7.20.2018

Three Ways to Cleanse your Sacred Space

Creating a safe and sacred space for yourself is one of the key parts in mediation.  You don't need to dedicate a whole entire room or do anything elaborate - you just need to create a safe space for yourself where you feel comfortable and calm.

As we go through our lives, emotions & energies can become attached to us.  These emotions and energies can also become trapped in our homes, bedrooms, & work spaces.  Any place we inhabit (especially with others) can build up stagnant or not so nice energies.  If you've ever come home from a long day of work and just can't shake the stress or have had a fight with a friend or companion and just cant get rid of the emotions you've experienced this energy attachment.  Sometimes it's not bothersome to us but sometimes it weighs us down.  Cleansing yourself & your space of these energies can often lift this weight from you and bring a sense of calm or freshness to your space.

You can find many clearing rituals online or you can create your own.  Often the best way to get started is to find a ritual that you resonate with and adapt it to your own lifestyle.  As you go through the cleansing a few times you may find yourself adding or subtracting parts as it suits you.

Since starting my meditation practice, I've found that doing a little energy clearing ritual prior to my sessions gets me in the right head space for what I plan to be doing.  Animals - and we are animals -are very sensitive to smell & to habit.  Think of Pavlov's dogs - when they were fed a bell rang.  Eventually the dogs associated the ringing of the bell with food and began to salivate at the sound of it.  This is how ritual can begin to affect us.  Our clearing rituals will begin to trigger in us an emotional shift getting us ready for the next task at hand.  As humans, we have a more complex understanding of our emotions and thus can begin to use the habit-turned-ritual process to tap into our higher selves and create a more mindful & spiritual bond with our actions & surroundings.

How to Cleanse your Space

There are three common ways to cleans your space but if you find that something else works for you entirely, then go for that.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to creating a safe and loving space from which to work.

Smoke

Most commonly you'll find references to Smudging.  Smudging has been misappropriated by those involved in New Age and NeoPagan circles.  Often those insisting on smudging are imitating what they believe to be sacred ceremonies from various First Nations and Native American culture.  It is common to see 'smudge sticks' sold commercially in new age shops around the country.  These ceremonies differ vastly between First Nations communities and the 'simple' energy clearing or blessing rituals seen as outsiders can not be replicated with in the homes and spaces of those not involved in these communities nor by those who have not been religiously trained.  Smudging and 'ritually cleansing a space or person with smoke' are at the core, not synonymous. (Read more about the misappropriation of smudging here.)

However, one can use smoke as a way to cleanse your space if done respectably. Using smoke in ritual and religious practice isn't limited only to First Nation & Native American traditions, cultures and communities across the globe use smoke & the burning of herbs in ritualistic practices.  Inherently, the use of fire (and thus smoke) is ingrained in us as our primal ancestors first saw into the darkness.  Smoke is mystical and smoke is magical simply because of the way it floats.

Using smoke to cleanse your home - specifically the burning of certain herbs - can be done by choosing herbs in correspondence with either the energy you'd like to banish and/or the energy you'd like to bring in.  Energetically something like Palo Santo smoke can be used for neutralizing a space.  The smoke of this wood is thought to simultaneously clear negative energies while creating a space of calm for mediation practice.  You can also choose to burn something like lavender to bring in good energies of communication or frankincense to bring in energies of abundance.

Sound

Again, most commonly you'll find references to Tibetan Singing Bowls in many new age shops.  From my personal research I can not find any one specific people, religion, etc that exclusively uses this object but approaching these singing bowls with respect is the key here.  The over all theme of this post is to encourage you not to imitate what you see but to interact with your own spirituality.  Using a singing bowl to clear energy is a very rhythmic way to connect in with your space.

Generically referred to as a standing bell or singing bowl. these metal (or crystal) objects resemble upturned cups and can be played either by striking the side with a mallet or by running the mallet along the rim.  The even tone created by these bowls is inspiring & grounding.  The benefit from these singing bowls comes from the vibration emitted.  Using these in your sacred space can create a place of calm & tranquility.

Another way to use sound that is easily available is clapping or banging.  While not a great way to create a tranquil space, you can pair clapping or banging (like with a spoon onto a pot) with your smoke cleansing or visualization.  By becoming more energetic and sending these sharp vibrations into your space you can 'break up' stagnant energy or a stagnant feeling and push it out of the space easier. This might be better for doing a full house cleansing rather than a preparation for meditation.

Visualization

Visualization is the perfect way to cleanse a space of energies because you're relying on yourself and your personal power.  And you don't have to spend any money to utilize this tool.  This is a tool that is also personal to you - you can develop your own colors, visions, etc - so I'm going to share how I use visualization. 

To cleanse my space I usually start by visualizing a ball of white light around me like a bubble.  I fill this bubble with love, positivity, happiness, calm, etc then I send it out in pulses around me getting bigger & bigger.  Sometimes I'll use this to cleanse an object and thus only need  small bubble.  Most of the time though I'll do this around a room - like my meditation space - to prepare for card reading or meditation.  This is an especially helpful tool when you're somewhere that you can't burn or spray funny things.

When it comes to cleansing energy I've only stuck with white light to drive out what I don't want.  You can, however, start to develop a way to bring in energies you do want.  One of the ways to do this is to work with the Chakras, or energy centers, of your body.  While the idea of the Chakra system & energy body heavily resonates with me, I also acknowledge that it is not my word or system to use or appropriate.  These Chakras or Wheels of Energy correspond to different colors and I've been playing around with making my own color library to bring in certain energies I want in mys space.  For example the color correspondence for the Root Chakra is red and if I'd like to bring in stability energy perhaps I could envision red filling the space.

Since visualization is a technique that is unique to each person, creating your own library is important.  The power of visualization comes from with in you.  If you feel that you can't hold the image in your mind well at first, pair this technique with your use of smoke or sound or even your practice with essential oils so that you can begin to bring this as your backbone into your visualization.  I have a whole post on getting started with visualization right here.

Now that your space is cleared you can begin your meditation practice or just continue you life with a little peace of mind that your space is safe for you.  As I mentioned above, the intention of this post is to help you to develop your own rituals and your own practices so that you feel most connected to your higher or best self.  We are creatures of habit and we are creatures of ease.  It is easy to sink into the belief that a certain ritual is the only way and thus we continue to imitate it.  It is also easy for us to say 'hey I like that, I'm going to do that'.  But we need to understand boundaries and the sacred space of ancient traditions that may not be our own.

I hope this post was a little bit helpful for you and that you learned a bit when it comes to cleansing your space & being respectful.

How do you cleanse your space? What rituals have worked for you?
xoxo, Moe

7.09.2018

Six Easy Ways to Live a Sustainable Summer

Its a journey I accidentally started and a journey I'm loving.  What journey am I talking about?  I'm talking about my accidental journey to being more mindful with what I use daily in an attempt to lead a more authentic life.  At the beginning of the year I decided to go cruelty free with my make up and that lead me down a spiral of trying to be more green with my living.  In this post I share how I've cut my reliance on paper towels & disinfectant wipes and now I want to share with you a couple of ways I plan to be more green this Summer.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

First off I want to say that it is all a journey.  I don't plan to live zero waste (yet I totally applaud those who do!).  I just want to be more conscious of what I do.  The fact that several cities have now banned the plastic straw and even more cities have banned the plastic bag has really pushed me to be the change I want to see.  But it isn't about being that girl who doesn't use bags and has her own straw its about genuine effort towards making yourself (and thus the world) a better place.  The easiest place to make change is in your own home right?  Then you can hope that your actions inspire others.

With that said, here are 6 ways to be more sustainable this summer: 

Reusable Aluminum Straws

I don't know about you but Summer often means a lot of drive-thrus and nights out.  I plan to refuse straws this summer as much as I can.  In addition to filling my reusable cup or water bottle for road trips, I plan to snatch up a pack of these to bring with me on summer vacation.  A lot of these reusable straws seem to be compatible with standard tumblers so you're not going to lose out on drinking from your favorite cup! 


Pack your own Travel Snacks

We all stop at the gas station or jump in the line at the airport for a quick travel snack, right?  Why not pack your own snacks?  I've got two reasons here - the first being sustainability and the second being its going to save you money!  Gas station and airport snacks can cost an arm & a leg so throwing some snacks in your bag prior to take off will mean you're saving your moolah.

You can bring snacks on a plane, no problem.  You might want to invest in these clear, reusable & resealable bags if you're bringing that sandwich in your carry on but for road trips (or a jaunt out on the boat) consider these super nifty beeswax wraps.  I am totally going to try to make some of these beeswax wraps in the future - Zach got some beeswax from a local beekeeper and we've been dying to try any & all projects with it!


Reusable One Cup Coffee Pods

This is something I've been doing for a while now when it comes to travel - using a reusable coffee pod for the Keurig.  Everyone I know has one so when I travel home I make sure to bring my k-cup and my coffee filters.  There is so much waste when it comes to these single use pods. I mean the whole body of that pod is plastic and you just toss it in the trash!  This is the brand I use and I can find them at Meijer or online from Amazon.  I also need to start using these at work instead of relying on the k-cups.

Compostable Cutlery 

We're all going to have a BBQ or two to go to this summer and there will be disposable cutlery galore.  I implore you this summer to invest in compostable cutlery & plates.  I purchased some for a small gathering but you can totally grab a giant box from Amazon.  This set is just under $30 for 100 forks, 100 spoons, & 100 knives.  Seriously, I think that is affordable!  Don't forget the plates & the cups, too.


Avoid Fast Fashion

Will that beach hat or cover up last through a few seasons of wear? Is it on trend enough for just one summer or classic enough for a couple?  This summer, avoid fast fashion like those dollar store flip flops or super trendy sun hat & opt for things that will last you a few summers.  Amazon has these amazing, natural rubber flip flops that look (and apparently feel) like your standard summer wear.  I know that LuLaRoe is technically a fast fashion brand but I've used the Lindsay kimono & Sara cardigan at the lake multiple seasons.  This means I'm getting both fall & summer use out of these guys!

Reusable Bags

Summer means outdoor markets and downtown shopping for a lot of us!  Heck even if you're just going to the mall consider bringing a reusable bag or two.  I like the ones that can fold up and fit right back into a smaller pouch so you can throw them into your purse.  Use them for groceries or for your handmade market finds.  Plus if you're going to the beach these guys can act as your wet bag form when you change from your swim suit.  The nylon often dries quickly so you can fold it right back up after you hang your suit to dry.


Like I mentioned above, for me this journey isn't about being perfect.  This journey is about realizing our impact & taking what we do seriously.  We can be mindful of our actions and make a conscious choice to change it.  These are just six ways to be more sustainable for the summer but I'm sure these guys can last you all year!


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My green journey started with my introduction to essential oils.  These guys are a great natural & sustainable way to help you with emotional & physical wellness (and there are a ton that are perfect for the summer!)  If you'd like to know more about the natural power of essential oils - use them in your cleaning routine, for your skin care, to boost immunity, etc - enter your email above to get a FREE copy of my ebook Getting Started with Essential Oils.

How will you live sustainably this summer?  What actions are you already taking?

xoxo, Moe