I’m preparing for my Shine Yoga-Life Mini-Retreat this Saturday April 6th from 2 – 4:30.
(click for registration details.) I took the year off from teacher training* so that I could have some time to create opportunities for students who don’t want to invest in a 200 or 300 hour teacher training program to have the opportunity to really get to “the heart of yoga.”
Public yoga classes are amazing opportunities to take care of our bodies, clear our minds, and have a few moments of peace in our day. I’m going to be honest here and say that they also fall short in the arena of the core teachings – and promises – of yoga. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely believe a little yoga in better than no yoga;-) Yoga has changed my life. It’s helped me shift my perspective and has given me tools to experience greater comfort, joy, confidence, connection, and empowerment in my life. I didn’t learn these things in “regular” yoga classes. I learned them because I had the curiosity to dive a little deeper into immersion studies. Even though yoga philosophy and mindfulness is a VERY important part of my practice, it’s still impossible to fit ALL the tools in to even a 90 minute class. Yes that’s right folks. I still teach a 90 minute class on Saturday mornings at Shine Yoga in Cincinnati. I try to weave in an element of yoga philosophy as well as a breathing technique or two and a couple of minutes of meditation but I know most people are coming to my classes to move and so we do. I’m offering these seasonal mini-retreats to give students some tools to use outside of the studio to really get clear in the energetic field so that the mind can actually settle as yoga encourages us to do so that we may indeed experience a sense of inner freedom no matter what is happening in the world around us.
I will be presenting a short morning and evening yoga asana practice that is suited for most people and that can be customized as needed. We will learn & practice several different breath and meditation techniques. We will take a little time for quiet contemplation, journaling, and group share for those who wish to crystallize life intentions for the spring season. Tea and snacks will be served. I’d love to see you there and support you in taking time to invest in your deep inner well-being. Getting clear, it’s easier to Shine.
*As far as teacher training goes, it is my passion and I am planning to be returning in the fall of 2019 to lead a 200 hour foundational immersion/training followed by the 300 expanded training in early 2020. Details are crystallizing now and will be available soon. Visit www.shineyoga.com for developing news.
Deep in Devotion
A scab got ripped off my heart last evening
Here’s what poured out….
Girls “shouldn’t be”
or too smart
or stand out
Girls and Women SHOULD be free.
free from pain…. oppression…. bondage…. expectation
and if one single aggressive and belligerent man needs to finally be called out for it
SO BE IT!
We need to have this discussion and the entitlement needs to end!
Millions of us bear the weight of a certain type male aggression and domination
An idea that one can take whatever he can physically overpower.
Enough is Enough
It’s time for change… for healing… for a coming together… not a ripping apart.
But for now we bleed… we speak…. we cry.
In this way we bring poison into the light.
Because it’s true – we are here for each other
But until we figure that out…. We break each other
And in breaking each other…. we break ourselves.
Though money and power continues to drive our world
I for one will do my best to work for love.
The bus driver didn’t see me wave today but she made sure I saw her. It was that had to make the first step to allow that interaction. The first day she picked up my son she was late. I could tell she was stressed. Even though she is carting kids around town she was quiet and withdrawn. I was stressed too…. well because she was late… very late…. and it was the first day of school. Normally I drive my kids to school on the first day so I don’t have to deal with the bus driver figuring out their new schedule. But Hoyt wanted to take the bus this year and I agreed.
So here we are…. two stressed out women. While one would hope the bus driver would say hello, acknowledge your child, maybe even acknowledge her tardiness, our bus driver did none of these things. Because of my empathy and because she was about to take my child’s life literally into her hands, I did my very best to overcome my own anxiety and my own shyness, and I provoked her attention. I said, “hello, it’s nice to see you, I hope you have a good first day.”
The next couple of weeks followed suit. She was late… and quiet… and I overcame my own frustrations and introverted-ness and said, “good morning, have a good day.” It’s been what, about four/five weeks of school now? She’s not “too” late anymore but she’s always quiet. I’m not as vocal but I at least wave everyday. She was distracted today and didn’t see me wave…. but you know what….
as she drove by – she made sure I saw her wave back at me.
That single gesture has reaffirmed my commitment to keep trying to be kind because more than anything that’s what our world needs most right now.
Someone got shot in my back yard this weekend. It wasn’t literally in my backyard but in the backyard and to the right of my backyard. Close enough that I heard the gunshot and then saw another person running through my neighbor’s yard to deal with the situation after my dog started freaking out! Besides someone actually being shot (it was in the leg and I think he’s ok) in my neighbor’s backyard…. is the fact that I’m not surprised. I have one set of suspicious neighbor’s. We think about moving but honestly I don’t know where else to go right now because crime is everywhere.
Even though both my kids are dealing with constant lock drown drills to prepare for a live shooter in school…. even though they both have been on a real lock downs because of a shooter outside of the school in one case and a kid threatening people with a gun inside their school; when it’s close to home, it’s too close.
But this post is not about the crime, it’s a reminder of the bigger picture.
Although the practice of spirituality, of honoring the spirit of life that dwells in others and in our world, is strong in our family life; we are not a religious family. We have discussions — not lessons — about spirituality. We talk about what “god” might be, we talk about our loved ones whom have passed on, we talk about signs from beyond the realm of time and space, and we talk about our guardian angels. But… I’ve never really told them what I believe because I thought I was still working that out in my own mind and heart.
But… Sunday night, though I called it a “come to Jesus” moment to a friend, actually presented itself as a “a come to the truth of it moment.” We had to talk about the fear that was quickly swelling up in our house. I want my kids to be careful in life but not afraid of it. I believe that’s how we’re meant to live life…. with great respect…. and with courage…. so that we can make the most of our time here and hopefully leave behind something good and valuable for those who come after us.
After I told my kids I hoped they lived with caution and courage, I found myself sharing “my faith.” I teach yoga classes and trainings that are rooted in what I call “universal spirituality” because I don’t want to define spirituality for anyone. I believe it’s up to us to discover what spirituality actually is by developing a deep inner awareness and understanding of the spark of life that lives within each of us. Rather than contributing to the conditioning that happens around “god/dess” and spirit, I like to get under the conditioning of life to help people experience what is at the heart of truth for them. This process takes time and leaves some people exploring longer than is comfortable for some people. But as that inner relationship with spirit becomes truer it also becomes clearer and more soulfully empowering for those who stick with the process. I do believe hearing other people’s relationship with spirit is most helpful when it’s simply offered without the hope of the other person adopting it as their own and so I decided to share it with you today too. For context, this conversation is wrapped with the history that quite a few “bad” things happened to a number of good people we know this summer.
I believe we have a soul and a body. For now you’re soul is in you’re body. When we die, our soul goes on… somehow… somewhere… that part I’m not sure of yet. I do know that if I die before you, my soul is going to do it’s best to keep an eye out for you just like I believe my dad does for me — often. 😉 The more important thing though…. is that I believe each one of our soul’s has it’s own destiny. We all come here with something special to be, to do, to share. Sometimes it’s just one thing… maybe it’s small…. maybe it’s big. That thing might happen early in your life or late. Sometimes your thing is just to be there for somebody else in your life. Sometimes, I think being born and dying early is also the thing you were meant to do to shift the energy for other people in your soul family.
I do believe in that soul family… small ones… that merge into one great big one. I think sometimes things that seem bad actually happen to make other things better.
I don’t think our destiny is always guaranteed. I think it’s “our job” on earth to pay attention to our heart’s whispers. Our heart’s are our soul’s compass and they guide us to what is right and true for each one of us. It doesn’t matter how long you live or what you do in your life if you honor your heart and make the most of all that you came onto this beautiful planet with. Cherish every moment, be loving to the people that love you, do the best you can with what you have, enjoy your life, and try to bring a little more goodness into the world too. Listen to your heart, do your best to follow it, it wants what’s best for you and that’s nothing that anyone else can tell you.
For whatever reason there are always going to be scary and “bad” things happening around us. Sometimes fear is telling you…. get out of here this isn’t the right path for you. There’s another kind of fear though too…. a fear that makes you doubt the goodness in the world…. it makes you doubt yourself….. it makes you doubt your choices….. it holds you back. It’s hard to tell the difference between the kind of fear that keeps you safe and the kind of fear that makes you live in a very tiny little box. Your heart knows the difference.
When life feels scary, or sad, or makes you mad; take a deep breath…. close your eyes if it’s safe…. and listen deep. Your heart always knows the way! It’ll be up to you to take the time to listen deeply underneath all the chatter of the world… the chatter of your own mind too…. and then to have the courage to make the most of your life by following your heart.
Even if the road is bumpy, and sometimes scary, our heart’s always know the way.
“The earth provides us a brand new beginning every twenty-four hours. It is a repeated invitation to breathe in the cool morning air and start afresh; to mimic the sunrise and brighten up while reaching once more for the sky; to carry a glad song in our heart like the early birds; and, as faithfully as the morning dew, to wash off the dust from yesterday.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich,
On my to do list for awhile now has been a note to make more time in my day to return to more creative endeavors. Since I took over at Shine almost 6 years ago now, I’ve struggled with expectations and a to do list that I could never complete. So arose an effort to peel away as much of those to do’s as I could so that I could still take “good” care of a challenging small business while maintaining my main priority at this time in my life — to be as present as I can be for my children while they still need me.
Then there’s Facebook. It’s such a great tool for connecting and sharing. So full of words and images, it too was feeding my creative spirit. I’ve come to terms though; that it’s taken over any time and space I really had for creativity and while I still like it, I’ve realized that my creativity has lost a lot of depth and texture so I can focus on quality over quantity.
And here I am. Reviving a blog I left behind three years ago. Excited to see what comes of starting over again.
How about you? Is there anything you’ve left behind that still calls to you but you struggle to find the time, or the energy, or the money, or the motivation to start over again? I know it’s hard. I also know that usually just one little small step can be just enough to get us rolling again. The hardest part is getting organized to start and of over-coming that initial inertia of change. Once we make that initial shift, we can more clearly decide if that call was coming from a place of intuition or of old wistfulness? The truth is some things are meant to be left behind and rather than starting over we would best be served by starting anew.
This was a call I had to test out. I can’t be sure of what will come of starting over here and so I make not promises of how often I’ll be back or exactly what will show up here. But I had to try again.
While I will always miss summer as it turns to fall, I love this “back to school” time of year because I naturally feel inspired to buckle down a bit and refocus my priorities and the way I spend my time and energy. For anyone else out there starting over or starting something anew I’m sending you a little nod of acknowledgement and encouragement. And for the others, content where you are, the same nod of acknowledgement and respect that you are in a state of peace.
(the light of my heart honors yours)