Summer Enrichment: Macros & More

The 2017-18 school year is officially behind us. As the single mother of 3 boys that really isn’t as exciting for me as it is for them. Summer for me means keeping two teenage boys occupied and fed on the same budget I use throughout the rest of the year. Basically I need to find free and/or frugal enriching summer activities which can be hard especially if you live in the suburbs. I have found most free programs are inner city programs and thus unavailable to me. So what do I do? Create my own summer enrichment program of course.

Trying to create my own my program stressed me out at first.  Youth expect summer to be fun. Some parents agree and some parents prefer more educational opportunities. I think both are important and there are so many lessons that schools don’t give that I found myself scrambling to create the perfect program. Something that would help ensure my boys will have all the necessary tools to become happy, healthy, and whole adult men yet not bore them at the same time. At this point I was convinced school would start again by the time I decided on the perfect lesson plan.

The boys recently started a school led fitness program designed to condition and improve athletic ability. Every day as I drive them home after camp I find myself giving a speech about the importance of a balanced diet and drinking water. Both already cook for themselves as well as family meals and while I am not the Mom with a bunch of junk food in my kitchen trying to get them to choose making a balanced breakfast over making pancakes from scratch and drowning them in syrup isn’t easy. How do I get them to truly understand the importance of balanced nutrition and how it affects the hard work they’ve committed to?

Today, while driving to pick them up and rehearsing my tired speech a light bulb went off. They need real life experience! I decided to combine their fitness program with daily living and use it as a summer project starting with the following assignment:

  1. Research macro nutrients and write a summary explaining what they are in your own words
  2. Create a MyFitnessPal Account
  3. Track everything you eat today
  4. Choose a SMART summer fitness goal
  5. Brainstorm ideas for biweekly family challenges and prizes

After they track their food for a week or so we can work together to decide if their current eating habits are helping or hurting their progress. Then using that information they can create personal meal plans. I may even give them a budget and allow them to purchase their own groceries.  I think this is a hell of an educational opportunity considering it encompasses a lot of different subjects: nutrition, goals, meal planning, budgeting, grocery shopping, writing, etc. With one teen who is sports driven and one who loves all things food related down to the science of food this also peaks personal interests.

Would y’all be interested in me turning Macro’s & More into a series that y’all can keep up with?

-Bretagné

You could probably define my parenting/teaching style as the lighthouse approach. I think that comes from my own learning style. Preaching just never worked. I learned best through personal experience whether good or bad and I’ve done my best to raise my boys with that in mind. I believe this allows them to thrive through experience and encouragement rather than fear tactics. This project is a perfect example of the way I parent as well as a reminder that there are educational opportunities waiting to be seized in all that we do.

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Creating A Bathing Ritual

This week my sister circle is focused on creating a morning ritual as we begin to read Gateway 0: The Sacred Womb of  Sacred Woman. Each day this week we will add a element of practice to our ritual. Today’s focus is on Spiritual Baths.

Purpose

Every day we come in contact with a variety of vibrations through our interactions with different people and environments. Over time, negative and stagnant energy can build up in our aura. A spiritual bath is a powerful tool to assist in removing these unwelcome influences from your aura. The feminine element of water is naturally healing and purifying. Various recipes that include the addition of salt, herbs, crystals, and/or  essential oils aligned with your intention offers the following benefits:

  • Detoxing bacteria, toxins, heavy metals, and other from the skin
  • Absorbing essential trace minerals and their healing metaphysical properties
  • Increased Circulation
  • The manifestation of love, money, success, and other desired blessings

Preparation

Unlike your normal bath routine, soap is typically not a part of this cleansing process. Both you and your space should be thoroughly cleaned prior to beginning.

  1. Deep clean your bathroom.
  2. Take your normal shower or bath.
  3. Bless your space.

Soak

  1. Draw your bath water – fill the tub with water as hot as you can stand it. Add whatever additional ingredients you choose. The intention of your bath will help determine the rest of the ingredients you choose. There are tons of bath recipes just a google away, but I’ve also included a basic recipe down below.
  2. Bless your water – stick your hand in the water and state your intention or say a prayer.
  3. Set the mood – Use candles, incense, and/or music.
  4. Soak – This is where your healing and the magic begins. Slip into the tub, submerging your entire body in the water, close your eyes, and relax. Take notice of the temperature of the water against your skin, the fragrance tickling your nose, or simply focus on your breath and how your body feels. Sometimes I  listen to guided meditation, recite affirmations/chants, or stretch a bit. There is no right or wrong in this moment. Soak for 20-30 minutes or as long you feel comfortable.

Basic Salt Water Bath

  • 1-2 cups Epsom Salt – No Epsom salts? Any good quality unprocessed salt will do as long is it isn’t table salt. You can also use baking soda in place of salt for the same detoxing effect.
  • Optional items: flowers, herbs, essential oils, crystals (Add flowers or herbs to a mesh bag or cheesecloth and throw the whole thing in the tub for easy cleanup)

No bath tub? No Problem, I’ve got you covered!

Foot Bath

Modify the salt bath recipe above and soak your feet.

Sacred Shower

You will need:

  • sea salt
  • natural carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil
  • optional: add essential oils to your carrier oil
  1. Prep – same as above
  2. Rinse – Start your shower and get the steam going.You want the water as hot as you can stand it. Rinse your body to open your pores.
  3. Exfoliate – Turn the shower off and exfoliate your body with the sea salt starting at the heels in an upward, circular motion. Let the sea salt sit on your body for a minute or so as you say affirmations, chant, or use that time to pray.
  4. Rinse – Rinse off with cool water this time to close your pores.
  5. Oil – I like to oil my body while I am still wet because I find it seals in the moisture. Take your time as you rub your body down. Use this time to express gratitude and love to every inch of your body.
  6. Dry – Try air drying instead of using a towel.

Sometimes I sit in the shower while rinsing and let the water flower over me like a water fall. I listen to the water hit my body and the tub and use this time to meditate.

Mother Earth/Yemaya

If you live near a body of salt water go for a swim. Sea water naturally has aura-cleansing properties and you’re getting in a good workout at the same time.

When creating any ritual or spiritual practice I find it best to do what resonates with you personally. There is no right and wrong. As you grow into your own you will later will learn why.

Are spiritual baths a part of your spiritual practice? Please share your go to recipe.

-Bretagné

New Moon in Gemini

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My journey to finding my own way spiritually began with yoni eggs and moon phases. As I began to learn about the moon I recognized the benefits of moon rituals. Lately I haven’t been as committed to my rituals, but a few friends and I have decided to embark on the Sacred Woman journey and I am excited to reintroduce these rituals to my life during this new super moon in Gemini.

With tonight’s new moon I will focus on my intention to commit to this journey and work on recreating my personal new moon ritual using the guidelines below.

Step 1. Prepare Sacred Space:

Ritual work is best done in a clean and uncluttered space as it is said that cleanliness is next to Godliness.

  • Smudge. Smudging clears low vibrations and negative/stuck energy. Smudge your space and your body. Although sage is the most common there are actually variety of plants and herbs that offer different benefits and metaphysical properties.
  • Incense. It is important to light incense after smudging in order to fill the empty space with positive energy.
  • Setup alter and/or light candle. Alter work is still fairly new to me because when I was first introduced I was still struggling with some belief systems from childhood. Prior to wrapping my mind around setting up an alter I found it easiest to just light a white candle. I have since learned that different color candles offer different benefits and you can even “dress” your candles for specific outcomes.

Step 2. Prepare Self

  • Spiritual Bath. Salt water baths detox your body and cleanse your spirit. Blessing your water with various herbs and oils offer different benefits and can also be used to assist with your desired outcome.
  • Meditate/Grounding – Meditation and/or grounding centers you spiritually.

Step 3. Set Intentions

  • Journal. Download your thoughts post-meditation and set your intentions.

Remember, faith without works is dead. It is my belief that rituals provide structure to align yourself with that which you desire to manifest, but you often still have work to do. The depth of your work depends on the goal, but use your new moon ritual and intentions as a tool in making your dreams come true.

Have you done the Sacred Woman Rites of Passage? If so, what was your experience? Also, what do you do to honor the new moon?

– Bretagné

Disclaimer – I am but a student documenting my journey. Please research and study for yourself. All knowledge, questions, comments, and concerns are both welcome and appreciated.

 

 

 

Quarterly Vision Boards

Today’s post is inspired by SHG’s 7 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Vision Board. Vision Boards have been all the rage for quite awhile now, but if I’m being honest I found them to be overwhelming and unrealistic for the way I operate. A large collage of pictures towards a future lifestyle sitting on my wall wasn’t helping me. Not to mention, as I grow I have found that peering too far in the future is unrealistic because I am constantly evolving.

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I can’t remember what inspired the light bulb to go off in my mind, but in late December as I prepared for the new year and everyone was going crazy with vision board parties I decided to try something new. I chose 3 short term goals I could accomplish within the 1st quarter of 2018 and created a small vision board on 11×17 poster board inspired by those goals. I am proud to say I completed all 3 of those goals and it is extremely gratifying to know I had a productive 1st quarter and that I found a way to make vision boards work for me.

While this post may be about vision boards I think the important lesson from my experience is to remember that there are several paths with all things in life. As we become grounded and our minds uncluttered it becomes easier to flow through life on the path that is right for self. Try not to get stuck on any one way to do anything especially if it isn’t working for you. Give self space to shift and align with a method that is perfect just for you.

With all that being said, how do you vision board?

– Bretagné

 

 

Exploring Progressive Love

I never truly subscribed to the belief that one person could fulfill my every need.  I dreamed of an open relationship. A partnership where I was free to explore whomever I wanted both emotionally and intimately should someone worthy manifest in my life. I read about these couples all the time, but finding a like minded potential mate seemed unlikely. Not to mention the fact I always found myself in a relationship with a man who couldn’t bear the thought of sharing me regardless of his own fidelity or lack thereof.

So here I am, single AND okay with it for the first time in my life when she appeared. Although seemingly the opposite of anyone I’d be attracted too; we clicked instantly. Similar goals and values. She understands my complex mind. Our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Like minded is an understatement. It was love at first vibe. One problem. She lives 1200 miles away.

The closest thing I’ve experienced to a long distance relationship in the past was being married to a sailor. I wish I could say that relationship prepared me for the emotions I was to experience with her. Sorting through them all has been interesting to say the least. Jealousy being the most fascinating of them all. Bree is free-spirited. Jealousy is not an emotion I subscribe too. How could I? I believe all people should be free to explore whomever whenever they please. Until now.

Suddenly I am dreaming of a monogamous relationship. As far as I’m concerned I’ve found someone with whom I’m equally yoked. Fantasy has taken over my mind and despite the 1200 miles between us and various obstacles making it difficult to visit each other let alone be together I have declared her my future. She on the other hand is not so convinced. I’m awaiting her to jump on the crazy train and give me her heart. Instead I’m watching others vie for her love and attention along with me. I want to strangle them all.

So now I’m sitting with my therapist trying to figure out how I exit the express train to insanity. I have to figure out what MY emotional needs are. Communicate them and not only accept that she doesn’t have to agree to meet them, but the consequences of whatever her choice is. She’s been on some “we’ll be friends forever” shit from the jump. I just told y’all this is my future. So what is this friendship non-sense she has been feeding me forever? Can I be just friends with this beautiful soul? Better yet, can I watch her date someone else?

So I slowly begin to accept this “right person, wrong time” conundrum I’ve been placed in. Attempting to transition from future girlfriend to the dreaded “just friends” zone when she asks about an open relationship. Omg what a great idea, right? Wrong! Suddenly I can’t bear the thought of a potential mate sharing an intimate connection with anyone other than myself. Is this new found monogamous ideal truly the result of love? Or am I attempting to control the outcome of our situation on the basis of fear?

In an attempt to sort through my feelings and identify what is truly my own belief system I happened upon a video on open relationships done by one of my favorite youtubers, Shannon Boodrum. I’m still not sure what direction I’m going, but this video left me knowing one thing for sure. Regardless of whom I end up or the structure I choose I desire a relationship so violently honest it challenges me to grow both independently and collectively. I pledge to abandon fear based relating in an effort to create a healthy union built on healthy communication, trust and the commitment to help each other (or all parties involved) fulfill our life purpose.

Please watch Shannon’s video below.

Which relationship structure resonates with you? Traditional monogamy or progressive love? Where did your belief system originate?

– Bretagné

Pisces Harvest Moon – Lunar Eclipse 2016

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My upbringing instilled a fear in me regarding anything metaphysical, but I am thankful that this has been a beautiful year of spiritual growth. I’m a new student to astrology, but the many ways that God speaks through the universe is astonishing to me.

So, what does a harvest moon lunar eclipse in Pisces even mean?

Great question and honestly I’m still learning.  A harvest moon is the September full moon. It is my understanding that the the full moon being in Pisces brings about a wave of emotions so try to keep it light as this time may include a lot of mood swings. Miscommunication  is also in tow as we are still amid mercury retrograde. Pisces is revealing and repelling all that is keeping us from our divinity and the lunar eclipse intensifies it all.

Earlier this year I started connecting with God through moon rituals. Every full moon I release all that no longer serves me by writing it all out and then burning it. Recently in an attempt to go deeper I have been studying each moon in relation to astrology and what that means for me personally. I’m a Sagittarius sun with a Virgo moon, and an Aquarius rising. Pisces is in my second house which has to do with possessions and where we place are value as whole. This is where I will focus my meditation. My intuition is also guiding me towards an enema which is a little scary, but makes sense since Pisces aligns with the  sacral chakra and today seems like a good day to let sh*t go both literally and figuratively.

– Bretagné

Get your own natal chart here or here.

Disclaimer – I am but a student documenting my journey. Please research and study for yourself. All knowledge, questions, comments, and concerns are both welcome and appreciated.

 

Blissful Intention

Some of you may know me from my blog, Sailor Wifey. I was in a lot of pain during that season. Mother of two and a newly married military spouse with a deployed husband and grieving a miscarriage on top of childhood wounds I had yet to heal. All of which led me to a dark depression and hospitalization. I’d love to say that after that time I healed, but instead I shut down. I created a wall and an unhealthy lifestyle that allowed me to stay afloat. For years I lived in a constant state of confusion. Denying God. Denying my true self. Denying all that reminded me of pain out of fear of the very pain I was manifesting through the confusion.

Late last year a very good friend of mine turned me on to yoni eggs. She was drawn to what they could do physically, but I was drawn to their metaphysical properties. The discovery of yoni eggs and the power of crystals has led me on a journey to rediscover both God and myself. This is what I believe to be the beginning of my spiritual awakening.

Today I am still healing and growing, but I have discovered that God has given us all the inherent ability to create a blissful life. I invite you to walk alongside me during my personal journey.

bliss-

  1. 1:  complete happiness
  2. 2:  paradise, heaven

intention-

  1. a determination to act in a certain way :  resolve

Bliss. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bliss Intention. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intention