Category Archives: Be You Media Group

As The Wheel Turns: Embracing the Sacred

It takes one moment
just one moment
to completely dissolve.

In that one moment
we are nothing and everything
we are connected to it all.

In just one moment
we become the void
and remember our true nature.

~ Wide Open Heart {A Poem Fragment} by Jenn Lui

Those moments, where we are quiet and still within, opens us up to experience the sacred. This can be during more obvious situations such as rituals, meditation, yoga or prayer. Or while listening to music that moves us, while creating art, walking in nature or as we sit consciously sipping our tea.

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However, the beautiful thing about this is that we can experience the sacred within our everyday and during our most mundane tasks. We can enjoy this connection while we cook a meal, while washing the dishes, while we’re at work or at home taking care of the household. With a simple conscious breath we can bring awareness to the task at hand and know within ourselves that everything is sacred, everything is connected. We are all made from the same stuff as the stars up in the sky. When I pause to contemplate this, I can’t help but feel amazed and in intimate contact with the sacred all around me.

As the Wheel Turns and we continue our journey into this New Year, How can we bring more sacred moments into our lives? Here are a few of my favorite ways:

Tea Ceremonies: This doesn’t need to be complicated at all; my version of a tea ceremony is very simple. It consists of making my tea slowly and with awareness, sitting to drink my cup, consciously enjoying every sip. I’ll usually pair this with some journal writing and my gratitude practice; this time to sit and be still is a powerful opportunity to connect within.

Little Altars Everywhere: I adore little trinkets and have many little collections of objects around my home. These little altars everywhere remind me to stop, take a breath and tune into myself, to slow down and notice the little things around me. Setting up these little altars is such a great meditation in itself, and can consist of anything that speaks to your heart. It may include a statue of a cherished deity, some herbs in a bowl as an offering, crystals and stones, candles, flowers, totems and anything of special significance to you. If you dig this idea and want some inspiration, I have a Flickr set of my little altars everywhere as well as a Pinterest board of inspiring altars I’ve found on the web.

I also love carrying around with me some of my special trinkets and call these my little altars to go. In a tin or in a pouch, these little altars everywhere remind me that the sacred is everywhere, and in every moment. Throughout history, objects have had sacred significance for us, although in the end these are just things, they can represent so much more and are a visual way to connect to the sacred.

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Meditation:
Meditation is an important part of my every day, to have that quiet and still time where I can surrender, let go of the daily stresses and let myself dissolve. I know some are intimidated by meditation, however there are so many different ways to “meditate” and there is really no wrong way. You don’t have to be able to sit for hours to be able to meditate. Even 5-10 minutes on a regular basis can be a very transformative practice. Some of my favorite methods for meditation are: Reciting a Mantra (Japa Yoga), this is basically the repetition of sacred words. There are many mantras out there specific to different spiritual modalities, but you can definitely make up your own as well. A mantra that I have often enjoyed is “So Ham” which means “I Am That”. Another method is to utilize a Mudra (hand position) as a point of focus, or putting on an audio guided meditation. If you search under meditation on the internet, you’ll find a wealth of information and methods. And remember, your meditation practice is your own, feel free to adjust it to resonate with you.

Gratitude: Having a gratitude practice is another profound way of connecting within ourselves and to the sacred. There’s the saying that goes “Gratitude makes what we have enough.” and it’s so very true. Not every day is awesome, but if I stop and think about all the things and people in my life that I’m grateful for, then my bad days don’t seem so bad. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but cultivating through practice this attitude of gratitude creates a big shift in perspective and sets us up to be more thankful and to be conscious of the abundance that we have already. This practice can be written in your journal, or it can be done in your mind and simply thinking about who and what you are grateful for. And better yet, you can enjoy this practice with a hot cup of tea.

I hope that one or more of these practices have resonated with you. When we invite the sacred into our daily lives, we can’t help but come from a much more heart centered way of living.

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“May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”
~ John O’Donohue

Also posted on Be You Media Group.

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Everyday Gratitude

Starting off every morning in gratitude, can certainly transform our day. This awesome practice isn’t limited only to mornings however, at any moment we can begin again. We can stop, take a deep breath and feel gratitude. Moving forward from that moment into the next with a thankful heart.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie

Gratitude, Autumn leaves, getting lost in the pages of Wild and more on the
Be You Media Group Love List.

Photo: Jenn Grosso Day 266 - 365 Picture-a-Day Project

Photo: Jenn Grosso Day 266 – 365 Picture-a-Day Project

“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” ~ Mary Oliver

Up for a month of gratitude? Check out Be You Media Group’s Gratitude Experiment.

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Fall Balancing Through Breathing

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Honoring the inner harvest and balancing light and shadow aspects of ourselves during this Fall season, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing, is an excellent breathing exercise/meditation for this time of year when the weather and energies are shifting and we seek to find balance once again.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is also helpful with clearing out blocked energy channels in the body (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification; pranayama = breathing technique), which in turns de-stresses the mind releasing accumulated tension. It calms and balances our entire system.

How to do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):

  1. Sit comfortably with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
  2. Place your left hand on your left knee, palm open to the sky or lightly face down.
  3. Place the tip of your index finger and middle finger of your right hand in between your eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on your left nostril, and the thumb on your right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close your left nostril and thumb for your right nostril.
  4. Press your thumb down on your right nostril and breathe out gently through your left nostril.
  5. Now breathe in from your left nostril and then press your left nostril gently with your ring finger and little finger. Removing your right thumb from your right nostril, breathe out from the right.
  6. Breathe in from your right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
  7. Begin with completing 9 rounds by alternately breathing through both your nostrils. After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keeping your eyes closed throughout; continue to take long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort. Increase the number of rounds per sitting when you feel comfortable to do so.

Remember to not force the breath, keep the flow gentle and natural. The fingers on your forehead and nose should be applied very lightly and with no pressure.

Nadi Shodhana, one of the things we’re loving on the Be You Media Love list.

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A Sacred Gathering: Little Altars Everywhere

“Rituals create moments where living becomes art. Poets, writers, painters and musicians aspire to heightened moments of awareness, times when they feel they have something unique and inspiring to give the world….We all have this instinct to create beauty, distinction and meaning in our lives….”
~ Alexandra Stoddard

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Photo: Jenn Grosso #littlealtarseverywhere

To me the ritual of creating an altar, setting intentions, bringing together all the pieces and thoughtfully setting it all up, is a creative act. It is a mindful practice that teaches us to slow down, see beauty and honor the sacred within everything around us. It can be a very personal creative act, or we can share it with others and help to inspire as well as re-inspire ourselves.

In a previous post, I had invited everyone to send me their #LittleAltarsEverywhere pictures and  I would share a follow up post, and here’s A Sacred Gathering: Little Altars Everywhere on the Be You Media Group‘s blog. I hope all these little pockets of sacred spaces inspire you to create your own little altars, and should you capture them in a photo hashtag your altar photos #littlealtarseverywhere (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook)  and join all of us who share our sacred spaces.

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Photo: Jenn Grosso Travel altar-in-a-tin

Gratitude Altar

Photo: Jenn Grosso Gratitude Altar

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Be You Media Group’s Artist of the Week: Jenn Grosso

I’m so excited to be featured as this week’s Be You Media Group Artist of the Week!

I believe we all have something to share in our lifetime, something that’s uniquely from ourselves. So share what inspires you, what brings you alive, because maybe without you it might never be seen in the unique way that you can share it.

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I’m happy to have had the opportunity to share my own creative process and what being an artist means to me. Check out the post here.

I create because I’ve always felt a powerful and constant need to create, a drive to outwardly express what’s going on inside of myself. I create because this is one of the ways I make sense of my world and my struggles. I see my creative process and expression as being intimately tied to my spiritual practices; they are two sides of the same coin. Being an artist, a student of spirituality, a yogini and meditator, are all tools that I use for my self-development that propel me forward on my life’s journey.

My influences and inspiration come from everywhere and in every possible media. I believe that everything has beauty, and proceed through my days with my eyes, mind, and heart open to receiving. Through my time in nature, connecting with other artists and people, through music, reading and research, I never run out of inspiration. I just have to take the time to see it, to feel it and process it.

As an artist, I’ve never been able to confine myself to just one medium. I experiment and have experimented with so many, although I always seem to come back to photography, painting, collage/mixed media, and writing. Truth be told, I’ve sometimes gotten down on myself for not picking one medium, for not being more “focused” and getting really good at one thing. How my passion, curiosity and desire to explore and learn has held me back as a “successful” artist, but then I remind myself that these are the qualities that in my opinion make me an artist to begin with. I’ve realized that I can’t just stick to one thing, for me that isn’t conducive to making art. My life IS my art, day in and day out I create with how I see the world around me, by how I honor its beauty in all the little ways that I do, and share this with others. That is my art, the medium becomes irrelevant.

Through every action I am creating; I create my mindset, my environment and my future. To me this is the most fantastic creative act of all. To create ourselves! My art is simply a by-product of this. All of my experiences are a part of my creative process… and so my whole life is dedicated to finding inspiration, to being inspired and to inspire others.

jenngrosso

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Little Altars Everywhere

A Photo Essay + An Invitation
Originally published on Be You Media Group

“The sacred tree, the sacred stone are not adored as stone or tree they are worshipped precisely because they are hierophanies, because they show something that is no longer stone or tree but sacred, the ganz andere or ‘wholly other.” ~ Mircea Eliade

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#littlealtarseverywhere on Instagram – Jenn Grosso

Little collections of meaningful objects, bundles of special trinkets, groupings of knick knacks that connect us to the sacred, to something beyond ourselves; to me whether they are man-made, found in nature, or a mix of both, they are little altars. Resting places for our weary hearts and souls, connecting us to something deeper, connecting us to the “wholly other”.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always created little spots of sacredness in my surroundings. They ground, comfort and help me see the beauty in all small things. When I began posting pictures of my little altars I realized I wasn’t alone, so many others created their own versions of little shrines. We may be honoring parts of ourselves, the beauty in nature, intentions we’re wanting to manifest or simply appreciating the little thing; there is definitely some powerful about the little altars everywhere.

Nature treasures - Kate Bartolotta

Nature treasures – Kate Bartolotta

Moon phases  – Bryonie Wise

Moon phases – Bryonie Wise

Trust creates peace - Jenn Grosso

Trust creates peace – Jenn Grosso

Found altar on a nature walk – Photo by Jenn Grosso

Found altar on a nature walk – Photo by Jenn Grosso

Word altar – Kate Bartolotta

Word altar – Kate Bartolotta

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Deities and things – Jenn Grosso

The home altar – Bryonie Wise

The home altar – Bryonie Wise

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Little nature altar – Jenn Grosso

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A creative altar – Jenn Grosso

{The Invitation}

And so dear readers, I invite you to share with me your #littlealtarseverywhere photos which will be included in a follow up post. Send them to BeYouMediaGroup@gmail.com with the subject line “Little Altars Everywhere” and if you so choose to include your name and blog/website/Facebook Page link these will be included with your photo. I look forward to seeing your little collections of sacred objects, to see where your mind, heart and soul rests for healing and rejuvenation.

“Everything for me is sacred, beginning with earth, but also going to things made by man.” ~ Paulo Coelho

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