Gettin’ crafty!

I’m not sure what it is, but around the holidays I get all crafty. I think it stems back to my childhood when I gave homemade ornaments to my relatives every year.

Anyway – I have three projects under way this year: Pumpkin Bread (dowload the recipe here), Dryer Balls (which are an awesome replacement for dryer sheets!) and Chakra Bracelets (oh how I love to bead!).

What is it about making gifts that moves me? I think it’s because it’s so grounding. As a culture, we are spacey, and hurried and UN-grounded. We live most of our lives in the top 14 inches of our body. In the Spring and Summer, I love to go for long walks and take my shoes off at every available opportunity for this reason. It helps me re-connect to the earth, to my deeper self. But in the winter, it’s too cold! And the lower temps and drier air contribute to the problem.

What’s the remedy?

It can be lots of things. For me, it’s crafting! Working with my hands and getting into that mind space where there is no electronic input slows me down and helps me get a grip again! It can also be cooking. The methodical chopping, the cooking, the stirring, the baking – all of it – brings us back into our bodies and settles us down. I even calm down THINKING about it! Warm baths are also a great way to settle down and re-connect.

What is it for you?

 


2015 holidaysWith the holidays coming upon rather quickly, complete with the end of semester finals (for my kids) and traveling around to see family and gatherings with friends, things are getting kind of busy around here.

Not to mention that it’s time to do my end-of-the-year reflections and planning for 2016. With that in mind, I’ll be taking some time off from blogging and facebook-ing to glean the most from 2015’s lessons and set 2016 up to be the best it can be!

I’ll be back in the saddle around mid-January. In the meantime, I am wishing you a wonderful holiday season and grand start to the new year.


If you are looking for some thoughtful gifts for someone you know and love, check out these items. I will be finishing up taking orders this weekend and mailing the final batch of goodies on Monday. So, if you want something, let me know right away! Here are the highlights:

2016 Shining Year Workbooks

This workbook has changed my life! Both on the personal level AND the business level! It’s a must-have!

Order yours today!

 

 

Tommy&TinaYogaFunTommy & Tina’s Yoga Fun Series

If you have kiddos or teach yoga to kiddos, I cannot speak highly enough of these books! My friend Lindsey wrote them (I got to edit them!) and they are THE BOMB! Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, and there’s also an accompanying album available to sing along!

Get yours today!

 

 

Travel Chakra Balancing Essential Oils Kitchakra oils

I travel everywhere with these oils. Not only do they help with balancing chakra energies, they all have multiple purposes like helping with upset tummy, lightening mood, opening stuffy noses, cleansing a cut, providing immune support and MORE!

Order it now!

I burned the Pumpkin Bread…again…

Jenn's Pumpkin BreadTuesday was a beautiful morning! The kids were off to school and I had planned to make my seasonal Pumpkin Bread.

I love making pumpkin bread. I’ve done it every year for over 20 years now. I love it. My friends say they love it. And I think my family loves it too.

But, it’s kinda surprising I have kept at it all these years when you know how it all started…

It was 1992. I was a newly-wed and living in the Married Student Housing Apartments at my University. Feeling all domestic, I got the bright idea to make Pumpkin Bread Muffins as a gift for a couple friends. I gathered my ingredients, mixed them up, set the kitchen timer and put the muffins in the oven to bake.

 

And then I left.

The apartment.

To go visit some other friends.

Forty-five minutes away.

I realized my awful mistake about TWO HOURS later.

I called the university operator in a panic and by the time the housing manager got to our apartment and let herself in, the entire place was filled with smoke, the smoke alarm was going off, and the pumpkin muffins looked like little hockey pucks. They were completely black and only about an inch and a half tall. I’m surprised I didn’t catch the entire complex on fire!

By this point, you are probably wondering what would make me EVER choose to do that again! But I did. And I have. Every year since then. Fast forward 20+ years to Tuesday…

So, it was a beautiful morning. I had the house all to myself and I mixed up the Pumpkin Goodness. I put 4 mini-loaves in the oven and got on a conference call. (Why do all the crazy things happen when you’re on a conference call???) Right about the time I thought the loaves should be done, I smelled something. And it wasn’t that wonderful Pumpkin Bread aroma. It was more like…burning oven.

And then it happened.

Right in the middle of my conference call, the smoke alarm started going off!

I burned the Pumpkin Bread.

Again.

Sigh.

What is the point of this story, you may ask? It’s this:

Practice.

See, if I had decided to quit after that first burnt bread experience, I would have never had the opportunity to know the joy of cooking for my friends and family. And they would have missed years and years of yummy-goodness. And I would have missed the joys (and challenges) of the process each year.

And this is how it is with our personal practices. When we decide to quit after one bad experience, we miss the joys (and challenges) that come with the continued practice. Anyone relate to this? Meditation, perhaps? Trying yoga or a new exercise program? How about making changes to your diet? Yep. We’ve all had experiences when we “burned” it. Whatever it was, was a miserable failure. And so we quit.

But what if…

What if we gave it another try?

What if we committed to working on it (whatever it is)?

For the next week – or month – or year?

 

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what it is you want to commit to practice.

And, in case making Pumpkin Bread isn’t your thing, check out these other meaningful gift ideas:


 

Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life Workbooks

This is my second year using this workbook and planner bundle and it is a game-changer! Especially if you would like to make some things HAPPEN in 2016!

These beautiful workbooks lead you through letting go of 2015 and planning ahead for a beautiful 2016 complete with goals and steps to reach them.

Check it out!

 


 

Tommy&TinaYogaFunTommy and Tina’s Yoga Fun!

I had the awesome privilege of getting to work with Lindsey on this great yoga resource for parents and teachers. A thoughtful gift for little ones and the ones who love them!

“Readers will appreciate the simplicity of the bold, colorful illustrations that manage to be both eye-catching and soothing at the same time. Each character demonstrates the correct yoga positions. This book is a great tool for parents who want to help their children learn about relaxation through yoga. As an added bonus, the book includes an album of songs that are set to familiar tunes that will have the whole family singing along.” ~Debbie Sellers

Learn more…


chakra oilsChakra Healing Essential Oils Travel Kit

This little travel kit of oils goes with me everywhere. From yoga class, to trainings across the country, I use them pretty much every day for something. This kit also comes with a beautiful meditation card and reference guide for additional uses for each oil. 10 oils (1 for each chakra, 2 to prep for meditation, and 1 to cleanse).

Get it today!


 

Tuesday will be extra-special!

Hey Dragonflies! I have some super exciting news today! I recently shared my thoughts about Creating Space for transformation on a webinar! Woo hoo! I’m over here doing the happy dance!

This is THE topic chosen by popular vote from a survey I sent out. Transformation never goes out of style, and seems to be of particular interest right now.

So, if you want to move forward with space in your head and heart for thankfulness, you GOTTA come hang out with me! (Plus, I’ve always wanted to meet you!)

 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

WHY it’s important, necessary and beneficial to create space

HOW to create that space – we’ll do an activity together!

WHAT to put in that space once it’s created – this will be GREAT!

 

Watch the replay here!

How will you respond to the restless winds of transformation?

Do you feel it? That restlessness that comes with the transformation of the seasons. Perhaps your schedule changes a bit, or daylight saving time throws your off for a few days. You may become nostalgic or feel fancy-free. At the very least, your wardrobe is probably turning to some warmer options. Who else loves sweater weather???

Change is in the air and I don’t know about you, but I can feel it in every aspect of my life.

One thing I have noticed for myself is that autumn is the time when I am most likely to engage inner transformation. Just like the way the leaves begin to show their true colors, I sense mine emerging with cooling temps. I usually enroll in a course, or adopt a new practice, or journal more frequently.

Do you have special transformation activities that you save for the fall?

What is it that you embrace during this time when the earth embraces such deep transformation? Do you clean the garage? Look up new recipes to try? Get all crafty? Find a hiking group? Make s’mores by the fire?

Whatever you choose – Does it soothe your soul? Does it rearrange your inner closets? Does it change you?

Would you like to purposefully embrace something this year that has the potential to transform you on the deepest level? You know, that level where we talk to ourselves.

Yes.

You DO talk to yourself.

We all do.

But what exactly do you say to yourself?

If you would like to transform that inner dialogue from hateful to helpful or from depressing to inspiring, you are so in luck right now!

I have been consolidating all I have learned over the past couple of decades about transforming inner dialogue into a 5-week course that will guide you through the process of changing your inner voices from down-right mean, into the encouraging, loving voices we all wish to hear.

Are you interested in this course? Let me know!

Hitting the reset button

A few weeks ago I went on a cleanse. My intention was to reset my digestion. You know, give my insides a chance to rest and not have to do all that hard work of processing food. I have found that this is something that is beneficial for me a couple of times a year. Because I have done this before, I knew what to expect. I knew it would break my cravings. I knew I would lose a couple pounds. I knew I would feel lighter in my body and clearer in my head.

Here’s what I didn’t expect…

I did not expect this break in eating my normal foods to also reset my mind, my emotions and my spirit.

As I changed up my eating plan and the rhythm of my days, I felt all these other things start to re-arrange themselves, too.

Immediately after I finished the cleanse, I went on a 9 day retreat at an Ashram in Austin, Texas to learn about Ayurveda with Kathryn from YogaFit. And the transformation continued. My days were consumed of yoga practices, gaining knowledge about our bodies and food and how to feed our bodies to maximize our health and wellness. We meditated. We shared meals together. We laughed and we cried.

And I felt things continue to shift.

My desires reorganized. All of a sudden those aspects of my morning routine that had been elusive became so important that I didn’t have to try so hard to get them done anymore. I just did them. Because I could feel the value in them. Instead of being something I knew I “needed” to do, they became things I sincerely wanted to do.

It’s that time of year. The change from the heat of summer into the crisp coolness of autumn also calls to us to begin some changing on the inside too.

What is it that needs to change in your life? Is it the foods you eat? The exercise you do (or don’t do)? Your daily routine of self-care (or self-neglect)? How about your meditation practice?

Whatever it is for you, I’d like to make a suggestion. Rather than just taking that one thing and resolving to change it in yourself “no matter what” – what if instead you hit the system reset button? What if you listened to your body, heart, soul, emotions and mind as you move through the change of autumn to see what you really need deep down?

As you turn up the volume of what your deepest self is asking for, you may just find that those new routines or habits that have been elusive for years become so vitally important that you wouldn’t dream of missing them.

I’d like to offer you a free gift to help you create the space you need to move forward on this journey. Please shoot me an email and let me know which of these tools you would most like and I will send you a link so you can download it. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and sharing this part of the journey together!

  • Breathing Meditation
  • Letting Go Meditation
  • Self-Love Mini Course
  • Soothing Meditation
  • Energizing Meditation

Deeply transformational mundane activities

Come again? What in the world is a “deeply transformational mundane activity????” We read about and long for something to change us. That magical moment when, all of a sudden we are made new.

As a teen and young adult, I had the opportunity to go on regular spiritual retreats. So, I tended to “save” my transformational energy for those glorious weekends and weeks when I could really focus on my inner journey. But as those opportunities faded away, I was left to figure out my own growth and I was unsure how to facilitate it.

As a result, for far too many years, I kept “holding out” for the chance to take a retreat or vacation or go to some super-spiritual conference where I would finally experience that transformation again. Like I could order it up, add a side of glowing wisdom, pay in advance, and pick it up at my convenience.

I hate to be the one to break it to myself….but ummmm….that doesn’t really happen.

Bummer.

While I was trying to “survive” the day-to-day activities until said transformational event, I was missing out on thousands of opportunities in the “mundane” activities of life to facilitate that transformation I so desperately wanted.

Let me illustrate.Warrior 2

As you may know, I am a yoga teacher (and trainer for YogaFit Training Systems). One day I saw one of my students at the gym. She hadn’t been to yoga class in awhile, and it was great to see her. She said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been to class lately. I have been working with weights here at the gym so I can get strong enough to make it through your class.” Hmmm. I was befuddled. Why would she go to the gym to get in shape for yoga class? I asked her what part of class she found challenging. She said it was the crocodile (or chaturanga) poses. Ahh…I see. I replied, “You know, I think it’s great to work out at the gym. There are tons of benefits of being able to move weight outside your own body. However, if you want to get better at Crocodile pose….?” The light went on! “YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE CROCODILE POSE!!!!” She exclaimed.

Yes!

In that moment I was the teacher…and the student.

All of a sudden my own light went on. All that transformation I was waiting for so I could deal with the mundane daily activities of life? Yep. You guessed it. If I want to be transformed in daily life, that transformation is most likely to happen in those same mundane activities.

Now, I will say that going to the retreat or on vacation or to the super-spiritual conference is AWESOME! And I wouldn’t trade those treats for anything. BUT – much of my deepest transformation comes in the middle of the school pick-up line, working through a crazy morning at home, driving down the highway, and even preparing dinner. If life is pushing on me as I prepare dinner, I do my best to pull back and observe and see what I can learn here. And it seems that those lessons have more staying power than the fun retreat or serious conference. Why? Because I became strong enough for that “pose” of life by practicing it, right there in the moment.

Iridescent Dragonflies Facebook pageAnd this is why Iridescent Dragonflies is a thing. Once I fully embraced that my deepest transformations come from my own awareness and intentionality in the day-to-day activities of life, I realized that I am probably not the only one who is interested in finding the glorious, spiritual, transformation in the quiet moments as the day starts, shopping for groceries and checking email. And, if I like daily (or even hourly) reminders to pause and observe and intend to live from a more centered place, I thought I might as well share them in case you like them too. Those reminders happen on our Facebook page. If you haven’t been there, check it out and see if it resonates for you.

So, dragonfly, what mundane activity can you find deep transformation in today? If you’re not quite sure, I’d start with breathing. Yep. Breathing. Pay attention to your own breath for 5 slow breaths. It’s amazing what can happen when we pause for that short time and shift our focus.

She was all in a tizzy!

Last night my husband and I went to watch our daughter cheer at a football game. She cheers for the JV squad at her high school. It’s great – the team spirit, the cooling fall temps, the crowd in the stands getting excited when the team makes a good play.

But…

There was this one lady a few rows up from us. I’m not sure, but I think she thought the fate of the world was resting on whether or not our team won this game. I think this because she was yelling (and sometimes screaming) at the top of her voice on every. single. play. She was elated. She was devastated. She was hopeful. She was mortified. She ran the gamut of emotions to say the least.

It was easy to judge her. To think it was ridiculous that her entire emotional landscape was determined by the total yards gained or lost on any particular play.

Since I found myself at least minor-ly (if not major-ly) annoyed by her, it made me wonder – what is it that I get all in a tizzy about? What do I completely over-react to? Are there times when those around me are wondering why I am letting something so little get me so upset?

I haven’t asked my friends and family, because I’m not sure I’m ready to know the real answer, but I’m pretty sure the answer is a resounding YES.

Sigh…

Just when you think you have something under control…right?

What to do? What is a good solution when you come to that realization that you are completely over-reacting and making everyone around you crazy with all your racket?

I have something. It’s called meditation. Sometimes it helps when you do it every day (I would go so far as to say it ALWAYS helps when you do it everyday), and sometimes it’s great when you pause and meditate right there in the moment of sheer craziness.

It’s pretty simple really. Whenever you notice a thought that feeds the frenzy, let it go. Just like that. Take a deep breath and enjoy the space you just created.

Get my Letting Go Meditation!

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already!

What if you could change that?

Change is in the air! Can you feel it? Some places are starting to cool off (or so I hear…it’s still pretty hot here in the desert!), football games are on TV, all those cute posts of decorated pumpkins are all over Pinterest, and I’ve seen lots of people on Facebook talking about doing a fall cleanse (myself included).

Something about the change in seasons stirs us to action. We want to clean the garage, wear different clothes, cook different food, get a new haircut, etc. We are motivated to DO SOMETHING!

Would you like to make some changes on the inside too?

Wouldn’t it be nice to change some of that negative self-talk into colorful, beautiful, loving self-talk?

Well, Dragonflies, I have something that I made just for you.

Iridescent Love Mini Course!

This mini-course is free and just for you!I am so excited to share it with you!

In this course you will receive a few tips and tools for changing your mind-chatter from negative, boring or just plain mean, into something encouraging, loving and over-the-top awesome!

Check it out and let me know what you think. Pass it along to your friends, too – we can all use a little boost sometimes!

Can I give you something?

I have a friend who has a really intriguing response to getting gifts. She doesn’t use them. Like ever. I’ve seen her set a candle on her shelf for DECADES and never burn it OR take the wrapper off. I’ve watched her get a Gift Card to her favorite restaurant and then NEVER GO. She once received a candy bouquet, and yep, you guessed it – never ate ONE SINGLE PIECE of the candy. She got a beautiful set of towels as a gift and thought they were so nice (too nice for her) that she GAVE THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE!

I think this is a problem.

For some reason that I don’t quite understand, she is not able (or willing) to RECEIVE gifts.

Just imagine, if you had gone to the time and effort and expense to GIVE someone a gift and they literally never used it. I don’t know about you, but I would be really sad about that. I would feel like they didn’t really appreciate it. It might make me not want to GIVE them gifts anymore. It might even make me feel like they don’t love me.

This makes me wonder: Do I ever do this same thing???

For the last few months I have been working on a book and an e-course about self-love. It’s all about changing our inner dialogue. You know, getting rid of all those negative things we say to ourselves all day long and replacing them with loving and supportive thoughts. I’m super excited about it and can hardly wait until it’s time to officially invite you to join me for the journey (here’s a sneak peek).

Anyway – as I’ve been writing the book and course, I have been immersed in the world of love, self-love, giving love, and creating an environment of love. You know, all the loving things! This is not a bad way to spend a summer, I must say. : )

During this time I have been thinking of all the ways to change negative inner dialogue into positive inner dialogue, how to demonstrate love to ourselves, how to create space for love and how to build an environment of love all the way around. It has all been about how to GIVE love to ourselves.

But then I was remembered my friend that I love who has a hard time receiving and I had a whole new string of thoughts.
What’s equally as important as GIVING love?
What happens when you GIVE love to someone who doesn’t RECEIVE it?
What happens when WE choose not to RECEIVE the love someone GIVES us?

Not much, right? You can GIVE and GIVE and GIVE, but if the person you are giving to isn’t RECEIVING, then nothing is going to happen. The relationship will go nowhere.

And what if that relationship is with ourselves?

Now perhaps this is all blatantly obvious and you are wondering why I’m even bringing it up. But just in case this is as intriguing of a thought to you as it is to me, I will continue…

I can spend all kinds of time and money to alter and change the way I talk to myself, the way I treat myself, and the environment I create for myself. BUT, if I choose not to RECEIVE the loving encouragement I GIVE myself, or if I choose not to fully RECEIVE the kind acts of service or care I GIVE myself, then have I truly done anything?

I would say no.

This has softened me. Not only am I GIVING myself love and compassion, I am choosing to RECEIVE it as well.

And my relationship with myself has changed.

I am now humbly RECEIVING the love I am GIVING myself. I am saying, “thank you” to myself for all the efforts I have gone to to create loving thoughts and activities. I feel a kindness and fondness towards myself that hasn’t been there before, or at least in a really long time. I appreciate the love I have GIVEN myself. And as a result, my self has enjoyed GIVING me even more love!

So, Dragonfly, what do you say? Are you ready to receive love?

As a sneak peek, I’d like to give you an Affirmation Guide and Meditation for the course!

I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Sea urchin hugs! Wait. What?

As you may know, the fam and I recently went on vacation. One morning, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was very cool! All kinds of amazing ocean creatures were in huge aquarium tanks where we could see them all swimming around.

I must admit, my favorite part was the section where we got to reach into tiny pools of water and actually touch different sea animals. We got to touch jelly fish! Who knew they are dense and spongy? We got to touch anemones, too. They are kinda slimy or coarse – depending on which one you reach out to.

But the ones that really blew my mind were the sea urchins. I had experienced sea urchins last summer when we went diving in St. Croix (read about that here), and those were not happy experiences! My husband accidentally stepped on one and he definitely paid the price! As far as I knew, sea urchins were not to be messed with and certainly not enjoyable to experience.

So…when the seemingly nice lady at the aquarium encouraged me to touch one with my bare hands, I did not immediately do so! No way! Was she kidding??? So I told her my St. Croix story and emphasized the part when Brad had sea urchin spines stuck in his foot. I thought for sure this woman was mistaken! Surely you cannot touch sea urchins – she needed to be warned! She listened in an understanding way, and then simply said, “If someone was trying to step on you, wouldn’t you try to defend yourself too?”

Hmm.

I had to admit, this makes sense.

So….after a long pause, and intense consideration, I asked her how to touch them so they wouldn’t hurt me. She explained that if I reached out to them and touched their spines with two fingers, that they would hug me back!

Seriously?!?!?

Well, that was enough to make me curious. Now I had to know.

I put my hand in the freezing cold water and very cautiously, touched the sea urchin’s spines.

sea urchin

My son, Caleb, getting a Sea Urchin hug!

And, what do you know?

She was right!

That sea urchin (now adorable in my eyes) hugged me!!!

I couldn’t get enough! I had to touch all of them and got sea urchin hugs by the dozens!

So what does this have to do with life in general?

Here’s my takeaway: when we encounter things in life, sometimes we push too hard, and then we get hurt in the process.

However…

When we pause for a moment and learn more about the situation and then proceed mindfully, the same situation that caused us pain, can actually hug us back when we lean into it!

lean into transformationWhat is happening in your life that you can lean into? Perhaps it’s something that you have previously been hurt by. Or something you have been afraid to engage. Or something that seems too unknown.

The next time this happens, try leaning into it and see what happens! Leaning in doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump in, or jump ship – it just means to lean into the possibility.

It’s amazing what happens in our minds when we consider what can happen. Our minds shift from absolute certainties into a brand new world where anything is possible! Think of the transformation that could take place with a shift like this!

Are you ready for life to hug you back?

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