The Art of Relaxation – Getting Your Zen On

burning the candle at both ends

Burning the Candle At Both Ends

Everyone is in a hurry to go somewhere and do something—from the minute you wake in the morning until you rest your head upon your pillow to sleep. We are busy individuals. People to see, places to go. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to accomplish all we feel we must.

We push ourselves to maintain the status quo of what is expected. Some days are more challenging than others and they begin to take their toll on our mind, body and spirit. Obstinate people, deadlines and disappointments batter our psyche. The inundation of stress weakens our resistance. We succumb to the constant worries of going along to get along. The “What if this?,” the “Oh no’s” and the “You’ve got to be kidding me” scenarios increase to an insurmountable level. Only when we are at the end of our rope, drained and depressed, do we recognize our need for balance.

art of relaxation

Practical Methods of Relaxation

Most peoples first thought is to take a well-deserved vacation. Time off and away from the hectic pace. Relax and decompress in some soothing environment like the beach or the mountain terrain. Escape from reality if only for a week.

However, many of us are not that fortunate to have the capability to drop our responsibilities and/or afford the luxury of a tropical getaway. Some of us will make do with a more practical and cost-effective method such as a day at the spa—pampering galore with steam baths, massage and pedicures.

If this method doesn’t fit into the budget, one must be more creative with options. For example, this is why meditation is becoming mainstream and highly regarded as a technique for its restorative elements.

getting your zen on

The Universal Remedy For Stress

Meditation is affordable and accessible. Two very good reasons to apply meditation into your everyday life. Meditation consists of and delivers every aspect of decompression, relaxation and peace that one could ask for.

The only problem with this suggestion is convincing certain people to give it a try and to diligently stick to a routine until they experience its valuable results. Those who snob their noses at the idea seem to think it is entirely too time-consuming. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you do not need to sit quietly for hours as a monk in training to reap the benefits.

zen meditation

Another huge stumbling block that hinders involvement in this practice is that many who have given it a whirl mention that they cannot adjust or stop their inner dialogue. They become frustrated with inner chatterings of the mind. A common theme of inner chatter seems to consist of self-critical commentary. They get caught up in the negative self-talk. Thoughts race through the brain like “I need to get laundry done, “Why can’t I quiet my mind?,” “I must be stupid or slow,” or “I’m bored.”

Now they are turned off and want to quit. However, this is the perfect opportunity to expand your consciousness and learn a life lesson about inner dialogue. Recognize what you are saying and the effect it is having upon your spirit.

Redirect those thoughts with an application of a positive nature. For example, “I am learning something new,” “I give to myself the gift of compassion,” or “Don’t worry, be happy.” This reassuring self-talk will encourage not discourage.

positive affirmations for relaxation

Restoring Your Zen

If the inner chatter enters, acknowledge it and let it go. Replace it and comfort yourself with uplifting and loving thoughts. Then return to concentrating on your breath. Intentionally breathe deeper than normal. Transmit all attention to the rise and fall of your chest. With every inhale, visualize positivity in. On the exhale, be willing to release all negativity.

Align your breath and heart rhythms. Feel the stress dissipate. Enjoy the shift of your balanced emotional state. Allow your physical being to submerge itself into the tranquility. Embrace this euphoric moment of becoming calm, relaxed and peaceful.

Can you hear the pounding surf? Can you feel the ocean breeze? Can you smell the salty air?

So if you want to get your Zen on, try meditation. It is just as efficient if not more so than an expensive vacation. You can do it at any time, anywhere and without draining your bank account. Who knew?

art of relaxation

About the Author

Kaylee is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

zen master




Alpha-Gal – The Meat Allergy Caused By a Tick Bite


Something to be ticked off about…

We have all been warned about tickborne illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and even Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI). But I bet you haven’t heard of this new tickborne illness that has no cure. The number of cases have been growing in recent years, especially in geographic areas such as the Southeastern United States where ticks are prevalent. You may be suffering from this condition and not even know it.


Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that:

The bite of any infected tick—especially the Lone Star Tick (white dot on back)—can cause a severe allergic reaction to meat.


The disease has been dubbed Alpha-Gal, an abbreviation for Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, which is a carbohydrate found in mammalian meat and dairy products. Mammalian meat is obviously any meat that comes from a mammal. This includes beef, pork, lamb, venison, goat, rabbit, horse, antelope, bison, whale and seal.


Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose Chemical Structure

How Alpha-Gal Causes an Allergic Reaction to Meat

After being bitten by an infected tick, antibodies develop against this carbohydrate and remain in your immune system’s memory.

Every time an individual with alpha-gal consumes mammalian meat and dairy products, the body reacts to it as a threat. The body’s reaction to meat triggers a release of chemicals (antibodies and histamines) that can cause symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Histamine is a compound found in the body that causes symptoms of an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, such as hives, itching, swelling of the face, throat, lips and tongue. If anaphylaxis is not treated, it can lead to difficulty breathing, weakness, unconsciousness and even death.

anaphylaxis can't breathe

Can you imagine having a life-threatening allergic reaction every time you eat a hamburger, all thanks to a tick bite?

meat allergy

Recognizing the Unique Signs of Alpha-Gal

Typically someone with a food allergy has an immediate reaction. Alpha-gal is different. The symptoms may not appear until 3-12 hours after consuming mammalian products.

Many people afflicted with alpha-gal have gone to bed feeling fine only to wake up in the wee hours of the morning suffering and requiring an Emergency Room visit. The delayed reaction has made it difficult to diagnose this condition in many people.

anaphylaxis alpha-gal

Symptoms of Alpha-Gal

Skin Rash
Chest Pains
Aching Joints
Stomach cramps


Diagnosing Alpha-Gal

Unfortunately there seems to be a consensus on that alpha-gal suffers have unexplained issues for years before being properly diagnosed. If you know you have been bitten by a tick and/or you display any and/or all of the tell-tale signs listed in this article, then by all means visit an allergist.

Request the blood test specifically designed to detect alpha-gal. The range for this test is 1-100. Anything over 0.35 is considered positive for alpha-gal. The number does not represent the intensity of reaction. Someone could test positive with a lower number and have an anaphylactic reaction, whereas one might receive a much higher number test result and experience only gastric upset and hives.

For those who have been clinically diagnosed with alpha-gal, you have probably been told to immediately ingest Benadryl at the onset of any reaction. More than likely your doctor has prescribed the EpiPen and you have been advised not to leave home without it. If you must use the EpiPen, know that you need to urgently get to the hospital. This is a matter of life and death.


Coping With Alpha-Gal

If you have a severe case of alpha-gal and have stopped eating red meat but continue to have symptoms, you must stop ingesting any mammal products and any derivative of. That translates to avoiding all dairy products and also other items you wouldn’t expect. This list of no-nos includes but is not limited to: cheese, gelatin, marshmallows, milk powder, milk fat, whey, yogurt, butter, casein, etc.

Reading labels is essential to controlling and avoiding the symptoms and reactions from alpha-gal. Educating yourself is the best defense. For example, the medication Cetuximab (a cancer drug) contains alpha-gal. Some medication and/or vitamin capsules are coated with gelatin (gel-caps). Choose vegan vitamins. Also, look at the ‘inactive ingredients’ in all over-the-counter medications. Lactose or lactose monohydrate is contained in meds such as Prednisone, Pepcid, Zyrtec, some forms of Claritin and some forms of Benadryl. Ingesting just one pill could land you in the ER.

What Meat Alpha-Gals Can Eat

To all of the meat-loving people diagnosed with alpha-gal, all hope is not lost. You can still eat meat from the following animals: fish, chicken, turkey, ostrich, alligator, turtle and snake. However, it is imperative that there is no cross-contamination.


Read Labels and Avoid Cross Contamination

If your chicken was cooked on the same grill or in the same fryer where mammal meats had been cooked then you could still get mammal fat in your meal. Be prepared to ask lots of questions and make your allergy widely known.

Eating out can be a real nightmare. Does the restaurant use butter to prepare their fish? Not yours and ask that they use different tongs to handle your dinner. Again, no cross-contamination, thank you. If you go to the deli and order sliced chicken or turkey breast, make sure that machine is reserved and used for poultry only. Otherwise, the roast beef ordered before you could do you in. Going to eat chicken sausage? Well, you had better find out what the casing is made from. It very well could be pork. If you think you’re safe ordering vegetables, think again. Those veggies could have been prepared with bacon grease.

You can’t be too careful. Some chicken, even organic, may be packaged in milk-based fluid or broth. Reading labels and asking questions will become a new way of life.

Presently there is no cure for alpha-gal allergy syndrome. If you have been clinically diagnosed and continue to ingest any mammalian meat by choice or inadvertently through contamination from gloves, utensils and/or cooking surfaces, or if you have been bitten again by an infected tick since being diagnosed, this will contribute to worsening symptoms.

Remember to spray those repellents before you venture outdoors.


For More Information

Ticked Off About a Growing Allergy to Meat — Science

UNC Researcher Responsible For Discovering Allergy Linked to Tick Bites — WRAL News

Alpha-Gal Research — PubMed

Alpha-Gal Allergy Awareness Support — Facebook

True Story of Alpha-Gal and Alpha-Gal Cookbook — The Alpha Gall Allergy Cooking

About the Authors

Kaylee is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

Kamaira Philips, Bachelor of Music (BM), is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She is an operatic soprano, an intuitive energy healer and modern shaman, a meditation instructor, a certified EMT and a scientist. Kamaira is researching topics related to immunology and alternative medicine at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.

spiritual life advice

Full Sturgeon Moon

~~~Full Moon Blessings~~~

full sturgeon moon

“And you’ll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
For whether we are white or copper-skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountain
Need to paint with all the colors of the wind
You can own the earth and still
All you’ll own is earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind…”

Colors of the Wind from Pocahantas ‪‎(1995)
Music and Lyrics by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
Cover by Kamaira Philips

Please share!




20 Signs and Symptoms That Scream You Could be a Hoarder

If you are devastated at the thought of ditching your dumpster-diving doodads, you may be a hoarder or have a tendency to hoard.
When collecting crosses the line…
20 Signs and Symptoms of Hoarders Revealed

hoarders signs symptoms

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding Disorder is much more than having a closet brimming with clothes, shoes and accessories or cluttering your desk with extra newspapers and junk mail.

junk mail

According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, compulsive hoarding involves a desire to excessively save items that others view as worthless. These individuals have persistent difficulty getting rid of their growing hoard of possessions, which leads to clutter and ultimately disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces.

hoarder magazine

For those who hoard, the quantity of their collected items sets them apart from other people.

Hoarding is most considered as a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) because approximately 30 percent of people with OCD experience some compulsion to hoard. However, compulsive hoarding can affect people who don’t have OCD. Hoarding has also been associated with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.


Behaviors of a Hoarder

  • Inability to throw away possessions
  • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
  • Difficulty categorizing and organizing
  • Feeling overwhelmed, constant distress and embarrassed by the clutter
  • Uncomfortable with others touching your items
  • Obsessive thoughts and actions
  • Fear of not having enough of or running out of an item
  • Dumpster diving and trash collecting
  • Functional impairments:

Loss of living space

Social isolation

Family, friends, or marital discord

Financial difficulties

Health hazards

hoarders versus collectors

Collectors versus Hoarders

There is a huge difference between hoarding and collecting, although many hoarders claim to be collectors. Collectors keep their collection organized. They have a sense of pride about their possessions. They enjoy speaking about their acquisitions. They will share their knowledge of, wisdom with and their experience in locating such finds. Collectors will budget their time and money responsibly. They are quite selective.

On the other hand, a hoarder will usually be tight-lipped about what they couldn’t pass up. They seem to be ashamed or embarrassed of their possessions. They choose not to speak of the growing pile and respond uncomfortably if others get a look-see.

hoarder kitchen

Hoarders have a tendency to spend their last dime on a ‘bargain.’ They can’t seem to resist the temptation and/or the urge. True hoarders are truly clueless to the chaos. They seem to live with blinders on to the insurmountable amounts of pure t—trash they accumulate within and outside of their dwelling.

Many hoarders live in deplorable conditions. They exist in unhealthy and dangerous surroundings. Their households consist of excessive amounts of damaging elements. All too often if something is in need of repair, the hoarder will forego the comforts of such an essential appliance for example for fear of allowing the technician access to see their dirty little secret.

hoarder apartment

Do You Know a Hoarder?

I know a hoarder who used a cooler for six months because she wouldn’t buy a new refrigerator. She didn’t want the delivery people to come inside her home. That would have meant she had to clear a path and that would have translated to things had to be thrown away. Also, there was her excuse of no funds. Meanwhile she continued to purchase multiple unnecessary items daily.

It finally took relatives putting their foot down. They ordered, payed and had the fridge delivered. The ungrateful hoarder raised holy hell while they bagged and moved her belongings to squeeze the appliance in.

This same woman went a year without hot water for the same reasons. Trying to rationalize with this lady that her failing health was probably a result of her lifestyle fell on deaf ears. She stubbornly blocked out that she was surrounded by and breathing in mold and mildew. There was also a leak in the roof. Every time it rained, the clutter became soaked. Between that and the filth, it was an environmental hazard within her home.

No wonder she was so sickly but there was no convincing her. She was stuck in a vicious cycle. Those of us who care for her well-being were worried senseless. Because we felt as though our hands were tied, we all became resentful and angry.

Some of us had even discussed removing her cats. When this was mentioned to this woman, she cut off all contact.

animal hoarding

We talked amongst ourselves as what to do but nobody wanted to pull the trigger, make the call and be blamed for being the ‘bad guy.’

Hoarders have no idea that their disorder causes so much damage to themselves and those around them. It really puts everyone in a bad situation.

Unlivable conditions can lead to fighting with family members, health issues, safety violations, divorce, loss of child custody, removal of pets, catastrophic financial burdens and eviction.

hoarders children

If you think you may be a hoarder and you want help, reach out. There are a plethora of avenues one can take for assistance within your community—psychiatrists, counselors, organizers and support groups. But you have to take the first step in fixing things by admitting you are indeed a hoarder.

If you have a tendency to hoard and are noticing things piling up, consider bringing order back into your life before total chaos ensues with these 10 Ways to Unclutter Your Life.


20 Signs and Symptoms That Scream You Could Be a Hoarder

1) People Stop Visiting.
2) You have been asked 100 times or more if you would like help with discarding, hauling off, cleaning, etc.
3) People have stopped asking if you need help because they are sick of you junking it back up again and again and again.


4) The floorboards are buckling. The rafters are cracking. The deck is caving in.
5) Everyone notices a foul odor but you.
6) You viciously defend the hoard. You go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde within seconds if anyone challenges the clutter.
7) You received an anonymous letter, multiple neighbors have complained, notification from the town, city or fire department, been fined or court ordered to clean up.
8) You choose the hoard over human companionship.

hoarder barbie

9) The clutter is a constant heated conversation with frustrated friends and family.
10) You keep adding to the collection. Everyday it seems you find one, two or ten things to bring home.
11) If your pat answers are, “I might need this,” “I’m going to use that for x, y, z,” “I paid a lot of money for that,” “I can’t get rid of that. It reminds me of…,” “Oh, I will,” and/or “I’m working on it little by little.”
12) You no longer can drive, park or fit your car in the garage.

hoarder garage

13) You consider it your daily exercise to walk on, over and sideways through the menagerie of “MUST HAVES.”
14) You’re delusional. You’re in denial and don’t know it.
15) You throw away nothing, including trash.
16) Your bed looks like a dumping ground and you sleep on top of what you think you need to save.

hoarder tendency

17) You have a mental and physical breakdown if confronted that you indeed have a problem called, “hoarding.”
18) You never feel like you have enough.
19) You may believe your hoard has gotten out of hand but it holds people at bay. It puts a barrier between you and the world.
20) Relationships have been ruined because you refuse to address the mess.

Clean Your Space, Clear Your Mind.


About the Authors

Kaylee is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

Kamaira Philips, Bachelor of Music (BM), is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She is an operatic soprano, an intuitive energy healer and modern shaman, a meditation instructor, a certified EMT and a scientist. Kamaira is researching topics related to immunology and alternative medicine at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.

spiritual life advice hoarders




Crystal Healing Circle – Nature’s Ancient Altar

crystal healing circle

Healing circles have been created since ancient times by many cultures for varied purposes.

crystal healing circleIndigenous tribes have used and continue to use medicine wheels to seek healing while it has been thought that pagan circles and henges were used for everything from burials and ceremonies to divine centers of communication. Even the mysterious labyrinth, dating back to ancient Greece, remains a symbol of reflection, spirituality and our connection to the source of creation.

crystal healing circle

Significance of Circles

The circle has long represented the cycles of existence—birth, death and rebirth. Much of nature expresses itself in circular patterns. It is at the very center of our sacred geometry. Circular is the shape of the sun, the moon, the center of a flower and even the eye—the window to the soul and the gateway to infinity.

circle symbolism

The Power of the Crystal Healing Circle

There is a certain unexplainable power in a healing circle that can be harnessed and used to restore one’s balance and wholeness. Healing circles can be used for attuning one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy with that of nature.

The circle constitutes an infinite number of paths to uncovering the mysteries of life. Healing circles are portals to help you access the very core of your being where your purest inner consciousness or your true self dwells.

healing circle

Nature’s Ancient Altar

We can create and use healing circles to establish a sacred space and center ourselves inside our own personal universe.

What intentions and items you put into your sacred space creates its essence just as what you put on your altar gives it its power. This principle applies to creating your healing circle.

As a shaman I know the significance of certain sacred objects such as stones and crystals, which carry different vibrations, varied properties and attributes.


Crystals have been valued for millennia for their healing properties.

Crystals possess a very stable atomic structure that may contribute to balancing subtle energies. Crystals have been thought to heal holistically by affecting the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of being.

Crystals and stones come in many varieties and colors, each with a different molecular and atomic energy. Some crystals are more stimulating and will raise the subtle vibration of our etheric bodies while others are more soothing and will calm our energy.

crystal healing

New research indicates that crystals may be the key to the future of technology.

According to Fox News, a tiny crystal (Beryllium ions) could hold the secret to computers of the future, unimaginably more powerful than today’s most advanced supercomputers. Preliminary tests indicate that the new processor can eclipse the capacity of current computers by an extraordinary 80 orders of magnitude –a 1 with 80 zeros after it– potentially taking computers into a new dimension.

crystal healing circle

Crystals are being increasingly used in modern devices, such as in computers, watches and ultrasound machines. Ultrasound machines use crystals in their probes. When an electric current is applied to these crystals, they change shape rapidly or vibrate. These vibrations produce sound waves that travel outward. Conversely, when sound or pressure waves hit the crystals, they emit electrical currents. Therefore, the same crystals can be used to send and receive sound waves.

Basically, crystals are awesome and have a wealth of potential that has been under-explored by scientists.

However, shamans and crystal healers have long known about the ability of crystals to focus sound and light vibrations into a concentrated ray, which was then applied for healing. They can be used to focus the abundant natural energies all around us.

crystal healing circle

The Evolution of My Crystal Healing Circle

For years I have been cultivating my vision and collecting crystals and stones that spoke to me for the purpose of making a Crystal Healing Circle. It came to fruition this year on my birthday, which coincided with a full moon.

As a healer I knew this circle needed to incorporate a space for me to meditate, to draw strength from, invoke spirit and to manifest healing—whether that be personal, for a friend or for humanity. I wanted it to have an outside circle for me to be able to walk and drum.

crystal healing circle

Choosing the location was crucial.

Spirit guided me to a spot in my backyard. I wanted easy access and visibility from my house so I could keep my intentions focused.

I was guided by spirit to prepare the land around my circle.

I blessed the land and had three special Japanese maples brought in from the best-kept secret Japanese maple farm in North Carolina. They were placed precisely around the circle to form a trine (one-third of a circle or 120 degrees). Each tree represents a member of our family (myself, husband and daughter).

japanese maple spiritual

These Japanese maples manifested wisdom, beauty and comfort to the space.

I handcrafted three wooden protection totems from the trees that bordered our property and hung them in the Japanese maples.

wooden protection totem

After invoking our sacred space we began the process of creating the circle.

We measured a 9-foot diameter for the circle, which represented the symbolic power of three times three. Then we added four stones to each cardinal direction, representing North, South, East and West and additionally representing the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.


Concentric Circles

We began to create two concentric healing circles (one within the other) with large river rock and filled them in with a smaller version of the same variety. We placed my sitting stone directly in the middle and added quartz crystals around the center stone to intensify the positive and healing energy.

crystal healing circle

The Power of Three

After completing this stage, under the full moon of my birthday, we stepped into the circle. We joined hands and united as the power of three (symbolizing the holy trinity) and blessed nature’s most powerful altar. We drew strength from the spirit of the wolf, howling under the soft light of mother moon while drumming, dancing and swirling energy around the crystal circle.

full moon healing ritual

Under the next full moon—the full flower moon—we manifested abundance by adding more crystals.

Large crystals representing the masculine were placed around the outer edge such as red and green calcite, red jasper, unakite jasper and raw hematite to name a few. Smaller sized crystals representing the feminine were placed within the circle, including rose quartz, labradorite, amethyst, apatite, sodalite and amazonite.

crystal healing circle

The juxtaposition of these masculine and feminine crystals effectively balanced the yin and yang.

crystal healing circle

Vortexing the Universe’s Energy

The combination of healing circles with crystals created a vortex, which is the energy of the universe focused at its strongest point. The vortex is the center of the circle where you place the largest stone to sit upon.

crystal healing circle

Using the Crystal Healing Circle

Since its conception the crystal healing circle has been imbued with Reiki and smudged with sage. I take crystals that I work with regularly out to the center stone and leave them to be charged by the energies of the sun and moon.

crystal healing circle

We have used the crystal healing circle as a destination for meditation and invited others to benefit from its healing properties.

crystal healing circle

We continue to use the circle on a daily basis not just for healing specific needs but also as an altar and sacred space. Its magnetic presence draws us to it and it radiates love, peace and security to all those who enter.

crystal healing circle

We encourage you to make your own version to support the overall well-being of your mind, body and spirit.

crystal healing circle

About the Authors

Kaylee is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

Kamaira Philips, Bachelor of Music (BM), is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She is an operatic soprano, an intuitive energy healer and modern shaman, a meditation instructor, a certified EMT and a scientist. Kamaira is researching topics related to immunology and alternative medicine at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.

crystal healing circle