Summer’s beginning to wind down and a chill has come into the air in the early mornings. It’s harvest time! And the gifts of the season are abundant. As the time of daylight decreases and the darkness of the nights increases, it’s a time for us to keep our inner radiant light shining, as we move into the darker time of the year.
With St. Hildegard’s Feast Day this week, September 17th, I’m once again inspired by what courage she had to overcome her own fears and anxiety about recognizing and living her soul’s purpose in the world. Shining her radiant light into the world!
As you’re journeying down the path of your soul’s purpose in this phase of your life does fear or anxiety rise up within you? Do they become stumbling blocks to moving forward? Fear that maybe you’re inadequate or not enough? Fear that you’ll fail or that others won’t want what you have to offer? Does this cast a shadow on your shining light that stops you from moving forward on your path?
Fear is a natural part of being human, of course! But we can take charge of how we respond to our own fear. Whether we let it paralyze us or overwhelm us or whether we work to move beyond it so that we can bring what the world is waiting for us to share.
Be curious about the fear or anxiety that arises in you. Why’s it here? What’s its origin? Does it remind you of a fear that served you in the past? Is it serving you now?
After understanding this better, remember that your soul’s purpose is waiting to be shared in the world. Now’s the time to gather your courage to move beyond any fear or anxiety. To overcome your own inner dragons that may manifest particularly during this season.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
With this impulse of courage to let our own light shine, we can bring about new and powerful ways of thinking and living in our communities that will be fruitful. And others will find their own inner strength to do the same.
I hear St. Hildegard’s words from her Second Vision in Scivias, as she shares, “And again I hear that one speaking: ...For when the land is tilled with a great deal of labor, it brings forth a lot of fruitfulness. It is similar with the human race because after the fall of humanity, many virtues rose up to help...
This week let’s explore 3 virtues that we can call upon to help us with the hard work of “tilling the soil” or gathering our courage to move through fear and anxiety to shine our light in the world. In so doing, our harvested fruits can be shared, and even grow and flourish in the world as others receive and feel empowered to do the same. An abundant harvest, creating transformation in the world!
1. Compassion – as you struggle with your own anxiety and fear, take a moment to find compassion for yourself. Be gentle and kind. Offer loving kindness to yourself for who and all that you are. Then offer loving kindness to others in the world. Know that they too struggle and experience fear or anxiety. Feel compassion towards them on their paths in life.
2. Tranquility – When a surge of restlessness or anxiety or anger flows through you, search to find a place of peace and tranquility. Lean upon the help of Mother Nature who will calm us. Then do some slow, conscious breathing. As a wave of tranquility moves through, think of others who may also be in need of this. Recognize that they are also in need of tranquility at times of anxiety or anger.
3. Generosity – As obstacles arise in your path, be especially generous in love for yourself at this time – generous with compassionate understanding and kindness toward yourself. Generous in self-care and recognition of the light that longs to shine. And then extend this generosity to others – offering understanding and kindness as they work through their own obstacles.
As we call upon these virtues to support us in walking the path of our soul’s purpose, our light will shine through the darkness. And an abundant harvest we’ll have! The fruits of our labor.
If you are feeling stuck in fear or uncertainty, I invite you to sign up for a free initial consultation with me!
Have you found what is your own bright light to shine forth in the world? Your purpose in life? What you were meant to create in this life?
Do you know that you have a purpose, one that is unique to you, one that only you can contribute to the world? Are you clear on what that is?
The world is waiting for you to share it!
Your soul has a yearning to live your purpose, whether you choose to follow it or not. Whether you’re resistant to it or not.
Know that your soul will continue calling to you to live your soul’s purpose. This will always be within you throughout your life.
Life will, of course, continue to move forward, whether you follow your calling or not. For life, by its very nature, lives and breathes within humanity and within the universe, deriving its energy from the Divine.
Yet, if you wish to share in this abundance in life, to truly thrive within this divine flow, you must give of yourself in a meaningful and committed way to your purpose in the world. For you are part of the Divine. But you have the freedom to choose if you’ll dive into this divine flow or not.
Every morning you awake, you’re given another opportunity to respond to this inner yearning, to realize it. Yet it’s your choice to engage or not.
St. Hildegard of Bingen inspires us to drink from this fountain of divine abundance. In her first vision shared in Scivias, she encourages us to “…extend yourself in the fountain of abundance” and to share the “flowing of your water” with the world."
It’s time to dive right into the fountain of Divine abundance. Hear the calling of your soul’s purpose and understand what it is! Then respond to the call. Follow it with courage, shining your bright light with others in the world.
St. Hildegard continues, “For you do not take the understanding of this profoundness from humanity, but you receive it from above by celestial justice…With a bright light this serenity will shine forth strongly among those people who dare to shine forth.”
St. Hildegard calls us to rise with boldness to commit to our own individual purpose in life, seeking support in the Divine. She encourages us to not hide and not be afraid.
We’re born as radiant beings longing to find our purpose upon earth and live a meaningful life. But, we may experience obstacles. Fear or shame in expressing our true self. We might hide our gifts rather than risking failure or disapproval.
We may believe our thoughts and contributions aren’t good enough or that we’re not good enough to contribute anything noteworthy to the world. Still, we must move forward, St. Hildegard encourages us to commit to our true purpose that is our soul’s yearning. For it so longs to find its way in life.
Only you can share what you have to give to the world. Only you can discover who you are and what you’re meant to bring forth into the world. The world won’t discover that and bring it to you.
As you begin to shine your light of your soul’s yearning into the world, it might feel like only a small spark. Tend to it with care and it’ll grow into a crackling fire ready to warm and awaken others in the world!
St. Hildegard encourages us further to “Arise therefore, cry aloud and say what is revealed to you with the strongest power of divine help.”
Do you know what needs to arise and be spoken from you? The world’s waiting for you to share!
Your radiant nature is always there, even beneath limiting beliefs and thought patterns.
These will dissolve over time if you spend time being open to listening to your soul’s yearning.
Take time to find and explore the purpose that you’re meant to live. Commit to manifesting this in the world!
Here are 3 useful tools to help you discover what the world’s waiting to receive from you.
1. Sit in quiet contemplation. Listen for your soul’s yearning. What do you hear? What’s it longing for? What’s it calling you to bring to the world? Bracket your quiet time with a song. Sing it quietly to yourself. One of my favorites is :"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" Pick a song that speaks to your soul.
2. Ask the Divine for support. The Divine’s always available to support you but you must ask. For it’s your choice. So, ask for guidance in discovering your soul’s yearning. And when you think you might’ve discovered it, ask for guidance about whether you’re on the right track or not. One technique that is especially potent is to take a blank piece of paper. At the top of the page write the sentence: "God, show me my soul's purpose." Then with your non-dominant hand write out or draw whatever thoughts, feelings or images that come to you.
3. Observe and listen over time. As you sit in daily quiet contemplation and as you go about your day-to-day activities, observe and listen to what comes to you. In your thoughts, in your feelings or in what someone else says to you, or what simply arises in a moment. What response comes that helps you to see with more clarity what the world’s waiting for you to bring?
I look forward to seeing what you bring!
Know that I am always available for private sessions if you feel you need support in how to discover your soul's purpose. Contact me to explore private sessions.
Do you sometimes think that maybe you missed your true calling in life and now you’re too old to follow it? Do you feel it’s too late to discover your true purpose?
Maybe you feel a burning fire within that wants to be fulfilled but you feel your time has passed already and you’re too old to satisfy it? Or you remember your childhood dreams that never have been realized but now you feel like it’s too late?
Whenever thoughts like these float into my mind, I remember St. Hildegard and how much her life inspires me. She lived to the ripe old age of 81 following her calling in a time where a typical lifespan was half that! She worked with determination to bring her gifts into the world despite many obstacles including even her own limiting beliefs about women and herself.
When she was 52 years old, she felt called to leave her home of 40 years, the Abbey of St. Disibod, and take the bold step to build her own abbey where St. Rupert’s church on the Rhine River had been destroyed. The inspiring work of St. Rupert in the 7th century fueled her commitment to move forward with this project.
And yet, she was faced with many obstacles along the way. The monks at St. Disibod strongly objected that she was leaving. Understandable, as many sisters leaving with her meant that the monks’ financial support would too.
Yet, she continued to find her courage to do what she felt called to. And she moved forward. She built Rupertsberg, a place for her to manifest the Power of the Living Light.
The early years on the Rupertsberg were difficult ones. Some sisters even left. Still she persevered with the passion she had for the project. And then at the age of 67, marching forward, she created a second abbey!
Even as she entered into the last decade of her life, she stayed active each and every day - writing texts that would share with others her plant remedies for healing, developing her own forms of worship and dress at the new abbey, and writing letters to the Emperor and the Pope.
She stood up for a revolutionary youth who, upon death, had repented and so she agreed to have him buried on her property, in spite of the consequences. The authorities were upset and her convent was placed under interdict.
Yet she fought against this injustice and won yet another battle, shortly before she died at age 81.
What wisdom and experience, alongside determination, courage and action she displayed in her later years!
St. Hildegard is such an inspiration to me as I enter into this period of my life. We’re never too old to take up a passion, to find meaning in life, and to try something new!
Here are a few tips for thriving, not just surviving, in your later years of life, that I’ve learned from St. Hildegard in my life. May they support you too!
1. Have a purpose or a reason to get up in the morning – something meaningful in life. Consider where you can share your experience and wisdom gained over the years. Consider what you have longed to do in life and haven’t yet. Then take steps to begin it!
2. Celebrate and cultivate social connections – Loss of loved ones is inevitable as you grow older. Make new friends and not just ones your age.
3. Keep a rhythm and routine in your life – having rhythms helps to give you strength. Wake up and go to sleep at the same times each day. Eat meals at regular times. Find some consistency throughout the week of time in nature, exercise, and social activities.
4. Don’t be defined by obstacles – Remember how you crashed through obstacles when you were younger with idealism and eternal optimism? Maybe you’ve grown wiser since then but hold on to an attitude of positivity and gratitude, not bitterness, as you age. Don’t let yourself be defined by an illness or your age.
5. Try new things – it keeps your mind and body flexible! And you may discover a new passion!
6. Let go of the limiting beliefs of old age - There are numerous stories of people living their passions in their later years. Read a few of them to inspire you! You’re never too old.
In this third phase of life, when the busy time of raising children and building a career passes, we can begin to savor the moments of life in a new way and not let them rush by. Friends, family, new experiences, and nature can be more deeply enjoyed. Passions that have been dormant can now begin to blossom!
May you find meaning and purpose that fuels your passion in this phase of your life!
Check out the many resources available to support you on your spiritual journey in my Free Healing Library here.
Here we are in our last delicious days of summer! The air’s ripe with all that has flourished and come to fruit in the warmth of the summer. In the gentle breeze, we can smell the sweetness and feel the moisture of nature at the heights of this season.
Soon summer will draw to a close. But before that happens, take a moment to appreciate all of the gifts that summer offers us! Savor them like you would a good book on a lazy day of lounging near the water in the cool shade of a tree in the middle of summer.
Here are some ideas for how you can savor the final days of summer. Enjoy!
Linger in the Sun
Take a few moments to linger in the sun. We, of course, need the Vitamin D which supports our health. But take time to feel the sun warm your face and brighten your mood. Feel the golden light pour into you, giving you strength and warmth. Journey with the sun as it sets over the horizon. Soak in it's beauty! This is a photo of a sunset my husband and I recently enjoyed in Kauai.
Be in Nature
Go outside to enjoy the splendor of nature at this time of the year. The beauty of the blossoming flowers with bees buzzing about. The fullness of life that flows from the crowns of the trees, the grassy ground and all around us in the color of green – life-giving, luscious green.
Find some water nearby maybe in the form of a bubbling stream or a crystal clear lake. Savor the refreshing feel of the cool water on your feet or hands as the warm sun shines down upon you. If you can, submerge yourself fully into the water and feel how it nurtures and purifies.
Be grateful for the splendid beauty and life that is given as gift to us in this season of summer! Enjoy this photo I took of the evening waves in Kauai!
Eat Fresh from the Garden
Whether it’s food harvested right from your garden or from the local farmer’s market, enjoy a meal made of fresh fruits and vegetables that were recently harvested. Mindfully savor each taste and texture in your mouth. Let the brilliant colors be a celebration for your eyes – bright yellow squash, deep red peppers, radiant orange carrots and pineapples! In this photo you see me and my husband in Kauai, enjoying some of the most delicious pineapples we have ever had!
Gaze at the Stars
Before you head to bed, go outside and be embraced by the warmth of the summer’s night air. Gaze into the darkness of the night and see how the sky’s filled with the sparkling light of the stars.
Search for the moon and let its silvery light pour into you, sharing with you the gift of rhythm and reflection.
May you enjoy the deliciousness of the last days of summer!
Check out the many resources available to support you on your spiritual journey in my Free Healing Library here.
Summer’s all around us in its glorious splendor. What beauty! The lush green crowns of the trees sway in a breeze while heat lightning crackles in the distance and lights up the evening sky. Gardens are bursting with the colorful gifts from the season – bright yellow squash, juicy red tomatoes, and crunchy orange carrots. What a lovely celebration of life and growth!
Slowly the sunlight is beginning to fade earlier in the evening, and I even saw the first yellow leaves on a tree near my home. It won’t be long until autumn is upon us.
Now, in this final exhalation of the warmth of summer, we can turn inward to see if there’s anything we need to leave behind this season as compost for Mother Earth. It’s a perfect time, in self awareness, to realize any errors we have made and to rectify them through forgiveness. Like the afternoon rainstorm that cleanses the dry, dusty roads and clears the thick humid air, acknowledging and releasing what we don’t need will leave us feeling crystal clear, light, and unburdened to enter into the season of autumn, the time to bring actions in the world.
What do you need to release? Who do you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness? Although you may choose to speak directly to the person, it’s not always necessary or possible.
“The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.” Louise Hay
When you engage in the practice of forgiveness, it can transform hurt and anger into peace and healing. Often it’s about deciding to let go of the hurt so that you no longer feel burdened by the pain. It’s not about forgetting the past or condoning or accepting hurtful actions of another. It’s about freeing yourself so that you can move forward in your life.
Forgiveness means letting go of the suffering that we experienced and the chains that bind it to us. It’s releasing our story that exists in our mind about it. It’s giving ourselves an opportunity to move toward a place of greater freedom, health, and happiness.
Out of the work of Howard Wills, here are 2 ways to help you begin to release what you need to from your life. Use what words make sense to you for God or the Divine in the first prayer.
Personal Cleansing Prayer
God, please help me forgive all people and all people forgive me.
Help us all to forgive ourselves.
Thank you, God, Amen. Thank you, God, Amen.
I bless this day and give thanks for my life
I forgive completely all people who have hurt me (repeat 3 times)
I ask all people I have hurt to please forgive me (repeat 3 times)
I apologize to myself for my wrongs to myself and my wrongs to others
(repeat 3 times)
I apologize for all hurts or wrongs to all life forms (repeat 3 times)
I apologize for all my hurts or wrongs to the earth and the life of the earth
(repeat 3 times)
With this release, freedom, peace, power, and new life, I bless all creation in the universe, and I fill the entire universe with my love
I love and bless the earth, all life, and all humanity
I love, bless, and respect the visible and the invisible
I rejoice and give thanks for this new life, power, and health, and give complete blessings and love to all life and all creation always
You might want to repeat this prayer or affirmation a few times a day for the remainder of August and enter into the autumn feeling lighter and more energized, ready to bring your gifts into action in the world.
Check out the many resources available to support you in clearing your chakras in my Free Healing Library here.
Awwww…. Summer. The flowers are blossoming, bees are buzzing, and fruits are ripening. You’ve probably enjoyed the sweetness of a summer crop of strawberries or a dip in the cool water of a lake. And the sunlight as it stays longer with us in the evenings.
If we think back just 6 months ago, we were at the depths of the darkness of winter. After experiencing the promise of rebirth and renewal in spring, we’re now at the height of the summer, the counter to those cold days of winter. The earth seems to be breathing outward toward the heavens even as the heavens radiate warmth and light toward us.
Ancient traditions in the summer often included celebrations around a great bonfire with dance and music, honoring this time of growth, life, and purification. Nowadays, you’re probably enjoying time outdoors with family and friends at a barbeque or bonfire. Or you venture to the water to swim, boat, or fish. I’m sure you also experience the joy of nature through gardening or hiking or other outside activities.
As you expand into the warmth of the summer, midway through the year 2019, this is a good time to check-in with yourself.
Remember back to January of 2019 when you were contemplating what you wanted to create or birth in this new year? How the Divine was calling you to shine forth in 2019? Was there a creative endeavor that you were being called to manifest in service to the world?
I often speak of the next creative endeavor in my life as my Rupertsberg, in honor of St. Hildegard. I’m always inspired by the courage and strength St. Hildegard found to bring forth her visions into the world. She helps me find my strength to keep on my path to manifest my own visions.
One of her greatest visions was when she was called to leave her home of 40 years and build her own abbey, which she named "Rupertsberg". 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.
In her words,
Feel the Living Light!
Feel the Beauty! Feel the Spark of God!
Feel the Warmth which heals.
Hear Love calling: “Peace, Peace, Peace.”
So, how’s it going right now, part way through the year? Are there steps on your journey toward your vision that you can celebrate? Big steps or little steps – honor each one. All are worth celebrating!
Are there any adjustments that need to be made? Additions or revisions to the vision? That’s not unusual once you get going. Our vision as we picture it in the ideal, often needs some adjustment to land on the earth.
What more needs to happen to continue forward in manifesting this vision in the second half of the year? How can you gather the warmth, light and strength to fuel your energy in bringing forth your vision this year?
Check out the many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice in my Free Healing Library here.
Do you have rituals that you enjoy in your life? What do you honor and celebrate with intention? Of course, you probably honor birthdays during the year and special events such as a graduation or an anniversary.
You may even have a smaller ritual that you include in your week or day. Lighting a candle at dinner time. Saying a prayer with your child before bed.
Rituals make sacred a special moment in our lives. We take time out of our daily rhythm to celebrate and honor this moment in a meaningful way.
A Daily Rhythm
Of course, all of us have some type of rhythm in our days that helps to provide a framework for our time and energy throughout a day. This gives us strength and even nourishment as we relax into the repetitive nature of doing these actions every day again and again.
After we wake up in the morning, we typically shower, get dressed, brush our teeth and do other things that prepare us for the day. During the day, we have specific times where we pause from the day to eat meals and maybe even share them with family or friends. We wash our face, brush our teeth, and prepare for bed.
Within your daily rhythm, you can also take time to create rituals that imbue meaning and sacredness into a moment of your life – big or small. It’s quite easy to do!
Maybe you’re starting an adventure such as a new job or moving to a new house, or even embarking on a new year. Or possibly there’s something coming to completion such as a graduation, a school year, or the end of the first year of a new business. All of these are wonderful times to celebrate in a way that honors that moment. A special verse or poem can be read. A blessing spoken or a song sung. What’s needed in the moment will come to you, helping you to create a clear intention with a celebration that’s perfect for this time.
Ritual in our Daily Lives
Creating rituals can also be a part of our daily rhythms. When you do this, your days are sprinkled with moments that are infused with gratitude and awe. As you engage in them with intention and care, your energy shifts in a positive way for that moment and even for the rest of your day – bringing more joy and love into your life and to any others who participate with you.
Here are 4 simple ways you can bring ritual into your daily life.
1. Set an intention for the day. As you wake up and enter into your day, take a moment to pause and set an intention that has meaning and purpose. A good question to ask yourself is “What will I create today?”
Then at the end of the day, pause and ask yourself, “What did I create today?”
2. Express your gratitude. At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, take a moment to bring awareness to at least 3 different things for which you’re grateful. Challenge yourself to not repeat anything you’ve said in the past. Choose something new. Spend a few minutes and bring to mind each one, filling yourself with appreciation as you think of it.
3. Get out into nature. Find 10 minutes in each day where you can be outside in nature. A walk or run is great, but if that’s not easily done, then you might sit under a tree on the ground or take off your shoes and put your bare feet in the grass. As you do so, slow down your breath and breathe in deeply. Feel gratitude for all that Mother Earth does to support you. Let your worries and thoughts from the day drift away as you experience the beauty and nurturing of nature.
4. Eat mindfully. Before eating a bite of food, take a moment to appreciate the food that you have today and how it nourishes your body. How Mother Nature provides the nutrients that your body needs to survive and to thrive in the world. Appreciate the glass of fresh water you have to quench your thirst and keep your body healthy. With this mood of gratefulness, care, and attention, enjoy your meal!
These are 4 simple ways to bring sacredness and meaning into your daily life through ritual, without a lot of planning or preparation. It just requires your intention and attention to honor and celebrate that moment in time in your day – a new day that has been given to you today.
Want a deeper dive? Check out the many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice in my Free Healing Library here.
As human beings in the world, we’re very sense-oriented – always taking in the world through our sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. But, how often are we fully present in the moment to the gift of our senses during the course of a day?
The call of the mourning dove as the sun rises from the horizon. The crunchy sweetness of juicy watermelon on a hot summer’s day. The buzzing of a bee around the fragrant blossom of an apple tree.
You can mindfully engage each of your senses by bringing them into your spiritual practice. It’s a stimulating experience that will leave you feeling invigorated and fully alive!
If you have a special place for your spiritual practice in your home, this is a perfect place for you to give it a try and awaken your 5 senses.
First, take a moment to focus on your 5 senses and how you might actively engage each one. Which sense is most active for you – that you enjoy and prefer? What way could you enliven that sense?
And how about the other ones? What resonates with you for each sense? This may help you decide.
Here are a few ideas for each of the 5 senses to get you started.
The Sense of Sight – Choose a color related to the mood you’d like. Blue or deep violet are relaxing and calming like floating in the tranquil waters of the sea. Yellow or gold radiates warmth and light like the shining sun. Maybe you choose a pillow, cloth, or flower of the color you desire.
Another possibility’s to burn a candle and awaken your sense of sight through watching the flickering flame.
Or you might sit near a window or sliding glass doors to see the beauty of nature outside – the trees, sun, flowers, birds. Of course, you can also sit outside with the beauty of nature all around!
The Sense of Smell – To enliven your sense of smell, you might choose an essential oil to diffuse or burn incense in the room. Lavender’s calming and pine or juniper will leave you feeling surrounded by the beauty of a forest.
For a more subtle experience, consider a fragrant plant or a sprinkling of a spice. A rosemary plant can clear and refresh your mind (and room) much like a thunderstorm does to the air on a hot summer afternoon while cinnamon will comfort and warm you within like the smell of cinnamon cookies baking in a warm kitchen on a cold winter’s day.
If you light a candle, a pure beeswax one will bring the sweet smell of honey wafting through the air.
The Sense of Sound – To awaken your sense of hearing, you could have peaceful background sound such as a water fountain flowing or birds chirping outside the window. Or you may choose to play meditation music or speak a mantra softly. If this is a sense that you resonate with strongly, you may want to explore a variety of sounds to see what works best for you.
Also, don’t forget the sound of silence! We hear silence so rarely in our daily lives, so you might want to try to create silence in order to stimulate your sense of hearing.
Sense of Taste - Of course, you don’t want to have a meal or snack while you’re meditating! But, maybe you consider the smell you’ll choose and connect the taste to that. Our sense of smell and taste are very related. A cup of herbal tea such as lavender or peppermint will support a calming environment. A taste of a touch of cinnamon or a mint leaf may enliven your mouth. Or even a sip of water flavored with fresh fruit. There are so many choices here! Just remember your intention of awakening your senses - which means something small, yet flavorful, is your best bet. It’s not meal time!
Sense of Touch- As you sit in your chair or on the floor for your spiritual practice, you immediately feel your body come in contact with the material of the cushion underneath you. The air, whether cool or warm, dry or moist, caresses your exposed skin and gently floats in and out of your nose. You may add a warm, soft blanket around your shoulders if it’s a cold day. Or a small pillow to support your back.
Settling into your sacred space, you can take a few moments to massage your hands slowly one finger at a time starting at the palm of the hand moving toward the tips of each finger. You might also want to massage your feet! These gentle yet intentional movements will not only enliven your sense of touch in your hands and feet, but in your whole body!
Now that you’ve contemplated how to engage your 5 senses and have settled into your sacred space, as you enter into your meditation or prayer be present in the moment with your 5 senses. What do you feel touching your skin? What are the sounds you hear? What taste lingers in your mouth or smell in the air? Focus on what is in the moment and given to you as a gift to experience the world through your senses.
As you complete your practice, express your gratitude for your body that allows you to experience the world. Feel how you’re invigorated and fully alive as you enter back into your day!
Don’t forget to check out the many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice in my Free Healing Library here.
We’ve all heard about the benefit of living our life with a sense of gratitude.
And, how much happier and healthier we’ll be with an attitude of gratefulness toward what’s in our life each day.
It’s pretty easy, I think, to be grateful when life is going smoothly!
You’re grateful for your loving family and friends. You’re finding joy and meaning in your work. The blossoming flowers and shining sun bring beauty in your life. Your health is strong. All’s well and you’re filled with gratitude for everything.
But what about when things aren’t going so well?
Your health is suffering. Or a relationship is strained. Work is difficult. It’s cold and rainy outside and driving conditions are challenging. During times like these, we sometimes lose sight of what’s still good in our lives.
Thinking back to a time when things were difficult in the past can help us gain insight for the present moment’s difficulties.
Remember a time where you struggled in the past. Maybe an illness? A job that you weren’t offered? A divorce or falling out in a friendship? Now, looking back on that difficult time, think about how far you’ve come.
What did you learn from that situation that helps you now?
How were you able to get through that situation – what resources or gifts did you call upon within yourself?
What positive circumstances are in your life now that might not be there if it hadn’t been for your ability to move through that challenging situation?
We grow and learn over time from our painful experiences. It’s not that they’re not painful while they’re happening. They are! But we gain wisdom and strength having lived through them.
You may have something difficult that’s happening in your life right now. Where are you able to find gratitude even though it’s difficult? Can you be grateful for your courage and perseverance to move forward? Can you be grateful for finding the strength to get up each day? And the fact that you wake up to a brand new day? Maybe you feel gratitude for the help you are receiving to move through the difficult situation?
There’s always something in our lives for which we can be grateful, even in difficult times. It’s not about ignoring our feelings about the challenges or pretending they don’t exist. It’s realizing that we all have challenges in life and they too shall pass.
Just as our moments of happiness and joy pass, so do our moments of pain and suffering. Life doesn’t ever stay the same.
I’m reminded of a Zen story that’s a favorite of mine.
A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.
In every moment, whether that moment’s filled with joy or with suffering, there’s something to be grateful for. And in doing so, we become more balanced, centered, and calm – and even healthier and happier.
Yet, I know, in the midst of a difficult time, it’s sometimes hard to be grateful or even imagine that there could be something that we appreciate.
If it’s too difficult, then let go of something in the present for right now and continue to cultivate gratitude by considering something in the past. Think of what happened in that difficult situation from the past and how you navigated it in the best way possible. In a quiet, relaxed state, contemplate these questions.
Once the wisdom that you gained is illuminated for you, shift back to the present moment. Trust that through the current difficult situation, you’ll also gain wisdom even if it can’t be seen right now.
Feel gratitude for the opportunity to see more deeply the events in your life and the Divine that lives within your life, even when it’s not easy.
“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner
Don’t forget to check out the many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice in my Free Healing Library here.
Are you having a hard time sticking to your spiritual practice?
Do you get started on your path – whether it be meditation, prayer, or contemplation (or all 3!) and have intentions to do this regularly and then after a little while you realize you haven’t maintained your practice?
You’re not alone! Many of us do this too!
Creating a sacred space in your home for your spiritual practice can support you in sticking with your intentions. An inviting and meaningful place, dedicated just for this sacred work. It can help you to pause during the day and enter into a calm, relaxed state, more quickly releasing the stress and tension of the day. Each time you use this sacred space, your body will have a memory of its use and your intention.
Need a little guidance in creating a sacred space in your home? Check out this blog post
3 Tips for Creating a Sacred Space within Your Home.
But what about when you’re traveling and not home?
While we might certainly benefit from having a sacred space in our home, when we’re traveling, this becomes even more challenging! But don’t let that interrupt your practice. With a little creativity, you can still continue forward with your practice.
When you are away from home, look around and locate a space that’ll be quiet and without distractions. Maybe outside near a tree or in a room by yourself.
But if those aren’t possible, don’t despair! Think out of the box.
On a bus or subway with the background noise of commuters isn’t out of the question! With your eyes closed and a foundation of spiritual practice that has been built at home, you’ll probably find that you can transition easily into your practice. It could work well for you!
You may even consider traveling with something meaningful from your sacred space at home that you can hold in your hands. Mala beads or a rosary. Maybe a small crystal. Something that speaks to you and will support you in entering into your spiritual practice.
Are you thinking a bus or subway is too noisy? It’s not going to work for you. Maybe the bathtub with no water and a request to family members to not disturb you. Seem strange? It could work if you need it to!
Remember to set your intention for this sacred time. This will help you to slip into the rhythm that you established at home wherever you happen to be traveling.
While you’re traveling away from home, don’t forget to also consider a visit to a sacred place. There are many places in nature in the world that have powerful energies that’ll support you in expanding your consciousness, reaching higher levels of vibration, and maybe even finding answers to deeper questions you have held.
There are also many churches, synagogues, pilgrimage sites and other sacred places where people have come together in worship of the Divine and these places also resonate with a powerful energy that has deepened over the years. This can exponentially magnify the power of your spiritual practice.
What a gift this could be to give to ourselves - to go to one of these places as a special time to connect with sacred energy.
Enjoy the warmth and fun of summer and any travel plans you have! May you access your inner strength to maintain your spiritual practice during this time that pulls us out in the world!
Check out the many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice in my Free Healing Library here.
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.