Creating Your Personal Sacred Place

sacredplace

Written By Jasmine

Finding the right place in your home for a relaxing ritual is an important part in making it become routine. Whether you want to meditate, do yoga exercises, setting up time for spiritually enhancing reading or writing…to have an area that is an extension of yourself can be inspiring.

Most meditation and yoga experts suggest keeping a regular schedule (20 to 30 min. a day if possible). There is nothing more convenient and special than dedicating space in your home to the meditative activity of your choice. Spiritual growth is nourished by the nutrients you choose to feed it. Your environment is a direct influence. It can also be an encouraging means by which to maintain a regular schedule.

Choose a room that feels comfortable and adapt it to fit your needs. Avoid a busy area, as in the kitchen or living room, where noise and activity is high. Focus on a space that is more private and not the center of activity in your home. Some might be able to relax more in a dark room while others might prefer a space filled with natural light. A room where the decor is not so busy as to have your energy bouncing off everything but is tranquil. If its too dark you might have the urge to go to sleep. Perhaps a peaceful den, extra bedroom or a sunroom are all good choices for a meditative space. Get rid of any clutter so it’s a dedicated space. A quiet area and a good choice is away from a telephone. A room with a window overlooking a garden, pond, lake, etc. is a wonderful, calming inspiration. A window is also a good choice, besides the view refreshing you upon opening your eyes, in offering fresh air to keep you alert.

Not everyone has the luxury of devoting an entire room to their own sacred place. A corner or alcove can be just fine. You don’t have to be behind closed doors, especially if this is not an option in your home. It can be helpful to face away from the doorway of the room you’re in, to avoid distraction. The key point to meditation is that it can be done in any circumstances. If the place you feel most comfortable turns out to be the living room couch, don’t be discouraged, so be it. Just make sure anyone who shares your home knows your plans so you can avoid unwanted interruptions.

A small table draped with an appealing cloth and objects placed on it, such as special spiritual book, symbols of your faith, photos of loved ones or mementos of special places you have visited. Elements of nature can also be incorporated, such as a feather or a rock found on a special adventure. How about one of those personal, table top waterfalls, if you have the room? Perhaps a special gift you received of a living plant. Candles and incense can add an element of ritual. Especially important in establishing sacred routines.

Once you find the area you choose to call “yours”…set about to claim and re-decorate! If your fortunate enough to claim a whole room, adding…for example, a comfortable chair, bookshelves for your own library, meditation rug, a table for your personal alter or anything else you deem *sacred* for your own personal place.

Its a place to set thoughtful, and meaningful items that, collectively, will emanate positive energy. A place where you can sit…and absorb the energy you have planted the seeds for. Don’t try to fill it up all in one go. As with anything done on a spiritual level, its a layering, natural process to evolve with your own growth.

Once you have chosen and set up this area…for yourself…let it be known this is your own personal space. Others in your household should respect it as such, as should yourself. It’s a part of your life to keep dusted, uncluttered and always tidy, with a certain reverence and honor. Always ready for your next visit. It should be a part of your home you will feel comfort in. No window? A pleasing poster or painting would serve the purpose. Don’t allow it to become a dropping ground for those odds and ends of domestic life!

In this busy, freeway fast, world…its so essential to our Soul to recognize the need for spiritual comfort. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed, its easy to feel, since there is no huge blocks of time to give to such luxurious needs of the soul…its futile to even try! The truth is, the Soul really requires little upkeep. Most people spend much more time on personal hygiene than they do in providing food for the Soul on a daily basis. Claim and create your own, personal, sacred space and make it a special place to spend a few minutes of your time out of the day.

Acknowledge Your Inner Child?

children silouette

Written By Jasmine

(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)

We are adults…right? What concern is it to us about this “inner child thing”? Is it some new buzzwords scripted by high dollar psychologists? Something else to be concerned about that we are not paying attention to along with what we are eating or not eating, ingesting thru the environment where there is no control but that could contribute to our quicker demise…what is good for us then is not now?

We were told ever since we could remember to “grow up”. So…grow up we did. We tried to follow all the rules that society, morality, any religious blueprints inflicted on us by family connections or by choice, to only come full circle and discover we might have left our “inner child” stuck in the mud and muck and we should consider ourselves responsible, on top of all the other head mess ups we might have picked up along the way, not to mention responsibilities to jobs, bills, relationships or the hope of, children etc.

Hmm…well, who am I to say for anyone else, after picking thru the yes and no’s, coupled with changing contradictory no’s and yes’s, over the last 30 “conscious of adulthood facts or fiction presented to this human soul” years …that I truly believe the inner child is something that we should be conscious of on a developmental spiritual soul level.

My first experience with discovering there was such a thing as an “Inner Child” was when I found myself going thru therapy 18 years ago for abuse inflicted upon me as a young child. Understand, as a child, these were the times of “silence is golden” and as I was raised…don’t make waves or upset anyone else where silence might alleviate someone else’s potential pain. The sad thing is that as a young sensitive child, I took these ideals straight to the wall and very seriously! The amazing thing to me, as I grew into an adult, I considered myself as someone who had come to terms with this abuse, in my own silent way, and did not think I had any outstanding issues that conflicted with my life directly at that time as to need addressing outside of my own mind, thus I considered myself “healthy”.

I entered this circle of professionals at the request of someone very close to me seeking their own salvation in the form of outside help for their particular problems and family was encouraged to play a part in their therapy.

I attended the first meeting with the intention of helping this person by showing my support with my attendance, as requested. However, as I listened to the conversations going on between the professionals in attendance along with the “patients” I felt a slowly growing creepy realization in listening to what was being said that I had a real problem that needed to be addressed in order to be considered “healthy”. It was so like the vision I had heard of Pandora’s Box….the more I heard the more I felt something deep inside me begin to crack open ever so slowly and what was crawling out was nothing short of disturbing. I was caught so off guard as to not be able to slam that box closed in time before I discovered or was ready to admit, to myself even, I might be in need of some help. Scary…very scary, for someone who thought they had their silent nasty secrets all boxed up in a place far, far away.

So…I offered myself up to the process of outpatient therapy. It was nothing short of an extremely painful process however peppered with surprising evolving relief as we went along, which was the magic pill to allow me to continue. Long story short…part of their plan was to address the “inner child” as an adult. They provided a way to go back in time…well…what it seemed like to me was to tap into the past via my desire to better myself, and acknowledge that little girl I used to be.

There was no hypnosis.

Thru my memory of myself as a child…I was able to, with their help, go back in time with my visual memories and “meet” myself as a child. The “mature adult” I had grown into could meet and converse with the younger version of me. By suggesting an envisioned scenario by which I might, for example, as an adult enter my childhood home and progress thru the house to my old bedroom where I would “find my young self” and pop in for a visit. Just as I would talk to any other child except this one I had inside information on regarding her past and her personality and could relate to on a deeply personal level.

Therapeutically it was very validating and healing in recognizing to myself as well as voicing aloud, as sort of a third person observation, the emotions and thoughts I had kept locked up for what seemed like a lifetime. I left the session with the only words that can describe such a feeling…a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and deep down inside I felt such relief. Of course there was more to my healing than this one session but it was an important layer, as one would peel an onion one layer at a time that took me to my center with guided efforts on my part with their help.

Over time I have come to realize how important it is to acknowledge this “inner child’ as something that is always a part of us but seldom is time taken to recognize this as a valid part of us to be seen to. This last 4th of July, my husband and I went out for a nice dinner then chose to come home in lieu of attending any formal fireworks celebrations. We were watching a movie when the fireworks began to burst and blast outdoors. My interest in what we were viewing on the TV was challenged by my inner desire to run outside and see what I knew was being displayed in the sky. Recognizing my unrest…he smiled and suggested we head out the back door.

I forgot he was behind me and scurried to the middle of the back yard to behold the best and most impressive display of backyard domestic fireworks I had seen to date. With my head tipped toward the sky, I forgot all responsible thoughts and enjoyed the show. My pleasure was deepened in the knowledge that we were in our own private space and far away from any crowds or the impending traffic jams that follow the organized extravaganzas. I looked over at my loved one as I realized he was looking at me with an amused smile. He saw the “raw delight” as I watched the show and a little self-consciously felt like I had been discovered in a private moment but honestly delighted he had been as aware as to see it. I remembered that as a child, it was never the actual lighting of the fireworks, or the sound of the explosion that gave me that “thrill”, it was watching the impending results in the darkened sky that took me away.

Since that night I have been thinking about the childhood activities that made me feel good and free. Thunder and lightning storms came to mind. Not when I might have been alone mind you, but when I was with someone I cared about and felt safe…I loved them. The loud power in sound followed by the incredibly brilliant light flashes and streaks that followed along with the pounding rain always made me want to run out into the middle of it. Of course, safety expressed by the adult I was with denied me such indulgence however the urge always inhabited me. The onset of such a storm still instills a passionate urge to run outside and behold nature’s display of power with the same feeling of a child.

I don’t find myself in the position as much as I used to, but going to the seaside and frolicking in the surf can instill the same feeling of freedom and young at heart. Course now as an adult I am aware of not messing up the make-up that adorns my face due to vanity issue but I can still manage to enjoy the feeling of floating on top of a wave if for only a second or two!

Winter has its own delights with the serious falling of snow. Once I see it falling I get a slight thrill inside brought on by, I know now, from that childhood feeling I used to have. I feel the need to keep checking the progress out the window of the house and if it continues on into the night, and I lose a little sleep, especially when it’s a serious snowfall, all the better to my satisfaction of watching it happen. The adult in me can take over if I have to worry about driving in it the next day, but for that time I can indulge my pleasure.

I think it’s easy to lose sight of the “inner child” over time and the responsibilities that come with age. Maturity instills a sense of “well that’s just silly.” It might be as simple as thinking back to your own childhood and remember what gave you the feeling of delight. Check back with your own upbringing and see what your inner child might relay to your waning memories. Also, if there are children growing up close to you…consciously watch them at play. Uninhibited by being “grown up” and the “rules” that accompany it and how they seem to become one with whatever they are finding any delight in and how simple sometimes the experience in front of them really is.

When you find yourself experiencing something pleasurable…relax your conscious mind that chatters to you about bills, jobs, commitments, appointments and responsibilities, letting them go, for the moment. Allow yourself to enjoy by using all your senses and let the agreeable emotions take control in the moments you can feel delight in. It could even be as simple as going a little out of your way to find that particular type of candy that used to make you scramble for the nickels, dimes and pennies that would allow the purchase that would bring that sweet smile to your face , if but for a few moments!

I wish you warm blessings on your own paths with hopes you will take time out to indulge your inner child, and find something you can feel the emotion of raw delight in.

Oatmeal Bath For Dry Itchy Skin and More

Written by Jasmine

Webmistress The Majickal Garden

 

 

Oatmeal baths are soothing for different skin issues. It can offer relief of itchiness, relaxing and skin softening.

-Winter dry itchiness

-Sunburn

-Chicken Pox

-Allergy related

-Insect Bites

Since childhood I have experienced varying bouts of Eczema. Winter time seems to annoy the condition more obviously.

When my kids were young with chicken pox I plopped them in an oatmeal bath.  They loved spending plenty of time there anyway and at the same time they found much relief from the dreaded double edge sword of scratching! There were a few sunburns and multiple mosquito bites that took them there as well. I did tell them to not do any “scuba diving” that might irritate their eyes!

I used to use cut off a section of a leg from a clean pair of panty hose and drop about 1/3 to 3/4 cup of regular plain oatmeal into it and tie it off at the top. I like to add some lavender buds with the mix-1/4 to 1/2 cup. Lavender is known to be healing as well as relaxing with its fragrance. You could also add a few drops of lavender tincture in the place of the flower buds into the oatmeal and mix well. If you have a more serious skin condition skip the lavender as it might aggravate your condition!

Run a bath with hot water (the heat will allow the essence of oatmeal and lavender to dissolve) and drop the oatmeal bag into the water at the back of the tub. Allow the water to cool to a tepid temperature; too hot can be aggravating and drying.  Once in the tub-gently squeeze the bag to release the oatmeal and lavender essence.  If you are using a coffee filter…squeeze extra gently or you may end up with a blob of oatmeal in your bath!

You can stay as long as you are comfortable. If you have a skin condition…10 minutes is enough or you might aggravate it.

The oatmeal bath is soothing enough that you could do it on a daily basis if needed.

*Optional: you could add milk or buttermilk for an added soothing element. Add it into the running water from the faucet.

To add to the ambiance; don’t forget your scented candles!

*This is not a substitute for any medical treatment of any kind! It is simply a nice way to relax and soothe your skin.

Summer 2014 Update

Written by Jasmine

Webmistress The Majickal Garden

 

children silouette

 

Happy Summer! I am renewed with the soothing warmth of the sun, scents of freshly mowed lawns, fragrant fresh blossoms, neighborhood bbq’s and long days of lingering light. I do so enjoy puttering about in my garden however I lack confidence to my ability in this department. My vow to try my hand at starting my own seeds was finally fulfilled after years of intending to do so. I started them in the garage at the end of March and with careful tending diligence willed and urged them to grow strong for me. Of course I “talked” to them because Grandma told me they liked that kind of thing! They were systematically rotated to the covered patio when I deemed them ready.  Most have been potted or planted and so far look pretty healthy to me. I can’t wait for the impending blossoms to appear. My procrastination of intent has been replaced this year by the feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment in watching my creations evolve.

On my mind this season is current headlines of what is good and bad for us with regards to our health and well-being from the scientific community. Germs are a big subject. They tell me they lurk on the bottom of my purse, in my showerhead; teem nastily all over the handles of grocery carts and door knobs/handles, the screens of hand held technology and inside the cloth bags where I am endeavoring to contribute to the demise of plastic bags in our landfills. From one who has always had issues with germs anyway these new sources of concern riddle me with renewed angst along with efforts to eradicate these invisible bugs. I do remember teaching my young children how to enter and leave a public bathroom without ever touching a surface with their little fingers. More than once I gave heartfelt thanks for my children never coming home with the (for me feared) dreaded head bugs regardless of the notices that would follow them home warning of an outbreak in a classroom.

Don’t even get me started on what’s in the air. How long can one hold their breath while passing through an area at the grocery store where someone has just begun a disturbing coughing fit or a congested sneeze? Hopefully long enough to quickly get to an air “safety zone” without looking like a mad woman roadrunner gripping a flying cart. And yes I have seen the programs that tell us how far sneeze droplets can travel!

I come from an era where there were no seatbelts. The grocery stores did not offer sanitizing wipes before we touched a cart. Alcohol gels were unheard of.  The hot dogs we devoured roasted over a campfire littered with lovely glowing embers did not elicit a conversation about what the heck is in them anyway!  There was no concern that the children were not getting enough exercise because we only had a few stations on the television and most of our time was spent outdoors doing activities that were done in a neighborhood with our peers. At dinnertime, the shouts for their children to return to the nest could be heard resonating up and down the street.

The luxury of a stay in a hotel room was not drenched with worry that it might contain the nightmare of bedbugs that would chew on you during the night and be transported to the safe haven of home.  Not to mention the germs left behind from the more recent inhabitants and not cleaned properly by a corner cutting cleaning staff. And they do have those glowing special lights to show us exactly where they are. An exciting trip in an airplane did not have us worried about what kind of airborne bugs were being circulated in the recycled air system or what our hands were picking up from the seat pocket or food tray. My defense amongst the conditions of our upbringing is “we came out of it pretty well.”

I am by no means saying all these things and much more should not be a concern to us. I know it is! Times have changed for sure. However, my already germ phobia has grown stronger. I have seen the need to set some limits for myself as far as being realistic and still functioning in the public world.  Recently at a nice restaurant being treated by my husband; he silently watched me carefully and awkwardly wrap my napkin around the salt and pepper shakers.  I watched myself in the realization I was going too far on top of the other things I have observed in steps to avoid touching things. Like using the loose tail of a shirt to open a door or struggling with a heavy handled door using my pinky finger or punching a debit card pad with a knuckle, which sometimes is not easy. What? I have to use your special pen to sign for a credit!  My conclusion is to not quietly freak out on the inside if my fingers or hands to touch “dirty” surfaces after reasonable attempts to avoid doing so.

Common sense tactics of not touching my face with my hands until they can be washed or sanitized has given me some kind of control back. It’s impossible to live in a germ free world. I also know that there are good bacteria and wiping out all of it; good and bad, is not helpful to the immune system. I utilize mind over matter. I can’t control everything but I can control how I react to what I can’t reasonably control.

Information in the news is a good thing; unless it becomes too overwhelming for someone as susceptible as I have become to overload.  Yesterday I saw a headline “Are There Bugs Living On You?”  I felt a strong urge to click over to the Entertainment section and I did so immediately!

I hope you find majick moments this Summer. Enjoy them while living in the moment. Leave your responsibilities and concerns behind you while you soak them up, relax and recharge yourself.

Enough Said

2 doves love

Free To Be Us

 Written by Jasmine

(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)

I just finished watching a movie called “Enough Said” starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  The premise is 2 middle age divorced people, each with a teen ready to leave for college, meet at a party at a point in their lives where they have given up much hope of ever meeting anyone.  Her initial impression of a sweet man is interrupted by a new friendship with the ex-wife that despises him and it gets complicated from there.

The acting from both actors is honest and real. James Gandolfini (such a sad loss) is refreshing in this role, especially since I just finished The Soprano’s (I did do some “episode binging” to do so!) and finding the characters so different in comparison. He is sweet, charismatic, vulnerable and honest. Julia Louis-Dreyfus presents a character unsure of her place in middle age. In her confusion of identifying her emotions she allows an outside influence to color her interpretation of them. Without giving away too much, in listening to the many “beefs” from her much respected and exotic new friend about her ex-husband it begins to picks away at a lovely budding relationship.

It got me to thinking about relationships and what can happen when we begin to lose sight of the foundation of the person we fell in love with in the beginning. Time and lack of diligent respect to cultivating the relationship can allow the ego to decide what is important, acceptable and attractive in how we view the other one. It really is all about the small things in life.

In my thinking, there are two sides in viewing these “small things”. We can either send ourselves into a negative state because we have come to find a quirk of our partner has progressed from cute or quirky to irritation, which can easily progress to disgust. Once it gets to that point, a wall goes up.

I am enjoying my second marriage. I am still learning things about myself in how I live a life with someone else. My middle age has taught me, for one thing, humility. Practicing Living in the Moment has allowed me to realize where lessons to be learned are right in front of me, at the time. Instead of busying my head with words about the current situation and scrutinizing things right then; I am more able to let them go, observe and absorb what is happening. This has allowed me to focus on the other person in their body language, in their eyes and words. Observing the situation unfold instead of narrating it in my mind at the time opens me up in a very honest way.

I must admit this movie hit home for me, in part, because lately I have been observing myself reacting to a few quirks of my beloved partner. He has not done anything bad, wrong or damaging. It’s just not in the way I find “normal” or the way I would do it! I am pleased that I am able to comprehend at the time that I am being critical of his way of action and am able to at least step back and observe myself in my own inner reaction. I ask myself, “Does it really matter”? Most time the answer to myself is “no”. After that, if it’s still something I feel I need to add some input to, in the way of helpfulness, and then I will progress with my own input in a thoughtful manner instead of blurting out what might have erupted before I gave thought to my response in irritation and my motive for doing so which is sometimes colored with arrogance. Many times I have caught myself ready to criticize until I comprehended the fact that he is only trying to do his part to help in some way. I have come to understand in reacting this way I lose sight of his true intentions and I take away from a true moment to be shared between us.

In some ways we are a bit of an “odd couple”. Understanding and embracing our differences is key. He is not as diligent of or needy of tidiness as I am. I have come to terms with this in thinking that I would much rather voluntarily rectify any such un-tidiness on his part silently than ever entertain the thought that I could ever be without him to create such situations!

My best friend, and she really is the best, has some quirks herself that at times can be annoying but I have come to understand, accept and respect her ways that make her unique to me. I love her whole package and to take away any aspects would be to make her someone else. However, I don’t live with her! I have given much thought to her recently and our evolved relationship over 25 years. It is priceless to me. This line of thought brought me to how easy it is over time to let such a patient allowance in understanding a person that is a friend and how easy it is to let that fact slip when it comes to a partner. He is my partner that I still consider a best friend. He deserves the same respect and allowances I do for my girlfriend.

The movie touched on relationships outside of the 2 main characters as well. We all have our own quirks and ways about us that make us unique. To change what makes up our personalities is to make us into someone different.

I have always heard that marriages require work to keep them active. I thought I understood that the first time around. Although efforts were made then; in my maturity I have fathomed my own personal responsibility for recognizing and acknowledging the other souls presence and the beauty, love and efforts on his part to be a part of two. It requires nurturing on both sides to be a success.  In a working relationship the more one gives the more one gets back in return. I am so blessed to be in one and I hope I never stop actively participating to do my part to keep it so.