FULL MOON Winter Solstice: Touching the Sacred Waters while Cleansing my Soul Rituals

At the Atlantic Sea Waters I begun my Peregrinaje Sagrado of 2021

How have I navigated the Sacred Waters since the Winter of 2020?

How do I give myself permission to TOUCH my most Profound Waters?

On the first New Moon of 2020, I committed again to the ritual of swimming simply for pure joy. Don’t get me wrong. I float. I love being in the waters. My only purpose was to reconnect with my child-self who used to dance in the rain growing up, the Being that loved splashing water while being bathed in a huacal. My very early memories are filled with a profound connection with the Sacred Waters.

Then the global PAUSE began [aka pandemic], so again I had to PAUSE my joyful swimming ritual. We as an Interdependent human family had to PAUSE.

The waters speak to me, it has spirit, it absorbs in the energy of those who enter them, so being inside a lake, a pool, a bath, La Mar, is such a vulnerable space. It is an act of love choosing to listen to my Soul and her most profound truths.

I could give so many excuses, reasons, and stories of why I stopped practicing this beautiful ritual before 2020:

  • I was too busy with life’s processes…
  • I fell into the toxic patterns of living in a globalized capitalist society’s projection that one needs to be “productive enough” to be “deserving enough” of rituals…
  • I was conditioned to accept limiting beliefs rooted in scarcity…

For years, especially in the Winter Season, the Darkest days of the year, these limiting beliefs showed up embodied in storytelling such as to why would I wake up that early if it is so cold? Do I have the money for it? Do I actually want to spend many hours of my day preparing and doing one activity when I could be more productive? Am I fit enough to wear a swimsuit?

The irony of these questions falls in fact, that in order for me to be more connected in body, mind, and Spirit from a creative and joyful place, PRIORITIZING the ritual of swimming and movement takes me to be the most aware and present in the here and now. 

The Sacred Waters that inhabit Mother Earth’s womb, que nacen de la Abuela Montaña, the Wetness of my Soul remind me to flow in the Spiral ways. The Sacred Waters reminds us that we are manantiales, that individually and collectively we have an interdependent rhythm. The global PAUSE invited me to review my plans rooted in toxic masculinity. It presented me with the Sacredness of Darkness, the Sacred Death.

How to expand my water rituals at-home practice? How do I embody joy through Touching the Waters of my Soul? How do I embody sacred movement within the confinements of four walls? I am deeply grateful to my body for teaching me how to tend to my needs coming from a place of movement. I observe my emotions, my feelings are Sacred.

A few intentions:

  • I want to live chronic pain-free.
  • I want to ritualize movement, so it works to tend to my Body’s needs.
  • I want to navigate the waters of life with an expansive perspective.

Movement practices with a focus on restoring the Body-Soul have been a great embodied medicine. Combining conscious breath, meditation, and movement has supported me in releasing much of the transgenerational conditioning within.

Offering Gratitud for all the Healing in this Sacred Land

In the last nineteen Moons, with intuitive creativity, I have lessened the excuses to embody movement. For example, I’ve shifted from ongoing anxiety and panic attacks to regulating my nervous system and gaining a longer sleep cycle. Yo encuerpo amor propio, by filling my Cántaro, living each day at a rhythm that feels authentic to my experience in a ritualistic way so that I can adapt and expand in gratitude for what is here and now. I can let go of the stories that I perceived as my truths due to the systemic, border, toxic relationships, and intragenerational conditioning rooted in scarcity and victimization.

I am Shedding. I am washing all of these old stories that no longer serve my purpose.

I am deserving of receiving abundantly. I am the Seed and Soil at the same time. I am the Moon and the Sun. I am the Caregiver-Self and Healer-Self of my gardens. I am Whole.

Reconnecting with my Sacred truth in this Winter Season includes decoding the old karmic behavioral patterns and taking responsibility to undo them. I call this act decolonizing my wellbeing. Today in celebration of Winter Solstice I have written this oath/manifestation for my life as I cross this portal for transformative possibilities.

Sacred Prayer

Today in front of my altar. I offer Palo Santo, a beautiful cup of Café, a green plant, and a Candle to the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of Pachamama in gratitude for all the teachings, partnerships, moments of grief, loss, joy, and calm that I’ve received throughout this year. I offer gratitude for all the Spiritual mirrors that the Universe has weaved with me in my Peregrinaje Sagrado.

The beautiful Seed that I am, this expansive Waters that inhabits this body, constantly reminds me of who I truly am. A full alive Being who embodies joy with the only purpose of connection within and with Mother Earth. Today, one of my intentions is that I go back to playing and building things with mud literally and metaphorically.

These last two years, as humanity we have experienced deep grief, loss, and sorrow individually and collectively. The Waters of Being Human here and now in my perception have been intense at so many levels. Though, I am reconnecting with filling my Cántaro too in the name of our interdependence.

I take a few deep breaths, I am alive.

I feel the expansiveness of my torso, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and I let go.

I breathe out like a birthing new possibility. In every breath, I feel the powerful energy of Mother Earth sustaining me. In her Belly, my Body, Mind, and Spirit body healed and rebirth Spiritually.

  • What types of islands have you reclaimed mentally to take a long breath?
  • What are the types of spaces you have intentionally created to give you a chance to keep moving even if the waves of life feel too scary?
  • What are the ways you reconnect with your sacred playful True Self?
  • How do you allow the Sacred Waters to Cleanse your Soul here and now?

Floating allows me to be present and in conversation with the Waters of Life. Floating at my own pace, being limitless, being abundant, being powerful. When I used to go swimming, I embodied Cleansing. Floating on my back while contemplating all the lessons of life. We all deserve Cleansing. Limpia. Limpia.

  • How do you let go/Shedd of anything that doesn’t serve you anymore?
  • Do you have old calzones, underwears that no longer serve you?
  • What are other types of pleasurable creative rituals that rooted you in your Sacred Waters growing up?
  • How are you reconnecting with the joyful ways of your inner-child?
  • How are you finding fun new rituals that feed your Soul with joy and peace?

The waters hold my Being. I surrender. This is our ancestral wisdom inviting us to embody our Power here and now.

Sacred Waters of Lake Michigan

Happy Winter Solstice!

Copyright © 2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Luna Llena: Rezo Poético / Full Moon: Poetic Prayer

La Milpa Verano 2021

Luna Llena de Cosechas

Empoderada Madre
Te siento aunque no te vea
Despierta dentro de mi espíritu
Tu fuerza me ha mantenido viva
Es tu voz

Soberana Hermana
Siento tu luz
Que crece profunda
Mi alma
Es hora de ir más lento
Contemplación Soy

Te llamo con mis anhelos
Peregrina entre mundos
Quiero equilibrar
Hablar idiomas humanes
Y espirituales

Luna Llena de Verano
Me invitas a cosechar
Una vida llena de ciclos espirales
Perdonar y soltar

Summer Harvest Celebration!

Full Harvest Moon

Empowered Mother
I feel you even if I don’t see you
Awaken inside my spirit
Your force has kept me alive
Is your voice

Sovereign Sister
I sense your light
That grows deeper
My soul
It is time to slow down
Observant I am

I call you with my inner longings
Traveling between worlds
I want to balance
Speaking human languages
And spiritual ones

Full Summer Moon
Invites me to harvest
A life full of spiral cycles
Re Earthing
Forgiving and letting go.

Email: sanadora.nomadicspirit@gmail.com

Copyright © 2019-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Full Moon: Embodying Restorative Economy through Creativity

I was taught to have a toxic relationship with money during childhood. In the intergenerational conditioning the systemic projected belief was that being impoverished was a “choice” people make. This socialization clouded my perception to minimize my creative power as a woman. I learned that only “men” could access “real” money. 

All of that felt very painful in my body. Even if my verbal communication skills were not developed, my intuitive non-verbal communication skills were heightened at that age. 

In 2018, a sacred invitation to go inward was sparked by grief. The Mystery was pushing me to dig deeper into my relationship with money and how to UNDO that unhealthy pattern rooted in scarcity thinking. In 2020, the opportunity to embody my vision came, and then again, the global pandemics invited me/us to PAUSE. 

Scarcity for me meant letting outside projections infest my sacred energetic spaces. How many of you have experienced BURNOUT throughout your life? For me Depression has been the outcome. Depression as in, a disconnection of Spirit from the Body and mind. As in neglecting my basic longings by letting fear, anger and grief take over my Being. 

Reflecting on the recent past, I have realized that:

  • Fear of Death has enacted a need to control everything. Once I integrated Death as part of Life, I was able to reconnect with my Sacred dance of body, mind and Spirit.
  • Entering the Waters of Self and lineages has enacted healing. Walking the labyrinth of Self and befriending and setting new spiritual boundaries with the Ego has been an opportunity to integrate the Shadows and Lights of my existence with unconditional love. 
  • Bathing in the powerful Pleasures of my innocence has enacted creativity. Writing has been the ancestral sacred tool that has supported me to embody change and walk toward my vision. I am able to let go of perfectionism and the toxic conditioning inherited, so that I can create to earn abundantly while respecting my sacred rhythm. 
  • Acknowledging myself in the Experiences of Beloved Communities and recognizing each other as Mirrors has been a pillar toward internal decolonization.
Altar created by the Untold Stories of Love & Liberation Co-Leadership Team in 2019.

I have so much gratitude with the Untold Stories of Liberation and Love collective. We are keepers of ancestral poetic storytelling. Julie Quiroz, Tanya Reza, Catalina Rios, Desirae Simmons, and Maria Ibarra-Frayre are some of the birth keepers of poetic spaces for BIWOC peoples in Michigami. It is an honor to have co-created the anthology “Love & Other Futures.” This book is a collection of poems written by womxn of color who embody poetry as a sacred ritual to bridge our past with the future as we birth stories in the present. Plus there is a section with some poems translated to Spanish, in honoring children of the Latinx-American diasporas. 

The sacred PAUSE that we experienced globally last year, was a poetic call from Mother Earth and the Great Mystery to go inward, to descend to pay attention. We have experienced loss together. We now are more aware of our interdependence. 

How poetry supported me/us during the last thirteen moons? 

  • By re-imagining ways of Being together virtually. Poet Julie Quiroz, invited us to write poems that would record our weekly experiences. We received a weekly prompt from our ancestress Poets. In reverence of their work, we inspire ourselves to write and write. 
  • By embodying our Sacred creative power’s value and letting us receive abundant compensations for the Labor of Love that writing poetry represents. As Keepers of Poetic Storytelling and Futuristic Healers we DESERVE to be compensated for the work we do, especially as we co-image, co-create the roads toward the World we envision for our Descendants. We have got to feed ourselves now!

So, what better way to celebrate this Full Moon than with a poem as expression of gratitude!

This poem is an invitation to embody the roads we are making as we walk the Sacred Unknown. This poetry is an invitation to move away from what is not working and instead embody what we envision. As we do, let’s remember  to breathe in and breathe out.  

How are you re-writing your story?

How are you allowing this global PAUSE to create your most authentic Self in body, mind and Spirit?

Email: sanadora.nomadicspirit@gmail.com

Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Luna Llena: descolonizar las genealogías y la praxis del Yoga

Scroll down to read this essay in English.

Erika está practicando Asanas en las montañas de Chalatenango, El Salvador.

En julio de 2020 apliqué a una beca para ser parte de una formación virtual de instructores y practicantes de Yoga. Me sentí merecedora de recibir la beca, especialmente porque manifesté este anhelo siete lunas antes. Me estaba refugiando por la pandemia y mi cuerpo, mente y espíritu deseaban profundamente re-enfocar la energía interior a un propósito Sagrado. Ahora, cuando termino la capacitación, reflexiono en el tiempo, el espacio, la energía y la disciplina que necesitaba tomar para sentir que podía sumergirme, de una manera que estuviera conectada con mi ritmo Sagrado, mis transiciones de vida y los recursos disponibles para mí durante este proceso.

Siento tanta gratitud con el Ser en cuerpo, mente y Espíritu por tomar tiempo, espacio y la energía para encarnar el proceso sin expectativas. La conciencia propia es un proceso espiral para soltar las ganas de controlar todo. Mi propósito fue estar en la experiencia de lo que la práctica del yoga podría ser para mí en la temporada del momento presente. Respiración por respiración. Me di permiso al Ser para soltar las comparaciones con otras personas mientras reconocía que la experiencia en mi cuerpo es única.

Una de las razones por las que me interesé en la práctica de Yoga desde el 2005 fue mi experiencia de dolor somático crónico a causa del trauma, trauma intergeneracional. Practicar bondad amorosa compasiva ha sido mi respuesta a esta llamada de atención a despertar, a escuchar verdaderamente con mi CORAZÓN.

Una de las principales disciplinas externas de la filosofía del Yoga es Ahimsa. Ahimsa, es traducido del Sanskrito como la la praxis de no causar daño, o de la no violencia según el libro de los Sutras del Yoga de Patanjali. Mi maestra Michelle Young presenta más de los pilares de la Filosofía del Yoga en este video en inglés. Cuando supe de Ahimsa, volví a los recuerdos de mi infancia de anhelo de paz, alegría, compasión y gratitud. Ahimsa nos llama a profundizar en nuestro interior y comprender las experiencias, pensamientos y emociones que nos hacen sentir desconectadxs del sentido de Integridad. Encarnar la autenticidad me permitió nombrar todo lo que es Sagrado para mí, y con lo que soy en parentesco, incluyendo relaciones humanas, con animales, con árboles, con comida, y en especial con la Madre Tierra quien nos sustenta.

Estos últimos nueve meses fueron un momento para hacer una pausa, para profundizar en el significado de lo que es para mí la Praxis de Yoga. Profundizar en mis rituales sagrados me permitió acercarme a la a cuál es la estación del momento presente para mí en conexión con la Respiración. Eso es poderosamente sagrado. ¡Yo añoro vitalidad! Entre más me muestro para el Ser en cuerpo, mente y espíritu, más encarno vivir desde un lugar de humildad y agradecimiento. Agradecer por acceder a estas genealogías ancestrales. Agradecer por el despertar en el aquí y ahora. Gratitud por la cosecha y las  maestrías que llegarán en las estaciones futuras libre de apego. No soy una experta, sólo un Cántaro Sagrado. Yo me entrego al proceso como las Aguas Sagradas.

Durante este proceso de renacimiento, también noté algunas luchas. Por ejemplo, hay un anhelo de representación en el mundo del Yoga en el norte global, personas que se parecen a mí, que pueden enseñar de la experiencia de haber utilizado las Medicinas del Yoga para apoyarse así mismas en sus viajes de sanación, en relación con su reconocimiento de sus experiencias de trauma por la colonización intergeneracional. Es poderoso ver a tantas mujeres profundizando en su praxis como estudiantes y maestras. Las preguntas ahora son, ¿las mujeres estamos dispuestas a fortalecer estas prácticas para que centremos las experiencias y los caminares de mujeres afrodescendientes, indígenas, y gente de color que aún se encuentran marginadas de estos espacios? ¿Somos capaces de reconocer nuestra interdependencia mientras construimos sociedades enraizadas en la vida?

El aprendizaje de la Praxis de Yoga no termina con la presentación de todos los requisitos. El viaje de encarnar la Yoga Praxis comienza ahora, en el momento que terminó la capacitación, es en este momento espiral donde puedo determinar cuán disciplinada puedo ser para encarnar estas enseñanzas ancestrales.

Me vienen al corazón las siguientes reflexiones:

  • ¿Cómo honro la filosofía y la práctica del yoga arraigadas en las genealogías indígenas?
  • ¿Cómo incorporar los pilares y los valores en mi práctica diaria y mis rituales dentro y fuera del tapete?
  • ¿Cómo honro a la tierra, a la gente, a los Espíritus de los maestros que pusieron esta sabiduría a mi disposición?
  • ¿Cómo rompo los patrones de apropiación del conocimiento cultural perpetuados en la Comunidad Yoga en las culturas occidentales? ¿Cómo descolonizar la práctica del yoga?
  • ¿Cómo encarnar la construcción de la comunidad en lugar de la competencia y el agotamiento?
  • ¿Cómo practicar el amor propio y me alejo de la imagen corporal tóxica?
  • ¿Cómo practicar desde un lugar de alegría alejándome de la productividad tóxica?

Estoy muy agradecido de estar al tanto de los maestros que están haciendo su trabajo de descolonizar sus prácticas, que están incluyendo y tratando de centrar las experiencias de la gente de BIPOC. Recibí la Beca porque estoy suscrito a los boletines de Black Zen. Black Zen es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a hacer que la meditación sea accesible y fácil de identificar para todxs. En su boletín de junio de 2020, anunciaron que la organización Yoga Pose en colaboración con Michelle Young, propietaria de My Vinyasa Practice se estaba asociando para ofrecer la Beca para instructores de Yoga en apoyo para el bienestar de la comunidad Afrodescendiente. Dos semanas después de enviar mi solicitud, recibí un correo electrónico con la oferta de beca. Siento un gran honor de haberme unido a esta comunidad virtual y diversa de practicantes de Yoga.

Mientras me sumergía en esta capacitación y en esta poderosa caminata de aprendizaje, he podido conocer a maestras que también están visualizando formas de honrar las prácticas de Yoga para que más personas y comunidades afrodescendientes, indígenas y de color puedan tener acceso a los recursos de Yoga, a medida que construimos y fortalecemos comunidades globales arraigadas en amor, compasión y paz. Lorena Saavedra Smith, propietaria de Yoga Terapeutica, es una de las maestras con las que me he encontrado en este viaje. Ambas estamos ahora creando formas creativas de sostener a nuestras comunidades Indígenas, Latinx, de habla hispana, como curanderas y guardianes de las enseñanzas chamánicas arraigadas en las tradiciones ancestrales peruanas y mesoamericanas. En mi corazón siento mucha gratitud por las lecciones aprendidas, el espacio compartido y el juntas re-imaginar formas de integrar las Medicinas que nos invitan a sanar a la Madre Tierra y a sanar nuestras almas para el sostenimiento del bienestar global.

Otras preguntas que siguen viniendo a mi Ser son:

  • ¿Estamos dispuestxs a dejar de lado el apego a la fama y la arrogancia etnocéntrica?
  • ¿Estamos dispuestxs a practicar la inclusión para verdaderamente centrar el liderazgo de personas negras, indígenas, mujeres de color más allá de su representación simbólica que cubra la cuota de “diversidad e inclusión”?
  • ¿Estamos, como practicantes de Yoga, dispuestxs a imaginar una sociedad global arraigada en la interdependencia?
Lorena está meditando en la foto arriba.

Full Moon: Decolonize Yoga Genealogies & Praxis

In July 2020 I applied for a scholarship opportunity to join an online Yoga Teacher Training.  I felt deserving to receive the scholarship especially because it was a longing manifested seven moons earlier. While I was sheltering in place, my body, mind and Spirit had a profound longing to refocus the energy within. Now, as I finish the training I reflect on the time, space, energy and discipline I needed in order to feel that I could dive into it, in a way that was connected to my Sacred rhythm, my life transitions and the resources available to me during this process.

I feel so much gratitude with Self for taking the time, space and energy to embody the process without expectations. Self-awareness is a spiral process to let go of control. My purpose was to be in the experience of what Yoga Practice could be for me in the season of the present moment. Breath by breath. I gave permission to Self to let go of comparison with other people as I acknowledge that the experience in my body is unique.

One of the reasons I came to practice Yoga since 2005 was my experience of somatic chronic pain enacted by trauma, intergenerational trauma. Practicing compassionate loving-kindness has been my response to this wake up call to listen, truly listen with my HEART to the Self.

One of the five external disciplines of the Yoga Praxis is Ahimsa. Ahimsa, is translated from Sanskrit as the praxis of not-harming or non-violence according to the Yoga Sutras Book of Patanjali. My teacher Michelle Young introduces more of the pillars of the Yoga Philosophy in this video. When I learned about Ahimsa, I went back to my childhood memories of longing for peace, joy, compassion and gratitude. Ahimsa calls us to go deeper within and understand the experiences, thoughts, and emotions that make us feel disconnected from the sense of Wholeness. Thus, with discipline in my daily practices I allowed the Self to integrate. Through embodiment of authenticity I deepened in centering all that is sacred to me, in kinship with others I am in relationship with, including humans, animals, trees, food, and specially with Mother Earth which sustains us.

These past nine months were a time to pause, to dig deeper into the meaning for what Yoga Praxis is for me. Deepening my sacred rituals let me come closer to what the season of the present moment looks like in connection to the Breath. That is powerfully sacred. I long for aliveness!  The more I show up for Self in body, mind and spirit, the more I embody living from a place of humility and gratitude. Gratitude to have access to these ancestral genealogies. Gratitude for the awakening in the here and now. Gratitude for the harvest and lessons to come in the future seasons without expectations. I am not an expert, just a Sacred Cántaro. I am surrendering as the Sacred Waters.

During this re-birthing process, I also noticed a few struggles. For example, there is a longing for representation in the Yoga world in the global north, people who look like me, who can teach from the experience of utilizing the Medicines of Yoga to support themselves in their healing journeys, in relation to their acknowledgment of the experiences of trauma from intergenerational colonization. It is powerful to see so many women now deepening in their praxis as students and teachers. The question now is, are we women willing to strengthen these practices so that we center the experiences and journeys of BIWOC who are still marginalized from these spaces? Are we capable of acknowledging our interdependence as we build societies rooted in live?

The Yoga Praxis learning does not end with submitting all the requirements. The Yoga Praxis journey begins now, at the moment that I end the training, is at this spiral moment where I can determine how deep and disciplined I long to embody these ancestral teachings.

The following reflections come to my heart:

  • How do I honor the Yoga Philosophy and practice rooted in indigenous genealogies?
  • How do I embody the pillars and values into my daily practice and rituals on and off the mat?
  • How do I honor the land, the people, the Spirits of the teachers who made this wisdom available to me?
  • How do I break the patterns of cultural knowledge appropriation perpetuated in the Yoga Community in western cultures?
  • How do I decolonize Yoga Practice?
    • How do I embody community building instead of competition and burnout?
    • How do I practice Self-Love and move away from toxic body image?
    • How do I practice from a place of joy moving away from toxic productivity?

I am so grateful to be aware of teachers who are doing their work of decolonizing these practices. Teachers who are including and trying to center the experiences of BIPOC folks. I had access to the scholarship because I am subscribed to Black Zen newsletters. Black Zen is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making meditation accessible and relatable to everyone. In their June 2020 newsletter they announced that the organization Yoga Pose in collaboration with Michelle Young, owner of My Vinyasa Practice were partnering to offer the Yoga Teacher Scholarship in Support of Black Wellness. Two weeks after I submitted my application, I received an email with the scholarship offer. I am honor to have joined an online diverse community of Yoga Practitioners.

As I dove into this training and powerful learning journey I have been able to meet teachers who are also envisioning ways in honoring Yoga Practices so that more BIPOC peoples and communities can have access to the Yoga resources, as we build and strengthen global communities rooted in love, compassion and peace. Lorena Saavedra Smith, owner of Yoga Terapeutica is one of the teachers I have encountered in this journey. We are both now creating creative ways to sustain our Indigenous, Latinx, Spanish speaking communities, as guardians and keepers of shamanic teachings rooted in Peruvian and Mesoamerican ancestral traditions. In my heart there is so much gratitude for the lessons learned, the shared space and the reimagining ways to integrate the Medicines that invite us healing Mother Earth and healing our Souls to sustain global wellbeing.

The questions that keep coming to Self are:

  • Are we willing to let go of the attachment to fame and ethnocentric arrogance?
  • Are we willing to move away from using BIPOC as tokens to fill the quota for “diversity & inclusion”?

Are we as Yoga practitioners and Indigenous genealogies keepers willing to envision a global society rooted in interdependence?

Lorena is practicing meditation in the photo above.

Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | Todos Los Derechos Reservados

Luna Nueva: Reclamando Momentos Sagrados / New Moon: Reclaiming Sacred Moments

Scroll down to find this essay in English.

Aquellos de ustedes que me conocen, saben que estoy constantemente compartiendo sobre el carácter sagrado de mis ritos, rituales, rutinas y prácticas cotidianas. Incluso he escrito algunas de estas sabidurías ancestrales en un papelógrafo y cuelga en la pared, para poder recordarme de una manera cariñosa y compasiva que tengo una gran cantidad de conocimientos que puedo aprovechar para honrar a mis maestras, linajes, incluyendo el Espíritu de las Plantas, árboles, animales, etc.

No definiré ritos en este ensayo. Me enfocaré en mis experiencias personales de pasar por mi cuerpo la  sabiduría de los rituales, rutinas y prácticas que aprendí de mis ancestras.

Me he permitido reclamar rituales como un momento sagrado, puede sentirse como una celebración [graduaciones, ciclo lunar]. O puede ser un pequeño momento sagrado, por ejemplo, cuando preparo café todas las mañanas y trato de despertar la conciencia en ese momento. Prestando atención cuando pongo el café en la cafetera. Y puedo permitirme recordar de dónde viene mi relación con el café. Este ritual viene de las enseñanzas de mi abuela. A pesar de que su relación con el café fue introducida a partir de sistemas de explotación, […] ella eligió introducirme el café de una manera poderosa. Me enseñó a conocer su experiencia con el café y al mismo tiempo cómo ella rompió un patrón al transformar su experiencia en algo que le generaba gozo; y así yo pudiera tener una relación amorosa con el café, los granos de café y la planta. ¿Les hace sentido?.

Mi abuela me enseñó a plantar un pequeño cafetal en Chalatenango, a contemplar en conciencia las formas en que cambiaban los granos de café, a notar cuando la cáscara estaba roja, ella me pedía que cortara unos granos, los pelara y los chupara. Cuando las semillas sabían lo suficientemente dulce, ella asentía que era hora de la corta. Aprendí el proceso de cortar todas las semillas de la planta, con cuidado, y compartiré mucho más con mis estudiantes sobre estas enseñanzas en mi próxima ofrenda en línea en el Programa Reclamando el Hogar Ancestral. Así que volviendo al poder de los rituales, todas las mañanas, incluso si estoy inquieta, me permito conectarme con el proceso de preparación del café de una manera que me parece sagrada. Hay otros rituales importantes para mí que están espiritualmente arraigados en la sanación con la Madre Tierra. Comparto más sobre estos en los talleres en línea que facilito.

Para mí, las rutinas se pueden reclamar como un momento sagrado que sustento con disciplina. Mi hermana Ruth me recordó que, como parte de nuestra experiencia humana, las rutinas pueden ser anclas de apoyo, y a la vez hacer lo contrario, hay rutinas que pueden adormecernos o empujarnos a volver a viejos patrones de pensamiento, verbalizaciones y comportamientos. Entonces, les invito a  intentar reclamar y reconectar con su propio ritmo, y prevenir aceptar a que las proyecciones sistémicas, culturales e interpersonales externas “definan” lo que su ritmo sagrado “debería” ser. Para mí, reclamar rutinas ha sido desafiante, especialmente durante las transiciones y las pandemias globales. Sin embargo, dedicarles espacio se ha convertido en una herramienta necesaria de sanación descolonizadora con la disciplina de cuidar de mí misma.

Un ejemplo de una rutina diaria para mí es encender una vela cada mañana y ponerla en mi altar. Hago un chequeo con todos los aspectos del Ser y escribo una cosa que puedo hacer para atender esos anhelos. Si me quedo sin velas siempre está mi fuego interior, o Papa Sol para que la luz se encienda dentro y en conexión con el Universo. Esta rutina me ancla, especialmente en los días de invierno que son más cortos y oscuros. Me permite mantener la esperanza incluso si el mundo exterior se siente confuso y doloroso.

He reclamado prácticas como momentos sagrados, tecnologías que tomo para honrar la sabiduría ancestral y el conocimiento de mi propio cuerpo. Las prácticas para mí son contínuas, adaptativas y expansivas, pueden ser sustentadas, lo cuál significa que no las aplico solo cuando estoy pasando por momentos difíciles, sino que son cotidianas tanto como sea posible para poder atender a todos los aspectos y anhelos del Ser en mente, cuerpo y espíritu. Las prácticas me arraigan en la abundancia espiritual y la interconexión con todo lo que me rodea, me conecta con el corazón del Cielo y el corazón de la Madre Tierra. Las prácticas me permiten entrar en la cueva interior, la oscuridad interior con compasión y amor, sin juicios y sin apegos insanos. Las prácticas me acercan a integrar las dualidades de la vida.

Mi propia definición de rituales, rutinas y prácticas puede ser diferente o similar a la de los libros de texto. Aquí, estoy hablando de mi propia verdad y conocimientos heredados. Todos estos momentos son sagrados y todos tienen el propósito principal de apoyarme en mis viajes de sanación.

En las ofrendas y enseñanzas individuales y grupales, comparto formas más específicas de reclamar, sustenatar y crear rituales, rutinas y prácticas descolonizantes para que cada estudiante encuentre una sintonía con su propio ritmo en los viajes de sanación.

¿Cómo definen ustedes los rituales, las rutinas y prácticas? ¿Cuál es una rutina saludable que su cuerpo anhela estos días?

¿Existen pequeños o grandes rituales, rutinas y prácticas que le arraigan en el amor y en la conexión interna?

New Moon: Reclaiming Sacred Moments

Those of you who know me are aware that I am constantly sharing about the sacredness of my rites, rituals, routines, and practices on a daily basis. I  have written some of these ancestral powerful pieces of wisdom on a piece of paper and they hang on a wall so that I can remind myself, in a gentle compassionate way, that I have a wealth of knowledge of where I can draw from which honors my teachers and lineages. Some of the wisdom comes from tree Spirit, plant medicine, animals, etc.

I will not define rites in this essay. I will focus on my personal experiences of passing through my body the wisdom of rituals, routines, and practices I learned from my ancestors.

I have come to reclaim rituals as sacred moments. It can feel like a celebration [graduations, moontime] Or it can be a tiny tiny sacred moment, for example, my morning ritual of when I make my cup of coffee and how I try to bring awareness into it. By paying attention when I am putting the coffee on the coffee maker,  I can allow myself to remember where my relationship with coffee comes from. It comes from the teachings of my grandmother Virginia. Even though her relationship with coffee was introduced from exploitative systems […], she chose to introduce me to coffee in a powerful way. She taught me to know about her experience with coffee and how she allowed herself to transform that relationship so that I could have a loving relationship with coffee, coffee beans, and the plant. Does this resonate with you?

She taught me how to plant a small coffee garden in Chalatenango and how to contemplate in awareness of the ways the coffee beans changed. When the skin was red, she would ask me to pick a few beans, peel them, and suck them. When the taste was sweet enough, she would confirm that it was ready. I learn the process of picking all the beans from the plant, with care, and there is much more I will share with my students about these teachings in my upcoming online offering the Reclaiming Ancestral Home Program. So going back to the power of rituals.  Every morning, even if I am restless, I allow myself to connect with the coffee-making process in a way that feels sacred to me. There are other rituals important to me that are spiritually rooted in healing with Mother Earth. I share more about those in the online workshops that I facilitate.

For me, routines can be reclaimed as a sacred moment that I do with discipline. My sister Ruth reminded me that as part of our human experience, routines can be supportive anchors. Inversely, there are other routines that do the opposite that can numb us or push us to go back to old patterns of thinking, speaking, and being. So, I encourage myself and invite you to try as well to reclaim and reconnect with your own rhythm, groove and not let outside systemic, cultural, and interpersonal projections “define” what your sacred rhythm “should” be. For me, routines can be challenging to reclaim especially during transitions and a few ongoing global pandemics. However, putting in the work has become a necessary decolonizing healing tool with the discipline of showing up for Self.

An example of a daily routine for me is to light a candle every morning and set it on my altar. The purpose is to check-in with all aspects of Self, and write one thing I can do to tend to those longings I feel. If I run out of candles, there is always my inner fire or Papa Sun so that the candle is lighted within and with the Universe. This routine anchors me, especially on darker, shorter winter days. It allows me to stay hopeful even if the outside world feels confusing and painful.

I have reclaimed practice as a sacred moment, an ancestral technology that I use in honoring the ancestral wisdom and my own body knowledge. Practice for me is ongoing, adaptive, and expansive and it can be sustained, which means that I don’t come to it when I am having a hard time only but on a daily basis as much as possible so that I can tend to all aspects and longings of the self in mind, body, and spirit. Practices root me in the Spiritual abundance and interconnectedness with everything around me. It connects me with the heart of the Sky and the heart of Mother Earth. Practices allow me to enter the inner cave, the inner darkness with compassion and love, free of judgment, and attachment. Practices bring me closer to integrating life’s dualities.

My own definition of rituals, routines, and practices may be different or similar to that in the textbooks. Who knows? Hear me, I am speaking from my own truth and inherited knowledge. All of these moments are sacred and all have the main purpose to support me in my healing journey.

In the individual and small-group offerings and teachings, I share more specific ways to create and sustain decolonizing rituals, routines, and practices so that each student finds a tune with their own rhythm in their healing journey.

How do you define rituals, routines, and practices? What is one healthy routine your body is longing for these days? 

Are there any small or big rituals, routines, and practices that make you feel rooted in love and connected within?

Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | Todos Los Derechos Reservados

New Moon: Reclaiming the Kitchen Fire and Loving the Soil that Nourishes us Now

Mama Marcela in her milpa.

I come from a lineage of healers. Women and men who tended their kitchen fire daily. My ancestors not only taught me how to take care of the Self. They also taught me the importance of sharing the responsibility of taking care of one another as a family and toward our community. I learned this through contemplation. My teachers’ mama Marcela and mamita Virginia taught me with actions. They expressed their unconditional love through the process of tenting to the soil of our cornfields, frijolares, and hortalizas. They enacted love through the kitchen fire by cooking with so much joy, power, and creativity. Even when the food shortage was our reality, I noticed that mama and mamita kept finding ways to warm our stomachs and spirits.

This summer, my teacher Raeanne Madison who is a birth keeper and decolonizing educator, taught me in her Postpartum Healing Lodge Course, more about the importance of our lineages to tend to the kitchen fire. In her Ojibwe and Mexica traditions, it is sacred to cook each meal for the birthing person and family during the postpartum process with compassion, love, and respect as sacred rituals. Food is healing medicine. The process of preparing homemade food is also a powerful ritual that I learned at a young age while being raised in Chalatenango, El Salvador. I am grateful to continue reclaiming these traditions. 

Since moving out of my village I’ve felt a disconnection with the processed foods encountered in every place I’ve lived. This year, my intuitive Spirit has been at the cellular level longing so that I can tend more deeply to my kitchen fire. Reclaiming is a process.

My sister Ruth, one of my teachers, has a lot more experience tending to her kitchen fire as she has been away from home longer and abundantly rooting her family in the new home they are building. A few weeks ago during our two-hour long conversation, she reminded me of how her family reclaims the kitchen fire in the privacy of their home. Ruth is a powerful resilient human who inherited the cooking creativity from our mamas. In our journeys of border crossing because of the inherited systems of colonization, our inner-power remains rooted in radical unconditional love.

My sister remembers the process of growing our food, picking the vegetables from our hortaliza, preparing the woodfire, and smelling the smoke coming out of the seeds of cashew. For example, first, we would make a fire pit on our patio,  then we roasted the seeds in an old pan we had. We collected the seeds as we ate the cashew fruits. Once we had enough seeds, we the siblings, and neighbors came together to share. It was a playful process. Ruth even remembers when we burned our tongues because we took the seed right from the pan to our mouth and how exciting that moment was. The burning of the fire, the burning of the spiritual powerful sensations when the raw roasted cashew seed touched every corner of our mouth.

Cashew fruit and seeds.

Nowadays as we continue to adapt, these processes of reclaiming, ritualizing, and prioritizing specific moments of togetherness with family are crucial for decolonizing our wellbeing. I call this process “Ritualistic Sacred Act of the Mundane”. We celebrated el día de almas difuntas, a very sacred day on November 2, as in El Salvador it is spiritually important to honor the Spirit and memories here on Mother Earth of our ancestors. And tending to the kitchen fire is part of the whole process. Mayita, my niece and teacher, shared with me how important it is for her to reclaim these traditions. The other day during our mindfulness conversation she shared that food makes her happy, and that food connects her deeply to both of her lineages and traditions. She loves that food brings her and her family together at the table.

When I asked Mayita, do you have any foods that are very special to you? she told me with a lot of excitement “I love pupusas, tamales, pastelitos, and Salvadoran quesadillas” and then she continued, I especially love the pupusas made at home by my mom Ruth because she knows that I am vegetarian and so she makes them without meat for me. Then, she enjoyed that her tía Erika (me!) introduced her to the Salvadoran quesadillas, a traditional dessert that mama used to bake in her artisanal oven for almost all of our holidays, birthdays, and simply to apapacharnos while growing up.

Then, Mayita stated that she also honors the foods from her Chinese traditions. She was excited to share that the process for making dumplings and pastelitos, even though the dough is different, for the latter is corn flour, the process to make them is similar. Her smiley face said it all, the kitchen fire warmth her body and Spirit. Then she paused for a moment. She looked at me and said, I am grateful for my mama Angel, my grandparents, and aunt from that side of the family as well. In general, Mayita stated, it is those moments when family comes together that food taste more delicious, and the laughter, fun moments of cooking together, for me is through those moments that I learn more about where my ancestors come from and how to honor and respect them and their traditions.

Salvadoran quesadillas made by mama Marcela.

During my recent visit to my sister Ruth and her family, we felt the need to tend to the collective kitchen fire as well. So, we reached out to Melisa, a friend of ours who is also from El Salvador who now lives with her family in Vermont. We did an impromptu trip to visit them. We were inspired to learn about Ananda Gardens, a diverse, small-scale farm, located 10 minutes from downtown Montpelier. To learn more about how Ananda’s Gardens works you can visit their website by following this link: Go Ananda, Melisa, Patrick, and Munay!

This was a sacred visit, in which Maya got to make new friends, learn about the sacred complex process of growing food, see some chickens, and observe her tía Erika jump of fear when a worm said “hello, there!”, in a surprising way while drinking hot cacao with the family outside in their patio. Melisa welcomed us to grind the corn as we reconnect with our tradition of preparing the corn flour to make tortillas from scratch, a process our ancestors call nixtamalizar —nixtamal is a word that comes from Mayan traditions in Mesoamerica.  This moment was powerful, for us who have been away from our land and traditions for a long time, touching the molino was a sacred moment!

Melisa and Erika grinding maíz.

After walking around the gardens, asking so many questions to Melisa and Patrick about their work, joys and challenges of growing food to provide at a small scale to their Montpelier community, we all tended to the kitchen fire, made fresh tortillas, which we ate with bean soup, rice, salsa, cashew sour cream, and ended our beautiful visit sitting around the fire-pit in their patio, telling stories of how the respective partners have met and continue to tend their families as they continue to reclaim their traditions and honor a home rooted in love and practices that bring them aliveness and joy!

In January 2021 I will facilitate the Reclaiming Home Ancestral Program Spanish version, an 8-week group coaching online course designed for Black, Indigenous, and people of color of the Global South. You can join my e-mailing list HERE to receive more information soon.

How are you all tending to your kitchen fires within the privacy of your homes?

What are the traditional foods in your lineages that support you feeling rooted in radical love?

How are you reclaiming your ancestral home through homemade cooking now?

Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | Todos Los Derechos Reservados