It took me longer than several minutes to finally start writing the first entry to my blog, Sage Weekly. I actually hesitated for 6 months. I add the "...on Fridays" because it keeps me in ritual and in practice to give you wellness content that I believe will be beneficial ranging from nutrition, lifestyle, east asian medicine, life and living and everything else in between. Once a month on Fridays is when to look out for a dose of Sage Weekly. My intention and goal with these posts is to encourage you to take the information I'm sharing into your daily and weekly practice, that will be encouraging to your well-being.
But, to be truthful, I do burn sage at least 2-3 days weekly. So, going back to ritual, I think it's important we start there. We have rituals everyday from the alarm going off, dropping our kids off, going to the gym, paying those bills, and the list can go on and on. But, how much of this ritual activity is dedicated to you - to your spiritual, emotional and physical well being? It's easy to fall out of sync with our "inner rituals". One of the goals of this blog is to remind you (and myself), we must create and cultivate the ritual of self-care, self-examination, and self-attunement. It sounds very selfish, I'm sure, and well, yes, it is.
Here are few ideas to get you thinking about this selfish act of ritual which ultimately will allow you to give to others and, yet still feel full for yourself. Doing these once or several times weekly will produce benefits, just sit back, watch and let it happen:
1. SELF CARE
Prayer or meditation. Set aside 15-30 minutes and review every single thing you are grateful for, i.e. the chair your are sitting on, the food that is in your fridge, clean running water, a good tribe of trusted loved ones, clean sheets and towels, physical movement, fairly decent health, a paycheck, and much more.
There is so much power and spiritual assistance you will find when you acknowledge with a full heart all the good that IS actually happening to you. I'm always thankful to God, my guides and ancestors for producing miracles in my day-to-day, I am in constant awe and know that I am fully supported, no matter what. In my personal experience, when I am in a state of gratitude even when things around me look unclear or feel somewhat shaky, the Light always shines down with a solution, always. I can say that confidently now at this stage in my life.
Self care is not just about going to the gym, eating well, or using mental-health days from the day job, its pinnacle is about reminding yourself that YOU ARE WELL and YOUR ARE FULLY SUPPORTED by Divine love, grace and protection. When you feed this back into your mind by constant repetition and can acknowledge in gratitude the tangible evidence around you and in your life TODAY, something begins to subtly shift and change within your core. Once you tap into this, it begins your journey into self-care. Know when you look at your long gratitude list that your are an overcomer and a victor, and YOU are good.
2. SELF EXAMINATION
For one full-hour a week turn off all of your electronics and listen to every random thought (with no judgement) and see where you are stuck in a constant loop of thoughts. Be willing to see yourself honestly and detach to any stories you have about your experience, yourself, or others. Breaking free from our stories is the hardest, because sometimes we just need to be 'right', right?! Been there!
Is it fear holding you back from making a decision? Is it about a former lover? Are you not feeling confident? Are you not inspired or motivated? Are you just feeling lack in every area? By the way, I was a yes to a lot of these and still working through one of these. But that's okay! When you can get down to the bare-bones of your issue, you are more than halfway at creating a better approach.
Acknowledging where you currently stand in regards to where you would like to stand will be the first step. For example, I am a bit of an introvert and honestly, I love it...and it's comfortable, but this can also get in my way. So, it's important for me to surround myself around people who will get my antennae UP and get me thinking better about where I am and where I need to be...you know sometimes you need to get your fire LIT so you can shake and keep it moving. I take constructive criticism well because it gets me out of my comfort zone and allows me to break patterns that would otherwise stunt not only my growth, but my purpose. Oh, and it's not meant to feel comfortable. You have to feel out of place to create your space. The whole reason behind self-examination is to start changing your outlook and perception ON PURPOSE so that you can strategically eliminate people, activities and thought processes from your energetic universe. Yes! Your energetic universe is where all the good stuff in life resides whether or not you activate it into manifestation.
Activating your energetic universe begins by breaking free from negative patterns of thought. This is freedom into self-examination which ties in wonderfully with self-care. When you can see your road-blocks ahead, you have more fortitude emotionally, mentally and spiritually to take better care of you...Self-care. Everything works in unison.
3. SELF ATTUNEMENT
I'm not talking about practicing reiki on yourself. Self-attunement is about how you truly connect spiritually to yourself and to others. This is not about religion, the them vs us mentality. This is about asking yourself, "Am I connecting to Spirit/Higher Force?" "Am I in communion with God/Goddess?" "Am I really about Unconditional Love?". Now, I know that this particular section may be tricky because there are some that may be atheist, hardcore christians, or those who don't necessarily believe in a higher consciousness, or any of this 'weird talk', etc.. We all have our own unique experience in this area, and that is okay. This section is definitely not meant to offend, but I am speaking from my experience and honestly would love to learn more about each other's experiences in this area. When people ask me "How are you so calm and grounded?", my experience is what has helped me.
Okay, so I look at it this way, I don't have to work hard to breathe, my lungs expand and contract and I don't have to think about controlling its movement, my heart pumps and circulates blood throughout my body without any extra effort from me. There is something greater IN YOU that is allowing you to breathe and to live, giving your organs power to function. Then there's your gut...that place where instinct sits and when you know what you know. It catches your attention and keeps you attuned and in alignment. You always know when someone is not on the up and up. How? You just DO. We have the perfect navigation system built-in. The only thing we need to do is show up and make sure we're marked present for attendance.
Some may call on this as God, Yeshua/Jesus, Allah, Brahma, Life Force, Shiva, etc...the list can surely go on. But throughout the ages across the globe there seems to be a basic tenant of a higher power: It's Universal, the unspoken truth. Native Americans recognize this source as The Great Spirit, one that they approach with reverence. I remember years back I traveled to the Grand Canyon and there was a moment when I stood looking ahead at the land, the multicolored skyline and rows of mountains as I walked down the narrow Angel Path trail. I felt such a huge presence and thought about how perfect every stone and mountain was strategically chiseled and placed to look like a grand 3-D painting that was ginormous and looked completely unreal...I was shook, but in the most beautiful way...I was humbled at its beauty, and, at its power. The humility and reverence I experienced was like none other. I felt God in my gaze and Mother Earth under my feet as I walked carefully and sometimes stumbling along this path, moving one foot in front of the other without haste.
I remember thinking that one slip on a stone could have easily changed my life as I looked down the side of this narrow path several hundred feet below...yep, I was humbled, no doubt.
So what is self-attunement? I think that this one is certainly one that you must define in your unique way whether or not you believe in a higher power. I believe that each of our experiences and how we experience the world AROUND US can be a catalyst for self-attunement whether that be you being in nature, or walking by someone who is homeless, or seeing a genuine expression of love between people while sitting on the bus or train. Sometimes it means looking at the world and stepping for a moment or two outside of our problems so that we are able to see our lives much clearer and feel more in alignment with the inner knowing that we all have: The Truth.
Although, I sage and I always share the gift of sage, we can metaphorically or symbolically apply this sage medicine when we actively take these simple steps to create a space to clear old habits.
However, If you don't have sage my recommendation is to go to Mountain Rose Herbs and buy Bulk White Ceremonial Sage. Its unprocessed, smells and burns beautifully.
Looking forward to sharing my next post!
Walda Laurenceau, L.Ac.