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Archive for the ‘Healthy Vibrations’ Category

February: {Lessons In Love}

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Flowers for our Three Months

February 10th, Jeffery and I celebrated three months of love, tears, hugs, kisses and laughter. Three months of late nights, early mornings and endless joy. I’m not sure how it’s possible but in a mere three months we’ve seen each others worst; shared our darkness and relished in our flaws and imperfection. I’m still blown away. Breathless yet full of joy, happiness and love. He’s my person, best friend, lover and soul mate. Just when I started to doubt love would ever appear- he found me. I was just a couple months delayed in noticing what was right in front of me. Part of me wished I had waited for him. The other part of me realizes out mutual brokenness is what brought us together. Heartache our greatest lover, our darkest demons a blessing, the mistakes we’ve shared perhaps leading the way all this time.

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Jeffery surprised by the promise ring I gave him.

Love isn’t nearly what I expected. Before Jeffery I had only experienced love in parts. Here and there. Fragmented. Brokenly beautiful. The day Jeffery told me through tears that he was picking up the pieces of my being; committed to putting together the puzzle of my brokenness I knew I had found a complete whole love.

For the first time in my life, I’ve experienced love first hand. Wrapping me up in all angles. Coming from all directions. Consuming all of me. Filling me completely. Overflowing, pouring over the brim. Breaking down my walls. Flooding light into my darkness. Unconditionally giving. Sacrificially living. Chipping away at my insecurities. Breaking me down then building me back up again.

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Flowers for Valentine’s Day

And I feel whole again.

Only this time, it’s an undeniably true existence. There are no clouds of doubt. No pangs of guilt. Nor any fear of shame.

I’ve found “GOD” within Jeffery’s love towards me. He is my personal representation of Jesus. And while I don’t know quite how to explain it…I am once again comfortable with the concept of “GOD”. Only “GOD” is so much bigger to me. I still don’t believe in a man in the sky nor a personal deity buried beneath doctrine and tradition. I believe in a god that can’t be documented, measured or confined to words on a page. I believe in the love we all ache for and desire to give.

To me- “GOD” is love – and love resides in each heart.

I am not lost.

I am not bitter.

I am not empty nor full of darkness. I am discovering. I am joyful and forgiving. I am the light of life; sometimes only an ember and other times a fierce flame….

All because someone loved me. All because someone showed me grace. All because Jeffery Wayne Smith chose to love me unconditionally.

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  And isn’t that the “God-Shaped Hole” we all want to fill? Isn’t that what God is all about? Isn’t that what’s left when you cut away all the doctrinal fluff of religion?

Spiritual beings with a spiritual hunger to be loved and love in return. 

My religious friends, I am not that different from you. Yes, I got good and angry. Confused and bewildered. Hurt and abandoned. But all that chaos led me down the path of selfless love, holiness and forgiveness. A journey I won’t soon forget.

Jeffery Wayne Smith, thank you for imparting your Christ-based love to me. You are what a true Christian is called to be. You have saved me life in every way a person can possibly be saved.

Thank you my love.

I look forward to spending an eternity of life and love with you….”Forever & Forever Infinity Google” ❤

Your ‘flower’,

Rachel Margaret Sproles

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Happy New Year 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1512755_10151745779521642_1029353279_nHappy New Year!!!

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We celebrated with Oliva Noel last night with Native American War Paint

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After watching New Year’s Eve  we went outside with candles, incense and a box full of glitter

1527061_10203129568303292_1664016450_nAfter sharing our favorite moment of 2013 we waited for the courthouse clock to strike midnight….

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and threw all the sparkly magic into the wind

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covering the courthouse steps

And of course…

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I got that New Year’s kiss from the love of my life! 😉

Why you should have your cake AND eat it too!!

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The other day, my boyfriend Jeff and I were grocery shopping together. Wandering our way isle by isle we eventually reached the snack food. Our cart already filled with fresh produce, scrumptious whole grains and the necessities of eggs, milk and butter. Jeff went to grab a bag of chocolate covered mini donuts.

“Three for five!” he exclaimed eagerly picking out three bags. I cringed. Taking a bag from the shelf I read the nutritional information.

“Do you have any idea how many calories are in these things??”

“What’s a calorie?” he asked innocently.

“You’re kidding.”

“No.”

Dumbfounded I struggled to explain. “Well calories are energy units…um…my body needs 1800 calories just to maintain my weight…and this is just a lot of empty calories…”

“Well, I don’t care about calories,” Jeff smiled sweetly. “I like chocolate donuts.” He stuffed three bags in the cart and we continued our shopping.

~*~

Since dating Jeff I’ve stopped letting food rule my life. I’ve stopped calorie counting; instead I eat when I’m hungry. I’m more concerned with wholesome ingredients while enjoying sweets and snacks occasionally. My metabolism has boosted as a result. My energy level is more balanced. I go to bed tired. I wake up rested. Jeff is teaching me the importance of loving your own body. All of it.

This man worships my stretchmarks, adores my belly fat and cherishes every inch of my form. He doesn’t try to change me. In fact, my Jeffery told me that he would miss my belly if I were to ever somehow lose it haha

Jeffery wants only the best for me. He makes a point of helping me become a stronger version of myself. Lovingly he massages my muscles; working them to the point of surrender. He makes a point to care for me in this way. The results are abundant. I can feel the difference in my body physically and emotionally. My weak spots are growing stronger. My endurance lengthening.  My appetite through the roof! 

Now I’m left wondering why I spent so much time consumed with numbers and expectations. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m alive 🙂

Most importantly, I love myself inside out and outside in 😉 Thank you Jeffery for opening my eyes to the true beauty of being human…what it means to be alive. Thank you for being ignorant of calories. And teaching me to eat chocolate donuts just because they are yummy 🙂

Aside

Throat {Light Blue} Chakra – Week #5- Study Summary

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1. Pick a symbol that personifies the Chakra

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The tongue.

Let me explain…the 5th Chakra is the center of creativity and expression. This past week my tongue was out of commission. My back left molar chipped causing unusual friction across my tongue from the tooth rubbing constantly on the underside. Within a couple of days the entire left side of my jaw was swollen. I couldn’t chew, speak or swallow without it hurting. Still, I had to go to work and be graceful and charming as ever.

I learned to choose my words carefully.

I learned the frustration in not being able to communicate clearly.

I learned how important one part of the body is to the health of the whole body.

I learned to appreciate my tongue like never before.

2. Color the corresponding mandala

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“With the sound of my voice, with my words, I express my creativity and communicate with other human beings”

3. Research the yoga poses that correlate with keeping the Chakra balanced

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Okay, so this week I attended the absolute best yoga workshop at Lotus Gallery taught by Jessica Burkett. Our practice was centered around the Chakras; more specifically opening up the Throat Chakra. After a guided meditation and some healthy snacks we each created our own mandala. The best part of all this? I had no idea the workshop was so intimately tied to my own personal study! Thank you Jess!!

4. Read the corresponding chapters of “Chakras for Beginners.”

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“You must learn to speak your personal truth, as well as know it” (pg 73)

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

“Wake Me Up” – Avicii

“Wish I could stay forever this young

Not afraid to close my eyes

Life’s a game made for everyone

And love is the prize….

So wake me up when it’s all over

When I’m wiser and I’m older

All this time I was finding myself

And I didn’t know I was lost”

Also, “So Fly” by Elle Varner

“Now listen,

I’ve got a beautiful soul

But only four people know

They’ve known me since I was ten

Beauty didn’t matter then.”

6. Free write/read

This week has been a little different when it comes to the Free Write. Instead of writing for me I’ve been writing letters to friends, family, strangers, former loves and my pen-pals.  Letter writing has changed my life. There is something simple yet complex, beautiful yet messy & freeing yet committal about sending an actual handwritten, envelope addressed and stamp applied letter. This is a personal project I started back in September and hope to continue for the rest of my life. In the coming months I foresee great things coming my way as a result of this endeavor.

I invite you, dear reader, to join me.

Find a pen-pal  who needs a friend

or

better yet….

write someone close to you….

a long-lost friend

a former lover

your mama

your papa

your brother

your sister

your grandmother

that annoying neighbor of yours

or yourself

If none of that appeals then write me 😉

P.O. BOX 115

Columbia City, IN 46725

I LOVE GETTING MAIL

Seriously, I’m like a kid at the candy store when it comes to checking that postal box.

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

Guess I kinda covered that above but while I have your attention let me expand on the for-mentioned troubles with my poor tongue. Long story short, I thought I was going to have to lose the tooth. Bravely I faced the dentist chair only to be told that they could file my tooth and all would heal within a couple days. And it did. Plus they didn’t charge me a thing! So if you’re in need of a dentist please check out Churubusco Family Dentistry.  

And one more last tidbit I’ve learned from this grand adventure

SCRAPE YOUR TONGUE PEOPLE

IT NEEDS LOVE

JUST LIKE YOU DO

AND WELL IT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOU

 HERE’S WHY! 

Peace.love.harmony.wholeness.

Rachel ❤

Balance & Surrender

Late Night Journal Scribbling

Late Night Journal Scribbling

There’s a lot on my mind this morning. Not many things, just a big something that keeps reoccurring in my life as of late. A lesson. A rather heartbreaking one but isn’t that how it always goes 😉 Last night, a chapter of my life ended gently sweeping me into a new phase. Once again the bittersweet beautiful tragedy of living claims another willing victim. And I’m okay. I’ve dealt with this before and I will deal with this again and again and again. Such is life. It is what it is.

“Better to accept reality than to be traumatized by it.”

Balance & Surrender

As part of my seven week study on the chakras I am reading “Chakras for Beginners” by David Pond.  This week’s reading included the introduction and Chapter #1 dealing with the red root chakra, The format of the book starts at the bottom building a foundation of understanding as the energies build in intensity  moving upward through the Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye & Crown. Pond’s writing takes on a balance view of rational understanding, emotional awareness and organized study. All of which I greatly appreciate having been thrust into extremes of overly dedicated faith without questioning and it’s polar opposite of scientific argumentation and facts only mentality. I’ve experienced both now. Been left dissatisfied with both.  So now I’m seeking a well balanced unbiased perspective. Guess sometimes we don’t know what’s best or what we need until we fully explore all options.

Balance

Having spent most of my life as a fairly unbalanced person has left me with constant areas of growth. Physically, I had to learn healthy habits when it came to food, exercise and leisure. Emotionally, I had to develop positive outlets for expression. Spiritually, I started over; with a hunger for the truth at any cost.  It hasn’t been easy.  In the past three years: I’ve shed a lot of tears both of happiness and joy.  I’ve taken a lot of detours and I’ve stayed on the path. I’ve been distracted and I’ve been focused. I’ve hurt and I’ve loved. I’ve lost and I’ve found. I’ve forgotten and I’ve remembered. I’ve fallen and I’ve gotten back up.  Three things have attributed greatly to my journey.

Tree Pose – A Yoga Practice Associated with cultivating a personal sense of balance

1. Writing – helps to clarify my thoughts and emotions. Gives me an outlet for clear communication. Provides a foundation on which I can continually build my worldview.  2. Relationships – the good, the bad, the ugly. Learning the discretion to tell when a relationship (friendship, lover, acquaintance, family….) is no longer helping me grow as a person. I’ve had to walk away plenty. Or stand my ground as others walked away from me. Each time it hurt even if followed by a wave of relief 😉 Each time I’ve gained ground as a person; establishing roots of self.  3. Yoga – mmmm yoga. At first I had a love-hate relationship with yoga. Until I realized yoga is MY practice, on MY mat, facing MYSELF. Yoga helps to keep me balanced by helping me connect with ME. Through my practice, I have learned what I am capable of and what I am not capable of….yet 🙂

“Without balance you become polarized in the area of your life that is out of balance…Balance is the way, conflict is the illusion. You must believe that balance exists somewhere and, if you are sensitive to it, you will align with it…Believe in your center. Trust that is can always be found (pg#9-10).

Surrender

Balance and surrender are intricately connected. One cannot achieve balance. One must let balance occur. In Tree Pose one must maintain balance through micro movements of adjustment. A quick forceful movement will send you toppling to the ground. Such is life. We must learn the art of surrender. Okay, this is something I am working on. I have a strong tendency to force things into being, impatience and making a mess of things in general. Somewhere in life I picked up a control freak attitude, clingy emotions and a problem with uncertainty.  I’m working hard to fix this fault in my character. Embracing my weakness. Admitting it fully. Working towards healing.  So ya, I am a little bossy at times (okay a lot), fiercely independent to the point of closing myself off from others, and over analyze like there is no tomorrow.  On the flip side, I’m a confident leader, self sufficient and a great problem solver. See where the surrender comes into view?

Liberation and emptying of self

You have to move to an observational non-judgmental point of self. You must surrender to reality before you can change it.

          “Experiencing harmony merely by aligning with the point of balance goes against our training. We’ve learned life is tough – ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die’ – a series of never-ending challenges that will eventually wear you down. If you stay ever vigilant and on your toes, you can stay one step ahead of your eventual downfall, but eventually it is going to ‘get you’. Many of us unconsciously hold these beliefs because they were imprinted upon us without our conscious awareness. These unconsciously held beliefs push us towards our lower chakras- the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality.            Understanding your chakras can help break the yoke that ties you to the cultural beliefs you’ve assimilated. If you are often unbalanced in a particular chakra (area) , you are likely attempting to maintain an inherently false image of yourself. False, in that is is not genuine to you, and doesn’t lead you to your center, but to a state of imbalance…..these false images are incorporated into your self-image when you over-respond and adapt to others people’s view of you….this will drive you to maintain certain behavior patterns consistent with your family (and other) role(s) until you do the work of liberating yourself.            When you can identify the sources of patterns in your behavior, it is easier to overcome the reactionary behavior and enter into conscious choice of what is in your best interest. Breaking family ties and cultural imprints, whether they were spoken or unspoken, is essential to know your most genuine self. We do not want to assume that all conditioning was inappropriate; some conditioning may have lead to patterns that are perfectly healthy for you. However, it is likely that some of the imprinting was not supportive of your most  natural way of being. It is clear that an overreaction against this early imprinting would also throw you into imbalance, leading to a tendency to react rather than respond, to situations, and therefore, not allowing your conscious choice to enter in (pgs# 17-18). “

Maybe Jesus WAS onto something....

Maybe Jesus WAS onto something….

To all my Christian readers out there… I think this is what Jesus was talking about when he said you must daily “pick up your cross and follow me”. It’s an act of daily, moment by moment, surrender to reality. An acknowledgement of weakness and strength. A healthy non-stifling nor over indulgence of emotions. An attitude of honest humility coupled with genuine strength of character and respect of self.

None of that unbalanced self defeating mindless obedience.  Abundant life comes from living in harmony with self and others. Harmony comes from understanding the wisdom of allowance.

         ” Develop the witness point in consciousness to observe yourself in your life. Know that you are meant to live in harmony, and if this is not your experience, find the patterns. Observe yourself and notice the hooks that pull you out of your center. Simply said, you must let go of harmful behaviors that you are holding onto. Essentially, you depersonalize the issues by detaching yourself from them. As the saying goes, to experience harmony, let go of your need to be right (pgs#18-19). “

So that’s what I am doing…….letting go of my need to be right…..my deep rooted desire to have ALL the answers….the constant chase that always leaves me empty, alone and wondering where I went wrong…. Will you join me?? Rachel – The Slightly Over Dramatic Girly Optimist{Coming Next——–> The Red Root Chakra: The Urge for Survival} What are YOUR thoughts on balance, surrender and the relationship between the two? What sort of environment led to your current cultural conditioning? In what areas are you lacking? In what areas are you overdeveloped? What steps do you take in your personal life towards living abundantly? In what ways does your religious or spiritual upbringing make an impact on your relationship with self or the concepts of balance and surrender? Leave your comments below!! 

The Next Seven Weeks…

Never thought I’d say it but *here is comes* I miss college.

I miss the constant drive to learn. I miss the hectic schedule and running about. I miss the atmosphere of learning. I miss the opinionated professors. I miss the dull minded students, the know-it-alls, the nerds, the IT guys, the blonde daddy’s girls, the hipsters and the desperate single girls looking for a wedding ring. I miss the late nights. I miss the study dates. I miss the thick books. I miss the never ending assignments. I miss the ten minutes in between classes. I miss struggling to open my post office box. I miss the group projects that drive everyone up a wall. I miss little introverted me setting in the back soaking it all in.  I miss the hunger deep within to learn something grand and beautiful.  

That hunger is back with a fiery passion. I’m not in any position to be going back to school this Fall so I’m outlining a few areas of study on my own. Today I went to Barnes and Noble with my dear cousins – Emily and Victoria. As I browsed the walls of books neatly arranged by topic I fed the hunger. I let the hunger lead me to the religious and spiritual studies area. There I found a shelf of books long left neglected out of fear.

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I selected three controversial titles:

“Chakras for Beginners.”
“Power Mandalas”
“Harper’s Essentials – Zodiac Signs”

I’ve heard constant chatter on the seven Chakras but have never taken the time to research what all the New Age hype is about. Same goes for Mandalas (For those of you wondering, a Mandala is an intricately designed symbol used for meditation purposes). As for the Zodiac, I’ve dabbled in studies here and there and am seeking to deepen my understanding of the theory. 

So for the next seven weeks I will be studying one of the seven chakras and their corresponding mandala. Stay posted for weekly updates on my findings. That is if you’re brave enough 😉

~*~

1187261_10151522304801642_1674810187_nIn other news, I’ve set some personal goals for September. I’ll be running, walking and using the elliptical for 25 miles each this month; working my way up to my next long run of ten miles sometime this Fall!!

I’m also participating in my own personal edition of the Thirty Day Letter Challenge. I’ll be writing letters to thirty (and then some) people in an effort to cultivate inner peace, clear karma and develop a great sense of self in relation to others. Check out my categories ———————————>

I haven’t decided what letters I’ll be sending. Rather, the point is to communicate, explore, come to terms with reality, share love and develop discernment in relation to which letters would actually be worth sending out.  

This is going to be….um….interesting?

Haha. This is the month for clearing house. This is the time of transformation. This is MY month to take care of self in preparation for the coming Winter. If you’re lucky (and I’m not feeling lazy) I’ll share some of these letters with my readers. 

Like I said, stay posted!! If you haven’t already hit that subscribe button 😉 That way you’ll receive an e-mail update in real time. 

And as always, YOU are invited to join me on this journey. Grab a pad of paper and make your own list of thirty. Or explore your local book store for areas of interest to you. Life is what you make it. So get out there and create something AWESOME!!!!

Much love,

Rachel

 

 

Color Me Rad – Fort Wayne, IN: Race Review

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See these three smiling faces? Remember them. Kiki, Myself & Razi. Two of my best work friends. We signed up for the Color Me Rad 5K back in February. Now that the day had finally arrived we were STOKED.  At 6:00am we crawled out of my sleeping loft (after a measly hour of slumber), dressed, got coffee and headed to Fort Wayne, IN.

Color Me Rad (CMR), is a 5K run that is advertised as the “Happiest Five K” on earth. During your 3.1 mile loop color bombs of colored cornstarch are thrown at you at various points intermixed with liquid color stations where color is sprayed. CMR is not for the shy. Your personal space is violated in so many ways it actually is kinda funny.

I loved running this with Kiki and Razi. Between fits of giggles and coughing we managed to survive. CMR, really is the happiest 5k on earth. Or at least the happiest one I’ve attended. Seeing a mob of white shirts ready to be exploded on gets your blood pumping. The crazy outfits, tutus, and wigs put a smile on your face. And losing all sense of time rather freeing.

After the run, we made our way to the after party stage. Within a few moments we had shimmied our way to the front of the stage. Color packets were being thrown by the dozens. And every few minutes the DJ had everyone hold up their open packets and thrown them in the air at once with kick ass music blasting. My friends, you have not lived until you’ve danced in a color cloud. I liken it to a rainbow and a unicorn making love.

Yes, it’s THAT mind blowing.

So mind blowing, that after going 3.1 miles on an hour of sleep we still managed to dance for an hour and a half. Needless to say, I took a nap afterwards 😉

Once we emerged from the cloud of happiness Kiki, Razi and I took a LOT of pictures.

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So, how would I rate CMR??

*A FULL FIVE STARS*

Only, ladies…beware….for some odd reason this shit is impossible to remove from your boobies. All three of us had color bras outlined on our skin after showering 😉

So maybe…

4.9 stars?

=P

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