“Daily Rituals...Making Everyday Sacred”
In life I have found it helpful to have beliefs. I have also found it helpful to be willing to allow those beliefs to evolve as I grow in wisdom.
Having said this, some beliefs are long standing, life sustaining and act as pillars for me. One of those beliefs is this: everyday is sacred.
Knowing everyday is sacred, I try not to focus my energy on making anything happen. Rather, my intention is to focus my energy on daily rituals and practices that celebrate the sacred. Doing so helps me remember it throughout my day. It’s so easy to forget with all the noise of the world!!
My belief that everything is sacred energizes my commitment to having daily rituals/practices. While daily meditation is my anchor, many days I also find myself writing, drumming, chanting, and engaging in various other uplifting practices that nourish my spirit (think hula hooping).
When I start my day with these nourishing practices, it reconnects me to our essential nature which is pure unconditional love. Feeling this love reminds me of my divine nature. This love washes away any doubt that there is anything more important than bringing love into the world. My spirit is nourished. Ahhh, yes! I am spirit. We are spirit.
And I am human too. As the day rolls on, perhaps I encounter someone being unkind or hateful. These are the moments my daily rituals bolster me. They remind me that everything is sacred. Yes, everything...
even the less desirable attributes of humanity. In fact, perhaps we learn the most from these moments?
My studies of the Bhagavad Gita have taught me that nothing is wasted. I take this to mean that even the pain and suffering I / we experience is useful.
How so? These experiences help us awaken. The harder moments of life teach us where our limits to love and forgiveness reside. They teach us where we are still growing. Exhale. They teach us to have compassion. They teach us that all of life is sacred.
My daily rituals help me stay on the path of awakening to life. Why is awakening important? Well, another one of my beliefs is that in order to fulfill my purpose on Earth (to joyfully serve), I must be awake. Meaning, I must be aware, alert and of the mind set that everything that happens is for me to learn and grow. I often say, “let’s burn our pain and use it as fuel for the journey”.
And so, coming back to my belief that everything is sacred, translates to everyday, every moment, every breath... is sacred. My daily rituals help me remember this sacredness so I may live into it. Living as such is a powerful and humbling practice. It’s an endless practice really. A practice, not a perfect. At this stage of my sacred Earth journey, I don’t know any other way I would want to live.
Blessings and love to you on your sacred journey,
Life Transitions by Stephanie
How do we handle change with courage and grace?
As the summer winds down, many of us experience "transitions" as we head back to school, back to work, back to life in perhaps a "new" way.
Maybe our loved ones are entering or exiting high school, college, the world of work (or are trying to). Maybe we are feeling what they are feeling in addition to what we are feeling!!! Yup, it's "a lot".
As I've written about in the past few weeks, especially as it relates to "anxious energy", at times it is hard to discern what we are feeling and where / who it is coming from!
In addition, times of transition and change often bring about this "anxious" energy. While it's not always pleasant, the discomfort that comes with newness and the unknown is normal! And yes, it's healthy. Rest assured, you are not alone. It is simply part of being human :)
During times of transition and heightened energy sometimes it feels as if we lose our way. We may be riding the roller coaster of feelings: depressed, overwhelmed, tired, confused, afraid...anything but relaxed!
What can we do?
Embrace ways of being that return us to a state of emotional balance...also known as equanimity.
As I talk about in Chapter Two of my book Reclaiming JOY, the emotional roller coaster is not sustainable and keeps us stuck. We react and often cause more turmoil.
This simple practice, called BRFWA, (that we love and use often at the Sanctuary) brings us back to a relaxed state where our emotions are in balance.
From this place of emotional balance or equanimity, we are able to ride the emotional wave without drowning in it / losing ourselves for too long. In equanimity we find our way back to peace and clarity and perhaps even a chuckle. Once clear, we are able to take clear, focused action that keeps us on the path of peace as we move toward our goals.
BRFWA Explained (Give yourself at least 3-5 minutes to experience this).
Breathe: As a wave of emotion comes over you, slow down your breath.
Allow your breath to flow freely in and out.
Relax: As you slow down your breath, your mind and body will begin to relax.
Soften your muscles, let go of mental and physical tension.
Feel: As you relax, you are able to soften into what you are feeling.
Stay open to the sensations and emotions moving through you in this moment.
Watch: While feeling, you watch your experience closely, neither grasping what is pleasant nor pushing away what is painful.
Allow: As you watch, you allow the process to unfold.
You accept yourself and your experience exactly as it is, dropping the need to change it in any way.
BRWFA is the practice of being present.
Being present is what we learn during meditation.
Looking for more support? Consider cultivating an on-going meditation practice.
Second Half: Simplify Sweetie by Stephanie
As we embark upon the second half of 2018, it's a wonderful time to stop, look, and listen.
What do I mean?
Many of us start the year with intentions. Whether we write them down, do fancy rituals to root them, or they are buried deep within...we all start with some idea of how we want our life to "be".
Then time passes. Life gets busy. We get distracted. Before we know it, our energy is strewn about!!! Nothing "wrong" with this pattern. It's the cycle of life. Yet, when we choose to live a life of intention, we are called to pay attention. These are times we have to hit the stop button. And half way through the year tends to be a magical time to do this.
Stopping to look back on the previous 6 months, and listening to my higher self, I heard: way too much complexity sweetie. Ahhh, yes!! As many of you know, I've been back and forth between my home in NY and FL. With this has come enormous insight, and the reminder that complexity, often brought upon by my own "doing", isn't in alignment with my core values...my intentions...with me.
And so, armed with this wisdom, I decided simplicity will guide me over the next 6 months.
I have found the deepest peace within (and therefore JOY) comes from living simply.
Many of you may be thinking, that's impossible. Well, it sure isn't easy to live simply these days. There's so much information and noise coming at us 24/7. Unless we take the time to stop, look, and listen we will ride the collective wave...and move further away from what truly brings us joy.
Finding ways to redirect my energy with the intention of simplicity is far more enjoyable (even if more effort at first) then living a life of complexity.
How do we apply our intention to life?
1. Look at the 4 keys areas of life (the same ones I mention in my book, Reclaiming Joy): Health & Well-Being, Relationships & Family, Career & Money, Life Purpose. Usually once we begin to reflect on these areas in a general sense, 1-2 areas needing the most attentionnwill stand out.
2. Pick 1-2 areas to focus on more deeply as it relates to your intention. Remember: with non-judgmental compassionate awareness comes wisdom...
3. Make choices about how to simplify one of these areas and take 1-2 immediate action steps.
My Example: Intention Simplicity
1. Health & Well-Being out of balance with the back and forth NY/FL every month. Taking toll on my energy and quite frankly all areas of life.
2. Upon deeper reflection I realized I was making it complex because I wasn't giving myself enough time in NY. Meaning, I was booking round trip tickets each time thinking structure was what I needed. I learned that while structure is important for some situations, in this case it was making things more complex for me.
3. I have decided when I travel to NY, I will purchase a one way ticket. This will give me flexibility and allow me to spend as much time as I want to there.
Ok, so this may not seem like an earth shattering realization, yet it was! Why did it take me so long to realize it? Who knows. I suspect it's part of being human and getting swept up in the fast-ness of life, rigid thinking and aiming for perfect :)
Because of this, having times throughout the year to stop, look, and listen is important.
I encourage you to try this exercise for yourself. You don't need much time. I did it in a few hours, after meditation one morning.
If you want support and/or a primer, I invite you come on July 12th for My Self Care Meditation & Group Energy Healing Event.
Group Meditation and Shamanic Energy Healing with Stephanie
Thursday, July 12, 2018, 7:00PM-8:00PM
@Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary
Summer is for self care!
Stephanie will lead group through a guided meditation on self care and end with a shamanic group energy healing.
During the group healing Stephanie will ask our helping spirits from the transcendent realms to come into our circle and bring healing to our group.
Please keep in mind Shamanism is a life path. These practices require patience and a healthy dose of not trying to "mentally figure it out".
Come away refreshed, renewed and re-balanced.
RSVP required. Register Here.
Questions? Email Stephanie Here.
Father's Day is this Sunday, June 17, 2018
Here are our Top 3 Gift Picks For Dad:
1. Sanctuary Gift Certificate - Save 10% Too!!
Purchase custom instant gift certificates here or stop by the Sanctuary & we'll gladly package it for you.
Enjoy 10% OFF Gift Certificates now thru June 25, 2018.
If purchasing online, enter code GC10 at check out to receive discount.
(Kindly Note: excludes packages, series and already discounted items).
Our massage offerings range from therapeutic and deep tissue to relaxing massage. Massage soothes aches and pains, releases energy blockages, and rejuvenates body, mind & spirit. Book him an appointment here or call us: 914.337.9356
Benefits of meditation are many: Improved health, better sleep, less irritability & stress, more peace & connection. Book him an appointment here or call us: 914.337.9356
Look at strong emotions as a kind of storm. If we know weatherproofing techniques, we can come out of it intact. A storm may last an hour, several hours, or a day. If we master the ways of calming and steadying our mind, we can pass through the storms of emotion with relative ease." -Thich Nhat Hahn
None of us are immune to the storms of life that often bring with it intense emotion and incessant thought. In fact, most of us are addicted to the thoughts period.
This is why whenever I am asked the question, "what is the #1 thing you suggest to manage stress/experience peace/improve well-being"... my reply ... meditation. Cultivating a consistent practice of meditation practice will help you create an inner sanctuary for the mind. And yes, it is possible for anyone, if it happened for me. Take it from Georgette as she explains her experience here.
Mental Peace by Stephanie
One of the ways I experience mental peace is by helping others do the same. Recently I had the pleasure of leading Georgette on a meditative journey she described as a "haven in the mind". She describes her experience so beautifully here. May all of us experience the peace that arises when our mind is given a "sanctuary" to rest.
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