Yoga is like the lotus flower. It teaches us to unfold one petal at a time in order to reveal the raw beauty underneath.
Good Morning My Lovelies,
When you first awake, before the to do list claims your mind, what is it you crave? At 3 a.m. or p.m., whenever is the middle of your night, and you lay staring at your ceiling what is your soul crying out for?
I wake with the desire to write, to create, to light candles that reflect off mirrors and illuminate crystals, to smell lovely acents, wrap myself in soft blankets and silk shawls, to write from the depths of my soul. The candlelight illuminating the dusty parts of my mind and spirit. The scent of the moment uplifting my spirit.
For too many years I allowed all my responsibilities, obligations, and fear to keep my from following my bliss. Too many voices were in my mind each time I picked up a pen to write. Voices telling me that this was a cute hobby but not a life or spending time on this was taking away from what was important.
When did spending time on what truly fed our soul become unimportant? Many generations have had to focus on survival. Yet, there was a time when a persons downtime was used to pursue pleasure.
What would happen if you turned off the tv and spent that time feeding your soul? Give yourself 15 minutes a day. Too intimitating, then give yourself 5 minutes. Don’t have the time? What would you really miss by disconnecting from email, social media, tv, or mindless web surfing for 15 minutes a day?
Instead of filling your mind and song with other peoples voices disconnect for 15 minutes a day and fill yourself with your own song.
Love yourself and know that you are loved,
One cold afternoon I went for a walk to the local library. There I allowed my fingertips to find my path among the books. One of the many that I brought home that day was Eat Mangos Naked by Sark. If you have never randomly perused a bookstore or library, allowing the right book to spark your soul’s interest … I highly encourage you to do so. It is very therapeutic and enlightening.
I flipped open the book and instantly fell in love. It was done in a manner that made it look hand written in a myriad of colored pens! Then this quote jumped off the page at me:
We can dance through our lives and still be “responsible”. (Sark)
I knew right away this was the book for me. I have spent the last few years undoing decades of expectations laid on me by others. Now, I try to be true to myself but living four decades with a sense of obligation can be difficult to change.
Pleasure and joy live in all of the corners and crevices too, not just bright sunlight. We must learn to cultivate please and invite it into all the places in our lives, no matter what else is happening. (Sark)
This is so true. If we focus only on the facts that there are bills to be paid, work responsibilities, our children have their own struggles, as do our partners and friends, we can fall into the trap of thinking that “life is hard”. I know that I was raised with that mentality. It was almost as though pleasure was something to be avoided. Treated as though it was something reserved for other people, people who were better than us in some way.
I find it sad that the area I grew up in was just poor enough that this was the mentality. I know life was hard for so many of us. Financial struggles were very common, as were drugs, alcoholism, abuse, and suicide. It seemed as though if someone had a moment of happiness others reminded them of how hard life was for the sole purpose of robbing them of joy. If only we could have learned to appreciate those moments of joy how many of us could have changed our outlook and struggles?
Pleasure loves company and delights in being discovered! It’s good to keep a journal or notes about pleasure. That way, you will retain or strengthen your pleasure perspective. This involves noticing joy in tiny places and magnifying it. (Sark)
In my late teens I became suicidally depressed. This continued for many years. Therapy was somewhat helpful, but like many who first enter therapy I found it hard to perform full disclosure of my thoughts and emotions. Medication was a huge roller coaster ride. Somewhere in this I discovered the idea of a pleasure journal. I had no idea what happiness was or how to find it. So, I began with remembering and listing things/activities that made me happy in high school (I was now in college) and trying things that girls my age enjoyed. There was a lot of joy in this activity, as well as the blessed peace of pen against paper.
She then goes on to discuss the art of giving and receiving.
Giving creates a bond, an exchange and an opportunity to be generous. Pleasure in giving stops when we do it compulsively, with obligation, or in order to “get something” in return. (Sark)
How many times have you felt obligated to push your bank account past the point of reason? Or purchased a gift for someone that you did not really like? Destroyed your finances over the holidays instead of telling extended family you did not have the money? Sound familiar? We have all been in these situations of expected giving. The joy and pleasure in giving a gift from the heart is gone in these situations.
As for receiving, there seems to be a social taboo on receiving with grace. Whatever happened to a simple, but heartfelt, thank you? Instead, there is often the self depreciating statement mixed in with a thank you. How can you receive with more grace? I know that I want Princess Superhero to be gracious at receiving, so I am teaching her to accept compliments with grace by simply stating thank you. I hope to help her avoid the self depreciating statements, as each one of us is better than that.
To stop the self depreciating statements, I look in the mirror each day and I find one nice thing to say to myself. If I dress in an outfit that makes me feel unsatisfied in some way, I change until I find one that works. If I find myself thinking negative self thoughts, I turn it into a mantra “I love myself” or the positive of what I am thinking. For example if I look in the mirror and think, I am ugly I stop and say I am beautiful until that tightness eases. This is far from easy but it does make a huge different in the mindset.
I wrote down many quotes and have so many thoughts and memories from what I ready. So, I will leave you with this for now … How can you find one moment of pleasure in a crappy day?
Om Namah Shivaya – I honor the divinity that resides within me.
As I lay down to sleep, I find myself in that soft space between the conscious and unconscious mind. My muse begins to beckon to me and I long to get out of bed and write by candlelight. However, I must decline her sweet embrace as I have not slept well the last few nights and I feel the toll on my body. Declining the call leads to restlessness.
I remember tossing amd turning the other night before I grabbed my copy of eat, love, pray and going downstairs. There I randomly flipped the book open and begin to read. The book had opened to this mantra. One I love well but have not visited in some time. Soon I felt myself at peace.
This was several days ago. Now, I have my mala beads and my awaken essential oil. I have placed awaken on my root chakra, heart chakra, and third eye.
Why Awaken? Awaken™ is an inspiring combination of several essential oil blends that helps bring about inner awareness and awakening. True understanding of one’s self is the first step toward making successful changes and desirable transitions. This blend may help you progress toward your highest potential.
I sit here enjoying the scent and allowing my body, mind, and spirit to absorb the essence. I am already feeling peaceful, joyful, hopeful, abundant, and motivated.
Now to repeat my mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, so that I may honor who I am in body, mind, and spirit, as well as my place in this web of life, and move more fully into my highest potential. Another moment in the art of sacred living.
Some very happy news to share. I have been eating paleo for a month and my blood pressure is stable without medicationand I am down a clothing size! I am continuing to monitor my blood pressure closely, but so far so good.
Today’s cooking fest includes – Eggs, ham steaks, bacon, smoked sausage, keilbasa, peppers & onions, baked sweet potato and baked potato, cantelope, and mixed veggies
Prior to Whole30, one of my favorite meals was spaghetti with home made vegetable and meat sauce. Today, I made the meat sauce.
2.5 lbs ground beef, browned and drained – then add
12 oz frozen chopped onion
12 oz frozen chopped green pepper
1 jar natural organics tomato basil sauce
To taste: sea salt, basil, bay, rosemary, and thyme
This was incredibly satisfying. A nice way to manage a food craving with an old comfort food. Visually, it looks like a big bowl of chili!
Canned tunafish, drained and mixed with mayo, onion powder, garlic salt, old bay, dill, thyme, and basil. Paired with cashew nuts and steamed mukimame.
Tilapia, pan fried with bacon grease, and sprinkled (generously) with old bay, salt, and pepper. Then I pan fried cauliflower and added salt and pepper. Potatoes are in the oven.
Sliced leftover baked potato (the fish was so awesome and filling they didn’t get touched), sausage, and when this is done I will toss cauliflower in the pan.
On a very happy side note, I finally have a working dishwasher. Cooking for 5+ people without a working dishwasher has been a huge pain in the butt. I am so very grateful for this particular appliance.
The pan fried cauliflower.
It is cold and miserable out. I have a raging headache from lack of sleep, Princess Superhero is having toddler nightmares, and 10 minutes into my nap the handyman shows up. I desperately want comfort food of chicken pot pie.
This was done with leftovers. On the stove: dice up 3 pieces of bacon, add bag of frozen carrots, pull meat off of 4 chicken thighs, dice up bakes potatoes. Add sea salt, tarragon, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and 1 cup coconut milk. Simmer.
Breakfast fun. I am trying to like squash. Pan fry bacon, then dice butternut squash and apple. Sautee and add allspice and basil. Remove. Then pan fry eggs.
Shredded potatoes, nested and cooked on the griddle. Sausage. Then eggs made to order.
The Root Chakra is associated with the Earth, smell, and the color red. Within our physical body the root chakra is connected to the Adrenal Glands. The Adrenal Glands control all solid parts: spinal column, bones, teeth, and nails. As well as, the anus, rectum, colon, prostate gland, blood, and the building of cells.
Essential Oils associated with the Root Chakra are Cardamom, Carrot Seed, Cedar Leaf (Western Red Cedar), Cedarwood, Clove, Frankincense, Ginger, Laurel, Myrrh, Onycha, Patchouli, Pepper (black), Peppermint, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Harmony Blend. These oils can be diluted and placed directly on the root chakra or diffused into the air.
It is my hope to reflect on where I am in body, mind, and spirit each week. Midweek seems to be a good time for that, as it is usually a time of trying to catch up before the weekend. As such, I will be as surprised as the topics that come out of this post as you will.
It is so easy to get caught up in the act of racing time. We have these ridiculous to do lists and self impose expectations. Always trying to do more. When did quantity and stuff replace quality?
This is a question that I began asking myself several years ago. I lived a different life then. A life caught between the expectations of others, image, money, and the expectations of various social circles. As time went by I yearned for the days of my youth where I had envisioned a completely different life for myself. A passion driven life guided by my heart’s desire … little did I realize that the dreams of that young woman were the key for my art of sacred living.
As I felt more and more that I walked a tightrope of anxiety filled days where I could never be myself and had to please so many people, a small voice began whispering “why not?” more and more. My dreams returned to those of my youth and I shed a lot of secret tears. I was ashamed to tell my closest friends how miserable I was. After all, wasn’t I living the American dream? I had a long term marriage, high paying job, house, and a thriving social circle.
It may have been someone’s dream, but it was not mine. There was not a house full of giggling children (okay, giggle, crying, fighting, giggling – lather, rinse, repeat), a deep partnership with those in my life, passion, art, magic and mutual respect as well as unconditional love. The money did not matter to me. In fact, whenever I had extra and someone I loved needed something I just gave them the money. To me, money is just a means for taking care of my loved ones.
The magic, the love, the whatever it is for each of us that makes life sacred was very absent from my life. My heart felt like it was bleeding and my soul felt as though it were withering. Was it a bad life? No, but it was not the life for me. I was living everyone else’s expectations. My needs, desires, and passions were dubbed unimportant hobbies. There was a point that I could no longer live that way.
For years I held a picture in my mind of the life I wanted. During that time, I did talk to my now ex-husband about what I wanted. However, what we both wanted out of life was so different that it led to a lot of strife. Still we endured because of our vows. Then I could not take another day of merely enduring. It wasn’t right to anyone.
I knew that if I did not take a leap of faith, then and there, that I was going to whither away. I had hit that point of no return and I am too stubborn for that. The passion in me would not allow me. I truly believed that I could live the sacred life of my dreams … so, I lept, and I fell. The next two years were so unbelievably hard. Now, I know it was because I was giving birth to my true self.
It was the most frightening experience of my life. I left behind all the logic that had kept me in that life, a high paying job, and the security of knowing what each day would be. Then I embraced true freedom. The only expectation I had been given was to be myself … that was the most terrifying expectation ever laid on me. What if I disappointed? Slowly, through transformation and lots of emotional and mental unraveling of others wants, needs, and desires from my own wants, needs, and desires I realized that the only person I had to worry about disappointing was myself.
That is not as easy as it sounds. I lived with expectations of perfection for so long that being human has taken a long time to grow into. As well as, giving myself the unconditional love, compassion, friendship, and support that I have always given those that I love. Each step of this journey has reminded me of the vision I had of life when I was a young woman.
Sometimes, I wish I had done things a bit differently. Then Freyrson reminds me that I would not be the person that I am now and Isaura reminds me that everything happens for a reason. They are both right. Would I value everything that I have? I would hope so, but who knows.
What I do know is that I am dedicated to making this life sacred. I am dedicated to sharing this journey and that I am human. I do not have the perfect answer for myself or anyone else. What I do have are very human experiences to share, as well as the tools that I am finding helpful in my journey. It is my hope that you will share your journey with me and together we learn the Art of Sacred Living.
Question for yourself: Where in your life do you have quantity and where do you have Quality? Where would you like more Quality? What is one simple thing you can do to give yourself the gift of Quality?