to reign with light

Friday, August 29, 2014

Journey To Self Love (Month-long Outline)

Journey To Self Love

WEEK #1: Sept 1-6th 
1: Opening/Intention Setting CEREMONY
2: 8-Limbs/Yamas: AHIMSA (Pamper Your Self)
3: 8-Limbs/Yamas: SATYA (Check In
4: 8-Limbs/Yamas: ASTEYA (Gift Your Self)
5: 8-Limbs/Yamas: BRAMACHARYA (Refrain)

6: 8-Limbs/Yamas: APARIGRAHA (List of Why You Love Your Self & Love Note)

Week #2: Sept 7-13th 
7: 8-Limbs/Niyamas: SAUCHA (Cleanse)
8: 8-Limbs/Niyamas: SANTOSHA (Affirmation)
9: 8-Limbs/Niyamas: TAPAS (Writing Exercise on Judgement)
10: 8-Limbs/Niyamas: SVADHYAYA (Sacred Texts)
11: 8-Limbs/Niyamas: ISVARA PRANIDHANA (Surrender)
12: 8-Limbs: ASANA (Poses)
13: 8-Limbs: PRANAYAMA (Breath Work)

Week #3: Sept 14-20th 
14: 8-Limbs: PRATYAHARA (Streamline)
15: 8-Limbs: DHARANA (Focus Desires)
16: 8-Limbs: DHYANA (Meditation)
17: 8-Limbs: SAMADHI (Oneness - Writing Exercise on Masculine & Feminine in You)
18: Nurture Your Self
19: Embrace the Unknown
20: Media Black Out

Week #4: Sept 20-27th 
21: Adventure
22: Do something that scares you
23: Dance
24: Dream Big
25: Date Night
26: “Power of Vulnerability”
27: Listen Deeply

Week #5: Sept 28-20th
28: Truth Speaking
29: Wedding Bouquet & Ring Selection
30: Wedding Ceremony

Journey To Self Love

Many people jump from one relationship to the next without taking the time to pause and return to themselves to heal, learn from their past relationships, and assess how to best move forward.

This is so important!

Every relationship we have acts as a mirror and the more we open ourselves up, the more it hurts if things don't work out.

This phenomenon is not even necessarily connected to time.

The level of depth in which we open ourselves up to is directly correlated to how much hurt we experience.

Yes, it has a lot to do with how it ends... was there clarity on both ends as to why it ended?  Was there compassion in how it ended? Was it you who ended it or them?  If it was them, did there reason have to do with you or was it on them?  Did they cheat or did they ends things cleanly?

And still, how it ends and how that feels has a lot to do with how deeply you opened to love.

And so, it is extremely important to heal from the letdown before opening to someone else.

Otherwise, your next relationship will most likely not work out and the fallout will have a compounding affect.

This phenomenon is actually true for any unprocessed event in your life.

If un-dealt with, the emotions fester and the next similar trigger will stir up the same story, and same emotions, only now the story has a much larger history.

As Sigmund Freud so adequately put, "Unexpressed emotions will never die.  They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways."

Child-Parent and love relationships, are intricately woven.

Often times the patterns we repeat in love, stem from as far back as childhood and, if you believe in reincarnation, previous lifetimes.

So the unprocessed pain and inability to break free from the pattern can often time have the weight of lifetimes of history repeating itself.

Your chaos is ancient.

If you don't take the time to heal, you take all your old baggage that didn't work before and with the heavy weight of lifetimes of that which did not work out, you dump it into the lap of your new partner and somehow expect it to work.

As Albert Einstein ingeniously puts it, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, but expecting a different result."

When we hold the vibration of the victim, we attract other victims.

As Dr. Sandra D. Wilson so simply puts, "hurt people hurt people."

This concept should be familiar, it is called the "Universal Law of Attraction."

When we hold the vibration of the healer, we attract those who are also healed.

Wouldn't it be nice to break free of this ancient cycle and begin to attract healers instead of victims?

How do we break free from the cycle?

The answer is simple and yet one of the toughest things to do.


One of my favorite quotes comes from the 13 Grandmothers and says "The hardest journey is from your head to your heart, but once you get there, you'll know who you are."

In shedding the light of our own consciousness of our repeating patterns and their origin, then forgiving ourselves, and those who have triggered the wound, we automatically change our vibration from that of the victim to that of the healer.

In order to help take this journey from head (victim) to heart (healer), I have devised a 30 Day Challenge I am calling "Journey To Self Love."

I will post the challenges daily on this blog, with the possible exception of Sept 20 & 21st when I will possible by off the grid and without internet as part of the challenge.

On these dates, I will post the challenges ahead of time on the 19th.

For a more interactive experience, please follow me on Instagram: @serralynnsmick

I will post daily there with pictures and can't wait to see your daily posts & shared experience as you take this journey with me & all other IG participants.

Because this challenge will entail some planning ahead, I will give you the month layout as well as weekly layouts so you can make sure to make time & space & acquire the necessary items & quiet time for these daily activities.

My next post will give the month-long plan

Lead with your heart,

 <3 Serra

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spinning Mandala Flow with Serra Lynn Smick

Please enjoy the Spinning Mandala Flow by yours truly...

Fall In Love with God

     We may call many places home in our lives, and where we make that decision, and connection comes from the heart.  Home is where the heart is.  We may go through many rites of passage in our lives, play many roles, take up many different habits and hobbies, and go through many different jobs and preferences.  Throughout the changes, there is one thing that remains constant throughout our entire existence and that is our soul, the center of our Being, our essence, and the One who experiences all the many seasons of our life. Our soul is formless and detached from the changes we experience. It is our Ego that personalizes our experience and leads us to suffering.  Our Ego roots us into this physical world, and prevents us from experiencing our divine, formless nature.  There is a journey that takes place in going from the outermost shell of our experience, the Ego, inwards towards the divine Self that is aware of and connected to God throughout all time and space.  God lives in the tabernacle of our heart, where we call Home.

     Making the journey from the outer, individual self, inwards to the divine Self entails sinking down into the shadows our own sub, and unconscious mind, through the many layers of Ego and identify. Ego is anything not happening in the present moment. It is not the noticing that comes from Ego, rather it is the recognition, reaction and response that is born from the noticing. Ego creates story. Unbiased and diligent study are required in order to understand the Ego. 
     To study Ego, create a strong, honest, consistent and present discipline of noticing the Ego. As we go further and further down the rabbit hole of our own consciousness, we will discover that Ego gets curiouser and curiouser. Through studying the turbulence of our Ego, we illuminate the darkness within, connect to the peaceful, powerful and all knowing light of consciousness within and contribute an even more radiant light to Universal light. As we make the journey through the layers of Ego, we will fall more and more in love with our Self.  When we fall in love with our Self, we intrinsically fall in love with God.  Falling in love with God is the way Home.

     We can choose to illuminate our path through spreading love and light through our every thought, emotion, word and action.  This is the next step.  Its a journey! Beyond the deep, intimate, gut and soul wrenching shadow work that helps us descend into our own individual hearts, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, a bright light. Once we are there, we are totally connected to the collective heart. Each and everyone of us is our own greatest guru, or teacher. Walking a spiritual path, a brightly lit path, means living in the present, and therefore viewing everything as a blessing. When the time is right, and we feel like sharing with the right person who is ready to receive our information, we share our path through shadow work towards love.  Move from the heart and we can do no wrong. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Impermanence As the Only Constant

We know from the universal law of conservation of energy that in a closed system, energy is permanent in that it is neither created nor destroyed, and impermanent in that it is in a continual state of flux.  Energy has the capacity to change from one form to another.  An example of this is the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy, as in photosynthesis.  In observing the formula for photosynthesis, 6CO2 + 6H2O + Light Energy = C6H12O6 + 6O2, we find that the units on one side of the equation are equal to the other side of the equation.  Energy can take the form of a wave, or a particle.  In the example above, light energy is an example of energy in wave form, and carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2o), sugar (C6H12o6) and oxygen (O2) are examples of energy in particle form.  Behind the form lies the formless, where what exists now was once only a possibility.  An example of this is an oak tree.  Within the acorn lies the potential to become an oak tree.  What is the driving force behind the collaboration of events that occurs in order for the acorn to become the oak?  Some would say coincidence, yet most would agree that there is a driving force behind the orchestration of life.  Who, or what is the driving force?  The force goes by many names according to your beliefs: religious, spiritual or otherwise.  For the sake of simplicity, and respect for all beliefs lets call this force “Great Spirit.”  Impermanence is a part of life, and we have a choice in how we respond.  Ignorance, or being in the dark about, and resisting the universal truth of impermanence, gives rise to attachment and aversion.  Ignorance, attachment and aversion are the three poisons that taint our actions.  We reap what we sow, and so as long as our actions, or karma, are poisoned, so too will our path.  Our most loving and nurturing choice is to embrace impermanence through acceptance of what is.

Over time and space, we can observe the impermanence of energy within the Universe, and within ourselves.  Of course this is true since we are a microcosm of the macrocosm.  We’ve all heard the phrase “times have changed,” and the famous quote by Heraticlus “nothing endures but change.”  We know these principles and yet applying them to our everyday life is a lot easier said than done, especially when our mind and heart get involved.  When we have an experience that is pleasurable, our hearts open wide and the mind becomes attached to the the rush of joy and ecstasy we receive.  Once the mind recognizes that the experience is a positive one, it creates a preference and seeks to repeat, or hold onto the experience, which creates attachment.  One of our deepest fears is the loss of what we become attached to, and the ultimate loss is loss of life.  Death is our greatest fear because it threatens loss of everything we know, and yet death and change are the only constants in life.  Maybe it is time to develop a healthier relationship to all things that come our way in life, especially death.  Attachment is an extreme reaction to a situation, and like the “yin-yang” symbol, the polar opposite is true as well.  Just as the darkness cannot be appreciated without the existence of light, attachment cannot be felt without the felt existence of aversion.  Where there is attachment, there is the possibility of loss, and thus aversion to whatever threatens to rip it from our grasp. 

When we have a negative experience of something in life, we become averted to its continuity, or repetition, and want nothing to do with it.  We will do just about anything to extricate ourselves from the uncomfortable feelings that arise from coming face to face with something we don’t like.  It is important to understand that it is not the person, place, or thing which agitates us that is the problem, rather it is the our reaction to it that creates inner turmoil.  It is also important to understand that magic and growth happen outside of our comfort zone.  If we can learn to detach ourselves from the situation, and from our projections of a negative outcome long enough to gain a more broad perspective, we can open up to the possibility of a different result.  There are infinite possible outcomes to any situation.  Fear creates aversion.  Fear of not being enough, loss, and of the unknown are a few common sources of disturbance.  We all have different core fears, and becoming familiar with your authentic fears will assist in observing the sources of your aversions, however deep or superficial they may appear.  As Alan Watts put it “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  Our most favored outcome is one where we can gain access to expansion and love, which could arguably be stated as the purpose of life.  Love is expansion.  If we can learn to love through all of our experiences, we can remain in a constant state of expansion, which is the ultimate goal of all religious and spiritual paths.  

In the present moment, everything is always exactly as it should be.  Our bodies, jobs, roles, life stages, preferences, thoughts, emotions are continually in a state of flux.  Yes, this brings up attachment and aversion as we cling to what we want, and reject what we don’t.   Remember that with every death, there is also rebirth.  “Out with the old and in with the new.”  This phenomenon happens with or without or participation.  We can choose to consciously let go of what no longer serves us in order to make space for what we do want, or life can do the work for us.  It can be tough when we are left in the dark as to why we experience a loss.  It helps to remember that in each moment lies is a gift.  Our gift is that in each moment there is an opportunity for growth and to live out our highest truth with integrity and purpose.  By accepting, honoring and learning from each moment, we live a life of faith, and prayer.  Offering one’s life up to Great Spirit as a vessel for growth and expansion of human consciousness is the ultimate prayer.  Have faith in the continual flux of everything in the world of form, including thought and emotion, and set yourself free from the bonds of attachment, and aversion.  The winds of change will continue to blow wild and free.  As the wolf spider weaves a web between two blades of grass, rather than two solid structure so the wind does not destroy its home, it is up to us to prepare our hearts and minds to bend with the wind by not clinging to things and events in our life.  When we truly surrender to each moment and let the breath of Great Spirit flow through our lives, we allow process of our own personal life path to unfold naturally and sing beautiful stories of love, and mystery with our lives.  

We build walls around our preferences to protect them from what threatens their existence.  As the late J. Krishnamurti says, “only the mind which has no walls, no foothold, no barrier, no resting place, which is moving completely with life, timelessly pushing on, exploring, exploding-only such a mind can be happy, eternally new, because it is creative in itself... Such a mind is life itself, because life has no resting place.”  If we resist, and deny the impermanent nature of all things, and work to control the outcome of our experience we stagnate, and deny the natural flow of Great Spirit.  It is up to use to awaken to our path, our way, and our light.  Ultimately there is only one path, one way, one truth, and one light.  Discovering how our own individual path aligns with the One true path is our purpose for living in this world.  In the now moment lies the gateway to acceptance of what is.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Every thought, emotion, and action from every experience leaves an imprint on the physical body.  Spiritually, the physical body is a projection of our human experience, and a sacred temple in which to explore, and expand our consciousness within.  Physically, bones, muscles, joints, etc. differ in size, shape, joints and configuration, and tension in the body differs in location, intensity and its ability to release.  These differences make asana alignment challenging in unique ways.  Respect the body, and accept the challenges it presents as a unique gift.  Perfect asana is achieved through consciously finding accurate alignment for each individual, as well as arriving at an edge, where the asana is filled with integrity, breath, and intention.  To explore an asana’s edge, use the breath to feel around in the body, then go a little beyond the edge to explore what comes up emotionally, and spiritually with acceptance and detachment.  Then, back off from the edge to explore what comes up for you here.  Every asana is dynamic, so dance around its edge and be open to the many gifts each asana has to offer each time it is visited.  Practice ahimsa, compassion, by honoring the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual edges that are met while consciously doing battle with blockages, and illusions in the way of finding Truth.  
There are some basic principles to finding the most perfect alignment.  There is a lot to be discovered through consciousness of breath, it is our life force and guide during asana practice.  Breath tells us where we are at.  If we have gone too far beyond our edge, the breath will become short, labored, or disappear completely.  If we are not quite at our edge, the breath will might lose its tenacity, and strength.  Finding the utmost integrity in as asana requires a strong, balanced, and conscious breath where the inhale and exhale are matched with intensity, and depth.  Bones are more dense than muscles, making them stronger.  Stacking the bones in each asana creates a strong foundation that balances out weight, and effort, more evenly between bone structure and muscle engagement.  Balancing the strength and flexibility of antagonistic muscles also ensures proper alignment, as well as prevents tension and strain injuries.  Antagonistic muscles work together in opposites such as the quadricep and hamstring.  For instance, if the quadricep, or front of the thigh, is not engaged while stretching the hamstring, or back of the thigh, then it is possible to over-stretch, and strain the hamstring. If the hamstring is not engaged to balance out a hamstring stretch, then it is possible to strain the quadricep.  Another example is with the antagonistic muscles of the core and back.  In a forward bend, the core is engaged so the back muscles can relax and lengthen.  In a back bend, the back is engaged so the core can relax and stretch.  Back muscles are constantly taking a beating, and are easily prone to tension injuries.  Proper bone alignment, and muscle balance can help heal, and prevent further injuries.  For instance, in a back strengthening asana such as Warrior III, if the antagonistic muscles of the core are not actively balanced with the muscles of the back, too much tension may build, and result in injury.  Consistent engagement of the bundhas, energetic locks, will also help to zip up the asana into proper alignment on a more subtle level.  Engagement of the bundhas also help gather up, and shuttle excess energy towards the central energy energy channel, the shushumna nadi, the final energetic channel leading towards enlightenment.  Even though enlightenment is rarely realized, bundha activation during asana practice does serve as a great energetic tune-up.  Activate and become aware of the whole body to create proper alignment, and optimal flow of energy that feeds all parts of the body, especially the hands and feet.  Lastly, proper alignment seeks to balance the principles of sthira and sukha.  Sthira is strength, and grounding, while sukha is softness, and expansion.  Balancing the forces of sthira and sukha in each asana, creates grace in your practice.  Proper alignment is a living, breathing, practice.  It takes many years to integrate all the many principles of proper alignment into a practice, and the journey is the reward.

The Warrior's Prayer

I am what I am.
In having faith in the beauty within me I develop trust.
In softness I have strength.
In silence I walk with the Gods.
In Peace I understand myself and the world.
In conflict I walk away.
In detachment I am free.
In respecting all living things I respect myself.
In dedication I honor the courage within me.
In eternity I have compassion for the nature of all things.
In love I unconditionally accept the evolution of others.
In freedom I have power.
In my individuality I express the God-Force within me.
In service I give of what I have become.
I am what I am:
Eternal, immortal, universal, and infinite.
And so be it.