Benefits of Deep Breathing

Pausing and taking deep breaths on a regular basis is a beautiful practice and there are a ton of benefits.

Benefits of Deep Breathing:

  • more oxygen to the brain and body
  • more alert
  • increased confidence
  • less stress
  • reduction in blood pressure

Most of you probably do not spend your whole day sitting or standing up tall.

You might be hunched over a computer or a sewing machine, picking up little kids or slouching in line at the grocery store. Because of this, you are not taking deep breaths which lessens the amount of oxygen going to your brain.

By taking short breaks to take deep breaths you can increase your alertness and feel a whole heck of a lot better!

Sit up tall, you can do this lying down at the beginning or end of your day also.

Relax your shoulders.

Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale out of your mouth.

Relax.

Let go of tension.

Let go of your morning.

Let go of your day.

Let go of anything that is not serving you.

Begin to breathe only through your nose.

Allow your inhales to go all the way into your belly. This may be challenging at first. We are used to taking shallow breaths that do not go much deeper than the chest. Begin to notice your ribcage expand with each deep breath. Place one hand on your belly. Feel your belly expand with each inhale. Gently draw your belly back towards your spine as you exhale.

Focus on allowing each inhale becoming deeper than the one before and each exhale longer than the one before.

Continue for 5 breaths, 10 breaths, 1 minute, the length of a song, the length of an article you are reading, a commercial break, the drive to pick your kids up from school.

Notice how good you feel! Notice how deep your breaths are compared to the earlier ones. Enjoy this good feeling.

Pause and take deep breaths any time you need a little pick me up!

I created this video about deep breathing back when I lived in Chicago and taught yoga full-time. It is an oldie but a goodie. Enjoy!

Simple Full Moon Ritual

Ooh! One of my favorite things to do on the Full Moon is to set time aside for ritual.

Sometimes I do this with a group at a Full Moon Yoga class or sometimes by myself under the light of the moon, or sometimes a special moment with my family, or online creating a meditation for others.

It is so easy to get carried away with life and forget to take a moment to slow down, express gratitude, reflect on your New Moon intention, and/or simply enjoy the present moment.

The Full Moon allows you to take this time.

Here is a simple Full Moon Ritual that you can customize and make your own:

Just Me & the Moon (no supplies needed):

  • This can be done outside or inside.
  • Find a place to sit comfortably with a straight spine. If you don’t think you will fall asleep, you can also lie down.
  • Take at least 3 deep breaths in and out of your nose. Or set a timer and breathe deeply for 1 minute. Then allow the breath to relax.
  • If the sky is clear, take some time to gaze at the full moon. If not or the moon has not risen yet, simply close your eyes and imagine a full moon above you.
  • Express thanks for being here right now. Express thanks for anything else you are feeling grateful for.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Imagine the light on the moon coming down into the crown of your head. Imagine that silvery, cool energy moving down your face, over your shoulders, arms, chest, back, belly, hips, and down both legs.
  • As the light moves through your body, imagine tight areas relaxing, dark areas being healed, and blocked areas being opened.
  • Imagine that the light surrounds your body too. Bask in this light.
  • You might like to set a timer, play music, or stay as long as you want.
  • When you are ready, begin to deepen your breath again. Bring your awareness back to your body.
  • Notice how you feel. If any feelings, ideas, or thoughts came up, then take a moment to jot them down.
  • Thank yourself for taking this time. Thank the moon for her healing energy.
  • Know that you can move forward with grace and ease because you took this time for yourself.

If you are Manifesting with the Moon and using my free workbook, then be sure to write Moon Visualization or something else that describes your ritual under the Full Moon Ritual section of your worksheet.

How to customize:
  • You can visualize a specific color coming from the moon or notice if a different one shows up in your visualization. Look up the healing properties of that color. (Join The Dreamcatcher Circle for more Color Magic!)
  • If you need some physical healing, allow yourself to have the moonlight focus on a particular area. Imagine that is bringing healing energy to that area.
  • If you need to release a negative habit or memory, imagine the moonlight going into a dark area and shining a healthy light there. Giving you the feeling that you no longer have to hide behind that habit or hide from that memory.

Any of these customizations can be taken deeper.

You might like to ask out loud or in your head to be shown the next steps to take. Trust that by taking this time for yourself tonight that you have raised your vibration to match the healing or opportunities you desire to come to you.

The first part of this is super simple because I believe it is important for you not to get caught up in supplies, astrological signs, a beautiful Instagram shot. While I enjoy these things myself, the whole point of following the moon is to slow down.

When you slow down, your body and mind have a chance to catch up and blend everything together.

So I hope you take the time to sit under the moon and allow her silvery light to connect you with the real you.

Gentle Yoga for the Waning Moon

Do you remember that Energizing Flow Yoga video I shared in June?

The video I am sharing today is perfect to do after or on the days in between for a complete yoga practice. I also love this sequence during the waning moon phase that we are currently in.

So perfect for lazy summer days or under the moon!

Always check with your doctor before practicing yoga.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. You are your best teacher and I am simply your guide.

BENEFITS OF GENTLE YOGA:

  • Relieves stress
  • Increases flexibility
  • Calms the mind
  • Lubricates joints
  • Keeps organs healthy
  • Develops intuition
  • Helps with mindfulness

There are a ton more benefits too! Practice this and let me know how you feel after!!!!

If you really like this, I would recommend doing it 2 to 3 days a week. It is also gentle enough to be a daily practice.

This is a beautiful way to open up to your intuition and increase your trust in your self.

#themooandandarrowlodge

Bringing Mindfulness to Creatives at Craftcation 2018

I was thrilled to be invited as a presenter at the Craftcation 2018 this last April put on by Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell of Dear Handmade Life. This is an extravaganza of crafts, color, fun, and talented and generous people.

The energy of this event is almost indescribable. Also, the effort and vision of its founders blew me away. It was such an impressive event that really brought people together. A lot of the focus was crafting and business but what I picked up on the most was people talking about being around like-minded people, expressing themselves without judgment, and seeing the event as an epic act of self-care.

I was asked to present about Mindfulness for Creatives with my friend Cassie Uhl of Zenned Out Jewelry. We talked about the importance of taking time for yourself and shared a lot of tips similar to what I share on this blog and on social media.

Each day people could sign up for office hours that covered different topics.

I did mini-intuitive business readings and absolutely loved them! Some of the people have continued working with me in my Dreamcatcher Circle program.

I had my tried and true Medicine Woman deck along with these amazing oils from Joyful Roots. The oils help bring people into the present moment and the cards help people think about and view their situations from a more intuitive place.

I also offered Guided Meditations to attendees on the beach. Wow! These were so amazing. I just loved the energy of the people who came and the sounds of the ocean in the background. To be honest, I felt like I could do this all day long!

One of the highlights was listening to Debbie Stoller talk from Bust Magazine. I am a fan of hers and she left me pondering about what to do with my own Kerry Magazine. It was a project of mine before this current space to help show all women as beautiful. It evolved into some pretty interesting issues. You can check it out here: http://www.kerrymagazine.com.

I love connecting with people I knew from being a presenter at previous conferences like Ami from Flutterbye Prints(above).

I was also on a panel about self-care which is one of my fave topics! I showed up in a bright red dress and a huge flower crown because that is one of the ways I show love for myself, by wearing what makes me feel fabulous. Also, on the panel from left to right is designer, Jeanetta Gonzales, business coach, Alisha Roberston, and Holly Marsh of MarshMueller.

Some takeaways for you would be: getting better at saying no, scheduling downtime, learning to know when you are close to burnout, practicing breathing exercises, decluttering, and taking breaks from social media.

The last evening I was there, I was a part of Wanderings. This is a super fun event where guests and presenters alike are given the opportunity to change their room into a theme for the other attendees to wander in and out of all night. Cassie and I created The Zen Den. We offered DIY essential oil blends, coloring pages, crystal kits and, of course, tarot card reading with me.

I went for 4 hours straight and LOVED the connections, and “aha” moments that happened that evening. I hugged and cried and laughed with people I had just met. When asked how I was able to do this, I told them that I simply created the space for them to feel safe to look within and honestly view the situations they were concerned about. I followed up with everyone about their card a few weeks later to help keep them in the groove of the event.

I made sure I crafted too! Of course, I signed up for the clay moon phase mobile class and a mixed-media macrame wall hanging (above).

If you are a creative business owner or simply someone who loves getting crafty, I encourage you to check out Craftcation in 2019. I am very grateful to have been part of it this year. For more info and photos go here: dearhandmadelife.com/craftcation-conference/.

Photo cred: Heather Shane Photography

Chill Out with these Cool Breathing Techniques!

There is an excessive heat warning here in Arizona today so I thought it was the perfect time to share this cooling breath video I made around this time last year.

There are two ways of doing this breath. One is curling the tongue, which I can’t do, so I give another option too.

They are simple, quick, and will have you feeling chilled out in no time at all.

Sitali Breath – Cooling Breath

Heating up from the hot weather? Try this breath. It is both cooling and calming which is perfect for hot summer months. Plus, this breath reminds us that we have more power and control over our bodies, our lives and ultimately our reactions to life, including the weather. Hooray! So cool!

Benefits include:
– cools the body
– adds moisture to the body (so perfect for Arizonans!)
– reduces fatigue

Sitting tall, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, then open your mouth and form your lips into an “O.” Curl your tongue lengthwise and stick it out of your mouth just a little bit.

Inhale deeply across your tongue and into your mouth as if drinking through a straw.
Notice the cooling sensation of the breath. Try for 1 to 2 minutes. Bring your tongue in and close your mouth, exhaling through the nostrils.

Sitkari Breath

(the name of the breath with the teeth touching)

Benefits include:
– cools the body
– balances your hormones naturally
– increases vitality

Sitting with your eyes closed, gently press your bottom and top teeth together and separate your lips as much as you comfortably can, so your teeth are exposed to the air. Inhale slowly through your teeth and focus on the sound of your breath. Try for 1 to 2 minutes. Close your mouth and slowly exhale through your nose.

These are best used during hot weather months or after a heated exercise practice.

Coping & Thriving as a Parent of a Child with Type One Diabetes

I shared this on my personal page this week and feel that it is important to share here also. XO! It will give you an insight into why I love and need the work that I share:
 
A year ago Wednesday, I took Simon (my 10-year-old) to the doctor to find out if he had a bladder infection. Turned out he had Type 1 Diabetes. 
 
I had no idea what that meant. They were sending us to the hospital and I thought we would be there for a couple of hours. 
 
As we were leaving the doctors office, he told us to stop at home and pack a bag because we would be at the hospital for a few days. I was shocked but didn’t show it. 
 
Matt (my husband) was traveling back from a business trip and didn’t know anything yet. 
 
By the time we got to the emergency room, Simon was feeling lightheaded. His blood sugar was 530. I had no idea what that meant. They asked him if he knew where he was. I found out that his blood sugar should be between 80 and 150. 
 
He was scared and dazed. Isaak (my 7-year-old) was paying attention to everything. Matt arrived later that night. 
 
Simon and I spent the next 4 days at the hospital. Once they got him on insulin and his blood sugar levels were safer they started teaching all of us about diabetes and how to handle it. 
 
Matt and I learned that Simon’s pancreas has stopped producing insulin which is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter cells to produce energy. 
 
From there we learned how to use syringes and vials. Make calculations of synthetic insulin doses based on blood sugar and counting carbs in food. We practiced on a Type 1 teddy bear and then had to practice on Simon. 
 
We stayed positive and really appreciated the support of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. 
I am grateful for the spiritual practice because it saved me in the hospital. I prayed, I asked angels to watch over Simon, I used breathing exercises for energy, yoga stretches to release stress, asked guides to lead us forward with calm and ease, and so on. 
 
Once we got home our lives became filled with shots, finger pricks, keeping insulin at the right temperature, monitoring blood sugar, and counting carbs. I was pulling out syringes in parking lots, bathrooms, theaters, and cars.
 
It was our new normal that also came with comforting both Simon & Isaak during this time. 
 
We have progressed to insulin pens & now insulin pumps. We often have to get up multiple times a night to either bring his blood sugar levels up or bring them down. 
We try to make things seem casual & normal. Even though our lives are drastically different than they were a year ago. 
 
Simon can’t eat whenever he wants. He can’t snack at parties or not finish his meals. He misses recess sometimes because his blood sugar is low. I have to stay at birthday parties to make sure he gets the right dose for the pizza & cake but I do try to leave for part of it to give him the freedom he deserves. 
 
They say that parents of Type One Diabetes children experience PTSD. I can now agree that that is true. I will admit that my and Matt’s health has gone downhill a bit in the last year. 
 
We thought we would make drastic changes to our diet at first but quickly realized that just managing the diabetes was all we could manage while remaining good parents & supportive of each other. 
 
We see stories of children dying due to complications to Type One & it frightens us. We stay really positive for Simon. 
 
We also give him the space to express that he can be mad at his diagnosis. We know that it is not healthy for him to just have to accept it. It is okay to get mad & get sad. 
 
He cries sometimes when we have to change his pump or prick his fingers in the middle of the night. 
 
Overall, Matt & I have learned so much from him. He has been our teacher & our guide this year. 
 
He expresses his anger & sadness & then moves on. He is a happy kid who loves life & wants to be an inventor when he grows up. 
 
I cried for the first time about this over the weekend at a spiritual retreat. I also allowed myself to get angry. It was very healing. I am crying as I write this. Matt has probably not done either yet & that is okay. We all process in different ways. 
 
Type One Diabetes can’t be managed by diet alone. People with Type One Diabetes cannot live without insulin. 
 
Simon wakes up in the morning & has to calibrate is Blood Sugar Monitor (which is attached to his arm and changed weekly) by pricking his finger for blood. 
 
Then he decides on breakfast & we have to count the carbs. He then enters the carbs & his current blood sugar into his insulin pump which is attached to his body & reattached 2 to 3 times a week. 
 
We keep an eye on his blood sugar and make any corrections if it is high. If he goes low, he has to take a break and drink juice then wait 15 minutes to see if it gets back into range. If not, he drinks more & then waits again. 
 
Lunch, dinner, & snacks are all counted & entered into his pump so it will deliver the right amount of insulin. This continues on through the night.
 
Sometimes we feel like we do everything right and end up all night trying to get him where he should be. There is no such thing as “doing it right” with diabetes. So often there is no rhyme or reason. 
The one thing it is is constant. 
 
Because if this, my priorities have changed a lot this year. So many things that I thought mattered more, no longer do. 
 
I shut out the world more than I used to and it feels good. 
 
I have tried not to complain because as a parent you don’t want your child to feel like they are a problem in your life. 
 
I wanted to share this so you know what Simon is going through. So you know what I am going through. So you know what others with Type One Diabetes are going through. 
 
We are learning & getting better at having other people watch him so we can go out. 
 
I also want you to know that we are doing great. We are celebrating one year of managing this disease this week with tons of fun activities. 
 
Of course, I don’t want to leave Isaak out. We still don’t quite understand how this is affecting him but we hope that it will make him a compassionate human being. Simon is his best friend in the universe. We try to be patient & loving. 
 
I feel so blessed to have my sweet little family. I am also grateful for all of the family & friends & followers that have supported us in so many beautiful ways this last year. 
 
Sending you all love and grateful you are on this journey with me!
 
xo,
Kerry

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation

Do you ever wonder:

How can I feel more confident, joyful, and grounded?

There are two places to start:

  1. How you talk to yourself every day
  2. How much meditation you do each week

The meditation I am sharing with you today will show you how simple it can be to bring both of those things into your life.

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation

In about 5 minutes you will have the opportunity to slow down, tune in, and say positive things to yourself. Hooray!

I hope you bring this meditation into your life and start to see ways to make the positive affirmations become your reality. Read them all below and then listen to the meditation.

xo, Kerry

If you love this kind of work, then consider joining The Dreamcatcher Circle with me!!!

Energizing Flow Yoga Sequence

I teach weekly yoga classes in The Dreamcatcher Circle that cover everything from the chakras and moon phases to releasing tension and relaxing. The video here is a bit more vigorous than I usually teach and is a nice way to kick-start summer. It quickly warms you up and helps you release any old junk you are holding onto.

You might like to have 2 yoga blocks to rest your hands on during the lunge poses if you are feeling tight. Always check with your doctor before practicing yoga.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. You can push yourself but you do not want to be in pain at any time. You are your best teacher and I am simply your guide.

Benefits of Flow Yoga:

  • Increased metabolism
  • Releases toxins
  • Helps focus the mind
  • Releases tightness and tension
  • Increases flexibility
  • Builds muscle
  • Improves lung capacity

There are a ton more benefits too! One of the reasons I practice this is to remove blocks to my intuition. You should feel like a clear channel after this session.

Practice this and let me know how you feel after!!!!

If you really like this, I would recommend doing it 2 to 3 days a week.

#themoonandarrowlodge

Moon Phase Printables – Free!!!

A couple of weekends ago I woke up and decided to make these moon phase printables for you! They are 8.5″ x 11″ and available in the updated Manifesting with the Moon workbook which is free when you sign up for my newsletter.The one above with 4 phases goes along with the Manifesting with the Moon workbook

The one with 8 phases is an opportunity to for you to go a bit deeper as you track yourself during the month. Remember, the dates for the New Moons and Full Moons of 2018 are in the workbook.

I have also created a full page manifesting worksheet (show above).

Links to the downloadable pdf’s can be found in the updated:

Manifesting with the Moon Workbook

How to Create an Ancestor Altar for Mothers Day

Mother’s Day is on Sunday and I know that this means a lot of different things to different people. My mom is alive and I will be celebrating with her in the morning with brunch.

My mom’s mom (shown above) passed away long before I was born. Her name was Madeline. During my tarot training, she showed up in some of my meditations and visualizations. Because of this, I decided to create a closer relationship with her.

I talked to my mom about this a bit and she told me that I would have called her Nana. I now ask her for guidance on a regular basis.

Now when I tune in and pray, I ask God, Angels, Guides, Bear, Gloria (my name for my higher self), Nana Madeline, Wolf, and Owl to help me. (This has evolved. About 5 years ago, I started simply with Universe.)

I imagine her standing behind my right shoulder. I feel supportive and comforting energy coming from her.

On Sunday, I plan on making a point to spend some time with her by creating an altar and I thought you might like to do the same with a mother or mother-figure from your life.

Here are some ways you can create an ancestor altar and spend some intentional time with a loved one this weekend.

Create an Ancestor Altar for Mothers Day

Ahead of time
  1. Get a photo or photos to display.
  2. If you do not have a photo, find something that reminds you of this person.
  3. Gather candles – possibly in the colors and scents that the person loved.
  4. Pick or find out something that they loved eating or drinking and make sure you have it on hand. ie. Chamomile Tea, Lemon Cookies, Sangria.
  5. Designate a space for your altar.
Day of
  1. Put the photos or items on your altar.
  2. Light your candles.
  3. Ask the person or persons you are honoring to be with you.
  4. Close your eyes and imagine them there.
  5. Enjoy the food and/or drink that they loved. (If for any reason, you do not like or cannot consume what they loved then simply offer it to them.)
  6. Enjoy this time and this connection.
  7. You can ask if they have any messages for you. Listen and possibly write down any guidance you receive.
  8. Allow any part of the experience to become a sign or symbol of their presence in your life. i.e. The color pink, the scent of Gardenia, the food or drink that they loved.
  9. Thank them for their love and support.
Tips:
  • You can keep this altar up or create it again when needed.
  • Either let the candles burn all the way down or save them for when you want to connect with this person again.
  • If there is drink left over it might be nice to empty it outside on a plant or tree. If there is food leftover, then save it for later, share with someone else, or possibly compost, give to the family dog, or throw away with loving intention.
  • You can do this on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
  • Feel free to make it simpler or more elaborate depending on the amount of time, your mood, and desires.

If you create an ancestor altar, feel free to tag me @themoonandarrowlodge or use the hashtag #themoonandarrowlodge so I can check it out.

Happy Mothers Day!!!

xo,

Kerry

p.s. Learning to work with your ancestors is part of The Dreamcatcher Circle membership!!!