Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doing verses Being

How do you feel when there are no mirrors? When there is no portion of your mind judging or criticizing that reflection of you? How do you feel when you move out of the space of doing the ten thousand things we think we need to do and simply allow yourself to be in the world?

Today I took solace in the woods near my house. I woke early, as temperatures are rising quickly in the pacific northwest, and I wanted the cool quiet of morning. The park that I walked to is fairly small but heavily wooded with cedars, maples and shade-growing berries. I took my first lap around the park at a walk-run-skip-walk, training my body back into endurance slowly, in a fun way. The second lap, I walked quietly, watching and listening.

I felt so beautiful to be part of that forest.

For the first time in days, that part of my mind -- the one that I try so hard to quiet, so hard to turn off -- the one that criticizes me, tells me I'm gaining weight, that I need a hair cut, that I need new clothes or new something, simply shut up. The part of me that tells me that I'm not doing it right and need to do more finally just turned off and all the sudden I wasn't doing anything wrong anymore because I wasn't doing, I was being.

I recently read an article interviewing Eckhart Tolle, in which he discusses the idea of masculine and feminine energies. He says that masculine energy relates more with doing and feminine energy relates more to being.  He really says it best:

"The world is out of balance because it is focused primarily on the doing, and there is a loss of the awareness of being. This is when stress and negativity arise: when people try to get things done and they no longer are centered within that aware space of being. You cannot feel your being anymore; you cannot feel the consciousness behind all the doing. So many women these days have internalized the imbalance and are also out of touch with being more focused on doing." **

He suggests we find a balance between the ability to do and the ability to be. Just like the embracing yin yang symbol, there is a piece of the other within each: within the dark yang is a white dot, and within the white yin is a black dot. This is the ability to have stillness at the center of doing, and a dynamic quality of doing while being still (so that we don't fall asleep!).

I have been feeling out of balance lately because I've been focusing on doing too much without leaving time to cultivate just being. And I've noticed how I've felt guilty for wanting time to just be, because our culture still doesn't value it as much as doing. But I was reminded today of just how important time to be is -- it is what brings me back to my center and reminds of who I am as a spirit in a body, and just how beautiful the human process is.

**Full article here:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How do we hear the message of the Spirit?

Our spirit always knows exactly what it needs in order to heal itself. The challenge is cutting through the noise of the mind, our past programming, and outside energies so that we can really hear what the spirit has to say. And even then, sometimes what the spirit wants feels inconvenient, or "too much," or scary, or strange. Sometimes, what our spirit really wants pushes up a belief system that we have that is actually keeping us from healing.

The past few weeks (months, really) have been amazing. Not only have I been working on creating my new business, but I also had the opportunity to cook for an amazing group of people. Then, I got to come home and continue working with my clients, give some free healings, and learn more about what I need to do to make my body stronger. All of this is awesome! All of this has also made my body really, really tired. As I looked toward my first weekend back at home, I had this moment of fear grip my body. I hadn't scheduled time to relax.

I had scheduled a weekend of travel with my boyfriend, attendance at a graduation, time with his family and our friends, and about 10 hours in a car, arriving back home late Sunday night. My brain was frantically searching for what my spirit really wanted -- that space where I got to relax, where I didn't need to "show up" for anyone, where I could veg out and sleep more and spend time in nature and sip tea slowly.

As the week went on, the vision of what my spirit wanted made itself more and more known, so much that it almost became a physical ache in my body. People around me noticed. "You look....tired," they'd say, then add, "But happy." My whole being wanted nothing more than to relax for the weekend. But my mind kept reminding me of a belief I have about what happens when you break commitments. "Breaking commitments is extremely disappointing to the other people involved.You will feel guilty because they will be hurt. Taking time for yourself is selfish."

As I re-read that last sentence, it still rings true to me. This is a belief I have had for years and years! It's a family belief that states simply, "When you say you'll show up, you show up, no matter what happens. You can't change your mind." When I read a person's space, I'm able to identify these types of belief systems -- those originating from someone else that are keeping the person from having their highest vibration of healing. It's not that the belief itself is bad. I would say that most of us want to keep the commitments we make. What I look at is, given the current situation, is the belief system serving the mind, body and spirit or is it actually hindering healing or growth?

Looking at my plans this weekend, my mind did what it does best and started to analyze the situation, create a list of pros and cons, and try to figure out a way to trick myself into feeling better about it. By Friday afternoon, I realized it wasn't working. I needed to have a very honest conversation with my boyfriend, which brought up another belief system of mine, "When you ask your partner for what you need, they will tell you it's silly or crazy and make you feel bad for wanting it." That's a belief system of mine left over from past experience, and the more I navigate this new relationship, the more I realize it's not serving me.

The conversation actually went very well. We talked about what I needed, what he needed, and how we felt about it all. In the end, I decided to stay home and have a weekend to myself to rest, be in nature, cook for myself, get more sleep, sip my coffee slowly and try a new smoothie recipe. Basically, a weekend to be myself with no pressure and the intention to fully find my energy again.

Through Spiritual Counseling sessions, I can help you with this process. I can help you identify the spiritual causes of pain, disease, discomfort or disconnection and communicate to you the healing messages of your spirit. Just yesterday, a client mentioned feeling like they had reached such a healthier level after their session. If you are struggling to make sense of the messages of your spirit, your mind, and your body, please give me a call. Your spirit will thank you! Mine did.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Seared, pink flesh is healing on my forearm. My thighs are spotted with mysterious bruises. My low back has the familiar ache that comes from standing in once place for too long. My body is tired and craves sleep and massage. But my spirit feels stronger, nourished, and ready to jump into another phase of growth. I've just returned from the third YogaSlacker Teacher Training.

For the past three years now, I've been delighted to be part of the YogaSlackers Teacher Training. This year and last year, as co-cook, and the first year as a participant. This is the third year I'm blogging about the experience, and as I look back on past entries, I see that in the past I've written about intense physical struggle coupled with tremendous spiritual uplift. This year will be similar, but different.

This year, I am physically and emotionally stronger. While my co-cooks, Laura and Raquel, and I stood on our feet for countless hours over the past ten days and stirred, flipped, chopped and pureed, I lasted so much longer. I was tired, not exhausted. I am sore, not mutilated. Last year, I was at the beginning of a divorce, and the wrong song on the playlist would bring me to tears. This year, I cried tears of joy to be united with my closest friends. I have spent the past year coming into my own, and I am so much more ME,  stronger, still sensitive but thriving, not empty and in need of taking but strong enough to GIVE.

There is so much I could write about in a training like this -- one that brings very authentic people together to create a community of building each other up towards a single goal, to share the art of yoga slackline. I could write about the amazing people, the kitchen dance parties, my physical accomplishments, friendships, physical and mental conditioning, flashlights, water lining, long lining, slacklining and acro yoga. But the thing that permeates all of these, the thing that links every one of these together and connects all the pieces into one cohesive whole is this: SPIRIT.

For the first several nights of the training, the group would meet and a few of us would share our story: how we came to our "a-hah!" moment in slacklining. Telling my story is always interesting, as I came into the group before it was a group, and somehow stayed on through fear and injury because I love the people. But as I prepared to tell my story, I realized it wasn't just the people I loved, but their spirit.

Before I left for teacher training, I was focused (and still am) on turning my authentic self, gifts and training into a healing career. This task -- fully owning who I am and what I do -- has been a struggle for me. But I have found that I simply cannot be happy in any career, relationship, or friendship that doesn't support my highest values, goals and aspirations. The YogaSlackers teach what they love, period. They decided years ago to just do what they were passionate about and believed that they would somehow be supported. Guess what, it worked.  I noticed an interesting pattern in my own life: every time I hung out with them (Sam and Jason, in particular), I would feel a huge sense of unease when they left. Why? Because their presence, conversation and passion reminded me that I wasn't quite living up to my own values and beliefs. It always stirred up a period of intense spiritual growth for me, perhaps quitting a job or moving to a different city, and usually causing conflict in any relationships that weren't allowing me to be authentic. My connection with the YogaSlackers is about spirit, and being encouraged to fulfill my own.

One day during the training, I woke up early and was very tired. My spirit felt disconnected from my body. I'd had very active dreams and simply couldn't get the rest I needed. My thumbs felt injured from a combination of activities and that scared me. My burn was still open on my forearm and needed to be bandaged.  And I had this feeling that I could be doing more physically than I believed. That fear was holding me back. There was not a lot of time or space for me to find alone time; time to contemplate and meditate and find ME again. But this night, right after dinner had been served and everyone else was either eating or showering, I found some.

I want to long line more than I want to do any other thing on a slackline. I love the meditation of moving forward, one step at a time, and teaching myself with every step to be okay with where I am now, rather than focusing on the end or the finish. Sound like a familiar parody with life. It is. That's why I love it so much. For me, the block to walking long lines is the mount and the fall. In the past, I've been injured enough where both were either impossible or just really, really scary. A 100 foot line has to be set about 7 feet in the air so that you're not touching the ground when you reach the center. The YogaSlackers teach a sit to stand mount that still tweaks my back. There was a new mount called the Chongo that looks super scary but shouldn't hurt me. And I want to long line. And, for some reason, at this point in the training, I'm ready to try.

What is it that takes someone like me, who is afraid of moving forward for fear of injury, and suddenly gives them the courage to take the next step? I was alone in the slackline park, so I took the bouldering pad and placed it under the 80 foot line, set maybe 5 feet high. I set up for the chongo mount. I fell face first into the mat. I did that about six times before I took the mat to a lower line and repeated the process, then lay there, crying, not about the mount but about something I couldn't identify. The old, fearful me would have given up then. But I didn't. Why?

I operate in a world of constant feeling, intuitive picture, and moving of energy. As I lay in the slackline park, releasing energy in the form of tears, I was suddenly energized. For the past several days, students had been pushing themselves, creating and reaching goals and cheering each other on. All of the sudden, alone in the park, I realized I was also a part of that and could feed off that energy. I got back up and really concentrated on the mount again. Opposite foot and hand on the line, balance with the other, set the hips back and match foot to hand....and.....I'm up! I walk a few steps and then do it again, and again, four times. I move back to the long line and....I'm up! I walk half way across, realize what I've just done (woot!), which makes me fall, and then do it again.

I lifted myself up on the spirit of community, positivity, authenticity that was being shared. It was beautiful.

As I start to focus more on Integrative Health Coaching, particularly the intuitive side of things, I'll be sharing more here about the spiritual mechanics related to feeling good. In a nutshell, the more we fill ourselves up with US, the better we feel. Generally, when other people's energies or goals move into our auric field (or our "space," as I like to call it), we start to feel muddled, unsure, unconfident and disconnected from ourselves. However, when a group of people come together with the goal of holding space for each other to achieve their own goals, community spirit is created and can be shared by all. It's the same type of energy that pumps up fans cheering for the same team, or what is created when a group of people meditate together. This is what I felt while in the slackline park and this was the feeling that permeated the training.

The only problem with group spirit is the withdrawal that comes from suddenly being separated from it. Our own spirit seeks the high that was created and ends up scattering itself around the country, trying to find it. The solution is to remember the vibration and hold it close, but to call your energy back to yourself and bring it into present time under the vibration you want to hold. That's what makes you powerful again. That's what makes you your authentic self, and that's how you continue to hold Spirit.

For more information on spiritual mechanics, or to schedule a free 20 minute intuitive consultation, please email me!