Spiritual practice looks different for everyone. For many years, organized religion was the majority, but I do feel that in this younger generation, we're starting to appreciate a more DIY approach. We do what works for us, walls of what's 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' are becoming less relevant. We're honoring what makes sense to us and makes us feel good. And why shouldn't we?
When it comes down to it, however strong your faith in beliefs, we really don't know what happens when we pass to another realm. Whether our spirit is reincarnated into another life to continue a path of expansion and growth until we reach ultimate liberation and freedom, or we transport to pearly gates and chat with a figure called God.. Whatever gets us to that 'feel-good' place, bravo for discovering that!
I grew up in a very strict 'born-again Christian' household, which I abandoned when I was around 13 years old. Although I've always had a connection with spirituality, religion just wasn't something that spoke to me anymore. It didn't seem fair. If it had to do with a God that had an ego and needed to be praised and exalted in order for me to experience eternal freedom, it felt more like fear than love to me.
There was something in me that was so thirsty and yearning for something that I didn't know existed. I caught a glimpse of a path that seemed too good to be true, this path I'm on now. I've never felt so spacious and connected to myself and the world around me. Allow me to explain.
I'm realizing that although I have seen what life outside of crippling anxiety and had these epiphanies of how to grow and stay on course, it's not a 'one and done'. I can stick these learned lessons in my backpack of everything I've picked up in life and continue, but if I don't stay faithful to checking in with these epiphanies, they get heavy and start moving me in reverse.
Does that make sense?
It's like a cruel trick that I forget (often) and only realize when I'm huddled in a puddle of tears and sadness asking myself 'What happened?! I thought I already got part this part!'
This is where spiritual practice is essential to keep me on track.
Yoga asana, the physical postures, first appealed as a way to get out of my head. It was my first experience with what it felt like to be fully present. Many shake their heads at yoga practices that over-emphasize on alignment. For me, technique is something to chew on that makes sense in injury-prevention and helps me get out of my head. I started meditating a few months ago and amplified my practice further. Being able to tune out of my body and into my Self. Turning the eyes that look outward at the world internally and envision myself as a vast and limitless Being, completely at peace with myself and the world around me; connected. Even if it's only for a moment. That's what keeps me coming back. I often use crystals and in my meditation practice to help release fears and receive guidance.
A few months ago I started taking astrology classes with my good friend and astrologer, Hanna, and have been completely dumb-founded at how accurate my birth chart is about... ME! From insecurities to personal quirks to my strengths, astrology is a fantastic way to learn more about yourself so that we can understand our energetic DNA. So may give themselves a hard time, thinking they're 'broken' because of the way they continually make decisions, or try to force themselves into a mold that they aren't able to fill. Astrology helps to alleviate judgement, so that you can look at yourself and marvel in your quirks. To love yourself without condition or risk of abandonment is a beautiful thing.
The most recent addition to my spiritual practice has been my oracle deck, another tool I use for guidance.
But, perhaps my most useful tool has been my grounding mala. In September I was contacted by Amanda, the founder of Seed Of Intention. We decided to wait until after I was home from the transformative music festival, Symbiosis Gathering to talk about a collaboration. This was another synchronicity that had yet to reveal itself. During the festival I made connection with, and uprooted many imbalances in my root and solar plexus chakras. Now that I knew about these imbalances, I was able to continue working on them, with the help of Amanda's malas, which can be customized for a variety of energetic blockages. She was the first person I called upon return from Symbiosis Gathering. Together, we came up with the perfect Intention Mala to aide in my growth. It's a combination of pyrite, smoky quartz, red carnelian, and sandalwood. The end of the garland is adorned with a locket, which she provides flower-seed studded papers to write out an affirmation or mantra to meditate upon. When you're ready to release what's written, simply plant the piece of paper and watch the fear or affirmations grow into beautiful plants. I meditate with this mala, and beginning January 1, 2017, will add it to my shiny new chanting practice. More to come, on that.
She also provides ready-made malas, with or without the intention locket, charged and cleansed by moonlight.
The 'signs' and guidance I receive throughout my days I do associate with something bigger than myself who shows me that everything has a divine course. It helps to calm me, teaches me to trust and reassures me that everything happens for a reason, even if I can't see the reasoning just yet. I feel like that 'thing' has been guiding me for all my life. I lost touch with it for a few years, but am so happy to be back. I'm equally as grateful to have come upon the work necessary to lift the blockages in order to communicate this. When I'm able to get out of my own way, there's this beautiful freedom that, while many are born with the beauties of being grounded and secure in who they are, is very new and exciting to experience.
Amanda at Seed Of Intention was kind enough to offer anyone who orders through me a 10% discount on any mala purchase with coupon code: BRITT10!!