Week 4 ~ developing spiritual strength

 

What if all of the qualities and abilities needed to create sacred relationships are already within you?

 
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Developing spiritual strength allows us to access more of the life force, loving energy that animates us, providing us with tremendous grace as we heal old wounds, and forge new and sacred relationships with ourselves, others, and the natural world. 

Much of the subtle work of transformation happens for us as we grow in spiritual strength, as lower vibrational patterns of thinking and behaviour begin to naturally fall away, and new heart aligned ways of being begin to integrate and activate in our hearts. Practically speaking, spiritual strength allows us to to be reflective without being judgemental, to hear people's suffering without being enveloped by it, and to grow in awareness of our connection to something sacred beyond our selves as we move through, serve and experience the circumstances of our lives.

Yogic traditions teach that spiritual practice is the method through which we grow in spiritual strength and radiance. There are of course nearly infinite ways in which we can do spiritual practice. The main and essential ingredient is that we consciously choose and maintain awareness that whatever it is we have chosen, is being done as spiritual practice.

Personally, a morning and evening practice bookend my days, offering clarity and consistency to my practice. Additionally, we can choose to design our lives in ways that favour spiritual development, by scheduling in experiences, just like our painting class, that provide a regular space for inward contemplation and connection.

Below are a few options that you might consider adopting for your morning or evening practice...

  • silent or guided meditation
  • smudge ceremony or divine light invocation
  • chanting
  • spiritual study/reading
  • yoga (asanas)
  • pranayama (breathing exercises)
  • OMing
  • walking in nature
  • sacred shower
  • movement/dance
  • sacred writing (i.e., morning pages - Julia Cameron)
  • lighting a candle
  • intention setting
  • prayer
  • setting a spirit plate
  • sitting at an alter (of your creative design)
  • japa mala/mantra

Below are a few options that you might consider adding as spiritual practice in your daily life...

  • service to others
  • yoga classes
  • painting as a spiritual practice (article on setting up your own creative space coming next week)
  • attending spiritual ceremony
  • journalling
  • movement/dance
  • attend satsang
  • develop a spiritual community of friends
  • spiritual training
  • music

Once you have a chosen a practice or combination of practices you would like to incorporate, decide on a set amount of time that you will continue to repeat this practice before choosing another. In the words of one of my past meditation teachers, practice this for three months before deciding that a different practice might be more suitable, allowing your self to experience the shifts and new depths you are able to access through repetitive and consistent practice.

OM shanti shanti shanti      OM peace peace peace


 
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GUIDED Meditation


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Suggested Reading

From Protection & Boundaries, by Pixie Lighthorse...

  • You Are Magnificent - 11  
  • Want To Be Here - 15  
  • Heroic Journey - 39      
  • Ego Strength - 53  
  • Empathy Not Invasion - 79  
  • Faith In Dark Places - 95  
  • Grieving The Lost Child - 101
  • Soul Retrieval -103      
  • Filling Up When Depleted - 109  
  • Developing Ego Strength - 115

Writing Practice

In what spiritual/self care practices do I find lasting strength? What consistent commitment am I willing to make to do these practices? Be specific… date, time, frequency, etc.

You might also contemplate...

  • In what ways am I already a skilled and loving guardian for my spirit?
  • When I tune into my spirit in this moment, it is saying...
  • 'Developing spiritual strength'... what does this mean to me?
  • What causes me to gain or lose spiritual/psychic energy rapidly?
  • In what simple ways can I design my life to favour my spirit?
  • Who is someone in my life that emboldens my spirit? In what way?
  • Who is someone I admire? What qualities does they express that I wish to embody also? In what ways do I already embody these qualities? 
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Yoga Suggestions

 

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Breath of fire 

  • Prepare the mind for meditation
  • Cultivates a sense of calmness
  • Cleanses the body, heart and mind

(click here for full instructions)

 

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Warrior

  • Increases stamina
  • Teaches how to find ease within effort
  • Develops peace in the uncomfortable moments of life

(click here for full instructions)

 

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Plank

  • Builds willpower and determination
  • Draws vibrant energy from head through to feet
  • Develops confidence
  • Sharpens mental focus

(click here for full instructions)


  Eye detail

Eye detail

Painting Overview

* Add images of symbols and helpers using the techniques used until now, beginning with using a small round brushes to draw in the outline.

  imagery additions & dry-brushing

imagery additions & dry-brushing

* Fill in using the dry brush technique, and remembering to leave a glow

* If desired, for larger additions, you may also want to use 3 tones to add dimension to the new images. This is not always necessary since sometimes the additions may be simpler in contrast to the main imagery in your painting.

* give some attention to eyes, if relevant to your painting. Also, if your painting currently has closed eyes, ask if they are wanting to be opened. Add loose swipes of off white paint to whites of eyes, play with a variety of colours in the iris, darken pupils and add indications of light shine to bring life to the eyes.

* At this point, you still don't need to decide on colour palette. Instead, feel free to play with colour that you are drawn to.


  • header photo credit: unknown source
  • b&p photo credit: Pixie Lighthorse