• being human,  embodiment

    I Hope You Dance

    I have named a word for myself every year since 2009. Some years they were chosen at the start of the year; in other years they were named at the conclusion or early in the following year. Last month, an Instagram acquaintance announced her word and I commented. “I need to choose mine!” She immediately replied, “let’s do it!” As a Whole Life Designer (Life Coach), she was the perfect person to assist me in that endeavor. Jessica is just lovely, sweet, easy to talk to and eager to help kindred spirits on the path. She FaceTimed me at the appointed time, we spent a few minutes getting acquainted, then began the word-choosing process. Essentially I quieted myself and centered as she shuffled an oracle card deck that held words, images and ideas that would help me find my word. After I told her I was ready, she pulled the following three cards and then read their descriptions aloud to me, asking that I jot down words that captured my attention. Here are the names of the cards and the other words I scribbled during our session: BALANCE CONFUSION REWARD action/reaction lots of ideas in mind jupiterian wheel of fortune ever-present change overloaded with stimulating…

  • being human,  writing

    5 Minute Sprint: A Journal Writing Exercise + 5 Journal Prompts

    Interested in journaling? Here is a journal writing exercise that can be done in five minutes with five prompts you can use each day: HOW: Set a timer for five minutes. Write without stopping. At the end of the time, stop writing, even if mid-sentence. WHAT: Five Prompts: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? A.M.: Ask. What is my highest intention today and what does that look like? P.M.: Thank. What moments were most beautiful today? “To heal the self is to heal the world.”

  • being human

    Helping Others Shine

    For the longest time I felt I had something to prove. I became a yoga teacher to change the world, sort of … to change MY world, for sure. And that it did. Leaving a full time job to mostly teach yoga was one of the best things I ever did for myself and throughout that decade, I was changed in profound ways, but eventually it all fell apart … Mom died. Maddie moved out. I slipped into severe depression for two years and didn’t want to teach anymore. I simply couldn’t. During this downtime, I made the practice my own again, I did other things that nourished me, and I realized that I too fell victim to an Instagram network marketing mindset – of selling myself. And another wave of change is coming in that realization. I have nothing to prove anymore. The darkness has subsided; I’m standing in the light. Life is good. I’m teaching again, though not as much as I used to. It’s not as much of a profession as it is a way of supporting others. Of course it’s always been about supporting others but for a long time it was about growing my business too. It’s not about that anymore.…

  • being human

    Creating Our World

    Art journaling is supporting me more deeply than regular journaling these days. It’s a form of quiet contemplation, a way of expressing myself separate of words. It’s also a welcome relief for this predominantly left-brained girl. You know the saying, ‘how you do anything is how you do everything,’ right? It’s evidence that we’ve sometimes got to do different things to get different results. The art in my journals has mostly been images and symbols that mean nothing, inherently. They don’t even ‘go together’ but I like they way they look together. It makes me think how much life is like that, how seemingly random events string together to create a cohesive story, because how could it not? Our precious human lives are random, yet they make sense in the context of the whole. Art journaling is calming; it brings me peace, happiness and contentment. Looking at completed spreads make me feel productive, though western society wouldn’t necessarily call art productive. I see my life’s unfoldment through my journals (and now art journals). Creation is our birthright; it is a gift from God. Born in his image and likeness, it’s what we are called to do as human beings on this earth. We create by…

  • being human,  writing

    A Blueprint for Daily Journaling

    Though I don’t journal every day I do try to pen something most days and morning pages are great. Some days. (I find them to be useful when I have a lot on my mind or am frustrated by something, but a bit of a waste of time on other days.) Continually seeking meaning behind my inner life, journal prompts help me get to the heart of what I think and feel. But after spending a lot of money on journal prompt books in the past that didn’t get used, I opted for a standard one-word list last year.  This one word leaves the prompt more open to interpretation than lengthy questions to answer. Some days I use it; others not, and I’ll use special prompts on special occasions: full moons, new moons, equinoxes, solstices, holidays, birthdays, various events, etc. If you’d like to adopt the practice, my list is included for you above. Happy Journaling and Happy New Year! May it be blessed beyond measure.

  • being human,  embodiment

    The 8 Limbs of Yoga: An Overview

    In preparation for leading a module of a brand new yoga teacher training this summer, I’m currently re-studying the Yoga Sutras. A short but very dense book, the Yoga Sutras is a text written over 2000 years ago that provides a philosophical framework for the practice of yoga. Thought to be authored by Patanjali, the sutras are 196 aphorisms (or ‘threads’) that weave together to form a broad, excellently structured guide to the physical practice of yoga. The text speaks to uniting the body and mind, helps us better understand the nature of our minds and outlines philosophical living on the path of yoga. In short, the Yoga Sutras details an 8 Limbed Path of Yoga which includes: Yamas: restraints, guides Ahimsa: nonharming Satya: truthfulness Asteya: nonstealing Brahmacharya: moderation Aparigraha: nongrasping Niyamas: practices, observances Saucha: purity Santosha: contentment Tapas: discipline Svadhyaya: self study Isvara Pranidhana: surrender Asana: postures Pranayama: breath retention/control Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses Dharana: concentration Dhyana: meditation Samadhi: oneness with object of meditation or surrender This post serves as a basic introduction to the Yoga Sutras, a broad overview. Other posts will follow that will outline each of the eight limbs, including separate posts on each of the five yamas and niyamas. You…

  • being human,  embodiment

    Both And, Not Either Or

    This is a primary thought I’ve been thinking a lot lately – can seemingly unrelatable ideas and philosophies exist as truth simultaneously? I’ve come to the conclusion that they can. Both and, not either or. Specifically I’m reconciling a great many philosophies I’ve learned on my twenty+ year yoga journey with my renewed faith in Christianity. For the longest time, I’ve compartmentalized life. Things had to be either this way or that way. Opposing thoughts, ideas and systems couldn’t exist together. It had to be one way or the other – very black and white thinking, for sure. A product of my upbringing, I suppose. I have been a seeker my whole life. I’ve been in and out of every type of church imaginable, have tried to find myself through my yoga practice, meditation, writing, art, nature …. And the one thing that’s clear is that all beauty that exists in this world and all of the practices that lead me more deeply into myself and my true nature also bring me closer to God, closer to my spirit, closer to my divine nature, the nature that exists outside of time. It’s always been this way; I’ve just been too busy putting philosophies and practices…

  • being human,  writing

    Happy Happy 2020!

    New Year’s Eve and Day are excellent times to do reflective journaling and I find that specific prompts best help me to direct my thoughts. Here are three journal prompts you can use today to get 2020 off to a great start.

  • being human,  writing

    Year End Reflection Journaling

    Journaling is all about reflection: thinking about where you’ve been, where you’re going, what you’ve done well, what needs work, what you’ve learned, what you might continue to do, etc. And if you’re not a current journaler, a great time to get started is at year’s end. The benefits of journaling are endless. Here are just a few great reasons to start.  Ready to set your 2020 resolutions or intentions? That’s great, but research shows we’re more successful if we look back before forging ahead. On this almost last day of 2019, take stock of the current year before moving into 2020. Here are a few questions to consider on your look back. Journal about one or more of them. Is there anything you’d like to celebrate or acknowledge about the past year? What in 2019 are you most proud of? What setbacks occurred in the past year? How have those setbacks helped you grow? What did you learn? Did you have losses in the past year? How have you facilitated healing from those losses? What things did you do well in the past year and how did you grow from those experiences? Happy almost-2020! Here’s to appreciating where we’ve been because it’s the ultimate catalyst to…

  • being human

    Feelings Are Just Visitors

    “Feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go.”  ~Mooji Such a great reminder (for me and maybe you), and isn’t it funny how quickly feelings change? How we can be consumed one day and at peace the next? . We can feel our feelings without becoming them. Emotions aren’t good or bad in and of themselves. The thing is, we react and treat people often according to our feelings. Soooooo, it’s our job to notice our feelings, be with them, let them teach and guide us, as we work on ourselves and our mindsets. Lots of forces are at work in life. Personally, I’ve had some emotional upheaval this week. Deep primal pain that never seems to heal no matter the work I put in. So I’m learning patience (a g a i n .  s t i l l .)  and trust that the universe has my back, that life is unfolding in divine time, showing me what I’d never be able to see without the pain. Teaching me that life can still be beautiful, even with a hole in your heart. I’m also practicing kindness toward self so i can extend it to others, and boundaries because, well, I now see things…