Sarah Bryanne Grady Loves Herself
She's the woman who knows
Sarah Grady is an amazing woman who radiates profound love. She has created a life for herself which embodies self-love through intention and ritual. I’m so grateful she so graciously offered to spend some time sharing her daily practices with us.
RM: Ok, tell us who you are and why you’re so amazing.
SBG: My name is Sarah Bryanne Rose Grady, and I’m a former psychotherapist turned birth and postpartum doula. I run my own women’s practice. What that means is that I weave together my training as a therapist with energy healing, dance movement and yoga work to create an integrative holistic process. So I call myself a doula and an intuitive counselor.
As part of my training and shamanic energy healing work, I did what was called divinity circle back in the Bay Area [San Francisco, CA]. I would commune with different energy frequencies every week. Mary Magdalene came to me in one of those divinity circles, and it was kind of my initiation into her. And then she kind of just became my spiritual gal pal.
I am the creator of a body of work called the Seven Sacraments of the Goddess. The umbrella term for this work is “Homecoming” because when a woman practices each sacrament, from root to crown, she comes home to her body, to her being, to her relationships on the earth.
I received these sacraments back in 2017 through a channeled visitation from Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen. The Marys came to me at the back of my heart and the front of my heart and they gifted me these sacraments. They’re very simple, very easy. They correlate to the seven chakras. Starting with the root chakra and moving all the way up to the crown chakra.
Mary Magdalene was very explicit with me, she said, Look, these sacraments are ancient feminine principles, resurrected for the modern day, and they’re very simple, but they’re not easy because of the world you live in. So you cannot talk about them or teach them or make money off of them. You have to go live them. You have to be in the initiation of them first, and then we’ll let you know when it’s time to come out more publicly with this work.
And pretty much when COVID hit is when I got the divine link to go ahead.
RM: Explain Homecoming?
SBG: Homecoming is a daily blueprint for life from a feminine perspective. And this blueprint is like a GPS. And so I like to run the sacraments through my system every day, just like somebody would brush their teeth.
It became really clear during the start of COVID that our world as we knew it started to crumble. We needed a GPS for the new world that was coming in. I launched an online school where I teach these sacraments via eight week intensive courses with women, through live zoom calls, embodiment classes and online exercises. And then I’ve been working on the book, which will be published this May through Red Thread publishing.
RM: Tell us about your mornings.
SBG: My day starts and ends in ceremony. In fact, my my best friend’s nickname for me is Ceremony Sarah.
Ceremony means a lot of different things to me, but ultimately my life is not about production and productivity. It’s about connection. I want to feel connected to my body, and to myself and to my life. Otherwise, it’s pretty meaningless. The way I connect to my life is usually through things that breed self-love and that comes through intentionality.
When I first wake up in the morning, I make my strong French press coffee, then come to my altar, and light a candle. That just immediately invokes the sacred for me. It also invokes the elements and so I feel connected to the planet that I’m living on when I’m exploring her elements of Air-Earth-Water-Fire. I know it sounds really simple to just light a candle, but because I’ve done it every day over the course of probably the last 18 to 20 years, it holds such a frequency of significance in my body. My altar is ever evolving, right? But it holds sacred items on it that remind me of who I am, and what brings me joy and love and aliveness. It’s the place that I come to pray, that I come to work out my life, that I come to run the sacraments through my system, and really listen-- my space of listening for spirit and for my soul.
I make my coffee, I light my candle, I come to my altar.
I have a bit of an addiction to oracle cards. I will pull out some decks in the morning and shuffle through them and just simply ask spirit what do I need to know today? I have my process of shuffling or putting my hand over them to feel the heat for the energy of what message wants to come through. I read them and I really listen deeply for whatever the messages might be. It’s not even necessarily the messages that I receive that create self-love, but it’s the act of taking time for myself. I start every day in this sacred, intentional way. Not in a frazzled, frenzied one.
RM: Making French press is a process. Do you have a particular headspace that you put yourself in while you’re doing your French press?
SBG: When I stumble downstairs first thing in the morning and boil my water, I’m still in that liminal space coming from the dream world into this world. Once the water is boiled I pour it in with the coffee grounds. I bring it back upstairs into my bedroom where my altar is, so I think the coffee gets infused with the energy of my altar because it has to steep until it’s ready. During the steep phase is when I’m lighting a candle and pulling out my oracle cards, and maybe burning some sage or palo santo or taking a little tincture or flower essence under my tongue.
When it’s finally ready to press and pour it into my mug, I hold my mug before me and I look at the coffee. I speak a prayer into it before I consume it. Sometimes that prayer is very simple and it’s just Bless this coffee. Bless it to the nourishment of my body and my being, or sometimes I’ll say Good morning, Body. Good morning, Being. Thank you so much for being here and thank you coffee for enlightening me in this moment.
RM: Wow, it sounds so much more of an organic process than just hitting brew or pressing play on a Nespresso or Keurig.
Ok, now let’s talk oracle decks. How many do you have?
SBG: I have five decks on my altar right now, but I’ve been known to have up to 12.
One of my practices around money, energy and abundance is directly tied to my oracle cards. I don’t get attached to them. I recycle the energy of abundance through them. So like when I’m facilitating Quoya ceremony, cards always go to the participants as part of their traveling alter to take with them. Often I will buy a new deck and go okay, what’s the new frequency of energy that I want to work with or that maybe the next group of women needs to work with? So it becomes a very intuitive process for me. Just the other day I was sitting at my altar and there was a deck I really haven’t worked with in a long time. I asked Spirit, Am I supposed to give this to someone? And I heard Yes. So, the next day I brought it to a friend and was like This is yours. This doesn't belong to me anymore. She was so overjoyed to receive it.
Spirituality has always been connected to my body. I’m a dancer, theatre artist, and a writer. Spirit comes to me through those experiences. So part of why my altar practice includes oracle cards is because it’s an embodied exercise, you have to shuffle them and touch them and there’s images to see while I’m smelling the candle and tasting the coffee. It’s very alive.
RM: Stepping outside of your morning, what other practices do you have?
SBG: Music is huge for me, really. I don’t really do anything without music. I’m constantly curating playlists. I’m steeped in the frequency of music. Music comes to me in really synchronistic beautiful ways. There’s a lot of love and healing that I receive through music.
RM: What about mealtime and eating rituals?
SBG: I always, always, always pray over my food. And that word might sound really triggering for somebody who grew up in a Christian or fundamentalist household in general, regardless of religion. What I mean by pray is I speak words of love over the food I’m about to consume. And this is before every single meal.
As somebody who’s recovered from an eating disorder, over years I’ve learned how to be in right relationship with food and with my body. My body is a miracle. And so is the food that I’m consuming. And so I speak that and I give thanks. I give thanks for every hand that has ever touched or tilled the soil or carried that food in some way before it got to my plate. And I pray that it nourishes every solid particle in my body. And I thank it for the joy and the pleasure that it’s about to bring to me and the aliveness and the connection to wherever I’m eating it.
I do that because of Dr. Emoto, he’s the Japanese scientist very famous for his studies on water. His studies really spoke to me. For those of you who don’t know about it, just briefly, what he did was he took different bottles of water and labeled each bottle with a different word, like love, hate, confusion, grief, joy. After some time of the water sitting out with these labels, he went to go study the molecules. The molecules of water that had positive words written on them, were glowing, beautiful, vibrant molecules of water. The ones that had negative words written on it were basically deformed looking.
Our bodies are over 70% water, so think about how we can program our own cells and particles for love.
Think about anything we put in that body, how we can program it for love.
What I’ve come to learn is that when I do this simple act of speaking over my food with a positive message, my body literally digests the food differently. So before I eat, I always do that.
Just like I do at my altar, morning and night, if I’m at home and making lunch or dinner for myself, I light a candle. Food for me is something very sacred. It takes five seconds to light a candle, but it really shifts the energy of the space.
I’ve been single for a very long time, but even before when I was in a relationship, I would go on dates with myself all the time. I love taking myself on dates. I’ll go sit at a really fancy bar and order a glass of champagne and just take the room in, or go out to a restaurant and get lunch or dinner by myself. For me, eating alone in public spaces is very inspiring to my creative process. So I do it a lot for my writing. But it’s also how I feel deeply connected to the world. I find that when I do that, I actually enjoy my food more. I actually taste it more than if I’m sitting in a restaurant with somebody else. I’m more present to the moment, all the nuances of the moment. When life is starting to feel stressful or crunchy, no matter how much money I do or don’t have in my bank account, I always take myself on a date to kind of reignite my sense of love, and abundance for self and for the world.
RM: So you’re saying alone time is one path towards self love?
SBG: Oh Yes! A simple but profound way to explore self love is spending a lot of time alone. Sacred solitude is very, very important to me. I could probably go weeks without seeing anyone and be just fine. I know I present as very extroverted but I’m actually quite introverted and deep periods of alone time is actually what nourishes and fortifies my capacity to do what I do in the world.
A woman who knows how to spend time with herself is a woman who knows homecoming, like inherently she knows the process of homecoming. It doesn’t have to be weeks-long, it could just be an afternoon. It could be a day, weekend, an hour --but if she knows how to just be in her own presence, she knows how to come home. Alone time is very important.
RM: And how do you wrap up your day?
SBG:Pretty much the way I start my day is also the way I end my day. I put my altar in my bedroom for a reason because I really want the place where I’m sleeping and processing my life to be upheld with really strong and clear, loving, spiritual energy. Before I go to bed, I put technology down; I’ll light the candle, and maybe I pick a card. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I just sit for three breaths. I examine the day and I pick one thing that I’m grateful for, it’s just a moment of slowing down to take stock.
There’s always at least one thing that I can say that I am grateful for, it sets my nervous system at ease and helps me to sleep better.
I’m usually listening to music up until that very moment, you know, and I tend to weave in a lot of dance breaks throughout my day. Usually, I’ll dance a little bit and then I’ll sit down at the altar and light the candle then take stock of my day.
I am a dancer and I teach embodiment and movement, so that’s important to me. Movement is the most grounding force in my life. I have to be moving a lot in order to feel grounded in this crazy fucking world that we live in. I’ve met so many women--especially through the classes that I teach those--who are like Wait, you just dance alone?! Like in your living room or something?! YEAH! All the time. That can be a very scary concept to some people if they’re not in a dance studio, taking a choreographed dance class with a teacher. That’s a hard thing for them to do. It’s very vulnerable.
I try to remind people that the things that usually bring a sense of self love are the things you did as a kid. And for me, I was dancing before I could even speak. So call in that little one, call back in that childlike self as often as you can. It’s a direct conduit to love, to self love.
All photos courtesy of Sarah Bryanne Grady.
We’ll be discussing altars and oracle cards in upcoming issues of Iridescent Ordinary.