I know what you may be thinking…
I thought this girl talked about nutrition?!
I do! And this is nutrition at it’s best.
Today we’re going to talk about nourishing ourselves and elevating our energy to a place where eating a bag of potato chips in front of the TV just wouldn’t make sense.
Because I want you to be able to act differently in your life without having to be constantly thinking about having to be different!
See, there’s a big difference.
Can you see that memorizing rules, exercises, and even rituals will just fill your head with more INFORMATION and not necessarily lead to TRANSFORMATION?
What we want is transformation. Deep, and meaningful change on all levels without having to think about it all the time.
This is where I find spirituality to be an incredibly powerful tool in weight loss and over all well being. For me this was THE game changer I had been looking for.
An altar doesn’t need to be super woo-woo to work. It’s simply a visual reminder of what you want to cultivate in your life, and a sacred space to be able to sit and relax, meditate, or imagine moving through your day feeling connected and calm.
And when I talk spirituality, I’m not talking about bible thumping or having to follow a certain dogma or set of rules.
Cultivating a spiritual practice is an effective way to reduce stress, tap into a higher potential for yourself and your life, and get clear and confident before stepping into the world each day.
I find time and time again that when my clients develop a fun, playful, and expansive spiritual practice they are able to relax more in life, forgive themselves more often, practice compassion, and feel at ease. Which, by the way, just happens to be the key formula for reducing emotional eating.
In the same way polishing off a bag of potato chips right after stepping out of a luxurious bath, or while having a beautiful deep conversation with a good friend, or while in the middle of a yoga class, just wouldn’t MAKE SENSE, when you feel connected and grounded regularly through a spiritual practice healthy choices tend to become inevitable.
One of my favorite ways to bring spirituality out of my mind and into my LIFE is through creating an altar.
Altars have been used for thousands of years in rituals and spiritual traditions because it is a way of elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary (and you know I’m all about elevating the ordinary as part of having an amazing life!).
We place on the altar what we hold sacred as to draw our attention to it. What we put our attention on grows, so items on your altar are not only honored, but they symbolize what you’d like to acknowledge or cultivate more of in your life.
Here’s how to build your own altar at home in 3 easy steps:
STEP I: Choose your space
Sitting at your altar is a great place to meditate, breathe, relax, or practice yoga, so choose a place that is quiet and clean (or make it so). And elevate your altar off the floor (waist high or low to the floor, your choice). You don’t need to get fancy. I have mine set up in our finished basement next to my office desk. You don’t need wide-plank hardwood floors and tons of direct sunlight and gorgeous plants and all that stuff that looks so good on Pinterest. Just pick a corner, tidy it up and get to it.
Step 2: Choose your objects
Choose objects that speak to you. Don’t get too carried away in loading it up. As special, meaningful, items enter your life can can place them on the altar. A word, a poem, etc. Just a candle works, so if you want to get set-up today, just start there. Here are some other favorites:
Candle: Again, this is number one. It’s perfect to light if you meditate in the morning so you don’t have to have any harsh lights on as you ease into the day. I like to light mine and say a prayer: “may this light I see before me, remind me of the light within me.”
Scents: I love sage for clearing negative and stagnant energies, a special incense from India that my teacher in Hawaii used (brings me back every time!), and essential oils for my body or putting in a diffuser.
(BONUS TIP: Studies show that scents are SUPER POWERFUL when it comes to connecting with memories and emotions, so try this: buy two bottles of the same essential oil and use one at your altar when you are feeling at peace and centered, and put one in your handbag that you can use throughout the day to anchor you back into that grounded place.)
Books and Journals: A journal is great to write down notes or free flow emotions and feelings that come up. I also love reading a Course in Miracles, anything from Marianne Williamson, or Eknath Easwaran.
Spiritual Tools: Pick up a deck of oracle or tarot cards, a pendulum, or mala beads, which are great for focusing your intention and the mind.
Symbols and Special Things: Remember to customize your space so that it reflects what you want to cultivate in life. I like having images of divine figures, spiritual teachers, little stones or treasures that are meaningful to me. Your altar could simply be a vision board, or images of you with your family. Have fun with it and let it be your own unique expression!
STEP 3: USE IT!
This is the most important step! Creating an altar and letting it gather dust is NOT going to serve your goals. Instead use this as a sacred place to meditate, take some deep breaths, read, and connect to the energy you want to cultivate in life. Remember: what you focus on grows. May your altar be a daily reminder of the beauty and strength deep within you, and the wisdom and radiance that, with gentle practice, will inevitably be revealed.
I’d Love to hear from you!
What’s your take on altars? What are you dreaming up for yours (vision board? pics of your dogs? pinecones and incense? What brings you joy?) Keep yourself accountable by sharing below what you’d place on your altar!