Three Hours Left

Dear readers, the intention of this post is not to induce fear, but rather to impart feelings of awe, appreciation, positivity, connectivity, and rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

Imagine that we humans discovered that in three hours time, some natural force was going to cause planet Earth to explode and entirely disintegrate.

What were your first thoughts when you read that?

When I imagine that there are only three hours left, my first thoughts go towards trying to grok what would happen to everything and everyone… Where would all of our souls go? What would happen to all the memories and experiences and energies?

All of the stories would just be done. All of the histories, cultures, art, music, inventions, and creations would be gone. It is mind-blowing to even consider the ramifications of such an explosion. All of the mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts, canyons, forests, flowers, birds, butterflies, cows, and bears would be gone. And what would happen next?

After considering all of that, my next thoughts go towards deciding how to spend the last three hours. I decided I would spend the first hour calling loved ones and saying good-byes, and the last two hours praying and chanting (singing sacred mantras). My intention would be to die consciously while feeling connected to the Divine Source. To me, that would be the ultimate Surrender to God. I am not sure what happens to us after we die, but I know that when I am singing spiritual songs, I feel connected with Something Greater, and I feel calmed by that Force from beyond this realm. So, I feel that chanting at the time of death would be a way to die peacefully.

I began chanting as a daily spiritual practice more than fifteen years ago. I usually sing along with CDs by my favorite chant artist, Krishna Das. One day in 2008, I was evaluating my priorities in life, and I suddenly found myself saying out loud, “I want to live inside the chant.” Well, at that time my sons were 8 and 11, and I was busy with many worldly responsibilities, so it was not possible to live inside the chant all the time!

Now I’m in a new nun phase, but still there are many things to do each day beyond chanting. So when I think about my priorities if there were three hours left, versus what is happening in my life now, it makes me wonder if I could somehow commit to chanting more each day… But, then I also think that if you knew you were about to die, and you wanted to die a peaceful, conscious death, then of course you would drop everything and just focus on that. Whereas, if you are still in the midst of full-on living, you can’t just drop everything and do your top passion all the time.

What do you think about all that? What would you do if there were only three hours left, and how would those priorities line up with how you live your daily life now?

I hope this post inspires you to feel awe and appreciation for this sacred planet Earth, as well as rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

May you feel positively connected to everyone and everything!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

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What Kind of Yoga Do You Practice?

When you hear the word yoga, do you think of the physical poses practiced on yoga mats?

Many people only think of yoga as being the asanas, the postures done for health and relaxation, but yoga encompasses much more than just stretching the body. There are actually many ways to practice yoga.

The word yoga means “union” and so the goal of the yogic practices done by a yogi (male) or yogini (female) is to achieve a state of union with divine consciousness. Depending on your beliefs, you may call that consciousness God, Goddess, Divine Love, Nature, the Universe, or many other names. In the yoga tradition it is believed that your deepest self is connected with that divine consciousness, so when you do yogic practices you feel that union inside yourself.

I began spiritual practices on the yogic path more than fifteen years ago, and while I have occasionally attended yoga classes, the physical postures generally do not work for my body. So I have gravitated towards other kinds of yoga. I practice the yoga of the mind, the yoga of the heart, and the yoga of the soul…

Yoga of the mind ~ Since I tend to orient towards mental activities, like reading and writing, this yoga is a good fit for me. I regularly study spiritual teachings and sit daily in meditation.

Yoga of the heart ~ This is my favorite kind of yoga! It is called bhakti yoga, which means the yoga of love and devotion, and the main practice is chanting. The sacred singing opens the heart and the yoga of sound harmonizes the energies. I chant every day! My favorite chant artist is Krishna Das.

Yoga of the soul ~ There are many ways to practice soul yoga, which you will enjoy reading about in my new book coming soon… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life*… One way is to cultivate the witness consciousness in which you watch yourself closely and learn to not get so caught up in the difficulties of life. Another way is to send healing energies out wherever they are needed, for healing and for peace. Sending love to others connects us with our own deepest selves, which are ultimately pure love energies.

So, what kind of yoga do you practice? What helps you to feel connected with your deepest self?

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this post.
May your days be happier and happier!

 

*This weekend I did get the new book uploaded and published successfully. Now I am waiting to receive the proof copy, and once I approve it, Reaching for Orange will be available for you to order!

 

Sunset image by Geralt on Pixabay.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Oh the Juicy Joy!

One day last week I was sitting on my meditation cushion, singing along with a chant by Krishna Das (“Prema Chalisa” on his CD Trust in the Heart), and I glanced over at my new journal cover, which I had previously felt lukewarm about… But in that moment while singing and staring at my journal cover (that I decorated myself), I felt myself falling in love with it… And suddenly I realized that the hummingbird is sipping from a closed flower. Oh, the symbolism!

We each have beautiful, positive, healing nectar inside us, even when we are feeling closed! And… when the flower opens… Oh the juicy joy!

Today I am definitely feeling my flower-self opening. I am in a celebratory mood because this morning I finished writing the first draft of my next book Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. Tomorrow I will begin the happy revising process! (To learn more about this next book, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”)

While focusing intently on finishing this book I am only blogging occasionally, but I tell you what, my binder in which I keep blog post ideas is swelling. So many inspirations are coming that I’m about to burst… I can hardly wait to get back to regular blogging!

Next up will be a post about the Sunshine Blogger Award… 🙂

Sunshine_Blogger_Award_StarFireTeja

 

 

 

 

My Dream Vacay in Sedona, Arizona

Do you have a dream vacation spot? If so, is it someplace new, or have you visited it before?

Some say that the art of manifesting intentions works best when we are very specific, so a few days ago I made a detailed list of everything I want in life. I filled an entire page!

Later that evening I realized that I had “forgotten” to include travel on my list. The only place I put was Sedona! I wrote that I would like to go on my dream vacay trip to Sedona, Arizona for at least one week, but ideally for three weeks, and then I would like to visit there often and perhaps move there sometime.

So that list helped me to understand that traveling the world is not a priority for me in this phase of my life. Rather, I feel inspired to lead healing circles locally.

Have you ever visited Sedona, Arizona? The theme of that city is “the most beautiful place on Earth” and that is exactly what I have believed each of the three brief times I got to visit that amazing place. I hope to go on my dream vacay trip to Sedona someday! Below I will share the details for my fantasy trip, because when you readers witness this, it will give it more power and help this vacay to become a reality, sooner rather than later.

Please share about your dream vacay down below where it says “Leave a Reply.”

 

StarFire Teja’s Dream Vacay in Sedona ~

~ Fly into Flagstaff, rent a car (Wow, they’re giving me a bright orange Volkswagen Bug!)… make the beautiful 45-minute drive down to Sedona, while chanting along with my favorite Krishna Das CDs.

~ Stay in a beautiful, quiet place.

~ Eat most (or all) meals at ChocolaTree. They have lots of wonderful, delicious options for my plant-based, gluten-free, peanut-free diet. Every time I visit ChocolaTree, I feel super high on the elevated love vibrations there. ChocolaTree is almost like one of the vortexes!

~ Daily barefoot hikes at the vortexes. My favorite is Boynton Canyon. I also love Red Rock Crossing (Cathedral Rock), Mesa Airport, and Bell Rock. While hiking: enjoying prayers, meditations on the Holy Red Rocks, chanting (singing) mantras to God, and eating dark chocolate as necessary!

~ Drive to Clarkdale and take the train trip with the Verde Canyon Railroad.

~ Attend the Sedona Star Gazing Tour.

~ Attend the UFO Vortex Tour.

~ Enjoy a Soundwave Journey Session with Valerie Sanjali Irons.

~ Enjoy a session (bodywork along with emotional and shamanic healing) with Amalia Camateros of Earth Spirit Wisdom.

~ Visit the crystal shops.

~ Attend any kirtans happening. (Ask Valerie Sanjali Irons of Bhakti Tribe Sedona for the schedule.)

 

Just thinking about this dream vacay raises me up to the Highest Love Vibrations!!!

So now, tell me about your dream vacay…

 

Photo credit: Darryl Brian on Unsplash