Journeys of the Spirit® June 2010 Newsletter
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!, I’d just like to honor your strength and awesome love!
What’s new – well Spring Cleaning is! It’s time to clear out the old and bring in the energy and freshness of the new. I’ve gone though my whole house and have given away several bags of clothing and items that I haven’t used in years – but like most of us, we hold onto items – JUST IN CASE we need them. Well – let’s lighten up and let go. If you haven’t used an item in a couple of years – give it away to someone who could use it more than you! Judy Mauer and I will be speaking about this in this month free teleclass. Either you own your things or your things own you! Do join us!
HELP!!! I want to know where YOU want to go for your next spiritual journey or retreat! Please help me help create the perfect journey for you by taking a moment to answer this survey. I SO appreciate your help! Thank you!! Travel Survey!
It’s the last chance to sign up for the Badlands Vision Quest, the Women’s Dolphin Swim in Bimini, and the Women’s Journey to Bali. If you’re interested – please contact me ASAP.
Early sign-up for Kenya, and Day of the Dead are key! Don’t forget!
BTW: This month’s article is: Hooked Like A Fish Again!
DO POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW (they won’t show up until approved) and please Tweet us to others!
Also, don’t miss Ales’s article this month on River Cruising. Having been on one, I highly recommend the experience! Travel Questions? You can find Ales here: Custom Travel Division!
Whatever it is, Ales is here to assist YOU!
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!
NORTH DAKOTA: Vision Quest into the Badlands
June 26 – July 7th, 2010
This spiritual retreat with facilitator Samvedam Randles takes us to the Badlands of North Dakota where views are expansive and bison and coyote walk freely. Daily practices of meditation, breathwork, shamanic journeying and group sharing will prepare us for a powerful vision quest. Rituals such as sweat lodge and fire ceremony will help us purify and prepare ourselves for time alone in the powerful presence of this land. Participants may choose to quest alone for three days and three nights in the badlands or participate in an alternative guided three day retreat at base camp.
You are invited to step out of your daily routines and broaden your sense of Self beyond the horizon of what is currently visible in order to realign with the original intention of your soul. Trip cost: $1680.00 USD dormitory style occ. Details for Badlands Vision Quest here!
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!
SWIM WITH THE WILD DOLPHINS: A Women’s Retreat of the Heart!
July 18-23rd, 2010
Ladies, come join us for a truly magical adventure of heart and spirit to the Caribbean Island of Bimini for an intimate and touching experience with the wild spotted dolphins. Connecting with their wondrous spirits can be a profoundly moving, deeply healing and life altering experience.
This week we will spend time looking at our communication skills, self-judgments and the limiting thought patterns which are preventing us from becoming the true manifestation of Spirit that we really are! The 2010 trip cost is: $1965.00 USD pp double occ or $2235.00 single occ in our 2 bedroom-2 bath condo suite (includes a full kitchen and shared living room). Single occ in a private studio condo unit is: $2375.00 USD. Details for Swimming with the Dolphins here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
Join me for a discussion on June 17th Thursday evening at 8:30pm Eastern and 5:30pm Pacific time. Judy Mauer from Creatively Organizing joins Sheri for an enlightening talk on Spring Cleaning! Sign-up here! If you missed any of the previous teleclasses you can listen them on the library page of my website.
NEED SOME CLARITY & A NEW POINT OF VIEW?
Join me in 2010 for a personal intensive! These intensives will take place in my home in the mountains of north Georgia. It’s a very quiet place to take time to reflect upon your life and the local hiking is amazing. You’ll stay here during your intensive and have the ability to cook your meals. Figure we’ll spend around 3 hours together in the morning and then you’ll do your assignments in the afternoon. Then we’ll catch back up for 1-2 hours in the evening to re-cap. Details here.
HOOKED LIKE A FISH AGAIN!
When I was a little girl, I remember going fishing with my dad, watching him carefully place the bait on the hook – gosh it all seemed so fascinating! I could not understand why the fish would want to bite the hook when they could clearly see it penetrating the bait. My dad smiled and patiently answered, “The fish are so tempted by the tasty morsel that they don’t put their attention on the hook!” Wow! I thought that was so weird since for eternity we’ve been fishing and fish have been watching us catch them. You’d think that they’d be onto us by now and avoid the bait! When I shared that thought with my dad he rolled his eyes and laughed, “Honey, the fish want the short term satisfaction of the food and don’t think about the consequences of the bait, and thank goodness or we’d have nothing for dinner!”
Since then, I’ve come to realize that people are no different than fish. And although we perceive ourselves to be higher on the evolutionary scale – in many ways we’re not. How many times in your life has someone said something challenging to you and instead of seeing their words as bait for a painful argument – you bite? You take the tasty morsel without paying attention to the shiny hook – favoring the momentary rush of being right over the long term consequences of living your life in conflict with others. We abdicate our personal power and responsibility in favor of something we can never truly control – the behavior, opinions and points of view of others. Truth is – if we take the bait we suffer the consequences.
So just like fish, we’ve been dealing with each other forever and we still haven’t learned that if we take the bait we’ll end up hooked. Does that sound like a conscious species to you? I don’t think so!
It’s important to understand that attention is the mechanism we use to create our reality – whether it is one of peace or suffering. The ability to focus our attention is the one of the few things in life we can actually control. We choose what we want to see and what we don’t want to see in any situation. If we put our attention on the bait we’ll feel the temptation for the tasty morsel rising in our bodies – whatever that bait represents for us in the moment. And we know the consequences of doing so, we all do but we do it anyway. So how many times are we going to choose to not see the hook in favor of the bait? How many centuries does humanity have to suffer this self-imposed ignorance?
I for one do not like the idea of being hooked like a fish and am tired of crying victim to the hooks I choose to bite. How can any of us cry ignorance when these hooks are dangling right in front of us? Truly, is there any bait that is so blinding that we cannot see the hook right behind it?
For example, how many times have your loved ones suggested that the person you’re dating is going to cause you to suffer? But just because you want the tasty morsel of someone to love, you take the bait – you’re SO hungry for attention, company and validation that you ignore the obvious.
Or how about when you’re applying for a job and the company hangs out a tempting lure? Your deep inner awareness is screaming NO as it can clearly see the hook. But because of your fear around lack and your need for security, your attention is focused on the money – and you take the bait suffering the consequences. Or how about when you’re afraid of your own success and living your life boldly – so you purposely sabotage yourself by taking bait you know will take you down the road to ruin? I could give thousands of examples of how we choose not to see the obvious, but I think you get the idea here. I for one have made the choice to place my attention on any and all inner fears that could possibly put me into a self-created denial, blinding me to the hooks that lurk behind all those tasty morsels in life. The question becomes will you do the same? I encourage you to open your eyes and be aware of where you choose to place your attention. It’s well worth it not to suffer like a fish on a hook!
With all my love, Sheri
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH
Published in 1988, The Alchemist is a spiritual classic and one of my all-time favorite books! Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in 1980, he experienced one of the defining moments of his life: he walked the 500-plus mile Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On this ancient highway, he achieved a self-awareness and a spiritual awakening that he later described in his book The Pilgrimage.
This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way – but what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. Pick up a copy today: The Alchemist
SPIRITUAL CINEMA CIRCLE
If You Love Movies, You Are About to Be Inspired AND Entertained!
When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle you will be making an important contribution to your world. You are encouraging talented, visionary filmmakers to continue in their efforts to add life and meaning to our movies and to raise the consciousness of the world by supporting and experiencing truly nourishing entertainment.
This month’s full feature film is Smile (U.S. and Canada). Two babies are born on the same day, but worlds apart — rural China and Malibu, California. Born with a facial deformity, Lin faces quiet hardship. Katie, who lives a pampered life, is drawn to work with the Doctor’s Gift program (based on Operation Smile). An adventure brings the teenage girls together, their lives forever changed.
Great news from our friends at Spiritual Cinema Circle – you can receive this full feature film plus 3 great short films for FREE when you sign up for a trial membership at no charge. (Just pay a small shipping fee). This is the only DVD service dedicated to films about love, compassion and inspiration: one of the many reasons we wanted you to know about them. Cancel your membership at any time. Join the Circle today! When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle a small percentage of your dollars come back to JOTS to support our free teleclass series!
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!
BALI INDONESIA: Women’s Goddess Retreat to Paradise – July 20-30th, 2010
Join Lore Raymond and 15 women very special “spiritual sojourners” for this VisionQuest to Bali. Our intent for this blessed spiritual retreat is to open hearts and inspire action as we “journey within” and discover the real Bali and ourselves. Through intimate experiences with the native people, special cultural interactions, and volunteerism – you will notice a change within that will forever change your life. Bali has a way of creeping into your heart and merging with your soul.
On this journey of the heart, VisionQuest women will be lovingly asked to bring 50 pounds of donated goods to gift local Balinese non-profits. And to honor Lore’s great-grandmother – 7% of all VisionQuests’ net proceeds will be donated to the international humanitarian work of Nurses with a Mission. The 2010 trip cost is: $2695.00 USD per person double occupancy (cash pricing). Details for Bali Goddesses here!
HAVASUPAI FALLS GRAND CANYON: Living Fearlessly
September 8-13th, 2010
On this adventure you descend into one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, into the heart of the Grand Canyon at Havasu Canyon, where we will hike and explore this incredible landscape, swimming in travertine pools of turquoise blue, enjoying the evenings at our comfortable permanent camp searching for stars, having great meals and sharing our experiences during our adventure.
This journey will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe and a true appreciation and love of the grandest places on earth. 2010 trip cost is: $2095.00 USD pp double occ, most meals included. Details for Havasupai Falls here!
SEDONA SPIRITUAL RETREAT: Embracing At-one-ment
September 16-21st, 2010
Join us for a magical and introspective spiritual retreat to the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. On the autumn equinox, day and night are of equal length reminding us that we too must honor the light and darkness within. It’s time for forgiving ourselves and bringing our regrets, sorrows, and resentments (our darkness) into the light so we can live our lives from a place of wholeness and love.
Healthy breakfasts at Briar Path Inn can be enjoyed by the fireside in the lodge, or on a tray at your cottage, or best of all, creekside! As part of this retreat we will engage in a fire ceremony, multiple ceremonies in beautiful locations, and a therapeutic healing massage. Shanti Gilbert is co-teaching with me on this journey. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details! Details for Sedona here!
THE MONTEREY PENINSULA: A Photography Workshop
Sept 29-Oct 3rd, 2010
Escape our technical world and re-focus your attention on your most authentic and creative self! Allow your senses to ignite from the breathtaking beauty of the Monterey Peninsula coastline. Invite the peace, quietude and meditative environment of Asilimar into your soul to help guide you back to your true authentic voice. We invite you to join award-winning photographer Catherine Just on this travel photography workshop and spiritual retreat.
For 4 nights and 3 full days we combine spiritual practice with photography for more mindful image-making through a deeper understanding of ourselves. Through meditation, journaling, discussion, comradery, photography exercises and connection with nature, we find our way back to the essence of who we are with clarity and lack of judgment. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details! Details for Monterey here!
KENYA, AFRICA: Into the Heart of the Motherland
October 4-15th, 2010
Connecting with the energy and wildlife of the motherland of all humanity is the focus of this amazing spiritual journey to Kenya, Africa. Here we will have the opportunity to witness some of the most powerful animals on our planet, befriend members of the Masai warrior tribe, and give deeply of ourselves at the Kids Alive Children’s Home and the Kamatongu Primary School.
Traditionally, the Maasai rarely hunt and living alongside wildlife in harmony is an important part of their beliefs. From July to October, 1.3 million Wildebeest pour across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon. Truly, this will be a powerful journey for us. 2010 trip cost is: $5695.00 USD pp double occ 6-12 participants OR $52855.00 USD pp double occ >12 participants – most meals included. Details for Kenya, Africa here!
PERU & MACHU PICCHU: Andean Mysteries
Oct. 21-31th, 2010
On this spiritual journey, we will be using the energies of this amazing country to assist us in experiencing the divine within. There will be time for ceremony and deep personal exploration on this sacred retreat. Using the three levels of the Inca’s mythology of transcendence, we move from the dark underworld of our own minds to the clarity of spiritual consciousness. The snake, puma and condor will be the symbols we use to represent our spiritual ascension for these 9 sacred days together.
You will be joined on this journey by Carol Rydell, and our guide, Romulo Castilla a Peruvian Shaman, and great source of the ancient Inca teachings and traditions. There is a story of a long-foretold alignment of the Earth with the axis of the Milky Way galaxy announcing a new dawn. In Peru, descendants of the Inca call this time the Pachakuti, “the return of the light” after 500 years of darkness. Peru is said to be the “morning of the new sun” – the portal through which rays of the new light will begin to awaken humanity to a new consciousness. 2010 trip cost is: $2,699.00 USD per person double occupancy – most meals and internal airfare included. Details for Peru here!
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico – A Powerful Celebration of Life!
October 30th-November 7th, 2010
Mexicans love Day of the Dead, it’s a revered and festive holiday where folk celebrate their beloveds’ who have passed. Families create altars filled with pictures, food and items that belonged to the deceased. Together we’ll learn to enjoy life as it is – as true “Artists of the Spirit.”
We’ll be visiting the graveyard, and creating our own altars – whether they are to our own loved ones who have passed, or to a relationship that we want to let go of, or even an aspect of ourselves we’re ready to let go of. We’ll also go to the local market, visit the sacred ruins of Monte Alban & Mitla, and so much more. By the end of this journey you’ll have the tools to re-create your reality and to face your greatest fear – expressing your life with integrity, honesty, fearlessness and joy. Join HeatherAsh & Sheri on this spiritual journey of the heart. 2010 trip cost is: $2465.00 USD pp double occ, some meals included. Details for Day of the Dead here!
Teotihuacán, México: Un Viaje de Sanación – Reclamando Nuestro Poder y Nuestra Fe
8 al 13 de diciembre del 2010 – Con Millie Muñoz
Este ha sido un año de muchos retos para muchos de nosotros en muchos aspectos. Cuando las circunstancias son difíciles, la tendencia es cuestionar La Vida y preguntar, “¿por qué yo? ¿por qué a mí?” Pero esta pregunta solamente viene cuando no tenemos la conciencia de quien en realidad somos y como co-creamos nuestras vidas. La pregunta no es, “¿qué nos ha hecho la vida?” si no “cómo hemos co-creado con esto que llamamos La Vida?” Terminemos el año con una jornada del corazón y hagámonos ver con nuevos ojos, a entregarnos a la vida con fe y certeza, a dejar ir todo lo que nos limite a vivir una vida plena, a amar inmensamente y a perdonar—a nosotros mismos y a los demás.
Juntos nos pasaremos seis días celebrando a la Virgen de Guadalupe (cuyo día es el 12 de diciembre) en el sagrado sitio de Teotihuacán, México. Ella es la Patrona de todos los Mexicanos y de todo América, y la protectora de todos los niños que sufren. Ella es proclamada por muchos milagros, por confortar muchas almas, proteger a los pobres y nos guarda a todos bajo su gracia. Honremos a la eterna madre y como nos inspira y nos anima a co-crear un Nuevo Sueño de Amor Incondicional y Aceptación. Dejemos que este sea nuestro tiempo de sanación para que podamos vivir nuestras vidas con nuestros corazones abiertos—usando nuestro poder interno para crear un año 2011 magnífico y pleno. Precio del viaje: $1299.00 por persona con dos personas por habitación y todas las comidas incluidas. Detalles aquí!
PALENQUE, MEXICO: 2012 Mayan Prophecies – Bringing in the Light
Dec 17-22, 2010
Here we’ll travel back in time from the remains of the Olmecs at La Venta to the incredible structures of the Maya at Palenque and Tonina. During our week together we’ll be preparing for the 2012 Mayan prophecies by using these sacred underworld sites to birth a dream of world peace into the light. In addition, we’ll have the opportunity to meet with a Mayan elder to talk more about what the 2012 prophecies mean for them.
We’ll immerse ourselves in the mythology of the underworld exploring the aspects of ourselves long abandoned or forgotten , leading to the rebirth of our integrity and oneness for ourselves and for the world. 2010 cost: coming soon. Details for Palenque here!
BHUTAN: Blessings of the Heart, Meditation & Service
December 9-21st, 2010
Not many people have actually heard about Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon. These proud people are Tantric Buddhists who also have a Shamanistic background called Bon – and a fantastic history filled with legends and mythology.
We’ll have the opportunity to spend a day at one of the annual religious dance festivals, participate in a special prayer and blessing ceremony and hike up to Tiger’s Nest temple where Guru Rinpoche flew to on the back of a flaming tigress! We’ll also be giving of ourselves and helping the nuns by being in service. Through meditation, chanting, prayer and ceremony – we will expand our consciousness and cultivate the compassion of Buddha within us. 2010 trip cost is: $5195.00 USD pp double occ, all meals and roundtrip airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan included. Details for Bhutan here!
PATAGONIA ARGENTINA: Reconnecting with Nature & Transcendence
Patagonia: truly one of the most remote, pristine and untouched territories on our planet. On this heart-opening spiritual retreat, we will immerse ourselves deeply and profoundly into our sacred connection with the natural world. We invite you to join us on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, nurtured by the intense energy of amazing glacial lakes, pure creeks, astonishing waterfalls, beautiful forests and breathtaking mountains.
Our daily road-map will guide us to different territories, not just in a geographical sense, but experientially too. The four essential elements (air, fire, water and earth), will be our temporal destinations – visiting stunning natural settings to complement each element and its manifestations, establishing a sacred communion between us and nature. From our home base at Estancia Peuma Hue, a spiritually centered 500 acre eco-boutique ranch, we will discover true integration with these vital essences.
Our time together will include a variety of activities such as: forest hikes, waterfalls, lakes and amazing viewpoints, meditation, mind-body relaxation and stress management techniques (Qigong and/or TaiChi), group ritual, celebrations and games, traditional self-healing knowledge, guided horseback rides, conscious observation, enriching group reflections and much more! 2011 trip cost is: If you sign up before October 1st, 2010: $4149.00 USD per person double occupancy, $5175.00 USD per person single occupancy most meals included & internal flights. Details for Patagonia here!
RIVER CRUISING – Finding peace and quietude at a leisurely pace
Even though river cruising has been around for years, I’ve just recently discovered that it’s a wonderful way to travel to many of the world’s most precious gems – places you might never visit otherwise.
I bet you didn’t know that you can traverse ALL of Europe – from Amsterdam to the Black Sea in 24 days by river?
Three years ago Sheri took a Barge trip down the Soane River in France – a trip she will never forget – or so she likes to remind me! Visiting vineyards, quaint villages, castles and shopping for bread and cheese using her French dictionary (with lot’s of gesturing) were highlights of her experience. Sitting on the top deck drifting slowing down the river truly is a spiritual experience challenging us to slow down and match the pace of the river. How relaxing to have time to sit out on the sun deck allowing the scenery to drift by, nourishing your senses and spirit, taking in all the different fragrances of flowers, trees and the river – an ever changing vista around every bend.
FYI: River cruises are NOT floating hotels with 400 rooms filled with people looking for tons of food, glitz and cheap rooms! They are filled with thoughtful cultural interactions, deep personal reflections, and unusual itineraries.
On a big ship you vacation with 1000 people versus a small ship that holds maybe 100 people. It’s about interacting intimately with the countries you are visiting – docking in places no big ship can access. And, since you’re on a river – the chances of sea-sickness are at a minimum while close-up views are at a maximum.
Having grown up in Germany, one of my personal favorites is the Christmas River cruise through Germany and Austria, visiting all the festive Christmas Markets along the way, with the most famous one being in Nuremberg. I can just smell the German Lebkuchen, roasted almonds and the Gluehwein. If you don’t know what any of these are, please let me know and I’ll be happy to explain them to you or be surprised and find out for yourself when you get there.
After having taken in the sights, sounds and fragrances of the Christmas Market, consider walking into one of the many churches, cathedrals or chapels and just sit there taking in the beautiful sounds of Christmas hymns. I promise it will be inspiring and uplifting unlike any Christmas holiday you’ve experienced back home.
Have I peeked your curiosity about river cruise? I hope so! Please feel free to contact me, I’d love to have a chat and share all the wonderful options and experiences that are available. From the Yangtse River in China to the Seine River in France – your magical journey awaits you!
Ales Struna – Director of Custom Travel Services
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video!
I hope you enjoy the message this video has to share – sometimes we all need a little encouragement to step off that cliff into the unknown. Truly we are supported and if we have faith in that we will create a dream of unlimited blessings. Enjoy!
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“My call for a spiritual revolution is thus not a call for a religious revolution. Nor is it a reference to a way of life that is somehow other-worldly, still less to something magical or mysterious. Rather, it is a call for a radical re-orientation away from our habitual preoccupation with self towards concern for the wider community of beings with whom we are connected, and for conduct which recognizes others interests alongside our own.”
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama