Leap of Faith Life

Leaps of Faith in Life, Travel, Yoga, and Happiness

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My European Leap of Faith

How my leap of faith process might help you with yours

Somewhere on the interwebs, the phrase ‘leap of faith’ is described as “an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.”

For me, that is both terrifying and deeply comforting.  A dichotomy, I realize.  It also means; however, that others have searched for the term, that I’m not alone in this time of change.  The famous google search when in a moment of crisis. If you are on the precipice of making a huge decision, read on and see if the process I use is of any help.

The different types of leaps & my crazy story

cropped-cropped-iphone-sept-june-2013-11312.jpgThere are many types of ‘leaps of faith’ in all parts of life.  Hopefully, we take at least little ones every day; getting out of bed in the morning, cooking something delicious for someone you love (or to be that loved someone doing the tasting), traveling to a new city, trying yoga, or moving across the ocean.

My leap of faith involves another country. 

For me, as I write, it’s a leap of faith in moving across an ocean.  The US to Europe to be more specific. For love. And a career change. And to scratch my travel itch again. Did I mention I don’t have my visa in hand yet? Or a specific ‘job’ lined up? Or a partner that is 1000% sure we are ready for such a journey?  Nether one of us is 1000% sure – but no one ever is sure about anything under the influence of that sassy love hormone (unless you’re plain crazy, in my opinion).

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Chakra Series: Fourth – Heart Chakra (Part 4 of 7)

Your Fourth Chakra – The Heart Chakra:

Your Fourth Chakra, the Anahata Chakra, lives in the heart space, associates with the color green, the air element, and the mantra ‘Yam.’

Fourth Chakra Cheat Sheet:
Sanskrit: ANAHATA
Color: GREEN (secondary PINK)
Lotus:  TWELVE PETALS
Mantra: I LOVE
Word: LOVE
Chant: YAM
Asanas: OPEN HEART CENTER – BACK BENDS, CAMEL, SPHINX
Mudra: RIGHT HAND, TOUCH INDEX FINGER TO THUMB, PLACE IN CENTER OF CHEST WITH FINGER TIPS POINTING TOWARDS THE CHEST, LEFT HAND TO LEFT KNEE
Scents: ROSEWOOD, EUCALYPTUS, JASMINE
Teas: ROSEMARY AND RED ROSE PETALS
Stones: JADE, ROSE QUARTZ, EMERALD

Green Fourth Chakra

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama

Pure, unconditional love lives here.  We feel compassion, kindness, love, acceptance, and at peace in this chakra. You will feel love from everyone you come across, and therefore not strain or stress over how the love flows from one certain person.  You also have compassion and forgiveness for yourself. 

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Chakra Series: Third – The Solar Plexus Chakra (Part 3 of 7)

Your Third Chakra – The Solar Plexus Chakra:

Solar Plexus Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra, or the Third Chakra, is located in between the rib cage and the belly button, associated with the color warm yellow and the element of Fire.  This chakra says “I DO or I CAN.”

Yellow Chakra

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Henry Stanley Haskins

Third Chakra Cheat Sheet: 

Sanskrit: MANIPURA
Color: YELLOW
Lotus: TEN PETALS
Element: FIRE
Mantra: I CAN
Word: POWER
Chant: RAM
Asanas: OPEN STERNUM – BACK BENDS, CAMEL, FLOOR BOW
Mudra: HANDS IN FRONT OF NAVAL, FINGERS OUTSTRETCHED AND ALL TIPS TOUCHING, RIGHT THUMB OVER LEFT THUMB
Scents: GRAPEFRUIT, LEMONGRASS, LEMON, PEPPERMINT
Tea: LEMON GRASS, CINNAMON, GINGER, LEMON PEEL (Lemon-Ginger anyone? Yum!)
Stones: TIGERS EYE AND AMBER (think of that beautiful warm yellow color).

This is the seat of ego identity and your power center.  Located here is your potential for transformation and soul integrity.  Your courage, self-esteem and willpower all reside here.  Any beliefs you have about yourself and your abilities, your “gut feelings,” so much is effected by this chakra because it is linked to what we BELIEVE we can do.

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Chakra Series: Second – Sacral Chakra (Part 2 of 7)

Your Second Chakra – The Sacral Chakra:

Sacral Chakra

Your Sacral Chakra lives in your hip space, your lower abdominal area, associates with the color orange, the water element, and the mantra ‘I FEEL.’

Second Chakra Quick Reference:
Sanskrit: SVADHISTHANA
Color: ORANGE
Lotus: SIX PETALS
Element: WATER
Mantra: I FEEL
Chant: VANG
Asanas: HIP OPENERS & TWISTS
Mudras: LEFT HAND UNDER RIGHT, THUMB TIPS TOUCHING
Scents: ORANGE, ROSE, JASMINE, GARDENIA
Tea: GREEN TEA, MANGO, ORANGE OR ROSEHIPS
Stones: CITRINE, TANGERINE QUARTS, MOONSTONE

Orange Second Chakra

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” -Carol Welch

Sacral Chakra: Where the body holds energy from relationships with other people, our passion for life, creativity, sexuality and money issues.

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Chakra Series: First – Root Chakra (Part 1 of 7)

Your First Chakra – The Root Chakra:

Your Root Chakra lives at the base of the spine (tail bone), associates with the color red, the earth element, and the mantra ‘I AM.’

"There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it." ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.” ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

First Chakra Cheat Sheet:
Sanskrit: Muladhara
Color: Red
Lotus: Four Petals
Element: Earth
Mantra: I AM
Chant: LAM
Asanas: Anything that connects the base of your spine to the earth
Mudra: Touch your index finger and thumb together to touch. Extend the rest of your fingers out.
Scents: Cedar, Geranium, and Patchouli
Tea: Green tea, Raspberry, Hibiscus
Stones: Ruby, Garnet, Fire Opal

This very first chakra is the base and beginning for the entire seven chakras located along the spine.  Therefore, if this chakra is out of balance, all seven power centers will feel off and out of alignment.

Root: Intuition, confidence and survival.  The root chakra releases frustration, blockages, and allows healing and manifestation of physical pleasure. Continue reading

The Amazingness of Fresh Food in the Dutch City Center Market

The markets in Groningen are the best.  THE BEST.  
 
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Pieces of Home When Adjusting to Life Abroad

I created a bucket list of things to do in my new Dutch city of Groningen (with a German boyfriend), but after I created it, I felt a bit like I’ve wasted my time thus far – two months into my journey.

 So I decided to do the opposite both, and write out all the things I originally wanted to find abroad before I left the States and have since found in my daily living and wanderings. Things that make me feel a bit closer to home and make my new surroundings that much more friendly.

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The Power of Your First Yoga Class

“Yoga is not about being bendy … it is about breathing and moving and smiling on the inside.  It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the best.” – Author Unknown

We all had to start somewhere in yoga (or perhaps you have wanted to start).  That day took courage and unquenchable curiosity to drive or walk to the pre-chosen studio, ask for the paperwork to sign up, and roll out a mat in a little space in a foreign studio.

Yoga Studio

Add not speaking the same language as the instructor and those in class, and that was my first yoga experience: South Korea in 2007.

I wanted to try yoga for so long, but thought I lost the opportunity when I went to South Korea for my graduate degree in 2007.  I couldn’t speak the language, and I had never tried yoga – that sealed the deal to never allow myself inside a studio, right?

Well, it was for me, until my American friend told me he tried out the class and loved it.  So, I sheepishly went with him to the next session, and loved it too. I attended regularly for the full two years I lived in Seoul, and it saved my sanity during my MBA program.

I followed along well for the most part by simply watching the teacher and the other students around me.  My teacher spoke little English, but made us feel connected to the practice by simply stating two words in English – inhale and exhale.  She whispered these words whenever she walked near us – she knew what all yogis eventually learn: breath is the most important part.

Behind of course, simply showing up to the practice.

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Top 15 Reasons Why I love Germany and Germans

I made a list of my ‘favorite things’ a la Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music as I’ve lived with my German almost one year now (half a year in the US, a few weeks in Latin America, and two months here in Europe so far). In that time period, I’ve picked up a few of my favorite qualities of Germans.  Add that to my observation of life in Europe and his amazing family and friends – this list was born:
 
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Over the river and through the woods – to Germany we go!

 The first things I did in Deutschland –

1) My first real German meal… and it was delicious.

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Then I ate this cuteness for breakfast.  What a proper breakfast!

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2) I had a lovely bike ride through the North German countryside (26 k in total) with H’s parents while he studied for finals.

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3) I went to a farm house cafe, where they sell hand made soaps, organic meat and eggs, and other fun stuff.

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They sold the handmade items in this new building – well new for European standards (since everything is amazing and more than 400 years old it seems like…)

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4) I went to a tropical beach – believe it or not this is part of the North Sea!  They import the white sand and put planter stands of palm trees and tiki huts everywhere, and it totally looks hot and tropical.  In the summer, it is the place to be with a shoreline bar, floating restaurant, wakeboard jumps, and beach volleyball courts. Crazy.

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5) I got excited for summer with the blond Germans…

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More adventures to come!

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