What is a spiritual practice?
Well, it's many things. But basically, it's a regular action or activity a person does to cultivate a deeper connection with Source.
I will use the word Source, but please choose another word if that's more comfortable for you, such as Universe, God, Goddess, Divine, energy, life force, etc. The list is long, so you choose what works for you.
There are many paths to take and practices to work with as well as many divination tools to use if you want to. The Universe is an amazing and powerful place and magical things happen all the time. That magic can happen in church or temple, with pendulums, with tarot and oracle cards anywhere and with anything. When we use a prop such as tarot cards or the i Ching, source is speaking to us through them. It's a tool to use much like using a fork to eat with instead of your fingers. It's no different than getting messages from angels or spirit guides because it's still all coming from source, which comes down to energy.
The fear based ideas/concepts that are thought up by humans has nothing to do with Source. That's a control thing.It is always your choice to use a tool or not to grow your spiritual practice.
It is my goal on this page to introduce you to many practices that can help facilitate your growth as a spiritual human. Some of these practices will resonate with you, others will not. Any of them you can learn on your own, others you'd rather consult with someone who specializes in it. For example, I read tarot and do mediumship readings for others. But my astrology skills are not as extensive. So I'll go to an experienced astrologer for a reading.
That being said, I'll be starting with practices and tools that I have done for myself and others because they not only resonate with me, I'm also well trained in. Later I'll introduce other practices that are interesting that you may want to take further. I'll include resources for them as well as those I practice for you to explore further if you wish.
So, please come back as often as you like because this, like a blog, is on going. I also welcome questions, insights and your own experiences. I plan to share some of those insights here for all to learn and grow from. While I'm a teacher (according to my astrology chart) and feel it's one of my reasons for being here, all of you have so much to offer as well. Let's learn and grow from each other. :-)
I would say that most people who get into yoga start going for their physical well being and/or maybe because someone told them it would be good for their stress issues. For me I started as a 17yr. old (yikes! that was 50yrs ago) to help improve my dance studies. But, for those that stick with it, like myself, they soon realize that it's had a profound effect on their spiritual being as well. After all, it is believed that yoga mainly came about to help the body to be able to sit in meditation for longer periods of time.
Yoga is more than the asanas (postures). It helps us connect our outer-self with our inner-self through the breath and movement. This happens whether we want it to or not. As a yoga teacher of 20+ years, I've seen this happen many, many times.
Is yoga for everyone, YES. Is every style for everyone, NO. From hard core astanga to restorative, there's something for everyone at any age. So try different classes and styles as well as different teachers until you find a good match for you.
My best advice...don't try too hard. Every body is different and has different needs and limitations. That's just the way it is and that's OK. Our own uniqueness makes us who we are...very special.
Can't get to a class? Check out my go-to place, Yoga International online. They offer other practices that I'll be talking about later.
A daily practice of even just 5-10 minutes can have the effect of decreasing blood pressure & lowering anxiety, as well as an overall healthier boost to the immune system. The more conscious you become through meditation, the more control you’ll have over your emotions, & the more likely you will choose to live happily.
Meditation is NOT stopping your mind from thinking. That's never the goal. The goal is to focus on something to quiet that racing, monkey mind. This is the spiritual practice. I like to use a mantra. Usually it's just OM. Other times I'll use a Sanskrit phrase. But watching the in & out of the breath is good as well. This is the spiritual part of the practice. After a few days or weeks of a daily practice, you will notice a difference in how you see and move through your world. It can be amazing!
Getting into a comfortable seat for your body is important. Preferably sitting up with your head gently supported with the use of pillow and/or a high back chair.
Guided meditations can help you get started and to help focus the mind.
Check out the above link at Yoga International.
We all have angels as guardians and guides. They have been found in all religions and spiritual practices for centuries. These are divine spiritual beings of love and light are here to work with and help us for our lifetime, bringing us messages, guidance and help only for our highest good. A daily practice of asking your angels directly for help with something will create a strong connection of co-creation. But, you must always ask first. Get quiet, ask, pause and listen. They will only give positive, loving messages. Anything negative is your ego speaking, not your angels. For more info on working angels, check out Kyle
In the beginning of January, Kyle Gray asked his angels what the year 2020 meant. #2 = unity & relationships & 0 = god & new beginnings. He meditated on the numbers with help from his angels, then journaled. He said: This is the year the world goes through a new beginning & new changes, but will be brought back together in some way. He had the image of a broken Japanese cup. When a cup gets broken, it’s put back together with gold. Now we’re being shown the cracks and broken pieces that we must now fill with gold to improve the relationships between each other and our planet.
Poetically translated to “golden joinery,” Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with a camouflaged adhesive, the Kintsugi technique employs a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the conspicuous cracks of ceramic wares, giving a one-of-a-kind appearance to each “repaired” piece.
These cards are from the "Yoga for the Hands" by Sabrina Mesko, Ph.D.H.
Mudras are yoga for the hands. The most common one you know already, prayer hands, aka Anjali Mudra. Practicing mudras is a practice of self-empowerment. What ever your challenge or situation, mudras can help resolve those issues. They work by altering the flow of energy through the acupuncture system. All acupuncture meridians either begin in the hands or feet. When you change the position of the hands and fingers, you alter the flow of energy/prana in the body.
Mudras can be done while walking, sitting or standing. They are the perfect addition to a daily meditation practice. You'll be amazed at how powerful they can be. I’ve included three that are very simple and easy to do.
Opening the Heart Center: Bring your hand up to your heart center, finger apart, and the base of the palms touching. Pinkie and thumbs gently touch to form a rose. Breathe deep, slow and long.
Calming Your Mind: Bent arms in front at chest level. Elbows bent at 90* angle. right hand on top of left and fingers straight. Relax and breathe.....
Patience: Touch tips of thumbs and middle fingers creating a circle. Other fingers are stretched out. Lift arms up to your sides with hand level with ears and palms facing outward. Relax and breathe...
There are many website to go to for mudras, but here is one to check out, here.
Tarot & Oracle Cards
Tarot and Oracle cards are my main go-to method for what I need or would like to know on a daily basis. Reading cards allow you to tap into your subconscious mind when you want information on an issue you’re struggling with. They can give you clarity, focus and peace of mind, as well as help with ways to improve your life and nurture relationships. Reading cards can also strengthen your intuition.
Picking a card at the beginning of your day can help you understand what you need to focus on, whether it’s something to work on or a gentle reminder of your blessings.
Card reading has been around for centuries. Why? Because they work. Anyone learning to read tarot or oracle cards always start with them self and for most, only read for themselves. While I love reading for others to help them see what’s below their surface, the spiritual practice is me reading for me.
You can do it too.
Don't have a deck? Use Collette Baron-Reid's online Oracle deck here. Scroll down a bit and click on the deck to get to the cards. You can pick 1-3 cards. After you pick a card(s), scroll down a little more to get the message.
Smudging is a practice that’s been around since the dawn of time. It’s a way to energetically cleanse a space to invite positive energy.
Have you ever walked into a room or home that just didn’t feel right. Something was off. That feeling is real. It’s stuck energy. An example is walking into a room after someone was having a heated argument. Imagine years and years of that build up. To me it feels like heaviness weighing on me from all sides.
The ritual of smudging your home regularly becomes a spiritual practice if done with intention. Most often smudging is done with burn plant material, such as sage. As you walk around the room, smoke fills and purifies the space. As the smoke ascends, our wishes and intentions rise and mingle into the universe, connecting heaven, earth and humanity. There are other ways to clear a space. A few drops of an essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle works too. A hand drum or other kind of noise maker (clapping your hands) works if you’re sensitive to smells. I also use a dowsing rod and my pendulum.
But I love the smell of the white sage the best. Mmmmmm.
Using therapeutic grade essential oils can help enhance any spiritual practice. Lavender is especially good for calming the mind for restorative or yin yoga, for meditation and journal writing at bedtime. (It’s a natural antihistamine too). Other oils such as mandarin, bergamot, jasmine and Ylang Ylang are also good for calming down and relaxing as well as Chamomile and frankincense for anxiety.
When buying EO’s, only get those that say therapeutic on the label. They are a better quality and don’t have added chemicals that can be harmful.
EO’s can be diffused in the air, a drop or two used like perfume, or by taking in a deep breath straight from the bottle. If you don’t have a diffuser, put a few drops on a cotton ball and tape it to an air vent. Or you can use a scrap piece of fabric or cloth handkerchief (EO’s can stain) and place it next to your head at bedtime......Sweet dreams.
A daily practice of journaling can be quite therapeutic, especially during these difficult times. Journaling can be random thoughts that need to be released or for gratitude writing. What you feel like writing is perfect. It can feel a little weird at first, but once you get going you may end up writing a book! Just go with the flow.
The most important thing is it must be a journal/school-type notebook of some kind. Writing on your computer or other electronic device in not good. The holding of a pen or pencil and the act of writing on paper is better for your brain health. Typing to a screen very different,
which is a whole other topic.
The practice involves writing for a few minutes daily. It’s best just before bedtime to write about your day, writing down things you’re grateful for that happened during that day or both. Some people get stuck when it comes to writing about things they're grateful for. Just don’t think so hard because there are always things to be grateful for. Such as blue skies, walks with your dog, a friendly smile from a stranger, the way leaves float down from the tree to the ground, and on and on. You’ll be amazed what you come up with. A journal writing and/or gratitude practice is perfect at bedtime because it sets you in the right frame of mind for a good night’s sleep.
Saying affirmations can have a profound healing effect on the subconscious mind. Louise Hay is credited for bringing the use of affirmations into the mainstream with her book, You Can Heal Your Life. If you haven’t read her book, I suggest you do. Many libraries carry it.
Affirmations work by repeating a sentence or phrase in such a way that what change you’re wanting for yourself, is already happening. There are a lot of books and cards out there in the market. Many don’t quite make it because of a word or two.
Example:1. “I’m ready to love and approve of myself.” VS 2. “I love and approve of myself.” See the difference? #2 is the right one because it’s in the here and now. The example in the photo would be better written as, "I live happiness everyday".
An affirmation can be used like a mantra repeating it during meditation, smudging or as an intention for a yoga practice. Also, by writing it in your journal a few times.
For me, using a pendulum is right up there with card reading. Pendulums go way back in history to ancient China, Egypt and the Roman Empire. But recently, they have become popular again. When mastered, they are a direct link to the Universe.
Pendulums are super easy to use and you can take them where ever you go. They work by tapping in the subconscious mind, which in turn connects to source. There are all kinds of pendulums and can be as simple as a key on a string. I personally like the ones made with crystals.
Pendulums can be used for simple yes/no questions as well as manifesting your desires. Of all the oracles, pendulums might be the easiest to use for quick answers. With a little practice they can become your greatest tool in your oracle tool.
(More on using pendulums in my May blog post.)
Holding crystals or placing them on your body can assist you with physical, emotional and spiritual healing. It’s believed that crystals do this by interacting with your body's energy field in a positive way. Some crystals are said to alleviate stress, while others may improve concentration or cleanse your energy field. It all depends on the makeup of the crystal.
Crystals contain the ability to transform, absorb, amplify, and transmit. Energy is everywhere and crystals are a perfect conduit. The vibrations of crystals are known to change depending on the energy surrounding them, so every stone has a unique and different effect on each individual.
My Example: I hold my quartz crystal during readings to enhance my intuitive abilities. Crystals are great for assisting in your meditation practice too.
There is so much information online on crystals it’s hard to know who to trust. For info on using crystals with meditation, I recommend Energy Muse , for general information as well.
Joel Hawkins is very knowledgeable and you can listen to a discussion with Joel on my all time favorite podcast, Psychic Teachers here.
A Course in Miracles
A Course in Miracles is a year long self-study program designed to bring a consistent state of happiness and peace to the student by applying its principles daily. These principles can seem radical and way “out there”. The course (which can be found online) is very effective for those looking to heal abandonment, victimhood, and any other lifelong issues. Even those you didn't know you had. Following this carefully laid out course, the Course in Miracles naturally leads to an experience beyond what my words can say here.
I did the course many years ago, but recently I decided to revisit it, but instead of the original course, I’m doing Pam Grout’s simpler and easy course called, The Course in Miracles Experiment: a starter kit for rewiring your mind (and therefore the world). She has broken down each lesson into an easier to digest format, but still just as profound.
“This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.” In-2
In my many years of practicing yoga, every once in a while a teacher would include a few Qi-gong (pronounced CHEE-gung) techniques. In turn, I included them in some of the classes I was teaching. Recently I decided to make it a regular practice after learning about The Urban Monk on a podcast.
Qi-gong and Tai Chi are similar in that they both include slow movements connected to the breath as in yoga. These ancient Chinese practices combine slow, deliberate movements with the breath, and meditation. The postures flow together without pause, making
them look like a slow and graceful dance that keeps your body in constant motion.
Qi-Gong promotes the movement of Qi (energy) in the body; this is done by opening certain gates and stretching and twisting energy channels. A key point in Qi-Gong practice is relaxation and deep breathing, both of which are necessary to allow Qi to flow. When Qi is able to flow without blocks, healing can occur. We all create blocks to the flow of our Qi, it's just part of being human. Qi-Gong's purpose is to release those blocks.
I joined the online academy at the Urban Monk and have throughly enjoyed the lessons.
I’ve heard that praying is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.But prayers are often not stated in the best way. Such as begging for something you want no matter what it is.
I love and follow Caroline Myss (pronounced Mace) and highly recommend learning more about her. Do an internet search with her name and you'll find loads of info.
She says to start with a brief opening statement of purpose or intent. Next is the body of the prayer, stated as if it’s already achieved. Lastly, seal the prayer with trust, faith and truth.
To start, draw yourself away from your five senses and come into your silent inner place where your deeper truth lies, like you would in meditation. Hold yourself in grace (aka energy), but using the word grace is much more precise.
And example from Caroline:
I stand in the presence of the one who is making me. I stand in the presence of who is healing me. I stand in the presence of who is guiding me. I stand in love and adoration.
I live and die in the flow of grace, I live and die in the sacred, I live and die in the divine.
Let nothing disturb the silence of you God. Hover over me God.
EFT a.k.a. Tapping
Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional issues. It's also known as tapping. People who use this technique have found that tapping the body can create a balance in the energy system to treat pain as well as reduce anxiety, depression and stress issues. It consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through past memories and a wide range of emotions.
Meridian points are certain points that can be mapped throughout the body. Energy circulates through your body along this network of channels. You can tap into this energy at any point along the system. Negative emotions are disruptive to the body’s energy. By restoring balance to the body’s energy flow, and you can mend the negative emotions and physical symptoms. Tapping restores the body’s energy balance, and negative emotions are conquered.
The basic technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion: a fear or anxiety, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, a pain, or anything that’s bothering you. While you maintain a mental focus on the issue, you use your fingertips to tap on 9 of the body’s meridian points. Tapping on these meridian points, while concentrating on accepting and resolving the negative emotion, will access your body’s energy, restoring it to a balanced state.
While attending a workshop a few years ago with Nick Ortner (The Tapping Solution) I was able to release a pain in my neck that had been bothering me for too long. I was amazed at how quickly it was gone and didn’t come back. I now use tapping for a variety issues that come up as well as for general energy balancing.
You can get a free app call “The Tapping Solution” where you’ll find a variety of free guided tappings. You can many more with a paid account.