I'm making this post in honor of my original homeschool student Brantley. He has a bright spirit and likes to find his own way to go about discovering meaning in his world. Therefore, it didn't strike me as odd when he told me what he wanted for his 13th birthday was "a new way to meditate that doesn't involve just sitting quietly or picturing something that doesn't take long to do." I've failed this student by not fulfilling his request until now, after he's already spent over a month as a teen. I've also failed to update this blog in around the same amount of time. I apologize to each of you. Here's to new years and new beginnings. In peace, Kelli
Now, let's meditate, ACTIVELY!
What does this mean, exactly?
Well, meditation is the act of calmly but deliberately clearing and quieting your mind. When you carry a general intention to the meditation (such as how to find the perfect job, building stronger relationships, do well in school, etc.), then the answer will normally just "come" to you after your mind has been cleansed of the clutter. Many people meditate in a traditional way by sitting cross-legged and breathing while visualizing colors associated with chakras, the body's major energy centers. However, other people find this difficult, time-consuming and sometimes just not the most effective way to find a sense of clarity and calm. For those of us who feel that way (and, yes, I include myself here!), there is active meditation. My personal favorite forms of active meditation are cleaning, dancing, walking and drumming. Dancing and drumming give me a great focal point in the form of a musical beat. Cleaning, dancing and walking are also somewhat physically stimulating, so I get a little endorphin rush and a sense of physical fitness and personal accomplishment. Cleaning is also just really great metaphorically. As my student Brantley and I discussed during our last homeschool session of the summer, when you clean and LITERALLY make surfaces clearer and areas less cluttered, your mind follows suit!
That stuff is all "old hat" though. Today I'm busting out a new form of active meditation, which also produces a tasty and healthy (or, at least, healthiER!) birthday treat.
3/4 cup olive oil
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
6 tablespoons water
2.25 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 standard-size bag dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of honey
lavender essential oil
Ralph Roddenbery's "Nobody Else Can Be Yourself"
1. Fill the basin of your essential oil burner with water and add up to 15 drops of lavender oil. CAREFULLY light a tea light candle and place it under the basin in the appropriate spot. Diffusing the lavender will clear the atmosphere and help you relax.
2. Pre-heat a conventional oven to 375 degrees F. Tell yourself that sometimes life "heats up" so good that creation can take place. Recognize all pressure, tension and "heat" in your life as being necessary for personal growth.
3. Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT apple sauce, chocolate chips and honey. Tell yourself that chaos brings positive change, that all are one and that all things return to peace.
4. Slowly add apple sauce to the mix. Continue adding apple sauce and mixing to give it a smooth, consistency that is easy to stir. Think of all the connections in your life. Remind yourself as you add the applesauce to your mix that everything comes together in the end.
5. Add the bag of chocolate chips and the honey and blend them in. Smile because you are adding sweetness to both the mix and your life.
6. Scoop little balls of the mix onto your cookie sheet. Use wax paper or treat cookie sheet with some spray oil or butter so the cookies won't stick.
7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. While they are baking play "Nobody Else Can Be Yourself." Sing the words aloud and dance. Be proud of who you are. Keep this song on repeat, or sing and dance to other inspirational music. Here is a link to a live performance of the song!
8. Enjoy your cookies!!!! They will look a little "undercooked" at first but will firm up when they cool. As you are eating the cookies, take a moment to savor them. Pay attention to the way each bite feels inside your mouth. Notice the way the cookies taste and smell. As you enjoy the cookies, think thoughts of gratitude and imagine the chakras lighting up within you: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Imagine a rainbow wraps around you to keep you safe and warm. Remind yourself that you have the power to feel this way and the no one can ever take away your ability to be yourself.