Do you feel the calling deep inside for a good dose of spiritual spring cleaning? A total shake out of your web covered spiritual being, a re-think as to whether you are plugged into a journey you need to be on at the moment or simply have a need to hear your inner wise voice a bit more clearly and little more often.
Then look no further for in less than 2 days in my own home, full of boys, over a typical weekend I managed to take myself of on a spiritual retreat without leaving home. It may not have had all the trimmings of your usual spiritual retreat but the journey and the end result where none the less the same.
I didn’t plan it, it just happened and those are definitely the best kind of spiritual retreats to have. Spontaneous, no traveling involved didn’t have to organize the kids and cost me zip. My mind never got involved at any stage, it wasn’t invited and I knew it would only spoil things anyway. It surprisingly sat quietly on the side never once interrupting me with boring complaints or objections.
Click here for Eat Pray Love
All weekend I had spiritual excitement that totally tingled and connected to my inner truth. My inner wise voice spoke often and clearly. Yep, that’s what you need to be doing right now, Carole. The only complaint my mind kept coming up with was why hadn’t I read this book before. Why hadn’t anyone told me about it?
It’s not a self help personal development, how too book as you might well think. The book is called Eat Pray Love,one women’s journey across Italy, India and Bali by the fabulous Elizabeth Gilbert. After a traumatic divorce Elizabeth decided to travel the world in order to re-claim her personal truth back.
I have been on a fun spiritual journey for more than 20 years, I even travel regularly to Ubud in Bali with my children for this very purpose and then sometimes something comes along in a simple little package called a book and sweeps you away. The many insights and aha moments that unraveled during my personal journey with this book certainly got my spiritual juices flowing and created new and long forgotten awakenings.
It’s a very easy to book to read for its humor, fun and inspiration. The Italian part of the adventure is all about Elizabeth’s passion (eat), India all about devotion (prayer) and living in an ashram whilst Bali is all about balance (love); This book is fabulous and is a must read, even if you don’t read. It will shout to you, inspire you and speak to you on many different levels.
The promise of a blank page:
There is only one question you need to be asking.
Each morning for the last two weeks I pull out a piece of paper first thing in the morning and begin to write a question like. “What do I need to do today” “What is it you want me to know today” or “What is my purpose” but for the first time ever in my life the questions I’ve written down just don’t feel right. Something is missing.
And now, this weekend after finishing reading Eat, Pray, Love the question I needed to be asking jumped right out at me saying hello, here I am, look at me. I am on a roll as my hand freely responds writing page after page about stuff that I mostly wasn’t aware of. And the question is:
What do I really, really, really want?
What do I really, really, really want?
What do I really, really, really want?
Elizabeth says you must say really three times to truly get it so I’d thought I would even write it down three times just too really really really make sure I got it.
Words of advice from a Balinese Healer aged somewhere between 65 - 110 yrs:
Another fabulous spiritual excitement in the book for me was the advice from a wise Balinese Healer Ketut Kiyer about meditation. As Elizabeth helped him with English he would teach her Balinese meditation styles.
Ketut Kiyer says “To meditate you only must smile” “It’s that easy”
“ Smile with face, smile with mind and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. You can call the good energy with a smile.” Ketut Kiyer
How beautiful is that, smiling will clean away dirty energy. You can call good energy anytime with an internal or external smile.
For the past few mornings while lying in bed first thing in the morning I smile into my body, smile into my face, smile into my mind, and smile into my organs. I see my whole being filled with smiling faces and the smiling energy.
What’s interesting in the short time I have been doing the “smiling meditation” practice is there are some parts of my body totally resisting the smiling energy. The smiling energy I am trying to infuse just won’t stick. I’m sure though as Ketut says eventually it will clean away the dirty energy meaning over time my entire body will gracefully and willingly accept smiling energy. I’ll keep you posted.
When the boys and I are in Bali next year we’ll definitely be taking a visit out to Pengosekan an outer village of Ubud to visit this inspirational healer. He also apparently read palms with amazing accuracy, clears bad energies and spirits from the body and performs endless ceremonies which are the norm in Bali.
How to keep your body strong by Ketut a Balinese Healer:
Ketut talks about keeping his body strong by meditating every night before sleep and pulling the healthy energy of the universe into his core. He says that the human body is made of nothing more or less than five elements of all creation. Water (apa), fire (tejo) wind (bayu) sky (akasa) and earth (pritivi) and all you have to do is concentrate on this reality during meditation and you will receive energy from all of these sources and you will stay strong.
I love this simple approach.
Prayers to the universe from her time in India:
Following is an excerpt out of the book from Elizabeth ’s whilst in an ashram in India.
“If I want transformation but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift. So now I take the time every morning to search myself for specificity about what I am truly asking for. If I don’t feel sincere that I will stay I until I do. What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today. Prayers can become stale and drone into the boring and familiar if you let your attention stagnate. In making an effort to stay alert, I am assuming custodial responsibility for the maintenance of my own soul.”
The last line in this small piece I absolutely love. Take responsibility for the maintenance of your own soul.
Personal words of wisdom from Elizabeth:
Start a journal and answer this question every morning: What do I really, really, really want?“You have to say really, really, really three times or else you don’t believe it. And answer it truthfully and do it again the next day and the next and the next,” she says. “Because you can’t set your journey if you don’t know what you’re for.”
Write down the happiest moment of every day in a happiness journal.“It’s a way of reminding myself what really makes me happy and what doesn’t,” she says, “and learn and study and look back and see what is it consistently.”
Refine your mantra.“I say refine, not choose, because we all actually already have a mantra. We just might not realize that we do. Whatever you repeat constantly in your head is your mantra whether you know it or not, and that is leading you on your way,” she says. “So if you’re repeating, ‘I’m a moron, I’m an idiot, I’m a failure, I’m a jerk, I’m a loser,’ it’s your mantra. So decide whether that’s working for you. … Maybe it’s not and then maybe you might want to choose a different thing to try to say whenever you remember that you’re thinking what you’re always doing.”
Do yourself a favor buy or borrow this book, empty a weekend and take yourself off on a spiritual retreat right in the comfort of your own lounge room.
Thank you so much for reading this article. Carole
To purchase Elizabeth’s book click here. At the time of writing Amazon were offering 40% off.
You can visit Elizabeth’s web site here
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