Happy Tools

I’m happy most of the time. In fact, I’m so cheerful that occasionally it irritates people! I have normal emotional ups and downs but after thinking about it, I realized that I’m happy about 85% of the time. I have been really, really unhappy before though. In fact, I spent a year in clinical depression. Depression so painful that I didn’t want to breathe anymore. It was awful. So I work really hard NOT to go back there.

My favorite tool to keep me on the happy side of life is to count my blessings. I try to find at least five: I have love in my life, I have a place to live, I’m healthy, I’m doing something I really like and My kids still say, “I love you mom!” When I’m having a really rough day my list looks more like this: I’m breathing……I have gas in my car…….UMmmmmm….I have coffee…. squirrels are cute… I like the blue sky…. But at least I can still find five things!

My next best tool is to move (sometimes drag) my mind into the present moment. If I am busy worrying about something then I am NOT present. I’m really in the future making up stories about what “might” happen and then making myself sick over it. If I’m thinking about something in the past I’m not present in this moment either. When I finally bring myself to this moment I can see that everything is fine. I’m ok. Life is good and I don’t have anything to complain about.

Another tool that I use is exercise. I am a yoga instructor so I practice some kind of yoga daily. Yoga helps me get in touch with my body and my mind. It helps me “burn away the crazy” and also produces ‘Happy” endorphins in my brain! I also like to hike, ride my bike, swim or paddleboard. Any kind of exercise is helpful!

An often used tool is to talk to others about what is bothering me. It can be a professional counselor or a really good friend. But it needs to be someone I can be brutally honest with. Someone who will just listen and not judge. This person/or group of people can take some time and trial and error to find! Unburdening myself in this way takes a ton of weight off of my soul and raises my happiness level by leaps and bounds.

Hugs or hand holding is a great way to boost my happiness level. Humans are made to be in connection and communion with others. Being able to hug someone – tight, or walk around holding hands is an essential part of how we are made. If you’re not with a partner right now, go get a massage. Appropriate touch through massage can be a very worthwhile thing in your life. It is especially helpful for senior citizens who have lost their partner in life.

Going outside is probably one of the most underutilized ways to boost your happiness level! Our bodies need the vitamin D that the sun gives our skin. At least 20 minutes a day outside is recommended. I lived in Seattle for most of my life and there is not enough sunshine there but being outdoors at least gave me fresh air, green moss under my feet, huge pine trees to smell and ocean views. The sound of the waves can be a great meditation tool!

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So, if you’re feeling a little out of sorts please try one (or all) of these Happy Tools! Life is good. It’s difficult sometimes but it’s worth it. Every day.

From My Heart to Yours!

Wild Carrot Herbals – You gotta try this!

I’ve been on a crusade lately. I want to eat food that is fresh from the garden or farmer’s market. I want to use Essential Oils as natural remedies for health and skin care and I want to use products for my body that are a combination of all things good: fresh, healthy, holistic and clean. And Wild Carrot Herbals is all of the above!

I first became acquainted with this company a few years ago while working in a yoga studio in Stanwood, WA. I fell in love with the Wild Rose Eye Cream and also their “Lord, my hands are so dry!” lotion.

So I looked them up online and found out that they offer a Sampler Pack by mail. For only $5 I received this great packet of trial size products.

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In it I found good things like Luminous Lemon & Lavender Eye Brightening Cream and Gaia Goo Healing Salve (say what?) Borage Butter Cream (sounds like a dessert) and even Hemorrhoid Healing Salve – glad I don’t need that today. LOL.

Every email I received was signed with “Love and Blessings” from the owner and I found myself looking forward to checking my email to see what I would find there – THAT doesn’t happen very often with companies that email me – how about you?

In the world of Sacred Commerce they are doing everything right. They are a small family owned company in rural Oregon. Their packaging is made from recycled materials. They make everything from scratch and package it in small batches. Everything has an expiration date – because it’s FRESH and organic.

But more than anything I love this company because of the way they make me feel. I feel like I am a valued customer and that I am furthering the ethics that I choose to live by….by working with them…..AND that’s the kind of company I want to purchase from.

Why the name Wild Carrot?

from their website:

“According to the ‘Flower Essence Repertory’, by Patricia Kaminsky and Richard Katz, Queen Anne’s Lace flower essence harmonizes both ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ energies, so that one can stay connected with the Earth, yet also be emotionally clear and objective in one’s spiritual insight and vision. The Queen Anne’s Lace flower (aka Wild Carrot) helps to ground and stabilize, as well as to refine and sensitize the soul’s ‘clear-seeing.’

See you way clear to the Wild Carrot Herbals company. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

Peace, Love & Namaste – from Dawn.

How to Drive in SoCal

Did you know that there are new driving rules?  You won’t find these rules written down in your Driver’s Hand Book or online. You have to learn these rules by driving around in Southern California. Here they are in no particular order.

*These are not real rules. Just my frustrated venting. 🙂

  1. Drive as fast as you possibly can! Pretend this 6 lane highway is a video game. You can swerve in and out of cars, you can go 80 or more and there are no consequences for your reckless behavior! While waiting at a stop light please rev your engine and then peel out and race to the next light one block up and then slam on your brakes just before the intersection!
  2. When turning a corner you may turn into ANY lane you like! Normally if you are in the far right lane and you turn right you would turn into the far right lane in the direction you are going…but NOT here! Here you can change lanes at any time during your navigation from your original street to the next one. Have cars on either side of you? Pay them no attention….just move on over whenever you feel like it!
  3. Semi Trucks can go through lights of ANY color. Green Yellow, Red…who cares? Just go. You’re so damn big no one is going to stop you or get in your way no matter how long they might have to wait. (Especially if they drive something really small like a Mini Cooper!)
  4. Turn Signal? What’s that? We don’t use blinkers here in SoCal. Blinkers are for the weak and undecided. They don’t need to know where you want to go. It’s really none of their business anyway – Just GO. No room for you between cars? Don’t worry…just squeeze yourself right in there. They’ll make room.
  5. The following rule is two inches. Grannies leave several car lengths between their car and the car in front of them. REAL SoCal drivers leave only inches between their bumper and the license plate in front of them. You should be able to see what color eyes the driver in front of you has! Maybe if you get right up on their butt they will go faster?

I’m sure there are more rules that I haven’t learned yet. I’m doing my best not to be angry when I drive but it’s a challenge! Hope you got a little chuckle out of these rules. Only three more months and I’ll be learning the Georgia State Driving Rules! Have a great day y’all!

 

Trying On Guard!

I get sick EVERY time I fly. It never fails. With the enclosed space, the re-circulated air and 150 bodies – some of which are carrying nasty bacteria – I’m usually a goner. Within a few days of flying my throat gets itchy, my eyes water, I start sneezing and the misery sets in.

About a month ago I had a flight planned from California to New York for Valentines weekend. My boyfriend was being trained for a new job and he wanted to show me the big city! The problem was that he had been sick for a few days and I was really dreading coming down with his bug.

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(That’s me in the middle being overrun by two BIG guys on either side!)

As a Yoga Instructor and Health/Wellness Advocate I always try to use products that are holistic and pure which is getting more difficult these days. I don’t like it when I buy cough drops and there are ingredients that I can’t pronounce on the label! I want to use products that are pure and simple and effective! It’s the same principle as clean eating – no chemicals, no by-products and simple ingredients please.

So I decided to try something new. I bought some On Guard from a friend of mine. On Guard is an essential oil that you can use topically or take internally to boost your immune system and I was willing to try anything!

During the trip I used On Guard like perfume. I dotted a little under each ear, on my wrists and at the base of my neck. I used one or two drops each application. My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other for far too long and with the extra incentive of Valentines Day I knew there would be at least some Kissing!!!! 🙂

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(Proof of kissing.)

The trip was wonderful. I loved touring New York City even with the rain and snow. Even my flights went smoothly – which is a feat when flying all the way across the country! I returned home and began waiting to see if the sniffles would set it……and I waited……and waited……and waited…and almost a month later I still haven’t been sick!

So, if you’re like me and you are prone to picking up every sniffle going around, if you work in a school or daycare environment, If you are a nurse, If you fly a lot, If you have kids who get sick often, give On Guard a try. It worked better than I imagined. It’s the newest item in my arsenal of Good Stuff!

If you are interested in learning more about On Guard or any of the other doTerra products please visit my website and have a look! If you find something you like, you can have your choices shipped directly to your home! There are several On Guard products that can be used in your laundry, to sanitize your kitchen or even brush your teeth!

https://www.mydoterra.com/dawnjex/#/

Never Satisfied

A few weeks ago my guy and I were paddling around the harbor in Ventura, California and I saw this boat. Isn’t it great?

The name put a little catch in my heart because It immediately reminded me of my Ex Husband. He told me during our divorce that he felt I would never be satisfied. He pointed out that I was always changing the furniture, repainting the walls, replanting the flower beds and even wanted to build an addition onto our house. He said he felt like he would never be able to make me happy because no matter what he did I always wanted more. Maybe he was right.

What looked like “Never Satisfied” to him was my attempt to make everything look perfect on the outside when everything was falling apart on the inside. I didn’t want people to see how unhappy I was in my marriage.  I didn’t want anyone to know how much I struggled as a mom. And there was no way I could admit that I was lonely. From the outside I had it all – a husband who worked to support me, two kids, a dog, a white picket fence – the whole nine yards. So I put on a mask and pretended to be happy.

And then everything started to fall apart. I put on a ton of weight. I fell into a howlingly bad depression, cried every day and said often that I didn’t want to breathe anymore. My kids suffered and my friends didn’t know how to help. My EX (bless his heart) did everything he could to help me make it through the worst days including working from home while I lay on the floor by his feet crying. It was bad folks. I didn’t know how I was going to make it up off that floor – EVER.

I had stuff to figure out – BIG STUFF. And that stuff was deep. Why do I feel so alone? Why can’t I fix my marriage? Why can’t I be happy? Do I still want to be married? How do I do unmarried – because I’ve never done that before? What about the kids? My whole identity was at stake. It was quite literally a rebirthing. And it was painful!

But I needed those days of fierce pain and loneliness so that I could find myself and so that I could figure out who I was going to be. I had to slog through all the hurt and frustration to figure out that I had the power and strength  to change my life. I could be my own unique self and I could survive and find happiness on my own! But BOY was it scary!

That was four years ago and some days are still scary. I’m still figuring things out, learning and growing. And you know what, he was right. I am Never Satisfied. I can’t be satisfied with less than. I will only accept the love I deserve.  I will never be Satisfied  leaving things half done or half said. I will keep pushing the limits until I am who I want to be, until my children know exactly how much I love them and hopefully the world becomes a little bit better. I am a warrior for love. I am a truth teller, sword wielding hero of my own life. A woman in a constant state of learning who still has a lot to accomplish!

Funny how two little words on the side of a boat can get you thinking….huh?

How about you? Are you Never Satisfied?

 

 

Pop Up Yoga in Ventura California

I’m lying on my back in Savasana. The sun is making glowing orbs on the back of my eyelids and warming my face. I can feel the bumpy ground beneath my body and the wind is tickling my toes. A mole is popping his head out of the ground. I can hear him nibbling on grass nearby. I’m surrounded by 40 happy souls and I feel peaceful, relaxed and grateful for Ventura Pop Up Yoga.

I found out about Pop Up Yoga by looking online. They host classes all over town in parks, at the marina and even at a winery! Pop Up Yoga is not connected to any particular studio. Multiple teachers share the instructor role and they offer a practice every day of the week. The coolest thing is that you pay for the class by donation! They believe that yoga should be available and accessible for everyone. So they just ask you to pay what you can afford. Isn’t that great?

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(Getting our stretch on!)

We visited Ventura, California this past weekend to dog-sit for some friends. We spent the weekend wandering main street, tasting beer, walking the pier, watching kite boarders sail across the water and we even paddled in the Harbor. But by far, my favorite part of the weekend was yoga at The Cross in Grant Park overlooking the city!

 

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I arrived early and found my spot on the uneven ground. Someone mentioned that they were trying to find a flat spot. And I thought, “Good luck with that. It’s uneven and bumpy. There are small smooth patches, some rough, some dry, some moist. Kind of like life! Is it ever totally smooth? We try to find balance between work, home life, vacation time, spouses, kids, commitments. This ground is a perfect metaphor. You can try to find a flat spot but it’s not likely to happen!

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(The view from my spot! It was a little hazy in the morning.)

Our Instructor today is Margeaux who has just opened a new studio called Yoga Casita in Santa Paula. As she leads us through the practice I can’t help but notice how tall she is! (A model maybe?) I’m guessing she is about 5’11” and looks very athletic – I bet she surfs! I know, I’m supposed to be focusing inward but I can’t it. This is my monkey mind at work. I also notice she’s very good at holding space for quiet. That’s something that I struggle with when I teach. I always want to fill the quiet time with talk – but not Margeaux. As we hold poses for five breaths she is quiet – allowing us to focus on ourselves.

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(Can you say Trikonasana?)

Most of all, what I loved about today is this: There we were – about forty of us, all different sizes, shapes, skin colors, religions and backgrounds and yet for this short moment – one hour of our day –  we were One. We moved as one, breathed as one and radiated peace and harmony out into the world from our hill top aerie. I had at least five people say hello to me and smile and say welcome! Yoga does that. It brings people together. To breathe, stretch, love each other, look inside and BE.

So here I am….having the ultimate California yoga experience. I am on a hill, overlooking beautiful Pierpont Bay and the white sandy beaches of Ventura, California. I feel welcomed. I feel happy. I feel Yoga. Welcome to California Dawn!

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The Constancy of Change

It’s getting really empty in here! I’m down to one fork, one plate and one cup. All traces of “me” are being erased and packed away in cardboard boxes and big black plastic bags. It feels really strange. It’s not my home anymore. I’m basically camping in my RV – The Gypsy Love Bus for one more week until the buyers come pick her up.

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month. I have such a heavy feeling in my heart that I can’t shake. I am getting ready to move – again. This time I will be moving to Southern California to be with my boyfriend while he works in a two-year contract position. I’ve moved before. In fact, I’ve moved a lot! My whole life has been one move after another. You’d think I’d be used to it by now – even enjoy it – and sometimes I do. But not this time. I’m trying really hard to find the positive in this next chapter but I just keep feeling sad and a little angry.

I don’t know what is wrong with me! I love sunshine. I will have a pool to swim in every day if I want. I think I even found a place to work and a Massage Therapy school to attend……So why do I feel like this move is such a CHORE? Why do I hang my head and think, “I can do this, I can endure it”?

I visited southern California last week and while I was there I called my daughter to try to explain to her how I was feeling. “I feel lonely here. I want to live closer to you. I miss my friends. I’m not sure I’ll fit in down here, I miss my community….etc.” And she responded by saying, “Let me get this straight, it’s warm and sunny, your wonderful boyfriend is taking care of you, and you’re sitting at the pool? Boy, MOM, that sounds awful!” Her sarcasm made me laugh as I realized the absolute absurdity of my complaints.

Even though I know she is right, my heart is still heavy…..I’m working on looking at the positive. I pack up another box and put it into storage. I prepare to say goodbye to my co-workers, friends and family. I hike in the woods often to remind myself of how lovely and green it is in the Pacific North West AND I remind myself that the winter here is gray and cloudy and awful!

I keep trying to look at it as though I’m off on another adventure. That I LOVE having adventures and exploring new places. There will be new parks to hike, places to explore and new friends!

So, wish me luck in my next adventure! Please send love and light and uplifting thoughts. I need them. I’m having a hard time with this one. Hugs Y’all.