Dark Medicine Brings Brightness of Mind!

Dear readers,

Welcome to our brand new decade! I have seen some labeling it the “thriving” twenties, and others calling it the “roaring” twenties… Do you have any other name suggestions for this brilliant new time?

How did your January 1st begin?

My day began with the usual Fibromyalgia symptoms, which make it very difficult for me to get out of bed, so my mental state is not exactly bright and cheery… But after eating something, then I get to make my happy black coffee, which almost always shifts things for the better. (Please see my post “Coffee Is Good Medicine”)

Today, right before taking that first sip, I whispered, “Dear black coffee, please merry me up, happy me up, gratitude me up, and beam me up!” And it worked! Before that cuppa, my thoughts were very dark (I was crying and actually wishing to die), but after drinking the dark medicine, my mind brightened, so then rather than dwelling on all of my difficulties with Fibromyalgia, Misophonia (triggered by sounds), and extreme HSP-ness (Highly Sensitive Person), I began thinking about how I can continue to win this daily battle with darkness.

Dear reader, if you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I am all about daily spiritual practices that help us to Happy Up… I even published a book on the topic! (Please order your copy on Lulu now… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life)…

So in addition to my daily dark coffee medicine, I also chant (usually along with Krishna Das CDs), send healing energies out, repeat mantras, and sit in silent meditation. I do these practices not only to help happy up my own life, but also as a service to others. I believe that the powerful energies created by spiritual practices ripple out and benefit many beings!

This morning I set only one keyword for the month of January: Loving-kindness… I intend to be more loving and kind with myself and with others, in my thoughts, words, and actions. (Soon I will share my keywords for the year!)

January is usually a highly creative and fun month for me, perhaps because I was born in January… But this year I am feeling a bit challenged because I will turn 50 years old on January 29th, and I am not where I wanted to be on my 50th birthday! Five years ago, when I imagined my next “milestone” birthday, I knew for sure that I wanted to be in Arizona on my 50th birthday… But now, due to unrelenting hardships, my dream of standing on the holy red rocks of Sedona will probably not come true… There must be a reason (or many reasons) why life is not unfolding easily for me now…

And thus, the daily battle with the darkness! I am ever grateful to the Force of All Light for the magical coffee beans that grow on this sacred Earth… and I bow humbly with deep gratitude for the daily spiritual practices that sustain me and beam me up!

Thank you for witnessing my experience on day one of 2020… Can you relate to anything I shared?

Let’s Happy Up Together in 2020! 🙂

With determination,
StarFire Teja

 

Coffee beans photo cropped by StarFire Teja.
Original photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay.

 

Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down…

Hello dear readers!

The rain is falling and I am cozy in my tree-house temple, making the best of a migraine morning. I lit a few candles and I’m sipping hot black coffee in my happy orange mug! Despite feeling sick, I am delighted to be here writing for you.

In my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I write: “On the Hindu Yoga Path, Orange symbolizes the Fire of Renunciation, the Orange Fire that burns all the external desires, attachments, and expectations that cause suffering. Once those external causes burn, the internal happiness is experienced.”

Daily spiritual practices help to burn away those external causes of suffering… And spiritual practices do not have to be complicated or take a lot of your precious time. I have been doing daily practices for more than fifteen years, and I have found that being relaxed and flexible with the practices is what enables me to keep doing them.

Some of the practices I do daily to happy up are from the Hindu Yoga Path, but others come from other traditions. This Summer I embarked on a study of the mindfulness teachings of Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh (see my previous post, “Peace Is Every Step”), and those teachings are helping me tremendously in working more skillfully with my mind as I deal with the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

At Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village monastery in France, the monks and nuns wear dark brown robes, and I find that color to be very soothing. Do you also feel calmed by the color brown?

(You can see their brown robes in this video: “Namo Avalokiteshvara Chant”)

Somewhere along the studies, it came to me that I am Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down!

In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests a simple breathing practice: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”

Here are two more simple breathing practices that you might enjoy doing, especially in stressful or tense moments ~

~ With the in-breath, think “Happy Up” and with the out-breath, think “Calm Down”.

~ Breathing in, think “Calm” and breathing out, think “Down” and as you think “Down” imagine breathing down into your legs and feet… And then imagine your energy flowing down into the ground… Imagine breathing down into the sacred Earth… And feel your entire being calming down…

I hope you found this post helpful!

With boundless love,
Teja

Photo of orange leaves on brown ground by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

 

Teja’s Top Ten High Vibration Foods

Dear reader, the information shared in this post is from my intuition and from things I’ve seen or heard about. I am not a physician and this is not medical advice! If you have any questions, please do your own research and/or ask your physician.

When you eat a whole foods plant-based diet there are so many wonderful foods that it is difficult to choose only ten, but these are my current faves, not in any particular order ~

~ Cinnamon ~ Oh so earthy! I love that cinnamon grows inside different kinds of evergreen trees in places like Sri Lanka. This high vibration spice has many health benefits, including help with regulating blood sugar. Some say that you should not consume more than one teaspoon per day because at high levels it can be toxic, so I just put a heaping half-teaspoon on my soaked oats each morning, and another fourth-teaspoon on my bedtime banana snack.

~ Potatoes ~ Wowsa, friends, I think that potatoes are one of the most healing foods on the planet. They are so high vibe that they rival green tea, which isn’t even on this list because my body prefers coffee now. (See “Coffee is Good Medicine.”) Potatoes are super grounding and do not deserve the bad rap they get in the media. Please watch this awesome video by Dr. John McDougall: “In Defense of the Potato.” ~ One key thing that he neglects to mention in this video is that people gain weight when they eat potatoes because of the unhealthy dairy fats that they eat with the potatoes. Potatoes by themselves are very healthy and they actually help people to lose weight.

~ Cabbage ~ Fresh, cooked, baked, steamed, or raw in sauerkraut, oh my, cabbage is one of the top vegetables for preventing cancer, and it so delicious! Please see my post “Sauerkraut is the New Yogurt… Or the New Apple”

~ Millet ~ Have you ever cooked millet? It is by far my favorite grain. It is so hearty, earthy, and filled with nutrients and healthy protein. A few years ago I went through a phase in which I cooked millet every morning for breakfast (adding nuts, raisins, spices, and sometimes dark chocolate chips!)… and then I snacked on the leftovers during the day, and sometimes even finished them for dinner! If you haven’t enjoyed this grain, I highly recommend you try it, and then please do let me know how you like it…

~ Almonds ~ There is something very soothing and grounding about these nuts. They grow on small funny-looking trees, with beautiful blossoms. A healthy source of protein and nutrients, almonds have many health benefits. They taste best when you roast them yourself! Have you ever eaten a warm almond right out of the oven? If not, please treat yourself to that experience!

~ Blueberries ~ Super high in antioxidants and helpful in relieving anxiety and depression, these little blue healers pack a serious punch in terms of elevating your health on every level: mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health.

~ Walnuts ~ High in the Omega-3 Fatty Acids that balance the Omega-6 Fatty Acids, walnuts are a daily staple for me. They are so good for the brain that one elderly woman even reversed dementia by eating a lot of walnuts! Every time I talk to my elder son, who is in college and using his brain a lot, I remind him to eat his walnuts and blueberries!

~ Raisins ~ I love eating raisins in my soaked oats breakfast… I especially like to imagine how those grapes dried into raisins under hot rays of holy Sunshine! That is an amazing alchemical transformation, if you really think about it!

~ Coconut ~ Holy Coconut Shells, to me the coconut is super sacred, and I have a vision for the human species to shift from the dairy habit into the high vibration coconut experience! This vision arose from the deep compassion that I feel for the cows, who are suffering so much. Please join me in replacing dairy products with coconut products!

~ Ginger ~ This earthy, spicy, warming root has major mojo in terms of healing powers. I put one-fourth teaspoon of ginger powder in my soaked oats each morning, and I love cooking with fresh ginger root. Do you regularly cook with ginger? If not, what are you waiting for?!

And a bonus: my eleventh favorite is parsley! ~ Do you love parsley? Did you know that in Moroccan cooking they use large amounts of parsley… it is not just a little sprig of garnish in that cuisine! Parsley has many health benefits, including helping the body to detoxify…

And… Coffee is my top high vibrational drink of choice. Soon I will post some powerful practices you can do with your cuppa coffee… (or tea)…

I hope you enjoyed this food list!

May you be healthy and happy!

With compassion and high vibes,
Teja

 

Photo* of cinnamon sticks by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash.
The photographer’s notes: “A picture taken at a spice stall in the famous spice market in Dubai showing an interesting pattern created by cinnamon sticks on display. With a limited light falling on the subject, the background automatically became dark creating a deep effect.”

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can view the cinnamon sticks!

 

The Yoga of Chocolate

As I shared in a recent post (“What Kind of Yoga do You Practice?”), there are many ways to practice yoga beyond just the physical poses. In today’s post I’ll be sharing how to practice the yoga of chocolate!

Do you love chocolate? Or do you know anyone who loves chocolate? I’m guessing you are answering yes to at least one of these questions!

Chocolate is made from cacao beans which grow inside pods on small trees, and besides being high in antioxidants, and helpful to heart health, it can greatly improve your mood. Chocolate creates excitement and sends a signal to your brain that something fun is about to happen!

The word yoga means “union” and so the goal of the yogic practices done by a yogi (male) or yogini (female) is to achieve a state of union with divine consciousness. Depending on your beliefs, you may call that consciousness God, Goddess, Divine Love, Nature, the Universe, or many other names. In the yoga tradition it is believed that your deepest self is connected with that divine consciousness, so when you do yogic practices you feel that union inside yourself.

Eating chocolate in a conscious way can enhance your feelings of union with your deepest self. Some ways to practice the yoga of chocolate include ~

~ Offer the chocolate to the Divine, or to your deepest self. Bless the chocolate with your highest gratitude vibrations.

~ Imagine the tree on which the cacao beans grew… under sunlight by day, and under starlight by night. Cultivate fascination for the miracle that this superfood grows naturally on this sacred Earth.

~ Take small bites, close your eyes, and eat the chocolate as slowly as you possibly can. Savor the taste and be fully aware of all sensations in the present moment. Allow your heart and mind to open to all the love in the universe!

~ If you have time, do some spiritual practices after eating your chocolate. In Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion, chanting (singing sacred mantras) is one of the primary practices, and it goes especially well with chocolate. Both singing and chocolate open the mind and heart to deep feelings of love, so combining the two is like giving yourself a superblast of big love energies!

Like coffee (see my post “Coffee Is Good Medicine”), it is important to buy organic, fair-trade chocolate… And, dark chocolate is best for many reasons, including health (dairy nullifies cacao’s benefits), and compassion (the cows suffer greatly when their milk is stolen from them)…

For many years my absolute favorite chocolate bar has been this salted almond 70% dark chocolate bar by Theo, pictured here on top of my Grandma Hazel’s floral tin, in which I store my chocolate stash…

YogaOfChocolate_TheoChocolate_StarFireTeja

I have been enjoying chocolate as medicine for decades, but sometimes I take a break from it, just to make sure that I’m not addicted to it, and to make sure that I still enjoy life without it! So, I did not eat any chocolate for the month of July, and I had so many seriously happy days, which proved that I am not dependent on chocolate… But, some days I do enjoy it as one of my many happy-ing up tools!

I hope you enjoyed this post on the yoga of chocolate… This is day 3 of my Virtual Book Launch Week! You will learn much more about yogic practices beyond the physical poses in my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, available now on Lulu! ~ Thank you so much to Andrea, of The Hummingbird’s Journal, for ordering a copy! 🙂

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo* of cacao beans by allybally4b on Pixabay.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja blog where you can see the photo of cacao beans.

 

Reaching for the Stars

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

What are you reaching for today? And what are you reaching for in your life in general? Are you reaching for the stars? Are you inspired to change the world?

When I think about how I would like to help change the world for the better, I often remember that Gandhi quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” That saying helps me to stay focused on doing my small part, right where I am today.

As for reaching… today I am reaching for coffee, reaching for goals, reaching for Orange, and reaching for the stars ~

~ Coffee = my liquid happy-ing up medicine, black as the dark night sky.

~ Goals = helping others to happy up through helpful blog posts.

~ Orange = a state of inner happiness that you will enjoy reading more about in my new book, coming soon… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

~ Stars = StarFire Teja shining brightly in the world! After a decade of hardships, I am ready to enjoy life! I hereby take the prosperity vow, and I ask the Stars to bless me with wealth to support my ministry! My mission is to help elevate the human species to happier and healthier vibrations! I work for the Forces of Goodness!

So, dear reader, what are you reaching for today?

 

Orange Stars Image: Source Unknown.