Friday, July 14, 2017

musings on meditaion

I didn't learn to meditate till I was in my 30's. 
I think I had meditated by accident throughout my life and had experiences that I thought were dreams but that didn't really make sense because I was awake. So I was left wondering, what did I just see and how?  
 I know I have pondered questions and had my mind be guided, but to meditate... where I really still my mind and focus on breathing and cease to think,
 is something I didn't intentionally do or intentionally learn to do till I was in my 30's...maybe around 37? 

I'm 43 now so I have been using meditation in my life for several years and it has been a great blessing. 
Now, I meditate daily. 
Sometimes when I meditate I have wonderful personal epiphanies.
Sometimes I see beautiful and instructive visions in my mind's eye. 
Sometimes I see pulsing colors and lights that are calming.
Sometimes I I become totally unaware of my body and position my body is in. 
I feel like I'm asleep but I'm awake to enjoy the rest!
Sometimes it's just calming and gives me respite from the overwhelming activity of life.
I think it's really something that many in the western world are really missing out on.
 Here we are, these eternal spiritual beings, having this miraculous opportunity to be in a physical body and yet many of us have never been taught to still our brains and go within our spirits and rest and learn through meditation.

The scriptural adage that the kingdom of God is within us is lost on many of us. 
I have learned out of necessity that I must calm the chatter and anxiety of my thinking brain.  
If I just let my brain run the show it would never stop telling me all the things I need to do and all the things I need to worry about and all the mistakes I made in the last hour.
 I have learned that my mind can be quite the torture chamber and if I don't put my soul in charge, 
 it can be pretty miserable in here. 
Breathing and redirection of my mind throughout the day and night is a muscle in me that has strengthened. 
I'm very grateful.

I have a lot of unfinished songs. 
Some of them I really like and I repeat some of the phrases to myself because I like them. 
One line from one of my unfinished songs is "Between sleep and between awake I feel a love so deep deep deep" 

This place of deep deep love is within me and within you. 
It's in us all because we all are of divine heritage and we are made of love.
I have learned that I truly do have spiritual eyes and ears and many other spiritual senses that I can access through meditation. 
I've tried to teach my kids to meditate. 
The trouble with parenting is that my kids often think I'm an idiot that makes them do dumb things, so..... they might not learn meditation from me. 
I'm sure they will learn it somewhere else someday when they are older and wonder why I never taught them when they were young.
It is pretty wonderful to have my oldest daughter who is now 18 actually think I'm a valuable human being who she likes to be around. She learns from me.
 Just in time for her to move out and go to college. 

My heart.
I'm in denial because I can't take the thought for more than a few minutes. 

Back to musing on meditation.
In my Reiki practice with my clients,
 I teach them to meditate as a natural part of the Reiki treatment. 
It's very nice to be able to pass on such a great personal tool for overall health and wellness of the mind and body.
Sometimes I meditate and its really boring and the bottom of my foot has an unreachable itch or I keep falling asleep or I sit there forever and see nothing and feel nothing except the the disappointment that this meditation session is boring. 
One day in the wee small hours of the morning  I sat there for 30 minutes of nothing and then I saw the head of a Zebra and then the Head of an Eagle.
I have learned that meditation is similar to dreams in that it can give you a very personal in depth message in just one or two symbolic images. 
Animals are great symbols and I love animals so they are a great way to give me personal deep messages that I can look up and discern what the meaning is for me right now in my life.
I have a book called Animals Speak that gives the symbolic meanings and messages of animals. 
I also have google! I love googling and being guided by my magnet fingers to the perfect meaning and message for me.
I say magnet fingers because my life's experiences have taught me that I'm a magnet for what  and who I need to guide me on this adventure of life. 
Zebra brings a message that I need in my life. 
Be your unique self. 
Just be.
Don't try to erase your stripes and be a brown horse. 
It's impossible and a miserable way to live if a Zebra were to live with horses and feel ashamed of being a zebra.

More lines from my unfinished song...
"Between sleep and between awake I hear a voice, I see a face"
We are not an island unto ourselves even though it feels that way sometimes. 
We are all connected and we are all connected to our creator.
We can all go within and see, hear, feel, understand, experience.
Sometimes it will be sublime.
Other times it will be practical.
Either way, its worth the practice and work to strengthen the muscles of the mind to 

Go within. 
Peace, bliss, wonderland, answers, guidance, beauty, Angels, deceased loved ones, friends and mentors from another day and age, are some of the things I've experienced when going within myself.
Meditation has proved to be a invaluable use of my time. 
I love to share things that are helpful, so, here you go! Try it. Explore the Kingdom within YOU!

Love, Kristen

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Wisdom of My Pain

In 2010 My twins were about 3 years old. Luke was about 6, AnnaKate, 9 and Emmaline 11. I had just discovered my love for writing songs.
I had also just discovered ways that I could strengthen my singing voice into what felt like to me, a brand new instrument with all kinds of potential.
I was a baby in these new found passions and budding abilities.
It seemed shocking to me at the time but I felt compelled to take these new hobbies seriously and share them way before I thought I was good enough to share them.
 It felt as if writing and singing alone in my room for only my dog to hear pretty much defeated the purpose of creativity, even if the creations were young and naive and imperfect.
 I had strong impressions to share what I was making.
Respect these budding talents and record my songs.
Share my heart.
As these impressions came they were filled with love from God.
 Reassurance and joy.
I began to not just secretly write but I found a place to record and share what I was doing.
 I even made my own YouTube channel and started making really poor quality videos from home.

I had 5 little kids so it was challenging to find the time to share.
It felt really really good to take a break from being mom and wife and just be this new Kristen I was discovering.
It felt really great to leave my kids with their loving dad while I went to guitar lessons or to the small local recording studio to work with my new friend Kurt as he himself was developing his budding talents as a sound technician and recording studio owner.
It was fun to go shopping and buy myself new clothes that were flattering and not worn out mom clothes.
It was exciting and scary and rewarding and fun and freaky all in one.
I felt compelled to keep going down this music path even though I was a busy mother of 5. 

My energetic twins at about age 3 1/2 years.

The age of my children at this time of my life.  That's my niece Sophie in the yellow.

Somewhere during this time my feet started to hurt.

 I'm not one to try and tough things out so I bought myself better shoes with great support.
 I stopped wearing anything uncomfortable no matter how cute the shoes were.
My feet felt a bit better and only at night when I would get in bed my feet would zing with electricity. Nothing could put pressure on them.
No socks no blankets.
I had to put a pillow under my feet and have light blankets loosely on my feet at night.
This made the weird electric sensations bearable so that I could fall asleep.
This went on for a couple of months without much relief.
I continued to buy only the best, comfiest shoes. I would get off my feet during the day to see if that helped.
I would take walks and easy hikes to see if that would help.
 The pain and unexplainable sensations just got worse.

One night Nate was out of town on a business trip.
 I had put the kids to bed and I got in my bed to go to sleep.
 My feet zinged and complained if anything touched them.
I felt exasperated because I had done everything I knew how to do to feel better.
 I sat up in bed and took my feet in my hands.
I had a heart to heart talk with them.
Or rather heart to feet talk with them.
I am a pro at talking to myself so talking to my feet felt natural enough.
 In the past I had experienced pain in my wrist that had an emotional root so to me I knew this pain could be more than physical and maybe I could figure it out.
 I was glad Nate was out of town so I could talk out loud.
I pleaded with my feet to tell me what they wanted.
 "Feet. I love you. I have bought you the most comfortable and supportive shoes I can find.
 They are not cheap and recommended by podiatrists.
I have soaked you and massaged you and gently exercised you.
 I rest during the day and I make sure I don't stand on you too long.
I really want to take care of you but nothing I do seems to help.
 If I go to the doctor for you I don't know what weird thing they could diagnose me with if I tell them I feel electric sensations in my feet.
 It sounds bad and I don't want drugs or surgery.
I don't think doctors could pinpoint the real reason for these sensations.
 Please tell me what you want.
Please tell me what I am not doing for you and I'll do it.
 Please tell me what I am doing to cause this pain.
Am I causing this pain?
Please tell me!"
 I felt better after this "conversation" I was tired enough that I could fall asleep despite the electric feet feeling.

I fell asleep and I had a very vivid dream.

In the dream I saw myself all dressed up with my long hair all curled and pretty.
 I was driving home from some place where I had been singing and performing and recording.
I had asked my good friend Leilani, (isn't her name pretty. It means "flowers from heaven! It's true about her!) who I can always count on, to watch my kids until Nate go home from work.
I came in the door of my house and found the house dark and messy and nobody home.
This was strange since Nate should have been back from work by now.
I left the house to go search for my kids and Leilani and Nate.
I found my friend all dressed up with her hair all curled at the community park having a great time watching a baseball game that was well attended and exciting.
I asked her if Nate had gotten home and taken the kids someplace because nobody was home when I got there.
She had no idea and seemed to have forgotten that I had asked her to watch my kids till Nate got home from work.
Now I felt alarmed.
I had no idea where my kids were and she didn't either.
Nate was no where and my friend hadn't realized I was relying on her to stay with them till Nate got home.
I set out roaming the streets of this unfamiliar town I now found myself in.
 As I was wandering and searching for my kids in a panic I noticed I was no longer wearing that cute out fit with my hair curled.
I was wearing my underwear and my old pink robe with the broken zipper.
 My hair was in a messy pile on top of my head.
My robe was flapping open in the breeze as I wandered the crowded city.
I felt embarrassed and exposed!
As I was walking through the crowded streets I realized I was lost and I started muttering cuss words to myself.
 Just as I was really swearing and getting mad at some dude that had bumped into me I realized the man I was cussing out was an old friend from junior high.
I immediately stopped cussing and was cordial and friendly and happy as could be.
As we parted ways I felt so ashamed he had seen me go from a cussing sailor to a sweet smiling social butterfly.
I was ashamed of myself for having such duality in my own nature.
How could I be so "bad" one minute and "good" the next?
I'd been caught and exposed as a mad swearing lady in her underwear and I tried to cover it up with smiles and social graces.
I got more and more lost.
Now the streets were empty and all the building were unfamiliar.
There were no cars, no people.
It was spooky.
I started to cry as I wandered alone.
What a terrible mother I had been.
I had left my little kids and now I had no idea where I was.
 I hoped they were playing  at a neighbors house or had gone home.
I hoped Nate had gotten home.
How could he be so unreliable?
How could my friend have forgotten to stay with my kids?
 But really I knew it was my fault.
I was there mom and had left them to go off and perform and record.
 I had let my priorities get out of balance and I had neglected what was most important to me!
It was then that I woke up in my pitch dark room alone in bed.
I was distressed but then relieved to realize that my kids were safe in their beds.
 I grabbed my iPhone next to my bed.
I didn't want to forget this dream but I was too groggy and upset to turn on the light to write in my journal.
 I went to the voice recorder on my phone and spoke the dream into my phone.
As I did, I realized the message and meaning of the dream.

My feet were terrified of walking the path of music for fear of walking away from the path of motherhood.
My feet were hurting and screaming in fear that I would neglect my kids.
My feet were zinging with electricity in confusion at how I felt God would compel me to pursue music while I had little kids.
How could God lead me away from my real calling as a mother?
How could God do this to me?
 I was so scared of being lost in the unknown. I was so scared of my dual nature of "bad" and "good" to be exposed.
As I recorded the dream it uncovered feelings and inner conflicts I hadn't been fully conscious of.
 I felt so grateful to see what I was really scared of.
I felt grateful that my feet were "telling me" why they hurt.
They were scared that God was taking them down the path of music and off the path of motherhood causing me to lose my children and neglect what was most precious to me.
As these fears came out of the shadows of my subconscious and into the awareness of my conscious mind  I could really see things more clearly.
 I was able to calm my own fears.
God would never lead me down a road that would cause me to neglect my kids.
  I would never lead me down a road that would cause me to leave what was most precious to me. Nothing was worth that.
 I could see the truth that motherhood and music are on the same path all interwoven and inspired by each other!
I also saw how scared I was of being exposed as a flawed two faced weak human.
Cussing one moment, smiling the next.
 I sat up in bed and took my feet in my hands for another heart to feet conversation.
"Thank you, my sweet feet!
Thank you for telling me why you were hurting and scared.
 I had no idea how scared we were until now."
 I reassured my feet of what I knew about God.
"I know God would never take us down a path that would lead us away from our kids.
We have to have faith and trust in ourselves that we love them more than any adventure and we wouldn't leave them.
Plus, Nate and Leilani would never just leave our kids if we had left them responsible for them.
 I reassured my feet that I wasn't the only weak  human with a duality in her nature.
We all are.
We all have our dark and and light side.
It's part of being human.  We were all stumbling through life learning as we go.
We gotta learn to be accepting of our whole selves.
Thank you for showing me so vividly what you and I are so scared of!"
 I lay back down, so grateful Nate was out of town so that I could talk out loud without disturbing his sleep or causing him to think I was crazy for talking to my feet.
I fell back to sleep relieved and with a deeper self awareness.

My feet have never hurt like that since.
The persistent, every night, electric zingy pain left me and has never come back.
  I had heard the wisdom and truth in my pain. 

I had comforted my fears. I had been my own therapist and my own doctor and cured myself. Looking back I can see how out of proportion my fears were.
Looking back I can see that every mom needs her own outlet, something she creates that is separate from her family .
Something her kids can't undo.
Something that is from her heart.
At the time it was very shocking to me that motherhood wasn't enough.
I grew up dreaming of being a mom and wife.
I grew up thinking that the end all, be all of my happiness could reside in being a wife and mom.
 I thought it would meet all my needs and fill me with purpose and joy never ending.
So you can see why I was so scared and confused when I discovered I needed my own outlet. Motherhood was a mixed bag of opposites.
Never ending purpose and fulfillment with never ending work and exasperation.
Things I hadn't realized going in.

My heart has a hope that in sharing this experience that I can help others listen to the wisdom of their pain.
My heart hopes that I can teach others to listen to their bodies and love their bodies.
I hope that I can remind and teach others to never say something like "my stupid knee, it just won't heal from the surgery" Or a sprain or a bruise or what ever.
Your "stupid" knee has more intelligence in it than everything you have ever learned in school.
 Every cell of our bodies is brimming with intelligence.
Your body can help you know the truth that you're not willing to face, but really need to.
The different pains and ailments in your body can reveal so much about your journey and how to move forward.
Your body is divine intelligence at your service!
Do you know how to take in oxygen from the air and put into your blood stream?
NO, but your lungs do.
 Do you know how to heal a cut?
NO, but your skin does.
Do you know how to digest food and turn it into energy?
You don't.
But your digestive system does.
The next time you catch  yourself criticizing your body, stop yourself.
Apologize to this loyal and faithful servant and gift.
The next time you want to eat some florescent, sugary, fake so called food, pause.
 Put the crap down.
Eat your favorite fruit and love yourself.
This disconnect between ourselves and our bodies hurts us.
This disconnect from our bodies  cheats us of health and wisdom and truth.
Pay attention to what your wise, loyal, intelligent body is saying to you.
 It might speak to you with pain but it tried to speak to you in other ways but you ignored it.
Pain is hard to ignore.
I know I'm getting preachy and pushy here but this is my blog and I know what I know and I am not going to make my  heart hold it in anymore.

I just want to love you.
My love is blunt and raw and imperfect but it's what I have to give.
Thanks for reading this far.
 I could talk all day about what my body is teaching me and how it is communicating with me as I work with clients in my Reiki practice.
I'll save that for another post.
For now, just give your body a hug and say "thank you, I love you" It will be so good for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Have You Ever Heard The Animals Speak?

Recently  I was attuned as a Reiki Master. Doesn't that sounds cool. I'm a master. I'm a master at many things. Unloading the dishwasher. Whipping up dinner in 30 minutes. Napping.  Telling my kids to do their chores.  And now, I'm a Reiki Master.
 During the attunement process many people have epiphanies or deep spiritual insights.
 The only thing I experienced as my sensei (yes, I have a sensei. Me and the karate kid. I'll tell you more about her when she gets her website up!) was attuning each chakra was when she got to my heart chakra I felt like my heart was so tight and painfully full.
Like I was holding potential creations, thoughts and feelings of my heart captive for fear of being hurt.
As I felt all the captives in my heart I knew it was time to share more, speak up more, write more, sing more
It wasn't just time,
  I knew that for me to keep peace with my heart I needed to share more of what was in it.  
It didn't matter the outcome of sharing, I just needed to let the captives free for my own heart's sake. 
Even now as I type I feel my own resistance to sharing my heart.
 I feel the easy thoughts of just keeping things to myself. It is safe that way.  I'd rather take a long bath then go to lunch with my sensei than go to the effort of opening my heart and trying to figure out what's in there.
I have learned from experience there is always a lot of my own resistance when it comes to doing real living, growth causing things.
There are always reasons to avoid the uncomfortable awkward sensations of sharing my heart.
 But, it is getting more uncomfortable holding it in and so I will push through the forest of thorny resistance to arrive at the sunny meadow of satisfaction of expression and creation! 
Ha, that phrase alone gives me satisfaction and relief. 

I think what my heart wants to say first is that  God, Mother Nature, the Universe, All that is, your own divine soul, is ALWAYS speaking love and guidance to me, to you, to all of us.  From my perspective there isn't a time when messages of love and guidance aren't hovering around us, pushing in on us waiting for their opportunity to download.
Waiting for us to be receptive or open, or just listen and believe the signs and messages. 

I have been having really cool dreams. I have always had very detailed and vivid dreams. Some with clear meaning and many that I don't understand fully. Dreams are a common and good way for our subconscious, higher self, spirit, God, angels, deceased loved ones, to get a message to us. I would say that at least once a week I have a dream with clear messages that help in some small or big way. 

One such dream I had the other night. I think I could entitle it
 "Have You Ever Heard The Animals Speak?"
In the dream I was walking outside through the country. It was green and sunny. There were trees but they were not crowding in on me. It was more of an open path space. As I walked alone, wild animals approached me. They looked at me intently and then they each spoke to me face to face. They spoke to me about things I was very interested in. They recognized me and knew I would listen. I was surprised and really enjoyed getting a closer look at them. I couldn't wait to ask anyone if this had ever happened to them. I was also anxious to tell people the things the animals were teaching me and telling me.  

As I walked from the country back into a small town, I saw a group of teenage kids walking toward me.
They were rowdy and thinking they were rebels but I could see they were just insecure teenagers who needed real friendship and love.
As we got closer I said hello and started talking to them. They were headed out to the country where I had just been.
I asked them "Have you ever heard the animals speak?" Before they had a chance to even process my question a large woman with long thick grey hair came walking down the road. She was dressed in a mid length black skirt with boots and a black sweater. She had large eyes and a handsome face, except that she had such a critical expression on her face. She looked about 50 years old.   As she approached it went from day to night very quickly. It was clear that she didn't like me or like what I was trying to say to the kids.  I could see the sarcasm and disgust she had for me. I stood my ground and was polite as she approached.  She started telling the kids her own thoughts and ideas. They listened. I shared my thoughts and ideas with the kids. She scoffed at me. I then casually mentioned that I was friends with Jesus. Right as I said this it seemed to knock the wind out of her and she was suddenly standing at least 20 feet away from us. I was surprised at the power this casual statement from me had. She seemed to be fed up and repelled by me and left. I don't remember if I said anything else to the kids. The next thing I knew I was home. The dream went on with the animals in my home and out my window interacting with me. They didn't speak as fluently as the wild animals but they were very affectionate with me. When I woke up I looked up the spiritual or symbolic meaning of each of the animals that had interacted with me at home in my dream. It was a very visually beautiful dream with several personal messages for me. Some of the birds I saw in my dream were large and vivid in color. It was lovely. I wrote down all the messages and meanings I felt applied to me in my journal.
 I'm still smiling and pondering over this rewarding dream.

My desire in sharing this little bit of my heart is to remind or teach anyone reading this post to pay attention to all the ways God or the greater wisdom within you is trying to talk to you. Pay attention to the animals, and trees that come into your physical life or your dream life. They all have a message for you. Nothing is coincidental. You are so loved and treasured and this life is school. Your divine teachers want to help you. They want to make you smile and laugh. They want to see you move along your path and grow. That is all for now.
Love, Kristen.

P.S. My last post I left you hanging about what I do about my need for chocolate since I am partaking of very little sugar and dairy.

Here is the chocolate that saved my chocolate life!

Behold! The Chocolate Conspiracy!

Read the pure and perfectly innocent  ingredients.

Made right here in Salt Lake City by a couple of cool looking guys. I actually called and thanked them and asked them for a discount . They said sure and I went in and bought a bunch of bars for 25% off.
Life is good, especially when you find chocolate that makes you feel so nourished.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food. It's kind of one of my hobbies.

Food. I'm really into it. 
Not as much for cooking creatively or pleasurable eating, but I'm very interested in how food makes me feel and what foods can DO for me. Let me start by saying if what you are eating and drinking is working for you and you feel good then I say stick with it! 
Enjoy it! Do what makes you feel nourished and happy.
 I don't think I have found the holy grail of diets or a one size fits all solution. 
I do think I have figured out which foods make me tired and inflamed and which foods make me feel fluid and energetic.
 I think we all have different needs when it comes to food and even different emotional metabolisms. I have been interested in health and nutrition since I was a teenager. 
My grandparents on my dad's side were dairy farmers and grew a huge garden full of delicious vegetables. 
They had fruit trees of every kind and berries and grape vines for home made grape juice. 
They would make their own wheat bread, jams and yogurt and their milk was unpasteurized unhomogenized, cream on the top, deliciousness. 
I loved their root cellar full of potatoes and onions and other root vegetables. 
My grandparents ingenuity was fascinating and wonderful to me. 
They grew flowers from seed and had a green house that my grandpa had built. 
They had a big tractor and a big swing in their beautiful old willow tree. 
They lived in Cornish Utah when they had the farm and then next to the Bear River in Mink Creek Idaho after they sold their farm. 
They always had a lot of land where they grew a gorgeous huge garden that could have fed a few hundred people in my child perspective. 
It was a magical place for me as a kid. 
I loved being in the country with the sound of the river out the window. 
One summer my sister and I went to stay for a couple of weeks. 
My grandma took us to the neighbor's house who's cat had just had kittens. Grandma told us we could each pick out a kitten for ourselves! It would have to live at grandma's but it would be our kitty. 
The miracle of this to me as a city kid was shockingly wondrous. 
We had so many fun times there. My grandma was always very concerned with getting your vitamins and would drink brewers yeast. Nasty stuff but she would endure the taste for the health benefit. I admired this very much and I think I have taken her love of healthy food and have tried to eat the healthiest I know how in my day and time. 
For the last 10 years I have been eating less and less meat and eating more and more "super foods" however unpleasant I am willing to endure if I think it's good for me.
 I also ate my share of deserts and cheese and chips and all the yummy junk food.
 I ate these things in what I considered to be moderation but I still ate them. 
This June I wanted to see what I would feel like if I only ate what was actually unprocessed, real, grown from the earth, food. 
I wanted to see if I could NOT eat sugar and treats. 
I have NEVER gone off sugar. I've watched my friends go off sugar for a month and thought it looked like terrible torture. How can you just NOT eat chocolate cake?
 I also wanted to see what it would be like and how I would feel to not eat meat and dairy. 
What do you eat if you don't eat meat and dairy??? I didn't know. Re fried beans from a can?
 The older I've gotten the more I have taken comfort from nature and animals. 
I started to feel sad every time I ate another chicken breast. 
I felt like a traitor since I have 6 pet chickens of my own. I wondered if they could smell their kin on my breath when I went out to pet them and talk to them. ;) Emotionally it was getting uncomfortable for me to feast on the flesh. 
Well, for multiple reasons, June of 2016 is when I just had to try something different to help myself feel better physically and emotionally. 
I felt pretty good but was dealing with some health issues that I didn't want to see get worse. I had no interest in weight control since my weight pretty much has held steady after my twins were 3 years old. 
I thought I looked fine and was not going on a diet for weight issues. I was going on a real food diet for health issues. My goal was not how few calories I could eat but how many nutrients could I pack in.....really, how many nutrients could I pack in? 
My biggest concern about going "vegan" was fear of what others would think, or worse, offending my parents and in laws by not eating what they served for Sunday dinner. 
But then I realized that I should have the last say when it comes to what I put in my body! 
If I offend someone or someone thinks I'm weird, well, I'd just have to be OK with that. 
 Again, if I don't have the last say about what I put in my mouth then how much of my power and choice am I giving away to what our culture says is normal?
One of the reasons I felt like I could make the plunge into a new world of eating was that in my ward/neighborhood there is a Health Coach. A real life nutritionist. I met with her and set up meetings with her twice a month for 6 months. She gave me recipes and tips and taught me the ways of healthy eating without meat and dairy. I even stopped eating my chickens eggs. 

After 6 months of sticking to this way of eating pretty strictly this is what I discovered.

1. My body has a hard time with dairy. It makes my throat congested and makes me feel like I'm on the verge of a cold and makes me actually get a sore throat then a cold. My whole life I wake up in the morning and have to clear my throat over and over. Soon after we were first married, Nate jokingly asked me if I had turrets  because I cleared my throat so much. It also makes my tummy bloat. It also make the taste in my mouth unpleasant.  Since going off dairy I digest better. I don't have to clear my throat all day. I don't get colds or flu. I haven't all winter. No stuffy nose or congested throat for me. Wow. 

2. Wheat bread isn't the health food for my body that I thought it was. Maybe its the fact that the commercial yeast they use these days is fast acting and doesn't break down gluten and other things in the wheat that can be hard on the body. Maybe its the fact that I ate so much bread with this commercial yeast plus lots of sugar that I had a yeast over growth in my gut and through out my body. Or maybe its because in the 1970's they hybridized wheat to be able to grow in dryer climates and it just isn't the plant that it originally was.??? I don't know all the reasons but wheat seems to cause inflammation and ache in my joints and gut. My tummy has flattened out since going off wheat bread. Arthritis pain in my joints has drastically reduced. Wheat bread toast used to be my go to snack food. My all purpose meal. Now it is a green smoothie :)

3. I was a complete sugar addict. I had withdrawl when I went off. I felt sick and crabby and so tired. Part of it could have been the yeast die off that wasn't getting all the sugar it needed to live in my body so it died in my body and made me sick. For 2 weeks I thought about cookies all day. I felt sick and tired and craved cake and chocolate. Sugar is so addictive! I had no idea how it was making me moody and tired. I'm already prone to mood swings but sugar exaggerated the problem. Sugar is not a food. It is a isolated component from a plant which literally makes it a drug. No wonder it gives me 60 seconds of bliss followed by a crash in mood and energy levels. As I have gotten older I'd have to take a nap every day to recover from the desert I had at lunch. 

4. Emotionally I feel better not eating meat. Physically I smell better not eating meat. It also gives me an unpleasant taste in my mouth. But, I also miss meat. Its just so salty and tasty! My spirit loves not eating meat but my body misses it and asks me to eat it. At Thanksgiving I ate the full delicious meal. Christmas I did the same thing. It was great and I really enjoyed all the food and meat. I did feel happy to not keep eating that way though. I really do feel better so it makes it easier to give up the old ways of eating. Because I have felt a bit protein deficient I drink plant based protein shakes and protein bars. I also eat some smoked salmon and my chicken's eggs occasionally. I really have loved adding back in the smoked salmon. It is so good on my salads. 
5. There is a whole world of food I didn't know I liked. I also love eating big quantities and not feeling like there is a lead ball in my stomach. Fruits and vegetables just sit in the tummy nicer. 
Next time I'll give you a list of some of the new foods I've discovered. Also, I'll tell you how I live without normal chocolate. I found something better. 
To be continued. 

:) :) :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

so many good things

Today is February 13, 2017. I wrote this post in October but never quite finished it or posted it.
 I'm posting it now because it's bugging me that I never posted it. 
Love, Kristen. 

My life is full of good and beauty and wonder and I'm keeping my focus on all that I love.
 I'm not putting my focus on this bazaar election or how anything else exasperating or frustrating.
 I am focusing on how I love what I do and I do what I love.
 Everything from my kids getting older and more independent to my adorable cat Max.

My kids are getting funner and I'm not comparing myself to other perfect mom's who do it all right and know where their kids are 24/7 and who never get really annoyed and blunt with their kids and who all they do is put the needs of their kids before their own and love every minute of it. 
Nope, I'm not comparing myself to those imaginary moms who don't even exist. 
I'm chilling out and letting my kids be and not blaming myself for every childish immaturity they have.
 They are growing and so am I. I feel angels and my grandma's in my home helping us all have more fun and laugh things off.

Right after school started my husband and I took a trip of a lifetime.
 It was the best trip we have ever taken. 
A white water rafting trip down the Colorado river through the grand canyon. 
It fell into our laps. (I mean, we still had to pay for it) I've never even heard of this tour package. 
Our friends called us and asked us if we wanted to join them since some people had dropped out.
 Oh my was it exciting, relaxing, thrilling, glorious. 
Glorious nature all around me! 
We slept under the stars. 
I have never seen so many stars! 
So bright. 
The canyon walls towering over us, the sound and smell of the river running beside us as we slept. My dreams were vivid and full of meaning. 
I saw faces of the ancients in the canyon walls. 
I also saw Darth Vader in the rocks of the canyon walls. 
Nature speaks to me in unique ways. ;) 

See that little waterfall? I stood under it let the water soak and wash over me. 
It felt like magic. 

Itty bitty lizard.

Lots of caves.

 Havasu I LOVE you! That's me about to jump in the river. 
Blue and green refreshing water from Mother Earth. 
I love my mother!
floating peacefully till the next section of rapids.

Other fun updates in my life. 
I'm studying Indigenous tribal teachings/Native American studies and Shamanism with Jeff Olsen. There are over 40 of us in the class. It is wonderful and I love it. I love learning about ancient cultures and practises. I can incorporate their wisdom into my modern life and feel the benefit and love. 
I am also gradually incorporating what I am learning about the ancient ways of health and life into my own Reiki Mastery practice and spiritual life coaching with my clients. 
 I'm excited about the possibilities. 
People are ready and hungry for the wisdom of those that really knew the earth, themselves and God. I know I am hungry for it. 
And it makes me feel like one of these beautiful Native women on horseback. 
I love really love studying ancient cultures.

Other updates...
I just had PRK done on my right eye to improve my vision. very little pain even though it can really hurt. I think it's because I eat big boxes of dark leafy greens and Nate gave me a blessing and Michell (my friend and teacher) sent me Reiki and I gave Reiki to myself and my body knows how to heal itself with all the love I give it!
I am loving eating a plant based diet.
 I love plants and plants love me. 
I feel so very much better, physically and emotionally. 
I love the food I'm eating and I have fallen in like with cooking and being in the kitchen putting recipes together. 
Big deal for me since I used to kind of hate it. 
I love eating beautiful fresh fruits and vegetable of all different colors. 
I have been able to go off my prescriptions 3 months after going to a plant based diet.
 I used to wake up with aches and pains in my back or in my feet. 
No more. I feel fluid and fresh. 
My pants are all really baggy and falling off. 
I didn't know how much fluff I had till it fluffed off. 
I didn't want all my fluff to fluff away. 
My sister told me to put yummy nut butters on everything. OK, I will. My nutritionist told me small bodies are healthy bodies.
 She also gave me some tips to fluff myself up a bit. 
 It really does matter what I eat. 
I have power to change my health for the better and it is fun, liberating and empowering to take charge of what I put in my body.

I am loving my private Reiki practice
I have as many clients as I desire to keep me the right amount of busy, but not so busy that the joy of it is drained out. 
I am meeting wonderful people and I am showing them their own power to help themselves. 
It's really rewarding to help people feel the love of God and heaven and help to empower them. 
 It's also really fun to feel like a grown up and have my own little business that I operate out of my back yard "she shed"

I haven't watched any of the debates.
 I have stopped reading articles or researching candidates.
 I don't want to vote. Think what you will of me.

My husband was made the Bishop of our ward this summer.  
When the Stake president called us in to call us to the calling.
 It's Nate's calling but in a marriage it affects us both. 
Anyway, when he called us in and called Nate to be Bishop of our congregation I felt God say. 
"This is no big deal. You've been prepared. 
I told you this was coming, it was your choice to not fully believe me" 
I'm putting word's in God's mouth, all this came through with feelings not words. 
As we walked home I had several minutes of clarity and could see how we are just the perfect recipe for our ward at this time in our ward's life.
 Then for the next 2 weeks all I could think of was how immature we are and how I don't want this responsibility to mess up my life. All I could see was how my kids are a mess and how I don't know what the heck I'm doing and our grass is full of dandelions and that I like dandelions but lawns are supposed to be just green grass and something must be wrong with me since I like my lawn with clover and violets and dandelions. 
 I really don't want this calling to interfere with what I want to do in our life. 
I felt tortured by negative thoughts and dreams. 
Then, on the Sunday it was announced and everyone knew and everyone raised their hand in support, these feelings and thoughts began to quickly evaporate off of me as I knew they would. 
I married Nate for me. 
He is kind and fun and good and capable and I married him so I would have a great life. 
I haven't wanted to share him. But since I feel it is God who is asking for him I will say yes. 
Our Father gives me joy after joy, fun after fun, friend after friend, love after love. 
I'll share my wonderful Nate for Him. 

Life is good. I am determined to keep seeing it that way.
Love, Kristen

Monday, March 7, 2016

Things always work out.

I'm grateful and happy to say that miracles big and small happen every day in my life. Luke was able to perform his part as Horton in Suessical jr. 2 out of 3 nights. With the help of wonderful friends, directors, un seen angels and God, Luke went from sick and feverish and coughing believing he couldn't perform to choosing to perform any way, receiving help and encouragement that night before the play and pulling together his strength, performing beautifully. I loved seeing my boy do his best despite challenges. I can brag a little since this is my blog and I'm the boss of it. He is talented and sweet. He sings well and has stage presence. I was on a high that night and the next day because of the great messages of this play and the great character Horton is. Thank you Dr. Suess. 
I was also on a high from the high and happy energy of the children and especially my own children!

Mazie and Horton played by Mallory and Luke

Gertrude McFuzz,  played by Parley.
Horton, and Mazie. 

My Sarah Caroline was a Who citizen and a fish in another scene. She was darling.

Gwenyth decided she just wanted to watch the play this year. Here she is hugging a favorite teacher.

In other news. I have a very fun husband. I went to a Christ centered energy healing conference a couple of Saturdays ago with one of my close friends who also studies the healing arts.  It was one of the first warmish days. Nate took our little girls and several friends on a very adventurous hike in our neighborhood. These mountains are what our city is tucked up against. Isn't that a blessing? Nature is so fun and so healing. I am so grateful to have a husband who encourages me to get out and do what I love while he loves and plays with our children. Even with our human weakness I think we are doing a pretty good job, despite our kid's opinions. ;)

Playful waterfall in the background and happy smiles in front.

I love this picture! 
This was off the trail hiking! These girls are like little mountain goats.


Wow again. 
That is the Great Salt Lake in the distance

I assure you that there is lots of real life in between all these beautiful pictures. Plenty of messes and dishes and fights and homework not getting done and me being mad about that and meals being made and cleaned up over and over! Why do we need to eat so often??? It takes all day? 
This blog is about focusing on the good, the fun, the adventures and milestones. Here I leave out most of the mundane. Have you noticed I don't talk too much about the details of being a mother? That is for good reason. I am baffled most of the time and the other times I am relieved in knowing that they continue to grow up and eventually move out! :-0  ;) 

Back to the fun parts of my life. 

I was able to get away for 2 entire days with one of my best friends in the entire universe. I've known her since I was 9. We escaped up to our house in Hyrum Utah and had such a relaxing and revitalizing 2 days. I crashed pretty hard back in to real life when I got home but I'll spare you the details of my grumpy crash. 

Hyrum has a wonderful country feeling. Here I am with our neighbor's pet llamas. I look happy but something about them being at head level with me made me nervous.

The lake is still frozen. I could hear an owl hooting as I gazed out.

The sunset mesmerized me.

Next adventure. We went to the Provo City Center Temple open house the day after I returned from my mom vacation. What a beautiful temple! What a beautiful place to dedicate to eternal things and to our Lord Jesus Christ. 
This temple has a special story. I've included this video to give you an idea of the journey and transformation this building has undergone. 

Here we are stretched out like taffy at the temple. 
I don't know how to fix this picture so it doesn't look stretched but you get the idea. The temple is wonderful and we were happy to be there. 

We went to breakfast and then we went for ice cream.
I hope my kids remember this day. I know I will. 

I'll end with my favorite picture. 

Love, Kristen

Monday, February 22, 2016

fed up and cooped up

I have been cooped up with sick children for days on end. I'm being dramatic. I've been cooped up since Thursday, or was it Wednesday? 2 of my kids have had 103 fevers and coughs that sound like the black lung. I have been doling out medicines and herbal remedies and soup and herbal tea like a medicine man or a medicine woman. I am tired and I don't want to hear the sound of a croupy cough echoing through my house. Tonight was opening night for my little kids school play. Luke has a lead part with solos and Sarah is in it as well. They were both way too sick to perform. They were so sad to miss out and I have been really bummed too. They have worked so hard for the past several months, learning songs and dances. Their counter parts had to fill in for them tonight. I pray they will be well for Wednesday's performance. 

I thought I'd post some pictures of some happy things from the past few weeks, 
 I need to be reminded of the good things in life. 
Like this front pack for my pets.

I laughed until I cried when I put my kitty Max in it. I'm thinking if I had to evacuate in an emergency (us Utahan's think about that kind of thing) I'd strap my kitty to my chest and make a run for it. I really like my kitty and I'd like to take him with me everywhere. 

Emmaline and Kaytlin had their first gig. They sang for 2 hours at our local Chick Fil-A. They were so good. I felt so proud and bragged on facebood and instagram. I am pretty jealous of their guitar and uke skills!

On Presidents Day I decided we were going to go on a family outing no matter what. 
I have 2 teenage daughters and it is getting really hard to do anything with all 7 of us. 
After some fights and slaps and tears and drama (I did not slap. My kids slap each other when faced with the task of getting ready to go somewhere as a family)
 After a rather miserable car ride to go get daddy from work, we were finally off to Spanish Fork Canyon to hike to some hot springs. 
The pictures of the waterfall and natural hot pools were so beautiful. 
We finally get there with maybe 2 and 1/2 hours of daylight left. When we arrive, the road to the trail head is closed. It's 6 miles to the trail and another 2.5 to the waterfall. We had to accept the fact that we'd just have to wait for another day to see the hot springs. The closed canyon road was snow packed and a beautiful walk. We walked up the canyon for about an hour with many other people who were hoping to see the springs. 

I have 5 children. There are only 4 here  because my second daughter was too ticked off to get out of the car. She slept and sulked in the car while we enjoyed the beauty of nature and the semi warm weather. I had my coat on but my kids are very warm blooded and ran around like it was summer. 

The happy family, minus the pouty one in the car. Isnt' that how it goes in a family? 
Somebody is always mad. 

We went to Slab Pizza in Provo. It was yummy and all the employees were beautiful, young, hip college students. 

Once again, somebody is mad. 
Can you spot the pink lump pouting in her coat? She wanted "healthy food", not pizza. 

Hooray for ice-cream, we all scream for ice cream. This was the magic moment when all 7 of us were happy about the same thing at the same time. I guess in Sarah's book, ice cream counts for "healthy food" because that's what she had for dinner. The BYU creamery is so good. Wow. We are going back there. 

So as you might know, I love animals. I need animals in my life like I need air and trees and a cozy bed. 
Here are my cats grooming Luke's head during family scripture study. 
We try to read the Book of Mormon every night and pray before bed with our kids. It makes things better in our family. Our pets always attend family scripture study and never complain about it. They set the example for our kids who are usually good sports about it. I think they know we need it. It brings Heaven's help in a wicked world. That's right. A wicked world. I am beyond concerned about the state or our nation. I think things are really bad and most of us are oblivious to how bad things really are. Pretty soon we won't be able to stay oblivious because it will be knocking at our doors and affecting our pocket book our schools our health care our grocery bill more than it already is.
Do I sound negative? I feel a bit down and fed up tonight. Maybe I shouldn't blog on a night when I feel fed up with the wicked world, plus the fact that  I've been cooped up with sick kids I'm a little nuts.

Back to happy things. 
For Valentines day Nate and I went to Park City over night. It was beautiful. The inversion was really bad and it was a miracle to drive up to the mountain city where the air is clean and the sky is blue. It was 55 degrees! We walked around art galleries and ate breakfast at our favorite place. 

Here is a huge crystal cluster in a beautiful jewelry store. I love crystals. I have become quite the collector of rocks, minerals, and crystals. I Love them! 

Here is one from my collection. It's called Labradorite. I love the meanings and uses for crystals. They aren't just pretty, they are helpful, like nutritious food or warm sunshine, they can help us physically and spiritually. 

I love to learn about and use them in my personal life and in my Reiki practice with clients. 

Organic Cauliflower of new and beautiful varieties. Bright Orange, soft purple and one that looks like a sea creature. They were so pretty and so delicious. My kids loved them as much as me! The purple one turned the water the pretties violet color. It was so pretty I drank it. Purple cauliflower "tea" is pretty good. My kids thought I was weird, but that's OK by me. There is something satisfying about embarrassing your kids with your dance moves or loud singing or  cauliflower water drinking. 

I have finally gotten out of my house and started exercising again! 
 Spring has srpung in Utah and I am hiking in the snow and slush even if I slide off a cliff. 
I need mother Nature so bad. 
When I go up to the mountains I feel so good. I feel the spirit of the earth heal me and soothe me and clear my head of all its clutter. 
I feel my angels hike along with me. I feel their love and joy for me and for the life I am creating. Even though I'm so flawed and make so many mistakes I feel my angels cheer for me and reassure me that I am doing great. I need Heaven's love and encouragement. I don't think I'm very well suited for this wild world. I think I'm a bit of a pansy.
 I want peace and happiness and rainbows and unicorns. 
I also want to look nice in pictures so I only took a picture with half my face, that way I can't see how my face is aging. 
It's odd to see your face change and age. 
It's actually fascinating in one sense but also a bummer to see your face get a little wilty. 

The sunsets have been beautiful. We have had some storms that have cleaned the air and made for glorious skies. I love it. I hike up high enough to get a good view and then I stand there and praise the Lord for his creations. 

I have had some wonderful Reiki appointments with some special clients. I learn so much and I feel so good helping people in this way. It is a powerful and uplifting experience. 
I look forward to many more rewarding experiences. 

I have a show coming up in April. Our Christmas show feels like it was a year ago, not 2 months ago. I really need to make a set list and get practicing with Ryan, Emily and Bridget.  My head hasn't  been focused on music lately. I bet it would help my head and heart if I could get myself to write a song or practice the guitar. I don't know why I haven't had the heart for it. I think I do know why but that is another post that may or may not get posted. 
My friend and owner of the recording studio where I record got me this show in April.
 It is in West Bountiful on April 8th. 
I'll post about it as it gets closer. 

Well, the coughing kids are finally quietly sleeping. Poor things. It's nice to be the only one awake. Sometimes being alone is the only time I can hear my own thoughts and feel peace. I don't feel quite so fed up and cooped up after blogging tonight. 

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely day/night. :)

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