Is Doing Yoga Really Virtuous?

When my oldest was here over winter break, I told her one day that I felt virtuous as I had gone to yoga, made a green drink, done a meditation and started laundry. She questioned my use of the word “virtue” in relation to tasks. She pointed out that virtue is a moral word and that it’s really messed up to associate that with simply completing tasks (even if they’re healthy ones). As I frequently do with my kids, I kept reflecting on her words throughout the day. I realized that on days when I didn’t do yoga/green drink etc. I found myself lacking in virtue. Even if I’d done yoga 5 days in a week something felt OFF on the days I’m didn’t show up for class. I realized that my phrasing which I thought was praise and motivation for me on good days, was actually eroding my sense of goodness inside. It was eroding my positive sense of who I was.

And so I let go of that old view. Now, I probably do yoga one day less a month, and have stopped considering healthy choices a moral imperative. It’s allowed me to feel good about myself on the days I do these things, on the days I do some of these things and on the days I don’t. A little paradigm shift that may have far reaching consequences. We will see. It feels profound.

What unconscious beliefs and expressions are eroding your belief in who you are and your sense of your own goodness? It’s time for a MAJOR RESET for us all!

Anger & Flow

I had an experience today that was kind of new and I wanted to share. Stay here with me as I think it’s profound! I’ve been having hot flashes … you know … I’ve been really paying particular attention as I’m writing an article on embracing the gifts that come with menopause. Anyway … this past weekend was busy and full. Monday (today) is my day to do office work and catch up with life. Well – I’ve had a VERY cranky day today. It’s hard to keep the cheery demeanor amidst hot flashes and disturbed sleep. Particularly after a busy weekend. I don’t think the heat helped (my iphone said it felt like 108 F here in Baltimore).

What made my day interesting was this – other times in my life when I’ve felt angry/cranky I’ve felt out of alignment with myself, with spirit and with the world around me. Well today was different. I was cranky as can be … yet my house got cleaned, the errands were handled. People I needed to contact, contacted me. The to do list got done … sometimes this productivity makes my mood better. Today it didn’t. I just kept feeling cranky, yet everything went well … I checked the mail a few minutes ago and there was money there … I got in the lift and the person on my list who I had not made contact with was there. What I needed was handled in the space of one floor.

I believe this in theory, but don’t recall an entire day where anger and flow coexisted so very beautifully! And so at 8:00 pm I’m sitting down to meditate and do some writing. What a lovely new experience. I need to spend more time exploring self judgement around emotions and the effects on others. I’ll keep you posted. And would love to hear your experiences – particularly around anger!

Expectations

I used to have high expectations of families at holidays and many other people on a variety of projects. I learned over the years to let go of these expectations in a space of being present. I found more joy and less hassle – which was a good thing. I wish I could say I solved it all but I got pretty close and have learned to feel my feelings around disappointments and let them go with more ease than ever. Knowing I’m still a work in progress.

I’ve only recently discovered a different kind of expectation that was messing with me and I wanted to share – you might relate to it.

I’ve been using my intuition overtly more and more. And been expanding my presence practice. For instance, I now think it’s more important to listen to myself and my body than to stick with my walking/yoga schedule. And in this space I exercise more than I have in previous years. It’s been an interesting and unexpected development.

My new edge snuck up on me. It’s a little edge but may bring great results. I’ve discovered that I’ll tune in before a yoga class on days I don’t want to go … I’ve asked if I’ll feel better after class (which should be an obvious answer). I’ve found that I get a “no” to that … then I assume that I WON’T feel better afterwards. Which has surprised me and spun me out a bit. On a number of days I’ve gone anyway and have discovered that I on those days I actually feel better DURING class. Not AFTER class. Silly and small but has been a huge eye opener for me.

I have been surprised to find that when my intuition says NO to something positive I assume that the true answer is something negative. Ends up in almost all cases it’s actually been something even better. And so … I’m asking now, for something even better in just about every area of my life! May health, joy, adventure and abundance show up even more brightly than I can imagine. And may I be open to that outcome in every situation.

I ask the same for you!

Is It Mine? Notes for Empaths

This fall and winter I’ve been in an interesting space. Lots of quiet and introverted time. It’s been good and needed. Then as we’ve gotten closer to spring … I’ve had some opportunities show up and a I signed up for a program to support me as I continue to grow professionally. The timing was perfect as I had been sitting and preparing for SOMETHING.

I was ready and the decision to sign up was easy. Since signing up, I’ve been in a place of self doubt, feeling cranky and more … then realized that as an empath, I’m feeling the emotions of the entire group. Everyone is scared, everyone is having doubts about themselves, everyone is excited, and everyone is getting their nerve aligned to make a LEAP!  It was one thing to feel my own emotion around this and another to feel the feelings of maybe thousands of other people and assume they are mine. I KNOW BETTER! 

So … today … I went … this isn’t mine! It wasn’t a shout. Just a quiet realization. So simple and quick. In that moment, I found my own excitement, and honestly, very little doubt. I found myself back to my space a few weeks ago … with pulsing spring energy inside of me … full of optimism like a seed getting fat underground. Certain that I will rise up. I don’t yet know what the next bloom will look like. What I know is I’m ready and in a place of joy as I work and tend and wait to see. Wishing you joy and active patience while you await your certain harvest!

Support the Earth – become Vibrant, Lush and Sensuous

The sacral chakra, when healthy, is the strongest for women … fire/source of creation … liquid molten lava energy … your radiant womb. We often talk of creating peace by finding peace within ourselves. I had an insight the other day … that if we want to live on a vibrant, lush and gorgeous planet we needed to do that work within ourselves. We need to become vibrant, lush and know that we are gorgeous. We need to embrace our sensuality and bring that awake and present engaged energy to all we do. I have a friend who sees clients as a coach. One practice she has is to fall in love every day to bring that energy to her service. It’s something I’ve been working on for the last year. I’m still a work in progress … but am feeling the passion, optimism and self love more and more! And I’m sending it out in waves. Give it a try!

Upgrading Your Solar Plexus

Cherry-Lee Ward Shaman, Healing Touch Certified PractitionerWhen we experience change or growth, it is natural to have some time reevaluating who we are and what our place is in the world. Yet people (and me) often resist that or feel uncertain during the process! I’ve noticed this pattern over the years with clients as well so I wanted to share what I find.

When someone takes on a new course of study, a new job, sinks into a new relationship or glimpses a new view of the world, they often have a time of what is perceived as low self esteem. In reality what we are experiencing is our Solar Plexus Chakra getting an upgrade. It is reshaping to hold who we are now and broadcast this out to the world – which looks like shining your light. This doesn’t happen instantly, the solar plexus chakra is connected to the mental field so changes in this chakra don’t take full effect until they line up with our understanding.

Let me give you an example. I began seeing clients for Healing Touch in 2003. By 2006 I decided to attend shaman school. By that time I was mentoring other people in Healing Touch and felt like I had something to share as a beginning expert of sorts. So, going to shaman school I felt like I’d bring with me this understanding of energy and working with people that would serve me. What ended up happening was that I felt confident during the times we worked one on one in someone’s field in class, and that was about it.

When I left class I came back and questioned who I was as a healer: Was I good at any of it? Was I special in any way? Was I more about Healing Touch or the shamanic work? What were my true gifts? Was there one program I aligned with more than another? Who was I really? How did this work effect my relationships?

All of these questions were exhausting and truly looked like I had low self esteem. Rather than embodying the energy of “expert” which I had felt in Healing Touch – I took the energy of “beginner” everywhere I went. I asked questions and became unsure of my own answers.

It was not a comfortable process. However, a few months after my first shaman class – it had integrated, I felt confident in both modalities and good about who I was and my gifts. In fact my vibration was higher and my field was stronger and more radiant than before I began the shamanic work. This is not a comparison of the two programs (both of which are incredible – both of which I highly recommend) but an unfolding of my own process. What felt like low self esteem was a recalibration to a new and higher level. Of course this happened for me with each of the many classes as I went and again as I finished the program. Becoming conscious of the pattern, I became more patient with myself through the transition phase.

This is just one example of what happens to us over and over in life. A year ago I woke up and realized I no longer have a kid in elementary school (my youngest daughter is now in 7th grade). My time volunteering other than field trips was done. That was a transition for me. Gratefully she is still happy for me to go on field trips! My oldest is about to enter college. It will happen for me again around that experience as I learn to trust her and trust myself in this new phase of our relationship. It will likely free up my time for more good to come my way – we’ll see. No matter what, it will likely bring a change that will allow me to step into more of my unique journey. For me to shine my own light even more brightly as I will be phasing a little further from the “caretaker role” that has been so present for the last 16+ years.

I’m having another transition as I write the book I’m working on. Not only am I integrating the concept and energy of Author into my field but I am building my field and solar plexus so that I can hold the energy beautifully when this new book goes out into the world.

These transitions are ongoing and humbling. Yet the other side of these experiences I always feel more whole, more of who I am, and more radiant. The new me is an ever evolving and improving shining being. My true spirit is more and more visible with each of these shifts.

So many of us are in transition at the moment I felt called to share this understanding with you. To help you see and name what you are experiencing. Know that you’re going somewhere GOOD no matter how it feels at the moment. Know that this world needs you to shine your light brightly and trust your own process of evolution. May this knowing give you patience and allow for excitement as you eagerly await your next unfolding.

Surfing – Catching the Wave of the Great Change

surfingSix or seven years ago I was sitting with a group of friends listening to Alberto Villoldo talk about about 2012. We listened closely as his message was so clear and resonant. We were asking questions … to see if he had any insights about 2012 and what the time of the great change would look like. At the time, we all had many ideas, dreams, thoughts, fears and hopes. Someone asked what Shamans (those that are awake and connected with nature) would do when transition was happening all around us.

Alberto got a sparkle in his eye and said that we would all get our surf boards out and go surfing!

I remember the comfort that this image brought me. I’ve shared it with friends over and over in stressful times. On December 21st, 2012 so many took a deep breath and wondered what was to come.

None of us expected 2013 to be even more of a shake up than 2012. So many have had shifts, and changes that are unsettling leaving them stirred up and wondering what else could possibly come. I’ve reflected at times that none of us seem to know how to ride our surf boards the way we expected to.

This past September I was out at the beach visiting Ocean City, Maryland, watching some surfers and had a big ah-ha. As I watched I remembered times watching surfers over the years, my husband in Washington State with his wet suit on, and friends in Australia … What I realized is that surfers DO NOT spend all their time on their boards riding the perfect wave. In face the amount spent riding “successfully” is minimal. Yet the joy a good ride brings is unmatched!

Watching surfers I’ve found that much of their time is spent laying on their board, paddling out to where the big waves are. It takes incredible upper body strength and can be exhausting on a good day. Beyond that, they hang out and wait for a decent wave to come. They spend time paddling again and again to get in an optimum space.

Then they TRY to catch good waves. This looks like falling A LOT! Getting knocked off your board, getting turned in the ocean, eating some sand and occasionally getting hit by a board. There are lots of false starts as well.

What’s cool is that when you catch a great wave all of that is forgotten and you fly and fly and fly! Those rides or flights don’t actually last all that long but they joy they bring sees surfers through all the rest so that they are dying to get right back out there and do it again.

This has given me a new understanding and expectation of this time. It has also given me insight into the sparkle I saw in Alberto’s eyes years ago. It really is all OK. We really are supposed to let “unpleasing” events wash over us and keep our courage and strength to get up again another day.

It’s OK if we feel tossed and turned and don’t know which way is up. Gravity and the water will right us again so that we can catch our breath, get back to it, and find the next fabulous wave.

So I say to you – happy surfing!

Healing for your Kids

I had a healer ask me a question about doing a healing for their own child today and I thought it was a GOOD QUESTION and something worth writing about.  Whether you are a healer yourself or work with a healer to support your children this may be helpful!

First, my belief is that if you have a child who is under 18 or dependent on you due to extenuating circumstances you are fine to do distance healing for them or hire someone to work with them for distance work.  If you are working with a child in person (or hiring someone to do so) obviously you need more interaction with your child before you engage this sort of work.  Know that as a compassionate parent or healer you have a lot to offer them and trust yourself!

When working with kids – whether my own or someone else’s kid – I am always VERY clear about asking for the highest good for any session that I do. Neither I nor the parents always know what is highest good for the child on their journey.  Personally I would like to heal every physical issue, emotional wound, mental stress and spiritual issue.  Gratefully my higher self knows better than to seek this in a tangible way.  So I let it go before I work with children (and any of my clients).  When I work with kids I often I simply work with what is presented knowing that what shows up for healing is often ready to transform.

When deciding whether to do the work yourself or hire someone else – know it depends on the issue.  Offer healings to your own child if it’s something you can be clear and clean about.  if it pertains to your opinion about what is RIGHT for your child or wanting to FIX them in some way … it may be something you want to hire someone else to do for you so that they can see clearly and discerningly.  Particularly as parents we often see what would be easier for them or what would make sense for them rather than tracking along on the highest path for their soul’s journey.

Know that sometimes they need to fall and crash with you loving them rather than having you save them over and over.  The bruises they get when they have left home are bigger than the ones they will get with you nearby!

Also know that they were born to you and that your impulse to ease their journey may be divinely inspired.  Just be present.  Discern and choose! And keep letting your kids know how much you love them and value their own unique expression on this planet!  We are lucky to have them here!

Technology – Gateway to Spiritual Expansion

Technology and spirituality - how to manage modern lifeAmidst the valid concerns of EMFs, distraction, the evils of multitasking and hindrance to being present … I’d like to share what I see to be the deep spiritual gifts of this particular age of technology.

Like no generation before we get assistance and simplification of life through technology support. From our phones we can make travel reservations, check in to airlines, access our boarding pass, make sure our house is locked when we’re away, and we can check the recipe ingredients while we’re at the grocery store. What’s more with electronic notes and a phone that’s always by our side, we never lose the list! We no longer need to remember a friends phone number nor directions to get somewhere. Historic and family information no longer needs to be retained the way it has been. We can freely look up information or text someone to get the info we need. Less and less of our brains are needed to function in life.

Personally I think this is tied to the increase of mental health issues. Not because technology causes them but we have time and space to delve into our own neurosis. It’s actually fascinating if you think about it. Monkey mind has been around for eons yet this is the generation where it effects everyone.

We are being called to find new uses for our brain, to explore and use capabilities we may not realize we have. What if the internet, facebook and Twitter are actually helping us grow new pathways in our brain? What if they are preparing us for a full on telepathic life experience? Now when we check these apps we know what everyone is thinking. We’ll that’s what telepathy provides too. With telepathy you need to take it a step further and learn to let the white noise of business block the incessant chatter so that you can tune in to the one channel you need. You need to learn discipline, surrender, boundaries and openness all at once.

Truly exciting times! What’s more – I believe if we surrender and ask to be transformed the process may be easier as well. Embrace the gifts of technology. Play with solutions for monkey mind like a game rather than letting it cripple you. Enjoy this stage of evolution. Know we’re going somewhere extraordinary.

Ask to attune and align yourself with technology so that it becomes easier and easier, ask to evolve so there are no ill effects (mentally and physically) from this plugged in life. Ask to be open to the possibilities before you that you may not understand yet. And see what unfolds.

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty as Goddess for modern lifeI did some tuning in recently to the energy of Lady Liberty/Goddess Liberty. I really felt called by Her on a trip to New York. And felt her energy very present. I was seeking American representations of Goddess and was delighted to really feel her. These are my notes from that day:

I feel her utter freedom. There is light, inspiration, clarity … A sense of adventure and joy in the journey. Always creating and making new. A wide open heart and mind. It’s not about “no rules” as that has a different energy…and yet there are no rules. She travels as much in her mind as on the land. She has great insight and perspective yet is not attached to outcomes. The world around her is malleable and she holds it as such. She brings joy in relating to others and the freedom of coming together as equals with joy and shared purpose. She is present for suffering yet doesn’t spend energy there. She raises the vibration of all who come to know her. And they are able to tune into her qualities. She does not arrive for perfection and enjoys the imperfection and beauty of what is … knowing another day will come. She cares far more about the fun of creation than perfection.

She has roots in Greece and Atlantis. And was a gift to this Land and this Country by France. And so I send the blessings of Lady Liberty your way! May attuning with her energy serve you greatly!

When Life Has You Feeling Small …

Feel better about yourself by caring for yourselfWhen I have an experience – where I don’t tune into my wisdom, where I feel judged, where I feel embarrassed or hurt … an experience where life doesn’t go my way …. And I feel like a failure and a small person … I have a technique I use that’s been really helpful.

When this happens – rather than avoid the pain, rather than push it away and affirm my worth – I do something different. I actually embrace the experience. I really feel into the misery … and let myself feel smaller and smaller and less powerful and less powerful and smaller and smaller … When I do that for a while I find that I hit a point where I burst up, out and open to the level of the soul. I find I am no longer contained in this body or restrained by life experiences. I feel myself SOOOO much bigger than all of these human experiences and emotions. Far bigger than any one (or collected) negative experience.

This simple practice shifts things quite nicely. If you really restrict with the smallness – your natural resistance to that smallness will bring about an experience that will remind you who you really are. At your core you are this magnificent spark of divine love – a radiant light here on this earth designed to shine brightly and lift others up. May you remember your radiant beauty this holiday season and beyond!

It’s easier when you don’t focus on it!

I’ve told this story twice to clients in the last two days and they found it significant. Feels like it’s something I should write up! Hope it strikes a note with you as well!

I’ve not worn contacts since I had my oldest! Something about a premie – total lack of sleep and exhaustion that made them insufferable in my eyes. I’ve had two people in the last six months say something to me about trying them again. And, I now respond after two nudges rather than waiting for the third.

So, when I took my youngest to get new glasses I decided to get contacts for me too! I told the optometrist I had experienced some damage to my vision with kidney failure during my first pregnancy (That’s another story – and it might be coming out as part of a “Miracles” chapter in a book shortly – I’ll keep you posted!).

So, I explained the damage and discussed it. The optometrist looked bored, didn’t ask me much about it and wrote nothing down. When I tried the contacts on and told him I wasn’t sure whether they were good/right – he impatiently told me “They either make things clearer or they don’t!” Grrr! Life isn’t always that simple!

I agreed to try them. I went back a week later and this time I got him on a better day. I explained more of my issues to him. That I can’t read white letters on a black background. Very little night driving for me. That I got headaches when I tried to read more than five minutes for a full year after I delivered my first. That the swelling with the kidney failure had pushed on the nerves in my eyes and that every opthalmologist in the area had come to check out my eyes while I was still in the hospital because I was INTERESTING. This time he paid more attention to me and made some notes.

I was able to tell him about how the central vision in one eye is mostly shot and the magic and mystery of the human body has allowed me to compensate for the deficits so that I can mostly function like a normal seeing human being 🙂. But that when I really THINK about seeing and FOCUS my attention on what I can see and what I can’t … I get headaches, nausea, frustration and more. But that when I, say, focus on driving the car and chatting with my passenger, my vision is just fine. In fact I was able to test at 20/20 when I was chatting and not TRYING too hard. When I REALLY LOOK AND FOCUS AND TRY … it doesn’t go so well.

In this world of getting it right, ironing out wrinkles and problem solving … it’s hard to let something alone. It’s hard to say – maybe it’s just fine as it is!

Yet when I let go, surrender, forget …and trust … I can see all I need to and MORE! I free myself up to enjoy life!

Open Hearted – All the Time?

caring for your heart chakraIt may go against common practice but I believe strongly that we do not need to have our hearts open in all interactions. The heart is your intimate sacred space. It is possibly your greatest treasure. When nurtured, the heart chakra can open up like a big velvety cabbage offering love and light far and wide – holding those you love with extraordinary graciousness. It is the source for unconditional for others and most importantly for yourself.

The heart chakra is where you truly come home within yourself. It has this soft energy and is capable of holding extraordinary pain and incredible joy. The pericardium – the muscle around the outside of the heart – is a great protector allowing you to have discernment about who and what you let in. Your mind needs to have discernment as well.

Let me give you an example of a time this practice of discernment allowed for healing. A few years ago I wanted to have a difficult conversation with a friend who was going through a rough time. We both felt some boundaries had been crossed. I felt like her issues were flowing into and around my life and she felt I was no longer waiting to be asked for advice. Now, in retrospect, I can say this clearly. At the time it was just icky and filled with junk for both of us.

I texted her that I wanted to chat – and she replied that it would be fine as long as we were open hearted about it. This had been building up between us for a while. Before I called her for the conversation, I called in sacred space so that we would bring our best selves present. I called in angels, guides and ascended masters. I called in my higher self and then called her higher self. Her higher self didn’t come! I was surprised then realized that maybe it wasn’t time for an open hearted conversation after all.

We had a brief conversation about having a break from each other. And moved on. Honestly I’m quite sure both of us were annoyed. It took a little time but we both moved beyond it. Easily really. I don’t remember which of us reached out first but it was extraordinary. We both missed each other and the missing didn’t hold the heart ache that you would expect from this sort of estrangement. Probably because we had kept our hearts safe.

We were truly able to pick up where we left off and we have found much joy in our renewed friendship. Our hearts were wise and lead the way. We trusted that – and now we very much interact with open hearts!

So my recommendation is that you stay very present with your heart this week. Decide what people and situations you want to expose this precious heart to. Treasure it and celebrate it’s gifts and see what shows up.

I would love to hear your stories – times you’ve protected your heart and times you wish you would have. Please share!

Evolving Opinions of Miley Cyrus

We’ve had a LOT of conversations about Miley Cyrus lately in our house with two teenage daughters.

I had a REALLY strong reaction to Miley in her VMA performance.  I’m usually fine and not judgmental, usually a supporter of the arts – and I was horrified with her performance.  My reaction was so strong that I looked at it and looked within myself for projections and shadow pieces as I continued to process.  I also wondered if some of my reaction was based on women’s rights and how women are perceived.  “We’ve come so far and look what she’s sabotaging …”

Then in the following days we read a lot about slut shaming and revisited our first reactions.  That was a band wagon we had no interest in joining.  So our opinions kept shifting – which in this world of fixed political and social opinions was really a delight to allow.

I read Sinead’s piece and was on Team Sinead 🙂.  Then … one of my daughters found an article on buzzfeed “Why Sinead is Wrong about Miley”.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/why-sinead-oconnor-is-wrong-about-miley-cyrus

I found it thought provoking and helped shift my opinions further.

Saturday night Miley was on Saturday Night Live.  My daughters and I talked about the fact that we were ready to really see what she did rather than going in with a preconceived notion.  Miley did an awesome job – she was really funny, self deprecating yet held her head high.  We enjoyed the show!

This morning there was an article in the New York Times “Get Back and Just Let Miley Cyrus Grow Up.”

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/arts/music/get-back-and-just-let-miley-cyrus-grow-up.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131006&

I won’t say we’re on Team Miley – but we’ve shifted … and feel pretty clean where we are.  The buttons are gone and we’re open to evolving further.

So I thought I’d share.  Would love to hear further reflections as we’ve spent so much time talking about it and being reflective at our house. I would also love to hear about other places where you’re letting your opinions evolve!

A reminder in stone

stoneI found this stone while hiking recently. Sort of funny – I was pondering the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders. How much I was capable of and how exhausting it was just to think of it. How I MUST make what I had to offer “available” to many … high quality …etc. etc. etc. How I needed to be “up-leveling” my business, how I needed to be an awesome mom, how I needed to be a good wife, take care of myself and my health … support my clients and students …

And as I climbed the hill feeling heavier and heavier this stone caught my eye. I had such a good giggle. This stone looks like it is a part of a white circle. It felt so clear to me that my responsibility is just a portion of the circle. I’m NOT responsible for all of it in any of the arenas where I contribute.

I felt so light, inclusive and collaborative. I felt deep gratitude and noticed how much lighter I felt with the realization. And so I share the stone with you – you’re part is just a portion of the circle. The rest will be filled in by others at the perfect time and in the perfect way. Enjoy the ride!