My Favorite Things
Julie Andrews sang about them as Maria Von Trapp in the screen version of "The Sound of Music." Oprah has them too. They're "Favorite things," the "stuff" we enjoy that make life more pleasurable.
Though my favorite things are not necessarily free, like "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" (Maria). And they're also not $300 bedroom slippers or $80 hand creme (Oprah). They are what I might call "spiritual enhancements": things we might use to attune us to spiritual practices or the spiritual values we hold dear.
I'd like to share a few of my Favorite Things. I'm a little particular so some of the items I'm going to tell you about have been found after much trial and error. I look for quality, integrity, and the "mission" of the producer when I bring such things into my life. Some, of course, are created by friends. We came together in our common love of certain things and it is an honor to share them with you—another friend!
(Please know that I receive no renumeration for promoting these. I just happen to love them and their creators ... )
This is one of those favorite things I'm very particular about. It seems over the years I've developed sensitivity to scent and many types of incense (and candles) make me sneeze or my eyes to water. I only use one kind of incense: a formula created by a great yogi himself, Paramahansa Yogananda. It is a type of Nag Campa incense which is not too heavy or too sweet. He developed the formula to aid his devotees in meditation. I use it to smudge my meditation space in the morning; to set the tone for my day; to clear out stale (or angry) energy; to cleanse a space after many people have been in it. Though Self-Realization Fellowship now offers a half-dozen or so scents, I prefer Sandalwood. It has a very high vibration and is excellent for meditation practice. Learn More
I believe (as their motto says) these ARE the best candles in America. It's the only brand I buy. The Root Candle Company, founded in 1869, has been making candles for 144 years! As their website says: "Now in its fifth generation, the Root family continues to extol the virtues of honesty, integrity, and diligent craftsmanship." The Root company originally created liturgical candles (candles for church use) and they still do. It is one of their largest markets. To me, they do feel and smell pure and I love having this vibe in my home. They are made of soy or beeswax, chemical free, burn cleanly and evenly, and are not bleached. Many candles contain essential oils. The sheer variety of all-natural, colors, scents, and styles is amazing.
More Favorite Things in a few days.
Perhaps my musings will help make your holiday gift shopping a bit easier. And don't forget to give generously to yourself, too. Favorite Things like these can create a greater sense of calm, clarity, and wisdom within us by their use— and we can definitely use more of that—especially during the Holiday Season!
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.