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Diving deep into detox requires a holistic effort through the areas of detoxing the mind, body, soul and home to mitigate stress and increase our overall sense of wellbeing. Offering Mindfulness Meditation and Dharma Teachings in Los Angeles, Celeste strongly believes in the power of mindful awareness to heal and reconnect us to our inherent sense of ease and well-being. We had a chance to sit down with her to learn more about meditation and the crucial role it plays in our lives.

Name: Celeste Young

What’s Meditation?

There are many ways to answer this, depending on your form of meditation practice. One way to frame the practice I teach is that mindfulness or Insight meditation is a formal practice of developing the capacity to stay present for our moment to moment experience, with mindfulness, in the service of Insight and awakening.

How do you Detox (tips / rituals)?

I find that I can feel a difference when I let go of caffeine and sugar for awhile. My system and energy tends to stabilize. I also find that detox-ing from technology is important. I have a friend who gifted me with a yellow light bulb recently to down-regulate and counteract all of the blue light we take in each day from our devices. I can feel the impact of using that on my nervous system and circadian rhythms. The other way I detox is spending time in nature, and of course, spending time in silent retreat each year is a huge detox for me, when I practice letting go of unhelpful habits on many levels and surrender to the stillness. I’m also learning to incorporate some Ayurvedic self care rituals into my routine to detox. Julie Bernier and I are teaching a retreat together that I’m really excited about. It marries the practices of Ayurveda, and what I teach- Dharma and mindfulness, for others to learn to bring these tools together for a more balanced life.

What does your typical Beauty Routine look like?

The best beauty tool for me is really getting enough rest so I feel in a balanced state in my body, mind and heart. That’s when I feel most beautiful- when I’m connected to my essence and embodied. I would add also when my sense of humor is intact and I have the right balance between connection and solitude so I feel spacious and available to whatever life brings. That fluidity feels like a beautiful state and keeps us vibrant. Practically, I also love Epsom salt baths and use lip balm every day. I’ve been addicted to lip balm since I was 14 years old! Maybe baths too, actually…

What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading a number of books! But the most recent book I finished is Happiness by Matthieu Ricard. It’s a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

Perfect day…is?

I’ll defer to Ghandi- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” A day where I’ve lived that way is a perfect day for me. It’s not so much about the conditions of my life that day, but how I’m meeting them.

When you need to destress what is your go to?

I have to say it’s definitely meditation. Also, many years ago I trained to be a yin yoga teacher, as this has been a part of my practice. I have recently been finding my way back to it. It’s a very simple, still, and slow practice.

What is your favorite room in your home?

I really like the living room space, when my front door is open and the light pours in in the afternoon, it’s very sweet.

Best advice anyone has given you is…?

You can do it. (Fill in the blank for whatever IT is). I’m grateful to all the people in my life who gave me permission at critical moments to do what I thought I couldn’t- whether that was because I thought it might be too much, I felt afraid, or I didn’t think I could ask for it- whatever it may be. Those moments have changed the course of my life.

First thing you do when you wake up, is?

Check in with my state of being- body, heart, and mind state, and set an intention.

Last thing you do before you go to sleep, is?

I like to write before bed, when I have the space for it. Sitting meditation before bed is also a great way to move consciously into the sleep state.

Any tips/advice for people looking to start their own daily meditation practice?

This topic of establishing a daily practice or sadhana is actually the theme for our Living Wisdom Retreat in Tulum next year, so I’m glad you asked! I talk about this a lot in my work, and so does Julie (Bernier), so we’re looking forward to offering this retreat to support people in establishing a daily practice. What I would say is make the commitment as a gift to yourself, and not as a burden. Give yourself the gift of your own full attention. Practically speaking, it also helps to choose the same time of day, and same place if you can, to begin to incorporate it into your routine as a habit. Find a practice you enjoy and trust that, and trust the ways you begin to benefit and allow that to deepen your commitment to your practice. Let go of self-judgment and open to whatever arises.

Website: Celesteyoung.com

IG account: @celestebyoung

A few Upcoming Retreats:

Living Wisdom Daylong Retreat: Refining the Gateways of Our Innermost Being with Celeste Young and Julie Bernier. September 29th, 2018. 10 – 4pm. This retreat brings together the two traditions of Insight meditation and Ayurveda practice.  

Julie and Celeste are also teaching a Living Wisdom Residential Retreat in Tulum Mexico March 14th – 18th, 2019 at Casa Violeta.

Wise Intention: Living Our Heart’s Aspiration Daylong Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center December 1st 10:00am – 4:30pm

Finding Balance: Insight Meditation Retreat in the Andalusian region of Spain July 22nd – 28th, 2019

 

If you suffer from chronic pain or health issues, you’ve probably considered (or been told to consider) acupuncture or even something more basic as in Chinese Medicine. Eastern alternative medicine is  a healing medicine, merged together with the wisdom of the east and the knowledge of the west, offered for those seeking out wellness, healing and longevity. *Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. In a session, the “needle” is used to stimulate specific, powerful sites (acupoints) along meridian lines, which is though to promote healing throughout the body’s various systems and realign “balance” within the body. Acupuncture has been successfully used to treat pain, PTSD, arthritis, chronic stress, addiction, insomnia, digestive disorders and much more.

VIE HEALING was created by Mona Dan: Acupuncturist, herbalist, tea lover, traveler, mama, holistic lifestyle leader, and passionate health educator. VIE HEALING represents a holistic lifestyle that goes far beyond health fads, juicing and quick fixes.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Mona to talk about balance and how she achieves it daily.

Name: 

Mona Andoot Dan

What is your definition of Balance? 

Balance for me is feeling at peace with whats expected of me and what i’m doing. Living in the moment, feeling present but excited about the future!

First thing you do when you wake up, is? 

Snuggling and bonding for 15 minutes with my son Zac, without thinking about what the say ahead has in store or will require of me.

Last thing you do before you go to sleep, is?

Shower or bath. Every. Single. Night.

How do you balance life + keep wellness top-of-mind?

Through incorporating my rituals: my supplements keep my nervous system chill, and i always slow down for tea in the morning and evening and evening and baths. These self-care habits keep me in check throughout the day.

What are your tips/advice for people to create balance in their life?

Finding a few activities that can take 1-20 min a day that reminds them of the little things in life they enjoy!

I’ve always had a contentious relationship with sleep.

When I was diagnosed with an unknown form of epilepsy (a seizure disorder) at 17, I was given a lifetime prescription to pharmaceutical drugs and the gift of a neurologist-sanctioned excuse to get a full eight hours of sleep a night.

My doctors stressed the importance of getting regular sleep—physical fatigue and emotional stress exacerbate the symptoms of epilepsy—but frustratingly prescribed me a medication with a main side effect of insomnia. Ah, the irony.

 

@betterbymichelle

Michelle Pellizzon

I spent many years staring into the dark as the clock ticked through the night, my mind refusing to rest.

This double-whammy of a problem—seizures and permanent under eye bags?!—lead me to eventually stumble upon meditation and mindfulness practices. After practicing full-body meditation on a regular basis, it became clear that my body was desperately trying to communicate with me … and I was not paying attention. But slowing down and listening helped me hear what my body was trying to say.

Although I wasn’t a perfect meditator (I often go days without sitting), I noticed my epilepsy symptoms went away when I did indulge in a few minutes of mindfulness a day. So did my insomnia. The improvement in my wellbeing was remarkable. Mindfulness gave me a clearer overall perspective of the world, which helped me take everything a little less seriously and have a little more empathy for other people. Perhaps most importantly, I learned exercises that allowed me access to my subconscious mind, which in turn made me far more creatively inspired and made me less anxious.  I became a better version of myself mentally and physically.

But before you get to thinking that I’m some ego-less Buddhist monk, let me be honest: I didn’t tell anyone about my weird new habits. Even though I was performing very well at work, present in my relationships, and pretty dang happy, I was worried people would raise their eyebrows at my experiments.

Then something really wonderful happened. As part of my work as an editor, I began to interview female leaders in an attempt to understand how women can change the paradigm of what it means to be a ‘female leader’ in this modern age. And I was surprised to find that the best leaders I interviewed—the ones who really walked the walk and talked the talk—all had a spiritual practice … like me. And they were a bit nervous to reveal that aspect of their personality, even though it clearly played an integral role in why they were such incredible leaders … which also resonated with me. When asked, they made it clear that they wanted to connect with like minded women who understood where they were coming from.

After seeing this pattern emerge too many times, I created oh holisticism, a collective of women interested in exploring the intersection of holistic living, mindfulness, esoteric healing, conscious leadership, entrepreneurship, and fun. Today, we count ourselves at over 1,500 members across the world.

I’ve learned a lot in the past few years while on this path, but hands down, the most important tool that I’ve learned over the past decade of experimentation is what I’ve come to call the Awake/Unconscious exercise. Whenever I revisit it, my creativity knows no bounds and I notice an elevated sense of mental clarity, and I can immediately see which areas of my life need more attention.

The practice is inspired by psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s theory of the subconscious mind. Jung believed that the subconscious (or unconscious) mind impacts the actions of our conscious, waking mind. Essentially, our unconscious influences our perspective, logic, awareness, emotional intelligence, and feelings. It’s the root from which everything else grows.

If we can tap into the insights of our subconscious mind, Jungian practitioners believe, we can access our true depth, potential, and genius. No big deal.

Here’s the tricky part: Jung stipulated that our subconscious mind is constantly trying to communicate with the conscious mind, but the two essentially speak different languages. This is because the subconscious is buried deep within our psyche. It’s tough to access, and even more challenging to communicate with. One way Jung suggested we translate what the subconscious is trying to tell us? By looking at our dreams.

Jung’s work and research led him to believe that our unconscious mind communicates best through dream imagery. While we’re asleep, the psyche can run wild and truly express itself. When I first read this, I was so annoyed. I’ve never been one to recall my dreams. For so long my insomnia prevented me from even sleeping, and now I’m usually so tired at night I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow. Try as I might, I couldn’t remember my dreams.

So I found a solution—a way to channel my subconscious without having to keep a dream journal. In the 10 minutes directly after I wake up, I write. You know that sleepy time when you’re half awake, have morning breath, and are still kind of dreamy? That’s when your conscious mind is waking up, too, and taking the steering wheel from your subconscious. If we’re lucky, we can tap the transition and use that time to allow the subconscious to communicate.

I am constantly STUNNED by what ends up coming out during this quiet time—some of my most creative ideas or intense feelings have been ‘accidentally’ revealed to me during this 10-minute exercise. It’s amazing for when you’re stuck on a problem, feeling stressed, or just want to get clarity on a situation. Here’s how it works.

  1. Fall asleep. Get 8 hours. Wake happy.
  2. Immediately after waking up, grab a pen and paper. Don’t check your phone or technology.
  3. Begin writing. Don’t even think about it—just allow your pen to float across the paper without judging or inhibiting yourself. This is the most important aspect. Do not try to think of what to write or go back and read what you’ve written mid-sentence. Allow your subconscious to take over, even if you just write jibberish! Just don’t let your pen leave the paper. You can draw or you can write. Get in flow.
  4. If you have specific questions, write them down the night before and answer them in your Awake/Unconscious state.
  5. Stop when you feel ready. You can do this exercise daily, weekly, monthly! Whatever.  

Like all things, the more you do this exercise the easier it gets. And it’s so easy, you can do it from bed! You’ll likely find that you’ll look forward to this practice, because it’s so interesting to see what the subconscious reveals.

#beautyzzzs, @betterbymichelle