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Archive for meditation

Clarify Your Intentions for 2019

What kind of life do you want to be creating for yourself, your loved ones and the world around you?

We live in a challenging world in challenging times.  You may notice people around you falling into despair.  Some days it might feel like enough of a challenge to keep your own head above water without trying to hold others up from sinking beneath the surface too. Maybe your office environment gets snarky when co-workers feel stressed. Maybe your family members act out when they feel angry, sad or unloved.

It takes focus and determination to stay on track creating a world where you want to live – a world where you feel loved and appreciated.  A world where the people around you are stable and joyful too.

So, how do you keep yourself stable enough to be a light in the dark for others – without extinguishing your own light in the process?

Practice the art of Spiritual Pilates to strengthen your inner spiritual core muscles so you can intentionally create the life you love and desire – a life where you show up as your best self and others contribute to your well-being rather than drag you down.  Consistently practicing the skills of Spiritual Pilates leads to new levels of self-mastery.

Self-mastery does not mean that you never make mistakes or need to re-calibrate your vibrations to get back on track toward achieving your goals and dreams. Self-mastery is about how quickly you get back to center once you have gotten off track.

You are invited to join the Spiritual Pilates online community to practice skills leading to self-mastery.

In Spiritual Pilates, you learn skills to manage your subtle energy vibrations so that you can:

  • Get yourself out of a slump more quickly and feel better faster;
  • Respond to the ups and downs of life without feeling flustered when things don’t go as planned;
  • Improve the quality of your relationships and have more rewarding interactions with people;
  • Feel energized enough to make dinner at the end of the day;
  • Calm your mind chatter and stop making things worse for yourself;
  • Experience more God in your daily life and feel blessed moment to moment;
  • Shine your inner light more brightly so people around you can find their own path more easily.

The next session of Spiritual Pilates: On the Road to Self-Mastery begins November 13, 2018.

  • The live online workshop meets four Tuesdays, 7–8:00pm CT, 8-9:00ET, 6-7:00MT, 5-6:00PT November 13, 20, 27, December 4
  • Recordings available
  • Live and recorded Q&A Weekly
  • Meditations, homework
  • Two live 10-minute mid-day energy resets weekly
  • Closed Facebook group

In Spiritual Pilates we focus on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy vibrations and how to:

Week 1 – raise and sustain your physical energy vibration so you feel energized and not depleted;

Week 2 – work with emotional vibrations that stop you from moving forward so you can stay on track toward achieving your goals and desires;

Week 3 – assess whether your thoughts are in integrity with your intentions or keeping you stuck in old patterns of behavior;

Week 4 – align body, emotions, mind and spirit for optimal well-being so you are living your life on purpose and you feel fulfilled.

Check with your inner guidance to see if Spiritual Pilates resonates with you.  Then, call or text me and let’s set up a time to chat about whether Spiritual Pilates is the next right step for you.  Leah 651-472-3995.

Toggle to Joyful Center

gyroscope 5Attend my workshop, Toggle to Joy, as my guest, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6-7:30pm at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Student Services Bldg, Riverview Rm SC200. In Toggle to Joy, learn about shifting the screen of your awareness from the small, outside shell of ego, to the ever-present, Infinite Joy at the Center of your being… struggle, toggle, JOY.  struggle, toggle, JOY!

Also, if you have wondered about how to integrate Complementary & Alternative Medicine into your career, check out the Anoka-Ramsey College Integrative Health & Healing Certificate Program when you come to the workshop.  http://www.anokaramsey.edu/classes/Certificates/Integrative%20Health%20and%20Healing%20-%20Certificate.aspx

Toggle to Joy

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In sync.  Out of sync.  In sync.   Some days my outer light flashes green and red like my wifi connection needing to be re-synced.  Funny thing is that the inner light of joy is always on – like the internet is there waiting for me to reconnect.  Your inner being is always joyful and loving.  It is the connection between the inner and outer that fails.  When our inner light shines through to the outside, we feel joy.  When we drop out of joy, it’s time to re-sync.

I call that connection re-sync to the inner light, Toggling.   On your electronic device you can toggle between screens.  When we are paying attention, we can toggle between the inner and outer screens of our awareness.  We can toggle between the screen of Always Joyful Inner light, spiritual center, Soul or whatever you call it to the outer light of Sometimes Joyful ego- personality.   I notice that I just barked at someone. “oops!  I just dropped my Joy Connection.”    Usually these days, I stay in joy most of the time.  Sometimes, though, I notice my dropped connection more often.

Someone cuts me off in traffic and I cuss.  Yikes – just dropped my joy connection.   Toggle to Joy.  I am way short of sleep and I grouse at the kids.  Oops – Toggle to Joy.

If my internet provider dropped my wifi connection as often as I drop my connection to my joyful center, I would get a new internet provider.  However, I am my own connector to my joyful spiritual center through my awareness.

Personal mastery is not that you never drop the connection to your joyful spiritual center, but how quickly you get the connection back.  Personal Mastery is a process – not a destination – and toggling is a tool for your tool belt of personal mastery.

I am offering two opportunities to play with Toggling in my Toggle to Joy workshops:

Sunday, April 3, 2:00-3:30pm
Unity North Spiritual Center
11499 Martin Dr. Coon Rapids MN
Cost:  Suggested Love Offering $20

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30-8:00pm Save the Date!
Anoka Ramsey Community College
Integrative Health & Healing
Complementary & Alternative Medicine Club
Student Services Bldg.  Riverview Rm SC200
11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids MN
Cost:  No charge

Please join us for one of these Toggle workshops so you stay in joy more often too!

Call me with questions or to pre-register.  651-472-3995

The light in me sees the light in you!  Namaste!  Leah

Three Ways to Nurture Your Spirit

boston-park-in-fall

Fall time – a fun time of new beginnings, fall sweaters, pumpkin spice latte.
Fall can get stressful for me with the added parent meetings, workshops, and new projects to complete.

 

 

Three simple things I do when I am feeling stressed to nurture myself and nourish my spirit are:

  • Breathe – Most of us severely under-rate breathing on our daily importance scale.  With less oxygen on the planet than 100 years ago, our bodies have to work harder to stay oxygenated.  Breathing fully and deeply into the bottom of your lungs gives your body an energy boost from the extra oxygen.  Count in 4, hold 4, count out 8.  Try 4-5 of those full breaths several times a day to relax, restore and regroup.
  • Move – Physical movement helps you process the energy of the day moving through your life.  Feeling anxiously overwhelmed?  Try some aerobic exercise to jump start your fire and digest the energy more efficiently.  Feeling angrily stressed?  Try calming yoga movements to slow down and just be present.  I set aside time to move however my body wants to move in the moment.  Whatever movement you choose, MOVE to get out of your head and into your body where you can take action to reduce your stress.
  • Nourish – Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and the cleanest meat you can get.  The artificial ingredients in processed foods clog your system like cheese clogging a sieve.  When I am feeling stressed, a fresh veggie sandwich and pro biotics like fermented vegetable sauerkraut or a pro-biotic drink like kombucha gives me a lift.  Giving your body higher quality fuel will give you more stamina to deal with daily life.  If you can’t get high quality food, bless the food you do have with gratitude and raise the vibration of the food you are consuming.

When I want to push the refresh button on my life screen, I retreat.  Sometimes retreating to the bathtub for an hour suffices.  Other times, I am ready for the full weekend retreat get-away.  I was fortunate to get that weekend retreat away last weekend with a group of amazing women.  We laughed, danced, meditated and ate delicious food prepared especially for us.  I came home feeling refreshed and full of life.  I would like to offer you two delightful retreat opportunities!

Here are two retreat options for you to renew your spirit.
http://masteryintheartofliving.com/classes-and-workshops/

I hope you can join us!
Enjoy the Beautiful Fall Day!
Be Well,
Leah

Creating Positive Work and Home Environments With Intention

Rice Experiment 001

The Rice Experiment opened more than a few teenage eyes on how their words and intentions impact their environment. Hopefully, the lesson will translate into their homes and future workplaces. The middle school teens at our spiritual community conducted the Rice Experiment. After cooking a pot of rice, they placed a scoop of rice into separate, identical jars and sealed the lids. On the outside of one jar, they wrote “LOVE” while on the other jar they wrote, “HATE.” For the next week, they talked to the jars filling the LOVE jar with kind, loving, compassionate intentions and thoughts. They told the HATE jar it was stupid, ugly, mean and nasty. Then, they watched the results.

A year later, these same jars sit on the shelf of our teen room, telling the story of our intentions. The LOVE jar, filled with our divine, loving intentions, remains filled with white fluffy rice. The HATE jar started decomposing right away and quickly turned into a grey, slimy sludge. No kidding.

Vibrating energy patterns make up everything in the Universe – even your thoughts. The vibration of your thought patterns affects the environment around you. That phenomenon caught me unaware in my early 20’s. A boyfriend had given me a lovely, potted, flowering plant which flourished under my tender care. As soon as the boyfriend dumped me, the plant died. “I’m sorry little flower. I didn’t mean to kill you!” My negative thoughts about the giver of the plant had created a toxic environment in which the plant could not thrive.

How many times have you been in a toxic work environment where your life force felt jeopardized? Other peoples’ toxic thought vibrations set up a dissonance in your personal space. The complaining and whining can bring your vibration down until it affects your physical health – like the decomposing HATE rice jar.

The Good News: we control our own thoughts! Sweet! I don’t have to send out negative thought vibrations that ricochet into someone else’s negative thoughts adding to the cesspool of toxic emissions circulating through the office or home. I can choose to think positive, loving, kind, compassionate thoughts.

How do you get the train rolling down a different track once it’s in motion down the track of negativity? Switch tracks! Toggle the screen of your awareness to a new thought. Find something to appreciate: your amazing hand, the song on the radio, a color, a shadow pattern, a shimmering light. Toggle. But she said …. toggle… but they did that to me… toggle, toggle, toggle.

Appreciation changes the vibration of your thoughts to an upward spiral. You don’t have to switch to the JOY track right away. Switching from complaining to joy might require too big of a leap. Sometimes, when I am really mad, the best I can do is get to neutral. At least in neutral, you are not adding to the negative cesspool. From neutral, take one small step in the direction you want to go. Appreciate one thing. Then another. Then appreciate ten things. Notice any positive change in your environment. You might not notice a change in people around you right away, but keep it up and you will. Guaranteed.

Research by Dr. Masaru Emoto provides more elegant evidence than our rice jar experiment about the effect of thought vibrations on your environment. Dr. Emoto led a team of researchers to photograph frozen water crystals. Emoto found that frozen water crystals from a beaker labeled with positive words – love, joy, Mother Theresa – or submitted to healing music, created symmetrical crystal patterns that look like beautiful snowflakes.

Frozen water crystals taken from a beaker of polluted water, however, or one labeled with hateful words or submitted to heavy metal music, produced crystals that looked asymmetrical, broken, dark, cloudy and misshapen.

Even more importantly, Emoto’s team found that the broken crystal structure of the polluted water could be repaired. Misshapen water crystals became symmetrical and beautiful again when infused with loving, kind intentions – prayer therapy.

Now we know why prayer works on our bodies. The human body is over 50% water. When we pray over the body, the water molecules respond to the higher vibration thoughts. Other researchers, notably Dr. Larry Dossey, have shared research on the power of prayer in medical situations. Researchers documented that patients’ health improved when someone prayed for them – even when the patient did not know of the prayer.

Harnessing the power of your thoughts – toggling from a negative to a positive thought – will help you achieve your dreams and create an environment where you flourish. Try sending thought vibrations for harmony and wellbeing to the people around you to help foster a more harmonious work and home environment. When we humans learn to collectively harness the power of our shared vision, we will create a world that we DO want where all creation can thrive and prosper. Please join me in toggling to a life that includes more love, peace, freedom, harmony, prosperity and joy.

 

Leah Skurdal, is a public speaker, workshop facilitator, energy healer and author. Leah offers classes through her business, Mastery in the Art of Living in Lino Lakes, MN and other locations. She is author of the forthcoming book, “Toggle to Soul: Live in Joy.” Leah is available to speak to groups at breakfast or lunch meetings, social groups, classrooms and spiritual communities. She can be reached at leah.skurdal@gmail.com www.MasteryInTheArtofLiving.com

Mini Spiritual Retreat

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When have you taken time out for yourself lately?

Come to Saturday Sanctuary Mini Spiritual Retreat

  • to nourish yourself so you have more to give others
  • recharge your batteries so you feel refreshed and re-energized
  • listen to your own wisdom so you can hear your voice above the roar of demands on your time
  • breathe and move so you can slow down your mind

Saturday, April 25, 9:00am-12:00pm
at the Wellness Circle, 7094 Lake Dr. Lino Lakes, MN

Cost:  $90

For more information or to register call Leah:  651-472-3995

Mouse Musings

minnie mouseOur pet mouse, Isabel, died today. Well, not actually my pet mouse. She is (or was) my daughter’s pet mouse. Isabel came home at the end of a 5th grade science experiment about the merits of fruits and vegetables.

My surprise at the passing of Isabel the white mouse is that I might miss her just a teeny bit. As I cut up vegetables for dinner, I realized I would no longer save tidbits for Isabel. Never did I dream that I would save vegetable scraps for a mouse. Curious things we do as parents. Living with Isabel the white mouse has taught me a few other things about life.

For a while, Isabel ran on her wheel every night. We shut the door so not to listen to the squeaking plastic wheel turn all night long. One day, we realized that we had not heard the wheel for a time. When we investigated why Isabel had stopped running, we discovered that the wheel had become lodged during a cage cleaning and would not turn. We adjusted the wheel so that it turned properly again, but weeks later, Isabel still would not run.

We mused that Isabel had failed so many times at turning the wheel that she quit trying. Even though one more try would have proved that the wheel turned freely, Isabel Mouse would sit in the wheel but she would not run.

How often do people behave like Isabel? They feel dejected over failure and refuse to try again. When have I quit trying, when one more attempt would have created success?

Towards the end of her life, Isabel appeared agitated and climbed the sides of the cage regularly looking for a way out. Maybe the cage was too stinky. Now, Isabel Mouse is free. Her carbon atoms buried under a tree combine with the carbon of the earth. Her life force energy combines with the Universal Life Force. Isabel Mouse finally got out of her cage.

Do you notice, as I do, how often people trap themselves in a cage of their own making – prisoners of old patterns of thought? Where in my life do I cage myself in my old stinking thinking patterns?

During meditation, I free myself from the stinking cage of my limited thinking mind. Focusing awareness on my breathing, I watch my thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky. With an open heart, I experience the freedom of aligning with Universal Life Force. I align with my Soul, connect to God, and feel free.

Thanks for the life lessons, Isabel Mouse. May you rest in peace.

Sending a Boomerang for Peace

boomerangActively commemorating the Season of Non-Violence, between the dates of Ghandi’s and ML King’s deaths, January 30-April 4, gives me an opportunity to send out a boomerang for peace.

During the Season of Non-Violence, I invite you to pay particular attention to any negativity you send out before it comes back at you like a boomerang. I experienced this first hand one morning when we were rushing to get to an event on time. In a crabby mood, I fussed at the kids about their lack of preparation and the possibility of arriving late. The tension in the air escalated. I fumed in the kitchen, hurriedly throwing together ingredients for a dish to bring to the third event in a day with back-to-back activities. In a careless, not-at-all-mindful moment, I knocked over a can of olives, sending the liquid flying all over the floor and behind the stove.

I took a deep breath, recognizing that I had just magnetically attracted that experience into my morning. Like attracts like. My negativity had come back to me like a boomerang.

Pulling the stove out to the center of the room, I cleaned the floor and the wall behind the stove while imagining that I was cleaning the negativity from my aura. The day got brighter. On that specific day, I had to focus several times on mindfulness in the moment.

Some days require the extra mindful awareness to my responses. The fellow in the next car flips me off because he doesn’t like the way I am driving. Breathe. When I am mindful of being the change I want to see in the world, I send a boomerang for peace, “I hope the rest of your day goes better.” If I am not paying attention, or if I have already collected too much negativity in the day, I may boomerang negativity back at him – which will come back to me later.

I invite you to bring mindful awareness into your daily interactions. Are you sending a boomerang for peace or for violence?

While attending kids’ sporting events in the past few years, I have sometimes noticed adults yelling or speaking rudely to players or refs. My daughter and I commented on a poster at a kids’ basketball tournament, which read: “Remember, this is a game. The players are kids. The coaches are volunteers. The refs are human. This is not the NBA. Have Fun!” I invite you to be aware of the level of respect in your tone of voice at your kids’ sporting events. Are your comments contributing to hostility or to fun?

Today, I had the opportunity to talk with middle-schoolers about non-violence. Gossip presented as the hot topic. One student suggested that when she hears negative talk about a friend, she weighs what she knows about the person and chooses not to believe negativity. Another student says that she walks away from negative talk and will come back when her friends change the topic.

A couple years ago, while assisting with two situations requiring conflict resolution among adults, we found that the root of the conflict started with miscommunications via electronic media. When volleying email and text messages back and forth, I invite you to be mindful of your intention. Others cannot hear your voice and may misinterpret your words. Misunderstandings over electronic communication can mess up relationships. When I get an email or text message that feels prickly to me, I try to communicate verbally in person or via phone call to sort out the underlying message.

Being the change I want to see in the world, as Ghandi urged, requires that I put mindfulness into practice in my daily life. It takes one set of skills to be mindful of my thoughts while sitting peacefully in meditation. Being mindful during daily interactions requires another set of skills. In what ways are your thoughts, words and actions contributing to peace or to violence? What is on the boomerang you are sending out today?

Leah Skurdal teaches classes on meditation and wellbeing at the Wellness Circle in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. For more information, click here. Or visit her website, www.MasteryInTheArtofLiving.com

Recharging Your Batteries Efficiently

When did you learn efficiency of time?
Daughter #2 and I arrive home at the same time. I shovel snow, eat a snack, pack an overnight bag for an away basketball tournament, throw in a load of laundry, clean up the kitchen and am ready to go – in the time it takes for Daughter to finish packing the bag she started the night before.
When do we learn that level of efficiency? Apparently not at birth. Is it a personality characteristic or a mommy tool honed over years of supervising multiple activities? Perhaps both.
Sometimes that efficiency overlooks an important detail: ME Time. Sometimes I get so focused on getting things done that I neglect adding “Down time for myself” onto the TO Do list. Maybe you are like me and squeezing in an hour of yoga, 20 minutes of meditation and a cup of tea before bed is the best quality ME Time you get. Actually, that’s pretty good for one day, but paltry as the sum total for the week.
Some weeks feel like a roller coaster with hairpin turns. Maybe you land gracefully, ready to dance on Friday night. Maybe you catapault into a heap on the sofa with a bag of potato chips and a soda. By the end of the week your inner battery needs serious recharging.
When your batteries run low, here are three tips for efficiently recharging your body, mind and spirit before running off to your next activity.
Breathe. Find a quiet space for five minutes. Yes, you can. Go sit in the bathroom. Imagine that you are breathing through a nose in the center of your chest. Touch your thumb to each finger while saying, “I am at peace.” Repeat for ten heart breaths. Notice your energy move from your head to your heart. Listen to your inner voice.
Move. Find your own body rhythm and stretch. Reach overhead, up on your toes, stretch side to side, bend down low. Listen to your heartbeat. How does your body want to move? Notice, stretch and breathe into an area of tightness. Relax the back of your tongue. Wow! You didn’t know your tongue was tense until you relaxed it, did you?
Ask. What would feel good now? A luxurious, sweet smelling bath? Clean sheets on the bed? A foot massage? Extra care washing and moisturizing your face? Choose and schedule a self-pampering activity. Then, be sure to do it.
Efficiently recharging your batteries on a regular basis helps you stay out of depletion mode. You stay available for your loved ones, remain productively in the flow of the things you love to do, and you can monitor your own wellbeing. Periodically, though, a deeper recharging of your batteries benefits the entire clan as well as yourself. A weekend spa sounds great but not practical with our schedule. A half-day to myself feels doable and luxurious though. Dedicate some extended ME time just for yourself to nourish and renew yourself and to recharge your batteries. You will be glad you did.

Living on Purpose

When you are living your life on purpose, you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. You feel grounded and anchored in your core values. Your inner compass is set to Due North and when you get off track you can easily check your inner coordinates and get back on track. Mastery in the Art of Living helps you connect to your inner GPS and create the life you choose.