Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings


This blog originally appeared:

January 11, 2016 by Claire ‘Word by Word’

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.09.05 AMElizabeth Gilbert, author of the best seller Eat Pray Love and more recently in 2013, the historical, botanical novel The Signature of All Things has thought a lot about Creativity, so much so that she gave a TED Talk on the subject.

Tapping into one’s creative life can often be referred to as a sea of obstacles, fears, procrastinations and can tend to focus on what one lacks, rather than the small steps we can take in pursuit of it.

In Big Magic, Gilbert writes a lot about how we get in the way of our own creativity, covering a multitude of sins, some that we may find relevant, others not, depending where we are on the path to pursuing it.

The book is separated into six sections, Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity where she discusses many aspects of e creative process, her own experiences and many anecdotes from well-known personalities.

One of the best is from Richard Ford, author of Canada; he gave this response to an audience member who recounted all the things that he and Ford had in common; age, background, themes, the fact they’d both been writing all their life.
The big difference being this person had never been published, they were heartbroken, a “spirit crushed by all the rejection and disappointment”. He added that he did not want to be told to persevere, that’s all he ever from anyone.

Ford told him he should quit.

The audience froze: What kind of encouragement was this?

Ford went on: “I say this to you only because writing is clearly bringing you no pleasure. It is only bringing you pain. our time on earth is short and should be enjoyed. You should leave this dream behind and go find something else to do with your life. Travel, take up new hobbies, spend time with your family and friends, relax. but don’t write anymore, because it’s obviously killing you.”

There was a long silence.

Then Ford smiled and added, almost as an afterthought:

“However, I will say this. If you happen to discover, after a few years away from writing, that you have found nothing that takes its place in your life – nothing that fascinates you, or moves you, or inspires you to the same degree that writing once did…well, then, sir, I’m afraid you will have no choice but to persevere.”

She writes about her theory that ideas are a separate entity to ourselves and if we do not pursue them when they come knocking in the form of inspiration, we risk them leaving us altogether and being passed on to someone else. it is a little like when the momentum and inspiration has left us, which can also happen if we put something’s aside for too long, it becomes difficult if not impossible to renter the zone to complete it.

She gives an example of a novel she was very passionate and inspired about, an Amazonian novel, which she mentioned to her friend Ann Patchett, who curious, as she was at the time writing a novel set in the same location, asked her what it was about.

Gilbert gave her a brief outline and asked Patchett what her novel was about and she repeated almost word for word, the same idea – fitting into her theory that the idea had visited her and because she had put it aside for a couple of years, it left and was passed on to Patchett and became State of Wonder.

It’s necessary to read her quaint theories with an open mind, Big Magic itself is the label she applies to all those instances of coincidence, luck, the unexplained, it is a form of belief in universal guidance or positive thinking, one conveniently packaged as Big Magic and it is a helpful philosophy certainly.

Fortunately, we need not put all out faith in it, she pulls back on the inclination of some to advise us to seek out our passion, especially when many struggle to find or identify such a thing. She favours curiosity over passion.

Forget about passion, pursue curiosity. Curiosity is accessible to everyone, while passion can seem intimidating and out of reach.

‘…curiosity is a milder, quieter, more welcoming and democratic entity…curiosity only ever asks one simple question of you:

“Is there anything you’re interested in?”

Anything?

Even a tiny bit?

No matter how mundane or small?

Curiosity is like a clue, you follow it, see where it takes you and continue along that train of thought or research. It may lead somewhere or nowhere, it doesn’t matter, momentum is what’s important. She gives the example of following an interest in gardening, that lead to researching and eventually writing that much inspired historical novel The Signature of All Things.

She also acknowledges that the necessity to achieving a creative life of note takes discipline, luck and talent and puts more faith in the former, than the latter.

She doesn’t regard herself as being endowed with greater than average talent, she is not a perfectionist – admitting to flaws in here work she knew were there, but that weren’t worth the effort to pursue in the grand scheme of things. An interesting observation, as one of those flaws was the one under-developed character in her last novel, something I noted in my review, that she admits beta readers warned her of, but that she deliberately did not pursue,in some cases the effort required to fix something is greater than the reward it will bring.

Overall, a fast, easy read, that can act as a reminders and a motivator to us in relation to any creative endeavour, it’s one of those books to be read with a filter, let some of it pass and take the gems for what they’re worth to you now.

“Possessing a creative mind is like having a border collie for a pet. it needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents.”

Thanks to Claire McAlpine for this insightful review.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 


Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 2.24.09 PMIf you want to start 2016 with the goal of loving yourself, loving others and loving life, I recommend picking up a copy of Tame Your Inner Critic: Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose by Della Temple.

We all spend too much time in our lives criticizing ourselves, what we’ve done, and what choices we’ve made. I wanted to learn more about how to differentiate between my authentic self and the judgmental voice in my head. All the tools necessary to do that and more are found in Della Temple’s book.

This isn’t a quick read – rather, it provides a process of peeling away voices in your head that were placed there by others, and getting in touch with the voice of your own inner guidance, your own intuition, your own higher knowing.

As a writer about the chakras, I was very interested in Della’s chapter on “Chakras and Your Life Force,” and her experience with releasing foreign energy from the chakras through a grounding cord or blowing up this unwanted energy in the visualization of a rose.

The result of using the many exercises in Tame Your Inner Critic is a feeling of greater peace, and the ability to create your reality following your life’s intention, not the wishes of others.

There is also a companion workbook that makes it very easy to follow the recommended exercises. You can use it make notes, or you can use the journal of your choice.

I wanted to know more about Della Temple’s personal process, so I interviewed her and share her answers with you here:

1) As we’re entering into the New Year, can you explain how you re-create your statement of being instead of making resolutions?

Most people believe that action is the most important part of creating the world they desire. In forming a New Year’s Resolution most people come from the negative and figure out a way to attack the “problem,” believing that by physically doing something, they will fill the void in their lives. They have it backward; it’s better to think and feel it into being.

So, I don’t think in terms of lack or resolutions. Instead, I choose terms more reflective of my feelings and my best qualities.

If I think and feel love, kindness, and joy every day, then even if unexpected things happen in the coming year, I will view them through the lens of these top-of-mind conscious thoughts. Everything that is coming to us is a direct result of the vibration of our thoughts, feelings, and internal dialogue. As we think and feel, so it is. Changing our thoughts and feelings really does change our reality.

2) What made you decide to delve into studying psychic healing?

My inner critic used to be very loud and annoying. It held me back from doing many of the things I wanted to do. It told me I was too unprepared, too opinionated, and just not good enough. In fact, I had grown so used to the incessant negativity that I believed I was deficient in some way.

I had read about the body’s energy system and had a hunch that greater understanding of auras, chakras, and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and bodily reactions would lead to the peace and contentment I craved. So I enrolled in a beginner’s program at Boulder Psychic Institute. As I did the work, my inner critic stopped nagging me. I wanted to write about my experience to help others find their own inner peace and contentment.

3) How would you say we allow others’ voices to turn into our own inner critics and how do those voices stop us from living a life of purpose and meaning?

Thoughts and feelings are energy and through our energetic body (our aura and chakras), we exchange energy with the people in our lives. As an example, when we think of someone, we transmit some of energy from our aura into theirs.

When a parent worries about a child, they may be sending a mixture of love, concern, and judgment energy into their child’s aura. A boss or a co-worker may send us a little bit of criticism energy mixed in with their morning hello. These outside energies combine with our internal truths. Soon we are unable to tell one from the other, so we accept it all, as a right, accurate and exact portrayal of who we truly are. This I believe is the genesis of the inner critic. The judgments, criticisms and displeasure we feel about ourselves are energies we’ve unconsciously absorbed from the people in our lives. It’s difficult to live a life full of purpose and meaning – our own purpose and meaning – when we are surrounded by the stories of who others think we should be.

4) How can we tell foreign energy from our own?

Foreign energy makes your body feel tight, tense, and uncomfortable. An old Chinese proverb states, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Our natural state of being is relaxation, joy, and peace. Our body is relaxed because our energy is flowing, not static.

The book is full of tools and techniques to keep your energy flowing. One of the most effective tools and a tool that I use in my personal life every single day is called a grounding cord. A grounding cord is an energy cord that connects your body to the center of the earth. It acts like a vacuum cleaner, helping you efficiently release all those thoughts and feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Attaching your aura, as well as your body, to this grounding cord allows your full energetic system to be connected to the earth.

5) Can you explain how the chakras play a part in manifesting what one wants?

Chakras are wheels of energy that connect our physical body to our energetic body. The chakras act as waystations, transmitting information back and forth between one’s body and Spirit. If the chakras are clogged with foreign energy (other people’s thoughts and feelings), then we might be manifesting a life that’s in tune with our neighbor’s idea of the good life, not ours.

Using the energy tools described in the book (grounding, blowing up a rose, tapping), you learn to release energies that are not your own, bringing balance and harmony to your energy system. When the chakras work in harmony with each other, they send out strong vibrational signals to the universe. These signals call back to you energies of the same vibrational family. So the trick is to align all seven of your major chakras into a harmonic – a symphony of vibrations resonating with the energy of what you want to manifest.

6) How should one best follow your exercises and meditations when the first step is always to close your eyes? I found your accompanying Workbook helpful in this regard, but is it necessary?

One way is to read through the meditations first, and then record and play them back as you sit in meditation. One of my beliefs is that we can heal ourselves; we don’t want to give our power away to others. With that in mind, I think it’s helpful to hear your own voice on the tape as you sit in meditation. But I also know that people need a starting point, so I’ve recorded a few meditations for readers to download free.

I believe that taming your inner critic and uncovering your life’s purpose is both a left-brain and a right-brain activity. It’s truly a journey of discovery, a process that takes time and patience. I designed a companion workbook (Tame Your Inner Critic: The Workbook) with space to do the exercises, record your thoughts, doodle and answer some deeper questions not found in the book. I’m glad you found it helpful.

7) In doing this work you recommend, what did you find to be your unique gift and how are you sharing it with the world?

The clues to solving the riddle of who-you-really-are and what your unique gift is, reside in the quiet space of joy. Teaching is one of my joys. When the light bulb goes on for those that I am teaching, and I see their faces light up as new horizons of learning become apparent, that is joy to me. That is who I am and why I am here. I hope that I’ve done this with my book.

Find Tame Your Inner Critic on Amazon.com, or learn more about Della Temple and her work at www.DellaTemple.com.

Namaste and Happy New Year!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

 

 


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 3.35.03 PMIn her memoir, Living Hope: Steps to Leaving Suffering Behind, Lynne Cockrum-Murphy shows that when we become more committed to our growth than we are to the pain caused by traumas in our lives, we truly open the door to healing ourselves and reaching our potential. I know of few people who suffered the traumas that she did… but her path to recovery is one we can all learn from, however much we feel we have suffered.

Lynne Cockrum-Murphy was three years old when she was rescued from a burning house by her father, who later died along with her two sisters. From that time on, she not only had to recover from her burns, but from a childhood of neglect by an alcoholic mother, then instances of abuse, rape and further horror. Living Hope follows her life from those tragedies forward to a life of peace and happiness.

Lynne shares the tools and actions in her process of moving past pain, including ThetaHealing®, which I am now anxious to explore. She speaks of karma and the Law of Cause and Effect and how she realized that every action she took could create a different, healthier future. Her book is a celebration of the fact that we can keep going, in spite of our suffering, and certainly keep growing spiritually because of it.

Today, Lynne is an intuitive consultant specializing in helping those who seek assistance with their spiritual path, in addition to facilitating physical healing, emotional growth and removing blocks to a life of joy, meaning and purpose.  She has a doctorate in Education, is a licensed substance abuse counselor, an Access Bars® instructor, and an advanced level certified ThetaHealer® and course instructor. She continues to teach for Northern Arizona University and maintains a private practice in Phoenix, Arizona.

Here, Lynne answers my questions:

Becca: What was it like to write such a personal book?

Lynne: Writing Living Hope was both easy and hard. Easy because I’d written my autobiography in 2001 as a chapter in my dissertation so I had a lot of material ready. And hard at the same time because I added in the childhood abuse I experienced plus I shared my metaphysical perspective on my life. I checked in with my sister on several topics in the book because I talk about her in it and wanted to be sure she was OK with that. In addition, I had worried about my cousins’ reactions to exposing the abuse and as family members’ inappropriate behavior comes to light.

Becca: What was your purpose in writing your book Living Hope?

Lynne: I had a sense that I lived a hellish life and in sharing my story others with depression or PTSD or trauma might be encouraged to keep trying. My purpose with Living Hope stems from knowing others are suffering too while achieving inner peace is possible.

Becca: What would you like readers to take away from the book?

Lynne: Really it is all about Hope. I’d like the readers to try some of the suggestions, to feel free and encouraged to break tradition and find what works for them. I ran into a woman recently that told me she had finished reading Living Hope and because of the book she now prayed more. She appeared really happy about it.

Becca: What are a few of the actions, steps and tools you recommended?

Lynne: Meditation, seeking, questioning, researching, trying autobiography, journaling, using resources (such as Dan Millman’s The Life You were Born to Live), checking out ThetaHealing® and Access Consciousness® and much more are included. All are effective in moving one forward.

Becca: What do you mean by “suffering has purpose?”

Lynne: Nothing in life is random. Possibly there were multiple purposes in the suffering I endured. It certainly created the virtues of compassion, inner strength and empathy in me. My life events also drove me to find solace, which I have, through meditation and connection with Source. Plus I had the benefit of clearing all the remaining heavy karma I carried.

Becca: How was suffering purposeful in your life?

Lynne: Possibly one of the most important purposes was what I considered the lack of connection with my mother. She was unavailable, busy, and unhappy. And especially after the fire when I wanted to be held and cuddled, it was difficult for her to touch me because of the burns covering the front of my body. Later the abandonment continued, for example, with leaving me (at age 10) in the park past sunset watching my 3 year old sister while our mother did laundry (went drinking). I believe that loss of nurturing led me to decide people could not give me what I need. I must look for another source for love and comfort which led to my spiritual life.

Becca: How do you think your experience can help others?

Lynne: Truly there continues to be a great deal of suffering in the world both from real events but also from what one does in one’s own mind. If reading Living Hope inspires anyone to try something new, to keep going or to break the cycle of suffering, then my experiences and my story made a difference. Making a difference in the world is rich with meaning and purpose.

Becca: What advice would you give to new authors who think they have an inspirational story to tell?

    1. To persevere. Pick it up again. Start again. Add more. Ask for help.
    2. If you believe you have a story to tell then trust yourself and know that you truly do.
    3. Read Stephen King’s On Writing for ideas on how to be a writer.
    4. Use a writing workshop, such as Tom Bird’s in Sedona, AZ, to get the book out quickly.
    5. Practice positive self talk. Challenge and replace limiting self talk.
    6. Meditate with Sanaya Roman’s 4 CD set, Becoming a Writer.
    7. Don’t share your writing with people. No critiques until finished, edited and ready for publishing. Don’t allow anyone to kill your spirit or your process with the book.
    8. Share from the heart, show what you experienced and know. Don’t tell.
    9. Allow your book to have its own voice, to exist as its own self. Then communicate with the book. Let it guide you.

To read a free chapter of Living Hope, and for more information, see www.LynneCockrum-Murphy.com.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

 

 


The Chakra Energy Diet coverThe following post is from Michelle Hastie’s totalbodyhealthsolutions.com:
I was pleased to find a fellow Chakra writer out there in Becca Chopra and was honored to read her book, “The Chakra Energy Diet.” I highly recommend you give it a read! Meanwhile, here is a short interview with Becca herself:

1) What inspired you to write The Chakra Energy Diet?
Becca: Too many of my students and friends blame themselves for weight issues – and I wanted to get across the message that “It’s not your fault!” I feel America’s weight issues primarily stem from the physical stress put on our bodies by the fast food, junk food and GMO’s in most people’s diets, and the mental and emotional stress we encounter in our daily lives.

I too have suffered from emotional eating, food cravings, unwanted pounds, aches and pains and other symptoms of an imbalance in my life. I knew that these symptoms were a gift – showing me that I needed to pay attention and change something – and I wanted to share the lessons I had learned. For instance, how to eliminate the harmful stress in our lives, which equals health and weight issues. Through years of applying Macrobiotics, Ayurveda and Chakra balancing in my life and the lives of my students, I wanted to share the changes people could make to achieve balance in their lives too. My previous books focused more on meditation, guided visualization, yoga and other chakra balancing techniques. The missing piece I felt to my message was diet – which, when out of balance, throws the body, mind and spirit out of balance as well.

2) What is the best way to avoid overwhelm while navigating through all the different chakras?
Becca: The easiest way to approach chakra healing is to start at the beginning, with the Root Chakra. Follow the balancing techniques for each chakra and you will learn what works best for you. You can become your own best counselor, recognizing a symptom before it becomes a chronic pain or disease and make necessary adjustments in your lifestyle.

3) How do you recommend readers begin a yoga practice for optimal healing?
Becca: For those who have never done yoga before, I recommend finding a local teacher with a beginner class. Talk to the teacher and tell him/her of any physical issues you may have so they can help adjust the poses for you. It’s hard to make adjustments yourself without someone to guide you. Even if you only have time to go to class one day per week, you can still do a short yoga routine that you’ve learned each morning to move from sleep to stretching into an energy-filled day. Be sure to hold your yoga poses and breathe into them for the recommended time to get the full stress-relieving benefits they provide to both the mind and the body.

4) You talk about the importance of nutrition and cooking; how do you recommend a newbie gets started in the kitchen?
Becca: If you’re used to eating in restaurants or getting take-out every day, approach cooking as a great new hobby that will reap huge rewards for yourself and your family. I offer very simple recipes for each chakra in my book. Start with these easy dishes with just a few ingredients, for instance, organic whole grains and vegetables, salads, or even just a smoothie, and see how much better you feel when you eat food without unnecessary sugar, salt, pesticides or chemical additives. You can sign up for free Chakra Balancing menus at www.theChakras.org.

5) Many people complain of low energy; how do you see balancing the chakras as a way to increase energy?
Becca: The chakras ARE our energy centers. If one or more are blocked or closed, your physical energy will be affected. And one of the biggest energy robbers is poor quality food that leads to intestinal dysbiosis, a compromised immune system and hormone imbalances that correlate to imbalanced chakras. Many people rely on stimulants like caffeine and sugary snacks to make it through the day, and then rely on alcohol or drugs to try to conquer insomnia – a seesaw that leads to chronic exhaustion. I recommend nourishing yourself with fresh, organic food and drink that is literally alive with vibrant colors, as well as specific exercises, yoga postures, affirmations and meditations to balance the chakras. These lifestyle ideas can help you to look and feel better, lose weight, reduce stress, and have sustained energy.

To learn more about the seven major chakras and how they function in your energy system, please download my free 10-minute Chakra Meditation at www.theChakras.org/meditations.html.

This is just a tidbit of her brilliance and much more can be found in her book, “The Chakra Energy Diet.”

Thanks to Michelle Hastie, author of the book Chakra Secret, for interviewing me.
Namaste!
Becca Chopra


TOSoL Front Cover ImageThe Other Side of Life is reviewed here by guest blogger, novelist and English Professor John Carenen:

Mac Kelsey, the protagonist in Andy Kutler’s novel, The Other Side of Life, is a hero at Pearl Harbor. He is also a hero in the Civil War. Do I have your attention now?

This novel not only entertains, but it inspires. It gives hope for those of us who wonder what else is there besides this life. There is a strong spiritual aspect to The Other Side of Life that encourages as it answers those questions we all have about the other side of life. Possibilities are presented in a gentle, captivating way. It will lift your spirits as Kutler proposes comforting possibilities in this world, and another.

It is hard to buttonhole the genre for The Other Side of Life. Is it historical fiction? Yes, it is meticulously researched, lending authenticity making one wonder if Kutler himself was actually at Pearl Harbor, or any of the Civil War battles. It’s that good. Is The Other Side of Life a science fiction novel? Well, how can Mac Kelsey be in two completely different eras seventy-five years apart – as an adult? Is The Other Side of Life a paranormal novel? Maybe. Things happen.

Without giving away the plot, let me say why this novel works. First, the settings are utterly believable as Kutler appeals to the sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and sights of the places where the characters exist. A good story makes the reader care about what happens to the people in the story. And believe me, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next to not only Mac, but secondary characters as their hopes and dreams were besieged by events they could not always control. No one gets through the story unscathed, but it is how Kutler weaves the various stories into a coherent whole that is so impressive.

This novel does not disappoint. It is a tour de force of storytelling, and you would be wise to buy the book as soon as possible.

Here, Andy Kutler answers John Carenen’s questions:

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? If you grabbed ten random individuals from across the globe, representing different countries, cultures and religions, and asked them about the notion of an “afterlife,” you’d likely get ten different answers. The place that Kelsey visits, I provided some description, but I also left plenty of unanswered questions because I wanted to leave much of that to the imagination and interpretation of each reader. And that, I think, is the beauty of this story.

When and why did you begin writing? I used to do quite a bit of ghostwriting for the elected officials I once worked for…speeches, opinion columns, things of that nature. Never under my own name. At some point, I realized I wanted to write more creatively, and express some views of my own. I was also heavily influenced by my father, a brilliant writer and wordsmith, who showed me how powerful written words could be.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? It was an article I wrote for the Huffington Post back in 2011, shortly after the death of my oldest brother, who suffered from bipolar mania. The response I received from that article – friends, colleagues, complete strangers – was staggering. The responses were so personal and so emotional. People I knew and didn’t know were opening up about their own personal experiences with mental illness, talking about friends, family members, even themselves. That was the “aha” moment, when I first truly understood how writing can really reach people and mean something to them.

What inspired you to write your first book? I had been toying with a historical fiction novel for some time – American history is a passion and in my blood. But when I lost my brother, I found myself struggling with a lot of personal faith issues, and asking myself a lot of “Is there a God?”-like questions. And an idea was born…where I decided to use real historical events to frame a fictional story about friendship, loyalty and faith.

Do you have a specific writing style? I would call it colloquial. When I write dialogue, I want it to sound real and authentic. I loved “West Wing” and thought the writing was brilliant and witty. But sorry, no one really talks like that. I want my characters, settings and story to be believable and genuine; I think that is what makes readers relate and really immerse themselves in a story.

How did you come up with the title? It was about the 63rd idea. I needed a file on my desktop to keep track of the carousel of working titles I came up with during the writing process. I was way overthinking it. “The other side of life” comes into play during a pivotal moment in the story. The second I typed those words and they appeared on my screen, I knew I had a title. I never opened that other file again.

The Other Side of Life is available on Amazon.com.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.TheChakras.org


CS CoverKnowledge about our chakras can give us information on where we’re out of balance and where we need to focus more attention to improve our health and lives. In The Chakra Secret: What Your Body is Telling You, Michelle Hastie helps you understand the chakras in very easy-to-understand terms so you can use them to understand why you may be experiencing physical problems.

Throughout her min-e-book™, Michelle Hastie teaches how each energy center shares wisdom that correlates with your mental and emotional states and how that wisdom manifests in the physical body. And she explains how to tune into the chakras to find paths back to living naturally, freely and peacefully.

Michelle recommends small daily changes that can lead to dramatic results. As she moves through the seven major chakras, she discusses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual components of each, guiding the reader to understand how to get back into alignment.

Talking about diet and weight, Michelle zeros in on the body’s wisdom, e.g., she says weight gain isn’t happening to you, but for you. She explains how weight issues can be associated with different chakras and recommends shifting your focus off of weight loss or changing your body, and instead looking at the ways you can increase self-care and self-esteem (associated with the Sacral Chakra) by choosing healthy foods and connecting to your unique abilities.

The Chakra Secret provides exercises and yoga poses, affirmations, meditations and a chakra recipe from Chef Maria Schonder for each chakra. Plus, Michelle shares her own life lessons, such as “You control nothing so stop trying.” This is especially important in balancing the Crown Chakra, surrendering to faith and trust and starting a spiritual practice.

The Chakra Secret provides wonderful insight on how we can take responsibility for our lives, living in choice instead of in reaction. And how we can live in balance and flow, trusting that all will be well.

Author Michelle Hastie has a background in personal training, weight-loss coaching, food psychology, neuro-linguistic programming, and yoga. Here she answers my questions about her latest book:

BECCA: What message would you most like readers to take away from The Chakra Secret?

MICHELLE: I want readers to feel like they can heal their bodies through many different modalities. The worst feeling in the world is when you have a pain or disease and nothing works to alleviate it. Hopefully with this book they can begin to think outside the box and take care of their body in a way that haven’t yet thought of or tried.

Becca: As a weight loss coach, what have you found to be the most common misconceptions around dieting?

Michelle: The most common misconception about dieting is that you can attack it with intellect. Most people load up on nutrition and/or fitness information to become an expert in health. The solution to losing weight is not to use your head but to use your body. Use your body sensations and feelings to guide you through your weight loss journey. Become an expert not in health but in you.

Learn how to feel hunger and fullness in your body. Learn which foods work and don’t work in your body. Learn what movements feel good and which ones feel punishing. Learn how to dress your body so that your clothes are flattering today, not once the weight comes off. Most of all become friends with your body instead of viewing your body as the enemy.

Becca: What do you find is the best way to discover which chakra(s) may be blocked before they cause physical issues?

Michelle: Assuming one knows where the chakras are located, the first place to start is with your own intuition. Do you feel as if one chakra is calling to you simply based on where it is located? Learn about the chakras and what each center represents. Ask yourself if you could improve upon these centers based on their location and what they represent. To keep your chakras in balance, live a life of balance. Be open and honest with yourself and the kind of life you desire to live. Then take every step necessary to fulfill your desires.

Becca: You emphasize becoming a human “being” rather than a human “doing.” Any tips for that?

Michelle: We live in a society that has labeled “just being” as unproductive. Most people call “just being” “doing nothing.” Therefore the first tip is to discontinue this label as it’s untrue. Then you will want to be honest with yourself and how you feel about rest. If you spend a day in rest do you feel lazy? Are you truly resting with presence or are you checking out with TV, food or drugs/alcohol? In order to be a human “being” you must become at peace with this idea of presence in all things. When you do have downtime how can you use it to relax and be present at the same time?

Becca: You recommend staying present in the moment. How can that best be achieved?

Michelle: The easiest way to stay present is to ask yourself what you want. If you are home after a long day of work instead of checking out with food, alcohol or TV ask yourself what do I want to do or how do I want to feel. Take that extra moment to answer this question before you go into auto-pilot and just do what you have always done.

Oftentimes we struggle with staying present because there are some thoughts or feelings that we don’t want to acknowledge. Prepare yourself with a journal or meditation to allow these thoughts or feelings to be acknowledged and then be honest about what you really would like to do with your time.

Becca: What makes YOU feel inspired?

Michelle: Music makes me feel inspired. Moving my body makes me feel inspired. Cuddling my dogs, kissing my husband or watching my baby laugh makes me feel inspired. But most of all, what makes me feel inspired is balance. I work very hard to never over-fill my cup. If I have been working a lot, I take breaks. If I have been lifting weights a lot, I do yoga. If I have been with my baby a lot, I hang with just my girlfriends. I seek to live a life of balance. This allows me to avoid burnout and survive so that I can thrive and truly live passionately.

The Chakra Secret is available on Amazon Kindle. For more info from Michelle Hastie, see http://totalbodyhealthsolutions.com/starthere/. For more info on her books, see http://www.absolutelovepublishing.com/#!chakra-secret/cdnk

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

www.ChakraDiaries.wordpress.com


Chakra Blog

Coloring is a wonderful stress buster, a meditative art that quiets your mind and lets you express your creativity! And when you put your focus on the colors of the chakras, the stress affecting your chakra energy is released and you can move into balance. What color(s) are you most drawn to?

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CHAKRA COLORING CONTEST

Print out the drawing below, then use the colors of the rainbow to color the Hindu chakra symbols and all the line art surrounding them. Feel free to add shapes and squiggles and auras and anything else you like! Take a photo of your finished drawing or scan and email it to Becca@theChakras.org or post it to my Facebook page by August 30th. You’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free, signed copy of my book, Chakra Secrets, and a special, antique piece of Chakra crystal jewelry. (To enter, you must…

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