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 gorgeous and raw photo above was taken by Annabelle. Please check out more of her work at http://www.annabelledenmarkportraits.com/.
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
As Always – So Much Love & Gratitude,
Yoga Teacher, Diet Coach, Energy Healer
Surrender to Soul Wellness
Enhance. Embody, Empower.
If you feel called, check out my humble offerings on my website here.