Kintsukuroi and Our Golden Seams

Kintsukuroi and Our Golden Seams

There is a beautiful Japanese practice called Kintsukuroi, which is the art of restoring broken pottery and ceramic objects with gold lacquer. A seemingly perfect pot is broken and then recreated to embrace the mended flaws and become something even more exquisite than the original product. Rather than the cause of its destruction, the visible cracks and seams in kintsukuroi simply represent an event that happened in the life of the object.
This technique encompasses other powerful Japanese teachings:

  • wabi-sabi ~ seeing beauty in the flawed or imperfect
  • mottainai ~ the feeling which expresses regret when something is wasted
  • mushin ~ the acceptance of change

How many bumps, cracks and breaks have you experienced in your life? And have you ever tried to hide these experiences and the vulnerabilities that accompany them – so that you can cover the evidence of how flawed you actually are?
I sure have.
And I know it has never felt good.
How about choosing another narrative? How about choosing to see these experiences for what they are: our golden seams.
The challenges of life have been exactly that. Challenging. You have learned. You have grown. And you have become more resilient. Our challenges most often transform into our strengths. Our inevitable and temporary breaking is not something to hide.
So as you reflect on your equally imperfect and magnificent life, what are your golden seams? Just hit reply to drop me a note, I’d love to hear more of your story.
love & pranams,
carla

A Moment on Silence

A Moment on Silence

“Silence is not silent. Silence speaks. It speaks most eloquently. Silence is not still. Silence leads. It leads most perfectly.” ~ Sri Chinmoy
This is the beginning to an inward journey. This leads you to listen more strongly to that inner vision that sings so powerfully.
This leads you to you.
I'm Good, Thanks

I'm Good, Thanks

How many times has the following happened to you today? Someone asks, “How are you?” and regardless of how you are really feeling, you reply, “Good.”
It is the standard answer.
It feels like the safe response.
But the reality is that by saying “good”, we choose to stay armoured and seemingly one dimensional. We deny others the opportunity to see us as real, vast, nuanced and complex. We hide behind expectation and push away our vulnerability.
If you are like me, you might worry what the other person will think if we are honest. That we will make them uncomfortable. That we will actually let them in on the secret that sometimes we feel less than “good”. That the illusion of our picture perfect life may be shattered in some way.
But what if you went against cultural expectations and expressed something more honest? What if showing up exactly as you are in that moment means that you are able to express the full range of your humanity? All of it, rather than just the acceptable bits.
You could instead, connect to someone at a deeply profound level. To share some of the universal experience of being human. You could even inspire deeper kinship and powerful emotional healing.
So I challenge you to commit to this radical action – to respond to the next “How are you?” with something more real. Depending on the situation it might be as simple as using some creative mood words that more accurately describe what you are feeling. Or you might feel ready to share a part of your inner self by expressing what is truthfully present for you. Remember to breathe and be gentle with yourself as you learn this new skill.
And for bonus points – try asking a different question when you meet someone. How about:
“What was the best part of your day today?”
“What’s going on with you these days?”

“How are you really feeling today?”
Changing our interactions with others, even in such a small way can be difficult and uncomfortable. Please reach out and let me know about your experiences – I always adore hearing from you.
love & pranams,
carla

A Practice for Showing Devotion to Your Body

A Practice for Showing Devotion to Your Body

This past weekend was my annual September women’s retreat at Camp Friendship just outside Prince George. Nineteen powerful, inspiring and radiant women came together in nature to laugh, practice, breathe, dance, eat, meditate, ceremony, explore and connect deeply into the Divine Feminine. We kept our hearts soft and open, we honoured our bodies, we revered each women’s unique gifts, and held sacred the wisdom of each other and the great mother Earth.
I feel beyond blessed to be able to share sacred Shakti teachings within such an incredible community ~ I am so grateful for the power of sisterhood!
One of the many practices we explored was a very simple and divinely delicious self massage. The Ayurvedic system calls this Abyhanga. The first practice of the day, self massage is a devoted expression of self-love. It is also a way to detoxify the body’s largest organ (the skin), stimulate your body’s energetic channels so your energy flows freely, and revitalizes the mind preparing you for your day. And it feels amazing!
Here are the basics – remember to breathe deeply throughout:

  • Begin at the head. Massage the scalp and do a little hair pulling to release the fascia around the skull and face
  • Sweep your fingers across the face, from the midline outwards with your first 2 finger. Move from the hairline to the lower jaw
  • Gentle rub the throat and hum a couple of times
  • Massage the back of the neck, the shoulders and as far as you can reach on your upper back
  • Knead the arms. Use softer circular motions at the elbows and wrists. Massage the entire hand right to the finger tip. Repeat on other side
  • With flat palms, make circular motions across the front of the body including the breasts. Large clockwise circles around the abdominal area
  • Rub the side ribs, waist and hips
  • Rub the kidney area getting it nice and warm
  • Make a loose fist and pound the buttocks and thighs, or rub briskly with your hand if you prefer
  • Massage & knead the legs. Soft circular motions around the knees. Press into the back midline of the calves.
  • Massage the feet – linger here, it feels so good! Lots of acupressure and reflexology points here. Repeat on other side
  • When complete, shake out the hands, close your eyes and take several deep breaths savouring the experience and the feeling of energy running freely in your body.

To see how I do my morning self massage, check out this video.
[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbR9waye-X8[/embedyt]
Why not make this a part of your morning routine? Try it for a few days and send me a note to tell me about your experience and how this practice changes your day.
love & pranams,
carla
PS. Would you like to join me on a 3 day women’s retreat outside of Prince George? 2019 dates are March 28-31, 2019 and Sept 12-15, 2019. Reserve your spot early, these retreats almost always sell out!

Full Moon in Pisces Crystal Ritual

Full Moon in Pisces Crystal Ritual

Tonight we will experience a Full Moon in Pisces. The Dakota Sioux people call this the “moon when all things ripen”.
As the last sign on the zodiac wheel, Pisces is about endings and transitions. It’s time to surrender, symbolically wave the white flag, and accept the things we cannot change. As Pisces is also a dual sign, it means we will experience some of life’s paradoxs, like being a Spirit being in this very human and physical world.
When the full moon arrives, it’s time to create space to take stock of what has and has yet come to fruition. A full moon ritual is a time to get quiet, reflect, and celebrate. Unlike the new moon, the full moon represents fruitfulness and completeness and brings with it a lot of energy.
I’ll be celebrating tonight and you might want to as well. Here’s a Full Moon Ritual you can use to ground your heightened states, revel in your successes and strongly release that which is no longer serving you.
PISCES FULL MOON RITUAL
What you’ll need:

  • Candles
  • Altar Space
  • Pen & Paper
  • Smudge: palo santo, sage, ceremonial tobacco
  • Crystal or semi-precious stone (one you feel comfortable releasing)
  • Water in a bowl, if inspired, throw in a few flowers

Cleanse yourself, your altar/space, and chosen crystal with sage, palo santo, or ceremonial tobacco along with lighting candles and incense. Have your paper and pen ready to write. If there is a prayer or chant that you would like to use, have it available to recite.
On a piece of paper, acknowledge all of the blessings that have manifested in your reality since the New Moon or even in the past month. Muse about the amazing opportunities, love, experiences, and people you are grateful for.
Next, take your crystal and while holding it, allow everything you are ready to release from your life currently (such as old negative beliefs, people, or experiences) to be absorbed into the crystal.
Once finished, take this crystal outside and giving the energy and thanks to Mama Gaia, bury the crystal in the ground and ask Gaia to take this energy you no longer need from your life. Ruled by Neptune, god of the seas, Pisces is the zodiac’s mermaid as it is ruled by Neptune, god of the seas. Wash your hands and feet in the bowl of water. Or even pour the water over your head and allow yourself to be completely cleansed.
Release any expectations and place your trust in your moon magic ritual that your invocations have been heard.
love & pranams,
carla

Love Shower Meditation

Love Shower Meditation

Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone practiced some form of mindfulness or meditation? I believe this is possible. Every time we create the space to be present with our breath and intentions, we create a shift within the collective – a shift that ripples out and inspires others, even at a subconscious level, to make that same space within themselves.
Today I’d like to share a simple and beautiful practice of healing, forgiveness and inner peace that always leaves me feeling amazing.
THE 5 MINUTE LOVE SHOWER MEDITATION
In this practice, you shower yourself with acknowledgement, self-respect and love. It can be done anytime, maybe after your yoga practice, a quiet moment at home or on a walk outside enjoying nature. This is simply a time to reflect on how beautifully you’ve turned out, right now, exactly as you are! If you feel some resistance to this, that’s ok. With practice you will notice that resistance beginning to fade and the capacity to fully receive being celebrated starting to grow.
As you inhale, feel yourself taking in praise, love, and pride from the Universe – and on your exhale allow this shower of love to sink into your cells, enlivening and rejuvenating them.
Feel the love of all creation being washed over you, and give yourself permission to soak it all in. Allow that inner love to wash away feelings of doubt or fear.
Remember, your challenges, your wounding, your pain, and your lessons are what have created the amazing, loving, and inspiring human you are today. All of you is worth celebrating.
“I am blooming from the wound where I once bled.” – Rune Lazuli
love & pranams,
carla