When Can We Chill Again?

How do you know when it’s time to Chill?

Do you ever get really fed up with all of the ridiculous stuff that you end up dealing with in life. One example can be social media and countless other things you do throughout your life. But if you look at the reports on your phone about time spent on social media, it can be downright concerning. If you find yourself easily annoyed, it might be time to chill baby!!

What’s Your Favorite Way to Chill?

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Well recently I realized I needed to take a break from my phone and in fact started to practice silence. Although I love music and dance, it was starting to feel like I was a bit over stimulated. So I did what any reasonable person could do and turned off my phone. It may seem like an easy thing to do. But I give you a challenge to see if you can be away from your phone.

  • Once your phone is safely tucked away, you can start to monitor your breathing. Are you breathing? You want to feel the breath go all the way down to the bottom of your lungs if possible and allow your belly to expand. You have to pay attention to it in order to feel better.
  • Practice mindfulness…. meaning pay attention to what you are doing. As you are walking around your place, silently say, I am walking around my place. I feel my feet on the ground. With each step I am becoming more grounded. Allow your breath to breathe in positive and exhale negative. Sounds cheesy but it works.
  • Tell those close to you that you are taking a break from your phone. Then you have to find other things to do but be on your phone. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, stretch, go swimming. The possibilities are endless. Just try to make it something you enjoy doing if possible.
  • Meditate because it’s good for your health.
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Make a cup of herbal tea

There is something comforting in drinking a nice hot cup of tea. As long as it’s caffeine free enjoy your tea. There are many teas that are great for reducing stress. Chamomile, lavender or valerian root are excellent choices to calm down. Sometimes just the act of sitting down with a cup of tea just makes you feel like you’re a real bad ass at being refined and shit. But you can just sip your tea, read your book and smile as the bad ass tames the wild beast.

Valeria Star is a Health and Wellness Coach that lives in Northern California. She is on her journey and sharing her experiences in order to inspire Healthy Living and the pursuit of dreams. You can learn more about here here.

Dear Men, I’m Sorry You Can’t Cry

topless man reading book while seating at beach

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Males have always had a big impact on my life.  I have three older brothers and a Father and I also worked in probably the most masculine of career fields on the planet which was in a State Prison Facility.  Talk about masculine energy.

The men I know are very strong physically and mentally.  They are wildly creative and were athletic and hulk strong.  I could write a bunch of stories about their strength but that’s not the point of this writing.

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While working in law enforcement there was always this thing about being prepared for the unexpected.  Being ready for whatever happened and making sure to stay strong physically.  Physical training was essential and just a lot of ego and strength.

One thing I started to see was that when men would get hurt emotionally, they would take it very hard.  Most of the time the way they dealt with their pain was just to not discuss it, stay strong and suffer in silence.  If I knew of a man who got a divorce or had some losses, in general they had a bit of a hard time bouncing back.

Then there is this whole thing about how “Real Men Don’t cry,”  “Suck it up buttercup” and other slogans that encourage you to be strong and persevere through difficult times. But sometimes things are difficult and the if men get sad and depressed they often have a difficult time expressing themselves.  Maybe they cry but it’s not typical behavior.  In fact  I don’t think I ever really saw my brothers cry.  Maybe if they got hurt really bad but just not a lot of male crying. Me on the other hand was crying every time the wind blew.  I would cry over the way they would talk to me or if they would say something mean, I would cry.

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It’s one of those things that men just don’t want to deal with but there can be negative consequences of holding in your feelings.  Side effects of not crying here.  Here are some benefits of crying.  

This suffering in silence is a real problem.  So what do you do if you have a problem but you can’t discuss it?  What happens?  In general it seems to me that not discussing an issue doesn’t solve anything and in fact can make things worse.  It’s like covering a something really stinky with a pretty blanket.  You won’t see it but you will smell it.  Until you get that blanket, take it off and shine some light on the problem will you be able to get rid of that problem.  And sometimes it takes professional help to be able to get yourself right.  There’s not an easy answer.

So yeah men, I’m really sorry that it can be difficult to express your emotions.  Art is a great way to express yourself, meditation and hiking. And don’t ever forget the benefits of silence.

Anyway I just wanted to apologize that things are the way they are and you can always feel free to cry.  It will be OK.  It’s amazing how much better you feel after a good cry. Then you’ll be ready for a brand new day.

man sitting on edge facing sunset

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Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California.  She believes that as you heal yourself, you heal the planet.

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Is it Possible for you to Shut Up?

What I learned at a Silent Stay Retreat

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Recently I went to Silent Stay Retreat Center. It was very beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. It’s in the hills of Solano County in Pleasant Valley. Once you get here they encourage silence and it was quite refreshing to not feel pressured to talk to the other participants. I found it quite interesting that all of the participants were women except for one of the facilitators.  You do a couple of meditations per day in a group but the rest of the time you can do whatever you like. They recommend you leave your phone in the car so that you can really unplug. I did notice I wasn’t the only person who didn’t abide by this recommendation.  My excuse was because I needed to be available in case of an emergency with my family.  Needless to say it made me aware that I have a real addiction with my phone.

adult air beautiful beauty

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One of the things we discussed is that with all of the busyness of life, we become so work oriented that we don’t know how to get our balance. The silence is what helps us to get our balance again. It helps your soul to come home and give itself a rest. It’s a beautiful concept.

yin yang

There is a concept of Yin and Yang.  Yang being work, education, doing, achieving, making money, pursuing.  Yin is about being, accepting, allowing, receiving, silence, inner being and soul work. It’s about getting in touch with that little kid inside of you and realizing what your inner child needs. Maybe it needs to play for a bit or get some rest. It also could need to get rid of stuff that is holding you back. Such as holding on to too much stuff.  It’s difficult to listen to your needs without silence.  Your inner child gets drowned out with all of the other noises and sounds.

The thing that was nice about having silence at the retreat, is that I didn’t have to feel that pressure to speak to talk to others. They have notes of paper around so you can communicate with someone if you need to.  It is perfectly fine to be in the same room and not feel responsible to talk to them. That felt very freeing and made me realize how such a simple thing as silence can have a real benefit to our lives.

Western culture is very much goal oriented, analytical, results driven and forces one to “go, go,go.” When really what our soul needs is just some time to sit back under a tree, and enjoy the cool breeze and enjoy the moment. What would happen if we gave ourselves a bit of time?

There was silence but the birds weren’t silent.  In the quiet of the hills, I could hear the beautiful songs of the birds.  There were many wind chimes and other wild life.  Hearing all of the wonderful nature sounds was very peaceful.  There was a beautiful family of turkeys.  The baby turkeys with their mom and dad.  I took the worst picture humanly possible.

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Of course I was reading an Awesome book when I was there that just completely enhanced the experience.  I took the book by Michelle Paisley Reed, called Manifesting Miracles and for the first time I was actually able to meet my soul.  It was such an amazing experience.  My soul is just so happy.  I mead ridiculously happy.  Kind of reminded me of my puppy when she gets so excited.   I was surprised because there are times when I am feeling stressed, sad and feel rushed.  When I saw my soul was happy, it just made me feel happy and want to spend more time with my happy little soul.  I feel so blessed that I was able to have this experience.

I’ve meditated for years but I’ve never really been silent for days on end and I no longer fear silence.  I wonder what would happen if we would all take the time to just shut up for a couple of days.  And of course my ego wants to judge people and tell them, “You really need to shut up.”  But not only is that not nice, but that’s their choice and we all have choices now don’t we?

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  She’s recuperating from a 26 year career in law enforcement.  After 9 months retired or repurposed she’s finally allowing herself a chance to truly rest.  She’s learning to listen to that voice inside of her and listening to what it wants.  You can read more about Valerie here.

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