StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Feel the Warmth of the Sunshine Blogger Award!

 

May you feel the healing rays of sunshine illuminating your mind.

May you smile and laugh with the sun in your heart.

May your weekend include some special moments with shiny happy people!

May you feel the warmth of the Sunshine Blogger Award!

 

Thank you so much, Andrea, of The Hummingbird’s Journal Blog, for nominating the StarFire Teja Blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Andrea, I understand you were nominated by Julie Krupp (of the Blog, Julie Krupp: Enhanced Perspective), who said, “The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition for bloggers that inspire positivity and joy. The Rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you; Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you; nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions; list the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post or on your blog.”

Since reading your post, “The Sunshine Blogger Award,” I have read several other bloggers’ posts from when they received this award, and the image that came to me was of the R.E.M. song “Shiny Happy People,” so I just watched that video before sitting down to type this post. (If you’re ever feeling grumpy, watch that video and you’ll feel better!)

Each of us is approaching the task of this Sunshine Blogger Award post uniquely, and yet there is a common unifying thread among the posts, which is the spreading of happy sunshine throughout the blogosphere! I am grateful to be part of this sunshine spreading, although I confess that I’m not much of a rule follower. I even regularly break the rules I make for myself! So I won’t be following all the rules exactly, but my intention is to help you happy up through reading this post.

In my life right now I am working on several creative projects simultaneously. While revising my next book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I am still blogging occasionally (which has kinda turned into more than occasionally), plus planning to lead healing circles again soon, volunteering for hospice, and visioning an online ministry in which I will offer spiritual care support sessions to the dying and their families via video calls. So, it is really challenging for me to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress Blogs… which means that I only follow a few blogs, and the ones I would nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award have already been nominated…

So, I spent some time searching on WordPress for some new blogs to follow… This was challenging for me because for one thing my computer is really old and slow… and also I am rather particular. Because I am an HSP (highly sensitive person), a blog has to be very pleasing to my eyes and calming to my system for me to be able to read it. When blogs are too flashy and there’s too much going on visually, my nervous system flips out. And, I am committed to reducing the suffering of the animals, so if a blog has anything about eating meat, I can’t support it…

So! After an hour of tedious searching, I found a blog that felt really good to me energetically. It was called “Sacred Touches” and I loved the black background with the bright sunflower. It was so simple and artistic, and while scrolling through it I really liked Natalie’s vibe… and then, I saw the post called “My mom Natalie,” and my heart just sunk. I knew immediately that Natalie had died… and sure enough, the post was written by her daughter, nine days after her mom had passed away.

I do not believe in “coincidences.” Here I am, volunteering for hospice, sitting with dying patients and their families, and reading book after book on death and dying. (Currently reading Grave Matters: A Journey Through The Modern Funeral Industry to A Natural Way of Burial.) And after an hour of searching I finally found a pleasing blog… whose creator just left this earthly plane on April 8th.

After bowing to Natalie’s beautiful, artistic spirit, I continued searching, and I came upon a blog created by happy shiny people. So I am nominating Lee and Jane of the beach house kitchen blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award. They look like some seriously positive, good vibes people who I would love to meet someday, and I’m looking forward to getting to know their blog and recipes!
I hope you will check them out also!

Jane and Lee, you look like you are quite busy peeps, so I will only ask you 4 questions (and then I will answer the 11 questions to me from Andrea).

1. What is your favorite place on Earth?

2. Which of the 5 elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Space) do you feel most drawn to?

3. Do you have any daily spiritual practices that nourish you?

4. What are your favorite healing stones and crystals?

 

Lastly, I’ll answer the questions from Andrea

Sunshine_Blogger_Award_StarFireTeja

1. What is one of your life dreams/goals? ~ To spend three weeks enjoying “My Dream Vacay in Sedona, Arizona.”

2. Who do you look up to? ~ So many! I could really get carried away here, but I’ll just limit myself to Oprah, and to my current hero, Thich Nhat Hanh.

3. What is your favorite color? ~ It is a tie between Orange and Red… and then I love accents of bright emerald green, violet purple, and gold!

4. What is your favorite writing-related memory? ~ I can’t say that I have a favorite one… there have been so many since I’ve been writing for so long. I am really enjoying writing the next book; it is definitely my favorite so far. And my favorite blog post is “Into the Fire.”

5. Where do you find inspiration? ~ In trees, birds, sunshine, coffee, good conversations, books, online articles, Facebook and Instagram posts, and so on.

6. What do you love the most about blogging? ~ I love being able to help others while being creative at the same time. I have so much to share, after decades of studying and practicing, that my binder with ideas is swelling! I look forward to helping you happy up your life through many blog posts to come!

7. What’s one thing that keeps you motivated? ~ I almost typed “coffee” but then I thought if I can only say “one” thing, then I’ll have to say my awesome sons. They are the bright spots in my life. They keep me going, keep me inspired, and keep me real. (They are 19 and almost 22.)

8. Dogs or cats? ~ At the heart and soul levels, I love all animals, and my compassion for them is so deep that I do not eat any animal products, and I choose to not have pets. Growing up on a small farm, we had many cats, and one time we had a dog briefly but he was kinda wild and ran away. We also had chickens, rabbits, goats, and sheep, and I loved them all. My favorite animals are elephants, bears, and cows. I also really adore all birds (especially crows), as well as bees and butterflies.

9. What’s your favorite holiday? ~ I love all the holidays so much, so this is a tough one, but I’m going to go with Christmas. I just really delight in getting out all the sparkly red and green decorations the day after Thanksgiving, and it’s usually late February before I can bear to pack them away again!

10. What’s one thing you can’t live without? ~ Chanting… Every day, for the past fifteen years, I’ve been singing along with chanting CDs, mostly by Krishna Das, and I love that practice so much. (Coffee is definitely a close second here!)

11. Who is your favorite writer? ~ Even though I do a lot of reading, I don’t have a favorite writer. Back in the day when I used to read fiction, I loved Isabel Allende, but for the past couple of decades I’ve been more into studying spiritual teachings, and I can’t say that I have a favorite writer. Although I do like Deepak Chopra…

Well I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my version of the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Thanks again, Andrea, for nominating me!

 

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering
May All Beings Be Happy

 

 

 

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Double Coffee Days Ahead

Are you in need of some special sanctuary time? If yes, you will benefit from reading my upcoming book…

I have decided to continue blogging regularly while writing Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, so it is going to be double coffee days ahead for me!

Do you drink coffee? Did you know it has many healing benefits? Packed with health-giving antioxidants, coffee also has a peculiar way of connecting us with positivity and with unity consciousness. Read more in my previous article, “Coffee is Good Medicine.”

My new book, Reaching for Orange, will begin with a letter from me to you. I am sharing that letter below to spark your interest and to ask for support. If the following letter resonates with you, please consider donating to my work, by simply clicking here: Donate. I will be so very grateful for the support.

 

Dear You,

My new book, Reaching for Orange, is for ~

~ people who work with traumatized populations such as teachers who work with traumatized children; social workers who work with trauma; advocates who work with abused women; therapists who work with wounded people; doctors; nurses; medical assistants; those who respond to emergencies, natural disasters, and crimes; and those who work with prisoners and veterans…

~ people who are agonizing over what is happening to this sacred planet Earth and to the animals and to the abused children, and so on…

~ people who are highly sensitive persons (HSPs) and are struggling to survive in the workplace that is not suited to their sensitivities, and people who are non-HSPs, who are stressed and burnt out in their jobs, and/or are experiencing disharmony with their co-workers…

~ people who are caring for the dying: as caregivers, family members, social workers, chaplains, nurses, aides, and doctors…

~ and anyone else who needs a special sanctuary where they can nourish themselves deeply… a place where they can connect with the Divine Source of healing energies.

This book, Reaching for Orange, is that sanctuary.

It is your special holy place… a place for you to learn, to reflect, and to go deep inside your own being. Letting go of the outside world for a while…

Bringing crayons, markers, colored pencils, jewel stickers… whatever you like to decorate with… Blank pages are included throughout this very special book… for your unique explorations… You are invited to write, draw, and have fun in this book. You could even glue photos or magazine images onto the blank pages…

This book is 100% for you… for your healing, for your replenishment, for your happiness.

After an explanation of Orange, this entire book is filled with practices, visualizations, and blessings to help you Happy Up your life.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy.

With Much Love,
Teja

 

Please help to support this work by clicking here: Donate.
Thank you so very much!

StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Embrace Change

 

May you see the Consciousness moving through everything.

May you feel how all things are connected.

May your weekend be blessed with understanding and simple joys.

May you embrace change.

 

The winds of change are rocking the planet, both literally and metaphorically. Both can be upsetting to the nervous system, especially for highly sensitive persons (HSPs). But even if you aren’t highly sensitive, the physical wind outside can be a force that rattles the nerves. Does the wind ever bother you?

If the wind bothers you, it can help to re-frame your thoughts about it. Instead of thinking of the wind as irritating, try thinking of it as exciting. It is a natural force that has the power to move energy from place to place. It’s about change. And change can be exciting.

Change is the nature of life on Earth, and it has always been constant, but lately the times seem to be changing at a faster pace. When change feels scary or unsettling, it can help to focus on your feet, and to focus on the ground beneath your feet. Breathing down into your feet, which are the farthest away from your brain, can help to calm your nerves.

This next week we will change to a new season, and shortly after that we will complete the first quarter of 2019. So it is a good time to take a look at the goals you set for the year. Are you living in alignment with those goals, or do you need to make some changes in your trajectory?

 

May All Beings Know Deep Peace.

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/MSFC

StarFire Teja’s Guided Imagery for Highly Sensitive Persons

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? Or do you know any Highly Sensitive Persons? You can read a list of signs of highly sensitive persons on this wonderful website called Highly Sensitive Refuge here: “21 Signs That You’re a Highly Sensitive Person.”

About 15-20% of people are Highly Sensitive Persons, “HSPs,” and Dr. Elain Aron, an HSP herself and author of the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, developed a quiz you can take to find out if you are an HSP. Take the quiz here: Highly Sensitive Test, and if you have a child who you suspect is an HSP, you can take a quiz for your child here: Highly Sensitive Child Test.

If you are not an HSP yourself, reading up on this topic (at the links above) could help you to be a blessing to someone. If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who is an HSP, you can help to ease their burdens by simply communicating to them that you have some knowledge and understanding of how difficult life can be for them.

A few years ago, I finally took the online quiz to see if I really was an HSP, even though I already knew I was, and oh my gosh I was off-the-charts, saying yes to pretty much every question! I saw it as a handicap, as something very negative and almost debilitating. So I googled and felt uplifted by reading about all these HSPs who are learning to harness the goodness in their sensitivities so that they can thrive in the world. I also read that many HSPs feel continually assaulted by being in the world, which is something I can very much relate to. Even as I am typing this blog, my nervous system is very rattled because some work is being done on our block that it is shaking the house, and that is making it difficult for me to think clearly.

HSPs are extremely sensitive to pretty much everything in their environment, which pretty much makes everything feel challenging! For me, it seems to be getting worse as I get older. To be honest, I have struggled very much for the past ten years with trying to figure out how to make life in the earthly realm more bearable. Today is my 49th Birthday, and I share the same birthday as Oprah and Mooji. I am so inspired by all the great work they are doing in the world, and I really deeply yearn to be like them and to shine my big fire out into the world. I haven’t yet figured out how to do that, but I keep trying. I can’t help but say, “It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to,” but actually I don’t really want to cry! HSP’s tend to cry very easily, and that has been a problem for me ever since I was a young child. Sometimes I cannot get control over the crying and it completely exhausts my system. If you are an HSP, you can probably relate to that.

As I said, I don’t really want to cry. What I do want is to figure out how to use my bright intelligence and beautiful sensitivities to be helpful to others. That is why I am writing these blogs, because I want to be helpful. Through my struggles to master living in this earthly realm with greater ease, I have been blessed to learn many helpful tools and practices, which I now share with others. One tool that has helped me greatly is harnessing the power of visualizations. Below I offer you some guided imagery for highly sensitive persons. May it be helpful to you or to someone you know…

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering. May All Beings Be Happy!

 

And so… beginning to settle in… and beginning to settle down… breathing down your spine… settling deeper into your mind… and deeper into the center of your being… drifting down… deeper and deeper into your center… settling in to your inner world… with effortless relaxation flowing, from your head, down to your toes… becoming more and more centered… letting things pass through… feeling how everything can just pass through… really letting things through… being centered… and open… soothing your nervous system with compassion and kindness… developing inner strengths… and imagining walking slowly through a forest… deeply inhaling the scent of pine… enjoying the vibrant green leaves… hearing birds calling to each other in the tree branches above… relaxing even more deeply now…

… and feeling how energetic sensitivity is controlled with an old-fashioned radio dial… changing the station… so, focusing on something else… letting go of identification with sensitivities… re-identifying as a very centered person… clear, good boundaries with yourself… centering… opening… changing the channel… focusing on things that feel good… warm sunshine… birds flying… flowers and trees… helping others… family and friends… singing to God… feeling goodness in the center of your being…

… and knowing that feeling overwhelmed starts in your mind… and you can change your mind… and limiting your life starts in your mind… and you can change your mind… your Deeper Mind knows that everything always works out perfectly… and from this moment forward, your conscious mind also knows that everything always works out perfectly… and your Deeper Mind also knows that you always do each thing at just the right time… and from this moment forward, your conscious mind also knows that you always do each thing at just the right time…

… listening deeply to what needs to happen when… and knowing when to stretch the edges a little… knowing you are strong, vibrant, grounded, and healthy… and you are savvy and capable… listening deeply to what needs to happen when… and accepting it when you need to pause and rest and integrate… centered, open, accepting… with great kindness towards yourself… being in love with yourself and all of Life… realizing that the Love Blueprint of your Deeper Mind is now imprinting on your conscious mind… and you are now being activated to open to the Infinite Possibilities all around you…

… releasing any old stories… and knowing that there are many ways of feeling deep connection with self and others… managing your highly sensitive nature… using these abilities to realize your highly sensitive success… emotionally healthy and resourceful… your brain can easily tap into higher vibration energies to help self and others… you are coded to be sensitive to those that need your help… establishing an energy of enthusiasm…

… activating, aligning, and accelerating your passion… embodying powerful inner and outer steps to putting yourself in a constant state of a productive, purpose-filled life… activating wisdom at the cellular level… increasing your self-love… activating the skill of managing your energy… working with your highly sensitive nature and abilities… feeling sensations neutrally as they pass through… living a fulfilling life of joy, peace, energy, and balance… thriving as yourself, living in the world… and connecting out with every star in the sky, while also feeling grounded on the earth… and placing one hand on your heart… and the other hand on your belly… feeling the warm healing energies going from your hands into your heart and belly… feeling gratitude for your strengths… and now returning to the outer world, feeling centered, refreshed, and energized…

 

StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara

Radiance & Darkness

Opposing forces can be simultaneously true within a human being. We are complex creatures, capable of extraordinary phenomena. One of my dearest spiritual teachers, David La Chapelle (who departed from this earthly realm in July 2009), taught that if a person had the capacity for a lot of hope, then that usually meant that they also had the capacity for a lot of despair. Opposites tend to exist simultaneously within a person. To figure out your primary pair of opposing forces, just think about a quality that you often experience, such as excitement, faith, or contentment. Then look at that quality’s polar opposite, such as melancholy, doubt, or restlessness. Can you see how you embody both of those polarities?

For me this concept plays out in the forms of Radiance & Darkness. When I am feeling the happiness of the Spiritual Life, I tend to beam it out in all directions, to many beings, in a Radiance that many people see and comment on. For example, someone might say to me, “Your smile lights up the room.” But the flip side of all my brightness is a tendency to spiral down into dark, negative thoughts. In my darkness, it’s pretty dark. As a highly sensitive person, I experience all of my emotions deeply, including the not-so-fun ones. Fortunately, I have learned many tools for working skillfully with the darkness, such as harnessing the positive powers of my inner coach. Using positive self-talk, I know how to guide my thoughts into a more elevated direction.

At the beginning of my new book, which is a new version of an ancient story from India, I offer a section called “Radiance Rising” in which I share an extensive list of spiritual practices that will help you to work skillfully with any opposing forces within you. To order your copy today, simply click on the book’s title here:
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes