It’s a powerful time right now. The Earth is showing us her power, the dark is entering the light, it’s renewal time for those celebrating the Jewish New Year and on the Hindu calendar it’s ​the holiest of holidays – Navaratri.
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​If you are feeling tired from all the energy swirling around – I’m not surprised. I am!
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​All of these holidays/events, suggest that it’s time to enrich yourself by ​pausing, breathing more deeply, taking things in slowly (rather than allowing things to rush past you) and considering carefully and intentionally how you want to spend your time.

​​​​​​​According to the guru at the Sonoma Ashram, Baba Harihar Ramji (Babaji),
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​”Navaratri is a time to enrich yourself with whatever you feel you are lacking. Be it good health, emotional strength, material wealth.​.​.whatever you need, this is the time to hold that prayer in your heart. Receive Mother’s blessing as you observe Navaratri with focused devotion.​”​
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Navratri–or the nine sacred days–mark the most auspicious days of the lunar calendar according to Hinduism. Celebrated with fervour and festivity all over north India, and every Hindu community the world over, these nine days are dedicated solely to Maa Durga (goddess Durga) and her nine avatars.
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Each day a different celebration, honoring and acknowledging a different aspect of the Goddess — of SELF.
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​​​​​​​Most people do not incorporate enough self LOVING activities that support the mind, body and spirit and counter the stress in their lives or celebrate all the different aspects that make us the unique, beautiful and brilliant beings that we are!

​During this week, and next…a time of renewal (Rosh Hashonah), finding balance (Equinox) and enrichment (Navaratri), take a moment to sit quietly, and allow yourself to dream of the ways you are ready to LOVE YOURSELF even more.

​​​​To that end, ​here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take regular baths​ and add Epsom salts. Not only do we need down time to relax and soak, but our modern lives require us to have more magnesium (since stress depletes it from our bodies). ​L​ight candles, put on ​your​ favorite movie, and indulge in this nurturing ritual. Add 1-2 cups of salt and relax!
  2. Get a massage this week​. Massage has a drastic effect on easing stress and anxiety , as you already know! But do you mostly give massages, rather than receive one yourself?
  3. Perform a daily​ self-massage (another way to get one)! For the same reasons as above, a daily massage with warm​ sesame​ oil will do wonders​ for you. ​
  4. Create a daily routine. Find set times to wake up, eat, and sleep. The regular rhythm​ ​allows your body to relax into “knowing” what to expect and when​.​​
  5. Practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep before 10 pm​,​ do not watch TV ​after 9 pm, and sleep with the lights off.​ Wrapping your feet in a cool wash cloth is soothing to your adrenals and helps you sleep better! ​
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  7. Meditate and breathe. If nothing else, five minutes​/day and at best – 20 minutes.
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  9. Tired in the afternoon? The practice of Y​oga ​Nidra​, performed around 3–4 pm can have profound effects on rejuvenation.​ So can adding a delicious super food smoothie!
  10. Avoid too much sensory stimulation (I’m working on this one!)​ Give yourself​ a cell phone holiday through the day or consider yoga or a walk instead of watching TV.​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​And here’s a suggestion for some SELF-LOVING herbal and essential oil support:

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  1. Ashwagandha is a beautiful adaptogen, bringing balance to stress just about anywhere in the body. It has a particular affinity to the adrenal glands and can help promote sound sleep.
  2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rose or Lavender oil ​help your body relax and calm down; the rose reminds us of LOVE and brings that “Come Back to Love” feeling right back!
  3. Tulsi tea is wonderful for balancing…

​Last but not least, create a ritual for yourself to honor the different aspects of the Divine Feminine in you (whether you are male or female bodied). This refers to your ability to be flexible, to flow with change, to shift directions if it feels like you’re heading away from, not closer to, your authentic path. It refers to times when you are able to just BE (and not DO) and to the ways you listen to your own heart (and to others as well.)

Author's Bio: 

Robyn Vogel, MA, LMHC is a psychotherapist, certified sex coach sex educator, and creator of Come Back To Love, Inc®. Robyn marries traditional psychological principles with spiritual tantric philosophy and practice. She teaches couples and individuals how to master the skills of intimacy and come back to love. Those that are struggling in relationship, feeling lost around love, and deeply craving purposeful and passionate connection gain much insight and healing in their work with Robyn.For 15 years she’s been teaching and practicing tantra as a foundational meditation practice that grounds her clients from within, removes obstacles to loving deeply and teaches all aspects of healthy sustainable relationship.

Robyn facilitates a bi-monthly tantra workshop in the Boston area, leads weekend retreats and tantra vacations in tropical places. In 2015, she co-led Helping Couples Connect, a clinical course for therapists with Charlie Verge and has recently been recognized as an expert in her field by the Boston Globe. She is also the author of upcoming book: 7 Steps to Come Back to Love. For more details, visit http://comebacktolove.com .