When one hears the word savor, I imagine food comes to mind. And while this may be quite true, my challenge is for you to consider savor as a much bigger picture.
How do you define savor?
Can you say you live your life savoring?
We are all guilty of walking through life blindly at times with our to-do lists flashing through our mind. We rush through meals. How many times have you gotten to your destination driving and couldn't even recount how you got there, your mind was so busy. Sunrises and sunsets come and go. We pass people on the street missing special moments.
Imagine just for a moment if you were to pause and capture any one of those moments, how your life may find a new gratitude and a peaceful balance.
What is your relationship to your power?
I heard this recently at our Solstice evening from our awesome yoga instructor, Tori Bledsoe. The moment I heard these words, I was struck in reflection. We are constantly encouraged to embrace our power, own our power, and recognize our power.
But in further thought, what is our relationship TO our power?
How do we have a relationship with our power?
Perhaps once we create this intimate relationship, it becomes easier to embrace, own and recognize.
How do you see your power within today?
How would you like for your power to show itself on your journey?
This blog thought is one to take for more than just today. Sit with these questions with sincerity and a self-love that is needed. Maybe, when the answers come, the path forward will have the depth of understanding that you have been looking for all along.
There is a sacredness that surrounds ceremony.
It can be experienced in many diverse ways. I love incorporating ceremony into my retreats and workshops, for I recognize after an afternoon or weekend of processing difficult emotions and thought processes, there is an element of release that is undoubtedly needed.
The most common theme around this act has individuals coming to me in the moment to many days or weeks after the experience sharing how that one aspect of the program allowed for them to open the other parts of their lives that needed to let the light in, in order to journey forward.
Where in your life are you finding struggle or a need to release?
What is it you need to write down to let go?
How can you create a ceremony for yourself to release that which is holding you back?
Go create your own intimate ceremony; watch how your life will unfold new moments and beginnings!
We are all guilty of doing this whether minor or monumental. The bottom line is that it is incredibly damaging to our inner soul and our body. It is not something that we think about often, but it is true; our body holds so much of our stress, our stories, and our emotions. When we hold back from speaking up about a particular situation we care about to whether we forgo sharing a personal pain that we experienced, it manifests into incredible trauma on the body. It takes more courage to be real and present in this world. And when we are...everyone benefits from it.
This is artwork by one of my children done during Covid. I remember the day they brought it to me. It really struck me in its powerful vulnerability. It was important for them to show it to me, and I was carefully trying to find the right words in my pause to honor the deep feeling work that was done here.
For one, pausing to take the time to go this deep is most definitely difficult for anyone. But then to share it with another is on an entirely different emotional level. The first thing I recognized was that these feelings were true for me as well in this moment. It reminded me of my personal vulnerability and how to reach out to others in that time.
While the pandemic is over, the lessons learned will continue to follow us. And even more telling, the emotions we walked through that time are still as real as if we were back in that loneliness.
So for today, take a moment to look at your feelings. Ask yourself how you take care of your emotions and well-being around those emotions. And, when all is said and done in the day...reach out to someone.
"Your identity is not equivalent to your biography. There is a place in you where you have never been wounded...where there is a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you. The intention of prayer and spirituality and love is now and again to visit that inner kind of sanctuary." ~John O' Donohue
This is an incredibly powerful thought which is due great expansion. But, for today, I want you to simply pause in the one aspect that truly stands out....'there is a place where you have never been wounded.'
Powerful words. Can you trust the depth of their meaning?
We often cling to our story that was ingrained in us since birth. As we mature our identity is more often created by those around us, actions, and events that we may have walked through; our stories are then created about ourselves from the fallout. It is hard if not impossible to think that there resides a place within us that has never been wounded.
What if we could go to that place when we are in pain; sit in the stillness, our inner sanctuary and begin again outside of our identity, our biography, and our story?
Today, go sit in that place that has never been wounded, create a place of sanctuary for you where there is no pain, no wounds and no story other than love.
Remember who you were before anyone else told you and come home to you.
“I am rooted, but I flow.” ~ Virginia Wolf
Do you honor space?
We hear these types of catch phrases quite a bit. I feel like people just keep scrolling with an ever-slight eye roll. But in truth, I trust, it got them thinking. Catch phrase or not they are the core for living a life fully.
We need to stop often in our footsteps and ask these important questions. It is far too easy to get caught up in the hurriedness of the world amid every news cycle and the constant incessant barrage of social media infiltrations into our life. There is simply no silence anymore.
This question, while simple at its core, will cause most to struggle in the answer. One wants to just quip back in an agreeable manner defensively, knowing that the last time they paused it nearly broke them. For many, the pause has a fear attached to the act, for in the silence comes the real feelings. It is where the real-life work sits that we avoid as much as we possibly can. The pause calls us out within.
Pausing is hard. Reflecting is exhausting. And awareness is scary.
My assumption is that 'space' means something quite different for each person. Then factor in 'honoring space' and that takes a whole new path which brings in trepidation.
We are walking through life constantly looking at our reflection, questioning who we are. It is our inclination to be forever hard on ourselves for not being the best of ourselves.
We are tired, our eyes show the weariness of the world that has made its mark on our journey thus far.
We are always needing to remember to push through the weeds to the open field where so much of our inner core is trying to bloom. The pause will allow us to remember all the times that the weeds did not hold us back once before.
When we look in the mirror and see the lines of a life well lived upon our face, we need to embrace those stories, those life-giving moments that made us who we are in the moment that we are standing. Those lines, those stories are countless successes walked when the path looked as if there would never be an end.
It is asked of us to honor space to allow you to remember…
You are a brave soul then and now. You need to celebrate and honor this space that holds you.
You are a warrior then and now. You need to remember the battles won and be lifted up by that memory.
You are a healer then and now. You need to remember the wounds that you once thought would take you from this life, instead lifted you up to help the person next to you with their wounds.
You are a giver then and now. You need to acknowledge the moments when you felt you had nothing, yet you quietly gave freely to the person in need when your hands were empty. You gave your presence and listening ear.
You are a lover then and now. You defined a love that matched your soul; you reminded yourself that you are capable of being loved, that love grows and begins with ourselves first. And in doing so, someone else learned how to love themselves because they watched you first.
You were born a beautiful spirit and it has bloomed brighter each day that has passed. The pause wants you to remember to ease your aging worries.
The flaws you think you see are the stories you lived that undoubtedly are gifts for the steps you have still to walk.
The flaws you worry others will see are the empowering moments others are standing in aw looking at you.
When you truly see, you are honoring space.
You are strong.
You are enough.
When we live in the world, not just endure, or suffer through it, we are honoring space.
When we create a Sanctuary for ourselves reminding us of the inevitable importance of safety, we are honoring space.
When we are being love in our darkest of times, we are reminding those who are watching us that they too can be love in their darkest of times. Together you are honoring space.
Today, pause at three separate times.
Sometimes, the greatest gifts and blessings are in that space that we push away. There is a gift waiting for you.
Go sit with it.
What does Aparigraaha mean?
Aparigraha, leads one away from harmful and injurious greed, refraining from harming others, and towards the spiritual state of good activity and understanding one's motives and origins.
I love this word. I saw it recently on a friend's post and it struck me. To me it is a fancy way to say minimalist, less than or an act of letting go. I live my life by this definition, but at the same time I began to think of it not just in terms of material things. What if I let go of that which does not serve me? What if I could release all things that don't lift me up? It is not an easy feat, but it is possible.
What is the affirmation for Aparigraha?
Here is another take on this beautiful word in the form of an affirmation. I am so thankful for all that I am and all that I have. I commit fully to my true Soul purpose and embrace the abundance that unfolds as I step into my light. Today I give thanks for ... My life is so abundantly rich with the blessings of the Universe. In letting go one can choose to affirm all that is around them. Affirm. Not an easy task, but one that can lift us up with our own accord not relying on others, but rather ourselves.
Let's go a step further in action mode. Every time you buy something new, let go of something old—give it away, or toss it out. By letting go of things from the past, you can live more fully in the present. Breathe. When we get stressed out, we tend to hold our breath. Then we go back to the emotion. Every time we think or say something negative, let's replace it with gratitude or something positive. Change the energy around you.
Aparigraha offers us so much freedom – the freedom to work and do what we love without worrying about the outcome, the freedom to rely less on external and material possessions to bring us happiness, and the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be.
Consider it for a moment today...be free.
Do you honor space?
It is a simple question at its core, though most will struggle in the pause to answer. My assumption is that 'space' means something quite different for each person. Then factor in 'honoring space' and that takes a whole new path.
I am going to keep it simple.
Today, I challenge you to pause at three separate times within your day.
Sometimes, the greatest gifts and blessings are in that space that we push away. There is a gift waiting for you today.
Go sit with it.
If you know me well, you know I always have a pen and sticky notes in my bag. I started doing this 30 years ago. It is my most favorite activity to change someone's day. I have shared a bit here and there, so for today I am going to challenge YOU to go act
Grab a post it,
Write any affirmation on it.
Post it somewhere in your day; grocery store, bank, school, anywhere you happen to be.
Watch someone's day change for the better!
I think my favorite is placing a 'You are beautiful' on a mirror in a store. Almost always someone is looking in a mirror for not the best reason. Change their mind!
At the grocery, post it EAT THE CAKE in the dessert section for the person who was wavering all the reasons why she should NOT indulge. Remind her that her worth or beauty isn't defined by a dessert!
Surprise someone today, and don't forget to take your own advice!
Summer Solstice: Honoring the Light Within
The Summer solstice is almost upon us, reminding us to celebrate the nourishing light of the Sun and the light within each one of us. Why is it important to celebrate the solstice?
The cycle of the Sun represents the diverse cycle of our lives, it reflects the natural flow of our unique energy moving inward and outward. There are times for us to grow, times for us to pause, times for us to let go that which holds us back; then there are the times to learn and take in innovative ideas, thoughts, and passions.
Just as we align with the Moon’s journey every month, we can align with the Sun’s journey throughout the year. It is a powerful cycle to honor. While the Spring Equinox begins this journey and represents new beginnings, the Summer Solstice represents the next step of this divine rhythm to you personally. The Summer Solstice reminds us to turn inward and find the nourishment needed to grow and evolve. It is a time to pause and wait for the energy planted in the Spring to reach full bloom. If the Spring represents action, the Summer represents patience.
We must develop trust and confidence in ourselves as we set these intentions in motion as we journey and walk through more challenging times. Our course is set at this point, we just need to nurture it and find purpose within its process.
The Summer solstice represents within you the transition from action to nourishment, which is exactly what the Sun gives us during the long nights of summer; we travel from darkness to light.
Summer reminds us that there is hope in the world, that the light within can spread to the far reaches of the globe and inspire others. I love how the solstice, the sun and moon can connect us to others all over the world at any given moment.
We can nurture others, just as the Sun nurtures us. Summer becomes a time to work on ourselves and our ability to be the light and find meaning in our journey, even when we cannot always see it.
This is the rhythm of nature, new beginnings transition into a period of uncertainty. While walking through this time, it is easy to fall prey to anxiety and worry. There are big shifts also causing old energies to surface and darkness can easily take over our mind.
Summer is the time to develop faith in our life, smother the darkness with light, and trust that just like the Sun, we will rise each day no matter what life brings us.
Through honoring this day of light, we energetically set in motion a period of awakening in our consciousness which lasts all summer until the Fall Equinox.
Will you honor your light today?
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How do you define the spiritual?
We often walk into the answer to this question with preconceived definitions from those around us. It can be difficult to answer this question most days. We want to understand the spiritual. We see others living out the spiritual in ways we have always wanted but have not had the courage to grab hold. Most days it can feel so much bigger than we are ready to consume.
What if you turned off all of those other voices who have defined the spiritual in your life previously and considered for a moment writing a definition that fits your journey today?
What if you really stopped to go within, take a look at what you are really needing to support your steps that you are walking right now?
Could you write a definition for yourself and no one else?
I have no disrespect for the beautiful and diverse forms of spirituality around the world. Just the opposite. I love to take bits and pieces from those that lift me up, bring me light and define my own spiritual that I can embrace. I still have faith. I still have religion.
My spiritual is something on an entirely different level.
What is your spiritual?
I don't know one person who hasn't questioned themselves more than once along their journey.
We are all just trying to live this crazy life one day at a time. Some days it is easy and other days it feels like we are getting life sucked out of us. Most people mean well, few don't.
Trying to understand who is meeting you with respect can be difficult.
I believe the best way to show up in life is with honesty and respect for oneself. When we do that, we mirror what we want and what we deserve.
If we sacrifice our self-worth, our value to stay in a situation, job or relationship that doesn't lift us up, we aren't being true to who we are.
Who are you today in the place where you are standing right now?
Are you honoring your value?
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.