Tag Archives: honoring

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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Chaos Within

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It’s becoming ironically clearer and clearer to me that feeling confused is a very natural human state, one that we shouldn’t fight against, but completely embrace. Clarity within chaos? Ah beautiful paradoxes.

“Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.” ~ George Saunder

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Journals out, writing fiercely: the antidote to chasing the shapes of unclear ideas within this head of mine. The creative process gone a little mad. “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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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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Making Light Of The Shadows

Jenn Grosso - Day 305 of 365 Picture a Day Project

Jenn Lui – Day 305 of 365 Picture a Day Project

When I sit with my ancestors, I’m sitting with everything that has ever been/was and is. We are all connected. Celebrating this boundless interconnection on this Day of the Dead.

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos. May we remember and be grateful for the time we have here and for the people we share it with. I am SO thankful.

Making light of the shadows,
I bow to the cycle of life and death.
Honoring all that has come before me,
I celebrate life, by remembering the dead.

Jenn Grosso - La Offrenda

La Offrenda

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Writing Down The Bones

Writing down the bones - Jenn Grosso, 365 Project Day 154

Writing down the bones – Jenn Grosso, 365 Project Day 154

For those days that seem darker than dark, remember this too shall pass.
Always, there are new beginnings at every turn.

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~ Carl Jung

Death’s Song {A Poem}
By Jenn Grosso

In the bleak and the despair
Hold on tightly to yourself
Be comforted by Death’s Song.

These cycles they come and go
Every day in every minute
Another moment’s death.

Breathe and take it all in
The just beginnings
And all their many endings.

Nothing stays forever
Change is the only constant
Hold on tightly to yourself.

Cradle your darkness in your arms
Embrace the hidden opportunities
As the shadows reveal the light.

With every little death
New found joy in the beginning
Another moment is born.

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