Spiritual Sundays: How to Meditate (5 Easy Steps)

Greetings & Happy Sunday, Spiiirits!

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Meditation is a vital component for self-awareness and spiritual growth. The practice of meditation brings with it not only spiritual benefits, but mental and physical benefits as well. After educating myself on meditation and its many benefits, as well as beginning to experience some of the benefits myself, I believe meditation should be practiced by every human being on the planet, daily, in some shape or form. This would be beneficial, not only for each individual, but for all mankind collectively.

Many stray away from meditating because they don’t have a complete idea of what it is or how to do it. And we can all agree that Mother Culture has taught us to fear what we do not know/understand. But meditation should not be something we remain in the dark about any longer. And it should be something everyone knows how to do.

Feeling as such, I have decided to compile a basic how-to guide to meditation. Nothing too stressful, a couple of quick steps…so easy a caveman could do it! 😀

 

Step 1 – Find Your Meditation Location. Find a private spot where you feel safe and comfortable. The spot should be quiet and free from external distractions. This can range from a bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, a spot in your backyard, etc. just anywhere where you can create a comfortable, quiet, uninterrupted moment for yourself.

Step 2 – Get Comfortable. Once you have secured your meditation location, find a spot and get comfy. You may sit in a chair or on the floor. You may also lie down, though it is easier to accidentally fall asleep this way. Just choose the position that is most comfortable for you. But be sure that, no matter how you choose to sit, you keep your posture upright as to properly facilitate the flow of energy. Make sure to clear the exact spot where you plan to meditate of any clutter. Many people use crystals to amplify their meditative sessions. If you have crystals or some other object pertaining to the meditation, it is fine to keep those near you. Also, if you become uncomfortable at any later point in the meditation you can mildly maneuver. However, for best results, movement should be kept to a minimum.

Step 3 – Decide the Time Frame. Once you begin the act of meditating, it is easy for time to pass without you being aware how much of it has gone by. While some may just let the meditation lead them and just get up whenever they feel “done”, this may not be the  best move for a beginner. You also don’t want to find yourself inclined to think about time at all during the act of meditation, as this may just make you figity, and bring stress that draws attention away from your meditation. The best way to avoid this is to predetermine a time limit. This can be done by setting a timer or alarm. 30 minutes is a good amount of time to meditate, though you should feel free to do more or less. Guided meditations are another good way to decide the time frame of your meditation, but more on that later.

Step 4- Breathe & Observe. Close your eyes.  Now its time to get into the groove of actual meditation. Take deep breaths, fully inhaling and fully exhaling. Now begin to clear your mind. You can do this by focusing on your breaths or by counting to 100 in your mind as you continue to breathe. Thoughts will come during this time, but it is your job not to engage with any of these thoughts. You are to separate yourself from the thoughts, simply becoming a passive observer of them. It is important in this moment not to classify the thoughts that come as good or bad, or really respond to the thought in anyway. Don’t delve into the thought, don’t analyze it. Simply observe the thought as it passes and then send it away.

Step 5 – |END| Return to the Physical Realm. The alarm (or whatever timer you have put in place) sounds, signaling that the time has come to draw your meditation to a close. DO NOT just bounce up hurriedly. Slowly ease into the physical state of being. Start off by mentally becoming aware, again, of where you are physically. Next become aware of your physical body. Wiggle your toes, yawn, stretch. Then slowly open your eyes and re-accustom to your surroundings. It is important to do this because shifting modes too rapidly can be discombobulating. However this whole process need not take longer than one minute. Now you can get up, move about, and carry on with your day! Some people, alternatively, choose to remain in their spot and reflect upon the meditation or send silent gratitude into the Universe. This is perfectly fine as well. Go with how you feel! (which after a meditation, is usually GRRREEEAAAATTTT! 😉 )

***Quick Tip***- I mentioned guided meditations in step 3. Guided meditations are a great tool for beginners! (and pros, alike, if you ask me). They are perfect for giving those who have trouble clearing their mind, on their own, something to focus on. There are also guided meditations that cater to specific areas (such as balance, prosperity, healing, etc.). And with guided meditations ranging from as short as 10 minutes to as long as 2 hours, they can be perfect for deciding the time frame for how long you want to meditate, as well as what aspects of your being you are primarily want to focus on in each session.

Hope these tips prove helpful to you guys. Happy Meditating, Spiiirits!

Namaste

☮XOXO A.T.☮

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Vegetarian Delights: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger & Sides

Greetings Lovely Spiiirits

Sending good vibes to every single one of you…right…NOW!

As you all may know, in my household, we are pescetarians moving toward vegetarianism. Therefore, it is not uncommon that we will have completely vegetarian meals. On last Tuesday night, Triiin & I used teamwork to make a lovely meatless meal that I’d love to share with you guys! We made a delicious Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger with Fried Jalapenos & Bean n Cheese topped French Fries. And lemme tell ya, it was to die for!

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Ingredients:

2 Portobello Mushrooms, Fresh Spinach, 1 Tomato, Fresh Garlic, 1 Onion, 3 Potatoes, 2 Fresh Jalapenos, Beans (any kind), 4 slices Whole Wheat Bread, Pepper Jack Cheese, Vegetable Oil, Butter, Garlic Salt, Parsley, Garlic Powder, Yellow Mustard, Flour, Cornmeal

Steps to Deliciousness:

1st we marinated the mushrooms in flavor. We coated it with a light layer of oil and seasoned it with garlic salt, parsley, mustard, and garlic powder. We let them sit and gain flavor for 30 minutes while we did other prep.

After this 30 minute period was over, we placed the mushrooms gill side up to prepare them for stuffing. You can gut the gills out of the mushroom if you want, but I think that’s a straight up waste of mushroom “meat”, personally! I’d only remove the inside if I was going to stuff the mushroom with more & heftier ingredients than the ones we chose for this recipe. We cut up the tomato and the onion as well as some fresh garlic and began stuffing the mushrooms with it. We also took some fresh spinach from the bag (how many leaves, I’m not sure) and stuffed the mushrooms with them as well. Once the ‘shrooms appeared to have a good amount of stuffing, we used a couple spinach leaves to seal in the stuffing, laying them over and tucking in the corners. After this, we placed them in a small metal pan with a couple tablespoons of oil (2-3) to ensure they didn’t stick. We covered the pan and placed the mushrooms in the oven on 350 degrees, for 20 – 25 minutes.

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For the fries, we took the 3 potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped slices. They were coated with mustard (as a flavoring and sticking agent), Tony Chacheres, garlic powder, & garlic salt. Then we placed them into a mixture of cornmeal & flour, being sure to get a good coating on each. The method for the fried jalapenos is quite similar. We cut them into ring shapes, flavored them with mustard, garlic powder, and garlic salt, and coated them effectively in the flour/cornmeal mixture. (Make sure to remove the seeds from the jalapenos to the best of your ability to avoid a spicy bum later, lol.) We heated up a pot of oil on medium to high heat and “deep fried”, so to speak, the fries and the jalapenos until they begin to float to the top & had the color we wanted. Then we removed them and put them in a strainer lined with napkins, to remove excess grease.

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Using butter, oil, parsley, and garlic powder, we made the toast  for the ‘shroom burgers in a skillet. We heated up the ingredients and flip flopped the toast in the pan until it was around the color and firmness that we wanted. Simple. Then we grated the pepperjack cheese onto the bread and spread barbecue and balsamic mayo onto them. We placed the stuffed mushrooms onto their perspective breads, closed the top of the sandwich and voila!

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After the fries were done, (though already quite delicious), there was still a tiny bit more work to do to prepare them to be the perfectly topped side for this dish. We heated up some leftover beans we happened to still have from dinner another day. (These were beans made from scratch, but never fear! You can use a can as well, for similar quick & easy results). We heated them on medium heat via the stovetop (we don’t even own a microwave, actually), and were careful to keep watch over them as to ensure they didn’t dry out in the reheating process. Once the beans were heated to a good temperature, we spread them evenly over the fries and grated some good ‘ol pepperjack cheese on top.

Le’ Results

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What do ya think? Have you guys ever tried anything like this? Planning to try?

If you give it a go at home, definitely let me know how it turns out!

☮ XOXO A.T. ☮

OOTD: Updo’s & Thrifted Pleasantries

An Outfit of the Day from a couple days ago…

Actually, it was last Thursday, which was an awesome day for a lot of reasons. It was my last day of Summer session I, my mommie and grammie came out to visit me, and they packed me down with a house full of groceries. I also got a job on Thursday for which I had to go in and do paperwork. As I watch my days’ progressions, it just amazing to see how many blessings God lays in my path. Can’t be anything but thankful.

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gold studs – F21, gold charm necklace – SB, shirt – Free Spiiirit Vintage, cobalt pants – Thrifted, seahorse ring – Glitter, bicycle ring – SB, belt – Thrifted, camel oxfords – Thrifted

Every piece of this outfit (minus the studs & rings) was thrifted at some point. Even the necklace, which was borrowed, is a vintage gold piece that was picked up in a thrift store. Ahh, I love my thrifty days. They give life to my inner frugal fashionista! The updo was a quick, easy twist on a simple hairstyle. If you guys want a tutorial, just let me know.

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

Costume Ideas for Halloween

Hello my dear blog dolls!

Halloween is drawing near and I know there are at least a couple of you who still don’t have a costume or even an idea of what you should be! I want to help you guys out by giving you a couple ideas of costumes that should be quite easy to put together. Many of these halloween looks can be done either with cheap purchases, a little DIY, or things you already have in your closet! So without any further ado, let the ideas ensue….

THE BLACK CAT

Halloween Costume Idea 1
ROSY THE RIVETER
Rosy the Riveter Costume
THE BARBIE DOLL
Barbie costume
MARILYN MONROE
Marilyn Monroe Costime
THE ZOMBIE
zombie costume
I hope these looks gave you guys some good ideas for Halloween costumes on a time crunch and a budget!
Until Next Time
XOXO Jaz