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Sacral {Orange} Chakra – Week #2 – Study Summary

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Oh my, has week two been ridiculously awesome or what?!

This study is literally changing my life; the way I view myself and others.

Tis’ beautiful ūüôā

1. Pick a symbol that personifies the Chakra

Female Cobra

Female Cobra

Studying the Sacral Chakra has made me keenly aware of my relationship with pleasure. A well balanced relationship can bring great happiness, beauty and joy. An unbalanced relationship has the power to harm and even kill you. Blissful moderation is key. Just as a cobra may be tamed and their terrifying power enjoyed; such is one’s relationship to things that bring pleasure such as: alcohol, food, entertainment and sex.

2. Color the corresponding mandala 

The Sacral Mandala Colored in with reds, oranges and hints of yellow

The Sacral Mandala
Colored in with reds, oranges and hints of yellow

3. Research the  Yoga Poses that correlate with keeping the Chakra balanced

Cobra Sequence

Cobra Sequence

Monday was Yoga at Laughing Lotus with the lovely Tiffany Herron.¬†Part of our practice that night consisted of the Cobra pose; which is helpful for opening up the Sacral Chakra. And yes, it’s harder than it looks but easier than you’d expect ūüėČ Best part is, I wasn’t aware of the connection until today!

4.¬†Read the corresponding chapters of ‚ÄúChakras for Beginners‚Ä̬†

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Once again, BEAUTIFUL book.

Seriously.

You

should

check

this

out.

5. Choose a song that describes how you feel in relationship to the Chakra

“Counting Stars” by One Republic

The video even has a crocodile…which just so happens to be the animal spirit associated with the Sacral Chakra

“Everything that kills me make me feel alive….Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly…”

6. Free Write/Read

So I altered this one a bit. Some things are better discovered through writing (the output of information) and others through reading (the input of information).

This week I finished “Faking It”¬†. A deeply sensual story about finding oneself.

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Then I spent the rest of my week reading books that were in tune with sexuality, energy and pleasure.

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Victoria & Amara gave me the hook up on these ūüėČ Thank you ladies

The Peabody Library had this one.

The Peabody Library had this one.

Needless to say, I’ve been rather consumed by my love for reading.

7. Come up with an activity that connects you to the Chakra

This week has been all about seeking my greatest joy. Living in the moment. And doing what I FEEL like doing.

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So I went to Marshall, MI on Sunday with Victoria and Emily for the 50th Anniversary Historical Home Tour

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We had lots of fun on the drive there and back. Friendship IS fun.

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There was ANOTHER Art Festival going on as well (two in one weekend!!) where we mingled with fellow artists and of course I had to snag a couple of pieces to take home.

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Including this inspirational journal from Paper and i

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I spent the rest of my week basking myself in orange clothing doing all the things I never make time to do.

Like: going for a drive in the country, eating chocolate, going for long walks, picking flowers, smelling books at Barnes and Noble, day dreaming, getting hot chocolate just for the sake of getting hot chocolate, spending time with friends, napping and being awesome in general.

Yes, this week has been the perfect kick start to my Fall.

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Tomorrow begins the third (yellow) Chakra Рthe Solar Plexus 

“I AM”

“I FEEL”

Now it’s time for “I DO”

Stay posted ūüôā¬†

Rachel

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{Faking It} by Elisa Lorello: Book Review

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This is another one of those cheap, $1.00 book store finds that I almost left on the shelf. And what a shame¬†that¬†would have been!¬†“Faking It”,¬†by Elisa Lorello is a modern day novel set in Long Island. Devin a male escort and Andrea (Andi) a writing professor agree to swap lessons in love making and writing. That alone should be enough to get your blood boiling ūüėČ

As per usual, I will include some of my favorite quotes….

“When you put a high-maintenance woman in a low-maintenance town, the woman just stands out as having it all together.”

“Now I found myself missing….but that was all I had, it seemed. Memories.”

“He both annoyed and intrigued the hell out of me.”

“I looked down at the cracks in the pavement, at the shade of royal purple polish that was chipping off my toenails, at the ant dragging a crumb to his condo in the concrete…wondering what I’d just gotten myself into with this guy, as far as I knew, had all the morals of a tomato.”

“Nothing makes a guy more anxious than a woman who is constantly uptight about her body….You can’t please a man until you please yourself. Men like women who like their bodies, who feel comfortable in their own skin.”

“I probably listen to music the way you look at a piece of art. I hear more than just the song; I hear all the little nuances of the composition.”

“Even in the darkness of the theater his eyes sparkled.”

“I was not accustomed to a man sticking around, especially in the wake of my insecurity.”

“And then the indifference of Manhattan filled my ears yet again.”

“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”

“Despite the fact that we were old friends by now, the butterflies in my stomach never really dissipated.”

“But I had learned to stop waiting for things that never happen…”

“It simultaneously felt like yesterday and a lifetime ago.”

“Despite the relief of knowing, my insides swirled with sickness; I had sensed this truth all along.”

“He is both the artist and the work of art. He sees beauty, he creates beauty, and he is beauty. He is the lie that makes me realize the truth.”

“Those blue-green marbles and thick lashes folded around me and pulled me inside their warmth. I wondered if this is what it feels like for women, if this is how they want to be enveloped by men after sex, to be pulled inside and then fully embraced and enveloped with all their love and security; to feel the touch, the actual, physical touch. What does that¬†feel¬†like? Is that what they really mean when they say, ‘Go inside me’? I needed to know.”¬†

“We were so used to pushing each other away that neither of us knew any other response…I think it was the first time neither of us had anything to hide. And each saw a painful truth, indeed.”

“Or perhaps because I’ve gotten so good at silencing the voices of self-judgement that kept me from truly hearing anyone else.”………

“Because for me, the true love isn’t in the making the art; it’s being surrounded by it.”

“Life can be a series of happy mistakes.”¬†

 

Silly as it sounds this little book helped me uncover a world of insecurities left unacknowledged. Both men and women a like could gain a world of wealth from reading “Faking It”. You.Won’t.Be.Disappointed.

Love,

Rachel

{The Wisdom of Forgiveness} by HH The Dalai Lama & Victor Chan :Book Review

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This book has a bit of a story behind it. I bought a copy months ago at Half Price Books . During my busy time of Spring cleaning, packing, moving, writing my memoirs, editing, and settling into my new place this poor book sat in a moving book waiting to be loved.

In June, when Amara and I traveled to Tennessee for a weekend, I brought it along. Instantly I fell in love. Unfortunately, there was little time for reading in between driving, sleeping and ¬†enjoying Nashville ūüėČ Once home again I eagerly set out to finish what I had started…but the book was gone. GONE. Vanished. Without a trace.

So I headed back to Half Price Books with Victoria and purchased a new copy. Paperback this time (my personal preference). Only to find out a week later that I had left my original book in the car we had borrowed for our Nashville Trip.¬†¬†So now, Amara’s uncle has a copy of this magical book. And I’ve fallen in love with the Dalai Lama.

I mean, who couldn’t love this man?? With remarks subtly placed throughout the book from Victor Chan describing the Dalai Lama’s character, quirks and personality it’s impossible not to…

“The Dalai Lama, however, wears his soul on his face.”

¬†“He gave me a bear hug and then he was off”

“But he is also a very strong-willed person…”

“His facial muscles were vital and supple; they seemed to belong to someone in his twenties….When he is happy, he is one hundred percent happy. No other sentiments creep in to adulterate the sensation…the Dalai Lama was totally at ease with displaying his emotions. He was not ashamed of his feelings; he saw no reason to be self-conscious or¬†embarrassed¬†about them….He doesn’t get too attached to things- including his own emotions.”

Then I fell in love with his words….

“The Dalai Lama replied, ‘I analyze like this: if I develop bad feelings toward those who make me suffer, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, my mind becomes calm. Now, concerning our struggle for freedom, if we do it without anger, without hatred, but with true forgiveness, we can carry that struggle even more effectively. Struggle with calm mind, with compassion. Through analytical meditation, I now have full conviction that destructive emotions like hatred is no use. Nowadays, anger, hatred, they don’t come. But little irritation sometimes come.”

“I feel that I have no right to send them out with an extra burden of my own.”¬†

“Compassion is something like a sense of caring, a sense of concern for others’¬†difficulties¬†and pain,” the Dalai Lama said. “Not only family and friends, but all other people. Enemies also. Now, if we really analyze our feelings, one thing becomes clear. If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Inside that small area, even tiny problem appears very big. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction. When you have this sense of concern, your mind automatically widens. At this point, your own problems, even big problems, will not be so¬†significant. The result? Big increase in peace of mind. So, if you think only of yourself, only your happiness, the result is actually less happiness. ¬†You get more anxiety, more fear.

So this is what I think of as the compassionate effect: if you really want genuine happiness, then whatever method you use to get it is worthwhile. And the best method is: when you think of others, you’ll be the first to get maximum benefit.”¬†

Read the book. If nothing else, read the book.

It will change your life.

It will challenge your relationship with yourself.

It will make you uncomfortable.

It will demand attention in areas of your life long left unattended.

Love,

Rachel

{A Night Without Armor} by Jewel: Book Review

images (4)Today I went on a walk with two of the most perfect women alive: Amara Gilraine and Olivia Gangwer. Then I spent my afternoon cooling off in my air conditioned apartment overlooking the courthouse while reading a delightful book by Jewel called “A ¬†Night Without Armor” before heading into work for a few hours. Now I am enjoying an evening at home contemplating the beauty of Jewel’s poetry while waiting on the best friend to get off work.

Yes, I know my life is awesome. No worries dear reader, I am about to share some awesomeness with you. This little book was surprisingly awesome. A Half Price Books¬†$1 find. Despite my skepticism, something was drawing me to the pages of this mysterious book. A month or two later, when I actually got around to reading it, I was awestruck by it’s beauty. Jewel’s poetry is raw, simply vivid, ¬†emotional, breathtaking and tragically honest.

Following are three of her poems from this collection that spoke to me personally. If you like what you read then check out “A Night Without Armor” at your local library (remember to use the Evergreen System if you are a fellow Hoosier) or hunt the shelves of Half Price Books for a copy of your own.

 

~*~

So Just Kiss Me

So just kiss me and let my hair

messy itself in your fingers

tell me nothing needs to be done

no clocks need winding 

There is no bell without a voice

needing to borrow my own

instead, let me steady myself

in the arms

of a man who won’t ask me to be

what he needs, but lets me exist

as I am

a blonde flame

a hurricane

wrapped up

in a tiny body

that will come to his arms

like the safest harbor

for mending

The Inertia of a Lonely Heart

The world is full of cripples

and endless nights

and broken fruit

and calls that never come through

and restless dreams

that fear being awake

and stars that lose themselves

and waves that are always leaving

and bitten mouths

and lonely bars

and rosy nipples

rosy as dawn

rosy as the first blush of youth

and tired people

and lonely hearts

opening, orbiting

crashing into open mouths

and hungry eyes

and empty-handed lovers;

the inertia of loneliness

a miserable force

Shush

Can you imagine

how silent

a plane crash would be

if you were deaf?

How unbearably loud a rape? 

The Fault In Our Stars: Book Review

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This book is the reason I spent my day off crying profusely over the fates of fictional characters. When my friend Olivia handed me the book stating “Rachel, you HAVE to read this. It’s a cancer book. John Green is amazzzing. Oh, and don’t lose it because it’s a signed copy. You’re gonna looooove it!” I was skeptical to say the least. Cancer books have never been among my taste of literature. Those sort of stories usually rank pretty low due to their cheesy outlook and predictability; right along with all the horse, dog and cat literature. Painfully optimistic even for this girl.

The Fault In Our Stars,¬†was anything but. The perfect concoction of tenderness and blunt reality. I fell into Green’s words nesting myself in between pages of witty dialogue and heartbreaking circumstances. One could almost say the purpose of the book is to break your heart. Cruel, yet gentle enough to leave one begging for more. This ‘cancer book’ is precisely what a ‘cancer book’ ought to be. Realistic. Harshly fair. Unapologetic. Perfect.

As is my custom, I will bid you ado with a few of my favorite quotes. Not my actual¬†favorite quotes because those should be reserved for you to discover on the pages themselves; a delight I would not deny even my worst enemy. For your literary pallet to digest…

“It occurred to me why they call it eye contact.”¬†

” I felt like everything was rising up in me, like I was drowning in this weirdly painful joy, but I couldn’t say it back.”¬†

“We Hoosiers are excessively optimistic about summer.”¬†

“The world went on, as it does, without my full participation.”¬†

“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.”¬†

“He was looking for the most hurtful ways to imagine to tell the truth, but of course I already knew the truth.”¬†

“You have a choice in this world , I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”¬†

“I worked hard to meet his eyes, even though they were the kind of pretty that’s hard to look at.”

“It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

“And only now that I loved a grenade did I understand the foolishness of trying to save others from my own impending fragmentation.”

Aside

Susan Polis Schutz – Author Review

“Why do I write?
I write because

I see something

or touch something

or smell something

or feel something

that I cannot understand

until I try to describe it

 in written

words.”

0-10-schutz¬†¬† The poetry of Susan Polis Schutz comes as a gentle yet forceful wind brushing past my being carrying memories of who I am, where I am and why I am. Memories of late nights turned into early mornings spent scribbling away for hours all in an effort to capture one tender emotion into ‘just the right words.’ Memories of my great grandmother’s genuine writings shared in the few letters we wrote back and forth over a summer and even more found shortly after her death. Memories of love denied but never withheld. Memories of struggle and discipline. Memories of the unchanging winds of Spring and Summer. Memories of purposeful loneliness and solitude. Memories of secret joy expressed in a verse of delightful hidden meanings. Memories of moments I will carry with me forever. Memories that shaped my person into the longingly sometimes desperate romantic writer I am today – and always will be.

Schutz and I come from the same shared spirit. Of that I am certain. I’m spending my warm
(almost) Summer days soaking in every word of every book this lovely soul has ever written. Someday I hope to add her works to my personal library. For now, I am grateful that my home library is part of the Evergreen system allowing me the satisfaction of breathing in the beauty of her thoughts spilled across pages of love. If you have not read Schutz’s work take the time to do so. Make time. You will not be disappointed. \

Her works are many but allow me to share my top five:

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Simply put on some Ben Harper while cozied up with any of these titles and I assure you only the highest of bliss.

Happy Reading,

Rachel

Stupid———–> and Contagious – Book Review

ImageFound this intriguing little number at Good Will for fifty cents. Almost put it back on the shelf. Something made me want to flip through the pages in an effort to justify buying yet another book. So I did. 

It’s bad enough when you get fired from your dream job. But when you can’t make it as a waitress, there’s a whole world of self-worth you’re just never gonna see again.”¬†

That did it for me.

Normally, I would give my readers a brief¬†synopsis. Not this time.¬†Stupid and Contagious¬†is purposefully vague. Drawing readers in through their own¬†curiosity. Don’t believe me? Just check out the cover art. Giant yellow circles covering the stars of the story; leaving only the important details up to the reader’s imagination. Maybe this is how the author, Caprice Crane operates? I don’t know having never read any of her other work. That, however, is about to change.

In keeping with the style of the book; and in due respect for Crane allow me to tease your senses with a few of my favorite¬†snip-its¬†from the book….

“But after a while you stop shaving your legs, and he stops noticing, and it seems more practical to try to get a good night’s sleep.” ¬†pg 2

“Someone once said, People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. They forgot one other option: Some people come only to give us their contact information, let us know that we really need to get together sometime, and why don’t we give them a call?” pg 26

“I find something I like and eat it. A lot. It becomes my phase.” pg 62

” ‘Life is short! Who has time for all this?’ ‘Actually, that’s not true. Life is not short,’ I say. ‘Life happens to be the longest thing that you are ever going to do.’ And for once he is quiet.” ¬†pg 73

“I don’t know what the hell she’s doing but she’s doing it , and that’s all that matters.” pg 89

“Ma’am (and when I say Ma’am, I mean ‘you stupid whore’)” pg 93

“Dude, I hate to say it, but you are one bad career move away from working at the Guitar Center.” pg 106

“Dating is like pushing your tray along in a cafeteria. Nothing looks good, but you know you have to pick something by the time you reach the cashier.” pg 111

“He looks over at me, and I nod at him. The nod is like an entire conversation.” pg179

Much Love,

Rachel ‚̧

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