(Photo credit: Ghetto Tarot by Alice Smeet)
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone,…if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” Schopenhauer: the world as Will and Idea. 1816
Dear Fellow Quarantine Observers
I hope that this note finds you and your community healthy and in good spirits.
The last month had been a challenge to many of us facing this invisible foe, causing changes to our work, separation from our loved ones or confinement indoors for the greater good.
In times like this, our will is tested.
One of the lessons that I want to share today: is the idea of Sanctuary.
While we may not be able to control our ability to leave our homes. We need to remind ourselves that we do have control over our minds and how we let what is happening to affect us and how we feel about. Our mind is our true home. Below I’ve provided a deeper look at our senses and some hacks on how to control your mind through your senses to help create a sanctuary during your quarantine.
The Sanctuary of the mind.
So how do we control our minds?
By controlling what we let into our sanctuary.By building our daily rituals. By observing our thought patterns and its effect on our reality.
How do we practice controlling our minds?
We experience much of our world through our senses, therefore theory insists that by curating our environment and moving with intention. If we detox our thought patterns and curate our space and habits we have the ability to gain control over our patterns of thinking through action. Once we have completed the action this reaffirms and realigns our minds to our reality.
SOUND & THE POWER OF LISTENING
Start by curating how much time you spend with the news.
Choose a set time to listen and keep it to 10 minutes a day. It’s tempting to listen in on the drama but you don’t need to give it your constant attention. Much of the news repeats what you already know. While its good to be aware of what is happening locally, binging on news will get into your head as often the same content is played repeatedly to have a wider reach on customers that are just “tuning in”. If there is something major happening you will hear about it with no effort at all. In the interim here are a few ways you can support yourself through listening.
- Listen to and support your local bands and tune into DJ sets from a local artist. Listen to a new genre.
- Call your friends. Make a list and phone home. Check-in on the folks you know who are alone and strengthen your ability to not just hear but to actively listen to them.
Try: Switching up what you listen to. Play positive music, make music, listen to a chant and pay attention to the quiet around you. I created my own playlist to help raise my vibration when I begin my own rituals. You can check it out here but I challenge you to make a playlist that resonates with you that you help pick you up. I’m all about the weekend and the latest Nina Simone releases. Find something that speaks to you and listen between what is being said.
MOVEMENT & THE POWER OF TOUCH
Many of us are being extra careful by using disinfectants, antibacterial soaps, and gloves to protect ourselves.
These are all important things yet we should take extra care of skin in between. It’s tempting to let your spiritual hygiene go because of your focus on making sure your physical body and home are clean. Keeping our distance also can make us feel less connected to our peers. Here are some tips
- Move. Get outside and go for walks where you can invite a friend for a six-foot walk.
- If you have private outdoor spaces spend time there. Plant, clean off the patio create a window garden.
- When you clean yourself, incorporate your sacred practices every night or on set dates.
- If you are considering finding work: Think of the lives you can impact by delivery or simply bringing meals to the elderly
Try: Massaging your hands before you got to sleep at night.
HEAL MY STUFF TOUCHERS OIL
Here is a recipe for hands that my grandmother used to help soften and moisturize. In the palm of your hand or a small bowl combine the following
1tb of unperfumed hand cream or thick lotion ( My grandma loved Nivea) or olive oil
1 drop of patchouli – calming anti-depressant, reduces inflammation, heals skin and boosts immunity.
1 drop ylang ylang oil – helps balance and moisturize the skin. It’s known for reducing pain and relieving tension and acts as a skin antiseptic.
1 drop of carrot oil- used on the top layer of your skin infuses it with moisture, antioxidants and helps to smooth skin.
With your fingers blend the cream and the oils together and massage your hands and cuticles.
SMELL & THE POWER OF SCENT
I think one of the most uncomfortable scents for me is the smell of rubbing alcohol. When I was a child I associated the smell with pain because it meant a shot was coming or I was about to be plunged a cold bath which the old folks would use to help break my fever as a kid. I always had an infection of some sort. While the cooling sensation is pleasant to me the sharp smell of alcohol always triggers an image of 4yr old me running full speed out of my pediatrician’s office with my mom running close behind. Today we’re all fighting for that very disinfectant.
Here is a shortlist of aromatherapy oils that help relieve stress are basil, bergamot, cardamom, camphor, clove, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, orange, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, valerian, vanilla, ylang-ylang to name a few.
Try: Each morning when you wake up, find your quiet space and burn a smudge mixture, incense or diffuser what resonates with you. Set your intention for each day by meditating in this space. Extra points if you can do it before sunrise for 10 minutes.
As part of my morning ritual, I burn incense as I spend time in prayer and with my ancestor work. I tend to like sage or custom incense blends of frankincense myrrh or Jamaican Vanilla. I open the windows and doors letting the airflow through the house before I put on the coffee. Take a look at what you have in your oil collection, you likely will have everything that you need if not check out Queen Meb’s online shop to replenish and find a few new sacred oils to add to your own healing work.
Breathe and reset.
SIGHT & THE POWER OF SEEING
Same as with hearing watching the news or reading the current stats will get stuck in your head. As Shakespeare once said, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. See where there is an opportunity to create by giving yourself purpose every day. The fix here is to change what you see daily and to expand your vision to create hope and manifest what you want to see.
One of my favorite exercises is to answer this question: Once I can travel again where will I go? Then google it and create a Pinterest board
Try: AND THEN “;” exercise: Create new goals for your spiritual and physical life. Envision your future write about what you want to see in your spiritual growth in a year from now. Write down your goal and find tutorials on how to develop your craft. Then expand that into an itinerary. Here is the formula>
I will learn ______so that I can ____________before the new year.
I want to _________________and then _______________by next spring.
Ex. I want to learn to read bones and then I can share my skills online by next spring.
I will learn to craft herbs so that I can gift sachets and protect my home.
TASTE & THE POWER OF EATING WELL
Establish regular eating patterns. This may be tricky especially if you’ve stocked up on gummy bears as I did. In times of anxiety or crisis, our ancient brains go into overdrive and immediately react with scarcity. Sugars and foods that comfort us are the first things we reach for. In my ritual work, I serve a small cup of water and/or spirit plate on my altar each day.
Try: Adding sacred herbs into your diet to help build up your immunity and cook ritual foods keep you positive. A good pick-me-up is to recreate dishes that are from your heritage or from the origin of your practice that you have always wanted to make but never had the time.Eat your fresh foods and have a little comfort food but always reach for water. If you are having fever symptoms here is a brew that can help
FEVER (LEMON) GRASS TEA
In Jamaica, we use this tea to help break fevers. as it produces profuse preparation which cools the body down.
As always check with your health care practitioner and check to make sure you don’t have allergies or adverse reactions with any current medication you’re on.
Use 2-4 leaves and place them in a pot of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes and stain the leaves off. Sweeten and drink
Fewer /smaller leaves & more water = less potency;
Remember your ability to control your mind and to find equilibrium, is the foundation for your practice. THIS TOO WILL SOON PASS and yes these moments will change us forever but what we can control is how we let these things make us feel and taking action in our environment to bring about the change we need.
Take care of yourself and #stayhome