Insight Timer for meditation

Getting into a routine for meditation can be tricky and then there is being able to sit without looking at the clock every 2 min to see if you are done yet. I found myself wondering when 10 minutes was up and it would get in the way of me trying to clear my head. One of my meditation teachers suggested using Insight Timer. It’s an app for meditation. At first I didn’t like the idea since to me meditation should be tech free right? But this was actually ok – just enough tech to be helpful and not distracting.

Reasons I like Insight Timer:

  • You can set the time for as short or long as you’d like
  • Pick which kind of bowl or bell sound you want to ring you in and out
  • They also have great guided meditations available incase you are in the mood for some guidance instead of just silence
  • It keeps track of how often you meditate so you can get an idea of your habits, timing etc.
  • It shows how many other people are meditating at the same time as you which is cool – like a virtual sangha ( community)

The app is free but if you want the version that has all the features you can upgrade for a few bucks. I think it’s worth it. Incase you are wondering no I don’t have any connection to them – I just really like the app! And I like sharing good things that help people. So enjoy!

Check it out here    or in your app store


xo Jasmin



Beat the winter blahs

Ok so it officially feels like winter has been here too long. I don’t like to complain about the snow and cold because I live in Canada – hello – it’s not like it’s a surprise that the winter is freezing! But still after a while it starts to wear you down. The stomach flu ran through our house this weekend adding even more fun to being stuck inside.

So what is one to do to beat the winter blues and try and pass through the next 2 months with a little shred of hope, happiness and faith that spring will come…eventually?

Try some of these:

1. Get outside – skiing, skating, snowshoeing, tobboganing, tubing, making the biggest snowman you can – whatever works for you!

2. Add citrus to you diet – a little burst of sunshine and added Vitamin C

3. Essential oils – orange , tangerine, lemon, peppermint, lime  – add a few drops to your body lotion, bath , or  a room diffuser to help give you a boost physically and emotionally

4. Enjoy the warmth of comfort foods – what are your faves?

5. Indulge in winter naps under a cozy blanket – even better share a nap with your favourite person

6. Read – good time to get caught up on your fave books or learn something totally new with an online course

7. Bust out the board games – the cheesier the better!!

8. Take a day trip to a therapeutic waters spa to detox and improve your circulation. If you can’t take an entire day just book yourself in for a massage or facial. A little ‘you time’ can go a long way in lifting your spirits.

9. Lastly – my tried and true fave to kick up a morning when you are feeling blah – KITCHEN DANCE PARTY – put on a song that really makes you move then dance like no one is watching – even if you feel silly keep going eventually you will feel GOOD!

I’m sure each of you have some of you own little tricks to make winter seem sweeter and more enjoyable. Please share your best ways to beat the blahs in the comment section below. You will be helping us all!



Inspiration for a Sunday

This quote arrived in my mailbox from The Daily Love this morning. It makes so much sense on all levels.

“Someone who takes the time to understand their relationship with source, who actively seeks alignment with their broader perspective, who deliberately seeks and finds alignment with who-they-really-are, is more charismatic, more attractive, more effective, and more powerful than a group of millions who have not achieved this alignment.” 
“Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy — you’re right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body.”

– Esther Hicks

Thanks Esther for your wisdom and Mastin for sending it out today for the benefit of all beings. Click here to read Mastin’s full blog post.

It’s full of awesomeness – as always.

Jasmin 🙂



Dr. Love says 8 hugs a day

I came a across this TED talk from 2011 and thought it was great.

Paul Zak – also known as Dr. Love –  discusses the effects of oxytocin on human beings as he searches for what makes us “moral” and what makes us want to connect with and help each other.

Check it out –  Paul Zak : Trust, Morality and Oxytocin- TED talk

Add 8 hugs a day to your daily health regime. It’s easy and apparently it works!


Rescue Remedy – Easy Stress Relief Tool # 3

Rescue Remedy has been one of my long time go-tos for a quick fix from anxiety, fears or stress. Many of you may already be familiar with the little yellow labelled wonder, but if not you might want to discover it for yourself.

Rescue remedy is one of the Bach Flower Remedies created by Dr.Edward Bach. It is used primarily for stress, tension and to reduce fears or worries. The remedies are made from very diluted essences of different plants, flowers and trees. They are a gentle and natural way to help promote calm in the body and mind. It comes in drops, a spray and even lozenges. I swear by the spray and keep one in the medicine cabinet and in my purse.

Things I have used and still use it for:

  • before public speaking or important meetings
  • during pregnancy and at the start of labour
  • when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and heard those surreal words
  • when my mind is racing with a million things I need to do and it keeps me from falling asleep
  • When worries get the best of me and I need to chill

It is safe to use on children, but it does have an alcohol base so all you need is one drop for kiddies- you can even just spray it on the top of their heads instead of in their mouth if you prefer. I have used it for tantrums and nightmares and it always helps to calm the kiddies down. Some people have even told me they use it on their pets during thunderstorms or fireworks to calm them down.

Bach created  38 Remedies that help with all kinds of different emotional states from shyness to anger to emotional burnout. There are many resources on the web like the Bach Centre to find out more about these gentle yet effective remedies. Or you can go to a practitioner who can help you find the remedy that is right for you based on a series of questions about how you are feeling.

You can find Rescue Remedy at your local health food store. Its a great stress relief tool to keep handy . If you try it let me know what your you think!



Aromatherapy – Easy Stress Relief Tool # 2

Essential Oil Stress Relief Kit

Aromatherapy enhances the body, mind and spirit through the use of aromatic, botanical essential oils. There are dozens of fantastic essential oils to choose from , each with their own healing properties but since our theme for the toolkit  is to keep it simple here are the top 5 versatile oils for  energizing or calming the mind and general stress relief. Keep them with you at home or at work for when you need a quick fix.

  • Peppermint -uplifting, stimulating ,clears the mind, enhances concentration, helps alleviate stress headaches
  • Lavender – calming, healing, good for helping to reduce fear, anxiety and promote relaxation
  • Sweet Orange – a great balancing oil, promotes creativity, self confidence, makes you happy and helps alleviate burnout, worry and the SADS
  • Chamomile -soothing and gentle, helps with insomnia, PMS, anger and nervousness
  • Eucalyptus – upbeat, fresh , helps to clear the sinuses, helps balance mood swings, also good when you have a cold

Ways to use your oils:

  1. two drops on a tissue and inhale as needed throughout the day
  2. one drop of lavender or chamomile on a cotton ball placed near your pillow or in your pillowcase to help you relax and fall asleep
  3. mix 20 -25 drops of oil with  1 tsp glycerin or alcohol and then  8 oz distilled water in a glass spray bottle and use as a room mist
  4. diffuse in an essential oil diffuser
  5. use them as single oils or combine them to make a custom blend for your specific needs

You can purchase essential oils at your local health food store or online. Make sure that they are pure and say essential oil so that you know they are not a mix with any synthetic fragrance. You get what you pay for with oils.

Some  online essential oil shops that carry high quality oils:

Saje Natural Wellness –

Escents Aromatherapy –

Divine Essence –

*Please remember to always dilute the oils before you put them on your skin in either a vegetable oil or base lotion.

This is a quick list for stress relief. I will be reviewing many more oils, their uses and benefits over the next few months. Aromatherapy is a natural and effective way to help balance both body and mind. Warning –  Once you try them you might be so happy with the results that you’ll get hooked! Like me!




Try Some Simple Deep Breathing – Easy Stress Relief Tool #1

Friends often ask me what they can do for their anxiety, stress, indigestion etc. Since it comes up often  I figure they are universal themes we all experience depending on the day. So over the next few weeks I will be helping you set up an easy personal toolkit to help find some balance during those stressful moments, or days or weeks! We’ll add a new tool each week.

Easy tool #1 – Simple Deep Breathing

Let’s start simple because let’s be honest if it’s simple we might actually do it. Right? What can be more simple than breathing. It’s already within you!

Some reasons why a few minutes of deep breathing is an easy, effective way to clear your head, calm you down and generally make you feel better:

– you can take it anywhere

– you can do it at your desk, in the kitchen, on the subway – wherever you find a moment

– breathing gives sustenance to all your internal organs, your body and your mind

– breathing calms you down, slows things down and gives the body a chance to let go and     energize

-it’s free

We often don’t realize how shallow or quickly we are breathing. When you get anxious or annoyed your breathing gets faster and tighter which cuts down on the amount of vital oxygen you are sending to your lungs. This affects how much energy you have. Notice during the day if your breathing is shallow or deep, and if you are running late or someone pisses you off – notice what happens to your breathing. I bet it changes.

When you feel anxious,  like you are going to lose it,  you’re exhausted but still have tons to get done or you just need a little balance and clarity try this:

Simple Deep Breathing

Wherever you are just stop for a moment, sit if you can.

Close you eyes. Take a moment to notice if you are clenching your jaw and try gently wiggling it around a bit -this helps to relax your facial muscles and make more space for the air to flow. Give your shoulders a few little rolls to help let the tension release.

  • Slowly , without forcing – Inhale through your nose to the count of 5
  • Hold the breath in for the count of 2
  • Exhale slowly through your nose for the count of 5
  • Repeat for at least 1 minute  (or  even longer if you have the time !)

While you are doing this try your best to tune out whatever is going on around you and just listen to the sound of your breath. Try and allow the breath to go right into your belly and feel your belly expand on the inhlale and soften on the exhale. Allow any clenching muscles in your body to let go so that the tension can begin to release.

When you are done you will have increased the amount of oxygen in your system and that makes your body and mind happy.  Which means you will have more energy to get done whatever it is you need to do!

I use this whenever I feel anxious,tired, cranky or when the kids are driving me crazy and I want to run away to a deserted island  – I try and breathe instead. It’s cheaper and it works.

Try this technique when you wake up in the morning to start your day, during the day as needed and for 5 minutes before going to bed. I hope it helps! if you notice even small changes in how you feel that is a good thing.

We can dive into more breathing techniques in the future but for today I just wanted to share something simple that you can go try right now. Seriously – go try it.