Archives For gratitude

Intention and energy infuse sacred spaces.  It may be a place where something miraculous occurred or a corner of our everyday life that we set apart with a potency that allows us to quickly return to alignment with our Self.  Places of worship, temples, shrines, ashrams, grottoes and mountain tops become infused with the prayers of all who congregate there.  Prayerful intentions have a common theme across belief systems: giving thanks, surrendering burdens to the Divine, asking for good to come in our lives and offering to be of service to a higher power.

Sacred spaces fed with these vibrations have a way of quickly shifting us to center when we enter their aura.  I was recently on my annual visit to Shambhala Mountain Center and hiked to the Great Stupa a spiritual monument supporting the path to enlightenment.  As I entered, a muffled silence with the power of sacred commitment pulsated so strong that my ears rang.  They were being cleansed of all wasted frantic thought, followed by pure silence and stillness.  Breathing, sitting and being present, my body arrived in the moment instantly.

I hadn’t noticed that I had been ahead of myself, body, mind, spirit moving at different paces as I climbed the hill to the Stupa.  Inside my body went through a series of awareness’s, ringing silence, bits of tension in one shoulder, forehead and souls of my feet released with pings, like medal warming in the sun after a cool night.  My mind accepted the futility of trying to control anything by pre-thinking it and came back to the moment I was living.  My spirit smiled at my body and mind and said, “thank you.”

Being in the flow of life is good.  We meander or sprint through the choices we make each day, deciding what to cook for dinner, maintaining focus while we work and walking the dog.  In the midst of our routines, life’s demands and the non-stop flow of needs from those around us, pausing in a sacred space allows all of the activity to become more centered.  Sacred spaces have a magical ability to presence us to our needs in the midst of busyness and help us quickly release what isn’t important.

Creating a personal sacred space such as a home altar is one way to bring this experience into our everyday life.  An altar can be dedicated to whatever we intend, an inspirational altar, a self-care altar, a gratitude altar, a love altar or an altar that changes with the seasons.  Materially it is a collection of items that remind us of our soul’s creative desires, fresh flowers and beautiful object that evoke the vibration of love, symbols for space holding and clearing such as candles, sage and bells.

Personal sacred space allows us to take a few moments each time we pass it by to remember that our spirit is on this journey with our body and mind.  Rituals re-align us to our Self due to their intention and the repetitive nature. By returning to the same place with intentions we infuse it with those beliefs such as gratitude, surrender, trust and a willingness to listen to the Divine through our inner-voice. We create our own unique healing space to center in our authentic Self.

My desire for a spot close to the front of the airplane had me sit in a middle seat between two women on a fight home to Denver last week.  Expecting the usual, ignore the stranger next to you, behavior of business travel, I was surprised to immediately be in conversation with the woman sitting to my right.  I can’t even remember how the conversation started but it didn’t pause until we landed two hours later.  By then I had heard 72 years of stories, Naomi’s life in a nutshell, and more importantly witnessed her joyful perspective on life.

Her vibrant energy created a shift in me, revitalizing my sense of appreciation and possibility.  Inviting me to match the level of joy she lives in.  If I blur the lens of the words that passed between us, the pure vitality Naomi offered through her positive perspective was transformational.

Each of us radiates energy that is a combination of our natural essence, our beliefs and energies we’ve held onto that we’ve accumulated along the way.  Often we don’t notice our own energy, what we are presenting as a vibration to the world.  When our energy is clear of fearful beliefs more
of our natural essence shines and we attract energy that matches what we want in our lives. In order to experience the spark of inspiration that generates transformation we have to be available to human connection.

The most powerful insights can come from the perspectives of strangers. They have a fresh perspective, one we haven’t been exposed to before.  They don’t know our history and we are inclined to listen more closely to someone we just met.  Our awareness is heightened.

The type of connection I experienced with Naomi was wonderfully unexpected.  We can prepare ourselves to recognize these opportunities and be open to the transformational energy that is available through connection.  We prepare by taking time to align our vibration with our essence. Start in a meditative space:

  • Send a psychic “hello” to your essence, your soul, your authentic Self.  Allow your inner voice to ask if there are beliefs that are pulling you out of alignment with your essence?
  • Visualize those fears, disturbances and non-aligned energies moving out of your space into a bubble.  Watch the bubble float to a distant mountain top and pop, transforming the energy into a new form.  This makes more room for your own essence to expand.  You may want to repeat this with several different focus areas in your life. Where you are showing up with a certain identity, such as work, romantic relationship, friendship, health or creative practice.
  • Imagine a big golden ball of light hovering above your head.  In the center of that ball is a magnet calling your energy back to you from any places you have left it that you are ready to retrieve it from. Once the golden ball of light is full of your essence, in your minds-eye reach up and pop it.  See the energy of your essence flow down into you, filling in all the space that was opened when you moved out the non-aligned vibrations.

We naturally attract matching vibrations into our lives.  Sometimes we have the fortune of attracting a connection that wakes us up and elevates us to a new level of self-awareness.  I believe this happens when the person we encounter can see past our current state and notices our soul’s essence.   The practice of consciously setting our energy invites connections that are transformational.

Positive Diversion

Natalie —  November 24, 2010 — Leave a comment

Our manifestations come from a state of feeling.  Ideally that emotional state is positive, pleasurable even blissful, fueling the future with love rather than fear.  This week I divert from my usual reflections to take you someplace juicy in your thoughts with the hope that it will feed a positive state of creation…

My Love Letter to the Deep Woods

Beloved your sweetness swallows me whole, fills my lungs and blood with tangy oxygen.  The sun draws last night’s mist from your soil, wrapping its arms around me.  I run freely within your wild undergrowth, my feet know your solid springy touch.  I see you and it delights me.  Monstrous fern and elderberry congregate beneath fir trees that reach up to touch the sky.  Fox gloves drip lavender spotted flowers, rising from your curved mountainside.   You receive me without judgment, whisper with honey breath through the delicate breeze of pale green moss dangling from your branches.  You’ve forgotten what season it is for a day and given me the gift of summer clarity, warmth and radiance in the midst of autumn’s slow death.  I rest my face against your meadows, trimmed low by deer grazing.  You hold me firmly as I sink into you, the perfect mattress of chocolate loam.  Your frog and meadowlark sing to me. The red dragonfly hovers.  I’m in love with you.  I’m not afraid to commit to you, my heart is open.  I trust you.  I feel your healing touch hold my hand.  You lead me to peace, a waterfall rushing from its source springs forth from deep within your core. We unite in naked appreciation for one another.

Divine Provision

Natalie —  September 15, 2010 — Leave a comment

Last summer I was at a yoga retreat and campout in Estes Park, Colorado.  After my first morning of yoga I wasn’t quite ready to be done with the meditative time from savasana. I walked down to the river, rolled out my yoga mat and sat in silence.  My body and spirit were conflicted, it was noon and I needed nourishment.  I considered walking back to my tent to get an apple, but decided my physical hunger wasn’t as important as my need to listen to Spirit.  My life was in transition.  I watched clear water ripple over the river’s rocky bottom, releasing desire, allowing my mind to rest in the space that had been created from stretching.  Then I laid back and looked up into the sky and treetops.  Camouflaged among the leaves of a tree I noticed an apple.  I sat up in amazement, suddenly seeing apples all around me on the ground.  What a joy!  I picked a ripe apple from the tree and ate before returning to meditation.

My spirit had found its way to the one particular spot by the river where its needs could be met without distractions from my body’s hunger.  The apple tree was my everyday miracle.  It made me ponder how often I’ve been blind to what was being offered when it was right in front of my face.  It renewed my faith in listening to my inner guidance and reminded me of the importance of taking care of both physical and spiritual bodies.  

This summer I have been on another journey, this one farther away from home, a longer cycle of listening to my inner guidance and trusting the divine mystery.  Along the way I have experienced a sense of universal support in the form of beautiful places to rest my head at night, animal and bird messengers, unexpected connections and out of the ordinary topics of conversation with strangers.  In parallel, there have been emotionally and financially challenging events, the death of an old family friend, a dog fight, expensive car repairs and the dynamics of spending time close to family.  Each an opportunity to respond with fear or love, to use the stirred-up energy to heal or feel wounded.

On the land where I’m house sitting, surrounded by misty forest, there are two apple trees.  The fruit is not quite ready but I can see that it will be ripe soon.  The apples remind me to notice life’s blessings and receive its nourishment.  When I am on the path, choosing love, the universe provides for my needs in the most simple and magical ways.