The Spiritual Path

After a long transition, I felt the call to quiet contemplation and spiritual direction and found myself driving to St. Anthony’s Spiritual Sanctuary, a Franciscan retreat center in rural Wisconsin.

I had no plans, other than to spend a day in silent prayer and mindful walking but shortly after I arrived, I met with the Reverend and spent some time talking to him about life transitions and spiritual practice.  I then roamed the Sanctuary and was mesmerized by the long hallways that hundreds of young men had walked before me as they prepared for a lifetime devoted to spiritual practice.

Sometimes we feel we have to journey far to find a retreat or place of solitude, but the sanctuary is closer than we think.  The silence, the serenity, and tranquility that we seek is within each of us.  Our spiritual journey is visible when we clear the weeds from our minds and step intentionally onto the path that we were given.  Sometimes the road leads us in a different direction than where we intended to go, but that is when we need to trust that we are being guided and that the new path will be smoother, lighter and brighter than the path that we chose for ourselves.

In life, sometimes we choose a path, and sometimes the path is chosen for us.

 

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Sin City Mindfulness

Las Vegas is probably the last place where you would expect to experience mindfulness, but it is actually the perfect place to spend three bliss filled days of silence, inner quiet and peace.

I recently returned from an advanced mindfulness certification workshop where I spent my days going within, while the world outside was filled with chaos, honking horns, and swarms of people.  I found myself being able to center and ground myself from the days spent in meditation, mindful walking, and joyful practices when I walked outside onto the city streets and joined the madness of life, but I did not get pulled outside of my now present state of being as I had discovered an anchor.

On the rooftop of the Platinum Hotel, I practiced mindful walking, noticing the autumn breeze, the tiny feathers floating in the swimming pool, and the jet airplane that soared in the sky above.  The world as I knew it had come to a standstill and the stillness that I entered within, was a place of peace that I had never experienced before.

Now I find myself practicing moments of mindfulness throughout the day, walking, sitting and sipping tea.  Life is forever changed.

Funky Flagstaff

On a previous hiking trip to the Grand Canyon, I hung out at the train station in Flagstaff waiting for the shuttle back to Phoenix.  At that time, I didn’t explore the area but on a recent day trip, I discovered that Flagstaff is really a funky fun town.

San Francisco Street is full of unique shops and tasty restaurants with recipes from around the world.  I found a fab tea house that offers both Japanese style seating and a tea bar where I ordered a lavender mint latte with almond milk, a unique healthy option to the usual coffee blends.

Exploring the colorful city, I discovered a sound healing shop where I went on a wild musical ride in a sound chair that has built-in chimes that when played, put me into a deep state of relaxation.  The shop also has a sound healing bed that is specifically built to take you on a sound therapy journey with gongs and giant chimes where you hear and feel and sense every vibration.

Flagstaff has a cool vibe and good energy with street musicians, street art, and upbeat people. The mountains are a skier or snowboarders dream and of course, Sedona and the Grand Canyon are nearby for hiking adventures.

If you are exploring Arizona, you will want to put Flagstaff on your list of places to explore.

Soul Motion

A SACRED JOURNEY OF MUSIC, MOVEMENT AND SOUL

Sacred travelers can hear the call of faraway places and distant lands, and we love the experience that international travel brings.  Our senses come alive in the spice markets of Marrakesh, our lungs fill with crisp mountain air in places like Tibet or Zanskar, and our bodies are refreshed in the rainforests of Costa Rica.  As a person who intentionally seeks international travel and beautiful places, I am always planning my next trip.  Quite unexpectedly one day, I found myself not on an outer journey to a remote and exotic land, but instead, on an inner journey of body, mind, and spirit.  It was called, “Soul Motion” and Mark Ensweiler was my guide.

Mark has been in the healing arts for over 35 years and has an impressive background as a Board Certified Licensed Chiropractor, Certified Yoga Instructor, and Certified Soul Motion Teacher.  When asked about Soul Motion, Mark said, “I continue to find these wonderful “conscious dance/movement” practices to be an ongoing way to support healing, creativity, (movement & seated) meditation, and inspiration in my own life and it’s a great way to share meaningful time with others as well in a supportive group setting.  Each individual Soul Motion class is complete unto itself and yet there are a wide variety of “practices” that can be experienced in a class and this is the beauty of Soul Motion.”

An average session will last approximately 75 minutes, as Mark skillfully guides you through a variety of music, and at times will instruct you to connect to specific areas of your body.  Most of the journey is freeform, with no talking; an inner journey for you to solely take.  There are no limitations as you follow your breath and let your body move in ways that it needs, as it releases old stagnant energy, aches and pains and everyday stressors.  The diversity of music allows you to choose your own movement whether it is slow, standing still, or dancing wildly.  Each piece of music is carefully selected by Mark and includes a mix of international vibes, spiritual tunes and a crescendo of notes that takes you on an inner journey that is uniquely individual and yours alone to take.

Music has been well known to a be a potent healer for people in a variety of ways.  Music soothes the spirit in difficult times and lifts the spirit in times of celebration.  Movement is also recognized as an important element of healing, and when you combine music and movement, you have a powerful combination of personal expression.

If you are seeking a new experience, want to connect more deeply with yourself, or simply love music and movement, take a trip through Soul Motion.  There is no greater journey than one to know your authentic self…

Mark is offering an upcoming series, “Soul Motion Movement Meditation”; sessions begin this fall at Dance Dynamics in Plover.

For more information about Mark or Soul Motion, please contact him at:

msensweiler@gmail.com

For more information about Soul Motion, or its creator, Vinn Arjuna Martí contact:

http://soulmotion.com/

 

Solo Traveling for Your Soul

 

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Traveling Solo

Have you ever tried going solo?  It’s a great experience that everyone should do at some point in their lifetime.  Traveling solo allows you the chance to get to know yourself better in several different ways.  Sometimes traveling alone can be a challenge, but more often, it is a wonderful experience that can open up your life in ways that you could never imagine.  I often take trips alone, meeting new and interesting people, exploring beautiful natural places and most of all, traveling solo allows my soul the chance to grow.

Solo spiritual traveling…. your soul needs it.