Turmeric Ginger Lemon Shot

A Shot of Healing and Energy

Meditation is even better when the physical body feels great. We are fortunate to have Colleen Pugaczewski as our nutrition consult at the ZenLife Yoga Boutique & JuiceBar. Her recommended delicious blends of veggies, fruit and protein give the body just what it needs to detox, energize, strengthen and heal the body!

Today's Morning Dose

Lemon boosts our immune system, detoxifies and increases our metabolism, is a natural skin cleanser, a natural pain reliever, reduces sugar craving, regulates blood pressure and sugar levels! 

Ginger root is anti-inflammatory and soothes digestion, boosts metabolism, relieves stress and is very grounding. It also regulates sugar levels and blood pressure.

Turmeric is the power root! It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and boosts the immune system. It curbs cravings, increases energy, boosts metabolism and is a mood stabilizer!

Ingredients: (makes 4 (1.5 fl oz) shots)

1/2 cup water
1 squeezed lemon
Peel off ginger 1/4 cup or cut a chunk of ginger
Peel off 1/4 cup Tumeric or cut a chunk of Tumeric
Blend and serve!

Cheers! L'Chaim!

Meditation: I Breathe in Safety. I Let Go of All Judgements.

Today's meditation and intention. I am safe. 

Begin by settling into a quiet space. You may sit crossed-legged or in some other comfortable seated pose. Your spine is long. Connect with your breath. Follow the inhale to the space between the inhale and exhale, then stay focused all the way to the end of the exhale. Let's take a few more focused breaths, in and out.  Close your eyes slightly and continue to focus on the breath.

You can create limitless options by shifting from fear to safety. Thoughts of doubt, shame, guilt, and criticism, limit us and deny us access to so many relationships and opportunities.  You can interrupt this pattern of fear before it destroys you and your relationships. Regardless of whether your fears are justified, you can shift into safety and open the doors to loving relationships and possibility. 

Keeping the eyes closed, go inward and even deeper into concentration. Relaxing the body and letting go of all tension with each exhale. Begin to recall a time in your life when you felt safe. A time where your inhales and exhales were all that you had, and it was enough. You and your breath were good enough. You were safe. Drop into that moment and experience it with all of your senses. Allow yourself to feel all the details of that moment of feeling safe. Memorize it. Notice your posture, your breathing, the temperature, colors and sounds. Find the space in your body where you feel it the most, and move the color there. Feel it. You are safe. So safe. Just you and the inhale and the exhale. You have all that you need. You are good enough. Safe. 

The mantra is, "I breathe in safety. I let go of all judgements."  When a judgement arises, press into your heels and lick your lips and slowly exhale out. Repeat to yourself, "I am safe." Today, allow yourself to slow down enough to really hear when an old pattern of fear based thinking arises, and switch your thoughts to the memory of safety. Throughout your day, notice what happens by changing each negative thought,  Notice how you see and experience the world differently, and how it produces a different outcome for you. Allow the magic to start happening because deep down, you know that when you stop all the fear based thoughts, you will be free. You are no longer a prisoner and slave to fear. You are safe now. You have the keys to your freedom and control your mind and body once again. You have returned to that moment where it is just you and your breath, and it is enough. You are enough. You are safe. 

With yours eyes still half closed, bring your palms together to your heart center, and enjoy a a few conscious focused deep breaths in and out. Feel the abdomen expand and deflate. Raise your hands to the area between your brows and ask for support and grace from something higher than yourself, from that which provides the next breath.  Express your gratitude and appreciation.   The light in me honors the light in you. Gently lower your chin, bowing inward and welcoming the divine reverence in you. Namaste. Raise your chin and gently open your eyes. Shanti shanti shanti.

May you find clarity and peace throughout your day. 🏼 Namaste

Reactive vs Creative

Be creative rather than reactive. "Re-act" -- doing the same act gets you more of the same results. “Create” -- doing something different and achieving different results.  Reactive – notice that when we use the same letters, but rearrange them, they form the word Creative! 

Addiction is reactive and mindless.  It's based on quick impulsive decisions to avoid discomfort or feel pleasure or check out completely -- literally mindless.  Mindfulness is creative! You become empowered rather than remaining a victim.  Mindfulness is being in the moment as it is, and attending to whatever comes up in you with kindness and love. Mindfulness is a highly conscious appreciative state.  It's where creativity happens and doors open. It's where options appear and your dreams manifest.

You have the capacity to shift out of your default programs and increase opportunity in your life. Opportunities that are always there but you can't see them when you navigate through the lens of your old programming, your old reactions! Too often we react to life's many challenges through the lens of our unconsciously driven old beliefs (old patterns). These old patterns may be filled will blame and criticisms, the need to prove and fix, feelings of self-doubt and unfounded fears, or perhaps they may be true but no longer apply. These beliefs are set in a neural path complete with sound, color, smell, touch and taste.  

The more enriched the neural path - the more dominant it becomes in driving our decisions. That's just the way we are engineered. As these patterns are rehearsed or repeated, they become like background music I.e., "Screw it, just take the drink," or "you are already messed up, so eat the donut," or "she should've listened to me" or "he's an idiot." 

As the patterns are repeated, it feels more real, more true, even though it's often just an over-generalization.  "But it's the truth, she did lie or she did do that," makes it confusing for us but it's still repeating the same patterns of blame. True facts ("he lied or I acted like a an idiot") mistakenly get confused as your spiritual truth ("he's a liar or I'm an idiot"). Feeling justified, we play the blaming game and cycle back into reacting into our old ways.  

Mistakenly, you think you are creating change because "you are right" or you label someone or yourself, "see I'm just bad at sports, or I'm an addict and I’m going to mess up," and then we do. We do exactly what our preprogrammed patterns would do on that track, and react by reaching for a beer or a donut (moments of pleasure), but really we are are simply doing more of the same pattern, perhaps even worsening it. 

Living within that reactive pattern gets exhausting and often requires a ton of repairing and apologizing. It can get so tiring that it drives progressively worse sabotaging behaviors like drugs to get relief.  You can learn to shift out of your old patterns and decide to create, to be a part of the world that causes light. 

Every time that guilt, shame and criticism, or blame arrises, you can stop the old reaction (of calling yourself a bad name, or drinking alcohol or using drugs or reaching for the donuts etc.), and instead respond by saying "not my story anymore, I'm a creator of my own moment, I'm not an effect anymore, not doing that, old story, changing this story today, right now I'm doing this different," or some version of that and then really start a new pattern. 

Turn yourself into a Creator rather than Reactor. Decide to go through life as the cause not as the effect, no matter how justified. Be the one who brings the love and light. Make your new sequence so bright and so loud with love that it's rippling effect not only changes you but everyone around you.  It's quite possible that the changes you make will profoundly shape the lives of future generations. Create ripples that your great, great, great, grand children will feel and their smiles will shine so bright it will generate enough love to remove all suffering. 

Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. Exhale and feel the light and love in you expand inside you and all around you. Take a few more deep conscious breaths. Notice the length of the inhale, the space between the inhale and exhale, then slowly extend the exhale a second longer. Relax the body by sending the breath and a vision of light from the top of your head all the way down to your toes, smoothing out all the tension, the knots and darkness in your body. Feel the light and go deeper into relaxation. 

Now picture two circles, one of white light and the other black. Notice the circle of darkness and hear and see the old patterns of blame and criticism, so reactive, feel the tightness and discomfort in your body. That's one way of being, but it's so limiting. 

Press into your heals and lick your lips, take a deep breath in, and on the exhale, float into the circle of white light. Feel the difference, release the tension in your body, hear the new sound of "new story, starting over, I'm the creator!" Surround yourself with this new energy where it doesn't matter who believes you, or who's right, or who started and who's ending it. 

The only thing that matters is the awareness that you can create an entirely different outcome. Like right now. Like all the time. Fill your body with that warm loving light and memorize it. Commit to practicing your meditation and mindful practice daily. 

Gently bring your awareness back to your body, wiggle your finger and toes, lick your lips, deepen your breath, shrug your shoulders to your ears and let them drop, and gently bring your eyes to open.

Enjoy your week my sweet new friends. The light in me sees and believes in the light in each and everyone of you. 

Shanti shanti shanti

Dena Leibowitz, LCDAC, is the Founder and Executive Director of “Center for Mental Health” and ZenLife Yoga Boutique & Juice Bar in Towson, MD. 

Your Inner Retreat Is Calling You!

Some call it an escape; others a timeout, man-cave, vacation, stay-cation, day dreaming, checked out, done, talk to the hand, spa day, retreat, Lala land, zoned out, ear plugs, quiet time, mommy time, meditation time, breathing time, closing my eyes, coloring time, yoga mode, going inward, going home, going to my happy place, running, dancing, or an 18 breath headstand... Whatever you call it -- Take it! 

Take yourself there! It's yours! Take it every day actually! Take it as often as you need.  Just make sure it's not harmful or illegal, but please take it and go inward, and show some love to yourself.

When we deny this most beautiful self-soothing, natural, built-in, healthy way to replenish ourselves, we become vulnerable to dangerous invitations to alcohol, drugs and dangerous people who we think will provide us with what we already have! 

You have waited too long if that donut was soooo good, if that creepy complement felt sooooo good, if that alcohol felt sooooo good, if you lose your temper waiting on line or complain about traffic feeling too slow. 

When dangerous things feel soooo good, you've waited too long to take your mini vacation. When you've yelled at your child or family for leaving a glass out, you are overdue for a vacation, or whatever name you call it.

So take your mini vacation and do it often! And while you are away, speak lovingly and promote yourself! Have a great trip and I'll see you when you get back, smiling recharged, mind and body fully replenished and alive and ready to get back out there!
Namaste xoxo Dena

Wednesday Evening Meditation

After years of extensive formal education in psychology I opened up an alcohol/ drug rehab in 1998. I loved my clients and colleagues and wanted to dismantle the concept of the "war" on drugs and the politics in the rehab business. I started studying mindfulness, meditation,yoga, hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), which led eventually to Reiki more recently.

I began referring to psychotherapy as "self-study." I shifted my view from "rehabilitation" to "wellness". Through my own self study I felt liberated and the path became very clear how to approach "wellness" in our culture. I started integrating what I was doing for me into my sessions with all my clients and they loved it too. So I knew I was on the right path and wanted to reach more people and share this healing way.

As I continue my pursuit in self study, I also invite meditation leaders and fellow yogis and friends to join me every Wednesday to share their wisdom too. Each week we will have different teachers come to guide us and share their healing words of wisdom. I look forward seeing you all. Peace and love Namaste

Wednesdays @ 8pm

ZenLife Yoga Boutique & Juice Bar
800 Kenilworth Drive Suite 828
Towson, Maryland 21204

Cultivate Love

Start your day with the intention to be mindful of your thoughts. Pause every 30 minutes and notice what you just told yourself about the world or yourself. Ask yourself if it's a loving thought. If not cancel it. Ask yourself if it's causing you or other suffering, if it is cancel it.

Life gets so much easier when you shift your perspective to a more loving perspective.Being loving is not naive nor is it optimistic. Being loving Is being grounded and realistic. Living Lovingly allows you to stay in your domain of control. Living Lovingly is free of expectations and judgements that are not yours to fix or prove. 

Treat yourself to a massage, acupuncture, reiki, nutrition session today! Call the
ZenLife Yoga Boutique & Juice Bar at 410-321-1388