My initial thought for this sharing was for it to be about creating a morning practice. But when I first sat down to write it was after a Sacred Moment … I walked through the park to get to the gym that morning and I could hear the wind blowing through my ears. I could smell the fresh cut grass. In that moment, I opened to not briskly walking. “To get there already” – to do what I had to do before going back to work. Instead, I took a micro pause. To be, to sense, to notice, to feel, to calm and soften. To embody presence and truly witness living in the now.
I listened to Tara Brach through my headphones while I did my weights as she talked about dissociating from the body. Something I know my clients do for different reasons, which together we work through. Dissociation and feeling out of their body or disconnected with life. Intentionally numbing out to avoid life is also something my friends and loved ones have spoken of. Everyone I know has at some point or another, regularly or daily, missed the moment. Missed life from a lack of presence.
I walked home wanting what I’m sharing with you to be different. I wanted this to help you not live as strangers to your body and your vast and wonderfully beautiful experience of this life you are experiencing.
Instead of living in virtual or online worlds, living disconnected and severed from what you really are; distracted, worrying, rushing, anxious, depressed. I wanted to give you some practical entry points to embodying your own presence to reconnect to the sacredness of the moment. This moment. Your life. Yes, through the beauty of a consistent morning practice – which we will get to. But also, I want to share with you the art, the beauty, and the power of slowing down with calm stillness. Being the watcher and witness of your personality nature. Journeying with breath, and beyond.
Being able to guide you individually through this process would be more valuable of course, and I am here if it speaks to you to personalise this intricate and multi-faceted part of your journey.
But what I share here can be a start. From whatever place you are ready to spring from. A light in the darkness right now in your here and now. Especially if you’re someone who has been known to rush out the door to work or an appointment, multi-task at your desk while speaking with a loved one, plan for the future while worrying about the past (or the present or the future and likely all!). Someone who too easily can get lost in internal non-stop chit-chat thoughts while remaining cut off from internal connectedness and all life. Doing while not BE-ing. Moving while not thinking and/or feeling. Then there’s the emotional holding on and thus missing out on the moment; Ever replayed a conversation or event over and over, even years later? Maybe you try change it or solve it. Whatever or however you do this it is keeping a part of you back there. Trying to win the argument, defend or prove yourself, or find harmony. All the while the NOW you is not present.
Do you relate to any of this? I’ve been there before too!
However you personally experience this disconnection from the sacred moment and presence, we as a society have increasingly lost connection. Both to our innate selves and to the presence and wisdom it can bring. As a result, we aren’t as connected as we are meant to be. Not with ourselves or each other. Not to the land or nature. Not to the cosmos and source. These cut us off from the vital, universal flow and from the true nature of ourselves. Freshness and spontaneity are replaced by being lost in thoughts beyond their use. Getting lost in repeating habits that no longer serve. Like a trance or a sleep walk through life, people of the world suffer and survive more often than thrive.
It’s unnatural and goes against what we really are and why we’re here. But in this modern society we place greater value on cutting corners to get things done quicker; takeaway fast food and delivery straight to our door, faster internet, the quickest routes on the road. Anything to get it done faster or get there already instead of cultivating wisdom and awakening our hearts. Even looking at our global way of consuming, it is the speed of gaining more. Of quantity over quality.
Have you noticed this? Have you ever felt like you are alive but not living? Not sensing your aliveness, and as a result not only sleep walking through your own life, but bypassing others doing the same? Collectively we are also not awake and alert enough to value what is truly important, beautiful and of wisdom in this world. We aren’t even awake and alert enough to take the action needed to combat the global crisis we are living in…though some of us are waking up rapidly. Collectively we have far to go and that gap can only be bridged by starting with our personal efforts.
How do we wake up? How do we remember and reconnect to that which is sacred in the everyday and beyond that? To the extraordinary of the mystical and esoteric, the wealth of beauty, love-wisdom and truth that can be revealed. If only we are willing to earn the veil being lifted before us.
I want to share with you some ways you can bring sacredness into your everyday moments and move closer to embody presence. Wherever you are on your journey. I’m not talking about lighting candles, waving sage around a room or putting a crystal around your neck. By all means go for it. But aesthetics and props aren’t needed here. For this Path is one of a lifetime. It is not only in times of stress or pain, anxiety or deep sadness, burnout or busyness. It is at all times that we are striving to live life like this. Live a life closer to conscious awareness. To alert poise, inner calm and wisdom. To radiating love and our unique beauty into the world.
While what I share is only a drop in the ocean of all I teach clients around the world in Sacred Guidance and Tantra sessions, it can give you a simple, practical taste that you can easily apply. Of course, if you are wanting more I am here. Simply reach out to email@example.com or connect via the contact page.
Let us start with;
The Beauty and Wisdom of Morning Practice. Are you someone who snozes the alarm three times dreading the slog of the day ahead or just not ready to peel yourself off the mattress? Or do you leap out of bed knowing you’re already late and there is so much to do and so little time you may even skip breakfast? Perhaps you’re somewhere in between these but know your morning could do with a little tweaking if nothing else. Making space and room for a morning practice is a way to reframe your entire day by reframing your entire self; body, emotions, mind and soul. It can be 5 minutes or 55minutes depending on your schedule and life. But what’s key is consistency. Where you choose to honour yourself, and show up for the set timeframe on that day.
Your morning practice may be quiet contemplation of your thoughts while sipping a cup of herbal tea. It may be sitting crossed legged or in lotus position on a cushion in your sacred spot on the floor repeating in your mind a seed thought or mantra. It could be practicing a mindfulness or concentration technique to prepare you better for true meditation practice. It may be reading an excerpt from a spiritual text or poetry by a writer who speaks to your pure, highest self. It may be a little of all of the above on some days and one on another day.
Whatever it is that you choose;
-I invite you now to strive to at least experiment for the coming three weeks. That’s the next 21 day. With a dedication to one style or practice and do it consistently.
-Notice the effect it has on you.
-Either write it down in a journal or notebook, your laptop or device and then see if the shift that likely presents itself has a pattern.
Maybe this becomes something you adopt for a longer stint or, you add it to compliment or expand what you already had in place. You could be ready for something entirely new, lighter or more dynamic, relaxing or more demanding of mental concentration. Challenge yourself enough for even a little growth, but make your commitment doable, daily.
Pre-Baby life for me was meditating daily first thing in the morning for 30-45 minutes, practicing esoteric meditation for the majority then shift from meditation to visualising my service for the day. I then add a Bodhicitta meditation (I have an episode called Bodhicitta – Guided Practice you can tune into on Sacred Guidance with StellaMuse podcast as well) this practice I do is focused on ending suffering for all beings and finish my silent stillness with a mindfulness practice to sharpen my mind. This is my training as an esoteric student for life and as a practitioner. I use it also as preliminary preparation before studying for around an hour. I feel poised after this sacred silent alone time. Connected to what is real, alert and awake and even inspired as to how I will show up to serve clients and all those I connect with and, what and how I will create for the day. I’m so ready for breakfast after this and ready to start work, taking a mid-morning break to exercise, before coming back to my private practice for the rest of the day.
Post-Baby life has meant this commitment is STILL non-negotiable but how long and at what point in the day I do it has changed and changed again at each stage from new born to now toddler phase. If I can meditate first thing I do. But that depends on how early a certain Cherub wakes up! Study is now moved to once baby is asleep, before I go to bed. Everything else fits in when and how it can as my current #1 focus is the Cherub. THIS is my service, my dharma, my joy and my Love. It is also my choice. But it’s not the same as it was and it’s not as easy in many, many ways. BUT it is part of the Path. Part of the work of being present in all daily moments. Being adaptable and flowing with what is and embracing the Sacred Moments I can still create. It is a matter of seizing every opportunity that presents itself too! Accepting how it looks one day will change the next as life is now joyfully, wonderfully more chaotic when there is a divine dependant creature’s needs coming first.
Not everyone wants to or can get up early in the day to make room for a rigorous morning routine. We all have different demands and commitments, pets, children or gardens to tend to, work demands, health and vitality ailments or shifts that can have an impact on our use of time. We also have cycles governed by numerous factors that we experience daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, annually and beyond that impact our rhythm.
I’m by no means suggesting a 2-hour morning practice for you or anyone. BUT, we can find windows. If your morning is thrown out you can find 1 minute at your desk before your turn your computer on to close your eyes and practice 10 full complete breathes; deep inhale, pause, slow long exhale, pause. Repeat. You can do this packing your children’s lunchboxes, having a shower, waiting in traffic– though with your eyes open of course! There will be a moment in your morning where you can practice mindfulness if not meditation. Where you can bring an ease and a presence to the very activity you are doing in that moment. Even to this moment, right here, right now. The busiest person in the world can do this. Any excuse to find micro-moments is your own making. Be aware of that if you feel it come up as we explore this.
You may also like to ask yourself;
How does my morning look and feel like at the moment?
What is something small and simple I can shift to create a window of even 5 minutes for ‘sacred me time’?
Am I ready to do this starting today or tomorrow?
This leads us to;
The Calm of Stillness, you may say you’re busy, busy, busy, full schedule, have too much on or you’re even drowning in the responsibilities or demands on you. Perhaps it feels overwhelming, hard or just uncomfortable. But if you are willing to still yourself even for a micro-moment and let the chaos swirl around you as you stand or sit a moment you may discover you are the strong, unwavering oak tree. Able to just be. Able to just exhale. Able to regroup and regather your thoughts, your emotions, your breath and then continue. Little calm still moment, by little calm still moment. Because there is a calming effect to stillness. Particularly when you can sense the stillness of your chitter chatter mind, even for a second. Or the stillness of your erratic emotions losing their grip on your mood. Or the stillness in your body after franticly racing from here to there or rushing to the next place, meeting or task.
When was the last time you were still in body?
When was the late time you even tried to slow down?
Not walk so fast and observe more of the world around you?
When did you still your mind and mouth long enough to listen and hear someone truly, instead of plan what you want to say or what you want to reply?
Do you / can you find an inner stillness with ease when you are in the heat of the moment?
Or do you need to still your body first to let your emotions and thoughts soften and calm?
If you can and are willing and able pause here for a moment. Find a safe place to be still and notice what arises for you.
Do you fight and fidget, think it too hard or pointless, a waste of your time when you could or should be doing?
Do you embrace the stillness like a long lost friend you needed right now?
Feel free to pause from reading now and take a moment of calm stillness.
This brings us to
The Gift of Pausing sometimes the only pause you may make is in thinking how to answer a question, but only briefly. For if you pause too long you may miss the opportunity or someone may think you’re silly or, not listening or don’t understand. You may be afraid of unwanted sadness or anger coming up.
The idea of pausing can seem futile when you have so much to get done today. But what if a pause here and there, adding up to many pauses in a day, gave you ‘energy fuel’ to better do what it is you are striving to achieve?
There is a reason why most classes at school are around 45mins. There is a reason why we say to ourselves, “I really need a break, a rest or a moment to myself right now”. There is science to back this. Telling us that we function best in shorter windows of work and study. Productive time frames then require breaks. Be that five or 15 minutes. There is also innate wisdom that knows we need pauses. Breaks, rest and of course, sleep.
Let’s look at sleep. The biggest pause in our 24hr day of all – which as you likely know on average should be 7-8 hours daily for adults. More studies coming out are saying anything under this time frame and you are more likely to have anxiety and depression and develop cognitive behavioural difficulties. Some studies even say Alzheimer’s disease can be attributed to poor sleep health.
NREM, non-rapid eye movement or deep sleep is what we need. For that you want to set your room up to ensure you are able to get the best sleep possible. This can include a cooler environment, air purifier or clean air, quiet surroundings and complete darkness to help your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep-wake sleep cycle that repeats approx. every 24hours). These can all help you fall into the deep slumber you need.
Quality sleep also means TV and devices including your phone in the bedroom is not ideal. You also want to try avoiding being on a device at least two hours before bed. I know it’s big! But blue light from screens is proven to affect your melatonin production. Meaning falling asleep and staying asleep can be high jacked by that Instagram scrolling right before lights out! You can choose to see this as an experiment and test it for yourself for a couple of weeks; no pre-bed screen time and no phones in your room and see if it shifts anything for you. As someone who refuses to have a TV in the bedroom and no phones either (until baby came; and then it was phone on silent, brightness set to low, blue light turned down and flight mode on – and only switched back if I needed to check the baby monitor synced to my phone).
I can tell you it also makes for a more sacred space. The bedroom is your sanctuary. It is a place of rest, soothing, comfort and calm. As I tell my clients it is also a place of love and intimacy. Devices separate us. Having them there will not help you with any kind of pausing to bring about embody presence. Neither will it help you feel loved, connected, seen, heard and cherish, intimate even, with your beloved. Two people side by side on social media and emails does not a love story make my friend!
Ask yourself, do I create micro pauses in my day?
Do I or can I take a power nap to re-energise when need be?
Do I stop between tasks and go get a drink of water or get some sunlight or fresh air outside?
If not, how can I start this today?
How is my sleep?
Am I getting quality, uninterrupted sleep?
Am I going to bed early enough and waking at a good time to not feel rushed in the morning?
If my sleep is challenging what is one thing I can try to help this?
Am I seizing all rest / nap / sleep opportunities?
Do I need to reach out and ask for help with this?
The Art of Watcher + Witness
When we begin making tiny little adjustments that become weaved into the fabric of our day we can begin to notice internal and/or external shifts in our experience of life. We may even realise we can not only do, but we can be. It is at those times of being we can become the witness of our; reactions and actions, our thoughts and words, our judgments and planning and, also our emotions and feelings. We can realise here that we have the innate ability to witness our personality nature; the physical, emotional and mental components that make up our personality. We can thus make wiser choices. Do I react or do I come back to my inner stillness and find the sacredness in this moment? …or even find just enough presence to soften, relax and respond instead of react.
Have you ever watched yourself?
Have you watched your default habits; what you do when you’re upset?
Do you reach for food, or sex/pornography and/or any form of pleasure?
Do you numb out with alcohol or escape to online shopping or gambling?
Have you ever witnessed yourself in conversations when you feel judged or are judging?
When you feel attacked and attack back? What about when you feel hurt or sad? What do you do and how do you react or respond?
If you haven’t ever paused and taken the time to witness your default reactions, habits, and even addictions now IS an ideal time.
Eventually you can learn not only this, but also your rhythms and cycles. How you are seasonally. Monthly. How you are when certain things happen or when you are challenged. I share this with you as it is a HUGE key to a conscious path, to the truer spiritual path.
Esoterically I guide clients to understand these parts of themselves to better live in harmony and beauty with all that is and all that is them in this world. Less reacting, more response. Less overwhelm with your emotions and thoughts controlling you and more inner harmony, compassion, love and wisdom from within. All of which effects your experience of life around you. I am talking the macro and microcosmic experiences of life. This is part of the art of watching for it is the art of “Knowing Thyself” as the gnostic saying goes. Something anyone who wants to evolve as a person, as a soul having a human experience, as a being of consciousness wanting more than a mundane ho-hum life, will need to learn at some point.
It is a life’s work. For when you reach the top of one mountain you see a valley below leading to the next mountain top. We must therefore stay humble and find an inner fire burning inside that inspires and motivates us to keep going; deeper within and expanding out and up to the next realms of consciousness. However deep and high you seek to go, coming regularly to the point of watchful presence can lead you there. Combined with the right guide or teacher for you to make the journey easier and more supported. For it is a lonely path to walk more often than not when you begin the work.
The Journey of The Breath
Along this path of a lifetime and it’s many valleys and mountains there is one vital life giving force that allows us to have these sacred moments and embody presence. That is the power of the breath. Learning the breath is a journey. One inhale, pause, exhale and pause can be a profound journey in and of itself. Ask any mystic, yogi or Tantrika, scientist, esotericist, botanist or zoo keeper. They all witness life. They all know the breath keeps plants, animals and us having this human experience alive. But some know more of the journey of the breath better than others. How far down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole you go is your choice.
I do want to share a word of caution to those curious amongst us who may find breathing techniques and practices sometimes referred to as pranayama, be it from a workshop or online, in books, that can be damaging. There are advanced practices that have been manipulated, altered and wrongly used especially in the west but also in the east. I see this often in spiritual, yoga and Tantra circles.
It can make it tricky to know what is safe, what is true, what is right and what above all is right for you; your physical, etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. No teacher should just teach you breathing techniques without knowing YOU on these levels. Be aware of the glamour and illusions that cloud you. If everyone is doing it, talking about, it makes you feel good, turned on, trance like, spacey or off your head and out of your body etc. This is not sacred.
Ask yourself; is this feel-good kiddy-pool dabbling offering me a moment of escapism? Just to FEEL something other than what is really going on in my world. Or, am I learning a known science that is helping me evolve and grow? Question the person teaching you. Question the why behind the practice. Question if it is right for you. Question, question, question. Do not take what feels good and looks pretty and shiny and alluring at its face value.
For more on this you may enjoy my Sacred Guidance with StellaMuse podcast episodes;
The Truer Path to sensing, feeling and knowing awareness in every moment;
When you learn that you are the ocean the waves no longer throw you around. As you have learnt to be in harmony with them. Until then, each life rattle will feel like a boulder dropped into your tranquil pond.
The practice of walking The Truer Spiritual Path leads you away from obsessing, thinking and repeating internal thoughts that don’t serve. Leading instead to an inner poise and calm. Clear thinking that can not only lead to knowledge and wisdom but also creativity and lightning bolt hits of inspiration and brilliance. From releasing the judgment and separating self from other, or feeling it’s us against them, or even me against them, to a point of unity. To seeing the one and the all as the same.
Embodying presence on the truer spiritual path will lead you to ceasing the escapism and numbing out with unhealthy habits or addictions. And instead carry you to a natural way of listening, learning, knowing what is really going on inside you and what you really need. It will take you away from racing through life, the running away and the need to just get through or get there already. To instead “make haste slowly” as we say exoterically. Doing what needs doing while being present as you go about it. Sensing and experiencing acceptance or joy in the ordinary and extraordinary. Living life, not waiting to live life lost in needless worry and distraction. Instead the path will train you to strengthen your inner courage and heart. With presence leading to the sacredness, the mysteries of life, the pulling back of the veils on truth and love-wisdom and beauty that you may otherwise miss if you do not embrace the opportunity to make these initial shifts. There are worlds that wait for you, if you want to make your way there.
At any point when you are challenged by these disconnected ways you can shift your consciousness. By interrupting your default reaction, your response, you can begin to break the old cycle. This opportunity waits for you between what happens and how you react. Right there. That is THE opportunity to pause, feel, access your true nature, your wisdom your compassion. Like the pause between each inhale and exhale. It is in that pause that the power to change your life may well lie.
You need to find your rhythm, your moments, your opportunities to pay attention, to honour your soul, your truth. THIS is the work. THIS is the Path, the Way, the True Spiritual battleground.
I invite you now to create a practice, to pause, to reconnect with your physical, emotional and mental bodies and your soul. To begin to truly learn your rhythm and better know yourself. I invite you to find your way to a more sacred experience of this gift you have, this life you have. I’m here too if you are seeking sacred guidance to light your way. For living the Sacredness of every Moment requires living a sacred life and walking a truer conscious and spiritual path with truth, integrity and joy.
After all, as wisdom teaches us, the journey is the reward.