Energy. One very loaded, powerful, mood altering, creativity boosting, fat burning, happy, scary, emotional word! Lately my senses have been more heightened than ever and I almost want to consider myself an energy guru, so to speak, but I wont go that far. For now I will just have it be known that I am finally beginning to deeply connect to others, friends or strangers alike, from an intense energetic standpoint. Most of the time its great and I am so thankful that my consistent practice to develop more awareness + consciousness is finally "paying off". This is what i want, after all! But along with this gratitude comes the flip side of the situation, picking up not on all the positive energy that is around us but very much all the negative energy that unfortunately seems to carry more weight.

My days are jam packed with conflicting energies, mixed emotions, healthy fats, raw superfoods, grounding experiences, text messages + phone calls, physical activity, flavor + spice, lethargy + boundless energy, strong coffee, bad coffee, vibrant juice, textures, smells of all kinds. . . plus tons of other stuff that clearly holds a different charge. Each day is a balancing act of how strong I can stay through each phase of the day in regards to tolerating this wide array of energy or "charge" that each component harnesses. Some days leave me feeling deflated + weak, while other days I feel my energy bubble is operating at its most amorous. This is all part of the practice. That being said, I am always looking for more ways to open myself to the universe, seeking its help in times of stress. 

Introducing: smudging. An ancient Native American practice that helps to clear the negative energy within your own personal space or body. A smudge stick is usually a cluster of dried sage + other herbs tied together that release negative ions when lit and have been shown to improve mood in times of stress or challenging energetic experiences. The perfect opportunity to smudge is after a stressful day at work where you may have accumulated more negative energy than positive, after an argument with a loved one, when moving into a new home, after renovating a space, the start of a new year or chapter in life, or just when you feel an overall heaviness to the air energetically.

Close all windows, open all doors, cover all mirrors, and turn off all electronics before lighting the smudge stick. To begin, light the end of the sage with a match (not a lighter) and use your hands to "make believe" scoop the smoke away from your body in a circular motion as to get the sage burning + clear your own personal energy bubble. Starting with your eyes, scoop the smoke towards you like so and eventually moving along to your ears, heart, and brain. Lastly, breathe in the smoke bit by bit through the mouth and allow it to swim over the rest of your body.

Moving on, starting with the left side of the doorways, repeat this circular motion allowing the smoke to waft over each corner of each door within the room. It is important you are smudging with intention, as it is imperative to stay honored to this ancient practice. The front door should be the last attended to + once you are finished allow the ashes to sit on the front doormat outside as to clear any remaining negative energy still exiting the house. Once you have left the ashes sitting on the front doormat for 5 minutes, dump them outside on the grass, not inside the trashcan! This point of this is to escort the bad out of your space so that you can go about your life in a positively charged humble abode.

Make sure you store your smudge stick above waist height, in a space clear from any other objects preferably in a copper bowl as to stay true to the traditional cleansing practice. I store mine in a clean, clear jar on my bedside table alongside my incense.

Lastly, cook a giant feast made with LOVE, ORGANIC INGREDIENTS, AND SOUL FOOD + serve to whoever is staying in the house at that time.

Energy is hard to recognize + feel at first, but with intention you can become more in touch with energies around you, how they affect you, how to protect yourself from harmful energy or energy vampires, and so on. Once you develop awareness for this huge elephant-in-the-room kind of topic, you will never lose it and eventually be able to pick out from the get-go whether or not you should even reside in a particular place or relationship for the sake of your own soul.