The prayer I wrote for my name changing ceremony. Embracing my spiritual name…

FullSizeRender-1 Beautiful Creator, God/Goddess, Mother/Father, Universe, All That Is,

We thank you.

In these new times that we are traversing on this planet earth, help us to be brave.

Help us to remember that each day is a gift and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Help us to live from our heart, in harmony with our inner truth and our divine calling, in service to humanity and the world.

Help us to remember that we are creative sparks of Spirit and with every thought and feeling we emit, we are creating our world. Help us to see life’s challenges as opportunities to stay focused on creating heaven on earth.

Help us to forgive everyone for everything, including and especially ourselves.

Help us to eradicate fear and doubt from our minds and hearts, so that we can live fully without hesitation, in our light and in our glory, bathing the world with our greatest joy,

Help us to remember that if we want peace and harmony in the world that we must have in it our own hearts. Please help us heal ourselves, our ancestors and our relationships. Heal our families and our communities, and fill them with peace now and forever.

Help us to love each other better, because In the end, love is truly all that matters. Help us to see the best in everyone and honor each person’s individual path.

Help us to remember that each moment is a chance to start again, that we are free, free to create the life we imagine, free to be ourselves, free to just be.

Help us to surrender each day to your guidance, knowing that we are never alone and you are just a thought away.

Help us to remember that where there is light, darkness cannot exist and the light is who we are. Help us to see ourselves as the miracle we are.

Help us to remember that at our deepest level of being, we are love, we are light, we are One.

Help us to live in the Oneness as many moments as we can, so our light will ignite the fire in other souls.

Help us to see beauty everyday all around us, in us and in others, even when it’s hard.

Thank you for blessing us with true divine abundance in all ways, thank you for this beautiful planet earth, for our health, our friends, our families, for this opportunity to be alive in this unique and momentous new time here on earth. Amen.

May the blessings of All That You Are be reflected back upon you, and may your magnificent heart radiate them out into the world for all to receive.

Love, SoulFire

Helpful realistic prayer

IMG_4737 2Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

My father’s passing. Love never dies.

75251be60a7e2027685393fb51006387It was Saturday, September 5th, and I was on my way to fire island to work for the day. I opened my email in the morning and deleted the usual gazillion emails from my Dad, most of them silly forwards. My Dad had a stroke around 14 years ago and never fully recovered; the computer and technology were his best friend. There was one however that caught my attention: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4) I felt so sad after reading this. One, because I had been going through a really rough time in my life recently and still struggling to heal my heart and two, because this was the scripture I put on my daughters’ fathers’ mass card when he died. All day long, even in my most favorite place in the world, I couldn’t shake this sadness. I had a new client that day with back pain and her 8 year old daughter came over to me while I was working on her Mom, put her arms around me and told me she loved me. I had to fight back the tears. Then as we were finishing up with the tab, her angel daughter kept hugging me and wouldn’t let me go. Looking back now I realize she knew I was sad and was going to need those hugs. As I was riding my bike back to my car I passed by a church with a mass happening. Funny I never knew there was a church on that street. I stopped my bike and sat outside on the front steps and listened to the mass. I thought about my father and couldn’t help feeling this terrible ache in my heart. As I was driving home across the Robert Moses Bridge I prayed to my angels to send me a friend, that I didn’t want to be alone that night. When I got home I got a text from my brother, “Dad just died.” I knew it. My Dad knew it too, he knew he was going to die that day. It was bitter sweet for me because I was never close to my father. He adopted me when I was 4 years old, and even though I lived with him when my parents got divorced, we were never close or had a good relationship. I felt sad because I wasn’t there for him and I cried because I lost a father that I never really had, and that was like a double loss. At that moment I began talking to my Dad like he was right next to me. It felt like he was with me. I said to him, “Dad if you are here can you be a father to me now and be there for me? I need help. I am struggling and I am hurt, please help me.”  I was walking my dog, Karma, as the tears were flowing down my face and within a few minutes I felt a relief within.  I felt the sadness and pain dissolve, and I could breathe deeply again. I felt light.  It was amazing. The angels had already had a call in to my friend Lisa…and she came over with sushi and chocolate and stayed till midnight talking with me. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Since my Dad has passed I have had a better relationship with him now than I had when he was alive. He couldn’t help me when he was stuck in his disabled human body in Florida, but now that he is free, in his spiritual essence, he is with me and helping me everyday to heal my heart. My Dad can be with me now just as quickly as I think about him. I find peanut shells, (his nickname for me was peanut or peanup), and I see his initials FJZ on license plates all the time. In India when someone leaves their body they say they are now in their “big form.” Meaning they are now everywhere, connected to us all. It makes sense. Our true essence is soul, light, infinite consciousness. When we are in a limited human body there is only so much we can do. When we are free of the body, or the “suit” we are truly free and are everywhere.  I am amazed at this miracle and grateful to have my Dad back in my life now when I need him the most. I pray that if you have lost a loved one that you know that they are still with you in spirit and always will be. Know that they are truly free and at peace. They are home with God, surrounded by unconditional love and acceptance, and they are with you. Love is the only thing in this Universe that doesn’t die. May you be surrounded by infinite love and unconditional acceptance and peace. God bless us all.

Walking in Faith

slideshow09It’s hard to have faith when everything is uncertain. But that is the way faith is grown. You don’t need faith when everything is fine, going your way. That’s not when faith is needed. Faith is something we might not be able to see or feel or smell or touch, but somewhere in the depths of our being it calls to us. It gets you off the floor when all you want to do is lie down and die, it get you to that yoga class that you know somehow you need, it pushes you gently to keep going, no matter how hard life gets, no matter what your circumstances may be, it is the voice that says, don’t give up, you can do it, help is on the way, just please don’t give up. I know your tired and I know your scared but walk, walk with me, take one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time, it will be ok. Faith is what puts the smile back on your face and in your heart. Faith bring out the best in us, our human spirit of perseverance and steadfast strength. Faith is knowing that no matter how bad things may seem or how awful or depressed you may feel, spring still comes, flowers still bloom, babies are still born and people still fall in love and marry.  Faith is knowing the sun will still come up in the morning and angels will lie down with you when you rest at night.

Faith brings the right people into your life at the right time, because God brings you nothing but angels.

 

The Healing Power of Yoga

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The word Yoga comes from the classical language of Sanskrit which is from India.  Yoga literally means to “yoke;” or to integrate, join, unite.  I believe yoga can have a different meaning for each person.  What yoga means to me is freedom.  Yoga saved my life.  I was heading down the path of self destruction.  I was a deeply wounded angry woman and single mother,  living in a state of chronic stress.  It wasn’t until my body broke down that I started to take my life and my healing seriously.  The health benefits of yoga are enormous.  Besides giving me my body and my health back by being able to walk and function again with no pain, the yoga poses helped with my depression and anxiety.  In combination with the philosophy and spiritual aspect of yoga it was the fast track to healing.  That was 14 years ago and I’m not going to lie…it wasn’t easy.  It was a roller coaster ride and with the amount of ups I had, I had twice as many downs.  I wouldn’t change it for the world though.  It has given me inner strength, wisdom and compassion that I would not have today.   I am a new person.  I have completely transformed my life and have an abundance of love, health, joy, peace and prosperity in my life now. I have beautiful loving relationships and I am living my divine purpose.  It is not easy to change.  We resist change, but it’s key to know that it’s our ego that doesn’t like change and our ego is not who we are.  We are a soul.  A soul that is infinite and eternal.  Our soul, who we are at our core, is for expansion, creation, sharing our gifts, being happy on the inside and out.  Our soul wants us to be in our natural state of being, which is perfect health, abundant, joyful, peaceful and free…living your truth….not anyone elses’.  Getting out of my head and living in my heart and from my truth is what yoga has given me.  It has healed my life, physically, mentally and emotionally,  and now I am in the position to help and heal others…my true purpose for this lifetime. I don’t think it gets any better than that!  Why not make your New Years Resolution more meaningful than a temporary change.  Why not make a commitment to yourself to do whatever it takes to be happy from the inside out and to live from the dream that’s hidden in your heart.  It is possible. Anything is possible.

Ignite Your Soul Fire! 

“Faith is the ability to see the Invisible; To believe in the Incredible; That will enable you to receive what the masses say is Impossible.”
-Clarence Smithison

My Everyday Heroes

IMG_1040webThe people that inspire me are the ones that most people wouldn’t look to for inspiration.  They haven’t done anything to merit the Noble Peace Prize, haven’t dedicated their life to saving the hungry and oppressed, don’t have a kajillion followers on Facebook, or super powers…they are just ordinary people but they have suffered extra ordinary circumstances in their lives.  While all of us, having lived a while on this earth will end up knowing the heartbreak and sadness of loss, there are people that have really known it…all too well.  I know people who have lost their spouses suddenly, their true love, their forever companions and the worst loss I believe is the loss of a child.  I look at these people in my life and wonder how they do it…how they continue on?  It amazes me that they still get up everyday and go to work with a smile on their face and… continue to be kind and helpful to others.  Having suffered my own losses; I know sometimes just getting up in the morning and getting out the door with a smile on your face is a huge task.  The holidays can be a tough time for people that have lost loved ones.  I am dedicating this blog, my thoughts and my prayers to all of you…know that your silent suffering and heartache is not in vain; know that you are not alone and your light, although dim, is still shining.  Thank you for being a true warrior and inspiration.

Practice dying

IMG_4642When I first started studying Buddhism back in 2003 I learned a powerful meditation technique that made a lasting impression on my mind to this day; it was meditating on your death.  A lot of people have a negative response when I talk about this meditation, saying that it’s depressing and morbid and why would I want to think about that?!  The truth is we are all going to “die” someday and the other truth is that we never really know when.  That is the reality, but it’s a reality that is not usually at the forefront of our mind.  What happens when you do think about it? For me it jolts me back to life in a strange sort of way.  True I do get a little anxiety after I meditate or contemplate my dying, but it always puts everything in perspective for me and gives me a chance to let go and begin again, in a much more heart centered and soul focused way.  I tend to lighten up and stop reacting and getting frustrated over the small stuff.  It brings me back to my truth of what is important for me, which is spending as many moments as I can in love, in peace and in happiness.  Death heightens our appreciation of every moment we are alive and calls out to us: “Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)   “We do not know where death awaits us, so let us wait for it everywhere. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” (Michel de Montaigne)   By practicing dying doesn’t mean we walk around being doom and gloom and announcing the death of all living things.  It actually is the opposite. *Practicing dying means living as close to reality as we can in each moment.  It is the ultimate bravery.  It helps you stand undefended before the ultimate truth with an open heart and an objective mind.  “When we practice dying we are learning to identify less with the Ego and more with the Soul.” -Ram Dass
*From Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

Compassionate heart.

There are times when my heart feels so sad. I am a very sensitive soul and I feel things so deeply. I’ve been told I have a lot of extra “antennas”, more than most people.  This is a double edged sword for me.  It’s good for my clients and students that I work with, but it’s hard for me when I’m having conflict in relationship not to overreact and get so emotional. When I feel stuck in this emotion of sadness that I just can’t seem to shake, my way out is to pray to God as such:  ”Use my sadness God. Help me to not close down my heart and shut off from the world but help me to stay open in the pain and sorrow. Use my broken heart to help heal the heart of another. Thank you. Amen.”  When we are suffering that’s when we are the most understanding and compassionate to others pain and suffering. That is what I have learned. “Use my pain to help heal another” is a very powerful mantra. What this mantra or prayer is actually doing is giving you the space to breathe again and to shift into a higher awareness that we are all connected and we are not alone in our sorrow.  It brings you back to your innate compassionate inner wisdom. Sometimes that is all you need for your heart to be happy again. Try it next time you are struggling and see what happens.  I pray for your happiness and that all beings everywhere be free.
Namaste. Love, SoulFire

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Gifts from my yoga students

photoOne of my yoga classes that I have been teaching for the last 4 years at a corporation has had its last hurrah. Although this was a pretty unconventional yoga class, done in the cafeteria, on a cold, hard, dirty floor with ants and loud warning bells going off in the middle of class, this was one of my favorite classes.  It wasn’t because of the stellar environment but because of the students that came every week. They truly loved and appreciated me and the yoga I was sharing with them. It changed their life.  Although I was bringing to them the gift of yoga and inner peace, week after week they showed me what true caring was.  They knew I had been going through some rough times and they were the ones ironically that were there for me.

As I was going for a run the other day, I was thinking about this particular class and how I was going to miss them.  This then brought me to another thought. I began to reminisce over the last 13 years I have been teaching yoga and how my yoga teacher, Mokshapriya, was right when she said to me when I was going through a really rough time in my life and feeling alone, “You are not alone, you have your yoga students.” At the time I really couldn’t understand that truth. It didn’t sink in, I just kind of blew it off. During my run the other day though, that truth came barreling into my mind, then into my heart and I literally had to stop running I was crying so hard.  I couldn’t believe it. What an epiphany for me. Yes, Mokshapriya, you were right. I get it now.  All these years I thought I was giving so much of myself through my yoga classes and private sessions but in fact it was and is my yoga students that give so much back to me.

I remember so many times I would be crying in my car driving to go teach a class, pull up to the studio, wiping the tears off my face and saying to myself, “Ok this is not about you right now, get it together. You have no idea who’s in that class, what they are going through and how much they might need yoga right now. Put your pain and heartache to the side, smile and show them your love.” Those were some of my most powerful classes.  Most of you don’t know this, but while you we’re in shivasana, I would sit there with you and silently cry. I went through some pretty tough times in the last decade, as many of you know.  Teaching yoga was my saving grace. My students were my saving grace. As I look back on all the emails, notes, talks, hugs, words of encouragement that have been given so freely and abundantly to me over the last 13 years I am overwhelmed with such gratitude and love that I can’t help but shed tears as I write this letter to you.
So I want to say thank you. It seems that these two words are not enough for what you have given to me, but I want you to know that all of these moments and all of your support has helped shape me and has helped me to grow and to heal. You have been an important part of my journey and I am so grateful for your presence in my life. To all of my yoga teacher friends, you too have helped me to heal and grow. Thank you for holding my hand, for holding my heart and for loving me.
I love you,
SoulFire (Stefania)

Where the name SoulFire came from

black and white angelIt was brought to my attention recently that my name change from Stefania to SoulFire was not understood correctly.  The transformation that I went through in 2013 was a huge shift for me in so many ways.  There were a lot of endings and a lot of new beginnings. The details are too extensive for this blog but I will be including it in my book.  With regard to the name SoulFire, that is the name that my Guardian Angels call me. I also have a symbol, which is a vertical line with wispy lines going through it that represent the fire. My new SoulFire logo has the symbol in the middle.  If you look closely you can see it. All of this is explained on my new website http://ignitethesoulfire.com/ under the “about” tab. It is tradition in India that you receive a spiritual name from your teacher or guru,  much like in Catholicism and other religions. I never had a guru but I do have four fabulous Guardian angels (Carmen, Victor, Archangel Raphael and Archangel Michael) and one spirit guide (Omi my twin brother from our lifetime in Tibet); otherwise known as the Fab Five! To me they are my family. I love them so much and feel their love and support around me all the time. I will admit I was a little hesitant about “coming out” with my new name and telling people where it came from. I know there are some people that will think I am coo coo, but it’s the truth and I am not afraid to share it.  Angels are just as real as you and I.  I love my angelic name, SoulFire. It makes me so happy to hear people calling me by my new name. It makes my heart sing!  For those of you who are interested in knowing who your Guardian angels are and actually be able to communicate with them, reach out to Dana Livoti. It is through her gift of communication with the angels that changed my life. (631) 245-5705 angelintuition@yahoo.com