Activated Lifestyle Blog

New Years Rituals

Sacred ceremony and rituals play a heavy role in my life and intention setting. It’s in my indigenous blood. I find such clarity and notice a huge shift my spiritual gifts and intuition heightens post-ceremony. Every year is different for me but what I keep as a constant are these rituals to bring in abundance, clarity, and a fresh start to my New Year. I’m so thrilled to share these New Year Rituals with you. 

*NOTE: I gather my ceremonial traditions and rituals from a handful of different teachers and elders I’ve worked with closely throughout my life. For me, I focus on my intentions and how I want to feel. I don’t follow any specific religion or traditional practices. Feel free to tweak these rituals to fit to your desired liking.

What Are Rituals?

Rituals are powered by intentions. When it comes to rituals, they are often done for a celebratory purpose. In indigenous and ancient traditions, rituals have been celebrated since the earliest recorded history of man-kind. Rituals involve the execution of deliberate actions – meaning, you best believe if you’re taking the time to set intentions and actions- get ready for big results! With the heightened energy of new beginnings in the beginning of the year, a New Years Rituals is perfect to add to your practice.

Ancient traditional rituals have been construed and twisted in many history books- creating fear and skepticism of the unknown.

Our cultural evolution and historical religious widespread crusades and conquests have greatly impacted the way many view rituals and sacred ceremonies. Ancient traditional rituals have been construed and twisted in many history books- creating fear and skepticism of the unknown. Pagan, Aztec, and Mayan Sacrificial Rituals are highlighted in books as barbaric and often times misunderstood. However, the general public knows very little of other rituals that were practiced in times of antiquity such as Norse rituals during Yule (which have been adopted in many of our Christmas traditions). 

New Years Rituals I’ve Adopted

I follow many ancient traditions, and actually consider October 31st, Samhain, to be more of my energetic and calendar New Year. However, I respect the high energy that is available to us on the end of our Georgian Calendar for New Years Eve and New Years Day. For me, I feel like it is a great time to recalibrate and re-align. In my sacred New Year ceremonies I like to first set intentions. I set intentions and claim the energy I wish to most resonate with- I don’t do resolutions. I also really enjoy spending time utilizing my hands and making vision boards for the year. Sometimes I do this on New Years Eve as I contemplate the upcoming year. There are several different herbs and crystals I utilize during my ritual as well and I’ll go into more detail later. 

When To Do Rituals

It’s important to first understand your intentions and be very clear. Depending on the day you perform your ritual highly depends on your intentions. If I’m doing any ritual on New Years Eve, I’m typically doing a “letting go” ritual or setting intentions on things I wish to leave behind. If there are toxic behaviors, people, situations, that seem to be the root of your obstacles, this is a great time full of big energy to perform those types of rituals. On the other hand, you can certainly do many of these rituals in the New Year, depending on the ritual and your intention. As an example, I like to cleanse a lot of my ceremonial tools and crystals for a fresh new start. I like to spend time with my tarot decks and cleanse the energies and thank my ancestors for their messages and blessings. I’ll go more in depth and share some of my favorite New Years rituals. 

Cleanse + Clear My Space

I do this on a weekly basis, however, on New Years Eve or a few days prior to that, I like to do an end of the year ritual. I spend a day cleaning my space (room, office, home environment etc.,). I set intentions the entire time I’m cleaning to clean away any negative residue that has been left over throughout the year, and my space is now clean and energetically clear. I like to take this time as a time for reflection as well. However, I think it’s very important to stay as present as possible during the cleaning process. I like to think sometimes, “What is the most intentionally way I can clean this room?” “How can I clean (add any special product or something you value) with the utmost respect and honor?”. I also like to put on some good music (depending on my mood it can be anything from Ella Fitzgerald to kirtan) and make sure all my windows are open. 

I set intentions the entire time I’m cleaning to clean away any negative residue that has been left over throughout the year, and my space is now clean and energetically clear.

I make 90% of my home cleaners, and I like to make specific blends for specific intention settings. For cleaning and clearing I like to use lavendar, lemon and sweet orange essential oils in my zero waste homemade cleaning products. Lavender oil contains antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Lavender is also known for its soothing and calming effects, so it makes perfect sense that it also helps ward off negative energies. Lemon oil also has a lot of great antibacterial properties that are great for cleaning, but has also been historically used as a psychic cleanser.

I understand, living in California this is very easy to perform but I’m also aware there is this thing called snow that other people around the world experience. If keeping your doors and windows aren’t an option, do your best to get some air flow through the house even if its small increments at a time. 

After my home is cleaned, I like to perform an overall energetic clearing. I typically use sage and I will go throughout every room starting at 12 oclock and going clockwise. I sage any doors or windows, I thank my ancestors for protecting my home, I thank my angels for guarding me with a roof over my head, I clear out any old and stagnant energy, and close with my last room being my bedroom.

The point of cleaning and clearing my space not only gives me a fresh new start, I’m also energetically opening up space for new things to come in. 

What You’ll Need

Best Time For Ritual

It’s best to do this on New Year’s Eve or a few days prior. 

Write Down New Years Intentions

The beginning of a New Year is the prime time to set your intentions and reflect on the previous year. Intentions are statements and declarations of what you desire and consciously intend to be, learn, do, have, feel or experience in a coming period of time, such as the coming New Year. A well-set intention is a statement of pure, clear, and decisive focus that kick starts the process of aligning to your desires. Intentions contain more commitment than desires. Intentions are less specific—less rigid and, thus, less likely to trigger unhealthy attachment to outcomes—than goals.

The difference between an intention and a goal are vastly different. Goals are focused on the future. They’re more about a destination or a specific achievement. Instead of setting resolutions or goals that can easily come and go, try setting intentions that will help you live as the best version of yourself. The act of setting intentions helps to focus your mind, prioritize what’s most important and start making transformations and practicing alchemy from within.

What You’ll Need

Best Time For Ritual

It’s best to do this ritual on New Years Eve.

Burning / Releasing Intentions

A burning ceremony is a transformative ritual that is done on Full Moons, New Moons, and sacred, holy days. Burning intentions are performed as a way to release the past and negativity. In many indigenous cultures, burning ceremonies and Grandfather fire symbolizes strength, power, wisdom, knowledge, passion, and purification. When I spend time reflecting on my intentions of what I want to bring into my reality for the upcoming year, I also reflect on the things I want to let go and release. I find a place of solitude and make sure I’m grounded when writing what I want to release. This can be written in bullet points, as a poem, a short story, however you feel most connected. The point is to be clear and intentional with what you wish to release. By burning away the past, you can free yourself from any regrets, sorrow, toxicity, or pain, and look forward to a better future. 

What You’ll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Lighter or Match
  • Safe Burning-friendly surface: Large metal/glass bowl or cauldron, a pan, a fireplace or fire pit, or stone clearing, etc.

Best Time For New Years Ritual

It’s best to do this ritual on New Years Eve, New Years Day or a few days after. 

Cleansing Crystals, Tarot Decks, Ceremonial Tools

I have written before about the importance of cleansing and clearing. It’s so important to cleanse your crystals on a regular basis as most crystals will absorb negative energy from their surroundings. There are several ways to cleanse your crystals, tarot decks and ceremonial tools. I prefer to smudge my tools with sage and palo santo. In ancient traditions, sage has been said to to clear ALL energy – the good and the bad. Palo Santo on the other hand is said to cleanse all negative and bring in the good energy. For this reason, I prefer to use Palo Santo during my New Years Rituals. In order to cleanse my tools, I set an intention and begin grounding techniques. Once I’m in a content state, I pass over my crystals, tarot deck, and tools with my palo santo, setting my clearing intentions. 

What You’ll Need

  • Palo Santo -or-
  • Sage
  • Lighter or Match
  • Your collection of crystals, tarot decks, ceremonial tools, etc., 

Best Time For Ritual

It’s best to do this ritual on New Years Day or a few days after. 

Practice Your Rituals with Intention

I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice your New Years rituals with pure intention. When we purge, release, let go – we do so for the better of our souls. We make room for more abundance and blessings to fill our life. When we ask to bring in love, opportunities, blessings, manifest abundance – we do so for our highest good and are open to receiving. When we don’t focus clearly on our desires and our intentions are cloudy- filled with resentment, judgement, or maybe we don’t fully believe in our own power that is within us – it makes it more difficult to fully receive what we’re asking for. May this new decade of 2020 be full of blessings, learning, abundance, growing, and may you know yourself on a deeper level. Aho.

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Activated Lifestyle podcast

Welcoming the Fall Equinox Podcast Notes

Happy Fall Equinox! The Fall Equinox is the transitional decline from the Summer Solstice leading into the shortest day of the year on the Winter Solstice. This year, in 2019, the Fall Equinox lands on 9/22- 9/23. Autumn is often seen as a season of mystery and darkness, but it is also a celebration of new beginnings and closing old chapters.

Erin Oberlander

In this podcast episode, I have an amazing conversation with my dear friend, Erin Oberlander, certified aromatherapist. Erin has a background in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as Ayurveda. She is just sooo full of knowledge, and has even created an amazing online academy, The Intuitive and Seasonal Living Academy. This online academy comprises of Kori Messer, Inspired Life Strategist, and Erin, Certified Holistic Aromatherapist. Together, they have collaborated to bring all online students an offering that includes personal development of Body, Mind, and Soul while you connect with the ancient wisdom traditions of Ayurveda & Traditional Chinese Medicine and the modern art of Aromatherapy.

Topics Discussed in The Fall Equinox Podcast

This episode is full of so much amazing information. Below are the time stamps and shows notes. To follow Erin, or sign up for her Intuitive Seasonal Living Academy, be sure to scroll down to the bottom for all of her links and social media handles!

3:37- 4:05 – Erin’s background and Intuitive Seasonal Living Academy
6:45-9:20 – Elemental changes of Fall according to TCM
9:22-10:50 – Protective Chi
11:02-13:01 – Aromatherapy for Immunity Boosting in the fall
13:50-18:00 – Embracing seasonal changes
19:00-22:13 – Erin is a Prarie Perma-Ninja
22:13-24:00 – Taking the Dogma out of our belief systems
24:17-30:23 – TCM / Amplifying our Chi for the Fall
30:40- 31:55 – Bringing in warms colors & earth elements into our environment during Fall
32:07-43:00 – Grounding during the Fall season
44:29-47:00 – Establishing Morning/ Evening routines during the Fall
47:02-48:15 – Are you saying “Yes”, to your commitments out of shame, guilt, or obligation?
49:00-52:17 – Celebrating during our “Harvest Seasons” of our lives
52:26-56:17 – “Digital”/Detox during the seasonal shifts
56:20-59:07 – Yerba Mate Tea for grounding
59:22-1:06:00 – Whats the TEA on PSL (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) ? Should we be drinking cold brews during the Fall months?
1:07:00-1:20:00 – Cacao + Cacao Ceremonies – How do we honor this seed? Is it Westernized Rituals or Indigenous Ceremony?
1:20:00 -1:27:00 – Finding clarity in our grounding practices
1:27:13- 1:28:00 – Finding your Medicine

Mentioned in the Episode…

Follow Erin Oberlander

Erins Instagram
Erins Website
Intuitive & Seasonal Living Academy

There are affiliate links within this post. As an affiliate, I receive a small percentage of certain items purchased. These small commissions earned help keep Activated Living ad-free. Please see affiliate page and privacy policy for full details.

Activated Lifestyle Healing

5 Types of CBD

CBD is everywhere. It’s about damn time. With the Cannabis Boom that we’re currently in, many companies are popping up overnight with CBD-infused elixirs, oils, gummies… You get the idea. But with SO many amazing products to choose from, it can seem a little intimidating when you look at the label and see, “Nano-enhanced CBD Hemp Oil” or what the heck is Full-Spectrum CBD ? No worries, I got you.

What Is CBD ?

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s Endo-cannabinoid System in ways that researchers are still learning and understanding. CBD stands for cannabidiol and does NOT contain any psychoactive properties. Basically, you won’t get stoned when using CBD. There is much evidence and many scientific studies looking at the connection with CBD and working in conjunction with symptoms such as dizziness, pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even used for seizures, opioid addiction, arthritis, epilepsy, PTSD among many others.

What Type of CBD is right for me?

It’s important to note that we are all comprised of different genetic backgrounds, experience different triumphs and traumas, and metabolize at different rates. Understanding which CBD product is right for you is a kind invitation to understanding and listening to your body a little more effectively and frequently. In my personal experience, feeding my Endocannabinoid system daily is an effective way for me to heal and thrive, as well as practice cultivating an appreciation of preventative wellness. Let me clearly define the 5 different types of CBD.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-Spectrum CBD is a cannabis-derived compound that comes from the whole plant that contains CBD and a handful of other phytocannabinoids. Some of these phytocannabinoids include THC, CBN, THCA, CBC, and the newly popular CBG.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-Spectrum CBD contains all phytocannabinoids in the plant but does not contain any detectable amount of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is a fantastic choice for those who can’t have any trace of THC is their system, whether it be due to legal purposes, passing a drug test, etc.,

CBD Isolate

Some oil companies and beverage companies now advertise CBD Isolate. This means it contains only the CBD isolate, which is a purified CBD molecule. The key difference here is that it does not contain other phytocannabinoids like full or broad spectrum.

Nano CBD

Nano CBD is a compound where the molecules of CBD are shrunken down and turned into a water-based form. With this particular process, it allows the CBD to pass through skin and blood stream barrier much more easily and quickly than any oil-based form. This is a great option for those in chronic pain needing fast relief.

Hemp Seed Oil / Hemp Oil

Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from hemp seeds. It does not contain CBD or any phytocannabinoids. There are many companies out there that claim their product provides the best form of CBD but if you see the word “Hemp” on the packaging, by law there product should not contain CBD unless stated in ingredients or packaging.

Although there is still a long way to go to understanding the intricacies of the endocannabinoid system and how our bodies interact with the different components of the cannabis plant, it is clear that CBD may be an effective way to help heal any dis-ease or ailment you may be experiencing. Always remember to do your research, use this as your medicine with an open mind and expansive heart.


Although I am speaking about my own personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental or physical health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.


Activated Lifestyle podcast

5 Dimensions of Self Care

The term, “self care” has been thrown around a lot on social media lately. The 5 dimensions of self care cover a full spectrum of Mind, Body, Spirt. To fully dive deep into the waters of self care, let’s clearly define the definitions of Self Care.

*Podcast notes for the 5 Dimensions of Self Care can be found at the end of this post.

What Is Self Care?

Self Care can be defined as: “Activities and practices we engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance our well-being”.

For some people, maybe you’re a little lost on what that specifically means. Maybe you have a full understanding of this term but you don’t know where to start. For some who are prone to or experience acute or chronic anxiety- maybe self care is a goal of yours to start practicing but you just start feeling paralysis by analysis. Wherever you are on the spectrum, I think a great way to start this out is to first identify the 5 Dimensions of Self Care and from there we can talk about different tips and suggestions to incorporate into your lifestyle. The 5 Dimensions of Self Care include:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Spiritual and
  • Emotional aspects

Incorporating activities from each dimension into your life means you’ll be nourishing every aspect into your daily routines and ultimately getting better at practicing Self-Care. Also, when you’re looking to begin cultivating a spiritual practice or live more in tune and intuitively, balance is so important. To be fair, balance is super important in life, in general.

Self Care has been very “instagram-ized” (probably not a word, but it’s all good) and has been glorified and mistaken as pampering. Don’t get me wrong, pampering can fall into Self Care. However, it would be a huge disservice to our growth and our well being if we primarily focused on epsom salt baths and bath bombs, getting our nails done and facials as JUST the one aspect of Self Care.

Physical Self Care

Starting at the physical level of self care, this is going to primarily involve your fitness, eating and sleep habits. This area also includes how you manage stress, your dental and medical health as well as overall sexual health. I understand that all of those categories sound like a lot to manage and focus on all at once. No need to worry or stress! I like to write down a list of categories that fall into the physical realm of Self Care and think about which area I have been neglecting lately. I don’t worry about making sure I’m doing 15 things at once to incorporate self care into my routine, I just focus on the one area that has been neglected and throughout that week I find small ways to honor my physical self care. Physical self-care can often overlap with mental self-care because how you view yourself will reflect through how you take care of yourself physically.

Integrating the Physical Dimension of Self Care

The physical dimension of self-care encompasses safety, health, nutrition, movement, physical touch, and sexual needs. When you practice activities for your physical well-being, you can increase your energy levels and boost your self-esteem. Some components you can do as a daily practice to integrate the physical dimension of self care include:

  • Eating nourishing, high vibrational foods and drinking nourishing tonics and elixirs
  • Dancing or practicing yoga, Qi-gong, Tai chi, or pranic breathing
  • Taking a long, relaxing Epsom salt or magnesium flake bath
  • Take a nap or get some extra sleep
  • Schedule a dental or medical check up
  • Exploring tantric touch or sacred masturbation / Orgasm magic

If that sounds a little woo-woo for you or maybe you’re feeling a strong resistance to hearing that, I would highly suggest and invite you to do a little research and dig a little deeper into those subjects if it calls you. It’s an extremely healing and beautiful practice that works with your energy, touch, breathing, and intention. 

Intellectual Self Care

Intellectual self care involves your personal growth, the continuous pursuit for learning and education, engaging in new ideas and belief systems, practicing mindfulness and creating an overall positive mindset for yourself.

If you think way back to the age of the Renassiance, with Leonardo DiVinci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Carravagio- these men were constantly in the pursuit of knowledge and all aspects of art and innovation. This was about a 300 year period where there was this heightened sense of pursuit of knowledge, art, science, innovation and music. And I believe right now we’re slowly waking up to a second wave of this pursuit for not only innovative knowledge and looking towards the future, but also looking back at our ancestors, and finding the magic within spirituality, plant medicine, alchemy, and incorporating that into our modern lives.

One thing I would highly suggest that doesn’t cost you anything, it doesn’t take up too much time to devote to, is addressing your inner “thinker”. The mind knows no bounds, and your intellect is bordered only by your drive to seek and learn. I know somewhere I read like, “A healthy mind is the foundation for a healthy “self” and personally, I couldn’t agree more. 

Integrating the Intellectual Dimension of Self Care

The desire to learn new concepts and expand your knowledge contributes positively to your overall well-being. Mental self-care is about finding the balance between stimulating your mind and giving your mind a break. In my own personal experience, all this can help with creativity, innovation, and continual learning. Some ways to integrate this dimension of self care include:

Social Dimension of Self Care

Social Self care is the 3rddimension of self care and this involves having a supportive network of people you can turn to when you need uplifting, guidance, or someone to talk to.

Whether it’s your circle of sisters, your tribe, your squad- whoever that is for you, it’s critically important to cultivate these lasting relationships. Regardless of whether you’re an introvert and prefer a small, intimate dinner or an extrovert who thrives on large crowds, we all enjoy human interaction. We as human beings are social by default and as such, we crave, thrive and seek comfort in a solid social network. Social connections help create a sense of belonging and acceptance, so whether you’re the life of the party or prefer to have a Netflix marathon with a small handful of friends, finding that connection with “your people” and cultivating those relationships – going beyond a surface level is very important. 

Integrating the Social Dimension of Self Care

The health of our relationships with others plays a significant role in our overall well-being and happiness. As humans, we are social creatures and need to be around other humans. Some ways to integrate this dimension of social self care could be:

  • Meeting up with friends for coffee, tea, or a lunch break
  • Engage with family members, neighbors or people in your community
  • Reaching out to someone in need
  • Organizing a gathering or dinner party/potluck

Spiritual Dimension of Self Care

The 4thdimension I’m going to discuss is spiritual self care. There are SO many ways to define spirituality because it means different things to different people. Getting in touch with your spiritual side doesn’t mean you have to start going to Sunday mass every week or book a flight to India and volunteer at an ashram. I mean you can if you want- but when I talk about spirituality as self care, I’m focusing on cultivating a sense of peace, self-love and purpose, not only within yourself but within the earth and the universe that is all around you. Spiritual self care involves the beliefs and values that help guide your life. Finding your own understanding and practice of spirituality can be of great benefit to your life, as it helps you gain perspective and comfort, enables you to focus on the bigger picture, understand more of the why, disconnect from the modern world and detangle yourself from a love of material possessions.

A spiritual practice will help nourish your soul, seek better understanding and explore different dimensions of the spiritual realm for those who gravitate towards that. Spirituality for me is something that not only is crucial for me to acknowledge and incorporate in my daily practice 

Integrating the Spiritual Dimension of Self Care

Spiritual self-care is focused on giving greater meaning or purpose in your life that extends beyond our physical form.This is ultimately about connecting with the deepest level of your soul and your inner wisdom so you can begin to live in alignment with your purpose in the world. If this language isn’t something that aligns with you, look at this dimension of self care helping to guide you to the most authentic, abundant and joy-fueled expression of you. Some examples of this dimension of self care includes:

  • Meditation
  • Writing down your dreams every morning and reflection
  • Spend time alone in nature
  • Develop a regular yoga, tai chi or qi-gong practice
  • Take a kundalini Yoga class
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or organization

Emotional Dimension of Self Care

Emotional self-care involves awareness of your feelings and emotions, dealing with stress POSITIVELY, and cultivating a sense of compassion, kindness, and love for ourselves and others. Emotional Intelligence is so important and is a big factor for those who may be looking into the self-discovery and self realization realm. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Take a moment and ask yourself, how is your emotional strength? Do you cave under pressure or can you face things head-on with a smile and a clear head? By focussing on your emotional self-care, you can build resilience, lessen stress and anxiety, and cultivate an overall feeling of being capable and successful.

Once you allow your inner happiness to blossom, and start spending quality time for and with yourself, you’ll start to see that self-love becomes  a priority, not an obligation or burden. You will then start to attract the right attention. Your friends, significant others, and family can never supplement this feeling because it comes from deep within your soul. Your sense of self-worth will radiate out and will allow you to prioritize in a way that will form honest, healthy, and genuine lasting relationships. 

To be honest, I feel like there needs to be a huge paradigm shift when it comes to self care and the stigma or shameful feeling that typically arrives soon after we make that conscious decision to do things just for ourselves. Society makes us feel like when we have downtime, we should be spending it on work, creating more work, creating content, or helping someone with their work. We have created a culture that idolizes “being busy”. 

Integrating the Emotional Dimension of Self Care

Emotional self-care is so essential to our health, well being and happiness. When we face difficult and challenging emotions it’s super easy to want to numb out the pain, disconnect, run away, and turn to our vice of choice and forget about the issue altogether. When we allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum of our emotions, we build up the internal strength and resilience we need to face the next challenge that comes along. Some ways to integrate a practice of emotional self care include:

Creating healthy boundaries 
self-care means that saying ‘no’ is sometimes necessary and creating healthy boundaries for what we allow. You are not a asshole for changing your mind – you are human and have every right to make the best decisions for you.

Practicing gratitude
what we focus on expands so taking time each day to write down or think about what is going well in your life and what you have to be grateful for is an instant way to shift your mood. 

Practicing Forgiveness
Forgiveness isn’t always easy, especially when we feel betrayed, or when people project their issues on to us, or we find ourselves in a tornado of someones aggression, insecurities, or just plain insensitivity. Ultimately, forgiveness is especially challenging because it’s hard to let go of what’s happened. 

Positive Self – Talk 
How we talk to ourselves matters! We need to fuel ourselves with positive self-talk that lifts us up and creates alignment with the future vision we have for our lives. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overthinking and believing every thought we think, but the reality is that just because we think something it doesn’t mean it’s true. What we say matters, as well as our thoughts. Words are like prayers that manifest into our reality. Imagine – we are composed of 60-70% of water. The frequency and vibrations of our words affect us not only on a mental scale but on a physiological scale as well.

For example, in Dr. Emoto’s water experiment, he exposed water in glasses to different words, pictures, or music and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. Other scientific studies have done similar experiments with plants. The results show that the elements exposed to negative words, images and sounds had a more chaotic composition vs. the elements that were exposed to positive words.

Self Care Isn’t Selfish

Lastly I want to finish with a common misconception people have when it comes to self care- Self Care isn’t selfish!! As I mentioned before, we need to dismantle the stigma of feeling guilty for taking care of ourselves on all dimensions.

Activated Lifestyle

Zero Waste Living: Kitchen Pt. 1

Before I knew what “Zero Waste Living” meant, I was always intrigued on finding ways to live my life with less plastic. Years ago when I first moved into my little bungalow in Palm Springs, the first thing I wanted to do was find as many glass and mason jars as I could for my kitchen. Fast forward to 8 years later, and I’m still finding myself adding glass containers, jars and buying in bulk- however I do it for a worthy cause rather than pure aesthetic.

What is a zero waste lifestyle? It’s beyond eating “clean” and ditching your plastic- it involves adopting a more conscious, minimalistic approach to living. However, let me be clear, going zero-waste does not happen overnight. It takes time and some investing and major lifestyle changes. Once I became conscious of my much waste and trash I accumulate and how much plastic I used, I was convinced there had to be easy steps for a zero-waste lifestyle. Below are my go-to suggestions for creating a zero waste kitchen.

Switch from Paper to Cloth

I can’t tell you how many times I mindlessly went for that huge roll of paper towels when cooking in the kitchen and grabbed probably more than I needed. In 2017, my partner and I invested in a vegan delivery business in Mexico, with the contract we lived in the live/work home that had a gorgeous kitchen. I remember everything was basically as zero waste as possible except for the paper towels. For us, it was an easy transition: we went to our local tienda (store) and bought cheap wash clothes and cut them into hand-towel sizes. It was a simple transition and made me feel better in the end.

The cloth towels can clean up accidental spills, cleaning kitchen appliances, washing windows, etc., What I like to do is keep a dedicated drawer in the kitchen with up to 15-20 hand made towels to keep on hand. For those who are pretty active in the kitchen will see a huge benefit for using cloth over papers. When it’s time for laundry, I just do an extra load of towels. Simple!

Make Your Own Zero Waste Dish Soap

Making my own dish soap is one of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities. I know I know, sounds pretty lame. But for some reason I find tranquility and super enjoy it. Creating a zero waste kitchen for me meant looking underneath the sink. I never realized how many plastic bottles, duplicate brands, and chemicals I had stored underneath. There was a radically honest moment I needed to have with myself: How many months had I been storing all these chemicals and how often did I actually use them? The answer- a long friggin time and not so often.

One of the most simple recipes I have for an all purpose cleaner is 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water, a few drops of any essential oil and mix in a spray bottle. I use this all purpose cleaner for counter tops, stove, oven, windows, cleaning the inside of the fridge. To clean dishes, I like to use a bamboo multi-use scrubber which has a longer shelf life and carries less bacteria than a regular sponge. You can find the scrubber, and similar eco cleaning products here.

Store Your Food in Metal or Glass Containers

Shopping with mason jars or glass jars may seem like a daunting task, and many people feel it’s extra weight to carry (when I lived in San Francisco and walked 12 blocks to my local grocery store, I can’t imagine the idea of lugging my mason jars with me for my bulk foods). Personally, I try to be as waste and plastic free as possible, however, when I’m buying rice, flours, nuts in bulk, I re use the same 10 plastic bags, so I’m not re-using more plastic. Once I’m home, I take my bulk items and store them in a glass container. I know there are better reusable bags I can use for my bulk items, but for now re-using my plastic bags work for me.

Transferring your items into glass or metal jars are not only helpful to visually see what you have in your pantry, but also is beneficial to reduce any harsh chemicals that may be toxic (ie. – plastic containers for food storage). Glass is an overall safer option food storage than plastic. Chemicals from plastic containers may migrate from the plastic into your food. This commonly occurs when hot food is put into plastic or during microwave heating.

You can find some great quality glass storage containers and jars here. I also like to check goodwill and other thrift stores to see if I can find good glass containers for cheap.
Finally, deciding to go zero waste is a huge lifestyle change a commitment. With the right attitude and patience, you’ll be on your way to making your home more minimal and better for the environment.

Activated Lifestyle Healing

What is Nano-enhanced hemp oil?

Nano-enhanced hemp oil is a beneficial natural product that is slowly gaining popular attention. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of a number of molecules that the cannabis plant produces. Vital oil is extracted from the hemp plant. The oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds of the industrial hemp plant. It is a natural substance that contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and  low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp Oil has become an increasingly popular product. Additionally, hemp oil is sold in the form of capsules, drops, and edible infusions. It has the potential to support the vital communication network responsible for regulating many essential functions throughout your body.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids that can found in the cannabis plant. A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in cells. Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body and are a part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for keeping the body in homeostasis (stability, balance, or equilibrium within the body).

Is CBD/ Hemp Oil Legal in the U.S ?

Is CBD oil legal to buy or sell in the United States? The legal status of the oil can be confusing as you will find different answers within different states and regulations. Many hemp oil and hemp-related products are legal in all 50 states. In order for hemp products to be legal they must be legally sourced. Hemp oil can also be imported to the U.S. legally. Additionally, hemp can be grown in certain U.S. states for commercial use.

Does CBD get you high?

There are many misconceptions about the effects of CBD hemp oil. The chemical makeup varies depending on the variety. CBD hemp oil is derived from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD oil does not contain the psychoactive properties of THC. Lastly, CBD has been proven to counteract the properties of THC that get you high.

What effects can CBD have on the body?

Cannabinoids vary and some interact with CB receptors and cause different effects. CBD may help with regulating mood and helping with concentration, aiding in better, more restful sleep, easing pain and inflammation, and additionally help with anxiety and depression.


The information on CBD hemp oil and any products, services, software, tools, applications, features or functionality offered or made available on or through the website are not in any way intended to provide medical or business advice nor is it intended to create a doctor-patient relationship. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The site should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Any interactive tools contained on the Site are provided to assist you in your personal research on skincare and wellness issues.

Activated Lifestyle Retreats + Events

Stepping Into Freedom in Sayulita: Soulful Experiences

What do you want in a retreat? Abundant, tropical scenery, high vibrational food, access to your own personal trainer, delicious and relaxing bodywork… I could go on. But hopefully I’ve caught your attention.

In June of 2015, my beloved Daniel and I set out for an adventure to move to Mexico and embark on a journey of health, wealth, abundance, and a new chapter. I find myself looking back on the past year and I’m literally blown away by the experiences and abundance that has found me.

The whole goal was to create a space to heal and start retreats

I spent the past three years prior to meeting Daniel attending retreats (and eventually helping put on retreats for others) seminars, exploring my inner shadows and learning about living a life on my own terms. Moving to Mexico was NOT planned, but we were given an opportunity to make the best of the situation and I figured, well if this is where I’m supposed to do some healing, I imagine others are seeking it out as well.

Why I believe a retreat is for everyone, not just for people who can afford luxury vacations

I don’t know if it was a chip on my shoulder, or if I was just afraid to invest in a retreat – in turn, ultimately, afraid to invest in myself. Whatever the “WHY” is, I kept telling myself this story that a health retreat, or a yoga retreat, or just a relaxing spa-getaway was only set aside for the privileged few who could afford luxury vacations. I was only making $12.00 USD an hour working as a wine director/consultant when I first went to Kauai on my first retreat. However, I found a pretty cheap flight ($240 round trip) and saw that I had about $2,500 in my checking and savings. I took a big risk. And I signed up and sent my first deposit and felt a rush of excitement. NOT FEAR. Crazy, right?

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“What can I expect on a retreat in Mexico?” 

A very good friend of mine once told me, “Expect nothing to experience everything”. With such a good phrase echoing in my mind, I still want to share with you what you a few things you can get excited about experiencing!


Airport pick up and drop off
We’ll be picking everyone up at the International airport in Puerto Vallarta. From there we’ll take a 45 minute drive directly through the jungle, maybe pick up some fresh coco water and yaka (jackfruit) and head into Sayulita to our Retreat Home.

Welcome Dinner
After a long day of traveling, you can enjoy a fresh, delicious, and organic meal with local ingredients sourced just miles from our retreat home. Cool off with fresh hibiscus and fruit-infused waters.

Beach Walks
We’re so grateful to live just a 1o minute walk from the beach. We feel like it’s the best way to end the evening. There’s seriously nothing like watching the sun go down from our favorite spot on the beach and fully taking in the Sayulita Life.

Morning Meditations
We’ll explore the workings of guided meditations, satsang (a soulful gathering of truth and wisdom), and silent meditations. Never meditated before? Maybe it’s a bit too woo-woo-y? No problem! We believe the beauty of exploring new ways to create powerful and successful habits and morning rituals coincide with finding the balance so many of us seek in our lives.

Group fitness, yoga, and one-on-one personal training
We will be doing some group workouts that are low-intensity with lasting results. We’ll have on staff a personal trainer where you have full access and free time during the day for consultations, private training, and work on technique. This is fully included in your retreat package. We will also be sending you home with a personalized fitness program of the skills you learned to work on at home.

Experience an ancient Mexico tradition: Temezcal
One of the biggest take aways many of our past retreat attendees have told us are experiences they would never have access to had they not joined us on a four or six day experience. While living in Mexico, we’ve become good friends with a local medicine woman and have experienced many times the ancient tradition of temezcals (sweat lodges).  We’re thrilled to offer all retreat attendees an opportunity to meet local medicine woman and shaman, Linda, and experience this ancient tradition and release old energy and allow new energy, creativity, and abundance flow through you.

Part of me feels like I’m giving so much away, and then I realize how much more there is to experience while you’re out here. Once you sign up for our retreats and put down your first deposit, we send you an example itinerary of what we have planned, along with a packing list of essentials, and tips and options for economical lodging for those who wish to stay longer in Sayulita or the surrounding beach towns.


So- You ready to take the plunge?! If this sounds like a total HECK YES in your body and you’re ready for an epic experience of a life time, personally message me regarding upcoming dates for 2016 and 2017 retreats in Mexico. Still want a little more information? Check out the retreat information page here.

Activated Lifestyle Blog Retreats + Events

Going On A Retreat Changed My Life!

I think my story is fairly relatable. I was working a “job”, totally unfulfilled and overworked and under paid. I was fantastic at my job but it wasn’t my passion. I worked 80 hour weeks and lived for the weekend. I wasn’t aware of it but my lifestyle + amount of stress was weighing down on my soul and actually making me sick and overweight. I wasn’t psyched on life. I needed a freaking vacation.

I never thought I’d be one of those people to go on a “Self Improvement” workshop or retreat…

Not to say I had anything against them… I just didn’t even think I had the *time* to do something like that. In my head, it was more of a luxury than something I felt I *needed* to do. Let me tell you, this is probably a sign that you could benefit from a retreat.

It was midnight on some wednesday and I was just scrolling through whatever the search engine found for, “tropical retreats”. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to do a yoga retreat, or a full on adventure retreat. All I knew was I wanted to get out of California and go somewhere I hadn’t been before. I found a retreat that was promoting authentic communication (radical honesty), self love, and exploring the island of Kauai. I used to live on the island of Oahu so Kauai felt close enough within proximity for me to gather my barrings. I asked for 2 weeks off of work ( I hadn’t had a vacation in 3 years) and left on October 27th, 2013 to Kauai. t went in with zero expectations. I’ll be honest, flying on a plane going somewhere where I knew no one was a bit daunting. I felt nervous, excited, and also wondering what I was gonna do my last 6 days on the island. I had no place lined up to stay and budgeted enough to eat for $20 a day…which is not a lot in Kauaii!

By the end of the 3rd day on the retreat I had a crazy a-ha moment.

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I realized I had been simply observing the majority of my life without fully experiencing it. I was doing what I thought I should do or what others wanted me to do. I was living up to so many people’s expectations and realized I wasn’t serving myself by working a job I wasn’t excited about with zero benefits and not such great pay. That morning I googled, “How to write a letter of resignation” and quit my job by 9am. It was radical, and probably not the smartest decision (I went on for a year in between sleeping on friends couches… living in my car, traveling, working for life coaches and having adventures but not a whole lot in the bank..) but it was the liberation I needed. I felt free.

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Now I’m not encouraging anyone to go on a trip to Bali, quit their job and then expect it to be fairy dust and unicorns for the rest of their life. Trust me. It’s a HARD journey. Living a life on your own terms is liberating and one of the best things you could do in this lifetime but it comes with many hardships. You look … no, you’re confronted with the shadow side you’ve been ignoring for years, maybe even decades. But I promise you, this is the peak of where you choose your destiny. This is the point in your life where things just happen to fall into place, without even knowing where the journey will take you. Doors that you didn’t even know existed start to appear and open for you. And honestly, that’s just the beginning.

I’d be lying if I said this blog was purely just for inspiration. Of COURSE I’d love to have you on one of our retreats or workshops, however, this is also for anyone who just needs a little nudge from the universe. Maybe you’ve been telling yourself the same story I told myself for years; too many obligations, not enough time, not enough money, whatever. But honestly, once you get real with yourself – it’s something you just can’t afford NOT to do. I’ve made some of the most authentic and genuine friendships on retreats, and I’ve continually been finding more and more about myself, my soul, and my wants and desires through experiences like these. To be honest, going on a retreat was the catalyst moment where my life changed for the better.

If this inspires you and you’re feeling like saying, “LET’S DO THIS”, check out the Retreats Page to see all upcoming Activated Living retreats and workshops.


Activated Lifestyle Blog Nourish

My super sexy Maca shake

Maca is a super root that should definitely be in your pantry. One of the many reasons why I love Maca is the numerous benefits it holds. It carries hormone balancing properties that have actually been proven to reverse hyperthyroidism in some cases. Maca is high in iron, calcium, potassium, protein, magnesium, and zinc. Not only is it beneficial for women suffering from PMS symptoms, but it also is known to increase libido and sexual function in both men and women. 

Maca Benefits

Rich in Antioxidants
Maca acts as a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Improving your antioxidant levels may be beneficial for preventing conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes by preventing oxidative stress and cell damage.

Improves Female Sexual Health
There have been multiple studies that have confirmed that Maca benefits female sexual health through several different mechanisms. One study in particular focused on the effects of maca root on post-menopausal women with sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressants. Compared to a placebo, maca root was able to significantly improve sexual function. Maca is also able to balance female sex hormones and has even been shown to alleviate symptoms of menopause.

Mood and Hormone Balance
For those who struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, or mood swings, maca may be able to help alleviate these symptoms. Hormone balance is key to regulating sexual function, mood regulation, dis-ease prevention among other things. The way maca is able to help balance these hormones is it’s relationship to the pituitary glands and hypothalamus. Some studies suggest it may be the phytonutrients found in the maca root itself that helps balance the endocrine system.

Maca History

The use of maca can be traced back over thousands of years. Historically, this root vegetable was used by ancient Peruvians as a form of currency for trade. Maca root was also highly treasured for its medicinal properties. Maca was used to treat an array of ailments, such as menstrual problems, menopause, fatigue, stress, stomach cancer, and anemia. It is even said that Incan warriors filled up on maca root before heading into battle to boost their stamina and strength

This recipe is super delicious and it gives for a nice, creamy texture. You can also add your favorite superfoods such as hemp seeds, cacao nibs, vegan granola or any other toppings you desire!


Activated Lifestyle Blog

We are all worthy of love + light

The thing is, I woke up this morning – in a “third world country”, with posts upon posts and comments and videos on my newsfeed of the tragic and horrific incidents that have been happening in the world. And for some reason- something inside me clicked. Something switched on.
The truth is, these stories will continue to follow us as a nation, as a collective of HUMAN BEINGS unless something very radical happens. This is not an isolated incident. This is not a case about gun control. This is not just about a war on terrorism. This is not just about “us” versus “them”.  This is not “just” a case on racism that is so prevalent in our History and Culture that we collectively choose to turn a blind eye. This is a manifestation of a collective psyche. Acts of racism, intolerance and injustices are bringing to light a longstanding systemic problem that originates in a consciousness of fear and domination.

What we’re experiencing is not coming from a place of love and acceptance. And that’s where the paradigm shift needs to happen.

I’m done pretending that these incidents and frequent occurrences don’t affect me. Coming from a New Thought, and even New Age point of view, it’s very common for me to hear something a long the lines of, “well the more you continue to think about such travesties the more violence and intolerance you attract into your field”, “Don’t let such negativity affect you”, “Give it to God/ Source/ The Universe”, etc., The problem is – as a collective community SO many people tell themselves the lie that these things DON’T and SHOULDNT affect us. And we go on with our lives, thinking we live in a just-society. We can’t heal what we refuge to acknowledge…The violence is everywhere: on the lips of every politician, in our commercials, television programs, and movies. You can try and take the television out of your house and say you don’t follow political candidates but trust me, the violence will still be there unless we allow for a change.
Something big, something radical and something NEW is desperately crying to be born from this.

Something huge wants to emerge from these repeated acts of intolerance and violence. For those who hear the calling, it’s our spiritual duty to take spiritual action.

I ask for prayers. I ask for forgiveness. I ask for the individual to fully embrace diversity and connection – so that nothing BUT love and peace can manifest. I ask for the individual who hears the calling to take action of creating a world the benefits and works for everyone – in whatever form that looks like to them. Ask yourself, “How can I make a difference?” – because the truth is, you can.

I don’t expect everyone to just, “like” this blog post. If you’ve read this far, I thank you. But I know that by speaking out, in any form, and sharing what needs to be shared, those who need to read this and those who need to hear this will. My thoughts, love, and prayers go out to every single HUMAN BEING who have been affected by tragedies and incidents involving hate, discrimination, intolerance, and violence… We as a collective and evolved human race have the ability to start creating a world we wish to live in that flourishes on peace, love and harmony. It just takes one step each day. Today seems like a pretty good day to start.

Activated Lifestyle Blog Soul

What exactly is intuition?

“Intuition-the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”

The dictionary has a pretty vague definition of what we consider intuition to be. So for the longest time I just assumed that this deep, full, and intent “knowing” was something EVERYONE had. I soon found out that wasn’t the case at all.

For me, my intuition comes in many forms;

I feel things before they happen, I have a secure and deep “knowing”, I see visions, I hear my inner guides speak… it really all depends on the emotional level and where I’m at in my journey. When I first started listening to my inner guide, it was a very soft, faint voice. As I deepened my understanding and relationship to cultivating my intuition, that voice spoke louder and louder.

That voice told me, “you aren’t serving yourself by staying in a job you dislike”. So I quit my job while I was on a life changing retreat in Kauai. That voice also told me, “You are SO supported”. So I stayed on the island for a whole month, finding my path, meeting amazing people who showed me the enormous possibilities my intuition was capable of. This same voice told me, “Your teachers are in San Diego”. I left with a duffle bag full of clothes and headed west to figure out my next move. I met amazing guides and teachers who gave me the opportunity to work side by side with them.

Within my adventures and journey I will be sharing the subtle shifts, the big moments, and share my insights of cultivating your intuition and the importance of listening to your inner guide.

Activated Lifestyle Blog

The importance of clearing + cleansing your space…

This isn’t a how-to or tutorial on smudging or cleansing. That’s what Pinterest is for. I want to talk about the WHY and the importance in cleansing a space, clearing your energy and how this ancient practice is a common ritual in our home.

If you find yourself living a stressful life, in a go-go-go environment, or even feel that coming home isn’t a sacred place, more of an army-zone, then energy cleansing + smudging may be something for you to practice.

Many of us do not realize that the emotions and feelings we carry settle into our body and system long after that big fight happened or from that grueling drive home in mid day traffic. Our home should be a sacred place. Our home is our sanctuary where we create a life for ourselves, family and even children. If we bring our negative energy back home with us, it’s almost as if we’re adding dead, stagnant energy to a place that was once so beautiful and sacred.

By cleansing ourselves, our homes – heck- even our pets, we’re cleansing away the negativity, and all that is holding us from being our bright, vibrant and true selves.

Our home is definitely a sacred place.

It’s also a place where we have many people coming and going. My partner is a personal trainer and trains his clients at our home gym. I work from home as well as bring people to our in home studio for portraits from time to time. We have friends and family and roommates in and out all the time. It can get a little stressful.

I’ve come to a point where I let my intuitive higher self be the judge on when it’s time to do a cleanse. Maybe I just encountered a person who drained me of all my energy. Maybe I just got into an argument with my partner. Perhaps we’re bringing some new furniture into the house. No matter how big or how “silly” I may judge a situation to be, I listen to that inner voice. Sometimes it’s a loud voice saying, “CLEANSE THIS HOME!!!”. Other times it’s a soft faint voice suggesting I smudge myself to clear all my energy for some creative insight to channel through me. Whatever the case, I listen. And I’ve seen ( and felt! ) great rewards by honoring the energy within me as well as honoring my home as a sacred place.