I am so excited to begin a New Year – filled with the faith that wonderful new directions are about to reveal themselves. Indeed this may involve letting go of old and comfortable paradigms, learning to be more responsible for the way we live our lives: the way we manage money, the way we eat, and the way we express our love.
If we move beyond our fear of the unknown and choose to embrace the infinite realm of possibilities, we can come out of these challenging times full steam ahead. What I wish for each of you is the ability to be flexible and open to what is about to unfold and to make a commitment to make this year the most bodacious one of all!
As for news, you’ll notice that we finally have our dates for our journeys to TEOTIHUACAN April 22-27th (learning the Medicine Bag process) and BIMINI July 11-16th (swimming with the wild dolphins). PLEASE NOTE – our SEDONA trip in September has new dates over Labor Day weekend (Sept 1-6th) and a slightly different theme. Also, if you’re interested in our spiritual journey to Israel & Jordan – registration is now!
Sign up NOW for our wonderful YOGA RETREAT retreat in Cartagena, Colombia (my dear friend Jhon T owner of Atmananda Yoga center in NYC is teaching, do watch his video on the right). It’s the perfect winter get-away – February 6-12th – please join us!
<– That’s the mansion we’re renting for our yoga trip!
BTW: This month’s article is: You Reap What You Sow. Hope you enjoy it. DO POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW (they won’t show up right away until they are approved)!
NEW! Journeys of the Spirit® now has a Custom Travel Division with Ales Struna being our head travel dreamer! 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 ins and outs of the business and is ready to serve you.
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 – and to enjoy a very special yoga retreat and winter get-away! Filled with delightful little shops, intimate cafes, charming colonial buildings, and quaint restaurants – you will be inspired by this Caribbean town.
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. By the time we go home we will be refreshed in our bodies and our souls ready to make positive changes in our lives.
Truly you’ll be staying in one of the most stunningly beautiful and oldest historic colonial homes in Cartagena. This majestic mansion was renovated by the famous master architect Alvaro Barrera in 2007, and it is considered one of the most prestigious and exclusive residences of Cartagena. During your stay, you’ll be taken care of by dedicated personnel who will give you all the special attention you need and deserve as if you were in a grand luxury hotel. Trip cost: $2629.00 USD per person single occupancy only (until we reach 15 people – then we will allow doubles) – $2169.00 USD per person double occupancy. Details for our Yoga retreat here!
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST REGISTER by JANUARY 15th!
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. Consider that Jerusalem is where Solomon built the Great Temple, Christ was crucified, and the Prophet Mohammad came during his famous night journey. Indeed the Holy Land has been a place of great faith and hope – and terrible war and sorrow.
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. Your heart will open as you move through these places of prayer and devotion. 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!
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. With winter behind us it’s time to celebrate our blossoming life force, to transform our inner darkness to light, and to plant the seeds of a new dream of deeper personal wisdom, understanding, patience, abundance, health, love, and peace.
The Mago Retreat Center, located on 150 acres of vortex energy, is a nourishing and intimate place to treat yourself to a much needed rest and rejuvenation. Serving a delicious vegetarian (and fish) menu, their staff supports the health and wholeness of each visitor. Healthy food, morning stretches, walking to powerful vortexes, sacred ceremonies, and self-nurturing will be our focus. The Birthing Cave and our vortex sites will hold many of our ceremonies where we’ll birth ourselves anew, free of old storylines, agendas and dogmas.
You’ll participate in pipe, fire and springtime celebration ceremonies. Each person will receive a bodywork treatment from Joumana, voted the best massage therapist in Sedona – and have their astrology chart interpreted by Rosine Fievet, who’s been charting for over 3 decades! In addition you’ll experience one of Mago’s signature therapies – a very special treat. 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. To be reborn, and step into the next chapter of our lives, for our personal and planetary awakening.2010 trip cost is: $1795.00 USD double occupancy, most meals included. Details for our Goddess Retreat here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
Sheri speaks this month on: The Fifth Agreement! It’s exciting that don Miguel’s new book has come out. Join me in talking about the new book. Please join us & register here.
LISTEN TO OUR ARCHIVED TELECLASSES!
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.
Listen to Sheri’s interview on On Opening Hearts & Healing Minds with host Lea Yekutiel
Sheri shares how we can discover the current agreements we have with ourselves and how to investigate the beliefs that are causing our emotional reactions. http://www.blogtalkradio.com
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
December is a wonderful time to reflect upon all the seeds we’ve planted the year before. When I look upon 2008, I can see the actions that lead to the landscape of my 2009 garden. It’s important to take note of which seeds we planted, which plants we watered and fertilized, and which weeds we allowed to overtake our gardens due to our fear and denial.
Creating a beautiful garden takes attention, dedication and desire – just like everything we do in life. The seeds we choose to plant are critical as we must live with the results of those choices. And should times get tough and we experience a drought – we can still prioritize and focus on what’s most important for us to cultivate even if that means watering only one plant.
Many times we end up not liking what we’ve planted and rather than addressing the unwanted plants we get scared and abandon our garden. What grows in our garden isn’t anyone else’s fault or responsibly, but often we want to blame the way our garden looks on external circumstances. Instead of taking responsibility for our creation and changing it, we blame the mess on the rotten dog next door, the lack of rain, aphids, ground hogs, or killer weeds. We’re so afraid of our power of creation and the possible judgment by others – that we abandon our gardens, sabotaging them and ultimately proving what we truly believe about ourselves – that we’re not good enough.
Other times we allow a thicket of spiny bushes to grow hoping to cover up some overly consuming plant that has gotten out of control. We no longer want to deal with that issue so we try to hide the irritating plant behind some fast growing bush figuring if it’s out of sight it will be out of mind! Of course any gardener knows that you can’t ignore a problem plant with its tenuous roots multiplying everywhere. For sure “denial” is not a river running through your garden.
An avid gardener does a little weeding and pruning daily to tweek their creation and make important changes as soon as issues come up. If we ignore how our gardens are developing it’s easy to become overwhelmed and make excuses for our procrastination and avoidance. We all know what happens next – the plants we ignore just keep on growing until they’re out of control and we’re forced to take action. Then not only do we have to take action on what we were avoiding in the first place, but now we’ve got to deal with the damage caused by the overgrown voracious weeds and wild bushes.
Robert Louis Stevenson once said: Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Indeed. If you plant cabbage don’t expect to grow lettuce. You might produce a huge harvest of cabbage – but that won’t meet your mental expectations if you were looking for lettuce. However, your efforts are always successful because they always reflect your actions. Knowing this – let’s focus on the seeds we plant this year and be clear about what we want to grow. Since we reap what we sow, let’s use our hearts to determine what we would like to plant and be very choosy about what goes into our gardens.
Spend some time reflecting on what plants you would like to see in your garden. Imagine what your garden would look and feel like. Breathe in the scent of your garden and revel in the loveliness. You don’t have to have every step mapped out, simply take one action and the following step will be revealed to you at the proper time. Have faith in your creation and ability to create beauty as you are divine spirit in action! I encourage you to be brave and open to what life has to offer and don’t abdicate your personal power to fear and uncertainty.
May you have a blessed New Year!
MY FAVORITE MEDITATION ASSISTANT
Centerpointe Research Institute!
I just wanted to introduce all of you to my favorite meditation tool. Before recommending this product – I decided to give it a try myself to see how it works. I have been experimenting with this program for 10 months now and I highly recommend it! I could go into how the sound technology works – but it ‘s better if you read their material yourself.
Centerpointe Research Institute has created a proprietary audio technology called Holosync® that instantly (and gently) puts you into deep states of meditation (in fact, even deeper than those achieved by veteran Zen Monks), at the push of a button. This means that you can now start enjoying and profiting from all the recognized health benefits of deep meditation beginning the very first day you use it instead of waiting through years of hard practice. Just click to order a free demo disc.
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH
I just finished reading don Miguel’s newest book! Since 1997, The Four Agreements has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world with a simple but profound message. Now bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz and his son, don Jose Ruiz, collaborate with this powerful sequel The Fifth Agreement. The Four Agreements provides the foundation for breaking thousands of agreements that create needless suffering and with The Fifth Agreement you recover all the power of your authenticity, which is who you really are when you are born. Don Miguel’s Fifth Agreement, “Don’t believe yourself, and don’t believe anyone else”, is excellent advice for seeing the world with new eyes and fostering the possibility of clear, peaceful, and positive communication. Pick up a copy on Amazon today: The Fifth Agreement
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: Counting Backwards. When career-driven Joe is diagnosed with terminal leukemia on the eve of his big promotion, he re-evaluates everything. Now that his days are numbered, the questions that used to be so easy to avoid are impossible to ignore. Joe commits to living the life he always wanted, and begins a quirky relationship with Claire, the fun-loving girl of his dreams. This romance sets the stage for an imaginative, inspiring take on what life could be about if he was willing to fight for it. Counting Backwards dares us to reach for our dreams. Watch the preview of this feature film plus the 3 shorts!
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. Each month you receive 4 features and shorts on DVD. You may cancel your membership at any time. Join the Circle today!
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. Get ready for a private visit to the beautiful and tranquil gardens of Chalice Well, one of the true healing places in this land where you are encouraged to drink from the holy well. Join us for a private visit to Stonehenge, plus so much more! This trip is being led by Madeleine Marentette, founder and creator of Grail Life Academy and Grail Springs, Canada’s leading health spa and transformation centre. She’s also author of “Grail Springs Holistic Detox: For Body, Mind & Spirit.” 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 which includes the roundtrip flight from England to Scotland) Details for Sacred Britain here!
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. The energy here is perfect to support our personal growth and development. Discover all the things that have been preventing you from expressing yourself fully and authentically in this lifetime. Just as the ancient Toltecs did here at Teotihuacán, we too will practice the three masteries for personal freedom: 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!
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.
Journey with us on this rich and vibrant retreat. 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. This knowing is what we wish to experience time and time again – the mysterious space in time when we merge with spirit though the camera lens. Connecting deeply with the oneness of life we have the desire to express our feelings on film. 2010 cost: coming soon! 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. During our time with the dolphins we’ll have the opportunity to open our hearts and practice unconditional love and acceptance, for these marvelous creatures, ourselves and each other. 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. These are wild dolphins and when we approach their pods they make the choice to come and join, swim and connect with us. 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 interfering with our most important relationships and preventing us from becoming the true manifestation of Spirit that we really are! This is a profound and heartfelt trip – there will be plenty of time for swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling the reefs, meditating, group class, group discussion, swimming, journaling, resting, and sharing. The 2010 trip cost is: $1965.00 USD per person double occupancy or $2235.00 single occupancy in our 2 bedroom-2 bath condo suite (includes a full kitchen and shared living room). Single occupancy 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 (with exclusive arrangement with the Havasupai tribe) 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 and within the depths of the canyon and the heart of the mother earth – we will find our answers. Some say you haven’t lived until you’ve taken a journey through Grand Canyon. This journey takes you through the heart of the canyon and will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe and a true appreciation and love of the grandest place on earth. Within the depths of the canyon and the heart of the mother earth we will find our answers. 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. For six days we’ll have the opportunity to experience the beauty, majesty and energy of this unusual location on our Mother Earth. Each day we will visit a different vortex to illuminate our inner light and darkness, and in addition, the limiting beliefs and concepts that are keeping us from divine self-realization and oneness.
In many calendars autumn heralds the beginning of a new cycle and a new year. 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. During our time together on this sacred land we’ll reflect on the past year and commit to dreaming a healthier future filled with our highest intent. 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. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing the things that no longer serve us and in doing so, open our hearts fully to experience at-one-ment.
We’ll be gathering at the charming Briar Patch Inn located along Oak Creek. 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 which is part of the retreat package. If you are looking for a place to open your heart and to gain clarity of your mind, this is where you want to be. Shanti Gilbert is co-teaching with me on this journey. 2010 trip cost is: see trip website page 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, 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 occupancy 6-12 participants OR $52855.00 USD per person double occupancy >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 holiday where folk celebrate their beloveds’ who have passed. Families create altars filled with pictures, food and items that belonged to the deceased. The atmosphere is festive, with music, eating and the celebration of life! During our 8 days together we’ll learn how to enjoy life as it is – to cultivate our joy and vitality and explore our manifestation 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 and let’s celebrate and honor together all we can be and create in our lifetime. 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. The most striking aspect of this set of ruins is their connection with the underworld which had a very profound significance to the Mayans. 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, or even know where it is located. 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! Indeed, the monasteries are magical and beautiful in ways that I cannot begin to describe.
Thankfully we will have the opportunity to spend a day at one of the annual religious dance festivals, to immerse ourselves in ancient tradition. As part of our journey a Lama will be preparing a special prayer and blessing ceremony for us. We’ll also be giving of ourselves and helping some of 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!
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video
Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimilion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives. Each year, some two million women and children, many younger than 10 years old, are bought and sold around the globe. Impassioned by the silence surrounding the sex-trafficking epidemic, Sunitha Krishnan co-founded Prajwala, or “eternal flame,” a group in Hyderabad that rescues women from brothels and educates their children to prevent second-generation prostitution. Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Hyderabad for 5,000 children and has rescued more than 2,500 women from prostitution, 1,500 of whom Krishnan personally liberated. At its Asha Niketan center, Prajwala helps young victims prepare for a self-sufficient future. This is an amazing talk – please do not miss it.
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“Doubt is not a disease but merely a symptom of a lack of what we in our tradition call the View, which is the realization of the nature of mind, and so of the nature of reality. When the View is there completely, there will be no possibility for the slightest trace of doubt, for then we’ll be looking at reality through its own eyes. But until we reach enlightenment there will inevitably be doubts, because doubt is a fundamental activity of the unenlightened mind, and the only way to deal with doubts is neither to suppress nor indulge them”
~ Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the Day