Find What You Believe In

October 10th, 2019 was this year’s Mental Health Day. Personally, I feel that religion or spirituality have a lot to do with people’s mental health. It offers a sense of connection to the Universe and humankind, and exists as an everlasting hope and a symbol of love. I think of my spirituality as something very close to my heart, and something that without a doubt is a tremendous part of my mental health.

Have you ever been to something called a “Sacred Circle?” A Sacred Circle is a gathering of people to share a spiritual experience through meditation and talk about a particular theme, like trauma, self-love, childhood, and more. The options of topics to choose are unlimited, but it’s typical to select one topic per circle. My first Sacred Circle I attended truly changed my life. I made some really freaking awesome friends in college who introduced me to this event, most of whom I met at yoga club. Who knew? I developed a community and I made friends with their friends and before I knew it, I had manifested the type of friendships I never even realized existed, aside from a couple of extremely special friendships that have lasted me from high school to present day. But these yoga people- they were special, they were different...they were enlightened. 

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I was once very religious. I was in the church choir growing up, and my relationship to Jesus Christ was extremely strong, and I planned on becoming a nun as a young child. I was always very open-minded to new ideas and felt that to be my destiny. As I grew older, I pretty much attended church regularly, and I prayed often on my own. In times of distress or fear, my mom would remind me to just “pray,” and it gave me a sense of peace and solitude. I felt fulfilled. By high school, I started attending Bible study on a weekly basis with my friend Adahlia, and I learned so much. It felt like a new chapter of my life was beginning, and a new relationship with God was blooming.

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But then, some things weren’t adding up. A lot of my questions couldn’t be answered, and I was becoming very upset and confused through my Bible study. My morals and values were seemingly unaligned with what the word of God proclaimed and I felt an intense disconnect. I tried tirelessly to resolve this disconnect by attending different Bible studies and Christian groups at Rutgers University, of which they offer a surplus. I felt a void. I didn’t know what was missing. Something felt out of place.

I always had a handful of separate beliefs from Christianity, much of which resonated more with Buddhism and Hindu teachings, because through my yoga practice, it is what I had come to learn on a personal and spiritual level. I simultaneously believed in various things from different religions, and I started to be confused on what religion I should label myself under. So I started referring to myself as spiritual, and it felt right. I still believed in God, but now it was a different version of God. I didn’t get much backlash from anyone close to me since I didn’t associate with acquaintances from Bible study on a personal level. Then my friends from yoga club invited me to their “Sacred Circle.” A wonderful girl who is now one of my best friends, Priyanka was planning on hosting monthly Feminine Circles in her apartment in New Brunswick, NJ. She planned to form a community of like-minded individuals of whom identified as female, and the whole shabang literally changed my life. My first Sacred Circle was in February of 2018, almost a year ago, and I can faithfully say that is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life.

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 We sat in a circle on pillows while incense permeated the room. We listened to nature sounds, and Priyanka and our other friend Maddy, the co-host, led a guided meditation and deep-breathing. They took us through a meditation where we met up and conversed with our inner child. A lot of imagery was used and we were prompted to imagine a grassy area with birds and sunshine where we spoke to and spent time with a young child, which was a version of ourself as a five or six year old. You can take a deeper look into that experience here. We enjoyed a cacao ceremony, and Priyanka called in our ancestors for prayer. We had fresh flowers and crystals, and the girls played the singing bowl during our quiet part of the meditation. We talked and talked and talked. I felt such a profound sense of love that I hadn’t recognized. My body tingled, and the space between my eyes burned hot. My fingertips were all tingly. I felt as though I was floating in the air. A prompt was given and we went around the room to each woman who was willing to share. We laughed, we cried, we exchanged ideas, and we felt our emotions. We really felt our feelings. And it was so beautiful. It was so moving and such a release. I had honestly never experienced such a feeling, and just recalling the memory sends shivers of light down my limbs and brings forth a feeling of warmth in my chest. We received a reiki healing. After the initial circle, Priyanka continued to host similar circles for months to follow.

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I took some notes in my beloved journal that afternoon in February. The true purpose of this article is to share with you the wisdom and insight I gained on that day from generous souls and beaming spirits. The energetic juices were flowing and we all felt like we could change the world (which we can!) The points to follow are ideas from all the women in the circle that were expressed and shared during our conversational portion of the circle.

  • I’m doing what’s healthy for me and that’s what’s important. Forgiveness does not mean going back to old ways of communication.

  • There’s a difference between forgiving them for yourself and/or for them - find boundaries and establish them.

  • You have a right to all of your feelings - they are valid.

  • It’s important to accept darkness and rough times.

  • Love is not the same to everyone - many people see love as a trade assuming that you and the receiver of love expects love the same way.

    • Knowing how you express and receive your love is important to establish between the people in your life.

  • Accept how people are, because you cannot change them.

  • Be okay if things don’t go as planned, even when very well planned.

  • Embrace spontaneity.

  • Don’t hold it against yourself - you cannot accommodate everyone.

  • When people mirror their attitudes onto others, it is slightly subconscious and manipulative.

    • It’s important to recognize when we’re doing this, and understand that individuals don’t do this maliciously, projecting their own flaws onto you.

    • Sometimes you may begin to believe the manipulation due to projection of own faults.

  • All of us have shadow work to do, maybe not even in this lifetime.

  • “Insignificant Events” are impactful and shaping.

  • Honor your feelings...accept yourself for feeling your feelings.

  • You’re speaking everything into existence.

  • You can break out of your patterns.

  • Reprogram your thoughts - your right is to be joyful.

  • Transmute and release the bad stuff - FEEL IT.

  • Be authentic, spill it, let go of it.

(Susie Pinon)

This photograph was taken at one of our later Feminine Sacred Circles. Following this picture, we enjoyed a small picnic and dancing on the grass at a nearby park. Learn about the benefits of Walking Barefoot in Nature here.

When you are presented with a new opportunity that you think may or may not be out of your comfort zone - try it. Do it! It is how we evolve and grow, and the hardships are so beautiful and timeworthy. Maintain good mental health by practicing what you believe in. It is always okay to be you. And try attending a Sacred Circle some time, even if you don’t know anyone there. It may very well change your life, just like it did mine!

Namaste.

Xo, Susie P.S. Check out BotanicalBlossom (Priyanka) for high-quality services and products and DivinelyAligned (Maddy) for great tips and lots of love!