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Nurturing Spiritual Practices

Updated: May 15, 2023

by Anne Grant

REMEMBRANCE:

I’d like to welcome everyone! I’m so happy that you are here to share and experience in this evening’s smorgasbord of spiritual delights! You will find a little piece of bee’s wax on your chair. Please sit on it, so that it will soften from the warmth of your body. We will be doing something with it later, and it it will be yours to keep. Notes from today’s workshop, including references, will be passed on later by email through Metaphysical Explorations for any of those who might like.

WHY? Why do spiritual practices at all? They help us connect to the Divine and to the Divine within us that is everyone’s birthright. Spiritual practices are powerful helpers, inviting each of us to remember who we are. We are ALL beings of light, love, and joy! We are all, each and every one of us: teachers and creators. We have come here to Earth to express this, and to plant the seeds of Peace, Love, Healing, and Joy within the world all around us! The sharings that are offered today are all reflections of what you already know. Each of us already has a universe of wisdom within us that is our birthright to draw upon each and every moment of our lives. These sharings are offered as invitations for you to remember, embrace, and fully live what you already know.

1. CALLING IN THE DIRECTIONS: Most cultures around the world have traditions of calling in the directions to help create a sacred space. The following directions were modeled off of Native American traditions to create a sacred space for yourself, or for a gathering. ACTIVITY: Calling in the Directions (located at the end of presentation)

2. INTENTIONS: Let’s take a moment to create a positive intention for ourselves. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and visualize what you would like to create for yourself in your life. Here is an example of an intention: “Every day, I am happy, healthy, grounded, and at peace in my life and within myself.” See what you would like to create in detail. As you are moving through your day, what would it look like? What would it feel like? Really infuse your visualization with positive emotions. See yourself, happy, peaceful, joyful, content, whatever it is, that you would like to create in your life! Hold this intention in your mind and in your heart. When you meditate, add in your visualization and positive intention for what you want to create in your life. ACTIVITY: Take a moment, and write your intention down on a card. We are now going to do a guided meditation. We will be adding our intentions into our guided meditations as well. ACTIVITY: Edgar Casey head, neck, & shoulder exercises. Guided meditation, followed by the thymus thump.

Edgar Casey Head and Neck Exercises: These exercises are wonderful at opening up your upper three chakras, and are a wonderful prelude to meditation. Throughout these exercises, each time you are breathing in slowly, say within yourself and visualize that you are breathing in “Life, Light and Love”. Imagine and say to yourself on each out breath, that you are “releasing all tension, worry, and doubt”. Drop your head forward to position slowly three times. Drop your head backwards slowly three times. Drop your head sideways - slowly, and lift it back to an Drop your head sideways - slowly, and lift it back to an your chin slowly, and lift it back to an upright slowly, and lift it back to an upright position leaning your right ear to your right shoulder upright position slowly three times. leaning your left ear to your left shoulder upright position slowly three times. Rotate or circle your head in a counterclockwise direction comfortably and slowly three times. Now rotate or circle your head in a clockwise direction comfortably and slowly. Edgar Casey Breathing Exercises: Inhale through your right nostril, and exhale through your mouth, three times slowly and deeply (pressing your left nostril closed with your left index finger helps this process).

Inhale through your left nostril, and exhale through your right nostril, three times slowly and deeply. (Alternating pressing your index finger on the nostril that you are not breathing out of helps). Throughout your meditation, continue to take slow, relaxed breaths fully into your lower abdomen. Breathe the way you see a puppy or a baby breathing: taking full relaxed breaths - taking air fully into their bellies. This sort of breathing should feel comfortable, not forced. GUIDED MEDITATION THYMUS THUMP: Use the tips of your fingers to tap in your upper heart chakra area, repeatedly in a fashion that is comfortable. Thumping your thymus is wonderful at helping you feel grounded, centered, and relaxed. The thymus is the organ primarily responsible for the production of immune cells. ACTIVITY: Sharing rocks to hold. Please take a rock if you would care to, and pass the basket along. Please return your rock to the basket at the end of the workshop. Rocks, as are all natural objects, are very grounding as well.

3. MEDITATION: In meditating, we connect with Spirit to recharge ourselves, renew, and revitalize. It is such a nourishing and supportive practice. Use meditations and a meditative process that is juicy for you, works for you, and that brings you happiness. Here a few suggestions that can be helpful before meditating. Saying prayers first, reading something that is inspiring and uplifting spiritually, lighting candles, lighting incense, using essential oils, playing music.

Creating a sacred space for yourself for your meditations. Decorate your sacred space with things that speak to your spirit. Rocks, crystals, inspiring pictures, and art, flowers. Try using guided meditations through Apps such as Calm. I have a meditation booklet I made up with a variety of meditative suggestions, affirmations, prayers, etc. that I will be happy to email you a copy of if you are interested: AnneDGrant@gmail.com But what’s most important is to meditate at all. Try not to look at it as something that is drudgery or something that you “should do”, or “have to do”. Embrace meditation as a practice that brings more joy, happiness, peace, energy, and fulfillment to your every day life! If you don’t have time to meditate for 20 minutes - try meditating for any amount of time you do have. I find I feel happiest if I meditate daily, or every other day. Sometimes if I feel that I’m very tired, and that I might even fall asleep while I’m meditating, I will take a five or 10 minute catnap, first, and then meditate. Sitting up in a comfortable chair for your meditation is recommended, with your feet flat on the floor. BELLY BREATHS: If you feel yourself starting to become stressed, catch yourself as soon as you are able to, and take a deep, slow breath in, all the way down to your belly. You can even continue going about your business, just becoming conscious to use your breath to open up to peace, to open up to relaxation in the moment.

4. CLEARING YOUR SPACE: ACTIVITY: Pass two different chimes, bells, rosewater spray around. Smudge yourself, your space, and your home using sage, Palo Santo, juniper, rosemary, rosewater mist, chimes, crystal, or a crystal cluster. Smudging has been done for thousands of years. Tune into your body as you smudge. Intentionally let go of any tension, worry, anything you want to release. Consider, saying one of the following phrases out loud or within yourself, “Our house will be a sanctuary for all who enter, a home filled with love and comfort.” “Thank you for clearing this space, my aura, this area. “Thank you for bringing in beautiful white light and uplifting energy.”, or “This is a house of light and love...and all who enter it will be blessed and will bring a blessing.” Some people don’t like the smell or the smoke associated with sage, or Palo Santo. A spray with water and essential oils can be used to clear and freshen your space, your home. Sound can also be used as a form of smudging or clearing. You can ring chimes or bells. As you ring your chimes or bills, take deep, cleansing, relaxation breaths, even take a moment to close your eyes, and just fully taken the sound. If using a crystal, or a crystal cluster for clearing, hold the crystal, and pass it around and through your energy field, stating, “My energy field is now cleared, cleansed, and renewed.” Clearing crystals: it’s a wonderful idea to also periodically clear your crystals. This can be done by placing them overnight in bowl of water with a half a cup of sea salt added. You can also place them outside to cleanse and charge under the light of the full moon, or out in the sunshine for a day. Opening windows and doors, letting in fresh air and sunshine in your home is also so cleansing and revitalizing. It moves the stagnant energy out.

5. WAKING UP PRACTICES & EXTENDING GRATITUDE: ACTIVITY: Morning greeting. Standing up, feet slightly bent, extending your arms above your head and breathing deeply in, visualizing, bringing in a beautiful white light of the silvery shimmer as you do so. Exhale. Now, with your hands together in a prayer pose in front of your heart, extend your hands out from your heart, breathing out, then pull in a shimmering golden light while breathing deeply in, focusing all the time as you do so on bringing in positive energy, light, and love! This is a very simple exercise to do when you first wake up that only takes a couple of moments and beautifully open you up to Spirit. ACTIVITY: Gratitude exercise. Close your eyes for a moment. See yourself waking up and saying thank you. Feel filled with gratitude for your life and the blessings within it. You can light a candle for the morning or the day, and say a prayer of gratitude. Take a deep, relaxing breath, and with the lighting of the candle, become fully present, and take a moment to enter a sacred space. Follow this by saying out loud or within your mind’s eye your own personal affirmation. See your intention, or your affirmation realized and made manifest. Feel the accompanying emotions you would have. Feel confident and believe that your day will bring you goodness. Lighting a candle can help bring you more to the present moment. It can help you connect more with the sacredness of the present and your day. Read a passage daily that inspires you and nurtures your spirit and soul. Read something that helps you grow and stretches you spiritually. ACTIVITY: Pass around Daily Guidance from Your Angels book, and other recommended prayer books.

6. LOVE: Opening our hearts, lives, and experiences to receiving and expressing love. What can that look like? Becoming more comfortable with expressing and receiving affection, self-love, and self-care and being kind to ourselves. Talking kindly to ourselves, and treating ourselves with compassion, unconditional love, patience, and joyful acceptance. Knowing and believing that our essence is love. Knowing that we are creators in this life, that we have the ability to create that which we want to create in our lives, and in our experiences. Sending love to those situation and places in the world that need it, without being caught up in it. Seeing and visualizing the situation as healed, whole, and the people within as happy and healthy.

7. KINDNESS: Choosing kindness as a spiritual practice. Deciding to smile, to make eye contact with others, to say their names. Remembering the importance of kindness to ourselves. Talking about ourselves with kindness and compassion. Treating ourselves with kindness and compassion. Making a conscious choice to eliminate negative self-talk about ourselves and others. Everything is energy. We are all energy. Everything around us is energy. The thoughts we think, what we say, and our intentions create and inform our realities. Eliminate negative self talk. Eliminate any messages that are not positive and nurturing for yourself. If there’s something you want to change within yourself, or within your life, do so with compassion, love, humor, and acceptance. If you catch yourself, saying something that is negative about yourself, or someone else, say out loud, or within yourself, “cancel”. Choose love! Choose positivity, choose kindness, choose forgiveness, choose compassion, for yourself, and for all others. If there is a part of your body, you find yourself being judgmental about, not accepting, place your hands on that part of your body, and send that part of your body and your entire body kindness, love, compassion, appreciation, and acceptance! Thank your body, for all that it has done for you, your entire life, and all that it continues to do - to serve you, and to allow you to create, experience joy, experience and share love and happiness, and all the richness and all the delights Earth has to offer. Look at yourself in the mirror, and say out loud a specific affirmation that counters whatever negative messages might be popping up for you. For example, “I love myself, I accept myself unconditionally, I am kind to myself.” If you’re having a tough day or a tough time, give yourself full permission to give extra nurturance to yourself. Choose things that make you happy, whether it’s wearing soft clothing, listening to music that brings you joy, eating comforting nourishing food, taking a warm bath, watching something uplifting, working on a creative project, whatever you feel drawn to. The key is to not blow past it. Really give yourself the same care you would advocate for and want to give to a loved one, a dear friend, a family member. If a judgmental thought about yourself crops up, cancel it! Nip it in the bud, and counter it with something positive. For example, a negative thought might be: “I’m not enough”. Immediately counter it with an opposite and positive statement. “I am always enough. I am valuable and lovable just as I am.” A judgmental thought is different than a discerning thought. Discernment could be a nudge from your inner voice, something to pay attention to. For example, you might be getting a message from a small voice within that is inviting you to watch less TV, and to be more creative with your free time. An easy way to tell the difference between the two, is that one carries with it echos of fear or anxiety, the other is a quiet, still small voice. Place your hands on your heart chakra, place your hands on your belly, giving yourself a hug, put post-it notes on index cards with reminders, visual representations around your home, inviting you to remember to be kind, loving, and more caring towards yourself. Practice self-care: get massage therapy, cranial sacral work, or other bodywork, Reiki, and other energy work, acupuncture, etc. When we take care of ourselves, and fill up our own tanks, we have more to give to those that we love, and to the world around us.

8. WRITING OUT USING OUR NON-DOMINANT HAND: This is an activity that can help us easily access and dialogue with our inner child. You can even alternate writing one sentence with your non- dominant hand, expressing what your inner child would like to say, and share. With your other hand, you can respond back to your inner child, and have a dialogue. ACTIVITY: Writing out using your non-dominant hand. Place the pencil in your non-dominant hand, the hand you normally do not write with. On the large piece of paper with this non-dominant hand, write out with feeling for yourself, “I love you. I am lovable”. ACTIVITY: Self-love. Close your eyes. Place your hands on your heart, and send love and kindness into your body. If it is helpful to you, envision yourself being held in the embrace of an angel.

9. AFFIRMATIONS & INSPIRATIONS: Collect some quotes or sayings that are inspiring and sing to you, and write them out on multicolored post-it notes, and place them all along the top of your bathroom mirror. Examples: “I am love.” “I receive love and give love and joy in gratitude”, “I am healthy, whole, and complete”. “Today is a sacred gift from life”, “I am loved, and I am at peace”. Find a positive affirmation that resonates with you, and write it on Post-it notes, or notecards that you can place on your bathroom mirror, and throughout your home. Repeat your affirmation periodically throughout the day. Hold it in your heart. ACTIVITY: Pass around Louise Hay, I Can Do It affirmation cards, everyone selects a card they feel drawn to. ACTIVITY: Writing a positive affirmation.

Take a moment, and write a positive affirmation for yourself to take home with you. Choose either a post-it note, or one of the small cards to write on. There are five post it notes for each person to take home for you to write other affirmations of your own.

10. INTUITION: Trust your intuition. Trust your inner voice, your instincts, your nudges, the things you are drawn to, the things you are repelled by. We are all intuitive, we are all born with this gift, we all have it. For some, intuition comes as a still, small, quiet voice within, for others it comes as an inner knowing, for others, it comes as a strong feeling. Try using a pendulum when you are grounded, and filled with your soul’s light to tap into your own intuition and easily access inner guidance. The pendulum is doing nothing on its own, it is simply a tool responding to the energy within your body and spirit, and Divine energy. Declare that a yes, will be a vertical motion, and a no will be a horizontal motion. Have questions that are simple, clear, and direct when using a pendulum. ACTIVITY: Pendulum demonstration (My name is Anne. My name is Leonardo da Vinci). DANCE / EXERCISE: Move to music, Nia movement, free dancing, stretching, doing yoga. Try the Dances Of Universal Peace! ACTIVITY: Free Dance! Offer egg shakers, invite everyone to stand up and move to the music as they feel compelled, move around the room, give yourself permission to move with free expression - just for the joy of it! Play, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

11. PRAYERS: Ask for help, for ourselves, and for each other, and for the world. There is so much help available to us spiritually. Ask on a daily basis and concerning all matters, small and big. Sometimes I will hear people say that they feel that they don’t want to bother asking for help with their problems, feeling they might take focus, energy, and time away from God and the Angels from helping bigger problems that others and the world are experiencing. My understanding and heartfelt belief is that there is no limit to Divine Love and Divine Guidance. Our reaching out for help and support does not take away from Spirit being able to help anyone else. Because we have all been given self- will, it is helpful for us to ask. Help is not imposed upon us from the Divine, it comes with our invitation. Have a dish or a bowl that has names you have written down of friends, family members, countries, world situations that you want to pray for her, that you want to ask for blessings for. Think of the challenging things you hear about in the world as prayer requests, as situations calling for us to request Divine Love, Light, and Healing energy be sent to. ACTIVITY: Sending Love and Healing Energy out: Take one moment now, close your eyes, and go within. If you feel comfortable doing so, send on your own, and request from Spirit that Divine Love, Divine Healing Energy, and Divine Light be sent to any area or situation in the world that you feel drawn to. See this situation as healed and whole! Offer thanks! Activity: Pass around prayer books to share, including Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from your Angels book.

12. TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE: Realizing that you have the wisdom and ability within to re-create and transform your life into what your heart and soul really wish to manifest. We are all creative beings, it is our birthright. Anything we have created, we can also uncreate. You absolutely have the ability within to begin to manifest your dreams and hearts’ wishes and desires. If there is something you wish to change in your life, do it as a gift to yourself! Choose not to come fromof a place of fear, or because you feel that you are “less than”. Give yourself the treat and joy of taking care of yourself, of creating in your life that which would truly make you feel fulfilled, and bring you deep happiness! Choose to be motivated out of love and joy for yourself, and what you want to experience in life. Decide to let your fears of inadequacy in any realm go!

13. COMPASSION VS. EMPATHY: Staying focused in our hearts and in our beings, coming from a place of compassion, love, and positivity. Really realizing and understanding, we are not helping family, friends, and others we meet and encounter in the world when we join in their pain, and swim with them in it. We help them, and we help ourselves when we stay grounded, and are in a loving, calm, uplifting space and place. Be that light for ourselves and for others that we all are looking for!

14. BLESSINGS: For any, and all that you are concerned about in any way, friends, family, loved ones, people you encounter, countries, challenging situations in the world, send Divine Love! Don’t send anyone Divine Love with the intention of changing or fixing them. That is not our job. Simply request with an open and sincere heart, and from the love within you, for Divine Love to be sent to them, and it will be given to them in a way that is supportive and healing, but will not interfere with their free will. It may help you to envision Divine love as a beautiful, radiant pink light infused with shimmering gold. ACTIVITY: Close your eyes, take a nice deep, relaxing breath, go within, and take a few moments to send Divine Love to a person or a situation that you are feeling concerned about or challenged by.

15. LIMITING NEWS EXPOSURE: Giving yourself permission to limit your exposure to news, and even take periodic breaks from the news. Finding ways to remain informed without overwhelming your senses, your heart, and your being. This could be through taking a break from your senses being overwhelmed by regular television news, and trying receiving your news instead from a news magazine, or you might try finding a show that delivers news in a form that has humor and upliftment as well. Our family is particularly fond of the Stephen Colbert show. Be informed, but don’t swim in it to the point where you are overwhelmed. Look at the challenges, and challenging people that are in all our lives, and in the world as a prayer list, as calls for you to send Light and Love into the situation, and to pray that Light and Love infuse and transform the situation. When someone is out of alignment with their Soul’s light and purposes, they are in need of love and compassion most of all. It is a call for love. It’s all too easy and comfortable to bond with others over what is wrong in the world, over what is wrong with the politicians, world leaders, countries, etc. It is radical to choose love, to see all through the eyes of love and compassion, to extend love to all, while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions. Find and focus on what is right!

Consider taping shows ahead of time, so that you can fast-forward commercials. More peace, less clutter for the brain.

16. LISTENING: Being present for others. Holding the space for others to feel comfortable in sharing and letting go. Remember to do this without taking on their “stuff”. Allow them to simply share, as you are a witness to them. There is nothing you need to “do”. Listening with compassion and a loving open heart is a profound way to help. Listen and pay attention to the “God-winks”, (11:11), songs, serendipitous happenings, etc., that show up in our lives.

17. MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS: Cultivating and nurturing connections that are more meaningful, connections that nurture your spirit, and someone else’s as well. For example, in a social gathering or setting, asking people what they are doing right now that brings them happiness, what sorts of things are they involved with that bring them joy, what did they do when they were children that brought them joy or happiness, how do they enjoy spending their free time? If you are interacting with someone in a store, asking their name, calling them by their first name. When you’re speaking with someone on the phone, asking their name, using their name. ACTIVITY: Take a few moments, and share and exchange a meaningful question of your choice with someone here. Take a few minutes to respond and share with one another.

18. CREATIVITY: Taking the time and making it a priority to nurture your creativity. Follow your instincts and your heart as to what and how you want to creatively express. Periodically challenge yourself to take on a new creative venture, stretch your wings. GIVING: Consciously welcoming a practice in your life that allows you to express and experience the joy of giving to others. Examples: I choose to give away fleece hearts, two at a time, one for somebody to keep, one for somebody to give away to another person. Giving away a joke, making up packages to give to the homeless, etc. ACTIVITY: Creating with wax (hearts, stars, flowers, your choice!) Take out the wax that you have been warming. Divided it in half. Shape each half into a heart. Keep one heart for yourself. Please enjoy giving away the other heart. Something to tickle the funny bone: So the Zen master said to the hot dog vendor, "Make me one with everything." So the hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill. The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer. "Where's my change?" asks the Zen master. And the hot dog vendor says, "Change must come from within."

19. PROTECTION:

Each time you drive, calling on Angels for all the four corners of your car. Calling on protection to surround your car, and to surround all of those surrounding you throughout your driving. Filling yourself with your soul’s light and making sure that you are fully grounded is the greatest way to ensure that your energy field is strong and radiant. Shared by Rev. Lowell Smith, I recommend this Robe of Light Protection prayer: “I surround myself with a robe of White Light, consisting of the Love and Power and Wisdom of God. Not only for my own protection, but so that all who see it or come in contact with it will be drawn back to God, and will be healed”. SUPPORTIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR FEARFUL (CHALLENGING) TIMES: Keep the long range vision in your mind and heart. We are in the process of creating Peace on Earth. It will happen. It is happening. Believe this, and know it to be true. Go through one by one every single thing you can think of that comes to your heart and being that you are thankful for. Really feel into that which you are grateful for. Meditate. Walk. Spend time in nature. Spend time working with plants. Spend time with children. Do something silly. Do something spontaneous. Do something unexpected. Try to find the humor in a situation. Give back. Pray. Nurture yourself. Take a flower remedy, such as Rescue Remedy. Use essential oils. Talk to a friend. Considering an herbal supplement for adrenal support. Take a candlelit warm bath with epsom salts. Get some body work. Get some energy work. Pray for your own peace, comfort, and understanding, and pray for the same for the world. Believing that we have come to Earth to experience life not as a school, not to learn lessons, we have plenty of time to continue doing that when we cross over. We have come here in joy, with excitement and anticipation, for the grand adventure of being able to express and experience love, joy, our creativity, and to plant the seeds of Love and Peace here on Earth!

20. RITUALS: The difference between a habit and a ritual is that a ritual has intention added into it. With a ritual, you are taking it to a higher level. With a ritual you are consciously focusing.

21. MEALTIME RITUAL: Lighting candles at night with your meal, even for the simplest of meals. Sharing with a family member, or a friend, or writing down for yourself, what was most challenging for you today? What brought you the most joy?

22. WATER: Focus a word of intention upon your water. Taping a word on your water glass, drinking your water with consciousness and intention. Making sure that you drink enough water, it could be herbal tea, put lemon in your water. etc. Reference: The Hidden Messages of Water by Masaru Emoto.

23. LAUGHTER / PLAY / SPONTANEITY: Play with soap bubbles, play jacks, finger paint, color in a coloring book, light a sparkler and carve your name into the air, sit in a patch of sunlight, read and look at children’s books at Barnes & Noble’s or the library, make sculptures out of aluminum foil and give them away (wear gloves), giveaway a joke of the day. Make shadow figures on a wall. ACTIVITY: Pass around colorful silk scarves to toss playfully in the air and catch several times before passing it on to the person next to you. ACTIVITY: Stand and blow bubbles to the song, “Walking on Sunshine”.

24. JOURNALING: Writing down your thoughts and feelings. Having a safe space to just put down anything from your head or heart that you want to release, and express. This practice can un-clutter the mind, bringing peace. When you’re feeling that you have too many thoughts cluttering your mind, just take a moment to write them out on a piece of paper and dump them out. Just letting them come out messy can be a wonderful release. Don’t even worry about re-reading them.

25. NATURE: Walking, spending time in nature, being aware of the cycles of nature, solstice, equinox, creating personal rituals that honor and attune to these new seasons. Examples: (creating alter spaces, calling in the directions). Taking time to sit outside under the full moon. Nature is grounding, cleansing, nurturing, it feeds our souls!

26. TAROT CARDS / ANGEL CARDS: Have angel cards in a bowl, pick one angel card per day. Tarot cards, pick one at random, spreading them out on a bed and pick any number of cards you feel drawn to. Setting the card(s) out where you can see it (them). So many of the cards that can be used as part of a spiritual practice come with beautiful messages as well. ACTIVITY: (Time permitting: pass tarot cards around for each person to choose one).

27. MUSIC: Nurture yourself with Music! Create your own music! Use shakers, get a drum! Get a recorder (wind instrument)!

28. DIET: Recommended: fresh foods, unprocessed foods, eat as much organic food as you are able to. Make sure to drink plenty of water so that you are fully hydrated (most people are under-hydrated). Try lemon water, herbal tea, etc.

29. SLEEP: We all know, and have heard how important it is to get enough sleep. If you are tired, or short on sleep, we’ve also heard that if you take a nap of 20 minutes or less, it shouldn’t interfere with your sleep that night. If you don’t have time for a 20 minute nap, even a 10 minute, or 5 minutes of deep relaxation can renew your energy. You do not have to sleep, just lay down, take a few deep, relaxing breaths, and deeply let go. You can visualize yourself in a place that is peaceful and relaxing. You’ll be amazed at how revitalized you can feel with just a few moments of deep relaxation.

30. BATHING: Setting a sacred space for a bath. Using a generous amount of Epsom salt, candles, peaceful, and soothing music, essential oils. This can be a very healing time for meditation, prayer, letting go, and healing. Sea salt, and Epsom salt are wonderful clearing out stagnant, congested energy. ACTIVITY: (Joke): We will all now walk to the swimming pool, and as a collective group we will jump in on the count of three!

31. HUGS: Offer one, receive one! Hug more often!

32. ESSENTIAL OILS: Use them in your home, during meditation, in your bath, sprinkled on your pillow, try a wood diffuser made for the car that clips to your air vent.

33. VOCALIZING / TONING: “Ohm” - primordial sound (look up what I already have written in my meditation booklet about this), Toning: Ah, A, E, I, O, OO. This can be done at home, in the car, etc.

34. BALANCE: Embrace the wisdom of cultivating balance within yourself, balance within your life.

35. SPIRIT SCHOOL: Highly recommended! Please consider scheduling a reading with Christen McCormack. Please consider taking a class with Christen McCormack via Zoom. Check out her website, and check out all manner of inspiration and invitations for developing and nurturing our spirits joyfully! http://www.christenmccormack.com ACTIVITY: Play Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. ACTIVITY: Questions:

THE BEGINNING!

CALLING IN THE DIRECTIONS: To begin the creation of your circle, invite all participants of the ritual to stand facing the East with their arms raised, palms out. The yellow candle is lit as the leader of the ritual begins. Leader: "Welcome, East. We are open to your inspiration today. Give us your new ideas, new beginnings, new breath in our speaking. Let our view of today's endeavors be long, and let our seeing be expansive. Let this new day dawn in us with new and unlimited possibilities. Give us wisdom and insight for our work. Welcome, East." Participants: "Blessed be" (as in the goddess tradition), or "Ho" (as in the Native American tradition). Everyone turns to face the South while a red candle is lit. Leader: "Welcome, South. May your heat live in our hearts as passion for our work together. May we feel the transformative power of your fire so that we are changed forever. May the bright energy of the sun illumine all that we do today. May we be surprised; may we laugh. Let your fire ignite our spirits. Welcome, South." All respond, and then turn to the West. A blue candle is lit. Leader: "Welcome, West. We are familiar with your watery ways because we are watery beings. Let our feelings have a place in today's work. May we regularly explore our mind and soul, not so much for answers as for questions. Let your way of intuitive certainty move in us for good today. Welcome, West." All respond, and turn to face North while a white candle is lit. Leader: "Welcome, North, the direction of the ancestors. May the wisdom of our relatives who have gone before influence our work today. May we be strong in body for what we are on this earth to do. Let it be that we do our work for those dear ones who will one day call us their ancestors. Welcome, North." Some traditions welcome only the four compass directions, while others invite three additional ones: above, below, and within. To continue the calling with these directions, the participants are now asked to look upward. Leader: "Welcome, all the nations above. May the wisdom of the stars, planets, weather, and the wisdom of the beings that inhabit the sky be with us today. Let all your blessings fall on us and our work. May our ideas take flight as your energy enlivens us. Welcome, Above." The participants respond, and then bend down to touch the earth. Leader: "Welcome, Mother Earth. Let us feel our connection with you today. May our bodies of your clay find a comfortable home on you, and may your ways of flow, conservation, economy, support, and creation live in our work. Bless us, Mother Earth, and welcome." All respond, then place their hands over hearts. Leader: "We welcome the Great Within. May this inner universe that contains all we could ever need, be with us today. Let all that we are individually and collectively come forward and serve our work. Welcome to all that we are; welcome to the Great Within." All respond. Leader: "The sacred space has been established." Closing the Directions When the ritual is completed and the sacred circle is no longer necessary, it is meaningful for the directions to be closed and the space returned to its original state. This part of the "calling in the directions" reinforces the sanctity of the circle.

The process goes backwards from the way the circle was created. All participants stand with their hands over their hearts. Leader: "We honor and thank the Great Within. All that was needed today was given and received. We have been fed, and the Great Within has been fed. Blessed be the Great Within." Participants respond. Everyone bends down and touches the earth. Leader: "Thank you, Great Mother, for enlivening us today. Thank you for your living creatures and your clay, both of which sustain us. May we harm nothing as we walk on your great body. Blessed be, Mother Earth." All respond. All lean back their heads and face the sky. Leader: "Thank you, Great Above, for watching over us and our endeavors today. May the heavens smile on us and continue to bless us all of our days at the bottom of your great sea of air. Blessed be, the Great Above." All respond. All face North. Leader: "Thank you, North, for being in service to us today. We see the grandmothers sitting in the north and smiling on us. May our bones be as strong as the mountains, and may our bodies be sustained to do the work we are here to accomplish. Blessed Be North.” Leader: "Thank you, West, for nourishing our intuition today. May you sustain our feeling nature in peacefulness, even though we take our leave from you now. May the salty waters of your seas move in our veins and keep us connected with you and with each other. Blessed be, West." All respond, and the blue candle is extinguished. All face South. Leader: "Thank you, South, for letting your passion live in us today. Power, transformation, spiritedness are your gifts, and we have accepted them. May your fire burn away all that is not in our best interest, leaving us pure and white hot to make positive changes in the world. Blessed be, South."

All respond, and the red candle is extinguished. All face East. Leader: "Blessed East, thank you for reminding us that there is always another sun-rise, always a new beginning. As we close this work and return our circle to normal time, space, and dimension, we honor you and give thanks that somewhere on this planet, our home, a new day is dawning and your energy is at work. May your newness have a receptive place in us. Blessed be, East." All respond, and the final candle, the yellow one, is extinguished. If the circle for the ritual has been created by flowers, salt, or another element, physically breaking the circle signifies the dissolution of the space that was created solely for the ritual. The leader can break the line of the circle by simply brushing away some of the petals or salt. Leader: "The circle is broken, and our sacred work here complete. Blessed be”

REFERENCES & RESOURCES: I highly recommend Spirit Classes (via Zoom). I highly recommend readings with Christen McCormack, the founder and creator of Spirit School. Spirit School: http://www.christenmccormack.com/ Book & Card Deck References: Mind to Matter by Dawson Church

Daily Guidance from your Angels by Doreen Virtue - 365 Angelic Messages to Soothe, Heal, and Open your Heart (out of print, but available online second hand) The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto A Return to Love - Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson Illuminata - Thoughts, Prayers, and Rites of Passage, by Marianne Williamson Illuminated Prayers by Marianne Williamson Uplifting Prayers to Light Your Way, 200 indications for Challenging Times by Sonia Choquette To Bless the Space Between Us - A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue I Can Do It - cards by Louise Hay - A 60 card deck of affirmations (out of print, but available online second hand)

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