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How to Create Space Internally to Hear the Divine

Feb 1, 2008
When you clear your mind, express your emotions, and cleanse your physical body, you release what you are not. You create space for the Divine to enter and remind you who you are. The more space you have internally the easier it is to listen and tap into Spirit's wisdom and clarity.

When I worked with don Miguel Ruiz (author of The Four Agreements) our Toltec community did a physical cleanse once a year for Lent (40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter). This was always a sacred time for me, and a time of huge growth.

This year at Spiritual Integrity, Raven and I are starting a new tradition by setting intent for community cleansing from Candlemas (also known as Imbolc) on February 2nd to the Spring Equinox (also known as Eostar) on March 19th. Candlemas is a cross-quarter day that marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, and is a time of taking stock. For our ancestors who lived by the cycles of the land Candlemas was a time to feel into how much longer the winter was going to be, and how much grain and provisions needed to be saved to get through the final stretch. The light is returning, but we are still in winter, waiting for the shoots and buds of spring to appear. We can use this time of year to gently release what no longer serves us and gather our energy and focus as we prepare for a rebirth at Spring Equinox.

We invite any of you readers to take on a cleansing period as well.

There are many ways to work with the energy of this time of year to create space and healing. The focus is to lovingly break up old routines and remove distractions that keep you separated from Spirit. You can choose a focus for yourself, and make sure that you choose from your heart and desire for more space for Spirit, rather than a subtle punishment or creation out of frustration, judgment, or self-punishment. This commitment is to yourself and is a prayer and offering, a sacred gift to clean your temple to receive more of the gracious presence of the Divine in your being.

Here are some ideas for cleansing in the three areas of your life: mental, emotional, and physical. When you choose one, or brainstorm other ideas, choose a solid focus that takes into account where you are on your path. Challenge, but don't overload yourself.

Mental Cleanse

* Opinion fast
Refrain from sharing any opinion you have with others. This is especially useful for controllers. Start by defining what is an opinion, and have a focus for what you are going to do instead of sharing your opinion. Where you are moving towards is not even having the opinion arise in your mind.

* Silence
Partial or Full Silence: Pick one day a week to be in silence, or go into silence for a longer period of time. It is possible to continue to work and interact in silence; it just takes creativity. Read more about my 40 days of silence online in Spiritual Integrity's articles section.

* Mindfulness practice
Pick a place where you tend to go unconscious and create a mindfulness practice, such as saying a prayer before eating and giving your food your full attention, staying conscious of your breath throughout the day, or sitting quietly instead of reading or watching TV.

Emotional Cleanse

* Repression fast
If you tend to bottle up your emotions this is a good cleanse to take on. The fast is from any type of repression of your emotions, which means you consciously express any emotions that arise in the moment. You might dance, vocalize, or beat on pillows. This does not mean "going off on" other people and venting your emotions; it means allowing your own energy to move, in a way that is safe for you and those around you.

* Expression fast
On the other hand, if you tend to cycle emotions or stories, getting caught in emotional drama, then choose an expression fast. This cleanse invites you to pick one emotion or feeling state (e.g., anger, fear, being a victim) and consciously choose not to express it. You will need to give yourself a focus for what you will do instead of expressing that emotion or story.

* Distraction fast
Pick your favorite distraction (TV, video games, alcohol, looking in the mirror) and stop doing it. Choose what you will replace it with, i.e. what you will do instead with all that time.

Physical Cleanse

* Refrain
Pick one food and stop eating it. Practice staying open hearted and soft around the item, not closing to it. For example: if you pick chocolate, after a week or so put yourself around chocolate or people eating chocolate and watch what arises when you refrain. Be curious about its purpose and effects in your life.

* Partial Diet Cleanse
Choose a category of food to refrain from: sugar, bread, coffee, etc. See notes above for staying open hearted.

* Full Internal Cleanse
Commit to a thorough cleansing program and stick to it. We recommend Arise and Shine, which is the best cleansing program we have found. For this cleanse you first need to get your body alkalized. For any full cleanse make sure you start slow so the detoxification process is gentle. Educate yourself first.

All of these cleanses, from mental to emotional to physical, are interwoven. When you do a mental cleanse, emotions may arise and you will have the opportunity to cleanse your emotional body. When you do a physical cleanse you will get to find loving discipline with your mind. Whichever cleanse you choose, from the most simple to the most challenging, be conscious about how you set it into motion. Identify the length of time you will do it, and plan a ceremony to initiate yourself into your commitment.

Be impeccable with your word: Watch how you think and talk about your cleanse. Remember it is a joy to make more space, not a chore.
About the Author
Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and Toltec Tarot. She co-authored Spiritual Integrity and runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Get more practical tools from Heather Ash.
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