In an effort to bring yourself back to your heart, to soften what may have hardened over the years of surviving here on earth, why don’t you take 30 minutes or an afternoon to address the issue. Set aside time to try some or all of the following elements of a heart opening ritual to bring in light and let go of some weight.

When was the last time you had a good smudging? Some of us are probably saying “a couple days ago” and others haven’t smudged for a long, long time, if ever. It only sounds dirty; in truth, it’s an ancient cleansing ritual practiced by various cultures worldwide. It’s a classic and wonderful way to commence any chosen moment, ceremony or ritual. It creates a sensory threshold that will queue you: “BE PRESENT, THIS IS SPECIAL”.

You may have experienced the smudging practice with sage but Palo Santo has a sweeter, woodier smell that I much prefer. It evokes a deep rootedness and brings you to your center. Use a lit candle flame or a lighter to ignite the end of the wood stick until it’s smoldering, an ember is all you need. If you do light the wood on fire, blow it out quickly so the ember remains. Then let the ember smoke; sometimes you need to blow on it gently.

Use the stick like a wand to encircle yourself: around the body, around your head, in all four directions- North, South, East and West, and then towards the sky and down towards the earth. If you’re feeling really frisky, you can smudge your doorways and the rooms of your home to clear stale, old energy and invite fresh vibes in. Then let the smoking stick burn itself out on a specially chosen plate or other non-flammable surface.

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