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The Path to Sassy Spirituality

Pen Your Thoughts

Tap into your spiritual and creative sides through this time-tested tradition. Journal writing has been an important part of my life since the wise young age of eight. Writing your innermost thoughts on paper allows for reflection, the chance to capture the moment, and a private space where you can spill how you really feel without concerns about grammar, tear- or ink stains, or losing a friend. Do you find yourself complaining about the same thing repeatedly? Do you see patterns in your comments about relationships? If so, this is the perfect realm in which to explore ways to make changes. Do you notice a negative tone during certain months? Maybe that’s the time to dash off to a warmer climate for some much-needed R&R.

In the morning before your coffee kicks in, start writing whatever comes to the surface. This allows you to start your day with a clean slate. You can also do your writing before bed as a tool for reflection. Others use their journals to recap the day with basic information like where they brunched and what movies they saw. Some write to diffuse pent-up emotions they dare not share publicly. Over the years I have found that the volume of my journal writing increases during challenging times of transition, such as breakups or moves. How you use your journal doesn’t really matter; just using it is the point.

I find that handy phrases to jump-start my writing can be helpful tools on days when staring at the blank page seems overwhelming. For example, try:

Today I am feeling _______.
I am most happy when _______.
I am bothered by _______.
I really want ________.
or
I continue to struggle with ________.
These small springboards can uncover some interesting material.

Assume Your Meditation Position

Ah, the simple act of being – so much harder than doing. Why is sitting still and focusing on our breath such a tricky endeavor? For the girl-on-the-go, this single act can bring an enormous amount of tranquility. Meditation encourages us to slow down, empty our overactive minds, and provide rest for our bodies. One teacher describes the benefit of meditation as the chance to have space between a stimulus and a response. The practice of meditation allows us to be less reactive. Remember this tip the next time you receive an unpleasant email. Take deep breaths, create space before reacting, and notice that you can retrain yourself to more compassionately handle situations that push your buttons. The benefits may not seem obvious immediately after you’ve sat on your hot-pink cushion, but hopefully they will be apparent in your words and actions post-meditation. You, your colleagues, and beau will thank you for this newfound spaciousness and your thoughtfulness.

Now, let’s go through a simple seated meditation together. Gather these accoutrements: a kitchen timer, chime, meditation cushion or firm pillow to elevate your hips, and (optional) incense or a peony-scented soy candle. Sit comfortably cross-legged on the front edge of your cushion with your hips elevated above your knees (or in a chair), light your incense or candle, set the kitchen timer for ten minutes, and sound the chime. Rest your hands on your thighs with the palms facing down, let your elbows rest comfortably, and allow your eyes to close. When the kitchen timer goes off, open your eyes, do a few gentle stretches, and prepare to emerge from your meditation more grounded.

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Kimberly Wilson

Kimberly Wilson is a yogini, writer, entrepreneur, and eco-fashion designer currently obsessed with Paris, potbelly pigs, and all things sparkly. She is the Creative Director and Founder of Tranquil Space – named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, penned Hip Tranquil Chick and Tranquilista, and holds a Master’s in Women's Studies. Indulge in musings on tranquilology through her blog and podcast, Tranquility du Jour. Learn more at kimberlywilson.com.

38 comments

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11:53PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Thank you for article.

11:52PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Thank you for article.

11:51PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Thank you for article.

3:25PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Nice article!

2:30PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Thank you - there's a lot of charm here!

3:43PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

This is definitely something to think about, especially the jump-start lines for writing in a journal. That's something I try to do regularly, and since I joined OhLife, it's something I'm doing every day. Those lines are good for when I don't have a rant stored up for an entry.

Pat C., I may try that book out - thanks for the recommendation.

Thank you for posting.

1:50PM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

For a whole book of sassy, delightful, enticing ideas about spirituality, take a look at Sera Beak's fabulous book, The Red Book. It is geared towards a youngish audience, but folks of all ages love it. Including me!

8:15PM PDT on May 31, 2010

TERESA:
Spirituality is a serious matter. But it doesn't mean we need to be 'serious' = rigid, solemn, guilt-driven with our practice. If it works for you, that's fine. But for many people fun-approach is a lot more motivating and effective.

7:07PM PDT on May 31, 2010

i loved this article!!!

9:56AM PDT on May 31, 2010

Cafe gratitude sounds so cool! I will have to check it out on my next trip to San Francisco.

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