CLEANSING MY HOME + WORK SPACE | SAGE SMUDGING FOR THE NEW YEAR

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PURIFYING + REDUCING

AS THE YEAR COMES TO A CLOSE, I’VE SORT OF GONE INTO HIBERNATION. I KEEP SURROUNDING MYSELF WITH TONS OF BOOKS AND PODCASTS AND ARTICLES. I KEEP LISTENING TO NEW GENRES OF MUSIC, SEARCHING, OBSERVING WHAT I MAY HAVE LOOKED OVER. I’VE HAD THIS INNATE YEARNING TO CONTINUE LEARNING, I WANT THE KNOWLEDGE. I WANT THE FACTS. AS HUMAN BEINGS, ALL THAT WE CAN DO IS OUR VERY BEST, AND WE MUST FORGIVE OURSELVES AND BE KIND TO OURSELVES. WE MUST ALSO BE ACCOUNTABLE + UNDERSTAND THE SELF WORK THAT LIES AHEAD OF US ALL.

SOMETIMES YOUR DREAMS + AMBITIONS ARE MORE SO ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO UNCOVERING THE DARKEST PARTS OF YOURSELF, THE PARTS THAT ARE UGLY AND SCARY AND PAINFUL. I FELT LIKE I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD THIS YEAR. I FELT LIKE I HAD MY FREEDOM AND THAT MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS WOULD KEEP ME SAFE FROM SEEING THE REALITIES. I WAS LIVING OFF THE NECTAR AND AVOIDING THE SEED. BUT TO GO DEEPER IN OUR LIFE WORK, I FEEL THAT WE MUST TAKE A SERIOUS INWARD LOOK AT WHAT IT IS WE NEED TO IMPROVE.

WHAT I MEAN TO SAY IS THIS: NO MATTER WHAT WE “RECEIVE” IN THIS LIFE, WE ARE STILL MEANT TO UNCOVER WHAT DOES NOT SERVE OUR PURPOSE AND WE ARE REALLY WORKING TO REMOVE, NOT RETAIN.

THE GREAT BRUCE LEE SAYS:

”IT IS NOT DAILY INCREASE BUT DAILY DECREASE, HACK AWAY THE UNESSENTIAL. THE CLOSER TO THE SOURCE, THE LESS WASTAGE THERE IS.”

TRULY THAT IS WHAT YOGA IS. IT IS THE CLEANSING AND REMOVAL OF BLOCKAGES TO HELP US OPERATE EFFICIENTLY. AS THE BODY CLEANSES ITSELF, SO SHALL THE MIND + SPIRIT. SAGE SMUDGING IS ONE SUCH PRACTICE THAT I HAVE BEGUN TO INCORPORATE IN MY WELLNESS METHODS.

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SAGE SMUDGING | PURPOSE + MEANING


SAGE SMUDGING HAS BEEN A LONGTIME TECHNIQUE OF CULTURES AROUND THE WORLD AND ESPECIALLY IN NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES AND AMONG FENG SHUI PRACTITIONERS. MANY RELIGIONS PRACTICE BURNING INCENSE AND HERBS AS A SIGN OF WORSHIP OR CELEBRATION. IT IS AN ANCIENT, PURPOSEFUL AND SACRED PRACTICE. SOMETIMES, OUR SPACES CAN ACCUMULATE UNNECESSARY OR NEGATIVE ENERGIES. BURNING SAGE BUNDLES CAN HELP ALLEVIATE THIS “DEAD WEIGHT”.

AS YOU SMUDGE, THE GOAL IS TO CREATE A PERSONAL CEREMONY. YOU WILL WANT TO CONDUCT YOUR PRACTICE DURING A QUIET HOUR AND WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TO MOVE SLOWLY. SAGE BURNING REQUIRES YOU TO CONNECT WITH YOUR BREATH, TO HOLD SPACE FOR SACRED REFLECTION, AND TO HONOR YOUR ROOTS. AS YOU CLEANSE, CONSIDER HOW YOU CAN REMOVE HARMFUL THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS FROM YOUR EVERYDAY HABITS. THE SMOKE LEAVING YOUR HOME REPRESENTS THE RELEASE OF SUCH NEGATIVITY AS WELL AS THE PRAYERS THAT YOU HAVE PUT OUT INTO THE UNIVERSE.

DURING THIS CEREMONY, YOU MAY PLAY MUSIC THAT FEELS INDIGENOUS TO YOU. WHETHER IT IS A GOSPEL SONG OF PRAISE, A NEW AGE INTROSPECTIVE SOUND, OR JUST A SIMPLE RELAXING TEMPO, THE CHOICE IS UP TO YOU. SILENCE IS VERY MUCH OKAY AS WELL. THE GOAL IS TO CREATE AN AMBIENCE OF BLESSING + HOMAGE.

AS FAR AS BUNDLE BURNING, THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF SAGE THAT YOU CAN USE. HOWEVER, I STICK TO THE CALIFORNIA WHITE SAGE AS IT IS MEANT FOR CLEANSING. YOU MAY ALSO USE A BOWL, SHELL OR CERAMIC TO HOLD THE ASHES OF YOUR SAGE SMUDGING.

 

MY RITUAL FOCUS

MY GOAL FOR THE NEW YEAR IS TO COME UNDONE, TO REDUCE AND TO BE MINDFUL OF MY OWN BEHAVIORS AND THE WASTE I CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENVIRONMENT. THE GOAL IS TO MOVE TOWARDS SIMPLICITY OF ACTION, THOUGHT, AND BEING. THAT IS MY INTENTION THROUGHOUT MY SAGE SMUDGING RITUAL.

ALL OF THE THINGS I GAINED THIS YEAR ARE JUST MEMORIES AND LIE AROUND IN THE FORM OF CHECKS, NEW FURNITURE PIECES, CLOTHES HANGING IN THE CLOSET AND ON MY BATHROOM COUNTERTOPS. IT’S IN THE GAS TANK. IT’S IN THE BOOKS SITTING ON MY COFFEE TABLE. IT’S LIVING IN PIXELS ON MY INSTAGRAM AND IN THE EMAILS COMING IN AND OUT OF MY INBOX.

THEY ALL HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL MEANING. BUT IN THE END, THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT WE LEAVE BEHIND WHEN WE GO FROM THE EARTH. THE TRUE VALUE LIES IN OUR DAILY ACTIONS AND THE KNOWLEDGE WE CAN PASS ON TO OTHERS.

IT IS NOT TO SAY THAT I CANNOT COEXIST IN MODERN SOCIETY. BUT IT IS TO BE MORE MINDFUL OF WHAT TRULY FEEDS MY SOUL. CONNECTING WITH NATURE + LIVING ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN HAPPINESS IS MY WISH FOR ALL OF MY LIFEONAMAT READERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

FOR THE NEW YEAR AND I INVITE YOU TO MAKE A SAGE BUNDLE FOR YOUR OWN HOME, TO BLESS YOUR SPACE AND TO START FRESH AGAIN. THE SAGE SMUDGING PROCESS WIL HELP YOU REFLECT ON WHAT YOU WANT TO REMOVE FROM YOUR LIFE.

STEPS ARE BELOW.

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OUTDOOR GATHERING

GO INTO NATURE AND COLLECT WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL TO YOU, WHAT IS MEANINGFUL TO YOUR SOUL. USE A ROUND BOWL OR CONTAINER THAT YOU CONSIDER SACRED. AS YOU GATHER, STOP AND APPRECIATE WHAT THE EARTH PROVIDES. GO SLOWLY AND OBSERVE YOUR OWN CREATIVITY AND WHAT YOU ARE DRAWN TO. IT COULD BE FLOWER PETALS OR TWIGS FROM YOUR GARDEN. IT COULD BE CEDAR OR LAVENDER.

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INDOOR GATHERING

AS YOU FIND YOUR BOWL OF NATURE, SEARCH YOUR HOME FOR AS MUCH SUPPLIES AS YOU CAN WITHOUT HITTING THE CRAFT STORE. MATCHES, SCISSORS, YARN, AND YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS WERE SOME OF THE EVERYDAY ITEMS I FOUND LYING AROUND. THE ONLY MONEY I SPENT WAS $10 FOR THE CALIFORNIA WHITE SAGE FROM THE HOLISTIC STORE NEAR ME PLUS $5 FOR SALT ROCKS. I FELT AN URGE TO USE SALT AS A WAY TO REDUCE POLLUTANTS IN THE AIR IN MY HOME.

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ESSENTAIL OILS

I USED A PEPPERMINT OIL AS MY CALMING INGREDIENT. THIS WAS ALSO AN OIL I USED DURING MY YOGA CLASSES TO HELP RELAX MY STUDENTS.

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NOTE TO SELF

FOR THE SAGE STICK, I DECIDE TO WRITE A PERSONAL NOTE TO MYSELF. YOU CAN DO THIS AS WELL, AS A WAY TO SEND A POSITIVE LIGHT INTO THE NEW YEAR. BY WRITING SOMETHING GRACEFUL TO YOURSELF, YOU ARE SETTING AN INTENTION, AS WE OFTEN DO IN YOGA. THE POWER OF INTENTION IS KEY IN CLEANSING.

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GOOD LUCK

FOR ME, THE $2 BILL IS A SIGN OF GOOD LUCK. I LIKE TO GIVE THESE TO MY FRIENDS DURING THE CHINESE NEW YEAR AS A SMALL GIFT TO WISH THEM PROSPERITY + SUCCESS. I PUT THE BILL ALONG WITH SOME BEAUTIFUL GOLD CHINESE CHARACTERS INTO THE SMUDGE STICK.

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ADORNING YOUR SAGE BUNDLE

START WITH THE FOLIAGE (PETALS, SHRUBS, CEDAR, ETC.) FIRST, ADD YOUR ITEMS ONTO YOUR SAGE STICK, GENTLY PRESSING A SMALL HANDFUL (OR ABOUT ONE INCH’S WORTH) AT THE TOP. IN A CLOCKWISE DIRECTION, START THE YARN FROM THE TOP AND WRAP IT ONCE OR TWICE AROUND THE FIRST BIT OF FOLIAGE. THEN PLACE MORE OF YOUR FLORALS + GREENERY ONTO THE NEXT SECTION OF THE STICK AND WRAP THE YARN OVER IT. YOU’LL WORK YOUR WAY DOWN, SAVING THE PAPER ITEMS FOR LAST. ONCE YOU’VE TIED AND SECURED THE YARN TO THE END OF YOUR SAGE, TUCK YOUR GOOD LUCK ITEMS, QUOTES, CRYSTALS + ROCKS INTO THE EMPTY SECTIONS OF YOUR STICK.

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MEDITATE + PRAY

AS YOU FINISH YOUR SAGE STICK, YOU MAY CHOOSE TO PRAY OR MEDITATE ON WHAT YOU PLAN TO REDUCE IN YOUR LIFE. YOU MAY USE THIS TIME TO LET GO OF THE DEAD WEIGHT OR ANY PAINFUL MEMORIES YOU RELIVE. YOU MAY DECIDE TO FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEW YEAR. YOU MAY DEDICATE THIS MOMENT TO YOUR ANCESTRY OR LOVED ONE. IT IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU. AS LONG AS YOU SET THE INTENTION OR SAY THE PRAYER, YOUR PURPOSE WILL BE UNCOVERED IN THE PRACTICE.

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THE BURNING

THE FINAL PROCESS IS TO LIGHT THE SAGE. THIS WAS A SACRED PROCESS FOR MANY CULTURES THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES. IT WAS ONCE A TRADITION OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS TO BURN THE HERB FOR CLEARING NEGATIVE ENERGY. TO BEGIN, OPEN THE DOORS AND WINDOWS OF YOUR HOME SO THAT YOU CAN RELEASE WHAT NEEDS TO ESCAPE. HOLD THE SAGE AT A 45° ANGLE AND LIGHT THE HIGHEST END OF THE STICK. PLACE IT INTO A FIRE PROOF BOWL, PLATE, SEASHELL, OR CERAMIC. WALK SLOWLY AROUND YOUR HOME IN A CLOCKWISE MANNER. YOU MAY USE A FEATHER TO WAFT IT THROUGHOUT YOUR SPACE. MANY NATIVE AMERICAN SMUDGING PRACTICES INCLUDE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO THE FOUR POINTS OF THE MEDICINE WHEEL WHICH ARE REPRESENTED IN THE NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WEST DIRECTIONS. CONNECT YOUR BREATH WITH EACH STEP YOU TAKE. IT IS A MINDFUL PROCESS.

 
 
Jasmine HuntComment