A Celebration of You

Have you been to a Celebration of Life service recently? Or ever?

“Celebration of Life” is a term being used instead of funeral or memorial service, and some people with life-limiting illnesses are opting to have this celebration before they die, so that they can be present at their own service! Have you heard of this practice already?

In my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I share a few writing exercises to help you explore the topic of death. Death meditations are practiced in many spiritual traditions, because they actually help people to live more fully in the present moment. Contemplating death can help you to keep your problems in perspective and to prioritize so that you keep focusing on what is most important to you in life.

Here is another writing exercise that can serve as a form of death meditation:

First write what you would want people to read, written by you, at the Celebration of your life. Then write what you would like to hear others say about you. Finally, reflect: Are you living up to what you would like to hear said about you? If not, do you need to set some doable goals towards being the You who you want to be?

After writing your answers, spend some time out in the trees, or if that’s not possible, then look at some photos of trees… While tuning in to the energies of the trees, contemplate what you wrote. Notice what arises in your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations… Lastly, place one hand on your heart, and the other hand on your belly. While feeling your loving touch, take a few slow breaths, and savor feelings of self-love. Conclude your personal mini Celebration of You in some way that feels precious and meaningful to you.

I hope this exercise is beneficial to you or to someone you love.

Please feel free to share your experiences with me here…

With a spirit of celebration for life,
Sister Teja

 

Photo by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash.

 

Teja’s Virtual Book Launch Week! ~ Reaching for Orange!

Happy Monday, Dear Reader…

Welcome to Virtual Book Launch Week for my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life… Now Available for Order on Lulu! (It will be several more weeks until it will be available on Amazon, and it will help me greatly if you will order now on Lulu!) ~ The Facebook Event is being rather glitchy, but I am persevering!

Are you feeling depleted, stressed, or overwhelmed? Are you feeling burnt out or experiencing disharmony with others? Are you upset about the current state of the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I wrote this book to be a healing sanctuary for you, and I really hope you enjoy it!

People typically reach outside themselves for happiness and healing. In Reaching for Orange I share tools for reaching inside to replenish yourself and to happy up your life. Through reading this book, you will learn practices to find relief from stress or difficult emotions passing through you, and ways to connect with the Divine Source of healing energies inside you.

From the back cover of Reaching for Orange:

“Reap the benefits of Sister Teja’s many years of daily practices, in-depth studies, and expensive workshops, in the comfort of wherever you are, for only ten dollars. This book was written for people of all faiths by a spiritual helper who is not ordained by any religion, but who is a self-proclaimed nun forging her own Shakahara StarFire Tribe. Teja Shankara is trained in relaxation techniques, guided imagery tools, energy healing, and meditation practices. She is excited to share and to be helpful. Teja prays that this book will help you to happy up your life!”

Please order your copy today! And after you order on Lulu, please leave a comment to let me know that you’ve ordered it… I am really looking forward to hearing about your experience with this book… And perhaps you will consider writing a review after you read it! That would be super awesome!

May you feel happier and happier, every day, in every way!

With Much Love,
Teja

ReachingForOrange_VirtualBookLaunches_StarFireTeja

 

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! (Later I added the ordering links: Reaching for Orange)

 

Sunset image by Geralt on Pixabay.

 

 

Spiritual Helper 101 = Tips for Being a Good Friend

As a spiritual helper, I really want to be helpful, so it is important to me that I avoid doing anything that might harm rather than help. However, I am not a saint, and despite my good intentions I sometimes make mistakes.

A few things happened recently that served as good reminders for me as a spiritual helper. I am sharing these reminders with you because they are also basic reminders for being a good friend ~

~ Do not give advice, even if they ask for advice. Instead, keep asking questions and guide them to find their own answers.

~ Do not give opinions or judgments. Instead, suggest that they sit quietly in meditation and listen for their own inner wisdom.

~ After listening and guiding them to find their own insights, you can ask if they would like any suggestions, such as ideas or practices that might help. If they say yes, you can share suggestions, and then ask if those ideas resonate with them.

Do these reminders resonate with you?

Thank you for reading this blog. I really hope the posts are helpful to you!

May All Beings Know Deep Peace.

 

Tree Meditation for Driving Madness

Crazy driving is not just for California anymore. Have you noticed an increase in aggressive driving where you live?

I am astounded by all of the speeding, running of red lights, and angry behaviors that I notice in other drivers. I have never understood getting so angry at a stranger who paused when the red light turned green. Perhaps she was distracted by something, or maybe her husband just died.

As I shared in my last post, “3 Ways to Transmute Anger into its Highest Vibrations,” anger can be detrimental to your health… So, if you drive often and you regularly get angry while driving, you are putting yourself at risk for many stress-related diseases. Starting now, commit to decreasing the anger that you feel when driving.

When you are driving, if you begin to feel angry, first cultivate the witness. Say to yourself, “some anger is passing through my system.” That will help you to bring some distance between yourself and the angry energy.

Next, visualize a tree. Choose a tree that is rather large and has a firm, sturdy trunk. See that tree in your mind’s eye, and think about how calm and strong that tree is… Also contemplate how patient and forgiving the tree is… Even if you cut down part of that tree, the rest of the tree will still give you shade… And no matter how badly you behave, that tree will still let you walk under it or sit against its trunk.

As you continue driving along, be strong and calm like your tree. Be patient and forgiving with the other drivers. When they make mistakes, think to yourself, “I wonder what kind of day he’s having? I wonder if he’s upset about something?” Cultivate these kind of compassionate thoughts as you drive.

There is rarely (if ever) a reason to get so angry driving that you raise your cortisol and put your health at risk. So… slow down, breathe, and do your tree meditation!

I hope this article was helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Drivers Be Calm!
May All Drivers Be Healthy!