Earth Lessons for Mindful Mothering

Before a woman even becomes a mother she is bombarded with ideas of what a successful mother does. From the well-intended suggestion from a loving family member, to the intrusive assertion of a strangers opinion in the grocery store, to the contradicting articles and latest medical publications, mothers (and moms-to-be) are unable to escape this continuous flow of seemingly expert opinions. With the temptation to Google any feelings of uncertainty on top of everything else, it doesn’t take long for a new mama’s intuitive sense of knowing to become overwhelmed and lost among the clutter of external input.

I recently saw a few questions posted in a local social media “mom group” that made me sigh, remembering those days of early motherhood. I remember feeling unsure of whether she was getting her needs met and the frequent “what is this and is this normal?” questions. With our phones in our pocket or diaper bag, we don’t pause long enough to hear our intuitive answer to our concerns… instead we’re already scrambling to search for the answers. Not only are we outsourcing what can frequently be found within, we’re also supplying ourselves with dozens of potentially contradicting and often unreliable stories that foster anxiety and worry instead of supporting peace and self-confidence. On one single question posted within this mom group, there were over 25 different responses… complete with a few horror stories of worst-case scenarios.

So how do we foster the shift from outsourcing with anxiety to empowering from within? By reconnecting with our innate sense and ability to mother mindfully, and remembering that our intuition exists for a reason! The more we internalize the lessons our earth provides us, the better we can feel knowing that we are a part of nature. Like mothers of the natural world we can provide care that not only keeps our little ones healthy and safe, but encourages them to learn through awareness and exploration. Here are five helpful tips from Mother Earth for mamas seeking to raise their young’ns more mindfully:

  • Mother knows best. While it’s our responsibility to be knowledgeable of our child’s basic needs and development, your intuition (your inner sense of knowing) is your greatest resource. You, and sometimes only you, are aware when something feels off or you feel in complete misalignment with how someone else chooses to interact with your child. Just as a wild animal knows when and how to protect their young, you do as well. Trust yourself… more than Grandma, more than your neighbor, and certainly more than Suzie McFacebook Motherhood Expert.
  • Believe in your natural mothering abilities! If the mama squirrel in your backyard can keep her babies alive and well, so can you. It is deeply ingrained within us to know how to keep our young growing healthy and happy… now it’s time to stop doubting yourself! Practice daily affirmations such as “I am confident in my mothering abilities” or “I trust in my powerful mother’s intuition” or “My inner sense of knowing is natural and strong”.
  • Follow your pet’s example. Notice how your family furball stretches slowly and deeply upon waking, and rests when tired. Simple self care can be overlooked when caring for your little human(s) so listen to your body’s needs and hydrate well, stretch often, and rest when you’re able.
  • Let them learn through exploration. Stress less about curriculum, reciting the ABC’s, or writing their name and allow them to learn the way nature intended by exploring what excites them. Follow the fun and find a way to weave your intended lessons into their interest or open yourself to the new opportunities for learning you may stumble upon by accident… as those are often even more exciting!
  • When all else fails, return to our home of the great outdoors. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Wrap that baby to your chest and take a walk outside. Toddler full of tantrums today? Play in the forest together. Stressing about your teens choices? Go for a nature walk together and genuinely connect with one another. The most fulfilling family experiences and much needed peacefulness can be found among the wisest of our mothering elders, Mother Nature herself.

What lessons of motherhood has the natural world taught you? We’d love to hear them below!

13 Ways to Empower Your Divine Feminine

Envision a confident, radiant woman walking down the street. Head held high, she has a peaceful smile on her face, sure of her worth and fulfilled by her pursuit of what sparks joy within her heart.

Did you picture yourself? Or feel as though she is a future version of you just around the corner? Perhaps you feel so disconnected from the woman described that she feels more like someone else than anything you can bring into reality…

Friend, let me tell you-

That confident and empowered woman is more like you than you think. We all hold within ourselves a connection with the Divine feminine energy. In order to achieve balance within our life, we also must seek to balance our masculine and feminine energies. Think yin and yang, the sun and the moon… different and unique but two parts of the same whole. Our culture that is still working to rebalance the oppression of the Divine Feminine, and it is up to US to be a part of that movement by healing, exploring and standing up fully in our own expression of this beautiful component of Self! So how do we do this?

Here are thirteen ways to empower your Divine feminine energy:

  1. 1) Honor your intuition
    1. The feminine side is intuitive. Ever notice how mothers often know things they have no logical way of knowing… or can sense an unsafe situation before given practical clues as to why? This is due to what we often call a “gut feeling”, our intuition speaking. Honor your intuition by following those little nudges. Intentionally ask your intuition what it’s telling you before making a decision and give it gratitude for steering you on the right path when you listen to it’s signals.
  2. 2) Move your body joyfully
    1. The energy of femininity is fluid and graceful. Tap into the healing power of movement by dancing in circular motions (think hip and chest circles!) to awaken this energy and express your emotions through moving your body in a way that is fun and playful to YOU.
  3. 3) Make time for mindful stillness
    1. Setting aside time for peaceful meditation or prayer honors the introspective and receptive traits of the Divine feminine. Allowing our busy mind chatter to quiet and exploring our own emotions and inner workings is a time for self healing and growth that cannot be reached by continually seeking outside yourself.
  4. 4) Practice empathy
    1. The Divine feminine is empathetic, seeking to fully understand the emotions of others. Through deeper understanding we are able to love and serve in a more sincere way, unique to the individual on the other end. Whenever frustrated or annoyed with the behavior of another, seek first to understand what has shaped their behavior and the emotions they may be experiencing.
  5. 5) Express yourself creatively
    1. The Divine feminine is not only what births new life into being in a physical sense… it is also responsible for creativity and the flow of new creations! Pick an art form you enjoy and express yourself. Write, dance, paint, design, or have fun with that art project you’ve been thinking about forever and have yet to do.
  6. 6) Connect and spend time with your soul tribe
    1. We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but did you know it also takes one to support the mama of that child? Reflect upon the connections you’ve built and whether the people you spend the most time with align with how you want to life your life. Are they mirroring the love, acceptance, and inspiration you are putting our into the world or is their presence full of complaints, judgement and negativity? Do you feel supported and uplifted after spending time together or drained and emotionally exhausted? If the answer is the latter… first assess the energy YOU are contributing to these relationships and then work to BE the type of person you wish to attract. Raise your vibe and like a magnet you’ll attract your soul tribe!
  7. 7) Practice self love
    1. Divine feminine pours out love to others, freely and openly. You are likely already doing so with your family and loved ones… but do you give yourself the same nurturing love you give to others? It isn’t uncommon for woman (mamas especially) to serve themselves last. By only giving yourself whatever is leftover- which often isn’t much- you are depleting your ability to serve fully. Only by filling our own cup fully can we allow it to free flow over to those around us.
  8. 8) Set and enforce clear boundaries
    1. As the giving, nurturing, and tender-hearted energy, it is important to honor those traits by setting boundaries that respect them. Set the standard for how others treat you by the boundaries you set and behaviors you allow in your life.
  9. 9) Remember that your pleasure matters
    1. In both a G and R rated sense… your pleasure matters! Explore what makes you feel good in life and between the sheets and do more of it! By welcoming more pure bliss and pleasure into your existence you will boost your self-confidence, immune system, and sense of self-worth.
  10. 10) Consume mindfully
    1. Remember that what you consume affects your energy. Does what you’re eating fuel your body lovingly and support wellness? Is the media you choose to consume filled with uplifting messages of self love and acceptance or a narrow vision of what femininity looks like? Are shows and movies balanced energetically or do they have an underlying message that is disempowering or disrespectful to the Divine feminine?
  11. 11) Allow yourself to be vulnerable
    1. Vulnerability takes courage and strength. Taking opportunities to be vulnerable in a way that still respects your boundaries invites a deeper sense of connection, healing, and growth. Taking our walls down to open up to others invites them to do the same… leading to a connection far more valuable.
  12. 12) Seek spiritual support
    1. Remember that you are not alone! Seek the spiritual support of ancestors and holy women who’ve come before and learn from their embodiment of the Divine feminine. Not only can we connect and receive support from our spiritual team no longer present in the physical, but we can also receive healing and guidance from connections here in our human form through spiritual healers and teachers.
  13. 13) Give gratitude for the Divine masculine
    1. As we focus our attention on connecting with the Divine feminine, it is important to remember that which provides balance to it! Give gratitude for the Divine masculine within us and in our relationships, as this energy of protection, assertiveness, logic, and action is the yang to our yin and the sun to our moon.

Which of these techniques resonates most strongly with you? Let’s here them below!

Why Pair Movement & Meditation?

When I look back over the times in which I felt most overwhelmed and anxious there is a major commonality that stands out. I was not moving my body joyfully and I was not making time for mindful stillness. We can often feel a little lost, stuck, or disconnected in body, mind, and spirit. Overstimulated and anxious, many are going through life without feeling completely present and peaceful within their body. Personally, I was overrun with anxiety which got to the point of having debilitating anxiety attacks. This feeling of disconnection with myself and others combined with the lack of control or understanding of my own emotions was such a scary feeling! There was healing that needed to be done within, and without taking the time to do either movement or meditation I was not giving myself the tools to do so.

Just take a moment to think about how much of our movement is done without mindfulness. Brainless, habitual tasks fill our days and our soul aches to be expressed through our body movements! Our body is the one beautiful vehicle that enables us to experience the world around us while also giving us the opportunity to express the soul within us. It must be given nourishment, freedom from rigidity, calm to relax the nervous system, and to put it simply… LOVE. Reflect on a time in which you were a child, moving your body in a way that felt so free. Perhaps you were running through a forest, biking down a hill, tumbling on the grass, or climbing a tree. We all have the need for experiencing those forms of movement that invite us to be completely present in a state of pure bliss.

However, always being in motion, always doing and creating and experiencing may bring our body fulfillment (and possibly a little exhaustion)… but what about our mind? Many of us feel our brain continually spinning on a hamster wheel of our own creation. It may slow down momentarily when we sleep, but many of us struggle to do that! We are constantly distracted, with the opportunity for excessive stimulation quite literally in the palm of our hand. If we don’t make time for meditation, an intentional quieting of the mind, we are withholding the ability to process our experiences, learn from them, and understand our own inner workings.

Peaceful, loving, and non-judgmental self-reflection enables integration of the world around us and our part within it.

-Ashley Kay Andy

We are able to process what prompted strong emotions and why, understand how our experiences have shaped our life views, and explore the possibility that exists in healing and growing our awareness. This can be done through regular meditation.

By uniting the energy healing power of movement and meditation together as one experience, we are able to reconnect the 3 components of self… body, mind, and spirit. This reconnection feels a bit like coming home. Instead of coming home to a physical building, you are coming home to yourSELF. And by doing so, you are openly inviting powerful soul connection, divine support, and deep healing in!

Quiet the Mind, Soothe the Soul

Quiet the Mind, Soothe the Soul

In a society that values noise, sells us devices for constant connection, and honors the title “busy”, I struggled with silence. From the time I was first living on my own I felt the need for continuous stimulation. It made me feel better to have something on all of the time. I’d have a show playing as I folded laundry or made dinner and played happy music while I bathed or drove. Time alone with my thoughts was avoided at all costs as I packed my days outside of classes and my work schedule with social gatherings and events. After years of distracting myself from solitude, finally the question was considered… why did I feel such a strong inclination to do so?

If I was never alone with my own thoughts I didn’t have to feel so deeply. The overwhelming emotions of the extreme highs and lows that came along with being a highly intuitive empathic individual who didn’t fully understand her gifts was simply TOO MUCH. By distracting myself with the storylines of predictable shows, music, or continuous communication with friends and family, I was handling the overwhelm of emotion the only way I knew how. Connecting with my inner self at the time was a confusing endeavor as I repressed the emotions I did not yet have the tools to understand and work through. 

The voice of our mind is hard to quiet and is sometimes even confused with our inner self or intuition. As Michael Singer wisely said in his book, The Untethered Soul, “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of the mind- you are the one who hears it.” Let’s repeat that one out loud, perhaps jot it down a few times in your journal, and really let it soak in. 

“You are not the voice of the mind- you are the one who hears it.”

-Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

  By practicing regular mindful stillness you train yourself to separate from the noise… the noise around you and the noise within you distracting from your connection with your higher self, who is completely in tune with your inner empath. Many (like my younger self) have preconceived notions of what meditation looks like and how to do so successfully. While calming instrumental music and candles or incense may be helpful, they are most certainly not required. All you need is a peaceful environment, a small amount of time, and dedication. As a busy Mom, I’ve personally come to relish my meditation time in the peace and quiet of the early morning. Though building this habit takes consistent effort, once you’ve established it within your schedule it is hard to turn back. I’ve found myself feeling more rested, centered, and ready for the day than if I’d slept the extra hour I “sacrificed” for meditation, gentle yoga, herbal tea and journaling.

Often, as empaths, it is not our physical bodies that are too tired. Our minds are exhausted from continuously working to process the bombardment of information we are receiving not only from ourselves, but from everyone around us. Allowing our body to be still provides it with time to complete the necessary rest and repair cycle, but quieting our mind allows us to heal on a deep level. By softening our mind we are able to gently observe the thoughts and emotions that rise to the surface, inquiring within (without judgement) the reason for their presence. If we never take the time to sit with our emotions and truly allow ourselves time to feel them, we are unable to take the next step to identify or heal the root cause of them.

Develop a new habit this week of dedicating 10-20 minutes (or more) to quieting your mind and allowing your intuition to speak uninterrupted. Then sit back in amazement as you’re led down a path filled with greater peacefulness and joy!

6 Tools to Help Your Highly Sensitive Kid Thrive

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6 Tools to Help Your Highly Sensitive Kid Thrive

Fear. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Between navigating daily life amidst a pandemic, planners that have received so many edits they’re more scribbles than schedules, and an explosive election year, maintaining a peaceful and uplifting outlook as an adult can be challenging… so what about our children? Kids are naturally resilient (thank goodness!), but for our highly sensitive young ones the current times can bring about additional challenges. Empathic children are not only affected by their own emotions. They are able to pick up on the emotions and energy of others, often without awareness of doing so. The additional stress among parents and teachers combined with new regulations that reduce comfort and coping mechanisms such as physical touch can result in mental health and behavioral issues. So what can we do to help our emotionally and intuitively gifted kiddos?

  1. Meditation. Guide them through meditation exercises, such as breathing techniques and visualization tools. Doing so together is beneficial for children and adults alike, reducing stress hormones and adrenaline production. Simply teaching them to bring their awareness to their breathing and slow it down gently when feeling stressed or overwhelmed is a powerful tool to put in a child’s wellness toolbelt.
  2. Physical Activity. Make sure they are getting adequate physical activity. Though some may have physical education or recess scheduled into their day, the majority of children in the United States are still not meeting the requirement recommendations to support healthy growth. Children are encouraged to be physically active at vigorous or moderate levels for a minimum of one hour each day. Bring back the old school games you enjoyed as a kid or try something completely new. Keep in mind, they look up to you so involve them in a form of physical activity you enjoy!
  3. Mindful Meal & Snack Preparation. Work to intentionally reduce sugar and processed foods from your child’s (and your) diet. Highly sensitive kiddos are often even more reactive to foods with high sugar content and overly processed ingredients. Wondering what to replace them with? Think natural, planty goodness! Involve them in the process as much as possible, from choosing what foods to pick out at your local farmers market to inviting them to help in the kitchen. It can be simple and easy for your child to choose a healthy snack as well. We keep a row of mason jars in our fridge (within reach of our little one) that contain fruits and veggies such as grapes, green pepper slices, carrots, cauliflower chunks, and berries washed and ready for little hands. By allowing them to choose which colorful snack or side to enjoy, children feel empowered to practice intuitive eating. The more you and your children can experience the colorful array of plants found in nature, the more your body and mind will thank you.
  4. Get Outside. As much as weather and time permit, explore the outdoors! Children (and adults) need time to reconnect with their inner wild animal! Between fresh air, more activity, and natural exploration, the outdoors are the original classroom! Your highly sensitive kiddo is designed to be supported in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness and growth. Invite them to learn from their natural surroundings, taking in the change of seasons, observing wildlife, and identifying native plants and trees.
  5. Creative Expression. Support your child in expressing themselves the way they naturally gravitate toward. Children are innate creators, who love expressing their thoughts and emotions through creative play and artistic means. Put on their favorite tunes for a dance party, break out the rain ponchos and paint up a storm, or build a fort out of materials found around the house.
  6. Genuine Connection. During this time especially, children require authentic (while being age-appropriate) conversation and fulfillment of their emotional needs. Empathic children can pick up on your emotions so talk them through with your children when they’re noticing your feelings. By doing so you are furthering their understanding of their own emotions as well. Spend quality time together that is uninterrupted by technology. Highly sensitive children are quite perceptive of whether your attention is elsewhere so set your phone aside, save the mental to-do list for later, and take time to be fully present in your life and theirs.

Which of these tools have helped your children the most? Let’s share below!

10 Ways Spirit is Communicating with You

10 Ways Spirit is Communicating with You

We often hesitate to share something that seems outside of the norm… something we fear we may be judged or ridiculed for. Communication with the spiritual realm was one of those things for me. Though I would often hear or feel guidance when practicing massage therapy and Reiki with a client, I resisted the urge to mention it until recently. When I began sharing the tidbits of information I’d received from the spiritual world, I was able to quiet my doubts that I was just “making it up”. The words, imagery, and feelings I experienced were validated and understood once I gathered the gumption to share them.

I fully believe that those who have crossed over are very present in our lives and many even seek to communicate with us regularly. I also believe we all have the capabilities to be able to tune into spirit, but empaths and highly sensitive persons especially house within themselves all the necessary abilities to do so. Have you ever seen a particular bird or butterfly that brought with it a peaceful presence of a familiar family member or friend? Have you seen a uniquely distinct sight, a name, maybe even a certain number that reminded you of a loved one who has passed and just happened to showed up right when you were needing a little extra reassurance or encouragement. It’s easy to pass these moments off as happenstance or allow our ego to convince us they are coincidence. Observe them with an open-mind, meditate or pray on them, and log your instances of connection as well as the feelings experienced. You’ll quickly begin to see patterns and connections that would have been easily brushed over had we not given the invitation for our intuition to take the lead. Here are a few ways those you love may make their appearance or share their messages with you:

  • Animals are excellent messengers, as they are intuitive beings by nature (as are we, though we often allow ourselves to forget it). I’ve asked my spirit guides to show me a particular animal in demonstration of their guidance and they deliver. Find a resource, a website or book, that you’re able to find spiritual meanings of animals and stick to that same resource. You’ll be amazed at how many times the sighting of a specific animal holds a message that provides guidance and support.
  • Often we relate certain symbols… foods, decor items, clothing or jewelry to a person we love who has passed. These objects allow you to connect deeply with the memories you hold together and invite your loved one to connect with relative ease. If you see an object that reminds you of someone who has passed, take a breath and allow yourself to truly feel their presence. Mentally, or out loud, invite them to provide guidance or a message they wish to share when this occurs.
  • Sometimes you may hear audible messages word or sentence as though spoken from a loved one or higher power. These messages can be a simple word or name, other times they will be received as an entire sentence or complete thought. They may sound like a unique thought that spontaneously popped into your head with no predictable train of thought that preceded them.
  • Have you ever noticed the same numbers that hold a special meaning to you pop into your life? Whether you’re glancing at the clock or pass a certain license plate that catches your eye, these instances are not coincidence. The spiritual world like to remind you of their presence with this simple visual and repetition of numbers, often called “Angel Numbers” hold special meanings. 
  • Using electronics as a mode of communication can seem quite fun for the spiritual world. Due to their energetic existence, moving objects is more of a challenge and requires significant energy output on their part. Communicating through electronics on the other hand, is far easier and requires less energy. This mode can come in the form of electronic malfunctions that either require you to stop and think about a particular message, lights turning on, off, or pulsing to remind you they are near, or a certain song with a much needed message popping on the radio at just the right time. During an intuitive reading in which I was communicating with a woman’s deceased mother, the lights in the room I was in flickered intensely with every strong message I felt come through. The flickering and pulsing then receded during the times I was feeling her presence but not a message, which helped to validate her words to me and her daughter.
  • Feathers and coins are little gestures of spiritual presence that remind us we are not alone and are easier physical objects to manipulate by spiritual energy. You may notice a particular coin make its appearance, or a feather show itself just as you were needing some extra guidance or support. When feathers or coins seem to “randomly” appear in your life, take note of the thoughts or feelings that come with them. These intuitive feelings or thoughts are likely exactly the message the spiritual world is intending to share with you.
  • Some, typically those who have clairvoyant abilities, are able to visually see spirit. They can be frequently recognized by a visual soft mist or haze, a shadow in the corner of your eye, or the shape of a human figure. These appearances are often gone as quickly as they appear and can leave one questioning what they saw. If you suspect you may have seen spirit, pay attention to how you feel. I will often see a mist or hazy figure in the corner of my eye and when I turn to look fully, it disappears. However, as I do so and tune into my inner guidance I notice the thoughts and feelings that arise correlate with a particular person, and often contain a message of love and support.
  • When experiencing a spiritual visitor, you may suddenly feel the need to put on a cozy sweater and warm socks. Spirit often brings feelings of cold and when I am feeling strong spiritual guidance from a particular individual who has passed or simply from the Universe/God, I often feel my hands and feet grow cold. You may also experience a soft breeze or wind where it may not make sense to feel one, such as somewhere in your home or a building where drafts would not be found. Perhaps when in a protected space outdoors you feel complete stillness, followed by a spontaneous little gust that gives you a burst of intuitive guidance just as sudden.
  • Some empaths and intuitives are able to recognize spiritual presence through flashes, twinkling, or swirling light. It is important to be cognizant of these experiences, as they can also be symptoms for medical concern. If all is well and they are not health related, enjoy these bursts of light knowing you are being visited by spirit. Personally when I’m feeling especially aligned and supported, or need a reminder of how blessed I truly am, I see twinkling lights in the upper range of my vision that appear all over and are gone within five to ten seconds. These may be white light, or you may see flashes of color that correspond to a spiritual energy or the message you’re intended to receive.
  • Spiritual connection and guidance often appears where there is little resistance. Our cognitive activity during sleeping and dreaming allows for messages to come through without intervention with our ego, challenging our belief and dismissing things that may seem out of the ordinary or coincidental. Whether people, animals, or situations and environments speak to your subconscious, this is an excellent time to allow yourself to tune in during lights out. Keep your journal on your bedside table or easily within reach immediately upon waking. Dreams can quickly fade away and recede into the depths of our lost memories as we acclimate to our waking life. Jotting down a few notes or recording audio of the guidance received may help you to connect the dots with current happenings in your life.

Have you noticed any of these signs in your life? We would love to hear about them below!

Empaths Are Essential

Empaths are Essential

We are at a pivotal time in the history of humankind, and YOU, my friend, are not becoming aware of your gifts by accident. You may have heard the phrase “the veil is thinning”, when referring to spiritual connection and perception of things beyond what our 5 traditional senses are able to pick up on. You are a part of this process, as your understanding of your own gifts and how they can help those around you is what has the capability to heal this Earth. The human inhabitants of our planet need even more help than the earthly environment around us. Have you ever seen photos of areas abandoned by humans throughout the world? Eventually the industrial structures and buildings are overtaken by wildlife of all kinds and returns the area to a natural environment, barely distinguishable from the natural world around them. We simply have to slow down our pattern of destructive behaviors and allow Mother Nature to do her thing. 

How do we do so? By positively affecting the hearts of humankind. If the weight of this topic is feeling quite substantial, or is even anxiety-inducing, that is okay! It is simply affirming, once again, that you are indeed an empath. In feeling the energy of life around us, we often feel overwhelmed by the pain felt throughout the world during times of trauma or disaster. With current times and the media only amplifying this pain and panic, it can feel even more draining to think about. Which is why I’d like to take a moment to remind you… it is not YOUR responsibility to heal the world. Repeat that one with me out loud:

It is not my responsibility to heal the world.

However… it is crucial that you do the work needed to heal YOURSELF in order to help our planet heal and rise together. Seems simple perhaps, but just as Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

How to Use Sage for Energy Cleansing

sage smudge stick in bowl on marble shelf near buddha head
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How to use Sage for Energy Cleansing

Whether looking to cleanse and refresh your own energy or that of your surroundings, burning sage is a popular way to do so that dates back hundreds of years. Sage is an aromatic herb that has been used throughout many cultures to prevent illness, cleanse and heal, repel insects and negative energies, and in spiritual rituals and ceremonies. This herb is easy to grow and dry yourself, or you can find bundles of sage at your local reiki, crystal, or mystical shops and even some health food or farmers markets. While there are many varieties of sage, white sage is most commonly used and is associated with purity. 

Anytime you’re able to give the process your full attention is a good time to burn sage, but especially when moving into a new space, after an illness, argument, or negative occurrence. You can also do so during meditation to invite in high vibration spiritual guidance. I personally enjoy cleansing my energetic body with sage in conjunction with an epsom salt bath and meditation, and always feel deeply refreshed and uplifted after ridding myself of negative emotions or experiences. 

How to smudge sage:

1) Before you begin, remember to be mindful and respectful of such an ancient tradition that is spiritual in nature to many cultures, especially that of Native American tribes. Burn your sage with honor and gratitude for this healing plant and Mother Earth. Thank your spiritual guides for being present with you and assisting with your cleansing and healing. Open windows where you are intending to cleanse, if even just a crack. Prepare your ritual items with care.

2) Set clear intentions as you light a candle. You may repeat these intentions out loud or to yourself as you move about your home or cleanse yourself. This can be something simple such as, “I cleanse this space of negative energy that does not belong here. I invite only love to enter here” or can be as complex and specific as you’d like. Just follow your intuition in doing so!

3) After setting your intentions, light the leafy end of your sage stick or bundle with your candle. Allow it to burn for a few moments before extinguishing the flame. Bringing along a small fireproof (ceremaic or glass) bowl or abalone shell, begin at the front door of your home or space. Waft the smoke into all corners of the space using your hand or a feather. Be mindful of cupboards, closets, and dark corners that often receive little fresh energy flow. Repeat your intention or mantra as you move clockwise around your home.

4) To smudge yourself, use a feather, fan, or simply your hand and “wash” the smoke over your body. Different sources may tell you to begin at your head, heart, or at your feet, but the most important thing is to breathe deeply, tune into your body, and repeat your intentions. Enjoy the soothing smoke while connecting with your higher power. 

5) To extinguish, do so in sand, on the earth, or a ceramic dish. Do not use water. Notice and enjoy your space (and yourself) feeling lighter, fresher, and more pure. Give thanks and invite love, light and pure energy in! 

Fire Meditation

bonfire surrounded with green grass field

Fire Meditation

Have you ever spent time gazing at a fire, allowing its flickering warmth to relax you? The beauty of flame can be quite mesmerizing, allowing us to easily reach a deep state of meditation with ease. There are many different ways to utilize fire in your meditation practice, but this is one of my favorites, as it never fails to leave me feeling more relaxed and uplifted.

Whether using a large campfire or the simple flame of a small candle, this meditation invites you to heal and align your third chakra, your Manipura or Solar Plexus/Navel chakra. When this chakra is misaligned you may experience feelings of powerlessness or neediness, a desperate desire for control, or struggles with self-expression. Physically you may notice digestive issues when this chakra needs a little extra love.

Seated comfortably (perhaps in lotus or half lotus pose) with your spine stretched tall and chin held high, focus for a moment on deepening your breath. Allowing it to become slower and more steady, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth at a relaxed and cohesive pace. Let your gaze soften as you observe the flame in front of you.

You may do so literally or through visualization, but either way take a few minutes to write down the feelings, events, or experiences you’d like to release emotional or energetic attachment to. As you burn each one, give them gratitude for the lessons they’ve taught you and the growth prompted by them. Then as it burns, envision your anxious thoughts, feelings or insecurity or inadequacy, or need to control any given situation peacefully rising up in smoke… no longer attached to your energetic body and freed from your mind’s fixation.

Then, after releasing, focus your attention on the base of the flame, noticing any differences in color. Breathing even more deeply, allow the warmth and vibrancy of the fire to be felt deep within your abdomen. Visualize the characteristics, ideas, people, and thoughts that you with to call into your life igniting within. Just as the fire burns in front of you, feel its warmth tingling inside of you as well. Allow it to illuminate the shadowy areas of your heart, inviting them to heal and grow.

Fire meditation mantras:

  • I am safe and secure.
  • I am free to express myself as I am guided to by my intuition.
  • I am powerful and provide benefit to the world around me through sharing the gifts and abilities I’ve been given.
  • I hold the tools within myself to create the life I desire.
  • I am divinely supported.

Repeat these out loud to conclude your meditation, and repeat as often as you feel called to. Have you felt the soothing benefits of a fire meditation? Let’s hear your experience below!

The Elements Within a Family

Weekly Recipe

The Elements Within a Family

I was reflecting upon the four elements as I traveled to do a “through the window and six feet apart” visit to my sisters’ homes. I was thinking about the application of these elements in holistic and Ayurvedic medicine, and how we all require a balance of each in order to feel optimally centered and aligned. This brought me to thinking of our siblings, and how our family feels truly complete when we are all together.

“Well of course, ” I realized. “We are the elements.”

My sister Amber, the eldest, is our Fire. Within her burns a fierce determination for what she sets her mind to accomplish. She is a force of beautiful strength. While her intensity may cause some to keep their distance, it illuminates the way for many others to recognize the unique fire they have burning inside of them and inspires action. Intense feelings are quickly ignited and she is fueled by the understanding of her true power. She is not easily swayed, and will head in the direction she puts her mind to. She is a leader and sees the potential of others before they recognize it themselves. Her (sometimes blunt) honesty causes those around her to challenge themselves to grow, just as the forest fire clears dead debris to invite new life, new ideas, and natural beauty.

Nathan, the only brother among us, is our Earth. Calm and comforting, he allows those around him to feel more centered and grounded simply by his presence. He cares for the earth as an extension of himself, knowing that his actions with shape the future environment. His steady but passionate self is most content when living as one with the environment around him. He is an observer, taking in the happenings and reflecting upon them while quietly supporting life and love around him. Just as the earth expects no praise for fostering life on our planet, he is humble in his demeanor. Being around him enables you to feel recharged and supported. Within his soul is an ability to create mountains of good where there was once an expanse of flat and nutrient-lacking land, and to create stunning gems in places that may be overlooked by some.

I, next in birth order, am our Air. In a whimsical… almost dreamlike way, I journey through life as though propelled by an invisible force. Creative and artsy, I’m excited to dance about and be a part of many unique experiences and learning opportunities. Within the same day, I can feel emotions of serious intensity and calm beauty. Seeking to give life and uplift others, I’m able to draw something out within a person, fostering an intuitive understanding of their strengths and abilities led by a deep and refreshing breath. I’m happiest when given the opportunity to help other elements reach new heights, and often celebrate in stillness. I can be both a force that demands care and attention while also nurturing the softest and most gentle wisp of a butterfly wing.

The youngest, and our final element is Abigail, our Water. Flowing along a path of least resistance, her presence provides nourishment to those around her. She is determined, but in a subtle way. Just as one may not easily observe the steady impact a river flow has upon rock, she gently carves away at coldness to make way for free-flowing love. She is expressive and makes her emotions known naturally, as she cannot help but allow her bubbling brook or joyful waterfall to sing their songs. She gently provides those who are down-trodden or defeated with enough sustenance to spring back to life, simply by being around her.

We complete our family the more we own our unique skills, powers, and abilities. I am grateful to be inspired and ignited by Amber, grounded and centered by Nathan, and nourished and nurtured by Abigail.

What element do you feel most embodies your personality or that of your family?