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Intuition vs. Trauma Response

Hello my magickal friends! If you have ever questioned your intuition, then you may want to read up. Have you ever held yourself back, from taking impactful action, because you convinced yourself that your fear or trauma response, had your best interest at heart… and you called that your intuition? I know that I have. Most of us, at some point, have confused a trauma response with a true intuitive message.  They both run through the same systems in our body so it can be tricky to discern one from the other. As a long time energy practitioner, yoga teacher, student of life, and personal development junkie I’ve been honing in on understanding my true intuitive instincts, so that I can tell the difference and make better decisions for myself.

There really isn’t a “one size fits all” guide to intuition, because we all experience it differently in our bodies, and you must learn how your intuition works through you. However, there are some commonalities that I have found helpful. Here are a few ways to tell the difference between an intuitive message and a trauma response:

  • Intuition is anchored in the PRESENT whereas a trauma response is triggered from the PAST. A trauma response is formed from experiences in the past that we don’t want to repeat. It comes from an internal desire, to protect you from harm and hurt that you have experienced before. A trauma response will feel familiar and safe, wanting to keep things the same, because change is considered dangerous.

    An intuitive message will feel fresh with no baggage from the past attached. Since an intuitive message comes from the present moment, it may come with a strong urge to act now. It’s common for the urge to not make any sense because it’s a new framework for you. That might feel threatening to the old you, which is why your intuition will play on your bravery and courage.
  • Intuition is clear and usually has no emotional attachment, whereas a trauma response will often trigger your central nervous system, causing feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. A trauma response very often comes after an intuitive message and will try to convince you not to act on your intuition. Your trauma response will create thoughts like, “What are you thinking,” “You’ll fail,” What will other people think?” Those thoughts are not your intuition but instead, protective thought patterns. If you do feel an emotion from your intuition, it will most likely be life affirming and loving… but rarely fear based UNLESS you are in clear and present danger, like being chased by a bear.
  • Intuition will come in moments of space and when your mind is clear. Some examples for me are right when I wake up in the morning and my mind hasn’t had time to fill up with clutter. I will often receive very clear messages on what to do that day. There is also something about being in water, like in the shower or bath, that is conducive to intuitive thoughts. Being in nature, or practices that calm the mind, will create space for intuition. Making a decision when you are in the middle of fear or scarcity, however, will most likely be a trauma response and not an intuitive response. If you can help it, I would recommend not making any major life changing decisions from fear, sadness, or scarcity.
  • Your Intuition will never play on your naivety or desperation. This is a big one and will protect you from being taken advantage of. A trauma response, coming from desperation, can lead you down a mucky road of manipulation. Here’s a hint: If you feel a wounded inner child, inner teenager, or a wounded adult coming up from inside of you, STOP! Breath, and connect with your highest most magickal self. Remember that your intuition will not play on your emotions, including false excitement. Your intuition equals discernment and empowerment.
  • The voice of your intuition can be soft, firm or sometimes loud if it needs to be… but it will not be angry, bullying, afraid, judgmental, or weak. The voice of your intuition will speak up when it matters and will uphold your sacred purpose. It will give you clear direction and tell you what you need to hear, but not necessarily what you want to hear.

Regardless, your intuitive voice will never belittle or frighten you… but it might disappoint your ego from time to time. Remember there is no rule book to intuition, however regulating your nervous system and doing things that help to clear old traumas and fears from the body, will help clear the path for your intuition. Consider yoga, counseling, energy healing, meditation, and personal development to help you with that. You don’t have to go at it alone.

Get to know what your intuition feels like in your body and practice developing it with simple techniques. Learn how to feel comfortable in your own skin and TRUST YOURSELF!!! You hold the wisdom of all the ages. Believe it and believe in yourself.

 Be compassionate toward yourself, you will screw up and make the wrong decisions sometimes. Give yourself grace, take the wisdom, learn, grow, and move on. It will only make you wiser and stronger.

Big love & magick!

Why You Need Shadow Work in Your Life

I decided to make this little list on how shadow work could be beneficial to you in your life. I have been practicing it myself for several years now, not really knowing that this was what I was doing, but my desire to be more FREE {from my own emotional and mental trappings} lead me to this work and the aspects of yoga that contribute to this path.

7 REASONS YOU NEED SHADOW WORK IN YOUR LIFE NOW:

1. You feel like you have tried EVERYTHING, but in Bill Murray style via Ground Hog Day, you keep waking up to the same old story over and over again.

2. You know that you have enormous potential and talent, but need some help getting out of your own way to see them through. Using your disappointments as a stick to beat yourself up with… well that’s just getting old.

3. Your SOUL is calling and you can no longer ignore it. You know that it is time to connect with yourself and others on a deeper, more personal and meaningful level. It’s time to quit running from yourself.

4. You feel powerless, hurt, or bitter about not being able to create a world around you that feels beautiful and reflects your highest desires.

5. You have magic. You may or may not know what it is but you are ready to unlock your personal magic and make a difference in the world.

6. You are ready to RELEASE your energy from the grips of fear, lack, worry, panic, sadness or depression so that your energy can instead be used to create a life that is meaningful and satisfying.

7. You deserve to be free: free to express yourself fully… to be who you are totally, without shame or fear, without hiding in habits, addictions and aversions.

Shadow work is the process of making the subconscious conscious… of leaning into yourself, even the parts you never dared to love, and meeting them with radical self acceptance. We go through a systematic process, which includes energy work, that exposes you to yourself and shows you where you are holding on to fears, resentments, beliefs and patterns that have been running your life.

When I first heard, through meditation, that I was a “shadow worker” I had no clue as to what that meant. I’ve heard of light workers, but shadow worker sounded rather ominous. The process of becoming a shadow priestess was not through taking courses, but by going through initiations with the Dark Mothers such as Kali and Lilith, and also moving through my own crud with the insights and processes of how to access and move through the subconscious.

I’m pretty positive that all of my yoga training, reiki attunements, magical studies and hypnotherapy certifications acted as catalysts to help me along my path… and that all of my challenges are grounds for my personal training. It has been a process that has taken me 20 years to cultivate and is still being refined each day. The work is actually never complete and it is a pleasure being able to share it so that other magic makers, light workers and creatives are able to unleash their own personal power and talents.

 

Forever a Student

Hello lovelies ❤️

I spent the weekend in yoga teacher training diving deep into Ayurveda, the elements, the Bhagavad Gita, the meaning of Santosha (contentment), and of course yoga asana through adjustments.

As a teacher, I am still always a student absorbing it ALL in. The learning and growing never stops. My favorite tidbits taken from above:

▫️A Y U R V E D A- Don’t wait until you are full blown sick and anxious to take care of you. Any sign of dis-ease, no matter how small is worth investigating and taking care of.

▫️ The E L E M E N T S- They all exist inside of you as you are made up of all of the stuff that makes up the earth. Therefore, honoring the earth is honoring you and you have a very real connection to the earth through the elements. 🌎

▫️The G I T A- Follow your Dharma with devotion and non-attachment. 🙏🏻

▫️ S A N T O S H A- Don’t gloss over contentment with fake smiles and affirmations. Be true to where you are. Allow yourself to fully be where you are right now, even if there is sadness, grief or anger. In the presence of your self awareness, those feelings transmute to grace and freedom. It is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Remember: no mud, no lotus. 🌸

▫️ A S A N A- Our aim is to align with the Prana Shakti. Don’t take it all too serious. Laughter is one of the best ways to align with grace. 😅😉

To your expansion and freedom! ✨❤️✨

The Divine Vine

I just came across the artwork of Pablo Amaringo and have been obsessed! He was a Peruvian artist and shaman who captured images of his Ayahuasca visions in his art. This is one of his masterful paintings that really spoke to me.

The intensity of my one time Ayahuasca journey is captured in this image as I see remnants of my own experience, especially of the serpent, which is said to be the spirit of the vine itself. In the Andean tradition {which is another side of the indigenous Peruvian culture}, the serpent is also the guardian of the underworld, or subconscious realm which is interesting, considering that the “divine vine” most often reveals the mystery of the subconscious.

Whether I will do Ayahuasca again, I don’t really know. I’m not usually drawn to psychedelics but I felt a strong calling from the vine during a time in my life when I needed healing that I wasn’t able to break through on my own. I traveled to the Sacred Valley in Peru, where a friend of mine and I were leading a retreat. While she took the group to Machu Picchu, I stayed behind in Pisac and did the ceremony with a female shaman in the area.

I didn’t have anything prebooked or planned. At the time, the only guidance I received was that the ceremony was going to take place in the Sacred Valley when we were on retreat. I only had one day in which I could do the ceremony, so I asked some friends for recommendations on who could lead this for me. The usual shaman wasn’t available since it was all very last minute, so my friend gave me the number of Karen, the shaman, to see if she was available. She was! So I went to meet her in town that same afternoon, to make sure we had a good connection.

We planned the ceremony for that same evening and I was the only one! Usually Ayahuasca ceremonies are done in larger groups of people, but when I arrived to her home that evening, it was just me, Karen and her husband who was playing the instruments during our journey. Of course Karen only spoke Spanish and she told me a little about her lineage and how her mother and grandmother passed down the tradition to her.

Needless to say, it was one HELL of a night. I hardly even drink alcohol.. hell I’ve never even smoked pot before so here I go on a trip with one of the most powerful plant medicines out there. It lasted ALL NIGHT LONG until the following morning when I began to hear the townspeople stirring about. I won’t go into the details of my journey, as that would require a story of it’s own, but I will say that there was A LOT of pain. All I experienced was the pain and not at one moment did I get a taste of the blissful, rapture oneness. Instead, I went into the depths of my own personal hell, where I stayed for about 6 hours, and I began to understand the meaning of “eternal hell and damnation.” Of course it was all my own creation and the journey did provide some very deep healing/ understanding that I would have NEVER figured out on my own.

At the very end, as I was coming down, I asked spirit, “why did you not give me even one morsel of the divine bliss?” and spirit replied, “you do not need drugs to know GOD.” That lesson, I will never forget. 🙂

Of course, everyone has their own journey, lessons and healing to go through… and apparently mine was to know how we create our own hell. Makes sense now as a shadow worker. I will say this- Ayahuasca is POWERFUL medicine to be highly respected and NOT to be used for recreational purposes. If you do, well that’s just dumb. Till this day, I feel the cosmic serpent, some days stirring more than others.. almost as a remembrance of a sacred thread in time.

Thank you for hanging in here, reading this. I guess all to say, ask for healing and it will be provided. You’ve just got to listen and be willing to go on the journey. You are never alone. Also, so you could check out this magnificent and mystical artist!

Blessed by Saint Francis

*This is a repost that was accidentally lost and deleted*

I am amused but not surprised that today, October 4th, is the day we celebrate the work and ministry of Saint Francis. It’s so divine and synchronistic considering that I’ve been feeling imbibed by his spirit since my return from Italy and Assisi a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t even know it was the day of his feast until I happened to come across the notice in someone else’s feed. When I did, I knew that I have been struck by grace once again.

Let me share a little of my one day in Assisi. Nothing dramatic actually happened in Italy, but ever since, my heart has been broken wide open by the presence and power of this saint. I never knew! I’m not even a practicing Catholic, which is why it has struck me so. I’ve learned that no matter your religion, race or creed, if you open your self to the grace of the great mystics, saints and sages you will be touched.

I went to Italy purely for vacation, with no mission but to simply visit and explore. Little did I know that I would have one of the most mystical and profound experiences of grace that was no part of a plan besides that of the divine. When we arrived in Assisi, the first evening we explored and settled in. I wasn’t allowed to enter the Basilica of Saint Francis because the shorts I was wearing were too short. The next day, more properly attired, I entered the Basilica alone without the rest of my family. Wasn’t planned this way, it just worked out that way. I went down to the lower level where lie his remains and felt a sublime invitation to go kneel beside his tomb. With no intent or prayer in mind, I knelt. Then came a very strong vibrational feeling of his presence. It was then that I realized I was in a supremely Holy and Sacred space. After kneeling for a little while in quiet, I felt like I should pray something so of course what comes to mind is the Prayer of Saint Francis. I recite to myself a few time “Let me be an instrument of thy peace.”
That was it and apparently that was the only invitation I had to give for him to come in and blow my heart wide open. After I left his tomb, I felt all hot, sweaty and strange inside. Instantly I knew I was in for a ride.  I said to myself, “Uh Oh, what did I just do.”

To dig it in deeper (not on purpose), later that day my family and I visited the Basilica of Saint Chiara who worked very closely with Saint Francis during his time. I also felt very strongly her presence down near her tomb. Within one of her sanctuaries is the original crucifix of San Damiano that St. Francis and St. Chiara would pray to. As I was approaching the crucifix, on a table to the side was a brochure that said at the very top “PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS BEFORE THE CRUCIFIX OF SAN DAMIANO.” Of course, this I could not resist, so I sat before the crucifix repeating whole heartedly the prayer several times,  and to add to the mood it was storming outside with the lights flickering on and off the entire time. With that prayer, not necessarily intentionally, I had sealed the deal. I knew instantly after I was done that I had opened myself to something much bigger. These are the words to the prayer:

” O most High and glorious God,
   enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me right faith,
certain hope,
perfect love
and deep humility.
O Lord, give me sense and discernment
.in order to carry out your true and holy will.”
Amen

We capped off our time in Assisi by visiting the beautiful location where St. Francis went to retire in the wilderness.  The next day we left Assisi and continued through Florence and Venice before eventually coming home. It wasn’t until arriving home that I would begin to feel the exhaustion, movement and agitation stirred from the trip and “initiation”… days of confusion & fog, followed by brief moments of clarity & understanding… granted the jet lag didn’t help at all. I craved solitude while loud places aggravated the hell out of me. We had some work done on our house while we were gone, so when we returned, our home was in disorder with everything misplaced and a lot of our stuff, including junk pulled out of the closets. The state of our home mirrored the state of my insides, as if everything had been brought to the surface from the deep closets of my subconscious. I spent the next few days clearing and reorganizing physically, mentally and emotionally. Moments of unhealed, heartbreak would come flooding to the surface and the release, even though painful, felt so sweet, nourishing and healing. I could see how I was contributing to my own feelings of disappointment through my thoughts, actions and behaviors.

Then P E A C E.. sweet, beautiful, peace that needed absolutely nothing from me to exist, swept through.  It would come and it would go. During one of  my hikes, when I would look down at my feet to see where I was stepping , through my mind’s eye I would see sandals and a robe stepping with me as if they were also my feet. It was strange,  yet very comforting in affirming that I was not walking alone. I could feel the essence of contentment and peace… pure grace in motion. Through out the days, more agitations would surface, then peace. Peace was definitely a theme. Then  just a couple of days ago, while on one of my hikes, I was in a place of  significant self doubt, when I had an encounter with a sweet little bird on the top of a mountain. I saw it and felt it begin to get unusually close for a wild bird. It must have been attracted to the rubies in my ring because it came to my hand and pecked at the stones! The encounter continued for about 5 minutes as it climbed on my shoes, pecked some more on my ring, stood on top of my phone (because I just had to record) and looked straight at me turning its head side to side and eventually flying away. I was divinely kissed.

I knew that one of the symbols of Saint Francis was birds as he is also considered the patron of animals and the environment; and birds have also always been greatly significant to me as symbols of my own freedom and power. As I settled down that evening, I read somewhere on line that for Saint Francis, birds symbolized spiritual freedom and growth. That the birds were a message from the Divine to keep on, to keep preaching and to not give up on his path of ministry and service.

The message became suddenly clear! My self doubt didn’t matter. We keep on anyway.. not for glory, fame, success, accomplishments or validation.. not because we are striving or trying to achieve a goal. We keep on simply for ourselves and for the liberation of our own truth as an instrument of Thy peace. A couple of days later, after that sweet encounter, is today, the day of Saint Francis. How divine it truly all is!

PEACE, PEACE, PEACE.. SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI OM

Resolve to Evolve || Happy New Year!!

When I visited my grandmother this past summer in Peru, who by the way is 96 years young, I was struck with how well she took care of herself. No one had to remind her to take her medicine, eat her vegetables or to avoid unhealthy habits. She never had  excuses and she said something that drove it home for me- “If I don’t take care of myself, then who will.” Sure, other people encouraged and helped but it was very clear that she stood for herself, in her own power as her biggest advocate.

As a new year rolls in, we are often inspired to make changes in our lives that will align us with our happiness, health and well being. We get pumped up, all excited and ready to go, but after a couple of weeks our enthusiasm begins to wain. We start to give into the old inner voices and feelings that have been our biggest ball and chain, enslaving us to our unhealthy habits. It is when we reach this slumbery state that in fact, we have the grandest opportunity to stand for ourselves and become our biggest advocate!

Be Your Biggest Advocate!!

It is easy to to direct change when we are full of excitement, but the true shift happens when we move beyond the enthusiasm and begin to stand up against the old judgmental, critical voices that want to keep us the same. We must stand up for ourselves, for our health, for our dreams and our highest desires because no one else can do it for us.

Be the one who cares the most about how your life unfolds!! Keep going even when you don’t want to.. ESPECIALLY  when you don’t want to.

See you in 2016!!

Being still is taking action!

Invite stillness into your life everyday.

This may not seem like an action step, but quiet reflection is a purposeful action that awakens you to your inner thoughts. Only then, can you consciously begin to rearrange your mind so that it serves instead of sabotages you.

In my own stillness, I became aware of how my mind sabotaged me.

In trying to protect myself from hurt, my mind was brilliant at coming up with ways to keep me small so that no one could fully see me. In the stillness, I began to notice all of the excuses my mind had made up to keep me tiny, protected and a prisoner to my fear.

“You don’t need anyone so don’t reach out. No one wants to hear what you have to say anyway. Take that extra nap instead. You don’t have enough money. Don’t try so hard because you are going to fail anyway.”

My mind was full of these diminishing thoughts and even though challenging, I had to quit believing them. I had to quit taking advice from this part of my mind telling me NOT to fully live.

The light in me could no longer stand being diminished so baby steps I took:  I began to write a little, call up some friends and speak more from the heart in the classes I taught. The life in me wanted to be expressed and that was reason enough to break through.

Stillness speaks loudly!! I’m so glad I listened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fall Time Reflection: Let That Shit Go!

Nature is so wondrous that thousands flock to the woods and mountain tops to simply witness her glorious display of “letting go!” She exemplifies the possibility of transitioning through the seasons of life with grace and beauty. It is the ultimate fruit of non attachment.

May we learn from her how to do the same as nature always reflects what is possible for us… so just breathe and let all that dead shit go!!

 

 

Freedom

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend celebrating Independence Day!

Freedom has  been a big theme in my life and personal practice. Look at the the title of all of my yoga classes and you will see! Early on, I didn’t know what I was seeking freedom from (I only knew that I felt bad), but it became clear that it was my self imposed bondage that had me under lock; with shame, unworthiness and burden holding the key.. All deceptively coated with my idea of what perfection should be.

My body and mind felt the heaviness, in that I did not want to fully participate in my own life and escape seemed easier. But luckily I am stubbornly determined and wasn’t giving up.

As I was going through a particularly Hellish journeying with a shaman, she kept saying to me, “Feel what you are doing to yourself. I am showing you this so that you will stop!!”

 

I have heard the message before and at that point, I think it finally sunk in. I began to identify all of my stories and how strongly I was holding on to them. I had been feeding them for so long that they were powerful and deeply entrenched. It took all of my practice, surrender, humility, presence and determination to disempower them and it is still a journey in progress.

In doing so, life seems softer somehow with nothing to prove.. nothing to run from or to run to.   Even though I can still feel the tentacles of my old beliefs creeping in, telling me that I am not OK and that I still must prove something, I pay them no mind. For once, each day can  simply be a naturally unfoldment- sometimes profoundly beautiful and other days, deeply sad. 

Some days are wonderfully inspired and other days are painfully empty. I have also come to know blissfully empty, which is a new one for me. I mean, I have heard of it but thought it was just a myth.

 

Freedom from the bondage of  my old stories and freedom to just be, are what fuel my practice and teachings. I hope that you are well on your way to finding yours!

 

The Efficacy of Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is an inner journey that goes beyond just building a flexible and strong body. Here are a few means, aside from checking asanas off of your list, which measure the effect your yoga practice is having on your life:

  • A natural desire to make healthy lifestyle changes- ridding yourself of habits that are unhealthy.
  • A shift in the way you relate to others- more patience and forgiveness; increased honesty and authenticity; more collaboration and less competition; meaningful conversations and less gossip; being present with others.
  • Taking responsibility for your own life and happiness- no longer blaming others and outer circumstances for the way your life unfolds; looking inside yourself instead.
  • An increased appreciation and ability to see beauty, even in the smallest things that you may have taken for granted in the past. Everything becomes a miracle.
  • More sensitivity and compassion to nature and all living things. Making more conscious decisions so not to cause additional harm and suffering.
  • A growing sense of purpose and knowing that you can make a difference; even if it’s in the way you cook dinner and fold laundry. Instead of looking to gain meaning from outside of yourself, you are able to infuse meaning and care into all that you do.
  • More power in your words. When you speak, your words are more potent and people want to listen. Your words become truthful, authentic, uplifting and trusting.
  • Having frequent moments of feeling peace and fulfillment RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for something to happen or change to bring you contentment.
  • Increased enthusiasm about waking up in the morning because life seems less burdensome and heavy. You have acquired a discipline to be more present and to not let your thoughts go unexamined because you know that an undisciplined and unexamined mind is hell’s playground. This discipline keeps you from falling for the same mind tricks that have weighed you down.
  • Feeling more integrated and accepting of yourself and all of your shadows. Being comfortable in your own skin therefore more accepting of others and their own unique qualities.
  • Increased synchronicities. It just happens and it is the coolest thing.
  • Becoming less self-centered and more thoughtful without taking things so personally. Instead of impulsively reacting, you are able to “see” without looking through the lens of your own unexamined and therefore uncontrolled emotions. So instead of always making it about you, you can see that perhaps the other person is hurting and then are able to interact in a more meaningful way.
  • Increased steadiness and centeredness- Life is designed to be messy and will always have challenging moments, so it’s not that these challenges go away, but your response to the challenges begin to shift since most likely, you have cultivated strategies to help you through. You begin to see that obstacles are often growth and learning experiences. Even though you feel pain and discomfort, you learn that if you lean in and hold steady in your truth, your perseverance will refine and soften all of those hard edges, making you all the more wiser.
  • Having the most profound and mind blowing experiences of the Witness and “I Am” presence that is inside and all around. These moments of grace are the sweetest moments of all.