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The Art of Balance: Honoring Self in a Web 2.0 World

crystal-washington-article-feetby Crystal Washington

For me, the Internet is spiritual. It allows me to connect with thousands of people all over the world, with completely different backgrounds and life experiences, in the blink of an eye.

In high school, the Internet allowed me to find and compete for several scholarships, which paid for my education. In college, it allowed me to find and connect with my father, whom I had never known. In my early twenties, it enabled me to fulfill my dream of owning a business by running one from a home office and securing clients online. A few years ago is allowed me to realize my dream of becoming a professional speaker by enabling conference planners to find me online through video, articles and social media.

Any one of the above scenarios is nothing short of a miracle—magic.  However, it would be a huge mistake to assume that the Internet is the magic.  The Internet and social media are tools.  The magic lies in our connection to our source.

No, I am not about to open up a can of worms and discuss religion.  Rather, I’d like to focus on “spiritual maintenance” and provide you with a few of the things that I do to keep my spirit fresh, in tact and tuned in to the “magic channel,” which enables me to leverage tools like social media to connect with other amazing people.  Please note that none of these activities involve being plugged in to technology.

  • Have a technology free day. Every couple months, I dedicate a day to spirit.  On this day, I will not watch television, listen to the radio or audio books, use a computer or even answer the phone for anyone save my husband.  On these days, I may sleep, meditate, read, take a walk or cook.  I will not hang out with friends.  I dedicate these days to removing all of the noise that prevents me from hearing my inner voice/ spirit.
  • Enjoy Reiki or other body work. I have been very fortunate to have a spiritual mentor, Hitaji Aziz, for nearly three years now.  Every month, I sit with her and talk through issues, discuss feelings and experiences and enjoy amazingly healing body work. It’s basically therapy for the mind and spirit.
  • Adorn my feet. Yes, I do stuff to my feet. There are many ancient and religious texts that explain the significance of the feet. However, before being aware of any of them, I knew that when I cared for my feet, I cared for my heart. I always feel better when I paint my toenails a bright color or when I have my feet hennaed.  How can one not feel good when their feet are beautiful? Soniya Ekici of The Original Henna Company hennaed my feet in the picture.
  • Spend time in a holy place. Now, there are many places that you can consider holy.  My favorite three places in Houston are The Arboretum, The Chung Tai Zen Center and The Ruah Center.
  • Go on a quest. No, I do not wander the desert for over a month or set out down the street with a sword.  What I do do is tell my husband that I will be gone for the entire day, meditate for a few minutes to clear my mind, get in my car and go.  I have no idea where I am going, but I am open to being led by the spirit.  I have had some of the most amazing adventures this way! In one of my most memorable adventures, I ended up first at a book resale store where I purchased a CD on chakra colors and Sandra Cisneros’ “House on Mango Street.”  I then ended up in a tapas restaurant, where I read the book. Next, I listened to my color CD and ended up at the Rothko Chapel; I had never been before and was completely unaware of its location. After meditating there for 40 minutes, I ended up at a little flower shop where I bought fire-engine red Gerber daisies, got lost on my way home and ended up at a quaint antique shop where I was treated to delicious mango tea in fine china as I chatted with the storekeeper.

What do you do to take care of your spirit?