Category: Soul Nourishment

8 Tools To Support Your Meditative Practice

There is a misconception that when one begins to meditate there will be only feelings of bliss and total relaxation. Here’s the thing,  when our body relaxes it opens and when it opens, it may open us up to feelings we have kept stifled or hidden for a long time.

Most of us are wound pretty tight, meaning, we work very hard at keeping our feelings “in check”. We expend a lot of energy being in-congruent, meaning we have unresolved issues that go unaddressed for years, yet we  have our happy face on and pretend like we are not hurting underneath.  Robin Williams comes to mind, he  was such a funny guy, how could someone so funny and magical contain such pain is the question we all grappled with when we learned he committed suicide.

There are varying degrees of sadness and not everyone who feels sad is depressed or living with mental illness. There is however, a significant amount of avoidance and denial, in our culture, of emotions other than  feeling good.

Unrecognized and unresolved grief and  anger can present themselves as  feeling stressed and overwhelmed in life, which leads to the desire to meditate.  What our psyche is really saying is,  “I need to relax,   so I can let go.”  Most beginners of meditation do not realize that meditation, aka being still and getting quiet, allows for our parasympathetic nervous system to take us out of survival mode and when that happens  we let go.

For us to let go  requires, our unresolved “stuff”  to become more present.  It  is usually at this time most people declare mediation does not work, or the ego finds creative ways to block total relaxation  with distractions, thereby we never really reach the theta  state. Reaching a  theta state goes beyond the alpha  relaxation  state of peace and calm,  a theta state opens us up to deeper intuition, problem solving and deeper healing.

Someone going beyond the alpha state of peace and calm may experience emotional releases during meditation. Crying, feelings of anger  and/or  tearing up during or after meditation is common and not a sign that we have done something wrong.  It is a sign that we have done something very right. Apparently we are ready to face some of those unresolved feelings so we can feel freer and more grounded. This is not a time to continue  the avoidance and denial patterns that keep us feelings stressed, its time to tap into our creativity and EXPRESS EXPRESS EXPRESS!

If you find yourself triggered by your meditation practice here are some tools to support yourself:

  • Seek out support from your wellness team; counselor, life coach, body worker

  • Journal, write out your feelings

  • Get creative with different art mediums; paint, decoupage, string art, clay, draw, color etc

  • Sing, chant, hum

  • Make music with ancient instruments

  • Use Nature as therapy; hike, garden, fish, gather nature items and create a nature table, bird watch

  • Talk to a friend, attend a support group

  • Dance, move your body spontaneously

When I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed I can trace it back to something I am not facing or feeling that is ready to come to the surface. When I am am feeling overwhelmed I meditate to relax so the essence of what I am struggling with can come to the surface of my mind. Once at the surface I can use the tools above to support me.

The next time you are meditating and start feeling emotional, take several deep breaths and  and ask yourself if  you should  proceed.   Trust you are held by The Divine and and follow your inner guidance with love and compassion.


Every Sunday at 9 am and Wednesday at 7:30 pm, Chonteau is at Pure Yoga For Life leading meditation group. She also has several guided mediation journeys that can be purchased at her online  empowerment and education center, Soul Care U. 



Are You Honoring The Contractions Of Life

It is around this time of year that my life begins show me where the brakes of life are more prevalent than my foot on the gas. When there seems to be, so much to do, to end the year on a profitable, and positive note, my energy level  begins to fade.  Though this is not true for everyone, for me given my birthday is at the end of December I enter into the winter of my year cycle. Thus, I have learned to honor the contractions of my life, just as much as I honor the expansions.

As Sacred healers it is important to understand our cycles and be aware of when we are contracting.  Contracting means we are closing up, focusing inward, holding inward visions and non active. Contraction suggests pain and suffering, and though, more constrictive times in our lives, do carry many more challenges  and pain,  I have found it is how I move through these challenges, that make a huge difference.  I have learned to ride the waves of discomfort, knowing that this cycle will end in time.

I have also learned not to push my clients out of their contraction cycle.  When working with clients and students we love to help, many of us were hired under the impression that we would bring more peace and help make folks feel better. We  often feel pressure to make the “bad” go away and we want our clients to leave our offices and classes with smiles on their faces. I get it, I used to want that too. It was not until I began to go deeper into my own self discovery and healing that I was able to let go and allow for healing to occur as it needed to.

A Sacred healer is one that understands the process of expansion and contraction. She holds the space for  herself  and for her clients regardless of where they are at, without trying to change it… AND he gently moves them down the healing stream so they may remember their  wholeness.

Regardless of how your healing practice is expressing itself to the world, you can enter into this sacred way of relating to others at any time. By simply learning to honor your own contractions of life  with as much vigor as you do the expansions of your life and then honoring this in others is an amazing gift to give the world.  You are saying to others,  I may not agree but you are where you are and I meet you there in love.

We are saying to ourselves, I may not want to be here right now, but I am where I am and I meet myself in love.

9 Steps To Living A Diamond Filled Life

diamond filled lifeThis past new moon was filled with community and love. I reconnected with one of my dearest friends, we welcomed many new energies to emerge in our lives and made vows to be more present in our earth walk.

I love ritual, as most of you know, it is one of my top three ways to move through trauma and live life with more purpose and meaning.  However, ritual alone can not heal the wounds of the past. It takes persistent attention to our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and the willingness to do our deep soul work and uncover our hidden treasures.

I continue to remind myself and others that our healing journeys are unique and intimate, they carry all that we need to live a fulfilled and actualized life. We must ask the question:  Are we willing leap with faith and claim what is our birth right.

As I was talking with my dear friend she asks, “how”? “How did you and  how do you, work on your stuff and truly feel free?”  “It is a labor of love for myself”, I told her and “first I had to be willing to face the darkest parts of myself because I know within the roughest stones of my life are the most brilliant diamonds I have ever seen and I want to live a diamond filled life.”  I then shared what I do every day to unearth the diamonds in my life.

I share these  “mining tools”,  with the intent, that those who are ready to live a diamond filled life,  but  find themselves stuck in the muck,  will be  inspired  to get off their duff, put on their mining hat and go to work.

9 Tools to move beyond my wounds:

  1. First I have to tune in to my back thoughts. What am I really saying to myself? There are always thoughts behind the thoughts and my job to to really listen to this inner dialogue.
  2. I then begin to identify my feelings.  How do I feel about these back thoughts and what is going on with my emotions. I begin to explore the parts of me and what they are feeling.
  3. I seek to understand these parts of myself, which means I explore their stories. I get to know these parts of me on an intimate level, and without judgement I notice them. I notice how  these parts show up in my life and when and how they may be sabotaging my joy.
  4. I give these part of myself time and space, in other words I feel my emotions as long as I need to. I retell the story as many times as I need to whomever can hear me.  I fully feel my emotions on every level.
  5. I begin to tap in to my wiser more integrated part of me, she is the part of me that knows all and is my wise counselor. I allow my higher wise counselor inner voice, to bring more love and wisdom to my consciousness and comfort my wounded self.
  6. I then create a sacred space,  invoke Spirit and my healing helping allies to support me in my healing.  In other words I create a ritual for healing.
  7. After the ritual I am ready to start forming a new story that is more truthful and aligned with my true essence.  Our true essences knows we live in a non harming world. Regardless of what I see, I focus on returning to this Truth, thus uncovering a more loving version of my story.
  8. I begin to integrate this new story into my life on EVERY level.
  9.  I repeat steps 1 thru 8 as many times as I need to until I am living my new reality.

The key, I told my dear friend is my commitment.  No matter how hard it gets, if I stay the course, I know my new reality of freedom will be better than one of being bound.

What I have just describe are the basic steps I go through to release, renew and ultimately unearth my diamonds.  It is not an easy job, sometimes its dirty, dusty and muddy. However, when I am holding my  brilliant diamonds in my hands, I know my hard work has paid off.

Are you ready to release and renew? If you are, your diamond filled life is waiting for you too.

Chonteau is going to start leading meditation classes at Pure Soul Yoga.  Her schedule can be found on their website. Meditation is one of the first steps she took in being able to access her inner wise counselor and is where her healing journey began. She also has several meditation e-courses that can be found on Soul Care U.

Awaken To Who You Are

I remember in the early days of my spiritual development I would read books about the grand adventures of students and their  spiritual advisors.  The students, now teachers themselves, were writing books and sharing their wisdom. How romanticized they made their lives look.

How cool it would be I thought, to work with a master teacher for years and then carry on the teachings. At the tender age of 22, this type of life appealed to me.  I searched for a local teacher such as this, by attending workshops and classes, to my disappointment, this was not my path, my adventures looked very different and the one teacher I dreamed of, never came, at least not in the way I thought…. but that is a different story for another day.

I remember when I heard Spirit say, “your path is NOT to seek a long term teacher, your path IS to be the teacher others seek.”

Fast forward 22 years…

A  young woman attended my herbal class at the Florida Herbal Conference about 3 years ago. She was short in stature, with a coy smile and her dreadlocks  were well beyond her back.  I remember her saying, “I will be in touch”.  I do not think either of us knew the journey we were about to embark on.

A couple months later, she entered into my  Intuitive Herbal Mentor Academy, and began to work the program. She and I both realized  she needed another layer of support and we started to work together.

Honestly, I did not think she was going to stick with it. Who wants to rip their heart out, and feel the brokenness that we THINK  we are? The path of a mystic is revealing of our insecurities, and  shortcomings. We come face to face with our shadow aspects and learn to love them, just as much as we love our Light. We are called to remember our greatness, and in that, we are stretched beyond our limits… and  those growing pains can hurt.

The awakening of our mystic always brings about the death of who and what we think we are. It shows up differently for all of us, but rest assured, if you are awakening this part of your being, you will first be taken under before you expand. On some level this young woman new this and has stayed the course.

As her mentor, healer and guide it has been equally awakening. My insecurities have also played out in many ways as I awakened to a deeper level of supporting others  and being supported.

It was today after reading her blog post that I realized just how far she…we  have come.  Today I celebrate her and the work she has done and is doing to ensure her life is more authentic. I can feel the tenaciousness of her spirit, the vulnerability in her heart and the fire in her womb, as she prepares to create a space of her own healing practice.

In this moment I am feeling so grateful for our work together.

I look back at our journey  and it was filled with wild adventures. Who needs to travel to Singapore when you have the magic of your own back yard.  A weekend 2 hours from your home can serve as the spiritually awakening journey that one has been looking for.

  When I look forward, I  see endless possibilities and when I focus on this moment and all I feel is love.

What’s to come…

Working with Shelley has been such an enriching process,  because of my work with her, I was able to birth my S.A.C.R.E.D. Healers Apprenticeship Program, something that has been growing in my spirit for 27 years. I am now working with other women  who want to awaken their Sacred Healer and use their gifts for  the world.  Shelley has become my right hand and is now teaching at the Academy.

Who knows what the future holds, for now we are filled with magic, love and we move down the stream, surrendering and allowing the best of all to Be.

If you are interested in my S.A.C.R.E.D. Healers Apprenticeship Program, I welcome a conversation with you.  It is open to 13  women and currently I have spots available. Fill out your intentions on the contact page and Shelley will schedule some time when we can talk. 



Healing The Feminine Consciousness Through Mourning

No matter how hard we try, we can not get away from the Law of Reflection. Did you know that everyone in our view is a reflection of some aspect of ourselves. The challenging aspects we see in others, is ready to be acknowledged and healed within ourselves.

I am not just a Healer, I am a Sacred Healer, which means, I have a greater awareness that my own healing, supports the healing work I do with others. Sacred Healers understand that healing is not just for the ones who come to see us,  but we call forth those people and circumstances in our lives to support our healing too.

I took a survey of my client circle and realized a great portion of those whom I am serving, are walking through unresolved grief. I can chalk this up as a coincidence or I can embrace, that I too have parts of myself, that are ready to mourn their losses.

It is easy for Healers to talk about the Law of Reflection when our loving, beautiful and abundant selves are being reflected back to us, but what about when our Shadow selves are being reflected back to us? What happens when our view contains judgement, anger, sadness and grief, are we just as wiling to face these “darker” elements of our consciousness?

Yesterday, I found myself “face down in the arena” of life, sobbing, trying to understand what part of me was sad. Through quite a bit of weaving through my thoughts and feelings,  I was able to hold the part of myself  that was grieving.  She  needed to be loved, held and assured that her feelings were valid.  I called a friend and cried. I gave no apologies for feeling, I simply allowed this part of of me to be present and vulnerable.

I believe there is a movement to heal the feminine consciousness across this planet.  She is coming to the surface of our lives whether  we like it or not. The Feminine Spirit has been suppressed and forced underground.  While underground she has been gathering her strength, and nourishment. She has been remembering, and now she emerges like the great phoenix. She is emerging in each of us. Her message is clear;  feel, release the pain and fear we have kept inside.

Somewhere along the way we learned the outward expression of our  feminine nature of emotions was weak and wrong. Truth be told, it has been the acceptance of my intense emotions and feelings that has been my greatest power. When I remembered this truth yesterday, my grief dissipated and a feeling of calm and centeredness  took its place.

It was a beautiful moment….

Consider these insights when  exploring ways to connect with your feminine consciousness and allow her to rise:

  1. Accept that we move through all the seasons of life. birth, growth, letting go/slowing down and death/stillness and give yourself permission to experience each season fully.

  2. Take every opportunity to nurture your womb and do your womb healing work.

  3. Heal your ancestral connections.  We carry our histories within our bodies. Learning to heal these wounds brings a freedom that can not be denied.

  4. Invite ceremony into your life. Embrace ways to create sacred spaces for  meditation and praying.

  5. Invite ways to express your femininity. How does the feminine spirit wish to be expressed in you.

  6. Explore all of your senses.

  7. The outward expression of grief is called mourning. Give yourself permission to mourn.

Think  of these insights and pick one to try over the next 30 days.  Let me know how it works out. Healing the Feminine Consciousness across the planet begins right here in the heart. As we cultivate, nurture and protect our Rite it spreads like a mighty web, strong enough to hold us all.


If you are a Healer and wish to move toward being a Sacred Healer, I invite you to connect with our online community.  I will be sending out tips, insights and sharing stories of how to honor your healing mission with more authenticity and love. Click here and  sign up  for our Sacred Healers emails and receive your free gift. 



Rite of the Womb~ A Personal Testimony

S.A.C.R.E.D. Womb Blessings Workshop June 24, 2017  Link to Learn More

A Personal Testimony:

I participated in  The Rite Of The Womb ceremony, which is the 13th Rite of the Munay Ki. The Rite of the Womb comes from the women of the jungle who freed themselves from suffering.  It is for women  who are ready to accept the truth of their wombs and or men who feel it will support their healing. It feels to be guided by the spirit of the jungle women, so however this healing transmission chooses to come to you, embrace it.

For me, my spiritual mother Marian Hartsfield, Grandmother Dawn Sky Weaver brought it to me.  I felt like I had been in a year and a half long initiatory experience of self love and worthiness. Grandmother came to my house from Georgia and says  to me,” Chonteau you need to heal the relationship with your mother”. She then, left me with her sacred medicine to work with and for two weeks I began some of the most intense healing I have one done is many years. During that time Grandmother performed the Rite of the Womb ceremony and it marked the end of my  midlife initiation that I have been dancing with for well over a year.

I began my journey to be with Grandmother, by packing  my snacks and drink, and  headed out to the coast.  My 2 hour drive was scenic and peaceful. I was excited to see Marian and spend time with her friend.  I was also intrigued by the ceremony she was going to perform. It had been almost two weeks since she  left her medicine with me and I had been in a very raw place.

After getting acquainted with her friend and chatting a bit, she begins to prepare for ceremony.  I watch Marian create the altar, and place sacred items to support our journey. She begins  to use her sacred feathers to fan around my body. She calls upon the spirit of the wind to bless me and prepare me for this Rite.  She prayed over me and spoke of the lineage of the 13th Rite. She then guided me and another grandmother through the ceremony.

It was a beautiful  and I wondered if I was going to feel any different. I have participated in enough ceremonies to know, wait for the mystery to unfold and all will be revealed in time. I left feeling no different then when I came. I thought to myself, well that was nice. I was feeling grateful that she shared this Rite with me. I got in my car and began my 2 hour trip home and that’s when it began.  I did not know if I was going to be able to drive. I could feel so much emotion welling up in me. I could feel the ancestors filling me, I saw so much light in my eyes I questioned what was going on with the sun. All I wanted to say was “The womb is not a place to store fear and pain, the womb is to create and give birth to life”. I repeated this mantra for 2 hours on the way home, through crying, laughing, and conversing with invisible spirits, I made it home.

I went out to the medicine wheel and was guided to perform the ritual again. This time I  could see the invisible spirits, my mother, grandmothers, aunties, great grandmothers and so  many women of my ancestral line were with me and I linked with them. This time  the pain, fear and suffering  I have felt before, was not there, all I could feel  was freedom and love.

In between my sobbing,  I journaled and prayed. I prayed for me, my mother, her mother and all the mothers in my matriarchal  line. I performed the Rite of the Womb on us all.  Upon  completion, I asked for enough energy to get through the evening with my family. I do not know how I cooked dinner or helped my son with his homework. I know I was carried to bed and there I collapsed as the sun was going down. I woke in the morning… renewed, fresh and free.

Since that day I have noticed several things in my life. I have noticed a stronger connection to my lineage, a sense of clarity, the birth of ideas are happening daily and I do not stay in suffering as long as I did before. There is a lightness about me that I have not sensed in years.  I have also noticed a deeper connection to my womb and joy of planting my dreams there is easier than ever before.   When I  enter into my meditative space, I see my mother and her mother too. We are healed and it is felt not just in this world but I know it is felt on the other side too.

I do womb work on a regular basis, so womb blessings and healings are not new to me.  There was something about this womb and  ancestral healing,  at this time in my life, that I needed and I am grateful for it.  I am grateful my spiritual mother  coming to me, when she knew I needed her. She called me home.

The work has not stopped, the nurturing continues.  As I mentioned before blessing and healing our wombs is a sacred way of life and continual awareness and practice of this process will serve us all, very well.

 Aho’ Ase’ And So It Is Done!

Awaken Your Phoenix Child


phoenix child

Have you ever had a setback? Were you really looking forward to something and it did not come through the way you wanted or when you wanted?  Have you then tried to talk yourself out of feeling sad about it.  You tell yourself that it really did not matter, it was not meant to be, don’t worry about it, stay positive, stay strong, basically “get over it already, it’s no big deal”.  No matter how much you tell yourself these words, there is still that nagging feeling of sadness and  frustration underneath your positive attitude.  Does this sound familiar?

How often as children and  adolescents are we told, when something does not go our way to suck it up, get over it,  deal with it, get on with life, you don’t get what you want, you are being too emotional  and the list goes on.

As adults we have memorized these words our guardians have told us, so much so, that we are masters of hiding how we  truly feel, especially when it comes to emotional pain.  We have become experts in abandoning our inner children because we were abandoned as children and not allowed to grieve our losses.

A loss is not just a personing dying. We experience loss in the form of dreams unrealized, moving on from friends, losing meaningful items, leaving a job, moving to a new home or new school.  We experience losses all the time and however  my inner child perceives them is quite alright.

Something happened this week that did not go as planned and I wanted to be a “big girl” and not be upset about it. However, I could feel that nagging feeling of sadness as my inner child was trying to express her feelings and I, the adult in me,  did not want to hear it. “We just have to suck it up and not worry.  You are being dramatic, you know everything happens for a reason, there is nothing to fear…”  this is what I was thinking to myself. After about 3 hours of trying to work and convince myself I was not  feeling let down,  I put my work down, layed in my bed and cried.

I this moment that is all my inner child wanted to do.

And so this is how we heal…we face ourselves and not run from ourselves.

I imagined my inner child being held in my arms. I imagined I was rocking her and loving her. I imagined  she was fully accepted in all of her worry, sadness and frustration.  I did not try to fix her or make her okay. I just imagined she was okay just as she was.

Can you imagine  how we or even the world would be different, if this was the message we received as children when we experienced loss? That is the world I am down to create.

In comes the Phoenix Child

Did you know that even within our grieving inner child there is a part of her that is our phoenix child. She our phoenix child lives in us too and she is incredibly powerful.  She holds the keys to our self compassion and forgiveness. She really is magical in every way. I love knowing we as spiritual beings are so multifaceted, we have such depth to us, as the saying goes, and  I paraphrase, there are  many mansions in the kingdom of I.

Inner child work is a daily mindfulness practice of becoming aware of one’s inner conversations. The question is are we willing to listen and allow this amazing relationship to to bloom. Using meditation and guided imagery, has been my way to  awakening my Phoenix Child or as some refer to her as, the magical child. Tapping into our safe space within has been our playground for both work and play.

Some of you might be ready to dive into this realm of play. For those who are, I have created a new e-program, Awakening Your Phoenix Child 3 part meditative series.  (this program is not available at this time)

We are going to ignite a part of ourselves that we have not allowed ourselves to connect to in a long time. I realized this is not the rainbow meditations of manifesting our dreams, this is the, I want to connect with my inner child and begin to build a bridge of understanding.

If you have been neglecting your inner grieving girl, and now ready to bring her with you instead of leaving her behind, this series may be for you. We are going to Awaken Your Phoenix Child and she is going to be your  ally for as long as you want to stay connected to her.

Even though this e-program is NOT live, I will hold  a space  for your healing work. I will not be physically present, however if you choose to work this program during the three week window this program is released,  you will be receiving my energetic support.



You link to register

The Herbal Oracle

I thought the way I related to herbs was strange.  Many plant allies came to me when I was sleeping and told me what  I needed to make  for others.  I did not know why the Ancestors would wake me up in the wee hours of the morning or keep me up late into the night so I could  make special blends that would be used for magic.  Every blend had a song, a number, a sacred combination, or specific colors.  Each blend was created in alignment with days of the week and the moon cycles, each blend had a story to unfolded and had to be shared with the receiver.

These were the early days of my practice as an intuitive herbalist and folk healer.  I denied this type of healing for a long time.  I did not want to considered strange or weird and I did not understand I was being taken over by the ancestors.  I can not tell you how many years I tried to fit into the mainstream herbalist community.  I was searching for a place to belong.  I thought of all kinds of creative wordles to put together to describe my way “prescribing” remedies until I surrendered to what everyone was calling me MEDICINE WOMAN.

I came to realized I just do not fit in.  I never have really and at this rate I never will.  I thank God that I have stopped trying.  Well….. that’s not entirely true, every now and then, that scared part of myself who thinks she needs approval from others, will pop her head out in my consciousness and try to run my business.  When I notice her, I remind her it’s okay to be different and gently remove her from my drivers seat.

I have surrendered to the fact I will never understand the science of herbalism.  I will never be able to explain the why in scientific terms. My task is to connect, remember, listen and share from a space of, not what I learned, but what I remember. I have embraced my way, and  alas that is good enough.  My days as an intuitive herbalist have far exceeded my wildest dreams. So much goes into my healing sessions and herbal readings. I no longer fear strange in me. I welcome this part of me more and more everyday. Right now as I write this, the trees are speaking to me with the rustling of their  leaves. They sound like a thousand rattles calling me home. Life is good!

On my birthday The Herbal Oracle was born.  The Herbal Oracle is a system of divination that uses our bones of the earth,  the stones,  to translate the messages of our plant allies.  The Oracle is partnered with a cosmological wheel  that combines several teachings from various philosophies. Each stone is hand painted by me and encoded with a Light frequency.

The Herbal Oracle is a tool for understanding, healing and transformation. She is yet another way the great plant allies want to share their wisdom and medicine with others. As they remind me, there are many ways to use sacred plant medicine, I am simply a servant and conduit for their Light.

soul care university

The Herbal Oracle with her sister companion Message From Shadow Cards by Keri Nola.


While connecting with my Sistar Keri Nola, the creator of Messages From Shadow Oracle Cards, the two systems attuned themselves.  Now, more often than not, the Messages from Shadow cards, beautifully complement a Shamanic Herbal Reading providing further insight and wisdom.  Using this tool has become a part of my individual healing sessions, and The Herbal Oracle has woven her way into almost all that I do for others and myself. She helps me create blends for others and her Light frequency supports me even when she is not physically present.

She shares this message with you now:

Wherever you are on your journey to uncovering your greatest talents, medicine, or offerings, you are enough just as you are.  The ancient wisdom contained in your belly is all you need. Believe in yourself and your Divine path.  Your time is now! Get yourself out there and stop trying to fit in where you do not belong.

May the Light of your life be uncovered and may it never be dimmed again.

If you would like a personal shamanic herbal reading, you can reach me through our contact page or you can go directly to this link.

3 Steps To Soul Nourishment In 2017


The new year is almost here and many of us are busy getting ready for the holidays. Some of us have started the festivities in one way or another by honoring our familial  and ancestral traditions with celebrations, rituals and getting ready for 2017.

Many of my clients are emotionally  purging as they make room for what is coming in the new year. Sometimes we do not realize,  the end of the year brings a lot of our emotional and spiritual baggage to the surface.  We begin to reflect and review on what happened this past year and depending on the story we are telling ourselves, we may be in a good space or  feel challenged on various levels.

Regardless of our “head space”, the key to soul nourishment is to face what shows up with compassion and love.  I admit, I have had some rough days as I sift through my emotional baggage and I have also had some incredibly  warm and funny days as I look at what brought me joy and fulfillment.

Cultivating our soul nourishment all year long means, we never stop facing our lives and we choose to feel. We take full responsibility for co-creating our lives and bring self compassion and love to everything we do. When we choose to cultivate soul nourishment, we are open to experience all of what life has to offer with an open heart.

To cultivate means to prepare and use;  plow, mow, weed and water a plot of land, in other words, to cultivate is to put forth the work and effort it takes to help something become sustainable.  Hmmm….. sounds like cultivating soul nourishment requires daily work  and we all know what happens to a garden when we forget about it.

Here are three steps you can take in your life right now that will  help you Cultivate Soul Nourishment in 2017.

  1. Give Yourself the Gift of Silence:  How might your life be different if you invited silence into your life everyday.  Let go of your need to know.  Turn off the electronics for 20 minutes a day; no radio, tv or phone of any kind.  Actually notice the  thoughts showing up in your mind, and  meet them with wonder.  Noticing how much our mind races, and being a slave to the “munchy mind” ,are two different things.  When I started noticing my thoughts, I realized I was not so nice to myself and this began my journey of learning how to become more self loving.  If I had not  gifted myself with silence, I would have  never known what was behind the noise.
  2. Pay Attention to Your Heart: What an amazing gift it is to open one’s heart to the experiences of life.  It is not for the faint or weak hearted person, because moving through life with an open heart  requires strength and courage.  When we pay attention to our hearts we are paying attention to what we love and what brings us joy. We are also paying attention to what is painful and how we have kept our hearts closed to protect ourselves. Paying attention to my heart has brought my true heart’s desires forward. I have been more focused on what I want, rather the following other peoples dreams, which have left me feeling empty. Everyone’s heart journey is unique them and that is what  makes it amazing, you never know what you’re going  to get.
  3. Living in Gratitude: No soul nourishment discussion is complete without talking about living in gratitude.  I remember working in  my first gratitude journal while I was grieving the loss my hopes and dreams of a child. It was such a power way to remember what I had, instead of focusing on what was lost, which was consuming my mind.  Listing 5 things I was grateful for everyday, forced my mind to focus on hope. Living in gratitude as a way of life is a reminder that we do not have to get  lost in a world of illusions.

These three steps are only the beginning.  There are many ways to cultivate soul care and soul nourishment in 2017, let your intuition guide you.

If you are looking for ways to nourish your soul in 2017  through meditation, mindfulness  and nature, check out my latest e-course Awaken Your Feminine Power With Grandmother Moon on our Soul Care University Site.   It is wonderful meditative journey that incorporates guided meditations, healing transmissions,  ritual and nature therapy to bring about deep changes in our lives.


Simple Herbal Rituals For The Season

It is customary during the cooler and colder months to forget about using our green allies on a daily basis.  I know for me I tend to spend less time outside when it is cold.  I am a Florida girl, so I admit that I feel most alive in warmer weather.  However, every season lends its herbal majick  for supporting our lives.

One way I stay connected to nature in colder months here is Florida, is to bring nature inside and find creative ways to deepen my connection to her bounty.  Eating seasonally is always first on my list and for those of us who  celebrate the Winter Solstice by decorating live trees with natural items is another way to stay connected to our natural world. There are those family activities such as creating  natural holiday reefs  or creating a winter bouquet  of evergreen plant material.

Still there are other ways to create herbal rituals during  the season. Herbal ritual is when one brings  sacred intention to their interactions with plants. A simple act of drinking a cup of tea can become a ritual by doing two things: 1. inviting mindful attention, as well as,  heart and meaning to the experience and 2. inviting Spirit to be present for a sacred intent. Remembering these two things for any ritual will serve you well and elevate your experiences from the mundane to the Sacred.

Here are 2 ways you can bring simple herbal rituals to the winter season.

  1. Make a personal  New Year’s smudge stick. In some cultures the smoke of a smudge stick or incense is very sacred. The smoke carries our prayers and invokes the ancestors to intervene in our lives for the  highest good of all. The choice of herbs also has significance  in the energies one is trying to invoke. Setting New Year’s resolutions, I am not fond of, however I do set sacred intentions for the new year and invite my heavenly help as a witness. Before New Year’s Eve I create several smudge sticks.  I look for various  fresh herbs in yard or at the local nursery. I choose them with care.  I follow my intuition and trust, whatever I choose is what I need.  I bundled them together and tie them with raffia. Allow them to dry  for at least a week or two.  On the night of New Year’s Eve, I will create a sacred fire and burn my personal smudge sticks. Each stick may hold a different intention, prayer or good wish.  I then intend that the smoke takes these intentions to Creator and the Ancestors for continued support throughout the new year.  Consider including your family and friends in this ritual or keep it personal.  Again allow your intuition to guide you.
  2. Create A Renewal Foot Bath. Each week we have the opportunity to start  new.  We can set new goals, focus on new projects and re energize our spirits. Soaking my feet weekly is a wonderful way to symbolize that I am walking a renewed path, last week is gone and the future holds promise as I move forward. Again the choice of herbs is significant and a little research about the spiritual properties of herbs will serve you well, also tapping into your inner wisdom should not be discounted.   I love creating spice blends, specially during the winter months.  The  colors, textures and warming energy is energizing to my entire body.  Combine a handful of your favorite seeds, bark, twigs and leaves and make a big pot of herbal tea.  Allow the tea to cool, strain out the plant material and then add warm tea to a basin of more warm water. Soak your feet while setting your sacred intentions for the coming week.

If this is your first time including herbs in your seasonal rituals have fun and do not make things so serious.  Bring laughter and lightheartedness to your experience and the spirit of celebration. Enjoy!

Schedule A  Shamanic Herbal Reading With Chonteau

I offer a unique  intuitive herbal reading for those who are open  to the wisdom of our green allies.  Our green allies have so much to share with us about  how we can rebalance our lives and cultivate more centeredness in all that we do.  I offer customized herbal blends at the end of each session upon request. Learn more about this unique reading here.