Cultivating Love

I’ve never been a yoga teacher that loves pictures of postures. It seems so very anti-yoga to me, especially since the true essence of yoga has very little to do with the physical body, and so much more with how we show up in life, and I am always hesitant to post my (somewhat) able body in a posture that so many of my beloved students could not access. It seems pretty exclusive and not at all what yoga is about.


I am cultivating a love and presence with this physical body of mine who screams in pain and asks me for subtle changes to find comfort. I am in awe of her form that wrestles with daily pain and yet still keeps on keeping on. I am finding a mad love affair with her resiliency, so pardon my pictures of form to document that she is okay, and strong, and powerful and glorious.

Pain is a beast. Be kind to those who you might assume has a cake job/life. It’s not always so glamorous as it seems.

Resistance, Surrender, Peace

About eighteen years ago I was referred to rheumatology for a positive antibody test result. What came next, and over a series of extensive blood work and discussions, was that I had several autoimmune diseases and needed to start medication. This was long before I was an advocate for myself or was even aware that I had choices when it came to what I put in my body. So I started the medications with zero research, zero questioning and zero information.

I stopped them as quickly as I started them.

Something in me just knew that it wasn’t the right time for me. It was during this season of my life that I was also beginning what I refer to as my “wake up”. A period where I was moving from being an angry, heavy toxic woman to someone who lived peacefully and in alignment with her greatest vision. I embarked on a journey of wellness that took me from over 200 pounds to a mere 145 pounds, but more than the weight it allowed me to find my soul and live in a way that was perfectly fulfilling in every aspect.

After stopping the medication, I went full on resistance to anything my rheumatology doctor had to say. Every visit was a heated battle of wills, until one day when she basically fired me as her patient. I went a year or so before I finally chose to drag my little tail between my legs to see her, and asked for a chance to start over. We talked about diet, herbs and exercise and although she was not a huge believer in any of it playing a large role in auto-immune disease (AID), she agreed to listen to me rant about how I believed that my extreme exercise habits and strict diet was keeping my symptoms away. Were they, or was I so resistant to the medications that I refused to acknowledge the pain I was really experiencing day after day?

My every-three-month visits and lab work came and went for many years and I was determined to have a lifestyle that was everything living with AID isn’t–active, vibrant, and full of living.

My resistance began to shift into surrender about five years ago when I was starting to have more and more periods of pain and fatigue. I told my rheumo that I would trust her to tell me if my body was taking a toll and when it is really time to start medications, not just based on a positive blood test. She agreed to watch and wait. I agreed to finally trust her expertise. I surrendered to the idea that I would likely have to start mediations if I wanted to keep my active life, and my sanity. I was by no means ready to start the medication, but I surrendered to the inevitable time that it would be coming.

The time has come. My body needs the help of medication to reduce the amount of flare ups that I experience. I walked into her office last week in total peace for the decision. The day I took the first dose, I rode my bike for miles and miles and marveled at the young woman who had so much well -served stubbornness and the need to do it her own way for over a decade. I watched in my mind how she matured into a common sense surrender of what IS, and then the wise woman who has softened into peace.

I wouldn’t trade a second of my seasons and am definitely proud of how I have handled the huge decision to know when. Believe me when I say I wanted essential oils and meditation to be enough, but I am the first to say for me, it isn’t enough. Sure, those things are my #1 and #2 choice for anything going on in my life (physically, emotionally or mentally), but I also realize that there is a time when western and eastern meet and good things happen. The oils and holistic life is one I will never trade, but I am proud of knowing myself enough to trust when something else can be added to make my life even better.

Resistance served me well. Surrender allowed me the grace to know. And, peace welcomed me into her arms.

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Pain and Essential Oils

Do you have aches and pains? Ongoing pain is one of the leading causes of sadness, hopelessness and feelings of despair. When we are in constant pain is wears out spirit down and actually increases our cortisol which leads to many diseases.

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune diseases about 17 years ago that attacks my joints and causes pain nearly every day. I also have had multiple hip surgeries and my job as an adaptive yoga teacher requires so much from my body. Basically, I hurt most days somewhere in my body.

Of all the blends I have found this one to be one of my favorites. In fact, marjoram is my number one pain relieving oil. the relief I get along with the mood support gets me through the hardest of days.

Here is my favorite blend:

10 drops frankincense

10 drops lemongrass

10 drops marjoram

Top off with fractionated coconut oil and apply up to every 30 minutes to affected area.

Read more about the basics of essential oils in this handy guide.