Half-Way Through 2019: Goals Review Time!

Hello Dear Readers!

Can you even believe that we are already half-way through this year? And how is it going with the goals you set for 2019?

On January 1st, I set these goals for the New Year:

To be Happy, Healthy, Holy, Hopeful, and Helpful.

I actually did not try to make them all begin with the letter “H”… Those goals just came to me spontaneously, in that order, and they all just happened to begin with H… So here is my check-in about how my goals are going:

Happy: As the image with this post says, “I ❤ Happiness.” Years ago I bought a bunch of organic bananas that had a little oval sticker with that quote. I still have that tiny sticker, but it is too small to photograph, so I made this image… I recently suggested to WordPress that they include the featured photo in the emails, but since that isn’t happening yet, I’m attaching the image here again for those who are viewing this post by email…

IHeartHappiness_StarFireTeja

Anyhow, I would say that overall I am feeling much happier in 2019. It is a choice to be happy, and I definitely choose happiness… AND I do practices to keep happy-ing up, and when those practices are effective I write about them in blog posts and books to help you happy up also!

Healthy: Well, physically I look very healthy, and I do eat an organic, whole foods plant-based, gluten-free diet, as well as exercise and take care of my health on all levels… AND, for decades I have dealt with many strange ailments and aches and pains that come and go and move around. My symptoms lately seem like perhaps a Fibromyalgia flare-up, so soon I will be finding a new doctor to get evaluated… Thankfully, all of the practices that I do to happy up also help me to manage my emotional reactions to not feeling well physically. And, fortunately I have good days as well as bad days, so I am very grateful for the good days!

Holy: For many years on my spiritual journey, I straddled two worlds… In one world I wanted to be a nun, and in the other world I wanted to find prince charming. (Please read my favorite blog post ever about how I no longer have that desire for a partner: “Into the Fire.”) Now that I am just living in the one world as a nun, married to God and the Spiritual Life, I am relieved to no longer be searching for an earthly guy… AND, I’m still learning a lot about desires and attachments in the earthly realm! Just because I freed myself of one desire, did not mean that I freed myself of all desires! So even though I am doing many daily spiritual practices, I would not describe myself as being entirely pure and holy. I am doing my best and I am always challenging myself to grow more!

Hopeful: Recently I discovered a new hero, Thich Nhat Hanh, and I read his awesome book, Peace is Every Step, which I will be reviewing in a blog post soon. In that book he talks about how hope is necessary when we are having a hard time because it helps us to get through the difficulties… but then once we get through the challenges, hope is not enough for true happiness, because hope is for the future, whereas happiness is to be found in the present moment. That really resonated as truth for me, and I reflected on how I had set “Hopeful” as one of my 2019 goals because I was still living in what I call my decade of hardships (which began in March, 2009)… And so the first few months of 2019 I was struggling to keep hope alive in my mind and heart… But thankfully, in the past few months there has been a shift into feeling hopeful most of the time… So I think I can check this one off, and move on to living in the happy present moment!

Helpful: Due to the health issues mentioned above, I am not able to do all that I would like to do in terms of helping others… But, I am proud to say that this year I trained with a local hospice and I have been going out to visit with dying patients and their families. And I have been posting helpful blog articles… And I am getting ready to publish my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. (For more information, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”)… So, I am being helpful in the ways that I can…

Thank you for reading my 2019 Goals Review!

How about you… How is it going with your goals for the year?

 

Happy Half-Way Through 2019 to Everyone!

 

 

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Does Coffee Give You Bear Power?

I joke that Coffee is my spirit animal, but actually I think it might be Bear. Do you drink coffee? Did you see my blog article in January about the health benefits of coffee? (“Coffee is Good Medicine”)

And do you love bears? Recently I discovered a fun Facebook page called Bears Make Me Happy, so now I can enjoy seeing photos of bears in my feed, while drinking my hot black Organic, Fair Trade, dark roast coffee!

In their book, Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, authors Jamie Sams and David Carson write, “The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection.” They say that the special energy of Bear has to do with their hibernation in wintertime. Just like Bear, I feel as though I’ve been going deep inside my cave this winter. How about you?

Here’s a short little Bear visualization to bring comfort… imagining you are curled up in a cave with a Mama Bear and her cubs… you feel peaceful and completely at ease… and so do they… the Mama Bear pulls you close and cuddles you, just like one of her own cubs… you feel so much love… you melt in that love… and you send some of that Big Bear Love out to all beings…

May All Beings Feel Loved
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Bear image by mlorenzphotography/Getty

 

 

Sauerkraut is the New Yogurt… Or the New Apple

Cabbage is your new best friend! It contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to prevent cancer and other diseases. And once it is fermented into sauerkraut, it becomes the superfood of choice. Packed with probiotics, sauerkraut increases the good bacteria in your gut, boosts your immune system, strengthens your bones, calms your mood, helps your brain and heart to stay healthy, and lowers your cholesterol.

For those who do not eat dairy, due to allergy, intolerance, or compassion for the cows, sauerkraut is far superior to yogurt in terms of probiotics. And for those who do eat dairy, consider that there are many studies showing that dairy products cause the very same diseases which sauerkraut prevents.

A daily dose of sauerkraut is as potent as a daily apple. Remember the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and begin adding a daily serving of sauerkraut to your diet. If at first you do not like the taste of kraut, fear not. This high vibration superfood is so good for your body, that you will naturally develop a taste for it. There are many different flavors available now, so keep trying new ones until you find the one for you.

When shopping for sauerkraut, look for organic krauts that are made as locally as possible. Here are a few of my favorite brands:

Pickled Planet ~ my favorite of theirs is called I-Boost (Immune Booster).

Krazy Kraut ~ their Kim Chee is super fresh, and I love the one that has juniper berries!

Hidden Pond Farm ~ their KimChi is very spicy.

Farmhouse Culture ~ my current favorite of all sauerkrauts is this brand’s Smoked Jalapeño. It is a great one for those who like it hot!

If you already eat sauerkraut daily, please share your favorites in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.” And if you are new to sauerkraut, have fun on your new kraut adventures. Let me know how it goes!

Happy Up your body and brain with sauerkraut!

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

StarFire Teja’s Three Tips for Brain Health

Can you feel your brain shutting down when your blood sugar drops? Often your tired brain can be revived with a power snack, but not a sugary junk food item. Instead, you might try a healthy snack suggestion, like in the first tip here…

1. Eat healthy snacks ~ Here is a suggestion for a snack that you can easily prepare the night before. In a small bowl, mix a few pecans, a few walnuts, a few fresh strawberries, a spoonful of tahini, and a spoonful of strawberry jam (Organic and sugar-free jam). This tasty treat is great for mid-morning or mid-afternoon when your brain is feeling tired. Packed with Omega-3’s, protein, and antioxidants, it will give those tired brain cells a huge energy boost!

2. Inhale the scent of rosemary ~ Keep a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or a bottle of pure rosemary essential oil nearby, and when your brain is slowing down, breathe in the healing aromatherapy. Rosemary simultaneously energizes and calms the brain.

3. Practice self-love ~ Breathe love into every cell in your brain, and imagine that all of those cells are being energized. All of the cells in your body, including your brain cells, thrive on loving energies.

For more tips for brain health, see my previous blog article “StarFire Teja’s Ten Tips for a Healthy Brain.”

After trying out these tips, please come back here and share your experiences, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Disclaimer for the above list of tips:

Please note that Teja Shankara is not a licensed physician. She is not qualified to prescribe medication, diagnose medical or psychological conditions, or treat mental disorders. Any suggestions here are alternative or complementary to standard medical care services. If you have any questions about any of these tips, please consult your primary care physician.

Coffee Is Good Medicine

Coffee doesn’t work for everyone, but it is good medicine for me. For many years I drank tea most days, due to all the hype against coffee. But then a couple of years ago, I started drinking coffee daily, and I was surprised to find that I actually feel better with coffee. Although I love the taste of strong green tea, and I intuitively feel that it is a very high vibration plant, it makes me feel jittery and nauseated, whereas coffee makes me feel inspired and happy. Recently I read an article about the many health benefits of coffee, including prevention of cancer, dementia, and strokes. (To read that article by Ocean Robbins, click on the title here: “Surprising Reasons Why Coffee May Be A Health Food”) Ocean does point out that some people get jittery from coffee, in which case it is not their medicine, but for those who can drink it, this antioxidant-packed bean brew can work wonders. I enjoy dark roast black coffee daily, and it seriously happys up my mind!

With both coffee and tea, it is super important to buy organic, and with coffee it’s especially crucial to buy fair trade, so that the workers are paid a fair living wage.

This January, to happy up your mind and elevate your consciousness, try this happy combo:
Sipping a cup of hot coffee (or tea) while reading my new book,
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes
To purchase your happy copy today, please click on this happy link: Happy!

May All Beings Be Happy!