Enlightenment on the 8's | January 2018

Hey there, dear friend - welcome to a brand new year!

Do you want to know what Enlightenment is?

It is much simpler than you may believe and it’s a way of life that is available to you right now. If you’ve ever gone skinny dipping, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about.

In that moment when you plunge your bare-booty self into that refreshing water and float around with a massive smile plastered on your face… you know how you feel?

Free, joyful, uninhibited, expansive, perhaps a bit rebellious. And light as a damn feather.

Light! Because you have released yourself of the burdening limitations that follow the words Can’t and Could Never. If even for a moment. No masks, no layers, no should, no bullshit.

Just You and the simple joy of being ALIVE.
That is Enlightenment, my beloved.

The Soulbare mission – my life mission – is to live an Enlightened Life in each and every moment, no matter what kind of waves roll in to rock the boat. To lighten the hell up and come Alive. To strip away that which no longer serves and be in bliss.

Enlightenment on the 8's is a monthly Love Letter from me to you. It's an opportunity for us to go virtually skinny dipping, bare our souls together, and explore 4 Realms of Enlightenment that will ignite you with passion, purpose + positivity.

Not because you don’t already know how to live this way…. Simply because sometimes we all need a little refocus and reminding.

Dive in below and enjoy the incredible month ahead!

All my love,

Live Light  

A right-this-minute exercise that will help you peel back a layer to feel lighter + more alive.

What It Is

The Heart Breath

Why It Works

The #1 source of stress and dis-ease in the body is a lack of fresh, oxygenated air. It’s not that we don’t know how to breathe. It’s just that we don’t often allow ourselves to consciously do it very well.

Infusing ourselves with regular bursts of deep breathing provides countless physical, emotional and mental health benefits such as detoxified lungs, liver + heart, improved quality of blood, calmed nervous system, relief of pain + muscular tension, increased energy + stamina, and improved mental clarity + creativity. The literal key to immediate enlightenment (ie - lightening up!) lies within your very own breath.

How to Do It

Exhale all of the stale oxygen from your lungs.

Breathe In s-l-o-w-l-y to the count of 4.
Pause for a moment at the top of the inhale.
Breathe Out s-l-o-w-l-y to the count of 8.
Pause for a moment at the bottom of the exhale.

Repeat the Heart Breath at least 3x. More if you’re feelin’ fancy.
Close your eyes if it feels comfortable and observe how you feel once complete.

Dive Deep 

An epic ancient wisdom or modern teaching that I’m all lit on fire about and can’t help but share.

“Enlightened” is not something we become. It is a state of being that we already are, at our deepest core, and simply have to allow ourselves to realign with and express. It is the freedom that comes with the recognition that everything and everyone is existing exactly as it meant to, in this very moment.

This remembering doesn’t happen all at once…. We call it a practice for a reason. To strengthen the muscle of learning to be who we already are, we can first practice being where we already are.

It’s a technique called Be Here Well that comes from the Tz’utujil Mayans in the stunning Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Photo : LCG Studios, www.lcgstudios.com

Photo : LCG Studios, www.lcgstudios.com

In this initiation, shamans-in-training spend days and weeks on end learning to observe. Engage all of the senses and simply… Observe. No judging, no labeling, just noticing everything that we see, smell, hear, feel and so on. First in the jungle, then in the city, then deep within one’s own body, mind and soul.

This is not to say that we become complacent, the world is static, and that life is void of growth or evolution. On the contrary, this radical allowing of things and people to be just as they are actually awakens a deeper sense of creativity through appreciation. As we learn to Be Here Well – right here, right now – we see how each thought, feeling, person, color, object, emotion, experience has been gifted to us as an integral and necessary building block of the dream life we are manifesting.

Try it for yourself when have a moment. And enjoy the heck out this perfect Now.

Flow Free

Get uplifted with one of my fave positivity-infused songs. I’ll point out the mantra and medicine on which to focus for optimal listening + living pleasure. Turn it up loud and get this ish on repeat!

The Music

Black as Night by Nahko and Medicine for the People
Watch on YouTube or listen on Spotify.

Photo : Nahko + Medicine for the People, YouTube

Photo : Nahko + Medicine for the People, YouTube

The Mantra

“I believe in the good things coming.”

The Medicine

This is the power of positivity at its finest. You’ve heard it a million times… where attention goes, energy flows. When we allow ourselves to resonate with the vibration that - no matter what unexpected curveballs life throws our way, the good things are ALWAYS coming - guess what you’ll have flowing in your direction? Mhmm, that's right. All of the best and juiciest things :)

Soulbare Strip

761 days, 13 countries and counting… my life as an intentional nomad is far more odd than it is ordinary. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here I’ll share confessions from the road to inspire your own sense of courage and adventure.

On my first trip to Panama in Nov 2016, I arrived at a gorgeous beachfront estate for a long weekend in Bocas del Toro. You’ll never guess one of the very first things I did, just moments after arriving.

Jump in the perfect crystalline water? Adventure down a jungle path? Sample some delectable fresh caught seafood? Sadly, none of the above. No. Instead, I wandered alone to the end of this very private dock… 

bocas dock.jpg

...and I cried my eyes out. I felt SO uncomfortable and SO out of place. I only just barely knew one person out of this group of long-time friends and couldn’t even dream of keeping up with the Spanish. My whole “living the dream” mission… this can’t be it! I questioned what I was doing with my life, why this travel was so important to me and longed for the comforts of my friends and my language.

The Dream Life looks so different for each of us. For me, for these past 2 years, it’s living home-free and experiencing new cultures. For you, it could mean finally making a relationship or career move that you’ve been yearning for. Either way, to make big leaps, the one thing that we all must learn to love is Discomfort.

It didn’t take long to settle in to an amazing weekend and now those very strangers are some of my dearest friends. But what I value the most from that weekend in paradise is my private moment on the dock. The courage to stay when my comfort zone is being blasted apart, and the willingness to open my heart to the gifts of the unfamiliar. The reminder that what I’m doing is living, learning, exploring, growing. And damn, do they call them 'growing pains' for a reason!

Whatever is that you are finally ready to do... you've got this! Get all weird and uncomfortable and let yourself be surprised by just how capable and badass you really are.

If you enjoyed reading and want email reminders of Enlightenment on the 8's, sign up here. Just once a month, and nothing more. Cross my heart. Big love, babes! 

Monica GravesComment