Natalie - Bright Star
The path that led to my defining myself as someone who takes action with awareness in order to reconnect with the sacred, began in a timeless place, but the seeds of its consciousness sprouted in my childhood.
I was both a happy and sensitive child. I felt deeply; imagined richly; and dreamed freely. Then the death of a beloved aunt and the divorce of my parents (two unrelated events), caused me to imagine at that young age, that the world was no longer safe, and so I withdrew. Despite this inward shift, I never lost the belief in something inherently benevolent within the chaos I felt and observed. This belief in an inherent benevolence came to be a lifeline and anything that brought the scent of its sanity closer to me, I immediately grabbed hold of.
In the early 1980’s, at the end of the “summer of love” and the year of my eighth cycle around the sun, my mother and I moved to live within a community practicing Eastern spirituality. This was not a popular decision among my extended family, friends or the patrons of our Natural Foods store that we owned. But the move was a pivotal one , informing my context for life to one of spirit and living with awareness.
Fast forward to my twentieth year around the sun—I took a trip to India. It was there that I met a people who really know ritual! There were Gods and Goddesses lining the dusty streets; plastic bobble-heads in rickshaws, forged of bronze and carved in stone in shops, in restaurants, homes, and in the slums. These iconic objects of ritual and the peoples’ ritual acknowledgement of them, wasn’t relegated to their temples. Instead, pujas were being practiced everywhere I turned; prayer filled lips and radiated from eyes, as chants and mantras seemed to float in the air thick as incense. Nothing appeared to be without purpose. No act bereft of intention or attention. Rich and poor, master and servant… ritual threaded through everyone and everything, holding all of life together in one vibrant fabric of intentional living. Every moment felt imbued with gratitude; each day a celebration of the mundane …and the mystical. I was hooked! For the first time in my life I felt completely at peace in my soul.
Grant it I understood that everything I was observing could easily be attributed to religious fervor and superstition, but whatever the case, the experience was a catalyst that activated a longing in me that was coded for melding the secular and the sacred in everyday life.
The next 20 + years were filled with, falling in love, getting married, becoming a mother, earning an associate of Arts and a BA in Creative Writing/Studio Art as well as Certifications in Ayurvedic Head Massage or “Champi”, Shirodhara, Foundations of Ayurveda, Western Herbalism, Intuitive Plant Medicine, Holistic Crystal Healing, Facial Gua Sha. I have also studied other Ayurvedic modalities including Kansa, Abhyanga and Vastu Shastra. I consider myself a Holistic Wellness Advocate - drawing from my personal experience and ongoing education in Eastern Spirituality/Philosophy, Ayurveda, Western Herbalism, Energy Work and other esoteric teachings.
Like the right mixture of water, light and nutrients that germinate a seed, these events blossomed into my life’s work. Whether it is formulating my botanical remedies, my sculptural designs, or the beauty/body work treatments I offer, these are the bold and loving way I bridge the gap between what is sacred, and secular.
The essence of the work is love.
It is my fundamental belief that we are profoundly connected to each other—interwoven bits of the Universe. And that we each must find, create, and practice our own rituals in order to engage this connection in some way each day. And in so doing we build an inner substance—the stuff of joy—that brings meaning to existence.
If like me you long to find your way back to spirit, and partake of the nourishment that exists within each unique moment, Bright Star and Buffalo invites you to find and create your ritual life, and bring more life to life!