Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Visionary artist, Pharrell Williams, on the cover of this month's Esquire Magazine with a caption that reads, "Make America Happy Again."

Visionary artist, Pharrell Williams, on the cover of this month's Esquire Magazine with a caption that reads, "Make America Happy Again."

How are you feeling friends?

Our country has gone through a dramatic change recently and regardless of your political views, the fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, and frustration around us, are palpable. 

How do we do that? Well, its a good time to recommit to your prayer and/or meditation practices. If you don't already have these in place, start small. Sit and observe your breath for 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening. If prayer seems like a foreign concept, pick something, anything, that feels greater than you, it could be Nature, the Universe, The Great Unknown, God, whatever feels genuine to you. Bring this force to mind and ask for guidance, strength, and compassion, or whatever you need to get through the day. 

Sometimes its easier to meditate in a group. Buddhist Insights, a meditation group led by Zen Buddhist Monk, Bhante Suddhaso, meets at BHATI every Tuesday night from 7 to 8:30 pm. I highly recommend it!

If you are feeling frustrated or angry, get it out. Scream into a pillow. I did this the other day. At first I felt stupid, but I just kept on screaming into my pillow. My poor cat thought something was wrong. If he only knew... After a few minutes of screaming, I started crying, and then bawling, and I just let myself go. And then it was over, and I felt so much better afterwards. You have to get it out!

One great way to let your emotions go through you is through movement. Yoga and dance can help you connect your body, mind, and spirit. Dancer and choreographer, Johari Mayfield, leads an African Dance and Cardio Jam class every Monday from 7 to 8:15 pm. February is Heart Health Month and Monday, February 12th, she will focus on cardiovascular health. Get your heart pumping and get your frustrations out!

The emotion related to this season is fear. Many people's fears have been exacerbated lately and preying on people's fears seems to be a highly effective political strategy. If you find yourself feeling fear or anxiety, you can try a simple energy medicine technique called The Fear Tap. This exercise changes your electro chemistry, helps to steady the mind, and can even help with long standing phobias. Bring your right hand in front of your chest, tap the back of your hand between the pinky and ring fingers for 30-60 seconds. You can inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Then switch hands. Do this as often as needed.

The Fear Tap

The Fear Tap

My energy medicine teacher, Marjorie Fein, is doing a Winter Workshop on Sunday February 12th, from 10am to 1pm. She will focus on the Winter season and how to best manage it with essential oils and energy medicine techniques. Come and take control of your own happiness!

The Dalai Lama says that "no matter how much violence or how many bad things we have to go through, I believe that the ultimate solution to our conflicts, both internal and external, lies in returning to our basic or underlying human nature, which is gentle and compassionate." Make sure you are being kind to yourself and to others. Go out of your way to do kind acts. Talk to your friends and loved ones. Get massages, Make time for yourself. And turn off the news as often as possible!

I stand with you in solidarity and love,