I was born under the Winter stars of the Southern constellation. The moon and sun illuminate my sign; I was born to embody both.
Living and celebrating my birthday in mid Summer Switzerland is novel.
My moon sign is Cancer, meaning that as extroverted as a sun Lioness I may seem, I’ve an inner world that's watery, sensitive, mystical and deep.
I was made for the Feminine; to welcome the Masculine force of my soul.
The path I walk in life is erected from their polar dance and thus my devotion to embodying and embracing the essence of them both.
I practice a style of Yoga called HATHA which is the foundation of all the embodied practices we commonly know; and its roots blossom from TANTRA, the basic understanding that all is interweaved and we are invited to view every experience as a part of the wondrous whole.
It's not that complex. It's courage and compassion. It's diligence and surrender. It's offering up all our efforts to GRATITUDE, with awe and bowing to the unknown, for we are here blessed with life and all is borrowed. When life expires, nothing comes with. We are all we seek.
Every year, no matter where I am in the world, I know that the sun returns to shine on the soils where my mother bled for me and I offer gratitude in the form of devotion. To follow are the precepts of my spiritual practice and a deepening focus for my souls next trip around our wonderful Earths Sun. I offer each with a little expansion on the theme.
May you be inspired to remember who you are. I love you, you are love.
The Gift of Spiritual practice.
Be present and honest for all emotions, allow each pleasant-joyful and icky-sticky one. For this type of honesty is the basis of a Spiritual practice.
2. Awaken with Gratitude
How we go to sleep has a likely effect on how we awaken; and I find that awakening with gratitude can set a helpful tone for bolstering a nourishing evening sleep. At the first instance of awakening, catch your awareness with a tickle of Thanks. Maybe your bed is cozy, your dreams sweet, the birds are singing or even quite simply cherish the gift of the new day.
In the interweaving of life we ride upon a spiral of habits that either help or harm, choose the helpful ones and repeat, repeat, repeat.
3. Start each day with a prayer for self and for another.
In its essence a prayer is simply, some well intentioned positive thought. Nothing is asked for, rather gratitude is offered for what is already given.
An example of a prayer for self;
An example of a prayer for another;
3. A sacred space
I've an alter that my children look at and yet instinctively know they are not permitted to touch. For them, it's more than doing as Mama asks, this sacred space holds an energy around it that was birthed long before them.
They have seen Mama gazing upon a quite flame here, meditating, postulating and tending to the pictures, plants and ornaments that seem to magically quieten the entire space. I’ve cuddled them both in my lap here as we’ve sat in Pranayama upon a Yoga mat and even still…. I've noticed as they have grown, our entire little home has become their playground and I am less ‘Alter entrained'. At first I found challenge in practicing in an unallocated space but now something has changed. My alter stays and yet forsaking austerity, I roll out my Yoga mat amidst the chaos and place a few select items to recreate a micro sacred space. These mini healing alters change from day to day and this seems so wonderful for me, so feminine so welcoming so permissive and perfect for daily inner alchemy.
Don’t overthink it. Make a home for the sacred objects of your sentiment and call it an alter - preferably in the North East area of your home as this is a place of much solar and magnetic energy. Stay and meditate, dance, contemplate, read, postulate, pray..
Or make a mini Alter ‘take away’ to place a top of your mat whilst you practice elsewhere. And then take them home, back to your Alter - the outer projections of the inner Alter of your precious heart. Try it for you.
4. Practice Mindfulness
In the day to day life, become mindful of what you are doing. Become the witness, watch the scene from a place of observing and notice the slowing of brain and mental activity. Be here now and slow down the continual process of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
My husband is wooooonderful at this. He has a well developed gift of sinking into a moment and letting it unfold as it may, the doing of which keeps him steady in the swirl of life and capable of responding joyfully within a spontaneous flow.
5. 10 minutes of Spiritual reading
Ive a stack of books by the side of my bed that changes by topic or mood and I tend to one or more of them for a small time daily. Interestingly as much as my young boys love books, they manage to leave Mamas ‘special’ books alone, possibly for similar reasons to the Alter.
6. Be aware of the breath
Be with the magic of your breath.
Prana (which is the primordial life force or Chi) is carried upon the breath and thus the supersonic sweetness of life itself. A wonderful morning practice is sitting for some moments with breath awareness and assigning the inhalation with the inner sound of SO and the exhale with HAM. For each inhale notice the coolness of the breath moving down to touch the diaphragm and melt into the pause before Exhaling even more slowly. Work with each breath usefully for as many minutes as you are free; soothe all levels of your being - the very anatomy of your soul.
7. Bringing stillness to the eyes
When the eyeballs are kept still, large amounts of blood and oxygen go to the brain. Thinking pauses and opportunities for quietness and observation emerge. Thoughts arise that can be observed without preference and released into the expanding blue sky of your awareness. The very process of meditation is to clear this metaphorical blue sky of consciousness. We have a practice for this, its called Trataka is the very effect of stilling the eyes by gazing into a quiet flame. This technique is particularly beneficial for pacifying the over-thinking or striving mind (see Pitta).
8. Experience Faith
Faith means total trust and when we have faith in ourselves we love ourselves as we are, imperfections, blemishes, limitations and all. The very practice of disciplining oneself to deepen their faith in self, creates a cobblestone path direct to the unblemished heart which pulsates steadily throughout every life experience completely unperturbed. The deepest heart is the self-experienced heart, loving witness to every brush stroke on the canvas of life - your completely unique art.
Note: The word discipline comes from the root 'disciple'.
Practice as a disciple of your deepest heart.
How about you. Do you have a Spiritual practice ? What does it look like ? Try something described here and let me know if it resonated with meaning. I love to hear from you.