Every Day is Earth Day

Earth Day was last week and I had the privilege of spending the day with my yoga teacher training students, talking about how our bodies are of this earth, made for this earth and holds all of the qualities of the earth. We talked about the importance of cultivating a meaningful relationship with Her because in doing so, we care more deeply  just as we tend to care more about those we have personal relationships with, as opposed to strangers.  Later that day, we had a guest teacher come in to teach us about Ayurveda which of course is the science of how the elements show up in our bodies through our doshas and how we can manage our health through the balancing of our specific dosha. The beauty of it was that this curriculum had been planned for many months without realizing that the day corresponded with Earth Day. It was one of those beautiful and divinely planned synchronization’s that affirm we are on the right track!  🙂

I deepened my relationship with Earth Mother when I was initiated to be a mesa carrier about 14 years ago by a wonderfully, beautiful Peruvian shaman with the most soulful eyes I had ever seen. Shamans receive their power from Pachamama (Mother Earth) so we had spent the entire weekend working with the elements and infusing the elemental powers into creating our mesa also known as our medicine bundle.

My mesa bundle sits by my bedside to remind me of my roots, not just of my ancestry but as a child of our Earth mother- who carries us everyday providing air for our lungs, food for our bellies, water for our bodies, fire for our soul… and a beauty that reminds us of our own divinity when we have forgotten. #everydayisearthday

 

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Wild Woman

This picture was taken at last years Wigwam Wellness Festival while I was presenting a seminar on “Unleashing Wild Woman.”

wigwam-picture-wild-woman

When I first read this book many years back, it sparked within me a recognition that I had forgotten. I was what she would call “instinct damaged,” but after some serious soul searching my instincts slowly returned and Wild Woman awakened.
🌹🌹🌹
Ever since, I have devoted myself to the Great Mothers, the Dark Mothers especially as they hold the sacred parts of us that have been silenced, forbidden and diluted. These Ladies don’t mess around and are not for the faint of heart, as they have little interest in spiritual affirmations, but instead get straight to the business of undoing. Life/ Death/ Life is her cycle and within it she carries the medicine for all things. 🖤

Peru 2016- Sacred Awakening

So last week we traveled to Peru for our 2016 spiritual retreat and it was as always spectacular and eye opening. Watching the condors fly in Colca Canyon brought tears to my eyes and the experience of Lake Titicaca  opened up a reservoir of emotions that I didn’t  know I had. It was what I needed for my next level of healing but what I have come to  learn is that none of it matters unless we take those experiences and drive them home. These places serve to remind us, when we forget, of the magic that actually exists everywhere. They serve as a mirror to reflect back to us that we have the same strength of the mountains, depth of the great lakes, wisdom of the winds and power of the sun. When we begin to see that  magic within ourselves and what  we might consider mundane, we know then that our practice is actually working. It’s easy to be moved by rain forests and mountain tops, but until we are touched  with joy by the experiences of our everyday faces, we still have work to do. When searching becomes a distraction, you know that you are getting closer.

Peace, hugs and blessings!!!

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.

From Baby Steps To Infinite Possibilities

“Anything you think of doing, however insignificant, should be done immediately. Spur yourself on and carry it through without becoming discouraged. If this becomes an ingrained habit, things you thought were impossible will become possible, and closed doors will open, as you will discover in many ways.”

Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education

I dedicate this post to my beloved 9 year old son who is one of my greatest teachers. As I watch him unfold into a vivacious young boy and musician, he reminds me of what is possible when we choose NOT to buy into our limiting beliefs that tells us we are not good enough. Of course we get discouraged, as I have seen many tear filled tantrums come from this child.. and let me tell you that practice ain’t always fun, BUT when we hold to a vision of what is possible and we allow ourselves to be carried by the current of our dreams, then magic happens.

WATCH THE MAGIC UNFOLD!

Earth Day Blessings!! A Message from Pachamama

Every day, we wake up with an opportunity to make decisions about how we are going to show up on this beautiful planet.  As I am sure you have already experienced, this world is wonderfully yet paradoxically designed to both bewilder and enlighten us. The beauty of this human ride is that we are ALWAYS blessed with the freedom to choose which way want to go, so our time here is DESIGNED for us to make stupid, dumb and bad choices. Then perhaps, we become motivated to wake up and choose differently. Seriously, if we wanted to be enlightened all of the time, we wouldn’t have been born, as our light is already a given.

For this reason, I have no desire to tell you what is right or wrong and what you should and shouldn’t do for our planet because honestly, my belief is that our magnificent earth will survive just fine with or without us. In my years of communing with our beloved mother, she has whispered to me time and again that our need for her far outweighs her need for us and that we would destroy ourselves way before we could destroy her. So what’s the point of all this and why bother being concerned about our planet, you may ask?

Because my friends, our sanity, our healing and our opportunity for moving out of our own suffering become far greater with her appreciated and intact.

Because she is a constant holder of consciousness and through her display of beauty, perseverance, abundance and freedom, we are reminded of our own.

Because in our darkest hours, when we are shattered in pieces, she wraps us in her sweet embrace and puts us back together again.

Because she lovingly holds the parts of ourselves that we have discarded until we are ready to once again claim them for ourselves.

Because, through our relations with her and all of her creatures, we learn compassion and unconditional love so that we can in turn be a vessel for compassion and love.

As Eckhart Tolle so beautifully says, “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”

I say, let nature teach you that Life’s ONLY promise is the unfoldment of your consciousness. When Nature blooms, she does not bloom for recognition or entitlement. She blooms only for Life itself. We let go of struggle and destruction when we remember that our planet, even though she gives us everything, OWES us nothing. Living for Life itself, without expecting anything in return- now that is an ultimate lesson.

Perhaps think about honoring, appreciating and taking care of this beautiful earth not because you have to or because she needs you to, but because by doing so, you get an opportunity to make a choice that reflects not only a love for this planet but a love for yourself.

Earth Love = Self Love

How wonderful is that!! Earth day blessings to you all!