4.28.2015

How To: smudge your home

i can remember being little, we're talking kindergarten, and having such bad anxiety. like as a 5 year old i would worry about my parents dying all the time and i would worry about getting in trouble for things that i wasn't involved in. i remember one of my cousins trying cigarettes for the first time when i was around 7 and asking if i wanted to try it, too. i said no, ran all the way home and was paranoid for months thinking i would somehow get in trouble for it. looking back, i laugh at all the stress i had as a little kid. i wish i could tell baby jamie dawn to chillax and not worry so much, kid! enjoy your juice box and your saturday morning cartoons because once you hit the real world, it's gonna kick your ass. but, knowing me and my stubborn ways, i wouldn't haven't listened to myself so i guess it doesn't matter anyway. 

20 years later and much like 5 year old JD, i still get anxious and worry about goofy things. my stress levels had been higher than normal lately and i'm not too sure as to why but it was terrible. arguments that shouldn't have been happening and anxiety over things that was only hurting my head and heart, ya know? stuff like that. waking up thinking about everything i should have done the day before and having a heartbeat that's pounding a little too fast over nothing. i've cut down on drinking and smoking and even though i know the longterm benefits are worth it, it's been hard. those were my cushions of relier to relax and going without them is a challenge. but, on the plus side, i've tried to find more natural ways to relieve stresses and create a more positive environment around myself so snaps for me. i've asked forgiveness of people and forgiven others. i've let people leave my life that only hinder my well being. and, most recently, i decided to smudge my apartment! i know, it's kind of out there to some (including my roommate who just didn't get it)  but i've wanted to smudge this place for a while now and it seemed like the perfect time recently.  i took a trip up to FINDLAY a few weekends ago and talked to the owner of one of my favorite shops. where they sell healing crystals and you just feel better when you walk in.  the sweetest little old man runs the place and i talked his ear off about stone healing and different ways to help with keeping good energy around me and he suggested smudging. i bought a smudge stick and was pretty excited to get that baby home. is it weird to say i felt better just buying the thing?  like i had already started healing my home? i don't know. that could all be in my head. 
so i did a little more research so that i knew i was going about smudging the best way for me. i still have many questions. questions like how often should you smudge? are certain rooms more important than others? questions to be answered. but here's a little bit of what i did learn:

what is smudging?
"Smudging is a traditional Native American method of burning sacred herbs to produce a smoke cloud which is used in various cleansing or prayer ceremonies and purification or healing rituals"
aka, it rids your home of bad energy. yay.                                                                                          
when smudging, make sure 
1. all rooms must be smudged.  we're talking bathrooms and even closet.
2. you hit the corners of all rooms. that's where energy gets trapped. it kind of makes sense if you think about it, right?
3. you have to take it seriously! it feels a little corny at first yelling at corners of rooms.
4. if you have an old building, like mine, there's a more likely chance of negative energy. if you have access to basements and attics, hit them.

when i smudged my apartment, i started closest to the front door and worked my way back through the apartment. we have really high ceilings and a lot of nooks and crannies so i moved pretty slow. be prepared to see a smokey fog throughout your home for a little bit but it smells good to me so it shouldn't be a bother. it was also recommended to find something consistent to say throughout the smudging. choose what you will be saying to the energy and stick with it. when going through each room, i chose "only love and life live here" simple, to the point and true! stay back, haters! 

when you're finished, you can simply put out your smudge stick and save it for the next use. i used a clean ashtray which seemed to work just fine and dandy. they burn really slowly, so you can cover a lot of ground with just one burn. 

afterwards, i already felt better and have felt a little bit more at piece. i don't know how much of it is in my head and how much of it is actually working, but i'm learning that if you can find any ways in this world to allow yourself to calm down, breathe more comfortably and not let the stress in it's probably a good idea. 
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