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The Involvement of Growth

On the path of life there is the invitation to live grounded in the peace of our true self. Holding this intention is known as Sankalpa in yoga. In order to experience the great light of our true essence we have to also honor the wounds that need healing. These imprints on our soul are called Samskara. With the consistency of the practice we nourish, heal, and hold space to honor our whole self.

Being consistent with our practice is essential if we want to heal. If we hold the intention to at least just show up, regardless if we are feeling amazing or are struggling deeply, we make a shift back to peace, Shanti, and hold more confidence in our ability to stand in our light, Samadhi. These are the core elements that I lean into as a yoga practitioner, teacher, mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter. It is all really amazing and can help us grow or evolve at a soul level.

When people show up on their mat I ask these questions consistently… What do you standing for? What motivated them to show up? Will they allow themselves to honor the effort it took to arrive? Inviting people to show up for their own light requires a level of courage – the courage to see the value of their own worth.

I am going to come clean though, in over 20 years of a deeply committed yoga practice that definitely saved my life, along the journey I realized that it just wasn’t enough. Yep, true confessions of a yoga practitioner that is devoted to her spiritual practices that includes meditation. Becoming a mom made it even more apparent. Before I go any further, I hold a high standard of what it means to stand in my light. I am not fulfilled if I am not evolving and growing. It is evident in how much I have invested in trainings to help, serve and heal. This can be exhausting and expensive, but it is what nourishes me and keeps me engaged in my life.

Motherhood is an amazing opportunity that I consciously choose and had to fight for and stay committed too. There are moments where I find myself in a stark contrast to all that I stand for and it has thrown me into the deepest and darkest layers of myself. I have so many tools yet I have to keep finding more tools. Thankfully this search keeps me open to receiving guidance.

That guidance directed me to take care of myself at a core level on a whole new level. I added supplements to heal my gut with Plexus and sought out the best therapist that does EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is because of my commitment to being my best self through a WHOLISTIC approach that I was able to tune into the alarm clock of stress. When certain things I do really well and with ease aren’t coming together as clearly, sharply or easily, I go inward to seek guidance from my soul and well, this is where I found myself – doing more work to heal the deeper layers of me.

When I shared with a client of mine that I was going to commit to a deeper level of healing (I prefer to be transparent) she said to me “you are… rather involved”. It warmed my heart that she noticed, was curious, but really just holding space for me too. Holding space for each other is what another client says is living in diversity. I love my clients as they know firsthand that this life, to really live it to your best, to be in a strong healthy relationship with your higher self, requires growth which requires your commitment. Consistently remaining in a relationship with your own light. Your most satisfying and fulfilled life is an inside job that keeps you involved with your own evolution.

There’s so much taboo, and stigma around needing therapy or wanting a coach. Yet being able to ask for help is essential. People love to help as I am sure you do too. There are so many people that are afraid of being alive – but that is an entirely different subject and if you are reading this – that is not you. Fearing our own light is an example of how much pain we hold inside and it is evident in the ways people keep knocking other people down. Not honoring the pain is one thing, being ok living in pain is another, both of them are examples of being afraid to live.

Choosing to do deep trauma work comes from honoring my anger, fear and fact that I can’t do all that I desire to do and be the version of me that I know is there but she seems hidden from time to time. It might sound weird to say that going to those dark places, sitting in the pain, letting tears flow and being ok with being deeply lost is so powerful but I can because going there allows the opportunity for transformation. Now I can talk about it, fell lighter, have more energy, feel more enthusiasm for life, sleep better and have a stronger belief in my own worth. I feel more peace and hold a greater vision for myself and those that are with me in this journey of life. So my hope in sharing this is that maybe talking about the darkness will bring more light and make it easier for you to do the deeper work.

Seeing that yoga is like therapy for so many, so why would you just stop at the mat? Yoga had a stigma a while back, when I first started teaching, but look how that has shifted with so much evidence of how it helps nourish your soul.

Ever notice how in a group class, workshop or retreat is so much more fun when there are people practicing with you. When we are in a community we can grow together mainly because we are reminded we are not alone. Our wounds are unique but there is a commonality in being human.

If you think that we can do this life alone and without any kind of growth, you just might be killing your soul.

You do want to drop into the deeper layers of yourself and receive the guidance or your higher self. To come home to your truth. It is a process of releasing and renewing. And while meditation appears to be a practice of sitting alone with yourself, you are actually inviting in the great light of consciousness, god, spirit, source, however you call it. It is the process of holding space for yourself. So you realize you are not alone. It strengthens your ability to acknowledge what are you willing to be involved in and align with your truth. When you work with someone trained and experienced in facilitating healing you are inviting in an energy that holds you in a higher regard, keeping you accountable for your own worth.

To think that we can do it all on our own is living from a limited perspective and shutting out spirit no matter how you believe. The paradox in this is that I teach self-reliance and how one can advocate for themselves. This is also one of my weaknesses. I can still be too reliant on my own self, too full of pride or righteous. I am highly skilled you know, and that in of itself is what takes me down and why I am sharing that even I have pain, struggles and have learned to ask for help in the deeper healing of my own soul’s light.

Knowing your tendencies and triggers is where the power of transformation resides. I tend to be the hero, the helper and the one always taking care of everyone else’s needs. Thanks to the general nature of being in relationship to life requires an involvement in the relationship with oneself.

Being committed to my highest self layered with my eternal quest to always go deeper and seek more clarity has lead me to the understanding that it is essential for me to receive – like my life depends on it. All our lives depend on it, it is a universal truth. Showing up for the deep work can be uncomfortable. But that discomfort is short term and the peace and joy is always waiting on the other side.

Even when I am not certain I have it in me, I show up for my light every day. I’ve learned that I have to make my life a priority and be involved in my growth if I’m gonna be any kind of light for anybody else. Showing up for the light of our own heart, our own heartbeat, the people that we love, the community we live in, the humanity that we engage in this life with, it’s essential that we show up for our own self. Showing up means we have to be involved with the deeper layers, the soil of our soul.

The involvement of growth is more than just being positive, thinking good thoughts and always having the most elaborate self-care list. Actually it is about honoring the wounds, practicing forgiveness, cultivating compassion and allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to allow other people to hold space for your own healing.

When you show up for your highest light you want to remember you are human, and every human holds an imprint on their soul that is going to require an involvement with healing. This samsara will work with your ego or your dark side and try really hard to hide your truth. Living authentically aligned means to your willing to love on your weaknesses. It makes it easier to make decisions around wanting to wear deodorant or not. To engage with your highest might cause a little ripple of discomfort to get back to the peace and joy. What comes is clarity. Being clear in where you invest your time and your energy is priceless really. The involvement of growth brings so much more freedom to your life.

Please know that I am a highly functioning person who has a lot of trauma.  I feel incredibly blessed with all my experiences that my resilience has always been strong. Trauma is trauma. It happens every day and because it happens a lot when were young does not mean we deserve it or that it is ok. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have access to people holding space for their own transformation. Maybe by sharing a little bit of my own pain and struggle it will give you permission to no longer be haunted by your own darkness.

Those moments of heartache are nothing to be ashamed of but rather embraced, respected and nourished. Because all of us have wounds and this is what allows us to be compassionate. These wounds teacher us to the wisdom of our own hearts that can guide us on a daily basis. Getting involved in your own evolution and personal growth brings forward freedom where you can stand in your light with more ease, more comfort, more peace and more enjoyment for life as a whole.

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Returning To The Dance of Life

Well, I’ll be completely honest – I have had little free time to write this and it has been a draft for a number of days. This is the dance of life. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with being human, everything to do with being me. Being human means there are moments where it appears to all unfolds brilliantly and then the moments that appear to be in contrast and contract from the vision you held for yourself. All of this is a beautiful and divine dance that allows for this sacred essence of life.

This past year I have taken a little space from my professional offering to allow for a loving integration of our family life. (We have gone through lots of beautiful changes this past year). In addition to the space of my profession I have given a whole lot more energy to myself personally – to my soul. While committing to the deeper healing work that allows me to show up authentically to life I am so grateful to the room to integrate the healing. Yep, I gave myself permission to make myself a priority and tend to my family this summer. Taking this break from my professional offering in the form of a newsletter, blog, podcast, welcoming new clients even teaching yoga has been the best idea I have had for a while. It may appear as a serious contraction but in all honesty it’s been a time of renewal. Now I can return to the greater dance of mom, wife, and professional more centered, healed and whole.

First, life allows for more order and structure permitting me to share. Second, I am excited, full of inspiration and creativity, with a renewed sense of purpose. There is room in my life to manifest the inspiration and bring a little momentum to what matter’s most – SOUL LOVE! Third, moving from a place of renewal has me open to engaging with more like minded souls.

Sure being able to be in a space to nourish my soul and create choices that cultivate expansion and life enhancement sounds like a privilege. I’ll be honest with you, it is. It is also an opportunity and requires a deep commitment. There is also this confession that my kids have depleted any additional juice I have had and this is not a bad thing as they are one of my greatest teachers right now. Being able to give them the extra love they deserve is one of the greatest opportunities and part of my soul’s love. They continue to reflect back to me my promise to bring my best self forward and in this reflection – it is not always pretty. 

Being 42 with 2 young kids where I get to support my husband and his professional journey while tending to the home is a privilege but also contains a lot of sacrifices. There is so much that is on hold right now. Like I told my 16 year old nephew – missing out on what you want to be doing is Life School 101. Then I realized I am not missing out at all, actually it’s a process of being more true, more real, more present and more aligned. What appears to be a sacrifice is really the art of surrendering. As Kate Northup says, I have been in the fertile void. I have been doing a ton of research, being financially savvy, and investigating how to make myself more visible integrating the awareness and authenticity that has come forward. So here I am sharing and ready to be a bit more vulnerable to be of greater service.

If you didn’t know, my heart is always hungry to share the deeper reflections of life and share the tools that keep me inspired even in the moments of adversity and challenge. This is how I want to be of service – to provide tools to help others navigate the sacred journey of life. Exploring the soul crushing elements of trauma, limiting patterns, judgement and shadow may not be for everyone – it’s a journey that is so sacred and requires a little bit of a departure from some of the engagements in the world also known as healthy boundaries. Yet everyone experiences it and if I do not show up to be a witness to my own stuff then there is no way I can be any kind of leader that moves forward with integrity. This is available to everyone as long as we realize and honor our own pace. It is also key to living with resilience.

For me sharing my heart’s wisdom is motivated by the call to live integrated with my truth. To see the light within myself, live it and embrace my entirety in order to bring my highest self forward. This is the only way I feel I personally can turnaround and share it in a way that can support other souls on the path of life. My kids, you and beyond. Wanting others to feel free and shine brightly, to thrive in the chaos requires me to stay committed to my own growth and integrating it into my life. Then I can hold the space for those that are also interested and committed to living from this vantage point. You too deserve to see your own light and embrace the radiance of life. Everyone, in my opinion, deserves to set their light free!

To set ourself free we first have to honor where we are and then step inward. It doesn’t mean we stop living – hardly that. We just consciously look at how busy we are keeping ourself to avoid what needs to be tended too. What are you needing right now to expand your light so you can be the kind of energy that lights up the room? What can you commit to releasing so you can restore and return more centered and more true? Doing the deeper work it is easier to choose to live with deliberate intention and bring offerings forward that support your unique and sacred journey as well as your fellow soul companions. Your light matters to the world around you. My hope is you give yourself permission to also love your soul and to live authentically you know – be you.

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Standing In Your Light – Movement – Episode 27

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Move your light and experience more freedom in your life. The idea of yoga is to move us toward our own ability to be in the light. Knowing you do not always have to stand in the darkness is a powerful tool that when we actually experience and honor more freedom surfaces. This flow is a simple standing flow that uses warrior (vira) 2 poses that plays with the foundation being expansive and then bring it back together to feel grounded and steady to stand in your light.

Please excuse the sighs and sounds of my baby girl in the back ground. She decided she wanted to stand with you in this journey. Let it be a reminder that we are not alone in this journey.

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Yoga as the entry point

That feeling when you are in class and it feels as if the teacher could read your mind and guided everyone through a class that was designed just for you. It is the best! Being supported, guided & encouraged to feel, explore & expand your awareness just might be the key ingredients that keep us going forward in life.

Sure getting to move your body, shift your energy, and being challenged on some level are part of the process. Being in the collective energy of the class reminds us too that we aren't alone but rather we are part of a bigger community is pretty amazing. When we show up and relieve pain in our body & heart through alignment, when we discover potential & possibility we never thought possible, or when people in our life notice we are happier and ask what we have done to create this. These are powerful benefits of practicing yoga that keeps us returning again & again. Learning to evolve & live with more joy & freedom while connecting to some really awesome people is exactly what yoga introduced me too. How about you?

While yoga introduces us to ways we can live with more ease and delight it really is just the entry point. Being able to explore a more individualized process that takes you deeper, provides even more support & radically shifts the results of your life that are in alignment to your individual requests. Well, I think is what yoga encourages & life coaching provides. 

The transformation that comes from a yoga class is powerful & might be enough for some people. But let's be real for a moment, there are times that a down dog doesn't cut it. Or if you include meditation that it helps but life still gets messy. We leave the room, the studio or turn off the online class & look around to see that we still are lost, hurt or confused. When that class though felt like it was specifically designed for you though…it provides so much.

What yoga has taught me is that I do not want to live my life without the physical practice or loose my meditation practice…ever. What coaching is revealing for me, clients & peers, that sometimes we need a more intimate environment that provides trust & respect to uncover what is holding us back as well as our ability to live out our brilliant potential. To establish a relationship for a period of time that truly is specifically designed just for you, holds you accountable while you initiate actions that provide growth and opportunities to live fully.

The two totally go hand in hand. Especially when your coach incorporates energetic work that allows you to move inward and turn up the volume of your heart and turn down the chaos of life.  Transformational coaching provides an experience that magnifies the process we explore in yoga on a level that matches your unique nature & life. It brings clarity not in just how to do a pose & receive satisfaction on the mat, but how to be poised for life with clarity, vitality & satisfaction in all areas of your life.

Breathe deeply for a moment, even close your eyes for a few deep breaths. I'll wait or try it out after you read this. 

Do you notice anything? Does your mind stay busy? Is your body holding some kind of congestion? Maybe you feel like a rock star? As you exhale let go of whatever isn't supporting you right now. Enjoy a few breaths just like this then slowly open your eyes.

How did it feel? What did you notice? Are you still with me? For a lot of us it feels good but the rest gets a little confusing. What happens if I tell you that you contain more and deserve more than the busy-ness or congestion? Perhaps you just know there is more but you don't know how to access it?

Yoga introduces us to this and starts us on a beautiful path to living with more delight & satisfaction. Transformational coaching extends the path straight into our hearts, providing insight, healing & an expanded perspective. Coaching helps us land in all areas of our life with a sense of alignment, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

Life is precious and all, each one of us are a sacred miracle. Yes, you are a sacred, precious miracle. Living a hectic life where we just barely get to feel balance and peace is one way of existing which is fine. What would life be like though if you connected to a process that immersed you into an environment that focuses on you, integrates change as well as success to create lasting patterns to truly enjoy your sacred life? Where you actually take inspired action that amplifies your aspirations? I would love to know!!! Feel free to comment or go one more step and email me. 

You know how you always feel better after yoga…what I've experienced and the shift I've witnessed as a yoga practitioner is pretty cool. What I'm experiencing with my own life & getting to witness in client's lives, is, well, radical & tremendously powerful. You'll just have to see for yourself.

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Embodiment…experience & knowledge

The ability to deliberately elevate my own existence as well as those around me is perhaps the best thing ever. Please know that I'm not interested in making all the sorrow, heartbreak, loss and grief disappear…but when you realize that life happens and you discover you can choose how you want to respond…that's one fabulous way of living! In the past few months I've been digging deeper & deeper to connect with a more…to live with more wholeness while being brighter, lighter…vibrating higher.

Holistic living is an invitation of experiencing life not just from the mind, but in a more dynamic relationship of body, mind, soul, emotion, & energy. There's great respect for life & the 'divine paradox' that is our nature. At least for me. Since you can't have a shadow unless there is a light being cast upon you. There can't be moments of heartache unless there were moments of the heart swollen with joy. The list of 'divine paradox' goes on for-ever. But when you begin to accept the miraculous relationship of all things there is more prosperity. At least this has been my experience of living holistically.

My meditation teacher would say a lot :). But a main focus of his offering is that your ability to be the highest version of yourself required both knowledge & experience. This by the way is an incredibly paraphrased version of his deep & rich teaching. 

Motherhood right now is a perfect example of this play of knowledge & experience. Being a nurturing person I always got it, where the source of love, connection & sentiment came from. There are many amazing people that offer motherly guidance without ever having their uterus expand beyond comprehension. But now that I have knowledge based on experience and experience based on knowledge regarding fertility, pregnancy, delivery, parenting…I have a whole lot less to say about it. Seriously! It's been the one journey I've committed to where I've learned first hand…you do what's best for you!

What does this have to do with embodiment, holistic living & vibrating higher…? You really have to do what's best for you…and give people the space to do what is best for them. Simple & easy…except when we want people to do what we think is best for them…right? Yet if we are living not just from our mind but more integrated with the body, mind, spirit, energy & emotion, then we begin to understand how giving others room to do what's best for them allows you more of the same room. I do want to clarify that this conversation is built on the premis that we respect each other. A key element is energy, it's contagious, transformable, and it is found in everything…everywhere. Thus by taking knowledge from the experiences of others from a larger world view while connecting to our own direct experience, you begin to recognize you have a beautiful opportunity. To live an embodied life connected to the wholeness of being human, to no longer project but rather be deliberate about your own actions. To me this is liberation, freedom, pure joy. You aren't going to dodge any close calls or escape a disruption in the ease of living. However by getting to know your thoughts, physical nature, heart's calling, the tidal rhythm of being human while energetically connected to all things you can integrate a level of awareness & consideration of others that elevates yourself while elevating the world around you.

Yes, embodied experience and knowledge can get uncomfortable but it'll continue to lead you into abundance, success & pure delight. So the next time you are going to hang out with people think of how you want to feel at the end, focus your thoughts and allow your body to stand with this expression while giving others room to have their own experience. Just by being true & committed to your experience while considering the bigger picture, you might just discover more satisfaction afterwards & it may have very well enhanced someone else's experience. What is not being suggested is hold your view higher or at the cost of other's enjoyment. Rather keep focus on what is most important overall. This then becomes a tool, knowledge base that you can utilize in different areas of your life.

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Spacey kind of mood

From time to time, more than not, when I have a small window of freedom, that is total time to myself, all I can do is stare out into space and breathe into the pause. No real deep thoughts, no profound inquiry, no motivation, no hesitation, it’s a wild void that I have never known before.

It’s quiet and I can hear the world continue to pulsate around me, moving forward in time. Yet, I feel as though I am experiencing a deep pause. In all the years I have meditated, believe it or not, I would actually feel more of an acceleration, an alignment, even an absorption with the bigger pulse of the world. So, to sit in a ‘spacey kind of mood with complete stillness’ well, I am not use to it, not one bit.

Perhaps it is the lack of sleep my current situation is offering up, or maybe there is a part of my brain that needs that spacey moment to recalibrate and truly withdraw, to pull away from the outer element and breathe deep with my innermost self and be completely present.

This idea of withdrawal in yoga is found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras offer a framework, if you will, to the path of yoga, of connecting to self, or sometimes called self-realization. It is an 8 fold path with this particular aspect, pratyahara is the idea of withdrawal, specifically the senses.

(By the way, I am way simplifying this concept). Fortunately, before my brain needed these moments of spacing out, I spent a lot of time contemplating, or spending great amounts of energy inquiring about the teachings of yoga. On a daily basis I have immense amounts of gratitude to those past 19 years of searching as it allows me to keep my s**t together now.

Part of that time contemplating brought me to the idea of when we move with intention and breathe to expand our awareness of the amazing force of life, then we are invited to turn in and acknowledge the beauty, light, grace, spirit, (fill in the blank) that sits within each of us. Sounds great, and it is…so it amazes me, in a different way, that the current experience of withdrawal is actually one of stillness. Yes, this is what a majority of people teach, but up until now, it has never been my experience.

But here’s the real deal…the Yoga Sutras and the 8 fold path guide us to a place of absorption, enlightenment, or super consciousness – that’s the idea right. But this is my latest inquiry, with times of just spacing out in the stillness how do we then return to our everyday life? Because I am not interested in escaping my life completely. (By the way, I am not the only one asking this question).

How do we take these amazing practices and live them? In those years of contemplation I had an idea to use the 8 fold path in reverse, yep! This then takes you from this place of samadhi, enlightenment to the first concept of ahimsa which gets translated as non-harming in thought, word and action. You see, we all contain enough. Wild right? We actually already contain the ability to stand in our own light, but what is hard is to find harmony (or no harm) in our lives.

So this is where I re-enter my current world, with kindness and care in my thoughts and actions regarding my own abilities right now. Yes, it’s as simple as recognizing those moments of staring off into space are harmless. Besides our inner and outer experiences are in constant change and fluctuation so being aware of how we participate with the constant transformation is a major practice and skill.

So ‘duhh’ my responsibilities have shifted so it’s a new practice. Being okay to just breathe and be with the stillness, that’s all good. It’s the transition from the movement to the pause and back to the movement again, the coming and going, learning to ride the waves of change with a greater sense of  ease and awareness while still able to be present to all of it…  I have to laugh because it really is hard to transition from taking care of so much to returning to just me.

It’s a dance move that I am brand new to and well, haven’t found the skills yet to be graceful with the flow. My window of freedom just ended and it’s time for me to dive back into the reality of my life. This time with more harmony, more awareness, more permission to enjoy the pauses however they appear.