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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego nondenominational officiant’

For people who are spiritual (but not religious) it can be challenging to sort out how spiritual belief actually comes into practice in daily life. Since we’re not necessarily members of a church or temple, nor are we strictly following scripture, there are no specific guidelines on what belief looks or feels like. So how does it show up for us each day? As a motivator, as solace, or as comfort.

One way I like to think of God is “Grace On Demand.” And, BOY do we all need grace these days. Grace to move through stress, anger, sadness, or despair. And not only grace toward others, but toward ourselves.

Only through grace and peace and calm can we be divinely guided with the next best step, or ideal response; to hear that quiet voice.

How do we access grace?
Through meditation, through prayer, or simply through breathing. And you have access to all of these practices. You can do any of these things in the moment, wherever you are:

  • Taking deep breaths, in and out, rather than speaking, is an act of grace.
  • Build your “stillness” muscle by starting your morning with 15 minutes of meditation, an act of grace.
  • A moment of prayer for a resolution, is an act of grace.
  • A small gesture of kindness, is an act of grace.
  • Having a go-to mantra to distract your mind when it is racing, is an act of grace. (A personal favorite is “All Is Well” (*Abraham-Hicks).

These are each simple and extremely effective tools to navigate your day, and the way you practice them can be completely of your own device.
But more importantly, when successfully executed, you can actually FEEL that divine connection to your higher self. You can FEEL the essence of grace. To me, this is how I experience God.

And, ultimately, that’s the whole point – is changing how you feel, or improving how you feel. Recognizing that grace and ease are always available, on demand.

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2017 marks my 10th anniversary as a ceremony officiant!

kent-and-christine-weddingAnd here is evidence of my very first wedding ceremony (yes, I was a blonde back then!) at the Kona Kai on Shelter Island.

Kent and Christine were so gracious. They knew it was my first gig and they were patient and kind and we all got through it together.
The ceremony was chock full, with several selected poems, unity ceremony, rose presentation, a guest reader, and even a dove release!

I was lucky to have many years’ experience as a wedding planner under my belt at that time, so at least I was familiar with the whole process.

Dale Gottschalk (San Diego DJ) handled ceremony system and music. I’m sure he doesn’t remember it, but his calm professionalism really helped me through (bless you Dale!).

It was thanks to a 6-month training program by veteran Minister Gail Smith that I got my start, learning the ins and outs and sacred elements of officiating a ceremony. A path I had never before envisioned for myself, but one that became my true calling.
Since that first wedding, I have since added baby blessings, memorial services, and home blessings to my umbrella of services.

It has been my joy and privilege to serve couples and families through important and sacred moments in their life, and I greatly look forward to 10 more years (at least!).

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When your loved one dies, while it is a time of grief, it is also a time to connect with others who have loved the deceased, celebrate that person’s life and all of the gifts they contributed during their time on Earth.

If you do not belong to a particular religion or religious institution, there are many ways to create a meaning memorial service or celebration of life, in honor of the deceased.

The service might include:

A FAVORITE PRAYER OR POEM: If the deceased had a favorite book or poem, that can be read, or even song lyrics. Maybe you grew up with religious traditions you no longer practice, however there might be a bible verse or other scripture that is still meaningful to you. This is a great opportunity to incorporate that reading into the ceremony.

memorialcandlesCANDLE LIGHTING: Lighting candles holds a history and tradition of honor, and sacred respect. There are several ways to use a candle-lighting service, both to remember your loved one, and to honor your feelings during this time. This is an opportunity to invite certain family members or close friends forward to participate.

PHOTOS: If space allows at the venue and if time allows to gather them prior to the service, consider a display of many photos taken of your loved one, in all types of activities, on vacations, with friends, with family, etc. This is a lovely way for guests to reminisce as they arrive and are waiting for the service to begin.

STORIES: Allow 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many people attend, for guests to talk. Welcome them to come forward, in their own time, to share a story, a quality they loved about the deceased, how they were impacted by something that person did for them; it can be anything really.

Sharing memories and hearing perspectives from others can begin the healing process. Sometimes this portion of the service even allows for some joyful memories and a few shared laughs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALOCATION: Where the service takes place can be just as important as the memorial itself. If you don’t belong to a religious congregation, you might not have a venue at the ready.

Create a beautiful intimate event in your home backyard, at a favorite spot of the deceased, or even at one of San Diego’s beautiful beaches. How about a favorite park? (If you choose a public outdoor location, be sure to look into any required permits.)

As an officiant, when performing the service, I also include time to guide guests through a brief visualization exercise. It is for guests to have a private inner moment to say thank you, goodbye, and let go.

Talk with your ceremony officiant or minister, and members of your extended family, about what to include and the intent of the service. Together you can craft a meaningful experience for all.

Gayle Feallock, owner of Just Imagine Ministry, is an officiant of nondenominational, sacred ceremonies for all of life’s most important moments, including weddings, baby blessings and memorials. Learn more at www.justimagineministry.com.

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