7 THINGS I LEARNED STARTING A CRYSTAL SEX TOY COMPANY

Vanessa Cuccia is the Founder of Chakrubs, The Original Crystal Sex Toy Company. Here she shares 7 deep spiritual lessons of her entrepreneurial path …

I was in my early twenties when I realized that no one was going to hand me the life I wanted. I also began to realize how complacent I had been, especially when it came to my sex life, relationship, and career. I knew I had to make a drastic change.

I began by breaking up with my boyfriend, who had been sexually and emotionally abusing me for six years. I felt I had finally taken responsibility for myself, and it was up to me to BECOME stronger, more connected to my body, and TO acknowledge my power. I wanted to be around people who could educate me on sexuality, so I took a job at a sex toy shop and invited a spiritual teacher to come live with me. During this time, I deepened my relationship to crystals and understanding of the body’s energy system, while opening up to my own sexual identity.

One night I was visiting the home of a woman with a large crystal collection when I saw a crystal wand. I realized that with a few adjustments it could be made into a tool for pleasure. Almost instantaneously I thought of the the name “Chakrubs™” and began receiving messages guiding me to create The Original Crystal Sex Toy Company®.

I’ve grown a great deal personally, spiritually, and professionally since beginning this journey almost seven years ago. Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way …

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1. When you’re rooted in your pleasure, no one can harm you.

At the very beginning of Chakrubs I began my own sexual healing journey with the Black Obsidian Chakrub. I started with this one because it is known to assist in releasing emotional implants that no longer serve us. After spending six years with someone who treated my body like a sex toy, I knew I had a lot of stored negativity. The Black Obsidian helped me release a lot of shame and guilt I had been holding onto.

This, combined with placing a strong focus on pleasure while starting my business, caused me to realize how much these negative emotions were draining me and how empowered I felt when I was rooted in pleasure. Being rooted in pleasure means being sensitive to what makes you feel good and having the confidence to pursue those desires. When you connect with what brings you pleasure, it will protect you from outside judgements or criticism.

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2. “When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

This quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist has been proven to me time and time again. When I decided to create Chakrubs, I gave myself permission to begin saying, “I started a brand called Chakrubs” to my friends, family, and people I’d meet. Even though most of the work I’d been doing was limited to meditation, brainstorming, and research at that point, I knew that those were all valuable steps in the process. I had decided in my heart that I was going to take on this role of bringing crystal sex toys to the mainstream to open people up to crystal and sexual healing.

I won’t say that it was easy starting this business, but at every point along the way I felt assisted by a power greater than myself. Everyone I spoke to had some key to help me unlock what was being created. It was as though my steps were being illuminated and I was just following the path laid out for me. I think once we proclaim that we want something and begin to work towards it, the universe will help us obtain it. We just have to be open to receiving and working within “the language of the universe.”

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3. I’m a fucking Goddess (and so are you).

Living in the redwood forests in Santa Cruz in 2011, I lived with women who would become the first focus group of Chakrubs. We would sing songs in our house and call each other goddesses.

I feel like what prevents us from being in touch with our own divinity is this idea that seeing yourself that way makes you conceited or narcissistic. In reality, recognizing your connection to all that not only enables you to understand the power you hold but also the power of the people around you.

Living with these women who were so different from me helped me understand that through our love, recognition and appreciation of one another we could be mirrors that would reflect each other’s potential. I’ve learned that it’s more fun and useful to honor people’s sacredness and shine light on what we love about them rather than focusing on their shortcomings.

When concepting Chakrubs, we sat in circles, in teepees, out on the picnic table, dreaming of which crystals would help others, what shapes would bring the most pleasure, and what energy could be infused into the crystals to make them even more special. Chakrubs took years and so much of my own self-healing to be able to bring it to you. The history of manifesting this creation is filled with depth and many stories that I am grateful to share.

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Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday (on Earthday) with friends, family and the community that I feel is within this world of Chakrub social media. I feel eternally grateful and deeply moved by the love I felt, and I want so intensely for this love to be shared by all. Though I am older I feel like a child as I am painfully, humbly, and honored to be aware of the lessons I still have to learn on my spiritual path. I say with no hesitation that you are each great teachers to me and I am learning from you every day. I want to continue to serve you the best and most authentic way that I can. Thank you for being open to opening. Thank you for loving to love. Thank you for being connected as we all are to one another and to yourself. ✨🌏💓🙏🏼Forever yours, Vanessa Cuccia Xx photo by @aliciarabbitheart

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4. The more heart you put into something, the better response you’ll receive.

Whenever I find myself feeling stuck or like things aren’t flowing with my business, I remember to show more of my heart. I reach deep into the “why” of what I’ve created, tell stories to my social media followers about how this all came about, reveal what I’m growing to understand, and I give gratitude.

Conventional businesses may not want to show the vulnerability of their CEO’s, but the mission of Chakrubs is to create connection to others through connection with the self. When I express myself I am not only strengthening my own understanding of why I started this company, but helping others understand that this is isn’t just a trend—it’s a lifestyle and philosophy meant to empower us.

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5. We don’t need anything outside of ourselves to heal, but we can use tools to facilitate that healing.

I’m a firm believer that we don’t need anything outside of ourselves to heal our emotional wounds. Crystals facilitate our natural ability to heal ourselves with their perfect molecular structures, but we already have crystals within us. There are crystals in our bones called apatite(1) and we can activate them through our intentions.

I like to be able to hold a tool, a tool that will help me to tune into myself and the sexual energy of the earth. So find a tool that works for you, but don’t rely on it entirely. Know that all of the wisdom you seek is within you, just waiting to be discovered.

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6. Arousal can reacquaint you with your spiritual beliefs.

In launching Chakrubs, I created a new way for us to use crystals to benefit our spiritual growth. When we work with crystals they become imbued with our intentions and Chakrubs are no different. As you become aroused and begin your Chakrub practice, your ritual becomes a reminder of your intentions and strengthens your focus. As someone who is not necessarily religious, I value practicing your values religiously. I may not remember to meditate daily, but every time I reach for my Chakrub, I am reminded how it is benefiting me on more levels than one.

When your art inspires other art. 🙏🏼✨ by @giulianaelina

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7. It’s difficult to receive love when you don’t know who you are.

Creating my brand ethos, I had to ask myself, why is self-discovery and awareness important? Who cares if I know who I am or not? My answer is this: knowing ourselves is the only way we will be able to accept the love we are given.

We won’t be able to receive love from our partners or the world if we are stuck in our egos or trying to deny aspects of who we are. Honesty is the only way to feel worthy of love, and self-awareness is the only way to be honest. If we take time for introspection and healing, we’ll be able to unveil who we are at our core. Once we really get to know ourselves it creates more compassion and empathy for others. Which is why I believe this to be true; heal yourself and you heal the world.

Learn more about Chakrubs and get rooted in a life of pleasure and creativity at Chakrubs.com

A SACRED SPACE RITUAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot Boutique, shares a sacred space ritual to open your heart this Valentine’s Day…

Beyond the chocolates and red roses, Valentines Day for me is a precious reminder to keep our hearts open. As psychotherapist and spiritual teacher John Welwood says, our heart’s true purpose is really: “to be an open channel through which great love flows into this world.”

One of my favorite ways of opening this channel is by spending time in my sacred space. A sacred space is simply one corner of our home environment where we keep beautiful objects that are special or sacred to us. The space can be as large or as small as you want. Even if you only have a small section of a shelf, this too can be a perfect place to make your sacred space.

Keeping a sacred space is a precious gift to our soul, a reminder of how we want to be in the world, a mirror reflecting back to us our Inner Beauty.

Read on for a sacred space ritual for an open heart…

1. First thing to do is to cleanse the energy of your space. One of my favorite ways to cleanse is by burning Frankincense resin. Dropping a few pieces of the resin onto a burning charcoal disc allows for the heavenly smoke to rise and fill the surrounding air. Breathing in this aroma, I find my mind-chatter settles, my body relaxes, and my energies become grounded.

2. With the theme of Love in mind, I’ll be adding a few drops of Rose Oil into my diffuser. The combination of Frankincense and Rose Oil smells seriously divine! Rose of course exudes love and beauty, both visually and through her perfect scent. Did you know that Rose essential Oil has been proven in studies to reduce anxiety and produce deep levels of relaxation?

3. Now for some visual beauty. Nothing opens my heart more than beautiful objects from Mother Nature, especially crystals. Three pink, heart-centered stones I’m working with a lot at the moment are Rose Quartz, the mother of Love stones; Mangano Calcite, which radiates the energies of the heart in a very gentle, nurturing, and soothing way; and Pink Morganite, also known as the Pink Emerald, and a wonderful tool to help cultivate qualities of the heart, like compassion. I also love to add fresh flowers to my sacred space—in this case, either fresh pink roses or a bowl of dried pink roses.

4. The next step is to connect to the energy of those who radiate an open heart or Unconditional Love. It could be a spiritual teacher, a historical or mythical figure, a friend or family member. At the moment, the chosen beings of light in my sacred space are Ram Dass, Maya Aneglou, Thich Nhat Hann, Joni Mitchell, and Heqet (the Ancient Egyptian goddess and symbol of new life). Ideally, print off some small images of these people so they can beam their light right back at you from the heart of your sacred space.

5. An open heart is only truly open if we can keep it so in challenging situations. With this in mind, I like to have an object in my sacred space that symbolizes this challenging situation or person. This practice is taken from one of my spiritual teachers, Ram Dass, who spoke about his own puja table and how he’d have pictures of his teachers there, Buddha, Hanuman, Maharajah, Mary, and how every morning he would greet them with love. This included a picture of one of his most difficult people, Caspar Weinberger, President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense. An alternative to a picture of a specific person is simply to include a broken or damaged object. I sometimes use a decaying leaf to, reminding me of those spaces in my heart that sometimes struggle to stay open, allowing feelings of compassion towards that situation or person that challenges us.

6. To finish this ritual, I love to place my hand on my heart and set a little intention: to keep the people who inspire me and the beauty, especially the beauty of imperfection, in my heart throughout the day, so I can be a more compassionate and loving person in the world. I also recommend placing your hand on your heart throughout the day, especially if you ever feel it closing up. This simple gesture can bring you directly back to that inner space of Beauty and Love.

Discover more about Laurey and her work at The Colourful Dot Boutique, an online sanctuary for Inner Beauty. Pre-order her new book, The Inner Beauty Bible: Mindful rituals to nourish your soul, today. 

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF TAURUS SEASON

A luscious monthly exploration of the cosmic energies for Taurus Season by Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Image: Astromatcha

Taurus season coaxes us off the battlefield and into the boudoir as we relax into wanting what feels good to want – while already having everything that we need. This Venus-ruled bovine beauty reminds us that Venusian pleasure seeking is never frivolous, and that fully inhabiting our desire is the gateway to an unshakeable belief in our own value.

It’s a month for languishing in the simple “this-ness” of things as you sink your teeth deeply into what you love. Your diamonds don’t need to be appraised. Your love needs no justification. And baby, you’re always, absolutely, worth it.

The keyword: Succulence.

The song lyrics: “They say our love won’t pay the rent/Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent/I guess that’s so, we don’t have a plot/But at least I’m sure of all the things we got” – I Got You Babe, Sonny & Cher.

Check out our playlist, complete with country crooners, slow jams, and classic rock.

The color palette: Think beautifully basic yet voluptuous hues that mix Dallas rodeo with a feast in the Scottish highlands: camelback and denim blue paired with crushed grape, burnt copper, and emeralds.

Rodarte 2016

The style: Comfortable luxury that molds to the body like a second skin: jeans and a silk blouse, linen dresses, leather jackets, faux fur in pale pink and tan.

Klydie Thomas

The scents and flavors: Ripe, rich, and classically decadent. Freshly grated truffles, high-quality olive oil and creamy burrata or St. André cheese, full-bodied floral essences, mulled spices, slow roasts, and tobacco.

 

Sabatino (olive oil shot)

The healing: Taurus Season is about straightforward, sensuous engagement with the abundant world. Lay your body directly on the dirt in a park or botanical garden and trust in the hard ground and juicy sunshine’s capacity to deliver exactly what you need. Select fabrics that beg for tactile engagement and literally dive into them. Take a scent making class, celebrate with an elaborate tasting menu, or enjoy a night of poker or blackjack as you place bets while knowing you’ve got nothing to lose because there IS no limit on your value.

Sensuous Invitation of the Month: COSMIC MANICURES BY SIGN

By the end of April we’ll have five planets retrograde in earth and fire signs, and there’s no better moment for digging into our interior dirt and engaging in some emotional landscaping. This month asks nothing less from us than our radical faith in the earth’s endless cycles of sensuous generation and mercilessly loving deaths, and reveals to us that we always instinctively know when it’s right to root down and when it’s time to tear away with our gorgeously manicured hands to create anew.

Nails by @ciaomanhattan2012

:: TAURUS ::
Savor a brand of solidity that’s also buoyant and responsive. Try scented polishes that move you towards a dynamic sensual engagement that’s anything but dull, or experiment with how much nail art each digit can handle until they’re bursting with life.

:: GEMINI ::
Take a break from your endless information gathering as you settle into sweet sensations without having to ask why. Play with iridescent, prismatic shades that are also textured.

:: CANCER ::
Birth your inner fantasy life into the physical world. Ground your little mermaid visions with incandescent shell toned nails or midnight colored blues and violets, or meditate on a desirous inner vision of your nails and team up with a talented artist to bring it into being.

:: LEO ::
Marry your urge for illuminated recognition with an abiding trust that you’re always already enough exactly as you are. Affix luxe diamond and ruby nail gemstones, or sport a “fuzzy” coat that appears so fluffy that you could sink comfortably into your own nail bed.

:: VIRGO ::
Soothe your mutable Earth sign’s impulses towards ordering and discerning with a fixity of feeling that takes the world at face value. Try classic, metallic glittery shades or solid gold.

:: LIBRA ::
Pair your brand of high-minded, idealistic love with a more carnal flavor that doesn’t need to strive to capture the goods. Play with acrylics and release into the “realness” of the fakeness as you celebrate the infinite value of artifice and ornament, or try “opposite” colors on different nails.

:: SCORPIO ::
Relax your urge to penetrate to the depths and instead relish the simple goodness of the luscious, flowering surface of things. Celebrate the steady unfurling of spring blooms with fresh green and pale rose shades, and choose a signature shade on your ring finger as you wed yourself to your own worth.

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
Sample an earthen rootedness that seeks depth over breadth. Fuse your Amazonian streak with bonfire colors and animal print decals, and practice blending into your animal pack with browns and russets that are equal parts expansive and fixed.

:: CAPRICORN ::
Engage in a different brand of “building” that allows the world to do its work upon you. Revel in the slow unfolding of a paraffin wax treatment, or activate your refined, sophisticated flavor of sensuality with a “velvet” manicure.

:: AQUARIUS ::
Drop back into your body as you swap out endless futurism in favor of the delectable present moment. Pair your eccentric, cerebral edge with Taurus primitivism by trying tropical neon nail art, or keep your nails clean and bare to get ready for dirt digging.

:: PISCES ::
Practice “landing” as you learn to value the material as much as the mystical. Commit to a monochromatic mani in a bright kelly green or chartreuse that marries your deep sea diving to the color of land vegetation.

:: ARIES ::
Fuse your action-oriented potency with a yin vibe that knows when to hold ‘em. Choose an in-your-face shade and then dial the color back just a notch; turn saturated magentas into peachy pinks or glossy corals that are equal parts emboldened and receptive.

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF PISCES SEASON

Welcome to The 12th Sense – a luscious monthly exploration of the current cosmic energies for your sign, by Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising. THIS MONTH: create an altar for Pisces season…

We often speak of the Pisces/Virgo axis with a world-weary sense of psychic overwhelm; these highly sensitized signs are associated with the hollowed out, solitary feeling that we’re all just miniature specks. Yet one of the most sparkling, sunken-ship treasures of this axis is the capacity for these signs to elevate and transform our everyday experience.

Pisces season asks us to find pageantry in the minutiae and the slow unfolding of our lives. And with the North Node and Jupiter now in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius squaring the Pisces New Moon on March 8, and Mars primed to enter Sag territory on March 5, we’re being asked to activate a proprietary blend of pragmatic mysticism in order to find a different way to pray: one that allows for a sensuous seamlessness between our higher selves and our everyday environment.

And so this month, we invite you to set up an altar using seemingly frivolous objects, and to mix them with the most obviously sacred and self-consciously important. From boudoir vanities to austere, sacrificial shrines, we can dialogue with the divine using lipstick tubes, found objects, and sacred tomes alike.

Watch in wonder as your steak knives, lingerie, old love letters, and spice cabinet being to whisper that they’re worth believing in and that you’re worth believing in, too. And in the midnight hour, you’ll start to feel your own power in all its glamorous, gentle, ferocious divinity.  

Keyword: “Veneration”

Song Lyrics of the Month: “Life is a mystery/Everyone must stand alone/I hear you call my name/And it feels like home”

Now click here for a Piscean Playlist and read on for our tips for creating an everyday altar for Pisces season by sign.

 

:: Aries ::
Pisces season invites you to experiment with trusting in your potent, singular identity without having to prove it, and to calm your passion for friction as you revel in a strength borne through soft-focus edges. Select a precious object that you consider to be fiercely, distinctively “you” and experiment with placing it under a piece of fabric or inside a box as you move towards a faith in its inevitable survival – without visible proof. Throw down a symbol of strength or toughness and infuse this item with gloss and glitter. Think hot pink boxing gloves or a tool belt filled with feathers.

:: Taurus ::
Pisces season invites you to loosen up and play with the concept of security as you widen your field of value. Place an object that you treasure deeply next to one you consider meaningless and challenge yourself to see the worth of each. Celebrate your love of sensuous feasting with some Piscean synesthesia; mix a scent, taste, and color in a textured vessel to create a potion that feeds all facets of olfactory and visual delight. Think lavender ice cream or a rose margarita served up in a vintage Old Hollywood gold-leafed goblet.

:: Gemini ::
Pisces season invites you to celebrate the world’s dazzling array of information sources as you revel in the possibility of not having to understand it all. Place books in languages you don’t speak, maps of places you’ve never been, and menus of cuisines you’ve yet to sample on your altar as you honor global wares in all their jet-setting mystery. Take a walk and discover a found object of unknown provenance to add to your spread. Think Basque rock lyrics, maps of Pompeii, or an eccentric plant you pass every day without knowing its genus.

:: Cancer ::
Pisces season invites you to loosen your highly personalized grip, and to practice honoring feeling nature of everything that surrounds you. Choose a souvenir from childhood or a deeply charged object from a former emotional situation and experiment with blurring its boundaries; place it alongside brand new objects, melt it down or burn it, and venerate its remains. Or leave a treasured object exposed to light, wind, rain, and snow on a balcony or near an open window and watch its gentle erosion and changes through time. Think everything from exes’ love letters set aflame to Malibu Barbie through the seasons.

 

:: Leo ::
Pisces season invites you to challenge attachment to your tastes, and to rediscover a sumptuous internal fantasy life that needs no hook in the external world. Place jewels or makeup on your altar that aren’t quite your style, or look for an otherwise “ugly” object you can recognize each day for its unexpected, evolving shades of glamour. Pen letters to yourself or to an imaginary lover as you move towards your passionately internal world. Think those earmuffs from Aunt Linda you thought you hated, or a sweet message to your 5th grade self decked out in sparkly decals.

:: Virgo ::
Pisces season invites you to expand your love of divine detail and order as you practice embracing the gorgeous messiness of mixing, matching, blending, and fusing. Place a collection of essential oils on your altar and experiment with instinctually mixing them into a fragrant concoction. Or spend the afternoon decanting newly discovered wines in preparation for a tasting party that celebrates both individual flavor profiles and taste collisions. Think frankincense meets orange blossom, and full-bodied Spanish leathery red meets crushed-seashell Loire white.

:: Libra ::
Pisces season invites you to sample in-betweenness rather than having to choose, and to wander through shifting perspectives as you soften your search for the ideal with tender non-judgment. Play with the visual as you move your altar to different heights and lights and watch for changes in the shadows throughout the day. Adorn your altar with candles in recognition of the hybrid interplay between states of solidity and liquid. Think melted wax at midnight and firm, luminous clarity by daybreak.

:: Scorpio ::
Pisces season invites you to mix the intensity of penetrating and purging with the sumptuously tender act of allowing. Place an object on your altar that you’ve been hoarding but which causes you pain to look at. Repurpose this pain as you lay your object atop a luxe satin pillow, or wrap it in your favorite fluffy sweater or decadent piece of lingerie. Watch the boundaries between pain and pleasure dissolve. Think that caustic performance review shredded atop a heap of blue-violet hydrangeas, or purifying that garter belt gifted by the one that got away in preparation for a girl’s night out.

:: Sagittarius ::
Pisces season invites you to stoke your adventurous wildfire without having to externally seek in the physically nomadic world. Let the sounds of the ambient environment form the backdrop for an altar peppered with woodsy incense as you watch scent and smoke travel through space without having to leave your room. Think tripping out to the sounds of traffic on a regular weeknight as you burn Palo Santo and tobacco.

:: Capricorn ::
Pisces season invites you to relax into the sensation that not everything has to be accomplished or take effort. Place the remnants of a project that’s partially complete on your altar and honor where you are in the process. Bookend it with a jar of sand as you realize that you don’t have to build a castle to enjoy the shifting, soft sensations of all these tiny grains. Think rainbowed sand art placed in the bathroom you’re mid-renovation.

:: Aquarius ::
Pisces season invites you to break down rational systems of thought and to move towards the realm of irrational sensation as you blend your radical streak with Piscean mystical dreaming. Take an object apart and value its constituent pieces in a place of prominence. Or construct an altar to items that make no “sense” together but which carry an intuitively emotional charge. Think Ikea furniture instructions surrounded by talismans gifted from friends, and wondrously weird snapshots of your past and potentially future selves.

 :: Pisces ::
Invite yourself to explore the Virgo sitting opposite as you ask your slippery fishies to venerate the process of discernment, boundary construction, and divining what is singularly precious from the sea of possibility. Strip your altar down and practice choosing just one valued object from your bottom-drawer jumble of treasures and trash. Or add every precious item possible and then ritualistically remove them over the course of a week until only one beloved piece remains. Think fistfuls of plastic jewels from that lost weekend in New Orleans slowly untangling themselves, or a fishbowl containing a solo geode exposed to the light.

To find out more about Cara George and Bess Matassa and their work, visit: MojaveRising.com

LOVE YOURSELF: A BODY WORSHIP RITUAL

Learn how worship your body with the same reverence you show when entering a sacred space of prayer, says Kitty Cavalier.  Artwork: Pedro Sacadura

As a little girl, I loved volunteering to clean my church after mass on Sundays. My family and a few other parish members would polish the pews, switch out the flowers on the altar, sweep the long processional aisle of dust bunnies and organize the hymnals. As a very devoted little Catholic girl, I felt like I was being given a backstage pass to my favorite concert. Tending and caring for what I considered God’s house was a huge honor and made me feel quite elite.

As time (read: puberty) went by, my beliefs about religion began to shift tremendously. As Mae West once said: “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” The church no longer felt even remotely like home – and as for many of us, my spiritual path since has followed more of a curve than a straight line. But there’s been one constant throughout: my body.

“My body is my temple” – it sounds so cliché. But let’s really think about it for a second. A temple is defined as “a space devoted to religious reverence,” and I can think of no greater house of worship than the cathedral of my very own heart. There is no holier a song than the sweet hum of my inhale and exhale. The light in my eyes mirrors the warmth of a candle’s flame. My skin houses and protects me like the smooth, lavish marble of the Taj Mahal, and the flush of my cheeks after an orgasm can put the ceiling of Sistine chapel to shame.

Yes, my body IS my temple. So today I’d like to share with you one of my personal favorite rituals to start 2016 off right: body worship. There is no way to do this ritual wrong. Just like learning a prayer or a hymn, a little heart, a sprinkling of soul, and practice is all it takes.

Suggested supplies for this body worship ritual:

  • Body Oil (such as coconut oil)
  • A mirror propped against a wall
  • A body scrub (like some sea salt mixed with body oil), or a loofah
  • A towel
  • Candlelight, incense, flowers, or anything else that helps you set sacred space
  • Music: click here for a free, hand-curated Body Worship Ritual playlist

1. Set Sacred Space
Imagine you are setting space for the high holy days of your inner temple. You can light candles, burn incense, place rose petals on your bath mat, fold your towel as you would for a guest, play music, or anything else that evokes the spirit of the sacred for you.

2. Tending The Temple Grounds
Step into the shower or bath. As you wash and scrub your skin, do so with the same care, attention and tenderness that you would show to the house of the Divine. Scrub and loofah your elbows and knees with the same softness and reverence you would show when walking into a sacred temple. Imagine that as you caress your body with soap suds, every bubble of soap is like a flower laid down in offering at the altar of YOU. When you rinse your body, feel the water wash away that which no longer serves you, and it’s healing power to make space for something new to enter.

3. The Sacrament of Body Worship
Now you have prepared the temple, you are ready for ceremony and worship! Place a soft blanket or towel on the floor in front of your mirror. Position yourself naked by candlelight seated on the floor and bow to the beauty of your reflection. Take the body oil and warm it between your holy hands, using your breath to blow a prayer of gratitude into the oil. Then, allow your hands to be both pilgrim and priestess, as they slowly, reverently massage prayers into your skin. Approach each curve and corner of your body as a different room in the temple waiting to be explored.

4. Encountering Eternity
When you feel complete with your body worship, get very close to the mirror. Stare deep into your own eyes and see if you can glimpse the part of you that is eternal, that never ages, and transcends time. Just like that sense of divinity we feel when we walk on sacred ground, that spirit is right there, woven into the fibers of your DNA. All that’s required to encounter it, is the courage to really look.