The day where night meets day in the middle. The days have been growing longer and nights shorter since December. As we come into spring, you can feel the energy begin to shift. Its a time of growth, of new beginnings, of action. Its time to plant those seeds which we want to nurture and grow in the coming months.
This time of year is a great time to create a Sankalpa. Sankalpa is an intention, but more that an intention you just throw out there. You sit with yourself, and feel into your heart. You create a Sankalpa with sacred intention. How do you want to feel? What do you want to manifest into your being?
To create your Sankalpa, it's a great idea to first go inside and feel into your heart, and allow what is to arise. Practicing yoga and then sitting in meditation is a great way to begin.
Planting actual seeds as well, is a good reminder of the seeds you plant for your Sankalpa. What do you want the garden of your mind and body to look like? What do you want the garden in your home to look like? When creating a Sankalpa, setting an intention, or working with manifesting, always say it in the present tense, as if it is already truth, it is already happening, you have already manifested it and you are living the life you desire.
For me, this year, I focus on gratitude. Being thankful each and every day for what life brings to me. I also am focused on raising my vibration with positive thoughts and vibrant food. I renew my commitment to my yoga and meditation practice as well, as allowing myself to go deeper into the source of the divine within me. I allow myself to trust and believe in the magick of all beings and realize nothing is a mistake and nothing is by accident.
As a child summer was my favorite time. I got to spend my summers in a little town in the Pacific Northwest on a beautiful river. I would get up early and head out to explore. This little town has the most distinct fragrance about it. The smell is so fresh and full of life. I ended up moving there full time when I was in high school. After living someplace permanently, you start to forget the magic about it. It becomes part of your reality and you start taking it for granted. Well, I made the decision to move away and, after a couple of moves, ended up in the town I now call home. Now, in my older and wiser version of myself, I can appreciate more fully this beautiful place I used to call home. This is the place I long for every day, but especially during the summer. My sweet town I currently live in is wonderful on so many levels, but the heat in the summer really physically hurts me each year. So, each summer I spend my days longing for my personal oasis. I long to live back on that river. I have 2 children and an ex-husband, so moving to my paradise is not an option right this minute.
For the time being, I need to just make the most of my home here. When I create my sanctuary, do the daily practices that align me with who I want to be and how I want to live, I feel more at peace. I have an easier time accepting where I live at this time in my life, even if it's not the most ideal for me.
One of the best practices I have, that really just makes me think, "Yeah, I DO love summer!" is to eat a succulent watermelon while the juice drips down my arms. I just love it. What fruit makes you smile? I know, it sounds silly, but it just aligns me with my peace. I really enjoy attending the Farmer's Market and visiting with vendors, getting to know them, and getting the fresh, local produce to nourish my body. The community you create for yourself when you do this can also help to nourish your soul.
I practice yoga daily as well, and during the heat of the summer that can be a challenge to stay motivated. If you miss that early morning window to practice before it gets too hot, you can incorporate cooling practices to help keep yourself cool, as the temperature rises:
Sitali or cooling breath ~ sitting with a tall spine, close your eyes, stick your tongue out and roll it so it looks like a hot dog bun. Inhaling through your tongue for a count of 3, hold for a count as you close your mouth and exhale out your nose for a count of 3. Start with 10 rounds and grow the practice from there. Allow yourself to be relaxed and the breath to be long and smooth.
Slow Flow ~ Allow your practice to take on a more meditative flow rather than a heat building flow. Slowly moving from one pose to the next, move as if you were moving through water. Allow yourself to feel the water flowing around you, while it keeps the movements really slow and intentional, like a dance.
Floor Practice ~ Allow yourself to have a nice floor practice. What can you do to strengthen and stretch your body without getting up off the floor? You can also allow yourself to embrace a Yin or Restorative practice to keep the cool.
Essential Oils ~ on to my favorite topic. Essential Oils have helped my mood management for years, probably since before I even knew what they were doing. I can use specific oils to help with certain emotions, but I can also use oils to bring out a smell that takes me back to where I long to be. When I go out of town, and visit this gem on earth, I take my oils and diffuser with me so I can use them in my special place, and create that memory of the scent in that location, so when I smell it again, it takes me back. Do you ever smell a shampoo you haven't used since high school and as soon as you catch a whiff, you are transported back to a different time and place? You can train yourself this way with essential oils too.
You can also just diffuse blends to smell like the places you'd like. Here are some diffuser blends by doTERRA to help find your summer Bliss:
Summer Wind: 1 drop Spearmint, 1 drop Bergamot, 3 drops Tangerine
Citrus Summer Remix: 3 drops Lime, 1 drop doTERRA Passion blend, 2 drops Bergamot
California Coast: 2 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Cedarwood, 1 drop Rosemary, 2 drops Wild Orange
Summer in the Alps: 2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint, 1 drop Ylang Ylang
Stress Less: 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Lavender, 2 drops doTERRA Balance blend
Ocean Waves: 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Lime, 1 drop Spearmint
Picnic in the Mountains: 1 drop White Fir, 4 drops doTERRA Balance blend, 2 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Douglas Fir
Relax and Uplift: 3 drops Patchouli, 3 drops Bergamot
I invite you to allow yourself to sit in meditation or to just sit and think about what you can do to create your own little sanctuary in your home to help you find your Summer Bliss, no matter where you may be spending your summer.
Interconnectedness: the state of being connected with each other.
"the interconnectedness of all things in the universe"
How easy is it to connect with someone you have things in common with? You chat, you enjoy each other's company, you look at each other and you're like, "I get you!" What's even more is that they get you as well. I know this feeling, and I love this feeling. You feel connected on a deeper level. With all of the yoga festivals I've been to and the 500+ hours of Yoga Teacher Training I've participated in, I've been half of a partnership of eye gazing. This is a way to feel some serious connection, on a deeper level. You get this sense that you've known this person in front of you as a soul for many lifetimes and you get this overwhelming feeling of fullness and love in your heart.
How about connecting with Gaia, Mother Earth? So easy when the weather is beautiful, when you see a perfect sunset, when there's a slight breeze on a warm summer day that brings just the right temperature to your skin. Yes, another time when you can feel that deep connection with the Earth without any effort.
Now, here's the true test. Close your eyes and think about someone that rubs you. Can you feel that same deep sense of connection? Can you go out in a winter storm, rain pelting your face with a frigid wind whipping your hair around, and feel that deep sense of connection with the Earth?
I'm not able to... YET
This is part of my work. As I sit here in pain from the winter storms, so cold and unable to really get warm each day, no matter how warm I dress, how high the heater is turned up, or how many blankets I layer on top of myself, I try to embrace the Mother and all of her seasons. Not easy. I am going through a divorce that is not as difficult as some and more difficult than others, and trying to feel a sense of connection to someone who treats me the way an ex-husband tends to treat an ex-wife is not easy. In fact, it is the most difficult thing I think I've ever tried to do in my life. I have moments where I'm able to, and I'm able to let everything go that he has said and done, and then there are other moments (like this entire week) where he succeeds at pushing my buttons, getting to me, and me reacting rather than coming to my breath, and being able to handle the situation with grace. There is a direct correlation to how I handle the situations he brings to me. When I am regularly meditating and practicing yoga, I am able to handle what is given to me through grace and connection. When I don't make time for the practices I know I need, I handle the interactions like a rabid dog, wanting blood, and lashing out and getting consumed by hate. This doesn't feel good and it is not pretty. And, I'm the one who loses.
Back to my practice today. I had a nice Kundalini Yoga session followed by Kundalini Meditation. I feel much more calm. I still reacted instead of responded to the nonsense thrown at me today by him, however, I was able to pause, take a breath and wish him happiness.
Everything is energy and if you allow the negative beings in the world to let you lose the sense of connection to all beings, your body is the one that suffers.
Sit in a comfortable position, sitting tall, lengthening through the back of the neck and gently tucking the chin. Bring your hands into Anjali Mudra (prayer) at your heart center. Bringing the palms together in front of the heart space symbolizes honor and respect toward yourself and toward the universe. This mudra expresses love and gratitude.
Close your eyes. Bring the person or situation you originally thought of earlier back into your focus. Begin by enveloping them/it in a blanket of warm, white light.
On the inhale breathe the person or situation in through your heart center and then behind you.
On the exhale breathe them/it back through the heart center, back to the front of your awareness.
Continue this practice either for a few breaths, if that's all the time you have, or until you can feel a sense of connection with this person or situation, if time will allow. Can you come to a place where you can truly wish this person love, light, and happiness, or thank the situation for the lesson it brought into your life? Can you start to feel that true sense of connection, that you are connected, and truly one with this being?
I have moments of clarity, where I can feel gratitude for everything this person brings into my life, the challenges and the happy memories, but they do not always stay. This is my work right now. I honor the work I have to do and I am willing to sit with it as long as I need to, to be the person I wish to be, and not the person that reacts with mean words and hateful thoughts.