I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she was telling me that she just got back from a trip to Sweden (her home country), but it still feels like she needs a vacation! I think we can all relate. Sometimes, our vacations end up exhausting us further and creating new challenges physically, financially, emotionally…
It’s really important that we have a way to relax within ourselves and not have to jet away every time we are stressed. I told my friend, “Why don’t you take a vacation inside yourself?”
What I meant was, she needs a way to take a break from her usual thoughts, feelings, and actions so that she can refresh her sense of well-being and peace. And this can be done without making any big changes. She doesn’t have to plan an extravagant holiday to take a vacation within.
Here are 5 ways to take a vacation inside yourself:
1) Take a break from being so hard on yourself! – For just a day, a week, or however long you choose, take a break from criticizing yourself, judging yourself, or needing to be right/good/perfect. In fact, allow yourself to do the bare minimum for a while and don’t feel bad about it! Free yourself from the harsh inner critic and just BE.
2) Don’t worry about money – This has nothing to do with how much money or wealth you actually have. It has everything to do with how you feel inside. Trust that you are endlessly abundant and well on your way to receiving many more blessings. Take yourself shopping, out to eat, or don’t even spend money but simply stop worrying about how to make ends meet. For even one day, give zero attention to money. Rest into assurance that you have and will always have plenty- you’d be surprised what kind of magical things can happen when you already believe you are abundant!
3) Let yourself enjoy food – Whatever you feel like eating, go for it. Listen deeply to your body and, for a day or even a whole week, eat and truly savor whatever yummy delicious things you crave. Have a special treat from childhood that you miss. Go to your favorite restaurant. Make yourself an extravagant new dish or dessert. Just enjoy every bite! When you feel nurtured in this way, you won’t feel the need to binge eat because you aren’t depriving yourself.
4) Rest as much as you want – Take a breather from the old exercise routine and sleep in. Go for a relaxing walk instead of running or hitting the gym. If you feel like sitting on the couch all day… do it. Every once in a while, our bodies need the chance to totally recuperate and rest. Once again, listen deeply to what your body is saying and rest as much as you’d like.
5) Resist nothing, everything is here to help you – This can change your whole world. Instead of viewing a situation as an obstacle to overcome or an enemy to beat, try viewing everything you encounter as a special gift that is here to help you. That rude driver who cut you off? “Thank you for teaching me patience.” That friend who betrayed you and hurt your feelings? “Thank you for reminding me to love myself unconditionally.” That expensive parking ticket? “Thank you for helping me remember how abundant I am.” Everything in our lives can be viewed as a blessing and a gift. And then there’s nothing to resist or fight.
I hope this list helps you feel free within yourself and able to take a vacation any time! You deserve it, beautiful.
Gia Gia xoxo
Photo credit: Andrés Nieto Porras via Flickr
A tip for tapping in. A tip for a tap. Tip tip tapperoo.
Sometimes it's just straight up hard to make a decision in life. Our minds tend to be really good at vacillating, awfulizing, and otherwise over-analyzing situations and crossroads in life until we feel completely ungrounded and off-center.
We might seek guidance from counselors, parents, friends, books... but ultimately, it's quite important that WE feel really solid, confident, & at peace with the choices WE make. Which means we've gotta feel it inside of us- regardless of what other people say- it has to feel right within... We have to use intuition.
Some people feel that they are more or less intuitive than others, but I assure you, we are ALL equipped with this delicious gem-of-an-ability. We just have to practice developing & TRUSTING it!
Ya know that juicy, yummy feeling inside when something amazing happens and you feel totally at home within yourself?? THAT'S your intuition saying, "Hell yeah! This is totally me!"
Ya know that yucky, sinking, heavy feeling when you are undermined, lost, powerless, & just uncomfortable?? THAT'S your intuition saying, "This is not me."
But sometimes the feeling isn't so obvious. And our minds are all over the place with worries, doubts, and confusion.
Well here's a little tip to get you back in touch with your intuitive nature.
Imagine that you could consult with God on this one... or the Universe, Spirit, your higher self... even someone you really trust, love, & admire.
Whoever this wise being is, imagine that you asked them your burning quesion: should I do A or B? (And you really really trust whatever their answer is to be the TRUTH).
*Close your eyes and get into your body. Feel your breath and your belly.*
Really tune in and imagine that God says, "Go with A, for sure."
NOW, sense the reaction in your energy body. Did something inside of you jump up and down yelling "Woohoo!!" or did a little piece of you cringe inside with fear? Did you feel relieved to know that you should definitely go with option A? Or did you feel overwhelmed?
You can repeat this process with option B, but you should already sense within if it's A or not.
THEN, you must trust trust trust what your intuition is guiding you toward. Even if it makes no logical sense (it usually doesn't!), this is your spirit's calling.
Quiet your mind and focus on that yummy feeling inside of hope, expansion, and connection to your highest self & highest path.
Happy choosing my loves!
Photo credit: Angela Marie Henriette via Flickr
You know it. I'm a quitter. I quit stuff all the time.
And you're thinking...what the hell kind of inspirational advice is this??? Well, let me explain why I see the value in being a "quitter."
So, of course commitment is absolutely golden. We've all heard it since we were kids: "Never give up!" "Stay the course" "Winners never quit and quitters never win"
Well I'd like to bring some balance to this perspective.
Sometimes quitting is the only way to move forward. Sometimes we have to quit in order to keep growing & flowing. The way I see it, quitting is somewhat akin to.....ahem.....letting go! And when you've been hitting your head against the brick-wall-of-a-problem for far too long and your poor, swollen head is throbbing, it's just simply time to LET GO. QUIT. And...TRUST! Trust that by letting go of what isn't working, you're creating space for what will work.
Often times, we are so focused on a goal or a mission that, when we run into lots of obstacles, we don't realize that these obstacles signal that it's time to make a change in direction.
When we let go of our control over the situation, when we quit, whatever is meant-to-be flows immediately into our lives, into our hearts, into our awareness. Whatever is truly genuine and authentic always reveals itself as the sweet little heart beat that kept you going all along.
Sometimes we are so consumed in our minds with what the picture "should" look like, that we can't sense what feels good and true in our hearts. When we allow ourselves to quit something that feels stuck or heavy, we allow what is truly authentic to come forth- and only then can we refine our goals and the picture we're creating with a refreshed sense of direction and purpose.
And what about staying the course and never giving up? Well, what we should really be steadfast committed to is honoring the guiding voice of our hearts and never giving up on our growth and expansion! Yeah, sometimes we have no idea what our expansion and growth will look like- how can we even begin to work toward that?
Quit whatever drags you down, and commit to being your authentic self.
In my life, I've quit the things that matter most to me over and over. I've quit my music career too many times to count. I've quit my yoga & spiritual teacher dreams time and time again. But without fail, every single time, what is truly authentic to my soul-centered purpose comes crawling back to me so that I can begin again. Only after letting go completely can I flow forward with a renewed sense of genuine purpose. Quitting allows me to shed the layers of my work and my intention that no longer serve me so that I am free to follow the guiding voice of my heart.
Go ahead. Quit whatever keeps you stuck and frustrated. That which is truly meant for you will be unwrapped and revealed like the beautiful gift that it is. It will shine and glow, lighting the path that will guide you home.
Hollaaaa to all my fellow quitters! Love you,
P.S. After completing this blog post, my internet crashed and I lost everything I wrote!! So frustrating...but alas...I trust that it was important for me to quit the first draft of this blog and write it again, with a renewed sense of purpose. ;)
Photo Credit: Jeff Djevdet via Flickr
“‘It’s impossible,’ said pride. ‘It’s risky,’ said experience. ‘It’s pointless,’ said reason. 'Give it a try,' whispered the heart.” -Unknown
I don’t know about you lovely souls, but lately I’ve seen just how important it is to listen to my heart.
My mind has taken me on torturous roller coasters of doubt and shame… “I’m afraid I’m not a good enough musician to even be worthy of making music.” “I’m worried that integrating my yoga & music businesses is stupid and no one will get it.”
On and painfully on in a dark, twisted spiral of emotion.
But a tiny voice in the center of my chest whispered to me, “Let all of that go and trust your heart.”
I immediately placed my palm over my chest, as if to hear my body better with my hand.
"All of this is perfect, sweet pea. You’ve done everything just right, and things are unfolding beautifully."
OH MY!! The sweet sensation of unconditional love washed over me. That loving little voice was my heart reassuring me that none of my struggles, emotional freak outs, or mess ups have actually been mistakes. It was all just perfect.
PHEWWW, what a relief! What makes no sense to my mind (or anyone else’s mind) is the pure and beautiful song of the heart. It’s the wisdom that makesmagicand miracles happen if you listen deeply. And dammit, THAT’S HOW I WANNA LIVE! From the center of my creative, brave, mystical, expressive, & unconditionally loving heart.
Don’t you, beauty??
So here’s a simple exercise I created for listening to your amazing heart. :)
(There’s a demonstration video below!!)
1) First, get grounded in your body and out of your head. Feel your feet and legs, feel your hips and spine, feel your belly and chest, feel your arms and hands, feel your neck, head, and face. Bring all your awareness and attention out of your thoughts and into the sensations inside your body.
2) Send a grounding channel of energy deep into the earth. Imagine that at the base of your seat (i.e. first chakra), you have a channel of energy flowing effortlessly, deep down into the earth, almost as if a magnet in the center of the earth is pulling this energy out of you. It’s infinite & free flowing and keeps you solid and safe on earth.
3) Place both hands over your heart. Clear your mind and focus your awareness on the feeling of your heart center. Maybe you already will feel a blissful, loving sensation or will hear a sweet voice whisper something reassuring.
4) Imagine a light glowing in your heart as you breathe deeply. With each breath you take, you add more light to your heart, and it expands to encompass your body. The light fills you and surrounds you with the loving energy of the heart. Feel the warm tingles of safety and compassion as you are surrounded by heart energy.
5) Hear a sweet & gentle hum coming from your heart. You can just listen for this loving hum or you can actually hum with your voice. (Sounds like “mmmm” as in something yummy). Enjoy the bliss and peace that you feel when you connect with your beautiful heart!
6) Finally, write down any messages or images that come to you from your heart and place it on your mirror, by your bed, or on your door. Each day remind yourself of the sweet & gentle voice of your heart.
So that’s my simple heart listening exercise! I made a little video to demonstrate this exercise (see below). I hope you enjoy it, and if so, please share with friends!
Much love to you all! From my heart to yours,
Photo Credit: Alice Popkorn via Flickr
I know… it’s not always easy to be loving toward ourselves.
Just the other day, I was in a storm of doubtful thoughts about my place in life. My birthday is coming up, and I really wanted to be in a positive space for the celebration of my life! Finally I broke through the clouds and thought, HEY! I wanna be on MY TEAM!
Like, no more self-sabotaging, self-limiting beliefs or actions.
Whatever scary, uncertain thoughts we have about our futures…they are merely thoughts. Not truth. Not reality. And if we cut them out right from the start, they don’t gain power and momentum by being repeated in our minds day in and day out.
Yes, thoughts are super powerful. We can also take actions that support positive thinking, feeling great, and truly loving ourselves. So here are my 5 tips for self-love in 2015:
1) Journal often- Omg. Writing stuff down is so powerful. If you’ve never journaled before, start. If you’ve journaled but you don’t make it a habit, step your game up. I try to journal every morning, especially if I’m stressed out or have a lot of kooky thoughts going on. And what, you might ask, should we journal about? Anything on your mind! I write down dreams I had, worries I’m stewing about, plans and to-do lists, hopes and dreams, anything that’s keeping my head in the clouds and out of the present moment. The powerful part is, when you write something down, you can release it from within. Your mind can cleanse itself of all the gunk and you can be aware and present for your amazing, fun, and beautiful life.
2) Be alone- For some of us, this is actually uncomfortable and a little scary! And for others of us, it seems impossible to get some space for ourselves with all of the busyness of life. But it’s ohhh so important. You have to get comfortable with the skin you’re in and get to know yourself without the distraction of others. Alone time is when you can process your emotions, daydream about the empowered steps you’re going to take on your path, and, —this is a BIG one— connect to your higher guidance and wisdom. Your intuition speaks when you slow down, quiet yourself, make space, & listen. Mmmmm. Even if it’s a few minutes when you wake up or before bed, find that time to go within and nurture your inner being.
3) Think positively- Yikes, I know this can be so tricky. We’ve all got a thousand voices in our heads with all kinds of opinions, fears, and worries. But once we step back and witness all the chatter, we see that these thoughts are taking us out of the present moment, which is the only time & place where we can actually LIVE and do anything about our issues and struggles! Practice this: notice yourself thinking a negative, self-limiting thought and say firmly in your mind, “Cancel that thought!” Take a deep breath and then reach for a higher thought. Replace it with something more spacious and hopeful.
Example: Negative thought- “No one has signed up for my meditation meetup! I must be no good at this, and I’m never meant to succeed at being a yoga-meditation entrepreneur.” (True story)
Higher thought- ”I trust that whatever happens is in my highest good. I believe in myself and my abilities. All is well.”
4) Forgive yourself- We aaaallllll make mistakes. And really they are perfect little mistakes that help us grow and find our way back to our souls. Let everything you’ve ever done wrong GO. Right now. Let it go. Free up your energy to live in the present and take empowered actions toward the life you want to live. My cute little suggestion: give yourself a pet name. I started calling myself “Monkey” when I need a nurturing little pat on the back. In my head I’ll say, “It’s okay, Monkey. I love you and you’re doing a great job. Keep going!” It has saved me from some dark and heavy days.
5) Breathe- You’re thinking, Ha! Already got that one covered- thanks lungs. I meant… breathe deeply, consciously, lovingly. This is truly the most powerful thing on this list because it can transform your energy, your mood, and your thought process in an instant! Practice taking 3 deep breaths when you’re upset and see how different you feel. Take 3 deep breaths in between bites of food and notice that you won’t overeat. Take 3 deep breaths when you wake up and welcome the life force energy into your being to start the day! IT’S MAGICAL YOU GUYS.
I hope this simple, yet profound list will help you fall in love with yourself this year. At the end of the day, you are the only beautiful thing you’ve got. Be in love with the person you are. Be love.
Photo Credit: Noval Goya via Flickr
Gia writes about her journey through life and the many twists and turns of spiritual growth, relationships, health & healing, life as a performer, and the ever-unfolding path back to her heart.
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