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Get Out of the House and into the World

Despite evolving to interact with our natural environment through running, playing, touching and engaging our rich sensory experience in nature, today, many of us live rather sedentary lives. We sit inside at our computers all day and get minimal outdoor exercise.

Humans are not designed to be surrounded by all this concrete and metal. But despite our intelligent design, many of us are caught up in the hamster wheel of driving to work in our metal boxes, pent up all day in a cubicle surrounded by artificial lighting, just to drive home and repeat this cycle day after day.

As a symptom of our modern lifestyles, ironically, we’re more likely to watch the wilderness via nature programming on TV than immerse ourselves in the real, tangible thing.

It’s time for us to prioritize time to engage with the beautiful earth that surrounds us.

Green Your Spaces

Even small and simple interactions with nature can give us a zing of energy.

If at first, you find yourself struggling to manage your time to squeeze more nature into your booked agenda, you only need to invest minimally to bring the wild to you.

Purchasing small, potted plants to decorate your home is not only a visually appealing way to decorate your home space, but it’s also an easy way to bring the natural world to you.

Many plants that thrive indoors assist in purifying and humidifying our air, gift our spaces with natural aromas and support us in restful sleep and managing our mental and emotional health.

  • Purchase a few herb plants such as basil, rosemary and mint for your kitchen counter to incorporate in meals.
  • Sip a cup of soothing and relaxing, freshly harvested mint tea as you read a book next to your African Violet flowers.
  • Redirect your gaze from computer work to appreciate the diverse shapes and colors of your office desk succulent garden.

With minimal water and attention, interior gardens will incorporate and inspire a deeper connection with the natural world around you.

Get Time in the Wild

The sooner we recognize that time outdoors is an essential part of our overall well-being, the quicker we’ll come to prioritize time spent outside.

  • Take a moment to smell the roses. Literally.
  • Notice the nature creeping through the concrete cracks in the city.
  • Walk through parks.
  • Take a weekend to go hiking in the countryside.
Studies have shown that walking outdoors can reduce anxiety and stress, so no matter where you are, you need not venture far to escape your four walls and breath in the outside air.

It’s not a question of access, but of making it a priority to connect with your natural environment, no matter how sprawling or confined it maybe.

If you have enough time to watch a show about nature, you have enough time to go out and experience the real thing.

Turn Off Your Devices

With our growing reliance on technology for entertainment, time spent without it continues to decrease rapidly. And the truth is, the more high-tech our lives become, the greater our need for nature becomes.

Observe yourself. How much time do you spend scrolling and “liking” throughout the day?

When was the last time you interacted with the world without trying to capture the experience, slap a filter on it and share with your social media community?

Be present.

Leave the tweeting to the birds, not your phone. Do you really need another picture of that sunset or can you give yourself permission to simply savor it for yourself?

Smell the dirt. Feel the sun on your face. Walk barefoot on the Earth.

Relish in the moment.

The more our lives become entangled with the technological world, the more essential it becomes that we make room to honor, celebrate and connect with the natural world around us.

Allow it to invigorate and inspire you. Give yourself permission to witness beauty and wonder at the life that thrives amongst you.

We are animals after all.

Mahalo,

Alyse

 

Staying True to Yourself During Hard Times

Whether you’re tuned into the state and happenings in the world or facing hardship in your interpersonal relationships, there are a number of influences that can lead us to closing shop on our hearts.

Do you find yourself feeling disconnected from your heart center? Or perhaps your riding the waves between feeling heart-full and cracked wide open to retreating to ice queen tendencies of freezing over and shoving others out.

Often, we close our hearts off from others in the world as a means of protecting ourselves from the fear of feeling more pain and hurt in life. And at times, this instinct isn’t entirely off the mark.

Life will come with experiences of pain and suffering. And while a closed heart can help us feel protected temporarily, with time, it can lead to us feeling severed from our own sense of self.

Knowing that life will come with its plethora of experiences to make us want to shrivel up and hide, its wise of us to cultivate habits that will help fully bloom again after these instances.

Joyful Connection

Ask yourself, “What brings me back to my heart?”

  • When I’m feeling down and isolated from my joy, nothing brings me back to myself faster than rekindling with loved ones in my life.
  • Does your heart melt at the sound of your grandmother calling you by your childhood nickname? Give her a call!
  • Do you feel seen, cared for and fully appreciated by your best friend? Then reach out and create time and space to cherish each other.

Prioritizing time to be with the ones we love and adore not only supports us in trying times, but it also takes care of our loved ones too. Put in the effort to reach out and care for those you hold precious and you’ll find that you’ll feel cared for in return too.

Freely Give Your Time and Talents

Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

What does this mean for you? If you’re not sure, ask yourself daily and listen to the voice inside of you.

When you feel deflated from wishing for the world to be different, try doing something that actually makes a difference. You’d be surprised at how the smallest acts of kindness can create huge ripple effects.

Volunteering your time to an organization, message, campaign or cause is a great way to feel of service to the much needed healing of the world. Giving something to someone without any hope of reciprocation can also be uplifting for not only you, but also the people around you.

YOU have the potential and power to participate and aid in the transformation and healing of the world.

When you look to the world, what brings you the greatest grief?

Whatever it is that ails your heart, and if you’re like me, there may be too many to name, know that you have the power to remedy it in some way.

Haven’t got a clue on how to get engaged with service and activism work? Use the Idealist database to found volunteering opportunities near you.

Fan Your Fires of Hope

After reading the headlines or tuning into the news broadcast, we can all feel a little bummed about the state of the world. So much so, that some days, it may feel hard to even get out of bed. We must ask ourselves, how do we remain hopeful and open-hearted?

We do so by shining our light of awareness on all that is good in the world today.

If you only consume media content from mainstream news outlets, chances are, you’re only seeing reality from a skewed perception based on fear and separation.

It is up to you to seek out alternative news and media content that showcases positive story telling. Check out Yes Magazine and Positive News to learn about and celebrate the efforts of every-day world-impacting heroes. There is so much content to nourish and stoke our hope for humanity… we just have to be willing to look for it.

Listen to Your Heart

When my heart is open, my perception of life is that of gratitude and love. It comes with great ease to witness and experience the blessings in the smallest and most mundane things. When this connection is severed, heaviness, absence of energy and pessimism lead my thoughts.

There’s no need to repress or deny when our hearts decide to close its door to the world for a moment. Often, these are opportunities to turn inwards to reflect upon our emotional experience to access how we can better support and meet our needs to unravel and open again.

Never lose sight of the tools you have within you. You are armed with them as the compass and map leading you back home to your heart. And the more you use them, the quicker and more easeful your recovery from a broken or disconnected heart can be.

You are supported.
Your open, overflowing, loving heart is a gift to the world.
We need it and you.
Please don’t keep it closed for too long.

Mahalo,

Alyse

Sisters Rising: A Call to Lift Each Other Up

Looking back to my high school years, I recall the frequency in which my girlfriends spoke things like, “Girls are so caddy” as if it were some unwritten, non-debatable truth.

Looking to the popular culture narratives that bombarded us (and they seem not all that different today) sitcoms, movies and storylines seemed to uphold the same expectation and stereotype:

Women stab each other in the back.

It seems as if everywhere I look, from magazines, teen TV shows and Hollywood films, the unquestioned narrative of women pitted against each other have been weaved into our consciousness.

With multi-billion dollar cosmetic, apparel, and dieting industries profiting off the basis of us not feeling good enough, the rate of sexual assault and rape experienced by women worldwide holding depressing statistics, and patriarchy creating a wide web of inequalities, including the wage gap of women and men for the same work, you think we’d be banning together instead of splitting each other apart.

The truth is, a great deal of this very problematic paradigm that does not celebrate and uphold the brilliance of the feminine thrives on the basis of women being divided.

Girls, there are enough forces in the world aiming to chew us down and make us feel less than perfect.

Let’s refuse and reject the social conditioning that tells us to break each other down and instead, choose to lift each other up.

We Are Not in Competition

Too often, in relating to other women, we find ourselves in the pattern of comparison. Whether in real life or through social media, we find ourselves sizing ourselves up to other sisters. This habit can be used to either diminish our own unique traits and qualities by thinking they are less than another’s, or belittling those of others to affirm our own beauty.

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.

We have the opportunity to reflect each other’s unique beauty and expression. We have the chance to affirm our own worth by refusing to diminish our charm by sizing it up to another’s.

Let’s seize the moment to be mirrors to each other’s individuality and magic. Let’s choose to love ourselves and our sisters fearlessly as we are.

Choose to be a force that supports other women in feeling adequate and perfect as they are.

Be a collaborator and help sisters climb up to their greatest potential and view of themselves.

You’ll discover that when you empower women, they help lift you up too.

Dissolve Body Policing

Advertising, representation in media and the fashion industry already present us with a limited, finite window of what’s considered conventionally beautiful. And unfortunately, it does not present the loveable, strong, wide and diverse bodies, shapes and sizes we all lead our lives in.

Be mindful of how you relate to, think about and speak of your own body as well as those of your friends, family, and acquaintances.

Speaking poorly of another person’s physique isn’t only rude and straight up cruel, but it may also reinforce insecurities others’ may be experiencing in relating to their bodies.

Women already are rained down on by scrutiny seemingly everywhere in society.

Don’t add fuel to these destructive flames.

ALL bodies are beautiful, perfect expressions of creation.

There is not one type of physique that is worthy of our celebration and awe.

ALL bodies are vessels and temples of divine human potential and essence, deserving of our respect and praise, regardless of what shape or size they come in.

Show Gossip the Door

Our harsh words and judgments only have the potential to create pain and doubt in others, not to mention the impact it has on those spreading verbal poison into the world.

Let’s bring an end to upholding the stereotype of women’s disloyalty and instead learn to foster dialogues with other women, especially when they’re difficult and even ugly.

Conflict in relationships is inevitable, even within friendships with girl friends. We can either cause unnecessary rifts in our lives by bashing someone we ultimately care about behind their back or face our conflicts head on, welcoming resolution and the potential to grow from our challenges.

Find yourself babbling on about women you don’t even know? Our words and thoughts shape our reality. Do you want to live a life filled with negativity and judgment? Change your script and instead use the power of your thoughts and words to compliment the sisters in your life.

Be A Shining Example

The truth is, even if you open yourself up to other women, some may not want to take the bait.

You may still encounter sisters who will judge you and try to break you down.

You have a choice: reflect that pain by dishing more back or be a shining, open hearted example.

Celebrate your journey of dismantling socialization that has kept you separated from uplifting, life-changing connection. Be a pioneer for other sisters that may have not found their way yet.

The process of no longer tearing sisters down is one of letting down our guard and getting honest with our behavior. Because the truth is, we’ve all participated in the dissection and pushing down of each other at some point, including myself.

We are forgivable and able to move forward with greater integrity and standards.

No matter how much our culture persuades us to be divided, we have the choice to rise above that programming.

When I gave myself permission to dissolve these obstacles and limitations that held me back from connecting with other women on deep levels, I opened myself to some of the most transformative, healing friendships of my life.

The authenticity of women cheering each other on, reflecting each other’s strength and capabilities when we doubt ourselves while celebrating the harvest of our successes throughout life is a force that can heal the entire world.

Your tribe of sisters awaits you, a badass crew of comrades stoked to empower each other… all you need to do is let go of harmful patterns that push each other down and instead choose to lift each other up.

Let’s rise together.
Mahalo,

Alyse

Riding the Waves of Life’s Challenges

For many of us, when life brings us turbulent waters of great change and challenging circumstances, our default response often looks like resistance and aversion to impermanence.

During difficult times, do you find yourself praying and wishing for your circumstances to different? Do you observe your mind fixating on how you’d prefer your situation to be instead of asking for the strength and courage to navigate it with grace and tact?

We all know what it’s like to sink in the lulls and shadowy moments of life. If you find yourself now consumed by the shadows or descending to a mucky bottom, ask yourself, “Is my relationship to my circumstances supporting me or creating unnecessary suffering?”

We all have the ability to cultivate attitudes and skillful means to endure and triumphant over the tough patches in life. By doing so, we can transform our outlook on the murkiest of situations as opportunities of growth, confidence and resilience building.

Just with a shift of perception, all that you endure has the potential to evolve you.

Practicing Acceptance

Learning to accept what is not in our control while releasing our preferences to how we rather experience things is a skill that can transform our entire perception and experience of life’s events.

Despite our purest intentions and efforts of integrity, life at times will play a sour note.

It is easy to slip into the mental chatter and monologue of asking, “Why me?” and “What did I do to deserve this?”

It is easy to beg and pray for the Universe to make the discomforts and chaos to simply go away.

But the truth is, without the challenges we face in life, we would be skipping out on the experiences that gift us with the deepest of teachings and lessons.

Practice surrendering.

Understand that through this you are upgrading and coming into greater alignment with your higher self. Have faith that what life brings your way is the embodiment of wisdom and teachings you are prepared and capable of receiving. Practice acceptance of all of life’s gifts… knowing that both our joys and our “curses” bring blessings and lessons.

Changing What’s in Our Control

By redirecting our resistance to circumstances we cannot change to the ones we can, we empower ourselves to be the grand architects of our lives.

When at odds with a difficult occurrence, ask yourself, “What is in my control in this situation? And how can I influence it for the better?”

We are all capable of impacting the outcomes of our lives when we focus our energy and attention on the factors that are in our control. And when we do so with the criteria of honoring our truth and saying no to what does not serve us, we are bound to limit what does not uplift us while making room for what does.

Act, speak and think from a place of self-love and appreciation, compassion and honesty, knowing that through this embodiment of integrity you have the power to shift any painful moment to witness its blessings.

Wisdom to See the Lessons

When there is no difference between your curses and your blessings, all there is left is gratitude.

When we cultivate our ability to decipher the meaning and blessings in all situations, including the difficult ones, we dissolve our rejection of life’s lessons.

Regardless of what life throws your way, deepen your faith and trust that is has arrived to teach you profound lessons. All that you experience is shaping you, your purpose, your journey, and your destiny.

Will you allow life to present you with the exact experiences and lessons to bring you into greater alignment with yourself? Can you bring yourself to say yes to all hardships knowing that they are shaping you into a wiser, kinder, stronger version of yourself?

Your hardships, your joys, your passions, your resistances…. they are all connected. They are all molding you.

Embrace it.

Putting it into Practice

Say out loud and affirm for yourself:

“I see the blessings in all situations.”

Say out loud and affirm for yourself:

“All that I welcome transforms me.”

Trust that all situations that arise in your life are here because you are ready and capable to weather them. You are a warrior prepared by all previous moments and experiences in your life to triumph and overcome.

Be persistent and committed to reconstruct your relationship and perception to hardships. If you continue to see doom and gloom in all challenging situations, be gentle with yourself. Rewriting habitual patterns and thoughts is a life-long journey and one well-worth taking.

While this change in attitude may take time and effort to establish as your default, you can turn to affirmations and prayer to remind you of the choice you have in all situations.

To remind myself to decipher the lessons and blessings in all situations I turn to the “Serenity Prayer.”

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the courage to know the difference.”

You create your reality through your thoughts and perceptions. When you learn and practice to see life’s lulls and challenges as teachings from the Universe you are destined to receive, then all situations can be welcomed.

When we learn to ride and adapt to the waves of life, we will never sink.

Mahalo,

Alyse

Inspiring Ideas for Your Life Changing Morning Routines

The initial moments of our day, from the very second we wake throughout our preparation for the tasks ahead, hold the utmost importance in shaping and affecting the mindset and attitude we’ll navigate the remaining day’s demands with.

Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, consider these powerhouse practices to influence and impact the opening chapters of your days for the better.

Speak or Think Positive Affirmations

Our thoughts shape our reality so it may come as little surprise that our first thought of the day holds great weight and power. It’s easy to send out an invitation for our own personal rain cloud if our first waking thought is that of dread and frustration.

A sure way to write a positive morning script is to think or speak out loud positive affirmations for your day. Affirmations are a remarkable tool to shift your way of thinking to better attract, practice or embody attributes and experiences you are longing to live.

“My life moves with grace.” “I have the power to change my life.” “I don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Seize the day with positive, empowering and affirmative thoughts to carry you from dawn-to-dark.

Mirror Work

We are aligned for success when we relate to and think of ourselves with loving, confident attitudes. For many of us, we may feel leaps and bounds away from our ultimate self-love journeys, but do not fret! There are immense tools and methods to support us along our path.

A super accessible and effective process that we can engage just about anywhere is mirror work.

So how does mirror work work?

Mirror work is an extension of affirmation practices that we say to our reflections in front of a mirror. The mirror serves to reflect back the feelings you have for yourself and can display immediately our resistances and obstacles to receiving and holding ourselves in high-esteem.

While this can feel strange, awkward and even at times lacking of authenticity at first, as you learn to do mirror work, you will become more aware of the things you say and do to yourself and with time, come to care for yourself deeper than you ever have before.

Setting Intentions

Embark on each day by setting intentions or goals for the moments unfolding ahead. Each morning I take the time to write out an intention to practice and focus on for my day, which serves as fuel to feed the fires of my growth and goals, but also supports me in cultivating attributes and virtues I am trying to embody more with each day.

Intentions can be written to specific tasks you are aiming to complete or for grander goals and themes in your life.

For example, if you’ve been struggling with your inner critic jabbing you with frequent criticisms and thoughts of self-doubt, you can set the intention to practice thinking kind, supportive thoughts towards yourself.

Whatever your ambitions and pursuits in your current life maybe, setting intentions to achieve them is sealing prayers and agreements with the Universe for your success!

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is the attitude for a life full of joy and bliss. When we steer our attention towards the blessings we already hold in life, instead of fixating on what we long for and may not have, we allow ourselves to see how supported and held we are in life.

By gifting yourself the time each morning to write a handful of things you give thanks for, you give permission for a perspective that appreciates all the blessings in your life. You could do this in a personal journal or share your practice with a loved one or friend through a shared medium/platform of your choosing. Or consider posting on an online forum, such as the Raw Alignment Community Facebook page, inviting and encouraging others to express and share their gratitudes too.

The more you make room for gratitude in your life, the more you’ll find yourself celebrating the smallest of joys, giving life and energy for happiness to triumph over apathy any day.

Physical Movement

Feeling lethargic first thing in the morning? Get moving! Sometimes the greatest remedy for a lack of energy is to use energy to create more.

Making time as soon as you wake up to get your blood flowing and heart pumping is, to me, far superior to any wakefulness you can achieve from stimulants such as coffee.

There are various ways to move your body, from jogging, body weight workouts or power walking to hula hooping, dancing or yoga… get imaginative and choose an exercise activity that inspires and excites you.

Not only will you increase stamina, body strength and even flexibility, but the increase in endorphins, a mood-boosting hormone your body produces when you exercise, will keep you smiling too!

Need support or motivation getting started? Check out my guided body-weight workouts here.

Healthy Breakfast

Fueling your body with vibrant, energy producing foods is important any time of the day, but holds an even greater emphasis first meal of the day. Our fast-food, on the go, convenience foods culture has encouraged many of us to run out of the door either without nourishing our bodies at all or chomping down on something empty of nutritious fuel to power us through our day.

When standing in front of your fridge or cupboard in the morning ask yourself, “What can I give my body to feel the sharpest, most energized version of myself?”

Make time to sit and enjoy this meal with mindful, slow paced chews and your full attention. Food is a rich sensory experience. Choose items that are abundant in colors and chock full of life, like fruit smoothies or bowls.

Dance to Your Favorite Song

Find yourself moaning and groaning to the pulse of your alarm clock each morning? Try switching up your beats to your current favorite song to invite a smile to your face and a wiggle, twirl or shimmy out of bed each morning. It can boost your mood and open up your light-hearted, playful side too!

Meditation

For many of us, the moments between when we rise and when we rest for the day can be chock full of stressful and overwhelming happenings. When we struggle to find a firm foundation in life, days, weeks and even months can go by without us experiencing a moment of peace and quiet.

Cultivating a daily meditation practice comes not only with the promise of time to drop in with yourself and your breath each day, but talks a strong game of other benefits too: from increased relaxation and concentration to boosting immunity and cardiovascular health, there are immense reasons to consider slowing down and spending some precious moments on your meditation cushion.

First thing in the morning is an optimal period to set your timer and put in the effort to still and quiet your mind.

Feeling inspired to get started but don’t know where to begin? Check out this article on tips to start cultivating your meditation practice today.

First Things First

Whether you incorporate one or all of these suggested practices, celebrate your efforts to put your well being and balanced whole-body health first. Life will always have demands and tasks that beg to pull us away from our own self-care. It is up to us to determine and shape a lifestyle and culture that puts our care and well being where it should be… at the top of our priority list.

When we are nourished and whole in our self-care practices we are able to show up for our duties and responsibilities in life with greater strength, balance and stamina.

You are worthy and capable of caring for yourself wholly.fa

Start today.

Mahalo,

Alyse

Cultivate Your Support System – Letting Go – Part 3

In Part 1 of Cultivate Your Support System, we talked about the powerful transformation that can happen when you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Part 2 followed up with the importance of speaking your truth. Both aspects are incredibly important pillars when you’re trying to build a community of support for yourself.

Another foundational piece of building a support system is learning how to let go.

We build a solid foundation of support by releasing all expectations of others. By expecting nothing from others, we get so much in return.

Buddhist teachings tell us that suffering can only occur when we attach ourselves to certain

  • thoughts
  • beliefs
  • material goods
  • people
  • or anything else
In order to be at peace, we have to let go of attachments and the idea of permanency.

When we detach ourselves from one particular idea…

  • we allow room for growth and change
  • we are better able to cope when things don't go as planned
  • we put ourselves in a more positive mindset

This is highly beneficial, because change is inevitable. Which means, if we prevent situations from changing because we’re scared of losing something, we are fighting a losing battle. The world is constantly changing, and we must change with it.

As many of you know, leaving Hawaii was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. This hardship came from the attachment I had to my loving home for the past four years. There are so many reasons to be attached to this beautiful place.

  • It provided structure and stability
  • It was the first place I felt I really belonged
  • It provided nurturing and delicious food for my body
  • It was a place of true and beautiful community support

We can all justify reasons to remain attached. When I deliberately decided to let go of the emotional ties to the land that has taken care of me for so many years, I immediately put an end to my suffering. This does not mean I am happy or elated about the situation. I still feel sadness. The difference is that I do not feel despair. I do not feel like a piece of me is missing. I simply feel sad.

It can be hard to think we are giving up things we love, but we must make a mental shift from “I am giving this thing up,” to “I am honoring myself by letting go. I am opening myself up to new, exciting, and healthy changes.

I believe that this next chapter in my life will bring me to exactly where I need to be.”

When we hold on too tightly, we remove all possibility for new pathways to grow.

In terms of relationships, the same idea is true. For example, have you ever felt jealous when your best friend started hanging out with someone new? If so, your attachment to your friend is too strong.

If you could release your grasp on that relationship, you would open up the door for many new and amazing possibilities. You might also become friends with this other person, making the best trio ever, or you could find a new friend who would be a great addition in your life, alongside your current best friend.

No matter how much we love a person, place, idea, or thing, we must be willing to accept the fact that nothing in life is permanent or guaranteed.

This reduces suffering when things inevitably change, which allows you to maintain or raise your vibrations. This keeps you in a state of flow, openness, acceptance, and abundance. It keeps you ready for all that life has to offer.

Tips for Letting Go
    1. Be curious about what can come into your life when you loosen your grip of attachment.
    2. Ask for what you want, but be willing and open to something different occuring.
    3. Put TRUST in the Universe. Say this out loud with me, “I trust and believe that the Universe has my best interest at heart.”
    4. Be mindful! Be willing to admit to yourself when you are holding on too tight.
    5. Be nonjudgmental. Everything that happens in life has a purpose. Do not judge your situation, simply acknowledge it for what it is. Ex: “I am leaving my home,” rather than “I am leaving my home, and this is bad.”
Benefits of Letting Go
    1. You are making room to expand and grow.
    2. You will allow new and wonderful relationships to enter into your life.
    3. Others around you will feel free and more attracted to you.
    4.Your suffering will be greatly reduced.

Learning to let go and see the world through non-attachment is a freeing and beautiful way of living. I hope these tips bring you some peace along your journey.

With love,

Alyse