Category: spiritual tools

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. 

 

 

How To Make A Healing Flower Elixir

 

This past weekend, I facilitated a wise woman circle at my home.  I wanted to make a healing flower water elixir that all the women could take home with them and use in the coming weeks. Using flowers elixirs for spiritual cleansing, rejuvenating and  healing is an  age old practice that dates back to pre-modern indigenous cultures. There is an indigenous  understanding, that all parts of nature are aspects of the Divine, and in that,  when we use nature as a healing tool, we are inviting a Divine power to be present in our healing ritual.  Water is the element of peace, flow, reconciliation and healing on all levels. Whenever we invite water to be present in our healing ritual we can be sure that something is ready to be corrected and healed with love and peace.

I will share one  simple ritual of creating a healing flower water elixir and give some examples of how to use the it in our daily life.

  1. First collect your flowers. Collect your flowers in a sacred manner. Be prayerful and humble when approaching flowers, allow the flowers to choose if they want to be apart of your blend.  Make your intentions known to them and feel with your heart if the flower wants to be picked. Always ask for permission from the flower if it is okay to pick them.  When choosing flowers from a store, use the same intuitive sense and allow the flowers to choose you.
  2. Create your water base. In a bowl or  jar add one part filtered water and one part vodka. The amount of liquid depends on how much you are making. You can make one cup or one gallon its up to you.  Add a crystal or healing gem stone to your container. As you prepare your base be prayerful as you set your intentions for creating the healing water.  Infusing magic is all in the intention. You do not have to be a Reiki Master or practitioner to call upon your inner green witch and enchant your potions.
  3. Next you add your flowers. Before adding your flower or flowers allow the meaning of the flower to come to you.  You do not need to look up other peoples meanings. The meanings that come to you in this moment is good enough and more personal.  Add your flowers  to your container.
  4. Next you will add some essential oils.  Again use your intuition, choose the oils that speak to you.  Make the blend your own or if you have invited others, have each person bring an oil or flower to add.
  5. Stir your mixture with a magical wand, twig or your clean hands.
  6. Say a final blessing over your elixir and bless it with your hands.

How to use and store your healing waters:  I have stored my mixture in the refrigerator and or used it right away.  After the flowers soak in the mixture I strain the flowers out and store in a glass jar.  The vodka acts as a preservative so it is shelf safe for at least 30 days.  This mixture is not for consuming  as food but can be used in a spray bottle for a body spray or for one’s  hair locks. It can also be added to your bath water or foot bath for spiritual bathing or cleansing your aura.

As a personal spray I have used my blend before meditating, and yoga practice. I have used it before praying for myself and others, it enhances the energy of  the ritual.  Floral healing waters if a vibrational healing method that evokes the spirit of the plant and its esoteric properties. When working with flower waters we are working with an ancient sacred healing art and so be reverent and respectful at all times.

The picture shown above was from a communal ritual.  We gathered as women shared our stories, blessed our flowers and our water, afterward we each took a jar home of our sweet elixir.

Trust your inner guidance to guide you in creating your healing flower waters. In the picture below this floral water was created with dreams and inspirations. Rather than taking the water home, the elixir was gifted back to the earth in  gratitude and prayer.

It is important to remember that when we perform rituals that involve water, we are linking with all the water on the planet and helping to heal the misuse, waste and pollution of our water which gives us all life.

Have fun, experiment and  invite your ancestor to guide and assist you.

May your water and flower blessing ritual vibrate love and healing to the next 7 generations. And So It Is!

 

 

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.