7 Reasons Why It's Important to Get Outside During the Time of Covid-19 (With Safe Social Distancing Practices)
With most of us social distancing at home in the midst of the spread of Covid-19, I want to remind you to get outside each and every day. Just remember to have a good amount of distance between you and others.
We feel better when we can get outside breathing fresh air, the breeze blowing on our face, and the sunlight warming our bodies. Now’s the time to enjoy “forest bathing” (walking through a forest) or taking your shoes off and placing your bare feet in the grass of Mother Earth.
Being outside in nature will help you stay calm and grounded, supporting you to center yourself in this unusual time. The relaxation and negative ions will positively affect your brain and body and improve your immune system, especially after exposure to the positive ions emitted from the electronics we are often needing to use at home these days.
I encourage you to go spend some time in nature, engaging all of your senses! Feel the warm sunlight on your skin. Smell the aromatic pines and junipers or the first blossoms of spring. Touch the bark of a tree or the edges of a pinecone. Enjoy the view of the mountains, the streams or trees wherever you may walk. Listen to the sweet songs of the birds. Observe your surroundings in this way, in gratitude for all that you experience. Your body will naturally relax and you will begin to feel a sense of calm and peace.
Not convinced yet? Here are 7 reasons to open that door and head outside. Being outside in nature…..
nature, with appreciation. The sunlight in the trees, the squirrels chasing each other, the clouds passing by.
Years ago, St. Hildegard shared with us her idea of Viriditas, translated as “greening power.” This is the divine life force that lives and breathes within all living beings. This potent force is full of vitality, able to bring healthy abundance into the world.
It makes all things grow, expand, and thrive. And it’s the force that returns, after being absent, when healing occurs after an illness. We experience it in the dynamic growth of plants in nature as well as our own sense of health.
“The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it.”
- St. Hildegard of Bingen
For St. Hildegard, the Divine permeated all of life – every plant, every animal, every stone, every human being. Each was a small part or microcosm of the whole of God that was macrocosm.
As we head outside to enjoy nature in a time of shelter in place at home, let’s all experience the fiery power of life of which St. Hildegard speaks. Let’s have the possibility to embody this radiant flame in our own balance of health and healing in our lives, aligned with nature.
Can’t get outside right now for some reason? Open the curtains and look outside. Bring plants into the room where you are the most. Even this makes a difference!
Check out my FREE Healing Library for practices that will support you in this time of crisis.
In this time of crisis and self quarantine as the coronavirus spreads across our country, it’s very easy to go into a place of anxiety and fear. Take a deep breath and remember, we can access a state of peace and healing within ourselves even while we’re at home, socially isolated.
Think back to a moment when you’ve created something, anything at all. Something where you were fully immersed in the moment in time, away from all other distractions.
How did it make you feel? What seemed to want to express itself through you?
When you are a creator, an artist, a vibrant flow of energy flows through your whole body. You remember that you are part of something greater.
Meister Eckhart says it beautifully, “Whatever I want to express in its truest meaning must emerge from within me and pass through an inner form. It cannot come from outside to the inside, but must emerge from within.”
Creating art can help us to access a healing state, tapping into a deeper and more peaceful part of ourselves. A place of inner stillness without the busyness of the mind that happens in a crisis like the one we currently find ourselves in.
In this creative space, we can enter a feeling of flow and freedom, free of separation and physical boundaries. A space without limits. A space for self-healing and personal expression in this unusual time.
Human beings are naturally creative. It’s part of our nature.
And being creative brings us back to this state – our true nature.
Our true nature that brings us to a place of balance and a place of health.
As you dive into your own creative endeavor, your artistic process may be smooth and flow easily at times. It may be bumpy and chaotic at other times. It may move quickly. Or slowly.
But, it’s not a time for judgment or critique. Nor for thinking. This is the time for presence in the moment. Surrendering to the process and that which moves you from within. Surrendering to what your being needs to express in this time of crisis in order for your own healing and inner peace. And for the world’s.
And when your creative moment is done for that time, you’ll probably feel a sense of completion for that day. You may even experience a sense of gratitude for what came into being in the process. You can rest and relax some, filled with a greater sense of peace.
The sweet nectar of the Divine has been brought to Earth through you.
In my artistic endeavors, I always remember that at age 42, when St. Hildegard felt God commanded her to write down and share what she’d experienced, she did not act on this call to create immediately.
She felt insecure and inadequate. Unable to write.
Soon, after that she became sick and she interpreted her illness as a consequence of her lack of action in what she felt the Divine was calling her to do.
After some time, she gathered her courage and strength and began to write. She was able to move through her resistance, and she felt her own strength grow, as Divine inspiration moved through her.
But maybe you don’t think of yourself as an artist? The good news is you don’t have to! You are a creator – one who creates out of the materials that long to be used for creation.
As human beings, we’re naturally creative. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover how much art you have inside of you. Yearning to be explored and come out in the world in this time of crisis.
Which artistic endeavor calls to you today to access your own healing and inner peace?
· Using objects – beads, glass, jewelry
· Something else?
As you engage in art, in creating, energy begins to flow. For energy flows toward creativity.
And where energy flows, a powerful healing force can arise. For yourself. And for the world.
Creativity is not a solitary movement. This is its power. Whatever is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, is fed. That is why beholding someone else’s creative word, images, idea, fills us up, and inspires us to our own creative work. A single creative act has the potential to feed a continent. One creative act can cause a torrent to break through stone. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In this time of crisis and social isolation, discover how art can support you and begin the flow of a powerful healing force.
Check out my FREE Healing Library for more practices that will support you in this time of crisis.
In the Hindu tradition, the Divine is a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energies. The gods and goddesses emanate particular energies that can support us to bring balance to these energies on our path of spiritual development. If you missed it, you can read more about Balancing the Feminine and Masculine Energies within You here.
In our modern world, there’s an emphasis on the masculine with less attention to our feminine side. We tend to rely mostly on our visual sense, a masculine energy, in our day-to-day lives, with less focus on our sense of hearing. In ancient cultures, the ear, the center of our hearing, was associated with the feminine with its more receptive, deeper, and mysterious qualities.
This is why sound and the quality of what we hear is so important! What healing and nourishment for our soul from hearing sound, quality sound.
The ancient Hindu text, the Vedas, shares the importance of sound, “In the beginning was sound…” and Shakti was this sound, the feminine, dynamic energy of the Divine or Brahman.
Shakti is the most important energetic force in the Hindu tradition and can take many forms and names. Shakti manifests as divine cosmic energy that dynamically moves through the universe. We see this feminine energetic force expressed in a trinity of the Great Mother Goddess in 3 distinct forms: Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and Durga (or Kali), the goddess of power and judgment.
The first, the goddess Saraswati, reigns over creativity, wisdom and knowledge, music and the arts. She also governs our speech – where we share our creativity and wisdom through words.
The second goddess, Lakshmi, is the goddess of prosperity, beauty, and abundance. She helps us to embrace and appreciate the abundant blessings that exist in our lives and brings to us prosperity and possibility in our life’s journey. She bestows upon us wealth – both spiritually and materially – which is our birthright.
Durga, the third goddess in the trinity, manifests as the goddess of strength and power in many forms, defending what is good and right in the world. She’s invincible! She’s considered divine feminine energy, Shakti herself. She can empower us to find our own strength to manifest what’s needed in the world.
Shakti, who moves through these 3 goddesses and is responsible for dynamic and energetic force within the universe, can be seen as an agent of change, creating the new, destroying evil forces, and restoring balance in the world.
When we turn to the chanting of mantras, we can remember that sound, a feminine energy, is the creation of the entire universe. Within this universal sound, chanting OM (A-U-M), a seed comes to birth as form, a masculine energy. So, in sounding OM at the beginning of a mantra, we bring the masculine and feminine energies into balance within the sound.
Now, it makes sense that, in ancient cultures, when physical illness was seen as a lack of harmony in the body, they used sound and music to restore health and balance in the body. A “sound” and healthy body produces harmonious music.
Discover more about using mantras to connect with the energy of a Hindu deity in my guidebook and audio recordings , How to Bring Life to Your Chakras: 7 Healing Mantras. Join me in chanting a mantra invoking Durga to embrace your own power and strength.
In the Hindu tradition, the gods and goddesses emanate particular energies that can support us on our path of spiritual development. The trinity that captures the masculine energy forms includes Brahma, the creative force, Vishnu, the sustaining force, and Shiva, the destructive force.
These 3 encompass the life process from creation to destruction. Each male god also has a specific female counterpart, bringing a feminine energy that balances and empowers the masculine energy of this trinity.
Within the Hindu tradition, the Divine is a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energies. It’s only through the merging of the two that enlightenment can be obtained on our spiritual journeys.
This dance between the masculine and feminine can empower us to embrace and embody both sides of our being. We search and long for union, oneness, wholeness. To be one with the Divine.
Brahma, who is the energetic force of creation, is paired with the Goddess Saraswati who reigns over creativity, wisdom and knowledge, music and the arts. She also governs our speech – where we share our creativity and wisdom through words.
To embrace the energy of creation in our lives in order to manifest our work in the world, we can call upon the god Brahma, and to ensoul our creations with the beauty of the arts and wisdom, sharing them with others, we can connect with the energetic force of Saraswati. An embodied and magnificent union!
Vishnu is the second male energy of the Hindu Trinity that maintains the harmony and balance of the universe. The female counterpart that brings wholeness is Lakshmi who is the goddess of prosperity, beauty, and abundance. She helps us to embrace and appreciate the abundant blessings that exist in our lives and brings to us prosperity and possibility in our life’s journey. She bestows upon us wealth – both spiritually and materially – which is our birthright, while Vishnu, in his many forms, helps us to sustain this energy.
The third male energy is Shiva, the destroyer which creates a space for renewal. His partner is Parvati who manifests as the goddess of strength and power in many forms, defending what is good and right in the world. She’s considered divine feminine energy, Shakti herself. While Shiva can help us to realize that releasing the old must occur for us to create the new, Parvati, in her many forms, can empower us to embrace our own strength to manifest what is needed in the world.
Discover more about using mantras to connect with the energy of a Hindu deity in my guidebook with accompanying audio recordings, How to Bring Life to Your Chakras: 7 Healing Mantras. Join me in chanting a mantra invoking Lakshmi to embrace the abundance that is yours.
The world’s an uncertain place at the moment. Every hour seems to bring us new surprises. In just a couple days, our world has been turned upside down, and I think most of us are still trying to find our footing in our new landscape of staying at home and distancing ourselves from our coworkers, friends and neighbors here in the US.
It’s clear in these moments, that we’re called to find our inner stillness, our inner strength to navigate our way forward. One step at a time.
Quiet I bear within me,
I bear within myself
Forces to make me strong.
Now will I be imbued with their glowing warmth.
Now will I fill myself
With my own will's resolve.
And I will feel the quiet
Pouring through all my being
When by my steadfast striving
I become strong
To find within myself the source of strength
The strength of inner quiet.
Do you wonder, from where does this strength arise? How do we find it when we need it?
In a quiet moment, come to your center and find that place that is still and quiet within the whirlwind of turmoil. There we can connect with the Divine. We find our inner strength and power to carry us forward on our life’s journey, knowing that we’ll be held and supported by the spiritual world.
One of the guides in my life who helps me find my strength and courage is Archangel Michael. He can be one to assist you in overcoming the fear and anxiety that may be rising in these uncertain times. Call upon him to help you find this inner quiet and strength at this time.
Here are some ways I’d offer to you to support yourself and your family in finding that center where you can tap into your own inner power that already exists.
1. Cultivate a quiet time and space regularly. When you enter into this, you can access a greater wisdom within yourself and in the universe. In being silent, you open to listening to communication that can come from the Divine within you.
2. Trust there is a greater power within the universe. A divine wisdom and higher consciousness that is at the foundation of all of life. Connecting to this, gives you strength, power, and courage.
3. Nurture yourself. Go outside and put your feet upon the earth. Take a walk. Sing or draw. Cook a delicious meal. Have a cup of tea. Do yoga or qigong. Listen to an inspiring podcast or take a free class online. Read a book.
4. Foster resilience. Strive to bounce back from challenging times instead of feeling defeated or a victim. Endeavor to return to a place of balance and strength, again and again. This is our daily practice.
Many blessings to you at this unusual time! Stay healthy and use this time at home to discover your true inner power.
Why not bring healing music into your life while you are at home? Check out my Free Healing Library with recordings of healing mantras and songs.
In Hindu philosophy, if we take a closer look at the gods and goddesses, we can see how they are forms of energy. And each form of energy has a name and a personality. Underlying these energies in the universe is one great cosmic soul known as Brahman.
Each deity in Hinduism emanates a particular energy that can support us on our path of spiritual development. We can discover these specific energies through observing what the deity displays as clothing, vehicle of transportation, weapons, and more.
One tool that we can use to connect to the form of energy from a deity is mantra. Mantras are precise instruments that can offer us access to the Divine through the attributes or energies of the Hindu deity who is part of the one great cosmic being, Brahman.
If you develop a regular practice of chanting mantras to invoke a specific energy within a Hindu deity, you then learn that you can allow the image of the Hindu god or goddess used in the practice to dissolve. This will facilitate the energetic force to come forth through the sound. Then you can enter into a deeper place of stillness where transformation can arise.
Let me share with you 3 gods of the trinity within the Hindu philosophy and their energies. How do these energies bring you greater wisdom in your life?
Brahma, the Creator
Brahma is the first member of the Hindu Trinity and is considered the Creator. He created everything in the universe and continues to create more, when needed. Everything in the universe has a living cycle where it is created, maintained, and then destroyed to bring renewal in a new creation.
Vishnu, the Preserver
Vishnu is the second member of the Hindu Trinity. He maintains the harmony and balance of the universe that was created by Brahma and destroyed by Shiva to prepare for the next creation. Vishnu is worshipped in many forms and incarnations including Rama, Krishna, and Buddha.
Shiva, the Destroyer
Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, tasked with destroying the universe in order to prepare for its renewal. Shiva’s destructive power is a necessary step that makes renewal possible.
Discover more about chanting mantras to connect with a specific energy in my guidebook, How to Bring Life to Your Chakras: 7 Healing Mantras.
And you can even join me in chanting a mantra invoking Shiva HERE to release what you need to, in order to create space for something new in the new year 2020.
How often do you actually notice your breath? It flows in and out, in and out, and gives us life. But so often we don’t even notice it!
The most ancient spiritual text of India, the Rig Veda, describes Brahman as the “giver of breath.” Brahman, remember, isn’t to be confused with Brahma, the Hindu deity.
Brahman is without beginning and without end. Brahman is cosmic spirit and eternal truth, the universal principle. The divine source of all that exists and does not exist.
And the giver of breath, in the Hindu tradition.
We can work with our breath to increase our life force. As we calm our breathing, our mind will calm. Thought and breath are connected.
We can exhale and release our breath, letting go of our troubles and worries in our mind from the day.
When we turn inward and focus on calming our breath and mind, we can connect with our inner self that often remains hidden. That which is one with Brahman, the Divine Source.
There we find the wisdom that runs deep within us, the origin of our higher self from which we birth new ideas and find solutions to what is needed in the world.
ingOne technique that is used in Hinduism to calm the breathing and the mind is mantra.
Mantras can be a way of focusing a sound within ourselves.
We know that sound is a form of vibration and everything within the universe vibrates.
By continuously repeating a mantra, we can introduce the vibrational frequency of that mantra into ourselves and sustain it for a period of time. Since mantras have sacred and deeper meanings, you resonate at the vibrational frequency with the Divine, with healing power, with your Higher Self.
As you come to resonate at the same frequency as the mantra, over time, the mantra gains its own strength and momentum. At this point, you shift from chanting the mantra to the mantra having an effect upon you. This is the space in which a mantra can be deeply transformative.
Nowadays we rely so much on our visual sense that we don’t often attend to sound. We spend most of our time attending to the visual aspects of our lives.
Yet, sound healers know that we can use toning and chanting to bring about transformation and healing to the body and mind. The sound we create is powerful.
It creates harmony and balance in ourselves and the world.
Shamans have known this for years. Sound was a vehicle for shamans to channel healing energy and intentions into the sick or distressed individual.
Want to try sounding a mantra?
One of the best ones to try is the sacred syllable of OM.
OM is sometimes written as AUM to facilitate the sounding of it. It contains three sounds, A (“aaah”), U (“oooh”) and M (“mmm”). Give them a try now.
Each of the three sounds corresponds to a different aspect of the Divine – as creator, sustainer, and destroyer -- without which nothing exists, everything is sustained, and all things dissolve back into the void.
In Hinduism, these are the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
Try now- A-U-M and repeat for 5 minutes and see how you feel afterwards. More harmonious? More balanced?
Ready to bring this transformative work into your spiritual practice? Check out my guidebook and audio recordings: How to Bring Life to Your Chakras: 7 Healing Mantras
It was when I was in my doctoral program years ago, that I first discovered that the foundation of the Celtic traditions that appeared to seep into St. Hildegard’s work might have actually been in Ancient Hinduism. This connection and relationship fascinated me
Our roots run deep don't they?
In the ancient Celtic tradition, this image of the Tree of Life has always struck me as one of incredible strength and power. In the language of the Celts, the mighty oak is called duir, related to the words endurance, duration, and doorway in English.
This magnificent tree is like a doorway into the past and into the future. Its roots reach deep into the nourishment of the soil of Mother Earth. Its trunk stands upright and strong with branches spreading in a magnificent crown over its surroundings. Sharing its endurance, might, and maturity to the world.
In the song O VIRGA AC DIADEMA, St. Hildegard shares how deep our roots reach to the Divine.
When I picture these roots in her song, I imagine how I’ve gained strength and endurance through the inspiration of St. Hildegard, who in turn was inspired by those who came before. Mighty roots reaching deep into the past.
Here are some of the words (in English) from her song.
O branch and diadem…
Unfolding your leaves, you blossomed
in another way…
O flower, you did not spring from the dew,
nor from drops of rain,
nor did an airy wind fly over you,
but the divine radiance
brought you forth on the noblest bough.
O branch, God foresaw
on the first day of creation.
And he made you as a golden matrix
for his Word…
So the instruments of heaven chime
and the whole earth marvels…
for God has greatly loved you…
you who bore the new light
into celestial harmony.
Now bring your attention to your own roots and feel the connection to your ancestors and lineage of the past that have helped you become who you are today.
Explore - where are your ancient roots?
Now gather the strength from those ancient roots and bring them into the present to inspire and support you today. Imagine how you can stretch and grow into your magnificent branches supported by your strong trunk and mighty roots.
Contemplate - how do you need to stretch and grow in this new year?
Listen to a meditation and chant I have created inspired by St. Hildegard’s song, O Virga Ac Diadema with these images and questions in mind. It is most powerful when you chant with me. Click here to access the recording .
What will the new year of 2020 be for you?
What are you being called to birth into the world this year that’s part of your higher purpose? The reason why you’re here.
Envision it now. Imagine it bringing warmth and healing into the world.
Now expand that vision. Make it even better. 10 times better. Beyond your wildest dreams!
What if there was no limit? No fear and anxiety? No obstacle?
What would your vision be then? Imagine that.
This could be the best year of your life yet! Maybe even the best decade!
So, what’ll it take to make that happen for you? To have your vision begin to sprout and grow in the new year?
I find much inspiration to reach toward my vision in the courage that St. Hildegard found to bring forth her visions into the world at a time when there were many obstacles in her way. She always gives me strength to keep on my path to manifest my own vision, even if obstacles may arise.
One of her greatest visions that inspires me was when she was called to leave her home of 40 years and build her own abbey. St. Hildegard’s commitment to bring this project to fruition was fueled by the inspiring work she saw from St. Rupert in the 7th century.
Her song, O Jerusalem, is a celebration of this new creation, her abbey, and the respect and even kinship she felt toward St. Rupert.
The world is calling us to become creators who bring healthy change into our communities in the new year!
New and courageous ideas are needed!
Through birthing our creations, we become a shining and powerful healing force in the world.What in your life are you being called to create in 2020?
What’s your Rupertsberg to bring into the world? Meaning, what is your current creative endeavor that you are being called to birth into this world so that it can be of service?
Fill this vision with beauty, light, and love as you picture it in your mind. Imagine it bringing warmth and healing into the world. Step into what it would be like to manifest in the world. How would you feel?
Picture yourself having already brought this vision into reality. How do you feel now?
How can you realize and manifest this vision in 2020?
“When you have a vision that is strong enough and powerful enough, nothing can stand in your way.” Lewis Howes
I invite you to check out my special offer only available until the end of January 2020. Purchase 10 Healing Songs and Practices that Will Give Voice to Your Creativity which includes the song O Jerusalem HERE now, and I will give you the gift of a private session to support you in manifesting your vision for 2020. That’s a $100 value for free! I want to help you get started on your path to bringing your creative vision into the world this year 2020! The world is waiting!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find peace and inner fulfillment instead of overwhelm and exhaustion this holiday season?
Instead of all of the crowds, the noise, the over-eating and drinking, I invite you to go inward and pay attention to the wisdom of your dreams and the language of your heart.
Join me in my upcoming Facebook challenge: “Bring Spirit to the Holidays: 13 Sacred Nights Challenge.” Discover more here.
The 13-day challenge will absolutely change the way you experience the holiday season!
Starting on the 24th of December through the 6th of January, I invite you to work with one meditation inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen per day. As you do this work, you’ll also pay special attention to your dreams and write down what you remember each day. You’ll notice if there are any connections between your dreams and the questions asked in the meditations.
Through this journey of meditation and journaling during this sacred time, you’ll come away with a sense of peace and fulfillment as you digest the year that has passed. You’ll be ready to go forward into the new year with sacred guidance and momentum.
Don’t miss this challenge. It’s only offered this time of year!
Find out more here about “Bring Spirit to the Holidays: 13 Sacred Night Challenge.” Click here for more information.
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.