Turmeric: The Golden Herb

Years ago I decided to make some changes to my health which included the use of various herbs in my diet. The earth providing such a wide variety of options for nutrients, I knew I would need to do some research. Book after book and article after article, I noticed that turmeric was almost always on the list, so I went for it. I experimented with it in food, homemade beverages and suggested it to anyone looking to start on their natural wellness journey. Before I knew it, I was having turmeric nearly daily for months when I noticed a few things:

  1. I do not get sick nearly as much as I used to. Every now and then I may experience a bit of “crud” but it is usually pretty slight and lasts for a short period of time, even during the flu seasons.
  2. Wounds heal faster. Between the paper-handling at work and playing with my puppy at home, I would inevitably end up with scratches, cuts and bruises. The scarring time has been significantly reduced and my skin, in general, is clearer and healthier.
  3. Weight management is easier. Drinking turmeric as a tea daily helps curve my appetite and support my digestive health.

So let’s talk about what makes this golden root so special …

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.

Although inflammation is necessary to protect the body from infection, scientists are now concerned that low-level chronic inflammation may be a huge factor in the majority of Western illnesses, including atherosclerosis, obesity, and even cancer. Turmeric contains compounds that actively blocks inflammation-causing molecules, preventing the onset or worsening of numerous chronic diseases.

Turmeric is an antioxidant.

Much of the fear of growing old is the seemingly inevitable deterioration our bodies face, from wrinkles to poor bone health. We can thank free radicals and their oxidative damage for these effects. However, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and antioxidant enzyme promoter that neutralizes free radicals in the body.

Turmeric supports gut health.

Some of the aforementioned inflammatory diseases start with nutritional habits that cause stress on the digestive tract. The bioactive compounds in turmeric promote an overall healthy digestive system by not only reducing cholesterol but also relaxing the muscle walls of the intestine so it can it properly push food down. It can boost the secretion of stomach mucous to prevent acidic damage and helps prevents gas and bloating during digestion.

These are just some of the fantastic benefits of turmeric. No wonder it is one of the more popular medicinal herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is easy to use and has little to no side effects as long as not consumed excessively, much like anything else. However, it is recommended one always consult a doctor or nutritionist before changing diets, especially if there are any concerns about the side effects or possible allergies.

For those who have used turmeric, what is your favorite way to prepare it? What health benefits have you personally experienced? Please share in the comments.

New Moon in Sagittarius Reading

With the end of Mercury Retrograde, we are ushered into the final moon cycle of 2018. This is an ideal time to not only reflect over the year but to look towards new possibilities with the coming new year. This new moon is in Sagittarius, calling us to take our chances as we venture out into the new and unknown.

With spiritual guidance, I ask the cards four significant questions to assist us as we progress through the month: 1. What are we leaving behind?, 2. What is the lesson from the past cycle?, What are we embracing with this new moon?, and 4. How do we go about embracing this?

What are we leaving behind?

The Prince of Swords reversed, in alignment with the Mercury retrograde’s end, we are learning to communicate more clearly and fairly. We are being to understand how and why we should think before we speak so that we may get our points across effectively. We may also be learning how to accept the messages give to us even when they do not arrive in a way that is easy for us to swallow. We have shed some of that weakness and are growing stronger mentally and emotionally.

What is the lesson from the past?

The Hanged Man reminds us that we are not in control of everything, as much as we want to be. We have learned or are learning to let things go and trust that all will work out as it should. This is a sacrifice for some of us as we often attempt to interfere for what we consider to be the greater good. However, our efforts to fall back will be rewarded with more peace in our lives. We should take notice of this sacrifice and find that it is actually a gift.

What should we be embracing with the new moon?

Queen of Wands reversed wants us to be little bit selfish in terms of satiating our desire for exploration, teaching and new ways of thinking. The darkness of new moons represent our inner shadows that can be perceived poorly or even used for less than productive matters but there is another side to this. Our shadows are still a part of who we are and embracing is the only way we can understand it and use it for our betterment. There is nothing wrong with being selfish for the right reasons. Set your goals in place to reach your dreams! It’s okay to even be a little sassy when it comes to putting your foot down about what you really want in life. Self-expression is important but be careful not to misdirect moodiness or become overly arrogant.

How do we go about embracing this?

Eight of Wands suggest that we should just go for it! We know what we want and if we’ve been working hard for it, we will start to see positive changes pretty quickly. Authenticity is key while moving forward but we mustn’t forget that consequences accompany our rawness. However, as long as our actions are aligned with our goals, like the archer should draw our bow and shoot our shot!

Hard Truth with a Lime

My husband and I are “hashers”, my term for people who speak the truth about issues as they recognize them. Being upfront about what we see as reality generally serves us in that there is not a lot of tip-toeing around problems. Instead, we lay it all out on the table as soon as possible so we can resolve it as soon as possible. The conundrum with serving the truth straight up is that it is often taken as offense to emotional lightweights …and sometimes it’s our turn to be the lightweights.

One evening after a long day of work preceded by a long few weeks of balancing all the responsibilities of adult-ing with my goals and dreams, I went on an unexpected rant about lacking the energy or time for all the things I want to do in a day. My husband, with the best of intentions, made a remark that not only hurt my feelings but, for a moment, killed all my dreams and triggered a bunch of old woulds that suddenly bubbled to the surface in a rush. At first, I was furious, then I was sad. After a few hours, I recalled his exact words and realized he wasn’t entirely wrong. We later hashed it out in a conversation in which I got to express my displeasure with his word choice and appreciation of his honesty. He got to apologize and learned a lesson in the consequences of what and how one says things.

At some point in the day, or during our week, or in life we are not ready for hard truths without a chaser. There are moments I need it on the rocks (tough love) or prefer it in a hard cocktail with a lime – not quite sugar-coated but still easier to swallow. However, when we are too busy “keeping it 100”, we may miss the important cues of the receiver not being at the mental or emotional level required to toss back what your serving, regardless of how honest it is. This is where communication often breaks down.

There are some pretty common examples of how, in reference to the Chappelle Show, “keeping it real goes wrong.” Maybe we make a joke about someone else’s poor decision-making which can cause embarrassment and lead to anger and mistrust. Perhaps, we give unsolicited advice when the receiver is only looking for a supportive ear. Maybe the truth would have been more easily accepted had our word choice been less harsh. Of course, there are plenty of circumstances in which it’s up to the receiver to be mature enough to handle the message in spite of the delivery. Also, the intention of the hasher is another important factor which will hopefully be an intuitive guide whilst unveiling the listeners’ eyes.

Compassion is key whenever we are interacting with almost everyone. Sometimes situations call for toughness in the name of genuine concern but other times it calls for a milder touch. When we are truly aware, we can tell the difference, be wise in our approach and maybe someone will grant us the same consideration when we are on the other end.

So tell me …when was a time you went a bit too far with dishing out the truth? Or, when was the last time you were on the receiving end of an inconsiderate truth-teller? Please share in the comments section.

Namaste.

Forgiveness is an Act of Self Love

I think it’s safe to say that we that there is a “self-love” trend happening in which people are seeking wholeness for themselves by themselves. There is most certainly a positive connotation behind this as many of us are looking to making a change from the martyr mentality and hopeless devotion that we might have found ourselves programmed for in the past. I can relate. For decades, I slipped into false romances in which I was giving way more than what I was receiving and calling it love. Suppressing my true feelings and thoughts became the default as I quietly imploded into a depressed messed. Likely conditioned by my father’s unexplained absence and the dealings of my mother’s trauma, pouring my all into the efforts to be enough for others became a part of my identity. Needless to say, that didn’t last but there were noticeable moments in which that elevation started to turn southeast.

I, like so many of us now, began to awaken and see a better way to live. I, thankfully, had the help of pretty amazing friends, family, and my now husband; not to mention the endless motivational social media quotes and hashtags. However, as I became aware of things on a deeper level, I found myself judging people that did not. In criticizing their ignorance and immaturity, I was inadvertently displaying my own. My ego got in the way of me living the liberated life I really wanted. I separated myself and those who understand true love and compassion know separation is a major contradiction to that. We cannot fully love ourselves if we fail to love others for we are all the same and have been in the same shoes at some point in some way. When we forget this, we take steps backwards. The only way to continue to grow is to heal by way of forgiveness.

Truth be told, the hardest time I’ve had and still have are with my family. It’s difficult to forget where they fell short when I needed them the most and how much it hurt. In the short-term, it’s easier to be self-righteous in my resentment but the best thing I can do is realize where they are and love them there. Yes, even when they are not apologetic. Taking the steps to forgive are some of the hardest but probably the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Forgiveness bumps the ego out of the way. Long-term, forgiveness creates a space for us to learn the hard lessons in the sorrow of it all while developing compassion for others and therefore ourselves. This means that we can develop discernment and know when and how to act in a way that is best for us without carrying deadly hatred and fear in our being.

We cannot not properly conduct self love with hearts full hatred as it will inevitably backfire and manifest in everything we produce. Instead, we can acknowledge our pain and accept our perpetrators for where they are, even if we need to leave them there.

Namaste.

New Moon in Scorpio Reading

New moon, new beginnings! It’s time to really get deep with our dark side. This doesn’t necessarily mean summoning demons and wearing all black – although optional – but it does mean the need for much introspection. So much of our lives are an effect of various external causes but retrogrades and new moons are great time to see how we can cause our own lives!

Venus has been in retrograde since October 5, 2018 and will be until November 16, 2018. Venus is the ruler of love, harmony and beauty. When it appears to be going backwards in the sky in relation to the other planets, you can bet there will be emotional turmoil in our interpersonal relationships. The twist, though, is that the conflicts are likely due to something within our individual selves that require tweaking in order for outward harmony to be restored.

Uranus, the planet of rebellion and change, has been in retrograde since August 7, 2018 and will be until January 7, 2019. It’s opposition to Venus right now is also adding fuel to our interpersonal and internal fires.

Neptune has been in retrograde since June 6, 2018 and will be until November 24, 2018. Ruling intuition, idealism and spirituality, it’s position in Pisces, a water sign like Scorpio, is only adding to the chaos of emotions that may be experience now. The think about enlightenment is that spiritual growing pains are very real. Self care is extremely important now.

Now for the astrological planet we’ve all be waiting for: Luna.

Scorpio lunar season means deep emotional intensity and insight.  The moon already relating to the watery flow of emotions, it’s position in a fixed water sign only adds emphasis to the focus on where we are stuck emotionally. As Scorpio puts value on privacy, we should try not to focus so much on everyone else as much as our own emotional health.

Here is what the cards say we can learn from this lunar season:

4 Tips I Learned for Supporting Another Depressive

Approximately 14.8 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. That’s nearly 7 percent of the U.S. population and it only takes into account those who have been officially diagnosed. This does not account for the seemingly functional adults who deal with depression regularly but manage it on their own nor the many unknowns who have no idea they should be seeking help. With these considerations, the likelihood is that if we do not experience clinical depression ourselves, we know someone who does. The most significant person in my life, my husband, is one of those people.

So am I.

As you can imagine, this set up has high potential for emotional explosions and implosions. Believe me, we have been through our share. Fortunately, we have been able to not just survive but thrive as a couple in many way because of our approach to each other struggle. We are not always successful in our execution but we have picked on some valuable tools along the way with one another one.

Here are are some tips to help each other deal with depression:

Give each other space to be depressed.

My husband and I have both learned this the hard way. I recall a time I would put too much pressure on myself to be the one who could keep my guy happy; if he were down, I felt it my job to cheer him up as quickly as possible. When I failed, my own sadness was triggered, putting pressure on him to support me. This, of course, made him feel like he had to mask his depression for my safety which only made his situation worse. On the flip side, my husband is sometimes a tough love kind of guy which didn’t always give me the space to be in my sadness. Needless to say, this didn’t work for us long-term.

When our loved ones are hurting, it is natural for us to want to run to their rescue. We want them to feel supported and let them know there is no reason to be upset on your watch. However, the reality is often that people need a chance to feel what they are feeling, even if it’s irrational, and even when they know they are supported by you.

Communication is key.

The emphasis on communication may sound cliche but that doesn’t make it less true. No matter how well you know your loved ones,  you cannot read their minds. Sure, we sometimes develop a knack for recognizing the predictability of their personality but so often do deep thoughts and feelings go unsaid and even completely hidden away. When suppressed long enough, seemingly explainable behavior patterns may develop as a result which can have negative consequences of their own. This requires not only for the us to listen better and be more attentive when our depressed beloved does speak or show signs but also for our us who are suffering to find the time and courage to speak with the opportunity presents itself.

Be patient. Give growth time.

Even when we have the tools to cope and comfort we will run into moments in which those tools seem useless. Some days, a good yoga session, healthy meal or comedy show may do the trick. Other days, it’s a good cry or a chance wallow in the sadness. You may even fell like depression is completely behind you in one moment, only to be faced with an abrupt emotional decline the next. It’s important to know that not everything works every time.

Use the tools in your joint wellness arsenal when you can but don’t feel all is lost if a method is not producing the same positive response. Tenacity and patience will help with bounce-back when motivation falls short; the more you practice the easier it gets later. Remember there is not reason to rush as life is a marathon, not a race. As long as you are moving, if even a little, you can and will be okay if you keep it up.

Lastly …

Do not create expectation out of comparison.

I’m totally guilty of having the thought, “If we could just do [insert activity] like [insert another person’s success story], we would be so much better off.”

Seeking hope from other stories of overcoming can be an inspiration and uplifting. All the same, it can be very damaging. We see it all the time in other scenarios, from weight loss to career building – especially on social media. So badly do we want the fairy tale ending of someone else’s story without having all the facts when the truth is there is no such thing as an ending. As long as someone is alive, they are going to experience hard times, what works for them may not work for you, and your story may not look like the illusion of their story. Comparing the process and progress of another to our own or someone we know and love creates further heaviness around the ebbs and flows of the other journey to be had.

Stay in your lane.

Namaste.

 

Taurus Full Moon & Venus-Uranus Opposition Reading October 2018

I am usually pretty introspective already but the current energy in the air is calling me to take a look at who I am and what I desire in terms in interrelations. Taurus moon makes it a great time to get grounded and centered. This make take a lot of discipline as our stubbornness may get in the way, however, our stubbornness may be exactly the thing to help make us clear about what we want out of life.

Venus, the brightest star in the heavens, represents beauty, magnetism, money and love. Our interrelationships are affected by the positions of this planet as it amplifies and makes us take notice of our desires be they material or personal. In its current retrograde state, meaning that it appears to be orbiting backwards in relation to the surrounding bodies, we are being forced to take a step back and look at our lives from a new perspective – especially in the areas of romance and finance. Fortunately and unfortunately, this can mean a rise of impatience as we become more clear about what we want from our partners, ourselves and the world around us.

To top it off, Uranus is making its way in opposition to Venus. Uranus is the planet of independence, spiritual growth and eccentricity. It represents innovative progression and rebellion against the status quo. As opposing positions tend to mark a time of conflict for the sake of progress, Uranus is adding to our being pushed toward seeing our situations in a new light. Upheaval is often necessary for healing and forward movement and as full moons are a time for release, we should take note of what we can change in order to make steps towards our desired future.