Self Care

How I Learned to Let Go of Toxic Relationships.

Hello loves!

As promised, I am posting again tonight, and then will be back to my regular schedule posting once every other day. I’m really excited to chat about this topic, as letting go of toxicity is something I still struggle with to this day. Hopefully through this post I can help some of you who are struggling to release negative people or situations from your life, and guide you to some sort of enlightenment. I hope in this post, my experiences can help you understand that you are worth more than one-sided relationships or abusive situations.

When I was younger, (probably right before turning 15) I struggled with my self-image a lot, as any normal teenager does. I was the youngest kid in my grade, and I was always really intimidated by that. People would make fun of me for it constantly, belittle me and act like I was less than them. Because of this, I always tried to impress others to fit in, and sometimes that resulted in me putting myself in situations where I’d be in danger physically or spiritually. Once the second semester of my Grade 10 year, I left high school. I couldn’t take the bullying, and I thought leaving would really help my self-esteem. I never enjoyed being in a public school and my family and I both believed I could thrive in online schooling, which luckily, I did.

When I left, I didn’t really stay in contact with a lot of my high school/middle school friends. Not only did I not have many any to begin with, I also had a bad habit of jumping from group to group because I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I felt awkward, ugly and misunderstood (again, like most teenagers). So for the most part I was alone. I don’t remember the exact time frame, but at one point I was dating someone that I believed to be so important. For privacy reasons I won’t share his name, but he was a close friend of mine before we dated and I really trusted him. He made me feel happy and safe and like everything was right in the world. As we both started to grow up, he started to change. He was getting more involved in drugs, he had quit a sport he was so good at and had potential in, and he started hiding out in his basement and treating me terribly. One day, everything came crashing down. He cheated on me at a concert with a girl I knew. I was heart-broken. It never made sense to me why he would do this if he loved me like he claimed he did.

The worst part of it all was I was going through a really weird stage in my life and felt depressed constantly. Iwould self harm occasionally, and although I’m not proud of it, it helped me to become the strong woman I am today, as did everything I’m going to share here. After him and I broke up, he made fun of me for my self harm. He would post pictures of him on the internet scratching his arm, pretending he was me. Even though he was hurting me beyond belief, I wanted him back. I wanted him to love me so I wouldn’t feel so alone anymore. I now realize that this relationship was so unbelievably toxic and he was such an abusive person due to his own trials and tribulations in his past, but at that age, I just wanted love and I didn’t care. This was my first encounter with an incredibly toxic situation.

My second (and most prominent) encounter that I remember was with a girl I believed to be my best friend. Again, for privacy reasons, we’ll keep her anonymous. When I was 15, I had a really great full-time job at a frozen yogurt shop. I was balancing online school and working a lot, all the while having a few decent friends I could lean on if things got tough. Things were going pretty good, and so I decided to get a second job working as a hostess at a well-known restaraunt chain. I met a girl there who I immediately clicked with. She was 19, blonde and super pretty, but had a mean streak. As the relationship progressed and we grew closer I noticed red flags. She was an avid cocaine user, and enjoyed partying. She was also really immature and if we’d argue for any reason (even if it was something small), she had no problem letting me know that she thought I was ugly or fat, and she regularly told me to kill myself.

She got me into drugs, fighting and running away from home. At the end of the day, I made my own decisions but I was so afraid of this girl who was much older than me, that I’d just do whatever she said. I hurt my parents, especially my father, so much. It breaks my heart thinking back to all the damage I caused them over a friendship that we all knew wouldn’t last. I grew out of her immature, selfish ways and moved on. I healed, slowly. I got over my drug problems, I started listening to my parents, and collecting myself. I grew up and started to just enjoy being by myself again. I had friends I spoke to every now and again, but I think I did need that time to be alone. I don’t remember exactly how I decided to make the change, I think I just looked in the mirror one day and said “Shelby, you deserve better. Stop being an asshole”.

Then, I met my current boyfriend Anders. He’s my sunshine, my eternal light and the person who always knows how to make things okay. He encourages me to live my life to the fullest, and he sees me for all the good that I am. He allows me to vent when I’m not feeling okay, and knows when I need to be left alone or hugged. He never hurts me physically, mentally or emotionally. He’s a mature, stand up man who knows what I deserve and gives that to me willingly. But, he didn’t just come out of nowhere. If I was still the person that was drinking all the time, using drugs and running away from home, there’s no way we would’ve ended up together.

I attracted such a beautiful person because I started to become a beautiful person myself. I used to scoff at the idea that you have to be happy with yourself first before someone else can be happy with you but it  really is true. As soon as I started healing, he came into my life as a sign that what I was doing was paying off. To this day, I know what I deserve because of my previous experiences with toxic friendships and relationships. If I hadn’t gone through the things I did, I’d probably still be chasing after people who don’t deserve me out of my fear of being alone.

But here I am, working on myself daily, enjoying life (for the most part), and being the best version of myself that I can be. I had to trick myself every day into thinking that I was worth more than I was opening myself up to, and eventually those “mind tricks” I played on myself became real beliefs. I don’t settle for less in my relationships anymore, because I know who I am and what I offer. Don’t ever settle, whether it’s with a boyfriend/girlfriend, friends or family. Always stand up for yourself if you’re being hurt, because that will free your soul more than anything.

All my love,

Shelby.


Why Self Care is so Important & My Tips on How to Practice It.

In our lives, it’s so easy (and very common) to get wrapped up in trying to appease others. While sometimes seeking praise from an employer or significant other or our parents can be good for us and our self-esteem, constantly striving to please others can lead us to feel unsatisfied with ourselves, which is incredibly dangerous for our mental health and self-image.

We never slow down, never take the time to smell the roses and breathe. We’re always on the move for the next thing that we can do to impress others. While striving for improvement is important as it helps us to learn new things and grow in ways we never could imagine, we need to be making these changes for ourselves and not others. There is a thing called working too much or pushing yourself too hard. I know, for some of you that will be a shock. It was for me too, but eventually (especially in the last 3-4 months), I’ve had to learn to take life as it comes, rather than trying to control every aspect of it and then getting anxious and scared when things take a wrong turn.

About 5-6 months back (as mentioned in my previous post), I was sexually assaulted. This event made me force myself to take time off, so I could heal and move past what had happened to me, and so as anyone would (or should) I left work. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do, and in my heart and soul, I know it was. But due to the economy, finding a job after taking the time off for my mental health was impossible. I’ve worked since I was 13 years old, and have had a job ever since, so this new period of not working made me feel like a failure. To make matters worse, my boyfriend and I have a lease on an apartment, and all the financial responsibility had/has fallen onto him.

The anxiety and stress from this had taken a toll on me. My hair started falling out, I started breaking out all over, I cried every single day due to the frustration and I could never figure out how to express myself properly. Because of all this, major tension arose in my relationships. Everything was falling apart, and I had no idea what to do to fix it. I applied for jobs every single day, applied to become a nanny, sold some of my belongings, and nothing really made a difference. Any small amount of abundance I received went back into the apartment because it couldn’t go to anything else. I felt hopeless.

I’ve finally started to make peace with my situation, and I wanted to share with you how I did that. Things still aren’t perfect; I still have yet to find employment, I don’t really have a source of income, and things are still stressful, but little by little I’m learning to accept the present moment and where I am now. I never really knew how to take care of myself in times of stress and turmoil, so I’d resort to anger and frustration because that’s the only way I knew to cope. All I was doing at the time was picking out the terrible things that were happening in my life, rather than trying to focus on the good that is here right now, and the good that I know will come. This goes back to the Law of Attraction, a law that I truly believe in and try to practice whenever I can (even though it’s not always easy). Due to my situation, self-care has been a crucial part of recovery so that I don’t continue to cope negatively with the hand I’ve been dealt.

So, without further a due, here are some things I’ve been doing to take care of myself and make the most out of now.

Channeling creative energy into art

Lately, all I’ve wanted to do is create. I want to paint, write, read poetry and do anything I can to channel my stress into something positive. I think everybody should have a creative outlet, something that they can do to keep their mind off of the outside stressors. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I’m not really the best artist, but being good at art isn’t the point of why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ll post a picture of 2 of the first paintings I’ve done, but this is something that’s helped me so much! If it’s sunny out, I’ll sit on my porch and soak in some vitamin D, set out all my supplies and just paint. I never go into it with a plan of what I want to create, I just start to paint and then something ends up on the canvas. Know that you don’t HAVE to paint to channel your energy into something creative, you can do whatever you want. Painting, pottery, writing, drawing, singing, even doing a silly dance in your living room, the opportunities for creative expression are endless.

sunsetpainting

lotusflowerpainting

Taking a bath/shower

This is something that is so simple, but so effective. Since I was 14-15, taking showers to cure my bad mood has been a staple in my life. I’ll turn the water on nice and hot, sit on the shower floor, and just think about life. I’ll cry in there too if I need it, and the steam opens up your pores so you get good skin while taking some much needed me time. Nowadays, I prefer to take a hot bubble bath with candles and rose petals to make myself feel a little more luxurious. Because money is so tight at the moment, the little things you do for yourself you tend to appreciate more.

Yoga

I love to do an intense yoga workout when I’m stressed. I don’t really enjoy doing passive yoga in times of turmoil because I like to burn calories and sweat as much as I can to release endorphins when I’m feeling anxious. It calms me down and I know I’m doing something good for my mind and body which instantly puts me in a better mood. If you’re not into yoga, that’s completely fine! You can go for a run, do your normal workout routine, or even just go for a nice stroll outdoors alone or with a loved one.

Meditation

Lately, my go-to stress reliever has been mediation, because it really helps to center both my mind and body. I use the app Headspace on my phone, and they offer tons of meditation and mindfulness exercises. It’s so easy to do a quick 5-minute meditation with an app or just practicing it alone, to really allow your thoughts to be background noise and focus on your inner self. Again, this goes back to stopping and smelling the roses. It’s important to cut through the traffic of the mind once in awhile and allow yourself to just be.

There are so many things you can do to care for yourself, but it’s important to look up and try tons of different things and find one or a few coping skills that work with what you need. Self-care isn’t just important, it’s an essential part of coping with life’s curveballs. We as humans are not built to carry all this stress within ourselves with no ability to release it, so please don’t ever feel guilty about needing to take some time for yourself, because every single person needs that once in awhile. Try to do something you love today, and allow yourself to enjoy it and not feel guilty. You’re worth kindness, and you should be as kind to yourself as possible, whenever you can.

All my love,

Shelby.


How to Relieve Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally.

Hello loves!

I haven’t posted in a few days due to this pesky cold I’ve been dealing with. It’s officially that time of year when winter turns to spring and all the allergies start to kill me! I’ve had sinusitis the last couple days (an infection in my sinuses due to an overproduction of mucus) and have been struggling with my productivity. Not being productive is something that makes me feel very miserable, so I’ve been doing everything I can the last couple days to naturally relieve my cold symptoms to make my day to day life easier!

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form a medically trained professional, and everything I share here is from my own personal experience in remedying the common cold!

Turmeric, Lemon & Cayenne Pepper

I love taking a shot of this every single morning, or even making a tea with these ingredients if I’m feeling under the weather. Turmeric has amazing healing properties and has a very earthy, sweet taste, so it doesn’t make this wellness shot unbearable to do.  I mix 1 part lemon, 1 part turmeric and 1 part cayenne pepper, and this clears me right up. The lemon gives me a great boost of vitamin c which helps to cure colds, the turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and clears my nasal passages, and the cayenne clears up my nose as well. I like to buy my ingredients organic, but anything you have at home will work just fine! If you have cayenne pepper or turmeric, but not both, that’s fine too! One or the other works great as well.

Ginger Baths

This was something a girl I know told me about, and it’s been a life saver for me ever since! Whenever I have a cold or flu, I grate up some ginger and put it in a hot bath with some Epsom salt (and sometimes baking soda) and soak for 30-45 minutes. The ginger makes you sweat the toxins out of your body, and within 2 days I feel like I never had a cold in the first place! Ginger baths also help to reduce fever and are known to help with nausea as well! I even use this when I have menstrual cramps and find it helps me so much! The Epsom salt relaxes my muscles and makes it easier for me to sleep at night.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Even though apple cider vinegar tastes really gross, I swear by it. It helps with every illness, including ringworm, menstrual cramps, colds, flu’s and has also been linked to helping with heart diseases and cancer. If you read more about apple cider vinegar and all the benefits, the gross taste seems more and more worth it. I’ll take a shot of this twice a day, but I mix it with some tea or agave and lemon juice to make it more bearable.

Neti Pod

I get terrible sinus congestion, and flushing your nasal cavity out with saline water is so amazing and refreshing. There are a few different brands of neti pods that you can purchase, but they all work the same. This really flushes you out and is probably the most successful in reducing sinus congestion instantly. I get terrible sinus headaches when I’m sick, and this thins out the mucus and relieves that instantly.

Rest

The most important thing to do when you’re sick is to rest. Even though I feel really anxious when I’m sick and unproductive, my boyfriend has to remind me that I’m not a terrible human being for taking a break and sleeping in every now and again. Your body heals itself through rest and relaxation, so be sure to get lots of it. Even if that means just reading a book with some tea in bed. Don’t do strenuous exercise, don’t cook a 5-course meal, and definitely don’t pull all nighters!

I hope if you’re feeling a bit run down during this flu season, some of these tips and tricks help to make you feel better. Comment down below if you’ve tried any of these and if they worked for you, or if you have any other suggestions!

All my positive vibrations,

Shelby.

 


How to Heal Naturally: Crystal Healing.

Today we’re going to talk about crystals. More specifically, how to use them properly, the “science” and belief behind this holistic healing and what my favorite crystals are to use and what their purposes are. There are many people who believe very strongly in crystal healing, and that it can lead to great manifestation of love and happiness in your life, and there are those who do not believe. If you don’t feel free to pass over this post and I’ll see you in the next one! If you’re willing to learn, stick around, and we can do so together!

What are healing crystals and what are they used for?

When I was younger, my Mom always had crystals around the house, and she had this book called the “Crystal Bible”. I used to flip through it and stare in awe at the beautiful rocks, but I couldn’t quite understand why people had so many of them and what they were even for! As I grew up, I asked lots of questions (I probably drove my Mother crazy) but I was so eager to know what they were used for and was just obsessed with the idea of having a bunch. My mom kind of explained, but I was young, so I didn’t entirely get it.

Around the time that I moved into my new place, I started using crystals to cope with my anxiety and stress, and read a lot about them. There’s tons of information out there, books, blogs dedicated to crystals, even magazine articles, so I searched through all of this and came to the conclusion that I needed as many as  I could get my hands on. I went to tons of different crystal shops in Downtown Calgary, and meditated with them every day. For me, it helped.

Crystals are sometime’s called “stone people” or “wisdom holders” due to the belief that crystals hold deep powers. Crystals are everywhere nowadays, in homes, yoga and art studios, and are made into jewelry because of their beauty and “healing” properties. People meditate with them to clear their head, place them under their pillows to dispel bad dreams or find better sleep, and some people place them on certain parts of their body during meditation to ward off illness.

My personal favorite crystals.

I’ve recently discovered some of my favorite crystals that I believe have the best effect on my mind and body. I’ll be attaching pictures next to the the crystals I mention, along with a brief description so you can get a feel for what I use to heal my emotional and physical ailments, and maybe you can/will use them sometime too, (if you don’t already)!

Aqua Quartz Crystal- Not only is this crystal beautiful to look at, (it’s quartz mixed with gold which gives
it an aquamarine color with a rainbow iridescence in light) it activates all the chakras for an all over body cleanse. It’s great for releasing stress and bringing calm to the brain and body, and works for me when placed on my heart. It activates soul energy, bringing the body into alignment with the brain and allowing for a free flow of creative energy. aquaquartz2.jpg

Amethyst- Aside from being my birthstone, Amethyst is one of the most well-known crystals and has an abundance of healing properties. Amethyst used to be known as the “stone of fire” and was very valuable in certain time periods. It’s called the all-healer by many, as it’s known to heal people, animals and plants. It protects against psychic attack and returns energy back into the universe after being transformed into a loving and positive energy source. Rubbing this stone on the center of the forehead or placing it under a pillow can help to dispel bad dreams and reduce insomnia. My boyfriend struggles terribly with insomnia and since meditating with this stone, he sleeps much better. Amethyst is said to help the nervous system and provide better blood oxygenation and is one of the best multi-purpose stones out there.

amethyst

Magnesite- This stone helps to improve creative visualization and imagination. I hold this stone between my hands and meditate for 5-10 minutes before painting, writing a blog post or doing yoga to open up my mind and creativity. I prefer to have a purple magnesite stone, just because I find they’re prettier. This stone channels the crown and sacral chakra. I will be explaining the chakras down below, so keep on reading for that! This stone is said to bring deep peace and silent relaxation during mediation and promotes original ideas. It’s said to help with period cramps when placed on the stomach and held while meditating, and detoxifies the body. It’s natural color is a grey-ish white, but mine was artificially colored purple. I use this for my periods because I get terrible cramping and this stone certainly lives up to the hype.  I leave it on my stomach for an hour during the first few days of my period when the pain is the worst and it really reduces it.535_Large_Purple_Magnasite_Chunk.jpg

Blue Chalcedony- This crystal comes from Tanzania, and has a gentle energy. It opens the throat chakra, and is said to balance the mind, body and spirit. It is a stone of peace that is intended to reduce irritation, hostility and bring love into the body. Actors and/or singers will rub this stone on their lips or throat, and others will sometimes drink a glass of water that the stone has been soaked in for a period of time. It is said to help reduce inflammation or hoarseness of the throat, and can reduce sleepwalking. I personally don’t use this for throat inflammation, but use it to calm my negative energy and leave it in my bedroom for peaceful sleep. blue chalcedony

Pyrite- Not only is this stone beautiful, but it’s also great for the solar plexus chakra. It repels many forms of negative energy, and works on physical, etheric and emotional levels. It’s a stone that brings warmth, and helps develop beautiful relationships. This stone is said to protect from contagious diseases and fungal infections and has been used to lessen fever and reduce inflammation. This stone is actually used by many health care professionals across the world.

pyrite

How to cleanse/clear your crystals of old energy. 

There are a few different methods for clearing your crystals of old energy. I like to do this with my crystals once a week, or more frequently depending on how often I’m using them. I think this is a necessity, some people don’t, but I believe that letting crystals build up with too much old energy can lead to blockages in their power. Below, I’ll offer a few crystal cleansing suggestions and you can pick whichever one works for you!

Warnings: NEVER, EVER, EVER use a windex or normal cleaning solution on your stones! This can and most likely will damage them. If you’re polishing silver, put silver safe cleaner on a rag and polish gently.

Sage and Incense- This is a very popular crystal cleansing method. I like to use white sage and run it over my crystals while saying a little chant “Water, Air, Fire, Earth, Cleanse, Dismiss, Dispel”. That’s my preference of chant, but you don’t have to say one at all if you don’t want to. Putting the energy and thought into cleansing the crystal while saging is enough. I buy my sage from Earth Gems in Downtown Calgary, and their white sage is 9$ for a small tied bundle. The smell can be a little strong, but is known for it’s protective properties.

Using other Crystals- Earlier, when I mentioned that Amethyst was an excellent stone, I really meant it. Aside from all it’s amazing healing properties, it also cleanses other stones and dispels their old or perhaps negative energy. I like to place my stones on a larger chunk of amethyst, and then place them in the sunlight for a few hours.

Moonlight- I think this is probably the easiest method, especially for new crystal users. When a full moon comes around, you can put your stones/crystals in the windowpane or outside for an hour or two, and let the moonlight cleanse the crystals. Don’t worry if you don’t get the exact day of the full moon, as the powers of the moon last 3 days!

How to meditate with crystals properly.

It’s best to use crystals that align with what you want in your life when meditating, as focusing your energy entirely on what you want will give you the best outcome with your crystals. It’s best to meditate in the morning, as that gives you the most effective result and that’s when your energy is most intense and focused.

Using your body as a grid for stones and crystals can be incredibly beneficial. Lying flat on the ground, relaxing your eyelids, with your palms facing upward towards the ceiling or sky (wherever you choose to do this meditation is entirely your choice) and placing the crystal of your liking on whatever body part it is designed to go on will give you excellent results. For example, if your period cramps or stomach was bothering you a immensely that day, laying down and meditating with magnesite will help a great deal.

I like to wake up every morning and sit in front of my window to get natural sunlight, and breathe very deeply while holding my crystals. Practicing mindfulness is essential with these types of meditations, as you need to be focusing on and visualizing exactly what it is you want out of these gems.

The 7 Chakras.

In reality, the body is incredibly complex and there are closer to 114 chakras in the body (if not more), but I will be talking about the most focused on chakras; the crown chakra, the third eye chakra, the throat chakra, the heart chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the sacral chakra and the root chakra.

Crown Chakra- The crown chakra is sometimes referred to as Sahasrara or the Shunnya, but I prefer the crown, as it’s quite a bit easier to pronounce! Located on the top of the head, the crown chakra can be associated with white or a deep purple, and is the center of creativity, trust and devotion. Opening up this chakra can lead to a deeper connection with ourselves and others.

Third Eye Chakra- Probably my most favorite chakra to open up, this one is located in the space between your eyebrows, and it’s color is identified as a blueish-purple (or an indigo if you will) and can remind us of soft moonlight. It can regulate bio-rhythms (which helps us to wake up and go to sleep at regular times). It opens us up to mythical and ethereal states of consciousness and enlightens those who cleanse it regularly.

Throat Chakra- Fairly self explanatory, this chakra is located in the center of your throat, and the identified color is a smokey-purple or lavender. Not only does opening this chakra up help with throat inflammatory issues, it can also give us the ability to speak our own personal truth, as well as giving those who open it a better sense of communication.

Heart Chakra- The heart chakra is also self explanatory and is located in the center of the chest, not actually where the organ itself lies. The color the people identify with this chakra is a bright green, and it opens us up to love and empathy for others, and can help with physical heart issues.

Solar Plexus Chakra- The solar plexus is a bunch of nerves located in your stomach, so opening this chakra helps a great deal, especially with physical ailments. It is best identified by it’s yellow color. Some believe it to be the core of our identity and sense of self. Opening this up also helps with emotional healing, like boosting our confidence, and helps to transform a stagnant person into someone who takes action and makes progress regularly. People with blocked solar plexus chakras are sometimes passive and angry, and lack a sense of positive self image.

Sacral Chakra- This chakra is located in your lower abdomen, and is best identified by it’s deep orange colour and is the center of pleasure and enjoyment. Some people believe that instead of the solar plexus chakra being the core of you, the sacral chakra actually is. There are many theories out there, so believe whatever you’d like! Do your research and come to your own conclusion. This chakra is amazing to instill passion into your relationship and create more pleasure during intimacy. It’s also related to emotional intimacy issues, and women who have had trouble getting pregnant say that when they opened this blocked chakra up, they conceived quickly and naturally after months/years of trying with no result.

Root Chakra- The root chakra is located at the pelvic floor, and is best known for it’s vibrant red color. Balancing this chakra creates an excellent energy for all the other chakras, as this is the 1st chakra in the body. People with an imbalance in the root chakra often say they feel anxiety, fear and regularly have nightmares.

My honest belief.

I know many people that think crystals are silly, pointless and a waste of money. I understand those people’s point of view entirely. Although I’ve also heard the opposite. I know people that are seriously into crystal healing and swear by the results. It’s all about preference. I’m a very spiritual person, and my belief with everything is if you’re putting power and energy into these stones, the effects will come. It could be a placebo reaction, or it could be a genuine healing energy emanating from these stones.
Crystal healing goes back to Ancient Sumerians and Ancient Egyptians. The Egyptian people swore by gems and used the crystals mainly for health and protection. So if this has been around forever, and still continues to thrive today, I believe wholeheartedly that some people MUST have positive results. You never know until you try, and it could be a beautiful and enlightening experience for some of you. So go to your nearest crystal store, and be sure to leave me comments about YOUR experiences with crystals, whether they’ve been negative or positive.

All my love,

Shelby.