Tag Archives: be you

Stacks of Poetry Books

This month is National Poetry Month and we’ve been celebrating all things poetry over at Be You Media Group. In the last edition of our weekly Love List we all contributed a picture with our favorite most indispensable poetry books. These are the ones that have spoken straight to my heart and the pages that I return to over and over again. Do you have a favorite? A whole stack of favorites?

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“Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.” ~ Paul Engle

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Inner Alchemy {A Giveaway} *Winner Update*

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Photo: Mindy Tsonas

*Winner Update* A big thank you to all who have entered! And the Random number generator has chosen comment #5 as the winner of a spot in Mindy’s {Inner Alchemy Circle} congratulations ivymarie8!!! You’ll be contacted shortly!

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of featuring Mindy Tsonas as Be You Media Group’s Artist of the Week. Seeing artists work from their heart, and offer their gifts and perspective to the world, inspires me tremendously on my own creative path. Mindy certainly puts her heart and soul into her work and into her Alchemy Cards.

“The foundation of my work and practice is in the cards – Alchemy Cards, that I create and call upon as part of my grounding daily intuition and creativity. I circle with women in creative covens to teach them this practice and to use this powerful tool and personal talisman in their own lives. We learn to focus energies, delve in to personal truth, connect authentically and boldly, and manifest JOY and LOVE together. The cards are the physical magic we create – the actual magic is in the guided process of creating your own deck.” ~ Mindy Tsonas

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Photo: Mindy Tsonas

Mindy’s next Inner Alchemy Circle begins October 19th and is an online gathering and course that is “focused on creating your own one-of-a-kind themed Alchemy Deck, and learning how to use the cards as a powerful tool in your life and work. You’ll be guided with stirring prompts as well as easy how-to’s, to ignite your intuition for making your own beautiful personalized deck.”

Sounds awesome right? I’m excited to say that Mindy has given me a spot to giveaway! Want that spot? Simply leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a winner (via random number generator) on Friday, October 3rd and will announce the winner here.

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Everyday Sacred {#1}

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Practice Repeat

Life can sometimes feel like it’s slipping through our fingers. Rushing through our days, I’m sure everyone at some point has exclaimed “where the hell did the day go?!” and next thing you know it’s a new season. I mean it’s kind of inevitable as time here only moves forward, but when this becomes the status quo, life’s enjoyment slips away too.

It has been through cultivating my daily spiritual practice (or Sadhana) that I learned I could slow things down. In this conscious choice to savor every day a little more, I found a deeper grounding experience within, because it’s in these stolen moments that I remind myself to fully inhabit the here and now; I acknowledge myself, and the care that I need to be happy, healthy and yes, holy. After all, we’re all connected and each of us is an integral part of the sacred current of all things.

When I put the brakes on the motions and commotions of daily life, and calm the monkey mind which is continually jumping from one thought to another, I can, if even just for a few moments, bear witness to the sacredness pulsing throughout my entire essence of being. I can honor my inner self, my heart, my Buddha nature. I make room to appreciate all things, to soften when I’d rather harden and to open up rather than shutting down.

I’ve heard people say over and over again that they don’t have time for a daily practice, or that they started but “life” happened and then stopped. I assure you that I’m not talking about hours here, or even a solid hour. It’s definitely awesome if you do have that time to dedicate to your practice, sometimes I do, but on most days, between work, raising my daughter, and life in general, I just don’t. I try my best to steal a bit of time upon waking, maybe a bit of time after work, and then a bigger chunk of time before bed, but it all depends on what’s going on and has to be taken day by day… and I honor that.

It’s life and we just gotta flow with it and be flexible. I know that if I’m too hard on myself, say about doing an hour of yoga every day, that I’ll get discouraged when I don’t. That practice then becomes a burden and actually a source of stress, which is totally the opposite of what it’s supposed to be right? So I’ve learned to let it be what it’s going to be for however much time it’s going to be. As long as I show up for that sacred time every day—whether it’s five minutes, ten, fifteen, half an hour, or hell, even a full flippin hour! I’ll take what I can get, and it’s way better than not showing up at all.

For all these reasons, this column will pop up sporadically. I can’t say with what frequency because I just gotta go with the flow. Just like my practice. But I’ll show up here and share with you some of my favorite practices, little glimpses inside my own Sadhana and inspiration that invites us all to tap into the sacred around us and ultimately back to ourselves.

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A gentle disclaimer: I’m eclectic, like mega diverse. I gather inspiration from wherever my heart leads me, from whichever culture, style and time in space that tickles my fancy. If it pulls me, I follow. With that said, not everything that I’ll discuss during the course of this column will necessarily resonate with you, and that’s totally cool. Like me, follow your heart. You are cultivating your own practice right? Keep what inspires you and leave the rest.

I’d love for you to share your experiences with me too! Or, if you have any questions or insights or general feedback, I want to hear it! You can either do so by commenting in the posts themselves, or you can email me at perilsoftheliving@rocketmail.com. Who knows, maybe your questions and/or comments will become the topic of a future column (without naming names of course). So let’s get interactive with this, and help and encourage each other to see the sacred in our everyday lives!

Everyday Sacred {#2} coming soon…

Also published on Be You Media Group.

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Let It Be

The amount of worth we put on ourselves according to our outputs has been on my mind a lot lately. Some thrive on a constant outpouring while others, like myself, move much slower and require a lot more quiet and still to bring forth our insides out into to the word. There is no right way, we all move at different speeds. The mistake is to compare ourselves to others based on this.

I wrote a piece entitled “Pace is Grace”, that got accepted for a book collaboration that will be available later this year, reminding me that whatever pace we move it’s all good. As long as we’re honoring ourselves.

I read this and thought, YES. Treasure your unique pace and personal evolution, let the rest be.

“You have to resist the demands of the work-oriented, often defensive, element in your psyche that measures life only in terms of output — how much you produce — not in terms of the quality of your life experiences. To be a soulful person means to go against all the pervasive, prove-yourself values of our culture and instead treasure what is unique and internal and valuable in yourself and your own personal evolution.” ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen

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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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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.

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