Armor of God + Chakra Meditation

I love Jesus, and I love yoga. I love truth, and I love the mysterious. Combining the full Armor of God from the Bible (Ephesians 6:10-18), and the Chakra energy centers of the body in a meditative prayer covering has been spiritually enlightening and uplifting for my personal practice. Enjoy this journey with an open heart and mind as our spiritual eyes are opened! Let’s cleanse, clear, and empower our body, mind, and spirit. ♡

“May the words of my mouth, my meditation—thoughts, and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before your eyes, my only Redeemer, my Protector—God.” —Psalms 19:14

“Because you are close to me and always available, my confidence will never be shaken, for I experience your wrap—around presence every moment.” —Psalms 16:8

Holy Fire, establish your divine presence in me—fill me with your supernatural power and strength. Holy Fire, accomplish your divine purposes through me in this world.


Armor of God + Chakra Meditation

Place hands on feet. Take a few, deep breaths.

Oh Lord, I put on The Shoes of Peace, corresponding to the Root (Muladara) Chakra “I Am.”
Color—Red
Element—Earth

I am a child of God, Your beloved. My foundation is in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I let go of any fear or doubt, and walk in bold faith and trust. I am grounded, safe, and secure. I seek peace wherever I go. You direct my steps. I am willing to move forward through divine healing and guidance.

Place hands on belly. Take a few, deep belly breaths.

The Belt of Truth wraps around me, corresponding to the Sacral (Svadhishthana) Chakra “I Feel.”
Color—Orange
Element—Water

Oh God, Your Truth has brought freedom into my life. I feel my spiritual core stability. I radiate joy, creativity, and balance. As I am intimate with You, I am able to be intimate with others in healthy ways. I trust the divine flow of life. I let Your Spirit move me.

Place arms crossed over chest. Take a few, deep breaths.

The Shield of Faith protects me, corresponding to the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra “I Will—I Can—I Do.”
Color—Yellow
Element—Fire

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! When I let the Spirit work in and through me, I have stamina, self-discipline, and confidence. My body is full of energy, health, and vitality. Thank you Lord for this weapon which enables me to thwart fiery darts in the spiritual realm. I am able to encourage and hold space for others as we link our Shields of Faith.

Place hands on heart space. Take a few, deep breaths.

Jesus, You are my divine center, the Breastplate of Righteousness, corresponding to the Heart (Anahata) Chakra “I Love.”
Color—Green
Element—Air (Breath of Life)

I love because You first loved me. I forgive because I have been forgiven. I am compassionate, joyful, and connected to others. I can trust and be trustworthy. I am capable of establishing, growing, and maintaining healthy relationships. Hope fills my heart!

Place hands lightly on throat area. Take a few, deep breaths.

The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is my source of Truth, corresponding to the Throat (Vishuddha) Chakra “I Speak.”
Color—Blue
Element—Sound / Ether

Out of the heart I speak. Thank you God for the beautiful visual of the top of the breastbone looking like a sword handle pulling truth out of the heart, moving up to the mouth, and into the world as expression. This is the only offensive weapon in the Armor of God! I ask that you fill me with Your Truth, and help me to discern and deny any lies in myself, others, and the world. May my words speak truth and life. Please help me to be an attentive, receptive listener. May my communications be clear, effective, and impactful.

Place anjali mudra hands at the brow center. Take a few, deep breaths.

The Helmet of Salvation restores me to wholeness, corresponding to the Third (Ajna) Eye—Spiritual Eye Chakra “I See.”
Color—Indigo
Element—Light

Oh Lord, thank you for enlightening my spiritual eyes to receive divine knowledge and wisdom. Jesus, You save, heal, and restore me! My wholeness is secure in You. I quiet my busy mind by closing my physical eyes, and tuning into Your Presence, Love and Light. I see the interconnectedness of life, and am filled with vibrant clarity and focus. Your visions inspire me to make a difference and encourage others.

Place hands on the top of the head. Take a few, deep breaths.

The Helmet of Salvation restores me to wholeness, also corresponding to the Crown (Sahasrara) Chakra. “I Know—I Understand.”
Color—Violet
Element—Thought

I am fully connected spiritually, and have access to divine wisdom and understanding. God, I can call on You at any time—and You hear my thoughts and petitions. Through prayer and meditation You show me Your higher purposes, and I notice Your divine work in everything. I desire to know You more! I am calm, centered, and complete in You, Oh Lord.


Just like the Crown Chakra represents our connection to God, I believe Jesus is our connection to God. He is the bridge between God and man. I can know and understand His Presence personally and intimately. This is the source of my higher purpose. When I mentally and spiritually dress myself in the full Armor of God, and cleanse and clear the Chakra energy centers of my body, I feel fully connected and empowered to LOVE, SERVE, and INSPIRE! ♡

IMG_7016

Simplify ❤︎

Today we practice SIMPLIFYING — looking at our daily life, our priorities, possessions, activities, commitments, habits, thoughts and actions — and taking the time to reevaluate, gracefully letting go of what no longer serves us and establishing new intentions. When we simplify, we release unwanted expectations and stress and open up to increased freedom, joy, and inner peace. As Steve Maraboli states, “The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.” What, where and how can you simplify? What would make your life lighter and easier? What can you get rid of? Where can you make adjustments to allow for more breathing room?

Take a minute to personally reflect.

Here are 3 practical tips to help prioritize and simplify: 

Look for soul stops. Even on your busiest days, set aside several 5 minute breaks to pause, tune-in, pray, and meditate. This helps redirect thoughts, feelings, and actions — even in the midst of the craziest schedule. Try bookending your day with longer spirit-filling stops.

Be keenly aware. Ask God to get your attention. Look for Divine appointments — a text from a friend at just the right time, a song that speaks directly to your heart, a random opportunity to help someone, a funny situation that turns your day around for the best.

Set limits. Pick a time your distractions begin, and tell them when they end. During those hours, do the phone thing, and computer thing, and every other thing you pour your soul into, but when that time comes to an end, shut it down. Disconnect to connect personally and spiritually.

How will these changes add to your freedom, joy, and inner peace?

“Our life is frittered away by detail — simplify, simplify.” ~Henry Thoreau


The Weight of Objects, Clearing a Space for Change, by Madisyn Taylor

In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.

It’s not uncommon to hold on to material objects because we are attached to them or fear the empty spaces that will remain if we get rid of them. Giving away the souvenirs from a beloved voyage may feel like we are erasing the memory of that time in our life. We may also worry that our loved ones will feel hurt if we don’t keep the gifts they’ve given us. It’s easy to convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause you emotional pain. However, when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage.

When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire.


“Each of us has favorite items and places that help to calm and quiet us. What stills our mind? A walk in the park, a special place in the city, a quiet room? A rock, a cross, a picture, a lit candle? Use these places and things to find that place of stillness in yourself. Find the power in stillness. It’s a power that comes gently like the morning sunrise or the evening stars. Take time each day to seek out stillness, to find that sacred spot.
Let your mind and soul be at ease. Don’t grasp and grab for the magic and miracles. When you reside in that place of stillness, the joy, miracles, and magic you’re seeking will find you.” ❤︎ ~ Melody Beattie


“Let go of something, somewhere. Use yoga to become aware, to touch what lies beneath the surface of the skin. Is there tension longing for release, a knot of fear so deep and familiar that you believe its part of who you are? Ease into dark corners, locked rooms, unexplored hallways. Gain entry not by force of will, but only by softness. Enter on the wings of breath, and turn the key of self-acceptance to let go of something, somewhere.” ~ Danna Faulds

To simplify life I am___________.

There is freedom in letting go. ❤︎mockup-wall-art-2

✨ Goosies ✨

Inner Smile Meditation — Adapted from Jennifer Reis Yoga.

Your inner smile is glowing golden inside of you all the time! All you have to do is become AWARE of it, and a beautiful thing happens — you begin to sense how it fills you with joy, awakens positive qualities, and radiates your shining light. 

You may like to hold Hansi Mudra while you practice this meditation. Find a comfortable way to sit with your spine lengthened for five or more minutes. 

• Begin to sense your breath without needing to change it in any way.
• Feel a few natural breaths in your belly. Notice a few breaths in your chest and heart-space.
• Become aware of your breath already moving and flowing through your whole body.
• Now imagine an inner smile in your belly. With each breath feel your inner belly smile expanding and alive within you.
• Become aware of the inner smile in your heart-space. Notice your breath expanding the smile in your heart, awakening compassionate love.
• Feel the inner smile within every cell of your whole being. Trillions of inner smiles glowing golden in synchrony with each other. Like you are a tuning fork harmonized with the Divine – joy, shining light, and every positive quality – fills and radiates through you.
With a few quiet breaths, send your inner smile out to someone you love. Send your inner smile out to someone you are having a difficult time with. Send your inner smile to all beings.
• Stay here for as long as you like. Keep this feeling of joy as long as you can, even when you gently begin to deepen your breath, softly open your eyes, and move into what comes next.


What makes you smile, brings you joy and laughter, ignites your spirit, and gives you the goosebumps? I love an article written by a local yogini, Rebecca Lammersen, entitled, 101 Ways To Get The Goosebumps. She states, “I gage a good day by the number of times I get the goosebumps. Why? Because it is a sign I am listening to my spirit, being guided by her. Goosebumps are the smile of our spirits — we can never smile enough.” So, throughout classes this week I will share with you her 101 ways to get the ✨ goosies! ✨

Listen to a song you love and sing along.
Watch a movie that moves you.
Pay attention to the animals, to the trees, to the birds. Talk to them.
Hug someone you know and love.
Hug someone you don’t know and feel the love.
Go to a park and watch children play.
Listen to what children have to say.
Play with a child.
Play like a child.
Roll down the windows of your car, stick your hand out and waltz with the wind.
Turn up the music in your car and sing as loud as you can.
Sing in the shower.
Make eye contact with everyone you pass. You never know when your eyes will meet a connection.
Sit still and observe. You will see an interaction that makes you break out in the bumps.
Recall your favorite memory and tell someone about it.
Dance.
Have someone you trust tickle your back or your arm.
Hold hands.
Slide down a slide.
Hang upside down on the monkey bars.
Swing on a swing.
Lay in a hammock.
Drink lemonade with a straw.
Have a lollipop.
Eat food that reminds you of your childhood.
Watch Lady and the Tramp.
Watch The Wizard of Oz.
Listen to John Lennon’s Imagine.
Listen to Somewhere Over The Rainbow (any version).
Listen to Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World.
Kiss.
Give away something you love to a stranger.
Buy a meal for a person who is homeless.
Give your time and attention to someone who needs to be heard.
Scream.
Cry.
Pick flowers and smell them.
Buy someone flowers and surprise them.
Buy yourself flowers.
Say I love you at least three times a day.
Look yourself in the mirror and say, I love you.
Call you mother, your father, your siblings, your friends to tell them: I love you.
Smile at someone, smile at everyone.
Go to the beach.
Get your feet wet, at least.
Read the obituaries.
Listen to music from around the world, especially the songs with children singing.
Say the Pledge of Allegiance or any pledge or song of loyalty.
Have a conversation with God.
If you don’t believe in God, talk with the sun.
If you can’t see the sun, talk with yourself.
Take the trip you have always wanted to take.
Take a sick day from work or school and go to the pool, to the movies or to the zoo.
Go to a cemetery and read the headstones.
Go to a maternity ward and sit in the waiting room.
Have a conversation with a senior citizen.
Have a conversation with someone who is sick.
Have a conversation with someone who is no longer sick.
Go to Toys R’ Us and walk the aisles and play with the toys.
If you’ve wanted to ask someone to marry you, ask them.
Say yes.
Say no when you really want to say no.
Stay up all night just to stare at the stars and watch the sun rise.
Do a cartwheel.
Go to a race and stand at the finish line.
Cheer for someone.
Clap your hands and go anywhere there will be a standing ovation.
Go to Disneyland.
Read.
Read poetry.
Read The Diary of Anne Frank.
Read any book about bravery, injustice, courage and resilience.
Keep a journal and read it back to yourself.
Look at pictures of your family and your life.
Go for a walk and take each step like it is your last.
Suck on a lemon–it will remind you of your taste buds.
Go for a drive, just to drive.
Pet a dog or a cat (if you aren’t allergic and don’t hate them).
Go to Sea World and watch the Shamu show.
Skinny dip.
Go to a major league baseball game.
Visit the Grand Canyon.
Water ski.
Surf, even if it’s body surfing–catch a wave.
Story-tell.
Watch someone give birth.
Give birth.
Hold a baby.
Go to funerals.
Go to weddings.
Go to any function that celebrates a beginning and an end.
Have an orgasm.
Hold the door for someone.
Read the inspirational emails your mother sends you (sometimes they really are inspirational).
Stand in the rain and don’t move until you begin to shake.
Go to concerts–any type of music. Listen and watch.
Take a hike and sit at the top of the mountain.
Ask people to share their love stories.
Fall in love.
Write a letter to someone you love and read it to them even if they are no longer alive, especially if they are no longer alive.
Speak the truth. The goosebumps will always follow.


Ecstasy Lives by Danna Faulds

Ecstasy exists. It lives in
random acts of love, bird
seed scattered on cold days,
back rubs, words of praise
or admiration. It lives within
the spontaneous admission
of defeat when things don’t
go as planned. Ecstasy lies
dormant, ready to burst forth
when a whitetail deer leaps
across the road, or a slice of
waning moon hangs jewel-like
in the night. It’s easy to miss,
simpler to point toward
suffering and shrug, choose
not to hear that first ecstatic
call of a mourning dove
welcoming the sunrise.


What makes you smile, brings you joy and laughter, ignites your spirit, and gives you the goosies? Make these a priority and create a personal intention around these ideas.

❦ An inner smile radiates throughout my being, awakening all my positive qualities.

❦ Today I choose to live with gratitude for the LOVE that fills my heart, the PEACE that rests within my spirit, and the voice of HOPE that says all things are possible.

❦ Look through the lens of LOVE & POSSIBILITY! ❤️ What’s the best that can and will happen? 🙏🏻 “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” – Luke‬ ‭1:37‬ ‭AMPC

IMG_9481


 

Santosha 💜

SANTOSHA, the Sanskrit word for contentment, requires our willingness to enjoy exactly what each day brings and to be happy with whatever we have. We can easily practice santosha in the beautiful moments and joyous experiences of our lives. But true contentment means being equally willing to embrace difficult moments. Only when we can be content in the midst of difficulty can we be truly free. Only when we can remain open in the midst of pain do we understand what true openness is. In our relationships, when we accept those around us as they truly are, not as we want them to be, we are practicing santosha. ~ Adapted from Cultivate Your Connections by Judith Lasater

Enjoy a portion of a poem written for me by my husband.

She has santosha with the One True God
In full body worship
In constant course correction
All the way to shava

I love her for exactly who she is
For who she was and who she’s gonna be
Every new thing I come to learn about her
Is further proof she’s the only girl for me

Contentment is a mental decision, a moral choice, a spiritual discipline. Are you truly content today my friend? Let’s draw inward, explore, and seek true SANTOSHA. 💜

One of the most difficult aspects of SANTOSHA is being content in this present moment. Oftentimes when we experience boredom or loneliness we seek distractions from the emotional discomfort instead of exploring root causes. We crave something to occupy the mind or somebody to engage our personalities. As we grow in our yoga and spiritual practices, we are able to draw inward sooner, see our true self in the moment, connect to our spirit and Divine Source, and through acceptance and love we gently smooth out the rough edges and become our best self.

“Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our heart and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.” ~ Rolf Gates

“Change is not only inevitable, but is always happening. When you truly embrace this concept of change being constant, the only thing left to do is grow, detach, venture inwards, touch the spirit and find your Source — the one responsible for keeping you grounded through the ever-changing seasons of life.” ~ Julie Weiland

Shalom, the familiar Hebrew word for peace, does not refer to the absence of chaos but rather to an overall, deeply entrenched sense of harmony, health and wholeness in the midst of chaos. In fact, true peace is best detected and measured against the backdrop of commotion and confusion—when instability abounds, yet you remain steadfast; when disappointment and confusion are near, yet you’re still capable of walking with Spirit-infused confidence, stability and steadiness. ~ Priscilla Shirer


Soft Belly Breath Exercise

Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth a few times. Place one hand on your heart, and one hand on your belly. Then as you begin to breathe slowly and steadily through the nose, visualize inhaling into your belly receiving acceptance, contentment, love — and exhaling out through your heart giving it all away. Continue for a few minutes. The breath is the most important tool in yoga — it is the bridge between the body and the mind — it draws us inward and into the present moment.


The Soul of Yoga by Danna Faulds

What is the soul of yoga?
Follow your heart into the
center of the pose and find
in the midst of detail and
precision, in breath, alignment,
balance, bliss, fear and sadness —
at the very core of all of this
is love. Touch upon your
truest nature even once and
the experience of what you
really are sears the psyche
like the surface of the sun.
The soul of yoga, the gift
within the pose is the
moment of communion,
resting in pure essence,
the awakening as if from
sleep to the face of
unmistakable divinity;
the ineffable wonder and
living reality of spirit — oh,
yes — the soul of yoga is love.


May you experience SANTOSHA, true contentment, no matter your circumstance or season of life. Rest and trust in the Divinity deep within.

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” ~ John 14:27 NLT

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi — Peace, Peace, Peace 💜

IMG_9359

 

Be Still.

Be still and know that I AM God. ~ Psalm 46:10
Be still and know I AM.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be.

Our intention this week is to explore MEDITATION. In the classical yoga tradition, asana yoga is practiced as a preparation for seated meditation. Yoga Nidra, Restorative, and Yin Yoga are also wonderful meditative practices. What exactly is meditation? The definition is “to think deeply or focus for a time for spiritual purposes or to relax. To think deeply or carefully about something.” Whatever we think deeply or carefully about becomes what we meditate on. What fills your mind, my friend? The Hebrew word for meditate is DOMAH, and is literally translated as “to liken, compare, to make oneself like.” Whatever we meditate on, think deeply about, is what we become like. The more we sit with our thoughts, the more likely we are to act on them. Are we carefully and deliberately choosing what we meditate on? I choose to meditate on pure, positive, present thoughts, connecting with the Peace within me. What’s the best that can, and will happen? ❤️


Meditation 101
By: Claudia Cummins

To give meditation a try, sit comfortably, set a timer for 10 minutes, and explore one of the following strategies. And consider yourself forewarned: Meditation is a delightfully simple practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!

Just Sit: Commit to doing nothing more than sitting quietly and watching what happens. Don’t pick up the phone, don’t answer the doorbell, don’t add another item to your to-do list. Just sit and observe the thoughts that arise and pass through your mind. You will likely be surprised by how difficult it is to sit quietly for 10 minutes. In the process, though, you may learn something important about the qualities of the restless mind and the ever-changing nature of life.

Listen to the Sounds of Life: Close your eyes and tune in to the sounds percolating both within and around you. Open your ears and adopt a receptive attitude. At first, you’ll likely hear only the most obvious noises, but over time, you’ll discover new layers of sounds that you had previously tuned out. Challenge yourself to observe what you hear without clinging to it or resisting it. Notice how the world feels more alive as your awareness of the present deepens.

Practice Bare Attention: Notice the raw sensations of the present moment—feelings of warmth and coolness, hardness and softness, pressure and ease. Which parts of your body are in contact with the earth? How does the shape of the body shift with each inhalation and exhalation? How does your experience change over time? Cultivating an awareness of the present moment will foster a more serene and attentive mind, one that is able to settle into the here and now.

Follow the Breath: Attach your mind to the breath. While you’re breathing in, note that you’re breathing in, and while you’re breathing out, focus on the exhalation. Don’t manipulate the breath in any way; simply watch it with your mind’s eye, just as you would follow a tennis ball bouncing from one side of the court to the other during a particularly engrossing match. When you find that your mind has strayed, as it inevitably will, gently refocus it on the breath and begin again.

Use a Mantra: Choose a favorite word, phrase, prayer, or fragment of a poem, and repeat it slowly and softly. Let its rhythm and meaning lull you into a quiet, contemplative state of ease. When you notice that your mind has wandered off to other thoughts, simply redirect it back toward the words you’ve chosen as your touchstone and rededicate your awareness to them.

Practice Kindness: As you sit quietly, focus your inner attention on someone you know who might benefit from an extra dose of kindness and care. In your mind’s eye, send this person love, happiness, and well-being. Soften your skin, open the floodgates of your heart, and let gentle goodwill pour forth.


The Weaver and the Loom, by Danna Faulds

Sit here for a bit. Place yourself
outside the frenzied pace of life.
Slow down long enough to
appreciate birds in flight, water
drops like prisms in the grass and
countless shades of green. Step
off the fast track and listen to the
sound of breath and birdsong. Take
a moment to just be, and in the being,
know the whole of this creation,
mystery and madness, passion and
profanity, know it all as one, stunning
tapestry. Sit still and the thin line
between sacred and profane simply
fades away. There is nothing then
to reconcile. All the disparate threads
are woven on the loom of life. Sit here
for a bit and your unique place in the
pattern becomes clear. Take the still
point with you when it’s time to walk
away. Make the choice to see affinity,
to watch the picture taking shape as
thread joins thread. Dare to be the
weaver and the loom, creator and
creation, the sower and the sown.
In a moment of stillness, all that
came before is seen as one.


“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” ~ Philippians 4:8-9, The Message


May you incorporate some new meditative practices into your busy life this week. Begin to crave the calm connection — just be. “Show up for what’s up, so it won’t keep showing up! When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender some more. Be the humble witness of what will unfold.” ~ Gabby Bernstein

What’s the best that can, and will happen? ❤️

IMG_9466

“May my meditation be sweet to Him.” ~ Pslam 104:34 NKJV