Half-Way Through 2019: Goals Review Time!

Hello Dear Readers!

Can you even believe that we are already half-way through this year? And how is it going with the goals you set for 2019?

On January 1st, I set these goals for the New Year:

To be Happy, Healthy, Holy, Hopeful, and Helpful.

I actually did not try to make them all begin with the letter “H”… Those goals just came to me spontaneously, in that order, and they all just happened to begin with H… So here is my check-in about how my goals are going:

Happy: As the image with this post says, “I ❤ Happiness.” Years ago I bought a bunch of organic bananas that had a little oval sticker with that quote. I still have that tiny sticker, but it is too small to photograph, so I made this image… I recently suggested to WordPress that they include the featured photo in the emails, but since that isn’t happening yet, I’m attaching the image here again for those who are viewing this post by email…

IHeartHappiness_StarFireTeja

Anyhow, I would say that overall I am feeling much happier in 2019. It is a choice to be happy, and I definitely choose happiness… AND I do practices to keep happy-ing up, and when those practices are effective I write about them in blog posts and books to help you happy up also!

Healthy: Well, physically I look very healthy, and I do eat an organic, whole foods plant-based, gluten-free diet, as well as exercise and take care of my health on all levels… AND, for decades I have dealt with many strange ailments and aches and pains that come and go and move around. My symptoms lately seem like perhaps a Fibromyalgia flare-up, so soon I will be finding a new doctor to get evaluated… Thankfully, all of the practices that I do to happy up also help me to manage my emotional reactions to not feeling well physically. And, fortunately I have good days as well as bad days, so I am very grateful for the good days!

Holy: For many years on my spiritual journey, I straddled two worlds… In one world I wanted to be a nun, and in the other world I wanted to find prince charming. (Please read my favorite blog post ever about how I no longer have that desire for a partner: “Into the Fire.”) Now that I am just living in the one world as a nun, married to God and the Spiritual Life, I am relieved to no longer be searching for an earthly guy… AND, I’m still learning a lot about desires and attachments in the earthly realm! Just because I freed myself of one desire, did not mean that I freed myself of all desires! So even though I am doing many daily spiritual practices, I would not describe myself as being entirely pure and holy. I am doing my best and I am always challenging myself to grow more!

Hopeful: Recently I discovered a new hero, Thich Nhat Hanh, and I read his awesome book, Peace is Every Step, which I will be reviewing in a blog post soon. In that book he talks about how hope is necessary when we are having a hard time because it helps us to get through the difficulties… but then once we get through the challenges, hope is not enough for true happiness, because hope is for the future, whereas happiness is to be found in the present moment. That really resonated as truth for me, and I reflected on how I had set “Hopeful” as one of my 2019 goals because I was still living in what I call my decade of hardships (which began in March, 2009)… And so the first few months of 2019 I was struggling to keep hope alive in my mind and heart… But thankfully, in the past few months there has been a shift into feeling hopeful most of the time… So I think I can check this one off, and move on to living in the happy present moment!

Helpful: Due to the health issues mentioned above, I am not able to do all that I would like to do in terms of helping others… But, I am proud to say that this year I trained with a local hospice and I have been going out to visit with dying patients and their families. And I have been posting helpful blog articles… And I am getting ready to publish my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. (For more information, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”)… So, I am being helpful in the ways that I can…

Thank you for reading my 2019 Goals Review!

How about you… How is it going with your goals for the year?

 

Happy Half-Way Through 2019 to Everyone!

 

 

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StarFire Teja’s Updated Mission Statement Video

Hello dear readers!

June has been a very productive month for me. At the moment I am in the final stages of preparing to publish my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. While finishing up the book, I have also been working on the preparations for launching the book, such as writing a press release, updating my biography, and so on.

Today I updated my mission statement video. I am attaching it here for your viewing, and I am copying the text below the video. It is only 1.5 minutes, and my intention is that you feel happy, healing vibrations coming through the spoken words. May this video happy up your day!

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Statement

My name is Teja Shankara and I am a spiritual helper. My mission is to help elevate the human species to happier and healthier vibrations. So, I share spiritual practices with people of all faiths.

The ancient sages of India taught the same thing that Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within,” which means that the Divine Source of healing energies is inside each of us. When we do spiritual practices, we make contact with that Source of all Love, and then we feel really happy, and we share that happiness with others.

You will learn many ways to practice happiness by following my blog at starfireteja dot wordpress dot com.

And, my new book is all about you. I wrote this book for your healing, your replenishment, your happiness. So please check it out ~ it’s called Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life*.

Thank you for listening.

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

* To learn more about Reaching for Orange, please read my post “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

How Do You Define Blessings?

Happy “SUN” day dear readers!

Just a short little post to share a quote from my next book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life:

“Blessings can be vibrant transmissions of living consciousness.”

I also want to share something amazing that happened yesterday. After I had already selected this sunshine photo for today’s post, Andrea of The Hummingbird Journal’s Blog nominated me for “The Sunshine Blogger Award.”
I will be writing a post for that soon! 🙂

How do you define blessings?

 

Sunshine photo from pexels.