People keep talking about "sacred self care". But what is it?
My sacred self care routine essentially involves a few practices that I engage in on a daily basis that benefit me, that increase my feelings of wellness, that give me vitality, creativity and make me feel more impassioned in my life.
They also help me to feel more sexually sensitive and more orgasmic.
These are namely; breath work, movement, meditation, chanting and last but not least, regular conscious self pleasure.
So while self pleasure is a very big aspect to my sacred self care routine, it is supplemented by these other practices that I see as equally important.
I have come to see these practices as connected; modes of experiencing and cultivating the same energy- as separate as they first may seem.
The past couple of months have been hard for me. A marital breakdown is enough to throw anyone. I guess I have half expected to be able to get along fine, implementing all the self love I preach.
The truth is that we all find it hard to put into practice what we know is right for us when times are hard.
But I have been anchored within these practices, and they have been helping me to keep my head above water, and I know that with continuous practice I will be getting back to a state of strength and clarity soon enough.
Self care is the very thing that will save your soul. Self love is the very practice that will nourish your soul from within. I truly believe that learning how to embody and implement self love is one of the biggest and most important lessons in life that we came here to master.
What makes it sacred?
Sacred is a state of mind. Somewhere along the line in history, we forgot that we are divinity embodied. Somewhere along the line we were made to feel ashamed, guilty of our natural desires, our natural propensities, and told that our human-ness is very separate from God.
But the fact is that we have a right to be here exactly as we are, we have a right to be sensual, sexual, feeling, expressive...joy and pleasure is our birthright, and its my view that we should be engaging with, and incorporating it into our lives on a DAILY basis.
Our health, happiness and wellness depends on it.
Thank fully, these days it seems that more and more women are seeking to connect to their sensual pleasure in a deeper way, and increase their feminine sexual energy, or their divine feminine.
The reason I use terms like "energy" and "divine" is because I observe that a lot of us are viewing our sexuality, and engaging with our sexual wellbeing in more of a spiritual, conscious and radically different way, to what has been the norm in recent decades.
The use of products like crystal yoni wands and yoni eggs are currently offering a much welcomed alternative for many women alike, to the neon rubber world of the masculine driven sex industry.
And it seems to me that with the rise in crystal sex toys, we are making room in our bedrooms for practices like Tantra, meditation and breath work, the surprisingly potent practice of yoni massage, the consideration of meridians, energy flow and even the reflexology points of the sexual organs.
There is also a general sense of slowing down and increasing awareness, and with all these things there comes an altogether new energy , a new paradigm that elicits a sense of sacredness, connected with our sexual acts.
And so, my engagement in meditation and breath work are actually about heightening my awareness, my connection to my body and the energy running through it, hence heightening my sensitivity...and essentially contributing to the cultivation of my sexual creative energy.
It's about balance, baby.
Many of us work 40 hour weeks, and have social and family commitments on top of that.
And in a world where so much emphasis is put on drive, achievements and hustle; little consideration is given towards the other half of the equation of what it is to be productive, the feminine aspects of rest, stillness, receptivity and potential. The Yin to the Yang.
See in truth, Yang drive is sustained by Yin rest.
So that the cycle can continue.
As a culture, in fact in most societies within the Western world people just don't prioritise their pleasure, relaxation and connection to the bodily senses (sensuality) anywhere near as we should.
Most of us are drastically overworked and highly stressed.
According to the American Psychological Association more than 75% of doctor visits are for stress related ailments, and chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death.
So essentially, if we took the approach of managing our stress levels the medical industry would have a lot less work to do.
But how do we do that in a world of 40 hour work weeks? In a world of professional and social commitments, and instant messaging and work emails on your phone?
We prioritise. We claim back ownership of our wellbeing. We factor in regular time for self care, for pleasure and sensuality, for connecting with the body, for deepening the breath, for dancing, for meditation and for connection.
The irony is that when you prioritise your pleasure and wellbeing, it is like a productivity dial inside your psyche gets cranked up. Rest, relaxation and being connected to your deep physical pleasure actually make you more productive which seems like a counter intuitive concept to most people.
Here's the WHY
Think about yourself as a construct of energy systems rather than a physical entity, because in essence that is what you are.
When these energy channels get blocked, those parts of the body get a restricted flow of energy, which is a prime environment for illness and disease.
And what do they get blocked with? Essentially they get blocked with stagnant emotion. Your body is actually a storehouse, an entity that is highly impressionable by whatever emotions and experiences it goes through.
So, the way you feel literally imbues the vibration of those emotions into your body on a physical level
This is why it is so important to work with the physical body (not just the mind) to undo a lot of the stresses that modern life leaves us with, when you start putting as much time and effort into decreasing the tensions within the body, increasing your pleasure, joy and contentment your life will alter drastically for the better.
The other key point I want to make here is that it is habituation of practices that actually alters your vibration. Anything that you do regularly alters and affects your energy field. This is why we make it a practice.
IT IS TIME TO SLOW THE F**K DOWN
It is time to honour yourself. It's time to reimagine yourself as divinity embodied.
It is time to remember that you are a point of conscious awareness housed within a human body, and all parts of yourself are intrinsically linked. The physical, the spiritual, the mental and the emotional.
When you create change within one aspect of yourself, this automatically and equally affects the other parts of your being.
This is why when you have an injury or are taken sick, you feel low in all other aspects of yourself. You simply cannot separate parts of the self from the other, and you should not try to.
Instead, see this as a very strong reason to nurture, tend to, and take care of your physical body, I promise you, it will enrich you spiritually.
Just a side note, did you know of the scientifically acknowledged phenomenon of all cells within biological living organisms emitting readable light? Not reflecting light but emitting it.
We are light beings...just saying.
My sacred self care practices
1. Morning pranayama
Breathing exercises or "pranayama" are always best to do in the morning ... but you can incorporate them into any time of day.
Every morning, before getting out of bed I sit up nice and comfortably with a straight back and I do two breathing exercises. The first one I do is called Anulom vilom or "alternate nostril breathing". I set an alarm on my phone and do it for two minutes.
The benefits of alternate nostril breathing are many. Firstly it is great for anxiety and tension, and it is also said to balance the female and male energies in the body and brings both sides of the brain into balance. It is also said to improve heart health and many other conditions from asthma to depression to high blood pressure.
Next, I do ten minutes of a Kundalini Yoga breath called Breath of Fire. This breath is perhaps the most beneficial, cleansing and energising breath I have ever known of. Between five and ten minutes of it cleans your blood, releases toxins from the lungs and blood vessels, expands lung capacity, oxygenates your entire system, boosts vitality and immunity as well as a host of other benefits. I always feel that these two breathing exercises put me physically and mentally in good steed for the day.
2. Movement is freedom
To counter act the tension based, restrictive influence that is an unfortunate by-product of our society, you need to regularly engage in movement of your body.
Whether that be exercise, yoga or dance; movement is really beneficial as it encourages a sense of freedom within your own body and really gets your energy moving.
Anything from a few yogic sun salutations in the morning, to putting on some music and having a full free dance session in your living room once a day will greatly positively impact your mental wellbeing.
3. Self pleasure
Ideally everyday, and whether or not you are in a relationship! Many women tend to ignore their sexual impulses and their drives for sensual satisfaction, unless they are in a relationship; which is actually very unhealthy for our mental and emotional wellbeing!
We have been subliminally, and sometimes overtly fed the message that it is not safe, or respectable for women to be sexual in the world.
From the demonisation of female sexuality in many cultures and religions worldwide, to the fact that sexual abuse and rape are so common that according to both the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and the Crime survey of England and Wales, a staggering 1 in 5 women have been a victim of sexual violence.
Not to mention all the commonly pervasive language and ideas against women's sexuality within our cultures; words like harlot, slut, whore...all these things create a fear based tension around women expressing themselves sexually.
And all this tension creates subconscious blocks to our desires, and to our healthy sensual freedom.
Let this stop now; your body and your sexuality are your birthrights. Check out this blog for a detailed look on exactly what I mean by conscious self pleasure.
Meditation is that one thing that so many people just hear the word, and kind of skim over or look the other way, simply because it seems so inaccessible. We have been told that with meditation we need to try and still the mind...this my friends will always be an uphill struggle.
The "monkey mind" in Zen Buddhism, refers to the constant chatter of the human mind, which is actually the mind's natural propensity.
So instead of trying to quiet that part of yourself, I invite you to instead just enjoy sitting in meditative posture with a straight back. Breathe long, slow deep breaths, and connect just to the feeling of being where you are.
Let the mind wonder, let it do what it will, and enjoy the sensations, and the feeling of softness within the body.
Meditation (and chanting for that matter) is known to stimulate the vagus nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body. It connects many of your major organs, which are (coincidentally?) the same points within your body where the chakras are said to reside.
Stimulation of the vagus nerve positively impacts a host of physical conditions from inflammation (which is the cause of most ailments), to heart problems, breathing problems, and quite literally countless other issues.
Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, within western medical experiments are, according to mentalfloss.com proving to be creating a new field of medicine, as stated in this article. But we also know that meditation directly stimulates this powerful nerve, unless you would rather pay medical bills?
For more information on the functions of this nerve and how meditation can stimulate it, check out this video by Dr. Eric Berg.
I get it, ok? Chanting sounds really odd! But its benefits are now scientifically acknowledged. It is proven to oxygenate the brain, as well as balance it's left and right hemispheres, it improves circulation, reduces stress and anxiety, reduces inflammation within the body, improves heart and digestive system function, and a host of other benefits.
If you remember that everything is energy vibrating, it would make sense that sound could be a very powerful tool for the reorganisation of energy and wave patterns, as seen in the increasingly known field of cymatics.
And according to the Hollywood Kundalini teacher Guru Jagat, chanting is also an effective way to affect your face and bring about a youthful glow; according to her, chanting produces the same effects as the latest skin technology "microcurrent facials" whereby an electrical pulse is strategically applied to the skin which triggers DNA reproduction, and helps to reorganise your cells. So if it can do this to your face, imagine what it is doing to the rest of your being! For a closer look at that article, click here.
The practices outlined here are ancient methods of self realisation, that have pervaded the collective mind for centuries. These methods are becoming wider utilised in recent years, as we outgrow old belief systems regarding the nature of reality, and as our collective consciousness evolves towards a higher dimension, one that is closer aligned with Go(o)d, with the ultimate reality of love.
Self care is ultimate, as the self is the only platform with which we can interact with the world.
Mastering self love is hard, but it is difficult because it is one of the key lessons to learn within the human experience, so don't be so hard on yourself every time you slip up, we all do, and we all need a little help from time to time, a road map as such.
The important lesson here is that the things that you do with the physical body, directly affect your frequency and hence, your consciousness.
Often we try to affect the mind, through the mind; and the fact that the physical body has been misrepresented as something that is sinful, detracts from the truth that the physical body and all of its faculties, is divine.
Your body is a power source of potent energy, so use it well.