It is the day before Thanksgiving and I’m sifting through my mail and my email box and can’t help but laugh at all the pre-pre-pre-Black Friday sales. I’ve always disliked the term “Black Friday” – it sounds so bleak, and really, how could any FriYAY be black? I always tell everyone to not go shopping the day after Thanksgiving but to instead go to a yoga class to make it a Beautiful Friday.

This year though I’m going to call November 24 – BLESSED FRIDAY! Instead of focusing on the stress of the holidays and the hustle bustle of malls, I’m going to relax at home, do some yoga and meditation, and focus on all the blessings in my life.

I’m even going to throw a little holiday sale myself, but this one is not going to be stressful, you won’t have to wait in line, and what you purchase will be a beautiful gift you give yourself in the coming year, the gift of time away just for yourself to disconnect from stress and reconnect with you on a yoga retreat somewhere fabulous!

From now through Monday, January 27, I am offering $100 off these weeklong yoga retreats:

Shanti, Shanti, Bali March 12- 18, 2018 – just a few rooms left!

Beach Yoga Paradise in Panama April 15-21, 2018

Or, $50 off the Women of Wisdom Sedona Red Rocks Vortex RetreatFebruary 5-8, 2018

The Sedona retreat is just being announced and I’m thrilled to be co-leading the retreat with Dr Sharon Stills. It is going to be a powerful 3-night retreat leading up to the Sedona Yoga Festival where I will be presenting a few workshops this year. If you want to come to the retreat and stay for the Festival, I have a special discount offer on all access passes.

To take advantage of my BLESSED FRIDAY SALE, just make a deposit on any of these retreats by 11:30 pm on Monday, January 27, and I’ll take the $100 or $50 off your final balance due. Click on the retreat you are interested in above (or here:  BALI    PANAMA    SEDONA) for retreat details and how to make your deposit.

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If you are curious about this term “Black Friday,” there are several stories behind the origins, but the one that has become most prevalent is tied to retailers, where Black Friday indicates the point at which they typically begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black.” This terminology has always confused me, because “in the black” never sounded like a good thing to me.

All this Black Friday nonsense got me thinking about when we have our own personal Black Friday. In other words – what time of the year does our spiritual well-being really start to prosper to a point where we begin to reap the benefits from it?

Do you feel like you’re “in the black” in terms of spiritual well-being?

Some of you may feel that way, and if so, that is awesome (keep up the magnificent work and don’t slack off in December)! If you’re not feeling the spiritual love, no worries, there’s still a whole month left of 2017– and we’re going to focus today on what we can do right here, right now, to take our spiritual health from red to black, or better yet, let’s turn it to gold.

Here are a few strategies to enrich your spiritual well-being:

  •  Daily meditation. Spend a few quiet moments each day to let go of the mind and the mental chatter. Peace and wisdom come to the heart, not the mind.
  • Let go of worry.
  • Let go anger (and while we’re at it, in the same category, let go of judgment, fear, grudges – any of the nastiness that is not serving you). By practising a sense of detachment, you can release anger, sadness, anxiety, or fear when it has a hold on you.
  • Remember to honor your parents, elders, and teachers
  • Practice gratitude every day for every living thing.
  • Carve out some time for yourself each day. And of course, attending a yoga class is a great way to do this!
  • Make a mental list of the most important people in your life. When the list is complete, figure out how you can spend more time with these VIPs. To quote James Taylor, “Shower the people you love with love.”
  • Get outside and hug a tree. You don’t have to take this one literally, but even if it’s just for a few moments, time spent communing with nature can help restore your sense of peace in this crazy, stressed-out world.
  • Give the gift of love. Volunteer some of your time, visit a neighbor or person who is shut-in, share a smile, give to a charity, or call someone you love today just to let them know it. If you give from your heart, without any expectation of what is to be gained or lost, that, my friends, is true spiritual gold.

 The holiday season can be hectic, so I’m wishing you a peaceful month and a beautiful journey that takes you from red to gold on your path to spiritual well-being.

Wishing you and those you love a very BLESSED Thanksgiving! I am thankful for your continued support and presence in my life.

Namaste,

Maria

Excerpts from this post originally ran on December 2, 2011 – You gotta love an oldie but goodie Daily Downward Dog!