Why do we practice? No matter what is going on –we show up; we practice. We practice on our mat, and we practice off our mat. Our life is one big practice. No matter what is going on – we show up again and again. To our mat. Or to a walk. Or to the dinner table. We show up to our relationships. We show up for ourselves, and we show up for each other. We show up to and through all of our life experiences. We show up in celebration. We show up out of desperation. We show up for inspiration, and we show up for resolution. We show up when it’s hard, and we show up when it’s good. We show up because we know we should. But sometimes, just the act of showing up is the biggest challenge. We know we will meet, feel and see what is there when we do… Our thoughts, feelings, limitations and perceptions also show up all too true. But nonetheless – we show up. The hidden treasure is in the why. Remember why. Why do you practice? And will it sustain you? The goal is sustainability through it all: the good, bad, and the divine… They beacon you with their call, “Yes – show up, practice.” No matter what you are moving through, let it be…. An opportunity. An invitation. A shift in perspective or a chance to grow. Practice, no matter what it be – so that you may Illuminate and Heal The shadowed corners once filled with doubt and fear. Practice Kindness. Practice Compassion, Empowerment and Love. Not for me, but for you firstly. You deserve your own approval. You deserve your own shower of Love. And it’s OK if things get hard. Especially when they do – practice, show up. No matter how, the practice becomes a sanctuary. A place to come home to what is real, essential and fundamental. Take it… Moment by moment. Breath by breath. Trust yourself and trust your why the whole way through. Your practice today is a part of your journey, the greater journey of You.
-Poem by Shanin Weisberg, RYT-500 & Intuitive Healer
Some of you that have attended my public yoga classes over the last 2 weeks know that we are Journeying through the 7 Chakras…very exciting! 😊 Each week, we will focus on 1 of the 7 energy centers that have their individual homes along your central channel, physically up and down your spine. This main energy channel is known in yoga as the Sushumna Nadi (Nadi meaning energy nerve). I like to refer to the central channel as our River of Life. When our Rivers are clear and flowing, limitless potential and possibly become our reality. We open up to higher pathways of being, doing, interacting, and loving. However, it is very common to have energetic blocks along our central channels that impact the everyday flow and ease of Life. These blocks are sometimes located in a specific Chakra, as each Chakra contains its own unique energetic properties and qualities. They build on each other to *eventually* encourage a fully grounded, creative, powerful, connected, expressive, imaginative, and divine human…Wouldn’t that be awesome?!
I love teaching the Chakras…because this subtle system truly shows us something new each and every time.
In every (I think) spiritual tradition, there is a common teaching of the complexity of our beings. In yoga, it is referred to as the Koshas, meaning “bodies” or “selves”. I like to feel into this such as, we have many layers to our beings that interact together for our greater wholeness. We know we are much more than our physical form.
Here is my interpretation: We have a Physical Body – which gives us access to manifested form and our 3D world. We have an Energy Body – which contains our circulating lifeforce and is directly connected to our breath. We have a Mental Body – which holds our thoughts and belief structures. We have an Emotional Body – which contains, of course, our emotions. And we also have a Spiritual Body – that which is eternal, connected to Source, Spirit and all that is.
All of these “bodies” are constantly working together for your greatest benefit – making you, you. Intuitively, they as a whole comprise your Field. Your Field is sometimes referred to as your aura, but I prefer Field, as it is different for each being. Your Field is the entirety of you; everything that lives in your current awareness bubble or plane. Your Field is flexible – it can expand and contract, hold onto outside energies and show you certain cycles/patterns about yourself. Shamanically, it is known that thoughts and emotions are things. Just because we cannot see them, touch them in this 3D world of form, does not mean that they are not real. Thoughts and emotions actually hold an immense amount of power to influence our everyday lives.
It is also known in the Shamanic world that every being has a unique Spirit or essence (even plants, rocks, etc). Each Spirit, like each Chakra, also has its own properties, qualities, teachings and “medicine” – that offer gifts of wisdom and healing to our earthly lives. If you open yourself to a specific Spirit (ex. your favorite tree in the backyard or park), you can then uniquely perceive it, work with it and deeply relate to it. We are so used to getting immediate satisfaction and being on sensation overload with our current societal advances and technology use, that we have forgotten how to use our inner senses to perceive and connect with things more subtle – like our energy, thoughts, emotions, Spirit and Nature.
Your Chakra System lives in your Energy Body. It governs the flow of your energy (otherwise known as lifeforce or prana) and has great influence over your other layers of self as well. We want free flowing energy! Your energetic lifeforce is responsible for the rhythms of your heart, cycles of your breath and other autonomous functions that sustain life in your body. And what is so beautiful about this system is that we can actually tap into it and begin to direct, clear, transmit, and upgrade our energy to a new, cleaner and more effective way of functioning. Isn’t that awesome?! And it is not out of reach!
Getting familiar with your Chakras is a great start. AND it serves as a continuous practice to come back to that will always bring you into deeper relation with your energy.
Until I see you or hear from you again, Be Well…and don’t forget to set intentions to enjoy the pleasures of the harvest this month! With Love Always, S
I typically speak to releasing distractions in the beginning of almost every one of my yoga classes, workshops, or intuitive healing sessions. Often times we are being pulled outside of this moment here and now – either with chains binding us to the past or with ropes trying to lasso the future. It shows up to me energetically as strings that connect us to a time and space outside of now, tugging at us for attention and surely, distraction. It is an absolute necessity to release these distractions before we are able to fully enter our environment or the vast inner world of our Mind, Body, and Spirit – for whatever specific purpose or intention we may have in doing so. To objectively enter our internal and external landscapes, we must (at least try to) release the grasps of our mind that manifest as worries and concerns for everyday life. Our “little” mind is fed from these distractions and is not something to ostracize, rather it is ideally taught that it doesn’t run the show.
Shamanically, it is known that to enter a healing trance state or to connect with Spirit, we must be freed from these everyday ordeals – even if it is just for a few moments during a practice or healing session. In yoga, it is the same. We have fluctuations in our mind that yoga practice, firstly and fundamentally, helps to cultivate awareness around so that we may observe that they are even there. And secondly, yoga teaches us how to be in flow – how to allow life, and the constant stirring of it inside of us, to have space to be. This happens when we allow thoughts to simply stream without clinging to or pushing them away. This happens when we ride the waves of an emotion until the water becomes clear and steady. This happens when we accept that our muscles are shaking so tremendously and come after we feel incredibly invigorated with aliveness and vitality. When we get out of our own way, and typically this means mentally, the intelligence of our Body and the intelligence of Spirit can come through for whatever greater purpose aligns at that time.
It is important to reflect on the past or set goals and have vision for the future, but it will not promote the intrinsic feeling of connection that we as humans seek. These days we tend to pick up our phones, computers, or turn on the TV to feed this connective impulse. We live in a world where there is seemingly more connection, and at the same time, more distraction than ever. Through technology, this craving for connection is perhaps briefly fulfilled, but not at the level that our higher selves, or soul-selves, know is possible.
Last week, I went camping on the Grand Mesa (one of the largest in the world!) on the western slope of Colorado. It is incredibly beautiful out there. There was barely cell phone service, and I chose to not bring my laptop (phew!). Being without these simple everyday distractions opened the door for me to enter the mysteries. Every morning, I would watch a squirrel do its daily routine – run across the way, grab something, and take it to one of 4 hiding spots. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. The chipmunks came out in the afternoon and at night. There were several of them hanging around, and they acted as my cute little audience when I played the native flute. On our way off the Mesa, we stopped to sky dive! It was my second time and was definitely more enjoyable than my first. Overall, the trip was fulfilling and amazing.
I share this because the “door” (or portal) to presence, Spirit, and flow doesn’t have to be as extreme as off-grid living or jumping into the unknown abyss – the door is actually always here and is waiting for you to open. All it takes is a few moments to truly breathe into your being, consciously release your distractions, and become aware of what is. In any healing practice (even something as simple as going for a walk or cooking yourself a meal), doors will open when you are without distraction. Try out listening, responding, acting, and being from this connected place sometime…and notice what you find. <3
I’ve just returned from a road trip through the Southwest with my sweetie. We traveled through New Mexico and Colorado as we stopped to soak in healing waters and bathe in luminous rays, surrounded by the natural world! It was a mellow getaway spent with family and friends, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do so. You could say that I spent my time on vacation “receiving”.
The Balance of Give and Receive is SO important for the greater enjoyment, ease, and fulfillment of our lives on Earth. These two opposing (but complementary) energies can be witnessed and experienced simply as what we put out into the world and also what we take from the world.
You may also interpret Give/Receive as the Masculine and Feminineenergies that exist within and without, above and below. Within us, we have this represented by the seemingly symmetrical sides of our Earth-Bodies. Our right side is our Masculine side – which I describe as active, outward, exertion, ascending, and giving. Our left side is our Feminine side – which I describe as passive, inward, healing, descending, and receiving. You may also interpret this through the spirit of Mother Earth below and the spirit of Father Sky above. Mother Earth is the ultimate representation of the Feminine, and Father Sky is the Masculine. Together they form two halves of one greater whole, much like our Earth-Bodies. In Chinese Philosophy, what I speak of here is widely known as the balance of Yin and Yang.
This balance occurs in every breath – your inhale meets your exhale, which then meets your inhale as the cycle begins again and again. Your inhale needs your exhale (and visa versa) to be a complete breath. Light and Dark, Sun and Moon, Earth and Sky, Strength and Surrender, Fire and Water… there are endless examples of the harmonizing opposition of Give and Receive.
Perhaps you feel called to one side versus the other. Perhaps you are more likely to Give rather than Receive or Receive rather than Give. Perhaps you spend your days in action, moving from inward to outward rather than resting, moving outward to inward. Or perhaps it is the opposite.
HOME PRACTICE: Have no judgment, resistance, or attachment as you engage in any of the following practices (contemplation, meditation, shamanic journey, yoga, dance, walk, journal, etc.) that feels like a match for YOU to gain clarity. Hold the clear intention in your heart space to discover how you are in relation with Give and Receive, and be open to experience your own inner wisdom. Perhaps you may even come to a revelation of how to gain greater balance of these two energies in your Life, because we certainly need both!
We as humans are always striving to find balance. This appears fundamentally when we become tired or feel energized, become hungry or feel full, or even when we are sweating or have the chills. Balance is always something that we are reaching for physically, energetically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. This occurs every day, every hour, every minute – whether we are aware of it or not. There is also great wisdom to be said in that there is NO true, concrete place of balance! We are always ebbing and flowing at every moment to “find” it. If we can bring in more AWARENESS around what we need to “work on”, it will act as a powerful ally on our journey closer.
When in “right” relation with Give AND Receive, we will experience Life as truly satisfied, wholesome, and healthy beings! We are on our path towards it <3
Your belly is the space between your chest and your pelvis. Your pelvis begins where your belly ends as the lower portion of the trunk of the human body. Your abdomen (otherwise known as the “belly” or “gut”) is home to your digestive organs. Your pelvis (otherwise known as the “hips”) is home to your reproductive organs. These areas together hold great influence over the functions and systems of the connected Body and Mind.
We know there are millions of neurons in the gut that directly influence our mood, behavior, and perceivable experiences. This mesh of neurons is called the enteric nervous system (ENS) and can operate largely on its own, independent from the brain or spinal cord. Because of this, the gut (ENS) is frequently referred to as the “second brain”.
The gut is also home to bacteria and other mircroorganisms intrinsic to our health and our susceptibility to disease. To encourage a healthy and balanced gut flora, it is essential (but sometimes not the most convenient) to eat a wholesome, clean diet. If we have a “happy” gut with a healthy array of bacteria – our overall mood, health, and vitality will correlate and reflect that. If we do not, we will surely feel the residue of an unhappy belly throughout the web of ourBody and Mind. A belly without diverse bacteria may cause a long list of digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, pain conditions, skin irritations, nutrient malabsorption, and may even affect the brain with fatigue, depression, anxiety, mood/behavioral disorders, and more.
We feel feedback and sensations (satiation, bloat, hunger, pain, anxiety, etc.) in our gut in response to the quality and amount of food we eat or don’t eat; we also feel sensations because of a variety of external stimuli. We may remember experiencing a “gut response” to a specific event or situation in the past – a “gut response” that was subtle or perhaps significant and created an inner feeling orpresence in the belly. The “gut response” may show up as butterflies, knots, turning upside down, or even just feeling really relaxed and calmed. The belly and the brain are constantly communicating in this way with each other mostly through the intelligent pathway of the vagus nerve, which carries the parasympathetic response to vital organs and muscles in the Body. Basic ways to strengthen and improve this connection involve yoga, deep breathing, “cold blasting”, and maintaining a healthy gut flora.
The same general concept goes for the pelvis, as well. Women will be affected by the enjoyment of their menstrual cycles just as much as both men and women will be affected by the health and regularity of their bowel movements. It is important for men and woman alike to hold a neutral pelvis while performing daily activities (instead of tilting too far forward arching the low back or tilting too far backward slouching the spine) because it acts as the foundation. The everyday alignment of the pelvis will directly impact the sensations in the hips, back, and neck. I predict we would experience lower pain and discomfort of these areas if we practiced and embodied a natural, neutral alignment.
We have all experienced how the difference of pain to pleasure in these areas impact our overall well-being and Life satisfaction.
So…what does all of this mean?
We have spoken about the Body/Mind relating to the Belly/Pelvis, but what about the connection to Spirit? Energetically, I see the seam where the belly meets the pelvis as the central point of gravity in the human body, where the essential connection to Mother Earthbelow is first established and harnessed within. We can feel and cultivate how connected we are with the Earth through the spaces in the belly, the pelvis, and even stemming further down into the legs and the feet. In my yoga classes and workshops, I always speak to the pelvis, the pelvic floor, the pelvic bowl, the belly, the core, the legs, and the feet to increase our inner-awareness of these parts by activating them and also by consciously groundingthe energy down.
If we are too tight or restricted in our Belly/Pelvis, we will not only have a hard time grounding down energetically, but we will also physically through difficulties eliminating waste. We may also suffer from fulfillment sexually if we are too restricted or blocked in this area; in severe cases, this may even show up as abdominal pain or pelvic pain.
It is natural in some occasions for the body to hold onto heavy amounts of stress, trauma, and tucked-down-and-away-never-to-be-felt-again emotions in the Belly and Pelvis. These emotional blocks have direct influence over our physical health.
Alternatively, if we aretoo open or loosein our belly/pelvis, we may feel quite sluggish or lazy. We may also feel unable to engage our core and our pelvic floor properly; this may lead physically to incontinence and energetically/emotionally to over-consuming sexual urges or food cravings.
It is also natural to have desires.
But, for optimal health and healing, balance is a necessity.
In Tantric traditions, your belly and pelvis inhabit the first 2 Chakras (energy centers) of your body. Your 1st Chakra (Root Chakra) is in your pelvis (located at the base of the spine in the perineum) and is your place of stability and safety. Your 2nd Chakra (Sacral Chakra) is in between your lower abdomen and lower back (located a few inches under the belly button) and is your place of sexuality, emotions, and desires. The element that relates to the Root Chakra is Earth (grounded, strong, solid), and the element that relates to the Sacral Chakra is Water(fluid, flowing, flexible).
You can feel how fundamental these two centers of the body are in order for us to continue to heal and evolve and grow.
So…how do I embody a healthy, balanced Belly & Pelvis?
You must first learn how to engage AND release these areas.
I find it is so important for humans to learn how to use the muscles of their core/pelvis and then learn how to let them go. You can experiment yourself with these actions through specific exercises to engage, then perform meditations/massages to release – feeling the polarity of these two extremes and resting somewhere in the everyday neutral, soft but strong.
I find it is also very important to seek out energetic and spiritual support to help find balance and healing from either extreme.
Everything that shows up physically has a spiritual correlation.
Shamanically, I treat and encourage the healing of the spiritual illness – the root of the illness at the very subtle layers of Self.
For those of you who know me personally, know that I am deeply connected to this area of the body because of my own in-depth experiences and healing journey. The unveiling of pelvic pain and its many layers has played a big part of my Soul Path and Soul Purpose since day 1. It has bestowed infinite wisdom on me that I would not have received otherwise. It has opened doors and propelled me on a vast and humble path of being in service to Spirit, the Greatest Good, and the Highest Truth.
I feel blessed to even write this today.
Your Belly and your Pelvis together hold ancient, primal wisdom that once unlocked, can impact the trajectory of your Life – of your Health, of your Healing, and of your entire Well-being!
Aho – So be it! <3
With Love Always,
Surrender to Soul Wellness
Owner, Yoga Teacher, Chef, Shamanic Energy Healer
For more access to: tools that aid in the Health, Healing, and Richness of your LifeORmore information onIntuitive Divine Love Healings (in person or long distance), visit my website here.
What a beautiful time to recognize and appreciate the ending of a year
& The passing through to a new!
This is a potent time to reflect on the previous year. This is also a potent time to clarify your intentions for the upcoming year – helping you to manifest and create the life of your dreams. Intention-setting practices like meditation or yoga or ceremony, vision boards, art, music, dance, and any other form of creation or expression is a beautiful way to call in the energies you wish to cultivate in the upcoming year. Through these conscious actions and efforts, we create space for our intentions to manifest and ground into our Earthly life.
I have felt a deep pulling, now more than ever, to work in closer harmony with The Medicine Wheel – especially during this compelling time of transition and completion, commencement and rebirth. The Medicine Wheel is of Native American decent, and it represents the cycles of life as they turn and turn around the symbolic Wheel of the Year. Appearing as a circle, the Medicine Wheel as a whole teaches us about the never-ending lessons, rhythms, and evolutions of life – spinning around and around as each year passes. The Wheel is split into 4 parts, a part for each of the 4 Directions/Elements/Seasons correlating with one another to share a similar message and teaching. For each section of the Wheel, there is also a Gatekeeper – a specific power animal that holds the “medicine” of that part of the cycle.
For those of you that have worked with me before or who know me well, know that I LOVE learning from Earth and her natural rhythms, as it encourages me to recognize and honor MY own cycles. The Medicine Wheel is a powerful Shamanic tool that helps us do this. If we embrace the “medicine” of the Wheel (otherwise known as the teaching), we can embody the different powers, strengths, and wisdoms it holds. If we implement into our Lives what reverberates and resonates for us, in return each rotation around our Wheel of Life is smoother and filled with greater peace and knowing. You can find many different variations of The Medicine Wheel out there – I offer one below that resonates with me. As always, you may discover your own and choose differently. 😊
Traditionally we rotate clockwise, beginning in the East. The element that correlates with the East is Air; the season is Spring; the color is Yellow. The Gatekeeper of the East is known as the Eagle. The Eagle offers us the medicine of clarity, of sight, of perspective. The Eagle soars high in the sky, blown by the wind, gazing down onto Earth and all of its workings. The Air in which theEagle soars is representative of breath, of intuition. This part of the Wheel symbolizes new beginnings, as the sun rises in the East each and every day. It is said that we first enter our Earth bodies in the East; it is also the place of conception. You can observe and feel this conception taking place during the Spring – when the Earth is waking back up from the silent solace of winter. We give our gratitude and respect to the East for bestowing us with a new day, new beginnings, with clarity and perspective, and with the chance to start anew.
Transitioning to the South, it is the place of Fire, of Summer, of the color Red. The Gatekeeper of the South is known as the Coyote. The Coyote offers us the medicine of resilience, perseverance, determination, and a whole lot of playfulness and trickery. In the South, the heat of Summer burns like Red Fire to transform and grow and play. The South is a place of passion and action, of coming together in community to thrive. Beginnings conceptualized in the East gain momentum and shapeshift in the South, allowing for Divine manifestation.
Transitioning to the West, it is the place of Water, of Fall, of the color Black. The Gatekeeper of the West is known as the Bear. The Bear teaches us about renewal, hibernation,rejuvenation, and acceptance of the dark. The Bear is also a fierce protector and nurturer. The sun sets every evening the West, encompassing the sky with Black darkness. It is said that when we are ready to leave our Earthly bodies, we will exit through the doors of the West. We also call upon this Watery energy to become comfortable with fluidity, with our emotions, with the rain; Water is known to have very cleansing and purifying properties, too. You can feel or imagine this time similar to the final stages of pregnancy – where the fetus lies in the dark, watery womb, replenished and renewed.
The final transition is to the North – the Element of Earth, Season of Winter, Color of White. The Gatekeeper of the North is known as the Buffalo. The medicine of the Buffalo is that of knowing and wisdom, gratitude and abundance. When Native Americans would hunt and kill a Buffalo, they used EVERY part of the animal. This was seen as a representation of the ultimate surrender and an action that honored the cycles of life and death. The buffalo was respected greatly for it’s life-giving qualities. Everything comes full circle in the North. It is said that this is place where the Elders, Ancestors, and Spirits reside. I see Earth and the North as a place of coming home – of grounding into our foundation for the next turn of the Wheel. Do you remember Harriet Tubman? With help from a friendly white woman, she followed the North star to run away because she feared being sold as a slave. Once free, she went back to assist hundreds of others on their way to freedom on “The Underground Railroad”. Through the support of the North, she helped to close one cycle AND begin a new for the hundreds she saved.
We lean into the support of the North during this time of year – as we are preparing to cross the threshold into 2019.
You can easily bless your home (or any space) through your thoughts, words, and actions.
STEP ONE: Begin at your front door or the entrance to your space. As you walk in, look around and start to mindfully walk the perimeter of the room, slowly making your way through each part of your home.
STEP TWO: Gaze at your space with the feeling and the thoughts you wish to reflect onto your space – peace, comfort, safety, healing, etc. (You may choose to carry your favorite crystal or burn your favorite herb or wood as you do this.) Invite an inner feeling of Love and hold the clear intention to Bless in your heart center.
STEP THREE: Sounds are a powerful tool that create our reality. Words, songs, and incantations can be a promising way to deliver a potent Blessing. Here is an incantation I have used that is quite simple but effective: “Bless this house. Bless this home. Heal this house. Heal this home. Love this house. Love this home.” You may repeat this as many times as you feel called as you walk around each room, being sure to walk the edges and corners. You may also replace the words house/home with space/place or any other word(s) that feels right. It may feel right for you to touch certain objects in your space, or move your hands in an organic magical way as you repeat the incantation. I would recommend repeating the incantation at least 3 times all the way through out loud with conviction, certainty, and feeling.
STEP FOUR: Once you have made it through the entire space, return to the center of the space or to the center of your home. Close your eyes and breathe for several moments into this Blessing that you have bestowed into your space. Thank yourself, and notice what you feel. Record any experience or reaction as you feel called to.
I hope you are enjoying this healing, dark time of year as the sun shines less and the moon shines more.
I used to really dislike winter…you know…the cold, the lack of sun, the longer nights. But recently, I have found the sheer beauty and comfort in being home cozy, rested, reflective, and mostly in the dark.
The photo above was taken just as the season was changing to fall…I am in Rocky Mountain National State Park surrounded by mountain air, water, sunshine, and rock. I love this image because it beautifully shows the balance between light and dark, and also because there is an awesome orb glowing with the color of my Lifeforce – bright blue! 😀
The seasons are a great example of the entire spectrum available to us in the Universe. We have spring/summer (the light side) and fall/winter (the dark side). For most of my life, I was labeling or judging the dark (winter) as “less-than” instead of viewing it as an equal part of the greater whole.
The distinction between light and dark can be compared to many oppositions and reflections that are parts of one total whole….good and bad, self and other, earth and universe… there are an infinite amount of examples. When we open our perceptions to see the totality of each experienced spectrum, we also open to the beauty and the healing in each and every part. One gives definition to the other. We know there would be no light without dark, no good without bad, no self without other, and no earth without the universe.
Through our perception do we actually create each experience we have.
Through our perception do we actually create the Universe.
And the Universe always responds.
Shamanically, it is believed that we actually dream the world into being. I first learned this from teacher Sandra Ingerman. We dream the world into being through our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and perceptions. Because we are all a part of the Universe, we are all co-creating this world together. Individually, we have our personalized belief systems for which we base our own perceptions and actions around. And yes, surely some overlap with the “collective” as well. The “collective” is defined by me as being the Universal “way” dreamed into all of our beings by centuries of programmed beliefs, actions, and behaviors of mankind.
When the veil of illusion lifts away, when you begin to SEE the truth of your reality – things actually become a bit lighter and certainly clearer! We consciously begin to understand our most in depth under-the-surface workings, our unique code to how we function and perceive reality. You can call this getting to know our subconscious or unconscious Self. And, we actually build the foundation for our Life through our subconscious and unconscious Self – these parts we are mostly unfamiliar with.
We certainly dream our world into being through our deepest parts such as these…
Give yourself a moment to look within yourself for your answers:
With awareness, gaze around you…shift your perspective so that you may be able to SEE the whole…then ask yourself…
How does my home space reflect me, both in feeling (vibe) and appearance (cleanliness & organization)?
How does my work reflect me?
How do the actions I have taken reflect me?
How does my experience of yesterday reflect me?
How does my attitude about tomorrow reflect me today?
How am I thinking, feeling, acting and how does that reflect this perceivable moment right now?
Our perception and perspective begins with us, always.
We create our Life because we are Life!
We create our experience because we are the Creation!
We are Creation itself as it witnesses itself!
We are a unique and valued part of the whole of the Universe.
In the photo, I am holding myself while at a beautiful Women’s Retreat tucked away in the mountains with Lori Glazebrook & photographer Annabelle Denmark. I helped to cook the delicious Soul Food for this retreat. And for those of you that have visited my website or know me well, know that I LOVE to get my hands on food to infuse it and cook with LOVE. What a beautiful blessing to attend and share one of my passions!
The image of me is pretty telling. During the shoot, I naturally curled up in the dark corner and hugged myself tight. In this image, I feel my present-self whispering to my “inner child” – “It’s okay. You’re safe. You’re held. I love you.”
The last few weeks have been “turbulent” times for me you could say – as I have been navigating through family emergency, illness, nerve pain, unexpected & expected travel, workshops/classes/retreats (teaching & attending), and a lot of emotions along the way.
However, such is life. Our human existence is challenging, and it will always have those clearly challenging sections or bumps along the way.
Challenge is an invitation to grow.
Challenge is an invitation to check in.
Challenge is an invitation to feel.
I feel deeply within myself that there is a teaching in every experience, every emotion, every turbulent or every blissful time. Through LIVING, we learn about ourselves. Through EXPERIENCING, we open ourselves to receive guidance, insight, and teachings as we continue onward on the wild journey of life on Earth.
It has been a reoccurring theme for me to honor MY needs first…so that I may continue to serve, support, and love others. This has been a constant teaching, a constant “checking in”, a constant “What do I need?” as I’ve moved through the last few weeks.
My needs showed up such as:
driving a bit further to buy myself my organic groceries while traveling
saying “no” to a workshop I already signed up for
allowing myself to nap or rest more if needed
or simply holding myself (like in the portrait) during this cycle of healing and renewal.
I’ve learned over the years that even if Life appears as smooth sailing or seemingly “easy”, my path continues to unveil itself and spiral in a circular orientation. I have days or weeks where I am full of lifeforce, prana, or creative energy as I go about my daily tasks, teachings, healings, workouts, cooking, etc. This is the “outward” or “upward” time of my cycle or circular path. In opposition, I have days or weeks where I am drawing inward. During this time, I am needing holding, rest, rejuvenation, and additional support. Neither is better or worse than the other, and the timeline for each opposing cycle is unknown and different during every rotation.
You can observe this spiral in nature all around us…from as big as images of the universe to smaller images of hurricanes to as small as images of a seashell. Of course, there is a mathematical foundation to this characteristic of the Cosmos – it is called the Fibonacci Sequence, also known as the Golden Ratio.
But to me, I call it Nature’s Spiral.
I have integrated this teaching into a deeper level of my being recently. I “knew” this tendency about my path, but I was still holding onto a certain level of resistance for the “inward” or “downward” portion the spiral. I realized how beautiful, soft, and simple this time can be, and it doesn’t make it “less than” or “worse than” the opposition (even though society teaches us to push, grind, and force our way through).
I believe Nature’s Spiral occurs in all of us with different varying degrees and opposition, whether we are aware of it or not…
Try to soften your mind, open your heart, expand your ability to reflect and find out for yourself…
STEP ONE: Find or take a moment to pause, slow down, and reflect. This can be anywhere. Invite a few deep breaths in and out to enter the present moment. Once you feel ready, ask yourself “How am I feeling today”? Do I feel tired? Do I feel energized? Do I feel introspective, joyful, sad, carefree, depleted, tender, overwhelmed? If you could pick one emotion to describe how you are feeling, what would that be?
*This is a great practice to do for several days/weeks straight. It can be simple, and I promise will get easier as you practice. You may choose to record your answers in a journal to reflect on later.
STEP TWO: Inhale a lengthened low belly breath; this time, exhale and offer the breath out of your mouth. This breath can be however gentle or loud as necessary. Repeat this style of breathing, and notice until you feel your inner awareness shift down (out of your mind and into your Heart Center, or perhaps even lower into Belly Center). It is much easier to connect to the wisdom of your true essence through the body; additionally, be mindful that it is impossible to connect to your being if you are lost in your mind’s chatter (own it if you are!). Furthermore, once you are fully relaxed into your body, guided by your exhales – ask yourself “What do I need in this moment?” Not what your mind wants you to do; not what other people want you to do; not what your job wants you to do. What do YOU need?
*This need comes from the wisdom within the body or from the “Higher Self” if you will. Honor the answer you receive. Act on your need in the perfect time for you.
STEP THREE: Reflect on the last few weeks of your life (or your journal entries). What do you notice? What Wisdom is to be gained through reflecting on your own cycle? Is there some sort of pattern asking to be seen?
*Mentally reflect or write your insight down in your journal.
Please reach out with any comments or questions about your experience(s)! <3
So often in today’s society we have completely lost our personal relationship to the food we eat. More specifically, we have lost our connection and lost our gratitude for how our food is grown, where it is grown, how it travels to us, and most of the time even how it is cooked before we eat it. Generally speaking, food as we know it exists only right before it enters our mouths. ☹
There is DEEP healing in not only how we interact and respect our food, in not only the quality of the food we choose to eat, in not only how our food was grown, but in the ENTIRE process of eating. For most of us, that is the shopping, preparing, cooking, eating, cleaning cycle that occurs when we touch, infuse, and respect our food by preparing it ourselves.
We become humbled by this process, because you are right – it is far from “convenient” in today’s world. Although, convenience and health can be two opposing things. Maybe for some of us, we are able to have our own gardens and grow our own food, or buy from a local farmer. This year, I have harvested cucumbers, romaine, green leaf, watermelon, zucchini, squash, herbs, and more!
There is something really profound about caring for your food as it grows before it even hits your fridge.
But, we are really blessed either way.
We have a surplus of grocery stores around us carrying healthy & organic produce, meat, and anything we could possibly need or even want. I do not have to grow all my own food because there are plenty of talented organic farmers around doing that for me (thankfully). I can literally walk to a grocery store from my house and buy clean, nutrient-dense food. How awesome is that!
As the season’s shift, it is a beautiful time to slow it down, check in, and pay attention to the small joys in our Earth life – like preparing or truly enjoying a delicious meal. The turn of the seasons is a beautiful time to honor the fall harvest – whatever you are harvesting (however subtle it may be).
And no matter the season, the food we choose to put into our bodies as fuel is directly related to our level of health and our potential level of health. You have probably heard the saying “You are either fighting or feeding disease with every bite”. I realize this can be quite overwhelming because we are habitual creatures, and it may be hard to break those habits. BUT, there are 4 simple principles I teach so that you can improve the quality of the food you eat AND improve your relationship to the food you eat as well.
4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health:
Cut back on processed foods (foods in the middle of the grocery isles – anything boxed, packaged, etc.). Most of these foods have no nutritional content, and they are filled with sugars, grains, artificial flavors & colorings, preservatives, GMOs, and more icky ingredients. Be sure to check the nutrition label for sneaky ingredients that could feed disease.
Cut back on gluten, dairy, and refined sugars & fats. Simply put, these will absolutely correlate with the levels of inflammation and toxicity in your body. Plus, nowadays there are amazing healthy alternatives.
Have respect for your food! Honor where it’s been before it hits your plate – it matters. Taking a moment before you eat at a restaurant or at home to offer your thanks and your love to the food can completely shift how your body will digest and metabolize it. This is specifically important if you do not buy, touch, cook, or connect in some way to your food before you eat it. Your intention is everything!
Have compassion! Be kind to yourself. The beauty is in the process…
CONTEMPLATE or JOURNAL:
Am I connecting with the food I eat? Am I honoring my food? Am I honoring my health?
How can I improve my connection to my food?
What are 1 or 2 simple changes I can make that will help me honor my food more authentically?
What is a personal, reasonable goal for my own Conscious Eating in a year from now?
Conscious Eating Meditation
Eat a meal with wholehearted, conscious awareness.
Sounds simple, right?
You can find the right time to do this no matter where you are. Trust that you will know when is the “right time”.
Give yourself permission to set aside the everyday worries of your world.
Give yourself permission to let go of the grasps of the mind. Let go of the mind’s tendencies to attach, resist, or judge; and instead, simply allow yourself to experience the present moment in your body. This is important: Put aside all distractions (tv, phone, radio, etc). You will not need them.
Allow yourself to become immersed in the sensations of eating. Indulge in the smell of your food. Taste the flavors as they interact with each other in your mouth. Feel the changing textures as you chew and swallow. Let this be a full body experience. Allow your body to experience the experience of eating with gratitude, with love, and with presence. Allow every bite to dive you deeper into the magic of eating consciously.
Notice what shifts; notice what comes up; notice what evolves; notice how you feel when you finish.
Please reach out with comments, questions, or if I can support you in any way through your journey of Conscious Eating. Many Blessings.