When coming up with the title to this week’s post I honestly attempted to find synonyms for the word “spiritual”. Nothing seemed to fit the essence of what I wanted to write about so I decided to stick with it however I had a visual of my readers immediately clicking past an article of this subject. What would spirituality have to do with skincare? If you hear me out you will make the connection I promise. The mind, body and spirit approach is necessary for a full recovery for any sort of imbalance going on in our lives. I believe that we all have a strong intuitive sense of what we need. Whether it’s our basic human instincts to choose foods that are will nourish us to who are the people we want to spend our days with. A lot of my daily decisions and practices are based on my intuition. I try to help my clients tap into their intuition by giving them the power to choose what’s best for them and creating connections between mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s by asking the right questions that lead them to the answer they had in them all along, or it’s by honoring them if something is not resonating with them. I don’t force upon a practice that doesn’t work but I also help you breakthrough the blocks when nothing seems to be progressing. It’s taken a long time for me to tap into my own sense of intuition and release some of the blocks that hold me back from living my most abundance life, but it all started with my acceptance of my spiritual path and the awakening it lead me to.
When I was growing up and I didn’t know that there were other religions other than Catholicism. So when I asked my friend why I didn’t see her at church and she told me it was because she was Lutheran and it dawned on me that if people believe in something that is greater than them, why couldn’t we all worship together? Little Hayley was very progressive in her thoughts of inclusion I guess. Over the next decade I immersed myself into getting to know my friends’ religions by attending their mass, prayer groups or religious ceremony of sorts so that I could give myself the opportunity to learn something new. I would ask; “how is this different than being catholic?” and was met with such lackluster answers about a different angels or disciples that would equate for an entirely different religion within christianity. And just to be clear this isn’t to dismiss the different denominations but rather a reflection of how poor the explanations were to convince a preteen on why we had to worship separately.
I remember being very committed to my church out of the love of routine and had a deep set of Catholic morals instilled in me as a young woman. In other words, I felt guilty about everything. I would even joke about it. I participated in volunteer programs, church camps, and Sunday school for as long as I could remember. Then on my confirmation retreat as a junior in high school there were a few kids in my grade who caused damage to the property we were staying at. As a result my class was threatened as a whole that we wouldn’t be able to complete this Holy sacrament we’d spent all year working towards. This is when 16 year old Hayley finally snapped and I finally stopped shutting down the voice in me (aka my intuition) that said "SPEAK UP". I got up and let the church folks have it by reflecting the hypocrisy of that situation right back at them. Shaming a group who wasn’t involved in the damage and shunning the ones who clearly needed the most help seemed like the least Christian thing to do. Standing up for myself and my classmates led me to decide that this wasn’t a group I wanted to be apart of anymore. I had spent my life devoted to a group that was so willing to cut me out due to someone else’s actions. My heart knew that I needed to break from the constant shaming and guilt that was brought upon by my church. I have not been to a mass ever since.
As years went on I found myself missing the rituals of my church life. It’s as though I had to fill the void that my church had held in my identity. I did what most young people do, which was go to college - got drunk often, smoked weed for the first time in hopes of expanding my mind (which it certainly did) and started exploring different groups of people. I latched onto the idea that I was going to find my community that would feel as close as my church did. Soon enough I would move to Austin and find my yoga practice again which would slowly feel like a “church” again. I found myself being able to set an intention and hold space and stillness pretty easily. Finding myself in a Sunday morning class, regardless of my hangover, was the “church” feeling I was looking for. But it didn’t stick as my schedule would change too often to commit myself fully to that practice. I started to reach a little further into myself to figure out what was it that really mattered to me.
Around 26, like most, I had a major existential crisis reminiscent of Mark Wahlberg in “I heart Huckabees”. The earth felt like it was falling apart, people didn’t care and I couldn't stop them. The weight of this led to that same internal shaming brought upon by my years as a Catholic. That is until the death of my grandfather in April 2014. My grandfather saw me for exactly who I was, he loved me in a way that I don’t know if anyone else ever had. When he passed I called on my ability to pray. I actually don’t love the word "prayer" but for the sake of explanation it seems to fit just right. Prayers were a daily practice for me back when I was in church and it wasn’t just to ask for what I wanted or needed help. I would always make a conscious effort to pray about my gratitude. So now that I was reintroducing myself to my prayers I realized how my grief shifted pretty quickly towards connectivity and awakening.
Expanding my belief system to something greater than myself by expressing my gratitude for what I was going through helped me let go of the guilt and shame so that I can start to accept who I am in my most authentic state.
I was starting to shed some weight and my life into turned what I had always hoped it could become. Instead of disconnecting the huge part of my life, which was my spirituality, I started a daily practice of mantra work, gratitude, meditation and tapping into my intuition through prayer. The rest of my life started unfolding in a way where I saw myself the way I always wanted. The woman reflecting in the mirror was finally someone I was okay with regardless if it disappointed others. This is work I have to do daily and will continue to evolve each day. But it's this work that started to finally help me see that if you don't have love for yourself you will not reflect the results you want in the world. Your blocks can come in physical manifestations and the best way to resolve some of these is to get to the root of your self love. So next time you are feeling lost, helpless, blocked, shamed, guilty, scared or mad about your own situation or the greater issues in our worlds - set the time aside to connect with your greater purpose. Write down the top things you are grateful for and tap into your powerful intuition with what you can do. The results will differ depending on your practice so keep trying. The more you shift to love the more your life will reflect that light.
Thanks again for reading and as my 30th birthday approaches this Sunday August 27th I am shifting my intentions to give back. Please consider making a donation to any of the following organizations that are close to my heart:
xo - Hayley