If there’s one thing we learned from last year is that our old systems are no longer working and it’s time for change. How that translates from the larger world economy down to our individual lives is quite personal. But it begs our attention and awareness – and is pulling us to a place of deep honesty and revelation. The question becomes: What can I let go of what is no longer working for me? What stories am I invested in that are holding me back from my magnificence?
I can’t answer that for you and I’ll bet that your limited mind can’t answer that for you either. After all, our mind got us where we are now – and we can’t use the same level of consciousness that created our situation to get us out of that situation. We’ve got to break the box and go beyond our comfort zone to do that. It’s time to start depending on our heart and our deepest desires – the ones born of love and light. Yes, we have many desires – but we too often confuse our mind’s fearful desires with the one’s that drive our souls.
I hope you can join me and the other wonderful teachers featured on my website for a very special spiritual journey or retreat this year. Give yourself space and time to consider a life new direction. Also if you have time on Feb 16th join me for a fun teleclass with Joann Antonelli from The Martyn House – we’ll be talking about manifesting for the new year (it’s free – see the details under events below).
As for news, if you’re planning to join our yoga retreat in Cartagena, Colombia February 6-12th – let me know ASAP!
Same for Israel & Jordan March 3-15th – registration is NOW!
BTW: This month’s article is: Recognizing Fear! Hope you enjoy it. DO POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW (they won’t show up right away until they are approved)!
Meet Ales Struna – our head travel dreamer and director of our new Custom Travel Division! If you need airline tickets, a custom designed trip (it doesn’t have to be a spiritual journey), cruise bookings, or anything – he can do it! As a world traveler, he knows the in’s and out’s of the business and is ready to serve you.
Here you can see him and his son – who is already a well-seasoned world traveler! If you need a tip on how to get your kids to behave while on a trip – I am sure Ales has an answer for you!
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA: Body Spirit Yoga Retreat – LAST MOMENT TO REGISTER!
February 6-12th, 2010
Truly a gem of the Caribbean – the port town of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia has been a beauty and delight to visitors for centuries. Between the sultry sounds and the warm ocean breezes, Cartegena is the perfect place to slow down, relax and sooth the mind, body and spirit!
We’ll spend 7 days in our own private heavenly mansion, centering ourselves and deepening our yoga practice. Each day yoga teacher Jhon T (owner of Atmananda Yoga Center in NYC) will guide us into the sacred vinyasa practice – opening ourselves to the power of transformation, quieting our minds, and opening our hearts. Trip cost: $2629.00 USD per person. Details for our Yoga retreat here!
IMPORTANT: LAST MOMENT TO SIGN UP!
ISRAEL & JORDAN: Walking in the Footsteps of the Masters
Israel: March 3-12 & extension to Petra, Jordan: Mar 12-15, 2010
Of all the sacred sites in the world, The Holy Land is certainly one of the most inspiring and emotional. It’s remarkable that three of the largest mono-theistic religions were born in this tiny area: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
During our spiritual journey to Israel we’ll travel through time and immerse ourselves in the footsteps of the great spiritual masters. By connecting to these sacred and holy spaces we’ll find our own internal heaven-on-earth and divine consciousness. 2010 trip cost is: $3995.00 USD per person double occupancy for the journey to Israel (many meals are included). If you’d like to join us for the extension to Jordan and Petra, the cost would be an additional $1395.00 USD per person double occupancy. Details for Israel here!
IMPORTANT: THREE SPOTS LEFT!
SEDONA: Goddess Healing Spiritual Retreat
March 19-24th, 2010
Join Shanti during this unprecedented time of spiritual awakening – when the cosmic scales of light are balanced in perfect equilibrium – when night is equal to day. The intent of our retreat is to release and dissolve old repressed emotions, played-out dramas, self-sabotaging and limiting habitual life patterns, and to open to planting the seeds of true joy, love, forgiveness, compassion and self-love.
The Light House is a nourishing and intimate place to treat yourself to a much needed rest and rejuvenation. Healthy food, morning stretches, walking to powerful vortexes, sacred ceremonies, and self-nurturing will be our focus. Each person will receive a bodywork treatment – and have their astrology chart interpreted by Rosine Fievet. 2010 trip cost is: $1795.00 USD double occupancy, most meals included. Details for our Goddess Retreat here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
Sheri speaks with Joann Antonelli from The Martyn House this month on: The Magical Mystical Journey for Creating Your Dream in 2010! Join us on Tuesday night February 16th at 5:30pm PT & 8:30pm ET. Join me in a very lively conversation that will get you inspired and dreaming.
Please join us & register here.
LISTEN TO OUR ARCHIVED TELECLASSES!
You can hear our last 3 teleclasses and our archived monthly audio messages on the library page of the website.
A NEW OPPORTUNITY for 2010
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 full access to your own kitchen and space. 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.
AWAKEN – THE MOVIE
If you are in NYC consider going to see the movie Awaken, followed by an exclusive week-end workshop on awakening led by the film’s teachers at The META Center.
Many of us like to imagine ourselves as pretty fearless – but I’d like to share some thoughts about fear that perhaps you’ve never considered before. Keep in mind that the ego-mind is fantastic at creating a wall of justifications – and if that doesn’t work it can always depend on denial when things get tough! I’m curious as to what you think – so let’s get to it and remember to post your thoughts below!
Most of our fears are quite obvious and we can identify them immediately. For example, if you’re afraid of heights or snakes – you know exactly what you’re afraid of. But what about when you get pissed at something that was said or done to you and you start arguing, defending yourself, or blaming others? Are you as clear then? Some of you might be thinking – what does that have to do with fear – that’s simply two people not agreeing about something happening in life. Right?
Absolutely not! If we can see the human mind as an archery target – we can visualize the thought forms and actions of others coming at us like arrows. If you’re mentally rigid, your bull-eye will be obvious to others, clear as day and easy to hit. But if you’re mentally fluid (not attached to any particular point of view) like running water – you won’t be a walking target – after all, you can’t hit a target that isn’t solid! When we argue with others it’s because we feel like we’re being attacked – we’re afraid that we’re going to be made to be wrong, stupid in some way, less than or unworthy. Those thoughts solidify us and make us easy marks. Of course we don’t think this consciously – this is an unconscious mental process based on our old unconscious agreements.
When your mind is open, fluid and unattached – life comes at you, but nothing can stick. Things that others say and do don’t bother you. You may not agree with others – but you don’t care because you no longer feel like people are attacking you, and you no longer have anything left to defend.
With a fluid mind you have more tolerance for others and you respect them even if you don’t resonate with the way they live their life or their thinking.
When your parents, partner, family or co-workers bicker with you it’s because they’re afraid. If they insult you or put you down it’s because of fear – not because they’re nasty or bad people.
When folks take your actions personally that’s fear in action and the same applies when you take the words and deeds of others personally. If we could see the bigger picture and recognize that the ego-mind is very afraid, that would give us a great advantage in life. It would be clear to us that when our “outside” reality doesn’t match up with what our mind believes to be truth we get very nervous and scared.
In the end awareness is the cure to all mental ills! If we can see fear in action within us – we’ll have a greater tolerance for the same in others. That opens the door to compassion, love and ultimately peace and respect. I encourage you to sit with this for a while and observe yourself in your social situations and see your fear in action (without judgment). Once illuminated, any behavior can be changed and transformed – and that’s what it’s all about!
With all my love, Sheri
HELPING HAITI – Reaching Out
I know that all of you have been touched by the earthquake in Haiti and the amazing amount of damage sustained by this small island. Thankfully so many people have mobilized resources to assist these wonderful people. If you haven’t already – please consider donating to one of the organizations listed below.
|Action Against Hunger
Air Serve International
Doctors Without Borders
American Red Cross
or text the word HAITI to 90999 for a $10 donation*
or text the word HAITI to 20222 for a $10 donation*
|Habitat for Humanity
Humane Society International
Partners in Health
Save the Children
The Salvation Army
UN World Food Programme
United Way International
*please note that texted donations will appear on your wireless phone bill. The money is collected by the phone company and then passed onto the intended charity, which can take as long as 90 days from the time of donation.
RECOMMENDED BOOKS OF THE MONTH
In the Idiot’s Guide, my intent is to give you a clear understanding of the basic tenets of the Toltec philosophy and the three masteries that form its backbone. There’s been a lot of confusion and mystification of these teachings, but I think that by the end of this book you will come to see how practical and down to earth this path really is. Indeed, what attracts folks to this wisdom is its no-nonsense way of looking at personal growth and spiritual development.
In Banish Mind Spam!, I explain how our minds are programmed from birth through the domestication and socialization process. For me, I see the internal dialogue of the mind, that voice that is constantly chatting in our heads, as “spam.” It tells us things that are not necessarily truth, and in fact are often self-limiting and self-sabotaging in nature, crowding out the important messages from our heart, integrity and Spirit. Banish Mind Spam! sets out a clear avenue to explore the structure of your mind and personal programming, and then lays out steps for obtaining your personal freedom and emotional peace.
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 feature film is: Amal. It’s a modern-day parable that tells the story of a man named Amal – a simple, humble auto-rickshaw driver in the colorful, bustling city of New Delhi, India, who lives to do “the right thing” in every situation.
This riveting and surprising tale ultimately reveals that the poorest of men are sometimes the richest – truly heart-warming. Watch the preview of this feature film plus the 3 shorts! This months DVD includes these films plus an in-depth interview with spiritual teacher Alan Cohen!
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!
TEOTIHUACÁN: “The Place Where Humans Become as God”
April 22-27th, 2010
Using the layout of the city as a model for transcendence, we spend four days changing our dream of frustration and suffering, to a dream of inner peace and heaven. Just as the ancient Toltecs did here at Teotihuacán, we too will practice the masteries of Awareness, Transformation and Intent.
On this journey we’ll be focusing our attention on “The Medicine Bag” – a powerful process that allows you to see your mental map and its limiting aspects (designed by my teacher don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements®). You’ll need to bring a couple of specific items with you on this journey to create your medicine bag – but you can bring your magical creation home with you so that you can continue your process there. 2010 cost: $1150.00 USD per person double occupancy, all meals included. Details for Teotihuacan here!
EARLY REGISTRATION A MUST!
SACRED BRITAIN & SCOTLAND: A Women’s Journey to Avalon
Sacred Britain: June 2-11th – extension to Rosslyn: June 11-14th
Within the heart of every woman is the desire for a grail quest for personal freedom and internal peace. On this sacred journey we’ll be visiting Glastonbury, otherwise known as the Isle of Avalon. Glastonbury Abbey, the birthplace of Christianity in England is often referred to as the “holiest earth in England.”
We’ll visit to the enchanted Dozmary Pool where we come into the presence of the Lady of the Lake at her mystical and watery home. Experience a private visit to the beautiful and tranquil gardens of Chalice Well, one of the true healing places in this land and a private visit to Stonehenge, plus so much more! This trip is being led by Madeleine Marentette, founder of Grail Life Academy and Sheri will be joining her. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details (approximately $3500.00 USD for Britain and around $1300.00 USD for the extension to Scotland including the roundtrip flight from England to Scotland) Details for Sacred Britain here!
THE OREGON COAST: A Photography Workshop
June 10-14th, 2010
Please join us on this amazing photography workshop and spiritual retreat with award-winning photographer Catherine Just. We’ll be relaxing for 4 days in a beautiful oceanfront home set along the stunning Oregon beach. As we observe and listen to the ocean – we’ll have the opportunity to delve deep into the heart of our own creative process.
Surrounded by nature you’ll have unlimited potential for quiet image making and communion between yourself and the earth, sky, mountains, trees and ocean. This merging between self and nature is experienced in the moment your being knows it’s time to click or take the picture. All are welcome – so don’t be shy! 2010 cost: A single room and workshop: $620.00 USD, or a double room and workshop: $530.00 USD, or a bed in the common room and workshop: $499.00 USD. Details for Oregon here!
SWIM WITH THE WILD DOLPHINS: A Women’s Retreat of the Heart!
July 11-16th, 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. Although they do not speak our language, dolphins are natural empaths who respond to the emotions we radiate and the judgmental thoughts or clarity of mind we possess. 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 per person 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 cost if you choose a private studio condo unit is: $2375.00 USD. Details for Swimming with the Dolphins 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.
It is this spiritual energy that forms the basis for our 5 days of heart-felt transformation and personal expansion. The focus and intent of this journey is to transcend any fears we have about what we can and cannot accomplish in our lives. 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 per person double occupancy, 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 easy to focus on our divine nature and light while we push away, deny and fear the 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 of fresh home-baked breads and muffins, crunchy granola, yogurt, fresh fruits and juices, eggs in the shell, coffee and herbal teas 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!
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; lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and gazelles, and 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, the promise of rain brings more than 1.3 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. They 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, an opportunity to open our hearts to nature and to those in need. 2010 trip cost is: $5695.00 USD per person double occ 6-12 participants OR $52855.00 USD per person double occ >12 participants – most meals included. Details for Kenya, Africa here!
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico – A Women’s 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.” Indeed, becoming a supreme artist of the spirit involves creating from the heart, not from a mind filled with fear-based beliefs about what we can and cannot do.
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 per person double occupancy, some meals included. Details for Day of the Dead here!
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. Utilizing the energy and intent of these structures we’ll delve into our own underworld and then burst forth to merge with the sun and the light that we are. 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, for many years this little country about the size of Switzerland has been off limits of foreigners. You must realize that Bhutan is not like any place you are likely to travel to. The people are Tantric Buddhists who also have a Shamanistic background called Bon – and a fantastic history filled with legends and mythology. In fact, one of the highlights of our journey is hiking to Tiger’s Nest where Guru Rinpoche flew to on the back of a flaming tigress!
Thankfully we will have the opportunity to spend a day at one of the annual religious dance festivals, and participate in a special prayer and blessing ceremony. 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 per person double occupancy, all meals and roundtrip airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan included. Details for Bhutan here!
I’m so exited about our Custom Travel Services and we hope you are too! Today I’d like to share my first hot travel tip with you. January and February are great months to book a mini-vacation for April or May. If you normally go away mid-winter – doesn’t it feel like forever until late spring? Wouldn’t it be great to spend a few days rejuvenating your mind, body and spirit?
It’s important to take care of ourselves in the mist of our hectic and busy lives – and I have the perfect solution! Have you ever considered a short cruise up the Pacific West Coast? It’s the perfect setting for a mini-rest with time to read, journal or spend at the ship’s spa.
Here’s what happens in April and May – most cruise lines are re-positioning their armada of ships after spending the winter in the south and begin switching to their northern summer cruise schedule. They offer great deals for these 3 – 7 day cruises making it a great mini-get-away, the perfect time to spend alone or with your loved ones.
Leaving from San Diego or Los Angeles, they all and end up in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Some travel over a period of 3 days, without stopping and others stop in some rarely visited ports. Last year I went solo and enjoyed the serenity, fresh ocean breezes, long walks along the deck and a couple of good books (I met some great folks too!). Simply rejuvenating!
These cruises tend to be quite peaceful, taking place after the busy spring break season. They’re also a great way to experience a cruise line or ship that you were thinking about booking in the future. We currently have great rates on these and other cruises throughout the year along with low airfares.
Of course it’s not just about the lowest fares – it’s truly about personal service. We’ll be there to take care of all your wishes so that your journey will be the vacation of a lifetime every time you travel with us. Please contact me with any questions or ideas you might have about your next trip!
Happy Travels! Ales Struna – Director of Custom Travel Services
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video
Learn with expert guided meditation mentors, who will walk you, step-by-step, through deep breathing exercises, guided meditations, and an inspirational journey towards aiding you in taking control of your emotions and state of happiness. These amazing guided training modules are based on the work that comes from years of experience in mind/body applications, and will provide you with hours of inspiration and motivation as you head down the path toward greater happiness in your life. Learn about our expert guides featured in Healing Rhythms. Our guided breathing training programs are also available in an engaging game format, The Passage: Journey to the Wild Divine, along with the expansion pack, Wisdom Quest, featuring Dr. Deepak Chopra as your personal guide. Wilddivine.com
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“Just as material things are made of dust, so too are our perceptions and thoughts mere dust. Just as it takes only a moment to wipe the dust from the surface of a mirror, so it takes only a moment to become enlightened, the moment all defiled intentions are cleared from our consciousness, we will see ourselves in the mirror of perfect truth.”
~ Master Hsing Yun from Describing the Indescribable