’ve dropped our awareness down into the heart space, we just have to listen to what it needs. This is the other part that can be a little difficult at first, but gets easier with practice. Our hearts have voices, and most of us have been trained not to listen to them. That little voice that speaks up and says, “I want ice cream” when you’re on a diet is the voice I’m talking about. Sometimes, just acknowledging that voice is enough and saying, “I understand that you want ice cream, but it’s not the best thing for us in this moment. We will have some a little later.” It’s all about parenting that inner toddler, and giving them what they’ve always needed or at least what they need in this moment. What is your inner toddler asking for right now? Is it something that you can give them?

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Eighth Day of Holiday Peace - Meditation

A lot of what we’ve done already could be considered meditations. If you’re already practicing meditation, keep it up! If you’re not and want to start, I’ll share some of the ones that I’ve learned. There are so many different ways to meditate. You can meditate silently or use a guided meditation. You can meditate solo or in a group. You can meditate in a box. You can meditate with a fox. Oh, wait! Sorry, got off-track. I think you get the picture, though. Meditation is as versatile as green eggs and ham. Meditation in and of itself is about removing yourself from the thoughts you’re having, allowing those thoughts to happen without you and then observing the thoughts and the silence in between thoughts. As you practice, the silence between the thoughts will get longer, your mind will be more quiet and you will likely feel more at peace. The function of the mind, after all, is to serve the heart, and how can it do that if it’s got so much going on in its own life?

I’ve heard so many people say that they can’t meditate because they sit down and immediately start thinking about their shopping list or to-do list or the way their butt looks in their new jeans. In case y’all didn’t process what I just said, it’s not about not having these thoughts. It’s about not letting them rule your life. Have the thoughts. Acknowledge the thoughts. Laugh at the thoughts if you must and then let them go. I love the idea of imagining the thoughts are little clouds that float through your mind, and you’re just watching them. I’ve also had teachers say that you can hang each of your thoughts on hangers at the door and pick them up at the end of your meditation. They may not seem as important at the end of meditation, though.

Let’s get on to the different types of meditation! Please note that this is in no way a comprehensive list. It’s just the ones I’ve used and identified with.

Guided Meditations

There are so many guided meditations out there that you shouldn’t have any problem finding one to help you wake up in the morning, help you get to sleep, help you wipe your butt, help you become a better golfer, whatever it is that you’re wanting to do, I guarantee you there’s a meditation out there for it. That said, some are more helpful than others when it comes to relaxing. Some of my favorite recorded meditations come from Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, Doreen Virtue and Wayne Dyer. There are also a lot of meditation apps out there that offer recorded meditations. The one I use is Insight Timer. I use it for the timer, but I know there are a lot of guided meditations on there as well.

Mantra Meditation

We talked about mantras on the Eighth Day. There are so many you can use for meditation, and you basically just repeat the mantra either until it goes away into silence or until your timer goes off. The mantra can be as simple as Om Shanti Om. You can also receive a customized mantra that is based on your time, day and location of birth. This is basically the sound that the universe was making at the time of your birth, so it helps you align to your true self, your highest self. I received my mantra almost a year ago and have loved meditating with it.

Moving Meditation

This can be any type of movement that is done slowly, deliberately and mindfully. I love, love, love moon salutations because for me, they become moving meditations. You can also do walking meditations, where you walk the same path mindfully and are able to tune into your self while you’re walking. Whatever movement you choose, do it in a place free of obstacles so that you can allow yourself to melt into the yummy goodness of the movements.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Seventh Day of Holiday Peace - Visualizations

We've already used visualizations in several of the other gifts I've offered. I'll say again here that I know that visualizations don't work for everyone. If you're one of those people who does not have the gift of sight, that's totally ok. I'm sure one (or more) of your other senses is off the charts! Don't worry about it right now. Just skip today.

For those of you who love visualizations or have never experienced them, today is for you. Visualizations are just like everything else we've discussed. There are a ton of variations that you can use. I'm going to cover the ones that I've experienced and love. If you have one that you've used that I don't cover, please feel free to share it here or on Facebook!

Visualizations for the Moment

Ok, so you're in a conversation with Uncle Fred at your family Christmas party, and you find yourself getting anxious or tense. Check out of the conversation for a second and check in with yourself. Maybe even tell Uncle Fred that you're having a reaction and that you need a minute to yourself. He can stay there, but you're not going to talk for a minute. Know that you are not alone in this and Uncle Fred will probably understand. If he doesn't, that's his stuff, not yours. So, once you get your minute alone, take a breath. There's the tried and true method that a lot of public speakers use of visualizing the crowd naked, but do we really want to do that with Uncle Fred?? Not me! Let's put more clothes on him. Maybe even a costume? Maybe even imagine him dancing a little Irish jig in an elf costume. He won't mind. He has no idea you're doing it, and if it makes you laugh, all the better! You can also use a grounding visualization in this moment. See the Second Day of Holiday Peace if you missed this one. Another one that I love is visualizing light shining out of your heart and the heart of the person you're talking to. Imagine that light getting brighter until it completely fills the space around both of you until you are cocooned in this beautiful light and it helps you both feel safe and at peace. Once you're feeling better, re-engage in the conversation or excuse yourself and find someone else you love to talk with!

Visualizations for Talking with your Guides

This is one of my absolute favorites. It's a great way to get answers to questions that might be brewing. Close your eyes. See yourself climbing a staircase up, up, up. You marvel at how easy it is to climb the stairs. You're not even out of breath after so many steps. You continue up through the tops of the trees and up into the sky. You keep going through the clouds, through the edge of Earth's atmosphere and out into the stars. Eventually, the stairs flatten out into what appears to be a field. Take a look around. The field is lined with trees and there is a group of people standing at the opposite end of the field. As you walk out to the middle of the field, one of the people walks toward you. As they get closer, you may recognize their face or you may not. They may not even have a face. It may not even be a person. Whatever form you see is totally appropriate. Take your time greeting them, because you truly feel that they are an old friend. They have been with you for a long time! Once you finish greeting them, ask them whatever questions you have for them and then listen to their responses. Take your time with them. Know that any information they share with you is being stored in your subconscious and that you don't need to remember it. It will be there when you need it.

Once you finish your conversation with them, thank them in whatever way feels appropriate and watch as they walk back over to the crowd of people on the other edge of the field. They wave before they become one with the crowd, and you turn back toward the stairs. They may still be stairs or they may have turned into a slide that loops around and around before returning you back to the earth. Either way, you travel down through the stars, through the edge of the Earth's atmosphere, down through the clouds, through the top of the trees and back down to the place where you started. As you arrive back on the earth, you feel your feet connect firmly with the ground and maybe even begin to grow roots down into the center of the earth. Welcome back!

Visualizations for Peace

Another one I love! This one is about seeing yourself in a place that you know brings you peace. For me, it's on a beach, watching the movement of the water, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the sand, feeling the warmth of the sun shining down on my skin, smelling the sea air, and tasting the salt from the water on my lips. For you, it may be in a forest, on top of a mountain, it could be anywhere that you know you feel peace. Take your time there to experience all of your senses and really soak in the ease that you feel there. Allow that peace and ease to saturate every cell in your body. Allow yourself to feel safe and loved here and know that that is with you all the time. That peace and ease that you feel here is already within you and can be accessed anytime you need it.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Sixth Day of Holiday Peace - Prayer & Mantra

Prayer has been one of those many things in my life that I did because someone told me to do it but never really understood the meaning behind it. We prayed before meals and sometimes before we went to bed at night. We prayed in church, but there was never any meaning to it for me. A big part of that was that I had no understanding of God. I saw pictures of other people’s ideas of what God looked like, but I had no clue what God was or why we were praying to God. I’m not going to pretend that I completely understand it now, but I do know that it feels different to me now than it ever has before. Prayers now are more like a conversation with a good friend, or even a part of me that I love and that loves me back unconditionally. Prayers now come from an open heart and an open mind.

That said, there are so many ways to pray that I’m only going to cover a few of them here.

Preformulated Prayers

Haha! I’m not sure that’s the right word for them, but that’s what came out when I typed it, so we’re going with it. Preformulated prayers for me are the ones that they teach us at church or that we read from a book. It’s a prayer that has been prayed many times before that has a proven track record. These are not my preferred method because I prefer to pray from the heart. These work for a lot of people, though, and maybe repetition is key? So, let’s look at a couple of examples:

Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
(traditional Matthean version)

I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve recited this prayer in and out of church and have never actually taken the time to look at the words and understand what it’s about. Maybe that’s why these don’t work for me! Heehee! Oops…let’s look at another one that actually has worked for me:

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

I heard this for the first time in a meditation class with Rebecca Carey here in Nashville, who is an amazing little being. Since then, I found it again in Jack Kornfield’s book, A Path with Heart, which is a good read if you haven’t read it yet. This is one that has become a mantra for me when I’m feeling down or anxious. It brings me back into my heart faster than anything else that I’ve found, and that’s the goal for all of this if I haven’t expressed that yet. I use my mala for repetitions and usually by the time I get to the guru bead. If you don’t know what a mala is, it’s the predecessor to a rosary. If you don’t know what either of those are, Google it.

Affirmations

Affirmations when used like this can be a “fake it til you make it” type deal. I AM is the name for God, so affirmations are basically affirming that you possess those God qualities that you desire. They are already inside you. Inside all of us. We just have to align with them. By saying “I AM…”, it is aligning us with those qualities that we desire. My favorite is “I AM light and love.” You can do it with anything, though. Give it a shot in the comments below.

Mantras

Mantras are basically prayers that you repeat a certain number of times (using a mala or rosary) or for a certain length of time using a timer. They can be in English or any other language that you identify with. There are a lot of really great ones in Sanskrit that yogis use. I’ll list some of my favorites below.

Om Shanti Om
Prayer for Peace

Om Namah Shivaya
Prayer for uniting with the lord of all lords

Om Gum Ganapataya Namaha
Prayer for removing obstacles (also grounding)

Chanting/Singing Mantras/Kirtan

Any of the mantras can be chanted or sung as well as spoken. I love music and love the vibrations created when singing, so I personally love this method. It really vibrates with me, and who doesn’t want good vibrations?? There are a lot of kirtans popping up in Nashville, so there might be in your city, too. Kirtans are basically call and response chanting. So, there’s a kirtan leader who will sing, “Om Namah Shivaya,” and the crowd will repeat back, “Om Namah Shivaya” in the same tune as the leader. It’s a lot of fun, builds a lot of energy, and clears a lot of funk out for me personally. If there’s not a kirtan happening near you, you can find recorded versions online. Some of my favorites are Prajna Viera, Krishna Das, Chant Ram (album coming soon!) and Amy Barnes. If you have a favorite Bhakti Yogi kirtani, post it in the comments below.

We’ll see how spunky I’m feeling today, and we will either sing or chant on Facebook Live.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Fifth Day of Holiday Peace - Gratitude

If you know me at all, you’ve heard me talk about gratitude at some point and how it changes my life every time I practice it. You may not know this about me, but I have a tendency toward melancholy. I have to catch myself going down that path and turn around before I get too far. When I started to notice this about myself, I started a gratitude text with my family. Every day, when I woke up, I would send a text to them with three things I was grateful for. The amazing thing about doing this with a group is that if there’s a day you’re not feeling, which, believe me, there will be, usually one of the other people in the group will be feeling it and they’ll be the ones to start it. This text group kept me afloat for a long time. It often took me from grumpy to glamourous in a matter of minutes. It helped me focus on the good things that I have in my life, and there are a lot of them when I start to take inventory!

The other amazing thing about gratitude is that the more you focus on the good in your life, the more you’re telling Source what you want more of. There are so many ways to go about gratitude. You can start a text string with a group of friends or family like I did. There are groups on Facebook dedicated to sharing gratitude. You can start a gratitude journal. The great thing about a gratitude journal is that on the days that you feel absolutely miserable and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can look back at your journal and see all of the things that you have to be grateful for.

When I was at my lowest, my therapist introduced this gratitude practice to me. At the time, I couldn’t think of one thing to be grateful for. She asked me in one of my sessions to come up with three things I was grateful for, and when I couldn’t, she recommended that I start with what I had right in front of me. Be grateful for things that you didn’t even ask for. Try out, I am grateful for my eyesight. But I wasn’t grateful for my eyesight. I didn’t want to see what I had created in my life. It was ugly. It was hard, and I didn’t want to see it. Be grateful for my ability to breathe. I didn’t want to breathe anymore. Life was hard and breathing meant that I had to face another day. One thing, there had to be one thing I was grateful for. My cats. I was grateful for my cats, because no matter what was happening, they were there for me. They were soft and fuzzy and purred when they sat on my lap. They took away all of my problems and made me sit still and rest. I was grateful for my cats. The next day, it was a little easier to find something I was grateful for. That was almost 8 years ago!

Today, I take random moments to sit and recognize all of the amazing things in my life. I know that the things I have brought into my life are in part because of that one small little nugget of gratitude that I found 8 years ago.

So, how does this practice help when you’re in the middle of holiday stress? You can practice it anywhere. You can make it a daily practice that you do when you wake up or right before going to sleep or both. You can make it a practice when you’re in a moment of frustration or anxiety. When you start to feel your heart racing or your breath beginning to shorten, take a minute to acknowledge what’s happening and how you’re feeling and then look around you and pick out three things that you’re grateful for in that moment. If that doesn’t work, pick three more things. Keep making a list and taking inventory until you’re giggling and giddy from the joy of all of the amazing things you have in your life.

We have the same capacity for gratitude and joy that we have for melancholy and pain. It’s up to us to choose which one we want to focus on.

 Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Fourth Day of Holiday Peace - Be Present

We all like presents, right?? Just kidding…this is not that kind of present. I mean, technically it is a present to yourself to be present, and to everyone else around you. Being present is something I have to work at, though. I have a tendency to get in “do” mode, especially when I have a lot going on. I put all feelings aside and plow ahead on whatever it is I’m doing. Get in my way when I’m in this mode and you will likely be pushed aside. I learned this from a young age. Our culture is a culture of doing, of accomplishments, of goals. Even when I’m doing good for someone else, it’s just that. “Do”ing. I’ve learned recently to take things a little slower, though. I’ve learned to tune into my heart and follow the guidance it gives me, and most of the time, that includes slowing down. We don’t necessarily have to be slow to be present, but for me, that has been a key ingredient.

What does it mean to be present? For me, it means taking a deep breath, tuning into my heart, allowing my heart to open and proceed from there. If I’m engaged in a conversation, it means listening to the other person speak, looking them in the eye, and responding to them with love. If I’m engaged in an activity, it means working only on that activity before I move onto the next. In my past life as an engineer, I usually had a few different projects I was working on at one time in addition to the random phone calls that would come in to figure out a solution for a project that was under construction. I was never able to focus on just one thing. It made me a sloppy engineer, and I made mistakes. That’s not really a good thing for an engineer, but for someone who needs to work slowly to be placed in a fast-paced work environment was a recipe for disaster. I didn’t recognize that in myself for a long time, and when I finally did, I took myself out of that environment. I no longer work on someone else’s deadlines. I work on my own time. I am able to take the time to put my whole heart into what I’m doing.

Sometimes being present for someone else means taking yourself out of the equation. Let’s say, for example, that your child comes up to you while you’re washing the dishes and wants to play. You really want to finish washing the dishes because you’re not sure when you’ll be able to get back to it. Your child, though, doesn’t recognize that. Their world revolves around them, and you are their world. Instead of ignoring the child or pushing them away, what if you stopped washing the dishes long enough to get down at their level and tell them how much you love them and that you would love to play with them as soon as you finish what you’re doing? And then do that.

Adults are just like children, actually. Our worlds revolve around us, too. We have a little more understanding of all of the things there are to do as an adult, but we also would love to have a little more attention, right? We can show ourselves that attention by stopping what we’re doing when we notice an emotion coming up and honoring that part of ourselves like we would that small child. A lot of the work that I’ve done with my many therapists has been around inner child work, actually. I’ve totally ignored that part of myself that wants to go play, because I’ve been in work mode most of my life. I’m learning that the little aches and pains that I experience are my body’s way of telling me that there’s something that little child inside of me needs to express or resolve. I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing, take a breath, and ask what it is that needs to be recognized, loved and accepted.

Are there places in my life where I can be more present? What is my truth in this moment? How do I feel right now? What do I need in order to feel safe in this situation? These are all questions to ask when you find yourself tensing up in the stress of the holidays. What you need may be as simple as taking a deep breath. It may be a hug from whoever it is that you’re talking with. It may be removing yourself from the situation entirely. Slow down this holiday season. Be more present with yourself and in turn with others and just notice how that changes things for you.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

Third Day of Holiday Peace - Breathe

I’m not sure why I waited until day 3 for this one, because it’s a big one for me. This is one of the easiest ways to calm down, regardless of the situation. It’s amazing how many times I catch myself not breathing. I don’t just mean not taking a deep breath. I literally mean holding my breath. I’ve learned that many people who experience trauma in their lives have this reflex, and the majority of people, especially in the US, are not breathing as deeply as we have the capacity to. I personally get so caught up in what I’m doing that I don’t take time to sit and savor my breath. I mean, our breath really is this amazing thing that happens without us even thinking about that we also have the ability to manipulate that allows us to achieve different results in our lives. There are literally breathing techniques for anything. Google it if you don’t believe me. You can build fire in your body, increase energy, run better, birth babies better…you name it, it’s out there! Since we’re focusing here on peace and calm, though, we’re going to focus on a few techniques that I’ve learned to deal with anxiety. I would recommend giving all of them a try and if there’s one that seems to work better for you, stick with that one!

3 Part Yoga Breath

This is my go-to when I have a quiet spot and a little bit of time, and is especially yummy in a restorative yoga class. Basically, you separate your torso into three sections. The first part is the section from the pubic bone to the belly button. The second part is the section between your belly button and the base of the rib cage. The third part is the base of the rib cage up through the collarbones. Different teachers may teach this different ways, but this is the way I like to do it. When you’re inhaling, first focus on the bottom section and imagine that space filling up like a balloon. At first, you may just be pushing out with the muscles, but eventually, with practice, you will actually fill the lungs to the point that the diaphragm releases, presses down on the belly and you literally feel the breath filling that space. This takes practice, though, so be easy on yourself at the beginning. Take 3-5 long, deep breaths like this and then move up to the next part. Take 3-5 breaths in the second part and move on to the 3rd part, where, you guessed it, you’ll take another 3-5 breaths. After you’ve taken 3-5 breaths focusing on each of the parts separately, you’ll combine them all into one breath, feeling the breath fill all the way from the pubic bone up through the collarbone. Take several breaths just like this and take a minute to notice how you feel afterward!

Box Breath

I think my sister actually taught me this one! It’s a really good one for me, because it gives me two things to focus on – the breath and a visualization of a box. You literally visualize a box and imagine that you inhale up one side, hold across the top, exhale down the other side, and then hold across the bottom. The sides can be as long or short as you want them to be. Maybe start with each side being a 3 count, meaning count to three as you’re inhaling, hold for 1-2-3, exhale for 1-2-3, and then hold for 1-2-3. You can add a second each time you do it and notice how your capacity increases with practice.

Left-Nostril Breathing

Energetically speaking, the left side of your body is your feminine side, your lunar side, your nurturing side, and the right side is your masculine side, the solar side, the firey side. That said, each of your nostrils plays into this, too. If you want to increase your energy, you breathe in through the right nostril. To decrease energy, or for a calming, soothing breath, breathe through the left nostril. Your breath actually naturally alternates between the two sides throughout the day. With practice, you may become so in tune with the breath that you can actually notice which side is dominate at any given time. For the purposes of bringing more calm into your life for the holidays, though, we’re going to focus on left-nostril breathing. This is so easy to do, and so effective! Basically, use your right hand to close off your right nostril and take slow, deep inhales and exhales through your left nostril.

If you want to add a visualization to this, we actually have energy channels, called nadis, that run down the length of our spine. We have several, but there are three dominant ones, one on either side and one down the center line. So, with the visualization, you can imagine that your inhale is a ball of light that enters through the left nostril and travels down through the left nadi or ida nadi. As it travels down the ida nadi, it activates that nadi and lights it up. On the exhale, the ball of light travels back up the ida nadi and back out the left nostril. By doing this exercise, you’re actually clearing and activating the ida nadi, which activates the cooling, receptive energy in your body and invites a sense of calmness. Start with 3 minutes and build up from there!

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is an overall balancing, cleansing breath that you can use anytime. It’s good for depression and anxiety, is centering and grounding, and can help with headaches! It’s very similar to Left-Nostril Breathing except you’re going to alternate between the two nostrils. So, using the right hand only, you’ll use the thumb to close off the right nostril and the index or ring finger to close off the left nostril. To begin, close off the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Release the thumb and close off the left nostril with your index or ring finger to exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril, release the finger, use the thumb to close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. A full cycle is ending with the exhale through the left nostril, so once you’ve done several cycles and feel complete, finish with an exhale from the left nostril.

If you would like to include a visualization with this, imagine that the inhale through the left nostril is a beautiful ball of light that travels down the left side of your spine. I like to imagine the light pooling down around my hips and my tailbone before the exhale takes the light up the right side of your spine and out the right nostril. The next inhale draws the light back into the right nostril and down the right side of your spine, with the exhale travelling up the left side of your spine and out the left nostril. Imagine that the light is clearing and activating both the ida (left) and pingala (right) nadis and clearing any stale energy that has pooled in the hips from sitting.

There are so many other breathing styles that help with anxiety and stress. If you have one that you love, please feel free to share it in the comments! I’ll be traveling today, so I may not get to share a video with you, but I will catch up when I arrive! Keep an eye on Facebook Live for updates!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

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Second Day of Holiday Peace - Grounding

I’m going to talk energetically for a second, so if you don’t relate to that, I give you full permission to skip on ahead. The energy during the holidays can be a bit frantic. It’s a high vibration time of year, and if you’re not used to that, it can get you a little flustered. You might feel your energy scatter with all of the things you have to do or people you have to take care of or parties you have to go to. When that happens for me, the first thing that happens is that my energy gets floaty. It’s almost like it breaks into a million pieces and scatters outside my body. For me, as an empath still learning boundaries, that happens even when I’m around people who are having that experience. As soon as I notice this happening, I find a quiet spot to get grounded. There are several different ways to do this, and I’ll discuss each of them a little bit here.

Physically Touch the Earth

I think most of you are probably familiar enough with the electrical system in your home to know that there are circuits that run to each of the plugs, switches, appliances, etc. and then the whole system has a wire that runs from the circuit breaker and is buried in the ground outside your home. What this does is basically takes any excess current from the system and runs it down into the earth to neutralize it so that it doesn’t blow up your appliances. Our bodies work on a similar system! Back in the good ole days, we used to run around barefoot, where we were always connected to the earth. We always had a way to discharge our excess energy from our body, because we were always connected. We were always grounded. Now, we wear shoes and walk on concrete or asphalt and we’re never fully connected with the earth. So, the easiest way to discharge some of this excess energy that we accumulate during the holidays is to go outside and put your bare feet on the bare earth. Find a grassy spot and walk on it. If you’re in a place that’s freezing cold right now, just take your socks off and walk around the house barefoot for a little bit. When you’re doing this, really feel your feet connect to the earth or to the floor. Notice what happens with your energy level when you do this.

If you’re a gardener, digging your hands in the dirt is also a great way to physically ground yourself. Again, if it’s cold outside, find a place inside to play with some potted plants. Smell the dirt, really feel it between your fingers. Use all of your senses to have this powerful, grounding experience!

And one more grounding practice that I’ve encountered is planting your feet firmly on the ground, a little more than hip width apart. Press down into the ground as if you’re getting ready to jump, and then instead of jumping, push your feet outward, almost like you’re standing on a rug and trying to pull the rug out to either side. Do this several times and just notice how you feel.

Visualizations

If you’re not good at visualizing, just ignore this little bit. I have a friend, for example, who doesn’t see things in her mind’s eye, so when I used visualization techniques with her in the past, she just got frustrated. It is totally not worth getting frustrated, y’all! That is actually the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish here, right?? So, if you know visualizations work for you or want to give it a shot, take a minute to find a spot where you can close your eyes and feel safe. Put your feet flat on the ground or sit cross legged, close your eyes and imagine that all of your energy that has been split into a million different directions comes back into your body. Then, imagine that you are growing roots down out of your feet if they’re flat on the ground or out of your sit bones if you’re sitting cross legged on the floor. I like to coordinate my breath with this action, for example, inhale and feel the energy ground down into your feet, exhale and feel the roots grow down deeper into the earth. Grow them all the way down through all of the layers of the earth and then wrap them solidly around the core of the earth. Once they’re wrapped, imagine a grid growing out to either side and fully enveloping the entire earth, giving you a network of roots that can stay with you no matter where you travel for the holidays.

Another visualization that one of my teachers shared with me is imagining that your sit bones are the prongs on an electrical plug and imagining that by sitting on the earth, you literally “plug” yourself into the earth, like you’re plugging into an outlet. Once you’ve done that, feel the energy exchange between yourself and the earth, just like electricity coursing through the wires of an appliance.

I believe that we are here on earth as a conduit between heaven and earth. Our souls are inhabiting these bodies in order for us to have these experiences as we learn and grow. These first two tools are allowing us to maintain balance in our bodies, connecting to heaven by bringing in the light and then connecting to earth by grounding. Once we’ve done both of these things, we can anchor the healing energy of mother earth and source in our heart space to live a more full life. This will allow us to be more present for ourselves and our families and friends through this holiday season and will also keep us happier and more calm, knowing that we don’t have to do it all ourselves. We have so much support from heaven and earth, just like everyone else we interact with. Connecting to that power allows us to rest into that support and connect with each other in a more calm and loving way.

Now, head on over to Facebook Live for a guided visualization on grounding!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

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First Day of Holiday Peace - Bringing in the Light

I think by now, most of us have heard about light and dark. A lot of people look at darkness as a bad thing, and try to eliminate it from their life. Have you ever heard the phrase, “what we resist persists?” It’s a thing! I’m learning that it’s really all about balance. As human beings, we have a tendency to exist in a dualistic environment. We’re taught from a young age to be good, do good, be more like Suzy So-and-So, be more like your sister, don’t do that!, etc. I think I could go on for hours about this, but I won’t. You probably get it, because I know I’m not alone in this.

There’s darkness. It exists. We have to love it as much as the light or it will take over. Lighting up those dark places can be scary, though. It can bring up stuff for us that may push some buttons. When we start to light up, we have to see those things so that we can heal them, and healing them is all about bringing them into the light and looking at them and saying, “Hey, you’re not so bad.” I’m saying all of this to say that the healing path is not always an easy one. If you want to be lighter, though, and you will, it’s totally worth the ride! So, now let’s talk about the light.

This is the season of light, right? There are lights everywhere you look right now! Christmas lights, spotlights, stars, moon, the sun, the obvious ones that are there all the time, and then there’s that northern star, the one that led the 3 wise men to the manger. We can see them everywhere, right? What about your light, though? If you’re like a lot of Americans I know, in this season of giving, maybe you give too much of yourself and you’re not replenishing it. Your light gets dim or even goes out, and you have to spend days on the couch or in bed recharging in order to get back out there and “do” your regular life.

Well, it’s time for that to change! I’m going to share something with you that I’ve been practicing for several years now that has changed my life. You can do this in the morning and anytime throughout the day you’re feeling drained or depleted. It’s all about connecting to the Source. What is the Source, you may ask? I’ve gone through several iterations of what Source means to me. I grew up Catholic, so Source was in the rituals. It was in the Bible. It was named God. For me, it was an empty label that didn’t mean a whole lot in the scheme of things. I went through the motions, but I didn’t feel anything when I was in church or saying Our Father or any of the other mindless tasks they assigned me in mass on Sunday or in Sunday School. As I got older, I went away from the church. I rebelled against any sort of organized religion. I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t need it in my life.

When I started practicing my yoga, though, I started to find the meaning behind the word God. I still resisted God for a few years after I started my practice, but it didn’t seem to trigger me quite so much. I gave God a different name, well, several different names, actually. I wanted to call Source anything but the judgemental God that I knew as a child. Then, I started to realize that the God I was taught about as a child, the one that places judgement on us and tells us whether we are good and bad, that God was created by human minds to keep us in line, to make us choose the “good” path, to make us mindless slaves to a system that was serving a minority instead of serving the general population. When I put aside the beliefs that had been handed to me about God, I actually fell in love with God in a way that I never knew God before. I started to recognize God in myself and in everyone around me. When I went to India, I got to see many representations of God in all of the deities. They are all pieces of Source, giving us a visual representation of what we are or what we can be. We get to choose.

So, when I talk about God here in these 12 days of holiday peace, if it triggers you, I’m sorry. I’ve been where you are. I get it. Please feel free to replace the word God with whatever it is that you identify with – Source, Universe, Spirit, Yahweh, Jesus Christ Our Savior, whatever representation suits you, please use that.

Ok, so now let’s bring in the light! All of this discussion has been leading us to this point. Bringing in the light is nothing more than connecting to Source, connecting to your God power. God is the Source of all that we are and all that we have, so when we are connected to God, we are serving our higher purpose. God will never leave us feeling depleted unless we don’t ask for help. We all have free will. We all get to choose whether we stay connected or not. So, in this exercise, we’re going to connect. We’re going to imagine that Source being a big light up in the sky that we can bring down into our body. It is a never-ending stream of light that as long as we stay connected to it, we can just enjoy the ride.

In this exercise, we’re going to imagine that beautiful golden white light streaming down into the crown of our heads. As it comes down into and courses through our bodies, it will dissolve any tension, any cloudiness, any uncertainty. It will give us enough to get us through whatever we encounter in this holiday season. So, head on over to Facebook Live this afternoon, and I’ll walk you through an exercise to bring in the light.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

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12 Days of Holiday Peace

Welcome to 12 Days of Holiday Peace! These 12 days were born in a session with my mentor/coach/guide, Marin Bach-Antonson, where I told her that my heart felt like it was so full that it was going to explode. I felt like there was so much yummy goodness in there that I needed to find a way to get it out. I, of course, didn't share it quite so eloquently on that phone call with her. It came out in broken sentences in between sobs. She recommended sharing my heart in some way, and this is the first thing that came to mind. So, hopefully you get some benefit from what I share over the next 12 days. This program has been designed to share with you the tools that I have accumulated over the last 10 years to cope with stress and low-level anxiety.

Let me start by saying that as calm as I am now, it's taken a lot of work to get to this point, and the anxiety still creeps in occasionally. I've built up my toolbox to the point now, though, that I can usually recognize it before it settles in on the couch, give it some love, and show it to the door. Before I had all of these tools, I invited stress in, gave it a few glasses of beer or a bottle of wine, and invited it to stay the night. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this approach, but I personally don't choose that experience anymore.

Let's talk about the program! There's no particular order to the way I'm going to share these tools over the next 12 days. I'll post a blog to talk a little about what we're doing and then, I'll share a video on Facebook Live to actually walk you through the techniques if it's something that needs a little more explanation or an actual experience. If there's anything we go through that you want to know more about, post it here on the blog or on Facebook, and I'll do what I can to get you an answer!

Also, I want to say that these are all things that have worked for me at one point in my life or another, depending on where I was in my journey and what I was experiencing at the time. Some of them still work for me and some were just temporary fixes for the experience I was having at the time. If something works for you, use it! If it doesn't, ignore it completely or come back to it later. There is no wrong or right in this. AND! If you have tools that have worked for you that I don't cover here, please share them! The more we share our experiences, the happier we all can be!

That said, I'm on a slightly different path right now where I'm feeling my feelings, really sitting with them and working through them. This takes a more time and space than most of the tools I'm going to share with you here and can sometimes feel really yucky when doing the work, but I would highly recommend it at some point if you're like me and have suppressed your emotions most of your life for one reason or another. It feels amazing and allows me to experience life a little more fully instead of being in defensive mode. A lot of the tools I'm sharing in this program - actually most of them - are aimed at helping in the moment and getting you out of that vibration of fear and anxiety and to a place where you CAN do this work if you so choose.

Ready to get started?? Tune in tomorrow to the blog and Facebook Live for the First Day of Holiday Peace!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!

I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.

Much love,

Emily Rose

 

 

Business Boutique

Business Boutique

Hi friends! I was recently selected to be part of the launch team for Business Boutique. It's not something I'm getting paid for, at least not that I know of. But it's something I'm excited about nonetheless. You see, last year, I coordinated with three of my friends to get tickets to go to the live event that Christy Wright puts on. I heard about her through Dave Ramsey, who if you've been following me at all over the last couple years, you know I've been on his plan to get debt free. I have some good news! I'm debt free!!!! Ok, but that's not what this is about. I'm at a place in my life where I would like to start a business. I want to work for myself, even if it's only on the side.

Going to Christy's event and seeing all of those amazing women who are doing it, who are making their dreams come true, and hearing their stories was amazing and so motivating for me to find my passion, find my why. Since then, I have so many things I love and so many ways that I enjoy helping people that it's just a matter of narrowing it down. That said, this book could not have come at a better time, as I'm returning from India a little more clear, and ready to get started on my dream.

i started reading the book last week and am excited to share some little nuggets of wisdom from it on my Facebook page, so if you're not friends with me already, head on over there and check them out! Full disclosure, they're probably going to show up on Instagram, too! The book comes out April 17, so be ready to get your copy in a couple weeks! Or preorder it now. Oh, and here's a link to sign up for Business Boutique 3 DAY event here in Nashville. If you want to go with a buddy, send me a message! I'd love to go again!

And I'll leave you with this little gem from the book:

Fear isn't a sign that you're doing something wrong. It's a sign that you're doing something new. It doesn't mean you're not capable, qualified, or ready. It just means that you're doing something that matters to you. And fear doesn't mean you're doing something bad. It means you're doing something bold.

Go do something bold, loves!

Much love,

Emily Rose

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In between lives

I feel like I formed a bit of a life in India. I could've stayed there and been happy. I'm happy to be going back to Nashville, too, though. So right now, as I sit in London Heathrow, I'm realizing that I'm truly in between lives. I can live anywhere I want, and I know that I want India to be one of my homes. Nashville is one, too. I thought I was going to find the others on this trip, but at some point, that became less important than it was when I left. I found one of the five that I've felt for a while I have, and I feel content with that. I know I'll be back to India whether it be in a few months or a few years, I can see myself being old there. 

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So Different

This trip has been so much different from what I imagined before I left. I imagined myself a free bird, wondering the planet from place to place and dancing my way through this life with fellow ex-pats, just like in the movies. Ha! So naive!

Little did I know that I would feel so grounded in India. The moment I landed, I had a feeling of being home. The craziness I had imagined was nowhere to be found. Well, it was there, but not at all overwhelming. I saw it as if I were a child seeing a new playground. My heart feels calm here in a way that it didn't at home. It feels safe and supported here to do the work I need to do.

When we came to Tiru, we spent a lot of time at Sri Ramanasramam, and also climbing up the mountain to Skandasramam, which is a cave where Ramana meditated. At some point, I started feeling that I didn't want to do that anymore. I didn't want to run around and visit all of the temples and holy lands that everyone comes to India to experience. The mountain accepted me in, as a lovely gentleman explained yesterday over lunch. It doesn't accept everyone. Some people come here and get sick, and some come and realize immediately that there's nothing here for them and leave the next day. I experienced that with a beautiful pair of women who traveled to the guest house from Israel. They came looking for asana and couples massages, and there is none of that here in Tiru.

I started sitting at the guest house in my lovely wicker swing chair or sitting up on the roof watching the mountain and the way the clouds and lightning dance around it. Or meditating. Or just sitting in my room in the AC, which feels really good in the South Indian heat. I think to myself, "Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and visit the ashram," only to wake up the next day and want to be still more. 

This stillness is something I don't offer myself at home. Or when I do, I feel guilty about sitting still when everyone else is working. I used to sit in my camper and watch my mom run around doing her busy work at the farm actually, much like I watch the people work at the construction next to the guest house. The difference here is that I have no attachment to that strong, beautiful Tamil woman, and watching my strong, beautiful mother do similar work is heart breaking. Maybe it's that the pace is different. Here, it's slower. The work will get done when it needs to be done. At home, everything has a hurriedness about it that creates a buzz.

We used to rest more as a whole. As a general population, we might work our butts off, but we always took rest at the end of the day and on Sundays and maybe even Friday's as well. With a 40-hour work week, we've gone away from that. The nights and weekends are times for running errands or catching up with friends. If we don't work 40 hours a week, we create other work for our selves. How often do we just sit, still, listening to the wind blow through the trees or watching a hive of bees as they fly around and climb over each other going about their work.

My teacher keeps telling me that the answers come in the stillness and the silence. I'm finding more stillness in my body, but my mind is still buzzing with thoughts. I'm sure it will come. Or maybe it's already here. Maybe that's why the words haven't come when I sat down to write this week.  Maybe I'm getting closer? Or maybe it's just all part of the illusion.

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The beautiful bees outside my room. 

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How May I Serve?

I asked this question every day in my meditation for the last year. Or maybe more. I don't actually remember when I started. Corrine taught me these self-reflection questions at Ivy House at some point in one of the group meditations or immersion or something. 

Who am I? 

What do I want? 

What is my purpose/How may I serve? 

Sometimes answers come, sometimes I just sit there in silence eagerly waiting for the little voice in my head to tell me what to do with my life. Most days, the answer was to rest, be still, be silent. It would come from the little voice or even from my teachers, but I needed to be still. I didn't give myself that luxury until I came to India.

After the first two weeks of running around, I started saying "no" to going to the ashram or up the mountain to Skanda cave to meditate or to the temple. I stopped running around so much and just sat still.

I should do those things since I'm here, right? I should soak up as much of the mountain and the ashram and Ramana's teachings as possible before I leave, right? What feels important is not always the best thing to do, though. I listened to my gut and my body and gave myself the rest I wanted.

Then, an email came from my dad. Lipscomb U is hiring a Missions Coordinator for their medical and engineering missions. This would combine my engineering/ management/ organizational skills with my love of travel and my desire to serve. Was this the answer to my question? It feels right. I sat on it for a day.

Questions came up. I know the woman who served in this position before. Could I do as good of a job as her?? We're different people, so it would be different. We're also very similar, though, so maybe I will find the same strengths and grace in myself that I see in her. What if it's too corporate? I already know how to navigate that. What if I get in there and don't like it? That's always a possibility. What if I get in there and they don't like me? That's a possibility too. What if I don't have the strength, courage, passion...???

The ego has a funny way of creeping into every decision we make and creating excuses of why we shouldn't do things. These are all valid questions. They're also coming from a place of fear, and not from a place of love or faith or trust. So, I let the questions run through my head and then I found the quiet once they were all finished. In that quiet came a different type of question. Who am I to even make this decision? In that moment, I surrendered. I offered up a prayer to God that the decision that was made was in the highest interest of everyone involved, and I surrendered to the fact that I may or may not be the best candidate for the position, but that was not my call. It seemed perfect for me, though, so with that prayer, I submitted my application.

God, please help me to see the light in every situation and every person I encounter today. Please help me to serve in any way you see fit. I am but your instrument in an orchestra that is much bigger than my self. Please help me to have the wisdom to know and the courage to play my part. Please help me to find the love in my heart so that I may share that love with others. Thank you, God, for all of the blessings you continue to rain down on me and everyone on this earth, and for helping me to see those blessings in every moment. Thank you for giving me the guidance and the resources to slow down and take pleasure in the small things. Thank you for loving me when I can't find the strength to love myself. Thank you, God.  

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Forgiveness

Am I Pushing Away Joy? Seriously, though, I think I am! All of these things I thought I had healed and thought I had looked at with a microscope are rearing their ugly heads again here in India, whether it's my daddy issues or my self-worth or issues around my failed marriage, they're all still there in one way or another. 

A couple nights ago was when the marriage issues came to visit. I thought I had healed it. I thought that I had forgiven all that needed to be forgiven, but when asked what rocked my boat and sent me into a spiral 3-4 years ago, the thing that came to mind was when I found out my ex was looking outside our marriage for a relationship. As I sat talking with my friend, I felt very clearly that I didn't divorce him because of the cheating or lying. It's almost like I released him from the anger I was feeling over the cheating and lying. I was doing him a favor. The anger was consuming me and I didn't know what to do with it. It was coming out of me in ways I didn't recognize. I hit a refrigerator first to keep from hitting him. I managed to split the bone in my poor little pinky finger side of my hand but didn't feel any better. As my hand healed, my heart still hurt. We continued fighting, and the fights were escalating. One night, I started hitting him and couldn't stop. Another night, he pulled the shotgun out of the closet and asked me to put us both out of our misery and shoot him. I knew that wouldn't help either of us, nor was I excited to have the gun in the house in the first place, much less for it to come out during one of our many arguments where we had both been drinking. The final argument was the last time I drank alcohol. We were out with friends and got into an argument where he left me downtown Nashville and went home. A friend of ours ended up driving me home, where I found that he had not only locked the door, but put a chair against it to keep me out of my own home. When I finally got into the house, I was livid. I ran into the bedroom and swung my purse at him. It escalated to the point that he had me in a choke hold in the living room floor. I couldn't breathe or move as he was nearly a foot taller than me and had about a hundred pounds on me. It was shear will and determination that got me across the floor to my purse as I saw my life flash before my eyes. I finally got to my phone and dialed 911 before he let me go. I ran out of the house with my phone and sat in the street across from my house as I talked to the dispatcher. I learned that night that no matter who is the weaker opponent, the person who starts a domestic dispute - meaning the person who takes the first swing - is the person who can go to jail. Even though I could have died that night, my ex husband could have pressed charges on me. I'm ever grateful that he didn't. I also learned that night that the police are not allowed to leave you both at the scene of a domestic dispute. My ex said he didn't have anywhere to go, so I loaded up in the back of the police car and rode to my parents' house where they were awakened in the middle of the night to their crying shocked daughter. They knew nothing about the problems between me and my ex before that night. They learned more than they probably wanted to that night.

I learned later that the reason he was holding me so tightly that night was that he was scared of me. When I had hit him before, I hurt him. He didn't want me to hurt him again. I don't know whether that's true, and quite frankly, I don't care. I should never have used violence against him. The anger that came out of me at the end of our relationship scared the holy hell out of me. I didn't like that part of myself. I was scared of it. I never wanted to hurt anyone again. 

I realize now that the anger wasn't just at him, though. I've done work around forgiving him, and feel happy for him and his new wife and their happiness. That's actually one thing I told him when I set him free was that I couldn't love him the way he wanted and deserved to be loved. I couldn't find it in myself to love him again because of the flaws that I had discovered.

The anger I felt was actually toward myself, though. I couldn't even make my husband happy. I couldn't keep him happy enough to keep him from looking outside of "us" for a relationship. I didn't pay enough attention to him or our relationship to realize how much we had fallen apart. I couldn't trust myself to see the warning signs and red flags that we were in trouble. I couldn't trust myself to not resort to violence.

The forgiveness I need now is for myself. It's time to let go of it so that I can allow the joy back in that my life has been missing. I need to forgive myself and love even these parts of myself so that I can begin to trust again, so that I can open up to letting new people into my life again.

I find myself scared to let anyone in. Not just not letting them in, but I'm pushing them away. I'm not actually doing it on purpose, though. I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time. I just see that in a room full of people who are all connecting in some way, I am not. I feel like there's something wrong with me, that I'm not looking or doing or saying the right thing to get people to like me, and I don't even realize that it's because I'm energetically and stubbornly refusing to let anyone into my space. There's not actually anything wrong with me. There's nothing that needs to be fixed. There are just parts of me that need to be loved and accepted.

The things that I grieved from my failed marriage are all of the things that I still want now. I want stability in a partner. I want a family. I want a person to walk through this life with. Before I can do that, though, I need to learn to forgive myself. I need to learn to love myself again so that I can attract in the right match for me and love a partner the way they deserve to be loved and see that love reflected back to me.  I need to make it stick. I need to practice it every day. That is one thing that India has shown me and given me the freedom to do is to practice and have the time, space and awareness to notice how I feel when I do.

Maybe at some point, there will come a day when I won't have to do the work. Maybe someday it will come naturally and without thought and effort. For now, though, I'm not going to chance it. This is my practice. This is my work.  I'm going to hold myself accountable. I'm willing to forgive in hopes that the fog will lift. That's the first step.

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Home

I want to go home. 

I have no home. 

I am Home. 

These phrases have been going over and over and over in my head for a few weeks now, in this exact order, as if stuck on repeat. When I finally mentioned it to someone, I explained to them that I feel as though I want to go home whether I am feeling weak or strong. When I am weak, I feel homesick. I miss my parents and my brother and sister and my grams. I miss hugs and all of the things I know and understand. When I am strong, I feel as though I'm ready to go back and find the stability I know I can create for myself.

In those same moments of weakness, even though I long for home, I know there is nothing there for me that is different from here. The same lessons, the same loneliness, the same restlessness exists no matter where I am.  I have no home. I have let go of the things in Nashville that made it my "home". I don't need to go back there.

In those same moments of strength, I know that I can find the same comforts, the same beauty, the same stability no matter where I am. It is my choice where I decide to set up shop. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in this body. So, Home is this body, right? It is the world. It is the universe. Home is wherever I am. I am Home.

I don't know what to choose, so I sit...still. I sit until I know it's time to move. I sit until I know where to go, until I feel that my home is in this body. This body is the temple for the goddess that I am. I see glimpses of this, but it doesn't stick. I know in the marrow in my bones that I am that, but it doesn't stick. So I practice. I continue to practice until it is all I know.

When I think about Nashville, though, I think about all of the precious moments I'm missing with my niece and nephew. The moments I'm missing with my grams and Grandma D who aren't going to be around forever. Is it worth it? What am I getting here that I couldn't get there? Why am I here? Why am I in India doing the same things I could be doing there? Learning the same lessons I could be learning there? 

The phrases have shifted now.

I am Home in this body.

I can be Home anywhere.

I want to go home. 

The one consistency is that I want to go back to Nashville. I feel like I'm done here. It's coming from a calm place. I could go anywhere, but why? I can always travel. I can always explore. I'm ready to grow some roots, and I can do that anywhere. Why not do it where my family and friends are?

This brings to mind one of the Rules for Being Human:

'There' is no better than 'here.' When your 'there' has become 'here,' you will simply obtain another 'there' that will again look better than 'here.'

'Here' is pretty gorgeous, though!  Not to mention that all I have to do is sit and enjoy the 'here.' I need to figure out how to do this more in Nashville, I suppose.

Disclaimer: these thoughts are temporary and may change by tomorrow or even in the next hour. 

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View of Arunachala from the roof where I meditate every morning. 

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Source: illuzone.net

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