I am absolutely in love with the amazing print-out offered by JoelleCharming.com (plus it's a perfect way to start the New Year...or any day) ! Click HERE to download, print, fill-out, and place in a spot you'll see everyday!
What is an intro.init retreat? Is it right for you? Check out the video below!
Are you ready to connect with your guides? Are you ready to trust your intuition on a whole new level? Are you ready to go deeper....
If so, I put together a quick 6 minute video explaining how to use oracle cards (spoiler...how ever you want to!).
Oracle cards are a guidance tool you can use daily or during times when you need a little more of a inner-compass support. Don't let the woo-woo or spookiness that has sometimes been associated with Tarot cards, deter you from using one of my favorite spiritual tools.
If you're wondering, "Taryn, how are tarot and oracle cards different?" I'd tell you that an awesome being (aka arcane mysteries.tumblr.com ) has summed it up pretty perfectly:
If you're still on board, check out my video and then feel free to peruse some of my favorites:
I've put links to online decks you can use for free and decks that you can purchase, if you feel called to do so. A quick search of "Oracle Cards" on Amazon will give you a slew of other choices, so explore and do what feels right :)
Free decks to use online:
Earth/Animal Oracle Reading: I LOVE this site because it give you 3 decks to choose from and they're all animal/earth based (think spirit animal decks!) I do prefer the single reading over the 3 card reading.
Simple Angel Reading- Use this simple reading by Doreen Virtue's deck! It's addicitive!!
EVERY ONLINE ORACLE DECK!- RainbowScribe has put together the mother-load of every oracle deck that is free online! Crystal oracles, love oracles, etc. etc. etc....! Check it out and find the deck that's right for you!
Physical decks I love and use:
Moon Deck - I was lucky enough to meet one of the creators and you can tell the passion and love they have for this deck! Plus, it comes in an amazing wooden box and each card actually includes a ritual or meditation you can use with it in the guidebook! Beautiful art, messages and healing.
Medicine Woman Deck- This is a Tarot deck, but I still use it as a one-card pull, oracle guidance deck :) The book gives you a short one or two-liner on what it represents. Short, sweet and beautiful pictures!
Angel Therapy Deck - A great one by Doreen Virtue that as she puts it: "...These oracle cards and the enclosed guidebook give you action steps to take that will initiate healing; help you release fears and emotional blocks; and give you messages about your life purpose, relationships, manifestations, and more..."
I've hope you enjoyed and shuffle on!
Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation.
— Ram Dass
I have been to many retreats, workshops, circles and ceremonies...all centered around connection with our "spiritual self".
Some have been magical, others uncomfortable, many perplexing and all enlightening.
Spirituality and spiritualism is something that I see becoming a fad here in the west. Something that if we don't have the right crystal, organic linen dress, fancy oil or certification...we're doing something wrong or aren't "hip" enough for it. It has become something else to experience, like a music festival...but when applied with what I have personally found to be the basis of all spirituality...there are many not embodying the base of all "connection with all and the unseen".
What is that, you ask?
How can you be more spiritually connected?
To me, spirituality is kindness.
Kindness to yourself...through your words, thoughts and actions.
Kindness to others...through your words, thoughts and actions.
Kindness to your surroundings.
Kindness to an invisible force that can sometimes knock you on your emotional and physical knees.
You can study every religion and practice every type of yoga....but if kindness isn't the constant thread throughout...I wonder if the impact is as life-affirming as it can be?
So smile. Say hi...and hi back if a smiling hippie (cough cough) says it first. Open the door for a stranger. Make eye contact. Give a compliment...to yourself or another!
The possibilities are endless....and they are so because are world needs to believe that kindness is possible more than ever.
...and find how spirituality become you...not something outside that you seek.
You have to accept every part of yourself to become the person you were meant to be.
— Robert Tew
I believe we are a species with amnesia, I think we have forgotten our roots and our origins. I think we are quite lost in many ways. And we live in a society that invests huge amounts of money and vast quantities of energy in ensuring that we all stay lost. A society that invests in creating unconsciousness, which invests in keeping people asleep so that we are just passive consumers of products and not really asking any of the questions.
— Graham Hancock
In 2012, I took a solo trip to India.
I had been studying Buddhism and had a pretty regular meditation practice and wanted to head to the birthplace of Siddhartha (The OG Buddha).
I booked my flights. got my visa and had no clue that I'd be opening a door into a part of myself I didn't know existed.
I let go and let the gods take the lead.
From daily Ayurvedic therapies and meals,exploring the streets of Bengalaru, spending time at the local orphanage, working in the gardens, yoga, meditation, and etc. etc. etc. etc.
A blog or words could not sum up the magic of this place.
But the most magical part of all? The people.
The most beautiful, loving, joy filled people.
I found myself with tears in my eyes as I departed.
This place will change you.
Check out this video, it is as spot on as it gets....no "just for the camera" here....
For him who has no concentration, there is no tranquility.
We live in a world that constantly urges us to multi-task, overload mentally, and over exert all around!
No matter how many studies are released that show that doing the opposite is actually more productive, we still have the “Oh look, a squirrel!” mentality!
We sit at lunch with our minds in multiple places: Facebook, email, the person in front of us and Words With Friends!
Our world, in a way, makes us feel as though we are proven worthy by just how much we can take on at once. In reality, it’s a habit, that once disassembled, will give you more clarity, more energy, and more ability to get the tasks at hand (mentally and emotionally) done in a calm, non-agitated manner.
Need more convincing? Listen to this stats! :
- Multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40-percent according to some researchers.
- Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow down your progress.
- When people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task. This suggests a two-task limit on what the human brain can handle. Taking on more tasks increases the likelihood of errors.
- The people who multitask the most tend to be impulsive, sensation-seeking, overconfident of their multitasking abilities, and they tend to be less capable of multitasking.
So take 5-10 minutes, close the 15 tabs open, the texts with 4 different people and stop the hustle and bustle of the hamster wheel that is your mind and try this tratak exercise!
Tratak, also known as gazing, not only helps in building your concentration, but helps to deepen anyone’s current (or just starting) meditation practice (winning!).
Let’s do this!
1.) Sit in a comfortable position (on the floor or a chair with your feet flat on the ground) making sure your spine is in an erect position, sans any straining.
2.) Place a lit candle (or open on your iPhone/iPad/Computer screen to the YouTube video provided, making sure everything is silenced), at eye level and about 3 feet away from you.
3.)Steady your breathing, then start to gaze at the candle without blinking (kind of like the game you played as a kid…minus the lost lunch money if you blinked first).
4.) Look steadily and softly at the flame, eyes softened and no straining. If you eyes go out of focus, bring them gently back to the flame.
5.) When you’re ready (i.e. you’re eyes are watering, blinking sounds as good as an ice cream on a summer’s day, or straining as if you’re eyeballs just did a 100 crunches), close your eyes and keep the inner gaze steady, visualizing the flame.
6.) When the image of the flame has gone from your mind’s screen, open your eyes and repeat the process.
7.) When you’re ready to conclude/set timer goes off, take a few deep breaths and note how your mind feels.
Pretty simple! You can use other objects (flowers, buddha statue, etc.) for this exercise, as well! The directions aren’t cemented, so feel free to adjust to your comfort level/environment.
Try this a couple of times a week and see just what effect it has on your life!
Finding our passion in life can sometimes feel like you’re a hamster running on a never-ending wheel.
Round and round we go through each day feeling as though we are unable to jump out of the mundane routines that can suck our drive, creativity and inspiration.
But I recently read something that I think is a great reminder to and for all in life:
Those who have a purpose.
Those who are searching for it.
Those that have the fear of pursuing it.
Those who feel they’ll never find it…
The story explained that in the game of BINGO, EVERY player starts with a “bonus” or “free” square in the middle.
Because it’s a given in the game, most people don’t think too much of it.
They forget the true value it holds…
The value in being as needed to win the game as any other square.
It went on to remind that we all have those “free” squares in our lives.
They are the things that come so easy to us that amaze others. Natural talents. Effortless abilities.
Maybe it’s doing yoga. Consoling and guiding friends. Writing. Figuring out a RUBICS cube (though I am guilty of peeling of the colors and sticking them on the corresponding side…that doesn’t count…though it does hilgiht one’s ingenuity…I’m bias)
It’s usually the things we shrug off as being “nothing”.
They’re things we may have continuously received compliments on, but it comes so naturally that we sweep it under the rug.
And days go by. We feel no direction.
We forget the value of that “given”.
It’s in playing the “Free” square of our natural abilities that may lead us to our purpose, guide us to our passion, help us overcome the mandatory bumps in the road.
Take a second to recognize your “free” square in life.
Realize the benefit, asset and gift it provides you and those around you.
Never take it for granted.
Never think it is worth nothing.
And with that attitude, you’re guaranteed to win at the life that is uniquely and beautifully yours.
I’ve had a fascination with the lotus flower for quite some time.
I feel like we’ve been buddies for a while.
You see, the lotus flower starts in the nastiest, murkiest, grossest part of the pond…the bottom (sound familiar?).
Slowly, bit by bit, sun will seap though the dark waters, showing the flower a glimpse of its light.
It takes just that tiny bit to provoke the lotus to slowly (marathon not sprint) rise and rise…
The smallest beam to entice its curiosity to see what’s beyond its comfort zone of sludge.
Somedays, just like the skies, are gloomier than others, and there may be a halt altogether in this lone trek to something brighter…something better than the place the lotus has lay dormant in for however long.
But that does not kill the lotus, but allows it to strengthen its roots, to rest for the journey ahead, and to have that moment to look down and see how far it’s come (maybe not the flower itself…but you catch my drift).
And as the light continues to creep in, amongst all odds and obstacles, it grows and grows, closer and closer to the surface.
Until the day comes, that it breaks through…blooms open…and unveils itself as one of the most beautiful flowers the pond (and the world that surrounds it) has ever seen.
It’s a story some of you may have heard. But one part they leave out, time and time again, is the fact that the mud was necessary for its journey…its blooming.
And even more than that, once it’s reached the brighter place, the surface where it can breathe, there isn’t one bit of evidence that the sludge, that at one point was all consuming, was even there.
You see, just like the mud, the grief, pain and angst are necessary.
The pauses (that sometimes feel like failure) are the moments we can use to reflect on just all we have pushed ourselves to do. And even more, the time needed to refuel as we continue to push even farther.
And once we’ve let the sun play its part and we reach a place of air, light, and beauty…the painful parts will not have seemed as if they were even there the whole time…because they weren’t and they aren’t.
They play their part and will always be there with our roots, but the bloom will not be tainted or tarnished…just more strong, more resilient, and more thankful for all its come from.